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.


  1. Our Store Week Nov 30-Dec 6, 2014
    Total Items in Store: 207
    Items Sold: 10
    Cost of Items Sold: $50.00
    Total Sales: $366.76
    Highest Price Sold: $85 (vintage Patagonia sweater)
    Average Price Sold: $36.67
    International Sales: 0
    Returns: 0
    Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0

    We happy to have the 10 sales for last week. It was almost $100 more than the week before. We are almost done listing all the clothing we have. I have not acquired anymore clothing and have a garage full of inherited items that need to be listed on eBay or donate.

    My new Canon laser printer is working great!

    I bought a new cell phone two weeks ago to replace and almost 3 year old Droid Incredible. It was running out of room and crashing the eBay app. I couldn't do eBay business without the app crashing.

    I picked up a new HTC One M8. I had to put the new phone through the paces quick since I only had 14 days to return it. I made sure I could do all my eBay work and transactions on it. Nice long battery life, getting use to such a big phone.

    One Con: I tried to PayPal money from the app to someone else and it says it doesn't support the Paypal security key generator at this time.

    I have the old PayPal security key generator. When I log in to PayPal it prompts me for six digits from the key generator before it let's me into my account.

  2. Total Items in Store: 135
    Items Sold 7
    Cost of Items Sold: $78
    Total Sales: $225
    Highest Price Sold: $45 (sweater)
    Average Price Sold: $32
    International Sales: 0
    Returns: 0
    Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $100

    Litterally the slowest week that I have had since I opened my store in June. Of the 7 sales, 6 were clothing items (which is making me rethink my aversion to used clothing, LOL.) Hopefully the coming week will be better.

    1. That stinks, man. Sorry to hear it. As a fellow one man operation, I feel your pain. All you can do is be positive and keep on listing. Easier said than done when the money isn't flowing, I know.

      I seem to remember Jay saying you used to live in Southern California as well. Whereabouts?

    2. I grew up in the San Fernando Valley, and then lived in El Segundo.

  3. Mike here:
    WOW - THAT EMBED CODE THING IS AWESOME! I can't wait to try it out...I will get back with the results for sure.


  4. My Store Week Nov 30-Dec 6, 2014
    Total Items in Store: 296
    Items Sold: 18
    Cost of Items Sold: $42
    Total Sales: $550.86 (94.36 shipping included) so really $456.50
    Highest Price Sold: $64.99 (Villeroy & Boch Alcapulco Coffee Pot)
    Average Price Sold: $25.36 (after free ship)
    International Sales: 1 GSP
    Returns: 0
    Happy with the sales. Now just need to figure out how to do these kind of numbers year round.
    I would be curious to see results for deducting ebay and paypal fees to see what I really made. I'm no accountant though and I appreciate you motivating me to look at my numbers more closely.
    Thanks for the motivating podcasts!

    1. Guessing your net profit is pretty easy. Just subtract 10% (eBay + paypal fees)of from your total sales. Then subtract the cost of the items. That's basically your profit.

    2. It's definitely more than 10%. I think that 10% is just what that eBay takes.

    3. Dan is correct. eBay fees doesn't need to be mystery. It's all transparent:
      eBay fees is around 9%. Could be less depending on what you sell.
      Paypal fees is 2.9% + 30-cents.

      So let's deduct 13% from the sale price to find profit. I'll take that any day for eBay to handle all the front end and backend stuff. And to handle payment.

      Local auction houses easily charge 20%+ plus fees...and they don't have a global audience.

    4. Mike from USW here:
      Use Price + Shipping x 0.87 minus cost of goods. That will get you really close. I have a custom made device that does all that for me and helps give me reality check when I am out sourcing or when I am listing it helps me price with a minimum profit number.

    5. What do you mean by "custom made device"?

    6. Mike from USW here:
      It's a chart-based analog device I am currently in the process of copywriting. It's nothing fancy, will only cost a few dollars to anyone interested after the protections have been completed. It shows the profit without shipping and also 2 other profit margins based on the flat rate padded envelope and medium flat rate box. It's a nice general guideline. I added in 1% for misc overhead costs. I know there are many phone/PC based shipping calculators out there but this is something that fits in your pocket and is instant. Perfect for on the go.

      To give you an idea of how it works:
      If you buy something at a cost of $8 (which is a common cost of goods on the majority of jeans we sell), and they sell for $35 (not including shipping) the profit is $22.50. If they sell for $50 the profit is $35.55. I know that cost of goods number seems high to many around other parts of the country but that is reality here in So Cal. 3 years ago I was getting killer stuff at the bulk sales but those places hired new management that was internet savvy and started pulling out anything of value and those days are OVER.
      So it helps keep me in check when I'm out sourcing because I typically find a lot of stuff that is cool , but if I look at my guide and the numbers don't crunch down to making a minimum dollar amount on the buy it gets left behind for someone else. We can't all be Chris the coin guy. We source what we can, when and where we can and make the money we can. There are different advantages to different areas of the country and typically speaking, we never see the kind of collectibles and rare vintage that sellers like Jay and Ryanne find in the rural area they live. Most of that stuff here was snapped up long ago back in the 80's and the stuff we find is more current. Usually if we find that kind of vintage stuff it is way overpriced. They have Goodwill "boutique" shops out here that have top dollar internet pricing on their goods and same with places like the Salvation Army. I went to Salvation Army store recently and their prices were higher than what I would get after sitting on the item for a year. You tubers like Racket Profit don't help. Shop employees hear about that kind of thing and then jack up all the prices on the goods. Items I used to buy for $8 or less are now priced with "special tags" that never go on discount and are basically high internet value. Many sellers at garage sales, swap meets and thrift stores are actually printing out ebay listing and taping it on the items with the ebay price as their asking price. Some are so delusional they don't even realize the prices are on UNSOLD items that will NEVER sell. The thrift stores are flooded with newbies scouring the racks and pricing low/undercutting to sell their items on ebay - which ultimately drives the entire market down. They apparent think that $10 is "a great profit". IMHO that is basically breaking even. So when people like RP say they are just "trying to help" that is so ridiculous. He certainly didn't help me out in any way! They are out to market themselves and make the almighty dollar.

      Anyway, I did not intend for the reply to become a rant - LOL. But that is something I have been wanting to say for some time and now maybe I can let it go...I know someone is going to comeback with something like. "Wow that sounds harsh" or whatever, but the reality is I spent a lot of time accumulating knowledge and I still think "loose lips sink ships"

    7. I don't think this is harsh. I've always wondered what the effect is of all us resellers blogging about what we do. Are we just creating more competition than the market can bear?

      Here's my take:
      --Someone watches a video and decides to sell online. They go buy a bunch of stuff. After they get home, they get stuck on the selling part. It's too difficult. The stuff just clutters their house or they donate it back.
      --Someone watches a video, buys some stuff, and sells some of it. But they picked the junk stuff to sell so don't make much money. Just a time hole. They then spend their time complaining about eBay online because it's easier and more fun.
      --And then there are the very few people who really get it. They know what to buy, they figure out how to sell quickly, and then they realize it's a pipeline that must be continually be filled . They have fun doing it so this makes it worth it.

      I think there's just too much stuff out to scavenge for there to ever be too much competition. Just be the best scavengers you can be. The rest will come and go.

    8. Very well said Jay. There may be a lot of new sellers out there..and there will always be people out there sharing information to "help" others. It happens in every industry, not just this one. They may be undercutting serious sellers. But how long will they sell crap for only a few bucks and not realize that their business model is not working and quit? I'm going on 4 years as a part time seller and have seen new sellers come an go. But competition exists everywhere.

    9. And for us, the point of this blog is to connect with other sellers since selling at home can be a lonely business. If we didn't get valuable info and resources from other people, we would just let this blog die off.

      As we've said before: "Transparency is key to a good culture. Be open, share your process, ideas, tips and tricks. Choose camaraderie over competition."

      It's more fun when we know other people are independent scavengers like us.

    10. I agree with Margaret, very well said. When I first started on eBay I thought I wanted to only sell clothing and then I was introduced to your awesome blog.

      After watching, reading, learning and evolving. This blog has saved me money and from making so many mistakes. I still make some but not as many as I would have without all the great knowledge here. The tips and tricks here are pure gold!

      Case in point. Every item I have listed in the last 30 days has sold. So I'm picking much better items, I'm being more selective. My net profit margin has increased by 20% on each item over the last month alone. I don't sell in the volume that many do here but I will get there.

      You and Ryanne opened my eyes to the world of vintage items and I love it. Finding those one of a kind or rare items that bring a higher profit and are just plain, "more fun to list".

      In a nutshell, if this blog did not exist then I most likely would not be listing today. Everyone here has given me the confidence that if I continue to work hard at it I can make it work.

      Thanks to all!

    11. Mike from USW here:
      Yeah - there's been a definite shift in the quality of goods available over the last 4 years or so in my area due to the reasons I was talking about above. Although there are still many items available, some of it is only by sheer luck and the true knowledge required to judge those items and the market for them accurately has grown exponentially.
      One of the points made by the reactive comments was in regard to new sellers "falling away". And therein lies the issue - they get the good stuff, don't know how to properly list it, freak out when it doesn't sell right away, slash the price and drive the market down and quit frustrated. Or maybe they have had low paying jobs their whole life and are happy with the prices they get? I don't know and I guess it's just reality and I 'm just going to do what I can for myself and my family. I certainly appreciate the fact that people have to do what they need to survive in the current economy. And I really dig the honesty of everyone's input on this blog - whether or not I agree with the viewpoint. I think there is a ton of great content within this blog.

      BTW: Last week was a $1400 week and this week was a $350 week. Crazy fluctuation in sales...I admit part of it was my lack of listing (due to other work priorities) and holding firm on my prices.

  5. Hi Guys, I think it would be fun to have a mug that say "Know your Numbers."
    You guys rock
    have a blessed day,

  6. My Store Week Nov 30-Dec 6, 2014
    Total Items in Store: 628
    Items Sold: 18
    Cost of Items Sold: $35.52
    Total Sales: $645.08
    Highest Price Sold: $100 - Salsa CD
    Average Price Sold: $35.84
    International Sales: 1 (1 GSP)
    Returns: 1 - From that mix up two weeks ago.
    Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: About $90

    This week I was jammin'! I took a Best Offer of $100 for a super rare Salsa CD on the Fania label. They did their first generation CDs in the late 90's, non remastered and minimal artwork, and reissued much of their 60's and 70's catalog. I had no idea they were so collectible until recently. I listed 15 out of my library; I haven't listened to them in years and I'd rather have the vinyl anyway.

    A quick update on my switcheroo: both buyers are being totally cool. Not sure how things are going to shake out with my UK buyer though. He sent the item back outside of the returns process. I don't mind eating a little more postage, as it was my mistake, but what about his import fees and all that other jazz? How does eBay calculate that? Ah well, I guess I'm about to find out very soon.

    And I love that fake vegan meat. I wish I could stock up at fifty cents a pop! You two aren't vegetarians, are you? I seem to remember Jay saying that he'd like to bag a deer to "eat on" all winter, haha. And yes, I fit yet another California stereotype: I'm a vegetarian myself, and have been for many years. No judgement on the carnivores, of course.


    1. It's cool to see that you're discovering all this music you have is selling so well. Plus, it helps it get it back into the world of people who will listen to it.

      Some countries, like England, have import and VAT fees. That's why some buyers complain about GSP because they have to pay all fees/shipping up front. It's not going to be pretty refunding them this money. You'll definitely never do that again.

      We're aren't vegetarian exclusively, but we like vegetables. I really eat more like a crab, the ultimately scavenger.

  7. Congratulations on the debut of your new renatl house Jay and Ryanne. I admire your industry and no debt determination. Awesome.

    Regarding the backlog on LL Bean duck boots, I am going to show that article to my husband. Luckily, he ordered a new pair of those boots in September. His 20 year old pair finally bit the dust--couldnt even sell them on Ebay. :-)

  8. Hi all. Loved this weeks podcast. Just a note to UK business sellers that under distance selling regulations if the buyer is exercising their right to return you cannot charge a restocking fee.

    1. True. I wonder if this is only for Britain Is it a EU-wide rule?

  9. Nov 23-29 2014
    • Total Items in Store: 442
    • Items Sold: 30 (29 ebay 1 Amazon)
    • International 4 (0 GSP)
    • Total Sales: $1636.22 (ebay $1536.23 Amazon 99.95)
    • Highest Price Sold: $130 Vintage boom box
    • Average Price Sold: $54.54
    • Returns: 1
    • Cost of Items Sold: $129
    • Cost of items purchased this week $145

    My first Amazon sale. I put a couple things up over the summer as an experiment and finally had a sale. It was a weird waffle maker that had a low selling price on ebay but all the ones on Amazon were over $100 so that paid off nicely. Now I know how the after sale process works, I'll put some more items up.

    Mostly boots, shoes, shirts and jackets this week, a few games, it's gift shopping time. I've been listing a lot of clothes as that is what I'm finding at thrift stores, lots of vintage jackets, I'm thinking people are buying new ones and donating the old ones and since it's winter time here the TS are full of em.
    Savers had a 50% off sale Sunday night (invitation only, how rich) and I spent $86, it started at 6pm but it didn't dawn on me until about 5:15 that I could go early, fill my cart and hit the check out at 6, duh.

    1. Would you ever consider sending some items i to Amazon FBA or just do the merchant fulfilled?

    2. Maybe, I'll be listening for your experience with that. I like the way ebay work and like the idea of more platforms to sell from. Bonanza has been a nice addition, usually 1 or 2 times average a week so far and it's usually older items.

      I had a bonanza buyer contact me about a return, he bought a Sony handycam that I inavertently listed as Hi8 and it was not, I had listed a couple others that day that were the Hi8 format. Well he needed Hi8 and I offered up an exchange for one of the others and he went for it, cost me shipping it out to him but that was it, no drama, no NAD, no defects.

    3. Mike from USW here:
      Hey Steven - what brand was that boombox? I know the old JVC's are AWESOME.

  10. This L.L. Bean news is very timely for me. I was just at an estate sale this weekend and the guy must have been an L.L. Bean nut because the stuff was wverywhere! Couldn't buy anything the first day because prices were very high. I was getting discouraged because most if the estate sales I have been going to are asking ebay like prices. Anyway, I go back the next day and gather up all the pieces left by everyone and to my anazement the guy said $30 for all! I said sold! I got 2 pair of LL Bean boots, a huge LL Bean blanket, a 100% wool LL Bean jacket. LL Bean sweater, Ll bean bag, llBean Rugby shirts, etc. I have to list this fast. Oh, I did have to pay $5 more in a second run of the house. One question on this, the wool jacket had a tear about 2 inches by the front pocket, not real bad looking because it has 2 layers, but wanted input on whether I should fix or leave as is. If you want, I can get pics. So don't be afraid of those high priced estate sales, they will pay off!

    1. If you can sew it, I'd do that and just mention that the jacket looks like it was repaired (no need to tell the buyers that it was you).

    2. Ryanne will sew up some items if they will bring in more money. Just takes more work. Just as easy to disclose the tear and come down on the price a little.

      Good story about the estate sale. I know the prices can seem crazy, but we've had similar experiences where we can bundle a bunch and get a good deal.

    3. Thanks Chris and Jay for your advice. This is a vintage nice LL Bean wool jacket (like a varsity jacket) and I didn't want to take value away by repairing, but sounds like I can only add value with a good repair job. Jay, I did think of your bundle technique when they were willing to bundle - I love it when they do that. I run into a lot at estate sales that are not willing.

    4. I would have the repair done professionally (I get mine done at a dry cleaner near by, such repairs are not expensive, and add great value to a vintage item.)

    5. Mike from USW here: I have 3 sewing machines set up for different materials. Pays off huge when you can fix something in 5-10 minutes and make it like new. People GIVE the old KILLER machines away at garage sales. Get an old Kenmore 158 and go to town on those repairs. It's just another power tool. If you can run a band saw you can run a sewing machine. I used to have repairs done at local dry cleaners, etc. and no matter who I took it to, they just didn't do the job as well as I would do myself. One time I took a $500 North Face full mountaineering suit to have a seam sewed up and the idiots STEAM PRESSED the entire thing and all the Goretex delaminated. So I wound up only getting $150 out of it and was lucky to even get that.

  11. My Store Week Nov 30-Dec 6, 2014
    Total Items in Store: 43
    Items Sold: 3
    Cost of Items Sold: $36.00
    Total Sales: $121.42
    Highest Price Sold: $78 glassware
    Average Price Sold: $40.47
    International Sales: 0
    Returns: 0
    Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0

    Not a whole lot of action but of course my store is quite small. I am surprised at 2 of the listings that sold. Wasn't expecting to get asking price for one. If I had auctioned it, I would have maybe gotten $18 if I was lucky but more likely $12. I got $25! The other was just not what I expected people to be looking for so I gladly took an offer of $18 when it cost me a quarter.

    1. You made an extra $100 this week. That's amazing.

  12. Our Store Week Nov 30-Dec 6, 2014
    Total Items in Store: 170
    Items Sold: 4
    Cost of Items Sold: $9.20
    Total Sales: $96.97
    Highest Price Sold: $39.99 (Nike Drifit Compression Shirt NWT)
    Average Price Sold: $24.24
    International Sales: 0
    Returns: 0
    Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $15

    Surprise surprise, I haven't listed in a few weeks and I haven't sold much! It's amazing, right?

    Tough with tons of people over the holidays, but I'll be working on it this weekend. I have about 50+ items that are photographed and needs to be listed.

    We have a CostCo here, and I'm not a big fan. WHAT THE HELL ARE WITH THOSE WEIRD ASS HOURS?!?! Close at 6 on Saturday. Doesn't open till 930 on the weekends. We get up early, and we have crap to do! We always loved being able to beat the church crowd,e but Costco is screwing with us. BJs was a lot better but we don't have one here. They had lunch meat really cheap, and tons of other stuff. We had gotten a membership with a Groupon though, so I'm not sweating it. We saved $20 and will probably try Sams Club next year.

    Co-listing is tough. I sold a video game on both Amazon and eBay within 2 minutes of each other! I took the hit on Amazon since I sell a lot less on there!

    And I totally want to drunk dial you guys now!

    1. Costco treats their employees right with decent hours and wages. I've never had a bad experience with the employees, they seem to love working there. They will return anything, anytime. I try to support the local Mom and Pop shops but Costco is a big box store that I support. They have have great corporate ethics!

    2. True. I'd rather shop at Costco than Walmart. I believe they start off all their employees at $15/hr plus benefits. It's also a great place to buy petty high quality stuff at a discount.

      We simply have been spoiled finding the really good deals out there because of all the over abundance. instead of slowing down production, these companies just dump "old" product into secondary markets. That's where we like to go.

  13. Total Items in Store: 1284
    Items Sold: 34
    Cost of Items Sold: $113.30
    Total Sales: $1047.74
    Highest Price Sold: $200 (calculator)
    Average Price Sold: $31
    International Sales: 4 GSP
    Returns: 0
    Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $40

  14. Our Store Week Nov 30-Dec 6, 2014

    Total Items in Store: 1915
    Items Sold: 54 (1 bonanza)
    Cost of Items Sold: $120
    Total Sales: $2,399 ($140 bonanza)
    Highest Price Sold: $150 (leather jacket)
    Average Price Sold: $44.42
    International Sales: 4 (2 GSP)
    Returns: 3
    Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $68

    Our number of items sold is way down, but our average price sold is great. With Christmas just a couple weeks away, I'm really hoping to squeeze one more crazy week out of this holiday buying season.

    A couple of eBay reps have told me that hassle free returns will be mandatory by this time next year.

    Thanks to everyone for the eBay templates!

  15. Sales for Nov 30-Dec 6, 2014

    Total Items in Store: 377
    Items Sold: 19
    Cost of Items Sold: $68
    Total Sales: $523.41
    Highest Price Sold: $80 (13” Toshiba TV/DVD Combo)
    Average Price Sold: $27.55
    International Sales: 1 GSP
    Returns: 0
    Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $20

    I am obsessed with finding TV/VCR and TV/DVD combos. I've sold 4 in the last couple of months. I still can't figure out what people are using these for. After shipping, folks are paying over $100. Crazy, but I'll take it. I'm going to pay it forward since someone was gracious enough to pass along the word on selling those TV/VCR combos - look for the game Cranium Cariboo while you're out and about. I've sold 2 in the last couple of months - both for $60 each. I always get excited when I find those.

    1. Come look in my unlisted pile, I have 3 or 4.
      Let us know how the small TV DVD combos sell.
      I like to find the all white TV VCR's, I've sold them for over $100.
      VCR DVD combo players are a good money maker as well.

    2. I sell TV/VCR combos for $60 and TV/DVD combos for $80-$100. VCR/DVD combos are easy sells as well. I love electronics. I sold a laserdisc player a couple of weeks ago. My wife picked up a Terminator 2 special edition laserdisc at an auction over the weekend for a couple of bucks. Wish I had a LD player to test it out.

    3. Chad - I have bought about half dozen of these tv/VCR and tv/ DVD's. I just haven't listed them because I'm not sure about the shipping. Can you give some pointers on that? Also, is it good enough to test that the VCR and/ or DVD play well, or do you also test the tv hooked up to cable?

    4. Chad - thought of these other questions: if it is missing the remote, do you buy and include a universal remote? Do the 19" ones sell well also? I have some that size and shipping may be expensive. Maybe local pick up only for that size and up?

    5. I've only sold 13" TVs, but it looks like 19" TVs do sell. I'm probably lazier than I should be with shipping these. I take them to either the pack/ship store or the UPS store. I have a handling fee in my listings that covers the packaging and with the shipping discount through eBay, it works out to within a dollar or two one way or the other. Plus, while they're packing it up, I hit up the local thrift stores, so I use it as a sourcing run. Win-Win. I rarely find them with a remote, and if I do, it's usually a universal. I don't think people are really concerned, since universal remotes are so cheap. As far as testing goes, I throw a vhs in and make sure that it works (I do that in the store). I have an old VCR that I use to test the aux input.

    6. Chad - thanks so much for your knowledge in this area. This will really help me. I may have been able to get this thru googling but it is good to hear what works for you. My new thing is rollerblades. These have been selling great even now. Had a guy from Austrailla buy a pair and pay over $50 in shipping. I stick to the nice ones without cheap wheels.

    7. What are some good rollerblade names to be looking out for while shopping?

    8. I googled that before and it said Rollerblade and K2 which sounds right. I have also found blade runner, XCS, Nike Air Zoom ( love those), and even Schwinn. I just make sure they are in god working condition and are built well. I can usually find these in near new cond. seems like people buy them then end up not using them much. Works out well for us because I can usually get them well under $5. You can get $60 + for the better ones. I started seeing them everywhere when I started looking for them. Good luck.

  16. Hi guys. Thanks for talking about health insurance. Very few other podcasts/videos do. Just wanted to let you know that the open enrollment period for the ACA is February 15, not December 15. Thanks for the great podcasts and videos! mm

    1. Yeah, Im surprised more resellers aren't talking about since so you hear of so many people who stay in jobs just to have health insurance.

      You are correct that Feb 15 is the absolute last day to signup for 2015. but Dec 15 is the deadline if you want the coverage to start Jan 1.

  17. I will add that I got my insurance is through the ACA too and I am damn grateful. Although the MSM isn't reporting it, healthcare costs are going down which is directly tied to the ACA, I won't get over-political here, but I am nervous about what the new Congress might do to the law, drastic changes and millions could lose their insurance.

    1. Omfug, I have a feeling the people who like the ACA aren't being vocal about it. But if Congress tries to repeal it there will be a huge uproar from those who have benefitted. IMO.

  18. Total Items in Store: 238
    Items Sold: 16
    Cost of Items Sold: Around $15
    Total Sales: $263.12
    Highest Price Sold: $49.95 (Original art for 60's/70's Christmas greeting card)
    Average Price Sold: $16.45
    International Sales: 1
    Returns: 0
    Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $34.63

    The Christmas card artwork was a lesson on researching. I found two by different artists for a quarter each at the thrift store. I did enough research to learn that both artists did art for Gibson Greeting Cards. At that point, I stopped researching since I was in a hurry to get things listed.

    One of the artworks was by Marjorie Cooper and sold within 2-3 hours of being listed. When something sells this fast I always wonder if I listed it too low. The buyer also asked if I'd take $35 for the 2nd artwork. I said $40, and she bought both. I did wonder why she bought the first one without haggling, and did some research on the artist. Marjorie Cooper's cards are apparently very popular/collectible; I also found someone with some of her original art listed for $95 - $135 (or somewhere in that range; I don't remember exactly), not in as good a shape as the one I had. So, I possibly could have gotten more for the Cooper artwork had I done a little more research and listed it for more.

    Oddly, a couple of weeks or so later, I found another Cooper Christmas card original artwork at the same thrift shop. I might list it as an auction with a high start price and see what happens. In any case, I think this is the first time I've paid a quarter for something and made just shy of $50 for it.

    1. You still made great profit, but yeah...good research is always worth your time.

  19. Rental property is a great business to have. We owned a 6-unit apartment building about 17 years ago, but sold it. My hubby didn't enjoy having to deal with 6 tenants all at once. He was there non-stop for one thing or another. I think a vacation rental is neat. And $24K a year is a great side business. I see us owning another rental property sometime in the future, just not a 6-unit one. I can't wait to hear about your experience once you start renting in the spring.

  20. Ebay Shipping Question....I use a lot of the Smartpost services which saves tons of money. I have had pretty good luck so far. Smartpost is considered a FedEx option....but they do ship to P.O. boxes. But....when I attempt to ship Smartpost to a box....through Ebay....I am blocked and the option is not available....Does anyone know of a work around....Mike

    1. If you Smartpost isnt working on eBay, how have you been shipping eBay items with Smartpost until now? Why not just keep using that method?

    2. Probably did not make myself clear....they are blocking the P.O.Box services but not the Physical Addresses. But they claim to offer P.O. Box services....Mike

    3. I noticed this too about 2 or 3 months ago. I don't get hit with PO boxes very often and have been lucky with being able to find usps options with comparable rates.
      One thing to keep in mind is that usps recently changed their pricing structure for Priority to be way more competitive and now I almost exclusively use that for smaller stuff.
      On the really big things I'll put 'no po boxes please' in my description and haven't had a problem yet.

  21. Has anyone ever tried selling stuff on I looked at it 3 or 4 years ago, but never tried it.

  22. •Total Items in Store: 758
    •Items Sold: 65
    •Cost of Items Sold: $65
    •Total Sales: $612.42
    •Highest Price Sold: $45.95 (Monkey shaped lamp)
    •Average Price Sold: $9
    •International Sales: 0
    •Returns: 1
    •Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $125

    Hello, all! Had a crazy experience this week- a lady start making offers on a bunch of low dollar items- she ended up buying 29 items! I gave them to her at super low prices, but she ended up spending $150 on a bunch of "junk" items, and I was glad to clearance them out.

    Hubby took a week off a couple of weeks ago, to practice what our eBay life would was WONDERFUL. I can't express how great it was. We got about 120 things listed, but have been selling so much, our goal of reaching 1000 items in our store seems forever away. Yes, we have 758 items, but are selling over 200 items per month, so it's hard.- We'll get there- it's just hard going at a part time pace!

    I think you are right about Costco, I originally got a membership when I was doing photography on the side- a 5x7 is only 39 cents!! Now I keep it because of the bread flour (around $15 for 50 pounds,) and yeast (under $5 for a HUGE chub- keep it in the freezer, it will last for years!) We make a ton of bread all in one day, freeze it, then defrost it in the microwave as needed. It's as fresh as the day we made it. Mmmmm! I also buy batteries, toilet paper, and once a year I buy 10 or 12 HUGE packs of tissue paper to wrap my ebay items in when they ship. I believe it's like $5.99 for 400 sheets of paper. PLUS, you gotta love the hot dog meal at the snack bar!!

    Ryanne- I bought several wool coats this week because they had that little union label you mentioned in your video. Thanks! I would never have known!

    Have a wonderful week!

    1. This is good news for you and your husband. It just takes time to keep building. tell your husband he needs to spend more time listing.

  23. My Store Week Nov 30-Dec 6, 2014:

    Total Items in Store: 150
    Items Sold: 26 (12 eBay, 12 Amazon, 2 Craigslist)
    Cost of Items Sold: $33.50
    Total Sales: $1,262.18 ($692 eBay, $485.18 Amazon, $85 Craigslist)
    Highest Price Sold: $200 (rare Sony Discman)
    Average Price Sold: $48.55 ($57.67 eBay, $40.43 Amazon, $42.51 Craigslist)
    International Sales: 1
    Returns: 0

    What an amazing week. Bear in mind - I have a full time job outside of this and only put in about 10 hours a week. I've very rarely gone out looking for new stuff, and have been selling off (still soooo much to list) my old inventory before I move.

    Some of my favorite sales from the week:
    - I found an old Sony Discman in an abandoned desk at work and managed to sell it for $200 because it was such a rare model. Completed Listings showed that the highest price it went for in the past few months was like $50, but I noticed that it never failed to sell and that there weren't any other units being sold right now, so I went with the crazy high price. Cheers to Jay & Ryanne for encouraging the confidence for me to do that; before I would have listed it for the average price it previously sold for.
    - In that same desk I found a copy of Microsoft Word 2000, and it sold on Amazon for $20 that same week. Couldn't fucking believe it.
    - I put up a PS1 and PS2 system, and they both sold on Amazon that very day. $25 and $75! So insane that these old game systems still have such a strong market. Lucky I have several more of each to list.

    I mentioned last week that I started putting my listings on Craigslist, and though I had 2 sales last week, messages have completely stop after a final sale this week. It looks like there might just be some select things that sell really well, and that's it. Have not yet figured that market out fully. I'll keep putting up electronics, home goods, and furniture until I move at the end of the month, and then maybe I'll have a better informed opinion to post for the new year.

    1. If you're patient and you've done the research, it's always smart to put a strong price on unique items. I love that you sold a piece of junk you found in a desk.

  24. Thanks for the link up guys! I was thinking about what you were talking about with how growing up we felt like we had to get a job to get health care. My cousin said she works to pay for day care and health care, and her husband's income pays for everything else. I'm not trying to have a political debate, but I think that creative folks, and independent folks will be able to live more freely for the reasons you all stated, and those like my cousin may be able to stay home with their kids because affordable health care.

  25. My Store Week Nov 30-Dec 6, 2014:

    Total Items in Store: 254
    Items Sold: 10
    Cost of Items Sold: $65
    Total Sales: $493
    Highest Price Sold: $80 (Anthropologie designer dress)
    Average Price Sold: $49.30
    International Sales: 0
    Returns: 2 (1 popped up without buyer interaction. it was done entirely through ebay's return process)

    This week, some random things from my aunt's apt sold, including expired fancy lotion from 2013. Also just got back from Housing Works, which had a ton of designer clothing marked down to $10 and $5, all new with tags with original retail prices of $200 and up. Ahhh!

    My first initial is F (Faith), last name is Lim. So it's Flim!

    1. Well there goes my theory, I thought maybe you had a partner named Flam.

    2. I split a gut over that! I think you have to be a 'certain' age to know about flim/flam!

    3. I laughed too. I'm also of a "certain age". Flim Flam man quickly came to my mind but I can't remember the last time I actually heard anybody use that expression.

    4. I thought of Flim Flam from Scooby Doo, but apparently they've rejuvenated the name with my little pony. Yuck. I don't think I'm of a certain age though. I'm between ages.

  26. My Store Week Nov 30-Dec 6, 2014:

    Total Items in Store: 550
    Items Sold: 8
    Cost of Items Sold: $14.40
    Total Sales: $297.00
    Highest Price Sold: $63 (Hunting Jacket)
    Average Price Sold: $37.00
    International Sales: 1
    Returns: 0

    Our original goal for the year was to get to 500 listings which we did well in advance of year end. Now we're shooting for 600! Had an unfortunate thing happen during the week. Not included in my numbers was a pair of shoes that sold for $45. Good sale considering it only cost about $1 or so. Well, when I went to pull the shoes I saw that they had been damaged while they were stored away. Not exactly sure how it happened because all the other shoes in the same bin were fine. Anyway, I canceled the sale immediately and refunded everything to the buyer. He was ok with it and thanked me for being honest about it. Not too upset about the lost sale. I was more concerned about how the damage even occurred.

    We're doing this part time as well so we're trying to get up to a full time level at least for one of us. The long term goal is to at least not be a full time "wage slave". I can deal with part time and then maybe eliminate being one altogether.

    Happy holidays to everyone!

  27. 18 $384.53
    My Store Week Nov 30-Dec 6, 2014:

    Total Items in Store: 735
    Items Sold: 18
    Cost of Items Sold: $30.00
    Total Sales: $384.53

    Highest Price Sold: $58.00 (physical therapy unit) I paid $80 for an entire storage unit full of items this was 1 of many items already sold

    Average Price Sold: $21.00 Bad bad week
    International Sales: 1
    Returns: 0

    We had slow week IMO and it seems to continue to be slow for us this week as well. If I didn't create a sale, I am not sure anything would have sold.

    1. I've had days like that, just yesterday I had only one sale, I took a half price offer on a pair of Skecher leather boots, twenty five bucks the hard way. Depressing after selling 8 items on Sunday.
      What kind of things do you sell?

  28. First time posting my numbers here.
    Total Items in Store: 117
    Items Sold: 21
    Cost of Items Sold: $59
    Total Sales: $495
    Highest Price Sold: $89.95 Squinkies Playset + 100 Squinkies
    Average Price Sold: $23.57
    International Sales: 2 (both video game related bundles, one to Algiers)
    Returns: 0
    Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $21

    I've been selling regularly on eBay for 9 months now, with a good 60% of that being toys, games, and video games. Clothes and shoes are boring to me, so I sell those only very selectively. Ebay helped pay for our wedding in October, and starting in January, will be my only job.

    Sales have been great for me lately, which I think is boosted by the holiday season and the fact that I sell a lot of toys--over $2000 in November, which was my first 4 digit month. I'm basically on a buying hiatus thanks to my day job--I work in the shipping industry, and they've got me up to 6 days a week, 8 hours a day until Christmas. Add an hour long commute on either end of that, and you've got one of the major reasons why I've been trying to build up my ebay store into a sustainable income source--screw long commutes during rush hour! Couldn't have done it without the podcast or the great discussions here, though--everyone's been a great inspiration!

    1. Welcome Liz. Since you specialize in toys, are you exclusively selling on eBay?
      --I hear Amazon is the place for toys?
      --Where do you source?
      --Are they new toys?
      --What kind of games? (board or video)

    2. I have less than 10 items listed on Amazon, but they're all books or digital media--no toys yet. I'm focused on ebay because I try to sell more collectible toys, like action figures from the 90's or vintage Little People toys, rather than stuff you can buy on the shelves now. Nearly everything I sell is used, if not all of it, and I think eBay is the better venue for that due to picture availability and longer descriptions. I have good success selling bundled lots of toys, which you can't do on Amazon.

      I source almost exclusively at by-the-pound Goodwill stores (there's 3 in my city). I also do some sourcing for video games on an auction site that's not eBay--I can actually get them for about half the price of what I sell them for on ebay.

      I do both board games and video games. Board games really don't have huge amounts of value--most that I've sold have been $15-20, but occasionally I'll find one that's good money. I paid under $3 for a vintage board game called Heroquest, which sells for $100+ in the condition that I found it, but that one I kept for myself!

      Of my $2k in sales in November, $662 was from video games. I will buy bits and pieces of video game systems, bundle them all together, and sell for a better profit than the person who is selling a system that's missing 3 things, or is just the console, or hasn't bothered to clean the games or test them out.

  29. Total Items in Store: 230
    Items Sold:14
    Cost of Items Sold:$40.50
    Total Sales: $434.95
    Highest Price Sold: $89.95 (Sundress)
    Average Price Sold: $31.07
    International Sales: 1
    Returns: 0
    Money Spent on New Inventory: $23.00

    This is my first time posting here and I just want to say THANK YOU!!! I stumbled across the podcast about a month and a half ago and it changed everything. I opened a store, turned on returns and started listing like crazy!

    I dabbled in eBay last year before my daughter was born. I used auctions almost exclusively and had just a handful of items listed. Looking back, my prices were crazy low!! I employed the "if it doesn't sell in 7 days I must lower the price" strategy. Made for a lot of happy buyers, I'm sure! :-)

    Now I'm a SAHM of one with naptime to burn. I photograph in the morning and list while my daughter naps in the afternoon. I am working hard to get 500 items listed. I try to list at least 5 items a day and 10 or more on the weekends when my husband is home to help with the baby. Slow, but steady progress.

    I'm over the moon with the results. Seriously, $400+ in a week?! Crazy. I can't wait to see where it goes. Thank you for all of the great information. It has been so motivating and helpful!

    P.S. I've listened to so many old podcasts my husband now refers to you as "the eBay people". Lol.

    1. Joelle, That is awesome!!! Very nice income, and it will only get better. I wish I had this to earn money when I was raising my kid.

    2. Definitely welcome Joelle. We always love to hear people's different circumstances as they scavenge and sell. Wanting to stay at home with your baby must be a great motivator to keep listing.

      I've always said that once we hit 500 items in our store, we were consistently making $2k a month. Looks like you may hit that much way before us.


  30. Total Items in Store: 215
    Items Sold: 6
    Cost of Items Sold: $6.74
    Total Sales: $133.95
    Highest Price Sold: $59.98 (set of 3 vintage glasses)
    Average Price Sold: $22,32
    International Sales: 0
    Returns: 0
    Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0

    My average price sold is lower this week as I accepted some lower best offers on a few things that were sitting around for a couple of years. Haven't listed anything since Nov. 7th, so happy with the sales.

  31. My Stores Week Nov. 30 - Dec. 6
    Total Items in Store: 1198 (EBay-59 Etsy-1115 Amazon-24)
    Items Sold: 17
    Cost of Items Sold: $36
    Total Sales: $344 (EBay-$128 Etsy-$136 Amazon-$80)
    Highest Price Sold: $80 (Harry Potter Scene It DVD game- on Amazon)
    Average Price Sold: $20
    Int'l: 5 USA: 9 Canada: 3
    Returns: 0
    Money Spent on New Inventory this Week: $45

    My highest sale came from Amazon this week which was pretty thrilling as I tend to forget that I have anything listed there. For some reason, in November I kept finding "Scene It" DVD games at the Value Villages around me which were still new and shrink wrapped. I paid $7.99 for this Harry Potter version, but they are usually $9.99. I saved them up and sent them in to Amazon when I had 3 or so. When I sent it in, I had the only Harry Potter which was being fulfilled by Amazon so I set the price at $80 which I thought was high, but it was just $10 more than the non-FBA games. I will keep looking for those. I am hesitant about doing much with Canadian Amazon as it doesn't appear as though it's caught on here quite as much as the US. It's very popular, don't get me wrong, but the prices for things are sky high. Almost ridiculously high, and I'm just sort of leery about the whole thing. I've sold 2/25 things that I've sent in, in about 2 months. (The other was a Wii Team Canada hockey game controller) I'll keep playing along, but I would be more excited if I knew more about how much is selling on Canadian Amazon. Wish I could see the "solds" like on EBay. On Etsy, I don't care as much about not being able to see the "solds" because I'm confident enough about my pricing ability there. I know from experience what something will sell for, but Amazon is a vast wilderness to me, comparatively,and I'm sort of afraid of being eaten alive.

  32. Hey guys, Thanks so much for the podcast and the new videos, I love them! It's a great tool to keep my wife encouraged, this month's numbers help too. My store is 3 months old, with just over 100 items, I had a 5 item day yesterday and have a new relationship with my mail carrier! He comes to pick something up every day. My question is, I get most of my stuff at thrift stores, some yard sales in good weather, ( I live in SW VA.) I keep hearing you and others talk about going to bag sales. I never hear of that kind of thing down here, How do you find them? Thanks again for everything!!!!

    1. Goodwill and Salvation Army have a system to get rid of excess inventory. They ship it back to a sorting center and it gets sold in bulk.

      But many independent thrift stores don't have a way to move their excess inventory so they do "bag days". Usually it's a set price to fill up a grocery bag. Or they do 50% sales.

      You could just call around to your local thrift stores and ask.

  33. Thanks Jay, I know that there is a GW outlet in Richmond, maybe I will have to make a road trip soon. I will definitely ask around at all my local stores for that now, I'm sure they don't publicize it if they do them here.

    1. I love shopping at Goodwill Outlet. It's where I get 90% of my inventory. Sooo cheap!

  34. Our Store Week Nov 30-Dec 6, 2014
    Total Items in Store: 121
    Items Sold: 5
    Cost of Items Sold: $15.10
    Total Sales: $274.59
    Highest Price Sold: $69.99 (Vintage bar glasses, got for $2.50)
    Average Price Sold: $45.77
    International Sales: 1
    Returns: 0
    Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $13

    I decided to go a little farther this week for Estate sales than I normally do. I came across a $10.00 bag sale. Buy a bag and fill it up. My girlfriend and I ended up filling the bag so much that I had to drag it through the house. Scavenged some great household items, hardware, books, and even a bag of bunny food that we will give to a family member that has a bunny.

    On my shop project, the rough-in for the floor plumbing is done, the slab hopefully will be poured soon. I'm being patience as I'm getting a great deal on the concrete. I look forward to having a new work space and storage area this next year so I can ramp up my eBay.

    Love the link to site and the video code, thanks so much to Flim and Steve for providing it to the group.

    Jay and Ryanne you have had some amazing sales in the last few weeks! I have been working a lot at other job but based on my sales I can see the serious value in the holiday season.

  35. Nov 30-Dec 6, 2014
    Total Items in Store: 631
    Items Sold: 18
    Cost of Items Sold: $26.20
    Total Sales: $282.35
    Highest Price Sold: $80 (Ralph Lauren Trench coat)
    Average Price Sold: $15.66
    International Sales: 1
    Returns: 0

    Another good week for not listing anything. I'm excited for my work schedule to slow down at the end of December and early January to bulk up my store some more.

  36. Hi everyone! Yesterday I sold a vintage leather NBA jacket for $150. I was getting it ready to ship and noticed it was being sent to one of those third party shipment centers that send packages to international buyers. The buyer is located in China. It's not the Global Shipping Center, but I would assume it's something similar. Has someone else ever done this? Do you just ship it there and once it gets to the shipment center, are you no longer responsible? Like the GSP...I'm not worried, but more curious how it would work if the buyer never received the item in China, yet the tracking shows delivered to the shipment center because that was the address given on eBay. Thanks in advance!

    1. No issue. We ship to one of these companies every couple months. It's all documented in the messages so you're covered.

    2. yes it's kind of like the GSP program, it's just a private company that does it for people instead. you will be covered if it gets delivered to that US address. as far as ebay and you are concerned, it's just a person's work or home address in the US.

    3. I've sold lot's of stuff to one of the big Japanese reshippers, and those guys are rock solid, not only that, but I have never had one bit of trouble with them either, sadly, I don't get the kind of stuff they are looking for anymore, so haven't dealt with them for awhile.

    4. Thanks guys! I'll just send it out like normal :)

  37. Omfug, I think you've mentioned selling overseas to Japan before. What did you sell?

    1. Vintage clothing,mostly men's--big E Levis, motorcycle jackets, basically any men's item 1970's or older.

  38. I had to give a buyer these instructions to start a return on eBay. They wanted to return a jacket and I asked them to hold on a moment while I look this up and tell them how to start the return.

    Go to Activity Tab
    Go to Buy
    Go to Purchase History
    Just under the "Leave Feedback" button is a " More Action" drop down button.
    Click arrow and go to "Return this item"
    Select a reason, "It's the wrong size or doesn't fit"
    Click "Request a return"

    Print out a label on plain paper from your printer and attach the label to the box and send it to the post office.

    As soon as I receive the item I can issue a refund.

    If you have any questions, please let me know.

    Thank you for your time.