Monday, October 4, 2010

Routines

I am not a zealously routine person, but even I have tendencies to do similar things at familiar times during the day.

When you work from home, especially when there is no external motivation to do this work, a bit of routine is necessary.   I have found that we have developed informal routines surrounding our eBay day.   I refuse to make it formal, but most days this is the way it happens.

My eBay day starts with a dog walk.  If ever there was an animal that lives by routine, it is Pickles the Dog.   While I'm gone on this walk, my partner in this eBay experience is frequently involved in what amounts to a bit of eBay housekeeping.  It depends on what needs to be done.

When I get back, I take pictures of the items I'm going to list, edit the pictures (cropping, straightening, making sure everything looks right) & load them into a 3rd party system for photo storage etc.  After I load a picture or a group of pictures, I slide the item (usually a postcard or photo of some sort) across the table to Patti Anne, and she does the initial write up for the item.

After she has all the items I look over the write ups, checking for typos or anything else that could be askew.

When they are all done, I schedule them for listing in eBay.   I schedule auctions to start in the evening (about 9:30 PM eastern), and fixed price items start more or less immediately.    When I have things scheduled, I proclaim our accomplishment on twitter with a link.  Believe it or not, we get hits.

We do this every day, Monday - Friday.

This takes 2 hours or more, depending.  After that is done, we take a break, grab a bite, watch some tv shows we recorded the previous evening and so on.  This lasts anywhere from 30 mins to 2 hours, again, depending on moods and how much we have to ship out etc.

In the afternoon, I package up stuff that has been sold and paid for.   Some days this isn't much, some days (like today) it's a lot - it is a very rare day when there is nothing at all.  This takes anywhere from 30 mins to 2 hours or more.  Today was a bit over 2 hours I think.

When everything is packaged, we all (Pickles the dog included) pile into our old truck (we don't let the dog ride in the new stuff yet) & head down to the post office.

After returning to the post office (and anywhere else we may have gone), I do what I call "getting out the spreadsheet".  I update an excel spreadsheet with totals for all the money that came in, and all the expenses involved. When I'm done I attach it to an email msg and send it to another address - in effect backing it up.  I learned to do this from hard experience.   In addition I make sure all my customers receive a "shipping notice" from me, I squirrel away all the pictures of the items we just shipped, with an eye to deleting them in 60 days or so, and I record item cost & shipping cost, which helps with a little reporting eBay provides for us.   I also keep records of items that sold, the subject, type, auction or fixed etc and so on.  This can take anywhere from 30 mins to over an hour, depending on how much sold.

We do this every day Mon thru Saturday. 

In the evenings, or whenever I take a notion, I'll select items for the next days listings, and do some quick research to get a handle on pricing and what else is out there. 

There are lots of other things that happen - ending, relisting, month-end stuff, sending off state sales tax collected and so on, but the daily routine is pretty straight forward.

It's the routine, I suppose it's important, and the fact that we do it means stuff gets done. 

I proclaimed Friday Oct 1, to be a listing holiday.    It threw my whole routine off.  I felt like Saturday had come a day early, so maybe that wasn't a good idea.

2 comments:

livintheblues said...

being of an advanced age.. :) I find a little routine combats those memory lapses...:)))))))))))))))

A Valdese Blogger said...

ltb: I'm more advanced in age than I was yesterday, but I still have a love/hate relationship with routines.