Tuesday, June 18, 2013

First private sale!

Well, I made my first PRIVATE sale. :) I sold a paperback book that I picked up for free for $1.75, customer paid for shipping but I lost a little by having to purchase a mailer at full price ( I have a bunch of wholesale priced envelopes on order so that expense will be minimized) I also had the sales fee...so when all is said and done, I think I made something like $1.50-$1.60 on the sale?

I do know that's not much but it was exciting to me. From what I understand, if I can manage to make a bunch of small sales on eBay or Half, I will build up my reputation and people will be more likely to make bigger purchases form me. We shall see, I guess.

Im still planning to sell a few books directly to book retailers. I *know* I'm losing out on the opportunity to make more money by selling them myself, but its a guaranteed sale, so for the time being I think it might be a good idea. I guess time will tell.

I think the main things holding me back right now are technology!! My camera is on the fritz. It works sometimes, it doesn't work other times. It never focuses in micro, it hardly focuses on in auto. Its just a mess. When I do manage to get photos of the merchandise to post, the eBay photo upload process causes my crappy little netbook to crash. Grrr. So, I still only have one thing currently listed for buyers to see on eBay! Thats very frustrating to me. I cant make sales if nothing is listed. My mother-in-law wants to send us her old digital point and shoot. My (home health) client has a similar one which I have used, and it might work. Those don't do great for detail but its heaps better than the camera we have now. Im also gonna try uploading the pictures via my husbands computer though, once hes not so slammed with summer school finals.

I do have a couple dozen books listed on half.com and a few books on Amazon.com. Still have stuff on etsy too. But Im expecting my primary money maker will be eBay, so the fact that Im not able to use that resource now? Not good.

Remind me later to take some photos of my inventory storage set up and to tell that story. I love organizing. LOL.

Okay, now for pregnancy news.
How far along? 30 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: Not really sure where I am...
Maternity clothes? Yup, have been since about 10 weeks! Maybe earlier?.
Stretch marks? None so far, but I envision them coming soon, I FEEL so stretched!
Best moment this week: Kinda  a rough week, with more than one day of working a 12 hour shift, so I guess my best moment was making that sale. Yeah, that puny little dollar sixty profit gave me a light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe one day I will be able to work from home and not be killing myself working for other people while my own house is sitting a disaster zone.
Have you told family and friends: Everyone. ;)
Miss Anything? My energy?
Movement: Lots and lots. Its almost constant.
Food cravings: ehh, maybe still sweets a bit?
Anything making you queasy or sick: The heat
Have you started to show yet: Still am
Gender: No clue
Names: Still no boy name, girl name is a secret...kinda
Labor Signs: No, but lots of Brackston-Hicks(sp?) contractions
Belly Button in or out? outie, been an outie since about 14ish weeks?
Wedding rings on or off? On, for the most part. I have to take them off sometimes and Ive had to remove my other ring I wear and my watch due to swelling.
Happy or Moody most of the time: A little moody, especially when its hot and Im working like a slave ;)
Looking forward to: Making sales on eBay. LOL, yeah, I'm a loser. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

My Foray into the World of Online Sales

29 weeks along today! It would be reasonable to expect this little on to arrive in 8-13 weeks from now. Eek! That's soon. We most likely have about 11 weeks, but still...it's so soon!

So, with the baby's imminent arrival, I have been thinking a lot about what life will look like after its arrival. Before my morning sickness got very bad, I was working three days a week for pretty good pay. I have not been able to get back up to those three days a week yet and probably wont until the November! I've been really considering how to work more from home and have been beginning to experiment with that.

I have a lot of skills that would lend well to certain businesses but unfortunately my rental agreement forbids running a business out of the home so that severely limits me. So I've had to get...well, actually less creative, more typical. id love to have a vegan food service or even a homeschool tutoring service for parents who work during the day, but I cant do those things. I am allowed to have an internet based business, though. Anyways, it started off that I sold a bunch of textbooks that were laying around the house to some online retailers. And then I got the idea of buying books to sell. And I've been doing that and having some real success. I've made a couple hundred within two weeks. I bought a smart phone to use some of the apps to make it easier to buy only books that sell well and that has already helped. And I'm researching a TON!! Thankfully there are a lot of blogs and articles about selling things online. There's a lot to learn. I've made a couple mistakes, thankfully only one that has actually cost us any money (40 bucks, eek!)

Now, I have rummaged through the house and found several items that I think I can sell on Etsy and Ebay in addition to the books that Ill continue trying to sell to online retailers. On Etsy I can sell some of the hand made goods I've made ( I'm pretty crafty) as well as a few "vintage" things that I either already had or bought very inexpensively. Oh, and I can sell some of my art supplies too. I need to purge that stuff anyways.

On Ebay, right now my goal is simply to learn how it works and make enough to at least break even and maybe only earn a couple bucks while I learn the system, fees, what sells, etc. I'm not risking much because I already have the stuff I'm selling. Once i have a better idea of how it works, I'd love to eventually expand that. I know of a few people who consistently make a few hundred dollars every week. Some people online who make a few thousand every month, which would be like a full-time job.

There are calculators for both Etsy and Ebay that include the PayPal fees and can help me figure out what the minimum price I need to set for each item is. If the item doesn't sell, I also know how much I have to pay to have the item listed (about 30 cents each.) So that's a tool that will really help.

Anyways....The other things I'm looking at is a company called Leapsource. They are a trusted company that hires at home workers to help improve search engines. The pay is about 13 an hour and Id only *have* to put in about 20 hours per month but could put in more as time (and sanity!) allowed. There's a testing process to get in there and I've known a few people who have not been able to get past that. Leapforce also prefers people with bachelors degrees and so far, I only have an Associates. We shall see.....I'm also sure I would want to stab my eyes out from boredom with that sort of work but you gotta do what you gotta do.

And finally, Ive been getting paid to take surveys. I've made a whopping 10 bucks for a few hours worth of filling out surveys. What bothers me most about it is that there are so many surveys I start and take for about 10 minuets before it tells me that either I don't qualify or they have reached their quota of participants and I dont get paid for my time. Its a waste of time. However, when  I have a couple free minutes, I do find myself clicking away answering survey questions. I guess if I can even earn enough in my spare moments to fill the gas tank once thats not a terrible thing, but in no way will it ever be a significant way to make money.

So, Im having a ton of fun with online sales and praying that will take off, but if not, I do have two other, more boring options to look into....Let see how this goes!