Thursday, May 3, 2012

Death By Shipping

Where have I been??  Completely immersed in learning how to sell on ebay.  How's it going??  I still have a lot to learn.  Am I making decent money??  Not yet...but I'm working on it.  What have I learned so far??  Here's a list:

Well I finally found the form that allows you to do the calculated shipping, so that the buyer can enter their zip code on their end and pay exactly what it would cost to ship to them.  However that's not working out for some reason, and I have no idea why and no idea how to fix it.  Here are 2 examples...

I sold a kid's baseball glove and a Brighton handbag on a "Buy It Now" price this week.  I had entered the dimensions and weight for both in their listings on the calculated shipping form.  But when they paid, one paid $5 for shipping and the other paid $6.  Somehow I knew this wasn't was way too little for a priority mail shipping cost (one lives in CA), so I didn't print the shipping label from home because I knew it would come out postage due.  Instead I drove to the post ofc and had them weigh each thing and tell me how much it would cost to ship.  Each item was $11 to ship.  Grrrrrrrr.

I was just about in tears over this.  I really thought I had it figured out with the calculated shipping form and was feeling a lot less stressed...until this.  Now I'm scared the shipping will be wrong on EVERYTHING and I'll just continue to lose money.  If each item were a high enough profit margin, it wouldn't be that big of  a deal....but most of my things aren't.  I'm still learning what to buy and not to buy at yard sales, based on what's selling for me.  I quite clearly have a lot of learning to do...and I'm feeling completely helpless and screwed on the shipping....I just don't know how to fix it.

I've also learned that I think things are worth a lot more than what people are willing to pay for them.  I had 12 items listed for auction last week and only 2 of them sold.  So I re-listed everything and dropped the price on it all for this week, and so far I've sold 2 items on a Buy It Now price....but don't have a single bid on anything else.  It's Thur and the auction ends Sat.

I'm not sure how long you should keep re-listing things before you say to heck with it and just throw the damn thing in the Goodwill pile.

I have about 50 things total listed this week due to some heavy duty garage saleling last Fri and Sat (including the 12 I re-listed).  Some of them are clothes.  I got an error msg saying I can't list anymore clothes because I've reached my limit in that category???  Something about being a new seller and having limits for 90 days.  WHATEVER.  I'm quickly growing weary of all of ebay's selling rules.  There's a ton of them. 

Someone who commented on one of my posts turned me onto a REALLY cool website called Ebay Underground.  They have a forum where people talk about all kinds of things, give tips, list what they bought at what price and what things are selling for.  I haven't been able to spend a lot of time reading it yet though.  And a lot of them are moms and talking about buying kid's stuff and listing off things that I have no idea what they're talking about, lol.  I need to learn the names of kid's toys/games to be looking for....apparently there's a decent market for that.  Someone mentioned the other day they picked up one of those little Golden Books from years ago, in mint condition, and sold it for $150.  Now that's the kind of deal I'd like to find!!!

I'm trying to get my picture-taking down.  I bought 2 small desk lamps $7.97 ea. at Walmart and a white foamboard for background and set  up a little table with a white cloth, and for whatever reason, some of my pics are still coming out dark.  Dwayne thinks I need a new camera.  The room is all lit up and the item is nice and bright, but when you take the pic, the backlighting comes out sort of cream-colored, not nice and bright.  I don't know what to do there either...if it's the camera or something else.

If anyone has any tips, I'm all ears.  And I stepped on the scale this morning for the first time in a week....237.8.  Have a great day friends.  :)


  1. I am actually enjoying your ebay journey. I am still pondering on the thought of start selling some stuff off on ebay. The only thing that scares me is the shipping. LOL! If I lose any where its because I did not get my shipping right. Something to look into I guess. Here I thought one size ship all box was an answer to most things.

  2. I think that I can help with your photographs. It sounds as if you are shooting in incandescent light. That kind of light is very yellow and dark. What you need is clean, bright light. I shoot small items on a light box lit with an OttLight. That gives me a bright, clean white background and the right kind of light in which to shoot.

    Here is my tutorial on how to build a lightbox really cheap

    I think that mine cost me a total of about six or seven dollars, for all of the supplies and a couple of hours to figure out how to construct it.

    You can buy a couple of photographic fixtures and white light bulbs at places like Amazon or pick up an OttLight at a craft store. My local JoAnne has them 40% or 50% off just about all the time. They are a tad pricy but worth the investment.

    When you get your lightbox all set up and your clean light adjusted just as you want it (this will take a little fooling around) make sure that you have turned off all incandescent lights before you start shooting your items. You don't want any of that yellow light to leak in and mess up your pretty pictures.

    Also, try using your self timer, macro, for up close on small items when you can and setting your camera on a tripod or a stack of books or the tabletop to stabilize your camera and give you sharper, clearer photos.

    I am not a pro, by any means but these are tips and tricks that help me get pretty nice photos for my nail and polish blog. I hope it helps you get better shots for your business.

    Good luck and I hope that you make a fortune. :D

  3. Tammy....has anyone told you that are brave and adventurous. You know !
    As far as the pitfalls....
    This too, shall pass!

  4. Oh! OttLight sells their bulbs in a form that works in regular lamps. If you have or can buy a couple of smallish lamps, (maybe the cheapie, adjustable kind, like at Wally World) you can get the bulbs and use them. Same effect, methinks and much less expensive, especially if you have coupons. Maybe that could solve your lighting problem in a more budget friendly manner? :D

    Being broke sucks eggs, girlfriend. I for one, am sick to death of it! lol

  5. What is your ebay seller name? Can you put up the link so we can check it out? Maybe you can make some sales off of us:)

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