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Get Prepared To File Your Taxes

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Even though Tax Day is the same every year, it seems like it sneaks up on me even though I try to be as organized as I can during the year with my receipts.  Running two business can make tax prep a little bit hectic.

There are a lot of ways to keep track of your business expenses through out the year and stay on top of your tax preparations.

The important thing isn’t what software or system you use, the important thing is that you do it.

I’ve created two Excel spreadsheets with multiple tabs on them.  One for piano expenses, one for eBay expenses.  I try to enter my receipts in at least twice a month.

I have a friend who’s husband is a CPA and he’s been a HUGE help to me with knowing what to keep track of and he even told me a few things to deduct that I didn’t know I should be deducting.  So, when in doubt, talk to your CPA.

Here are some ideas for you on what you can keep track of through out the year for your taxes:

  • Inventory
  • Tape
  • Bubble wrap
  • Boxes
  • Tissue paper
  • Poly Mailers
  • Bubble Mailers
  • Brown Paper
  • Mailing labels
  • Printer paper
  • Digital camera
  • Printer Ink
  • SD Memory Card
  • Office equipment purchased this year. (Postal scale, printer, computer, desk, etc)
  • Postage (I run a report at the end of the year on paypal)
  • Postage stamps
  • Mileage to the Post Office, Mileage to yardsales, thrift stores, etc (Make sure you have a mileage log)
  • Selling fees (eBay, Etsy, Addoway, Bonanza, Amazon, etc)
  • Paypal fees
  • Internet service
  • Portion of rent and utilities based on the percentage of your home that is used for business.

This list is not exhaustive, there are other business expenses that can be deducted based how you run your business.  Hopefully, this gives you a starting point of ideas to start your spread sheets and get a head start on next year’s tax prep.  The best source for an exhaustive list is your CPA.

Rachel

That’s What it’s All About

December 6, 2012 by The Selling Sisters  
Filed under Success!, Working At Home

This week, I was talking to a friend of mine who’s having severe pain in her knees.  Some of us were giving suggestions on some things she could try that are all natural to help reduce the pain.  She mentioned that one thing she knew of that would really help her is a new pair of shoes and that she was really hoping to get some Birkenstocks for herself, maybe for Christmas.

I know how much Birks cost and I know she lives on a tight budget and I knew that I had a pair of like new Birks in my store that for some reason have been sitting around without even so much as an offer from anyone.  I kept asking myself, “Why haven’t those sold yet?”  I asked her what size she wore and asked her to measure her foot from toe to heel when she was able to.

Later that night she messaged me with her measurements and I pulled out the Birks to measure them.  I measured the foot bed and got chills.  It was the exact same measurement she gave me.  I measured again just to be sure and it was an exact match.  I messaged her and told her that the measurements were the same and that she is more than welcome to have them if she’d like them.  When I sent her the picture of them, she said…………OH MY WORD.  Those are the EXACT Birks that I was saving for!

I immediately took them out of my store and I sent them out to her the next morning as an early Christmas gift.  Not only was she so excited to receive them, but I was excited to be able to send them to her.  Not just to meet the need of the shoes that she wanted, but hopefully they will help ease the pain her knees are having.

I love making sales, and I especially enjoy making the BIG sales.  I know that I have to earn a living, but in my opinion, if I know someone who has a need, and I can meet that need, a “God Bless You” or an “I’ll be praying for you” just doesn’t cut it.  I would actually feel guilty about selling the shoes to someone else when I know that my friend needs them and can’t afford to pay full price for them.  What kind of a friend would I be if I was more concerned about my pocket than taking care of my friend?

We’ve all heard “It’s more blessed to give than to receive” it’s a principle that I try to live by.  I don’t believe that being greedy and selfish is the way to go, even when running a business. Honestly, I was even more excited to be able to meet her need than I would have been if they had sold for $59.  I have faith that God will take care of my needs as I look for ways to help meet the needs of the people around me.

Rachel

This Week on eBay

October 29, 2012 by The Selling Sisters  
Filed under Amazon, Ebay, Motivation, Working At Home

It’s been a GREAT week on eBay for me :)  I’ve been busy finding all kinds of great items to restock my store.  Some of them are selling pretty quickly too, which is a huge encouragement to me.

This has been the first week since the move that I’ve had sales anywhere near where they used to be.  It took about three weeks of consistent listing after a six week listing break before my sales picked up.  I still have a way to go, but I’m thrilled to be headed in the right direction again.

I took a day and did a lot of revising in my store.  I added several categories to help customers find my items easier.  I also gave my store front a face lift.  The next few days after my revisions, I noticed that my sales were quite a bit higher than they were the previous week.

By Friday, I had listed everything that I had purchased during the week so I spent some time getting items listed on Amazon again. I’m excited to get this venue up and running again.

Twice this week I made sales on Bonanza.com :)  I haven’t made a sale on there in a couple of months, but I also haven’t been trying to get things going there right now, my main focus has been on eBay.

I’m working on auctioning off the inventory that my friend is storing and shipping for me so that I didn’t have to move it all with me.  That’s coming along quite nicely.  She’s been a huge help to me.

I’m focusing in right now on listing items that will be a quick sale so I can get my income back up to where I need it to be and then I plan on working toward stocking up my store again.  I’m nearly back up to 600, hopefully I can get it there this coming week.

Rachel

This Week on eBay

June 22, 2012 by The Selling Sisters  
Filed under Working At Home

I finally did it this week!

Not only did I get my store above 1,100 items in my inventory, but I also took a break from listing this Friday (which is usually my BIG listing day) and went and had a girls day.  It was tons of fun!  I feel like it’s important to do that once in awhile, especially if you’ve been working like crazy for weeks on  listing and shipping.

I haven’t had any Amazon sales in a couple of weeks, but I also haven’t done very much listing on Amazon.  I hope to be able to get more items posted there this summer.

My Bonanza sales are becoming more and more consistent.  Last week, I sold three items on the site, which has been very encouraging to say the least :)

I still haven’t done very much shopping for inventory this month, just a quick stop at a thrift store for 15 minutes here and there if I have time in between piano lessons.  I’m still finding items in my closet and in the garage that can get listed on eBay, and I really like making a profit on items without having to spend extra money :D

I’ve been trying to at least once a week ship everything  with as many recycled shipping materials as I possibly can. That’s a fun challenge for me, I’m not able to do it 100% of the time, but I’m finding that the more I focus on using recycled shipping materials, the more I find ways to use them, which helps cut down costs.

Hope you’re having a great week of sales!

Rachel

5 Ways to Increase Your On-line Sales in November

#1 Learn about a new product

You know the old saying “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got”

I think it’s a pretty true statement.  If you want something to change in your online business, you’re going to have to do something different than you’ve done before.  Sometimes, that means breaking into a new line of products.  Keep learning new brands, new types of products to sell, and don’t be scared to give it a try.  The sky’s the limit.

#2 Join an online selling forum

There are lots of great online selling forums out there, one of my faves is .  You can discuss everything about selling online (We talk about more than just eBay), bounce ideas off of each other, and get some new ideas.  If you’re not comfortable discussing, join anyway and read what other people are saying about selling online.

#3 Now is the time to list

I know that I talk about listing all the time, and sometimes I feel like a broken record, but right now is the time to get it listed.  If ever there was a time to take a break from listing, it’s not now.  During this time of the year, my items seem to sell just as fast as I can get them listed, so even if you have to put shopping on hold for now to list what you have waiting to be listed, go for it!

#4 If you have a premium store, automate emails and feedback

Here’s one of my favorite things about having a premium eBay store……I can automate feedback!

Every time a customer leaves a positive feedback for me, my store is set to randomly leave them one of five feedback statements that I’ve already chosen.  It’s a HUGE time saver for me, and is one less thing to think about.  You can also set your store to automatically send an email to customers when you ship out their item.   Love it, Love it, LOVE it!

#5 Increase your pricing

I know this might sound a little odd to some of you, but sometimes, if you don’t price your items high enough, they won’t sell.

If you can make a few more dollars per item, you’ll make more money and do less work.  Take a look at your inventory and consider increasing your pricing.  Sometimes an item marked $19.99 will sell better marked $21.99 or $24.99.

When I first started selling on eBay, yes my items sold, but they could have sold for a lot more money.  I felt like $14.99 or $19.99 was a lot to price an item at and I would price a lot of things at $9.99.  Now a few years older and wiser, my prices are much higher than $9.99, and instead of making a few hundred dollars of profit a month, I’m starting to make a few thousand dollars of profit a month.

Rachel


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