front porch trash

front porch trash

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

So Much for Cyber Monday

Well, I have a new phrase that I'm sick and tired of hearing.

Cyber Monday

Apparently buyers in my store think that Cyber Monday is a day to ask questions. I have had questions all day long. Not interesting questions, dumb questions. Someone asks me the standard shipping cost of an item when it is plainly visible in the listing. Kinda like what color is that blue sweater?

 Another customer wants to return an electrical item that they purchased. I tested when I purchased and before I shipped and IT WORKED.
Do you see a battery? No!!!
 When they first contacted me and said it "wasn't functioning properly" I asked if they used a fully charged battery to test the vacuum. No response. Now today they open a case saying it is defective. I sold them a Dyson DC16 without a battery and charger. Plainly stated in two places that the battery and charger not included. I have a sneaky suspicion that they thought it had a battery when they purchased. They looked at the cheaper cost and didn't look at the description. I don't mind taking back the return, but damn if I want to pay return shipping when it works and they are too stupid to see that it needs a battery to work.

But things did get better today. I sold this item to a gentlemen in England.
It arrived today and he sent me a nice message to say that it is the best thing he has purchased on line. It is a cast aluminum pepper or herb mill, Perfex brand made in France and apparently cost over $100 new. I picked it up for 25c and sold it for $35 because it had some light spots on the top that I didn't know if they could be cleaned off or not. I didn't have any luck getting them off.

Someone tell me when things are going to be normal again so I can come out of hibernation and join the human race.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Enough with Black Friday already

I am just about fed up with all of the hype about Black Friday.

What about Thanksgiving?

Do we just forget Thanksgiving and go shopping? Some workers can only afford to take two holidays off a year. Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. How would you like your holiday time cut in half?

Think about it.

I know it's nice to have a job, but someone has to pull those early hour shifts. I know they offer overtime and extra pay.

But enough is enough. Stop pushing shopping on Black Friday.

I went shopping once on Black Friday, back in the 70's, before it was officially called Black Friday. Didn't find anything spectacular, didn't find a parking space. Long lines, frazzeled clerks, grumpy shoppers.

Count me out.

I choose to spend the time with my family.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

How did you start you ebay journey?

I've been snowed under the last few weeks. No, not actual snow, the ebay kind. I am slowly digging my way out of the piles of stuff. Just in time to be the hostess for Thanksgiving for the family.

October sales were just average. But only slightly above last years sales. I have almost twice as much inventory this year as last year. Should that make me have twice as many sales? You would think so.

November has been super good. I have sold a lot of items that have been listed for a while, some over a year. I really think that Good Till Cancelled is the way to go. Why did I put it off so long? So, it really is true that anything will sell eventually.

That got me to thinking about August, 2010. That's when I lost my medical job and just couldn't find another one as good. No one wants an "older lady" CMA. Funny, while I was in school my instructor kept saying "you won't have any problem finding a job" Yeah right. Well, after I left that job I decided to give ebay a full time tryout. I had been selling off and on while I was out of work and in school, selling stuff around the house, leftover craft stuff and textbooks. I convinced my SweetiePie that I could make a REAL profit from ebay and I wanted to take a chance. He supported my efforts by not complaining about the lack of household organization or clean underwear. Thanks SweetiePie!!

So I took $100 from my "secret stash/mad money/emergency funds" and went to purchase my first real inventory. I remember planning my trip to make the best use of time and gas. I took some granola bars and a couple of bottles of water, some IKEA bags and off I went.

 Who knew that 4 years later I would still be going strong. I don't remember much of what I purchased that first trip, but I do remember going the cheap route. I purchased a ton of men's polo shirts, children's clothes, women's clothes and vintage glassware the first few months. Looking back on my logbook of inventory makes me laugh. I learned lots of lessons that first holiday season. I no longer buy men's polo shirts unless they are big name brands. I don't buy children's clothes unless they are Halloween costumes or fancy dress outfits. I don't buy anything that needs major repair. And at first I wouldn't purchase any shoes. Now shoes and boots are a major seller. In women's clothes I have stepped up to higher prices and better quality items and don't sell much vintage glassware.

But I am grateful for that first learning year. I wanted to argue with every return. I didn't want to deal with customer service. I learned how to pack everything correctly. I learned where to get boxes, tissue paper, packing peanuts, labels, tape and just about anything else I needed. But most of all I learned the most important thing...RESEARCH.

That first year I relied on the old gut. Well, the gut wasn't right enough of the time to suit me. So I started looking things up. Duh!! Why hadn't I thought of that before. I started reading blogs about people doing what I was doing, making the same mistakes, learning, and moving onward and upward. I started to make some money. I was happy, SweetiePie was happy, the cat was happy, everyone was happy!!!

So I'll share some of the things I've learned.

**Don't buy junk. If you buy something damaged, realize that it will take time to fix it. Time is money and if it takes too much time you don't make any money.

**Learn how to clean....everything. I don't like to scrape old gum or horse poop off of shoes. Who does? But sometimes it just has to be done. I bought a pair of Ariat boots for $4.59 and the soles were covered in dried poop and straw. I cleaned them and made $50. That's what gloves are for.

**Learn how to take good pictures. I'm still working on this. My camera hates me. Really. Black items come out green or blue. Red items come out pink or orange. Its still a work in progress.

**Learn how to write a good description. I cringe when I see items listed with one or two pictures, and the only description of the items is "good condition". How do they ever sell anything? Maybe I over describe, but at least I am familiar with my items and that helps me find little flaws and any issues with the item.

**Don't argue with a buyer. It's just stuff. Return it, refund, and move on. It's not personal unless you make it personal.

**Buy a  mannequin. I haven't done that yet. I have those plastic half people that really aren't all that great, but they are cheap and will do until I find a mannequin that I can afford. I do have Emma, a vintage sewing mannequin that my aunt gave me, but she is dark and doesn't adjust anymore and not really clean looking for good photos. I'll keep looking. There is one out there with my name on it. I just know it.

**Research everything. Twice. You won't be sorry. And you learn so many interesting things.

**Be thankful for all of the nice people who write blogs about the same things that you enjoy and are willing to share their successes and failures with the world.

**Don't believe everything you read on the internet. All of those youtube videos about such great hauls of stuff. It's nice to see what you bought but I would really be interested to see what sold and for how much. I don't really need to know the profit margin, just that it did sell

OK.....whew that was a lot of words. Now how about some pics of recent good sales.

 Raccoon collar and cuffs picked up at estate sale sold for $50 plus shipping
A yard sale find for $2, ordered the safety harness, sold quickly for $25 plus shipping to Brazil
Found at a thrift store and sold within a week for $75 plus shipping to Australia
Found at the same estate sale as the fur collars. Purchased 3 for $10 and have already sold two for $35 each. These were really damaged with some blocks  with chunks of fabric missing. Nothing that couldn't be fixed, by the buyer not me!! 

Found these at a yard sale for $2. VTG 70's with almost no wear and the original gold logo. Others online were selling for $60-$75. I wanted more, not greedy but I knew I could get it because of the condition of the logo, so I listed for $125 and free shipping and I shipped them out today. Only listed for about a month. Ask higher and you can always take less.
I sometimes sell items for my daughter and split the profits 50/50. She picked this Maya Wrap up for fabric and decided it was too nice to cut up. She is really happy that she didn't cut it up. Purchased for $1, sold for $50 plus shipping. A nice little profit for Mother and Daughter

So get out there and find something great, take great pictures, write a great description and sell it, and tell us. And share with me how and why you got started.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Is it a coincidence or conspiracy?

I don't know if anyone out there watches "Bones" on Fox, but I love it. She is a forensic anthropologist and is so funny, blunt, brazen and adorable. Well, anyway there is a character on the show, another scientist, Dr. Hodgins, or just Hodgins, who is always attributing anything that happens to a conspiracy plot. I don't think that everything is a conspiracy but some things make you wonder.

The bay has been after all TRS to opt in to the 45 day return policy to take effect after Nov 1. I planned on doing just that since I have been able to hold on to TRS since the "big change". I just hadn't opted in yet. Well, this week I received two messages from ebay about how they were looking out for my welfare with all of the wonderful ads they had on TV and cable. Both had sections to opt in to the return policy. I didn't respond. I decided to wait until the end of Oct, thinking that it would change my current listing to 45 days.

Duh!! it didn't, but hey I'm a procrastinator at heart.

So, the moral of the story is don't wait. Why?  Because I have had absolutely no store activity for the last two days, except for one nice person to point out an error in my listing, no sales, nada. Then I get back from errands today, with still no action, and decide to go ahead and opt in. Just to see if it would make a difference.

I opted in to the 45 day returns at 3:24 pm. At 3:32 pm I had my first sale in 2 days.

Coincidence? Maybe, but just let me wallow in my conspiracy theory for a while, OK?

On another note, thanks to all of the lovely blogs that I read I picked up an old Nintendo 64 system and 20 games at a church sale a couple of weeks ago. I picked up the bag, and since it was just after 8 and the sale had just started, not everything had prices yet. I asked and the volunteer said 25 and put a sticker on one of the game cartridges. I thought $25 but was pleasantly surprised to find out it was 25 cents when I checked out.I got the original game console, all the wires, 4 controllers and 20 games for 25 cents. Oh how I love church sales and volunteers who don't have a clue!! Everything works and I'll probably make close to $350 with everything.

 Now that is an ebay religious experience!!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Go where???

I was busy listing away for ebay the other day when my phone dings that I have a message. I went over to messages and checked to see if it was a question about a listing and got this "lovely" message about an item I have listed:


I thought it was nice of him to be concerned about my soul, so I called ebay to share the information with them.

Granted, he only had a feedback of 3 and he didn't appear to have ever sold anything but this jack-ass needed to learn a lesson, and stop yelling. I hope ebay taught him something!!

The customer service person I talked to said that ebay would send him an email and they "may" restrict him from buying or selling. They couldn't tell me if that happened or not. I don't really care what they do to him, probably nothing, but I don't think he should be able to pick an item at random and just rant to the seller.

The item he was so upset about? A Panasonic VCR player/recorder. There are currently about 250 listed for sale on ebay. Not the best or worst item in the world, but if you haven't upgraded to blu ray, it may be just what you need. In any case its my store and I have it listed


And you butt is blocked!!!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Good luck or Bad luck?

While I was on vacation, Labor Day week, I put my store on vacation and left it visible. I had average sales with only one person to request a refund because he didn't want to wait for shipping. On Thursday before checking out of our hotel, I made a mistake and duplicated 10 listings that I had listed 3 weeks earlier. I didn't delete the listing after I relisted. A stupid mistake.

A mistake that ebay caught and made me pay for. By restricting my new listing for 7 days. OK, I made a mistake but ebay has software that catches the mistake, sometimes but not all the time. I called, they wouldn't change the restrictions. I lived with the consequences. Don't tell SweetiePie, but I did make a mistake!!

Is that the end of it? Yes, maybe no.

I noticed that the week I was on restriction from new listings that my sales were about the same as a normal week. About average at $450 for the seven days. Then I noticed something else strange.

For the 7 days during the restriction ended sales were fine. Then last Thursday, all of a sudden, a screeching halt to sales. For the next 7 days I averaged 1 sale a day. And I think that every sale I had was less than $20. One day my only sale was $8.99. Not the way to pay the bills. Then on this Thursday, about noon, all of a sudden my phone starts dinging like mad. Five sales on Thursday and, so far, five sales on Friday.

When I was put on restriction I jokingly told SweetiePie that I would probably be on ebay's crap list for the infraction of the rules. Little did I know that it would be so soon, and so drastic.

Maybe ebay did nothing to my listings, or maybe they did something. It could just be coincidence. But then again, everything seemed to commence around 11:45 on each Thursday.

Some Interesting Finds
 While on vacation I picked up some old fragrances. Estee Lauder Youth Dew bath oil and Prince Matchabelli Golden Autumn cologne parfumee. I have done pretty good with old fragrances so I didn't even bother to look them up on my phone. Youth Dew, the original formula, is very popular. My Mom used Youth Dew and it was always soooo strong. It seems that people are using the bath oil as perfume because it is cheaper than the original formula perfume. Check out the completed listings here I found a full 4 ounce bottle.

Everybody knows Prince Matchabelli's Wind Song. But do you remember Golden Autumn? I pays to remember it. When I purchased my classic crown bottle I thought I was getting Wind Song, but since they had the price taped over the label, I realized later it was Golden Autumn. A nice mistake. Check out the completed listings at perfume. I found a 4 ounce bottle with about 3.75 ounces.

I know I shouldn't be out thrifting but gee whiz a girl's gotta shop. Last week I was taking a break from staring at the "lovely" computer screen and I hauled my re-donations to Salvation Army. While I was there I had to check out their store.

I had never seen this set of dominoes before. But I thought they were interesting. Worthpoint reports a set being sold for $225 several years ago, but I think I'll set my sights just a tad lower.

Also after reading about the luck some sellers have with vintage or vintage style sneakers I picked up a pair of Nike retro style purple leather sneakers. Like these Mine are exactly like these, with the exception of a little bit of yellowing on one side of one sole area. And for some reason blogger is refusing to load my picture of the shoes!!

Ya know, old things aren't so bad!!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Trouble with the bay?

Is anyone else having trouble logging in to ebay?

I have been having trouble since Sunday with logging in and doing any kind of re-listing and printing labels and almost anything ... except shopping. Well, I had a problem with that also.

Monday it took me one hour and 15 minutes to get 7 labels printed. Seven labels! It should have taken 15-20 minutes, tops. I couldn't get to the print shipping page in any way, shape or form. And when I did I couldn't get to the print label page. I was able to access other sites without any problems.

How do they expect me to have any sales if they can't provide me access to my pages? How am I supposed to get my packages mailed in one day if I can't access shipping labels? Are buyers able to access my pages and make purchases? Are my items even visible?

I tried to use my "free" coupon to purchase a battery on Sunday and even though I had the correct code it didn't give me credit on my purchase. Grrrrr. I suppose that now they want me to buy something else to use the coupon. Customer support was no help, after 37 minutes on hold!!

I am so frustrated with "the bay" that I am wishing and praying for another site to step up and take control of the sales that they used to provide.

I can't wait until their fall ad campaign starts to attract new buyers. I want to throw something at the tv every time I hear one.

Rant over!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Can you read this? ONE SHOE ONLY

Apparently some buyers have a problem with this.

You may remember a while back at an auction I purchased several pairs of shoes only to find a large discrepancy in the size. I had only paid $2 a pair for the shoes, but nevertheless I wanted to get my money back and make a profit. That's why I do this.

Since listing the single shoes I have had 3 sales. The first one to NYC only to be returned when the buyer contacted me and wanted to know where the other shoe was. He shipped it back for credit. And not a peep about me paying return shipping!!The second sale I was a little wiser and emailed before shipment and pointed out that this listing was for ONE shoe. Oops, the buyer made a mistake and we canceled the sale.

Now, today I have another sale of one shoe. This is a NWT golf shoe. I just emailed the buyer to make sure that he knew that he was getting ONE shoe only. I wouldn't be surprised if I get an oops message back asking me to cancel the sale.

I don't want to seem insensitive when I ask the buyer if they know they are purchasing just one shoe, but damn I'm tired of mailing out one shoe, only to get it back later in the week.

Does this sound insensitive?
 " Hi, I would like to verify that you understand that you are purchasing the RIGHT SHOE ONLY
 in this listing. This is for only one shoe.
Recent single shoe sales appear to be confusing to some buyers. The listing clearly states
in the title and the description that this is for one shoe only.
I don't mean to offend anyone by asking this question, I just want to make sure that
everyone is aware of this detail before shipment.
Thank you"

I can assume by the buyers names that they probably do not speak English as their first language. But in my listing I only show the one shoe that I am selling, not a pair. And I state several times that this is one shoe only.

I don't know what else to do. I can't read the listing for them. I would assume that they are looking at how nice the shoe is and the price and saying, "wow a good deal", purchase now.

On a similar note I have also had difficulty with replacement electric blanket controls. I have sold 3 from a recent purchase at the GW outlet store. The first was what the buyer wanted. The second one the buyer thought he was getting an electric blanket for $8.99. Really?

Now today I shipped out another one. I only include the photos of the control. No blanket photos or size of the blanket or any mention of a blanket included. Control only stated several times. I hope this one sticks. I mean, if you don't see a picture of a blanket why would you assume that the control came with one?

***UPDATE*** Sure enough, while I was composing this the buyer emailed me and said "I'm not interested in purchasing one shoe. Thank you for the information"  (Oh, you mean the information that
was stated in the listing?)

Ain't ebay just peachy?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

I survived vacation--can I survive ebay vacation?

Whoo Hoo I'm back from vacation and it was fun...but it sure does take longer each year to recover. We left on Friday before Labor Day and were back Thursday Labor Day week. Traveled over 1300 miles and had lots of fun, ate too much, spent a conservative amount of money and stayed on schedule.

My daughter went to DragonCon and I went shopping and shopping and more shopping. This time we were more comfortable with the Atlanta traffic and how and where to go. If you aren't familiar with DragonCon it is like Halloween on steroids for adults or as I told my daughter---nerd heaven.

Each day I would drop her off at DragonCon and then I would go thrifting. Here, there, and all around town. Atlanta has a lot of Goodwills, Value Villages and some church thrift shops. I used  The Thriftshopper to locate all of my stops in Atlanta. Most were as good as the reviews that had been posted, but some were not so good. Still it was better than going down the list in the phone book!!

We rented a larger car since both of us have small, older cars. This time we had a Toyota Camry. A good ride with plenty of room for stuff!!!

SeeMy side of the car

Her side of the car
And a really packed trunk

I had 8 of the big blue IKEA bags packed with clothing and shoes, two garment bags with suits, jackets and coats. Packing all of this stuff is like a jig saw puzzle, with no pictures to guide you. But we made it back safely and with some money in our pockets. So it was a good trip.

I went to the Buckhead Goodwill twice. For those of you that don't know Atlanta, Buckhead is THE upscale place to be. The first time, there was a clerk going crazy over a pair of shoes. Not just any shoes, a pair of Christian Louboutin platform pumps!! He was all excited because they were genuine and were only $99. I saw them and they were, well just shoes, and nothing special. About a 6" heel with a 1.5" platform. Beige with lots of little straps and of course the trademark red leather soles. Not for me or my store. Of course they would probably sell for $700 or $800 or more. But I would be very nervous spending that much for a single piece of inventory. And I forgot to take a picture. I went back the next day and they had sold!!

I tried to be selective in inventory purchase and I hope I made some good purchases. All I know is that I have a lot of inventory to process.

I always dread getting back and taking my store off of vacation. So much to catch up on. New listing to get ready. Packages to ship. All of that inventory sitting there waiting to be cleaned, washed, sorted and lined up for photos.

I tried to keep up listings while I was on vacation. I scheduled 3 new items for every day while I was gone and I tried to get some of the expired listings relisted because I am trying to get everything over to Good Till Cancelled and get them spread out over the days so that everything doesn't renew on the same day.

That was where I made my mistake.

 In my haste to renew listings I made a very serious error. I duplicated some listings on ebay. Bad thing to do. I think if it had been one listing I would have been OK, but it was 10 listings. I did it because I was in a hurry, not paying attention and just plain didn't check. I had listed the 10 listings before and didn't delete them from the sold file. Very bad thing to do. So ebay  put me on "vacation" and restricted me from new listings for 7 days.

At first I panicked since we depend on my ebay income for bills and just getting the extras (food, gas, doctors visits, you know the "extras"). I called ebay to see if they could fix things. No way. I have to stay on restrictions until Thursday at 11:44 am. But then I stopped to think things through. I don't have the pressure to get things listed every day along with getting the new inventory ready. I have seven days to get organized. I can still list a bit here and there and just schedule it for when my "vacation" is over.

I was afraid that I wouldn't sell anything while I was restricted from listing new items and I had bunches of listings that would end during those 7 days. I will be down to about 500 listings by the end of the 7 days.
But so far I sold 7 items Saturday and Sunday and 2 items each day on Monday and Tuesday. I just hope that it keeps up for the rest of my "vacation" because the bills aren't on vacation.

I don't recommend that you get an ebay vacation this way, but I will make the most of my "vacation" and be ready at 11:45 on Thursday to jump in and get back in the ebay game. I've taken time to go through my listings and remove items that have been listed forever and are low profit items. I also plan to refresh my store categories and spruce up the store. Hopefully, I'll get it all done before "vacation" is over.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Thanks ebay, You're So Efficient...?

I was thrilled last week when I sold this Sony Playstation 3. I picked it up at a yard sale and paid more for it than I usually pay at yard sales, $25. But the seller said they really didn't play games, just used it to watch movies and recently upgraded to a PS4.
I got it listed pretty quickly for me, within a week. I'm trying to be good and get the big stuff listed so I can put it away and I don't have to look at stuff just staring at me to be listed.

I noticed the buyer had zero feedback. I have had good luck with selling to zero feedback. And he was an international sale. Not a problem.. until now.

I received a notice from USPS on Sunday that it had arrived in Miami on 8-24-14 and had departed on its way to final destination.

The ever vigilant ebay sent me a notice today, 8-25-14 stating:

"We had to cancel bids for the buyer,******, because they aren't registered on eBay:

161388596360 - Sony Playstation 3 Black Piano Model CEDHK01 80gb
In these types of situations, we'll credit the final value fee for removed listings won by this buyer, and also the insertion fee if it was a single-quantity listing. 
All associated fees have been credited."

The buyer paid promptly and everything seemed fine, so I shipped. Now I can only hope that the buyer contacts ebay and gets everything squared away or the package gets sent back to me for some reason.

Great...why couldn't this have happened to that tube of hemorrhoid cream I shipped to Sweden instead ?


Friday, August 22, 2014

The $5 Button

Last week I sold a pair of pants I purchased at a yard sale. Nice pants, easy sale and good profit. What else could you ask for ?
Well, apparently a button. I religiously check what I buy. I check when I buy, when I wash, when I fold, when I photograph and before I ship. You would think that I would have found that button. Well, the button that wasn't there. 

This button was on the inside and there were two hooks on the outside at the zipper opening. I don't know how I missed it. Maybe because it wasn't there. But I did miss it. Maybe the reason I missed that button was because the day I processed those pants I had 56 pair that I measured and photographed. I don't know, but it was my fault.

Anyway the buyer opened a case for not as described and wanted a replacement or money back. In her message to me about the case she said she didn't want to return the pants because she liked them, they fit, and she would sew the button on herself. She just wanted me to know that the button was missing.

OK...why couldn't she tell me that instead of opening a case?

I responded with an apology, explained my inspection process, (or lack of, in this case) and another apology and asked if I could do anything to make it right.

Well, of course I could. She wanted $5 for the trouble of finding a button, finding a needle and thread, and sewing it on. Really? OK...fine.

She closed the case. She left positive feedback and end of story.....I hope.

But, damn, that is one expensive button.

Then I got out the calculator. If it took her a maximum of 5 minutes to find the button, thread and sew it on her rate of pay would be $60 per hour. Even if it took her 10 minutes, that would be $30 per hour. Maybe I need to rethink my career choices.

 Know anyone that needs any buttons professionally attached? I have my own thimble.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Good Till Cancel, Bite the Bullet

I have been trying to seriously streamline my store and get rid of "junk" that has been just sitting and taking up space. I don't want to go to the next level of stores just yet, so the only way to get better, i.e. higher priced, stuff in my store is to eliminate the low quality, cheap stuff.

I must say that I don't know it all. (Don't tell SweetiePie I said that!!) Every day that I list things I look at some and say, "why did I buy that?". We all have been there. Sales are slow and we grab stuff that has been sitting in the to be listed tote and throw it up on ebay. Our reasoning when we purchased it was "I can sell that for a profit". Well, I'm trying to upscale my thinking and say to myself that I can sell that "for $20 profit, or $10 profit". That is extremely hard for me to do. I feel like I am admitting defeat if I just never list and re-donate. I feel like I have failed at something...

So, to fix that, I changed some of my listings to good till cancelled. I was selective about what I changed and at first I just picked out $24.99 and up listings that I felt good about. I changed 40 on Saturday and I have already sold 5 of those listings. These were things that had been sitting since last year or longer.

Vintage shirt tales crib skirt, dust ruffle from the 80's and in
great condition. Found digging at the thrift in the 25c bins,
along with some VTG 80's Care Bear sheets
Older, not vintage Bill Blass cotton fisherman
sweater. Another item from the 25c bin. Gotta
love the bins. You have to be careful because
a lot of things are damaged.

Luxurious silk and cashmere sweater set, very
nice cardigan and shell in the ever popular beige,
taupe, neutral color. But it is redeemed from its
beige blah by having cute buckles trim. Picked
this up off of the 2/99c rack. Since this was
originally sold as a set, the two pieces were 49c.
I guess the taupe/beige turned women off. But
there was someone out there that loved it!!

This funky dress was given to me by my daughter to sell
because it didn't fit her like she thought it would. Who
wouldn't like purple giraffe?
The other item that sold was a Miss Dorby halter sundress that was listed so long ago that I can't find a picture in my files.  Purchased for $1 from the local Battered Women's Shelter Thrift Store.

So for a total investment of $2.00 I turned it over to $127, gross. Not bad.

 I plan to get more things on the GTC bandwagon so I don't have to relist manually each month. I am trying to do the original switch at different times during the day and night so that I will pretty much have random things listing throughout the day. Here is hoping it works.(fingers crossed)

Update on the yard sale buyout. I sold this almost new Eddie Bauer canvas messenger bag last week. An investment of 33c flipped to $30.

  But I'm afraid that some of the remaining buyout stuff will have to be donated. They just don't meet my new profit margin guidelines. Oh, I'm sure the Battered Women's Thrift Store will be glad to get them.    
Can't wait for the Labor Day weekend....thrifting in Atlanta. Anyone know any good places to go?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Old Dogs and New Tricks....Don't Mix

I know things must change. It's the way things are. Change helps us grow and learn new things. But when you are three score plus years, change isn't that much fun. Of course I always do things the hardest way possible. It's just a gift I have. 

To say I wasn't happy about Microsoft dropping their support of Windows XP is a mild statement. I like Windows XP. It is predictable, easy for me to use and I know what to expect. Of course Microsoft wants to develop new programs for us to buy, like Vista and Windows 7. Now I don't know anything personally about Vista and Windows 7 since I skipped them altogether. But I hear that they left much to be desired in the way of performance Yep, I went straight to Windows 8.1. Jumped right into the big whirlpool.

I had to replace my computer a while back and opted to order a refurbished model online. I could get more memory (1T) and speed in a desktop and since I had a desk it seemed like a good idea. It came with Windows XP. And not long after I started used the new set up Windows XP became a dinosaur system to use. So I bought a new laptop with Windows 8. I reasoned that I needed a laptop when I travel and I might as well take the time to get educated on Windows 8. The key word here is time.

Who knew that my desktop would cease to function correctly (is it just me?) right after I purchased my laptop. Or is it the desktop? In the past two weeks I have talked to my internet service provider probably 7 or 8 times trying to get things ironed out. I installed their new modem, and my new router and then my printer stopped working. I had the internet connection and line checked and took out my new router and bought a new printer and waited for a tech to check the internal internet lines. During all of that I had to set up my laptop to run my ebay store. GRRRRRR I don't like change. And I don't like having to buy new equipment. Maybe I just don't like spending money. But as SweetiePie says, you have to spend money to make money.

So that is where I have been the last couple of weeks.Getting educated in Windows 8.1. And by educated I mean trial and error and error and error. It's getting better and I must admit that once I get the hang of everything I think it will be faster. I know my picture editing is better on the laptop. Less keys to hit and quicker response. Set the settings and type and edit away. Ok.....maybe this won't be so bad. I think I have read a dozen tutorials for Windows 8.1 and Chrome and everything in between. I've been so busy learning a thing or three that it has cut down on my surfing research time. I need my research time!!

As far as ebay sales have been. Things have been slow one or two days, really busy for a day, and then back down. Roller coaster. But thankfully that has allowed me time to learn all this newfangled stuff. Since I have a self imposed deadline coming up things have been frantic for me. I want to get most of this yard sale buyout under control before my thrifting vacation to Atlanta. Who needs sleep? I hear it's way over rated.

I'm working hard on my yard sale buyout. Got more stuff cleaned and listed and sold some.

Since blog posts should have pictures here are a couple of items from the yard sale buyout that sold recently.
 Fresh Produce. Sold this twice. Didn't fit the first sale. Returned and sold again in two days. Cost 33c
Dansko. Sold these a couple weeks ago. Same cost, 33c.

Eddie Bauer mens. Sold these over the weekend. Same cost, 33c.

I love yard sales!!
Happy ebaying and sale-ing.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Birds, Boots and Boxes

I'm tired of worrying about ebay. How about you?

I'm have been stressing over every listing, question and sale. I'm going to stop worrying about ebay all together.....well maybe just a wee bit.

Several weeks ago I was getting some inventory out of the cardboard boxes that I still have sitting on my front porch.(Don't worry, they are behind the overgrown azaleas and they can't be seen from the street.)Back to the story. I opened up one box that contained pants and one corner was full of leaves. What the heck? I picked up some sticks from the yard, just to be on the safe side, and lifted up the leaves. A birds nest, complete with 2 eggs. One of the eggs came tumbling out of the nest as I picked up the nest, chopstick style, with the sticks. Not really thinking I reached down and picked up the egg and put it back in the nest, turned around and sat everything on the front porch swing. Got my pants out of the box and proceeded to do laundry.

Several days later I saw the nest and was going to put it in the natural area of the yard. When I went to pick it up, out flew a little sparrow!! I checked inside and there were 4 eggs!!

Look what I saw today!!
FOUR baby birds. I'm glad my picking up one of the eggs didn't stop this little bird mommy from taking care of her eggs.

It has really been hot and humid here in the South these past weeks. I did go yard sale-ing for a couple of hours last Saturday. Picked up some nice clothes for resale, some NWT, some used, and some kitchen things.  No big $$, but a good profit margin.  One yard sale had everything at super cheap prices. I missed a good quilt for $1 by about 6 inches. However, there was a big box of vintage bed linens sitting close by and when I asked they were $1, for the whole box. It seems that the man having the sale had just closed his parents cottage at the beach and wanted everything gone.

This is after being laundered. I counted 22 pieces, including sheets and pillowcases. That works out to 4 1/2 cents for each piece!! I have several complete sets, double and twin. I think I might make my money back even if I sell them as cutters. Some nice fabric in the bunch. And down front a new set of linen napkins!!

I don't shop our local Goodwill because it's a pain. No bathroom and no credit/debit cards. Cash or check and cross your legs!! But I had an errand in the area and I stopped to check things out. I found 6 swimsuits, 2 new, 2 new large size bras and these:
Justin Paddock Boots!!
Our GW loves to price any shoes and boots that they think are top of the line at high prices. (This is where I purchased the handmade, Italian leather Damiani Marini boots last year, sold for $180)When I checked out, the clerk made a point of telling me that these were not marked and they were Justin Boots. I already knew that and I expected to pay $4.59. She yelled at the other clerk and said, Justin boots not marked!! My comment, "too late". I'm surprised that she didn't refuse to sell to me. As you can tell, I am now the proud owner of a pair of Justin Paddock Boots!! I've had two pair of Ariat boots in this style and both went for $60+ . These are a size 6C, so they may take a while.

Well, back to the yard sale buyout inventory. While I'm glad I purchased this "bunch of stuff", I will really be glad when I get it all washed and lined up for pictures. I'd say that I am about 30% through the pile of stuff. My goal is to have it all off of the porch before I go on vacation (to Atlanta thrifting) Labor Day week. Just think about what I would be facing if I had kept all 1,200 pieces of stuff!!

Happy sale-ing and listing!!!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Life Goes hate ebay

Don't you just love ebay?

Don't you just hate ebay?

Well, which is it? I love that I can sell on ebay, it's my job, stay home, be my own "boss" and earn a decent income. I hate it when ebay goes wrong.

I have been dealing with two very different customers in the past several weeks. Customer A emailed me to tell me she had received the skirt, didn't like it and wanted to return it. Ok, return it and I will refund your purchase price, less 20% as per my return policy. She gets "all up in my face" about my hidden return policy. What? In a very professional way I explained that everyone on ebay has to have a return policy, even if its no returns. After returning the item and demanding her entire amount refunded we had several "conversations". I tried to be as professional as possible, explaining that the fees that she wanted returned were collected by ebay and I didn't have them to return them. In fact the 20% restocking fee only barely covered the fees, which is true. After two emails she stopped. End of story.

Customer B, on the other hand, was not going to give up. She emailed me that she wanted to return a skirt because of  "unexpected condition". Whatever that means, I instructed her to return and I would refund. She did and I again charged the 20% restocking fee. Well, then all hell broke loose. It seems that unexpected condition now means that it was not as described. Why? Because the hem of the skirt had some threads hanging down that I failed to mention. What? This was a silk skirt and there were maybe 6-8 single strands of silk hanging down from the hem. Not frayed, not damaged but something very, very minor. The "damage" probably occurred when I washed the skirt and didn't think to clip the hanging threads. Mind you these were the woven fabric silk threads, not sewing thread. Not very visible.  Again, I tried to keep it professional explaining that the only reason I charged the restocking fee was to cover the ebay fees. After 5 or 6 emails of her demanding a full refund and calling me all sorts of names, I stopped restating the issue and let it drop. Then she opened a case, not as described, and wanted her money back. The original shipping, the 20% and the return shipping. I took a deep breath and called ebay. Ebay said to let the case sit and since I had refunded I was OK and it should be ruled in my favor with no defect.

Well, long story short, ebay refunded her money and did not charge it back to me. I will keep an eye on this case and see if it affects my rating. Who knows.  I've about decided that it's not worth the headache to try so hard to keep the TRS status. I try and along comes some crazy and wrecks everything. And for what? $7. I could have refunded her the $7 when she started her name calling, and email rant, but gee whiz the skirt was as described and she didn't like it and wanted to return.

When I do utilize the 20% restocking fee, as plainly stated on ebay, I get jumped all over by an angry customer. Honestly, I do understand that every $ counts, but I have one suggestion for customers.

It's so simple, a child could do it!

Oh, and one more thing. When I list an item I have started giving shipping options. First Class if applicable, and then Priority Flat Rate. Sometime first class is free, sometimes not. It is up to the buyer to choose slow or priority. But it costs.

Both of these skirts were shipped out first class and both were returned priority flat rate. Why? Because the buyer thought they would get refunded for the priority? Because the buyer didn't give a rats ass?

My money is on the rats ass!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

I am two footed

I took the advice of everyone and listed the shoes that I purchased that were mixed sizes. You may remember that I purchased three pair of shoes at an estate sale and they were two different sizes. I have most of them listed and they have been just sitting there. I did get one inquiry from Hong Kong about one, but they thought it was a pair. I guess the lower price is so tempting that they don't read the entire title.

That's what happened this time.

This is the message I received:

"I just received this item only to discover that it just one foot and I am two footed. I never took note of the fact that it is one foot and was stated so. I would like to return the shoe please."

This was the title:

Mens 8M Rockport Loafer Brown Leather LEFT Shoe Only Amputee Crutches

This was the picture:

Let me recap.
Picture of ONE shoe
LEFT shoe only in title
Stated again in listing ONE shoe only

When this sold I almost emailed to make sure that he was aware that is was one shoe. I didn't because I didn't want to be insensitive.

My gut told me to call.

I should have listened.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

More Creepy Than a Doll

I have these listed on ebay for sale. NEW Victoria's Secret panties. Ebay doesn't allow sales of used panties.
Thank goodness.

I received a rather "odd" message yesterday morning about this listing.

"Would you happen to wear these panties and sell without washing? If so I will pay more!"

I had a one word response for his question. NO

And then I went and washed my hands.

I told SweetiePie that I had a pair of size 14 white cotton "granny panties" (from the trash of the yard sale buy out) that I would send the guy.

Don't think that is what he had in mind.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Awesome Randomness

I think one of the exciting things about ebay is that you never know what will sell or when it will sell. I have had some pretty random things sell in the last couple of days. It has been 90+ outside here in the South and I have sold flannel sheets and a flannel shirt. I'm always grateful for any sales but the last 24 hours have been awesome.

After my daily trek to the Post Office yesterday I had a day of heavy listing scheduled so I could get a day or two ahead with my "required" listing and take a day off to get some things done.

While listing my little fingers off I sold a Krups boiler lid from an espresso machine I had purchased at an yard/estate sale. I was assured that it worked. Well, it might have worked if I could have plugged the hole in the bottom where the water poured out. But since it didn't work I pieced it out. Thanks Gilldaddy!! I sold the frother, filter holder and the boiler lid for a total of $32.97 with free shipping and made about $20 profit.(I could look up the exact amount but I'm lazy today). I would have made an additional $10-12 sale if I hadn't dropped the metal grate that covers the drip tray, through the crack in the front porch. I didn't feel like doing a snake impersonation to reach the grate under the porch. That's OK because it will be a puzzle if the next owner of the house ever replaces the boards on the porch!! Glad to entertain future generations!!

Then I sold a flannel shirt. A Field & Stream shadow plaid.

Then I sold a set of flannel sheets, with little moosies all over.

Then a new/old silk blouse that had been hanging in my closet for a while. New, never worn. I purchased it because I loved it and just because it was 2 sizes too big didn't mean that I couldn't refashion it to fit. Well, that never happened. So I sold it.

And just as I was getting ready for bed I sold this intercom set.
I would like to thank the "gentleman" that emailed me a day or two after I listed this to tell me I was asking too much for the set of 3 intercoms. He graciously offered me $20 for the set.Thank you very much kind sir for your unwanted input and lowball offer.. I sold it for $45 plus shipping.

Because I have been getting sales overnight and early in the morning, and my inventory is upstairs, I have started taking my phone upstairs with me at night. I just turn the volume down really low and leave it in the bathroom so I can't hear it go off. I almost dropped the phone when I saw what had sold this morning.
It's a vintage composition doll. A 30" Effanbee Lovums doll with straight legs. Good condition with some damage, no wig and sleep eyes that worked but were old and cloudy.A hard to find size in 30" so I started out high at $250 and have reduced the price twice since then. I tried some free auctions and no bites. I have had her listed since Feb 2013 and she finally sold.
You may have read my previous blog about her. My SweetiePie and daughter (SmartA**) thought she was creepy and put a brown paper bag over her head. I admit she is creepy with the cloudy eyes but I knew she would bring some good $$. Paid $5 for her from a thrift store. She had an old child's dress on and a vintage gold filled bracelet. I listed the bracelet first and got $15 for it immediately. So my initial investment of $5 netted me $215 and about $165 profit. Not bad for creepy.
This is what she looked like before she got in her box to go to her new home. A Lovums Mummy.

And while I was getting Lovums ready I sold a NIB Bake Pop Kit. I guess that was just icing on the cake.
So to speak.

So even after SweetiePie made fun of Lovums I was really nice and took him out to lunch today after we dropped Lovums off at the Post Office. And since we discussed the "business" of Lovums today at lunch I think that just might qualify as a tax-deductible business lunch.

Friday, June 13, 2014

What was I thinking...Part II

Well, I thought I had enough stuff after my trip to the GW outlet. You would think that almost a 100 lbs of stuff would be enough.

Apparently not.

I went out yard sale-ing on Saturday. After checking craisgslist I saw two promising sales. One was in the parking lot of the elementary school and one was for the Humane Society of our county. That's what I really like. Lots of stuff in one location and the people selling have no attachment to anything, except making money for their cause. The school one was a dud. I purchased two pair of children's Crocs for $1. Lots of knick knacks. The Humane Society was a different story. They had two huge tarps spread and piled high with clothes, shoes, purses, kids toys and a little bit of everything. The household stuff was pretty average. They did have a leather saddle, printers, monitors (the old biggies) and lots of glass stuff. Everything in the clothing area was fill a bag for $1. Apparently they don't know how much I can get in one small grocery bag!!. I picked up 3 bags of stuff. Boy, was it hot out there, about 91 and climbing. And since I need more shoes I picked up 4 pair of shoes, a laptop backpack and several purses. Never pass up a good deal. Stockpile for days when its too hot to go sale-ing. That's my motto.

But wait, there's more. Much more.

I came home and sorted my small haul. I spent $12 total and had about $300 in projected sales. Not bad for a couple hours of work. My SweetiePie wanted to go for breakfast, so off we went. Came back and started sorting and getting things in the wash. I don't know about you but I try and wash everything washable the minute I get home. If I have any creepy crawlies I hope they can't swim.

But something dangerous happened... I started thinking.

I had been watching some of the picker videos and had listened to ebay scavengers interview with Raikin Profits. Buy in bulk and get a better deal. So I asked my SweetiePie if he thought I was crazy to go back to the Humane Society yard sale and make an offer for everything left. Just shoes, clothes and purses. He said go for it. So off I go.

They had a lot left. A lot. I offered very low and they accepted without blinking an eye. Oh boy!  Ohhhhh Boy.

I had our small pick up truck and I started packing stuff in boxes. Just stuffing everything in a box. Well, I figured out after about 6 BIG boxes that I would have to make 2 or 3 trips. Not what I wanted to do. So I just started piling the clothes in the open bed of the truck. I took four boxes out to make more room and after I got the clothes level with the truck bed I put the four heavy boxes on top to hold everything in the truck. Then I bungee corded everything down. Luckily I only had about 2 miles to go to get home.

Boxes on the front porch and then spread an old sheet on the floor to put the piles of loose clothes on. I think that the clothes multiplied on the way home. Then the sorted started.
Forgot to take a picture of the big pile of
loose clothes. This is after sorting all of
the loose stuff
I knew that everything I didn't want I would take to the thrift store for battered women for the county, so anything that I was on the fence about I would put in the donate pile. I kept only what I thought would be at least $10 profit. I kept a few things for myself, the grand daughters and SweetiePie. I was determined to sort through the loose clothes before I went inside. I ended up with 10 huge garbage bags full of clothes and shoes to go to the thrift store. I finished sorting the boxes on Sunday and ended up with 13 huge garbage bags to donate, 1 bag of trash and lots of stuff to sell and keep.

What did I keep? Lots of  the better brand name stuff. Some silk, linen and rayon blouses, hand knit wool sweater, cashmere sweater, leather briefcase, vtg purse, leather jacket, vintage trench coat.

What did I donate? Lots of Wal Mart, Target, Kohls and K Mart brand name stuff.

Would I do it again? Probably, but not any time soon. I would go to a better neighborhood and make an offer. This county is very rural and lots of lower income families. We have higher income areas, but this was not the right area for higher end leftovers.

Here is a breakdown of what I kept.
12 purses, totes, briefcases==20 pairs of adult shoes==13 dresses==21 pair of pants, dress slack==14 pair men women shorts==3 skirts==47 knit shirts==14 blouses==37 sweaters==18 jackets==2 coats==9 jeans==2 beach cover ups==1 gown==1 pair of pajamas==2 vtg wool vests==1 Halloween costume==5 sets scrubs==15 accessories, scarves, hair stuff==1 laundry bag==35 items for personal use
Total of about 276 items for an average of 11cents each.

I've already pulled out around 10 items that will bring $35+, which seems to be the higher end stuff. Haven't researched yet but this is just a guess.Most of the other items will be in the $20-25 range. Some will sell single and some will be bundled, like t shirts and shorts. At 11c each, I don't mind bundling things.

And of course I may sort some more and donate some more stuff. I'll do a better inspection when I bring in everything to run through the laundry. I sure am glad that I make my own laundry detergent. I probably have at more than a dozen loads to wash and dry. Hopefully I can hang them on the line to save on gas for the dryer.

Now, someone give me a good swift kick if I go thrifting any time soon. The line forms on the right.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Help With the Cute Puppies

I found these cuties at the GW outlet. I think they are marked Japan, black ink, on the bottom. I can't really read the letters. But they are so darn cute I couldn't resist. There is a small crack in the glaze on the inside of the creamer and everything else is just fine.


Their heads are salt and pepper shakers and their bodies are cream and sugar. There is a notch in one of the shakers for a sugar spoon. So cute and such good shape.

Does anyone know anything about them? I can't find any listings for them. I've tried all sorts of words to find something like them but am now out of words.

Any information would be appreciated.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

What was I thinking?

Well, maybe the title should be, "I wasn't thinking!"

I made the trek to the GW outlet this week. My last trip was on April 1st and I had so much stuff, things to do that I didn't get the chance to go in May like I was planning. I think I made up for it this trip.

This was my third trip this year and with each trip you learn new things. I still don't like bellying up to the bins and fighting for everything. Most of the time you can't get the thing you have your eye on anyway and it just pays to wait until all of the vultures drift off to take your time and check out everything.

It also pays to grab something when you find it and hold on until you find what matches. The boots at the top of the photo are a good example. I found one boot in a bin on the left side all the way in the back. I looked all the bins over and found the other one in a bin that had just been brought out. They are hi end suede boots with wood soles from Australia, Jambu brand.

I didn't take the time to sort through the clothing bins because all I saw were a lot of cheap jeans, bedding and winter coats. I looked through one or two bins but most had just ordinary stuff and it would be cheaper to buy it priced than by the pound. I did pick up those bright green rubber motorcycle rain overalls as I walked by. They looked like quality and were in good shape. I didn't recognize the brand, Rukka, Made in Finland. I didn't look them up because reception on my phone is terrible in that warehouse and sometimes it takes 10 minutes just to finally get a signal. Glad I picked them up. I can't find anything like them listed, but all of this brand is priced really high. Score!!

Thursday must be shoe day at the outlet. On Wednesday there were barely any shoes in any of the bins. On Thursday they brought out 6 or 7 bins with just shoes. All total, I bought 45 pairs of shoes (some from other thrifts). One "pair" is miss matched, on purpose this time. They both were high quality shoes that I never did find the mate. One men and one women's.
See the brown shoe at the bottom? That is a Dr. Comfort diabetic shoe. I have sold a couple pair of these before. These are size 12 extra wide. I have a brown and black pair. Previous sales were for new shoes, but after checking, these should do well.

This little beauty was laying with a bunch of broken stuff and I gasped when I found her. I am amazed that she survived the rough life in the outlet bin. She's a 14" vintage 40's Mary Hoyer doll. Mohair wig is excellent, still has the net. She is rather stretched out and will have to be restrung, but in really great shape. I can restring her with no problem. No eyelashes, but her sleep eyes work. Red hair, blue eyes. No chips or cracks in her body. Just a little dirt. She weighs less than a pound so she probably cost me$1.

I saw this big box on top of a toy bin when they rolled it out. I thought someone would pick it up right away. Nope. I strolled over after the crowd broke up and put it in my cart. Checked the box and it is still in the original sealed packaging inside, outside the box has been taped on the ends. Still $30-40 is nothing to sneeze at.

In total I bought 86 pounds of stuff. The shoes were heavy so they cost an average of about a $1.50 a pair. I also got toys, household stuff and a couple of Halloween costumes. I am happy with my stuff. I am just not looking forward to getting everything cleaned and polished.

All total I spent about $300 on everything. Gas, food, motel, and inventory. I researched most of the bigger items on ebay and they should bring about $1500 to $1600. That doesn't include any of the smaller items. Not a bad return for my dollar. Now the "fun" starts.

Off to dig, sort, clean and other fun stuff. Hope everyone finds at least one treasure this weekend yard sale-ing. I have a little bit of room for just one more box of stuff!!!

Monday, June 2, 2014

I'm Making Lemonade

Thanks to everyone out there for all of the support and wonderful advise about the shoe problem. I really was upset when I realized how stupid I was when I picked the shoes. Well, stupid may be too harsh but definitely not one of my better moves.

After I wrote that post my SweetiePie said to just toss the shoes out and "move on". Well, I have never been one to just accept something. My Mom often referred to the trait as"stubborn as a mule" (it's a Southern thing!!). But I started researching the one shoe market and was really surprised to find that it's a pretty large market. When I was telling SweetiePie about it he said maybe it was a good thing because it could become a new area for sales. While, I don't think I would concentrate on the one shoe market heavily I would look more at shoes to see if I could sell the better one of a pair for more than the pair.

So, I have listed 2 1/2 pairs of the three pair that were mismatched. I need a shoelace for one shoe so I am on the look out for one and if all else fails I'll purchase one.

Although for the life of me I don't see an amputee playing golf with this shoe.

They are the ones with metal spikes, not the soft spike ones. I was looking at the spikes and wondering if you could replace the metal spikes with the new soft plastic ones. I'm sure that a golfing buyer would know.

These make more sense.
The soles are made to be slip resistant and do their job very well. I can see an amputee using these on multiple surfaces not just a boat deck because of the stability.

photo from and a
great lemonade recipe
So, cheers and crossed fingers!!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

We aren't alone

My absence from blogging has been for lots of reasons. I have been busy trying to get a huge backlog of inventory listed and my ebay room cleaned and straightened and the rest of the house in order and just everything.

Ms Goodwill Haunting has some wonderful blogs on her list and I checked out the ebay scavengers podcasts. There is a wealth of information there. I started with their podcasts for January of this year and have been listing to them as I take photos of my inventory.

Yesterday I was listening to a podcast about what they did right and wrong. I had to laugh at the things that they did wrong. Why? Because a lot of things were the same things I did when I first started.

It's nice to know that we aren't alone and that other people have gone through the same things. And they aren't afraid to share them.

Check them out. You may learn something.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

I need me some "larning"*

I've always believed that most things in life can be learned. Sometimes its easy and most of the time it is hard. I'm an avid reader so that is my favorite way to learn things. And I have learned lots of things since I started selling on ebay . Some good. Some bad.

Everyone knows that it pays, literally pays, to learn all you can about what you sell. We would all be fools to just go buy something and stick it up on ebay and wait and see if it sells. I learn something every time I list an item. Even if I have listed it before. Sometimes it will be a good selling item that is no longer a good selling item. Other times it will be a slow mover that has suddenly become a winner. I always check an item as I list it just in case there has been some change in sales.

In a continuing effort to find inventory from a variety of sources I have been going to estate sales. I had been to a few over the last several months and was lucky to find a few things. My problem is that the estate sales in my area are "sanitized" before you get in the door. There are no box lots of stuff, well maybe very used kitchen tools, but little else. The kind of things that I am interested in to resell in my store are priced at just below the ebay selling price.

These estate sellers are doing their homework. Sometimes too good. On recent estate sale had a huge selection of vintage GI Joe, Batman, Star Wars, Transformers and Fisher Price. I was the second one in the door and the guy in front of me got it all. Literally, got it all. Every GI Joe piece, every Fisher Price piece, and every Star Wars piece that was priced to resell he grabbed and ran. Well, he didn't have to run too far because the person holding the estate sale was standing there to take his first load downstairs to the holding area while he grabbed more. I looked at some things on the table but they were priced at a ridiculous price. One item, a vintage Transformer something that I don't remember now, was in the box, not new or sealed and priced $90. I had looked the item up online before I got to the sale and the best sale price was $48, new sealed in the box. The toy guy didn't grab that one.I didn't even get to see the prices of the other stuff, but I know he is a reseller and they must have been good or he would have left them on the table.

I guess I need to "larn" to spread myself out and position myself at the edge of the table so that no one else can get to the table like this guy did. But I don't think I would like myself if I did.

And then sometimes you get more "larning" than you need.

I attended another estate sale in the upscale part of town hoping that I would find some things for resale. I had previewed the stuff online and saw some thing I might be interested in. No toys but several promising items. Off I go. I get in with the first group and head to the bedroom where I saw the most promising stuff. Priced too high to resell. So I start looking around trying to make my trip of 25 miles count by finding something to resell. Nothing in the kitchen that was priced to resell. No vintage linens in good enough shape to resell. No perfume, no vintage clothes, no knick knacks. Shoes? Maybe. A pair of Sperry Topsiders, with the tag!! OK A pair of Rockport loafers, maybe. A pair of Reebok, maybe. A pair of Etonic golf shoes, new in the box.OK. A vintage travel bar, NWT. OK. Total cost $52. I can make a decent profit on these.

Fast forward to last night and I finally got around to getting all of the estate sale stuff out of the bag and ready to clean and polish so I can get it in line for photos. The Rockport loafers had dust, mold and dirt, but cleaned up really good. The Sperry Topsiders, WTH, one is new with tags and one is beat up? How in the world did I miss that. I went back to the photos I had saved and found the picture of the shoes. Thinking there were two pairs and I picked up one of each. Nope. There was only one pair of Topsiders and it was this pair with one good and one bad. No wonder they were sitting in a dark corner. Just waiting for some gullible person to come along and find them.
Hey, there I am!!
But wait it gets worse. When I was prepping the loafers for polishing I checked the size. Let me check online to see what these are going for. Hummmm what size were those 10.5? What 7.5? Double check BOTH shoes and sure enough one is 10.5 and one is 7.5. WTH!!!

 What about the Topsiders? One is 10.5 and one is 7.5!!!!

Well you can imagine my heart is sinking, along with my bottom line, with all of this new "larning". How could I be so stupid? Well, after kicking myself and calling myself several not so nice names, I calmed down and realized that I was only out $4. Lesson learned. Move on.

But wait it gets worse. The Etonic golf shoes, new in the box, surely they were OK. I had looked at the size on the box when I picked them up and checked one shoe in the box for the size. Everything looks good. But when I took both shoes out of the box I immediately knew I had a problem. I could tell just by looking at them that I had two different sizes.
The previous owner was gracious enough to tape the
receipt to the lid of the box, for two pair of shoes, but I
can't read the date or size because of fading. 10.5 and one 7.5. This lesson was a bit harder to "larn" since these shoes cost $20. I hesitated to purchase them because they were $20, but I knew I could get at least $40 for them so I picked them up.

Some lessons are tough to swallow. I don't think I have ever found shoes with that much size difference in a pair before. I had a friend in high school that had to purchase two sizes of the same shoe to get a pair, but there was only one size difference in hers. A 7.5 to a 10.5 is a big, noticeable difference. Well, apparently noticeable to some people.
I also noticed when I was taking photos that the pair of loafers are different, different sizes than the other two pair. The Topsiders are left 10.5 and right 7.5 like the golf shoes, but the loafers are left 7.5 and right 10.5. Now that is really confusing because the loafers and one Topsider are both worn.

I'm hoping that the person running the estate sale didn't notice the shoe sizing like I did. I don't want to think that she did it on purpose.  

So, lesson "larned". I will check EACH AND EVERY SHOE from now on. Please don't learn this lesson the hard way like me.

*larn:  the act of finding out something the hard way