Random Thoughts….Feeling Overwhelmed

I’m feeling totally Overwhelmed today! As I look around at all the stuff that still needs packed, trying to decide when to put the eBay store on vacation and dealing with my own disabilities, it just feels like it’s all too much to cope with. The long distance move is something I’ve been hoping for, for a long time now, but, I simply can’t do like I used too and that leaves most of the packing up to my dear hubby. We are not Spring chickens anymore. Lol

I’m also having mixed feelings about moving 2200 miles away from my kids and grand kids. They are trying to understand too. Health wise, it will be much better, dryer and warmer weather almost year round will do wonders for the raynauds, winters here are miserable for me.

eBay sales are really in a slump and putting the store on vacation will cause sales to drop even more. It wouldn’t normally bother me too much, but every since I made top rated seller, I feel pressured to try and list new items and keep sales up so that I can maintain that status. I have a lot of days that I simply can’t function and stay in bed or lay on the sofa. That was the reason for getting a laptop, no way can I sit at the computer desk. This trip will play havoc with my feet and legs, they will swell to the point of  being very painful. Try to imagine a truck cab with 2 adults and 3 small Pekingese dogs all cooped up for at least 4 days. 😦   The next 3 weeks are going to be hard to get through not only for me, but for DH too. He not only gets to do most of the packing and loading, he gets to do all the driving too. Then after we get there, it’s park the truck, get the car off the trailer and go close on the house and get the keys, then start unloading the truck and hope the help I got lined up shows up.

I talked with a fellow last night that will be putting up the fence for us, sounds like a nice guy and he’s too get back with me this evening on the estimated costs. One thing that’s nice about where we’re moving too is that we already know where most things are, that will help tremendously. So much to do…..

Addoway Sellers…..Google Product Search Changes

I received an email from Addoway pertaining to the way Google finds your items.

Hey Addowayers,

As I am sure you are all aware, Google is making some changes to their Google Product Search (GPS) feeds as of May 3, 2011.

They are now requesting Unique Product Identifiers (UPI) to be added to specific listings. If your items do not have these identifiers they will be rejected from Google Shopping.

Below you will learn what UPI’s are and what is needed to keep your specific items in compliance. And please remember, we are here to help walk you through this.

So what are unique product identifiers?

Unique product identifiers (UPI) are product codes or other values associated with an individual product/listing. A UPI is something like a UPC code, MPN (manufacturer part number), ISBN or could be a Japanese or European article number (JAN, EAN). (Please see images below for more information)

A Manufacturer Part Number (MPN) can be used to identify a specific product in the ‘MPN’ attribute if it is accompanied by the manufacturer’s brand name in the ‘brand’ attribute. These values are very important for matching users’ queries to your products. It is required to provide identifiers for all products except for those under the apparel and custom made goods categories.

Please spend some time reading through this and make sure your items are in compliance with Google’s new changes by May 3rd, so your items can continue to be submitted to Google. You can even visit the Google Merchant Center for more information on the changes.

Since I’m not the brightest star on the planet when it comes to things like this, I asked my son who is up on all this stuff and this is how he explained it to me. (Thanks Mark!)

This will basically apply to anything that you sell that is a commercial item. For example, if you are a reseller who lists retail electronics then you will want to get the part number, bar code number, and item description from the company who makes the product. For now, you won’t need any of this additional information for any clothing merchandise or anything that it custom made (i.e. handmade dolls, furniture, etc.).

So basically what it boils down to is that anything that you are selling that has been made by a commercial company will require a bar code number, manufacturer part number, and an product label (i.e. “Sony Sub-Woofer”) in order for your listings to be included in the Google product pages.

This also applies to book sellers, you’ll need the ISBN number in your listings.

Rita


Goals and Challenges…..

So eBay has hit us with the new Spring fees and as usual some will try to take it in stride and for others it will be the straw that broke the camels back. I’m going to “once again” take it in stride and try to incorporate it in my overall business goals. They say incorporate it into your selling price “Again”! How many times can you pass the buck onto your customer? You keep passing that buck and one day you’ll find you have no customers and have priced yourself right out of business. We’re hoping to avoid that and find some creative ways to absorb another fee hike without passing it on to our buyers and keep them coming back.

I’ve been adding “free shipping” on select items off and on for awhile now on lighter weight items. It’s very difficult to add that feature on the heavier pottery items since it can be costly shipping coast to coast as I often do. I have seen a slight increase in sales on these items and will continue to use this for the time being without raising prices.

Another area I’ve ventured into is adding items I wouldn’t normally look at. I’ve done this to hopefully broaden my customer base. This is too new to post any results yet. I’m excited with this prospect and don’t know why I didn’t think of the one category sooner,  as it’s one I know a little something about!

Cutting costs is always a challenge without sacrificing quality or risking a damaged shipment. This is another area that needs some fine tuning. Can we find a better way to pack and ship breakables that will not only help us, but the customer too, by keeping the overall weight and package size down?

Taking a good hard look at pricing and adjusting accordingly. I generally research what the average selling rate is for an item before it’s listed and price items this way according to what we paid for it. While this has been working out on some items, other items don’t fair as well.

These are just a few of the goals and challenges we are doing over the next few months and this will hopefully put us in a better position for the 2011 Holiday selling period.

Rita


Collecting Longaberger Baskets

Longaberger 2011 Mothers Day Basket Combo

I first became aware of Longaberger baskets in the early 90’s when a neighbor had a Longaberger basket party. I was impressed by how well made the baskets were and the versatility of them, you could use these baskets for practically anything!  My first purchase was the Tall Tissue basket and Woodcrafts lid.  Little did I know at that time that I would amass a large collection of these baskets and I recently became a Longaberger home consultant! 🙂

My favorite baskets are the Christmas baskets with the red weave and over time I’ve managed to collect almost all of them, with the earliest being from 1987. I still need a few from the early 80’s to complete the collection. There are several accessories that can be purchased to complete your look from protectors and liners, to lids, pottery and tie-ons.

Each basket is signed and dated by the person who made it and is also stamped with the Longaberger name. Although a bit pricey, these baskets and accessories are well worth it and do increase in value. You can still find good deals at local auctions, occasionally at garage sales and also on eBay, but be selective in what you purchase as far as condition goes. (Longaberger does have a repair program for broken splints).

All pottery is made in Roseville, Ohio and you just can’t beat the quality of the fabrics that are used in the curtains, liners and other accessories, including bed and bath items. Longaberger products are not only wonderful collectibles, they are also an area to explore when sourcing inventory foe resell.

You will want to buy items that are in very good to excellent condition, no broken splints, no fading  of splints and/or weave colors and so on. Pottery is another item to source, retired items can bring high dollar amounts.

The Longaberger Co. is an American manufacturer of handcrafted maple wood baskets based in Newark, Ohio and was founded by Dave Longaberger and is a family owned and operated business.

www.longaberger.com/ritasteward

Rita

DSRS…….Held Hostage

 

This has been a burr in my saddle every since eBay changed the rules of the game. In their quest to be more like their competition, they’ve opened the doors to all sorts of nasties for the sellers. Now I know that there are sellers on eBay who could care less about what they sell, just bring on the dollars, but for those of us who truly care and always give 110% to ensure that our buyers are happy ones, are the ones who get held hostage over a negative or low ratings.

Buyers, you need to ralize that we are not retail stores. We are like your local auction or flea market, can you take something back because you changed your mind or it doesn’t fit, either your body, foot or decor? The short answer is No, you can’t! The descriptions are there for a reason…Read them, you’d be amazed at the amount of information they give!  I read so many stories of sellers taking returns, giving refunds and paying shipping both ways just to try and keep their DSRs and feedback from being ruined by a buyer who didn’t take the time to read.

As a buyer and seller, I can understand that you can’t actually handle the item, but that’s what the descriptions are for, along with pictures, look and read people! I take and post numerous pictures of my items, and tell you of any little flaw if there is one, I spend hours taking as sharp and clear pictures as I can get of an item. If as a buyer I’m still not sure about something, I just email the seller. Now, I’ll be the first one to admit I’m not perfect and may miss something…it happens and I won’t give you the run around about it either, I’ll happily refund your money, shipping too.  But please, don’t ding me because you’re having a bad hair day, or your perfect and never made a mistake in your life!  eBay used to be a fun place to buy and sell, let’s make it that way again!

I’m an

Auctionjunkie2

Summer Garage Sale Challenge 2011

Summer sales are generally slow on eBay during the summer months, so I’ve decided that I’m going to do a Garage Sale challenge this summer. My weeks will run from Sunday to Sunday beginning May 10th, 2011 through September 4th, 2011, with final results posted September 6th,2011 since the 5th is Labor Day.

I will list Only items found during the week at garage and yard sales, auctions, thrift stores and flea markets. Previous inventory does not count. For this challenge all listed items will be fresh finds. I will list both Auction style and Buy It Now, with BIN items having to sell by September 4th to qualify for my total summer sales. I’m starting the second week of May due to moving the first week.

I will post what I bought and a link to my listings.

My goal is $3000.00 in sales. Think I can do it? Guess we’ll find out, won’t we! LOL

Could you do it?  You won’t know unless you try….. and, You’re welcome to join me if you wish, just leave a comment with your name and eBay user ID.

Auction Junkie 2

 

 

 

 

Apealling To Buyers

I was sitting here thinking about advertising and what type of buyer I wanted to specifically target when it dawned on me that we offer items that  appeal to a wide range of buyers.

With having different and varied item offerings, we’ve opened the door to attracting customers who are looking for a nice collectible, but don’t have a whole lot of money to spend, the middle income customer who wants to add to their collection or buy for others and the  customer who has more to spend and wants a nice vintage piece. By offering a good selection of items at good prices, you make your business more appealing to a larger group of buyers.

Of course, just having nice items and great prices isn’t going to keep that customer coming back if you don’t give excellent customer service and ignore them after the sale.I realize that can be rough sometimes when you get the “Customer from Hell”, meaning that no matter what you do, you can’t make them happy. When that happens, the best you can do is learn from the experience and move on.

eBay attracts all types of buyers and only you can decide which buyer you most want to attract and keep.With almost 2 months of the new year gone, it’s something to think about and set some goals for yourself and your eBay business.

auctionjunkie 2

 

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