front porch trash

front porch trash

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Painfully Slow Around Here

I keep trying to be positive about ebay but it keeps getting harder for me to get back into the swing of things. I have very limited time and there are other things that keep getting all of my attention.

Sales have picked up just a tad. Not huge but better sales and more consistent. But listing time is non-existent most days. After taking care of SweetiePie for most of the day I just can't force myself to sit down at the computer and deal with listing. My service provider is a PITA and I keep having issues with SellerSourceBook and I just dread trying to list. Every time I  contact SSB with a problem it seems that it is my fault, my computer's fault or my service provider's fault. Granted they may all be contributing to the problem but SSB needs to accept some responsibility. But most days I don't want to deal with things after taking care of everything all day.

The most exciting thing today was 3 great sales and a very persistent bird. Two pair of shoes and a chamois shirt. The persistent bird was a male cardinal that was very determined to get in one of the windows on our front porch. He kept flying into the window and hopping on the window sill and chirping. Our "guard cat" was scared and wouldn't get near the window. So much for the guard cat.

This little fellow really wanted to get in.  I was able to get really close and he didn't fly away. Kept us amused for 30-45 minutes before he flew off.

I really need to get pumped up and get on the listing track. Maybe today's sales will get me going after SweetiePie goes to bed.

That and a couple of glasses of wine!

Friday, September 29, 2017

Learning New Skills

I'm so proud of myself. I changed out the battery in my car and didn't have to reset all of the codes. In my current situation I'm having to learn all sorts of new things.

Last week it was how to replace a drive belt on a riding lawn mower. This week it is how to change out a dead battery without getting a hernia, those babies are heavy.

Who knows what will be on the agenda next week. Right now, I'm hoping for nothing.

I knew there was a reason I liked to go out to the wash house with my dad when I was little. For you non-Southerners a wash house is a small building where the old well was and two black iron kettles for washing were. Of course we never used the building for that. That's where my dad's workshop was. A fun place to hang out. All those interesting tools and he let me use the hammers and stuff.

As for ebay I haven't had to go shopping for quite a while. I have enough to list for at least a year. Also I haven't listed since the end of August. I took a real break the first of September and didn't try to get any listings done while I was on vacation. When I was ready to list SweetiePie needed special attention and I haven't been able to get listing worked into the schedule.

So, I am 70% down in sales from the same period last year. It is what it is, but it sure does suck. At this rate I will not even make 20K this year. I hope I can get back in the groove before the 4th quarter is over with.

But, there are more important things than money.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Busy Busy Busy

Where does the time escape to? It seems just like yesterday that it was New Year's Eve and January was off and running. I know I have been running non-stop since then. Ebay was good in January and and after that things kinda hit the old fan.

Ebay sales have been very, very, very, very s...l...o...o...o...o...w. I was on vacation Labor Day week and I put my store on vacation with date heading so everyone would know. I had 5 sales for the week and had 5 days with no sales. That is the most dry days I have ever had, ever. Since I have been back I have had 7 sales. Now, I have not had time to get anything listed yet but I have photos of 7 totes full of stuff ready to list.  While I was in Atlanta I did my shopping thing while the daughter and granddaughter did their dragon con thing. I only filled 4 Ikea blue bags with stuff on the whole vacation. That includes two trips to GW outlets on the way home. I have so much stuff that I really don't need to shop. SweetiePie was being well taken care of by his sister and daughter and it was more of a vacation for me. I slept for 8 hours in a row and didn't have to listen to Roy Boy even once!! Now that was a vacation!!

 When I got home I had to deal with this, and a car with a dead battery. Dead battery, piece of cake. Lawn mower, something else.

I was mowing grass at our other house, the one I'm trying to restore, and ran over a piece of wire that got wrapped around the blade spindle and I just couldn't get to it to get it off. So I loaded it up on the trailer and took it to our local lawn & garden repair shop. The nice service manager removed the wire while I was waiting and didn't charge me. I was flabbergasted when he didn't charge me anything. We have had other equipment serviced there and we need to get our chipper/shredder up and running so I will take it in and get them to fix it. I can guarantee that will not be free.

After the mower was up and running I was able to get part of the front yard mowed before another problem popped up. The drive belt broke. I don't think that the wire caused the belt to break but it could have. In any case the drive belt is just a bit more complicated to replace. After I purchased a new belt and followed the directions to remove the mowing deck I had to go back for another belt. I had the wrong one. With the right one on and everything back together, no leftover screws or parts, the mower works fine and I finished the front yard. Now the sides and back and load up the mower and take it to the other house and mow there. It never ends.

Ebay has taken a back burner but somehow they force me to work on ebay. I am still working on removing active content. I had trouble with finding where to get it done. After several calls to ebay and lots of explanation I finally got started on the active content only to be hit with non compliant listings that need to be fixed. I have 2000 listings and I have over 1800 non compliant listings. And there is no bulk fix for them. I would scream and pull my hair out if I thought it would do any good. But  I just need to bite the bullet and get it done.

SweetiePie requires more time and attention. He doesn't want me out of his sight. I always tell him where I'm going, i.e. upstairs, to the laundry room, to the garage or where ever. About 2 seconds after I start whatever I need to do, where I need to do it, he "needs" me to do something for him. Most of the time he just wants my attention and I understand. But sometimes I would really, really like to go to the bathroom without him standing outside the door saying "leave the light on" his cue for he needs to go next. We have 2 bathrooms downstairs, no waiting, but he wants to be in the  one that I'm in. After 45 years, that's not a problem. But every time? Come on, give me a break.

So, life goes on but busy, busy, busy. I'm being forced to learn new things that I depended on SweetiePie to do. I never dreamed I could replace the drive belt on a riding tractor mower. But I did.
Now every muscle in my body is screaming.

All those times I tagged along with my dad to the hardware store are paying off. (I still love the hardware store!!)

Thanks Dad!!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Creative Marketing

 I can't believe that I went to a GW yesterday and did not buy a single item. Shoes were all stinky. The bins where they have t shirts, linens, lingerie and small stuff was down to just the really, really used items. Broken, stained, ripped or stuff I wasn't interested in. It doesn't happen very often that I buy absolutely nothing. Sometimes I find stuff for myself, SweetiePie or other family members.

Today it was so hot, hot, hot but SweetiePie needed to get out into the world. His gait is changing and he is dragging his feet so I feel like I need to get him out when we can. So we treated ourselves to lunch and about 30 minutes shopping. We were going to a large thrift store but decided to go to a smaller one that has high prices but good markdowns. Today was 50% off of one item. No coupon needed. We browsed all over the store and found only a couple of things for resale and nothing for anyone else. I purchased a set of copper ladles that I think may be liquor measuring ladles. More research needed. An a set of hot roller clips. Very exciting purchases.

But the most interesting thing in the store was the knick knack area. You never know what you will find on these shelves. Like for instance this:

Well I call that creative marketing

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

New Laptop

I found this laptop at my favorite thrift store but I can't seem to find where the battery is.

I even checked the back

It looks like it's been around a while so I'm guessing that it needs a new battery.
Well, if I can't find a battery I guess I could sell it on ebay...just a thought.

I wonder if kids today would know how to use this chalkboard or would it be too boring? No qwerty keyboard!!

Monday, July 3, 2017

A True Scavenger Adventure

I'm always on the lookout for free or next to free stuff to complete the remodel that I am reluctantly doing on a second abode that we own. I troll  carefully search craigslist for a good refrigerator, a stove and washer dryer for the kitchen every day. I refuse to wait until the last minute because I know it takes time to find the right appliances at the right price.

I also try to find anything I can at Restore that I can reuse in the house. I recently found a small bathroom window and I have already purchased some kitchen lights. But I haven't found any insulation and I need some more for the bathroom.

The insulation in the bathroom is R-11. Not enough for two outside corner walls. I was reading up on insulation and 1" of styrofoam equals R-5. So if I could find 1" styrofoam sheets I could just add them between the studs on top of the current fiberglass and upgrade to about R-16. Good idea !!??

I found some on craigslist for $4 a sheet, 1" thick,about 30"x80".But another listing was for $1 for an entire pallet of styrofoam sheets. Yes, $1 for the whole pallet. There were about 60 sheets on the pallet and they were smaller than the $4 sheets but still very usable. But...they were 60 miles away. Pffft, we travel 52 miles, one way, 3 times a week to work on the house. Piece of cake, or piece of styrofoam cake.

After deciding to purchase a pallet to test and see if it was a solution I called and scheduled a pick up for Thursday. No rain, bearable humidity and an easy interstate drive. One pallet would fit in the back of the truck and I had tiedowns. The person I talked to said the pallets were wrapped. I assumed that meant wrapped in plastic and didn't take a tarp. Bad idea!!

So Sweetiepie and I took off for the pick up. I don't know if you know anyone who has dementia but routine and repetition are what keeps them happy. Lately Sweetiepie wants to listen to his music in the truck when we are traveling back and forth to the other house, aka "the country estate". His current favorite is Roy Orbison. Now, I do like Roy Boy, as he calls him, but 2.5 times the tape each way is an overload of Roy for me. He has a cassette player in the truck (1995 Toyota) and a single tape that I taped for him from a cd.But if it keeps him happy, then it is worth it.

The styrofoam was on a wooden pallet and it had ONE black strip of strapping around the entire lot. Of course for use in a warehouse you only needed to keep it all on the pallet. Not enough tie down for I-85. So the two guys that got the pallet from the warehouse tied the pallet down with my straps for me and I tipped them $5 and told them to have a cold one on me, they deserved one for being out in the heat to tie down my styrofoam. And off we went. Me, SweetiePie and Roy.

I only got about 2 blocks away before the top two pieces broke at the strap and flew away. I immediately pulled over, assessed the situation and decided that rope would be the answer. Luckily, :), I was at a Restore store and went in to purchase rope. Wouldn't you know it, no rope in the entire place. I purchased a sheet for $1.50 and thought I would rip it up and use it for tie downs. After about 30 minutes of tieing and pulling and getting everything just so, we took off.

Again we went about 2 blocks and more styrofoam broke and the sheet started coming off. Grrrrrr what to do? So I pulled into a parking lot of a laundromat and pondered what to do. The base of the pallet was on the truck bed. If I could get the pallet on its side and have the pallet break the force of the wind I could keep it from breaking and flying free. Easier said than done. A single person with a pallet of styrofoam and trying to turn it on its side. And of course I had on white pants. It was a site to behold. A very kind gentleman that was hanging out at the laundromat helped me get down from the truck and helped me with the tie downs. Bless his heart!

I got the pallet on its side but the styrofoam looked like a row of dominoes with a black strap around it. But...I knew the wind would not catch the styrofoam so I proceeded to tie down the heck out of that pallet.  I'm sure cars behind me were expecting it to tumble down any minute. So of course they wanted to be really close to the tailgate so they could SEE the styrofoam really close up.

In the end I opted not to take the interstate and took the back roads home. It was a nice drive since most of the way the speed limit was 45 and traffic wasn't too bad. I did pull over twice to let traffic pass when there were over a dozen cars behind me. I took my camera to take pics of everything but didn't take any. I was busy.

We left home at 11am and we got home at 7pm. I was about to scream, pull my hair out and I'm pretty sure my blood pressure was off the charts. We had to listen to Roy both ways and since it took so long to get home it was about 10 repeats of Roy. "Only the Lonely, Working for the Man, Pretty Woman".

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Bonus Surprise

I am always waiting until the last minute to do things that have to be done. I put off using my ebay coupon until last week. I had lots of excuses. I was busy. I had enough boxes and tape. I needed to clean up my box storage area before ordering supplies. Yada...yada...yada

So last week I finally sat down long enough to decide what I needed to order. I did a brief inventory and ordered my ebay supplies and USPS boxes.

Fast forward to Thursday and ebay boxes arrived.

I am so glad that I am not a UPS delivery man. The boxes arrived in two HUGE boxes and a small box of tape. The boxes were about 3' x 4' and weighed too much for me to lift safely. (Sure, I'll lift a sheet of drywall but not a box of cardboard?) I opened them on the porch and pulled out the various sized boxes and put them in the grand girls bedroom until I could put them up in their correct spaces.

I finally opened the tape box today.

I ordered 24 rolls of tape, but what is that mystery box in the middle?

Why it's a new tape gun!!!

I ordered 7 sizes of boxes/envelopes for a grand total of $3.56 out of pocket. Plus I get a free tape gun? Well it's about time for a nice surprise.

Did I miss a special announcement about free supplies or is this just an error? Did anyone else receive a tape gun with their tape order?