Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Tip Tuesday: Don't buy more than you can list

Feeling a little bit of the hoarding side of online selling this week.

I am still working on clearing out my work space in preparation for my hubby to help out more as his seasonal work winds down a bit.
I can work in small spaces with no flat surface areas, I don't enjoy it, but I can make it work. My hubby will be very frustrated and distracted by that, so I am working on it clearing out a space for him to work.  And also figuring out things he can do to help me, as he won't do anything on the computer. My plan is for him to take photos for ebay and pack amazon boxes after I have everything listed, bagged and labeled. Possibly also pulling and packing ebay orders, I will still have to print the labels for him.

I currently have about 40 banker boxes of unlisted ebay inventory and a pallet of unlisted Amazon inventory. I know that 40 sounds like a lot, but I can list about 10 a week, (around 100 items) so I really only have a dedicated month's worth of unlisted inventory that's been sorted into boxes. There will be more as I go thru the piles.

I downsized a lot of my old crafting supplies, including about 10 hollow core doors, 2 old screen doors, and 10-15 windows (they were very heavy and from the 60's, and the panes were long and narrow, I couldn't really figure out what I would do with them, so in the donate trailer they went.

I feel overwhelmed right now with how much I have to do as both a mom and an online seller. I feel held back in my business sometimes by family schedules and kids needs, but also want to spend the summer with my kiddos and enjoy them while I can. Finding a balance is sometimes really hard to do. I would love to work non stop in my shop and get everything organized and listed. I know it really wouldn't take that long to do if I could do it uninterrupted. But, it just doesn't work that way right now. The kiddos and I were having a pretty rough day last week. I was so frustrated that I timed how long I actually got any work done before they were interrupting me. It was 2.5 minutes. NO wonder I feel like I am going crazy sometimes!

We have a few more weeks left until my son starts back to school. It's actually easier with just the 2 year old, because she will play by herself for an hour or more as long as I am in the room. When they are together they fight and argue and come up with more ways to annoy each other.

I will miss spending everyday with them, but I also know that I need to make the majority of our money for the next year in these next few months. So I need to get to it and get it done, however I can!





Sunday, July 26, 2015

Annoyed

Ugh, for two whole days I was in sight of having my TRS status back!  After a year and a half I was at 1.97%.  Then last night I got a newbie who got me an undeserved defect. She swears it's a gold color, but I listed it as stainless steel and no where do I say it's gold.   I swear, people, can you read the description, please !?! I've already tried to call ebay who won't remove the defect. I will try calling again tomorrow while the kiddos nap.
So for now, I'm back at 2.09% defect rate and if all things go well, I won't get my TRS back until September, when I should loose 4 defects.

Ok, now back to listing!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Tip Tuesday: Set Listing Goals

I am beginning to be a big believer in setting goals.
It helps keep me on track and gets me motivated on the days when I don't feel like listing or shipping to Amazon.
Some people like money goals, some people like sales goals, I prefer listing goals. I have control over how much I list.

My goal for August is to have 2,000 items in my ebay store.
I am currently at 1200.
I counted out the days and figured that I need to list 14 items a day to reach that goal, without any sales, so my goal is to list 20 items a day.
I make sure that I take enough pictures that I can reach that goal without being interrupted and I keep track of my listings daily- I give myself no excuses, no matter what I have to list that many that day.

In my experience I sell about 10% of the dollar amount I have listed in my store each month. Which means to make the amount I need to after fees I need to get my dollar amount of items I have listed up.

I'll check back at the end of the month and update you on my progress.

What are your listing goals? Are you able to meet them? What keeps you motivated?


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

WSW: July 8th 2014

What Sold Wednesday July 8th 2014 edition 

We went camping for a long weekend again, so I choose to close down my ebay and etsy stores so I wouldn't have any issues with shipping. There was almost no internet or cell phone connections where we went so I didn't feel comfortable leaving my stores open and not being able to answer emails or questions. I would love to leave the store open for some extra sales, but I am so close to getting my TRS status back and I don't want to take any chances.




Amazon:
Number of Items Listed: 2282

Sales for the week: $ 258.90
Average price of items sold: 18.49

Etsy:
Number of Items Listed: 377
Sales for the week: $ 19.95
Cost of Items Sold: $ .99

Bonanza:
Sales for the week: 0


Ebay
Number of Items Listed: 2000 (highest of the week )

number of items sold: 7
Sales for the week: $ 112.91
Cost of the items sold: $12.00

* some numbers were rounded up to the nearest $

0 boxes to Amazon- I left them for the UPS man to get while we were gone, but he didn't pick them up! 

Spent on inventory this week: $400.00- all on toys for Quarter 4. Purchased at an out of the way grocery store where we go camping. They have toys I have never seen before and had them marked down half price so I stocked up.  I should make roughly 2,800 on my $400 investment if everything sells for what I am thinking and before fees. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Quarter 4: T minus 86 days



Quarter 4 is quickly approaching. This is when most sellers make the bulk of their money for the year. Last year was my first year preparing for fourth quarter as a full time ebay seller. I shipped in more inventory to Amazon FBA than I ever had before and my ebay store inventory was at an all time high, but even with all of that, I was grossly under-prepared! I sold more from October -January than I did the rest of the year combined, and I could have sold more, if it had been listed and sitting in the Amazon warehouse. So, this year I am gearing up and I hope to double my sales from last year.

So, here's my plan
Amazon FBA:
August 1st- resume 2x weekly pick up from UPS- which means I'll be sending in 12+ boxes a week instead of the 4-6 I am now
Get backlog of Amazon inventory listed and sent in, including Halloween costumes, some bundles that are half way in progress and new listings made for some items that aren't in the Amazon catalog.

From now until January, only purchase items that are quick to list and ship- which for me means no used appliances that need cleaning, open puzzles that need counting, etc. I have a hard time passing up things I know will sell for a good profit but require work to get them ready to sell. There is no time for that in the 4th quarter.

I also am guilty of purchasing one or two items with a higher profit margin in lieu of lower profit margins with higher quantities. I am going to experiment with a few items that I can buy a lot of, but that have a lesser profit margin.


Ebay:
I would like to be at 2000 items in my Ebay store by September 1st, which means, without any sales I would need to list at least 14 items a day to reach my goal. I'm going to try for 15+ a day, to help cover for sales and days that I can't list. I don't know if I will really be able to get to this goal, but I'm going to go for it!
I also plan on having 3-4 days of only taking photos so I can get a big backlog built up so taking photos won't get in the way of listing. I list at night while watching TV with my hubby, and during my kiddos nap time, so I would like to be ready to list when I have the time. I have plenty of inventory backlog for ebay that I can easily reach this goal and not have to buy anything else. (Didn't promise I wouldn't buy anything, just said I wouldn't have too!)
I'm going to start by listing my teacher stuff, then move on to Halloween and Christmas, with most of it hopefully listed by Mid September.

Order Shipping Supplies by end of August:
tape, boxes, international label holders, shipping labels, packing peanuts

Family Prep for Quarter 4:
I already have most of my son's school supplies//clothing purchased and ready to go for back to school. When my son goes back to school (I think around August 20th?) I'm going to start having cooking days where I cook or prepare freezer meals for a month at a time, so I can can just reheat or put into the crockpot to cook while I work for the day. I also plan on packing/making lunches each night so I can just grab them and eat (or feed them to the kiddos) so I can get an extra 30 minutes of work time in each day. It saves a lot of time and money, because it will help me use up what we have and make the temptation for eating out less.

What's your plan for Quarter 4? Please share in the comments, I'd love to hear what you're doing to make it awesome!



Monday, June 29, 2015

It's a Make It Happen Monday



It's Monday and I need some motivation to make the magic happen.

I am suffering from a bad ear infection that started last week after I went to swimming lessons with my daughter. 

The weather has been 100+ all last week and it looks like the trend will continue this week. 

And my internet service has been dismal at best. We had the guy out last week to look at it and the news is not good. He said that the tower in a nearby town is over it's limit and needs to be replaced, which the company is not wanting to do and he doesn't know when it will happen. What it means for us is that every night from 6-12 our Amazon Fire TV buffers more than it plays. It's pretty much either I get to list on the computer or my family gets to watch some TV, not both. I spent all of last week trying to find something else that will work, and I'm not finding anything. The only other option where we live has a data limit that we would max out in about 5 day of use and have to pay extra for the rest of the month and is 3x the price of what we pay now. So frustrating! 

So, I got up early this morning (5am) and got some listing done before the kiddos get up. 
My goal for today is list 10 things on ebay (and I think I'm going to need to also take some pictures to be able to do that) listed 5 things, didn't get any pictures taken
Pack 1 Amazon box - done 
2 loads of laundry- done
pack packages get into the mailbox before 11:00, when my USPS person comes by done
get dinner in the crockpot and catch up on some household chores done

Not feeling it today, but I'll check back in and let you know how things are progressing. I hope that your mountain of sales form the weekend has you motivated to make it happen today! 

Happy Monday! 

Update:
I got some of my list done. I started feeling really bad this afternoon, so I called the Dr. and have an appointment tomorrow. The natural route just isn't cutting it this time. My son started swimming lessons tonight so I took some Tylenol and powered on. The pool is right across from a really good thrift store, which I hit up to look for some affordable maternity clothes for my stepdaughter. Sadly, I gave all of mine away or sold them last year! I found about 10 things for her that I think will work and I also found something that will pay for my whole $100 trip, which I will share on Wednesday!