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Installment #19

A lot sure has changed from back when I first started selling dolls, and doll clothes and accessories on eBay. Of course, back then I didn’t look at it as a business, it was just a side hustle, a way to make a few extra bucks. I would buy almost all of my supplies at the Dollar Tree; several trips a month to stock up on tissue paper for wrapping up items, Ziploc bags to place outfits and other loose items in, and I believe I even purchased shipping tape there as well. At some point along the juncture, I upgraded to shopping for most of my supplies at Wal-Mart (insert crazy, laughing, smiley face), whatever funky color of foam board they had in stock is what I would use when that needed replaced; I’ve gone from blue to golden to the now infamous pink. I would make trips down to my local post office and get free priority mailing boxes, whatever they had in stock I would gladly take. I didn’t offer first class shipping back then, outfits and other small items would ship in a small Priority flat rate box and dolls that did not have their original boxes which ship in the larger shirt size Priority boxes. I do not recall how much time passed before realizing I could order these USPS supplies online, but that was one of my first real game changers. Eventually I started ordering other shipping supplies in bulk from online wholesalers; large sheets of packing paper, bubble envelopes to ship outfits in, shipping tape, and jumbo poly bags for larger, combined items. And there are no more trips to the post office, well very rarely anyways. I now schedule my pick-ups and my mail carrier, currently a lovely young lady named Amanda, keeps me stocked in giant, indestructible mailbags and picks up all of my outgoing mail whenever needed. As I’m sure you can imagine, Mondays present a heavy load; usually three or four of these very large mailbags filled to the brim. Tuesday’s can sometimes fill one mailbag full and then the rest of the week I usually have just a handful of stragglers. I am very grateful to all of my buyers who pay right away, It’s nice having one long day of shipping so that I can use the rest of the week to sort, photograph, and do another round of listings. And what does that look like, you may ask… I pull out my bright pink foam board that has become a known visual for my items (and is often copied) and the dolly photo shoot begins. I have a notebook that I keep all of my records in (yes, I am still old school that way); client’s name and auction ending date go at the top of the page followed by a list of all the items that I am selling for them in consecutive order as I take the photos of each item. This keeps everything in a systematic order for when I sit down to do my listings. After photographing, items get placed in large plastic storage containers and items that are in their original boxes are placed on top. Sort, photograph, list, ship… Rinse and repeat.

A typical Monday at the "brodam" home office!

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