Friday, September 13, 2013

Ciphering for dummies

I was doing some ciphering (Jethro Bodine of Beverly Hillbillies fame is one of my childhood heros, and he was a ciphering fool) on my latest eBay sale, and it's not pretty. I got one bid on my sewing machine, so it sold for the starting price of $34.95. Could have been better but not bad, I thought. So then I started to break down my costs versus my percieved $34.95 profit.

Shipping to Maine was $47.72 for the 41-pound box containing the sewing machine and goodies (no fancy "express" or "priority", just plain-jane shipping). I charged a flat $13 handling fee to cover the box (I purchase heavy duty double wall boxes, especially appropriate for this cast iron beauty), packing peanuts, bubble wrap, plus the package of needles and thread I provide the buyer. Those actual costs are about $12.20 but I figure I can legitimately charge 80 cents for my labor packing the machine up and driving it to the post office. I suppose I actually lose money on my 80 cents too, with gas prices the way they are, but I digress.

The final shipping/handling fee was $60.72 ($47.72 + $13.00). The eBay/PayPal fees were $12.64, based on the $95.67 total price ($60.72 + $34.95). So, what did I make on this sewing machine?

* $95.67 came into my PayPal account from the buyer.

* $47.72 went out to pay USPS shipping from the West coast to the East coast.

* $12.64 went out to eBay/PayPal for their fees.

* $12.20 went out for the box/packing peanuts/needles/thread.

* $14.11 I paid for the machine at Goodwill.

I netted $9.00 in my pocket for a nearly-$100 transaction, not counting the hours I spent cleaning and oiling the sewing machine, and the labor and gas money expended to procure and ship the thing. I should have left well enough alone and not delved into this. I never did figure this sewing machine hobby to be a money-maker but it would be nice to break even.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

More Fantasia

I got the Fantasia all back together and was testing the different stitches. I got to the buttonhole settings and noticed the stitch length forward and reverse were different lengths so tried adjusting with the small screw on the back of the machine........ One of the few plastic pieces in the machine happens to be the eccentric cam to balance forward and reverse stitch length for the buttonhole. I'll give you one guess as to what happened.