Scavenger Life Episode 242: How Well Do Things Sell On eBay? iTunes   YouTube   Download .mp3  Download .ogg

Good week for us. No drama. Just an unglamorous steady stream of sales.

Here are links we discussed during the podcast:
  • is a great site that gives examples of interestingly designed rooms. You may notice these designers use items they might find in your eBay store.
  • Terry sent us a smart blog post describing how much you can really make on Amazon FBA. We love the writer's quote: "You’ll never really know what others are making and it doesn’t really matter."

Hope things have been going well for you.  

Our Store Week January 24-30, 2016
  • Store #1
  • Total Items in Store: 3911
  • Items Sold: 36
  • Cost of Items Sold: $630
  • Total Sales: $1,832.55
  • Highest Price Sold: $350 (vintage fashion illustrations)
  • Average Price Sold: $50.90
  • International Sales: 1 GSP
  • Returns: 0
  • Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $20
  • Number of items listed this week: 65

  • ------------
    Bonanza: $0
    Amazon: $0
    Vangoe: $15
    Etsy: $0
  • Store #2
  • Total Items in Store: 944
  • Items Sold: 18
  • Cost of Items Sold: $250
  • Total Sales: $1,074.36
  • Highest Price Sold: $290 (Lot of cartoon illustrations)
  • Average Price Sold: $59.68
  • International Sales: 0 GSP
  • Returns: 0
  • Number of items listed this week: 79


  1. Total items in store: 207
    Items sold: 11
    Cost of Items Sold: $52 used + $70.60 new
    Total Sales: $477.85
    Avg. price: $43.44
    Highest price item: $98.99 Burton/Spyder Boys Snow Set
    International sales: 0
    Returns: 0
    Money spent on new inventory: $6
    Number of items listed: 27

    I'm delighted with my week. I listed much more than my usual 10 items. I had one item sell in less than an hour after listing it. I would like this to be a typical week for me in terms of gross sales instead of the $250 it has been. My costs of goods was higher than I would want it to be, but I had some consignment and a personal shopping mistake.

    1. What's your goal COGS %? I live in the expensive suburbs of NYC, so anything less than 20% of gross sales is good for me (I was right around 15% this week).

    2. Great question. I'm shooting for just under 20% vs. this week's 26%. My typical flip is buy for $5 sell for $30. I'm south of San Francisco so most of my stuff costs $5-$12. I'm always amazed by how many of the Trash Elves post COGS around 10%.

  2. Week January 24-30, 2015
    Total Items in Store: 636
    Items Sold: 13
    Cost of Items Sold: $68.26
    Total Sales: $455.59
    Highest Price Sold: $100 (1980 Lake Placid Olympics Poster)
    Average Price Sold: $35.05
    International Sales: 2
    Returns: 0
    Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
    Number of items listed this week: 9

    Another "normal" week - which in my book is a success. Again, stayed on a buying hiatus while catching up from those huge purchases a few weeks ago.

    The Lake Placid poster was quite cool - was of the mascot Roni Raccoon participating in all of the winter events. I also have the standard poster up as well that hopefully will sell soon. Bought both for a combined $15 at an estate sale last summer.

    While not my highest price sold, I did also sell my first empty box since eBay relaxed those restrictions. The box was from my iPhone 3gs from 2010 - sold for $35!

    1. I like finding cool, old posters. Usually they cab demand very good prices. I have an tire box I need to list.

    2. Absolutely... especially anything unhung/no pinholes.

  3. Items Sold: 8 ebay, 6 on etsy
    Total Items in Store: 141 on ebay--221 on Etsy
    Total Sales: $502.45
    Highest Price Sold: $65 jacket on ebay
    Average Price Sold: $35
    International Sales: 0
    Returns: 0

    Hit my goal of $500 for the week, no earth shaking sales $, but satisfied.

    As for what I sold this week--3 mugs, including a shaving mug (LOL since there was so much talk about these last week.) Even though I am not a fan due to the higher rate of return, most of what I sold was clothing, some vintage, some winter related--it was a pretty standard week of sales come to think of it.

  4. Canadian part timer here. Slowly increasing my weekly revenue from eBay.

    I struggle with taking the leap to FBA. I love the cool vintage stuff I sell. FBA feels a bit soulless compared to ebay to me, but I figure it will help me go full time much more quickly.

    The way I see it, it won't radically change the way I source and it won't take much more time. I might as well bite the bullet and find out if I can fit it into my currently happy life.

    Love your stuff.

    1. All we can do is try. If it's no fun or doesn't make money, then the experiment will teach us it's not for us.

    2. I have been selling on both. Due to the fact that I was working full-time till last year and also have a lot of volunteer commitments, I couldn't seem to get both done. While I was learning Amazon, I got sucked into it and haven't really gotten back to my eBay store yet. I did have good gross sales the few months before Christmas -- I think I grossed around $2000 in Dec and $1400 in Oct. but that is only a profit of from 40% to 60%. You have to spend a lot more to make more there but I do think it will help you get away from your day job.

      I enjoyed the guy's post from the link at the top of the page but I loathe his service -- having a place where people can sign up to review when they get free products. You can no longer trust reviews on Amazon.

      My new plan is to focus on my eBay stuff from now till about July (unless I run up on something really great) then get on it and start packing Amazon full for Christmas sales.

      Sorry my posts are so long!! Judy

  5. Canadian part timer here. Slowly increasing my weekly revenue from eBay.

    I struggle with taking the leap to FBA. I love the cool vintage stuff I sell. FBA feels a bit soulless compared to ebay to me, but I figure it will help me go full time much more quickly.

    The way I see it, it won't radically change the way I source and it won't take much more time. I might as well bite the bullet and find out if I can fit it into my currently happy life.

    Love your stuff.

    1. I assume Canada has FBA too? or would you mail it all into the FBA warehouses in the US?

    2. is the Canadian version. Some people do ship across border but customs is involved.

  6. Our Store Week January 24-30, 2015

    Total Items in Store: 443
    Items Sold: 15
    Cost of Items Sold: $47.
    Total Sales: $548.63
    Highest Price Sold: $85. (Mycra Pac Raincoat)
    Average Price Sold: $36.58
    International Sales: 0
    Returns: 0
    Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $152.
    Number of items listed this week: 5

    We didn't get a lot of listing done this week and sales seemed to slow down toward the end of the week. Planning to get back to the "atleast 5 a day" routine this week.

    January has turned out to be our best month since we started in August 2015. We made our $500 weekly goal each week with an extra $500 thrown in. Setting a daily goal for listings seems to have really made a difference for us. If you haven't set a daily goal for listing, we would definitely recommend giving it a try.

    1. Cindy (and anyone else)
      Do you want to do a challenge and list 5 items a day min. (35 items a week min.)?

      My goal is $600 a week, but I've had that goal too long and need to increase it. So, listing more should do it.

  7. Can't believe you found a golden hour clock for $3. I love those!

  8. Total Items in Store: 959
    Buy it now value of Items: $20,982
    Items Sold: 19
    Cost of Items Sold: $40
    Total Sales: $402.97
    Highest Price Paid: $36.75 Wooden Letter Organizer.
    Avg Price $21.21
    Global Sales: 1

    This is my first weekly post, so it's a bit abbreviated. I included the inventory value, because I don't think the number of items tells the whole story. This is actually a good week for me.

  9. Total Items in Store: 690
    Items Sold: 26
    Total Sales: $673.8
    Cost of Items Sold: $85.40
    Average Price Sold: $25.92
    Average Cost of Item: $3.29
    Highest Price Items Sold: $124.5 for a Waterman Le Man 100 Rollerball pen (paid $20 at an estate sale).
    Second highest priced item Sold: $99.95 for a HTC Advantage X7501 - Mini Computer that I got at a Goodwill Outlet for $1
    Number of items listed this week: 35
    Average age of items in store (in days since listing): 94 days
    Average number of days between listing and selling this week: 43 days
    Sell-through rate: 3.8%

    One of my best weeks since starting this side-business. Not sure why so many sales came through this week but I'm glad they did. I didn't research the Waterman pen properly and initially thought I might just get my money back so I was delighted to see that they actually sell for so much. I have another similar one that I will list as soon as I get a working re-fill for it. The HTC mini computer was something I grabbed from a blue bin at a GW outlet during one of those stampedes. It reeked of cigarette smoke so I had to discard it's case and do some clean up with a baking soda paste. Well worth the time I put into it.

    Here's a story my fellow scavengers might appreciate. I saw an ad on Craigs List for free wood chips from a local tree service so I signed up for a load. I thought they would be good for a little light landscaping in my garden. It turns out I had no idea what I signed up for an a giant truck filled my driveway with the largest pile of woodchips I've ever seen. I must have move 200 wheelbarrows-full over the last couple of weeks. I ended up covering a small lawn in my garden with 2 feet of wood chips just to try and get rid of some. I'm at the point now where I'm just dumping them into my green composting bin and the bins of my neighbors to be taken away on garbage day. But they were free!

    1. When we lived in SF, we also called for free wood chips and had the same exact result. A HUGE truckload. We luckily were making an entire backyard garden so sheet mulched the whole back yard. I wish they did this where we live now.

  10. Hi Jay and Ryanne, wanted to make a comment about your plunge into FBA. I have started your podcast about 4 months ago. In the beginning I did not understand why you did not sell on FBA. Now, that I have a (somewhat) better idea of your personality, I think FBA will feel too businesslike. In addition, FBA requires more cash for inventory than Ebay (at least in my experience). For example, I spend about $30 a week on Ebay, but I spend close to $200 for FBA inventory. Finally, between 2 properties and a full-time Ebay business an addition of FBA might be too much (that is only my opinion). However, I think you can still sell on Amazon, but do it merchant fulfilled (MF) because the amount of extra work required by MF is minimal. If Ebay is like a thrift store then Amazon FBA is like a Walmart. Love the podcast, have started to listen episodes from the beginning!

    1. Just curious: is your buying different for FBA because you;re doing retail arbitrage?

      We're going to follow the model that other sellers have shared. Keep buying at yard sales, auctions, and thrift stores. Send in the stuff that's more "new" to FBA.

      But I agree. It's just experiment to see if profit follows the work we put into it. Might not work for us, but we'll never know till we try.

    2. Actually, I feel the same about retail arbitrage as do you (boring). Most of my FBA sourcing comes from thrift stores. But most of these shops are within a relatively large city and the prices tend to be much higher for new than used items.

      There is definitely money in FBA while sourcing from thrift stores. You can even send used items (Ti calculators, photo lenses, photo and video cameras, printers, office telephones, board games, video games, game systems, etc.)

      I really hope you can make FBA work and add another stream of revenue because the money is out there. But, I have noticed that the number of items I list on Ebay drops when the focus is on FBA and vice versa.

      Good luck!

    3. From: Midwest Junker

      HI J&R,
      With all due respect and kind thoughts, I disagree with Hedgehog. I consistently have about 600 listings on Ebay and ideally want to build to thousands of listings, however books were not moving for me. I knew that I had some good books and cautiously sent to FBA. I find that FBA brings better money for books and some other items. Once shipped to Amazon, it's really nice because I am not storing and moving inventory or shipping or dealing with customer questions and issues. For me it has been a mental relief to have this second outlet for certain items. And once sent, mostly I just wait for the money to come in. Of all of the things you have tried - Bonanza, Etsy, etc., I think you will find this as your next best thing to Ebay. Good Luck and looking forward to you valuable info as with all of your endeavors!

    4. Thanks guys. We sent in about 90 items the past couple days. Obviously we need to send in more to really see how it works. But the numbers will tel the story for us once things start selling.

  11. Hi Jay and Ryanne, I have been on the fence about fba. I would love it if you guys made a video of you learning the ropes. I often find new items that I think would do better there then ebay.

    1. Great idea Jamie, we would very much like to see a video on this too. Cheers!

    2. I definitely think FBA is the way to go -- you can sell the same item for higher prices and, going on vacation? No worries, Amazon is still shipping your stuff. It is expensive but it is worth it. Books are the main thing I have found that can have a huge margin. I sold one that I bought for $2 at estate sale and sold for $98, just sold another than I picked up for $3 and sold for $70. I don't buy a book if it won't bring in at least $8.

      And, for those who are on the fence, I'm not sure why it is so scary to get that first order out. It was for me, too -- took me 3 months to get up the nerve then a whole weekend to do this little order. There is one podcast that is really good for FBA -- Thrifting for Profit. They don't thrift anymore but that is the name it is known by. They have some great podcasts on selling used games -- lots of stuff. If you have specific questions for FBA, I would not mind if you email me -- or friend me on Facebook, that would be better than putting my email here. That is a common thing, though, worrying about that first shipment. They have tons of videos and stuff -- and maybe start reading stuff on a few FB groups -- Thrifting for Profit has one. And there is FBA Masters (I think that is the name).
      I think right now is kind of a hard time getting going on AZ because there has been this huge rush to Amazon -- and a lot of them aren't too smart, don't read the rules etc, and get scared and tank prices. Selling toys is really competitive now... but at Christmas, it is so worth it. And I think a lot of these folks will fall by the wayside eventually, once they realize it isn't "magic" money and there is still lots of work and... if you ignore the rules they will boot you off!!

      I love eBay -- will always love it. I only have 32 items in my store now!! how embarrassing -- but I am getting ready to put eBay first and go at it hard!! (I did just get a TON of vintage clothing... for an incredible $1.80 -- and those I will sell on Etsy because they will bring more. (Will be a bit time consuming because they are so old but I have at least 15 dresses that similar are selling for $70-125)

    3. I meant FBA over MFA -- not over eBay or Etsy, etc,


  12. Jan 25 - Jan 31, 2016

    eBay Total Sales $309
    Total Items In Store 1004
    Items Sold 15
    highest $40 for a vintage shower curtain
    Average Price Sold $20

    Etsy Total Sales $95
    Total Items In Store 349
    Items Sold 5
    Average Price Sold $19

    Amazon $0
    Bonanaza $16

    ebay, etsy, bonanza and amazon $420
    returns 0

    I was out of town visiting family for Monday and Tuesday of this week and part of last week. I did some thrifting while I was there and listed a couple of items every day. I bought and sold the shower curtain my highest priced item while I was there.

    Sales were up this week. They didn't suffer for changing my handling time to 3 days while I was gone.

    1. Cool. So you listed it on the road and shipped from the road?

    2. Jay I didn't ship from the road. I was about to go home anyway so I just waited to ship from home. It would have been easy to ship from the road though because it fit in a flat rate envelope.

  13. Total Items in Store: 927
    • Items Sold: Ebay 21 Bonanaza 1 Amazon 15
    • Cost of Items Sold: $42
    • Total Sales: Ebay $371 Bonanza $87 Amazon $45
    • Highest Price Sold: Vintage Sharpee of Mpls Coat $86
    • International Sales: 0
    • Returns: 0
    • Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $23.00
    . Items listed: 35
    • Average Price Sold: $17.67 (Ebay)
    • International Sales: 0
    • Returns: 1 Remington Electgric Shaver $67 (This was a fun return) Shaver still sealed so I could resell it. She emailed that she would return, changed mind. Said she would not return the bubble gum because her kid chewed it. I said, Please don't! So, we went back and forth a little with sarcasm (that I was getting a bit tired of). She left positive feedback that we are really funny people. ha ha The point is to make a connection with your customer anyway you can. We both had fun. Customers are much less likely to give you problems if they like you and feel they have a connection with you. Anything you can do to make that connection right away. WShen I hear the cha-ching, I often reply very quickly, Thank you, I'll ship this right away. It's a 3 second, copy/paste, but the connection is made. They're not used to hearing back from the seller like this when they buy something. Of course, follow with excellent service, fast shipping, a hand written note (I include a small gift, bubble gum, a bookmark or greeting card I buy in bulk). I've notice my feedback rate improve since I have my settings leave automatic feedback as soon as they pay.
    Items listed: 13

    Some items sold: My Very Own Fairy Stories by Johnny Gruelle - 1949 Scarce with DUST JACKET $35, Vintage White Porcelain Toothbrush Wall Fixture Farmhouse Shabby Bathroom $27, 4 Vintage Flower Floral Brass Round Metal Curtain Drapery Tie Backs Holders $27 (offer), WILSON TOUR LARGE BACK PACK - tennis racquet racket bag Backpack Red White Black $33.17 (offer), Ann Taylor Eau de Toilette Spray 2.5 Oz Women 50% Full Fragrance New York USA (offer $45 with shipping), 14 Williams Sonoma Bone Beige Beaded Round Napkin Rings Holders $35

    I look in magazines and on TV, etc. for vintage items (eBay Radio reminded me of this). I recently sold a few Pyrex Pink Gooseberrry covered casserole dishes (maybe a year ago) that I had kept for myself and used to warm up food or make veggies in the microwave. I saw them in a womens magazxine and immediately took them out the the cupboard and listed them. The 1 1/2 qt. sold for $125.00 BIN, and the other two (1 qt.) sold for a lot also. Can't remember now, but I think $60 to $70 each. I was amazed! I couldn't stop talking about it.

    I'll have to activate my Pinterest emails again. Was getting so many, I unsubscribed. I was into cooking at the time so they were all food pics and I'm trying to shed a few pounds after sitting for the past year working on eBay. Also joined the gym. Feel so much better already! So watch for trends on Pinterest and get your stuff listed if you see it.

    I also have a collection of the syrup pitchers Ryanne sold in red, tourquoise, yellow, green. These were one of my first collections and I used them for pouring sugar. I put them away because the grandkids got heavcy handed with "pouring" sugar.
    Sorry so long.

    1. I totally love that you send gum with your pkgs. I'm such a candy person and anytime I get free candy I get excited. Granted it would make me slightly nervous to eat candy from a stranger from eBay.

    2. haha They can probably check my feedback and see that no one died from my gum. I've had customers tell me that finding the Bazooka bubble gum with the comic in it evoked childhood memories. Now Bazooka has changed the wrapper and comic to include a website ("See what this code unlicks at (YUK!), but I still send it. Oh, how I long for the days of no internet, not really!

    3. Good idea on the magazine's Sandy. For fun I went and found a few magazines from the 70's, 80's and 90's and it gives you a good idea of what was popular at the time and what might sell for a premium now. It makes sense if something was being advertised and was expensive during that time period it probably still holds value today.

  14. The workout DVDs sell well on local Facebook groups. You won't get eBay money but still should see a decent profit. Do not try to relist it. Those companies have multiple employees flagging listings. It stinks but risking your eBay account is not worth going to war with them.

  15. Yes, you guys finally spoke about the word, “Made”. I think “Made”, in reference to profit/sales is the most nebulous term in the English language. We should be using:
    Revenue: The amount of money that a company actually receives during a specific period, including discounts and deductions for returned merchandise. It is the "top line" or "gross income" figure from which costs are subtracted to determine net income.
    Profit: A financial benefit that is realized when the amount of revenue gained from a business activity exceeds the expenses, costs and taxes needed to sustain the activity.
    Expense: The economic costs that a business incurs through its operations to earn revenue.
    I have listened to about 80% of the most recent podcast so maybe you went into this, but these terms are pretty basic and I think they lead to quite a bit of misunderstanding.

    1. Very true. NET PROFIT is what it's all about. But it is difficult to share those numbers because expenses will be different for everyone.

  16. •Total Items in Store: 214
    •Items Sold: 7
    •Cost of Items Sold: $23 (used) + $73 (used)
    •Total Sales: $308
    •Highest Price Sold: $68 (Midcentury aluminum cone sconces - paid $20 at thrift store)
    •Average Price Sold: $44
    •Returns: 0 in 2 weeks of taking
    •Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: < $15
    •Number of items listed this week: 2
    Bonanza: $0 sales in 3 weeks - no free turbo month yet

    Enjoyed the podcast on our way home from a trip. No much listing done but family fun was had. You know you have the hunger when you almost would rather stay home for a big rummage sale than go to Disneyland.

    I sold a couple of really cool midcentury items I loved this week. One was the sconces with the rust I posted that I bailed cleaning. The Seattle buyer was very enthusiastic and left great feedback already. The other was this fun set of coasters I found for $3 going to Japan via LA. Kind of sad to see them go.

    A last thought that pricing is kind of an art. I often think my prices are too high and I should move more items, but then another seller with buy my stuff. I'll keep pondering that one and get to listing.

    1. If you want to sell quick, you'll probably get lower prices. Research and patience is everything. One way isnt better than the other.

    2. I do the research for my vintage items, then tend to go a bit higher than the solds. But after I listened to your interview with Cindy of Amazing Taste, I started running 10-20% off sales at the second half of every week. That seems to have started things flowing a bit better. No rush really but there is just so much stuff here to pick. I'm not willing to hold on to listed items for more than a year or two just because there will be too much storage volume for my husband's comfort.

  17. Jan 24 - Jan 30, 2016

    Total Sales $410
    Total Items In Store 153
    Items Sold 10
    highest $150 iphone 5s
    Average Price Sold $41
    COGS: $116.56
    Profit: $243.70
    Average profit per item: $24.37

    10 items a week and average of $300 profit is continuing, but I really shouldn't complain as I have not been listing much this month. We had a beautiful 60 degree weekend and it helped us all recover from our sickness and I was able to go on a listing spree to push up over 160 active listings.

    I sold an iphone 5s with a cracked screen for $150 that I bought for $50 locally.

    Another cool item I sold was an Anuschka hand painted purse for $55 shipped. This one was pretty worn and not one of the better designs, so I was happy at that price. I'm particularly proud of that one because I knew my eye for quality items was improving. Check these purses out as they have a real neat story behind them.

    As for Amazon FBA, I have been experimenting looking for books and Retail Arbitrage. I'm just not getting into it. Is it really worth the much higher up front costs of goods plus the exhorbitant fee structure? I'm really leaning toward the "not for me" side of things except for any special cases I find. I enjoy my bizarre and random ebay world much more.

  18. I have a question:
    Does anyone else here sell on facebook yard sale groups?
    I love selling on there! I typically sell items on there that are either difficult to ship or would be a return risk. I've flipped phones on there and lately my favorite flip is Buckle brand jeans. I've been able to find them occasionally at thrift stores and they are an easy $40-50 flip.
    Some of the local thrift stores have gotten wise though and they are instructing their workers to pull aside the fancy embellished jeans to price much higher.

    1. I've sold some larger video game bundles on local facebook groups for the same reason you've stated, the shipping was quite expensive on eBay. Overall I personally think it's a mixed bag similar to Craigslist. I had to sift through lots of low-ball offers and deal with quite a few people who said they wanted to buy but then never responded to messages. There is also the issue of having to meet the person someplace like a shopping center parking lot which, living 15-20 min outside of town, can be time consuming. It's not like I'd never do it again but its something I probably wouldn't do very often.

    2. Haha yeah deadbeats are plentiful. I look at is as practice. If I can handle the deadbeats and the lowballers and keep my composure then I can handle anything in this business. My personal favorite are the folks that say "what's your bottom dollar". I like when they say that as they immediately identify themselves as someone that will never be my buyer. Saves me a lot of time and headache.

    3. Instead of selling on Facebook groups and Craigslist I find it much more productive to buy items. There are often people who need cash right away and I'm more than willing to give them my cash in exchange for a great deal on something I can put in the work and flip for a higher price on eBay.

    4. I live in the greater Los Angeles area (south bay Torrance Redondo Beach). Craigslist in this area is a great place to sell musical instruments, and bicycles. This area has a million musicians, and if you find a good item it will sell fast on craiglist. Sometimes its a headache but you don't have to worry about paying for shipping and getting returns.

    5. From Midwest Junker

      Not sure if this has been touches upon in previous episode comments, but more communities are developing safe zones for internet transactions - this seems like a great idea - anyone using these?

  19. I have sold a few Golf Bag Carts and other larger items on Ebay with a Local Pickup only. I was surprised at first, but they've told me they trust an Ebay seller more that someone on Craigslist.

    I Agree craigslist is a great place to buy or pick up something from the "Free" section.

  20. I've listed larger pieces of art and framed needlework on FB with mixed results. I find the listings get buried very quickly and even with bumping probably don't get many views. I wouldn't buy specifically for FB, but have found a few pieces of art I couldn't pass up for $3 and then decided not to try to ship on Ebay. Furniture does great on FB and Craigslist because our shopping choices are limited here.

    Incidentally, I often wonder how many stolen items like bikes and sunglasses are sold. My husband's bike was stolen by a guy on probation selling on there - he was caught on video so we found out. Kind of gave me a new perspective when you look at the postings.

    1. When we lived in the city and had a laptop stolen, the first place to look is on CL listings.

  21. The comments from J & R about going to the local department store and being disappointed by the sale prices made me remember my first job out of college selling housewares at Macy's. This was not my ideal job but the IT industry was in a slump and I needed a job. I was very interested in how these major department stores obtain their products, how they price them and how they handle customers so I was always paying attention and asking questions. I learned a ton about the department store model in the 6 months I worked there and I apply some of that knowledge to my eBay business now.

    Basically, when new items come in the price is set sky high, sometimes way over the MSRP! Then, within a few weeks or sometimes days of the new item hitting store shelves it goes "on sale." The sale price is often 20%-40% off the crazy high list price. It's a psychological marketing method where people think they are getting a deal but are really paying the retailer's intended price. In order to avoid getting in trouble for false advertising (if it's on sale forever is it really a sale?) the sale prices often rotate. Basically one week the item will be "on sale" and the next week it won't. The following week the item is back "on sale." The real discount prices are often not until the item hits 60% or even 70% off. If you think about it, it's kind of like J & R's price high strategy. The department store is willing to hold the inventory for a while, betting that enough people will pay the super high list price or be lured in by the initial discount price that by the end of the season/cycle there is only a little bit or no inventory left that they have to actually discount.

    Another major thing I learned, which I apply to eBay quite frequently, had to do with customer service. This is already a long post but suffice to say we accepted just about anything as a return. The company was more than willing to take a loss on a return in order to avoid an angry customer. And yes, this meant that we sometimes got taken advantage of and were well aware of it but still gave the return.

    1. Jason - Do you know if the "one day" Macys sales were the best? It seems like those happen at slow times, when they are trying to mess with the people later trying to return wedding gifts without a receipt (by giving the lowest sale price within x months).

    2. Interesting info Jason. I wonder if large department stores can survive in the near future. I just couldnt imagine paying their prices knowing it's cheaper online.

    3. I don't remember the "one day" sales being anything huge in terms of discounts except they would often apply discounts to the clearance items during the sale (that's where the real deals are). I did learn that most items had 2-3 different "sale" price points that they would rotate between. In fact I learned that some stores would keep the various sale tags stored behind the current price tag in the little holder and you could just pull them all out and see whether the item had a lower price that would potentially be offered at a later date. Some of the sale tags even had the dates, so you knew when it would sell at that date! When I shop at Macy's now I pretty much just shop the clearance rack that each department keeps hidden towards the back. If you catch a sale where they are giving 20%-30% off clearance items that's the best deals. I've picked up nice Analon and Calphalon pots and even some Henckels knives for very cheap that way. (maybe not thrift store cheap though ;-))
      As for the wedding items, if you have a wedding registry I think they might let you return the item at the actual sale price as the registry should show the date/price it was purchased at. I didn't deal with the wedding registries but I know we got a ton of returns related to them. Wedding registries are a huge deal to Macys and they will often bend over backwards for people if it has to do with a registry.

    4. Jay,
      I have to agree with you that most of the traditional department stores are suffering and their future looks questionable. I do believe that the convenience and discounts of shopping online play a big part in that but I think there is more at play than just that.

      One of the major driving factors is that the middle class in the US is shrinking. The number of lower income families is growing while the purchasing power that used to belong to the middle class is now more-so in the hands of the wealthy. I think many department stores like Macy's were built on a model that caters to the middle class and as their customer base has been shrinking so have their profits. You can see evidence of this by looking at which B&M retailers are doing well. They are mostly the super high-end retailers that tend to rent in the very upscale malls and shopping areas that cater to the wealthiest neighborhoods. Look at brands such as Apple that continue to build many new B&M locations despite the fact that you can buy all their products online and with greater selection and convenience. I’m no expert but I can see a day where the wealthy shop in fancy shopping malls and boutiques that sell luxury products with margins high enough to justify the rent and the rest of us shop online where we trade customer service and instant gratification for a lower price.

  22. regarding Jay and Ryanne's second store, in a way I wish that you guys had held it to 500 items to see if you could do $2000 a month with a smaller store--which was your theory, right?

    1. I think the other part was that they plateaued at a certain place in the flagship store, so they wanted to build the second store until it plateaued...

    2. Well, we're not good scientists. We should start a third store!

      I think the issue is the kind of stuff you list too. It's tough to make $2k on 500 items if the average price listed is under $30.

    3. I think that Jay & Ryanne have a valid theory. In January, we finally got above 400 items and our sales averaged $623 per week / $80 per day. Don't plan to stay in the 400's through the slower summer months to test the theory, though. We're not such good scientists, either. ;-)

  23. Someone got a video of me scavenging some packing material.

  24. I may have missed something, but on the lady with the 20% perfume, why didn't you just give her a partial refund via PayPal and then message her the eBay?

    1. I was wondering the same thing. I do partials that way all the time and I'm pretty sure you've mentioned it before too.

    2. We absolutely could have just done a partial refund and sent a message.

      BUT then the buyer can begin complaining to eBay. The buyer can also leave negative feedback. The buyer would most likely be very unhappy.

      So we're just choosing to lose some money to avoid hassle. It's a small price to pay for peace. Choose your battles.

    3. right, the last time i did a partial refund for a return of an angry customer with no return case opened, they left negative feedback because they believed i owed them all their shipping. i called ebay 5 times to have the negative removed and they just won't remove it. it's the only negative feedback i have on my account. so i didn't want to repeat that experience.

    4. I have experienced the same thing as J&R. If you don't refund the entire amount in these type of scenarios the buyer gets po'd and will probably leave negative feedback. It's more of the principal of the situation to them. In most cases it's not worth the head ache. It took me a solid 10 years to learn to suck it up and just refund it instead of dragging it out lol. Then of course block them after.

  25. Jan 24-30 2016
    • Total Items in Store: 613
    • Items Sold: 22
    • International 3 (2 GSP 1 Sweden)
    • Total Sales $2705.49
    • Highest Price $1500 turntable
    • Average Price Sold: $122.98
    • Returns:
    • Cost of Items Sold: $210
    • Cost of items purchased this week $70

    I'm fresh out of new old stock turntables for $1500, if I throw out that number it's still been a good week.
    I added up all the vintage audio items including this turntable that I bought as part of a large estate back in October and so far it's over $6000, I can't believe I as so hesitant to go all in and make that big purchase for $1500 but so glad I did, what's crazy is all the small parts and incidentals that came with it have sold for over a thousand dollars so far.

    I'm with you J&R as far as selling on other venues. I sell things like you and have a lifestyle that's similar as well, no empire building here, I'm always thinking I don't work hard enough but, so what, I have minimum pressure and what I do have is self imposed.
    If you have the time and energy to sell on other platforms that's great but I've found Amazon selling to be too much of a learning curve for me to want to tackle. It could be that I've done eBay since 1999 and I'm too set in my ways.
    I like the idea of FBA, but all the qualifying and hoops to jump through keep me sticking to eBay. I have an etsy account but just don't want to put in the time to sell there as of yet. These are just my musings and not a judgment of others.

    1. That's some pretty awesome numbers Steve.

  26. Steve-List in Richmond, CA

    Numbers for January (Premium store)
    Total Items in Store: 562 (542 end of Dec.)
    Items Sold: 49 (49 Dec.)
    Cost of Items Sold: $184 ($135 Dec.)
    Total Sales: $1,095 ($1,466 Dec.)
    Highest Price Sold: $250 - Wool Rug 3x9 (made in USA)
    Average Price Sold: $22.34 ($29.91 Dec.)
    International Sales: 0 GSP / 0 Non GSP
    Returns: 0 (no returns in 2015)
    Number of items listed in Dec.: 56 (46 Nov.)
    Spent on new inventory in Dec.: $558 ($546 Dec.)

    Again, my purchases were higher than normal. I went all in on a lot that included wood ammunition boxes, a large group of 1950's pistol and rifle shooting trophies, a big lot of old cardboard shell boxes, and some old gun company catalogs.

    The huge lot of USPS patch sets I bought last month have been doing good, I have sold about $80 worth of them already.
    The wool rug I sold came from an insane estate sale clearout. They didn't have time to stage anything in the house (tons of ceramics, some of which was in the 14 china cabinets they had). From what J&R have said about rugs I deceided to try them. I paide $10 each and sold one for a best offer of $250. I put two of the USPS Priority medium sized mailing tubes together and shipped it that way, worked great.

    I also tride FedEx Smartpost for the first time, I had to change my mailing address from a PO Box to a street address before it would work. I tried the Post Office _ _ _ work around but it would not work for the return address.

    Thanks R&J for running the podcast and blog, both have been a great help.

    1. Congrats on the rug sale. You cant beat that profit margin.

  27. Total Items in Store: 243
    Items Sold: 6
    Total Sales: $101
    Highest Price Sold: $17
    Average Price Sold: $27 A few yards of Marimekko fabric
    International Sales: 1 GSP Someone paid $42 total to send a cap to Australia
    Returns: 0
    Number of items listed this week: Few, had family in town, enjoyed myself

    Pending. I have an offer on the Shell Cordoba shoes. Then I would make more than I did the whole past week. Now do I take 65% or wait? Hmmm

    1. It's all about who's hungrier: you or the buyer?

  28. We're finally all settled in at the new place, and we've finally taken eBay out of our living space. Between my surgeries and my partner's surgery, and moving we haven't been able to work very much for the last several weeks. But we've been staying at the $2,800 to $3,500 a week in sales which has been a relief.

    1. I'm still waiting for you to come out with a blueprint for me to follow ;) I will start all over and walk in your foot steps because clearly my method isn't working well.

    2. The only thing I know for sure that works is to constantly list. I haven't been working very much for the last several weeks, but I clocked in 50 to 80 hours every single week doing nothing but listing for the first year and a half of selling on eBay.

      If you put in those kinds of hours, you're bound to make some decent money.

    3. Congrats Bryan. Making that big move etc is always an interruption in "the flow".

      I agree that if you do crazy listing and get your inventory up to a certain point, you can then have periods of no-listing and still sell well. Be the ant and not the grasshopper.

      Bryan, look forward to hearing how your new listing employee is doing.

    4. Wow Bryan, even with all the interruptions and distractions of moving and surgery you've proved that hard work and a large inventory pays off. A little experience doesn't hurt either.

    5. The new girl is doing very well. She's only making minor mistakes so far, but we've been selling a lot of the things she has been listing, and haven't been getting any complaints. I think we're going to try and make her our first full time employee once her teaching job ends this spring.

    6. Mad respect on working 50-80 hours a week. That's really the #1 way to be successful at eBay.

    7. If you don't mind me asking, where did you come up with that much money to list so much early on and did you start going to a certain type of place for your stuff? I'm very interested in how you got started. For me money is definitely an issue. If I was constantly selling stuff to make it back it wouldn't be as bad but my pipeline gets clogged a lot. I put things in but nothing comes out lol.

    8. We just dove in and luckily made enough money to sustain ourselves right off the bat. It was pretty tight there for a little bit, but we worked like crazy and our sales grew from $200 a week to a $1,000 a week within a couple months.

      We shopped at all the same types of places everyone here shops at. Estate/garage sales, by the pound places, and thrift stores.

    9. So you did it with a partner? How did you know what to buy? I still wish you'd agree to do an interview with Jay. Every time he interviews another seller I always learn from it and helps me.

    10. Yes, I don't think I could have done much of this without her help. Our cellphones told us what to buy. Just look at what sold, what percentage sold, and for how much to know if you should buy it or not.

    11. So Bryan you're one of those people who looks up everything before you buy it? It's the safer smarter bet really. I know a lot of people here just buy it and find out if they have a dud at home. I do a bit of both depending.

    12. I think Bryan does mainly clothes so after awhile he probably rarely uses his phone. I'm switching to mainly clothes and I've noticed breaking out my phone a lot less. I'll still check on some random jackets and coats but for men's stuff after awhile you will rarely come across new brands that warrant a look up.

      It definitely takes time to get to that point. Looking everything up at first is the best education you can get. No youtube or "guide" can beat that hands on experience.

    13. Retro Treasures WVFebruary 2, 2016 at 4:41 PM

      If you don't have a really good and seasoned eye, then you absolutely should be checking things before you buy. Even if I don't buy a thing during a thrift run I still learn a lot. I would buy tons of junk if I didn't do this. I'd also miss some of my best sellers as well.

    14. Bryan, Welcome back. I missed seeing your crazy high weekly sales numbers - they are great motivation to keep listing!

    15. We still look up a lot of stuff that we buy. My partner does almost all the buying, and she looks up everything she doesn't already know.

      Thanks Pat!

  29. Here's a list that came from Dallas Moore on YouTube. It's an incomplete list but I still think it will help people. Things that sell often that are easy to find. Feel free to add to the list. Most of these I already knew about and do sell often.

    Vintage Xmas lights and boxes
    Rotary phones esp colored ones
    Train bags/travel bags
    Mason jars w/ the cloudy glass #13
    Yearbooks esp if famous ppl in it
    Hallmark merry miniatures
    Vintage tennis shoes
    Vintage hats
    Paint guides esp Scheewe
    Vintage coloring books- uncolored
    Vintage obscure magazines
    Obsolete media
    Vintage handheld electronic games
    Vintage glass lamp shades
    Wooden puzzles
    Vtg Needlepoint/ cross stitch kits
    Vintage plush

  30. eBAy

    Total Items in Store: 200
    • Items Sold: 7
    • International 1
    • Total Sales $222.99
    • Highest Price $54 (World of GreyHawk D & D Rule Books)
    • Average Price Sold: $31.86
    • Returns: 0
    • Cost of Items Sold: $29.50
    • Cost of items purchased this week $0

    Total Items in Store: 62
    • Items Sold: 5
    • Total Sales $136.74
    • Highest Price $44 (Grey's Anatomy Board Game)
    • Average Price Sold: $27.35
    • Returns: 0
    • Cost of Items Sold: $18
    • Cost of items purchased this week $0

    Jay and Ryanne, it's cool to see you guys venturing into FBA. I know you are skeptical but I think you guys will do well with sales. I did have one comment though. I know you ran into problems with the race to the bottom and I think this is something that a lot of new FBA sellers fall into but as one YouTuber said on the issue: "Don't be that guy (or gal!)". My point being, don't play that game. With FBA, items sell so fast and frequently that you don't have to cut other seller's prices to get yours sold. Also, as you mentioned, you're going to be selling more unique items, you'll find that the race to the bottom isn't really an issue with these items. In my experience, most of the times that I run into issues with the race to the bottom is with retail arbitrage items (like when an item goes on clearance at Walmart and suddenly 100 sellers are selling the same item). But as you most likely know, that's a completely different game.

    Just to put it into perspective, I started doing FBA on December 9th. I estimating that I sent in 150 items. Within these last two months I've sold 90 items. And 99% percent of those weren't items that were cutting other seller's prices. What I've done and what seems to work is to either match the lowest price or even list your item a little higher than the lowest price (keep in mind when I say lowest price I mean the FBA seller's lowest price, not the merchant fulfilled seller's lowest price). So far it's worked great and I'm not spending everyday going through my listings and adjusting prices.

    1. deb truervalues

      ¬¬Week Jan 25-31
      Items in-store: listings 1623 ( 2090 total items in store )
      Total Sales $ 993.81
      Number of items sold: 42
      Average Sale Price: $ 23.66
      Cost of Goods sold $ 191
      Highest price sold: $218.99 Vintage Leather Collapsible Massage Table. Got it for $2 at the end of a box lot auction because no one else would take it. I think someone won an entire line of boxes and abandoned this one. They were begging me to get it off their hands! One of my best % sales ever!
      International Sales: (0 GSP)
      Returns: 1- an item never picked up at the post office.
      Spent on new inventory: $ 245
      Number of items Listed : 37

      Sold the Leather table at the last minute while I was working on my numbers—That sale really helped my numbers this week, as my next highest sale was only $40.00—lots of bread and butter items.

    2. Michael Medlen, thanks for the tip. We'll see how things go on FBA without racing to the bottom.

  31. My whole store is on a major half off sale but so far it's as dead as ever. It's hard not to buy into conspiracy theories when its dead and then you get 5 sales in a row on the same day. I'm going to run a test with 5 random items. For a week I will look them up 3 times a day and see where they fall on EBay. If it's always similar then sales are random. If at times my items are not there or they have plummeted to the bottom of the ranking then fishy business it is.

    1. Good test... but make sure you're taking into account all the factors, especially if your items are popular (like an iPhone). I just searched "iPhone 6s" in US only, sorted by Best Match. There are 288 listings that I see - and let's just say your iPhone 6s is third on the page. Tomorrow, if your iPhone is ranked 10th, be sure to check if there are new entries at the top or perhaps the 7 iPhones that bumped yours down are from Top Rated Sellers, or they're ending sooner, or they have 50 bids, or another factor. Be careful on the conclusions that you draw.

    2. I would only do my more unique things as they'd be easier to locate.

  32. I just received my first shipment of the new USPS Large Priority Mail boxes. I just ran the numbers on the website calculator and as already mentioned, they are going to be oversize, for the purposes of the rates. They are 15.5 X 12 X 12 inches in size... 12 X 12 X 12 inches is normal rate territory, according to the USPS Calculator. Still I'm glad to have them.

    1. I use them all the time. The rate rarely changes when I'm shipping in the US.

  33. @So CAL JOE: Do me a favor. Take one of the old Regional C boxes and lay it on top of the new Large Box and you will see that they are the same. Also tape a new box together [make sure you pull all the seams in real tight] and you will see that the OD is 11.75x11.75x14.5. All comes in at 38 " and you are good to go. I was in large scale printing and mfg. for decades. They already have the "Tooling" [large rotary steel blade dies to stamp out the box sizes. Why re-tool all of that for for a half inch more. Yep they are printing on the box 12x12x15 BUT IN ACTUALLITY it is not and I am going to still list all shipments in the new size boxes at what the actual "real" measurements are that I am taking for the "REAL" measurement of the box.

    Try it. Put one together and report back. Bet 'cha it is smaller than 15x12x12. I wonder how many people are going to fall for this and just blindly put in 12x12x15 and pay for the DIM weight going over. Until they call me out on it, I am sticking with the real measurements.

    38" running inches is the target. Amazon uses their own boxes that all hit the 38" linear inch mark. One of their favorites is a 19"x13"x6" = 38 linear inches.

    Buy you a lunch if that 15x12x12 is REALLY that "exact" size. Don't spend extra by falling for the ploy.

    Let me know what you or anyone else finds out. All memebers do a comparison and actual measurement. Make sure you "assemble" the box and pull the seams tight. Let us all know what you find out. Oh and by the way, I took the taped together "new" box out on the porch the other day and showed it to Kaye my postman and put my tape measure on it and Yep, she agreed. Not 12x12x15, but 11.75x11.75x14.50 just like they have always been. All they did was change the graphics and box printing, not re-tool for it. That way all they had to pay for was new film and a plate change on the presses. ... mike in Atlanta.

    1. Mike are you saying you can enter measurements down to decimal points in when you do calculated shipping? If so I didn't know this. I always round up like they do at the counter of the post office. This would make a difference when it's close like the example you've given.

    2. @ Nancy ..No, unfortunately fractions can't be actually used to enter. Above was just stating that what was printed on the box was not the "actual" measurement. The actual was still the same size as the old Regional C. I just called my local USPS office and got a supervisor. She said the old Reg. C box was over the 1,728 cubic inches but they didn't apply the extra postage because of the special Regional Program. Now that those special weights for the regions have been dropped, then any box over the 1,728 cubic inches will be charged the DIM WEIGHT prices. So She said "technically" to just trim a little bit off the box by down sizing it and we would be fine. "Off The Record", she said if we rounded down to 14x11x11 and entered that number they aren't going to check it or catch it, not for rounding back a half inch or so.

      I don't mind down sizing the new large box by a half inch or so. It is so quick for me. It takes about 10 secs. to scribe a score line around the 4 sides , slit the 4 corners down to that score and then fold it over. I use these large boxes a lot so a few extra seconds is no big deal. mike in Atlanta

    3. That's seems crazy that the post office made this box right on the border and consider it oversized. I'm just going to wait and see if a box comes back, then deal with it. Maybe this is how the post office is making up for the added ounces we get for 1st class packages? I'm not going to spend another minute thinking about it, but thanks for the info.

  34. I was under the impression that the measurements had to be rounded off to the nearest inch... Obviously you are saying no.. I will measure one and see. I don't have any of the regional boxes, but my understanding is that this is the same size..

    1. I laid them right ontop of each other and they are dead on, the same size. The only thing different is what is printed on the box. So at the same size, it goes for the same price. and if, as you say you have to round up, then why did they use "half" sizes on the regional "C" box. But that is worth checking out, but they are dead on and I think they are just playing semantics to get higher fees. My opinion though. Let me know what you find out. mc in atl.

    2. I'm seeing 14 1/2 by 11 7/8 by 11 7/8.. Clearly you are right and the measurements written on the box are exaggerated. That's good info to have. I cut and marry priority boxes all the time to get the size I need. These will work nicely for me.

    3. Why are you so caught up in box size? Unless it's really long or big or going out of the country the rates don't really change much.

    4. @ Anonymous.. It does matter.. a lot. As stated the 1,728 cubic inches is the cut off before DIM WEIGHT kicks in. I use the large mailing boxes a lot. If you use a 14x11x11 box and send from east coast to west coast at 7 lbs. it costs me $25.48. Add just one inch and make the box 15x12x12 and at the same weight and destination it jumps to $40.19. That is $14.71 more for just one inch more on each of the three sides.

      a 14x11x11 is 1,694 cubic inches. Just 34 cubic inches shy of the DIM WEIGHT ceiling cap. Add any dimension to any side that takes it over and Bam.. heavy increases kick in. so the 15x12x12 is 2,160 cubic inches [432 cubic inches over]and you pay another $14.71. So even adding maybe a half inch to one side of a box that is close to the DIM WEIGHT cap and you go over and it will cost big time.

      That is why I have been known to trim an inch off of a large box to keep it under. Also Ryanne has a box re-sizer so she is aware of this issue also. So yes it does matter. May I suggest a chart on the wall above your shipping area with not only box sizes but cubic inches for each size box. Then re-size when you need to keep under the cap. mike in Atlanta.

  35. "Cubic inches", not "linear inches", is the relevant measurement. Specifically, 1728 cubic inches is the limit before getting into dim weight.

  36. My totals for the past week:

    •Total Items in Store: 261 (277 counting 'multiple quantity items')
    •Items Sold: 2
    •Cost of Items Sold: $0.50
    •Total Sales: $39.98 ($5.75 went to 'free shipping')
    •Highest Price Sold: $19.99 (vintage bangle and vintage wallet)
    •Average Price Sold: $19.99
    •International Sales: 0
    •Returns: 0
    •Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $6.76
    •Number of items listed this week: 14

    What a depressing week of low sales! After such a great week last week, this was really a let down. Only 2 low dollar sales at the beginning of the week and then NOTHING. I wonder if the end of the month has anything to do with that? Hope it picks up. On the positive side, I took the plunge and opened my store! Yay! Now trying to get it 'organized' and then work on filling it up. I also stumbled into thrift store 'bag day' and ended up with 2 nice pairs of vintage Etienne Aigner shoes and 3 vintage men's London fog trench coats (with liners) and some other shirts, all for only $2.00! Hope to make some nice profits off this lot.

    1. Don't let a bad week slow you down, keep listing, you'll string a few good weeks together and it'll pump you up to list more and then your good weeks now will look like slow ones. You have no control over who buys when, just how much of your stuff is available.

    2. Steven, thanks for the encouragement! :)

    3. Retro Treasures WVFebruary 2, 2016 at 8:11 AM

      The London Fog stuff is real nice but in my research it just doesn't sell. Definitely long lead time items. I pass up multiple London Fog coats every time I step into any thrift store.

    4. Oh no.. thanks for that advice... newbie mistake :) I won't get my hopes up...

    5. Retro Treasures WVFebruary 2, 2016 at 4:02 PM

      Don't be afraid to take your phone out and do research right in the thrift store. I live right among 4 Goodwills and all the employees know me and some of them are outright helpful.

  37. 1/24-1/30

    Total Items in store: 428
    Items sold: 14
    Cost of items sold: approx. $25
    Total Sales: $198
    Highest price sold: $45 Nascar Pit shirt
    Average price sold: $18
    Int’l sales: 1
    Returns: 0
    Number of items listed this week: 0
    Full time ebay goal - March 2018

    Ebay to Amazon experiment – Had zero sales,– I have 18 items in inventory, and 6 items purchased on their way to me.

  38. Rydell Relics Store Week January 24-30, 2015

    Total Items in Store: 977
    Items Sold: 12
    Cost of Items Sold: $40.49
    Total Sales: $418.93
    Highest Price Sold: $95 (70's gold veined mirror tiles)
    Average Price Sold: $34.91
    International Sales: 1 GSP
    Returns: 1
    Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $39

    I knew it was going to happen, but I didn't think it would be so soon: my other gig listing records abruptly ended. That was a solid $200 a week that I have to make up now. I was kinda freaking out at first, but I've calmed down. This just means that I have two more days to continue listing, sourcing, and organizing. Plus, things were left kind of ambiguous, so I may be asked to come back in a month or two. Who knows? Either way, I'm now 100% independent and aside from the odd DJ gig, I'm full time eBay. Yikes!

    Last week was definitely slow, but I'm not discouraged; it's all about working the month. While cleaning last week, I found stacks of old magazines and catalogs I'd saved for years. I almost trashed them all many times, but I'm so glad I didn't. I listed a bunch of them over the weekend, and they're already selling for good money. My low level hoarding is finally paying off!


    1. OMG - awesome sale with the gold veined mirror tiles! Hat's off for thinking to sell those. They were an accent wall when we bought our house. I was literally aching to remove them all through escrow and they came off 6 am the day after we closed. Not my flavor of retro. Good for you.

    2. Ha! Thanks. My grandma had them in her living room, so I have fond memories. Not exactly my style either, but I'm happy to sell them.


    3. Just get into the "full time eBay" mindset. Consistent listing each day. There's no other way.

  39. I might have missed this if this was discussed earlier.

    What's everyone paying for padded flat rate envelopes? I was paying $5.35 and it went to $5.90. I've heard of people paying $5.60.

    I've been a TRS for ever.


    1. It was 5.35 with discount rate but in Jan it bumped up to 5.90. You are not alone.

  40. Just paid $6.10 for a padded flat rate today. (not a TRS.)

    I sent something USPS parcel post last Thursday and it was never scanned. Has that happened to anyone else? USPS is just saying I have to wait. They pretty much said there is nothing they can do anyway. The only good bit is that the buyer is also a seller and totally understands. I feel like just refunding him the money at this point. What's the best way to do that?

    1. A lot of my USPS packages never show a scan until they hit the destination city. So far not one has been lost. Depending on how long it's been, I would just wait and keep an eye on it. The weather may be a factor as well.

    2. That's the first time it ever happened to me. Just to update people (because I think it helps people to see how things are resolved in the comments) the package arrived at its destination today and was scanned for the first time (after 6 days of not being scanned, west coast to west coast).

      I wonder if that is because I sent it USPS parcel rate. My ratings were affected. Because I have relatively small feedback numbers, it seems this is a real issue as I am just about to qualify for TRS status and there is nothing I can do to change it that I can see. Am I wrong?

    3. My experience has been that the items are being scanned, but for some reason not all the scans are being uploaded. I am being told that it is an computer problem with the post office.

      I've had problems with First Class, Priority and Media, so I don't think the package type is the issue.

      Ebay has refused to remove the defects for late shipment.

      I don't have an answer for this problem. I'm trying to focus on the things I can control, like listing. If I continue to get defects, I'll deal with it then.

  41. Looks like Pinterest will be another site to open a store and sell on soon. Appears it may import items as well.

    1. Here is a link to a thread on Etsy about this.


      I read all 4 pages of the thread. So far it doesn't sound too promising.

  42. So, last weekend in true Scavenger fashion, at a yard sale, I bought a large #10 can (106 oz) of S&W Tomato Puree for $1.. The date on the bottom is March,2012. the can looks good. I'm sure it's fine.

    I think it's going to be spaghetti weekend at my house...

    1. Your story made me laugh and grossed me out. haha. You sound like my husband. He's always telling me "the milk isn't sour, the meat doesn't smell weird, the expiration date doesn't mean anything" I tell him to help himself and refuse to eat any of it.

    2. Spoiled milk is the worst. From whatever reason there's a certain local milk brand here that always expires before the date. I refuse to buy there milk.

      Expiration dates usually are overly cautious. That said, 4 years expired I'd probably avoid.

    3. Hah! Marci, maybe your husband had some time in the service? Everything you’ve quoted I’ve said though my wife and kids aren’t having any of it, either. As for the puree, it’s probably still good but the test will be when the opener first pierces the can. If there’s any release of pressure, don’t eat it. In the army I was issued MCI rations (everyone called them C-rations) that contained all canned items. As the army stopped procuring them in the changeover to MRE rations (plastic packs) they took old MCI’s from Vietnam out of storage, took out the cigarettes, inspected and tested a sample of them, repacked them and reissued them to soldiers in order to use them up. The dates of packing and inspection/test were stamped on the case of 12. By the time we got them in the ‘80s, the stuff was scary old though reinspected within the last couple years. They even started stamping the cases with a legend to reinforce that the rations were still good and that we shouldn’t go by the original pack date. I was told that if the can wasn’t swollen or squirted when starting to open it, it could be eaten safely, which was apparently true because we ate a lot of that stuff without incident.

    4. I think canned food is pretty safe. I remember growing up, canned food didn't have expiration dates and my grandmother (who lived during the depressions) kept a bunch of it in the basement.

    5. Even though old canned food may still be safe the quality does deteriorate. Swollen cans are a dead giveaway of an anerobic contamination such a botulism. One bite and it's over for you.

  43. I have been spending a lot of time with you lately listening to podcasts as I ramp up to begin my own Amazon/Ebay/Bonanza/Etsy adventure. I want to underline your own comments about how you don't have the latitude on Amazon that you do on eBay. Now that I know you, I feel like I should caution you to be careful to follow the rules! (Like Jay is worried I am going to buy all trucker hats. Jay, I have only bought 3 hats.) As you know, there is a lot of FUD out there about Amazon, I do feel like y'all have the pragmatism to take the right approach, and focus on what matters.

    Amazon mobile users cannot see the condition notes (at least on books, so keep that in mind). Regarding the repricers, I think if you take the list it and forget it philosophy you have and tweak it a little for Amazon you will be well served. The repricing game is a race to the bottom. You are better off letting the impatient repricers get the buy box (do you own the box?! lol) until they run out. Your eBay patience will take you far on Amazon. Also, remember the Amazon Prime customer doesn't buy on price - they filter out merchant fulfilled offers.In fact they will avoid the lowest prices, wondering what is wrong with the item. These people are comfortable paying a full retail price and knowing that Amazon A to Z protects them. I like the idea of listing things high, and then just waiting until its my turn for the box. No one knows all the reasons you get the buy box, but if you are a professional seller who follows the rules, then it will all work out. Ignore the merchant fulfilled people. They are not your competition, and you should probably ignore the other FBA sellers too. A lot of them are doing it wrong and will be weeded out by Amazon's policies.

    I have been scavenging free used books so that is what I am going to focus on first with Amazon. I plan to under-grade my used books and supplement that with some small inexpensive items so that I can get some positive feedback under my belt.

    Other FBA thoughts: Look into FBA storage fees and don't co-mingle your inventory. As on eBay there will be problem children, who lie and say not as described, etc, but Amazon will handle all that for you. There will still be stuff not your fault/you cannot control and you will have to call Amazon to get it changed or removed. Factor more returns into your business model and source/price accordingly. Put in removal tickets for your returns and inspect them yourself. Fulfillment workers in the warehouse are strangers who do not have your interests at heart. Send product back in as you are able. Be prepared and don't spend mental energy on it. Unfortunately you cannot block Amazon buyers, but at least you do not have to correspond with them. Get to know the policies - some are different, many are similar. Like eBay reps, many Amazon reps are not as familiar with their own policies. Prompt, thoughtful responses to Amazon cases are essential to retaining your selling privileges.

    Be thinking about sales tax nexus. You have it in Virginia, but you will have it for every state in which your items are stored in FBA warehouses, and everything I have read indicates that you must charge and remit sales tax on sales to those states on Amazon AND eBay, Bonanza, Etsy, Vango, etc. I am not a tax professional, so look into it yourself. Taxjar and Avalara (paid services to help manage this) have some information that will help you get started understanding this. Some states (I am looking at you, New York) are getting really aggressive about this, and even want to collect tax on affiliate link sales. I suspect many FBA sellers ignore this, but should be talking to their CPA about it.

    I am curious to know the segregation logic between your two stores on eBay. Forgive me if you have covered this already.

    I really appreciate all the thoughts you share with us each week. Y'all inspire me! I'll be posting my numbers once I get started.

    All my best,

    1. Thanks for the thoughts on FBA. We're already following most of the advice.

      There is no segregation logic between our two eBay stores. We just list whatever we want in either store. eBay allows you to have multiple stores as long as you arent doing it to skirt around their limitations.

  44. My totals for Jan 24-30

    Total items in store: 445
    Items sold: 19
    Cost of goods sold: $61.00
    Total Sales: $526.00
    Highest Sale: $61.08 Mens G Star Raw jeans
    Average Price sale: $27.68
    Returns 1 (Hunter boots. These were my daughters, sold fast, and will sell fast again but still $75.00 returns hurt)
    Money spent on new inventory: $68.00

    A nice week. I am always happy to hit $500.00 which is great. I work full time and other than some occasional shipping help from my son, I do this alone, so I don't really want to be much bigger. One thing I do want to do is hit 500 listings. Its been so close for so long and I know I can do it if I really buckle down.
    My big sale for the week was the G Star Raw jeans. I had never even heard of this brand until I saw it on someones blog. Two days later I find a pair at Goodwill. Isn't that how it always seems to happen? Anyway, add to your BOLO list, a nice profit.

  45. Looks like Pinterest will be another site to open a store and sell on soon. Appears it may import items as well.

    1. If anyone has any experience with selling on Pinterest, look forward to hearing your experience.

  46. Peebles is a small town in Scotland UK. wonder if that's where the store orgininates from.

  47. The store was started by the Peebles family in the 1800’s but maybe that’s where the surname came from. It’s actually a quite successful little department store chain, focusing on smaller rural markets.

    OK Jay, you stumped me on your reference at the beginning where you said something and that people from the ‘80’s will know what it is. I’ll have to say that I can’t really hear clearly what you’re saying, but even if I could, I did spend the mid-80’s out of the country so there are undoubtedly cultural references that might go right over my head. Care to enlighten us?


      This is the song I remember the most:

    2. Yup, never heard of them. Great stuff though! Thanks!

    3. Yep, you can hear their deep influence on NIN.

  48. Ryanne, why is your shipping so high? For example on a Slayer t shirt its 6.60. I know that can go first class for around 3 dollars. Even priority its not that high. I guess you guys want the most shipping profit you can get that's allowed. I know your not being scammy but it still seems too high for a simple tee.

    1. So then don't pay it. If you cant afford the shipping you probably cant afford the item.

    2. That was rude and uncalled for. No need to try to demean someone. I thought maybe the ship price was was an accident or there was something I was missing. Either way I guess some people here are a bit hostile so I'll be taking my leave.

    3. For me to send a half-pound box or envelope from my zip code on the east coast to someone in California using Priority Mail costs $7.85 per the USPS website. Priority mail gets you shipping and insurance and a quicker delivery time than First Class mail, and it's often preferred for that reason.

    4. Im on the same coast as them. But its OK. Didn't mean to cause an uproar. I just didn't expect to be made to feel more poor than I already am.

    5. I think Ryanne has said in the past that she always uses Priority mail rather than first class so that's probably the reason.

    6. I personally refuse to respond to comments from anyone named "anonymous", as they are often trolls and haters without even the courage to sign their name. Don't let the turkeys get you down.

    7. It may have been an older item that weighed over 13oz so shipping it via padded flat rate was the next cheapest option.

    8. Not to add fuel to the fire here.. (heheh) BUT, eBay does charge us 10% FVF's for shipping.. and then there is the cost of shipping supplies (if you aren't using a free envelope..) The buyer can choose to take it or leave it... personally, I am getting pretty sick of getting "beat up" over my (I think fair) shipping costs. I charge the retail post office rates (I don't pass my TRS/eBay discount onto the customer because I know I have to pay a 10% FVF fee on shipping.) I keep wavering between "Free Shipping" and bumping up the cost, and paid shipping.. I do a mix of both - but I am leaning right now towards "Free Shipping" and charging higher because I am tired of getting dinged with low DSR's for shipping. The times I have tried to make an extra $1.00 or so, are the times I have really been raked over the coals by a few buyers. However, there are few people out there who will complain about shipping even if you charge *less* than what you actually pay - maybe they just don't understand how it all works. (Or.. sometimes they know too much. ie: one eBay seller buying from another eBay seller.. they can be tough customers too!)

      Anyway, it's probably a cool slayer shirt :)

    9. i avoided first class for this because it's priced over $100. so i wanted to send it Priority so it gets to someone fast and has $100 worth of insurance on it for free. that being said, i'm not sure why i gave Parcel Select as an option. that being said, we list a ton of stuff, i try my hardest to make sure the proper shipping is on everything, but if someone messages me to do First class, i'm happy to add that. in fact, i'll probably add First Class plus handling to include insurance for this now. thanks for pointing it out.

    10. ok i have added First Class to this item, with a buffer for insurance. now that First Class goes up to 1lb, you bet your butt i'm putting 1lb items into First class for a better shipping price. now i need to go get some plain brown boxes for all those items. walmart deli, here i come.

    11. We were working all day good to see everyone resolved the shipping drama diplomatically. We're all friends here.

  49. Hey Folks: On the buying side, (we often max out the ebay bucks. I have noticed TWO sale stoppers: One pops up and simply says the seller cannot accept payments at this time. I refresh the listing and then it goes all the way through. The second one says "We are having a hiccup with Paypal. Please select another payment method instead." So sales might be slower because of technical issues too. I have not seen these errors a lot, but more often than I think I ought to.

  50. I had a similar experience this week from the caller that was contacted to take down something from ebay by the company.

    On Bonanza I received an email regarding a blink 182 t-shirt of all things.

    As you can see from the listing it's a used concert t shirt.

    Sorry for the lengthy post but this is the message I received on it.

    "This letter is being sent by TSURT, LLC (TSURT). TSURT is a merchandising company that based in California, USA. We create and sell merchandise, which contain trademarks, copyrights, likenesses, logos and other indicias of musicians and bands.

    TSURT has acquired the exclusive right to sell merchandise of the musical group known as blink-182. Also, we are authorized to make the complaint on behalf of the intellectual property and publicity rights owners.

    We are unaware of any license under which DanLi may sell the blink-182 merchandise. By your actions, you break the state and federal law regarding the protection of intellectual property rights. Therefore, you must immediately remove access to items that contain the blink-182 trademarks, likenesses logos or other copyrights (T-shirts).

    We already put together all of your bootleg merchandise. Thus, if you want, we can send you this list, which will help you to define items that you must delete.
    Please confirm to our email that you have removed all infringing goods during the next three business days.

    If you do not comply with the foregoing, TSURT will have no choice but to seek other ways to enforce its legal and equitable rights through the Digital Millennium Copyright Act procedure. Therefore, you can do all mentioned in a voluntary way or under pressure, which will have a negative impact on your seller history.

    We also want to warn you that due to your infringing activity and possible repeated violations of intellectual property rights, you create a ground for the service cancellation. As a result, you are risking to lose your business on and all previous achievements and reputation.

    We have a good IP protection experience. Therefore, please take this notification seriously.

    Kind regards,

    I plan to take it down because I don't fee like dealing with any issues but this was my response to them because I found it pretty funny that they would waste their time to send this.

    "Feel free to send a list. The only item I have is a 2009 concert t-shirt. What you are saying is a used t shirt from their concert in 2009 is a bootleg? So if I bought a blink 182 CD and sold it online that is a bootleg? Why on earth would anyone bootleg anything from Blink 182. I can see Nirvana but Blink 182 seriously? I hope you didn’t spend too much on their rights because that would be a bad investment."

    Yes I know it's a juvenile response and like I said I will take it down but if that is what people are their wasting resources on they need to rethink their stance.

  51. Ryanne,
    I was also wondering about how you set your shipping prices. I saw that you have a framed 9.5" X 11.5" family photo with shipping at $26.00. I thought maybe it was a mistake. I'm raising my shipping prices, but trying to keep them as low as possible to compete with Free Shipping listings. Do you have any guidelines you use to determine shipping, other than weight? Loved the podcast this week.

    1. That frame will probably be painful to ship so I would imagine they have a handling fee to ensure it gets to the buyer in without breaking.

      I know it's all relative between free shipping and charging for shipping because the cost is built in to the price regardless. Everyone tries to maximize their profit when they list an item on ebay. But it's looked down upon to maximize your profit on shipping.

      I take the approach to maximize my profit on shipping. It's a stated price that the buyer sees when they are purchasing the item so you are not misleading the buyer in any way. It takes time out of my day to ship an item in a professional manner so I am not going to do that for free or at a loss.

      I made around $3.5K last year from shipping. For example I charge a flat $4.25 to ship a t - shirt. It costs me around $2.6-$3 to ship the t shirt so I net around $1.25 in shipping per t shirt. The poly mailer's I get are free from fedex so that is not a cost that I accrue in shipping and if you want to count paper and toner that is probably 3-5 cents per shipment.

      I sell around 500 t shirts a year so that is an extra $625 in my pocket. As long as your shipping rates aren't outrageous you will have zero issue and I have never had anyone complain about shipping costs outside of the global shipping program.

      Don't devalue the time it takes you to ship an item and it's called shipping and handling for a reason. People that charge free shipping if they are smart are also making money on it they just present it differently.

    2. That's funny, we just wrote a very similar response at the same time. See below.

    3. which item number is this? i'd love to see why it costs that much.

  52. I never thought about the fact that I could make money on the shipping. Good point. Of course, I don't want to lose sales or get angry customers. I was trying to figure out how calculated shipping could be $26 to my zip code.

    So, you do flat rate shipping, Dan? I've always done flat rate and feel it evens out.

    1. It's an inexact science for charging shipping at a flat rate. I live in NY so I always want to know how much something will cost me to send to CA/WA for the worst case scenario because that will be my most expensive shipping cost.

      If it can't go flat rate off the top of my head i have an idea that something that weighs 2 pounds in a non flat rate box will cost x amount to send to CA so I make sure that my shipping rate is always a little above that threshold. Now if it sells to someone in PA then it's much cheaper so I net that difference.

      I also see what other people are charging to ship a similar item. If I am toward the high end but not the highest and a lot of other people have similar shipping prices that is what I will use.

      I know it's all personal preference but I value my time and it takes time for me to ship items properly as well as find the item to ship so that's why I plan to maximize my profit on shipping. Plus it's an upfront cost that the buyer sees so there is nothing misleading at all about this. If I lost money on shipping for some reason that is my problem I can't go back to the buyer and charge more.

      Either way it is your choice but my advice is to make that money Sandy!

    2. My philosophy is that I want to get the most I can for the item and just cover my costs with shipping. As a result, I always do calculated shipping. If you're shipping a lot of the same it you might be able to figure out an average cost to ship and use a fixed rate or build it in as free shipping but if you're selling a large range of items, it can be very easy to lose money on shipping - especially large items.

      There's no right answer for this topic. Try some different approaches and figure out what works best for your business. I'd definitely recommend tracking the actual shipping costs so that you can see, from a numbers perspective, whether you're losing money, making money or really just breaking even.

    3. Retro Treasures WVFebruary 2, 2016 at 3:48 PM

      If listing in the app, you get real time price ranges for shipping based on your method and size parameters while setting up shipping. I don't believe you get this when listing on computer.

      So on the fly I can check a few methods based on estimated size/weight and make a determination on how to ship and/or to do free shipping and build in max price to listing. The max price I build in will be the regional priority rate or the Fed Ex or smart post cross country rate - whichever is greater.

  53. My philosophy on shipping is that it is directly tied to how much I want to net. That is, my goal is to walk away with the most money after all fees (including insurance) - and taxes for that matter.

    To me, there is no disingenuous shipping price. The customer sees the cost before they pay and can decide for themselves. I charge the maximum I can. I'm not trying to "get away" with anything.

    The shipping and sale price are part of the same equation. Imposing some weird sense of morality on shipping seems odd to me when people see what they're going to pay up front. There is nothing shady about it. If they don't want to pay it, they won't. Though if they pay and then complain that the shipping was too high, that could be construed as a little shady. I guess the whole issue is just a question of perspective.

    I spend time and money shipping items (and yes, scavenging boxes takes time, which = money). Ebay and Paypal take money from me for shipping. I need to be compensated somehow, whether it be in the price of the item or the price of shipping and handling. It's just good business. Everyone decides for themselves how they want to approach it, but the costs are always there.

    1. Did I just charge $9.75 in shipping and handling for a $12 hat I sent first class? I most definitely did. Would that hat have sold if I charged $19? Maybe. Did I net $14 on the hat (before taxes, that is). Yes I did. Would I have sold the hat if I was going to make any less than that? No I would not have. I think most people would have sold it for $12 + the first class charge. After COGS and fees, they would have been lucky to end up with $8. Just not worth it to me. This way, I make just enough to sell (certain) hats for that price and the guy who bought it is happy because he paid about half of what he would have at the store for a NWOT hat. Circle of life.

    2. Shipping is such a sensitive topic, but the good news is that its ultimately the buyer's choice.

      Sellers who do free shipping just raise their item price, so its never really free.

      The buyer can compare and choose what they want to pay.

  54. What's up guys? Haven't commented in a while (new baby and everything), but still listening to the podcasts. Just came across a website of interest. With eBay wanting UPC codes, I sometimes forget to take a pic, so I found a site that you can easily look them up.
    You guys may have already talked about this, but there doesn't appear to be a way to search the comments, so I didn't find anything.

  55. Ok guys. I watch you sell travel bags all the time while I usually avoid buying them. The reason being they are big and sort of hard to photograph/ship and I never know how clean I should get them. Just how clean do you get your travel bags and luggage? There's always crumbs in cracks. Do you detail clean them or just wipe them. Do you mention dust or gunk that may be in pockets or corners? Thank you much.

    1. As with all our items, we just use vinegar and water to wipe down any dust or gunk. That's it. We leave it to the buyer to do whatever intensive cleaning they choose to do. Some buyers like the patina on older items.

      So for luggage, we just do a wipedown. We might use a vacuum if there's a lot of crumbs. That's it. Then just photograph any blemishes.

  56. I know you're getting ready with your first FBA shipment. Here's a tip you can use now. Like eBay's Custom Label field, the SKU is a field that you can maintain. If you let Amazon self-populate it, you'll have a big random mess. Once I realized that I started using my own format and life is so much better.

    I started with a format like 160131-001 (yymmdd-xxx) so it sorts by date and then by item on that day. I write a shortened version, in this case 31-1, on green painter's tape and stick it to the item. When you go to make your shipment it's easy to find the proper items, they're already in a sorted order.

    There are more complex additions you can make of this format -- if you're both listing you each have a series like 160131-r-001 and 160131-j-001. Just having it sorted by date to start with is very helpful.

    Here's a tip you can use in a few weeks once you start piling things up for your second and subsequent shipments. If you list your goodies often in small batches, you can initially offer them as Merchant Fulfilled until you get ready to ship a big box, then it's easy to convert the listings to FBA. The math shows me it works out well on music CDs and cassettes, likely other First Class Package mailable items too.

    Good luck and take care of your woodstove ashes properly! -- jimcooncat

    1. Good advice. We were stumbling around when packing the box because the Amazon generated numbers were confusing.

    2. thank god i had jay and vic to keep organized. i was like 'oh this is so different than ebay', but we got the hang of the process, as jay said, we mailed in 90 items. hopefully they sell!

  57. Has anyone tried used Amazon FBA for their eBay inventory?

    1. That seems like a no-brainer to keep selling items on eBay and let Amazon ship it for you.

      But it looks like your items still have to be for sale on Amazon, so this means it's just a certain kind of inventory that can sell across platforms.

      What would be cooler is if you could ship items into the FBA warehouse that would only sell on eBay. Al the weird, vintage stuff that you cant sell on Amazon. So it's like FBA for eBay.

      But this is exactly what offers.

    2. Jay, see

      It's not hard to keep things in FBA inventory and make them not available for sale on Amazon. I'm scared to have the same item on two different platforms unless I have enough stock to cover sales on both.

    3. Yep, read the link.
      From I understand, we couldn't send in a box of weird, old items that isn't already in Amazon's database. Everything you send in is stuff that at least COULD be sold on Amazon.

      If I'm incorrect, just send me the Amazon link that says its okay to send that stuff in.

    4. Maybe I'm missunderstanding you Jay,you can definitely sell things not already listed in Amazon's database. You would just create a listing just like Ryanne did with her multiple nail polishes.

    5. Yeah, we're not understanding each other.

      --Yes, you can send in items to FBA and ship to someone who buys on eBay.
      --Yes, you can make a listing for many items on Amazon that aren't listing.

      But can you make a listing for ANYTHING on Amazon?
      Imagine all the weird, vintage items that we sell each week. Can I send these into FBA, not sell them on Amazon, and just ship them when it sells on eBay?

      Just using Amazon as my storage/shipper for all the items we sell on eBay.

  58. Feeling kind of corny today. ha ha
    My thought for the day (to myself). Be kind to my customers and go the extra distance to make their day a little brighter.
    I have to remind myself that it takes so little time and effort to make that personal connection with my customer and make them feel that their order is the most important thing in my day. An extra email thanking them and letting them know that you are working on their order, a piece of bubble gum, a bookmark, or inexpensive "thank you" note card from the dollar store with a handwritten "Thank you, Anne, Enjoy! Sandy" and super fast shipping and you can't go wrong. We all get these extra nice feedbacks, but wanted to share a few that I keep in a folder to remind myself (and show my husband..ha ha)why I am doing this business. Some of my feedbacks are transaction that had problems, but turned out great because I kept it positive and had empathy for my customer. Take advantage of the opportunity to shine. People are not used to being treated extra nice. After all, this isn't brain surgery. We're selling junk! ha ha
    Humor, with light hearted self-deprecation, goes a long way. (For newbies that might be reading) "Hi Dan, Here's your full refund. Sorry for my mistake or sorry I screwed up (if you did). Please try me again and I'll try not to mess up. Kind regards, Sandy" It makes us human! It's much easier than defending yourself.

    We all get these, but here's a few recent feedbacks that brightened my day.

    Might just be the best seller I've come across! Very kind + early arrival! A++++
    Great place ,funny people, vevy fast shipping ,WOW, will buy again
    Great responsiveness to this order and wonderful customer service!!!!!!!!
    Misunderstanding at first, but you will NEVER find a more honest seller!
    WOW!!This seller goes above & beyond!!! I wish I could give 10 STARS! Fantastic!

    What are your favorite feedbacks?

    This one just came in, kind of funny. Not sure what she's talking about. Most of these feedbacks are $15-$20 items.

    No ?. Hate ebay's "terminology!!:( Just wanted to tell you a profound thank you on the extras you included-the bookmark, stationary and gum! I tried to leave feedback but b/c of another item I purchased I check the + button but then realized I have not received that item yet- ebay will not let me uncheck it to post + feedback for others-really?? That's MESSED UP!!!
    Anyhoo just wanted to let you know that b/c of the above EBAY WILL NOT LET ME POST + FEEDBACK until I receive this other item! HOW SAD!!! I HOPE YOU SEE THIS EBAY WHO THINKS THEY ARE THE KING OF ALL!!
    Thank you again- am from MN myself-grew up in Rochester but LONG AGO HATED the winters etc. so will NEVER live there again but so appreciate the MN "nice" in all people from there!!

    1. I received a hand written note from this prospect we were wining and dining at my job and it was very nice to see. It seems like it's a lost form of communication but it's definitely surprising and nice to receive one of those letters. This is something I am probably going to start to incorporate at my real job and on ebay. Good idea.

    2. Interesting side note: There is actually a name for including a little extra something with a customer's order - Lagniappe.

      Being a single person operation makes this kind of personal treatment possible and I agree it's what makes this ebay thing fun.

      I always try to go the extra mile to make a customer happy. Sometimes it results in extra purchases. I recently had a woman in California who had multiple questions on a single item and also added extra random questions about ebay in general. I know that many sellers would get annoyed with that kind of thing. I patiently and promptly answered every question. The more I answered, the more items she bought. It was great! One of the things she bought was a gift for someone that I shipped to in another state. I held shipment so her kids could make personal cards and send them to me so I could include them in the shipment.....

      ...wait... as I typed this I realized I FORGOT TO CHANGE THE ADDRESS!!! Doh! That's what I get for packing after midnight when tired.

  59. LOOKING FOR HELP: I'm trying to find some replacement smith toaster sunglasses nose pads. Smith customer service says they no longer carry them and no hits on ebay or amazon. Does anyone know of a supplier that might have some? where to get them? Thanks.

  60. Congratulations on being featured on the ebay radio, I am listening to the archives

    1. thanks. i was nervous, but Lee and Griff were so nice, that it was easy after that. i was on a couple years ago and i told them that we found stuff in the trash, they though i was a nut job! i left any mention of dumpsters out this time.

    2. You did great and today at the noon ebay periscope Griff was still raving about your inventory and he is really impressed with your business model and the amount of unique inventory

  61. Hi All, I just got my first return request on some partially used perfume and lotion. They said it wasn't authentic.

    The return page says:

    Info from the buyer


    Doesn't seem authentic


    item is not original

    Select a reply

    Accept the return
    You pay for shipping and can send our return label or your own. Wait to get the item back before you refund the buyer.

    Refund the buyer
    You fully refund the buyer to close this request. The buyer keeps the item.

    Offer a partial refund
    You have one chance to offer an amount. The buyer keeps the item.

    Send a message
    You can reply to the buyer.

    The items are authentic, but I'm assuming I have no choice here. I don't really know what to do next.

    If I choose the first option, what exactly does that mean? I assume ebay automatically refunds them the original price+shipping.

    Will they be given a link to print a label or do I have to physically send them a label somehow? Do I have to find that transaction in PayPal, estimate return shipping and give them that amount, or instruct them to tell me how much they spent and then I will refund them?

    Sorry, I know this is common knowledge, but I'm just nearing 100 total sales and I've never had a return request.

    1. Yep, you approve the return request. The buyer is prompted by eBay to print the label. Nothing to need to do. We recently mentioned that 25% of buyers don't even return the item.

      Once it's returned, eBay will send you a message with a refund link. They'll take care of the refund.

      You can escalate the case and get eBay involved. But there's a good chance that eBay will rule against you anyway. You just got a grumpy buyer. Why fight it. Cost you a couple dollars and forget about it.

    2. Thanks Jay, You just helped ease a little anxiety in the world today. ;) I will now continue along my trash elf way.

  62. My last three sales were to brand new ebayers with 0 feedback. Two of the three were from Texas and they bought relatively expensive items. Coincidence? It's not enough info to work with, but I thought it could indicate more interest in ebay. My negative thought was that there could be a new scam in Texas because the Texans bought relatively expensive items. Of course, I don't have anything to base the positive or negative speculation on. Mainly, I just thought three newbies in a row was curious.

    1. You have to imagine that eBay has hundreds of thousands of transactions per day. I dont think we can take three sales and make any kind of theory.

      I'd say it's a good thing whenever new people sign up and buy. If its a similar kind of item that sold, I often just imagine your items were linked to on Facebook and some TX friends all made the purchase.

  63. Dan,

    RE: that take down request by a law firm on bonanza for a blink 182 shirt:

    If you think that's bad, look up "patent troll." They just terrorized the podcast industry for years before being shot down in court - and I don't believe that stopped them. Bottom feeder is really much too nice a term for these lawyers.

    BTW, nice response! They do sucketh quite hard. You obviously got a form letter, but hey, if it responding made you feel good, why not? The best thing is that you had the free time to do it, so you're obviously doing something right.

    1. Ha I figured I was replying to an auto generated message so it's not a big a big deal. With that being said it's probably not the smartest thing of me to mouth off to someone that would take the time to say I am selling a bootleg Blink 182 t shirt (which is clearly not a bootleg). So that was childish of me but I couldn't resist yelling at an auto-generated message.

      I took the item down and moved on. Not worth the head ache over a $25 t shirt to have an issue.

  64. I found a cool link today and thought others might enjoy it. Especially you, Jay and Ryanne, since ya'll love to thrift in NYC's trash

  65. Jay and Ryanne, just heard the "do you own the box" comment -- maybe that matters a lot to people that only sell on Amazon and sell large quantities of a single item. I price my stuff and generally, just leave it. Eventually, it will get "the box" or -- if an MFA seller is in the Buy Box, Prime peeps will pay more, sometimes lots more, to order from a Prime seller and get it free in 2 days.

  66. Jay and Ryanne,
    Griff just mentioned your store on the weekly eBay Periscope show. He said he spoke with you guys on the radio show, and how he can't believe how many items you guys have. He also made a comment about the "modeling".

  67. Total Items in Store: 2157
    Items Sold: 29
    Cost of Items Sold: $100
    Total Sales: $731.63
    Highest Price Sold: $75 (Bob Timberlake Backpack)
    Average Price Sold: $25.23
    Returns: 0
    Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $100

    Etsy #1:
    Items Sold: 3
    Total Sales: $90
    Average Sale Price: $30
    Cost of items: $3
    Highest Price:$40 Sterling Manger Brooch

    Well this weke was good and It increase even more the last few days. I am not sure if people are spending more because we are on the cusp of tax refunds or bonuses for people working for foreign companies or it is just like a fluke but I sold 9 items yesterday for 300. I think it is human nature to search for a reason as it is very difficult to reason that sales happen just because and there is no rhyme or reason. Either way, I am totally excited as I did my taxes on Monday and I have my fingers crossed that everything goes well. Hope you all are having a great week and I look forward to seeing the next podcast tomorrow. Thanks, Brian.