Saturday, April 30, 2016

Day 2 of the Long Weekend.....Misc Ramblings

I lied. I did go to a flea market and 4 yard sales this morning. It was only because I had to pick up a form for my new job that was a half hour away and the flea market/sales were on the way home. I'd hate to not utilize car gas right?

Well it was a bust which is both bad and good. I ended up with 2 dresses and a hoodie for my daughter, a Bumbo $5 (for eBay) and a package of diapers $2 (for Amazon).

I just wasn't in the mood to buy. Hubby had somewhere to be with the kids this afternoon so I listed, organized, and took pictures like crazy. I left my camera out last night and 1 of the kids removed the memory card. I found it a half hour later on the other side of the room. That was slightly irritating.

We went to Kmart last night and found ugly Christmas sweaters for 90% off. $3.49 a piece. Not bad; I had generic Walmart sweaters last year that sold almost immediately for $15 each. With a $35 price tag attached, I am thinking $24.95 OBO + Priority Bubble Envelope shipping. What do you all think of that pricing. So proud of myself. I didn't buy them all. In fact, I don't think I even bought half. We bought 2 of each in M, L, and XL. I left the XS and S; since literally no one has touched them, I hope to score more in a week or so. I had walked by those sweaters 5 or 6 times; hubby jumped on board and wanted them.

Unfortunately, there is little left at KMart that is Amazon worthy. I want some of the little clothes to lot up for eBay. New clothes are obviously easier to sell without having to look for stains. But with about 6 totes of unlisted clothing, I'm not sure that's the best use of our money.

With store fixtures being sold, I was hoping to score a clothing rack or 2. I called today only to be told someone came in on the closure announcement day and purchased them all. Crap. Oh well; honestly I wasn't sure where I would put them anyway. I just knew not using all of our closet space would be nice.

My eBay sales this month were absolutely dismal. A mere $290. Crap. Amazon not so hot either. We didn't buy nearly as much this month. Hoping we made up for last month's excessive spending. Am thinking about starting the numbers while I don't have kids in the house. The small consolation is that Etsy did fairly well considering its size.

My hubby says my talent is taking hundreds of dollars worth of merchandise and not actually listing it. As mad as I want to be at that statement, unfortunately it is true. I pulled a bag of Littlest Pet Shop animals I didn't know I had out of the attic today and listed them....a little lower for a quick nickel. The grand total before fees? $287+ shipping. Hanging my head in shame.

I have purchased several pairs of kids slippers for $1.50 at kmart in the last few weeks. I don't typically do shoes but I have done slippers 1 other time. 20 pair gone in 3 weeks. I hope this goes as well.

I am done with my ramblings. It's time to stop procrastinating. Thanks for listening. I hope all your sourcing and selling ventures are treating you well!





Thursday, April 28, 2016

4 Day Weekend

Yes, oh yes, for the first time since last April I have 4 days off in a row.

It's been a rough 2 months but we got some really good news today.

In addition, I love my job and I have no desire to leave. However, a nicer job that pays 25% more than I currently make and better benefits fell on my lap. I have worked there 2x in the past. I had interview number 3 today. I should hear in the next few days. Either way with that I am happy.

I originally took these couple days off to head up to a town wide yard sale in New England. However, we decided to just stay put. We still are sourcing Kmart (they have less than 2 weeks now) and want to maximize that. Not going yard saling at all this weekend. I have been on a listing kick lately; yes, I do believe that Cassini likes consistent listing but I will take any listing motivation at all.

I have big plans to organize my work space, list, ship, organize my house, get caught up on paperwork, hey maybe even squeeze reading a book in there!

Enjoy your weekend! Hope you all find great yard sales!


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Shipping on a Dime

I'm assuming you are like me; wanting to spend as little as humanly possible on shipping supplies. For shipping to Amazon FBA I don't mind using recycled boxes. For merchant fulfilled Amazon, Etsy, and eBay I prefer to use new supplies. I know it's just personal preference and there isn't a right or wrong.

I spend a lot of time on Amazon hunting down the best bargains and I thought I would share some with you.

As a side note, these are affiliate links. I wrote this entire post without affiliate links until hubby just told me he knew how to do them. LOL.

 I buy in bulk as it is significantly cheaper and don't mind if it lasts me 6 months.

Shipping Tape

This is my shipping tape. I paid $36 for 36 rolls. Tape is the 1 thing I pay more for. I HATE cheap tape that peels down the middle and half the roll is wasted trying to get it started again. I was skeptical because of the price but it is AMAZING. The price is currently $45 but that is still an amazing deal. "cheap" tape at Walmart is about $1.50 for an equal sized single roll. Previous to this I only bought Duck E-Z start tape. I'm not sure if it's discontinued now because it is $35 for an 8 pack.

Bubble Wrap

Bubble wrap. I rarely need large bubbles; if I do I just buy it at Walmart. In fact I rarely use bubble wrap at all. This is usually a 1x a year purchase.


FBA Labels

3,000 FBA labels for $8.50. I forgot to order at 1 point and paid $6 for 100 at Kmart. Amazon allows a few different sizes for FBA labels. These are the smallest so you get the most bang for your buck.

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Poly Bags 10x13

I love polybags. I buy 2 sizes typically. I have a very small size I ordered accidentally (a case of 1,000. I think I will be using those forever. They do work great for American Girl clothes).  I only gave a link to 1 because it's been a while since I bought the other size (14.5x19).

Bubble Envelope

I used to have 3 or 4 sizes of bubble envelopes. I have streamlined down to 1 (equivalent to size #2) and buy large ones at the Dollar Tree when necessary (again not often). I like size 0 envelopes also but I have not bought in a while so I'm not sure as to the best price anymore. Haven't bought bubble envelopes since 4th quarter 2015 and still have half the box left. 

That's what I buy on the cheap. I did hear U-Line is cheap also; we have a warehouse a half hour from home. However, after looking through their catalog it is still cheaper to buy online. Most of these items (but not all) are Prime eligible.



Wednesday, April 20, 2016

An Ode to Vintage (and Help Needed)

Admittedly I was born 30 years to late. I have always loved the midcentury 60s and 70s. In elementary school, I wanted to be a hippie when I grew up (in the mid 90s). To date, my favorite band still in the Beach Boys.

I don't know much about vintage though to sell on Etsy. Or at least what to buy. (We looked at a house 4 years ago with a 1950s TV in it, stained glass, harvest gold kitchen, and shag carpeting....We totally would have bought it had it a yard and not on the main street). Anyway back to Etsy. My grandmother passed this last November. I inherited an AMAZING dresser that screams midcentury. (Just so we are clear I NEVER plan on selling this. I'm not much into "stuff" but this dresser makes me happy when I look at it.Weird I know.)


Ignoring the contact paper on top and not in fantastic shape, it is absolutely beautiful. The bottom knobs and curves scream midcentury.

The reseller in me was curious enough to look up similar dressers on Etsy. If you are brave enough to ship one, this style sells for $800-1500 PLUS shipping! Holy cow!

I was also given a box of like 30 scarves to sell or keep etc. I'm having a hard time selling since they were my grandmothers; I decided on 1 to keep and the rest to sell.

For those who deal with vintage more than I, which decade do these look like? Most have no labels or no brand. Those that have labels either say 100% Polyester or 100% Acetate with Made in Italy or Made in Japan. Also what would you ask for them? Most are in perfect shape. Here is a sampling





What do you think and how would you price?


Saturday, April 16, 2016

Happy Dance! It's Yard Sale Season!

No I don't plan on spending all weekend, every weekend out like I have in years past but considering I didn't do much last year I was seriously itching to get out. We had a fabulous community sale to get us started.

 OOh blurry picture. After I took this picture I bought a 2nd. Paid $3 for 1; $1 for the other. I didn't realize I was out of stock on recall kits (Bumbo has sent me a dozen at a time). The lime green always sell for more than pink or blue. I still LOVE selling Bumbos. This makes 6 or 7 unlisted Bumbos in my house now.
 Lots of little Lego sets. Paid $1-2 each.
 Disney Store Minnie Mouse Costume.....isn't it adorable? It comes with a built in snap bodysuit.
 2 brand new Melissa and Doug puzzles. The numbers aren't super great on Amazon. (we want millions of percent profit from yard sales over arbitrage LOL).  I paid .50 cents each. 1 will be for our nephew for Christmas the other will be sent to Amazon.
 Nintendo DSI XL with 2 games for....wait for it....$5. These sell for $89 on Amazon. It is in immaculate condition. It doesn't have a charger or a stylus it's easier for me to just sell on eBay or trade to Gamestop. But at $5 its pretty awesome.
 Lego Dimensions. If I remember correctly this *just* came out last Christmas. It has all the original pieces and some additional sets. Paid $15. The additional sets are missing a few pieces so they will be pieced out.
 A 3-d Monopoly set? Paid $3 plan on selling FBA for $50.
 Walmart Brand American Girl Accessories. Paid $3 will sell for $20 FBA.
 NIP American Girl Kit DS Game. Paid $2....sells new on Amazon for $88-112. Not sure why or if it will sell at that price but even at $50 it's a great deal.

 Nerf Super Soaker. Will sell FBA. Paid $3 plan on selling for $32.

 ....and a good 5+ lbs of Legos....a few nice totes. Paid $20; includes many minifigs.

5 toddler sized cloth diapers NIP. Paid $5 will put on Amazon for $90.


I am staying away from clothes completely but this was $1; but Disney Grumpy size 1x. Plus size and Disney both sell. I'm thinking I will start at $39.95 and go from there.

I bought 14 more video games for $10. Will sell 6 FBA for $110ish. The others are donate or lot on eBay (I bought them all for a better price).

Any low profit/unsure of/not faster sellers/stuff I normally buy I left behind. Only the best of the best this year :D

Anyone else go out today?

Sunday, April 10, 2016

A Comment Worth a Whole Post

Typically I try my best to comment back to every comment; I love the interaction and feedback I receive from you guys. Also I have gotten my fair share of both love and hate in comments and messages as I try to keep it honest through good, bad, and ugly. Any longtime readers know the struggle I have had recently with bad/ugly and balance.

Yesterday while food shopping, I received and email showing I had gotten a new comment on my March numbers post. (I was so angry I deleted the comment immediately; however, I showed the email to my hubby who encouraged me to write this and get stuff out in the open).

Unknown has left a new comment on your post "March Numbers":

Wow, just wow. Why would you keep shopping when you are making so little and you say you have things to list already. You sound hopeful but really, you haven't made much money at this. You have a shopping addiction and you could spend time with your family instead of just shopping. 


At first I was absolutely livid.....congratulations you have a blank profile, didn't have the balls to leave your name, and write horrible comments. You are a cyberbully, a troll, with the maturity level of a high school teenager. Honestly I planned to tell you what a miserable person you must be, but I am sure you already know that. To be completely honest you are in my prayers now and that has melted any anger I have towards you.

After a lot of talking to my husband and others who wouldn't lie to me and gave me their opinion, I decided to comment with an entire post. (since clearly people aren't taught if you have nothing nice to say don't say anything).

I can guarantee you right now I am not a shopping addict. I do shop often as a hobby. Do you have hobbies? Do you bowl? Play golf? Pay money on gaming consoles? They all cost money. I cut myself slack because while yes this is a business, it is also my hobby. Currently my only hobby.

I say I have currently inventory to list but yet I bought so much more. Since you seem to have been a reader for a bit you know that in my business there are 2 separate  (and mostly distinct) sects: eBay and Amazon. I do eBay/Etsy exclusively; hubby does Amazon. Yes I do have more to list; with the exception of $5 all was spent on Amazon inventory. Inventory that is listed and shipped out within 48 hours.

The $5 I spent on eBay inventory could be argued that it is a safety service. It was a lime green Bumbo. Not only do I enjoy selling these but I seek out the currently recalled not fixed ones. Bumbo at one time sent me 15 recall kits at a time because they know that I fix the seats. While I don't personally feel they were unsafe before, it doesn't hurt to fix a recall.

I can see where you would get the deduction I have stuff all over my house from my clutter post last week. That equates to 3 (now listed, some sold) totes. When I moved out of my office in October, my attic was PACKED to the hilt with stuff flowing everywhere. Now it is 1/4 to 1/3 full with empty totes and even empty shelves.

If you have been a long time reader you would know about my credit card for the business. You would know it was not a shopping addiction but rather coping (wrongly) from severe depression from a miscarriage. However, if you have any decency you wouldn't bring it up at all. That miscarriage (3 years later) is still an incredibly sore topic for me. However, you would look back to the end of the year posts (pre-2nd round Amazon) and what I didn't spend on inventory. You would see what I have stashed away to pay my miscarriage mistakes.

In fact if you had followed me for any length of time you would know how far I have come from impulse buying to being cold and calculated. Because, yes, I can be a bit impulsive. And that's not a bad thing.

I am hopeful. Why? Because while I have been posting numbers for 2 years this is the first time hubby has been involved. Hubby is floating right around genius level; his aptitude being numbers, percentages, etc. He is rocking this Amazon deal. It is 2 months old. It takes time.

Because you don't have a blog, I can only assume you haven't tried you hand (or have, failed, and are bitter) at reselling and feel the need to belittle others. I don't stoop that low.

Also this last sentence does make me want to reach over and bitch slap you. Spend time with my family? What on God's green earth makes you think that you know THE FIRST THING about my family?!?!?!?! Not that it is any of your business but I never do this alone. I "go on a shopping date" with hubby who I rarely see. Or I rotate children; we go to McDonald's and get a hot fudge sundae, talk about school, and make special trips to the "girly sections" (nail polish, Barbie aisle) or to the video game section. I am a freaking awesome mother and don't you EVER forget it.

As a courtesy reminder I am not over here forcing you to read my posts....in fact if you have nothing good to say I prefer you don't. However, for those who have been with me since the beginning, have watched me fall flat on my face over and over, and have still encouraged me to get back up and fight, I sincerely appreciate you all from the bottom of my heart.


 

Saturday, April 9, 2016

March Numbers

With KMart closing, we decided to borrow a little $ from ourselves to get the "best" deals....and it is paying off in a big way. Our total number is not so hot, but we are compensating for that by not spending much in April. We more than doubled our cost of good sold spending category. We have purchased what we want at the current discounts and now are just waiting for lower discounts.

If we sold everything as of the last day of month at retail price before fees, this is what we currently have listed:
Amazon $8894.42
eBay $8719.01
Etsy $1232.21
Total= $18,845.64

Income:
eBay 635.77
Amazon 3434.47
Etsy 45.10
FB Yard Sale Groups 10

Income
4125.34

Cost of Good Sold 2506.70 (as opposed to Feb which was 1037.14)
Auto Expense 40.59
Meals 2.74
Postage 354.59
Profit Bandit 9.99
Supplies 40.98
eBay 99.23
Paypal 32.03
Etsy 5.62
Amazon 1368.67
Refunds 12.88

Outgo 4477.02

Net Loss 351.68

Honestly I am calling this month a win based on how much we bought. I don't like how much money retail arbitrage costs over yard sales. (Think fill up the car for $150 on an expensive day).

Thats my month...how was yours?




Monday, April 4, 2016

Happy Easter (Sales!)

So today started Target's 90% clearance on Easter items. It's the day I have been waiting for all week! I was there earlier in the week to buy baskets for my kids next year; however for business purposes we decided only to pick up what was 90% off. I was a little dissapointed with the selection but what did you really expect?

Hubby met me at Target after he dropped the kids at school. We stuck only to licensed character items. Our cart was overflowing (baskets take up lots of room LOL). However, it only ran us $38. Not too shabby. $5 was for our stuff (gifts etc). In addition I grabbed all the girls Easter shirts for easy eBay listing (they were 60 cents each and it cost about $10 in total. There are only 3 styles so I will just make size variation listings).

I picked up 2 of these Paw Patrol baskets and 3 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle baskets for only 48 cents each! (they are still listed at $19.99 on Toys r Us.com)

With the exception of Halloween costumes, I have never really done much with seasonal items. I don't like/don't have room to store it all. The more we watch sales the more I realize how profitable it truly can be.

Do you all do seasonal items? Why or why not?

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Taming the Monster (Of Ties and Sewing Patterns)....Clutter with a Goal!

I'm sure I'm not alone. We all have that pile in the corner that we want to ignore and hope it goes away....although it never happens like that. Stuff we don't like listing, low profit items, newbie mistakes, the list of excuses goes on and on.

Credit www.centsationalgirl.com


Well for me, I don't have a corner. I have a quarter of my attic. A few days ago I decided it's time to clear the attic (and as a result it is 1 less thing for me to think about). 3 or 4 "duds" were from Amazon FBA about 2 years ago. I bought tons at a Toys r Us clearance sale for unbeatable prices; problem is so did dozens of others. What wasn't donated or sold at a yard sale was stored in the attic. These items are in high demand again but because everyone else is sold out it cleared the competition for us. Now most these items don't bring more than $10 profit but I am happy with out of my house and $10.

What I am really talking about here is my eBay monster. 2+ years ago I bought 400 ties on wholesale. I paid $200. I clearly was thinking $ signs and not total work involved (which has since become a factor in what I buy). I planned on listing all these ties separately (Ugh!) I did list the "special" ones separately (the first tie to sell was one with a Walmart semi on it LOL. I didn't expect that to sell at all). I'm now to the let's bulk sell.

Last week I put all the ties into lots of 5-38 (depending on print and what fit in the bag). I also don't typically do auctions but I figured I get free listings at auction in the fashion category. I have it set to auto list for 2 more times. If I net $1 a tie I will have doubled my money (minus storage and credit card interest). If I break even I am OK its money I would not have had.


Pre-edited tie lot picture. I hate the tie sleeves; the glare is a joke.
I estimate I have around 375 ties. 2+ totes. 

And then there is Etsy too...

Sadly it doesn't end there. At least 2 years ago I bought a HUGE tote of vintage sewing patterns (most new) for $10 at a yard sale. I can't complain; I have sold about a dozen+ patterns for around $50 (on Etsy). Since this is only 1 tote and low priority for me I don't mind it nearly as much as the ties. I can't decide whether I want to list on Etsy or just make a huge auction on eBay (where I have had good luck with patterns).

One of the first pattern sales. Only $5+shipping on Etsy but paid for 1/3 of the lot. Ignore the crappy pic on the first I did on Etsy.


And the beads. I haven't even listed them all yet! (well I did but they weren't selling so I deactivated and lowered the price while listing in big lots.) Probably 3/4 are listed; many more are in my pictures ready to be listed....just another tote in my attic LOL.

Amazon is doing very well right now; I know myself and I am going to want to yard sale soon. The more hubby and I look at the numbers between the platforms the more I am tempted to discount eBay and Etsy as "pocket change". Can't do that....we more we write out goals the more I believe eBay is the key to a lot....