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

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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 Sales, Sourcing, Time Management

Moving On Up….To The South Side

It is time to take my relationship with my business to the next step.  I am moving it out of my home.

It was getting confusing.  Where did my business end and my house begin and vice versa.  I go to bed and can see the mannequin staring at me!  Visitors would wonder if I was a secret hoarder.  I am not sure what the mailman thought.

I will lose my two furry assistants, but they may be relieved when they get their pink slips.  I won’t be able to work in my pajamas (that was the BEST.)  I will have to venture out in the heat and the cold, four blocks away.

It’s just time to grow.  There will be a lot of room to do just that.

You enter through a terrace that has overgrown rose bushes and other perennials and on to a covered set of french doors.  This was what first attracted me to the office.  It does not face Main Street and is not a storefront.  I suppose later on, we could do some consignment business but that is far into the future.

As you walk in, the first room has a long countertop with cupboards underneath.  This will make the perfect packing and printing station.  Right now, we use 3 different rooms to pack and ship.

The next room will be the actual office.  It has only 1 window so I guess we’ll have to flip a coin to see who gets the desk in the corner next to that window.  The room is big enough to sort, measure, inventory, and enter information on the spreadsheets for the virtual assistants.

We have a large kitchen along with a beautiful bathroom/dressing room.  It is nice to have, but a bit extravagant.  I’m sure it will be much like the grand terrace, something we will use and utilize later.

Next, we have a large room without windows.  No more changing photo backgrounds and the mannequin looking at me while I sleep.  I believe I can have 4 stationary backgrounds.  I am imagining being able to move the tripod around the room and be able to take pictures so much faster and without having to adjust the lighting!

Last is the closet which is bigger than the bathroom.  The storage we have now will allow us to keep all of the inventory we have in one room (whew!)  There are metal shelves, but I have a feeling they will not be able to hold the weight of items we are storing.  We shall soon see.

Admittedly, being committed to monthly rent in addition to payroll is a bit daunting but I am not scared.  I have faith that as long as I have inventory, I am photographing, listing, weekend markdowns and offer priority shipping, that I will be able to meet those obligations.  I honestly don’t think I will make more than that for quite a while.

Jewels For The Pauper

Where everything is fit for Queen

But

Priced for a Pauper

Now located at:

118 South Main Street

Corner of Green and Main

Farmer City, IL  61842

 

Posted in Sales, Social Media

#Reseller Appreciation Day #RAD

If you are a reseller and reading this with your morning coffee, you know that the reseller community has been totally rocked off course the past couple of weeks.   When it happened, I made it a point to not reference it in my blogs, postings or comments.  I have even avoided YouTube because I knew the gossip-rumor mill would be going into overtime.

Yesterday, Prof Sales and his wife Kaaren posted a fantastic video.  I strongly encourage every reseller to watch it.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sehgiy-_JE  It really cut through the negativity we have listened to the past few weeks and got to the real heart of what makes our community great.   We are human, we have feelings, we care about those we have never met before and we relate to the day to day struggles.

When was the last time you did more than just “punch the like button?”  Something like writing an encouraging comment, sending a DM or even an email can really give thanks to a sometimes thankless job.  Spreading love instead of hate is the basis to this exercise and I hope all resellers are doing this today!

My list in alphabetical order:

#Craigslisthunter – You were the first reseller I found on YouTube.  I cannot list all of the things I have learned from you.  I love your bird and your cat!!!

#LindeyGlenn – I related to you from your first video.  Living in a small town in Kansas, second marriage, wanting to be a SAHM are just a few.  Because of you, I began selling jeans and tried Health and Beauty.

#NicoleState – I admire your strength and drive to get things done.  You made the Algorithm understandable, I converted to charging shipping, I stayed away from hiring an in-house assistant and I got an office the same day you did!!!

#ProfSales – Talk about watching a huge transition!  I related to you from the beginning because you came from retail.  You can compute gross profit in your head and spend a lot of time tweeking your business for the maximum return. It really is all about the numbers!  Your wife, Kaaren takes “spunky” to a whole new level and for the better.

#ResellersStew – You ladies totally rock!  I learned the importance of networking.  I would not have a Happy Planner.  You made me feel like I wasn’t alone in the struggle of juggling family issues with my business.

#RockstarFlipper – You tell it like it is.  Your shows are so informative and you have a very cool car.  While I don’t aspire for that particular car, you have shown that with hard work, anything is possible.

#SeeAnnSave – You are such a woman of strength.  I saw your transition after your husband died and your struggles to continue in your business without him.  You keep it real through each video program

#TexasGalTreasures – Margaret, you literally open your heart and let everyone in.  You have made this journey very “real,” and “human.”  Earlier this week, Philly Nay said she received a 30# box of cloth from you.  Random Acts of Kindness keep us all in business.

#ThriftyBusiness – One of the first video’s I saw live was the Rally to help Nay with her breast cancer expenses.  This helped me to realize how much love was in the reseller community and how it could be extended and shown.  Sending money was just one way.  Sending Nay items to sell, auctioning off a high dollar item and sending the proceeds to her, gift cards and get well cards.

Seriously, there are so many more that I subscribe to and I could write a lot more but there is laundry to be done and another trip to get ready for.  Be sure to thank your fellow resellers and let them know how and why you appreciate them!

 

#jewelsforthepauper

Where every item 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 …….

Posted in Sales, Shopping trends, Sourcing, Thrift Shops

What I Learned at the Goodwill Bins

During my sourcing trip in Chicago with my sister, we had our first experience at the Goodwill ‘Bins.’.   This one is in Rockford.

  • Bring a huge bag.  I brought one that is actually stores a Christmas wreath.  It is lightweight, has a handle, is two yards in diameter and held 42 pounds of clothes.
  • When they roll new bins out, stop what you are doing, move next to one and be prepared to dive quickly.
  • When sorting through a bin, take full advantage of you are tall, and grab what is furthest away and pull it forward.
  • Grab what looks good and move on.
  • Always get 25# or more, because you get the lowest price per pound.  Ours was 99 cents.
  • Be prepared to meet other resellers.  This was a great networking experience.  We met a Newbie who had sold on Amazon for years that quit his job the week before to be a full-time reseller on EBay.  A partner duo who sold everything from clothes to Nintendo Game Systems.  A 50+ married couple who were full timers.  We all had so much in common, shared ideas and as well as nightmares.
  • Find a nice place in the corner, and go through each item carefully.  While the items are less than what you would pay in a thrift store, you don’t want to waste your money and time repairing or removing stains.
  • Eat before getting there and stay hydrated.  You cannot do your best if you do not feel your best.
  • Bring your keys, ID, PayPal and phone, store them in your front pockets.  Leave the rest in the car.
  • Everyone is there with a different purpose, but I met a guy who doesn’t buy anything there but comes each day.  He checks the pockets of all of the pants and coats for loose change.  By the time he was finished telling me about his awesome finds, I almost began to wonder if I was in the wrong business!

#JewelsForThePauper

Where everything is Fit for a Queen

but

Priced For the Pauper!

Posted in Free Shipping, Sales, Shopping trends, Sourcing, Thrift Shops

Real Men wear Jockey Nylon Briefs

Do I have your attention?  One of this week’s sales sure caught mine.  It’s one of those you laugh about with your girlfriends at lunch, instant message your husband at work, then wonder where you could find more.

I purchased these yellow and orange, synthetic, tight briefs around Christmas.  They lay in a tiny bin of women’s underwear that was priced for a quarter each.  I remembered a YouTube video that mentioned these were a BOLO.  However, I figured I would get home and find that these were the wrong brand.

So, they sat in my death pile until a few weeks ago.  Cash Money, lying in a bin, begging to be listed.  My sister (the one that sells her first item 24 hours after opening an EBay store.), took the pictures while I got the information ready for the virtual assistant.

The virtual assistant listed them on St. Valentine’s Day and by that evening I had some low ball offers.  I never thought, in my wildest dreams that I would be drinking my morning tea , and hear two Cha Chings in a row!

Let me re-word that.  I didn’t think I would sell vintage nylon underwear at full price within 24 hours of listing them.

So here’s to early morning sales of vintage nylon pastel underwear …. it makes you feel good all under.

Wait, wrong brand.

#JewelsForThePauper

Where everything is fit for a Queen

But

Priced for the Pauper