Archives for March 2006

Best Ebay Shipping Practices

If your even remotely familiar with Ebay or know anyone who is, you’ve probably heard or blurted out the phrase, “Can you believe how much shipping is on that item?!?”.  I know I have.

When I made the decision to start selling on Ebay a little bit more than I had been before, I tried to just charge a flat rate based on what I thought the item weighed and what it would cost to ship.  This was a mistake.  I ended up losing a fair amount of money on shipping because of it.

I recently purchased a nice 35lb capacity electronic scale off of Ebay and have been using it religiously.  What a wonder it is.  Accurate to .2 ounces, I can accurately weigh and charge for shipping on any item that the scale can handle.

So why the title?  Because, if you want to have any repeat business, you have to have fair prices.  Also, if you want to get any value out of your product, your shipping has to be fair.  Sure, you can bypass a few ebay fees if you charge an outrageous amount for shipping and then sell the product for pennies, but is it worth the hassle?  So, what do I use as shipping fees?

I have a very simple algorithm for shipping.  Shipping is the calculated shipping cost of the item based on the weight I get from my handy-dandy scale plus a packaging and handling fee not to exceed $2.50.  I think it is a fair policy.  I have no problems telling my customers exactly what my policy is.  If you have a problem telling people your policy, then it probably isn’t a very good policy.  What do you use as a shipping charge policy?

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Slow day and Ebay

What a horribly slow day it has been today.  It’s been a while since I’ve mentioned much about Ebay and the reason has been that we mostly get our products that we sell from garage sales and it’s only now beginning to be warm enough for garage sales.  There were a total of 3 last weekend.  Whoopppeeee!  Found a few good items, although I haven’t had much for time to post them lately as my wife’s parents managed to find yet another 5 boxes of stuff for us to sell.  Where all of these things were stuck away is beyond me, I’ve been to their house many times and never seen any of it.

In any case, I had just about gotten our inventory down to a managable amount before hand, so now the rush is on to create the listings for all the new stuff so that I can get it back down there again.

Sales have been getting better the last few months.  December was horrible as I found it awfully hard to list things with all the holiday season festivities going on.  March is looking like it will be better yet.

I’ve noticed a slight uptick in the completed sales since redoing my template to include tables and overall to look cleaner.  I would strongly suggest that if you are just beginning and know a little html, that you try this out.  It improves the look and feel of the auction.  And with all the competition out there, it’s best to have any little advantage at all.

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Make your own and save even more

Russell noted how much cheaper Ethernet cables are at The Home Depot as compared to someplace like fry’s.  The first thing that popped into my mind?  Why not make your own?  It may seem daunting, but really, with the whole internet at your fingers, it’s only a google search away.  Try it.  There’s a search box at the bottom of the page.  Type in “Ethernet Cable Termination Diagram”.

What did you find?  Links like these…

LanShack. Not only diagrams but best practices for networking as well.

AptCommunications. Excellent color coded diagrams and instructions/explanations

duxcw. Short and sweet

If you have a pre made patch cable lying around, and who doesn’t, you can even just copy the wiring scheme from that.  And truthfully, for patch cables, all you need to do is make sure the pin out is the same at both ends and the scheme doesn’t matter.

And really the parts are a whole lot cheaper.  Especially if you have a lot of cabling to do. It gets even cheaper if you have somewhere to pick up free cable.  Lots of places that do networking will throw away their scraps and most often those scraps are more than long enough for patch cables.

Sure, if you only need one cable, it’s probably easier to just buy it, but if you’re networking your house and need custom lenght cables, DIY cable making is the way to go.

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Willy and Jimmy: Or “On Puppy Love”

“Life’s like a maze, Jimmy, twistin’ and turnin’, just when you think your getting somewheres, boom, there’s a dead end. And just when you figure you got it figured out and you can see the light at the end of the tunnel, that big red neon “EXIT”, there’s gonna be some woman gonna put up another dead end with another turn up. Sometime it seems like they do it on purpose, and most of’en they do. It’d be best if you tried to remember that.” Willy finished his statement off with a good old-fashioned slap on the back. Willy was the greens keeper at the city golf course. He was older than jimmy; by how much Jimmy could only guess. Jimmy had asked him how old he was once. Willy just looked down at Jimmy and smiled “Well sonny, I’m old enough to be your gran-pappy, but then again, I aint as old as I look neither.” Jimmy never asked again.

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