Friday, August 28, 2015

My heart is broken. . .prayers desperately needed.

I warn you in advance this is not a post about reselling or thrifting or making money. But it is a post about being a mother who loves your children and wants to see them grow up. It's a post that reminds me why I wanted to sell online in the first place- to spend more time with my children while I can.

A dear friend of mine was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer this week. She is in her mid thirties and has 4 children, ages 7 - one month old. Her husband is a pastor and she is an awesome stay at home mom. We became friends my first year of teaching. She mentored many young teachers and students the years that she was there.  She was the one that could cheer you up after a difficult meeting,and  was so encouraging to me during those difficult first years of teaching. She is truly a light for Jesus in our community and beyond. We are a community in shock and disbelief right now. The prognosis from the Doctors is not a good one. But I believe God has a plan for her. I believe that God can heal her and I am praying for a miracle for her and for her family. I don't usually ask this, but would you, dear readers, please pray for her also? We are in desperate need of a miraculous healing for her.  

Melissa

Friday, August 21, 2015

What Sold Wednesday: August 19th, 2015

Our busy summer is finally winding down. My son started 1st grade today so now it's just me and the two year at home most of the day. I'm ready to hit the ground running and get some much needed inventory listed for the Christmas Rush. I'll post more next week about our new fall schedule, but for now, onto the sales for the week.

Amazon:
Number of Items Listed: 2225

Sales for the week: $ 392.04
Average price of items sold: 17.00

Etsy:
Number of Items Listed: 388
Sales for the week: $ 64.00
Average price of items sold $21.33
Cost of Items Sold: $ 4.25

Bonanza:
Sales for the week: 0


Ebay
Number of Items Listed: 1300 (highest of the week )

number of items sold: 5
Sales for the week: $ 117.00
Cost of the items sold: $10.00

* some numbers were rounded up to the nearest $

2 boxes to Amazon-total of 73 items

Spent on inventory this week: 0.00- shopping from the piles of stuff to be listed is almost as much fun as shopping at the store! 

goals for next week:
100 new items to Amazon (at least) 
1400 items listed on Ebay
one corner of my shop cleaned and organized so I can put up more shelves to store all of the inventory I have listed 
keep living room, kitchen and dining room cleaned up as they are now, and start decluttering our bedroom 15 minutes twice daily, which I should be able to get done by the end of week. 



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!