Is it too late to change? Too late to reset in this fast pace ecommerce world? Theresa is proof you can. Not only can you, you must. Omni-channel (selling on all channels) is the future. Your customers have their favorite platforms and you need to be on them. The challenge is how. Theresa helps us with real examples, real processes.
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Theresa: [00:00] Does. It’s more for running your business. And there’s a lot of things that you know, I’ve wanted eBay to do for a long time, but it’s just harder for eBay being the big ship that it is to turn things around. And so, um, one of the things that I, you know, really miss on eBay is the ability to download a report that tells me here’s your listings and here’s all the weights that you have on them. Because I realized that a lot of my listings don’t have weights. A lot of them have the wrong weight. And I have no way of
Stephen: [00:41] Hey, just jumping in. I’m talking about 2019. What a great year. It’s been a great year for our business and pivots that we’ve done. Um, and if you’re thinking about pivoting your business, you might want to check out some of the sponsors that I have in the podcast. I’m just come out into e-commerce, momentum.com and take a look at this episode. Uh, there’ll be a link with a whole bunch of different, uh, deals and, and, you know, be fair. They do pay me, so don’t want to hide that, but, um, shouldn’t cost you any more than what you would pay any other way. Uh, but you benefit me and you sponsor the show and, and help pay offset some of our costs. But, uh, some of the great things, you know, um, Gaye Lisby and Gary Ray’s group, um, unbelievable. You know, I can’t believe the number of million dollar sellers that credit the group for getting them pushed past that point.
Stephen: [01:27] That’s the key. Okay. Um, I’ve got a great interview coming up where the network talk again, where that’s really what drives a lot of what your decisions are. Look back, listen to Kate Rolo talk about what, what that group of people has done for their business. You know, just sounding boards, people to help test your ideas and stuff. So I’ve got a lot of those kinds of links. Uh, tactical arbitrage. Um, you know, lots of them come with a longer trial periods of very fortunate that way. And I want you to try them. But the key is to get in the group, be active, don’t be a wallflower, and then see if it’s a good fit. If it’s not a good fit, get out of them. I understand that, you know, you want to be around people that are going to build you up, not tear you down.
Stephen: [02:06] So find a group that’s right for you. And then pivot, change your new year. If it’s not working, if it’s working, do more of it. Don’t get rid of everything else and do more of that. But if it’s not, there’s nothing wrong with pivoting. We’ve done it. Uh, you know, I think, you know, we’ve been FBA since 2011 we’ve pivoted so many times, um, as the market changes. And again, they never call and say, Steve, what do you think? So the market’s going to change without your input and guess what? You could react or you could ProAct and, um, even in midst of change, you can ProAct and try something different. So again, reach out in any way if I can help you, um, but check out the links and, and hopefully you’ll find something that’ll help you grow your business. Um, and I credit, you know, Gaye, Andy Sammons, Karen locker, um, um, Alex Moss from tactical arbitrage, all those companies helping us.
Stephen: [02:58] Um, I think that they could help you too. Um, and, uh, again, reach out if I can help you in any way. Thanks and welcome back to the e-commerce woman and podcast. This is episode 421. Theresa Cox. Um, look at the headline, look at the title that I use for this and this title gets developed as I’m talking to the person and the depth of knowledge. Um, you know, a, she’s, she’ll even say it in here. She’s been a long time seller, right? So that’s cool. But what, to me, what she’s been able to do in resetting and readjusting and just changing, um, over time as the marketplaces change, you know, the marketplace is going to change with or without you. So you’d rather be on the, you know, right with it or ride the wave or in her case, sometimes ahead of the wave and she got to be part of something pretty cool.
Stephen: [03:47] And I think it’s a, it’s a great story. Um, very, very cool lady who just knows what she’s doing and loves it. That’s what you want. That love. She still loves what she’s doing 20 something years later. Don’t you want that for yourself? Let’s get into the podcast and welcome back to the eCommerce momentum podcast. Excited about today’s guest. Uh, we had talked years ago about getting together and we just never have because both of our schedules are a little bit too busy and I don’t think either one of us would say now is a great time cause it’s Q4. Um, although I think our Christmas rush is over. Teresa Cox. Welcome Theresa.
Stephen: [04:42] I did not expect it to be as strong because of all the changes and challenges. Um, and just historically, and we are very pleasantly surprised to, um, every one of the places we sell is really doing well, including eBay, which was a struggle for us for awhile because of whatever happened, uh, with the category. But even that was a big surprise for us. And I see others posting that it’s not been so good for you. What’s been your experience?
Theresa: [05:09] Yeah. Um, eBay, eBay’s my, uh, go-to top first platform. I love eBay. I love the community. I also sell on Amazon and I stopped selling on Amazon in February. Uh, you know, just a little here and there, but for the most part stopped because I was selling shoes and I was sourcing, she’s didn’t have boxes. And so when they made that change, I had to rethink my whole idea about what to sell and if I wanted to continue to sell on that platform. And so in, um, you know, it’s hard to walk away from cash selling. Q4 I decided that I was going to start over and I implemented some different strategies for what I was buying. Um, and I implemented a couple of new tools and has been hugely successful in I’m tracking, I don’t like to track things on a micro level on any of the platforms, but I decided that to go back into Amazon, I wanted to track things on a micro level. And so I am pleasantly surprised at my average ROI at my sell through rate at all those numbers. And basically it tells me, Hey, I still kind of know what I’m doing.
Stephen: [06:19] Well, you know, I, I think, I think what you said there is very fair that, you know, frustration changes, they’re gonna, they’re gonna make all those things right, but you, that doesn’t mean you can’t reset. And what you did was reset. And the other smart thing I heard in there was that you took advantage of some tools, so you didn’t just go back to the way you were doing it. You reset and made maybe took away some of the hassles? Is that a fair way to say it?
Theresa: [06:46] Yeah, some of the hassles where, um, you know, I was doing things manually just because I, I started using a repricing tool and I was doing it manually because when I first started on Amazon and I tried to figure out pricing software, it was way over my head. And so, um, I decided that, you know, definitely was the way to go. And, um, you know, the other thing that I did was I joined a paid Facebook group, which I had been part of before. And, um, you know, initially I joined the Facebook group to, uh, you know, to get ideas of what to sell and I don’t need that information anymore. I’ve got my scanner, I’ve got my software app, and now what I use it for is the, um, knowledge, uh, you know, Hey, this happened. How would you handle it? Or, um, you know, I’ve got somebody that I met in the group that has walked me through how to set up, uh, some very specific things on, uh, the repricing app. And has helped me through some of the areas that I knew I was struggling with process on. And I know that my process, uh, for so many Amazon orders is ridiculously time intensive and it doesn’t need to be. So, uh, I just talked to him today and I’m going over to his place on Monday and he’s gonna show me how he does it and that’s going to be a huge, huge difference in what I do next year
Stephen: [08:10] that’s so valuable. Um, and again, it’s also nice that you have somebody who’s gone through the same challenges as you are. Right? Um, so in that group, and I, I see this for me, so it says you’re going to be like dusty. You of course you’re going to see people having challenges that you might not be having, but you could have. You just been fortunate it didn’t happen to you. You’re, and you go and check in, you’re like, Oh crap, I better change that to before that happens to me. I have that happen to you.
Theresa: [08:39] Yeah, I will. I will tell you that I’m in this, I was in the group, you know, a year ago, um, and I, uh, one of the things that they were doing was they were taking pictures of their items and um, with the receipts and stuff to ward off against, you know, um, uh, what’s the claim that you get on Amazon
Stephen: [08:58] P claim and this is for those that are don’t have receipts without the UPC numbers that happens on particular stores like a Marshall’s or TJ max or whatever. They don’t put the UPC on the receipt, so therefore you can’t
Theresa: [09:10] show it’s real. Correct. Correct. Okay. And so I was, you know, a year ago, I’m like, yeah, that, you know, whatever. I’m like, that’s too much. That’s a time intensive step that I don’t want to take. Well, this year when I decided to revamp, I’m like, I haven’t had an IP complaint yet, but it’s inevitable. And, um, so let me add this process to my, um, let me have this step to my process and just, you know, be ready for when it does happen. Cause it’s not if it’s when
Stephen: [09:41] and the smart thing there, right know what you just said is genius. The way you got to look at it. And this isn’t a criticism you were cheating before, right? You were, you were running a risk, you were taking a gamble because it could have happened. But now to have a real business, you’re saying, okay, I can’t cheat on this process. This is part of the process now if the hassle factor outweighs the profit on those things because you have all those extra steps that you must do every single time. Isn’t that better than wearing at night about losing your business every night?
Theresa: [10:16] Exactly. Uh, you know, and I, it tend to be, um, a more risk taker than a lot of people. Um, and so that was exact, my exact thought process before was that the time that it took to do this was not worth the risk of having one IP claim. Well, that’s because they didn’t understand IP claims fully. And you know, you don’t know what you don’t know. And just, you know, being in groups in, in, in, in fairness, Amazon I believe has become a much more, much stricter, harder marketplace in the last year. And, um, I just decided that, that, that the risk did not outweigh the reward this time. And so that was one step that I, you know, re looked at and said, okay, it’s going to take me 20 minutes to do this. Let me figure out my process. And I just added it in
Theresa: [11:19] No, it doesn’t. Um, it, you know, it’s, I’m still playing with the process. I’m still trying to figure out if I take the picture first. Cause another step that I added in was I actually go over and check off every item on my receipt. And I did that because, um, I was at a do a lot of RA and I was at a register and some, uh, you know, a teenager. No, no. Um, disrespect to teenagers, but you know, he was at the front and he was responsible for too many things and he was trying to help some lady look at a watch and a case. And so he, he, uh, scan two or three of my items, then go back to the case and get her a watch and watch her and then come back. And it just made me uncomfortable. That is he devil scanning things.
Theresa: [12:02] And, um, so now I’ve added into my list to, uh, verify that everything that I was charged for actually we sieved. And interestingly enough, the first part of that was I usually ended up with more items than I paid for. And um, so I, the first, the first two at like the net was, um, I was overcharged $4. The next one, you know, I was under charged $8. I’m not going to go back to the store for that. But then there was one where there was three items that were probably at $125 range that I wasn’t charged more. And so I’m a big believer in karma and doing the right thing. And so I took them back to the store and I paint for them. Now. I felt good about that. Um, I, the last receipt that I took where I had three items that I paid for and I didn’t get, I didn’t have the same result. So they basically say, well, we don’t have these items in our lost and found and we’d have no way of proving this and blah, blah, blah. And they were right. But, um, so now I kind of have a little tally in my head that I’m out probably about a hundred dollars and the next receipt that is off, I may rethink, um, being so eager to go back and, uh, try to right the wrong when I was undercharged, I dunno, maybe I’ll still do it. I don’t know when.
Stephen: [13:28] But here’s the key. What you’re describing is you’re building processes to outsource to somebody else. So if you brought somebody on, you would expect them to check the receipt, right? I mean, that’s reasonable, right? And to be careful. So why doesn’t that rule apply to us Teresa? I know, I always tell my kids, Hey, do as I say, not as I do, do as I say. Right. But, but it’s a fair. So by rebuilding, I mean, again, and I’m sitting here thinking about resetting with stronger processes. You’re building a real business. Did you feel like it was a real business before?
Theresa: [14:01] Um, you know, I did. Uh, but what I’m trying to figure out is if I want to scale it, like I’m a solopreneur and so, you know, I talked a lot of people with warehouses and all this stuff and they’re doing all these stickers and I don’t have that whole FOMO issue where, Oh, look how much money they’re making because, you know, I’m putting in, I’m getting out equal what I’m putting in and do I want to spend all day everyday doing this? No, but I’m trying to figure out where is my, um, the sweet spot for you? The sweet spot. Yeah, that’s a good word for where’s the sweet spot for me. And so I’m trying to figure out right now I am, uh, you know, eBay is my first love. Um, Amazon, I source one day a week and, um, I don’t even source all day. Sometimes I’ll just hit two stores at night and then, you know, I’ll spend processing it and the weekend getting it in and ship it in on Monday. Like that’s been my process for Q four, so I’m not killing it, but I’m not, um, uh, I’m not, it’s an, it’s a concentrated effort.
Theresa: [15:11] okay. And so, yeah, so it’s, you know, it’s just trying to figure out now at this point, I’ll take my data and I’ll figure out, is this what I want to do in January? I’m not sure that I will continue to look at the receipts. I might do it for another couple and see, um, uh, the first two where I was just $4, $8 off, absolutely not worth my time. But when you get to a hundred and $150, then you’re like, okay, if this happens on every receipt, then maybe that’s an issue. Or maybe I decide that I do it for receipts where I have over 60 items or over a hundred died. I don’t know yet.
Stephen: [15:45] Hmm. So, so in theory you might make it more of a seasonal. Amazon is specific because of FBA, maybe may more of a seasonal business, meaning that you peak, like get ready for Q four and then you come back down based on lifestyle. For you
Theresa: [16:01] it’s a possibility. Um, right now I, right now I can um, am uh, considering doing this at the same level once a week, um, and just doing sourcing one day a week and then doing that whole process. Um, uh, and you know, we’ll see how it is. I mean, I’m a lazy scanner, so I like the low hanging fruit and, um, I just happened to know what the low hanging fruit is in Q four. And you know, that’s why it was so easy for me to do shoes because I was a lazy scanner and I would just go in and like just pull them off the shelves. I wouldn’t look at them, I just pull them off the shelves. And, um, so now I have to put a little effort into scan.
Stephen: [16:43] Now, why do you love eBay? He had, you said that twice and he, I think even once in our pre-call, why do you love eBay so much? What is it that’s very, that gives you that still buzz? Because I mean, I don’t want to tell anybody how long you’ve been doing it cause they might date your, uh, age. But you’ve been doing a long time a long
Theresa: [17:02] since 1997. Um, and so eBay, I mean, maybe it’s because I’ve been on the platform for so long, but I love the community. I love the support. I mean, I love that. Um, eBay listens to the community. I don’t feel like we have that on a lot of the other supports. I think that if you’re a die hard Poshmark seller, I think that they probably have that kind of support. But, um, it just, you know, the eBay community is great. eBay has your back eBay. Like eBay has a seller’s back, but they also have a buyer’s back. Like they understand that there’s two sides to every transaction. And, um, you know, I just don’t feel that on Amazon.
Theresa: [17:56] Yeah. And maybe that’s the right word for it, but I mean because I’ve been on it for so long, what people forget is back in 1997, you know, it was the wild wild West. And so people key, I’m thinking of eBay today in those terms. And when I tell people that when I sold an item in 1997 or even in 2000 PayPal didn’t even come about until 2000 people would buy an item and then they would send you your, their zip code and then you would box the item up. You would go to the post office and have the post office tell you how much it was shipped to that zip code. You would go back home, you would message the buyer. You would say shipping’s going to be $10 96 cents. The buyer would send you a check or a money order in the mail. You would get that in five to 10 days. You would then deposit the check or the money order. If it was a check you waited 10 days, the check declare. If it was a money order, you would still deposit the money order because there was some fake money orders going around at the time and then you would shift, finally ship your item out. And if the customer got it in 30 days, they were thrilled man. And you chuckle because you’re like, how in the world did that succeed?
Stephen: [19:09] And now you sit back and you think about literally they can order it today. You’re shipping it today cause you got paid today. The money’s in your account and it’s out and the customer has it in theory, sometimes the day after the next day even w even doing merchant fulfilled. So I would, I would say that’s a, I think a lot of people have that, that feeling right now with Amazon because it was not that long ago when it was the wild wild West and now they’ve rigidly gotten a lot of rules and they change them often. They’ve really caught up on the rules, right. Very quickly. Not as long as it took eBay to get there. But I think people can relate, um, how, how much it’s changed. That’s interesting. Hmm.
Theresa: [19:47] And I, and I think it’s good. I mean, you know, in eCommerce is now globally recognized. And you know, back in the early days there were countries that we just didn’t ship to because we didn’t trust their postal services. Now, there’s not a country in the world that I do not ship to and I have no fear of it. Not arriving in Italy or not arriving in Mexico or some of the other countries. You know, I never had an issue with Russia, Russian Federation. Um, interestingly enough, I sell a R a at one point I sold a ton of magic eight balls to the Russian Federation. And every time I sold one, I’m like, what is it about this that they love? I have no idea.
Stephen: [20:25] Can, are they making decisions? Hey, should we do this? Let’s invade this country. Maybe. What’s the false now? That’s terrible. That’s, Oh, I remember blocking, you know, uh, all of South America. I mean, it was just, you were never going to get your stuff that was never going to show up. And it was never even worst part was, it’s not even like you suspected the person wasn’t gonna was going to stick you. It was the people that were on the way. Yeah, it was, that was never going to make it to anybody. They were, but their house must be the best, most modern house. Right. Because it was full of all this stuff. All right. So, so eBay for you for 20 something years, um, has given you, that thrills still, definitely still gives you the thrill. Do you still like to source unusual things for eBay? Or is it all about, you know, kind of, uh, finding, not replenishable, that might be a bad term, but finding a particular line. If you sell shoes, for example, is that what you focus on or are you able to still deviate and fulfill the hunt and the storage hunt?
Theresa: [21:27] So my journey on eBay has changed over the years and when I first started, when I first got hooked up with eBay was probably in 95, 96 when I was selling off next computers for the university I worked for. And um, that started me to think of, Hey, let me try to sell this of my own in, in, in, you know, sell that. And um, then when I created my own account, that’s, that’s why I use the 97, cause I can trace back my start date for that. But I was actually selling on it 95, 96. But, um, in 97, I started selling red things. Uh, my store is club red 97. I like read things and everything was red. Yes, everything was red. And if I found a, if I would go to the store and I need to buy some tape and there was a red tape to Spencer for whatever reason, buying it in red, just, it wasn’t now just tape, it was now a red tape dispenser.
Theresa: [22:20] And, um, I sold a lot of stuff that was just red. And then, you know, like everyone else, you branch off and you start selling things that are profitable. Um, I did thrifting for a little while. I’m not a thrifter, I don’t have the thrill of the hunt. Um, you know, it’s profitable and there’s nothing wrong with it, but it just wasn’t my thing. Mostly I was going to, I was doing a retail arbitrage before I knew that’s what it was. And I would go to different stores and if they had, um, and I was still buying red things, red salt and pepper shakers, red kitchen aid stuff, red, you know, whatever it was, and then I would come home and list it on eBay and sell it. Um, and uh, you know, that for 15 years was my play money.
Stephen: [23:07] And so, I mean, when somebody, you know, an interior decorator or a kitchen, my wife was into the kitchen, our kitchen. Now everything’s white, but she wants this blue. And she’s like, well, we have to get dilutes the blue tea Cal, Steve. And I’m like, it’s a teacup. Oh no, no, it’s gotta be blue. Right. So, so those are the type of people though. That’s, that’s who you served.
Theresa: [23:26] Yes. And, and I still have, um, my eBay store is, no, I think it read stuff. Um, I think I’ve changed to now they’re both club red 97. But, um, but yeah, I do have a, an, uh, category in my store called red kitchen stuff because when I, uh, moved to Arizona OTO three and built a house, I knew I was having a red kitchen and people like, people picture red walls. I didn’t have red walls, but I had every red KitchenAid appliance you could have. You open my drawer and the silverware had red handles and you know, it’s just all the towels and everything were red. And yeah, it was just a true thing. That was my thing. And I loved my red kitchen
Stephen: [24:06] and so to your wife, but you know what’s interesting is that that’s probably why you loved selling at eBay, right. Because it, you got to do what you enjoy. There’s nothing wrong with that. How many of your friends get to do what they enjoy?
Theresa: [24:19] Exactly. Exactly. I love what I do. Yup. Still. And I was just telling somebody that, um, you know, it’s hard for me to think of going back to a nine to five job and I think to myself that, you know, I work much harder now than I ever did at a nine to five job. But I work in different spurts. Like some days I’ll work until two or three in the morning and some days I may only work an hour shipping. And I like that freedom of flexibility. I think overall during the week, I probably put in, I definitely put in more than 40 hours. Um, you know, somewhere between 60 and 80. It depends on the time of year, but, um, I like that I get to choose the chunk of time that I’m working.
Stephen: [25:05] Yeah. Because you described that you’d like to go to those particular stores at night. Right. So that’s a lifestyle. One of the things that I’ve been watching you over time, um, you still enjoy shipping. Like you’ve make it an art out of it. Like it’s like fun to you, isn’t it? It’s like, uh, is it, is it, is it the closure, like the, you know, Hey, when you put it up on the counter, the accomplishments been made. Is that kind of weird to say it that way?
Theresa: [25:30] It’s, no, no. It’s funny you say that because I don’t enjoy shipping this week, but it’s Q4 and it’s like, I think that this year having a shorter timeframe between Thanksgiving and Christmas, like it’s a week shorter. I was like, okay, this is not going to be any different. It’s just gonna be short. No, everybody’s trying to cram five weeks of stuff into four weeks and it feels different. Um, but yeah, I do like the closure of that. I like the idea of getting the stuff out of the house and sending it on their way. And you know some, this is going to make somebody else happy. And you know with eBay you get the um, touchy feely stories. Like somebody says, thank you for selling this. My grandmother had one, I remember seeing it when I was growing up and now I want to have it in my home for my kids. I’m lost. Right. That kind of stuff. Yeah, exactly. I sell memories. That’s what do you sell on eBay? I sell memories.
Stephen: [26:21] Interesting. And, and sometimes red ones, right? Hmm. Yeah. All right. Here’s another thing that I think that you’ve done very well. All right. So again, I’m going back with this as the premise of this conversation reset with stronger processes and build a real business. That’s, that’s probably going to be the title of this episode because I, I, what I think about is we are having a conversation, you know, you sell them a car and you sell on and you sell in other places and what you, what you said though is the reason is the technology has allowed it. So again, you’ve reduced the hassle factor. So was the hassle factor enough to keep you away from them? Let’s start there.
Theresa: [27:00] Oh yes and no. So let me explain. Let me explain that. Because, um, up until, uh, let’s just say may of this year, I sold only on eBay and Amazon. And I did that because I didn’t want to have to deal with listing on Poshmark and finding my pictures and copying. It was way too much copy pasting and uploading pictures and same thing with McCarthy and all those other sites. And then what happened was, um, in, I run a meetup group here in Phoenix area and, uh, there was two women in my meetup group that basically talked to me in February and said, Hey, we’ve got this uh, software program that we’ve been working on. Uh, we want to show it to you. And so, uh, they told me that, you know, what it does is automate cross listing across the automates crossposting from, um, actually that’s not what it does at the time. It was a soft, uh, software listing program that allowed you to live faster and then you could cross post to multiple platforms.
Theresa: [28:13] Mostly for it. So they were selling on eBay and they wanted to come up with a way to uh, reduce the listing process, the time to list. And so we were working on this and everything and the first thing I said to them was, this is great for my new listings but I have 4,500 listings on eBay. I want to cross post them to the other sites. And so, um, you know, we talked here and there and then probably in April, may we really started talking a lot and she had some updates to the program and I was like, this is amazing. So I started using list perfectly in may to cross post. Um, and the, they did a soft launch in may and then they did a hard launch after eBay open. And I mean it just took off like a rocket because the product that they launched is a, um, posting, uh, you can still list in the, in the product, but I think what most of the users are using it for now is to quickly and easily cross-post from eBay, from Maccari, from Poshmark, from Etsy to all those platforms.
Theresa: [29:23] Plus they also do re love and there’s another one and then they are getting ready to launch. They announced this on their Facebook group yesterday, um, to Facebook marketplace and grilled. So you can either, so someone like me with my M eBay listings, I have a ton of fabric in there. I used to be a quilter. I’m not anymore. And so I’m using it too. I knew I should have been listing it on Etsy, but it was like, I don’t want to do that. It’s tedious, it’s boring, it’s a hassle. But now I use lists perfectly and I can have them up and running on Etsy and no time. And you can, you know, cross post, it takes under a minute to take an existing listing and cross post it to the platform. What’s very cool to me is you are part of that development. You know what I mean?
Theresa: [30:12] That’s kinda gotta be feel pretty cool too. You actually got to see it sprout and them. Yes. Which is really kind of cool. Yeah. And I have, I’ve loved every step of the process. There are amazing women own a business, um, you know, saw a need in the community and figured out a way to, uh, fulfill that need. Like, you know, every good ingenious idea, there’s a need and somebody figures out how to satisfy that need and boom, if somebody just don’t figure out how to satisfy it, they push past all the challenges that we all run into that makes us stop and to get past that. So you really are an omnichannel seller. I mean, how’s that? Who is that? It’s gotta feel pretty cool, you know, and it, it is, it is kinda cool. Um, and you know, there’s different strategies for each platform.
Theresa: [31:02] And you know, I, I credit list perfectly to me branching out because like I said, I would not take the time to copy and paste from my existing listing or to find my pictures on my desktop to upload to, you know, my McCarty listing. But, um, there’s different strategies on Macquarie. I did in the summertime, I did a bunch of summer stuff, enlisted it, and I was doing heavy stuff because they, at the time they had great shipping, uh, prices for heavier stuff. And, um, I had, uh, some inflatable swimming pools that I was selling on Amazon the previous summer. And then, you know, all of a sudden you’re dated and you can’t sell them. Right. Right. And so I had 16 of them in my garage that I couldn’t get rid of, and I’m just like, I’m just going to try these on the Cari and, uh, listed them with lists perfectly.
Theresa: [31:52] I sold 14 of the 16 poles, happy to get them out of my garage, made a great profit on them and shipped them for a reasonable price. And, you know, it was just happy to have done that. And so I then reset after summer. Um, I’m just testing this, this philosophy out, but I think Macquarie does really well in the first 30 days of a listing. So I, after summer I deleted all my summer listings and then I posted, uh, just recently I started doing some Halloween stuff, but recently I did a bunch of Christmas inflatables and a bunch of American girl doll stuff that I’m trying to, uh, get rid of and that’s, that’s doing okay. It’s doing okay. Um, in that platform. So playing around with the strategy for, you know, listing on that platform. Um, the same way, you know, you, uh, Poshmark is a very different audience.
Stephen: [32:43] Yeah. We could talk about that because both of us have similar experience. You know, we sell shoes, right? Expensive shoes, we buy wholesale or some we buy RA. Um, uh, we used to do a way, we don’t really do much of it, but expensive, let’s say a hundred dollars pair of shoes. They’re beautiful, right? Nothing brand new. And so you put ’em on Poshmark for 60 bucks and cause that’s what you would’ve done with eBay, correct? I mean you would have put them on material discount. Somebody who’s looking for him, they would be willing to pay for it. Right. And we always do. We don’t do free shipping. So B plus shipping. And so the thing I liked about Poshmark was a free or free to us shipping. I mean it was added on but it was always you got a label, it was perfect. Right. The problem I have, this is Steve’s experience and you correct me if what your experience is is that that’s $60 I’m getting $12 offers and I’m ignoring them because I don’t want to stop to waste my time. Cause like on eBay, when people make an offer, you can put a little code in there that says reject automatically pay offers. Under a net case, I’d probably reject everything under $48 or something like that. Right. Kind of common sense. Poshmark, at least I haven’t seen that. And so it, there, there are nuisance things. I mean do people just sit there and spit out these messages hoping, you know, send out a hundred maybe two people bite.
Theresa: [33:57] That’s my guess. That’s my experience. Um, I have the same experience with you. I, you know, listing, uh, P jeans, lucky brand jeans, new, uh, tags, $130 MSRP. Um, so, you know, you try to list them on Macquarie at, you know, 55 or $65, somewhere in that neighborhood. I’m sorry, on posh market. And if 55, you know, 50% of MSRP, I’m thinking that’s a pretty good deal.
Theresa: [34:27] Yeah. But I don’t think that the McCarthy, I keep saying McCarthy, the Poshmark. Um, I don’t think that the Poshmark market looks at it that way. I think they want new items for garage sale prices. Now. I don’t think that that’s everybody’s experience, right? Because there are some successful Poshmark sellers, but I don’t seem to have the inventory that those sellers want. Um, and so I just, I just, I find it frustrating. It’s time sink to have to share your closet. It’s, um, it’s, it needs way too much of my attention.
Stephen: [35:05] I used to do, you know what I used? It’s funny cause my attitude has changed a little bit to what I always admired. They made it so easy. They, they as complicated as easy as eBay is today versus 1997. It’s still complicated to create a listing. There’s a million fields, there’s a lot of steps, right? Poshmark. It’s really simple. I mean, you can have a listing up in about two minutes, right? I mean not even two minutes probably, you know, 40 seconds with some photos and stuff. So very convenient. That part they got right. It’s that other part that I think, unfortunately I think like you, some of the stuff we sell is not the marketplace. Um, it’s just not, I th I tend to think it was designed for, you know, expensive closets of stuff that most people can’t afford to get into. And so there, when I can buy it at a garage sale price, a coach bag or bad example, because that’s all I can think of, you know, being a man. Um, but, but that would be it, you know, stuff like that. Is that, is that, would you agree with that or do you see it even different than that?
Theresa: [36:09] Um, I think, I think they’re definitely looking for some of the higher end brand names and you know, I tested that out as well and I just, I just didn’t have any success with it. And you know, I’m not giving up, I’m still testing it out. What I, um, uh, and finding for the higher end brand names. And the other platform that I just couldn’t think about with Liz perfectly is Tradesy. Okay. I had never heard of Tradesy before. It was perfectly. And so, um, yeah, so they, they definitely hire and items that’s the marketplace for it. And um, you know, they tend to sell any tend to sell for, uh, what would be a good profit in our mind in what would be a discounted price for the buyer over there. The problem with, um, Tradesy is that you have to be willing to wait 30 days or so for your payout and, um, so some people don’t like that, but you know, to me it’s like, it’s just part of doing business. And, um, the reality is that the days for eBay sellers, the days of getting same day payout with payout with PayPal, they’re, they’re on their way out. Like eBay’s the only site that has that everybody else moves you wait until the items received in three days after this or whatever and so and so forth. Or you know, two week pay out on Amazon. So
Stephen: [37:23] I think we’re seeing this transition, but like you just said with Tracy, so this transition like eBay just announced over a hundred dollars pair of shoes, there’s no charge. Right? Something like that. Right. That’s because the goats and the stock X and blah, blah, blah, blah, blahs have all become the specialized site for those things. Correct. Yep. It’s like they cherry pick a category and so what you just described the trades, he is a good example at the higher end stuff. It’s probably safe. Are they the company where you send it to them and they inspect it to make sure it’s right and then they send it on?
Theresa: [37:56] Um, I think that that is a, um, an option cause they authenticated and stuff, right? Isn’t it authenticated, right. To have it authenticated is an option. Okay. But they don’t think has to be authenticated.
Stephen: [38:09] But boy, how secure is that? Right? I mean that extra step and I’m sure there’s a, the seller is paying for that. Um, and they price that in. I’m sure there’s a fee, but boy, if you’re a buyer, you know that it’s real because it’s been authenticated and then I assume they stand behind it.
Theresa: [38:25] Now let me tell you, let me go the other side of that. As a seller, I stay away from any name brands because I am not familiar with it. I do not know how to tell a fake from a real. So I don’t even look at that kind of stuff. So for me as a seller, if I’m going to start selling coach bags, I would want that office service because I, I can’t tell it’s not something I want to be an expert in.
Stephen: [38:47] We’ve gotten that stuff over the years and I just give it away because I’m like, I’m not even going to attempt to sell it because it all looks real to me. But I’m a guy who has no clue. Right. So I’m just not, unless I bought it at the store. Right. And I know you can, you can go to coach, they have 70% off plus 20% blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And you can stack in that. Then I can say I bought it, here’s my receipt. Then I’m comfortable if not, or are you [inaudible] it’s interesting. All right. So this just happened in my town. So Hasbro and I checked with a toy seller, a mega toy seller that I know, um, Hasbro had this two day event in my town, like a, it’s almost like a pop up store. I described it like the Halloween store and if you get those in your town where they, where they bring in a rent for one or two months and then they’re gone.
Stephen: [39:31] The Hasbro did a toy sale in my town, uh, last week. I didn’t make it there. Um, just because, you know, I’m worried about authentication again. I’m so worried about, you know, I guess that’s good that Amazon has me trained that way, but I’m like, I don’t want to go waste my time if it’s not going to show me the receipt. Like you, I don’t want to do the photos for a $8 monopoly board game. Right. And so I passed on that, um, that, um, I’m gun shy there. How about you? What’s your risk tolerance for that stuff?
Theresa: [40:06] Um, I, I would have a higher risk tolerance. Um, I probably would have gone and checked out if I was selling toys, but I made the conscious decision not to sell toys and Q four, but, um, uh, that I think, I think I would debt, well, when I was living in [inaudible], when I was living in Southern California, um, my sister and brother-in-law both worked at Mattel and you know, this is when, again, RA wasn’t a thing. And I think if I was just a little smarter or a lot smarter, I would go to the company twice or with my sister and I would buy all kinds of toys and just give them all, I didn’t nieces and nephews, I’m like, why am I not selling on eBay? And it just, it just wasn’t the, the model, um, you know, 20 years ago,
Stephen: [40:54] so the a, I’m going to close my Hasbro story. I apologize. I, I it basically I didn’t, I didn’t go and I send it to somebody who I really respect, who sells toys by the pallet, I mean the massive toy seller. And he was suspect of it because they had a weird Facebook group or whatever. So I sent the note to Hasbrook or to Hasbro. I literally had said, Hey, is this legit? And it took them a day. The event was almost over. By the time they get back to me and said, yes, it’s a, it’s a store wide event or a store event. And so I sent that to him and he goes, huh. He thought the same thing. He said, boy, their website’s sketchy, or their Facebook group is sketchy. It’s not blue checked. And, but, but my point to him was, and I think we agreed on this, they probably are in deep trouble because how would they have sold that stuff in the past?
Stephen: [41:39] Right? Toys R us is gone this year. Right? Um, Amazon, of course they’re selling tons. Right? But how do they reach the other part of the market? And so we have a, a company, I don’t if they are out your way, always do you have them out by, you know, we don’t have all these out here. Okay. Well always was started, uh, 15 miles from my house here. Um, my warehouse and they are huge on the East coast. They’re those big giant toy sell buyers that kind of, that liquidation stuff. And so maybe they’re just trying to cut out the middle person. Um, and maybe they’re doing kind of a popup. Uh, they’re trying to get clever and creative. It’s interesting.
Theresa: [42:15] That’s an interesting, um, philosophy on it. And it’s probably, there’s probably a lot of truth in that because you know, these toy companies are still needing to make their Q four earnings and um, you’re right. If they don’t have, uh, you know, toys R us or other places to sell their toy, that they can sell the toys for them, they got to do it themselves.
Stephen: [42:37] It’s interesting. And so the marketplace changes again. Uh, I, I hear, here’s one more observation about you and your business. Um, you’ve been doing it for so long and you’re willing to change it. I don’t have, how do we done offend anyone, but you have other friends, I don’t want to say friends. You have other acquaintances, you know, in this business that are all they do is complain about the problems from eBay or Amazon or I’m sure [inaudible] but we just did Poshmark. We were, we were those guys. All right. I’ve guilty a little bit, but generally speaking, it’s just a minor more observation. Mine isn’t a complaint. It is what it is. But it’s an observation. But they get stuck and they don’t move forward. All they keep saying is my sales have gone. I mean, I just saw somebody post, they haven’t sold anything in five days. And I’m like, Oh my God, can you imagine not selling anything for five days?
Theresa: [43:27] Well, and, and I don’t even, I don’t even acknowledge those posts because there’s so many various, very, very variating, various factors in what goes into a sale. Like if you only have a hundred listings and you haven’t sold anything in five days, it’s an, there’s a large part of this. And this number game, I have 4,500 listings and there’s days when I don’t sell anything, but I don’t waste my time posting it on Facebook because I just know it happens. And, um, and you know, and there’s days when I have, you know, 80 sales or, you know, I’m just like dying because I’ve maybe not an 80 day sale on eBay because I don’t have that kind of inventory. But you know, I can have an 80 sale weekend. Absolutely. And so that’s one factor. The other factor is, um, I was, um, going to my meetup last night and, uh, driving with a friend of mine and you know, I was asking her about her sales and she says, you know, my sales are great. This is the best month I’ve had all year. They’re nothing compared to you, yours. And I’m like, well, you don’t really know what my sales are, number one, but number two, uh, I said, well,
Theresa: [44:32] what do you contribute that? And she’s like, I still use clothing. There’s not a lot of people buy news clothing for Christmas presents. I went, okay, but you’re still having the best month out of your year. And she said, yes. And so we started just talking about the different things that she was doing and she again, changed things up a little bit. She’s tracking her expenses and her, um, profits better. And so it’s more of a game for her. And she
Theresa: [45:00] Maybe she, she’s addressing her prices. She’s buying higher and seeing she just, all kinds of stuff. But she’s looking forward to January and February because those are her bigger, bigger months. But last January and February she was still doing the quote unquote old way. And so I think that the people that can be successful are the ones that easy, that adapt to change more easily than others. I love change.
Stephen: [45:28] Well I think, uh, I think you’re absolutely right. Let’s go back to your example for Amazon. Before you got to reprice her, what were you doing? You were repricing, you were repricing based on the market, right? The market is the market. So there were other sellers selling the same thing you were and you were replacing up or down probably down unfortunately, but sometimes up. Um, but you were doing that, right? So you were making adjustments. Y Y and I’m guilty of this so don’t get me wrong, cause I’ve been selling a long time too. It’s a S you know the thing I used to love about eBay is a set it and forget it. Cause we use a vending machine model. We try to buy volume, right? We want to buy a Steve’s water bottle. I always used my example, Steve’s water bottle, I want to buy a hundred of them.
Stephen: [46:04] Just make one listing and let it sell forever. Right. Just I have plenty of space. Space is not a problem for me, but that doesn’t work all the time because guess what? There are lots of other people out there selling Steve’s water bottle, the same thing. So for us, we took on huge, we have tiered discounting now. Um, uh, so tiered discounting at the top end on markdown manager, then we do, you know, the advertising and then we do quantity discounts on the other end. So you could say, Oh wow, I’m not getting my price. Well when they buy six of them, I’m getting my price, you know, that’s my price. So wouldn’t it be better to sell six than to have one sale, you know, way different change.
Theresa: [46:47] Yeah, exactly. And I, I absolutely, when I first started selling on eBay, I didn’t sell clothes and it’s like I didn’t, I didn’t start selling clothes till maybe six or eight years ago. And the reason was because I had the same philosophy. I wanted to be able to buy replenishable at the time it didn’t realize it. That’s what I was doing. But you know you’d like I would, I use my red dish pan, I would go to Walmart and I would buy this red dish pan for dollar 98 and when I first started selling them, I was selling them for $5 plus, you know, $8 shipping. Cause I was putting them in a box and it was like they were selling and then eBay was like pushing free shipping and I’m like, okay, well let me, let me just put this in Austin for $13 with free shipping.
Theresa: [47:31] They were still selling. Then I bumped it up to $15 they were still selling. Then I bumped it up to $18 they were still selling. Then I was bumped it up to 20 and they stopped selling. So then I, I found my sweet point with 1799 and I, this was a bread and butter item. My net profit on those dish pans were $10 a piece. I sold it and they don’t make them anymore, which is why I’m sharing this. But I sold them for five years and I sold probably 60 to 70 a year. So a little more than one a week. I’m not getting rich off of that. But you know, if you have 10 or 15 of those items, what I liked about that was I listed it months. Yeah. And I just changed the quantity and that was my, that was my model. Yeah.
Theresa: [48:21] Yeah. Because I just, I and you know, I was doing that when I was working full time. So I kept saying I don’t have time to take pictures and listed in cell one offs and um, you know, when I quit working full time to do this full time, then I started selling off a lot of my stuff and then I was doing some thrifting and um, all of a sudden I’m selling clothes and I hate selling clothes.
Stephen: [48:43] Well, yeah, I’m not a big fan either. We do. That’s what we do. We sell clothes, shoes, that kind of jazz. But yeah, that’s a, that’s why I do use, I, I don’t know if I was talking with you, I talked to a lot of people every day. Um, we were talking about cell hound and if you’ve, uh, you sell hound, we, we, I’m in love with sound right now for, because of our return. So our shoes and clothing that comes back, um, it’s literally, it’s changed our game because it’s, it’s the employee that didn’t call off. I mean I have another guy in here and he was sick this week and he took off almost two days. So that means nothing got done. Well that’s El hound thing. I just take some photos, send it to them and they don’t take off. And it just, I’m, I’m, I’m much admit I’m really, really pleased with it. Um, right now, uh, I wonder how that would work with lists perfectly. Hmm.
Theresa: [49:27] No, so I was just going to say that I heard about sell hound, um, at eBay open two years ago and, um, I went in there and I’ll be, honestly, when I looked at it, it was just way too expensive. Now they’ve done good for them. They’d dent and changes in some price reductions and you know, startup company, they gotta make some adjustments and I just, um, right before Thanksgiving was talking to them and him going to, um, uh, implement them because I think the same thing like this could be your employee that doesn’t call out. Um, I want to understand the process because I think that if I can get cell hand to list them and then use lists perfectly to cross-post them, then my work is
Stephen: [50:09] then you scale and, and we go back to the beginning of this conversation. This is you building process stronger processes because I revise this, uh, this title now, re, uh, reset with stronger processes and build a real omni-channel business because that’s what you’ve done. I agree with you. Um, what, what I found that they do is do the price research for you, which is the best, one of the hardest things to do, right? It really figured out. And then the second thing that they do is they fill in all the fields that I hate filling in. They fill them all in. Yeah. And that’s valuable. Now, if you can take it to a list perfectly, or a van do or, or I guess even Joe Lister out there, some of those, and then you can take and put it on the omnichannel network, right. Put it on all those things.
Stephen: [50:50] Do, let me ask this because I’m getting to the end now. I just want to ask this one. Do you feel, do you feel envy, and it’s a bad word, but because all you’re doing is supporting these other channels, you know, Theresa, all you’re doing is you’re just building Jeff Bezos is pockets bigger or you know, whoever the current owner of eBay is, you know, you’re just making them rich. Why don’t you do your own thing? Why don’t you have Theresa’s website? Why don’t you, it is all right. I mean, do you feel envy in any way there
Theresa: [51:18] or, or what? I don’t want to put words in your mouth. No, I don’t. I love supporting, um, other sellers. I love supporting, you know, what they’re doing. If they create an app, um, that makes my life easier. [inaudible] there’s another one that is, uh, not as well known but um, it’s called data mine with two eyes. And I worked with those guys and, um, I love the app because a lot of the suggests it’s, it, it does, it’s more for running your business and there’s a lot of things that, you know, I’ve wanted eBay to do for a long time, but it’s just harder for eBay, the being the big ship that it is to turn things around. And so, um, one of the things that I really miss on eBay is the ability to download a report that tells me here’s your listings and here’s all the weights that you have on them.
Theresa: [52:07] Because I realized that a lot of my listings don’t have weights. A lot of them have the wrong weight. And I have no way of checking that out. So this is a report that I just ran, um, before Thanksgiving. And I was going through all my inventory and making sure I had a UPC code scan and making sure the weight was there. And I used to report that, um, data mine created, uh, because I asked them to, and I don’t think a lot of users use it, but it will come in handy in January. If you’re like me and you have free shipping on all of your items, then I can sort my listings and I can say, okay, everything that’s under a pound, I’m going to increase by $3 or whatever it might be. And you know, they’d done a ton of stuff. I have a question of how much used versus new inventory do I have on my eBay store. eBay couldn’t give me that data, so eight of mine can and it’s about a 75, 25% ratio for me. Um, and so I like, I like data, I like numbers, I like stats and, um, eBay’s a seller hub gives you a lot more data than it did five years ago, but there’s just some fine tuning stuff that I love. So I, so that’s one app that I did and of course the, uh, Amanda and Clara Atlas perfectly, um, worked with them, love them. I love, you
Stephen: [53:36] you want my shot? I mean, honestly, see if you get the same experience and then let me know because I’m pleasantly surprised because, you know, I mean everybody talks a good game, right? And then when it comes down to doing the work, is it perfect? No name, anything that’s perfect. Nothing. I know you’re going to, this is gonna be a surprise to you. I’m not perfect either, Teresa. I know that’s a surprise. Um, but seriously, it’s uh, it’s been, it’s been enjoyable. I’m looking forward, I have to talk to the list perfectly. I Brooks is a data mine, right? [inaudible] and he’s, I’ve had him on. He is brilliant. I mean, it’s one of those, you could tell that he is fixing a problem again, back to deciding, trying to figure things out, what you just decide to subscribe, right? You’re looking at a price increase for shipping in January. Right. Post office is going to go up I think 5% or whatever you can address it rather than sit and worry about it. You can make a conscious decision. So you stay in the free shipping to keep popular yet you don’t lose money. Exactly. It’s not a bad plan. Theresa. Love it. Okay. So you’ve given us I think a lot of great tips and advice on how to build up your business. So first off, if somebody has followup questions, what’s the best way to get in touch with you?
Theresa: [54:51] So I am, I run a Facebook group called boss business for online selling success. I run it with some awesome other admins there and um, I’m a numbers geek, um, on Instagram so you can reach out to me and those two channels, those are the ones that I give most of my attention to, so.
Stephen: [55:11] All right, great. All right. So I think, I think what you described, and I’m sitting back and I think this is the way we should close this, cause normally I, you saw the question I usually ask, but I think it’d become a little different for you because you’ve done it, you’ve taken a business that might’ve been, you know, don’t get offended, stale and you reset and now you’ve, you’re still trying to figure it out. And I’m not putting words, you know, you’re trying to figure it out, but at your level that’s comfortable for you because you have choices because you’ve done all these things that you described. How do you, how do you recommend others? Because you get those people that are like, you know, your eye, everything’s wrong, nothing’s right, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. How do you help them get past that?
Theresa: [55:56] You know, for most people that are, um, you know, whining and complaining because they don’t have great sales or something like that, you know, I just tell them to, you know, sit back and take a look at your process. And if you have a few edge, um, death pile that you need to get listed, you, it’s been sitting there for a year, you’re not, you know, you’re not going to get to it. So what are you going to do? Let’s break down into bite size pieces. So tomorrow you’re just going to go through one pile and you’re going to go through, um, this is where selling this isn’t were selling just really quickly to second decision. And then the next day you’re going to go through the next pile. And then maybe the third day you’re going to list some of the ones that you decided so that you can see.
Theresa: [56:41] Because what I want them to do is to be able to, uh, do a task and have a quick, quick reward for that. So if I were to tell them to go, um, you know, the Marie Kondo way and take every clothes out of your closet and look at all your death files, um, they would get overwhelmed and be done in two hours. But if you give them bite size, uh, tasks to do and then give them a chance to then take three things. In the boss group, we have a, a daily listing called two for two. We tell people if you can’t do anything, if you want to really get started and you’re having to just do two listings a day, and what happens is sometimes people only get two done. Sometimes people get started on two when they get on a roll and they might get five, they might get 10.
Theresa: [57:27] Everybody’s different. Everybody’s situation is different and so you just have to find the group that works for you. But the instant gratification, what I find with eBay sellers particularly is that if they list something and it sells quickly, they’re hooked. And so you have to immuno people. Sometimes people list five things and they’re upset because they don’t have a sale. But again, if you want to sell five things, you need to have a hundred listed, right? And if you, you know, if you have a hundred just average things, if you have, um, if you want to sell five things and you have five phenomenal things that everybody wants, then you only have to have 10 things listed. It’s like it’s, it’s a numbers game. Um, and so, you know, you have to, you have to do the work, but then most people need some kind of reward. Um, in the near future. They don’t want to wait the 45 to 60 days to get that reward, to do work for it. With no reward for 45 and 60 days, it’s hard to stay at it.
Stephen: [58:25] So again, you’re saying take that small bite, but see it through all the way and get that reward and take it to the post office and you’ll be skipping through the lines like Teresa is, and you’ll watch her in these pictures and he’ll enjoy it the way I have been. Very, very solid advice, man. Great stuff. Very exciting. I can’t wait to see what you do next. I’m building this omni-channel business. Love it. I wish you nothing but success. Thank you so much.
Stephen: [58:54] How smart. I’m just as such a cool thing just to watch somebody who you can see breaks it down and figures it out, her advice at the end to break things down in small bite sized pieces and then do, you could tell that’s what she’s done. She said, okay, this isn’t what I wanted to work. This isn’t working the way I want it to work. Not rather than throw it out, let’s break it down. All right, this piece, boom. What can I do? This piece? What can I do? Reset, reset, reset, and adjust. That doesn’t mean you failed. That means you’re smarter than the rest of us, Steve, and you’re willing to make adjustments. I’m just so smart. Um, reach out to her. Uh, join that group. If you’re not in it. Um, sounds like a, uh, opportunity to learn e-commerce, momentum.com e-commerce momentum.com take care.
Cool voice guy: [59:36] Thanks for listening to the e-commerce momentum podcast. All the links mentioned today can be firstname.lastname@example.org. Under this episode number, please remember to subscribe and like us on iTunes.