Thursday, June 28, 2012

Walmart Special

Just a quick post tonight. I actually had a REAL sales day today!!  I had, I think, 7 sales! How encouraging :)

I had some SERIOUSLY AWESOME yard saling adventures this morning, but that's going to have to wait until Monday. I don't have time to get into it tonight, and I'll be away from a computer for the next few days... Sorry!

I just wanted to talk a little more about denim skirts. I was running low on denim skirts and hadn't been out shopping for awhile. My sister-in-law saved the day and brought me a bag full of them the other day. There were 7 or 8 skirts in there. Some great brands, some not-so-great brands. My heart sunk just a little when I saw a Faded Glory skirt in the bag. Blech. Walmart?? Who's gonna pay good money for a Walmart denim skirt? But it had 2 things going for it:  it was plus sized, and it had interesting seaming. When I asked my SIL to start watching for denim skirts for me, I specified that they MUST have interesting seaming. I guess I forgot to mention not to get Walmart brands. lol. 

But anyway....I listed them the other day, and wouldn't you know it - the Walmart one was the second one to sell!

Don't be afraid to list Walmart brands. But do NOT put the brand name in the title. You want your buyer to see the photo and fall in love with it. Then, once they open the listing and realize it's a Walmart brand, they'll have already fallen in love with it, so they won't care so much about the brand name. On the other hand, if you put the brand right in the title, that's the first thing they'll see, even before the photo. They'll be turned off immediately and won't even bother opening your listing.

This didn't sell for huge bucks, but I was pleased to get $19.99 + shipping out of it - especially considering the brand!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Silly Rabbit!

I bought this from my local Facebook group this other week. I paid $3 for it. It's really big, just over 5" across the top of the mug. There is one like it currently listed on eBay for $39.99 + shipping. I checked completed listings and didn't see any. So I checked Terapeak . I looked back an entire year and there haven't been any listed there either! I checked Google and Amazon also. Except the one that is listed on eBay and the one I own, I cannot find this mug ANYWHERE.

Is that a good thing? Or a bad thing? Is it super-rare? Or a total dud? It's a nice heavy mug, feels like it's really high quality. This is an age-old quandary. I think I'll put my money on the super-rare. I'm going to price it high with a best offer. The other listing doesn't have the best offer option. If I price mine higher than that one and add best offer, maybe I'll be able to get some idea of what a buyer might be willing to pay. I'll keep you posted.

Have you ever found an item that you just could NOT find anything about? Did it turn out to be a home run or a dud?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Highlights Over the Last 3 Weeks

Things have been really slow around here, but I have occasionally gotten some exciting sales.

I have had this horse for as long as I can remember. Easily 2 years. I was sick and tired of looking at it and was getting ready to sell it on my local Facebook group for a few bucks, just to be rid of it, when it sold on eBay for my full asking price.
  • Acquired On: summer 2010 maybe? (from my sister-in-law)
  • Listed On: this has been listed over and over and over
  • Sold On: 6/18/12
  • Paid: 50 cents
  • Sold For: $25.00 + shipping

I just bought this a few weeks ago. It was just a basic white button down blouse, women's size 2X. I didn't expect it to sell so quickly, but I was thrilled that it did.
  • Acquired On: 6/8/12 (local Goodwill)
  • Listed On: 6/15/12
  • Sold On: 6/18/12
  • Paid: $1.99
  • Sold For: $29.99 + shipping

I got this on Facebook. We tried to play it once or twice. It's harder than it looks!! Another quick flip.

  • Acquired On: 5/13/12 (Facebook)
  • Listed On: 5/24/12
  • Sold On: 6/15/12
  • Paid: $1.00
  • Sold For: $29.99 + shipping

I've found 3 pairs of Danskos in the last month. All 3 pairs sold quickly, in a matter of just 2 or 3 weeks. I LOVE selling Danskos!
  • Acquired On: 6/1/12 (yard sale)
  • Listed On: 6/7/12
  • Sold On: 6/21/12
  • Paid: $5.00
  • Sold For: $35.00 + shipping

Dansko #2. Someone messaged me and asked if I would accept a $49.99 offer on them. I told her yes, so then she sent me an offer for $49. I know it's petty, but I was annoyed that she dared to offer me less than what she had originally offered. I almost countered for the $49.99, just on principle, but I thought better of it. :)

  • Acquired On: 5/25/12 (local Goodwill)
  • Listed On: 5/30/12
  • Sold On: 6/12/12
  • Paid: $2.99
  • Sold For: $49.00 + shipping

We got rid of our cable years ago and switched to antenna. We had only antenna tv for around 8 years. We recently switched back to cable. I don't remember why. I think it had something to do with our area going to digital cable and ours was analog and couldn't pick up any signals or something like that. But anyway, I listed the antenna rotor that goes on the roof and turns the antenna, the control box that we use inside to turn the rotor, and all the cable and wire that we used for it. I expected it to sit for awhile, but it sold very quickly.
  • Acquired On: ? (personal possession)
  • Listed On: 6/12/12
  • Sold On: 6/21/12
  • Paid: ??
  • Sold For: $50.00 + shipping

This was a very fast sale! I've only ever found one other rotary wall phone before, and it was very overpriced for a thrift store, so I passed on it. This one was only $3.99, so I scooped it up. I researched the brand name and phone company, and came up with nothing. I aimed high when I listed it, figuring I might eventually drop the price, but it sold within a matter of days. Maybe I underpriced it, but I am very happy with the return on my investment, so I'm not going to dwell on how much I could have gotten for it.
  • Acquired On: 6/8/12
  • Listed On: 6/14/12
  • Sold On: 6/17/12
  • Paid: $3.99
  • Sold For: $50.00 + priority international shipping to Canada (another $35!)

Dansko #3. I paid more for these than I usually do for shoes, but I am always willing to pay more for Danskos. My daughter, my mom, and I all went to Baltimore recently to see Apassionata (I highly recommend it, by the way!). We spent the night in Baltimore, and then decided to go thrifting on Saturday. I did a search for Goodwill on my GPS. It found one within just a couple miles, so we headed out for it. We got there (right in downtown Baltimore, which was very stressful because I am NOT a good city driver), pumped the parking meter full of quarters, and headed to the door. As soon as we reached the door, I realized it was a corporate office. Haha! Oops. We did eventually find a Goodwill Superstore (which I was not at all impressed with), where I found these boots.
  • Acquired On: 6/9/12 (Baltimore Goodwill Superstore)
  • Listed On: 6/15/12
  • Sold On: 6/16/12
  • Paid: $8.00
  • Sold For: $50.00 + shipping

I bought 3 huge Little People sets from my Facebook group awhile ago for $30. I have this farm, the zoo, and a schoolyard/playground. I priced them all very high with best offer. One morning, someone made me offers on all 3 sets:  $12, $10, and $8. I usually let lowball offers roll right off my back, but that one made me mad. I have all 3 sets listed for a total of $180, and someone dared to offer me a total of $30?? I know buyers think it's always worth a shot, and that the worst we can do is say no. But seriously? That was just downright ignorant. So obviously I declined all 3. She raised her $12 offer to $15. I countered with $60 and never heard back. Thank goodness. A couple days later, I sold the farm set for my full asking price, which was significantly higher than I actually expected to sell it for!
  • Acquired On: 5/6/12 (Facebook group)
  • Listed On: 5/14/12
  • Sold On: 6/17/12
  • Paid: $10 ($30 for 3 sets)
  • Sold For: $69.99 + shipping
It was huge. I had to use an enormous box and cut it down to fit. It took me 30-45 minutes to get this thing packaged. I had just finished taping layer upon layer upon layer all around it. I was literally huffing and puffing from it. I tipped the box over to bring it out to my computer and print a shipping label, and the darned thing started moo-ing and wouldn't stop! So I had to undo all of the packaging so I could tape the barn door shut (the moo trigger). Ugh. But hey - for $70, I can live with it ;-)

I bought this NWT dress quite awhile ago, and wished fervently that it would have been my size. It is so hard to photograph black clothing. This dress has some gorgeous details. It also had a very high retail price, so I priced it just under the retail price with Best Offer. I had never gotten any offers or questions, and I don't think it even had any watchers. Imagine my surprise when I got a perfectly acceptable offer out of the blue!
  • Acquired On: 2/3/12 (local Goodwill)
  • Listed On: 2/14/12
  • Sold On: 6/14/12
  • Paid: $4.99
  • Sold For: $70.00 + shipping
These were the highlights and are NOT an accurate picture of my sales this month. Mostly I've been selling small items, around $10 each. But even those add up. How has your June been? Are you down in the dumps with the rest of us? Or are you lucky enough to still be chugging along?

I'm Back!

Sorry about that! 

Did you ever have one of those months? Nothing has been going wrong or anything, but I feel like I'm spinning my wheels. We had a yard sale this past weekend, and I had a massive amount of stuff to put out. Of course, I waited until 2 days before the sale before I started pricing anything. So that kept me very busy last week. We have just a couple days to recover from that, and then we're headed out for a camping trip with my sister and her family this weekend. After that, I'll have a couple days to recover from THAT before we leave to travel to Indiana to meet my bestie Tina for a shopping weekend!!!  June has been a whirlwind! July looks pretty empty, so I might be able to be more productive then...

On the eBay front ... I have temporarily changed my frame of mind regarding eBay. My sales for the month of June are currently at 60% of what they usually are this far into the month. I spent the first week or two of the month feeling extremely discouraged and even a little angry. But then I started to realize how much I was enjoying NOT rushing around like a maniac every morning, trying to catch the mail lady. So, while I'm not doing anything different, I have embraced the fact that these summer months are going to be slower. I'm not actively promoting my store or my items. I am not studying traffic reports or analyzing anything. I'm just doing what I can, when I can. I list a few things here and there. I end old items and relist using Sell Similar, when I am able. I'm not fretting or stressing over eBay at all. It is what it is, and for the moment, I'm okay with the slower sales.

I live in the northeast. Our yard sale season is very short. I'm trying to get out to as many as I can and use this slower period to focus on storing up inventory. I'm even having a hard time doing that, because yard sale prices this year are higher than thrift store prices!

eBay is a roller coaster. Of course we all get excited during the highs, and it's easy to get discouraged during the lows. But I am considering this slower time a blessing. I can spend more time outside bike riding or going for walks and picnics with my family. I don't feel stressed or overworked.

I am very fortunate in that my eBay income is not a necessity. It's definitely helpful, because we don't have to pinch pennies. But it is not a requirement for our survival, for us to pay all our bills each month. I imagine all of this is easy for me to say, considering we are not dependent on my income. I can't even begin to imagine how stressful this is for those of you who ARE dependent on eBay for income. I am sorry I have no words of wisdom for those of you in that situation. All I can suggest is to make the best of it. Do the opposite of what I am currently doing. Promote your items on Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook. Maybe cut back on your shopping for new inventory. If you need your income to pay the bills, don't spend it on more inventory. Or at least not as much inventory. It's a double-edged sword, because we need inventory in order to make money. Look around your house. Find things that you can sell that you already have - that you don't have to spend money on.

Tomorrow I'll post the few highlight sales that I have had this month.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Curse of the LOTR Risk

I have just a few of my eBay items also listed on Amazon. It's pretty rare that I get sales there, but when I do, it's like an added bonus!

I bought this Lord of the Rings Risk game last July at my favorite gross, dingy thrift store out east.

I paid $3 for it, but wasn't able to check to see if it was complete before I bought it. The first thing I noticed was the ring was missing. I apologize to anyone who might be offended by this next sentence, but I know absolutely NOTHING about Lord of the Rings. I've never read the books, I've never seen the movies. Obviously, based on the title, the ring must be of some importance, but I thought maybe I could sell it without the ring anyway.

I listed it high with best offer, and my cousin (who DOES know all about these things) immediately messaged me to inform me in no uncertain terms that NO ONE would ever pay that price for this game, especially since it was missing the ring. Sigh. But what could I do? I looked into buying a replacement one, but they are apparently pretty highly sought after, and I wasn't willing to pay $20 for a replacement piece.

So I listed it for quite some time without the ring. Then an EBUG member posted that she had a different LOTR game that was incomplete and that she had a bunch of plastic LOTR rings. So she sent me one. I added it to the listing STRESSING that it was NOT the original ring.

But at this point, I was still missing the black plastic tray that holds the army pieces. I really didn't think anyone would care about that either.

I had a buyer from Mexico offer me $25 for it this past January. I declined, knowing that I should be able to get more for it. I had another buyer buy it at some point (I don't remember when), but then immediately cancelled when he realized the black tray wasn't included.

Then another EBUG member sent me her spare black tray (teamwork!). So finally! I had a complete game, even though the ring was not originally from this game. I revised my listing to show that I had a ring and the black tray. I also listed the game on Amazon.

Yet again, there it sat with zero interest. I don't think I even had any eBay watchers on it.

FINALLY! It sold on Amazon last night. For $25.98. Which I could have gotten last January. Grr.

But the curse continues. You've gotta be careful what you list on Amazon, because you don't get to set your own shipping price. (You can already see where this is going, can't you?)  Amazon gave me a $6.49 shipping credit. This game was going clear across the country to Nevada (I'm in Pennsylvania). It weighed over 3 pounds. Sigh. Priority shipping was $15+. I opted for Parcel Post, which was a few dollars less, but it was still over $12.

But. I'm just glad to be rid of it. Finally. And hopefully the buyer won't find a reason to return it. Fingers crossed!


Did you ever have an item that you just couldn't get rid of? And when you finally did, it didn't go as planned anyway?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

A Day at the Spa

I'm sure many of you remember my American Girl find from April. Included in that purchase was a Kaya doll that I still have not listed. Her hair was a disaster!  So she has been sitting on my work table for a month and a half, mocking me. But I just didn't know where to start on her hair.

Someone on Proboards asked about fixing messy American Girl doll hair the other day, which inspired me to give it a shot. I grabbed my daughter's hair conditioner and my wide-tooth comb and we were off to the spa! First, I took all her clothes off (the doll, not my daughter!). I wrapped her in a dish towel and put her in a poly mailer, sealing it as tightly as I could around her neck. Then I taped cotton balls over her eyes. At this point, my 5 year old said, "Mama, are those cotton balls pretending to be pickles?"  lol

Then we headed to the bathroom. I laid her face down on the counter, hanging over the sink. I draped another towel over her, just to be on the safe side. I wish now that I had taken some pictures.  I peeled her hair into the smallest chunks I could manage. One at a time, I wet each chunk and smeared conditioner on it. Starting at the ends, I worked the tangles out and set that chunk aside. I worked through her hair, one chunk at a time. It took me almost 2 hours (split up into more than one session, because I could only take so much!) Finally, I finished the conditioning. I ran my comb through all of it again, just for good measure.

Then we headed to the kitchen, where I used the spray nozzle to rinse. That took a really long time, and I'm still not convinced I got it all out, but I did the best I could. I rinsed and I rinsed and I rinsed. Then I gently (gently!) towel-dried, but no matter how I tried to avoid it, I still made more tangled.

So off we went to the living room (more comfortable seating than leaning over a sink). I combed it again and set to styling it. It took me a couple tries to get the Native American-looking braids as opposed to the Pippi Longstocking-looking braids, but I finally got it.

I must confess (and I apologize in advance to anyone who is shocked by what I am about to say), I did trim her ends just a little. I know! I know! I'm sorry! It was just so frizzy! I only trimmed less than a centimeter, just enough to even up the scraggly pieces that I had pulled loose while combing it. But it is combed and neatly braided, and I'm pretty sure I've nearly doubled her resale value.

I got her listed today, so we shall see. Here she is, post-makeover:

Isn't she beautiful?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Just That Kind Of Summer

I have come to the conclusion that it's just going to be a slow sales season on eBay. That was hard for me to come to terms with, but I would rather realize/admit that than frustrate myself by being disappointed in my sales day after day after day. Instead, I am trying to view this slow season as a little bit of a break from the hustle and bustle that my eBay business has been over the last several months. I will use this time to focus on sourcing inventory, listing as much as possible, and organizing my store. I have gotten back into ending about-to-renew listings and relisting them using Sell Similar. That seems to breathe new life into old inventory.

Also, I have my building coming in the next couple weeks. All the moving that that will require will take TONS of time! We still need to prep the site where it's going to go (needs to be leveled and have gravel put down). We need to run electricity to it and install an air conditioner. Then of course comes the big move. I have a LOT of stuff to move! I am keeping an eye out for storage racks. I have a few but I'll need more. A slower selling season is nice for that, because I will have plenty of time to get it set up just the way I want before the Christmas selling season kicks in.

Once I've moved my stuff into my building, then comes the crazy interior work. I'll be redecorating the former eBay room (paint, baseboard trim, who knows what else) and moving my oldest daughter in there. Once she's out of the room she currently shares with her little sister, I'll redo THAT room and move the 5 year old girl and 3 1/2 year old boy into it. Once the boy is out of the room HE shares with his older brother, I'll redo THAT room for the 9 year old boy. I'm hoping we can get all of that done this summer, before school starts back up again.

So you see, sometimes it's helpful to have a slow sales period. At least that's what I am telling myself so that I don't sulk. :)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Terapeak Now Offers a 7-Day Free Trial!

You've heard me talk about Terapeak before. It's a fabulous tool for eBay sellers. When you are researching something to sell on eBay, completed listings on eBay will only go back 90 days. Terapeak will give you a FULL YEAR's worth of data! So if I'm researching a Christmas item in July, checking eBay completed listings will not give me very accurate data, because it will only go back to March or April. Christmas items aren't exactly hot sellers during those months. But I can research the same item on Terapeak and see how it did in November and December.

Terapeak will help you while you're out thrifting (or yard saling or whatever other inventory sourcing you do...). Not only will you be able to research whether something will be a HOT seller (thereby making more money than you would have without Terapeak), but it will also show you which items are duds and should be left behind (thereby SAVING you money that you would have wasted by buying the item if you hadn't looked it up on Terapeak).

You can read my very detailed blog post about the different features that Terapeak offers here.

I know a lot of people are hesitant to make the leap to a full paid membership, so I was THRILLED when I found out that they are now offering a FREE one-week trial membership! So now you can try it before you make that commitment. Check it out - I'm sure you won't be disappointed! Once your free trial is up, I'm sure you'll want to continue with them.