Scavenger Life Episode 259: Who would wait 30 days for an item on eBay? 110 people. iTunes   YouTube   Download .mp3  Download .ogg

We love our routine. Wake up. Make coffee. Start on our eBay tasks. Take breaks throughout the day for lunch/snacks. No one telling us what to do, but always making sure things are get done. It often doesn't feel like work. Just puzzles that have to be solved that somehow magically make us money week in and week out. We bet on ourselves and it's paying off.

While we were away for almost a month, we sold 110 items. All but one buyer was willing to wait for their item. All we did was change handling time and sent reminders when someone bought an item. So yes, people love same day shipping, but people will wait if you set the correct expectation.

This week we mentioned the following links:
Our sales were slow and steady this week. Sometimes that's all we can ask for.

Our Store Week May 15-21, 2016
  • Store #1
  • Total Items in Store: 3635
  • Items Sold: 13
  • Cost of Items Sold: $25
  • Total Sales: $816.84
  • Highest Price Sold: $200 (coral bead)
  • Average Price Sold: $62.83
  • Returns: 1
  • Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $100
  • Number of items listed this week: 0

  • ----------
  • Amazon FBA Store
  • Number of items sold: 14
  • Amazon total sales: $320.87
  • Amazon FBA Fees: $127.68
  • COGS (shipment to FBA included): $30
  • Net profit after COGS: $174.15

  • Bonanza:
  • Sold 2 items for $150
  • ----------

  • Store #2
  • Total Items in Store: 871
  • Items Sold: 7
  • Cost of Items Sold: $10
  • Total Sales: $180.43
  • Highest Price Sold: $40 (fireplace bellows)
  • Average Price Sold: $25.77
  • Returns: 0
  • Number of items listed this week: 34


  1. 5/15-5/21/16
    Total items in store: 361
    Items sold: 6
    Cost of Items Sold: $48 new + $6 used+ $16.65 consignment
    Total Sales: $162.90
    Avg. price: $27.15
    Highest price item: $36.99 Nine West Purse
    International sales: 0
    Returns: 0
    Money spent on new inventory: 0
    Number of items listed: 9

    Congrats on selling 110 items while away from home!

    Not much listing this week. I've taken on consignment clothing from an estate that is all new with tags. My highest priced sale is from the estate. I've very happy to have my average price go up. The last 2 weeks my average price was only $15.

    I definitely feel that clothing sales are in a slump. The price points for main stream clothing have taken a nose dive on eBay.

    The eBay gods were good to me on my birthday today and I sold 3 items for a total of $134, so hopefully I will have my first over $200 week in over 2 months.

    1. Hi and happy b-day. I see 9 West a lot and only pick it if it's vintage. I guess I ought to reconsider- that's a good sale! :)

    2. The bag was new with tags with a retail of $75. I usually pass on Nine West stuff as well, but it was consignment. The purse sold within a week.
      Anyone have any suggestions on shipping large purses. Can I bend the handles down to fit the bag into a box or do I need to find an oversized box to keep handles flat?

  2. Total items in store: 268
    Items sold: 16
    Avg sale price: $23.26
    Total sales: $372.20
    COGs avg: $1.88

    Strongest week so far. I ran a sale where I simply increased the price by $15 and put them on a 7 day sale for $15 off. That was Friday afternoon and it sparked 5 sales for a total $105. This weekend is 50% off at Goodwill and I plan to visit a city where I have not thrifted. Right now, I have everything listed that I have on hand. My prediction was that I will max out my limits (330 items by 6/11/16) but I am not sure I will if I hold up a higher standard for my picks. Clothing sellers, do you pick on non-sale days at full price? $235.65 is my goal this week to hit $1000 in sales in a month.

    1. I rarely shop if it isn't a sale day. Prices are too high here between San Francisco and Silicon Valley. My local thrift has half off clothing from 9am-1pm every Tuesday and half off everything one Saturday a month. Saver's has half off for National holidays or I usually have a 30% off coupon from donating my own cast-offs. If I happen to be in there, the full price has to be a quick flip. A full price $5 North Face snowsuit, I buy. A full price Gap down jacket at $10, I pass.

      I went to the Goodwill in San Jose and all men's winter coats were $30. What a laugh for a Cherokee jacket from Target. Kids snow pants were $10.65. The Goodwill's in this area don't seem to have half off days. I lived for them when we were in Denver.

      My daughter's faithful companion, Tiggy, a large stuffed Siberian tiger came from a half off day at the Englewood, CO Goodwill. It was definitely worth the $3.50 spent over 4.5 years ago. I almost didn't let her get it because it is 3 feet long.

    2. I mostly shop on sale days or with a coupon, but if I'm in the shopping mood, I'll pop in any day of the week. Like Anna, I have a boatload of filled Savers stamp passes and hero cards, so I can get 30% off most any day there.

      I'll happily spend $20 for something that I can flip for $75+. Since another flipper will, too, an item like that won't still be there on discount or half-price day, so I don't pass it up. I won't pay full-price for bread and butter stuff, but I don't buy much of that anymore anyway.

    3. FredsPremium, I'd say you're on your way. The only pitfall to be aware of is burnout.

      All of your goals are doable. Just a matter of making sure you can keep up the pace and enjoy every part of it.

    4. Fred:

      It doesn't matter to me. The pros of non sale days by far is less competition and a better shot at grabbing a high dollar item. Would you pass up a Shirin Guild or Eskandar sweater if it wasn't on sale at the Thrifts? You better not! The only thing to consider is return on investment and what your turn around time is (amount of time it may take to wait and sell it). If price is an issue, hit the Goodwill Outlets

    5. Most of what I see is bread and butter and I am considering picking them up at non-sale prices. An example would be a Ralph Lauren long sleeve button-front shirt picked for $7 and then sold on eBay for $18 free shipping. The profit would be $4.93 or 70% return. Compare that to the Brooks Bros blazer I sold yesterday for $99.95 free shipping that I paid $2.50 for! Anyway, when I look at some of these larger quantity clothing sellers here, evidence is showing that if I want bigger profit I need to be dipping below 100% return on bread and butter and picking it up regularly by going to thrift stores more than 5-6 times a month on sale days.

  3. RR Store Week May 15-21, 2016

    Total Items in Store: 1166
    Items Sold: 15
    Cost of Items Sold: $25
    Total Sales: $506.89
    Highest Price Sold: $130 (vintage hip-hop t-shirt)
    Average Price Sold: $33.79
    Returns: 0
    Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $126.96
    Number of items listed this week: 50

    A bit quiet again this week, but I'm not sweating it. After a personal rough patch, I was back to normal picking and listing this week. I hit my listing goal of 50 items, but most of it was done in the last couple of days; the week was slower as a result. But today I've already hit over $220, so this week is off and running. My big sale for the week was a concert t-shirt from the 90's hip-hop group Digable Planets. They're one of my favorites, and I bought the shirt at their L.A. show in 1993. Hard to let it go, but it was just sitting in a drawer.

    The estate sales this week were pretty great. Nothing too high ticket, but lots of bread and butter items that will all add up nicely. I've dipped my toe deeper into books, and now that I've fixed my 8mm projector, I'm going to get more into home and commercial movies. Found five at a sale this week, and one was shot at Disneyland in 1959. That's a keeper.

    Off to listen and list!


    1. I hear you on the Tee shirt, I sold off my The Jam button that I bought ahead of their show at the Whiskey in '77, and my friend sold one of her original Clash tee shirts because these things won't be worn again by us so...

    2. I bought a camera/film case with a number of 8mm reels, some oddly marked "Nudey", could be interesting and as we know, sex sells, just hope I don't get grossed out.

    3. My husband has a Replacements shirt from 1984 but I can't separate him from it!!

      I still have that big box of 16 mm movies but have yet to lay my hands on a projector. The films are a death pile all on their own.

  4. Store Week 5/15 – 5/21

    Total items in store: 722
    Items sold: 6
    Cost of items sold: $4.75
    Total sales: $186.95
    Highest price sold: $89.99 (Vintage Muppets “Animal” puppet)
    Average price sold: $31.16
    International Sales: 0
    Returns: 0
    Money spent on new inventory this week: $7.00

    Another slow week for me, but I was so happy to sell the puppet of my favorite items! I've hardly been listing lately because I'm busy with everything else, so I'm sure that's part of the reason it's been slow. Hopefully I'll find some time soon. Can't wait to listen!

  5. Items Sold: 8 ebay, 9 on etsy
    Total Items in Store: 158 on ebay--275 on Etsy
    Total Sales: $661.75 ($394.94, ebay, $266.81 on etsy)
    Highest Price Sold: $75. vintage scarves on ebay
    Average Price Sold: $38.92
    International Sales: 2
    Returns: 0, but I had to do 2 partial refunds for issues--a microcopic chip I didn't see on a coffee cup (caught before shipping) and unfortunately a couple of glasses on an order arrived broken (tried to save on the shipping cost for the buyer on a heavy package and it back fired,) so I simply refunded the actual cost of each glass (2) that had broken--hopefully that fixes the issue.

    A good week actually, no big sales but steady sales.

    I finally pulled the trigger on ebay and purchased an auction lot of jewelry tonight for $41 including postage--it looks like there should be a good profit, we will see....

    1. This does seem like a good week for you. I'm glad to see that even in the slow times, you have solid weeks.

    2. Omfug - do you always lot your vintage scarves? I'm compelled to pick up every Vera Neumann one I find. It looks in solds like most sell in lots, with a few exceptions. Any thoughts?

    3. I've sold VERA scarves separately but on etsy and cheap. My scarves were already in a gift pack mounted in a nice gift box and had a significant designer name attached hence the hefty price.

    4. Thanks. I have enough now to lot them by color. It seems few sell for much on their own.

  6. It's good to have you guys back. As I do every week, I'll listen to the show tomorrow on the way to my day job, but in the mean time here are my numbers:

    Total Items in Store: 913
    Items Sold: 29
    Total Sales: $551.55
    Cost of Items Sold: $60.5
    Average Price Sold: $19.02
    Average Cost of Item: $2.09
    Highest Price Items Sold: $59.95 - Bear Canister
    Number of items listed this week: 56
    Average age of items in store (in days since listing): 124
    Average number of days between listing and selling this week: 73
    Sell-through rate: 3.18%

    It turned out to be quite a good week. I listed a bunch of things that were apparently in demand (accessories for a Kitchen Aid food processor and some empty MacBook boxes) and those gave my numbers a nice boost over the weekend. My biggest sale was a bear-proof canister that backpackers use in the Sierra's. I picked up 3 at a yard sale for $50 and sold the first one within a day of listing for $59. Only 9 hat sales this week.

    1. How is your wife enjoying selling on eBay. Is it going to be a match made in heaven?

    2. Hi Jay. My wife is doing pretty well with eBay. I've walked her through the process of listing hats and she's written up and photographed dozens of them. I thought she'd hate it but she's actually doing pretty well which totally surprised me. The other day I asked her if she'd like to list something else but she told me she was happy to continue with hats. I don't know if I have control issues but I still do the final check on all her listings to make sure they look good, adjust the condition notes and fiddle with the photo settings before pressing the button to submit the listings. My wife seems much happier doing part time eBay work than her previous part time job that she was beginning to despise so I guess it's all working out.

      It's definitely interesting to consider the idea of doing eBay full time but I'm one of the people you referred to in this week's podcasts that couldn't see themselves giving up a well-paid job for the uncertainty of an eBay income.

      By the way, glad you found the Flow up useful. If they could just integrate it with the Amazon seller app, it would be a great tool. I've used it successfully to find old higher-value books at a couple of estate sales.

    3. Cool. Having a second person working on your store is huge productivity boost. The hope would be she would start finding items that she enjoys listing. It's a (loooooong) marathon vs a sprint.

      And if you have a job you enjoy, then that's awesome. But if you groan everyday getting out of bed to spend grueling hours with people you dislike, then I'm all about betting on yourself. Your numbers show that you can make good money. It's a luxury to have these choices.

    4. My job pays the bills. I have had better and I have had worse. With one kid in college (and another starting in the fall) and a Bay-Area-sized mortgage, the bills are large. It's not all bad though. I'm looking ahead now to taking an early retirement (maybe with eBay as some side income) so I'm trying to save as much as I can. Maybe retirement from the 9-5 world will be possible in another 5 years.

  7. Glad you guys are back safely, enjoyed the epic "what sold video". Been listening for awhile, and I keep telling myself to post some weekly numbers but by the time I remember its Thursday or Friday.

    Total Items in Store: 6600
    Items Sold: 152
    Cost of Items Sold: $280
    Total Sales: $2551.49
    Highest Price Sold: $100 (Set of 30 kids books)
    Weirdest Sale: Brass GM Ashtray $21
    Average Price Sold: $16.78
    Returns: 3
    Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $410
    Number of items listed this week: 115

    You mentioned vintage electronics in your video, keep an eye out for old IBM or Apple "clickey" keyboards they can sell for $50-80 depending on condition.

    I also like to pop out old Intel processors for a quick $12-15

    1. Nice sales...whats your bread and butter items (every day item)?

    2. Michael D, How did you get to 6600 items? Do you have helpers or work alone?

      I just reached 1,000 items and it was such a big personal goal for me that I actually had to stop and do a happy dance !

      I have had mixed results with using others (family and a friend) for help with various aspects of Ebay. But mainly I do it alone, and I am in awe of folks with huge stores - impressive.

    3. Welcome Michael D.
      Like others, I'd love to hear a brief overview of your store process. Anyone with 6600 items has some things to share!

    4. Erik,
      Bread and butter items: Books and other media and clothes. My main venue is Amazon and about 3k of these items are cross listed on both venues. I do not list my FBA items on ebay due to many issues with double selling.

      I retired last year from the Air Force and took this up as my full time job. January of last year I had about 3k shared items on amazon and ebay so its grown rather exceptionally. I do have a full time employee and a part time employee.

      Invitation to come out to D.C. is always open, or we can meet up in Luray planning to come out to the cabin June 17-19. Last weekend was miserable out there.

    5. Ah, you're that Michael! Now it makes sense.

    6. Sounds like Jay and Ryanne need to interview you, Michael D. Already, your story sounds fascinating & I bet others would enjoy hearing all about you. I know that I am excited to hear more.

  8. Total Items in Store: 635
    Items Sold: 26
    Cost of Items Sold: $311
    Total Sales: $1305
    Highest Price Sold: $179.99 (pottery barn teen rug 8x5)
    Average Price Sold: $25.77
    Returns: 1

    Happy with the sales this week. Very steady.

  9. Total Items in Store: 316
    Items Sold: 9
    Total Sales: $520
    Cost of Items Sold: $26 (used) + $183 (new RA)
    Average Price Sold: $58
    Highest Price Item Sold: $246 (Anthro bedding set - paid $150 on clearance)
    Number of items listed this week: 12
    Returns: 0 but 1 cancellation (I discovered damage at shipping time)
    International Sales: 1 ($42 - 2 Anthro pulls to UK)
    Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: +/- $60
    Sell-through rate: 1.0%

    A better week for me. I sold a couple of cool vintage items - red vintage Anacapa Forge hole tip flatware ($43, paid $12), and one of my Lilly Pulitzer neck ties ($63, paid $2). Found a beautifully done granny square quilt for $6 at my favorite independent thrift. I've cut back on my picking though and really feel compelled to catch up on my vintage items backlog.

    It was nice to have a sales video and podcast to listen to this week. Enjoy being back home.

  10. Dude! I queued this up from the exact moment where one of the top entrepreneur says that he gets more excitement from flipping a $3 garage sale item on ebay for $80 than landing a 5 million dollar client for the company he owns. HOLLA!

    1. Thanks for the link. I wondered who Gary Vee is.

    2. The owner of the warehouse space I rent from owns four servpro franchises, one small construction company and his "for fun" side project is the yogo myway yogurt place in front royal (for Jay and Ryanne)

      His entire family loads up into the car every Saturday to hit as many yard sales as they can. He's called me a few times when someone selling an unlisted estate sale.

  11. MrsKensington - Week May 15-21, 2016

    Total Items in Store: 78
    Items Sold: 8
    Cost of Items Sold: $75 (relatively high, includes $22 shoes that sold for $50, and $18 flatware that sold for $60, and $16 scrapbook supplies that sold for $120. I made money on all of these, but am still figuring out what’s worth the time.)
    Total Sales: $475
    Highest Price Sold: $120 (scrapbook supplies, sold in a few hours)
    Average Price Sold: $59
    Returns: 0

    I actually ‘sold’ 9 things totaling $615, but one new ‘buyer’ cancelled a $140 item.

    Family and I went car shopping yesterday. We are thinking we could save and invest our cash (we do have Vanguard’s VTSAX, thanks to JLCollinsNH), finance this vehicle at 2-3% and pay it off using eBay profits of $125/week minimum. I don’t know. My car is nearly 20 years old, but I suspect it’s been harboring a lot of mildew and it gets fairly bad gas mileage. I think it may need to go. Or, I can just stay moldy.

    I’m hoping I can continue to find these scores. I’ve got four regular thrift stores, but they aren’t cheap. For this reason, I try to buy things that net me $50 apiece, or things that will go very, very quickly with moderate success. I haven’t yet sourced at garage sales or estate sales , so I guess I could try those.

    Also, I’m mulling getting the lowest-level store going. I think it will save me a little bit of money, or I may break even, but also because it will allow me to put things noticeably on sale. (I can lower prices now with the bulk editor, but unless someone is ‘watching’ it, you can’t tell.)

    Looking forward to listening to this episode and watching "Wallander" and "Call the Midwife" while I list my slush pile today.


    1. I'd buy a gently used car in cash. Remember that a new car loses 20% of its value just driving it off the lot. So buy a great car that's only 3 years old for a huge discount. Carmax really makes it easy these days.

    2. I second what Jay said about buying used. Check out Frugalwoods blog they just bought cars, and as always Mr. Money Mustache has many great thoughts regarding cars.

      Be careful and do your research. Vehicles have a huge impact on your budget and long term wealth.

    3. i third that, never buy a new car. at least get one that's a couple years old with low mileage. our car is 20 years old as well and it's still cranking along great.

    4. I love Wallander. Have you seen the older version with Krister Henriksson? I guess there is an even older version but I haven't seen that.

    5. Thanks! Sorry - I meant to say "Nused" = new to me. It's a few years old with only 8,000 miles on it because it was owned by the car dealership and driven by a manager or used as a loaner. The car I'm driving now was six years old when I bought it 12 years ago. I appreciate all the thoughts and advice.

  12. Cyndi (amazing*taste)May 23, 2016 at 7:35 AM

    Last week was pretty solid for us. We did right around $4200.00.

    I'm still playing with Snapchat (amazingtaste1) and today we decided to do an entire "day in the life". Of course on a Monday that means shipping while listening to Trash Elf Radio! LOL

    Have a great week everyone!

    1. If you ever have a specific link to a video that shows your work area or process, please post.

      Making $4200 in one week with just two of you working? Amazing.

    2. Awesome as always! Cindy, what other social media do you use? And do you find any especially useful? Love your blog by the way.

    3. Cyndi (amazing*taste)May 23, 2016 at 5:59 PM

      Jay - I posted a lot of videos of our process on Snapchat. I like it because I feel like I don't have to be as polished as you guys are here. It is raw 10 sec snippets that go away in 24 hours. 24 hours seems to be quick enough that the haters don't come out and nit pick my inability to edit! LOL

      Marie - I am on Twitter (citygirlcyndi) and Instagram (amazingtastestore). Twitter has been nice, because not only have I been able to make some sales from it, but also the Ebay for Business account is really on top of their tweets so if you have a problem they are quick to respond. Instagram is different. There are quite a few new ebayers over there so it is nice to see fresh excitement but I don't think it is driving sales. Thank you so much for the kind words about my blog. I am really enjoying bringing more business overviews to what we do, or at least what I think are business overviews. :)

    4. Cyndi (amazing*taste)May 23, 2016 at 7:06 PM

      My blog is at :)

  13. Am I crazy or has USPS Priority Shipping gone WAY up? In the past we've been able to list our items with Parcel Select shipping and with our TR discount upgrade our buyers to Priority for almost the same cost. We haven't been able to do that for almost two weeks. Am I crazy? Please tell me I'm not alone in seeing this...

    1. May not be your issue but I had a glitch this month where my return policy reverted back to 15 days from 30 and I lost my discount at shipping. I had to bulk edit twice and then it stuck at 30.

    2. I'm still able to ship Priority at equal or slightly less than Parcel

    3. It has gotten pretty high.

      I used to make large amounts of money on priority shipping discounts, now it tends to be about equal to parcel.


    4. Thanks for your feedback guys, appreciate it!!!

    5. I've been using FedEx Smartpost more and more.

  14. May 15-21

    Total Items in Store: 191
    Items Sold: 13
    Cost of Items Sold: $105.70
    Average Cost of Items Sold: $8.13
    Total Sales: $674.86
    Highest Price Sold: $129.99 (shoes)
    Average Price Sold: $51.91
    Returns: 0
    Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0.00
    Number of items listed this week: 21

    About average activity for last week, but this week isn't starting well. Haven't had a sale since early Saturday afternoon, which is unusual for the weekend. Hoping things pick up.

    Looking forward to listening to your podcast while listing later today or tomorrow. Thank you!

    1. Thanks Flippin' Awesome.
      Could you go into a little detail about what you buy?
      --Where do you buy most of your inventory?
      --If you're just shopping at normal thrift stores, how often are you finding items that sell for $50+?
      --How often are you shopping each week?

      The fact tat you make almost $700 in a week with less than 200 in your inventory is incredible. We made only a little more than you and we have 3600 items!

    2. Thanks, Jay. I've been doing this for about 10 years, so I've learned along the way and I use your strategy of pricing high and waiting for the right buyer to come along. I generally shop 1-2 days a week. One of my favorite thrifts is about a 45 minute drive, so I only go there every 2-3 weeks. It's huge and I often spend 5-6 hours there and come home with 15-20 things, about half of which I expect to sell for $40+, and maybe one or two in the $75+ range.

      For the most part, I sell a mix of pre-owned mens and womens clothes, shoes and accessories, all sourced from thrift stores and yard sales. I'm anal when it comes to prepping, photos and descriptions, so I'm not a quick-lister. I've tried to reform, but I am what I am. Accepting that, I generally shoot for an ASP of $40-$50 to justify my time and I choose inventory accordingly. If it's an easy list and I'm confident of a quick turnaround, I'll buy stuff that I don't expect to sell for more than $25 or so. I always price at the high end of completeds.

    3. i love that..."i am what i am" - my new mantra! i am exactly the same, the only thing i can have someone else do is copy my listings to etsy - ha! its hard letting go :)

  15. Had a REALLY slow week last week. I'm a Canadian seller, and am slowly converting all of my listings from to A painful process to say the least. It's really slowed down my listing of new items, but is a necessary evil.

    Still pushing to get to 500 listings, and getting closer each week. I work a full-time 8-5 type of office job, so getting more than 4-6 listings a day up is tough. I generally sip coffee and list for an hour or so before heading to work each morning.

    May 8-14

    • Total Items in Store: 432
    • Items Sold: 8
    • Cost of Items Sold: $6.35
    • Total Sales: $122.98
    • Highest Price Sold: $25.99 (wireless router)
    • Average Price Sold: $15.36
    • Returns: 0

    1. Spent some time listing yesterday, and got to 456 listings. My wife was snapping pics and taking measurements while I was listing. The push continues!

      Also started to get my first Amazon FBA shipment ready. Hoping to send it on its way in the next week or two. A few sealed board games, some sealed book sets, and a sealed high end faucet so far.

  16. Great to have you two back! I hope it was a productive one. I was in the Adams Morgan area a few weeks ago and briefly considered one of my dumba$$ pranks of making a side trip and "reverse picking" (leaving) a care package of a bounty of rare Plushies, booze and I Heart Santorum signs as tribute to your grand adventures. Fortunately a few minor things stopped me: drinking too many Unnamed Cocktails at The Passenger is bad (WTF r trash elves and why do keep talking about dropping off thrift store crap at a scavenger house, ya weirdo, can't u just donate on their Patreon page like a normal person? My friends complained, as they had to carry a few of us to a cab); upon sobering up, it occurred to me that even a well intentioned prank can still be way creepy; having grown up in the rural countryside of the sticks of generations of landed gentry since the 1690s, executing said prank could result in a potential Children of the Corn scenario, or something else involving a stranger, her Smart Car, and revolutionary war cannons and muskets. So I hung out in DC/NOVA and drove home with my haul.

    In the usual vein, for this time of year, both Amazon books and eBay picked up. For some weird reason a whole bunch of really old stock sold and shipped over the past 2 weeks, even some scarves from 2 years ago. Lol. I even found all the old stuff to ship! (Equinox Miracle). ;) I picked up and incredible jute southwestern rug. At first I thought it might be a late Navajo piece, but now I think I just have a really well made repro in either jute or hemp. Anyway, glad you folks had a good time. I put together a short What Sells video to nod off asleep to and tape your head to a package while shipping. It's probably better than my other drunken idea.

    1. Sometimes Blogger auto-moderates comments. Not sure their criteria. I approve any of these comments when is see them.

      Glad you had a good time in DC. East Coast 4 life.

  17. 5/15-5/21/16
    Total items in store: 688
    Items sold: 7
    Cost of Items Sold: $49
    Total Sales: $245
    Avg. price: $35
    Highest price item: $100 (3x Eisenhower silver coins)
    International sales: 1
    Returns: 0
    Money spent on new inventory: 0
    Number of items listed: 0

    Back from vacation in Italy... boooooooo. Back to the grind - already rode the train in to work and was annoyed the entire time. Sold 7 items while on vacation (not as good as your vacation sales CONGRATS!), which was pleasant. Just changed my handling time and didn't go on vacation mode. Contacted each person after the fact to confirm they were cool and no one cancelled.

    Hope to finish up listing a few things from my piles in the weeknights this week in preparation for the weekend - hoping the holiday weekend is full of yard/garage sales!

    1. Welcome back. Have you guys already picked the next vacation you're going to pay for with eBay money?!

    2. Not yet, but we're thinking of central Europe - Prague, Croatia, etc. Or we could go completely other end of the globe to Thailand or Australia. But yeah, excite to plan another one with our profits!

  18. Here is a first for me with an eBay rep. I sold a US Polo Sport hoodie gsp and the buyer opened a case claiming it was counterfeit (it was not). These are tough because the reps are robots 99.99% of the time. I spoke to the initial rep and told them to get me a supervisor. The outcome ended up being eBay allowed me to keep the money and refunded the buyer. I won't complain about that.

    Another thing I am doing now is keeping screenshots of certain case outcomes for references and if I'm on the phone with a rep that has no clue I will say in case # .... This was the same scenario and this was the outcome why can't you do this for me. They usually start to fumble over there words when I pull that out and give me what I want. Just a few tricks to keep up your sleeve.

  19. Store Week May 15-21

    Total Items in Store: 235
    Items Sold: 10
    Cost of Items Sold: $30
    Total Sales: $467
    Highest Price Sold: $125 Persian Enamel Plate
    Average Price Sold: $47
    Returns: 0
    International Sales via GSP: 6
    Money Spent on New Inventory: $23
    Number of items listed this week: 11

    Another solid week of what is shaping up to be my best ebay month yet. I realized that all my higher priced sales this week went to other countries via the Global Shipping Program -- vintage fedora for $75 to Japan, Persian enamel plate to England for $125, Dansk candle holder to Denmark for $65. Also found it interesting that the last of my grandfather's pipes are heading to Malaysia for someone there to enjoy. This is such a weird and cool way to make money!
    Have a good week, all.

  20. I sleep with a fan too :)

    I loved the cheese story.

  21. Our Store Week May 16 – May 22, 2016
    Total Items in Store: 240
    Items Sold: 3
    Cost of Items Sold: $36.00
    Total Sales: $1,277.00
    Highest Price Sold: $1,200.00 (Architectural Salvage)
    Average Price Sold: $425.67
    International Sales: 0
    Returns: 0
    Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0.00
    Number of items listed this week: 0

    Sales Review: Killer week. I also received my first payment from my rental property!

    What Sold: Vintage baseball hat, Fire King bowl, architectural salvage piece.
    Customer Issues: None.

    Scavenging: Decided to take the week off!

  22. May 15-21 2016
    • Total Items in Store: 692
    • Items Sold: 24
    • International 0
    • Total Sales $1517
    • Highest price $240 Nikon 35mm SLR
    • Average Price Sold: $63
    • Returns: 0
    • Cost of Items Sold: $74
    • Cost of items purchased this week $100

    I had a customer request a return on a VHS Tape rewinder that he claimed didn't work properly, it was only a $14 sale so I said keep it and refunded plus shipping cost, 2 weeks later I get a negative FB only saying "Defective" I write him to ask why, no response. I look up other feedback given as a buyer and he has left quite a few with other buyers. I call eBay, no help at all as usual. I send a feedback revision request just as a matter of due course, leave no option left unused, I was very gentle with my message saying that I was sorry the item didn't work and a refund was issued promptly and that this negative greatly effects my business. Low and behold, within minutes he changed it to a positive, saying the unit was defective but was refunded. That made my day, usually I get nowhere with grumpy customers.

    I fall asleep to music on my iPod with the sleep timer set for 30 minutes, rarely get past the 3rd song.

  23. Anybody know if the buyer sees all GSP charges ahead of time before they click to purchase? I would assume they do but I've had several buyers message me after the sale not understanding why they are being asked to pay so many fees. They act like they didn't see them prior to confirming their purchase. And another thing I don't understand is Ive bought things from all over the world but I have never had to pay any kind of fees. It may just be I have been buying from people who are not using the GSP program and who are declaring things a certain way so that I get no charges. But half of my week has been International sales with slow to pay buyers.

    1. yes they should see all the fees, you can change your shipping country in the drop down on the shipping section of your listings to see what they see. USA does not charge custom fees on most items, so you've never been charged.

  24. Week of May 15-21, 2016

    Total in-store: 1701
    Total Sales: $664.99
    # Items sold: 29
    Avg Price: $22.93
    COGs: $131.45
    Highest price: $60 Leather jacket
    International: 0
    Returns: 0
    Spent on new inventory: $48 for eBay, $60 for Amazon FBA
    Number of items Listed: 72
    Total donated to Project Semicolon: $0 (Donation page is still down! Frustrating.)
    Sold on Amazon (MF) - $20.30, FBA - 0
    Sold on Bonanza - $19.78

    Sent in my first few Amazon FBA shipments this week. Five total boxes - 2 boxes of CDs and 3 boxes of miscellaneous other stuff that was new in box. Took me the better part of 3 days to get everything prepped and shipped, but I learned a few things, which I enjoyed immensely. Still have another big pile of CDs to process and plan to send in all of the books I currently have listed as Merchant Fulfilled. Would be nice to free up the storage space. Nothing I sent in has sold yet, but most of the boxes just got checked in Friday and this morning. We'll see how it goes.


  25. As always, Thank You Jay & Ryanne for your podcast and all of your sharing. I haven't been posting lately, but am always listening and Learning something useful every time (ie ~ we really can get free ebay supplies, just got my first tape shipment).
    Really enjoyed last week's podcast of course on the Home School seller. My 2nd oldest who's a Sophomore in college now is still selling off and on with his store he started when he was homeschooling as a highschooler; and he just recently ramped it up enough to cover his room and board for the upcoming semester. He's not full time, but uses it as a good go-to source.

    My main store has been ultra slow. I really have so many theories that it's making my head spin. 2nd store is doing very well considering the number is much lower than the main. Admittedly, I haven't been very focused with listing...

    Total Items in Store 1: 1164
    Items Sold: 21
    Cost of Items Sold: $21
    Total Sales: $639
    Highest Price Sold: $53
    Average Price Sold: $30
    Returns: 2
    Number of items listed this week: 30

    Total Items in Store 2 : 236
    Items Sold: 19
    Cost of Items Sold: $19
    Total Sales: $690
    Highest Price Sold: $125 (multiple suit jacket order)
    Average Price Sold: $36
    Returns: 0
    Number of items listed this week: 50

  26. This comment has been removed by the author.

  27. FYI just in case this happens to you.
    Created a label and purchased postage on eBay this morning. The calculator was off by $7.40 I printed anyway so that I could ship on time. My listing had calculated postage with proper dimensions and weight.

    Here is the respone I received from eBay.
    This email is sent to you in regards to the call that you made earlier in regards to the issue that you are experiencing with the sipping calculator. I have made full investigation with the item and I was able to verify that there is no problem with the listing.

    We have decided to have this issue reported to our technical team to make sure that everything can be corrected on the account. We are also currently collating similar issues in attempt to Isolate the issue.

    We apologize for the inconvenience and we will make sure to have this issue fixed as soon as we can.


    Dan. T.

    eBay CUstomer Care Representative

    1. I had a customer complain that she saw shipping of about $9 after buying a set of sheets, then saw $12 when she went to pay. I just invoiced her with the $9 shipping and she paid and all was well ... I didn't know if it was her or what was going on, but maybe it was due to an ebay problem. This was using Fedex SmartPost.

    2. I called eBay in the past with this issue, and they walked me through how to fix it. If I remember correctly, there is a check box somewhere that asks if you want to pass on your seller's discount to the buyer. If so, they see the discounted price up front. The rep helped me find that box and unchecked it. I haven't had that problem since.

  28. Hello everyone,

    I have not posted my numbers for a while due to a very busy family life but I wanted to share my experience for the last few months.

    After listening to the interview with VintageNY and the realization I really need some help with this business, I posted an ad on Craigslist similar to theirs. I hired a guy and a gal to help and divided the work for them. Four weeks later I decided I can not invest in the guy's training any more as there was no improvement and let him go. I still work with the girl but it is tough. I renewed the ad hoping I can get more people to choose from.

    Now being an employer, I understand how some people say it is hard to find good, reliable employees to do the work. I am usually pretty relaxed about things in life in general but I realized I needed to put deadlines because things were just not done at all. Also, I noticed how some people fail to follow basic instructions (like make sure the item you are photographing is actually in the frame, they are on focus and attach a resume to your email). I began asking myself if I am too critical and needed to lower my expectations or just made a bad choice with those guys. I still have hope to find someone better.

    Another problem I experienced was they were being hesitant or have no desire to share where they live. Although I explained that it was pretty liberal that someone (me) trusted them with a bunch of inventory and lets them choose their own time to photograph it. This is just my thoughts.


    1. I wouldn't worry about a resume. I am not a fan of them to begin with. I'm more interested in how the person answers my questions and their general tone.

      I look to hire people I can tell are smart. I am not worried about experience. Give me smarts over experience every day of the week. Smart people will figure out the task.

      Another tip is to have them specialize in a certain task. Don't have them picture and list. They will get burnt out and overwhelmed. If you hire someone to do pictures have them only do pictures for example.

      Stay at home parents work out very well for me because they are usually very smart and it gives them something to do. They are usually very good listers.

      I now have 6 people working for me doing various tasks and I haven't had any duds yet. Maybe I have been lucky but I can usually read people pretty well to see if they can cut it.

      Remember smarts over experience. Give me a smart stay at home mom over a brilliant spotty photographer all day. Usually people that say I'm an amateur photography are a waste of time because if they are an actual photographer taking pictures of clothes will be soul sucking to them. If they say I have a camera and a lot of time and am looking for consistent work that is who you want.

    2. Dan,

      Thanks for the rapid respond. This is how I chose the guy initially. He had no experience (I think because he did not show anything) and had huge desire to do it. I only gave him very simple things to photograph like manuals and trucker hats. When I offered to go to his home for the training and set up, he was almost insulted. He said he knew how to take pictures, he had a fancy camera with a fancy lens and background with lights. Every single picture he took was blurry and some of the items were not completely in the frame. Then I did the training and also showed him some of my photos and I just looked at the last batch, we still have the same problem.

    3. Ya that would be a red flag if he didn't want to take guidance etc. I would probably cut bait after you got all your items back. It sounds like they aren't open to taking direction. If they won't let me go to their house and show them how I want it done then I wouldn't want to work with them. Glad to hear you are still looking. When you find the right people it will make your life much easier trust me.

      I would also be up front with a new person and say before you take pictures for 50 items take a look at your first 5 and make sure the pictures aren't blurry. I usually say I know I'm stating the obvious and I am sure you will do this just for the sake of saying it make sure the pictures aren't blurry before you do a lot of items. Feel free to bounce any other ideas or if you have anything that is working for you I would love to hear it!

    4. Yes, I took notes from this experience and when posting the second ad, I added them to the requirement.

      How many people did respond to your ad? I had 4 who initially did and only 2 who we serious to meet.

    5. My last post I had around 6 people reply to it and 2 that were worth talking to.

    6. Resumes...i still recall the day I was switching to a new higher position and had to train my replacement and the person they were looking for to do my job had to have all of these qualifications on their resume that I never even had. I just thought it was funny I had to teach someone how to do a job that I was technically not qualified to do if you went by my resume.

      Ironically Miss qualified ended up stinking up my whole office with bad body odor yet still somehow managed to form a relationship with a higher up manager that eventually got both of them fired.

    7. At my working stiff job I see in some departments that hire people that have certain licenses instead of hiring the better quality candidate. They would rather hire someone that doesn't have to sit for the test instead of someone that will need to take it.

      You can guess those departments have the highest turn over. My buddy and I hired some people and put a bet on who would last longer. My guy came from a grocery store and his came from a "top" notch firm. Long story short I won $500 in that bet and his guy has jumped from firm to firm while my guy is still killing it.

      I understand the need for a resume in theory but in my opinion they are not important at all. If you are hiring for help hire the person not the resume.

  29. Flim's Store Week May 15-21
    Total Items in Store: 480
    Items Sold: 6
    Cost of Items Sold: $50
    Total Sales: $313
    Highest Price Sold: $130 (Ferragamo loafers)
    Average Price Sold: $62.60
    Returns: 0

    So. Big news...I'm a fulltime ebay seller now!!! Ahhhh!

    What's kind of crazy is that I got laid off from my job of NINE years. I was ready to give my notice in June. And then, 2 weeks ago, I got called in on a Friday afternoon and the hammer came down. BUT the silver lining is - I got a severance package until Aug 1. So it was the best scenario of a kinda crummy situation. I was in a bit of a shock that weekend. But that first Sunday night, I turned off my alarm clock and smiled. I woke up on my own on Monday morning, still pretty early, and I was grinning from ear to ear. (I may have also played "Walking on Sunshine" several times.) MWAHAHHA!

    Of course, this happens to be at a period when my store is super quiet. The past month or so has been really slow. But I've been buying and listing and will probably upgrade to the larger store subscription next month.

    I will say that being on the opposite schedule, especially in NYC, is amazing. The trains aren't crazy crowded, the thrift store is way less busy during off hours, and I'm also able to hit up sales that happen during the day. I've already been to 2 high end Manhattan apartments for sales during the day as well as a ton of new stores.

    It wasn't how I planned it, but I'm glad to be on the other side.

    1. I'd love to hear the story of why the company is laying people off. We all know companies just have the bottom line. No loyalty. There really is no security in most jobs.

      But you can do this. You've always done incredibly well just being part time. Work 40 hours for yourself. I loved NYC during the day time when everyone is at work. Check out those "sample sales" as well in Midtown.

      Also don;t forget to cut expenses. Cook at home more. No expensive $15 cocktails!

    2. From what I understand, they're trying to squeeze 2 jobs out of 1 person. So I'm the lucky 1 of 2!

      Jay, the slow cooker is going right now!! And I've managed to get a lot of free pity cocktails from people in the last 2 weeks. ;)

    3. Best of luck to you. I was laid off at Christmas and it took me a couple of months to find a new job but I made the most of my freedom during that time and it was actually a fun period. Hope your eBay biz picks up if that's what you want to do for now.

    4. Thanks Simon! Right now, I'm really enjoying my freedom. My sales have been a lot better in previous months, so I'm hoping for better numbers in the future.

    5. Can't wait to hear how it goes. I know you'll do well!

    6. I have always wanted to thrift / scavenge in NYC, and score some of those 100+ items.

      Good luck on your F/T eBay venture. I made the plunge in May of 2015 so it has been one year. It took a lot of work and trial and error (lots of error lol) but I am finally making as much / more than I would doing my regular job.


    7. Go Flim--if you haven't opened stores on other venues now is the time to do it--check out poshmark for your better branded stuff, etsy for brooklyn hip and 90's fashion (my eyes are spinning in my head at this juncture, but the kids love it) merchandise on instagram and other social media. In short, have your "boss" kick your ass--we put in many more hours on this job than if we were working for "the man" but we make our own time and it is heavenly!

    8. Retro Treasures WVMay 25, 2016 at 12:48 AM

      I was laid off June 1st last year with a very nice severance package. I took the summer off and started a new job first day of September. It was sooo awesome to have the summer off, and I started up my business.

    9. Well...a kind of congrats then! Good luck with everything Flim..looking forward to hearing more about how it's going for you.

    10. Thanks all for your support. It means a lot. I just finished making myself a nice salad/grain bowl with leftovers from the fridge and I'm listing while blasting pop music. Now just waiting for the ch-chings!

  30. May 15 - 21
    Total items in store 882
    Sold - 11
    COGS - $23.00
    Total Sales - $462.92
    Highest Price Sold - Sony Sports Boom Box $99.99
    Average Pirce Sold - $42.00
    INTL - 0
    Returns - 1
    Spent On New Merch - $125.00
    New Listings - 30

  31. What sold this week

  32. I really appreciate the tip on adjusting handling time. I had to make a quick trip out to California for a family event at the last minute on Friday and just set my handling time out to three days. I had 4 sales over the weekend (I have a smaller store of about 125 items so a good weekend for me!), but didn't have to worry about a Saturday shipment or rushing Monday morning if I didn't get back home.

    Still managed to do some scavenging during my trip and was able to knock a few of my "want to find" bucket list items off: Ferragamo shoes (for $3) and 35 mm slides (many Kodachrome!). I also found out that my Aunt volunteers at a thrift store, but I didn't tell her I sold on eBay. I am thinking of sending her a list of items I'm interested in and some money so she can buy me things I don't find in my local area. I also have my mom looking for things in Colorado!

    Now time to get listing.

    Glad you guys had a good trip!

    1. Oh, and I also wanted to share an odd sale I had earlier this month. I sold a dead 1970's era 9 volt battery for $9. I had picked up some vintage walkie talkies at an auction and when I went to replace the batteries to test them, I found the old 9 volt batteries. They looked interesting so I checked eBay and saw that there was a market for them. Had the one from Japan sold in a few if I could just sell the walkie talkies!

    2. Short and Stout,

      I never even though about selling vintage batteries.

      About a month ago at an estate sale, I picked a box full of, call it photography items. Slides, 8mm film, negatives, viewers, NOS film, etc. All for $50

      Within the box was a top of the line view-master viewer in its original box and packaging. My heart just sunk as I opened the unit and found vintage batteries still in the viewer. I had not seen these EveReady type batteries in decades. I was sure I would find major leakage and damage. Miraculously, the battery compartment was clean and no sign of damage nor battery leakage. I tested the viewer with a fresh set of batteries and cleaned the contact between the bulb and metal contact plate. And it worked. Sold it a few weeks later for $225.

      As for the batteries found in the unit, I tossed them in my spent battery bin for future disposal at a local recycler. Never giving it second thought about resale.

      Now to go dig out those wonderful, lovely, valuable, spent batteries.


  33. May 15-21
    Total Items in Store: 717
    Items Sold: 183
    Total Sales: $2408
    Highest Price Sold: $88.50 (Marc Jacobs Flats)
    Average Price Sold: $13.40
    Returns: 3

    1. Whoops, also meant to add a question before I submitted. I recently lost my handling time option in bulk edit and I have zero idea what happened. It looks like everyone else still has it but mine is completely missing! Anyone else have this problem?

    2. you probably have Business Policies turned on. you'll need to opt out of them to do bulk shipping. not sure why it would turn on without you knowing, but that might be why.

    3. Thank you!! That was it. I opted out and now its back. Never even occurred to me that could be the issue. Thank you so much.

    4. Those are big numbers. Do you work as a team with someone else? What is your average profit per item? You should be interviewed by J&R!

  34. stuff_my_mom_threw_awayMay 23, 2016 at 6:44 PM

    May 15-21
    Total Items in Store: 337
    Items Sold: 22
    Total Sales: $375.90 ($150.90 on ebay, $225 on facebook selling group)
    Highest Price Sold: $90.00 (vintage Dansk pot)
    Average Price Sold: $17.04
    Returns: 0

    I have not been listing as much on ebay, because I've been selling a lot of books and curriculum on a facebook homeschool group. I love selling our old stuff there! We buy most of our curriculum second hand, and then re-sell it when we are done, for about what we paid for it to begin with! Between that, the library, and the internet, we save a ton of money this way. My 7 year old has started to help with the ebay store, bringing packages to the post office and taking pictures for listings. I gave him some money for all his help, (he also helps with our chickens, and then we sell the eggs), and he said "I have a job! This is amazing! The more we sell, the more money we will get!". :)

  35. Welcome back! Pretty slow around my place in the last week or so. Was hoping at least one thing would sell this weekend. Looks like the slow summer has hit me already. But I don't have that many things up for sale, I'm trying to hit 100, but we'll see. I'm not complaining because at least I can build up for 4th quarter!

  36. Week of May 15 - 21, 2016

    Total Items in Store: 681
    Items Sold: 14
    Cost of Items Sold: $44
    Total Sales: $505.65
    Highest Price Sold: $55 Dress
    Average Price Sold: $36.12
    Returns: 0
    Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $160
    Number of items listed this week: 60

    Fairly good week. First time we reached 60 listings in a week. Trying to get as much up as possible before time to cut hay.

    Still haven't had any luck getting the neutral feedback removed from the buyer we blocked. (He repeatedly sent lowball offers on a pair of shoes we did not have Make Offer on. He wanted them for $15 and us to pay shipping.) He bought the shoes on another account - at full price, and left neutral feedback that just said "Arrogant". Ebay had us contact him, which we did. Then they had us send a feedback revision request. He thanked us for the opportunity to reconsider his feedback, but decided to let it stand. He keeps saying things like, "You were very unkind and arrogant in ways you know not". It still just seems like someone should not be able to leave feedback like that when there was NO communication between us except our "Thank You" on the packing slip! Makes us nervous about blocking buyers.

    If anyone has any suggestions, we'd sure be glad to hear them! Have a great week everyone.

    1. Have you mentioned to the Ebay rep that he circumvented your blocked buyer list? If a buyer is blocked, it's against Ebay policy to buy under a different ID. If the rep is aware that this is what happened, the feedback should be removed. See the "Not allowed" section here:

    2. yeah you should call ebay again and request that it be removed. they will be able to see if both user names are the same person.

  37. Did ebay's listing software go back to the old system for anyone else? It went back to the pre-seller hub update. I got so used to the new system.

    1. Uggg, yes. I wish they would stop teasing us. Love the new listing system.

  38. Total Items in Store: 489
    Items Sold: 22
    Cost of Items Sold: $117
    Total Sales: $615
    Highest Price Sold: $60 Mens Hilfiger Suit
    Average Price Sold: $28
    Returns: 1

    Not a bad week for me. Expecting a slower week going into the Memorial Day weekend. Just keep listing!

  39. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Click on "Manage my Store" from your ebay login. then click on Subscriber Discounts

    2. To find the coupons for free eBay shipping supplies (if you subscribe to a store), just go to this link:

      Then click "more details".

    3. and remember that any "unspent" funds do not carry over--I learned this the hard way!

    4. Thanks for the link and info guys. I looked and looked this morning and couldn't find it anywhere. Luckily I word searched this thread for "coupon" and found it here. Just ordered my tape. Love this blog!!!

  40. Have listen to you guys for awhile, but had to comment about the Kelly's Kitchen magnet. My husband and I were married in 1984 and I got one of those for a wedding present . I have no idea whatever happened to it, probably thrown away during one of our moves. I know Scaggs/Osco sold them for a few dollars. Enjoy your pod cast. Have sold since 2000 and after listening to you converted to the list it and forget it. Still do a few auctions. My husband was unsure about the buy it now, but once I showed him our sales between the two formats, we both agree we do better the majority of the time with buy it now with best offer. And the comment about the yard sales with ebay prices. We see that often, even some estate sales are printing out listings and displaying them with items.

    1. Ah, cool to hear someone recognized the Kelly magnet. maybe someone else had a nostalgic moment for it. That's what gives most of the old, weird stuff value.

  41. I used my coupon to purchase 8x8x8 boxes. Use this size for my inner boxes when packing lamps.Will probably use it for this every quarter. Also purchased the 10 in. boxes as that is a harder to find size.Great idea !

  42. Total Items in Store: 752
    Items Sold: 21
    Cost of Items Sold: $30 approximately
    Total Sales: $528.13
    Highest Price Sold: $260 (lot of 52 books)
    Average Price Sold: $25.14
    Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $75

    I am so excited. This is the best week I've had since starting to sell on ebay. I do sell on ebay part time during nights and weekends while working my full time (32 hrs/week job). Thanks Jay and Ryanne for your podcasts! It helps me get through my work day because I'm so itching to go picking and list! I've been working on building up my store so I can do this full time. I am hoping to quit my regular job by November. Crossing my fingers!!

    1. Welcome and congrats Kay. You guys are shaming Ryanne and I with how well you're doing.

      Just curious: what kind of books did you sell for $260. You say a lot of 52 books, but I assume they were very specific.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  43. Doing some research within the SL community. To those who do or have sold larger pieces as local pick-up, what are you experiences, stories, words of wisdom, pros and cons or selling furniture type items that are more suited for local pick up due to size or weight limitations.

    As many of you know, we have been downsizing from 6 antique mall booths over the past year, pulling all of the smalls home to be listing in our Ebay online venues. BUT, we do have two full booths of larger coffee tabkles, end tables, drop leaf tables, MARBLE TOP tables [Eastlake style that are very heavy], etc. still left in the remaining two booths.
    We thought about pulling everything into a close by storage locker and then listing in the Ebay store or CL, Offer-Up, etc.
    So we are all ears on any one's good, bad or ugly experience with moving the larger or heavier pieces locally.
    Jay and Ryanne have already mentioned there experience and we have book marked those comments, but what about the rest of the SL Community. We are all ears .. mike in atlanta.

    1. Mike, I haven't used local pickup on ebay, but I do sell larger items on CL and Offer-up. I always meet in a public location during day light hours where I know there are cameras. This usually ends up being gas stations or fast food places. I've never had a problem with this method.

  44. Just a funny observation.. In reference to the Ebay branded tape. I took a look at my first box I sent out using the tape last week and got a good laugh. Almost did the "coffee through the nose" thing. I had a mid-sized USPS boxed up item that I used the tape on and it was sitting on the out going shipment table and what a sight. It was a red, white and blue USPS box, printed in all it's glory AND had my traditional multi strips of the new Multi-colored Ebay tape and this thing looked like a "joke". If you were to put a small crank handle on the side of it, it looked like a "jack in the box". No kidding, all of that printed USPS info. combined with all of the repeated multi-colored tape and I swear if you were to turn a fake handle on it and it would play here we go around the Mulberrybush, then "POP" Goes the weasal out would come a clown.
    On a serious note, a USPS box with all of that Ebay tape does not look very professional to me. Now, even on the Ebay boxes, it comes close to a little much.
    I may just use my coupon on Ebay boxes and stick with the clear tape. Much more professional looking esthetically. But, this is just an opion,. but look at the next USPS box you tape up and send out and see if it looks like something you "won at a carnival". All in jest folks :-), but seriously.. mike in Atlanta

    1. I'm adding a couple of strips of EBay tape near the label on some plainer packages as branding to help the buyer recognize the purchase they are expecting. The tape is much thinner than the Costco stuff I've been using.

      I really like the 4 x 4 x 6 eBay boxes. I agree with Ryanne that the branding on those is rather muted. They are sturdy and fit in a padded flat rate too.

    2. I know what you mean, I have the tape too and looks a little gaudy to me with all ebay tape.

      I've been only using the ebay tape to seal the bottom and top seam. Then the rest with regular clear tape. Has a little ebay pizzaz to it but not too much.

    3. I have a lot of clear tape left so I'm still using it on the outside of Priority mail boxes. I don't mind the eBay tape on plain cardboard boxes, since I usually just have a single strip sealing the flaps anyway. On a large heavy box that needs lots of tape it might get annoying.

      What I like best about the eBay tape is that when I use it to seal bubble wrap around an item, the customer can easily find the tape to cut it, and if they want to they can even remove the tape completely and reuse the wrap. Other tapes I've used always seem to ruin the bubble wrap coming off, but with a little care the eBay tape will peel off cleanly.

  45. This was a first for me. Bought something for 5.22 with free shipping on EBay. Fantastic price. But then I got an amazon fba box in the mail. I went to amazon to find amazon was selling it for 3.30. My eBay seller evidently created a listing on eBay for something he knew he could get cheaper on amazon and then gift shipped me. I would have raised my eBay price if I was him. He made a little over a dollar profit after fees and such.

    1. Anne,
      ebay sellers can use Amazon's FBA to ship ebay items, FBA is not exclusively for Amazon sellers.

    2. Really? I had no idea. That's interesting.

    3. This happens to me all the time with things I purchase. I believe they do it in such a large volume that they can make a decent profit since they are selling a lot of items per day and don't really have to do anything except drop ship from amazon prime. Its probably not the most ethical thing in the world according to some but people definitely do it all the time.

    4. Yeah, it's a whole sub-culture of dudes (or ladies) who choose to never touch inventory. It's the "click business". I'd love to see a breakdown of the actual profit after a whole year. If you're only making 50-cents or less on each item, just one return could blow your profit for the day.

    5. Amazon Seller Central has a "place fulfillment order" drop down option on the inventory tab. Your seller must have had his items listed on ebay and FBA, he just places a fulfillment order, pays the amazon fulfillment fee, and they ship the order out for him. I'm brand new to FBA and just learned about this option this week. I'm considering sending in some of my ebay inventory.

  46. Out of curiosity what does everyone use to ship small jewelry in? I use a Dymo 4XL printer for shipping labels, I found boxes that are 4x6 but that's pretty big for a single set of earrings, necklace or ring. If I use 4x6 I will have to pack each box with dunnage. I also have the Dymo 450, but I have never tried to squeeze a shipping label on it, not even sure if its possible.

    I'm getting ready to expand into some jewelry and want to have a plan before I start making sales. Any advice is appreciated.

    1. I use a small jewelry box inside a 6x9 bubble mailer with some newspaper for extra cushion.

    2. i do the same, i collect small jewelry boxes when i see them at thrift stores and just ship in a small bubble mailer.

    3. I couldn't find enough small jewelry boxes, but found these on ebay:

    4. I always pick up hard shell eye glass cases when I see them for cheap.

    5. I use a 6x6x4 box that has a fold to make it 6x6x2 (MD664 “multi depth”) and it doesn’t take much to then fill the box with blank newsprint, grocery bags, or bubble wrap since the items are so light and the box is not easily crushable. (I wrap the item in gift tissue paper.) Bubble mailers are potentially cheaper than the boxes but then you need an inner box.

    6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    7. Thanks for the advice everyone, going to try the small box stuffed inside of a size #0 mailer.

  47. Retro Treasures WVMay 25, 2016 at 1:34 AM

    Weekly numbers

    Items in store: 300
    Items sold: 12
    Sales: $564.50
    COGS: $77
    Profit: $487.50
    Average profit: $40
    Best item: Florsheim imperial shoes $130

    Amazon FBA numbers:
    Items sold:11
    Fees: $119.16
    COGS: $85
    Profit: $125.19

    I hit the listing hard and crossed 300 items. Had a pretty good week. So awesome to get full price on those Florsheim shoes!

    It's a girl! We had our baby early Monday morning, and I am hoping to get some major listing done after a few days of getting used to the new grind. We'll see how that works out.

    1. Congrats on the newest addition to your family!

      I like how you put the average profit number.

    2. Retro, Congratulations on your new baby girl - Wonderful news!

    3. Huge congrats. More little workers for the workshop.

  48. I am sure this has been talked about before, but does anyone hire people to take pictures/list items? If so, how do you pay as well as what are they asked to do? Who researches items for title and pricing? Thanks.

  49. I go away frequently in the summertime for extra long weekends, and always adjust my handling time for these long weekends. One thing I have learned is to change my handling time a day or two before leaving town. This is how I cover the rare instance of a buyer who buys an item using Make Offer but does not pay promptly enough for me to ship their item before I leave town.

    It's just easier and less stressful for me if I know I have the extra couple of days built into my handling time to cover those infrequent instances where buyers are late with their payments. And it helps me keep my TRS rating without a problem. Yes, it costs a few dollars more in final value fees, but it is way less stress for me. Plus, we now have fewer trips to the post office on our way out of town, just because someone paid while we were packing the car - and that happened far too many times in the past.

  50. This morning I got a message from someone I sold a mug to last week and my first thought was "man, this better not be a return". And it was the farthest thing from it.

    The customer purchased a coffee mug from me and for some reason I accidentally had medium flat rate as my only shipping option so I refunded him the difference.

    He was messaging to thank me for that, how happy he was with the mug and that it will grace his desk in Manhattan while working for Madison Square Garden, and even included a picture of himself with the mug at work.

    Just wanted to share to remind us in between the snobby and irate customers that there are some people who are genuinely happy to find something the love =)

    1. I always remind Ryanne when we have good buyers. Most buyers are "good", just silent.

      We just had a buyer receive a package that was opened in the mail and the item was lost. He couldnt have been nicer. We worked it out together. Left us glowing feedback. Great experience.

  51. Hi guys...

    Thankfully sales have picked up again (after a mortifying 3-4 weeks,) as if that 'switch' that shut off has been turned back on again. Maybe a lot of this had to do with the May 1st adjustments on Ebay... dunno.

    Thanks so much for your podcasts... very comforting. I wanted to make one comment, though. There were some suggestions that if you can't make your bills, get a job (in addition to Ebay/Amazon). I used to make a lot of money writing for TV... women tend to 'age out' in this profession, sadly. I have a good 20 years, two kids... work dried up. I'm no spring chicken. After 5 years of being glum about how to reinvent myself, I started selling, thrifting, selling household stuff etc. I didn't have to go out in the world and get a job and hold my head in shame (McDonalds anyone?), after having been very successful (believe it or not, or a non-college graduate - restarting life at 55 with only 'wrote television' on your resume only... aside from sitting home and trying to write the great American novel that may or may not get published in ten years)... this scavanging was ideal, and lucrative. I have downsized considerably since the old days, do not have crazy outstanding bills... and have no real options aside from becoming a barista; this has been a blessing. So a really bad month - was scary - and I wanted to reach out. Suggesting I 'get a job' isn't a realistic option... at my age. ;-)

    On a happy note, I will start posting numbers... and thanks again for everyone support.

    1. Glad sales have picked up. That's awesome. I will stress that there's no evidence "switches get turned on and off". Welcome to retail. Slow and healthy sales will continue. Ask anyone who runs a brick & mortar store.

      Fair enough about the difficulty getting a job that meets your experience. But our point is simply about survival. If a seller can't cover their bills selling online, then getting a part-time job is not shameful. I've been known to work jobs "below" me. You do what you have to do.

      And as we talked in this podcast, do your best to create a "12 month" business. Make sure your expenses are low enough where even your slowest month covers them. When you have great months, save some of that money. This is living without a net.

  52. Ebay shipping supplies now offers 12 rolls of ebay tape for $23.99. I finally used my $25 coupon, prefer this since I don't have to pay anything.

  53. Hi Folks,
    I've been listening for about a year and it's time to introduce myself and contribute. I'm very appreciative of all the knowledge I've gleaned from Jay and Ryanne and the community here. I'm in WA state and ebay part-time. Mostly vintage, collectibles, odds and ends. I have a few niches I've developed from my personal interests. Yes, anything and everything! I have another biz I run also.

    In any case, just wanted to alert folks to a change on ebay that you may or may not have seen yet. They have changed the category structure in vintage clothing. Categories have been merged and some no longer exist. I run 30 day sales, best offer. I just returned from vacation and many of my listings died out. I went to relist items and they all errored. I list via Mac Garagesale. Now I have to manually go through every listing and find the new category and item specifics. What a pain! UGH!!! I haven't had the time to do this yet. It is definitely costing me time and $. I don't know how this will effect any Good Til cancelled vintage listings but they will probably error too.The changes don't even make sense. There are some folks complaining on the boards and I have added my voice to that. Not sure it will do anything.

    Here's the link to the category changes:

    Guess I'm just going to have to roll with this and adjust my listings but I'm not happy about it!

    1. We looked at all our listings (Good Til Cancelled). No errors.

    2. I recently stopped using GarageSale, because the sales tax field wasn't carrying over correctly. I find it quicker to list directly to eBay, but I love using Garage Pay. I've been able to find receipts for items I purchased, used and then resold on eBay.

    3. Glad it didn't effect your listings Jay. Anna - Garage sale is definitely not perfect but it saves me time. I like working off site, and I have templates built for common things I list i.e. vintage tshirt, vintage snapback etc., so I can just copy and plug in the data.
      What I mean by error is that, Garage sale updated to the new categories. My prior listings are built with the old category chosen, so when I go to relist Garage sale says "category no longer exists, pick a new one." So I don't think it's a fault from Garage Sale. I'm not sure how ebay is handling the new categories directly from their site if you relist. i.e. if you have something listed in an old category does it automatically merge it into the new category? Or will you get a prompt like I am? In any case, just wanted to alert the vintage clothing listers.

  54. Your talk about recycling reminded me of a book I read called Garbage Land by Elizabeth Royte. She was obsessed about where all the trash and recycling went that she produced at her Brooklyn apartment and put out on the curb so she tried to find out. Turns out a lot of what goes into your recycling bin just ends up in the dump anyway. A good book, but depressing.

  55. Anyone else having trouble with eBay on the Chrome browser? We can't list on Chrome because pictures will not upload & we are apt to get the spinning circle of death at any point in doing a listing.
    However, we can shift to Firefox and list with no problems.

    I have been having trouble looking at listings on Chrome too. The pictures will not change or enlarge. If I open the same items on Firefox, the pictures display properly.

    A simple Google search shows similar concerns going back several years. Any ideas?

    1. maybe try getting the latest Chrome update. Just google chrome and reinstall it..I use chrome all the time.

  56. FYI Ebay has a $15 off $75 coupon for Home and Garden or Sporting Goods this weekend in case you missed it.