front porch trash

front porch trash

Monday, February 29, 2016

When I'm 64...will you still need me...will you still feed me?

Aren't birthdays wonderful!!?? Thanks Mom for getting me out in the world 4 minutes before midnight so that I have a birthday every year and not just leap year. Four times the gifts!!

If you are old enough to remember the Beatles song "When I'm 64" you probably thought you would never, ever reach that old number. When you are 15 you think that number is so far away. My how time flies when you are living life.

I did get a birthday card, of sorts, from Social Security. Never said Happy Birthday or anything but it did inform me that I could apply for Medicare in 3 months.

WHAT??? Medicare is for old name is on the envelope...must be a mistake...can't be for me...Medicare?

To quote a new movie title that I saw advertised recently:

 Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!!!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Not making maximum profit

I've been watching a new seller who sells everything with free shipping. She gets most of her items from the GW by the pound outlet. She has only been selling full time for about 5-6 months.

I started watching her sales and her store when a fellow blogger recommended her approach to sales. She sells some great items, great brand names and she finds good stuff. She has a great style, photos look really good (better than mine) and she stages really well. From her shipping info I think that she could use some refinement. If you ship something poorely it reflect on how you perceive the item and therefore how the buyer will perceive the item when received. Wrap a piece of crap in tissue with a bow and it is still a piece of crap, but it looks nice!!

(Opinions are like a** holes....everyone has one and this is mine. No names and no store names please.)

This seller is selling good name brand items for what I think are way too low prices. But the kicker is free shipping. I agree with a lot of her prices but the free shipping is what I am having trouble with. If a skirt sells for $8.99 with free shipping that is not leaving much of a profit margin. I know, I know, ebay wants us to all do free shipping. Build the shipping into the sales price. I just can't bring myself to do it. As a seller, I just don't like free shipping. I do offer free shipping on occasion just because the number of similar items listed  all have free shipping. That's about the only time.

And the mark downs. If you list an item, a skirt for example, at $10.99 and it doesn't sell, then lower the price each week by $1 until it does sell then you end up selling very cheap. Look at the numbers for a hypothetical skirt that eventually sold for $8.99. I estimated that it was  purchased at the GW outlet for $.99 lb and weighed 8 oz. shipped. Shipping for 1-8oz would be the same so I assume it fell in there somewhere.

Sale price                      8.99
Shipping                        2.60
Paypal fee                       .56
Ebay fee, 9%                   .81
Cost of skirt                    .50
Poly mailer, label             .15
Total cost                      4.63
Profit                             4.36

I don't know about you but that is a lot of work for $4.36 profit. I know its almost half of the selling price.This isn't taking into account vehicle expenses, time, storage or any other fees. Just the actual cost of this one small item.

I think my time is worth more than this. The only way to make any money doing ebay this way is very large volume. Frankly, I don't think I could do business this way. My daily goal is $100. Most days I do this amount or pretty close. Some days I go over, most days not. But I would have to sell 25 items like the example above each and every day to make it worthwhile. Yesterday I sold one item at $19.99, purchased for $1. and shipping charged. I made a profit of $16.58 after fees. Imagine if I had sold one item for $4 profit.  I would be devastated. I would soon go under or burn out.

I don't mean to berate this ebay seller. I wish her all the luck.But my fear is that she will burn out fast and never know what hit her.She is working very hard with lots of sales but low dollar sales. I don't see the point of lowering listings every week when they don't sell. Customers who watch the store see what is happening and decide to wait until the price gets lowered before buying. Does lowering prices each week draw more buyers?

I want customers who buy now at the price I am asking. I set fair prices and I don't like to take less unless something has been sitting for 2 years, not 2 weeks.

Just my humble opinion. I hope the seller slows down and raises her prices and makes more money. Flame outs are never good.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Life Takes Over...Film at 11

No, I have not dropped off the face of the earth.
LIFE TAKES OVER...Film at 11

If things get really busy and I have to restructure things in the ebay selling world, the blog is the first thing to go. I type pretty fast, faster than my brain can organize thoughts most of the time. But sometimes other things are more important. Doctors appointments, groceries, laundry, vacations and stuff.

 I had been trying to get more of the dreaded "piles of stuff" listed and to list more each day. I was doing pretty good until I took off to Arizona on the 4th of February. After a week of hectic family activities it was good to get back home. But the routine was out of kilter. Thanks to the coughing lady on the plane, right next to me!!

The dry air of the Arizona desert was great but now I feel like a prune. I did get to see the grandson graduate from his Army special training and spend some time with him before being stationed in Korea. So it was well worth the trip. I even got a tattoo to celebrate. He got 3 or 4 before he left since they don't officially allow him to get tattoo's in Korea. I'm sure there are ways it is done, but not officially.He'll be gone two very long years and may be transferred more places before finally coming home.

December sales were fair. No big sales, just bread and butter stuff. Lots of boots, clothes and a few collectible items. January was really, really good. I had better sales, sold a big consignment item and overall made lots more than in December. I really needed it for the trip.

Do you take thrift vacations? I love them. My daughter and family drove to AZ from NC and it only took 3 days. Three long days. I got out a day early to get some thrifting in, make sure the room was ok, and generally be ready when they got there. My other daughter came out on Saturday so another run to the airport. But everything worked out great. My handsome soldier has graduated, grown up and shipped out. Kinda hard to let them go but he is ready. He and a couple of friends from training who will be stationed in the same camp were making plans on what to do with leave and where to go. I told my soldier to see and experience all he could because he probably won't be there again. Of course be very careful because if something did go wrong the Army would not want this angry grandma on the war path!!

This was an item I sold on consignment for a friend. I thought it would sell in December but no such luck. I had one offer in early January for $150, listed for $500, and I politely declined.(After I stopped laughing!!) My friend wanted at minimum $450. The first of February I woke up to an offer of $420 and counteroffered with $450 and it SOLD!!! Shipped to UK before I went on vacation and everything seems to be good. I checked and they had not received, still in customs. I'm crossing my fingers that it sticks.

All other sales have been really bread and butter stuff. No lows...just mediocre stuff.

I did find some great things on vacation and ended up bringing two huge suitcases back with about 80 lbs of stuff. Cowboy boots sure are heavy and bulky.
 For some reason this Brooks Bros trench coat with wool zip out lining was not priced. I wanted it so I took it to the check out and asked. It couldn't hurt. I ended up getting it for $9.56. I tried not to pass out at the cash register or jump and skip on the way to the car!!!
These boys were found at various thrifts in the Tucson area. A pair of Lucchese boots, a Nocoma exotic pair and a plain ole' pair of Red Wing Pecos boots. The Nocoma boots are some kind of snake skin. I can't decide if python or rattler. Haven't cleaned them yet.
Can't forget the girls and the guys who wear business attire. These youth, pink leather equestrian boots are Garnet Hill and the Johnston & Murphy loafers are brand spanking new.
This was an interesting find. I picked this up at the GW bins in Tucson. I know, I shouldn't have, but it was so darn cute.
A childs vintage straw cowboy hat. At first I thought the RR was Roy Rogers, but his name is usually always spelled out. And there is the big hint of an old steam engine with cowboys riding the cars and shooting at the Indians robbing the train. About as politically incorrect as you can get. I was amazed that this made it back in one piece. I packed it upside down in the middle of the suitcase and filled the hat with a dirty t shirt. No additional damage.

Now if I could just get over this creeping crud that I picked up on the plane from the generous lady in the next seat I could get back to work and list this stuff. Why do some people get on the plane and cough, cough and cough. She covered her mouth but I could still feel the air move everytime she coughed.