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! 

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!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

WSW: June 24th

What Sold Wednesday June 24th 

Number of Items Listed: 2343

Sales for the week: $587.00
Average price of items sold: $34.00

Number of Items Listed: 366
Sales for the week: $ 14.95
Cost of Items Sold: $ free, 2 booklets I found in a box of a game I was going to also sell, that I got from the free pile 

Sales for the week: 0

Number of Items Listed: 1166 (highest of the week )

Sales for the week: $ 216.84
Cost of Items Sold: $ 16.00

total sales for the week: 1323.68

* some numbers were rounded up to the nearest $

2 boxes to Amazon

Spent on inventory this week: 0.00  (Yay, no spending!)

Monday, June 22, 2015

Tip Tuesday: Summer Schedule for Online Seller with Young Kids

I see a lot of questions in my facebook groups and online about how to make selling online work when you have young children at home, especially in the summer. I currently have a just turned 6 year old and a 2 year old. I'll be honest and tell you, it's never easy for me to find the balance between work and family. I always feel like there is more work to do, that I need to list more, ship more. . .  the list goes on.  And at the same time that I should spend more time with my kiddos. But I try to do as much as I can while they are sleeping or playing independently, and I know that they still have more of my time and energy then they did when I was teaching. I love the flexible schedule, that I can be there when they need me to be and that I can still make money while we travel or go on vacation. (Thank you Amazon FBA!)

We've been on summer break for a few weeks and this is schedule that is currently working for us. I have it posted on a wall in our dining room. Having a visual reminder really helps my 6 year old have a better day because he knows what comes next (and doesn't ask me a million times!) The schedule has also made the interruptions during my work time less. They do better when they know they have a guaranteed amount of time with my full focus everyday, and are more successful at playing independently during my work time.

So, here's the schedule that's working for us right now. Hope it gives you some ideas that help you.

7:00 Mommy up, coffee, Flylady routines, pack packages that sold overnight and print labels
8:00 Kiddos up, dressed, breakfast, chores
8:30 "School Time" 2 yr old- letters, colors, shapes, name,
6 yr old- my son is pretty advanced for his age, so I try to expand on what he will be learning in first grade and keep him interested in learning. We read everyday and work on advanced phonics, sight words and comprehension, then each day we also have a different focus. Monday is writing, Tuesday is History/Geography (we're currently studying Pioneers and Oregon Trail and chose our vacation destination to visit some places connected to the Oregon Trail) Wednesday is Art, Thursday is Technology and Friday is Science
9:00-12:00  We head out to my Ebay room (outside in my metal shop building in my yard) depending on the day and the weather, my kiddos play outside in front of the shop where I can see them, or I work from their playground, or if it's too hot or raining, they play inside the shop, painting, playdough, etc on their little picnic table where it's shady.
During this time I pack FBA boxes, take photos, package, pack orders, etc, I do not create new listings during this time. (too many interruptions)
12:00- head inside for lunch for everyone
12:30- DEAR time (Drop everything and read) I read to them, they read independently and I try to read something for myself too!
1:00 nap time for baby girl, quiet boxes for little man, ebay/amazon listing time for Mommy, and chores, like laundry, mopping, dishes, etc. I also get dinner started if it's a crockpot night.
2:-2:30 journal/writing time for Little man
3:00 baby girl up, snacks for everyone
3:30  independent play, chores, tv time
4:00 get started/finish dinner, kids free play
5:00 Dinner
6:00-7:00 Family time
7:30 Kiddos to bed, Mommy chores, clean up, time with Daddy
9:00- Mommy work time- listing, blog writing, packaging Amazon boxes, etc
12-1:00 Mommy to bed
Yes- I know that I should go to bed earlier, and some nights I do, but for me, this is m best work time, I can get more done in these few hours, then I do most of the day, due to limited interruptions from my family and I get to watch the TV shows I want to watch!

This isn't our every day schedule, as we have "town" day to run errands, swimming lessons twice a week, playdates, etc. But when we are home for the day, this is our schedule.

What does your schedule look like, kids, no kids, older kids, full time job, part time job, full time seller, share it in the comments below!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

WSW: June 17th, 2015

Pillow Person Girl (I had this same one when I was a kid!) 
paid $3.99 (had one small light stain on the back) 
listed approx 2 months, sold for $99.00 plus shipping

Hello again, 

I think I am finally back in the groove of things and will be able to post more frequently! 
So here's a short recap of what I've been up to the last month. 

Yesterday my son turned 6 years old. (sob)
Today is my 9 year wedding anniversary! 
I am going to be a grandma (well, actually a Granny!) in January.
We are back from our family vacation, where we went to visit my stepdaughter, see some historic Oregon Trail sites (my son's request for his birthday- love that kid!) and source (let's just say the camper was a little full on the way home) 

and I have some big news to announce in a few weeks. Yay! 

My plan for the rest of this week is to package and ship the items I bought on our vacation to Amazon, I have some really good profit margins in there and I want to get them in before the price drops. The UPS man comes to my house on Friday for pick ups, so I had better get busy! I also am hoping to get at least 20 items listed on ebay, prepare for my son's birthday party on Saturday and spend a little date night time with my hubby. 

My sales look pretty pathetic this week because I put everything on vacation mode except for FBA. I wasn't sure about internet connection where we were going (it was awful!) so I didn't want to keep my ebay store open and take the chance of someone being mad about the extended shipping time. 

Number of Items Listed: 2308 

Sales for the week: $ 91.81 
Average price of items sold: 22.95

Number of Items Listed: 320
Sales for the week: $ 0.00
Cost of Items Sold: $ 0.00

Sales for the week: 0

Number of Items Listed: 1150 (highest of the week )

number of items sold: 19 
Sales for the week: $ 342.70
Cost of the items sold: $18.00

* some numbers were rounded up to the nearest $

1 box (25 items) to Amazon

Spent on inventory this week: 350.00 on retail arbitrage for Amazon

Play Nice, Play Safe, Play Fair

Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they are going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness, and understanding, you can muster, and do it without any thought of reward.-Og Mandino

When I was a kindergarten teacher I would send my kids out to every recess with this, "Play nice, play safe, play fair."

I have to be honest when I tell you that I felt like saying this to some adults a few weeks ago.

I was checking my facebook groups one Sunday afternoon, when I came across a picture that looked really familiar.  After I clicked the link to make sure that it was in fact my Amazon listing, I scrolled down the over 50+ comments following my picture, and I felt this cold rush of fear and embarrassment wash over me.

The group is one that I joined after taking a class I paid for. It is an extension of the class and was created to allow other people who had taken the class to exchange ideas in a safe and helpful environment. I tried to stay calm and posted a comment about the fact that I was the one who had the listing, thinking that would make the commenters put a face to the listing and stop the bashing. To my dismay the mean comments kept coming about how I should be able to accept constructive criticism- to which I replied I was happy to, when I asked for it. The moderator was awesome and deleted the post minutes after I messaged her about it.

But I'll be honest, it was a really hard day for me. I've alluded to it before and those of you who have been following my blog know the backstory to what has been going on in my life for the last two years. If you read my 37th birthday post you know that I have been recently diagnosed with situational depression. It has been a hard two years, starting with the problems I had while pregnant with my little girl, which made it impossible for me to walk the last 6 months of my pregnancy without a walker.

Then there was the birth of my daughter and my complications afterwards that left me within 5 minutes or less of dying, and needing 4 pints of blood  and a year to recover from. Then two weeks later the call from my job, that said I had to change to teaching 3rd grade. Then my heartbreaking decision to  resign from that job and look for a new job. During that time my 3 month old baby girl also got very sick and started losing weight, f or 3 months we didn't know what was wrong with her, or how to get her to stop losing weight. Then my new job at a Title 1 school that wasn't at all what I expected. Then other family matters all that ended up with me sitting in my doctor's office crying uncontrollably in February of this year. It's been a hard few years, and looking at the picture of that listing I created during the time that my little girl was so sick, it just really felt like the whole world came crashing down around me. The pictures that they were so freely bashing, were the best that I could do in the few minutes I had between feedings, and weigh checks and doctor's appointments.

I'm sorry for rambling on so much, but the point of my post is this. When you are out in the land of online sellers and customers, please understand that there is a person behind that crazy listing, horrible picture or annoying question. A person with feelings, who may be going through a difficult time. If someone asks for your help, then offer it, otherwise, please-

 play nice, play safe, play fair

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Ramblings from an online seller. . .

Sorry to be MIA for the past week or so. I've had a lot on my plate with the end of school activities with my son, some unexpected news from my stepdaughter and I had the flu for a few days. So, here's a quick jumbled post and a promise that I'll post my numbers and another post I have percolating in my head right now soon.

First of all, the good stuff-
Hubby and I have talked numbers and it's official that I will be a stay/work at home mom for another year! So excited (now that I am finally getting a feel for the whole stay at home schedule) and relieved not to be trying to do job interviews right now!

What I've been working on:
cleaning/organizing my ebay room outside in my metal shop building. I found about 20 banker boxes of unlisted inventory in there that I will be working on this week and next. If I can get photos taken of it all, then it's about a weeks worth of listing for me. I was sad to discover that about half of those boxes are items that were listed on ebay, but the listings have disappeared. What a waste of time!

Hubby is going to install a heater and insulation for me in half of the shop so we can work out there this winter. It's going to involve a lot of organizing and rearranging, but will be so worth it when it's all clean and set up to store inventory and pack amazon shipments more efficiently.
It's going to be a challenge working on it with the kiddos to watch too, but it'll get done. I'll post more pictures soon.

Sales on Amazon have been steady and pretty good, especially for this time of the year. Ebay continues to be slow, but I haven't been listing a lot either. Just doesn't seem to be enough time in the day!

Social pig for etsy continues to be working out great. I only scheduled 3 items to be posted, and all 3 of them sold, the last one this morning, which was a $50 item.

Talk to you soon!