Update: Sales Slowdown

There was a sales slowdown on ebay. Partly, it’s seasonal – the summer is rough on sales – but the other thing that happened was that I had to clean out the garage of my late father’s hoard. This is taking a lot of work. It’s also far less profitable than reselling. Reselling was going to double monthly for a couple months, and I was looking at renting a storage space. Well, dehoarding is a lot different, and a whole different business model.

Dehoarding paper = selling ephemera. Selling ephemera is mostly “long tail” sales, or sales of unique items that few people want, but someone wants. It differs from clothing sales in that you just need to list a lot more items, and get fewer sales. So 250 listings isn’t enough. I think I’d need thousands of listings to have a viable business.

So I’m starting to make systems and tools to grow. I’ll post these on the github.

You also can’t really research this stuff as easily as clothing. It’s about ideas, so… you go on hunches. It also means I need to spend a lot of time listing dead-end products that are going into the trash. (The only way to get data about views is to list the item.) It’s a bit harder than selling clothes.

Blog Update: I’ve been away…

I’ve been away from this blog for a few months while I learned to sell things on Ebay, and it has been a real learning experience. I won’t go into it too much, but it was really time-consuming. The good news is that this education didn’t cost too much money, and it’s almost at the point where Ebay selling could cover my rent and some bills. It’s also improved my understanding of SEO and landing pages for ecommerce, as well as my understanding about inventory, capital, seasonal sales, and revenue.

I’ll be back to writing about programming soon.

Resubmitting a Failed Form (Ebay and other sites)

You push “Post” and wait for the spinner… and it never posts.

You can’t push the “Post” button again because the interface has been screened off by a gray layer that blocks your clicks.

Sometimes, you can re-press the button. Here’s how.

Right-click on the page, and click “Inspect” in the menu. This will bring up the inspector/debugger.

There’s a search box near the top. Type “Post” or whatever text is on the button. It may match more than once, so try to find the one that’s the actual button.

The code might look like <button …>

Right click on that code and select “use in debugger” or something like that.

This will cause a pane to open at the bottom, and a word will be there, like “item0”.

Append “.click()” and press enter.

For example, if it’s “item0”, then you want to do this:

item0.click()

That sends a click event to that button. It might work. It did for me, on Ebay.

Keyboard UX Fixed, by Logitech… but it never caught on.

I’m selling a keyboard, the Y-SU61, that, in this specific version, has a keyboard UX issue fixed. Most of the other Y-SU61s don’t have this issue fixed… so these product names are not necessarily meaningful.

This keyboard is for beginners new to PCs. By removing the “insert” key from above the “delete” key, they avoided the problem of pressing the “insert” key and going into “insert mode”, and then typing, overwriting the text that was already there. Beginners don’t know what “insert mode” is, and and get confused when their typing wipes out the existing text. Typically, there’s no indication you’re in “insert mode”.

You can still go into insert mode by pressing “insert” on the keypad.

Having “insert” above “delete” implies that they will work similarly: pressing “insert” should insert a space to the right, just like how “delete” removes a character from the right. This function’s completely useless, but the positioning implies something like that. Alternatively, it could be labeled “backspace” and behave like the backspace key.

Look at the other keys. “Home” above “end”, and “page up” above “page down”. They act the same. The key above “delete” should do something related to “delete”.

Also, pretty obviously: “home” and “end” could be relabeled “top” and “bottom”.

We don’t notice these problems because we’re used to this screwed up keyboard.

However, if tablets really take over, we’ll be facing this problem again.  Tablet users typically don’t have insert mode.

WordPress Concepts and Parts for Beginners

(I’m helping a person on simbi.com learn about WordPress plugin development. Sometimes, an article will be produced to elaborate on a topic. This article explains WordPress concepts and components.)

WordPress isn’t just blogging or CMS software, it’s a framework for general website development. Like every framework, it comes with a huge library of objects that you’re supposed to use to create your applications. This article will describe many of these objects.
Continue reading WordPress Concepts and Parts for Beginners

TP-Link TL-WA801ND: Nice

I just installed one of these at home, and it’s great. It reminds me of OpenWRT, the open source router firmware, in that it allows you to turn the router into a WiFi client, a wireless bridge, an access point, or a range extender. It’s super-cheap at around $25, and extremely easy to configure with the provided configuration wizard.

Anyone who knows what the different modes are, and how to configure an access point, can set it up in ten minutes.

It even does VLANs! Well, not really – it allows up to four SSIDs and will send each one to a different VLAN. That’s the bare minimum needed to set up access points with guest and private networks. So you can combine that with a lower-end smart switch, and do a little enterprise-style WiFi on a small budget.

It even supports “Passive POE”, which is just a power injector device. The device doesn’t support any of the standard power-over-ethernet standards.