Thursday, November 16, 2017

Ebay Sales Update, How much I'm Making Right Now

It's been a long, long time since I've written here. There's a really good reason for that. I have been so busy working on growing my Ebay business. Things are going really well. My sales growth, though it has been slow, it's been very steady. I'm slowing inching my way towards my goals. Everything I do in life and every goal I ever make, I have to really struggle to get there. Things never come easily for me. I wouldn't call Ebay selling a struggle. It isn't hard necessarily, but it is a lot of work. My progress hasn't been as quick as I feel it should be, based on the amount of work I do.

I plan to make every attempt to start writing again here and sharing my reselling and lifes journey. I keep thinking about doing YouTube videos because that is what resellers like. I myself don't have time to read right now. I like to listen to YouTubers while I'm listing. So I feel like that is what I should do. But I feel awkward talking to a camera. I hate cameras. I know I would get used to it and get the hang of it, but the idea of starting scares me. And I am so bad at technology. I can blog and figure out blog related issues, but editing videos...I don't know if I can do that. Maybe my daughter can help.

So anyway, my sales have been pretty good lately. I had a slow period where I was really beginning to worry and get frustrated. I called Ebay and spoke to an awesome rep names Pierce and he was extremely helpful. Most of the time when I call about this issue, I get the runaround. They tell me all this stuff to do, things I am already doing obviously. But he gave me great info and advice. I was really grateful for that and he didn't rush me off the phone. Most of the Ebay reps are really wonderful. I've only had maybe 2 or 3 instances where I was left very unsatisfied with the conversation.

I've been going to the Goodwill outlet about 6 hours away approximately every 1.5 to 2 months and coming home with 300-600 pounds. I don't get to go nearly often enough. But I also don't list fast enough. I get on average, 10 new listings and 10-20 sell similars per day. I want to get 20-30 new listings but I get so distracted. Like right now; I should be listing. I distracted with family, kids, cooking, household, YouTube, etc. I need to stop that.

My beautiful daughter's first bins trip.
She found some good stuff! She was a big help.

Des Moines Goodwill Outlet "the bins"

My handsome, helpful hubby.
He really helps me a lot on top of his full time job.

My monthly sales the past few months are approximately $3000 give or take a couple hundred. That's not all profit of course. My fees, shipping and cost of goods come to roughly 45-50%. I was hoping to hit $5000 by the end of the year. My progress is slow but I'm getting there.

60 day total

I would love for Chris to be able to quit his job and join me in running this business. Together we could accomplish so much and we could start selling on other platforms. I just don't have the time myself. No matter what, I'm going to have to hire someone in order to grow faster. Chris can't quit right now. Losing his income would be a big loss. That couldn't happen until I'm making enough on a consistent basis to cover all our bills. Health insurance is what will kill us. Right now, his employer pays and it is really good insurance (especially dental). But one day, if he wanted to, it could happen. I don't know if he would like doing what I do every single day, all day long though. LOL. I do it because I genuinely love it. Even the parts I don't feel like doing, I still enjoy.

I'm really happy with what I'm doing with my life. I don't care about the people who don't understand or say I don't work - they come across as incredibly jealous. Jealous that I'm able to be home with my family and make a better income than I did working at my last full time job. I am absolutely thrilled with my life, my business and the fact my kids can be proud of what I'm doing. They've watch me work so hard doing something I love.

I'm going to try to write short posts several times a week. I'll talk about things like Ebay glitches, buyer issues, mixing up 2 labels and sending the wrong items to people and how to handle that (oops, I've done it). I'll write about things an Ebay seller deals with on a regular basis.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Ebay Business Growth, 6/5/17 Sales and Upcoming Goodwill Outlet Trip

I had amazing sales this weekend. I am so happy with the way my sales are going right now. I am feeling very encouraged and I want to encourage you. I have been working so hard and it seems to be paying off, thank the Lord. I am slowly getting where I want to be. I still have a ways to go, but I'm getting there. I had 8 packages to drop off on Tuesday morning. I sold 8 items on a Monday. That never happens. Mondays are usually pretty slow. I never used to sell that many items in one day on a week day. This is progress for me.

I'm finally over $2,000 in a 31 day period.

My sales for 31 days is over $2,000! My goal is $3,000 a month by the end of the summer. That will be tough because summer sales are usually slower for me. But I'm going to work my ass off. I am aiming for $5,000 a month by the end of the year. It's do-able but I don't have as much time as I need. I have so many other things to do and take care of. But I am going to shoot for that really hard.

This is a comparison of my sales the first 6 days of May compared to the first 6 days of June. I've made $250 more than I did at the same time last month. My work is paying off!

Not every Ebay seller is making in the tens of thousands of dollars, like we see on YouTube and other sellers blogs and websites and I want people to know the other side of Ebay selling. The seller who is slowly climbing up the sales ladder trying to grow into a "tens of thousands of dollars seller." It is possible but it takes a lot of really hard work and having the right stuff to sell. I have been selling for a few years and it's taken me that long to get to this point. I was making a part time income selling and I was okay with that for a couple years. But I'm to the point where I really want to be making more. 

I literally spend every bit of my free time working. That is the truth about Ebay selling. It can be very long hours, if you're thinking of it like a business. I work from the time I get up until I go to bed. That is real. If you don't enjoy working on Ebay, it will be tough to make a lot of money doing it. It is very time consuming. Maybe some sellers don't have to put in those kind of hours, but I would say the average seller trying to grow their business will be spending an extreme amount of time working. I do stop and drive my kids here and there, I make lunch and supper, I do all the things I have to do as a mom, but then it's back to work. If I was making an hourly wage, it would be pathetic. But one day, I will reap the benefits of all this work. I am starting to see those benefits already.

You have to list pretty much every day. You can miss a day here or there, but if you don't list for 2 or 3 days, most likely, you will notice a drop in sales. I definitely notice. It will take some time of listing consistently every day to start seeing sales growth. It might take 2-3 weeks, maybe even a month to really see consistent sales growth.

I was whining a couple weeks ago about how hard I was working and I wasn't seeing any more sales than usual. Of course, it was the last week of the month and my sales always drop towards the end of any month, but now I am seeing significant sales increase. More than average for me. I have to keep this in mind. I am only listing an average of 10 items a day. I can't seem to make time to get more listed. I am terrible at time management. My goal is to get up to 20 minimum and up to about 35 listings per day. But it's really difficult for me.

Just remember, you can see huge sales growth is you are listing every day, listing more than you normally list, and have products people want. Even if you can only list 5 items a day, then do it. It will still help more than only listing 20 items once a week. You also need to be able to buy your products cheap and make a profit. 

Chris and I are planning another Goodwill Outlet trip soon. I am so excited! We're making it a weekend trip, like our first one. We'll go several times. I am hoping to come home with at least 300 pounds, like last time, hopefully even more than that. I can't go to an outlet every weekend because the closest one is 2.5 hours away. So I have to get as much stuff as I can when I get the chance to go. I pray that they have a lot of good stuff - stuff that I sell.  I'm really excited and I will try to take more photos and document this trip. But I feel like a crazy stalker walking around taking pictures. I'm also focused on getting stuff and not having someone swipe what I am trying to look at! lol.

God has truly blessed me. I feel like He led me to Ebay. I am able to stay home with my kids, and make money at home. That is all I ever wanted. I wish I would've found it a long time ago. I love what I do; that is why I am able to work 12-14 hours a day doing it. This isn't for everyone, though. It won't interest everyone.

If you are hard at work, trying to grow your Ebay business, just keep listing. List every day. You will see an increase. Whether you're making $500 a month or 10,000 a month, just keep at it. Just keep at it. You will reach your goal! I'm sure you hear that all the time, but it's true. I better get to listing now myself. Talk soon.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Sales Update and Reseller Drama (Updated)

I ended June with my best sales so far. It wasn't quite the $2000 mark that I was hoping for. I know, I know, that isn't that much. My sales are growing quite a fast as I'd like. But I'm hoping for an even better month of sales. That would be an accomplishment because summers are usually my slowest time.

Not great but not horrible. Of course this isn't all profit. I have shipping costs and supplies and inventory also.

I have 2 stores I've been working on. Well, 1 store and 1 new account. I am moving all my hard goods to my newer account. I want my main store to be focused on clothes and accessories. I don't know if that will help my sales or not, but I want to clean up the look of my store. I want it to look like an online boutique and not just a thrift store.

On a different note, I have mentioned thinking about making videos and posting them on YouTube. Mainly Ebay and thrifting/haul videos. That is the thing resellers are doing now. Blogging is not so popular, YouTube and Vlogging is what's in. I have been hesitant because I know how cruel people can be. I'm hesitant for other reasons, too, but that's a big one. 

Apparently there is a lot of drama in the reseller world. I got a taste of it in a Facebook group, but I thought that was just that particular group. It had around 25,000 people in it so there was bound to be drama, but the drama seemed to center around the admins. They were a bunch of mean girls. I didn't like them at all. They had a serious case of power-trip-itis.

But anyways, I try to keep negativity out of my life. I don't "hate watch" people or stalk my enemies Instagram or Facebook accounts. I don't have "file" with screen shots and photos I stole from their accounts like someone I has on me. I don't care. I don't care what people are doing or saying or thinking. I don't leave negative comments on peoples posts or try to start drama. But not everyone shares those sentiments. 

I don't want to be a venue for people to show there true colors of cruelty and negativity. I have always been one of those females that other females love to hate. I don't know why. I do have a case of resting bitch face. I am not a smiley person. I mind my own business and I keep to myself. I am an introvert. I am not very approachable, I guess. That is a self protection tactic I taught myself a long time ago. People tend to take me the wrong way. My whole life. But I am a nice person and I will be nice and friendly if I am approached right.

So, because of that, I am convinced that people won't like me or will "hate watch" my videos. I don't like drama in my life so I don't want people starting drama. I would still like to do videos at some point, but I don't know how that will turn out. I will just have make the decision to do it for myself and not for anyone else. If people like it, great. If not, fine. But I know there are trolls everywhere.

Where did this all come from? Well, 2 of the women I watch on a regular basis, Nicole State and Lindey Glenn are having some drama of their own right now. If you are in the reseller world and follow resellers on YouTube, you probably know what I'm talking about and you've probably already chosen a side. Lindey's son was diagnosed with non-verbal autism. I don't know much about autism at all. I have no experience with it. But as a mother, I could sense her stress and fear and sadness for her child. It was obvious from the video she made. She has a gofundme to help cover his treatment or therapy. I wouldn't necessarily ask my followers (if I had any) for money. But in dire times, who knows. You use the avenue you have. I can't hate on her for that. It's her channel, she can do what she wants.

*Update. Some of the videos have been taken down due to harassment and bullying, so links might not work. Bullying and being mean, name calling and making threats to anyone is NOT okay. I really feel like everyone is going overboard and kindness goes a LONG way. Stop and ask yourself how you would feel if you were in a similar situation.*

Well, Nicole and her husband made a rebuttle video. I didn't even finish it. I only watched aobut half of it and had to shut if off. They felt Lindey's state of stress made her appear to be putting autism in a negative light. And they took issue with her asking for money, from the half of video I watched. (Nicole has asked her followers to help with things herself but I won't get into that.) I watched their video a couple hours after Lindey's video. I didn't agree with their interpretation of Lindey's video. I even told my husband that all I saw was a mom who is worried about her child. I can't blame her. She wasn't being negative, she is just a stressed mom. It's understandable. 

I didn't like the approach the States took at all. I couldn't believe that when Nicole's son was diagnosed she was all upbeat and positive. I have been watching her videos for a long time and I had even recently went back to video one and watched them in order. I enjoy her videos. She seems like she would have been upset at first, then after it settles, would have a positive outlook.

I'm not picking sides or getting in the middle. I think they could have been more compassionate and even reached out to Lindey and offered her some encouragement and uplifting words. I will still watch both women. I started watching Nicole a long time ago. I just recently started watching Lindey and more because she lives 20 minutes away from me and I am interested in what she finds and sells around here. She sells a lot of different stuff than I do and she thinks outside the box. I like that.

What Nicole State actually did was help Lindey's channel. I have to say it. I could have sworn a week ago Lindey had 3 or 4k followers. I could be wrong on that but I swear it wasn't much. Yesterday she had 13k. I know that for sure. Today she has 16k. Nicole hurt herself and did Lindey a favor. I'm sure it hurt Lindey's feelings but on a positive note, she has got a lot of attention out of it. (I don't know if she sees it as postive, she has gotten a lot of hate from Nicole's fans.) I'm not saying that to be mean. It's true. And good for Lindey. 

I think Nicole knows she messed up. Whatever her intentions were, it didn't work out well for her. I appreciate her apology video. I was debating whether I wanted to support her channel anymore. Her video rubbed me the wrong way. But she apologized. I don't know if was sincere or if it was damage control. But I'm a very forgiving person and I can forgive and move on. That's what other people should do but most people aren't so forgiving. Who knows, maybe one day they will make peace and become friends.

This is the kind of drama I am always afraid of. Women can be so mean. Men too, but especially women. They are so mean and judgmental towards each other. I'm sure I would never be anywhere near as popular as these women. Reseller YouTubers are a dime a dozen these days. And I am not active in the community. I don't comment, I don't "fan-out" and give words of praise to other resellers. I just watch. That's it. In order to become popular, you have to put out content people want to see and I'm not sure anyone would want to see me. You also have to interact with other people on other platforms. I don't do that. Like I said, I keep to myself and mind my own business, for the most part. I don't want drama. I can get worked up pretty easily so I try to avoid that. My life is much happier and drama free and that is how I like it.

I've shared Lindey's video on my social media accounts in the hopes that someone will see it and have some ideas or encouragement for her. I encourage others to do the same.

My daughter wants me to make videos and I'm sure she wants to be in them. So does one of my sons. So I might reconsider. I don't know if I have anything to offer the world of reselling that hasn't already been offered, but who knows. Maybe I can help someone in some way. I can give my perspective and show how I do things. Maybe someone will be open to me. If not, oh well. I tried. 

I hope I can offer something. Ebay is basically all I do with my time. I might not be making much right now, but that is my fault. I wasn't sourcing like I should have, I wasn't listing every day like I should have. I was thinking of it like a part time job. But I am now thinking of it as full time and my sales will grow. If you are a seller who is trying to grow your business, follow me. We can grow together. Leave comments and tell me what you are doing and how things are going with your business.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Memorial Day Weekend Ebay Sales Update

My sales over Memorial Day weekend weren't exactly as good as I was hoping for, though it was about what I expected. I wasn't expecting through the roof sales for 2 reasons: 1. It's a holiday weekend and in most areas, it was pretty nice out. People were out at the lake and having fun. 2. it was the end of the month and my sales always, always suck towards the end of the month. My sales definitely have a trend and I will write about that trend one of these days.

I did however manage to make all my ebay fees within a week, most of that was made over the 3 day weekend. Thank goodness. I was worried part of my fees would come out of my checking account and I hate when that happens.

I only had 20 packages to take to the post office. That isn't good for 3 days. I usually have about 20 packages on a 2 day weekend. I know 20 isn't that much in comparison to other sellers, but that is how my sales average. I was averaging about 10-14 packages a weekend, so I am growing, very slowly. Last weekend I had 24 packages. It was a good weekend for me.

So the reason I'm disappointed in my sales is because I've been listing like a mad woman. For over 2 weeks especially. I've been listing like crazy for a month, but especially the last 2 weeks. My sales should be sky rocketing, right? You would think. I even ran sales all weekend, most of my store was 35% off. But I'm still hoping things will catch up and I will start seeing even better sales. 

Oh yeah! I forgot. I have 4 items that haven't been paid for. I had some auctions end and 4 of them haven't paid. So had they paid, I would have had 24 packages. So what am I complaining about? My sales for a lot of these items were really low. I had a few high priced items that sold, but most were just a few bucks plus shipping.

I really hope the next couple of weeks will bring way more sales. I haven't quite hit my goal this month. I had a goal to make 2,000 this month, which would be about double or more my average monthly sales. I am about 270 under that goal. I have 1 day left, so who knows.

This photo is from April 30th. I am just counting from May 1 - May 31. I'll report back on this after May 31. I know, it's not great, but it is my best month by far. I'm slowly getting to where I want to be. I will get there soon enough.

I hope and pray that June will be better. Summers are tough for me, but I'm working harder than ever. Maybe I will hit my goal.

Some of my sales:

Old Navy Embroidered Boho Top Size XL - $10.35 + 3.75 shipping
Womens Mizuno Softball pants - $17.60 +4.50 shipping
Pink Republic Top - 12.40 - Free shipping
Forever 21 Dress - 6.50 + 3.75 shipping (I took a best offer, I made almost nothing on this dress but it's been listed a while so I took it)
Lucky Brand Skinny Jeans - $16.22 + 6.30 shipping 
Big Star Capri Jeans - 19.99 + 6.30 shipping

Those are just a few of my sales, some of my better ones. I had a 5-35% sale all weekend and I took several best offers. I also had some auctions that were mainly just to get rid of stuff that were only for a couple bucks. I'm waiting to get paid on a few items, but you know how that goes. Maybe I'll get paid, maybe I won't. 

I would post photos but I keep hearing horror stories about trolls harassing Ebayers. I'm just trying to make a living and support my family. I have 4 kids to help support. I am not trying to give trade secrets away, I just enjoy writing and blogging and I love Ebay. I think my hubby is getting tired of hearing about Ebay all day and all night, so I have been wanting to blog about it for a while. I've considered vlogging about it, also, but I haven't come to a decision on that one. I don't really talk to myself and I'm afraid I would be so awkward, feeling like I'm talking to myself, pretending anyone gives a crap what I have to say about anything. I do appreciate anyone who stops by and reads my blog! Thank you!! Please come back!!

How were your holiday weekend sales? Good I hope!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Is This Buyer Just Renting My Item? 30 or More Day Returns On Ebay

I don't get many returns. My return rate is 0.61%. That's not too high. I rarely ever get a return. I especially don't get returns at the 30 day mark. Until today. Someone requested a return for an item I had listed as like new condition 1 day before the 30 day mark. Let me make clear before I get into it, I'm not buyer bashing. I don't like buyer bashing at all, but some buyers do aggravate me. It's very rare, it almost never happens, but it does on occasion. So bare with me.

I have had 30 day returns for a year, or however long we've been required to offer 30 day returns in order to keep our top rated status. I have only had a few return requests, and no item not as described. All were because item didn't fit. That I can remember, that is. 

The pants in question. The photo might look a bit distorted
because they are a glossy pant, my camera makes them look funny.
You can see the dry clean tag still attached. These were well cared for and
only worn a couple times.
This person waited until they had one day left on a 30 day return to say their item didn't fit. That was their reason for requesting return. But in their comments section, they claim the item "seems extremely worn and faded." Well, now I know how my item is going to be returned to me. 

I remember the pants well. They were a pair of Old Navy black dress pants, that had only ever been dry cleaned. They had never been washed. They had a sort of shiny or glossy look, not like cotton that fades after a couple washes. They looked brand new when I shipped them. Brand new. No flaws at all. No fading, no pilling, no nothing. Perfect. I am very careful to always list any fading or pilling, even if it's very, very minor and barely noticeable. I do it for this exact reason. I don't want anyone saying there was the smallest amount of fading that I didn't list in my description. I tend to undersell the condition of my items to play it safe. I hardly ever list anything as very good or like new condition, even if it is. But sometimes an items looks brand new and I want my buyers to know it looks really good. These pants had no signs of wear other than needing a lint roller. They had a little lint because of the type of material it was, lint or "fuzzies" would want to stick to them. I'm not saying I'm perfect and never make mistakes, but this isn't a case of that. 

So, this is, in my opinion, a case of the buyer using the 30 days to rent a piece of clothing. I've had this happen once before with a blue leather jacket. It was returned with noticeable scratches in the leather that weren't there when I listed and shipped it. I think it was worn for a weekend event. But how could I prove that? They didn't screw me on shipping or claim item not described. Just that they didn't like the color. But it came back noticeably marked up.

I've noticed a trend with my returns. They always wait until the month is almost over. I wonder if it's buyers remorse. They spent too much money that month and now they have to return stuff so they can pay their bills or whatever. My returns have almost always been at the end of the month. I know this because my Ebay fees are due between the 30 to 31st of the month. So I'm always trying to make my fees back the last week of the month. When I have a return to issue, I'm thinking, "Oh, nice, right when I need that money to pay my fees."

Why would someone wait a month to return something that doesn't fit? That is my question. I've never understood this. I get why Ebay wants sellers to offer 30 day or 60 day returns to the point that they are competing with other retailers. They want to stay relevant. I want them to stay relevant! But at what cost. I understand if it's electronics that might stop working 30 days later. But used items? Used clothing? It's really hard to prove that the buyer is lying about a used item. It's all perception. I might think something looks good but the buyer sees things differently. So Ebay sides with the buyer because it's their opinion and they are free to not like what they purchased. But is it really my fault? And does it take 30 or 60 days to make that decision? I don't think so. If I buy something, I try it on right away and if it doesn't fit, I want either my money back or a replacement.

I don't think all buyers are lying. Not at all. But I believe this particular buyer added the faded part to cover their ass. So if I call Ebay and say, "hey these were returned to me in a different condition" they will say, "well, the buyer claims they were faded when they got them." It's my word against theirs. Or Ebay will think it's been so long that I won't remember what that item looked like. I've had Ebay side with me on several things (I rarely ever have to call them). But in this situation, I don't have much faith that they will side with me.

I am grateful that the buyer didn't claim Item Not As Described, so I don't have to cover shipping, but why claim they look extremely faded and worn? 

So I recently heard that Ebay is wanting sellers to offer 60 day returns now in order to be ranked higher in the algorithm. I never got an email about it from them, that I could find, but I saw it on a YouTube video. So I added 60 day returns about a week or so ago. I don't know if we have to have it to keep our TRS, or if it's just to help us rank higher. I probably need to call Ebay and ask. If I start having people request returns after 30 days on a regular basis, I might rethink the 60 day returns. I'll see if it actually helps me get more sales. Though I don't think I will be able to really tell, because I am listing more than ever. I won't know if it's the 60 days helping my sales or just simply all the listing I'm doing.

This is my first and only return request at the 30 day mark, so I don't think it's a trend by any means, but maybe the 60 day returns will attract the wrong buyers? I sure hope not. I think 99% of buyers are honest people. I think sellers are too quick to assume the buyer is lying, myself included. Because we never make mistakes, right? But sometimes we just KNOW. Obviously, my return rate is very low, so I'm doing something right. But those few bad eggs can just make me so frustrated. 

We'll see what happens next. I love Ebay and I just pretty much roll with whatever changes they decide to make. I have no choice, if I want to remain a Top Rated Seller and this job is extremely important to me. So I will do whatever I have to. I always pride myself on excellent customer service, but I won't let buyers jerk me around either. I've had a few buyers try to get me to issue partial refunds over the years and let them keep their item. I did that in the beginning because I was so afraid of negative feedback. My feelings have since changed. I won't let buyers dictate what kind of business I run. I have no problems issuing refunds, but I don't do partial refunds anymore, except for very rare occasions, or if I think maybe I did actually miss something in the listing. That almost never happens, though. If a buyer doesn't like the item or it doesn't fit, I have no problems issuing a refund, but they have to send it back. I don't just give money or stuff away for free.

I just wish Ebay would keep the small seller in mind, the seller who still sells used items. I'm a very honest seller. So it sucks when you come across a seemingly dishonest buyer. But as I said, at least they didn't state not as described as their reason for return. At least they were that honest. This sort of thing is inevitable in the resale business. I don't let it ruin my day anymore. I get irritated and vent about it, then I get over it. It's just business. Nothing I can do about it.

I'll update on how the pants show back up to me, faded or in the same condition they were sent. It'll be interesting. 

Thanks for reading and please come back!

What experiences have you had with people seeming to "rent" your items? Has Ebay sided with you when you say it showed up in different condition than you sent it, or you disagree with the buyers reason? Do you sell new or used items? Talk to me! :)

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

My First Goodwill Outlet Trip

I've been selling on Ebay for 3 years now and I just recently went to the Goodwill Outlet. I'd been dying to go for quite a while. I had been watching some other resellers on YouTube and was seeing all of their incredible Outlet hauls for a while. I was jealous. Lol. I wanted to go so bad, but I wasn't able to use my small Ebay income to reinvest in my business. I was using it to pay bills and buy groceries since I wasn't working full time. But I thought about how much stuff I could potentially get for so little money and I could make so much more. I had to go!

My nearest outlet is 2 1/2 hours away in Kansas City, Mo. It's not extremely far, but not knowing if I would even find anything worth selling, I didn't know if it would be worth it. My husband Chris and I decided to go to Omaha, Ne, about 3 1/2 hours away, after we got our tax return. It was our Anniversary weekend and we had wanted to take a mini trip somewhere, so we decided to make it a business trip. We never get to go anywhere or do anything, so I was so excited for the whole experience. (My poor husband.) But that was my opportunity to put some money back into my business. I desperately wanted/want to grow my business to a point where we aren't living paycheck to paycheck and to be able to take little trips with our kids and enjoy our lives. I was sure the outlet would allow me to accomplish that.

When we got to the Omaha outlet,  I was initially super excited because there weren't hardly any cars in the parking lot. Once we walked inside, my excitement faded into disappointed. There were only 4 rows of approximately 3-6 bins. I was expecting what I had been seeing in other peoples photo's, with rows and rows of blue bins and tons of people fighting digging through them. That was not the case. I was glad there weren't many people, but there was only about 4, maybe 5 blue bins of clothing. I sell mostly women's clothes. There was 2 rows of about 5 or 6 blue bins of hard goods, which isn't my favorite. I will sell anything if it will make a little money, but clothes are my specialty. (I know some things, I'm not an expert, however). 

This is the Omaha Outlet.

(I wish I would have thought of taking pictures, but I didn't. I got a few photo's, but next time I go, I will definitely remind myself to take photos. I didn't want people looking at me like I'm a weirdo. Those were the bins next to the clothes. What you see are actually 3 rows, I guess. The closest to the wall are clothes. That was the only row of clothes. The bins up close in the photo are mostly hard goods. There was only the 2 or 3 bins. There was 2 more rows around the corner of more hard goods which consisted of approximately 4-6 blue bins per row. It was pretty bare compared to the 2 other outlets I've been to since.)

I dug through the bins and I did find some stuff. I found a cart full of clothes, surprisingly. Mostly just every day mall brands, which is the majority of what I sell. I was disappointed that I didn't find a hundred pounds of stuff. 

My husband, sensing my disappointment, looked up how far the Des Moines outlet was. It was 2 hours away. He suggested going there, since we were staying in Omaha for 2 more days. He knew we wouldn't be going home with as much stuff as I was hoping. I really needed to get as much as possible to grow as much as I needed to.

Let me add real quickly, the employee working the 2 days we went to the Omaha outlet was extremely friendly. I think her name was Shantell or Shante, something like that. She was the sweetest, friendliest person. I would go to the Omaha Outlet again in the future but I would like to make it another Omaha/Des Moines trip. I'm sure Chris is just thrilled to hear that! Lol!

So we drove the 2 hours to Des Moines. I am so lucky to have such a supportive husband. He drove the whole way. It was pouring rain the whole time. He never complained once that this is how we were spending our 6th Anniversary. He knew how much it meant to me. He did so much driving on that trip. I slept most of the way :) We wanted to visit the zoo while we were in Omaha, but it rained the entire 3 days we were there. 

This photo is from one of our Anniversaries a few years ago in
 Ponca City, Ok where we got married. We forgot to
 take a selfie on this trip.
The Goodwill Outlet in Des Moines is set in a small strip mall type area. It looked smaller than the Omaha outlet from the outside. The Omaha outlet was set in more of a warehouse type district. The parking lot in Des Moines had more cars, but there were also more stores nearby, so I couldn't tell if it was going to be packed, which I was worried about since it was already 12:30.

When we walked inside, I was so relieved. It was exactly what I was hoping Omaha outlet would be. There were rows and rows of bins. Mostly clothing. And there weren't really that many people, compared to what I was expecting. I was in heaven! I got my cart and got to work.

I purchased 121 pounds of clothing. YES! I spent $119.79. It's .99 a pound after 25 pounds. At the Omaha outlet, I only found 63 pounds of clothes, and a heavy laptop backpack. I also got a heavy book for my son. But I only spent $45.31 there. Their prices are awesome. It's .99 a pound until you get to 25 pounds, then it's .67 per pound. That is the best price I've seen yet.

Chris and I were staying right outside of Omaha but we went back to Des Moines the next morning as well. I got another 77 pounds. They had a lot of the same stuff they had the day before. They don't change out bins very often at all. Neither does the Omaha outlet. Unlike the Kansas City outlet that we went to 2 weeks later, but I'll write about the KC outlet in another post. That is a whole different story!

My last Omaha Goodwill Outlet Haul.

Before we headed back home on Monday, we stopped at the Omaha outlet again, just to see if I could find anything else. Chris wasn't thrilled because our van was so full of clothes. He worried about all the extra weight, but I said "we have 3 teenagers back there all the time, plus 2 more kids in the middle. I'm sure the teenagers weigh more than that." I was glad we went back though because I found even more stuff than I did the first time we went. I got 80 pounds and I probably could have found more but Chris was giving me the look. So I called it.

In total, I came home with 341.8 pounds! I was so excited to go through everything, because being my first time at the bins and having 2 carts full of stuff by the end of my trips, I couldn't really go through everything to determine if I really wanted it. I figured, I'm barely paying anything for each item, so if it doesn't work, I'm not losing much. I was dying to sort through everything. That is the funnest part.


It's hard to tell from the photo's just how much we came home with. I really wish I had taken more, better photo's. But next time I will do better. I'm dying to go back already. It is seriously addictive. I have so much stuff to list though and Chris is trying to say we aren't going back until I get it all listed. Ha! We'll see about that. I have to go before I have everything listed. I can't wait until everything is listed. I need to keep inventory so I can list at least 20 items per day consistently.

Like I said, we went to KC outlet 2 weekends later and I will write about that later. But between these 2 trips, I and a couple yard sales, I have probably over 700 pieces to get listed. I have a lot of sweaters though and I'm going to hold off on listing those until the end. I know sweaters can sell all year, I do global shipping now, but sweaters don't sell great for me during the summer, unless it's light weight. I, however, will wear a sweater all year round. It gets hot in Kansas but I'm always freezing.

Here's what my house looked like after we got everything home:

I had all this. Isn't it incredible? 

So I have been working on photographing and listing. I bought a new lighting system and it is amazing how good my pictures look now. 

Don't they look great? I've always done my best to use really good photos. When I first started, they weren't great because I was using a Motorola Droid Razer, but I upgraded to a Galaxy s6 a couple years ago. I could upgrade to a 7 now but I haven't decided if I will yet. I've always used a nice white background, but I love the gray fur. I don't like to copy people, ever. I do my own thing, but sometimes we get inspired by other people and we add our own  special touches and flare to it. I know I'm off topic now. I'll do a post on my photographs sometime. 

Since this Outlet haul, my sales are up 55%. I have had my best sales month ever since I started selling on Ebay. I am so happy with where I'm at. I have a goal to make a certain amount by the end of the summer. As I've said before, I wasn't using my income to buy more inventory so I was never able to get above a certain sales amount. I was probably averaging only $800 a month last year. During busy months, around Christmas and such, I was making maybe $1200 at most. Even though this was my only job, I was only thinking of it like it was a part time job, not a full time job. But now, I'm really working on growth. I'm hoping to be at $3000 in sales by the end of the summer, which is quite a feat for me because summer is usually really slow. But I believe I can do it if I'm listing like crazy every day. By the end of the year, I'm hoping to be averaging $5000 a month. I know there are a lot of sellers making that much and way more right now. Sellers who started after I did. Some sellers are making over 10, 20 thousand a month, selling pre-owned clothing! So I know if I really work hard, I can reach that goal. Of course, my costs, such as shipping, subscription and everything is about 45% of my sales right now. That is pretty high.

My daughter is helping me a couple hours a day now, uploading photo's for me. So that will help a lot. I'm paying her for her help. I'm hoping to teach her, so she can start her own account if she chooses to when she's old enough. It would be great for her to make a little money and to be her own boss.

Well, I guess I'll end on that. Sorry for the long post. I have so much to say about selling on Ebay and sourcing and so many things about Ebay. I love my job. It is the hardest I've every worked in my life. And I've had jobs that are not easy but this is the most work I've every put into anything. I love it so it makes it worth every minute. This isn't just a hobby. This is a business. This is serious and it's legit. And I am so grateful for what I have and what I'm able to do. I'm grateful to my family for their support and for putting up with my long, crazy hours. And I'm grateful to Chris for driving long hours to make me happy. And I'm grateful to God for everything single I have and have accomplished, (and for getting us home safely when it turned out one of our tires was on the verge of blowing after I had just taken the van in it have the tires checked!)

I'll write again soon! Maybe I'll even make a video and upload it here soon also. I don't know. I'm more nervous about that. I don't talk to myself that much or talking in general, so it will be weird talking to a camera. But I might give it a try. I'll also write some about my sales, my haul finds and other things. Sorry if I had any typo's and for rambling a little. I am in a hurry to get back to work. Thanks for stopping by!! Please come back!

What outlets have you gone to and do you think it's worth the trip?

Ebay Sales Update, How much I'm Making Right Now

It's been a long, long time since I've written here. There's a really good reason for that. I have been so busy working on growi...