Why I Deleted My Own Shop

12-months ago when I started trying to sell online using extended family belongings I had a simple and easy plan. Build up a social media presence and focus all traffic around my own umbrella website http://www.webconfection.com. Simple. With over 30 years software development experience, 20+ years cloud related what could be easier? Overnight income, 30 years in the making. Boom!

I’d probably describe myself as creative and ill disciplined. I like to dream but I’m also lazy when left to my own devices. A bit paranoid I’ve spent 20+ years trying to reduce my easily available digital footprint.

My problem with plan A? At this stage an online shop is more hassle than it’s worth and I have no social media presence to speak of. I need to focus on (re)building a digital footprint and selling across multiple 3rd party channels such as Ebay, Vinted, Amazon and more.

To that end I am now redirecting all webconfection.com traffic to my incredibly boring blog. Gone but not forgotten. I still own the domain and emails will continue to work. I have also taken receipt of some branded Web Confection cards to be included with every package I send out. An effort to raise the name but not the domain.

Ecommerce

Initially focused on the following platforms. More than enough.

Active on Ebay with irregular sales, maybe 3/4 per month. I’m at a loss as to how to attract followers and I’m not paying £20 per month for a shop. The auctions are great fun and great value when selling high-end items.

Active on Vinted, my most popular and profitable channel. Trying to focus on cheaper items, under £15 moving forward to encourage bundle buying. Designer shoes at £50 a pair garner lots of interest but no buys.

I’m still a Depop virgin. Turned down a few offers but yet to complete a deal. All advice and experience appreciated. Am I just an old fart on a teenage platform? Should I change my profile picture and hide my face?

Slow going on Etsy and the focus of my next project. I’ve purchased a Dremmel plus workstation and have been polishing old currency. Quite the gadget, a must have. I’ve had lots of silly ideas and suggestions from fridge magnets to keyrings and a traditional lucky present for the blushing bride.

Have an amazon account, jumped through the initial hoops and listed a couple of products. But waiting for the right product. Don’t envisage using it for unique items, I need a supply. Lots more to do, I have deliberately stayed away whilst pursuing smaller more immediate goals.

Gumtree is boringly simple. Based on experience include the words “Collection or P&P”. Items will get a lot of immediate exposure but if it doesn’t sell quickly it probably won’t sell. Great for local sales of items not easy to post. I have about 20 listed.

Social Media

My achilles heel. How to promote my company profile without raising my personal profile? I don’t want to pretend my life is interesting, give regular updates and comment on others. I’m boring and happy.

The only social media solution I’m comfortable using. Web Confection on Twitter has 40 followers and I often repost links. I need to do a lot more to garner any interest.

I find Facebook invasive. It’s not a conspiracy theory, I just prefer to be non-contactable on that platform. I’m not trying to make a statement. It’s also a double-whammy because I’ve lost the the social media and marketplace solutions. Do I need to rethink my position?

I have created a Web Confection placeholder on LinkedIn, just not used it. I’m not comfortable promoting on a platform where my contacts know me as a software developer. They’ll be very surprised.

Again, Web Confection on Youtube exists but never made a video. You’ll notice it’s a reoccuring social media pattern with me. But Youtube has more appeal than Facebook or LinkedIn. Quick 60 second restoration videos perhaps? Before and after when selling items.

Conclusion

I use many more online platforms than listed. Many on a daily basis. And many many more I need to embrace. My own ecommerce solution was an unhappy marriage and an overhead of time and money. I’m not ready.

I don’t need or want my own online shop.

Cheers, Charles

What is your saturation point?

I’ve been playing with the concept of saturation points and exactly what I mean by it. After a few beers I have decided upon…

The number of active adverts needed to create a desired income.

I currently sell items on a weekly basis. Usually two or three items a week and sometimes two or three items a day, but It’s not enough. I desire a livible income.

100% of items I currently sell are recycled and have unique properties, for example; When selling a pair of shoes I need to find a customer who loves the shoes, can afford the shoes, and the has same shoe size. Reducing the price does not guarantee a quick sale. It can take time to find your target audience.

If I am willing to accept items may take months to sell, even when hugely discounted then how many items do I need to be selling to generate my desired income?

It is a moving target and dependant upon many factors. Here are two of quick thoughts.

Sales Channels

You can measure saturation at any level. At time of writing my ecommerce presence is loosely as follows:

Depop

36 items for sale.

Ebay

22 items for sale.

Etsy

4 items for sale.

Gumtree

6 items for sale.

Vinted

69 items for sale.

Stock for Sale

The more generic a product, for example makeup, the faster the likely turnover. However, clothes, shoes and anything where size matters may take longer.

Conclusion

I am committed to increasing my 130+ adverts across all channels to 200+ within 4 weeks. Special attention to Depop, Gumtree and Etsy.

Keep watching.

Cheers, Charles

Can I really recycle Doggy Diapers?

That’s right. My efforts to try and recycle pretty much everything whilst making money is plummeting new depths.

I am a proud big brother to a elderly, 4-legged, blind, incontenent pooping and peeing machine called Sasha. Nobody walks around my house in their bare feet. But as long as her tail is wagging and she has quality of life we will support her. Recently found with a packet of crisps on her head, her appetite is as good as ever.

To help matters my parents bought her a 3-pack of large, black Avont female doggy diapers at a cost of £21.95 on amazon. But after trying them on were forced to admit they had bought the wrong size and Sasha didn’t like the colour.

Sashas backside, whilst very active isn’t very big. My parents should have read the smallprint.

They appear to be a quality product. So, anybody else sharing their home with a female pooping and peeing machine and want to try some discount washable diapers?

I’ve listed them on Web Confection to begin with. Can’t see them selling on Vinted or Depop. Maybe ebay next. Anyway, discount washable doggy diapers on Web Confection.

Wish me luck.

Is my Rolex fake?

I have a beautiful ladies watch I picked up in a house clearence. I nearly crushed it under foot amongst all the mess. It was just lying on the floor in the corner of a bedroom. Issue is, it think it’s a fake Rolex, 75%. And with the owners consent I am planning to sell online but would like to be certain of what I’m selling. It is worth £50 or £500?

In need of a clean but otherwise mint condition. Replica or otherwise it’s still a beautiful time piece with new batteries and in perfect working order. A Ladies Gold Rolex Geneve, Cellini watch. I’ve googled around and cannot find an exact match and prices vary greatly.

I’ve been googling for a definitive answer to the question, is it fake? And I can’t with all certaintity be sure. Somebody maybe about to get the bargain of the century but it’s probably just a nice watch.

Now listed in the Web Confection watches catalogue I hope it finds a nice new home.

November Catchup

It’s been a long month. My part-time employer has taken up five days of my week without gratitude. No time to blog but I’ve been quite busy online behind the scenes. Currently active on four ecommerce channels and building.

Vinted

I made my first sale in May 2021 and this month cashed out for approximately £100. Must have sold 20/25 items mostly as part of bundles. I like Vinted. It’s community driven and a credible recycling platform and nice income for the hobbyist. I need to keep my wardrobe updated and stay actve on the forums.

Ebay

I sold a 99p item at auction and made approxiately 10p profit. I realised Ebay is not for the cheaper items. Anything sells but it needs needs to be worthy.

I also sold two pairs of Irregular Choice shoes, both at £54.99 plus £5.20 P&P. I cashed out at £52.* each. I’m happy with my share. I sold eight items in total.

Etsy

I’ve started to get excited about Etsy. It’s all about the cottage industry and after reseach I have my own ideas on how to recycle a personal collection into a 400+ product line of collectibles. Currently only have four vintage items in my shop but keep watching. I’m excited at the idea of creating my first unique product and am developing a manufacturing process, as I write this article using a bottle of full fat Coca Cola.

Depop

The latest sales channels I have chosen to embrace. Very much a mobile-first application and written in a teenage language I can’t understand. I have upload 30+ varied items, lets see what sells. No community I can find.

In Summary

Sold most items on Vinted. Made most money on Ebay. Still an Etsy and Depop virgin.

Have Vinted, Ebay, Depop, Etsy & Preloved applications installed on my smart phone. The way forward is mobile.

Made £200+ this month. Not bad for a recycling hobby.

Cheers, Charles

20+ 99p Ebay Auctions – Sunday to Sunday

Last week I created 10 * 99p auctions running Sunday to Sunday, so far one guaranted 99p sale but not much else. A slow start but not totally disheartening after all, I have no idea what I’m doing. Still learning the Ebay ropes. I have also uploaded some nice items on a buy now basis in the hope exposure generated by the auctions may create some other sales.

Week 2

I have uploaded 20+ new items in 99p auction format scheduled to start at 8pm tonight, 24th October 2021 and have tried to include a variety from electrical, jewellery, watches, clothing and more to see what garners the most interest/sales. Some of the items exist on Vinted but have received little attention, lets see how Ebay does.

I currently have a massive Ebay following of 3 and hope to increase that number over the next few weeks whilst reselling some genuine bargains. Please keep watching Web Confection on Ebay.

My pick of this weeks auction is probably the AMH womens sandals. Brand new, never worn with an RRP of £13.99.

I’m not yet confident enough to place my most expensive items into the auctions until I have built a larger following and better understand my audience. There will be no VR Kits selling for 99p, not just yet but I do have a nice refurbished HP Laptop waiting to go online.

If I can sell a couple of items and garner more reviews and followers it will have been a success. Keep watching.

Cheers, Charles

Vinted – What Sells & What Doesn’t?

In the past month I have sold approximately 50+ items through Web Confection on Vinted and made about £75. I have 13 followers and double-digit 5-star reviews. Not a bad start, I’m happy. Here’s a breakdown of sales by type:

Makeup – 42 Items

I uploaded 65 items of makeup, all sealed. A combination of Lip Sticks, Eye Liner and other stuff that is completely beyond me. All items sold for £1 and they have proven very popular with most members buying makeup in bundles. I have 20+ pieces left and feel confident they will sell.

Stocking, Tights & Pantyhose – 8 Items

I never thought these would sell, how wrong was I? Items unused and still in original packaging although the packaging is often in a distressed state. A great seller at between £1 and £1.49.

Electrical – 1 Item

I’m nervous about selling electrical equipment online. Offering guarantees or sold as seen. I have laptops and VR Kits to sell worth hundreds of pounds. But I tested the waters on Vinted with a used Babyliss Hair Dryer. Lightly used, perfect condition and working order but without original packaging. Pleased to say it sold. They retail at £19.99 and I sold at £3.99 plus £3.45 Hermes P&P. I was happy to see it recycled, good value for money and a positive 5-star review.

Costume Jewellery – 2 Items

Sold a couple of necklaces, about £10 combined plus P&P. I’m going to have to work hard to resell unbranded costume jewellery, some of it quite expensive and available at huge discounts. I barely know where to start but I wish Vinted would lower the minimum asking price from £1 to 50p. I believe in the old proverb look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves.

Other Stuff – 3 Items

All items under £5, everything I have sold can be seen on the Web Confection on Vinted profile.

Shoes – 0 Items

I uploaded some brand name shoes, notably Irregular Choice with an asking price of £50+ each. They have gained many views and likes and garnered a lot of attention but no sales. I also have sandals at £4.99 but no sales. Obviously they are more expensive and will take longer to sell buy. Therefore they are now listed on Web Confection, Ebay.

Conclusion

Makeup sells and I need more of it.

Moving forward I am going to start reselling the mountain of the clothes I have to recycle. I need to think outside the box on costume jewellery and high end items. I have plenty more to sell on vinted and am looking forward to the journey. It’s a great community.

Cheers, Charles