Monthly Archives: March 2014

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Buying Completed Needlework for Resale

I get asked by many sellers about buying completed and stitched and sometimes framed needlework that is already stitched for resale.  There are a few factors to take in mind when purchasing.  

1.The quality of the work.  If you are buying counted cross stitch you want the stitches to go all in one direction on the top stitch and the bottom should go in the opposite direction.   There might be half and quarter stitches that will be different directions due to the detail.  But all full stitches should lay in one direction.   You also don’t want to see holes. This means the stitching is too tight.  On crewel work (yarn embroidery) you want to make sure the stitching is nice and tight but not Puckered and that the yarn covers the line work underneath (the stitching lines). For needlepoint, you want to make sure that you see even cover and not big holes. 

2. The theme.  Theme is very important on any piece of needlework.   I recently sold two pieces of artwork that I knew would have a very limited buyer market and was shocked when they sold in Ten minutes. I thought I would be sitting on them for months.  What were they?   Completed and Framed Guns… They both went to Australia to the same buyer for over $125.o0.   If you think something is ugly.. others may think it is awesome.  If you think something is just gorgeous others may find it awful… so keep that is mind.. if the theme and workmanship are good… think about it.   Great themes are: samplers, animals, scenes, children, etc. 

3. Price. I usually don’t buy items that cost more then $5.00 unless they are going to make me at least $50.00!  Why.. I have to ship the framed picture and that is a pain.  I have to have a box to fit and prepare the glass to not break… lots of time considerations here.   

4. You have to have excellent photos of the finished item and the closeup of the stitching.  People want to see the workmanship.. 

5. The Technique –  I have found counted cross stitch does much better than most of my stamped or crewel embroidery.  I also do much better with items stitched on linen over aida. (you will see the little squares on aida).  Needlepoint, if stitched correctly can do incredible and if a pillow or picture that is geometric or dogs and cats will do really well and can bring in hundreds.   

6. How you market it.   You have to know the technique before you start so get to know what needlepoint is to cross stitch etc.  Make sure you have size in your title and also if you know the designer and title.  

7. I seem to get better money on eBay over Etsy on completed cross stitch and needlework which many find hard to believe. I think it is because of the international audience.  

8. Pricing Make sure you are not throwing money away. Just because you purchased something for a few dollars does not mean you have to sell it to make a few dollars profit.  Research completed and sold needlework on eBay 

http://www.ebay.com/sch/Needle-Arts-Crafts-/160659/i.html?_sop=16&LH_Complete=1&LH_Sold=1

Good Luck and if you have any questions please feel free to post here and I will help. 

Let Research become your best friend.   


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Thoughts eBay 2014 Spring Seller Release

I am going to post my opinion on the spring seller release. 2014 for eBay and what I take from it and what we can all do.

I will say this.  Every time eBay has made a change I might complain to them and they listen and sometimes have fixed it or I have worked around it.  Every change has affected my business and has been better for my business.

1. The parameters set with the new rule of 5 (for eTRs) and 8 (for other sellers) is to protect small sellers from being kicked off of eBay by one, two, three, or four buyers.  This is huge.  You need five (or 8) unique buyers to lose status. You could fall below 2% defect rate but the 5/8 rule is taken into account and you won’t lose it without both.

2. Percentages vs number of cases.  It is 2% of your evaluation period and the 5/8 rule combined.  So if you are a medium seller like I consider myself I have 1500 transactions in my 3 month evaluation period I need to have 30 defects to lose top rated (2% of 1500).  If I have 30 defects I should not be a top rated seller in my opinion.  For those with 12 month evaluation you have to have under 2 percent for eTRs but keep in mind it has to be from five buyers.  So say you sold 100 items and got 4 defects you would be at 4 percent but you only had 4 unique buyers and would not lose eTRs.

3. I like that a negative or a neutral revision counts as a defect. There was still something wrong with the transaction.  Last year cs was given more leeway to remove feedback.  If your customer writes and said I messed up that is removable.  So revised feedback is a defect.  Removed feedback is not a defect.   I left a negative and was offered money to change it.  The seller had 775 revised feedback at the time.  This is a great Policy for me as a buyer who had a bad buying experience.

4. Cancelled orders by seller.   This will be great for buyers who has had Christmas and holidays ruined because a seller was out of stock and cancelled my order.   Keep good control of your inventory and now make it a priority to check your listed and to organize it and fix listings while you are at it.   If a buyer writes and says my cat bid you can 1. Cancel and chose buyer changed mind or bid by mistake or 2. Let it go to UPI.  UPI will refund your fees.  Griff is saying if a cancellation closes without buyer canceling then you won’t get back your fees.  UPI is my path.

5.  Item not received.  This is my ONLY issue and feel there is a really good resolution.  The times eBay gives to get a package to a customer is many time unrealistic and needs to be reevaluated.  A buyer can now open a case one day after the item is supposed to arrive. First of all most buyer have no clue they opened a case they just want to check tracking and since eBay tracking is not in real time they don’t see the most current information. If the item arrives the next day and is closed by the buyer the seller gets a defect.  If a seller calls and takes time away from listing and work to call cs and say hey it arrived then it is not a defect.   I can’t track 30 to 50 packages a day on a daily basis x 6 days a week as suggested, especially when eBay is behind on tracking.  My suggestion for a solution is to have real time tracking (current) and when a buyer opens the where is my item eBay shows the updated current info to the buyer and then says. Do you still want to open a case?   Case has to be used since most buyers think they are just asking a question and not opening a case.  This will make opened cases go down immediately if eBay will provide current tracking and not two days ago.

I feel I can show my item was scanned at my post office within my one day handling time I should not get a defect.  If the buyer gets the item, is happy and closes the case that should not be a defect.

6.  We have about a month to get our seller standards views and I suggest waiting to see where we each stand.  We can then have the time to go through and analyze what is up

7.  This is good and very thought out but I do see some pain points. This is great for small sellers and I encourage you to not worry about it until you see the real numbers.  Kim said it well about the emails sellers got that said projected past shows you would not be in compliance.  Projected is the key word here.  You have some time.   Work on those.

8. eBay changed my life. I love what I do.  I have the freedom to voice my opinion and I have to say I truly 100 % believe that eBay listens to buyers and sellers in these cases.

Visit the eBay site here on the update to be current  eBay Seller Update Spring 2014


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Recap of my Week in New England and Thrifting Finds

I was able to spend seven full days in New Hampshire with Robbin Levin and we had such a marvelous time.  I flew into Logan in Boston and had a delightful dinner with Linda Bryant and her friend Paula and Robbin at the Salty Dog in Boston.  (Parking was $35.00 ouch).  

Tuesday Robbin and I drove in a snow storm to visit with our friend Sunita and Kristine. Sunita sells a ton of yarn on eBay and esty and it was fun to see her place.  On the way back from her house we decided to thrift but apparently NH has other ideas and closed the stores due to the storm… We were die hards and got a couple in but others did not understand how we wanted to shop. 

Wednesday we met up with local eBay and Amazon sellers to take them thrifting and show them the ropes on what we look for.  We met at Goodwill and spent 3 hours.. yes three hours.. We went through every part of the store.  The look on Jim’s face when I said buy this cup you will get 24.99 for it… It sold six days after he listed it.. Always look for flower mugs with Marjolein Bastin.  Good investment.  We found some fun finds. There was not a lot of needlework.. I am not sure that New Englanders do it anymore.   We then moved to Savers for two hours and had to leave for the Meet Up where I was the speaker.   We found some fun items such as Tattoo Thigh high tights that will not make a bunch of money but hey 7.00 in my pocket with a multiple variation listing… I think I bought 25 packages ($7.00 profit x 25) I am on it.  Look for vintage Pantyhose and Large cup bras.. they sell and are consistent sellers.  

The Meet up was a blast as we talked customer service and about the eBay of 2014 not being the eBay of 2013.  Changes are not fun but I will tell you every one of the changes that eBay has made has been helpful and has increased my business.  

Thursday morning we drove to Massachusetts and made a stop on the way at Alpha Cars to see Dmitri and Olga who sell Ural Sidecar Motorcycles.  My husband Jim not only dreams of one but covets it every minute.. with eBay sales staying steady I hope to have him one by the end of summer.   We then drove to meet up with one of our favorite CO$T (Cindy’s Online Selling Tips) members, Ron.  Ron showed us his eBay and Amazon business and shared with us his lovely antique home he shares with Phillip and their three incredible children.  We went to Savers where we met up with another favorite, Raymond Smith, who drove from New Jersey to spend time with us.    Ron had a cart full of stuff. Big hint is to look for odd shaped Christmas Plates and Platters.. Good money.  Raymond found a really cool mold that he paid under $5.00 for and will make at least $70.00 on. I will post some photos later.  

We went to Connecticut for the Meet Up in Avon and had a full house.  I spiced up the talk but had the same type of talk to the sellers.  It was really well received.  We were also able to have a great cake to celebrate Maida’s birthday. It was great to meet so many CO$T members who drove so far to come here me speak. 

Friday morning found us thrifting with a large number of the attendees from the Meet Up.  Some marvelous finds for everyone. I was tickled to find some Pendleton Scarves in Tartans but they are not going to be sold.  They will go to my sons.  We went to two stores, a Goodwill and a Savers.  I love to eat and drink locally so they suggested George’s and it was incredible. Thanks Kim and Jason for buying my dinner.   

We drove back to New Hampshire after dinner and stopped at a couple of stores where Robbin and I scored a few good finds.   

Saturday we spent at a gymnastics meet for Robbin’s son where he took second overall and the team first place. That was fun. We stopped and hit the goldmine in Goodwill. My $30.00 purchases will bring in over $400.  Saturday evening we met up with Jeremy for Lobster. That was the best… we were able to watch #Thrifthunters on the TV at Petey’s.   A great time on the beach.  

Sunday we had a marvelous time thrifting time with Jeremy and Robbin.. we all scored and Robbin his the Cross Stitch Gold Mine.  (we stayed up til 3:30 Listing some of her finds and he cha ching went off early the next morning from a sale).  Dinner at the Old Salt was a wonderful last meal with great friends in New Hampshire as I had to get ready to leave the next afternoon. 

After packing and catching up and spending the morning going over some eBay tips and hints Robbin and I headed to Boston. Just past Seabrook the car engine seized up and stopped.  Cassi, a friend of Robbins came to the rescue and brought her car for us to take to the airport and she stayed with the broken down car and waited for the tow truck.  I made it to Boston on time and was through security in seconds as I was picked for the new TSA quick screen.. no shoe removal, no jacket removal, no computer removal etc.  After an uneventful flight on an exit row, Thank you Delta. I arrived home late Monday and had to fix some shipping problems that Jim and Steven encountered while I was gone.  

It was a marvelous trip and I met some amazing people   Thank you… I will post some of my finds on the next blog to you.  

 


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