Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Tax Man Cometh

I've been googling and reading up on taxes for small businesses in relation to reselling and found some things I thought worth sharing.

This recent article has some links, tips and tools some of which are free. One that I think sounds cool is an app for your phone to track deductions such as mileage as they are happening.  Its called Deductr. There is a free version and a premium pay for use version. I think I might try it out. 

I'd also recommend the comments section of this podcast over at ebay Scavengers where discussion turned to income taxes. There is a lot of information contained within. The podcast itself was not on taxes but a good listen.

Some blog posts that tackled the subject recently...

I must admit that my methods so far are the opposite of helpful so I'll just keep them to myself. Change is in the wind though as my business grows I want to become more organized. It seems like this topic would provide a good business opportunity for an accountant. Write an e guide on taxes and ebay (or amazon or easy) business. They could even sell it on ebay!

If you don't finish in time here is a link to how to file an extension. This gives you 6 additional months.

Monday, March 24, 2014

My Best Sales This Week

Although it only sold for 17.99 with free shipping this is one of my best sales this week because it was FREE! I plucked it out of a box of free stuff outside a thrift store I visited last Sunday. Selling something you got for free feels great! I was pretty sure it would sell because it's obscure. I've never even heard of plectrum banjo. 

I paid a couple dollars for this vintage designer tunic top and it sold for 37.99 with fs

Vintage Handmade Spool Cabinet. Paid 50 cents. Sold for 29.99 plus shipping.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Gender Stereotypes on Ebay

See the pic below. Boys or Girls Toys? Boys?? Girls Too? Unisex? Help!! I can't tell!

First off, I'm not an eBay basher or perennial complainer and don't enjoy reading forums where that is what goes on…but..I just want to bring up a bit of a pet peeve of mine. It's probably not worth a whole blog post but oh well things are slow. My peeve is the gender stereotyping I see when shopping and selling on ebay (and Amazon) toys, games, and plush.

If you sell many toys you've probably noticed it. I'm selling more and more toys lately so I've started to really notice.

When you list a toy, plush or game one of the item specifics is 'gender'. You are supposed to choose if the toy is for a boy, a girl or unisex. Sometimes I just skip that item specific but I don't like to skip any item specifics if possible; I believe ebay when they say they will help sell your item. Alternatively, I want to put unisex for all my toys. I feel all children should be allowed to play with any toys no matter what society tells them. It's just play. Don't men hold babies, become daddies, cook food etc? But the part of me that wants to sell sell sell wonders, am I cutting off my nose to spite my face if I don't place the toy in the "appropriate" gender category? Will Mommy or Daddy not find it when they are shopping for junior? I don't know…As a seller who sells toys how do you approach this? Do you ignore this item specific, choose a gender or pick unisex? Again. I'm not too worried over the matter just ranting a little.

For the first time today I looked at it from the eyes of a shopper. When shopping on ebay for toys, categories actually change when you go from boy to girl to unisex. Just like they do when you go from mens clothes to ladies. Disney princess and Dora the Explorer if you choose girl toys. Batman spiderman and transformers if you pick boy. Unisex is the default option. Check it out. Pretend you are shopping for a toy and see how toys are presented based on whether you've selected boy, girl, or unisex.

When shopping for kids costumes you must pick boy or girl. There are no unisex costumes. So plan ahead when you shop because if your girl wants a Scream costume you're not going to find it under girls costumes. If she wants to be a scary monster that is actually scary and not a rainbow brite colored monster...again look under the boys costumes.

Girls Costumes

And Boys

I know its not a huge deal and this is not meant to be a mind blowing post. Its just something I'm conscious of every time I list a plush, game or toy. It's part of our culture which I wish ebay didn't support. But they are a corporation. Amazon pretty much does the same thing. Not everyone does though. If you go to the Melissa and Doug website which sells cool quality toys they do not distinguish between girls and boys toys. Just age groups. Back on ebay I'm sure most of the Melissa and Doug toys are categorized under boys or girls. Good try Melissa and Doug*.

In the comment section Lorraine posted a link to a perfect Youtube video for this post. Thanks Lorraine! See the video here..

*I have not received any free toys from Melissa and Doug. I wish I would though cause they are cool!

Monday, March 17, 2014

My Best Sales This Week

Children's Book Lot of 77 Books Sold for $55.99 plus ship. It's hard to say what I paid for these as I collected them over time and many were purchased at a shop that sells books for $5 for a large grocery bag.  The picture below is just a small portion of the lot that sold. 

Eileen Fisher Jacket. Paid $4. Sold for $61.66 free ship. 

NWT Apt 9 Pants. Paid $1. Sold for $22.99 free ship.

This week I saw on Craigslist that a nearby thrift store is having a moving sale. I've been doing so good plowing through my unlisted inventory but I couldn't resist doing some shopping here. Their prices were unbelievable. I paid less than 50 cents per item when I averaged everything out but I admit I went back to my old habit of buying things that don't have that great of a return. Ugh! I'm like a crack addict when things are so cheap. I just can't resist. I mean look below at some of the things I bought…Could you resist such cuteness? They also have free piles outside the store. I picked up some obscure vhs titles. One has two watchers already. 

This place is jam packed with stuff and they say there is 3X more in the basement. I actually quit going there a while back because it was scary like a hoarder house. I was afraid to touch anything lest the pile tumble down and bury me. Can you imagine moving a thrift store to another location? No wonder they are trying to get rid of stuff first. I will probably keep checking back there. So much for getting more organized in the near future..

Sunday, March 9, 2014

My Best Sales This Week

Sales picked up a little bit this week and I reached 630 listed inventory.  Is anyone else having super slow sales in Feb/March? Feel free to look at my store and offer advice. I'm working through listing low selling items that I purchased and moving forward listing more items that bring in a higher return on investment. I'm making good headway on listing old inventory. Welcome all tips.

Vintage Leisure Suit Jacket. Paid $1.50. Sold for $39.99 with free ship

Vintage Rainfair Overcoat New Old Stock. Paid $7. Took a best offer of $40 plus shipping

Scary Stories Books Lot. Paid $4.50. Sold for $29.99 with free shipping. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

BOLO Folkmanis Hand Puppets

Yesterday I scored a couple of nice plush at Goodwill. At this store most of the plush are in a bin for 49 cents. One of the plush I picked up was a Folkmanis Bobcat Hand Puppet.

When I researched it I found that mine should sell for about $19.99 plus shipping but I also saw that some of this brand of puppets are worth far more. I've seen these puppets in stores before and noticed how cool they are. They make all kinds of different animals and they are well made. Check out the completeds sorted by price.  So if you are digging through the plush and find any puppets keep this brand in mind. Has anyone else ever sold one of these or know of other puppets that are good sellers? I did pick up three Restoration Hardware hand puppets during the same shopping trip but haven't taken pictures of them yet.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

My Best Sales This Week

Another fairly slow week on ebay. I did get a lot of books listed though from my backlog and sold 6 of them. I also weeded through books and have some bags ready to re-donate.

My best sales were

A Wooden Spoon Rack $34.99 plus shipping. I paid a couple of dollars for it originally to keep but never used it for what I bought it for.  I misquoted the shipping and ended up eating $10 in extra shipping so I really only made $24.99. I hate when that happens. The buyer was from Thailand and for some reason ebay was not showing them a shipping cost so I had to go to the USPS site and calculate it. I was off…but I'd already told the buyer what it would cost and they had already paid. Whatcha gonna do? I figured it was still a decent sale.

LL Bean Hurricane Cloth Shirt 32.95 plus shipping. Paid $1.50 for it.

One of my book sales. Notice the title. It's what drew me to the book in the first place. 

A question for my fellow re-sellers. Do you get a shipping discount when you print your shipping labels through ebay and are you a top rated seller? I'm wondering if only top rated sellers get the discount. The reason I ask is because I saw another blogpost where the seller gave back the difference after the discount to the buyer. She wasn't sure if what she did was right. The majority of commenters felt she did the right/nice things. I told her I keep the difference because I earned the discount being a top rated seller. Maybe I'm wrong though. Maybe everyone gets that discount and maybe most people give it back to the buyer. Before I realized the difference was because of the discount I gave it back to the buyers a couple of times figuring it was an issue of weight difference. Now that I realize it's my discount I keep it. Sometimes it can be up to $10 if it's international shipping priority. How do you feel about it? It's not exactly a perk if you have to give it to the buyer its it?