Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Finally!

So after a couple months of badgering my hubby, he has agreed to come to Financial Peace University at our church starting Monday. In my typical style I found a new sealed copy of the workbook box for $42 on Amazon (instead of paying the stated $93). I am beyond excited. For those who aren't familiar it's Dave Ramsey and has great reviews. Here's to getting out of credit card debt!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Monday's Totals....14 Day Edition

Here is Tuesdays's Totals for this week and last. All my listings unfortunately have been changed to 5 day handling time. I don't like the red lettering that appears with the handling time but I have been told not to drive (like if I drive the dr will have my license suspended :/ ) whatever is happening to me is getting worse. Sigh. Because life I can't be easy I guess. I got sent home Saturday night from work with several people telling me I need to go to the ER.

My listings are substantially under 500 as I haven't been to the office in close to a week.

I have had all of 12 sales in the last 14 days. Paying off debt aside I need to at least make rent and insurance. If this (whatever it is) continues we will have to look at selling the van. We don't want to because its awesome in snow LOL.

 I paid $6 for this dress at the very beginning of January. It sold for a best offer of $27.



Team Umizoomi stuff is largely a BOLO. 2 years ago I was looking for this for my son and found it at Kohls. It was buy 1 get 1 50% off and with coupons etc I bought a duplicate (they were out everywhere else and high on eBay). I listed it finally this November. I think after coupons/discounts etc I paid $15 for it. It sold on sale this week for $54.95. Not bad :D (Now that my son doesn't play with it anymore I should find the pieces and sell that too HA)

Thats it for now. I'm sorry its short but I have a half hour before hubby picks me up to head to an MRI.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

So Long but Not Goodbye

I am really overwhelmed with everything and have a hard time keeping up. I went to the dr this morning with concerns over the last couple days and she is pretty convinced I have been having small seizures and until I see a neurologist am not supposed to be alone.

So while I do plan to continue to blog I doubt it will be more than 1-2x per week....at least until school is done. I am going to be focusing more on my health and keeping my head above water :D


Monday, March 23, 2015

28 Things on my 28th Birthday

I don't know who started this a few months ago but I will keep it going....I'm not sure I can come up with 28 "fun facts" about me so :D

1. I currently have 1 dog and 2 cats.
2. I am allergic to both dogs and cats :D (They are totally worth the irritation though).
3. I had my kids at 18, 21 and 23.
4. I got married at 22.
5. When my youngest child graduates high school I will be 40....barring no hold-backs etc
6. I often forget (usually when talking to people at work) that "normal people" don't buy their items used at thrifts/yard sales/etc.
7. I am a born again Christian.
8.When it comes to my kids I have become a brand snob. I love Gymboree and Justice. The kids don't care what brands they have.
9. While I am a brand snob for my kids I don't particularly care what I wear.
10. Since the end of January I have paid off 3 credit cards....I have 5 more to go.
11. Our oven broke in December (the stovetop works). We have been making due without it till we could pay cash for one....my really awesome parents just bought us a new one for my birthday!!!
12. I am allergic walnuts and eggplants (my throat gets really really itchy)
13. I think I have crossed the line from eBay seller to hoarder.
14. In the last 2 weeks I have brought 15 boxes to be donated.
15. I have to pay extra on my mortgage each month....even if its only a nickel. (for other reasons I haven't the last couple months).
16. I deal with chronic depression. It really sticks.
17. I am thankful to have Celiacs. Because I had gestational diabetes I have a 40-70% chance (I read) of developing type 2 Diabetes. It also runs strongly in my family. I would much rather have Celiacs than diabetes.
18. I love freezer cooking sprees. I seriously dislike the mess I make.
19. Once I'm debt free I have every intention on hiring a personal organizer.
20. We would love to be able to give away at least 50% of our income each year....thats obviously really far in the future.
21. I was expelled from high school (because I "didn't fit into the enviroment". Whatever that means. It was a small school of about 100 kids. 10 years later it still stings).
22. I have had 2 jobs from the time I was 17 till the time I got married.
23. I have a closet full of clothes and only a few outfits that fit.
24. In the last 2 months I have lost 15 lbs.
25. According to the BMI I am no longer overweight :D
26. I just enrolled my youngest in preschool for next year (someone offered to pay half for us) so I will have 4 mornings next school year to dedicate to reselling on eBay. He misses the kindergarten cutoff by 2 weeks (but he is SO ready to go).
27. I don't really form emotional attachment to "stuff"....which is really good in that I can freely declutter but bad in that I REALLY don't take enough pictures. Thankfully my hubby is awesome at taking pictures.
28. I just got a CP-2000 (request for more information....I call it an audit) for my 2013 tax return. I also have jury duty next month. My New Year's resolution was to not sweat the small stuff but that's enough to test my resolve.


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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Maybe....?

I am so not good on keeping on the blogging recently sorry. I have been sick all this week along with 37 hours a week waiting tables. Sales keep coming in which is good :D

I have a coupon for 50% our Care n Share outlet only valid on day of birthday (which is tomorrow for me). So I keep debating whether I should go our not. Our 6" of snow we got on the first day of spring (Friday) is now gone thankfully. The weather is warmer and yard sales should be starting soon :D

So at .89/lb for clothes and .29/lb everything else and a 50% discount off that I can't decide whether it would be wise for me to go our not. When I do go I rarely pay over $10 for a full cart.

Any thoughts?


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Tuesday's Totals

This week was a better-than-average selling week. Since I now need cash flow because I don't have a credit card I am feeling particularly blessed. However, my currently listed numbers are at a new low for the recent past :D (a good problem to have I guess)

Etsy no sales.

eBay personal sales 2. An outgrown kids shirt (4.95+shipping) and SNES Donkey Kong Country 2 (19.95+ ship)

Bonanza 4 sales. All to the same person. A new member as of yesterday, 0 feedback, and over $100 worth of vintage American Girl collectible clothing. I am nervous about it but Paypal seller protection is really good. I am not going to put signature confirmation on it because it is not required until $250 to be covered. However, if I get a chargeback due to whatever I will immediately shut down my Bonanza booth for good. I'm thankful I didn't have any glitches like surprise free shipping or anything. 

eBay resell I sold 26 items. Most were $5-10 items that were sitting a while. About half were clothes....and I'm thankful for them to sell as my clothes buckets are out of room and I have more items to go in LOL.

 This is a small lesson on selling everything possible. I have made 3 orders from American Girl directly. Boxes sell really well. In fact Girl of the Year doll boxes sell for $25 and up. These are really small boxes with the tissue paper inside. It sold for $9.95+shipping. Not bad for something you normally would just recycle.

This promotional Dunkin Donuts mug I bought at target for $2.25 over a year ago. I have about a dozen and have been unable to sell. Sold 1 on sale a few days ago for $8.75 (i think) plus shipping.

Thats my week for you....how's yours been?

Monday, March 16, 2015

Strengthening My Resolve (Through Anger)

In my last post I stated how I was angry with the credit cards and was cancelling it. So what's the difference between biting off more than you can chew and not sticking all your eggs in one basket?

If you remember summer 2014 we were really ramping up Amazon FBA. We bought massive amounts of inventory. To take advantage of promo offers, we did open up a few store credit cards.

When you juggle enough stuff eventually something comes crashing down. Sure enough it did....I forgot about a store card opened in July and either never got the bill or just missed it. I got the letter today and its in collections. Sigh. Way to ruin our credit score :/

After a knee jerk reaction thinking the card was fraudulent, we realized it belonged to the business....all $765 of it. While its not a terribly big bill its not something we can foot all at once. Anyone who has listened to Dave Ramsey has heard horror stories.....I don't have much experience.

After calling them tomorrow I hope to settle for something less.....because goodness knows there is probably late fees and interest like crazy.

Ok Lesson *definately* learned.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Angry Enough to Change

OK enough is enough :D

We have been putting only the "basic non-changing" essentials on the business cc (ebay/etsy fees, van gas just because I don't want to go in with kids 1x or less a month, insurance etc etc etc). We have spent nothing extra. In fact this is what my current expense bookkeeping looks like for this month:


March 2015 expenses:
1. Giant- van Gas $10.03
11. All State- office insurance- $70.09
13. Hess- van gas $49.38

That is all I have spent this month. Sigh. But our balance keeps increasing and I can't figure out why :/ Our number hasn't been stolen (I already checked). I am beyond fed up.

Sooo I called today to cancel the card. I will have to call again tomorrow to speak with collections to see if I can get a further reduced interest rate. In addition I have to have all of my auto-payments changed :/



I have had credit cards since I was 16. Everyone I know pretty much is cashless; the more (personal and business) I do cash the happier I seem to be.

Sorry that the last couple posts have been more whining than anything else. I have an amazing boss who knows we are climbing out of personal debt and is giving me extra hours waiting tables....I work 6 days this upcoming week.

The 35% sale was just enough to stimulate some sales of old merchandise. In 2 days I had 8 sales; most were $5-10 items but thats $40-80 (before fees) that I would have re-donated. In addition the vast majority of stuff is out of my house now and the *majority* of my inventory fits on office shelves.

We are looking for a cheaper option than this office starting in November. Bringing stuff back into my house isn't an option at this point (we are going to try to cash flow finishing the attic at a cost of $10k so obviously its going to be a while). I had a storage unit but there isn't one super convenient to me. We have postage sized land so an outbuilding isn't an option either. Anyone have any other suggestions? I'm most receptive to other options since so many of you seem to be outside the box thinkers :D


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Tuesday's Totals

And the numbers for this week....

Etsy no new sales. I have been seriously lacking in listing new inventory. I think thats what I will do with a chunk of the rest of my afternoon (the next 3 hours are at the office child free).

Bonanza no new sales. The only sale I have had since November they filed a charge back. Wondering if I should close my store for now with all the reported problems I have heard with free shipping etc.

eBay- I put many (slightly over half) of my items on a 35% off sale that started yesterday and will run through the remainder of March. Only 14 sales this week. Not super great but considering I work 10-15 hours a week resaling now I am not upset.

They were mostly small sales.

 This is American Girl Elizabeth. In great condition with clothes she averages $110-130 shipped. This doll was a hot mess with very damaged hair, slightly loose limbs and massive marks all over her legs. It's sad I put in the description I don't do partial refunds and this item is not for resalers to nitpick the description etc etc etc. Even with that nasty disclosure she had almost 200 views, 15 watchers, and ultimately sold in less than 12 hours. I sold her for $70+shipping. They live close to an AG store so the doll was going to go there for a "spa treatment" and she was going to order a new wig for a project for her and her daughter for together time. So sweet. Already got positive feedback. Elizabeth is one of the more beautiful dolls AG has made. I'm glad someone will restore her :D


I bought Spectra Vondergeist (original Monster High) and book for $1 last May. She was listed relatively quickly but sat around forever. She just sold for $10+shipping to Canada.

Consignment #s....I sold 38 items to the tune of $66....not so hot. Most everything I planned on donating anyway so I guess $66 is more than I would have had. I am now filling boxes to donate to 2 different places as well as a couple misc items for a raffle for a dog rescue (they are filling gift baskets to raffle off). A couple boxes will be brought to the office to list on eBay....everything in my office fits on shelves now which is a first since we moved in. Inventory levels are going down and we are condensing. 

That's it for me this week....selling on 1 less platform makes this a lot shorter LOL. How's your week?

Monday, March 9, 2015

BOLO: Pokemon Suicune Plush

Pokemon has been around since I was a kid but rarely are items worth a lot. Maybe a few of the original cards but not much else.

*Picture borrowed from an ended eBay listing*

Meet Suicune....a rare Pokemon. This is a giant plush from 2002 made by Tomy. There are only 2 solds...1 at $1500 and the other at $3600. So if you are lucky enough to find it you will make bank for sure :D

Other editions were made around 2009; they are standard size plush and they still can fetch around $50.

Not bad considering how inexpensive plush usually are :D

Sunday, March 8, 2015

A Consignment Weigh-In

Well the main 3 days of consignment is over. I brought 160-180 items that were either Amazon duds or too big for me to list on eBay. I did not bring any clothes as they are too time consuming and then many of them are rejected.

I sold a whopping total of 13 items....my cut is $33 (to put that in perspective in addition to the time to tag and bring and gas for the van I had to pay $9.50 to register and $6 for cardstock....so I'm up $15 or so right now....and that isn't even taking into consideration the original cost of the items.

Oh well next time I will just donate. Of those 13 items all but 3 were items that are too big/too low money for me to sell on eBay; I am happy that most of the unsold are "eBayable".

I go pick everything up tonight.....and then load of the car for donation drop off tomorrow :D

Today is the half price sale. I am hoping by some miracle things fly off the shelves....if that happens we are only talking $.75-3 per item but at least its less stuff to haul.

I will get final totals to you on Tuesday but for right now its not looking so hot.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Feb's Totals (instead of Tuesday's)

Ok instead of Tuesday's Totals (because with my store on vacation my sales were minimal and honestly mostly small $ sales).

I'll just put out the #s and then I'll discuss them.

Income (sales price and shipping):

ebay: $1170.63
Facebook groups: 215
Amazon 462.65
Etsy 153.63
Sales Tax Collected: .86
(minus returns/refunds not including amazon) 228.33

Total: 3205.45

Expenses:
-Cost of Goods Sold: this month total 608/ only COGS of items sold $247 (that doesn't include Amazon because I don't have an easy way to figure that out)
-Van Retitled (now that our loan is paid off and the insurance was in the business name we had to retitle the van to the business) $171
-Insurance (office only. The way our van insurance is set up we don't pay every month) $70.09
-Interest 104.95
-Misc expense 725.41 (more about that in a minute)
-office expense 150.32
-shipping fees 270.17
-rent 287.78
-selling expense 9.50
-phone 89.56
-paypal fees 57.43
-ebay fees 138.25
-etsy fees 7.24
-amazon fees 352.38

Total: 3042.07

Breakdown of Actual Cost of Goods Sold vs sales (plus shipping) per venue:
eBay 1170.63/177.50
Etsy 153.63/19.50
Facebook yard sale groups 215/177.50

I don't have Amazon's COGS but look at sales vs fees 462.65/352.38

Net Profit of 163.38!!

Ok I KNOW that's not  a lot of $ and considering we lost $1400 last month we are nowhere near close even but there are a couple things.

1) The cost of goods sold was an American Girl purchase Feb 2nd (aka before I did January's numbers. I wouldn't have bought it if I did the numbers first. However, considering everything was 60+% off I didn't think it wise to spend $30+ to return the order in shipping.

2) The misc $725 was for a NASM course for hubby. (National Association of Sports Medicine I think). He wants to be a personal trainer and add it on as an extention to the business. He is in a really bad place at work and has been dealing with some issues....originally we were going to wait 6-9 months to do this till the business was in a better spot but in the off chance something happens and he loses his job we thought it better to be prepared. I wasn't super happy about this chunk of $ and I would have much rather cash flowed it.....or at least I DEFINATELY wouldn't have spent $600 on COGS :D

3. The office expense of $150 was mostly for Microsoft Office because I couldn't pull some needed paperwork up with Google Sheets. It was a nightmare to download, has screwed up my computer badly, and because it was only a downloadable code Amazon won't help me at all (as in 5 minutes after I bought it and decided it was a headache and didn't use it they wouldn't refund me).....have I ever gone on my "I hate Microsoft" rant? I wish I didn't buy it but a necessary evil. There was a few misc supplies in there such as shipping boxes and paper clips too.

I didn't get anything new listed on Etsy in March and only 46 on eBay. I worked an average of 10 hours per week.

A lot of Amazon fees (150+) was recalling unsold FBA merchandise to me. I now have 8 boxes of inventory in my living room I have no room for. Most will be headed to eBay as fast as I can list....which realistically we all know isn't fast LOL.

I'm obviously still in the negative for 2015 but provided nothing drastic happens I hope to be in the positive for 2015 after March! (because if I'm not there is no way I'm going yard saling and the best sales are in the spring ;) ) Also being in the positive is just enough to lift my spirits and keep going!! (oh and upcoming daylight savings helps too!)

How's your fiscal year working?




Monday, March 2, 2015

Tub Thumping

Who remembers the song "Tub Thumping" by Chumbawamba (I think it was a 90s song)? It is a really stupid song and the entirety of the chorus is this:

I get knocked down, but I get up again
You are never gonna keep me down
I get knocked down, but I get up again
You are never gonna keep me down
I get knocked down, but I get up again
You are never gonna keep me down
I get knocked down, but I get up again
You are never gonna keep me down
 
That's my life with eBay right now....again :D Even though my store is STILL on vacation I get my second resolution center case.

This one is for a video game bought Jan 20th....delivered Jan 26th to Australia. Today (March 2nd) I get a return case saying I never stated that the video game was NTSC and wouldn't work outside the US and Canada. 

This being put as "item not as described" eBay now wants me to pay INTERNATIONAL shipping both ways because the item was clearly misleading (forget the fact that is in the item details section).

I send the buyer a message showing where it is stated and tell them it is past the 14 day return period and I won't accept the return.

Since I don't have an option to close the case and I think (in my mind anyway) its pretty straightforward I made the mistake of calling eBay. She "can't close the case" but tells me to "escalate it" (yeah because we all know how that turns out).

I'd rather just refund and not pay for it to be returned but my gut is the buyer (or the buyers kid) beat the video game and just wants to rent it. I have about 20 other copies of this game that I have been unable to sell.

I have a defect at this point anyway; I don't want to cave and just refund (either for dishonesty or pure stupidity). If I escalate I have had decent luck with the appeals department when they will (I swear without looking at anything) side with the buyer.

I know dealing with customers/eBay/Amazon/humanity at this point is frustrating but I'm not sure what to do next....cut my $ losses (about $15 to return) or stand my ground? I'm so far in debt that $15 as a principle thing doesn't mean much to me.

So....2 questions for you all :D

1. What would you guys do in this situation?
2. Anyone know why eBay lets us choose "our own policies" like the return policy if we aren't even allowed to follow it? (I have a 14 day policy this has been around 30 days).