Thrift Haul: 33 Items for $113

I love going to the DAV Thrift stores in the Hampton Roads area. They have good prices regularly, but they also mark down items and offer sales (Goodwill, you could learn a thing or two). I got $5 off every $25 I spent and several items were only $0.99!

 

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GBX moto boots, Adidas, Stetson boots, Cole Haan Flats, Talbots slingbacks, Clarks flats
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Swimsuits, 2 piece slinky outfit, Kasper & Liz Claiborne suits, NWT Jones New York dress
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NWT kimono pjs, $0.99 yellow dress, cute wrap dress, $0.99 Liz Claiborne silk dress, Le Suit skirt suit
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Juciy Couture dress, $0.99 dress, cute festival dress, $0.99 maternity skirt
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Little black dresses galore! (That first one looks like Elvira with that big slit, no?)
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Navy blue sequin cocktail dress, career dress, J Jill drawstring dress, pant suit

Total: $113

Number of items: 33

Price per item: $3.44

Estimated Profit: $420

Generally I don’t buy an item that won’t make at least $10 profit, and many of the pieces in this thrift haul will bring more. I think the biggest seller will be the Stetson boots. I sure hope so because they were the single most expensive item, priced at $10.

I’m thinking about hemming that vintage blue belted dress to a flirty-er length. Right now it hits mid-calf (is that EVER flattering?) so maybe there’s refashion post coming up.

In a couple weeks when things sell, I’ll post an update to this thrift post.

Got a thrift haul to share? Comment below!

Thrifted Fashion: Polka Dots & Danskos

20160313_094250My polka dot dress was another pregnancy loan from my sister-in-law. It’s not even a maternity dress–but it has inverted pleats on the skirt at the waistline and it’s stretchy. I think I may like non-maternity dresses better than maternity dresses for 1st and 2nd trimester just because they don’t overwhelm the body. Those maternity dresses can look just like circus tents if they don’t fit perfectly.

Dansko shoes have a longstanding reputation for being comfortable. Their Professional Clog is a favorite with anybody who has to stand most of the day for their job. But Dansko also makes THE CUTEST sandals. The block heel and little brass tacks are on trend this spring, and I love the navy color.

The great thing about these Dansko shoes is that I actually made money buying them. I purchased them as a 3 pair lot on Ebay, and then sold the other 2 pairs. I’m actually $13 to the good on these shoes.

Dress: En Focus, FREE (I think she got it at Ross)

Shoes: Dansko’s, better than free

Purse: Nine West, $4 thrifted

Jewelry: Pearls, a gift from my husband from way back

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Thrift Score or How I Make My Wardrobe Pay for Itself

So here’s a lot of Dansko and Sanita shoes I scored on ebay for $32:

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Dansko sandals, Dansko “Marcelle” clogs, Sanita clogs

 

I really bought this lot for the navy blue sandals.  I loved the big block heel and the little stud tacks on the side. On the resale market, Dansko shoes go for $20-$80 depending on the condition and the style. These sandals are worth at least $30 on the resell market. But being a fashion reseller, I definitely did not want to pay $30. I want my wardrobe to pay for itself. So when I saw this lot, I couldn’t turn it down. It was like buy one, get 2 free!

As you can see, the lighting on the original Ebay listing wasn’t the best, and usually selling items in lots is NOT a good way to get top dollar per item. So I won the auction and relisted the other two pairs of shoes. Here’s what my listings looked like:

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Sanita clogs, sold for $27 including shipping
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Dansko Marcelle clogs, sold for $32

As you can see from my photos, these shoes were in much better condition than the original listing showed. I used natural light and listed the shoes individually. It took a couple weeks to sell both pairs. The buyer of the Marcelle clogs actually picked them up in person to save on shipping costs (an additional $6.99) since she lived in the area.

Total gross for 2 pairs: $59

Total inventory cost for lot of 3 shoes: $32

Fees & shipping: $12.9

Total profit after expenses: $14.10 plus a pair of cute sandals

And here’s me wearing the blue Dansko sandals that I actually MADE MONEY by purchasing. I love it when I buy stuff that pays for itself!

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Do you make your wardrobe pay for itself? Comment below!

26 Items for $39 Thrift Haul Update

My $39 thrift haul
My $39 thrift haul

Last week I posted my $39 thrift haul that included 26 different items I bought at a Goodwill outlet. Then I followed up with how much money I would make selling those clothes on Ebay. The items from this haul have been listed for 2 weeks now, and here’s what I’ve sold so far.

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Stuart Weitzman heels, $57.98
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Women’s denim vest, $34
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Maxi dress, $16.98
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VENUS bikini, $18.98
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Ann Taylor LOFT skirt, $12.98
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Women’s plus size top, $16.98
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Ann Taylor LOFT skirt, $12.98
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Land’s End tankini top, $19.98
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Talbots shirt, $16.98
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Jones New York suit, $28.98
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Lauren Ralph Lauren sheath dress, $26.98

Total gross: $263.80

Shipping cost: $71.05

Fees: $26.38

Inventory (average $1.50 per item): $16.50

TOTAL PROFIT: $149.87

I haven’t sold everything yet. I have $298 in listed value for the remaining items. It may take a few months to sell everything, but this is a great start for the first 2 weeks.

Have you posted about a thrift haul lately? Put the link in the comments below!

 

Thrift Score: Stuart Weitzman Silver Slingback Heels

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You might remember these heels from an earlier thrift haul post on this blog. I got these Stuart Weitzman silver heels at a Goodwill Outlet Center (where you buy clothes by the pound and shoes for $3 a pair).  I thought I would sell them for $30-$35 and make about $20 after inventory cost, fees, and shipping.

So how did I do?

Sold: $57.98 including shipping

Inventory cost, fees, and shipping: $14.80

TOTAL PROFIT: $43.81

I actually sold made DOUBLE the amount I thought I would. This was an amazing score for me and more than paid for my entire thrift haul!

Do you have a thrift score to share? Link to it in the comments below!

How To Research Prices on Ebay

My secret to getting the price best for my items isn’t a secret at all. I use it constantly on my smartphone when I’m out thrifting for new inventory. It keeps me from making expensive buying mistakes and from missing out on incredible deals. What is it?

Ebay sold listings!

It’s not really a program or an app or anything. It’s just a search criteria field that you click after entering your search terms on the Ebay site. But it is absolutely invaluable for pricing your items.

Here’s a 4 minute video that shows you how to use Ebay’s sold listings to price your items and whether to use auction or as a Buy-It-Now format.

Got an Ebay question? Ask in the comments below?

5 Tips That Will Get You Selling On Ebay TODAY

 

 

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We’ve all used Ebay at some point or another, but sometimes all the options available can be overwhelming. What if it sells too low? What if I pay too much for shipping? Never fear!  I made 5 super quick steps to getting started selling your stuff on Ebay TODAY.

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1. Use Ebay’s label printing service and print labels from your computer. Don’t have a scale to weigh your own items? Use flat rate option and the free USPS boxes–you’ll save money over going to the post office to buy your postage. If you sell a few items, definitely get a food scale precise up to 0.25 ounce so that you can use USPS First Class shipping and FedEx Smart Post, the cheapest options available for per pound shipments.

2. Don’t offer free shipping. Use calculated shipping. If you’re shipping something fragile, don’t forget to add in 1-2 pounds for extra packing materials to your estimated weight. Once again, if you don’t have a scale, use flat rate options. You can ship jeans, tops, dresses, and even jackets in a flat rate envelop. You can get quite a bit in medium flat rate boxes, even shoes and boots. For more information, here’s my blog posts about shipping.

Rubber boots from The Simple Little Wardrobe
Natural light photos of rubber boots from The Simple Little Wardrobe

3. Take photos in natural light and make sure your item fills up the frame. Use a plain background, like the floor or a blank wall, and get 4-5 different angles. Take a picture of the tag or serial number. Don’t skimp on your photos! Crappy pictures will result in poor sales. Here’s How to Photograph Clothes for Resell Ebay. Here’s another post if you want to see how NOT to photograph clothes..

4. Use descriptive, searchable terms in your title. Size, color, brand, type of thing, gender if applicable, style, etc. Whatever word a buyer might search for that fits your item, squeeze it into the title. Your title is what directs search bots to bring up your listing in the search results from buyers. Poorly written titles will get pushed to the bottom of the search results and nobody will ever find your listing.

5. List your items at 7 day auction, starting at a reasonable price. NEVER start an auction at $0.99, even with a reserve. Reserves turn off buyers. On the other hand, starting a $0.99 without a reserve can lose you money big time. It doesn’t attract serious buyers, it attracts yardsalers looking for a dirt cheap bargain. So start your item at a price you can live with. If your item doesn’t sell at the first auction, list it again as a buy-it-now for 3o days at or a little below your original auction start price.

Have an Ebay listing question? Fire away in the comments below!

 

Should I Offer Returns in My Ebay Store?

 

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OK, I know. You don’t want to accept returns. Who does? But the truth is, you DO accept returns. Ebay requires you to.

If a buyer marks an item “not as described” or “damaged during shipment,” Ebay will force you to accept a return and extract the full original cost plus shipping from your paypal account to cover it.

Before you start a new thread on the forum “Ebay sucks and hates their sellers,” let me finish. You can appeal any case that you feel is unfair, and if you have photographs proving it, Ebay customer service will quickly set the matter right.

In over 5000 transactions, I’ve only dealt with 2 return scams. In both cases, the buyer marked the return “item not as described.” I was able to prove with photographs that the buyer was lying. I didn’t lose money and I got the item back.

Since you’re basically offering returns anyhow, you should put it in your return policy. When you do that it:

  •  Qualifies your listing for Top Rated status
  • Boosts your listings in Ebay search results
  • Reassures buyers

I recommend having a 30-day return policy, buyer paid return shipping, and a minimum 10% restocking fee. This policy fulfills Ebay Top Rated seller requires and will cut down on your overall number of returns. A buyer has to be pretty serious about getting part of their money back if they are responsible for a restocking fee and return shipping.

You set your return policy as you list (it’s just another field that you fill in, like the price and description). You can also edit all of your items at once to add or change a return policy. The bulk edit interface can be slow, so be patient if you’ve got over 100 listings to edit at one time.

I charge higher restocking fees for lower value items. I charge a lower restocking fees for high value items since it is percentage based. So for anything other $30, I charge 10% restocking fee. For items under $30, I use 10% or 15% restocking fee.

If a buyer complains about the restocking fee, just stick to your guns. Remind them that you spent time and materials packing and shipping that item, and you’ll have to spend more time inspecting and relisting it once it is returned. Restocking fees aren’t a money racket. They just cover expenses.

What other Ebay questions are on your mind? Ask below!

 

 

How to Deal With Unpaid Ebay Buyers

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Two weeks ago I was happy to see a Tahari suit bid up from $29.99 to $41. Hot diggity dog, right? No so much. After two days without payment, the buyer contacted me to say they were having problems with paypal. A few more days went by. And a few more. And then another email from the buyer saying this time they really were going to pay.

Yeah, right.

I’ve heard this before:  my grandma died, I went out of town and there was no wi-fi, my paycheck doesn’t come in for 2 weeks, blah blah blah.

Ain’t nobody got time for that, guys.

Serious buyers win the auction and pay within 48 hours. Buyers that changed their mind–or wanted to snag an item before they could afford to pay for it–drag the payment out. Sometimes they never pay.

Imagine if you picked up an item at a boutique and just stood at the counter for 2 weeks saying, “No really, I want this item. I’ll pay, I promise.” Ridiculous. Most brick and mortar stores won’t hold an item for more than 24 hours–neither should an online seller.

That’s why I recommend using the Ebay Unpaid Item Assistant. This is a feature found under your “Site Preferences” that automatically opens and closes cases for nonpayment. It even relists your item. It takes care of all of your items–you don’t have to open it for each individual listing. You are completely hands off the process once you turn it on. This seems like a good time to say:

For crying out loud, never ship an item without receiving payment first.

NEVER. NEVER. NEVER. 

Moving right along. I recommend opening up cases 2 days after non-payment. Sometimes when a buyer sees the little message pop up “An unpaid item case has been opened” in their inbox, it motivates them to complete the transaction. In any case, it holds a lot more weight that a personal message from you, asking if they’re going to pay. (Don’t even go that route. You’ll just get a sob story if you get any reply at all.)

Here’s a quick Ebay video showing you how to set it up:

 

The reason my Tahari suit transaction drug out like this is because I forgot to turn the Unpaid Item Assistant on. Duh. Now that it’s on, I won’t have to deal with this any more.

Do you use unpaid item assistant in your store? Comment below!

$250 Lost in My Ebay Inventory

Evidence of my shamefully disorganized ebay inventory
Evidence of my shamefully disorganized ebay inventory

I have 7 boxes of inventory living under the guest bed, 2 boxes in the guest closet, inventory stuffed in the guest bedroom dresser, 7 more boxes in our master bedroom closet, a closet full of hanging garments the guest bedroom, 2 boxes of shoes, 1 rack of shoes, and various boxes of junk–I mean valuable inventory–in the garbage.

So yeah, there’s a lot of stuff around here.

My store usually has around 400 items listed at any given time, and I’ve got a start up store that focuses on women’s career & professional clothing that has 25 items. I figured it was time for a purge.

I HAD NO IDEA HOW MUCH INVENTORY WAS UNLISTED.

Let me clarify: if it’s in a storage box or bag, it’s supposed to be listed. But I found 15 items that were in inventorial (is that a word?) oblivion. FIFTEEN! About $150 worth of stuff that should have been up for sale! I found 10 more items that were listed, but the photography was so crappy that I’m ashamed to call it mine. I estimate that $250 worth of inventory was stored unlisted or poorly listed. My goal this week is to get it all back on the market, this time with better photography.

So how did it get lost? One of three ways:

  1. It was purchased and returned. Ebay doesn’t automatically relist returns, only items that are cancelled or unpaid. Sometimes I forget to manually relist my returns.
  2. It was pictured, I made notes of the measurements, stored it, and then lost my notes. I’m pretty should this is the reason for 50% of this lost inventory. If I had a dedicated inventory notebook, this wouldn’t happen. But my kids keep running off with my notebooks. It’s not my fault!
  3. It was stored by accident. Sometimes a thing needs to be washed or mended or whatever so I put it in a pile. And then I come back later and mistake it for a “listed” pile and away it goes to storage. This was the case for at least one item in this stack.

Have you purged your inventory lately? Comment below!