Category Archives: Shipping Packages

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One drop of water at a time fills the lake

From Guest Writer Marcia Glenn

Sunday Morning Musing with Coffee: One Drop of Rain of Water at a Time Fills the Lake

Some of you are brand new to selling on Ebay and some are old pros. All of us need to keep up with new technology and new ideas that work, whether we like it or not. If you want to grow and be successful.

You can continue to do it the same way you have always done it (if you have done it in the past) and that is fine with me as long as it is fine with you. But I do ask you, please, don’t complain that you are not getting any sales, that your sales THIS year are not as good as LAST year.

I know mine are not. As are most people’s. However mine are improving week by week and I look forward to 2015 as a great year to be an online seller. What am I doing different than those who are not doing as well as I am?

1. I have a business Facebook page that talks about my business. My goal is to post at least once a week, twice or 3 times would be better if I can do it. I have a note on my computer telling me to do this. I have notes in front of me, screaming at me to do this.

What do I post? Things that relate to getting a sale but in a disguised way. I talk about the history of Haviland Limoges dinnerware and make it interesting but short. Then I refer the readers to my Haviland Limoge that I have for sale. Same for smoking jackets, coffee mugs, jewelry, ANYTHING that I am selling that I have more than 1 of.

Cannot write? Yes you can. Everyone can write. You just have to start and practice. Use Wikipedia, other research places. Take no more than 15 minutes to research and write it. Think of it as a blog.

2. I own Oceanbeachtreasures.com. www.oceanbeachtreasures.com. Cost me $15 a YEAR. What is there? Absolutely nothing!! It is a link to get people to ebay. Try it. Why do I have it? Because every single time I use it (in my thank you letters, on my Facebook page, on my Twitter page, it goes out into the universe and the search engines pick it up and remember it.

It is a clickable link in my email correspondence no matter what kind it is. People click links.

It is easy to do, easy to buy and well worth the 1.3 dollars a MONTH that I pay to have it.

I own Glassconfusion.com. There is nothing there right now (again as I rework my ideas about what that business will be in the future) but soon there will be a new website that will point people to not only me on Ebay but me on Amazon, Etsy and Alibris book site. It is part of my 2015 future.

Don’t think you have to build a website. You do not. All you have to do is buy the domain name which would be the name of your store. Then you just easily change where the link (your domain name) goes to. You just change it to stores.ebay.com/yourstorefrontpage, whatever that is.

For this to work you must have a store. To have a store on Ebay you must pay Ebay more money each month to “own” a store. Think of it as rent.

3. I have a store on ebay. Premium Store for me, you can start with Basic store. The store lets me build my business MY WAY. I can link people to it, I can link listings to store pages, I can Facebook, Twitter and blog about my store. MY STORE.

Let me tell you this loud and clear, without a store you will not succeed. It is the number 1 on my list of must haves to be successful. Number 1. No matter how well you shop, how well you sell, how well you list, take pictures, anything. Without a store to showcase your items, well…just get it. The page on Ebay that explains the stores, what they cost per month, how many listings you can have “free” of listing fees is:http://pages.ebay.com/storefronts/subscriptions.html

Stop giving yourself reasons NOT to have a $16 a month store. Just stop it. Stop arguing with me that you do not need it and in the next breathe tell me that your sales suck. One of the reasons they suck is you do not have a store. This way of selling is a business. You have costs as a business. This is one of them. When I had a brick and mortar store my rent was NOT $16 a month.

4. Do you have business cards made up for your business? I do. They go into every package I send out. It is a cheap and pretty way for people to remember me. This year I will get some that are magnets. Everyone likes magnets for the fridge. They will like mine as well. I also have a nice thank you paper written and printed 2 to a page on pretty colored paper. It goes with the business card attached into each box of things I sell. It matters.

I also send out a Thank YOU letter by email using the real email address found normally either on the email given to me by ebay or at paypal. Some have commented it is a waste of time to do this. Some are feverantly against doing this. Not me. I think of it as a handshake after the deal, a way to honestly THANK THEM for buying from me.

Maybe it goes into spam folder on their end, maybe not. I don’t really care. I send it out anyway. It is not only a heartfelt thanks but it once again gets my name into their minds so maybe, just maybe they will remember me in the future.

I also give the feedback immediately. I do not play the feedback game, the “I won’t leave feedback until THEY leave Feedback”. I leave it because they have done exactly what I want them to do, they bought from me and paid me money in a timely manner. What else do I want them to do??? Handstands? Bake me a cake? Introduce me to Mark Harmon?

5. Networking. When I was a real store I had groups and meetings I attended where I spoke to people and they always knew my name and my business. I do this online as well. How many times in COST have I said I am Marcia Glenn, Glass Confusion and Ocean Beach Treasures? Is it because I like to hear myself type? Hell no, the more I can cram that down your throats (gently) the more you will remember it, the more you will remember the types of things I sell. The more you will check out my store and maybe spend some money on my sites.

Many of you at COST have purchased from me, I thank you from the bottom of my heart, truly. But first before you could buy from me, you had to know where to go to purchase my items and you had to have Glass Confusion and Ocean Beach Treasures stick into your mind.

Who are you? Why are you not shouting it to me? I cannot find you if you don’t tell me who you are and what your store name is…..shy just does not cut it if you want to be successful. Get over shyness. Be proud of who you are, what you do.

I network in a very few Facebook groups. I do not have the time to go and chat but I do my best to help in the 2 groups I belong to and I know if I help I will reap. I stay away from Social Groups on Facebook, I stay away from groups that are negative and poorly run. Again my time online is for work not play. I value it and I schedule it out and I work the hours that I need to work online.

When (if) you had an office job or any job that took you away from your home and family to somewhere else, you had certain rules to work by. Working on personal things was not to be done at work. While you were friendly to those around you, you did not hang out by the coffee pot watching football games, you did not spend hour shopping online, reading books, knitting or the million of other things that do in your own social time at home.

The same goes for this type of job. YOU are home now. So is the television, the books, the knitting, all the things that you do for fun. I have to plan out my days/week each week. There are times I schedule for walking, with friends, appointments that need to be made, volunteer work that I have signed up for.

I must also schedule in work time. During work time I work. List, pictures, paperwork, research, sell, box, ship, source, organize, store. I can do this NOW in my bunny slippers with “Staying Alive” blasting on the computer, this could be frowned upon at the city water desk or anywhere else “out there” that I could work at instead of here.

You have trade offs. The successful selling people on Ebay never forgot that while this can be fun it is also a job. Act like it is a job. More people come online to try and make a living selling on Ebay every single day. More competition. But I feel that more and more people drop out of Ebay every single day as they never understood that this is a JOB and they did not teach themselves how to do it correctly, thus they failed. It all evens out in the end.

Don’t fail. Do the work needed. Do the learning needed. Get better at everything you do. Understand how to write a title, do the research, pictures that sell your item. Customer Service that is the best it can be. Do this right.

One drop at a time fills the lakes and the rivers and the oceans. Your business is the same. Every single thing you do to enhance it, every single time you talk about it, every single time you promote it on Twitter and Facebook and your own website, every single time you showcase your business it is like a new drop of water entering YOUR pond, stream, lake and ocean.

It all fills you up. Your business plans from last year or 2 years ago needs to be revised. Start doing different things that will fill up your business.

It works.

Now that your are full of turkey, football, waiting in line to buy something in a big box store that you really did not need or did not need to waste the hours to save a bit of money, NOW that all that frenzy is over it is time to buckle down and start building some frenzy of your own!!

Have a great week, stay warm and dry and keep listing and promoting and shipping. Christmas is 25 days away, remember that January will be good as well with the Ebay gift cards as well as the Amazon gift cards if you sell on that site too.


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Needlework Supplies on eBay & Pinterest

Today I sell on eBay mostly because I can get worldwide sales.  I also have a few things on etsy but the traffic is just not there. 

You can find me on eBay at www.bubbacandance.com

I can also be found on Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/stitcheryxpress/

We carry a full line of counted cross stitch items from current to long out of print patterns and kits.  We also carry linens, aidas and other specialty fabric items.  We have a warehouse full of four closed needlework stores.  We carry hand dyed threads, Needles from John James and very unique stitching accessories including unique scissors.   

We are also the the automatic mailings from designers such as Mirabilia, Lizzie Kate, Needle’s Notions, Ink Circles, Barbara Ana. etc.   

Join us at Stitchery X-Press on eBay 


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Money Musing Marcia Glenn

Sunday Morning Musing with Coffee: Money (again).

I talked about MONEY (not the root of all evil) in a previous Sunday Musing however I want to come back to this very basic thought for not only the new peeps who did not originally read the other Musing but as a reminder for those who did.

Money. The reason we do this selling on Ebay and everywhere online. To support our families, to pay extra bills, to buy extra things for extra special people including ourselves. Some of us live on this money and some of us play on this money. All of us need this money or we would not put ourselves through this on a daily basis.

So after you have purchased the item for the perfect price and have listed and sold this item for another perfect price and now that you actually have the money in your hands (insert bank account, Paypal account) what do you DO with the money?

Spend it, duh…..well maybe not.

Each of us has their own agenda with this money. But all of us have some basic costs associated with this money and it is those costs and the final change left over after these costs that I want to remind you in this musing.

IMHO, you should have a budget, hell you should have many budgets but for this demonstration you should have an Ebay budget that you build and tally out of the sales, a budget that you stay on in your weekly/monthly/quarterly shopping excursions.

Lets talk about what happens to that money you have holding in your hands from your sale.

In our fantasy sale, we bought something for $10 and we sold it for $100. We shipped it for $9 (it was heavy) and we paid shipping. Now this is what happens.

Ebay wants their share. This is going to be 9% most of the time. Check Ebay for the fees chart but 9% is pretty standard for the categories that we all sell in normally. Ok gang that amount is $9.00 on our sale.

Leaving us $91.00.

Now Paypal wants their share which is 2.9% and .30 each transaction. On our original $100 that is $2.90 plus .30 or $3.20.

Leaving us $87.80.

Now we still have to pay for that shipping. Either it was taken out of our Paypal account with Ebay shipping or we prepaid at Stamps.com and all the other mailing sites. Either way that cost was $9.00. (If you charge for shipping you would have received more money. However you still have to buy the shipping somewhere each time.)

Now we have $78.80 left out of our original $100.00.

These are our fixed costs. There are also Ebay store costs from the basic store to the most expensive store. Take your store costs and divide it by the number of items in your store and this is the cost for that 1 item each month to sit and wait for a buyer. For me right now that cost is .03 a month. Piffle amount. But it is still a fee, buried in the way back of my mind.

Some of us have more items than allowed for free and for me that means I have an additional .10 per item per month for some of my items. While this is a minor cost (really minor, do you know how many .10 it takes to buy a decent coffee in this town??) this cost is always in the back of my mind adminst the other trivia I cannot seem to forget). For now we will just assume you do not pay any additional costs.

So we have spent $21.20 of our $100 to get this transaction completed.

21%.

Not including the original cost of the item.

Did you know this? Do you think of this when you sell the item? When you BOUGHT the item? Do you have 20% wrapped around your mind each time you pick something up, research it on your smart phone and make a decision whether to put it in your shopping cart or put it back on the shelf?

Cause you better.

In our fantasy sale at this moment we are not going to set aside any money for replacement costs, meaning you are eventually going to need to put aside money to start buying inventory to sell again. Some of you are so over extended in inventory it might be a year or more before you SHOULD buy again, a few people will need to go shopping within the month to replenish the inventory.

Either way, in the future or now, you will need to set aside money to buy again. For todays example, we are too heavily inventoried to even think of stepping into a thrift store so NO we are not going shopping and NO we are not putting any money aside from THIS sale to shop.

Ok, back to our sale. We now have $78 bucks to spend. Not $100. $78.

This is the amount we can spend on our bills we need this money for. Tuition, food, shelter, electricity, all the reasons we are doing this is the reason we need to spend this money right now.

But WAIT. (hehehe)

What about paper for the printer? What about ink for the printer? What about a new printer? Batteries for the camera? A new camera? Boxes, Packing Material, Tape. Pieces parts including mannequins, display hands, rings displays, bust displays? Magic Eraser? Paper Towels? Computer Monitor? New computer?

Look at YOUR life. Did you buy those batteries on sale at Costco along with the tape when it was on sale? Did you have the money to do this? Are you scrounging for packing supplies like I do? Do you have to buy them?

Look at your life. Are you going to need a computer/printer/camera/storage solutions in the future whether near or far? If you answer yes or even Maybe, then start putting away just a little bit from each sale, say 5%.

Into what I call a “tucked envelope”. When I was in college oh so many decades ago and I dealt in cash, I would “tuck” a bit of each salary from my 2 jobs into envelopes labeled “rent”, “utilities”, “gas for the car”, “food”. Then when the bills were due I would pay the bill out of the “tucked envelope”.

Get a tucked envelope system started even if it is just on paper and in your bank account. Call it savings, call it Fred, your choice.

Back to our story. Now our $78 and change is $73 and change after our 5% tuck. But when the printer finally gasps its last breath you just might have enough to buy a new one. Without crying.

Last point. You will be expected to pay taxes on this income no matter how small it is. The days are gone where the IRS does not know you are making money online. Old Ebay sellers, new Ebay sellers, we all have to pay taxes on this new income.

It would behoove you to know how much taxes, what to do to make your expenses help cover your income and how much you need to save each week/month to be able to pay the piper in April (extended until October 15th if you have to?.

Get a professional. Seriously. Get a professional tax person to help you. Don’t use your sister in law who took a course, don’t use your father who has “done your taxes for decades”, get a PROFESSIONAL.

Preferably a CPA. Preferably a tax CPA. Preferably a TAX CPA who specializes in Businesses. Preferably a tax CPA business dude or duddette who knows the online selling business.

They will save you money.

The biggest reason that businesses fail whether they are virtual like ours or brick and mortar is that the owner did not realize the money aspect of the business. They did not realize how to spend their money when they received their money.

If YOU do not know the financial side you will not succeed. If YOU are looking at the pile of bills at the end of the month and comparing it to the pile of money in your hands, well the lack of money in your hands and wondering where the heck it all went to….well…you are in trouble.

We do not want you in trouble. We want you to be richer than you were last month. More successful than you were last month. This is why we are all here in this room. To improve ourselves. To learn. To teach. All here will learn, all here will teach.

My spreadsheet that I do, entering every single sale every single time shows me the GROSS which is my income including shipping if it was International and the NET which is what money is left after all the fixed expenses of: 1. Cost of the item, Ebay Fees front and back, Paypal fees and Shipping. Insert Amazon/Etsy Fees if you sell on those sites.

Those numbers are added up automatically by the spreadsheet and I can see that the Gross and the Net differ by 38% on my sheet, different from the 21% earlier talked about because of the cost of the item.

I still think about 21% when I go shopping. When I do my research. I also think about the TIME that it will take me to list 10 items that will net me $5.00 each or 10 items that will net me $25 each. Which will cost more normally but if I save the little bit I would have spent on the cheaper item that will only give me $5 then I can afford to buy the item that will give me $25.

Basic final thought. When you see that $100, did you think “YEAH I have $100 to spend now on XX or did you think Yeah I now have $78 to spend?”

It is the difference from making it as a business or shutting down and going back to work for “others”.

Manage your money. I don’t care if you don’t like this idea, you MUST know what the amount of money is coming in, what the amount is going out and what you really have to spend from each sale.

Deal with this. Do not trust others to have your best interest as their interest or you just might meet any number of Hollywood celebrities who did this as your jail mate.

Remember you can sell their autograph on ebay when the time served is over. 

Great week all, enjoy the weather, get ready for Christmas. Football anything online? I am selling tee shirts from the sports teams lately and a Reyn Spooner shirt for $67 that I bought on Ebay 3 weeks prior for $13. Dallas Cowboys flip.

Key things to list this week: Halloween, Costumes, Party Supplies, Decorating items for the FALL, football, college football stuff. Coats. Jackets. Fall clothing. Golf shirts (cooler weather in the hot states means people will be out golfing all winter long and they will not be allowed on the course naked.

Flatware, Dinnerware for the holiday season. Just think of what you are going to be looking for in the next 90 days. That is your target market now.

Watch the cover of the “womens” magazines when you stand in the checkout line. If good ol’ Martha is pimping Pumpkins and decorating your fall holiday table, millions are listening. And Googling Ebay for “fall holiday table decorations”.

Enjoy your week!


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Sunday Musings by Special Guest Marcia Glenn

In Cindy’s Online Selling Tips I have been honored to have Marcia Glenn write a Sunday Musing for us for a long time. I wake up every Sunday to these wonderful posts.  

Sunday Morning Musing with Coffee: What Does Ebay REALLY Want From ME?

I have thought long and hard these last few months on how to do my Ebay business better. From getting faster at listing to buying only things that I know will generate me a good if not great profit, there are a bazillion things to learn to do my job faster, better with more profit. I am using some great APPS like KiQuantity and KiPhoenix to streamline my process but one thing keeps cropping up in my daydreams and my dreams at night….

What Does Ebay REALLY Want From ME?

They won’t tell me.

Well they won’t tell me in a definitive statement. Or even 10 statements. They will never come out and say, Marcia (fill in your name), THIS is what we want you to do!! Follow this and that and the other thing and we almost guarantee we will love you forever and a day and show your listings to EVERYONE!!

But they hint at it and it is these hints that I have started to listen to and do for them. When I do these things that they hint at telling me my sales go up. So I continue to do them. I believe that they “rate” me somehow, no idea what that “rating” is but if I do what they have told me to do in newsletters and policy changes I will get higher rankings, my listings will be shown to more qualified people (people who are searching for what I have to sell) and I will have more sales.

Here is what I have heard from them over the last year, thought about and implemented.

1. They want me to use 12 pictures. They expanded the pictures to 12, thus I believe they want me to use 12. So pretty much I do now. I do my very best to fill up all 12 spots, sometimes it is easier than other times but try I do.

2. They want my pictures to be bigger. They made the picture requirements bigger and will actually kick off my listing if it is not to their requirements picture size so now my pictures are the size they want. I make them cleaner, bigger, clearer, more details. I want my pictures to rock not only because of MY pride but because Ebay wants my pictures to ROCK. So I do my best to get the very best pictures I can.

3. They encourage me to put Free Shipping in my listing and while there is no such thing as Free Shipping as we add the shipping price to the listing price, what I think they are saying is that with Free Shipping the buyer has no surprises as to the final price. People search for FREE SHIPPING listings ONLY and never ever do I think someone searches for “no free shipping please” so I add the shipping value to my listing price and have 99% of my listings as Free Shipping.

4. They want me to have short and simple, non HTML filled listings. Whether this is a software issue or not, Ebay says no HTML so now I am in the process of dumping my Auctiva templates on Glass Confusion and reworking those listings to a simpler, cleaner line format. Surprise surprise that these new listings are selling and the old HTML are not.

5. They want me to be Top Rated Seller, Power Seller and have a Store. All three of these things they encourage for me to do or achieve so do and achieve them I did. With this Ebay gave me the option of having a cleaner looking store front with new store look and I changed over to that as well. My store looks clean and pretty (especially with my new store banner from Scott Henshaw).

6. Ebay wants me to ship FAST. 1 Day shipping is what I say I will do thus this is what I do.

7. Ebay wants me to sell Internationally so I do. It makes me money, I have no issues with it and in a global economy it only makes sense. I ship Internationally.

8. Ebay wants me to have a very larger than necessary return policy so I do. I get so little returns that it means nothing to me. I have had 2 pieces of clothing returned in the past, one was too small and we both knew it would not fit him, he paid shipping both ways and apologized profusely for it not fitting…I sold it to another with a higher price and my first buyer bought a bigger shirt…win/win.

My second one was a mistake on my part…learned that you really cannot rely on the Levi butt tag as the real size, those jeans shrunk an amazing 4 inches from what the tag said. Taught me to measure. Again I sold them only this time with the right measurements and even paying double the shipping made a profit. Since I was polite and apologized to the seller and paid the shipping to her, from her and gave her an extra bit of money for her “trouble” she bought the correct size from me the next week.

9. Ebay wants me to promote the listing with Pinterest. They spend a bunch of dollars to put the Pinterest link on all listings thus it is important to them. So it is important to me and I have found that it works for me. I pin, I sell. Ebay just makes it easier for me to do it.

10. Ebay wants me to be the best seller possible, give the customer the best that I can be so that they will rate me the highest rating if I earn it. The rating system could use some work and this stupid, idiotic defect thing will go the way of leg warmers but for now I just make sure I do the best I can in listing, photographing and shipping so that I get the best feedback that I deserve.

This is my top 10 list of what Ebay wants from me. Now what does that REALLY mean?

To me and remember this is only MY opinion, Ebay will promote me if I do what they ask me to do. With all the data that companies gather on me in the world, I cannot imagine that Ebay does not have the software or the programmers to pick apart…well ME. I believe they take every single thing about me on Ebay and put it into a computer somewhere and come up with something that they use to determine if they really really really like ME.

I think they even look at all the WORDS that are typed in my feedback from others. Why not? The information is there, why not use it. So when 10 out of 10 or 100 out of 100 of my feedback says FAST Shipping, I gotta think that means another notch in my virtual profile towards love from Ebay. When people say positive things about me I know Ebay is taking notes. As well as how much I list, when I list, what I list, how much I sell, when I sell, what I pinned, what I purchased, what I said in Feedback and on and on and on.

Then they use this information to compare to others who are selling the exact thing that I am selling and put me just a tad higher in the ranking or the showing or something so that mine will sell before the others.

All this information they gather about me and YOU is called BIG DATA by the computer geeks who name things like this. Ebay “Wants” you to evolve along with e- commerce which is shaped by what buyers want and expect. Also, I think the reason for any wants are based on a this new thing called, “Big Data” which is a means of collecting mass quantities of pieces of data and in the end their data shows that what I have mentioned above are things that “Buyers want”. So in the end eBay wants me and you to provide this.

Let’s use an example. I have a yellow rubber duck. Mass produced and sold by many other people. Lets compare me to one that Mike has (if you are a Mike, please think about your middle name as this is not to compare to YOU).

Mike and I have the same Rubber Duckie. My pictures rock, his do not. I have a store, positive feedback, top rated seller, all the bells and whistles. Mikey does not…his pictures are lousy, his feedback is borderline, he has no store, no top rated seller. I offer free shipping, he does not. On and on and on. He will lose out overall I feel.

Mine will show up more in searches, higher in searches, Ebay will promote it with things that they do to promote it online. They send out emails, they show my listings when you log on, I will feel the love more than poor Mike.

Algorithms. Kinda like Calculus that it is part of the universe but does anyone really understand it? I don’t and don’t have to. All I have to understand is that Ebay understands it and applies it to me and you and everyone and I want to be top page, above the fold (newpaper term), highest of the high.

So I play the game. But playing the game instead of fighting it, well that gives me money. In the end that is all that I care about.

What DO I Have to do to make Ebay happy? Pretty much play their game.

If I don’t like the game I can go to Etsy, Bonanza, Craigs List, Amazon and the others that provide me a selling platform to sell my wares. I do sell on multiple platforms but Ebay is tied with Amazon for income stream and I pay both games with different rules because when it is all said and done, that is what I want to do.

When Ebay comes out with changes, I listen and implement them. They are subtly telling me to do this without forcing it down my throat (normally) but I don’t care, they tell me this is what they want, I will do it. I won’t cross the road without holding their hand as we are partners in this business, the more I sell the more money we both make. I have to think they are trying to make me a better seller which will make their goals for their investors happy and their bank account numbers higher.

I don’t think they made up these new things like bigger, clearer pictures just because they were sitting around a board table and wondering what they could do this month to make my job harder (changing 2000 listings with pictures that are too small for example). I think this is what they have determined that buyers want so they have told me this is what buyers want.

Gotta listen to what my buyers want. Fast story. I created and sold my own jewelry when I had the storefront. Glass pendants mostly. Had them in a large jewelry display, each in an individual box for gift giving. Over the course of a year I heard over and over again “Do you have a chain for sale in the store to go with the pendant”. My answer was always “I’m sorry, no we don’t”.

Took me a year to “listen” to what my customers were asking me to stock so they could buy it along with the chain. A YEAR! Finally, finally, finally it dawned on me to start stocking chains…duh! Which sold. With the jewelry and without. Just because I own a bizzillion chains does not mean others did not.

So I listen to Ebay when they whisper and I listen to them when they scream and I watch my bank account grow.

Summer sales everywhere, are you stocking up on discontinued items in the stores? Are you thinking Christmas yet? I am. I am selling Christmas Icicles, fall glass pumpkins. It will really get into the “shoppers” mindset within the next 30 days so I am tweeking all my pumpkin and Christmas items to make sure they are what Ebay likes in all regards.

Great week for all…summer vegetables, warm temps and safe lives for all.


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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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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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20 Tips for a New eBay Seller

I got a random PM today from someone that has heard about me but didn’t know me. They asked “Cindy what are the top things you can tell a new eBay seller” I said… let me write it up for my group and I will message you later… so you all get to read what I will send to him.

By Cindy Sorley- Owner CO$T (Cindy’s Online Selling Tips) on Facebook. Please email me if you want to share this information. I do not want it on paid sites that an owner will turn it into an eBook and claim the information as their own and charge all of you for it.   Please do not copy without permission.  

1. Postal Scale: You must have a postal scale and not a food scale. You can get a 35 lb scale on eBay for under $20.00 with free shipping. This is something every seller needs to have before they sell on eBay. You can set your shipping price at listing and also never have to go to the post office. Never use the counter at the post office as it is much more expensive. Do online shipping and drop your packages at the post office without standing in line.

2. eBay and PayPal Account: Make sure you have an eBay and PayPal account and buy inexpensive items on that eBay account to get your feedback number to around 20 before you sell. This gives you experience as a buyer of what you do and do not want to do to your buyers. Also, make sure that your eBay name is easy to remember with not a lot of underscores and dashes. You will have selling limits as a new eBay seller to make sure your buyer has a good buying experience so my suggestion is to list items that will sell quickly and not sit. The more you sell you will get feedback and such and your limits raised.

3. Sell Your Own Stuff: Start by selling items in your own home. No need to go and buy items to start selling on eBay. Look in Closets, kitchen cupboards (for unused Coffee cups), children’s rooms, book shelves and ladies, how about the garage? Okay, maybe not. As you sell these items, save some cash back to buy inventory from thrifting, wholesale or arbitrage.

4. Research Before You Sell: Research the item you are selling. a. Go to eBay b. search box c. type in item and on the left side you can see show only, hit sold. You will see what has sold on eBay. (Remember eBay on PC or Mac is 90 Days, Mobile is 15 days). Make sure that if is sold for less than you thought it more than likely could have been a Buy it now and sold immediately without the seller doing research (I buy to resell on eBay). You don’t have to be the lowest. I am most of the times the highest and still sell… Make sure people know you are a business and not a thrift store. I use Terapeak because I can check items that have sold on eBay for up to a year.

5. Title: When you list an item make sure you use all 80 Characters in your title. Don’t use all Capitals. Use Title Case Like This. No ” ” ? or keyword spamming using words like style like etc. Look at your items and think what you would search for if you were looking for that item. Do not even attempt to sell a fake item. You will be kicked off eBay really quickly.

6. Photos: Photos are what can sell your item after they arrive on your listing from searching key words. Put your photos (you get 12 free) in GALLERY and not embedded. Mobile users can thumb through the photos and if interested will then open your description to see the rest of your listing. Sell your item with title and photos.

7. Item Description: On your item description remove all templates. You want to be mobile ready. More and more buyers are using mobile devices and it is shocking the number of eBay listings touched by mobile. Use short sentences to describe your item. Left aligned. no bullets. Google shopping does not allow bullets so why use them? You don’t need to tell people why you deserve five star feedback. You don’t need to tell people you will ship in one day or you ship international. eBay does this for you. When a buyer comes to your listing they see that you ship in so many days, that you ship internationally, etc. eBay states your return policy.. no need to reiterate it. You do have a box to add return policy information, Use it. When you have a long, detailed TOS “terms of service” you appear hard to work with and will lose customers so fast and they won’t be back. Use only one color of font, preferably black.

8. Organization: Get organized. Have your eBay listed items in one area and easy to get to to pull when sold. Organize your unlisted inventory in like categories in bins or on shelves in another area if you have space. . List Like Items all at once so that you can do it faster and easier. Pull a bin at a time and list that bin so you don’t have to change category, shipping prices etc much. For example, I grab a bin of coffee mugs and list 30 or 40 in one sitting. The next night I list 40 Cross Stitch Kits. My shipping stays the same. Category is not that big of a change and it just goes faster.

9. Shipping: Understand shipping and ship international. 1. First Class is under 13 ounces in the USA and under 4 pounds international 2. Learn about Regional A and B Boxes. These are not available at the post office. They have to be ordered for free online at usps.com. 3. Padded Flat Rate Priority envelopes can be your best friend. You can ship heavy coffee cups in them for under $6.00 anywhere in the USA instead of priority rates of up to $12.00. Check out my invention of FOMO Shipping at www.FomoShipping.com 4. If you ship lightweight flat items such as leaflets, patterns, kits, etc you can use the first class large envelope flat option and save a lot of money. eBay and PayPal does not offer it but stamp.com does. 3 ounces worldwide is $3.75 (Canada is less) vs almost $9.00 for Package first class. If you use eBay and Paypal shipping, along with Stamps.com the tracking information is uploaded to eBay immediately.

10. Ship Fast: When an item is purchased get it out as soon as you can. eBay has changed in so many ways in the 14 years I have been on the site and people want their item fast. If you have 1 day shipping listed you have until the next day at Midnight PST (eBay time) to get it the label on it. I have a policy that if a customer pays by 4:45 PM Monday through Friday I ship that day. Leave feedback for your customer now .. not after they leave it for you.

11. Be The Customer: Treat buyers the way you expect to be treated. Make sure customer service is your number one priority. When a buyer buys from you do what you can to have them come back and buy from you. I always send an invoice so they know who I am (have an easy name to remember so they can just type it in) Buy the domain name of your eBay store or seller ID and have it forwarded to your eBay name or store. I have www.bubbacandance.com forwarded right to my eBay store and it is on all my business cards and invoices and it so easy to tell someone. Just go to www. etc.) Yesterday I was talking to the owner of the place we eat breakfast occasionally and Steve said. When we go to McDonald’s and they mess up our order we sort of expect that but we go back. When someone comes to my place they expect more and if we mess up they don’t come back. Don’t be McDonald’s be the place you love to frequent. Again leave feedback when they pay.

12. Bad Experience & The Need for Customer Support: When you have a bad experience with a buyer, handle it professionally. When you get a neutral or negative feedback respond positively and not negatively to the buyer. Future buyers look at these neutrals and negatives and see your response. If you need to call customer service at eBay remember eBay employees are not your enemy. They, too, are available to coach and offer support. They don’t *only* protect the buyer- They protect the entire community.

13. Mobile: (My Baby) Consider Mobile. I am a 100% mobile user. I do all my listings on eBay mobile for IPhone App. This is the best thing I ever did when I changed my way of listing. You don’t need the best device on the market. The $299 IPad Mini with Wifi at 16 gig is great for an eBay seller. Your photos are NOT saved on the Mini but are launched through eBay on the eBay app and it doesn’t take up your space on the Mini. The eBay App I prefer is the IPhone app and I use it on both the IPhone and the IPad and the IPad Mini. It is the most frequently updated.

14. Paid Mentors: Years ago when there was no support groups and people willing to help other sellers there were experts, coaches and mentors who charged monthly fees to have you learn from them. Oh wait… they are still there in December 2013. There is no need for them. You have so much FREE Help and support there is no reason to pay them for this SUPPORT. I have heard of people charging these fees to their credit cards because they had no money to pay the fees and then rack up interest charges. Many times a seller is beginning and needing to pay bills and eBay is a must do situation to save someone from losing a house or helping with monthly bills and these seem to be the ones sucked into paying for support from a mentor. We can mentor you here for free.

15. Your Dashboard in My eBay: Watch your Dashboard (available after ten sales on eBay). Your DSR’s and feedback are found here. A lot of sellers get into trouble by not checking the dashboard. If someone dings your DSR’s you could be in a world of hurt if you ignore them. This shows you where you are on policy, DSR numbers and other very important information. I do this daily.

16. Best Match Search: If you find that your listings are not getting views and not selling I suggest tweaking the listing by fixing title, add to description and or item specifics. I do a search for an item and if I am not at the top of the default search of Best Match I look at the Best Match listing and see why they were above me and I change my listing to try to get the Best Match spot. Don’t get worked up about the search engines not working. eBay also allows you to pin your items and to twitter them right from the listing. It just takes seconds.

17. eBay Store: If and when you open an eBay store, make sure you have store categories such as the retail stores you shop in. Also make sure you use your title box for keywords. I had three eBay names and merged them all when I decided that store categories could allow me to sell Cross Stitch and Hunting rifle scopes all in one store. I had a guy last week buy a coffee cup, jeans and a cross stitch kit.

18. Love your eBay Job: Love what you do… eBay is not easy. Make it work for you. Set Goals. It can get frustrating.. ask for help in groups such as CO$T (Cindy’s online Selling Tips). My saying is Buy Low, Sell High, Sell What you Love! (I also sell things I don’t love because they make me money) I sell what I love because I know what it is and the value of those items.

19. Attitude: Have a positive attitude and ride the roller coaster of online selling with all of us. I have found when I am upset that things have not sold or that I don’t want to list… I kick myself in the butt and say.. you have a family to feed, bills to pay, chickens to feed and they are relying on you. I know when I list consistently on eBay I make more sales and so many a night I have stayed up to list when I didn’t want to … it is part of the job we chose to do. Be careful not to listen to naysayers or to get caught up in too much negativity. Stay positive and see this venue as a gift and opportunity instead of a right. It is a like a continual brain-teaser – challenge to be solved, not a one-time thing to learn. You don’t just do it and then forget it – you constantly learn and adjust. It’s what makes it maddening, challenging, fun, frustrating, and exhilarating all at the same time!

20. Thank You: Always say Thank You and let your buyer know you appreciate them. Write Thank You on your invoice that you mail to your buyer. Get in the habit of sending an invoice. You are now a business not a hobby. All business give you a receipt.

I love what I do… Thank you eBay for giving me that opportunity.


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Cindy’s Online Selling Tips on Facebook

For any new eBay sellers or those who want to gain how to be better sellers on eBay join our online selling tips forum. We are a small group that is fun and has a good time.  No drama… We do hand pick the members so email me at Cindy@cindysorley.com if you want to join us.

Cindy’s Online Selling Tips

 

 


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eBay Radio Party in Las Vegas 2013

Cindy and Jason of Thrifting with the Boys.

Cindy and Jason of Thrifting with the Boys.

I had a great time at the eBay Radio Party as Bally’s last week.  A great talk by Thrifting with the Boys, Jason Smith and Bryan Goodman.  The eBay Mobile team of Jonathan Chard, Mark Appolito and Kenric Russell were excellent.

Since it seems that eBay on Location events are gone I would recommend the Radio Party next June in Vegas.

 


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