Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Magic: the Gathering Collector's Edition - Still cursed?

I have had to relist the Magic: the Gathering Collector's Edition for auction again! The person who ended up winning it over three weeks ago, for $800, was unable to pay. So, I had to file a nonpaying bidder report to get my Final Value Fee back (giving the buyer a strike against their account - but I refrained from leaving negative feedback). If you remember from a previous post, this makes the third time this particular set is being auctioned off.

As of this writing the bidding is up to $255. Hopefully it will go for a good deal more than that! The auction ends on Sunday (October 1, 2006) and I'll report back on the final bid.

In other news, I've been extremely busy. My Biotech courses (Instrumentation in the Biotech Lab, Cell Culture & Cell Function, and Nucleic Acid Methods) keep me very busy in general, and unavailable to do store business while I'm in class Monday night, and Tuesday and Thursday mornings and nights. It's somewhat frustrating to not be as available as I have been - but realistically, if/when I return to work full time, the store is going to get even less attention.
I have started working on the "Lot 3" cards, and have gotten several added to the store from the Mercadian Masques, Nemesis, Prophecy, Invasion, Planeshift, Apocalypse, Odyssey, Torment, Judgment, Onslaught, Legions, Scourge and Mirrodin sets. Hopefully I'll have some more in today from the Darksteel, Fifth Dawn, Champions of Kamigawa, Betrayers of Kamigawa, Saviors of Kamigawa and Ravnica: City of Guilds sets.

I have been promoted to the Silver level of PowerSeller, as the sales from Alan's cards (both the commission items and "Lot 4") have boosted my sales phenomenally (about $12,000 in raw sales the last 30 days). Of course I don't see all of this - a lot goes to Alan, as well as to eBay and PayPal (my eBay fees, listing and Final Value, for August totaled over $660 and PayPal took another $340 - over $1000 in fees!).

I've had several repeat customers of late, which is wonderful! Not only does this mean more sales, which is cool in and of itself, but it also means that these people have been pleased enough with the items I sell and the service they receive to come back to the store. That makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside :-)

Cool feedback of late: A gent in Australia (thanks, Shane!) write, in a series of Feedbacks (I'll use ... between individual entries): "!...Delivery to Oz in 3 days! Unbelievable!...THIS GUY ROCKS!" I love it when I get complimented on delivery times, especially since once I mail it, it's completely out of my control! But, I am at the post office every single week day, and most Saturdays as well, so I guess I do get things out quicker than the average seller.

Well, enough patting myself on the back for one morning. It's off to shower and then (you guessed it) to the post office!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Complete Collector's Edition - cursed?!?

Okay, here's another odd story for you. As you may remember, part of the stuff I got from Alan to sell for commission was three copies of the complete Collector's Edition of Magic. I put one up for auction, and another in the store (asking $900). The first auction set sold for ~$650. The store one is still available.

The third one is the one that's odd.

The third set I put up for auction about a month ago. The winning bid was again ~$650. However, a few hours later I received email from the winning bidder saying that he didn't read the description carefully enough, and he didn't realize that the set had been opened. Could he back out of the sale? He offered to pay the difference between his winning bid and the next highest bidder's high bid, if they wanted to still buy it. That didn't work out, but I offered that I could cancel him out if he paid for the listing fees, and I would just list it for sale again.

Well, he has not yet paid the agreed-upon $3 to cover listing fees, but I did relist the set. This time the winning bid was $800! So, much better. BUT, the winning bidder has not yet paid, about 1.5 weeks later! Not so much as a single email of explanation. I've initiated an unpaid bidder process, and the winning bidder finally wrote, asking me to wait a couple of days. I never mind waiting, if I know that I'm waiting. That was a couple of days ago and still no payment. I'm worried I'll have to file for a Final Value Fee refund, and list the thing a third time.

Very, very odd!

Spider-Man 9/11 Tribute SOLD!

Back on Monday, September 11, the 9/11 Commemorative issue that I had CCG Graded sold (for $80)! I suppose that the date of the sale was no coincidence. It was great to finally sell one of the CCG comics. Only two more to go!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

I got my red star!

Just a quick one - tonight I finally picked up a feedback rating of 1000! Woo-hoo!

I love my customers!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

It's been busy at The Sundry

So it's been a while since I had the energy to post.

I had the deadline hanging over my head of the Store Inventory Listing Fee price hike at eBay, so I was busting my butt trying to get all of Alan's cards up in the store before that happened.

I almost managed it, getting all of the expansion cards in, the last of them about 11:30 p.m. the last day (I probably had a few more hours, as I think eBay's "day" doesn't start until midnight PST, since they're based in CA).

Then I crashed.

I gave myself the next day off completely from card cataloguing. I still processed orders, of course, but as I had been up 'till close to midnight every night for the preceding 2-3 weeks, was ignoring my family (my sons have NEVER seen so much Clifford, Bob the Builder and such) was time for a break from almost all things Store related.

I still have cards from Revised, Fourth Edition and Fifth Edition to get up from Alan. Plus there's the "Lot 3" cards to go as well. I get a few more up each day, but I am not going to go too crazy (for example, I have decided to just fold the Lot 3 cards into existing listings when possible to save on listing fees, so I won't be able to 100% accurately track sales). Although I do have another deadline now - my classes at Montgomery College start on this coming Thursday.

Sales have been brisk - Alan's stuff is DEFINITELY bringing in more business. Here's a few anecdotes to give you an idea of the stuff to happen lately:
  • A gentleman from Spain (hello, Oscar) put together a large (3 invoice, ~$100) order over the course of two or three days.
  • Another gent from France (hello, Nicolas) ordered a mere four cards. But given that three of them were from the "Power 9", his order totaled over $1600! For some reason his PayPal account is acting up, and he's having to pay me in stages. But the last payment should (hopefully) come in tonight, and then I can send him his cards. He (wisely, IMHO) chose to insure this particular package.
  • A former Spanish customer "warned" me that he has referred my Store to a friend and will be letting his friend put together an order via his account. My customers are great!
  • Speaking of great, I FINALLY got a comment from someone about my card descriptions in my listings! Said he: "I just wanted to mention great job on the lay out of your card sales. You put forth a lot more effort then some other sellers. (card desc when you cant read it)" I'm glad they proved useful for at least one person! Some sellers have the exact same text in every listing, something along the lines of "Your are buying the card in the item title, in the condition mentioned" - how lame is that?!?! If I did only that I'd have finished off Alan's stuff and Lot 3 all WELL before the deadline. But that's not cricket!
  • Speaking of comments - I'm still waiting for someone to say they appreciate my sometimes snarky adjectives before the card titles in the first line of each listing. I actually put a lot of thought into those sometimes! My favorites are for the Crystal Rod, Iron Star, Ivory Cup, Throne of Bone, and Wooden Sphere which collectively are known by players as the "lucky charms". I describe each as being "magically delicious". I'm rather proud of that one :-)

Okay, that gives you a couple of snapshots to bring you up to speed. As for the Lot updates, Lot 1 still has about $2 to go to start making a profit. Lot 2 is in the black at ~$20. And Lot 4 (Alan's cards), I have made somewhere around 300% profit on at this point, and still going strong. Lot 3 has still does not have any individually listed cards, so there's no official Lot 3 sales as yet.