Posted in Auctions, Fees, New Year, Shipping, Sourcing, Time Management, Virtual Assistant

Go Do – Musings on #GaryVee

If you have never heard about the phenomenon – Gary Vaynerchuk – I invite you to Google his name and listen to what he has to say or buy one of his four books.  What is he?  He is a Day Trader of Attention.

Yesterday on Instagram, he had a screenshot with encouragement that became my wallpaper for the day and I found myself repeating it over and over.

Stop Thinking

Stop Pondering

Stop Strategizing

Stop Debating

Go Do

These past two weeks, I have been terrified to do just that.  I had a plan but my fear was that I would fail.  So what, right?  Wrong!  Failure would mean that my family’s budget would be blown, I would have a very disappointed assistant that needs the money, I would have two other virtual assistants with nothing to do and might put me at the bottom of their workload, I could lose my business completely from bad feedback and Below Standard Rating, not to mention the embarrassment and a lot of inventory.

I am not a success story, yet.  I am seeing  results after implementing my plan and I want to share it with you.

  • I hired virtual assistant #1. They list on EBay Store #2 which is Top Rated Plus.  I pay them $4/hr, they have completed 101 listings and I have paid $80.
  • I hired virtual assistant #2.  They list on EBay Store #1 which is Below Standard and on Postmark.  I pay them $5/hr.  I did not respond to complaints quick enough and I couldn’t keep up with the 1 day shipping.
  • I hired my sister to pack and ship at $2/order, as well as photograph at $1/clothing piece.
  • I have started 3-5 auctions each day on items that did not sell after 30 days.
  • I have sourced 100 clothing pieces and 30 from my ‘death piles,’ each week to be listed.
  • I have stopped looking at profit and only the number of sales because I am focusing on my sell-through rate.
  • Each item has a cost of $16 max   .  That is $8 shipping, $2 packaging, $3 sourcing, $1 listing, %2 fees.  I am comfortable accepting $20.  Period.  No more computing profits.  This is about product movement.
  • I am going to do this until April 30th.  Sales die off after that date.  If they don’t, I will keep going!

Yesterday, my sister shipped out 16 packages.  She has 3 more today.

Last Monday, I shipped out only 10 packages.

I thank Gary Vaynerchuk and several YouTubers for giving me the ideas, strategies and the desire to continue the Hustle.  It is hard some days, because our work is solitary, most of our family members don’t understand what we are doing and 30 characters of feedback are not always warm and fuzzy. We are our own cheerleaders.

One day, I will have a selfie with #GaryVee.  One day, I will meet Nicole, Craigslist Hunter, Lindey, Chad, Ronny, Jason and Natalie and thank them for their content and encouragement.  Until then, I’ll just keep hustling and Go Do!

#JewelsForThePauper

Where every item is Fit for a Queen

But

Priced For the Pauper!

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Posted in Free Shipping, Shipping

Mail Increases and Effect on Free Shipping

Let’s start out with the facts.  This is from the USPS website:

USA Domestic Shipping:

  • Priority Mail Express – Overall rates will increase by 3.4%.
  • Priority Mail Express Flat Rate – All Priority Mail Express Flat Rate products will see an increase in pricing. Increases will vary depending on the type of product.
  • Priority Mail – Average increase of 3.9%.
  • Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes & Envelopes – Postage rates will increase across the board in 2017.
  • Priority Mail Regional Rate – Postage will increase for most Priority Mail Regional Rate Boxes in 2017. No change in postage for a Regional Rate Box A going to Zone 5. Postage price will decrease by $0.49 for a Regional Rate Box A being shipped to Zone 8.
  • First Class Package Service – Overall rates will increase by 4.1%.
  • Parcel Select Ground – Rates will increase by 2.7%. Although, rates for some weight & zone groupings will actually decrease.

I wanted to give percentages because as resellers, we are paying different rates.  For instance with Ebay, an Above Standard seller will pay more than a Top Rated Seller, which will pay more than a Top Rated Plus Seller.  Etsy Sellers are affected, because the buyer will see the shipping charge when viewing your product.

I was thinking about how this will all affect a reseller as I was putting together my Amazon Pantry order (free ship if you bought from 5 subcategories) and Amazon Subscribe and Save (Free Prime Shipping and discounts with multiple items).  If the prices on these items increased from last month, I couldn’t tell.  The psychology of this for me is that my shipping was free and the more I purchased the more discounts I received.

I use this psychology with my own Ebay stores and feel pretty confident I will survive this latest increase in fees.

  • I am going to take the time to raise my prices on items by 10%.  The postage may have increased only 4%, but I do Buy It Now with Best Offer.  I want the leverage to take lower offers because of this increase.
  • I have sales that run through the month on items listed a month or more.  Generally it is 25%, so I will change it to 21%.  The Cassini algorithm (a mystery, but there is speculation) says that items are ranked higher when on sale 20%-25%, than those at 19% or lower.
  • I will have a promotion that says they will receive $5 off $50, $10 off $100, etc…. so that the more they buy, the more savings.  I recoup the loss through combined shipping.
  • I will continue to offer free economy shipping, with optional priority shipping at their expense.

I have watched several resellers decide that with this increase, they will add calculated shipping.  That is their business model and I respect them for it.  They sell different items than me as well.  I have tried to keep all items under 2# and this is probably the biggest reason I am able to continue FREE SHIPPING.

If you have questions or comments, I invite you to write them below.  If you have been enjoying my blogs, please send money….JOKE!  Hit that Subscribe Button….it is free!

#JewelsForThePauper

Where everything is Fit for a Queen

But

Priced For the Pauper!

Posted in Free Shipping, Shipping

5 Easy Steps to Ship a Rockstar

According to a Vlogger, this particular title will exponentially grow traffic … we shall see!

It is Monday morning and it seems fitting to talk about shipping.  If you were fastidious, you packed it all last night.  I have convinced myself that I am more alert in the morning, so that is what I will be doing after this blog.

I am a free shipper.  Debating the pro’ s and con’s can be a subject that will be debated on a future blog. Because I do not charge shipping, it is imperative that I spend the least money possible to keep profits up.

Here are 5 tips to make this possible:

  1. Weigh and measure your item when you list it.  Do not guess!  Add 5-8 ounces for shipping supplies.
  2. Offer free Fed Ex smart Post.  Calculate what the price will be and add it into the price of the item.  I also offer Priority for an extra fee.  You are guaranteeing the item will arrive in 10 day and it is the cheapest rate for heavy items
  3. If the item is 16 ounces or less, ship it fist class. If the item is not going far, place it in a regional box, based on weight. If the item can fit into a priority flat rate envelope or a priority padded flat rate, it will probably be cheaper than the cost of Fed Ex Smart Post. If you end up shipping the item with any of these services, they have a shorter ship time and your customer will be pleasantly surprised by how quickly their order arrived !
  4. Recycled boxes are great to store items in, but not so much to ship your items.  You want this person to be a repeat customer and it does not look professional to receive a coat in a Dole Banana Box (true story).  Use a new box!
  5. Use tissue for clothing, bubble wrap for fragile items and air pillows to keep items from shifting or rattling.  Again, you need to look professional and the way their item ships will have a much more lasting impression than a glitzy webpage.

These are guidelines I have used for my businesses and I would love to hear from you!  What totally bombed?  What was da’ bomb?

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#Jewels for the Pauper

Where everything is for a Queen

But

priced for the Pauper

 

 

Posted in Shipping, Uncategorized

Boxing Day – But with a Twist

For those in the UK and Canada, this day was actually yesterday, December 26th.  For resellers, this is the day to box up sales from Friday-Monday.  Listening to YouTube and looking at Instagram early this morning, the results are varied.  Some had the best weekend in a month, with sales starting around noon on Christmas Day.  Others said they should have gone on vacation because there is nothing to Box and Ship out!

This morning, I have 8 items to ship out.  I really didn’t know what to expect since I was actively selling only on Ebay last year.  I had not goal except to be grateful for each and every sale because it is a blessing to our family.

I felt that today would be a great time to explain the system I use to ship packages out.  Mine way is not special, it is a compilation of processes from other YouTubers that through trial and error, fit for me.

  • I load up each of my platforms (Ebay Store 1, Ebay Store 2, Etsy, Poshmark, Amazon, Facebook and Instagram) to the Orders Page, so that I have a full grasp of what today’s Boxing will entail.
  • I handwrite a “Thank You” card for each sale.  I thank them for their purchase, I describe the purchase, I ask them to contact me with any problems and I encourage them to give me feedback on their transaction.  By describing their item, they know I am taking the time out to personally thank them.
  • Feedback has two schools of thought, but I’m genuinely not afraid of what people will say.  Most platforms will remove feedback that is slanderous and without proof.  I have also gone back to the purchaser to work things out and they have changed the feedback.
  • I find each item that needs to be shipped out and carefully inspect each one last time.  I have found defects at the last-minute.  It is so much better to email your customer, explain the defect and ask them to decide on the outcome (Cancel, Discount or Send).  These tiny details can come back to haunt you and cost you time and money.
  • I choose an item, package it and place the Thank You card on top.
  • I do use tissue paper (NEVER with glitter, trust me!) for clothing, bubble wrap for hard goods as well as fragile ones.  I am very lucky as I have found a thrift shop that sells used, by the pound.  Ebay seems to have the best pricing for these items.  Try not to scrimp on this to save a buck.  Customers appreciate when they see the care you have taken to ship their purchase.
  • Do not seal the package yet!  Weigh it on your scale (I found a digital scale that goes to 12 pounds at a thrift store for $1.  Again, Ebay is your best bet)
  • I check each way this item can be shipped.  First Class, Fed Ex, Regional Priority, Flat Priority and Weight Priority. I provide free First Class or Fed Ex Smart post.  The other options are something a customer pays for.  Around holidays, I mark up prices a bit and just send them all priority.
  • I always use the platform’s shipping because it is usually discounted commercial.  I never mail without tracking.  There are many resellers that do and that is fine.  I have been marked on Ebay with late shipping, because the customer didn’t tell Ebay they had received the package.  Spend the $3.65 and forget the stamps.
  • After printing out the correct shipping label and attaching it to the package, I take one last look to make sure the item is packed properly, it is going to the right address and my Thank You note is on top.  I seal it, check it off the list and put it in the outgoing box.
  • I move on to the next item and repeat.  I’ve tried packaging several at a time, and it takes me longer because I am concerned it will go to the wrong person.  *Knock on Wood* it has not happened to me yet, but I have heard stories from other resellers.
  • IF you ordered USPS pickup, woke up early and had your packages ready before 8am…. Congratulations!  I usually have mine done before 10am and running them to the Post Office.  Just don’t wait until afternoon, thinking you might get another sale or you will be sending them out late.
  • A side note is that I generally have no noise in the background when I am getting orders ready to ship.  I used to and found I was distracted.  Whatever works great for you!

I hope this description has been some help if you are a reseller.  If you have ideas, please write a comment down below!  If you are interested in what we do, just search #JewelsForThePauper on Google.

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JewelsForThePauper

Where items are fit for a Queen

But

Priced for a Pauper