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!

 

Thrifted Fashion: Lia Sophia, J Crew & a Hand Me Down

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My 6 year old takes these pictures. Begrudgingly, because he’s usually busy doing important 6 year old stuff.

It’s finally warming up around here! It was a balmy 65 degrees and I didn’t even need a jacket since I’m pregnant and hot-natured now. For the past 7 years, someone in my circle has been pregnant, and we just keep passing the maternity wardrobe around. So this dress is new-to-me thanks to my sister, who was wearing it last year while she was pregnant.

The shoes are J. Crew from swap.com and WHAT A BARGAIN. $15? These darlings go for $40 and up on Ebay (pre-owned) so I snatched these up right away when I saw them. You can see a pair of suede pumps I sold recently on this post.

Dress: Liz Lange Maternity, FREE from my sister

Pumps: J. Crew, $15 from swap.com

Necklace: Lia Sophia, $14 new from ebay seller

Earrings: FREE ($15 value) in a fundraiser gift bag from BlueGreenAqua Boutique.

 

 

How Much Do I Make Selling Clothes on Ebay?

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In yesterday’s post, I shared my thrift haul from the weekend. I spent $39 and bought 26 items. So how much can I make off this haul?

I predict my biggest sellers will be the Red Wing Boots and the Stuart Weitzman silver heels. The other pieces won’t bring nearly as much, but I expect to get a solid $10 profit from every item.

My $39 thrift haul
My $39 thrift haul

24 items (not counting the boots and heels) x $10 profit: $240

$50 profit on the boots and $20 profit on the heels–

$310 total profit (after fees and shipping costs)

Don’t forget to deduct inventory costs $39

$310-$39= $271 total profit

I estimate 10 minutes to photograph, list and pack each item (my husband, the Duke of Efficiency, has helped me get my processing time down to the bare minimum).

26 items x 10 / 60 = 4.33 hours of work. Let’s not forget it took my 1.5 hours of hunting to find this stuff.

5.83 total hours of work. Can we just call it 6 hours? Good.

So what do I HOPE to may per hour on this haul?

$271 / 6 hours = $45.16 per hour.

Yeah, baby! Not too shabby.

Have you got a thrift haul to brag about? Post linkylinks below!

 

Thrift Haul: 26 Items for $39

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The Goodwill Outlet store–I hope you love surprises because there is no rhyme nor reason to these bins.

On some Saturdays, my husband watches our kids while I spend an hour or two digging through the boats and bins at the Goodwill Outlet store. Most things are sold by the pound and there is almost no organization. I have to be well fed and psyched up to go because it takes workHard work.

I spent 1.5 hours searching and I found 26 items for my Ebay store and I spent $39. Average price per item: $1.50. Here’s my haul!

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Left to Right: Coverup/sundress, Vintage Leslie Fay button shirtdress, stripe maxi Dress, AEO strapless dress, GAP denim dress
Left to right: Lauren Ralph Lauren sheat, Denim vest, career print blouse 2X, Talbots 16 print shirt
Lauren Ralph Lauren sheath, Ruffle trim sheath, cotton wrap dress
Talbots XL knit tank, denim vest L, career blouse 2X, Talbots print shirt 16
Talbots knit tank, denim vest, career blouse, Talbots print shirt
Jones New York 10 purple pant suit
Jones New York purple pant suit
Banana Republic skirt, Talbots Skirt, Ann Taylor Loft skirt, Ann Taylor Loft Skirt
Banana Republic skirt, Talbots Skirt, Ann Taylor Loft skirt, Ann Taylor Loft Skirt
Silk career blouse, sequink tank, Land's End tankini top, Venus bikini
Silk career blouse, sequin tank, Land’s End tankini top, Venus bikini
Red Wing boots, Stuart Weitzman silver heels, Cole Haan clogs, & Dansko mary jane heels
Red Wing boots, Stuart Weitzman silver heels, Cole Haan clogs, & Dansko mary jane heels
In every haul there's a flop: got these home to find out the zipper was broken :(
In every haul there’s a flop: got these home to find out the zipper was broken 🙁

Want to know what I think I’ll make on this thrift haul? Come back tomorrow–or even better, subscribe by email and never miss a post!

ps–Got a thrift haul to share? Link below!

Thrift Score: Eileen Fisher Alpaca Vest

So I was back home in NC, shopping at a Goodwill with my dad and I’d already filled up my cart with treasures. The checkout line was pretty long, so Dad said he’d hold my place if I wanted to keep shopping. That’s when I found this incredible score!

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I already knew the Eileen Fisher brand was a consistent seller, so I bought it. After I searched the internet for the vest, I found the stock photo and a description. This was pretty handy since the size and material tag was torn out. It was alpaca with leather trim! And then when 2 bidders really wanted it, this sale just got better and better.

Purchased: $5 + tax

Sold: $51 + $7.99 shipping

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Got a thrift score? Share below!

 

Hot Resale: Vintage Prairie Dresses

Maybe  Old West reenactment clubs are quite popular or perhaps women in 2016 just don’t have enough calico and lace, but I just had no idea there was such a market for prairie dresses. You can also find these listed as boho, 70s, corset, and romantic dresses. These words are important because if you find one of these  beautiesyou need to use those terms in your title.

The most popular brands are Gunne Sax and Laura Ashley, bringing $30 and up, even if they are poorly photographed. The most beautifully modeled dresses go for over $100. However, if you find a vintage 1970s dress that looks the part, you may be able to get a good price for them without the brand name.

The more trimmings on these dresses, the better. Look for corset laces, lace trim, crochet, gathered or ruffled hems, and prints. Each of these example links to the original listing in the caption so you can see all the details.

 

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Jessica McClintock for Gunne Sax, sold for $35
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Laura Ashley dress, sold for $49
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Laura Ashley dress from UK seller, sold for $122
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Laura Ashley dress, from UK seller $54

Do you have a suggestion for a hot resale? Comment below!

How NOT to Display Clothing on Ebay

So yesterday I talked about How to Photograph Clothes for Resale on Ebay. But maybe you don’t know the fastest way to kill your sales is with poor photography. If you’ve got crummy photography, shoppers will skip over your items. Here’s some examples ebay sellers who just bombed:

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  1. This shirt is blurry and the text of the second photo is unreadable. Not to mention that looks like part of a leg in the first photo! These were the ONLY two photos with the listing. Don’t distract potential buyers–make sure those photos don’t picture anything that you’re not including in your listing.

 

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2. Theoretically, modeling clothing is a great way to show how it actually looks on the body can even drive the price up. But if the model is wearing dingy socks, got her hair up in a messy wad, and didn’t even get a clear photo, it’s going to do more damage than good. If you model your clothes, make sure you look your best.

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3. Another blurry picture–but this time, at a weird angle! I’m not sure what this seller was trying to do, but your ebay listing is no place to get all artsy and creative with the photography. Take straight, clear photos so that your buyers can see exactly what the item looks like.

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4. In the first picture, the flash has overexposed the shoes, making them look gray instead of black. In the second, the lighting is too dark and it’s hard to make out the details.  Natural light is your best bet, and if you have to use flash, back up a couple of feet so that your flash doesn’t wash out your items.

Do you have any other example of how NOT to take ebay fashion photos? Comment below!

How to Photograph Clothes for Resell on Ebay

There are 5 ways you can display and photograph clothing for resale:

  1. Flat laying.
  2. Hanging.
  3. On a mannequin
  4. Self modeled.
  5. Modeled.

The first 2 are by far the cheapest and most accessible methods, but the last 3 will make your listings look more professional and usually get a higher sale price.

Flat laying

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Lauren Ralph Lauren tankini from The Simple Little Wardrobe ebay store

The photo is clear, the distance is close enough to show plenty of detail, and this photo has a neutral background. If the item is a good brand and in good condition, the item will sell for a decent price. In some cases, it actually makes more sense to flat lay an item than to hang it on a hanger or display it on the mannequin. Aim to find the method that gives accurate shape to the item so your buyer can see your item at its best.

Hanging

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Women’s Tank from tepool50 ebay store

Hanging works well for this garment because it maintains its shape. The colors are clear and bright, and the seller has “filled up the frame” by zooming in close. The background is plain and not distracting. You can usually find a door or a wall to use as a neutral background for hanging your items. This method works great for most clothing, although it doesn’t look as professional as a mannequin or a model.

Mannequin

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John Meyer suit from PinstripesandPencilSkirts ebay store

Some items just look better on a mannequin than laid flat or hanging. Suits are especially tricky to display correctly without a mannequin or model since they need extra support to show their shape. The natural light is perfect for showing off the hot pink color of this suit, and the background is simply a blank wall. With mannequins available for under $100, it’s an affordable and reliable method for display.

Self-Modeled

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Lulu B top from mysweetamericandressing ebay store

Note that I said self-modeled, not selfied. You’ll need a tripod and a camera with a timer, or a helper to take good self-modeled photos. And remember that you need to look as nice as you can if you’re going to be in your listing. Fix your hair and wear shoes. This is a plain top, but it looks rockin’ because it is expertly modeled and has chic accessories. Notice that the seller  uses a neutral background and zooms in tight to just the item for sale. She also angles her body to give some movement and form to the shirt. This method takes a little more time than flat laying, hanging, or using a mannequin, but it can look much more professional when done correctly.

Modeled

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Mexican dress from americanarchive ebay store

The most expensive but the most profitable method of displaying clothing on ebay is modeling. Lemme give you a for instance: this mexican dress sold at American Archive for $64. In my experience, using only a mannequin, I’ll get about $25 for a similar dress. Talk about the power of a picture! The only downside is the dollars it will cost for the proper photography equipment, display accessories, and the model’s time. If you’ve already got those assets on hand, use them! It will be worth it.

What’s your favorite way to display your ebay store items? Comment below!

Thrifted Fashion: Cabi Dress & Vintage Coat

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Today is Church Day, and I’m wearing a vintage Kay McDowell car coat. It’s 100% wool and has some great 1950s details like big buttons and bracelet length sleeves. It’s in fantastic condition! My dress is by Cabi, with a Chico’s necklace and bargain pumps from Payless (surprisingly comfy!)

Vintage Coat: $7, thrift store

CAbi Dress: $8 + shipping, ebay

Predictions Pumps: $20, Payless

Chico’s Neckalce: $12 free shipping, ebay

Vintage bracelet: FREE stole it from my mom

Diamond cuff earrings: Present from the hubby & he refuses to tell me how much they cost

Do you have a thrifted outfit to share? Link below to your style!