Tracking New Listings

In the Facebook groups I’m active in I talk a lot about raising prices to sell stuff. Another thing I do is to keep an eye on my newly listed items to track the number of watchers. If I see that an item gets a good amount of watchers in the first few days, I increase my price. If more watchers join the party, I might raise my price again.

100_8369Here’s a listing that I did just that. I picked up this blinged out Harley tank top at our local community garage sale for $1. I listed it for $24.99 on 8/10/2015. Within a week I had a handful of watchers so I increased the price to $29.99. At some point later I had more watchers so I increased the price to $34.99. It sold in September with 382 views and 12 watchers. I would have been happy with a $25 sale but am happier to have an additional $10 in my pocket for the same amount of work. Believe in the value of your items and remember that what you pay for something has no relevance to what it’s worth.

Harley Shirt Sale

 

 

 

 

Kazan BlouseHere’s another listing….I knew I had a great find when I saw this Laurence Kazar Beaded Christmas Blouse in a size 1X at a Phoenix Thrift Store for $7. I originally listed it at $99.99 on November 14, 2015. In a few days I had two watchers and I increased the price to $109.99. The next time I looked at it, maybe two weeks into the listing I noticed it at four watchers, so I increased the price to $119.99. When it hit five watchers a few days later I decided to increase the price to $129.99 and let it ride. I was a bit bummed when it didn’t sell before Christmas but that didn’t discourage me…I held on to my $129.99 price and waited for the right buyer.  I had faith in my item, faith in the price I had finally settled on and was just waiting for the right buyer to come along. My experience has shown me that most items will eventually sell and that reducing the price before it has been listed 90 days just means I’m leaving money on the table.

My instinct and experience paid off when this beaded blouse sold for $129.99 on January 6, 2016, about six weeks after being listed.

Christmas Beaded Blouse

Perceived Value is Real

DEFINITION of ‘Perceived Value‘ The worth that a product or service has in the mind of the consumer. The consumer’s perceived value of a good or service affects the price that he or she is willing to pay for it.

I don’t know how long ago I realized this or exactly when I started putting into practice in my eBay business, but I feel like I have had to really convince people it is a real thing. 

In my circle of eBay friends, my Meet-Up Group and the Facebook group The Thrifting Board I help run and admin, I teach about it all the time. When someone reaches out and asks for help with their listings one of the first things I usually have them do is increase their prices.  In one recent case I suggested the seller increase their prices by 90%!  The prices in this store were so low that I had to do the math and explain the time and effort this seller was putting into each listing was yielding him less than $2 to put in his pocket. Thrifters are so used to finding items for under $10 that I believe they don’t think others would pay $99.99 for a pair of jeans they picked up for $7.99. It is my observation that stay-at-home moms often under price their items as well since it’s hard for them to put a dollar amount on their time. 

If you’re going to sell online you need to understand your costs and value your time. Listing on eBay does take time if you do it right. You also need to be patient and wait for the right buyer to come along. Listing something for a week, relisting it once and then lowering the price is not the most effective way to be a good seller (in my humble opinion). I just tested out the reduced price theory by putting EVERY item in my store that was priced over $20 on sale for 10% off. I did this for four days to see if I could drum up some business. Of the nearly 2600 items I had on sale, I sold two. Just two items. This is often the case when I run a sale. If your business model is to list an item for a week or two then put it on sale, you believe that the only reason someone is buying your item is because of price. I’m here to tell you there are so many other factors….and believe it or not, some buyers may look at your reduced item and assume there is something wrong with it. These are the buyers I love!

I don’t have any scientific information or hard core data to back this, I just know it works for me and when I teach it to others it works for them too.

cabella CoatHere’s an example of one way I use perceived value to my benefit. I listed this coat on November 14th at $74.99. I don’t usually spend a ton of time researching but I did on this one. It’s pretty heavy and I wanted to see if I could learn anything about why it was so heavy. Was it a special type of hunting coat? Was it made for really cold climates? I didn’t know and I couldn’t find another one like it on eBay, Google, Cabela’s, etc. When I moved it to inventory storage I thought to myself, this is REALLY heavy. The next time I looked at my listing I saw it had one watcher and I thought, I need to increase the price, so I increased it to $99.99. Then I got two watchers and the next day or two I decided to go and review the prices of all my winter coats. I increased most of them….some by $10, several by $30. I pushed this one to $114.99 and it sold on November 20th, just one week after it was listed. It’s going to VA which makes me glad I didn’t sell it at my original $75 due to the extra shipping costs. Don’t be afraid to price your items for what they’re worth and if you’re not sure, price it higher than you think and let it stay for 30-90 days before thinking about reducing the price.

Baby It’s Cold Outside

Baby Its cold outsideI’m not a thrifter. I don’t have the ‘thrill of the hunt’ instinct, I don’t experience thrifting withdrawals if I haven’t thrifted in a few days or even weeks, I simply don’t posses the thrifting traits that so many die hard, seasoned thrifters do.  But I love a good source for great inventory with very low cost, so I thrift when the whim hits me.

I don’t search the whole store over like most people. I browse the men’s section for t-shirts, Hawaiian shirts and jeans, I look for a few things here and there, books, VHS, etc. I never hit the woman’s section except for the jackets and coats. I love to thrift both men’s and women’s jackets and coats. Living in Arizona I can usually find some good ones during the summer months when those that moved from much colder climates are fooled into thinking it never gets cold in these parts.

I particularly like this flip because of the markup value. You can buy most average jackets or coats for anywhere from $7 to $25 and I rarely sell one for less than $50 and often in the $100+ range.  I’ve got one listed now at $249.99….it’s a pretty cool explorer looking, very warm, coat.

RI Thrifting TripWhile thrifting with a group on a conference trip to Rhode Island last March, I came across several coats and purchased as many as I thought I could get home in a 50 pound suitcase or dufflle bag. I had my pile of jackets in my cart and I was going through them, checking them over as I waited for the others to finish up and get checked out. One woman from our group had a gorgeous full length, brown hooded DKNY down coat in her arms that she was contemplating because of the $24.99 price tag. I tried to convince her that she could get 4-5 times that when she sold it, but she decided against it and offered it up to me. I was happy to take it off her hands.

DKNY CoatI got it listed on July 26th and it sold on November 11th for $174.99 plus $24.99 to ship to Canada….a nice little profit!

I try to get them listed as soon as I get home as I have found that they sell all year round. There is less competition in the off season months when many sellers think it’s not the right season to sell them. Here’s a tip, seasonal stuff sells all year round on eBay. Here’s another tip, make sure you are shipping internationally; remember when it’s summer here it’s winter in Australia.

Here are a few more coats and jackets sold this quarter.

LLB Suade Jacket 11-30-2015

L.L. Bean Women’s Brown Suede Leather Jacket Listed 11/14/15, Sold 11/30/15 $44.99

Mens Mackintosh Trench Coat 10-9-2015

Men’s Mackintosh Weatherfair Trench Coat Listed 11/29/14, Sold 10/9/15 $135.99

 

Moda Pink Coat 9-30-2015

Moda International Woman’s Pink Herringbone Wool Blend 3/4 Length Listed 11/26/15, Sold 9/30/15 $64.99

Olive Green Overcoat 10-18-2015

Mens Long Wool Olive Green Coat Made in Italy Size 52 Trench Listed 9/2/14, Sold 10/18/15 $140.99

 

Capella Jacket

Men’s Cabela’s Outdoor Gear Coat Gore-Tex Hood Listed 11/14/15, Sold 11/20/15 $114.99

Columbia Jkt Purple 12-14-15

Womens Columbia Sportswear Coat Jacket Purple Teal Listed 11/29/14, Sold 12/14/15, $74.99

Free Country Jacket 11-14-2015

Mens Free Country Jacket Mountain Extreme Size XXL Gray Coat Hood Listed 11/29/14, Sold 11/14/15, $54.99 plus $19.99 shipping to Canada

 

A Collezioni Men's Brown Suede Leather Coat Size XL Made in Italy NWT Listed 7/26/15, Sold 12/4/15 $139.99

A Collezioni Men’s Brown Suede Leather Coat Size XL Made in Italy NWT Listed 7/26/15, Sold 12/4/15 $139.99

Trash to Cash

reduce-reuse-recycleDid you know that some stuff you would normally throw away you can now post on eBay and make some money from? I didn’t either until one day it happened!

I think the fun part of selling on eBay for me is discovering what people are willing to pay to have something and the variety of the ‘somethings’ people want. About three years ago I discovered soda pop caps.

I’m a Mountain Dew addict. Fortunately the caffeine doesn’t affect me. I can’t tolerate the carbonation of most soda  so Mt. Dew with it’s minimal carbinaton has been my drink since high school. I  don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I don’t do drugs…my vice is Mt. Dew. It is my drug and I rationalize and indulge myself.

102_0973When I was laid off of my job in 2012 and was home all day, I had my Mt. Dew. For whatever reason when I rinsed out the bottle and tossed it in the recycle bin, I tossed the cap in the silverware holder in the dish drain in my sink. I don’t know why I started doing this, but I did. When that filled up, I moved to a large glass bowl that sat on the desk counter in the kitchen. When that bowl filled up, I got the idea to look on eBay and see if there was a market for soda caps….and there was!

In an undisclosed amount of time I had a mountain of colorful caps; green, yellow, orange and white, determined by whatever contest was going on at that time. I sorted them and counted them and decided on two listings. The first listing was for 300+ that sold for $29.99, the second was 600+ that sold for $39.99 not too much later.  I was convinced this was the easiest $60 I made in a long time. Turns out crafters LOVE these and Pinterest and Esty are full of creative ways to use them.100_4993

I decided to reach out to friends and family and ask them to start saving caps from ANYTHING: milk jugs, spice jars, juice bottles, water, soda, etc. I decided to give anything that had a cap a try. I collected enough to fill my glass bowl and then I counted them and went about creating another listing. This time I had over 450 caps that I listed and sold for $39.99.

ribbonHere’s another recycle tip for you to keep in mind on Christmas Day. Anyone who uses the fancy schmancy ribbons to wrap their gifts, don’t throw them out. My sister turned me onto the fancy ribbon many years ago and we’d scour the after Christmas sales to get the good stuff at rock bottom clearance prices. She wrapped every gift under the tree like a Martha Stewart package and it looked beautiful. On Christmas day she meticulously saved that ribbon and reused it the next year. I’ve been cleaning out her Christmas stuff, listing it over the past few years and this summer I came across her box of ribbons. I thought about us shopping for that nicer, high end stuff and wanted to see if anyone would want ‘recycled ribbon’. I grabbed a box, filled it with a variety of ribbon and listed it on July 11 for $49.99. It sold on December 5th and the buyer has already left great feedback! Looks like I’ll be making another box of recycled ribbon. That’s just free money for very little work and effort.

There are other ‘trash’ items that easily sell on eBay or Etsy. Toilet paper rolls, wool sweaters with holes, Starbucks Frappuccino bottles, Altoids tins, baby food jars, wine corks, wine bottles, prescription bottles, empty brand name boxes, brand name paper shopping bags, various catalogs (too many to list here) etc. If you’ve got an item that you buy all the time and it comes in a nifty container, take a few seconds to do a search on eBay and see if there is any value in that trash, I’ll bet you’d be surprised and what you think is trash and others find are treasures.

The next time you are passing the time scrolling through Pinterest or Etsy, take note of the recycled items used in the cute crafts and start saving those that you use on a regular basis. A few extra bucks in your pocket for little or no effort, why not?

Update 4/10/2017

I had this box of 200 toilet paper rolls listed for a little over a year. I had them listed at $45, but I was running a 10% off sale. They sold today for $40.99. With shipping and fees, my net profit was $25. Not too bad for a box full of “trash”.

Wish Bigger

Wish BiggerI love eBay’s Wish Bigger holiday campaign. I love the way it looks and feels and the various angles it takes on the whole eBay experience. I love the red stick figure type snowflakes sprinkled through out and just the overall look and feel of it.

One of the areas eBay focused on for sellers was Holiday Selling Tips. They reached out to many sellers and asked for their tips on getting ready for and selling through the holiday season. The next thing I knew I was seeing these great tips highlighted in festive and campaign coordinated graphics.  It was fun to see my various contributions pop up here and there. They show up as T’sa C because at the time I was using my nickname on my Facebook account, but it’s me!

SellBigger1There are some great tips in this campaign! The first tip of mine I saw was to “Schedule daily USPS pick-ups now through then end of December.”

I have my USPS pick ups regularly scheduled on Monday, Wednesday and Friday of each week (adjusting for a Monday holiday) through the end of April. At this time of year I will often add additional pickups for Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday if needed. I’ll even make a late afternoon trip to the post office if I need to get my packages shipped one day earlier and a get quick delivery to the customer.

I’m fortunate enough to live in an area where I feel safe and secure leaving my packages out on the porch, so I do, but I know it is a risk, especially this time of year. I don’t think I could do this business if I had to make a trip to the post office each day. Well, I suppose I could do it, it would just mean cutting something else out. So when the days already seem too short, I’m appreciative of this service and my mail carrier. Her name is Amy and she is awesome!

Fun holiday gift for my mail carrier.

Fun holiday gift for my mail carrier.

She is my most valuable employee that isn’t even on my payroll! I treat Amy well and leave her gift cards to lunch places nearby at random time throughout the year. During the hot Arizona summers I freeze bottles of water and leave them for her when I go to work. They can get pretty melted by the time she gets to my house, but they are always ice cold and refreshing….and appreciated!  The only effort that is for me is to remember to put them in the mail bin. And what do I get in return for this very small act…anything Amy can do for me she does! She signs for my packages, she comes back for packages if I’m not done shipping for the day, she leaves me the nice, new, pretty mail bins….she just takes care of me!

What holiday selling tips do you have? Here’s some other suggestions from eBay’s campaign.

 

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