Scavenger Life Episode 215: Making Money While Traveling in Europe

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/ebay-scavengers/id638443029?mt=2 iTunes   YouTube   Download .mp3  Download .ogg

And here it is....the late edition of Scavenger Life: The Amsterdam Files. Above shows a photo right outside the apartment we're staying in.

We also posted another episode of Shampoo and Booze  for those wanting to hear details of our vacation rental. Since starting the business in March, it's become a significant part of our monthly income and another fun challenge as we barricade ourselves against the need to ever find jobs again.

The Weekly Scavenger Numbers 
Our Store Week August 23-29, 2015
  • Store #1
  • Total Items in Store: 3906
  • Items Sold: 19
  • Cost of Items Sold: $142
  • Total Sales: $1,227.89
  • Highest Price Sold: $230 (Mid Century Tables)
  • Average Price Sold: $64.57
  • International Sales: 2 GSP
  • Returns: 0
  • Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $80
  • Number of items listed this week: 0 

  • Store #2
  • Total Items in Store: 442
  • Items Sold: 4
  • Cost of Items Sold: $9
  • Total Sales: $97.96
  • Highest Price Sold: $40 (vintage fly swatter)
  • Average Price Sold: $24.49
  • International Sales: 1 GSP
  • Returns: 0
  • Number of items listed this week: 0

Podcast will be late because...jet lag!

Traveling for about 12 hours with no sleep on an overnight flight crossing five time zones is not conducive to recording, editing and posting the podcast, as we saw last year. This is how it happens- you feel a little groggy, you get a burst of energy, you start thinking you can make it to the evening, but you sit on the couch and that's where it all stops. By tomorrow we should be caught up and ready to record!

Open Q&A: The 30-Day Handling Time Experiment


After having been home for less than a week from NYC, we're flying out to Europe tomorrow morning. It's certainly nothing to cry about, but we wouldn't have planned all this travel so close together. But as Scavengers, we have to take advantage of free flights and NYC apartments when we can. It's exciting.

Since we'll be away for the entire month of September, we've put out stores on handling time of 30 BUSINESS days. So that's 30 days not counting the weekends. Will stuff still sell? Will buyers wait that long to get their items? Who knows! But past experience has shown that many buyers will gladly wait if they get a good deal on a special item. Last year, we sold 188 items while we were in Amsterdam. August has been really slow for us so we hope things pick up.

We're going to get the podcast out this Sunday as always which means Ryanne will be editing on the plane! She's dedicated.

This is an open post so talk about anything you want. This place can be whatever we want it to be.  It's been great to see new people show up here lately and other sellers answer their questions calmly and professionally. The TrashElf 3000 has been dormant for quite some time and this is good.

Feel free to post questions of any issues you have. Some simple rules-
    • We do allow anonymous commenters, but we encourage you to use your ID so people can get to know you. Plus you won't have to re-enter the code for each comment.
    • Be civil. People have different ways of doing the same thing. If we disagree, no big deal.
    • We are solution oriented. If you want to simply hate on eBay, go to the dark depths of the eBay Forums where your hate can be polished like a precious jewel.
    • Please back up any issues with facts and specific links. We don't deal in rumors.
    • Comments are threaded (what?). So you can either reply to a specific comment or start an overall new topic.

Scavenger Life Episode 214: We Just Started Another Podcast

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/ebay-scavengers/id638443029?mt=2 iTunes   YouTube   Download .mp3  Download .ogg

First, we want to welcome any of the scavengers who came to last week's meet up in Manhattan. Anastasia did a great job bringing people together. It was a good time and hope some folks decide to stick around here and share how they make a living out of tiny apartments.

We also started a second podcast to document our adventures renting our vacation Farmhouse on Airbnb since this rental has become such a big part of our monthly income. It's called Shampoo and Booze (these are the two items most renters leave behind). It's an experiment of sorts and we'll just see where it goes.

This podcast covers our last week in NYC. We still have a difficult time wrapping our heads around the fact that we can travel, live in different places for up to a month at a time, keep selling on our store, and scavenge. It's a life that I wouldn't not have believed ten years ago. This journey has not been a straight line and could not really be taught. I think each of us has to figure out what we want out of this life and see if running an eBay store can help fund that lifestyle.

This week we talked about the following links:
  • Several sellers mentioned in the comments that they use Shipsaver for insuring packages. (We use it too). For sellers who choose to not use the Global Shipping Program, Shipsaver will cover any lost package including the shipping fees if you declare that amount on the customs form. Unfortunately, making an insurance claim isn't the easiest so be aware.
  • Marci linked to this article about the stressful worklife of an Amazon employee. This was a very discussed article online. It's great to be in a competitive and innovative environment, but how much of your life do you want to give to a corporation?
  • Marc told us about how Goodwill is opening specialized Hipster stores to attract younger customers.
  • Last week we mentioned using boxes inside flat rate envelopes to maximize what you can ship. This video shows the box sellers are using.

As always you can see our vacation farmhouse that we bought and renovated using eBay profits. You can even rent it.

The Weekly Scavenger Numbers
Our Store Week August 16-22, 2015
  • Store #1
  • Total Items in Store: 3934
  • Items Sold: 36
  • Cost of Items Sold: $97
  • Total Sales: $1,316.38
  • Highest Price Sold: $180 (vintage laptop computer)
  • Average Price Sold: $36.56
  • International Sales: 7 (7 GSP)
  • Returns: 0
  • Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $500
  • Number of items listed this week: 0 

  • Store #2
  • Total Items in Store: 449
  • Items Sold: 9
  • Cost of Items Sold: $45
  • Total Sales: $394.91
  • Highest Price Sold: $80 (vintage motorcycle helmet)
  • Average Price Sold: $53.88
  • International Sales: 3 (3 GSP)
  • Returns: 0
  • Number of items listed this week: 0

Open Q&A: Meeting Other Sellers In Person

Ryanne and some of the many free boxes we wanted to take home on the streets of Manhattan.
We're wrapping up our two week trip to NYC. Two weeks is such a great luxury to have in any place because it really gives us time to explore, relax, and get into the rhythm of daily life. These are the weeks we are supremely grateful for the freedom that selling online gives us.

We also had the pleasure of meeting up with a group of NY and NJ sellers (Thanks Anastasia!) at a pizza restaurant uptown. Some had listened our podcast (many had never heard of us), and it was fun to hear people's strategies of scavenging on the NYC streets and running a store in a small apartment. We all got extremely loud and rowdy, so we bet the pizza owners probably thought we were nuts.

This is an open post so talk about anything you want. Feel free to post questions of any issues you have. Some simple rules-
    • We do allow anonymous commenters, but we encourage you to use your ID so people can get to know you. Plus you won't have to re-enter the code for each comment.
    • Be civil. People have different ways of doing the same thing. If we disagree, no big deal.
    • We are solution oriented. If you want to simply hate on eBay, go to the dark depths of the eBay Forums where your hate can be polished like a precious jewel.
    • Please back up any issues with facts and specific links. We don't deal in rumors.
    • Comments are threaded (what?). So you can either reply to a specific comment or start an overall new topic.

Scavenger Life Episode 213: Interview with Tom the English Picker about Amazon UK

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/ebay-scavengers/id638443029?mt=2 iTunes   YouTube   Download .mp3  Download .ogg

Last year, we asked if there was anyone in the community who sold on eBay outside the US. Was there as much waste and excess to find for cheap? Did people in other countries buy used items on eBay? Does the idea of "thrifting" exist? Thankfully Tom the English Picker reached out to us and shared his story of scavenging in England. You can listen to our first conversation with him here. And we even got to meet him and his fiance in Amsterdam and go to the famous IJ Hallen flea market.

Recently, we asked the community about Amazon FBA. We're always asking people about selling on Amazon because it sounds so tempting but so outside our comfort zone. Can we make money on Amazon without doing retail arbitrage? Can we send in vintage and weird items we find at yard sales and flea markets? Tom messaged us again and said he's jumped into Amazon FBA full force. He helped explain to us how FBA could work for eBayers.

Tom's a great guy and I'm sure will gladly answer any questions you have in the comments. Enjoy!

Scavenger Life Episode 212: Scavenging On The Streets of New York City

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/ebay-scavengers/id638443029?mt=2 iTunes   YouTube   Download .mp3  Download .ogg

Oh New York. We just finished our first week in the city that we love. We slept, watched movies, walked the streets, ate with friends and of course scavenged. Basically, we just unwound. Everything we did was fun. I'm sure we all forget how hard each of us works to run our businesses. Since we don't have bosses, we have to tell ourselves to take a break.

Our eBay stores actually picked up even though we did no real listing. Had some big sales. Past hard work paid off.

A listener has put together a meet up on the Upper West Side (near Colombia) this Thursday at 7pm-9pm. Click here for more info. The organizer is charging $8 to pay for pizza and drinks at the restaurant. We'd love to meet and talk to you if you're in the area. We love hearing how New Yorkers scavenge.

This week we talked about these links:
--Ryanne actually sat through most of eBay’s promoted listings webinar. It was informative, but unclear if it'll help with sales.
--And as always, you can rent our rent our Vacation Farmhouse if you ever need to hide out in the mountains this Fall to see the leaves changes color. Scavenger discounts are in full effect. Meeting us is optional!

The Weekly Scavenger Numbers 
Our Store Week August 9-15, 2015
  • Store #1
  • Total Items in Store: 3964
  • Items Sold: 25
  • Cost of Items Sold: $1075
  • Total Sales: $3,011.75
  • Highest Price Sold: $2000 (Louis Vuitton briefcase)
  • Average Price Sold: $42.12 (if you take out the big sale)
  • International Sales: 4 (3 GSP)
  • Returns: 0
  • Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $180
  • Number of items listed this week: 8 

  • Store #2
  • Total Items in Store: 458
  • Items Sold: 9
  • Cost of Items Sold: $45
  • Total Sales: $485.93
  • Highest Price Sold: $210 (vintage painting)
  • Average Price Sold: $53.99
  • International Sales: 0 (0 GSP)
  • Returns: 0
  • Number of items listed this week: 0

Scavenger Life Episode 211: Interview with Will aka Terminal99

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/ebay-scavengers/id638443029?mt=2 iTunes   YouTube   Download .mp3  Download .ogg

We love the community around here because good ideas naturally bubble up. Someone suggested a cool seller we might want to interview: Will aka Terminal99. And incidentally, he happened to comment on our podcast soon after so we had an easy way to connect.

Will's Youtube Channel is full of useful videos that shows the stuff he buys. We usually think haul videos are boring, but he actually shows really interesting items and explains why he bought them.

Will/Terminal99 is also a seller close to our heart. He believes in a large inventory (almost 7000 items!!!) and selling all kinds of weird, wonderful items.  He knows that success on eBay comes when you're patient and just keep listing.

More interesting is the fact that he has two full-time employees that work 40 hour weeks with him out of his home. This overhead cost is very real, but it also shows that Will is committed and works hard.

So enjoy this interview. We walk through his entire process. Ask questions below and I'm sure that the one and only Terminal99 will stop by the answer.

Scavenger Life Episode 210: Don't Forget To Recharge

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/ebay-scavengers/id638443029?mt=2 iTunes   YouTube   Download .mp3  Download .ogg

Well, this week has been eventful. We had our YouTube channel cancelled, but then suddenly revived the very next day (why? who knows!) Our eBay store has had pretty slow sales, but that's life. We just took the Amtrak up to NYC where we'll be here for two weeks on an urban vacation, hanging out with friends, scavenging in the trash and listing winter coats in our spare time. We love this scavenger life because of the infinite flexibility. When things are slow, we know when to recharge.

In this episode, we discuss these links:
The Weekly Scavenger Numbers 
Our Store Week August 2-8, 2015
  • Store #1
  • Total Items in Store: 3980
  • Items Sold: 19
  • Cost of Items Sold: $70
  • Total Sales: $824.85
  • Highest Price Sold: $150 (leather boots)
  • Average Price Sold: $43.41
  • International Sales: 1 (1 GSP)
  • Returns: 1
  • Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $80
  • Number of items listed this week: 57

  • Store #2
  • Total Items in Store: 467
  • Items Sold: 10
  • Cost of Items Sold: $22
  • Total Sales: $377.93
  • Highest Price Sold: $80 (chess set)
  • Average Price Sold: $37.79
  • International Sales: 1 (1 GSP)
  • Returns: 0
  • Number of items listed this week: 30