Tuesday, January 31, 2012
On eBay Underground this week, we've been talking about Terapeak. Terapeak is an awesome website that helps you research how to price your items for selling on eBay. But that's not all! It helps you build great titles. It helps you decide which categories to list your items in for maximum results. It lets you search by seller to see their sell-through rates and what items they sell. It lets you search hot sellers, to see what's selling well right now. It is truly an invaluable research tool.
A year or so ago, they had a free version. It gave you results going back 14 days. That version wasn't extremely helpful, because eBay gives you search results going back 14 days too. The difference is that Terapeak showed sell through rates, so you could tell at a glance whether you had a dud or whether you had a sure bet. Apparently they no longer offer the free version, because I haven't been able to find it anywhere.
They offer a paid version that goes back a full year! When you do a search for an item, you can search 1 day, 7 days, 14 days, 30 days, 45 days, 60 days, or 90 days. You can also set a custom date range. So you do your search for 90 days. If no results come up, or if you want to look back further (back to November/December for Christmas items, for example), then you can choose to go back to the previous 90. You can do that 4 times until you've gone back a full year. This comes in very handy if it's October and you're listing a Christmas item. Going back just 90 days to July or August isn't going to give you an accurate picture of how well a Christmas item will sell in November, so you'll want to go back that full year and look at last November's sales.
Honestly, I haven't really explored all the other features that Terapeak offers. I occasionally use the seller search and the title builder, but I have a feeling Terapeak is an untapped resource that I need to play around with.
Do you use Terapeak? What are your favorite features? How should I be using it other than just doing pricing research?
Sunday, January 29, 2012
Pinboards are divided into 3 categories - Pins, Boards and People. Doing a quick search of the word "eBay" under boards (dedicated boards that people have) produced a large list of results. Some of these boards include eBay items users are promoting, or items they are looking to purchase. Your customers may be promoting your items on their pinboards!
Saturday, January 28, 2012
concerns and fears about making the leap to opening up an eBay store. (*Picture is not intended to poke fun - there are very valid concerns and fears involved with making that decision!)
selling SAS shoes.
I know nothing at all about selling silver, but there's some great conversation and tips on the board this week!
One member learned the importance of specifying the method of shipping when accepting a return for refund. She told her buyer she would reiumburse him for return shipping, and he shipped the item back via FedEx ... for $15! It's so important to be specific in our return policies!
where to find your tax forms from Paypal.
And finally ... who knew there was such good money to be made from these ugly little things?? My 3-year-old has a whole bag full of them. I'm gradually trying to sneak them away from him one at a time. Shh! Don't tell him!
As always, if none of these topics interest you, feel free to stop by the boards and start up a topic that you'd love to learn about or that you'd love to share your knowledge about!
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
This week, I've gotten to know a little more about Rachael.
Rachael sells on both eBay and Etsy (Vintage Dreams NE), and she blogs at The Thrifty Picker. Let's take a peek into her life:
Be sure to stop by Rachael's eBay and Etsy stores to check out her goodies, and drop her a note on her blog while you're at it!
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Our boards have been extremely active this week. It's so encouraging to see more and more new posters and lurkers coming out of hiding! We've covered some great topics this week. Many are ongoing, so if you have any thoughts or information you'd like to add, please stop by!
Monday, January 16, 2012
See you around!
I am in the process of reorganizing this blog. It has changed directions from where I want it to be. In the future, it will be more focused on our eBay Underground forums. I plan to leave the personal and teaching posts off of here. Don't worry - I will be transitioning all of that content to a new blog, which will be unveiled once I actually find some time to get it going.
My tentative plan for this blog is to make it more focused on the forum. I would like to feature one thread twice a week, along with a brief summary of the thread and my thoughts on it as well. Once a week, I will do a Top 10 EBUG Threads post, where I will give a brief rundown on the most popular threads from the week. I used to do that awhile ago, but for some reason I got away from doing that.
I would also like to do a Featured EBUG Member post once every 2 weeks or so. I used to do that too, and would like to resurrect that feature. If you are interested in being interviewed for that feature (free advertising!), please contact me.
All of the Fabulous Finds, Top eBay Moments, and general teaching and chit-chat posts will be moved to a blog that's more personal to me. There will be a clear division between this blog (posts about the forum only) and my personal blog (my day-to-day eBay and thrifting activities).
I hope you're willing to stick around and follow me once I make my move. I enjoy hearing from all of you and reading your blogs, and I look forward to catching up with you after the move!
Saturday, January 14, 2012
Anyway ... Anonymous commented here with some excellent information. I erroneously suggested that eBay and Paypal fees could go on the Commissions & Fees line of the Schedule C. They should actually go on Line 48 (Other Expenses), which will then get totalled up and put on Line 27.
That makes a lot more sense. Part of that comment pointed out that the IRS isn't going to be too terribly picky about WHERE we put the different expenses, as long as we explain what they were. That's what Line 48 allows. There is a space on Line 48 to specify the different expenses.
Thank you, Anonymous!
And no thank you, stupid Blogger. Let me comment on my own blog!
Friday, January 13, 2012
Schedule C Instructions
All that's left is information about your vehicle. Mileage is a BIG deduction. You'll definitely want to be sure and use it!
Line 43 - When did you place your vehicle in service for business purposes? This will be the date of your first shopping trip in your current vehicle, regardless of the year.
Line 44 - Of the total number of miles you drove your vehicle during 2011, enter the number of miles you used your vehicle for business, commuting, and other. The business line will be all the mileage from your road trips, thrifting stops, post office, trips to Walmart for bubble wrap, etc. ALL business-related driving. And here's a tip for this year: any time you're out running errands, stop into Goodwill. Whether you buy anything or not, you can still deduct the mileage for stopping to look. This way, you will be able to deduct the mileage for getting groceries. You should only deduct the miles from your house to the thrift store though. If the grocery store is 10 miles from your house, but Goodwill is only 7 miles from your house, you should deduct the 14 mile round trip to Goodwill, not the 20 mile round trip to the grocery store. But that's 14 miles you wouldn't have been able to deduct if you hadn't stopped in to shop.
The commuting line is for miles driven from home to work. The other line is for all other miles. You don't need to keep track of them, but you should have a pretty decent estimate of how many miles you drove total throughout the year, which you can use to figure out how many miles weren't business and commuting.
Lines 45-47 are simple yes or no questions. If you don't have a written record of your mileage, I suggest you make one. Hopefully you've kept track of when and where you shopped, so it would be very easy to create a written record. I use a pocket calendar. When I make a trip somewhere, I just jot the mileage down on the correct day. Then I add them up at the end of the year.
That is IT, folks! The very last section of the Schedule C is for "Other Expenses," but unless you have some extenuating circumstances, I'm pretty sure everything has already been covered elsewhere on the form.
Good luck with your tax forms this year. Remember: just take it one step at a time. If you get stuck, read the instructions. If you are still stuck, don't take my word as ultimate inerrant truth. Please PLEASE double check with a tax accountant if you are unsure.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
I sold 52 items this week, only 8 of which were shoes. I sold a lot of shoe repair products again this week. I'm running very low on that, so I just placed a huge order with my suppliers the other day.
I am expanding my horizons too. I have finally discovered the lucrative world of women's clothing. Early each week, I make a good long trip to Goodwill looking through ALL the women's clothing (except pants - haven't made it that far yet), looking for new with tags items that are the half off color of the week. Every week, I am surprised at how many I find. How is it that new with tags items hang around long enough to become the half off color? I've also been surprised at how quickly that stuff sells!
My favorite sales:
This was one of my first women's clothing purchases. It's not new with tags (I have learned much in the few shorts weeks I've been doing this), but it is Sag Harbor, 100% wool, plus size, and it was the half off color, so I took a chance. I immediately regretted it, but listed it anyway. I had someone contact me in the first few days saying they didn't want to pay $22 for a used jacket. Normally, I get annoyed at that sort of thing. If you don't like my price, move on. But in this particular instance, I was concerned that it wouldn't sell at all, so I did lower my price for her to move it out quickly. I think the fact that this was a 20W was the only thing that sold it.
- Acquired: 12/31/11
- Listed On: 1/2/12
- Sold On: 1/8/12
- Paid: $2.99
This NWT Rothschild coat came from the huge yard sale I went to in September. Unfortunately, I bought this the first day, before I knew they would be having a half-off day. Next year, I won't even bother going until half-off day, because I still managed to find tons and tons of stuff on the last day. I paid too much for this coat, but I still turned a bit of a profit (and learned a good lesson).
- Acquired: 8/27/11
- Listed On: ?
- Sold On: 1/9/12
- Paid: $14.00 (yikes)
- Sold For: $30.00 + shipping
Here's another item I've had for ages. These were in bad shape when I bought them, but a half a jar of Meltonian fixed them up nicely. They are earth (lower-case "e" ... avoid the capital "E" - those are Walmart brand). They retailed for $169, so I aimed high on these. I had no offers, no bites, no messages about them - nothing. I finally ended up clearancing them to $50, no best offer. Even that wasn't working, so I added best offer and finally got an offer on them. I probably would have taken just about any offer at that point, but I was happy with the amount.
- Acquired: 1/5/11
- Listed On: ??
- Sold: 1/5/12 - interesting - I just realized these sold exactly one year from the very day I bought them
- Paid: $2.99
- Sold For: $40 + shipping
I can't explain why I bought these. (For perspective, the mama is about 8" tall.) I was in a local thrift store and was buying $5 worth of merchandise. I didn't have any cash, and they have a $10 minimum on charges, so I had the cashier hold my things while I went across the street to the bank to get some cash. On my way out, I spotted these in the display window. I went back in and asked to see them. They were very fingerprinted and not at all shiny or pretty, but for some reason I decided I wanted them anyway. I get them a quick once over. No chips or ugly spots. Tag on the bottom that said "Japan." They were $2.99 and $4.99, so that put me over the $10 limit to use my debit card. I got them home and thought, "Wow, I paid $8 for these. That's way too much."
I didn't give them much thought until the next day. I used some Windex and shined them up nicely and took a bunch of pictures. The more I looked at them, the more I decided I loved them. I don't have any sort of affection for elephants, so I really can't explain why I loved them so much. I have nowhere to put them, so I decided to go ahead and list them.
I started to do some research, and the first thing I discovered was that the tag on the bottom said "Jaru" not "Japan". So I did an eBay search for Jaru and was pleasantly surprised. I did a search for Jaru elephant and nothing came up. I checked completeds and saw one set just like mine (but bronze color) that sold at auction for a whopping $13.99. Boy, was I disappointed. But then it occurred to me - this is a special item. It will take just the right buyer. You're probably not going to get a bidding war over something like this, so it's NOT an auction item. I listed it ridiculously high, just to gauge interest. I put it in my store for $99.99 or best offer, not really expecting to get even $50 for it. I knew I would have a hard time accepting a lower offer for it, because I really did love them. Imagine my surprise when they sold (full price!) while I was on vacation!
- Acquired: 1/3/12
- Listed On: 1/4/12
- Sold On: 1/5/12
- Paid: $8.46
- Sold For: $99.99 + shipping
Schedule C instructions
Page 2 of the Schedule C is for your inventory. I will be honest. I don't do this page correctly. I zero my inventory out at the end of every year, but I am going to walk you through this the way it is supposed to be done.
Line 33 - Method used to value closing inventory. Choose cost. This will be significantly easier than trying to determine what your inventory is currently worth.
Line 34 - Was there any change in determining quantities, costs, or valuations between opening and closing inventory? This will likely be No. If you filled this out last year and chose something other than Cost, and you are choosing Cost this year, then your answer here will be Yes. You'll also need to attach an explanation for why you changed methods.
Line 35 - Inventory at beginning of year. If you just started selling this year, then your answer here will be $0. If you already had inventory at the beginning of the year, you'll need to figure out how much you spent on it. I honestly don't know how we're supposed to figure that number out. This is why I zero out my inventory every year, so I can start each new year with $0.
Line 36 - Purchases less cost of items withdrawn for personal use. This is where you'll add in your inventory receipts. The cost of items withdrawn for personal use does NOT mean you include all the totals of your receipts, even if there are personal items on there. What this means is, you previously accounted for the $5 you spent on a pair of shoes intended for resale, but then you decided to keep them. You would subtract that $5 out, only if you already included it in your inventory purchase total.
Line 37 - Cost of labor. I honestly don't know what this is, and there is nothing in the instructions about it. I would have thought it would be if you paid someone to help you list, but I would think that would go on the Schedule C under Wages and Commissions paid. If you paid someone and didn't report it under Wages and Commissions Paid, then you should probably ask a tax accountant what line 37 is for.
Line 38 - Materials and Supplies. We already included our supplies on the first part of the Schedule C.
Line 39 - Other costs. If you had any other expenses related to your inventory that you didn't already account for somewhere else, enter them here. I can't think of any examples, because there has been a place to account for everything that I have thought of.
Line 40 - Add lines 35 through 39.
Line 41 - Inventory at the end of the year. You should go through your remaining inventory and total up what you spent on everything and enter it here. (Again, I put a zero here, showing that I sold everything that I bought during the year.)
Line 42 - Cost of goods sold. Subtract line 41 from line 40. Enter the result here and on line 4.
I just realized I did things a little bit out of order. You do need to finish Schedule C before you can do the Schedule SE. All the information is here - it's just out of order :)
All that's left is vehicle expenses, which we'll get to tomorrow.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
My usual disclaimer: I'm not a tax accountant. Double check the instructions for yourself or consult your tax attorney.
The Schedule SE calculates the amount of self employment tax you owe. Here are the instructions.
This form is pretty easy. We are basically plugging in numbers from other forms and performing mathematical operations. That's it.
First, we need to decide if we should use the short form or the long form. I can tell you right now, we're going to be using the short form, but look over this chart to see why:
Now, let's look at the schedule itself:
Line 1a - net farm profit or loss from Schedule F. If you've got farm income, you should have filled out a Schedule F. If so, enter the number from Schedule F, line 34 here. (Sorry - you're on your own filling that form out. I know NOTHING about farm taxes.)
Line 1b - This is also related to farms.
Line 2 - net profit or loss from Schedule C. This is us. Look back at your Schedule C. I know we haven't finished it yet, but we've finished it far enough to be able to complete this form. The number on line 31 of the Schedule C will go on line 2 here.
Line 3 - Combine lines 1a, 1b, and 2. That's pretty easy.
Line 4 - Multiply line 3 by 92.35%. This is the amount of our Schedule C income that is actually subject to the self-employment tax. Basic math. The number on line 3 x .9235
Line 5 - Self-employment tax. This is the amount of self-employment tax we owe. If line 4 is less than $106,800, multiply it by 13.3% (.133). If line 4 is more than $106,800, multiply it by 2.9% (.029). Then, add $11,107.20 to the result. Enter your answer here and on your Form 1040 line 56.
The last line of the Schedule SE determines how much of your self employment tax is deductible. It is also basic math. If line 5 is $14,204.40 or less, multiply it by 57.51%. If it is more than $14,204.40, multiply it by 50% and add $1,067 to the result. Enter that number here and on Form 1040, line 27. This amount will come off your income to help determine your adjusted gross income.
That's it! All that's left is finishing up page 2 of the Schedule C, which is your inventory and your vehicle information.
Monday, January 9, 2012
We're finishing up the Form 8829 (Business Use of Your Home). It should be quick - there are only a few lines left.
Line 39 - Business basis of building. Multiply line 38 by line 7. This gives you the value of the portion of the home that you use for ebay.
Line 40 - Depreciation percentage. If you used your home for business during all 12 months of the year, then your percentage is 2.461%. If you started using it later in the year, then you'll need to consult the chart in the Form 8829 instructions. (There are more numbers in this chart. This is just a small section of it.)
Line 41 - Depreciation allowable. Multiply line 39 by line 40. Enter result here and on line 29. If you improved your home or added on, you'll need to read the instructions for this section. Otherwise, just do the multiplication and enter the result on both line 41 and line 29.
Line 42 and Line 43 are basic math problems.
That finishes up the Form 8829 for Business Use of Your Home. You'll need to transfer the number from line 35 of this form onto line 30 of your Schedule C.
The rest of Schedule C, Page 1 (above) is pretty self-explanatory too. I will get to Page 2 of the Schedule C, as well as the Schedule SE, later this week.
- Using Terapeak for eBay Research
- Are you Pinning?
- Highlights From This Week's eBay Underground Discu...
- Featured EBUG Member - Rachael, The Thrifty Picker...
- Highlights From This Week's eBay Underground Discu...
- The eBay Thrifter Is Up and Running!
- Change Is A-Comin'
- Correction Regarding eBay & Paypal Fees
- Schedule C, page 2 - Information on your Vehicle
- My Top eBay Moments This Week - Vacation Edition
- Reply to a Comment from dherself
- Schedule C, page 2 - Cost of Goods Sold
- Schedule SE (Self Employment)
- Depreciation of Your Home
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- ► 2011 (178)