Successfully Selling Silver on eBay – Article Two – Hallmarks, Maker’s Marks, Standards, and More

(Warning: This article is long and reading it may improve your ability to make money on eBay)

In Article One I discussed the opportunities for savvy eBay sellers in the growing investor market for antique and collectible silver. The many types of marks on these goods can be confusing, however, often resulting in poorly described listings. One can be assured that at least 30% of the 12-15,000 weekly listings in the ‚Antiques-Sterling‘ category will have inaccurate or misleading descriptions. The resulting buyer confusion and uncertainty causes poor selling prices, lost sales and seller credibility issues.

In this article eBayers will learn how to identify and understand the many different marks and where to research them. With this background sellers can write professional descriptions in their eBay auctions, eBay stores and other selling venues. Properly identifying and listing silver items gives sellers credibility and an edge over the hundreds of uninformed sellers in this competitive market.

Think of it this way – if one were going to get into the car selling business he or she should know as much as possible about makes, models, engines, performance, etc. Right? The same thing applies to selling silver goods. The marks tell the story behind the piece i.e., the maker, age, origin, history, quality, pattern, etc. Understanding marks will increase the sellers‘ ROI because they become better buyers as well as resellers.

Identifying and Deciphering Silver Marks – The list below provides the basics for learning the many marks and and metal types. For further research and education there are many excellent reference books available for both beginners and experts. I’ve provided a short list of suggested books at the end of the article. Understand that many reference books are narrow in their scope i.e., specific to certain time periods, countries, etc. For this reason one should purchase only one or two books which cover a wide array of marks from many makers and countries. As experience is gained by listing and selling silver one can build a good reference library. For online research there are several excellent websites that are contributed to and used by collectors and dealers worldwide. I’ve linked one of the best sites at the bottom of the article. Professional valuations and appraisals are also available for those who want a quality listing but don’t want to research marks.

Those who are just starting into silver sales need to be very careful not to misinterpret marks. As stated above, one-third of the eBay sellers incorrectly list and describe items because they’ve learned just enough information about marks to be dangerous. Often these erroneous sellers think because there is a lion, crown, or anchor mark on their item it is English sterling when, in fact, it is silverplate bearing a pseudo mark. Just today I saw a new seller’s auction of a creamer and sugar bowl set that she listed as English sterling made in 1903. In reality it was American silverplate circa 1877-1880. She thought the pattern number, 1903, was the date it was made and that the lion in the trademark meant English sterling. This is just one example of many that make sellers look bad and limit their chances for a profitable sale.

Use Knowledge As A Selling Point – After properly researching the marks on the merchandise one can accurately title and describe the listings. Items can be guaranteed to be as claimed because the seller has enough confidence to do so. This gives credibility to the seller and the merchandise which will draw smart investors and collectors to the auction. The result will be strong bidding action and higher sale prices.

Use Accurately Identified Marks for Search Optimization – For example, a seller identifies a piece as Danish and made by Georg Jensen circa 1909-1914. When used to keyword the auction title and description this information will be a magnet for high-end collectors . This translates into bigger profits. Which of these two titles works best? „Antique Silver Bowl with Hallmarks“ or,„Beautiful Georg Jensen Art Nouveau Sterling Centerpiece c.1909-1914“. The second one of course. This is simply using strategic keywords in the title which gives life to the listing.

Okay, so what’s to learn? There’s plenty. The following is just the short list, but with this foundation a seller can build their road to success as an expert silver dealer on eBay and other venues.

Things You Must Know:

  • Hallmarks – Just about every eBay seller misunderstands this. Specific to precious metals, a hallmark is defined as a mark or series of marks struck into the metal that officially authenticates the metal purity (fineness or content) and which is internationally recognized as a guarantee of purity. eBay sellers frequently confuse hallmarks with maker’s marks, logos, company trademarks, and simple number marks such as 925 or 835. While such number marks are used to indicate purity or content they are never to be considered as hallmarks unless they are accompanied by the official standard mark of the country of origin. Why? Because anyone can fraudulently strike these numbers into the metal without official assay. Hallmarks are the official marks of guaranteed metal purity in precious metal items. Trademarks and maker’s marks are simply the mark of the manufacturer of the item. Think of it like the karat marks on gold jewelry. If a ring says Cartier 18K, the hallmark is the 18K, not the maker’s name, Cartier. It guarantees the ring has a gold purity of 75% and it is recognized worldwide. Silver hallmarks work the same way, there’s just a lot more of them than there are for gold.
  • Country Marks – Almost every country requires official nationalized marks or symbols to be used as the hallmarks for their precious metals standards. Probably the best known of all is the Lion Passant used by England to guarantee sterling since the 14th century. There are far too many country marks to list here but you can research them in the online reference sites listed at the end of this article.
  • City Marks – A mark or symbol used in many countries to denote the city where the item was made. The leopard head representing London and the anchor representing Birmingham are two of the best known and most commonly seen on eBay. Again there’s too many to list but they can be researched in the reference guides listed below.
  • Maker’s Marks – These are the registered names, initials, trademarks, logos, brands, symbols, or other marks used over several centuries by silversmiths and manufacturing companies to identify their wares. There are literally hundreds of these worldwide. You will usually find these struck or imprinted onto an inconspicuous place on the item along with the hallmark and other marks.
  • Date Marks – Also called Date Codes, these are unique symbols, characters, letters, or numbers used by some well known manufacturers as a means of dating the production year of their merchandise. These are cataloged and are very useful in accurately dating many items. Unfortunately many companies didn’t use date marks which makes precise dating of their work impossible.
  • Pseudo Marks – These marks were created by silversmiths to mimic the well known and long established British sterling hallmarks. These smiths typically made silverplate items and silver items of lesser purity than sterling. The marks were intentionally designed to give a perception of sterling quality about their work in order to profit on the reputation and renown of British sterling. This does not necessarily mean they were all practicing fakery, though some certainly were. In fact, many pseudo marks are legitimately registered trademarks of reputable firms which manufacture in sterling, coin and silverplate. For example Gorham, a highly respected American sterling and silverplate maker, incorporated the Birmingham anchor mark into their maker’s mark. Much of the 19th century Chinese export silver also bears pseudo marks on some very high quality 800 and 835 standard marked goods. Pseudo marks are often mistaken for British sterling hallmarks so buyers and sellers alike must be able to recognize them. This is one of the main reasons why research is so critical to successful selling.
  • Pattern Numbers – These are proprietary numbers which are often found along with the hallmarks and maker’s marks. These are used by the manufacturer for patent registration, pattern identification and inventory control.
  • Sterling – Sterling is defined by the U.K., the U.S. (refer below*) and most other nations as an alloy containing at least 92.5% pure silver. The other metal in the alloy is copper which strengthens the metal for fabrication into usable and decorative wares. The word sterling comes from 14th century England. The sterling standard in Great Britain and elsewhere has been 92.5% (925) fineness since that time.
  • 925, 0.925 or 925/1000 – This number is often found stamped into silver items. It represents sterling when accompanied by the official standard hallmark of the country of origin. The presence of this number on an item does not guarantee it to be sterling unless the official country hallmark is also present.
  • „Solid Silver“ – This is defined by the U.S. government (refer below*) as an alloy containing at least 92.5% pure silver which means it has to be sterling. It is illegal in the U.S. to represent any product by this name that is not sterling silver.
  • „Coin Silver“ – This alloy gets its name from 18th and 19th century American silversmiths who melted down silver coins in order to fabricate items to sell. Typical items were silverware and other table service wares. The U.S. government defines this to be an alloy of 90% (900) purity (refer below*). Many items with less than 90% purity are frequently and illegally sold as „coin silver“ in the U.S. on eBay and in other venues.
  • Continental Sterling – This is a misleading term used by some who sell European made items which have purity standards less than 92.5%. Similar terms used are Russian Sterling, German Sterling, French Sterling, etc. all of which are marked with official national standards that are less than 925. Continental Silver is the correct way to describe European goods provided the official hallmark and assay mark are present to authenticate the actual purity.
  • Silver Standards – In the U.S. the standards are pure (.9999%), sterling and coin (refer below*). In the U.K. the standards are britannia (95.8 % purity) and sterling. Britannia was used exclusively in Britain from 1697 to 1720 and has been optional since. Other countries have their own sets of official standards. Typically, but not without exception, these are 950, 935, 925, 900, 875, 850, 835, 812, 800, 750, and 675 purities as determined by official assay. These numbers represent the decimal fraction (percentage) of silver content in the manufactured item. For example, an item marked ‚800‘ is 80% pure. 950 and 935 can be legally referred to in the U.S. as sterling, regardless of the country of origin, but the lesser standards cannot. 950 is sometimes referred to as Martelé Silver. Note: In the U.S. it is a federal crime to import, sell, label, advertise, or otherwise represent any item as „sterling“ or „solid silver“ which does not have a purity of 92.5% or greater (refer below*).
  • Loth Numbers – This was a numerical system used in Austria-Hungary and Germany-Prussia in the 18th and 19th centuries for authenticating official assays. It is based on a purity of 16/16. So that 15/16 is 15 Loth equaling .937 purity, 14/16 is 14 Loth equaling .875 purity, 13/16 is 13 Loth equaling .812 purity, and so on. Most of the antique silver from these countries found listed on eBay is 13 Loth and, as noted above, it is often misrepresented as German Sterling. Austria-Hungary used this system until 1866 and Germany-Prussia until 1886.
  • Zolotnik Numbers – These numbers are found on Russian silver items going back several centuries. The root of this system began in the 11th century with the Russian gold trade. A lot of antique Russian items are auctioned on eBay and other venues so it is important to know some basics. The numbers are based on 96/96 being pure. What is sold mostly on eBay is the more common 84 Zolotnik, or 84/96 which equals 875 (87.5%) purity. 88 Zolotnik is 88/96 or 916 purity and so on. A common problem with the 84 mark is mistaking certain types of French silverplate for Russian 84 Zolotnik. One way to tell the difference is the French silverplate mark will have either a ‚Gr‘ or ‚G‘ after the 84 which represents grams of silver used in the plating process. Also the Russian 84 Zolotnik will always be accompanied with one or more official marks and a maker’s mark in Russian Cyrillic letters. If an item is claimed to be Russian and it bears on the number 84, then consider it to be fake or plate.
  • Silverplate – This is a very thin layering or coating of pure silver over a base metal. The most common base metals used are copper, brass, nickel-silver, white metal, and Britannia metal (see below). The two types of silverplate are Sheffield plate and electroplate. Sheffield derives its name from Sheffield, England where it originated. The technique used was a ’sandwiching‘ of a layer of base metal between a top and bottom layer of pure silver. The metals were wrought or rolled until the two metals were bonded. Thus the base metal was ‚plated‘ and could then be used for manufacturing. Electroplating was invented in 1805 but didn’t come into popular use until 1840. This is an electrolytic process whereby molecules of silver are deposited onto the surfaces of a sheet of base metal until the desired coating or thickness is achieved. Because electroplating is quick and not labor intense almost all plating was done this way by 1860 which doomed the Sheffield plate method. Today Sheffield plate is prized by collectors due to its superior hand-wrought quality and antique value. There are several different quality grades of electroplate/silverplate. These are based on the thickness of the plating resulting from the amount of silver used. The two common types of Victorian Era silverplate are triple plate and quadruple plate. You will see a lot of these types auctioned on eBay. The key thing to know about silverplate is that it has no significant silver weight, thus there is no precious metal value associated with it. The market for silverplated items is based on rarity, uniqueness, antique qualities, craftsmanship, and design qualities only.
  • Sterling Silverplate – There is no such thing! This description is often used by eBay sellers who don’t know anything about silver or who are keyword spamming to increase clicks on their listing. Because sterling is an alloy it is unsuitable to use as a silver source for plating.
  • E.P.N.S. – You will see these letters marking the bottoms of many older American and British silverplated items. This stands for Electro Plated Nickel-Silver. Many novice eBay sellers and those who don’t bother to do any research mistakenly list E.P.N.S. items as sterling. Common variations on this are E.P., E.P.C. (Electro Plate on Copper), E.P.W.M. (Electro Plate on White Metal), E.P.B. or E.P.B.M. (Electro Plate on Britannia Metal). Just know that any item marked with E.P. is silverplate and as such has no precious metal value.
  • Nickel-Silver – This is a common base metal alloy consisting of nickel, copper and zinc. There is no silver in it whatsoever. The name was coined because the metal is silvery in color and polishes to a shine. Other names used for the same metal are: Alpacca or Alpacca Silver; Brazil Silver; German Silver; Peru Silver; New York Silver; New Silver; Nevada Silver; Norwegian Silver; Silverite; Venetian Silver; Potosi Silver; and Sonora Silver to name just a few. Many people have been stung buying things like old German Silver ladies purses thinking they had something of real value. Nickel-silver is strong and durable but it doesn’t have any metal value.
  • White Metal – This is a silvery colored alloy usually containing a mixture of antimony, tin, lead, zinc, and cadmium. In the U.K. the British fine arts trade uses the term ‚white metal‘ to describe all foreign items which do not have official British Assay Office marks struck on them.
  • Britannia Metal – Another non-silver base metal similar to pewter which is popular because it is durable and polishes to a silver-like luster. This is an alloy of 93% tin, 5% antimony and 2% copper. Not to be confused with 958 Britannia from Great Britain.

The hundreds of known marks and their meanings are complex and often confusing. The information you’ve received in this article should increase your understanding of what many of the marks represent. You can now build upon these basics to become an informed buyer and reseller with a substantial edge over your competition. Thanks for following this article series and please watch for Article Three: A Focus on British Sterling.

Suggested Reference Books:

  1. Kovels‘ American Silver Marks by Ralph and Terry Kovel; Random House Reference, 1st Ed., 1989. ISBN-13: 978-0517568828
  2. Dealer’s Guides: English Silver Hall-Marks by Judith Banister; Foulsham Publishing, 2004. ISBN-13: 978-0572029999
  3. Encyclopedia of American Silver Manufacturers by Dorothy T. Rainwater, Martin Fuller and Colette Fuller; Schiffer Publishing, 2003. ISBN-13: 978-0764318870
  4. American Silversmiths and Their Marks: The Definitive (1948) Edition by Stephen G. C. Ensko; Dover Publications, 1983. ISBN-13: 978-0486244280
  5. All About Antique Silver with International Hallmarks by Diana Sanders Cinamon; AAA Publishing; 1ST edition, 2006. ISBN-13: 978-0978516802
  6. Discovering Hallmarks on English Silver by John Bly; Shire Publishing, 9th Ed., 2008. ISBN-13: 978-0747804505
  7. English, Irish, & Scottish Silver: at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute by Beth Carver Wees; Hudson Hills Press, 1st Ed.,1997. ISBN-13: 978-1555951177

(These and other excellent reference books on this subject are available at Amazon.com and other fine booksellers.)

* U.S. Guide to Precious Metals & Jewels: Laws & Standards (See paragraph 23.6)

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Picture, Picture on the Wall – How Art Can Affect Your Feng Shui

Every day we are influenced by what is around us… the words that are said, the smells we smell, the sights we take in. The goal of feng shui is to promote beauty, harmony, and aspiration, the raising of our sights toward lofty, noble, and worthwhile goals.

The poet Maya Angelou said that we must be careful about the words we speak because the words will „hang on the walls.“ Of course, she is talking about what we do in the figurative sense. However it is also true of what we hang on our walls in the literal sense. That’s why it is important that we surround ourselves with uplifting sights.

Feng shui encourages the application of beautiful, sustaining images. Pictures and artwork of depressing subjects, violence, or pictures whose presence makes us sad or unhappy are not suitable or appropriate for the walls of our home. Instead, only those images that are inspiring, uplifting, and beautiful should be placed on the walls.

Fortunately, you can practice symbolic feng shui by the selection of certain images, such as people, happy occasions, beauty, wealth, or power. Particular pictures in feng shui have special meanings and can be used wherever you desire more interest. For instance, a poster or painting of a water fall is an excellent way to boost career feng shui — and income!

When you are looking to improve your feng shui, consider simply looking around. Then, see if the images you are looking at are saying what you want them to. If not, consider replacing those images with pictures that make a positive, uplifting statement. Check the tips below for more ideas of positive feng shui images.

1. Use beautiful water images for career or wealth help. When placed in the north sector of the home, living room, or office, these images can provide an immediate boost to the career. To boost career chi in the bedroom (or anywhere!) consider adding an image of a tortoise.

Images of waterfalls and lakes are also appropriate for the southeast wealth sector. For more career or wealth help, consider adding a picture of a ship sailing INTO your home or office. Ships are especially auspicious harbingers of coming wealth. Do consider adding a ship picture in the southwest, where it will help with relationships AND wealth because water is beneficial in the SW until 2023.

2. Gain recognition, friends, and beneficial relationships with images of happy people. Looking for more friends or a more active social life? Maybe even FAME? Pictures of happy occasions and happy people are EXCELLENT ways to bring more people into your life, as well as happier relationships, and greater social recognition. Pictures such as the ones below are excellent for enhancing your social status, both personally and professionally.

These can be hung in the south or southwest corners. Other good choices for the south and southwest are horses and birds. Horses hung in the southwest sector can offer a good chance of travel, so be prepared if you hang a picture of a horse here!

3. Receive help from mentors and influential people with images in the NW. To receive help from those in the position to offer you advancement in your career, studies, or life in general, you need to enhance your „Power People“ sector. This is the NW corner of your home, living room, or office.

Images of international scenes such as the Eiffel tower, the tower of London, the pyramids of Giza, and other scenes are excellent for receiving help from all corners of the globe. Likewise, images of metal structures, circular images, and golden or metallic colors are all excellent choices.

Maps, pictures of maps, globes, etc. are all beneficial for the NW sector of your home, office, or living room. Because this is the „heaven“ location, this is also a wonderful location for pictures and images of religious figures or deities, angels, or religious locations such as Jerusalem or Mecca. Grand people such as Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King, Gandhi, or world leaders are also wonderful choices for increasing Powerful People help.

Be sure to surround yourself with pictures of people or places that you aspire to and that inspire you. We must all have something that lifts us up and makes us want to achieve more and aim higher in our lives. Find a picture that symbolizes that FOR YOU.

4. Avoid depressing, negative, or violent images. Do you have images in your home that remind you of something sad, mean, violent, or failure? If so, these images are constantly reinforcing these negative messages. Look around and if you have any pictures or elements like this, consider replacing them. Otherwise, these images will continue to imbue your home with negative energy. Yes, even if your picture is considered „fine art“, it is not worth sacrificing the energy of your home for this investment in negativity.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Heidelberg Castle – Recalling the History With Beautiful Views

The Heidelberg Castle is a well-known ruin that is located in Germany and is considered as the landmark of Heidelberg. The Heidelberg Castle is one of the most significant Renaissance structures found at the north of the Alps. The Castle has been demolished during the 17th and 18th century, but then only few parts have been rebuilt. The Heidelberg Castle lies at a distance of 80 meters up the northern part of the Konigstuhl hillside, and from there it dominates the outlook of the old downtown.

You can reach to this site through the Heidelberger Bergbahn funicular railway. The railway operates its services from the Kornmarkt to the summit of the Konigstuhl in Heidelberg. The original structure of the castle was built before 1214 AD and later has been enlarged into two different castles circa 1294. Unfortunately, in the year 1537, a lightening bolt has destroyed the upper castle.

The present structures were built with an expansion project in the year 1650, before the destruction through the wars and fires. All depends on the fate that some of the rebuilt sections were again destroyed by one more lightening bolt. Until the beginning of the 19th century, the Heidelberg Castle was not considered as the tourist destination. After building up the railway network in the year 1840, tourism has received a big boost in this area. At the beginning of the 21st century, over 3 million people visits this place a year, and nearly 1,000,000 people enjoyed overnight stays.

To get some wonderful views of Heidelberg, head to the Neckar River and the Neckar valley that is located far into the Rhine plain. If you are lucky enough to experience something beautiful with a clear day then the Mannheim is a better option that could be visible on the horizon.

Some of the other attractions at the site that will lure you entirely are:

The Gardens:

The castle gardens were built between the years 1616 and 1619 by Salomon De Caus who was the garden architect. Prince Elector Friedrich V commissioned him for his beloved wife Elizabeth. During that time, the gardens were considered as the masterpiece. The gardens are built upon many terraces with many flowers beds, mazes and arbors. With various sculptures, a heated greenhouse along with the orange trees, waterfalls, huge fish ponds, and a man-made grotto for the musical water arts.

Heidelberg Tun:

The Heidelberg Tun is also called as the World’s Largest Wine Barrel that was built by Prince Elector Karl Theodor in the year 1751. The structure stands at a height of seven meters and its breadth is of eight and a half meters. The Heidelberg Tun holds some 220,000 liters of wine and also boasts a dance floor that was built on the top of it.

Apothecary Museum:

Below the Oto Heinrich Building, you will get the unique Apothecary Museum. Visitors get an opportunity to learn the history of pharmacy and dispensaries. There is a huge compilation of such things.

Castle lighting:

You can see the renowned fireworks display that lights three times during every summer. The three times occur on the months of June and September – first Saturday, and the second Saturday in the month of July. The lighting is done to remember the past event and history of the castle.

So if you love to explore the historic places then head to the Heidelberg Castle and spend a memorable time in your life.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

How to Start a House Cleaning Business on a Tight Budget

„If you use Emotion and Love to drive your sales and your business, you will create Loyalty Beyond Reason. And I promise you, you will build relationships and enjoy a business that exceeds beyond your wildest expectations“

First of all, before you decide to start your cleaning business, make sure this kind of work is right for you. You will need to be in good physical condition. Cleaning is very hard strenuous work. You will need to have good customer relation skills. You will need to have basic office skills and some accounting skills.

If you are planning on leaving your full time position to start a cleaning business, make sure you have at least six months of savings. Or keep your full time job and start out part time.

Research all the aspects of the cleaning service business. From customer service to advertising, taxes, employees, insurance and bonding, what to charge and how to clean a home professionally. Cleaning your own home and cleaning professionally is totally different. Learning how to clean professionally takes a lot of time. When a client pays for your services they expect to come home and find their home spotless.

Getting those first clients takes time, persistence and patience. You will not get a hundred clients overnight.

Obtaining Those First Clients The hardest part of starting your own cleaning service is obtaining those first clients. Most clients want to know how long you have been in business and want references. The best thing to do is let clients know that, yes, you are new to the business but that you have thoroughly researched all aspects of the cleaning business and assure them that you know what you are doing and that you are quit capable of cleaning their home to their specifications. Be confident. I can’t stress this enough. Clients love to see confidence. It relieves their worries and lets them know that their home is in good hands.

References: To get a few good references when starting out, ask some friends or family members if you can clean their home for free or at a discounted rate. The sound of working for free may not be appealing but it will be worth it to get some good testimonials.

When cleaning those first homes, go for quality, not how fast you can clean the home. Cleaning efficiently takes a long time, but you will get to the point where you can do a thorough cleaning in a short time. After cleaning make sure you go back and double check all rooms to make sure you didn’t miss anything. Impress those first clients and word of mouth will spread soon.

Advertising Your company image is everything. Before you start advertising, decide what image you want to portray on your advertising material. Your image is very important. Be consistent with all your advertising. If you have a logo be sure to use it on all your advertising materials. I think it is best to have a website developed before you start advertising. When advertising, stick with the same logo and colors.

Advertise in Local Paper: Start by running a text ad in your local newspaper. Try to come up with an eye catching ad. Do not sell your services on low rates, sell your services on your quality of work and what you can do for the client that other companies don’t. There is a lot of competition in the cleaning service. You have to stand out from the rest.

Magnetic Signs or Lettering for your Vehicle: Having your business name and contact information on your vehicle is a great way to advertise. We use the vinyl lettering. The lettering looks much more professional than the magnetic signs.

Flyers: You can print nice flyers on your home computer, but I would suggest investing in some professional flyers. Hang flyers at Hair Dressers, Laundromats, Restaurants, Bakeries, Grocery Stores, etc. Put flyers on car windows at local groceries stores and businesses. You can even go door to door in neighborhoods you would like to work in. You cannot put them in mailboxes. but you can put them in the front door.

Door Hangers: Door hangers are a great way to get new clients. Pick the neighborhood you would like to work in and hang the door hangers on the doors. When people get flyers or ads in their mailbox they usually throw them away with the junk mail. But if there is a door hanger on the door they will take the time to look at it.

Business Cards: Start passing out your business cards to friends and family members. You can also ask your local businesses if you can leave some cards on their counters.

Referral Program: A great way to obtain new clients is through a referral program. Offer existing clients a discount when they refer a friend. You can give your existing clients a discount when the friend uses your services three times.

Website: These days people live very busy lives so they use the convenience of the internet to shop for the services they need. A lot of working women will shop for services while at work. Everyone that has a business should have a website. It shows clients that you are serious about your business and allows them research your business in their own time.

Cleaning Products: By using all natrual products, you can offer your clients a healthy cleaning experience and protect ourselves against harsh chemicals. Clients love the natural cleaning products with essential oils. They come home to a healthy clean home filled with the wonderful scents of aromatherapy essential oils.

Tip: Always carry hand sanitizer and wash your hands often while cleaning homes. Wear gloves when cleaning bathrooms. You will be exposed to a lot of different germs in clients homes.

Remember most customers prefer that you bring your own cleaning supplies. That way they do not have to worry about going to the store for cleaning supplies before you clean. Some customers have special cleaners for certain appliances or floors in their houses. These customers usually will have these cleaners on hand for you to use. We almost always use the customers vacuum cleaner. That way you do not have to carry a heavy vacuum from house to house.

What to Charge I mentioned earlier that you should sell your services on your quality of work and not your low rates. If your rates are too low, clients will think that your work is sub-standard and that you are not experienced. Also you want to attract the clients that can afford your services. I made the mistake of pricing my work too low when I first started out. Cleaning is hard work, charge what you are worth. As the old saying goes „You get what you pay for.“

Some companies charge by the hour, some charge by the room, some charge a flat rate per home and some charge by the square foot. I think it is better to charge by the home, not by the hour. If a client knows they have to pay one set fee, they don’t care if you take 2 hours or 5 hours. Also your clients will know what they are paying up front and won’t have to worry about added expenses.

No two houses are the same. And there is no set charge for all homes. You have to clean for awhile yourself to get some experience and to work out a system to clean efficiently. Only you know what you want and need to make. Decide what you need to make hourly to cover all expenses and still make a good profit.

A word of advise: Make sure when you start your company that you charge what you would charge if you had employees. Some people make the mistake of under charging when they start out just to get customers and then later on when they grow and need to hire help they aren’t making enough money on their houses to pay help. Don’t under price your work. Cleaning homes is very hard physical work and you didn’t get into this business to work for nothing.

New Construction Cleaning If you decide to do this type of work you will need more equipment. You will need ladders, window cleaning kits with long extensions, a shop vac, etc. These types of jobs are usually 2 to 3 person jobs. New construction cleaning requires a lot more cleaning. You may have to remove stickers and labels from windows and bathroom showers, sinks and toilets. Some require that you clean the vents to remove dust from construction work. There will be ceiling fans to clean, scrubbing floors, and cleaning woodwork to remove dust. New construction cleaning rates depend on the area you live in.

Insurance and Bonding. You need to be an honest person and somewhat personable. People will need to trust you to be in their homes. Most clients are concerned about having someone new in their house, with good reason. You should be bonded and fully insured. Liability insurance rates depend on your insurance carrier and where you are located. Each person you hire will increase your liability insurance. It’s well worth the cost. You can pay quarterly or yearly. You can purchase your bond through your local insurance company. You will need to renew the bond every year. *Note: if you hire employees and cover them under your insurance, they must be an employee on payroll and not a sub-contractor. If you employ them as a sub-contractor your insurance will not cover them. If they are a sub-contractor they are required to carry their own insurance. You

Hiring Help If you start out cleaning the homes by yourself, you will eventually get to the point where you need to expand your business. Start out with one part time employee. Train her and let her take your place one day a week. Then have her take your place 2 days a week and so on. This will give you the free time that you need to market your business and obtain more clients. After you get more clients you will be able to hire more part time help. Eventually you will be able to stop doing the cleaning yourself and just run the business end, which is the only way you will be able to grow your business. When training new employees, always, either train them yourself or have a lead person train them. Make sure there is a lead person on each and every cleaning job. Employees have a tendency to slack off when they are on their own.

Growing Your Business You will eventually get to the point where you have enough employees and lead people and you will be able to stop working in your business and start running your business. You will find that after awhile it will get to be too much trying to clean everyday and at the same time giving estimates, answering calls, scheduling, doing book work, obtaining new clients, etc.

Remember one of the most important qualifications for a cleaning service is TRUST. A client has to know they can trust you alone in their home. After you acquire a few cleaning positions ask the clients if you can use them for a reference. Most of the time they are more than willing to let you use them for a reference. This is how you build your business and acquire new clients is through referrals. Be dependable. Most clients will want to be set up on an every week or every other week schedule on the same day of the week. Try to always keep this same schedule unless the client asks you to switch to another day. If you have to cancel a cleaning date, make sure you try to reschedule at the earliest possible date to make up the cleaning.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Trailering Older Horses

Long distance transport for the older horse

The details for preparing an older horse for a long trip are pretty much the same to move any horse long-distance, remembering that the recovery time for an older horse is longer than for a younger horse. Here are the steps to keep a horse safe and to make it a good experience. First let’s talk about the things that you should not do before setting off on a long trip. It is never a good idea to trim your horse’s feet or to vaccinate them a couple days before transport. How many times have we seen horses become footsore because of that trim. And of course, older horses have a higher chance of running a temperature after being vaccinated. If your horse requires a rabies certificate or requires new shoes, please do it several days prior to shipping.

The day of shipping, particularly when it is warm outside, to not grain your horse. Even with slight dehydration, a horse can impact colic from undigested grain in their system. Another note here, horses that are not great shippers have a higher incidence of ulcers. Transport can be highly stressful. Many horse vets recommend medications like Gastrogard to reduce the ulcer risk.

We’ll spend some time here talking about you transporting your horse. Later in the article I’ll have some thoughts about what to expect for your older horse by shipping with a commercial carrier. After you have successfully loaded your horse, one of the most important things you can do is to make their journey comfortable. You should not keep them tied. This prevents them from dropping their heads and keeping their sinuses clear, leading to congestion and possible pneumonia. Next, bring a sufficient supply of hay that they have been eating. Just as we are careful to slowly switch our horses from old hay to new hay at the barn, it is also important to be careful here, and not switch hay, if at all possible.

I recently transported a yearling filly The folks where I picked her up went out to the grain store and bought hay to go with her. It was not the hay that she was used to and she had loose poops as a result. It’s also important to have water available for your horse too. Most horses will not drink in the first 12 hours of transit. Particularly when it’s hot it is important to have water in front of them. We hang a Foraflex bucket and fill it half full while we are moving.

I recommend that you carry water that the horse is used to. It is not always possible but like hay it’s important to keep them eating and drinking the same things they used to at home. It’s also important carry water with you when it is hot weather, if for any reason you are delayed in transit. The last two things to consider when moving your horse cross country are blanketing in winter and rest. I encourage my clients to put a sweat sheet beneath the blanket. That way if the horse is a little upset and sweats up, the sweat has a chance to be wicked away from the body and not stay in the blanket and give them a chill. There are many thoughts about resting the horse in transit.

One is to stop for an hour every four hours to let the horse rest. Recently a study done at Texas A&M found that short periods of rest were not effective. Because I transport horses alone I need to stop each day for an eight hour rest period.

This gives the horses a chance to rest and recover and rehydrate. They come off the trailer fresh at the end of the journey. If time is not an issue and you want your horse off the trailer overnight, I recommend websites like HorseTrip.com that lists horse hotels across the country.

I wanted to take a moment to discuss commercial carriers and how they operate. Most commercial carriers have two drivers, and so equipment really never stops moving. Horses never get a chance to rest and recover. Also many carriers, never give horses their head, but keep them tied. Horses finish their trip often exhausted, dehydrated, and even sick. There are many trucking companies out there that the drivers are just that, drivers not horseman. They’re hauling freight, not horses. The other thing that happens with long-distance commercial carriers is that they don’t take the most direct route. Most recent example I can give you was a transport that I bid on and the person who bought the horse decided to have another hauler to the work, because he was cheaper. What the hauler did not tell him when he picked the horse up in Georgia to go to New York was that he was going via Texas.

Two things occurred here. First, the horse was coming from warmer climate to a winter climate and should have been blanketed for the second half of the trip. And second, the trucker did not tell the client that he was not taking the most direct route. The horse was on the trailer three days longer than necessary, exhausted and sick. So much for saving a couple hundred bucks for the transport. So when you need to use a commercial hauler there a couple of things that you should ask and get answered. First, is it the most direct route possible and second, you need at least three references. I What you horse reaches its destination. It is important to give them at least one day of no work to recover from the trip, and two days with no work is even better. I also suggest that y u give them a full day to rehydrate and not feed to any grain.

That’s it from here. Safe travel.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Private Schools Around Wentworth Estate in Surrey

The Wentworth Estate village (in Virginia Water, Surrey) is one of the most exclusive residential areas in the world. It is the home of millionaires as well as one of the world renowed golf courses that shares its name: the Wentworth Golf Club.

With such exclusive residents of the Wentworth Estate or the remaining areas of Virginia Water, there is no shortage of private schools around the area. Here are some of the good private schools nearby:

Papplewick is as a prep school for 200 boys aged 6 to 13. By setting the bar high, Papplewick boys gain entry to the top UK senior schools including Eton, Harrow, Winchester, Wellington, Charterhouse, and Stowe.

St Mary’s Schools is a leading Roman Catholic boarding school for girls aged between 11 and 18 years set in 55 acres of beautiful grounds in the heart of Berkshire. They are a friendly, stable and caring community, proud of our academic and extra-curricular achievements and dedicated to bringing out the full potential of each of our 380 pupils.

Gordons School is listed as one of Britain’s outstanding schools by Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Gordon’s is a unique non-selective state boarding school that recognises that a good education is not just about outstanding examination results but a thorough preparation for life. Gordons is one of Britain’s most academically successful state schools.

Heathfield is a leading, all-boarding school for girls aged 11 to 18 years old. The school is set in 36 acres of magnificent grounds, and conveniently situated in Ascot. The school is fully equipped with all the teaching, sporting and leisure facilities required to make education a challenging and positive experience.

The Marist The establishment of a boarding and day school in the Berkshire village of Sunninghill by the Marist Sisters was a direct result of the German air offensive against London in the early 1940s. Today the Marist Schools are independent Catholic day schools for girls aged 2½ to 11 and 11 to 18 years. Both schools are situated within 55 acres of woodland on one site.

Hall Grove The school occupies a unique site, with lots of open space, parkland and woodland. The school started with just 6 pupils. The property was in near derelict condition and had been empty for over two years. Today, it is a vibrant, happy community of over 400 boys and girls with an outstanding reputation for academic, musical and sporting success.

Coworth Flexlands is a preparatory day school and nursery set in 13 acres of countryside on the Surrey and Berkshire borders near Chobham. They provide places for 160 girls with boys being accepted into the nursery between the ages of 3 and 5 years.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

4 Benefits of Using a Multiple Listing Service

Today, realtors strive to make selling homes for potential sellers as feasible as possible. They have invested millions of dollars in developing Multiple Listing Services (MLS) and other technologies that facilitate efficient transactions. Through the MLS, brokers are able to share information on their property listings with other brokers who get compensated when they produce a buyer. Even though the real estate market is competitive, this arrangement has allowed competitors to cooperate in order to benefit the sellers.

1. Increased Exposure to Property

With MLS, sellers do not need to struggle to get potential buyers to see their property. Instead, the service lists their property, which is viewable to thousands of home seekers who visit the sites. Brokers cooperate with other brokers to list the property on multiple sites. This allows sellers to use a platform that was created by realtors for realtors to leverage a wide market for their property. In the long run, this helps to reduce unnecessary fees.

2. Sellers Can Relax

In the past, sellers used to work with several brokers and realtors when selling a property. This proved to be daunting, especially when making follow-ups and meeting potential buyers. This is no longer the case. With MLS, you take the photos of the property and upload them to the site. This allows buyers to get a picture of the property before a visit. Most providers allow the listing to remain on the site up to 6 months until the seller gets a buyer.

3. Professional Legal Help

There are legal aspects that are involved in selling a property and it is important to get everything right. Any issue could lead to delaying the sale of the property or not selling it at all. There are agreements to be signed that highlight the estimated price, advertising costs, commissions and agreement duration. A multiple listing service helps sellers to understand and meet some of these requirements to ensure a hassle-free sale. They also can help in unique cases such as where a divorce is involved.

4. Guaranteed Seller’s Privacy

MLS are maintained for real estate professionals to assist their clients with buying or selling a property. The participating brokers provide the data of the listings to the public free-of-charge. In such cases, the data is useful to the sale of the property and the buyer may want to access it. However, there are some cases that sellers may want to limit access to certain information such as personal contact information and the times when the property is vacant for showings. The service ensures that the seller’s information is not shared without permission.

Multiple Listing Services are a true reflection of the competition and innovation that exists in the real estate market. These services have help to ensure sellers can advertise their property to a wider audience. It is safe, easy and convenient for both sellers and buyers. There are different business models, such as full service and limited service, that MLS use, and a seller can choose an option that they deem best.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Choosing How to Search for Condos for Sale Makes a Big Difference on What Is Found

When someone is buying any kind of real estate, they are going to want to make sure that they have a good selection to pick from. Nobody is going to want to buy the very first piece of property that they come across. Searching for condos for sale is no different than searching for any other kind of real estate other than the location.

A realtor is able to show buyers the ones that are listed for sale. They may be looking for ones in a certain area. The only difference with condos is that they may not be built yet when they are being sold.

There are many companies that are selling them before they are built. The buyer is able to customize some of the features that these have. There are a lot of different types of things that can vary from one condo to another.

The general design is going to stay the same though. This is something that includes the actual layout of the condo. As far as paint colors, flooring and appliances, these can be chosen by the person that purchases that condo.

This can affect the price of them, but they will have what they want to have instead of settling for something that someone else designed for them. They will have a brand new place to live and be the first ones to live there too. This can be exciting to a lot of people.

There are many different choices that people will choose when they are buying a condo. The size of them are going to be very important too. They have many different things that need to be perfect for the buyer.

The location is another thing that people have to consider. They need to have a lot of different choices for every one of them. There are many different opportunities that are in each neighborhood, but many times, the location is chosen because of the employment that a person has.

There are a lot of these condos that have heated parking garages and more also. This is something that can be very beneficial in some areas. The garbage removal is also an added benefit to living in these communities.

Every place is going to offer something different for the tenants. The landscaping that is done can be enjoyed by everyone that lives there too. The grounds are maintained by the facilities too.

There are several other things that can be enjoyed by everyone too. Some of them will have shared pools and other activities. The location will determine how much they have in each of the communities.

When someone is choosing which condos that they want to look at, they will often choose ones that offer the most convenience for them as well as the most amenities that they can take advantage of. They will also look at the location as a benefit or not. There are a lot of things that are important to people when they are searching for a place to live.

Everybody has a different preference of what they like to have the best. They have many different things that are going to be beneficial to living in one of these communities, but also have many things that may make a person feel constricted on what they can and cannot do. Everybody has something different that they like and want to have in their living arrangements.

There are many different sizes and types of condos for sale all around the world. Finding the best suited one for the person that will be buying is going to be a task though. There are a lot of options that are available, but not everyone likes all of those features.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

The Best Way to Find Vacant Houses For Sale

Finding vacant properties is often much more difficult than it would first appear to be, as said homes generally don’t have an owner who can be contacted in relationship to making a sale. This may be because the house is a new build, but in some cases the house may have ended up being abandoned for whatever reason.

However, if you are interested in buying a vacant property, there are still a number of different avenues that you can consider exploring to find them.

Ask A Real Estate Agent

Your first step should be to contact a property industry professional to get their take on the situation. Many will not maintain a full database of vacant properties in the same way that they maintain one for properties that are for sale, but they may be able to point you in the right direction in regards to who you would need to speak to in your particular state.

You may even get lucky and find an agent who specialises in this form of property sale, though those are fairly rare and will often cost a pretty penny if you want them to search for you.

Find The Owner

In some cases a vacant home will still have an owner and has simply been abandoned for one reason or another. In these cases you may find that the owner is a very active seller – if you can find them in time.

The key here is getting any new address details, if they exist. You can try speaking to neighbours or leaving a note at the house in case the owners return, but you can also check tax records to see if they filed a new address. You can even try sending a postcard to the house you are interested in, with a written message stating „Do not forward – address correction requested“, which the post office will return with new address information, if they have it.

Driving Around

Vacant houses often have a certain feel to them that people can detect when they pass by. Overgrown gardens and a slight eeriness are commonly reported and can be tell-tale signs that nobody is in the house.

As such, if you are trying to find a vacant property then it could be a good idea to simply drive around a couple of different areas every day to look for the signs that a house no longer has an owner. You can then start looking into ways to buy it.

Speak To Postal Carriers

As invasive as it might sound, there are few people who know the state of a property better than the people who deliver mail to it.

Try to arrange a conversation with the mailmen and women who deliver to a particular neighbourhood and ask them, politely, if they are aware of any properties that don’t appear to be housing anyone at the moment. If you’re lucky they may just give you the information you are looking for, allowing you to start looking into ways of acquiring it.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

How to Find the Right Real Estate Broker

Buying a property is a cumbersome process involving multiple steps. You need professional help to make it easy. In order to achieve success in this objective, you have to find a certified property agent who makes the entire process smooth, without any glitches or delays. As this profession has no screening method to allow entry to upright brokers only, any person can become a broker. Therefore, it is a challenge to get the right agent. Certain measures are important in this regard – to be safe rather than regret later.

What you can do is to select the area in which you plan to buy a property and then ask local contacts to recommend a broker without any sullied record. The initial filter works well as you are likely to get some recommendations. The next step involves seeking verified brokers. Some progressive states in different locations require property agents to register themselves with the government. Only those verified can operate legally. Now with strict regulations in the real estate sector coming into force, you can look for a property portal that allows only certified agents to operate. Sign up with a verified agent for your real estate needs and stay away from shady operators.

Services

Is the agent right if he just fixes the deal, takes his commission and goes his way? Absolutely not. You are not looking for an agent who is a professional only in money matters. Your search for the right agent is over when you find an agent who is willing to perform all his duties as a professional and give you complete peace of mind. The real estate agent must prepare a shortlist of suitable properties and show you the ones matching your specifications. Once you have chosen a property, the stage of price negotiation between the buyer and the seller should be handled carefully as many good deals fall apart because of lack of patience and extra effort which the agent is required to put in.

The agent should do homework about the property records. He should introduce you to a good lawyer who authenticates the documents. As you are busy with your work, you do not get time to visit the registrar offices for searching records, to establish whether the seller is the actual owner or there are other undisclosed co-owners. Preparing the schedule of payment and agreement papers is also the job of the agent. He should structure the deal in such a way that the client is not cheated. That is why it is said that finding the right agent is a tough task. But it is not impossible. You need to plan it carefully and conduct initial checks. If you do not remain wise in selecting the agent, you are likely to encounter serious problems later.

Unscrupulous Agents

As there are many shady dealers operating in the market, you run the risk of being cheated in several ways. He could make you buy a disputed property or a one enmeshed in litigation despite knowing the reality. Also, he could make you invest in a project likely to be delayed or buy from a developer who lacks the financial capacity to complete the project. An agent should not charge you more than the fixed commission.

A buyer should be aware of certain aspects of the property market and familiar with the tricks of agents. To get more relief, he should find out if there is an online portal where only certified agents are allowed to operate. Then, at least he knows right from the beginning that he is looking at the genuine players and he is going to select a top-rated agent with good reviews on the portal.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

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