Crazy Frickin eBay Lady

Maniac Monday Recap – Items Everywhere!

Dollar Flipper Blog Update 20 Comments

Yesterday, I took off from my 9-5 job for a little stay-cation. I planned a Maniac Monday where I would go crazy listing and prepping items all day.

The plan was this:

  • Drop daughter off at daycare. She went in very easy and was excited to be wearing her Tinkerbell clip.
  • Drop package off at the post office (Amazon sale). Box barely fit in the Mylar bag but I was able to jam it in and tape it together. Just dropped it in the box at the post office right before 8AM. They have a HUGE drop box that most of my bigger items can fit in.
  • Go to the gym. Deadlift x5 – Got to 325 lbs. This is lower than my PR from 2013 by 30lbs, but then again, I haven’t been lifting regularly!
  • List remaining items that have already been photographed (12). There were actually 14! So that’s good. All listed but it took me a little longer than I thought it would. I finished this listing at about 1030AM. At this point, I took a break and ate lunch.
  • Grab a huge pile to sort through and list until I have to pick my daughter up from daycare. Here’s where my plan broke down a bit.

So what did I learn from my Maniac Monday?

Add in some wiggle room

It seriously took me from 1130 to 420 to handle all of these 50 items. In reality, I put my hands on way more than 50 items. At least 20 items had flaws like bad stitching or a stain. These suck and really take the wind out of your sails. It’s good to get it out of the house (donating them to a homeless shelter on the way home today), but that’s still wasted money and time!

It takes a good amount of time to research each item and take some preliminary notes.ย  For clothing, I include a description, size tag, material, country it was made in, and condition notes. I take measurements later when I photograph. There’s going to be hiccups along the way. Expect some delays.

Use unscented laundry detergent!

There was a blanket and a vintage Wu Wear sweatshirt that both had a funk. I threw these in the wash and felt lazy so I used a Tide pod. Holy moly. These little suckers have a really strong smell. I’m airing out the blanket so our entire upstairs smells like a flower shop. Or a grandma who wears too much perfume.

Crazy Frickin eBay Lady

How could I not re-use this picture?

Have everything you need in front of you

I used my 4.5 Inch Knife Edge Thread Nippersย all day. I also used a staple remover since some thrift stores love their double staples. Other than that, I just blasted some music over Pandora.

Plan but don’t go too crazy.

I could not find any more of the clear plastic 12″x15″ bags that I use to store my items until they sell. I spent at least a half hour trying to find these. I ended up ordering some more. Turns out that I’d ordered some in November but have used them all up!

Ended up a moot point since I never photographed anything. Time wasted when it could have been better spent. This also means that I’ll have to do some reprocessing once the bags arrive.

End Results

To re-cap, I did not photograph the 50 items like I’d hoped to. I only prepped 50 items.

50 Items Prepped for Photographing eBay


Even though it just looks like 50 items smooshed into a bookcase, it’s really 50 items smooshed into a bookcase with a retail value of $1500-2000!

If you haven’t realized this yet, my operation is not glamorous. I’m still happy with the progress I made. A lot of inventory was moved yesterday.

Weird note: I’ve been avoiding any non-clothing items for some reason. The two awesome 1910-1920 Oregon Agricultural year books were the only things that weren’t clothing. I guess it’s just easier to get into a rhythm when you’re working with the same types of items. I think my next targets will be shoes. I have a lot of them and want to stop avoiding them!

Did it work?

I’d say yes. I have items ready for me to photograph through the rest of the week. I’m going to play it by ear but would love to have the 50 items photographed by the end of the week so I can list them all each morning.

I’m always fascinated about others’ tips for streamlining their listing. Please let me know if you see a glaring issue in my methods or if you have some awesome tool that lets you blow through a big pile! And should I have used Manic instead of Maniac?

Image Credit: Orin Zebest


Comments 20

  1. I measure clothes before I photograph too. However I only write down the measurements. Fabric content size country made basically anything already in the item does not get written down. I just throw it in a big pile and as I list I look the item over again for stains and flaws and then copy the info right into the listing. That way I hopefully make less mistakes. Ha!
    It sounds like you got a lot done. Congratulations!

    1. Post

      Hmm, the reason I do it in this order is because I put the items in plastic bags when I list it. I may need to re-think the whole thing though. I did get a lot done. Thanks!

  2. Is there any way you can slow down while shopping and really check out the product before you buy? Stains and poor stitching should be apparent in the store. There are lots of helpful hints about stains online, so maybe those items don’t have to be tossed? My mom has a ‘recipe’ for getting baby food and formula stains out of baby clothes and it works like a charm.

    I think the listing everything of one particular type, like all books or all shoes is a great practice. How much time does it take to list one item, from start to finish?

    Elizabeth has a good point, all the information already on the product doesn’t need to be written down. Good luck!

    1. Post

      ๐Ÿ™‚ You’ve read my mind. For example, I actually bought some stuff on Saturday. Two thrift stores and only $18 spent. I’ve learned to be much more selective while buying. A lot of the stuff I’m junking is stuff that I bought last year. Not ideal at all, but it’s easier for me to cut my losses and stop worrying about it.

      For stains, I have a tide pen, but that doesn’t seem to work that well older stains.

      It’s hard for me to figure that out from beginning to end since I’ve broken up the process. Out of the 3 major steps (prepping, photographing/measuring/packing, and listing) the prepping definitely takes the longest. This is because I’m double-checking for any flaws, doing extra research, and trying to come up with a good description. When I’m photographing and measuring, it’s actually pretty quick. For shirts, it’s just 3 measurements and a weight.

      For the last point, I’ve found that the information I write makes the final listing step super simple. The reason I do this is because I pre-bag my items when I’ve completed measurements and photographing. Then I just chuck it in a bin. When I’m actually listing, I just go by my spreadsheet and the pictures.

      1. I do similar. I learned it from another ebayer. For all items, I photo in bulk, edit in bulk, then list in bulk. (Bulk being 10-20 items at a time). But then for clothing, I tried this new system I saw: write down measurements and everything about the item in a small notebook – brand, material, flaws, everything I want to talk about. Then, clothing gets put up. When I have some time to list, I simply pull out the notebook and list from there.

        I was skeptical, but it really does work great for me because when I’m listing at my little desk, or in the recliner, I don’t have to have the items with me, juggling them around, trying to get measurements. When I do the measurements part, that’s on the dining room table where I can spread the items out.

        By the time I’m listing, I know the item inside and out. I’ve handled it several times through the process: purchasing, researching potential sale price when I get home, photographing, measuring and taking notes.

        So far it’s worked really well and makes it much easier to list, even if it takes a couple more minutes to write it all down – I think it saves time in the end by not juggling a mess when I list.

        This is just for clothing. I haven’t tried it with non-clothing items yet.

        Sometimes in the stores, I’m so excited for having found something that I overlook a flaw. Or, I’m trying to rush through because there is SO much to look at and the husband and boy have already been through their part of the store 3 times or more, lol. So, some things get missed. Sometimes I’ll list them with marks and make sure to circle them in the photos and caption the mark. Then I disclose in the description. Then I mention again in the returns that there are no returns for the marks since they have been disclosed. But these are small, almost hard to see spots. I’ve tossed a few for “how did I miss THAT” marks ๐Ÿ™

        1. Post

          Nice! I use a spreadsheet that I sync on three computers using OneDrive to store all the information. Very similar to your notebook method.

          For the second part, I call them Thrifter’s Goggles. I wear them all too often!

  3. I usually check my clothes at the store, then when I get homes and the camera test and when I am measuring and bagging up. I usually take my photo’s first due to sometimes the camera will pick up a stain that I didn’t see the first or second time. Then I edit my photos and then measure and put all the information ( size, name, flaws, weight, date, shipping etc.) down on my note sheets and then stick the item in the bag with the note and put it in my listing bin. I” do about 10 to 20 clothes at a time.It takes about a couple hours to do.

    1. Post

      Yep. I check my clothes at the store (I try to multiple times, like when I’m actually putting them on the register). Then I really see anything wrong when I’m prepping, and very rarely when I’m taking a picture. I just find that I gain efficiencies by breaking up each part of the work. Definitely not perfect, but after I photograph the item, I don’t want to end up touching it again until I sell it!

  4. I’m tired just reading about that.

    I’ve had to scale back on my goals to make them, uh, realistic. So I have 1-2 goals per day, but only one to two major goals per week. To be fair, I have chronic fatigue. Anything more than that and… that way madness lies.

    The last couple of weeks have been really unpleasant. We’ve gotten 3 repair jobs done since January, which means a bunch of bids and sorting through them. Last week was sorting through a 4th one — and each of the 3 contractors suggested something different.

    This week my husband has two consultations with dentists, Wednesday I have a hematologist appointment, Thursday I have to pick up my business taxes and mail them, Friday we’re signing to accept the bid we chose for the 4th project. Friday night I curl up into a little ball and whimper.

    1. Post

      Oh wow, that’s a very hectic week. I’m sure you’ll feel a lot better once the work is complete!

      1. I don’t always check my items well enough at the store. I make sure to leave on the thrift tag until I list it. If I find a flaw I return it to the store (my goodwill takes returns within 7 days if the tag is still on). Also I always list shoes first. They make me more money than clothes and I sell a ton of them so I like listing shoes, plus no measuring!

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  5. Even without getting everything photographed, you got quite a bit accomplished. My routine these days goes like this: Most of my items come from my Friday night auctions, so my dining room is jam packed full of boxes when I get home. Then, I take one box per day to work on. I clean and research each item and make an index card with all info on it and where it will get stored ( I have an inventory filing system to hopefully keep me from losing stuff). I photograph each item, and then I list. The goal is to have the dining room empty or close to it by the next Friday night auction.

    1. Post

      That’s a great plan that seems to work for you. I was able to photograph about 6 or 7 shirts today. I listed two books too. The prep/research is definitely the heavy lift here, and having that out of the way really helps!

  6. I’ve definitely gotten away from clothing and prefer to sell other items. But I have a huge backlog of clothes that I will need to go through eventually. I’ve been doing a little bit here and there. But I can’t seem to get excited about the clothes. LOL I do like shoes though!

    1. Post

      Yep. I’m not going to solely go away from clothing. I’m just being more selective. Trying to stick to the cooler stuff that I know will go for higher dollars. And shoes, we’ll see how it goes! I’m going to do a big batch after I get through these clothes. Glad to know that everyone has similar issues as me though!

  7. Wow–you have quite an operation going on there! That’s a lot for one day! I always set the same super high goals for myself when I have a day “off.” Mr. FW teases me because I’m a perpetual time optimist–I always think projects will take less time than they actually do. But, I just can’t help myself!

    1. Post

      I’m the same way! The worst part is if I overestimate, I usually feel bummed out about not hitting my goal. Need to keep it all in perspective!

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