Sunday, February 23, 2014

My Best Sales This Week

Sales were dismal this week. I had only one sale that I can really call 'best'. The rest, few as they were, were just low dollar book sales. It was pretty disheartening. On the other hand I reached my highest ever listed inventory of 597. Will reach 600 today. Reaching my highest inventory number was part of why my sales week was depressing. It felt like I was doing it all for nothing. Sales this week were barely $100! 

I've been concentrating on working through my backlog of books inventory. These are mostly low dollar listings for single books or creating lots of books. I did list three large lots this week. My plan is to keep working through old inventory and then to start buying new inventory that has a higher return. Maybe I should just donate all of this backlog and move on right away instead of wasting my time on feels like throwing money away though if I donate it. Money I spent on the inventory. But on the other hand I'm throwing my time away on listing items I know aren't going to bring in much money. What would you do?

So back to my sales for the week. My best sale was this set of Salt and Pepper shakers. Paid $2 and sold for $28 with free shipping. They are made by artist Karen Donleavy

My other sales were all books or patterns. The two best were these. 

$12 plus shipping

$9.49 plus shipping

I'm hoping for better sales this week. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Selling Children's Book Lots

I'm clearing out my backlog of book inventory so I've been putting together some children's books lots. I thought I'd write a post describing the process in case any of you are interested in getting in to it. I used to travel a lot to visit family and went through a couple of towns that had thrifts with good book deals. At one you could fill a paper grocery bag for $5 and the other priced their children's books between 10 and 25 cents. I'd pick through and buy all the children's books in good condition or interesting vintage ones as well. For the price I couldn't go wrong. I would rarely spend more than a quarter on a book.

What I do next is separate the books into age groups. To determine the age group I looked most of them up on Barnes and Nobles website under the product information. For some reason Amazon doesn't often have that information. After handling children's books for a while you'll be able to tell what age group it is just by the thickness, size of text and whether it has chapters or not. Most of the books I bought fell into the following age categories: 3-5, 7-10, and 9-12. 

I usually list books in lots of 30 - 50 books and try to get 75 cent to a dollar for each book..sometimes a little more than a dollar. It depends on the age group and size of lot etc. 

Large lots of series can be very lucrative but unless you get a complete series in one buy they require storing the books as you build up your lot. I don't focus on those. 

The next step is photographing and describing the books. I usually photograph a stack of them for the gallery pic and then photograph them in groups of 3 or 4 so that each title is pictured. You can also scan each book so it is a nice thing to be able to do if you are working at night and can't take pictures due to lack of light. If it's a smaller lot I list each title in the description. If it is a larger lot I don't. I figure people can look at the pictures to see what titles are there. I then describe the condition of the lot as good to very good as I just don't pick up books that aren't at least 'good'. Below I've copied Ebay's definition of 'good'. I also note that some of the books may have a previous owners name written inside. Ex Library books are worth less and it should be noted if your lot contains any of those as well.

A book that has been read but is in good condition. Very minimal damage to the cover including scuff marks, but no holes or tears. The dust jacket for hard covers may not be included. Binding has minimal wear. The majority of pages are undamaged with minimal creasing or tearing, minimal pencil underlining of text, no highlighting of text, no writing in margins. No missing pages. See the seller’s listing for full details and description of any imperfections.

Keywords are also important when listing books. People sometimes look for lots that contain medal/award winners and books on the AR Accelerated Reader list. So if I've got those in the lot I put keywords in the title to reflect that like AR, Newberry etc. Here is a great website where you can check to see if a title is on the AR list. Award winning books usually indicate on the cover which award they have won with a seal, like the one below. 

Other keywords that are useful are 'teacher', 'home school', and 'library'. 

The start of a school year is the best time to sell them as teachers build up their libraries and home school parents purchase their books. I list them all year. You can also put together lots for holidays. I've sold several lots of Christmas books. Right now I have listed a lot of Valentine books and a Black History lot. 

Bookselling is quite a bit of work and takes quite a bit of storage space but if you enjoy books like I do you may want to check it out. I currently have 173 book listings in my store. Most of them are listings for just single books that will sell for enough on their own so they don't go in a lot. Now that I do not have a good source for cheap books I'm looking to clear out my book inventory. I will still keep my eye out for vintage and specialty books but probably won't be selling in lots. 

I hope this was helpful for anyone thinking of selling books. If you have questions or helpful tips post them in the comments.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Yard Sale Song

Must. Hear. Hurry. Don't Delay.

Do I have Tears of sadness or laughter...? I can't tell.

Yard Sale

Do  you see anything you'd buy?

And there is this one which is cool. I wish sales did have entertainment. Wouldn't that be neat?

I came across these when I was looking for a song that I just heard on Pandora about yard sales. Didn't find the one I was actually looking for I found the one I heard on Pandora. Here it is

but got some good laughs anyway. Hope you did too!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

My Best Sales This Week

I had a better than usual sales week this week. I also have reached a new high inventory of 575. Yay! My best sales were

This Callaway golf shirt. Paid $1.50 and sold for 24.99 plus shipping

A vintage pipe tobacco jar. This sat on my shelves unlisted for a long time because I wasn't sure what it was. The facebook group What is This? figured it out for me. I paid $2 for it and it sold for $49.99 plus shipping.

And lastly, I sold this for my sister and took a 30% commission. Does anyone else remember Little Kiddle dolls? Yes, she is topless. Maybe her new owner can take care of that. She's going to Hawaii, lucky gal. She sold for $62.99 with free shipping.

I have sold some things for family without taking a commission but there is too much work involved and I have too much unlisted inventory to do it for free. What do you do when someone asks you to sell something for them?

I hope you all had a good sales week. By the way, none of my Valentine related items sold...oh well.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

My Best Sales This Week

Vintage pennant 
bought for less than a dollar. sold for 21.99 free shipping


A mexican candle holder with a broken leg. bought for $3 BEFORE the leg was broken and sold for $19.99 plus shipping.  The estate sale people packed it carelessly and the leg was broken before I unpacked the bag. I held on to it forever because of the broken leg and then finally listed it with its flaws. To my surprise it sold quickly even with a repaired leg.

My best sales weren't that great this week but I'm still glad for them and the other sales I had.

Friday, February 7, 2014

BOLO Cast Iron Industrial Table Legs

Not something you are likely to come across every day but I was doing some ebay research on table legs and saw a good number of listings for Cast Iron Industrial Legs. I was surprised when I saw how much these sold for. I'm sure if I saw them in the wild I'd think they weren't worth much given they did not come with the table top. WRONG I was. They are a good seller and something you might come across in garage sales or estate sales or just something hanging around in your basement? Many are marketed as steampunk. I imagine they are heavy and a pill to package but I think worth it given the selling prices.

Check out the completed listings here.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

To List in February

Now is the time to list those Valentines Day Related Items, as well as Easter, Olympics, Black History Month, Mardi Gras, and St Patricks Day. Did I miss any holidays or events that we should remember when listing? Post them in the comments.Have you listed anything special for Valentine Day shoppers?

The pictures above are some vintage valentines I sold last year. Aren't they cute? They went very fast. Unfortunately I didn't come across any this year but I did list some other items that I thought might sell as Valentine related.

Harry Potter Valentines

 A Wilton Heart Cookie Stamp

A Dr Seuss Proo Tie

A Boyds Bear with a Heart

There is still time for people to buy a Valentine gift off of ebay so get um listed if you have um! Happy Sales to You.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

My Best Sales This Week

REI Rain Jacket

I got this when SA had a great sale with any piece of clothing less than a dollar. I can't remember how much exactly but I got a lot of things during that sale. This REI jacket sold within a day for 29.95 and went to Germany so plus shipping.  

Revereware Pan

If they are no more than $3 or so I always pick up Revereware. This one went for $28.95 plus shipping.

NWT Vintage Tommy Bahama Shirt

Lastly this is a vintage 90s Tommy Bahama shirt that was new with tags. I got it half price for $1.50. It sold for $29.95 fs. 

I have been doing well with my listing goal of listing as many items each day as I sold the day before +1 and have been steadily increasing my inventory. My sales have picked up over the last couple of days though and I can see how it is going to be hard to maintain that goal when I have a good sales day. For one thing I will have a lot to get ready to ship that day and then I need to list more. For today that means I need to get six items ready to ship and list seven new items. A full day as I have to also leave the house at some point and drive 1/2 hour to visit my mom and a 1/2 hour back.