Thursday, 24 May 2012

Deja Vu - Ebay Style

On Ebay Underground, Ryan from Terapeak was asking for an Australian Ebay member to help a colleague with their talk in Australia, at the Professional eBay & eCommerce Sellers Internet Conference on the Gold Coast.   My store would be used during the Terapeak presentation.   I was excited, and it put a little zing in my step.

So I contacted Ryan at Terapeak, and we hit a snag - I actually had to be a Terapeak subscriber for them to be able to use my store.   So I signed up for the free 1 week trial, I was able to see what I would get for my $29.95 USD per month.

The software is great, but with this awful economic climate, I am unable to even afford that much extra a month, when I can't even pay all my bills.   I had to turn the offer down, and miss a great opportunity.   I was waiting for the words "free" and "1 month" but they never occurred.  Oh well.

The software was helpful, but I could also see where it would help when I was "on the road" in the op shops looking at merchandise.

You see I do not have a smart phone.  Mine is the dunce in the class, it is ancient.   It takes ages to even log onto the internet, so I stopped trying.  All I use it for is phone-calls, text-messages and taking rude appropriate photos.  I can't even get my email to work on it properly.
So looking at Terapeak, I would like to get it one day, but should probably think about upgrading my phone so that I can get more business use out of that.

I have paid off my phone, and it is no longer on a contract - so I looked at the phones I could upgrade to.  I am currently on a plan that is about $33 a month.   When I hit the Optus website I saw that I could upgrade to a new Nokia Lumia 800 for $35 a month.   *Scream*   It has FREE unlimited access to eBay and Facebook.   Whoohoooo!   

So that is my new plan, whenever I can drag my sorry carcass down to the local shopping centre to the Optus store. 

I know that I can do all this on-line and get the phone mailed, but I'm very dense when it comes to phones, and I need to ask lots of stupid questions to the salespeople.  In this way I give their eye-balls some exercise as they roll their eyes behind my back at my utter stupidity.  But wow, a smart phone - I'm excited.   I will be moving into the Noughties phone-wise!!!

The title of my blog comes from the fact that from my limited time on Terapeak, I sold the same book 5 times.  

Here's how it happened.   I did some searches of books I'd had sitting around, I came across this little book.   
Yes, it's a diet book, don't worry it can't hurt you!!!!   You're fine, this is only a photo of it.  There are no photos of healthy meals or exercise plans on here.

There is also a Book 2 in this series, and I had been waiting to get copies of that to sell as a 2-book deal, as the postage of $10 was the same for one book as for 2.  In the meantime I had 4 copies of this book sitting around gathering dust.

Then I saw on Terapeak that this book by itself was selling for $11.   What, really?   

So I put one up.   Fifteen minutes later it sold.   I was a little surprised.

So I put the next one up.   Within 10 minutes there were 2 watchers.  Sold within half an hour.   I was *quite* surprised.

I put the next one up.  It sold within 20 minutes.    I was getting excited.  I put some depends on as emergency backup.
I put the next one up.  It sold within an hour.   I was getting to the point of gob-smacked.  I don't really know what the word means, but I *felt* that way.

I'm not sure if a rumour had gone around that these books had special pages that would get you high if you sniffed them or smoked them, because this was crazy.

So within the space of 3 hours I had sold the same book 4 times.  The reason I didn't put this up as a multiple copy listing was because these books were not all the same condition, and I like to have a photo of the actual book I am selling on the listing.

I went on the hunt for more.    I found another copy on my bookshelf.   I remembered thinking "one day I'll go on a diet".  I read the book and it said, lots of vegies, lots of exercise and no wine, so I screamed and hid it in my bookshelf.   That was a VERY close call, there.    
By now it was 5PM,  I put my copy up, and raised the price.   It sold within 2 hours.    I was now swinging off the roof and singing "Danny Boy" in an atrocious Irish accent

Yikes, I need to find a nest of these diet books and stock-pile them.  I have never ever had anything sell like this book.     (Mental note:  must sniff the pages of the last book before I post it, and see if I get high).

So this was an example of where Terapeak was very useful for me.   I also used it to get rid of some  useless older text books that were taking up space.       I dropped them off at my local op-shop this morning, and now have some lovely empty space.

Ebay sales have picked up a little in the past week.  I have sold a few videos and books and some board games.   The items worth mentioning


Aussie Fit Low Impact Aerobics  $9.99
6 x X-Men Videos    $14.99   (not yet paid)
6 x VeggieTales Videos   $18
Wrestle War 1989    $9.99
6 x Winne the Pooh Videos   $16


Great Australian Gambling Game  $15.99
Rex Hunt Fishing Game  $15.99    (this sold within one day of listing)


2 x Vintage Patons Knitting Booklets @ $6.50

On my last blog, I mentioned that I had posted a huge box of DVDs/CDs/PC Games to Fishpond so they could sell them for me.    There were 78 items in the box.    They finally put the items up, and I had dabbled with the prices (up and down), and changed all the things they had described as New to Like New.   So far I have only have sold one DVD for $7.50 but that was a week ago, and the person has still not yet paid.  If they ever do, the payment will go toward my $15 postage cost for the box rather than into my empty wallet.    

I also noticed that not all the items had been put up on their website initally.  Finally the last 15 or so items appeared.   Obviously the box had been thrown around a bit.  These last items were listed with "lots of scratches" and "broken cases".   I also had an email from Fishpond saying that I could no longer list any more items on the website unless I posted them in to their warehouse.

So in the end, I think that Fishpond is a lost cause, and the end of another potential money-maker for me.   :-(

On  (aka, I have copied over 170 items over from eBay.     If only they had a nifty download from ebay option.     I have gone through board games, children's videos, music videos, Mills & Boon bulk lots and am now half-way through sports videos.  There have been lots of clicks on my items, one query on combined postage cost, and absolutely no sales.  But I am going to keep plugging items up on there.

So always remember - Humility, Comity & Farternity.  That's my motto, especially after a few glasses of *medicine*.   

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Where is my cleaning fairy god mother ?

In my childhood home where I lived from babyhood until I married at 23 years of age, I had the pleasure of having the bedroom that was next to the toilet.   I still haven't figured out whether that was a subtle indication of my importance in the family structure.

In a household of 6 - the bog-house got a good workout.  

This wonderful bedroom was where I spent my childhood hiding from the world, obsessively *rating* the same songs every weekend, inhaling books by the hundreds and writing atrocious stories and poetry.   
All this to the soundtrack of toilet sounds from the room next to mine.

No wonder I have a warped sense of humour.
Because of the stunning location of my bedroom, I am quite frankly, chuffed, to announce these defining moments in my childhood.   I submit these to the Head Shrink Doctor as evidence :

* Listening to my little brother, proud to now be house-trained, loudly counting the number of turds he was depositing in the thunder-box.   Let me tell you for such a small boy, he had a production line going there.

* Gasping in awe over the thunderous farts emitted from a tiny, 100-year-old lady who stayed with us for a few months.   Was my little brother hiding around the corner, sniggering into his grubby little fists.  You betcha!  

* The same little old lady was let loose in the house at night.  She would wander around in the wee dark hours, scratching the walls with her fingernails like something in a horror movie; drawn to the siren call of the dunny.      I would lie there in terror with the blankets pulled up to my neck.   Then one night, it happened!!    The door swung open - and there she was, silhouetted in the doorway.  As I lay there quaking in terror, she shot over to my bed at great speed, propelled by machine-gun-like farts.     Then she tried to get in the bed with me.     I think it's the only time in my life I have ever screamed.     Once that happens to you, the sight of a big hairy spider holds no fear ever again.  I promise you this.

*  Before the interruption of puberty, I slept with the door open.   Every morning, at about 6am, I would watch my mother backing out of the toilet on her hands and knees.    Much as I'd love to say it was because she was driving the porcelain bus, and hung-over from partying the night before - sadly, this is not the case.   Every morning, my mother would SCRUB the toilet and kitchen floors - on her hands and knees.
I would watch in awe, because it was kind of like something out of a Catherine Cookson novel.   She did this for years.   There was no mop and bucket until many years later.
I bet you're feeling all warm and fuzzy now.

I don't even know how I got onto this subject.   Oh yes - cleaning.  
The other day I did my bi-yearly vacuum of the flat.   I felt virtuous afterwards, I could look at my carpet without shuddering.   The dust bunnies were no longer breeding in the corners.

But the thing is, the only reason I did this was because I'm expecting *visitors* this week.   

Before I go further, I should explain that I never have visitors.  Apart from a few ebay customers who want to pickup items, the only people who have been to my flat are my parents, my sister, my younger brother and my friend Sue, who I sell items for on Ebay.    For me having visitors is as rare as a UFO sighting  (actually, perhaps rarer).
My ex-in-laws visited once - a couple of years ago - just after I moved in.  I felt I should invite them then because they had helped me find the place at a time when all I wanted to do was curl into a ball and stay hidden from the world forever.     I never saw them for two years after that.   This was because I felt guilty, and I felt like I was a disappointment to them because I had not managed to 'do my duty' and pump out any grand-children for them.

About six months ago, I learned through another source that my ex-MIL was sick.  So I rang and found she'd been diagnosed with breast cancer and had gone through a horrible time.  So I began visiting and taking her books and DVDs and flowers.    She was lucky enough to have a husband who looked after her, but I felt sorry for her, as her only child was living the life of Riley in the US and didn't care to interrupt his fun long enough to come home for a visit.   

Bottom line, we see each other regularly now, and I'm happy about that.   I always go to their house, because I'm not very proud of mine.

But now they say they might *pop-in* to drop something off.   Scream!  

My flat has not changed since the day I bought it.  The walls are still empty of pictures or decorations.  The garden beds still lovingly grow weeds.   The entire 'decorating' theme of my unit is called "Ebay Stock".   I have no knick-knacks, no cushions or throw rugs - I have towering piles of dusty videos, board games, books and cardboard boxes of misc.   I don't think that I could get away with saying that the new 'look' is rummage-sale-chic.  (Believe me, I've tried)

So I vacuumed, and I hung one small picture on the wall.  Then I got bored with it all.
I thought, sod it.  I'm trying to impress my ex-MIL who has a fantastic sense of decorating.  Everything matches in her house and it looks like a photo from Better Homes & Gardens magazine, but this is not me.

Everything does match in my place.    It's fairly clean, a bit neglected, and a bit of a mess - but then so am I.     Ergo ... my flat = me.


Oh and my toilet, it's not next to the bedroom.  But since I'm the only one who gets to use it, whilst in occupancy, I throw caution to the *wind* and hum a jaunty tune just in case any nasty toilet flashbacks pop up from my childhood.  

Yes doctor, I'm quite sane.  Really I am.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

No, that clicking sound is not my knees ...

Ebay sales are plummeting.  I know from my Ebug friends, that it is the same all over the world right now.   We have started a "clicking" campaign - where we form groups and click on items in each others stores because it has been rumoured that this will somehow push you up in the search listings and boost your sales.    So far - still crickets for me.  

Having said that, I love looking at my fellow groups items and seeing what they are selling.  I wish I could find the range of awesome items they have (and get the prices they are asking).   I hope that my clicking helps their sales.  I think it's awesome that we can help each other out in this way.   I think the jury is still out on this one, but it costs nothing to try, right?

These are my sales for the past week:

May 1st - Tuesday - $25.98
May 2nd - Wednesday - $28
May 3rd - Thursday - $14
May 4th - Friday - $35.22
May 5th - Saturday - $3.79  -    woohoo!
May 6th - Sunday - $17
May 7th - Monday $7.12

Giving a grand weekly total of $131.11

My weekly goal for sales is $300 - with this I barely scrape through - and some of the utilities bills get put on the credit card.

For a while there, a couple of months ago - I was up to $500 a week which allowed me to eat/drink and pay my bills.
Now that my ONLY income is getting sucked into the great Grimpen Mire - I need to find more sources of income.     Much as I'd like to join the fetish club and sell items of my used underwear and socks on fetish web-sites, I think I'll hold off on that for the moment. 

I have not yet given up on the idea of selling a fart in a nicely wrapped jar.  The cost of outlay is minimal, but I'm just not sure what ebay category to put it under.
I have 2 other sites where I sell items.  I use the word *sell* loosely.   On one of the websites I only had a few items up and it has sold one thing in the last year.     This is - a site similar to Bonanza in the US.    No fees to put the items ups - low final sellings fees, but not many sales.   I have spent the last week copying and pasting like an insane beast on one day, and then taking photographs the next.  I managed to copy over my board games (about 20), and also my bulk lots of books (about 30).   Next, I hope to start adding my videos.   Whilst I'm doing this, I'm not managing to put much new stuff on Ebay - but considering I now have 1,000 items and am making diddly-squat, I'm really not that fussed right now.  I'm just relisting items that end.

I'm interested to see if Quicksales lives up to their name, now that I've got more items up, but I think in my mind I'm already calling it Pissweaksales.    I keep plodding along and adding more stuff up - once it's there it can sit there for ages, so the effort is worth it (I hope).   I'll let you know if anything happens.

The other website is      They used to sell mainly books, and then added an option where you could sell your second hand books through the web-site.   Since then they've added DVDs, CDs, Video Games and many other things.  A couple of years ago just before my marriage went tits-up, I was making $600 a month on this web-site.  I had so many book sales, I couldn't keep up with posting them.    Of course, then everybody else jumped on the bandwagon, and now my sales on there are ---- WAIT FOR IT .....   $6 a month.    Yep, that sucks big time.     Especially when it takes them about 3 weeks to pay you for the sale.

Then the other day I got an email about their new thing called "Smartsell" - where you send them a box of books/DVDs/CDs/Computer Games.  They store it in their warehouse, put the items up and take care of posting them out for you when they sell.  The good news is they pay you in 2 days (after taking their cut of course).    

I dithered over this.   You had to pay $15 per box of goods to get them sent to their warehouse.   I sent a message to them asking what the limit was on the box size.

The reply I received was "just a normal-sized box."
I considered that one for a while, and wondered what they'd think if my idea of a normal-sized box was one that a new refrigerator came in.   I stamped down on my snarky inner voice, and considered my options.    

The boxes I had (whoops, are they are all ones that have held bottles of wine, how interesting), were quite small.   I couldn't imagine fitting much in them.   I finally bit the bullet and got a decent-sized box, but I had to BUY the darn thing at the post office for $4.50.

I couldn't fit many books in it still.  I needed to maximise the amount of items I could squeeze in to justify the $15 postage.    I looked at the CDs and DVDs and computer games that I still hadn't put up on Ebay (and my own that I didn't want).  I could fit a lot of these in the box.   So I stuffed it full - and managed to fit 78 items in the box.  It bulged at the edges, so I taped it to within an inch of its life.
The courier picked it up yesterday.   So they're winging their way off to Sydney and should get there tomorrow.  Fishpond should have the items uploaded on their website by early next week.    All I need to do is check that they aren't giving the items away at way too low prices, and sit and wait and see if this will generate me any money.   

I have my fingers, toes, and eyes crossed.

In my last blog, I mentioned the two prints that I was selling for a friend.  These two auctions ended over a week ago.

They didn't go for the high price that we had hoped, going on past sales, but I needed the money at the time, so we can't be too greedy.  (or can we ???)  - *hint: I certainly can*

These are very collectable, so keep an eye out for these by J H Lynch.