front porch trash

front porch trash

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.