YAAAY FIRST AGAIN
I really enjoyed this podcast, partly because you talk to somebody with a full life who is not a full-time seller, but still enjoys the benefits of this side business. I have never been a full-time seller either, but I have so much more flexibility in my life because of my "side hustle" - both from my antique booth adventures, ebay and FBA. I travel (and currently live abroad), spend a lot of time with my kids and enjoy my "comfortable life". My regular job is also very flexible (freelance), so I can schedule in plenty of time for treasure hunting. Thanks for sharing this interview - sometimes you get the feeling you're not quite legit if you're not full-time, hiring employees or pulling in mega dollars :-) Cheers, MM
We really like Adam. He does a great job explaining how he balances making extra income on eBay and having family/music/job/life.
The benefits of having our own side business are crazy. It's not always about making those "mega dollars" ... we are as legit as the money our customers pay us with! :)
I don't know how you found the time to make vids MM but I'm grateful. Kids grow quickly so whatever ebay you can do is all good. You all have a good eye and it's such a fun hunt and nice to put the items in the hands of people who appreciate it.
Adam, I love your ebay store. You have so many items in it that I remember from my grandparents houses growing up. It makes me smile and laugh a little, to see people get excited about some of these items again.
Thanks Christine :-) I enjoy making the videos to sort of document my thrift adventures, but also to be part of the community online. I have met so many nice people through my channel, unexpected bonus for sure. Also, I often bring my kids with me when I go thrifting - I should make a video on THAT - what to do and what not to do! They enjoy it, and I think they will become great thrifters as they grow - they are both developing a keen eye for quality items, lol. Finally, I am already looking forward to the next update from Adam in a year.
Great interview. I loved hearing about another part-time seller. I am part-time and don't foresee us going full-time anywhere in the near future. We both have good jobs that we are content with but we love having the extra income and it gives us even more excuses (not that we need it) to hit the thrift stores/auction/yard sales. We do it to have the extra money to pay off debt, mostly my school loans, to help fund travel and clean out the house. And it is empowering to know that if something were to happen to one of our incomes, we could ratchet up inventory pretty easily and replace one of the incomes. I didn't do a whole lot of listing around the holidays until recently and inventory dropped below 100 items. I have noticed that when I get below 100, sales drop off a cliff.
Yeah, eBay is great because it can fit into any kind of lifestyle. I like paying off debt. Maybe one day we'll all be at ZERO.
So get this, I go to usps today to ship something non ebay related and after i paid and was in the printing lable stage, I read a note on their site that basically says,"A SCAN Form must be printed when taking packages to the Post Office. Close out and print your SCAN Form here." I googled it and found that it's not mandatory even though they make it seem that way but that it could become mandatory. The point is to make sure people's pkgs are accepted into the mail stream properly. However this is a total turn off for me. I often go to the post office and snicker at the long line inside as I drop my stuff off in the internal drop box. If it's small stuff i put it in my mail box at home, but sometimes I miss the mail because different drivers come at diff times. Anyway, is this a nation wide new thing?
I think it's great that he put in lots of effort up front, and now he can still make money for a long while just focusing on mailing orders from his current inventory. That is my intention as well. I love the flexibility!
I think I let the inventory slip a bit too much. There really is some magic in having 500 items in your store. It makes a difference. I would recommend to anyone, even part timers to try to get up to 500 quickly and try to maintain that number (or grow it).
I've not posted since November but I've been still listening everything week. Loving the return of the interviews. I've always picked up fairly new stuff where I live but I've been making a concious effort to pickup more vintage stuff. I recently picked up what I believe to be my first ever antique. Does anyone know what this might be worth?I've taken a couple of photos on my Blog (hope you don't mind me linking too it)http://www.retropickings.com/2015/01/my-first-antique-pickup-victorian-oil.html?spref=twThanks and keep up the good work.Lee (Retropickings from the UK)
I don't know a ton about oil lamps - but if it is stamped "made in England" and not "made in China" - you are heading in the right direction!
Can you post a close-up photo of the "wheel" so we can see the writing?
If Jay and Ryanne do decide to have kids, it will be quite interesting to listen to their podcasts at that time to see how and if anything changes. Ebay gives everyone the flexibility to get out of it what they put into it.
If we ever had a kid, I think we could stop listing for four months and maintain steady income (still shipping). Like having paid paternal/maternal leave.
After listening to this podcast I decided to share a little something about myself. I quit my full time job on Nov. 14, 2014. I only have 210 items listed but going strong toward my first goal of 500 listings. Thanks to everything Jay and Ryanne have shared on the podcasts I didn’t jump in cold. You may find this interesting our estate sales are awesome they run Friday & Saturday. Friday is full price all day but Saturday at Noon everything goes 50% off, at 1:30pm everything goes 75% off (that’s when I buy). So at 4pm it’s Free Cycle and yes it gets a little crazy and a little fun.
I quit my job one year earlier than you in November 2013 and hit about 200 items the following January while temporarily in Phoenix. I just today hit 500, the more you list the more you sell and the harder it gets to raise your inventory numbers, but like Jay says "nice problem to have".
That's a smart way to look at scavenging. Estate Sales can be obnoxiously expensive. But if you learn their pricing schedules, you can clean up. I find that some sellers complain because they expect to show up once and get everything they want. Its important to know the system.
Great to hear from you, Adam! I love that you are still making $300-$400 per month, without doing "anything." Where else could you do that?! I've been doing eBay for about 2 years now. About a month ago, my husband gave his notice at his graveyard shift/$10 an hour job.....and his last day was TODAY (last night). He actually is upstairs sleeping, and when he gets up, we are going to break out the Sparkling Grape juice, baby!!! One thing that has really helped us, is that we only have a $250 mortgage on a 2400 sq ft house. We always knew I would stay home with our kids, so from the very beginning, we lived on his small salary, and saved up my larger teaching salary. Then when a cheap, big, fixer upper, popped up on the street where I grew up, we POUNCED on it with a huge down payment. Also, we have always driven older cars that we paid cash for (no car payments!)We also have 5 awesome kids, who we homeschool. We have a beautiful life-- we are so blessed. We can't WAIT to start this new chapter in our lives. We are going to do hard core, 20 items per day/100 per week, and only give ourselves 10 vacation days this first year. (A walk in the park, compared to the last two jobs my wonderful husband has endured.) Thank you for all of these podcasts, which have helped tremendously.Melissa
It was physically a relief to quit my graveyard shift job. Those kind of hours take a toll on your body. Congrats to your family! (We homeschool, too). I'm about 2/3 of the way toward replacing my former salary.
Melissa - I'm glad to hear that your husband is off of that shift. The "tech support" job I mentioned in this episode that I was working at was a 4am shift with Saturdays and Tuesdays as my days off. It just wasn't the way I wanted to live my life. I too was making about $10/hour and it seems almost criminal that hard working people can be paid so low. At least if you are working for yourself, you have a shot at being paid what you actually deserve! :)
I homeschool my son as well. Currently I also run a small daycare from my home as well. My goal is for this to be the last year of the daycare. And I'm on the right track. This month I've made almost the same amount of money with ebay and amazon as the daycare brings in.
Good for you Jamie - sounds like a great goal!
It's interesting the reaction we get from non-eBay people when we tell them what we are doing. :) I feel like I end up trying to explain it to them, or convince them. I think we are going to start taking the, "talk about it as little as possible," approach! Haha!
I have recently decided to brand myself as what I view myself as rather than what others might see me as. At my full time job, I am a Graphic Artist and a Work Culture Innovator - but when I explain myself to others outside of my full time work , I am a Treasure Hunter, Business Owner, Novelist and Musician. I don't consider myself a guy that sells trash or junk ... or a bottom feeder ... or whatever other negative spin on what we do there could be. I'm a proud Treasure Hunter and Business Owner, I work hard and am intelligent and driven. That is something that everyone on this blog can say about what they do and they should be proud damn it! :)Adam - The Mysterious Caravan
Melissa, I love that your husband has quit his low-paying, bad-hours job. Keep us updated on you guys working together. This is really one of those cool stories where everything can change for the better.
I love that 'Treasure Hunter and Business Owner'! (Although, i'm not a business owner, yet.) I may have to steal that! I think i need to walk a little taller! Thanks for the pep talk!!
Great interview with Adam! I love the flexibility of ebay! I'm really not a morning person so it was awful when I worked in corporate America. I do my best work after 3 pm.
I'm the exact same way. The best luxury is sleeping until I wake up. No alarm clock millionaire.
What a life that we can do this huh? Unlike some stuck in crummy jobs....I actually like what I do for a living.....when my first daughter was born Ebay simply became a part of my life much like doing what the regular folk do when they mow a lawn, or do a deep clean on the weekend in their home. When my daughter was old enough to walk I took her with me to the post office to send off packages(then ice cream afterwards) and I took her to source at yard sales, garage sales, and even pick up old bikes found on craigslist. This one particular daughter, now 12 years old sees what I do in ebay sales and she constantly asks if she can buy stuff dirt cheap on the bay and if people want to sell cheap I buy it for her....it ll only be a matter a time before she figures it out for her self and im hoping she can open a store .....then.....then the cycle will be complete.....she can get a job she really likes knowing that if tough times come her way she can ramp up the store.... Ill make sure she gets the training.... :)
Thanks for checking in with Adam, he was another source of inspiration when I was first starting out.Adam, lets have a Dakota meet up, we'll be the only ones there.
Dakota Pride Steven! :) Curious - what prompted the move from Arizona to South Dakota? Seems like the people up here are trying to escape to Arizona, at least during the winter. :)
I'm originally from Minnesota (Mankato) but have lived in Sioux Falls for the last 4 years. My SO is a nurse and took a travel position in Mesa for 3 months over the winter last year so I went with to start my ebay business (and get out of the cold). It was a great way to get started as the yard sales and thrift stores are plentiful. We came back to SD in March of 2014, just when yard sales started up again, it's a whole different game this winter so I'm always searching for new sourcing avenues.
that's funny you're from Mankato, we just photographed a bunch of ephemera from Mankato. Old soda fountain menus and 4-H club dinner programs. I also have a hand carved wooden cane on ebay that has the words Mankato 1926 carved into it. weird!
That might sell fast. I belong to a Mankato FB group and they love that stuff.
Here's a game I hope someone will play. Its informational for me and others. Name a few shoe brands you see semi regularly that you always buy if you see them. Name a few clothing brands..same as aboveName three specific items or brands you always look for either because its that elusive find or no one else bothers buying it. Thanks to those who participate.
Shoes:Red Wings, Dr. Martens, Air Jordans/NikeClothing/Jackets:Leather Jackets of lots of different brands, but specifically Wilson LeatherAnything with Harley Davidson on it (hats, vests, jean jackets, etc)Vintage Trucker Hats - in my area of the country there are a lot of hunting/farming brands (Winchester, NRA, Amoco, Cargil, etc.). These are usually cheap to buy (50 cents to a dollar) and resell for anywhere between $14.99 - $34.99 depending on the content/condition.Other things I'm always looking for are smalls - home decor, collectibles, etc. Stuff that is easy to ship. I'm always looking for pairs of things too ... pair of cool candle stick holders. One other thing is magazine/record racks. The kind that would be buy your couch in your living room. It's something that a lot of thrift stores have, and if it is a cool looking vintage one you can sell it for big bucks.Adam - The Mysterious Caravan
I can't help with shoes or clothes (I have one big pile of clothes I got at an estate sale, but it's not generally my thing).3 things I look for (among many):Shelley ChinaVintage purses (especially Lucite, beaded or Whiting and Davis)Vintage Perfume Crystal
wilson leather jackets are u kidding me, nobody buys them here dont know why . there was the usual tag sale here on monday 49 cents for blue tags and didnt even pick them cos i didn't realize they worth anything hope they are still there next monday i only buy clothes on mondays now
Cross stitch/embroidery kits. School curriculum books. Homeschooling is big in Texas, and curriculum is expensive, (hundreds of dollars). The thrifts don't seem to know what to do with it, so I can pick up big sets for a few bucks. Doc Martens, Converse in odd colors/patterns, Tony Lama, Ariat, or Justin Cowboy boots. Weird brass items, like funky little animals or wall sculptures. I don't really sell clothes, unless I see something really intriguing and special, (just sold some heavy suede chaps, and recently bought a neoprene wet suit for $4).
Shoes:Ecco, Cole Haan, Teva, ClarksOuterwear Brands:Mountain Hardwear, Spyder, Obermeyer, The North Face, PatagoniaChildren's Brands:Hanna Andersson Love to Twirl dresses - especially in red or pinkMaltilda Jane - only sold in home trunk shows - very hard to findPrimigi - Italian shoe brand - girls leather boots, mary janesKids leather jackets - picked up a black Sean Coombs for $2.50 sold for $54.
LizG - I'm totally with you on the brass animals/sculptures. Birds and deer type things seem to do well. I also like to sell nautical related items, western related items ... and one of my all time favorite "secrets" is holiday related items - Christmas and Halloween specifically. I love looking for 70's and 80's era Christmas and Halloween decor. There are a lot of collectors out there ... and people are always looking for unique holiday items. PLUS - thrift stores put everything that is holiday related on sale after that holiday is over. :)Adam - The Mysterious Caravan
Born & SAS shoes (in very good to excellent condition)Sold London Fog & Jessica Simpson women's wool coats last night. Peacoats
Well that was fun. I just got back from my 1st rescue mission thrift store and most stuff is cheap but they do have a higher priced area. Wish I knew more about that stuff. Anyway what I'm excited about is they have 1 dollar produce boxes filled with mystery glass. I'm a sucker for a gamble. I expected all clear glassware that would be a bitch to sale but surprisingly it was so random. Candle holders with glass mirrors, plates, canisters, humming bird feeder, random glass pieces, etc.. I can at least get my dollar back lol. I'm not even done going thru it yet. Everything's wrapped in newspaper.
I need a little help. I'm learning about needlepoint and different stitches. Is this crewel? Needlepoint?pic 1pic 2Thanks everybody!
I just made the mistake of listening to someone else's podcast and while this person sells on ebay, he still started the bad mouthing as people tend to do now a days when comparing ebay to amazon. But the main thing they were talking about is how "11Main" is going to take over Ebay in the future. In a hypothetical world, if ebay shut down tomorrow. Would you guys switch all your iventory over to something else? Seems like a daunting thought to relist everything. But i can't imagine the idea of Ebay ever going away though. I can't go buy a cool used random item on Amazon. And i just feel like Amazon is for the big dogs like corporations. People who have deep pockets and unlimited bulk stock.
If this helps, crewel is embroidery and done on fabric of some type and the fabric is visible; needlepoint is short slanted stitches done on a mesh canvas that is not visible (eg, think needlepoint pillows & victorian chair coverings).
Thanks guys. Appreciate the knowledge. Let's hope this sells for a nice price.
The odd thing about this piece is that it has rather unusual background stitches for needlepoint. Quite nice. I hope you get a bundle, Chad. 😊
I can't get to sleep. Keep getting questions. And sales. Does everyone wait until they go to bed to shop? :-)
They wait until their direct deposit hits their account sometime after midnight, and then they buy! :) At least, that is my theory when my phone starts cha-chinging at 2am on Friday.
I have a tax related question that I hope someone can help me with. I need to send a 1099-MISC to the IRS and to the contractor. There are web sites out there that do this, but some were rated really poorly (Intuit) and others I am not sure if They are a trustworthy site. Can someone recommend based on a good experience that they have had? Thanks in advance.
do you have an accountant? they should be able to do this for you. if you are hiring contractors and needing to send 1099s out, you should have an accountant. just my opinion.
I did ask my accountant and he said to use the site 1099online.com it looks good but he said he never used it before and I wanted to see if anyone had used a site before that they now trust.
ah, i see. so sending 1099s must be a bit complicated than just filling it out and mailing it to people. yikes. let us know how it goes, i'm curious to hear about it. never sent a 1099, only received them!
Ok, I called the IRS and did the long wait thing. I got an answer but wow how complicated! I would be glad to share what they said if you are really interested, but I'm not sure most people will care and I don't have enough time right now.
If you could explain it in a couple paragraphs, I'd like to hear how you handle the 1099 for your worker. This is important if you want write off the worker as an expense.
Jay - I will post the 4 steps when I get home tonight.
There appears to be at least 3 ways to do this. 1. IRS fire system electronically (but not an option for me cause you have to request this in advance). 2. Online provider - the IRS said they don't have a list of approved providers for that so I will not do this 3. Manual pen and paper with the IRS which I see as my only option right now since it is due tomoorow, but to my defense I didn't think it was that complicated. I am going to deceive this option 3 later in 4 steps.
Easiest thing to do is the pen and paper route. You can get 1099's at any office supply store. As long as you have all the information required i.e. name. address, SSN or TIN, and dollar amount then just fill in the blanks. Fill in Box 7 (Non Employee Compensation) for the dollar amount. Don't forget to also fill out the 1096 cover page that goes with it which gets sent to the IRS. The copy you send out to the individual has to be postmarked Feb 2 this year because the 31st falls on a weekend. It's the next business day that counts. The one you send to the IRS needs to be postmarked by March 2nd. Normally it's Feb 28 but it also falls on a Saturday so it's the next business day which is Mar 2. Filing 1099's is part of my job. I'm an Accountant by profession. Hope that helps.
Thanks Zoli, you saved me the explanation and did it much easier and better than the IRS did!
Zoli, if you haven't don so already....I bet you could set up an accounting business that specializes in online sellers. We like our accountant but even he has to learn what exactly it is we do.
We have used Turbo Tax for maybe 15 years and love it. And it works well with our Quicken program where we keep all of our receipts and payments, etc. the numbers are already there and ready to go at tax time. You should read about it online.
Linda - I'm not sure we are talking about the same hint here. Are you talking about personal taxes? I am talking about sending the IRS notification of. a 1099-MiSC that I also need to send to a contractor for work performed for my company.
I think Bryan is the only other seller around here who hires help. Be interesting to see how this works out. An accountant would know the answer.
This podcast was at an especially opportune time for us personally. We are today putting a contract on 5 acres with a house & an existing 30X40 metal building in the country in middle Tennessee (we currently live 2 states away). My wife left her job at the end of December and I've given notice I'll be leaving mine at the end of April. We're taking the LEAP of faith! We've been growing our FBA & eBay business for almost a year and have hit the wall on time available to put into the business. Our leap has a couple significant safety nets including part time employment possibilities, the ability to add another couple self-employed small income streams in a relatively short time and some emergency funds. We not doing a "Thelma & Louise" run off a cliff. I'll be starting a blog and podcast by this summer (hopefully before) to document our transition/journey. I'll go public with more details later - after I solidify a few more things and get Jay & Ryanne's blessings to share our links here. I'll communicate privately with them before publishing anything specific on this blog.Why middle TN? Good state regarding personal taxes. In middle TN we are only 2-3 hours from Memphis, Louisville, Huntsville, and Knoxville - and dozens of smaller vibrant towns. Plus, we'll be about 45 minutes outside of Nashville. We'd love to connect with other scavengers in the area - maybe start a brunch or "cheap" dinner group to meet once every 4-6 weeks.Gotta go for now. I welcome everyone's thoughts.
Congrats on the new adventure. Sounds like you guys have thought it through. When we made this leap, we simply made sure out income was greater than our expenses. It sounds simplistic, but it can be a challenge. Good luck!
Making the leap! Good for you guys - I hope it goes as smoothly and as amazing as possible!Adam - The Mysterious Caravan
I'm curious where you're moving from? A house on 5 acres is awesome. We've been looking for some country acreage, but would like more than 5 acres..we'd like about 9-10 acres. But not for a few years. I've been looking though!
Margaret, try Texas. If you go rural, you can get quite a bit of land for not much money. Two of my son's friends live on 50 acres! We only have 1/3 acre, which is small compared to my neighbors. I hope one day my next door neighbor will sell his land, because I'd snatch it up in a heartbeat.
Liz, I'm in Chicago and we have 1 acre now. I don't think I would want to go that far south. I still want to live where there are winters...maybe not as bad as Chicago, but I love snow! :)
Margaret, we recently moved here from Des Plaines! The winter where Chicago got the big blizzard (2011?) was my breaking point. I miss snow a little, but I have to say, I'm ok with 70 degree January days here. :)
Cant really say where we are yet. I'll share when we've shared with more folks in our circle of friends and work associates. Minutes ago signed the edocument contract offer. We know they will counter, but you've got to play the game.
Liz, the 70 degree January does sound good, but I'm originally from the mountains in Europe...I love the cold..and actually want to go back to the mountains. We sure don't have any here! ;)
ugh...I have an unpleasant situation, I sold an expensive painting..to freaking Turkey, and now the dude wants to return it because basically he doesn't like it, instead of contacting me directly (I send every buyer a personal email urging them to contact me directly if there is a problem) he decided to do as much damage as possible and requested a return because the item is "broken" (LOL) Anyway, although I do take returns I was sort of outraged that he wanted to return the painting (which is really beautiful) for what I consider bogus reasons, anyway at first I told him that I would let ebay arbitrate the matter, then I offered him $100, no reply, and finally I said send it back, but you pay all shipping. He has been completely silent since I sent him an offer of a partial refund---so frustrating. I wonder how tracking will work back from Turkey? There really is no answer to all this, I am just venting, I think that his attitude that people who sell antique paintings on ebay are just like Ikea or Target with easy money back guarantees, is what really chaps my ass.
I feel your pain. I think we've only had one item ever returned from overseas. But a big item like this is a nightmare.Here's what we do on an expensive item like this. Usually we start by having a big fight because it's sucks and it makes us mad so we take it on each other. Then we usually sleep on it. The next day we call eBay to see what they say. Then we agree on a unified, single solution since we don't want to suggest multiple alternatives. The goal is to keep it simple so the buyer has a choice to make. In your case, if the buyer said it was "broken", then doesn't this mean you should make an insurance claim assuming it was damaged in shipping? And if this was sent through Global Shipping, they take care of all this for you.
Here is the rub Jay, you can not ship fine art through GPS so it had to go Priority International, as long as he can get it back to me in "as sent" condition he will get his actual purchase price back--not a penny more, certainly not the $40 it cost to ship it, if that bothers him, he can take it up with ebay, I have already lost TRS with this bullshit claim, so screw him, I am no longer playing Mr Nice Guy (LOL, not that I ever did--I'm a hot head.)
If he says it's broken, why not file an insurance claim?
I don't think USPS insurance covers international claims. ShipSaver might, though I've never used them. How badly did he damage the painting? What did he do to it? I'm so sorry you're going through this.
The painting isn't "damaged" Kate, he thought that it wasn't as vividly colored as the listing pic (duh--it never occurred to him that a browser photo might be off slightly?) and, having to come up with some reason why he wanted a return, he said that the frame was more damaged than indicated--even though I included 9 huge photos (including 4 embedded) showing every aspect of the painting including the frame.
Loved hearing Adams story it just shows how the confidence of being a business owner can change your life. Personally Ibe reached just over 460 items as of this morning and looking to hit 600 within the next two weeks, still ramping up. I wish I could contribute more guys but as Ive said in stuck at work and soon as I get out in back on the bay listing all night. I just wanted to followup on the "tunnel vision" of havingf a particular area. I often shop during my lunch break at work, today I went to goodwill and didn't see any clothing that was going to net $30 or more so I kept looking. Went to the jewelry case and found one of those vintage watches, too a chance one just sold for $175. Get out of your box people lots of opportunity :) love the blog guys
Ha! That sounds just like me! I work full time and when I was bulking up my store last year I was thrifting/garage sale-ing on my lunch break too! It takes dedication just like that to get where you want to be! Keep going friend!Adam - The Mysterious Caravan
Hi everyone,First of all, I would like to say a big thank you to Ryanne and Jay for sharing their info with us on the podcast and the blog. I have been listening to you guys pretty much from the very beginning. My job allows me to have my ipod with me all the time and that's what I do 10 hours per day – listen to you.I have a question and it is to all of you:I sold a lot of brand new, sealed in the original package lipsticks in the middle of December. Yesterday the lady sent me an email and said one of them she opened right way and used, the other two she opened recently and there was nothing there. I asked her for pictures and she said on the pictures it would not be seen. She wants me to handle the situation.I have 30 days return policy. She contacted me 42 days after she received the product. She is a very experienced ebayer and she also sells on ebay. She has 100% rating so I am assuming she knows the rules very well.How would you handle the situation?Thanks everyone for the opinion.
That's a tough one, personally if it's a low cost item Id rather throw some money at her to make it go away quickly. It's so nerve wrecking dealing with these buyers knowing how much power they have in these situations. But that's probably not the best advice just my thought, good luck
I'd start by asking her as politely as possible to try to clarify the problem. Because I really don't understand how there could be "nothing there" but yet she couldn't show you that in a picture. Sometimes, I find just asking seemingly vague questions gets the buyer to disclose some pertinent information - like what they really expect for you to do to "fix" the problem.
Crystal, In the first email she said: 'Both were dried out and unusable. Like they evaporated.' Then I asked for a picture and received a second email where she said: 'You can't tell by looking but when you rub them across your lips, they are completely dry and no stain comes out.'
I'd refund her, on a low dollar sale it is better to pick your battles.
In that case I agree with Omfug, refund and move on.
I would tell her to return them for a refund.
I'm going to buck the trend here. If you want to be super nice, then refunding the buyer is really nice. But if the buyer waits 45 days to complain, then that's on them. No store would accept a return so longer after purchase. Its the buyer's responsibility to check the item when they buy it. So you have no obligation to give them a refund or accept a return. eBay would back you up on this.
I agree with Jay. We bend over backwards to make our buyers happy, but I wouldn't refund after 30 days.
I would ask for a picture regardless. Ebay will certainly ask her for one. For me personally after 42 days i consider it a wash. It's hers. I could understand if it was sold in November for a Christmas sale. Has she left you feedback yet? Have you left it for her? Did you check out the lipsticks when you sent them? Either way, I'd ask for a pic and she may never send it and I wouldn't bother doing anything or you can tell her to open a case with Ebay if she wants a refund. Then let Ebay determine it. Or see if she wants to return it. But it really depends on the money and hassle involved for you.
She has not left feedback yet. I left feedback right away, it is positive as I always do. I did not check the lipsticks out before sending them as they were brand new in the original wrap and that's how I advertised them.