front porch trash

front porch trash

Monday, August 26, 2013


I must apologize for the rant yesterday. But sometimes I gotta....

Vacation is coming up. Yeah....a working vacation....but at least a vacation.

My daughter SmartA** is going to Dragoncon again this year. So I volunteered to tag along to drive there and back and drop her off at the convention. It worked ok last year but I think this year it will be better. We have a plan and know what to expect. I hope I get to see a lot  of the people dressed in their creative outfits. Some you would not believe. There are some very creative people out there.

And while she is at Dragoncon what do I get to do? I go thrifting!!! Last year went pretty good. This year should be better. I hope to get to more stores and find things that I don't find around home. Some brands of clothing that are good sellers on ebay I never see here. Hopefully I will be able to find some in Atlanta. Even if I don't buy them I can see them and touch them and know what to look for and hopefully find some here at home.

After my rant about ebay, watch what happens. Things will pick up next week, while my store is on vacation. I know some ebay sellers put their store on vacation all the time for a day or two when they want sales to pick up. I tried this once and it seemed to make it worse instead of better.

I try to get listings scheduled to list while I am away. That is a nightmare. I try to list 5 things a day, every day. While on vacation I drop it back to 3 a day. Last year when I returned I had about 18 things to pack up and ship. A little less than an average week. This year, with all of the slow sales, I don't know what to expect.

So back to taking pics, writing listings and laundry and cooking and just normal stuff. Keeping an eye on the calendar though...can't wait!!!

Keep an eye on my boots for me.

Sunday, August 25, 2013


It's a fact. Ebay sucks big time for the last month.

I don't do the pinterest thing or facebook thing to get sales. I don't have time to sit and post cutsey little things all day long. I know its social media but I don't want to be social. I want to sell on ebay so I can afford gas and groceries and prescriptions and all of those silly luxuries And I don't really care if you took a nap or ate lunch or went to the beach or mall or whatever. I do care what my family does, but not people I barely know.

So there.
(The following is a rant about ebay. I am sure that my SweetiePie is so tired of hearing me b**** about ebay that I just had to vent somewhere. I apologize for taking up your time and space in the galaxy for my rant, but I am about to pop a gasket because of ebay sales.)

I do know that ebay plays with us. I called ebay about an item that the customer was refunded for. I received a message from ebay that a package had been received and I closed the case. I had shipped on time, the post office delivered on time, the buyer was not home and did not respond to the notice left by the post office. The package was delivered again and accepted this time. End of story? You would think so. But ebay refunded their money. What? They received the item. Ebay acknowledged that they received the item. Ebay refunded the money. I told the "customer service rep" this information. You want to hear her reply. "That is not my department. It is handled by another department". True, ebay did not take funds from my account for this action, which was the post office and buyers problem. Thank goodness or I would have "pitched a hissy fit!!"

More ebay playing with us.

I have been trying to access my traffic reports from ebay all afternoon. Not available. Not available. I have also had no traffic in my store. No sales, no stupid questions, no nothing. Are ebay traffic reports only available when you are visible on ebay? I am beginning to think just that. I'm just wondering if that is the case for everyone else. I just typed, word for word, two items that listed this morning on ebay into google search. You would think that my item would pop up at the top or near the top. Neither one of them popped up. One appeared in a list after you clicked to ebay. The other one not at all and it is the only one like it on ebay. It was the Italian leather boots discussed in a previous post.

From what I gather from other sellers ebay is dragging along now. I know its vacation time and back to school time and whatever other time, but you would think that a store would at least sell something. It has been an almost over the edge of the cliff change in sales.I have gone from 3-4 sales daily to sometimes 1 and never more than 2 daily. And a lot of days just plain zero. Just a month ago I was averaging 8-10 sales over the weekend, most of the time more. Last weekend I had 2 sales. This weekend I have had woop woop 3 sales. What will I do? Set of firecrackers? Post it on facebook? No. I will just keep listing and hoping that something changes.

I would love to ask questions of people in the same situation. But where to ask? I participated in the ebug proboards and received lots of help, support and lots of helpful tips to work the ebay game. Now that has died because everyone has gone to .... yep facebook.

More ebay playing.

One of the things I have been doing is keeping within my 500 free listings for my store. The first month I used exactly 500 listings. Last month I used exactly 500 listings. I checked my traffic. When I reached my 500 free listings on the 28th last month my traffic dropped like a waterfall. Just a coincidence? This month I have already reached 500 listings and I had no choice but to pay 10c for each listing. So many things did not sell that virtually everything had to be relisted. I list 5 new things a day. Every. Day. I have only missed one day in the last 3 months of not listing anything. Most sources say keep listing, daily listing is important, it will pick up. I'm waiting....

Does the fact that you use a different size font than what is recommended by ebay make a difference in your standings?
Does the fact that you use an outside source to create and launch your listings make a difference in your standings? I still stand by my belief that if ebay owned SSB that it would be OK to use their services. Just my crazy theory.
Does it make a difference in my ebay standings that I don't offer free shipping on everything? I do on some things but most I don't. I refuse to list an item for $19.99 with free shipping if I can't make a decent profit of at least more than ebay and paypal make in their fees. That's just plain too much work and not enough profit. If I buy an item for $3, list for $20, and it cost me 10-12 to ship then I have NO PROFIT after fees. A bad purchase maybe, but I still need to sell to get rid of it so I can purchase something else.
Or is it because I have tried to upgrade the quality of items in my store to what ebay deems appropriate and entered a new ball game? I read blogs all the time about the type of items that sell and how they are flying off the shelf. It seems that when I try and follow their suggestions that I have a problem. I think the answer is that too many follow their suggestions and ebay gets flooded with that stuff. I read all of these blogs and try to pick and choose what I list based upon what is available in my area. Most of the brand names that appear on those lists aren't even available in my area. If they are then I am missing them. And I don't think I could miss all of them all of the time.

OK rant over. I feel better. But nothing has changed. I haven't magically had any sales or magically been able to access my traffic reports. I still want to grasp someone's neck at ebay and shake them until their brains unscramble...but that is just me.

Have a wonderful week.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


In an effort to perk up my life I hit a Goodwill on a trip into town yesterday. After a dismal last week of sales but a better start to this week, I still needed a little thrift therapy. That or ice cream and I didn't have any ice cream.
Love the little Popple and the pink bathroom scale, even
though I'm not a pink person. I hope someone is.
I really went to look for some summer tops for myself because my Labor Day trip is coming up. I could kick myself for going to GW for tops. They sort things by color but not size. You will find a size zero next to a 5x. No attempt to put REAL WOMEN tops on a rack by themselves. So there were about 4 racks, 40 feet long to search through. I did attempt one rack and then gave up. Nothing above an XL, most SM or XSM. So I ventured into other areas where I usually have good luck. Shoes were first and I had limited myself to no more than $20 to spend.

I found 3 pair of boots that looked promising. RocketDog suede women's (20-25), stride rite suede girls (15-20), and another pair of women's leather boots that I wasn't familiar with but they felt like velvet and still had a new leather smell.
The leather shin guard that is attached
with the gold buttons, I just found out
 is removable.
Look how new the inside looks. The leather is perfect. Only
very light scuffs on the sole. Size 8.5
Have you ever heard of Damiano Marini shoes? Neither had I, but I found them in Italy. They make handmade leather shoes. Most of the shoes are outrageous, tall spike heeled things. Lady GaGa would love them. Check them out here. See the photo on the top right, the boot on the right top shelf? That's my boot!!. Now, the real problem, I can't find out how much these things cost. Apparently there is only one place in the US to buy them and that is in Florida. Similar boots are selling for $300 to $700.

Anyone have any suggestions? I am thinking of starting them at about $150 -$200 with best offer. Too low, too high? Any thoughts?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Does anyone else ever feel like ebay puts them in time out for infractions of their rules?

Last week I had an item to sell, a lot of playing cards, that I didn't have in inventory. Why? Because I sold them 3 days earlier on Bonanza and forgot to take them off ebay.  Because of my mistake I had to cancel the ebay sale. I apologized to the customer and she was fine with it. Life moved on. Or so I thought.

For the next two days, no ebay sales. Coincidence? Maybe, but I don't think so. Last week I had only 8 sales all week. I very rarely have a Fri, Sat, or Sunday with only 3 sales. I realize that I should be grateful for any sale because from what I read and hear things are slow all over ebay. But as a comparison, I have already had 9 sales from Sun to Tues of this week. To make matters worse every time I try to get a traffic report it is "unavailable". Come one ebay, give me my reports. 

That's why I feel like ebay has put me in the corner for being a "bad seller". I haven't changed my listing pattern. I still list at least 5 items every day and do 10-20 relist items every day. What more does ebay want. They are only ultimately hurting themselves, along with me. I am also trying to stay within my 500 free listings for my store. Its not easy. Especially if you don't sell anything and have to relist everything. I am slowly getting rid of low view items and replacing them with higher priced things.

Just for curiosity I added up all of the items on page one of my store that had watchers. I had a total of $3900 in inventory and about $1600 worth of things that had watchers. That's a lot of watching. Where is my magic lamp? I need to make a wish that everybody watching an item would magically purchase it. Yeah, that sounds good.

Oh, just on page one. I don't want to be too greedy.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


We, as ebay sellers, are always looking at other sellers blogs, stores and just checking things out to see what is selling, how things look and what the best prices are. Heck, there are some brands that I never find at my thrift stores and I check them online to see what they look like.

There is a blog, a very popular blog, that I check sometimes. This blog has a great resource list of ID sites and I have used them lots of time when I had something I just couldn't find on ebay.

I was reading this blog this morning and I hadn't been to their store in a while. The blog topic today was things flying off the shelf. I thought I would see what was flying off the shelf because we all want things to do just that. (Oh, and what is up with just one picture per item? I thought the better we described things in pictures the better the customer liked it? If I'm looking to buy an item for $50-60 I would want to see more than one picture. Just my way of thinking.)

Imagine my surprise when I clicked on her feedback list and saw about 25% of her items sold with best offer accepted. A pair of shoes listed for $65 and she accepted $33? A top listed for $18 and accepted $7? Now, I don't know how long these things had been listed or what she paid for them originally, but is this real?

I may be crazy but I think I list things for a fair price. Sure, sometimes I list way too high. But a lot of times the completed listings are all over the place and I will tend to go with the higher end pricing with the reasoning that I can reduce the price later if it doesn't sell. But 25% of my items at less than half the listed price? I don't think so.

It's not the fact that I am greedy or am out to gouge my ebay buyer, but I'm like everyone else. I want fair market value for my price and my work.

I'm not in this business to give away my stuff.
My stuff ...that it took expensive gas to go find.
My stuff ...that it took my time to clean, photograph and list.
My stuff ...that I drive to the PO every day to ship because I don't want to risk putting the boxes on my porch and having something happen to them. (It's called paranoid!!)

I'm going to take a look at what I have listed just for the fun of it and imagine that I took half price for everything. (It's called a nightmare, Stephen King style!!)

And since every listing should have some kind of picture. I'm going to include my sweet Nikki. She has been gone for 2 years now and I still miss her.
Her eyes were really amber.

Saturday, August 3, 2013


Hi all...boy has it been like a roller coaster around here.

First, I have no sales for a day or so. Then I have 6 sales in a matter of a couple of hours. Then no sales and more no sales and then a sale or two, just to see if I'm paying attention.

I can't take it....I loose focus.....I let things slip by me.....I go CRAZY off the deep end.

It sure is good there is no ice cream....or the house because I could make a quick job of some mint chocolate chip or burgundy cherry or rocky road....hold that thought. I'll be back in a few minutes.....

Well, I didn't run to the store for ice cream, but it sure was tempting. We did have to go purchase a new battery for my car, $175. I haven't made that much all week. I had better get busy busting my buns and get some "good" stuff listed.

I was zipping around yesterday trying to get pictures done and I started cleaning out boxes of things that used to be listed but that I let expire and didn't take them out of the listed boxes and put either in donate or relist. I keep sold on one side of the room and to list on the other side. And just everything in the middle. Hey, I do have a path to get from one side to the other....

I pulled out a cutie little pink elephant lovey and got busy taking pictures. I had about 5 or 6 loves that I just had no luck with and I thought I would let them sit and then take new pics and relist.

Didn't notice anything wrong until I was editing my pictures last night. This is one that did not make the listing.
I didn't stage this, it just happened. Can you find the funny?
I know, get my mind out of the gutter. But I bet I have a lot of company.