Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Buying Out a Yard Sale

It was stormy again last Friday, but there were thankfully a handful of yard sales on Saturday. One yard sale we went to had a ton of clothes that were exactly what I look for when I'm sourcing for resell. I wanted to buy everything, but each of the items were priced around $5 and up. I picked a few key pieces and paid $16 for them and asked the woman running the sale if she would be interested in doing a deal on whatever she had left at the end of the day. She told me to come back around 2 p.m. and we could work something out. I went to an ATM to reload and hit a couple more yard sales while I waited. When I went back, I was able to work out a deal to buy all of her clothing she had left for $150. There were a few really nice pieces that she didn't want to include in the deal, which was a little disappointing, but it still ended up being a great deal for me.

I brought all of the pieces home, and sorted through them. She had a lot of t-shirts that I was able to give to Mom for her projects, and I ended up with 84 great pieces for resell, including those I had purchased earlier for $16. This made each item $1.98. I also totaled up an estimated resell value for the haul based on what I thought each item would sell for. I was very conservative with this number because I wanted it to be realistic and know for sure if this had been a good move. I came to a value of $915, making this haul a $749 profit!

I'm always nervous when spending a ton of money on inventory, and yes, $150 is still a ton of money in my eyes! However, these are the moves that end up being my greatest successes. I could never have done anything like this a year ago, and it is so exciting that I've come so far in a year. I can't wait to see where my reselling journey takes me!


"If you don't love what you do, then you shouldn't do it." - Marcus Lemonis (The Profit)


Over and out. 

Monday, July 9, 2018

Rolling with the Punches

It has been a rough few weeks. I was rear-ended by a distracted driver at a red light when Mom and I were running errands a few weeks ago. We were both fine, but this was quite a shock to me. My car was totaled, but I was thankfully able to get a new (to me) one when I received money from my insurance company. I had a 2015 Ford Fiesta and was able to replace it with a 2017 Ford Fiesta with very low mileage. I like this car because it is compact and easy to drive. I often joke that driving my Mom's car is like driving a tank.


In other news, my income from reselling nearly doubled in June. I've been putting a lot of effort into my Poshmark closet and I am definitely seeing results. I have also been exploring other sourcing opportunities as the weather has not allowed for many yard sales. It has been a very stormy summer! I discovered that the Salvation Army near me makes their color of the week $0.99 on Thursdays, so I have been making that my regular Thursday sourcing trip. I've been able to get about thirty more items each week this way.

One of my goals this summer was to get a routine down to amp up my productivity. This is what has been working for me lately...

Sunday = Take Photos
Monday = List
Tuesday = List
Wednesday = List
Thursday = Source Thrift Stores
Friday = Source Yard Sales (Weather permitting)
Saturday = Source Yard Sales (Weather permitting)
Sunday = It starts all over again with pictures!

My biggest hang up with reselling is taking pictures. I hate taking pictures, and I'm not ashamed to admit it! This is why I do all of my inventory for the week on Sunday. I make a day of it and get it all over with so I don't have to do again until the next week. I pick an audiobook to listen to, bring an exorbitant amount of drinks (water and tea), grab my tape measure and hide out in my room until all of the photos are finished. I include measurements in my photos because I find it easier than pulling the item to answer questions later.


Speaking of audiobooks, I'm still enjoyed the app Scribd. As I mentioned in a previous post, the app has many bad reviews but I am still loving it. It's $8.99 a month and has unlimited books and audiobooks. The reason it has bad reviews is because it pauses your usage if it thinks you're reading too much. I have yet to hit that wall and am still very impressed with it, especially for the price. The only thing I don't like about it is the limited selection. This wouldn't even bother me that much, but it's annoying when they only have the first (or first few) books in a series and don't have the rest. Other than that it has five stars from me!


I read a comment on my Mom's blog, Frugal Workshop, this week that really bothered me. One of her readers commented that she was told that she was stealing from the government by using the library. As someone with aspirations to be a librarian and who genuinely loves the library, I would like to share this photo I found floating around Facebook.

This shows just a few reasons why libraries are still relevant today, and I wholeheartedly agree with all of them. I think libraries are also great for building communities, aiding college students, and fostering a love of reading in children. I often attend a monthly book club that is held at my local library and I've found that they offer many free resources such as coupon classes, computer classes, Zumba, resume building, etc.


"I'm in a tank, pal. Come and get me!" - Lorelai Gilmore (Gilmore Girls)


Over and out.

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.

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

~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.