THINGS I 'VE LEARNED ABOUT SELLING YOUR STUFF .....




HI EVERYONE :)
THIS PAST WEEK WAS FILLED WITH LEARNING, EARNING, AND TONS OF WORK. HERE IS WHAT I'VE LEARNED ABOUT SELLING YOU STUFF FROM YOUR OWN SITE VS. ANOTHER FORUM, SUCH AS E-BAY ....
GOSH, WHERE DO I START ? - WELL, FROM THE BEGINNING I SUPPOSE ;)
I STARTED OUT WITH BIG HOPES AND GOALS. I HAVE TONS OF STUFF, 
SO I THOUGHT I COULD JUST CLEAR OUT MY CLOSET, 
THROW IT ON A SITE AND THE CASH WOULD BEGIN TO FLOW....
I QUICKLY FOUND OUT, THERE'S MUCH MORE TO IT THAN THAT.
THIS IS A LONG ONE, SO GRAB A POP AND SOME CHIPS ;)


TIPS TO HAVING A SUCCESSFUL  BUSINESS:
( WEEK 1 )
( This was my experience only.  More will be revealed as I go ;)

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS : DO YOUR HOMEWORK!!!

1. DETERMINE YOUR AUDIENCE. 
( THIS PRETTY MUCH APPLIES TO SELLING FROM YOUR OWN SITE)
GET TO KNOW WHO READS YOUR BLOG AND ENJOYS YOUR STYLE. ( LET'S FACE IT, MOST OF MY READERS ARE THRIFTERS WHO ARE FAMILIAR WITH A GOOD DEAL. YOUR ITEMS HAVE TO BE SOMETHING THAT CAN'T BE FOUND OR BOUGHT ELSEWHERE. THAT MEANT *(FOR ME)* TO OFFER UNIQUE ITEMS, 
NEW ITEMS AND GOOD PRICES. )
I LEARNED THAT NO ONE IS GOING TO PAY A SHIPPING FEE FOR AN ITEM THEY CAN EASILY FIND AT THEIR LOCAL THRIFT STORE ;)

2. FIND SOMEONE WHO HAS EXPERIENCE AND IS WILLING TO HELP YOU.

3. HOMEWORK:
FIND OUT WHAT'S "IN" AT THE MOMENT AND WHAT THESE ITEMS SELL FOR.
(ask your reader's what they are looking for, don't be afraid to ask questions)

4. BE READY TO WORK  HARD !
( YOU MUST OFFER CLEAN, LAUNDERED, PRESSED ITEMS, GOOD PHOTOGRAPHS, A CLEAN SITE, NICE PACKAGING, THANK YOU NOTES, ETC....)
KEEP YOUR SHOP STOCKED, EDITED AND FRESH. BE PREPARED TO RUSH OUT TO SHIP ITEMS ON TIME.
IN OTHER WORDS, THIS IS A BUSINESS !

5.PAYMENT:
DETERMINE WHAT TYPE OF PAYMENTS YOU WILL BE ACCEPTING AND VERSE YOURSELF ON THE PROPER WAYS TO ACCEPT THEM, WHETHER IT'S PAY PAL, CHECKS OR MONEY-ORDERS.
LEARN HOW TO MAKE INVOICES ( IT'S A BUSINESS ;)
remember fees !!!! There are fees for using E-bay and Pay-pal. E-bay also charges a 12% fee for sold items as well as the listing fees! Do your Pay-pal and shipping homework before you start!!!
I RECOMMEND BUYING A SCALE AS YOU CAN GET REDUCED RATES BY BUYING YOUR SHIPPING LABELS ONLINE. FOR INSTANCE, THE POSTAGE ON AN ITEM THAT WEIGHS 1 LB. WILL ALMOST DOUBLE WHEN IT GOES EVEN 1 OUNCE OVER! ALSO, FIGURE IN WHETHER YOU WILL SHIP INTERNATIONALLY AND CHARGE ACCORDINGLY. ( I ALSO SUGGEST BUYING AND USING YOUR OWN SHIPPING PACKAGES, AND ACCESSORIES.)

5. MAKE SOME BUSINESS CARDS
WHY? TO PUT IN YOUR PACKAGES FOR FUTURE ORDERS AND THANK-YOU'S. 
(GREETING TYPE CARDS ARE A PERSONAL TOUCH, BUT CAN GET EXPENSIVE)

6. NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK !!!
IF NO ONE KNOWS YOU AND TRUSTS YOU, IT'S TOUGH TO SELL ANYTHING ;)
START TWEETING, FACE-BOOKING, AND EVEN HAVE A GIVE-A-WAY!  
(However, in my experience, you can over-sell yourself and turn people off )

WITH ALL THAT SAID, RELAX !
Chill out and don't expect great results at first. But, the more you get yourself "out there" and the more involved you are in the community, the more sales you will have. Go above and beyond for your customers. Word of mouth is invaluable and you must be trust-worthy. Be honest! Always represent your items in the true condition they are in. This will create a good relationship with your buyers and repeat business.

ALWAYS THANK YOUR CUSTOMERS !
TREAT OTHERS AS YOU WOULD WANT TO BE TREATED.
YOU CAN ONLY MAKE ONE GOOD IMPRESSION ;)
SUMMARY :
WITH THE HOURS I PUT INTO IT, 
THE 'LEARNING' TIME, PHOTOS, WASHING, IRONING, PACKAGING, 
STOCKING, RE-STOCKING, E-MAIL CHECKING, SHIPPING AND SO FORTH, 
I MADE ABOUT 10 cents an hour...
HOWEVER, LIKE ANY NEW BUSINESS, MAKING REAL MONEY TAKES ABOUT A YEAR. I STILL NEED TO TWEAK MY MERCHANDISE AND UP MY GAME BY ATTRACTING NEW BUYERS (as in pulling out more vintage items) AND NETWORKING ....

IF YOU GO BY THE AMOUNT OF READERS/FOLLOWERS ASSOCIATED 
WITH MY BLOG, I HAD ABOUT A 10% POSITIVE WEEK. 
SO, I SUPPOSE IT'S ALL IN YOUR VIEW-POINT. 
ARE YOU UP FOR THE CHALLENGE?

QUESTIONS? E-mail me at retroreva@current.net
                         Subject: Selling Your Stuff

11 comments:

Nelly said...

Hi Reva what a week aye? Onwards and upwards from here.I have your parcel half ready to send I just have to send it I am so forgetful.
I used to sell on ebay but the fees are killers.
I am going to put a couple things there and some crafty bits at etsy eventually but my weebly site is where I will be selling most of my stuff.
Who have you used for your shop site?

sacramento said...

Very good tips Reva.
I have been selling on Ebay for 4 years now. I had the help of my husband who is a collecter of old cameras and new Ebay well.
You have done so well, my friend.
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXx

Pam @ over50feeling40 said...

Since I have toyed with doing this, I really appreciate your help along the way!! I have some great clothes I have grown out of and I do not plan on wearing again!
On the subject of THANK YOU, I gave you one on my post today!!!

The Elegant Bohemian said...

Reva, wonderful tips and very helpful. I've been a power seller on ebay before (selling used clothes) and LOVED it. I'm thinking I may need to stick with what I know. Thanks!!! Much love to you! ~Serene

Kasmira said...

Was it worth it? Are you enjoying being a seller?

silvergirl said...

It is all on a learning curve Reva
When I first started my business 5 years ago I probably made negative money an hour. Now I know what I am doing, not so much trial and error and I know my customer base and what they want. It will all come, just be patient and remember if the money came rolling in that fast... everyone would be doing it. :)
Brett

Trystan L. Bass said...

Speaking of which, I got the shoes yesterday & they're awesome ;-)

I routinely sell stuff in an 'online garage sale' on my website. But I tend to market to very specific groups. I post to my LiveJournal blog, which is friends-only, first, so I know all the ppl who are potential buyers. Then I post to my Facebook friends, again, ppl I know but a larger group. Lastly, I'll post to a couple of subject-specific e-lists I'm on if I have items that are relevant. Very targeted marketing ;-)

Plus, this spaces out how frequent the sales go, which is crucial bec. I don't want to get bogged down w/the shipping since I'm squeezing that in around my 'real' job!

My Heart Blogged said...

I have always wanted to open an online vintage shop. But, with my full time job I don't know if I could do it. It sounds like you put a lot of work into selling, and I really like the items you offer.
My Heart Blogged

Terri said...

I like this behind the scenes glimpse of everything involved. I know that I am very happy with everything I bought. Do you want me to do a post about being a happy customer?

Lesa said...

Hi Reva,
I have been selling on Ebay for over 10 years now and yes they do suck, but it really is the easiest way. I just opened a store on Etsy and you don't get the public exposure you get on ebay. (I have a link to each on my websites and will sell to any of my fashion friends without going through Ebay.)

Business cards: Vista Prints.
Shipping: Plastic white envelopes, sold on ebay,I will get you the name they also sell brown envelopes.

I find that if I make my shipping charges low, and add the money i am "losing" into the cost of the item people think they are getting a better deal.

Never sell kids clothes, those people want perfect brand new things that they are never going to get.

The things that I sell the most are
Cd's (I burn them, put them on my IPOD and sell them.

Current books are the best. I buy them with my Barnes and Noble card, get to read them and then sell them. So I get to read a brand new novel for about $3 or $4

over a small discount to people that are return customers, give them some kind of secret code.

They love things wrapped up and looking fancy.The people on Etsy are better than this than Ebay (Ibuy more than I sell)

If I think of anything else I'll let you know email me if you have any questions and I will get you the name of the white plastic bags, they make things way cheaper.

Lesa
skyroxy@bellsouth.net
xxx
PS Sell something BIG and I'll be all over it.

Lesa said...

Plastic shipping bags:

http://shop.ebay.com/threerb/m.html?_nkw=&_armrs=1&_from=&_ipg=&_trksid=p3686

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