I adore hunting for vintage things for my store. Always. Yard sales, rummage sales, estate sales, thrift stores, online auctions…they’re all good and all fun.
But I realize some other parts of the biz aren’t so delightful. And sometimes I cause my own mayhem. My own pointless drama. Like in these cases. May my mistakes not be yours!
The Case of the Missing Item
Here’s the story: I track my inventory by bin number or location (and yes, “Cupboard Above Microwave” is a real location), and when an item sells I check the list to see where I’ll find it. But an item that just sold was not on the list. Rats! But wait, I was pretty sure I’d put it in a closet drawer. I checked the drawer. Nope, not there. I checked the other drawer. Nope. Then I started checking other likely areas, finally heading out to my storage bins in the garage and tediously opening up most of them and rooting around.
Now I knew I had this item. It was here somewhere, but why, oh why, hadn’t I added it to my inventory tracking doc?!
Finally I decided to check (for the third time) the drawer where I had originally thought it was in the beginning. I pulled out all the items and there is was, hiding underneath some sheet music.
I had an “Oh, thank goodness” moment and then I quietly remonstrated myself for not having tracked it to begin with. The truth is I
spent wasted over an hour looking for it!
Now you may be thinking, “Well, it was your fault.” And you’d be right. It was. Sigh.
Note to self: Make sure every item gets put on my tracking list. Every one, every time, without exception.
The Case of the Hard-to-Ship Item
Every once in a while I buy something that I know is going to be challenging to ship and yet I still buy it! And then I grumble later when it sells and I have to pack and ship it.
Here’s the story: A while back I sold a cool 12″ vintage globe.
I had bought it for $5 at an estate sale and sold it for $30, so I had a profit of $23 profit or so after fees and COGs. But this bad boy took me 25 minutes of careful packaging and a lot of packing materials to ensure it arrived safely. I was annoyed with myself. It was just not worth it for $23 IMHO.
Note to self: Stop buying hard-to-ship items unless you plan to sell them locally or they are really (really) profitable.
The Case of the Post Office Woes
Here’s the story: On Saturday morning I made a special trip to drop off five small First Class packages in my post office’s secure interior mail slot. On Monday morning I dropped off eight packages on the drop-off counter. By late afternoon on Monday the eight I dropped off had already been scanned and the tracking info displayed them as “In Transit.” The five I dropped off on Saturday had not been scanned yet and the post office showed no record of having received them. What???
I started worrying because in the past stuff I’d dropped off on a Saturday got scanned and moved along quickly. At 4:00 p.m. I decided to drive back to the post office to speak with someone. I got the manager. When I explained the situation, she said, “Well, we don’t have staff working on Saturdays.”
“Yes, but wouldn’t the packages have been scanned today? The ones I brought in this morning were.”
“I’m sure they just haven’t shown up yet. But if not, they’ll be scanned in San Francisco. Don’t worry,” she said with a smile. “They’ll show up.”
Well, I was worried and when I got to my car I am embarrassed to say I burst into tears. Who cries over stupid stuff like this?!! Apparently I do. I was just so darn frustrated. My buyers will think I haven’t mailed their items and fast shipping is always appreciated and, these days, expected. And what if in the worst-case scenario they were stolen at the post office. Does that even happen? I envisioned having five unhappy customers and me having to refund them all. Aaack!
(Postscript: I checked their status this morning and the six packages were scanned at 9:50 last night! and are now on their way. Phew! My apologies little post office for having doubted your integrity.)
Note to self: Don’t overreact (for Pete’s sake!) and stop dropping stuff off on Saturday. And take the time to get a receipt for items..at least the more valuable ones.
Well, I hope you enjoyed reading about some of my goofiness. Do let me know if you have any of your own!
As always, happy hunting,