What Sells on eBay: Stetson 4x Beaver Hat, Sony Speakers, Horse Snaffles, Waechtersbach Kettle


https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/ebay-scavengers/id638443029?mt=2 iTunes   YouTube   Download .mp4  Download .ogv

This is a bit of a short one due to us having renters for over a week at our farmhouse, so we can't access a bunch of our inventory. Next week should be a longer video. For now, check out solds for Stetson 4x Fur Felt hats. Wow.

Good Morning Scavengers!


As you all have heard, I, Ryanne, am traveling to visit family this weekend. Luckily, I'm headed home today. But that means no podcast is being posted. We tried to do a Google Hangout video with my mom yesterday, but I didn't record it properly. Next time I'll do it right, I swear! Please don't be sad clowns or teddys with their eyes popped out. Hope you are having a productive start to the week and we'll be back on Wednesday with our What Sells video. 

Q&A: Open Thread


Since Ryanne is gone for the weekend, I have nothing to do but read the blog. So let's have an open thread.

You can ask/talk about anything, but some listeners asked for a place to share items they like to buy and sell. A good format would be to mention an item that surprised you when it sold this week. Any links get you a gold star so other sellers can see completed. (Ryanne posts our interesting sold items each week).

This week we sold a vintage sports trophy for $20. Big deal, right? I bought a big box of them about a year ago for $1. But after selling about 15 of them at $20-$30 each, we've made over $300. Here are the completed listings. We found that ones made of metal and wood sell best.

Since Ryanne and I like consistency, I think we figured out a fun way to record the podcast on Sunday as usual. I was going to say it'll be more casual, but aren't we always casual? Let's show her we can play nice while she's gone.

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.

What Sells on eBay: Vintage Nike Sneakers, Franklin Covey Bag, America Online Mug, USN Silverplate


https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/ebay-scavengers/id638443029?mt=2 iTunes   YouTube   Download .mp4  Download .ogv

We had some nice surprise high sales this week, including a pair of 1983 Nike Sneakers that sold in 20 minutes for $300. Check out completed listings for vintage Nikes, they can get really high because collectors are looking for them. Fun!

Scavenger Life Episode 204: The Owner Operator Business


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

Over a year ago, we did a podcast about the concept of our eBay store being like a Mom & Pop operation. We do all the work, we make all the money. We put in as many hours as are needed to be successful. A good old American small business.

Our thinking hasn't changed, but we do wonder what it could be like to grow our business beyond what we are capable of. What if we ran our eBay store and had several vacation rentals? At some point, it'd be too much work for us to do ourselves. Obviously these are luxury problems to have, but our fear is losing control over day to day operations. We feel our business is successful because our business has a personality. Our personality.

We also get confused when people talk about hiring people to run their business to make their life easier. Like Chicago Tony V said, we think that hiring employees would just make life more complicated. You could make more money, but it'd also be headaches.

Anyway, we aren't planning to change our lives anytime soon, but we're always thinking if there's better ways to do things. You aren't crazy enough to come here to get actual business advice from a couple artists who sell old shoes on the internet, are you?

In this episode, we talk about these links:
--eBay judges your store the 20th of every month. If you're logged into eBay, click here to see your defect percentage. Click here to see all your defects by item number (click "Expand" on that page).
--A guy named Eddie created Size.ly. Let's you copy and paste size carts into your clothing listings. It's free to use.
--A guy named Joshua created FitShipper. Helps you figure out which USPS box and cheapest shipping method to use for an item. Free and recently updated.
--Patrick sent us this article about why some designers like to buy the old pencil sharpeners.
--Ryanne found an article explaining how Millennials are moving to smaller cities and avoiding the big urban areas. Why? Cost of living.
--If you sign up for Airbnb using our code, you'll get a $25 credit on your first rental.
--Here's a new podcast to listen to while you work. It's called the Mystery Show.

And Dan is holding the first Seattle Scavenger Meetup in July. He already has some folks who have confirmed.
  • When - Wednesday July 15th, 6:30 - 8:00 PM
  • Where - Denny’s  at 2903 Pacific Ave, Everett, WA 98201
  • Why - Meet other Scavengers in the area & exchange ideas and share energy :D
        Agenda
            Brief introductions
            Share one Scavenger/Selling idea/tip that’s working for you
            Mingle and have fun
        Contact Info
            Dan Mattson
            WoodenBoatdan@Gmail.com
            Cell 425 319-7800
        Other
            Please RSVP by email or phone before July 15th
            If you can’t make this meeting, please connect by email anyway for future meetups
The Weekly Scavenger Numbers
Our Store Week June 14-June 20, 2015

  • Store #1
  • Total Items in Store: 3970
  • Items Sold: 37
  • Cost of Items Sold: $120
  • Total Sales: $2,496.77
  • Highest Price Sold: $300 x 2 (vintage tennis shoes + riding boots)
  • Average Price Sold: $67.45
  • International Sales: 7 (7 GSP)
  • Returns: 0
  • Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $650
  • Number of items listed this week: 74 

  • Store #2
  • Total Items in Store: 323
  • Items Sold: 6
  • Cost of Items Sold: $10
  • Total Sales: $247.94
  • Highest Price Sold: $59.99 x 2 (Women’s hat + Vintage Paint by Numbers)
  • Average Price Sold: $41.39
  • International Sales: 0 (0 GSP)
  • Returns: 0
  • Number of items listed this week: 76
Say goodbye to the bins on the porch!

Scavenger Life Episode 203: The Scavenger Equation


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

Because each of us has a different set of life circumstances, there can be no "Ultimate System" for making money on eBay.  There is a Scavenger Equation that each of us should work out for ourselves.

Time  (Can you spend 40 hrs/week listing on eBay or 2 hrs/week?)
+
Knowledge (Can you spot items from across a room in a pile of junk that's worth a ton of money?)
+
Opportunity (Can you spend an entire day wandering yard sales, or just an hour on lunch break?)
+
Vehicle (We assume that most Scavengers will have a vehicle, but car or truck can make a difference in what you can scavenge.)
+
Storage (The amount of cheap storage you have will determine how you run your business)
+
Quality of Inventory (are you selling stuff for $7 or $75?)
+
Homelife (Is your partner/family pro-scavenging?)
=
Your eBay Business

The different equations we each live will put different pressures on us. You can change any part of this equation based on what you want to do. Answer the question: what do you want? "Money" Okay, how much money? Adjust the equation based on this answer. The sellers who are always angry/frustrated/disillusioned usually have their equation out of wack.

We always remind people that this blog is a not a "how to" because we've built our life in a way that allows us to run our eBay business in a particular way. This blog is more like a diary and a place to trade tips on survival. What would you add to the equation? Did we miss anything?

In this podcast, we talked about several links:
--Airlines are changing the size of carry-on luggage. If you sell bags like we do, it's good to include these sizes in your listing.
--Zach sent us this video of an eBay hoarder. Always be listing.
--Ever wonder who buys old computer equipment? This is what a real collector looks like.
--A caller last week mentioned that USPS will soon charge extra for "Fragile" handling. After some digging, community members found the relevant links. Here and Here.

The Weekly Scavenger Numbers
Our Store Week June 7-June 14, 2015

  • Store #1
  • Total Items in Store: 3922
  • Items Sold: 51
  • Cost of Items Sold: $305
  • Total Sales: $2,383.60
  • Highest Price Sold: $250 (antique wool rug)
  • Average Price Sold: $46.72
  • International Sales: 8 (6 GSP)
  • Returns: 2
  • Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $50
  • Number of items listed this week: 106 


  • Store #2
  • Total Items in Store: 253
  • Items Sold: 5
  • Cost of Items Sold: $19
  • Total Sales: $164.95
  • Highest Price Sold: $79.99 (Iron candle holders)
  • Average Price Sold: $32.99
  • International Sales: 0 (0 GSP)
  • Returns: 0
  • Number of items listed this week: 118
This cat loves a real antique, Persian rug!


    Scavenger Life Epsiode 202: List Super Fast on eBay Without a Template


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

    Lately we've been talking about change, experiments and constant adapting to the way people buy on eBay. Since we encourage other sellers to be as efficient as possible, we had to look our ourselves. Even though most sellers already know this secret, it was new to us. We now are listing lightening fast.

    Since 2008 we've been listing with a self-made html template in the description of each listing. It looked like this:


    Back in 2008, eBay charged you for any extra photo you wanted to display on an item. So the template was important because it allowed us to showcase multiple photos. Buyers like to see what they're getting and we felt this was one secret to our success. We also liked the "professional" feel of the layout. It was like having our own custom webpage on each listing that gave us a brand.

    But then a couple years ago, eBay began allowing all sellers to upload up to 12 photos free. They were encouraging people to list items straight from their phone. We thought about dropping the template but were stuck in our ways. Listeners would say, "Templates are for losers. Mobile devices don't display html templates correctly!" Hey, we were stubborn and thick headed like the best of them.

    For some reason, it took a walk along the pier in Pacific Beach, San Diego where we looked at it from a different angle. Why not just list down and dirty? Upload great photos and simply include the relevant info in plain text? Everyone does this and they sell all day long. So easy. What were we afraid of? Why were we being so insistent on not changing?

    Like all experiments, we'll keep an eye on the results to pass final judgement. But so far, Ryanne is listing as fast as she ever has. Now we see if people buy these items with no template. Our selling lives could be changed forever.

    In this episode, we refer to these links:
    --Millionaires who are frugal.
    --NewBergPicker sent us this video about a young Canadian couple adventuring in a converted van. I could see them selling on eBay as they went.
    --Pinterest is about to become an actual selling platform.
    --Chris The Dollar Flipper sent us this listing where a guy sells clothes with his cat laying on them!


    The Weekly Scavenger Numbers
    Our Store Week May 31-June 6, 2015

    • Store #1
    • Total Items in Store: 3866
    • Items Sold: 30
    • Cost of Items Sold: $95
    • Total Sales: $1,942.35
    • Highest Price Sold: $400 (Pair of antique nautical lamps)
    • Average Price Sold: $64.73
    • International Sales: 5 (4 GSP)
    • Returns: 2
    • Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $100
    • Number of items listed this week: 99

    • Store #2
    • Total Items in Store: 198
    • Items Sold: 5
    • Cost of Items Sold: $10
    • Total Sales: $154.79
    • Highest Price Sold: $39.99 (Vintage framed prints)
    • Average Price Sold: $30.08
    • International Sales: 0 (0 GSP)
    • Returns: 0
    • Number of items listed this week: 40

    Retail Arbitrage: "How is this even a job, much less an industry?"


    A long time listener (Thanks Nicole!) sent us a great story from Planet Money where they interview a guy who buys stuff at Toys R Us and resells on Amazon. We all now the drill, but this news team dug a little deeper and asked all the questions we always ask: "How is this even a job, much less an industry?"

    http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2015/06/03/411777635/episode-629-buy-low-sell-prime

    Listen here: http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2015/06/03/411777635/episode-629-buy-low-sell-prime

    They also talk to Ina from eCommerceBytes about Target's problems with Lilly Pulitzer and the online resellers. They don't get to a definite answer but it will be interesting to see if big box stores try to stop the flow of their goods onto Amazon. Or maybe the manufacturers will cut out the middlemen and sell directly online? Or maybe the Retail Arbitrage business is here to stay eating away at the Big Retail Corporations until they go out of business? Who Knows!

    God bless that world. But I love the Scavenger Life where we find items at the tail end of the waste stream. We're carrying on the tradition that has been going on for centuries. Find the stuff that people think is almost garbage, put it in a different context, and give it new life (while making a living). As long as there's waste, we're paying our bills.