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.

 

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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!

 

 

 

Posted in Inventory, Taxes, Time Management, Uncategorized

Time to do Inventory!

The word ‘inventory’ sometimes conjours up memories of the past, depending on what is on your resume before you left the rat race and became your own boss.  I was in retail grocery, so mine is coming to work in the dark, before the store opened.  I had massive amounts of caffeine of every form, in each hand.  Once there, my handy notebook had last month’s Inventory, a spreadsheet to fill out, my bills for the month, calculator and pen.  The picture above is how much inventory I felt I would be counting, when in fact it was much less than that.

Disclaimer -The advise I am giving is from my personal experience.  I am not an account nor a financial advisor so please seek one out because what you read in the internet is not always accurate.

I do inventory once a year.  I’m not running an Anchor EBay Store, but am spread out on EBay, Etsy, Poshmark and Amazon.  I have listed and unlisted inventory.  Thankfully, I do not have a storage unit, but I can honestly say that my inventory is in 5 rooms of my 3 bdrm, 1.600sf home.  So, my inventory count will take one full day and I am allowing myself a pajama day!

Here are some general tips that will hopefully make your inventory day easier:

  • Clear out an entire day in your Happy Planner to do this.  This is something you do not want to start, stop and start again.
  • If you start Monday morning at 8am, your ending day should be Sunday at midnight.  Anything you have sold from midnight and throughout the day should be counted as unsold inventory.  This is so you and your accountant are not confused on your count.
  • You need to know the amount you paid for the item.  As reseller, most of the time we usually can remember where we found the item and what we paid for it.
  • The best way to decide how much your items are worth is through sold comps.  This is especially true if we have a relationship with the item. Do not romanticize on how much you would love to sell the item for.  Force your fingers to do the walking through Google.
  • If you decide you are going to throw away the item or donate, you do count this item in your inventory.  Remember, what you had at midnight is what you are counting.  Just be sure to write down your total of items thrown out or donated so that you can claim that on next year’s taxes.
  • Today is NOT the day to change where you put things or change your tracking system.  I know it sounds like killing two birds with one stone.  The only thing it will kill is you, after you forget if you counted this item or not.  Focus on one thing.
  • Be prepared to be amazed at the items you find and either forgot you had or realize it isn’t listed for sale.  This part never frustrates me as it is like a secret sourced stash that you can list on a rainy day.

I would love to know if any of this helped you to prepare.  If so, leave a comment.  If you have been enjoying these blogs, just press the subscribe button and you will be notified when I put new content up.

#JewelsForThePauper

Where Items are Fit for a Queen

But

Priced For the Pauper

Posted in Fees, Uncategorized

Those Pesky Fees!

Fees are a part of every reseller’s journey.  There is no way to avoid them.  Just like you know the sun will come up tomorrow, you will see fees on almost every platform you choose to sell on.

Just so this blog post doesn’t become outdated in 30 days or so, I won’t spend much time on fee scales.  My feeling on escalating fees is much like my heat bill.  You know it will go up, you are being provided a service and you can’t live without them if you hope to remain in business.

Ebay has a monthly store fee that is dependent on the size of store.  There are listing fees If you don’t have a store, but there are always offers for waived listing fees.  There are also selling fees which are charged based on the type of item sold and cost.  Depending on when you started Ebay, they will be due in the middle or end of the month.

Etsy has a set per-listing fee, a percentage fee when you have sold and there are no store fees.  When you are printing out shipping, the fee will also be charged to your monthly invoice. You may pay your fees from your selling balance before funds are issued to your bank.

Amazon fees for selling books and CD’s are invoiced each week and subtracted from your earnings, before they issue funds to your bank.

Poshmark does not have a fee to list or have a store.  When you post a listing or consider an offer, the program tells you what your income is after fees.  Fees are taken out before you receive a credit in your account.

If you are selling on each of these platforms, you might spend more time figuring out how much you owe and when, than making up this week’s meal plan.  You might think that you will pay them on the due date with your earnings, which is great if no one (including you) gets sick, the car doesn’t have a funny sound coming from the engine or the gas bill is due.  I cannot emphasize how important it is to pay these fees because there are serious consequences such as not being able to list to losing your privilege to sell.

I read some advice on paying fees in an EBay support forum, and I thought it was a great answer to paying all these pesky fees.

Most of us sell a lot through the weekend then package and ship on Mondays.  After you have done this each week, pay your fees on every platform that night. Start with a Zero Balance on Tuesday night.  No more panic when the invoice comes due!

If you liked this blog or have a suggestion for a future subject, please comment below.  You can also subscribe to get notifications when I post a new blog.

#JewelsForThePauper

Where items are always Fit for a Queen

But

Priced for the Pauper!

 

Posted in Uncategorized

For the love of Levi’s

I will let you in on a little secret.  I LOVE selling Levi’s!  Okay, but why would I devote today’s blog to this?  It’s called Keeping It Simple Stupid.

As a 50+ year old #reseller, I am familiar with the way the brand has evolved over the years.  It is a brand that has been around long before I was born and there are people out there that will only wear this brand.

I consistently sell them between $25-$30 with free priority shipping ($6.00) in a flat rate legal size envelope.

Here is what I look for when sourcing Levi’s:

  • Big, Tall or Short Sizes.  I don’t sell these exclusively but have found that they will sell quickly (hours or overnight.)  Some memorable sizes have been a men’s 56×30, a women’s 24WP and a women’s 2T.  Better yet, you will find them in thrift stores for 99 cents because they are. Hard to sell.
  • Made In USA.  Finding them is a little difficult, but check small thrift and charity shops as well as estate sales.  Clothing Made in the USA has a following anyway but Levi’s has it’s own little niche no matter what the size.
  • Wear does not matter.  Unlike other clothing items, I have sold them with holes, tears and fading.  People do not care, as long as you have taken great close up shots and have described them well.  Stains are where I draw a line,  and pass them up.  They might sell, but I don’t  want to run the risk a return by someone who thought they might be able to get the stain out.
  • Stick to the basics.  I stay away from anything that is not blue.  I don’t buy carpenter style.  I have sold Levi’s that have a winter lining, but I paid more for them and got the same price as the unlined jeans. I also stay away from baggy, extreme low rise, flare or bling.  I do buy relaxed, stretch, skinny, bootcut and straight.  Skinny is a fad, so make sure that these are in excellent shape.
  • Wash the jeans before selling. Some clothes I don’t, but with all Levi’s I do.  My personal opinion is that the they hold whatever smell they were exposed to.  Tide Pods are my go to brand.  If there are smoke or pet smells, soak overnight in Dawn, Vinegar, Baking Soda and water.  Then soak for an hour in clear water, wash as usual.
  • When listing, the title should begin with Levi’s and I never include the word Vintage.  My opinion is that the buyer is specifically looking for Levi’s and does not care about the age.  Always include the style (501, 505, 512, 519) because most purchasers are looking for their favorite number.  Take the time to measure the waist, rise, inseam and hem circumference so that the customer is confident about the fit.

Levi’s are my bread and butter item for all the reasons listed above.

If you liked this blog, leave me a comment below and or subscribe.  I would love to hear from you!

JewelsForThePauper can be found on Ebay, Etsy, Poshmark and Facebook.  We are also on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

JewelsForThePauper

Items that are fit for a Queen

But

Priced for the Pauper