11/26/2018 at 8:44 pm #52324
Where are you losing energy and time in your reselling business? Can it be fixed with $50? An app? A schedule change in your day (productivity hours)?
Here is me:
1. Wandering too long in thrift store / estate sales. The longer I stay the more compelled I feel to pick up those under $20s to “make up for time.” I mean… does that make sense? Maybe it does.
2. Travel – necessary, but easily 1 hour per day minimum to whatever sale I am going to.
3. RESEARCH – I have invested in Worthpoint to help speed this process, which some argue is a rip off but it has been huge time saver for me to stay out of rabbit holes. I also have sent antique stuff to cheap appraisal sites as well ($15 per item on average).
4. SHIPPING – DYMO was a life changer, a shipping station. I need a tape dispenser that isn’t a tape gun. I lose an embarrassing amount of time dealing w/ tape. Have the tools to do my job (boxes, wrap, etc). are key0
11/26/2018 at 8:45 pm #52325
I spelled EFFICIENCY wrong. Oh well! 🙂1+
11/26/2018 at 10:22 pm #52328
So Cal JoeParticipant
I found mine at a yard sale for $5. It works great.1+
11/27/2018 at 2:08 pm #52360
Amen on the heavy tape dispenser. I use the heck out of it. Need to find another cheap one for Veronica. I rarely use the tape gun anymore…0
11/26/2018 at 10:35 pm #52329
So_Cal: Thank you!! I will add to my Xmas list. These are weirdly hard to find.0
11/27/2018 at 10:04 am #52340
What’s the appeal of this versus a tape gun?0
11/27/2018 at 2:09 pm #52361
Simplico: I can hold the box closed with one hand and pull off tape with the other.1+
11/27/2018 at 7:49 pm #52390
I have this one and love it. Has a spot for regular scotch tape as well as the wider packing tape and a little storage spot for pens/scissors. I have one in my office and one upstairs in my packing area. Love them.0
11/27/2018 at 8:49 am #52336
Great topic. For the whole process here’s roughly where I spend my time.
Processing & listing: 5%
Customer service (mostly shipping inquiries): 5%
Picking: 10% (I have a 10 minute drive to my storage unit, which has 1/2 of my inventory, which accounts for most of this)
Shipping: 10% (5 minute drive to post office accounts for most of this)
So really, the greatest improvement would be if I could scavenge faster/better. I don’t have any big ideas though.0
11/27/2018 at 10:10 am #52341
On reflection, the biggest hole in my process is consistency and scaleability in scavenging. I often exhaust all my sourcing locations/websites and go to marginal locations (thrift shops) to pass the time. Occasionally this pays off but usually it’s a waste of time.
So the biggest improvement I could make is to get inventory to come to me, or to find more places to source from – particularly online.
Want ads on local websites? Learning to source on ebay?0
11/27/2018 at 10:46 am #52343
For me, scavenging isn’t something you could put a time on to be more efficient – either you want to spend the time looking, or just want to make a quick in/out at a store/sale. I find the more time I put in, the more I do find, but it all depends on what is available to buy…some days I’m VERY efficient and can find great items immediately, others are a struggle to find any items.
For me, I constantly improve a few processes as I feel scavenging can’t be changed:
For shipping, I have a setup similar to what you would see at any fulfillment center – a L shaped large workspace with all my packing materials, boxes, papers, scales, etc. within reach and in the same spot. I prefer a 3″ tape gun to a dispenser – just gives me more speed and control. I know that I watched a video on a packaging station at Amazon, and they use the dispensers, however, they are using only a few sized boxes at each station – I have about 20 different boxes.
For photography, I have a few different areas setup for small items, large items, and clothing – each area is separate, and I take photos of dozens of items at a time to get efficiencies.
Listing only gets quicker if you have templates, copy from items, or limit your descriptions/photos. I tend to still use a lot of photos on unique items, and I’ve gotten better are very short detailed descriptions. Still room for lots of improvement.
Cleaning/Repairing is another area I spend a lot of time on – it’s a very hard area sometimes – things need fixing, or they need a good cleaning. The only improvements I’ve made is getting better brushes/tools to clean, and I have started using my dishwasher more for electronics to clean the outer cases. Beyond that, wish I could know how to fix everything quickly!0
11/27/2018 at 2:14 pm #52362
Agree on a lot of your points. We use a TON of templates for clothing (20+) to have item specifics and other items prefilled, along with measurements needed in the Description (left blank). We have two shipping stations and a huge box/air bag, bubble wrap area (so shipping is efficient).
I will make the note that using locations in the SKU is huge to why we can ship so fast. All clothes are prepackaged in clear poly, and with the SKU and the Location in the Custom label field, we can find the item in 1 minute. Shoes are a smidge longer as we don’t prewrap, and we have to build the box, but they are done in 2 minutes. Avoid time searching for the item!0
11/27/2018 at 11:27 am #52346
- Location: ARVADA
A dedicated label printer was a big improvement in efficiency and the shipping experience for me. I also use a tape gun as my preferred tool for boxing.
In the last 6 months I started purchasing boxes (instead of scavenging) and this made me feel a lot less stress about selling and shipping. I still scavenge boxes, but now I have a ready supply for the stuff that goes out all the time.
I have a few things that I look for in thrift stores, and have stopped looking at clothing. I prefer garage/yard sales and prioritize the high end neighborhoods West of me. Since we are out of season now for Garage/Yard sales, I am listing more.0
11/27/2018 at 11:45 am #52349
Re the tape dispenser, I bought this one from Amazon back in 2016. It is one of the best purchases and I would put it on the Must Have list! In fact, strongly considering buying a second one for my listing area. I paid $13 back in 2016.
I see they have this one now for only $20 but I don’t know if it matches the quality of the first.1+
11/27/2018 at 2:15 pm #52363
Amatino: That is the EXACT one we have!0
11/28/2018 at 2:57 pm #52420
- Location: Atlanta
Amatino: Same one[s] we have. We have two. One is over between the photography station and where I load up my storage bins for transport to the storage area. The other one is of course in the packing-shipping area. I modified the packing area one. I alread had metal, single dispenser for a single 2″ roll. So I just duck taped the single one onto the right hand side of the one you have. By doing this I have two rolls of 2″ packing tape. One is colored-opaque and the second roll is 2″ wide clear to go over labels. The 1/2″ scotch tape roll is in the middle bewteen the two. Of course a marker, matt knife and scissors in the caddy.
The nice thing about having the second single dispenser strapped on the side is the added weight. It is so heavy with both togther I can use just one hand to pull off a long piece of opque or clear tape using one hand and the whole thing doesn’t move and slide around like it did before I added the weight of the second one.
mike at mdc galleries and fine art0
11/27/2018 at 11:54 am #52350
Photography is my biggest time suck. I spend AGES on editing to get the photos looking good. I know… OCD and perfectionist and all that, but my insides wince every time I look at one of my photos that is not done well. If I could cut my photography time in half, I’d probably triple my output! It’s reached a point where I don’t want to list bc I don’t want to have to take the photos. Very discouraging.
My storage system is simple and fast and so easy I can ask a neighbor to get something for me if I have to. When I list, I pack the item ready for boxing, so my weights and measurements are already correct in the listing. Doesn’t take as long to do as you’d think and I’ve not lost any money on shipping since I started doing it. I have a packing station, with all my packing needs together. I have a tape roll that I use for packing boxes, the tape dispenser mentioned ^ above that I use for small pieces of tape such as securing bubble wrap or something, and all my stuff in one place. My packing is really fast and efficient now (spellcheck saved me from spelling efficient incorrectly – this thread must be jinxed! LOL)
So, for me, I think my scavenging and cleaning is one area where I could probably go faster, and photography is my personal nemesis. With solutions in those two areas, I’d be unstoppable.0
11/27/2018 at 12:35 pm #52355
I too am frustrated with the photography aspect of listing. It seems no matter what I try, there are just too many clothing items where the shade of the color in the photo is nothing like the actual item. I’ve tried different lighting setups, have moved to all areas of my house, have tried inside and outside, direct sunlight, indirect sunlight, no sunlight, semi-pro lighting kits, different bulbs, etc. I’ve tried different camera phones and digital cameras. My listing comes to a screeching halt for weeks all because I get so frustrated with the photography.
An efficiency that has saved me a lot of time is I source less often by going to a larger area that has more thrifting sources. I used to check the same stores over and over all week long in my current town. But I’ve found it’s more efficient to drive to the nearest city (Atlanta) and do all of my sourcing through several stores in one day. I come home with more than enough to keep me busy for awhile.2+
11/27/2018 at 2:17 pm #52364
Julie: Our solution on that for clothing…professional photographer!
Only half joking on this. His setup uses a flash of light that whites out the background and shows true colors. I’m going to ask him to help us set this up in our home studio for items I will do on my own. Try that route for answers…ask a pro.0
11/27/2018 at 3:10 pm #52368
I think the answer for me is to hire out the clothing photography. I don’t have trouble photographing most other items, just the darn clothes! I don’t want to worry about payroll taxes or liability of having someone come on site so the ideal situation would be to find someone to whom I can just drop off a truck full of pre-steamed, garments on hangers to photograph at their leisure. I’ll wait until after the holidays to find someone. The trick will be to find someone who can actually take good photos and is dependable (the hardest trait to find in someone these days).
I know you are relatively close to me, do you think your photo guy knows anyone with his skill set that is in the NW corner of GA? I’m in Rome.
11/27/2018 at 7:34 pm #52389
Actually, I’m outside of Denver CO. Mike is in Atlanta, so maybe he knows of someone…
If you can get someone that will do this on a contract basis per item, that would be the best. That is how we are doing our photographer now. Works on his own schedule, has his own studio, just perfect. And he works his butt off.0
11/28/2018 at 9:47 am #52407
D’oh! Sorry T-Satt – I don’t know why I thought you were in Georgia too. Brain fart.0
11/27/2018 at 2:53 pm #52366
Julie – agree on the thrifting/sourcing in an area with lots of stores. The initial drive to the city is worth the time you save going between locations. We’re going to keep track of how much time we spend getting to and what we make in profit at each store in 2019 as a new measurement for our business. The counter-argument I keep having in my head is that small town places are visited less often, and tend to be where my big finds were this year, so that is why I’m going to keep track to see what is best – my money is on travelling further to the big cities near us.2+
11/27/2018 at 4:55 pm #52379
Forgive me if you’re already aware of this:
Your best bet is neutral, white lighting with a defuser, so just about any semi-pro lighting kit will work. The trickiest part of taking good photos is setting white balance. Most cameras do this automatically by finding the whitest part of the image and “tinting” the colors so the white part of the image is a true white. For example, if you held a red shirt up to a wall that was painted eggshell white, the camera would shift the colors so that the eggshell would be complete white, affecting the color of the shirt in the process. I’m on Android, but most phones have a “pro” mode that let you change the white balance manually so this doesn’t happen. White balance is measured in “temperature” and is usually represented with a number on a sliding scale. Once you find the right value, you can leave it there, then just switch back into pro mode when you go to shoot photos. This is essentially what a professional photographer would be doing with a DSLR camera.
The reason using a flash makes the colors look right is because it’s completely washing out the image so that the automatic white balancing has a true, 100% white reference to adjust itself to. The downside is that shadows will be extremely harsh and images come out looking “flat.”
In any case, it might be worth paying a photographer if you want to farm out that work to save time, or perhaps they could teach you. Modern camera phones extremely powerful, so it’s more about technique than having hardware nowadays.1+
11/27/2018 at 2:20 pm #52365
I will second the notion of speeding up scavenging. We are looking to improve this side of the business in 2019, looking for bulk buys, liquidations, and online auctions. If we can offload the low end work (listing and photography) and spend more time on the high end work (proper sourcing and pricing), then we gain more $/hr. Plus, we want to be able to take more Saturdays off from sourcing (these are huge for us now since places are 50% off on Saturdays).0
11/27/2018 at 3:05 pm #52367
Just some additional thoughts on futuristic things I’ve seen that may add efficiencies in the future:
-I’ve seen systems used by companies in labs that you talk to – for example, if you were taking measurements of an item, you would say the field and the measurement and it would fill it in. With all the various home systems you talk to now, I can see this being a way to setup listings while you measure something or to even describe it. I can even see an app that will prompt you for information while you take photos, etc. It would ask for the length, color, etc.
-My post office has this machine that you stick your parcel in, and it weighs and measures it automatically, and can read an address printed on it to calculate shipping. As we wouldn’t write the information on a package, would be cool if this could be adapted/interfaced with eBay and your shipping label platform of choice to just stick the package in an area, and you just select the postage rate you want.
-photo recognition – I’ve heard some apps do this, but it would be neat if for common items, the system can tell what it is by looking at a photo and populate the listing automatically.
-Terminator vision – this would be a pair of glasses that you would put on, and in any thrift shop, store, etc. will point out the items with the highest profit potential – no searching necessary! Sadly, I’ve dreamed that I’ve had this power/technology available to me more than once…0
11/28/2018 at 9:52 am #52408
Terminator vision! I’ve often fantasized about dollar signs popping up overhead at the thrift store above all the big money items. Then I would just have to run by and scoop up the items under the dollar sign. I think this means I’ve played way too many video games in my day.1+
11/27/2018 at 4:14 pm #52375
- Location: Southern California
I really like this topic.
Sourcing – this is the fun part for me. I see the old timer hard goods guys go in at opening for about 5 minutes, mainly empty handed. I aspire to this and I’m getting much better about it. Scoring multiples of an item or having a variation listing is great.
Listing / Photography – I do desktop keyboard, then add pictures in the app. Uber brief descriptions or sell similar to active. I think I’ve got it down to about what I can do in Ebay. Research – I get bogged down on art. I’ve really let go of having great photos. I focus more on great items and prices. When I shop, it’s all about brand and price. My lighting sucks but I have ok instincts and get close up. #1 time savings: listing like items in a sitting. #2 list some items on Mercari, which is 5x faster than Ebay for me personally.
Shipping – saving frustration more than time, but I bought a few items like the above-mentioned one handed tape dispenser. I have purchased a few boxes in sizes Ebay doesn’t offer. Searching for the right recycled box can be a time suck. I got free foam packing sheets for in between plates or breakables, then I use packaging stretch wrap to bind them in a stack. I’m totally hooked on the foam sheets now. I sometimes purchase rolls of large bubble if I can’t get any for free. I don’t include a packing slip and use pre-printed thank you stickers I get in rolls, with an extra strip of tape across the buyer’s address but not the bar codes.
For listed inventory and boxes, I sort large and small in two different areas. Large boxes are sorted by shape – tall vs. flat.0
11/27/2018 at 6:03 pm #52382
In general, processing & listing is not my bottleneck, however I have found a couple efficiencies recently.
– Previously I put every item on a scale and measured it with a tailor’s tape measure in 3 dimensions. Now I have got better at guessing weights and only put items over 2 kg on the scale, and I measure with my hand. If I stretch my thumb and pinky out as far as possible away from each other that’s about 20 cm (8″) so I just use that to measure objects. (Obviously when shipping I do the accurate measurements.)
– Related, I no longer write either of these measurements (weight or dimensions) down at the time of processing. I take a photo of the scale measurement (if applicable) and a photo of my hand as above, for scale against the item. Less precise but it means the whole process is camera based, no typing. I type the measurements in afterwards, during listing on the PC. This means processing typically takes 10 seconds instead of about 1 minute.
– Descriptions are just copy/paste of the title.
– When researching price in the field, take screenshots of the completed prices on your phone. It saves doing the exact same pricing research at the listing phase.1+
11/27/2018 at 8:02 pm #52391
Sourcing Speed: I live in a mid size urban city, but the ‘burbs have the better sourcing, estate sales. I try to plan multi-sales and stores in one day in a certain suburb. I want to be done by 4pm. I need better time mgmt within this as well – I need to pack a lunch for example as I have spent too much time, calories, and money grabbing a kids meal to eat quickly.
When I got to Bins, it is my only outing for the day due to it’s weird location and rather intense experience.
Yes, I see some older (men) pickers go in and out of the thrift store in 5 minutes, too! My guess Is that they are looking for 1 – 2 specific things, no clothing or shoes. I never see them use their phone.
Other time saving wins:
1. Inventory system – saves my bacon, using SKU field in listing. Once in a great while something sells that is not inventoried, and I have a minor attack. I don’t prepapck unless it’s delicate, white, or vintage.
2. MINIMAL photo editing. I only crop nothing else. I also shoot in iphone SQUARE mode so it’s easier to crosspost to Poshmark and Mercari.
3. I process my COGS and Sales every 90 days.0
11/28/2018 at 5:57 am #52399
- Location: Leicester
I’ve stopped correcting buyer’s names and addresses when I’m printing labels. You know that thing where an angry troll WRITES EVERYTHING IN CAPS? It’s the opposite way round on eBay, with extra placenames that the post office doesn’t need. Gotta send a parcel now to john doe, the small cottage next to the big pigsty, nempnett thrubwell, burrington combe, bristol, zummerzet bs13 ru1.2+
11/28/2018 at 6:59 am #52400
- Location: Kentucky
My efficiency could improve with inventory management and packing station. That said, it still takes me less than 10 minutes most days to find items that are shipping out. I have tubs for clothing and each type gets a tub (long sleeve shirts, polos, tshirts,sweaters, etc. I hang coats/jackets). All my items are on-site. I never, ever, ever, ever modify photographs. I use a Canon T5i, use a white background and take as many photographs as needed for an item. Sometimes I need more than 12 pictures and I will upload those to an imgur album and place that link in the listing. If something needs a measurement, I have a ruler, soft tape and hard tape to measure items with and always show it in the picture (I do pit to pit and length of every piece of clothing). I take photos in batches. If I have a lot to do, I will break it down to clothes vs non-clothes. If I don’t have any clothing, I just break it down into a comfortable batch; photograph, transfer to my PC and then list that batch. I house all of my photographs on a separate drive and number each one with the SKU that will be used for the item. It may seem tedious, but doesn’t take me much time with a 10 key/tab and I can always reference the photo again if I need to or as in the case with missing photos, easily find and reupload. I find recent sold listings and use their listing as a template. This way I can price my item as I list it and often have most of the title written. Most of my listings descriptions are just the title. IF there is anything in the condition box (and since mobile shows this clearly, I cheat and put other info there sometimes) I just copy and paste that in the description field too. Photographs matter so much more than descriptions, especially when many people will never read them.
- This reply was modified 9 months, 2 weeks ago by BourbonTrailBazaar.
11/28/2018 at 10:27 am #52411
- Location: Maine
My single biggest increase in efficiency – not procrastinating by messing around on the internet. By far, that’s my biggest time waster.1+
11/28/2018 at 3:24 pm #52421
- Location: Atlanta
And as much as it hurts me to say this, Scavenger Life also takes time. Reading the Daily firehose or going to specific topics. Clicking on links to go to members Imgur photos to try to help them identify items, replying to a lot of SL posts or as in my case posting a longer detailed reply hoping to fully explain a topic or question for future reference [as Jay says wall of text] or for those who post numbers weekly and compiling those, and if “watching” the Wed. what sold videos that is time consuming.
Sorry Jay and Ryanne. :-(.
Makes me wonder why many members who used to post very regularly never post any more? I had a list I compiled a few years back of the weekly numbers and looking back over that list which had hundreds of posts, almost all of those posters have dropped off and no longer post. Was it a time factor and took too much time or did they just loose interest. We will probably never know, but if you are a frequent reader, [listening while working doesn’t count], poster, advice seeker, how long does that participation on ScavengerLife really take up? Hours, days perhaps???? Just a curiosity thing since we are talking about anything that takes up time during the week.
Mike at MDC Galleries and Fine Art0
11/28/2018 at 4:41 pm #52422
Retro Treasures WVParticipant
If I was full time ebay I probably wouldn’t be on here much.
I’m only on here as much as I am because I’m a captive computer audience from 7-4 every weekday at work.0
11/28/2018 at 4:56 pm #52423
- Location: Virginia
Over the years people have come and go from here. People change their lives and other things become priority.
Joining a community might not be productive, but we enjoy it because it’s a way to feel connected. When we start feeling like robots, we may be efficient, but burnout of coming quick.
Glad you guys are here!1+
11/28/2018 at 5:21 pm #52424
A lot of people disappeared off the forum after the 2016 election, I recall. Other people disappeared after they became instagram or youtube popular. Others, who knows?
I like coming on here because it’s easy to ignore topics you’re not interested in, and help in others when you can. People here are pretty rational and bring up interesting topics on reselling I don’t see anywhere else. Facebook groups are toxic, and the formatting for groups is bad. Ebay forums are toxic, if anyone is left even posting on there. Instagram is full of people trying to sell mentorships, and pretty repetitive. Reddit flipping is overfilled with beginners posting the same stuff repeatedly.1+
11/28/2018 at 5:27 pm #52425
Amen on the community. I’m on here sporadically (maybe too much), but since it is just Veronica and I at the house, it is nice to have an “online water cooler” to talk about work related issues with others in the same space.
Ya just can’t talk STR, ASP, and GTC vs 30-Day with the “normal” folks…
Proud to be unemployable…and love the community!2+
11/28/2018 at 5:30 pm #52426
- Location: Virginia
I tried the reddit forums for a little bit. Agree that it was just new people always asking: “tell me what to sell”.
Im glad we’re kind of hidden here. People who find us have had to work to get here 🙂0
11/28/2018 at 12:57 pm #52415
😀 😀 😀 😀 antarestar – you have hit the nail on the head! THIS! Definitely!
I tried installing one of those time-out apps that kicks you out after so many minutes… but it counted eBay as internet… as well as Worthpoint and any other research sites. It was a brief, frustrating trial.1+
11/28/2018 at 1:24 pm #52416
Try the Pomodoro Technique when listing or photoing. Gives you a short break after focused work (but must stay short!). Get a kitchen timer (or your phone).
Work hard and focused for 25 minutes (no distractions at all – no phone alerts, no email, nothing). After 25 minutes, take a 5 minute break. Then do again. After 4 rounds, take a 30 minute break.
Works well to stay focused.0
11/28/2018 at 8:33 pm #52438
I lose time with photo taking and editing. Even though I use photo lights and natural lighting I always have to adjust exposure and brightness on my photos. I’ve never really learned how to use an expensive camera I got a couple of years ago and now I am just using my phone. Also my setup is not convenient and dedicated just to photos. I need to work on that whole process. AND I just don’t like doing it!
The other thing I lose time and money on is losing inventory. It happens way more than it should.Just yesterday I canceled a sale because I couldn’t find the item after a week. I have a system but I also have a lot of clutter and the system doesn’t work very well.2+
11/29/2018 at 11:06 am #52473
I’m thrilled you guys are posting with your photography woes. I get so discouraged with folks like T-Satt who can photo an item in 2-3 minutes and those who seem to do a gajillion photos a day with no problems. It’s good to know I’m not alone!0
11/29/2018 at 12:46 pm #52478
Amatino: Ouch! I never want to make anyone discouraged!
Of course now, we hired out that job. And well worth the money….0
11/29/2018 at 11:47 am #52475
When I photograph items, I just tend to do it in natural light and don’t adjust brightness in the photos at all. I still sell the items. As long as it’s not too dark in the room and the color shown is the true color of the items photographed, it’s fine.1+
12/06/2018 at 2:47 pm #52820
As long as … and the color shown is the true color of the items photographed,
almasty, I’m with you on low-effort, natural light photos. But, as Julie B described above, getting the true color to show up is the tricky/impossible part for some items for some of us. How do you avoid this problem? Or maybe you don’t sell clothes? IndySales provided some good info on white balance, but a few years ago I bought a camera with white balance settings specifically for this reason, but never got it to work right for me, so I just went back to using my phone camera. I’m not sure if my iphone6 has the special white balance settings Indy mentioned – will have to look into it. Most of the time if I just use a different background for the item, I can get the color to look right, but sometimes nothing works. I use natural light and don’t have the room or motivation to get any sort of special lighting setup or deal with outsourcing, so I’m (sort of) okay with having a very small percentage of my listings say things like “The jacket looks blue in the photos, but it is really purple”.0
11/29/2018 at 8:28 pm #52487
Re: Losing time on the internet. Entirely user responsibility. Most of the content is for “sale”, so buyer beware. But, when you are a reselling weirdo it’s nice to see other people online doing it. ! 🙂
I do indulge in some Influencer reseller entertainment, but I see it as that – entertainment! I don’t watch TV or movies too much. This is kinda of the phase I am in currently – reselling!0
11/29/2018 at 8:33 pm #52488
Adding my new efficiency “rules:”
1. Must ship/drop off items before going out sourcing or errands. I had another close call at 4:55 at an out of town PO today where I was stuck at 30 miles from home! Undue stress for no reason except my poor planning.
2. I need to keep a tab on my favorite shipping supplies (poly and clear bags). I keep ordering crap ones and while I use them, it frustrating. They all look the same in the listings.
3. Budget time for office space/desk/inventory tidy weekly and Clean As You Go.0
11/30/2018 at 6:46 pm #52511
- Location: Washington DC
Useful info from everyone, thanks! I’m a part timer but my greatest time sinks are scavenging and research. I enjoy them too much. I was an attorney and they used to say that the most successful small firm and sole practitioner attorneys are NOT in love with the law. They are business people first, and lawyers second. Spending too much time going down legal rabbit holes in a solo or small practice is a recipe for failure. I think there is an element of that to eBay selling. If you lean towards hoarding or are too interested in the history of the items found it can be bad for business.1+
12/01/2018 at 7:14 pm #52520
- Location: Ohio
This is a great thread – I appreciate everyone’s ideas and input.
I HATE using a tape gun.. I actually like to use the disposable plastic red shipping tape dispensers – I load them up with eBay tape and am able to hold the box shut with one hand and use the other hand to tear off the exact amount of tape needed right on the box. It is simply the fastest and most precise way for me to pack. I will check out the metal 3″ tape dispensers though – I had no idea they existed.
For 2019 I really need to streamline my photography – possibly upgrading my camera/iPhone and getting some lighting and stations going in my basement. Right now trying to do it on my kitchen floor, but if it isn’t the right time during the early morning, the lighting is either too bright (washes out) or too dark (too shadowy) so need to set up something consistent and more professional.
One other thing I need for 2019 is a good mileage ap for my phone. I think I’m missing out on some mileage deductions. I try to keep a general estimate / written/log.. but I am not very consistent with it and forget some trips. All my scavenging and post office trips are tied into my daily errands. If anyone has a good recommendation for an ap they use – please advise.
And yes, scavenger life posting and reading takes a lot time, but I learn so much from this forum and being home all day with my kids – (not that much different than being a captive audience in front of your computer/desk 9-5) hopping on this board for eBay talk is a joyous diversion to my day. Yeah, like a virtual water-cooler – I consider it training for someday in the future when my kids are all in school – I can take the full time leap.2+
12/05/2018 at 10:09 am #52698
I like the red plastic disposable tape dispensers too. I reload them and have several going at once with clear, brown, ebay and reinforced tape.0
12/06/2018 at 2:51 pm #52821
I hate using tape guns, too!!!! THought I was the only one. I actually use duck tape clear shipping tape that comes with a small disposable dispenser. Not great from the environmental perspective, but it’s the only thing that I can get myself to use:
(ignore the current price – I buy them for $2-3 at walmart)0
12/02/2018 at 1:52 pm #52532
- Location: Virginia Beach
I use the red tape dispensers too, though the one I use can be re-used; you don’t have to toss it out, as it detaches from the empty roll and you can slide another one in. Lightweight, and I can use it while hold a box shut, etc.
I’ve just started using the MileIQ app to track mileage. It has a free, limited use to try it out, and then you can sign up for an annual cost/contract. The phone actually senses and tracks your movement using GPS, and then you go into your online dashboard to set up classifications for drives (personal, business, and subcategories therein). I’m still new to it, but like it so far, for taking all real pressure – other than initial helpful setup and classification – off tracking all the details. You can print off reports on your trips, based on dates, classifications, etc.1+
12/03/2018 at 2:56 am #52557
I really need to get one of those heavy duty tape dispensers. I can’t work a tape gun for anything.
On my wish list to improve my store: a tabletop lighting kit, a tape dispenser, and a box sizer. I’ve been using a regular box cutter to resize boxes, but sometimes the cuts come out a little wonky. Rumor has it that Santa is getting me the lighting kit.
Hubby bought me this cart, which has helped with the schlepping of things from one end of the house to the other, (computer is at one end, storage room the opposite end).
I think my next project will be adding more shelves to my storage room. It came with some built ins, which is fantastic, but I could use more.0
12/03/2018 at 9:53 am #52571
Hi – I appreciate the discussion about tape dispensers. I use a tape gun and lately I’ve been getting something like “tape gun carpal tunnel” (my term) from my right elbow to my wrist/hand. It’s great to have lots of sales to ship but after a big packaging session my arm us almost useless. I’ve been doing some stretching exercises to mitigate but was wondering if anyone else has experienced this, and if so is the heavy duty tape dispenser the answer?0
12/03/2018 at 2:50 pm #52595
Yes, Veronica has some elbow and mostly shoulder issues when she has a big packing day on Hard Goods. No good fix for it yet, except more stretching and more exercise to combat it.
I NEVER use the gun anymore, just the desktop version. Pull what you need and tape the seams. Now, I usually don’t have a box bigger than 16x12x8 at this point, but I’m much better just pulling off what I need and then going forward.1+
12/04/2018 at 11:11 pm #52674
I have a little tidbit but it may save a fair amount of time in aggregate.
For those of us who reuse amazon boxes… there is NO NEED to mask all the barcodes that’re printed directly on the box. They basically just give box dimensions. They don’t, as far as I understand, interfere with the post office’s tracking – or else the original amazon shipments would have problems.
So you don’t have to fuss those. I’d still mask the SKU sticker though.1+
12/05/2018 at 9:11 am #52694
Also here to encourage the “progress not perfection” in ebay tasks. I have a large amount of window treatments that I had a fantasy about hanging on my windows at home, and shooting all the pics with a real window. Well, 1 week later, it has not happened and I had a giant curtain monster.
So, yesterday I scrubbed the (white) kitchen floor) laid them out and took the photos. Done and done. They look fine – better than most ones that have sold for lots of money.2+
12/05/2018 at 10:46 am #52705
- Location: Maine
I’ve tried hanging curtains in windows for pictures and they didn’t come out great. I had to be too far away in order to get the whole curtain in the frame and then the sun started shining through the window. It’s nice in real life but a total disaster for pictures.0
12/05/2018 at 2:00 pm #52739
- Location: Illinois
When I take photos, especially clothing, I’ve found the easiest thing to do is sort by type. (This is how I got out from under a death pile of clothing). Pants/skirts; blouses/tops; Dresses; Coats. I find it a lot easier to power through a set of like items than to split my focus. Sometimes a Dress takes up way more space than slacks, it saves me the trouble of readjusting my light set up for one item.
I’m also a person who seems to pop in and out of the forum. I listen every week to the podcast, but as much as I love having a community, I’m not sure I have that much to offer on a consistent basis. I am always learning from everyone here, even if you don’t see me! 🙂 Thank you!0
12/05/2018 at 9:23 pm #52763
Amen on sorting by type. Today was shirt day…
Next is pants day, then suits…
12/06/2018 at 9:31 am #52790
antarestar, I found the same thing! Now I just strip the bed and lay the curtain out on it (on a white sheet.) Gives the buyer a look at the whole length of curtain, but without the hassle of me having to remove my existing curtains, hang the one I’m selling, and then reverse action. I’m tending to move away from excessively sized sales items, though. The hassle of photographing them just isn’t worth the income, IMHO.1+
12/06/2018 at 2:54 pm #52822
One of my biggest time sinks is over-researching an item to satisfy my own curiosity. But since I’m not full time, I just think of this as fun time.2+
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