Thursday, December 29, 2011

Last Minute End Of Year Tips

I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season! Sales were great this year for me on both eBay and Amazon.  As the new year approaches, there are a few things that I would recommend doing now:

  • As many people ordered gifts online, email family and friends and ask them for their boxes and packing materials. Post on Facebook asking friends to save them for you. It works and it's wonderful to get  free packing pillows and bubble wrap!

  • Get your receipts and expenses in order now so you don't have to panic in April.  Remember, you will be required to report eBay income of $20,000 or more or if you've had 200 or more transactions. Even if you didn't hit that mark, you should still track your income and expenses. You DO need to know how much you make and how much it costs you to sell on eBay!

  • I would highly recommend purchasing Easy Auction Tracker for 2012. This year the spreadsheet is able to import all of your sales information including the actual shipping charged. The only thing that you have to input is your cost for each item sold (that is how much you paid for the item).  They have other new features too and believe me, this spreadsheet is well worth the money!  As I mentioned before, I've used a lot of other spreadsheets (I've been selling for over 11 years and I've always tried to keep track of the income that I've made) and there is nothing that compares to Easy Auction Tracker in my opinion.  Plus, the owners are super helpful and give 5 star service!

One last thing, it's time to set some goals for 2012.  One of my goals is to write an informative blog post twice a month. If you have anything you'd like me to feature, please leave a comment below. 

I hope everyone has a happy and prosperous new year! Thank you for reading my blog and I look forward to selling and blogging more in 2012!

Happy Selling,


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Getting the Most from eBay's Free Auctions

Hello fellow sellers, it's been a while! I've been very busy trying to keep up with sales, shopping, family and holiday prep that I've neglected my blog. Sorry about that!

Back to business, lately eBay has been running a special offer for free auction listings, sometimes with free Buy It Now.  I have found this to be very profitable and hope that they keep up this trend.

I am not a big fan of auctions, they were great in the early days of eBay, but in the past 5 years or so, more people just want to buy it rather then wait to see if they've won it at auction. I prefer to list my inventory at fixed price and just wait for the right buyer to come along. However, since eBay has been running the free auctions special, I've been dabbling with some success.

Here are a couple of tips to utilize these freebies to the full extent:

Dig out all the unlisted stuff that you're not sure of the value.  Try it at auction, just don't start it at $.99; your opening bid should reflect the minimum amount that you are willing to accept for this item. Don't be upset if you only get the opening bid.  I sold these boxing gloves hoping that they would sell for about $30, but they only got one bid. It's OK I got them for free:

Tuesday night I listed 19 items at auction. Some of them I've tried to auction off before, but now I've lowered the price with the hopes to just unload them. Other items were things that I've acquired but am uncertain how to price.

My sister gave me a stack of games last week to either sell or donate -- my family donates unwanted stuff to me, then I sort, research and either sell or donate to a Thrift Store will 100% of the profits staying with me.  Anyway, one of the games was called Peanut Panic from 1994. I couldn't find it in eBay's completed or in Terapeak.  So last night I figured that I would take advantage of the free auction and started it at $14.99.  Well this morning it is up to $41!!  Honestly, I considered donating it because it really doesn't look like anything special. Here for is a link so you can watch it with me, and below is a photo:

My auction ends on Sunday, so if you have this game, wait to list it so you can see what people are willing to spend!

If you have an eBay store there are some do's and don't's when utilizing the free auctions. Don't expect that items that have been sitting in your store for a long time will suddenly sell at auction without changes. Auctions no longer give storeowners better exposure, so if it's not selling for $20 at fixed price, it's highly doubtful that it will suddenly sell at auction.

If you decide you want to do a clean out of your eBay store, take the time to edit your titles now that you have an additional 25 characters to work with. Also, since you may only get the opening bid, price the item so you'll still make a profit or at least make your money back if it's a dud.

For items that's you've only had listed at fixed price for 2 weeks or less, let them ride for another 2 weeks. You've already paid the listing fee for 30 days; changing it to auction style means that you didn't get your money's worth from the fee you paid, making the auction not really free. Hope that make sense!

Finally, this is a great time to branch out into a different product line.  Have you thought about selling clothing but aren't really sure? List a few items at auction, if they don't sell or if you decide that you don't like photographing clothes then you didn't lose the fees that you would normally pay to list.

Happy Selling,

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Gearing Up for the Holidays

It may still be August, but now is the time to get ready for the very busy holiday season.  The last thing you want to do is to run out of prime necessities when you have a large stack of orders to ship.

Make sure you have a large supply of the boxes in all sizes.  Order from USPS now if you use Priority Mail boxes. They can take 10 days to arrive during the holiday season, so stock up now!

If you ship clothing or soft goods, consider using a poly mailer instead of a box.  They are easy to store and come in a variety of sizes. Here's what a poly mailer looks like if you're not sure what I mean:

I buy my bags and poly mailers from The Paper Mart but you can find a lot of shipping supply sellers on eBay too.  Another popular place to get everything from tape to boxes is Uline.

Stock up on tape and bubble wrap or whatever padding materials you need.  I keep a large supply of packing peanuts, bubble wrap and blank newsprint so I have some options depending on what I am shipping.  I always make sure my item isn't banging around inside the box; it shows that you care about your buyer's item IMO.

I love the Scotch 3M packing tape, it's thick and I rarely have to "pick" at it to get it started if it ends up back on the roll.  BJ's Wholesale Club has a coupon right now for $5 off an 8 pack on 3M tape if you have or know someone that has a BJ's membership.   Last month Costco Wholesale Warehouse ran a similar deal and hopefully they will run it again before the holidays. Whatever tape you use, buy a large supply so you don't have to fight crowds during the busy shopping season.

I place a high percentage of my items in some sort of plastic bag for protection in case the box gets wet. I have a lot of different sizes of zip-top bags and cello bags.  I use these for everything from toys to shoes and believe me it's worth the money. If a mail carrier leaves something out in a huge water puddle doesn't mean the buyer isn't going to come screaming at you because the item is ruined.  It may not be your fault but it becomes your problem!

Finally, consider getting some of your personal holiday shopping, planning and chores done early so you can enjoy the season.  I try to write my Christmas cards and buy gift in advance so I'm ready and not stressing about everything I need to do to ensure a great Christmas for my family.

Happy Selling,


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Back to School Sales

I'm happy to report that the buyers are back! Summer can be a slow time on eBay, but the end of July starts to heat up in more ways then one.  Back to school shoppers are looking for deals but people are still looking for summer gear too since the retail stores are sold out of summer merchandise.

For instance, these Ralph Lauren swim trunks just sold for $129.   Check out this Victoria's Secret swimsuit that just sold for $110.00.  The seller says "sold out in stores and online"!  I've used that line before even though I purchased the item the day before at a retail store.   Don't be fooled, you can often find "sold out" items in stores.

It's a great time to purchase summer merchandise on clearance. You can either hold it until spring of 2012 or if you have an eBay store, put it in there and hold out for your price. If you ship internationally your summer things may fly out of your store in the winter.

Hopefully while you're out hunting for summer bargains, your fall and winter stuff is selling out of your eBay store.  For me, I'm selling both winter and summer at the same time.  Last night someone bought these kid's boots:

The day before someone bought these summer shoes:

This is why I like to keep all seasons of merchandise in my store. You never know what will sell!

Back to school is a very busy time on eBay.  People are looking for a good deal or for a hottie that they can't find in stores.  If you have kids, you need to sort last year's outgrown clothing ASAP and get it listed. Personally, I like to list small lots of items; I find that Gap jeans are hot sellers in sets of 2 to 4 pairs.  Last year I was able to sell my son's jeans that he outgrew for $50 when I put them in a lot of 4.  Not bad for something that we can no longer use.
Obviously backpacks and school bags are popular sellers.  I listed this L.L. Bean backpack the other day and it sold in a few hours. I guess I should have listed it for more! I only paid $2 for it and sold it for $20.

Whatever the item, get it listed because it won't sell if it's not listed! I just purchased a large lot of items from a friend that was moving, so I'll be listing right along with you.

Happy selling,


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Ahoy Matey! Pirate Ships and Shopping!

If you haven't been shopping at your local thrift stores lately, now is the time! Here in PA our thrift stores are packed with merchandise.  The donation bids are overflowing and the sales floor is brimming with goods. This week I found several toys that were new in box and they were immediately listed on Amazon (the holiday selling season will be here before you know it).  I also found everything from designer shoes to house wares.  Look for Hallmark ornaments if your store holds a Christmas in July sale. See, now you know what I haven't written lately, but a girl's got to shop, right?!

Summer is super busy, so I need to keep this short.  I just wanted to give you a little prod in case you've only been hitting yard sales.  As much as I love yard sales, I get tired of driving around and only finding duds lately.  I haven't given up on yard sales by any means, especially since I got this Playmobil pirate ship for $5:

and sold it for $80 in a few days! It's my third toy pirate ship this summer, so now it's something I look for if they have accessories with them. Be on the lookout for the Fisher Price Imaginext pirate ships too.

Now for some shameless self-promotion! Last month I was a featured in Auctiva's education newsletter.  I love Auctiva and have used their service for many years.  Here's a link to the article.

Happy selling (and shopping),


Saturday, June 11, 2011

CathrineHolm Enamelware ~ Wow!

Until recently, I had never heard of CathrineHolm enamelware so I'm certain that I've passed up many a piece (which equates to passing up lot of money) in my travels. 

A few weeks ago, my friend Wendy from wwbrosky emailed me with such excitement because she had just found several CathrineHolm pieces.  Of course I said, "What the heck is that"?  So she emailed me some photos:

She currently has this set of nesting bowls listed here for $349.99! She has other pieces in her store, and this pot sold almost immediately for $79.99.  Here's the photo:

While I was researching coffee pots, I came across the ugliest a lovely CathrineHolm percolator that sold for $150. Check it out here.  I can just picture it sitting on a gold stove back in 1960. Yuck. Kudos to the seller though!

CathrineHolm's most popular collection is called Lotus.  It's highly sought-after, especially for those with a mid-century modern decor. Besides the unique pattern, you should look for a "C" in script writing on the bottom.  I am not sure if all pieces are marked though.

There are a lot of different makers of vintage enamelware and even items with an unknown maker can be very valuable.  Vintage enamelware kitchenware that is ornate or has unique patterns and colors are very collectible.

By definition, enamelware is the term used for items that have a porcelain enamel finish. It was used in kitchenware since the 1870s and it's still used today.

So take a moment to search eBay's completed items and you'll find a lot of different items and colors by CathrineHolm. Hopefully you can find a piece or two at your local thrift store or yard sale.

Happy Selling,


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Book Lots for Summer Reading = Great Profits!

If you think that only rare books, signed books or complete sets of books bring in big profits for sellers, then you should reconsider your view on selling used books on eBay!

The school year is coming to a close and many parents are looking for books that will keep their child reading all summer. Children's books, especially chapter books can be purchased for pocket change and made into lots that will turn that change into big bills.  With yard sale season in full swing, now is the time to buy low and sell high!

Children's chapter books are wildly popular in our house.  I'm always on the lookout for exciting books like Star Wars, Goosebumps, Junie B. Jones, Beast Quest, Animorphs, and The Magic Tree house just to name a few. I can buy them for .25 each and my kids can read them, then I can sell them for a profit!

Right now I'm on the hunt for Sweet Valley books. These were always popular, but it looks like there is a movie in the works that should create a surge in new readers. Recently this large LOT of 172 Sweet Valley books brought $660!  You can usually find 10 or more at a yard sale that has school age girls, or at thrift stores.  You don't have to have over 100 to make a profit, here's a mere 38 that sold for $71.

I love when I find hard cover Dr. Seuss, Sweet Pickles, Help Me Be Good, and Value Tales. These books are always great sellers.

One thing to remember, you don't want to pay $2 each per book, you need to buy books at a low price to make a good profit. I've found several yard sales offering to "fill a box" for a fixed price and at other sales people were charging 5 for $1 on all books. In addition, I have a local thrift store that sells books for $.05 and $.10 each.  I won't pay more then $.50 for a book unless it's the last one I need to complete a series!

Not into children's books? Consider looking for cookbooks, TV Guide, and Mad Magazine, which are just a few of the hundreds of options you have. Take a few minutes to look at completed listing of lots in books; when doing this I eliminate words like old, vintage, rare, leather, signed, and new since there are hundreds of thousands of listings.

Books are also easily donated if  you make a bad purchase. We donate books to our school since recent budget cuts have made it harder for them to buy new books. So consider trying your hand at book selling, you may find it's an easy way and fast flip!

Happy Selling,

Friday, April 29, 2011

Cool New Tool If You Go To Yard Sales!

Hello online selling friends! Sorry I haven't posted for a while, it's been a busy spring for us. Anyway, I wanted to take a minute to tell you about a new tool that I heard about. The links below are not affiliate links, I just put them there for your convenience.

My friend Jen over at Molasses Creek Traders just told me about this great new tool if you use Craigslist to find local yard sales.  It's called Yard Sale Treasure Map and it's free! It maps out the yard sales in your local area based on the posts on Craigslist.  If you're in a big city it's a great way to narrow down the sales in your area. Here's how it works:

You just input your address and use the drop-down box to decide your maximum distance then chose the day for which you'd like to map out the sales.

Boom! You have a marked map of your local sales!  It worked great for me but I did read of some glitches when I was reviewing the comments on their site.

Yard sale season is just starting here in PA, so I plan to use this tomorrow to help me find my local sales.

Happy Selling,

Friday, April 1, 2011

Coins: Pocket Change to Big Bucks

Most people know that old coins are valuable and that coin collections can be worth thousands and thousands of dollars. However, you don't need to be an expert or an avid coin collector to make a bundle by selling coins on eBay. I don't know a lot about coins, but in February I sold these 80 coins for $465:

My father introduced me to coin collecting as a child. He showed me how to tell if a coin was 90% silver by the way it looks and by the date.  My father didn't actually collect coins, but he did accumulate them.  A true collector has them graded, looks for coins that have not been circulated, and knows a whole lot more about them then my father did!

Anyway, after talking to many different people about coins, I'm finding that more and more older folks have coin accumulations that they don't know are very valuable. You see, the value is in the SILVER weight, not the rarity of the coin. It doesn't matter if they've been used and show wear. Rare coins are a whole other ball game and I don't know nearly enough to discuss them with you.  I'm talking about people that have thrown coins in a jar or box or whatever for many years, preferably in the 1960's or earlier.

The last year that coins were made of 90% silver was 1964.  Since I was born in 1965, silver coins were plentiful while growing up. My father told me to keep them because they'd be valuable some day. Here is the second lot of quarters that I sold recently:

This is lot of 80 quarters, all 90% silver that I sold for $518 at auction and it's just like the lot I sold in February. None were "rare", all were previously circulated, and some showed significant wear.  The value was purely in the silver.

I realize that you can't just walk into a yard sale or thrift store and find coins.  Since it's been 46 years since they stopped minting coins in silver, you don't often get silver coins back for change when you buy something at a store.  Once in a while you do, but not often -- it sure is worth glancing through your coins though to see if any are dated 1964 or earlier.  If you look at the photo, they look a little bit different - shinier and brighter.

Why am I telling you this if you can't just find it at store? Because I bet many of you have an older relative or friend who has been hording miscellaneous coins for years and they have no idea what they have.  Personally I don't sell a lot of items for other people, but this is one thing that I will take on consignment because they are so easy to sell!  Think about how easy it is to ship 80 quarters, and if you take a 30% commission, you'll make over $150 and the coin owner will be very happy to have hundreds of dollars instead of just the original face value of $20.

Dimes dated 1964 and earlier are also made of 90% silver. Check out this listing; who wouldn't want to get $6,400 for $250 worth of dimes??

So next time you visit older relatives and friends, strike up a conversation about coins and see if they have any that they would want you to sell for them. You don't need to be a coin expert to sell coins for the silver value. 

Happy Selling,

Thursday, March 17, 2011

This One Takes The Cake ~ Cake Pan That Is!

Have your cake and eat it too...or at least you can afford to buy a great cake if you find some hot Wilton cake pans!

Sorry for the puns, but I've been giddy ever since I sold my Mickey and Minnie Wilton cake pans the other day. Here's my photo:

Last week I responded to a post on Craigslist; a woman was selling a bunch of Wilton cake pans for $3 each. I reviewed her list and picked out 8 pans that I wanted, including Mickey and Minnie. So last Thursday I drove 45 minutes and spent $25 for 8 big pans, a few mini pans, and a bunch of other stuff that she threw in.  I photographed and listed Mickey and Minnie as a pair on Sunday, and on Tuesday morning they sold for $139.99! Well worth the drive even in the pouring rain!

I also scored The Little Mermaid, which is very hard to find. I have her listed here  for $69.99. I also got a 3D Winnie the Pooh, which I have listed for $64.99:

Some of the pans that I bought only sell for $25, but they are easy to ship; they usually fit into a Priority Mail "shirt" box (1095).  Still a nice price for something that only cost $3.

You can often find Wilton cake pans at yard sales for $1 or $2.  I'm always searching Craigslist for them too, and it's usually the 2nd thing that I look for at a thrift store (toys being first).  Here are some of the top sellers to watch out for:
  • Minnie Mouse
  • Mickey Mouse
  • Star Wars (their are several different SW pans)
  • Mystical Dragon
  • Super Mario
  • Shirt
  • Crawling Baby
  • Motorcycle
  • Playboy Bunny
  • Large number pans (full set)
One final note, even if you buy some "duds", you can always sell them in a lot. Check out completed items and you'll see that Wilton cake pans are popular!

Happy Selling,

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Online Selling Forums ~ A Great Way To Learn More

I fell in love with selling on eBay the minute I made my first sale. At the time is was only a hobby, but I couldn't stop talking about it. When I became a more serious seller, I think I was getting on everyone's nerves because it was the 2nd topic of conversation, right after I told them all about my new baby boy!

One thing that I really yearned for was other eBay sellers to chat with and to trade ideas. The eBay discussion boards can be informative but I find them full of snarky people with a negative attitude toward eBay in general.

Then a friend referred me to Here Comes The Stork (HCTS) and I joined immedately. It is a selling forum like no other. I've made many friends, learned of many, many hot items, and took my sales to a whole new level after joining. The best part is that it's busy!! Have you ever joined a forum only to find that people rarely post anything? This site is HOT!

The members sell a wide variety of items from baby toys to collectibles. The focus is more on children's items, toys, and clothing but we also talk about jewelry, hand-made items, and just about anything else that you can sell on eBay and Amazon.

I learned how to sell on Amazon from HCTS, I learn about opening an eBay store, and I learned how profitable plush toys are years before the self-proclaimed Queen of Auctions started to tout their income potential.  That's just the tip of the iceberg.  When I'm feeling down about anything, it immediately cheers me up to visit HCTS. Sorry if that sounds sappy but it's true!

If you love to sell online and want to be able to chat about it, vent about it, learn what sells and what's better to donate, then you might consider joining Here Comes The Stork.  I'm a life-time member and visit the site several times a day.  It feels a lot like a family :-).

Here Comes The Stork-Your Guide to Selling Online!

Happy Selling,

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Who Would Have Thought...

Let's talk about some odd items that you probably would have never given a second thought and may have walked right past.  Now I'm not talking about some of the fetish items selling on eBay that make many of us squeamish, but some items that you'd find at a yard sale, thrift store or ...... your uncle's house.

Frisbee anyone?  My husband's uncle gave us a couple of old Frisbees, which made me think "who saves this stuff"??  Well when I looked up completeds, I was glad that he did!

Check out this listing (not mine) for a Frisbee that sold for $112.  And if you find an older one that wasn't opened, well check this out... it sold for $250!   Unfortunately the ones from Uncle K were not worth nearly as much, but I did get $16.99 for one similar to this:

And the other one sold for around $30. Not exactly a big hunk of change, but my motto with eBay is that it all adds up. I got the Frisbees for free, so the $47 just added to my bottom line.

Of course it's hard for me to write without mentioning yet another doll. I'm sure my friend Cindy over at Girls Horse Clothing has been waiting for a Chucky doll post!

Yes, Chucky, that creepy character from the horror films is popular!

Here are completeds. Many that have recently sold are new in the box, but when I researched him around Halloween, used Chucky dolls were selling for up to $100.

I'd love to hear about your "you've got to be kidding" item that you have seen or sold on eBay! Please share your story in the comments below.

Happy selling,

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Selling Items in Lots

I love to "lot" items together and sell them in one big group.  A few posts ago I talked about selling blank audio cassettes in lots, but there are many other items that turn a great profit when selling like items in one group.

Take DVDs for instance; during yard sale season (which is limited here in Southeastern PA) I can find children's DVDs for .50 to $1.00 each.  Last fall I found a woman selling her son's Thomas the Tank Engine DVDs. She had 5 of them at $1 each.  The next day I found another 4 Thomas the Tank DVDs for $4.  I listed all of them in one lot on eBay and quickly sold them for $49.99.  Nice profit for a $9 investment and an easy item to ship too!

Toys are one of my favorite things to sell, and I sell many toys in lots. Most recently I found a Madeline doll case that included 2 dolls and a bunch of clothing for $5. I considered breaking up the pieces and selling them separately; but honestly that's a lot of work.  So I decided to just sell everything together.  In 12 hours the lot sold for $69.99.  Hmm, maybe I should have priced it higher, but I was happy to get a great profit so quickly!

Here's the Madeline lot:

Dollhouse furniture is a really great item to sell in lots. It doesn't have to be Barbie or vintage.  This month I sold a huge lot of Dora the Explorer dollhouse furniture. Here's the listing.  It sold for $69.99; I bought the Dora Talking Dollhouse and all the furniture for $20. I still have the house, which I will sell on Craigslist; I also have another lot of furniture that was duplicates so I'll list that on eBay this week. 

Dollhouse furniture is easy to ship and usually a quick flip.  I look for Fisher Price Loving Family, Madeline, Calico Critters, Barbie, Dora the Explorer, vintage Little People and Little Tikes, which are fairly easy to find.  If you're at a live auction or an estate sale, try to find Strombecker, Tomy, Marx, Idea, Tootsie, Renwal, in addition to well made wooden or metal furniture.

Clothing items can bring great profits when sold in lots.  I sell my sons slim jeans once he outgrows them. This past fall I was able to get $50 for 4 pairs of Gap jeans that he had worn the previous school year. You can often find jeans at thrift stores or yard sales for low prices. Look for current styles in great condition and put them in a lot; just be sure they are all the same size to maximize your profit.

I've also sold a few lots of Littonware cookware. Littonware is made of a hard plastic that can be used in the conventional oven, convection oven or microwave. It's no longer made and has a big following. Here are 3 pieces that I sold for $58.99:

Selling in lots is lots of fun and can bring lots of profits.  Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Happy selling,

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Kid's Cassette Tape Players

Since I talked about blank cassette tapes a few weeks ago, I thought I would mention how popular kids cassette players can be. These are big profit makers for me, especially at Christmas time. 

The most popular cassette player is the Fisher Price Tuff Stuff with Voice Warp. I consistently sell this on Amazon for an average of $69.99; last Christmas they were selling as high as $89.99.

If you find one, make sure you test the microphone to be sure the voice warp works; it seems to be the first thing to malfunction on these players.

Fisher Price Tuff Stuff Tape Player with Voice Warp

Fisher Price also made a standard Tuff Stuff cassette player. I've sold this one for $49.99 on average, and I was lucky enough to find on new in the package that I sold for $110.00.

Standard Fisher Price Tuff Stuff Tape Player

Other kids tape players/recorders sell for a nice profit.  Two weeks ago I found this purple Playskool Tape Player for $5.  Sold in 1 week for $29.99.  I've sold this one before so I just keep reusing the same listing. Very quick and easy flip!

There are a number of reasons that these still sell even though compact discs replaced cassettes.  I've sold these to teachers who have a lot of books on cassette. They are not as delicate as a CD player, so they are great for schools and daycare centers.  I've also sold them to parents of special needs children, as they are easy to use.  Finally, adults with poor eyesight can see the buttons to listen to music or books without assistance.

There are lot of different makes and models of children's cassette players. I stick with the brand names like Fisher Price and Playskool. I've always kept my prices high and have never had to wait long for one to sell. I've seen some people price them low on eBay, and that's ok because I just buy them and put them on Amazon and make a nice profit!

Happy selling,

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Priority Mail Regional Rate Boxes

I'm not sure what happened to my last post, the whole thing was there when I hit post....  so let's try again.

The US Postal Service recently added some new boxes and envelopes to their Priority Mail line-up.  I primarily use Priority Mail to ship my eBay and Amazon packages.

They are now offering a Regional Rate box, well 2 of them actually. These boxes provide the speed of Priority Mail while allowing you to ship heavier items at a lower cost, similar to the flat rate boxes.

You have 2 choices; Regional A box which has a 15-pound limit.  The Regional B box has a 20-pound limit.

The cost to ship is a flat rate based on region. Like regular Priority Mail, it will cost more to ship from one coast to the other, and less within your own region.

Here is the cost to ship using these boxes:

Box           Zone 1&2            Zone 3             Zone 4         Zone 5         Zone 6         Zone 7         Zone 8

A                   $4.97              $5.08               $5.58          $7.15            $7.83           $8.36            $9.37
B                   $ 5.81             $6.88             $8.06          $10.51           $12.29         $13.12          $14.62 

What is the benefit of these boxes? For example, if you live in Zone 1 and are shipping a 15-pound widget to Zone 4 you would pay only $5.58 for shipping if you use Box A.  If you used standard Priority Mail, that same package would cost $20.12 to ship and using the Priority Mail Medium Flat Rate box the cost would be $10.95.

USPS also introduced a new flat rate padded envelope which I love! The shipping cost is only $4.95 and it's stronger then the cardboard envelopes that are meant for documents.  The padded envelope works great for anything you can fit inside! This week I used it to mail a bed sheet that weighed just over 1 lb. It would have cost over $7 to ship, but with the padded envelope it was only $4.95.  I bet you can be very creative in what you ship in these!

The ONLY immediate issue is that Paypal does not have these new boxes and envelopes programmed into their shipping. Thank goodness I also subscribe to Endicia for online shipping.  Endicia also allows you to print First Class International postage from home, which I use daily and I don't have to go to the post office! Now I'm also using Endicia for these new boxes and padded envelope. What a time saver!

Happy selling,

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Priority Mail Regional Rate Boxes

The US Postal Service recently added some new boxes and envelopes to their Proirity Mail line-up.  I primarily use Priority Mail to ship my eBay and Amazon packages.

They are now offering a Regional Rate box, well 2 of them actually. These boxes provide the speed of Priority Mail while allowing you to ship heavier items at a lower cost, similar to the flat rate boxes.

You have 2 choices; Regional A box which has a 15 pound limit.  The Regional B box has a 20 pound limit.

The cost to ship is a flat rate based on region. Like regular Priority Mail, it will cost more to ship from one coast to the other, and less within your own region.

Here is the cost to ship using these boxes:

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Dolls & Accessories ~ Not Just For Collectors & Experts!

If you're like me, you see dolls and doll clothing, furniture and cases while shopping at yard sales and thrift stores.   It's so easy to walk by without giving them a second look while thinking "I don't know enough about dolls to buy them for resale".

I am not a doll expert; I only know what I played with in the 1970's and the things that I've researched. However, you don't have to be an expert to make a great profit on dolls and doll stuff - you just need a keen eye and a little bit of knowledge. Everyone knows that older Barbie sell and that the first Barbie can bring big bucks, however, Barbie is not the only gal in town, and many people donate dolls to thrift stores without knowing the value. 

Right now some of the dolls from the 80's are hot! Did you know that Mattel made a doll called My Child?It is said that it was made to compete with Coleco's Cabbage Patch Kids.  Because CPK was so popular, these dolls never really took off, however, they do get donated to thrift stores and can bring some big bucks. My friends over at Care and Share Thrift Shoppe have one listed right now:

In reviewing completed items you'll see that one sold for over $1000!  So next time you see a bunch of Cabbage Patch Kids type dolls, double check that you're not walking passed a little gold mine!

A few years ago I bought a small suitcase full of doll clothes along with 2 vintage Ideal Crissy and Velvet dolls.  I assumed that all of the clothing went with those dolls but not all of it was marked. I immediately sold the dolls and the clothing that was tagged Ideal.  What I was left with was a pile of untagged clothing and shoes; one pair of shoes had Timpson Fine Shoes stamped on the bottom, which was the only thing I had to use to begin my research.

As it turns out, the remainder of the dolls clothing and accessories were from a vintage Sasha doll. Jackpot! Two weeks ago I finally sold the Timpson Fine Shoes, doll shoes, for $150. I sold the other 2 pairs of unmarked shoes for $50 each.   In total I earned $336 (plus shipping) on 3 pairs of shoes and 3 outfits.

Here are the shoes, keep your eyes open for this style of doll shoe:
Here's my listing for these Sasha Shoes!

I could go on and on about dolls and I will blog about them more in the future. For now, here are some of my favorite dolls that I've found pretty easily. They are not the porcelain "display" type dolls, but dolls that kids play or played with:

  • Topper Dawn Dolls
  • Kiddles
  • Ideal Crissy and friends
  • Madeline
  • Hugga Bunch
  • American Girl
  • Older Character Dolls
  • Barbie and friends, of course!
Check the back of the neck of a doll to see if has a brand name stamped on it. I love to find Kenner, Ideal, and even Mattel when looking at dolls. There are lots of names out there, but I'm just touching on the ones that I'm familiar with. If you want a more complete doll history, I have found some great books on doll collecting at my local library.

Doll clothing is very popular. Most people know that vintage doll clothes are good sellers, but so are today's doll clothes. You can find modern Barbie clothing in lots at yard sales and thrift stores. A 235-piece lot of modern Barbie clothing, shoes and accessories just sold for $138.  You can find boxed lots for $1 or $2 at yard sales. Again it's not just Barbie, look for clothing that has the doll's name or brand on it. I've done well with putting Cabbage Patch Kid clothing together in a lot.

American Girl dolls are sold on Craigslist a lot. Although you might think that everyone know that they are valuable, there are still some people that live under a rock aren't aware. Last summer I bought an American Girl Just Like Me doll at a yard sale for $2. Sold her for $97!

I love to sell doll furniture, but we'll talk about that another time. I'll just leave you with one other doll and that's the Kenner Blythe doll (caution, she's scary looking IMO). Check out the completed items on her and other Kenner dolls.

Happy selling,

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Blank Cassette Tapes Are Hot!

I never would have guessed that people would want audio cassette tapes 30+ years after they were replaced by the compact disc.

When I'm at a thrift store I always look for blank audio cassettes that are still sealed in the package.  Even if what I find isn't the hottest type, I still grab them to sell in a lot if the price is low enough.

Last July I was at a church rummage sale and found this box of sealed cassette tapes for .10 each for this box of  9.  I listed my 90-cent investment at fixed price for $69.99 and they sold in a few days!

There are a lot of different cassette tapes. Honestly, I know very little about the types but I will share what information I have found.

Some of the brands to look for are:
  • TDK
  • Maxell
  • Sony
  • JVC
  • BASF
There are other brands also but the above seems to be the most popular.

After the brand name, you'll find the letters that tell you the type of tape:
  • MA - Metal Alloy considered the best by many users
  • AR - Acoustic Response
  • D- Dynamic
  • DX - ?
  • HD - High Density
  • SF- Super Fidelity
There are lots of other types; each brand has uses different letters and descriptions. Even some of the tape experts don't know all of the meanings!

The Bias:
  • Type I - Normal Bias
  • Type II - Chrome High Bias
  • Type IV - Metal
  • Type III is obsolete

I've heard that the best tapes are the IV or metal tapes. However, it really depends on the needs of the user and the equipment that they are using for recordings. 

Some tapes do very well like the TDK MA series where you can get up to $100 for a single cassette. Others types like the TDK D60 don't go for very much even in large lots.

Your best bet is too review the eBay completed items to see what is selling or use your smart phone to check out what you've found.

Lastly don't walk past that table of electronic at the flea markets. The Sony Walkman cassette players from the 1980s can sell upward of $150.  I had this  Sony Walkman when I was a teenage. If you read the description it sold for $79.95 and doesn't even power on!

So get your 80's groove on and look for those cassette tapes and players!

Happy Selling,


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Best Offer Options ~ Are They Worth The Trouble?

Several years ago eBay introduced the "best offer" option allowing buyers to negotiate the price on certain items. Seller can decide to use the best offer option right from the start, or add it to the listing later on.

The first few times that I used the best offer option, I ended up getting a bunch $1 offer on things that were priced over $20.  Give me a break; you're lucky if you can find something for $1 at a yard sale these days!

Then I started using it on new listings that were priced on the higher side. For instance, I sold a St. John Knit outfit that I listed at fixed price for $139.99 and including the best offer option.  I immediately started getting offers.  Some were very low but then one came in for $110 so I accepted it.  That was 6 days after I listed it.  Great right? Or was it?  If I didn't have the best offer option on this outfit, maybe it would have sold for full price.

Here is the outfit:

On a side note, if you're not familiar with the St. John brand (not St. Johns Bay), it's a high end line of knit clothing that is very expensive. Keep your eyes open for it; I paid $7.99 for this outfit at a Thrift Store.

Back to the best offer option; after trial and error, I do use the best offer option on some of my listings.  Here is my protocol:
  • I never put best offer on any fixed price listing during the first 30 days.
  • I review my store monthly and add the best offer option to items that have not sold after 3 months.
This month I added the best offer option to many of my listings with the hopes of increasing my revenue.  It has been very successful! Although I get my fair share of low offers, I just decline them and move on. Best offer has allowed me to move out some older inventory and make more profits this month then expected.

Here is a recent best offer that I was happy to accept! I had this 1970 P&G car listed for over a year. I paid $1 for it, had it listed for $17.99 and got a best offer for $14. Sold!

You have the option to have the system automatically accept or deny offers that you receive. I never use these features. Why? For the auto deny, a buyer can write in their own terms in the comments section and expect that you reviewed them before accepting the offer. The could say that they will pay $xx but only if it's with free shipping.  Although eBay clearly states that the offer cannot include stipulations in the comments sections, it doesn't stop buyers from doing it.  It just makes for a bad transaction all the way around.

As for automatic accept of offers, buyer may submit up to 3 offers, and often times they will use all 3 to see what the magic number is that you will accept. Personally I like to review each offer individually especially to see what type of feedback they leave for other sellers.

Recently I read that our hard economic times have made haggling or making offers a very popular way to purchase items. Buyers are no longer interested in waiting to see if they "win" an auction, they want to buy it now and if possible, negotiate the price.  This current situation means that using eBay's best offer option can bring more dollars to your bottom line.

I'd love to hear your opinion on the best offer option. Comments and discussions are encouraged!

Happy Selling,

Monday, January 24, 2011

Men Like Hot Shaving Cream!

Be on the lookout for hot lather machines! Apparently some men must have their shaving cream warmed and they are willing to pay big bucks to get it! 

Several months ago I bought a Conair Hot Lather Machine in chrome at a thrift store. It was brand new, still in the original package and priced at $3.97. When I got home I searched both eBay and Amazon and found a pretty big price difference. On eBay they were selling for about $40, but on Amazon I listed it for $79.99 and it sold!

It's model number HML11 in Chrome if you find it! Here's a photo:

Last week I found a vintage Schick Hot Lather Machine Kit with the shaving cream. It was also unused in the original box.  It just sold tonight for $34.99 but I only paid $2 for it.  I only had it listed for 3 days!

Here's the kit, not sure if the buyer is going to use it or if it's for a collection.

Last year Ollies Bargain Outlet (a discount store in PA) has some Conair Hot Lather Machines on sale for $9.99.  I bought a few and but realized that they weren't the HML11 (as pictured in chrome above) and I never took them back.  I ended up listing them on eBay for $22.99 and they all sold very quickly, mainly going to Canada.  It wasn't a huge profit, but they were a quick flip and easy to ship.  Most of all I didn't have to return my "mistake" purchase!

So keep an eye out for hot later machines. Recent completed sales on eBay show even used ones selling for up to $27.

Happy Selling,

Thursday, January 20, 2011

International Shipping Pros, Cons & Tips

When selling on eBay, you have the choice of shipping your items within the US only, worldwide, or you can select the areas outside of the US to which you want to offer your items for sale. Most of my packages are shipping with the US Postal Service (USPS) so that is the shipping service I will be talking about today.

Currently I ship almost all of my items worldwide, but I did not always offer this service. When I started with eBay, shipping outside of the US seemed very scary and risky.  As I became more experienced, I would occasionally offer to sell a highly collectible or unique item outside of the states. What I found was that on those items I was able to obtain a higher price at auctions, or sell my item much faster when I was willing to ship it internationally.

I also learned the importance of knowing the right and wrong way to ship internationally. Packages shipped internationally take longer then domestic shipments. Buyers that are unfamiliar with this can become impatient and want to track the package. 

Just like packages shipped within the US, Paypal requires proof of delivery for packages going outside the US. However on domestic packages you can ship via the United States Postal Service (USPS) First Class Mail and still purchase delivery conformation so you will have proof of delivery.  On international shipments, USPS First Class International (FCI) does not offer tracking or proof of delivery. You can get delivery conformation with USPS Priority Mail International (PMI) or USPS Global Express Mail only.  Both the latter options are much more costly then First Class International, so often times buyer will request "the cheapest shipping" or FCI by name.

Some seller will only offer Priority Mail International when shipping outside the US.  While this does follow Paypal's Seller Protection Program, it can deter buyers who are not willing to pay the higher shipping cost, especially for lower valued items.  If you don't ship via PMI then you are at risk of having all money returned to the buyer and losing the item that you shipped if the buyer opens an "item not received" claim with Paypal.

So what do you do? You have to decide for yourself if you are willing to risk shipping your items via FCI. 

I do a combination of PMI and FCI.  For me, I've had many successful shipments via FCI.  With that in mind, I decided that I would ship anything that sold for $25 or less via FCI. If it doesn't arrive, it's not a huge loss, plus there is a great chance that it will arrive and all will be well.

If it's an item over $25 then I ship it PMI. It gives me proof of delivery and some insurance protection. If it's over $100 I will only ship it via Global Express.  Why? Global Express is guaranteed.  Priority Mail will provide conformation that the item was delivered, provided it gets delivered.  If it doesn't then you're still on the losing end of a Paypal claim.  So if I'm shipping something of value, I insist on Global Express; if it doesn't arrive then the post office should reimburse you.

Some other things to keep in mind if you are shipping First Class International:

  • You can send packages up to 4 pounds, unlike domestic first class which has a 13 ounce limit
  • You can purchase insurance on the package; it still won't give you tracking but may allow you to obtain a refund for a lost package
  • First Class International packages cannot be more then 36" total when adding together the length, width and height of the package
  • You will need the small green customs form for all FCI shipments (PS Form 2976)
Here is the guide to measuring your package:

An interesting note about Priority Mail International Flat Rate options; the small flat rate box and the flat rate envelope do not offer delivery conformation. These options are cheaper then the regular PMI, but don't be fooled into thinking that you will have the delivery information needed to win a Paypal Claim.  Your item will probably arrive faster then FCI, but it will cost more to ship and still won't provide you with delivery conformation. These packages require the smaller customs form PS Form 2976.

All Priority Mail International packages (except the small flat rate and flat rate envelope as mentioned above) require the multi-page larger customs form PS Form 2976-A. One of the downsides to shipping via First Class International is that you can't print your shipping label at home if you use Paypal to print your labels.  You can only print Priority, Express or Global International labels from Paypal.  Personally, I avoid going to the Post Office at all costs, so this was a big deterrent for me until I discovered Endicia.  This is a service in which I pay a monthly fee and can print all my packages, including First Class International. I also use it to print my Amazon shipping labels even though Amazon has added the option to print labels from their site.

Endicia offers free Delivery Conformation on domestic Priority Mail packages, reduced cost insurance and, most importantly, the ability to print you First Class International labels so you can then just use Carrier Pick- Up and save a trip to the Post Office! For me, Endicia's low monthly cost is worth every penny.

The reason I'm writing this post is to hopefully save someone from making a big mistake like I did several years ago.  I auctioned off an antique doll and it sold to someone in the UK for $150.  The buyer ask that I ship it the "cheapest way", which was First Class International.  I did so without the knowledge that the package couldn't be confirmed as delivered.  A week after I shipped the doll, the buyer opened a Paypal "item not received" claim. Of course I lost and the $150 plus shipping was returned to the buyer, and I was out the money and the valuable doll, however I did learn an important lesson; never ship anything via First Class International that you aren't willing to risk losing both the item and the money!

Here's the Nora Wellington doll that the buyer said that they never received:

If you like dolls, I'll be blogging about vintage dolls soon. Recently I've had some fantastic doll clothing sales that may help you earn more!

One final note on international shipping, buyers will pay to get an item if they really want it! This morning I woke up to this sale for vintage car track.  It was purchased for $39.99 and the buyer paid $68.85 for shipping to Japan!

Here's the track:

Happy Selling,

Sunday, January 16, 2011

What to Sell & Where to Find It

I'm often asked where I find items to sell.  The answer to this question is ever changing especially with more and more people selling on eBay.  Competition is tough and it's important to think outside the box when purchasing inventory. Research is key so I'm constantly searching eBay to see what is selling right now.

When I started selling most of my inventory came right out of my house.  If you are new to selling, you should first look around for unwanted clutter to sell rather then spend money on inventory. For beginners, it's better to learn the eBay ropes on stuff that you don't want.  It takes some practice to find out what works for you when selling, so practice your listings and techniques on items that you're not spending additional money to acquire. Doing this also helps you to learn what you do and don't like to sell.

My current popular places to obtain inventory are thrift stores, Craigslist and yard sales. I am fortunate to live in an area that has great thrift stores I can visit in the winter and tons of yard sales in the spring and summer.  However, competition has been getting tougher every year. More people are shopping at yard sales and thrift stores; in addition more people are turning to eBay to sell stuff instead of donating it or having a yard sale!

So what do you do when you don't have great thrift stores or yard sales or they good stuff is gone by the time you arrive?  Well then thinking outside the box is super important.

Check your local stores for out-of-the-ordinary items. Discontinued health and beauty products can bring big money.  Recently Pantene Shampoo discontinued some of their products.  On January 12th a lot of 6 bottles of Silver Expressions sold for $174!
If you see this shampoo, buy all of it!

Several different Pantene shampoos are selling on eBay; they include the Pro V Smooth, Clarifying Shampoo, Anti-Dandruff 2 in 1 and others.  Check your local stores to see if they have any in stock. You can also ask your hair stylist if any professional products are being discontinued.  People get very attached to heath and beauty products that they love and will pay a lot of money for them if they know the product is no longer available in stores.
While we are on the subject, don't over look the health and beauty section of your thrift stores!  Last year I bought a bottle of vintage perfume for $2.97.  I had never heard of it but it looked interesting so I bought it.  I was willing to gamble $3 and it sure paid off.... it sold for $249!   Check out the prices that sellers got for some vintage perfume and cologne.  Remember, as people move into retirement homes or become deceased, family members have the overwhelming job of cleaning out the house.  Many people have no idea that old perfumes have value and they just donate them to a thrift store.

Just note that you can sell used perfume on eBay but not used make-up.  Before buying make-up at a thrift store or yard sale, make sure that it is unused.  It doesn't have to be in the box either.

Did you know that eBay has a Food and Wine category? Well they do and food actually sells on eBay!   Limited Editions of food items such as candy are hot sellers.  Recent sales show that someone paid $39.99 for 8 bags of Candy Cane flavor Hershey Kisses AFTER Christmas. They were on clearance at many stores, so this is a nice profit.  Trader Joe's Candy Cane Green Tea is selling right now too.

Even standard candy bars can sell for a profit. Keep in mind that some foods are not available in all areas. Here in the Philadelphia area, Tastykakes are everywhere but if someone has moved out of state or out of the country, they probably can't get their favorite Kandy Kakes unless they buy them on eBay!

Food and merchandise coupons also sell on eBay. Baby formula checks...well check it out! They can bring close to face value.

Finally, store clearance sales are the key for many successful sellers.  Clothing, holiday items, toys and household goods are just a few of the items that are currently deeply discounted to make room for the spring merchandise that will soon stock the shelves.  You can even find online clearance bargains without leaving your home!

So look around with a keen eye. Before you donate or toss out something, check to see what it might bring on eBay. One of the strangest things that I've sold on eBay was an empty box for $15.

I've said it before; you can sell almost anything on eBay!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Save It For A Rainy Day or Sell It Now?

Part of what I love about eBay is that it enables me to shop all the time. Selling online is my full time job and what a better job then to shop constantly!  However, the problem arises when I shop more then I list.

I call this my Rainy Day Syndrome, however my non-selling friends call it hoarding. You see, I have a tendency to find good items and hold onto them; I consider it my rainy day fund. Sometimes this works but a lot of times it backfires. The selling market can change in an instant, and what is hot now may not be hot when you need to make a quick buck. 

For instance, several years ago my husband's aunt gave me some Marghab linens. I had never heard of them but what I found was unbelievable! They were selling for well over $100 for these small hand towels.  Some were over $200.  I decided to hang onto them for a rainy day when we needed some fast money. Unfortunately my rainy day is now but they are only selling for about $40-$50.  Hmm, I guess the old saying is true, "make hay when the sun shines" aka sell it now while it's hot!

Here are the Marghab linens that I still have to list. I've had photos of them since March of 2007!

My goal is to list them this month regardless of the price that they will bring. I'm also going to list the Medela breast pumps and other items that I've been holding on to for way too long.

Sometimes the gamble of holding onto an item can pay off.  If you know what to collect, then buying it and saving it can make bring big profits!  For instance, in 2007 I was shopping at the Hallmark Store for their after Christmas Clearance.  I bought the "first in series" Beauty of the Birds ornament at half price, which was about $10.  The ornament is a tin red cardinal and although I had no way to know for sure that it would be popular, I knew that birds as Christmas ornaments were popular so I bought it.  I held onto it and would periodically check eBay to see if it was selling.  Every time I checked I would see higher prices.  After holding it for a few years, I decided that last summer it was time to let her fly (sorry for the bad pun) and I listed and sold her for $245!

Here she is, if you see her at a thrift store or yard sale, grab her!

So the moral of this story is to hold only what your are certain will increase in value. Once you see the value increase, sell it so you don't risk the bottom falling out.  Take ivory for instance; many years ago it was very valuable. Today it's illegal to sell on eBay and is governed that you cannot import or export it.  It is harder to sell and not worth the prices it once brought.  And, of course, we all remember the Beanie Babies craze.  Items relating to popular culture can be priceless one day and worthless the next as they are subject to the fickle trends that created them in the first place.  If you decide to jump on the bandwagon when the next crazy hits, remember to sell right away!  

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The First Thing That I Sold On eBay

I am often asked how I got started selling on eBay. Growing up in a thrifty family, we'd spend many Saturday mornings going to yard sales looking for bargains. We also attended live auctions and found some really great buys.  As a teenager, I'd find stuff for $.25 or $1.00 and would dream about ways to sell them for more.  Since my options were limited to re-selling at a flea market or opening a brick and mortar store (which was out of the question), I'd just pass it by or if it was just too good, I'd buy it and store it away.

Fast forward to 1999 when I discovered eBay! Wow, a way to make money on stuff that I had lying around the house!

My first sale was a small square antique pillowcase with a Southern Belle embroidered on it. I purchased a big pile of linens for $1 at an auction a few years earlier, and this pillowcase was part of that lot.  I thought it was cute but not something that I would use.  I put if at auction starting at $.99 and it ended up selling for over $50!  I was hooked!

After that I started looking around the house for other things to sell, and you could pretty much buy anything.  Which got me thinking...

My first purchase on eBay was not a small one. I found an antique oak buffet from the Arts & Crafts era.  I fell in love with it and had to have it.  After placing the winning bid of just under $1000 it was mine! Except I didn't think too much about shipping and the buffet was in Canada.  So it was flown in via Air Canada for the low price of $300 (ouch) and we had to pick it up at our major airport,which wasn't very convenient. It all turned out fine, and the buffet still sits in our dining room and is one of my favorite pieces of furniture.

My beloved buffet

The best thing about the purchase is that it taught me that you could truly sell just about anything on eBay. The sky was the limit! Since that time I've sold anything from a tiny doll the size of an eraser head for about $65, an antique desk for about $600 to a single Boy Scout patch for $450.

This patch sold for $450 with a terrible photo no less!

Although the eBay of today doesn't bring the prices on some thing that it used to, the truth still holds that you can sell just about anything on the site.  If you are just getting started, take a look around your house and see what you could try to sell. You may be shocked at how much you can get for your 1980's toys and stuff animals or your kids clothing from last year.

 My Buddy doll from the 1980's sold
for $90 just minutes after listing him.

Check back for more stories of what's sold and what you can sell for big profits!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Record Keeping: Do You Know How Much You Are Making on eBay?

If you sell on eBay, either as a hobby or a business,  then it's very important to know how much profit you are really making.  If you are just looking at your sales and not considering all of the fees, then you are doing yourself a big disservice. I know, I did this myself for several years.

After realizing my mistake, I tried to create a spreadsheet to calculate my actual profit. Well that was a joke, after hours of trying to create macros and calculations, it just wasn't working.

The next step was purchasing a Spreadsheet off of eBay. It worked but it was very cumbersome, I had to input everything, including the item titles.  The only thing that it really did was calculate the eBay fees, which I could have just copied off of my invoice since I had to copy everything else. There had to be a better way!

Then I discovered Easy Auction Tracker. It is unbelievable!  It is fully automated; I didn't have to copy anything, everything is imported directly from eBay! The only thing that I have to input is my cost that I paid for the item and the actually shipping that I paid to send the item.

No more copying and pasting of item numbers, titles, dates, shipping info and more. This does all of that for me and saves me hours and hours worth of work! In addition, it has a tab for expenses and for mileage so it makes doing my taxes a lot easier. I'm able to keep all my records together is one neat spreadsheet!

Not only is Easy Auction Tracker certified by eBay, but they have superior customer service. I am not a tech whiz, I'm lucky I can figure out how to turn the darn computer on and off.  Easy Auction Tracker has a fantastic video tutorial right on their site, and step by step instructions.  It is very easy to use and if you have any questions, they are very quick to respond and are very helpful.

Using Easy Auction Tracker is even more imperative in 2011. If you're a serious seller, the IRS is requiring eBay and Paypal to file a 1099-K for anyone with more than 200 transactions or $20,000 USD in sales per year.

It's important to be able to calculate your actual sales and fees so that you know that you're making a large enough profit to justify the time you spend selling on eBay.  Just "guessing" is simply not going to show you the true picture and you may find out that it's costing you money to sell on eBay!  I highly recommend purchasing Easy Auction Tracker and you will know that what you are selling is actually making you money and it will make tax time much easier.