Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Hello? Hello? Is anyone there?

Sales have been bad the past week. It's hard to stay motivated to keep listing. Hard to believe that I can succeed. It feels like I don't exist. I know other sellers go through these peaks and valleys too. This is supposed to be the busy season! 

Fall is here too. I think that adds to my malaise. Days are shorter. Colder. Everything is dying. Forcast.....Overcast. Cloudy. Blah. Not good for picture taking either. Today I'm going to focus on tweaking listings and listing some books, video and patterns. Those I can scan which doesn't depend on the light.

How do you keep yourself going through the slow times?

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Donjo Sea Turtle Sculpture

I had an interesting find this week from the Salvation Army. This is a signed sea turtle sculpture by the artist Donjo. On his website http://www.donjo.net/ there is an interesting film describing the process that he uses in his sculptures (all marine life) and how he became a sculptor. I've never found or sold a piece of sculpture before. It's interesting to research a new type of item. You find out things that you never knew. I think it's cool that you can feel where the artist put his fingers when he formed the elements. You can put your own fingers there. It is sort of weird. In other news ebay is offering 100,000 fixed price listing the rest of the month. I need to get off my butt and take advantage of them because I was going to go over my free listing limit for my store size this month. Now I don't have to. This sculpture is listed here

SOLD for $125 plus it shipped international.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Walking Egg Cups - My Most Adorable Find This Month

I got these vintage egg cups for a measly $1.54. They were stuffed in a ziplock baggie behind some other things at the Salvation Army. I was surprised they weren't chipped seeing how they were stuffed carelessly in the bag. When you think of the pains we go to to ship delicate things it amazes me that those same things survive the treatment getting to and out of the store! With no further ado feast your eyes on their adorableness.

They have no makers marks. They look like Carlton Walking Ware but I think they aren't because it seems like all of the Carlton is marked. I had never heard of or seen the Carlton Walking Ware until I was researching my find. It is an adorable line of items introduced in the 70s.  Check out the listed on ebay.

I'm going to sell them singly. I think I can get more for them that way. I'd like to keep them for myself because they are so cute but I'll just enjoy them while I have them for sale.

Have you ever seen Walking Ware or unbranded pieces like mine? I'll definitely be keeping my eyes open for more whether it is the Carlton brand or no name.

Edited to add: I discovered upon closer inspection that one was broken and glued so I listed the three that were in excellent condition separately. 

SOLD for $42.60
I will miss them. They are so adorable. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Ebay's New Collections Feature

Ebay has added some new features recently. One that I'm wasting too much time on utilizing is the 'Collections' feature. It is similar to a Pinterest Board but you can only pin items from eBay. I've started a few collections. What I do is feature an item or two from my own store and then I add items from all over ebay to complete the theme of the collection. Below is a pic of one of my collections entitled Retro Pad. The latch hook wall hanging and bowls are from my store and other items are from around ebay. This is only part of that collection. See all of my collections here. If you follow a collection you get to see what items a person adds to their collections. If you follow the person you can see what new collections they start. I don't know if creating collections will help sell things or not. I've read opinions around the web on both sides, yea and nay. My thoughts are, it can't hurt (unless I waste too much time on them) and I figure if ebay wants to go that direction than maybe my participation will garner me a few gold stars. With ebay's mysterious system of who is in the black hole and who isn't I need all the help I can get. What about you? Are you creating collections? Do you look at other people's collections? Do you think ebay cares if you participate or not? I'd love for one of my collections to make it to ebay's featured Trending Collections. These collections show up right on the front ebay page....I'm not sure how you get there whether it's popularity or some ebay employee cherry picking the collections they think are cool. Either way it's a goal that would be cool to attain but for now I will forget about Collections and get back to the important daily goal. LIST and SELL!! List and Sell.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Sales This Week and Door Colors

I had a spate of good sales last weekend which trickled down to just a couple this weekend. The good sales happened when I had a 'blue door' and the trickle when my door was red. If you haven't heard of or noticed your store door changing colors I can tell you that mine has been going from red to blue and back and forth for a couple of weeks now. There are other people talking about it on the boards. I heard that ebay said it's nothing. I have a hard time believing ebay would do something for no reason at all......a really hard time. So how about you? Have you noticed your door changing colors? Do you have any theories for why? I'll be watching my door a little more carefully now to see if I notice a change in sales when my door changes.

Here are a couple of my sales from the week. This first is a cute little Tommy Hilfiger snowsuit I bought at the thrift for $3. It sold for $23 to Lativia! I have read that snowsuits are a good seller so I've been keeping my eye out for nice ones. This is the first one I'd bought or sold. I think I did pretty well on it and it only took a couple of weeks to sell.

I also sold this vintage Rainbow Brite doll in one listing

and this set of small Rainbow Brite dolls in another listing.

Both sales within a few days of each other......weird. I paid just a couple of bucks for the pair of dolls and less for the large doll. The set sold for $28 and the large doll sold for $40 with free shipping. I'll be looking for more of these! Nice sales.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Helpful Resources for Resellers

In the last three years of serious selling I've learned a lot. I didn't know how much I didn't know in the beginning. My sources of knowledge in the beginning were mainly a few reseller blogs I followed (see some of those on the sidebar) and reading the discussion boards on ebay. Reseller blogs are a wealth of knowledge. From ideas on what sells to advice on the ins and outs of selling. Some people even do Youtube videos and podcasts helping other ebayers along. The discussion boards on ebay have their good points and bad. You tend to see a lot of ebay bashing on the boards. You can still get helpful advice there if you have a specific question because there are a lot of experts on the ebay boards.

My best source of knowledge has been a discussion board called Ebay Underground. It's not a really busy board but you could spend weeks just going through the old threads and learning very valuable stuff. If you don't belong to such a group you are missing out on a good source of information.

Ebay Underground can be found at http://ebug.proboards.com/. You do have to register in order to view the board.

I also highly recommend the podcasts on Ebay Scavengers. They are each about 20 minutes in length. They are informative and great to listen to as you are doing your shipping or picture taking. No registration required.

If you are a newish seller I highly recommend using blogs and discussion boards to gain knowledge and answer your questions.

Do you have any other good sources of information? If so leave a comment and tell me where you learn! I'm always on the lookout for more. 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

How a Reseller is Born

From childhood on I always had an eye for weathered things. I don’t know where that eye came from because noone else in my family shared it. It wasn’t probably until I could drive that I first set foot in an actuall thrift store. I subscribed to Country Living magazine as a teen because I loved to look at all the old rusty d├ęcor. One of my first jobs out of high school was working at a thrift store in the sorting area. There I was able to really start buying as well. I worked there for about a year and moved on to other pursuits in life, going to college and getting a job with benefits but still I was drawn to the offbeat. I always had some sort of weirdness in my cubicle and at that time learned to shop on ebay. I decorated my first apartments with hand me downs and thrift store finds. I didn’t have much use for new even if I could afford it. I loved the idea of hunting for treasures. Fast forward several years. I continued to buy on ebay and sold a few things here and there mostly books I’d read. Then I discovered blogs. Some of the blogs I read focused on upcycling, living a thrifty life and one in particular introduced me to the concepts of reselling as a living. At the time my job was in jeopardy and the idea of reselling for a living was so much more appealing than going back to work for someone else. This was three years ago and I’ve been reselling this whole time. I’m not yet where I need to be to totally support my lifestyle through reselling but I’m still trying and I love it. It’s not just a way to put bread on the table. I like the idea of being kind to the earth by reusing items instead of sending them to overflowing landfills. It fits right in with my ideals. I also dislike the consumerist/materialistic society that we’ve become. Reusing things makes me feel I’m doing my part to go against that tide and I love that there are so many others out there, evident by their blogs, that are pursuing the same ideals.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Getting a Handle on the Piles

My goal right now is to get a handle on my inventory and reorganize my workspace which means I've put a stop on shopping for new inventory for about the last month. I've slipped up a couple of times but even then kept it to small items or smalls as they are called in the biz. I've done way to much buying the past three years. In those three years I've learned a lot! and now I want to change up my inventory but I've still got old inventory to list. Part of me wants to just get rid of it all but that would be so wasteful money-wise. I'm really starting to see a difference. More floor to walk on..less piles...space on my shelves. I'll get there but it's slow and I so want to shop!! I did make a stop at Goodwill the other day and left with nothing. That is a very rare event.

I picture a workspace all organized and easy to walk through. No piles that fall over if I accidentally brush up against them. All my tools in one area. Packing table clean. Desk with space on it for more than my laptop. And no overflow into the next room. Sounds wonderful doesn't it? So that's my goal each day. I'm especially motivated this week because I have a family member coming to stay overnight next week. People who don't resell don't get the mess....

I'm trying to put together creative 'lots' of things to move some items that have been around too long.So here is one of the lots I created. I had all of these items listed separately for a while and they weren't selling. I'm hoping I can sell them all in one sale.


Well back to work. Blogging can be a way of avoiding the mess too! 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Photo Editing with Clipping Magic

Another reseller turned me on to this photo editing tool called Clipping Magic.

I don't have the neatest work area or best setup for taking photos. Sometimes things show up in the background that don't belong there or my white backdrop looks gray....do you ever have this problem? In the past I've tried to find an easy free way to edit the background in my ebay photos. Well I can finally say I found one.

Clipping Magic is free and easy. It did take a little trial and error until I became comfortable with it but now that I am I love it. Let me show you a photo I did yesterday. This is my before photo. A large lot of video tapes. I wanted a solid background but the poster board I use just wasn't big enough...I didn't want to have to take multiple photos which would take more time..more photos to edit..So I uploaded this photo to Clipping Magic and in about 60 seconds......scroll down

I had this! Do you see how nicely it did the very uneven edge of the left stack?

So this is my new go to tool when I need to edit a background. I still use my other photo editing software to crop, lighten etc. I hope you try it out if you're in need of such a tool.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

First Post

So this is my first blog post.

I’m starting a reselling blog basically to help market my ebay store Third Hand Shoppe and give myself a little more presence on the www.

Also I love reading reselling blogs myself and I wonder if I could create a successful blog that others would find helpful and love to read.  So bear with me while I get my toes wet sticking my feet in the blogging pond. My goal is to blog every day because I myself LOVE a prolific blog.

My eBay store name is Third Hand Shoppe