Saturday, January 24, 2015

When a Wake up Call Becomes a Rude Awakening

I knew it had to be done. I knew what would happen if I didn't get to it soon. Still I gave myself a reprieve and promised that one day I will get it done, turn and walk away. On to more pressing things. Over and over and over again. 

Then, late one evening, popcorn in lap, spell-binding Netflix movie on the TV screen, I hear a crash. "Oh, NOOOOO," I think "I put it off just one day too long."  A quick trip to the bedroom closet confirms my worst imaginings.... the shelf on one side of our closet has collapsed from weight and contents are spilled across the floor in a big heap. 

I could barely sleep that night thinking and planning the steps of reconstruction and how I would organize a major speed-listing campaign to sell all this excess on eBay as I had been promising myself I would. 

Truth is sometimes things are not as bad as they seem. My darling husband was able to get the shelf remounted (and fortified) without so much as a trip to the hardware store and in one day I was able to do a pretty thorough job of sorting everything into keep, donate and sell piles. The items to sell (from the collapse) were rehung from the new fortified shelf and I sorted out an armful of things from the other side of the closet to join them. By the end of the next day I had listed 10 of these items (some never worn) and feeling very smug about it all. 

This won't happen overnight, but my sense of urgency was added to when eBay started a "list FREE for 4 days" promotion. 

Time to get to work. Check out my progress at my Sixties_Chick store on eBay.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Being a Cool Kid of the Sixties

I remember it like it was yesterday. Sitting on a grassy hill outside the dormitory secretly listening to Elvis Presley on my red transistor radio and feeling like I was truly a cool kid.

Having a transistor radio was as liberating as having a cell phone is for kids today. The idea of listening to "our" music; Rock 'n Roll, without parental disapproval was true freedom.

All these memories came flooding back to me when I saw the little Tercel Transistor radio in its brown leather case and I had to buy it. I spied it from across the room at a community rummage sale and could not get over there fast enough.

After allowing the pleasant memories to flow, fingering the soft leather case, and mentally celebrating Elvis' 80th birthday this week, I am ready to let it go on to the next child of the Sixties.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Dream Big - Build Bigger

You may find this hard to believe, but I have always had a passion for hot cars. There is something very exciting about seeing a car that looks like it is about to take flight. My heart starts pounding, the need for speed builds up and my brain turns to mush.

It was like that for most of the time we spent in the showrooms of Parker Brothers Concepts one day last week. Every turn of the head had me spinning in awe.

I put some of the photos I took on a Pinterest board that you can check out HERE - and there is a link to their website for more information and pictures.

Mark and Shannon told me they were always very close and started conceiving of and building dream machines (starting with their bicycles) at an early age. Their passion led them to take up the challenge of building a Tron-like vehicle since everyone said "it couldn't be done." Their success went viral and soon they could not keep up with the demand for their designs of concept vehicles. Their vehicles have been featured in movies and TV shows and they were the subject of the Original TV series "Dream Machines" on SyFy.

The boys were very gracious while we toured the showrooms and even allowed us to step into the shop area for a quick peek where I was able to get a picture with them. The shop and showroom is located in Port Canaveral, Florida right across from the cruise terminals. If you are in Florida, make a point of coming to Port Canaveral on the east coast of the state (near where the Space-X and NASA rockets are launched) and see what they are buiding.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Adding Video to your eBay Listings

I had a lot of fun making a video to put in this listing for a Big Furry Pink & White Marionette but there were some challenges and it did take a little time to get the video clip showing up in my eBay listing.

If you have an account with You-Tube and know how to make a quick video (no more than 45 seconds) you are half way there. Upload your video to You-Tube and add music from their list of free clips if you want to.  The Video Manager "share" button will provide you with the URL to your video once it is complete and published.

Now for the trick. You can't paste a URL into your eBay listing. There used to be an "old embed code" provided by You-Tube that would work, but that isn't available anymore. So, copy the URL link for viewing your video then go to http://www.tools4noobs.com/online_tools/youtube_xhtml/ to convert this URL to an acceptable code you can put in your listing. In the listing, click on the HTML tab above the description and plug in the embed code where you want your video to appear.

Thanks to Maida Webster of Connectibles on eBay for teaching me how to do this!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Happy Holidays eBay!

Once again the eBay lights are up on a little wall-mounted Christmas tree in our office. A good reminder that without eBay there wouldn't be much under the tree this year.

It isn't all about the money though. We have had a lot of fun meeting new people (both virtually and in real world settings) and we have learned a lot about e-commerce.

Shopping for new stock for our stores continues to be our favorite thing to do and research draws a close second. I love learning about vintage items and hearing the stories.

Reading feedback and email from happy customers is a great start to the day's work and an inspiration to continue offering the very best customer service and products we can muster.

Wishing YOU Happy Holidays too!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Customer Service Woes You Can Learn From

Now for a few words on good Customer Service. In the past few days, I have gotten a new perspective on why people love shopping on-line and how we can keep them coming back. 

We had been shopping for a refrigerator since our old one began acting up. After a good bit of research we found a few on line that looked like what we wanted, in our price range and color so we went out shopping. 

First stop, big box store where we have bought a whole kitchen in the past. They had the item we liked best in another color, but none in the color they want. Our on-line research had showed they did have it in another store in the area, but they say "NO, not available in this county" it has to be ordered... for middle of May delivery. No thanks! 

Next day, we go to another big box store, same story, not available in store, etc. On to the next store (different chain), They didn't have the desired item but did show us several similar, none in stock in the desired color. 

Onward! We go to the store that is in the same chain as the first one from the night before where the internet search shows they have the item and color we want in stock. Again, we are told it is not in stock and has to be ordered with delivery in May sometime. I insist that the card on the refrigerator stated that it is IN STOCK in this color. The guy reluctantly went back to the stock room and found that YES, it is in stock. Meanwhile, I find a dishwasher at a very good markdown but we have the same "not in stock" go around with it before he goes back to find that YES, it is in stock. 

Next day delivery is stated on the card on the appliances too, but it turns out that it really means, "Next day there is a truck available."   At that point, I was exhausted and accepted the 5 day wait for delivery without fuss.

Then the clincher. The sale price we had was only good for on-line purchases. I took out my iPhone and began to squint and fret, finding my way through the maze of on-line shopping with the salesman standing there looking bored. My brilliant husband saved the day by asking, "Can we do it on-line here?" "Uh, Sure " the guy said un-enthusiastically and put the info into the computer.  

Now, I don't think his lack of enthusiasm was due to his losing commission, as he was the department manager, but the fact that he had to be forced to sell us what we wanted was really galling. He didn't have to give a sales pitch to sell it to us, we came in the door knowing exactly what we wanted. Just wanted to pick it out, pay for it and go. So, next Monday we will have a working refrigerator and a working dishwasher again. Hooray! 

That must be what our buyers feel like when they encounter rough spots along the way to purchasing items from us. They don't want to see litanies of our terms and conditions, nor hear about our personal situations. They just want to pick out the item they want at a fair price and feel confident that it will arrive safely and as described. It is up to us to make that happen! 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Me and My World on eBay

Hooray! I finally got my eBay My World and ME pages updated. I have been meaning to do this for such a long time, but kept putting it off. After getting Sally Milo's latest newsletter with instructions on updating your My World page, I decided there is no time like the present and plunged into it.

So easy, you won't believe it! To get started, Mouse over the Hi (your userid) at the top left of your eBay summary page, then click on your userid, and select Edit Profile.  From there, you pretty much follow the bouncing ball. Check my new My World page here.

To revise your ME page, go to the bottom of the My World page. Click on the link beside the words "Create your own My World page." After you sign in again, your old My World page will appear, or a blank slate for you to set up your brand new page. Tell the world who you are, why you are here and what you sell. Here is what I have so far.

If I had known it was this easy, I would have done it months ago!