Thursday, May 31, 2018

I Opened My Ebay Store!


I finally took the plunge! One of my goals for the summer is to really step up my Ebay game, so I finally signed up for an Ebay store subscription! Earlier this month, I dogsat for a good friend of mine while she was in Paris (Lucky!) for a little over a week, so I had to end all of my Ebay listings in favor of extending my handling time. This meant that when I returned home from dogsitting, I used up all of my free listings by reactivating the ones I ended. So...this was a good opportunity to go ahead and sign up for a store subscription and start getting a lot more listings each month. I chose the Premium store subscription because that is the level that I am trying to achieve this summer, and I didn't think that the Starter or Basic subscriptions would cover it.

I was still able to source while I was dogsitting. The sourcing was actually great because my friend lives in a a larger city than us and there were plenty of thrift stores and yard sales in the area. I've already gotten most of the clothing items listed, and my goal for this weekend and early next week is to get all of the hard goods listed. Some of my favorite finds included a large box of toys that I paid $10 for. This box included many action figures, and Disney Cars toys, etc. I also found my first Tory Burch item for $10! It was a pair of moccasins that were in very good condition, and they sold within less than an hour of listing them for $50!

My goal for June is to get my active listings up to 500, so I have been listing constantly for the past few days. I think as long as the yard sales are good to me, I should be able to meet this goal and I'm very excited about it! 

I watched a lot of YouTube videos while I was dogsitting, and I'm always inspired by other resellers' inventory systems, and they make me want to revamp my own. One thing that many of them do is put their items in plastic bags and write a SKU number on the bags. One seller mentioned that she buys 100ct. bread bags for less than $3 at Walmart and uses them. I think there would be several benefits in organizing my inventory this way, but I've ultimately decided that the cons outweigh the pros.

Pros: 
~I could fit more items in each bin.
~Shipping would be easier. 

Cons:
~TIME 
~It's just not necessary.
~The plastic bags are terrible for the environment. 

Ultimately, the first and last con really nixed the idea for me. Writing SKU numbers and putting my items in plastic bags would add too much time for each item. Also, the plastic bags are bad for the environment. I feel terrible when I leave my reusable grocery bags at home, I definitely don't want to be responsible for a ton of plastic bread bags floating around! In my current inventory system, I have a letter on each of my bins, and I put this letter at the end of the description in each listing. This system works well for me, and I really don't need to fix what isn't broken. 

Poshmark is still doing really well for me as I share my closet several times a day. It has quickly risen to be my second best platform, under Ebay. Mercari has been dead for me for a while. I've had about one sale a week on Mercari for the past couple months, whereas I was having a couple sales a day at one point. This is a total bummer, but I feel that Poshmark is picking up the slack, so I'm trying not to let it get me down. I've read other Mercari sellers' posts on Facebook mentioning slow sales, so perhaps it isn't just me. This is why I think it is so important to have my items cross posted and not rely on one platform for my business. 


I've been reading a really great series this month called Wayward Children by Seanan McGuire. It was recommend to me by my library friend who I dogsat for, and I can not stop listening to it. I really enjoy the writing style in this series, and it's been refreshing as I haven't been enjoying the books I've been reading lately. She recommended it to me because I enjoyed Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children so much, and I have to say that this series is actually better so far. 

~*~

Off to another week of listing! Fingers crossed that the yard sales aren't rained out this week!

~*~

“She was a story, not an epilogue.” ― Seanan McGuire (Every Heart a Doorway)

~*~ 

Over and out. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

I graduated!

I graduated from my two-year college last Saturday! The journey was not easy and I feel incredibly accomplished. During the last two years, I worked in the library on campus, and I took a full class load during three semesters. I have to say that the most valuable knowledge I gained during my college experience was from working in the library. I now want to continue my education to become a librarian because I was so inspired every day I was working there. Furthermore, I wanted to write a blog post in reflection of some other lessons I learned during the last two years.

Grit - I learned the true meaning of keeping my head down and working my tail off to get an impossible load of work finished well done and on time. Between working in the library, trying to grow a reselling business, and taking five to six classes a semester, I learned what it meant to have too much work in too little time. I had to learn how to power through and when to stop when I really needed to. Take a breath and then jump right back in. It wasn't easy, but it showed me what I was capable of.

It's a Big World Out There! - I grew up in a rural community. My high school graduating class had less than one hundred students, and wasn't very diverse. While I was always liberal and open-minded, my corner of the world didn't really expose me to different cultures and values. During my time in college, I took a Cultural Diversity and a World Religions class and I like to think that they helped broaden my horizons and give me a better understanding of the world. One of my best memories is when our World Religions class visited a Mosque and we got to listen to their service.

Just Go with It - This is something I wish I had learned in high school. Through college, I learned not to build up situations in my head and to just let things unfold. If I had a presentation coming up or a major school event, I didn't stress on it and play it out in my head beforehand. Doing this made the experiences smoother and easier to take in. I didn't end up disappointed, and I enjoyed the experiences more for what they were.

You Can't Please Everyone - This may sound like an excuse, but it isn't. There are, unfortunately, some professors and others that you just cannot please. I learned to roll with the punches on these, make the corrections they ask me to make, do the best I can, and let the rest play out. Sometimes it's better to move on to another task and achieve it successfully than to pour too much time on mission impossible.

Live in the Moment - It's all too easy to become overwhelmed with tasks in the future. The semester I was taking six classes, I had to focus on the now. I was out of hours and there was no such thing as working ahead. I learned to focus on the tasks in front of me and not become overwhelmed with things to come. This goes along with the grit idea. In the words of Charles Winchester, "I do one thing at a time. I do it very well, and then I move on."

~*~

Over and out.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

St. John Yard Sale Weekend

It was a great yard sale weekend last weekend. As I mentioned in the last post, we hit a lot of duds the week before and I was feeling a little discouraged, but last week was much better! The very first yard sale we hit was very close to our home. I almost didn't go because it was so close to home and I wanted to hit the road and head into town. My mom convinced me to check it out, and I am super glad I did! I found seven St. John skirt suits! This is a brand I know about from watching States Place videos on YouTube. I paid $10 each for them, and I have them each listed on Ebay for $100 - $300 each depending on the quality. A couple of them were flawed, but I think I can still make a decent return on each of them.



The next yard sale we went to was a church yard sale. I love church yard sales because I always find really great stuff for awesome prices and this was no exception. One of the first things I found was a scanner! I've wanted one of these for a couple of years now, since I started Amazon FBA, but didn't want to pay a ton of money for one. I've already tested it, and it works great!



Some other finds from this yard sale included some clothing, a pair of shoes, a vintage Sesame Street Scrabble game, a Nintendo game, and some other odds and ends. Mom also picked up some things for her sewing projects. The best part is that we paid $14 for everything!! Church yard sales are the best!




~*~

Small reselling complaint: Mercari's shipping options haven't been working on Google Chrome this week, so cross posting has been a bit of a challenge. I know that Mercari's desktop version is new and that they are constantly updating and working on it, but I hope this glitch gets fixed soon!

In other news, I sold two bundles of three items each on Poshmark yesterday! I love these bundle sales because they are often filled with slow moving items that may not be worth the shipping by themselves unless the buyer really wants them. My sales were slow during the last week because I went without internet and didn't have any activity for a couple of days, but sales picked back up yesterday after having some activity in my store. It's amazing how inactivity can effect your sales. It doesn't seem to matter how many listings I have up. If I don't share or post new things every day, I don't get sales. Odd.

~*~

"Nice is different than good." -Into the Woods

~*~

Over and out.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Vintage Clothing Yard Sale Haul

I was able to go to yard sales on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday the week before last. The weather was really nice and there were plenty of yard sales in my area. I wasn't expecting to find one on Thursday, but there was one open on my way home from class. I was able to pick up a couple of pieces of clothing and a steam cleaner for myself. We just purchased a steam cleaner for $100 at Lowe's because we really needed it, so of course I found this one for $5 right at the beginning of yard sale season. We always joke that whenever we purchase something for full price, we find a good coupon deal for it the next week, of course!




On Friday it seemed I was hitting many duds. Mom was working Friday, so I was only yard saling in our area. When she is off from work we usually venture out a little farther and find better stuff. I picked up a few pieces of clothing, including some jeans that I managed to get home, steam, photograph, and list, and it sold the next day! I've been trying to get my inventory photographed and listed the week (if not the day) I purchase it as not to build up a "death pile."

On Saturday, Mom and I went out to yard sales farther from home. We didn't have much better luck than I had the day before, but I was able to pick up a few things. We came upon a retirement home rummage sale and found several things. As we were browsing, two women came up to us and told us that all of the clothes were a quarter each and that when we got to the front we could make an offer and they would make a deal. They were very nice! We managed to find a few things and went up to the lady checking people out. As she was counting our items up, she was adding $2-$4 per item as she was counting. When we told her that the ladies on the floor told us the clothes were a quarter a piece, she was very skeptical and didn't believe us. After a little while of her miscalculating our purchases, I counted them out and paid. We ended up paying a little more for the items that we were comfortable with, but we were eager to get out of there. It's too bad one of the nice ladies on the floor wasn't checking people out!

The best yard sale we hit on Saturday had vintage clothing for $1 a piece. I picked up several coats, jackets, and some odd pieces I picked up to research later. I paid $10 for 8 items at this yard sale, one of the nicer coats was $2. I didn't research any of the brands while I was there, I decided that $1 wasn't too much of a risk, and if I sell one piece I will make my money back on the whole haul. I enjoy these unique pieces, and $1 was a great price. This is why I greatly prefer yard sales to thrift stores because I can often find interesting pieces for dirt cheap. These pieces would have been $10+ at a thrift store.




~*~

"Nice socks." - Neal Shusterman (Unwind)

~*~

Over and out.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Reselling Updates ~ Poshmark & Best Offer

A few days ago, I received an offer from Ebay for one hundred free auction-style listings. I always take advantage of these free listing offers from Ebay because I always use up my fifty listings every month. However, I receive this hundred free auctions offer every month and I have decided that I am not going to be using these anymore. The reason for this is that when my Ebay store is full of auctions,  I find that my daily sales drop significantly. Also, most auctions (at least in my experience) don't get any attention and rarely get bids. If they do get bids, it is usually just the one and it usually happens the first day of the auction so the buyer and seller have to wait until the end of the auction for the item to be purchased. I believe that most people shopping online do not want to wait for an auction to end to purchase their item. They also do not want to hit Buy It Now on auctions because the auction price is cheaper and they will feel like they overpaid. With this being said, I am only running auctions on particular items and not using these free auction offers.

Speaking of Ebay, I have also decided to take Best Offer off of my "bread and butter" items. As I've previously mentioned, I follow States Place on YouTube and Instagram and take most of her advise on how to run a successful Ebay store. Recently, she mentioned that she had taken Best Offer off of her listings and that it was one of the best things she had ever done for her store. I have been frustrated by the Best Offer feature on Ebay for a while now, so I have decided to give this a try as well. It has only been a couple of days, but I am pleased with the results so far. I will continue to update on this topic as I go.

States Place also has weekly webinars with a new topic each month. I purchased this month's batch of webinars because the topic is BOLO (Be on the look out!) brands, and I feel that more knowledge in this area is beneficial to me. So far, I have watched the dress and blouse webinars and I love watching them, however, I fear that the brands she is mentioning are not brands that I can find in my area. This makes sense though as she lives on the other side of the country. This information is still beneficial and if I ever do happen upon these brands, I will know that they are worth a grab!

~*~

Another YouTuber/Instagramer I have been following is Solange Mina. She focuses on Poshmark rather than Ebay and I have been able to gain some valuable information from watching her videos. From her I have learned the value of self-sharing on Poshmark rather than spending time sharing other people's closets. She tells her followers the importance of sharing your own closet constantly to gain sales. I have taken this advice to heart this week and have been using The Simple Posher to share my own closet multiple times a day especially at peak times (during parties). This has been working really well for me! I've had almost daily sales on Poshmark since I started aggressively sharing my own closet, and this is definitely something that I will continue and implement into my daily routine.

~*~

"If you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off reading some other book. In this book, not only is there no happy ending, there is no happy beginning and very few happy things in the middle." - Lemony Snicket (The Bad Beginning)

~*~

Over and out.