Friday, October 31, 2014

that's a wrap :: 31/31

I can't believe this is it!  Sadly, our computer froze up the day before yesterday so I am on my least favorite way to blog.  (And list!).

I have loved hearing that a couple of you have actually tried eBay this month!  Woohoo!!!  My final tip of the day is this...keep at it...give yourself a little time to figure it all out before you decide it's too complicated.  Remember that most buyers are good people and will be good to you if you are good to them.

Thanks so much for reading along this month and for the comments (mim, I finally answered your last question!  :) ) and emails!  Please bookmark or pin this page for a list of all my posts.  (I will update it with the last few soon!)

Happy Halloween!!!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

where is that going to go? :: 30/31

I cannot believe this month is almost over!  While I am happy this challenge is ending, I almost feel like I could keep going.  Almost.  Not quite.  Haha.

One final thing I want to talk about is how to store your merchandise!  There are 1,000,000 different ways you can do this...I am not claiming mine is the best...just sharing it.

My tip of the day?  Use thrifted finds to store your items!  All of my storage shelves & laundry baskets have been thrifted.  The baskets are usually a dollar or two and I haven't paid more than $20 for a shelf.

Once I bring an item home and wash it, it goes in a basket.  I have baskets for women's clothes, men's, shoes, misc....lots of baskets.  I also usually have a basket of pulled items that I want to list next.  Here are some of those baskets:
After I take a group of pictures I keep those photographed items together in a tote.  I try not to take any more photos until I get through what I've done.  I like this because I can carry this tote back down to the basement whenever i stop for the day and not have eBay stuff all over our living room.  (That is where our computer is.). Here is the stuff I photographed earlier:
After an item is listed it goes in a different section of shelving in the basement.  Thankfully, we have a large and totally dry basement.  If yours isn't I would suggest totes with lids instead of baskets.  Here are my shelves of already listed items:

In this area I separate by clothing type.  I have areas for tops, sweaters, outerwear, athletic wear, bottoms, shoes, etc.  I have had a couple frustrating moments due to big stacks and dim lighting but haven't lost anything yet.  :)

This job can easily take over your house if you let it.  Making sure everything has a "home" has been so important for me.  Coming home with 30 lbs. of clothing and no where to put it would be a nightmare!  (See also:things my husband would hate).

I strongly suggest taking a little time to think about your storage system!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Monkey See, Monkey Do :: 29/31

My tip of the day: One of the best ways to learn more about eBay selling is to learn from other eBay sellers!  Today I am going to share a list of blogs that I follow.  They all share some of their best (and worst) sales and other information and tips as they come up.  I have learned a lot from these people and am so grateful they share what they do.  Sometimes just reading a post someone else wrote about listing gives me that nudge to get up and do some work.  Love that...I need all the nudges I can get. 

(in no particular order)

The last one is not a blog but a website for "The Boys" with info about their Thrift Hunters show on Spike TV.  I am a member of their Facebook group and used to spend a lot of time there.  Those groups can be SUPER helpful but also a MAJOR time suck if you're not careful.  There are quite a few of them on Facebook so I encourage you to look around if you're interested.

Have fun poking around on these sites and don't get sucked too far down any rabbit holes! 

THIS is my landing can click here to see a list of every post this month! 
See all the Nester's 31 Days participants HERE!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Print It Off :: 28/31

Over and over this month I've mentioned how convenient it is and how much money you can save by printing your eBay shipping labels at home.  Today I thought I'd share my favorite printer with you!

It's a Brother Laser Printer and I love it!  I purchased mine on Amazon (see it here) and have not had one bit of trouble with it in the 16 months I've been using it.  This is NOT a color printer, only black and white.  It uses a high yield toner cartridge that I haven't had to replace yet.  (It comes with a "trial" cartridge that lasted me almost 6 months and then I put in my first purchased cartridge and it's still going strong!)

I also purchase sticky half sheet label sheets, usually on Amazon.  I have bought all sorts of brands and haven't found much of a difference.  You can of course print on a plain white sheet of paper, cut your label out and tape it on the package but that is kind of a hassle.  The sticker labels are really nice to have.  They make me feel legit.  ;)

My tip of the day?  Try a laser printer!   Mine is dependable and affordable.

THIS is my landing can click here to see a list of every post this month! 
See all the Nester's 31 Days participants HERE!

Monday, October 27, 2014

eBay Top Rated Seller Benefits :: 27/31

If you decide to go all out on eBay, and by all out I mean sell about 9 items per month, you've made the first step in qualifying for eBay's Top Rated Seller & TRS Plus benefits!

To qualify as a Top Rated Seller you must meet the following requirements that I've copied from eBay:  (my notes in green)

Sales requirements:
  • You have at least 100 transactions with US buyers over the most recent 12-month period. (that sounds like a lot but really only 9/month)
  • You have at least $1,000 in sales with US buyers over the most recent 12-month period. (again, really only $10 per transaction!)
Tracking requirements:
You've uploaded valid shipment tracking to My eBay within your promised handling time for at least 90% of transactions with US buyers in the last 3 months.  (If you print your postage online through eBay, the tracking is uploaded automatically.  I never have to do anything extra to meet this requirement!  Sweet!)
  • 1 business day handling time:  If a buyer pays on Tuesday, you need to upload tracking by 11:59:59 pm Pacific Time on Wednesday.
  • Same business day handling time:  If you offer same business day handling, you also have 1 business day to upload valid tracking information. For example, if a buyer pays on Tuesday at 10:00 am Pacific Time, you need to upload tracking by 11:59:59 pm Pacific Time on Wednesday. The tracking number must have at least one carrier scan recorded within your promised handling time.
  • Handling time is measured in business days. Weekends and holidays aren't counted. For example, if you specify 1-day handling time and a buyer pays on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, you need to upload tracking by 11:59:59 pm Pacific Time on Monday. (I love Friday sales!  :)  I normally ship on Saturdays but it's nice knowing I don't have to!)
  • If a buyer purchases items from multiple listings, each listing (or transaction) must have a tracking number, even if all the items have been combined into a single order for shipping.
Exceptions: You're not required to upload tracking for:

Transaction defect rate:
The defect rate is the percentage of a seller's transactions that have one or more of the following transaction-related defects :
  • Detailed seller rating of 1, 2 or 3 for item as described (describe that item well!!  be overly cautious then you will surprise them rather than disappoint them!)
  • Detailed seller rating of 1 for shipping time (ship fast!)
  • Negative or neutral feedback (customer comes first, do everything you can to make sure they are satisfied!)
  • A return initiated for a reason that indicates the item was not as described (list ALL flaws in that condition description box!!)
  • An eBay Money Back Guarantee or PayPal Purchase Protection case opened for an item not received or an item not as described
  • Seller-initiated transaction cancellation
To meet eBay's minimum standard, sellers can only have up to 5% of transactions with one or more transaction over the most recent evaluation period. To qualify as a Top Rated Seller, sellers can only have a maximum 2% of transactions with one or more defects over the most recent evaluation period. Only transactions with US buyers count toward your seller performance on
The defect rate won't affect your status until you have transactions with defects with at least 8 different buyers, at least 5 different buyers to impact Top Rated status, within your evaluation period.
Sellers can have a maximum of 0.3% of eBay Money Back Guarantee or PayPal Purchase Protection closed cases without seller resolution over the most recent evaluation period. That means the buyer opened the case, you weren't able to resolve it, the buyer reached out to eBay or PayPal to review it, and eBay found you responsible.
Sellers with 400 or more transactions over the past 3 months are evaluated based on the past 3 months and sellers with fewer than 400 transactions are evaluated based on the past 12 months.
Learn more about fair performance evaluation.
You meet the following eBay Money Back Guarantee and PayPal Purchase Protection case requirements:
Case requirements

Percentage of cases
Cases closed without seller resolution

There is a lot of chatter about the relatively new Defect Rate and how it is so unfair to sellers and blah, blah, blah.  I am not saying it is or it isn't.  All I know is that I don't have time to worry about what might happen!  Instead I choose to spend my time doing my best work up front, offering quick shipping and great customer service and hoping for the best.  So far, so good!  If you are offering a great item with a thorough description at a good price with fair shipping, you are pretty much going to be okay.  YES, there are some crazies out there but they really are FEW and FAR between.  (I hope this doesn't call them to me.  hahaha)

If you meet the above requirements and add a couple more, you will be rated a Top Rated Plus Seller and qualify for the boost in search (!!) and the 20% fee discount.  Awesome!  Those 2 extra requirements are:

Qualifying your listings for Top Rated Plus seal and discounts

To qualify for Top Rated Plus benefits, you need to be a Top Rated seller and your eligible listings need to:
  • Provide a 14-day (or longer) money-back return policy
  • Provide same- or 1-business-day handling time

    You can read more about all of this on eBay's info page, found here.

    I love the TRS program!  I was really proud when I heard I earned it and it definitely gives me an extra reason to keep working hard.  I would be sad if I lost it but you can always earn it back.  :)

    THIS is my landing can click here to see a list of every post this month! 
    See all the Nester's 31 Days participants HERE!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

put your best foot forward :: 26/31

Quick tip of the day, just under the wire!  :)  When listing, list your best items first!  If you feel pretty certain you've got a hot item, get it listed.  Not only will you get the sale, the profit, you will also get a hefty dose of motivation.  Nothing makes me want to get to work more than seeing that it's actually worth my time.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Getting Paid :: 25/31

What is one of the best things about selling on eBay?  Getting paid, of course!  :)

I pay myself every Friday, transferring money from my Paypal account into our checking account.  It usually shows up in about 3 days and I have never had any problems.

Before withdrawing any funds, I click on the Account tab in My eBay and check what my current balance is...that is the amount I owe eBay for fees and such.  I have this set up to be paid by PayPal automatically every month so I always make sure there is enough left in my Paypal account to cover my current balance on eBay.  You can read about paying your eBay fees here.

Also, if I have had any large sales (over $100) I like to wait until the return period is up (14 days currently) before I spend that money.  Anything less I could cover without too much pain but it would bug me to take a big chunk out of our checking. 

This method has worked great for me for over 2 years.  So that is my tip of the day...leave enough in your Paypal account to cover your eBay fees.  You will thank yourself later.

THIS is my landing can click here to see a list of every post this month! 
See all the Nester's 31 Days participants HERE!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Your Dryer, ftw :: 24/31

I just have a quick tip of the day for you today...use your dryer to remove wrinkles from clothing! 

If you sell clothing, it is most likely going to end up wrinkly by the time you get around to selling it.  A lot of time I will get things washed & folded and then it will be a while before I get to taking pictures and they are wrinkly all over again.

A couple years ago, when I was first selling, I told my sister how I had spent a long time ironing.  She told me she just throws her clothes in the dryer to get the wrinkles out.  WHAT??!!  I tried it and do it all the time now.  (thanks, Seester!)

On photo day I will pull all the items I want to take pictures of and throw them in the dryer with a damp hand towel for 20 or so minutes.  Voila!  No more wrinkles.  (or at least very few!)

THIS is my landing can click here to see a list of every post this month! 
See all the Nester's 31 Days participants HERE!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

BOLO: United Nude Shoes :: 23/31

Today I want to share with you a BOLO that I have never seen anyone else mention.  I stumbled upon a pair of these shoes at Goodwill a year or so ago and bought them even though I couldn't look them up (no phone with me) because they were so unusual.

I was one happy girl when I got home!  :)  They are the Eamz Pump from United Nude and retail for $299.00.

I think I got around half of that for mine...they were not brand new but were in really nice shape.  The funny thing was I found another pair of United Nude shoes not long after that.  They were a patent leather ballet flat that sold for around $70, I think. 

A good name to add to your BOLO list.  Not all styles sell well so do a little homework and keep your eyes open!  Good luck!

THIS is my landing can click here to see a list of every post this month! 
See all the Nester's 31 Days participants HERE!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

just me saying hi

Hi guys!  How are you?  I am good.  I've been working on a little craft project all morning and am about to take Nick out for a walk.

With all the eBay business I haven't really had much time to blog like a normal person.  :)  Let's see, what is new with us?

Patrick was gone all of last week.  From Monday - Saturday afternoon.  It wasn't too bad although we did miss him a lot.  The kids were so good and I am so thankful we had such a good week.  It rained for a lot of the week so we just hung out at home and felt kind of cozy.  Oh, and we saw a movie...Dolphin Tale 2.  It was fine.  Kind of cute.  I had made a list of daily goals (of course I did) for myself while he was gone and I think it helped keep me from feeling whiny because instead I felt accomplished!  :)  I know I am cheesy but whatever works, right?

When Patrick got home on Saturday it wasn't too long before we snuck away for a nap.  And by nap I mean nap.  :)  It was a good week but boy, did it wipe me out.  He had worked crazy long hours all week as well so we were both exhausted.  We had a lazy day and then finished it off with pizza delivery and Survivor.  nice.  happy sigh.

On Sunday I went and had coffee with my sister, mom and Lee & Kristy (aunties) who were in town visiting.  We were there for 3 hours (!!) and then Annie and I took her boys and Ruby to the pumpkin patch.  After that I came home for a bit and then the 5 of us went shopping and out to dinner.  It was such a fun day!  It was so good to be with all of them and laugh and talk and make fun of ourselves and each other.  :) 

I cannot believe it's Wednesday.  Tonight we are going back to the pumpkin patch (3rd time).  Can't wait.


My eBay listing process, part two :: 22/31

This is Part 2 of my eBay listing process.  You can find Part 1 HERE.

When we left off yesterday, we had just finished writing our item descriptions.  Next up is figuring out listing format (read more on that from eBay here) and price:

If you've done your research, you should have some idea what to start your item at, if it is an auction, or list it at as a Fixed Price.  I have heard for years that the best time/day to start and end an auction is on Sunday evening.  After that, I think any weeknight evening is pretty good with Friday and Saturday nights coming in lastEven with so many buyers on eBay mobile, day time ending times aren't the best idea.  Lots of us are at work or busy with our kids.  My friend missed a daytime auction item last week while we were chatting!  If you are doing your auction listing during the day, you can choose when to have it go live.  eBay charges an additional .10/item for this option.

After that you check payment method, shipping methods (which I've talked about before).  After that is the final box on the page "Add other Details."  You can find out more about Buyer Requirements here.  Here is what mine are set at:
Block buyers who:
  • Have received 2 unpaid item strike(s) within 1 month(s)
  • Have a primary shipping address in countries that I don't ship to
  • Have 4 policy violation report(s) within 1 month(s)
  • Have a feedback score equal to or lower than -1
I do choose to offer a return policy and will talk more about this another day.  In the Additional Payment Instructions area I have this blurb:  

Hello!  Thank you so much for your purchase today!  Please send payment through Paypal immediately.  I will email you tracking information ASAP and leave you postitive feedback soon.  I really appreciate your good feedback as well and PLEASE contact me if something is wrong!  I will do everything I can to fix it.  :) Thank you so much! Stephanie

After you hit the blue Continue box you are almost done!  On the next page you can verify that the listing fee is correct, preview your item if you want and make any last minute changes, then click on the blue List Your Item box!  You're done!  Yay!

Now list another one.  ;)

THIS is my landing can click here to see a list of every post this month! 
See all the Nester's 31 Days participants HERE

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

My eBay Listing Process, part one :: 21/31

Yesterday I encouraged you to get listing!  Today I want to share a little bit about my listing process.  This post got SUPER long so I broke it into two parts, here is the first half:

The first thing I do for listing is take a bunch of pictures.  I like to photograph around 25 items at a time, that is enough for me to chip away at during a typical week.  I try not to take any new pics until I've listed the last batch I took.  It's all too tempting to list that new, exciting thing you just brought home while last week's new exciting thing waits in the basement.  :)

So, I've got my pictures, a tape measure, my scale and a pile of items.  I group items together so women's shirts are with shirts, sweaters with sweaters, etc.  This makes listing easier because you can copy and paste one blurb and just switch out the measurements and a few key words each time.

My most used blurb is this:

"This lightweight blouse from Banana Republic is in beautiful, very gently worn condition with no flaws.  It is 100% cotton, a size Small, and machine washable.  It measures 36" around the bust, 15" across the shoulders, 24" from shoulder to end of sleeve, and is 25.5" long from the back of neck to bottom hem."

All of the items in italics are the ones I switch out.  I may also add more info, depending on the item.  For dresses I add waist & hip measurements and for pants, inseam, etc.  If the color isn't obvious I will try to describe it a bit and sometimes I will add a sentence talking the item up such as, "This blouse is perfect for travel...lightweight and versatile."  That just depends on my mood or if I think the item needs a little help.  :)  

I normally go to My eBay, select an item similar to what I plan on listing and click on "Sell Similar" over on the right hand column.  For starting a listing from scratch, go here.  

While I'm listing, I always have another eBay window open that I use for searching whatever is in front of me, normally a google one, too.  I see what similar items are selling for and also how their titles can learn a lot from this.  Something that may not stand out to me might be a really big deal to a buyer and someone else may already know this.  I also find lots of product names this way.  I recently searched "Keen shoes with flower" and didn't see anything similar to what I had in front of me.  I then did an image search on Google and lo and behold, there they were!  They were called a Keen I had a name for my title!  

After I've chosen my category and done a little research, I write the title.  I try to put the most important words first such as the brand name, what the item is (shirt, blouse, etc.) then the size (I normally write out "size" if it fits) and then add any descriptors.  Try to use every bit of that title they allow's how your buyers find you, first and foremost.  

After the title you're asked to select the Condition of your item.  If it is pre-owned, as most of my items are, a box will pop up called "Condition Description."  This is where you HAVE to mention any defects or quirks about your item.  If a buyer buys something and it has a problem that you don't mention in this box, even if it is in the item description itself, they can open a case against you for Item Not As Described.  That little box is very important!

Then you add your photos, select your item specifics, and write your description.  I try to keep the description to a minimum and don't use a lot (if any) of HTML.  Sometimes I add a blurb under my item description blurb that looks like this,

"I almost always ship within one business day of receiving payment.  I always leave good feedback for a good transaction.  I offer a 14 day return policy, buyer pays return shipping.  I love selling on ebay and only sell the best!  My customers are often surprised by how nice their item is...I don't sell junk."

In my mind, the hard part is over!  Your listing is almost ready to go.  Tomorrow I will go through the final listing steps.

My tip of the day:  Be sure to list any problems with your item in the Condition Description box!

Please send me any comments or questions you might have!  I am happy to answer them for you.  Also, if you have found any of this helpful, I'd love it if you would pin it!  :)

THIS is my landing can click here to see a list of every post this month! 
See all the Nester's 31 Days participants HERE!  

Monday, October 20, 2014

list, list, list :: 20/31

My tip for the day is list, list, list!  I'm not sure why but the more you list, the more you sell.  I don't even mean that the new stuff you list will sell but just in general, the more you are listing, the more sales you will have.  I don't know if eBay gives your item a higher ranking in search if you are active or if just having those new items show up lets buyers see your other items?  I'm not sure but it really seems true. 

And with that, I will sign off.  I haven't listed since last Thursday (gasp!) and my sales are tanking.  :)

THIS is my landing can click here to see a list of every post this month! 

See all the Nester's 31 Days participants HERE!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

A typical week of eBay sales :: 19/31

Last week's sales, for inquiring minds:


Sale price































$381-$40.00 (shipping fees for "free shipping" items-$26.00 (cost of items sold...the converse my sister gave me free) = $315.00 -$40.00 (ebay & paypal fees) = $275.00 before tax profit

The bar in my head seems to be set at $350.00.  If I hit that number (in gross sales) I am always happy BUT I so often come so close to that number that it's kind of strange.  My tip of the day for today is to set goals for yourself.  They are powerful and helpful. 

THIS is my landing can click here to see a list of every post this month! 

See all the Nester's 31 Days participants HERE!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Is an eBay store right for you? :: 18/31

When I re-started selling a couple of years ago, one of the first things I did was search for eBay-minded blogs and message boards.  I started reading a lot about eBay stores, which I had never heard of.  They didn't have those back in the early days of eBay.  :)  I can't remember how long it was before I took the store plunge but I am really glad I did.  A quick calculation shows that I have saved over $500 in fees over the last 2 years on top of my Top Rated Seller discounts.

The biggest factors in determining if a store makes sense for you is how many listings you plan on doing every month and which type of listing you plan to do.  (auction or fixed price)

eBay gives most people 50 free listings per month and, depending on the category, it could be 100. 

I sell mostly clothing so if I liked to sell it at auction, I could get 100 free listings every month!  The problem is, I don't love auctions.  They don't seem to do that well for me and I much prefer to list my items at a fixed price.  For that, I would pay .30/listing.  Still not a lot of money but it adds up!

With my store subscription cost of $14.95/mo (paid annually or 19.95/mo paid monthly) , I get 150 listings free every month of whichever kind I choose.  I also get lots of free listing promotions so I rarely end up paying if I go over 150.

eBay has an awsome store fee illustrator here.  You can read more about the other benefits of having a store here.  I love being able to have sales and such but the insertion fee savings is the biggest reason I have a store.

My tip of the day is, if you're a new seller, give yourself a few months and see how & what you enjoy selling the most.  Keep the fee illustrator bookmarked and use it to help you make your decision in the future.

THIS is my landing can click here to see a list of every post this month! 

See all the Nester's 31 Days participants HERE


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