Sunday, 17 April 2016

EBay record takings smashed.

Well March was my best ever month on eBay. Basically I worked my little socks off and loaded everything onto there that I could.

Top sales items were:-

Peacock Jardiniere £100 bought for £57 so not a huge margin and I had it sitting in stock, garage, fairs etc so was glad to see back of it! Terrified of breaking it and the lovely customer came to collect.

Derby winners Silk Scarf went to the USA, these are quite rare and I was really lucky to find this in a mixed 2 boxes of items. I paid £32 & £6.50 commission. Sold a lot of other scarves and tea towels for £65. So I had this scarf for sale for £5 at the antique centre, lucky it did not sell so decided to research it and found oh boy yup worth money! So listed at £95 and it sold, I charged postage too as it had to be insured. So a great profit from an item I had no idea was worth any money. Rest of the lot failed to sell so back into auction bought in a further £10 after commission. Then see next item below.

Also in the scarves lot above, was a transistor radio, unopened and unused. Now just think about that, in the 1960's we all used out Transistors to death as Mum & Dad never let us near their radio equipment! So to have an unused one pristine in box is a rare thing. Plus it had all the receipts and had been bought by an employee of the manufacturing company so great history. So we see from above I am already in serious profit on this lot but I put it on at £100 - nothing doing. Reduced it to £75 and bingo got an offer, had to fight a bit to get it raised but sold for £60.

 Bumper fishing bundle, lots of feathers, tying equipment, spools etc all for Fly Fishing. Now once upon a time I worked in a pet shop that also sold fishing gear, not fly fishing stuff. But I did have an idea this might make a bit of money. So went ahead and bought it for £48 including commission whoopee sold for £123.

Of course on all this lot of £'s I have to pay ebay commissions which work out at 10-14% of total sales and they take another 10 % of your postal charges. Plus Paypal take a chunk too. So I allow 20% for commission to online blood suckers. Still made a good bit from these items.

Had some fails as well, there always are you just have to accept that not everything will sell. Sometimes its seasonal, wrong pricing, condition issues = fussy buyers or you have just plain bought a load of rubbish. You just have to suck that up and stick it in a box either for another auction or off to the boot fair. Real dead wood goes to the tip.

Or like me you make a mess up of postage and send items to the wrong people. But that's for another post.

I always give my items a try at the antique centre, at a fair and on ebay that way you get to all types of buyers. Yes there are still people who don't buy off the internet. I also often have a 1/2 price sale at least twice a year at the antique centre. This allows other dealers to get some bargains and try them at other centres. 

It was  a huge amount of work after the euphoria of sales, many tea sets and dinner services, darn they take a lot of packing.  Anyway this month April I am back to earth, boot season has started and people are off there spending.

Well that's me off for some supper see you next time.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Defects on Your Shipping Times on eBay - Some hints and tips from a Top Rated Power Seller Seller

So are you trading on eBay like me?

Have you picked up some defects on Shipping?

Its not hard to do and you have to watch it like a hawk!!!

These examples are from personal experience and have been resolved by phoning eBay or using their Customer Contact form.

So Lesson 1:- Always contact eBay to try to resolve a defect.

Why should I???

Answer:-  because they do help and do listen.

Lesson 2:- You are so cross you can't think straight or are going to loose you temper

Answer:- Vent somewhere else first, Facebook, friends scream at wall etc, until you are calmer before you phone eBay

Lesson 3:- Find Help & Contact on your eBay page.

Yup it's a bit of a nightmare finding your way round. My personal take on this is if they are swamped its harder to get to where you want to be to find the info to contact them. So keep trying and remember you want a good outcome - your defect taken off, so keep going and keep calm. Keep trying till you find an answer or near match to your problem.

You don't have to go through with your query, read whats on the page, if its not quite right go back and try another route. I have spent many hours doing this to keep my 100% record. It's not a hardship it's just the way you have to do business on eBay. Remember any business you run will give you problems. So in all cases you the business owner have to learn to deal with them in a professional way. Well that is if you the business owner want to run your business in a professional way?

Lesson 4 - Is this really a wrong or questionable Defect??? Or are you just sulking because you were late shipping??? If yes fess up to yourself and learn, then do better next time. Go open wine, whiskey etc and drown sorrows. Then look at your next eBay sales and do better. You know you can.

Lesson 5 - Yay! Questionable Defect so we are now going to look at my two examples of when Ebay will change your defect and take them off your account.

Defect 1 - Customer Requests a change that causes a defect

Customer contacts me via eBay mail and asks that I ship to get to her Mother on specific date as Mother is away until then.

1st check that shipping address is on eBay and that you can ship to the Mother or you will not be covered by eBay rules and customer can claim money back and you have no legs to stand on. You know they are going to try and do a fraud.

OK customer has got Mothers address as delivery so I can comply with their request. Its complex already !!! I feel this will cause more problems so I am going to be nit picky about adding tracking details and posting dates, keeping receipts handy and record of emails etc.

Action to take:- Change my shipping method from Next Day Courier to 2nd Class Recorded. No action can be taken on eBay page as customer already paid.

You can save disasters by thinking ahead - or learning from my experience

So I email back confirming that I am changing shipping method as I can't ship by next day due to other commitments in my work schedule. I change shipping to 2nd class recorded. However, this does mean that I have to pay an extra £1. Result £1.00 less PROFIT here.

All this has happened after customer has paid the invoice. So I can not go back and change the shipping on the invoice. Something I could have done if the (stupid, thoughtless, or just plain did not think) customer could have asked before they bid or paid!!! SO ALL THIS HASSLE IS THE CUSTOMERS FAULT.

Next action is to ship and record tracking data on the item. This done I go have the evening glass of wine and my dinner.

Week later DEFECT shows up on my Seller Dashboard. Not a happy Easter Bunny so I go investigate. And yes its that delivery.

Action Taken

Trawl through eBay help and send email on shipping to Customer Services at 8PM they respond at 3AM. Phone buzz wakes me up. Yay they agree I have done what customer asked, they can see this from emails between me and customer.


Defect removed. Next time this happens I will contact eBay first to tell them what is going on before I agree. 

So I learn another lesson - you never stop learning on eBay always something you have not come across happens on here.

2nd Defect - eBay system & Royal Mail anomaly causes defect

I go look on my corrected Seller Dashboard and WHAT the Heck??? A defect is still there. No way they said it would be removed, so I go check the eBay email again. Ah it says may take 7 days to show up on your page. Yup I have to wait.

So life passes and its now Easter Sunday, nothing else to do as shops are shut so on to eBay and not a lot happening so I can get a phone call from them. This may only be available to Top Power Sellers.

I phone, very nice helpful lady called Anna, remember she is stuck working on Easter Sunday, so I am extra nice and have a laugh and joke with her.

We look at the first defect, its cleared, "Oh dear she says you got another one". So we go look at that and find this on the tracking details.

Royal Mail have tried to deliver on the correct date and left a card. Customer not in. delivery does not take place until 19th.

eBay system does not allow for this eventuality so you are always going to pick up a late delivery on this  type of delay. YES I know how stupid is this, but its a known anomaly and eBay don't seem to be working with Royal Mail to resolve it. Big Moan here.

 Result Defect removed.

 Lesson learned keep an eye on your defects, act quickly and get them resolved.

Action taken:- Think I will be contacting Royal Mail (by using CEO EMail site on google) again to alert them to this problem.

CEO MAIL on Google lists the email direct to all UK business Top Dogs, so you can go straight to the top person. I have found this to be so good to do. Top person is often in total ignorance of the problems being dealt with by their lower minions!!!

They will panic, as they are shielded from problems like this. They alert one of their aides who is tasked with "Sort this pain in butt out" order. Result you get action taken. Big smile here.

I will update later if this gets any results.

Happy eBaying you can comment or ask questions here or go to my Facebook page Mad Bird Designs UK

Love always Joan

Thursday, 24 September 2015

One Year On - Still trading!!

Hello yes its me! I have been silent for nearly a whole year, this was to allow me some space to get my business up and running properly. Think I might have nearly got there.

During the year I have had some ups...............

Opened up at GosfieldShoppingVillage an antique centre with a farm shop and nice cafe. I have cabinets and an 8 x8 bay here.

Sales are going well here, two chairs, childs chair and most of the books have sold.

The cabinets have smaller more cherished items in them. Oh and a lot of bling jewellery.

Still been painting furniture and tutored a group of Back to Work Adults for 16 weeks in Colchester. That was pretty challenging but fun. These are my most recent chairs.

Annie Sloan paint, first go at painting over the fabric, great result looks and feels just like leather. Just got a booking to do a follow up demo with the company that employed me before, they have an open day. Must have done something right!

I'm continuing to sell every month at Long Melford Antique & Vintage Fair and also on ebay. So everything is going in the right direction and so far the bills are paid.

Only one down and that was an injury. I dislocated my ribs, have now done this 4 times!!! But this time there was a lot of internal swelling and it caused my heart to struggle. So emergency ambulance, 7 hours in A&E Colchester. Fully recovered and dreading doing it again, worst pain since childbirth.

It's been a fun year with some steep learning curves and a whole lot of packing boxes, loading boxes, unloading boxes and unpacking boxes. Bit like constantly moving house.

Looking forward to your comments.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

First Month at the Antique Centre Completed

So I have survived my first month as a fully fledged Painted Furniture and Vintage dealer!

Not made a fortune but if everyone had paid up I would have completely replaced my previous income. So I am pleased that I have achieved that standard.

New stock bought two of these, I thought they were a handy table/magazine/remote storage unit.

Refinished inAnnie Sloan Chalk Paint Old Violet with decoupaged postcard copies and some gold acrylic paint, varnished with Polyvine Dead Flat Matt and Satin varnish mixed.
 Really pleased with this one.

Remember this naughty item with the bad bleed?

 This is it before work really started.

Now looking really fine & dandy.

 A close up so you can see the craquelure. I've made it uneven as I think this looks better, rather than a uniform finish. Another item I am really happy with.

Restocked unit at the antique centre.

The toy cupboard, anything there you used to play?

The mice and bunnies now have high perches to check out my competition!
I have been using the net curtain and spray paint again.

I've been doing some dying using ASCP Henrietta and Dylon China Blue. The sales of vintage linens is very slow, so I thought I would make some vintage bunting in themed colours.
 Now I have to iron them all.

Some really sad news I have had to lose my lovely dog Molly. Here she is just a few months ago playing with Little Molly.

Not a lot of time to prepare myself, she lost the plot mentally and it became unsafe to keep her. Awful decision to have to make, but the Vet, we call him Uncle Robert, has known her since I got her 4 1/2 years ago, agreed I had to make this decision. She was 12 1/2 as near as we can get as she was a rescue.

She went very peacefully and I was there to hold her paw. I've got an Oak seedling to plant in the woods on our favourite walk as a lasting memory of her.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Running Round Like a Rat on Speed!

So busy, so many car journeys, so much traffic and JAMS! Injured tendon at back of calf from over use of clutch in those jams, ouch can't walk properly and it swelled up to an enormous size too. Got the welly boots on walked the dog and then worked up a real sweat trying to get them off again. Whilst walking my ankle had gone and blown up really badly.

Thank you all for your lovely comments from last week, much appreciated.

Back on Ebay sales, lots of wonderful lace, linen and embroidery.

I've been to auction and one lot I bought looks pretty boring from the outside.

First couple of pages don't look too promising either.

Then look super Edwardian birthday, wedding and anniversary cards.

 As a treat I have scanned 4 for you all to use in your craft projects. 600dpi so you should get good use from them.

Here's a couple of projects I'm working on.

Another suitcase, I have sold three decoupaged suitcase now.

1970's magazine rack come  coffee tables before.

Part way through, Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, those Edwardian ladies, two coats of PVA, sanded, gold acrylic paint and run out of varnish.

Looking a lot smarter now. I am always amazed at the transformation a bit of paint can achieve.

I am totally out of Oomph now so early night for me. Will drop into Handmade Monday over breakfast tomorrow.