Enhanced Defect Report

If you’re like me, the whole defect system that eBay rolled out months ago causes you a tiny bit of angst. The number of defects you have can make a major impact on your selling account, but eBay hasn’t always made it easy for sellers to understand where their defects are coming from. I’m so happy to see that they’ve take a little step toward making this information more accessible; they’re calling it the “Enhanced Defect Report.” A couple things that make the new report an improvement is that it’s updated daily and that it’s in an easy-to-read chart form.

In true eBay style, it’s a little hard to find the new report. (Facepalm, anyone?) See below for how to find this little nugget of goodness:

How to find eBay's new

In my eBay, hover over the “Account” tab and click “Seller Dashboard”, about half-way down the drop-down list.

defect report

Next, click the first bar under “Your performance to date.” (Mine is the one that says “0.73% of your transactions had defects.”

defect report 2

Next, click the link that says “transaction defect report” down at the bottom of the box.

defect report 3

That’s all you need to do to see your new report:

defect report 4


Anyone else happy about this new tool? What other improvements would you like to see eBay make?

Advertisements

What To Do About Your Ebay Store When You Go On Vacation

If you’re about to leave for vacation (or need to tend to a family emergency, etc) it can be nervewracking to decide what to do about your eBay listings while you’re away. If you have an eBay store, there is a “vacation mode” you can activate, but you need to do more than switch that on. Below, I’ll talk about what I did while I was gone for a week this July.

What To Do About Your eBay Store When

Here are the steps that I took before I left for vacation. This works best for sellers who primarily use the BIN format. I’ll elaborate when needed below the list.

  1. Choose a handful of items that need to be cleared out (have had them for too long, or have had very few views/watchers) and send them to an online auction, set to end when you get back in town, a day before, or a day or two after. (I ran 10 auctions, most of them starting below $5.) This will keep traffic coming to your store, which makes the search algorithm happy.
  2. Let all other items remain Buy It Now.
  3. Set your store on vacation mode, and note which day you’ll be returning. (I recommend NOT hiding your listings–I’ll elaborate below.)
  4. Change your handling time to reflect your absence, via the Bulk Editing Tool.
  5. Add a note to all your item descriptions about your absence via the Bulk Editing Tool.
  6. Consider running a sale or promotion while you’re away to entice buyers to make purchases, even though they’ll have to wait a bit for you to ship.

How to set your store on vacation mode:

Go to your store. (You can get there by clicking the door icon near your name when you’re in My eBay.) Click on “Manage My Store” in the upper right area.

vaca mode 1

Next, click “Store Vacation Settings” on the lower part of the left sidebar.

vaca mode 2

Then, click the circle next to “Turn ON” under “Store Vacation Settings.”

vaca mode 3

From there, you’ll be able to add a note that will show up at the top of your store, and you’ll also be able to let buyers know when you’ll be back (if you chose to share that information).

It’s all a pretty straightforward process until this point. You’ll see that you have the option to hide your BIN listings. On the one hand, that seems like a good idea, so that you can avoid buyers who don’t read your notes about being away, and would get angry about the delay in shipping. However, eBay says that it can take several days before your listing are actually hidden (so, you could still get those potentially angry buyers) AND it can take several days after you turn vacation mode off for your listings to start to show up again. So, by hiding your listings, you’re setting yourself up for low or no sales for up to several days after you get back.

vaca mode 4Obviously, it’s up to you to decide whether or not to hide your listings, but I’ve had more success keeping them available for sale than hiding them, like I did last year.

Once you’re done, make sure you click the “Apply” button down at the bottom, and you should be all set to enjoy some well-deserved time off!


Hopefully that helps! If anyone wants me to elaborate on using the Bulk Editing Tool, let me know!

How to Photograph Large Clothing on a Small Dress Form

(This post contains affiliate links. I’ll get a few pennies if you purchase anything through those links, but you won’t pay anything more than you would otherwise.)

*

When I first started selling thrift store clothing on eBay, I would simply use a hanger on a hook on my wall when photographing. I knew that one of the first big investments I wanted to make was a dress form, but when the time finally came to make that purchase, I was stuck on one question–what size should I buy? I sell all different sizes of clothing, but I didn’t have the money or space to buy and store multiple dress forms. The whole point of having a dress form is to make the clothing look spectacular, but if most of my clothing wasn’t going to fit the one form that I bought–what’s the point?

Here’s what I did–I bought a size small (2/4) dress form, and I use clips to pin back clothing that’s larger than that. (Anything too small gets photographed laying flat on my clean floor, as does most plus-sized clothing.) Read below for a quick tutorial on pinning back larger clothing!

photoing large clothing

You’ll need:

Step 1: Place the garment on the dress form and turn it around so that you’re looking at the back. Adjust the shoulder seams so that they’re in line with the dress form’s shoulders, and pinch the excess fabric in between the shoulders in one hand. With your other hand, clip on one clip.

DSC09202

Step 2: Take the excess fabric just below your first clip in one hand, and run your hand down to the back of the waist area. Place your second clip there.DSC09203DSC09204

Step three: Turn your dress form around to the front and make any adjustments necessary. You will likely be able to photograph your item from the front and the side without seeing the clips in your pictures.DSC09205 DSC09206

Step four: To photograph the back, I usually don’t even need to use the clips. I can just pull excess fabric to the front of the dress form, and the back looks just fine.DSC09208

Keep in mind that it’s important to maintain the shape of the garment when pinning it. By that I mean, if a shirt is blousey, don’t pin it super close to the dress form. You can imagine a buyer being rightly upset if they thought a shirt was going to be very fitted (as pictured in a listing) but once it arrives, they find it to be a very loose fit. Also, I mentioned earlier that I often need to photo my plus-sized items on the floor. I do that when I feel that I won’t be able to maintain the garment’s true shape on my size small form, even with the clips.

That’s it! Easy peasy, right? I’ve found this to be a simple solution that lets me photograph the majority of my clothes on just one dress form. I hope it helps you all in your ebaying, too!

Authenticate First Review

(This is not a sponsored post, FYI!)

It’s no secret that high-end clothing and accessories can bring in big bucks on eBay. While my “bread and butter” brands are usually mid-range in price (Anthropologie, Eileen Fisher, Lilly Pulitzer, etc) every now and then, I come across something from a more pricey store.

I recently found a Diane von Furstenberg dress at a local Goodwill and was thrilled at the profit potential after checking completed listings.

DSC08194

However, after taking it home and examining it further, something seemed just a little… off… about it. The seams were a bit wonky in places, and the fabric didn’t feel quite as luxurious as I would expect from a several hundred dollar dress. Unfortunately, when you’re dealing with designer clothing, you run the risk of coming across fakes. You do not (DO NOT!) want to sell fake clothing, shoes, accessories (or anything) on eBay. It’s one of the easiest ways to get kicked off eBay, and whether or not you knew the item was fake doesn’t necessarily matter.

I spent time reading over DVF authentication guides on eBay (this one in particular) but I still wasn’t 100% certain whether it was real or fake, so I decided to ask the experts.

I contacted Authenticate First on May 18th, paid $25, and submitted several photos of the dress through Google Drive. I actually had an issue getting the photos to them, but the person handling my case was very understanding and helpful. Two days later, they emailed back to me a Certificate of Non-Authenticity, confirming my suspicions that the dress was fake. They cited uneven seams, poor finishing, and incorrect font on the label as reasons why they deemed it so.

Here are a few reasons I recommend using Authenticate First:

  • quick turnaround
  • good customer service
  • an extensive list of brands they authenticate
  • the ability to use their statements in Paypal disputes
  • reasonable service fee

It was a little disheartening to know that the dress was worthless, but I was so relieved to have found out before listing the dress, and not after selling it and having a buyer open a case against me. That would have been way worse than being out $25.


Have any of you had to deal with fake items, either as a buyer or seller? I’d love to hear about it!

Knowing the Name of Clothing to Flip — The Why and How

Many retailers–especially women’s clothing retailers–give each style of garment a particular, descriptive name. It’s not just a blue dress from Lilly Pulitzer; it’s the Cathy Shift Dress in Skye Blue Blue Heaven. It’s not just a white shirt from Madewell; it’s the Arrowstitch Peasant Top.

Knowing the proper name of a garment you’ve thrifted and are hoping to flip on eBay is very valuable. While some buyers just browse a category of clothing or search for a general term (like “blue Lilly Pulitzer dress”), there are others who are looking for a specific item of clothing that they’re dying to have. Maybe it was her favorite dress that she took on vacation, but the airline lost it with the rest of her luggage, and now she’ll pay top dollar to get another one. (This is where you come in!)

Obviously, no one knows the name of every garment, from every retailer, from all seasons present and past. However, you can use the magic of the internet to discover this important information about a piece of clothing you’re trying to flip. Here’s how:

How to Find the Name of a Piece of

How to Find the Name of a Piece of Clothing You’re Selling on Ebay

Do a google image search (link here, if you need it) with the brand name of the clothing you’re working with (and its in-house label if it’s a brand like Anthropologie or Urban Outfitters that uses those) and any descriptive words that you can derive from it. (Leave out size here, as it won’t help.)

For example, for this shirt:

clothing name 1

I used the phrase “anthropologie meadow rue top purple wooden beads”. (Meadow Rue is the name of the in-house label name that was on the tag.)

Once I searched the phrase, I saw these results:

clothing name 3

You can see that the shirt came up in both the top and bottom rows.

Next, click on the picture that matches your item to see if it gives you more information. Clicking on the first result didn’t give me the information that I was looking for, but clicking on the one in the bottom row (third from left) did:

clothing name 5

(That’s super small, I know! You can click the picture to make it larger.)

Highlighted in the pink box is the name of this particular shirt that I thrifted: the Avellana Tank.

Once I’m pretty sure that I’ve found the name that I’m looking for, I’ll do a Google search (just a web search, not an image search) of the brand + the name that I found. If the name is correct, one of the top results will usually be the product page of the item on the store’s website. (If it’s from a past season, it’ll just say that it’s sold out, but the product page is still usually there.) Googling “Anthropologie Avellana Tank” confirmed that I found the right name:

clothing name 6

Equipped with this information, I can now write a stellar listing title and get it up on eBay. (Ironically, I didn’t know–and wasn’t able to find out–the name of the dress in the old post I just linked to. Can’t win ’em all!) If you know the name of the item you’re listing, make sure to include it in your title and in the description. If someone is looking for that particular item, you want to be the first result in their search!

And, a couple notes: not all retailers give their clothing names like this. From my experience, many mid- to high-end retailers do (think: Anthropologie, Kate Spade, Lilly Pulitzer, etc), but not all. (Eileen Fisher and Tory Burch don’t.) Also, as you can probably guess, it takes a few minutes to go through this whole process. If the item is lower value, like a very basic tank top that probably won’t fetch top dollar (even if it’s from a high-end retailer) the search might not be worth your time.

I hope this post was helpful! Let me know if you’d like for me to clarify anything above!

Luxury Sourcing

In general, sourcing for my eBay store is anything but glamorous. It usually involves dusty thrift stores, questionable smells, and longs waits at the check-out line. While I really do love what I do, it’s not exactly for the faint of heart.

However, I’ve recently started what I believe will be a regular (albeit infrequent) shopping trip that’s quite the change of pace: sourcing at my local Anthropologie.

About once a month, I’ll take a “night off” from my mom duties. That usually means I leave right after my husband gets home from work, go to the gym, take a wonderfully uninterrupted shower, drive into town, get dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, and do some window shopping before meeting girlfriends for coffee.

Said window shopping now always involves the Anthropologie sale room. Last night, I picked up this adorable cardigan (retailed at $118) and this cool tunic (retailed at $68) for $9.95 each!

photo 3

I’ve already listed the cardigan, and I’m probably keeping the tunic.

The secret for shopping the sale room is to look for lonely items. When there’s just one of an item (like there was of the sweater and tunic), it very likely means it was a return after the store stopped carrying the item. In those situations, Anthropologie slashes the price down below ten bucks.

I also fell in love with this (unfortunately $148) dress:

photo 1

Does Anthropologie know how to make a dress or what? I’m definitely stalking the website for this pretty to come down to a reasonable price.

Do any of you live near an Anthropologie? Do you love the sale room as much as I do? Any other retail spots with great sales? I’d love to hear about it!

Super Quick Time-saving Tip

I’m always looking for ways to cross through my eBay to-do list more quickly. Working on listings takes longer than I’d like, but here’s one thing I do to make the process take a little less time.

Super Quick

Bookmark the text that goes in every listing, so that you can copy and paste it when creating listings.

In every one of my listings, I include measurements and a little blurb about being open to buyer questions: (see below in pink boxes)

scripted text

Obviously, which measurements I include is determined by the type of garment. A tank top generally won’t have a hip measurement, for example.

I used Google Docs to write out this text, and then I bookmarked it on my web browser’s toolbar.

bookmarked template

When I’m listing, all I have to do is keep that tab open, and copy and paste that scripted text into each listing. If I need to tweak something (like including the “hip” measurement or taking out the “sleeve length” measurement) I’ll do so in the listing, keeping the Google Doc unchanged.

There you go–a simple tip that helps cut down on the amount of time it takes to list an item on eBay.

What are your favorite time-saving eBay tips?