It’s “Ask a Question Day”!

Have a burning question about reselling? A vintage item? Shipping? Or anything else related to the “biz”?

Ask away!  I’ll be glad to answer anything I can and would like to encourage any readers to help answer as well. All of us have some area of knowledge to share!

So ask away in the comments section….bloggers are standing by.

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16 Responses to It’s “Ask a Question Day”!

  1. Lynne says:

    Love your blog. It has been invaluable to me. I always have new things to look for each week when I go junking. I guess my question is “What day of the week and what time of day do you think is the best time for an ebay auction to end?” I just do auction style listings. Trying to decide if I am going to start to doing some Buy it Nows. Pros and cons to doing that? Ebaying is mainly a fun hobby that I make a little money at and helps pay for the books and things I collect. Thanks for sharing your flips and doing this blog!!!!

    • First, thanks! I’m so glad you like the blog!
      Second, great question!
      I’m going to offer my two cents and hope others do the same as I think there are different approaches to this selling style.
      When I do an auction, I generally do things that are:
      1) Hard -to- find or one-of-a-kind
      2) Have a following of some kind
      That being said, I generally end my auctions on Sunday night. I personally like having the whole weekend towards the end for people to see the item. Its moved further up the pages, so it gets easier to find at the end and weekends I feel are the times when people are relaxing and surfing the web.

      Most of my items are “Buy it Nows” in my store. I have enough inventory at the moment to be able to let things “sit” until a buyer wants to buy at my price. If something has been around for a while OR I’m wanting to get some traffic/extra cash quick…I’ll throw some of my items into an auction style…again…ending on Sunday.

      Again…good question!

      I hope some other sellers can add their experience on this topic as well!

  2. Cindy says:

    I also like for my auctions to end on Sunday night, for the same reason you stated. I don’t have a store and was wondering about the pro’s and con’s of this. I do the opposite of you. On things I am not sure of, I will list them twice and then if they still haven’t sold, I will list them at a buy it now price with a good till canceled selection. I have been totally shocked at some things selling way above what I would have listed them at if I had just had a set price. What do you think about this method? I never list my starting price at something I would be upset with if it only received one bid.
    Thank you so much for your blog, it is a wealth of information! I love it!

    • Hi Cindy! Thanks for writing…and reading!

      So…my thought is…if you find something that works for you..then definitely stick with it. If you are making a decent profit after fees and item cost….then its a good method. I think there are many roads in this reselling that end up at the same destination.

      I think having a store allows for more ability to let things sit because of the lower listing fees. When I didn’t have a store, I did what you did and listed auction items a couple times. After that, I decided whether it was just a dud item or just something that needed the right buyer to come along. And that would make my decision to relist as a “Buy it Now”. In my store now, I have things that have taken 6 months or more to sell…but I’m not losing a lot on the relisting fees…so I’m still making a decent profit.

      Of course, with Ebay, you can often tell if you have a good auction with the number of watchers. Not that that always means it will go sky-high…but at least you know you’ve picked something people are interested in. Then you just have to hope that a good percentage of those people that are interested in your item are going to be around the computer at the time the auction is ending. Which can definitely make for some exciting moments in those last few minutes.

      It’s all still a gamble. But taking as many risks out of it that you can increases your chances of having a successful sale.

      Yikes…this was long-winded…I might owe some of you a cup of coffee for reading this.

    • Pro’s of store:
      Lower listing fees
      Able to organize your inventory into sections
      Able to search through inventory easily
      Lots of marketing tools/traffic reports/sales reports(great for taxes)
      Easy to advertise

      Con’s of store:
      You do have a monthly flat fee along with the lower listings fees
      Might not be practical with small inventories…at least fee wise.
      Ummmmm….I can’t think of another con. Anyone else?

  3. nancy says:

    I love your blog too. I’m learning more and more and listing and selling more than I ever have. This would make a great weekly post (hint 😉

    1. Do you use Terapeak or Worthpoint to help you decide how to price an item or even buy it?
    2. Do you have the post man pick up your packages? If so are you always present? Ever had a problem with any going missing if you leave them unattended?
    3. I too am trying to figure out when to put something as an auction and when as fixed price. Seems a delicate balance or something that just takes experience.

    • Sorry for the delay…end of the day chores.
      Great questions! And I’m glad the blog is helping with your sales. That is exactly the reason I write these posts.

      Okay…let me see what I have in my noggin.

      1)I have not had to use Terapeak or Worthpoint. If I can’t find my item on Ebay, Amazon, or any other related sites…then I “google” my item. I usually can either find IT or something comparable. If its something so unique (i.e. a photo album of vintage original pictures of WWII)….then I use my best judgement on putting it on a listing…and what to list it for. I’ll be honest…I like to gamble with these “unique” items and put them on as an auction because its really the market that sets the rate…I’ve usually walked away happy with the ending price. If its something really great…I do a ten day auction that ends on a Sunday evening.

      2) I have hand delivered my items to my postman..but have never left them alone. I’m too paranoid. I have enough stress wondering if they will make it when I drop them off at the post office. But that’s neurotic me.

      3) I guess the auction question really depends on how much you invested in the piece, what price you would be happy with, and how sought after it is. Again….I like the gamble side on the cool stuff. Especially if I know I have a sure thing. I just make darn sure I’m not ending it on a holiday…or Superbowl….or some TV show finale.

      I hope this answers your questions. Anyone else who would like to weigh in…please do!

  4. Barbara says:

    Thank you so much for this post. I don’t have a question but wanted to share some knowledge learned the hard way.

    I just got stung by my first con artist buyer on Ebay. First they said they didn’t receive the item. Then they put negative feedback saying that the item was shipped damaged. It was a beautiful Little Mermaid sheet and they said it had bleach spots all over and it was unusable. That was totally false and I was crushed. I’m an honest, very hardworking seller (ReSelling is my 2nd full time job) who worries about my reputation. After researching the buyer more (dvr1951) I learned that they have a long history of scamming people as both buyers and sellers. Then I found out that there are blogs that identifies buyers like this who pull these same stunts demanding full refunds but not returning the product, leaving or threatening to leave negative feedback, harassing the sellers, etc. I have researched the names and read the feedback and the claims on the websites are true.

    blacklistedebayers.blogspot.com
    ebaybuyerblacklist.blogspot.com

    Most importantly, I didn’t know before but you have a way of blocking these buyers from your listings. It’s only a tiny assurance that you won’t be hit by a con artist but the heartache it put me thru and the hours of writing and talking to Ebay with no resolution (I still have the negative feedback) is worth the 2 minutes it takes to block them.

    • Go to: http://offer.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?bidderblocklogin
    • Sign in to your eBay account
    • Cut & Paste the “blacklist” into your “Blocked Bidder List”
    • Now none of these people can bid on your items!

    May you all have great thrifting karma and those who scam receive the appropriate karma in return.

    PS-they only paid $7.99 for the sheet

  5. Mike R says:

    I’m a bit late to the party, but I had a question specifically about bookselling. My wife is the full time eBayer and I am the bookselling side of things in her store. As with everyone else, I am learning more and more over time.

    I have read your blog for a while and believe that you don’t use a scanner. I don’t currently sell enough to justify a scanner, and I don’t really want to go that route. I refer to bookthink.com and some other bookselling references a lot, but do you have any suggestions on getting the “feel” for good books? It seems that my feeling is often wrong.

    Thanks,
    Mike

    • Hi Mike!
      Pardon my late response…your comment was sitting in my loooooong spam queue for some reason and I just found it…..ugh.

      You know…like anything there is a learning curve. And trust me…it took a while before I was making more “successes” and less “mistakes”. Ask my husband….he was the hauling my mistakes to the local thrift store.

      But after a while…I found the following advice to help. This advice has even helped my parents find books for me in their area when they go to book sales…and they are really getting good at it.

      You are more likely to hit a homerun if you find a book that has very specific, unique subject matter. I’ve used this example before but for instance: Book on Pianos (Good), Book on Baby Grand Pianos (Better), Book of Tuning Baby Grand Pianos (Best). Buy “best” kind of books and you’ll have more successes than failures. Find these kind of books that were published before the internet/Amazon/Ebay really took off (pre-1995) and you’ll do even better.

      Take a gander at my bookselling tips on the right. I have some insights and some links to go to that can help! Thanks again for writing! Good luck in your book hunt!

  6. Natalia says:

    I have a question about vintage bedsheet I recently bought. I can’t find any information about it. Do you mind if I e-mail you a picture?

  7. Marci says:

    I have told you before but thanks so much for your blog. I love the flippin stories, the info on what to look for, and how we can all relate to alot of your stories! I have stuck my baby toe into the pool of reselling and it has been alot of fun but I would like to do more! What do you think of other selling sites (etsy, amazon) How many hours a week would you say you invest in your reselling? You have listed many things that sell well (thank you) but what items would you suggest a newbie stock up on if they were going to get serious about this? Thanks for all your input! It is very helpful!

    • Hi! Thanks for your nice comments!

      I like other sites as well. I have used Etsy and Amazon and found them to have their own pluses. I still use Etsy (just need to get my inventory into my store). I am a creature of habit and have had success on Ebay so far….so I mainly sell on that site. It’s definitely worth researching to see if your items sell well on those sites and if you like the setup for listing.

      I would say realistically, I spend easily 20 hours doing reselling a week. That includes listing, shipping, and “hunting”. Around the holidays, that definitely gets bumped up to 30-40 hours.

      As far as starting out, the items would definitely be the ones you can find easily in your area. If I were to pick a few that would be good “get your feet wet” starters….it would probably be books, clothing, and craft supplies. They definitely take some research to see what sells, but if you can locate a source of one of these categories…its a good place to start. They are usually on the inexpensive side,easy to ship, and have a demand.

      I hope I answered your questions! Thanks for writing!

  8. Jessica says:

    Very late to the game, but thought of another question. I noticed you sell craft patterns from books and magazines, so they are very light. But do you use First Class Package with delivery confirmation, or chance the more afforadable First Class without it? Also, first class is so confusing, to be a package, it had to be stiff, or thick, or something! Any advice? Thanks!

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