Wow, I got here first... I have really been enjoying the longer podcasts and the topics are interesting like always.
Also enjoying your "What sells on eBay" vids. :-)
Just wondering how you pack your snapback hats for shipping? Here in Canada, shipping is much more expensive. We have sold some vintage snapbacks, and we packed them flat in a bubble mailer (we warned people in the listing) but were not sure if that was common, and were worried about damaging them. Any advice appreciated.
I always put mine in bubble mailers. Sometimes I write on the pkg Do Not Smush but who knows if it helps. If it's a really stand up hat you can box it.
I'm pretty sure Ryanne ships hers in poly mailers.
yep, polymailers for the foam trucker hats and the crushable ones. the more shaped baseball hats, i ship in a 7x7x6 USPS box and charge 1lb priority.
I ship my hats in boxes (I have a friend who supplies me with lots of small boxes). They always come in under 13 oz so I can ship them first class.
How to ship snapbacks hats and protect the rim.I use 2 foot section of bubble wrap around the snapback front to back then I take a large zip lock bag fill it half full of air then folded over on itself and taped so it fits nicely under the hat protecting the rim (soft pillow). After I put that ziplock bag underneath the snapback I use two pieces of packing tape one from each side of that snap back in bubble wrap and tape onto the ziplock bag then I just slide this whole thing right into Priority Mail Flat rate bubble bag.2' bubble wrap or plastic bag.2 pieces packing tape 4 inches long each.1 large ziplock bag sealed half inflated folded over.1 Flat Rate Priority Mail bubble envelope or poly mailer.
Why not just order some 8x8x8 boxes? (they're cheap) wrap the hat in paper and ship it 1st class, it's under 10oz, cheaper than a FRPE, not that much more than a poly mailer and the hat always arrives the same way you sent it and the customer is is never put off by receiving a squished hat.
Cost $6.10 for priority mail flat rate bubble envelope. I make 40 cents back with my eBay shipping discount. I don't have to buy any shipping bags they're free. I do buy the Ziploc bags at the Dollar Tree cost pennies per bag. They come in handy for all types of shipping.I get Great Praise from my customers when they receive their hat in this padded envelope and I don't give free shipping. All they have to do when they receive it is slide it out and remove just one piece of tape in the Hat slides right out of the whole setup safe and sound.
Steven,First class standard post is $7.09 for 15 oz. to go from the east coast to the west coast Plus the cost of your box 8x8x8 which looks to be about a dollar something.
As stated, shipping weight is under 10oz, costing the customer under $4.00 and with my discount the boxes are basically free at .55 each from here -http://www.ebay.com/itm/50-8x8x8-Cardboard-Packing-Mailing-Moving-Shipping-Boxes-Corrugated-Box-Cartons-/141064485053?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item20d81938bdMy point is that I know what I like when I receive an item I bought on eBay and a hat stuffed in an envelope is not it, brims can be brittle, I've broken a few. I'm just trying to offer an alternative.
Do you add tracking on to that?I agree there's many ways to do it and it's nice to share options. I'm happy with the way I do it, quick easy simple flat price /free bags / tracking included seems serve the majority of the people well. I've shipped probably over 300 and I've never had one complaint. $21.00-59.00 dollar range are the hats I sell and these buyers usually don't have a problem paying for shipping a dollar or two more doesn't seem to bother them. They want it fast and to be able to track it. One thing is boxes don't fit in mailboxes Flat Rate Priority mail bag usually will fit in most standard mailboxes and not get left on somebody's porch. I have used the 7x7x6 box.Ryanne's way is cheaper if it's going a short distance but a cross country it ends up being more than what I'm charging.
"First class standard post is $7.09 for 15 oz. to go from the east coast to the west coast " There's no such thing as first class standard post. And he said it weighs 10oz so it goes First Class package so it doesn't matter how far it's going."Do you add tracking on to that?"Tracking is free for First Class packages through Ebay.
first class is the same rate throughout the US. 1-13oz (each oz or 2 brings the price up). anything after that is sent either Priority or Parcel/Standard based on weight and size.
+1 Priority Mail
++1 OMG we do the same thing except we use a sandwich bag filled with foam peanuts to support the rim of the hat. Love PM padded envelopes great protection from the weather.
My padded envelopes cost me around 2.00 to 3.00 to send most places. Hat pkgs weigh about 4oz. I do flat rate on those of 2.99. I make a little change while passing the savings on to buyer with my discount in play. But after a damage poly mailer once I now poly bag and then put in bubble envelope.
I haven't watched the vid yet but have a couple of questions for everyone. Do you have your ebay store set up to charge state tax and does that work if you do? I've had it set up for probably a year or more and it rarely charges state tax to people in my state who buy from me. Was wondering if this feature works for anyone. The other thing is lately I've sent out a few messages to buyers via ebay messaging that haven't been answered. Is anyone having trouble with ebay messaging? Looking forward to watching the video later when I am working.
Hi Nancy,Yes, I have the sales tax set up and it has always worked.
Thanks Crystal. I guess I'd better take a closer look. When I first set it up it worked sometimes. Now I notice it never works.
Sometimes when I list it doesn't' save that setting, so that might be the same issue you're seeing.
Yes, I have the sales tax set up. Although I didn't realize the tax rate had increased a .25% this year, so I had to foot the difference. Lucky for me nearly 90% of my sales go out of state. The sales tax box is in the Add Other Details section, you have to click on the Add or Remove options link.
Yes I have sales tax set up. A few months back I noticed when I was listing that the box would be unchecked from one listing to the next so I had to make extra sure I checked it. Well apparently it didn't save because some of my listings from that time period still didn't have it. I only recently started doing good til canceled and when I relisted those items it would be unchecked again even though I had revised the listing! I figured it was some kind of glitch. It seems to be working fine on my newer listings.
Lindsay I bet that is what is happening to me!
Nope that wasn't it. I'm going to call ebay and inquire.
So glad I don't have to worry about this in Oregon - no state sales tax!
Damn those thrift store prices you guys pay--like something out of the '70's, LOL. Even the cheapest TS around here charge about $3 as their lowest price. You guys continue to be fearless in your pricing--kudos.
We frequent the independent shops that are simply trying to move donations. Usually they're run by little nice old ladies who are there to help people. Or the places run by dudes who love to by storage lockers but get overwhelmed by all they buy. Or the auctions that sell off a whole house of stuff in four hours with stuff sold by the boxes. Could this just be an East Coast thing?
It's not just an East Coast thing, but the more these places become internet savvy the more they start to disappear. I'm one of those that shakes his head when watching all these "look at me" videos that trains the competition. Unthinkable in just about any other business. Been in business a long time and always be listing is good advice, but always be looking over your shoulder as well. There is ALWAYS someone hungrier and better than you who will step on your neck.
Yep, agree with Anon above. There used to be so many estate sale auctions in my city. Box lots and whole tables of items would sell for cheap. Now the auctions are few and far between. One local auctioneer who used to hold many estate auctions plus in house auctions now mainly does auctions online. No box lots in the online auctions, so I wonder where that stuff goes. Thrift shops?EBTH is a company that started small, running estate sales. I used to buy stuff from them for cheap. Now they have their own online auction site, and they've franchised so they're in other cities. They've gotten really high end -- things sell for more through them than they do on Ebay, check them out if you want: https://www.ebth.com/So, where I live, at least, sourcing is not as easy as it used to be. Even the yard sales seem higher priced. I'm frequently amazed at the low prices some sellers who post on this blog pay for items. Yes, I still find deals, but not in the abundance I used to, and I do frequent the thrifts far more than I once did even though their prices are generally high. I'm starting to think that living in a small town/rural area might be more conducive to Ebay selling.
To really see the EBTH prices, take a look at a few complete sales. Everything starts out low and often stays low for the first few days of the auction, but by the end most stuff is very high priced. I don't go to thrift stores much, so I can't say how the prices are in my area. Yard sales are all over the place. Some people sell for cheap and some for high. I can still get things reasonably, sometimes cheap at auction. But there are always some things at every auction that I would like to have, but they go out of my price range. BTW, I live in a small town (approx. 5000 people). In general, I think I'm in a good area for scavenging.
I don't see there being any issue of scarcity for at least a generation. Instead I see an over-abundance of Stuff busting out of the homes of Baby Boomers who have been collecting for a lifetime. The damn is bursting and will deluge us for at least twenty years. As far as telling other people "the secrets", I say it's more like any craft (and scavenging is a craft) where people share and improve techniques. Look at people who do graphic design, film making, plumbing, science. There are journals and conferences detailing how things are done.For me, it's the wrong image to think of a scavenger like a sweaty gold miner, huddled in a dark cave, fearful of making a noise and someone else finding his stash.Instead, we're all sitting on an almost limitless amount of trash that being actively thrown into dumps around the country. Our community is making it popular and profitable to save those valuable items. I always love reading http://garbagefinds.com/. Martin shows all the treasures right in the trash cans. You just got to dig.
Till the buyers run out of money. The second half of this year is going to be tough going seems the economy is about tank. The Millennials are not buying homes or buying anything much at all they are savers. What they do like is stuff from the 80's. I have been focusing on that decade for the last 2 yeasr when I'm scavenging.
I'm curious about the economy tanking and buyers running out of money, and if you'd be open to sharing your plan for dealing with it. If buyers run out of money, we're all sunk! Through the "Great Recession," which I keep hearing is long over (although, admittedly, I'm not seeing it), higher-end items kept selling because those at the top still had money to burn.
I'm honestly not worried about a dip in the economy, or the economy crashing. People will still need to buy things, and we are all positioned to take advantage to of those needs. We're the ones who are most savvy about selling on the internet.Perhaps we'll need to re-focus what we sell and modify how we do things a little, but we have the experience and drive to make it work.Quick Trash Elf story from my own life: Our blender just died on us. The motor in the base just quit. (My wife makes WAY too many smoothies) Instead of just chucking the whole thing, my wife cleaned up the glass carafe/jar part and the lid, and handed them to me. "Here. Sell these." The proceeds from those sales will pay for the new blender we need!I was actually a little annoyed with her because she ordered one on Amazon before she talked to me about it - I was going to suggest we hit the closest thrift store to find a 'new' one!
My advice is to keep checking back at your thrifts that you've given up on. Thrift shops try different methods and go through different owners and managers. I've had three favorite thrifts this year that have made major changes in how they price things. One became an "outlet" and everything but clothing is always 50% off, one increased all of their prices and is now overstocked and a complete mess and one started having one day a week where that weeks color tag is now .69 cent. So thrifts aren't stagnant. They try different things. They may try upping their prices after watching some shows on tv and find that those items just sit and no-one buys them.
If buyers run out of money then businesses are probably closing too and if that happens no one is really safe anyway. It won't matter if you thought you had a more secure job or you sell online. Same problem for everyone.
When we think about the Great Depression, we imagine the people driving from the Dust Bowl to CA, poor and hungry. This happened and it wasn't good. But unemployment never got above 25%. People were working and business was still cranking along. It bet it was very tough and hard but everyone adjusted. What I think some people are imagining is some kind of Alex Jones apocalyptic scenario where everything fails and infrastructure breaks down. Maybe some kind of Peak Oil cascade. It's chaos. As Anonymous said, if this happens, then it really doesn't matter about eBay.Pay your debt, save money, live cheap. Scavengers are the ultimate survivors.
I totally agree with the Anon above Jay; I asked my initial question to try and draw out the Anon who posted directly above me.I also agree with jr0124; dips in the economy probably drive more people to seek out items on eBay and other second-hand sources. I mean, like Jay says, if we're talking Peak Oil and the end of everything, that's a whole other ballgame.
Retail apocalypse: Major chains closing 6,000 storesRead more at http://www.wnd.com/2015/05/retail-apocalypse-6000-chains-closing-stores/#C8FbgkAmT9wXg9eZ.99This could be good news for eBay Amazon and other online ecommerce stores. We focus on thrifting items that will always sell, you know the bread and butter items.
I agree that some retail chains are closing in mass. I dont know how Radio Shack stayed open for so long. But other stores open in their place. More retail chains are selling online so people can pick up for free at their location. I'm always skeptical when I hear "it's all collapsing" kind of talk.
"Till the buyers run out of money" I agree, Pop goes the weasel. A lot of independent thrift stores have closed in my area they can no longer afford the rising rent. The big box thrifts like SA/GW have raised all their prices. The mall is almost completely shut down only one anchor store left JCP and they're not making it. Who needs RadioShack they're not even the same store they began everything is available on Amazon that they sell or sold. What's scary is that article shows 340 Dollar Tree/Family Dollar stores are closing if that's not a sign I don't know what it is. I think the price of rent is out pacing the profit margin. We are on the other side of the coin now the prime rate is going to be rising which affects everything.Joe has the right Thrift Attitude. look for the bread and butter. yummy!
With ebay being a global marketplace you are more protected than the corner store brick and mortar against downturns in your local or national economy.
Bricks and mortar stores are going out of business because people are buying new things online - who needs to drive to the store when there's Amazon Prime with free two day shipping? But scavenging is a different type of product, unique, second hand, antique and vintage. That's something that I don't think will go away any time soon, and ebay already has the advantage of being online shopping so its accessible to anyone with an internet connection. Thats how we can get good prices for these things online - its time consuming and difficult to go to a thrift store to find the perfect thing, and these things aren't easy to find. I myself have bought things on ebay that I know someone was flipping because I can't find it elsewhere, and I'm willing to pay that premium since they found an item I wouldn't be able to. People might cut back on their spending and stop buying $4 lattes for a month or eating out at the Olive Garden or buying a new coat from J.Crew, but I think Americans are still the kind of people that even in a downturn will cough up $20 or $30 for an impulse buy on ebay that makes them feel good and nostalgic. I don't think there's any real risk of a Mad Max scenario anytime soon, or of ebay sales materially plummeting.It would be interesting if ebay had some demographic info available to show what age range your customers were in - I've always wondered whether its baby boomers, Gen X, etc who was buying my stuff! I hate to say it, but being a bit of a minimalist / mindful consumer / saver myself, sometimes I feel guilty selling people things I know they don't really need. But hey, it pays the bills!
Good episode, good ideas for looking for stuff. You mentioned that old restaurant menu, which looks neat. However restaurant guides may be even hotter. I recently sold, quickly, a restaurant guide from the 70s for Tuscon, AZ. I only listed it for $15, but think it could have been for more. I just found a restaurant guide for NYC from 1982, plus others and am deciding what to sell them for.btw nice little Fugazi reference (a high school favorite)!
couldn't help it, had to do it. though i can't really scream it like ian.
I was born in Mankato but don't remember that fountain, sure is a cool menu though, I'll ask what year that was on my Mankato FB page.
The Mankato Candy Kitchen Fountain menu was from the twenties.
Big roast beef sandwiches for 10-cents!
wow, older than i thought! that's so cool. i love finding stuff like that.
Not sure if anyone else got this, but eBay gave me an offer to upgrade my store and save $25 for the first three months.I was right on the cusp of having the Premium store be worth it, but for $75 savings, I'll do it!Offer was right in my eBay messages.
I got an offer to save with an upgrade to an anchor store. I just upgraded to the premium store - I am no where near ready for an anchor store.
I'm considering the upgrade. I have 200 items. It seems to me the break even is around 300 items to go up to the premium store. I could definitely have a bigger store for 4th quarter, but I'm not sure if I would maintain more than 300 items the rest of the year.
deb truer valuesI took the sale - to upgrade to the anchor store at a $75. per month savings for the next 3 months. I'm paying the sale rate in fees anyway right now.I am "break even" at the anchor sale price, and figure I need about 300 more listings to make it worthwhile. Got 3 months to do it. and it is incentive to get ready for 4th quarter....I'm hitting my pile of doom, as well.
If anyone needs more suggestions on something to listen to when listing check out Mindwebs. It is a fantastic series of dramatized readings of sci-fi short stories. It's similar to Quiet Please in that the readings are accompanied by spooky music and sound affects, both of which give the show a spooky atmosphere. Listening to this series will give you a good appreciation for the seventies sci-fi scene. https://archive.org/details/MindWebs_201410
This sounds like something I could really enjoy. Thanks for sharing.
Me, too! I'm a huge sci-fi fan! I use a lot of my ebay profits to further my collection of old sci-fi!
Thanks Cara, that's the stuff I grew up on, I'll be checking it out.
What sci Fi stuff are you into? I'll keep an eye out.
Someone on the podcast was asking about retail arbitrage. I do small scale retail arbitrage on ebay and it always seems to work out for me.This is how I do it. My target price is about 10% of retail for really nice clothes. I usually buy them at the end of the season.So, for example, a shirt was $100 retail, I buy it for about $10 and can usually get about 1/2 of retail or in this case $50.Now that might not seem like such a good deal buying for $10 and selling for $50, but consider the following: 1. It is usually easy to buy as many as I want. 2. I can sometimes select the 2x and 3x sizes that sell well. 3. Listing is a breeze, you list one item with quantity 10 or whatever you have. You don't have to worry about defects, but look them over at the store to be sure (sometimes there are loose threads). 4. Shipping is a breeze, I usually buy the ones that easily fit in a priority box.I would recommend you start off small and mix it up. Don't buy 100 size Large shirts that are all red at this price point. Instead, buy a ranges of sizes and colors. These are still easy to list. Do an small inexpensive experiment. Find out what brands, size, colors sell well and then go more in the next time. Don't go "all in" in your first experiment, you may get burned.Before I anything, I always check completed listings on ebay for the sell price. This avoids the "fake" sales or just bad product. Of course, the down side to this is that you have to put up a chuck of money for these at one time. Then, you have to be able to wait about 6 months for their season to come in. They will sell in the off-season, but not as well.Hope that helps.
Ryanne, I think you would enjoy the current Aug-Sept issue of Romantic Homes magazine. Even though it isn't your decorating style, it features a large article about a home in the Metherlands, complete with a large Quimper fish platter over the kitchen stove. It even mentions NOORDERMARKET!
I also enjoy the retail arbitrage treasure hunt. I often buy sale items to flip. My favorite store periodically has super deals on their website that appear in the early morning hours and vanish very quickly and before breakfast time. I also get email notices when they begin a sale. I'm trying bundling a couple of related new items into a set and using gift in my title. It's always something I would love to get myself as a gift. We'll see how it goes. It's very easy to list all of this copying over the retailer description and the new condition should greatly reduce the idea of returns and defects. Some of the other sellers copy the internet photos but I always take my own.
I do some retail arbitrage myself - it's how I stock my Amazon store for the most part (although books make up a good portion of my Amazon inventory, the arbitrage items account for far more sales). I have one honey-hole for new arbitrage inventory that I have kept a secret for a couple years now. I only do one shopping trip there every year, and it's on Black Friday weekend when they have an incredible sale. The items from this store regularly sell for 3-4x full retail price, but during Black Friday weekend the store sells the items for 50% off! Even better, when the products are discontinued, the online prices skyrocket.There was one item that I only picked up 4 units last year - they were on the expensive side ($7.50 each where most items were under $5), but the product is now discontinued and regularly sells for $70+ on ebay.
deb truervaluesHas anyone ever quit on a certain category?I got into ebay with a friend who was doing china and teacups. I collected quite a few that are now stacked up on my personal rack of doom. Since then I have gravitated toward more lucrative/easier-to-ship items.My question----I HATE the china now, as it is such a hassle, and I just want to give it back to the thrift store--but feel just a little guilty at the waste of $$$$. What have you guys done?Have you plowed thru and listed, or donated stuff you hate back to the thrift store? (Perhaps I should sell it all at our community garage sale happening Labor Day weekend, but I'd rather be sourcing instead, ha!!!
how much of it do you have?
Hi Deb,My thoughts are running in the same direction as yours this morning. In an effort to diversify my listings I have been buying some clothing the past few weeks. Started to tackle a pile of items this morning that was starting to look like it might topple over soon. First item.... a pair of RMC Red Monkey Jeans I have just learned they are fakes. I am happy I discovered that before listing them. Second item.....a traditional German Wool jacket by H. Moser. When laid out to photograph I discovered a moth hole and a stain. So..... I hate clothing, and feel it is a hassle. I have that same unpleasant feeling of having wasted time and money. I want to learn, diversify my listings and make more weekly profit. But the education feels costly. I am moving the jeans into a donate back bag so they don't bother me all day!
It's a tough call. I can understand arguments for keeping and listing them (#ABL, increased listings equal more views/sales, you can't sell if it it's not listed, you've already invested money, etc.) but I can also make arguments for dumping them (you're not excited about them, you get depressed/exhausted when you look at them, they're taking up space which could be used for more inventory, possible sales prices not worth time investment in listing/shipping, etc.) If you've done the research and it really feels like it's not going to be worth it financially to list them, and they're just bringing you down, I feel like getting rid of them (while involving some wasted money and time) might be the best route. Although keep in mind, I'm more of a part-timer and I really try to stick to items which make the most of the limited time I have to source/list. The equation might be different for full-timers.I do re-donate items on occasion.
How about selling them as a mixed lot? You'd get a little money out of them instead of just donating and you can put zero work into research. You won't get the best prices but you'll be rid of them all in one fell swoop.
A lot of the time when you've done the research but still want to get rid of it it's because its not worth that much so its a bigger stress dealing with it. I too have a box of glass and China that someone gave me that looks nice but no ones buying. I do have it listed but I'm ready to get rid of it. I would just drop the price really low but ppl complain when shipping cost more than the item and that stuff can get heavy. I need to do something. My eBay room is over filled with stuff and no room for new better stuff.
deb truervalues I probably have the equivalent of 4 bins of china....some on shelves.....Most of it is loser stuff from when I first started. While working on Mom's estate, I got a whole lot more--much of it will sell for decent $$$.I guess the cost to me is only about $60-$90 all told--listed value might be $250-$500, though. Besides this, I have about 3 other bins of clothes and whatnot I purchased when I started. Perhaps I'll list the china when the other stuff is done and it doesn't feel so daunting. Truth be told, I don't hate the china.....I hate packing the stuff after it is sold!I guess I'll do the smart thing...start with the most valuable and donate when the scale tips to the "not-worth-it" side.So.....no one has just up and junked a bin or two of stuff that they got tired of?
I have. But its stuff I never got around to listing.
If it's already listed and you have the space why not just let it sit? Someday it will sell most likely. If you don't have the space have a garage sale or donate it. As for the wool jacket, why not list it as wool for crafts, recycling? It sometimes sells for more that way? Just show the damage. If you hate it before listing, give yourseld a break and donate or garage sale it! The cost of a good education. :-)
Sometimes I think we just have to bite the bullet and Toss, donate or take some stuff to the consignment shop...........Today I have spent most of the day cleaning out totes full of stuff that I have dragged around to every vendor booth I have had in the past 2 plus years.It's really hard to just make up my mind to get rid of stuff, but I know I need to start looking for more interesting items to list. So out with all that old junk in my trunk.While cleaning out the storage building I did find some stuff that will be fun to list.I did keep several sets of vintage Christmas string lights with the Bakelite plugs and sockets, I had actually forgotten I had them. I felt good to finally let go of some stuff so now I can make room for more.I decided to reopen my Bonanza store so gonna list all the vintage stuff I found today that I had forgotten I had.
Hi Linda,That is a great suggestion for the wool jacket. I found away to not let the fake jeans eat at me. I have a Goodwill friend that I chat with whenever we run into each other. He was very excited when I gave the jeans to him.Was at the SPCA this week having a follow up for my cat after surgery. There was a lady there with her Pomeranian. Earlier this week I had found a charcoal drawing of a Pomeranian at the Goodwill. The timing worked out and I pulled it out of my trunk and gave it to her in the parking lot. She was so surprised and thrilled with it. I have really enjoyed giving some things away this week.
Maybe set a price floor where it is not worth dealing with china and ditch the ones that fall underneath it.Just bite the bullet and sell the good ones.
I think those cool MCM candlesticks were made in Denmark by BRDR/Bonfils. I sold a similar pair, in teak, sometime in the last six months.
I have a question about your hats. I have found a couple of those hat washing things at the thrift store. I'll throw a hat in my with laundry, but doesn't always get out the sweat stains. Do you do anything special to your hats or just not buy ones with sweat stains?
I found a few of those at the GW and I find I only use them to reshape a hat that I've washed but not dried but I rarely use them. When I started buying hats I hand washed them and scrubbed the sweatband with laundry detergent and a nail brush. Now I just avoid buying heavily yellowed hats. Not worth the effort. I will still take a wet rag with a few sprays of a cleaning product and go over a few spots but that's it. If you plan to throw it in the wash anyway you could pre treat the sweatband first. But be careful because some vintage hats are foam and a web cotton material that comes apart if it's aggravated.
i pre-treat any stains on the inner band, etc with a mix of detergent and hydrogen peroxide. i just use an old toothbrush to really get it on the fabric, then i wash them on gentle in the washing machine. they usually come out great. not all will get 100% clean, but we just show any marks in our photos and mention in item specifics.
I use a small amount of shampoo and scrub gently with a soft toothbrush and then wash in gentle cycle. Shampoo is designed to clean oils and dirt from the hair and I find that it works great on hats.
ah, shampoo, that's a great idea!
I purchased a vintage LL Bean goose down vest with stains around the collar. I used the shampoo on the collar and wherever I saw a stain or dirt. I then washed and hung dry. Once it dried, it looked pretty good and I didn't have any issues selling it at the price I wanted.
Thanks everyone! The shampoo is a great idea!
I just wanted to send a follow up thank you to Ryanne for the newspaper end roll info. I bought two rolls a few months back and I'm still on the first roll. They are so convenient and helpful. Now I don't know how I ever lived without them.
sure thing, i can't take all the credit, i got the idea from another blog poster. i also cannot live without the newspaper end rolls. i use them almost every time i pack!
The size 5 AAA Ferragamos! I found 2 pair at a thrift shop and was THRILLED because I had never heard of the brand pre J&R & Scavengerlife.com. I grabbed them, paying $14 for one pair and $4 for the other. When I got home and went on completeds on eBay, my heart sank because there were NO sold listings for this size - just a few $20 ended listings with no takers. But I decided to "price it high" and "list it and forget it". I put them up for $49.98 each.They sold!!! Albeit 6 months later, but HEY! It totally worked! Just had to wait for the right lady IN JAPAN who had a slender small 5AAA foot to be on eBay. She even bought some Bruno Magli's to boot. So a million thanks to J&R for sharing their eBay knowledge. Love love love this WOL (way of life). So fun.Except for the pile of death and table of shame part. LOL.CareneBay store: thespeckledgoatllc
nice one! i love finding ferragamos. you can't beat the quality and they always eventually sell.
I don't know if eBay's search engine is screwy or my desktop. I relisted a high dollar item and typed in a few keywords to see where I ranked. My listing wasn't there. Did it a few more times and nothing. Then I did it and it pulled up with a grayed out pic and fell under related listings which it shouldn't have. I repeated the process again and it showed up fine. Did it again and it showed nothing. Anyway the point is I did this probably 25 times and a few times switched keywords and half the time my listing had vanished. There were only 10 total so it was easy to find when it was showing. Makes me give a second thought to those dead zone times when nothing sells and then a bunch of stuff does. Are my listings going incognito for a certain amount of searches? Just seems odd.
You should screencast this process and upload it to youtube. When things are slow, I've logged out and randomly searched for keywords. Always found my items. Again, there's no logic to why eBay would hide listings. They want you to sell items and make money so they can make money.
I'm confused. I really tried to find the answer to this on ebay. But it doesn't make sense to me. I became a top rated seller for the first time on the 20th. I now have a "Top rated plus" badge on my listings. I thought when you got that level one of the benefits was a 20% discount on final value fees. However my seller dashboard says I did not earn a discount. Why is that? I checked and double checked and as far as I can tell I should get the discount. Any help would be appreciated.
Dont be confused. If you just received Top Rated Seller Status (congrats!), then it doesnt give you a retroactive discount since you've only been TRS since July 20. The discount will be applied to your bill next month.
another way to quickly dispel confusion is to call ebay and have them explain it in relation to your account. but i think jay just figured it out. it's not retroactive. it's going to apply to your store starting now.
See below. My reply posted wrong spot.
I'm top rated and don't get the discount because I don't offer returns and don't have 1 day handling set.
Correct. You can be "Top Rated", but you need to be "Top RAted Plus" to get the 20% discount. http://pages.ebay.com/help/sell/top-rated.htmlWhen we change our handling times when traveling, we remain Top Rated but do not receive the 20% discount because we no longer have the 1-day handling time.
Thanks everyone for responding. I do have "top rated plus" and 1 day handling and 14 day returns on all my listings. Ok I will wait and see what happens on my next bill. Thanks again for your help everyone.
Have a question for all the "shipping nerds" out there. How do you properly calculate the shipping weight on items when you list them so that you take into account the added weight of the packaging? So far I've pre-packed and weighed all my items so that I'm 100% sure the shipping price the buyer pays will cover my shipping costs. I want to get away from this as it takes up too much space and makes it hard if I need to inspect an item after I list it to answer buyer questions. I did a little experiment and listed a handful of items and "guessed" at the shipping weight with packaging and so far my guessing has not been very good. I sold a CB radio today that I was 6oz off on the weight with packaging. This only cost me a few dollars but I don't want to have that happen all the time! I'm interested to hear what some of you more experienced sellers do.
You will learn with experience. Similar items you sell will be an automatic calculation real fast. When I'm weighing a bigger item, I find a box that's approximately the size of what I'll use and lay it on top of,the item and figure in a pound or two for packing. Always over estimate as the PO rounds up.
I also do it the Steven Schultz way. Works great. However, I will say that I have been burned when someone in Puerto Rico or Hawaii or Alaska buys. The verbage on the shipping part of the listing for adding a "surcharge" or extra handling charge for these locales is always grayed out for me, and I can never add the extra fee to cover the higher shipping cost. So everytime someone buys from there I take a hit. I think I may need to call eBay.
Steven, thanks for the advice. I guess I'll have to start paying closer attention to the "average" weight of shipping materials when I list stuff. I "scavenge" all my boxes from grocery stores and friends/family so sometimes it can be hard to know what size box I'll have available to put the item in when it sells, especially for items that don't fit nicely into a flat rate box.
A box is an almost guaranteed extra pound. I'm one of the few exceptions here who does a lot of flat rate shipping so I've gotten really good at weight guessing. If you already know exactly how you plan to ship then just put the item on or in the box and add a little more for stuffing weight. Or stick to flat rate boxes. Flat rate bubble envelopes I use constantly. Costs me 5.35 always.
hear hear. boxes are usually about 1lb extra plus any other packing material depending on the object (is it glass? ok that's more stuff needed. is it shoes? not so much is needed). for big, bulky or heavy objects, i over-estimate for size and weight and usually add a handling fee to help offset packing materials and my time. i had a lamp that took me almost an hour to pack once. you know i was glad i had a handling fee on it. but if you really over estimate, you can send your buyer a refund to even it out.
The day I moved my scales to the computer desk was a the day I gave myself a raise. I had "guessed" for quite awhile, keeping my losses/gains pretty even. When I started weighing the items as I list, adding a pound for packing, along with adding a small handling fee, I noticed my income inching up. As I understand it, there is an eBay fee that applies to shipping as well as sales. You might as well eat another $1.00 or so for that. The little things add up.
I'm thinking of doing the complete opposite of the majority here. I'm actually thinking of going back to college to get a degree. It's only because of eBay though that I would have the time to do it. I do love the freedom eBay provides but I'm still limited by my other half who works a normal job. So I still find myself waiting for the weekend to go anywhere. I may change my mind since college is a long term commitment and a financial drain but we'll see. It would be nice to at least have a degree to fall back on or to pursue a career that gives me fulfillment. I think I'm just going thru my mid-life crisis a little early. In all honesty my plan was to be a stay at home mom but the kid part never worked out so now I'm becoming more career minded. I'm sure a few days of a set alarm clock will jolt me back to my senses. Sorry to ramble but hey, it is Friday!
Uopeople.edu offers free tuition for business admin or comp sciences. They are accredited now too. You pay for testing and I think it comes out to 2000 for ass degree and 4000 total for Bach degree. Worth checking out. Ive considered it myself.
Anon - eBay, for the vast majority, is a pipe dream as an avenue to make a "full time" income. Why? Because a "full time" income is far more than most realize. Jay has it right however. Run the numbers. It's all about numbers, meaning understand overhead, taxes, insurance, savings for retirement, on and on.If you are still in your twenties, go back to school. You won't regret it. But understand your debt obligations and how to manage it.
Agreed. Making a full-time living on eBay is serious business. It's not the easier, softer way since there's no guarantee like a steady paycheck at a normal job. For us, we received an education and tried our best in the corporate world. Didn't work for us. But if you're just beginning your adult life and love learning, get educated. Now is the time. Figure out what fulfills you. But as you said, if you learn how to sell on eBay, you'll always have a way to make money to pay your bills. Just another tool for your toolbox.
My granddaughter is homeschooling, still in high school, and also getting college credits at CollegePlus.org. She has a phone conference with her personal counselor every other week. She has KLEP tested out of several courses already (at a local community college where they administer the tests.). They will help her get the max. amount of credits she con on-line that will transfer to the college of her choice. It's an inexpensive, stress-free, home-based way to start.
I'm 35 by the way. Not early 20s. Wish I was. I'd do things totally different but then again most of us would.
deb truervaluesYes, check out CLEP testing. Back in the day, tests were about $35.00 a pop, now I believe they're about $100.00 each. I spent about 3 hours one Sat morning, and completed an entire semester's worth of credit on 2 tests.Most colleges accept CLEP (run by the ACT people, I believe). I once checked out Michigan State, and they will accept your entire undergrad work thru CLEP. Most colleges accept around 13-15 tests.It's a really cheap way to go.....you have nothing to lose. Think of it....$100 per class instead of $900++++++!!! If I had it all to do over again, I would have taken more CLEPs (College Level Examination Placement)If you go to the ACT website, they show all the tests and also have a list of colleges and what they accept.Good way to scavenge a lot of your college degree for a LOT cheaper..PS...I finished my Master's in my 60's--it's never too late to improve your mind!
Yesterday I went to a not very exciting church rummage sale. Got 14 items for $15. Just finished getting them all listed for a total of $245.00. Best item: 3 nesting Frankoma leaf dishes for $1.00.
Damn, that "Cha-Ching" sound is the best sound in the world. I get so excited when I hear it, and it's always a surprise when I see which one of my items sold. I'm loving this ebay life. My sales might not be much compared to some of you other trash elves, but when I look at the stats since I started in February of this year, it's awesome to see that every month I am making more money than the previous month. Jay and Ryanne, I can't thank you enough for all of the knowledge, motivation and inspiration you provide.
I just got back from an estate sale in an upscale neighborhood. I had forgotten about it so we showed up in the last two hours of the sale. My husband didn't think it was worth going to since it was closing but I wanted the deals. As usual he was wrong, they had a ton of stuff left. I picked up a few things Ryanne mentioned selling that I have never tried to sell. Found a box of asstd playing cards, some card place holders, a weather radio, brass lamp, and a spelling book from the 1800s and a few more things. I would have gotten more but it was really hot in there. They tried to trick me by saying these two big dolls were unmarked Hummel's. Said they saw them on eBay. I knew better. "Hummel like" is not Hummel. Plus two for 15 bucks? Yeah right. But it was fun. We don't get too many estate sales around here. Going with my husband is difficult because he's ready to go after 30 mins. I want to look everywhere.
Man, I couldn't figure out why the math wasn't working out for me because I was not pocketing as much profit as I expected. I completely forgot that ebay now takes a percentage off your total sale which includes the shipping price. Its total crap because its not like the shipping is cash I get to keep. That goes right out the window to pay for shipping. So now I have to take that total fee with shipping included and deduct it just from my sales. Then factor in taxes. Gosh. There goes half my money if not more. What do you think your straight profit percentage actually is? Like if you made 1000 total how much would you pocket after total fees and taxes are taken out?
This is what I don't get. If eBay takes a final value fee and PayPal takes a fee but tog it doesn't equal 20% then how does being a top rated seller work? Wouldn't that 20% trs discount completely wipe out all your final value fees so that it is essentially all profit and the only thing you pay for is store fees? I don't understand.
Anon,The discount is 20% taken off your ebay FVF. So, if without the discount your ebay FVF would be $1.00, with the discount you pay ebay 80 cents and save 20 cents.
It's been a few years since eBay started putting the final value fee on the shipping. I always add in the 10% to the shipping cost, so that the buyer pays the fee. Fees vary by category, store subscription, and top rated plus status. The fee calculator is here for eBay.http://www.fees.ebay.com/feeweb/feecalculatorPaypal takes 3% plus 20-35 cents.For easy math let's say eBay and PayPal fees are about 15%, $150, and your tax bracket is 25%, $250. Then you would see 60%, $600 of your $1000, but if your tax bracket is 35%, $350, you would only pocket $500 or 50% of your $1000.The only certainties in life are death and taxes.
They did it because people abused the system, people would put things on at 1$ and then $20 shipping so they wouldn't have to pay the ebay fees
I've also been thinking of upping my shipping price but I fear the low ratings of shipping costs or people just not buying. There's a difference in an expensive item costing a lot to ship and a 20 dollar item that still cost a lot to ship. It's a turn off for most buyers. I usually give them close to the discount rate I pay. I may do an experiment where I change this around some. But the more I charge the more fees I get. Seems likely like a double edge sword. And right now I don't sell a lot so I haven't got a tax plan together but next year a safe estimate after fees and taxes seems to be half of my sale price. If I make 1000 a week only then do I pocket 500. Really sucks. That seems so daunting.
???? Anonymous, I think you're either overreacting or not doing your numbers correctly. eBay and Paypal take a combined 14% at most (depending on the item category). You should never lose money on shipping especially with the eBay discount. And if you are a Top Rated Plus seller, you get 20% off your Final Value Fees.How are your fees 50% of your profit? Can you break to down for us? Only reason I can imagine is if you are overpaying for items or not charging enough.
Hi Jay, I think he said "fees and taxes." Anna, above, calculated fees/taxes for a few different brackets and came up with 50% of a $1000 sale going to fees/taxes if you're in the 35% tax bracket.For people employed by others, I think you have to make in excess of about $300k to be in that bracket, but because of self-employment taxes to do with Social Security (and something else; can't remember right now) the self-employed scavenger may enter a 35% bracket with a much smaller income. I don't know what that threshold is, though.
Understood. I just sense a little bit of hysteria/exaggeration. Profits are incredible on eBay is you are buying items for cheap and selling at their full value. Profits are incredible on eBay if you charge customers the actual shipping rates. Profits are incredible on eBay if you achieve Top Rated Plus and get the 20% discount of final value fees. We experience nothing but pluses when we do the numbers.As far as taxes goes, get an accountant. If you've only worked for others and just pulled a paycheck, you'll be amazed at the deductions business owners take advantage of. Remember that Mitt Romney, the multi-multi-millionaire, admitted to not even paying 15% tax rate. The tax system works against the average working stiff but gives all the advantages to entrepreneurs. Love it or hate it...it's the reality so enjoy it.
I'm not top rated yet. My 50% total came from this reasoning. If I gross witg shipping 600 with eBay and PayPal fees its about 20%. Yours may be less because of top rated or store subscription. But the subscription is still another fee you have to factor in. Okay so 20% of 600 is 120 but for easy figuring I'll call it 100. Then I have to deduct that 100 from my sales not with shipping since that money is not profit. So say 500 minus 100. Now I'm at 400. Then regular tax rate is what? Around 30% or so? Depends on state I guess and I don't know if u pay federal and state so could be more. I'm not sure if they tax total with shipping but I'll say not and take 30% from 500, that's 150 minus my 400 (fees took out). That leaves me with 250 profit not counting cost of goods. I started at 600. I'm sure some of my math is wrong my ignorance on my part. And please don't mistake me for someone neighsaying about eBay. I'm not. I love eBay but I'm overwhelmed at how much I have to sell i n order to just bring in 500 bucks a week. What do you think your percentage profit is after everything?
I think we just take things in little pieces so it's not overwhelming. I did our numbers up above, but we can do it again.eBay and Paypal take a max of 14% depending on the category. They don't alter their percentage for any store subscription level. So if we pay $1 for an item and sell for $30, then eBay takes about $4.20. Our profit is close to $24.As far as shipping, you seem to really be getting worried over this. eBay gives us a shipping discount, and this helps pay for supplies and the final value fee on shipping cost. We charge what USPS shipping costs so it's really a break even transaction. Your shipping costs should not break into your profit.We pay quarterly taxes to the Federal and State governments. At the end of the year, we do our final taxes and pay anything more we owe. We're frugal so it works out.Do we assume you're new to all this? (You haven't said.) Anytime you start a business, you cant assume it's going to be gushing money and paying all your bills out of the gate. Try it for a month, then improve based on what you learn. Do it for another month, then improve based on that experience. Six years later, this is all we do.
I guess if you charge full shipping and keep the discounted difference then you offset the fees. I wasnt doing that. I'm not really new to selling just new to trying to do it on a more regular basis. I was hung up on shipping as you said only because I know the final value fee gets calculated from it too but since I wasn't making any profit off of shipping, all of my fees were coming directly out of my normal item sales. But I think I understand it better now. Appreciate everyone's enlightenment.
Another great and interesting video. I always take notes and keep them on my phone for reference. Thank you for making these videos. They are very helpful and it's fun to see what sold and for how much. Also liked the Fugazi reference. :D
This is off topic but related in a way. I ordered an mp3 player from the UK and Friday I get a message from a company called Aramex that they are holding my package because I have to pay customs. They left a phone number but I haven't called back yet. Does this sound legit? It seems weird to me. I googled the company and they are a carrier but they have some bad reviews and one person said they were charged customs on something that they shouldn't have been. Isn't custom collected by a customs agent? I'm pretty clueless about this. I'm a little worried to just call there and give them a credit card number to pay a customs fee that I have no proof of. Am I paranoid? Why order an mp3 player from UK? It's a special unit for people with dementia. It's pretty cool.
The US has no customs or VAT tax. Whatever charge they're adding on is their own fee. I would complain to eBay especially if they ddnt disclose the extra fee when you purchased it.
Thanks Jay. I didn't purchase this from ebay. It's through a private company and I paid shipping and taxes when I bought it. Thanks for letting me know about no US customs though. I will be calling them tomorrow and calling the company I bought it from if this still say I owe customs.
The U.S. does have customs duties. Under certain limits, you don't have to pay anything. But the limits vary by country and by type of item that is being imported into the U.S. Perhaps the link below will be of help. Good luck sorting it out.http://www.cbp.gov/trade/basic-import-export/internet-purchases
Thanks for the link Crystal. Here is what I found there which is so open ended. Shouldn't the seller have covered this item to my door? It sounds like they can charge me all kinds of things. I guess I won't know until I call them back. Courier Shipping: Goods shipped by courier, express, or other commercial service usually are expedited through CBP by a customs broker hired by that commercial service and then delivered seamlessly to your door. Customs brokers are not CBP employees. There are a number of different charges associated with these services, including shipping and handling, the fees charged by the service for clearing the merchandise through CBP, as well as any Customs duty and processing fees that may be owed on your importation.
And then this…Pitfalls: Many people have found the various charges and fees levied to be higher than they expected, and sometimes exceed the cost of their purchase(s).Buyers often have the misunderstanding that when the purchase price includes shipping and handling, all the costs associated with clearing the package through CBP are covered by the seller. They don't realize that brokers fees and CBP duties may be an additional charge that the buyer is responsible for.Now I know how international buyers feel when they are hit with fees they aren't expecting (if they don't use GSP)
Back in the day I bought things from foreign countries all the time. Took months to get here sometimes but not once did I ever have to pay a fee of any kind. I wonder what's changed. Well even now I get stuff from Hong Kong or China and no fees. I was a weird buyer back then. I would buy soap from Jerusalem just to have an interesting address on my pkg. It's unfortunate that if anyone wants to buy USA stuff it has be a vintage item or from small location that makes their own stuff still.
I have a question about the 7x7x6 priority boxes. What is their shipping rate? I cannot find it on the USPS site for that particular size. Thanks!
They have the regular priority rate. They don't have a flat rate.
I use them constantly for mugs. Around a pound cost me around 6 bucks.
Im happy to also report I've sold two of my rock shirts so far for over 200 dollars. Bought 20 shirts for 30 bucks at GW. Now just hoping for positive feedback.
That's great Anne! What bands sold for so much?
Slayer and Exodus I think.
That's awesome, Anne! Is there anything special about them? Are they branded by a specific company?Thanks,- Yolanda
wow Anne that is amazing and inspiring!!Imma gonna have to start looking at all the old rock band tee shirts I used to just pass by.
Can anyone tell me how to increase the number of items in my store without incurring insertion fees? I only have a basic store right now, but don't want to pay extra. I would appreciate some insight. Thank you!
the only choice you have is to pay for the next level store. your insertion fees will be zero until you reach your limit on that level. no way to avoid it.
Hi Ryanne, I called them and they told me to wait awhile. I know you always say, List it and Forget it, for vintage and everything, so you don't list anything as an auction?? I have some of my vintage items listed as auctions, but it makes me nervous because I want to sell them as high as possible. Thank you for your help
i'm not sure what you mean. ebay told you to wait a while? until things sell on auction? no we don't sell on auction, because as you're seeing, most auction items will sell for opening bid or not at all. that's why we say price high on BIN with best offer. we talk about it every week on the podcast. you can even read about it here---http://www.scavengerlife.com/p/manifesto.html good luck!
I totally agree. I do listen to your podcasts, but at night when I go to bed so sometimes I fall asleep. I think I will have to make some changes. Thank you so much!