Sunday, December 6, 2015

Chronicles of a new full time eBay seller: It was the best of times it was the worst of times


It's the month of December and we are in an interim period between what was and what will be. While it's not the best of situations to be in at this time of year it is what it is.

Our situation is that we are currently running on fumes because both me and my wife are completely dependent on eBay for all our money and we don't have the quality or quantity of inventory that we need to actually make a living yet. This is definitely a temporary situation because we have a 401k that we are cashing in but we won't get that money until January because they make you wait 30 days after you quit your job before you're able to take a distribution and then it takes about 3 weeks to get.

We are only about $1,000 shy of reaching our December minimum for paying all our bills so the situation is not as dire as it may seem. Once we get our 401 K money that will give us the relief that we need to pay our bills and buy enough inventory to really get this business going. When my wife quit her job we did not realize at that time that we were going to have nearly a two month layover before we could cash our 401k in.

 As I say it's not the best of situations however I would not change anything that we have done because while it is difficult it is necessary for our business to grow and for us to become truly independent. With that said I will say that we have had a pretty good first week of December we made $285 on ebay sales. We had another hundred dollars on a single sale but the guy cancelled.

 I hope your eBay sales are booming throughout this holiday season !


Thanks for reading,
Tony

Friday, November 13, 2015

Are You Having Slow Ebay Sales?


If you're experiencing slower than average sales this holiday season then you are in good company because many eBay sellers are experiencing this phenomena this holiday season. The reason for the slow down could be due to any number of economic factors but that doesn't help the fact that things are slow right now. So what can you do to increase your sales? I think the only answer for this is just to list more merchandise. The price of the merchandise does not seem to be a real factor as I see things selling at high prices and at low prices, so the deciding factor seems to be the merchandise itself. Is it something that someone is searching for right now?

 There are so many new places on the internet this holiday season for people to purchase online merchandise that it has to be playing a part in what we are perceiving as a slow season. If you have some advice to pass on that may be helpful then by all means comment below.

As always thanks for reading!
Tony

Monday, November 9, 2015

Ebay's New and Fair On Time Shipping Metric Explained

There has been a lot of misinformation bandied around the old internet about the new ON TIME shipping metric being rolled out this coming February. If you are worried about it then relax, it's not as bad as you think.

You may have read that your going to be punished for shipments that the buyer says are late whether you ship on time or not but this is not true. 

The chart below shows in detail how you will be judged.


I hope this puts to rest any fears you may have had about the new program. It really is fair, as long as you are getting that first scan during your initial stated handling time then you are golden.

Now go list :-)

Tony

Friday, November 6, 2015

We Have BIG News !


As of today my wife Deidre has turned in her 2 week notice to her employer of 19 years and will be going full time on ebay !! This is huge for us because now we will be able to expand our business beyond the local boundaries we have been confined to over the last 2 years.

This means we can go to auctions, estate sales and travel hundreds of miles in search of new product. She works nights and her job has been difficult to work around because during the times when we should be going she is sleeping and I could not go off and leave her here alone.

This will change our business in a huge way, we will be joining the .001% of families that are able to do this. I still can't believe it's real. I had no idea 4 years ago that we would be able to do anything like this.

We are both very much excited as we go into this final phase of our business model. We were able to escalate to this due to great sales over the last few weeks and because of other contributing factors I can't go into.

I hope everyone is having great sales and as always thanks for reading !

Tony and Deidre aka The Mississippi Pickers



Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Blog Wars Episode 1



Once upon a time in a blog far far away there was a small group of eBay sellers that believed in the notion of sharing knowledge so they founded a very nice blog. The group being small was glad to have any new contributors so it was very inclusionary and everyone felt welcome but as time went on the blog begin to grow and the few voices that were once welcome were silenced by all the new voices and they began to be shunned as the new voices became more popular and more interesting.

When this happened the old voices started to disappear because they did not want to be where they did not feel welcome. The blog continued to grow but the founding members soon parted ways as their philosophies were not in sync. Sometimes some of the old voices would try to come back to be heard but they were simply ignored because they were not interesting anymore.

Now the old voices were very sad the original founding members had parted ways and that the other founding members that stayed had become very exclusionary and intolerant. The old voices were very grateful for what they had learned over the years from all of the founding members but they decided it was best if they simply left the blog to the new voices.

This was very painful for the old voices because they felt like they were part of the success of the blog but it was clear that they were no longer wanted. Shame fell on the blog as the founders turned their backs to the original voices. Despite all of this the old voices did not bear any ill will towards their old home on the web and still to this day go back and visit from afar and in silence.

The End.



This has been a work of fiction and any similarity to a real life blog would be a real shame now wouldn't it.

peace.
Tony

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Chronicles of a New Full Time eBay Seller, The Story Continues Week 18

So this is my 18th week selling full time on eBay and I felt like it was time for a progress check. Now when I started this full time back in June I had deleted almost 200 entries on eBay because they were old items that I felt were just junk. When we started this back in 2014 we started off just selling stuff we had around the house and most of it was pretty much really just junk so I got rid of it because it was taking up valuable space in my store and at present my limit is only 1200 items and I wanted better quality higher priced items filling that space.

 The good news is it worked because it had an immediate effect on our weekly income from eBay but the bad news is I have been unable to overtake the sales with my new listings. Thus I am still under 500 items.

Well when I started this as a full-time eBay seller in June I thought at that time I would be able to, on my own, exceed the sales but clearly that has not happened so it is now time for phase 2, getting help. 

My wife wanted to help me since I started doing this full time but I would not let her because I wanted to see what one person could do if something were to happen to one of us and now I know that once you have your inventory at the number you want even an older single person could easily maintain that inventory. So this is a viable option for retirement which is where we are headed. I did not want us to get into something we would be unable to maintain if one of us were to get sick or even pass away.

So starting this week my wife will begin helping me with listings and we hope to be well over the 1000 mark by the end of this year. That is a target we must hit before we go to phase 3.

This is probably really boring information to someone who is trying to learn about eBay and really it is just a chronicle of what's going on in my life at this time. If you're looking for what to sell and that kind of information honestly I don't know what to tell you because I'm still learning myself. The dynamics of my store are changing almost on a daily basis so for me to try to tell someone else how exactly to make this work would be pretty arrogant of me.

 I have had successes and I have had failures and it is a learning experience with every failure and with every success so maybe in another year I will have the beginnings of the knowledge required to advise someone else what to do. Everytime I think I've got this thing figured out I don't. I have heard many people say just buy what you like but that is really not true in all cases because if what you like doesn't sell well or isn't worth much, then you're going to fail.

 We had a really good week last week and sold $526 worth on eBay and I made $250 from contract work so $776 for the week. All of our home bills are paid and now everything we're making is profit. Our highest items sold was a Vintage leather biker jacket that was sold for $111 on best offer.

 I have been up and down on clothing because while it does sell well it doesn't always sell for very much money but clothing is our bread and butter category because that is the one thing that we have an abundant supply of here in Mississippi so while I may not be a huge fan of clothing it will most definitely always be a big part of our store and for all those people who say clothing sucks I agree but it pays our bills so I am not going to be getting away from it.

I hope you have been having great sales and as always I thank you for reading.

see ya !
Tony aka Mississippi Picker

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Week 17 Another Sale on Etsy and Running Low on Inventory


Our 2nd Sale on Etsy !!! was a pair of 60s era pillowcases that had big flowers all over them which we sold for 15.00 YAY !

We had another really great week on eBay this last week we made 456.00 for the week and we made another 15.00 on Etsy. Sales were pretty strong all week, seems like they have slowed a bit toward the weekend but same thing happened week before last.



Our best sale was a pair of military boots which sold for 50.00 on best offer. Our strangest sale was a pet screw but hey I'm not judging lol. This was another very strong week for us and all of our bills for the month are theoretically paid however I have run into a problem of having a lack of new inventory to list so tomorrow we will be making a trek to the Gulf Coast which is where we get the bulk of our inventory.

 I have decided to use $200 of our income to put on new inventory. This should get us about 75 - 100 items and that will be enough to keep me busy for a couple of weeks. I really hate to use the money but we've come to a point to where all we have left are low dollar items and I really don't wanna build my store with low dollar items. Honestly there's not a lot of stuff around here that is going to sell for over $40 ( that I currently know of ) but there are however plenty of things that will sell for $20 - $30 so that's what we're looking for. 

Nope still not over 500, lol, That's all I'm going to say haha

As always thanks for reading, 
Tony

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Chronicles of a New Full Time eBay Seller, The Story Continues Week 16


We had a fantastic week and I find myself asking ... so would this have happened anyway or is it because of all the extra work put in to listing this last week? I don't have an answer.

If you have been reading my blog then you know I have been struggling with listing. This last week I put up 40 items and I sold 28 items. I am running a little behind the last 10 will be put up today for a total of 50 new listing for the week.

We are still fighting the low average price sold monster and that is mainly due to our lack of knowledge on what sells for great prices that you can find for cheap in our area. Still even if we continued to build our store on what we are able to scrounge up with our novice knowledge we would be able to make a living at around 2500 listings.

This last week we sold 406.00 on ebay and 10.00 on etsy and we made 46.00 from flea market sales and i made 250.00 in contract labor, for a total of $712.00 for the week !!! This was our best week to date.

Every week I have the same feeling, well we have sold all the stuff anyone is going to want and now all we have left is junk. The thing is every week stuff sells and this happens week after week. I just can't seem to get comfortable with that or lose that feeling that its all about to end.

The really great news is we are only 400.00 away from paying all our bills for the month and we have 3 weeks to go !!! YESSS

Ok your going to probably laugh but because of all the sales we made this last week I am still not over that dang 500 mark on our listing. When I finish my listing today I will have 488 :-(

That 500 is my nemesis.

Well That's about all I have for now, we sold nearly all clothing this last week and for an average price of 14.50 each so not a great average price sold but I can't complain, its money

In non clothing we sold a set of 4 napkin rings for 23.00, a salt and pepper set for 10.00, a colecovision flashback for 14.00 and a how to train your dragon action figure for 18.00. I still feel like we are missing the big sales by specializing in clothing. Oh well at least we are surviving and that we need to be grateful for. 

Until next time, Thanks for reading !
Tony



Monday, October 5, 2015

Let Loose The Balloons !!!! My First Etsy Sale

Yep we had our very first sell on Etsy yesterday and even though it was only a $10 sale it was very exciting to get that sale on another platform. Right now I only have 17 things in my Etsy store so selling anything was pretty amazing. I'm really getting into the non clothing vintage merchandise and plan on really expanding our Etsy store. I'm not saying that Etsy is better than eBay or the eBay is better than Etsy. They both have their positives and they both have their negatives. I will say I like them both pretty much equally.

What I sold was a vintage Mickey Mouse Goofy watch that didn't have a good battery in it so I did not know if it ran or not. I sold it as-is and someone bought it.  Anyway that one sale looks good on my Etsy store page so I'm happy about that. We had 12 things sell over the weekend on eBay so I have a lot of packing to do now. The only bad thing is we are now down to 466 listing. 2 steps forward and 3 steps back, grrrrr. No problem, I know what I have to do and I will.


Thanks for reading,
Tony

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Being a Full Time eBay Seller is a Real Job

For week ending October 3rd 2015 we made $267 from our eBay sales and we have 475 things listed.  We sold 17 items this last week and had an average price sold of $15.70

This last month has been an eye opening experience for us. Ever since I quit my job I don't think I have thought of eBay as a real job. Don't get me wrong I have always known about how much work was involved but it always seems like you can just stop and go as you please regardless of how much you've gotten done. My opinion on that has changed largely due to the progress we have made to this point.

 As I look at how much our store has grown for the last 2 months with me working full time on eBay I can see that I have made very little progress. We started this 2 months ago just under 500 items and now we are still at that same level so all I have done is just replenish what we have sold. I think you if you're doing this for a living you have to take it seriously and stop putting off work day after day just because you can.

 Starting Monday I will be treating my eBay business as a real job with real goals and real expectations. I have decided on a 10 item a day minimum. Now some people might think that that is low and I should be doing more but now I know that is the limit to what I can do on any given day . Sure I can throw up a bunch of inventory quickly but that would mean no quality control (checking the item for defects, smells, etc) and not much thought into pricing or titles, keywords, you name it. 

 Between the photography, research, quality control and the actual listing I pretty much am at my limit at 10 each day. If I had someone helping me I'm sure I could double that number but I don't at this time so 10 is the number that I am stuck with for now. My work days are Monday through Friday and no matter what is going on I have to hit that goal before ending my day.  Saturday and Sunday I rest.

 We continue to have decent sales but my inventory numbers have barely increased over what they have been all along so I have to change that if we are to continue doing this for a living. Becoming self-motivated is much more difficult than you may think. I didn't personally think it would be very difficult but it has become my own personal struggle.

 On a final note I think we need to get away from clothing as the main theme of our store. There are just too many people selling clothing on eBay for us to remain competitive in this market. The main problem for us is that we have only always sold clothing and it's all we pretty much know at this point so now I'm tasked with learning to sell other items besides clothing.

 It took us almost 2 years to learn about brands and styles of clothing and now it feels like we are starting over but I know this is necessary for the survival of our store.  What seems to come so easy for some people is definitely a struggle for us because clothing is all we know. We are definitely not going to stop selling clothing altogether because we need that as a base for our continued sales but we will be branching out into more weird one of a kind items.

We definitely need a mix.


As always thank you for reading,
Tony

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Chronicles of a New Full Time eBay Seller, The Story Continues Week 13



This last week we made 348.00 from our eBay sales and we sold 30 items. We had a low average price, less than 10.00 per sale because of our 40% off sale but we made what we needed to pay our bills and really that is what it comes down to. 

So ...
348.00 eBay
250.00 Contract Work
598.00 Weeks Total

I have mixed emotions about this last week because we had to take such drastic measures to get sales. On one hand it was great to get the sales but on the other I find myself questioning whether or not I have the kind of stuff in my store that people really want.

 The thing that sucks about where we live is that there is not an abundance of great items that people are overlooking here. About the only thing you can get here is clothing which sucks because as a general rule these are going to be 10 to $20 items and trying to make a living on 10 to $20 items is extremely difficult.

 We want to venture father out but at present money is an issue so we will have to wait until our store is at least making enough money to pay most of our bills at which point my wife can quit her job we can cash in her 401K and that will give us the money we need to go to the next level.

At any rate we are making progress and our store continues to grow despite the slow growth rate.

The way we are doing it now I am taking pictures on one day I'm making drafts on one day and then I'm doing listings on one day so I do this process twice a week and I'm able to put up about 20-30 listings each time so about 40 to 60 listings a week if I'm diligent which I'm not always diligent :-)

 On a positive note I just started a new etsy store which I have about 15 items in at present. I haven't sold anything in there yet but we are getting quite a few views I've had some inquiries and several likes. The sales in our flea market booth have continued to diminish so I've decided to put the money into etsy rather than the flea market.

 Listing on Etsy is so much faster you wouldn't believe and it's tempting to just build on that rather than my eBay Store but I know my future is with eBay so that's where I'm going to put the majority of my time.

 Anyway that's it for now.  As always thank you for reading :-)


Tony


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

We Are DOOMED !!!!

 Well it's September and sales have been miserable for the first half of this month. I think on the first week of this month we made a grand total of $297 and on the second week we made a grand total of $83.77.  Things were going so good at the first of the month that we decided to splurge a little on ourselves and we spent about $150 of that so when the second week hit those low numbers we were completely unprepared for it.

 I gotta tell you I was in panic mode because now online sales are my income, my livelihood, what I have to have to pay our bills and to let us eat, buy gasoline all those things.  If you've never been self employed and depended on the income from that self employment and pay your bills you probably really won't relate to this very much but if you've ever been in this situation then you will definitely know what I was feeling.

 Okay so I'm freaking out and kinda at a loss of what to do so my cool calm and collected wife Deidre says why not have a sale?  I sit there and think for a moment and I said yeah why don't we have a sale that's a great idea.  So that's exactly what I did the sale started last Sunday the 13th and we have already made $208 this week which will be our best week ever.

 Crisis averted, panic subsiding.

 So what have we learned from this? A good wife is worth her weight in gold :-)

Thanks for reading,
Tony

Friday, September 11, 2015

THANK YOU EBAY !!!!! NO MORE DEFECTS !!!!

This was the best news we could have ever gotten as eBay rolls out the 2015 fall seller update, it looks like the antiquated defect system has finally been put to rest.  Looking over the new rules it's obvious that there are still rules to follow but they are easy rules to follow if you are a good seller.

 I looked over the rules that they have set and they are all within the sellers control.  Basically it goes like this.

*  ship when you say you're going to ship and make sure your shipments to the post office are scanned in.
*  resolve problems with buyers without making eBay get involved. If someone wants to return something then let them return it and don't fight the return. Issue refunds and don't make eBay force you to do it.
*  if you have a listing up then make sure you have that inventory in stock and don't cancel transactions because you didn't have the thing in.


 They have lowered the threshold for Top rated seller status to .50% for defects but the only defects that count against you now are the ones that are well within your control.

 When the new system goes into effect in February 2016 any defects that you currently have that do not fall within the new guidelines will be wiped clean by eBay.  This is a great day for all eBay sellers as eBay is actually listening to it's sellers again and that is a good thing.

 One thing that is changing is that you will now need to offer a 30 day returns to maintain Top rated seller status as opposed to the current 14.  Personally I have no problem with any of the changes that eBay is making because they are all good. As a new full-time eBay seller I can't tell you how good I felt when I saw all the changes that are coming up because when your living depends on an online platform you feel helpless and afraid of what might happen due to things that are out of your control.

 As I said before all the defects are within your control as a seller now and it's up to you whether you stay or go.

GOOD JOB EBAY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks for Reading,
Tony

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Final Entry From A Beginner Full Time Seller on eBay, Mistakes and Good Decisions

So we are now about 2 months in as full time eBay sellers and here are some things I have learned.  Over the last 2 months I have come to understand that you can overload yourself with work and that is counterproductive when it comes to eBay so you need to find your own personal pace and do not go beyond that. 

 I found myself getting so overwhelmed with work that I was getting nothing done.  For me at least it does not work to do more than one task per day so one day I'm doing photography,  one day I'm doing drafts and one day I'm doing listings.  I will repeat this process throughout the week and I'm not saying that this is what's best for everyone I'm just saying is what is working for me.

 When I first started doing this I was trying to do the entire process from beginning to end in one day. For me this was a major mistake because I got nothing done.  For me my second mistake was offering global shipping on items that I might want back from the global shipping program . I like offering global shipping on things that I don't mind losing to scammers but those have to be things that I paid very little for.

 My reason for this is very simple, the one thing they don't tell you when you involve yourself in the global shipping program is that if someone needs to return something and is due to you're not telling them something ie. item not as described then you are responsible for paying to get that items back which includes all import fees which can be expensive. Of course you can always tell the customer to just keep the item and refund their money without it being returned but this only works if you can afford to lose the item.

I'm sure there are plenty of eBayers reading this  that will disagree with this philosophy and I'm not saying that this is what's best for everyone I'm only saying it's what works for me.

 I think this will be my last entry on the subject of getting started on eBay because I think by now you have a pretty good idea of how it works. My advice to anyone who would attempt to do what I have done is make sure you have the savings to support yourself for at least 6 months or it's going to be a major struggle. 

The best decision I made was doing daily 3-4 hours of contract work to go with my ebay business. If I did not have my contract work we would have been in trouble while I am still learning this business as that now provides us with 1000.00 a month alone. We could probably make it without it, but it would be much harder.

 I would say for sure do not quit your job until you are very comfortable that what you are selling does sell and that you can repeat it month after month. Don't be afraid to leave your city to look for new merchandise because your own city might dry up if your hitting it everyday unless it's a really big city.

 It was touch and go for a while but things are looking up and we have reached our first goal which is just too pay our bills and do that on a regular basis.  My hope is that this journal will be helpful to someone who is thinking is trying this themselves to not jump in until they are ready.

So what's next? Amazon ? Etsy ? Heck I dunno, just now got this thing under control so I think I will just breath for the moment. This has been the scariest and the most exciting time I think I have ever had in my life and it's great!  I love it and for me, I could never go back.

I can't believe I am 54 years old and sitting at the house doing whatever I want, it's like a dream. My wife will be quitting her job next but that will have to wait until we reach our next goal of 4500.00 from eBay.

I wonder what our business will look like in 5 years? lol

Thanks for taking the ride with us :-)
Tony and Deidre

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Week 7 Selling Full Time on eBay - Life Happened

Sorry missed week 6 it was 275.00 in ebay sales  for the week

So this last week we made 

eBay sales - 254.00
Contract Work - 250.00
Flea Market - 50.00
Total - 554.00

Total Listings 454
11 items sold

Ok I did nothing on eBay but sell for the last week because my wife had to have knee surgery, it's ok she is doing fine, the surgery went well but I needed to take care of her for the last week so nothing much eBay wise got done.

We still sold stuff and we even went out and went to 1 thrift store and made a pretty good haul of Clive Cussler books, some lady had just dropped off her entire Cussler collection of about 20 books and I bought them all. I paid a buck a piece which is higher than I normally pay but I like Cussler books so I felt like it was a good deal.

Anyway, seems like life wants to get in the way but my wife will be off work for another week and she has vowed to help me catch up so it's all good. She hade a torn meniscus which was quite painful but she is recovering from the surgery nicely.

Due to the onslaught of medical cost I have had to take on more contract work but it's only taking me 3 to 4 hours a day to complete so that's ok and it will help pay off these medical bills.

Nothing else to say, yup I am behind but life happened.

Till Next Time,
Tony

Monday, August 3, 2015

Week 5 Selling Full Time on eBay

Great week for us,

eBay Sales - 351.00

Contract Work - 120.00
Flea Market - 20.00

Total For Week - $491.00

That is pretty good for us, we still have under 500 items listed as things are continuing to sell as I list them. We sold 22 items with an average sale price of 16.00 each.  That's not the price point we want but we did take many best offers which helped our week.


We Sold a rare motor head book for $70.00 (best sale), we sold lots of clothes ( jeans and mens shirts) and trucker hats.

This month I have a 700 item goal so lets see how close I can get to that.

I'm still having a hard time getting away from the thrift stores, we have been pretty exclusive to thrift stores since we started doing this but we have on rare occasions gone to yard sales and really get better stuff and better deals at the yard sales but its waiting on the weekend to get there I have a problem with since I can go thrifting everyday and our yard sales only happen on the weekends.

Me and my wife made a pact that we would ban thrifting for 2 months and only do yard sales and estate sales during that time but I have decided it would be best to do both and only buy stuff we KNOW will sell for 20+ dollars.

Just gotta keep on keeping on :-)


Thanks as always for reading my blog, it's not as exciting as some but it's the reality of whats happening with us. 

Later !
Tony

PS. Here is a tip, anything related to crab fishing is pretty hot right now. I find a few of these crabber shirts and hats and they sell as fast as I can put them up.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Week 4 Selling Full Time on Ebay



Ebay Items Sold - 8 
Items Listed - 445
Total Sales - $225.00
Avg price sold - $28.00
Contract Work - $120.00
Flea Market Sales - $100.00
Total for week - $435.00

So this was an ok week, nothing special but we made what we needed to. I did not list that much this last week. I had a week of feeling the pressures of self employment. 

I constantly find myself questioning whether we are picking the right items for sale because nothing is selling for a day or two and then things start selling and I feel better about the choices we have made.

Ok I will admit I didn't get much done this last week on listings, I got a little case of the ebay lazies but I am feeling much better now and should get myself going strong this week.

Gotta get back to it so laters !

Tony

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Week 3 Selling Full Time on Ebay



This week I made $378.00 from all self employment sources

             eBay - $228.00
contract work - $150.00

  Current listings - 429
Weeks Sold Item - 13
Average price Sold - $17

Now again, yes I have a lower average price sold than many other sellers but it's the area we live in. That's just the numbers we are stuck with for the moment. We will at some point start to go on picks outside our state. Just need to get our income up to finance that.

I'm still struggling to get new items listed, it's not my strong point. The biggest problem I have right now is the heat. I have to work out of a storage locker to do my photos because I have no room at home and these 100+ degree days make it impossible to work in the daytime so I am forced to work overnight which is just not working too well. Even though I have a climate controlled storage locker the temperature is not comfortable, its fine for your things but not cool for us humans at around 80 degrees. It's just too hot to work in and I guess I am a bit spoiled too.

Anyway, it's making it slower but I am still managing to get new listings up despite all the problems and the things we are picking ARE SELLING so that's good. I mean when your in a thrift store or at an estate sale and there are all these things around you that could sell you have to decide whats good and whats junk. Trust me it's easy to fill your store with crap that will never sell. I know because we did it. Now with a a couple years of experience we are doing a much better job of staying away from the junk.

I have just listed a router and I have a few more routers and modems to list, I'm not sure how those will do, I'll let you know. I sold a book for $16.00, not bad for a 50 cent investment. Still loving books, those are most definitely on my radar. My wife is on ladies shoes, mens and ladies boots, those are her favorite items to pick. 

On a sour note, I had to upset a friend a little, he knows we sell things on ebay and wanted me to sell some of his old junk for a commission. I told him we don't sell by commission but I might buy his things if they were nice and the price was right. He named a big price for some really not great merchandise so I told him I wasn't interested and he kinda got mad. I told him I would help him setup an ebay account but he was not even a little but interested in doing that.

Oh well, I doubt that will be the last friend I have to upset because of the same thing. I just have decided to keep our ebay selling a little lower key around friends.

I guess that's about it for the last week, not much else to tell, we had a great time picking on the Gulf Coast again, that is always fun. I guess I better try to get the next 10 items listed so off I go.

Laters !
Tony

Monday, July 13, 2015

Out With The Old And In With The New

If you have been haven't reading my blog you might be wondering why I have so few items in my store being that I am now full time doing this so I thought I would make a little explanation for that for anyone new reading this.

We have never had more than 480 things in our store doing this part time but about a year ago we started to notice that some of the things we had put in our ebay store back in the beginning were not meeting our current standards for the type of quality items we wanted in our store.

Those old junky items were not moving and for good reason, poor quality, poor photos and generally just not things that anyone would even really want. So we decided to clean house and this was right before I quit my job. We reduced the price of the old junk to cost and sold what we could and the rest we put on auction for 99 cents and whatever sold sold and whatever did not we just let those listings die forever.

When all was said and done we were looking at about 330 items left in our store and those were pretty good items that would eventually sell. Now that I am doing this full time, I have the time I need to repopulate the store with all new items that do meet our standards for quality and that we know, based on our own experience, will sell.

We have a stockpile of somewhere between 400 to 500 quality items waiting to be listed. Each day now I make my rounds at the thrift stores and flea markets and continue to add to that pile. So I have roughly 900 items in my possession at this time. I seriously doubt I will ever reach this end where I have nothing new to list because I am continually adding to the pile.

The end goal is somewhere between 2500 to 3000 listings which we should reach at our current rate of listing sometime in 2016.

Anyway, just in case anyone was wondering how we are affording to continue to buy new things being such a small store well there ya go, we planned this out before I quit so I would have enough stuff to give us a decent inventory.

As this listings rise so will our income and frankly, I was only making 400 dollars a week and out of that we only needed 300 dollars a week from my income to pay our bills.

So if your thinking about doing this yourself, then for sure you really need to stockpile some inventory BEFORE you quit so you don't have to worry about having money for new items. 

Anyway, That's what I did and so far it's working great !

I will update my numbers again on next Sunday so you can see how things are going. As of this update we have 402 things in our store. I hope to be close to 500 by the end of the week. That's the goal anyway :-)

See Ya !
Tony

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Selling on eBay Full Time - Week 2

I made 307.00 from all self employment sources this week.

So today was the second real week I have had selling on eBay full time and I managed to put up around 90 items. My earning for the week was 167.00 on eBay and 50.00 from the Flea Market and 90.00 from contract work so 307.00 for the week. 

I'm still struggling to put up listings alone, it's difficult for one person to do everything. My wife still has her full time job and I really have not been able to find a way for her to help me. When she gets home she is exhausted from work and the last thing she wants to think about is doing listings.

For 10 to 15 items it takes me about 2 hours a day to do the photography, 3 hours to do the descriptions and take measurements and look for problems on the items. The last part is where I struggle, doing the actual listing, I am incredibly slow, even on the iPad as fast as it is, doing the data entry.

I spend an average of 4 hours a day doing the data entry for 10 - 15 listings. I am super picky about the data entry itself because this is where many sellers get screwed over. If you mess up the shipping cost or you leave out some flaw you found on the item or even get the color or size wrong then your screwed if you sell it.

So 10 to 15 items is a 9 hour day for me doing this alone.

I'm still having problems finding something to sell at the flea market that I can repeat week after week. So far nothing seems to be repeatable, it's all been one shot things. Books sell ok but only at 1 dollar per book as anything higher and they just sit there.

My new love is BOOKS :-)

I just starting getting into the hardback books, if you now what to look for there are incredible deals to be made in books. I found one I haven't put up yet called Narcotics Anonymous that goes for over 200.00 in just ok condition. I also got a first edition of a book called THE STAND by Stephen King that is not in perfect condition but should still bring in over 50.00 which is pretty awesome.

I know there is something here in this area I am still overlooking that could be selling for much more money than the items I have been getting so far, I just have to keep looking. It's tough here but that is the challenge too, being able to make this business work in the most impossible of areas. Knowledge is key.

Gotta say I am really loving this, it's everything I thought it would be and more. I am just glad I did not wait any longer to do it because life is just too short to stay in a job that makes you miserable.

I'm not getting rich by any means but that was never the goal for me, it was just about taking back control of my life from the corporate world and being able to do what I want, when I want. It feels like I got my life back. Bills are being paid, our heads are above water and I can enjoy life again.

Ill let you know again next week how things are progressing.


Thanks for reading !
Tony


Sunday, July 5, 2015

Doing Other Work This Last Week

Really nothing the report this week eBay wise as I have been doing contract work all week. I had a contract job waiting on me so I just knocked it out this last week so I can give my full attention to eBay. 

So I sold 123.00 for last week, not listing anything all week long and still have around 360 items in the store. 

If our sales hold true we will sell about 10% of what we list each week so if I list 30 things a day I should sell 3 things a day. That's my theory anyway, just need to put it to the test now.

If 3 things a day do sell with an average sale price of 20.00 then we should do around 400.00 a week to start. As our number of total listings increase we should begin to sell greater numbers of older listings which should push that 400.00 a week mark upward.

Now you might be wondering why we are only selling 20.00 items ? well where we live that is about the best you hope to find on a regular basis. So that is the number we are stuck with for the moment. 

We do find on RARE occasions some higher dollar items but those are far and few between. Here in the magnolia state your just not going to find anything great most of the time because here in this, the poorest of states, the thrift stores are pretty much being shopped out every week.

Once we have enough money coming in to sustain us we will begin taking long trips to source far outside of the confines our our state and that is when it should begin to get really interesting.

Ok Thats it for this week, next week I will report on what we made for the week doing 30 items a day.

Later,
Tony

Saturday, June 27, 2015

1st Week Full Time on Ebay

Since this was my first week selling full time I will be honest, I wasn't expecting too much but I have to say this week has been a pleasant surprise. With less than 360 items listed we made 354.00 for the week of June 21 - June 27

My full time job that I just left was paying me 430.00 per week after deductions so I'm pretty close to reaching the first goal of just replacing my own income. We will need double that to replace both me and my wife's income. 

Now next week could be a nothing week and I'm prepared for that if it happens it will be ok. I know we won't get a regular income from this that we can actually count on until our listing hit around the 2000 mark so that is what I intend on getting to as quickly as I can.

The Flea market has been horrible for the last 2 months and that is probably because I still have not found an item I can sell there consistently. I am considering just getting out of that market all-together.

Clothing continues to be our best sellers and we are getting into shoes now which accounted for 80.00 of our sales this week. I have been listing plush toys but none have sold yet. Plush toys may not be a good category to be in so I will have to wait and see on that. I find they are not well shopped in my area so I can find some of the more rare ones. 

Of course having a rare item that is not in demand doesn't pay the bills so it's just an experiment for now.

I Also got a booty load of Barney VHS tapes which I am going to sell as a set, I only paid 25 cents a piece for them so hoping I can put like 10 together for a sale price of around 25.00. 

That's about it for now, Thanks for reading and please come again !

See Ya !
Tony


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A New Era Begins



I'm still getting used to the idea that I'm now self employed and no longer have a 9-5 job to go to but that doesn't mean I can just lay around this house and do nothing all day. If anything, my days are fuller than ever.

So over the last few days we have had lots of family stuff going on and that, while enjoyable, has slowed the progress I had hoped to make but that's all over now so it's full on ebay. 

My observation thus far has been that doing this by myself I am pretty much confined to about 15 listings per day. Doing all the photography, descriptions and doing the data entry per item takes some time so I will probably be able to increase that over time but for now I'm ok with those numbers.

It feels like we are nearly starting our ebay store over. I had let the number of listing we had fall to around 330 as we were doing 99 cent auctions getting rid of some older inventory I knew was junk. My logic was that by freeing up that space I can now populate our store with good products that we know will sell.

Anyway at less than 400 items our store was producing about 600.00 a month in sales but I will say the inventory has been stale for a while and much of it is older stuff that was well, just junk. I will post on here how much our sales increase as the total inventory numbers increase and that should give you an idea of how much inventory it will take for you to make a living doing this.

I have about 400 new items waiting to be listed and now I'm able to go out each day and spend some time looking for new items. It's funny but each thrift store seems to have a "best day" to look for stuff. Monday was great, I spent about 55.00 and that got us about 400.00 resell value in new inventory. One of the really cool items we found was a brand new pair of Harley Davidson Motorcycle Harness Boots for 4.00 ( SWEET ! ) 

We are about to go out again today to look for more stuff so gotta go for now :)

Later Gaters,
Tony

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Quitting My Full Time Job and Going Full Time on eBay

I am still a little bit in shock over giving my notice to my former employer, my final day is June 20th. To be honest I'm still wanting to cling to that lifeline but this is an all or nothing deal as once done I can't go back. Not that I would ever want to anyway but they have my replacement in training now so there won't be a slot left to go back to.

If your on the fence about quitting your job because of the stability of income, need for insurance or other issues then trust me I fully understand. This has been a gut wrenching decision for me and not quickly or easily decided upon. I'm 54 years old and now my fate is in my own hands which is great but scary too.

For me the deciding factor was the potential for growth in income which could afford me and my wife of 32 years the life we have always wanted but never had. Where we live you either have or you don't and if your a have not then your never going to be a have because there is no job you could get here in this little town that would ever lead to that kind of life.

Yes we could move but all of our family is here and we don't want to leave them so for these many years we have simply put up with the status quo because there was no alternative for us. 

I'm no slacker by any stretch of the imagination, I routinely outwork 90% of my fellow workers simply because I am self motivated and dedicated to the task at hand. Now that I am working for myself I will be putting all that drive and attention into our business.

My wife will remain on her job until I have 2000 listing up which judging by our past performance on 500 listing should put us at a level high enough to pay all the bills and buy health insurance.

We have tried to get past that 500 mark doing this part time but with the schedules we work, it never happens. Ebay selling for me is not easy, I am a perfectionist when it comes to a listing, no flaw left out, ever angle of picture taken. I take pride in only having 2 returns in 2 years and that was because the items did not fit.

If your a religious person which I am then please pray for me because I believe in the power of prayer and I can use all the help I can get.

If your thinking about trying this too then this will be a great blog to watch as I begin I will let you know how things are going and what kind of problems I run into. 

Next Update will be after June 20th.

Thanks !
Tony


Friday, May 29, 2015

Are Your eBay Sights Too High ?

Living in certain parts of the country may be an unending source of great eBay fodder for those sellers who happen to live there but for the rest of us selling on eBay, sourcing for new merchandise can be a real challenge.

So you have looked at all the YouTube videos and watched all those cool haul videos but despite all of this you can't find a thing to sell like all those people are selling and life just doesn't seem fair? 

Well trust me, as someone who lives in one of those black hole parts of the country, there are things to find but you absolutely must lower your sights and look for the silver, not the gold. 

What I mean is instead of looking for things you can't find, start taking a real long look at the things you can find and then do research on those things.

As an example, where I live you won't find Patagonia or Pendleton brand shirts which are pretty high dollar finds and sell great but what we do have in abundance is wrangler and levi's brand shirts which are kind of lower end shirts but still have a decent sell rate and even though they are lower prices they still offer good sales.

Another good thing to do is bundle, so even if you have lower end merchandise you could bundle to hit the price point you need.


Happy picking!
Tony

Friday, May 15, 2015

WHO DAT !!!!!


If you're a fan of the BBC Broadcasting Network or if you are a science fiction fan then you have no doubt heard of the Doctor Who TV series which has been running for a very long time on the BBC. Some of the DVDs even recent ones are worth quite a bit of money if you can find them. One that I have had in particular was this one shown above "Doctor Who, the web planet".

Hardcore Doctor Who fans will pay up big time for these rare Doctor Who DVDs. I sold the one I had for $150.00 locally before I even had a chance to put it on eBay. I probably could have gotten more money on eBay for the DVD but I figured what the heck, don't have to ship it.

There are more Dr Who DVDs that are worth quite a bit of money if you go on eBay and search sold listings for Doctor Who DVD and look at the highest sold prices first. These are pretty hard to find so if you find one please drop me a line and let me know I would love to hear about it.

Later Gators,
Tony

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Sleepless in Mississippi

This post was deleted, it was just a personal message to a few people who read my blog to let them know what's up with us. No real useful information. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Protecting Your Ebay Account

Me and my wife are preparing to go full time as ebay sellers and that in itself is scary enough but this will be where the majority of our income comes from so before we take the leap we are thinking about the security of what we are about to do.

So now we are looking at ways to protect our account from having the rug pulled out from us. We sell a lot of brand name clothing and while we have become experts on some things we can't be experts at everything so what does that mean for our business? Well what that means to us is to stay away from very high end brands that we can't authenticate ourselves. 

The lure of selling that Prada handbag we got from goodwill for big bucks is outweighed by the possibility of getting slammed with a counterfeit item suspension so the best thing to do is just not get involved in that stuff at all. We have already ended about 20 items we had up for sell because we weren't sure about them and it wasn't worth the risk.

Our remaining inventory is rock solid and very low risk items so we feel very good about it. As we get closer and closer to veering away from being hobby sellers into full time the seriousness of our chosen profession is becoming more and more real. It's no longer a well if it happens its no big deal kind of thing, now it's more of we have to stay above board on everything kind of thing.

If your looking to go full time on ebay then my best advise would be to ease into it. We made plenty of mistakes over the last 3 years and it's only now I feel we have reached the experience level that would allow us to do this for a living.

It seems easy and some of it is but making a living at anything is hard and requires much dedication. I used to think there would be nothing to it but wow has the last 3 years changed my mind. Anyway just take your time and don't rush into quitting your job until you feel ready.

It's been a long time waiting and we still have a few months to go at working out full time jobs but honestly I'm glad we waited because back when we first started, if I had quit my job then, it would have been a disaster.

peace,
Tony

PS. 4 months and counting

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The eBay Challenge

If you read my blog then your probably aware of my plans to go full time on ebay this year. My wife is very nervous about giving up our less than desirable but steady wages from our full time jobs so she issued me a challenge. She says if we can pay our home mortgage and electric bill from April until August then she will join me on September 1st as full time ebay sellers. She's not as convinced as I am on the new career so that is the deal. 

Up until now we have been putting all of the money we made on ebay back into the business to build a stockpile of new inventory to be listed and now have a staggering 6 months worth of inventory stored in our climate controlled storage unit to be listed ! This is great but it means we haven't seen any profit from the business as of yet.

This is good, it solves a number of issues for us as we go forward. We will now be forced to manage our money more responsibly and it also mean we now go to a formal schedule for photography/description and listing sessions in order to keep our store bringing in the funds we need to pay the bills. It's going to be an interesting next few months to be sure.

We have been selling on ebay for over 3 years now but have we accumulated enough knowledge to let go of our full time job lifeline ? That my friends we are about to find out. In answer to her challenge I intend to throw in ALL utilities and the home mortgage. 

Oh yes and just so you know, each time a bill is paid the exact same amount will be transferred into our saving account so we don't have those funds available for anything else. Once in savings it stays there. Unless there is a medical emergency we will not be touching savings so we will be completely reliant on the ebay money each month to pay the bills.

Life just got interesting again :-)

Tony

8 months and confidently counting !

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Too Many Irons in the Fire

So between Ebay, the flea market and my full time job I'm pretty much working 24/7 but being in Mississippi, that is the price of my freedom. It is extremely hard to scavenge here as your dealing with a mostly poor region. There are a few good items to find but I get beat to the good stuff many times due to my full time job. I'm looking forward to garage sale season coming back soon.

My "look for" list is ever changing and sometimes it feels like I'm always starting over but I'm starting to realize there are seasons to various items and we have to roll with those seasons. You can't wait till summer is here to start thinking summer, the time is now to start thinking summer.  Shorts, Shortalls, Capri's, swimming stuff, fun in the sun items.

My universal item is blue jeans, they seem to sell no matter what season. Levi's, American Eagle, Paris Blues, Aeropostale, BKE, Miss Me, Guess and Lucky Brand are always good sellers.

Good lord we are becoming retailers. Yep that happened. Anyway, my post are getting slowed down due to my work load so I may not be posting as often but will do my best.

I wish I could tell you exactly what to go out and hunt for today but honestly it's hit and miss for us too so we are still learning even after nearly 3 years of it. If there was one thing I wish I could go back 3 years and change it would be just to buy perfect items with no flaws as much as possible. The slightest flaw is not worth your time, move on. People are really really picky :-)

When in doubt check the item on your phone, don't waste money buying something your not sure of unless you've got money to waste, I don't.

Peace,
Tony

8 months and counting

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Flea Market Update plus eBay Shipping Tip

I wanted to share with you guys the first experiences I've had so far with the flea market. So we have been at the flea market now for eight days and in that time we have sold 9 items. We have sold two jackets (1 was a military flight jacket), three pair jeans, three name brand shirts and one pair of John Deere boots for a total of $227.00 out of which we will pay 5%and our booth cost us $56 per month so we are already making money. 

Me and the owner of the flea market are very friendly now and I was able to ask what seem to be selling the most but the owner could only tell me it was a little bit of everything nothing seemed to be predominate. He did tell me that furniture was bringing in the biggest prices and people did not seem to have a problem throwing down big dollars on antique furniture that they wanted.

This is going to be in ongoing experiment and learning curve for us as we have never dealt with flea markets before I have picked up on the idea of that this will be a place for us to pick up new merchandise for eBay because many of the vendors are undervaluing many of their antique or vintage items that I know I could get more money for on eBay, at least 50% on the low-end and sometimes 10 times my investment on other items.

Okay I don't want to completely bore you with what is happening at the flea market but it has been a very exciting time for us because it's new to us and I know some of you probably have already dealt with flea markets and this is not anything new to you but for us it is very exciting. 

Okay for the shipping tip I wanted to share I did discover that the magic dimension at which point your shipping cost through USPS priority mail goes through the roof is anything that exceeds the total of 12 x 12 x 12 or 36 total inches.

So you could have a 14 x 12 x 10 and still be okay or you could have and 18 x 10 x 8 and still be okay because if you add 14+12+10 you get 36 or if you add 18+10+8 you get 36. The moment you go to 37 total you are going to be looking at triple your shipping cost through USPS priority mail.

Maybe that will help someone down the road I don't know but I didn't know it so I thought I would share it. 

Tony

P.S. Countdown to freedom -9 months and counting

Saturday, February 7, 2015

eBay to Flea Market, Making the Transition.

This is the year I have decided to go full-time on eBay which is a very exciting thing but also a little scary when you've depended on that weekly paycheck for the last 35 years. While I am confident that eBay will more than replace my weekly check there is always a tiny chance we could be kicked off eBay for some future infraction of the rules.

Now I'm the kind of guy that doesn't like to take unnecessary chances so I like to hedge my bets. To that end we have just purchased a vendor booth at a local flea market. Now flea market vs eBay is completely different so just as with eBay we are enduring yet another learning curve.

What sells at flea markets consistently that we can source for cheap? I have no idea. What we did was take things that sell consistently on eBay to the flea market and now only time will tell. My plan is to setup vendor locations at several leave it and forget it flea markets where we don't have to be there to sell our stuff.

This is going to be an ongoing experiment. Do you sell at flea markets? What do you recommend we try? Any ideas appreciated, thank you.

Tony

Countdown to Freedom -9 months and counting