I just wanted to remind everyone about the eBay Duplicate Listing Scanner. A couple times a year it crosses my mind to check my listings and I scan for duplicates. This morning was one of those times, and it actually found something I did have listed twice! I am so glad I checked – deleting the duplicate listing just saved a lot of headache down the road.
For the first time in forever, I actually got a promotional offer. Through the end of the week I can list up to 100 items with a 5¢ insertion fee. So, if I use them all (which I plan to) I will save a whopping $5. But hey, better than nothing. This is the first promotional offer of any kind I have gotten in a l-o-n-g time. When I first started eBaying it seemed like I got one offer after another after another for free listings. But that was years ago – it has probably been AT LEAST a couple years since I’ve gotten an offer that included free listings. Which made me curious. Does anyone else still get promotional offers? And what they are? Do share!
Conspiracy Theory . . . Superstition?
Conspiracy theory is not the right word . . . but you probably know what I mean. There are so many guesses or hypotheses or theories about how exactly eBay works, about Cassini, about how to make your items more visible or improve your sales. Blue door vs red door, lights turned off and on, rolling black outs, etc, etc, etc.
But here’s mine. It doesn’t really make sense, and yet . . . maybe? Or maybe it is just coincidence? Time after time?
Every time I create a new listing I find a similar item that I currently have listed in my store and I sell similar. Of course I change all of the details that need to be changed, update photos and so on, but by selling similar the listing is already formatted the way I like and has my policies listed. It seems like most people don’t list this way, but I’ve found that it is what works well for me.
So, here’s the weird part. Often, after I have used a listing to “sell similar” – the original listing sells shortly thereafter. Not the new listing, but the older listing that I used as a basis for the new listing. When I am thinking logically, I realize it is probably just coincidence. I try to list at least 10 new items a day, so that should equal 70ish times every week that I am using “sell similar”. So of course some of those original 70 items sell.
The number of times I’ve searched my store for a listing to use for “sell similar”, and have come across an older listing and thought – “Wow! I can’t believe this is still in my store, it’s been listed forever!” I use it to sell similar. The next day – chaching! And the original, older, forgotten listing sells.
It’s weird. But, I’m not complaining! In fact, now I sometimes purposely select my older listings for “sell similar” as an added effort to get them sold.
(And sometimes it seems like it works!?!)
Do you have any eBay weirdnesses or superstitions? Please share!
It has been over a month since I posted my goals for 2018, so I thought it was time for an update . . . or to confess my lack of progress, I guess. I am hoping posting this will help hold me accountable, and the next time I check in I will have more to report.
(Goal) My small manageable goal is to list 10 new items each weekday and 5 each on Saturday and Sunday. Ideally I will list 10 each weekday and schedule 2 each day for the weekend (totaling 10), leaving my weekends free from listing. Somehow this rarely seems to be the reality however.
(Update) I bumped my weekend listing up to 10 each day too. Most days I am able to get 10 new listings up, but I was only able to pre-schedule ALL of my weekend’s listings once, the first week after I posted my goals. Since then a variety of things have come up (I was sick, my son was home sick a couple days, there have been a couple inservice/holidays which means my kids are out of school, I was out of town for several days, I have been working more shifts than normal at my “real” job, etc) that feel like they conspire against me getting ahead. And right now there is the threat of snow where I live, which means we may end up with a snow day tomorrow or Thursday, another day without school. Such is life. And so I have been listing on the weekends too.
(Goal) I would like to gross $60,000 this year. $60,000 divided by 365 days = $164.38/day. When I am listing consistently my sales are often in that range. Again, doable.
(Update) I miss this sales goal about twice as often as I hit it. Just one of the areas in which I need to make progress.
(Goal) I ship within one business day. I will continue to do so.
(Goal) Part of the reason my listing goals are so low is that I am currently doing almost no sourcing. Now, that’s not to say that I don’t have items to list. I definitely do. Items that have been hanging around unlisted, for I don’t even want to say how long, that I need to get through. The thing is, there is often a reason I haven’t listed those items yet, that they have been set to the side. There is a flaw, or it needs new batteries, or needs to be cleaned up a bit, etc. So it takes me longer to get the items ready, and photographed. I am finding some really great items in among some low-value items. But, it’s a process.
(Update) I am currently thrifting once each week (picking up maybe 30-40 items), all of my other listing is from previously purchased inventory. It’s a slow process, but I am making progress.
(Goal) At the beginning of every year I go through all of my inventory. After the first month of being listed most of my listings are set to GTC, so sometimes things hang around quite awhile. I’m okay with that. I really believe pretty much everything will sell eventually, and some items take longer (especially plush, which I love to sell). But I do need to go through it occasionally, ending listings, selling as similar, freshening things up here and there.
(Update) I have only inventoried two totes. I really need to make progress on this, but it falls to the bottom of my to do list when I am feeling behind on everything else.
Keeping Records Updated
(Goal) There are a lot of spreadsheets and options out there to keep track of eBay sales. I have tried a few, and Easy Auctions Tracker is my favorite. It downloads all of the information for the last three months, I just need to input how much I paid for the items I sold. The trick is to keep it updated. And, updated is a loose term, but I’d like to keep my sales spreadsheet current within the last 30 days, so I don’t have a lot of work hanging over my head at the beginning of 2019.
(Update) I am finishing up taxes for 2017, so I haven’t been focusing on 2018 numbers quite yet. I did renew my subscription to Easy Auctions Tracker, so I will be able to download all of my info easily.
Just for fun
(Goal) I printed off a list of the 50 states. I am going to see how far into the year I get before I have shipped a package to all 50 states. It’s totally just a curiously project. I’ve been thinking about doing this for several years.
(Update) I am behind on this too. I plan to update it at the same time I work through my 2018 tax info.
(Goal) I’d like to blog more. It is something I enjoy doing, but among all of my other goals it often gets shuffled down my list of priorities.
(Update) I am blogging a bit more. I have so many things I would like to blog about, it’s just finding the time to do it.
How is your progress working towards your goals this year? Better than mine, I hope! Onward and upwards, right?
My word for 2018 is: CONSISTENCY (aka Slow & Steady)
This plays into many areas of my life, including eBay. I am starting with small, manageable goals, but I am hoping to grow them as the year marches on.
My small manageable goal is to list 10 new items each weekday and 5 each on Saturday and Sunday. Ideally I will list 10 each weekday and schedule 2 each day for the weekend (totaling 10), leaving my weekends free from listing. Somehow this rarely seems to be the reality however.
2600 weekdays + 520 weekends = 3120 new listings in 2018. Totally doable, one little chunk at a time.
I would like to gross $60,000 this year. $60,000 divided by 365 days = $164.38/day. When I am listing consistently my sales are often in that range. Again, doable.
I ship within one business day. I will continue to do so.
Part of the reason my listing goals are so low is that I am currently doing almost no sourcing. Now, that’s not to say that I don’t have items to list. I definitely do. Items that have been hanging around unlisted, for I don’t even want to say how long, that I need to get through. The thing is, there is often a reason I haven’t listed those items yet, that they have been set to the side. There is a flaw, or it needs new batteries, or needs to be cleaned up a bit, etc. So it takes me longer to get the items ready, and photographed. I am finding some really great items in among some low-value items. But, it’s a process.
At the beginning of every year I go through all of my inventory. After the first month of being listed most of my listings are set to GTC, so sometimes things hang around quite awhile. I’m okay with that. I really believe pretty much everything will sell eventually, and some items take longer (especially plush, which I love to sell). But I do need to go through it occasionally, ending listings, selling as similar, freshening things up here and there.
Keeping Records Updated
There are a lot of spreadsheets and options out there to keep track of eBay sales. I have tried a few, and Easy Auctions Tracker is my favorite. It downloads all of the information for the last three months, I just need to input how much I paid for the items I sold. The trick is to keep it updated. And, updated is a loose term, but I’d like to keep my sales spreadsheet current within the last 30 days, so I don’t have a lot of work hanging over my head at the beginning of 2019.
Just for fun
I printed off a list of the 50 states. I am going to see how far into the year I get before I have shipped a package to all 50 states. It’s totally just a curiously project. I’ve been thinking about doing this for several years.
I’d like to blog more. It is something I enjoy doing, but among all of my other goals it often gets shuffled down my list of priorities.
What are your goals for 2018? I would love to hear about them! Maybe we can try to hold each other accountable.
I am just curious if anyone in eBayland is still getting listing promotions? I haven’t gotten one since October. Which is strange, I used to get one at least every couple months. Not getting promotions isn’t keeping me from listing (even though I use up all my freebies about 2/3 of the way through the month), but it is keeping me from going back through old listings and doing a big inventory of my bins. Fingers crossed, a great listing promotion will come through soon.
Okay, back to listing! 🙂
I have started a thrifting fast. I am actually already over two weeks in and holding (fairly) strong. I thought about writing this post a couple weeks ago, but the irony of posting about being included in a list of top 10 thrifting blogs, only to turn around a couple days later and say that I am no longer thrifting . . . right? Doh. But it has to happen.
The thrift fast is happening for a couple reasons.
Reason #1: I have too much unlisted inventory!
Actually, maybe it’s happening for just one reason, and that’s it. I have too much unlisted inventory. I knew during the summer that I was buying more at yard sales and thrift stores than I was able to list, but I thought that once school started I would be listing soooo much more, and that I would catch up quickly on all my backlog. Reality: nosomuch.
I thought I would basically be eBaying full time. Reality: notsomuch. On a day that I can completely dedicate to eBay, I have just shy of 6 hours of time to work. The ideal would be to spend 100% of that time listing. The reality is that I usually have to spend part of it shipping sold items, cropping photos, chatting with my mail lady during pickup, eating lunch, washing dishes, starting laundry, etc. So even on my eBay-only days, I’m not getting as much done as I think I should.
Reality check: 6 hours isn’t full time anyway, it’s 3/4 time.
Reality check: I spend most of each Monday volunteering in both of my boys’ classrooms at school. Which is awesome. I know I am lucky I have the option to do it, and my kindergartener especially LOVES it. I usually have less than two hours left to get work done after volunteering, before having to pick the boys up from school. So, that’s certainly not a full day’s work.
Reality check: I’m getting called in to work more and more at my “real” job, and am working pretty much every Wednesday during school hours, and some Thursdays and Fridays too. Nice to have that money, but it equals more days that I am not getting in my full 6 eBay hours.
The result: Of course I’m not getting as much eBay work done as I had planned. I’m not getting my inventory listed as fast. (I’m not making as much money as I had planned.) I’ve let the backlog of inventory creep into our living spaces, which is really not okay. So I’ve cut myself off. No more thrifting in 2016. Honestly, maybe no more thrifting until Spring Break. We’ll see how it goes.
I have unlisted inventory sitting where our Christmas tree will go. Gotta list, gotta list, gotta list!
Still eight more days until my oldest starts back to school, and an additional week until my youngest starts back. Not that I’m counting or anything. I’m actually not really sure I am ready for school to start again, but of course it will, ready or not. My oldest will be in second grade, so will be in school all day. My youngest is 4 and will be in a three morning per week pre-K program. Getting into a routine will be good.
At the end of July we had a good routine going. Breakfast at 8 a.m., boys outside playing at 9 a.m., “school” (reading, writing, practicing spelling, etc) at 10 a.m., hanging out and having lunch with daddy from 10:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. while I worked on eBay stuff, and then out the door for swimming lessons which started at 2 p.m. Having three hour kid-free, eBay-full blocks of time to work was great. (I was lucky that my husband was working a swing shift at the time and was available to hang with the boys.) I realized I could pretty easily knock out at least 12 listings in a three hour block of time if I had the photos already taken and ready to go. That gave me an average of 15 minutes per listing. Plush and some kid items take less than 15 minutes, some clothing takes around 15 minutes including measuring, especially when I didn’t have my photos cropped yet (I quickly figured out that was the thing that slowed me down the most!). But July was great, and I felt like I was making good progress, keeping up with all of my yard sale purchases, and even making a dent in some of my backlog. So I set a big goal for August, that somehow suddenly seemed attainable.
And the goal was: List 12 items on eBay EACH and EVERY day in August.
Fast forward to August.
August had no routine at all. Every week my oldest was doing something different, basketball camp, soccer camp, play dates and park dates for both boys, family in town visiting, etc, etc. Fun, but busy, full mornings and hard to get into any kind of a routine.
The first week or so went pretty well. I was motivated, even though my three-hour work blocks seemed to have evaporated. After that, it was rockier. There were some late nights. I gave myself a firm deadline of midnight to be finished with my 12 listings, and some nights I wasn’t finished until 11:40 p.m. A couple nights I fell asleep at my computer and had to get up and walk around to wake myself back up. There were a few days I thought about quitting. But, I didn’t. And the end result? I met the goal.
31 days of August x 12 new listings every day = 372 new listings in the month of August.
372!!!!!! I have never come anywhere near that before.
Am I going to do it again in September? Notsomuch. A toned down version, maybe. While making listing a priority was good in a lot of ways (sales were definitely up over last month, new inventory was listed almost immediately), other things suffered. Mainly, housework. And it’s really starting to get to me. Tomorrow’s plan? Mop the kitchen floor! Wahoo.
Hopefully I will get into another good routine once our school year officially starts, and September will be smooth sailing. As for now, I am going to relax for the last few minutes of August, enjoying the feeling of accomplishment of a goal actually met(!).
I reached my 2000th feedback over the weekend! Kinda fun. ( 2000)
I am nowhere near reaching my listing goal for the month, but I’ve picked up a BUNCH of treasures over the last couple weeks at two consignment sales and a MOPS rummage sale. I’m hoping to get them all listed by the end of the month.
Last week was the JBF sale. I didn’t consign, but I did shop both the first day of the sale and the half off day. I found a decent number of items, including a bunch of loveys to flip, and a balance bike for my youngest.
Last week was the sale I did consign at. I took a bunch of my own kids’ old clothes, and some eBay rejects. I priced everything super cheap, and marked them to be reduced as the sale went on. I sold 2/3 of what I took, which is pretty good around here. Consignment sales are still a new-ish thing in this area, and aren’t the crazy feeding frenzy they are other places.
I shopped the presale BUT – horror of horrors – forgot my phone at home. Ugh! I had taken it downstairs with me to take a picture of this HUGE monkey that I had sold.
I have a friend who sells Arbonne and she brings me boxes for shipping. I thought she would get a kick out of what I had shipped in one of her boxes. And she did. But, unfortunately I left my phone downstairs, and because it wasn’t sitting on the counter by my keys I didn’t realize I had left home without it until it was too late. So, I was much more cautious with my purchases than I would have been had I been able to look things up. Biggest disappointment was that I left behind this Cranky set. It was $15 for a used set. Coulda shoulda woulda.
I also had an interesting CL sale this week. I had picked up these used Buzz Lightyear wearable wings at Value Village a couple months ago. (Check out Amazon’s current listing!)
I had intended to sell them on eBay, but I could only get them to work sporadically. I changed the batteries which didn’t fix the problem, and that was about the extent of my DIY fixing abilities. So, rather than sell it on eBay and risk an unhappy buyer, I listed them on CL in hopes of recooping my initial investment. And I did have a guy contact me to buy them, and when I met with him he explained to me that he wasn’t really worried about whether or not they worked consistently. Because . . . he and his two grown sons are trying to make it into the Guinness Book of World Records for having the largest collection of Buzz Lightyear toys. He was happy to add this one to his collection.
You never know what you’ll hear in the reselling biz.
Holy cow, it’s March! How did that happen? I can’t believe how fast the time is going.
I only got about 1/3 of my way through my inventorying, but I’ve decided it’s time to take a break from it and get back to listing. My sales really dropped off in the last week or so, and believe it or not, I’ve missed the listing process. (It’s packaging things up to ship out that I could really do without.)
I’ve been ticker-less for several months now, but I decided it’s time to get back to it. Tracking my number of new listings works well for me. I’ve set a high (for me) goal of 200 new listings this month.
What are your goals this month?