Monday, January 7, 2013

Time to Say Good-Bye

With the new year always comes changes. I look back over the past year and remember little of it. What I do remember is not spending enough time with my family, not enjoying the outdoors as much as previous years, not keeping up with housework and other odds and ends. This business can be all-consuming if we let it. I love my job (as we all do!). I love that I can help provide lots of extras for my family without ever leaving the comfort of my home - well, except to shop, but who can complain about THAT?

As you all have noticed, my posting here has become sporadic at best. My heart just isn't in it anymore. My business is becoming more and more full-time, and I am becoming less and less inspired to blog about it. I decided last night, after giving it much though, that it is time to say good-bye to this little corner of my internet world. There is a lot of good material here, so I will not be deleting the blog. I just won't be posting here. At least not for a long time. I suppose someday I might decide that I miss it. Who knows? I make no promises. All I know is that, for the time being, something's got to go, and I would rather it be my blog than my family or other more important things.

I wish you all much success in your businesses. And remember - you can still email me anytime by using the "Email Me" link at the top of my blog. I will always respond. Unless you're a spammer :)

Happy sales to you ... until we meet again :)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

I've Set a Bookkeeping Record!

I just had to pop in long enough to announce that my Dome book is 100% done for 2012. I have all my numbers totalled. My mileage is added up. My 4th quarter state sales taxes are files and paid. I am ON THE BALL!  With the exception of ONE thing, I am completely ready to file my business income taxes (which, of course, we can't do until we get all of our personal tax documents later this month...). We need to add up all of our expenses for my storage building and figure out how to depreciate that. Other than that, I am DONE!

I'm telling you guys ... the Dome book is so worth it. Last year, I was still printing reports and digging up old records and adding and adding and adding and ADDING and tallying receipts and more adding. This year, I just had a couple days' worth of data to enter into my book, because I got a little bit behind over Christmas. I managed to keep up with it, so it was super-easy to finish out the year.

Let's all make a goal to keep on top of our paperwork and record-keeping this year. It'll be so worth it next January.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas Highlights

I have had a great sales month - finally! I had a good mix of high and low dollar sales, quick and slow sales, old and new inventory. December kept me on my toes. And we didn't have to put a single penny of our Christmas on a credit card! Hooray!! Thank you, buyers!!

Here are some of my favorite sales from the past couple weeks...

These were my husband's from his grandfather. He has had a huge bag of them in his closet for as long as I have known them. He finally asked me to sell them. I listed them in 12 lots of 3 and one leftover lot of 2. I am surprised at how quickly they have been selling. I only listed them a little under a month ago and am down to just 5 or 6 lots already.
  • Acquired: Years and years ago (inherited)
  • Price Paid: $0
  • Date Listed: 12/4/12
  • Date Sold: various
  • Sale Price: $12.99 free shipping per lot ($2.48 shipping)\

 This sale makes me laugh. This was an incomplete K'Nex set. Complete, this particular set was only selling for about $5. I split them up by color and called it "Miscellaneous Bulk Lot" and sold it for $17.99. Ha!
  • Acquired: A couple years ago at Goodwill for my son who never played with it
  • Price Paid: 50 cents I think?
  • Date Listed: 10/25/12
  • Date Sold: 12/23/12
  • Sale Price: $17.99 - 4.99 shipping
I've been having pretty good luck with Lia Sophia necklaces. The ones I have listed so far have sold in just a week or so after listing them.
  • Acquired: 12/12/12 (Facebook yard sale site)
  • Price Paid: $5
  • Date Listed: 12/13/12
  • Date Sold: 12/22/12
  • Sale Price: $21.59 - $1.64 shipping

I've sold several of these black and white silent film reels for a friend of mine. This one sold the highest. I couldn't find this title anywhere, so I priced it high and hoped for the best, never dreaming it would actually sell for that much.

  • Acquired: n/a - consignment item
  • Price Paid: n/a - consignment item
  • Date Listed: 12/12/12
  • Date Sold: 12/24/12
  • Sale Price: $35.99 + shipping

I've never had luck selling these stupid things. I finally managed to dump a couple earlier this month for $10 each, but I left the uglier ones priced a little higher. This one finally sold last night, AFTER Christmas!
  • Acquired: 1/12/2012 - Goodwill
  • Price Paid: $3.99
  • Date Listed: ?? January 2012, probably
  • Date Sold: 12/28/12
  • Sale Price: $39.99 - $4.99 shipping
This is another consignment item that I'm pretty sure I underpriced. It sold within 10 hours of listing it. But the seller was pleased with the price, so I won't dwell on it.
  • Acquired: n/a - consignment item
  • Price Paid: n/a - consignment item
  • Date Listed: 12/12/12
  • Date Sold: 12/13/12
  • Sale Price: $39.99 + shipping

This Kirsten doll has become the bane of my existence. Good riddance to her, I say! You might recall that I bought a large AG lot for a song at a yard sale this past spring. I fully expected Kirsten to be among the first couple items to sell, yet here she still is, 8 months later, the LAST AG item I have. Ugh. I've had her priced all over the map - even tried auctioning her in early December. I've had her on my FB yard sale group, best offer, no best offer, on sale, full price, high price, low price. I just could NOT figure out why she wouldn't sell. I retook the pictures and changed the title around and relisted her using "Sell Similar" and immediately started getting inquiries, watchers, and offers. So apparently she just got buried so far down in search results that no one was finding her. Within just a couple days, I had gotten 3 or 4 offers, but not for the price I wanted. Originally I had been hoping for $100 + shipping, but I finally realized the higher-selling ones were made in Germany. Mine was made in China :(  So I finally settled for $65 + shipping. Ugh.
  • Acquired: 4/6/12 (yard sale)
  • Price Paid: $10
  • Date Listed: April 2012
  • Date Sold: 12/26/12
  • Sale Price: $65.00 + shipping
So here is my final American Girl tally:
You can probably click on that to view it bigger.
  • Total Paid: $31.00
  • Total Sales: $718.25!
Apparently Furbies are back. I found this one at an indoor flea market in November. This particular color combination seem to be hard to find, so I priced it high. I listed it quickly, hoping it would sell for a Christmas gift, and it did!
  • Acquired: 11/18/12 (indoor flea market)
  • Price Paid: $8.00
  • Date Listed: 11/21/12
  • Date Sold: 12/17/12
  • Sale Price: $69.99 + shipping

This last one was another consignment item. It was my highest-ever sale and it wasn't even my item :(   This is quite possibly the coolest chess set I've ever seen. The king was 8" tall and weighed 1.5 pounds! Each pawn was 6" tall and weighed 1/2 pound. This set is HUGE! And HEAVY! Most of these sets were only selling for around $40-80, but my friend wasn't in a big hurry, so I priced it high, prepared to wait. I got an offer that wasn't too far below my asking price, so I jumped on it!
  • Acquired: n/a - consignment item
  • Price Paid: n/a - consignment item
  • Date Listed: 12/2/12
  • Date Sold: 12/21/12
  • Sale Price: $225.00 + shipping!
I'm looking forward to getting back into shopping, listing, and blogging. I've gotten a little lazy with all of those things over the last few weeks. It was good to take a break, but now I'm ready!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Random Acts of Christmas Kindness - Catch-Up Edition

Phew! Merry Christmas, everyone!  We had a good day of RACK catch-up the other day, but then the busy-ness of Christmas hit and left no time for blogging.  I have an unpleasant call to make to the USPS, so I'll be brief...

My oldest daughter (12) and I went to get our haircuts on Monday. I told the owner that I wanted to add on to my check for the next person who got a regular haircut. She rang me up, I paid, and then she pulled me into the back room. She said, "This could not have come at a more perfect time! The woman who just walked in the door called me this morning to tell me her husband had been laid off for awhile, and she really needed her hair cut, but she just didn't have the money right now. So that will go straight to her. Thank you so much!" She teared up, I teared up and got goosebumps. Often, I can't choose who these RACKs will go to, nor do I really want to choose who, but it's really nice to know that this one went to someone who would really appreciate it!

Then we headed to Walmart, which is right next to the laundromat. I still had a partial roll of quarters in my purse, so I thought I would go into the laundromat and put 50 cents on some dryers. I took $5 in and planned to hit 10 different dryers. Apparently I haven't been in a laundromat in a really long time. The first machine I came to cost $6.50. The next one cost $4.50. Finally, in the back, I found a row of small dryers that was "only" $2.50. I was just going to leave the quarters on top of 2 machines and leave, but there was a man bent over trying to get all his clothes into 2 dryers, so I figured, "What the heck - I'll just hand them directly to him." I walked over to him and held out the quarters just as he stood up and turned toward me. And it was someone I knew! Rats! I like being anonymous about these things, but I could hardly withdraw my offer. He didn't let on that he recognized me, so maybe he didn't, but he is from a pretty wealthy family, so I am pretty sure he didn't need the $5. But! Maybe he needed the kindness. Maybe he had had a bad morning and just needed a little cheer. Acts of kindness don't always have to be financial. Sometimes people just need to experience some niceness.

Lastly, my daughter dumped the last of the quarters into the claw machines in the Walmart lobby. Nothing special there, but maybe someone was able to score a last-minute stocking stuffer :)


So what have I learned? Well, I've learned that even though the desire and the money are there, sometimes the opportunity isn't. Sometimes it is inconvenient to be kind (making extra stops on the way home to do something, for example). But it is ALWAYS important to find a way to be nice to people when we get the chance. Heading into the new year, I won't be continuing this project on a daily basis, but I have picked up the mentality of watching for opportunities to do nice things. That may just mean holding the door for someone, or taking someone's cart back to the store from the parking lot. It doesn't have to be anything monumental. Although something that isn't monumental to me might be HUGE to someone who needed that smile, or who had been having a bad day, or whose husband had been laid off and they were wondering how they were going to be able to afford their bread and milk. Just remember, things that we take for granted may be cherished by other people. We need to try to find ways to share a little cheer with others all year long.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Random Acts of Christmas Kindness - Days 19 and 20

I'm in the process of playing catch-up. I actually had several opportunities presented to me today and I was able to easily do two of them.

I stopped in at the eye doctor's office to pick up my husband's glasses. While I was waiting for them, I spotted a box on the counter for donations to help provide eye exams and glasses to people in third-world countries. I dropped in all the cash I had in my wallet (not much, but enough to "provide an eye exam and glasses").

Then I went to the grocery store to pick up some last-minute ingredients for Christmas dinner. While I was there, I grabbed a gift card for that grocery store, put $20 on it, and left it with the cashier to give to the next person in line. I'm under-budget on this project, so I wanted to make that one a little more significant. Hopefully it helped someone buy part of a nice Christmas dinner. :)

Random Acts of Christmas Kindness - ???

Y'all. This is hard! I am a stay-at-home mom. It is getting harder and harder to come up with RACKs to do from home. Any suggestions?? I have some catching up to do. I think I've missed 4 days total, and I'd like to make them up. I won't be in town today.

My husband and I decided to forego getting each other Christmas gifts this year and will be donating the money we'd have spent on each other. We haven't decided on a recipient yet, but we are thinking probably the Hurricane Sandy disaster relief through our church's denomination. That will probably be done through our church, so that will be Sunday. We'll be out tomorrow, so we can probably swing through somewhere and do something. And I'll be out on Monday. I need to brainstorm.....

Will post back later today once I've come up with something :D