Monday, July 6, 2009


Where is it? I know I saw it yesterday. What have I done with it?

When it is time to ship, you want to be able to locate the item you sold quickly. Especially with eBay's DSR (Detailed Seller Rating) system where buyers rate your selling time.

After 6 years on eBay here is what keeps me sane:

Every item listed in eBay receives a 12 digit item number. I buy rolls of 3m blue painters tape. I write the item number on it and put it on my item. So that the numbers are easier to read, I write four numbers leave a space, write 4 more numbers leave a space, and then write the last four numbers. The 3m tape sticks great and peels off easily without leaving a sticky residue. The cheaper brands tend to fall off given a slight breeze or a humid day.

If I have to list something more than once, it is easy enough to pull off the old piece of tape and put on the new item number. I use a black sharpie so the number can be seen even on a high shelf.

I sell ceramic decals. Most of them are under 5". I store them in photo boxes, in eBay item number order. I've taken old, used manila folders, cut them to size and use them to organize the decals in the photo boxes. Living Green!

For the sewing patterns we sell, I got lucky and purchased metal file drawers from a small Joann's store that was being closed (a super store was opening less than a mile away). Since sewing patterns already have numbers, I store them the same way retail stores do . . . by brand first, then by pattern number. Always easy to pull patterns for shipping.

When I sell breakable items, they are photographed then wrapped in tissue (to keep them clean), then wrapped in bubble wrap, then placed in a shipping box. The gaps are filled with peanuts. The box is then placed in a bigger box and weighed so that the listing can have the appropriate calculated shipping price. The box is then closed, but not sealed. Once listed, the auction number is written on blue tape and stuck to the side of the box that will be showing on the shelf. I try to keep them in numerical order on the shelf, but sometimes due the size of the box it is impossible. I figure as long as it is in the approximate area, I'll be able to locate it quickly enough.

I try never to stack things. It is a nuisance to move 3 boxes to get to the one I need. I just don't have the extra time for that. Adjustable shelving is wonderful. File drawers or even dresser drawers work great. Plastic bins and photo boxes help too.

Keeping organized is one of the most important things I can do for my customers.

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