Monday, June 30, 2014

Tuesday's Totals....a little early

So overall this week wasn't too shabby. I had sales on Amazon, Etsy and eBay.

* only 1 sale on Etsy.... a lot of 231 Mega Blok pieces. There were a couple Legos in there but mostly the "fake" Legos I would have just donated anyway. Sold as craft pieces. $5.99+shipping. I had paid $14 for several pounds of Legos close to 2 years ago. Already got more than $100 back for the purchase. These I had laying around but was in no hurry to list them. 1 more similar lot is listed then I am done with that yard sale purchase :D

*eBay I sold 29 items. Not bad considering I put very little effort into the store this week. I took lots of pictures but only listed around 4 things. My goal is to get my store back up over 600 in the next month. I was up to 675 but have slid back down to 590.

 16 piece lot  18" doll clothes (American Girl size). Battat brand and handmade. sold for 27.95+shipping. Not too shabby considering the quality of the picture I took! I bought I massive bag of "fake" clothes at a sale down the street from my house. Paid $125. So far I have gotten $275 back and still have 3/4 of an 18 gallon tote still to sell. If the price is right, non-AG brand clothing is still a great investment.

Keurig K-Cup Carousel and 27 cups. This was a dissapointment; it obviously isn't as popular as I had thought. Paid $4 for the coffee cups and $1 for the carousel. Sold for $14.95+shipping. Took the 2nd listing down as the cups expired. Still have 2 carousels to sell.

*Amazon I had 58 items sell or roughly 25% of my inventory!!! My sales were just under $900. I am so pleased especially since the items have been listed about a week. The profit wasn't great but a lot of it was older inventory such as Barbie dolls I haven't been able to sell and was about to donate anyway. A couple items I lost less than a dollar on (I miscalculated fees) but others I did great. My profit on most items was $3-7 each.

I bought 7 of these Duplo sets for $10 each at Walmart in January. 5 sold Merchant fulfilled right away, 1 sold on eBay. I sent the last one in to FBA. Sold within 2 days for $39.95 for a profit of $21 after item cost and FBA fees.

I picked up this "online only" item at Target about a week and a half ago. Paid $6.26. Sold within 4 days for $18.99. After cost and fees, my profit was $6.87. I guess Lego sells well no matter where it is.

I picked up 5x of these Tommee Tippee pacifies at Toys r Us 2 weeks ago for $1.52. All 5 of them sold in 3 days for $10.95 each. Profit of $5.22 each after fees and item cost. I picked up a few other pacifiers this week for $4.99 each that I listed for $24.95 each. It has a sales rank of 4,000 so I hope they sell quickly.

So thats about my week. My merchant fulfilled items are now inactive and my eBay store is on vacation. Have to check how to put my Etsy store on vacation. A second shipment is on its way to FBA (10 boxes). Hopefully FBA continues to treat me well.

Your turn!! How has your week been?

goals....and an embarrasing look into my house :D

My kids have officially left with family for a few weeks....and for the next day and a half my goal is to make my house look liveable again! Organize, straighten inventory, get pictures taken so I can list while stuck in bed (wonder how many mistakes I can make while listing and medicated :D )

Here is a look into my house. My inventory is in every room. Its a funny balance trying to teach my kids that this a good way to make extra $ but have it all in 1 place so they don't think living like this is "normal" LOL. It's also the reason I still stick mostly to toys, books, purses, clothes, or other things they can't get hurt on :D Also so thankful that my kids are now past the "let's put EVERYTHING in our mouth" stage.

 Our bedroom. FBA rejects (bad sellers or too low cost to cover fees) Waiting to be either listed on eBay and/or merchant fulfilled Amazon. Also a tote of slippers from the Disney Store last week for $1.99 each. All unlisted.

 Tote of clothes waiting to be listed on eBay in youngest's bedroom. Will probably be rewashed before listing since I forgot to "lid" it. Sure way to find a cat sleeping in it. All unlisted.

 Youngest kids closet (we wouldn't use the closets for anything else. All their clothes were in dressers before I took over the closets) 50% listed 50% not.

 Older son's closet. 95% listed.

 1 side of the attic. 1 tote is my kids Christmas gifts. All the rest are kid's winter clothes. None listed. Thinking about doing a kid's consignment sale again just to liquidate these quickly (and have them donate the rest.)

 Other side of the attic. gray buckets= 400 ties. None listed. box of baby stuff All listed. 3 or 4 totes of Halloween costumes. None listed.

 Singing star stage (apparently not a hot seller anymore) and a bumbo (attic floor. Bumbos sell fast but man do they take up room in bulk)

 New inventory (I left it in the car till my kids left. I don't leave plastic bags laying around I swear :D )

 Living room. Almost done with another FBA shipment (to be dropped off at UPS today) All in the system. Doesn't become available until Amazon receives them)

1 side of my eBay room (aka my dining room) 75% listed. From here it looks pretty organized. Its really not that organized. .

 Other side of the eBay room. This side doesn't even pretend to look organized. (Our mail carrier gave us like a dozen tubs. I really need to work on getting some back to the post office) 75% not listed.

 Kitchen table. Part of FBA order from living room. All listed.

 My tiny little Etsy to be listed pile. None listed.

my poor, poor business van. This is in dire need of organization. None listed.

The Lego tub and Duplo table are a birthday gift for one of my kids. The trash bag on the floor is waiting to be donated. Nothing listed.

So as you can see I have tons of unlisted $ in my house so thats what my plan is for the next few weeks. :D

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Saling Saturday

Well today's yard saling excursions was a pathetic effort at best. We were out late last night so I overslept....whoops :D I left the house at 7:30AM and was back by 9:15AM. I only went to about a dozen or so sales....1 address turned in a good sized community sale.

I was super selective today for a few reasons. First is our house (and business van) is overflowing with inventory. I have had several personal things going on that has taken away my "focus time" with the eBay side of things. Add on all the attention that FBA is getting and that helps nothing for eBay and even less for Etsy.

I do have an issue balancing liquid assets and inventory of the business. I am on a semi-buying freeze while I rebalance the budget and get some of the credit card paid down.

Finally I am going into to surgery on Wednesday (a routine minor procedure but I was told 6-10 weeks recovery time.) That is a LONG time to put my store on vacation. In addition, I visit some family most every year at some point during the summer. That also takes away a lot of time. I wonder why eBay hasn't started a Fulfilled by eBay service yet. I did find this article by Auctiva  ....has anyone heard more? I know you can ship eBay merchandise to Amazon's warehouse and they will fulfill it.....but I would rather the inventory be on the same platform.

And now on to the best buy this week and the flop of the day :D

This is Disney Infinity video game set; it came out the year after Skylanders were released and are similar in format. There is the starter pack for whatever system (PS3,PS4, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360 and Xbox 1?). The figures are bought separate and works on any platform. It has never been quite as popular as Skylanders although really cute. I paid $35 for this set; the little boy (a Skylanders fan) didn't care for this game as much. I had my kids "test" it (I was going to stash it away for Christmas) but they didn't care for it much either. So off to eBay and Amazon it goes. 2 of the figures are new and the rest are in fantastic condition. The 1 figure in the plastic bag pretty much pays for the whole lot. The other figures are 8-20 each. The starter set is right around 30-40.

This college textbook kit I thought was least the books inside definately are. When I scanned it at the sale this morning, it was coming up as $119 on Amazon; I quickly scooped it up for 3.00. Looking at it now, the price has already dropped to $88....but wait! the online key code has been used. I am tossing the "kit" and selling the 2 books separately....for $7-15 each. Not a huge profit but not a total loss (I hope; I fully expect a new edition to come out before fall semester)

Other than that it was just a few video games, sealed games, and a few crafting supplies I purchased. Sadly this may be one of my last yard sale trips for the next few months. I hope not though :D

In my next post, I will outline my goals and plans for building my eBay and Etsy inventory back up during my recovery period.

So how has thrifting and sourcing been to you?

Friday, June 27, 2014

Mid Week FBA sales check-in

My first FBA item consisted of 229 or so items (110-ish individual skus). I first posted on Monday that the inventory began to trickle in. Up to now only about 1/2 to 3/4 of the stock has been checked in but the sales have been great considering I have no idea what I am doing. The overall profit was a bit dissapointing; I did go ahead and buy our business an iPhone and that has made sourcing SO much easier (I downloaded the Profit Bandit app....when it works it is great but I have found it a bit glitchy)

This is what has been sold since Monday.6 I fulfilled while 31 was FBA. While not much it is more than eBay in a few weeks. Although Amazon fees are higher, I can get quite a higher price for the inventory.

This seems to be going well enough that we are currently packing another 100 item shipment. January-February and June-July seems to be the best times to pick up retail items. I found 7 packages of Tommy Tippee pacifiers for $1.52 each. 4 already have sold for $10.95. I also picked up 2 packages of pacifiers today for $4.99 each; FBA prices seem to start at around $25.00 and the sales rank is about 1,500. I hope they do as well :D

 For those who haven't tried FBA, I can't describe the feeling of knowing something sold and I don't have to ship it :D

Thursday, June 26, 2014

eBay related laugh for the day.

Read it and Laugh. There was a mistake with several listings shipping dimensions...and they have been pointed out to me like "I would have for you to miss a sale by charging what is obviously a typo." Or another title....How NOT to talk to eBay sellers. LOL. 0 feedback.Debating whether to respond that its a typo or just block them LOL.


I did send a message. This is the message I received back. All is well I guess. It was good for a laugh

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

My First FBA listing has been checked in!!!

It's about 50 items....and I am super hopeful that they will sell well. I know when I shop on Amazon I am more willing to pay a couple dollars more for Prime shipping (I have a Prime Student account). A few of my items won the buy box too!!! For those who don't do Amazon, the buy box is the main screen you see featuring 1 seller (but then there is the more buying choices too but they aren't as prominently displayed.

This is 1 of the listings with me in the buy box. :D

While I haven't gotten the buy box on all of the items, the vast majority of the other listings are more prominently displayed in the other buying this 1 I am the middle seller (I can't believe Amazon's system lets anyone top them)

I have a long way to go in learning how to source and price inventory but I am please to know I got no warnings from Amazon on how my items were packed and their search placement seems to like my listings.

Tuesday's Totals

So after my rant yesterday, it ended up being a productive day after all. I am caught up on most the housework (my ebay inventory is in the middle of my living space so its a constant source of stress for me....anyone else have inventory overload?)

as far as my son and his ADHD, I stopped by a natural food/supplement store. I picked him up some DHA and a supplement called "Attentive Child." I was told that I would for sure see results within the day.....sure enough by the end of the day there was some improvement. Small but enough to give me hope that this may work after all :D This store is run by a Dr and they are quite knowledgeable. ADHD has something to do with the brain and Cerebral Palsy is caused by lack of oxygen during birth so the DHA should cover it. I knew they had supplements for babies but not for kids and even adults.....

So now on to the reselling stuff.

I have sent 15 boxes totaling around 200 lbs to FBA. 110 individual skus totaling 229 items in total. None have been checked in yet so they can't be sold (obviously LOL)

I had 1 fulfilled by merchant sale on Amazon. I wrote about the "Fifty Shades of Gray"trilogy I picked up on Friday for 8.00. It sold on Sunday for 17.39. After shipping and fees my profit was only $4.30 but it was next to no work and a very quick flip.

No sales on Etsy this week. I have lots of Pyrex to list but I feel bad spending time on Etsy when it yields little.

20 sales on eBay this week....I got out of it what I put into it this week. 3 weeks ago I had 675 listed. Currently 607 are listed. I have sold, sold, sold but not listed anything new. 4 of the items I either lost or sold already and had to refund.

A word of advice if you have a multiquantity listing and do a 30 day or less format and hit "relist" eBay will relist for the full quantity regardless of if some have sold.

The sales I did have were small. 
 I had sold McDonalds Smurfs in the past for a nice chunk of change. However, I have had these for well over a year. I was thrilled to sell them for the measly price of $3.95+shipping. I wonder if it had something to do with Smurfs 2 now being on Netflix?

These American Girl shoes I had for about a year and a half before I got around to listing them. They sold within 2 weeks for a best offer of $14.....basically more than I have ever been able to get for a pair of human shoes.

I am "officially" over my week or 2 eBay slump. I am ready to list list list! (nothing like a doing some bills to help get over the "I don't want to list of eBay" feeling. Hopefully I will have some great FBA news next week to report.

Your turn! How have sales been treating you this week?

Monday, June 23, 2014

Getting Past the Slump

Now that my FBA order is 99% packed (it will be done completely as soon as I finish writing this) it is time to get back to the other, more neglected, areas of being a self-employed work at home mom.

Does anyone else have a hard time balancing "work" time with other household tasks? I have always had a wicked hard time keeping a schedule....and I think that works to my disadvantage. While focusing on FBA, the laundry got behind, the dishes got behind (my dishwasher is broken....sigh....we have REALLY hard water so it is next to impossible to use it) toys are littered all over the place. Heck, both light bulbs blew out in our dining room and I haven't changed them yet.

eBay packages to be shipped and messages  received have been sorely ignored. 2 of my sold items are missing altogether ;/ 3 weeks ago I had 675 items in my eBay I have 605. Granted I took a few "sitters" down to put onto Amazon and I do have 240 items now either merchant fulfilled or FBA for Amazon....but I still feel terrible with the eBay number down so low. I haven't listed at all on eBay in about 2 weeks.....but amazingly my sales haven't slowed too much.

Then there is the ever nagging feeling of how much $ is piling up in unlisted inventory.

I took yesterday off altogether. After church, I made the kids playdough which occupied them while I spent the afternoon watching "Gilmore Girls"....I bought them to sell so of course I needed to make sure they work....right? So today I'm hoping to act like Superwoman/Business Owner/Mom while that is the furthest thing from how I feel right now. :D

On a very different not-eBay related at all note, my oldest son has mild Cerebral Palsy, ADHD (in a high end moderate scale) and suspected Autism although not officially diagnoses. We have done everything in our power to not medicate him, but we are running out of ideas and what we have tried isn't working. Does anyone have suggestions about ADHD: experiences (good or bad with medicine), homeopathic remedies, enviromental changes (we took away TV and video games for the most part already). I am open to as many suggestions as you all have :D

From what I read eBay slumps are quite natural. How do  you guys get through them? Do you step back for a few days or plow through them anyway?

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Saling Saturday

We have spend so much money this last week on FBA inventory that we decided to go very light on inventory and yard saling this week. On the FBA front, I just sent 9x 18 lb boxes to the UPS store; I have another 4 or so to pack up still :/ There were about 15 sales yesterday in my own neighborhood so I didn't venture more than a mile from home. I didn't go out at all today I enjoyed a day of "sleeping in" (with kids....yeah that's a joke :D ). Half of me feels guilty for not heading out on a gorgeous Saturday.

Fifty Shades of Gray trilogy new in shrink wrap. Paid $8. It was a bit more than I wanted to spend but its still fairly popular and with a movie on the way I splurged to cash in on the popularity. Listed on Amazon (its selling rank is #283 FYI. I expect it to sell quickly)

Nike Air One Obama '08 shoes. Honestly not sure what to make of these. Paid $2 they are at best $10 and the sell through rate is sporadic at best. The tops are a bit worn and it is missing a shoelace. I was expecting more out of these shoes ;/ They will probably just be re-donated

Paid $15 for tub and toys. There is a thin layer of those blue Tommy Thomas tracks but underneath there is at least 100 wooden Thomas train track pieces and a few trains. There was also a few larger plastic Tommy station-type pieces that don't fit in the tub.  (Gabriel is holding on the bucket....he was afraid I would take them before he could play with them. He's 3)

Your turn! How has thrifting been treating you?

Friday, June 20, 2014

Lucy Lemon

While out thrifting today, I came across several vintage toys NIP. I picked up some Barbie outfits from 1983. I did pick up this Cupcake Kids "Lemon Lucy" doll made by Mel Appel copyright date of 1988. (I snatched her right up thinking she was a Cherry Merry Muffin doll....just as well she wasn't now I am not tempted to keep her.)

Doing researched when I got home, there is nothing at all listed on Etsy. eBay only has 1 doll new....and none used. She hasn't sold, but the seller wants $93.49 F/S. Personally I think thats kinda high considering her price tag says $4.97 (and this baby was bought on clearance for $2.44).

There is also only 1 NIP Candi Chocolate doll none used, a used Very Cherry doll for $12.99 used (only 1 listed). There are no Vanna Vanilla, Cindy Cinnamon, or Sunny Strawberry dolls on the Internet at all as far as I can tell. None have sold at all.

This was just a couple years before I would have been old enough to play with dolls :D Does anyone remember them? Were they popular or a complete dud. 

What do you all think as far as pricing goes? Would you start high like at the $90 range, the $50 range or the $20 range or something else? I would love opinions! While loving maximized profits, I don't want to have this doll for years :D I paid $1.50 for the doll.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Good eBay Problems

I was bound and determined to get my FBA shipment done last night......well it didn't happen. As sad as I was, I couldn't be irritated at the reason. I received an item sold email, so I went over to eBay.....I like to see where they are going. Well, either eBay stopped sending me notifications or Gmail got fed up and started throwing them in spam. Either way, I had 17 unique buyers with items waiting to be shipped. Of those 17 buyers, 1 bought 2 items and 1 bought 4 items (both buyers were of Skylander figures. I know officially love Skylanders.) WOHOO! Its been a while since I haven't been completely pissed at eBay. The sales all took place within a course of 5 hours.

On the Better Business Bureau front, eBay and I went back and forth a few times. I received an email today from the Bureau that stated "Whether you feel they have or not, this company has made a good faith effort to resolve the problem and it will be closed." I'm not sure how just saying no and not budging is a good faith effort in anything. Whatever, I am now officially over it.

On the FBA front, I bought a heat gun to remove price tags. Took about 3 hours. I have also put 116 items into their system with at least that much to go (but most likely more.) I need clear poly bags but my Prime order was messed up to send regular shipping bags (FBA requires clear bags). The seller was super awesome and is sending out the right bags without requiring the others back/no hassle (it was only like a $5) order. In the meantime I called Staples and not only do they not carry them, but the guy had ABSOLUTELY no idea what I was talking about.

Since I don't have a smart phone, I wasn't able to check selling price/sales rank at the store. I have a large pile that will be dumped on eBay too. 

I have watched about a dozen FBA packing videos, they seem to be super strict. I am super nervous about messing something up. :/

On a lighter note, I do appreciate my ability to crank things out for eBay/FBA/Etsy as needed. However, I am often completely scatterbrained. I stuck these in the oven for 7 minutes then started on FBA. I smelled them just short of 2 hours later. They are completely burned all the way through.  3 Cheese biscuit anyone?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Tuesday's Totals

This weeks sales held mostly steady. I had 28 sales on eBay and 0 on Etsy. Thankfully, I haven't been hit with the summer's slower sales or their data breech scares etc. Sales were unusually slow on Sunday and into Monday afternoon but picked back up again Monday night. Apparently eBay had a technical issue which sounds like the root of the problem.

 A couple weeks ago I talked about some Skylanders figures I picked up from a yard sales. I paid $40 for 97 figures. The top figure is Granite Crusher the bottom is an "artifact" Volcanic Vault. These sold for $24.95 each within 6 hours of listing. This more than gives back my initial investment. A few others have sold for $7-10 each. My total return right now is around $75 with 80 more figures to sell. Not to bad. Easy to list, easy to store, easy to ship, and a son that knows the name of ever character so minimal research is involved :D

This Melissa and Doug set turned out to be a bit of a dud. I picked up 3x at Target in January for $3 each. I still had all 3 with no interest until this week. The same buyer bought 2x and they are headed to Finland. Sold for $6.95 each. While they were a bit of a dud, I am glad to free up some space.

Your turn! How has your week's sales been?

Monday, June 16, 2014

Jumping in with both feet

In light of all the BS from eBay compounded with a myriad of personal issues, I am stepping away from eBay for a few days to try to branch out. I have heard good things about Fulfilled by Amazon with little I am off to give it a try. Thankfully, I have done a little merchant fulfilled in the past so I do have 5 feedbacks under my belt :D

Our original plan was to send in 6-10 items and see how they did. That turned into 1 box, then turned into 2, then turned into "go big or go home". Most of my inventory we are sending in either was from retailing the last few days (its been months and months since I have used coupons. A few years ago I was an "extreme couponer". Once yard sale season wraps up, I will begin doing that again for inventory (assuming FBA works out as well as we hope.

A stop to Babies R Us this morning gave us an extra 60-80% off the lowest ticketed clearance price. Thats always dangerous for least now I have a good reason without hoarding.

Overall we spent just under $500 on inventory. Hoping to pull about 4-5k but we will see. I am TERRIFIED. Now I know how eBay newbies feel :D I also just signed up for a pro seller account and there are so many graphs/charts/tools that I don't even know where to start.

There are a few more stores I had wanted to stop at; we may do that tonight once the kids are out of school.

I originally wanted to get this shipped out yesterday, but after breaking 3 nails on peeling price tags, I am waiting for my heat gun (scheduled to arrive tomorrow)

 For point of reference this is a queen size bed. Miss Molly decided to make herself at home in the middle of all the inventory. She won't be sent :D

Here's to hoping I have something to report soon!!!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Saturday's Saling Adventures

So I was determined that today was going to be a "light" yard saling day not leaving my town. My house is jam packed full of inventory; we even have a business van that is used only for yard saling and storage auctions....yup that is full too. However, there were still dozens in my little town including a 45+ vendor sale at a Catholic Church. My alarm was set for 5:45AM....the first community sale started at 7 and all 3 kids were coming with me. Well long story short I woke up at 8:15. The saying "the early bird gets the worm" definately is true with yard sales....or maybe today was destinated to be a low inventory day. The prices at almost all sales were great but very picked over.

Today was my first day trying to pick up items for Amazon....and without a smart phone it was a failure. I think its time to suck it up and pay AT+T the extra $20 a month for a smart phone. The items I bought were duds (for example 13 DVDs of Family Guy is worth about $8 on amazon. I will lot it up on eBay)

While I didn't get much for resale, I DID get A LOT for our family that I had been hoping to find. Another cat carrier for $2 (2 cats, 1 carrier) bag of 25 tennis balls for the dog $4 (he destroys apprx 1 a day) better litter box for cats $8 (Baboo brand I believe, igloo shaped has little control stair steps and it keeps the dog out. Apparently lots of dog enjoy the litter box as a snack *YUCK* and a LL Bean backpack for $2 among others.

The only thing worth mentioning for resale this week was some Amish Butterprint Pyrex. The refrigerator set is complete and sells routinely for around $50 on eBay but is listed on Etsy for $70-$125 (which I will be listing on Etsy). Not quite sure how I want to price it yet but the entire set plus the 3 other pictured pieces and 2 American Girl books cost me $20. For vintage Pyrex it is in great condition.

Your turn!!! How was your week? Do any thifting....and what was noteworthy?

Friday, June 13, 2014

Friday the 13th....eBay Style

Friday the 13th and a full moon too top it off....I am in no way superstitious but man, today has been really funky, full of strange questions, nasty buyers, and an eBay customer service story that for me seals the deal that they truly do not care about the sellers.

The Strange:
Today is the first day in months that I have not had a single sale. This may be due to my lack of listing, the many auctions, or my Better Business Bureau complaint (see below). But I definately have had my fair share of strange questions. The one that was most strange for me was on a dog costume.....the question asked if it would fit her cat. While it probably was a legit question and not someone just pulling pranks, I do not personally know any cats who would tolerate playing dress up....heck, my dog *just* barely tolerates it.

The Partial Refund Fishing Buyer:
The buyer who was so irritated about having a wrong unit on Monday or Tuesday has not answered my message to return for a full refund. Nor was a tracking number uploaded. Thankfully, she used the "other" reason to contact me rather than "item not as described". A case has not officially been opened. I think I will ignore it until I hear a response or my 14 day return period has passed. 

The annoying (non-paying) buyer:
A week and a half ago I sold a pair of my son's jeans for $4.95 at auction. Invoice sent and several payment. Opened a case, still no communication. 4 days later I closed the case. Received an email yesterday saying she would pay the item now to avoid an unpaid strike. I told her as professionally as possible that the case was already closed and I had not blocked her and she was welcome to re-purchase the jeans; however, she would be required to do BIN (9.95) with immediate payment. I would cancel any bids she tried to place. Apparently the thought of paying 2x as much for not paying didn't sit well with her. Got an email today. its fine. ebay removed the unpaid item strike. try not to br such a nasty witch. "  Apparently I am a witch because she didn't pay for a purchased item. I am super curious whether she actually got the unpaid strike removed or is blowing smoke. While this is silly, I do tend to judge buyers by their user name and low feedback user "sweetthang" did ring bells for me originally.

Non Customer Service at eBay (a BBB complaint story)
This kind of overall seals the deal for me that eBay does not give a monkey's rear about their sellers. After a consultation with the Seller Outreach Team, the nice gentleman in North Carolina seemed genuinely concerned that I was reaching to other ways to make income online and dump eBay. I explained an unfair feedback I received and he agreed that it should be taken off because I was such a great seller, asset to eBay, *insert bull line here*.  I needed to call customer service and they would take it off as a courtesy. Well 7 calls later, I made myself physically sick and not a single rep would remove it (their script told them it didn't qualify.) 2 weeks ago a manager in the billing dept told me it would be removed, transferred me to another department, but promised me he would stay on the line. Sure enough he didn' notes from him, and the feedback would not be removed. I was so enraged, I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau (if you haven't already checked their record, you should. It is interesting, although lengthy, reading material. Received an lengthy answer today on how your a great seller yadda yadda, we will investigate the original Seller Outreach call, but the feedback would indeed stay. While my metrics are good enough to receive several more defects before I am put out of Top Rated, this is a principle matter. I try to stay positive as I do make decent $, but why would I take the time and effort to fabricate a story for the Better Business Bureau.

I rarely buy on eBay due to bad sale after bad sale, but we caved and bought Minecraft for the Playstation 3. A seller took a best offer....then I looked at his feedback 95.2 most to do with terrible shipping time. I emailed and asked it had been shipped with no tracking number. Apparently the service he uses is glitchy with tracking numbers. All in all, it showed up within 4 days perfectly packed. I was pleased to be able to give him positive 5 star feedback :D

So how is your Friday the 13th treating you? Anything strange or unusually or is it business as ususal?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Who does FBA? Looking for some advice....

So who here does FBA? I stopped doing merchant fulfilled items since the fees seemed really high. In addition, Amazon suspended my account since my sales were high enough that I was required to do a w-4. 15+ times of being kicked back at me for being wrong. Today, I finally got around to calling the IRS and having them walk me through it (who woulda thought my name was what was wrong!)

Over and over I hear good things about the Fufilled by Amazon program. Now that I am "unsuspended" I am more than anxious to try to jump in. After all whats better than having active inventory NOT in my living space, not having to ship OR deal with customer service.

I think I am ready to jump in head first BUT....I am very concerned about fees. And I have A LOT of questions.

1. Where to source inventory? I typically deal with toys and baby. Both have requirements to be New condition on Amazon.

2. Apps/barcode scanners? I don't currently have a smart phone but the time may have come for me to get one.

3. What is the optimal sales rank? I did see a blog post that said anywhere from 500,000-1,000,000; however that post was from 2008 and I have been unsuccessful in finding anything newer. Currently I can't find the total rank on the page just the rank for the category.

4. Minimum price to sell for a profit? Obviously this is going to be based on an items cost, but with storage fees is there a minimum price that works better?

If anyone has answers/general comments/advice/etc it would be much appreciated. I *think* I'm ready to jump in but I cringe at the thought of losing money....but then it is a learning curve also. Also if you did use FBA and no longer use it or have never used it for a reason please let me know also!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Tuesday's Totals

Overall it has been a pretty good week. I sold 38 things on eBay and another 2 on Etsy! (so much for me saying last week that sales on Etsy are mediocre at best.) I have 48 items currently listed on Etsy and 649 on eBay (40 of those are auctions.) Hopefully the auctions will help move items as my house is now filled to capacity :D

Here are some of my better sales for the week.

On Etsy (both sales were vintage Pyrex)

This is one of the more rare patterns. It is fairly hard to find anything about it online and there were only 1 or 2 other ones listed on Etsy (both without lids). Unsure of the date. They started producing in the 50s until the late 60s or early 70s. Paid $1 sold for $24.95+shipping (I did miscalculate shipping and ended up paying an extra $8.00)

On eBay:

Duplos generally don't as well for me as regular Legos but this was a 5 lb lot. Some vintage some not and lots of misc sets mixed in. Paid $3.00 Sold in 2 days for $34.95 + shipping.

About a week after I read Lorraine's post on selling golf shirts I happened to be in a thrift store and picked this up for 3.00. Although I had no plans on selling golf shirts it was a Disney World Nike Mickey shirt in almost brand new condition. I think it was mis-priced as generic worn golf shirts were priced higher than this little shirt. I had it listed for several months no takers. 2 days ago I put it on auction with a higher buy it now price. Sure enough it sold at the higher BIN price. Go figure. Paid $3 sold for $24.95+shipping.

I picked up 7 pair of girl's equestrian horse riding pants on a whim. At almost $3.50 each I was a bit nervous (I try not to pay more than $1 at yard sales for clothes). Without a smart phone to double check prices, I shelled out $25.00 hoping for a decent profit. It has been a month and a half and I have sold 5 of the pairs for $19.95 each  + shipping. Not a huge profit but equestrian pants are now on my BOLO list. :D

Several bloggers have mentioned this week that it has been rough with bad buys and SNAD cases. Well, I was hit by that bug yesterday too. Sold a brand new baby monitor with 2 parent receivers (I swear I copied it off the box). She said it didn't and how was I going to fix it before she brought Paypal and eBay into it. I offered a full refund upon returning. I haven't heard back. What I don't get is I had bought 2 identical ones and they were on a multi quantity listing. Why didn't the first buyer complain if it wasn't as described. She has low feedback. I suspect that she is trying to get a partial refund. I am at the point that my metrics (even with the new defect rate) can sustain a few negative feedbacks so I won't be giving into her for a partial refund (does that sound like terrible customer service? I am just sick of buyers trying to pull a fast one.) If she returns and it does indeed say it on the box I will open a case with eBay for buyers remorse. 

I did slack quite a bit this week on listing. Yard sales have brought in so much inventory I took much of the week to just regroup and reorganize (I am afraid of losing inventory with the new defect rate.). Next week kids get out of school and the week after that I am having surgery, so this is really my last week to hit eBay hard for a while.

So thats what was exciting in my reselling world this week. How has yours been?

Monday, June 9, 2014

It is an auction kind of week

I'm not really much into auctions anymore, but I never can resist a free listing promo. The promo is 10,000 listings in the auction format with buy it now. Since I routinely go over my store's 500 free listings a month, I kind of figure that if I can sell a dozen items, its less fees I ultimately have to shell out to eBay. I always start with my "happy with" price, but then some things always surprise me. Gymboree kids clothes I rarely can sell at BIN prices, but auction prices shoot through the roof for me. Last year, before my store really started expanding, I listed solely on an iPad Mini....that is until eBay customer support wouldn't remove a negative feedback because the "item condition" box wasn't filled in (its not available on the app). I was told the app was not meant for store sellers and should it happen again I still wouldn't be protected. So off I went to buy a "real" camera (first camera I owned since childhood) So the Mini is off to auction this week! Selling Apple products always make me nervous because of the amount of crazy schemes scammers come up with :D

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Saturday's Sale Finds

Today's yard sales all seemed to start an hour earlier than normal. Apparently to alot of sales, it seemed I was the last one to the party. I was able to still score some pretty good deals.

Sorry the picture is sideways....and I can't figure out how to fix it. Anyway I first read this on Kari's blog that it was a BOLO. It was hiding in the 25 cent basket....I had to make a second purchase LOL. It is the 1992 edition.

For those who are not familiar with the Skylanders video game, these pieces are put on a "portal of power" which is connected to the gaming console. 3 different versions have been released to date. The figures are (mostly) sold separately from the game ranging retail price $10-20 each. Some on eBay sell up to $2,000.00! However, the vast majority are a dime a dozen. I may not have picked these up except my son has been wanting to spend "his" money on them. We have been teaching him about good sales and delayed gratification :D These were a chance find. I asked on a whim, and they whisked 97 figures out of the house for $40!!!! I was beyond excited.  There were lots of "legendary" figures and "limited edition" ones in the mix. My son gets the first pick (unless I find one worth a small mint LOL), some will be saved for Christmas gifts, and the rest will be sold on eBay. The first one I picked up sells for an average of $20.00. I am actually hoping to use a bunch of these as an FBA test run.

The rest of the day was filled with the "normal" 2 Bumbos, a lot of books, a Duplo table and bricks (for my son's 4th birthday in September),5 toddler couches, and misc other items. Overall I spent $115.00

While I was chatting with a couple who I bought some American Girl items from they mentioned they had a ton of clothes and a few dolls that sold that morning. The community sale started at 8AM and this individual (presumably dealer) arrived at 6:45AM. Specifically no early birds was stated. How do you all feel about "early birds"? I try to keep it to 20 minutes before posted time unless no early birds is stated. Do you all go super early or keep it within the times stated?

Did you go thrifting/saling this week? If so what great buys did you find? Please share!