You won’t believe what Hubby and I did for the first time ever…
We spent two Saturdays in November holding our first yard sale and selling our wares as vendors at a flea market.
I’m super stoked to be writing this post — and not just because it’s something other than an income report. 🙂 I’m excited to write this post because I’ve always had questions in the back of my mind about yard sales and flea markets (particularly about whether or not they are lucrative and worth the time).
Now that I have some experience under my belt, I hope that this post will be helpful to someone looking for another outlet besides eBay for their merchandise.
Our Yard Sale Experience
Several months ago, our garage reached it’s breaking point. We simply couldn’t fit any more merchandise in there and I wasn’t listing our eBay inventory fast enough. I kept trying to convince Hubby that we should hold a garage sale, but he was totally against have “random people” in our driveway or “random people” knowing what we had hidden behind our garage door.
He changed his mind in October when he realized that if we were going to get rid of our excess eBay inventory before the new year, we had to find another outlet for it. We actually held our first yard sale during the beginning of November and while I didn’t feel that we had too much foot traffic, we got rid of some merchandise and made a little over $900 in one day doing so.
It has been two months since the books that I purchased from one of the best estate sale book hauls I’ve attended so far this year have been checked in and have begun selling. As I mentioned in the first update, I will continue to share the results of this haul until I become profitable. You can read the first update here.
Unfortunately, I didn’t sell as many books in October as I did the previous month. I came close in terms of number of books sold, but I did not meet or exceed last month’s numbers. My gross sales were also down.
Something didn’t seem right about these numbers given the amount of books I sent in and it turns out that something had indeed gone awry. 🙁
On October 28, Amazon sent me an email that I had some items in my “stranded inventory.” I will be honest and say that I’ve never really clicked on the “Stranded Inventory” link within Seller Central — or if I ever did, I never had any stranded inventory so I completely ignored it. Lo and behold, when I went to check things out I had close to 400 stranded items and over 90% of those items were books. Over 200 of those books were from this estate sale. I had absolutely no idea that I had so many books (and other items) sitting in Amazon’s warehouse without an active listing. I’m not sure how this happened and Amazon’s explanation wasn’t very clear.
It has been one month since the check-in process began for a portion of the books that I purchased from one of the best estate sale book hauls I’ve attended so far this year. You can read more about that sale here. I shipped a total of 497 books to Amazon’s warehouses on 8/18. Out of those 497 books, a little over 80 of them were books that I purchased from thrift stores and the rest were books purchased from this particular estate sale.
My shipment arrived at Amazon’s warehouses on 8/25 and the check-in/receiving process officially began that same day. As soon as the check-in process began, books starting flying off the “shelves” so to speak. The bulk of my sales actually occurred over a 4-day period, with sales slowing to a crawl by Friday (8/29) and picking up again on Sunday (8/31). Once that influx of sales was over, the weeks that followed began to paint a better picture of the ebb and flow of selling books on Amazon.
Before I get into specifics, I should note that the sales I discuss below do not paint the most accurate picture because I wasn’t able to ship all of he books that I purchased. I still have over 150 books from this estate sale haul that arrived at Amazon’s warehouse on 9/25 — exactly one month after the first batch was checked in. Yes, I realize that I waited quite a while to ship those remaining books, but in order to get that first shipment of books out the door and into Amazon’s warehouses as quickly as possible, I knew I had to process this haul into two separate shipments. With the first shipment, my main goal was to send in the most profitable books first (those that I purchased during the first half of the sale) and then try to get through as many of the books from the “box lot” hour as possible. As of today (9/26), all of the books purchased from this estate sale are finally out of my house! 🙂
This week I want to change the way I review my week of reselling. I plan to experiment with a few different layouts and this week I would like to include some actual figures (numbers), a few tips, and even some great sales that I had. This type of post is still a work in progress and I would greatly appreciate any feedback you have about the way the content is presented.
With that said, let’s jump right into what happened in my world of reselling last week…
I am proud to say that I got my eBay mojo back! 🙂
I’ve managed to list over 20 new items this past week. That’s 20 more items than I listed in the past month. 🙂 In fact, it had been over a month since I sold anything on eBay. Once I sold the book that I talked about in my previous post, I decided to get busy listing more items on eBay. Having shipped over 34 boxes of inventory to Amazon over the course of 2 weeks, I more than needed a break from listing, labeling and shipping! To my surprise, eBay has been a welcomed break. I am slowly making a dent in my backlog of inventory and I have seen sales slowly trickle in.
Lately I have been focusing on listing mostly auctions over on eBay. Out of the 12 items that I sold from the 27th through the 2nd, only one item was purchased via “Buy It Now.” (Looking back, I probably should have listed that item as an auction too.)
I realized some time ago that I don’t really go into too much detail about the things that go on in my world of re-selling throughout the week. It’s about time some things changed around here…starting today. Hopefully this can be an ongoing series of posts that highlight some of the things that go on behind the scenes that I don’t really talk about, but make for an interesting read.
Knee Deep In Books…
I spent a good portion of last week knee deep in processing books. I attended an estate sale the week prior that resulted in me purchasing around 300 books to re-sell on Amazon (via the FBA program). That’s 300 books from *ONE* estate sale. That number doesn’t include the 100 or so books that I purchased from several other estate sales and thrift stores prior to working on last week’s shipment.
I honestly didn’t fully understand what I got myself into. I have sold books in the past via Amazon FBA, but never at a volume like this. I also did not anticipate it taking me so long to process that amount of books. Despite using a barcode scanner (used only for approximately 40% of the books) and listing software, it still took me 5 days to get through 70% of it. I gave up towards the end because it was simply taking me too long and I had already scheduled a UPS pickup for last Friday despite not having any of the books packaged the morning of the pickup.
So why did it take me so long? I think it was a combination of a few reasons: