Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Good Reasons to Sell Postcards, Mainly Topographical View Postcards, on eBay

They're among the most collectable items and they virtually sell themselves. Postcards rank third most collectable item worldwide, just behind coins and stamps. Theyre not the bits of worthless paper many people imagine, in fact some amazing prices can be fetched for postcards, notably on eBay, where items flea market visitors consider overpriced at a few pennies can fetch double figure, sometimes three figure sums.

* In the early days of postcard collecting called deltiology almost every family had its own album, sometimes several. These heirlooms were cherished and passed through the generations, postcards were rarely destroyed or lost. Consequently many very early postcards remain in undamaged condition today, usually still in their original albums So you can buy hundreds or thousands of postcards in just one day at specialist postcard auctions and non-specialist sales, especially complete household clearances from elderly deceased collectors. You can actually buy hoards of postcards in just a few minutes, where traders in other antiques and collectibles take weeks or months to acquire stock to even contemplate the kind of money you'll soon be making.

* Postcards are usually very small and can be stored safely, close together, side by side in boxes, boxes stacked high one on top of the other. When I traded at postcard fairs, my entire postcard stock, once the biggest in the North of England, occupied a tiny corner of a spare bedroom. Compare this to space needed by sellers of larger, more fragile, unusually shaped antiques and collectibles which need to be stored separately, surrounded by bubble wrap and plastic chips, in varying size boxes which must be placed separately on the floor, not stacked one above the other.

* Postcards are usually all the same shape, roughly the same weight, making them extremely easy to pack, very inexpensive to post. You wont have to waste time looking for boxes of varying size to pack and post your products, as happens to eBayers selling oddly shaped items. All you need are a few cardboard backed envelopes or you could make your own from empty breakfast cereal boxes. Postcards also fit into any local post box so Post Office visits are few as happens for larger more fragile items that need to be individually weighed and postage calculated. Be aware you will have to visit the Post Office to Register or Record Deliver your postcards which is usually quite rare.

* Because so few listing details vary between postcards usually just location, age, publisher, postmark - you can create a template to suit every postcard you ever list from now to forever, where only a few details need changing each time.

* People who collect one postcard, typically collect lots of postcards, so you could develop a huge customer base of people who will watch your listings closely and buy from you again.

* Listings are easy to keep track of even over several months for items that go unsold first time round. While people selling books and prints, pottery and toys, must be continuously sorting through huge piles of stock to find recently sold items which were listed months before, you can organise the whole process using one of those modern plastic postcard albums with acid-free plastic pockets usually six to a page. Make very certain your pages are acid-free and do not leave the album in a warm or moist location, all cause damage including foxing which depreciates postcards or ruins them completely. Place the first postcard listed in the first pocket on the first page of the album; second card goes into the second pocket (horizontally or vertically, it doesnt matter much). Now when auctions end, starting first product, second product, and so on, you can open the album and begin removing cards in order they are placed in the album, leaving unsold cards in situ. Once all sold cards are removed, move unsold cards forward to fill the empty spaces. Now you can relist all the unsold items which will continue selling in the exact same order they feature in your album and you can begin adding new listings to spaces freed at the back of the album. Cards that remain unsold after a few listings can be moved forward, as before, and listed in bulk with each album page having its own illustration in your listing.

Avril Harper is a triple eBay PowerSeller and author of BANK BIG PROFITS SELLING VINTAGE TOPOGRAPHICAL VIEW POSTCARDS ON EBAY which you can read about at: www.sellpostcardsonebay.com and MAKE MONEY TEARING UP OLD BOOKS AND MAGAZINES AND SELLING THEM ON EBAY which you can read about at: www.magstoriches.com. She has produced a free guide - 103 POWERSELLER TIPS - which you can download with other freely distributable reports and eBooks at www.avrilharper.com

Why Are Culinary Terms in French?

Have you ever wondered why most culinary terms are French? French chefs were very skilled. When the French Revolution started and everyone was losing their heads, the chefs to the Royal Families decided that now was a good time to travel to distant places. The chefs took their skills and culinary terms all over the world. French became the standard language of cooking.

Whether you are from the U.S. or Outer Mongolia, you both know that mirepoix is the sauted combination of onions, celery and carrots. Lets start with some basics.

Stocks are the foundation of cooking. (fond de cruisine). They add background to your dishes. Stock is made by simmering fresh bones in clear water. At the last hour, you may add meat or vegetables or both to the bones along with aromatics (seasonings and herbs traditionally, peppercorns, thyme, parsley stems and bay leaves) and mirepoix. If you want a brown stock, add roasted tomato paste. Tomato paste is roasted to caramelize its sugars and break down the acids.

Mirepoix has a ratio of 50% onions, 25% carrots and 25% celery (2:1:1).

Start with a large stock pot (a pot taller than it is wide), add your bones and cover with water (the water should not be more than 2 inches over the bones). Bring slowly to a simmer. The bones will release impurities into the water, which will rise to the top as foam. Skim the foam (depouiller) to remove these from the stock. Removing the foam will make your stock clearer. The clearer the stock, the longer shelf life it will have. If you simmer the pot slightly off-center of the burner, the fat and impurities will gather along the edge of the pot away from the heat. Taste the stock every so often to find the peak flavor (if you simmer it too long, it becomes flat). Remove the stock from the heat and taste for seasoning. Add any more seasonings that you need while the stock is still warm. To strain the stock, set up a fine wire-mesh strainer (you can also use a colander lined with cheesecloth) over another pot or metal bowl and ladle the stock into it. If you are not going to use the stock right away, place the pot into a ice bath to cool. You can refrigerate or freeze your stock. When you are ready to use the stock, lift off any fat that is collected on top.

Cooking is an art, not a science. You do not have to rely on recipes if you understand the concept of cooking.

Carolyn Flesch

Online Forex Brokers - Is Your Broker Your Friend or Your Enemy?

I read a lot about the above subject and most traders dont understand the role the online forex broker performs.

So, is an online forex your friend or your enemy?

The answer is:

Neither. If you know how to use a broker correctly, all they do is simply transact orders on your behalf and thats it.

Brokers dont hunt stops

The thought that brokers go around hunting stops and trying to get their clients is not true.

This myth comes from day traders who cant understand why they get stopped out so often and lose, so they blame their broker.

What they should really look at is:

That their systems are flawed and the real enemy (if it can be called that) is price volatility.

Volatility is only the enemy though if you let it be.

The fact is though that trading in short time frames with close stops is a great way to lose your money.

Thats the traders fault and they need to deal with volatility.

If you jump in front of a speeding car you will get run over.

Thats not the cars fault, its yours.

Thats why you never see a long term day trading track record with a profit and a great excuse is blame the broker not the logic of day trading!

I was a broker for 10 years and we loved day traders, they would lose their money with no help from us and give us a great profit.

We didnt need to help them lose they did it all on their own.

Think about this simple fact:

In a market that trades trillions of dollars a day short term moves are random and no one (apart from a central bank maybe) can push prices where they want them.

All you need from a broker is a tight spread and thats it and there are plenty of brokers who will give you that.

Then its down to you to cope with market conditions.

Brokers that can harm you.

Are the ones that offer advice to help you trade.

Well, if they were so good at trading they would be traders not brokers!

The fact is your broker should simply transact your trades and the rest is down to our trading methodology.

An online forex broker then is neither a friend or an enemy there simply there to transact orders.

Get one with low transaction costs dont take advice and then you can set your trading plan in motion.

It really is that simple.


On all aspects of becoming a profitable trader and for an exclusive forex basics PDF visit our website at http://www.net-planet.org/index.html

Selling Uncovered Calls, Part 1

A buyer's risks are limited to the premium cost; depending on how many points a stock moves up, a call seller's losses can be much higher.

When you take a short position in a call, the decision to exercise belongs to the buyer. You need to be able and willing to deliver 100 shares in the event that the call is exercised, no matter how high current market value has gone. If you do not already own 100 shares, you will be required upon exercise to buy 100 shares at current market value and deliver them at the striking price of the call. The difference in these prices could be significant.

Example: Unacceptable Risks: You sell a call for 5 with a striking price of 45 and expiration month of April. At the time, the underlying stock has a market value of $44 per share. You do not own 100 shares of the underlying stock. The day after your order is placed, your brokerage firm deposits $500 into your account (less fees). However, before expiration, the underlying stock's market price soars to $71 per share and your call is exercised. You will lose $2,100the current market value of 100 shares, $7,100; less the striking price value, $4,500; less the $500 premium you received at the time you sold the call:
Current market value, 100 shares $7,100
Less striking price -4,500
Less call premium -500
Net loss2,100

When a call is exercised and you do not own 100 shares of the underlying stock, you are required to deliver those 100 shares at the striking price. This means you have to buy the shares at current market value, no matter how high that price. Because upward price movement, in theory at least, is unlimited, your risk in selling the call is unlimited as well.

Tip: Selling uncovered calls is a high-risk strategy, because in theory, a stock's price could rise indefinitely. Every point rise in the stock above striking price is $100 more out of the call seller's pocket.

Get your Momentum Stock Trading System and sign up for my free weekly online trading system newsletter here at: http://www.stressfreetrading.com

Why Get Involved in FOREX Trading

PREMISE: Trading Foreign Exchange carries a high level of risk and may not be suitable for all investors. There is a possibility that you could sustain a loss of all of your investment and therefore you should not invest money that you cannot afford to lose. You should be aware of all the risks associated with Foreign Exchange trading.

The cash/spot FOREX markets possess certain unique attributes that offer an unmatched potential for profitable trading in any market condition or any stage of the business cycle. It leaves one to wonder why bother?

The answer to that is very simple. It boasts:

A 24-hour market: A trader has the chance to take advantage of all of the profitable market conditions at any time which means that there is no waiting for the 'opening bell' like the exchange.

Highest liquidity: The FOREX market is the most liquid market in the world. That means that a trader can enter or exit the market whenever they want during almost any market condition minimal execution barriers or risk and no daily trading limit.

High leverage: A leverage ratio of up to 400 is normal when compared to a leverage ratio of 2 (50% margin requirement) in the equity markets. Of course, this makes trading in the cash/spot forex market awkward as well because it makes the risk of the down side loss much higher in the same way that it makes the profit potential on the upside much prettier.

Low transaction cost: The retail transaction cost (the bid/ask spread) is actually less than 0.1% (10 pips) under the normal market conditions. At larger dealers, the spread could be less than 5 pips, and may expand a great deal in fast moving markets.

Always a bull market: A trade in the FOREX market means selling or buying one currency against another. In essence, a bull market or a bear market for a currency is defined in terms of the outlook for value against other currencies. If the outlook is positive, you get a bull market where a trader profits by buying the currency against other currencies. However, if the outlook is negative, we have a bull market for other currencies and a trader profits being forced to selling the currency against other currencies.

In either case, there is always a bull market trading opportunity for a trader.

Inter-bank market: The foundation of the FOREX market consists of a global network of dealers that communicate and trade with their clients through electronic networks and telephones. There are no organized exchanges like in futures that are there to serve as a central location to facilitate transactions the way the New York Stock Exchange serves the equity markets.

The FOREX market actually works a lot like the NASDAQ market in the United States operates, and because of this, it is also referred to as an over the counter or OTC market.

No one can corner the market: The FOREX market is so large and has so many participants that no single trader, even a central bank, can control the market price for an extended period of time. Even the interventions conducted by mighty central banks are getting to be increasingly ineffectual and short-lived. This means that central banks are becoming less and less inclined to intervene to manipulate market prices.

It is Unregulated: The FOREX market is seen as an unregulated market although the operations of major dealers like commercial banks in money centers are regulated under the banking laws.

The daily operations of retail FOREX brokerages are not regulated under any laws or regulations that are specific to the FOREX market, and in fact, many of these types of establishments in the United States do not even report to the Internal Revenue Service.

Bryan Thorby is the publisher of "Your Guide to Successful Forex Trading" available at http://www.oneworldbiz.net/finance/forex-trading.html and provider of Forex Trading resources at http://www.managing-your-finances.com/forex/ where you can Learn about Forex Trading - Training Programs, Forex Software, free demo Forex Accounts, and learn how to trade like the professionals.

Forex Is The Best and More Lucrative Home Based Business?

The first reason why you should trade the forex market is because it is the most lucrative home based business. Although It is not a new market, it is still unknown by non traders. It is more amazing when you know that most of the traders are not aware of the huge opportunity of the forex. The Forex or Foreign Exchange Currency Market is open to the public since 1998. With the economic situation today and the fear of most of the people worldwide to wake up a morning and be jobless, without resources to feed their family, there is an increasing need in lucrative home based business.

On another hand, it is really difficult to find a real opportunity which will allow you to make a living from your home computer. You got to put hours of recherches and invest some hard earned money, with the fear of being involved in a scam company. Let' s say you found a good opportunity, and honestly, there is a lot of legitimate business you can make a lot of money if you are serious. But, is that what you really want? Most of the opportunities on the web today, even if you make big profits, are held by someone else. That mean that when you participate in those turnkey businesses, you do not have any control.

It is really amazing to see all these people who want freedom, more time with their family and friends, more time for their favorite hobbies... and the most important, fire their boss, going the same way. To understand, they want to be free, they found that on the web you can make money and be free, all that they need, but if you look at the situation, 80% of these people fired their boss, to meet another boss on the Internet! A virtual boss, who is making them work, but they don't feel it, because they have the impression to be free, they work wherever and whenever they want, and better than all that, they have never seen their boss. People make money in these programs, they may win $5000 a month or more but actually, the owner of the program is making tons of money.

There is a way to make much more money on the web that you think now, and Internet seekers and people in general should discover trading, specially the forex market. While the word market could intimidate some people, believe it, no one must be afraid about that, and think about the difficult stock market, or commodities, futures... The forex market which is also called FX is not really as difficult as it seems. There is not that much technical vocabulary to learn, and the risk is considerably low, if you compare to the other markets like the stock for instance.

The fact that home businesses seekers should really consider is that you can choose at which time to trade, and where you want to trade; you need only an Internet connection, and that's it, you are ready to tape in the biggest market of the world with $1,5 trillion activity everyday in the same way banks and large corporation do it and it is not difficult at all. Rather it is simple, and the methods already tested by serious traders will help you in your adventure.

To trade forex, you don' t need to have a lot of money to start( just $300 will be a good start), you can trade at any time, from anywhere, with a Internet connection, you will not have an order pending because of lack of liquidity, you will not have to work all during the day.

The forex market has many advantages over the other traditional investments, and for sure, it will give you more freedom, and more money.

Get Forex Freedom. Discover a simple and powerful technique which turn $300 into $30,000 in as little as 6 Months. Master The Forex Market With The Forex Mentor

Franck Silvestre.

Day Trading Chat Rooms - What to Realistically Expect

About two years ago I entered a slump in my day trading. I decided to hunt the internet, and there I found many day trading chat rooms. One by one I signed up for trials to see what they were about. I had never been in a chat room before.

After being in a few rooms, my impression was that the members of the room were looking for a leader, a guru, someone with the answers. I guess I was too, although I already had about thirty years of trading behind me. Id like to think is was just more curious than actually looking for answers. Most of the room members seemed very naive. Im sure they thought theyd be given an indicator or method that would allow them to start making money right away. The other thing I noticed right away was the ego of the moderators. They spoke with great authority, and suggested that their way of trading was the one and only way. Only they had the answer. And the room attendees, in each of the rooms, seemed to agree.

I did not see much new in any of these rooms. Each one had some kind of gimmick or special oscillator. Some had a black box approach, where you were supposed to just sit there waiting for the moderator to call out the trades. I did not see many winning trades from the little time I spent in any of these rooms. From what I saw, I doubted if any of these people ever made a dime trading. I kept moving on.

Eventually I came upon a chat room that was free. Free was interesting. How could it be free? They must be selling something. I logged on.

I heard the voice of a very calm, relaxed man that had just taken a huge win out of one of the stock index futures. Dozens of traders posted congratulations to the moderator for the winning trade, but more so for such a wonderful, magic indicator, and all the wonderful trading patterns from this magic indicator.

The magic indicator being used was actually introduced around 1980, but this moderator had some interesting improvements on the way it was displayed and the patterns it produced. And the room was not only free; there was a charity involved. He asked everyone to donate a little out of his or her winnings. How could anyone criticize anything that was done for charity?

The moderator made the claim that he invented the use of applying patterns to an indicator. He did rename all the patterns, but I recognized many of the patterns that were well documented in many old books. He just put strange names on existing patterns. The mostly new traders did not know these were old patterns. Nobody questioned anything in this room.

Despite nothing new here, it seemed he did an excellent job of categorizing many different patterns and putting them all together into a package that would be more readily accessible to new traders. So that was good. And there were many good concepts offered on trading in general, and money management. Also, the chat room was upbeat and positive. Most of the previous chat rooms I attended were negative and angry. I thought I should continue on.

I spent the next few months learning as much as I could. As much as I wanted to believe he had wisdom worth listening to and a viable approach, many things started really bothering me. One was his insistence that his indicator could lead price An indicator, which is a derivative of price, cannot lead the price. Thats just mathematically impossible. Another was his insistence that you cannot be watching prices while you are trading. What?! You cannot see what you are trading? If you were driving a car would you cover up the windshield? The people in this room would if he told them to.

I had a hard time believing that nearly a thousand people would accept everything that was being said. Accepting it so readily. Were they all drinking Kool-Aid? It was an interesting study on the need to believe in a leader, a guru. Someone that can help make dreams come true.

But I persevered. His trading results certainly looked more encouraging than mine did. I would get the recaps after market close on days that they were available. Nearly every trade in the recap was profitable. I tried to write down the trades as they were being called, and then tried to reconcile them in the recap after the market closed. But I began to notice in the recap that the winning trades were selected very carefully out of the real time comments. Again, nobody questioned any of this. Was I the only one who noticed the discrepancies?

At this point I decided to do my own testing. I had been in the room long enough to know every pattern and every nuance. I was good at programming and had the data to test. I took each pattern individually so I could find which patterns had profitable or encouraging tendencies. For my tests I decided I needed thousands of samples. I decided to test each of the patterns on five years of data, and broke them up into one year segments. I was just looking for profitable tendencies and robustness.

After programming everything, I tested the signals by hand; just to make sure my programming caught all the signals based on the rules, and did not create signals that should not have been there.

After spending weeks and reams of paper for my printouts, I found that none of the patterns resulted in a profit in any of the previous five years when tested mechanically. A pattern that was touted as winning 90% of the time, actually lost money, and in most years had less than 30% winning trades. Results on the rest of the patterns were less reliable than the flip of a coin, far less in most cases.

To summarize my testing: nothing worked. Nothing came close to a favorable tendency. I tried to tell other people in the room about my research and the dismal results. Most of them would not hear it. They did not want to hear the truth. They were too invested in the method, and they had to believe they would eventually become successful if only they would hang on a bit longer, learn that secret that is just around the corner. But most of these people stayed in the room, some had been in for years, and kept showering congratulations onto the moderator for the great trades, and great magic, leading indicator. Did they ever look at their account statements?

You might assume my time spend in this room a waste of time. That maybe I thought that this guru did have the answer to trading success. I knew better than to expect this. The sad part is that so many other people dont know better. They are told something that they want desperately to believe, and they believe it. They don not test it. They do not question it. They believe blindly. They invest much time and money, and then they get past the point where they simply want to believe. Now they are too invested and they have to believe. They will disregard all common sense and all facts and proof in an effort to keep the dream alive. I certainly learned about psychology and the mind of chat room traders that I compete with every day.

Trading is hard work, and every trader has to find what fits his or her own personality and temperament. Nobody is going to easily give it away, whether in a free chat room, or a paid room or seminar, or a so-called trading school. Theres a whole industry out there that supply traders with tools and education. Very little of it is good. Most of it is a waste, taught and promoted by people who are not successful using the approach themselves.

Doug Tucker has a blog with daily commentary on stock indexes, precious metals, and other markets. There are many articles on technical analysis and indicator design and interpretation. To visit go to: http://tuckerreport.com