Sunday, May 31, 2015

Use ALL Available Resources

In January, I bought lots of stuff off of eBay. I really regret purchasing that much but you can't change the past just make lemonade out of lemons.

For those who don't know, eBay has a reward program named "eBay Bucks". What you spend a percentage gets converted into rewards that can be redeemed for the next quarter (a minimum of $5 must be earned).

I earned $16.20....sadly that shows how much I did spend. Since it was all business $ that was spent, I went shopping for inventory.


I found this lovely Just Like You American Girl paisley sparkle dress. This is a girl size but there are always matching doll sizes. I LOVE the bell sleeves. It was listed at $19.99 or best offer with free shipping. The seller almost immediately accepted my best offer of $16.20.

My daughter wore it twice to church (and was super cute!!) and now its up to sell.

Free (sort of) inventory and a best offer :)

My point is use all available resources. Reward points, free shipping, coupons, eBates or Mr Rebates if you shop for inventory online. I haven't personally used Mr. Rebates but I do use eBates (sign up HERE to earn cash back on most online purchases through their links. There is a $5-10 sign up gift card bonus. Disclaimer: Using the above referral link can and will help me monetarily :) )

Recycling shipping supplies is also a great way to use free resources. DON"T use USPS Priority supplies that are free unless you are actually shipping Priority and then hey take full advantage of the awesome supplies! There is a fine line between theft and resourcefulness. A couple bucks isn't worth your integrity ;) 

Forgetting discounts or offers is leaving money on the table....and nobody wants that. On the other hand buying extra just because its on sale or a good price will leave you broke....I can personally testify to that.



Friday, May 29, 2015

Marketing....How NOT to do it

So marketing done correctly is a talent to be sure. Marketing an e-commerce business, even one on established sites such as Etsy or eBay, will most likely help sales go up.

Now, to be fair, I don't know the first thing about marketing. However, I think I have a good idea of what not to do. LOL.

We all know those online sites, such as Facebook, blogs, discussion boards etc that have open dialogue. We probably have also all seen the "make a million dollars from home without raising a finger! click here for more info". I am convinced that most of these are virus attached links.

However, what about spam in the most innocent way possible? A few years ago I encouraged a crafty friend to start an Etsy store and she did. While on Facebook the last few days I see many "this person commented on this link" with a link to her store and a "spotlighted item". While if it was an Etsy board or something I would understand it most definately wasn't. It was random news or celebrity gossip links. Like for instance "XYZ movie hits theaters next week" followed by comment "check out my Etsy store!"

Its not 1 or 2 either. It's dozens. And that's only what showed up in my newsfeed.

That's why I call it the most innocent way possible. Obviously they sat there and did those. Each one was written up unique. I give them props for trying to pump into their business (they get about as much traffic on Etsy as I do). There aren't viruses (I know this person) but spam is spam.

As a friend I feel terrible. I doubt much traffic will come this way and I personally feel its detrimental. Again I don't know much about marketing but that is my 2 cents.

What do you all think?

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Tuesday's Totals

Yeah its Wednesday, I know. Sorry. I worked a 13 hour day waiting tables yesterday.

On the job front: job 1(management). I was offered a job on the spot but for substantially less money than what I am OK with. However, it does have full benefits. Waiting to hear back to try to get $3 more an hour. It was OK with him but he had to check with the VP of operations. Should here back within the week. Job is 30-45 minutes away.

job 2 (serving at a really nice sports bar). Went to interview #2. She said she loved me and is almost positive I will get the job (full time hours) without a problem. Both assistant managers were really awesome. Last interview tomorrow will know for sure if I have a job there. No benefits but the servers average $100-$200 per shift....so we could probably afford some kind of healthcare. That is close to double what I make now. Job is 15 minutes away.

Talking to people and my gut is to take the serving job. I already have management experience on my resume and for right now with small kids I won't be "married" to the place when employees don't show up. For right now it would be a "not my circus, not my monkeys" approach. Plus as a waitress I would make WAY more money than managing. (at my not as nice, not as good tips I tend to average $13-19 an hour).

In either case it is nice to be offered 1 job and not formally offer the other one but told its really promising.

On the eBay front things are dismal but not quite so bad :/

No Etsy or Bonanza sales.

eBay had 8 sales....but at least they weren't $3 sales this week. I am experimenting again with free shipping. Only on the really light first class rate items. Not on clothes either. The last thing I need is to lose money on clothes that don't fit people.

 The American Girl I love pets PJs. This is the girls size but they make a matching doll one. I paid $5 or $7 I believe and it sold for a best offer of $17+shipping.

I sold this dress before but they didn't pay. I paid $4 for it. Sold for a best offer of $19.99.

I guess here's some proof that doing all clothing isn't such a bad idea ;)

That's my week in a nutshell. How's yours?

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Happy Thursday

Since I think I am more Debbie Downer than not, I thought I would make today a happy post....LOL.



                                                          photo credit: hikingartist.com


I giggled when I saw this pic....I love it! We all have goals whether money amounts, listing numbers, sales per day etc etc etc. So today's a great day to start! I personally have been down lately about situations (which really isn't like me. I typically get back up and keep going) but our business debt greatly outweighs our income right now. Maybe my latest go round with my credit card company is a story for a different day. For right now I am filing a complaint with the BBB and the FTC.

I am up super early and am at the office and ready to get LOTS done! Later on I have a job interview for a management position followed immediately by another interview (this is my 2nd at the same place) for a server position at a really nice sports bar. While I know my jobs are more or less bottom rung for jobs, I am thankful that I have never had an issue getting them ;)

So happy Thursday everyone! Here's to a productive day!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Tuesday's Totals and a Change of Plans

So I got that fine dining job and it was great. Yeah thats right "was". After 2 training shifts I got a call that hours were being reduced and myself and about 5 other new hires were being laid off....maybe to receive a call back in the fall. Sigh. So back to square 1.

So in a fit of frustration I started filling out job applications online that I thought there would be no way I qualify for (General Manager, Assistant Managers etc). Low and behold the next morning I got a call back. Salaried with benefits. That sounds awesome. More than that it would be REALLY good experience. I have 2 years supervisor experience but an actual manager title seems like it would be good on a resume. LOL. Even if it is fast food. (But I worked at that chain before and it really isn't a bad place to work).  The district manager wanted to schedule the interview on my only day off this week....here's to hoping that's a good sign.

On another front another nice sports bar close to home is hiring waitresses so I will be headed there in the next day or 2.

Onto the numbers. I keep telling myself that just make it to November when the lease is over and I will see profits. But I am *really* discouraged. Sales aren't happening even as I continue to put more "stuff" in. The last few weeks of yard saling was with the intention of "fast moving" inventory....but its not moving. My feedback score is 98.8%. I wonder if Cassini doesn't like anything under 99%. I show 11 negative feedbacks....5 from 1 person and 3 from another. I don't understand how that's fair. While yes I understand it doesn't affect my overall rating it still looks bad.

Etsy had 1 sale.

Yeah I sold some hairbows!! My first set and I stopped making them LONG ago. The market is overcrowded and mine are just "basic". It cost 50 cents or less to make them and it sold for $6+shipping.

eBay had 5 items. 2x items went to 1 buyer (skylanders) and 2x items went to another buyer (ViewMasters). The other item was a $3 book. Not worth mentioning. Dissapointing and I'm not sure how rent will be covered with weeks like this.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Friday's Sales and a Little Bloggy Thanks

 I had no intention of going yard saling this weekend but when a neighbor took my youngest so hubby and I could have a date....its pretty awesome :D

Most of me is thankful that the vast majority of the sales were an absolute bust. The one thing I hate about Friday yard sales is I can't go until the bus comes....and by then sales have been going for an hour....not counting the early birds.

What was still there was massively overpriced (no I'm not paying $10 for your used clothing no matter what the brand).

Then I ran into this all pink yard sale....




Awww I forgot the purple Fijit Friend in this picture. The seat is Battat brand and not American Girl. For the right price pick them up anyway off brand ones are often sold out in stores and fetch a premium on eBay. This excellent condition one was $1. The owners volunteered the fact they had a bag of AG clothes and a bag of Littlest Pet Shop animals that already sold. Thanks.

Lalaloopsy not so hot anymore. I may actually donate the doll. But her replacement pet and curlers are worth some $. Furby in front is also worth $20 or so. Works but is super obnoxious.

Tiana at Thrift Store Flippers blogged about the Pretty Princess game. This is a special edition Sleeping Beauty edition. Hope it does as well as hers. Read the original blog post Here. Thanks Tiana!

 This twin sheet set I bought for my daughter but she doesn't need more so off it goes to be sold. It's in like new condition and was only $2. I have no idea the current resale value.


NWT Infant Alice in Wonderland Disney Store shoes ($1) , 5 Hallmark ornaments in boxes ($1), and 2 stacks of books (.50-$1 each) rounded out today's trip. Note: I almost never pay more than 25 cents for books but these are on my kids want to read list so if we get use out of them first I don't mind paying a little more.

No more yard saling for us for several weeks. Anybody else get great deals?

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Tuesday's Totals and a Change for My Listings

This weeks sales were dismal at best. 7 sales....most under $10. Still just getting rid of the "bad buys" of months past.

 These Little Touch games sold for $14.95+ship. I paid around $1 for these and several other games total at Care and Share Outlet in December-ish. The other games all sold for a collective total of $56. So turning $1 into $70 total isn't too bad. :D

Replacement piece for the Precious Planet jumperoo by Fisher Price. Honestly I was about to recycle these base pieces. They have been listed close to a year and are kinda awkward to store. I paid $20 for the jumperoo and easily have gotten back about $60-70+. This sold for $9.59+shipping (I'm not sure why I chose such a random amount).

I have always been a huge proponent of not offering free shipping. But my sales are lagging a bit and I rarely have returns so on light items I will try offering free shipping again. I was reading a blog which makes a great point that buyers can filter out only those listing with free shipping (if it was your blog please let me know so I can link :D).

Hey if I get sick of offering free shipping, I can always switch it back again.

How's your week?

Friday, May 8, 2015

Good Luck Continues at Yard Sales

Last night was my first night at my new (2nd job). Its much nicer than what I'm used to. Alcohol, no kids menus, no booster chairs, no high chairs (read that extra mess). I heard horror stories about working there to the point that I was pretty scared to go in :D However (and I'm sure this will change at some point) it was very pleasant. What I'm attributing to alcohol the atmosphere was much more relaxed than what I'm used to. The tips are WAY higher than anything I have ever seen (!) although I'm not tipped yet; the table numbering system I have down pat (it usually takes me 2 or 3 shifts to figure it out) and I am about 80% good with the POS computer system (its a system I haven't used before but its pretty straightforward. I am thankful that no matter where I work I have never had trouble learning POS systems). So yeah I'm feeling pretty good.

So we did some yard saling this morning. And it was more or less a bust.

There were clothes galore. I walked away completely. I do think clothes may be in a future business plan just not now. I am way backed up.

We were on the last couple houses and I bought a total of like 4 small things (a Vera Bradley wristlet, a Lalaloopsy pet only. Sometimes the pets sell for more than the dolls especially replacements for the popular dolls). Most things were overpriced or disgusting (if my allergies kick in because you have mold on your books thanks but no thanks :D )

OK Here's my disclaimer. While lots of blogs have great info on vintage and I am learning quite a bit I still buy what I think looks awesome if the price is right.




I don't usually do Avon decanters etc partially because they don't seem to sell for much but also because I have really bad allergies and I long ago decided that $ isn't worth the misery. However this Victoriana line from the 70s caught my attention (honestly I thought the boxes looked more 50s and 60s but Google tells me 70s). The selling point for me honestly was the original boxes (and original wrapping inside). They match (soap dish, body powder, and a 2 pc body lotion decanter) but I will sell separately on Etsy. I paid $4 total.

Since my first day of yard saling a few years ago I have wanted Depression Glass. Those I do find are grossly overpriced. Sigh. And then I found it today. (the woman told me she had just sold a matching cookie jar. Double sigh. She is bringing more tomorrow. Considering its a mile away I may go back).

These pieces are beautiful. If Justin had a job these pieces would be mine to keep :D. But I have to be responsible....I guess :( The pictures don't really do justice. The owner was an older lady who apparently has quite a collection and uses them for everyday household use. She had manufacturing date, location, and pattern name on sticky notes on most the pieces.
 Flowers etched on an amber color serving plate.
 Manhattan swirl design. 2 serving bowls, creamer, and sugar.
 This is actually an aqua color. Its beautiful. Small serving bowl.

Matching plates. I paid $22 for all the pieces. I haven't researched extensively yet but it seems like a good deal (especially when other yard sales want $20 a piece LOL)

I won't be yard saling at all tomorrow...except maybe for that depression glass. Hope you all have a lucrative weekend!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Conflict of Interest

I know this has been talked about before but I'm going to say it again. What is with eBay's sponsored ads?


This set was an Amazon reject :D I have 8 left and are ready to list (i sold about a dozen at consignment a few months ago).

I was doing some research and was ready to list at $19.99+shipping when underneath the offering is the exact same item at Target for $11.99.

In my opinion eBay either wants my fees or ad click $....but it shouldn't be both. I should be competing against myself and other eBay sellers....not Walmart, Target, or any other store.

OK rant over.
(and I forgot about Tuesday's totals posts. I will get to it at some point this week :D )

Monday, May 4, 2015

April's Numbers

I will give a disclaimer that will most the time I *try* to stay positive, this post is probably going to drip discoragement and frustration. :D

In March I listed 26 new listings on eBay and 5 on Etsy. In April that went up (substantially) to 131 on eBay and 11 on Etsy.

Some #s need some backstory (or in a few cases an explanation haha) but I will put the numbers out and talk at the bottom.

Income:
eBay 1234.99
Etsy 65.17
Sales Tax Collected 8.64
(Refunds -48.62)

Income 1260.18

Expenses:
Cost of Goods Sold 262.30
Office insurance 70.09
Interest 112.68
Misc exp: 10.17
Office Exp: 18.42
Rent 287.78
Postage 320.32
Sales Tax (1st quarter filed) 16.32
Paypal: 70.00
Ebay 170.69
Etsy 12.07
Amazon: 1.62

Expenses: 1342.29

Total Loss: 82.11

....and I didn't even pay the cell phone bill and the van insurance bill wasn't due this month.

Between office rent and insurance we are paying $350 a month. We are in agreement that definately needs to go at the end of the lease (nov 1st). Still unsure the best route to go.

The cell phone is being reduced back to a cheapie flip phone. The iphone will be sold to pay whats left on the balance (350 give or take) that will take both the data and $20 a month phone repayment off. My bill should only be about $40 a month. Because I have a community college email starting next month I also have 10% off my bill. As soon as hubby gets a job or my 2nd job pays well, the phone will be switched back to our personal account.

Interest rate is going from 10.99% to 4.99% so that should be reflected on next months numbers.

The cost of goods sold is high. $50 was a Gamestop gift card that I traded in 2 wiis last month and counted the card as income. I figured it wasn't making income in my wallet. The other thing I learned with this tax owed deal is that our 2nd eBay account that we were selling personal items on I figured wasn't taxable (essentially the same as having a yard sale). The IRS thinks differently; so all our personal items was sold to the business because I WILL be taking that cost of goods sold deduction LOL. So we really are in the negative because we bought stuff from ourselves for $205. Stealing from Peter to pay Paul I guess (or thats what my grandmother used to say anyway).

Half of me wants to close this whole thing down and give up but by doing that we are admitting we will always have to work for someone else....and that thought terrifies me a bit.


Saturday, May 2, 2015

Saturday Sales

Last night was wicked stressful at work so we went yard saling again this morning. Being super picky though :D

This is about half of the stuff (give or take). I spent between yesterday and today $58. I forgot to take pictures of the flatware so that will be a different post I guess :D

 The first time hubby went to the thrift store with me, he found an eye clops NIP for Amazon (and he was smug but I had overlooked it LOL). We paid $6 and it sold quickly FBA for $69.99. I hope this one sells for good money on eBay. I paid $1.

This beauty I grabbed for $1 because she is Elsa. The woman laughed and told me her daughter only got it for Christmas and its already being sold....isn't that terrible? My daughter noticed it talked and sang (although in Spanish) and my oldest son found the switch for English. Upon looking it up it is the Snow Glow Elsa. This was one of the HOTTEST toys for Christmas ($40) selling out almost instantly everywhere. She is missing shoes and Olaf but I am still confident I can get $15-20 for her. (I really wanted to get this for my daughter but I was unwilling to pay $40 for a doll or get sucked into eBay prices).

 I read on a blog that Big Mouth Billy Bass was a Bolo. I found him, the rainbow trout, and a catfish (not pictured. The batteries were so corroded it didn't work anymore). If that was your blog let me know so I can link it. I paid a total of $2 for all 3 fish. My kids had a blast testing them.

 Magnetic Anna doll (from Frozen) $1.

30 pieces of Justice clothes for $20. The front items are American Girl clothes. He said there were tons this morning but that was all that was left. I bought all the clothing they had (I LOVE Justice and he gave me the AG clothes free). No complaints. My daughter will get a couple pieces but most will be sold.

Now I am off to go wait  tables tonight.

Anyone else find great reselling treasures?


Friday, May 1, 2015

Re-Organizing Again

When I started this blog it was meant to be all about reselling but hasn't turned out that way. You guys feel like friends and I appreciate it :D Thanks for all your support.

*Hubby can collect unemployment in addition to his severance. Emotionally I haven't seen him like this before. He is taking a week or 2 to decompress.

*In the meantime, I was able to pick up a 2nd job. I am thankful that I must interview well (or places are desperate). This in the long run is excellent because I have been having trouble jumping from "casual" dining to "fine" dining. I am on a 30 day probation so I hope it works out. Honestly I'm intimidated. It's beautiful and I have never been to, let alone work at, a place that charges $30 per plate (and I know there are even more "fine" places than that). But if it works out it opens up a whole new category of restaurants that I can work at. Also I was told there is a profit sharing plan and crappy health insurance offered (but hey it will keep us from being fined for now LOL).

*I looked into Obamacare and was denied as I was told we make too little. So basically I'm being taxed more for something I'm being denied access too. Excellent.

*My other serving job is moving me to AM and this new job is PM. Prayers/thoughts/well wishes are appreciated. I am emotionally and mentally pretty strong but physically I'm really not that strong. I have no idea how I am going to work 2 close to full time jobs (not including reselling) even in the short term and be ok. The plus is I will be making more than Justin did :D

*I had to drop out of school because I couldn't drive. I filed a tuition financial aid appeal including a drs note and was denied. I now owe $600 back in financial aid to the school by June 2nd. Now that Justin has off I am going to go over to the Financial Aid office and have a chat. Apparently if I pay what I got back in overages ($29) I can appeal that decision.

*I have a temporary mortgage modification going. Wells Fargo is a nightmare....as I assume most big banks are. I am thankful it isn't bank of America. :D

*Sales thankfully continue to be steady.

*We decided to do VERY light yard saling this weekend since I have listed A LOT being at the office close to full time this week. We need FAST sellers. Most of the items I bought were Disney Store Frozen plush and dolls. As a thankful note our kitchen faucet is completely corroded out on one side. We keep a towel over it to keep from spraying the wall (it shoots feet out). We got a $125 almost brand new kitchen faucet at a yard sale today for $20. Our good friend is going to help us install it. I also picked up the rest of the clothes my kids needed for $8. All Justice and Gymboree (except for my oldest). I spent about $20 or so and it was a way for us to unwind and have fun together.

*I didn't pay the credit card bill (business) this month in hopes to get a settlement. In a previous post I said how sick I was of the card. I think I insinuated I closed the card; I didn't but I took off all auto payments and stopped using it. Our interest rate was 18.99% and was on a promo offer for 10.99%. Our deal is now 4.99% and no fees and a certain amount for the next 60 months. Obviously I can pay it faster if I want but I need the less stress. The card is NOW officially closed LOL. I am so thankful!

There is a community sale down the road tomorrow so I may do a Saturday Sale edition post. I most likely will I stopped at an estate sale and got 2 really nice sets of flatware that I know I will need help with (everything  I think was 60s-70s. Think everything in avocado green LOL)

Sorry for the long post I just thought I would catch you all up on my life :D