To GYMBOREE oR NOT To GYMBOREE? THAT IS THE QUESTION!
To GYMBOREE or Not To GYMBOREE? THAT IS THE QUESTION. BUT WHAT IS THE ANSWER???
Would you like to make some extra cash to splurge on your kiddo's? How becoming your own boss? Do I sound like an infomercial yet? Well, in my FREE guide I will provide you with the "How To's" and answers to many of your frequently asked questions. I hope you will find my tips and suggestions helpful as you embark on your own eBay selling journey.
As a an eBay POWER SELLER I am able to work from home and stay with my daughter instead of having to leave her with a sitter. How can I do this you may ask? EASY!! Gymboree is one of the best selling and reselling Clothing Brands on Ebay! I can buy an outfit for my Sofia, have her wear it and then resell it on eBay. Often times, not only do I get my money back, I even make a profit! You can't do that with lesser quality brands! So in essence, you can stretch your dollar by recycling it over and over!
An eBay business, like any other business or business opportunity, requires work and dedication, especially at the beginning. So for you to turn this info into money making, power-selling results, you need to be dedicated and be willing to put in alot of time. I work a full time job, have a one-year old daughter in addition to my eBay business. Sometimes I don't get to work on my eBay store until after 8:00 p.m. when my Sofia goes to sleep. It is not uncommon for me to be up until 3:00 a.m. This is because I would like to replace my full time job with my online business. You may, or not want the same out of your business that I do. In the end, you will GET out of your eBay business, no more or no less than you are WILLING to PUT INTO IT.
I. BEFORE YOU PURCHASE ANY INVENTORY YOU MUST: ~~ Register on Gymboree's online store. This will provide you with advance notice of sales and GYMBUCKS.
~~Sign up for Gymbohaven's newsletter. The newsletter also provides you with advanced notice of sales and the online promotion codes. The site itself is a reference site of past and present Gymboree lines and pricing.
~~Sign up for an image hosting service like Auctiva (free) or Seller Sourcebook (very reasonably priced). Both allow you to host your images there and even have very pretty auction templates that you can use. Having an image host will save you the additional image fees eBay charges and allow you to place more images of your item in your listings (More details under IV. Listing Your Items below)
THIS IS AN ABSOLUTELY INVALUABLE RESOURCE!
~~APPLY FOR THE GYMBOREE VISA. You get an additional 5% off of your Gymboree purchases and 1% back in the form of a Gymboree gift card at the end of the earning year.
II. PURCHASING INVENTORY: ~~What sizes to buy? IN MY OPINION, it makes sense to buy/sell a little bit of each size. Variety is always a good thing. After all, how would you like to go into a store that only sold size 6-12 months or only size 4T? EXACTLY! (The children's market is huge! Someone is always having, or knows someone who is having, a baby/a birthday/pictures/etc.)
~~Purchase inventory at the end of the season. You will get amazing deals this way. You will want to list these items in your eBay store for now. Then, once the appropriate season is near, you can send them to fixed price or auction style listings. This will ensure you get the most profit for your item.
~~Always check out the clearance racks! I know new store items are just SO CUTE! But the best bargains will be on the clearance racks.
~~GYMBUCKS! What are gymbucks? Gymbucks are a discount coupon for $25 off a $50 purchase. During Gymbucks earning period you can earn Gymbucks in increments of $25 for every $50 you spend. Usually a few weeks later, the redemption period begins. You can either purchase new lines at 50% using your Gymbucks, or use them to get even BIGGER savings on already reduced merchandise. It will be your choice how you want to spend your Gymbucks.
You can also purchase Gymbucks on eBay. You won't get the full discount but you won't have to spend the money to earn them.
THE IMPORTANT THING IS NOT TO MISS OUT ON GYMBUCKS!!
PSST! Go into your local Gymboree the day before GYMBUCKS redemption begins and select your items. Gymboree will allow you to hold your items for up to 24 hours. You can also go to their website and put your items in the shopping cart and then check out once redemption begins. I use both of these approaches because GYMBUCKS ARE USUALLY BURNING A WHOLE IN MY POCKET--I CAN'T WAIT TO SPEND THEM!
~~Wholesale lots on eBay. You can sometimes get GREAT DEALS on wholesale lots on eBay. However, don't get excited over the images shown and make sure you read the entire listing. Most likely you will NOT receive all of the items pictured. Don't bid or buy if you have any questions or doubts. E-mail the seller with all the questions you may have PRIOR to buying. This way you won't be disappointed with your lot. Remember, as a seller, you will want the same consideration from your buyers.
I often list my excess inventory as Wholesale Lots in my eBay store. Not because they are not HOT sellers, but because maybe I purchase too much to earn Gymbucks, or I simply don't have the time to list it all.
This is especially a great option if you don't have a Gymboree nearby. I get rid of some of my excess inventory and you get the great prices without having to drive to 5 different Gymboree's.
~~Gymboree markdowns are usually on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
~~7 day price adjustment policy.
~~60 day money back return policy with tags and receipt.
GENERALLY OUTLET LINES DON'T SELL AS WELL. SO SO SAVE YOUR MONEY FOR NON-OUTLET ITEMS.
III. ORGANIZING INVENTORY: ~~KEEP YOUR INVENTORY ORGANIZED!! I had to end all of my store listings and start all over because I had lost track of my inventory.
~~CLEAR PLASTIC BINS ARE A GODSEND! The lease expensive price I found was Walmart at $4.85 for a 54 qt clear bin with lid.
~~Label your bins. How you chose to categorize depends on how much inventory you INTEND to have at any given time. Think big! My bins are categorized by style, i.e., SHORT SLEEVE DRESSES, LONG SLEEVE DRESSES, SLEEVELESS DRESSES. It makes finding an item, once it has sold, so much easier!
~~Your organizational method should allow room for growth to be most effective.
(BELOW IS A PICTURE OF MY STOCKROOM. I HAVE OVER 65 BINS!)
IV. LISTING YOUR ITEMS: ~~Take GREAT PICTURES!
~~TAKE YOUR TIME WITH PICTURES. Invest in a couple of poster boards. A light colored one for dark clothing and a dark one for light clothing. When you take pictures on these you will have images with no obstruction of wrinkled bedding, carpet, floor and the like. It makes your items more appealing.
Iron EUC and GUC items. The more appealing the item is, the more likely it is to get higher bids. Skipping this step may cause you to miss out on lots of $$ if your items look like garage sale items. THINK LIKE A BUYER!
~~DON'T PHOTOGRAPH ITEMS ON THE FLOOR! This turns many buyers off. IF YOU DO, make sure you crop your toes out of the picture! :-)) LOL! You know exactly what I am talking about! How many listings have you come accross where you had someone's toes in the pictures!?
EXAMPLE OF SEVERAL GREAT PICTURES: Using a solid-color background, such as a poster board, gives your pictures that "floating" look you see at online stores.
OH, AND MY FAVORITE WAY TO PHOTOGRAPH!! (OKAY, SO MAYBE THIS IS MY FAVORITE BRAGGING METHOD ;-))
~~IMAGE HOSTING! Remember above when I mentioned using an image hosting service? Well, eBay charges you for every picture after the 1st one you put in your listing. However, by using one of the aforementioned services you can insert anywhere from 1 to 16 images into your auction for free!
How is this possible? Well, basically when you create your listing with their program the images you select are incorporated into the HTML code.
eBay is essentially charging for the hosting of your image(s). Ebay also offers picture manager which hosts a set amount of images for a fixed price. This works too--but you don't get the benefit of using the jazzy templates!
~~ALWAYS! ALWAYS! INCLUDE THE LINE NAME IN YOUR TITLE!! Without the Line name, i.e., Dandelion Wishes, Cherry Pie, you may as well be selling a non-brand, non-Gymboree item.
Part of the following of Gymboree fanatics, including myself, is the LINES. When buyers conduct a search for an item they will type in the specific line name. YOU WILL GET MORE PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY US GYMBOREE FANATICS, TO LOOK AND POSSIBLY BID ON YOUR AUCTIONS!
Once you become a more seasoned seller you will be able to guesstimate which pieces will do well alone or as an outfit.
~~CHECK YOUR SPELLING--ESPECIALLY IN THE TITLE! If your item or brand are mispelled you will miss out on potential buyers!
~~WRITING YOUR DESCRIPTION How you want to describe your items is entirely up to you. I chose simple and to the point.
HOWEVER, make sure you mention ANY flaws with an item, no matter how small and include a picture of it.
As a buyer I would rather be PLEASANTLY SURPRISED than UNEXPECTEDLY DISAPPOINTED.
~~TERMS AND POLICIES Make sure you include all of you terms in your listing. Some important items include: Return Policy, Payment Methods, Shipping, INSURANCE, and anything else you want the buyer to know and be aware of PRIOR to buying.
IV. SHIPPING YOUR ITEMS: ~~Ship items in the same manner you would like to receive your purchases in. Tissue paper, curly ribbon and raffia ribbon are all nice and inexpensive little touches. (You can also find great deals on these on eBay)
~~Remove clearance/markdown stickers from your items PRIOR to shipping them out.
I don't know why, but for some reason as buyers we would rather not know we just paid $29.99 for an item a seller paid $.99. Even though it is understood there is a profit being made. As seller we want to get the biggest profit, however, as buyers we want the biggest bargain.--just my humble opinion
V. PRICING YOUR ITEMS: ~~Keeping the value up! Okay, if we want to continue to do this and continue to make a nice profit we have to help keep the prices steady. What do I mean by this? If I am selling an item for a very low price, it will lower the 'perceived' value of that particular item. Although you want to be competitive, you don't want to price too that it will bring down the market value of the item for all of us, including you! What happens when you list, and sell (AS A BUY IT NOW OR FIXED PRICE) a pair of pants that you purchased for $2.99 for only $4.99? Nobody else will really want to pay much higher than $4.99 for those, or similar pants. THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO AUCTION STARTING BIDS. IT IS EXPECTED THAT THOSE GO UP. If you set the bar too low in your pricing buyers won't want to come up from that price. Try to stay competitive without being destructive to the market. Right now Gymboree is a hot seller, but it won't be the same money maker and it won't be as much fun if you are turning over $.25 profit on items.
VI. CUSTOMER SERVICE ~~Remember, think like a BUYER!!
~~If you make a mistake, fix it. The proverbial "the customer is always right" applies to any business.
~~If you tend to be dry or abrasive in your e-mails, use emotiocons so that a buyer can see the tone intended in your email. (Don't use all CAPS--it is considered yelling--amazing huh?)
~What do you do with the typical non-paying bidder that claims their 2-year-old daughter accidentally purchased an entire line of gymboree clothes? The one who has a financial tragedy but you can see she is still actively buying on e-bay? You file the Unpaid Item Dispute. When they don't reply within 7 days you can close the dispute, or if they reply but still won't pay. You recover your fees and then leave feedback. Is there a risk of receiving negative feedback if you leave it for them? Yes! But they will keep burning other sellers because they know we rather let it go than get a negative. I don't practice that. You don't or won't pay--you will get negative feedback. This helps keep the e-bay community safe from people who think we put all of our time and hard work into this just for kicks. Harsh? Yes, but when you have 15-20 of these such buyers, even the kindest seller will have their limits :-) Use your discretion when deciding to leave a negative feedback.
VII. MISC. TIPS ~~You can get 250 free business cards from VISTAPRINT. (You only pay about $5 for shipping and handling.) These are great to include with your shipments to buyers.
~~Register a domain name. For about $10 per year, you can own your own "DOMAIN". Having an actual web address/domain you can bounce to your ebay store is a lot better than the long-winded eBay http address you get to your store.
MY GUIDE MAY NOT MAKE YOU A POWER SELLER IN 3 MONTHS, BUT IT WILL HELP YOU GET STARTED!
REMEMBER, THERE IS ROOM FOR ALL OF US AND I AM A FIRM BELIEVER THAT IF YOU HELP SOMEONE OUT IT COMES BACK TO YOU. HOW I WISH SOMEONE WOULD HAVE HELPED ME OUT WHEN I STARTED--IT WOULD HAVE SAVED ME A LOT OF MONEY, AGGREVATION, AND TIME!
P.S. DON'T FORGET TO RATE MY GUIDE IF YOU FOUND IT HELPFUL!
If you are ready to start selling, take a look at my WHOLESALE STARTER LOTS, I may have the perfect lot to get you started!
Stop in and take a look at some of the fabulous items we carry! Enter my store!