Friday, February 25, 2011
We want to hear all about your Fantastic Finds! This features isn't about your exciting sales. It's about your exciting finds! There are so many places to find inventory: your closet, your garage, a yard sale, thrift stores, a consignment item you're selling for someone else. What did you find this week that you are excited about? It can be something you're excited to get listed OR something you're excited to keep! You can even post to your listing, if you'd like. Free advertising!
I’m so excited to tell you about my FIND! We have been limping along with an old vacuum cleaner at our place of business for years now. The thing would barely pick anything up without going over the same spot several times, it’s pathetic really. I realized last Sunday when I went to close up and vacuum that I really couldn’t hold out any longer, I was going to have to break down and buy a new vacuum cleaner.
Fortunately, hubby and I stopped at our local Goodwill on the way to our weekly grocery shopping trip. As I was perusing the isles...there it was...the vacuum cleaner. It was a Hoover Wind Tunnel upright that was in like new condition. No scratches, clean and the bristles underneath were barely used. The bag inside appeared to be new and the price tag was in my budget...$10.00!
To top it all off this vacuum cleaner is valued at $190 at Sears. I just saved $180 and am a pretty happy camper!
I'm super-excited about my big find this week too! I had a gal I graduated with approach me a few weeks ago and ask if I wanted to buy all her daughter's outgrown clothes. After looking over them a bit, I decided heck yeah! I brought home sixteen 13-gallon kitchen trash bags stuffed FULL of clothes.
My top priority was to sort out the Gymboree items. There were 250 pieces!! Most are like new, several still have the tags!
The Gymboree pile!
There were a LOT of other, less-exciting brands, but that's ok. They'll sell in larger lots, and I will have NO problem recouping my investment.
The odds-n-ends pile
I'm excited to get this stuff sorted and listed, and start raking in the cash! I'll be sure to post an update in 6 months to let you know how it's going.
Tell us about your Fantastic Find by leaving a comment below!
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Monday, February 21, 2011
Every woman finds herself drawn to something when she’s out shopping, whether it’s shoes, bags or jewelry. My weakness is jackets. I find myself now searching them out at the thrift stores. A few weeks ago I found this Pea in the Pod maternity jacket; for the record I am NOT pregnant, however it fit me like a glove! I'm still not sure how I feel about that, but anyway...I paid $7 for this jacket and figured I would get to wear it a little before selling it. It sold before I had a chance to wear it in public. I did however contract myself to model it for this photo which I’m sure helped seal the deal to my buyer!
Last week I found three more jackets. Sure I could have picked up more, but I’m quite picky about what I put my money into and you should be too. Seek out those unique “diamond” items, not the dime-a-dozen stuff.
I especially loved this yellow Pendleton 100% virgin wool blazer that I think someone would just love for Easter. I also found this tailored Banana Republic “made in Italy” blazer, which I have been borrowing quite a bit lately! In a nutshell I’m seeking out classic yet stylish must have pieces because that’s how I like to shop. Shopping for eBay inventory is a lot more fun when you actually like what you are purchasing.
Seeking out quality rather than quantity is just as important. It’s easy to get caught up in getting tons of things listed, but I have learned to work a little smarter. One quality piece that will yield $60, is much better than six $10 items.
Leave a comment below of what your “Go To” item is while out shopping and join us in our discussion group on Facebook.
Friday, February 18, 2011
I spent the day thrift shopping with my hubby yesterday and found some great stuff. We found a fabulous Fire King mug. It's a barrel style mug probably from the 40's or 50's with a Beechcraft Company logo. It has the Beechcraft model 17 Staggerwing graphics on the mug. A quick search did not show any others listed on eBay or anywhere else on the net! What is it worth? To the right buyer...that could be anything!
Leave a comment below and tell us about your Fantastic Find!
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Sales are slow for me right now. How's that for an understatement?? Sales are ridiculously slow for me right now. It doesn't take long for slow sales to lead to discouragement. I've had several days this month where I thought to myself, "Why bother? I don't want to spend a bunch of time listing, only to have everything sit there and not sell." That's a ridiculous, destructive mindset. It's February. Sales are slow for everyone right now. But without a regular stream of sales, it's really easy to let my store languish. My energy wanes, my enthusiasm runs and hides.
How do I combat this feeling? I look back and see what happens when I do keep listing. My friends know me as an over-the-top obsessive record keeper (no comments from the peanut gallery!), but I have my reasons! When I'm feeling discouraged, it's nice to be able to look back and see that actively listing does lead to increased sales. I can look at last week and tell at a glance that I only listed 17 items. That probably goes a long way in explaining why I only sold 7 items. Total. The entire week. But I can look back further and see that in January, I listed 85 items and sold 74. The more I list, the more I sell! Imagine that.
On our eBay Underground Facebook group, we always have a weekly "Motivation Listing Record" thread. I use this record not only to remind myself of the need to list more, but I also use this record to remind myself that I DO work hard (as if I need reminded of that, right?). When I feel like I had a lazy week and didn't get much done on eBay, I can look back and see that those 2 or 3 listings here and there really do add up! I might feel like I didn't get anything accomplished, but I can see right there in black and white that I actually listed 85 items in January. It didn't feel like that much at the time, so it's encouraging to see that I really was productive.
Stop by our group, add a Listing Record of your own onto our thread, and see if that doesn't get you motivated to start listing more and more!
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
- Starbucks Toronto Skyline $150.93
- Starbucks Moscow $99.99
- Starbucks Australia Brisbane $81.00
- Starbucks Australia Hobart $81.00
- The mug has to have that Wow Factor. Is it beautiful? Is it unusual? Does it look expensive? Is it an advertising mug?
- I'll always pick up cat mugs. The cat collectors love these! Check out the cat mugs here.
- Is it old? I'll always pick up a vintage mug. I'll also pick up children's mugs, craft and home made mugs.
- Is the mug colorful? My mug buyers love vibrant color mugs.
- I'll always pick up a Disney mug. Completeds HERE
- I'll always pick up a Laurel Burch mug. Completeds HERE
Recently we had a question from one of our Facebook Group members about what children’s labels are popular for resale on eBay. I just so happen to sell children’s clothing. I’ve been selling kids clothes for over 15 years now and haven’t waned in my love for it.
So I decided to compile a list of both store and top designer brands that you can sell on eBay and hopefully garner a nice profit. You can pick up children’s clothing and shoes at thrift stores, consignment shops and yard sales. You can search Craigslist and Freecycle or let friends and relatives know that you are interested in purchasing items for resale. You can also purchase at new stores when they have end of year clearance sales.
I compiled this list based on items I have sold or items I see other eBayers selling. This is important to note because some of these labels I have never seen (in person). You and I will not necessarily have access to the same brands. Your area and stores are different from mine and therefore the inventory you source will not look the same. It’s very easy for me to get Gap and Ralph Lauren and occasionally Hanna Andersson and Lilly Pulitzer. It’s more difficult for me to find Mini Boden or Oilily. So you will have to find things on this list that will work for your area and go from there.
What you should know when buying and selling used clothing:
1. Items sell better in sets or small lots of the same label.
2. It’s difficult to spot stains while outside at a yard sale. Natural lighting can hide the flaws, so be extra careful to look over garments.
3. I personally stay away from black and navy. It fades and stains; trust me on this.
4. Check buttons, zippers and snaps to make sure they work.
5. Check seams for rips.
6. Make sure the butt and knees don’t show excessive wear (or any wear).
7. List items year round no matter what season it is and offer International shipping.
8. Freshly launder these items and store in a clean and odor free area.
9. Good shoes are always popular; just make sure you clean them up. Wide shoes especially are hard to find.
10. And last but not least, take great photos for your listings. Don’t throw these gems on your carpet and call it a day. Treat your finds like the special items they are and your buyers will likely pay you handsomely for that!
Some items that I especially love to seek out are special occasion dresses, wool dress coats, down coats, GK Elite leotards and shoes.
Click here to print this list in its entirety as your resource when shopping.
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Sunday, February 13, 2011
Let’s break those excuses down, shall we?
"Too much work" - Ebay itself is work. It takes about 30 seconds to include international shipping in your listing. And it takes maybe a minute longer to print an international shipping label.
"I don’t understand it" - Try to think back to the very first eBay listing you wrote. Was it overwhelming? Were you confused? Did you understand everything you were doing? How about now? You’ve practiced it a bit. It’s easy. You probably don’t even have to stop and think about most of your eBay listings anymore, do you? Yes, learning something new is confusing at first. But once you do it 2 or 3 times, you catch on, and it only gets easier from there.
"I don’t want the hassle of foreign buyers" - Why not? Buyers are buyers. There is so little communication on eBay anyway! They send you money, you send them their item. So many sellers DON’T ship internationally. I’m more than happy to step in and provide that service. That’s just more sales for me! International buyers are NOT a hassle. I love them. They seem to have more money to spend. They don’t like to bother with Best Offers. They don’t seem to mind paying lots of money for shipping. And the majority of the ones I’ve dealt with expect their packages to spend a good while in transit, so they don’t get impatient. Don’t think of foreign buyers as a hassle. Think of them as what they are – buyers! Buying your products with their money!
"What if the item gets lost in the mail?" - This can happen with international OR domestic sales. But if you’re so worried about it, insure the item. And please DON’T use USPS shipping insurance. Who can afford that?? I have been using ShipSaver insurance since my earliest days selling on eBay. They have an application right in eBay that imports your sales and allows you to pick and choose what you want to insure. The best part? It’s only 79 cents per $100 of coverage (domestic) and $1.00 per $100 of coverage (international). I don’t even know the USPS rates anymore. Last I knew, domestic was $1.35 per $100. The other best part about ShipSaver? They insure your cost of shipping too! So if you have an international buyer order a $10 item, but the shipping is $35, insuring the package will cover all $45 of it. USPS only insures the item value.
Ok, so now that I’ve talked you into shipping internationally … how do you go about offering it? I’m going to show you, step by step. This tutorial uses Ebay’s Sell Your Item form. If you use a listing service (Seller Sourcebook, Auctiva, etc), it’s going to look different.
Fill out your item information, just as you would for any item. Once you get to the shipping calculator, click on “Add or remove options” (next to “Give Buyers Shipping Details”)
This will open a new box. Click on the checkbox beside “Show International Services and Options” and click on Save.
Fill in your U.S. shipping information. If you choose Calculated Shipping, the package weight and dimensions will automatically be carried over into your International Shipping Information. If you choose Flat Shipping for U.S., you will still be able to use Calculated Shipping in the International section.
Next is International Shipping. Click on the drop-down menu and choose Calculated.
This will make a new set of options appear.
Click on the Ship To drop-down menu and choose Worldwide. Click on the Services drop-down menu and choose your shipping options. Remember! First Class International is for packages up to 4 pounds (not 13 ounces, like First Class Domestic). Heavier than that and Priority International is required (at least). If you’ve chosen “Worldwide” then you can ignore the next section (Additional ship to locations). If you want to add a Handling Cost, go ahead and click on Change and do that now.
And that is it! You now offer International Shipping! Finish out the rest of your Sell Your Item form, and you are done.
Now, let’s go back and look at that again. If you use Flat Rate U.S. Shipping, you’ll need to do things a little differently. Once you get to the International Shipping section, click on the drop-down menu and choose Calculated.
This will make a new set of options appear (slightly different from the previous set I just mentioned).
This time, you’ll see where you can type in the package weight. Go ahead and do that, and then proceed as before.
I hope this shows you that shipping internationally does NOT have to be scary. Once you try it a couple times, you’ll wonder what took you so long to offer it!
Is there something else about selling on eBay that intimidates you or makes you nervous? Why not come check out our eBay Underground Facebook Group? You’ll find so many tips there, you won’t know where to start!
Friday, February 11, 2011
My last post was about our eBay Underground mentoring program so I wanted to let you all know how that was going. If you remember, we offer FREE store or listing reviews for all of our group members. We have had both new store owners, who need a little direction, as well as long time sellers who need a fresh perspective.
I had the pleasure of reviewing a couple of stores and it was a fun learning exercise for me. I’ve always checked out other sellers because I think that’s a good habit to get into. Why not see how other professionals do it and strive to better your “look” on eBay, as well as your bottom line?
Here is a sample of some of the feedback we have received so far:
“Just want everyone to know that I got my review yesterday and it was full of great advice. These gals are wonderful. Everyone that is new to selling should really get their stores analyzed. Special thanks to Lesley and Dana, you guys rock!”
“I too would like everyone to know that I also got my review back from Michelle & Shannon on my store and it was very professional and impressive. I very much appreciate all the great information, tips and areas pointed out that I really need to work on and change. What a wonderful gift of their time and expertise…Thank you both very much!”
“Thank you Ginger and Rachel for my review! Even though I am on the ‘Analyzing Team’, I knew I could benefit from the review! I have already started making changes!”
“Seriously…WOW on the review Tina gave me. I can not rave enough on how much valid information I was given. I highly recommend anyone doing this. She really will change how I run this business and I’m betting it will be for the best. Thank you Tina!”
Needless to say, seeing the interest generated from our members who want to take advantage of this service, coupled with the glowing feedback has been amazing.
If you would like your own store or listings reviewed, simply join eBay Underground today and leave a comment on this thread.
PLUS, join our FAN PAGE and you won't miss another news feed!
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Shoes! I made it the whole way through my twenties not giving a rip about shoes. I always bought the cheapest clearance shoes at Payless or Walmart. I didn't really care if they were stylish, or even if they were comfortable, as long as they were cheap!
Then one day in the summer of 2010, I found myself in an upscale neighborhood on a thrifting road trip. I had a list of good shoe brands to look for, but, living in a lower income area, I had never even heard of any of those brands, much less found them in my town's one thrift store. So on this trip, I was very excited to find a LOT of shoes that were on my list! I think on that first trip, I found 15 or 20 pairs of shoes. I was uneasy about investing $6 in a pair of shoes, but I took a leap of faith and bought them all!
Then my sister-in-law, who lives in that town, suggested that I leave her a copy of my list. She offered to shop for me, and she started regularly bringing me bins (plural!) full of these shoes! Of course, the more I listed, the more I was selling. How grand it was to be able to just toss a pair of shoes into a box and ship them! No packing peanuts, no bubble wrap, no worries about damage during shipping. I was hooked!! And an added bonus ... I now have a fabulous shoe collection!!
I began taking road trips more often. Not always to that first town, but always to towns bigger than mine. The last time I was out at my sister-in-law's last December, I brought home *76* pairs of shoes!! My smaller trip in January got me 45 more pairs. I have about 130 pairs currently listed in my eBay store , and a pile sitting in my eBay room that needs listed. I regularly sell an average of ten pairs of shoes a week. But again, the more shoes I list, the higher that number grows.
In the past six months, I have gained the confidence to branch out and increase my risk. I have learned which brands sell quickly, which brands sell for a higher price, which sizes sell well. All of these things help me to decide how much I am willing to pay for any given pair. For example, I know that Danskos sell high, and they sell fast. I am always willing to invest more in them, knowing that I will be able to at least quadruple my money, and quickly. I know that Clarks sell very consistently. They don't sell for nearly as much as Danskos do, but they do sell regularly, so I always pick them up when I see them, as long as the price is right.
I even buy shoes that look well worn! 90% of the time, well-worn shoes are fixable. Don't pass up a good brand name shoe just because it has scuffs or wear. Meltonian Shoe Cream is the most amazing shoe product you will ever use. It is inexpensive and works great. Here is where I get mine. Tina is another of the administrators on eBay Underground and has recently become a Meltonian dealer.
Over on eBay Underground, we frequently extol the virtues of Meltonian. We often post before and after pictures. We compare Meltonian-treated shoe listings against non-treated shoe listings. We even have a video showing how to use it! We are great fans of the stuff. If you sell shoes, you positively MUST check out Meltonian (and eBay Underground, while you are at it!) I don't get anything for saying such great things about this cream. I am just an enthusiastic, avid fan!
So all of this is to say ... do your research. Learn your field, know what sells and what doesn't. Familiarize yourself with average sale prices for specific brands and use that information to make wise investment decisions. Also be aware of ways that you can buy a less-than-perfect item and transform it into something sellable. Don't be afraid to branch out and try something new from time to time. I had my list of five brands to look for, but I recently sold a pair of sandals for $98. It was a brand that wasn't on my list. My sister-in-law saw them and had a gut instinct that they were a good brand. She was right! So don't box yourself in. Be willing to take occasional risks and broaden your horizons.
If you are looking for more ideas of what to buy for resale, come check us out at eBay Underground. We've always got lots of great discussions going on about what sells, as well as other fabulous and free selling tips!
Thursday, February 3, 2011
I started selling on eBay in November 2009. Like most other sellers, I started out just selling odds and ends from around the house, at auction, and for dirt cheap. I swore I would never become "one of those losers who buys stuff to resell on eBay." Wow, how quickly our words can come back to bite us. I opened an eBay store on January 4, 2010, and I think my first purchase for resale was less than a week later! It was a couple of golf shirts, a brand that I quickly discovered does NOT sell. Stay away from Grand Slam golf shirts, everyone :)
Since opening my store, I haven't looked back. I joined a few online eBay groups. Some worked well for me, others did not. There are a lot of folks out there who do not want you to be successful. Quite a few of us from the eBay community got together and realized we felt the same way, so we started our own group - eBay Underground (on Facebook). I am one of the administrators there. It's a position I really love, and a group I am very passionate about, full of people I have come to know and love.
I suspect I spend a lot more time browsing, reading, and researching than a lot of other sellers, but it has paid off for me. I have learned an incredible amount in the year I've been selling on eBay. I have a very extensive list of things that I know will sell well, so I always keep an eye out for those items. I have learned what works and what doesn't in a listing. I have learned so much about buying strategies as well as pricing strategies. As sellers, we want to make the most money we can with the least amount of time and effort. I've learned how to do that, and I plan to share it all here!
My point is, with the right resources (all free if you know where to look!), you can learn to do exactly what I've done: become a successful Top-Rated Powerseller in just a year! Yes, I still have plenty to learn, and yes, I am still growing my business, but I've come a long way in a short time.
My vision for my role here at We Sell on eBay is to share little by little all the great tips and strategies I have learned since I started selling. I will also be sharing lots of success and failure stories from along the way. Believe me, there are plenty of each! :)
Thank you, Lesley, for inviting me to be a part of this exciting new opportunity to share! I am looking forward to it!
- Fantastic Finds Friday
- Falling in Love on Ebay
- What do you love to shop for?
- Fantastic Finds Friday
- How to Combat Discouragement and Laziness
- Selling Coffee Mugs Equals Steamy Profits!
- Popular Children's Labels to Sell on eBay!
- Selling Internationally Doesn't Have to Be Scary!
- eBay Mentoring Program - Part 2
- How I Got Here
- Nice to meet you - allow me to introduce myself!
- ▼ February (11)