front porch trash

front porch trash

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Time to Hunker Down

Just in case you live in a vacuum and haven't heard about the weather lately...let me share with you.

I live in the South..y'all..and we don't do snow and ice very well. In fact, we don't get enough to have any practice to get ready for the  serious slick stuff. When the weather guys start forecasting snow or ice everyone rushes to the grocery store for bread, milk and the necessities. Most of the time if you check the carts of your fellow shoppers you will see bread, milk, beer and chips. Pretty much everything a Southerner needs to get through a few days of forced confinement.

Now all that is left to do is hunker down and wait.

Oh and get the car to the end of the driveway, unless you like to shovel a path after all the ice and snow hits the ground.

Oh and get the sled from the basement. If you don't have a sled just grab the nearest large cardboard box, stomp it flat, or garbage can lid or just use your imagination for what will fly down the hill.

Oh and get a large mixing bowl, a big spoon, sugar and milk ready to make snow cream. Never heard of snow cream? It's the Southern equivalent of ice cream only made with fresh snow. Technically you aren't suppose to use the first snowfall for snow cream but who can resist. The old wives tales is that the first snow is "dirty" and it cleans the air out and the second snow is "safe" to eat. Pooh...I ain't afraid of a little dirt.

Now sit back, put on a pot of soup or chili and put your feet up, have a little snow cream for dessert and relax...until you have to dig the car out to get to work.

WAIT...I don't have to go to work. I am an ebay seller!! It could snow for a week and I would have enough to list for two months  weeks.

Happy Weather!!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Life in Pieces

I keep thinking that time will magically appear for me to have time to blog. I want to blog, heaven knows I have plenty of material to talk about. However, I haven't had time to do any serious thrifting, just a dash here and there to GW, so I really don't have reselling things to discuss.

Like almost everyone whose blog I read, sales were up after Thanksgiving and the first three weeks of December. When the  week of Christmas started it was like a switch flipped and the pipeline backed up. I checked the average sale price for my store Christmas week and it was $14 per item!! That is a new low. Hasn't been that low since 2010 when I started full time.  It seems like every thing that is under $10 has been selling. Sales are nice but come on eBay... I need more cash. Poof... I sold a pair of UGG boots. I think that was the only big sale all week. Come on people...Time to treat yourself to what you didn't get for Christmas.

The week between Christmas and New Year's was much better. Several sales of $50 and a few more at $25 but still had those bread and margarine items at $10-$15. (Not good enough to call them bread and butter.)

Customer issues
Who buys a lot of Christmas ornaments (listed as having some with damage) and then leaves negative feedback because they are damaged?? Also let's throw poor packaging in there without providing any photos to back it up. Peace on Earth, good will to men? Contacted the buyer and she said she expected chipped paint and not damage. Guess she can't read.

Fantastic treasures
Well, I wish I had some fantastic treasures that I have found, but since I haven't had chance to go shopping I have zilch, nada, nothing. Things don't look promising in the near future.

What I have been doing is taking care of my SweetiePie. Two hospital visits in two months. Finally a diagnosis, not a good one, but I believe accurate. Changes in meds. More changes in meds. More cognitive decline, more compulsive behavior. Just more of everything. Now I'm trying to educate myself so I can prepare for what's to come. Nothing can prepare me for what's to come.  I wish more information were available on Lewy Body Dementia, I need more information but I don't want to know what's coming but I need to know what's coming. Can I handle the stress? I must handle the stress! A vicious cycle in which one of us need to stay sane and carry on. All of this would be easier to handle on a good nights sleep once in a while. I don't think I have had more than 2 hours sleep in a row on any given night for months and months. It's like having a fussy baby, only they never get better.

So you see, selling someone else's old stuff just dropped to the bottom of the list. But I need to move it to the top of the list and keep selling because we need the income. It's more difficult than ever to concentrate on selling.

 I don't have time to really dig for high profit items and go to multiple stores in a day. Bread and butter is what it will have to be, for the time being. It's the best I can do. My main source of items is now GW and the ones in our area NEVER have sales. Never, ever in the history of time. They only accept cash or checks, no shopping carts, no cards, no bathrooms. But you can still find gems if you look hard enough. They pick the most ridiculous things to price really high and place them on the shelf next to a regular priced item that I know will sell for $40-50. So this really does prove the theory that you can find enough to sell anywhere you look. You just have to look.

I'm still holding out for the bag sale for clothing. I was able to go to the bag sale on Friday and get a bag full of stuff for $5, average price per item 15 cents. I really can't see paying $5 for jeans when I can get a bag full for 15 cents each. SweetiePie even pushed the cart for a while so I could shop but he gets tired quickly and doesn't last for long.

So, my advice for the new year. Don't waste any time doing something you don't want to do. Life, ebay whatever you enjoy. You may run out of time. Enjoy everything you can, while you can. There were lots of things that we wanted to do but that isn't possible now so we will just enjoy what we can while we can. One day, sometimes one hour at a time. Things change fast.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Help with Luggage and VOTE

Hi all...if there is anyone left out there. I need some help with this logo.
   
Is that a b or a l and r?  I can't find anything and I have spelled it all sorts of ways.


Its a laptop case that opens on each end. One end holds the cord and the other end opens to hold the laptop. Really sturdy canvas shell with nice pockets inside. Tag only says made in China. The hardware is a really nice brushed silvertone metal. Well made with nice materials so I hope it is a good brand. I am seriously stumped on this one.


On another topic.
I don't usually get political on this blog because political choices are your own and it isn't my job to make up your mind for you.

JUST VOTE...then if your chosen one doesn't get elected you are allowed to whine or complain or do whatever it is that you want to do to show your displeasure.

In line with the voting thoughts.
I saw a message on a billboard in front of a local church. Very interesting message.
                   "Who will you vote for Ahab or Jezebel?"
If you don't know who Ahab and Jezebel were you can google them. They were a married Biblical couple and were equally despicable.

Now lets all get back to listing because before you know it the election will be over and people will realize that it isn't that long until Christmas is here and they need to buy things. Maybe not old shoes but something. And they can't buy it if its not listed.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

I Didn't Fall Off The Planet, Life Keeps Changing

I can't believe that its been 2 months since my last post. Life has been kicking me lately and it takes time to recover.

Sales for July and August were in the toilet...no...worse than that...they were all the way down to the bottom of the septic system or sewer or whatever your disposal system happens to be. I mean seriously low sales. It seems that the conspiracy theories are, well mostly just in my head. I look at each and every item I purchase or list and go over it with a fine tooth comb, figuratively. Some weeks I just couldn't bring myself to list low profit items. The next week they were all that I wanted to list. I was just as up and down as my sales.

Why so up and down? Ebay has at least paid the ebay bills and given me a little something to go in the kitty, but not much. There is so much that needs to be done that now was not the time for ebay income to dry up. And yes I do have a cushion between me and poverty, but it keeps getting thinner. I've gone from a memory foam mattress to a very thin quilt batt.

I know, I know, just keep putting things, anything, into the pipeline and you will eventually get something from the other end. Hopefully cash but you never know.

I have had a few good ebay sales. I finally sold the RC plane that I have had for several months. Full price and international shipping, so that was great . A bear to pack. I had to create a box and then it was 3" over the maximum length for shipping. I was worried when I took it to the post office. I asked about an upcharge for the excess length. Do you know what the clerk said? "Don't worry about it foreign customs never measure packages." What?  This was 3". I was sure it would look like it was over to the trained "postal eye". So based on her comment I shipped it and it arrived with no damage and no additional charges. Lucky? Yes, I think so. I don't know how accurate the information from my local clerk was but I wouldn't want to do that on a regular basis. I might try to fudge on a package that weighed 4 lbs and .03 ozs because that amount would be impossible to detect by just picking up a package. But the 3" had me scared. The week I sold the plane ($249) I sold less than $100 in additional items. So while selling the plane was good, not much else sold. Good and bad. That is how everything has been lately. It almost seems as if ebay knows what you need to survive for the month and they just let that much trickle out of the pipeline. Not a conspiracy theory, just an observation

Or maybe I just shrink to what I have and make it go around. One of  Mom's favorite sayings was that it didn't matter how much money you have you always "shrink or swell to make it fit". Well here's your notice ebay, I'm tired of shrinking.

I know all of us have lots of personal issues that we are dealing with. When its something bad it seems unfair and when its something good it seems like you are finally getting something you deserve. OK, life this past year has been filled with unfair I'm ready for the good stuff. Lots of the good stuff.

This past year has been full of doctor's offices, hospital tests and new and old meds. I'm telling all of you now Medicare sucks and never pays for everything. Of course it may be just me but $340 for a 15 minute office visit just to be able to renew your meds seems excessive. Of that amount Medicare only pays 80% and if you are lucky enough to have supplemental insurance they may pay $1-5 of the balance. That is $1.00 to $5.00!! Just multiply that by several visits per week and you now have my life for the past 6 months, more or less. That isn't counting the hospital visit and all the tests there. And nothing has changed. In fact things are worse. All of this is not for me, it's been happening to my SweetiePie.  I just want it all to go away, for him to be back to his old self and we can get on with our life. But that ain't gonna happen.

I think most women handle a life changing diagnosis much better than most men. My SweetiePie can't accept the diagnosis. He has never had to deal with sickness in his own life any worse than a cold or flu. You take something for that and you get better. When your doctor say Parkinson's Disease you don't take something for that and get better. It works on your head more than your body at first.. At least that has been the case with him. I can't make him feel better since I can't read his mind. I know him better than any doctor will ever know him but I can't do anything and it's driving me crazy. And the worst thing is he has given up. How do you change that? I can make him get up every day and get dressed, take his meds and eat but I can't get into his mind and make him fight. And that is making me crazy.

Somehow ebay seems so unimportant to me now.

And yet it is more important than ever for me to be successful. I'm not old enough to start SS benefits and with all of the extra medical expenses dumped on our plate I need to step up to the plate and double my efforts to be successful. I've always done just ok on ebay but I've also wanted to do better. I always use the ebay money for things we need, not for extras. I know I have learned so much from blogs, friends and just paying attention to sales and that has given me better sales. But I need a more consistent income. And on the other hand I have less time and more to do. SweetiePie used to go shopping with me but I can't get him out of the house much any more and when we do get out he is ready to come home in 15 minutes or less. Not much sourcing in 15 minutes.And I can't go sourcing all day and leave him alone. There must be a way to do this without driving myself crazy.

I have been interested in sellers that buy from ebay and amazon and resell on ebay. That intrigues me and that might be a way to source from home. I plan to test the waters on that kind of sourcing very carefully and soon. Hopefully something will pan out.

Lucky for me I have a bunch of death piles. Unlucky for me they are from a while ago and are mostly low dollar stuff. But low dollar is better than no dollar.

Life goes on. All I want to do is make the highs and lows more like little speed bumps instead of the Rocky Mountains.

Treading water.



Saturday, July 9, 2016

If I could get my hands around Bill Gates....

Well not him personally. And I really don't want to harm anyone. But I just had an issue with Windows 10 and it has left me scratching my head.

I upgraded for free (Grand Dad said you get what you pay for) to Windows 10 a while back. Now I wish I had never heard of Windows 10.

It seems that there is a hidden admin with password that prohibits me from fixing my wireless printer. We had a millisecond of a power outage the other day and after that I couldn't print on my wireless printer. The laptop said it was offline but the printer was working fine. After a half day on the phone with Brother and my laptop maker(who wanted to sell me "unlimited" support for only $249 because I was out of warranty)  I was about to scream and pull my hair out.

You can't add a port to your laptop without being the admin and I was the admin but I couldn't do anything and it was a vicious circle.. Luckily when I added the printer I screwed up along the way and had a copy 1 of the printer so I could use that with admin powers to add the port and move on. I finally figured that out without "customer support" and it was free.

I know it doesn't make sense to vent here but my SweetiePie doesn't understand anything computer related and couldn't understand why I was so upset. His words of advice was to call someone. What does he think I was doing with the phone stuck to my ear for 4 hours?

I do believe I used every variation of every curse word that I have ever know or even thought about and then I probably invented some new ones. Thank goodness there were no little ears around to hear my rant. The cat was napping. I guess that's what  you learn when you work with 25 mechanic guys for 19 years.

I apologize to the universe and anyone who heard me rant and rage on. My blood pressure probably was through the roof.

But the problem is fixed and I can print again.

I had two packages to mail and I had to hand print labels and take them to the post office. I know, I could have probably done it from my phone but I didn't know how (I do now) and I didn't have time to figure it out. And it was only two packages.

If I drank I would surely finish off the bottle on this one.

As the customer support person said cheerfully before he hung up, after not fixing the problem...

Have a nice day!!! I'm glad he couldn't hear my response.......

Friday, July 8, 2016

You may be a shipping nerd if....


you use your ebay tape sparingly so the package isn't too busy.




You may be a shipping nerd if...you MUST spell ebay when you seal an already sealed package on the back.




Extra shipping nerd points for spelling ebay on the front with the ends of the tape.



Are you a shipping nerd?

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Buyers Don't Care....Stay Positive


I recently sold a silk scarf to a buyer in NY. It was a vintage Bill Blass that was 100% silk.
 
 Or so you would believe if you actually read the tag. The reason for return was too thick that it didn't feel like silk. Boom!! Not as described. I politely and professionally wrote back and stated that there was a tag on the scarf that said "All Silk". (I'm pretty sure that all means 100%). He replied and said    "the fabric is thin & semi transparent, therefore it does not work for me."
   After a few calls to ebay it was determined that it was buyers remorse and there was nothing wrong with the scarf. But the problem is not that.

The buyer opened a not as described case and that automatically charges me the return shipping. I have no choice but to approve the return or face the wrath of ebay for not handling the return and according to ebay once I agree to the return and the return shipping, they can't change that.

Now its just $2.45 for return shipping but after a while it grates on me that the buyer got away with this crap once again. And ebay let them. I did refund in paypal and charge 20% restocking fee.

This is what the package looked like when I received it in the mail.
If you think that the end of the poly mailer is open you are absolutely right. Thank goodness he wrapped it back in the tissue that I shipped it with. If not the scarf would have slipped right out of the mailer. Once again the buyer just doesn't give a damn.

Staying Positive!!...??

June wasn't the worst month for me, just not the best. July isn't looking good at all. I was prepared for slow sales over the week-end but not no sales. I had one sale on Friday night, no sales on Saturday, two sales on Sunday and one sale on Monday. Then I thought things were going better on Tuesday when I woke up to the cha-ching. But that was it. I looked at my week and I was all the way up to $224 but my total for the last 4 days was $124. That means that my sales for the other 3 days were only $100. That is sales, not profit.That is miserable and means that it doesn't even pay ebay store fees for the week. My goal is $100 a day. It seems I'm a bit off.

I don't like to talk about sales, money or stuff like that but it's hard staying positive when nothing is selling. Oh, I could have sold a couple of things but 50% off with free shipping is worse than no sales. Losing money is worse than no money. I don't like to price sky high and then take 50% of what I have the item listed for. I just think it sets a bad example for sales. I do accept reasonable offers, I just had an offer not 2 hours after it went live for a cycling helmet for half list price. What? If I wanted $50 for the helmet that is what I would have listed it for. Do buyers just look up something and go down the list making ridiculous offers (on the same items)until someone accepts?

Well, some good things have happened with all this "free" time. I have gotten more listed. Of course I didn't get the house clean, laundry done or the grass mowed, but I did get more listed. Doing everything yourself sure does suck, you can't blame anyone for the slow sales but ebay. Throttling and all that seems feasible about now.

Keep listing, it WILL get better.