Monday, 31 March 2014

Lost & Found

Eeek - I have nothing to say for a week or so, and then suddenly I have a lot to say.  So I need to space it into smaller messages each day instead of one rambling long message.

First and most importantly - my Dad went missing again yesterday.   Those who read my blog, may recall almost exactly a year ago, my Dad went missing for nearly 24 hours.  The original story was here.

Well yesterday, he left home at 11:30am to put petrol in the car and pick up some things from the supermarket.  Then he disappeared.

He has improved greatly since a year ago.  Put on weight and gained strength again.  It all turned out to be something to do with his kidneys & lack of iron in his bone marrow.    Anyhow, yes - he's still driving at 85 years of age.

Mum called me at 2:30pm to say that he hadn't come home.  My sister was driving the areas where he should have been but there was no sign of him.

By 4:30 we were all cruising the streets, uselessly searching for him or his car.  By 5:30 I was feeling ill because it was going to get dark soon.    I sat at home with my stomach churning wondering where the heck he was again - waiting for the phone to ring and hoping for good news.

Then at 6:00pm my Mum called.   She said he'd just called her from the hospital and quite calmly said "They said I can go now, can somebody come and pick me up?"

We don't know the full story yet - but apparently Dad went to a sports bar at a local restaurant (to make a sneaky bet, or to watch a horse race that he'd bet on) - fell over something , and cut himself on some glass.    The cuts aren't bad, but he has skin like tissue paper and bleeds like a stuck pig.    An ambulance was called and whilst we were all frantically running around for hours, he'd been lying in hospital getting his cuts looked at and flirting with the nurses.

He must have been at the hospital for hours.   Whilst we are happy he was looked after following his fall we are still trying to figure out why they never called us when he was first admitted.  

Oh well, at least the news was good in the end.    If I can muster up the courage I will go to the restaurant/sports bar today and try to find out exactly what happened and thank them for looking after Dad.  

In the meantime, my wish for free listings finally came true - they threw 100,000 free listings at me over 7 days so I was working like a mad thing to take advantage of them.    Will check in again soon!

Friday, 14 March 2014

March Madness - Board Games

So, I'm still sitting here waiting for another invite for free listings.  It's been over a month now, and not a one has been thrown my way.  *sob*

Total Inventory In My Store  :   255 items   (38 of which are board games)

Unsold Listings Waiting for Freebies Because I'm Too Tight To Pay Listing Fees Now :  714

As part of my store package I get 80 free listings a month.   Because Board Games cost me 50 cents a pop, and everything else I sell is 5 cents a pop - I decided to only focus on my board games.  Plus these also generally have the highest selling price of my items.

With that in mind, my op-shopping for the past few weeks has focussed mainly on Board Games.     It has totally changed my way of thinking.    Now I can list one board game and get an average $10 to $20 profit per item instead of only about $4 - $8 for my books & videos  (truthfully, sometimes even less than that).

As a result of filling my store with board games, my $ sales have been at a similar level to when I had over 1,000 lower-priced and much less popular items.  Board games are in demand at the moment, and there is not much competition for others selling the same item.

This is a quick overview of the Board Game sales in the past 3 weeks (since I went to the Gamers side) :

Race To The Top Australian Edition - sold for $17.99 - cost $3

Trivial Pursuit Baby Boomer Edition - sold for $14.95 - cost $2

Spirograph Set - 1973 Edition - sold for $19.99 - cost  $2

Triolo - sold for $14.99 - cost $2

Scattegories Refill Pack # 1 - sold for $14.99

Scattergories - sold for $19.99 -  I purchased this + the refill kit above for $3 in total

Trivial Pursuit - Volume 3 - sold for $19.99 - cost $3

Trivial Pursuit - 20th Anniversary Edition - sold for $23.99 - cost $2

Oz Quiz - sold for $29.99 - cost $4

Battleship - 1975 Edition - sold for $14.99 - cost $3

Battle of the Sexes Simpson Edition - sold for $14.99 - cost $3

Secret Weapon - sold for $15.99 - cost $2

Scrabble 1978 edition - sold for $11.99 - cost 50 cents

Game of Life - sold for $19.99 - cost $3

Test Match - sold for $19.99 - cost $3

Scotland Yard - sold for $26.99 - cost $5

Sumo! - sold for $11.99 - cost 50 cents

Nightmare - sold for $25.99 - cost $6

Trivial Pursuit Original - sold for $14.99 - cost $3

Rum Rebellion - sold for $29.99 - cost $2

Cluedo 1983 edition (still sealed) - sold for $29.99 - cost $5

Connect 4 - sold for $10 - cost $2

Scrabble Board Game 1988 Edition - sold for $11 - cost $5

Trivial Pursuit Genus II  (Canadian Edition) - sold for $16.99 - cost $3

These are all the games I've sold since 24th of February (about 3 weeks).  

That's a total of 24 games - at a cost of $67 to bring in sales of just around  $450.

This is not taking into account the selling fees, but it's still a pretty good turn-over on only 24 sales.  I would usually have to sell 45 - 80 books/videos to make the same amount of money.

I think by being forced to reduce my number of listings, it has given me the ability to find this niche that seems to work for me.

Of course there are down-sides to board games.     The biggest charity shops (not pointing any fingers)  tape their games up so you can't check inside and they price them hideously high.  

 Just last week at my local Salvation Army I saw a Nightmare game.  If you look above, you will see that this sold for $25.99.   I was willing to pay the price of $6 (with gritted teeth) - but was the game all there?   I surreptitiously cut through the sticky-tape with my car key - another good hint!!! - and checked the contents.

 The game board was torn half-way through.  Not all items were there.   One of the pieces of the game had been replaced with a BEER BOTTLE CAP !!!!   Classy.   Um no.  Sorry Salvos - but I will be that annoying person cutting open your boxes to check the insides of your games.   Until you get your act together I will keep doing that.

Then I must give cudos to those other op shops that lovingly put a sticker on the box listing what is missing from the game, or just putting 'Complete'.   Of course their idea of complete may differ from the game contents on the box, but at least they've tried.

Needless to say I have piles of board games that are incomplete - but have kept these for that "just in case I find another copy of the game" moment.    You really need to be organised or it can be overwhelming.  I have spent the past week going through all my incomplete games, and making a list of what is missing so I know what to look for.    How many incomplete board games do I have languishing around my house?    About 70 I think.  They are taking over.   I still have about 15 board games to photograph and list as well.

There are times when it is good to buy a game that is incomplete.  It helps to keep an eye on what games are selling.  Some can go for crazy high prices.  

More on this in my next blog.