I sold my first item on EBay. And I fucked it up.
Idiot Move #1: Learn about Physics
Apparently you are supposed to ‘weigh’ your item and input dimensions and Ebay will calculate your shipping costs.
I eyeballed the weight [It’s a bag of used wigs (more on that in a second)], and figured it was about a pound. I did not enter dimensions since it is a bag – that can be squished. I did not excel in algebra or quantum physics so asking me to measure the dimensions of a squished bag just made me giggle.
Ebay tells me that the shipping costs will be $3.26.
So, that’s what I put.
Idiot Move #2: Get a Scale
I don’t own a scale. I just wait until my arm fat gets too giggly and then launch into my diet regime which consists of ordering one less pump in my chai latte. (Oh, thanks for asking. Non fat, extra whip – shit, even my tea is bi-polar).
Investing in a scale would have told me that my squishy bag of wigs was not 1 pound, but closer to 3.5.
Idiot Move #3: Research Your Vendor
I proudly bring my bag of squishy wigs to the UPS store and announce that “I just sold my first thing on Ebay and I’m here to ship it!”
Non-plussed the man behind the counter takes the bag, puts it on a scale and gets out a measuring tape.
“That will be $15.00,” he says.
“No, see…” I fumble. “EBay said it would only be $3.26”
“Did you weigh it?” he asks. Enough with the weighing thing everybody!
“No, I eyeballed it.”
“Well, it’s $15.00 due to weight and dimension.”
“Why are you charging me by dimension (giggle), just squish it down;” this comes out my mouth somewhat condescendingly as any good UPS person should know you can totally squish a bag of wigs.
“Oh, that’s okay that I squish it? In that case (insert manhandling off the bag to get it to be about the size of a large rugby ball. Reweighing. Then the announcement,) “that will be $12.35.”
I’m still aghast. “Seriously?? It’s a bag of wigs – the lady only paid $2.00 for it – how can it be $12.35 to ship it?”
He leans in “if you go to the post office, they don’t charge by dimension, just by weight. It will probably be cheaper.” I don’t’ know whether to slap him or hug him. So I give my best aloof look which on a saggy armed no makeup non bra wearing 43 year old I’m sure left him scarred for life.
Idiot Move #4: Consult Old People Bus Schedule
At the post office I meet up with Team Geriatric.
Old people in a post office could warrant a blog post of its own, but I’ll spare you gentle reader as I think you’ve shown great patience thus far.
Twenty minutes in line and I finally get to the front; but this time I am PREPARED. No editorial, no chit chat, just the facts:
“I need to ship this bag of wigs the cheapest possible way. It is going to Wisconsin. Yes the bag is squishy. No I don’t need a signature.”
He weighs it and announces “$11.25”. Sigh. Pay. Cry.
Idiot Move #5: Time Management Fail/Bad Math
Let’s review shall we?
• Bag of squishy wigs, one dozen = $75.00
• .5 hours of time posting on Ebay = $50.00
• 1.0 hours of time post office hopping = $100.00
• Cost of shipping = $11.25
• Total investment = $236.25
• Total paid by TickleBack8 = $5.26
• Loss $230.99
I’m pretty sure this is not going to end up in an EBay power point under Best In Class Case Studies.
So, I am going to own this one. Suck it up as a learning moment.
I wish I could push the do-over button but I sold that on EBay last week.
P.S. We will post how I came to be proud owner of a used bag of children’s black afro wigs tomorrow.