front porch trash

front porch trash

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.