Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!

Wishing everyone a blessed, happy, and prosperous 2015!

This will be my last post for the week as my parents are visiting (and it's been 6 months since I saw them last!!! So excited :D ) Also my oldest son is 9 and my mother's birthday are also New Year's Day so we have lots to celebrate (plus a small "my son is 9 I'm getting old" panic thrown in there too).

I do plan on doing a post on my New Years goals/changes/January's goals etc but that will have to wait for a week....sorry :D

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

not buying anything....mostly

so I have mostly been doing well with my statement that I was gonna not buy anything for the month December. my cost of goods sold was less than $50. until about two days I found three American girl doll lots that were just way too good to pass up. that set me back $200. 

I have been casually looking for real mannequins to replace the plastic molds that I currently use. There is a children clothing store is going out of business. today is their last day so everything was 80 to 90% off. 

these are vintage I believe. when I looked them up they sell for around $100 apiece on eBay. they arent in the best shape but I plan on keeping anyway when clothes are on who notices? I bought both at $25 apiece. I haven't been able to find them for less than 75.

also while I was there I bought some clothes cause hey why not?. many are for my kids but a lot are to resell also. 

with original prices $40 and up it's honestly not a store i would've shoppedat  normally

however I'm a sucker for nice little clothes

this cute three-piece suit was nine dollars

and this two-piece dress was three dollars

I spent about $200 honestly I didn't buy nearly as much as I was tempted to. I am off to the thrift outlets today to look for some ugly Christmas sweaters :)

I am taking a week off of Tuesday totals. sorry I sold about 10 items on both eBay and Amazon. nothing on eTsy nothing on bonanza. 

I already have people complaining I haven't shipped out next day. my youngest son has a double ear infection and with inventory backlog and my husband's friend dumping more inventory on us....  and by that I mean my husband volunteeing me a lot more than I can handle (his friend is super nice about how much i can realistically do) I am way behind on shipping everything. 

going to try to play catch-up today.  hope everyone's week is going great!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Doing Inventory

It's that time of the year! I hate fact inventory was 1 of the reasons I quit retail 5 years ago. I am currently inventorying my office....then off to my attic I go. I sincerely hope this won't take more than 6 hours.

Who else does inventory for a Schedule C? Anyone have any suggestions to help with efficiency?

Saturday, December 27, 2014

After Christmas Sales

If you have the resources now is a fantastic time to buy new retail merchandise for re-sale. I did this last  year with Target's semi-annual baby sale and made a good profit (I sold everything on Amazon merchant fulfilled. Most things sold within 2 weeks). However, I don't plan on buying this year. My husband is always stressing the importance of not getting *every* deal but getting the *best* deals. LOL. I guess I am a work in progress.

What I DID buy at the after Christmas sales is tissue paper....lots and lots of it (like 5,000 sheets give or take). When I started on eBay I read in the Better Homes and Gardens was plastic grocery bags are a great way to "stuff" packages. They weigh next to nothing. I used them for several years but am unhappy with the bags being everywhere especially with small kids and animals.

I made the switch to tissue paper. Now obviously it doesn't protect like bubble wrap but it is a great lightweight stuffer, 50 sheets costs me $1.24 (on sale at 50% off....the Dollar Tree has 40 sheet packages). Nobody can suffocate and I think it looks a great deal better. I rarely use more than 2 sheets per package.

Now I just recycle the grocery bags :D

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

merry Christmas!

merry christmas to one and all! i hope you all enjoy a great day filled with rest! now i'm off to go play santa :)

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Tuesday's Totals

Another week has gone by and it's time for the (sad) weekly totals once again! sales. I am really glad it just updates from eBay's listings.

Etsy...My store is officially up 100 items. As I was listing #100 this morning I was thinking about why they don't have the calculated shipping option. When I went to check my "sold" items for this post there is a note that calculated shipping will soon be available!!!! YEAH! Happy dance :D

Anyway 2 items sold

This 1970s Mille Bornes game sold for $22.95 + $3.50 shipping on Dec 17th. I got a message asking if they could pay for expedited shipping. Rather than going through the hassle I ate the extra $2 and off if a padded flat rate envelope it went. I paid $1 for the game.

Amazon had 51 sales. I think part of  the slowdown was due to the proximity to Christmas....but I also think that my inventory going down was a lot to do with it too. At the beginning of November I had 1,150 items (apprx) now I have 450 (apprx). I'm not sure come the new year what I am going to do with "big time" sourcing of Amazon items. FBA fees are going up again (it seems Amazon is always upping a fee). To do 1 "normal" sourcing day for me retail arbitrage will easily set me back $1,000....which I'm not comfortable doing right now. Thinking about wholesaling for the new year. Not worrying about it now. Letting the rest of my items sell before I replenish (and I have to crunch numbers with hubby....hes the numbers guy goodness knows it isn't me).

Not a big sale but I sold 19 of these in 36 hours for $8.99 a piece. I paid $2-3 each. Not my best buy ever :D

eBay had 24 sales.

 This Reed and Barton bell I picked up at a storage auction about 2 years ago *cringe*. I listed it 3 weeks ago and it sold for it's full asking price of $34.95. I paid $50 for the unit which was very full of tools etc. We have easily made $400+ on the locker. Thankfully most everything is gone now.

These cute Tom's shoes were free at a yard sale.....I still can't figure out why everything else at the sale was overpriced :D Sold at auction for $14.95....and another example of an item item took me over a year to list.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Vintage Game Bolos

In the next couple weeks now that the rush is over, I am putting my store on list on eBay :D It seems that juggling 2 eBay accounts (that aren't allowed to have the same email address) is just too much for me to handle. We have a business account (that is normally talked about) and then a "personal" ebay account that we sell our own personal items (but the separate account is for tax purposes). In the last several days I have done an extensive purge of toys in our house and sent lots to donate and lots more to be sold.

My hubby reluctantly cleaned out his vintage video game collection to help pay off some personal debt. I am shocked at how much some of these games are worth. 1 thing I have learned from him is that there is no "4th quarter rush" vintage games sell well all year. Also he had amazing taste in games as a child so a lot of his games are worth a good bit.

I will list a couple as BOLOs.

When I met hubby he had little thought about the future (shhh he gets a bit mad if I say that with the argument I didn't have a wife or kids....fair enough). He didn't have a retirement plan but he did buy this game and keep it new "as an investment". He paid $10. 15 or so years later I expect to sell it for $250-400. Not too shabby! Used copies go for $70+.

I thought all Sega Genesis games were worth little. I picked up this game and will admit I did make fun of it a little. Then I saw used copies go for $70-100. Revenge is sweet I guess.

 Hubby played this as a super little kid (when the graphics appeared good) and it scared this day it creeps him out a little. But he loves it anyway and bought it from a movie rental store going out of business for $5. Sales start at $60; I hope to get more as we have the box and instructions.

Several final fantasy games from the SNES are worth $20-50 each.

There are many many games in  the $10-20 range. I guess the moral of the story is if you can find vintage video games (atari/coleco/intellivision are typically excluded) that aren't sports game for a good price it's probably worth your while to grab them. In my area, people have already figured out these are "collectible" and no longer sell them at yard sales. (I have only seen 1 advertisement of SNES games at yard sales....and the seller let someone come the night before and buy all the "good" ones).

Has anyone else sold vintage video games? What is your experience?

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Not Exactly a "Debt Free Scream" But.....

I am a big fan of Dave Ramsey's debt free scream. Well while I *wish* we could say we are debt free....we have a long way to go in terms of the business. However, I did get a big enough Amazon payment yesterday that I was able to pay off our business van and still drop over $1,000 on the credit card!!

Now that the van is paid off we have to get it re-titled to the business (which I don't know how to do yet...but I'm sure it will come with lots of hefty fees :D )

It's the small things. I debated putting it all on the credit card instead but I would much rather go into 2015 without a car loan :D

2015 is looking a little brighter :D

Friday, December 19, 2014

My First Bonanza Sale

ended up in a "unauthorized use chargeback". Now the buyer name matches the user name and the shipping name matches the paypal email address. Why you would want to try to scam someone who lives 20 minutes away and can show up on your doorstep with the police and a report is absolutely beyond me.The buyer opened a Bonanza account right before purchasing the Bumbo.....and it went to a less than fabulous area.

After a call to Paypal she said either way I am covered by buyer protection and took the hold off my funds. Just a half hour irritation is all.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Not Better Just....Different

I read lots of blogs....probably more than I care to admit. The vast majority are either solely eBay related or Amazon related. Some have pitches why the other is inferior. (to be fair I will randomly just Google for blogs so most aren't listed on the bottom of my blog). I love different insights and thoughts.

But here's my thought. Some of you guys use one or the other and many use both. I don't think 1 is better than the other. I think they are different platforms that when used correctly (and I honestly have no idea if I am truly using them correctly or not) can supplement each other nicely.

eBay is great for used items. Vintage or "yard sale" items are good for me. I have also had great luck with health and beauty items. Because there isn't 1 listing with all competition listed in 1 place it is easier to make a higher $ sale. The downside is eBay buyers are willing to pay less for comparable items on Amazon.

I was inspired by this article by The Model Thrifter blog (read the full article Here). eBay items often have character and a backstory.....Amazon's platform just doesn't allow for that. It is mostly run of the mill everyday items. Vintage items are just not in demand on Amazon the way they are on eBay or Etsy.

That said Amazon, according to reports, has a much wider audience than eBay. I did read an informal survey that little to no one under the age of 30 shops on eBay but makes the majority of their purchases on Amazon (I am guilty of this for personal purchases as are many people we know). I sell only new items on Amazon with the exception being video games if they in pristine condition.

If a "delivered" item is claimed to be not received eBay is much more forgiving than also appears to be much easier to be suspended on Amazon. Amazon fees are 30%+ up (depending on category) for merchant fulfilled items....and extra fees for FBA. I have had up to 75% in fees taken for FBA items (why I'm upping my minimum FBA price from $10 to $20 come the new year). But with selective shopping I can make up for lower profit margins with the many times over in sales I have on Amazon over eBay.

If I buy 10 of the same item I often put 5 on each of the 2 main platforms. Most often there is not an "even split" in sales. Either it sells like hotcakes on 1 platform or the other. I typically end up transferring the unsold inventory to the other platform.

Maybe I should stop looking at eBay and Amazon blogs....Etsy is the platform that is really sorely hurting for me :D

Who has thoughts!?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tuesday's Totals

Well this week wasn't super productive in terms of sales and listing but on the housekeeping it's been great. Since apparently this made national news, there is a psychopath shooter out starting yesterday killed 6 people in 3 or 4 locations and the school was on lockdown etc etc etc; so given that we were all advised not to go outside if possible....I didn't go to my office. He's not caught but was last seen 45 minutes away so at least its farther than 10 minutes away. I purged my kids toys (haven't done that in 3 years) and donated 6 trash bags and have another full tote to sell.

Anyways on to the numbers:

No bonanza sales
1 Etsy sale....7 melmac cups for $4.95. Most Melmac items don't seem to be worth a lot except specific colors (like pink). I paid $1 but probably won't buy again (but it is nostalgic).

eBay had 27 sales.... and nothing even worth noting. Most items were "duds" that I didn't make more than $5 on.

This Anthony from the Wiggles I sold 3x of this week. I recalled him from FBA (remember the negative feedback I received? This is him. That open box front is really a pain). Bought 5x at $1.50 each. Sold each for $9.95+shipping. (This is honestly my best was kinda sad. At least I'm making room for better inventory choices).

89 sales on Amazon....both FBA and Merchant Fulfilled.

 I paid $60 for a vintage Pyrex dish, this Nintendo DS lite and 10 games (all worth $5-25 resale). I merchant fulfilled this; it sold within 3 hours for $62.95 after fees and shipping I ended up with $55. 2 more games have sold (1 for $5 Sims 2 pets and the other for $19 Super Mario 64). Overall not the best sale I have ever made but it's nice to have $ back within 24 hours.

KCup Carousel. Paid $1 sold for $15.95 via FBA

That's my week....sales are clearly starting to slow down. It's funny how I prep all year for a 2 week sales increase :D

How is your sales?

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Going on a Guilt Trip

I have gotten many lowball best offers 1 ear and out the other. But I have gotten a few unsolicited best offers (you know the ones where you aren't actually accepting best offers) that have me feeling a little guilty.

A)I've gotten a few "are you firm at this price" questions....yes and I moved on no prob.

B) Can you cut the price in half and give me free shipping as a military discount? we have no way to verify it. But we both felt really guilty in the off chance it was true. If we could prove it somehow we would have gladly given a discount (but not a 50% with free shipping discount).

C)(This was actually a best offer button) $5 on a $15.00 item (I paid 1.99 for the item). I declined then moved on. Then I got another offer for $7 with a note "this is for a boy in a homeless shelter". I declined again but I feel guilty. Our thought is this; personally we make less than the average American family and give about 10% more than the average. So we most definately do our fair share of giving (although we do wish we could give more than we do). But if its for a boy (around 3 years old according to slipper size) and you obviously don't have a lot to spend than why are you trying the NWT Disney Store brand? I'm not saying that new isn't nice but a 3 year old isn't going to care. Even as a Christmas gift my kids usually get used (because it's what we can afford).

D) Got this message on December 12th. "Can I make a best offer now and pay for it on January 3rd when my disability check comes in? I'm a very reliable payer." Haven't replied yet but going to give a polite make an offer after the new year.

I believe these have all been in the last week. Anyone else getting messages like these? C) has me really twisted that I did the wrong thing declining the offer (even though I'm obviously not obligated to take the offer.). Any thoughts?

Friday, December 12, 2014

Nearing the End

Well my sales seem to start slowing down around December 15th. This 4th quarter, although not over, I have been pretty pleased with. This year eBay didn't have as many "giftable" items as last year; however, the packing has left me busy. In fact I am kind of dissapointed it has been over a week since any listing has been done. Only half my room has been sorted and listed. I had big dreams of having it done before the end of the year. But having a daily USPS tub (or more) to bring to the post office has also been nice. I still hope to have most of it organized/listed by the end of the year....but as I look around I can't help but notice all the toys still not listed :(

Last year I swore I would hire help this year....when this year rolled around we were more in debt than last year. Oh well. It's been a slow dig but the last month has had around $3,000 in extra credit card payments and minimal purchases. :D

I don't want to be misconstrued as complaining because that's not my intention but I am now ready to focus on my own family. I finished shopping yesterday (mostly) and frantically trying to wrap. I am bound and determined not to be frantically shopping and wrapping the week of Christmas. I did have to laugh that I feel like I am taking care of the rest of the world's Christmas presents and neglecting Christmas with my own family :D (although we don't really do much before Christmas eve anyway).

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tuesday's Totals

Sorry this post is going to be a quick one. I had no car today it was in the shop so now that I have it back I am running errands like crazy and am about to be late for a meeting :D

Amazon blew me away this week with a whopping 174 sales! Sales were sluggish at the beginning of the week so I repriced quite a few things to be competitive (most only $1 or 2) but it worked! Within 24 hours I had 54 sales.

Like I had said before baby gear is arguably my favorite FBA sale. This I got at Target for $19 sold for $60 this week.

This was $24 at Target....sold for $90.

Etsy had 1 sale. It was a Amish Butterprint Pyrex casserole dish. Sold for $18.
I sold 3 partial packages of diapers on a Facebook yard sale group. Total $15.

eBay had 46 items. Always wish for more (especially in comparison to my inventory) but I won't complain packing has keep me busy with little time for listing.

 This original Playstation 2 had no controllers but worked. Paid $5 sold $37.50

This pottery barn kids dollhouse furniture took me forever to list because I didn't know what was missing. It looked new but I listed as VGUC and notated the missing piece (Google images finally let me know it was a missing hutch). Bought for $2 sold for $34.95.

That's my week in a nutshell. Our business van was inspected this week with thankfully  nothing wrong but an oil change and a blown lightbulb.

How's your week treating you?

Monday, December 8, 2014

What's Meant as Hateful Made my Day :D

So I have to say overall I am pretty pleased. I got my first hateful comment "you ebayers are scum of the earth get a life and a real job" on the blog. While I did immediately delete it, haters gonna hate :D

Actually the comment made me LOL because either 1) the commenter is actually mad 2) the commenter is jealous (over what I'm not sure) or 3) I'm actually doing something right!

Or maybe I'm just loopy....within 10 minutes of handing my 4 year old off to the baby sitter I got a call he bashed his head open to come look. Called the dr who said go to the ER for stitches. The ER decided (thankfully) no stitches were needed.

All is well hubby left work early and now I'm at the office frantically packaging. is the moral of the story
I am a backwards mixed up person. So hateful comments typically don't get to me especially if I'm having a bad day. So either make my day or keep them to yourself.

Have you ever had people hate on you for reselling (aka greedy)?

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Staying Positive in the Negative

I'm wound waaayyyy too tight. As a result I have to make a conscience effort not to let things bug me. But seemingly malicious feedback makes me super frustrated. But I have long given up on my 100% feedback dream :D

Backstory: It's not too often I lose sold items. I have a crazy organization system that no one else would understand....but it works for me. Usually when lose something I do my absolute best to drop ship it from another seller....even if that means I lose a couple dollars in the process.

I sold 3x Diary of a Wimpy Kid books for $19.95/FS. Great except how are they still listed I sold them back in the summer sometime. I couldn't justify paying just shy of $60 to drop ship them to the buyer so I refunded and cancelled the transaction as well as apologize for the situation. Usually buyers will express disappointment but understand.

However, this buyer went on the negative feedback. I do acknowledge it is my fault and eBay won't remove this feedback (I only had 1 other buyer do this about 2 years ago). I get that it is probably from frustration of having to pay WAY more for the same set (it was very underpriced in the current market).

I admit to having been critical in neutral and negative feedback in the past (I always sit back and debate whether I truly should) but this is a fellow seller. I just want to scream that apparently this seller must be perfect. I honestly wouldn't give feedback at all to a seller who lost something. I think, like Amazon, if a transaction is cancelled feedback can't be left should be adopted for eBay. After all I did already take a defect.

Looking at this transaction as a whole I think if I had dropshipped (or heck if I had mailed it myself) I would have still had a pretty good chance of receiving a neutral/negative feedback since the buyer is quite liberal with low feedback ratings.....even for those things they admit are their fault for not reading in the description.

Oh well such is life....choosing to look at the other 51 positive feedbacks I have gotten in the last month. The feedback doesn't bother me so much since, like mentioned above, I did already take a defect. As a buyer, my feedback wouldn't bother me at all because realistically not everyone will be happy.

And to leave on a positive note I wrote a post or 2 about an accidental BOLO I found in the Duplo lego lap tray. I got around to listing it yesterday as an auction. 14.95 or Buy it Now for $44.95 with shipping extra. It sold in 2 hours. I am *so* happy  to have it out of my office!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Accidentally running into a Bolo

Ignore the clutter I just brought in another shipment from my house.

This is a Lego Duplo lap desk I purchased at a yard sale with 2 tubs of Duplos for $5 (I couldn't get them to budget on their price). There is probably 5 lbs of Duplos (or about $20 resale). I meant to give this to little one for his birthday in September and forgot. Cleaning out the attic shame on me I was just going to donate it (he has been playing with regular Legos anyway).

I try to shy away from large items. But this Duplo "lap travel desk tray" or similar combination of keywords comes up with a handful from $25-44 + shipping. Not too shabby. There is none listed on Amazon which makes me think this is a pretty rare item.

So in your travels it might be a nice little BOLO (it's not super big and weighs give or take 4-5lbs)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Tuesday's Totals....and Something to be Thankful For

Now that I am completely OK with having that Amazon negative (it didn't hurt my sales as much as I thought) I was talking to an Amazon rep about a different problem (missing inventory) and I brought it up. She opened another case....and sure enough it was removed. I took the advice of the Amazon forums and emailed the buyer to just assure her it was new etc (even though I pay Amazon to cover customer service). I got a reply yesterday thanking me for contacting her and she was happy that I assured her it was new and how happy her granddaughter would be. All is well that ends well. Sort of. We decided the "open" boxes are bad for FBA and recalled all of them back to my office (about 10-15 pieces). More than half were ripped open/smashed/crushed/poorly packed. It was appalling. As the above buyer I would have been livid to get a "new" item like that. Overall I ended up getting more than $100 in Amazon compensation for damaged items. I also listed the items as new/other damaged box for about half the price or so. I have sold a couple with no problems.

Anyways on to the numbers.

*Bonanza no sales or offers
*Etsy 1 sale.

I bought 5 vintage Polly Pocket sets for $2. I pictured these for and realized I forgot 1 so I just made a separate listing (that sold a few weeks ago). Buyer used a 10% coupon code so she paid $36....not too shabby :D

eBay had 47 listings. I love storage auctions but there are many many items in the $5-10 range I am listing now because its a little too much to donate (collectively). I am not sure of the future of my storage auction endeavors. Most sales were low $. Hubby and I have started sitting down and deciding how to better run this business next year.

 These bottles I bought for $1 sold for $10. I had 2 lots of 7 with 1 extra bottle. I emailed the buyer to tell her I was including the extra 1 for her. She thanked me for "such an awesome deal" and then told me these bottles are actually her Pug dog had puppies the day before and then died so they were hand feeding the puppies....such a heartbreaking story :(
 This Gotz doll looks EXACTLY like an American Girl doll. (Gotz was commissioned to make the first AG dolls in the 80s that probably why). This is Lily from the Little Sisters Collection. Paid $5 for her and $1 for the dress sold for $55+ shipping to the Netherlands.
 I was wondering this entire year why Kirsten hadn't sold (my last AG doll had a year and a half). She wasn't listed *facepalm*. Priced her at $49.99 for a quick sale. She sold in 6 hours. Tempted to try to get more but the doll doesn't pay the debt :D Don't remember exactly what I paid but it was in the $10-20 price range.
Minnie pop up surprise. Sold both. This is one of Amazon's damaged box returns (it's ripped on the side and caved on the top). Sold for $22+ shipping each (plus amazon reimbursed me $15 for 1 of them). Paid $10 each at Walmart.

Amazon had 97 sales.

I talked about this $5.99 as a BOLO and I was selling them for $50. If you find them BUY THEM! SERIOUSLY! My last 3 sold for 1x $ 69.95 and 2x $95.95. The lowest merchant fulfilled now is $99.99+ shipping; the lowest prime is $135.99!!!! I'm not the mom who would pay that kind of money but more power to those that do :D

Underjams....found 3 packages at Target for 65% off or $3.38 a package (seriously where were those prices when my kids needed them!). Sold 2x for $18.95 a package.

So that's my week; I am both happy and dissapointed with my sales. After working 7 straight days for a minimum of 6 hours each day I took yesterday off to "crash" AKA do housework.

How are your sales?

Monday, December 1, 2014

What Makes an Ugly Sweater Ugly?

It's really no big secret that the keywords "ugly sweater" sell....but what is the definition of an ugly sweater? After all isn't beauty in the eye of the beholder. I was inspired by a commenter who stated that they didn't find my "ugly sweater" sale very ugly (more or less I paraphrased). It's true I didn't find it bad either. I think back to me as a late elementary/early middle school  kid (very late 90s to early 2000s) my favorite Christmas sweater would be considered "ugly".... a fleece red sweater with 2 tuxedo cats (we had a cat that looked exactly like the ones on the sweater). It might be considered ugly now but it was warm....and I would have no problem wearing it now (but its been sinced passed to my mom who DOES wear it :D )

After thinking about that comment for a while, I found this the other night at the Care and Share thrift outlet. It cost all of 60 cents.

Cute little carolers. I don't think its very ugly :( Because it didn't have a size tag my common sense told me to run but I couldn't leave a good condition "ugly sweater" behind. There is no website and no wikipedia page. Comparing it to others on eBay I believe it to be either an XS or a small petite.

But (I LOVE history) the brand, Cullinane, was started in 1982. The sweaters are knitted and often broke basic rules of knitting; it would take up to 10 weeks to figure out how to make a new design. There were typically only 700 of each sweater made; a few extremely popular designs made it to 2,000 in production. Most sweaters have a matching skirt. At the time of the article (1986) there was a group of people who  collected these sweaters and would pay a pretty penny for them.....but I have no idea when the label went out of business.

These don't go for a ton of $ but I am going to try to get $30 out of it (I hope).

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Thrift Store Outlets are Dangerous :D

So there is a local chain of thrifts that is quite unique and very well organized. There are 4 individual stores in 1 strip mall. (If you are local it is the Share and Care in Souderton PA). I went because my neighbor told me there were lots of sparkly/glittery dresses he saw (they only have boys).

First was the Furniture store. stopped in beautiful store but looked pricey.

Then there was the used book store. They were running a sale books under $1.99 were 4/1.00. Didn't pick up resell books but did pick up $13 of books for my kids. (1 excels at reading the other needs extra help. Either way it is easier than going to the library. Once they are done reading onto eBay they go).

The main store was huge but looked really nice I didn't go in.

The outlet was wonderful! Clothes/linens/shoes/purses were .89 a lb. Got a nice real fur lined jacket. And a vintage Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Sheet :D

Toys and everything else was .29 a lb. Picked little girl up roller skates for .40 (and cancelled my craigslist arrangement to buy close to the same thing for $15. Also picked up American Girl game.

Here's where I get frustrated though. They have a huge eBay department; on their website they are celebrating $1 million in eBay sales since they started. I looked at their eBay store 2,650 this is no small thing for them.

So even though stuff is "cheap" at the outlet their ebay store has all the American Girl, Vera Bradley, Uggs, Coach, and EVERYTHING that is NIP.

I probably will go back because as people mentioned before thrift stores occassionally miss things :D

I got 6 very large bags of items for $34. If I am going to sell clothes I better figure out the "good" brands because I don't think mall brands cut it.

Sorry I don't have pictures....I'm on my way out the door to visit my hubby's visiting grandmother. Also little girl is going to an open house dance class "dance with Elsa" (from Frozen)

Friday, November 28, 2014

Lackluster Sales

So I am starting to become a little concerned about the 4th quarter sales on eBay. My sales are lackluster at best. At this time last November we had $4,400 in sales (although granted we had 60 American Girl dolls sell the first week of November). Fast forward to this November and we haven't even topped $1,000 in sales....which is really concerning to me. Last year Thanksgiving-Cyber Monday were 20+ sales a nowhere near that. Yesterday I had 3 sales. Today....crickets :D I have about double the inventory I did last year too. I have lots of clothes listed sure....but I have mostly toys and video games on.

So I thought maybe eBay is truly a dying platform :D I just looked up their 3rd quarter reports that state that they are doing great and report a 21% increase in buying this year over last. So either the books are cooked or I'm doing something wrong.

Since I got this office at the beginning of the month my active listings have gone from 440 to 620 currently (it should be 650 or so by the time I leave the office today). I'm not concerned about Amazon so much it's hopping (although today and yesterday have been slowww).

We did have high hopes of paying off the business credit card with holiday sales (almost impossible goal I know). 

How is anyone else's sales? Have they picked up or about normal?

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! While hubby and the kids head for the inlaws I will be working for the most of the day. However, our family's immediate holiday was yesterday. No school, hubby had a planned vacation day and we got 5 inches of snow. So we stayed put and had a day with snowball fights, baking, board games, decorating the Christmas tree, and a movie night(along with the laundry, dishes, and general housework LOL). Honestly I was tempted to bring my laptop home to list yesterday but so glad I didn't. We have much to be thankful for.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tuesday's Totals

Either A) 4th quarter is starting to hit or B) my work is starting to pay off. Hubby is home today so I got to the office at 6:30 (then had to go home because I forgot the office keys LOL). I plan to stay at least till 5. Tomorrow is pretty much shot between a medical procedure that will knock me out most the day and the snow (I won't drive in even an inch of would never know I grew up and learned to drive in Massachusetts).

Anyway no sales on Etsy or Bonanza. I did have someone ask to "trade Pyrex" with me. It was a VERY uneven proposed swap. They lived like an hour from me in the Poconos and wanted to meet halfway.

32 sales on eBay. That's more than the last couple weeks combined. Most were from auctions for clothes and not high $ sales. But it's more than I would get donating stuff.

 These Carhartt flanel lined jeans (mens) sold for $22.99. I had 2 pair they both sold within 2 weeks to separate buyers (they were BIN). Got out of our storage unit so at this point I am counting them as they cost me nothing.
 Paid $5 for this Fisher Price Crib Blanket and matching Crib Bumper. It sold for $29.95. I sold the bumper for $7.50 to the same buyer. I damaged the crib bumper in the dryer plus I think bumpers are considered "unsafe" although not recalled and are mostly a thing of the past. I wouldn't pick up any more bumpers but I buy the blanket any chance I get. It is the "Rainforest" theme and come in a couple different patterns....all sell well.
NWT Ugly Christmas Sweater vest. Walmart brand. Sold for $17.95 within 3 hours of listing. I feel bad listing it for more than the tag says ($18.88).

Amazon is definately my winner this week with 98 sales. I think this truly is 4th quarter. Here is the graph of sales recently. There is a definately spike in the last month or so.

 This pool makes me laugh. I bought several 6 foot pools for $1.69 at Kmart and 8 foot pools for 1.99. We sent in half in to FBA last month (we didn't want to pay fees if they didn't sell till spring). They sold out (5x) within 2 weeks so we sent in the other half (4x). 2 sold within 3 hours of being checked into the warehouse. The 6' pool is selling for $21.95; the 8' is $23.95. Most are headed to Florida.
Snugamonkey Rock'n'play by Fisher Price. Bought at Target for $25 and sold for $129.99 within 2 months. I love selling baby gear items via FBA.

I am officially excited about this selling season. Are sales starting to pick up for you?

Monday, November 24, 2014

Cleaning Up my Act and Re-Prioritizing

I don't know if I have wrote about this before but part of my problem and disorganization is apparently due to ADHD....we found out about a month ago give or take. My therapist picked up on it by the way I talk (all over the place) as well as how I describe home life. It was highly suggested I get the office.

9 days ago I had 440 listings on eBay. I did blog about how productive last Saturday was. Since then I have sold around 40 items. I currently have 563 I have done 2 more FBA shipments and a handful of listings on Etsy. Now for some people this is normal listing but for me this is a HUGE deal.....I haven't been this productive ever!

A dear neighbor told me she would take my youngest till the school bus comes in the afternoon to help get a jump on "my busy week". My hubby has the rest of the week off so he will have the kids. I started yesterday going through every bucket to make sure everything is listed. Boy is it overwhelming!! (not disorganized just I have HUNDREDS of unlisted items). It's slow moving but boy is it gratifying :D

Once I am done with the office I will move to the last of what is in the house and the attic. Since I have to inventory everything come December 31st (a big reason I quit retail to begin with) I can pretty much  guarantee I won't buy inventory t ill then.

Several months ago I blogged about making hairbows to up my Etsy store. Then I started making diaper cakes. Then I started repurposing my empty wine bottles. Then I started repurposing tshirts into tote bags followed by tutus for both girls and American Girl dolls....and I am now a firm believer that you can very much overdo the "don't put all your eggs in 1 basket." I returned almost $200 worth of diapers to Target yesterday. I am selling 99% of the craft supplies (for now I am keeping the bolts of tulle). It seems those who do well of Etsy do really really well but my gift lies more in just flipping.

So I am slowly cleaning up this mess I have created. :D I am hoping to turn this more into a business and less like hobby gone mad.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Saling Saturday....Goodwill Outlet

4 years ago all the Goodwill in our convenient area were closed. However, a huge empty Petco was transformed into Goodwill retail/Goodwill Outlet/and some of their main offices. The outlet and retail stores are separate entrances.

This Goodwill is HUGE and gorgeous (well because it is new....but then it is in a town where the median income is close to $ I can see why they were closed a few years back.

Unlike the GWO I have read about, there was no crazy insane shoppers where I took my life in  my hands. The clothes were by the pound; the more you bought the less per pound it was. Shoes were $2.25; Books were .25. All other "non clothes" were individually labeled (not really expensive...a brand new looking Little Tikes Car you know the red/yellow ones they have been popular forever was $3.95....oh I wish I had room to take it with me :( Oh well some child will be stoked. )

The purse selection was dissapointing. I found the fakest looking Burberry I ever did see; there was also some high end purses I am pretty positive were real but damaged beyond repair.

I did get lots of nice Halloween costumes (a lot were disney store). Unfortunately more I had to leave behind cause I couldn't find the matching pieces. Anything with huge defects got left. I don't have time to deal with spot treating right now.

As far as clothes go I didn't get much. Most of what you see is actually for my  kids :D I think I got 15 pieces/sets total. I paid $14.60 so I figure each outfit was $1.

The bug costume is creepy (but really nice), Tinkerbell and Disney Store Lady.
 This Jessica McClintock dress I can't decide if I like or not. Pink butterflies with a flower on the side. It's a size 13/15 (a popular size) so hopefully I can sell it for prom season. It's in perfect condition.
 Snow White (Disney Store but older version) and Cinderella's wedding dress. If you ever see it, buy it. It's a "special" costume that retails for $99.99 I believe. It has a couple very small spots (no rips) so I bought it anyway. Also a Disney Store.
 Motherhood pants and Disney terry swim cover up (princesses) the mario shirt and Julius hat are for my boys.
 Gymboree dress is for my daughter. The Banana Republic shirt I dallied with buying for a while since I don't want more clothes to sell right now. But it felt brand new. I am short on men's clothing and they had TONS of excellent brands that looked almost new.....but for now it is self control to pay of the debt :D
 How cute is the Itsy Bitsy Spider?!? The GI Joe costume is new.
 Abercrombie tank and Gymboree dress.

And finally Spiderman (worst picture ever). Hood and jumpsuit.

We have another thrift store that does the same set up. A neighbor has gone and said she loved it. Once I get rid of more items I plan to early next year make a list of all the hole in the wall thrift stores in about a 45 minute radius and check more out. The more I look the more I notice thrifts I haven't seen before.

How is sourcing going for you? I'd love to hear stories!

Friday, November 21, 2014

It's a Lego Kind of a Day

Christmas really is being pushed earlier each year, isn't it? 2 days ago I went to KMart to pick up some prescriptions and the Salvation Army bell ringer was outside; yesterday the Christmas music started playing 24/7 on a radio station.

Apparently this "pushing" reminded people to buy toys. My sales on Amazon, while not huge in price, I am at 73 items for the 7 day total. I have never been that high. I am kind of nervous that I will run out of inventory....but then that is a good problem to have :D

I picked up 7 of these Lego sets at Walmart a month or 2 ago for $30 I believe. Anyway all 7 of them sold last night and this morning (9:45PM-9:35AM). All to separate buyers. What's better is I don't actually have to *do* anything :D

I am really thankful for that little push of cash :D

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Week of Returns

I'm definately not complaining because no one has put "item not as described".

I normally don't get any returns but this week I have gotten 5. Oh well such is the holiday season I guess. I am nervous if the returns are already starting what "extended holiday returns" will look like.

eBay had 2 returns for dog Snuggies. It was put as "item doesn't fit"....and they left feedback stating the item was tagged right but doesn't fit like other dog clothes. Rather than deal with a potential issue again I opted to just refund purchase price (not original shipping) and not ask for the item back. Had they put "item not as described" eBay would have forced me to refund original shipping.

Amazon had 4 returns. 2 have been returned so far undamaged and put back into my inventory. 3x are  ordered wrong item and 1x was product doesn't meet expectations (it was for a kid's game system so I am guessing the wrong unit was purchased).

The not-to-irritating thing is if an FBA item is refunded the fees are still charged to me.....when I sell it again I have to pay those fees again.

Comes with the territory I guess :D

Also as a sidenote I was approved for Adsense this week :D

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

BOLO Skylanders Kaos Trap

When you are out shopping, it may pay to check the video game section.

This Kaos trap retails for $5.99....if you can find it. I ordered 7 off eBay for $14 a piece and they have already started selling on Amazon for $49.99 each (or 200% profit after fees). Within 2 days on Amazon I went from being 1 of the highest prices to the lowest. One being auctioned off on eBay has 13 bids and up to $103.50. Most on eBay sell for $30-60.

Kaos is the main enemy of the Skylanders series; this trap is needed to ultimately beat the game. Personally I'm not buying the game for my oldest till next year when it is 1/3 of the price it is now :D

I'm not sure if I have done a post about selling "hot toys"; as an eBayer I have no issue buying low and reselling the "hot toys" but as a mom I want to be able to find the toys my kids want at a reasonable price. In this case I bought them off eBay so I don't feel bad.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tuesday's Totals and a Lesson Learned

Ok so here is an FBA lesson I learned. Anything that is sent to FBA that has more than a 1"x1" opening that must either be poly bagged or shrink wrapped. The negative I got this week was about the shrink wrap; I also had a partial refund to my account last night. When I called I was told "the buyer called and complained about the wrapping so we gave them a 20% refund"....what? The more I do this the more I *don't* like trusting my items to someone else. You either want the item or you don't; I don't do partial refunds. Oh well. I am sending back everything wrapped and will either sell merchant fulfilled or on eBay. I get someone doesn't want to pay $40 for a stuffed animal but people will always suck I guess. Anyway don't shrink wrap anything going to FBA. (as a sidenote the rep I talked to told me "I know there will always be customers who do anything for a discount. I also know that the customer service reps screw the seller and 200% on the side of the buyer." He did give me the $ back it was just funny to see seller support go on a rant LOL).

no Bonanza sales.

1 etsy sale.
Locket with no figures. Paid .50 sold for $9.95 within a month.

eBay had 15 sales this week. I am currently running 69 auctions so hopefully there will be more sales next week. Waiting for payment on 2 items; 1 emailed me saying she would pay by the end of today the other I opened an unpaid case as they haven't emailed.

This is a handmade dress for 18" (american girl dolls). Bought in a huge lot in May at a yard sale. Paid somewhere between 25 and 50 cents. Sold for 8.95 + shipping.

This NWT dress did surprise me with how fast it sold (3 days). It was new but had a small spot on the front.Sold for $9.95 + shipping. It's so cute!

Amazon did overall ok with 52 sales.
 This is a massive Switch and Go Dino by Vtech. I bought 4 for $39 each; my youngest son was complete enthralled by it so we snuck 1 away in the attic for Christmas as his "big" toy (he got a small one for his birthday in September and absolutely loved it). Anyway 1 sold right away for $89.95 ($66 after fees); the other 2 haven't reached the warehouse yet.
All 4 of these Net10 phones sold this week for $19.95. Paid $2 each.

That's my week in a nutshell. I'm finishing auctioning clothes (hopefully I get them all done) today (last day for free auctions) then will focus on unlisted toys and giftables. I am fairly confident I can get everything listed by black Friday (I hope). I am also starting another clothing sale 40% off through Thanksgiving. Starting black Friday I will run a 10% off sale through December 15th.....a small sale really picked up my sales last year :D

How's sales treating you?

Monday, November 17, 2014

eBay as a Buyer....What do I Leave for Feedback?

I will admit, I don't shop on eBay very often. It seems more often than not the item is not as described. I did buy something the other day.

The item I purchased was $19.95 or best offer and we agreed on  a best offer of $13.95 (well I figure as a seller I am used to low offers LOL). I  was VERY pleased with the price as similars are $20-25.

I went to pay within 6 hours and apparently my bank was having an issue and wouldn't let me pay with Paypal. This was on a Sunday. I emailed the seller and let them know I couldn't pay and would call the bank the next day.

I received a reply that stated "if I don't receive payment tonight I will relist the item. I hope you understand". I had also decided to put in a best offer on a second one (their last). They told me verbally they would sell it to me then 2 hours later took a different best offer (I as a buyer would take the better offer but not if I had agreed to a different buyer first).

I did pay within 36 hours.

The item came and was in great condition.

This is where I don't like leaving negative feedback but if this was my first experience with eBay it wasn't pleasant. It isn't really my fault that the payment would not go through. I don't get upset with buyers who take a couple days to pay especially if they message me. But for the positive aspect the item was as described (but the item was new so its hard to screw that up).

And leaving a neutral is essentially the same as being a negative as far as defects are concerned.

What kind of feedback would you leave? (I haven't left FB yet looking for opinions)

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Getting Off This Hamster Wheel

For the longest time, I have been a bit frustrated with eBay. Not because of not enough motivation or being frustrated with their sometimes exasperating policies but because there doesn't seem to be enough time to get it all done. Maybe I have over diversified.

Anyway Saturdays (and sometimes Sundays) are my days to be at the office myself and plow through stuff. It seems most of my energy goes to FBA. Well today I was determined it would be different. Pictures were taken, old inventory listed (cringe I know old inventory just getting listed) and 55 new listings started. Granted most were auctions due to free listings (what doesn't sell will be relisted as good to cancelled). For the first time in months I feel like I am FINALLY making headway (didn't I only do 30 something listings in all of October?)

Lots to go but doing a happy dance. Apparently its what an 8-4 uninterrupted work day looks like. Hopefully tomorrow will do just as well. (we go to church in the morning so I only work half a day).

Friday, November 14, 2014

First Amazon Negative....and the End of Yard Sales

So I got my first Amazon negative yesterday. Amazon is much different than eBay in the feedback department. I have had over 2,000 sales and only 17 feedback....and 1 of them is now negative. It's the only feedback I have received in the last 30 days and 1 of 2 in the last 60 or 90. So my "feedback" is tanked; I have lost the buy box on most my items for poor feedback and my sales have slowed considerably.

Buyer stated the item was "obviously not new" and it was wrapped with Saran wrap.

It was wrapped the way Amazon requires me to wrap it....but if you aren't a seller you won't know that. The downside with FBA is the rate they lose/damage items. Granted it isn't too much but enough to irritate me. I have no way to prove it didn't get damaged at the warehouse or in transit to the buyer (all which falls on Amazon to cover).

I'm sure frustrated to the point I would rather merchant fulfill everything. It would cost me over $500 to get everything back, I would need to rent at least 1 more office, and I would most definately need an employee unless I work 60 hours a week. None of that is possible right now.

I have been in eBay's dog house before (below average for 10 months) and it sucked but I got out of it. I guess absolutely worst case senario is I get suspended from Amazon...and then we aren't much worse off than before....after all I used to be all eBay.

The problem item honestly I almost didn't buy because I thought the way it was originally packed may be a problem. I sold 5 sold for; 4 had no problems.

 Oh well....moving on :D

I really wanted to fit in 1  more week of yard saling if possible....but like most the country our temps dropped overnight.

When it comes to snow I am an absolute Grinch.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Tuesday's Totals

holy cow I'm on time this week! :D While I don't like the "commute" to the office I LOVE the organization of both my house and office. And even with a munchkin playing with Legos in the corner demanding I look at his creations every 2 minutes I still have gotten more done this month so far than the last few months combined. I hope the numbers start to show it too. (on a side note my office is directly next to the library and my fabulous parents are giving the kids portable DVD players for Christmas with child-friendly volume reduced headphones. I look forward to them LOL)

Amazon had 49 sales this week. It started out amazing and nothing for the last 2 days. Boo. I won't complain with almost $1,000 in gross sales :D I also had 1 return. Thankfully it was small (around $10)

 This is the original Nintendo DS. Most colors have really low values (but they are very cheap at yard sales) but keep your eyes out for the electric blue color. Got this in the storage locker (total cost of locker I think was $227). Sold for $49.95. Not too bad for older (but not yet vintage) technology. I honestly would buy this style for my kids. It feels much more solid (and less breakable) than the newer versions.
This walker/jumperoo combo by Fisher Price was 70% off at Target. I paid a whopping $25-30 for it :D Baby gear always seems to sell well FBA (there are baby registries on Amazon). The box was massive and an absolute pain to ship. Sold within a week or 2 for $98.99 ($71 after fees). I'm pretty pleased. It cost about $7 more to ship to Amazon. I picked up 7-10 baby gear items that day. I feel bad about buying it when someone might *need* it but to be fair it sat at 50% off for over a month (if I was having a baby I would have snagged it at 50% off and I may be one of the cheaper people in the world :D )

Bonanza had the 1 Bumbo sale :D Bought for $3 (or less) sold for $27

Etsy had nothing again this week.

eBay had 17 sales....over last week's 10 I will gladly take it....but still not the 4th quarter we are all waiting for. I keep fearing this is the year it doesn't happen :(

 This is my fail of the week for sure :D Lot of 30 Bratz dolls/misc dolls. Bought for $5 sold for $35 buyer paid shipping. Great right? Except I grossly miscalculated shipping (by 6 lbs) and it was headed to Canada. Buyer paid $22 shipping; actual cost was $45. After fees I broke even so I decided to ship it just because as a buyer I would be frustrated. No wonder it sold in 2 days LOL. It was a large box that I kept tripping over so I was glad to have it gone.

This Britax infant car seat rain cover (new in damaged box) took around a year to sell. I bought for $1 and sold for $24.95.

I'm a happy camper with more peace and organization in my life :D I will get around to posting a "final" office pic but I have been sick lately too (went to the specialist Dr yesterday and tested positive for Celiac's disease from the family dr a couple weeks ago) so I haven't been up for moving and organizing the last of the "stuff".

So how's your reselling week going?