Thursday, July 30, 2015

BOLO Lego 7474

Picture taken from Amazon Stockphoto
Lego Set 7474 Urban Avenger vs Raptor is a 87 pc set released in 2005 and retailed for $10....and now its worth a heck of a lot more than that.

When I logged on Facebook this morning the timing was great. A woman had just posted this set for $12. I immediately showed interest; I was getting ready to leave the house anyway and she lives only 5 minutes away from me. Within 20 minutes it was paid for and mine :) There were several people interested also.

(I should also mention it is new and sealed).

I checked the eBay sold completed where there are only 5 ranging from $60-125. There are also 5 actively listed ones from $92-120. Amazon has a few Prime eligible sets from $119-175.

Crap....I was going to give this one to my son. But on the other hand pieces get lost like its going out of style. Last Christmas we gave him 2x $100 sets that we found half price at Target. Yup, can't find half those sets.

Anyway you all know to buy Legos sets/complete sets but this one shocked me a little more than normal.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

If You've Got It List It!

It's pretty much the beginning of serious back to school shopping! My oldest 2 received school supply lists and my youngest received his supply list as well as that wonderful 1st Pre-K bill....have I said how dissapointed I am he missed the kindergarten cutoff date by 2 weeks?!

A lot of the clothes I currently have listed are Justice brand....and I definately have seen an uptick in the amount of clothes I have sold in the last few days. Anything kids clothes related it's most certainly time to have listed. In addition, backpacks, office supplies, and locker kits are also good to be stocked up on.

I swear, once you blink it will be Halloween. So while you are listing make sure you have all your costumes and creepy decor listed.

....AND once you are done with that blink again it will be Thanksgiving. I honestly don't sell much in terms of decor. Maybe that has something to do with not decorating much as a kid. Any nice serving dishes may be in order to list also.

But we all know what comes after Thanksgiving. Black Friday and the frantic holiday shopping season where pretty much anything and everything sells. Christmas decor sells now too....although I would definately recommend having anything Christmas related for sale by late October. You can't sell to early birds what you don't have listed.

If we are brutally honest with ourselves, we all have that tote (or in my case a dozen totes) of unlisted items. We can't make $ with what we don't list. So this is as good of a pep talk as I get! Happy frantically listing everyone!

Saturday, July 25, 2015


Amiibos are the new Skylanders toy. Once Skylanders was released, it was a race to develop the next new toy utilizing the technology.

Nintendo released the Amiibo which has been well received.

Like the Skylanders, there are different versions of the same character (like the Original, Smash Bros Brawl, the Mii, etc)

I know Mario also came out in Silver and Gold. Other Limited Edition figures were/are also sold. Some can be worth good money if gotten for the right price.

There are several "dealers" around us who buy the figures at Gamestop and try to resell at a yard sale for $50-75 each. Its important to price to fit your platform.

Here are some of the highest priced Amiibo currently. For sake of ease all pictures came from Amazon with the price quoted the one in the buy box (for point of reference the item in the buy box is *usually* the most inexpensive Prime offer).  For another point of reference when I was buying for Prime, I found that the majority of items with a sales rank under 10,000 sold VERY quickly.

Gold Mario. $64.99. Sales Rank 1,600

Robin. $35. Sales Rank 323.

Shulk $59. Sales Rank 1,700.

Villager. $32.50. Sales rank 500. (an FYI Villager also showed up with 21 bids on eBay selling for $144.50)

On the eBay front here is some of the highest selling ones (I won't put Amazon duplicates). I also searched by US only and actual sold items. There are several prototypes that sold from China for $1,500. Since I'm not sure on the validity of the items I am not including them. All these item pictures are taken from eBay listings.

This is Samus in her Varia suit. It is being listed as one of the first 4. Even as chipped/damaged, she still sold for a whopping $220 F/S.

I talked in my Tuesday's Total about selling Splatoon Inkling boy and girl. They sold so fast for $20 because now they are selling for $30-40. A great lesson in periodically making sure your prices are realistic with the market. This 3 pack has the green figure I briefly mentioned. This pack sold for $99.99 (when I was pricing it was selling for $65-75)

This first edition trainer sells for $100 F/S. There were later releases that sell for much less (like $10).

There obviously are tons more Amiibo. I am honestly just getting to know them but you can pretty much bank that prices skyrocket for the holiday shopping season.

Here is a link to get you started. Its a Wiki so it may not have perfect information but its a good start.

Happy hunting everyone!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Tuesdsay's Total

Yup here I am late again. I worked 16 hours yesterday waiting tables. That was trying. That being said, and on a side note, thanks to Dave Ramsey (and FPU) this is the first month we have been able to put over $1000 extra toward personal debt. I am so estatic.

Also today is my middle child (my only daughter) birthday. She's 7 and honestly such an amazing kid. I know give it a few more years. 

Anyway on to numbers.

Etsy had 3 sales. Busy week for Etsy.

 This is more a lesson on how to NOT take pictures. I tried to make it look creative but it was an epic fail. Lot of 11 Ball 8 oz quilted canning jars. I had a good bit of interest and messages asking me to lower the shipping cost (I guess people haven't figured out that sellers don't control USPS prices). Anyway it sold for $10.95+ship. I was able to fit it comfortable in a Regional Rate B box which saved about half on shipping so I did refund a good bit to the buyer. (Etsy's shipping service doesn't support any Priority Flat Rate/Regional boxes so the label needs to be printed from either or the USPS website. I personally use the USPS website).

I did love how this picture came out. I bought a decent size lot of depression glass in May-ish for $20 (or so). These 2 plates sold for $14.95+ship. I also sold a single plate that was the same to the same buyer for $3.95+ship. The single was so cheap because there was a good size chip in it. Those 2 sales more or less gave back my initial investment and I have about 8 more listings to sell ranging for $10-30.

10 items sold this week on eBay.

Amiibo Splatoon Inking Boy

Amiibo Splatoon Inkling Girl
There is a lot of $ to be made if you come across the right Amiibo toys (I'll do a post on that sometime soon). I wouldn't have gone out of my way to buy these but I had a business related return to do but I had to spend the credit right away. I bought these @ retail for $12.99 on the first day they came out. I had 2 girls and 1 boy. The completed on eBay sold they were selling like hotcakes but mine didn't sell for a while. A search on eBay didn't even show mine in the results! Then out of the blue all 3 sold at $19.95+shipping a piece within 12 hours. I don't understand Cassini. There is a green figure(looks like a squid)  from the same line. If you find him grab him!

 I love Jumperoos! I bought a Fisher Price Rainforest Friends jumperoo a couple months ago for $15. I have sold a couple toys/metal base pieces off it. But the cover sold this week for $29.99 F/S. So easy to ship. Fold-poly mailer-8oz First Class.
This is American Girl Samantha's Spring Dress. I bought it in a lot but I don't think I paid more than $3 or so for it...and obviously that's an estimate. It sold for $19.95 F/S. I rarely charge shipping on AG products since they don't ever get returned and they are so light to ship. However, the F/S price is significantly higher than if I charged shipping so in the long run I make out better not charging shipping.

I kinda wrote you all a book today....sorry, not sorry! Its a good day to be eBaying! (although I have been focusing on Etsy recently which might account for the small jump in sales. Have a good one everybody!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Tuesday's Totals

This week has been mostly non-eventful. Both my youngest and I got a stomach bug so that was fun. It did put me out of doing anything constructive for a few days. Forced rest I guess.

Etsy had no sales; however, it has been quite a while since I listed anything.

eBay had 8 sales. All smalls. Still listing away as much as possible....which isn't much lately. Thankful all the Halloween is listed.

 This lot of handmade/Our Generation clothes/accessories fits 18" dolls. Paid $3 for lot. Sold on sale for $20.25+ship. I have a couple of these bigger not AG lots left that I will be happy when sells. I only have 1 AG tote and it takes up a good bit of room.

This Gymboree outfit has been getting best offers since I listed it last month. Took a best offer of $6+ ship. not great but clothes are what I really need to downsize and it isn't in good enough condition to send to consignment. Paid $1.

So thats my week. Still waiting for that week to blow the last few months out of the water.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Downsizing the Store and is This Ethical?

In addition to downsizing "stuff" my sales have been not so hot plus I haven't been listing as much as previously. I got the "your store will renew on August 1st" email from eBay. After some calculations with their fee illustrator I will save about $30 a month going to the smaller store.

In addition it has been about 6 months since I received a free listing offer; I fully expect to receive more with the smaller store.

I have talked about our storage locker adventures in previous posts; last week I sold some beads and pointed them out in my Tuesday Total post. However, I have sold less than 2 dozen in a year and a half. I originally had a mixture of beads that were not part of a "set"; they sold in less than 2 days.

The last 3 days have consisted of unlisting, regrouping into misc lots of different price points and weights, taking pictures, and now getting ready to relist. I still have in total 360 of the small packages (They sell for about $8 a package on Amazon and Joannes. We started at $6 then $5 now $3.75. In these large lots we hope to get $2 a package or thereabouts.

These beads are so beautiful....I wish I was more crafty! The bead maker is local to us so my guess is the storage unit owner bought them wholesale (I hope anyway!)

Finally I have been going back and forth with this for months. In March I started calling the credit card company and telling them I won't be able to make the payments. (This was before I was even late). I have called over a dozen times each time reaching someone either completely incompetent or we don't speak the same language well enough to reach a deal.

I have spent hours and hours on the phone and am BEYOND frustrated. They are up to telling me my minimum payment is over 1K. I talked to hubby and while I have been making payments when I can they aren't much. The account is probably pretty close to collections. This last month they charged me $375 (or so) in fees and interest. Since everything we do (both business and personal) is now 100% cash based, I am not concerned about our credit score. We are thinking let it go to collections; by the time it does the office will be gone. We can negotiate a deal with them and dig ourselves out of this. However, I feel terrible letting it go to collections like I'm not ethically making the right choice. But I don't have more time and frustration to keep calling.

Any thoughts?

Friday, July 10, 2015

Junes Numbers

This is absolute bullcrap. I am so over this!

My overhead is too high and I think I am going to have to bite the bullet and start paying the business credit card out of our personal budget. At least that way I can get on a payment plan.

Also my phone has been moved to our personal account too. I tried to go back to a previous phone and sell the nice one but 1) we owe more than its worth and 2) the old phone broke within a week. So much for that. I have a serious dislike for AT+T and will not be staying with them once my phone is paid. I plan on having them unlock my phone.

Anyway on to the numbers.

ebay 822.18
facebook groups 65.00
etsy 68.25
-refunds 16.00

total income 939.43

cost of goods sold 47
insurance 73.60 (this number will go down signifantly when the office is gone)
interest 375.07 (bull crap this is almost a full $100 more than last month. How can these people sleep at night?!?!!?. Ok rant over)
postage 189.23
rent 287.78 (only 3 payments left!)
phone 107 (last payment before it switched to us personally)
paypal 36.71
ebay  117.58
etsy 10.54
amazon 23

total outgo 1267.51

net loss 328.08

I hate these numbers especially the interest. Its like my stupidity hits me in the face every month. It is what it is. My laptop is also on its last legs but obviously the $ isn't there to replace it. So glad my hubby is technologically a genius. Hes been milking it along for the last few months.

And there you have it :/

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Sales within Sales

To anyone whos been reading a while, I seem to be unable to just try something slowly. Whether its an Etsy idea or trying FBA I have this whole "go big or go home" mentality. Which gets me in a lot of trouble.

I accidentally bought 2 of these mannequins in January thinking they weren't the same size. So I listed one on a yard sale site for $25 (the price I paid and a real steal). No takers.

I got a message yesterday from an interested person who makes tutus.

Long story short, she bought this mannequin, 3 plastic hanging mannequins I no longer use, 2 bolts of tulle, and 20 rolls of ribbon (for hairbow making).

A $25 sale turned into a $90 sale. Not bad. I didn't make a profit from any of these items....but I didn't lose either. I didn't buy these initially to straight resell for profit. I am glad to have the room back!

That's about 3/4 of the new ribbon I had. Over 80 rolls. I didn't bring the ones listed on Etsy for her to look at. Too much work.

I guess when I buy it doesn't actually register how much I have bought. Thankfully for the majority of these I paid between 50 cents and $1 a spool so it was easy to recoup what I spent.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Tuesday's Totals

Man time flies when you are having fun! (sarcasm noted). Its the 8th of July already. I have just sat down to close out the books for June (blog post to follow in a few days); I also need to file the quarterly sales tax return for the state of PA.

Anyways I will do some totals for this week :D

Etsy had 4 sales....all overnight last night.

4 sets of beads sold to the same buyer for $15. These are the same beads that the last post showed a negative feedback on eBay about being fake beads.

I'm not sure if I gave the backstory on these beads. In March 2014 hubby won a storage locker at auction for $25. It had 3 totes full of Jesse James I'm talking I had about 300 units (or so) on eBay/Etsy. We were hoping for $2k-3k (selling at about half of what the craft stores/website sells them for). Unfortunately they have been VERY slow sellers (I have sold maybe 1-2 dozen I still have 2 full totes). At $4 a piece we have recouped our money (especially since other items in the locker also sold) but I am ready to have these gone. I am ready to either lot these into big lots at auction or donate them.

eBay had 9 sales. Small sales but stuff is consistently moving out of my office so I am pretty happy.

 It is officially backpack season! I have 2 totes of backpacks and I hope to sell every last one! (Kmart in November is where/when I typically source my backpacks. Since few people shop at mine they always have 2 end caps at least filled with a decent selection for $2-5 each)...Look at me giving away my secrets LOL.  This Dora backpack sold for $11.50 on sale plus shipping. I paid $1.50.

This week I also sold a Doc Mcstuffins one for $14 +shipping. I paid $4.50 at Target. Both of these backpacks are "junior" sized ones.

 Because 2015 has decided to just FLY by, it is creeping up on Halloween costume season once again. This Spirit of Halloween costume (has its bag too) I bought at the Goodwill Outlet the beginning of November. While not in horrible condition, it isn't in nearly as nice condition as I thought. Paid .50 a lb so probably less than $1. Sold for $6.95+shipping.

New costumes are always my favorite seller....they were one of the original things I picked up to resell. Obviously September/October are big seller months but costumes (especially Disney ones for vacation) sell all year round. Picked this up for $5 at Kmart (OK I have a Kmart within walking distance of me) sold for $17.95+shipping.  Really need to get the last few costumes listed.

I just finished listing the last of my daughters outgrown Justice clothes. Hoping they sell for the back to school clothes season on eBay.

How is your week going?

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Spotting Difficult Buyers

eBay, like life, is made up of all kinds of people. Awesome buyers, awesome sellers, dishonest sellers, honest mistake sellers, over expectant buyers, I-want-something-for-nothing-no-matter-what-I-have-to-do buyers, and the list goes on. 

While there is no hard and fast rule how to spot a difficult buyer I am a firm believer in seller's intuition. While it doesn't happen overnight, the more you sell the more you can just "feel" a bad situation.

In the last 6 months months it certainly would seem that I have been a horrible seller....wouldn't it. But upon closer look...

4 of those 9 negatives in the last 6 months came from the same buyer. This buyer of Skylanders knew Activision had compatibility issues with the older toys and the problem was being worked on....(I didn't know this but I didn't have the new Skylanders name in the title or say/imply that these toys worked with the new system). Before leaving all these negatives, they took the time to send me nasty message after nasty message to which I promptly and courteously responded that I would take the toys back but I wasn't paying return shipping or refunding original shipping. I am a believer in that you can be professional without caving in. I often don't mind the negative feedback in hopes maybe (and it's optimistic I know) that they won't think they can pull this on the next seller.

Just on a side note with the defect system all of those negatives together only counted as 1 ding on my rating.

And then there are buyers like these...

The top 2 are the same buyer. This buyer was very rude before purchasing. I will concede that my reply to the first wasn't very professional. I should have listed to the gut saying to block the buyer but I didn't after receiving the purchase, I was never contacted before the feedback was left. Unfortunately this is why I don't like selling to other sellers. And my pet peeve is to throw around the words "faux" "not authentic" "counterfeit" and the like. Amazon for sure and my guess is eBay too have bots looking for these keywords. 

This is one reason I am nervous to run deep discount tends to bring out I'm not sure the nicest term to use but I'm guessing you all know what I mean.

Then there is the bottom feedback. The purse wasn't ripped when it was sent out. The item description clearly said very dirty/filthy and would need to be cleaned. And what is 2 old? That to me shouldn't be in feedback its not like there wasn't a half dozen or more pictures.

So this brings me to a few days ago....

I received this message. The doll for being retired is not a super high price. It is a bit high at $129.95 assuming if it does not sell the price should skyrocket in 2-3 years. I started poking around at active and sold listings. The lowest BNIB doll I found was $160-180 plus shipping. Clearly thats not the same price.

Since there is no best offer, and I got an unsolicited offer, as well as what I perceive to be a rude message, and a flat out lie (IMO) about the price of other dolls (I'm not sure if the buyer expected me to just take their word for it or what LOL). but I blocked the buyer and I sent a message. At this point my tolerance for bull crap is getting REALLY low.

My message said something along the lines of thats the beauty of a free market and I have gone ahead and blocked you from purchasing any of my items.

I'm not going to even reiterate the message I got back from that one. I deleted it after reading half and moved on.

I do know sellers that block all non-payers etc....but I'm not one really to do that. The more you block the smaller the buyer pool is. At the writing of this post I currently have 43 buyers on my blocked list....and that goes back 4-5 years or more.

If I get a best offer on an item I tend to also look at 1) the feedback the person leaves and 2) if the buyer is a re-seller. Those are both as important to me as the best offer price themselves.

So do any of you all have criteria you use to spot a potential problem? Or do you rely mostly on intuition? (or am I the only one with difficult buyers HAHA)!

I want to hear from you....this post has been forthcoming for about 6 months now :D