How to Handle a Lowball Offer

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

While it feels really good to rage about a lowball offer, shame the buyer in an Instagram post, or have a full-on Twitter really isn't going to change the fact that you were lowballed.

I drafted this topic in mind with Poshmark, but it really relates to just about every selling platform and, in general, when someone undermines your overall worth.  No matter how or why it's happening, it's frustrating.  Immediately, we link this to mean the buyer has a lack of respect for us and the items we sell...but, why?

I'm cheap.  I will always work my way towards finding the bootleg version to literally anything, if I can.  Or, I just won't buy it.  I understand why someone would want to just see what would happen if they submit a ridiculously low offer -- maybe the heavens will open and they will snag an incredible deal. Of course, there are those people who send offers and then never pay, but this isn't about those types of people.

Buyers are trying to get the best deal possible.  On the flip side, as resellers, we are trying to make the most money possible.  It's a simple transaction and I'm sure basic economics but I don't understand economics because I hated that class and teacher in high school.  [Don't go there, Jen, you passed remember?  At least you passed!]

Instead of withering into a puddle of frustration, remember these options are available to you:

I know - so simple it sounds unbelievable.  First off, offers are assumed to help in the algorithm (both on eBay and Poshmark).  It's really tempting to send back the full asking price, but try sending a tempting offer.  I tend not to send my absolute final amount on a super lowball.  Why?  Because there is a greater chance they will counter with something lower.  I like looking flexible and willing to make a sale.  I've had buyers decline who came back hours or days later and offered my last counteroffer.

If you're really that peeved off, you can decline.  While (once again) this may affect the algorithm, it is your business and you have every right to decline.  You are closing yourself off for a potential sale, but it's 100% up to you.

Screenshotting the offer and texting your friends the details
I'm way more a fan of this one rather than posting it on social media.  Why?  Because you never know if that buyer has social media and follows you or the Poshmark hashtag.  Is it worth it to look like an asshole?  I mean, I guess this choice is up to you, but when someone offers you $10 on a $100 item and you start kind of look like a nutter, even though you're justified.  People who don't know you may read into your public temper tantrum.  It can affect the way potential buyers see you and your brand.

Sharing a sign from your closet
Why not?  I have a sign that mentions my deals on bundles.  If I feel like the initial offer is way to low and not very likely to make a sale, I might as well get my direct shares up.  This only worked for me twice where the lowballer cancelled their offer and bundled more than one item.  The offer the second time around was better off and I made two sales I wouldn't have if I declined.


Look, I get it.  Sourcing, measuring, photographing, and listing is grueling.  We want to be paid fairly.  But it ain't strengthening your mental game to go into overdrive on a crappy offer.  The buyer isn't insulting you -- they're trying to get something for as cheap as humanly possible. They'll most likely fail, but it is not a personal attack on you.  Remember, they liked your item enough to want to make an offer in the first place.

Stay strong, fellow resellers!

50 States Challenge: New York

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

October 1 - 4, 2016
Fire Island Lighthouse, New York

So if you've read my rules  for the 50 States Challenge, you would know that one of the major rules is this: "Whatever state I am living in is not eligible until I take some sort of "trip" to somewhere I have not been before within the borders."

I have been to Fire Island 4,924,872 times, approximately.  Fire Island is a barrier island to Long Island, only accessible for those who don't live there by ferry or by parking in Field 5 of Robert Moses and walking past the National Park Sign;  99% of the time I went to the beach, I did the latter.

I spent countless Fridays (my last job gave us Fridays off in the summer) dreaming under the watchful eye of the Fire Island Lighthouse.  Minus a few tours around the lighthouse, I never went in.
A year after moving back to Pittsburgh, my mom, dad, and I decided to visit my Grandpa.  The weather was a little cooler but still allowed us to wander the beach.  We took the familiar wooden path to the lighthouse and instead of breaking off toward the beach, something drew us to the lighthouse.  My mother spent much of her childhood living on Fire Island where her father was the handyman of the island.  She'd ridden the bus everyday past the lighthouse, and yet, she'd never gone in either.

Drawn to at least check out the inside, we wandered through the gift shop and when we saw the opportunity to go up, none of us wanted to admit we were actually scared to do it so we each peer pressured one another to make the trek.

It. was. terrifying.  These old lighthouses were not made for multiple people to be going up and down at the same time.  Children bounded up and down the stairs with ease while my mom and I grew convinced we were going to fall in between the slats in the stairs.

One hundred and ninety two steps later, the most incredible view on that overcast day opened up to us.
I'd explored so many parts of this island, and there I was at the top of it, a year after abandoning it.  The first picture shows "my spot" or at least my favorite section of the beach.  I thought about how I had dreamt for so long about leaving, about what my life would be like.

My parents couldn't believe the view.  We happily took a selfie or two and when we knew it was time to let others enjoy the sights, we begrudgingly made our way down the metal steps and onto the beach where we discovered dozens of sand dollars - an occurrence none of us had ever witnessed on the beach before.
So much of New York seemed like my backyard for so long.  And now, I was really saying goodbye. Climbing the stairs to the lighthouse was the last activity to check off the list.  The sand dollars were a gift from the ocean, to take home with me and remember my dreams.

Why You Can't Quit A Job You Have For A Job You Don't Have

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Let me set the stage - it was the fall of 2012 and I hated every single itty-bitty thing about my job.  I was working as an Administrative Assistant for a logistics company and it was the most stressful and unrewarding job.  Employees were hired and fired on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis -- the only positive was we were all in our early 20's so there was always someone to grab lunch or after hours drinks with.

The pay was crap, the hours were crap, and I knew I was soon getting outsourced.  Frustrated with my life, I threw down an ultimatum -- either they gave me a raise or I was gone.  They called my bluff, so I called their's (I don't play poker, so I'm not sure if that's the right terminology).

A week later, I was unemployed of my own volition.  If this job couldn't pay me enough so that I didn't have to live at home...well, I was going to something even more drastic and move to New York.

With a decent amount of savings to continue paying my student loans, I was able to stay with my Grandpa (SPOILER ALERT: I ended up staying 3 years with him) and help him out while he recovered from a nasty fall he got around the time I quit my job.

What did I do next? I went to Hawai`i.  Yeah.  Instead of applying for jobs, fearing they would want me to start before/during my trip, I sat around my Grandpa's and watched a butt-load of Storage Wars.

After my trip, which now left me unemployed for two solid months, I started applying like crazy with the determination to stay in New York.  Previously having worked at a university, I applied to every college/university within driving/train radius.  Then I started applying to any Administrative Assistant job.  Then temp agencies.  Then Craigslist job postings.  I set a goal of 20 applications a day.

By the time summer came around, I picked up a part-time job with a taxi company who had a bus shuttling people from the local train station to the local ferry terminal.  It kept me from defaulting on my loans and I was able to go to the beach when I felt like it.

By August, I was 9 months into unemployment.  With summer fading, the taxi company would no longer need me and as I really sucked at answering the phones (I didn't know the streets in the area, so I regularly sent drivers to made up addresses--wow I'm realizing just how bad I really sucked at that); it was time to consider going back to my parent's.

I applied to my last resort and got an interview.  They offered me the job for less than I was making in my previous job (when you factor in cost-of-living).  I took it and was so desperate for work that I didn't even try to negotiate the salary.  When I look back now, I think I could have managed to squeeze out a little bit more. 

Either way, I didn't see a lot of the warning signs because I couldn't afford to see the warning signs.  I felt like a loser and I just wanted a job.  For two years I suffered in an awful job in an oppressive atmosphere.  I was no better off than where I started.  From that job, I ended up escaping instead of straight out quitting and happily landed in a much more productive and fulfilling environment.

Because I was scared, I was forced to accept less than what I wanted.  It's so easy to dream about grander adventures, but if you don't plan and prepare yourself, you're setting yourself up to fail.  In my mind's eye, I saw the job I wanted but I didn't take a risk and jumped - I just quit.

In my stubbornness, I fled a situation I hated into an even worse situation.  At the end of the day, I'm stronger for it, but I hate that I wasted four years of my life figuring it out.  I love blogging, I love reselling, but I know I can't jump without a plan.  I'm not afraid to fail, but at least I'll go down trying!

My Bad Habits

Monday, February 19, 2018

Bad habits -- the destruction of goals, the enemy of productivity.  After reading You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life, I realized I rely on my bad habits to excuse why I haven't attained my goals.  I can blame them for my failures instead of actually trying.  I'm not living my perfect life because my nails are chewed down.  I'm not achieving my goals because I don't have any food in the house.  Or even worse, Today's a wash...I'll start over tomorrow.  C'monnnnn, Jen!

The first step is to remove the power my bad habits hold over me.  Instead, I'm going to swap in different habits to defeat them and ensure I don't fall back into my previous routine.  Trying to work full time, run my Poshmark / eBay store, write resumes, and *hopefully* get back into my creative writing isn't going to work if I'm constantly throwing obstacles in my path.

I'm focusing in on three of my major bad habits and hopefully can use this to motivate me to eliminate other areas of concern.

Biting my nails
When I was in the 4th grade, this Cool Girl always bit her nails.  Apparently, I decided this was a characteristic I wanted to adopt.  So here we are 20 years later, still chomping on my nails.
Resolution: If I paint my nails, I won't bit them.  I don't understand the logic, but it works.  I'm just lazy and hate that I can't touch things while they dry.  I'm going to invest the time wisely; while my nails dry I will share my closet from my computer and meet my daily Poshmark Sharing Goals.  Clicking a mouse won't damage my nails!  Also, I really need to kick this habit boyfriend decided to drop some knowledge about what's living underneath my nails.  It's vomit-inducing.

Eating junk food
I get hangry and I can't wait to eat or I'll set something on fire.  Instead of spending the time creating a healthy and filling dish when I get home from work, I grab the quickest thing or grab a pizza from the pizza shop across the street.
Resolution: Meal prep!  I'm not the type of person who can come home and cook a full on meal.  Instead, if I have something healthy I can heat up, I'll make better decisions and not fall into a food coma.

Wasting time
When I have too much time available, nothing gets done.  If I don't give myself deadlines and the day is wide open, I don't really see the point in doing that thing right now when it could also be completed three hours from now.
Resolution: I recently purchased the Carrot App as well as downloading the Google Calendar app.  I love putting pen to paper and writing down the things I want to complete, but I'm a hot mess.  My mantra for the past ten years when leaving the house? "Phone? Card? Keys?"  These are the essentials.  Dragging a planner or notebook around is too hard for me.  Having it all on my phone leaves with me no excuses - it's all right there.  I can say yes or no to plans and carve out time for writing, taking photographs, and even lazy lying on the couch watching The Golden Girls marathons.  Carrot App was a great purchase for me - I love the feeling of swiping and eliminating a To-Do list item.  She also yells at me a lot when I'm slacking. It's very twisted that I find satisfaction in pleasing a robot, but it's working!

Wish me luck!!

Thing I Love About Reselling

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentine's Day, loves!

I hope you're all snuggling up to your favorite lighting kit, trading chocolates with your loyal measuring tape, and gently caressing your thriftiest finds.

In honor of my one-true-love, I decided to make a list of things I love about reselling.  Be sure to drop me a line here on Instagram with what you love about reselling!

The opportunity to flex my creative muscles
I'm the final decision maker choosing the way my photos look.  Flat lay?  Arrange on a hanger?  Model? I also get to write interesting descriptions to entice buyers.  There is so much creative control; reselling gives me the chance to try out any crazy thing I can dream up.  And if it bombs, I can try again!

The high you get at Goodwill when you find that insane designer piece
Yeah, that feeling is soooooo good.

A chance to make real money and feel like an entire company
How you choose to represent your items is completely up to you.  You are the CEO, CFO, Sales Person, and Janitor.  Playing so many roles and earning that dollar is incredibly rewarding.

Taking selfies and feeling like an Instagram model
I'm aware this is dorky.  But I don't take selfies or even photos by myself so this is what I got, don't dampen my vibe.

Defining my own hours
There's nothing like being able to tell your boss you don't feel like coming in today, but maybe you'll pop in tomorrow or the day after.

The confidence to trust my instincts
When you're in a thrift store or pricing and listing your item or debating accepting an offer, you have to trust your instincts.  Reselling boosted my confidence in ways nothing else in my life has.  I trust my gut and know that at the end of the day, I made the best decision I could.

Dear Jen

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Dear Jen,

(I hope you're still going by "Jen" and not "Jennifer."  Too professional - I also hope you're still chill.)

I'm reaching out today, because I'm looking for forgiveness.  I've been mulling over a lot of the things that Past-Jen has done so as a representative of Present-Jen, I'm here to discuss how you should handle what Present-Jen is doing..instead of beating up on her the way I do with Past-Jen (are you confused yet?).

In the past (as you know), I've been super awesome at making decisions based on fear and a lack of self-confidence.  In this moment in time, however, I'm doing my best to replace fear with just the teeniest bit of courage and to truly believe I can slay dragons.

It's hard.  There's so many distractions - things I'm too weak right now to cut out - and a million thoughts of negativity pounding me every second.  Sometimes, it's just easier to give in.  That's where I fall, but I'm picking myself back up!

I hope you can forgive me for when I wasn't strong, but mostly, I hope you're proud of the baby steps that led me to where we are today.  If anything, believe that I am really excited to see where we end up.

As a reminder - you're awesome and I love you.

My Biggest Regret

Thursday, February 8, 2018

I hate when people talk about their big life regrets.  In the moment, we make the best decision we can based on the information available.  Sure, fear dictates many of our decisions.  I just think it's too easy to look back and say, "Oh yeah, this was the right thing to do," when you're able to see how it all was going to end up anyway.  It's an unnecessary judgment of our past selves.

I went to college in New York.  It was a crappy decision - not New York, never New York, but the college I went to.  However, I got what I wanted so I didn't regret it, even while I was in it.  

Every day in New York was an adventure. When my university started a Study Abroad program, my friends and classmates got excited at the possibilities.  I shook my head.  New York arguably contained every culture in the world - living in New York was studying abroad.

Touristing hard at Columbus Circle

Giving a fake number and name to a guido (pre-Jersey Shore) at the San Gennaro Festival

Posing in Central Park...with a garbage bag full of fake purses from Canal Street

And celebrating my 2AM ear piercing in the Village with piercer (the guy holding his lip) and the store owner. The two other guys just jumped in the picture because, well, that's Greenwich Village at 2AM.
My friends shrugged their shoulders and jetted off to Ireland, France, Italy, and Spain while I repeatedly hit up my favorite fake designer purse dealer on Canal Street and wandered the same sections of Central Park over and over again.

They came back with amazing stories and new insight but I was convinced I was in the middle of my insightful journey.  Many of my friends were from the area; exploring New York wasn't exciting to them.  The year after I graduated, I briefly lived in Manhattan and at night I'd go for long strolls through Times Square.  Sometimes I would park at a table and soak up all of the languages spoken around me.  

After a frustrating conversation with my boyfriend at the time on Halloween night - the holiest of all in the Village - I trekked my way down my usual route to Times Square.  I hopped to see some wild costumes; I was severely disappointed.  With the parade still raging on, left behind were the tourists who weren't interested in our celebration of Halloween.  

I stood in front of the ginormous and magnificent Toys 'R Us (RIP) with my hands in my pocket and tried to catch the eye of a tourist seeking a city slicker who could direct them to the Olive Garden.  But it seemed no one spoke English.  Everyone pushed past me to see the lights and snap pictures, discussing loudly with their companions their thoughts in their own language.  No English seeped through.

That was the moment I realized what I had missed.  I was a voyeur, receiving just a tidbit of what these people's lives really were like.  These were people on vacation, adhering to American customs and behaviors.  I wondered, what if I had dived headfirst during college and walked a day in these people's shoes?  What could I have learned by engaging with them on their ground, instead of creeping on them from mine?

I'll never know.  I really wish I studied abroad.

The Feelings You Go Through When You're Sent An Offer As Told By Grace & Frankie

Monday, February 5, 2018

Your phone lights up, alerting you with a new offer - you get emotionally prepared.

As you open the app and you wait it for it to load...

But it's a lot lower than you'd like.

So, you try your luck and submit a counteroffer.

But they just resend their initial offer.

You do your best not to feel insulted and to simply shake it off.

More often than not, it'd be a lot easier to simply just decline.

But we all know suspect that declining affects the algorithm.

You saddle up for another go around and drop your offer lower.

And wait some more.

Finally, after an eternity, they meet you halfway.

Cheers to that sale!  Now go package it up.


Thursday, February 1, 2018

With all of the running around that I am apt to do, I don't really take time to stop and smell the roses.  I'm much more likely to go off on the list of things that are wrong with my life.  Especially with the way 2017 shaped out to be; I lost so much in 2017 that it's been so easy to see what I'm missing out on versus the moments I should be thankful for.

I started a "Memory Journal" that I write in weekly to check in and reinforce positivity in my life.  It's such a great opportunity to lean in and chase out the doubt.  I decided to share my list this week of things I am grateful for.  Sometimes, it really just takes a different perspective to realize it ain't all that bad.  I really encourage you to try it if you haven't.  And if you want a place to try it - you can in my comments!

I am grateful for the relationship I have with my mom.
I'm learning not to take the relationship I have with my mom for granted.  So many people I know feel that they have to continually lie to their parents about the way they choose to live their life or fear disagreements.  I'm really lucky that my relationship with my mom has developed into a genuine friendship.  I can tell her anything with honesty and know that even if she disagrees, it doesn't take away her love and respect for me as her child.  In return, she's been able to open up to me and allow me to get to know her for the person she is, outside of her role as my mom. This past year, we've really leaned on one another and I can't imagine getting through it without her.  And now, we're Poshmark Partners!

I am grateful that I am still motivated to find my passion.
At least, I'm trying!  I used to get really bummed that I haven't quite figured out what I'm going to do with my life, but I've recently re-framed that view and I now realize that I'm not lost - I'm just refusing to settle.

I am grateful for the opportunity and the means to live on my own.
I stress about my finances constantly, but living on my own has taught me so much about myself and boosted my confidence in my decision-making that it's been worth every single penny.  At first I was afraid I would feel lonely, but now I think I'm addicted to being alone!  I like hanging out with me.

I am grateful that my ex-boyfriend did not call me back after I accidentally called him through an app.
My stupid boyfriend made me download this new app called Duo because he got rid of his iPhone and we can't Facetime (which we've never done anyway) but this app will allow us to video chat.  When you sign up, it asks to import your contacts so it will let you know who has the app and you can chat with.  I accidentally called a family member I had blocked on my cell phone (yes, I do those kind of things) and then I was trying to figure out how to remove the people I don't want to talk to (because legit all of the contacts were a bunch of people I didn't want to talk to) and I called my 10th grade ex.  I hoped neither call went through, but my Grandpa confirmed my family member had indeed received a missed call from me.  Ten bucks says my boyfriend and I never even use this app.

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