Sunday, January 31, 2016

Slow and Steady Wins The Race ... Right?


This is the last day of January and yes I have been absent from this blog because I have been working very diligently getting things done. I would love to report that we are now over 800 listings but that would not be the truth. What is true is that we have reached 600 and while that it may not be a huge change we have found our method for getting listings done.

I know everyone does things differently and we had to find a way that worked well for us. We started off thinking we were going to do things one way and it just didn't work so through trial and error we have found a method that works for us. We have been listing 60 items a week the last two weeks and I think that is going to be our number. We are able to do 60 items a week but no more otherwise we don't have time to do everything else we need to do.

January has not been a great month for us but from reading other blogs I know that we are not alone so I do take some solace in that. Here are our numbers for the month....

Items in Store - 603
eBay Sales - $637.00
Amazon Sales - $275.00 (camera)
Etsy Sales - $0
Bonanza Sales - $30.00 (shoes)
Contract Work - $1000.00
Total All - $1942.00

 Ok we did not quite make our bills this month so we had to use some of our savings to help get through the month. We have had an issue with our thrift stores not having any merchandise worth getting the last few months so it's been very difficult to get new merchandise that would sell for enough money to be worth our while.

 I love reading on other blogs how some people are making thousands of dollars from just a few listings. That is not the case with us. Our business seems to make about $100 for every 100 items we have and maybe that's because we continue to sell mostly not high end clothing, I don't know.

We have decided though that we have enough clothing for the time being so now we are going to start concentrating on general merchandise and following along with that we went to two flea markets yesterday and we purchased approximately 50 items for around $150. Now we have only always bought clothing so this is a new experience for us. We bought three paintings one of which was a Haiti artist named Rony. We think we may be able to get about $200 for that painting but as I say this is outside our comfort zone so we just don't know right now.

 We bought several board games and some still in the package blank cassette tapes, some vintage wallpaper still in the original packaging, curtains, sheets, and a bunch of other stuff that we know nothing about, lol. It should be interesting over the next several weeks to see if any of this stuff actually sells or if we will be forced to go back to our comfort zone.

Anyway just wanted to let you guys know what we have been up to and that we are still muddling our way through this. 

Peace !
Tony

18 comments:

  1. Finding a workable routine is important. Don't worry about not reaching your goal on time. Seems like everyone experiences that including me. I set a goal to reach 1000 by the end of 2014. It actually took me a couple of months longer. Didn't matter in the end.

    Good luck with your new inventory. What kind of sheets and curtains did you buy? Vintage or contemporary. I buy quite a few vintage sheets in children's styles. Old tv shows and cartoons are popular. They can sell even if they have flaws as crafters buy them to use in the items they make.

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    1. We found a vintage set of king size sheets so we got them, these were just solid green, nothing special but quality sheets are really expensive so we figured why not.

      The curtains were blue and white and had a cute design, I don't think they were vintage but then we don't have a clue what curtains to look for, lol. We thought we would just give it a try.

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  2. Forgot to say with sheets you don't have to have complete sets either. I've sold quite a few pillow cases by themselves and flat sheets by themselves.

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    1. We did get a vintage pair of Winnie the Pooh Queen size pillow cases at one of the thrift stores the other day, haven't put them up yet. They had Winnie the Pooh on one side and Piglet on the other. We always try to look for cartoon themed items, those always seem to sell.

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    3. Queen size in a cartoon theme is pretty unusual too. Hopefully will get more money for them that way.

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  3. 60 items a week is great! I find my sweet spot is between 375-425 listings. Enough to keep things moving and few enough that I can keep up with the housework, homework etc. I don't make 1000's but it's enough to keep me happy and motivated!

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    1. I think we are going to have to hit 2000 items in order to have steady income but you never know we might find something we can really roll with before that for better prices. We only need 2000.00 a month coming in before we are into positive cash flow. Thanks for the comment Kristen !

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  4. Thanks for documenting your progress. It is fascinating to follow along and see how things are going.

    Yesterday, I sold a designer top for a rather high price, but it took me two years. I am so glad that I was able to wait that long, but not everyone can. It's all about finding balance.

    Good luck, and I bet you get faster with listings as time goes by.

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    1. Thanks Pat, I know we are not nearly as fun to follow along with as Jay and Ryanne but I suspect they went through all of this at the very beginning.

      Our biggest problem with clothing is that no one around here has anything but Walmart clothing so its rare to find anything high end. When we get lucky enough to find one though we grab it ! lol

      Thanks for following our bumpy journey :-)

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  5. Everyone has a different story to tell, and that uniqueness is what makes each story fascinating to follow. We all learn from each other, and do things differently, but in the end, it's about helping and supporting each other, I believe !

    it definitely takes time and a lot of searching to find the higher-end clothing items. I don't always know a designer when I come across a brand, but I look for quality workmanship, and that's my tipoff that an item is special and more-valuable.

    One time I found a vintage men's Versace shirt among women's blouses; another time I found an expensive designer leather vest hanging among crocheted vests. It goes to show that you never know when or where you will find an amazing item. I just love the thrill of the hunt, and I'm sure that you do, too.

    Keep looking, and I'm sure you will find your own pearls and diamonds, and tell us all about it!

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    1. Almost Prophetic Pat, made a early trip to the Salvation Army Thrift today and found 3 GREAT items worth well over 50.00 each for 12.00 for all 3. You called it !

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    2. Congratulations !

      I am so happy for you, and I bet you feel great. Good job!!

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  6. I thrift in new towns, states whenever I can. I use thethriftshopper.com to get a list of thrift stores in the area I'm going to be in. Just type in the town, state or just the zip code. I don't always find a great store but sometimes I find one that isn't on the list and it turns out to be good for an item or two. That's all it takes to make a profit...one or two great items. And I have found out also that some larger towns have several thrift stores on the same road, street. Makes it easy to find more than one store in the same area.
    Keep working, you are so brave to do it full time. My husband is on disability and I lost my job several years ago and most places want "young'uns" for jobs, not seniors, so I'm on my own for everything. He does help me source once in a while.
    I enjoy hearing about your adventures and your positive attitude!!!

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    1. Thanks Annabel, both me and my wife were in dead end big box retail jobs and they treated us horrible. There was a time when you got treated better as you got older but these days its completely reversed. They expect more out of the older crowd than we could do.

      I took a look at your blog, I see you have many of the same issues we do especially when it comes to half price or less than half price offers, lol, I hate that. I have got to the point now where I won't even dicker with them, I just decline the offer and go about my day.

      Anyway, thanks for reading about our adventures in ebay, I have added your blog to my reading list on the side of this blog so I will definitely be checking your adventures as well.

      See Ya !
      Tony

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  7. I hit 900 listings yesterday, and it feels so good. I started 2016 with 802 listings, so it took me over a month to get over 100 items added to my store. Of course, I had a goal of 100 items each month, so it does not look like I will make that goal; but I am glad that I set goals so that I can measure my success, as I proceed on this journey.

    Hope you are still listing 60 items a week - that is awesome!

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  8. Thanks Pat, we are at about 630 and should be around 700 by the months end allowing for sales. we are definitely hitting 60 per week.

    900 items should have your sales pretty steady, I can't wait for us to get there. :-)

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  9. I find that consistency on EBay is illusive, even with 900 listings. I run markdown manager sales and that may get some action, but not always. I try listing consistently but that is not always an impetus for customers to buy from me.

    So I just keep moving along with my own personal goals, and accept that the retail business is very irregular and that I cannot find any rhyme-or-reason for when purchases will happen. I just keep listing, and hope that I will eventually reach the point where I have enough items that I have some sort of consistency. But I have not hit that magic point yet, while others with less items seem to have a steady stream of customers. I just cannot apply any logic to EBay, and it is rather maddening at times. But what I try to do is find great quality items and provide outstanding customer service, including a hand written thank you note and fast shipping. Beyond that, my message is the same one I give myself every day: Keep Listing!

    Best of luck, and I look forward to hearing about your adventures!

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