LISTING CHALLENGE ~ Week Three ~ Turn that Stash Into Cash!

listing-challengeweek3

Well, well. That was quite a week! I accomplished close to NOTHING with my goals. Oh well.

Shake it off.

I did get one listing done that I had been putting off because it was clothing and I didn’t want to figure out how and where to take the picture. I just put on my big girl panties and got ‘er done!

dsc_0001I’m not thrilled with photos, but they are done and this his and hers set is listed!

I can’t even remember what else I listed last week but I don’t think it was much. I never got around to the item I was thinking of last week that I’ve been putting off…besides the clothing item up above. No motivation and my health wasn’t cooperating. Plus it was a short week as we went out of town on Friday.

Hope you all made out better than I did!

So moving forward! Let’s talk about goals this week! I’m already a bit behind as you can see by the fact this is coming out on Tuesday!

Your CHALLENGE for this week:

LOT THINGS UP! Okay, so as you’re going through your older stash items you may come across things that were not so exciting to list on their own and so they got set aside. Or they were not really as valuable as you thought they’d be. Or maybe your minimum list price has gone up since you started thrifting and reselling. Or some items have damage that you didn’t see originally.
If you can find logical ways to lot them up, do it!
For example, damaged silverplate flatware can be gathered up in a “craft” lot. Ditto for broken jewelry.

I’ll give you another example. Years back I was into vintage buttons. I bought big lots and would sift through them. Very therapeutic. I sold smaller groups of them or sometimes single ones! It was fun. I still sell buttons here and there but not like I used to. Lost interest in the niche I guess. I may just go ahead and make lots again. Just to clear some space.
Here’s hoping I don’t get all into the niche again when I’m looking through those buttons!! lol

Here’s another example: Junk drawer lots! Yes, it’s a thing! All those little odds and ends and bits and bobs that you haven’t brought yourself to throw out….lot ’em up! Sell ’em!

So that’s your CHALLENGE for the week. Of course…keep up that ratio of 1 old stash item for every 1 new item…or 2 to 1 would be even better.

Pull out another item you’ve been PROCRASTINATING on!

And keep a handle on that thrifting! You’ll see progress…I promise!

Share your progress in the comments below and / or on Facebook!

LISTING CHALLENGE ~ Week Two ~ Turn That Stash into Cash!

listing-challengeweek2

Well, the first week of November’s listing challenge is over! How did we do?

Did you manage to list at least one older ‘stash’ item for every newer item you listed? Did any of them sell?

Here are my stats:
I am by no means a power lister. I usually work on my online selling for a few hours scattered throughout my week between other obligations. Some days I have more time than others. But then there is also a busy 4 year old bopping around, demanding my attention. 🙂
But I’m pretty satisfied with what I got done.

I listed 24 items total. 15 of them were from my stash. 9 were newer items, probably thrifted within the last couple weeks. Woot! AND…I only thrifted ONCE! And only brought home a handful of flatware pieces. Yay me!

Nothing from the ‘stash’ items sold. But 2 of the ‘newer’ items did. And…all that listing kick-started some other sales on both Ebay and Etsy. And that’s the point, right? Sell some stuff and clear it out! Selling items out of your inventory makes room for the stash items to be in holding until they sell.

One thing I learned is that most of my items in my stash are vintage and will most likely go on Etsy. Here’s a sampling of the items I pulled out and listed:

Listing Challenge Stash Items

I just saw how the flatware is in that collage twice! Silly collage program! And obviously too late at night for me to write blog posts!

As you can see, I ended up focusing on smaller stash items. It was easier to pull out boxes of costume jewelry (yes I said ‘boxes’ !!!) and have a bunch of items available all at once that didn’t really need cleaning or sticker removal or whatever.

But I want to change things up this week and really dig deep. The point of this exercise is to make space too, right!?

So here is the CHALLENGE for WEEK TWO:

  • Keep up with your listing momentum. Try to keep up with the 1 to 1 ration. If you can bump it to listing 2 ‘stash’ items for every 1 newer item..go for it! And if you’ve caught up…YOU ROCK!!
  • Limit your thrifting. (*bites knuckle*). I know, I know. But seriously. I realized that is really the ONLY way to make any kind of headway. As I delve into the stash it makes me slightly overwhelmed (I tried not to think about it) and it really does become a slight deterrent to bringing more home. UNLESS….there’s too good of a deal to pass up. (I’m an enabler) OR….Thrifting is the therapy you need to get you motivated to keep listing. It totally works for me. Hence…a listing challenge. LOL.
    For example, this weekend I’ll be out of town and will no doubt hit some out of town thrift stores. But that’s too good of an opportunity to pass up. (Plus think of the mileage!!)
  • Okay now for the main CHALLENGE of the week:
    Pick one item that you have been procrastinating on for months, years, whatever! Whether it’s the research that’s held you back or figuring out how to ship it…there’s some reason you keep skipping over that item. Get over it!! Just get it listed! Bonus if you can list 2 or more of those items.

Okay so there you go! Please continue to comment below! I loved reading the comments! Let us know how you did last week and what you’re planning for this week.

And of course there will be a Facebook thread for you to share photos and comments. I’ll be posting my CHALLENGE item there when I finally get it pulled out. I definitely have one in mind!

 

LISTING CHALLENGE ~ Turn That Stash Into Cash!

Okay, so last post I mentioned the fact that I *may* have a problem with a bit of a backlog of inventory. The thrifting is just too much fun and I can acquire much faster than I can list and sell.

And I know I am not alone. Several of you mentioned in the comments that you’d be up for a listing challenge to help attack those backlogs!

In that last post I showed the items I dug out of a bin. So far I have sold the tartlet tins! That’s $24 (before fees) that is now in my bank account, not in a bin in my storage!

How much more CASH can I make from my STASH?? How much cash do YOU have hidden in those Rubbermaid bins and boxes? That’s the challenge for November! Let’s turn that stash into cash!

Join the Stash into Cash Listing Challenge! Got a backlog of inventory? Do you thrift faster than you can list and sell? We understand!

It can’t sell if it’s not listed…so that’s the first step.

For this first week of the challenge, I want you all to keep listing. By all means keep up with newer items that have come in. But for every ‘new’ item you list I want you to take one ‘old’ item from your stash and list it as well. I am going to do the same thing.

This is November 1st and already Tuesday so we will run this assignment until Sunday. Next Monday we will have another specific assignment for that week…and so on. By the end of the month we will see how much cash we’ve generated from our stash!!

Comment below if you are up for the challenge! Feel free to comment all week about your progress. I will also be running this challenge on my Facebook page so come join me over there! Over on Facebook you can share pictures of items you’ve uncovered and feel free to share the listing links there with us too! If you’re not a Facebook person, no worries…just share here!

Move It Out Monday….On a Tuesday!!

Move It Out Monday! The stories of an online reseller with an inventory backlog. Think PILES! And her adventures and attempts to reduce them!

No, you’re not going crazy. Today really is Tuesday. It reminds me of the Lego movie (I can’t count how many times I’ve seen it) where Lucy cries “Today will not be known as Taco Tuesday. It will be known as Freedom Friday….but still on a Tuesday!!!”

Anyway.

I have a backlog of inventory. I’ll admit it. I have discussed it here on the blog many times. I’m one of THOSE online thrifting resellers. Yes…the shopping is more fun than the listing. The more you learn and the more experience you get, the more you know you can flip. You go to the thrift store and easily find 10, 20 or more items to sell.

And I don’t know about you and where you live, but there are at least 10 thrift stores within 30 minutes of me and double or triple that within an hour. I have good intentions of staying out of the thrifts but there is one right NEXT DOOR to my grocery store. And I need those mileage deductions! Just sayin’.

But really, I AM doing better about the amount of new items I bring home. And I list those items right away. What I am working on now is making sure to grab a few items from my older bins and get those listed as well.

Last Friday, after I was starting to feel better after a nasty head cold, I dove into an older bin and pulled out some stuff I’ve had a little too long.

Vintage items to sell on Etsy. Part of my online selling backlog!

What is wrong with me??? This is cool stuff! I did get a few of the items listed over the weekend. (This post does contain affiliate links)

Tartlet Tins Made in Sweden

Tartlet Tins Made in Sweden

O & EG Royal Austria Open Salts

O & EG Royal Austria Open Salts

Bright Green Pocket Photo Album

Bright Green Pocket Photo Album

West Germany Pocket Watch Manicure Kit

Novelty Pocket Watch Manicure Set, Made in W. Germany

Love that last one. So did my 9 year old. I think he wanted to keep it. I asked him for pricing advice and he was quite ambitious. 🙂

Today I hope to get the last few items listed. The plastic fish trivet by Dansk is a fun favorite and the German language Edgar Allan Poe paperback book is pretty unique!

Along the same vein, I’ve been digging into my flatware stashes as well. I know I’ve got money just sitting there and it’s doing me no good!
Case in point:

dsc_0105

These two salad forks. I also have a dinner fork in this pattern. They are by Farberware and the pattern is called Seaside. Farberware is one of those brands that I don’t find very often and I was confused. These were part of a stainless flatware lot I bought awhile back. I think I had Farberware and Cuisinart mixed up in my mind. Anywho, its hard to explain my thought processes.
I am at the point where I need to just start selling items in bigger lots. So as I’m going through my flatware, I’m pulling out stuff that is just not worth listing by itself (to me, at this point in my life) but is still in good condition. These will go on Ebay in a large lot.
I was about to toss these forks into that lot but I decided to stop and do some general research on Farberware flatware. I came across this pattern and I was shocked at what the salad forks were going for.
I have these 2 forks listed together on Ebay for 59.99 and the dinner fork for 29.99. Crazy. And they were just sitting there in a box in my storage.
Shame on me!!

So that’s where I’m at. What about you? Do you list as soon as you acquire inventory? Are you slow like me?  It would be fun to do some kind of challenge, maybe in November…something about number of older items listed and how much money we make from them. Money in the closet or Shopping the Stash or something like that. Anybody in?

Selling on Etsy ~ How To Write a Description that Rocks! ~ Free Download

 

Selling on Etsy Part 5. Write item listing descriptions that rock!! Stuck for ideas? Download our free worksheet!

This post may have affiliate links.
Welcome to Part 5 of my Selling On Etsy series! How to write a description that rocks! You may be here because you’re already a reader of my blog or maybe this is your first time here. If the former is true, you may want to skip the next few paragraphs (yawn, old news…). If the latter is true, let me introduce myself.

My name is Shannon and I have been an Etsy seller for almost 10 years. Currently we have 5 shops on Etsy, however all but 2 of those are on hold right now. Hubby was selling with me but his own carpentry business has picked up and he hasn’t had time to devote to online selling at all.
We sell mostly vintage on Etsy and some supplies. We don’t currently sell handmade…but a lot of the principles I cover in this series I *think* should be good for both.

If you’re here and new to Etsy or thinking about selling on Etsy you may want to check out Part One.
Selling on Etsy ~ Part One ~ Why Sell on Etsy ~ My Top 5 Reasons

If you have an Etsy shop and are struggling with it or just want to work it a bit harder, you may want to check out Part Two ~ Getting Your Items Found ~ Photography . And then be sure to follow my blog as I plan on continuing this series!

In the Part Three to this series, we shared with you my Number One Top Tip for Getting Your Items Found I also shared with you some hard numbers about our Etsy sales so you can see what kind of experience we have.

Part Four covered How to Write Titles that Sell and we said we would use some of that information to help us with our descriptions. Which brings us to this post!

Write a Killer Description

Whenever I talk to a new Etsy seller and they mention they are having a hard time making sales, the first thing I check with them (after finding out how many items they have listed and how often they list) is how they handle their descriptions. Let’s look at a fictional example. Here’s a teacup Newbie Seller has listed for sale.

teacupOften, their title looks like this: “Haviland Limoges Teacup and Saucer”

And then the description looks like this:

“pretty tea cup and saucer. Marked Haviland & Co. Limoges”

Often people feel that their pictures and title cover everything and they have nothing left to put in their description. Honestly, it can be hard. Sometimes we get writer’s (seller’s?) block and it’s difficult to add anything else to a description. Sometimes we’re just lazy. (*raises hand*)
Free Download-able Brainstorming Worksheet to get you past that Description Writing block when creating Etsy listings!
Let’s try working on that description. It really helps to think like a buyer. What would you like to know about this teacup if you were thinking of buying it? Size maybe? Condition? Any marks? Let’s see one example of fleshing out this description.

“Lovely example of a Haviland & Co tea cup and saucer!
This teacup set is marked Haviland France in green and Haviland & Co Limoges in red.
Both the cup and saucer are marked.

Dating from the early 1900s, this teacup set is in great shape!
There are no cracks or chips.

The saucer has a lightly scalloped rim and measures 5-3/8″ across.
Both pieces are rimmed in gold. The teacup handle is also gold.
Minimal wear to the gold. The teacup is 3-5/8″ across the mouth and 2″ high.

The design on the teacup and saucer is green, with a dark red chevron type accent.”

This is just one option as an example. While it may be a bit more “wordy”, it still has short paragraphs with only the basic information. I’ve also seen how successful sellers use more of a bullet point format. They restate their title as the first line of the description, including those keywords and keyword phrases we worked so hard on in Titles that Sell. Then after that introductory line or paragraph, they use bullet points.

Brand: Haviland Limoges
Item: Tea cup and saucer set
Color: Green and Red
Pattern: Unknown
Design: chevron 
Saucer Dimensions: 5-3/8″
Cup Dimensions: 3-5/8″ x 2″
Condition: No cracks or chips. Minimal wear to the gold rim. 

There is no one single correct format. The point is to have content. You want the most important information first (sound familiar? Yes, just like titles). Think of those mobile buyers who may only see the beginning of your title or skim through the details of your description.

If you are really stuck, please feel free to click on the image up above or CLICK HERE for a free download-able brainstorming worksheet to get you past that writer’s block!

Summary:

  • Start the item description with a strong statement of what the item is. Use your best keywords and keyword phrases.
  • In either bullet points or short paragraphs add extra details.
  • Include information like condition, size, capacity, color, pattern names, maker, brand, artist, etc…
  • What are some other possible uses for the item? For example, a small dish could be a paperclip holder on a desk or a jewelry holder on a nightstand.

A long time ago, I heard the advice to take pictures like there’s no description and describe the item like there’s no pictures. For the most part, I agree with that. I do think you need balance. You can’t spend half an hour on each description or you’ll never get anything listed. Like with most things, the more practice you get, the faster you’ll get. Choose a format and stick with it. It’ll get easier, I promise.

One more PRO TIP: 

Did you know that if you include Etsy links in your description area they will be clickable? Use this feature to direct people to other places in your shop. At the end of flatware listings I say “More vintage flatware here” and then I put a link to the Vintage Flatware section of my shop. See an example here.
Other sellers put links to their About Me page or to their Shop storefront.
Anything to keep your potential buyer bopping around in your shop is a good thing!

I hope this helps with your description writing! Do you have any other suggestions? Feel free to comment below.

And for more tips and tricks for selling on Etsy make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

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