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@Jay: Let’s say you have five boxes shoes in your storage. Put one label on each box, and write “Shoes” on the label and/or box. After you list a pair of shoes, take a picture of it. Choose one a box to store the shoes. Use the app to scan the QR code, which will open up the list of contents inside that box. Add a new item to that list and upload the picture. Then store them in the box. When the shoes sell, you or your helper would go over to the boxes of shoes and scan the QR code using the app. Then you could see the contents in the app without having to take five boxes off a shelf.
@Retro Treasures: This system won’t work for everyone. I have my totes labeled A, B, C, etc., which I fill in as the Custom ID in the listing. For this reason, it would not be the best storage solution for me either. I know some people prefer to store like items together: shoes, shirts, pottery, etc. If they have multiple boxes of shoes, scanning a QR code to check the contents might save their back some work instead of taking each box off the shelf to find a specific pair of shoes.
Of course they’re just people at the end of the day. While I appreciate privacy and anonymity as much as the next person, I also appreciate it when people tell me they like my work. When I go to art shows in my city, I might tell the artists I like their work, or even ask questions about their processes. I don’t have regular opportunities to tell nationally known artists or writers in different cities that I enjoy their work. A random opportunity came up to share my interest, and at the end of the day, there are friends to know and ways to grow…
I will include a note that will say something like…
I really enjoyed reading your book, _______________. It brought me joy and laughter during a time when I really needed it.
I am so happy to hear you will be selling on eBay full time! I’m a little jealous too, I might add. I started listing to the podcast around the same time you did. I was miserable at my job, and not earning enough. My husband wasn’t earning consistently, and we needed the benefits my job offered at a university. We were dealing with depression, which makes financial difficulties so much worse. I finally found the strength to open my eBay store a year ago. I have been selling slowly, but consistently. I am the one who does the research and the business organization side of things. With a full-time job, it is very difficult to keep a steady pace with eBay. A month ago I applied for a different job at my university. While submitting my application, I emailed an friend and former colleague for a reference. I would occasionally do side work for her company. A few days later she called to offer me a job. It was very unexpected! It was more than I had been earning, and it would provide endless learning and development opportunities. I thought about it for a few days, and I accepted it. (The other job I had applied for contacted me too, but now I knew they couldn’t afford me). Miraculously, my husband got a full-time job at the same university, so we will still have their awesome benefits!
I have been working at this new job for three weeks and… I don’t think I like it. I will give it some time. I know things are going to be difficult at first, but I am working a remote, salaried position, and I am starting at the beginning of a major project that has my head spinning. I don’t have time to do the things I enjoy. I have a constant stress headache, and I am super stressed out.
I’ve been too busy to list anything, but I’m still selling about one item per day. When I look at my store, I get excited. I am even giddy after buying a dress form to help me take better photos! I will give this new job six months. If I still hate it, I will leave and do eBay full time.
Please, if you think of it, please contact me in six months. Ask me how my job is going. If I am still this stressed, remind me that I said I would leave.
Do I cancel the transaction, or do I ask the buyer to cancel?
How do I offer a 15% discount to one buyer? Do I refund the discounted amount?
I sold my first item the week after I posted this question, a Nike golf belt. I put it into a poly mailer, slapped a label on it, and walked it one block to the nearest mailbox. In the listing I selected first class mail with calculated shipping, which cost the buyer $2.77 from my zip code to his. I did not package the item up first. For something so small and light weight, I put it on a scale (my digital kitchen scale) and added 1 oz for the poly mailer. The poly mailer obviously weighs less than 1 oz, but this also factors in the possibility of my scale being inaccurate.
I would not pre-package items if they are light weight and easy to ship, especially if it goes into a poly mailer. Just weigh the item, and add the approximate weight of the shipping materials. Maybe keep a cheat sheet near your work area that has an approximate weight of boxes, envelopes, poly mailers, paper, bubble wrap, etc., and add that weight to the item’s weight. I suspect that before long, our shipping material estimations will become second nature. Here’s another idea to try if you expect to ship things wrapped in paper or bubble wrap: Keep an selected amount nearby (however many feet off the roll), and do a quick, rough wrap to see if that would be enough for an item, and you will know how much it weighs because you reuse it as a reference and visual aid.
If you pre-pack your items, how will you know you are sending the right items to buyers? Could you imagine a seller with an inventory as big as Jay’s and Ryanne’s did this? There would be a lot of wrong items shipped, and their storage area would be full of boxes. However would they find anything?02/10/2017 at 10:06 pm in reply to: Scavenger Life Episode 296: Are You Keeping Up With Your Inventory System? #12281
Multiple listers can access the form through a link and enter items simultaneously, including title, category, description, dimensions, weight, special notes, etc. The owners of the form (and spreadsheet) can copy (possibly import) the data into a listing. It may sound like an added step, but all of the data will be saved with a date/time stamp. Depending on the kind of Google account a user has, you can even attach files (photos) to a form.
Jay and Ryan, you have a trusted assistant who has access to your eBay accounts because you are always signed in. What happens when you sign out? What if she goes out of town and can’t list from you computer, but could list from her phone through the form?
Another seller interviewed on your podcast hires out the listing at $.50 to $.75 per item. If he shares a link to his form with ten different people, and requires them to sign in to use the form with their own Google user names, he would have all of his listings in one place, and he could sort them by date, category, lister, etc.
Enter your cost of goods and the location when you are picking up inventory at a thrift store or auction. Or enter it later from your receipts.
I am a spreadsheet nerd. I realize not everyone loves spreadsheets as much as I do. Once you start organizing your life with spreadsheets, you will wonder how you ever managed before.02/10/2017 at 9:39 pm in reply to: Scavenger Life Episode 296: Are You Keeping Up With Your Inventory System? #12276
I like the idea of a STL meet-up!02/09/2017 at 9:05 pm in reply to: Scavenger Life Episode 296: Are You Keeping Up With Your Inventory System? #12188
For keeping up with inventory, you might find want to consider Google Forms, especially if you are familiar with Google products.
I have created a very quick and easy demo form that can be accessed through the link below. I promise you the form does not collect any important data. It is strictly an interactive demonstration.
I use Google Forms extensively at my 9-5 job to collect registration information for events and other processes. This past summer, I created a form for my husband to use when he worked for tips as a pedicab driver in downtown St. Louis. He bookmarked the form on his phone to log income, number of riders, payment method (cash or square), and any comments to note about the ride.
It’s fun and easy to use, give it a try!