50 States Challenge: Delaware

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

November 11 - 13, 2016

My boyfriend hails from the great state of Delaware.  Or as he may say "The Most Magical Place on Earth"....He's kind of a diehard.  But it took him through a solid year of dating before he was prepared to bring me back; in his own words, he needed to make sure I was worthy enough to touch the land that is Delaware
(insert emoji eye-roll here and the truth that it was his first year of residency so a free weekend was a rarity).

We roadtripped the five hours to Delaware and made it in the early evening to his parents house.  The next morning, we woke up early and my boyfriend and his brother took me to tour the University of Delaware campus where they both went to undergrad.

I took some superb Snapchats that I've since lost.  We walked through the main street of town and imagined life for the undergrads.  It was just about the middle of November, but the weather cooperated with our wanderings.  I saw the dorm my boyfriend once ruled over as the RA (those poor students).

We drove past the grade school he first went to, then his high school, and drove through Wilmington.  It's so interesting to see a place through someone's childhood eyes - the buildings that have changed, the ghost of former friends and classmates.

This trip was also a little anxiety ridden for me.  It was the first time truly stepping on his ground. Pittsburgh was his adopted city and he knew the ins and outs better than me, but it still felt like shared space.  Delaware was 100% his.

Our next stop was the DuPont Environmental Education Center of Delaware Nature Society.  It was breathtaking.  There was this adorable wooden walkway that lead to the water.  Both my boyfriend and his brother rowed in high school and college and they knew the ins and outs of the river.

This was probably my favorite part of Delaware.  That night, we got all dressed up and went to a concert in Wilmington with the whole family. I don't remember the name of the band, but it was a well-known Puerto Rican artist and his daughter.
The audience knew all of the songs and it was a really fun environment.

We left the next afternoon after home-cooked meals by my boyfriend's mom.  We went back the following October to visit when his grandparents were in town.  I'm hoping to go back in the summer because I would really love to see the Delaware beaches!

Feelings You Get From a One Star Raing As Told by Mean Girls

Monday, March 12, 2018

That dreaded "@username rated your item" pops up on your phone.

We all know, when you receive a 5 Star rating, Poshmark puts it right there in the header. 
Meaning? If you don't see "5 Star" in the notification...

You open the app, revealing not a 4 star rating...not a 3 star ....not even a 2 star.  You got a ONE STAR RATING.

You feel personally victimized by this specific buyer.

They left no feedback, purchased the item outright, or (potentially worse) lowballed you and you accepted just to get the item out the door - leaving you with ZERO communication to even figure out WHY?!

You wrapped it to perfection, included an adorable handwritten note that included a few drops of blood, sweat, and tears, and shipped it same day.

Your initial feelings?  Well...

Tagging them on the item with a few choice words would feel swell.

But you don't want Poshmark HQ to read those things and influence your chances at being a Party Host one day.

You wonder, is there no end to this type of lunacy?

At the end of the day, it's okay...you know exactly where to vent your frustration.

But while that all feels really ridiculously good, it's not going to get you anywhere.

Time to move on, center yourself, and truly get with what matters in life.

And always remember...

Sales I've Run

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Sales on Poshmark are a difficult tactic.  Who doesn't love a good deal?  Unlike major department and clothing stores, there's no way to send out fliers, e-mails, or truly post an ad for buyers to see.  You could make a sign in your closet announcing your sale.  Most shoppers on Poshmark find an item and purchase that item alone; sometimes they'll sift through a closet looking for an opportunity to bundle and save on shipping, but you have to hope they stop and see a sign mentioning your sale.

I've dabbled with changing my Seller Discount before, but following are a few of the approaches I've taken to snag that sale prior to the release of the Offer to Likers feature.

Sale to Former Buyers
In January, on the exact one year anniversary of my first sale on Poshmark, I reached out to every single buyer who left me a 5 Star Rating in the past year with the following message:

This was a simple sale in terms that I wrote out my message once, then copied and pasted my notice and tagged the buyer.   I would say about 20 of my former buyers liked items after they received my message.  Initially, I was really hopeful on this one. Out of 240 buyers, however, only 4 previous buyers took me up on my offer.  Four.
Positive: I unloaded a lot of stuff that wasn't moving and got my money back for items I deemed mistakes...and a few extra dollars!
Negative: I only had a success rate of 1.6%.  Woof.
Personal Analysis: I think I will definitely replicate this sale in January of 2019, despite the success rate, simply because my former buyers bundled a bunch of items and a lot of stale inventory moved.  I also liked that I wasn't advertising a specific item for sale - it was completely up to the buyer to choose.

Monday Sale
In April of 2017, I decided to run my very first sale which also led me to creating my very first closet sign - something I previously fought against.
I picked a few items that I really wanted to move - in particular, swimsuits.  I'd managed to get my hands on a few new with tag bathing suits.  I wanted to really unload these before the Poshmark market flooded with suits.  I'd been steadily selling them in February and early March, but saw a decline in late March.  I also had these new with tag bralettes and despite Poshmark highlighting the bralette trend, I didn't have one bite. I wrote the above message and tagged every person who liked the item.
Positive: I sold three items.  I got rid of the bralettes and bathing suits.  The buyers all purchased outright with no offers.  It was also a spur of the moment idea, so it did not take a lot of effort and planning on my part.
Negative: It did feel like a lot of work in the moment, but because it was only over the course of one day, it definitely felt manageable.
Personal Analysis: I do like this type of tactic and I think I'm considering doing consistent Monday sales in May.  May through July were slow for me, so I want to find ways to boost traffic and sales.

Daily Sale
Based on the success I had in April, I decided this past October to jumpstart my closet and fall by performing a daily sale.

Beforehand, I opened up a Google Spreadsheet and determined items I thought really needed to get out that door!  I wrote up a script each day so I could simply copy, paste, and then tag every person who liked the item.  I also chose October because it's my birthday month and I thought that might entice buyers or at the very least some extra shares from kind Poshers.
Positive: It was way easier to know ahead of time which item I was featuring and the majority of the work the day of was accurately typing out usernames.  I did this from a computer (my setup is two-monitors) and it was easier to copy and paste.  I also found the most success and traffic the earlier in the morning I announced the daily sale.  I sold 4 items through this method!
Negative: How does a whole month of daily sales feel?  Eh, exhausting.  Some days I woke up late and I wasn't notifying buyers until later on in the day and I think I lost ground that way.  Also, when you look at the statistics, for 31 days, I only sold 4 featured items which means my success rate was 13%.  Better than my January sale, at least!
Personal Analysis: I liked the planning ahead.  I hate routines though (*working on it!*) so I think that's what made this feel exhausting.

Looking To The Future
I would definitely like to try out different sales strategies.  Here's a list of sales ideas I'm interested in pursuing:

  • Direct Sharing to buyers who like an item over a specific amount of time (a day, a week, a weekend)
  • A 40% off sale
  • A 50% off sale
  • Sales on specific items (tops or dresses, most likely)
Buyers don't seem to be as enticed by a free item as I hoped.  One of my biggest struggles is that I'm an awful shopper/buyer and I'm targeting the me's of the world (read: cheapos).  We aren't buying as much, as often, or at a truly profitable level, so my goal throughout 2018 is to shift the focus to true buyers and not pain's-in-the-but like moi.

Have you run any types of these sales or a different variation?  Did it work or bomb? I'm all for input and sharing experiences.  Leave me a comment here, comment on this Instagram post, e-mail me, or slide into my DMs on the 'gram.  

January & February Reads

Monday, March 5, 2018

I'm a readaholic.  If you've perused my About Me section, you'd know that I majored in English in college simply because I love to read. Here is a list of the books I read in January and February!

Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up
by Marie Kondō 
This one is kind of rough to go through.  To start, I didn't read her first book so I think that if I had, maybe I would have been able to fully buy in.  Kondō also warns the reader that it might be a struggle to read this book if you haven't made your way through the first, so I was aware going in. Either way though, I did find a lot of insightful nuggets that I put to good use when sorting through sentimental items recently.

You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life 
By Jen Sincero
This is the type of life changing book I needed to start 2018.  It's a must read.  I thought about reading it for years and honestly, I wish I read it so much sooner.

By Krysten Ritter
Over the past few years, I really feel myself drawn to thrillers.  I'm a fan of Krysten Ritter - long live The B in Apartment 23!  I truly was not disappointed with her debut novel.  Admittedly, it did feel like a few loose strings within the plot (or maybe I missed things in my rapid reading) but that truly did not detract from the experience.

The Cuckoo's Calling
by Robert Galbraith
Again, another thriller! I've always been interested in reading J.K. Rowling's other work and I decided to give Cormoran Strike a shot.  It felt slow going, but I was intrigued.  It's completely opposite of any Harry Potter expectation you could have.  I would definitely check out other titles by J.K. Rowling--whether under her pen name or her own.

Follow me on Goodreads; I love to see what other people are reading and get suggestions!

How to Handle a Lowball Offer

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

While it feels really good to rage about a lowball offer, shame the buyer in an Instagram post, or have a full-on Twitter meltdown...it really isn't going to change the fact that you were lowballed.

I drafted this topic in mind with Poshmark, but it really relates to just about every selling platform and, in general, when someone undermines your overall worth.  No matter how or why it's happening, it's frustrating.  Immediately, we link this to mean the buyer has a lack of respect for us and the items we sell...but, why?

I'm cheap.  I will always work my way towards finding the bootleg version to literally anything, if I can.  Or, I just won't buy it.  I understand why someone would want to just see what would happen if they submit a ridiculously low offer -- maybe the heavens will open and they will snag an incredible deal. Of course, there are those people who send offers and then never pay, but this isn't about those types of people.

Buyers are trying to get the best deal possible.  On the flip side, as resellers, we are trying to make the most money possible.  It's a simple transaction and I'm sure basic economics but I don't understand economics because I hated that class and teacher in high school.  [Don't go there, Jen, you passed remember?  At least you passed!]

Instead of withering into a puddle of frustration, remember these options are available to you:

I know - so simple it sounds unbelievable.  First off, offers are assumed to help in the algorithm (both on eBay and Poshmark).  It's really tempting to send back the full asking price, but try sending a tempting offer.  I tend not to send my absolute final amount on a super lowball.  Why?  Because there is a greater chance they will counter with something lower.  I like looking flexible and willing to make a sale.  I've had buyers decline who came back hours or days later and offered my last counteroffer.

If you're really that peeved off, you can decline.  While (once again) this may affect the algorithm, it is your business and you have every right to decline.  You are closing yourself off for a potential sale, but it's 100% up to you.

Screenshotting the offer and texting your friends the details
I'm way more a fan of this one rather than posting it on social media.  Why?  Because you never know if that buyer has social media and follows you or the Poshmark hashtag.  Is it worth it to look like an asshole?  I mean, I guess this choice is up to you, but when someone offers you $10 on a $100 item and you start raging...you kind of look like a nutter, even though you're justified.  People who don't know you may read into your public temper tantrum.  It can affect the way potential buyers see you and your brand.

Sharing a sign from your closet
Why not?  I have a sign that mentions my deals on bundles.  If I feel like the initial offer is way to low and not very likely to make a sale, I might as well get my direct shares up.  This only worked for me twice where the lowballer cancelled their offer and bundled more than one item.  The offer the second time around was better off and I made two sales I wouldn't have if I declined.


Look, I get it.  Sourcing, measuring, photographing, and listing is grueling.  We want to be paid fairly.  But it ain't strengthening your mental game to go into overdrive on a crappy offer.  The buyer isn't insulting you -- they're trying to get something for as cheap as humanly possible. They'll most likely fail, but it is not a personal attack on you.  Remember, they liked your item enough to want to make an offer in the first place.

Stay strong, fellow resellers!

50 States Challenge: New York

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

October 1 - 4, 2016
Fire Island Lighthouse, New York

So if you've read my rules  for the 50 States Challenge, you would know that one of the major rules is this: "Whatever state I am living in is not eligible until I take some sort of "trip" to somewhere I have not been before within the borders."

I have been to Fire Island 4,924,872 times, approximately.  Fire Island is a barrier island to Long Island, only accessible for those who don't live there by ferry or by parking in Field 5 of Robert Moses and walking past the National Park Sign;  99% of the time I went to the beach, I did the latter.

I spent countless Fridays (my last job gave us Fridays off in the summer) dreaming under the watchful eye of the Fire Island Lighthouse.  Minus a few tours around the lighthouse, I never went in.
A year after moving back to Pittsburgh, my mom, dad, and I decided to visit my Grandpa.  The weather was a little cooler but still allowed us to wander the beach.  We took the familiar wooden path to the lighthouse and instead of breaking off toward the beach, something drew us to the lighthouse.  My mother spent much of her childhood living on Fire Island where her father was the handyman of the island.  She'd ridden the bus everyday past the lighthouse, and yet, she'd never gone in either.

Drawn to at least check out the inside, we wandered through the gift shop and when we saw the opportunity to go up, none of us wanted to admit we were actually scared to do it so we each peer pressured one another to make the trek.

It. was. terrifying.  These old lighthouses were not made for multiple people to be going up and down at the same time.  Children bounded up and down the stairs with ease while my mom and I grew convinced we were going to fall in between the slats in the stairs.

One hundred and ninety two steps later, the most incredible view on that overcast day opened up to us.
I'd explored so many parts of this island, and there I was at the top of it, a year after abandoning it.  The first picture shows "my spot" or at least my favorite section of the beach.  I thought about how I had dreamt for so long about leaving, about what my life would be like.

My parents couldn't believe the view.  We happily took a selfie or two and when we knew it was time to let others enjoy the sights, we begrudgingly made our way down the metal steps and onto the beach where we discovered dozens of sand dollars - an occurrence none of us had ever witnessed on the beach before.
So much of New York seemed like my backyard for so long.  And now, I was really saying goodbye. Climbing the stairs to the lighthouse was the last activity to check off the list.  The sand dollars were a gift from the ocean, to take home with me and remember my dreams.

Why You Can't Quit A Job You Have For A Job You Don't Have

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Let me set the stage - it was the fall of 2012 and I hated every single itty-bitty thing about my job.  I was working as an Administrative Assistant for a logistics company and it was the most stressful and unrewarding job.  Employees were hired and fired on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis -- the only positive was we were all in our early 20's so there was always someone to grab lunch or after hours drinks with.

The pay was crap, the hours were crap, and I knew I was soon getting outsourced.  Frustrated with my life, I threw down an ultimatum -- either they gave me a raise or I was gone.  They called my bluff, so I called their's (I don't play poker, so I'm not sure if that's the right terminology).

A week later, I was unemployed of my own volition.  If this job couldn't pay me enough so that I didn't have to live at home...well, I was going to something even more drastic and move to New York.

With a decent amount of savings to continue paying my student loans, I was able to stay with my Grandpa (SPOILER ALERT: I ended up staying 3 years with him) and help him out while he recovered from a nasty fall he got around the time I quit my job.

What did I do next? I went to Hawai`i.  Yeah.  Instead of applying for jobs, fearing they would want me to start before/during my trip, I sat around my Grandpa's and watched a butt-load of Storage Wars.

After my trip, which now left me unemployed for two solid months, I started applying like crazy with the determination to stay in New York.  Previously having worked at a university, I applied to every college/university within driving/train radius.  Then I started applying to any Administrative Assistant job.  Then temp agencies.  Then Craigslist job postings.  I set a goal of 20 applications a day.

By the time summer came around, I picked up a part-time job with a taxi company who had a bus shuttling people from the local train station to the local ferry terminal.  It kept me from defaulting on my loans and I was able to go to the beach when I felt like it.

By August, I was 9 months into unemployment.  With summer fading, the taxi company would no longer need me and as I really sucked at answering the phones (I didn't know the streets in the area, so I regularly sent drivers to made up addresses--wow I'm realizing just how bad I really sucked at that); it was time to consider going back to my parent's.

I applied to my last resort and got an interview.  They offered me the job for less than I was making in my previous job (when you factor in cost-of-living).  I took it and was so desperate for work that I didn't even try to negotiate the salary.  When I look back now, I think I could have managed to squeeze out a little bit more. 

Either way, I didn't see a lot of the warning signs because I couldn't afford to see the warning signs.  I felt like a loser and I just wanted a job.  For two years I suffered in an awful job in an oppressive atmosphere.  I was no better off than where I started.  From that job, I ended up escaping instead of straight out quitting and happily landed in a much more productive and fulfilling environment.

Because I was scared, I was forced to accept less than what I wanted.  It's so easy to dream about grander adventures, but if you don't plan and prepare yourself, you're setting yourself up to fail.  In my mind's eye, I saw the job I wanted but I didn't take a risk and jumped - I just quit.

In my stubbornness, I fled a situation I hated into an even worse situation.  At the end of the day, I'm stronger for it, but I hate that I wasted four years of my life figuring it out.  I love blogging, I love reselling, but I know I can't jump without a plan.  I'm not afraid to fail, but at least I'll go down trying!

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