Sunday, August 31, 2014

Goals for September and a Rise in Shipping AGAIN!

I swear life is getting to a "I blink and a month passes." Anyway with September starting tomorrow and school starting Tuesday, here is a look at how I did with August goals and a look ahead at September goals.


August Goals:
Consignment- to do 9 tubs. I did about 12 all said and done I believe (I found a few more in the tubs I forgot.) I would have liked time to send a few more "ebay reject" toys but I am pleased. $361 later but I won't do it again for a LONG time.

Ebay- 100 listings done. I got 55 done for my resale account and another 25 done for a friend who is moving (it is a 50/50 split.) Not bad; would have liked the full 100 on the resale account but I'm not adding inventory at this point so I have a little time.

Amazon-1 small FBA shipment still needed to be done. I got that to the UPS store yesterday.

Business credit card- add nothing to it and reduce it by $500. I added $600 to it (I was behind on business cell phone and van insurance payments plus eBay fees auto get added to this card. Plus bought misc hair bow making supplies. Bought no new inventory. Made $1800 in payments.

Etsy- add 10 new listings. 8 listings done plus renewed a bunch of listings.


I did spent the vast majority of August doing fun things with my kids so I have no regrets about not hitting alot of my goals. 




NEW September goals. 

eBay-200 listings between our stuff and friends. 2 kids will be in school (and the 3rd still naps) plus hubby just moved to 1st shift as of Tuesday. I work best in the morning so this setup should be all around more productive.3rd child also likes to "help" with eBay....especially if toys are involved.

Amazon- I have another small shipment that needs to be sent in (I find more eBay dud/Amazon worthy stuff as I sort inventory.) Still not buying anything until October at a minimum.

Etsy-30 new listings. I organized and found $100+Pyrex as well as a tote of other Etsy vintage items plus I have about 100 hair bows ready to go on. Hairbows take up a good amount of time so if I don't get many sales by Christmas I will probably call it quits.

Business Credit Card- only the minimum on (about $300-600) and make $1500 in payments.


In other news I did just read that USPS is changing the way they price....AGAIN. If you purchase labels through eBay/Amazon/Etsy/Stamps.com/USPS.com you will be OK prices will be the same as discounts will be greater. However, if you purchase postage at the retail counter expect an increase. This was apparently announced in July. Which means if you, like me, use eBay's postage calculator, your customer will see higher prices. I may be forced to try the free shipping gimick again.





Friday, August 29, 2014

Online Consignment....Thred Up vs Twice

After a fabulous suggestion to try Thred Up to get rid of some clothes, I did just that. I ordered their free polka dot bag to fill with clothes. To try I only sent 7 or 8 items. After sealing the bag and putting on the return address, I started reading online reviews....they are AWEFUL! Being nervous, I almost called it quits, but just for hahas sent it anyway.

Most reviewers suggested the service was better with Twice; I set up an account and sent 6 things to them as well. (Keep in mind all 13-14 items I did not care if I got paid for or not.)

I sent the Twice box about a week after the ThredUP bag; the Twice box was processed within a week and a half. I was quite impressed with their turnaround time. However, of the 6 items, they only accepted 1 pair of jeans for a measly $3 (they sell similar Coldwater Creek jeans for $22-$26 dollars so I was far from impressed with their "we pay up to 50%". Yes I understand there is overhead.

ThredUp was actually just processed today a month later (to the day. I blogged about it July 27th). They took 6 items from maternity jeans (Old Navy brand-brand new) to kids clothes both new and used. My payout is $11.15. Not impressive either.

However, both were easy to use. I won't do it again because, frankly, at rock bottom prices, you can still get more from eBay.

Oh and Twice paid me via Paypal within 24 hours; ThredUP can be used as store credit instantly but for actual cash (Paypal) there is a 14 day hold time on the funds. I don't know why and their explanation was really crappy at best.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Tuesday's Totals....Late

Sorry the post is a day late....yesterday was one of "those days".

*Ebay account #1 (our personal account) sold 1 of hubby's friends Aerosmith sheet music books (vintage). Sold for $9.95 plus $32 shipping to Sweden.

*Amazon Sold 27 items.

Skylander's beach towel. Bought 8x at $3 each. FINALLY sold 2 this week (have been listed on eBay forever) at 16.93 each.

*eBay (reselling account) I had 15 sales; 9 were clothing sales. I can't complain the clothing items I was seriously close to donating anyway so by running a 40% off sale (and then often times taking a best offer on top of that) I have gotten a few hundred dollars. I am getting sick of packing up $4-$10 sales though. Trying to plow through inventory so I have the room to buy "higher dollar" items.

*Gymboree size 12 sheer tutu. I honestly didn't think this would sell. Gymboree isn't known for their dance attire. However, it sold within a week of listing for $9.99 plus shipping. That was the highest dollar amount clothing piece I had all week.

*Etsy had no new sales (not really a surprise). Did finish making a few dozen hair bows of various sizes and styles for friend's kids to try out (to make sure they don't fall apart.)

*Consignment Sale- Sunday night I wasn't able to pick anything up (hubby had made plans). Of the total apprx 350 items accepted 212 sold. That's a higher percentage than I ever had. Most of the higher price "good" stuff did sell so most things I didn't pick up were marked to be donated anyway. My cut is $361.80. It is a lot of work for not a lot of $ but the 40% ebay sale, it is money I wouldn't have otherwise had. Plus a had a few dozen eBay "dud" toys that all sold. Overall I am happy but I won't do it again anytime in the near future.

That's my reselling week. Now getting the kids back to school (6 days...but who's counting!?!?!?!) and to pull the Halloween out of the attic. Halloween costumes for me don't even last until October. I always say I will buy more for next year but then I never do. It's a great feeling to get rid of everything :D

How has your week been?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Venturing into the eBay Unknown....and I'm Terrified!

Yesterday we went to visit friends; they plan on moving to the other side of the country come retirement in a few years. We were asked to sell some items for them on eBay.....they have been really good to my husband so I don't mind at all (plus they don't really care about what we get for it or the cut we take for that matter.) So having decided on a 50/50 split (and our 50% will cover fees we really want to take as little as possible) we started with a small collection of 1960-80s classic rock records and sheet music along with some classic car models. 


After deciding on those for now with more in the future, we decided to try to sell a car on eBay. 

1975 Corvette Stingray. It really is a thing of beauty. However, after looking at eBay fees, based on the price of the car it is nothing to list until it sells and a flat $125 in fees. Not bad at all. The seller has a flat bottom number he needs to get and told us to keep anything over that number.....so for a possible $3-5k commission I am definately willing to give selling the car on eBay motors a try. I am reading up everything I can about how to sell safely. With our own cars we have had Auto Trader with no success. 

Has anyone used eBay motors (or heck sold a car themselves?) Any advice? (the listing isn't up yet. I am waiting for the seller to send me the description write up.)

Friday, August 22, 2014

An Irate Customer.....and the Mythical "Closed in the Seller's Favor" Verdict

2 separate incidents. Had a customer buy a $5 shirt from me and asked me to change the address. 12 hours later asked m)e when I would ship. I explained that I have a 2 business day time and so technically it didn't need to be shipped by end of day Monday but I planned on shipping sooner. I also said that it is against eBay policy to change the address and ship to anything else (for fraud protection among other things.) Well I was chewed out how dare I have a 2 day handling policy (rolls my eyes LOL) and "plenty of other sellers changed the address for her" (she has 41 feedback; in all fairness I typically will change the address for a $5 item but when I get a shipment question 12 hours after it sold I know the buyer is probably a pain. 3 feedbacks left; 1 was a negative.) It ended in a refund and a cancellation request. I hope I don't have to call into eBay to get feedback removed....even though negative FB would be from me not breaking their rules. As of right now no harm, no foul....rolling my eyes, venting, and moving on LOL

2 or so weeks ago I got an open case "item not received" buyer in Brazil needed her "urgent item immediately) Thanks Google translate; eBay left the message in another language. I explained customs often takes time and it would be another 2 weeks or so. The last message I received was "Oh Ok. I will wait" (so thankful buyer was understanding and didn't escalate it after the 3 days.) Noticed 4 days ago that it was delivered so I went ahead and escalated it to customer support. After all the trouble other bloggers have had with escalation I was nervous to say the least. I was expecting to see a "decided in the buyer's favor. We have issued a refund." However, what I got was a "decided in seller's favor. No refund and the holds on your funds have been removed. Any feedback or detailed seller ratings will be removed (I love how it didn't mention the defect rate for the case opened.). I didn't even think that form letter was created as it rarely (if ever) falls in the seller's favor. While this was the only obvious option that eBay had, I didn't have high hopes.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Consignment Fun...

Well the pre-sale of the consignment is over. (You either needed to pay $10 or consign/volunteer to shop). I realized I grossly underpriced on most items (yes I was going for low. I haven't really shopped there too much as I still prefer yard sales.) However, I did buy most my kids school clothes today (to avoid the temptation of more inventory I stayed away from yard sales.)

2 toned purple dress with frilly sleeves for Christmas. Oh the dangers of having a girl. I think I bought 3 Christmas dresses. This was 1 oh-too-cute for $5.00. I didn't quite get everything for my son (it was really crowded to look) so I will go back on Sunday (half price day.)

Anyway I brought around 400 items (I have 450 in inventory but found lots of duplicates :( ) 54 were rejected and are now bagged up to go to thrift (with the exception of 4 pieces.) 62 sold today for a total of $120 after fees. Not bad. I was originally going to be happy with 100-200 dollars. And 62 pieces is definately a tub or 2 of clothing.

Hopefully the rest of the weekend goes just as well :D

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tuesday's Totals

Sales were a bit slower to which I am thankful. Consignment was dropped off this afternoon (and won't be picked up till Sunday). The dreaded task of sorting my kids dressers was also done last night and we are in the process of buy new clothes (I usually buy used but there are so many fabulous back to school sales. Pants/jeans/dresses/skirts will still be bought at the seasonal consignment sale on Thursday.

No Etsy sales.
1 eBay sale from our small account (an H+M 4T dress that was my daughters)

19 eBay sales from the resell account.

Organization really pays. Bought Thomas train sets for $10 or $20 I don't remember. Half were wood half were plastic. Haven't listed the plastic yet; the wood ones sold for a best offer of $70. Can't find them anywhere. Refunded buyer; buyer had a fit that "I shouldn't have tried to sell the item elsewhere if I had them listed on eBay." Apparently buyer missed the "lost" and "misplaced" "sincerely apologize" part of the message. I didn't really like giving back close to $100 either. Buyer refused to cancel transaction so I'm stuck with almost $10 in fees. Always the ones with little feedback I swear.

American Girl Ruthie holiday outfit. Had 2 of these sitting since November; they both sold this week for 27.99 each plus shipping. Had just lowered the price by $10.

Vera Bradley Kensington print purse and wallet. Paid $1 I think maybe $2.  (I ran into a couple back to back sales with tons of VB for $1 each. A couple I got home to find matching wallets in) Sold for 19.99 plus shipping. I don't find VB a fast seller. I know some sellers have great luck but not me.

Amazon 36 orders this week. All is no longer well in Amazon world LOL. I have had several boxes and/or pieces lost/damaged/etc and its a fight to get Amazon to take responsibility. Amazon also authorized a refund (and charged it back to me) without requiring the return of the item. To me, that's not their call to make if it is being charged back to me. Also 5 days ago 2 SKUs were suspended (holding about 40 items) to make sure it "matched". Received an email this morning all is good again but it still isn't showing up for sale.




These dairy allergy wristbands were .29 each at Babies R Us. Bought 20 all sold within 2 weeks for 5.99 each. Wish I bought the Peanut Butter ones too (they were .99 each)

Eddie Bauer car seat backseat organizer. Bought for 3.00 at Target. Sold for 24.95.

Thats my week in a nutshell. How has your week been?


Monday, August 18, 2014

1 project down....endless to go!

I tend to get overwhelmed when I take on too much (which is often.) My husband keeps telling me focus 1 project at a time. So I am done with consignment whoot whoot! In all honesty I didn't put much into it anything that was "iffy" just got tossed into donate rather that scrubbed with a magic eraser.

I thought I had around 100 or so items....450 items later HAHA.

I can make at the max around $500-600. I expect to make around $200-300. Since I am not volunteering I only get 60% of the selling price. Most clothes sell at the half price day. I did price my "basic" brands dirt cheap and marked "donate". The "better" clothes I did price a bit higher but the vast majority were marked "half price" while a very select few were "no discount". If they sell on half price day it is a bit less than what I would get on eBay.  I will pick up only the better brands on Sunday. Honestly I will probably do eBay lots at that point.

 The blanket is hiding another large stack of clothes.



My next big project is sorting my kids clothes. They have outgrown our just plain worn out a lot of stuff. The consignment sale is more expensive than yard sales but cheaper than any other consignment in the area (and the plus is they have been checked for stains tears etc.)  I HATE sorting kids clothes :D

We are working hard at condensing our inventory down to 2 shelving units (not including what is at FBA). Getting there slowly but surely. Was behind on sending out eBay packages. Shipped out 15 this morning still have 10 to pack up :/ It's bittersweet. I want the shipping to stop but not the inventory outgo or the cash coming in.

School starts in 15 days (I am so glad I got the kids backpacks totally ready and hanging on the coat rack a few weeks ago. 1 less thing to stress over )

The hair bows have been completely shelved until school starts probably. At least I know I can do them. I have gave some to several family and friends to have their daughters wear for a few weeks before I actually put them on Etsy (in case they fall apart LOL). I also tried to make resin jewelry (I had small sea shells I wanted to use in them). It was a complete disaster. I threw it all away (at least the stuff that can't be sold for supplies LOL)

Am I the only 1 who takes on more than they can handle or is that a fairly typical reseller life?


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Copyright Infringement... What is Being Done.

Today I woke up to an Etsy forum thread shared to Facebook. You can read the thread HERE. Basically, Disney is going through and reporting to Etsy anyone who has made anything in the likeness of, or using licensed supplies, without permission (they are specifically targeting Frozen items). With this sting, hundreds if not thousands of shops have been shut down. Rumor has it 1 shop had so many Frozen items that Disney filed a lawsuit. Apparently eBay and Amazon will be next in this sting.

So what exactly is copyright infringement? The fact that Etsy has opened up the ability for anyone to start a shop without adequately informing them of legal obligations did come up multiple times in the discussion. I Googled it up and it is a bunch of legal jargon that didn't make much sense. We all know it is illegal and don't want to do it but....

Does copyright infringement only apply to new items? It would appear not; I know I have had Coach purses taken down for being "counterfeit" (I know beyond doubt that they were authentic). Crest also takes down any listings for their items. Dunkin' Donuts same story. The seasoned Amazon sellers have an ongoing list that is occasionally discussed in the forums of item brands that will get you "on the fast track to Amazon suspension."

My thought is, looking at my eBay store alone, most everything would be a copyright infringement....wouldn't it? The A+F clothes, the Nick Jr and Disney Jr toys, the Build a Bear plush, obviously these all have intellectual copyrights on them. Monster Cable and Sony Entertainment has been at the top of the list for those companies pushing for reselling sites such as eBay and Craigslist to be put under. Sony has pushed for video game trade-in/selling to be illegal; that in effect would put places like GameStop under. If reselling were illegal, so many sites would be closed leaving those without jobs as well as those doing the reselling to either be jobless or have no extra spending $ either.

The Frozen franchise no doubt has had a massive amount of counterfeit products; I applaud companies for trying to reduce/eliminate fake toys. However the comment was said (and I tend to agree with this statement more) "Christmas buying season is coming up. Disney wants every last penny."

As with the case of Etsy shops, they are taking and creating items that Disney (for the most part) does not sell. There are those who also just want a handmade item. With eBay and Amazon, Disney quite obviously was unable to produce the supply of items needed. This no doubt was helped by resellers who bought dozens at a time (a post about resellers who buy "hot toys" in bulk and the ethics of it will be for another day).

So who knows anything about copyright infringement? Do I close up eBay shop since my whole store could be considered a copyright infringement? I certainly don't want to do anything illegal. I do know I am no longer such a fan of Disney.. :D

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

An Etsy Experiment

I'm officially in a kick to make something "handmade" that's Etsy worthy (in case you didn't notice I go on and off "kicks" frequently. I'm also bipolar. I'm sure that doesn't help much LOL)

Soooo....I bought some resin stuff to try to make bracelets (I have a whole bunch of tiny seashells that I am trying to make into something. They don't sell much as supplies.) Waiting on all that stuff from Amazon.

I am also going to try my hand at hair bows. Both these projects look fairly easy. I know hairbows are popular but there are also a zillion sellers. So I'm not sure how it will turn out.

I checked online but ribbon is more expensive than it is at Joanne's Fabrics or Michaels. Both places had lots of great ribbon 75-80% off; I didn't mind buying a bunch because if it flops I will just sell it as supplies and still make money LOL.

 Total I spent about $250 for about $600 worth of ribbon. ( A few weren't on sale but were soooo cute! and character bows sell for more anyway)


 Michael's had the local teams (Philadelphia Eagles and Penn State) $2.49 a roll instead of $6.99. Even with all the scandal, Penn State is still popular.

My personal favorite Green Eggs and Ham. This roll was .97 on sale from $4.49. If they come out OK I will save 1 for my daughter. Every year at school they have wear Dr Seuss day on his birthday. They had other ones like 1 fish 2 fish red fish blue fish and Autism awareness that I wanted but will wait till there is a sale or coupon. The Autism one I think I will donate all the proceeds to an Autism walk or something along those lines :D (my oldest son is on the Autism spectrum)

The YouTube tutorials look pretty straightforward (of course we all know how that goes.) After my experience with Amazon, I would love a steady income stream from all 3 sources. Since I'm not sourcing right now I can make.

It will take forever since I told my kids they can "help" me. 1 is pretty excited anyway.

Anyone who is crafty or Etsy saavy have any advise???


UPDATE:

     My first 3 basic hairbows. Not perfect, but not terrible either all things considered. Will perfect these and try to make more elaborate ones. My daughters hair is much too fine, thin, and short for hair bows. I think I will give these away on Craigslist??? They are good just not the perfection needed to sell :D

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Tuesday's Totals

This week was pretty stinking good in the online selling world for me. I wish every week could be like this....but seriously it was close to 4th quarter sales last year :D

Etsy still nothing new to report.  As I am writing this I made a sale Wohoo! I really should put some effort into this soon. I have bee brainstorming how to diversify and add new products to the store preferably handmade. When it comes to crafts, I have destroyed everything I have ever touched.
Vintage Tinkertoy set. No year listed and I don't recognize the packaging. Sold for $9.95+shipping. Paid $1.

eBay-I added 47 new items and sold a total of 35 items. 3 were auction (2 haven't paid yet). Out of the 35 items, 23 were clothing, and another 4 were dog clothes :D  Not a whole lot of huge $ sales but right now I'm on a getting old inventory out of the house.

Last month I sold a Lalaloopsy doll and it went to Brazil. Brazil and Italy are the 2 places that I have customs issues with. I got an "item not received"case opened that said "I need my urgent item now." I replied it had only been in customs for a week and half. It may be in customs for another few weeks; I also advised them not to purchase "urgent" items internationally (I couldn't help but add that. I know, I should have left it out.) The reply was fabulous that they would wait patiently :D While that's great, $40 is now being held while customs figures stuff out. Sigh. I am really debating whether to stop sending to Brazil and Italy. In the meantime a New England Patriots Jersey was just sold to Brazil (and in all fairness there have been several Brazil shipments with no problems.)

 LL Bean Deluxe backpack. Was going to list at 19.99 or best offer but ended up listing at 24.99 or best offer. Sold 2 days later for full asking price. They are actually on sale at LLBean for 29.99 so I was pretty shocked. I didn't know how the pattern would sell :D After panicking that I had missed the boat for backpacks, I only had 4 (a few not perfect went to be donated or my own use). 2 sold in 2 days. I am currently listing the rest of my unlisted "cool" brands for school (AE, A+F, Gymboree, Justice, etc). These aren't part of the 40% but all do have best offers attached.


Yankees hat. We got this out of a storage locker auction probably close to a year ago. Had it listed at $17 forever so I put it up at auction (I'm originally from MA so by default I can't like the Yankees LOL but really this stupid hat was a cat hair magnet. I ended up putting in the listing that it attracted cat hair like crazy I would lint roll before sending but I won't guarantee it will be perfect. I also had washed it in an attempt to get the hair off). Started at $1.99 had 8 bids and sold for $7.40+shipping. Not bad since $2 was my "happy with" price.

Amazon- 48 items were sold this week. It seems that when Amazon has a good day eBay is slow and the other way around. I really can't stress how much it is unstressful to have items in multiple places :D

 This is Donkey Kong's Jungle Beat drums for the Game Cube. I found them a few years at GameStop brand new for .50 a piece. I bought all 4 (this was before my days of reselling but I figured with small kids they would get broken.) Well nobody liked the game and I only had 1 left (the others sold a year or so back.) Sold for 29.99.

This is EyeClops from Jaaks Pacific. I totally overlooked it (brand new) at the Thrift Store. My husband saw it and we paid $5.99 for it. It sold almost immediately for $64.95. After fees and the item cost we walked away with $48.60 profit. I really wish my hubby would go thrifting with me more often especially when it means leaving with an extra $50.  Margaret at Live Like No One Else blog had a fabulous post about how what we like/dislike determines what we buy. Read the article HERE.

That's it for me this week. I have 4 days to finish consignment (putting into the system anyway) 3 tagging guns have broken on me as well as my garment rack also broke. Starting to think the world is working against me. Thought I had around 100-200 items. Well I did only the boys clothes (substantially fewer than the girls) and I have 150 items. Looking at my total $ even cheaply priced, I am hoping to get around $500 or so (I'm not volunteering so I only get 60% of the selling price.)

How's your selling ventures been?

Sunday, August 10, 2014

A 2nd Look Into FBA Profits....and eBay's.

It's been about 2 months since I started doing FBA so since I get my payout initiated tonight, I thought it would be a great time to look and see if my profit margins have gotten any better since my small $109 profit. I get paid every 2 weeks from Amazon.


I am getting paid for 77 items; I have sold more than that but I don't actually get paid until Amazon ships the item.


I still can't get over that Amazon takes 33%, sometimes more, of my selling price. It makes eBay's/Paypal's fees nominal and Etsy's almost not there.

I still haven't figured out what the promo rebates are but they do add them back on so it isn't actually ever taken away from me.

The FBA fees largely is shipping costs to send stuff into them (which is a 1 time charge; however, this is also an ongoing fee as new shipments are created ideally every week. However, I won't be sending in more for a couple months.) One of my biggest concerns was storage costs. I thought it would be no less than $100 a month. This is my 2nd month being charged. The first month was 98 cents; this month was $11. I am pleased as 11 covers 1,100 standard sized items and 38 oversized items in their warehouse (as of this posting.)

FBA fees=$109.21 incoming shipping; $11 storage costs.

The other transactions cover Amazon's payments of 2 items lost and another 3 they damaged. Them paying me was hassle free; however, it wasn't nearly as much as I would have gotten from the item selling.

My COGS (cost of goods sold) was 579.70 and my total payout 957.02; that leaves my total profit at $ 377.32. Not bad considering of those 77 items at least 10 were old eBay stock that I lost money on. Eventually I would like to reach 90+% ROI but for right now I am pretty pleased that is a lot better than the $107 stated previously (my last post had $109 profit with 90 items sold.)



SOOOO...that got me thinking about eBay profits. I am only comparing August numbers so far.
As of August 10th, I have sold 50 items to the tune of $631.41. For sake of ease, I am using a round estimate of 20% in eBay fees which leaves me $505.13. My COGS was $113.50 leaving me a profit of $391.63....and the vast majority of stuff I have sold were either auctioned off or 40% clothing.

As much as I have a love/hate relationship with eBay they do have a way better ROI.

And as with both Amazon and eBay, it is always a growing and learning and changing with the trends process.

At least we are headed in the right direction.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Sale-less Saturday but a Panic Attack and Reality Check

No thrifting for me at all this week. Not even a little sourcing. Actually just a little :D My daughter received a birthday gift from Justice that didn't fit.....and they had Crazy Looms for $2.88 so I picked up 1 for my daughter's Christmas gift (she has been asking for 1 for about a year) and 9 to put on Amazon. But that is more or less no sourcing.

A midweek check in- I am super happy with my eBay clothes sales. I have sold at least an entire tub since starting auctions/40% off sale. Since Tuesday's totals I have had 15 mdsore pieces of clothing leave my house :D

I don't know about you but when I get a message that says "item ended on...." my heart always skips a few beats. Did it not arrive, not as expected, returns, partial refunds? The downsides are many. However, this morning I woke up to a pleasant surprise.




The Porky Pig dog shirt arrived, and I'm pleased with it. It will make a nice gift for a dog lover I know. I have left positive feedback for you and thank you for the comments you made on my behalf. It was a pleasure doing business with you and I wish you and yours a safe and happy summer.





 That totally made my morning. While most people don't do it and it certainly isn't necessary, it is nice to hear about a happy customer. (side note in March I went on a dog clothes buying kick. I didn't put these on sale but within the last week I have sold almost as much dog clothes as I have human LOL.)


REALITY CHECK: Our kids start school September 2nd. I was so busy making sure they were ready for school and I was ready for 4th quarter that I totally forgot that I had several backpacks to list. A few were deemed not eBayable and will be donated (they aren't bad I just don't they are worth it). I just listed them....hopefully I haven't missed the bus on this one :D 

I found several LLBean backpacks this year at yard sales for $2 each but most I saved for my kids.....this is the only one that made it to be resold.


Within the next week or 2 I will start listing Halloween costumes like a mad woman (I have 3 or 4 tubs). 

How was your sourcing week? Anything great? Or any good eBay/Amazon/Etsy/other online selling venue stories to share??

Friday, August 8, 2014

Low Blow eBay.....a (not so) Shocking New Tactic


Disclaimer: this post is a total knee/jerk reaction so it may be a bit harsh toward eBay LOL. 

Excuse the title but I'm a bit pissed. We as eBay sellers are accustomed to eBay doing the best they can to screw us. Not only do they give us the option of "best offer" which there is a whole debate of whether it is a good idea or not, whether they end up being problem buyers, does it raise the number of sales we get, etc. but they are now apparently forcing us to take best offers regardless of whether we want to or not. This must be brand spanking new as it did not appear on other emails I have received today.


This is my original listing. I don't see a best offer, do you? I priced this competitively and did not see the need to add a best offer.

This is what showed up in my Gmail account. I have never seen a "send an offer button" before....hmmmm....so I click the respond button which takes me to eBay's messaging system.



Notice the top right hand side the "send an offer button" with the bubble next to it. Just for giggles, I clicked on it.
The bottom sure enough has the "best offer" screen!!!!!!

Now I'm not making a case of whether best offers are good or bad (I do and I don't depending idem/selling season/mood etc) but apparently eBay is going to decide to let people make us an offer regardless of whether we like it. Although we ARE free to decline them all. I guess they are truly living up to their name of the "online yard sale". 1 thing I do like Amazon is the price you see is the price you pay no negotiating, no haggling. It doesn't show up as a sale till its paid so there is no non-payers.

and just got my ebay groove back too :(

This just really rubs me the wrong way. Does it irritate you too or am I blowing it out of proportion?

Thursday, August 7, 2014

A New Kind of eBay Promo

I received an email today. In the dolls and bears categories only, the FVF is based on the start price of the auction rather than the selling price.
















I have 1 American Girl Kirsten doll I have not been able to sell and a Gotz Little Sister Lily doll (Gotz was contracted to make the first American Girl dolls so they are almost identical). I am tempted to take advantage of this promo; however, they sell much better at Christmas. I wish this didn't come in the middle of the summer where pretty much the only AG buyers are resellers. :/

Decisions, decisions.

The more I look into it to write this post, the more I don't think I am going to take advantage of the listing. The fixed priced Lily dolls are going for $65-75 where the auction dolls are ending at a measly $20-30. That is a huge difference and way more than makes up  for the lost promo savings. (Also if you look at Samantha in the email, $79 and free shipping was a fabulous steal for someone. I sell her outfit alone for $30 and the backdrop is from a book called "Scenes and Settings" if you come across a vintage one from Pleasant Company grab it....a BOLO. They sell for $50-$100.  (Obviously the higher price is closer to Christmas. Check out the completed sold listings HERE

eBay must be really desperate to get some auctions going between this, no more free listings for non-store subscribers and combo auction/fixed priced listing specials now exclude fixed priced only in multiple categories.

Anyone else seen any promos like this?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Getting Ready for Consignment

I have "officially" decided to do a seasonal consignment just to get rid of inventory. I started with 7 totes...but 2 are oversized so there are really 9 totes.

My first plan of action was to price everything super low and let it all get donated at the end; that way I don't have to pick stuff up at the end. However, I thought the vast majority of the clothes were Walmart/Target/KMart brands etc that aren't worth the time of day on eBay. We do storage locker auctions and it seems we always come up with tons of these brands kids clothes.

In starting to look through the items a good 50-75% are "better brands" (Polo Ralph Lauren, Gap, Children's Place, Gymboree, Carters etc) that would do well on eBay in lots (I usually have decent luck auctioning lots.)

I have already paid a $10 registration fee that is non refundable.

*Should I still price cheap and let the rest be donated?
 * Price higher but let the rest be donated?
*Price lower but pick up the "better" brands after the sale?
*Price higher and pick up the better brands after the sale?

There are several really nice Gymboree pieces that I pulled and decided not to stick in the sale at all.

I have done multiple sales but never really had this kind of indecision before.
I do want to get rid of clothing inventory but I don't want to leave money sitting on the table.


This go round I am limiting the amount of space it takes up to 1 closet and 1 corner of a bedroom. I have finished hanging most the boys clothes. I will tag, sort into sizes, then take right out to the van (I lay them out on a large sheet). In seasons past it takes over my home....much like my eBay inventory.

After I finish the clothes, I will start sorting though eBay toy duds and send those also. I have a Fisher Price Singing Superstar Stage that I can't give away :/

Anybody have any suggestions on the most efficient way to get rid of inventory without leaving $ on the table?


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Tuesday's Totals

I'm thrilled that this week has seen a large uptick in sales.

*Etsy-no new sales to report....but I haven't added any inventory lately either.

*Ebay-I sold 27 items this week (as opposed to 13 last week.) 10 were auctions....and most of those had more than 1 bid. I always start with my "happy with" price so anything more than that is good. 11 of the 27 sales were clothing items or lots! Total sales-$550....not bad :D Currently have 515 listings.

Last night I sat down and listed 10 new items on eBay; all were American Girl items that haven't been listed in over a year. 3 sold before I had gone to bed :D I love selling American Girl things; however, competition at yard sales/thrifts/heck even selling on eBay is tough. The new stuff doesn't sell nearly as well as the original retired items. I don't think I will go out of my way to look for it anymore.
 

 We bought this iPad for business use but no longer use it. I had it up forever at $250 or best offer (I wanted $175). Only 1 offer from someone with no feedback; I don't sell to new accounts on Apple products. I'm sure eBay wouldn't be happy if they saw how many bids I cancel. With so many scams I don't take any chances. Auctioned last month starting at $174.99/no takers. Tried again with a start price of $159.99 (I figured sitting in my cabinet is $0). Sold for $217 plus shipping....I am so happy. I did have to pay $8 out of pocket in shipping to cover insurance and delivery confirmation.

 22 Hardcover double sided Thomas Train books. (Flip the books over and there is a second story.) Paid $4....has been sitting with no watchers for around 4 months. Started auction at $14.95 plus shipping. Sold for $22.50. Buyer has not paid yet.

American Girl Addy Walker Church Fair Fun whistle. Only one listed on eBay. Only 3 complete listed. I listed this higher than any of those and it still sold within 10 minutes. Should have listed it higher. Oh well. Sold for $22.95+shipping. Paid +/- .50


*Amazon- This venue has been quite profitable to us. Sold 46 mostly lower cost items to the tune of $775. I still love the not having to pack/ship/customer service aspect. To date since May 2013 I have sold around 300 items and only have 10 feedback.

 This Brica Fold n Go Bassinet is a fantastic idea. I bought this for $20  (50% off at Target) last year in preparation for a child we didn't end up having; I was really sick of looking at it. Sold for 39.95 in a week.
 I looked for this car high and low for our youngest son last summer so I knew they are pricey. I found 2 at Toys r Us for $9.99 each. It sold for $45.77. It is Team Umizoomi Umiirific Umicar from Nick Jr.

I love Skylanders. Easy to store, light to ship and very popular. Hot dog is 1 of the more uncommon ones. I found 3 at Walmart for $7.88 each. All 3 sold on Amazon in 2 days for $19.99 each. After fees I received $14.04. Not quite 100% profit but still a fast flip.

My morning was spent at the movies with the kids (I love the theaters that do $1 movies during the summer!) followed by a picnic. While the youngest naps and the other 2 play outside with the dogs, I will list on eBay.

My hubby had me move most the inventory to the attic and our bedroom....his thought was that I had no idea truly how much unlisted inventory I had....HOLY COW. It worked...I hate admitting he is right (although it seems I do it often.)

I'm pleased overall with how my sales week has been; even the listing goals are working nicely. It seems 100 is such a high number to list but in reality, its no more than an 8 hour day for me. Still trying to figure out how to balance life and work.

That's it for me this week. How are your sales going?

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Goals for August

Here are my goals for August:



*get consignment done (I have 9 tubs to hang (1 to wash), input into computer, print labels and tag. Can't find tagging gun. Need to order another off Amazon probably. August 19 is my drop off date. I should (hypothetically) have plenty of time. I plan to price everything inexpensively. If I can get $100-200 after fees (that will about break me even) I will be happy.

*Get 100 eBay listings done. This week the sales have been better. I currently have 516 active listings (76 auctions end in the next week). If I can end August with a grand total of 600 listings I will be happy.

*Etsy-get 10 listings done. Yup, that's how much I care :D

*Amazon- I have 1 small (about 25 item) shipment I need to get ready for them. Other than that I have 10 boxes in my van to be dropped off at UPS tomorrow. I am happy with where I sit with them now and plan to not do anything until early to mid October.

* My business credit card needs a lot of attention. It's hard because with hubby on disability we are pulling most everything to just get by. I hope to be able to add nothing to it and decrease the total by $500 (I'm not sure I was to disclose the actual total amount....it's absolutely mortifying to me)

**Most of all now that my kids are back I want to enjoy the rest of the summer with them. 2 kids will be in school full time and the days are flying by. It's one of those so busy making a living you forget to make a life senarios. So we will be taking lots of park trips (1 is within walking distance) and a few picnics and other low cost activities (I'm open to suggestions!!). So if I don't get all my business goals accomplished this month but I'm spending extra time with my family I certainly won't beat myself up over it :D

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Saling Saturday

So nothing huge to report today. Went to Toys R Us and Babies R Us this week when clearance blast items went to 90% off. Bought minimal....mostly because the store was picked clean by that point. Did pick up about 100 video games for .80-$1.00 each. I love selling video games on both platforms because of their size.

Target had their semi-annual 70% off toy sale starting this past Thursday. I went not intending to buy much of anything. By the time I got their at 3:15 the shelves had been picked clean. (When I walked in I walked past 2 different women each with 2 carts full of toys so I knew there wasn't much). Yesterday running errands I was about a half hour away so I hit another Target. I got lots of great LeapPad and Innotab games for 70% off as well as some items for my kids for Christmas (my youngest really loved the Planes movie and most the toys were 70% off. Apparently Planes was a huge flop). However, I kept my buying to a minimum as I am technically still on a spending freeze.

We usually try to shoot for 100% profit on Amazon but I make exceptions I things I enjoy selling. This Mario chess set we looked everywhere for our kids for but was unwilling to pay $40 (we finally found it at Best Buy on clearance for $20). I found 2 sets at Target for $17 and have them listed at $37.

I am really dying to go to a yard sale but I promised myself and my husband no more until at least school restarts (after Labor Day.) It has been such a cool summer that I feel bad wasting it. :D

My kids get back tonight and their beds and floors are covered with inventory so that is today's project. How has your thrifting been this week?