Saturday, December 27, 2014

I need to leave these selling platforms.

I have been selling online for a number of years and the one thing I am positive of is the face that people shop blindly.

You know you've done it.  Whenever I think of something I need to purchase I immediately think of checking Amazon and eBay first.  Those are the only two websites that I would consider first.  I do have this fear of purchasing from someones personal website because of fraud and theft. Id consider a 'brand', like a well know store.  Everywhere tells you it probably is fine but you know your gut tells you otherwise.  Are you with me?

The problem is when you purchase an item on either one of these platforms you never think of the person you actually purchase from.  Imagine it, you are walking around with your new (insert new item here) and someone says, "Hey where did you get that from?" and your response is? 'Amazon' or 'eBay' - you will never say I got it from 'So and So' in the Amazon Marketplace or 'This and That' store on eBay.  NEVER!

So how do you, as a seller, develop a brand?  Leave a mark on the 'inter web' and get customers to remember your name?

Ive been wondering for a very long time.  As I sit here writing this I want to leave the Amazon and eBay selling platforms. I am tired of the fees, and fighting for the buy box and Amazon selling the same products, photo requirements,  being nervous because someone will leave that negative feedback or file, or lie and claim, the worst is waiting and waiting for a sale!  I had the buy box just once in my selling life. I got over 25 orders within an hour, it was a good day.  But thats all it was, a single day for a few hours.

Again buyers purchase blindly on Amazon. They find the item they are wanting and jut purchase it from the person at the top.  Doesn't matter where they are located, if they have a good rating or if they are Amazon itself.  This is what they do. So unless your in the top box, chances are its going to take a long time to get a sale.

I have been researching for weeks and still can't figure out what to do. I found a 'free' listing website thru square marketplace and while it was easy to use, it's very limited. I really don't want to pay a monthly fee while I build my site. I know its not something that will be built in a matter of hours like they state, its going to take a few days, maybe even weeks.  I have a lot of stuff.

So I am back to square one.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Getting back to selling online.

I couldn't stay away for long, it was just a matter of time before I started to sell again online.

I logged back into eBay and Amazon and I listed one or two things.  The only way I was able to do it without a risk was to use the auction feature on eBay, there is no fee for this, but you have to sit back and wait for bids.  Ive listed the same item over and over during the past month without a bite.  It kinda sucks but I am not so sure I would have sold them if I had an eBay store anyway.  What really sucks is when you get just a single bid and sell an item that retails for $100 for a mere $10!  Ugh so frustrating!  I am not sure if the fees are any different if you have a store, but between eBay and PayPal I can pay up to 15% in fees alone. It just does not seem to make sense but something is better than nothing right?

With Amazon it was easy to, the listings already existed within my account but without a store I now have to pay 99 cents per item plus the fees they already charge when the item sells.  It only makes sense to purchase a store account when you sell more them 40 items within a month, otherwise why waste the money?  Because of the fee it makes no sense to sell anything less than $2 because then you are really not making any money since it all goes to fees.  Furthermore you dealing with other sellers that are offering FBA and have rank higher than you.  Its a struggle, I think I have sold one item a week lol.  I think the worst part is when Amazon locks you out of a category because you didn't fit the requirements.  Ugh, one year I had met all but one of the requirements and it totally killed my business. I had two cancelled orders and I shot down my sales numbers, TWO!  It was so wrong to just stop allowing me to sell in any category.  The orders were cancelled because they were personalized items and well I can't ship out an order without the personalization and well the buyer never told me what they wanted, after 25 days I cancelled the orders.  Selling personalized items on Amazon is not a good idea.

Ive thought of starting all over and just go ahead open a fresh new website, have my own brand.  Thats even more scary.  Why?  Why would you shop with an unknown seller? How much would have to spend to get you to my site, Marketing?  The monthly fee you have to consider, the credit card processing you have to apply for, maintaining inventory, it just another nightmare and well it feels way to hard to even consider.

But... I found a site that says I can list a store for FREE!  Yea I am skeptical too but I think I am going to give it a whirl and see what happens.

Wish me luck.

Friday, December 5, 2014

I am jealous.

Yes I am admitting it. To myself and to all the readers.  Of what?

Well you would need to go back and read my posts about my 'friends',  the ones that I taught everything I knew about selling online, the ones that came back into my life after leaving for two years and I showed them once again how to sell on another platform.

You see it was our idea to go into business together,  sell things and build an empire.  And we were kinda of on our way, I did all the online stuff and my friends did the buying.  We didn't agree in everything that she was picking to sell so I started getting my own things and selling them in my online store. When all that craziness went down between us I was by myself in the endeavor.  I didn't have my own funding so I relied on credit cards and well I wasn't that good at planning and budgeting. Hence my demise.

My friends left on their own and managed to build a business all on their own, with what I taught them, and surpass me in every way you can imagine.  When they came back into my life I taught her more stuff and once again they surpassed me.

I kept thinking what the hell did I do wrong?  How are they doing so much better than I?  Well its all irrelevant now since I closed but I still find myself looking at their online stores and I imagine how great they are doing, how they are working daily and processing orders.  Its not even about the money, its just the accomplishments I see with them and everything I taught. I see how I disappointed everyone with my failed attempts at operating a business, how I couldn't give up and pulled everyone down with me. Now I have nothing at all.  I want to start over but I just don't know how and I believe fear is taking over.

So I admit I am jealous of their success in their endeavor.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A you a picky eater?

I wanted to talk about something thats been on my mind lately.  Ive had a love/hate relationship with food.  You know you love certain foods hate others... well I have always been told I am picky and I never thought I was until recently.

There was a time I wouldn't eat anything NEW because I just knew I wouldn't like it.  Yea it was all in my head but it kept me from trying new things. Then someone showed me a video about how animals are treated and well that totally killed my ability to eat anything. I went semi vegetarian, it was the start of the end. I occasionally ate chicken but it was not often. The rest of my family hated it with a passion.  All I cooked was pasta, pasta and more pasta.  Id toss in veggies and call it a meal. I loved it, I was doing right by the environment and to my health right?  Ill cover that in another post.

Lets take fish - if I see its eyes no way I am touching it.  Ive never eaten fish, sushi is out of the question!  Everyone tells me I am depriving my self.  I won't cook fish since I can't bare to look at it let alone smell it.  On occasion I will eat shrimp but if it smells like fish I won't touch it.  If I have to peel or de-vain a shrimp, no way am I eating it, forget cooking it! I tried cooked salmon just a few days ago and I just didn't like it, doubtful I would give it another try.

Raw veggies? I can't eat raw onions or peppers, they must be cooked. Love grilled onions and peppers. I hate cutting garlic and onions cause the smell gets on your fingers.  Raw cauliflower and broccoli is OK if I have a dip lol.  Love to cook the heck out of my veggies cooked. I hate when you go somewhere and they offer you sautéed or grilled  veggies and you get them half cooked!  We used to belong to this CSA program which I loved but once they started handing me items I had never thought of eating I was giving away way more than I was keeping.

Fruit? Thought this is an easy one, lol.. I never touched grapes that weren't green! Wouldn't touch an apple that wasn't macintosh.  Watermelon with seeds? Nope. Bananas have to be the right color of yellow and not too soft.  Hated pineapple for a very long time. Avocado is my favorite fruit, I can eat it all day everyday.  But when they are brown or black inside I freak out but my husband has been sneaking it in my dishes.

Meat? I hate touching raw meat, any meat.  When I have to cook it, I open the package with a knife and use tongs or a fork so I don't have to use my hands to handle it.  I can't cook steak that well so I don't even bother.  I often wish I had a pair of gloves

Eggs?  Ugh I can't stand to look at sunny side up eggs lol, never ate them before, doubtful that I will.   When I try to make scramble they have to be beaten so all the white is gone.  I hate when I see the white in scrambled eggs.  But I like hard boiled eggs lol.

Since I am changing my diet because of other issues I am opening up to other things.  Its a work in progress but I am definitely a picky eater.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Driving down I5

Driving during the holidays is always gonna be crazy but this past Thanksgiving weekend was just horrible.

We drove from the Sacramento area down to the San Diego area. We left the Saturday before and it was smooth sailing almost all the way down. There are two major areas that you can stop in for food and fuel. There are of course gas stations along the way but pricier and food is very limited at other exits.

We passed thru the 'Grapevyne' without a problem. Whats the Grapevyne? Well on the way down I5 between Bakersfield and Los Angeles is this beautiful mountain range you have to drive thru.  Your ears will pop!  As you drive you climb and climb and on the other side you fly down the road!  Have good breaks! lol....  I think the locals call it that because on the base there is an exit called Grapevyne.  Once on the other side you hit the LA area and thats when the traffic started.  Whats worse was the rain that came and went throughout the day!
The Mountains

The clouds over the moutains.

According to the GPS our total trip was 517 miles and it should have taken just 7 hours. I used a regular GPS because last time we took the trip our phones lost signal during most of it. Our total trip took us 9 hours door to door because of Los Angeles traffic.  Its strange traffic, it wasn't like there was an accident or active construction or detours... it was just stop go traffic that didn't make sense.

So we spent Thanksgiving week in San Diego and decided to return on the Sunday after the holiday.  What a mistake that was!  We figured if we left before noon we will get home at a decent time, wrong!  LA was so horrible it took almost 5 hours to go barely 150 miles! Once we hit the Grapevyne traffic was moving again and we were excited, but delayed.  Until we get to the other side and once again there was traffic, stop and go and stop and go... the volume was ridiculous!

Traffic didn't start flowing smoothly until we were almost in the Merced area, by then it was so late we were dying... a total of 13 hours driving to get back home. We finally arrived home at midnight.  Next time I don't think we will leave so late next time wait until Monday lol.