WHAT NOT TO DO when restructuring your ebay store!
Has any one else out there decided to restructure their ebay store inventory? I literally deleted over 600+ listings within 3 days. These listings were under $10 and some other items that have been listed for extended periods of time with no action, watchers or offers. I now have a little over 20 listings. DO NOT DO WHAT I DID! These listings did have sales, not more than 3-5 per day, but there were at least sales coming through to cover monthly store fees and keep your account active while listing the new inventory for the restructure. Because I decided to delete them before listing the new inventory I have went a couple of months now with almost no listings.
Don’t get me wrong the break from the crazy ebay life felt amazing! To not have my daily life revolve around what time the post office closes and that continuous grind of never feeling like you have time for anything or anyone else but listing! So if you need a break put your store on vacation and take a break but if you are restructuring it is not break time. It is time to work twice as hard, get some help and get that new inventory listed so you can at some point start the conversion from the past to the future.
Ebay Tip #1 – Due to the time and gas it took to source the inventory, create the listing, add in the selling fees, shipping fees it’s just not worth it to list items for less than $15.
I have made a rule not to buy inventory unless it will sell fairly quickly for $15+ but preferably over $20+ to raise the bar on my net profits. The exception to this rule would be buying in bulk and only having to do 1 listing to sell a larger quantity. I do not do this at this time.
- Do not delete all your listings when restructuring your online store until after you have listed your new inventory!
- Do not restructure your ebay store and start a new booth at a resale shop at the same time! LOL 😉
My Experience as a Vendor Selling in a Resale Shop for the 1st Time Ever! 🙂
Rustic Resale at 923 Main Street, Liberty, Tx 77575
Renting 192 Square Feet in a local Resale Shop
Once I decided to restructure my ebay store I started sourcing inventory. While running the roads I came across a resale shop owned by a friend I’ve known since kids in school. Realizing this would be a way to sell the items I had in my ebay store and in storage that no longer fit my criteria for ebay, I decided to rent a space. It is 192 square feet at a monthly rate of $2/sq ft. This decision meant I needed to sell $384+ per month just to cover my rent due on the first and make any kind of profit. TIME TO HUSTLE!!! And so Exciting! 🙂
I have never sold in a resale shop and figured out very quickly that it is a totally different experience in all aspects. You can sell fragile items and not worry about it getting broken having to ship it half way across the world so you get to look at a larger range of categories for your inventory. You can sell large items that you would never want to have to ship but could possibly make a good profit on. And you start to learn about the vintage glassware and it makes you want to know more, learn more, see more and hopefully sell more!
Here is the hierarchy of the ways to buy and/or sell used merchandise from the bottom to the top of the food chain:
- Garage Sales / Yard Sales – Have the lowest prices so great for getting rid of unwanted items and great for re-sellers to source inventory. You can find and/or sell just about anything and everything. It may be clean or it may be dirty but it’s usually always cheap. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure! But you have to wait till you find a garage sale to get to go to one. I should seriously have a bumper sticker on my car that says “Caution! Watch for Sudden Stops at all Yard Sales!” Lol 🙂 It may be a good one or it may be a not so good one. I went to one this last week that priced all their items as if they were in a fancy boutique. It was a nice home but we all have homes, right? They were nice clothes too but she obviously did not care if she sold them because EVERYTHING was super high-priced! I mean everything too! It was awful. I left without buying not 1 single thing. My goal is to resell it but I rarely haggle with sellers because I know I will make money on what I pick out at the prices they have on it or I walk away and that’s what I did, I took my $100 and went to the next garage sale (but it was an Awesome yard sale and they wanted to sell their stuff!!!) 🙂
- Salvation Army & Goodwill stores – prices are still generally low enough to source for inventory but higher than a yard/garage sale. Salvation Army (SOS) is GREAT! Love them! But Goodwill is on the decline due to huge increases in their pricing and less quality. The clothes seem to have more stains, rips or tears and damage. They don’t even take the trash out of the bottom of the purses or try to clean the shoes. Both places are mostly clothing, shoes, glassware and decor. Both have a little furniture and electronics but I tend to not buy that there because it seems pretty beat up most of the time. At Goodwill men’s shirts are $5.99-15.00 now. Suits $20 and shoes are through the roof! They used to be a great place to source but have raised their prices so high it makes it difficult for a reseller to source there unless they are only buying the items that are on sale. I still go though, I always find something to make the trip worth it.
- Resale Shops & Antique Malls – Both have a good variety of inventory to find something unique and they are great places to find gifts for that person that “has it all”. Prices are a little higher than yard and garage sales but for items such as household items and clothing are comparable to the SOS and Goodwill stores. Good for sourcing inventory and selling dead inventory. You can find and/or sell almost anything! And did you know shopping at a resale shop is like a therapy session? Yes! It really is! You can walk around our resale shop with approximately 20+/- vendors 3 times and never see everything there is to see! It’s a treasure hunt that’s full of surprises!
- Online Sales – Amazon/Ebay/Etsy/Poshmark – have the highest profit margins and the most customers but you must research everything you buy to lower your risk of having a lot of dead inventory weighing down your store algorithm and filling up your storage. Algorithms control who sees your items for sale and you are playing in someone else’s sandbox and better follow their rules or you will have your store closed on you quick! A Buyer can find almost anything they may need cheaper than a department store but watch out for those sellers charging outrageous shipping fees trying to make money on the back-end. And don’t forget there are scammers out there! Even those “great deals” from China can leave you feeling scammed when it arrives broken or breaks the first time you use it or it isn’t even like the picture at all! So not cool! Make sure you always look at a seller’s feedback. Not just the positive feedback but also the negative feedback. I have saved myself many times doing this because if there are a lot of negative comments in the feedback saying “seller won’t respond” or “does not match the pictures” then I would not buy from them.
My Experience so far at the Resale Shop – Resale Shop Blog #1 – 5/18/2018
Month 1 – April 2018: I rented my space the last week of March so by the end of the first week of April I had spent most of that time setting up. Expect it to take 2 weeks to set up if you have never been a vendor in a resale shop before! It takes time searching out clothing racks and trying to figure out how to set up your space and what was going in it. After getting two small shelves and 4 clothing racks setup, I realized the 1st week of April was gone! I felt a little panic go through me. I needed to be making money so I’ll have my rent when it comes due on the 1st! I began to sort and prep the clothing to fill the racks. I filled my kitchen up with all the items picked out for the resale shop. (drove my daughter nuts because the rest of the house was filled with my ebay and she told me the kitchen was off limits…lol) I started putting price tags on everything. I did not realize how long it took to do this. I also started out recording each item in a log book to keep a running tally on all inventory taken to the shop. That did not last longer than a couple of weeks because it made the process take too long and I needed that inventory in the shop not in my kitchen! I started out with all the things I just wanted out of my house or that I got for free from friends, garage and estate sales that gave me their leftovers they didn’t want to deal with when the garage sale/estate sale was over.
After the initial setup for 3 weeks I didn’t go back for the next 2 weeks to replenish and bring fresh new items. DO NOT DO THIS! What I have learned is that you must go there at least 1-2 times per week and rearrange, restock, clean up and “tend your store.” If I want to build a following and get customers to come back I need to give them a reason to by consistently bringing new items for them to see. If they come one time and again a few weeks later and nothing is new then why come back a 3rd time?
Resale Shop TIP #1 – See a need fill a need – listen to the customers. What are they looking for? If 8 out of 10 customers are asking for a set of shelves or a chest of drawers then what do you need to be watching for to sell in your space? Yes!!! Shelves and chest of drawers! If someone can’t find a Dallas Cowboys gift for their friend’s birthday part then next time you see Dallas Cowboy items pick them up and put them in your booth. A bronze figurine or statue? What? None in the shop? Go find some and get them in your booth! And guess what, you can’t hear what the customers are looking for if you are never there when the customers are there. Plan on spending a couple of hours a day there 2-4 days a week if at all possible. You will learn faster and better understand what it is you need to be doing to make your booth a money-maker! I’m not there yet but I’m getting there because I listen.
So, what I actually did, was fill up my booth at the resale shop with a bunch of “stuff” that may or may not sell!?! No method to my madness just happy to get it out of my house! How do you think that first month of sales went for me? Yep, not too good. Sure I had sales that first month but not the kind of sales I needed to pay the rent and make a profit so the first month I took a loss but that was expected. Do not expect to make a profit the first month starting any kind of business. It takes time to learn it, build it, grow it and have followers/return customers. So be ready to bite that bullet the first couple of months and keep having faith in yourself. Do everything you can to spread the word that you are there too! Use that social media too! It really does help!
Month 2 – May 2018: I took out one of the round clothing racks because it took up too much space and replaced it with a double straight rack and I added more clothes! Lol Yes, I thought that by adding more clothes, better quality and brands that would help. I did this the first week of the 2nd month . Love it! I’ve also brought in 5 more sets of shelves and filled them up with beautiful, fun and useful collectible inventory. I sold a set of China for $45 and was thrilled 🙂
Resale Shop TIP #2 – Price it Right to begin with… when I first started stocking my clothing I priced everything higher than what I expected to sell it for thinking I would run sales and it would be fun but that was a mistake. All I accomplished was giving the customer the impression my booth was over priced. PRICE IT RIGHT TO BEGIN WITH! Now almost 2 months later I have to go back and cross out or re-tag all those 600+ items. When you are pricing an item go with the first amount that pops in your head on everyday items. Don’t second guess yourself. That takes up valuable time and you will either over price it or under price it. When in doubt ask a neighboring vendor what they think or look it up on ebay. If they are collectibles or vintage then I strongly suggest looking it up on google or ebay every time and pricing it using whatever it is selling for. Notice I said selling for, not listed for. Always use the sold listings when looking for values for your items. Never use a listing price that has not sold because the market is what decides what it is worth and if it has not sold then there is no proof they will get their asking price.
- Allow up to 2 weeks for display setups.
- Have inventory on hand to fill your space.
- See a need, fill a need – listen to the customers.
- Price it right to begin with.
- Do not expect to make a profit the first month.
As Always Thank you For Reading my Blog!
See you at the Resale Shop! 😉