Friday, August 31, 2012

Now What Will I Sell

I live in beautiful sunny California. I have my whole life. But as I look out the window this is what I see:

Nothing interesting about this picture. My point isn't what's in the picture. It's what not . And that would be SUN. I live in California and there is no sun! And it's not even fall yet!

And how does this effect me? Lately about half of my eBay sales are for Hawaiian shirts. Do you know what some men will pay for really ugly Hawaiian shirts even if they are used? A lot. I can always make good money on them. I usually pick them up for a dollar or two and sell for upwards of $20.00. That's a great profit. And they sell consistently for me.

I sold this Hawaiian shirt this week. Paid $1.00 and it sold for $25.00. I must have underpriced it because it sold really quickly but I'm happy with at $24.00 profit. And the seller thank me for the shirt. Love that. I'm happy, he's happy. The hula girls on the shirt look happy. What else can I ask for?

Unfortunately today being our first gloomy day reminded me that the warm weather will soon be leaving us and with it my sales of Hawaiian shirts. I'm sure I will still be able to continue sell some but not in the numbers I have been selling them lately. So now what will I sell?

I never find owls like Becky at Treasures in Thrifting Land . She seems to do so well on them. The also does well with her local facebook group but there isn't a very good one in my area. I could try religious items like Lorraine at Clamco but I don't run into very many of those either. Plus I have a feeling my mom would try to keep most of them. Scott from Barry's Books and Other Neat Stuff does well with books, movies, cd's, even old computer programs. But I know nothing about any of this and I don't know if I have time to learn.

So since I can't steal any one else's idea I guess I will have to come up with my own. At least until next spring. It will give me time to collect more shirts. And maybe find a new niche I enjoy.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

First Day Of School

I cried a little. It seems like just yesterday I brought her home and she wouldn't say a word. And now a year and a half later she is in preschool. Now if only I didn't work full time this would be a perfect time to list.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Yard Sale Tricks

Well I think the trickiest part of yard saling is getting out of bed. There are some mornings that I’m not sure if I will make it. But then my Princess shows up and asks me “Mommy awake?” which means no more being lazy for me.

Most of my eBay “stock” comes from yard sales. I get the more bang for my buck there. Thrift stores around me are outrageously priced. Jeans are $6-10. Mens dress shirts $6-8. The local Salvation Army stopped their $1.00 Saturday special and the Goodwill only offers a 25% discount on certain color items each week instead of the 50% they used to offer. Unfortunately that only gives me one scouting day per week, Saturday. I work Fridays and sometimes I try to fit a couple sales in on my lunch time but that’s going to end next week when my Princess starts preschool. I will be taking her to school during my lunch every day. Sundays have actually been pretty successful yard sales trips for me in the past but dating a guy that lives 2 hours away makes it difficult for me. Sunday morning I am heading out to visit him (or he’s coming out to see me in which case I sneak in a few before he gets into town). So I have to use anything I can to make sure I get the most out of my Saturday sales.

When I first starting selling on eBay I would take the kids yard saling with me one of them would always shout from across the lawn “Hey Auntie do you want this for eBay?” or something along those lines. So I had to quickly come up with a code. Now instead of yelling about eBay they yell “Auntie do you think Grandma will like this?”. Grandma of course being code for eBay. This has worked out really well for us. But I do get some strange looks sometimes from people wondering why Grandma would want a box of action figures.

I am far from the expert on what sells well on eBay so when I’m not sure if “grandma” would like something I say out loud ‘Oh I’m not sure let me text her”. This is my way of pulling out my phone and looking the item up on eBay without being too obvious. I hear all the time “Do you know what this is going for on eBay” and I don’t want people giving me a higher price if they think I’m going to be selling their stuff there. (By the way don’t get me started on people that over price things because they are selling for a certain amount on eBay. If you want to get eBay prices then go sell them on there not a yard sale).

Recently I’ve been using a new “trick”. I take my 3 year old Princess with me yard saling. She of course always finds the toy stack at every sale. When I see something I think might sell well I ask her “Baby do you like this?”. Of course her answer is always yes (she likes everything for about 10 seconds and then moves on). So I send her to the sellers to ask “How much please?”. Who can over charge a sweet little Princess who also happens to be polite? About a quarter of the time they end up giving it to her for free. When they do charge they usually give it to her for much less then I would have gotten it for. I know this is sneaky but I go with what works. I just need to teach my baby to haggle a price and she will really be my secret weapon.

Now if anyone has any tricks that work for them please share! I need all the help I can get.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

You Need To Spend Money To Make Money

Unfortunately the saying is true. Most of my inventory comes from yard sales and I will admit I’m cheap. I rarely spend more then $1.00 on an item. I don’t have a lot of knowledge on what to buy and what sells so I would rather not pay out a lot of money and risk having to donate it again. But as I look over at a sea of knick knacks and items I always wonder how many treasures I am leaving behind.

This weekend I was yard saling with my honey (his choice I didn’t drag him with me) and he asked an owner “How much is that fishing pole rack?”. It was only $3.00. He paid the nice lady and off he went with his newly purchased rack. I walked past that rack at least 3 times and didn’t have a clue what it was. Even if I did I don’t know if I would have paid $3.00 for it. But I looked on eBay and found one just like it here that sold for $64.50 plus shipping. Not a bad return on $3.00. He of course is keeping his because he decided we (I don’t know how I got included in this we) need to get outdoors more.

I could say that I can go with my gut feeling on what to buy but my gut isn’t very knowledgeable either. But when it does have a feeling it is usually a good one. A few weeks ago I went to the Salvation Army and they were selling small totes full of toys. They had Barbie furniture, clothing, accessories, dolls, and lots of other items inside. But each tote was $7.50. I must have put them in my cart and taken them out again about half a dozen times. Did I want to spend $30.00 on four totes? No. But my gut was telling me “Do it” so I did. And my gut didn’t let me down. To date I have sold $170.00 worth of items. I still have items listed that haven’t sold yet and other items yet to list. I am expecting to sell all my items for at least $300.00.

This weekend I had the same dilemma. I went to a yard sale where they were selling new in box toys. I got a stack together of about 10 toys. I asked the owner how much for the stack and she told me $40.00. Logically I knew that I could make that back by selling just one or two of the toys which would make all the rest profit. But I didn’t want to have to give her most of my yard sale budget for the day (yes I was pouting a little). And she wouldn’t go any lower in price. I did finally hand over the money. I am actually thinking of trying my hand with Amazon with these toys. I am a little scared to try something new but I might just jump in. Wish me luck.

So I am going to admit that the past couple weeks I haven’t listed. I’m not going to make excuses. I’ve just been lazy. And my sales have reflected this. But I have a cruise to finish paying and I need money so I am setting a goal of listing 5 items per day this week. I listed 5 yesterday so I am starting the week off right.