Organizing and Reorganizing Inventory

Organizing and Reorganizing Inventory

Over a year ago I purchased a lot of ties from another eBay seller who was moving cross country and didn’t want to deal with them. I purchased close to 200 ties for about $125 including shipping. My Valley Minions liked listing ties because I had mostly novelty ties with lots of fun pictures and cartoons and therefore easy keywords. This batch of ties were mostly business and office ties, not much fun in those for the 11-year-old and 15-year-old minions.

But they did it. They stuck to a schedule and got almost two hundred ties photographed and listed during their winter break. I now had 6 boxes of ties and my inventory labeling system only consisted of their location: Box 1, Box 2, Box 3, etc. I had to pull a few ties last weekend to ship and I quickly discovered that having one box with roughly 30 ties and one box crammed full with 100+ ties was not a great inventory solution.


I needed to figure out a better way to organize and store over 400 ties that were listed so pulling them when they sold would be a quick and easy process. I needed a plan and I had an idea. I decided to fold the ties in fourths and package them. In my old system, the ties were folded in half and sort of stacked together in a plastic box. It was an OK system when I had 200 ties to flip through, but it wasn’t working for me when I had to sort through over 400 ties. I knew this was a task that would take some time; time that I didn’t want to dedicate to doing something as mundane as packaging and labeling. I decided this would be a great project to introduce my 10-year-old and 13-year-old neighbors down the road to eBay.

Meet Kai and Sydnee. They managed to get close to 300 ties packaged and labeled in about 1.5 hours. I ran out of bags so we didn’t get them all done the first day. I ordered more bags and they came back and finished up the job, numbering all the ties and then editing the custom field on each listing with that number. They were awesome, efficient, and got the job done so quickly I had them move on to two other projects before it was time for them to head home.

We sorted the ties to group them together as best as we could by type; Looney tunes, Disney, sports, food, animals, etc. and then we grouped all the boring business/professional ties. We labeled them Tie #1-450 and put them back into boxes, #1-5. (Side Note: I thought ahead enough to label ties 01, 02, 03, etc. so they sorted correctly, but I didn’t think far ahead enough to do the same for double digits. If you have more than 100 ties, be sure to label them 010, 011, 012, etc. so they WILL sort in numeric order.) It took a bit of time to get the inventory tags in eBay fixed, but we all worked together, (including 4-year-old Pearce who tagged along one snow day and was just as helpful as her sisters), got into a groove and finished the task! Everything is organized and looks so pretty. I can’t wait to sell a few ties and see if my new numbered system really works and makes pulling inventory to ship a breeze!

I’ve got 400+ ties to sell if anyone is looking. I think I’ll create a promotion and see if I can move them faster.

The Stuff Disney Freaks Buy

The Stuff Disney Freaks Buy

I love Disney just as much as the next American but there is a group of Disney lovers that take the love of Disney to a whole other level. I affectionately refer to these people as “Disney Freaks”. Embrace them. Love them. Get to know them because their love for all things Disney usually follows with their wallet. SIDE NOTE: I googled ‘Disney Freaks’ to see if I could come up with some sort of fun graphic and discovered that this is a REAL thing out there. I thought it was just what I affectionately called these Disney lovers, turns out the Disney Lovers call themselves freaks too.

When I lived in Southern California I had an annual Disney pass on and off for years. I even bought a pass after I moved to Arizona and would make time to visit the park on just about every trip back home.

During Disneyland’s 40th anniversary celebration there were different trading cards each day available to guests at various locations throughout the park. My sister Tina, two friends from work and my friend Tricia drove from El Segundo, CA to Anaheim EVERY DAY and got a full and complete set of those trading cards. That is a special kind of Disney Freak.

While I was waiting for my home to be built in 2002-03, I consistently searched eBay for fun and unique items to decorate with. I knew wanted a Mickey Mouse themed bathroom and spent too much time searching for the right items at the right price.When I finally moved in, the first room I worked on was the Mickey Mouse bathroom. Every item in this room was either purchased on eBay or something I already had. It was soo fun and easy to put together. It quickly became the favorite place for the neighborhood kids to come when nature called and it made me feel good that they loved this room as much as I did!

As much as I love Mickey Mouse and Disneyland, I never considered myself a ‘Disney Freak’, but I learned long ago the value of knowing these folks are out there and they like to buy stuff. Weird stuff. Stuff you and I would just throw away.

A few years back I had the chance to attend a work conference at the Disneyland Hotel. I had never stayed at that property before but I knew that the fun Mickey themed shampoo bottles would sell on eBay. I knew this because while shopping for my bathroom I saw a lot of stuff I’d never considered selling before. I also bought stuff I’d never think I’d buy, like a roll of toilet paper for $5 because it was wrapped in Mickey paper or what I consider to be the most outrageous purchase for this room, the $50, hand painted, Scattered Mickey themed toilet seat!  Yes, folks, I spent fifty hard earned dollars on a toilet seat and I LOVED IT! Yet I still don’t consider myself a ‘Disney Freak’…but maybe I am.

Part of the fun of selling on eBay is finding things that you think are worthless or trash, taking a few pics, creating a listing and waiting to see if that item sells. When it does I shake my head, smile, and happily add some cash to my bank account. See that red trashcan next to the toilet? It was broken by one of my nieces, but I glued it back together. It has a good sized chip missing from the rim but something tells me that someone would still want that for some reason! I haven’t listed it yet, but I haven’t thrown it out either. Every time I touch it I give it a thought, but I haven’t actually listed it to see if someone would, in fact, pay money to have a repaired and chipped ceramic trash can in their collection.

When I stayed at the Disneyland Hotel I decided to take any of the paper advertisements, post them on eBay and see if they’d sell…of course they did!  I took the laundry bag, the paper pad and pens, drink coasters from the restaurant, the door hangers, breakfast menu, advertisements for the special events….anything that I thought a ‘Disney Freak’ would love to have. I listed them and sold them!  People are crazy like that!

When I purchased a bunch of clothing clearance items at the Disney store one year, I had all these Disney store hangers in the closet. I was going to toss them out one day while I was cleaning and re-organizing, but instead, I listed them on eBay and they sold! Plastic hangers people!

While attending our community’s bi-annual garage sale one year I stumbled on a bag of Disney gift boxes, tissue paper, and a few other items. I didn’t really pay attention to what was in the bag, I just felt that for $1 I couldn’t lose. When I got home and sorted through that bag it was full of items that would sell faster and bring in more money than those gift boxes. I had a Disney World park map from 1996, parking passes from the day, stickers, and a variety of other park-related items. I quickly got those things posted and sold them for $10-15 each. Not a ton of money, but it was fun to see that what some would consider trash others would pay $15 for.

Are you a Disney Freak? Have you sold any fun or unusual Disney related items? Have you found something most would consider trash but you saw the value and turned that item into a few bucks?

Here are some of my most recent Disney related sales.

Disney Store Children’s Hangers Non-Slip Grips Plastic Clear Set 6 – Sold for $13.99










Hannah Montana Embroidered Rhinestone Patch Sticker – Recently Sold two for $9.99 each, shipped internationally











Disneyland Club 33 Vintage Napkin Exclusive 90* Edge Printing New Orleans – Sold for $15.99













Walt Disney World 25th Anniversary Used Parking Passes 3/24/97 3/245/97 $5 Day – Sold for $14.99











Disneyland Hotel Travel Bath Lotion Shampoo Bar Soap Mickey Mouse – Sold for $24.99



New Year, New Game Plan

I’ve come to the realization that I can only do so much, get so much done in my 24 hour day. I’m pretty much a one-woman operation and there are things the I’m capable of doing but I’m not getting them done. There are things that I love doing, but they get pushed to the bottom of the list. There are things that I loathe doing and I never seem to find the time to get to them. I’ve decided that 2017 is the year of outsourcing and delegation!

I got a great start with this in the fall when I hired an accountant/CPA to get my books in order and file my taxes. I’m a bookkeeper and finance person by trade, but I never made the time to get my books in order and keep on top of things…the cobbler’s kids have no shoes, right? I had put this off for so long that I needed to pay to have someone dig me out of the hole I dug for myself. I’m doing that and I couldn’t be happier that it’s off my plate and getting done. I reached out to a fellow online seller who referred me to ‘his guy’. I messaged him, we chatted, we set up a conference call and I was off. I gathered up my documents, emailed them out and he and his team we on their way! I live in Arizona and my accountant/CPA is in New York, but he’s the best one for me because he has experience with and understands online sellers and their businesses.

They next thing want to do is look into hiring a Virtual Assistant (VA) to outsource some of my mundane tasks. While this sounds like the answer to everything that’s wrong with my business, I’m going to approach this one with a bit of skepticism. Not that I don’t think it will work, but I think I wont’ give it the time to make it successful. Either way, I try it or I don’t, it’s on my list of things to try to improve in 2017.

In 2017 I’m going to dedicate myself to seriously reviewing my processes. Where can I cut down on time spent doing a task? How can I improve my efficiency? I know it’s a trite statement but I really want to work smarter and not harder. This is always in the back of my mind, but by putting it out there in the inter-web world, I’m hoping it will make me more accountable…time will tell.

What’s on your list of things to accomplish in the coming year? What are you doing to make yourself accountable?

Promoted Listings Update

Promoted Listings Update

I know I’ve been talking a lot about promoted listings lately. With the video, the posts about what went into making the video, chats in various Facebook groups, etc. Well, promoted listings is on eBay’s mind too!

Last week I was interviewed by Shana Champion, who is part of eBay’s Creative Marketing Team and writes for the eBay for Business Blog. We talked about promoted listings for an upcoming blog post for eBay for Business and this interview gave me the opportunity to take another look at my promoted listing sales since I started my campaigns in June….I was happily surprised at the numbers I saw.


In about six months my promoted listings campaigns generated 83 sales for $1,945.07 and cost me $129.79 (7% of sales) in ad fees…or did it? No! Because eBay is so awesome they give sellers with anchor store subscriptions a $25 credit each quarter towards their promoted listings fees. I was able to use my credit for Q2, Q3 and Q4 making my actual out of pocket fees $54.79 or 3% of my sales!  I’ll happily spent $55 to generate $1,950 in sales every day.

Have you given eBay’s promoted listings service a try yet? If not, why not? Check out my blog post here for detailed instructions on how to get your first campaign going. Once you do, come back here and tell us how you did!

Audrey Tracy, me and Shana Champion at eBay Open, July 2016, Las Vegas, NV