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 …….

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Posted in New Year, Sourcing, Thrift Shops

Need to Get Away?

Yes, I do!  My sister and I are going on a sourcing trip and staying west of Chicago.  We had decided this a month ago but firmed the plans last night.

We live in rural Central Illinois, so we don’t have The Bins (Goodwill outlet) or Savers.  This will be our first time. We are ready to spend 4 days and 3 nights sourcing  and relaxing until we run out of money.

I have a list of things I must do and a list of what to bring.  I have compiled it by watching many YouTube reseller haul videos.

Things I must do:

  • Change the oil and have the car checked for travel.
  • Transfer all cash to my PayPal and leave the purse at home.
  • Record all mileage during the trip.
  • Keep all receipts for purchases, dining, gas and anything else we do.
  • Give the two virtual assistants double the number of listings so I fresh listings while I am gone.
  • Change my handling time.
  • Remember to relax.

Things I must bring

  • The most comfortable layered clothing I have in my closet.
  • My most comfortable shoes.
  • A fanny pack.
  • Ikea bags
  • Rubber Gloves
  • A small first aid kit
  • Energy Bars
  • A water bottle

The Air BNB we are staying (not pictured) is an A frame mother-in-law apartment next to a lake.  There is a boat dock and the view is spectacular.  It has a wood burning stove, comfy furniture and wi -fi.

I wasn’t sure about this place because it is a distance from the places we wanted to source at.  However, the owner contacted me and said there was a Good-Will and several Thrift Shops within a 5 mile radius.

Lake, wood burning stove, AND thrift shops close by?  SOLD!

#JewelsForThePauper

Where everything is fit for a Queen

But

Priced for a Pauper!

Posted in New Year, Taxes

Death and Taxes

Disclaimer: I am not a tax professional.  I am not promoting any tax preparation company.  You should consult your own tax professional and spouse when making any financial decisions.

The same signer of the Constitution that said ‘a penny saved is a penny earned,’ warned us of the certainty of death and taxes.  I am sure we can all admit at one time or another we have wondered if death would be easier.

I have owned some type of home-based business for 29 years either part or full-time.  In that time, I have never done my own taxes.  My biggest reasons are because I want my money back and the ever-changing tax code.  Did you know that the amount you pay to have the business portion of your taxes done is tax-deductible?

I call my tax professional the first week of January to schedule an appointment.  I make it for February 2ND because it is easier to remember – Ground Hog Day!  Why postpone this date?  You know it is inevitable.  If you owe, it gives you time to budget.  If you are owed, you get your money back sooner.  I have had taxes done on April 14th, and that is not the kind of adrenaline rush I want to experience again.

I keep every receipt in a drawer during the year.  I tell myself that I will find some way of organizing them each year and it never happens.  I sort the receipts as I am getting things ready for the tax professional.  Items to look for are home repair, upgrades to your home, office supplies, cleaning supplies, real estate taxes, mortgage interest, car repair and restaurant receipts.  There are several more, but this gives you a general idea.

Since you are running your business in your home, it is important to know the total square footage.  Next you need the square footage of each room you use for your business in your home.  Next, you need to give an honest number of hours per day that you are working.  Your tax professional will need these totals to figure the percentage of home expenses to deduct, such as your lights, internet and landline.

Throughout the year, you should have some sort of way to record the mileage on your cars.  You will need the total miles driven and total business miles.  I also record miles I drive to volunteer because that can also be tax-deductible.

The year I decided that all of my sourcing, fees and income would go through one account made all of this so much easier.  I am selling on four different platforms, doing some consignment, I did some advertising and promotions.  PayPal is what I use and it actually does most of this for you.

I believe that the most important advise I can give is to be honest.  Just because you sourced an item during your vacation does not make it a business trip.  Your blogging at McDonald’s doesn’t make it a business lunch.  Your new refrigerator is not a new laptop.  Your cats are not your virtual assistants.  You do not want your next business expense to be mileage driving to the IRS because you have been audited.

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#JewelsForThePauper

Where items are Fit for a Queen

But

Priced For the Pauper

 

 

Posted in Happy Planner, New Year

Happy Planner and Tea – Morning Wake Up

Good Morning!  It is the first business day of 2017!  For some, it is a wake up call that all of the festivities and vacations are over.  For others, it is a clean slate and promise for new and spectacular year!

Which group do you fall into?

Either way, you need a plan….which means you need a planner.

More than a quarter century ago I was in the corporate world and had a DayTimer.  It was a 5 ring, leatherette, monstrosity that held your life.  Everything from Phone numbers, business cards to grocery lists and budgets.  Think of it as your 8X10 SmarTphone.  In this instance though, if you lost it you couldn’t replace it and hope your contacts were in a cloud.  The beauty of it was that every year around Halloween you would receive in the mail next year’s Edition.  A clean slate.

Today, my life is on the smartphone but my hopes, dreams, projections and meals are in my Happy Planner.

It was August and I had a 50%, 40% and a 25% off entire purchase coupons for Michael’s.  They had a huge and inviting display of Happy Planners and I felt like I had gone back in time!  I purchased the planner, a meal and budget insert plus the hole punch.

But what in the world were all of these stickers, tape, stampers and embellishments for?  DayTimer never had these!

I listen and follow a lot of Resellers on YouTube.  It has become my ‘co-worker’ in a lonely day of reselling.  It wasn’t too long before I heard others saying they had bought one and showing off their creations designed with markers, tape and stickers.  Oh, they were beautiful but I was sticking to my New and Improved DayTimer look.

It wasn’t until SisterDay (another future blog, I promise) last week that I gave in and became a part of the Happy Planner craze.  My sister and I planned our weeks and began embellishing our pages!

I finally understand the real reason that women are buying a HappyPlanner!  It is a thing of beauty that is created by you.  I look at it in the middle of the day and it’s like a double shot of caffeine in my tea.  It encourages me to keep going, be better than I was yesterday ….. and start dinner!

Let me know if you liked this blog, you have ideas for future blogs or want to hear more about HappyPlanners.

If you have one, please feel free to share what you have been doing with yours.

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#JewelsForThePauper

Where everything is fit for a Queen

But

Priced for the Pauper.

 

 

 

 

Posted in New Year, Seasons, Uncategorized

The Holidays are Over…Time to Get To Work!

The longest holiday season of the year, October 31-January 1, is finally over.

If you are working for someone else, it’s a day of football and a paid day off.  If you are an entrepreneur reseller, it was a day to kick into high gear.

As a side-note, GaryVee posted on Instagram around 6am and I was proud to reply that I began listing at 5am.  There are too many opportunities to sleep in!

Here is what I did:

  • Finished the laundry, did the dishes showered.
  • Drafted 38 items.  They were mostly Career and Spring.
  • Took Pictures
  • They wouldn’t upload to Amazon Prime, so I drafted a few more.
  • Put all items that are holiday on deep discounted clearance with free shipping.  At this point, it is better that they are out of my house then store them another year.
  • The listings that had ended, I went through and changed titles with better keywords.
  • Accepting any reasonable offer.  It is too late to hope for high dollar.  People are looking for a deal.
  • Searched for all of my formal dresses purchased over the year.  This is the month that girls are looking for the perfect prom dress.  It is also a time when women are taking cruises where certains sections require formal wear.
  • Shared, liked and followed on various platforms.
  • Sitting on the couch, warm electric blanket, Lipton Natural Energy, filling out my Happy Planner and blogging.
  • 11 hours

I like the holidays, but after a while I just wish for things to go back to normal!

 

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JewelsForThePauper

Where the items are Fit for a Queen

But

Priced for the Pauper!