Monthly Archives: July 2017

Habanada

My husband, my test subject to check if my heatless peppers are in truth, heatless, is ill. His highly inflamed throat cannot handle the lightest of space. He found BBQ sauce to have a burn in it today. That means I stare at my handful of orange peppers and ponder.

My growing heatless peppers comes from my quest to add sweet peppers to my diet. I’ve had an aversion for a long time due to my distaste for bell peppers. With fear and experimentation, I’ve found that there are other peppers that do not have the bitter, overwhelming flavor of bell peppers. This is kind of like how I discovered avocado a few years ago and that I did not hate it. My aversion came from a poorly made batch a long time ago. The same goes for hummus.

My quest for sweet peppers still needs for them to be pickled or cooked. I’m discovering a new flavor profile, if cautious in my adventure.

 

The Woes of Shipping

I was told that I am doing it wrong. I purchased boxes to ship my items. “Boxes can be sourced for free,” I was told.

Yeah, they can, but some boxes are more common. My items are small. The dimension of a pony is 7x5x4. That is a very small box and people often order one. I got a stack of boxes to do single sales so that I could save money. Buying to save is often something struggled with. The basics come down to the fact that the .20 cents per box I paid allows me to keep shipping down. My shipping costs are normally 3.80 to send the pony in the smallest possible box.  That box is normally 8 ounces. With each ounce about 20 cents is added. A box that is free but twice as large can add 40-60 cents (include packing material so the item doesn’t knock around and become damaged).

But I’ve learned that people are sensitive to shipping.

I too remember the days of low costs and high shipping on ebay. Sellers made their money by avoiding the fees. Ebay struck back and now they charge me a fee for the shipping amount. If I charge my exact fee of around 4 dollars, ebay eats around .30 cents of that. I charge about 4.50. That has me breaking even on shipping.

But how angry it makes people.

The comics have a similar problem. I ordered comic book mailers. They are media mailers but thinner to hold comics tightly and securely. They cost me about .50 per comic. I use them because these are very old and rather valuable comics. Do you really want your $40, sixty year old comic arriving in a bubble mailer hopefully unbent and undented?

I had someone offer me $10.50 on a $10 item. I asked why they had made an offer above the price. The response was free shipping. That means I’d spend around $4 in shipping on a $10 item as well as the %10 ebay takes from the value. I’d walk away with 5 dollars on an item that is a collectible and has a value.

I could take the offer and move my inventory. But, I don’t mind waiting. The sales are addictive. It is fun to make money and do a bit extra with my time. But, I’m not going to stab myself in the foot for it.

July is a notoriously slow from what I have read. Patience and time will get the stuff moved. They’ve been sitting in bins and boxes for well over a decade. Fifty years for most of the comic books and 12-15 for my ponies.

Of course when you are a buyer you just care about price. It is interesting to see how I have reevaluated seller costs and shipping over the last month. Things don’t look the same from the other side of the line.

 

No keeping

As I sort through my ponies I have finally unearthed the ones that I first collected.  The first few that I picked up where part of a random trip down the toy aisle and as gasp as I saw a Pony. That led to four year path of collecting that he shamelessly encouraged me in.

The other night I pulled the last box out of the basement. I was annoyed because I knew that I was missing ponies. I was out of boxes and I had searched all of the boxes in the basement. Then, I remembered the blue bins in the garage. All of my bins are blue. My husband normally gets orange ones or random colors like neon pink. There are blue bins in a corner beside the Celebration Castle (the largest pony structure).

I went downstairs and peeked. Sure enough, it was my missing ponies. We didn’t even recognize the containers. But for some reason I got good containers. They had snaps and I opened them to find my ponies dry and happy as can be.

I dragged them upstairs and I will finish going through them. The end total is that my ‘few bins’ turned into ten. My hundred or so ponies is probably 300 ponies and pieces. I am going to spend a lot of time on Ebay over the next year or so.

Harvest in the Rain

My plants are bigger but my harvest is less. I don’t blame the plants as nice as that would be.

It decided to rain in Virginia. Last week it rained and rained and rained some more. We learned that the Isis candy are splitters.

My first two Orange Russian 117 have ripened. They are lovely but I haven’t had time to do weights. I estimate seven to eight ounces and perfect oxheart shapes.

The cherry tomatoes are overflowing. I really recommend cherry tomatoes for people who want tomatoes. The Rapunzel are a disappointment. No long trellis. However, taste wise they taste like large tomatoes which is quite fun.

The Sicilian still has curled leaves. I don’t even begin to understand that plant.

There are finally tomatoes on the Yellow Brandywine. I’m not impressed with them as producers. They may do better in the soil. Beautiful plants, however.

We are past the rain. Everyone is flowering for the next harvest. The Ground Cherries are the real winner. Prolific, easy keepers, and a LOT of sweet berry fruit.

Comic Books

Ebay made me an offer today. I can list 500 items for free by July the 6th. I don’t have 500 auctions to list. Ebay has a limit on me as a new seller to 100. Normally they give you 50 listings for free. This means I can list 100 items.

I’ve been rolling through the comic books and getting them listed. It makes me ponder the value. Value in comic books is not a straight forward thing. #1 in some series may be worthless but #12 may be a ‘key’ or introduce a character that later becomes a major player or even develop their own series. Batman is an example of this. He appeared in Detective Comics and that is his official 1st comic.

There are gems in my collection. I expected this but I’ve found some that are quite exciting. One that I chuckle about is the Tomb of Dracula. I laughed when I saw the title. It is campy now but Dracula had his own comic book series. I figured it was a worthless comic and that proves me to be an idiot.

You see, I was reading about Blade the movie series. In that reading it discussed how Blade was introduced in the Tomb of Dracula as a minor character. Today, as I was working on listings I wondered… could I be so fortunate?

It turns out, that I am. I have the Tomb of Dracula #10 and I believe it is in good condition. That is the book that introduced Blade and it is a highly sought after comic book.

The idea of expensive comic books is exciting. The reality is that selling them is a slow process. There are a lot of comic liquidators out there. They will give what seems like a large amount of a huge lot of comics. I was chuckling at one the other day. No need to figure out grading or how to use ebay just instant money in your hand! Seeing an offer like that pretty much tells you that you have valuable things.

So much to do

There is always so much to do.

Work demands my days off. Our ebay adventure is going very well but it still takes time to list and manage everything we are doing. The garden is taking off but pruning, feeding, and tending takes time.

It is both good and bad. I am struggling to have the downtime I need to be creative. Most of my down time is spend being exhausted and reading financial management stuff. I’m pretty much debt free and making sure that our next financial ventures are solid choices.

But so much ebay. Productive stuff once we put the time into it. The husband seems to hate shipping for some reason. As in the packing and wrapping and dropping off at the post office.

It is fascinating what some hate and others do not mind. By our powers combined, he and I can be rather productive since we like and hate such different parts of things.

But ugh. Somehow June ran off, I got a lot done, need to do more, and it is time for bed too.