Scavenger Life Episode 168: What's Happening In Your eBay Store This Week? iTunes   YouTube   Download .mp3  Download .ogg

Good week for us. Our business keeps cranking along. Even though we have little control over what and when people buy from us, it's always amazing how we make about the same each month when our weekly totals are averaged. All we can do is keep listing.

We did some calculations this evening and counted about 36 boxes of unlisted items (plus a storage locker full of art). How do we have such a backlog even after listing hundreds of items a month? Usually we box up the items from auctions that aren't so interesting. It'll all sell and make money, but we like to start with the items that are cool or will sell for big money. So this unlisted stuff will be our winter work because there are no flea markets to go to. We'll see how much we can get done. Some of this stuff is from last winter!

Other sellers have different strategies for their online businesses. We keep filling up the pipeline with whatever is fun for us.

The Weekly Scavenger Numbers

Our Store Week Dec 7-13, 2014
  • Total Items in Store: 3554
  • Items Sold: 46
  • Cost of Items Sold: $320
  • Total Sales: $2,223.24
  • Highest Price Sold: $320 (large roll of designer fabric)
  • Average Price Sold: $43.32
  • International Sales: 6 (3 GSP)
  • Returns: 1
  • Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $120

Scavenger Life Episode 167: Interview with Jenny from Haberdashery Portland about running both an eBay & Brick and Mortar Store iTunes   YouTube   Download .mp3  Download .ogg

It's an open secret that we love doing interviews with other sellers because it gives us a reason to learn things we don't know. Why else would someone talk to us and answer our every question for over an hour?

This week we talk to Jenny Davis of Haberdashery Resale Clothing Co. in Portland Maine. She has both an eBay store and a brick and mortar store that you can actually visit in person. We wanted to know more about what the difference is between running a store vs just selling online. We especially wanted to hear if she had insights into the ups and downs of the retail cycle throughout the year. Stores that depend on foot traffic know how sales get slow at certain times, while online sellers seem to be surprised when people aren't buying every second of the day.

Opening up a B&M shop always sounds romantic because you become part of the community, meet people and have a place to call your own. But then we think of the rent, utilities, employees, and hours where you must be in one place all the time. We were surprised by one especially cool trick: Jenny not only sells clothing, she BUYS clothing. So she gets people coming in to sell her all kinds of stuff. Since she can pick and choose, I bet she gets her hands on some upscale fashion. The Scavenging comes to her! We also like how she discussed what she sells in her shop vs what she sells on eBay. That balance is important.

Let us know if you've had experience running a B&M store and how it's better/worse than eBay. You can see more of Jenny's items on her instagram account. She'll answer any of your questions in the comments.

Scavenger Life Episode 166: What's Happening In Your eBay Store This Week? iTunes   YouTube   Download .mp3  Download .ogg

The Weekly Scavenger Numbers

Our Store Week Nov 30-Dec 6, 2014

  • Total Items in Store: 3481
  • Items Sold: 46 (3 bonanza)
  • Cost of Items Sold: $168
  • Total Sales: $1,988.89 on ebay, $260 on Bonanza
  • Highest Price Sold: $250 (vintage schoolhouse lamp)
  • Average Price Sold: $43.21
  • International Sales: 5 (4 GSP)
  • Returns: 0
  • Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $95

Family visited this weekend and were our first official guests in the rental house. eBay profits have helped us get this new business off the ground and we hope to start generating income early 2015 by renting to vacationers. It's taken a three years to remodel the house, and we did it without taking on debt. Like our eBay store, we just do a little bit every day.

Our sales were solid this week. Sold about 10% of our store inventory in November. We've also been spending a lot lately. (Not on holiday stuff; just things that needed to be paid for.) If you are looking for a holiday gift for the Scavenger in your life, don't forget about our one-of-a-kind mugs.

Some listeners sent in several cool links:
  • Chris from Flipping a Dollar sent us an article about how LL Bean is struggling to keep up with demand. Good for resellers like us because vintage LL Bean stuff always sells.
  • Flim in Queens, NY mentioned, a site that creates embeddable listing templates for your eBay listings.
  • The Beach Thrifter posted about how the Japanese deal with their trash, recycling, and scavenging here and here. We love seeing how other cultures do it.
  • Steve shared this embed code that lets you put Youtube videos in your eBay listings so they'll show up on mobile devices (see below the numbers).
We'll be posting another "what we sold video this week", an interview with seller who owns a brick and mortar store, and listeners questions. Don't forget that you can call and record your question at (540) 407-8486.

Steve's eBay Video Embed code-
Just paste this into your listing:
 <object height="385" width="340"><param name="movie"   
 fs=1&amp;hl=en_US"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"><param name="allowscriptaccess"   
 value="always"> <embed src=";hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" height="385" width="340"></object></p></div>  

In the address bar of your video on You Tube you should see something like this - This is the name of your video, just copy and paste the characters after the watch?v= into the code above, Replace the 2 sets of XXXXXX.
Viola, so many more people will now be able to see your video without having to go home and open up their laptop or desktop.

Open Thread: Q&A

This weekend is our Thanksgiving celebration. Ryanne's family has traveled to visit us on a non-busy weekend (but we'll be busy doing family stuff).

We'll do our best to get the podcast up on Monday morning--but in the meantime, enjoy this open thread. Perfect place for you to ask a question that has stumped your eBay brain. Someone here will know the answer.

Scavenger Life Episode 165: What's Happening In Your eBay Store This Week? iTunes   YouTube   Download .mp3  Download .ogg

Welcome to our post-Thanksgiving extravaganza. Sales were slow this week (which seemed to be the norm for all retail), but we do discuss how we cleared out most of the inventory in our living room by going on a photographing spree. Ryanne talks about how she makes our "what sold" videos. These videos show how we scavenge without any preconceived notions of what has value. We received a negative feedback, made an expensive mistake, and dealt with a couple buyers who didn't read our listing close enough.

Don't forget to call (540) 407-8486 and leave us a question, comment, or story. This podcast is boring without you.

The Weekly Scavenger Numbers

Our Store Week Nov 23-29, 2014

  • Total Items in Store: 3521
  • Items Sold: 37
  • Cost of Items Sold: $78
  • Total Sales: $1,411,22
  • Highest Price Sold: $260 (set of 3 vintage porcelain mugs)
  • Average Price Sold: $38.13
  • International Sales: 2 (2 GSP)
  • Returns: 1
  • Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $58

Scavenger Life Episode 164: We Answer Your eBay Voicemail Questions iTunes   YouTube   Download .mp3  Download .ogg

Several brave souls took to their telephones and called us to ask questions on our new voicemail box. The number is (540) 407-8486. Don't be afraid to give us a ring and leave a question.