Posted on Leave a comment

eBay Selling Tips

I have been successfully reselling on eBay for 11 years now and I get asked questions all the time about it, so I wanted to share some helpful tips that can help one to get started in this, what can be, lucrative business.

Here’s my store if you want to check me out: Jewellsboutique

Like most businesses, the more you work at it, the better you will do. Throughout the years, I have had lulls here and there, depending on what is happening in life, and as soon as I start putting work back into it, the profits begin to rise.

Whether you are thinking about doing some spring cleaning around the house or you are looking to start a new business venture, these tips will help you as a beginner eBay seller

1. The first thing you need to do is set up an eBay account. eBay is pretty user friendly and they have an app that you can use on your phone. Here is a good place to get started. https://www.ebay.com/help/account/account-getting-started/setup-verify?id=4191

I do not recommend subscribing to a store right away. I didn’t have a store until I was a few years into it. Some of the benefits of having a store include, getting more free listings, saving on final fees, boosting traffic, having the ability to put your store on vacation and more. When you get to the point that you are listing a lot of items and you have steady sales then maybe you should consider a store, but it is not necessary to have one.

2. Once you have your account all set you need to decide what you are going to sell. I started with just selling things right from my closet. I remember making sales and then looking for more things around the house to sell. Once I ran out, I started to thrift and resell. This became my passion. I have found so many amazing things over the years that I have sold for a great profit. I also have sold a lot of “bread and butter” items that don’t make a whole lot but they keep your store going, plus, I have found that when you make a sale it may help the algorithm because when I make a sale I usually end up getting more sales immediately following that sale. I have learned to buy unique items, things you can’t just find anywhere, even strange or odd or well known brands. That is what sells best. Don’t just pick what you would buy. Think outside the box…It amazes me what people will buy.. I bought a pair of worn out Nike Tennis Shoes from the 70s for .50 and sold them for $100. I still can’t get over that one!

List as many things as you can! The more listings you have, the more you sell! I try to keep at least a couple hundred items in my store at all times. It takes awhile to get there but once you do, keep it going. Also, list regularly. I try to list at least one item per day. It helps keep you at the top…list, list, list!

3. Listing an item. The best way for me to explain is how I do it. First, I make sure the item is clean and wrinkle free. Who wants to buy a wrinkled, dirty item? Not me. I try to imagine if I was looking at the item to purchase. I sell mostly clothing, it’s my niche. You may sell something different, still, make sure it looks presentable. I use a mannequin, I have an assortment now, but when I started, I just used the hanger the clothes were hanging on. Make sure you have a clean background. Don’t have stuff in the background, think about when you are shopping online. What do you want to see? You want the attention on the item. You can just use a plain wall or do a flat lay on a piece of fabric but make sure it looks pleasing to the eye. Photos are very important! Show the item from various angles. If there are flaws, show them. You don’t want a case opened against you. You want to build great reviews, that’s how you get more sales! You want to present the item as it is. Use great lighting. If you don’t have a light kit, use a window. Make sure photos are clear and bright.

Create an accurate description. This is super important. This is what draws traffic to your listing.

In the title you want to use the 80 characters to describe what the item is. Don’t just say “blue dress”, put the brand, gender, size, color, what it is in the title. Ask your self, if I was googling this item, what would I put in the search bar because that is what everyone is doing.

In the description box add key words that people may search for. Put the measurements there. Disclose all flaws in the description, super important! When I buy things to resell I make sure they are great quality and free of flaws unless they are a rare item. I’m obsessed with getting 5 star reviews!

4. Auction or Fixed Price? I rarely do auction. Only pick auction if you have a rare or highly desirable item, and even then be careful, you may get burnt. I am content with listing my items at a fixed price.

5. Pick the most appropriate category for your item. I sell a ton of vintage items. I always make sure they go in the appropriate vintage category.

6. Offer competitive pricing. Research your item. Look it up on eBay and see what others are pricing theirs at. You can also filter what items like yours have sold for. Someone could be pricing a blue dress for $100 but that doesn’t mean it will sell for $100. Check the “sold” category…it may have sold for $20.

7. Shipping… you can offer free shipping, flat rate shipping or calculated shipping. I do all three depending on what the item is. Generally, if it is less then 1lb, I will offer free shipping. When you offer free shipping, you are responsible for paying. I have been doing this so long that I can estimate what it will cost so I will add a couple of bucks into the price to help equal it out. If you choose flat rate, there are free boxes, both flat rate and regular priority boxes that you can get from the post office. You can get them delivered right to your house from the USPS website. Make sure you use the right box with the right label. You don’t want to use a flat rate label on a regular priority box or it will come back to you. I use flat rate for heavier and will fit in the boxes to save me or the buyer money. If you use calculated shipping, make sure you know what the item plus the package you ship it in weighs. You will need a shipping scale. You can put the info in the listing and depending on where it goes, eBay will calculate the cost for you. You will get a discount when you buy shipping labels from eBay vs. the post office.

8. Once your listing is complete, wait for the sale. If you have done all of the above, you should have no problem making the sale. Sometimes, I go in and if an item hasn’t sold in awhile, I will tweek the listing and adjust the price.

Cha-Ching! If you are using the phone app, you will get a “cha-ching” sound when you make a sell and let me tell you after 11 years it is still as exciting of a sound that it was on day one!

So, what now?

9. Ship your item! Don’t delay, people want their items…First, carefully package your item. Again, think about how you would like to receive an item. Do you want a wrinkled blue dress wadded in a ball and thrown in a bag? I don’t. I choose to fold the item nicely, wrap it in tissue and add a thank you business card. If it’s a hard good item, use bubble wrap to protect it. Make it look nice. You do not have to do this but these little touches will send you repeat customers…Weigh your item. You will need a printer to print your labels. I used a printer for years, it works fine. I now use a Dymo 4XL printer, it saves a ton on ink over the years…worth it!

After you purchase your label, print your label, affix it to your package and drop it off at the Post Office or you can even have the mailman pick it up. USPS wants you to ship the item the same day that you print your label, especially for Priority shipments. Once the item is scanned into the system you and your customer can track it.

10. Payment. When you set up your eBay account, you will set up your payment. eBay pays out daily. Whatever you sold that day gets sent to your checking account. I have a separate account set up just for this so I can keep track. You will have a monthly fee, yes you have to pay eBay for using their services. The fee differs depending what you sell and for how much. The fee will be withdrawn from your checking account, this is why you have to keep track. You can see your fees on the eBay seller hub. Your shipping fees will also be withdrawn. Once you sell a few items you should be able to figure out a system that works for you and it will flow. It’s all completely secure. I’ve done it for years with no issues. If you are planning on selling more then just getting rid of a few items around the house, you will need to think about paying taxes. I am no expert in that area so I won’t give much input but if you are making money you will need to pay taxes. I would recommend doing research in that area for yourself.

Here is a list of items you will need to get started:

  • Merchandise (the obvious)
  • Packing supplies. I buy shipping bags from Amazon, they come in lots of sizes. I use them for clothing. USPS Priority boxes. If your clothing is over 1lb, there is an amazing free envelope you can get from USPS called the Tyvek envelope. I get them delivered in bulk! Holds a lot and waterproof. I also collect various size boxes from things I get shipped to me and the packaging in the boxes, bubble wrap, peanuts, air pillows etc. Be green, reuse, recycle.
  • Packing tape
  • Bubble wrap, tissue paper, packing paper etc.
  • Printer or label maker
  • Shipping Scale

I hope to do a part two to this soon. There is so much more info I can provide but I think this will help you get your start. Happy Selling!!!

Posted on Leave a comment

I Monetized My Blog Using AdSense And Got Paid!

I got my first payout from AdSense! I started my blog a couple of years ago but just recently in the past few months have become serious about it and it’s finally paying off!

I use WordPress for my Blog site. I did a lot of research and figured it out on my own. I set up an AdSense account and linked it to my blog site. It’s a step by step process and AdSense does the rest. They post relative ads on your site and every click earns money.

Google Adsense

At first it was a few cents here and there and then a few dollars and it just keeps growing!

What I do is consistently blog then I share my blogs on social media. I share to Facebook, I have a fb page for my blog and I share on my personal page. I also share to Pinterest. I have grown my Pinterest by staying active on there and that is where most of my view come from!

My Pinterest

It seems like a lot but once you have everything set up it’s a piece of cake. I just Blog and share and watch my money grow!!

If you are a blogger why not monetize and earn money doing something you love??

Posted on Leave a comment

Restore Outdoor Gravity Lawn Chairs

I recently came upon a picture of our gravity chairs that I restored and wanted to share. You don’t have to throw these chairs out when they start falling apart. Save a lot of money and spruce them up.

We have had these chairs for many, many years. They were coming apart and the paint was chipping all over!

Here is my before and after!

  • First, I snipped the cord off of the metal loops on the frame and removed material. As you can see, the cord was very deteriorated.
  • Then I cleaned and spray painted the frame with outdoor spray paint
  • I scrubbed the material with dawn dish soap, my go to for cleaning outdoor furniture
  • After the frame was dry, I laced the material back onto the chair with gravity chair replacement cord that I found on Amazon: Replacement Cord

This was a few years ago and the cord is holding up great!

Posted on 6 Comments

Tabletop Fire Bowl DIY Easy

Who doesn’t love the ambiance of a glowing fire on a summer evening? I know I do! This is a budget friendly option for a deck or patio. Perfect for a small outdoor space.

I don’t know if you have priced fire bowls but they can get very pricey! This one for instance is one I found online.

$85! And there’s not much to it. It’s so easy to make. You just have to find the right container.

I found this 12” terra cotta clay planter at Home Depot for $10.97. I had all the rest of my supplies on hand but the cost of the supplies isn’t much at all.

I chose to paint my pot but you could leave it if you want to skip this step. I wanted a more modern look.

I used chalk paint by Annie Sloan in Graphite, one coat.

Since it’s going to be outside, I used a chalk paint wax to protect the paint. I just rubbed it on with a soft cloth after the paint dried.

I filled the bowl with rock that I had in my backyard. I put a can of sterno in and filled rocks around it to keep it steady.

All filled up and ready to light!

I tried to capture the flame in a picture. Check out my short video below.

It even crackles! I love how it turned out…I like it better then the expensive one! you can use this for roasting marshmallows, just make sure your sterno is non-toxic.

Posted on 2 Comments

Transitioning to Gray Hair Growing Out Gray Hair

I have been wanting to grow out my gray hair for sometime now. I started turning gray in my early 20’s. I started coloring then. I became a hairdresser 30 years ago and have colored my own hair pretty much the entire time. My hair grows very fast and it is thick! I’m just getting tired of the maintenance…every three weeks. Im 50 now and kind of thought I would make this transition around this age.

When Covid-19 hit, everything shut down and I couldn’t get my haircolor, so I took the opportunity and decided now was as good of time as any to start growing it out. I stopped coloring my hair March 2020.

This was the first photo I took once I made my decision. It’s not the best photo, I had just got out of the hot tub, but it’s the first pic.

Second photo. It’s starting to fade a tiny bit here. I was starting to have second thoughts about here..glad I stuck it out.

I started wearing head wraps and hats, lol.

I decided I needed a few highlights this day to help with the blending. I highlighted it myself because the salons were closed. It helped some.

I started getting brave here and stopped covering it up. I’ve actually started embracing this process at this point.

I called this the calico stage lol. I’ve always liked calico cats, now I remind myself of one haha.

This was three months of new growth. I did a light bleach wash to wash out some of the dark red. Bleach, 40 volume and some shampoo was what I used. I also used olaplex to help protect my strands.

This is four months of new growth. I was getting tired of the contrast and needed to blend the line of demarcation.

I used L’Anza cream decolorizer to lift the red to a tweetie bird yellow. Fun stuff…not lol. Bye bye red.

I then toned with Pulp Riot Silver Toner. Look how well it blended the line. I think I might do this one more time in about a month.

This is five months of not coloring my new growth. I have used a silver toner a couple of times and I use violet tinted shampoo once a week to help keep the brass in check. It is so nice not touching up every three weeks. I can get used to this!

Nine months…no color and I cut off a few inches. I still have a ways to go but I’m loving my new look! Once in a while I use a purple shampoo but that’s it. It’s so freeing!

I also recommend darkening your eyebrows for a younger look. Lighter eyebrows tend to make you look washed out when you have gray hair.

One year and I am still working on growing out the old color. It is about half way from my ends. All I’m doing now is trimming every couple of months and once a week I use a purple shampoo to tone the brass.

I am so happy I decided to do this transition process. I have no regrets!

1-1/2 years later and I just cut off the last of the hair color. I am finally free!

Posted on Leave a comment

Homemade Fire Starters Bonfire Campfire

Memorial weekend has just passed and everyone is getting ready for summertime activities. We have a place on the lake and we love to have bonfires, especially when there’s s’mores involved! I like to make my own fire starters. They are so easy, economical and they work great. Here is how I make them..

Supply List:

  • Paper egg cartons
  • Candle wax
  • Natural burnable materials

First, tear the lid off of the carton

I buy candles from thrift stores for the wax. You can buy already burned ones, it doesn’t matter. Sure, you can buy wax that’s already shaved but it can get costly. I cut the candle up into chunks with a knife.

Put them in a small pot and melt on low heat on the stove. I designate a pot just for this purpose because some wax is harder to clean up.

It doesn’t take long to melt so stay close to the stove.

I like to crunch up pine cones, tiny branches or pine needles and place them in the carton. I have also used crushed corncob to mix in with the wax, it works good too. Once the wax is melted, I carefully pour it into the carton.

Let the wax cool and harden back up.

They are pretty easy to tear apart. Store them in a container and when ready to use, light the carton with a lighter and it will quickly start your next bonfire.

This is also a great gift idea for someone going on a camping trip or someone buying a vacation cottage!

Posted on Leave a comment

Gardening: Large Planter Tip

I have a use for empty pop cans or empty water bottles work great too! We just have an excessive amount of carbonated water cans right now due to covid-19 and the inability to return cans right now.

I bought these giant planter pots for the deck and I don’t like filling them all the way up with dirt. Number one, they are too heavy to move around and number two, you don’t need all that dirt for flowers.

Fill the pot half way up with cans or bottles and then top off with soil, then plant your flowers!

It’s very green…recycling, it’s a money saver and a back saver!

Posted on Leave a comment

Galvanized Clothing Rack Clothing Storage Solutions

I have my own online clothing boutique. I also sell clothing on Poshmark. I’ll link my websites here in case you want to check them out.

My Boutique: https://thethriftyjewell.com/

My Poshmark:https://posh.mk/Kp3Gr9qts6

Being organized is key when running an online store from home. I have a TON of inventory! My basement is my home office. I needed clothing racks!

I was shopping online for clothing racks and couldn’t believe the prices! I needed something sturdy so I showed my hubby some ideas from Pinterest and this is what he came up with.

He built me three of these! They are made from galvanized plumbers pipe and let me tell you, you could do chin ups on these things!

He measured and drew up some plans then we went to Home Depot. We went to the plumbing department and an employee cut all the different size pipes that we needed for FREE! All we had to do was go home and screw them all together.

Maybe I can get my husband to list the dimensions for me and I will add them on here.

These are some different angles.

These hold a lot of clothes. I have some really nice clear dust covers I found on Amazon to put over the clothes.

These would also be great in a laundry room or in a room with no closet. And they will not break under all the weight. our total cost for one rack was around $70.

Posted on 3 Comments

Clean Stainless Steel Pots and Pans DIY Money Saving Tip

Stainless steel cookware is awesome. It’s durable and last for years. You can find it a lot of times in thrift stores but usually they look very undesirable.

Don’t throw out or donate those pans! I want to share my tip on how I clean my stainless steel.

This was my skillet this morning. Butter and oil can cause this unsightly brown residue, but with a little elbow grease and my friend, you can make it good as new.

No I’m not a bar keeper but this is my friend. I use it a lot around the kitchen.

Just sprinkle the powder onto your surface .

Use a damp cloth to scrub.

Rinse and dry and you have a beautiful, shiny, polished pan! I even use it on my stainless kitchen sink.

Before

Same process..be sure to scrub with the grain.

Beautiful!

Posted on 4 Comments

Homemade Venison Jerky Dog Treats

My Dog, Saphira, has food allergies. She is a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier and it is pretty common for Wheatens to have allergies. We know she is allergic to chicken and possibly beef. Her veterinarian recommended venison, bison or salmon for her diet. She does very well on venison and sweet potato dog food. It’s not cheap! Venison treats aren’t either. So I make her treats. My husband is a hunter and we usually have venison in the freezer. I also make sweet potato treats, dehydrated in the oven. She loves them as well.

Here’s my beautiful girl! She is 1-1/2 years old. She super smart and great with everyone! She’s also very pampered and spoiled, of course!

Here’s how I make her venison chews:

1. Cut the venison into thin strips then into bite size pieces. I find it easier to cut the meat when it is partially frozen. NO seasoning is added.

2. I use a Cooke sheet and a cooling rack that fits inside. I lay the meat on the cooling rack. That way the air can flow all around the meat. It’s good to spray a little non-stick spray on the rack because venison is lean and tends to stick. Place in pre-heated oven, 200 degrees for 1 to 1-1/2 hours depending on the size of the pieces. Check often until they are a firm but not crisp texture. You want the texture of jerky.

Here’s the finished product.

Place them in a jar or baggie and refrigerate. Your dog will love them!