Memory improvement tips

By Tony Lam

artiests' names

Imagine you are picking up an oil painting with the signature “Renoir” at a flea market. The guy is selling for $10. Are you going to buy it ? How about if the price is $500? Will you pass it ?

Renoir signature

It is a true story happened couple of years ago. The girl attracted by the puppet in a box together with the painting Paysages bords de Seine in a flea market in the Shenandoah Valley priced at $7. Actually, the painting is done by Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919), a French artist who was a leading painter in the development of the impressionist style. She bought the box and about to throw the picture in the trash when her mother stopped her and decided to submit the painting to an auction house.  Finally, the auction house estimated price of the painting to be between $75,000 to $100,000 !!!

There may be hundreds and thousands of valuable paintings at flea markets, yard sales, garage sales, thrift stores waiting to discover.  You may probably miss them if you can’t recall the signatures or names of artists. How good is your memory to remember them?  Here is a simple test for you. Below table shows the signatures and the artists’ names. Study the data for 3 minutes, try your best to remember the artists’ names (either first, last or full name) and the eBay prices. Then, cover up the second and third column and write out the names and prices for each signature.

SignaturesArtists NameseBay price
Bessie Pease GutmannGallery
Maxfield ParrishGallery
Charles H. SawyerGallery
David DavidsonGallery
Frederick “Fred” ThompsonGallery
Marc ChagallGallery
Sam SavittGallery
John Taylor ArmsGallery
Thomas Hart BentonGallery
Wallace NuttingGallery

How many can you remember ? If you score poorly, don’t worry.  Good memory can be acquired by suitable training and exercise. I am assured by a pharmacist who speaks seven languages and can speak out the name of every customer she met. Not only the pharmacist, but her adopted siblings have good memories too.  They give the credits to their father who used a special method to teach them how to remember when they were young.


How to improve memory

Memory is like muscle, without constant practices or exercises, its ability will be weaken or shrunk. By applying suitable systematic training, everyone can strengthen his or her memory to a certain level.  In the book of  “How to develop a brilliant memory”, Dominic introduces three basic memory tools:  Association, Location and Imagination method with examples and exercises. I’m surprised to find that I have been using some techniques for a long time.  I learned it bit by bit without knowing how powerful when they are connected together. I wish our school system has this kind of systematic memory training to our kids. It will easier for them to study.

Here is a tip for you to remember a long password with numbers, characters, or symbols and remember it, applying the association method.

Think of a personal experience that you won’t forget and put it together in a sentence. For example, I walked 30 minutes to (2) Gomes (elementary school )with (my sister) Mary every day. The password can be set as “Iw30m2GomeswMed“. Whenever I recall scenery of what I saw when I walked to school every day with my little sister, I can easily remember the long password.

The book also mentions about Number-Rhyme System. It is to relate each number with a key image with a word that rhymes with it. For example, wine could be used to rhyme with the number 9 . Use this to memorize the following item of trivia :

Queen Victoria of England had nine (wine) children.

I recommend you to read the book, learn the methods and do the exercises. In the meantime, play some memory enhancement games such as Trivia Pursuit card Game or Pexeso online games to practice your memory skills and stretch out your memory capability.

How to buy wholesale supplies and resell on Etsy

By Tony Lam

In 100+ hot selling items on Etsy, most of them are supplies for handmade products or craftworks. Other than going to trade shows to buy and resell on Etsy, you can also look up the wholesale items on eBay. Compared with other wholesale dealers, eBay provides a quick and safe marketplace for small buyers with competitive price. The good thing is that there is no minimum order requirement MOQ for bulk purchase. You can pick small batch of different styles and patterns at wholesale price. If you are satisfied with quality, you may ask the seller to put up a list for larger quantity with better price. Most of the eBay sellers selling wholesale items are manufacturers, or have close relationship with the manufacturers. You may even ask them to look for particular patterns for you. Look up wholesale supplies on eBay is easy and quick. I’m going to show you an example how to find wholesale supplies on eBay for Etsy’s hot items.

Etsy’s hot selling item : 50 pcs of Solid Brass lobster claw clasp, selling at $7.6 ( shipping included)

Find wholesales items with keyword search

Keyword search is a direct and quick way to find the wholesale items. Proper usage of keywords can filter out non-relevant items for you. You will not be overwhelmed by tons of products. For instance, if you want to find lobster claw clasp, just type “ wholesale lots solid brass lobster claw clasp”, some items come up.

One listing is selling at $3.19 or Best offer with Free shipping from China for 70 pcs. The current Etsy list is selling at $7.60 (shipping included) for 50 pcs. You can buy one or two lots to verify the quality from different sellers to find the best one.

wholesale keyword search

Find wholesales items with categories

If you don’t have any ideas on the items for resell, you may try to another way to start your search with categories. Click the leftmost side in the eBay search block to open up the category list. Pick the one you like, e.g. Jewelry & Watches. Then, key in “wholesales lots bulk lot” and you can see all the wholesale items related to the keywords , such as “wholesales”, “lots”, “bulk”,” lot” in the category. You may add more keywords such as “lobster claw clasp” to narrow the search.

wholesale category search

wholesale category search_2

How to find the best selling items on eBay using Terapeak

By Tony Lam

best selling items

I have been busy stocking and re-arranging my inventory for the coming peak season in summer. Business is down this month when compared with the same month last year. I have to make extra effort to catch up with the business in order to meet my goal of 50% profit growth this year.

Lately, I have been working hard to find out the best selling items on eBay. I added a page “Gallery – Hot eBay items” showing all my findings. They are hot research items at Terapeak with more than 50% success rate ( i.e. success rate is the percentage of the listings in the categories that closed successfully with at least one item sold). You can bookmark the gallery for your reference. By constantly checking the hot items gallery, you won’t miss them when you are buying at trade shows, wholesales websites, thrift stores, yard sales, garage sales, or estate sales.

Here shows my steps how to pick the hot selling items using Terapeak. You may try it out yourself for 7 days free. Currently, I have put up more than 70 best-selling items on eBay focusing on vintage collectible. I will continue to add more.
Watch a Terapeak eBay Research Demo

1) Login your Terapeak account

2) Open “Hot Research” tab

3) Click on the Category Name that you are interested in

e.g. Pet Supplies > Dog Supplies > Flea & Tick Remedies


Terapeak Hot Research_1


4) You will see the trend of the Categories in 2 Years. The graph shows seasonal fluctuation in sales with lowest in Dec and highest in April.

5) Click on the “The best-selling titles in the categories you are searching “

Terapeak Hot Research_2


6) Select the item you want to review. For me, I select the highest sell through rate

Terapeak Hot Research_3

If the number of total listing is more than one for a single item title, it should be a hot BIN item that sells a lot in a single listing.

7) Click on the item title to list out all the items with the same item name

Terapeak Hot Research_4

8) Pick a hot item, look through their descriptions and learn from how they write the descriptions and set up price. I also cut and paste some of the descriptions under the gallery picture for you.

Terapeak Hot Research_5

Trade show buying secret revealed

By Tony Lam

Every year there are many trade shows being held at different cities in U.S. They provide opportunities for buyers to meet new suppliers, source new products, and socialize with current vendors.  You can get really good deals at expos if you are well prepared before you go. I’m going to reveal some buying secrets of how professional buyers get their super deals in the trade shows.


Do your research


If you haven’t been to any trade shows before, it is worthy to spend a trip to a trade show or expo. You can start with the big convention centers within your driving distance. Check out any expos or trade shows that you are interested to visit.  You may focus on the international expos for overseas suppliers who are eager to introduce their products to U.S.  For example, Las Vegas Convention Center is a great place for you to spend a few days, where different kinds of trade shows are held around the year, e.g. national hardware show and NAMM show.

Before trade show


Find out the list of suppliers in the expo you are going to visit. Review their products at their websites and contact them to ask if they have special promotion in the trade show.  Some suppliers will put products on sale only at the trade shows . The price is much better than the catalog or wholesale price. As I learned from the suppliers, they intentionally bring in a super deal to attract new customers as well as get some money to compensate for the rental cost of the booths. Check the price against the market price to see if the profit margin is enough for your business. Get the expo floor map and their booth numbers beforehand. Also, it is no harm to ask for a free guest pass.

You may also check if they are willing to sell the display samples at a discounted price after the trade show. For the suppliers that you are currently buying from, you may ask if they can bring your purchased items for you to pick up at the trade show, just to save freight charge.

 trade show secret revealed

First day of the trade show


Most of international trade shows last for more than one day.  Other than normal samples buying and get supplier’s information, walk around and search for potential booths that you can able to sell their products. Good candidates are the oversea suppliers who are the first time to join the trade show. Do a research on the market price and get ready to negotiate a bulk purchase.  You may initiate a talk with them to show your interest before the professional buyers do.


Last day of the trade show


If the trade show ends on afternoon, some international suppliers may leave early because of the flight schedule or they reserve some time to tour the city. It is a good time to negotiate with them to buy the whole booth of products at a very good price. Yes, I mean all the leftover items,  demo units, and booth displays. In the national hardware trade show, I witnessed a buyer who got a whole booth of power tools worthy of around $20,000 for $1000. These “professional” buyers hunted from booth to booth to get their deals. After the owner accept the deal, they wrapped around the booth with a warning tape and marked as “sold out”.

Actually, some oversea suppliers were happy with the purchase. When I talked to a Chinese supplier who just sold the booth, he was glad that someone had taken care of the leftover so that he could enjoy his extra time at casino. My previous company in Hong Kong too, in order to save the returned freight, sold all the Natuzzi  & Nicoletti displayed sofas at a low price to a U.S. buyer in a furniture show in LA.

Another great experience for me was a food and beverage expo in Les Vegas.  The trade show became crazy two hours before the end. A candy booth owner threw out bags of chips and candies to the crowds.  People were rushing to fetch them.  I could see many happy faces holding bags of free stuff lined up before the booth for giveaway items.  Some were anxiously waiting for booths to “open” to them to get free items. People are rushing to get as much as they can at the last minute. A man claimed to be from a non-profit organization requested the booth owner for donation of displayed items… ….


Are you ready?


Stay to the end of a trade show and observe what the visitors, booth owners, and professional buyers are doing.  I am sure it will be an interesting experience to you. For me, I always remind myself to stay calm and not to be too greedy.  Are you ready to go?  Plan your trip and drive your truck to bring as many as you can.  If you don’t want to drive, you may check out uship. Uship offers better shipping rate for large items than FedEx and UPS.  A lot of auction sites are using uship to ship furniture items or even vehicles.

100+ hot selling items from top sellers on Etsy

By Tony Lam

Did you ever think of giveaway handmade items with your own design to impress your customers ? I did once to attach a surprise gift (without prior notice) to the Christmas shipments. The buyers were very happy and gave me tons of excellent feedbacks.  Last week when I was working on the data for my first infographic about Etsy top sellers, I learned that their supplies or raw materials for handmade items are really cool. For example, colorful thank you stickers from PrettyTape, Vintage Style Key set and Clear Rectangle Glass from SunAndMoonCraftKits, or Grecian Portrait Cameo Ivory from Cathysjewels.  Suddenly, I come up an idea to find out the most beloved hot selling items that I can buy from them to please my buyers.  I sorted out 12 Etsy stores  from the top 35 sellers according to the decreasing order of number of sales per item. Then, I looked through the active items in their stores and identify those with high number of views.



12 top Etsy sellers 1_25_13

Finally, I consolidate more than 100 hot items into my pin board in Pinterest. The hot selling items I picked are from 12 top sellers on Etsy with sales per item greater than 100 and with accumulated views more than 1000. Take your time to find out your favorite. Since the supplies are really hot and selling good, they may give you some insights to make your own design for handmade items that your buyers will love to receive them.

Shipping Large Items