Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Recent Sales and a Sale!

image courtesy of pixabay

Last week after listening to the interview with Amazing Taste on Scavenger Life I was inspired to do an experiment and try a big sale. I put about half of my inventory on sale at 50% off. Now I normally do run sales every now and then but usually I do 5% ….once in a while 25% just hoping to stimulate some buying. It never made much difference. The 50% off sale however doubled my total sales that week!!! I was cha chinging left and right. So it was a successful experiment.

Although I agree with the Scavenger Life philosophies of list it and forget it and price high you can always come down I don't think it was working for me to get me the numbers I need. Here is why. First, I do not have the inventory that J and R have. I've got about half as much. I'm a one person operation so I can't list as much each week. You need a really big inventory to let things sit a couple of years. Likewise you need a lot of storage space. I've outgrown my current storage space at 1100 items in my inventory. I need to move merchandise.

So I think I will continue experimenting with big sales to get BIG SALES. As long as I'm making a respectable profit on something I can't complain even if it is half of what I originally hoped to get. It's going to help me reach my financial goals. So here are some of the things I've sold this past week in my sale.

This cool vintage carved wood panel. This thing is big. About 40" in height. I've had it about a year. It sold at 40% off for $110.

I've had this hard to find big plush Molly doll for a couple of years. She finally sold at half off for $40. 

This cool vintage dress/skort. Made in Sweden. Sold for half off at $14.99. 

So I could have gotten more for these items by waiting for the right person to come along but these sales all went towards doubling my sales for the week. 

I think it's good to always be redefining your business. Making it work for you. I am so grateful that I can do this and be able to take time a couple of days a week to visit my parents in assisted living 30 miles away. I have time to work in my yard. I can appreciate and enjoy a beautiful sunny day even if it isn't the weekend! 

And I appreciate our community and how everyone shares how they do things. We all learn from each other and can try out other peoples' styles of selling. If it works we can adopt it, if it doesn't we can change again. There is always more to learn. It's all good. 

What have you learned from other sellers? 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Fame and Fortune

Not too famous and I've yet to acquire a fortune but…. a skirt I sold on ebay recently was bought by a fashion blogger and featured on her site. I think it looks great on her :) How fun is that? Plus I learned a new fashion term. Normcore. Look it up!

In other news. I need to make more money! I put about half of my store on sale for 50% off this week. I'm still making profit on anything that is in the sale but sometimes not much especially with books. My goal is two-fold. Generate cash and clear out old inventory to make room for new. I've been hitting rummage sales, church sales, estate sales and thrift stores every week and need room. It's been great to hear the cha-ching more often as well. This is sort of an experiment. I've never put so many items on sale at one time at such a deep discount. I think I was inspired by last weeks interview on Scavenger Life with a seller AmazingTaste who runs sales every week. 

Do you run sales? Are you finding any great things as the season heats up for rummage sales? 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Religious Icons

I discovered my interest in religious items reading Lorraine's blog. She has sold some very interesting religious items and written about them on her blog. I was raised Catholic but am no longer and was sort of surprised at my attraction to religious items. I think it's nostalgia for my childhood. I find them very interesting to look at and to research. I've sold several things since reading Lorraine's post. They are now on my radar whenever I'm thrifting. Below are some things I've sold.

Anri Wood Statue

Holy Water Font

And below are some recent finds. I've found them both at estate sales and thrift stores. 

Our Lady Of Czestochowa Black Madonna Framed Print

Albrecht Dürer Praying Hands

Italian Triptych

Yugoslavian Religious Plaque

I never even noticed these types of things before but now look for them whenever I thrift. How about you? Do you sell religious icons? What has been your best sale in this category?

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

A Bonanza Tutorial on Item Traits (Have You Checked Yours?)

When exporting your ebay listings to Bonanza you might assume that your ebay item specifics transfer over. Not necessarily. Check out the tutorial below to show how to check and edit them. 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Summer Movie Sourcing Ideas

In the past I've sold a few things for higher prices when there was a popular movie tie in. Below are some movies coming out this summer that will probably be big hits. I thought it would be interesting to brainstorm ideas that we might find when out rummage saling this summer or things you already have in your inventory you can mark up! Of course vintage toys from these movies will be more valuable. What other things can we think of? I think it was last year or the year before I purchased Despicable Me Happy Meals from McDonalds and sold the Minion toy that came with it on ebay. There were several different versions. Plus I got to eat the Happy Meal :) Have you sold items that were movie tie ins? Tell us about it in the comments.

  • Mad Max: Fury Road comes out May 15

Goggles Mad Max Fury Road Style

Friday, May 1, 2015

Just Some Updates

I finally removed the last of free shipping from my store. It took me a couple of weeks as I had a lot of older listings (mostly books) that still had free shipping. The reason I wanted get rid of free shipping  was so that this didn't happen again. I've had my Bonanza shop on vacation since that happened so I finally was able to reopen it a couple of days ago after updating the listings.

Rummage sales have exploded in my part of the country the last two weeks. My least favorite word right now is "Huge". Almost every rummage sale is described as huge. I'd like to grab some of these people by the scruff of the neck and give um a good shake after I navigate to their off the beaten path sale and find it's anything but huge. Not even 'big'. Grrr. It makes me want to buy something just so it wasn't a wasted trip. Does this happen to you too or is it a special sort of person who resides in the midwest that likes to do this?

I've had a couple of great sales lately that I wanted to point out.

I wrote about the Buster Bunny in a recent post. He sold for $45 plus shipping! I paid 0.50 for him at a church rummage sale.

I bought this Bizzy Buzz Buzz a long time ago but I didn't list it until recently. Nostalgia for your childhood toys is worth big bucks! Paid a couple of dollars for it at most and it sold for $99! plus shipping. I remember having one of these when I was a kid.

Off the topic of reselling I've been spending a lot of emotional energy lately on my Mom who has dementia. My parents actually both have dementia and live in assisted living memory care near me. 

My mother's dementia is much more difficult than my Dad's. One of the saddest and most difficult things I've been dealing with the last couple of years having a parent with dementia isn't the actual dementia but has been fighting and being a witness to the treatment by facilities and medical professionals of our old people including my Mom and Dad. It is  painful and frustrating and makes me so angry as I want this difficult time in my Mom's life to be as happy as possible. 

Some of the issues we've seen are the over medicating of people with sedatives, being pressured to sedate a parent by a physician, safety hazards that go unchecked, underpaid, overworked caregivers/aides, bad caregivers who spend more time on their phones and butts than interacting with the residents and many other things. I could go on and on and maybe will in another post. 

In some ways things are much better than 20 years ago but don't believe the pictures you see in the ads of all of the smiling elderly with the smiling caregiver behind them. It is simply advertising like any other industry. 

You'll be surprised when you start visiting care facilities at the costs and what can keep you out of a beautiful facility. The best facilities are for the wealthy and the people who do not have difficult behaviors. Most facilities in my part of the country require a person to be able to pay one to two years privately before they will accept Medicaid. This equates to $60,000 to $120,000 per parent. If you can't afford that then you move on to the places that will accept Medicaid sooner. Thus you are limited to those available in your community or to place your parent in another community away from family. The better a facility is the longer the waiting list and the choosier they can be when picking who they take. It's a stressful process. You finally think it's over when you find a facility that seems like a good fit. You've only begun because the state of care in our country is really sad. It may appear pretty on the outside. You'll find nice looking buildings now made to look more like homes. Wide open spaces. Private rooms. My parents are in one of the better places in our community in the price range that most normal people can afford. Yet though we toured many places and found them the best they could afford there are many problems facing us. It's quite stressful and painful. Here is a recent article I read.  

I'm 51 and I know some of my readers are in my age bracket. In 20 years or so we will be at this point in our lives. It is predicted that cases of dementia and need for care facilities are going to explode in the next 20 years as the baby boomers arrive at this stage in life and that we are not prepared. As resellers we talk about getting out of the corporate world to enjoy life and not worry about making more money than we need. How many of us are planning for possible life in a care facility? I know I'm not preparing. If you don't have a couple hundred thousand in the bank when you get to this age and you happen to get dementia this is what you face. 

Keep in mind our older people. Is there something you can do to make a difference in your own communities? Many older people sit alone with no family or friends. Volunteer visitors can make such a difference. Even an hour a week. Do you have a special talent, hobby or topic you like to talk about? Share it with some elders. Many times the people that get the most attention in a facility are those that have the least dementia. It's easier to interact with them. Others who may no longer talk sit ignored except when it's time to eat or go to bed. 

Lastly some documentaries I've watched that I'd recommend to you. 

Alive Inside (You can watch on Netflix or Amazone)

I hope this wasn't too much of a downer post. Do you have elderly parents or a parent with dementia? Let me know in the comments.