Scavenger Life Episode 71: What's Happening In Your eBay Store This Week?

Found this Danish modern office chair for $2, hoping to sell for $150.

Jay and Ryanne talk about getting a little frazzled by listing so much during the holidays. Sales of high dollar items are up, so it looks like it's working. Cyber Monday turned out to be a slowish day for us, but we're here for the long and steady haul. We got a request from a listener to do a show about taxes. Luckily, we've already done that episode and it's here for you to listen to. Check it out.

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 24-30, 2013

  • Total Items in Store: 2913
  • Items Sold: 55
  • Total Sales: $2,183.52
  • Highest Price Sold: $220 (vintage cast iron coffee grinder)
  • Average Price Sold: $39.70
  • Returns: 1
  • Positive Feedback: 24
  • Neutral Feedback: 0
  • Negative Feedback: 0
Mikey and Wendy’s store Week Nov 24-30, 2013
  • Total Items in Store: 1026
  • Items Sold: 20
  • Total Sales: $611.40
  • Highest Price Sold: $89.99 (fish poacher)
  • Average Price Sold: $30.57
  • Returns: 1
  • Positive Feedback: 9
  • Neutral Feedback: 0
  • Negative Feedback: 0


  1. Jena's Store Week Nov 24-30, 2013

    Total Items in Store: 705
    Items Sold: 27
    Total Sales: $926.00
    Highest Price Sold: $150 (Men's vtg Harris Tweed overcoat)
    Second Highest Price Sold: $70.00 (Men's Allen Edmonds Loafers)
    Average Price Sold: $34.29
    Returns: 0
    Unpaid Items: 2
    Positive Feedback: 23
    Neutral Feedback: 0
    Negative Feedback: 0

    I added two items to the sales figures list this, the second highest item's interesting to see that the highest item sold for nearly twice what the second highest item sold for and two, the second highest item sold is about twice what my average per item sold price is: Highest item = $150, second highest = $70, average price per item = $34. Wonder if that's a trend??

    Also, I added number of unpaid items...these are items that are never paid, not items that had an unpaid item case opened, but eventually paid. Thought it would be interesting to know that also.

    Sales have been noticeably down this week...I'm guessing travel, mall shopping and shopping online with "other" retailers are eating up some of my business.

    Hope everyone had a great Turkey Day! Jena

  2. It is also interesting to note that Global Shipping cannot ship to a PO box address. If your buyer has a PO box they are told to change their address or contact the seller for shipping charges. At this point as the seller you get a "request total notification". I was told by Ebay to contact the buyer and ask them to change their address or to cancel the transaction, if I didn't want to ship without the Global Shipping Program. Just as FYI. Love the show!

    1. Very good point. I'm glad t hear that eBay now prompts the buyer to change their address. Several months ago we had an international buyer with a PO Box and it was difficult to figure out what the issue was.

  3. Adam and Emma’s Store Week Nov 24-30, 2013
    • Total Items in Store: 480
    • Items Sold: 14
    • Total Sales: $545.93
    • Highest Price Sold: $100 (Vintage Nocona Cowboy Boots)
    • Average Price Sold: $38.90
    • Returns: 0
    • Positive Feedback: 4
    • Neutral Feedback: 0
    • Negative Feedback: 0

  4. These are really great numbers Adam and Jena. Making between $500-$1000 a week and having less than 1000 items in your store? That's really incredible.

  5. I really like your podcast, I got laid off from my Game Industry job last year and have been doing really well with my ebay store. I would really like to know what your business structure is.. Did you establish an actual business entity? Licenses? Do you collect sales tax for local purchases? I am approaching my $20,000 limit for the year and fear I am going to have shut my store down sometime in December to avoid going over this year.. Starting next year I am going to have to establish it as a business I can tell that do to my growth rate I am going to double that easily over the next year..

    Also while my total items may seem low.. I have fairly fast turn over with a lot of my items.. So it's hard to keep up with listing faster than things are selling..

    MY Store so far this week starting with 12-1-13 through 12-4-13 , only 4 days

    • Total Items in Store: 281
    • Items Sold: 13
    • Total Sales: 462.87
    • Highest Price Sold: $89.99 (Rare SNES Game)
    Average Price Sold: $40.00

    Last Month total sales around $2848.00

    1. These are great numbers. So do you only sell games? Where do you find the games and how much do you pay for them?

      I wouldn't worry too much about going over the $20k limit before Paypal notifies the IRS. If your business is as solid as it looks, you can easily make much more than 20k if you have access to more inventory and just list it.

      We have a General Partnership. This allows us to get a business bank account and an EIN number with the IRS. We avoided an LLC because its too much hassle and costs money to renew each year. (No one is going to sue us for selling on eBay.)

      I would find a good local tax accountant. Ours costs us $200. He's great. None of what you do should surprise him since it's just another small business.

      It's all about the expenses. We talk about it here:
      The goal is to deduct all the costs to run your eBay store. It's more than the you think.

  6. Hey, Jay.. thanks for the response, I will go back and have a listen to that episode. I tend to focus on collectable nerdy stuff, RPG gaming, (those d&d books you found) Action Figures, toys..Vintage computing, But my main thing is Retro Video Gaming. I find quite a bit in the thrift stores, and swap meets, but the main thing that really paid off for me for sourcing was placing adds in local online classifieds that I was looking to buy this kind of stuff, people call me up and pull the stuff out of their storage for me.. I typically work on triple key profit structure. Sometimes though for rarer items I have to pay a little more to get them, but I also find those items that I pay $1 for and sell for $50 - $100. There's a lot of games out there but it takes time to know what to look for, some are worth a $1 some are worth a lot more. I like to focus on the things that interest me, I tried selling clothing and while I made some money, it was boring for me.

    Thanks for the pod cast

  7. Always a good idea to sell items you have a passion for. I've found that I can't be an expert in everything, though I'm always on the look out for new things to learn.

    What is a "triple key profit structure"? Ive never heard that before.

    1. Triple Key is a markup structure from traditional retail, typically retail stores shoot for what they call keystone markup which is double the wholesale price paid. Triple Key is a 3x markup which is more common on items like Jewelry.. The theroy behind a triple key pricing is it allows for the discount illusion sales. It allows you to run a 50% off sale , move alot more merchandise and still make a decent profit. I really only use it as buying guide.. if I look something up and it selling for around $60, I really want to get it for $20 or less. Often I deal with buying collections from people who have some idea of the value, in those cases its hard to get those rare items $1, I really use it as a negotiating tactic when buying in those situations.

      - Jeff

    2. Never knew there was a term to how we decided what to pay for items. "The discount of illusion sales". I know for us we can really discount items because we only buy for $1-$5. Selling for $40 is a huge profit margin. Scavengers deserve the profit because its a skill to find the treasures in the trash.

      Like you, we do spend $20+ on items where we think we'll make more.

    3. What I ment by "Discount Illusion" comes more from brick and mortar retailers. Retailers found that instead of just marking something up by 50% could create more of a buying frenzy by marking the price at 3 or 4 times the wholesale price and running big 50% off sales... Consumers really weren't saving any money.. It was illusion created by the retailer.. Consumers have become more savy,, but beware when you see those 75% off sale signs.. It's not always as good of deal as it seams.

    4. You are so right about the "discount illusion" at big retailers. Kohl's is my favorite example. Everything's on sale all the time. Usually 50 % or more off. I figured if they were really marking everything 50-75 % off all the time, they were selling in the negative...but really they are only paying a fraction of the "suggested retail" for the goods in the first place. Those stores make me crazy....I go in and look at the thousands of items in inventory at one time....but can't find a set of flannel sheets in queen size because they order an amount and when those are gone, they're gone til next year. Companies no longer carry deep back-up inventory....