Sunday, February 28, 2021

March 2021 Selling Update #1

I know it's not quite March, but it's close enough as far as I'm concerned.

I decided that I must inventory and organize the books that are listed on eBay and Etsy.  It's been nearly seven months since I sold, and I have moved a large number of books around.  Buyers get upset when sellers cannot find books, so I must make sure that I can find every book.

Since the listings are not active, it's much harder to inventory them.  The inactive listings are mixed in together and not sorted by type.  I could run searches, but search results can overlap.  I took screen captures of the images and placed them in a document, which I printed.  I then used a marker to cross out each image as I found the book.  I also organized the books by series.

On Saturday, I did my Etsy shop.  I found all of the books and with little trouble. 

I had allowed my stock to dwindle greatly in July and early August since I knew that the shop would be closed for months.  I have to pay for each Etsy listing, so it was best not to have a full shop.

Today, I did eBay.  I knew eBay would be a bigger task, since I have a larger inventory and a wider variety of different series.  I didn't know that it would become an all-day event.

I first had to pack three boxes of books just so that I could get at my eBay books.  I now have 13 boxes of books, all of which will be listed for sale eventually.  In addition to the boxed books is an even larger number of extra books that are on shelves.  Those also must be listed eventually.  And I can't control my love of cheap bulk lots.  Two boxes of books will arrive tomorrow!

I found all of the eBay books without much trouble.  I did find that I had extra copies mixed in with the books, and I cannot account for why I had extra copies of several of the Nancy Drew original text picture covers in with the books that were listed.  I removed the duplicates.  

I thought I was finished with eBay, but I was wrong.  On Saturday night I changed from the legacy store to the current version.  I was concerned that hanging onto the legacy store which has been defunct for more than five years is probably a bad idea.  Even though I lose my links, it would be better to be able to use the current features instead of not having certain functionality.

After I finished my inventory, I was in the eBay hub, and the number of active listings began dropping.  Usually when items roll off after 30 days, the count stays the same since the item is automatically relisted.  I didn't know if something had changed in seven months or if changing from the legacy store had messed something up.

I knew that I had 217 listings.  I saw 202 listings, then it went down to 199, 198...  Oh, no!  They weren't showing as ended.  Where were they going?  I quickly used the bulk editor to end every listing to prevent any additional listings from rolling off.  I then kept checking, and I stayed at 198.  There were no new listings, and the ones that had disappeared were nowhere to be seen.

I then took my store off of the vacation mode to see if that would do something.  Nothing happened.  I knew that taking the store off vacation was risky, since the missing listings might reappear as active items.  

Was this a glitch or a delay?  I didn't know, but I printed out another copy of my images and began trying to figure out which listings had vanished.  About the time I neared the end of the list, I found that my open eBay store had four books active and for sale.  Oh, no!  I quickly ended them.  Okay, so then I had 202 listings, all of them showing as ended.  I figured that the rest would come along eventually.  

So I waited and refreshed my seller hub over and over.  I had to keep an eye on it for close to two hours.  The listings went live one or two at a time, every so often.  In one case, there was a gap of 40 minutes between new listings.  Each time listings appeared, I ended them.  Finally, I had a total of 217 ended listings.  Whew!

Ended listings remain on eBay's server for 90 days.  Since ended listings have a time limit, that's why I didn't end them in August.  I wanted the listings to be around when I was ready. 

I can now leave the store open with no listings in it.  The store will be ready for me when I decide to relist the items.

This is actually better, since eBay had changed something in the last two weeks.  I was told early in February that I was still in the legacy vacation mode and that eBay was switching me to the current "time away" mode.  Something changed recently, because buyers were beginning to ask me about my items.  The listings were not available for purchase, but buyers were apparently able to get to them somehow. 

It caused me some stress when I knew that people could see my listings and wanted them to be up for sale.  The stress is now gone since all of the listings are ended, and there is no way anyone can see them as active listings.

I still believe that I will open both stores on the night of March 12 or the morning of March 13.  We do learn tomorrow evening what the district's plan is for the rest of the school year.  Depending upon what the decision is (blended or all students back in the building), I could always change my mind.  I can't promise that I will be selling soon, but I hope I am.  I desperately need to get some books out of here...

On both eBay and Etsy, you can go to the main page of my store and follow me so that you are aware of when I have new listings.  Both sites have a heart pictured somewhere near the top.  On eBay, it says "save this seller" after the heart.  On Etsy, it says "favorite shop" after the heart.

Jennifer's Series Books on Etsy
Jennifer's Series Books on eBay

I will continue to keep you updated in this blog.

Edited to add:  I have learned that the disappearing listings is part of a major eBay glitch.  Apparently a lot has gone wrong on the site today.

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