Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Tuesday's Totals and When it Rains....

....it seems to pour. My health has gone downhill, the IRS wants $, and yesterday my husband was laid off. The $ is definately an issue but not so much as the benefits. We have health insurance for 2 more days....they are going to pay COBRA for 2 months and gave a small settlement package. So until hubby finds a new job I am at the office working :D

And now that my little rant is done on to the numbers.

Bonanza no sales.

Etsy technically had 3 sales. However 1 was miscalculated on shipping to the UK so I did cancel the order. If it was only a few dollars I would have sent it anyway but it wasn't. The other 2 sales went to the same person.

Both sales were NIP Vintage Blanket Binding (the blue is shown the other was pink). Total was $11+shipping. I picked these up last year along with hundreds of feet of blanket binding and dozens of NIP sewing notions. I paid $13 for the entire lot then let them sit unlisted for months.

eBay had 32 sales this week....mostly small on sale items. LOTS of American Girl went out this week.

 This Jessica McClintock Gunne Sax dress I took a best offer of $8 on. The tulle at the bottom is slightly ripped. It came from GoodWill Outlet so I'm going to guess I paid about $1 for it. I probably won't pick up formals again they take up SO much space and don't sell for much :/

Vintage American Girl Samatha School Supplies. I accidentally put it on sale and it sold almost immediately for $23.99+ ship. Oh well I have had it awhile so glad to move on.

Thats my week. Hope yours is going well!




Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Stupid Tax

For those familiar with Dave Ramsey you are probably familiar with his "stupid tax". Basically you did something stupid and it cost you monetarily. Like you co-signed for a friend who stopped paying their car loan and now your stuck with it.

So here is my stupid tax....and lesson learned.

I have always done my own taxes. Since the tax year 2003 (I was 16 and worked at Taco Bell) I have done my taxes online. No problems. However, since our business became an LLC in 2013 we didn't want to pay our (really awesome Dave Ramsey ELP) CPA $400-500. I had always done it before so no problems right?

I was super excited with didn't get audited (which I expected). We did get a much smaller than average refund.

2014 rolls around and I file my taxes again.

I got a CP-2000 in the mail stating that we owe $2,100 for the tax year 2013. If we disagree to send proof. So off I sent in what proof I had. (I got a Dave Ramsey Entreleadership email the other day that the majority of small businesses that fail is due to poor record keeping. My record keeping didn't become good until 2015).

I got a letter yesterday fixing 1 of the 3 items and not fixing the other 2. When I think IRS, forgive me for being blunt, but I think incompetence and corruption. That's it. I know someone was on the other end just trying to get through the 9-5 workday during tax season and not thinking about the individual person on the other end.

Because my record keeping was so bad for 2013, we are deciding it is less stress to pay the now $1961 and be done with it. How it stands now they are accusing us of not claiming more than 50% of my income (which is funny because being a waitress I'm paid in cash. It's very easy to cheat on claiming tips. In fact in 10+ years I am the only server I know who claims every penny of tips).

After ranting and raving for an hour or so how honest people are targeted and my tax money is being wasted targeting me instead of people actually filing multiple tax returns (for large refunds) I got over it. It would cost me more to hire my CPA or a tax lawyer to fight this than its worth.

In Financial Peace University the first thing we learned was save $1,000 because Murphy will come with an emergency. Well Murphy just got a lot bigger. I have 30 days to come up with this money. Thankfully my subconscious was hard at work and I think I dreamed last night every possible way to pay this bill. LOL.

And I'm kicking myself because what they are coming after me for the mistake in 2013 I also made on the 2014 return.

And I will shut up and pay my stupid tax now and NEVER do my own taxes again as long as I have an LLC.

Anyone else have stupid tax stories?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Tuesday's Totals

This week was fantastic!!! Tue-Thurs not so much but from Friday through Monday sales have been coming in like crazy!

Etsy had 1 sale....but the first since the end of Feb.

This bolt of tulle sold for $14.99 plus shipping. While I did make a few dollars off of it my goal was just to recoup what I paid. I originally bought it as supplies and not for reselling purposes.

eBay had a whopping 48 sales this week. Not many were high $ sales (Think $4-10 each) but its money I wouldn't have had and room I wouldn't have had. Only a few did I actually lose money on (Many things are 60% off without free shipping).

 I'm not sure what is with empty American Girl boxes but these sold for 7.95 + Priority shipping. Had I waited they would have easily sold for full price at Christmas but I badly need the room. When I made the AG purchase I didn't figure the sale price of boxes into the mix so this sale is "extra" gravy :D   I sold an almost identical lot last month within a week of listing for full price.

 Remember the storage auction in September? This is the last "big" lot of baby clothes (I'm glad to be rid of them honestly). Sold for $9.95+ priority shipping. This was also 60% off.

 I paid $5 for these "God I need to talk to you about...." books. I bought them for my kids new  but we never read them. Sold them for $11.98+ first class shipping. 60% off.

$3 paid for Felicity's Mob Cap (American Girl). It sold within a month for its full asking price of $14.95+ first class shipping.

So as I said not huge profits but enough to help get finances back in order :D

Hope your selling is awesome too!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Selling Dust

A few years ago when I was actively on forums about pregnancy, people would "send" "baby dust" to women having a hard time.

So in the spirit of having some fun I'm "sending" all of you some "selling dust".

A lot of old inventory I put at 60% off. I'm talking really old I really should be donating. Keep in mind I also don't do free shipping.

Last month at 30% not much happened. I shoulda just upped it to 40-50% off. Between that and the extra listing this month (so far for April 76 new items have been listed) this weekend has been great!

Friday had 13 sales (half were clearance items the other full price items), Saturday had 12 sales (again about 1/2 and 1/2) and today so far has had 2 (but Friday and Saturday the majority of my sales were at night).

Not big sales....but I have still managed to NOT lose money on a single sale. HAHA. Also at this point I'm more concerned about the excess inventory and upping cash flow. And well even these small sales has sent a few hundred dollars to my account :D

This month (up to this weekend) was painfully slow in the sales department. I should also mention I do run a sale sometimes each month sometimes every other month for a week or 2. Sales creating is not dependent on how much sales $ I generate.

So here is some "selling dust" to everyone and hope this trend continues!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Is Stubbornness a Good or Bad Quality?

So I am EXTREMELY stubborn. In most ways I have found it to be useful. In resisting low best offers it comes in handy. However, I came across a situation the other day where my stubbornness may have stopped me from making the most fiscally responsible decision.

This Littlest Pet Shop lot I have listed at $51.95 or best offer (I found personally I have the best luck starting at $2 a figure and accepting a best offer. I think $2 per figure is high but I have had people pay it.)

(Keep in mind I didn't remember at the time of the best offer I had forgotten there were Happy Meal ones in there also). I paid $5-6 for this lot.

Offer: $25
Counteroffer:$45
Offer: $30 Note: This is all I have PLEASE accept it.
Counteroffer: $40
Offer:  $35 Note: How about this?
(Note I would have taken it accept you just said $5 before that was "all you had")
Counteroffer: $40

Declined with note "sorry thats too high. I only have $25. I'm giving it to someone with cancer".

I really wanted to accept that $35 offer. However, why did buyer (with 0 feedback) continue up to $35 if their buying range was $25.....and why are you looking at lots over double your price range?

So my stubbornness prevented me from taking a decent offer. eBay really should just eliminate the message section of the BO form. However, in writing this I get the feeling it would have been trouble after the sale....so maybe I'm glad I didn't sell after all.

Anyone else super stubborn? Who has made good or bad selling moves based on emotion? :D



Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tuesday's Totals

I have been making extra effort to be at the office lately so hopefully it shows up in the numbers soon :D

Bonanza...no sales
Etsy...no sales. I average 1 sale every other week but I haven't had 1 since late Feb so I'm not sure what's up :/ I am hoping actual calculated shipping to international destinations helps a bit.

eBay reselling had only 8 sales this week.

 I have had these sitting unlisted since before Christmas. I bought at the Care n Share outlet for about 75 cents. I got them listed last weekend and they sold within 3 days. The buyer didn't use the best offer feature but bought it for the full asking price of $34.95+ship. These are for the LeapPad system (not the tablet version, the book version about 10 years old). I rarely pick these up as they have never sold quickly for me. Obviously less than $1 per book+cartridge but still an easy profitable flip.

This Spongebob top/shorts set NWT I bought at a kids clothes going out of buisness sale. I bought 6 @ $1.90 per outfit. The first sold a few days ago at $14.95+ship.

That's the bulk of my week. Still waiting for #s to pick up. I am over 500 listings again. Hoping to make it 600 soon....I went up to my attic today and was bombarded by unlisted inventory.

How's your week. Is everyone having such a slow month of April?

Monday, April 13, 2015

Can't Sell Whatcha Don't List

I have been reminded the last couple weeks that once again you can't sell what you don't list.

Right now I am a quick nickel over a slow dime (within reason) to try to get rid of some inventory (my office is starting to become bearable which is nice). Obviously things aren't being sold much below others but a dollar or 2 is enough to make a sale. I dislike being the lowest price as I feel it brings problem customers.

However, I made an effort this weekend to list list list! (it got cut short due to another health issue but I did get 6 hours of pictures/shipping/listing/and reorganizing in)....I also got a couple park trips with the kids in :D

Several of the items have already sold. I am pleased as we are trying to cash-only this project (and its hard to cash flow a project when there is no cash). Praying my health improves (a few blood tests came back abnormal so we are waiting to see what they mean).

So heres a quick gentle reminder that most (and I'm betting all of us) have those totes that we hope if we ignore will go away. The mistakes, the low profit, the rookie buys. Get them out (donated) or get them listed! It's spring in full gear in suburban Philly and there is nothing better to me than spring cleaning! :D


Saturday, April 11, 2015

Etsy!

I haven't listed on Etsy in several weeks. I was pleasantly surprised to see that calculated shipping is now available for US sellers. Also the overall listing process seems a lot more streamlined. I am also really have to see the auto renew feature for the listings.

In addition, instead of having to manually renew listings, Etsy's equivalent of Good Till Cancelled listings are now available. I have no idea how the auto-renew listings affect search ratings. 

For those who haven't tried it yet (and haven't bothered to read the directions) a shipping profile must be created to use this feature. Yeah I didn't read and yeah I ended up back and forth with Etsy customer service :D

Happy selling everyone!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Yes It's for the Business!

Last May I bought a tub of Thomas Train pieces at a yard sale for $20....what an absolutely FANTASTIC price. Half of the pieces were wooden and sold almost immediately for $75.95+shipping....but I can't find them anywhere for the life of me and had to refund. The buyers weren't happy and neither was I.

However, the plastic "Take and Play" pieces I haven't gotten listed. However, since everyday is take my youngest to work day it has found a good use.

The blue tub in the back was completely filled for $20 with Thomas Train wood and plastic pieces.

I feel no shame not listing this quite yet even though I am sitting on a few dollars (anyone with kids or heck in the resale business knows Thomas usually brings big $) he has a blast playing with them at the office. It's a nice break that allows him to not just watch Netflix on my phone. Mom-guilt relieved a little.

I have also been known to buy color books etc "for the business" because TECHNICALLY its a business expense. :D I rarely spend more than an hr or 2 at the office at a time but he LOVES it here and gets upset when we don't come.

Looking forward to next school year he misses kindergarten by 2 weeks. Boo. But he is enrolled in preschool 4 days a week (I think I mentioned this already either on a previous post or a scheduled post for a few days LOL).

Come September I will sell all these Thomas pieces....but not yet :D Trying to enjoy the time with him....after all he is my "baby"

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

March's Numbers


  I had this post done last week but I scheduled it for May....whoops. I totalled out March on April 3rd.

Here are March's numbers. Considering I spent less than 20 hours this month working on reselling we are happy. Not quite where we want to be but I have to find ways to keep stress down. I figure if I can keep it going till September the oldest 2 will be in 2nd and 4th grade. The youngest misses the kindergarten cut off by 2 weeks so he will be going to a 4 morning a week preschool class (my parents are really awesome and are going to pay half the tuition). At that point I will work 3-4 mornings a week for apprx 3 hours each day.

Also right before I stopped going to my accounting class (because I can't drive more than a couple miles right now) we did go over accounting inventory. There are from what I understand 2 different inventory ways....1 is to account for inventory at the time of purchase. The other is to account for inventory when it sells. Both are completely legit. So I will be accounting for inventory when it sells and no longer put what the item actually costs :D Just for fun I might start doing that again come September but for right now its more paperwork (because as I mentioned a couple months ago I went back to a 100% paper method).

OK and on to the numbers.

Sales (and shipping charged)
eBay 1158.03
Facebook groups 5.04
Craigslist 15.00
Amazon 16.99
Etsy 0.00
Bonanza 108.84
 Fafsa Refund 28.00 (I charged my book to the business and use the business van so its only fair the refund is sent to the business)
Gamestop Trade in- Cash 21.12
Gamestop Trade in-Store Credit 57.30 (the were running a special 50% more for credit so when there is a great sale I will buy inventory. Right now the gift card is in my purse LOL)
Consignment Gross Sales 111.50

MINUS Refunds not  Amazon 19.83

Total:
1501.99

Expenses
Cost of Goods Sold 0.00 (yeah! it was actually 0 this month :D )
Auto Expense (gas) 59.41
Office Insurance 70.09
Interest (and there was fees because I was sick and couldn't pay the bill on time and they won't waive the fee....sigh) 155.35
Shipping Costs 227.24
Rent 287.78
Cell Phone 173.54 (I forgot to pay it last month)
Paypal fees 60.51
Ebay fees 162.32
Etsy 2.00
Amazon 17.47
Consignment 44.60
Bonanza 3.46

Total:
1263.77

Total Profit: 238.22

As compared to:
Total Profit January: (1490.76)
Total Profit February: 163.38

We are still 1089.16 in the negative for the year but we are headed in the right direction. Its clear the overhead is still way too high for what we are making. The cell phone rarely gets used for business anymore so the business will continue to make a $20 payment for the actual unit itself till we can pay it off but the other $60 will be paid for by our personal accounts. We are still exploring viable other options for office space because its $350 once you add on the mandatory insurance. Obviously we need more profit than this a month if we want to make more than $1,000 this year.

Yes I still feel like I am kinda spinning my wheels and not making much profit but oh my goodness what a difference paper bookkeeping makes for me. I can actually see where everything is going :D

I expect sales to be down for April because I have that wonderful flag that tells everyone I have a 5 day handling time. I hope to reduce it back down to 2 or maybe 3 day handling but I need to wait till my health is back under control so I don't over commit myself again :D

Hope you all had a more profitable month than me!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Tuesday's Totals

This is depressing. I am going to need to spend this weekend with the business otherwise I am going to start having cash flow problems. My health isn't perfect but a lot better so I put the handling down back to 3 days.

Nothing on Etsy.

eBay had 6 sales.

1 was a $70 American Girl doll (best offer). No payment yet so an UPI was filed. The $28 dress last week wasn't paid for either so a case is open as well.

 This NWT Buzz Lightyear cost me $3.50. I LOVE these Pjs. I also bought them in Woody the cowboy :D Sold for full asking price of $17.95+shipping.

These NWT Jake and the Neverland Pirates slippers cost me $1.99. They sold for the full asking price of $14.95+shipping.

I got 6 new items listed this week. I planned on working 3 hours today but I feel a migraine coming on so I guess I work only as long till I can get safely home.

How's your week going?

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Trouble in (eBay) Paradise but a Silver Lining

I will say I am pretty proud of myself with not letting problem buyers get to me. I used to take it so personally and felt the buyer was trying to steal from me. Now I just sigh, roll my eyes, count it as a tax deduction and move on.

Well yesterday morning I got the dreaded red circle.

U SHOULDNOT lie!! I could clean but looks 2 OLD & ITS RIPPED 4 corners!!

This is the item in question :





When I looked it over there were no tears that I saw. However the description did say the entire bag was dirty and needed a cleaning (particularly on the bottom). What is your definition of "too old?" To me that is in the eye of the viewer. I would have no problem using this purse....except I hate magnetic snap purses :D

This buyer never asked for a refund, return, or opened the case.....you don't ask you don't get. But is it OK (as a person) to just flat out call someone a liar? LOL. To be honest, I think I have called a seller dishonest in feedback....but that was after multiple attempts to fix the problem with a seller (usually with no response). In this case I never got a message.

I think this buyer might have been having a bad day....or week. They typically leave positive feedback but left a few negatives right in a row.

And once again I am reinforced to the idea that I shouldn't take low offers....even to get rid of it. Just donate it already :D $5 isn't worth the headache :D

In the last 2 weeks most of my packages have been *very* late going out....which is why I switched to 5 day handling for now. I received several where is my package emails. I promptly responded to them (thank goodness for smart phones) and all were understanding and awesome. The vast majority left positive feedback. I honestly did deserve neutral/negative FB; its not  the buyers fault I have health problems. These buyers reinforce my thought that most eBay buyers are pretty awesome :D

Thankfully this is my first problem customer in a few months (since Christmas....I think). Anyone else having bad customers now? Or do the majority of your transactions go smoothly?

Friday, April 3, 2015

Update :D

Thanks for all the well wishes....I typically respond to each comment individually but I just haven't had enough energy lately. :/

I plan to close out April in the next couple days and will post the numbers then.

As for my health...

basically the EEG was on the slow end of normal so I need a 24 hr test done. I also have blood work that needs to be done. However, the neurologist is fairly confident that it is really bad migraines that is causing the blackouts etc.

She has prescribed a medicine to help (it a blood pressure lowering medicine and I already have lower than normal blood pressure so thats being monitored also) and Advil for migraines....and thankfully I have felt much better in the last couple days.

Still not ready to push myself from what it sounded like too much stress and not enough sleep is what may have triggered it to begin with. So I'm just going to keep plugging away....even though yard sales are popping up everywhere and teasing me :(