front porch trash

front porch trash

Thursday, March 31, 2016

A New Low Point in Listing?

Is this a low point in my listing career on ebay? 

I have just scheuled cemetery burial plots to list on ebay.

A little history:
In 1964 my parents decided to purchase a burial plot with 2 extra spaces for anyone else in the family. I don't know what brought about this decision. They already had space at two different locations. It must have been the pushy salesman because I recently visited the site and saw a lot of neighbors I remember growing up. Don't get me wrong, its a nice spot out in the country with lots of open space, perpetual care so it will always look nice and good "neighbors".

After both parents passed away and were buried in a family plot, it became my job to sell these plots. No one in the family wants the space. Its not like you can call up an aunt or cousin and inquire if they would be interested in some "special real estate". Their next call would be to the doctor to get a check up and make sure they aren't going to need it any time soon.

I have tried several times with ads in the local paper and have had exactly 1 call in reference to the spaces. Its not like someone is beating down the door to get this real estate. Its out in the country where none of my immediate family live any more.

So....I thought I would give ebay a try. The customer service representative at the cemetery said most plots are resold thru word of mouth by family and friends. My dad would have been 107 on his birthday this month. I think its safe to say that most of his friends and family are not in need of my real estate. They have their own.

So I just did the math on the fees for selling on ebay and I won't be getting rich. I just want them sold. Its not like an investment property that I can rent out or use as a vacation spot.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Ahhh Spring....come on down!!!

We have been getting a taste of Spring these last couple of weeks. A day here...a day there...pollen here...pollen there...pollen everywhere. If warm weather and Spring come with pollen, which we all know it does, then me and my Kleenex are ready!!

If you remember my last post I commented that sales for March were surpassing February by leaps and bounds. Well, put my foot in my mouth. After that post I had two days with a dismal one item per day and those items were 12.99 and 14.99. Goes to show you that it doesn't pay to gloat. But on the whole it has averaged out and I did pass February sales by the 14th of March. Just in time for ebay fees!!

To tell you how dismal my February sales were my fees were only 199.20 and I have a store and the store is 179.00 per month. So I am ready for some good sales.

I have been monitoring my items as they come up for renewal in their 30 day cycle. Anything with over 100 views total I have been ending the item and relisting it as sell similar so it would wipe out the viewing history.I can't say that it is having a huge difference in sales but I have noticed a few things that have sold once I have wiped out the history and made them new. I had two just yesterday for 50.00 total. I think that I will continue to do this and keep everything upgraded. I have also been adjusting some of my shipping charges and lowereing a few prices. Sold a vtg sweater today that had been listed for 3 years. I had just relisted and lowered the price by 5.00. Must have been the magic number. Only cost me 25 cents 3 years ago.

I have been so good, trying not to go on a shopping spree. But sometimes you just can't help it. The spending bug just bites you in know. This time it was a good thing.

Once everything is inspected I'm allowed to begin the job of transforming junk into cash.

My favorite charity thrift store has undergone a transformation. It has gone from a good place to find bargains to a place that has high prices. Pants and jeans have gone from 3.49 to 4.99, 5.99 and more. Blouses have gone from 2.99 to 4.99 and 5.99. Mens blazers from 6.99 to 8.99 and 9.99. And they no longer have coupons of any kind. I haven't seen any color tag days in my few visits. Even though the have gone to colored paper tags instead of just the colored plastic tag holders. But wait, it gets better.

Bag day is back!!! Seven days a week you can get a large garbage bag of stuff for $5.00. They had bag day last year only on Tuesday and Thursday and the bags were $10.00. Finally a price I can afford.
This is about 1/3 of what I got. The rest has been sorted and moved around. A few mens wool blazers, wool sweaters, cotton sweaters, linen pants, linen blouses, jeans, ball caps, knitted winter hats, vintage sheets, pillowcases.

We went on Monday and that must have been the first day because they were arranging the racks outside and were having a problem deciding how to place them. So I got a pretty good haul that day. I only purchased one bag but I chose wisely and filled it up with 29 bulky items. Mens blazers, womens jackets, sweaters and smaller things. I also had a customer loyalty card with all the spots punched and could get 20% off, so my bag was only $4. That folks, is 13.7 cents per item. My kinda price. So good that I decided to go back on Wednesday for more retail fun. I had seen several vintage coats that I should have picked up on Monday but passed on them because winter coats and spring don't mix and I really didn't want to store them. But I got to thinking and figured out where I could put them so back I went.

On Wednesday I was determined to get the best of everything outside on the sale racks. But everything was picked over, it was crowded and I got only one 5.00 bag. But oddly enough I still packed it, not quite as full, with 29 items. That works out to 17.24 cents per item!!

I found jeans this time and several blazers and some sweaters and a dress or two. No high end stuff, just bread and butter.

And did I mention that they have two bins inside with small items. Scarves, caps, hats, gloves, bras, yuckey undies, socks and an odd variety of stuff. I picked up quite a few bras, ball caps, some winter hats and probably a couple of diseases. But everything was a quarter!! Next time I will remember my gloves. I love to dig but sometimes the yuck factor is just too much.

 A fun find in the 25 cents bin. Someone somewhere will NEED this for halloween. I picture it on a big hairy chested guy, just for fun. Real coconuts...ouch.

On a different note. Can anyone tell me anything about Carruth? I found this silver turtle, 1 1/8" long and it is marked Carruth 1999. The quality is good and it looks like silver, weighs 1.6oz, but I can't find anything about it. Carruth online looks like a handmade jewelry and art piece kinda place. Does anyone know anything else about it?

Any help is appreciated.

Okay everyone, back to listing and selling and packing and shipping!!!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Is TRS causing this surge?

After having the worst February sales of my ebay career I have been very busy since March started. That got me to thinking, dangerous as that is, about the reason January was great, February was terrible and March is starting out very good.

January this year was better than December. February was the bottom of the outhouse and now March has started off with a blast.

Could it be the getting TRS back in February?

I think that is part of it but it can't be the whole reason. I got my bar code issue fixed before the end of February, just barely and I think that may have been a contributing factor in February. Also I was on vacation for a week, but I still listed. I scheduled three items each day that I was on vacation, didn't hide my items and responded to any emails. The one thing I didn't get done was to get everything shipped on Friday before President's Day when I got back and that made everything a little late. But not too late.

I haven't checked any listings to see if they are ranked higher but my guess is that they are. I think ebay was having problems the last week of February because of the overwhelming number of stores that probably regained TRS. I hope they have resolved any problems and we can look forward to a smooth spring. Fingers crossed.

Has anyone else noticed that sales prices are creeping up? I have a range of prices but I don't usually ghave many things lower than $12.99. A few are small, multiple items that go for $4-6. I started listing higher priced items after about a year, when my "eye" had improved but the listings have been just sitting there. Staring back at me!! I don't know what the reason is but I'll take any sale that I can get. My upstairs heat pump just stopped working and I don't have a clue what is wrong or the cost to fix it. All of these recent super sales will go to staying warm.

Some recent sales

Vtg combat boots size 12...$75

And if you have swimsuits....list them now. I have sold 5 in March alone and 3 in February, and I sold several in January but I'm too lazy to go check to see how many. So list them when you get them because they aren't in stores yet and Spring Break is coming up.

And surprise..surprise I have been selling flannel pajamas. Several pair in the last few weeks. Everyone must be tired of the same old flannels and want something to spice things up.

OK...get back to listing. If you don't list you aren't allowed to shop. So list...list...list and stay well.