Scavenger Life Episode 67: What's Happening In Your eBay Store This Week?

We found this rug for free on the street in NYC. It just sold for $150!

Ryanne and Jay talk about what's going on in their eBay store this week. Some tough returns, cancellation denials and ebay buyer history gripes. The good news is, we sold a rug we found on the street for free for $150 and a pair of $5 lamps for $120. Life as an eBay seller is still great. We mention a new technique on how to get unpaid buyers to pay- request their phone number through ebay. You can decide to call or not, either way this has worked to motivate some of our buyers to pay. Here is the link to where you can request another user's information. Be aware that an email will be sent you and your buyer with both your phone numbers listed. So far, it's worked for us!

Direct .mp3 link. Direct ogg vorbis link.

We've included our weekly Ebay numbers below. In the comments, go ahead and post what you've done this week. And let us know if there are other numbers you want us to share. 

The Weekly Scavenger Numbers

Jay and Ryanne’s Store Week Nov 10-16, 2013

  • Total Items in Store: 2838
  • Items Sold: 46
  • Total Sales: $2,207.56
  • Highest Price Sold: $200 (vintage wool blanket)
  • Average Price Sold: $47.97
  • Returns: 2
  • Positive Feedback: 47 (because we shipped 190 items over the weekend after vacation)
  • Neutral Feedback: 0
  • Negative Feedback: 0
Mikey and Wendy’s store Week Nov 10-16, 2013
  • Total Items in Store: 1044
  • Items Sold: 13
  • Total Sales: $425.95
  • Highest Price Sold: $120.00
  • Average Price Sold: $32.79
  • Returns: 0
  • Positive Feedback: 9
  • Neutral Feedback: 0
  • Negative Feedback: 0


  1. Jena’s store Week Nov 10-16, 2013

    Total Items in Store: 725
    Items Sold: 32
    Total Sales: $1013.00
    Highest Price Sold: $125.00
    Average Price Sold: $31.65
    Returns: 0
    Positive Feedback: 18
    Neutral Feedback: 0
    Negative Feedback: 0

    Highest priced thing was a primo pair of Rockport men's boots that went to Brazil. Second highest item was a lot of 26 brushed nickel drawer pulls, Amerock brand, that were new in the packages. They went for $75. Cost $10. Decided to try them because the cost was low and they retail over $6.00 each. Plus there was enough to actually do a small kitchen.

    Sales have been nice and steady...Sunday night seems to be pretty busy. This is turning out to be one of those where everybody has an issue or wants to return something. One buyer, who negotiated endlessly on a pair of shoes...emailed today to say he had "measured them and confirmed that they are actually a size 9.5, not size 9. But the size, which shows clearly inside the shoe, is size 9 E. He didn't ask to return them, so not really sure what he wants....I replied that I list them according to the size in the shoe AND I give measurements...and did he want to return them? So far, no reply. But I'm sure no news is good news...LOL.

    Actually struggling to keep listing while trying to keep up with photographing more winter stuff and still packing and shipping....I need an assistant!!!

  2. Great job! Do you do this full time or have another job?

    1. Hi Steve,
      Yes, I do this full time! My husband works full time at a "real" job and I stay home and work in my jammies...well, sort of!

      I pretty much do it (the fun part), measuring, photographing, weighing, listing, packing and shipping. My husband helps with measuring and does a bang-up job of cleaning up shoes and other items that need some spiffing up.

      This is the best year I've had on eBay in nearly 12 years, and the first year that I've really pushed the business to this level. I've been doing it off and on for years, filling in my income when "real" retail was slow or I was between jobs. I sometimes wonder why everyone isn't doing this, at least on some level. It's the perfect part-time job....but does require a lot of work and discipline, as Jay said, to make it a full time income.

  3. Adam & Emma's Store Week Nov 10-16, 2013

    Total Items in Store: 445
    Items Sold: 6
    Total Sales: $368.46
    Highest Price Sold: $149.99 (Vintage Arthur Fulmer Motorcycle Helmet)
    Average Price Sold: $61.41
    Returns: 1
    Positive Feedback: 2
    Neutral Feedback: 0
    Negative Feedback: 0

    I found the motorcycle helmet at a thrift store in the sporting good section. That is an area of the thrift world where I've found lots of goodies. Stuff that doesn't look "antique" sometimes is lurking back there ... swimming fins, helmets, golf clubs, life jackets ... to name a few.

    We also sold a vintage Catalina Vasity Jacket for $86. Not sure why these are so 'hot' ... unfortunately the buyer is returning the item, but it's good to know that there is enough interest in those coats to bring in a price like that.

    Keep up the great work!

    Adam - TMC

  4. Hey guys! Thanks for the awesome resource. You guys have motivated me big time to list. I've expanded from approximately 30 items per month to over 100! Thanks for that!!!

    Regarding that negative feedback for the invisible fence, contact Griff at eBay radio. I listen to them as well and Griff always tells callers to email him their info and he will try to resolve the issue. eBay is making a concerted effort to give sellers more of a chance to state their case when it comes to challenging a negative feedback.

    Hope you get it resolved and thanks again for the weekly motivation!


    1. that's good advice, maybe i'll email him. i was on ebay radio a couple weeks ago, maybe he'll remember me!

  5. Thanks for addressing my question re shipping art. When you are going to have something professionally packaged do you have that done before you list the item or estimate how much it will cost, or tack that additional fee on after the sale?

    1. We only have expensive art pieces professionally packed. Usually $150 or more. This also includes big lamps.

      We have them packaged before hand, so we know what "handling" fee to add to the price of the item. Usually a buyer who buys art or vintage lamps for several hundred dollars understands that shipping will be more expensive.

  6. I love your podcast & listen to it faithfully. You've also answered some of my past questions--thank you! You mentioned that you're unable to find out how much an item sold for on Etsy. I think I found a way. While on the page for the item in question, right-click & select View Page Info. A pop-up window will appear and in the middle of that there'll be another window that you can scroll through (called "Meta"). If you scroll through that window you'll find the price. Hope that helps!

    1. Wow, that is really hidden. Glad to know the info is there. I will check it out. Thanks for letting me know!

  7. STAMPS.COM - I used to print shipping labels through because they could ship Priority Mail to Russia and create First-Class International labels outside of eBay. Now the blocks on Priority to Russia have been dropped and the First-Class labels can be printed through the USPS website. It's not worth the $16 a month and their site is slow with web browser restrictions.


    Wendy and I both use garage sale and find that we can list about twice as fast as we could using the free eBay interface. We had to buy our own copies which were about $30 each. It is a one time fee. The software integrates nicely with os/x apps like iPhoto making listing more of a drag and drop experience. It also lets us manage our store and list off-line which is really convenient.


    Wendy and I both use Terapeak on a daily basis. We use it at yard sales and thrift stores to checkout more expensive items before purchasing. We also use it from our laptops while listing. The nice thing that terapeak does that eBay does not do is present clear organized summary data. In terapeak you will be presented a summary bar of "avg. price", "avg. shipping", "start price", "# of listings" and the holy grail "sell-thru". Since eBay doesn't make any effort to summarize this data it takes a great deal of mental calculation to figure out how to price items when using eBay completed listings as a guide.

    Both services provide 90 days of sold listings. eBay limits the unsold listings to 30 days.

    Terapeak costs $29.95 a month and has a yearly option which is a little less. I recommend it for anyone listings more than a hundred items a month.

  10. Hi guys!

    Love the podcast & am always looking forward to the next one! Totally inspiring!
    The one thing I don't really get is why you favor the"buy it now" option over an auction format. It seems to me that "buy it now" just eliminates any chance of a bidding war between buyers who are willing jack up the price above and beyond what you'd initially sell it for. Why not just set the opening bid at the same price as what you would for "buy it now", and if you only get one bid, no harm done, and if a bidding war ensues, even better! There's been a few times when I've sold items for far more than I would have expected (and this is not a case of not knowing the market value) In one case it was a bidding war between buyers in 2 different countries that couldn't find the item where they lived, and in another case it was between 2 buyers that were willing to pay whatever it took to have it. The bidding wars don't happen all the time, but when it does, it totally makes it worthwhile!

    I'm only a part time seller and I'm sure it would've taken me years to gain the kind of knowledge that I've learned from your podcasts & blog!

    Sincere thanks,

    1. It's just our experience. For every hot auction with a bidding war, there are 100 auctions where no one bids...or even worse, you sell the item at your opening price. Total loss.

      --auctions cost more to list. If you start your price high, the insert fee is much more than the 10-cents or less for a fixed price listing. If you have to list the auction multiple times because the item isn't purchased, this keeps eating into any potential profit.

      --80% of eBay is now fixed price listings for a reason. People who shop online want to buy an item NOW. I personally hate having to wait through a 5-7 day auction to see if I'll win it. Give me a good price; Ill buy it.

      --We do Fixed Price with "make offer". This allows people to offer us a price that they like, and we may accept if it's a slow day. Keeps some of action alive.

      --Success in our eBay store comes because of volume. Auctions may work if you only have up a 100 items at a time because it's manageable. Once you have 1000+ items, auctions are nearly impossible to keep up with.

      --We've had too many auctions where buyers get carried away with a bidding war, they win the auction, and then don't pay probably because they realize they overpaid. It then takes over a week to get the item freed up and relisted all over again. Big waste of time.

      If auctions consistently work for you, then that's great. Just a different method. Whatever it takes to make the living you want.

    2. Yeah, that totally makes sense... Thanks Jay!