Posted in Uncategorized

Closet Cleanout: The lowest offer I’ll take

It’s January and I’m doing what most resellers are, clearing out inventory.¬† Just like your own closet, it’s necessary to get rid of those items that lack the luster or interest you once had for them.

Let me begin with a background and then answer the question I’ve been mulling around about the lowest offer I will take on a basic clothing item in my store.

I’ve had my stores on an 18% (2018 ūüôā ) sale since December 26th.¬† I was surprized by the leap in clicks and sales when I did this.¬† I’ve had better sales with this than a 30% off sale.¬† We’ll never know what the Cassini Algorithm really likes.¬† This means to me that it doesn’t matter the percentage off, you may receive the same “bump,” in your listing.

I broke down and did promoted listings.¬† I didn’t want to give Ebay anymore money than I already was.¬† Reality soon set in.¬† I realized that I could compete with the larger stores who were not doing promoted listings.¬† I wanted to see immediate results so I maxed out the percentage on all of my items in both stores.¬† What I found is fewer “best offers” and more outright sales, especially overnight.¬† It’s true that I handed over 20%.¬† Then I thought about my time spent counteroffering and the loss with each offer and feel it was well worth it.¬† I’ve kept all listings promoted and am very happy with the results.

At the beginning of 3rd quarter, I went from a Free Shipping/Buy It Now platform to a Priority Flat Rate Padded/Best Offer platform.  I had heard a lot of resellers were doing this to compete with the larger stores on Ebay and gave it a try.  I found it was so much easier to price items without having to add the shipping cost.  I would always try to send it 1st class as I was paying for it in the end.  The customers are willing to pay it and are happy with receiving their item withing 2-3 days.

It’s particularly good if you are wanting to clean out your inventory quickly.¬† I always get the low-ball offers and feel like they are endless.¬† The percentage of counteroffers accepted by a buyer after low-balling, seems very low.¬† I have gotten to the point of assuming they will not accept a counteroffer.

The question is, how long are you willing to go to get rid of that stock?¬† Until yesterday (which is the purpose of today’s blog) it was $10 plus $6.50 shipping.¬† It didn’t matter what the item was, until I saw double digits I counteroffered.¬† I realized I was losing sales when I could be getting rid of these items.

$5.00.  That is the lowest offer I will take.  Here is how I figured it:

$2.00 for cost of item.  $1.20 for Ebay.  $1.00 for supplies and time to wrap and send.  $.80 left for ROI.  Not a healthy return on investment, but I have gained necessary space.

 

 

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Posted in Uncategorized

How to stay positive when CNN says “Shithole” 36 times

I believe I am a fairly positive person who tries not to complain.  What good does it do?  It only spreads misery when a positive word would make another feel positive as well.

Being the positive person I strive to be, I rarely watch mainstream media nor do I spend much time on Facebook.¬† Facebook is a time and mind-suck that I can use doing other things, like marketing and advertising.¬† I’m constantly asked if I saw something on Facebook.¬† My answer is usually ‘No, but did my sale ad pop up on your feed?’

Yesterday I went to my business Facebook page and on the right hand side was a “newsworthy” (or so Facebook thought) article on President Trump saying “Shithole.”¬† Worse yet, it took 3 paragraphs to find out what he was referring to as the first two were taken up with the fact that he said that word.

Comparing him to LBJ, JFK and FDR would not win Trump the “Potty Mouth” award.¬† Bill Clinton even defined the word “is” and “sex” to children decades ago.¬† So why is the media running around shooting “shithole” like a pre-pubescent boy with his friends in a bathroom?

The answer is very simple.¬† Because You and I paid attention.¬† We stopped to click and read.¬† I’m someone who uses statistics to decide who, how and where to market my store to.¬† The stats on the clicks alone would lead me to believe that people want to read this.

So, how to stay positive when President Trump needs to take a bite of Lava Soap?  Shop on Ebay, Poshmark and Etsy of course!

#JewelsForThePauper

Where everything is fit for a Queen

But

Priced for a Pauper

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

How to measure Year-End Results

I’ve been watching Instagram quite a bit the last few days and have noticed quite a few resellers posting their monetary gains.¬† They are quite impressive!¬† Some would be jealous or call them braggerts.¬† I call them my inspiration.

I’ve watched 2 in particular that started the year with nothing or close to it.¬† I, on the other hand, was entering my third year.¬† One is reporting an average of $2,000 a week and another is almost at $25,000 a week.¬† That is not a typo.¬† I will not lie and tell you that I would not love to make that kind of money and let my husband retire now.

I am assessing my year a bit differently.  It has been a rollercoaster ride of  new experiences.  These experiences have built a firm foundation of growth.  Slow and steady will win the race.  It does not matter where I started three years ago, it matters where I end up.

  • I went from ZERO employees SIX employees, depending on me to provide work for them.¬† They performed 30 hours of service last week.¬† Social Media on Poshmark, Social Media on Facebook, Social Media on Instagram, Listing On Ebay, Photographing items, Packaging and mailing items.¬† They are doing the work that I cannot do as efficiently as them, thus freeing my time to source.
  • My inventory was stored in one bedroom and is now stored in 2 bedrooms and 2 storage units.
  • I went from One basic Ebay store with 150 items to Two Premium Stores with almost 600 items. Zero to One Poshmark store with 200 items.¬† Zero to 35 on Facebook Marketplace.¬† I¬† also sold in Facebook groups and closed down the Etsy Store.
  • My average price per item went from $5 (yes really) to $17 with buyer paying shipping.
  • My sales per week went from $35 to $250, however my profits are lower due to expenses.¬† I’m not able to reinvest into my business as much as the beginning of the year, but I am hoping that will change in the short-term.
  • The biggest change was where I source.¬† I have had the chance to help someone clean out a living estate, go to the Goodwill Bins and a few estate sales and have found this to be a lot more fun than the usual thrift shop finds.

Part of assessing yourself is also making goals for the next year.  I love to dream big, compete and hit the goals.  Realistically this causes stress and that is something I can live without.

  • I don’t believe I will increase the number of employees next year.¬† Some have been with me almost a year, others have just started.¬† It’s a good mix and I see everyone working in unison.¬† It will take me, making sure that they have a consistent work load.
  • Bi-weekly sourcing trips are something I am going to have to schedule after the new year.¬† They may have to be overnight, given my last sourcing trip was finished by my photographer in 2 days and my lister in 1 day.
  • Scheduling a true day off each week, that is not on the weekend.
  • Max out my premium stores and possibly increase to an Anchor Store.
  • Make $1000 a week, net profit.¬† If I am doing all of the above, this is a realistic goal

 

Posted in Growth, Uncategorized

Morality in a Business Environment

When I blog, I try to appeal to a wide range of folks.¬† I certainly don’t wish to bring up controversial themes that might send my readers elsewhere.¬† However, this is a topic that is brought up and discussed by many famed entrepreneurs.

Do you believe in Karma?¬† You should.¬† In my lifetime of working for others, volunteering for organizations as well as running my own business, I have found that Karma always wins.¬† It’s not something you can run away from, hide it under a rug or hope it goes away.¬† The residual effects of bad Karma can haunt your business or workplace because of the actions of a few.

Here are some items that I believe can literally shut a business down, especially if it appeals to a small niche of clients.

  • Gossip – It is funny in 1950’s sitcoms, but it does not bode well in your business.¬† It’s hurtful to the person who is the subject of the gossip.¬† That person’s mood does start to overflow into the employee pool.¬† Many business owners do not wish to deal with it, ignore it and it will go away.¬† May I suggest a warning, reducing hours then firing the individual?
  • Time Cards¬†– Everyplace has a way to record time, whether it’s in retail, a house cleaner or a freelancer.¬† Other employees begin to notice and think it is fine or the employee continues doing it because nothing is done.¬† As a business owner or manager, this cuts into your profit.¬†¬†May I suggest a warning, reducing hours then firing the individual?
  • Stealing – An employee removing items without taking the required steps to compensate your company or organization is business suicide.¬† If nothing is done, one of two things will most likely happen.¬† First, the other employees may begin stealing too, because there were no consequences.¬† Second, other employees will be indignant and angry that they are expected and continue to uphold moral standards while working.¬† May I suggest firing the individual?

Some owners and managers have said they are empathetic.  The person stealing and lying on their time cards must need the money, to fire them would make things worse.  This is not being empathetic.  To be empathetic is to care enough about the individual to correct what he/she is doing wrong.

The worst case scenario is when the manager you’ve hired to run your business is doing one or all of the above.¬† Not only will you have indignant employees, but angry customers.¬† Customers who are angry are much more likely to get on the internet and shout from the rooftops, than happy ones.¬† Networking relationships begin to deteriorate, employees quit, customers leave and the closed sign remains on the door.

As a business owner, you ultimately hold the moral compass on how your business will run.  What you decide will ultimately breathe life or bring death to company.

 

Posted in Uncategorized, Vacation

Vacation…All I Ever Wanted…Vacation…Had To Get Away

Those that have followed me are probably wondering what I need a vacation for.  After all, I have been home a total of 12 days in the past 4 weeks.  Now it will be 12 days in 5 weeks.  My husband has not been with me, this is not work related and we need a vacation!

This trip has been talked about and planned for over a year. ¬†It began after I sadly chose bedroom carpet and wood floors in 4 rooms over that year’s vacation.

 

I was blessed with parents who chose vacation.  I was also well-trained for vacation, I can fall asleep in a car immediately after the engine starts.  I love picnic lunches and purchasing postcards and trinkets at tourist traps.  I have genetic wander-lust!

My husband’s family did not do much of this while growing up and unfortunately we did do this at all with our kids.

Therefore, I am on a mission to take a week’s vacation, with my husband, to some of the places I went to as a child.

Today is Day One and the destination is Mount Rushmore. ¬†Yes, 15 hours by car to see 4 past presidents chiselled in stone. ¬†It does sound like Clark’s quest to see Marty Moose. ¬†We did rent an SUV, but I will still be on the look out for Christy driving a fancy red sports car.

I am also keeping a look out fun attractions as we make our way to an AirBnB in Osage, Iowa and looking forward to dinner at a smokehouse that has had great reviews.

#JewelsForThePauper

Where every item is fit for a Queen

But

Priced for a Pauper

Posted in Uncategorized

This is My Temporary Home

Rarely do I blog about something such as this.  I do believe that other resellers can relate to this story.  If not, it might make for an interesting read.

I have been staying with my best friend for almost a week now, going through several years of accumulated memories.  I took a break from estimating prices to drive to the neighborhood I lived in during my senior year of high school.  This is the house I lived in at the time.  It looks very different from the day I moved out 32 years ago.

I have many of these “temporary homes.” ¬†I went to 13 schools before graduating from High School. ¬†I also lived in 13 homes before I graduated from High School. ¬†I remember when my parents made the decision to sell this home and move to a downsized rented apartment. ¬†I don’t remember it particularly because of the way I felt, but because of the way my siblings felt.

My siblings are 13 and 17 years younger than me.  This house was the house they grey w up in,  When people ask them where they are from, it is this location that they point to.  It was a heart wrenching experience for them when the house was sold.

When people ask me where I am from, I simply answer “everywhere.” ¬†I don’t have a family home, neighborhood, town or state to point to. ¬†This is also the way I look at items in my home.

It may sound strange but, I sincerely have no attachment to my couch. ¬†However, I will never let go, at any price, my grandparents’ bedroom set. ¬†I have no attachment to my dishwasher, but no one will have my great grandmother’s china or grandmother’s silver.

I understand you can’t take the items with you. ¬†It is all about the memories. When I use my mother’s Tupperware celery crisper, I think of Christmas because it is where we always stored the cookies. ¬†When I feel the need for comfort food, I have my grandmother’s box of recipe’s in her handwriting.

When I am sourcing in Thrift Stores, my heart breaks at the sight of old family photographs that have been discarded along with their home and furniture. ¬†Baptismal and Wedding certificates, graduation pictures, Grandma’s favorite recipe book, dumped off to strangers without a second thought.

Was it because living in the same house, accumulating items for years, simply overwhelmed the family?  I often believe this is the case. While my family purged each time they moved, my mother literally boxed each report card, handmade cards, school reports for each child.

I digress. What was the point of this blog today?

It was a reminder that every home is temporary until we breathe our last breath. ¬†It doesn’t matter how many you’ve had. ¬†It’s a reminder to cherish the memories you have, even if it means you have to bring a ragged tuna fish can out to remember Christmas’ long ago. ¬†It is also a reminder to rid yourself of items that do not matter or be ready to let go without putting too much thought into it.

Last, take a break, take a drive, take a nap, quit thinking about tomorrow and spend some time thinking about yesterday.

#JewelsForThePauper

Where everything is fit for a Queen.

But

Priced for the Pauper.

Posted in Uncategorized

Matchbooks Tell a Story

The saga of the ‘Great Clean out of my Best Friend’s,’ house continues.

Part of the day, we were going through her own memorabilia. ¬†So much of her treasures come from her grandmothers. ¬†We are so much the same, because I too have treasures from my grandmothers. ¬†However, she had something I’ve never had before.

Lo and behold, she opened an airtight container that held her very own collection of matchbooks. ¬†I’ve known this woman for over 35 years and had no idea she had collected these.

We had such a good time going through them.  Some were from restaurants and bars we frequented during our college days.  One matchbook, on the inside had a space for your name, phone number and if you were available!  Most of these places have closed down but the matchbooks made if feel as if we were 21 again.

She had a great collection from the location of her first job, working in California.  Imagine that Disney passed out matchbooks?  Who knew!  Sea World?  This would never happen today.

She also had some from their vacations as a couple and as a family, but those were far and few between, as matchbooks simply aren’t given out anymore.

She was ready to sell all of them on Ebay, except a select few. ¬†I honestly thought it would be those from our college days but they weren’t at all.

When her Step-Dad and Mother were dating, they would always bring the kids along.  He would take them to these beautiful and lavish supper clubs.  She had never told me this story before, but the matchbooks put it together perfectly.

She decided to keep these very special matchbooks and place them into a shadow box.  Instead of keeping them all in a sealed box and thinking about them from time to time, she can look at that shadow box and remember a very happy time in her childhood.

If you are at all curious, the matchbooks she has are selling between $3.99 and $150 with $2.49 shipping.  I was surprised to see such an active market for these items.  Nothing at all like fidget spinners, we could only wish for that!