For the person who asked about how to handle eBay customer service, just make sure you know the rules forwards and backwards. If you know every eBay policy, then you'll know when you're right, and you can educate the cs rep. when needed. Pretty much every time I've had to explain the rules to an ebay rep, I got what I wanted out of the call.To the caller who talked about eBay shipping labels not being insured, eBay's return policy already covers this. If a buyer sends an item back broken, then you are not responsible. eBay policy clearly states that the buyer is responsible for getting the item back to you and in the same condition.If a buyer uses a new item, doesn't like it, and returns it, the seller is obligated to accept the return if they offer returns. eBay considers this the cost of doing business. Jay and Ryanne, 1800's hair art is a big deal. As weird as it is, people pay hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars for it.We've also had a friend in NY who bought a vintage t-shirt from us without realizing it was us.
Who knew that "hair art" was a thing. This link shows how much this stuff sells for. This link explains how people in the Victorian period (1800's) would mourn a loved one by creating jewelry or art out of their hair.Cool. This is how we learn about items. Would have passed over this stuff if not for someone bringing up this topic.
Where's the link? I've always been fascinated and disgusted by hair art. When we were passing through Kansas City, we stopped at a hair art museum.
The links got stripped out. Hair art on eBay Story on victorian hair art
You can also look up Mourning Jewelry that is black a lot of times and has locks of hair in the jewelry...Regarding the rules of eBay, that would be great to know them backwards and forwards, but they change procedures with no notice and no good instructions on following the rules. I kind of don't really care but it would be nice if they notified us of changes or had up to date procedures to follow.
With regards to shipping a bike frame international- Personally I would be cautious, The reason being is that a buyer can return anything these days if they really want to. I sell bikes and bike frames as well but I do not offer international because as I understand it, as a seller I could be responsible for paying shipping both ways if a buyer wants to return it. I could be wrong or overly cautious but I just my opinion.
If you ship with GSP, you are covered from not as described cases because eBay checks to make sure it is as described before they send it to the buyer.
With regards to my above comment I want to clarify that I do offer international on smaller items but not on bikes and other real large items.
Im the guy that was debating shipping the frame.....the potential buyer did not follow through on the transaction......i failed to clarify that the shipping would have been on me per buy it now option and due to high price (1400.00)....the cost was included......no biggie but i was afraid the shipping of the bulky box woulda had me wincing as i know it would not be cheap.....plus the thought of a 1935 schwinn motorbike frame being sent away from the USA made me a little sad.... Good point Eric...ida been hating life to have to pay double in shipping....that would be a nightmare
Not sure what you mean by experiments, maybe goals for 2015? If so...1. Take one dedicated day off during the week to get Non-Ebay responsibilities done, Wednesdays I think will work best for me. Other than shipping that has to be done, no listing, no prepping or sorting, no photos, no thrifting. Ebay can just consume the week and my 'To Do' list lingers & grows and causes stress.2. Keep the dining room table clean! I hate clutter yet certainly make it. The snow banks of Ebay stuff are like gremlins, I wake up & they're still there. Each evening it will go downstairs to sleep. Thanks for all your efforts, experience, knowledge and common frugal sense!
I love your description 'the snowbanks of ebay stuff'. Living in Wisconsin I relate to that really well.
You've got good goals. I'm always amazed when people work alone. You guys are real winners because you handle every aspect and all the tiny details. We solved the clutter of eBay by finding another workspace aka "our back building". Mostly our eBay stuff is there while our house is clean. But even we have the inevitable eBay piles in corners of our home. If you have a basement, garage, or out building....take it over.
thanks for addressing my question yo! i really do LOVE this podcast. i didn't get a magical answer for my question but you guys are right about me over thinking it. you guys find enough items for list 20 items everyday. i think with time more blinders will come off and i'll recognize things when i see them and be able to find/list more. i like listing more than finding because listing is where the money is at. i just wish to find more stuff at affordable prices with worth while profit.before this podcast i was just dumpster diving because i wasn't finding worth while things at the thrift store. my blinders were on but now i'm seeing some items here and there and know that garage sales are another piece of the pie. i've started studying completed listings to become aware of things that just are not on my radar.
I thought you were asking how to process all the stuff you do find. We've just become better scavengers over time. Like anything, we improve and learn with experience. We've sold a lot of cheap, junky stuff for under $10. As one commenter here said, don't make your store into a personal sweatshop. So we started finding and selling better quality items for more money. Find some sellers on eBay that you admire. Look at what they sell. Follow what they list. This is the best school you could attend. and free!
I have learned a lot by looking at other eBay seller's completed listings. I have also made a point to by pick out one category or specific item I notice at a thrift store or yard sale that I know nothing about, or even feel would have no value and research it when I get home using completed listings. I have learned a ton using this method and now buy things I wouldn't have even considered before. I'm only 8 months into the learning curve, and still have a long way to go, but I am finding enough to keep me busy listing in my free time until I can transisiton to full time.
Yes Brandon Knowledge is key. I learned from mister customer service and combined completed items in a recent find...... a few days a ago i was in an estate sale that looked like it had nothin but junk...i double searched and relooked over all the stock but in the process i discovered that the husband of the lady running it was a car guy and in a box ....the size of a usps medium flat rate.....but this was ratty brown.....in there were 10 new 1989 freon R12 12 ounce cans for the A/C system in old cars.....i asked the lady how much for all? she said................and it was a long pause.......... $5.00.......i did a mental fist pump and a few days later sold all off them on ebay for 150.00 best offer down from 200.00...... as most were selling for 20- 30 dollars per can....i figured what the hell.....sold.....haha lovin the job we have....it pays to do research and learn from the people here on this podcast.....
Mike from USW here: Brandon & anarchist kitchen, you have the idea for sure. Spend time browsing completed, higher end items from sellers that are successful and you are well on the way. I feel like I already know a lot but am still just scratching the surface of the knowledge base. It's just so limitless!Thanks for the head's up sjbiker...I will be looking out for those R12 freon cans!
Something I like to do is study specific sellers that sell similar things to what I sell. I search for people that are doing better (volume or price) than I am and study what they are doing and what type/brands of items they are selling and how they are pricing and how they do their listings.
Mike from USW here:Exactly. It's not rocket science to find out who is selling what. Save them in your favorite sellers and always look at the completed listings. It's also really cool to discover new things that way. Each person has specific knowledge that will "overlap" another persons knowledge base and that is when it is really beneficial to follow sellers and learn new stuff.
you know i never thought of searching out sellers who i want to learn from or model myself after. man, that's so obvious, i'm glad you guys said that. while digging though the completed listings i kept seeing this seller, she's in all of her pictures so it's really distinct to find her listings. http://stores.ebay.com/american-archive i was blown away by the streamlined feel that i get when i look through her store, like she really has her shit together. one of the things that impresses me about the clothes that she sells is that many of them are NOT being sold on their brand name. that's one of my weaknesses, i feel reluctant on somethings value if there's not a brand which is a total limitation to my scavenging. Scavenger Life sells a lot of unbranded items and i really admire that!Jay, I'm curious how many items your store had when you guys realized that selling $9.99 was setting the bar way too low. i'm at 550 and just connecting the dots. i'm definitely pumped to see how this new year go! Also i'd love to read or hear more about your progress with the second home you have been working on for the past 3 years. <---- i like numbers!this is my favorite motivation speech! this woman's back story is all about modeling those you inspire to be. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lp7E973zozc
Brands are cool and help with search terms. Some buyers are only looking for brands. But don't forget that there are many special "styles" and characteristics that people also look for. These Keywords are as good as brands in the listing title. This is when research is so important. And once you learn, you know.We sold 9.99 items for a long time (a year?). Then Ryanne started doing better research and experimenting with higher prices. Once we started selling items for higher, we never looked back. Why sell an item for 9.99 if you can sell it for 29.99. We realized we were underpricing what we were already listing.But we also realized that we had to find better items. This just took time. The most important thing was becoming aware that we needed to learn more. We did not want to be working in a sweatshop of our own making.
I wonder if you could elaborate on Bonanza a bit more. I created an account last week and nothing happened. I tried several times to import my Ebay listings without success. Then about 3 days later I got an email that said "Welcome to Bonanza"! So I clicked on the link and tried again to import my store, but still nothing happened. Are they just slow as dirt or what? Hope you have a Merry Christams in NYC!
Bonanza seems to be slower if there are a lot of sellers uploading their eBay store. Best to contact them directly to find out the status. They have a forum and a help desk.
I just signed up with Bonanza and my store imported right away. Probably not too many people signing up on Christmas day. I have also been listing items on Amazon as merchant fulfilled for a couple weeks, no sales yet but I'll update as things sell.
Great show as always. I like listening when I'm driving to work. I am an advanced eBay seller plus I work a full time job. I am hoping to quit my job in a year. Just wanted to say great job!!
Happy Holidays Everyone!
And Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah!
I agree with you about returning the $1500 found in the yard sale sweater. BUT, what i do when I've found money is ask the person what they've lost, and if it's money, I ask them if they know how much. Usually they do, and I hand it over to them. Sometimes they don't even realize they've lost it and check their pockets. They know if they had $30 or whatever in there. The yard sale people will know if they lost $1500 or not. Could be they bought that sweater at a yard sale or goodwill. Then you have to decide what to do.
My New Years goal is to get a drone to deliver all my shipments. Just don't know what I will do for a tracking number. :-)
My Goal for 2015 is to increase my sales. Ideally I'd like to triple them. Last year I had the same goal but my plan was to increase sales by doubling my inventory. I successfully went from 500 listings to almost 1000 but my sales did not increase. In fact I made less in November of this year than I did in November of last year. I was shocked to see that. I haven't compared each month or total year yet. After looking at the numbers each week from other commenters on Scavenger Life I see that many that are making the amount of money that I want to make are spending more on cost of goods and many nave smaller stores than I do. I think the key is spending more on inventory. I've determined that I need to source more often and be pickier, spending more on better inventory. I need to raise my flinch factor from 3 or 4 dollars and be willing to spend 5 or more. I am also working on my organization. I spend too much time looking for things. I've started numbering my totes and keeping a list of what is in each tote. I started a store on Bonanza and etsy this past fall. Neither has been a windfall but I've had 11 sales on Bonanza and 3 on etsy. I want to continue to add items to my etsy inventory in 2015. Thank you Jay and Ryanne for your podcast and videos. I loved the message from your 81 yr old seller who said it makes his day to listen. I agree with him and think it's great he's selling at 81 yr old! Also thank you to all the commenters who share tips and their numbers each week. Here is hoping for a successful new year for all!
Nancy, if I remember correctly...you were still selling lots of books for $9.99? Right? Maybe this is the your "clean out" year.After selling a good number of items for over $100, we don't blink at spending $5-$20 on good quality. It just makes no sense listing an item that won't make at least $30. As your store fills up with higher dollar inventory, you'll see the change in your numbers. I promise.
Yes you're right Jay. I did have a large number of low dollar items, MANY of them books. This will be the anti-book year :) Not really I still love books but I will be much pickier with them and focus on other items more.
Mike from USW here:Goals for 2015 include:1) listing more - sourcing less. Listing items as they are sourced. I/we started out that way and need to get back to that model. I probably have about 150 items that need to be listed right now. If each has an average of $30 net that is $4500!!! sitting around doing nothing!2) Start offering GSP. I think I realize the benefits and I think I have been more than a little overly paranoid about the prohibited/restricted items concerns. This blog has had a DIRECT influence on that thought process and I want to thank everyone!
We're with you Mike. We could list for six months on our back inventory. Difficult to not keep sourcing though. It makes me feel good that we have a surplus of inventory. GSP is a a no-brainer. My fear is that eBay will shut it down because it's such a good value for eBay sellers. I hope it's profitable for eBay to keep offering it.
Mike here:One more goal for 2015 is to get my own facebook page so I don't have to keep using my wife's!I'm actually listening to the new podcast right now and custom updating my GSP preferences on my listings . So goal number 2 is almost acheived! Good stuff...I don't think there will be an issue with GSP ending anytime soon. The mass amount of profit being generated would most likely stagger the intellect if we knew the actual profit involved.
Just got around to listening to this - loved it as usual, and thanks for all the great advice. When we were living in Japan I found a wallet in front of our house. We asked the neighbor thinking she could call and speak to the owner of the wallet in Japanese for us, she told us to take the wallet to the police and they would do it. My husband took the wallet, and the policeman told him by law that the person who finds/returns the wallet is entitled to half the cash in the wallet (there was about $250 in there) - my husband declined, and the policeman was surprised! Such a cool cultural difference.
this little story was in reference to the $1500 in the sweater
That is interesting that the Japanese cop would have just given your husband half the money. With wallets, the most important thing is getting back all your cards and ID's. Replacing those are the worst.
I ended 2013 with 103 items after starting to source and sell in late October. I am ending this year with 465 items, an increase of 362 items. I sell primarily ladies clothing but I am branching out very slowly. I have 3 goals for 2015:1. double my current number of listings (end 2015 with 800 - 1,000),2. Double my sales $, and 3. Branch out even more.To achieve these goals, I am streamlining my listing process by measuring in bulk and I hired a friend for a few hours a week to be my transcriber while I take measurements; and also to help me with photos although I already know that the transcribing is yielding the biggest time savings, and allowing me to list faster. As far as sourcing, I am aiming to source as often but be more selective with my purchasing, which I think is the key to doubling my sales $. As for what I am doing right, I like my storage organization system and my Excel spreadsheet for tracking everything, so those are two areas I do not need to revamp. Good luck to everyone in meeting your goals in 2015!
Pat, you got off to a fast start! At that pace, you'll definitely reach your goal long before the end of the year.
Thanks, Carol. I have a friend who sells on eBay who was my inspiration to start selling on eBay, and she told me to always list at least one item every day. i have tried to follow that advice but now I tell myself that I want to list whatever I want to sell each day plus one, so if I want to sell 2 items then I need to list 3 items a day, and this seems to motivate me. I only wish I could list 20 items a day like Jay and Ryanne but I have never come close.
I have a question about shopping to Canada. I accepted an offer from a Canadian buyer tonight. A few minutes later they sent me a request for a shipping invoice. I thought this item was listed with the GSP but apparently it wasn't. I have never shipped international without GSP. Will I have to fill out customs forms or anything like that?
international buyers can get bounced out of GSP if they 'request total' and ask for an invoice. it's the one way to get around GSP if you need to. i don't think buyers mean to do it, but it happens. not sure there is a way to go backwards though. you should be fine shipping to Canada, there is full tracking on Priority and mostly on 1st class as well. just make sure you insure it with Ship Saver and you should be good.
p.s. the customs forms are part of the labels, so it's not much different than doing ebay labels. but if it's Priority, it will take 2 sheets of paper and you have to put it in a clear USPS international envelope. they have them at the post office or you can order them on USPS, though they take about 1-2 weeks to get to you.