Latest eBay listings: Dansko Shoes

This weekend I took the time to list all the Dansko shoes I have. There are 18 pairs and it only took me a short bit of time.

Make a template…

One easy thing I have learned is to create a sort of template when listing similar items and then use this template as I am listing. It makes the work so go much faster.

Don’t duplicate your listing title…

I make sure that the item name is different or else it is taken down by eBay due to duplicate listings.

But, in the description there is very little variation. If you check out this listing and the one before it, the descriptions are fairly identical.

List similar items at one sitting…

I have found that taking an evening and listing similar items is so much easier than trying to get a bunch of different items listed in a short period of time.

In the past I have taken an entire weekend listing boxes of miscellaneous items which only took that long because I kept switching categories and having to rewrite the description from scratch each time. I learned my lesson the hard way: List similar items during one sitting for speed and efficiency.

Sell in December to get on Christmas lists…

Dansko’s sell fairly well and I was hoping that listing them now would allow them to be part of peoples Christmas lists ūüôā

Watch for seasonal sales at local smaller shops…

There is a local store that sells all the previous years stock at a discount to make way for the new stock.

Sell what you wear or use yourself…

We buy shoes for ourselves and also some to sell. This has kinda been my way of buying what I sell. If I would buy and use the item then others must likely will also. It have proven to be correct.

Hard to find sizes sell well…

We usually buy the sizes that are hard to find. For example, my daughter wears a size 11, this is a difficult size to find in shoes. So, we usually buy these larger sizes because it is harder to find these large sizes, over 11 for women. The pair above is an example, they are a size 12.5-13 in women’s.

We have also found that the really small sizes are helpful for people also. My mom wears a 4.5 which is a REALLY hard size to find. So, I have some for her but also, like the ones above, I have some to sell also.

Hope you found some helpful hints here.

What are some tips you have for new eBayers out there?

Etsy and eBay?

etsy

I don’t really know much about Etsy but I am learning bit by bit. Most of the stuff I sell on eBay is over 20 years old so would I believe qualify for selling on Etsy. Just trying to decide if I want to add one more thing to my plate. Right now I am having a hard enough time working with the eBay store and keeping up with that. I am wondering if doing both would be useful or just quitting eBay and focusing on Etsy.

Finding statistics on what sell on Etsy is difficult. A person can look up what has sold by a person but it doesn’t list the details like on eBay. Say a person sells 395 items, that’s great, but did they do that over the last 5 years or 5 months? What did the items sell for? How long were they listed before they sold?

These unanswered questions makes me leery of switching over. I am used to eBay and how to search for an item and find out all that info I listed above. That way I know if it is worth my time to list an item or if the cost benefits out way the profit possibilities.

I have done a bit of research into how people fair on Etsy and it seems like it can go really wrong sometimes. Thanking for now I will stay put on eBay.

What are your thoughts?

Buying Cheap Items on eBay to Raise Your Feedback Score

cent

When starting out in eBay it is hard to sell items when your feedback is crazy low like say¬†a 2. Even if your at 100% positive that number 2 just doesn’t show too much about you as a seller. One way I was told to increase my feedback score quickly was to buy inexpensive or really cheap items.

How does buying cheap items help your feedback?

If you don’t pay right away then it won’t help. BUT if you:

  • search for really cheap items like 1¬Ę to 99¬Ę¬†items with free shipping
  • bid and win these items
  • pay right away
  • leave feedback as soon as you get your item
  • hopefully the seller leaves feedback for you
  • BING your feedback score and count just went up

How does this help you as a seller?

Well that is controversial. Some sellers feel that buying items just to boost your feedback is wrong. I would say it is possibly wrong. But in reality who cares if you are buying for your daughter or you are buying for your feedback rating? Seriously, buy stuff you want, resell it if you want, and don’t lose anything on the deal. In the initial phases of selling on eBay¬†it seems like a useful tool to at least get you up above the 50 feedback¬†count. At the same time you¬†will be¬†selling items and boosting your feedback that way too.

Has it worked for me as a seller?

Yes, when we first started we did use this as a means to get our feedback higher. It seemed to help us. We got a lot more watchers and sold items at a higher price as soon as we got over the 50 + feedback count. Now we also learned things as we went along. These things we learned also helped us in selling our items. I guess it was a combination of both an increased feedback count and increased knowledge about how to sell on eBay.

Hope that helps.

Now… What have you used to help increase your buyers confidence when selling online?

Happy selling!

Packaging An Item For Shipping

This should not be a topic I would need to write about but I have received too many items in the past few weeks that were packaged terribly that I feel it deserves its own post.

We package all of our items as if they will be dropped out of the back of a vehicle moving down the highway at 65mph.

Who knows, it may happen more than we know.
question 1

 

 

 

 

 

In our 15 years of packaging and shipping items we have had one complaint, actually two if you need to know the nitty-gritty details.

The first complaint we received was from the buyer of a large set of books. This was a set of 15 medium sized hardcover books. It was early in our selling and I did not have the experience yet to know a these things:

  1. set the shipping higher for a large amount of books cuz they will most likely go in two boxes
  2. 15 hardcover books should never be sold as a set
  3. make sure to have a box to fit the item

box

We lost money on shipping and also on the books themselves. It was stupid mistakes I made and did not repeat again.

What did I do wrong?

I packaged these in stiff brown paper wrapped over a layer of bubble wrap and tons of tape. Tons of tape is my signature and used to drive my oldest daughter crazy ūüôā BUT the package burst open and six of the books were ruined. I almost received negative feedback till I talked the woman “off that cliff”. I refunded her money, took the screaming emails with a stiff upper lip, and chalked it up to my stupidity.

What I learned:

  • books go in boxes or cardboard packages specifically made for shipping books
  • never sell that many hardcover books together – piece meal it out
  • charge enough for shipping to cover extra packaging if it is a set that must be sold together and needs to ship in more that one box
  • bow to the customer and walk away

Our¬†second complaint… I over packaged an item. Now personally I think this is¬† a ridiculous complaint. But I apologized and we were square.

What happened?

I packaged the¬†antique lamp¬†in bubble wrap, placed it in a box in which I added packing peanuts, and taped the box shut. The customer stated that I put too much tape on the package which¬† made it hard to open. Then when she got the package open the packing peanuts made a mess on her floor. Ummm, okay…. I am sorry they made a mess, BUT did the antique lamp make it to you safely? Her answer? “Well, yes, but…”

yell

 What did I learn from this?

  • customers will complain about anything
  • using this complaint they will request a refund
  • always email a customer whenever I add packing peanuts to a box to warn then of a potential mess
  • continue packing the way I do it because the antique lamp made it to her safely

The process we use to package an item.

  1. Take the item and wrap it in bubble wrap
  2. Tape the bubble wrap so it does not come open
  3. Make sure you have a box that fits your item with room enough around it for packaging materials
  4. Fill with the bottom and sides of the box with packing peanuts or crumpled paper
  5. Place your bubble wrapped item in the box
  6. Place the packing slip on the item
  7. Add more packing peanuts/crumpled paper to the top of the box
  8. Tape the box closed securely. I usually go in two directions sealing all the seams on the box.
  9. Attach shipping label and mail

mail

I suggest not using newspaper to pack your items. It feels unprofessional to me and can get ink on your item. If you do choose to use newspaper make sure your item is completely wrapped in bubble wrap or plastic or you may have unhappy costumers.

I usually weigh all the pieces of my packaging process before I start so I have an idea of the cost of shipping before I package it all up. If it is a heavy but small item I also check and see if it is cheaper to it ship flat rate than in a regular box.

I have had no other complaint besides those two above. This process is working great for us.

Now, what can you do?

Check your packaging process and see: Is there something you can do to improve it?

Do you have any packaging suggestions to share? Comment below.

Happy Selling!

6 Tips for Online Sellers to Make the Most from the Festive Season

Thanks for perfect and timely advice!

Browntape Blog

The festive season is nearly upon us ‚Äď with the ongoing Durga Puja celebrations and Dussera and Diwali just round the corner. Although for most people it would mean a well deserved holiday time, for all the online sellers out there this is the annual golden opportunity to spike up those sales. Just take a look at these Google Trends statistics ‚Äď they clearly show a spike in search keywords related to festive shopping around this time of the year. Festivals like Diwali spell shopping sprees in India ‚Äď everything from clothes, electronics, footwear, jewellery to automobile markets is deeply affected by these shopping trends. People love to indulge themselves and their loved ones during festivals, and the online retail market banks on it. A 2013 survey by Assocham revealed that online retailers were expecting upwards of 250% rise in sales during the Diwali season. So what can a‚Ķ

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eBay ~ Storing Inventory

One of my main problems with all my eBay inventory is Storage. I have lots of wonderful inventory that I have acquired from yard sales, flea markets, online sales, thrift stores, clearance aisles, and friends & family.

I need to organize it in this storage area so that when it is time to list something, like a seasonal item, I can just reach for it, grab it, and list it.

I have done searches on the internet for how people store their eBay inventory and found nothing useful. I did find spreadsheets to list the inventory by box and item. This is useful if the storage system is in place.

So today I am going to show what I use and how I hope to improve on this plan.

1. Firstly I am very careful to keep my new items I acquire, anything that could possibly collect any type of smell, I keep inside a ziplock type baggie. I keep all new clothing items and anything that has a cloth surface inside a baggie. I usually also place a strip of fabric softener sheet into each baggie so the only smell you smell is lavender. I want my item to arrive smelling good. I live on a farm. My eBay items are in an separate upstairs room in containers but still I am very careful about smells. I have received items that stunk and have returned them because of it. I do not want to be known for my smelly eBay items.

2. Second I try and organize my items by category. For example:

  • all the children’s books are together
  • all the jewelry is together
  • all the records are together
  • all summer clothing is together
  • all Christmas items are together
  • you get the idea

These items are in large bins of like kind. Inside those bins they are separated further. In the Christmas container there are smaller containers of ornaments, stockings, bibs, table runners, etc. I also try to keep all the bins together of certain categories. I keep all my bins of Christmas items together, for example. These are the kinds of bins I use. I like bins that are see through but I do still have a couple that aren’t and a few cardboard boxes because I ran out of storage bins (affiliate link to Amazon). I gotta move this inventory!

shelving unit

 

3. Thirdly I keep all my bins on shelving units (affiliate link to Amazon). This allows me to stack my items without worrying they will topple over. I use the type of shelving unit in this picture but not exactly. My shelving units hold a large amount of weight kind of like these. I bought them from Home Depot many years ago and I do not see that they carry the exact ones anymore. The ones I use have ventilation holes in the shelves like these. It helps control moisture build up. I believe mine hold 100lbs per shelf.¬†I don’t usually have that much weight per shelf but I was young and had no idea when I bought them years ago. We have been selling on eBay since 1999.

shelving unit

 

4. Fourthly is the step I need to work on. I would like these items to be organized in a way that shows me which items should be listed next. If I keep all my record albums together but in this record container there is a Christmas album, then do I put the Christmas record album in the seasonal box? I would say yes but the record storage container I have is way safer for storing records than storing the records in the Christmas bins.

Also another problem, I have seasonal children’s clothing. It is organized by time of year right now BUT there are customers that would buy those swimming shorts in December on their way to Florida for vacation. They are not Christmas but sold that month, they are summer but sell also in December, they are children’s clothing but are more apt to sell in the dead of winter than say a short sleeve shirt.

So, that part I do not have down well yet.

How do I decide what to list? As¬†I go through and grab items to list on eBay¬†that week,¬†I take an empty¬†box and grab items of like kind that I know will sell well for that time of year. I know this mainly because I have sold the same or like items last year at this same time. BUT I may totally miss the swim shorts if I just grab the Christmas items. I am planning on figuring this out as I start listing my Christmas inventory at¬†the end of next week. I will let you know how it works out. If I figure out a better way to store these items that fit in many categories I will update this post or…

I will add another storage post if I find there is a large amount of useful information that I learn as I work on listing items in the next weeks. Just check in the storage category for updates on this subject.

Happy eBaying!

Ebay, Is It Worth It?

ebay

So recently I stopped doing Ebay. I will start up again soon most likely. I have so much inventory to move, that it is inevitable.

But sometimes I wonder if it is worth it. It is worth my time, my time, or my time?

With children and homeschooling I¬†find that it takes away so much from my time with them. The listing, the packaging, the following of “hot” items, the answering emails, ¬†the buying and sorting of products, the storing of items, handling the rude buyer, handling returns, etc. Is it all worth it?

I know our family has benefitted from the bits of income over that ebaying year. Monthly when I go to pay the bills I find myself missing that extra money each month.  It was just enough for a couple extra times eating out or those headphones I need to replace. But is it worth all that time?

I tried to calculate one time how much it worked out per hour and it wasn’t bad. But the time away from my family really is like a part time job, which it is I guess. Do I want a part time job or do I just want to try and live within my means.

Even if I cannot prove that it is worth my time, I know I will start ebaying again but it may not be till this winter when outside obligations die down.

Till then the boxes of ebay items will gather dust.

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