Posted in Inventory, New Year, Social Media, Sourcing, Time Management

Honor, Courage and Commitment

One of the things I love the most when helping a family declutter and combine homes.  Mom moves in with Son-in-Law and Daughter, the items that are gone through produce not only memories but snippets of stories from long ago.

We’ve all heard stories of young men going off to fight in WWII.  It was one of the few times that our country was totally behind our boys and willing to ration what they had to keep the war effort alive.  This war story is unlike anything I’ve ever heard before.

It began with my friend bringing down a WWII Navy Uniform.  It is in PERFECT shape.  In fact, it appeared it had never been worn.  As far as we know, it was never worn in active service.  Curious?  I sure was.

Wayne and Marion were a young couple in the summer of 1944.  He was a butcher for a local grocery chain.  Marion stayed at home with their 3 children and that fall to have their 4th child.

One day in the summer of 1944, The draft board informed Wayne that his name and number had come up and to report to the local armory.   He must have passed his physical with flying colors because he was given his military required clothing (including the dress blues) and given a date to report.

I cannot imagine how Marion must have felt.  We hadn’t reached the 2 year anniversary of Pearl Harbor.  They had 3 young children at home.  The 4th might very well be born with her husband overseas.

In a strange turn of events, the War Department realized after a review of his Draft Card that they had made a mistake.  Wayne should have been given a III-B deferment.  Deferred because of dependents and engaged in work necessary to the national defense.

Needless to say, the formal blues were never worn by him.  His wife carefully stored the uniform and passed it on to her daughter who did the same.  Today it remains in perfect condition without any flaws – as if it were a piece waiting for a museum.

At this point, the family does not want to part with this proud piece of history.  I have not been able to find an actual comp for this uniform.  They’ve been worn, have names and awards attached, and have not been stored with the level of care this has.

This uniform really is the definition of “priceless.”

 

 

 

 

Posted in New Year, Social Media, Time Management, Travel

All Aboard for the Train!

It is an age-old way to travel that many Americans today fail to take advantage of.  Many have forgotten it is even an option for them.

Here are some reasons I enjoy taking the train.

  • The expense one way is less than gasoline to get where you are going.  Forget about car rental, insurance and wear/ tear on your car.
  • Time.  How much is your time worth?  There is no stopping for gas or bathrooms.  The bathrooms are in each railroad car.
  • Again, how much is your time worth?  Instead of keeping your eyes in the road and focusing on the next construction area, you can be blogging, listing, texting, reading a good book; or, my absolute favorite: Sleeping.
  • Networking!  You meet people from all walks of life on a train and in the station.  They don’t force you to sit at all times.  Often, you will see groups of people standing around and talking.  There is a lounge or restaurant on each train which let’s you network with more than just a few people.
  • Scenery!  The train doesn’t take the same route as a car.  Often, you will find yourself in a forest of trees a field of crops, or a beach near the lake.  If you are in a major metropolitan area, you might find yourself several stories up.  The view is spectacular.
  • Weather generally does not affect the speed, schedule or even your interior climate.  No cars in the ditch in the winter and no stifling heat in the summer getting in and out of car.  The climate in a train generally remains the same throughout the year.

If you’ve never considered train travel, I hope you’ll look into it.  Imagine going somewhere you’ve never thought of, simply because there is a train route through there!  Imagine having the time to simply talk to people and decompress.

It is possible, when you travel by train.

 

#JewelsForThePauper

Where everything is fit fora Queen.

But

Priced for the Pauper

Posted in Inventory, New Office, New Year, Sales, Social Media, Sourcing, Time Management

It is beginning to look like an office.

When looking for an office to move my Reseller business into, I had three requirements

  1. I wanted it on Main Street, in the small town I live in.  It was important to me to help revitalize the central part of our town.
  2. All utilities included.  It is important that my office expense would remain the same each month, as my income isn’t.
  3. Storage space and packaging space was more important than the size of the office.  In order for this business to grow, I must have a place to store at least 2,000 items

As you can see from today’s pictures and previous blogs, this particular office had what we required and more.

The large french doors coming into the office from the terrace bring in a lot of sunlight.  We’ve put a futon as well as a TV with a Fire Stick.  It gives it sort of “waiting room” look.  Truth be told, it’s a place to ‘dump’ items that we’ve sourced and waiting to be sorted!  Looks can be deceiving.

The long countertop with the cupboards underneath is our packaging station.  I would love to get a Dymo printer, but we will be sticking with the dinosaur inkjet we presently have.  The wall hanging above is an inked tapestry from India.  It matches the colors of our business logo.  Nice thing to have to brighten up the room and your eyes naturally go to it when you enter the room.

The other picture shown is the kitchen.  It really is beautiful though we didn’t need anything as extravagant as this.  I jokingly said we should rent it out to Tupperware or Pampered Chef representatives in the evening.  I found a larger inked Indian Tapestry with greens and grays to complement the slate floor.

As of tonight, everything in the office is on hold.

I will be leaving town in the morning, by train, and be in Michigan’s Capital.  No, it is not Detroit.  I’ll give you a hint, it is below the middle knuckle of the mitten.  If you are from Michigan, you’ll understand.

Stay tuned and I’ll explain tomorrow why!

#JewelsForThePauper

Where everything is fit for a Queen

But

Priced for the Pauper

Now located at 108 South Main Street in Farmer City, IL

Posted in Inventory, New Office, New Year, Sales, Social Media, Sourcing, Time Management

It is beginning to look like an office.

When looking for an office to move my Reseller business into, I had three requirements

  1. I wanted it on Main Street, in the small town I live in.  It was important to me to help revitalize the central part of our town.
  2. All utilities included.  It is important that my office expense would remain the same each month, as my income isn’t.
  3. Storage space and packaging space was more important than the size of the office.  In order for this business to grow, I must have a place to store at least 2,000 items

As you can see from today’s pictures and previous blogs, this particular office had what we required and more.

The large french doors coming into the office from the terrace bring in a lot of sunlight.  We’ve put a futon as well as a TV with a Fire Stick.  It gives it sort of “waiting room” look.  Truth be told, it’s a place to ‘dump’ items that we’ve sourced and waiting to be sorted!  Looks can be deceiving.

The long countertop with the cupboards underneath is our packaging station.  I would love to get a Dymo printer, but we will be sticking with the dinosaur inkjet we presently have.  The wall hanging above is an inked tapestry from India.  It matches the colors of our business logo.  Nice thing to have to brighten up the room and your eyes naturally go to it when you enter the room.

The other picture shown is the kitchen.  It really is beautiful though we didn’t need anything as extravagant as this.  I jokingly said we should rent it out to Tupperware or Pampered Chef representatives in the evening.  I found a larger inked Indian Tapestry with greens and grays to complement the slate floor.

As of tonight, everything in the office is on hold.

I will be leaving town in the morning, by train, and be in Michigan’s Capital.  No, it is not Detroit.  I’ll give you a hint, it is below the middle knuckle of the mitten.  If you are from Michigan, you’ll understand.

Stay tuned and I’ll explain tomorrow why!

#JewelsForThePauper

Where everything is fit for a Queen

But

Priced for the Pauper

Now located at 108 South Main Street in Farmer City, IL

Posted in Inventory, New Office, New Year, Social Media, Sourcing, Time Management

Moving Day!

Here in Central Illinois, we have had high humidity along with heat.  I prefer snow and cold compared to the sauna-like atmosphere.  You literally feel as if you are melting as you get into the car.

Yesterday we began moving into our new office.  We had spent the time, since we signed the lease last week, scrubbing, cleaning and planning where we would put furniture.

We had also hung a few items on the wall; bright colored materials, positive quotes and a few relics reminding us WHO was in control.

As the morning went on, it was not the physical act of moving, but the heat that wore us out.  Rome was not built in a day and neither would this job.

Currently, Jewels for the Pauper is physically in my home, in the new office and tomorrow will be in Michigan. It could be worse.  I’m not sure how…. bit it could be.

We did have a bit of fun while moving.  Photography props can be placed in the passenger seat and you can watch people’s reactions as they drive by :). Then there are the neighbors who look out their windows, wondering if I am moving out.  Hard to say what was funnier!

Tomorrow, I catch a train to Michigan for even more adventures.  Stay tuned!

 

#JewelsForThePauper

 

 

Where everything is fit for a Queen

But

Priced for the Pauper

Posted in Inventory, New Year, Sourcing, Taxes

Inventory is Complete!

It looks nothing like the picture above, but it no longer looks like an episode of Hoarders, either.

It took 8 hours to empty all of the boxes, sort, change the labels on the boxes, store them in another room and binge watch THE OA.

I expected to find clothing I had forgotten, clothing that had defects and some mystery pieces.  None of that happened.  I am not sure if that means a have a telepathic memory, or I just got lucky.

What I do have is peace of mind and efficiency, which means a lot when growing this business.  I am constantly trying to find extra time, because I keep running out of it.

As I sit here this with my cup of tea and my Maine Coon kitty in my lap, I have had 2 sales.  It is a wonderful feeling because I know exactly where the items are!

Packaging sales and watching THE OA?  Thank you very much, I believe I will!

 

#JewelsForThePauper

Where everything is fit for a Queen

But

Priced for a Pauper.

Posted in New Year, Sales, Social Media, Virtual Assistant

A Thirty Day Review with Assistance

Today marks 6 weeks from the day I hired my first Virtual Assistant.  There have been some ups and definite downs.  While my experience will probably be different than others in the Reselling Community, mine might be helpful nonetheless.

  • I hired 2 virtual assistants and a ‘real’ assistant.  One was assigned to list on my smaller Ebay store and Poshmark, the second was to list on my larger Ebay store and the third was to package and ship.  Today, I have one virtual assistant taking care of 2 Ebay stores and one shipping assistant.
  • The first virtual assistant was not a ‘fit’ for what I needed.  He charged a higher fee and could not complete the work on time.  He tried to appeal to me on a personal level as to why his work was unsatisfactory to the point that I was actually emotional and drained when I let him go.
  • I also found out that no one outside my country could access Poshmark.  I have not found a VA in the United States willing to be paid $1 a listing.
  • This past week, my virtual assistant listed 90 items in 14 hours for $57.  63 cents a listing.  My shipping assistant receives $2 per package.
  • Here is my math:  One pair of Levi Jeans sells for $20.  I purchased it for $2, Listed it for $1, packaged it for $2, Ebay and Paypal receive  $3, and shipping is $6.30.  Profit is $5.70 or 29% profit.
  • My total listings in one month went from 200 to 500.
  • According to Ebay, my sales have increased the past 30 days by 89% in my smaller store and 169% in my larger store.
  • I ended every listing that was not clothing so that my stores looked like a clothing outlet and not a thrift store. All items that did not sell within the 1st week are placed on a 20% off sale.  All items not sold in 30 days are auctioned off beginning at .99 with $6.30 shipping.
  • All of this sounds wonderful, and it is.  I am so grateful each morning and cannot wait to begin working.  Nothing is perfect and there have been some pitfalls.  I (me personally) need to catch up my assistants and sales.
  • I am working longer hours each week.  Monday, Tuesday, 1/2 Thursday, 1/2 Saturday and Sunday.  Each day is from 7am to 6pm.  I am either photographing,  entering information on a spreadsheet, or desperately seeking the sold item that needs to be shipped.
  • I did not change my inventory system that is not detailed enough to handle 750 items!  My house might qualify for a Hoarders Episode simply because every wall has boxes of inventory against it with words such as Women’s jeans.  Some are boxes of clothes that have been photographed and in the spreadsheet.  Thankfully, because I have kept up with sourcing, there is only a small ‘death pile’ box.
  • So today, #JewelsForThePauper is officially closed.  The phone and computers will be shut off.  All inventory taken out of boxes and sorted into brands and sizes.
  • Some other day, I will be clearing out my original office (decimated when our college graduate moved home for a few months) so that my business can continue function.

Hiring assistance (assistants) was definitely needed in order to grow my business.  For the most part, it has gone smoothly and I am happy with the results.  I just forgot adjust my inventory system to catch up with the growth!

Excuse me while I shut this computer down for the day …….