Self diagnosed eBay addict

I wake up in the morning reach out for my iPhone and here’s what I do…

1) Check my email
2) Check my twitter
3) Check my blog
4) Check my eBay
5) Check my Facebook

For goodness sakes I’m not even joking! I often sit and try to cast my mind back to those days before social networking and online auctions such as eBay bloody existed, I know my life wasn’t boring so why do I now consider it to be just that if I’m unable to check-in to my 5 online hotspots throughout the day?

Yes, Social media is taking over the world and i’m happily clinging on and going for the ride!

Seriously though, I don’t sit for hours tweeting and liking, life won’t allow me. Yes, I’m a mother, I have a family to contend with! Yet I do find myself frequently popping in and out to my online life, modern technology such as the iPhone makes this an easy task to achieve.

Now, if you noticed number four on my list is to check my eBay. Now this much loved online auction site has griped many including myself, only I’m surprised just how long that actually took to happen.

As a lover of shopping its rather strange that I’ve only actively been buying and selling through eBay this year. My friends and everybody else I know seem to have been at it forever and although I’ve always been completely aware of such happenings I had never found myself needing, nor wanting to use it… Well till now!

I think that maybe the sensible side of my brain made sure I stayed away. I’m the kind of person whom is quiet easily drawn in and rather hard to suck back out!

Hands up… I absolutely love that land called eBay!

Now although I have recently sold items on eBay I’ve actually brought a considerable amount more. So, what is it about buying on eBay that I just can’t seem to get enough off?

The fonder of eBay in my opinion is one very clever so & so. It’s simple, we’re not just get the frill associated with shopping we are also getting the buzz of winning! Then there is that aspect of getting a bargain and who in gods name doesn’t like getting one of those.

I have had my fair share but a bargain can only be that if we really need such items in the first place. I’m currently hooked on bidding for dresses and pretty vintage style clothing for my daughter. I’m also always on the hunt for trendy boys wear for little man and the toddler as well as indulging my shoe habit a fair bit of late. But although you’ll often hear me state “You can never have to many pairs of shoes” in all honestly one can and I probably have!

So, what is it I’m checking when I’m reaching for my iPhone at 7am. First thing I need to check is that of my buying list… You know, items i’ve won and items I’m winning! Then I’ll check my watch list and make the early morning decision on wether I want to bid on any of them items. Next up its of to my Selling list, where I’ll check to see how any of my listings are proceeding and maybe share them via my connected social networks.

Now although I’m holding my hands up here and admitting that yes maybe I am a little bit of an eBay addict, I can still say with confidence that items I’m bidding on get a max bid which I stick to. There has been the odd item I’ve battled for but now I use a special technique “Would I buy it right now in a shop for the same price?” this normally does the trick.

As for selling, this is a buzz in itself. It’s great to list a desirable item then kick back and watch the interest and watchers grow. It’s also rather lovely to watch your item ending especially when the price rises beyond what was expected.

With three growing children and my own over flowing wardrobes caused by obsessive shopping trips and hoarding items for donkeys years I have a fair bit of stuff to sell. Unfortunately eBay are only allowing me to list 10 items per month and despite my continuous request for a higher selling allowance and ebays promise to send me a letter as verification of my address they still have failed to send it so I’m stuck. Another problem with selling on ebay is the fact that I never seem to transfer the funds made from my listings back into my bank account via PayPal to withdraw! Why not… Because I use it to buy more!

I’ve been reasonably lucky with my listings and this is mainly due to some great sellers tips passed around by friends here on the net. Here’s a few I’ve been introduced to which have worked well for me!

1) In most cases list items as singles (especially when selling branded clothing and lovely children’s pieces) this also cuts down your postage costs.

2) Don’t start your listing to high as it puts people off.

3) Add photo packs (great for free and reduced insertion days)

4) Be reasonable with P&P and offer a combined postage.

5) Recheck spellings before confirming a listing as you don’t want to be coming up on the listings over at “Fat Fingers”

6) Add pictures from varying angles

7) Don’t list for no less than 10 days ( this means your item gets seen more and end up in many a persons watch list)

8) schedule listings to finish at around 9pm as this is normally a child free time (unless your living in my house)! It’s true though it’s the most least busy hour of a person’s day, unless you work nights or are tucked up in bed.

9) List brand names and picture the labels

10) Reframe from listing a “Buy it now” price (this often makes people reluctant to bid more in the end if the item doesn’t sell before the end time)

11) It does no harm to hit the share button and blast out to your followers on social networks.

I do follow the above and for me it’s been beneficial.

But what about buying on eBay?
I’ve got some awesome buys for a steal, example… TOPSHOP woman’s coat (brand new with tags) original price £75.00 won bid at 99p and the P&P was £3.00, Infant Red LEGO Kickers won bid at £1.04 and the P&P was £2.70 and another great one was a bundle of girls clothing consisting mainly of dresses from next, monsoon and Zara, number of items 13 won bid at £6.00 and p&p 4.00

So… Is there a trick in getting things for monkey nuts?

The TOPSHOP Coat and the Lego Kickers both had typos within the listings title which I found using the “Fat Fingers” app available on iTunes. The clothing bundle consisting of 13 pretty dresses made the mistake of listing within the wrong category as well as having an early hours ending time.

I have found in the short time I have actively been using email that feedback is of great importance. I now read this before biding (unless the item is ending within seconds when I’ve discovered it and I really want it that is). I brought a pair of Adidas women’s trainers for a steal at 99p but the seller took my PayPal and seemingly never sent the item. I’m all for giving people the benefit of the doubt, but when you state, “I’ve sent so out of my hands” when I inform you it hasn’t been delivered. Then tell me on a second occasion, “I don’t care it’s your problem” then I get the sneaky suspicion you never sent it anyway. Yes it’s just 99p with a fivers P&P but it’s beside the point and after several attempts to reason with the seller and opening a case with email I gave her bad feedback.

Feedback helps buyers feel more confident in bidding on your items making you more money. As a stay at home mum and full time carer I just sell the odd item and then use the funds to bid on items I need for the children. But I can sell the money that can be made easily with the help of eBay and it’s something I’d consider come Christmas. If my sellers allowance is increased that is!

I’d love to hear from any eBay pros, please feel free to leave your comments and any useful tips or wise advice within the comment section below.

Below is a picture of a few items I’ve brought and what I’ve paid (yes there are plenty more from where they came from)!

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LOST IN A LAND CALLED TWITTER

Yesterday I found myself in quite a heavy debate when a friend stated that those on twitter were lost in a fantasy world, they needed to start living in the real world!

Sometime ago I may have agreed with my friend, so, why not now?

Two years ago, Twitter was nothing but a giant puzzle to me. I tried but just couldn’t get into the whole thing of tweeting, I failed miserably!

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Believe it or not despite having an active twitter account with a twitter grade of 98, I’ve only been doing this tweeting malarky actively for around a year!

Sitting with a coffee in one hand and my iPhone in the other I scroll through my twitter timeline, I’m presented with hundreds of tweets from people (yes, real people) from all over the world! Overtime I’ve created a collection of followers, many I follow back, all with something to say and share with their fellow tweeters. The whole experience is customised the way I want it! You build this close-knit homogenous group of like-minded people, sometimes separating them into lists of smaller groups enabling you to create different groups for each and every one of your particular interests, whether that’s competition tweeters, news tweeters or fellow bloggers like myself!

Although twitter is a great way to promote a business, blog or website, there is so much more to it than this… It’s also a great place to engage in conversation! One minute you may find yourself talking politics with one tweeter, the next you’re holding a conversation with another 20 or more covering the events of last Friday night! Ok, we’re not sitting across the table from one another having a face to face conversation and yes, I admit it, some of these people I’ve never met and not likely to either, though there are many I have been lucky enough to met in person and yes, I’d go as far as calling them my friends.

So, how comes when I explained this to my friend she still failed to understand or even agree to disagree?

Well, apart from her being as stubborn as old boots, she isn’t exactly internet savvy either! For this reason alone I judged her mystification to be based purely on ignorance rather than malice.

Though I believe the above to be true, I do acknowledge the fact that this friend was also referring to how much time I spend tweeting! With this I asked myself…

“Do I spend too much time on twitter?”

Now, I cannot deny that there have been a few occasions where I have lost track of time as my timeline fills itself with more and more interesting content! Yes, I have found that every now and then the iPhone has somehow got stuck to my hand, I’m under no illusions that it hasn’t, yes I know this to be true! OK, I could have been spending this time doing the more productive things that life requires, such as cleaning the house (what fun). Yet, it safe to say that twitter has never stopped me from living!

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

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What’s more, I feel much good has come from the land of twitter, take the London Riot Cleanup as a perfect example! I myself assembled a team of local people to help me clean up Lewisham! This team was assembled in no more than a few hours with the power of a hash tag. This was seen as a positive thing right! Those people who Re- Tweeted my tweets for help were very real, and living very much in the real world! Those people who set out to help me that summer’s morning were again very real people, living in a very real & sometime crawl world! The revolution of a hash tag also brought with it positive media attention, not only was I interview by Gabby for the breakfast show on BBC radio (after she see my tweet I must add)! But I was also met by a host of BBC news reporters who followed us around all day and then shared the cleanup with the rest of the UK via a 6 O’Clock news report! Surely this is a positive thing, one created with the help of twitter?

Twitter holds the technology to send news fast, it enables you to gain support for charities and campaigns, once of great significance, after all, where else can you get a message around the world in a matter of seconds?

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Anyone and everyone can be a part of twitter, making it what they want it to be! Social, business, a mix of both… that’s the point, It doesn’t matter because it’s your creation.

You will find everyone from celebs, charity campaigners, mummy bloggers to the average Joe,  all tweeting about something or another, reaching out and becoming an influence in their own right. It’s a place these groups of everyday people are able to come together and complement one another despite their way of life.

Twitter is real… very real, it’s a place made up of units upon units of millions of real people all with a message for the world, something they want you to know… its follower! Whether that’s the fact they are sat on the train next to the most annoying person ever to grace the planet, or whether they just experienced the very first tremor of China’s massive quake… they just wanted you to know all the same!

Like anything else… drink, sex or drugs, you only find yourself lost in a land called twitter if it isn’t used the correct way… in moderation!

Yes, I like twitter (a lot, a lot, a lot…) Do I find myself tweeting on a daily basis? Umm… Yes! Do I check my mentions daily? Umm… Yes! Does it stop me from being the person I am, a mother with a healthy relationship with her children? Umm… No! Does it stop me from looking after myself and my children? Umm… No!

So… am I lost in a land called twitter?

I don’t think so, and for those who do… your just a little bit bonkers!

One that doesn’t understand the significance of something so powerful will of course fail to see its purpose and how much of a reality it really is!