Sunday, July 10, 2016

On life. . . .



Yes, this has been me, more than once this month!

The usual summer hectic-ness has kept me away from the computer for most of June. I have to say that June is a month every year that really leaves me feeling frustrated and overwhelmed. Not being able to work on my business very much during daylight hours makes me very grouchy! (and sleep deprived!)

What's been going on here? Here are a few of the highlights-
I am continuing to work on my shop/storage space. Kids play area and most of my photo area are done, all listed and unlisted inventory storage is done. Still working on clearing out my Amazon/Shipping Area, mostly by just getting items shipped that have been sitting around.

Had my son's 7th birthday party, spent a week driving him back and forth to Pioneer School, and 2 days for him to attend a cooking and sewing class offered by our local high school.
My daughter also had gymnastics one afternoon a week. We live so far away from everything that just signing up for one activity takes pretty much a whole day.

Celebrated our 10th Wedding anniversary and spent my son's birthday and our anniversary with medical testing for me. Apparently turning 38 makes everything start to fall apart!

At my physical I had a possible cancer scare and the Dr. found a heart murmur he hadn't heard before. My brother was my age when they found his heart murmur, which resulted in open heart surgery to close a quarter size hole in his heart. Thankfully, the mass they found isn't cancer! but may result in surgery sometime down the road. Still awaiting the official heart testing results, but unoffically it appears to be a murmur that shouldn't cause any problems long term. Praise be to God!

Today we finished up speech/hearing testing for my daughter and she is going to qualify for some speech therapy, which means driving to town 2x a week for the rest of July and starting again in Mid-August, plus preschool 2 x a week. It's going to be busy, but somehow we will manage!

I'm embarking on my 5th month of working on losing weight. I got really fed up and stalled in my weight loss with Weight Watchers (I lost about 20 pounds) and started a new plan called Trim Healthy Mama a few months ago. I am happy to report that I am now down 45 pounds and have about 30 more to go! I really put on a lot of weight when we were dealing with my hubby's TBI diagnosis and I am happy to be getting back on the right track. And I am completely off of sugar and soda! (Which might also be why I am grouchy and sleep deprived!)

July should slow down some towards the end of the month (swimming lessons and bible school) and hopefully I can really get cranking on my Amazon inventory.  I hope to have all of my Halloween and most of my Christmas inventory packed and ready to go in in August. I have a lot to do and it's really hot in my shop right now!

I have another unhaul post in the works right now and I plan on getting it posted sometime this week. Sales are finally picking up for me and I hope they are for you too!






Monday, June 6, 2016

More on Storing Unlisted Inventory

I had scheduled the last post to go live for what I thought was a long time in the future- so I would have time to revise it. And then one morning I woke up and I already had comments (love you guys!) on it and I realized it had gone live without me going back to revise it. Oops!

So, here is a continuation of my post about storing unlisted inventory.

Hubby and I spent Memorial Weekend cleaning out another large area in my shop, so I could get the shelves that he and the kiddos got me for my birthday. The area that we cleaned is circled in red. The red x's are areas I've already cleaned and organized. I'm getting close!

Here is what some more unlisted inventory looks like. 



I've been busy listing and one of these shelves is now all listed items! 






Tuesday, May 31, 2016

How I Organize My Inventory: Part 2- From Box to Photographing

** This post contains affliate links which may benefit me monetarily if you choose to click and purchase from them.

This a continuation of my first post about how I organize my inventory You can read it here. (Link)

I usually photograph one afternoon a week for a couple of hours. I photograph every week, even if I haven't listed anything new- that way I always have plenty ready to go. There have been a few times the kids were sick, or I had extra time to list, but wasn't able to because I didn't have photographs done. If I have a stock pile of listed items I am ready to list at a moments notice. A couple of hours of photographing usually gives me enough to list for the rest of the week plus a box or two extra. I usually keep about 4 boxes of unphotographed inventory in my ebay room on this amazing shelf I have. I love it to store unlisted hanging items as well as 4 bankers boxes with unlisted inventory.

      

When I'm ready to photograph I grab a box off of the shelf and turn on my photo lights and my "studio' is ready. I also have a 3 sided poster board for the background (I have a plug right in the middle of the wall where I take photos, and the board covers it well.) I also have a white foam board sheet for the bottom. I have both of these things set up on top of  a old dresser and in the top drawers I keep my photo props (plate holder, foot forms, etc) so they are easy to access quickly. In the bottom two drawers I keep things like candles, perfume and other meltable/freezable items I have listed. My ebay room is heated and air conditioned, so they will be safe in there.

I also make sure to have an empty bankers box ready to go, so as I take out of one box to photograph, I can put it in another box when I'm done. That way nothing is sitting out with the possibility of getting broken- trust me I know this from personal experience.


        

Then I start taking photos, lot of photos! I try to take photos from every angle and get the enough to fill the 12 pictures in Ebay listings. Get it from every angle, with close-ups of names, writing, damage, maker, size, fabric content. etc. I can usually get thru 4-8 boxes on a photo day- depending on how cooperative my children are! Once they are all photographed, they go back to the unlisted storage area, but this time on the photographed side. All ready to list, whenever I am. 

I also have to recommend a good camera and my eye-fi card which I would have a hard time living without. (read my post about it here) A good camera saves you a lot of time in editing and re-doing pictures. I started out with a $49 camera and my ipad in the beginning, but I currently use the Coolpix and love it. You can good a really good deal on these cameras several times a year (especially at Christmas time) so be sure to do your homework before purchasing. It's not the most expensive camera, but it works good, and takes awesome pictures for me. I combine it with a tripod to help stop the camera from shaking- which can happen after you photograph for a few hours. 


         

Friday, May 13, 2016

What sold this week on Ebay/Etsy/Amazon/Craigslist/Kid's Consignment- May 12th, 2016

Amazon:
Amazon continues to be slow for me- there were a few days when my sales for the day were less than $10, or sometimes no sales at all. Partially because I have not sent anything to the warehouse in over a month. I have been taking advantage of the slow time and getting my shop cleaned out and organized, so when the busy season hits again I will be ready to go. I am planning on sending in a shipment at the end of this week or the beginning of next week. Getting some inventory out will help make more room to clean and organize my packing area. It has been a lot of work, but will make things so much easier when it is done!


Ebay:
I have been able to get lots of listings up here, as you saw in my post yesterday. A lot of the stuff is not what I bought purposely to resell on ebay, but leftovers from my old craft retail business, as well as estate leftovers from my old house, both of my grandparents, an uncle, or things people have given me. I have also been listing my teaching supplies, as I am not planning on returning to teaching next year either (Yay!) and I said after 3 years I would start selling it all.
empty film canisters- Paid $0, sold for $25 plus shipping

leopard short jacket- paid $2.00, sold for $33.00 plus shipping

amazon return, paid $19.99 sold for BO of $45
Etsy:
remington rand typewriter paid $14.99, sold for 65.00 plus $35 shipping 


this mug was featured in My re-haul post
sold for $24.95 plus shipping 

I talked about this fun vest here . It sold for $39.95 plus shipping. 



Craigslist;
Since I have been clearing out my shop I decided to sell some of the big items on Craigslist. I remember why I don't like it. Having to load and drive 45 minutes to town to meet someone and they don't show up, or didn't the right amount of money etc. My hubby has been trying to do most of it since he is usually in town several days a week. I am trying to go only once a week. I have been able to get rid of a lot of big stuff and have more I plan on listing soon. I'm glad to have the room and a little extra money too!

personal shelf from my old classroom- $25
singer sewing machine table $100

Decorations from our wedding (10 years ago this June) I was going to use them to rent for weddings from our retail/floral shop, but I just never did. Happy to have them go to a new home.
lanterns- $35
flower garland $10
Wreaths- $10
Birdcage- $40
Floral Basket- $40
2 candle screens-$100
table $15
2 large wall candle holders $40



Kids Consignment Sales: I signed up to do 3, but only ended up doing 2. I was able to get rid of a train table, lots of clothes and several large toys and make about $400.




Monday, May 9, 2016

How I Organize My Ebay Inventory: Part 1-Sourcing and Unloading the Car

This is a post that contains affiliate links.  These links, should you happen to click them, may benefit me monetarily.


I have had this post in the drafts section, waiting for the rain/snow/wind to stop long enough to take pictures. It has taken 3 weeks to finally have a perfect day! This is what my yard looks like today:


I have had several people inquire about how I organize and store my inventory. So I'm going to do a series on Ebay inventory from purchase to sale- How I organize, store, list, photograph and ship. I will also talk about what to do with those items that don't sell. I will be writing a separate series about my Amazon listing process. Stay tuned for more information about that in upcoming posts. 

Part 1- Sourcing and Unloading the Car (Ebay)
     
(Meet your new best friend!) 

First, I unload the kids (I usually have at least one with me) give them snacks/drinks/bathroom break and get them settled doing something outside (if the weather is nice enough) or find them something to occupy them inside while I unload. Sometimes they will help me sort the items- depending on how long our day has been. I'm hoping to have my storage area cleared out enough by winter that I will be able to pull the car in and unload in a more protected area. Unloading in the snow, rain, or strong winds is no fun!


I start by backing up my car to the driveway as soon as I get home from sourcing, whether it be thrift store, retail arbitrage, garage sales, trip to my mom's- whenever my car is loaded with inventory. I line my driveway with empty banker's boxes that I store just inside the door for unloading days.
I also have some empty totes ready to go for Amazon inventory and a laundry basket for items for the house/family. I often combine sourcing days with grocery shopping, and I am always on the lookout for things for my family or one of our many projects (homeless bags, Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes, Awana prizes for our Church, School Donations, etc)

Then I start filling the banker's boxes as I unload the car. It doesn't matter what goes in the box, I just try to fill it up using all of the space. I continue filling boxes until the car is unloaded.
(I was using my extra Amazon totes for consignment inventory this week, so I only have one overflowing tote this time, not how I usually do it) 

Once all of the boxes are loaded I carry the boxes into my shop and place them on the first set of shelves for unlisted inventory.  If the item is too big to fit in a box, I use the top shelf of all of my storage shelves as oversize storage. If the item will freeze, melt, or otherwise be hurt by storage, I have a few shelves and drawers in my small ebay room that has heating and cooling for safer storage. Also, at this point the boxes stay unmarked (you'll see why in a later post)

boxes of various ebay inventory ready to carried inside to unlisted inventory area



Walkway to unlisted inventory shelving (left) hanging storage for ebay, etsy and kids consignment sales (right) 




unlisted ebay inventory 
 

(in the week since I took this picture, this whole section has been listed and moved to the listed inventory shelving, woohoo!)



oversize unlisted inventory
 


close up hanging storage ebay/etsy/kids consignment 






Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Dear Neighbor (a note from your sarcastic online seller)

A form letter for my selling friends- (You're welcome)

Dear _______________ (insert word of your choice) neighbor, friend, church member, family member:

Yes, I sell on Ebay.
No, I don't want to sell your stuff for you, I have my own stuff, and lots of it, thank you.(and it will actually sell for some money) 
Oh, you have bunches of very collectible ____________? (beanie babies, dolls, plates, As seen on TV items) 
Ummm, again, thanks, but no thanks.
Oh, you want me to teach you how to sell on ebay? (ie: list stuff for you for free and then give you all of the money)
I think they have lots of books at the library about that, or maybe you could look on youtube. There might be something there. 
Good luck with that.
Sincerely,
Your local ebay seller, who wishes just to be left alone to sell his/her own stuff. 





Monday, April 18, 2016

Things you (might) not know about me on my 38th birthday

Alright, I'm going to try my best to come up with 38 new things to post on my birthday this year. We'll see if I can do it. You can see my birthday post from last year here

1. I cannot stand for anyone to touch my belly button- which was tough when I was teaching and pregnant, as my inside out belly button was right at my students eye level. I finally figured out cotton make up remover pads and a little tape would cover it perfectly. 
2. I still have trouble reading a tape measure. I can do full inches, and 1/2 inches, after that it gets a little fuzzy. 
3. I didn't figure out how to tell time on an analog clock until I was in 8th grade
4. Math is not my thing (see 2 & 3)
5. Mornings always start with coffee- homemade iced mocha frappucino to be exact (even if it's cold)
6. Recently hubby and I have really been working on losing weight and eating healthier. I am down to one soda a week (cherry coke) when I go to town to run errands and source (just about my only treat) When things were really bad (depression) I was drinking 6-8 a day. ( I know so bad!) I have lost 30 pounds in the last 3 months, which is my half way goal. 
7. City or Country (country but not as country as where I live right now)
8. dog or cat- cat, but really I'd prefer a bunny- I used to have a classroom rabbit named Wilbur. He had the cutest floppy ears and calico design. Sadly, we only have a fish right now, hubby is allergic to everything else. 
9. Matching furniture vs mismatched furniture- I'd prefer mismatched- preferably all found free on the side of the road at different times
10. I don't eat anything spicy- at all- big red gum is too spicy for me- seriously
11. I don't like it when people pop bubble wrap
12. Sometimes I wonder why everyone in the whole world doesn't just quit their jobs and sell on Amazon and Ebay- I just love my job- I think it's the worlds best kept secret that I can sit in my recliner, in my pjs, watching netflix and drinking coffee while my children play around me and make a living- truly a miracle! 
12. I worry sometimes- ok- a lot- about how my hubby will be doing in a few years- if he will still be able to work and take care of himself- I am fearing that I am possibly seeing some early onset alzheimer's type symptoms starting to appear- which can be common with Traumatic Brain Injury- It's hard to realize that how you thought your life would be isn't how it's going to turn out.
13. I don't like craigslist- we live too far and it's too much work trying to meet people's schedules and then they don't show up
14. I haven't been thrift shopping in 4 months- I am having withdrawls, but I am being a good girl! 
15. I'd never held a baby or changed a diaper until my son was born. Other people's babies freak me out. mine on the other hand, I'll hold all day! 
16. The chore I hate the most- unloading the dishwasher
17. the chore I like the most- loading the washing machine
18. Since I've become a stay at home mom I've discovered that I really like to cook, it makes me happy to cook things from scratch for my family. This is from a person who cooked dry beans in the crockpot for 2 days trying to make something for my hubby, only to discover that you need to soak them overnight. Hubby still tells everyone about the time my beans broke his teeth! 
19. Beach or forest- beach, but I can never really afford to go there- so Forest is where I go the most
20. Favorite childhood book: There's a monster at the end of this book- with Grover
21. My children still use my little table and chair set my parent's got for me when I was a child, my daughter's baby dolls sleep in the wooden cradle my uncle made for me, I might hoard things, but we did use them later on.
22. I don't understand why people collect: spoons, thimbles, plates, Barbie Dolls
23. I think I might have a canning addiction. My hands are still orange from the 50 lbs of carrots I canned last week
24. My favorite thing to do from my childhood is roller skate-but we have no rinks where we live. 
25. I have broken one bone- in my arm- b/c my brother pushed me down the driveway of the local firehouse (we were there because my dad was a volunteer fireman for over 35 years and he was out on a call.  
26. favorite wild animal- monkey
27. dream car -12 person passenger van- I really tried to talk my hubby into it, but he said no. Even when I tried to tell him how much inventory I could fit into it!
28. Only class I ever flunked in school- Weight lifting (they made us take it) I weighed 80 pounds then and the bar alone was 45lbs, and he wanted me to bench press it with weights on it. That was more than half my weight! 
29. I've never been to Hawaii, it's my goal to get there soon!
30. Hubby and I will be married 10 years this summer- the day after my baby boy turns 7!
31. I liked my long hair, but I never could do cool pintrest things with it and it always just looked like a mess, so it's shoulder length now
32.I'm very excited that we might be getting some chickens soon!
33. Google Drive scares me- I can't ever tell what people see from my drive- somehow my stepdaughter was able to see my very huge pregnancy photos, I never wanted anyone to have to see those again! 
34. If my hubby didn't have his TBI and more children wouldn't be more stressful to him, I would totally adopt a couple more
35. I would really like to home school my children, but my hubby is really against it. 
36. most annoying thing- when people talk when you are trying to talk (or when people are talking to you and you are trying to listen- like church or a lecture)
37. if I could I would wear only moccasins, everyday, all occasions, all weather, all outfits 
38.If you would have told me 10 years ago that I would be a stay at home mom, selling on ebay/amazon, with three kids, a granddaughter, a hubby with a TBI and writing a blog about selling, I'd think you were crazy, but look, here I am! (and I'm glad)