Monday, December 29, 2014

Tools I Use and Tools I Want

The following are affiliate links to Amazon meaning I will get compensation if you purchase an item through the link. I just signed up to their affiliate program so this is my first time using these. They are all truly items I use in my ebay business or items I am thinking of purchasing. If you see something that you use that I'm considering please let me know in the comments how you like that item. What are your favorite tools for business?

Here we go. First off are things I use.

This is my new printer I got for Christmas. I haven't hooked it up yet. I'm excited to try it because ink for my old printer was eating me out of house and home.

I use this SKIL rechargeable box cutter almost every day. I LOVE it. It has saved my hands. It's an easy 'zip zip' to cut boxes down to size or cut pieces to use for padding. I've had it for three years and had to replace the blade once. It holds a charge for a good long time. I can't even remember the last time I had to charge it.

I use this ink roller to go over information I want to cover up. I bought it to obscure names and addresses on magazines that I sell or donate but I also use it to go over bar codes on boxes that I use when shipping. You can use it on your personal mail as well to make sensitive information illegible.

I just got this speaker for Christmas. It's bluetooth so I can carry it around to wherever in the room I'm working and still hear whatever podcast or audiobook I'm listening to even if I'm bunching up newspaper or ripping tape. Hey I don't want to miss any of my Scavenger Life or Serial podcast! It is nice and small, just a few inches high.

Now for some things I might try.

This is for resizing a box. I tend to have a hard time with getting the sides even and the box ends up looking pretty wonky on the end I've modified. This has been on my Amazon wish list for ages and I just can't decide if I want it or not. Has anyone tried something like this? Or do you have a way to make your resized boxes nice and straight?

I also want one of these light box/tents. I'm embarrassed to say my workroom is too much of a mess right now to have one of these. For shame! I wish they sold a Magic Room Organizer on Amazon.

I hope you enjoyed my list. Hard work is the most important thing to bring to a reseller business but gadgets sure are fun.

Monday, December 22, 2014

BOLO Naked Ladies, Monsters and Flamingos


You heard right. Naked ladies, monsters and flamingos. What do they have in common?

I almost purchased a couple of vintage paint by numbers today at the thrift but passed them up because they weren't done very well. When I got home I decided to do a little research on paint by numbers and I saw that 'naked ladies', 'monsters' and 'flamingos' (not together) sell really well.

Some people collect them and display them in a group

Have you ever sold paint by numbers? I'll be keeping an eye out for these although I don't see very many paint by numbers myself. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

How Much Money Do You Have Sitting At The Bottom Of That Pile

I have these items that I buy. After researching them I regret the purchase. We all have these don't we? They sit and they sit. I don't re-donate them. I don't list them. They gather dust and make me feel guilty every time I see them. Well lately I've focused on getting them listed  or donated. Giving them one last chance.

It's amazed me how many of these have sold and how much money I have made just listing things I have had for over a year (more like 2). I'm showing them below and adding up how much money I made. These were since Oct 25th. Most weren't huge sellers but that's okay because they are now out of my home and someone is appreciating them. And I have a little more cash.

Club Pan (I thought maybe I wanted to keep this for myself…)

Vintage Nickelodeon Magazine with Rosie ODonnel cover

Blues Clues Plush (I thought it was too pilly to sell)

Ceramic Baked Potato Serving Piece (I even tried to sell this for a quarter at my rummage sale. It didn't sell.)

Vintage Model Kit (I couldn't tell if it was all there)

That's $107.96 for stuff that has been gathering dust for at least 2 years. 

For each thing I had some reason why I wasn't listing it. For instance for the model kit I wasn't 100 percent sure it was all there. The instructions were in another language and I didn't feel like figuring out based on the pictures if all of the pieces were there. Well as you can see that was definitely worth listing even though I had to say I wasn't sure it was complete. It was the only one like it on ebay and sold for good money. A lot of times it boils down to insecurity. I think my object isn't good enough or not as great as I thought it was when I purchased it. So lesson learned. Either donate it or list it. Don't let stuff just sit around. It may be worth some cash and is definitely taking up precious space in my house and in my brain. 

Do you do this? Or are you good about re-donating things you wish you hadn't purchased? If you do this too, try an experiment. Just list those items once and for all. Give them a couple of months to sell and then set them free (re-donate) if they don't. Maybe you have $100 waiting for you. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

DNTO Definitely Not The Opera

photo via this blog

Yesterday I found a new podcast (new for me). It's called DNTO which stands for Definitely Not The Opera. It's similar to This American Life on NPR. Each episode is about an hour and focuses on one topic. Host Sook-Yin Lee shares five or six stories that explore that topic in different ways. I found this Canadian podcast on a blog that I follow (see my sidebar) Things I Find In The Garbage. Martin who writes this blog was featured on DNTO on an episode where the topic was…wait…..can you guess? …GARBAGE! Yes the whole episode was on garbage. That may not sound so great but it is. I listened to the entire episode and it is a scavengers dream podcast. You must go check it out. I love to listen to a podcast when I work. It makes for a much better day of taking photos, shipping or cleaning dirty vintage stuff when you're engrossed in a good podcast. Unfortunately until yesterday I didn't have enough! I had my favorite Scavenger Life and a new one Serial and some Youtube resellers I would listen to when desperate but I didn't have enough to fill my roster. Now I do. I have loads of DNTO to catch up on. I don't even know how many There are six years worth. but it looks like it will take me a while to catch up. I listened to three yesterday; the episode with Martin on garbage (my favorite), an episode on Art, and an episode on Regret. Please check out the one on garbage if nothing else. Trust me you won't be able to stop with just one.

So am I just way behind the times? Does everyone else already know about this gem LOL? Please go listen now and then come back and tell me your thoughts.

Monday, December 8, 2014

My Best Sales This Week and a BOLO

Darice Doll Heads

image from ebay auction

I know I've seen this once in a while. I have never picked them up because I didn't realize they are worth something and I just plain don't like 'um. They remind me of those crocheted dolls that would sit in the middle of your bed. I'm pretty sure I had one of those. The memory is hazy. Anyway pick them up if you see them new in package and put together a lot. Good money. Here are completeds.

Sales were steady this week. I had another Bonanza sale and another Etsy sale. Woohoo. Seems like views are really picking up for me on those two sites.

On ebay my best sales were:

Disney Bowling Style Shirt. Paid $4 or $5. Sold for $36 best offer plus shipping.

Set of Vintage Clay Angels. They were 2 bells and a candle holder. Paid about a quarter in a church bag sale. Sold for $29.99 plus shipping.

Vintage Leather Trench. Free. Sold for $49.99 plus shipping. These were very popular about 35 years ago when I was a teen. 

I've noticed the last few days that ebay's search is wonky. When I'm doing research I put in a couple of key words for example 'black shirt' and get let's say 1000 results. When I go to narrow that down by putting in 'black shirt -polo' I get more results instead of less. This happened to me several times using different searches so I knew it wasn't just a fluke or mistake on my part. Anyone else notice this? I've also noticed that when I typed in keywords I wasn't getting suggestions from ebay on additional keywords or most popular keywords to go with mine. I hope they get all of this sorted out. Holiday time is not the best time for the search engine not to perform. 

I just heard my phone cha ching so I must end this and go back to work! Happy sales.

Friday, December 5, 2014

My Little Pony

I've seen these around the blogs and I always thought they were so pretty. This is the first I found. I was so excited. You know the adrenaline rush you get when you find a new treasure. It's a Swedish Dala Horse. It measures 6.5". Initial research shows there are fewer green ones than orange and red so hopefully that is good for the value. I don't think we have a very large scandinavian population where I live so I don't get to see a lot of the cool danish modern things that other thrifters find. The picture is bad because it was taken with a flash. I couldn't wait to show him to someone but I'll take better pics tomorrow with natural light before I list it. It was just $2.49.

Sales have been steady. I'm having a hard time keeping up with shipping the last couple of days because I have had some other things to do as well. I'm glad for the sales though. I had my second Etsy sale yesterday. 

Edited to add: The dala horse sold for 39.99 on etsy!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Mystery Purchase

I bought several of these ceramic things at an estate sale recently. They look like flower pots but are covered on the top with just a small hole. They are glazed on the outside and some are green and others black. They are about 4" tall. Does anyone know what these are and what they were used for? I've never seen any before. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Don't Misuse USPS Priority Materials

I may get some negative comments from this post but I think it is an important topic.

While I list I watch a lot of reseller Youtube videos. I also read a lot of reseller blogs. I won't name any in particular but I will say that it really bugs me when resellers brag about misusing USPS priority materials. They usually do it with a grin on their face like it's a little joke that we all share. One of those…everyone does it so it's okay kind of things.

I don't do it and here is why.

Our USPS system is already financially in trouble and this can only make things worse for an already strained system. How will the people who do this feel if USPS has to stop offering free materials to save money? We all lose out. I don't work for the post office. I just appreciate what they do and the value of their service. They come to my door, pick up all my packages. I order more boxes free off of their website from the warmth and comfort of my home. People seem to think it's a victimless crime. It's not. Those boxes cost money. As a reseller how would you feel if your customers were penny by penny siphoning funds from your paypal account? Just a little at a time. Can't hurt, right? I don't think we'd like it.

Part of doing business as a reseller is finding a way to get boxes. Many resellers visit stores and request their empties or count on friends and family who have access to used boxes. Some take them from dumpsters. There are alternatives to stealing USPS boxes. The alternatives are better for the environment as well. In my case I have a friend who gets a lot of used boxes from his job. I also save all the boxes I get when I order things. Lastly I do a lot of priority shipping and have a large variety of the priority boxes on hand.

I just had to get this off of my chest. I expect that most of my regular readers are not the people who do this. Those people probably don't read my blog but I just had to vent anyway.

Last week I did a post on the Batman commemorative stamp set that is now available at the post office. Here is an interesting article about commemorative stamps and how their subject matter is chosen and some recent controversy regarding the images chosen to be on the stamps.

How do you feel about the post office, postal materials and those that misuse these items?

I had just one sale on Cyber Monday and it was a Bonanza sale. Eight total sales on Bonanza now since I opened my store there a few months ago. Not bad since I wouldn't have had those sales otherwise and it takes very little work to maintain my Bonanza shop. The only thing I regularly do is make sure what I sell on Bonanza I delete from ebay and vice versa.

My ebay inventory is now up to 955. My goal at the beginning of the year was to be at 1000 by the end of the year. Will I make it? I hope to but I'd rather items fly out of my store too quickly these next three weeks for me to reach my goal :)