Weekend Update: Over $1,300 in sales!

Hi everyone! I know it's been awhile since my last blog post. It's been a very busy summer. I hope everyone has been having great sales and even taking some time off to relax. For me, the past month has been all about spending time with my family and preparing my business for the fall. With back-to-school and the holidays right around the corner, you want to make sure you are sourcing and listing the right products for the season. Coats, boots, backpacks, and winter accessories (scarves, gloves, etc.) are all very in demand as the summer winds down.

Personally, I have seen an upturn in sales this past week and enjoyed a great weekend on eBay and Poshmark. Here's a breakdown of my sales numbers:
eBay: $1,089.72
Poshmark: $185.00
Bonanza: $29.69

TOTAL: $1304.41

Here are some of my favorite sales. These are all great items to add to your watch list when you are out sourcing.

This was my first time selling Ted Baker. I knew from paying attention to the BOLOs of other sellers that this was a great brand to pick up. I paid about $4 for these at Salvation Army.

I found this Pearl Izumi top at Goodwill for about $3. This is a brand that is very popular with bicyclists and is a great bread and butter item.

This DKNY jacket was my best sale of the week. I paid about $20 for this on Half Off Day at Salvation Army.

This was a Poshmark sale, and I paid about $2 for this White House Black Market top. WHBM does very well for me on Posh.

This J. Crew coat also sold on Poshmark. I paid $10 for this beauty, but it did have some faint spots on the sleeves. I fully disclosed and photographed the spots. I would have gotten more if the coat was in pristine condition, but this was still a great sale.

Even though summer is winding down, bathing suits have still been selling. This was a Victoria's Secret clearance find. I paid $9.99.

This pair of jeans came in a liquidation lot I purchased. Each piece in the lot averaged out to $8.00. So far, the items from the lot have sold very well.

Chico's is a brand that sells very steadily from my store. I can often find it for less than $1, and it moves consistently. Be sure to check out a Chico's size chart to understand the unique sizing.

This bathing suit sold for full price on Bonanza. I paid about $4.00 for this at GoodWill because Maxine of Hollywood suits sell well. I particularly like finding vintage suits in this brand.

J. Crew is one of my favorite brands to re-sell as it generally holds its value well. If you know the name of the style, put that in your title to increase the chance of a sale. This cost me about $2.00.

I love selling vintage clothing! I picked up this suit at a 99 cent sale, and it really is stunning.

Thanks for stopping by! If you are not already following me on Instagram and YouTube, be sure to follow and drop a comment. YouTube: Law School Thrifter and Instagram: lawschoolthrifter.

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End of Week Sales Report: $1,768.56 on eBay, Poshmark, & Amazon

Last week was a steady week in sales for my E-commerce business. While I am still focusing most of my energy on eBay, I have also been working to increase my presence on Poshmark and Amazon. It has definitely been paying off! Here are my numbers from last week:

TOTAL: $1,768.56

eBay: $1,381.56

Poshmark: $252

Amazon (fba): $120

Mercari: $15

For me, Amazon has been a particularly new experience, and I still have so much to learn. I just recently became “ungated” in the clothing category, so I have been doing a lot more sourcing of items in new condition. My plan is to send in an fba shipment at least once a week and am looking forward to increasing my sales.

On all other platforms, I have mostly been selling warmer weather apparel such as swimsuits, sundresses, shorts, and tank tops. Here are some of my sales from last week.


Talbots has always been a great seller for me, especially in larger sizes. I paid about $2 for this pretty sundress, and it sold within a couple days of listing.


This was a great Poshmark sale. I paid about $8 for this dress from an online consignment shop and accepted an offer on Posh for $40.


This Armani Exchange dress was another Poshmark sale. I only paid a couple of dollars for this piece, so I was happy when it sold for $27.


Shorts have also been starting to move very quickly. I got these great Anthropologie shorts for just a few dollars from an online consignment shop.


Dresses were definitely big sellers last week! I picked up this Athleta dress for less than $1, and it sold quickly for $30.


Swimwear has also been moving very fast out of my inventory. All sizes sell well for me, but larger women’s sizes seem to sell the best.


If you have children or can source large quantities of kids clothing, I suggest organizing it by size and season and then selling them in a lot. I routinely sell my daughter’s clothes as she outgrows them. This lot happened to sell for $27 plus shipping. 

Thanks for checking in this week! If you are interested in more resale tips and advice, follow me on Instagram (lawschoolthrifter) or subscribe to my YouTube channel (Law School Thrifter). Links are also available in the About section. 

Poshmark Selling Success

I have to admit, when I first opened my Poshmark account, I was very overwhelmed. Having started on eBay, I was not accustomed to the social and interactive elements of Posh. It is now something I have grown to appreciate. I love that Poshmark provides built-in tools to promote my business on a daily basis. I have learned a lot about this platform over the past few months. Here is a basic overview of this great platform and some tips I have learned along the way.

1. Poshmark is an app based platform. While you can access some features on your PC, all listing must be done from your phone or tablet. If you’re like me and do most of your listing from your phone anyway, this should not be a problem.

2. Posh fees: unlike eBay, Posh does not charge any insertion fees for listing. You are only charged when an item actually sells. For sales under $15, Posh takes a flat $2.95. Anything over, it takes a 20% commission. Posh is very upfront about how much it charges. For instance, when a buyer makes an offer, you can immediately see your projected profit. 


3. Sharing: through the apps “sharing” feature, you can ensure your items are being viewed by thousands of people on a daily basis. I share each item in my closet at least twice a day. Sharing from your phone is now easier than ever. Simply press down on the item’s image, and the option to share pops right up.

4. Posh parties: Posh allows certain sellers to host “parties” with specific themes at various times throughout the day. Sometimes, the theme will be brand or style specific, and you can only share items that meet that criteria. I prefer the 10:00 p.m parties where the themes are more general (e.g. Everyday Style). 

5. Networking on Posh is crucial. Talking to other sellers and buyers dramatically increases your number of followers and sales. Taking the time to share someone else’s items or compliment her closet pretty much ensures the favor will be returned.

6. Returns: one of my favorite Posh features is that it does not allow returns. There is an exception if the buyer claims the item is damaged or not as described, so be sure to accurately describe your items.

7. Shipping: this is a super simple process. The buyer always pays for shipping. Once the sale is complete, all you have to do is download the label and print. You do not even need to weigh the package. 

8. What sells on Posh: I generally list my mid to higher-end trendy items. Brands like Anthropologie, Free People, J. Crew, Ann Taylor, and Cache have been selling very well for me. 

I hope you are now ready to start Poshing! Feel free to follow me- ariesj22. Just leave me a message, and I will be sure to follow you back. If you are new to Posh, use code JSJFN when signing up, and we will both receive a $5 credit. Happy Poshing!

Inventory Management 

If you are anything like me, you are always looking for new and improved ways of managing your inventory. In my online business, I predominantly sell clothing. When I started out, my system was to store each clothing item in a bin roughly sorted by size. This worked for awhile, but the bins were not labeled and items started getting mixed up.

As my business grew, I realized that I needed to upgrade my system. The goal was to create a storage method that would allow someone else to help me with shipping. Here’s what I came up with, and it’s working out great.

1. As each item is listed, it is given an individual SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) number. I input this number in the SKU field when listing. The number remains only visible to me, not the buyer.

2. Each item is placed in a clear storage bag and labeled with the SKU number.

3. Each bin is labeled with the letter and number range of items inside.

4. When it’s time to ship, we print a report of which items sold. You can customize the report to show only the SKU and item description. 

5. The item is then located by the SKU number and shipped out. 

With over 1,600 items in inventory, this system is working out very well. As the bins start to clear out, I simply consolidate some of the items and change the range on the label. 

I hope this helps you start organizing your inventory. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comment section. Also, be sure to subscribe to my blog and YouTube channel for more reselling advice. 

What I Learned from Running a $63K E-commerce Business in Law School

For me, 2016 was a year of milestones. Not only did I finish my first year of law school, but I also found a way to balance school with raising a family and running a business. Many people ask me how I handle all the responsibility. The short answer is- patience, organization, lots of hard work, and some serious goal setting. Last year, I set a sales goal of $60,000 which was double the sales I had done the previous year. Not only did I accomplish this goal, but I also surpassed it by reaching $63,000. Here are a few things I learned along the way.

Creative Sourcing:

The majority of my inventory consists of pre-owned clothing. I spend hours in thrift shops scouring racks for quality items to resell. Unfortunately, after starting school, I found myself with much less time to spend in thrift shops. I soon realized that there are many options for product sourcing online. For instance, online consignment shops often run great sales. I am able to buy products in bulk and have them shipped directly to my home. 

Retail arbitrage is also a cornerstone of my business. Again, this traditionally involves scouring clearance racks in brick-and-mortar chain stores. Now, I do most of my retail arbitrage sourcing online. I subscribe to the email list  of most major retailers. When I receive a notification of an upcoming sale, I make a note. I also use an app called Retail Me Not that allows me to look up available coupons for a specific store. Then, with the coupon and the already discounted sale price, I am able to source products for a great price.

Understanding Growing Pains:

When I first started my business, I had absolutely no business experience. I simply did the research and put in the hard work to get started. As my business grew, it became more entangled with my personal identity. At first, I looked at every mistake and bump-in-the-road as a personal failure and would often get discouraged. I have come a long way since then. I learned that you must find a way to put space in between your personal feelings and your business. Dissatisfied customers and honest mistakes are bound to happen. I learned to look at these predicaments as business growing pains. If I make a mistake, I stop to look at it critically. What did I learn from it? How can I prevent it in the future? Learning from mistakes is a sign of growth. It may hurt at first, but it’s really just a building block for future success.

Innovation and Imitation:

Another important lesson I have learned is that a successful business requires a healthy dose of innovation and imitation. When I first started my business, I looked to other ebay business owners for inspiration. I also asked a lot of questions. Many larger volume sellers are willing to help out smaller sellers by answering questions if they are respectfully approached.

On the other hand, I also learned that every seller’s circumstances are different, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to online selling. You have to be willing to try new things and follow your own instincts. I like to think of my business as a thriving combination of knowledge imparted from others as well as my own ingenuity.

Expanding to New Platforms:

Last year, I also decided to expand my business from just eBay to other online platforms. I now actively sell on five other platforms besides eBay. These are Amazon, Mercari, Bonanza, Etsy, and Poshmark. Each platform is unique and offers enormous growth potential for any business. In previous blogs I outlined some key points for selling on some of these sites. I look forward to more growth on each one.

Looking Ahead:

For 2017, I have set a sales goal of $100K. This will most likely mean hiring my first employee. I also plan to focus more on Amazon. I recently became ungated in the clothing category, so I am doing a lot more wholesale sourcing. I am excited to see a lot of growth in the new year!

Be sure to subscribe to my blog to find out  more about online entrepreneurship. I also have a YouTube channel about running a business in law school- Law School Thrifter (link in profile).

October Sales Update and End of the Year Goals

Hey all! How was your October? Mine was super busy but very rewarding. I actually had my best month ever in sales since I started my online business. I am super happy with last month’s numbers, but, as always, I know there is room for improvement. I have been thinking a lot about ways to enhance and expand my business, so I’d like to share with you some goals I have set for the immediate future. 

First, let’s look at this month’s figures and some of my favorite sales. 

eBay: $6,272.31

Mercari: $128.00

Etsy: $33.00

Bonanza: $93.97

Amazon fba: $190.00

Total: $6717.28

This was my first time finding and selling this brand, Neon Buddha. This came from a Goodwill-As-Is for $1.99. Definitely add this brand to your BOLO list.


Honestly, I do not normally buy Tommy Hilfiger because the newer items do not have a great resale value. However, the older items, from the 90’s, sell very well. I paid $5.99 for this jacket.


This was another new-to-me brand. I found these for $5.99 at Goodwill. Remember, when you are out sourcing, it does not hurt to look up a brand when you are unsure of the value. You could be pleasantly surprised.


This keyboard was a Goodwill Outlet find as well, so I probably paid about $2.00. It was used but still in the original box. Even with some cosmetic defects, it still sold for almost $50 within 1 day of listing.


This was one of my Bonanza sales this month. I paid 50 cents for this set which included 1 sheet and 1 pillowcase. Vintage Disney is generally a good find.


Boden is one of those brands I never pass up because it almost always sells for over $20. I found this skirt for $1.99 at the Goodwill As-Is.


I love finding Harley Davidson. HD apparel sells well in all categories- men’s, women’s, and children’s. The larger the size, the better with this brand. This shirt was a $5 sale find at a consignment shop.

Now, onto goals. As a business owner, you should always be looking ahead and finding ways to improve. Generally, I am a very organized person, but I have to admit that my inventory organization is not up to par. My items are stored in unmarked plastic totes, roughly according to size. Even without a high level of organization, I still know where everything is because I was the one that put it there. Unfortunately, this system does not work well when you need someone else to take over shipping. One of my family members has kindly offered to handle shipping for the business, so a complete-inventory-organization-overhaul is in the works! I am excited about this new development because this will save me hours of time in the long run. Time I can spend focusing on other important aspects, such as sourcing and marketing. In short, my business has been a one woman operation for long enough. It’s time to accept some help and stop being such a control freak. 

I also have a lot of expansion related goals set for the coming year. I really want to increase my focus on Amazon and see where that leads. I have also been working on some innovative sourcing ideas for all my selling platforms. I will let you know how it all works out. Please be sure to follow my blog for more business updates and notifications of new posts. Have a great week!

Sales Update: Cold Weather Items

Hey all! I know we’re all super busy this time of year, so I thought I would keep it short and sweet with a quick sales update. Lately, I have been intensely focused on sourcing cold weather items. This means, hats, boots, coats, and sweaters! They have been flying out of my store lately, and I couldn’t be happier as these are generally high dollar items. Here’s a breakdown of this week’s sales across the board and some recent items that sold.

eBay: $1488.91

Mercari: $90.00

Amazon fba: $44

Bonanza: $29.66

Total: $1652.57


I love love love to find funky, vintage sweaters! They are always great sellers. This one came from Salvation Army on student discount day. Paid- $5.00


I don’t generally source too much at the regular Goodwill retail stores, but when I do, I go straight to the coats. I will happily pay between $5-10 for a nice coat. Paid- $5.99.


This time of year parents are on the lookout for quality winter coats for their kids. I love to find brands like LL Bean when sourcing coats. This was another Goodwill find. Paid- $4.99.


Sorel boots are always great sellers. Even these ones, with signs of wear, sold for $30.00 + shipping. Paid- $5.99.


Nice cozy sweaters are a seasonal favorite. When I’m out sourcing and I find a cute, soft sweater, I grab it. This was a Bonanza sale. Paid: $1.99.


This gorgeous Anthro sweater was another Salvation Army find. I have been selling Anthro left and right, especially overseas. Paid- $6.00.


While this is obviously not a traditional winter item, I want to let you know this is a great brand to resell. I fell in love with the pattern when I spotted it at Goodwill. Paid- $5.99.


Again, not a winter weather item, but this is another brand to keep on your BOLO list. It’s a goth brand that was popular in the 90’s. It literally sold within seconds of posting! Paid- $1.99.

Thanks everyone. Be sure to follow my blog for new post updates. As always, keep working hard and happy sourcing!

Mercari Basics

Hey all! Hope everyone is enjoying the start of fall and the busy online selling season. For me, things have slowed down this week on eBay just a smidge. School and family had me busy this week, so I was unable to meet my usual listing quota. No problem though! Some of the secondary selling sites picked up the slack. Here were my sales numbers for the week:

eBay: $1,344.07

Mercari: $105.00

Etsy: $61.10

Total: $1,510.17

Here are some of my standout sales from last week.

I love finding 90’s Caboodles! They remind me of my childhood, and they are great sellers. This was an Etsy sale. I found this one for less than $5.00 at a thrift shop.

Career wear is quickly becoming my niche. I found this Suit at a 94 cent sale, and even though it’s not a top brand, it still sold for a great price. I am constantly on the look-out for career wear and will pay up to $10.00 for a nice, name brand suit.

St. John is just one of those brands that makes my little reselling heart skip a beat! This is especially true when I find it at a 94 cent sale. Don’t pass it up, even if it’s an older style.


Expired ink is not something many people would think to resell. However, when I found 14 packs at 99 cents apiece, I thought I’d give it a shot. I split them into lots and these 4 were the first to sell. The name of the game here is disclosure. Make it very obvious to your buyer that the ink is expired.

Now, I want to talk about Mercari because it’s my second best selling platform after eBay. First of all, Mercari is completely app based. For me, that is not a problem because I use my iPhone to list all items on all sites and have completely phased out my computer for listing. Let’s start with some of the pros and cons of Mercari.

Pros:

– Listing is a breeze. You simply upload 4 item pictures, enter a title/description, pick a price, and chose the shipping method you prefer. You can either opt into Mercari shipping rates ($4 for first class 8 oz or under and $6 for priority up to 3 lbs) or you can ship it yourself.

-If you offer free shipping, which is a huge plus on Mercari, it’s displayed on your listing. This really helps to entice buyers.

– You can message Mercari through their help center if you have a question or need assistance. In my experience, they usually answer within 24 hours and are very helpful.

Cons:

– Payment: Your funds are not released until after the buyer receives the item and gives you a rating. However, if the buyer chooses not to rate, Mercari will automatically rate you 3 days after delivery. Then, your account is credited.

– After your account is credited, you can choose to have the money directly deposited into your bank account. Some people don’t like that funds are transferred only once per week. You have to request the transfer by midnight on Sunday to receive the funds on Monday.

– Mercari buyers are super interactive. They will ask questions and often ask for a lower price on items. This doesn’t bother me because I price my items higher, so I have room to negotiate. Also, time is of the essence. Mercari buyers seem to have a shorter attention span than eBay buyers. Answering questions quickly greatly increases your chances of making a sale.

– Mercari is not as eclectic as eBay. Certain brands and items sell better on Mercari than others. For instance, I personally do not list any vintage or older style items on Mercari. New items, kids clothes, and trendier brands (like PINK, Brandy Melville, Forever 21, etc.) are all great sellers.

Here’s a few more Mercari tips I’d like to share:

– Mercari requires photos to be in a square format. You can easily convert your photos into this format using an app like MOLDIV or Instagram Layout.

– If you are selling clothing, make sure to structure your keywords so that the size and brand are first. When buyers are just scrolling through their feeds, you want this info available to them at first glance. Here’s an example.

If a buyer has to do the extra work of clicking on your item just to find out the size, they may be less inclined to do so.

Okay, I hope you now have a better understanding of Mercari! If you have an questions, feel free to leave them in the comments. Use code MFGENM when signing up for a $2 credit.

Pricing: Fixed Price vs. Auction 


Hello again thrifters! This week we’re going to talk about pricing. Obviously, pricing is different depending on whether you are listing your items at auction vs. fixed price. When I first started selling on eBay 3 years ago, I started all items at auction for 99 cents. I stopped doing that when I realized that many people just don’t have the patience for auctions anymore. There was also the obvious problem that while some items sold high, many things would sell for only 99 cents. I then switched everything over to fixed price with best offer. By making this change, my average price per item sold went way up.

Now, I have gotten back into auctions as a means of purging old inventory. I will also sometimes list items at auction that I know will sell high. However, these days I do not start at 99 cents. I simply start at the absolute lowest price I would be comfortable with. I also do not offer free shipping on auction items, but do discount the shipping price. Since doing this, my sales have really improved and I have seen more traffic in my store. It seems many people still do love auctions. 

Fixed priced listings with best offer, on the other hand, are sort of like the reverse auction. You pick your starting price and then buyers are free to negotiate that price down. I almost never decline an offer even if it is an incredibly low one. If I do not want to accept the buyer’s initial offer, I make a counteroffer. This is your opportunity to negotiate and make a sale. If you want to cut out some of the haggling, feel free to tell the buyer what price you are willing to take. For instance, I offer free shipping on most items. If a buyer submits an offer, sometimes I counter and say- “this is the lowest I can go while still offering free shipping. Thanks!” This actually works very well and more often than not ends in a sale. The buyer still feels like he/she has gotten a deal AND free shipping. What could be better?

I like to leave wiggle room for negotiation so I often start my fixed price listings at $5-10 above what I would be comfortable getting for the item. I also take into consideration how long the item has been listed. If it’s been awhile, I am more likely to sell for a lower price. 

Overall, I take more of a slow dime approach to selling. This means that I am usually more likely to hold out for a higher price on an item, even if it takes an extra week or month. The fast nickle approach, or the “quick-flip,” works very well for some. These are most likely people that are able to resell full-time. With school and family obligations, I am not able to source daily to replenish inventory. That’s okay though. You have to do whatever works best for you, and I make a very comfortable living under the slow-dime sales model.

Speaking of sales, here are my sales from the past week.

eBay: $1,637.25

Mercari: $30.00

Here are some of my favorite sales from this week!


This beautiful CAbi coat was $7.99 at my local Goodwill. I love this brand as it has many loyal buyers and always sells well for me. Here’s a tip with CAbi- always put the style# in your keywords. Buyer’s actually search for it!


This is another great brand to look out for- Alice + Olivia. It is a pretty expensive brand and is great for resale. I paid $1.99 at the Goodwill As-Is for this beaded beauty.


I want to share this sale because it is not a brand I normally pick up. However, it is a long black, velvet dress which could probably used as part of a Halloween costume and it was about 50 cents at a consignment shop sidewalk sale. Always keep an eye out for potential costume pieces!


There has always been a market for Dr. Martens. I paid $5.99 for these guys. However, I probably could have gotten more if I had waited. I guess sometimes I don’t mind that fast nickle. They sold the same day I listed them.


This was my favorite sale of the week. I paid $5.99 at Goodwill. I actually felt the fabric before I looked at the brand and knew this was a great find. The wool was sooooo soft. Keep an eye out for Loro Piana wool items. They are great sellers. 

Thanks for checking in this week! Be sure to follow my blog for updates and more tips on reselling.

Multi-Platform Selling: Bonanza

Hi everyone. Hope you all had a great week. Mine was busy! It was my first week back to law school for the semester, so I am again balancing school, family, and business. Fortunately, I am here to say- it is entirely possible. One wonderful thing about owning an online resale business is you can either do it full-time or part-time as needed. 

That being said, even though I am unable to devote 100% of my time to my business, I am always looking for ways to improve and expand. One great way to expand your business is to branch out to multiple platforms. Currently, I actively sell on four other platforms besides eBay. I would like to discuss each one individually in separate posts. This week we’ll talk about Bonanza.

The great thing about Bonanza is that you can actually sync it to your already existing eBay store. This means, you only list the item once, and it is then available on both sites. Anytime an item sells on Bonanza, it is immediately deactivated on eBay. Also, with a basic booth it does not cost anything to list on this platform. There is, however, a fee incurred when the items sells. The final value fee is 3.5% of the sale price (for items under $500) which is considerably less than eBay. The best part for me is that this platform requires no extra maintenance on my part. I receive a notification when an item sells, and I ship it out. I usually sell at least 2 items a month on this site. While sales on Bonanza are far more sporadic than eBay, the extra income without the extra work makes me a happy reseller!

Speaking of sales, I hope last month was prosperous for everyone. Personally, I had a great month with $6,677.28 in sales. Here are my sales figures from last week and some of my favorite flips.

eBay: $1,348.03

Mercari: $45.00

Amazon: $17.00


I would like to point out these 2 Anthopologie brands that are always consistent sellers- Odille and Lauren Moffatt. Each of these items was less than $4.00. Remember to familiarize yourself with as many Anthro brands as possible. They are almost always great sellers.


Lands’ End is another consistent clothing seller. This brand is known for its comfortable and modest style. There is definitely a resale market for Lands’ End, and it is a very common item to encounter when thrifting. I also frequently pick up children’s clothing in this brand.


I paid 94 cents for this great denim skirt, and it sold within a day of listing. Soft Surroundings is a women’s clothing line I love to see when sourcing. It is certainly a steady seller.


This was another 94 cent find. Honestly, I was unfamiliar with the brand when I found this item. However, I am constantly on the lookout for stylish plus size clothing, so I picked it up.


My favorite sale of the week was definitely this vintage 80’s prom dress I found at the Goodwill Outlet. The prices there are $1.09 per pound, so it was at most $2.00. I knew it was a special piece, and it still had the original tags so I was happy to buy it. I was even more happy when it sold!

Thank you for reading Thrifting Through. Be sure to follow my blog and stay tuned for next week!