Tuesday, June 29, 2010

One Day Left In The 30 Day Blog Challenge

Back on May 30th I wrote a post about taking Jeanette Cates 30-day Blog Challenge. Well, tomorrow is day 30 and what a month it has been!

I took the challenge because I wanted to figure out exactly what my Sushiboofay blog should be about. In the end - I'm really not making many changes to it. It is going to remain my personal blog and will have my views about my life and things I find interesting.

I did, however, create two other blogs. Both titled The Freelance Misfit. One is on Blogger and the other Word Press. I quickly discovered that keeping up with that many blogs - is TOO MUCH WORK - so after the challenge I will rotate between the three and still continue contributing to this one -(this one - probably on a monthly or bi-weekly basis).

I decided with the Writing Blogs - the one here on Blogger will be about my adventures in freelance writing. The one at Word Press will be more of a business type blog - involving the mechanics of freelance writing. THAT blog will eventually (I hope) be used to generate more business leads.

Meanwhile, I'm thinking of listing an item a day on eBay. My childhood toys are now packed in tote boxes at my parent's new house, but the folks aren't too happy about it. I need to go through it and get it out of there. I also have a ton of stuff here that either needs to get sold or donated.

As usual, I am overwhelmed. It's all good though - at least I feel like I'm moving forward. Should I contribute all these thoughts I am having to my competing in a 30-day Blog Challenge? Probably not, but it did show me that I can complete something....or...at least it will...if I don't mess up and forget about blogging tomorrow! You'll just have to stop over to my blog to see if I remember! ;-)

Friday, June 18, 2010

All the things I hate about DSRs to begin with

I'm going to put this out there and hope someone at eBay gives a tinkers dam as my mother used to say (I doubt it but I can dream): Forthwith....

1. DSRs are left by buyers for sellers. BUT Feedback is voluntary.  If you (ebay) are going to make my livelihood and my discount contingent on DSRs, then make feedback mandatory so ALL my buyers have to leave it or scrape the whole system

The reason feedback was so unique as an eBay attribute was because NO one else had it then.  Now everybody has it and it's useless.  Doesn't really tell you anything about a seller (because I know some who are incentivizing good feedback from buyers and some buyers are blackmailing sellers to incentivize themselves at the seller's expense). Buyers can't even get back feedback any more so there is NO honesty there even when they blatantly rip off a seller.

2. I sell approximately 100 things a month if I'm lucky these days. 50% of buyers don't leave ANY feedback. So if I get one or two low ratings or middle of the road "she's not really very good" then I'm stuck with them for a year.  What does that mean?? This:
A) - I lose the 20% discount that TRS sellers get and only get 5% - last month was $4.  ??? think that makes me work harder eBay?? Not so much, look how many listings I let expire or outright cancelled this last month, just an FYI.

B) I lost TRS because of 2 incidents a year ago...both for items that I couldn't fulfil for a variety of reasons.  I understand eBay wanting to delight buyers but Honey, even Walmart runs out of things. An unfulfilled order shouldn't create a year-long purgatory, added to the loss of the discount.

C) since I'm not a TOP-rated seller, I also became invisible in search.  Which would be bad enough but eBay made it MUCH worse by putting a check box on the left nav bar of the search page that said "Show only Top-Rated Sellers" like the rest of us didn't pay for our listings and don't deserve to be included in the results..

D) Shippng Costs - I am not yet the "EMPRESS OF THE UNIVERSE" the title I was born to hold.  So I do not control UPSP or even UPS unfortunately, So exactly how do I have control over this? Further more, if I offer two options and the buyer chooses one that costs more? And if I don't have control over it, or offer the least expensive and pay to ship it (sometimes more than the buyer paid me) THEN PLEASE EBAY GODS! ?? WHY am I being rated on it.   Tell the buyers NOT to buy if they don't like the shipping cost. GO Pay Walmart FULL PRICE (not for my antiques but you know shoes etc)

Heaven forbid I offer FREE shipping and the buyer can still rate me as a -1.. Makes perfect sense to me...NOT!

E) Shipping time.... I ship, normally, within 24 hrs of payment. The exception is Sunday's and Holidays...or high holy days. Then the shipper/aka POST OFFICE takes three weeks to deliver to the other side of Philadelphia.  This is MY fault how?? If eBay means "handling time from seller to shipping company" then that is what they should say. Because I'm seeing people who get 5.0 for packages who don't ship all that fast or even that often, while I'm getting 4.83 for next day shipping.  Doesn't seem fair does it?  Nope.  If you want to rate someone, give the USPS Dsr's... especially on their breakage rate.

So These are the major things stuck in my craw this morning about DSRS....NEXT? (oh yeah see my blog ON MY SOAPBOX ...there's a few things there

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

New Art Pendants

I have the pleasure of collaborating with jewelry designer Susy Paredes of Earthexpressions on Etsy to bring you my original painting print as an art pendant.

This lovely pendant is handmade from a square recycled glass tile decoupaged with a beautiful photography print of my original painting, "Orange Sunflower". Susy coated it with jewelry grade resin to give it a shiny glass-like finish and long lasting protection.  It has exceptionally vivid colors, a unique thick bevel, and a lovely sheen. I'm so pleased with her work!

Measures 1" x 1" x 1/4". Large silver plated aanraku bail is attached for easy stringing.

Comes with a black leather 17" single strand necklace.
Gift box included.

Special Introductory Price~Only $15.00! Click here for my Etsy link to Orange Sunflower Art Pendant.

Maria Soto Robbins

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Too Big For Ebay?

Most people probably don't think of Craigslist first when it comes to selling online, but let me tell ya... it is fantastic! I have made tons of money and moved some large items through Craigslist as well as finding and buying many items.

First of all - create a user account so that you can sign in and see all your listings on one page. No one else sees your name or account information so just use something you can remember.

Next list your item using the same principles you would anywhere else good keywords in your title as well as making it sound enticing, so let's sell a child's dresser for instance.

Used Dresser for Kids OR Adorable Functional White Painted Dresser Great for Kids

Then describe it in your listing but something to know with Craigslist, don't make it too wordy, I have found less is better! So give size, color and basic info but don't go into great detail, since the person is probably coming to your home or meeting you somewhere to pick it up they will see before paying... a little sales trick get them there and committed!

Craigslist allows you 4 pictures - make them good ones! A picture speaks a thousand words. And if it is something you don't have a picture for - then put a picture of a for sale sign or something that triggers the listing to get the pic symbol next to it because most people will not click into an item without pictures.

Now I know the rules say one listing in one category every 3 days... here are some workarounds... shhhhh don't tell them I told you this!

Take that same kids dresser - list it in the furniture category AND here's how to get it in a second category... change up the title and description a bit for instance:
White Children's Dresser Chest ADORABLE! Functional! and then move things around in the listing.

Now if it's something that is going to get lost in say the furniture category which posts hundreds of items a day (in my city anyways), figure out ways to change up the listing so you can trick the bots into letting you list it every day!

I find if something is going to sell I will at least get some questions in the first 24 hours - otherwise I may need to look at my price... that seems to be the key on Craigslist! Shoppers are looking to find that item they want or need quickly!

Some tips when the emails come in... you will get spam! If there are no indicators someone is a real person it's probably spam, better to use a return email address like yahoo or gmail that can weed these out if you do respond. A serious buyer is more likely to ask some specifics about the item, not just ask still available? Also need I even mention if someone wants to pay by cashier's check and it's a million dollars over the amount but they trust you and all... run! Scammers delight on Craigslist.

All that being said, Craigslist gives you a way to negotiate with a real person via phone or email. You can sell just about anything there! Of course things like firearms and pets are no no's. There are no fees so nothing ventured nothing gained!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

My Birthday Weekend

I celebrated a birthday today and a milestone one at that yes 50 and wow so hard to believe. I sit here thinking about that number and am amazed that I am now that old. LOL I truly believe it is only a number and one that no one can change. I am pretty good about not worrying about things I can't change and age falls in that category

I am very lucky to have a wonderful mom who is very comfortable with her age in fact I got married on her 50th birthday and she thought that was a neat thing. She was born on Dec 7th and my husband loved the fact he would always remember both her birthday and our anniversary since he is a history buff. The fact that I was born on June 6th (D-Day) also helps him remember my birthday.

I had a great weekend and enjoyed my birthday and today was my day to write for our group blog. I had another idea to write about but will save that until next time.

I came home to a ton of emails and notes from friends and family and plan on cathing up tomorrow with everyone.

I just wanted to thank our online family for all the very special birthday wishes and how much I appreciate them. I hope you all know how much you all mean to me.