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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Reasons Why I Love My Job, #374

Last night before I went to bed, I finished editing pictures for 14 pairs of shoes. I got up early this morning (6:45) and got cracking. I redid a few listings that were due to relist today, then I worked through my box of new listings. I got them done in a little over an hour, then packed the family up and headed out to a pool party. We were gone about 9 hours, and while I was gone, I had $117.97 in sales!

What other job pays you to SWIM all day??


Well, besides that one ....


What do YOU love most about this job?

Friday, July 29, 2011

Fantastic Finds Friday


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!

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I have not gone shopping.  Well let me clarify....I haven't gone thrift shopping.  Instead I've gone GROCERY shopping since I have 4 teenagers in the house this week.  I've gone to the grocery store at least once per day!  Okay, but that's not why you're reading this blog.  I did manage to list some inventory that I've had since the Spring.  I had a lot of new with tag baby clothes in various sizes and colors.  I managed to list them all (over 100 pieces) using the handy multi-variation feature in about 5 listings total.  This made me feel very productive this week!
~Lesley
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I'm being such a good girl! I'm dutifully plowing through all my finds from my huge road trip 2 weeks ago. I haven't bought any new inventory in 12 whole days! I haven't even gone to any thrift stores or yard sales either! Gasp! But, I am having a grand time rediscovering the stuff I bought on my road trip. I just opened up one of my bins of shoes and found a great pair of bronze Dansko strappy heels! So I pulled them out and will be listing them this afternoon.

I've been keeping really busy with listing and shipping, so I haven't even missed shopping. Tomorrow is yard sale day though! I knew I couldn't stay away forever :D

~Jessica
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What did you find this week? Anything exciting?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

My Top eBay Moments This Week

During the past week, I had a total of 27 sales. They're even all paid for except one, and it was just from yesterday, so she's got plenty of time yet. :)

My favorite sales this week:


Up first is these Born sandals. They sold super-fast, 2 hours after I listed them! I don't understand why, because I personally don't like the style at all, but I'll not question it when I paid $4.97 and sold them so quickly for $28.



This was another quick sale. I had a lot of those this week. This Birthday Bear Care Bear was listed for 6 days when someone bought him for my full asking price of $29.99. I paid 60 cents!



A couple years ago, I was pretty heavily into the drugstore games. I wish I still was, but I just don't have time for that right now. I accumulated all of these during that time. They probably even made me money when I bought them. Two years later, I still have them, so clearly I'm never going to use them. They are off to Arkansas for $22 - also just a couple days after listing them.



These, on the other hand, I have had since LAST August!! How embarrassing. I don't know why. There's nothing wrong with them (except that horrid picture!). I relisted them as a new listing last week for a fixed price of $25 and they sold within a day or two of relisting. I paid $2.99 last summer.



I bought this set for $15 last summer from another homeschool mom, thinking we'd use it later. Not too far into the year last year, my daughter decided she hated Saxon. I hung onto it for awhile, but finally decided on a different math from now on, so this set sold for $44.99 with free shipping. Not bad for something that didn't even start out as an eBay investment.



Merrells always sell pretty quickly for me. These were no exception. They sold for $30 after being listed for 4 days. I paid $4.97 for them.



This was easily my favorite sale of the week. Do you remember An American Tail? I was pretty excited to find this giant stuffed Fievel at my Goodwill for 99 cents. After researching, I decided to price him crazy-high at $59.99 or best offer, with free domestic shipping. He sold this week for my full asking price! And the best part?? He's going to Ireland, so I didn't even have to pay the shipping!


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

International Shipping Tutorial

It is so hard to get enough people together at 10pm EST for a live class. Here is what was going to be the International Shipping Class, in blog form. It is long, and it is dry. But it is important. Learn it and use it. You really should be offering international shipping, because that opens up a whole new world (literally) of possibilities! I will be hanging around the boards until around 10 tonight (Wednesday) and all day tomorrow (Thursday) to answer any questions that come up. If you've got a question, feel free to post to the boards and I can answer you there or I would be glad to meet you in chat if you'd prefer.

How to Add Calculated International Shipping to Your Listings

Once you are in the Sell Your Item Form, fill in your categories, title, item specifics, photos, description, price, and payment information just like you always do. When you get to the section titled “Give Buyers Shipping Details” click on “Add or Remove Options”
On the screen that pops up, check off “Show International Services and Options”. Then scroll down and check off “Set Up a List of Locations I Don’t Want to Ship To”.  Then Click Save.
Now, fill in your US Shipping information just like you always do. If you use Calculated Shipping, then your international shipping calculator will be pretty much finished. If you use Flat Rate Shipping, you’ll just have one more step for international. Still very easy. If you use Calculated Shipping, go ahead and put in your Item Weight, dimensions, handling time and fee, and US Shipping Options in the US Shipping section. If you use Flat Rate Shipping, go ahead and put in your Shipping Charges, handling time, and shipping options in the US Shipping section.
Now, if you did Calculated US Shipping, all you’ll need to do is make sure Calculated is showing in your International Drop Down menu. If it is, then eBay will have already carried over your item weight from your US Shipping section. If you did Flat Rate US Shipping, you’ll need to choose “Calculated: Cost varies by item location” in the International Drop Down Menu.
Next, I make 95% of my listings available worldwide, so I choose “Worldwide” from the left drop-down Ship To menu. If you want to start small and only offer Canadian shipping, then you can choose only Canada as an option here.
Next, you’ll choose your Shipping Services. If the package is 4 pounds or less (and a total of 36” or less, I like to offer both First Class International and Priority Mail International.  The vast majority of my buyers choose First Class because of the huge cost savings. You’ll definitely want to offer that as an option whenever possible. Without that option, you will lose a lot of international buyers. If your package is more than 4 pounds, or greater than 36”, you won’t be able to offer First Class International.
If you didn’t put in your package dimensions in the US Shipping section, now is the time to do that in the International Shipping section.  Then add a handling fee, exclude any specific countries if you want (more on that next), finish your listing, and you’re DONE!
How to Exclude Specific Countries from Buying Your Items
In your listing, right under the International Shipping section you just completed, you’ll find “Exclude Shipping Locations.” Click on “Edit Exclusion List”.
Yours won’t have those countries listed yet. Once you click on that, a box will pop up with a list of continents.
If you’re looking to exclude a specific country, find the continent that country is one and click on “Show all countries” next to it. For example, if you’d like to exclude Brazil, click on “Show All Countries” next to South America. This will give you a list of all the countries in South America. Just put a check box next to the ones you don’t want to ship to. Then click Apply.
How to Use the International Mail Manual
Bookmark this. You’ll need it often!
Near the bottom of the blue menu on the left, you’ll see “Individual Country Listings.”  Hover your mouse over that and a list of countries will pop up. Find yours and click on it. This will tell you what items are prohibited and restricted. It will also tell you if you need to include duplicate packing slips or any other special instructions (Certificate of Disinfection, for example). This is my International Shipping Bible! I use it all the time. If I get an offer for an item and it is from a foreign country, I check here before accepting the offer, just to make sure the item is allowed. For example, Brazil doesn’t allow used consumer goods. I had an offer from Brazil for a used dress. I checked the International Mail Manual, discovered that, and was able to stop a problem before it happened. I just declined with a note explaining that their country prohibits used consumer goods, but thanks for their interest!
How to Deal with a Customer that Wants You To Mark Their Item as a Gift
International buyers usually have to pay customs or import taxes on international packages they receive. Occasionally, they’ll try to get out of paying those taxes by asking YOU to make their package as a gift on the customs form. This is an easy one:  It is against the law to mark an item as a gift on a customs form if it’s not a gift. I’ve only ever had 2 buyers ask me to do this. I just wrote them a note saying, “I’m sorry. Because this is merchandise, I cannot mark your package as a gift. I understand if you wish to cancel your order. Please let me know as soon as possible.” I’ve never had any problems with that. They know better, or they wouldn’t even be asking. Be nice about it. They’re just trying to save a few bucks and they probably figure it can’t hurt to ask. But it IS against the law, so don’t do it.
How to Fill Out Customs Forms
If you print your shipping labels from home, the customs form will be filled out for you! I don’t have any international packages that need shipped right now, so I can’t get any screen shots for this one.  When you use eBay Shipping (and I hope you are!), after you’ve filled in your Package Weight, Dimensions, etc…, click on “Continue to Customs Form”.   Here you’ll see a screen where you put the item description, weight, and cost. Be vague in your item description. There is no need to broadcast exactly what is in that package. Instead of putting “Authentic Coach Bag” just put “purse”. The weight and cost will be filled in for you. Toward the bottom, you’ll need to put a checkmark in the box by “I have read and agree with ….“ whatever the rest of that sentence says. It just means you’ve checked the International Mail Manual and you aren’t shipping something you aren’t supposed to. Then when you print your label, the customs form will be integrated into the label, so you don’t need any other paperwork.
Problem Countries
I only exclude 3 countries right now: Brazil (prohibits all used consumer goods), Russian Federation (their customs employees are shady), and Italy (prohibits footwear and non-wooden toys). Other sellers have a much more extensive list, but until I have a problem with a country, I’m not going to block them, unless it’s a really expensive item. If you use ShipSaver Insurance (again – I hope you are!), they have their own list of countries that they will NOT insure to. You’ll need to decide for yourself if you want to block those countries. You can find that list here:
Tracking
If you want guaranteed tracking, you’ll need to spring for Express International (or better yet – have your customer spring for it if they insist on accurate tracking). If you are shipping Priority Mail International, I believe it tracks just like domestic packages do most of the time. It is not easy to track a First Class international package.  You can try to track it at this website, but it will only work occasionally. http://www.trackitonline.ru/
Customs Paragraph
I believe there was a new eBay rule recently that said the only way we can be covered against buyer complaints about customs and duty taxes, is if we include a paragraph in our listing about it. I don’t remember the exact rules, but I know it has to be written near the top of our terms, and it has to be in the same size font as everything else. Here is mine. Nothing fancy.
Shipping: I ship worldwide within 1 business day of receipt of cleared payment. **International Buyers: You are responsible for any customs or import fees. These charges are not covered in your shipping costs.** I am always happy to combine shipping.

That’s pretty much all you need to know in order to ship internationally. PLEASE don’t hesitate to stop by the boards and ask as many questions as you need to. I’m there quite often and I (or someone else, if they beat me to it) will answer as quickly as possible.


Rethinking My Pricing Strategy

I'm a believe in the Saks vs. Dollar Store mentality. I want those buyers who have money to spend. I don't want the buyers that are looking for a bargain. The majority of the time that I've had an eBay store, I have catered to those buyers. I try to take nice pictures, write an appealing description, and I price my items HIGH with best offer. If we price our items too low, potential buyers will assume there is something wrong with the item.

In the past, this has worked well for me. Yes, I have to deal with low ball offers, but sometimes I get my full asking price! But lately, I've been rethinking this. My goal is to reach and maintain around a thousand listings in my store. I am nearly to 800. I have enough inventory here to get me to 1000 once I get it all listed. That's a lot of stuff, folks. A thousand items requires a lot of storage space! So I want to start focusing on a higher inventory turnover rate. I want to get these items in and out quickly.

My niche is shoes. Shoes are easy to pack and ship, so I would rather ship more of them at slightly lower prices, rather than just a couple pairs for higher prices. I decided to run a little experiment. It wasn't even a week before I realized that was definitely the way to go. Previously, I had been pricing my Clarks and Borns at $39.99 (sometimes even $44.99!) with the best offer option. My minimum acceptance price on those brands is $20-25, but mostly $25. Sure, they were selling eventually. But I need to move 'em out faster than "eventually"!

So what I've been doing recently is this: Any new Clarks and Borns listings that I put up are going straight to $25 plus shipping, no Best Offer option. Also, as my current listings are coming up for renewal, I'm clicking on "Sell Similar" and relisting them at $25 plus shipping, no Best Offer (then ending the original listing, of course). In the first 2 days, I sold more shoes than I've sold in the past 2 weeks! I am SOLD.  I am thrilled with $25 for them, and my buyers are too. They don't have to haggle to get that price. They can just buy it and be done with it.

Similarly, I'm rethinking my Gymboree listings. I've got a massive amount of Gymboree clothes. Same thing here. My investment was very minimal on them, so it's time to get them moving quickly. I had originally priced them at about half of retail or best offer. I was willing to accept as low as half my asking price, or 1/4 of retail. I've sold quite a lot, but not as quickly as I expected. So I raised my prices a couple dollars and tacked on free shipping. That didn't do much of anything. In fact, my sales SLOWED. So now, as my current listings come up for renewal, I'm relisting them at 1/3 of retail, with the best offer option, plus shipping. I think my prices are much more reasonable now, but it's only been 2 days, so I haven't sold any of those listings yet. Time will tell, but I can hardly go wrong by lowering those prices.


I'm just writing this as food for thought. It was hard for me to make that first step of lowering my prices so drastically. I dragged my feet about it for a long time - mulled it over for weeks, and even once I made the decision to do it, that first listing sat open on my screen for about 10 minutes because I just couldn't bring myself to do it. But I am so glad I did. I am all about a faster sale, turning over my inventory so I can go out and buy more!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Shoe Week at eBay Underground

Recently, we had a very in depth discussion about shoes here. This week on eBay Underground, our theme Topic of the Week is SHOES! If your niche is shoes and you have more to add to the topic, or if you would like to sell shoes but need more information, please stop by this week and add to our discussion. Our goal is to get as much participation as possible this week so we can compile all our information into an ebook, which will be available FREE to our members. Come join the conversation!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Quick Shoe Tip

I found this cute pair of white Merrell thong sandals over the weekend. They were pretty grungy, but for $4.97, I figured I could do alright with them. I got the uppers and the insoles clean up nicely, but no amount of scrubbing was getting the grime off the soles of these. I've sold shoes like that in the past, because really, they're gonna get that way after the first couple wears anyway. But these were different - everything else about these was really nice, so I really wanted to get the soles cleaned up.

I racked my brain, trying to think what I could try, when my eyes fell on my bottle of Goo Gone that I use for removing sticker residue. It worked BEAUTIFULLY! Check this out:


Took me 2 minutes, and really not even much elbow grease. If you sell anything at all on eBay, you have GOT to get yourself some of this stuff! I found my bottle at the Dollar Tree for a dollar (imagine that...). It has lasted me quite awhile, because a little goes a long way. I did accidentally knock the bottle down a couple months ago and spilled half of it out. Otherwise, it would have lasted me even longer. :-\

Here's what you're looking for:


Totally worth your couple of quarters.

Fantastic Finds Friday


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!

==========

Lesley
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Well! Where do I start??? As I mentioned last week (and a hundred times since then), I took a 3-day buying trip last weekend. I went with almost $600, never dreaming I'd actually spend it all, but I came home with $28 in my Paypal account and $60 in my busines checking account. Yikes! I have a TON of work to do! But so far, I've gotten over 50 new listings up this week. Whew!

A quick summary:
  • 16 plush (sold 3 already)
  • 15 microwave turntables
  • 76 prs of shoes
  • Leapfrog case (to add to my big leapfrog lot that's already listed)
  • Care bear mug
  • odds and ends maternity
  • Thomas the train wilton pan
  • several pieces of Revere ware
  • 5 sets hot rollers
  • several pieces kids' clothes (gymbo & baby gap)
  • several board games
  • 4 older blue Ball jars (2qt, 1qt, pt, 1/2 pt)
  • brooks brothers jacket (46 regular) $1.50
  • coffee carafe in box
  • wiggles car
  • ice skates
Jessica
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What did you find this week? Anything exciting?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

My Top eBay Moments This Week

It's Thursday - time for another sales roundup!  The week started out slow for me, but I was away last weekend, so it was just as well, as I wasn't home to ship!  I had 19 sales over the past week. Looks like at least 1 of them will be a no-pay. Grr. And I had a buyer buy two pairs of boots from me, but she had asked ahead of time if she could pay in August, so we'll see if that happens...

My favorite sales from the week:


I paid $1.50 for this Rothschild coat at a yard sale in June. It sold fairly quickly for $22.99. I have another Rothschild coat to list, and 2 other ones currently listed, but I've gotten no bites on them yet. Maybe because it's a zillion degrees outside??


I paid $2.99 for these goooooorgeous Danskos at my local Goodwill in April. I desperately wanted to keep them, but they weren't even close to my size. I was thrilled with the $59.99 offer I got for them!


This is my most exciting sale, provided it actually goes through! I bought 3 pairs of these Emu boots last October when they were Amazon's Gold Box deal of the day. I paid around $26 per pair. I sent one pair to Greece within the first week. They sold for my full asking price of $97.99, which paid for all three pairs. The others have sat with nary an offer, but I had someone inquire the other day. She wanted my last 2 pairs, one for her and one for her sister, but she wouldn't be able to pay until August 10. For that price, I'm willing to wait a little bit. Besides, what's the worst that could happen? If she doesn't pay, I'll just relist them right in time for fall/winter shoppers. I expected her to make me an offer since she was buying both pairs, but she did Buy It Now yesterday for my full asking price! 

I paid $2.97 for these in March. This particular hot roller set is not a favorite, but my sister-in-law picked them up for me. The lid was cracked, but they sold anyway, for my full asking price of $31.99!
 

This wasn't a super exciting sale, but it was quick with a nice profit margin, so I thought I'd mention it as a BOLO (Be On LookOut) item. I paid 56 cents for it last weekend, figuring I could sell it for a quick and easy ten bucks. I ended up listing it for $19.99obo with free shipping. It sold the same day (full asking price) to a buyer in Canada, so I didn't even have to pay the shipping!


This mug sale was a real victory for me! I paid 13 cents for it in June. Far Side mugs typically sell pretty well, and there weren't many of this one listed, so I listed it for $29.99obo. It got a LOT of hits, so I know it was a good one, but this particular one has a lot of utensil marks in it. I finally got an offer for it 2 weeks ago ... for $6.  I rolled my eyes and declined, because I knew there was no way we could meet in the middle on this one. A couple days later, he offered me $8. It quickly became obvious to me that he wasn't going to go away, so I offered him $24.99, just to (hopefully) give him the idea that I wasn't going to consider his ridiculous prices. A week later, he offered me $13. Sigh. Buyers only get 3 offers, so I knew he was out of chances. His only remaining options were to accept any counteroffer I sent him, buy full price, or walk away. He was being persistent enough that I knew he wouldn't walk away, but I also had a strong suspicion he wouldn't pay full price, so I countered with $20 and he accepted!

What were your highlights this week?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Things I Sell on eBay


Microwave Turntables

The very first turntable I ever sold on eBay was my own. Our microwave died, and for some reason I thought to check eBay to see if the turntables sell. They do! And mine did!

According to Terapeak, I have sold 9 turntables in the last 90 days. So that's about one every week and a half.  I currently have 31 turntables listed. Yes, that is my stack of turntables in the picture up there. Actually, that is half my stack.

I always pick them up. I do NOT buy the square ones. Always run your fingers along the edges and make sure they aren't chipped. I don't even try to figure out what type of microwave they are for, but if you want to, this is a good site to check. I just list the measurements (outside diameter, diameter of any inner tracks, diameter of center square or hole), and I include every word and number that is on the turntable. That seems to be enough. I've only ever had 1 returned to me because it didn't fit.

I'll not lie though. They are a real nuisance to ship. For awhile, I was making my own boxes. But I quickly got tired of that. I finally broke down and bought some 16x16x6 boxes on eBay. I highly recommend this seller. Excellent customer service! Yeah, they're pretty expensive, but I finally came to the conclusion that the time (and aggravation!) spent building my own boxes was absolutely worth the money!  The 16x16 boxes are good for any turntables up to 14". Occasionally, I sell a 16" turntable, so I do have to build my own box for that, but I usually sell the 16" turntables for $30, so I don't mind the extra effort for all the more often I have to do it.

Storage is great - they stack quite nicely. And the profit margin is very nice. I can usually buy them for around $2, and I sell them for an average of $20. Any time I can recover my investment 10 times, I'm pretty happy!

If there's anything I didn't cover here, feel free to leave your questions in the comments, or stop by our discussion board and ask there. We love questions!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Fantastic Finds Friday



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!

==========
Last week was my first thrift shopping trip in well over a month, and it felt pretty good!  Hubby and I found a ton of shoes...the standard Clarks, Born, as well as a few Dansko and Doc Martens.  His biggest find was a pair of Allen Edmonds which he promptly sold for a whopping $225! :)

I'm always hearing about Care Bears, so when I spotted a couple I picked them up.

I found this large one for $2.97


As well as this smaller one for $1.97 (although she sings!)


This week though should be even more exciting as I have my buddy Jessica rolling into town to do a little shopping with me! ;-)

Lesley
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I didn't find anything super exciting this week. I'm out for the weekend though! 3-day thrifting road trip!! Because, you know, I don't have anything at home to list. Besides those 70 pairs of shoes. And that table piled high with stuff. But other than that, I mean...

Jessica
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What did you find this week? Anything exciting?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

My Top eBay Moments This Week

I really enjoy reading other eBay bloggers' top sales for the week, so I'm going to start doing the same. Because I can't think for myself. Thanks for the idea, gals! :)

After a really crummy June, I am VERY excited with how my July has been going! I have had 32 sales in the past week. 2 of them cancelled before I shipped (what's up with that??), and 1 currently has an unpaid item case open that will be closing tonight or tomorrow. But one of the items that the buyer backed out on sold 2 days later, so there. :-P

Here are some of my favorite sales from the last week:



I paid $3.90 for these sandals LAST AUGUST! I'd have probably let them go for $10 just to be rid of them, but they sold for $25.


I paid $3.48 for these rollers this past May. I got an offer for $20 earlier in the day, but before I could respond to that offer, someone else snagged them for my full asking price of $39.99!



This American Girl gown was given to my daughter over the winter. I let her wear it, despite the fact that it was just too small for her, but after winter was over, I decided to sell it. It hung in my eBay room for 3 months. Finally, I listed it last week and it sold within a couple days for $45.



These were my own Revere Ware pans from the back of my cupboard. I haven't used them since I replaced all my saucepans with my beloved Vision Ware a year and a half ago. I was going to put them in the yard sale for a buck apiece, but once they sold for $30, I was glad I didn't! (Oh, and they went to the UK, so my buyer paid an additional $30 shipping. Who does that?? Who pays $60 for 2 used cruddy pans??)



I paid $3.07 for this monster 16" turntable in May. It sold last night for my full asking price of $29.99. Why do people pay full price instead of making offers? I guess when you're desperate to get your microwave working again, you don't want to waste time on offers...



I paid $1 for these hot rollers at a yard sale last Friday. They sold the same day I listed them, again for my full asking price of $39.99!



And finally ... this one wasn't mine. I sold it for my brother's girlfriend. She's a big girl now, so she pees in the potty. hahaha! Just kidding, Charmane!  She paid $15 for it on Craigslist over the winter. She told me she wanted to get $85 out of it. We got several offers the first two days it was listed, so I finally set my auto-decline to decline anything less than $75. I woke up to an $85 offer this morning! Perfect!

So those were the highlights. I tried to cut it back to just my top 5, but I couldn't. What have you sold this week?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

5 Tips for Selling Hot Rollers on eBay


When you first think of hot rollers, you probably think they are outdated, and no one uses them anymore, right? Wrong! There is a huge segment of eBay buyers who buy them - and pay crazy high prices for some of them. Who are these people??


That's right. Pageant moms! That is a world that I know nothing about, so I am only speculating here, but I suspect vintage hot rollers are in high demand in the pageant world because they get hotter more quickly, and when you're rushing around backstage, you need super-hot rollers, and you need them super-fast!

Here are my top 5 tips for selling hot rollers on eBay:

  1. Focus on vintage. Vintage rollers get a lot hotter than the rollers that are on the market today. They are also made better, made to last. I think a lot of today's appliances are pretty much designed to be disposable. Vintage rollers (and other vintage appliances) are high-quality.
  2. Don't worry if they are incomplete or they don't work. As long as you don't pay more than a couple dollars for them, you'll still make a profit. I made almost $30 by parting a set out for replacement parts. I sold the rollers themselves in sets of 2 or 3, and I sold the clips separately.
  3. Know the true gems. Always be on the lookout for Remington Tight Curls, vintage Lady Schick rollers, and Helene Curtis Unicurls.
  4. Learn about wax cores. I have had several people ask me if my hot rollers have wax cores. I didn't know what that meant for the longest time. Some of these older rollers have wax cores, so once they are heated, the wax melts. I think this makes the rollers stay hotter longer. You can find out if your set has wax cores by heating them in their unit. Once they are good and hot, shake them close to your ear. If it sounds like water sloshing around, then they've got wax cores. Be sure to note this in your listing.
  5. Don't list at auction. Hot rollers generally need just the right buyer. Please -- stay away from auctions and list these in your store. You'll have to be patient and wait for that perfect buyer to come along.
  6. Bonus Tip: If you are in the middle of cleaning hot rollers to list them, and you're a really bad procrastinator, take a break and write a blog post about selling hot rollers. It'll make you feel productive.
If you've got more questions about selling hot rollers, feel free to leave a comment here, or come on over to our discussion board and start a new thread!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Dealing with the "eBay Police"

We've all gotten them. Those helpful folks that want to let you know something is wrong with your item, or it is priced too high. I woke up yesterday morning and saw that I had a new eBay message. As long as it's not a username I recognize from a recent sale, I get excited about eBay messages. This one was no different ... until I opened it.

"Do you honestly think someone would want to put their foot inside of this shoe? And you are asking $35.99 for them?? It almost seems against the board of health to present/sell a shoe so dirty."





How do I respond to that? So many options flitted through my head. Let's consider them:

  1. "No, I'm actually asking $39.99 for them. They just happen to be 10% off at the moment."
  2. "See that little Make Offer button? If $34.99 is too much, feel free to let me know how much YOU would like to buy them for."
  3. "Considering I have made a rather successful business of selling pre-owned shoes on eBay, people must not mind it too much."
  4. "Have you looked at the Birkenstocks that sell on eBay for high money?"
When we get smart remarks like this (and "I can buy this new for the same price!"), it is so tempting to reply with something equally smart. So how did I respond in this case?


Why waste my time? I have better things to do - like shipping all these "used" items that other people bought over the weekend. I refuse to give these people the satisfaction of being disturbed. It's not their business how I run my business.

There will always be people who are critical of our business practices, but I've put a lot of time and effort into building my store. Guess what? For the most part, I've figured out what I'm doing. So what if I have one pair of shoes that looks dirtier than most of my other ones? Either they'll sell eventually, or I'll knock them down to half off and get rid of them that way.

Don't let these self-proclaimed eBay police intidimate you. YOU run your business the way YOU want to run it. That's the beauty of being our own bosses. We don't have to do things the way other people tell us to.

Come join us on eBay Underground, where we're discussing our best finds and time management tips this week!

How to Create a Logo for your Store - Live Class 7/13

Would you like to learn how to create a personalized logo for your store, your emails, your blog posts, whatever? Then come join us on eBay Underground tomorrow night, Wednesday, July 13 at 10pm EST. Lisa Blasdell will be teaching how to do this in a live class! There will be discussion boards, screenshots, and live chat! Stop by and learn. It's free! No software downloads necessary. The class and the logo designing will all be done on websites. Sign up here!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Bring your eBay listing to life with video!

 For months, I’ve been holding onto several items that I wanted to list.  These items are unique because they are interactive toys and I felt the best way to describe it on eBay was to showcase what it actually does with video and audio. 

I have a great camera that not only takes pictures, but easily switches to video format too.  So once I was done taking the pictures, I took a quick video.  Then I uploaded that video to my Photobucket account.

It’s very easy to add your video to your listing, here’s what you can do too:


    First, take the video of your product in action.
video


Next, upload the video to a site such as Photobucket or You Tube and then copy the HTML code.



    Finally, paste the HTML code into the eBay description body labeled
     HTML as shown below.   **Make sure that you can see the video within the listing. If the link takes your customer off eBay to Youtube, it is a listing violation.
    Voila, you now have a way to showcase your product on eBay and show your potential customers how it works!  That was fun.... :-))
    If you want to learn more great tips and interact with fellow eBayer's who share your same desire for success, join us on our eBay Underground Group and come make some new friends!

    Jeans Week on eBay Underground!


    Homeschool Week over on eBay Underground was a great success! We got lots of participation and lots of great information, which we'll be compiling into an ebook.

    This week, we're talking about jeans. If you sell jeans, come and share some of your knowledge and wisdom with us. If you don't sell jeans but want to, come and ask questions and learn from those who know what they are talking about. This week, we'll be discussing:
    • top performing jeans
    • how to authenticate 
    • how to spot vintage jeans
    • consistent sellers
    Remember - the more participation we get, the more helpful the conversation will be. Come join us!

    Saturday, July 9, 2011

    Live Class - International Shipping - July 27

    On July 27, I'm going to be teaching a live web class on International Shipping. I know that's pretty far in advance, but for once, I'd like to have my act together ahead of time. I'd like your input. I'm planning on discussing these topics:
    • How to add calculated shipping to your listings
    • How to use the International Mail Manual
    • How to exclude specific countries from your listings
    • How to print international shipping labels
    • Known problem countries
    So my question is ... for those of you who are nervous about shipping internationally ... what makes you nervous? What do you need to learn in order to feel more comfortable shipping internationally? What would YOU like to discuss at this class??

    Help me out here ...

    Friday, July 8, 2011

    Yard Sale Day!

    This morning was grey and gloomy, but I set off with my 4 kids anyway, and we met up with my mom and sister for a day of yard saling. We had a long list of sales, many of which were either multi-family or community yard sales. That doesn't really mean much, but that didn't put a damper on my enthusiasm.

    Here's the whole haul, which I snagged for $32.25:


    First sale of the day - 8:05 sharp:
    • Black & White Motherhood Maternity Shirt - $2
    • Pyrex 1 1/2 Qt "Designs" casserole - $1
    • 6 tall blue plastic cups (I'm collecting quality plastic dishes for camping trips, and these were just right) - 50 cents
    Then we headed to a string of 3-in-1-block. One of them was offering half off everything, and some of the proceeds go to a blah blah blah something something ... I didn't care, I was eyeing up her Florsheims. That's all I bought there. Everything else was gross junk. I didn't buy anything at the second house, and we almost didn't stop at the third house, but my mom wanted to check out the glassware, so we obligingly stopped. I'm glad we did, because none of my clothes fit me right now, and I grabbed a nice blouse for the fall. Fits me perfectly!
    • Florsheims - $3
    • Blouse - 50 cents
    Then we headed to the next street, but spotted another one on the way. We could have bought a "Welcome to the Sigler's" sign for only 25 cents. That's a pretty narrow market there ...
    • Conair Easy Holding Hairsetter - $1
    Then we headed to an unadvertised porch sale that my sister spotted on her way to meet us. Again, we almost didn't stop. It was pretty small, and mostly overpriced. I spotted a really old-looking game that I've never heard of. I went with my gut on this one, because there's only one currently listed on eBay. It's called Shmo, and just the name made me laugh, but once I got it home and spread it out, I laughed even harder. This game looks like a riot! But not enough of a riot to keep. It'll be going up this evening, but I'm a Shmo and that ain't good....

    • Shmo Dice Game - $3
    Then we headed down the road to an indoor church sale. These always hold such promise, but this one just wasn't all that exciting. It was very nicely organized, so I'll give them that much. Each Sunday School class was its own shopping department. I only bought 2 things there:
    • Fire King Candleglow casserole - 25 cents (fortunately. what a dud.)
    • Red Clarks mules - $1.00
    Next, we drove quite a few more miles than we intended to to get to the next one, and we got there just as it started to drizzle! But the seller held out for us. Jacob bought a shopping bag of Legos for 75 cents (which are currently strewn all over the floor and abandoned - argh). I got a small plush Gund ducky for my sister's baby shower this weekend, and a huge Funshine Care Bear. I have quit buying Funshine, but I'll still pick up the really big ones. Finally, for Sarah's birthday, my mom bought her The Little Mermaid DVD, but it doesn't play on our DVD player for some reason. She can watch it on the computer, but let's face it - I'm usually on the computer. I got her a VHS copy of it today.
    • Ducky - $1
    • Care Bear - $3
    • Little Mermaid - $1
    Then we drove even FURTHER to what looked like a great sale! Toddler girl clothes galore, and toys toys toys! But just as we pulled in, the skies opened up and we sadly watched as the sellers threw a tarp over their stuff. :(  But we hung in there. We sat in the van playing the Junk in Mom's Van Alphabet Game for 20 minutes until the rain let up. I'm undecided on whether it was worth it or not. My sister got a shelf. My mom got nothing. I got 4 pieces of Gymboree and a Lilly Pulitzer dress. They had a Bumbo, but not priced within my resale budget. Maybe someone will come along who is willing to pay $20 for it, but that someone won't be me!
    • 4 pieces Gymboree + Lilly Pulitzer dress - $3
    The rain let up just enough for us to drive to one last sale, but again, the downpour started as we got out of the car. I'm REALLY glad we made the effort for this one though!
    • Lego set 4587, new in box - $5 (not a huge seller. I'll list it, but if it's still around at Christmas time, it'll become a gift)
    • Mega Bloks Harley Davidson ProBuilder V-Rod, new in box - $5. I'm very excited about this one. There's only one listed on eBay right now for $70.something auction, or $99 BIN. I hope to get at least $50 out of it.
    • Men's Teva sandals - $2 - I'm hoping these will fit my husband, because he's desperate for some good sandals, and these are the same style as the junky Target ones that broke after he wore them 4 times.
    So that's it. I always love it when I find a good mix of stuff to sell and stuff that we needed anyway. I'll try to remember to update as this stuff sells.

    What have you found this week? Come join us at eBay Underground and post your finds!

    Storage Solutions for the Online Seller!

    This subject has been talked to death by online sellers, the reason being that it’s a constant struggle.  Usually the lack of space parlays into clutter.  It’s tough when you don’t have adequate space to stay organized.  But it can be done; you just have to get creative.

     First, I recommend designating one specific area for eBay storage.  Other sellers on our eBayUnderground Group have recommended investing in a small storage shed, which could be a great idea if you don’t have room inside the home.  I personally use my basement, it’s clean and dry.

     Here are my suggestions:

    1.  Utilize ALL the space.  That means floor to ceiling, and not just the perimeter walls, but the interior space as well. 


    I've got floor to ceiling storage space for my kids clothes, utilizing interior space.

    2.  Group like items together; toys with toys, glassware with glassware, clothes with clothes, etc.

     
    Here I'm trying to group like items together.  Not just that, but I'm not hiding anything.  Each time you sell something, you don't want to have to hunt it down.  If you have to constantly handle inventory, by moving it around to search for something else, you are wasting valuable time.

    3.  Buy or make storage fixtures.  Now this is the part where you are investing in your business.  You don’t have to spend a fortune, we are all resellers, and believe me…there are plenty of used fixtures out there.  OR, if you have something specific in mind you can get your handy hubby to build something.  It doesn’t have to be fancy, just efficient.

    I purchased this grid at a going out of business sale, along with the hooks to display items.  Everything is off the floor and in plain sight.

    My hubby built these fixtures with some 2x4 and pipe.  It's not fancy, but it works for my storage needs.  I could have used floor racks, but I needed more space.  In this section I have 3 bars, floor to ceiling.  They are not full, so I have room to add to my inventory.
    Hubby needed a place to store the bubble wrap.  The floor is not an option, the table was not an option (that's wasting your table space) so he created a dowel to hang the bubble wrap.  More importantly, he doesn't have to move it when he needs it.  He can just measure out what he needs and cut it.

    Here we store shoes.  These shelves I purchased 15 years ago at a going out of business sale.  That retail company used them for back room storage, as do I.  Then we have the shoes tucked in their own shoe box and the boxes are numbered for location purposes.


    4.  Label your stock so that it's easy to locate once it sells.


    Once we list an item, we will make a note in My eBay.  Use the drop down menu to add a note as to where you are storing your inventory.

    I don't really recomment hiding your inventory under the bed!  :)



    I just sold these shoes and I know exactly what bin to go looking for them in!


    5.  Make sure you have room to grow.  It's great to get everything organized for what you have listed now.  But what about new inventory?  Try to think ahead of what your needs will be, based on what your listing goals are.

    Do you have a great idea for inventory storage?  Leave a comment below or join us in our group discussion here!