How to Get a Job in The Dalles, Oregon

A couple of weeks ago I got a hair up my butt and decided I needed a J.O.B. A real job. You may remember my post where I expressed my displeasure in “real jobs” but I suddenly felt as if I must have a job – a real one.

I’m not 100% ready to start working yet but after hearing some of the locals speak, I figured I’d better get a running start. I was under the impression that jobs are hard to come by. I didn’t have that experience when job searching. I cruised the Gorge section of Craigslist and also utilized Indeed for my job search. There are TONS of jobs in The Dalles, Hood River and across the river. Not all of these jobs are desirable positions but if I ever became desperate for money, I like knowing that I could go out and get one of those jobs immediately. I applied for 7 positions and received an interview invite for 4 of those.

The first interview was at Coastal Farm and Ranch. It’s been a long time since I’ve worked in retail but a low stress, low responsibility job sounded really nice. Coastal has really good employee ratings on Indeed.com so I felt really good submitting my application. I got a call from the Assistant Manager just an hour or so after applying and I scheduled an interview. I haven’t been on the applicant side of the interview table in over 10 years, so I was pretty nervous. The interview went well and I felt empowered knowing that I wanted this job vs. needing this job. Unfortunately, I was dismayed to be told that they only start associates out at $10.25/hr. I was momentarily tempted to proceed with the interview but decided I didn’t want to waste anyones time – mostly my own. The interview was good practice and a good ice breaker for future interviews.

I had 3 other interviews scheduled for this week but after some reflection and a pep talk from my husband I decided that working outside the home isn’t what I want or need right now. I’ve been feeling down about my eBay sales being slow but I realized that I’m still making more than I would at a part-time entry level position. I also have all the perks of working from home: unlimited coffee breaks, a person kitchen full of snacks, working in my pj’s, and endless mom-buns. If I’m being honest with myself, I need to up my eBay game a little and get back to where I was 3 months ago. There was a time not that long ago that I consistently made $200+ every single day. I’m currently making about $40 a day and it just feels bad.

I’ve decided to push the idea of finding a job out a few months. I am going to set some clear and precise WAHM goals and see what happens in the next few months. My youngest starts Kindergarten in the fall so I need to be home with him until that point. What I’ve learned from this experience is that if you can’t find a job in The Dalles its most likely because you’re not willing to do what it takes to get a job. There are many companies out there that are desperate for good workers, go hit the pavement!

 

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Yard Sales in The Gorge Can Be a Success – Selling eBay Dead Stock

eBay is still insanely slow. The norm is 10-30 items sold per day, with a price range from $10 – $60 each. A slow day usually entails only selling 5-10 items at the same price range. Yesterday you hit a new low, your total sales were ZERO. There’s no reason to panic, its the time of year. However, you are wondering if you would feel better if you stopped putting so much time into your eBay store. Currently, you’re working a lot and getting very little return. Perhaps if you worked just a little, the lack of income would feel more inline with your efforts.

You don’t have many bills, and are blessed that your husband pays most of the expenses. However, you still have a small list of financial obligations that you cannot ignore. For instance, you are making payments on a huge lot of Nautica Fleece pajamas  that you bought for resale. They were supposed to arrive around Thanksgiving, just in time to cash in on the Christmas rush. There was an incredible storm and they arrived late, leaving them nearly un-sellable until the upcoming winter. It’s the gamble of reselling.

It’s also yard sale season and the temptation to browse all the sales for items to flip is driving you nuts. As you take a step back to reevaluate your business you decide to focus on higher dollar items, even though you will sell less of them. The first step is to start clearing out some of your lower cost inventory.

YARD SALE

The Dalles seems to be a pretty yard sale friendly town. There are 3 billboards in the town that are specifically for yard sale postings. You enlist your kids to pull out all your old junk / dead stock and slap price tags on them. Meanwhile you drive around, placing flyers on the billboards. You pass Dutch Bros. and see that the line is short, maybe 2 cars, you pull in for a Dutch Freeze. 22 minutes later, you are on your way. You are friendly but feel like asking “what in the hell took so long?”, you resist.

One of the things you love about your house is that it’s hidden. You decide you hate this aspect of your home when it comes to having a yard sale. It is just too hard to find and you believe attendance is down because of that.

After all is said and done, you made a few hundred dollars, met some of your neighbors and still had a truckload of stuff to donate. You’re glad its over. When asked if you found it “worth it” you think it over and quickly decide it is not worth doing again. It’s nearly summertime and weekends will be spent on the deck, hoping that Mt. Adams will be visible, and enjoying the company of your family.

Each day you tell yourself that the summertime eBay lull is temporary, and can’t figure out why you’re so distressed over it. The truth? You don’t want to be stuck with a bunch of crap, cluttering up your home. You’ll keep trying but it’s more of a 1/4 time job now.

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Don’t Stop Doing Your (eBay) Thing When Sales Suck

eBay sales are way down

Just as you began to feel halfway secure in working from home, you have a few bad days. Last Monday you were on top of the world when you made a months salary (part-time) in one afternoon. In fact, you even felt like everything was going to be OK because things must be evening out in the world of reselling.

Wrong.

Sunday you made $86 for the day.

Monday you made $41 for the day

and the final kick in the pants was on Tuesday when you made a whopping $23.

Usually you have some control over how much you bring in. If you list, you make money. The more you list, the more you make. Similar to other sales jobs, its a numbers game. However, this time you’re numbers just don’t add up. You list, you drop prices, you create promotions and sales – yet, you do not make money.

Although you have been an eBay seller for over 15 years, you have not been steady with it. Other re-sellers you know, are having the same problem. They say to be patient, that this time of year is historically low in sales. You want to believe them but deep down you fear that you are failing. You fear that the routine you have created for yourself will soon be no more. Change is inevitable, but that doesn’t mean you have to like it.

It’s Thursday and you’ve spent more than you’ve made this week. Your financial goals will have to be put on the back burner for this week.

You pout. You complain to your husband. You obsess over the hours you invested, without a monetary reward. You consult. Ultimately, you’re not ready to throw in the towel, not today. You pull out the bin of unlisted bras and do your thing.

 

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I Sell on eBay Because “Real Jobs” Suck

I’ve been selling stuff on eBay since the late 1990’s. My very first sale was an item my brother brought over. He wondered if it would sell on eBay. I had no idea but 5 minutes later I was ready to list everything I owned and see what happened. I always do this. I never start small and work my way up – it’s all or nothing! If I remember correctly the item my brother brought over was an old tin bullet box and ended up selling for about $45. I was hooked. I haven’t sold consistently since then, more an on and off source of income, depending on what other things were going on in my life.

For the last year I’ve been a consistent eBay seller. I sell clothing for the most part, because I can source them cheap and  they are easy to list and research. There are drawbacks to selling clothing but it’s working for me, for now. There are times where I feel unmotivated or beat down but I think its important to keep on, keepin’ on! For instance, this last week I had several items being returned – forcing me to refund $150. I wanted to quit, it was so disheartening. However, until I get that $2000 grocery bill under control, I need to make that money. I know I always have the option of getting a “real job” but that is a last resort for me.

I was an employee for many years. It had many benefits. Excellent health insurance, 401K, profit sharing, sick time, vacation time, work relationships, and lets not forget the break room food! However, I got a taste of being self employed and nothing will ever be the same. No one can tell me when to work, how long or how hard anymore. I won’t miss my kids first day of school because someone with seniority over me already requested that day off. I no longer get the office illnesses that seem to spread like wildfire during the flu-season. I used to be on 2 prescription medications for anxiety, and now I’m not. I have the time to work on myself and do things that make me feel good. There may be a day I need to get another job, but that day is not today and for that I am grateful.

 

**My eBay store can be found HERE

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