Ebay Scheduling Saves the Day
I used Ebay's scheduling feature to plan eight auctions. I made and scheduled the listings on Wednesday, we left Thursday morning and the auctions went public on Sunday evening at 10:00 pm (Eastern time), while we were halfway across the country.
One thing I forgot about when I planned the 7-day auction is that I would not be home to ship out any "Buy It Now" purchases. On Monday, four days before we would be home, one of my patterns sold. My Ebay policy says that I have two days to ship out patterns. Thankfully, Wednesday was Veteran's Day (and therefore not a business day) and we actually got home that night so I was able to ship it out Thursday morning, on time.
Simplicity #2936- $5.99
Vogue #6586- $15.50
Vogue #8090- $21.99
Total Income: $43.48
Ebay Fees- $4.35
Total Expenses: $11.10
Net Profit: $32.38
Two weeks ago when I wrote my first selling post, I guessed on one of the shipping prices because the buyer had not paid for the item yet. When a buyer doesn't pay, you can't print the shipping label and thus cannot know how much the shipping will cost. When I got on Ebay again to see if the buyer had paid, I noticed that she had sent a message.
"Hi - can you mail this to me just in an envelope by first class international? Usually I pay around $3 for this postage to Canada so it saves a considerable amount."
I checked, and she was right about the postage being much lower outside of Ebay. I told her I could fulfill her request. What I didn't know was that my free shipping was only to the US anyway, and didn't apply for other countries, thus SHE was obligated to pay the considerable abount. I also didn't know that sending something to Canada is a big, customs forms-filled hassle.
The lady was honest and nice enough. She paid like she said she would and sent $3.50- more than she thought it would be- for shipping, through Paypal. However, Ebay flat out refused to let me mark the item as paid, or print a shipping label. I could not get Paypal's international shipping website to work, so I had to hand-write the address and take it to the post office. When we got to the post office, the workers were off to lunch, so we had to wait a half hour and try again. Then I had to fill out a customs form, and when I was done there were five more people in line and I had to wait again. Finally I got up to the counter, and discovered that anything SOLD internationally has to have even more forms, and so I sent the item as a "gift". After it was shipped, I had to cancel the order on Ebay because it still was "unpaid".
It took literally TEN private messages from the buyer and at least two hours of my time to try and work this all out. The worst part is that all of this happened one day before we were supposed to leave. I was already busy trying to list other patterns and get things done before we left, all the while worrying about how this pattern was going to get shipped. We ended up shipping the pattern at some post office in the middle of the Upper Peninsula, DURING our trip. This wasn't convenient either because it took an extra hour out of our day between the post office being closed for lunch and waiting in line. It was just not worth it.
In the end, I learned my lesson to NEVER ship outside of Ebay, especially when I have nothing to gain anyway. The buyer told me, "When I see the global shipping program on any listing I usually just click out of the listing because the prices are so exorbitant. I guess it's another way for ebay to make some money. But I couldn't resist this hat - my daughter is SO into rockabilly and will love it!" However, you would think if she really wanted the pattern for her daughter she would have just paid the extra shipping. When I looked on her profile I noticed that she is also a re-seller of vintage patterns. I can't help but wonder if this pattern will end up on Ebay again in a couple weeks.
The shipping actually cost less than what it would have to ship inside the US, so technically it was a good deal for me. However, the extra two hours at home and hour lost on the road was definitely not worth a dollar or two.
I spent two hours listing and two hours with the shipping hassle, plus 20 minutes to ship each pattern that I sold this week. That makes a total of five hours worked.
$32.38 divided by 5 hours = $6.48/ hour
Even with the big shipping hassle last week, I still made a decent hourly wage.
Til next time,