This week on eBay has been interesting as always.
I’ve sold items internationally for the 10 years that I’ve been selling on eBay, but recently it seems like I’m getting more and more international sales. I’m not exactly sure what the increase is due to, but I take any sale that comes my way.
For some reason, I went a few days this week without any sales. No sales, no offers, no questions. That’s something that hasn’t happened to me in almost 8 years of selling online. It can be discouraging, but I try to keep myself focused. I try to use slower times as an opportunity for uninterrupted listing, revising and marketing.
My Amazon sales are increasing, so that’s always encouraging. I haven’t made it “big” on Amazon yet, but I keep experimenting and learning more about what sells best there.
I’m busy getting my store stocked up for Christmas. I’m keeping my eyes open for toys and gift items and trying to snatch them up and get them listed right away.
I hope your week has been great!
A few weeks ago, Lizzie and I went to a new thrift store outlet that opened in our area. I had been to similar thrift store outlets in the Seattle area and I didn’t really like my experience there, so I was skeptical. The outlet I had been to previously was very dirty and a huge jumble. It was very frustrating. I spent about 15 minutes there and had to leave. I felt grimy, the place was crowded and everything was a huge mess.
I walked into this outlet and really enjoyed my experience there. It’s a new outlet, so the building is clean and didn’t have a smell. Things were semi-organized, so the bins of books were all books, they weren’t mixed with other items. There were bins of toys, bins of glassware, bins of shoes, bins of clothes, bins of bedspreads, curtains, etc. So even though there was a lot of sorting through things, it was a lot more organized than the outlet I had been to previously.
I walked out of there with three very large bags of items, most of it was for listing on eBay, and my total was $10.91. I was pleased.
This week during Spring Break, we went back and I felt like I found a lot more to resell this time. I know that it’s really hit and miss depending on what they have when you go, but based on my last two visits, I’m positive I’ll be back.
It took me about an hour and a half to get through all of the bins, I didn’t look at every single thing, but I felt like I found enough that I was happy leaving with what I found.
I started to notice toward the end of 2013 that a pretty good amount of items that I listed in my store sold right away.
I decided in 2013 to make a list of the items that sold within the same month that I listed them.
23 items that I listed in January sold the same month.
Here they are for you in no particular order:
Chicos Spa Sweatshirt
Miche Closet Organizer (2x)
North Face Winter Gloves
Mini Boden Kids Top
Boden Women’s Top
Juicy Couture Shirt
Blues Clues Plush
Purple Floral Converse
American Girl Pet Set (x3)
3.5″ Floppy Disks
Anac Design Top
Kohl’s Cares Rabbit
I’ll be tracking this each month in 2013 so that I can see how much of my investment each month earns me a profit within the same month.
As a seller, one of the things I love more than anything is making a nice profit on my items.
That’s the name of the game. Buy low, sell high. Right? Of course, the faster, the better!
While my goal is to make a living and to make the highest amount of profit I can off of each item I sell, sometimes I fall short of the goal. I would say that I am able to make a high profit most of the time but high profit margins aren’t always the case.
There are times that I make a bad investment, and it comes back to haunt me.
An item that I’m SURE will be a good seller ends up sitting on my shelf for months on end. There’s even the really bad investment where not only does an item sit around too long, but I end up either breaking even or worse.
Yes, I admit that there are times that I lose money on an investment. I try not to make a habit of it, but I’ll be honest. It has happened to me a few times.
Here are some things that weren’t a good investment for me:
*DVD’s from the Dollar Tree. Even though I thought they were good movies, they sat there and I could hardly give them away.
* American Girl slippers for girls. I thought these were super cute, but it took me three years to get rid of them and I ended up losing money on them.
* Sports stadium banks from Avon. I purchased several of these at a great price on clearance from AVON, but they sat in my store a long time plus I didn’t make very much profit off of them.
* Antiques. I started off on eBay listing antiques and while antiques are a good niche for some people, apparently they aren’t for me.
I’m sure there were others in the past 7+ years. Sometimes a bad investment can be a good thing as a seller. No one wants to lose money on an investment, but bad investments help us learn what our buyers want and don’t want. Bad investments help us think twice before spending money on anything and everything.
Don’t be upset with yourself if you’ve made a bad investment recently or in the past. Analyze it and use it as a learning tool to improve what you invest in in the future.
I was a little bit nervous heading into the 2012 Christmas online buying season for a few reasons:
#1 I liquidated about 2/3 of my inventory this summer before my move, so my inventory went from 1,200 items to 400. I was able to get it as high as 680 items before the Christmas selling season started.
#2 Usually I’m able to spend the entire summer listing and building up my store for Christmas. This year, I did the opposite and didn’t feel like I was very well stocked up for the season.
#3 I didn’t have a lot of toys listed this year and toys are usually my big seller during the Christmas season.
Here was my game plan:
Find items that were the lowest investment with the highest profit and the quickest turn around.
I hate to tell you this, but that’s a whole lot easier said than done.
Believe me, I put a lot of thought into how to pull it off so that my sales were at least comparable to where they were last Christmas shopping season despite the fact that I had a whole lot less inventory available.
Here’s what I did:
I tried to keep a balance in my inventory purchases between items that were a good long term investment to work on stocking my store up and items that would be a quick turn around to create some quick sales.
I was surprised that I actually sold a lot of sweaters and clothes during this year’s Christmas shopping season. Cashmere always does well for me, so I don’t hesitate to purchase it for inventory. I also did well with “Nordic” style sweaters. Not necessarily a certain brand, but the ones with the snowflakes and silver pretty buttons.
Long, stylish jean skirts and corduroy skirts are consistent sellers for me during this time of year typically, so I worked on stocking those in my store when I could find them.
I was shopping in thrift stores that were new to me, and even though I was exploring a lot and trying to find my new “favorite” thrift stores, I had a horrible time finding thrift stores that had a large supply of plush animals. I did my best in that area, but most of the thrift stores here just have one bin of plush toys at any given time, so that was slim pickings.
One of the things I did was take a little bit more risk on items that I hadn’t tried selling in the past.
Here are some of the new things I sold:
* Candy Corn Oreos (Sold over 40 packs of them)
* Altoids mints
* Sealed Floppy Disks
* Sealed blank cassette tapes
* Sealed blank VHS compact camcorder tapes
During the Christmas shopping season, I used markdown manager to strategically create 10% & 15% off sales during the week (I excluded weekends) to encourage customers to buy, and I also put some of my older inventory (that a friend of mine kept for me when I moved) on auction to get it moved out.
I believe that where there’s a will, there’s a way. Sometimes you just have to take a risk to find the way