Friday, May 19, 2017

The Spark for the Flame....Just for Fun

I did a little Amazon sourcing today. I don't do much anymore; I (by choice) am working 6 days 65 or so week hours (overtime isn't always a thing and we are trying to get debt paid off faster). It was the ho-hum-drum stuff.

Until Cha-ching!

This is quite possibly the tackiest bathrobe I have seen but it should net us about $30 per robe and we bought 4 at $4 each.

Then I rarely look at books. I also didn't want to buy more as my cart was full and I didn't want to get another one. Then a book series caught my eye. At $11 each its definately out of my comfort zone. But the results from Profit Bandit took my breath away. They all sell from between $90-400; all have average selling prices close to $200. Sorry to be obscure but they will be a BOLO for a later date. I bought they all.....or at least I tried to. The manager came up to me at checkout and refused to let me buy them all. Sigh. I've never understood that; I'm TRYING to give you full asking price. Hello? Oh well I bought 20 for $180 and if all goes well will make a few thousand profit. Not bad; not bad. Oh yeah that's why I do this :D



And just for fun......
I turned 30 this past March. And so I got my camera card with the license renewal but it took me 2 months to go sit at the DMV.....actually it took half of my first day of vacation. Fun fact, I couldn't buy my own alcohol for 2 months. I was denied because my license was expired. Hubby was seriously amused by this.

I know this has got to be some kind of sin, but I actually really like the new picture (top). The bottom looks more like a mug shot. I was really close post-miscarriage which is why I look so horrid.

Happy thrifting everyone!




Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Some Sales

Sales year over year are dismal. Yes I know it's effort related but geez I'd love to be debt free right now and magically selling everything overnight would really help. I know that's unlikely but a girl can dream right?

So some sales. There isn't even anything exciting to share the big find. All bread and butter items. Ebay is shoes, swimsuits, and baseball pants (my only regret with sports authority is not buying more). Etsy is 1 random item a month it seems. Amazon thankfully is a lot of older inventory clearing out.

Sorry guys but this really is the most exciting things I have.
 These are cheap Disney Halloween jewelry. I think I paid something like 50 cents way back 3 or 4 years ago at Target. I had Cinderella, Belle, Ariel, Tiana, and Snow White. They sat so long on eBay that I put them on Amazon as a last ditch before I donated them. And most sat forever. Out of the blue, I have sold 4 pairs of these Cinderella ones for $15 a piece (it's about $9 and some change each after fees). I'll take it. I believe I only have Snow White left. I have decided for the most part against buying Snow White items. I feel she is so classic that young kids want to be the cooler princesses. Yes or no....thoughts?
 This is amusing to me. I found this one bag of black jelly beans in with the regular ones 70% off after Easter. After doing a quick scan and finding they sell for over $20 a bag, I dug for more but sadly only came up with 1. It sold within a couple weeks for a little over $15 (again about $9 and change after fees). I paid 80 cents. I wish I knew the people who had money to spend $20 on a bag of jelly beans LOL.
These Toms though....they are duds. I thought Toms were hot and a great higher up brand. Nope. I have over a dozen pair that have sat.....and sat....and sat.....I bought them for $5.50 a pair at Sports Authority; I have sold a single pair on sale for $18.50. I won't lose but man I could have bought 10 pairs of baseball pants for each pair of shoes.....and the baseball pants flew off my proverbial shelves (more like flew out of my totes making sure the size/color I needed was on the bottom each time).
Also fun fact, Toms is apparently 1 of a dozen retails most likely to belly up next. (Gymboree also made that list which surprised me....then others like Kmart and Sears just didn't bring the shock factor).

I'm trying super hard to list a couple things each day to bring in sales. It's worked so far 3 consistent days....I know its not much but I don't think I have listed at all in over a month.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

I'm on Vacation....April 2017 totals

sort of. From my not so 9-5 job anyway.

I wish vacation looked like this.



Since my week runs Wednesday-Tuesday, I'm just about halfway done. Today was a planned yard sale for us; however, the rain had other plans. Oh well. We rescheduled until June sometime.

eBay somewhere along the line has taken a backseat for me. It just doesn't hold the allure for me it once did. I'm still doing it just not nearly at the intensity of yesteryear. More often than not, I haven't even been out yard saling because I don't want more stuff in my house....and when I do, it's common not to spend more than $10.

I'm so glad we went out Friday morning though. Hubby went with and spotted a brand new in box Kenmore air conditioner (5,000BTU) for only $25; we need one for this upcoming year so that's $100 saved or earned depending on how you look at it. (and without having to ship it) ROFL.

We also did some much needed furniture shopping. It's getting delivered tomorrow so that's pretty nice.

My daughter's room is prepped and ready to be painted tomorrow. We bought paint from a going out of business Sear's hardware about 2 years ago for most the house. I hope to paint the kids rooms before I go back.

Also prayers/well wishes are appreciated. I had an odd medical result and am headed to a specialist on Tuesday. The moral of the story is don't ignore pain for months. Haha. She doesn't think it's major so I am going with that.

The best thing about vacation is I have found a love of Zumba. Since I have become a mother, I haven't had a "hobby" that I sincerely loved. There are multiple classes a week at the Y where I go, so it's nice to do "me" a little bit again now too (and a subsequently found a love of Lularoe leggings too...never at full price of course).

I'm trying hard to gather motivation to list on eBay. It seems harder and harder to do these days. I'm so thankful my 2-3 hour/day commute to work is done; I didn't go back to my original store but rather went to the store closest to my house. This is a blessing in pretty much every way possible. On a "high traffic" day, I may take me 5 minutes.

Fun sale fact. 2 weeks(or so) ago I bought 3 Harley Davidson coats for $50. I took a best offer of $50 for the first 1 this week. I wanted to hang on for more but figured the $50 in my account looked more appealing.....so off it went to FL.


and now on to April totals.....
So the nice thing is when credit cards aren't used it's pretty impossible to not turn a profit. Remember last year....and the year before when profits were not a thing? Well, 2017 is the year of decent profits....especially when combined we "maybe" put 40 hours a month into the expenditure.

Income
ebay 607.97
facebook groups 109.28
etsy 9.61
amazon 939.11

1665.94

Outgo
Cost of Goods Sold 199.66 (I don't like this number so low but with being so invested timewise into Panera it was a necessary evil to not become so overwhelmed).
auto expense (tail light was out. Glad we noticed before the police did) 6.14
shipping 238.72 (184.35 ebay, amazon 30.42, facebook 23.95, 0 etsy)
sellery 100
consignment 26.09 (i told a friend I would sell a nerf gun on consignment because I didn't want to buy offhand and I felt this was the best way to do it)
paypal 36.74
ebay 77.43
amazon 434.79
etsy .17
refunds 52.18

1171.92

Total profit April 2017: 494.02

Profit/Loss 2017
January 278.07
February 804.07
March 450.19
April 494.02

pretty happy with that.

Happy hunting everyone!



Friday, May 5, 2017

A promising yard sale find

These days with the every increasing price of postage and limited storage space, I try to stick to items I can either sell local or they can go first class.


Dude at Money in the Garage Blog has talked about inflatable yard decorations and how he has had success flipping them. Personally I have never found them either at all or a decent price to flip.

This past weekend was different.


Sorry I definately didn't realize this picture was so dark.

4x 8-9 foot Christmas inflatables marked at $5 each (each has a store tag of $70+). Also included was an extra air pump which will go into my yard sale next weekend. I talked them into $15 for all 4.

Not too bad....I can probably get a bigger tax write off if it comes to that.

:D

Sunday, April 16, 2017

I need some new blogging friends!

I don't have time to blog much but I do love to read blogs....and it seems like all my blogging friends are short on time too!

So....I need to add some new reads to my roll. If you have a  thrifting and reselling blog (or have a favorite one I haven't found yet) please leave me a link so I can add it.

Thanks a million!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Happy Yard Sale Season!

So I totally didn't plan on going to yard sales until mid May to give me a chance to 1) have my own yard sale and 2) mid May I have a week vacation I plan on using to tame the inventory monster.

This morning a yard sale was advertised and had pictures of rollerblades. My oldest who loves to rollerblade broke his the end of last year. Being that it was 5 minutes away, I took the chance and he and I went over to check it out.

The good news: they were exactly his size. The bad news: she was out of her ever loving mind wanting $15 for a pair of used kids rollerblades. I mean goodness gracious I can go to Walmart and get a pair for $25-30. And she wasn't budging. (I wish I had paid more attention to the advertisement because this is one of the houses I have blacklisted for outrageous prices and only go if I have time but they are always on the bottom of my list). After walking away, she came to me and said she would take $10 (which I still thought was high but more reasonable). So my little buddy got rollerblades and a couple books.

I poked around. She hemmed and hawed over every price (like it was seriously rediculous....you aren't doing me a favor). She wanted $20 for each coat (more on that in a minute) I offered her $39 for both (only because I didn't have an extra dollar).....and it took her several minutes to decide.

I know most yard sales aren't like this but it wasn't a good start.

OK I'm done complaining now. Here's what I got (at a great price)

 This alarm clock is discontinued. Its going on Amazon for $50 (I paid $1)

 And wow was there Harley Davidson stuff. At halfway decent prices too. This is a size XXL mens (big sizes have always sold better for me). It was $20
 Harley shirt $2
 Womens Harley coat $10
 Harley Mens coat $20
Have you ever noticed days of yard saling you find tons of the same thing but none for the rest of the season? I didn't find this at the yard sale today (i bought it 2 years ago) but I found it while cleaning today (it's build a bear and worth less than $10)

I probably won't go out for a few more weeks but it was a good start. I'm hoping for around $100 per jacket would be nice.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Tax Season....How to Save a Buck....or Not

I absolutely love our CPA from last year. He's super thorough and initially set up our LLC. However, his firm has grown drastically since then (I'm really happy for that) but there is no secretary just several CPAs. Last year our calls and emails were ignored for weeks at a time and given that its a half hour away its not just a head over and ask whats up.Our taxes weren't filed till June or July. It was bad....and super stressful.

So this year we decided for stresses sake to just go to Liberty Tax. They are $30 cheaper than H+R Block. The whole time I got this vibe that I'm not comfortable with them knowing what they are doing. She has to ask her boss who will call me (and when I call him he's extremely rude to me) who then has to call headquarters. Then they tell me I owe federal taxes because of the business and want me to fill out all these extra papers (they sounded suspiciously like bankruptcy papers). This didn't seem right and by now the feeling is overwhelming so I just take my stuff back.

By now H+R Block wants over $500 to do my taxes (they wouldn't honor their initial quote of $350 because I didn't make an appointment on the spot).

So off to Google we go. I went to the one a mile from home with good Google reviews and an A+ BBB rating. They are FANTASTIC. My taxes didn't faze them at all; and they have a guarantee that if it is in by March 24th it will be filed by the due date.

Took 2 weeks. That's it. And the difference in taxes of what the 2 places found was about $3,000. And it was only $350 to file. So saving $20 almost cost us $3,000. My oh my, thank goodness for gut instinct.

Unfortunately we didn't plan well for self employment taxes and do owe money; thankfully it isn't much and a good lesson to plan ahead for next year.

So....moral of the story plan ahead and don't take the easiest option.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

February Totals and Random Fun Facts

Sorry guys this is really late. Last week I turned 30 so now I'm feeling really old.....I mean 30 is when you are actually recognized as an adult right?!

Nothing like celebrating my birth month with great sales....specifically on eBay. It came out of nowhere but I am thankful. Amazon is way way down over last year; however we have been spending way less on COGS. Hubby hates to shop and I don't have time.

Anyway, there are a few stores HATES to source at (think baby stores, craft stores etc). I can't blame him; I'm not crazy about car stores, hardware stores, electronic stores etc so we make a great team.

I hit up 2 of these stores last night and man now is a great time to source. Both stores had overflowing clearance sections with more clearance in almost every aisle!!! I am a little concerned we are not spending enough on COGS to keep us moving in the right direction on Amazon.

Anyway, February MAY have been the best month in recent history. The business (now being debt free) is paying for a large part of our bills.....and we are now starting more agressively Dave Ramsey's baby steps.

February:
Income:

ebay 1213.24
facebook 275.50
etsy 17.90
amazon 1301.86

income 2808.50

Outgo:
COGS 414.71
Car expenses 222.00
entertainment 17.28
shipping 436.46
selling expenses 100
supplies 33.76
paypal 63.13
ebay 126.49
amazon 576.07
etsy .30
refunds 14.23

outgo 2004.43

total February profit 804.07

Not too shabby. I'm hoping to step up our COGS to around $1000.00 a month (99% amazon. Yard sales are cheap and I have a TON on ebay inventory still).

Now that for the last half a year of so I have been turning a profit, I really do want to say a huge heartfelt thanks to those who followed me and gave encouragement when I had no idea what I was doing and was bleeding money every month.

My computer died and at the same time I was offered a free older computer. It's slow and won't last forever but it saved us $300 for the time being!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

New Way to Sell

Has anyone heard of Swap.com? I am considering trying it out. I am emptying out my closet and have lots of "old" eBay inventory that I'm interested in sending in for a shot ( I don't like threadup....I wrote a review last year I believe) .

They are much like seasonal consignment sales but don't charge quite as much in fees (30% plus a set fee) plus the seller pays for inbound shipping. No pictures, no descriptions, no shipping......https://www.swap.com/

Any thoughts?

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Snowed In....Some Recent Sales

So we were supposed to get upwards of 2 feet of snow....we got a lot of sleet so I don't think that will happen. The kids love it.....my job decided yesterday morning to close for today and a delayed opening tomorrow; I love my job a little more for it. Cinnamon raisin bread makes for a great snowy day breakfast.

Amazon continues to do well.

However, eBay has been hopping lately with sales (or at least compared to usual). Lots of it can be blamed on Sports Authority sales. Here are some of my better sales lately.

 This costume I paid $2 for and was dissapointed when it didn't sell this past Halloween. It sold for $17.50 plus shipping. Costumes do really sell all year round. I haven't had a chance to list this past years Halloween finds yet on eBay. All the Amazon Halloween finds have been shipped already and most have sold already (suprisingly).
 Justice girls underwear. I paid $4.50 for the lot at the store. Sold on auction for $14.95 plus shipping.
 Girls Speedo Swimsuit. NWT. Paid $4.50 at Sports Authority. Sold within 2 weeks for $19.95 plus shipping.
Justice size 7 sundress. Paid 50 cents at a yard sale and my daughter wore this maybe a million times (seriously it was 1 of her favorites I think it was every other day). Sold on auction for $8.95 plus shipping. Not bad. A few sales like this make the cost of clothing children a little more bearable LOL.


These cost me $15 on a local yard sale site. I almost didn't buy them because I didn't want to spend any more money on eBay inventory and Lalaloopsy doesn't do as well as it once did. I broke it up into 2 lots and within a month the top picture sold for $59.95 plus shipping and the bottom sold for $12 + shipping. So glad I bought. It was a  pain to ship though.

I absolutely hate selling clothes but I am muddling through the unlisted inventory to start getting rid of it. I still believe that clothes have the best profit margin but so much more work.

How are sales going for all of you?

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

January's Results, Some Fun Sales/Bolos, Etc.

Hi everyone! Sorry I post so infrequently now. I decided forcing myself to blog made it soo not fun anymore, so I'm going to pop in every so often. Life is hectic. Tax filing day is tomorrow....and I'm largely procrastinating getting my paperwork in order. We loved last years CPA but he is overwhelmed and not great with communication so we are trying out our local Liberty Tax. I'm hoping for the best.

January results weren't as great as hoped; however in January and February I am just happy with not losing money. In January we had a net profit of $293 so I can't complain. That included several hundred dollars spent on Christmas merchandise. (fun fact....I'm allergic to real Christmas trees....plus since I didn't grow up with them I forget to water them so we have a crappy $39 regular price Walmart tree. I'm a big believer in divine providence and God allowing us to have a little "stuff" that makes us happy. Not excessive though. Anyway I fell in love with a tree but only would buy it at 90% off. Sad little tree was the only one left...no boxes, no display trees. It was there for me at 90% off.....So now we have a 7.5' pre lit silver Christmas tree.....a retail price of $269....and ours for only $26.90. I was so thankful for both the tree and the really awesome employee with a merchandise dolly who offered to move it up to the registers for me).

The last week of spring like weather has lots of people thinking about running. This past week I have sold 10 pairs of running shoes and a pair of baseball shoes. My Sports Authority buys from last year were mostly baseball/softball; I dug those out of the attic and started listing in full force this last week also. Cassini seemed to like that.

We also continue to minimize the house. A few years ago I bought stuff and then "lost" it in the house. We now that stuff is discontinued and worth decent money on Amazon. Win win. I cleaned out and reorganized our inventory attic space now that is a tolerable temperature. I am never ceased to be amazed how much "forgotten inventory" is up there; I've listed like crazy because let's be honest I'm never going to stay away from yard sales. Speaking of, end of May I already requested 2 consecutive weekends off for our now annual yard sale with my mother in law.

Now how much would you pay for a can of frosting; a discontinued flavor? If you REALLY wanted it? You know the $1.50 kind at the grocery store? Hubby definately wins the prize (sorry no flavor or brand or pic right now). He found some for $.99 at a discount store and flipped a single can in the $20-30 price range. Wait....what?!?!? He did this last month and we still laugh about it.

This Smackdown vs Raw has a cult following. I first realized it several years ago when I got one out of a locker. This I picked up (used at a yard sale) for $1 I think and it sat in my attic. It sold this morning for over $40. I panicked thinking we accidentally hit the "new" button but no it is correct. New copies sell for over $200.

This is another one that surprised me. I bought it at KMart going out of business for around $3. The price by the time I was going to list it dropped significantly so I threw it in the attic. It sold before we even got it to the Amazon Warehouse for $45. Not too shabby :D

I'm still at Panera Bread full time; I am completely in love with my job. The pay is good, atmosphere is great, and the food benefits are amazing.There's my last random thought for the night. :D


Sunday, January 15, 2017

What to Sell in January....Swimsuits and Running Shoes.

I have always looked at January as post holiday spending hangover month....where sales typically drop. This is has been true for my Amazon account but my eBay account is busier than it has been in like the last 6 months.

This is largely thanks to swimsuits and running shoes. I bought a lot of swimsuits for $3.99 each (almost all plus size) and I have sold around 2 dozen since right before Christmas. They aren't huge sales but they are 300-400% profit. On average they have been selling for $15-20+shipping.

The other seller that is coming as a surprise is Nike Running Shoes. I have sold 4 pair in the last 2 days. I bought 30 or so pair from Sports Authority in June/July for $6.50 per pair but they have sat and sat.  They have sold for $25-40 free shipping.

I am chalking this up to the 40% 3 week sale I had going on at my store. Now that the credit card is paid off, it is time to stockpile some cash (my roof is now leaking) and make some room for yard sale season!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

A Look Back at 2016 Goals



I thought it would be fun to take a look back at 2016 goals and how they were met. I haven't actually set up any 2017 goals yet....they are forthcoming but I had the flu this past week. 

Amazon:
* Eventually by the end of the year make $75-100 per day in profits. We did until July then they fell off to about $20 a day
* Continue to list Fulfill by Merchant as the situation allows for (although I typically do this). I don't do this anymore as I have a hard time shipping on time and I don't want to risk my account health.
* Source 2-4x a week. Right now his preferred source is retail arbitrage; this is clearance season. Moving past that he is going to begin looking for hole in the wall local places. Usually about 1-3
 times a week; this works for us :D 
* Items shipped either same or next day. (we have shipped out 3 small shipments so far. In less than a week we have had $412 in sales....will make a separate post about sales soon). He is pretty confident on how to navigate Amazon's Seller Central. I am currently (and will continue as time permits) helping him ship items. I will also continue to help him shop (although he checks everything in my cart before we buy). This is, after all, the fun part. We do about 1 shipment a week. We found it to be way more cost effective to do large shipments.

eBay:
* List 1 new item a day. (hence the low goal comment before). Most months were between 5-140 so I think overall I hit the goal.
* Source only from yard sales as money allows (again the fun part). Yes only went to a small amount of yard sales this month.
* I have at least 3 full tubs and my car trunk still full of unlisted clothes; I also have both kids closets full and 5 totes of listed clothing. As profitable as clothes can be its overwhelming to me right now and I tend to procrastinate.....So no more clothes unless its something that I seriously can't pass up (believe me with clothes its few and far between). Better than in years past but I still have a ton on clothes....but to be fair a good amount in my kids that I'm selling also.
*$500 in gross sales a month. $400-1000 so yes this is a win.
*In general just to be more selective about what I buy. This also I call a win; each year there are less and less duds.

Etsy:
* List a total of 5-10 a month. Nope I think I maybe listed 5 things all year.
* Become more picky about vintage.....alot of that means learning more. Didn't buy either. Don't have time to learn something new. "vintage" right now means my childhood (90s....and no Pogs :D )
* I bought a few (and I really mean a few) things to try my hand at Etsy crafting again. The price was unbeatable. However, its on the back burner for the near future. I have inventory to list before I can bite off more than I can chew. HAHAHAHA. Sold the stuff. 

General:
*Pay off busines credit card by June. December but the main thing is it is paid off.
* We lost around $3k in 2015. would like to make $7k in profits. That would be an increase of $10k A profit of $6756.02. I would call that a win.
*Blog more consistently. Sorry guys.