Scavenger Life Episode 237: Being Too Precious Loses Us Money iTunes   YouTube   Download .mp3  Download .ogg

We had a good, solid week of sales. A completely unglamorous week, but these are the weeks that make us a living.

We get regular emails from sellers who ask us about items they find. The person tells us how special the item is and how they can't find it anywhere online. It's so special that they can't figure how much to price it. They don't want to list it because they might undervalue it and miss out on unknown riches. Paralysis sets in.

Here's what we always tell these sellers. Being too precious about anything is one of the worst mistakes we can make.  First, do the research. Rarely is there ever not something online to tell you how valuable an item is. And if there is absolutely nothing online, it could mean that it's not that valuable. Sought after items are spoken about at length on the internet.

Second, you can always take it to someone who might know more. But when we do this, we think of it as an adventure. A fun way to do research. Questions are usually always free to ask. Paying for appraisals doesn't make sense to us.

Third, sometimes rare items just aren't worth much. It may be rare or even one-of-a-kind, but that doesn't automatically mean it's valuable. Someone has to want it.

Ultimately, we can't be paralyzed by indecision. We just have to list it. If we're unsure, we put a high price with "make offer" see what kind of offers people send in. For every item we may have undervalued, we've sold 100 items for double what normal sellers might have made on the same items. The key is never be too precious about anything after doing the research.

In this episode, we mentioned the following links:
  • We finally switched over to the new eBay Seller Hub. Things are in different places, but it's pretty much the same. Cleaner layout.
  • We signed up for a new eBay competitor, We're trying them out because they have an importer that automatically pulls in all our eBay listings like Bonanza does. The site's owner, Jeff, is responsive and looking for feedback.
  • We posted another episode over at Shampoo & Booze if you want to hear how we're learning to run a vacation rental business.
Hope you had a good week.

Our Store Week January 3-9, 2016
  • Store #1
  • Total Items in Store: 3895
  • Items Sold: 22
  • Cost of Items Sold: $303
  • Total Sales: $1,426.43
  • Highest Price Sold: $300 (AA book)
  • Average Price Sold: $64.81
  • International Sales: 1 GSP
  • Returns: 1
  • Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $20
  • Number of items listed this week: 20

  • ----------
    Bonanza: $90
    Amazon: $0

  • Store #2
  • Total Items in Store: 879
  • Items Sold: 7
  • Cost of Items Sold: $15
  • Total Sales: $528.96
  • Highest Price Sold: $300 (Lot of brass hinges)
  • Average Price Sold: $91.79
  • International Sales: 2 GSP
  • Returns: 0
  • Number of items listed this week: 34


  1. Total items in store: 165
    Items sold: 12
    Cost of Items Sold: $30 used + $16.29 new
    Total Sales: $303.66
    Highest Sale: 49.99 each Tyrolia Snowsuit and Orage Ski Jacket
    International sales: 0
    Returns: 0
    Money spent on new inventory: 0

    I relisted most of my items this week. It felt like a busy week with sales everyday, but most of the sales were under $25. I'd love to have sales everyday. I'm very happy with the week. For 2016 I'd really like to sell $500 a week.

    Sadly, I had someone cancel $149 best offer sale immediately after they paid for it. The buyer said she had meant to bid on a different auction. It seemed very strange since she had made an offer and then paid for it right away.

    I also missed out on a $40 shoe sale, because somehow I had listed the shoes as a size 12 instead of a size 11. Thankfully, I realized it before I mailed them, but I did get a defect since I canceled the sale. I'm going to lose my TRS status this month.

    Target has the 66qt clear Sterlite storage bins for $5 this week.

    1. I've noticed that you've been selling much more this year than last. A cool pipeline!

    2. Anna, thanks for the tip on the storage bins on sale this week at Target. I just ordered a bunch!

  2. Week of 01/03/16 - 01/09/16

    Total Items in Store: 1260
    Items Sold: 19
    Cost of Items Sold: Not calculated
    Total Sales: $832
    Highest Price Sold: $100 (Wool Blanket)
    Average Price Sold: $43.79
    International Sales: 1 (GSP)
    Returns: 1
    Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $123
    Number of Items Listed: 0

    It was a great week all around. Tied for my highest gross sales that I have had. Things were selling great at the beginning of the week, but by Thursday it slowed way down to a crawl. No worries, the good times were good and the slowness gave me a break to go to the Estate Sales which were nice to me. I hit them just right (by accident) and caught some great sales at 50% off. The one sale was for Star Wars like collectiables. After they were all gone I think they figured that they had nothing left of any value. So I walk into this and they were practically
    giving items away. I spent $60 and walked away with over $1500 of some great buys. It was a really fun week.

  3. 1/3-1/9

    Total Items in store: 457
    Items sold: 16
    Cost of items sold: approx. $173
    Total Sales: $500
    Highest price sold: $35 – Vintage Radica handheld game (had 1 retail arb. Sale for $153)
    Average price sold: $31
    Int’l sales: 0
    Returns: 1
    Number of items listed this week: 0
    Full time ebay goal - March 2018

    Ebay to Amazon experiment – Had one sale,– purchased new on ebay $25 sold on amazon $69.93. FBA fees $10.21. Profit $34.72. I have 2 items in inventory, 5 on the way.
    Hoping to get all the shelves set up in the garage this week.

    1. Why do you think this item is being so grossly under-priced on eBay? Do you think they'll be a steady stream of these undervalued items on eBay for you to keep buying?

    2. Jay I believe the demand for the item has went up, while pricing on ebay has remained stagnant. The past month, 7 of these wireless routers sold in new condition for under $30. I bought 2 of those and sold the second one today. I also purchased one for $32 today which is more than I would normally like to spend, but it appears as though the demand on Amazon is strong. This is the same item that I noticed the discrepancy in the summer.

      I have 5 distinct items on my way to FBA, most with $50 or more profit margins, only time will tell, but it seems to have opportunity. I am looking for recent items that are new in the package, but not being manufactured any more. It seems like these items have a lower selling point on ebay for whatever reason.

  4. Total Items in store: 616
    Items sold: 30
    Cost of items sold: approx. $370
    Total Sales: $1372.81
    Highest price sold: 130 (Nike Dunk Mid Pro SB Marina/Black Spider man)
    Average price sold: $46

    Great week!, consistent sales.

  5. Hello all Scavenger Life people. This is Jeff Schleede of Thanks to Ryanne and Jay for mentioning our new site on their podcast. We really appreciate it. I know that they loved the eBay import tool that we have..we imported many 1000's of listings for them. If you sign up and have trouble importing your items from eBay..simply contact me at I will happily do the import for you (no charge). Also as an update..we are working on the synchronization between eBay and Vangoe, so that if you sell on one it removes the listing on the other. Our developers are already working on it and we expect it to be finished in about 2 weeks. If you have any questions, please ask me via the email above or you can do the Facebook Messenger thing.. I am happy to help. Thanks again to Ryanne and Jay.

    1. Thanks Jeff, I just shot you an email. I look forward to using your site.

  6. Rydell Relics Store Week January 3-9, 2015
    Total Items in Store: 974
    Items Sold: 23
    Cost of Items Sold: $37.49
    Total Sales: $570.34
    Highest Price Sold: $75 (2 vintage curtain panels)
    Average Price Sold: $24.80
    International Sales: 2 GSP
    Returns: 1 big one
    Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $19
    Number of items listed this week: Not enough to hit my goal.

    Lots of items sold, but most were very low dollar. I'm totally cool with that, especially because there were lots of old listings. I also had one big return: it was that box of sewing patters the post office lost...$255 clams. Damn that hurt. I also had a guy open a return on Christmas for a $140 wool coat, but he never sent it back. Since he's new to eBay, I was going to send him a message explaining the process. But Hassle Free Returns makes it VERY easy, so I stayed quiet. He never contacted me with any questions, and the return window closed on Monday, so I guess I'm in the clear.

    A question for everyone: I recently found a cool old leather briefcase. It's all intact, but there are some scuffs and scratches that could probably be touched up with shoe polish. Should I bother, or should I just list it as is? I routinely clean up items before selling them, but this briefcase seems like it would be a lot of work. Thought?


    1. I just wipe off leather briefcases. Show the wear. The danger in covering it up is a buyer being disappointed when they look closely.

    2. I second Jay's advice. I recently sold a nice leather Italian made briefcase. It had some wear on the leather so I marketed it as "distressed" and it sold for $200...

  7. Items Sold: 7 ebay, 6 on etsy
    Total Items in Store: 143 on ebay--222 on Etsy
    Total Sales: $575.34
    Highest Price Sold: $100 vintage stole on ebay
    Average Price Sold: $44
    International Sales: 0

    Returns: 0, but one item broke in shipping (Etsy) which I replaced
    A solid week about which I can't complain. Listing has slowed down as I got a little burnt out--need to get back on the ball this coming week, or sales will slow down. I got a negative on Etsy for an item obviously (per photos sent) damaged by the Post Office...sigh...I had a replacement and sent it, but it would have been nice if she had contacted me before leaving feedback.

    1. I'm sure you've thought of this Sue but do they allow buyers to revise feedback on etsy?

    2. I can't help have a little satisfaction that buyers are grumpy across all selling platforms. No greener pastures. Gad you're making good money.

  8. Store Week January 3-9

    Total items in store: 583
    Items sold: 19
    Cost of items sold: $21.65
    Total sales: $872.43
    Highest price sold: $200.00 (1960s book about the landscaping at Disneyland)
    Average price sold: $45.92
    International Sales: 1 GSP
    Returns: 0
    Money spent on new inventory this week: $.37

    This week was awesome! It was a new record for me as far as sales dollars and also number of sales. I had over $500 in sales on Friday and then went on a mini road trip for the weekend and my phone was going off the whole time. So fun!
    The book that I sold was from a bag sale, so I probably paid 50 cents or less for it. I usually don’t even look at books because I don’t know anything about them, but I had room in my bag, so I went to see if there were any good ones for my kids. I almost didn’t get it, but grabbed it since it was about Disneyland. I was delighted when I got home and found that it is very rare. Score!

    1. Congrats on a fabulous week? How did you research the Disneyland book and set a price? How quickly did it sell? I didn't see any sold on eBay in the last 90 days and Amazon doesn't have any in stock.

    2. Thanks! I found one book like that online and it had sold on Etsy for $100. When I looked on Amazon, there were none for sale, but there was a somewhat extensive review of it that raved about it and gave some info. about it. It also said it was essential for a Disney fan library, so I figured I'd aim high. It has probably been listed for a couple of months or so, and I haven't had any questions or offers, and the guy just bought it for full price. Yay!

  9. Hey Scavengers,

    Heads up on ebay glitch: I ended a bunch of listings (one at a time and also in bulk) recently. I relisted them. Coincidentally or not, I had one sale about a half hour after re-listing it. I waited to hear the 2nd cha-ching that indicates they paid for the item, and it never came.

    I called ebay to find out what was up. The first CS person couldn't help (got everything wrong as a matter of fact). He then passed me on to a "specialist." She told me the "require immediate payment" box had not been checked. Turns out, everything I had re-listed didn't have the box checked. It seems as soon as I selected an item to relist, the program de-selected the require immediate payment box.

    I'm sure many of you don't check that box on purpose, but for those who relist like me and require immediate payment on non best offer items, this may be something to look out for.

    Now I'm waiting on another payment. I still don't understand why it's even an option, but there is a reason I'm not writing this at ebay forums...

    Hope this helps someone.

    - Peace

    1. Thanks for the update. I assume this occurred because you;re trying to experiment of ending and relisting items hoping to boost your ranking on eBay?

      Other than that one sale, are you seeing a dramatic uptick in sales with this method?

    2. No problem. I imagine it won't apply to very many people, but I try to contribute since I get so much out of your Scavenger Life creation. I think the general level of the discussion flows from the vibe you and Ryanne create on the podcast - and that's an accomplishment. There is a lot of info all over the web, but SL is my preferred place to go because it's practical and you are people I would actually spend time with.

      Speaking of practical, I will get down to answering your questions now. I don't think I have a big enough store yet to get good data and I haven't re-listed enough to have a feeling either way. I'm doing it because I think it makes sense. Depending on how one searches, new listings often pop up before old listings. My original idea to relist wasn't from SL, it was actually an idea I had from cl. I know from many years selling on craigslist that it definitely helps sales. The sale I just had on ebay after re-listing was something I had listed for a month. Then again, I had just relisted forty other things and none of them sold. In the end, I think it's nigh impossible to have a definitive answer. A quick bulk relist once or twice a month is no biggie (unless glitches happen) for me, so I think I will continue the practice until it becomes something I'd rather not do.

      Thanks again for all you two do.

    3. Agreed. I feel that relisting might just be a way for some seller's to feel they have some control. Whatever works.

    4. As your Good Til Cancelled listings roll over each month they are at the top, too, just as if you had relisted them, too. So what's the advantage?

  10. I haven't listened to the show yet but I have my numbers ready so I'll post those now and come back again tomorrow after listing:

    Total Items in Store: 664
    Items Sold: 17
    Total Sales: $355.2
    Cost of Items Sold: $83
    Average Price Sold: $20.89
    Average Cost of Item: $4.88
    Highest Price Items Sold: $49.95 for a Breville Juicer that I overpaid on and just made my money back on it after fees.
    Number of items listed this week: 65

    Average age of items in store (in days since listing): 80 days
    Average number of days between listing and selling this week: 49 days
    Sell-through rate: 2.6%

    Fairly typical pre-holiday sales numbers for me. About half the items in my store are hats now. (Hats account for about 350 of the 660 items in my store). About half my sales this week (8 sales) were hats so my average sale price is low and is likely to stay that way for now. I mainly sell used baseball-style hats of all types. I'll be interested to see if sales of hats pick up much in spring when the weather gets warmer. I'm becoming a bit of an expert in used hats.

    1. Hats are a good niche. Not always huge sellers but cheap to buy. Good profit margins.

  11. Total Items in Store: 230
    Items Sold: 4
    Total Sales: $84
    Cost of Items Sold: $8
    Average Price Sold: $21
    Average Cost of Item: $2
    Highest Price Items Sold: $35 for a pair of Birkis that I bought at a garage sale for $1
    Number of items listed this week: 15

    Finally getting to publish this. Accountability!

  12. jan 11 2016

    eBay $130
    inventory 1037
    8 items
    highest sold puzzle on Amazon $50
    average $14.4

    Etsy $95
    inventory 337
    5 items
    average $19

    Amazon $76 for 3 items

    ebay, etsy and amazon $301

    returns 0

  13. Our Store Week January 4 – 10, 2016
    Total Items in Store: 259
    Items Sold: 8
    Cost of Items Sold: $532.00
    Total Sales: $2,260.99
    Highest Price Sold: $1,500.00 (Gas & Oil Advertising Piece)
    Average Price Sold: $251.22
    International Sales: 1
    Returns: 0
    Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $5.00
    Number of items listed this week: 10

    Sales Review: Great week. I’ve taken some highly researched chances on expensive items and it’s been consistently paying off. I agree wholeheartedly with Jay. You have to list stuff if you want to sell it. If I'm unsure of value, I list high with make offer. Sold an amazing oil painting last week doing that, and the petroliana this week doing the same.

    What Sold: Vintage machinist’s tool, vintage gas and oil advertising, Belgian Descoware, more petroliana, vintage handmade chess board, train case, flight manual (I purchased ~100 of these at an estate sale. I’ve seen sold prices from $55 to $250 each. I think I paid $75 total…), NOS stove parts, vintage camera.

    Customer Issues: None.

    Scavenging: Terrible. Went to 2 estate sales, 5 thrift stores, and an auction. I purchased a stained glass window for myself, and an early 90’s computer game to sell. I have a large backlog of inventory to list so it’s not a big deal, but scavenging is the fun part!

  14. Hello Fellow Scavengers!

    I am new to this group and wanted to post. I quit my full time job as a software engineer 3 years ago to be a stay-at-home-mom of my 4 children, ages 9,5,3,& 1. I am still getting over the "culture shock"... :-) I have always been a thrift-shopper/scavenger type and started selling coupons (of all things) on eBay 1 year ago to make extra money. (Unused Formula Checks are very fast and easy sales on eBay.) It was amazing to me that you can get something for FREE (junk mail) in your mailbox and turn around and list it on eBay and make money for nothing. After a while, I decided to take it to the next level. Now I am in the process of building my eBay business. It is VERY hard to go "Full Steam" scavenging with little kids in tow, but I do what I can. At thrift stores, we head straight to the TOY SECTION... (Argh.. I need to keep those little hands busy.) It gives me a few moments to grab whatever "good find" I can on the way there. I photograph a few items during the day while my kids are eating, and list and pack late at night while they are sleeping. I am learning and growing everyday.

    Here are my numbers for this past week:
    Total listings: 222
    Items Sold: 8
    Cost of Items Sold: $19.54
    Total Sales: $226.19 ($20.48 went to shipping.)
    Highest Price Sold: $79.99 (Vintage Flash)
    Average Price Sold: $28.97
    Returns/International Sales: 0
    Cost of New Inventory: $16.54
    New Listings this week: 14

    Very grateful for your awesome blog and for this community - I have learned so much from everyone.

    1. Welcome Sharon in OH. I'm amazed you can run this business with all those little kids. Huge admiration for your hard work and organization.

    2. Retro Treasures WVJanuary 11, 2016 at 2:11 PM

      I feel your pain with children - the struggle is real!! I have a full time job and my wife stays home with three small children and a 4th on the way. My wife's hands are full taking care of the house and homeschooling the kids so I don't get any help with the ebay business. Finding time to list is very difficult while still doing household chores and spending time with family. What I do at the thrift store while kids are with me is trust my eye and fill a buggy with potential inventory and go to the toy section. While kids play I go through the stuff and research.

    3. Thanks to you both!

      Retro - LOL, yeah, It is nice to relate to someone who has experienced trying to do this with kids. Frustrating, for sure, but then I have to take a step back and remind myself that the reason for eBaying in the first place is because I like the freedom of spending more time with them... Kudos to you and your wife for homeschooling! :)

    4. Sharon, I also stay home with my son and homeschool while also doing eBay. It does get easier as you develop a schedule and learn to carve out bits of time here and there. My son is nearly a teenager now, so it gets easier as they get older as well.

      I am currently teaching him how to dig for goodies at sales, pack items, and he even does some photography for me. I pay him his allowance for helping based on the final sales total for the month, so he knows that the more he helps, the more he gets in his paycheck!

    5. Elizabeth, Nice to hear from another "eBay mom"! That is great that your son can help you out like that (and earn money too!) I am starting to teach my oldest a little as well, I think it is a neat thing to show your kids that they can creatively earn money this way, regardless of whatever they end up doing some day... My 9 year old is not so good with the camera... I have to retake all her photos. Hopefully she will grow into it! :)

    6. Another stay at home mom here! I have been working on my eBay business since my son was about nine months. He just turned three!

      So happy to hear others with same issues as me (keeping kids occupied while sourcing merchandise & balancing parenting, managing household, and running a business).

      My son is deep into the "I WANT, I WANT, I WANT" phase now so taking him with me thrifting can be a challenge. :-D Love to hear more tips and tricks from other moms with little ones. Cheers!

  15. Total Items in Store: 403 (366 listings)
    Items Sold: 9
    Cost of Items Sold: $19.55
    Total Sales: $258.37
    Highest Price Sold: $91 (old railroad shovel $100- $9 shipping)
    Average Price Sold: $28.71
    International Sales: 0
    Returns: 0
    Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
    Number of items listed this week: 20

    I opened a Bonanza booth yesterday. I didn't deselect a discount on the import process so now all my items are discounted. How do I change that? Also I have a sale in my ebay store and it imported the sale price. When the sale is over will Bonanza update the new non-sale price?

    Here’s my 2 cents on the Bonanza membership thing. I run a small business and advertising costs money. If I want more jobs I have to do something to drive in more business. I have to pay for flyers and go door to door or pay someone to send mailers out. Buy an ad in the local paper or with Angie’s List. But whatever I do, it’s going to cost me money. I don’t know the first thing about what goes into getting more or less traffic on the internet but I’m sure it’s going to cost something to get more traffic. Whether it works or not is another thing.

    I also posted my first embedded video in a listing yesterday:

    It wasn't too difficult.

    1. I also opened a Bonanza booth last week and was also wondering about the 1% issue... I decided to keep it in place for now, thinking that it might spur an extra sale or two. (So far, I have none with Bonanza.) But I don't want it competing or distracting from my ebay sales.

      What does everyone else think about it - Do you utilize the 1% discount offered on the Bonanza import?

    2. Did your booth set up? I just went to Bonanza and it said my booth was partially set up. I went through the links (again) and it ends up on a page with all their membership plans. I thought it was free?

  16. Total Items in Store: 207
    Items Sold: 13
    Total Sales: $420
    Cost of Items Sold: $28 (used) + $144 (new RA)
    Average Price Sold: $32
    Highest Price Items Sold: $70 New Anthropologie clearance pillow shams (paid $28)
    Number of items listed this week: +/- 12
    Sales conversion rate: is perpetually .9%
    Listing impressions up 25% from 30 days ago

    A good week for me. I sold a lot of lower dollar items last week, but this week's average price was better for me. After Christmas I'm looking for bargains for myself and my family (especially apparel) so it makes sense to me. Christmas items are still selling.

    I finally got some freedom to get back to listing, which was fun for me. I like the new photo uploader in the hub and have experienced fewer glitches. I find myself after a year needing to remember to offer the most efficient shipping choices. I'm keeping a flat rate padded envelope on my desk to help me remember. When I list larger, longer items, I forget that it can get up to $40 to ship priority to the East Coast until I get an outraged email from someone (they never then buy the item after I add standard post, of course). I imported my store to Bonanza. No action yet.

    Looking forward to tackling my vintage backlog. It's fun to rediscover the treasures and I've only scratched the surface. I also have some family collectables (eg) Breyer horses to get going. It's so fun picking. Thinking about listing my Star Wars Monopoly game after seeing that go for $50 in Wednesday's video.

    Have a great week.

  17. Hi Folks:
    Just wanted you to know that the person referred to on today's podcast as offering advice on the art up on eBay was me. First, the "Too Precious" argument, well I grew up living in it. my family sets the standard for things sitting in a state of paralysis as too rare, too __ to sell...yet. I get that.

    However, the advice to unload truly rare items should be followed with extreme caution and at your own peril.

    Buying low and selling high has a middle name, and that name is Ignorance. About 3 years ago, I bought two Antique Chinese blue dragon robes at auction for $15.00. They had been put in the box lots because the auctioneer thought that because the sleeves were altered and there was some damage, it was of little value. I sold them both for about $3200.00. If I held onto them and sold them today, I would likely get another $1500 for them. That auctioneer has seen the light and now has auctions dedicated just to Asian decorative items.

    Here is another extreme, but classic example of what happens when you sell something without having a good think: google the Allsopp beer bottle saga on ebay. The first seller lost 6 Figures because he knew he had something, but didnt do enough work. (BTW, its not mentioned unless you dig, or unless u r me, but the other seller ultimately did indeed sell that bottle for six figures). You do the math. How do you feel about this topic now?

    Old stuff does not mean Big Bucks. However, a truly unique or rare item can be life changing. Checking ebay completeds is grossly inadequate. If you do have a rare item, why would several weeks of completed auctions possibly be of much use? I suggest Terapeak, or Worthpoint, or eyeballing it on google, or finding your own contacts that specialize in a particular field that your item falls into.

    I could give you my first go to for such a thing, but hey, I busted my butt for my contacts. You have to do the work. Quite frankly, its not that hard and will save you potential massive blunders.

    Now I will turn to the advice I gave about the signed fashion art to my fellow trash elves, since what I said, as represented during the podcast was truncated. First, my advice was in reference to specific signed pieces and lots. I dont recall saying anything about museums. In fact I buy from museum de-accessions and sell them privately, for the most part. What I said was that a few certain lots were priced too low as I have experience selling them. (I didn't feel it necessary to give a CV, but since apparently it is relevant, I have one of the largest private antique and vintage fashion and textile archives on the East Coast. You want to see it? Come on down.) However it is unnecessary to accept my word for anything. I could be smoking crack for all anyone here knows. I told our friends here to check specific other sites, but if they went long on some of those fashion lots and split them up, they would do much better with them. So yes, I have sold many of those Are they Erte, no but they are signed and could do well.

    As for the hand illustrations, I could sell some of those to designers who will flip them to home decor and scarf companies for $1200 a piece. I have done that many times. A little graciousness and research goes a long way, and its all about your book of contacts and network.Finally, I gave a specific name to contact about the Burch prototype. I felt that person could give you some very good advice or possibly flip it for you. He has been on several reality TV shows as a guest appraiser. Did you even bother contacting and speaking with him? Probably not or perhaps you would have been less critical in tone about me. Putting that aside, my advice about that prototype is your provenance on that piece is woefully inadequate for the price being asked.

    Yes folks, it is nice to see items leave to their new owners. Indeed you have to be selective in what you pick in the first place. However when you have what you think is a special item, it would really be a shame if your middle name became Ignorance.

    Best of luck
    A Sad Elf

    1. Don't be sad. J and R are fine knowing there's a chance they sell a truly valuable piece(10k+) . Their point was you can't let that overtake your business process. We all do research on items that are unknown but there's a tipping point where the extra time spent researching is not worth it.

      They explained they know they are leaving money on the table with the artwork. Any extra value they get out of those pieces is divided by 2 since its consignment. They also need to move it fast which obviously hurts the maximum value they could get.

    2. Hi Sad Elf. We have a difference of opinion, but we also seem to be saying the same thing. This shouldn't make you sad.

      We agree that researching is the most important thing. We didn't say just search on eBay. Search on Google aka "The Internet". As you suggested, we also mentioned that "you can always take it to someone who might know more". It can be adventure and learning experience to take the time to do this. We mentioned several times when we've done this.

      Our point is simply that it's possible to think everything is precious. It's possible to keep setting things aside for more and more research until nothing gets sold. Not sure about you, but we have bills to pay.

      And Sad Elf, you should buy our illustrations and resell for $1200 each. Go for it! Show us how its done! We'll be more than happy with our price since we obviously don't have access to the people you do. It's awesome that you've invested much of your life creating a deep network in a very specific topic.

      We do what we can. Forward on. Your mileage may differ. At the end of the day, potential is nice...but it's all about the real numbers.

    3. Omg, my grandparents held on to everything, either because they remembered exactly what they paid for an item in 1972 (and it MUST be worth more now because it was $8 then) or because an item had to be worth more because it was old. But everything was too precious to them to sell, so they stored it all, improperly. When it was finally time to sell everything because they needed to downsize for health reasons, all these valuable items were near worthless. Had they sold it instead of trying to bank everything for a bigger score later, they would have ended up with so much more for their retirement.
      It pains me to think about and its that sentiment that motivates me to get rid and sell items quickly, while also balancing an items value.

  18. Total items In store -1,511
    Items sold - 15
    Toal sales - $341.63
    Cost of sold items - $54.00
    Average price sold - $22.77
    Highest price item sold - $75.00 ToolPak Patek Backback
    Number items listed -10
    Money spent on new inventory - $50.00
    Much better week then any week in December

    1. Glad things are picking up. Just keep trying to buy different kinds of items. Keep changing the equation.

  19. I just had to stop listening to comment and say that Fed Ex Smart Post work around is brilliant. Whoever thought of that should get some sort of prize…

    Also I just started using the new ebay seller hub as well a couple of days ago. I'm not too impressed. As you said Jay the statistics don't give much information. Etsy has much better statistics. I do like how you don't have to review your listing before submitting it. Overall I'm feeling pretty neutral about it.

  20. Hi Jay:

    Mea Culpa. I over reacted. I really have to switch to half caf.

    However, I did not say I get $1200 a piece. I sometimes sell directly if I can travel, but a lot times I do a middleman thing and flip them for a third of what they in turn get. But that's okay for me. Money is a by product of this sort of thing if this is your vocation.

    I am merely offering you guys another potential pipeline. I have a few people in mind for you two for your handpainted flowery print / design type art "stuff".. Also, if you have antique print fabrics, I am definitely into that. You are already taking the pics anyway.

    Sure I could buy them myself and do it, but you guys do an awful lot for the community and I am getting up in age anyway, so providing a few names and how I would approach them is fine by me.

    Are you interested in maybe eating your own words?

    sad (possibly over caffeinated)elf

    1. No harm. No foul. Sorry if I spoke of our exchange too flippantly on the podcast.

      But when you messaged with a huge paragraph of advice, that was a conversation where I began to feel overwhelmed. You have years of experience and contacts in that niche.

      Sometimes it's important to know our limits. We're simply not that interested in illustrative art to become deep experts. So could we under price and lose maximum profit? Sure. At least we do it with open eyes.

      That being said, if you want to send me emails of contacts you have, I'm happy to email these people photos if they want to purchase. Beyond this, it's more work than I'm interested in. We all have our passions. Sounds like you've lived a fun, exciting life with such a cool textile archive.

    2. This coming from a guy and gal who do general contracting, three different online venues, film work, two blogs......I don't think you folks are busy enough! I still hope u folks get up to Brimfield in May. I dare say you don't know the definition of overwhelmed until you see somebody at Brimfield selling several hundred trumpets, tubas and French horns all lying on the ground. Next to somebody selling thousands of antique cookie cutters.

    3. I'm late to the conversation, but I think part of the issue is recognizing where you are on the food chain (and, if you're not pleased with it, working to evolve and change your position.) As an eBay seller, I have access to buyers all over the world -- this enables me to ask higher prices than, say, the local thrift, whose audience is limited to people walking through the door in my small New England town. But at the same time, I probably won't get the same prices as, say, the NYC or LA Galleries with heavy brick and mortar rents who are buying my pieces to re-sell to their upper-upper echelon clientele. There are exceptions, of course, so it can't hurt to aim high, but knowing, and working, your niche is the name of the game.

    4. Kate makes a very good point. It's weird to say but we do "know our place" in the ecosystem.

      With this illustrative art, we could invest in having each piece professionally framed and then shop them around to NYC galleries. Or hunt down contact info of designers and market directly to them. I bet we'd get huge money.

      But it also would take a lot of up front cost and a whole lot of time. We'd have to be be traveling and staying overnight in cities.

      As Kate said, we know that we're eBay sellers. We sell from rural VA. We're going to get the most we can out of items in this situation.

    5. With all of this in mind, it makes sense to do what research you can, and to aim high. ;-)

  21. January 3- 9, 2016
    • Total Items in Store: 387
    • Items Sold: 19
    • Cost of Items Sold: $41
    • Total Sales: $725.85
    • Highest Price Sold: $189.00 (Coogi Sweater)
    • Average Price Sold: $41.32
    • International Sales: 1 GSP
    • Returns: 0
    • Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $20
    • Number of items listed this week: 15

    I had a great week with sales and with scavenging.

    I took my husband (who is a scavenger, but not into scavenging for resale so much) to a weekly parking lot sale in neighboring town where almost everything is a quarter. It is sort of a madhouse of people racing to the various items they want and stuffing them in bags. After the sale, I went through my husband’s bag and found a Goodyear puffer vest that he had purchased for a quarter to wear around our property while working. I quickly stole it from him and listed it for $65. It sold the same night. Of course, he went from being surprised that I thought I could get anything for it to asking if I underpriced it!

    Another fun story- over the holidays my old blender/ food processor quit working. I was ready to toss it, but decided to list a few of the accessories for it on Ebay. While I was at it, I listed a water tank and the drip tray from a Keurig we had that bit the dust some time ago. The two blender pieces and the Keurig water tank sold the same day for a total of about $50. It was almost as easy to list them as it would have been to toss them!

    I have a fun deal I have made with myself where everything that I sell from our own stash of goods or things we get for free, go into a separate Paypal account and can be used for small trips, eating out, etc. It’s fun to see how quickly that account grows.

    Thanks for the podcast. Have a great week.

    1. That's a great idea. Our second eBay store goes into a separate Paypal account. It's our "special projects" fun. Kind of a secret savings account.

  22. Hi Ryanne - I am thinking that you will not be covered if you change the address to be able to ship via SmartPost. I know you are writing it on the label after printing but eBay will see that you shipped it without the box number and if it gets lost you won't be covered I bet.

    1. i'm not changing the address, i'm just changing the way it's spelled out. Post Office Box instead of PO Box. if i changed it to be some random house address, that would be a problem. and the box number is on there. i think it will be ok. but i hear you. not great to alter the address, ebay should fix this bug in the system.

  23. PayPal justice (sort of) today.

    History: I sold a vintage Gloverall Duffle jacket for $200 free shipping. I had it listed at much higher but have already sold it and had it returned once. Since the first time it sold, I implemented a 20$ restocking fee.

    Sold the jacket for $200. Gave the buyer a bunch of additional measurements prior to sale and upon receipt said that the coat was "fine but didn't realize that it didn't have a zipper" and that he would be returning it. My photos show it without a zipper and the Gloverall website (current models) don't have zippers.

    He never opened a case on eBay, but just shipped the coat back.

    I refunded him $160 through PayPal ($200 - restocking fee) and he responded that he didn't think that was fair and that he would be opening a case.

    Nothing came in eBay, but I got a case in Paypal. Here was his reasoning"

    "I have difficulty accepting the 20% restocking fee. I appreciate your making the partial refund of $160 but feel that you should not have withheld $40 as a fee for "restocking" the coat into your inventory."

    Again, my listing had the fee right on the listing. He didn't like the word "may" in eBay's wording but that's out of my control.

    Well, I responded with all the reasons that he should still have to pay it, including messages from eBay, reference to my listing, and all sorts of ancillary costs (money, supplies, etc.) that go into an eBay business.

    I then escalated the case to PayPal thinking it was a slam dunk.

    Anywho, I called PayPal today, explained the situation, and she said she could understand how that's frustrating as the buyer basically didn't have a good reason for that. She refunded me the $40.

    2 possible mistakes made by me: 1 - accepting the return when it wasn't through eBay's return program. I've done this in the past but that was before I had my restocking fee. 2 - escalating the case to PayPal. I should have sent him messages through the PayPal and let the buyer escalate. I don't think PayPal cared about the eBay messages. Maybe reference PayPal's user policy too which has reasons for and against case resolution.

    I don't know why, but I think this is bittersweet justice since the other guy still got to keep his money but at least I'm made whole again.

    1. So Paypal paid you $40 out of their own pocket?

      Yes, we always keep returns to eBay if we have a choice. And we never escalate cases. Let the buyer push the issue.

    2. I guess? It just shows a "reversal" on the $40 transaction. I'll take what I can get especially cause I was totally right in this case!

  24. I'm still alive and I still only have the use of 1 arm for another week. But sales have continued to be good. We cleared $3,700 last week. The new girl we hired to list is doing great. And we're moving to a new 3,700 sqft house with a pool! So everything has been good, other than the shoulder surgery.

    1. LOL "I'm still alive". That's a great way to look at life! :)

    2. Good to hear Bryan, I wish you a speedy recovery. A pool, that's cool.

    3. 3700 square feet house!!!! Wow. Congrats. Are you buying or renting?

    4. Thanks, it's not been very fun, but the shoulder is coming along nicely.

      We're renting, but we might consider buying it. The finished basement is bigger than our entire house right now. So it's going to be very nice getting eBay out of our living space. And we have a climate controlled 800 sqft garage if we ever need more space.

      And a freaking pool!

    5. I'm super jealous of the pool. Congratulations on doing so well to be able to afford the new place. Kudos to you! Is it an indoor or outdoor pool?

    6. Thanks Nancy, it's an outdoor pool. Before we get too excited we have to fix though. I'm not sure what exactly is wrong with the it, but they said it should only cost $300 to $500 (but we're prepared to spend a lot more than that if needed).

    7. I hope you are in a warm climate?

    8. It's warm enough to use for a few months out of the year.

    9. Bryan,
      I bought my house with inground pool about three years ago. There's definitely a learning curve, but it's pretty easy to maintain once you get the hang of it. And I'm still not over feeling like I hit the lottery! Nothing like hearing your phone do an Ebay ka-ching! while you're floating around in your lounge chair :-)
      Check out for a lot of common sense, frugalminded solutions.

  25. I should be checking my emails better. In the beginning of Dec I too had a rush of Bonanza sales..I think think anything of it until you mentioned it on the podcast. I went back to my emails and sure enough, got one of those too. Saying they boosted my traffic for that period. And I sold 1 item a day for about a week. Interesting!

  26. Jay, couldn't you just try the Bonanza traffic thing for one more month to see if your last months sales duplicate? 40 is worth it if it brings you hundreds. But if you try it again and see no real difference, you can just cancel. I don't do Bonanza so I don't know how their subscriptions work but it may be worth looking into at least.

    1. This is a good suggestion. Why not. We'll do a sign up and do a $40 experiment and let you know.

  27. Ebay sold listings are very inadequate for rare items.

    It kind of seems like a worthpoint subscription might pay for itself, but it seems like most of these items aren't on worthpoint either (not traditional collectibles, just weird old junk) and if they were on there they might just show some guy auctioning it for $10 because he didn't do the research either.

    1. Yes, not everything is on eBay. In the old days, to research an item you’d need a bookshelf full of price and research guides, and subscriptions to the high end auction house catalogs and specialty mail order auctions, depending on collecting fields you were interested in. Of course eBay has put some of those places out of business. I’ve considered a Worthpoint subscription but haven’t taken the plunge.

    2. You can sign up for a free subscription to, and see sold prices for lots of different auctions houses; mostly higher-end items, but still good for research.

    3. I generally just do a google search. If I see something on Worth point, at least I know that it's sellable!

  28. Jan 3-9 2015
    • Total Items in Store: 601
    • Items Sold: 25
    • International 0 GSP
    • Total Sales $1480.74
    • Highest Price $250 vintage stereo amplifier
    • Average Price Sold: $59.23
    • Returns: 0
    • Cost of Items Sold: $115
    • Cost of items purchased this week $326

    Somewhat akin to the precious item topic, while at an auction and perusing the offerings Saturday it dawned on me that I was starting to own things in my head before the bidding even started. Bad idea as I believe this causes an emotional attachment and I would bid more than I should. So now I look at an item, gauge the value and potential profit and leave it at that, not letting the desire to obtain it get in the way of sensible bidding. There's never a lack of stuff.
    This particular auction I attended has both an indoor ring and outdoor flea market type stuff on auction, even on a 2 degree January day. The best deals are outdoors, maybe not the nicest stuff but always $5 or less. It's all done in rows of box lots, winning bids gets choice, you have to be careful though as when the bidding stops going over $3 they sell the whole row, and if you drive a Civic like me your not going to be able to haul it all away. I'm usually able to buy stuff from the winner for couple bucks.

    Most pawn shops are way too expensive to make much profit buying there but I stopped into one last week and found a very rare turntable, they were asking $400, I pointed out it was missing a counterweight and got them down to $235, bought the weight on eBay for $65 and am about to list it for $1200.

    1. Steven what advice would you give to someone who wants to dip their toe into selling electronics? Where did you start?

    2. I started building radios and electronic kits when I was 10, so I guess I've always had an interest and that's where you need to start, find what sparks your curiosity, then research history and values.
      Electronics can be tricky, hard to test out fully at a yard sale or thrift store, answering a CL ad you can't ask them to demo for you in parking lot meet up.
      Be aware there can be some attrition, I have a garage full of tape decks and amplifiers that I will either part out or sell as parts units as they have problems I wasn't aware of when I bought them.

      As I am also a consumer of vintage electronics, my living room looks like it's out of the 1960's, I have an idea of what my target buyer is thinking and tailor my listings as to what they will want to know.
      I'm not an expert at anything but like any good salesman, I know just enough to sound like I am.

    3. Hey Steven, I'm the anonymous electronics guy who was waxing rhapsodic about the 1229. Scored a Marantz 2245 last month. Man it sounds pretty damn good with the big New Advents I also scored. Hello new reference system. ;)

      As for getting into electronics. I pretty much agree with Stephen. You have to know a little bit and like messing with them a bit. I'm no expert by any stretch of the imagination, but there is always something to do - unless it's like new. Even then, you have to hook everything up to test it. If it's an amp for instance, there are (as The Big Lebowski would say), "a lot a ins, a lot a outs" to test. Then again, you could post it on ebay and say, untested and I don't know anything about it and no returns and don't bother me etc...

  29. Not sure if you realize this, but you can add your photos to your own listing on Amazon. I will add them on high value items that I want to show the condition.

  30. Retro Treasures WVJanuary 11, 2016 at 2:40 PM

    This is my first time posting numbers:
    January 3- 9, 2016
    • Total Items in Store: 130
    • Items Sold: 8
    • Cost of Items Sold: $26.50
    • Total Sales: $265.23
    • Highest Price Sold: $50
    • Average Price Sold: $33.15

    I had 4 things sell for $50 this week, but my favorite item was a Beyblade Beystadium. I purchased several at walmart clearance aisle for some retail arbitrage at $7 each. My buyer asked if I could guarantee Friday delivery. It was going to get there by Friday anyways, but since he asked for it specifically I tacked on $5 to my price for "expedited shipping" and he accepted it. :) Beyblade has a large and heavy pocketed fan base. I love finding this stuff when I can.

    When I first started this in the summer my goal was $10 profit per item. I've worked hard to expand my knowledgebase and what type of items I sell. My goal now is to push my profit per item to $30+, which I am achieving. Yay!

    I really felt this week was very slow, but I have also set some pretty high expectations and goals. I have also been raising my prices which I know will slow my sales down. To counter this I am pushing my listings up. I'm up to 130 from 115 this week and plan to be at 200 by the end of the month. I also imported my ebay listings to Bonanza and have already had a sale there yesterday.

  31. I thought I'd share a bit of an experiment I did over the weekend. I like to buy Revere Ware copper clad pots at yard sales and estate sales and then polish them and sell on eBay. The biggest challenge with these is that people really mess up the copper bottoms and it can be a pain to get all the marks off and make them look nice and shiny again. I picked up a couple of pots on Saturday that needed major cleaning and I decided to test a bunch of cleaning methods and share my results. Here they are:

    1.) Dish soap – Makes the pot clean enough to cook in but not very good at polishing it or removing any of the black marks.
    2.) Ketchup – Some people claim the acidity of the tomato in Ketchup cleans the pot. This helped shine the copper bottom a bit but was pretty useless at getting rid of the black marks.
    3.) Easy-Off Oven Cleaner – Some folks recommend warming up the pot in the oven then spraying oven cleaner on it and letting sit for 20min. In my test this method wasn’t very good. Not only did it not remove any of the black marks it also creates bad fumes and I had to setup a place outside in the back yard to spray the pot.
    4.) White vinegar and kosher salt – This works quite well and when used with a brillo pad removed a lot of the black marks but left an odd swirly residue pattern on the copper that required further polishing.
    5.) Bar Keepers Friend – This is a fairly abrasive cleaner but used in conjunction with a scrubby sponge it worked quite well. Not only did the tarnish on the copper bottom come off but with a bit of elbow grease I was able to get most of the black marks off. I did notice some scrubbing marks after using this with a brillo pad so it might be best to save this method for the really tuff spots.
    6.) Revere Copper Polish Paste – This is the most expensive option as I had to pay $7 for a small canister of the cleaner but it also works great. The run-of-the-mill tarnish and cooked on grease wiped off almost instantly and the really bad marks mostly came off with a bit of scrubbing. It also worked well for polishing the stainless steel parts of the pot.

    After all these tests my new cleaning method is to use the Revere Paste first and then if there are some really bad spots I go back with the Bar Keepers Friend and do my best to scrub the remaining marks off. I was surprised the vinegar and kosher salt worked and it seems to be a decent alternative for somebody who does not want to use harsh chemicals. If anybody else on here sells Revere Ware and has a different cleaning method let me know!

    1. Thanks for the tips. I use an inexpensive bench grinder with cloth buffing wheels installed for polishing metals. Polishing compounds to use on the wheels come in different grits. I haven't attempted this on any Revere Ware, though.

    2. deb truervalues
      Hi Jason - Excellent review! I just inherited a bunch of Revere Ware from my mom (double ring).....I replaced my own (30 years old) with hers, but can't get hers clean. Tried the Barkeeper's Friend, but, it is slow going.

      Is the revere ware cleaner available in the grocery store?

    3. My grandma used Bon Ami which is a gentle sort of scouring powder. She had a whole set of Revereware that got daily use.

    4. Jason - I have a set of copper canisters that get a lot of use and have the marks to show it. I am definitely going to take your info and work on getting them clean again. Thanks!

  32. Retro Treasures WVJanuary 11, 2016 at 3:35 PM

    Forego the brillo pad with Bar Keepers Friend and just use a wash cloth or paper towels. We have Royal Prestige Cookware and the manufacturer recommends Bar Keepers Friend. That stuff is like magic. I use it on so many things including kitchen counters and the steps in my pool.

    1. BKF is also great for taking silverware marks off of stoneware (such as Pfaltzgraff), out of the bottoms of coffee cups, etc.

    2. i prefer Bon Ami to bar keepers friend. Bon Ami is all natural. BKF has bleach in it, hence the burning feeling after using it.

    3. Bon Ami is a great eco-friendly gentle abrasive, but BKF is more potent; it's got oxalic acid (not bleach) and can address problems that Bon Ami, in my experience, can't touch. In general, I go with the least chemical intervention possible, but BKF is one of the "big guns" in my arsenal.

  33. Haven't had a chance to listen yet. But thought everyone might find this article interesting.

    1. A couple local auction houses specialize in return auctions.

  34. Flim Store Week January 3-9, 2015
    Total Items in Store: 472
    Items Sold: 10
    Cost of Items Sold: $146.75
    Total Sales: $679
    Highest Price Sold: $110 (Yumi Kim dress/Ralph Lauren jeans)
    Average Price Sold: $67.90
    International Sales: 1 GSP
    Returns: 1

    Average week of sales. Definitely understand the 'precious' aspect of selling/listing. If something sells quickly, I fret over if I could have upped the price a bit higher. If I find something I know is worth a lot of money, I don't list it for quite a while. Not sure why! Even after my research has given me a good base for price/value.

    1. Yeah, what happened to all those Mid Century fish plates. You sold one for $400...but what about the others!!!!! Put them back into the giant collector's ocean!!!!

    2. deb truervalues
      Hi Flim - Weird....I usually list my highest items first--because I am excited to get them sold. :)

      I've been waiting to see how your fish plates sell as well. Did you decide to keep them instead of selling?

    3. I've sold 2 fish plates, both for $400. I have a signed one up for $1200 without BO. That one has a lot of watchers, but no bites so I'll add BO to it soon. I wanted to see if anyone would stretch their budget to buy it.

      The rest- I know, I know! I'm going to keep a couple for myself, but yes, I need to get on moving the rest.

  35. Total Items in Store: 903
    • Items Sold: 16 (Ebay)
    • Cost of Items Sold: $6 Louis Mulcahy Mugs
    • Total Sales: $512 (Ebay) + $45.00 Amazon, 1st Bonanza Sale- Martha Stewart Magazine Lot for $25
    • Highest Price Sold: $70 for 6 LOUIS MULCAHY POTTERY Stoneware Blue Footed Tumblers Mugs Vases Dingle Ireland &
    $75 for Vietri Italy Buttercream Pottery Lg Soup Tureen Serving Bowl w/Cover, $28 for Vintage 1905 The Stoddard Thanksgiving Menu", $35 for
    3 Vintage "Avon Fantasy Reader" Books, $35 for of Pair Vintage Black Americana Wood Painted Red Toy Figure Porters, $25 for 1991-Phil-Collins-Color-Photo-Signed-Autographed (sold immediately)
    • Average Price Sold: $32 (Ebay) ?(Amazon)
    • International Sales: 1
    • Returns: 0
    • Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $9.00
    . Items listed: 12
    A slow week. Didn't keep track of my listings each day and surprised to see I only listed 12 items when I just made a goal of 5 per day.
    (My house is really clean, though.) Wake up call!

    Feeling guilty now about listing Black Americana, but I have a whole box that I'm trying to get rid of. Heard a lot are bought as history pieces, mostly by Afican Americans.
    My grandkids were kind of mortified seeing these things, but I never thought too much about them being derogatory. Any thoughts?

    Jay & Ryanne...Thanks for keeping things simple and easy and for helping so many of us become successful selling. I appreciate your uncomplicated, positive approach. Keep up the good work!

    1. Hi Sandy,
      I have been thinking this week about the ethics of selling lately too. I don't have any Black Americana, but I come across a lot of animal products such as bone, tooth, horns, fur and leather. Today I saw a pair of elephant skin boots at an auction and it just made me sick. Not sure if they were real. Beyond the fact that many things are prohibited on ebay, I wonder sometimes if just putting that stuff out there adds to the acceptance of it in our culture.
      I would bet that there are many scholarly articles (pro and con) out there on the topic of your items. Black history museums would also be a great resource in the current thought in these things. In reality they are just things, but it is amazing how we humans can attach so much meaning to signs, symbols and objects. If you learn anything more or if you get any backlash from selling, could you please do a follow up? Interesting topic!

    2. I have quite a lot of black memorabilia listed and have not had any negative comments or issues yet. I'll let you know if I get any. I agree that it's part of history that can't be ignored. Hopefully some good will come out of conversations regarding these items. I certainly don't mean to be derogatory by selling this type of memorabilia.

  36. Our Store Jan. 3 - 9, 2016

    Total Items in Store: 406
    Items Sold: 13
    Cost of Items Sold: $56
    Total Sales: $578.29
    Highest Price Sold: $75 (Major Damage Brand Overalls)
    Average Price Sold: $44.48
    International Sales: 2 GSP
    Returns: 1
    Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $230
    Number of items listed this week: 38

    Glad to be back above $500 a week again. Finally found an unlimited internet plan for our "middle of nowhere". Signed up for Karma Go, and now we can watch the "What Sold" videos (and do all that other unimportant stuff like list!). It's great to be able to see some of the things talked about in the podcast.

  37. Haven't even finished the podcast yet, but I wanted to re-iterate the usefulness of, especially when used in conjunction with another website like askart or mutualart or even auction house websites. The latter sites often have examples of an artist's work, but require subscriptions for access to sold prices. Findartinfo shows the sold prices for free, but charges for access to photos of the paintings. The site also has a searchable database which can help you interpret partially readable signatures. Using these multiple sites together can really help you learn what you've got and what it might be worth.

  38. Nothing wrong with selling black americana. Yes, many black people buy it. It's history. It can be a reminder of the bad old days and unfortunately a reminder that they never really went away. We have a long way to go.

    1. Yes, it opened a good conversation with my grandkids about how unfairly African Americans were treated, and still are in so many cases. I explained to them that this is part of their (and our) history and it's important to understand what happened to these people so that we learn from it and don't treat anyone like that anymore.

    2. Everyone has their selling line. I would sell it but there's stuff I wouldn't. Whatever allows you to sleep soundly at night I guess.

  39. I see the digital scale you use weighs items up to 330 pounds. Why did you purchase a scale that goes that high. Can you give me an example of items you mailed that weighed more than 70 pounds )I think the maximum the USPS will accept) or is it for the commercial shipper items you have sold recently? Thanks for the 'em!

    1. it wasn't about the weight it could handle, it was about the size of the platform really. i bought it to be able to hold big boxes and it didn't matter how high it went, as long as it was up to 100lbs, i needed to be able to put huge boxes on it.

    2. One more question Ryanne. I want an accurate scale for lighter weights. I am reading reviews about scales and many are complaining that theirs is only accurate above the first pound. I know you send you lighter weight poly mailers. Is this scale accurate for 2-11 ounces?

    3. good question. yes, i find it to be very accurate for under 1lb. but it measures in decimals of 1lb, so .5 is 8oz, .7 is 12 oz, etc. you just have to memorize or keep a little cheat sheet of those nearby.

    4. In the last post's (or the post before)comments section I wrote about the scale to buy and the options. You can use the link on fitshipper - also good for tape - or ebay it, but then the cool programmer wouldn't get the affiliate link $.

    5. For years I've used a 25 lb scale that shows weights in lbs and ounces to 0.1 of an ounce and claimed accuracy is to 0.5 oz. I think they now give a 5 lb scale for free when you sign up for the service so there are many on eBay for sale. I often ship first class parcel and first class international so the low weights are important to me and I've been very pleased with mine. It's battery powered and has AC adapter and printer plug.

    6. The best part about the scale is that it is compliant with scale outputs. Someone wrote a program to give you the output from the scale on your screen. won't let you do that unless you pay for their subscription. I'll have to dig around for the link to the software.

    7. Here we go!

      Mine isn't battery powered though. It's USB powered.

    8. yes i have one of those scales too. i will begin using it for more accurate ounce measurements for the new first class 15.999 ounce limit. so glad they changed that. the question is when we enter 15 ounces into ebay labels, will they let us choose First Class starting on Jan 17th? hopefully yes, but i find ebay having some lag time with things like that.

  40. Sales Jan 3-9, 2016

    Items In Store: 375
    Items Sold: 20
    Cost of Items Sold: $63
    Total Sales: $545
    Highest Price Sold: $80.00 (Obermeyer Ski Jacket)
    Average Price Sold: $27.25
    International Sales: 1
    Returns 1
    Money Spent on New Inventory: $55.00

    Lots of small "bread and butter" sales. Which is fine, I'm just glad stuff is moving out the door. I have several higher dollar items that I need to list and this podcast may just give me the kick I need. I have a vintage Las Vegas poster of the strip, probably from the 60's or 70's and just like you were saying, I have no idea how to price it. Nothing like it on there, no solds, no unsold. So I am going to quit thinking its precious (lol) and throw it up there. Price it high and add best offer. Wish me luck!

    1. Do it Marci. I was just in Vegas and the strip is so different when I used to frequent it in the 80's. I'll bet someone will want that for the memories, I do but I'll wait until I find one at a yard sale for a quarter.

  41. deb truervalues
    Week Jan 4-10
    Total Items in-store: 1542 listings ( 2037 items in store)-- on amazon
    Total Sales $ 818.79---- $ 757.63 Ebay - $ 61.16 Amazon
    Number of items sold: 42 Total - 38-Ebay --4 Amazon
    Average Sale Price: $ 19.50
    Cost of Goods sold $ 188.00
    Highest price sold: $ 56 Denim Jacket/$50 Crate & Barrel Duvet cover
    International Sales: (0 GSP)
    Returns: 0
    Spent on new inventory: $ 107
    Number of items Listed : 93
    Listed like crazy after a 2- week hiatus. Goal was 20 per day. Made the goal 4 out of 7 days. Could never have listed this many before the no measurement movement—Now, I only measure the odd vintage or formal item. Don’t measure sweaters anymore at all. Also, have noticed that NO ONE that I get measurements for purchases the items. It is an interesting phenomenon. Thanks, Dan O’!!!!!!

    Amazon report: 5 weeks ago listed about 146 items. In the last 30 days, sold a total of $657.86. I think it is easier to list on Amazon than Ebay--listed all these things in 2 days....took another 2 days to ship, because the shipping process has a lot of steps... someone with practice could probably shorten the time to 2 days total.

  42. New Postal rates are going into affect January 17th. The biggest change is that first class can now be up to 15.99 ounces. There are certainly a lot of clothing items that I knew were over 13 ounces that I would just shove in a padded flat rate. Some of these items are probably less than 16 ounces. There's also price increases pretty much across the board for priority and first class.

    I'm sure most people have heard about the change but for those that haven't here's a link:

    1. WHATTTTT??

      That's fantastic! I hate the price increase but I love the fact that I can ship stuff first class instead of priority. It'll be cheaper than priority or a PFRE.

  43. Date: Jan. 3 - 9
    Total items in store: 185
    Items sold: 5
    Cost of items sold: $16
    Total Sales: $115.00
    Highest Priced Item: $40 Jacket
    Average Price Sold: $23.00
    International Sales:0
    Money spent on inventory: 0
    Number of items listed this week:18
    I received several offers this week on items not listed as best offer. In the past this annoyed me but now I just roll with it and remind myself how little I actually paid for the item. So 3 out of 5 buyers got discounts, and a good time was had by all.

    Jay & Ryanne, I bought a phone today from Ting and will be trying out their service very soon. Thank you for the referral discount.

    1. deb truervalues
      Hi Jo Hi Jay and Ryanne - I haven't ever reported on our Ting experiment.....We got ours about a year ago (found out about it here) We are paying less than half of our previous bill and have had no difficulties with the service.

      We also feel we get prompt and positive customer service...So, thanks for the tip, and I would encourage others to try Ting out. Very satisfied customer.

    2. Yeah, we're big Ting fans especially since Sprint has the strongest network in our area:
      I love how we can call them and it's a normal person wanting to help us. Plus I love that they support iPhones (our choice of phones).

      Republic Wireless is another discount carrier folks use. I believe they don't support iPhones though.

  44. Shop Airlines America, Inc. Does this mean anything to anyone here? They just bought an item from me. They sent a message asking me to write the ebay item number on the outside of the box. I thought that was a bit odd. Looked them up on the internet. Big mistake. Apparently, they are a middleman for Japanese buyers and have a massive history of complaints from ebay sellers stating that they were ripped off by this company. Interspersed with the complaints are comments that sellers have sold to them with no problem. All I can do is laugh and say, WTF? Another thing to deal with...

    It seems ebay and payapal have known about this outfit for over a decade and they are still going strong. BTW, they have an F rating from the BBB. I might be crazy, but, they paid and I'm going to send it - unless I happen to get some feedback from you all first...

    1. Yes, I've mailed to them for years, no problem, always good feedback too.

    2. I've had several purchases go through them and never had any problems.

    3. There are a handful of these shipping companies. Some ship to Russia, Korea, Brazil, and Japan (in this case). I believe these companies began because so many eBay (and Amazon) sellers wouldn't ship outside the US. So now you just ship to the US sddress and they take it from there.

      We've never had a single issue and have shipped many packages to them. The good news is that you;re responsible for getting it to their office only since they are the buyer of record. What happens after that is not your responsibility.

    4. Thanks everyone. I will proceed as I had decided originally. If I end up having an issue with the company, I will report back.

    5. I have sold many items to them over the years--I am always happy when they buy something. They also act as middlemen for non english speaking customers. Any complaints about them should be taken with a grain of salt--disgruntled sellers who send misdescribed items, get called on it, and then complain would not be unusual considering the volume of buying this company does.

  45. Here is another site that has an ebay importer:
    I would try it by I am still trying to get a grip on ebay itself.

    1. I tried addoway for six months and never had a sale. Had numerous problems with duplicate listings which they eventually fixed but not quickly. I don't think they get much traffic as I would review reports and have less than 10 views on my entire listings for the month. (1000 listings) Hopefully they have better traffuc now that they have been around a while. Good luck.

  46. Interesting shipping conversation.

    I'm not happy with the Ebay mobile app at all! I'm sitting waiting for my husband to have an Endoscopy and I brought things to list using my $1,000 iphone! I guess I thought this iPhone was going to be my answer to smooth, easy listing, but it's not. I'm having lots of issues using the mobile app. I can't pull up a lot of my listings that are active because I have I have 900 listings and it's only showing 600. I can't even pull up some of my active listings on the eBay site to list similar. Wish I would have brought my laptop. Oh, well. I'll edit the listings I can edit and take out a lot of the junk "Fine Print" (the stuff people don't read any way) on my active listings that I can pull up. Maybe I'll find a nice quiet window area, where I won't be too obvious, and take some photos with this expensive iPhone. Ha ha

    1. what iPhone costs $1000? Does it wash your dishes?

  47. Well, the photographing didn't work out. I would've had to move a huge floor plant to get near a window to take photos. Too many people around.

    I'm checking my feedback I've noticed it's really increased. I've never had 65 feedback in one month. The only thing I changed is (my setting) to give people immediate feedback after their purchase. I used to have it set up to give feedback after I received their feedback. This seems to be working out really well. I figure if they're going to give me a negative I'll get it whether I wait to leave their feedback or give it to them right away. Oh, they're calling me back.

    1. I also have autofeedback. I don't have time to go in and give feedback after the fact! The other thing I changed was to use stickers that say "please give good feedback or contact me for any issues" to seal the plastic bags that I keep clothes in.

    2. Do you have a link to the stickers? When you say you use them to seal plastic bags are you placing them in a plastic bag sealing them with your sticker than placing them in a poly? I ask because I've been using a poly inside a poly to ship clothes. It gives them an extra layer of protection in case the outside poly gets damaged. However, I feel like I'm wasting small amounts of money on each order. If I could get cheaper bags that weigh slightly less than a poly than I could save money on them and on shipping. Can anyone recommend an interior plastic bag for clothing?

    3. That's funny, I recently did the opposite. Because sellers can only leave positive feedback for buyers, if an issue occurs, the only way to alert other sellers to a problem buyer would be to leave a comment about it in the feedback line. Also, I noticed an uptick in feedback after I "withheld" feedback for buyers. Now it seems back to normal - whatever that is...In other words, I don't think it matters either way, but waiting to leave feedback for buyers at least gives me the option to alert other sellers to scammers and the like. Not that it's a huge deal, but leaving auto-feedback seems to hurt sellers in that respect, to say nothing of how the system evolved to this silly point in the first place! Also, after a month or so has passed, I usually go back and leave feedback for the buyer just in case they're waiting to get feedback before they leave some for the seller.

    4. I used to write a brief note on patterned scrapbook paper saying that same thing as Mike's. It was a bit of insurance against negative feedback since my listings say I don't take returns (about to change). I got lazy about it since November and my feedback has reduced by 75% or so, and most of the recent feedback is long after the purchase. I'm looking for an inexpensive place online to get postcards to insert if anyone has suggestions.

    5. Why the obsession about receiving feedback? After one or two hundred positives you're well established and feedback really doesn't matter. Unless of course, it's negative. And I think you risk that more when you push buyers to give feedback.

    6. I agree. Maybe in the early days it might have mattered if you had a lot of feedback and the color of your star.

      But these days, I don't see a real benefit for the amount of positive feedback you get...except an ego boost.

      As Anonymous says, the real job is to make sure a buyer doesn't leave negative feedback.

    7. In response to Anonymous at 11:47: Leaving a buyer a positive with a negative comment or warning is a policy violation. If ebay sees a seller doing this, they WILL penalize the seller.

    8. In my case, I'm a newer seller so it definitely mattered and it also feels good :). It's going to matter less going forward, but still when I'm buying I always glance at the % of the seller. More +s will water down any -s that do come up. That will remain displayed going forward.

      I just saw this today fyi.

      "Starting May 1, 2016, listings from Top Rated sellers must offer at least a 30-day money-back return policy to earn the Top Rated Plus discount and seal. The handling requirement (same day or one day handling) still applies**...**Listings in some categories will be excluded from the 30-day returns requirement but will still be required to offer 14-day returns with money back in order to receive the Top Rated Plus benefits."

    9. Nice. I hope they continue making these changes. Offering more generous return policies will bring in more buyer to ebay.

    10. I started adding 30 day returns to all my listings after I first saw the 30 day requirement in the Fall 2015 seller guide. I agree that more attractive return policies will draw more buyers. The percentage of return requests I receive is negligible anyway.

    11. Two things:

      We've had a 30-day return policy for several years. We've seen no rise in returns. Buyers who want to return will find a reason to force a return. So why not be nice about?

      Second: I find eBay's feedback system to be worthless because of the brevity. They need to allow more text space. I find that reviews are only useful when the person can better explain an issue or compliment.

      Currently, it's just "A+ seller. Would buy from again" or "Bad seller! Not honest!" This is useless.

    12. Crap, I didn't see Mike's question until today (a week later). This page of mine has links to the clear plastic bags, the poly bags, and the stickers.

  48. I don't know iPhones well, but can't you just go to the ebay site through a browser and list from there? Not sure, but seems like it would work. I would try to select the desktop version (usually a setting in the browser or on the site itself, often at the very bottom of the page).

  49. Random scavenger topic - groceries. The grocery stores where we live are quite expensive, many are mainly fancy ones like Whole Paycheck, and we recently had a big shake up with a regional chain taking over stores and then going bankrupt. The remaining stores are raising prices in the wake of that. We don't have many discount stores here like the outlet J & R use. However, CVS drug chain issues email coupons, and they also do a bucks back program. You can combine with newspaper coupons as well. It's not good for booze and dairy but I've been able to get Starbucks coffee, canned items, and cereal VERY inexpensively in weeks when it is on sale. Got an amazing deal on seasonal clearance too because their email coupons are good on sale items. Just thought I would throw that out there. Unfortunately Target doesn't seem to ship many grocery items. We buy many things at Costco and TJs but they don't have everything we are looking for and are annoyingly crowded.

    I'm interested in hearing if anyone is using Amazon Prime to purchase nonperishable food items. Specifically, how their prices are. Thanks.

    1. Do you have an Aldi market near you? They have a very low overhead model - the employees on shift do everything from unload trucks to stocking shelves to cashiering. Bring your own bags, no coupons. But GREAT prices. Lots of European foods under private label. Some of their items are 20% cheaper than comparable item at Costco. They offer a lot of organics at very reasonable prices, too.

    2. Unfortunately no. Sounds great! The local politicians have not allowed Walmart or Target either.

    3. if you are in New England (for some reason i thought you said that before) there is Ocean State Job Lot. they have a lot of super cheap high quality food that is either close to expiration or scratch/dent. they are basically the same as the place we go to down here except they have lots of other random stuff for sale like walmarty type things.

    4. Ocean State Job Lot and Aldi's are both great resources for different, great quality food, absolutely! We shop at both all the time!

    5. I'm on the Central Coast of California north of LA. Those places sound great. We have a food4less but it's pretty junky and large quantity. I've not been there for a while...

    6. We just got an Aldi in our area this past October. And I have been blown away by their prices. They are even lower than our scratch and dent stores. The only thing they don't carry that I use often is fresh ginger and coconut milk.
      If there is a grocery store chain that offers gas points reward program take advantage of that. I got free gas one time from my gas points.

    7. Christine, I just took a look at the Aldi website and it looks like they're opening more than a dozen stores in California very soon. Hopefully one will be near you!

    8. Thanks. I will definitely keep an eye out. I checked out their website briefly and the prices look amazing. We lost our supermarket gas station during that takeover. I can still get 20 cents off at a time at one station though.

      We just got Apple TV, which I think I read is about to hook up with Amazon Prime so I might check out grocery prices on Amazon if we can get free shipping with a prime membership.

  50. Ryanne,

    You realize that you can upload photos to Amazon listings, right? The reason you can make on books on eBay than you can on Amazon isn't mainly the pictures. It's that unlike Amazon, eBay doesn't show customers every cheaper copy of that book in the same listing. If you list on Amazon without including any, or much of a description, you're just competing on other sellers on price and of a much lesser priority, location. I sell mainly on Amazon and something I adapted from your strategy is to use pictures in Amazon listings to make them stand out. It isn't usually worth the time to photograph them, but I find opportunities: Sometimes there's no image on the main listing, sometimes there's something really visually cool about the particular unit I have, sometimes just no one else uploaded a picture of it. I use this and put up a high, non-competitive price. It can make the difference between a price that's not worth the work and a very good deal. Rare books are perfect for this strategy.

    - Dan from NJ

    1. yes i did know that. i have photos on some of our collectible books and now some clothing items that are bundled. i just need to make sure i take photos on a white background, not used to having to do that.

    2. I wanted to echo Dan's comment re: the importance of pictures in Amazon, and provide some more perspective & information.

      Amazon seems very weirdly set up compared to Ebay, because as everyone knows, it's just a different animal. I think the closest thing to Amazon's "Ebay Mode" is when a potential customer clicks the "More Buying Choices - used & new" or "other sellers on Amazon" links on an Amazon listing. I know this is obvious for anyone who already sells on Amazon, just trying to explain it to folks who have little experience with Amazon.

      For example, here's the new & used page for a vintage video game:

      My opinions & observations about Amazon's new & used pages:

      - It is typically a very small percentage of Amazon used item sellers that bother to take any pictures at all. When I started listing on Amazon, I also skipped pictures. Then I thought- if I were listing on Ebay, I'd have pictures. If I were buying something used on Amazon, I'd want pictures. Now I always take pictures, because I don't see how having more information wouldn't give me an edge over listings without pictures. Having pictures is a fundamental concept on Ebay, less so on Amazon. I think having pictures on Amazon has helped me as a seller there.

      - While Amazon does ask that product photos be on a white background, I tend to equate that request & requirement for the source ASIN (the main product page). I think part of the reason they want uniformity there is that the main product page will always exist in the Amazon system once it's created and is the forward-facing image when the product turns up in a search (particularly the product's main/first image). BUT, with new & used item pages, it really feels like the white background rule does not apply. People are adding pictures to describe the condition of what they are selling, on what is very possibly a one-off, transient sub-listing that will go away as soon as someone buys it. I consider the main image & ASIN to be 'sacred', but the supporting 'new & used' pages to be less so. I rarely use a 100% pure white background for my new & used Amazon items and nobody has complained- seems that I am in good company. I think Amazon must realize that photos under their new & used pages serve a different purpose than the 'hero' image that is used for the ASIN's main product page.

      - So many people are not doing Prime. I am happy every time I see this. Yes, it is a pain to send things in, and yes; there are more fees. But the more I learn and sell, the more I realize that the attractiveness of Prime- and the higher prices you can charge for listings using Prime- outweigh the costs of doing merchant fulfilled. Plus there's the fact that you are only ever shipping the product once, which is pretty great.

      In general, I find the combination of Prime and having pictures with your used/collectible listing to be effective. I focus on Prime listings the same way I moved exclusively to Buy It Now a couple of years ago. That doesn't mean there is no room for merchant fulfilled- especially for big & heavy items- but for now my focus is on items with a high resale potential that I am able to add as Prime listings.

    3. I agree with your observations about the advantages of Prime.

      So far, I've had pretty good luck with FBA. I started selling on Amazon in June. At first, I was skeptical that it would be worth spending $40 a month for the pro account, but after adding roughly 6,500 profit to my bottom line from June to the end of the year, the $40 a month was well worth it. It's just a cost of doing business. I have less than 400 items in my Amazon store thus far, but I hope to grow that number.

      I'm not doing retail arbitrage. Like many people here, I think standing in a Wal-Mart scanning barcodes sounds boring. Plus, I'm used to ebay type returns on investment, which you just don't get with retail arbitrage. I have started doing a fair bit of "ebay arbitrage" and am often able to get those really high returns on investment using that method. I set up a bunch of ebay alerts so I can check each day for deals.

      However, most of my inventory consists of items I pick up at estate sales, garage sales, and thrift stores. Examples: Books, CDs, new in box items. I was already scavenging at these places for my ebay store, so now I just have more things I can look for while I'm out and about. It's added a whole new dimension to my business.

      I think one thing people are unclear about with FBA is the long-term storage fees. These fees do not apply if you only have one of a certain item. This is perfect for a scavenger seller like myself, since I am usually only sending one-off items, such as a single copy of a book. This allows me to use the "list it and forget it" strategy, just like I do on ebay.

      I'm doing Ebay and Amazon entirely on my own. I like Amazon FBA because I can gather up a bunch of merchandise to send to them over several weeks, and then send it off in a large box or two at my convenience. Unlike ebay, there is no stress to get the merchandise out right away. For a one man band, it's nice to send it in and then not have to worry about it again. I still love ebay and make the bulk of my income from that venue, but FBA is a great complementary sales channel.

    4. Appreciate these tips.

      Im surprised no other seller has ever told us about the specifics of Amazon log term storage fees. So it only applies if you send in quantity of the same item? But doesn't apply if I have a single item in their inventory for months? That's a pretty big game changer.

    5. Yep, long term storage fees do not apply for items with quantity 1. In fact, when you have items with multiple quantity, they only charge the long term storage fee for the quantity more than 1. For example, if you had three of the same book at Amazon for 6+ months, you would only be charged the fee on 2 of those books.

    6. Zach, our method & situation in general sounds similar. I did not however know that you get a pass on long-term storage fees if you only have a single unit of inventory- which is usually the case for me, and probably many others who sell used (or new) one-off items.

      I have only been selling on Amazon for about 6 months, not long enough to see any storage fee costs come in. It is really nice to know that they will only come into play for the (few) products/ASINs I have where I bought a giant lot and sent them in (for example several cases of vintage decorative novelty holiday lights). It also makes me feel like I shouldn't worry as much about sending in larger vintage electronic items- especially in cases where an Amazon Prime listing might yield a substantially higher profit than the same Ebay listing. The fact that it's a larger, heavier item might make it even more attractive to a Prime member who gets free 2-day shipping.

      Of course, it would be crappy if Amazon changed this policy- but they certainly could- after someone had sent in a bunch of large or heavy items. But right now as Zach has pointed out, there policy is "each seller may maintain a single unit of each ASIN in its inventory, which will be exempt from the semi-annual Long-Term Storage Fee."- as written here:

      Today I'm processing items and creating two piles- Amazon Prime & Ebay. The Ebay pile is always still bigger, partially due to the giant backstock in my basement- a 20-foot long, four foot wide towering column of stuff that has been mocking me. I definitely slacked on listing over the holidays. Back to it!

    7. I have single items at Amazon and am getting charged storage fees. These items have been there more than six months. To put things into perspective, I had at least 150 items at the warehouse a year ago. Now I have six. A book, a vhs tape, a puzzle, and three cake pans. Storage fees this month were $.67.

    8. Anonymous, you are being charged the normal Amazon monthly storage fees, which for standard-sized items is $0.51 per cubic foot (which goes up a bit in Q4 to $0.68).

      If Amazon was charging you long-term storage fees, that rate would jump to $11.25 per cubic foot after 6 months and then $22.50 after 12 months.

    9. Zach, the fees are changing in February again, I think. I am going to send more items in soon, but want to read up on the new fee prices. The normal monthly storage fee of $.51 per cubic foot is great! Thanks for the reply!

  51. Total Items in Store: 651
    Items Sold: 10
    Cost of Items Sold: $26.00
    Total Sales: $261.97
    Highest Price Sold: $100.00 (vintage bar set)
    Average Price Sold: $26.20
    International Sales: 0 GSP
    Returns: 0; but we do have someone waiting on a a package that says it was stuck at their post office, but then is supposedly being returned to us. Still in limbo.
    Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $83.00
    Number of items listed this week: 37

    Not too bad week, seems to be about our average, the bar set really helped things along. Almost at the open another shop mode, experiment coming. Also, was a little light on our new listings this week.

    We sold a vintage peacock maxi dress ($40.); a bar serving set ($100.); a vintage wallet ($15.); a minimalist wood brooch ($7.); a smiley face pony tail holder ($9.99); a tiny ashtray ($9.99);
    a Hex game ($9.99); an enamel flower brooch ($12.); a Gem razor ($18.); and a pair of candlesticks ($40.).

    Thanks for reiterating the "being too precious" theme, helps so much to hear it. Also enjoyed the interview from Friday with Martin.

    Got some great inventory this week, about half of which is already up, jewelry, sewing items, books, Christmas smalls, vintage clothing, pottery, & ephemera...all our usual staples. Did buy a couple of larger pieces to continue to branch out in what we feel comfortable shipping.

    On another note, I have been going back and listening to the older podcasts, and, while listening to Episode 161, I had to rewind (ha! that sounds retro) and hear if you really mentioned Fitchburg...the 'burg! We're both now in Leominster (the next town over), but used to be in the 'burg an awful lot during the 70's & 80's :) In fact, our first storage unit that we had this year was right in the heart of Fitchburg in an old mill, near the football stadium. It justfinally got to far to go 15 minutes every day, so now we have one about a minute away.

    Everyone have a great week!

    1. I was stationed at Fort Devens in 1980-83 and spent a lot of time in Leominster and Fitchburg, much of it moonlighting as a bouncer. Is the big outdoor flea market in Hubbardston still operating? I found some amazing stuff there.

    2. Rietta!! Yes, it's still in operation! Haven't been there in awhile, and, for a few years I lived right up the street from it in Gardner. Great, if not dusty, place. You're right, some great stuff at great prices! We were just talking about setting up there this Spring to get rid of the overflow of not as great stuff.
      I spent a lot of time at Devens in the early to mid 80's too as I had some friends stationed there and we'd party at the officers club. You probably wouldn't recognize the place today. Though they still have some military there, they have turned it into a mostly industrial area. There's a big prison there now too.
      I was just there with my parents on Friday as they have put in a great restaurant, the Devens Grill. We hope to go back soon to check out the military museum and cemetery.
      Where were you a bouncer? The area has changed A LOT since the 80's.

    3. I can't believe Rietta is still there. In so many areas of the country the big outdoor flea markets have been zoned out of existence or taken over by development. I wasn't O'Club material at the time I was there. The Mohawk and Wagon Wheel were more my style for fun anyway, or I'd go to Boston and places like The Channel. I bounced at The Cinema Club and Scampi's in Leominster quite a bit; and some place in Fitchburg occasionally but I don't recall the name. There was a guy who ran the door staff for a bunch of different bars and if I was in town I'd sign up with him for some nights here and there for extra cash. I was not crazy enough to actually work at the Mohawk or Wagon Wheel, though. I was willing to be shot at on military duty, but not elsewhere. I have not been back to visit since I left in '83 but I'd like to go sometime.

    4. Yup, still there, it's a big thing, cars everywhere, and early! I'll have to post when we go. Good deals to be flipped there!

      What state are you in now?

      Maybe it wasn't the Officers Club...what was the name of the club there that had bands and dancing? Too long ago.
      I don't remember the Wagon Wheel, but the Mohawk was a great dive! The big wooden Indian is still there (or was a couple years ago, talk about a great thing to sell!), but the club has been closed for forever. We liked Franklin's too.

      The Channel is gone, as is the Rat, in Boston :(
      The Cinema Club is loooong gone and has been a million things, I think right now it's half a restaurant and half a kids play zone place (??!!) Scampi's, wow. Haven't thought of that in awhile either. Can't remember where it was though I think it might be a CVS now.

      You'd probably not recognize the area so much has changed since then it's weird. The biggest things probably being the Fort Devens changes and Whalom Park being torn down and condos built, such a shame. Oh, and Worcester is way different too. I know, I know, they call it Progress.

      I'll keep you posted on Rietta Ranch and if anyone is ever out this way, it's a dusty, fun place to Scavenge!

    5. I’m in Florida now. There might have been an Officers Club on Devens. I don’t recall a club on base with bands and dancing, but if there was and it was an Officers Club, that would explain why I don’t remember it. I never would have gone to it since I wasn’t an officer at the time. IIRC, Scampi’s was across the street and down maybe a half-block or so from The Cinema Club. Maybe I’ll spend some time on Google Street View and try and figure it out. The Wagon Wheel was out near the Mohawk, I think, another big place in the woods.

  52. As for the question about number of photos, I approach photos from a unique perspective that may help others. I try to provide enough photos that my customer will not be disappointed and wish to return the item. This means I can frequently use 6 photos on a blouse but then I need 12 photos for a sweater with lots of details or designs. The price of each item is immaterial, in both cases. Only when i feel that I have enough photos for a disappointment-proof display, do I stop. Yes, I may take too many photos, and I know that to be the case. But I like to think of it as telling a story and these photos are how the story plays out in my mind.

    1. I photograph from all sides. So if it's a normal item it gets front, back, left, right, bottom, and top depending if it's clearly visible or not in another photo. And then I may take close up of detail or a flaw. Sometimes I wish I had more than 12 photos but other times I only need 2 if it's a box item.

  53. I signed up for Bonanza yesterday and sold my first item today. I noticed that they wanted to charge me a shipping fee, so I just shipped through Paypal which couldn't be easier. I just scanned the tracking number into Bonanza and it marked it as shipped.

    I also signed up with Vangoe and I couldn't figure out how to get my items imported. I emailed Jeff and he got it all figured out for me and even offered to do it for me. Great customer service over there. Thanks for the tips guys. Walt

  54. I agree the amount of feedback doesn't really matter once you get to a certain level but it does dilute out the negatives. Also I like to see what my customers have to say after I send them the item especially if they write something personal or say something like I'll definitely use the seller again and I know that it's written specifically for me and not just one of their stock feedback replies. A lot of times I'm amazed that they're so happy with a product that I didn't think was that great, so it's good to see the feedback and what they're thinking. It also helps in adjusting how I do my business. If there something I am weak on and they mention it, then I'll act on it and make adjustments.

    Regarding the eBay app on the iPhone, I hadn't thought of going to the eBay site on my iPhone. I tried that and I could see all 919 of my items but I still was not able to search my items and pull one up to make a similar listing. I also could not edit or revise a listing . It said this function is not available. it said to go to the Ebay homepage and not use a bookmark. I'm not sure what that means. I tried to get on eBay a different way but it still didn't seem to work. So, I don't see how it's possible to list solely from a smart phone. That's OK. I find it easier to start the listing on a laptop or desktop anyway. But, it would be nice to be able to list on a smart phone, from start to finish, if necessary. Taking lots of photos on the iPhone is really easy, so I usually get my 12 if there's 12 shots that make sense to take.

    1. I've been reading your woes with listing on the iPhone. I do it almost exclusively with the app, unless I need to embed a video.
      If I need to sell similar I can usually find something in the 600 available to me but I think the trick is to have templates in your notes app so you can copy and paste as needed. I have one for shoes, clothes or just generic. I find there are enough item specifics available but you need to remember to check the GTC option each time, every now and then you may have to re enter your return policy info (again, copy and paste from notes) and your handling time.
      Most of all it takes practice and repetition. I list everything under the sun all with just an iPhone, quick and easy.

    2. Thanks, Steven. I couldn't remember who said they had good luck listing on the iPhone alone. I'll try some of your suggestions. I think I'll still have to finish up on a desktop because it's only giving me the option of "country" under item specifics for some items. I'm glad you mentioned the good till canceled. I'll have to go back and check on that to make sure they all have it listed that way. Thanks for the feedback.

    3. maybe try a 3rd party browser like opera or dolphin - if that is an option on an iphone...

  55. Jay and Ryanne - I got the speed cleaning book. Just wondering if you follow their product recommendations 100%? Red/ Blue juice and bleach? Interested in hearing your feedback. Thanks.

    1. ohh cool! i love that book, really it changed everything for us. i don't use those fluids, just 50/50 (sometimes 75/25) White Vinegar/Water solution for everything. then for the toilets, we bought this natural cleaner--
      and for cleaning the tub, i use Bon Ami, also natural--
      you can see everything we use here too-- always looking for new ideas as well!

  56. I just listened to Episode 102 and you spoke about how Breezy bought thousands of dollars of clothes new with tags. It made me wonder how you sell those. I am sure you keep the tags on, but does that mean you only list it for what the tags say and/or less or do you let the buyer see that if they would have bought it in the store you could have purchased it for $120, but now on eBay you have to pay $200?

    1. You can do whatever you want. Think it through. The store's price tag doesn't mean anything. All it shows is that the item has never been worn before.

      We often just use a black marker to cross out the price, but the buyer can still that the tag is still attached.

  57. Cool, thanks Jay. I think showing the buyer that the item has never been worn is good, so that's what I think I will do. Hopefully the marker can redact the price enough that the buyer can't still see it. Your blog is awesome.

    1. Yeah, just price the item for whatever you think you can get. Sometimes we find vintage clothes that still have a price tag of $5.99. We obviously wont sell it for that price. A big black sharpie marker will hide the price.

      Some people leave the price visible. They even say how much the tmem was retail. NEW NWT Ralph Lauren Polo Short Tag Says $395. Then they price is for whatever they think they can get (maybe $125).

  58. Hello everyone, I'm new to this group but I've been watching this blog for a few months now. I've been selling on eBay occasionally as a hobby for the last 10 years and recently since September 2015 began ramping up my efforts. I am an RN who has decided after 7 years that I absolutely hate my job. I LOVE thrifting, always have, and I've decided to focus more on doing what I love and making money that way. I've cut my hours way down at my regular job to 12-24 per week and the rest of the time is eBay. I haven't been this happy in I don't know how long! Anyway, I am working hard to get my listings up and my Current goal is to be at 500 by the end of
    February. I'm so glad to have found such an awesome group of people who share in my interests! Most of my friends just think I'm crazy.. Haha. Here are my stats this week.
    Date: Jan. 3 - 9
    Total items in store: 256
    Items sold: 20
    Cost of items sold: $38
    Total Sales: $328
    Highest Priced Item: $45 vintage board game
    Average Price Sold: $16.40
    International Sales:0
    Money spent on inventory: $100
    Number of items listed this week:35

  59. re Bonanza subscription, you don't need to subscribe to any plan to get more traffic. You just choose the advertising level and pay higher final value fee if the item sells
    These are the fees
    basic exposure 9% FVF
    standard exposure 13% FVF
    superior 19% FVF
    elite 30% FVF
    I took a screen shot but I don't know how I can insert it in the comment