Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Goodbye 2015! Let's Revisit My Selling Goals

Another year has past. My first child turns 10 tomorrow (I still can't believe it. I swear he was in the NICU  yesterday). My 2016 goals will be a post for mid January; but for now I will compare 2015 goals against what I actually did.


* Starting small on Etsy. For 2015, 10 items new each month would make me happy....or an overall total of 120. Etsy is not my biggest platform by any means but I think 10 each month would keep my storefront from being stale.  I'm currently sitting at 99 items which I am pretty happy with. Sales are a very slow consistent. I do hope to continue to develop this platform.

* 50-100 items each month to go to FBA. Fees are going up plus the initial cost of merchandise is expensive so we will be ramping it down a bit unless there is an unbeatable sale or something. I will be looking at yard sales and thrifts more for inventory rather than relying solely on retail arbitrage. This is hubby's circus now. He has big hopes and dreams for large profit margins. Thankfully he looks at things way more objectively than I do (and it's a perk that he can use Excel) I expect him to do great!

* Bonanza is free so I will keep it open but will not be adding any "Bonanza only" items to the list. It will continue to feed solely off eBay inventory reports. I went on Bonanza yesterday and noticed several of my sold on eBay items (like months ago) are still active in my booth. I sent a help ticket yesterday and hope to hear back soon. I sold 2 or 3 things this year total so its not a huge thing.

* My business credit card is currently at $10,500. I would like it down to $5,000 or less by the end of the year.  I don't want to start preaching about the greed of banks. Our APR was upped to 28.99% and we have been trying to pay it off. Since they are unwilling to help/communicating with us rather than make payments we have been putting aside to give them a lump sum down the road. I will NEVER have another credit card. Expensive lesson to learn. (as a fun fact I am 28; I have had a credit card since I was 16....when it was still legal LOL. I have never had a balance carried over until 2014. They aren't so nice when you owe them.)

*I currently have 547 unique listings in my store (and with multiple quantities about 1,200). I would like the store to be at 1,100 listings by the end of the year. That equals only 47 listings per month provided nothings sells (which would be counterproductive). I am shooting to have 150-200 listings per month during the school year and 50-100 during the out of school months. I give myself a bit of wiggle room so I don't beat myself up extensively. I have 409 unique eBay listings (615 with multiples).  Not anywhere close to this goal. When I wrote this I wasn't planning on having a job outside the home in 2015 let alone 4 throughout the course of the year....and certainly not a 50+ hr job in fast food management. LOL.

*My overall sales through all venues in 2014 was $46,892.26....that's a huge number for me and about double was 2013 was. I am shooting high with a goal of 75k in sales this year. Each year I am refining how things are done and inventory picking is getting better. With an estimated December, my sales were about $17.5K for the year. Many many months were below $1k in sales (all while paying $300 in office rent). Still selling off old inventory; new inventory coming in is minimal. I think we can all agree sourcing is the most fun part but I don't even have energy for that.

*That being said only $1,800 was profit after goods costs, rent, insurance, van payments, and credit card interest. Thankfully the van is paid off and we had lots of 1x purchases (like a printer). My laptop is starting to go but I'm praying it hangs on at least another year. My laptop is still acting funky but thankfully it made it through 2015; hoping it makes it through 2016 also. I think the 1x purchased were minimal to none this year. I'm pretty sure we are at a loss for this year but thats a post for January. By a loss I mean cash poor inventory rich :D

*January 21st school starts again for me. I am actually going into a classroom (a dear friend is watching my kids so I can learn the most. I have never done well with online classes). A few of you who commented suggested I learn more about spreadsheets/accounting/bookkeeping/etc to keep my frustration at bay and keep things productive. Thank you. I am really excited. Dropped the class for health reasons. Had a month+ long fight with the school armed with drs notes why I shouldn't pay tuition. Thankfully it finally ruled in my favor. Soo....in the short term I am doing everything in paper and I still don't know anything about spreadsheets. If I REALLY need something hubby will help me.

* Keep things productive enough to afford an office that is at least double in size by the time our lease is up in November. LOL! 'Nuff said. 

I hope you all had a better reselling year than I had. Keep your chin up and let's make 2016 an even better one. Wishing the best to you and yours. 
Grace  

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Final Christmas Sales

Around the 20th, the sales slowed a complete stop until the 26th. Bonanza has proven a flop for me. Etsy hasn't done much better although I will be the first to admit it has been neglected.

Moving forward, I have been thinking alot about what 2016 will look like for us. I am in my last week of training; I thought I would be more nervous than I am. I feel pretty confident and pretty thoroughly trained. I have spent time at home finishing training videos I don't have time for in my 10-12 hour shifts. Tomorrow I am going in on my day off to finish learning some equipment troubleshooting I am not confident in. All that to say within the next week I should know my new normal.

Christmas morning I got a return request for a $50 sweater. I wasn't happy but what are you gonna do about it?

Hubby does plan on doing FBA for 2016; he has done a good bit of research on his own. More to come later on that.

I will leave you with some of my better eBay sales that last few weeks. I apologize if there are duplicates from my last post.

 American Girl Grace (Girl of the Year 2015). Sold for $104.95+ship. I wish I could afford to keep her. O well. Paid $110 for her but sold her clothes for $50, her book for $6, her bracelet for $25 so its not a huge profit but something I enjoyed.
 And her travel coat. $34.95+ship. Paid roughly $10.
 Dora earrings. Paid $16.95 (90% off at Kmart). Sold for $124.95.

 Not a huge sale but I LOVE these jammies. Paid 1.95 (last Feb bought tons of clothes at a going out of business sale for 90% off). Sold for $9.95.
Skylanders Trap Team Sunscrape Spire (part of light set). I actually got a message thanking me for being the only seller to have it reasonably priced. I didn't reprice it once listed but I'm glad it made someone happy...especially since I think $29.95 is a lot. Paid roughly $3.

So thats whats been happening in my neck of the woods. How have your sales been....and how do they compare with either last year or your expectations?


Sunday, December 20, 2015

November numbers

I'm late....yes I know. November was the first month without rent; I was dissapointed with the results but 1 month at a time.

Sales:
eBay 930.24
FB groups 15.49
Etsy 74.93
Bonanza 100.24
(Refunds 27.17)

Income 1769.84

Expenses:
Cost of Good Sold 565.14 (skylanders bought from a friend and a few lego sets)
Interest 406 (the CC company has actually stopped charging interest as of 11/18)
Postage 387.90
Supplies 39.97
Paypal 46.11
eBay 123.84
etsy 6.08
Bonanza 3.38
Amazon 143.66

Outgo 1722.08

Total Profit 47.76

So in comparison to previous months not bad....but certainly not great. December I expect to be better I hope.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Some Sales

Just checking in to post some of my sales for the month of December. Glad things are selling; however, I am disappointed compared to last year. I keep telling myself life and my selling ventures last year this time looked very different.

eBay has seen 28 sold items.

 Columbia mens fleece. Paid $1 sold for $28.95.
 NWT JCrew sweater. Bought at either Goodwill outlet or Care and Share outlet; paid between .75-1.25 probably. Sold for a best offer of $50.
Luigi's Mansion Gamecube game. Paid $1 sold for $27.

Its nice to see my average $ creeping higher.

Etsy had all of 2 sales. I don't think I have listed since October

 Remember these beads?!?! I paid $25 for a storage locker around 2 (maybe more) years ago. We are still selling these.....and not surprising I still have a good bit not listed yet. They didn't sell well in individual packets of a dozen or so. I delisted them all and regrouped into bigger lots (this is like 13 packages). This sold for $26.95. I have gotten several hundred dollars from these beads but its definately the slow dime over the quick nickel.
I bought a huge lot of misc vintage flatware from Goodwill Outlet. I paid maybe a quarter for these; they weren't in great condition and sold for $5. (this isn't what I bought the lot for LOL).

In other news, my training is more than half over; I am so relieved I am fairly confident in what I am doing now and the days of coming home with serious stress headaches are over (mostly). Hubby and I are currently regrouping the business because starting the first of the new year he will be an active part of it....I am so glad the voice of reason and self control is going to be involved. LOL.

Hope your having a happy productive fourth quarter!!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Shopping Season....Who's Ready!?

Ok I will apologize first off. I am very caffeinated and ready to get lots of Legos, Skylanders, and other items listed. So my mind is all over the place. The last 3 years it has been my Thanksgiving Day tradition to stay home alone and list, list, list. Today I actually had to work till 3. I'm not sure when 9 hour shifts became short. 

I swear yesterday was the middle of the summer....but yet here we are with Black Friday tomorrow and Cyber Monday and the rest of the shopping season upon us. I wish I had taken more time to prepare like I did last year; however, I do have a good assortment of toys listed still.

Stocking upon stocking have sold; 4 sold last night while I was sleeping. I am glad they are selling....however, with the exception of 1 on eBay, all have sold on Amazon.

I really doubt I will buy stockings again unless I get them at 90% off....and even then the only ones that have sold are Disney Princess. I have sold 25 of my 29 Frozen stockings.....to which I am thankful. Stockings sold so much better than Halloween costumes this year.

I stayed up an extra hour last night to take pictures of Skylanders....the ones I recently listed sold nearly as fast as I listed them. I did price them slightly lower than in times past (although I still listed on the "high end" of the spectrum) because Skylanders seem to be quickly losing popularity.

I got my first holiday season return request. For those that remember last year, eBay recommended opting in to the extended return program....or suffer decreased visibility. Amazon makes that mandatory. I don't know if it is mandatory this year on eBay or not but it seems to remember my settings from last year.

I will be popping in from time to time from now until the end of the year but between sales and work, I plan on spending every possible minute with my family....life's too short to not. :D Oh and organizing my house. It isn't bad but little details like my mannequins are still in my car from the move need to be ironed out. New Year's Day my oldest son turns 10 (WHERE IS THE TIME GOING?!) and I will be around sometime after that.

Best of luck to everyone and may the sales and happy buyers be on your side!


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

More Sales

Days pass by quickly and I don't realize how long it has been since the last post. So I thought I would update you quickly on the sales in the last 2 weeks.

Etsy sadly has had no sales at all.


I sold that dog on Bonanza (see previous post)

1 sale via FB yard sale groups. It was an American Girl doll brush set


26 Amazon sales. Yes their fees are higher but I'm really glad I'm doing merchant fullfilled to get rid of some stockings. 24 of those sales were stockings.

4 were beauty and the beast, 1 was sleeping beauty and 18 were frozen. I had 29 Frozen originally and I was afraid they might not sell.


eBay has had 25 sales. Honestly there is nothing super exciting to report. The vast majority were Skylanders from a friends lot. I thought I priced them high but the majority sold almost instantly.

 Shoes from American Girl Grace's baking outfit. Sold for $24.95/Fs. Not bad considering the entire outfit is like $30.

And this cute little charm bracelet comes with the doll in the box. Sold from $22.95 F/s which certainly helps justify buying the doll :D

And thats it for me for now. Tomorrow is my day off; 2+ weeks of regular employee training is done; now onto another 6 weeks of management training starting Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Sold but Crossing My Fingers

Remember my last post about Savannah the LPS dog? Well she sold last night for $96.35. It was on Bonanza hence the lower price (and lower fees!).

I have only had 3 or so Bonanza sales and 2 of those ended up filing "I didn't make this purchase" claim. Because Paypal has pretty great seller protection I didn't lose on any of those.


This Bonanza buyer has been active for 3 weeks. Here's to hoping there isn't a headache involved.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

BOLO: Littlest Pet Shop Savannah

Ok so by now the majority of us know that Littlest Pet Shop animals are a Bolo. Cheap to find, easy to store, etc etc etc.

Cats and dogs are more valuable than others. I love getting $15-30 for an animal when I rarely pay more than 50 cents.


Than today, hubby and I bought a lot of 60 (mostly cats and dogs) for $25. (insert lecture about buying more here). There were 2 daschunds which tend to get the highest prices.

Got them home....filthy; hubby offered to clean them up for me.

Off I go to research.

 This is Littlest Pet Shop original Daschund, Savannah the Savvy. She is animal #675. I knew some were better than others. On first glance I thought I could get $20-25 for her; I was pretty happy with. With more research she sells routinely for $99.95. What?!?!?! I am absolutely blown away.

For point of reference, she is two toned brown. Front feet are white. Bottom of one foot has a magnet. Marked Hasbro 2006. Her eyes are 2 toned green + white. Her pupils are tear drop shaped.
This little guy is the low average selling price around $7.50. Not bad considering what I paid for the lot.

So remember to dig through all the odd and end toy boxes at yard sales and thrift stores....people still don't think toys have value.

Monday, November 16, 2015

When the Lines of Communication Cross

Last week I found a Facebook post for a lot of Legos for $100 and table. When I showed interest, they almost immediately talked themselves down to $80. Hubby and I decided it was a good deal; I was talking about for our kids. Hubby thought we would resell them. Either way fabulous deal.

When we got there we quickly pawed through to make sure the majority were authentic. It was a teenager in one of the wealthiest part of town.

Hubby has spent over 8 hours pulling out minifigs. He loves Legos and is working on seeing if he can figure out some of the sets.

So far we have many pieces from Cars, Star Wars, and Harry Potter's Hogwarts Castle sets. The Hogwarts castle is $550+$50 shipping! We have friends coming over to help us sort.

So far minifigs we have:
marvel comics
monsters
ninjas
western
Buzz Lightyear
Star Wars
Harry Potter
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle
NBA Basketball
Minecraft
Indiana Jones (I think)

and more I can't remember. Overall we are talking a decent table and around 30 lbs of Legos.

 Doesn't look like much....but looks are deceiving!


 Lightning Mcqueen.

 THESE are ALL minifigs!!!! Update: we found quite a bit more after this pic was taken.
Minifigs bring in $! The R2D2 in here brings in more than $10....and we have 2.
 Known pieces to the Hogwarts castle.

We had some amazing friends bring us pizza last night and help piece together minifigs (because we had loose and mismatched figs all over the place).


Realistically they will probably end up being both. Oldest wanted Minifigs for Christmas. We got all 3 kids 1 "big" Lego set and I wanted to get them a bucket of just random pieces (think $30 in store). :D The best of both worlds.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Another Look into Skylanders and a Fun Little Bolo

I have written several posts about Skylanders; finding them and making a great profit on them. The last one was about how their popularity was apparently ending.

While its true that with "older" kids they are not as popular the next age group is starting to enjoy it. My eBay "rejects" have sold well on Facebook yard sale groups with kids who are turning 5.

A friend is selling all of hers; she offered me then for $100. I typically give her cash after they sell but she needed the money quickly so it would be more than Gamestop would give. Because shes a good friend and we often trade babysitting/petsitting deals I am not comfortable making a lot of $. So after giving her $100 off the bat, I did some research and shelled out another $125. If all sells at full price I will make about $75-100. Anywhere else I wouldn't pay more than $125 total. These cost me $225.

But for all intents and purposes, here are some of the more popular figures from the newest "old" set (Trap Team).  The prices are what I plan to list for (plus extra for shipping). These are the ones anyone in the domestic US has a chance of actually running across.

dark spider trap. $23
 Light Owl Trap $35
Light Rocket Trap $30
 Knight Mare $15
 Knight Light $15
 Undead Skull Trap $13
 Mirror or Mystery Adventure Pack $20
 Midnight Museum $25. There is an identical white one called Sunscraper Spire. I have that too; forgot to take a pic. $30

Remember Kaos? This stupid little $5 trap sold for well over $100 last Christmas. I plan on listing for $5; new ones still sell for $15 so they must not be totally readily available!

and then just for a fun little BOLO (no I don't have it and actually have never seen it before. I don't think it was US released. The sales are all coming from Australia).


 Beam Screamer. New it sells for between $300-700 + international shipping to the US. One can dream right?


Thursday, November 12, 2015

It's Raining Sales!!!!

I have had more sales than I had in the whole month of October I am pretty sure. Here are some of the better sales (keep in mind I still have lots of low dollar items to sell). edit: this post was written over the course of a few days. The sales continue to pour in. I currently have 1 Facebook sale, 3 Amazon sales, and 19 eBay sales to ship. I shipped stuff like 3 days ago too!

Amazon (I don't have plans to do FBA for the near future. I have had tons of problems still. Maybe a post for a different day). All merchant fulfilled.

 Hubby had to have this; it was put into our attic new and never touched for 2 years. We did overall lose money based on purchase price but this was not bought for resale. Sold for $161+ shipping.
Gift bought for my youngest with Kohl's cash (which was a bonus. We were going to buy what it was given with regardless). Cost out of pocket $0. Sold for $16+shipping.

Etsy:
 Pilgrim Barbie bought for $3 sold for $15+shipping.

Melmac. Bought for $1;I won't buy the avocado green anymore. The pink still demands high prices. Sold for $6.95 + ship. It took up so much real estate I was about to donate.

eBay sales.

 Bought a tote of Stockings at 90% off. Paid $1.30 apiece. I have tons of Frozen and Beauty and the Beast. The most interest is in Ariel but I only had 2 of her. I kept getting lowball offers but finally took one for full price (plus international shipping) and 1 for $10+ shipping.
 What kind of empty boxes (besides electronics) holds value? Free (came with AG stuff I ordered in January where I don't even figure in box value with a good buy). Sold this lot and another one the next day for a total of $29+shipping. Not too bad.
 Not a huge sale but I love this dress. Crazy 8 brand (sister company of Gymboree. Typically less expensive and not nearly as popular). Paid $1 with the intention of if it didn't sell first it would be my daughters. Sold for $15.95+shipping.
 American Girl Emily's headband. Paid $5. Took a best offer of $22+ shipping.
 Who besides me thinks this print is horrible?!?!?! My daughters Jr sized LL Bean backpack. She liked the print and its only mention to be used in Pre K and Kindergarten. Because she's small she used in 1st grade also. Paid on sale directly from LL Bean $10. Sold for $15+ship. Not bad considering we got 2 years of use out of it :) When it comes to backpacks I am an LL Bean backpack snob. I typically buy them from the store so when they get worn out I don't mind using their lifetime warranty. (I have already had to return 1).
 American Girl Felicity Tea dress and bonnet. Paid $0 (I bought a massive lot on eBay and I received a message saying she found this after the fact and was throwing it in free. Needless to say that seller received a large thanks and glowing feedback). Sold for $39.95+shipping.

Today is my day off this week. My plan was to get tons listed and shipped but I got a call this morning that my grandmother passed away last night suddenly so I have been trying to come to grips so I'm giving myself grace today. Life is too short to work all the time and have no fun.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!

Looking at the title of this post, it might be adequately fitting for a problem buyer. In this case I am referring to myself.

I just got through telling you all I wasn't buying any more Halloween costumes. Gulp. I did. I'm pretty shameless.

We got family pictures done last night; yesterday I went to the thrift looking for polo shirts for my boys. Its been months since I went and their prices are seriously out of control. They have racks full of costumes still. The price they were originally asking was up to $20 on some costumes. Even generic costumes were at $10. 50% off but still! I was in sticker shock. Clothes weren't much better.

So off we went to Target (the shirts were on sale and I had a 20% Cartwheel app coupon so it wasn't terrible).

And there is was....tons of 90% costumes only marked at 70% off. 

Our Target is great with not keeping up with the current % off signs so the supply isn't nearly picked over year after year.

$150 later I have about 100 costumes. I seriously cherry picked too leaving more than half behind. I only bought the classics. I left dozens of Star Wars costumes (which I kinda wish I didn't) and Jake and the Neverland Pirates. I do own 21 Elsas though.

Oh the judging looks. Laugh at me but the sale of only a few will pay for everything. Because of the amazing price I got I do plan on marking lower this year over last.

And my favorite.

Stock Photo. Credit from eBay.
An online exclusive that was returned. Originally $169.99 marked down to $119.99 and 90% off that. That set me back $11.99. Medival Queen. I'm thinking Renaisance Faires and I saw it listed on eBay as Game of Thrones too. It has recently sold for $85 (BIN price) to $117. I think I will do $150 OBO and take the first $100+shipping that comes my way. It's beautiful and very high quality (it comes in a full length zip up garment bag). I kinda want to keep it. I'm not going to though.

So guys sorry not sorry. Just sorry I now have a ton to sort. New job starts tomorrow!


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

A Peek into My Workspace and Facing my Fears Headon.

So it's 99% done. I have like 3 more boxes to bring up. I thought I would show some pics now because if I wait till its perfect, it will never get done.

 I hate these pull down stairs (ignore the mess behind!) its no fun dragging totes up and down and I REALLY hate the kids on them.
 The small side started with a mess of boxes....although it was pretty organized.
 But hubby added the second shelf. Looks much better. The table is going to be my packing station so only packages ready for labels will be brought down. The item and weight will be written directly on the package. The far right stuff (like the pile with the blanket over it and ironing board is our own stuff.) Because I feel the need to justify my pile the blanket covered pile is kids Christmas presents.
 The left pile (2 totes and blue bucket) are Halloween costumes. I also have several costumes hanging in the boys closet. The kids have very few items that need to be hung so they are in my closet while I took over the kids LOL. The other 2 blue tubs are full of unlisted clothes (don't judge me!).
 The bubble wrap has since made its way to the shelves on the other side. I do think it looks pretty good! The left side is mostly unlisted and/or yard sale rejects that I plan on regrouping and selling in lots. For example Leapfrog Leapster 2 games no longer sell well individually. I still have about 20+. So I will lot into a couple lots with a system and sell for what I can get.  The right side is mostly what is either listed or has pictures taken of it.

So I'm pretty happy with it. Insulating it is definately next LOL.

Now, I have wanted to do a complete overall/inventory of my eBay items. I remember wanting to do that when I moved into the office but it never happened. I have a fear of starting revamping and then getting frustrated and leaving things worse than when it started.

Right now things were just tossed in totes; the last thing I want is a ton of defects for cancelled transactions. So I am bound and determined 1 tote at a time to get this done. I wrote down all the store categories and have been doing them 1 at a time. I started with the 3 biggest. Tons of video games are not in the right spot and I haven't found them yet.

I have a running list of things I can't find, items that I have unlisted duplicates that should be quantity listings, or items listed in the wrong store category. I added the quantities and fixed the store categories tonight so I don't have an overwhelming number at the end.

After errands this morning and a little procrastination I got about 1/3 of it done in 3-4 hours. I am quite pleased; tomorrow is my first day off in a full week and I plan to knock this out before I decorate cookies with the kids tomorrow night. If I can get it done and completely settled before I start the new job Monday.

Once I get things settled, social media marketing, a store front overhaul, and maybe an ebook will be in my future. Any long time readers already know I routinely bite off more than I can handle.

For anyone still reading this, thanks for sticking this out with me. I have missed writing a good solid blog post.