Category Archives: Supplies

Yard Saling Tips – Before you get in the car.

It is Friday night. If you are like us, you are looking forward to a weekend of people basically giving you money, in the form of getting excellent deals at local yard sales. Here are a few quick tips that will help you to get the most bang for the buck, keep your paperwork in order, and find the best deals ever.

Preparing to go out.
The first thing to do is plug in any and all devices that you need to assist you while you are out sourcing your products. Plug in your cellphone, tablets, barcode scanner (link), GPS (if you are not using your cellphone or tablet), and anything else that you might need. You should have a backpack in your car with the following items, that is on standby for storage auctions or yard sales.

Backpack – Sunscreen, bugspray, Notepad (in case your batteries die), 2-3 padlocks with keys, and some water.

The tool that I like to use is “Yard Sale Treasure Map” (YSTM). This is an excellent application for Android (link) (and iphone?) that imports all of the yard sales listed in your local Craigslist area and puts them into Google Maps. It includes functions that allow you to add your own sales, and even optimize your route so that you hit the most sales. This tip alone means that you will hit the most yardsales that you could possibly find.

I recommend that you use your local Facebook groups to find more sales and add them to your map. Search Feedback for your area (using both city and county names). Add the words resale, thrift, yard, deals, etc. Find some groups with active participants and add those addresses to YSTM. This will help you find even more sales that are not listed on Craigslist. When the addresses are all entered, click Optimize.

You now have a list of great yard sales, that you can search by keyword, and the proper tools to analyze the deals that are available. Look for future articles on methods to get the best bargains while you are out shopping.

Shrink Your Time & Cost

Packaging  can sometimes be time consuming and costly.

TimeMoney

In some cases, Time = Money. Money you could be making in the time it takes you hours to package up individual items to be shipped to FBA or any where. There are some who will slap a bar code sticker on the back of a book or game and toss it into a box to be shipped “as is” to the warehouse or even directly to their customers.That little bit of time they save by being careless, only comes back around sometimes… costing them more time and money.

What’s wrong with that? Nothing.

Well, nothing to you if you don’t care about your items being returned & received damaged, customers requesting more frequently refunds due to damage, and the quality of service you can provide for your customers satisfaction…oh, and there’s the negative or neutral feedback you could receive that could damage your reputation.

Think about it…your new or very good book, gets handled by someone before you. Then by you. Then by the unpackers at the warehouse. Then probably placed in storage…or even on a conveyor belt. Then handled again by the guy placing into yet another box to be shipped to the customer. Then finally by the customer. Mmm… I wonder what condition it was received in?

Oh it’s a small price to pay , you may say…worth not having to spend hours packing. That small price adds up over time. Pennies become dollars. That negative feedback adds up too. I have seen a book store’s reputation that was 100% fall to 90% on Amazon in a year. So, you say…it’s still 90 %!

Well, believe it or not, I had a customer tell me that the reason she was willing to pay a dollar fifty extra in cost … because our reputation was 100% and the last book she bought from us was shrink wrapped. She said she knew the next book would be care for and preserved in the same way.

Yes, Shrink wrapped. Oh, it only took us mere seconds to place her book into a pre-sized bag and seal it with our sealer. A dollar fifty more profit for a few seconds of caring. The feedback she left increased reputation and made us personally smile. Also, she was a return customer!

“….careful packing that justifies the price…A+Thx.”

Shrink wrap is not as expensive as you may think in the long run. Especially if you buy it in bulk and in sizes that are common. A penny or two a bag usually. It pays for itself.

shrink2-1A sealer can cost you, but it pays off in the long run. You can even find them on Amazon or eBay…sometimes even on Craigslist cheap. In most cases, you don’t even need a sealer. Just a sticker or a clear piece of tape will do. Sealers cut time with scissors and just makes your product look neater. You could use a blow dryer to shrink games and hardback items…or simply leave paperbacks and bendable items looser in the bag without hitting it with the heat.shrink1-1

Not only can you help ensure better shipping and handling when using shrink wrap, but you can make an item that was in just “good” condition to almost “like new” or “very good”. This means you can price higher. Taking a few seconds to shrink wrap some game pieces or cards…and the game box itself can improve the quality and increase your profit. Honestly, who wouldn’t want their game to look in great shape when they get it instead of spread out loose and bent up cards that got shifted and bent during shipping?

How am I shrinking my time if I am taking time to wrap items like this?

Well, lets see… It’s less of your time dealing with customers messages if you don’t have complaints. Less time trying to build up good feedback to cover bad feedback. Less time figuring out if your item is worth paying for the return cost and then waiting for it. Less time & money than saran wrap or in somecases ziplock bags and bubble wrapping….dealing with tape & scissors. Less time & money packing materials needed to pad boxes for shipments. AND…if your like me who cares perhaps too much about my customers satisfaction, …Less time worring about the quality of your products and the condition they are received in.

changeShrink wrapping our products is definitely shrinking our cost & time. It’s a pretty site and definitely will make you some pretty pennies & positive feedback  in the long run.