Saturday, January 21, 2012

You Snooze, You Lose

You may remember me talking about the huge yard sale I went to this past fall that had nothing but new-with-tags brand name clothing. I'm doing quite well with the inventory I bought there. A brief summary: I spent a little over $700 on 120 items. To date, I have had over $1600 in gross sales, and I still have 52 items left to sell. I should end up pretty much tripling my initial investment on those items.

I received an offer yesterday on one of the Columbia shirts I had listed from that sale. It had a retail price of $50. On most of these items, I have been aiming for a minimum of half of retail, so I had this one listed for $37.99 (free shipping), or best offer. I would accept any offers of around $27 or more, $25 if I've had a slow sales day. I received a $15 offer for this shirt yesterday:

(That picture was from my pre-Nelly days ...)

I counter-offered with $30, hoping for a counter-offer of $25. They countered with $20, so I came back with $25. I'll never know if they would have accepted that offer, because shortly after I sent that counteroffer, someone else came along and bought it for my full asking price! Not only that, but they bought the white one I had listed, also for full price! Just like that, I made $75 on two shirts! It's always nice to get full-price sales on items like this, because that assures me that my pricing isn't as far out of line as some of my prospective buyers would have me believe.


Speaking of low offers, there's been some discussion on eBay Underground about this very topic. I used to use the auto-decline feature on my Best Offer listings. It was nice for awhile to not have to deal with stupidly low offers. But then it occurred to me - what if I have my auto-decline set to auto-decline anything lower than $25 and someone offers me $24.99? Or what if I have had this item laying around for 6 months or even a year and I just want to dump it? So I don't use that feature anymore.

Here's a good example of why:  Over the summer, I bought a board game that I was really excited about. I paid a whopping $2 for it, and once I looked at completeds, I was glad I didn't spend much more than that, because there weren't many that sold. But I held out hope - I priced it for $49.99 or best offer. Up until today, I have not received one single offer for that game. I started a 15% off clearance sale last night, and this was one of the listings in that sale, which brought it down to $42.49 or best offer. I got an offer today for $24.00. Normally, I'd have just declined that offer, because it was less than half my original asking price. But I double-checked completeds to see how well the game was selling. The highest listing in completeds was only $29.99. I could have countered, hoping for another $5, but because I had only paid $2 for it and it had been listed for quite some time with zero interest, I decided to accept the offer. If I had been using auto-decline, I'd have never known about an offer that I would have ultimately been okay with accepting.

Who else read the Sweet Valley High books obsessively?


I got a pair of shoes back in the mail today. Shoes are my niche, so returns pretty much come with the territory. Considering how many pairs of shoes I've sold, I've gotten a surprisingly low number of returns for fit. In fact, I think I've had to process more refunds for broken shoes than I have for shoes that didn't fit. I include a lot of measurements in all of my shoe listings. I really think that has helped cut down on returns. It takes a couple extra minutes when I'm writing up the listings, but it's worth the extra effort if it cuts down on the hassle of returns.

This woman was very nice. She was disappointed because she really loved the shoes, but they were too wide for her and they kept falling off her feet. I wrote her back right away to let her know that I do accept returns. I gave her my address and let her know ahead of time that I would only be refunding her purchase price. In this particular case, she didn't pay any initial shipping, so there was no debating whether I would be refunding her original shipping or not. But telling her her refund amount up front let her know that I wouldn't be reimbursing her for her return shipping. She shipped them back promptly, I received them today and immediately issued her refund. The shoes have already been relisted and will hopefully re-sell quickly.


In other, very important news: our bathroom has been under construction for over three years. (Life just gets in the way sometimes.) I am a big fan of hot bubble baths, and I've been missing them for several years now. My husband got the tub put in and hooked up this week, so I got to have a nice, scalding hot bubble bath today!! Ahhhhh....

Of course, I dragged my new buddy along with me to keep my company:

Kindle Fire, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways ... Of course, I wasn't able to fully relax, because I was afraid I would drop it into the water, so maybe I'll stick with traditional paper books in the tub from now on.

1 comment:

  1. I'm pretty sure they make water-proof cases/sleeves for most e-readers, just for that reason! :-)