Scavenger Life Episode 248: Being Sick When You're The Boss iTunes   YouTube   Download .mp3  Download .ogg

Greetings from the Sick House. Both of us got the flu this week, which laid us out. Very little work was done, but plenty still sold. We're just grateful we have health insurance to see a doctor, get medicine, and the time to recuperate.

Hope you had a better week.

These are the links we discussed in our conversation:
  • Justin from Selery is asking for opinions of what seller's might look for in a fulfillment center. Take the survey and make $5. (Justin is a longtime sponsor of this podcast)
  • If you grew up listening to Bikini Kill or Le Tigre , you'll be interested to hear that Kathleen Hanna buys art on eBay . She has a search out for "feminist art" to see who might be tagging items this way.
  • Sherwood posted this article about why eBay is now requiring UPC codes (hint: search optimization).
  • And this week, we talk about our rental pricing strategies and renovation techniques over at Shampoo & Booze.

Our Store Week February 28-March 5, 2016
  • Store #1
  • Total Items in Store: 3832
  • Items Sold: 32
  • Cost of Items Sold: $1000
  • Total Sales: $2,921.61
  • Highest Price Sold: $400 (medallion)
  • Average Price Sold: $86.98
  • Returns: 0
  • Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
  • Number of items listed this week: 0

  • ----------
    Amazon: $293.80 ($173 net profit)

  • Store #2
  • Total Items in Store: 912
  • Items Sold: 13
  • Cost of Items Sold: $52
  • Total Sales: $479.88
  • Highest Price Sold: $65 (vintage salt and pepper shakers)
  • Average Price Sold: $36.91
  • Returns: 0
  • Number of items listed this week: 0


  1. 2/28-3/5
    Total items in store: 253
    Items sold: 5
    Cost of Items Sold: $8
    Total Sales: $212.95
    Avg. price: $42.59
    Highest price item: $139.99 Camera lens
    International sales: 0
    Returns: 1
    Money spent on new inventory: $16
    Number of items listed: 16

    Without the camera lens sale this would have been a terrible week.

  2. Didn't listen yet but we just dealt with some sick kids. Worse than being sick yourself cause you can't just fill them up with Nyquil like I would for myself! Feel better!

  3. I legit have a piece of feminist art I made with perler beads. I wonder if it would sell on Ebay. Thanks for the article on Kathleen, I love her!

  4. Store Week Feb. 28 – Mar. 5

    Total items in store: 684
    Items sold: 11
    Cost of items sold: $9.13
    Total sales: $385.94
    Highest price sold: $105.00 (Vintage horn-rimmed glasses)
    Average price sold: $35.09
    International Sales: 1 GSP
    Returns: 0
    Money spent on new inventory this week: $6.50

    Mostly little stuff again this week, but with a few decent sales thrown in it really adds up. I’ve been listing all day today and getting through some stuff I’ve been putting off forever. Feels good to move them into the done pile!

  5. Hey guys,

    If you filled out the survey and did not receive your $5, please send me an email at and include your Paypal email and I'll send over the $5. We're now only offering the $5 to individuals from this blog, and we had several people outside of this blog fill out the survey. Thank you!

  6. Items Sold: 7 ebay, 6 on etsy
    Total Items in Store: 149 on ebay--227 on Etsy
    Total Sales: $507 ($304 ebay. $203 etsy)
    Highest Price Sold: $75 scrapbook on ebay
    Average Price Sold: $42
    International Sales: 0
    Returns: 1 refund for an item that arrived broken

    after a slow week on ebay constant listing finally paid off in several weekend sales. On the sad side an antique box arrived damaged, it was insured so hopefully I will get some money back.

  7. Being sick and being the boss is rough. Fortunately you guys have the ability to rest and let the store keep trucking. In my line of work I am at work regardless and sickness tends to last longer then if I took a day or two off.

    Week #2 of my store.
    Total Items in Store: 25
    Items Sold: 1
    GSP: 1
    Cost of Items Sold: $1
    Total Sales: $32.98
    Highest Price Sold: $19.99 (1974 copy of Carrie by Stephen King)
    Average Price Sold: $16.49
    Returns: 0
    Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $30
    Number of items listed this week: 10

    So I had a decent week. I got my first GSP… I signed up for it back a couple years ago but never sold anything. I like how I diden’t have to deal with the overseas shipping like I had in the past. I did not list as much as I wanted to but I did sent off 29 books to Amazon FBA.
    I went to my first auction Saturday to get new inventory. I was a little intimidated going in because they had everything listed for bidding online starting at $20. But when they started it was super cheap. Most things sold for $5-$10. I managed to get a box of watches… not sure why I got it since I don’t know anything about watches but I know a guy who can fix them cheaply. I got two “Mystery” jars from a estate and got a lot of jewelry and hopefully some gold. And then I got the best deal on two boxes full of books for $1, I got a ton of good books and sent a bunch to Amazon already. I also got a box of silver cookware for $5 that included a plaster urn planter and 3 books from the 1950’s. I watched a bunch of auctions not even be sold at $1 and $5.

  8. Items Sold: 26
    Total Items in Store: 640
    Total Sales: $1,199
    Highest Price Sold: $89 (three times), 3 different pairs of shoes
    Average Price Sold: $46
    Cost of goods $264

    Sales have been great...
    Love thrifting in the SF Bay area...I work full time, my thing is I try and list 5-7 things a night on average.. I do mainly shoes and I thrift two stores every day, and about 5 stores on the weekend. Be consistent in listing and be consistent in sourcing. Just be consistent.

    1. shoes are great money makers and the stores here used to put out really great brands and then it just stopped, I assume the better brands are going to online auction now. The San Francisco GW puts stuff online, but I suppose there is so much money in the area that they can't pick off all the good stuff.

  9. RR Store Week February 28 - March 5, 2016

    Total Items in Store: 1089
    Items Sold: 26
    Cost of Items Sold: $58.82
    Total Sales: $663.42
    Highest Price Sold: $79.99 (Ikea light shade)
    Average Price Sold: $25.52
    Returns: 0
    Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $130.73
    Number of items listed this week: 70!

    That's no typo...I listed 70 items this week, blowing away my goal of 50. I'm pretty proud of that. I also had my beat my previous record for listings in one day; I knocked out 25 listings on Monday! Earlier that day, with the theme of last week's show still ringing in my ears, I decided to stop at Goodwill, even though I had been there a few days earlier and left empty handed. I found a big stack of 80's hair metal records that had just been put out. Good condition, good titles...not my musical cup of tea, but I still know they're very popular. I went all in and bought everything. It's all up and I've already sold a lot of three LPs.


    P.S. Just as I was about to post this, another Metal record sold!

    1. LOVE finding metal LPs - bands like Metallica (pre And Justice for All), Iron Maiden, etc were very short print runs before they signed their big deals in the late 80s. The records are rare in good condition because 1) they were heavily played, 2) often times played at crazy parties, or 3) broken in fits of rage. I witnessed things like this in high school. :)

    2. Retro Treasures WVMarch 7, 2016 at 11:02 AM

      Finding good vinyl is pretty rare at the thrift stores around here. Anytime I've found good stuff at yard sales the seller wants ebay money.
      Last week I did find two good ones: Grand Master Flash & Furious 5 The Message, and Dave Clark Five Greatest Hits.

      The problem is that when I find good vinyl I tend to just keep it so I can enjoy it. Lol. Original vinyl > streaming audio.

    3. O yeah, just like I've said in past posts, you have to dig through 1000s of polka, big band, opera, disco records to find a great rock album or something. But for me, I'd prefer that to digging through a pile of clothes at the thrift shop - but to each their own and whatever keeps people interested!

      And I hear you about keeping things you pick (& listening to albums you find). I tend to keep/use things but still have them listed - if the price is high enough I'll let go of anything!

    4. I used to be a dealer at record shows. Sometimes it was so slow that I would sell good records dirt cheap so I could at least make the money for my table fee. There are good deals to be found there. Just another avenue to try for all you vinyl lovers.

    5. Yep, I'm a collector too, and along with that Metal haul came a few records for myself. Ever since I stopped working at the record store, my interest in collecting has been reignited and my collection has grown substantially.

      Mark S, I was just at a record show a couple of weeks ago. I definitely got some great deals, but nothing worth flipping. We all have access to the same information, so many of the sellers had tables full of $1 and $2 records; I assume they're selling the high end stuff online or in a store, and using the record show to blow out the cheapo stuff. Either way, I got some great sides.


      P.S. Woke up to a record sale...a lot of three Dio LPs for $48.

    6. How do y'all pack the records for shipping? Heard on some old Scavenger Life episodes that they can be brittle...

    7. Beverly, I use LP mailers. They're cardboard mailers specifically designed to mail records. I use a mailer and a 12" by 12" piece of cardboard for reinforcement. I bought them on eBay. And most records are pretty sturdy; I think they were referring to 78's, the REALLY old 10" records. Those are extremely brittle. I don't deal with 78's...too risky.


  10. After 2 months break between jobs I went back to work full time a couple of weeks ago. Boy, how do I miss all that extra time. A full day of work and 3 hours of commuting really eat into my eBay time. Fortunately I listed hundreds of items while off work.

    Total Items in Store: 709
    Items Sold: 30
    Total Sales: $601.65
    Cost of Items Sold: $109.99
    Average Price Sold: $20.06
    Average Cost of Item: $3.67
    Highest Price Items Sold: $26 - sewing machine pedal
    Number of items listed this week: 24
    Average age of items in store (in days since listing): 110 days
    Average number of days between listing and selling this week: 64 days
    Sell-through rate: 4.7%

    Here's a tip: If you come across sewing machine pedals, buy them. I usually get them cheaply. (I've even picked them off the junk pile). They seem to sell very quickly. I bought a box of them from a flea market and sold 5 of the 8 this week after listing them last week. They don't go for much but at $20+ each with little effort, they are good value. You have to sell them untested.

    1. Is there some way to know what sewing machine pedal goes with what sewing machine? Is it imprinted on the pedal so you know how to list it or are they universal? I never learned to sew!

  11. Thanks for that tip Simon, that makes sense, the pedal would be a weak point or something that gets separated and lost.
    I wonder if you made a video testing them with a volt meter, would they go for $35-$40?

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Hey Steven. Potentially they would go for more but my research seemed to show a fairly narrow price range. A volt meter sounds like a good idea though.

  12. Retro Treasures WVMarch 7, 2016 at 9:39 AM

    Total Items in Store: 262
    Items Sold: 19 (1 Bonanza)
    Total Sales: $ 469
    Cost of Items Sold: $99
    Average Price Sold: $24.67
    Total profit: $370
    Average profit: $16.08
    Highest Price Items Sold: $26 - sewing machine pedal

    This week I sold a lot of smaller items. I've heard J&R talk about sales numbers "sneaking up on you" but this is the first week I've felt that way. It kind of felt like a slow week and once I crunched my weekly numbers, I was quite surprised!

    I surpassed my 250 listed items goal this week. Onward to 300! Keep on listing.

    Like some other folks on here, I have a full time job and a large family so my time is very limited. I have a lot of late nights listing and packing. While I don't have a lot of time to list, I still keep sourcing a lot - much more than I can list. One side effect of this is that I'm not really "making money" as I am reinvesting everything into more inventory.
    When I check my paypal account and it seems to never really go up, I have to constantly remind myself that I am building value and building my business.

    I have been laid off twice in my career due to the bad economy or due to poor business practice of my company. While the local office of the company I work for now does great, globally the company is restructuring.
    Like any good business plan, you reinvest like crazy when times are good so that you can weather the bad times. While my paypal account may not be where I want it, I know that if push comes to shove and something happens at work I will be ready with a large inventory that is already bought and paid for.

    Have a great week everyone!

    1. Retro Treasures WVMarch 7, 2016 at 9:44 AM

      Oh and I didn't sell a sewing machine pedal. I copied/pasted another persons numbers as a template and forgot a line. Lol.

  13. Now you feel my pain. I have had Chronic Fatigue/Fibromyalgia for 30 years. The last 5 years I can't function at all. I know you always wonder why people do EBay as an alternative to a regular job. So that's why I'm doing it. I can barely function to look for the items, research them and then sell them. I basically just dabbled the last few years. In the last month I opened a store and hope to support myself. So far not looking good. I love your podcasts and love the information you provide that makes my life easier.

    1. online auctions,, there are online retailers who do sales and ship--all of this can be soured from your bed if need be! A couple of years ago I got really sick, and then I needed an operation last summer, I kept my sourcing going by buying online.

    2. Karen - I feel your pain sister. It's an extra challenge being sick but hopefully you have good health insurance. I think that is the big hurdle for many people. I recently had a hip replacement and was in the hospital for 2 days. I set my handling time to 3 days and when I got home was able to tell my spouse how to ship etc. The hardest part of sourcing is being on your feet SOOOOO much. Hang in there!

    3. Thanks for the tips!

      I moved from NH to SC because it was cheaper to live. Until I started having neurological issues. At 4K trips to emergency rooms and Neuro Doctors that refuse to see anyone without insurance. South Carolina did not extend health insurance to the poor. So I moved back to NH in order to get on ACA insurance. Its double the cost to live in NH, but I have healthcare and I'm back near my daughter.

      Its easier to find deals in NH. So hopefully I will make up the difference by selling on EBay. I don't get any kind of financial assistance. Before I got sick I flipped a few houses. I have been basically surviving on the success of R.E. investment for over a decade. Which is almost gone now. Its online sales or bust :(

    4. P.S. The Scavenger Life is the only way to go. Or being frugal. If I wasn't, I would have never survived this long. In the 80s I read Your Money or Your Life. It changed my life and helped me to survive. I highly recommend it.

    5. Karen - Also check out

    6. Wow thanks! I like jewelry. I will definitely look through that site.

    7. Pythonesk99 are you feeling better now? Still hard standing?

    8. Love that book of my favorites!

  14. Week February 28-March 5, 2016
    Total Items in Store: 656
    Items Sold: 7
    Cost of Items Sold: $12.50
    Total Sales: $233.95
    Highest Price Sold: $85 (Karim Rashid vases)
    Average Price Sold: $33.42
    Returns: 0
    Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $37
    Number of items listed this week: 23

    After two weeks of pretty good sales, I hit a ho-hum week. My cogs were incredibly low for me - only about 5% - which is awesome and I can't complain.

    Picks this week were mostly bread & butter items - $0.50-$1 items that will sell for $20-$30 - 1950s & 1960s branded gas station maps, vintage perfumes, etc.

    There was an absolutely amazing estate sales - this woman had THOUSANDS of high end designer clothes, shoes, handbags, etc. Eight rooms in the house, each with hanging racks of clothes. Friday & Saturday the prices were through very high (several hundred dollars per piece) - good prices if you're buying for yourself, but not for resale. I went back on half price Sunday and a lot of what I wanted was picked over, but I did manage to find a Dolce & Gabbana sweatshirt - purchased for $20, listed for $325 and will see what happens.

  15. Our Store Week February 28-March 5, 2016

    Total Items in Store: 534
    Items Sold: 13
    Cost of Items Sold: $42
    Total Sales: $761.10
    Highest Price Sold: $275 Vintage Lilly Ann Coat
    Average Price Sold: $58.55
    Returns: 1
    Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $175
    Number of items listed this week: 26

    Pretty good week for us. Sold mostly clothes and shoes. The $275 Lilly Ann coat sale was our highest ever. Found that for $3 at a local thrift store. Had no idea what it would be worth, just thought it was a beautiful old coat.

    Brought home a car load of trucker hats and western, pearl snap shirts from a tag sale last week. Looking forward to getting those listed.

    Hope you guys are feeling better.

  16. Store Week 02/28 to 03/05, 2016
    Total Items in Store: 830
    Items Sold: 8
    Cost of items sold: $17.36
    Total sales: $ 245.94
    Highest price sold: $ 99.99 Trifari Earrings (in a jewelry lot bought on ebay)
    Average price sold: $ 30.75
    International sales: 0
    Returns: 1
    Money spent on inventory: $ 40.00

    Other items sold: Picture frame, LL Bean backpack, Forks, Binoculars, Madame Alexander doll, Women’s denim shirt, needlepoint kit.

    Looking forward to listening to the podcast this afternoon as I list.

    1. Curious about your jewelry lot - how many pieces were in it and how much did you pay for it? I've bought lots of jewelry lots at live auctions - but never online.


    2. I paid $30 for the lot and there were 40 pieces. I lucked out on this lot because it was only a 3 day auction and didn't have much competition. I don't buy any jewelry lots that are just all jumbled together. I only buy those where I can zoom in and look at individual pieces. I am very picky when buying lots so I don't get a lot of junk, broken pieces.

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  17. Occasionally, Amazon will allow a return after the return deadline. If you catch it, they will usually refund the seller too.

    HOWEVER, I was notified of a return a couple weeks ago. A couple days later I had an unfulfillable item in my inventory - due to "customer damage." I paid the .50 to have the item returned to me and it was damaged. They already refunded the buyer. After a couple emails back and forth with Seller Central, I was told they DO NOT give any refund to the seller when this occurs. Once serious glitch in their overly aggressive customer service.

  18. I have 50 eBay searches going all the time on eBay for items I can resell on Amazon and eBay. Most items I purchase this way are sold on Amazon. As I was typing this, I won an item auction with a snipe bid that I will resell on Amazon. This item was discovered with an eBay saved search.

  19. Our Store Week February 29 – March 6, 2016
    Total Items in Store: 234
    Items Sold: 6
    Cost of Items Sold: $15.25
    Total Sales: $157.43
    Highest Price Sold: $38.00 (Toner)
    Average Price Sold: $26.24 (lol)
    International Sales: 0
    Returns: 0
    Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0.00
    Number of items listed this week: 10

    Sales Review: Pretty slow, and only the lowest of the low priced items in my store sold. I’m happy to see a lot of older, low priced inventory move out though! Great COGS too, so I can’t complain.
    What Sold: 1930’s Sunoco Can, Hydraulic Filters, Toner, Mug, Super 8mm, Gun Patch.

    Customer Issues: None.

    Scavenging: Zero scavenging this week. Spent the entire weekend making up box lots and loading up larger “non-ebayable” items for a local auction. Brought one truck load over on Friday, and will drop of the rest tonight. Also finally got some time to list! Put up a bunch of items that have taken over my garage for too long. I’m very excited to have finally listed my vintage barn doors. These things are amazing and I’m sure they’ll find a home in a Brooklyn loft…

    Link to Barn Doors

  20. Hey Guys,

    Haven't listened to this episode yet, but wanted to say thanks so much for your podcast and blog. I've recently started selling on eBay, and have been listening through your old podcasts while working my full-time day job. I'm currently on episode 138, so have miles to go, but love getting the suggestions and tips that you're sharing!

    I started selling back in January, and currently have just over 300 items in my store. I've had sales of about $1,200 in the last 30 days, and $2,200 in the last 90 days (50, and 78 sales, respectively). Mostly doing fixed price listings, some with best offer, and a few auction style listings mixed in for niche items that I know will draw a number of bidders.

    Thanks again! Keep up the great work!

    1. Thanks for posting, your story is inspiring to me!

  21. Out of town last week - Put store on 5 day handling. We sold 11 items for $305 total (not including the shipping). Pulled cargo trailer to our previous town of residence (500 miles away), stayed with friends, went thrifting every day. Visited with our daughter still living there. Brought back about half a trailer load of stuff to list.

    In addition, I played in a community orchestra when we lived there. So we planed our visit during a concert week. They hired me to play violin for the concerts which paid all of our travel expenses. We still get to take business mileage deductions for the trip (less my orchestra payment).

    We did another "thrifting" trip to see our other daughter in FL in early January.

    BTW - Since Jan 1 - 78 items sold for just over $2500. We're at 367 items. Trying to get ourselves to 500 and beyond but having steady sales making that a fun challenge.

  22. •Total Items in Store: 241
    •Items Sold: 8
    •Cost of Items Sold: $12 (used) + $130 (new)
    •Total Sales: $534
    •Highest Price Sold: $240 (Anthropologie clearance duvet and shams - paid $85)
    •Average Price Sold: $67
    •Returns: 0
    •Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $325 (but expecting likely price adjustment on new RA items)
    •Number of items listed this week: +/- 5 - (hanging head)
    •Sell through rate .7%
    First international GSP sale to Canada shipped this week.

    This was a good week for me on Ebay. I plowed some of my profits into new clearance RA items. Should be able to get that COGS down when they start the next promotional discount via price adjustment. Also found some cool Indian chief bookends this week and an old Duesenberg car model - not my typical things, so fun. A couple of the things that sold this week were my favorite items and I was enjoying them as window dressing in my store, so kind of silly but I'm slightly bummed.

    Unfortunately I lost my first item. I'm pretty sure it went up into the attic with our personal Christmas stuff. The buyer was nice, but I got a defect and drove myself nuts looking for that small item.

    Sorry about the flu and I hope you start feeling much better soon. Thanks for getting the podcast and sales video out.

    1. Retro Treasures WVMarch 7, 2016 at 1:41 PM

      I lost an item last week and it also drove me nuts. It was a big item too - 12x12 cube and very easy to spot.

      Anyways, I wrote my buyer to tell him the situation. He sent me a link to another item just like mine at the same price and said "buy that one and send it to me and we're good." I actually was able to put in a offer and get it cheaper.

      So in the future, keep drop shipping in mind if you find yourself in a pinch.

    2. Retro Treasures, in the past I have feared such a situation arising when selling unique items. Under some little known (fortunately) legal principles, if you contract to sell something to someone and you can’t or won’t deliver, the buyer might be able to either make you find a like item and get it to them or if they find and buy a replacement item and have to pay more for it, you owe them the difference in the cost. I used to put a disclaimer in my listings about a refund being the sole remedy if I can’t deliver or the item is lost in shipping but I stopped doing that. I think buyers are put off by too much fine print in a listing and the risk seems minimal.

    3. I told the buyer if / when I find it she will get it no charge. It was just a vintage tea towel but I was frustrated with myself. Motivated me to organize my vintage inventory, so good.

  23. Blech it's awful to be sick. Right now I have a lovely dental and sinus infection. It's very severe so that even my anti painkiller Doctor handed over Darvocet and antibiotics. I will have a few moments of clarity followed by Disembodied Medicine Head, alternating with 10 minute pain freak outs where mumble incoherently and try not to rip off the left side of my head. I end up standing outside in bare feet in the cold to douse the pain with hypothermia. Ah, happy thoughts. To compound the problem, as some of u know, I am a short sleeper. So I can't sleep this off either unless I want to pour a bottle of alcohol down my gullet, which I suppose might be useful. In other news, I hung out with a fellow trash elf at a google hangout with Pinching Pesos. Unfortunately, I gabbed so much, nobody got work done. I do ruin it for everyone :)

  24. So here is my What Sold video. Sorry I sound so stuffed up. Hope you all enjoy it.

    1. 1. hope you feel better soon 2. you are hilarious 3. great video

  25. I meant to post these last week.

    Numbers for February (Premium store)
    Total Items in Store: 589 (562 end of Feb.)
    Items Sold: 42 (49 Jan.)
    Cost of Items Sold: $230 ($184 Jan.)
    Total Sales: $1,181 ($1,095 Jan.)
    Highest Price Sold: $150 - 1970s Computer Core Memory Card
    Average Price Sold: $28.11 ($22.34 Jan.)
    International Sales: 2 GSP / 0 Non GSP
    Returns: 0
    Number of items listed: 49 (56 Jan.)
    Spent on new inventory: $43 ($558 jan.)

    I spent a lot less on new inventory In February,
    $38 of it went to a DVD set of the
    complete X-Files series and film.
    I took a reasonable best offer of $90.

    Sale Links:
    Core Memory Card: Memory Card

    Ney York Postcard: N.Y. Postcard
    -this was fun to research, it took me a short time
    to find the current day location

    1911 Winchester Catalog: Catalog

    Knitting Needle Set: Needle Set
    -I stay away from individual or mixed lots of needles,
    but sets seem to sell good

    So far in March I spent $60 for one lot which included about
    15 school year books, an Air Force Officer Uniform set (I
    was surprised to see what the dress whites are going for), Revere Ware fry pan and pot with 5 lids and a bunch of regional cookbooks.

    Time for me to get listing.

    1. Really loved seeing the postcard, memory card and Winchester catalog.

  26. Total Items in Store: 238
    Items Sold: 9
    Total Sales: $270
    Highest Price Sold: $69.99 Ferragamo Heels in the box
    Average Price Sold:25
    International Sales: 1GSP
    Returns: 0
    Number of items listed: 3 Sick all week. Coming out of the fog now. It hasn't hurt my sales, just my future sales as my inventory has dropped.

    Spent on new inventory: $0 I've made it $16 days without buying. Need to get of my Death Piles, er Closets, er Rooms

    1. Good for you making it 16 days without shopping. I so need to do that.

  27. For the person that called that left the voicemail with the ring they have an easy call to ebay to get that decision appealed and won. I have had a similar instance. The buyer clearly said the item didn't fit so it's buyers remorse and will get overturned. Just call ebay and throw out "buyers remorse" from the initial case. The people on the phone are like robots and if you throw out certain terms they listen.

    I had a global shipping program buyer leave me two negative feedbacks for shipping costs. I called ebay and they were removed in about 3 minutes. I told the buyer they could cancel prior to them paying and explained I had no way to combine the shipping due to the global shipping. It's all good I got lucky the buyer used the wording they did or it may have been tough to remove that feedback.

    If you have global shipping customers complain about shipping offer to give them a refund prior to sending it out and they are dead in the water if they complain or leave bad feedback (unless they claim it's damage etc then you are pretty screwed).

    This is a screenshot to the feedback's that got removed.

    Issue #2 (I got resolved luckily)

    Guy buys a $400 Jordan card from me. Returns it I get 20% restocking fee at least and it's clearly the same year/brand but it's not the SAME card I sent them. They tried to send me a the same card in worse condition and keep my card in better condition (the card sent me is probably worth $100 in that condition). I called ebay and even with photo evidence they said they can't see the physical item so there is nothing they can do.

    So I messaged the guy and told him he clearly sent me the wrong card (didn't accuse him of anything said it must have been a mistake). They played dumb so I told him I would put him on blast on the biggest card forum there is and he ended up sending me the card back. I know it's nerdy but if you get put on blast on this forum you are basically blacklisted if it's clear you did something bad so he wised up. Not something you want happening because you will get blocked and trolled by about 5,000 people lol.

    I know I have linked to it a few times but they basically track scammers and if their user ID changes on ebay they track that as well (mostly card related but I am sure those people buy other items).

  28. deb truervalues
    Week March 1-6, 2016
    Items in-store: 1755 listings – ( 2189 total items in store )
    Total Sales: $ 900.02
    Number of items sold: 46
    Average Sale Price: $ 19.58
    Cost of Goods sold $ 181.50
    Highest price sold: $ 68.51 Blue Boy/Pinkie Completed Needlepoints/$55.22 Brown 3 piece suit
    International Sales: 0
    Returns: 0
    Spent on new inventory: $ 320.00
    Number of items Listed : 90
    Sell Thru Rate (sales/listings): 50%
    Had too many things to ship today - 1/2 my sales were this weekend! Couldn't get the printer to work for a couple of hours...finally thought to stop and restart it!!! Oh my!!! Anyway, didn't get everything out today--Sad face, but will finish tonite.
    Went thrifting with a friend on Friday and had a killer day! We passed a church rummage sale and got a bunch of stuff very cheaply. Went to an auction Sunday and there were a lot of collectors there...Everything went sky high and they didn't have any box lots. I should have left while I was ahead, but there was so much great stuff! Unfortunately, bidding was hot and stuff that ordinarily goes for $20 went for $75--I only came home with 5 things.

  29. Feb 28-Mar 5 2016
    • Total Items in Store: 665
    • Items Sold: 24
    • International 3 GSP
    • Total Sales $1303.78
    • Highest Price $200 Kenwood turntable
    • Average Price Sold: $54.32
    • Returns: 0
    • Cost of Items Sold: $91
    • Cost of items purchased this week $100

    While walking the dogs I stumbled on a guy bringing stuff out of his house and setting up an impromptu yard sale, he a had a turntable so after bringing the dogs home I returned to investigate further. He wanted way too much for the record player but I noticed a couple boxes of a hundred or more of what looked to be vintage TDK and other brands of cassette tapes from the 70's, he said they had old music recorded on them and to take them for a couple bucks. Well I had a hunch these might be worth something as there are collectors for everything, and if not I have some music to listen to.
    He also said he has a buddy with a few hundred more just like these that have been erased. After doing some research and joining a collectors forum I tracked his buddy down and bought all he had including some new still sealed ones for $75. I went all in and so far it has paid off handsomely. You just never know what people might be collecting, old used cassettes? Who knew?

    1. Are you saying that people will buy used cassette tapes? Have you actually sold any yet? I have sold a few sealed hi-bias tapes but I have never touched used tapes.

    2. Are you saying that people will buy used cassette tapes? Have you actually sold any yet? I have sold a few sealed hi-bias tapes but I have never touched used tapes.

    3. This is so interesting. I totally get the $70 board with nails. I don't get the used cassette tapes since the sound quality doesn't se like would compete with records or digital. Different strokes for different folks I guess - the power of EBay is gathering those collectors to the forum. Sometimes I think it just takes someone thinking to put it up for sale and having the nerve to price it high. Like the free AAA stickers someone posted about here. I would never have thought to save and sell that.

    4. Yes, I've sold almost 200 of them. The quality of blank tapes is far superior to the prerecorded ones that were put out by record companies and if a high end cassette recorder is used the sound is outstanding, much fuller than streaming or mp3's.

    5. Hip hop and rap tapes definitely sell. Just lot em up. And blank media always seems to go out of the country for me. Vhs tapes sell too. I don't know why but they do. Well if I'm being honest it seems like everything sells to someone. Crap I've listed after realizing the market is saturated and other people's prices and quality are better still sell for me. I can only assume I had some magic keyword or more pics that allowed them to find mine. Just sold a vhs tape yest for 20 bucks that was damaged while there was a brand new one on EBay for 4 dollars with free shipping.

  30. Retro Treasures WVMarch 8, 2016 at 9:56 AM

    Here's a fun one I sold. Saw this at Goodwill for $9.99. Once upon a time I wouldn't have given this item a second look, especially at $10. My mental quality alarm went off so I checked it out. I always love walking out of the local "Gucci goodwill" knowing they missed over pricing something.

    I took a best offer of $121.

  31. Julie B (fka JMidwestern)March 8, 2016 at 10:40 AM

    Total Items in Store: 550
    Items Sold: 16
    Cost of Items Sold: $122.95
    Total Sales: $558.43
    Highest Price Sold: $110 (Spode Christmas Tree Veg Casserole Dish that had a chip. Sold an unchipped one a few weeks ago for $180)
    Returns: 2 - both were clothing items that didn't fit customers
    Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
    Number of items listed this week: 0
    International Sales = 3
    I was out of town on other business most of the week so I had to change handling time to 5 days. I did have one cancellation due to handling time. But I think the buyer just wanted to cancel because she found the item for a whole $1 cheaper elsewhere.

    I did dodge a bullet during the week I was away. The Fed Ex drop off site unexpectedly closed. I can't say I'm too surprised, the service was horrendous. The woman that owned just locked up the doors without telling anyone, even FedEx who attempted to make pick ups there 3 days in a row before finally seeing that all items had been removed from the premises on day 4. I'm sure there had to be boxes in there for the FedEX driver to pick up when the lady just up and closed. So fortunately, since I was out of town not shipping, none of my stuff was stuck inside of her sheltered store. She never scanned any items in, only the driver did, so if my stuff had been there, I would have been out of luck.

  32. Off topic a bit... I know in the past R&J and others in the community asked for things to watch (TV or streaming), especially if you've already binged and completed House of Cards (no spoilers, I'm halfway through season 4!).

    If you aren't watching yet, everyone should get on board "11.22.63" on Hulu. It's an adaptation of the Stephen King novel, produced by JJ Abrams, starring James Franco. It's so good.

    Also, I'm liking "Billions" on HBO.


    1. Retro Treasures WVMarch 8, 2016 at 11:46 AM

      A show that we recently finished off was Continuum. It was a Canadian show. Very good and you can fly through the entire run now as the series wrapped this past summer. Great time travel sci fi show.

    2. Retro Treasures WVMarch 8, 2016 at 12:00 PM

      Oh and I'll go ahead and throw out two of my seminal streaming "family friendly" favorites:
      1. Avatar: The Last Airbender. Yes, it is a cartoon. Yes, there was a really crappy live action movie. There was a reason a crappy movie was made though.

      This show is high quality entertainment. 3 seasons - all clearly laid out in advance. It is a complete story that is as close to perfect as a story can get.

      There is a followup show called The Legend of Korra, but it's not as good. Kind of a bummer really if you ask me.

      2. Transformers Prime: Again, a cgi cartoon. Have you ever wondered how awesome the transformers movies would have been if Michael Bay had not been involved? Well this is it. Much like Avatar, this show tells a complete story that doesn't go on and on until it jumps the shark. This ain't a crappy 30 minute toy commercial - it was a critically acclaimed show that won a few Emmy awards.

      If you were ever a transformers fan you owe it to yourself to watch this. Even if you aren't it is still great. Even my wife loved it.

    3. If you are looking for more great podcasts to enjoy while you are listing (and you enjoyed Serial Season 1), be sure to check out "Undisclosed" and "Truth & Justice" for more about the Adnan Syed case. Another excellent true crime podcast is "Real Crime Profile" with Jim Clemente (a former FBI profiler). The first case covered on "Real Crime Profile" is the Steven Avery case. Good stuff.

  33. Just and FYI I dropped off some packages to my local post office. One of the packages with a USPS flat rate envelope with a DVD inside. The counter guy said to stop using usps flat rate envelopes for anything but documents. There should be no bulge in the envelope or they will return it. I mentioned this was the first I heard of this. Any truth to this? He said use a USPS padded flat rate envelope.

    1. If it fits, it ships. I have had no issue sending socket sets, coffee mugs, whatever. The envelope has to close on its own, you cannot cut the envelope to fit, but you can use to tape to help secure.

    2. Use the padded flat rate envelope. That's the one to use for shipping stuff like that.

    3. It seems that the non padded flat rate envelopes are what the post office is having an issue with, people are able to manipulate them into a box like package and there was a directive sent out to not accept those altered flat rates, the padded flat rate you can put whatever fits. I guess it's also how your local postmaster perceives this as well.

    4. Legal Flat Rate is great too. It's much bigger than the envelope and slightly cheaper than the padded. I use a few layers bubble wrap and tape cardboard around the bubble wrapped item and then throw it in the envelope. I've sent coffee mugs, ashtrays; even hardhats in them.

    5. Maybe I am stating the obvious but why not send the DVD media mail?

      Seems like the guy at the post office is uptight. I would just go to another post office. I have put jeans, small jackets, etc in flat rate envelopes. They looked like footballs lol. Never had an issue. Ask him to show you where the rule is in writing so you can reference it. Bet he can't do it.

    6. Retro Treasures WVMarch 8, 2016 at 1:02 PM

      You can't send dvd's media mail anymore.
      First class is pretty much your best option

    7. You can send DVDs media mail. Often it's just as cheap or cheaper to just stick them in a padded enveloped and mail first class.

    8. DVD games can NOT be sent media mail(at least they are not supposed to be sent that way).

    9. Retro Treasures WVMarch 8, 2016 at 2:55 PM

      Ah my bad I was thinking on video games. I've sold a bunch of video games and media mail is a no-no.

    10. It sounds like they were using a flat rate to send the games which is more expensive than either media mail or first class. Maybe the buyer requested it get there sooner but first class or media mail make more sense than flat rate assuming it wasn't pre-arranged.

      DVD's aren't even close to 16oz so you can pad it up and still have cushion to send it first class or media.

    11. Retro Treasures WVMarch 8, 2016 at 3:58 PM

      I've sent a ton of games in jewel cases and standard dvd style boxes 1st class in the dollar tree padded manila envelopes. No additional padding needed and 5oz 1st class. Never had a damage problem.

    12. I always ship my jeans in flat rate envelopes. Womens jeans fit in the flat rate, and mens fit in the legal flat rate. Ive never had any issues. To ship jeans any other way would cost between 7-10 dollars depending on location. $5.60 for a flat rate envelope is a godsend for jean shipping costs.

      Tina F

    13. I've never sent anything in the regular flat rate envelopes. All 1+ pound clothes go in padded flat rate. Probably losing some money but I like the padded flat rates due to ease and presentation.

  34. I haven't posted here for a while. Went out of town for a month and really haven't posted anything new on eBay for 2 months. I just calculated my numbers for my accountant for 2015 and thought it might be of interest.

    Just to qualify these numbers, I made my first sale on July 1st. But I had very few listings until September. That's when I started posting more earnestly. As of the end of the year I had posted 402 listings and I sold 56 items. So I never really made it past the first make or break point of 500 items in my store. Ok here we go.

    Total income including money for shipping: 3233.34
    COGS: 1145.11
    Paypal fees: 93.73
    Shipping costs: 409.63
    eBay fees: 331.83

    for a total profit $1243.04

    Now to further qualify these numbers since they don't look that great, I bought a few of these items before I found Scavengerlife. Sooooo I made a few not so great purchases. Take this one for example, which is by far my worst impulse purchase pre-SL: I bought a mini bike chopper. I paid $827.50 and sold it for $750 (mainly took the offer just to get rid of it as I had 2 previous people make an offer, I accepted and then they didn't pay). So if you take that out of the equation it becomes a little better. I lost about $150 on that.

    It just goes to show you that there has to be quantity. And with that statement I am going to start posting this week. Mainly because I have a whole storage unit full of things that I bought last year. haha I had too much fun at estate and yard sales last year. Oh just remembered, that doesn't include my storage unit fees... probably about $270 - $90 a month. I guess it's still not bad for part time income.

    Put this in the "What Sells" comments but meant to put it here.

  35. Out of eight sales I had in the last 24 hours three of them were GSP. Amazing. Yesterday while dumpster diving for free packing materials behind an office supply store I found 5 large notebooks. I just listed them on Amazon for about $90. Free money!

    1. What kind of notebooks? I'm seeing a boost in gsp sales too. For a while they died out. I think they took my hat sales with them..I was selling a lot of hats and now I may sell 1 a month or so.

  36. Sometimes hesitation pays off. Several times now I've rec'd an offer that I countered and received another counter back and while I was deciding/forgot about it, they get impatient and just buy it full price. That always trips me out because they could have just accepted my counter in the first place. Oh well, yay for me.

    1. I'll get some where someone makes me an offer and before I have a chance to accept they buy it at full price.

    2. If it's real close to what I would accept I counter right away, get to them while they're in the buying mood. If it's ridiculously low I'll let it sit, perhaps someone watching, sitting on the fence will make a better one.

  37. Week February 28-March 5, 2016
    Total Items in Store: 1340
    Items Sold: 49
    Total Sales: $1676
    Highest Price Sold: $475.00 Vintage Kirk and son sterling elephant
    Average Price Sold: $34 w/ elephant $25 without
    Returns: 1
    Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $210
    Number of items listed this week 80

    I finally sold my sterling elephant I've had listed for about 9 months now. Purchased at an auction in a box lot of about 8-10 other elephant figurines for $10. Was originally listed for $600. I've had many offers in the $400 dollar range but kept countering at $475. I know it could have sold within a few weeks of listing it at $400 but it was "precious" and I feared it was worth much more so listed it super high w/best offer. Love the best offer feature! I feel secure knowing I left no money on the table. Totally worth the 9 month wait.

    Tina F

  38. Weekly sales ebay

    Total items in store: 450
    Items sold: 11
    Cost of items sold: $63
    Total sales: $365
    Highest price sold: $65 Womens Beautifeel shoes
    Average price sold: $33

    Weird shipping story. Sent package to Canada USPS first class international. Dropped it in the pre paid bin along with some others on Feb. 26. Noticed that it didn't get scanned over the next few days. More days passed, still no scan. Just stayed silent until today. Decided to contact the buyer and she already received them. Went the whole way and through customs with no scan. That's a first. I am relieved though.

    1. They may have been scanned. I have had issues in the past in which the items were scanned, but not uploaded to the website.

  39. Just wanted to throw this out there. Not all Fitz and Floyd are high end. Check eBay and you'll see tons of cheap stuff both in price and made in China. But there are still some great F&F items out there too.

    1. Correct. I have sold F&F from $10 to $700.

    2. There's hundreds of F&F animal figures still in their original boxes at the GW near be. Their priced too high right now but soon they'll unbox them and drop the prices or send them to the weigh and pay. Sad that half will get broken before they get there. I've bought a few for myself because their just soooo cute.

  40. Retro Treasures WVMarch 9, 2016 at 10:57 AM

    Does anyone have any recommendations for a good amazon fba podcast? I have listened to many of the ask ask Jordan podcasts and they are pretty good but it looks like he doesn't do it anymore - last one in November of last year. I've tried a few, but most are either trying to sell me something or just don't come across well. I don't want to be a mailing list marketer or a Chinese junk importer.


      That's all you need to know, bro.

      Let the could-be's, wannabe's and never-will-be's throw money at the youtube scumbags.

    2. Retro Treasures WVMarch 9, 2016 at 3:04 PM

      I understand your attitude toward the amazon crowd. This is mainly why I was so excited to see J&R doing an amazon experiment. FINALLY, someone that is REAL is going to try amazon and talk about it honestly.

      I'm looking to find a get rich quick scheme or even a "how to sell on amazon" tutorial. Just want another resource similar to scavenger life but amazon-centric to help keep me motivated and moving forward.

    3. Retro Treasures WVMarch 9, 2016 at 3:05 PM

      NOT looking to find those things. Lol, left out a critical word there.

    4. The thrifting for profit podcasts are almost all fba related, though both the hosts do also sell on ebay. It's what got me started on fba. The early episodes are more about thrifting & flipping on amazon. They've scaled up to wholesale now, but still lots of good info if you're just getting started with fba.

    5. Retro Treasures WVMarch 11, 2016 at 8:21 AM

      Excellent! I have a 30 minute commute to work everyday, so I will be listening to this for a while.

      A question for J&R: I noticed that this podcast, along with several others I have looked at have the complete podcast collection available on my phone - going back several years. Why is it that Scavenger life is not fully available?

    6. the RSS feed that we use to get our stuff to itunes only allows a certain amount of data to be displayed. that is why we toiled over this-- so people could download every episode from the archive.

  41. Really enjoy your podcasts. Learning a LOT. Love the openness and transparency of your approach. Sorry for your recent bout of sickness. Heard you say you may get flu shots. Please don't. I'd rather get the flu, than get a flu shot. You guys are studious and do your homework. Before you get the flu shot, ask to read the package insert from the vaccine product. DANGEROUS side effects. Make sure the risk is worth it ~

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  42. This only applies if you are in the S.F. Bay Area.

    I hope it is okay to mention this here, I have no connection with the company putting this on. A video rental store that has been around a long time in Berkeley, CA is having a business liquidation sale starting this Friday: Five Star Video.

    Back when I rented there, it was known for having stuff that could not be found any place else. Lots of cult, independent and just weird.

  43. Kerylann Finds February 28-March 5, 2016
    Total Items in Store: 6
    Items Sold: 0
    Returns: 0
    Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $7.25
    Money Spent on Supplies This Week: $199.40
    Number of items listed this week: 1
    Etsy - not yet launched
    Number of items listed this week: 0

    This week I had a lot of trouble with my pictures and only listed one item. I bought bubble wrap, poly mailers, scotty stuffers, gloves, tape, etc. Put some bids in on one auction. Partially rearranged my workspace. Cleaned some items I purchased to queue up for pictures. Set up my Google Photos sync and deleted a bunch of photos off my phone, and moved other things to my SD card. Running out of space for apps and photos there. Saved many receipts up to Google Drive.

  44. Can someone remind me either the episode in which it was mentioned or the actual advice that was given for printing a FedEx Smart Post label when the buyer has a PO Box? This has happened to me several times, and I've always ended up paying more than the buyer paid for shipping because eBay forces me to use USPS. For this most recent instance, I called eBay to find out their advice, and all options were not good for me, the seller. I heavily suggested that they fix this issue so that buyers can't purchase any item with FedEx shipping if they have a PO Box UNLESS they change their address to a physical address. I shouldn't have to beg them to change their address or ask for more money.

    1. not sure if it still works, but this is how i did it--
      i would change their address to say "Post Office ........ 1234"
      so that the words "PO Box" were not present. this allowed me to choose FedEx, then choose smartpost (will get returned to you otherwise with Fedex). then when i print out the label, just write the word "Box" where the dots are, and i've had 2-3 boxes get delivered just fine this way. good luck!

    2. Thanks for getting back to me. I'm anxious to try it next time.

  45. Boy, can I relate to the subject of this podcast. I have finally got over a flu that lasted three weeks. I was too weak to go out sourcing but still managed to keep the profits coming in. Listed a few things on eBay and wouldn't you know it, got a sale. Then had to drag myself out of bed to ship the darn thing. Even sold two books that had been sitting in an amazon warehouse for *months*. Guess my patience paid off. Hope you both are on the mend now.

    1. yeah that flu is really a doozie. we're still feeling the affects of it over a week later. but crawling out nonetheless.

  46. I apologize for not being able to check in lately. Moved the business and small portion of our personal items from KY to NC in December. It was not a fun experience still missing about 40 listed items left in storage and we need to go pick up 100 that we just finished sorting out and cleaning. We did the sick for 3 weeks thing and then my hubby did the hospital thing because the virus made both his diabetes readings and BP numbers uncontrollable. Thankfully we survived! We are still slowly growing our stores. Our Goal was one item a day and we are close to acheiving that.
    Our new goal then will be 2 items a day and so on.
    @200 active listings
    February Sales 15 Items $105.38
    Critr's Art N'Carp
    @330 listings
    February Sales
    9 items $72.61
    Bonanza 1 item $6.50
    Sourcing money spent $17.50
    Advertising spent $11.00

  47. Being a former Oregonian- I know you had spoke about your upcoming travels to the state. If you get the chance- you MUST see the Oregon Coast. Central Coast starts at Florence and Goes to Lincoln City. There are spectacular spots along the way- jaw dropping vistas, lighthouses, hiking trails and places that are just outta this world cool. For eats- check out Moes in Newport, and watch the Sea Lions gather on the dock. Depoe Bay has a great place for Salt Water Taffy, with the antique taffy pull machine still in operation, all handmade, all great! Take your binoculars and watch the whales form the shore. Above all- have a great time!

  48. My week was uneventful. I've been busy getting Amazon stuff done. I do need to post more items on eBay as our stock dipped below 1450. We really need to be WAY higher. The goal is to get there.

    This week: severe sinus and dental issues caused havoc recently and it shows on eBay. Only 16 sold last week, which was a blessing since I do the shipping and was pretty messed up.

    Anyway. Here is another What Sold video if anyone wants to check out vintage clothing sales.

  49. Uh oh. I gave the Luxembourg book guy slight shipping discount since I knew I'd get one but when I went to print the label it's only giving me first class as a shipping option and only up to 4lbs. It's a 5lb book and it was supposed to go priority. I really don't see how this one got so screwed up. If I take it to the post office to ship it's goodbye any kind of discount. Not sure what to do with this one.

    1. Solved. his offering a free trial right now and they give you $5 in free postage. So I just printed postage from there.

    2. i'm surprised ebay would not let you print Priority to Luxembourg. that's odd.

  50. Usually when I buy items to flip fba I do the 3x rule. Basically, you figure that Amazon is going to take 1/3 of your profits. You want to buy things that you can mark up at least 3 times. You can then decide if it's worth it to send in. Remember a lot of those prime buyers are paying for the convenience of getting it delivered in 2 days.

    Regarding your fba refund, as you've noticed Amazon gives refunds very easily so they can have happy customers. Some people will even cheat the system and say the item wasn't as described just so they can get a refund & not have to pay for shipping. It's a nuisance but a necessary evil, I suppose. When I get the refund email, I mark on my calendar 45 days ahead. If the customer hasn't returned it by that date, amazon will reimburse you. I am glad you guys got reimbursed without having to wait for it.

    Another thing I wanted to mention about returns is by default Amazon has your returned inventory sent back to the warehouse and *they* determine whether it is able to be resold. You can change this in seller central. If a customer previously bought and item, opened the package, or worse used it and then returned it, you wouldn't want that to be resold. I have refunded items sent back to me & I decide if it is ok to be resold.

    Despite the drawbacks, I do like fba selling. I live in an RV and there's no way I could store that amount of items here so it works for me. I also like the ease of listing. Scan it & set your price. I am slowly learning eBay but the photography and research for each item takes me much longer. Thanks for the podcast & letting me ramble on.

  51. I've just recently opened another eBay store. How do I get the Cha-Ching notification from the new store to work with my existing eBay app? Thanks in advance.

    1. Welcome Rodney. I've found no way for the phone app to handle more than one store.

      Our work around is to have our phone logged into our main store, and then our second store logged into our iPad.

  52. I hear you're visiting the West Coast soon.. you didn't say where, but if you make it to Venice Beach, send me a message and I would love to meet you and take you on a tour of the canals here, maybe get a bite to eat. Glad you are feeling better!!