Saturday, January 16, 2016

So Why Do Buyers Always Buy The Things I Can't Find?

I know I know - if it I can't find it, it should not be on eBay. Got's why I like Amazon FBA so much.  I can list it, send it in and never have to look for it. 

That said, it happened again this week.  A bowl, one I hated because it was so big and took up so much shelf space, and was not well shaped for "stacking'.  And of course, since I couldn't find it, it sold.

SO...what to do?

What kind of inventory system are you using because mine is not working 100% and I'm looking to tweak it.

Please us the comments to speak about how "you" control  your inventory.

Meanwhile, this is what I do, because maybe you'll have some suggestions for tweaking this too! .\

First I buy things..auctions, fleamarkets, thrift shops, stores..

Bring it home and clean it. (YES! I wash everything or at least run it thru the dryer..)

Then photograph, identify and measure... and LIST!  eBay, Amazon, Bonanza (I'd put it on ecrater but that's whole other episode...or mini-series in the drama of my ebay life).

Two years...four years... (Ok 7 years later), it sells... WHERE is it?

Back in 2012, I was facing surgery. My husband as convinced I would be disabled, mentally and physically for months and so he took every box of inventory, checked to see if it was listed and put it on a shelf (yes, he built the shelves too).   He marked each item, in the ebay listing form with what shelf he put it on. In the custom label field. 

So now, in 2016 when/if something sells, we are supposed to be able to go put our hands on it immediately.   Yeah not so much...

Two things happened... first of all, let me say that 90% of the time he shelves things.  BUT both of us must have gotten sloppy (see how I diffused that blame thing so superbly? 40 years of marriage there... LOL).  So things didn't get put on the correct shelf.................a lot..

AND things "fell off" ebay and didn't stay listed so the shelves are over loaded with "unlisted" items and then the listed items, there are abour 20% of which that have the wrong shelf in the inventory location.  (It's called a "snipe hunt" when we have to go look for one of them).

SO what do you do to make sure everything stays listed and you have it in the right "location" physically?  I'll be waiting here.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

10 Things I Love About Turbolister

Last night I was a guest for a segment on That Kat Radio.   Kat and I discussed these 10 things. Well, I think we really got thru 6.. but here are the whole 10 for you to check out.  Includig links to my Facebook page for Turbo Lister.

MY Top Ten Reasons that I love Turbo Lister
1.    Its FREE

2.    Can be used off-line – like when Comcast sabotages me during my available work time

3.    I can have all my ebay listings safely stored OFF ebay. Useful for instance when they take down a listing for some reason (like a duplicate or a policy violation..)  or when they “disappear” one of my listings

4    Makes it very easy to list similar items by setting up a template and then duplicating it 100 times and just changes phrases and prices etc.

5.    I can change the format to relist something from Auction to Fixed Price or vice versa with 3 clicks

6.    I can search and replace –like when they did away with accepting cash payments..or when I changed my store name or my user id and it was in the description text of 2500 listings

7.    I can import listings from ebay or from another site (as a backup or as a way of flooding ebay)

8.    I can export via TL for adding listings to a different website or as back up or for accounting purposes (you can then import them to say Excel as a spreadsheet.

9.    Synchronizing - lets you keep ebay and TL working seamlessly

10.    To revise or reprice without ending or using bulk editor (I love bulk editor but it has eaten a lot of my listings and duplicated many more of them with resulting violations

IF you like this you can follow me on twitter @BethCherkowsky or @depressionglass

Friday, March 20, 2015



Search Results

noun: reciprocity
  1. the practice of exchanging things with others for mutual benefit, especially privileges granted by one country or organization to another.
So do you have reciprocity in your life? I do you a favor and then you do me one?   I thought I did. I spent years encouraging and promoting friends as they "grew" and expanded their businesses.  I put contacts and opportunities I saw in their path and pushed them to use them. 

Now I have a new venture of my own and asked two people I most trusted to endorse it.  One did. (Thanks Kat Simpson of ) and one didn't (nameless, you notice?) 

Don't be that dork person - the Lame Person ala Rob Lowe in his new tv commercials.  If someone endorses you or promotes your business, return that favor somehow.   Don't say "oh I can't" and then promote someone else offering a lower quality service. 

And I've said this before - Be Careful who you follow and/or endorse.  Watch their public behavior and how they treat people that can't do them favors.   It's the best indicator of a genuine person

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

What's In a Name? The Shops of Online Business Success

We are a group of eCommerce sellers - eBay, Etsy, Amazon, eCrater, Bonanza, and more.  We have been friends for years now, and enjoy sharing advice, friendly conversation, and writing this blog together as well.

One of our group members, Carol of Abby's Attic, recently noticed that many of our store names involve a location:

"Trish's are in a Birdhouse
Deb's are in a corner cafe
Carol's are in an attic

~Trish's~ Upstairs
Kat's are in a Kloset
Sharon's are in a General Store
Videotown's are in a Town.
Beth's are in a Warehouse
Arrrans are in a corner
Suz's are in her Mom's Attic "

I thought this was very clever, and wanted to share a little post about our store names with you.

Elaine shares the story of her her store name, PhoenixRising2000:  "Named after the Phoenix, a mythical birdlike creature. 'a mythical bird of great beauty fabled to live 500 or 600 years in the Arabian wilderness, to burn itself on a funeral pyre, and to rise from its ashes in the freshness of youth and live through another cycle of years: often an emblem of immortality or of reborn idealism or hope.' I adopted the Phoenix as my symbol after surprisingly surviving a bout with Cancer."

Pat shares the story of her store name, Nicalucks:  "When Scott was in a coma/paralyzed/intensive care a college friend of his handed me a small stuffed reindeer and said he had brought her tons of good luck with her exams. She said another girl, whom she didn't know, had given it to her when she was in the bathroom crying over her upcoming exams. She aced her exam(s) and passed the little stuffed animal to me for luck for Scott.  It was the week before Christmas and a group of Scott's friends and I wanted to give him a name so we came up with nicaluck.....nic--short for St. Nick and luck because Scott needed so much of it. It worked. I should have passed it on to yet another person but I didn't--he has been sitting on my desk with me ever since."

Marion shares the story of her store name, This N That Freeland Enterprises  :  "My "This N That" store goes back to many years ago when I did loads and loads of crafting when I was a kid. When my children were young and I wasn't able to go out for a full time job I still did the crafts and carried the name thru. I was fortunate to be able to stay home with our children but I just needed to keep busy doing something so I did many kinds of crafting, hence the "this n that"....(This N That Handmade Craft Gifts). I still like doing my crafting, but rarely find free time to do it.  Now-a-days, I sell a little of this and a little of that which is why I kept the same name.....:-)"

My store, Birdhouse Books, was inspired by my favorite song, "Birdhouse in Your Soul" by They Might Be Giants.

You will find more great Online Business Success (OBS) shops to visit:

Katarina - Very Desperate Housewife 
Meryl - Elisia at eCrater 
Stacey - StaceyK's Collection
Cheryl - Electric Avenue

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Have you tried selling on Facebook Groups?

Online sellers have long known that selling on multiple venues helps keep a steady income coming in. We sell on eBay, Amazon, Bonanza and many Facebook groups. Each venue has it's pros and cons so you need to look at and weigh your options to see what is best for your business.

There are 2 kinds of Facebook groups local ones and then special interest groups. We are lucky in our area there are 18 local groups that we list and sell on. It is just like having a yard sale online instead of your yard. List the item and once someone wants it make arrangements for pick up.

The other type of online selling groups are special interest groups to join and sell on. There are groups for many vintage items like Christmas, Pyrex, Toys and many more. We also have sold many items on these group. We list the item with a price plus shipping. So then someone wants the item we would get their zip code and give them a shipping price and then send an invoice.

Selling on Facebook has helped improve our sales you should try it.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Nancy Drew and The Case of the Missing Listings

It was a dark and stormy night.   Thunder lit up the room as I peered at the computer.  While pricing items on eBay, I discovered two of my items were not appearing in search.   They were in Turbolister, and I could pull them up with "View Listing" from that program, but no assortment of keywords pulled them up on eBay.  Both the missing listings were children's books, listed as fixed price (Good Till Cancelled), with nice big photos and item specifics.  They were listed on the same date, September 17.

I called eBay and a customer service representative told me I should just end and relist the items.   I still wanted answers, and was puzzled by the mystery, so I did what any good eBayer would do ... I called Nancy Drew.

Before I knew it, Nancy was pulling into the driveway in her jaunty blue roadster.  She came in for a cup of tea, and I told her about my dilemma.  "I'll be right on it," she promised.  "I'm sure there is a solution."

One day went by, and then another.  Before I knew it, a week had passed.  Then, just when I thought the case had gone cold, the doorbell rang and when I answered, I found that Nancy Drew had come to call.

She pulled a stack of photos out of her satchel.  As she spoke, she showed me the photos she had taken.  "I'm so sorry it's taken a while.  I've looked everywhere for your missing listings.  They weren't in the old clock.  They weren't on the steamboat.  They weren't in the crumbling manor.   Finally I paid a visit to eBay headquarters.  I searched high and low ... but your missing listings weren't anywhere to be found.   I am so sorry this happened.  I never have been stumped by a case like this before.  It's like they just vanished!   I'll continue looking, in case I find them in a treasure chest, or tucked inside an old book.  But -- in the meantime, I guess you should end the items and relist them."   And with those words, Nancy walked out of my house and into the night.  I went back to work, still puzzling over the strange and mysterious disappearance.  

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sourcing for eBay Year Round -

This subject comes up all the time. Where do I find more stuff to sell on ebay??

This is my segment on ebay radio on November 4th discussing where to get more merchandise.

Come see some of the stuff I am selling -


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Kathy Simpson Interviews Greg Jameson and Karen Locker

I don't normally do this or haven't lately but I thought this interview which my friend Kathy Simpson, one of the founders of this blog just did, with Greg Jameson is full of so many good ideas that we have to get it out there and have all of us be more successful.


And then she interviewed Karen Locker of who helps folks get approved for gated categories on Amazon (Karen's another one of our founding bloggers)

She has a business helping other businesses get set up right on Amazon.

Ok I'm off to do some work.  Carry on!!!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Another Wrinkle in the Ebay Selling Experience

I am not normally considered an ebay cheerleader so it will probably come as no surprise that I'm already fed up with their most recent round of unannounced changes.

Remember back in August when they announced that, indeed, Buyers would now be able to cancel a transaction without asking the seller to do it, as long as they changed their mind in the first hour?? Yeah well not so much actually.  If a buyer makes a best offer?? well that buyer is not allowed to change their mind.  So here's the backstory.

Buyer makes 2 offers on Sunday morning, my husband's items so I wait for him to wake up and decide.  He takes both offers.  Buyer pays for one almost immediately but...sends a note saying he looked at the pictures again and doesn't want the 2nd one. It's more than an hour later so I send him a message saying, Ok, this is what's gonna happen. I'm going to send you a cancellation request, you agree and we're both off the hook and because you didn't even pay for this yet, No harm No foul.  Yeah well again Not SO MUCH.

Buyer must have left immediately after paying so I didn't hear from him til the next day. Then he tells me he followed my directions but the system won't let him agree to cancel. He's being told to pay. 

What happened next is 5 days of dealing with the bureaucracy from hell.  Multiple calls to ebay with hold times in excess of 60 minutes. (I did finally figure out what to click to get them to call me back about it but that took 4 days too).   OH and ebay itself opened an unpaid item case again the buyer, who was actually, seeminly cooperating with me and actually apologized to me for causing so much trouble. Knock me over with a feather.

Finally yesterday - day 5, I got an reasonably intelligent and certainly above-standard, English-speaking, CSR, a miracle in itself, who took control of the issue, sent the buyer exact instructions, called the buyer multiple times and was able, finally overnight to get the cancellation request to go thru.  HURRAY for Jonathon!!  I'd personally authorize a raise for him if I could.  Why?

Well one, he explained what was happening, clearly, he attempted to call the buyer while I was on the phone. He did call the buyer several times and he called me back to update me on not being able to reach the buyer.

HALLELUJAH, just what I expect for my $500 a month in fees.   But here's the lesson, DO NOT LET BUYERS cancel if they make a Best Offer and you accept. Tell them it's much easier if  you pay, we wait an hour and I cancel this and refund because you "changed your mind".  Saves us both 5 days of bureaucratic red tape.

Now you and I know buyers use Best Offer a lot and a certain percentage never pay. I assume they changed their mind and don't bother to tell us.  BUT the ones who do change their mind? well that's not allowed any more. Probably a "buyer-side defect" in ebay's score book.  Talk about a bad buying experience, just in this one transaction of mine, ebay has created 2 new dissatisfed users.  BONUS Points for the ebay.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Are You Ready For The Fall Holiday Selling Season?

After reading the Fall Post from My Moms Books I realized how right she is and fall is here. That means that Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas is right around the corner and are you ready? In fact are you ever truly ready for the holiday season?

Are you going to be like Snoopy this year looking at all you need to organize and list? I am hoping to be more like this Snoopy. 

He has the tree decorated and is all ready for Christmas. So what do you think? Now is the time to put your holiday plan in action. 

A few months ago I wrote a blog post on my blog about scheduling my day. Now it is crunch time and I know I need to really focus. How about you? What is your plan for the holiday selling season?