Over a year ago I mentioned LuLaRoe as a BOLO. At the time my SIL was in the process of signing up as a consultant. Fast forward a year and she has a FB group of over 1200 people who shop with her, and she “cruise qualified” her first year (she and my brother just got back from a LuLaRoe Caribbean cruise a couple weeks ago). Direct sales is not at all my thing (I much prefer the anonymity of eBay), but she is amazing. I was talking to her a week or so ago, and she told me that LuLaRoe recently announced a collaboration line with Disney. It’s going to be hot, hot, hot! It’s not even out yet, so it won’t be showing up in thrift stores anytime soon, but if you’re invited to any LuLaRoe parties in the next few months keep an eye out!
I went on an end of the year field trip with my third-grader last week. His class has been working on a big history project, so we visited some historical landmarks. We live in Oregon, so of course talk of the Oregon Trail came up. Which got all of the parents reminiscing about playing the Oregon Trail computer game back in our own school days. Someone mentioned that it has been re-released in updated formats, so I thought it might be a fun game to buy for my boys to play over the summer. If I luck across one at a yard sale we will keep it, but I can’t see myself paying these prices:
Honestly, I would probably take a second look at any version I came across. Happy hunting!
Here’s another BOLO I picked up from working the Reference Desk. A patron was asking about Dean Koontz books. THIS is my favorite website for getting lists of authors’ books, it’s especially great for figuring out the order of a series. When I pulled up the Dean Koontz page I noticed that there was an entire section of pseudonyms that Dean Koontz has written under. News to me. Noticing a woman’s name, I was curious and looked it up on Amazon. Impressed by the listed prices of the books, I then switched to eBay to see if any of the books were actually selling for high prices. Here are links to solds to some of Dean Koontz’s pseudonyms:
Of course I was curious both about why Dean Koontz had so many pseudonyms I had never heard of, and why the books published under those names were so valuable. I did a little research. It turns out when he first started writing he wrote in several different genres (sci fi, horror, etc) and at the advice of his editors he published his books of different genres under different names. Once his books started to become bestsellers he started to write under his own name consistently.
And the reason why the older books are worth so much? For many of them, Koontz bought back the rights so that they cannot be republished. Interesting, no?
Something fun to keep an eye out for at yard sales this summer.
Overall I think I do a really great job providing good customer service to my eBay buyers. With very few exceptions I only sell items that are new or in nearly new condition, I package items neatly (usually wrapped in tissue, with a packing slip that I write Thanks! 🙂 across), I always ship within one business day, I send a friendly e-mail to the buyer after the item has been dropped off at the PO to let them know the item is on its way. I know I add in extra steps that aren’t necessary, and they take time, but I like providing that level of service. And in return my buyers are generally very kind, friendly, gracious, and appreciative.
But every once in awhile, I do make a mistake. It happens, it sucks. Usually this takes the form of pulling out a clothing item I have just sold, only to find that it has a flaw. Like at the end of last week. I sold a beautiful cashmere sweater, and when I was packaging it up I noticed it had a small hole on the back. How I could have missed it I have no idea, because I always try to be sooo careful with cashmere sweaters, looking for flaws. And yet, there it was.
So, what would you do? Cancel the sale? E-mail the buyer to let them know, and ask if they still want it? Send it anyway, and hope they don’t notice? Or?
Here’s what I did. I packaged up the sweater, and mailed it. Then when I went to send the “your package has shipped” e-mail, I sent this instead:
I wanted to let you know that I dropped your package off at the Post Office yesterday (Thurs) morning. When I was packaging up the sweater I noticed a really small hole on the back. It’s not very noticeable, but it is there. The sweater is beautiful, and I hope that you are still able to wear it and get enjoyment out of it. But, I am SUPER picky about what I list on eBay, and I would never have listed this if I saw the hole earlier. I am going to refund your money in just a couple minutes. But I’m not canceling the order, the sweater is already on its way. I hope you still love it!
If you have any questions or concerns about this transaction please let me know.
Is it overkill? Maybe? Does it save me from getting the occasional negative feedback because I’ve owned up to an honest mistake, and tried to make it right? It’s certainly possible.
And in addition to saving myself from negative feedback, I also simply want to give the buyer a positive eBay buying experience. While the buyer probably won’t come back and buy from me again, I have hopefully spun my negative into enough of a positive that the buyer won’t be turned off from buying on eBay in the future. We’re all in this eBay thing together, and hopefully the good, responsible sellers outnumber the crummy ones.
This particular situation where I’ve missed a flaw on an item that has sold probably only comes up a couple times a year, and this is how I have generally chosen to deal with it. About a year ago I sold a NWT dress, only to realize that it somehow had a stain on the front. I had purchased several of the same dress at the same time, and obviously hadn’t looked over every single one closely enough, and of course the one with the stain was the only one I had left. I shipped the dress, refunded, and sent an e-mail of apology/explanation. I had looked up the buyer’s feedback history, and she left negative feedback a LOT. But that time? Not only did she leave me positive feedback, but she sent my money back to me(!), with a note saying she washed the dress and the stain “mostly” came out. So that scenario turned out much better than I could have hoped.
And the cashmere sweater I sent out last week? Here’s the feedback I got today:
|Best seller on eBay, fast shipping, great communication with seller.|
Of course there are no guaranties, but when buyers know we are trying to do our best, they appreciate it and often respond accordingly.
In my “real life” I am a reference librarian at a public library. It’s an interesting job, no two days are ever alike. I always say it’s not my job to know everything, but it is my job to know how/where to find the answer to any question. Patrons can walk up and literally ask anything. Occasionally I even get questions about eBay.
Yesterday afternoon at work a patron asked me to help him research Marx airplanes on eBay. What did I know about Marx airplanes before yesterday? Nada. But I now know that Marx was a toy manufacturer from 1919-1978, and was most popular in the ’50s. It produced a range of products, not just planes. And many of those items are still sought after by collectors today. I also learned that some sellers read the logo as “Mar” instead of “Marx”, and therefore list it incorrectly. Looking at the logo below, I think it’s an understandable mistake.
Check out some Marx airplane completeds HERE.
The Popeye plane also caught my eye, and after doing a bit of research I realized Marx had a number of Popeye products.
Check out Popeye completeds HERE.
Outside my normal scope of thrifting/flipping, so something I never would have looked at twice. Happy hunting!
My sales haven’t been overly exciting this week. Here are a few of my better or more interesting ones.
I love this cribbage board! The buyer was excited to add it to his cribbage board collection.
I picked this up at a yard sale two summers ago because I thought it was interesting. And it has sat and sat and sat. And then it sold this morning out of the blue at full price.
I was at a thrift a couple months ago, and made a second detour through the plush/toy area just before leaving only to discover boxes and boxes and boxes of older Barbie items had just been put out. I looked them all up, and this was the only one worth snagging.
I am dreading the possible summer slow-down, since sales aren’t amazing as it is. How are sales for you?
Sesame Street has a new character. Her name is Julia, and she has autism. A very limited number of Julia books and plush have been released. My understanding is that they have all been given out as gifts/prizes, and have not been sold. If you’re lucky enough to find one now, snap it up! Check out completeds HERE.
***In the future I am sure there will be a mainstream store release of Julia items, at which time the value will go down dramatically. I would always recommend looking up “BOLOs” before purchasing, to determine the current value.***
Here are a few of my flips from the past couple weeks. Nothing major, just slow and steady.
I always like to start with plush. I have another just like this pup that I picked up at the same time, only it is black and brown.
This plush has been listed for awhile. I got several inquiries about it, and every one of them was international, which I found interesting.
My best recent costume sale:
A few clothing sales:
This dress is so pretty. I got a really nice note from the buyer.
I picked up three of these last year, NWT. The first two sold long ago, the last one *finally* sold.
And other random sales:
I had a couple totes of vintage Little People that I had been collecting for awhile. In January I separated them all out into lots to list, and they have been selling here and there since.
The same person bought both lots below:
If you have a fun or exciting flip, I would love to hear about it!
This is a brand I just stumbled across in the thrift one day, but it seems to consistently sell well. It is called Sympli, and it is made in Canada. Not all pieces sell for top dollar, but it’s definitely something I will keep on my radar. Check out completeds HERE.
Here are a few of my sales from the past couple weeks.
As always, I love to sell loveys!
I thought this pig was super cute.
I really liked the design of the blanket below!
I still sell costumes fairly consistently.
And clothes. Never my favorite, but still a consistent addition to the bottom line.
I really liked the dress below. I was hoping it would sell high, but no such luck. I sold a motorcycle dress of the same style last month for more, and a bit faster.
A couple s-l-o-w sales
I love these hats. I bought about 15 of them last year (in both tan and blue). I paid 75¢ each, and have sold them for $19.95 each. The tan ones sold quickly. I’ve sold three of the blue hats in the last couple weeks, and only have one left.
And a couple random sales.
The Lego figures below were in a bag I picked up at a thrift.
I gave some of the Legos to my boys, and sold these.
These were listed for-ev-er!
As you can see, not everything I sell is a quick flip. I’d rather not hang on to things indefinitely, but it does seem like everything will sell . . . eventually.