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Buying and Selling on eBay: Tips, Tricks, Problems & Questions - Page 1980

post #29686 of 30429
Maximizing efficiency:

It would be interesting to hear from some of you experienced colleagues how you have gone about maximizing efficiency of your eBay process. For me, this is a very part-time thing, fueled mostly by my own sartorial passion, and frankly, an addiction I've been trying to shake for some years now. Of course, eBay has helped with this, as the progression towards ever more work and responsibility for sellers, coupled with unreasonable expectations of a new generation of buyers has made it progressively more onerous. Plus, in the past couple of years, prices have halved (at least for me). I'll spare the rant about lowballs for another time . . . My process looks like this:

1. Intake items and prep for photography.
2. Assemble photography area (I am not able to have a "permanent" one here, so stuff often accumulates).
3. Photograph and measure/annotate
4. Pack, number and shelve completed items
5. Edit images in Apple Photos (I may migrate to Lightroom soon to take advantage of bulk editing), and export to per-item folders named with the item number and name.
6. Upload images in bulk to Auctiva
7. Write/complete listings and post

Some listings are done straight into the iPad app (shoes, boots and ties, for example), but I've had issues with color balance and contrast ratio, plus I've had to retake MANY items whose images have expired inside of the app (my fault, but infuriating!!), either by me not posting them before the draft expired, or omitting to re-list them when expired. I therefore prefer having all my images available in folders. That also helps when buyers have questions.

However, my main concern is efficiency of listing, or in my case, the lack of it. How have you created efficiencies to overcome the mind-numbing tedium of posting listings? It would be great if there was some kind of listing software that could pull measurements and item details from specific fields of a spreadsheet, upload the images to match the item number and then submit in bulk. Perhaps that functionality exists and I just don't know about it. I would say that the app somewhat improves efficiency by obviating multiple image transfers, but there are still all those tedious fields to fill out, and I'd love to find some shortcuts. How can I deal with each piece of data ONLY ONCE? Any suggestions? All other thoughts on maximizing efficiency in any area of this also gratefully received. Perhaps I could start by writing shorter posts . . .
post #29687 of 30429
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sartoriamo View Post

Maximizing efficiency:

It would be interesting to hear from some of you experienced colleagues how you have gone about maximizing efficiency of your eBay process. For me, this is a very part-time thing, fueled mostly by my own sartorial passion, and frankly, an addiction I've been trying to shake for some years now. Of course, eBay has helped with this, as the progression towards ever more work and responsibility for sellers, coupled with unreasonable expectations of a new generation of buyers has made it progressively more onerous. Plus, in the past couple of years, prices have halved (at least for me). I'll spare the rant about lowballs for another time . . . My process looks like this:

1. Intake items and prep for photography.
2. Assemble photography area (I am not able to have a "permanent" one here, so stuff often accumulates).
3. Photograph and measure/annotate
4. Pack, number and shelve completed items
5. Edit images in Apple Photos (I may migrate to Lightroom soon to take advantage of bulk editing), and export to per-item folders named with the item number and name.
6. Upload images in bulk to Auctiva
7. Write/complete listings and post

Some listings are done straight into the iPad app (shoes, boots and ties, for example), but I've had issues with color balance and contrast ratio, plus I've had to retake MANY items whose images have expired inside of the app (my fault, but infuriating!!), either by me not posting them before the draft expired, or omitting to re-list them when expired. I therefore prefer having all my images available in folders. That also helps when buyers have questions.

However, my main concern is efficiency of listing, or in my case, the lack of it. How have you created efficiencies to overcome the mind-numbing tedium of posting listings? It would be great if there was some kind of listing software that could pull measurements and item details from specific fields of a spreadsheet, upload the images to match the item number and then submit in bulk. Perhaps that functionality exists and I just don't know about it. I would say that the app somewhat improves efficiency by obviating multiple image transfers, but there are still all those tedious fields to fill out, and I'd love to find some shortcuts. How can I deal with each piece of data ONLY ONCE? Any suggestions? All other thoughts on maximizing efficiency in any area of this also gratefully received. Perhaps I could start by writing shorter posts . . .


Not evangelizing the mac, but if you already are in the apple infrastructure, a mac with garagesale could streamline the photo's section of your workflow. Drag and drop images to GS and they are then on their server and only time out when the auction ends. They charge for storage on GIC listings but after the first listing for 10 days, you can do GIC without paying. I use lightroom and once you're able to use import settings, it speeds up the work flow considerable. Exposure, Color (white balance).

 

I'm just finishing my 3rd year on ebay as a low/medium quantity seller (10-15 items a week) and if I didn't already have a mac, I'd buy one. If I was counting my pennies, I'd get one off craigslist. Anything after 2011. There are other sites that specialize in used macs. Garagesale isn't available on PC and really, more than anything can streamline work flow.

 

Best tip I ever followed was from @txwoodworker to package everything for shipping right after photos (in free USPS boxes) so you only handle each item once. Takes me under a half-hour on Sunday evening to print labels and stick them to boxes.

 

2nd best tip (from @Snoogz and @brianpore) was to buy strobes for photography. Initially it was a pain but now I'm consistently getting better photo's than before. Not perfect, but better. A White Card/ Grey Card is another essential to getting accurate exposure and color.

 

3rd best tip (@capnwes) was to package everything in plastic bags before boxing. Once you fold something, the bag holds the shape and eases the process of getting it in a box.

 

I'm using a thermal printer for labels, and it is easier than laser labels, so if you're printing and taping labels, that should be high on the list to avoid.

 

If I was a truly high-volume seller and pursuing multiple stores, I would hire someone to make a filemaker template with an integrated inventory function.

 

My $.02.

post #29688 of 30429

One thing for me is that if I measure and photo in the same stretch, I get way less done in a night. If I focus on one aspect, I can get in a zone and get through my backstock insanely fast. I have a spreadsheet and I'll pick a night where I exclusively measure and create a listing title along with all of the pertinent info (material, country, etc.) and add all of that to the spreadsheet. Then, another night I'll just take pics for hours on end while having the Simpsons on in the background. Once those are all done, I'm able to list items whenever I feel like it. I can pick some out for BIN and throw 1-2 up at a time, or I can spend time in GarageSale and get templates prepped and then put all of them to auction at the same time. When I was doing the measuring/pics/listing in one shot, I'd lose steam way faster and I could never get myself into a flow.

 

Case in point: I had an hour to kill yesterday in the afternoon and I was able to get all of the unhighlighted listings ready for a quick auction blast yesterday evening.

post #29689 of 30429
Quote:
Originally Posted by jebarne View Post


Not evangelizing the mac, but if you already are in the apple infrastructure, a mac with garagesale could streamline the photo's section of your workflow. Drag and drop images to GS and they are then on their server and only time out when the auction ends. They charge for storage on GIC listings but after the first listing for 10 days, you can do GIC without paying. I use lightroom and once you're able to use import settings, it speeds up the work flow considerable. Exposure, Color (white balance).

I'm just finishing my 3rd year on ebay as a low/medium quantity seller (10-15 items a week) and if I didn't already have a mac, I'd buy one. If I was counting my pennies, I'd get one off craigslist. Anything after 2011. There are other sites that specialize in used macs. Garagesale isn't available on PC and really, more than anything can streamline work flow.

Best tip I ever followed was from @txwoodworker
to package everything for shipping right after photos (in free USPS boxes) so you only handle each item once. Takes me under a half-hour on Sunday evening to print labels and stick them to boxes.

2nd best tip (from @Snoogz
and @brianpore) was to buy strobes for photography. Initially it was a pain but now I'm consistently getting better photo's than before. Not perfect, but better. A White Card/ Grey Card is another essential to getting accurate exposure and color.

3rd best tip (@capnwes
) was to package everything in plastic bags before boxing. Once you fold something, the bag holds the shape and eases the process of getting it in a box.

I'm using a thermal printer for labels, and it is easier than laser labels, so if you're printing and taping labels, that should be high on the list to avoid.

If I was a truly high-volume seller and pursuing multiple stores, I would hire someone to make a filemaker template with an integrated inventory function.

My $.02.

Great stuff! Thanks! No worries evangelizing the Mac: I bought my first one in 1984 and never looked back. But dang, I'd seen Garage Sale around, and always figured it was for garage sales. Duh. I'll pick that up this afternoon and give it a shot.

BTW, for all the value-oriented folks on here, the strategy I've used with my Apple gear (at least, since the advent of the 'Bay) is to replace it all pretty much annually. I buy a discounted AppleCare on eBay for the "old" one, and list it with the 2-year remaining AppleCare as soon as I've migrated everything to the new one. That keeps the upgrade ∆ to a minimum. A few hundred bucks a year and I have all new Apple stuff all the time. Let it go even two years and the ∆ becomes more punishing, especially for multiple devices.

Yes, agreed on boxing right after photography, and in plastic dry cleaner bags. Works great. I'll investigate thermal printers, but for the moment, I have a large Brother wireless MFC, with regular paper in the top tray and sticky-backed labels in the bottom one. No taping, except on small soft-packs. I guess strobes will be my next subject for study, and will check earlier posts in the thread for that. Thanks again!
post #29690 of 30429
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sartoriamo View Post


Great stuff! Thanks! No worries evangelizing the Mac: I bought my first one in 1984 and never looked back.


I was a couple years later. I bought the mac plus. paid $800 for a 20mb scsi drive so I wouldn't have to shuttle the 23 disks that came with office in and out of the 3.5" floppy drive. Oh, and that super sweet imagewriter printer.

 

My wife was still using that machine in her classroom until we moved in 2007 and she let it go. finally.

post #29691 of 30429
Did ebay remove the option to refund the buyer? It used to be a one click thing
post #29692 of 30429

^you can do it in PayPal.

post #29693 of 30429

September was my best month ever by a factor of almost 3. Just got lucky with finding a few high value pieces and insta-selling them. So, definitely a one-off event. I can already see the 'last 31 days' numbers in my seller hub going down (but they're still green). It'll be funny to see them in all red eventually, with the added concern trolling from ebay 'Looks like your sales have dropped lately. Everything OK hon?'.

post #29694 of 30429

One for the block list, another return abuse.

 

(it's not Wes)

post #29695 of 30429
Help with a title please. Thank you in advance.


post #29696 of 30429
Quote:
Originally Posted by txwoodworker View Post
 

One for the block list, another return abuse.

 

(it's not Wes)

or is it...

 

:hide: 

post #29697 of 30429

One to add... international sale issues

 

post #29698 of 30429
So do I block this douchebag?





post #29699 of 30429

Any ideas on how to price this? Any fur experts on here can confirm fur type?

 

Marc Jacobs thick cashmere w full (Chinchilla?) lining. Fur is not tagged.

 

Some of the fur has come unstitched and there's a tiny nickel sized part on the chest near the armpit that has a bit missing. So it'll need to be repaired.

 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #29700 of 30429
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyrone MacStiophain View Post

So do I block this douchebag?

You can have him become the high bidder then end auction early and sell to high bidder, send him an invoice for the agreed amount.  No reason to block IMO.  Also, if, while trying to become the high bidder, he's outbid, then it's a non issue, and your item just got bid up.

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