Some of my interesting sales recently:Unopened pack of Star Wars cards, paid $3 sold for $20: http://www.ebay.com/itm/191867227725USS Denver belt buckle, paid $2 sold for $35: http://www.ebay.com/itm/191850779468Cassette head cleaners, paid less than $0.50 in a lot of other cassettes sold for $35 best offer and the buyer paid another $20 for shipping to Australia: http://www.ebay.com/itm/191867183703Don't think is shared the links to the cassette that I sold last week. Bought a box of unopened cassettes at an estate sale for $3 and sold these 20 for a combined best offer of $281 to the same buyer:http://www.ebay.com/itm/191867163186http://www.ebay.com/itm/191867165808http://www.ebay.com/itm/191867169436http://www.ebay.com/itm/191867175014http://www.ebay.com/itm/201579782494http://www.ebay.com/itm/201579785724
5/15 – 5/21Total Items in store: 468Items sold: 5Cost of items sold: approx. $29Total Sales: $465Highest price sold: $400 Vintage Hydraulic lifters (GM car part) $20 costAverage price sold: $93.00Int’l sales: 0Returns: 0Number of items listed this week: 0Amazon disbursement - $373Full time ebay goal - March 2018Ebay to Amazon experiment – Had 5 sales. Cost $167. Sold $436. Amazon fees $59 (13.5%). Profit $210. Average profit per sale $42.Total Amazon disbursement (the amount they deposited this week) $372.96. I have been sending in some thrift store items and decided to report this amount as well. I do not have a way of knowing which sold items were included with this disbursement, so I can’t do a “profit” on these items.
Ugh! Two days in a row now my pkg pickup has been missed. I even put in a note explaining the whole process since their not used to this route. They didn't bother to even read it because it wasn't moved at all. And calling my post office does nothing. It's frustrating because we live in a society where if you try to get something corrected that involves certain people you either get major attitude or have to fear retaliation. I'm not trying to make my mail carrier my enemy. I just don't know what to do. The post office is in the opposite direction of my day. I'd lose an hour everyday if I have to drop them off myself. Sorry for venting but it's like every few months we get a new carrier and most are great but a few are duds and I suffer until they leave.
Omigosh, that is awful. People just need to do their jobs. Cripes!
I would try to talk to someone (preferably a boss) and explain that your livelihood depends on it. If that doesn't work, you might have to go above their head. It will probably take some research and calling. It's not like you're asking them to do something special for you. It's a shame they can't do their job. And mention they need to be scanned when they're picked-up!
Speaking of scanning, I just got TRS status last month. I have 1 day hndling set and I always ship same day or next day, but my "Tracking uploaded on time and validated" rating is at 96.88%. Ebay says you will lose TRS if you go below 90%. The details:Tracking uploaded 100.00%Tracking uploaded within handling time 100.00%Tracking uploaded and validated by carrier 96.88%That last figure tells the tale. It the USPS not scanning the package in time.How can ebay hold us accountable for what the USPS does after they pick up a package we got out on time? That seems like incompetence - or just bad faith on ebay's part.
Anonymous #1: Welcome to Business Owner 101. They will always will be issues with suppliers, shipping, etc. It sucks but this is part of the job. The buck stops with you. As Eve suggested, make sure you are officially requesting a pickup online. This gets it into their system. Meet the Postal Carrier when they come to drop off mail and talk to them in person. If they are not picking up, call the supervisor. If the supervisor is not responding, call the Post Master. Go in person. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.USPS is a giant operation. https://about.usps.com/who-we-are/postal-facts/size-scope.htmOver 600k employees so there will always be people who don;t do their job. Make them work for you.We have a great post office. There's a waiting list to work there. A very coveted position. Our carrier knows us by name and readily admits that we're the reason why she has a job. A good symbiotic relationship.
Anonymous #2:Let's think this through. How should eBay determine if sellers are actually shipping on time? If they depend on sellers to just enter the tracking, it's a well-known ploy to enter the number and then sit on the package for a week. The scanning by the carrier is the only check and balance. If your postal carrier isnt scanning the moment they pick up, then talk to your carrier. Meet them at the mail box. Have a discussion about the system. If the carrier is unresponsive, call the post master.
I actually like that eBay uses the postal scan. I understand how it could be unfair at times but it also penalizes sellers who create a label and then don't ship for a week. I've encountered that many times as a buyer. I usually msg them and let them know I'm waiting on the item and to please ship it.
You probably don't get this a lot where you are, but there are often subs on this route. I believe they are responsible for most of the late scans. Then again, I have been told a scan may not show up in the system for over a day. Lots of contradictory behavior and explanations from the USPS...I don't begrudge ebay trying to get sellers to ship quickly, I just think using the scan metric is problematic. I also don't have a grudge against the USPS. 96.88% of the time I'm very happy...
I've noticed that now you can't submit a pick-up request if you're only shipping first class, which is a bummer. The majority of what I ship is first class, especially since it goes up to 16 oz now. They still take the package if I leave it out, but I worry that if I don't get mail that day, they won't see the package. It hasn't been a problem so far, so I'll just cross my fingers!
I think eBay should just code the tracking into their system so that when you upload it and it is delivered within their estimate, then all is good (you know, the estimate when you purchase something that gives you a date range of arrival?). That way, as long as you upload within your handling time, you are not apt to be punished based on the whims of others - lazy carrier not scanning them in, missed pickups, or the recipient dinging you for a shipping delay when it still arrived within that estimated time frame.
Sarah, there was a notice posted on Ebay that if you have any first class, parcel select, media mail packages, select the "returns" section on the USPS online scheduling page and you can schedule your pickup that way. Of course, if you have at least one priority package, then the others can be added in the correct fields.
Sarah, they changed it back (again) and you can schedule a pickup for First Class without any workarounds. Teresa, that's exactly how it already works. You only get a late shipment ding if the package both misses a scan *and* arrives later than whatever eBay's estimate was. Also their estimates seem to be a little more generous than USPS's in some cases (mostly with First Class mail, I think). This has saved me from a few dings when substitute mail carriers miss pickups.Also, to Anonymous above who was talking about having only 96.88% for "Tracking uploaded and validated by carrier" -- those dashboard numbers often seem to be off, I guess because the scan hadn't come through yet at the time the report was run. I'm always seeing mine dip down to 96 or 97% and then when I look again, it will be back up at 100%. That number *doesn't* require the package to be scanned at any particular time, just to be scanned by the USPS anywhere along the route, so it really should be 100% unless you're printing labels you don't actually use for some reason. I just ignore the flaky report and have never had a problem.
Thank you Anon and Margana! I guess I just hadn't tried it again since the last time it didn't work.
HiAre u scheduling a pick up online? If not, that's where u have to start. Schedule your pick up everyday with one priority minimum. Then if they don't show up, they get in trouble for that. Ask for the person in charge of your route or the postmaster.
My online scheduler doesn't work properly. More failures at my local post office. I used to do it but they would still miss my pick up or ring my door bell for pkgs I don't have since their system didn't tell them that that was yesterday's message. Basically the last good carrier I had said the system doesn't always update properly or the guy who dispatches the pick ups misses it. I honestly think it's just the carrier doesn't want to walk up my slight incline of a driveway. I'd buy a giant mailbox to put down there but that just screams hey I've got packages for someone to steal. Plus a lot of my bigger pkgs wouldn't fit. I so wish I could move to the country but I'm stuck in a mortgage in a declining neighborhood.
Do both. Do an online request and a note in the mail box. My postal carrier is great and always picks up when I schedule a pick up. When he is off it's another story.
I'm curious as to how others would handle this... A buyer left me positive feedback and for a comment, wrote in the name of his preferred presidential candidate, the year, and some "!!!" The political statement does not offend or concern me, but I want to make sure I do not offend other potential buyers. More than likely, most will not notice.
Let it scroll on by...The comment, like the candidate, will be overtaken by others and forgotten by all but a few...
I'd say most buyers dont read reviews. And as Anonymous said, it'll be way down the page soon. But you can always call eBay and have it removed. I'm sure they'd agree it's inappropriate. Only 120 more days till the election!
Thanks Anon and Jay, I agree.
Looking for thoughts from scavengers. I have about 1550 items in my store. Considering this and the fact that 500 of those have just been listed in the last 3 months, my sales are abysmal. I tried a clothing experiment, stuffing my store with clothes from the GW outlet. Now I have many tubs in my dining room filled with apparently undesirable clothing. I am trying 50% off sales to move it. I also have some awesome things such as Quimper pottery and some antique salvage, really a huge variety of items. I live in the Midwest. Commodity quality clothing is cheap and abundant. Nice stuff, not so much. I'm trying to work with what I can find. But also make enough profit to live on. I am a single mother and this is our only income. If I hustle, I can list 75 items a week, but not the 200 it seems to require to sell clothes and make a good weekly profit. I closely follow many sellers, some of which who have a quarter of my inventory but make double my sales. My question is do you think that each item stands alone or do items in one's store affect the other items? Does old inventory weigh the whole store down? Should I dump the clothes? Never buy another Ralph Lauren Abercrombie or Loft item again?
Can you be more specific:--how much are you averaging a week in profit?--how much do you need to make a month to pay bills?
Last week my sales were about $800 (50% off sale.) The two previous week's were about $250 each :( Its soooo inconsistent for me. I need approx $2200 minimum net per month.
So you need to gross $700-800/week to net $2200/month. I find that the sellers here that have fairly small inventories and make good money are focusing on quality. They sell items for $100+. Every item is well-researched.The people who sell clothes and make good money go for volume (often not always). What's your average sale price per item?If you sold 30 items a week, your average price needs to be $27.
Thanks for your replies Jay. I averaged my sales for the last 5 weeks and my average selling price is $31.60. I guess I just can't figure out why I don't sell more items each week. Why do I go 2-3 days per week with no sales? Last year I was listing maybe 20-25 items per week so perhaps that explains low sales for that time period? But for the last two months I have averaged 53 items per week. And not all of the items are clothes. I will do a GW haul + an estate sale or auction haul each week so it's a mix. I began eBay selling about two years ago and I have some cheap items from that period that I would never purchase again. I am driving myself crazy wondering if those items are dragging my store down. Although... when my store was new, I seemed to have an easier time selling junkier items. This sends me down conspiracy theory lane. I have tried the "sell similar" trick for two weeks. No sales from that. I feel like I'm trying to crack a code.
Sell similar is no hoax. It really bumps that item up in search rank at the beginning and the end of the 30 day listing period. You don't get a bump up on 30 day GTC except on the very first time you list the item. This strategy is most useful on in demand items like clothing. Not one of a kind unique stuff like J&R sell.One thing I might add. List your stuff during prime hours. I just listed one thing now before bed, and just as I am checking this blog I have 2 sales back to back. With the new seller hub traffic stats you can see these results for yourself.
I feel you anon 1. I'm in the same exact boat. I have over 1000 listings but barely make 300 most weeks. I don't understand how some people kill it and others struggle even if they sell similar items. I'm beginning to think it's their presence on EBay or other social media helping to drive sales. It seems people with the greatest followers make more money.
I'm sure social media helps. I have spent some time analyzing the stores of other scavengers and I've reached two conclusions. Either niche in very high dollar items or list like a crazy person for results. I think people underestimate how important the quantity of listings drive sales, many people in here don't list that number. As far the Casino search engine tips go - has anyone had any results? I have not. Are these tips just more speculation like what we are doing here? Also many of the tips are for people who sell multi quantity listings.
I wouldn't try to compare sales with someone who has a large social media presence, or a well established group of followers. As soon as they post something they have exposure to hundreds, sometimes thousands of potentials customers. Theses folks have worked years to build that customer base and its tough to compete against that. For me clothing sales are erratic, I do mostly low dollar/ high volume sales. Right now I seem to be selling more winter clothing than I did during the winter time. Im chalking this up to unseasonably cold May and retail stores not stocking winter items. If you go to the GW outlet have you looked at branching out to household items, toys or electronics? I do well in those areas when I go the outlet. If you believe the older cheap stuff is dragging your store down, and your paying to relist them, cull them out and donate to recoup a fraction of the costs.
I don't know if it will help or not, but I've been pulling everything from my store - and from death piles - that won't net me at least $10. (That's net, not gross). As I look for and find more expensive items I will raise that number, but I usually feel ok about netting $10 on an item if the time I spent on it adds up to around 15 minutes total (that means from sourcing through packing it up). Any more than that and it's not worth it to me. There are too many things out there that will net me twice that or more for the same effort. That under $10 stuff is all going into storage bins for now and into another room. I'm not going to waste any time trying to figure out what to do with it now. Just get it out of the way and list. When I started, I did a lot of research and bought things from as many different categories as I could. I guess I'm still doing that, and still learning. There are things that always sell in time, say mugs for instance. As they can take months or years to sell, if you wanted to make a living selling mugs you probably could if you listed 3,000-5,000 of them. I think clothes are the same for the most part, but you can generally sell each unit for a much higher price than an average mug, so you don't have to have as big an inventory. Anyway, I'm just rambling now. I'll just end by agreeing with what many have said: it's a numbers game. People think there is a connection between the act of listing and selling more, but I see it slightly differently. Not to get too Zen here but I think you have more sales because there is more out there of yours for people to buy. The distinction is important (at least to me) because it shows there is zero magic (special ebay algorithms to reward you) to the game. It's just getting more stuff out there to be seen. Now if everything you're listing is stuff no one wants to buy, that's a problem, but you just said you had pretty good sales. Now that I think about it, it sounds like you had a couple of slow weeks in between decent sales weeks. What about before that? My hunch is you just need to get more listed. Maybe a friend can help? Well, that's my 2 cents.Good luck.
To Anon #1: if you are not already, why not experiment with running regular sales, running a few auctions, and maybe ending listings to see if any of these techniques boost your sales? You could also try pinning your more interesting items on Pinterest. That is a pretty quick way to get exposure outside of eBay.
You could also experiment with starting a second account and filling it with only higher dollar items to see if you experience a better sell through rate.You wouldn't need to sign up for a store right away so it wouldn't really cost that much extra to play around with it.There are certainly some weird patterns to sales. I feel like ebay can start to punish you if it serves up enough listings and no one bites. So long tail items don't necessarily hurt you, but over priced or poor condition short tail items might.But I don't want to speculate too much.
Yes, never buy a RL, Abercrombie, or LOFT item again, unless it is special in its own right - cashmere, wool coat, silk dress, leather skirt, etc. eBay is over-saturated with these labels if they are just a cotton sweater, polo, shorts, etc.I have experienced a downturn over the last months as well. I have over 1000 items but am selling 25-30% less than all of last year, even though I'm listing more. I think eBay is getting a disproportionate amount of sellers be buyers (maybe due to wonderful podcasts and videos like these!!!). There is also more of a "race to the bottom" as far as prices.I've started making sure I list "stuff" along with the clothing each day as I think that may draw more attention and as a result, keep my clothing higher in search. We'll see if it helps!Perhaps you could pair up your cheaper stale stuff (ex, 2 same size polos) to increase your average sale (less work to ship too).Good luck!
I'm not a full-time seller so I don't typically post my numbers on here but I do track them very diligently. In my mind the equation more listings = more money is not always true. My store averages between 100-200 items in it and I gross $1,500 to $3,000 per month. I'm not making heaps of cash but I'm always impressed how much I can sell with a small inventory. Others on here have 10 to 20 times more inventory than me but don't make 10 to 20 times more money each month. I have a few things I do to try to keep sales up, I have no idea how much they make a difference but I figured I'd share them. Every month or two I go through my inventory spreadsheet that I keep on google docs and will drop the price or tweak the listing on my oldest items. If I can't sell the item after a year or two and the price gets below $10 then I delist it, get rid of it and make sure I don’t buy that type of item again. I also like to sort my active listings based on views. If I have an item that has been listed for a while and either has hundreds of views or almost no views then I'll check things like keywords, category and shipping price to make sure I didn't goof something up. If all looks good I sometimes lower the price. I also try to do listing frequently and in small bursts. In my opinion eBay does seem to reward frequent activity so I queue up a bunch of items I intend to list similar to how J&R use their folder system and then I do a little bit of listing at night after work every day or two. A day I don’t list anything might be the day I do some of my inventory tweaks or delist some old stuff that’s not selling. I also try to avoid categories of items that I've had trouble selling quickly in the past. I like to focus on electronics (new and vintage), luggage, toys, hats, cookware and anything people of my age-group (20's to 30's) might feel nostalgic about.
This is Sonia. Thanks so much for sharing your process, Jason! I am impressed by the income you're getting from such a small inventory, and I hope to slowly move towards emulating that. I have the Basic Store subscription, and am very close to having 250 items listed (the limit), at which point I am going to do some serious culling of the low value crap I accumulated last autumn when I was just getting started. Your post has provided some needed encouragement/validation on that front. When I first started, my profit per sale was <$10, but I've been working really hard on sourcing higher value items, and now my avg profit for the last 10 sales is just over $20. I hope to continue that trend.
I sold a Korean War era duffle bag to the nephew of a very famous fashion designer in CA about 6 weeks ago as well! My friends and I had fun speculating what it would be used for.
i think we sold to the same person then. guess he's collecting?
We had a pretty good week ourselves, we are finally over 800 listings, sold 22 items and made about $450, averaging about $18 per sale (we want to hit $20, but we have LOTS of items under $5 which drags our average down). Check out our What Sold video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTyyo6zzqDA
Here are some random sales$30 for a rubber Harley strap. Literally a chunk of rubber.http://www.ebay.com/itm/Genuine-Vintage-Harley-Davidson-Rubber-Strap-Goes-Between-2-Gas-Tanks-/151694449942$125 for a ratty Piano music boxhttp://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Wind-Up-Grand-Piano-Decorative-Music-Box-/162007840749$20 for a Martina McBride cassette love it!http://www.ebay.com/itm/Time-Has-Come-Martina-McBride-Cassette-Oct-1999-BMG-Special-Products-/161807449442$75 for chess wall pieceshttp://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Burwood-Products-Inc-Set-Four-Chess-Piece-Decorative-Wall-Plaques-/152024936501$50 for Carhartt overallshttp://www.ebay.com/itm/Carhartt-Casual-Denim-Overalls-Mens-Size-34x30-/152081306023$35 for a lighter gun laser pointerhttp://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Collectible-Silver-Novelty-P7M13-Gun-Shaped-Torch-Lighter-/152026209702$79.99 for a Red Sox hathttp://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-80s-MLB-Boston-Red-Sox-Trucker-Hat-Mens-One-Size-Fits-All-/151879380393$225 for a crappy old school record/radio and it was gsp. That was fun to pack. Got a positive feedback on that thank goodness.http://www.ebay.com/itm/Lenox-Stereo-AM-FM-Receiver-8-Track-Cassette-Tape-Record-Player-BSR-Turntable-/162003549028I have been looking at some stores from people following me on here and people are definitely not asking enough money for their items. I see a lot of good stuff but you are giving it away peeps! RAISE YOUR PRICES. You can always accept a lower offer. People aren't going to offer you more money for it.You should be asking $24.99 minimum for a t-shirtMinimum $29.99 for jeans$39.99 for sweaters. $79.99 for any type of shoes minimum.Then work your way down on offers.Don't start off asking $10 for a nice sweater or pair of jeans.
I think it depends on the competition of your item though. If you have a T-shirt that 50 other people are selling for 8-20 dollars, don't expect yours to ever sell or even be seen if you make it higher than the highest price. There are a few exclusions of course such as quality or bad listings. And you don't know each sellers story. They may have had higher prices on their items and decided to lower them based on something in their research or plan.
I disagree. I sell stuff for a higher price all the time where there are 50 others listed. I sold this t-shirt for the full $49.99http://www.ebay.com/itm/Peanuts-Charlie-Brown-Available-Sleepovers-T-shirt-Mens-Size-L-NWT-/162042363883You can buy it on the target website $12.99http://www.target.com/p/men-s-peanuts-sleepovers-t-shirt-black/-/A-17395961You can price items as high as you want within a certain context if you have make offer on it.People waste way too much time analyzing prices and trying to fit in on price point. Its a complete waste of your time if you are doing that. You should research the item and know what it sells for at the top end and price it 20% higher. If you are pricing your item "competitively" you are leaving money on the table.
I sell higher priced every day shirts when someone at a lower price might not sell theirs. PLUS, Dan O'Neill sells the same shirt I'm selling at much higher prices and many times in a day! So, my current opinion is this: you might sell your $18 shirt today but the guy who came along and bought would have bought that shirt at $25 too but you didn't ask for it.
This is why you don't research what is a "competitive price"These sold for $29.99 with $8.99 shipping.http://www.ebay.com/itm/American-Eagle-Outfitters-Casual-Khaki-Shorts-Mens-Size-38-/162001543139This is the description"There is a hole. The button is missing to button the shorts. There are stains. Please review the pictures."If I priced these "competitive" I would have to list them for .99 cents because why would someone price these competitively for $29.99? I don't know why the buyer chose to buy these particular pair of shorts but they did and there are like 1,000 other pairs of the same size cargo shorts on ebay in better condition for a cheaper price.
I agree. I am the anonymous from above with the 1550 items. I tried $39.99 for nice wool sweaters and $29.99 for jeans with best offer and those items languished in my store for 2 years with ZERO offers. They didn't move until I ran a sale. If you look at amazing*tastes completeds she isn't selling things for high prices like that but she is still making huge weekly sales. I want to turn a profit, not hold on to my precious sweater for two years. I think many people don't want to fool with making offers on jeans and sweaters which they can do because clothing is so abundant. They are sorting by price and those with high prices are at the bottom of the heap. High price, best offer is most successful for truly high value, high quality and rare items, not common clothes in my experience.
I had a Beatles shirt from the very first time I picked at Goodwill. Been in my store since October, Good-Til-Cancelled. This week came time for it to auto-relist which I ended it before that happened and listed similar. It sold within in 24 hours of listing. Re-new your stale inventory and you will get them sold.
She knows way more than I ever will about clothes. I will have to defer to her on that because she is like the Einstein of selling clothes. I could never do what she does as far as having what's in style etc. I can show you about 600 common clothes I have sold for way more than they should sell for. I am not selling anything rare or special for the most part. I have proven results that contradict your findings. I have tried to sell items that I have seen J&R sell without a ton of luck but I can't say it's not successful because it didn't work for me a handful of times. You need to have thousands of items on hand to know if something is truly not working. I have like 700 pairs of jeans. If none of them sold there is a problem. If I had like 50 pairs of jeans and none of them sold well in the grand scheme of things that's not very many pairs of jeans.Boring clothes sell for a lot of money all the time and it's not really debatable.
How many items have you sold in the past 90 days in ratio to the number of items in your inventory? Converting those items to sales is the point.
"Converting those items to sales is the point" well I guess that is half right. The point is to convert those items into a profit and if you are only using a 90 day window as a benchmark then you need to re-evaluate a few things. As the legendary JL Collins would say you can take any piece of information in a short window and manipulate it to try and make a "point". Let's look at the big picture of my sales from 1999 until now and see the larger picture. But if you want to use a 90 day window out of 17 years then go ahead.You can easily go count up my sales and do the math if you are really that interested. It's very simple just go to my feedback left for others and add it up. I pay for an anchor store so I can have 10K items plus 1K auctions a month and it will cost me the same regardless assuming I am under those numbers. Sure sales are great but volume is only impressive if the profit margin is high. I can easily blowout a ton of items and sell 2K items in a month. Ok great I sold 2K items this month. What is the profit margin on the items I sold?What is my opportunity cost if I sold a pair a shorts for $10 or if I waited 18 months and sold them for $30....If you are looking to move items quick that is fine but you better have a lot of volume to make up for the lower margins. If you have an anchor store you are paying the same amount if you have 3K listing or 9,999 listings. I will take higher margins or quick flips any day of the week.
Dan,Apologies as this is off topic- but I just wanted to mention that after listening to your interview I was inspired to hire extra help of my own. I had a girl taking photos and listing for me but I eventually let her go as her photos were all atrocious despite explaining what I was looking for. I decided to take the advice you mentioned to someone else here and posted an ad on Craigslist for an EBay photographer & an EBay lister as 2 separate jobs to avoid burnout.I've received about a half dozen extremely hostile and abusive replies discussing how I am trying to run a sweatshop. What's surprising is that my listing was very simple and obviously much less demanding then my previous post where I had 1 person doing double the work (for the same amount of $). I'm based in NYC and wondering if you ran into a similar problem. I literally am only asking for someone to point and shoot photos (no photo editing or uploading) but it's made me wary to even attempt to hire out for that position now.Suzy
People need to find what works for them. I think people shouldn't give their stuff away but pricing a non unique item where it's not competitive is going to discourage a lot of new sellers as their items will just sit there unsold. Maybe it will work for them though. It's kinda like the the free shipping or calculated shipping argument. There are plenty of successful sellers that do both. Does that make one better than the other? Who knows. I think the greatest thing about eBay is it's so easy to try new methods. No other business can you change pricing, shipping, brand with a few clicks of the mouse. Do an experiment and see if this new idea works for you.
Susan I am in the Albany area. That is weird on the hostile messages. I wouldn't pay too much attention to those. The guy that does a bulk of my pictures didn't take very good pictures initially but I gave him the tools to make them better. White back drop, lighting, mannequins, etc. I went over to his house and set up a spot for him and that drastically improved the pics. You just need to train the person on how you want it done because a lot of it is them just not knowing. You don't know what you don't know and that is usually the case when people first start out taking the pictures. Lighting is usually the most important thing to good pics so providing them with the proper tools is important. If you spend time setting up a work station with them and showing them how you want it done and they still mess it up then I'm not sure what else you can do.
Let's say an item will sell right away for $10. But by waiting 6 months, you can get $20. Assume unlimited storage.It's the same amount of work either way. But your wage per hour is a lot higher if you wait. Repeat with thousands of items.... Can everyone make it work? I dunno. But Dan's store is more impressive to me than a similar store cranking out twice the volume at half the price.
Dan,I also listened to your interview with Jay and was inspired by the subject of the hiring of a photographer. You mentioned you interviewed many individuals. What stood out with the person you hired over the others? You obviously invested time and money with training and equipping him. So its not like he was ready to jump out of the gate running. Is there anything else that you would like to see your photographer do in his process or methods?Thanks in advance.
I could tell the guy would be reliable and trust worthy. I could have gone with people that seemed like they were more tech savvy but I wanted someone that was in it for the long haul. Bad pictures by someone you hire initially are fine. It should be expected. You just need to show them how to improve them. It's like any other job you need to provide some training and guidance then let them run with it.
Enjoying this conversation all around. I really like what Mike said: "I think the greatest thing about eBay is it's so easy to try new methods."If you're coming at an eBay problem thinking it's just a big conspiracy, then you've given up. People are selling on eBay. People are making money. This idea that the evil eye of eBay has fallen on your tiny, microscopic store is delusional.But even so, you can always start a second eBay store if you think your first store is "cursed". Play with prices. Play with sales. Sell different kinds of items. But always be listing more. I think people also just forget that it's almost the summer time. Sales slow down for every retailer in the country. This happens every year. Turn off your built-in forgetter and just start working for the Xmas season. This clip never gets old: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4PE2hSqVnk
Thanks for that clip - awesome in so nany ways!!!
Can someone please reference what episode was Dan's interview? Thanks!
http://www.scavengerlife.com/2016/01/scavenger-life-episode-238-how-to-find.htmlYou always just use the search feature on the sidebar. It;'s not perfect, but gets you where you need to go.
Dan, I get a lot of pleasure out of "stalking" your store, and thoroughly enjoy seeing all the great variety of items that you offer. And, I definitely subscribe to the theory of listing items high, since it is always an option to come down in price with a Best Offer. I generally set up my listings to reject any offers below 50%; and then I consider any offers above 50%. Also, I rarely do free shipping, but I do offer free shipping on exceptionally high-priced items, and sometimes on very lightweight items. I try to just pepper in the free shipping, as a teaser, but it's not something that I offer based on anything other than a gut feeling. One thought that I have had is that it seems to be rather challenging to make decent money selling only clothing, without a fairly large inventory. I am not sure where that point is, but I am not there yet, after just reaching 1,000 items. I also find that if I run short-term MM sales frequently in different categories, that spurs more sales, although items selling are generally not the ones on sale, but that's okay.
Hey Pat I wish I could tell you the magic number where you would reach consistent income. It's funny because I was talking to Jay about that and I am trying to figure it out myself. Despite having the amount of listings I do I wouldn't feel comfortable in living off the income I am making on ebay. Maybe that is where your standard of living comes into play and what you are comfortable living on for an income. I am used to a certain amount of income and am not willing to take a cut even though I would gain more personal freedom. Mainly due to student loans and mortgage. I can cover those with what I am making on ebay but my nest egg wouldn't grow and if I don't see x amount of income coming in then I would be very stressed out. I am sure there are others that would love to have that be their income level and it would be more than enough.I know in one area where I am starting my new venture for cards there is a "magic" number in a certain context. Since March I have loaded 40,000 cards onto this site. Manual data entry is basically what it is and an unhealthy amount of organization. http://marketplace.beckett.com/newvintageny_1354Any normal person would say wow 40K cards listed that is crazy. But if that is all you had listed you couldn't even cover your monthly fees and would be out of business. Most stores that are successful on this site have around 800K to 1M cards listed and that generates consistent revenue. I am only 4% of the way there. I guess my point is to new people on ebay like I am on this site I just started on you need to keep it in perspective. All you can do is keep listing until you get to a number that allows you to feel comfortable. Maybe it's 5K items maybe it's 20K items. The only solution I can wrap my mind around is keep listing until you find a number that works for you. Personally I have no idea what that number is for me.
Hi Dan, So good to hear about your adventures with Beckett. Wow! Is all I can say about your huge inventory - that's amazing; and I can only imagine how much organization it requires. Kudos to you for your ambition and willingness to try new venues; very cool!Your comments are always very thought-provoking for me, and I truly appreciate your presence here on Scavenger Life. I imagine that Jay & Ryanne will have to do regular follow-up interviews with you and Lisa to keep us up to date, since you always have a lot of balls in the air.When I started selling on EBay, I was always looking for that magic number of listiings. I thought it was 200, then I thought it was 500, and now I think it could be 2,000; but perhaps not. I guess my point is that it's probably a different number for each individual based on their circumstances such as standard of living, debt, or perhaps other obligations. And it is totally unique for each individual. I did not realize that when I started, and maybe that's a good thing because I might have been discouraged or overwhelmed. Instead, now I must say that while I have had some disappointments along the way, I truly enjoy challenging myself to list more efficiently, find better products, and generally build up my knowledge along with my store inventory. I think I originally thought there was a "destination" I was reaching for - but now I have come to realize that instead, it's a "process" and it's very important to enjoy every step of the process. Also, I think the greatest success comes to those who find the greatest pleasure in the process. Who knew that selling old sweaters and clothing on EBay could teach me so much about life !!
What is your take on not doing best offer though? If you have a $39.99 sweater, what is your average accepted offer price? Do you think $24.99 on a sweater is good if there is no best offer? Free shipping we are talking of course.
I would not do free shipping on anything. I know it's socially unacceptable to say but I make money on all items I ship because it's shipping and handling. Which makes no sense because we all try to maximize money on sales but leave money on the table for shipping. I charge $8.99 to ship sweaters and jeans and I sell a lot of them. I charge a flat rate and don't do calculated shipping. I know worst case I can put them in a padded flat rate. I would probably take $24.99 on a sweater but I also get the $8.99 in shipping. Here are a few I sold. You are leaving too much money on the table in my opinion.How many complaints about my shipping prices have I gotten? Zero. If someone were to complain I would say well that's what it is don't buy it but I have had maybe one or two people do that the past couple years.If you sell 10 sweaters at your current structure for the full price you will make good money but you can have an extra $90 easily by charging shipping and maybe even more raising the prices.http://www.ebay.com/itm/Adidas-Casual-Athletic-MLB-New-York-Yankees-Track-Jacket-Mens-Size-2XL-/162046837382http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-LEVI-STRAUSS-Premium-Jeans-Mens-Size-31X32-/151671898094http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-80s-Lee-Jeans-Mens-Size-46x30-/151680546556http://www.ebay.com/itm/Jos-A-Bank-Casual-Striped-Dress-Shorts-Mens-Size-44W-/162035311184http://www.ebay.com/itm/Polo-Ralph-Lauren-Casual-Dress-Pants-Mens-Size-42x32-/162037303174http://www.ebay.com/itm/Abercrombie-Fitch-Casual-Khaki-Shorts-Mens-Size-33-/151838285399http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Wrangler-Hero-Originals-Casual-Cargo-Pants-Mens-Size-34x32-/152053035822
You might persuade me to try it. I've always been told to do free shipping (eBay even says told me to). I think maybe next week I will add a $5.99 flat shipping fee to all my items for one week and find out if my sales dip or stay the same (but with more profit).
Definitely charge shipping. The only items I sometimes offer free shipping on are less than 8 oz and then I add $3 to the purchase price. Free shipping does boost you in search results, but why lose money.
I believe Dan is dropping some wisdom here. This advice is probably as close to gold as you're going to get.
Agree with anonymous
But how many sales are you costing yourself by not adding free shipping and being bumped down on the search engine? I can never decide whether to offer it or not. I hate to miss out on profit there, and adding the shipping price to the price of the product only makes it "look" more expensive? Does eBay really bumb free shipping items?
I have no idea how many sales I am not making due to my model. I know how many sales I am making with my model. It's impossible to know how many more sales I would or would not make if I had free shipping. I don't think I am missing out on extra sales personally and I see that people that do offer free shipping or start low auction prices typically get smoked.
Someone else on here a while back, suggested that lower prices trumps free shipping.
I hate "free shipping" because its never free. The seller just raises the base price. Feels like bait and switch to me. I always search for lowest price INCLUDING shipping cost. But again, if you can figure out free shipping where you can somewhat control costs, go for it. But I promise you that 'free shipping" is not a miracle sales technique.
I'm with you Anna. I do it sometimes for lightweight items that I know will cost less than 3 dollars to ship. And the reason for me is my competition is all doing the same. People don't like to do the math and the word free sticks out. I also sometimes do it on an expensive item where I can mask the shipping cost easily. Plus I feel like if you paid 200 dollars for an item that I paid a dollar for, I'll ship it to you free if it's cheap for me.
We offer free shipping. For years we did not. Here is why: a lot of time was lost dealing with re negotiators after auction about shipping. Either: people flat out complained it was too high (even though it was the same as most sellers); would play dumb on combined shipping and complain about that; or pretend they thought shipping was free. Overseas people would do the same. For clarity, we added a huge Box clearly outlining shipping charges that a Mr. Magoo couldn't miss. Didn't matter. It was a real pain in the butt.So after several years, we tried free shipping in the USA. We charge for overseas.So yes prices went up, but overall our ratings are much better on all fronts. Putting emotions aside, and "on principle" aside, the decrease in irritated or renegotiating customers sucking up our time with shipping issues was worth the exchange. We know we made money off shipping, and now we make less on shipping, but the less dings, and less quibbling was well worth it and created a better customer service experience overall.
It's interesting the different experiences for different sellers. We've been selling since 2008. I can count on one hand the number of times a buyer has complained about shipping charges. I can't remember the last time it was an issue. But yes, we should each do whatever we need to do for peace of mind.
I've never really gotten complaints about high shipping and I charge less than you guys do but I've noticed my star ratings are never full on shipping price. So people are still complaining that way.
Understood. Does anyone look at star ratings? I just did for the first time in years. We have 4.8 out of 5 for shipping and handling charges. I'll take it.
I think shipping can be more of an issue depending on where in the country you live. I'm starting to think living in Florida is a disadvantage for me in regards to shipping cost. I have calculated shipping on all my items and about once a month I get somebody who sends me a message complaining on about the shipping cost on one of my items. Sometimes the same person will send me messages for days on end asking why my shipping charges are so high acting like they have called me out on some sort of price gouging technique.
I don't ever do free shipping, but the 20% off FVF doesn't apply to shipping, so wouldn't it make some difference if you only did free shipping and were getting 20% FVF off the item price? I haven't figured out if it would end up a wash. Has anyone considered this? I was also thinking, until I'm doing R&J level sales, the TRS FVF discount might not add up to enough to put myself under the gun of same or 1-day shipping. Which reminds me, I recently ran across a huge volume seller who had 99.9% positive feedback, offers fast and free shipping but wasn't a TRS. Didn't quite understand that...
What sold 5/18 to 5/24/16https://youtu.be/2IA3z_5sNZQ
Thanks for sharing! Always great info.
Steven I really enjoy your videos and appreciate that you comment on how long things took to sell or how often you've sold that type of item, etc. TFS.
Sonia here. Thanks for the video! The word Cyrillic is pronounced in English with an S sound at the beginning, just like the name Cyril. Though your K pronunciation is correct in a different way. His name (the guy who invented the alphabet) in slavic languages is actually Kiril with a K sound. This is probably more than you ever wanted to know on the topic... :)
Thanks for the clarification Sonia, and for the extra bit about Kiril.
My best recent sale was a set of revere ware 14 pc pots/pans. Picked them up for $37, but sold them for $169 plus shipping. I wrote about restoring the vintage pieces if anyone is interested here: @ How to clean and restore Revere Ware
I've done well with Revere Ware also. I use Barkeeper's Friend but will pick up some Cameo and try that also. I've used just plain olive oil on the handles which works ok, but will now try the mineral oil. Thanks so much!Do you find the older pre-68, the older stamp and the riveted handles, sells better or about the same?I have done well without even knowing what I had, and now know that they were all after 68. Then learned how to spot the older ones, so found some of those, and they are not selling at all. They're in good condition. Maybe it's just the summer slowdown.
Had a buyer open a return request on a pair of sandals after we discussed the size in a conversation before she purchased (they were new without box w the size affixed to them) and she asked if they were a size 6 or 9? When I confirmed they were a 6 she purchased them. Then went on to open an item not as described case bc my listing title said "size 6 ITALY" and they are not that. I explained no such size exists in Italy. I explained that as mentioned in our conversation they were a US size 6 and Italy was a keyword since that is where they were made. Buyer is in CA and clearly knows this.I spoke to several Ebay representatives and they all agreed that this was a case of buyers remorse. After messaging the buyer back she basically admitted it and said "fine just forget it. I just have no use for them. What's your return address." I was advised by a representative to accept the return (since I have automatic returns set up) but not to issue a return shipping label since in this scenario I am not responsible for return shipping and I normally charge a 20% restocking fee. Yesterday the buyer escalated the case and now it's what's considered a "forced return." I received a defect for not providing the return shipping label and upon receipt of the shoes based on the tracking # Ebay will automatically refund the buyer the full amount plus original shipping. I've spoken to an appeals agent and he's going to try and remove this defect but it just goes to show you that you shouldn't listen to Ebay representatives bc they often give false information. I spoke to 4 and not one of them told me I had to send a return shipping label - in fact they said I did not have to do anything. I'm confident the defect can be removed but now I feel like the buyer should not receive return shipping as a matter of principle . I was told I could appeal this decision by eBay after the fact but it's simply "the cost of doing business."Not sure why a buyer should be able to escalate a case for a perfectly good item they just didn't like.
Sounds like she rented your item. Definitely report her no matter the outcome. I'm probably in the minority but I usually just bend over and take it. It's not worth my time and stress fighting tooth and nail for the return shipping and 20% restocking fee. I'd rather just refund, chalk it up as "that sucked", and get back on the listing bandwagon.
I too may be in the minority with this, but isn't it just easier to write this off as the cost of doing business? A major part of Amazon's success is due to their easy return policy. It's the same for traditional retail. It's also the same for successful ebay sellers. Returns are part of the selling experience. More often than not, the fight will be decided in the buyer's favor.
A few days ago I went to list and up came the new format. It took a few minutes to get used to it but seems OK. Faster I think. Next day I went to list more items and up came the old format. Why? Has anyone else had this happen?
Earlier this morning, I ran across a link to this explanation.http://www.ecommercebytes.com/cab/abn/y16/m05/i26/s01
Thanks for the info. Discovered a Goodwill Wholesale Outlet today in the next town. What fun we had...nothing of real value though. FIY prices here in SoCal--Soft goods 0-20# $1.39 Hard Goods (books, etc) 0 -40# 49 cents. Shoes $1.99. Is this standard pricing in other parts of country?
Mine is .39 a pound for glass wear,.69 for books/paper and media,1.25 for everything else. Big stuff has special price. I'm in NC. Prices were cheaper last year. I don't even go close to the shoe or electronic bins. The crazies will knock you out to get to that stuff.
Fredricksburg VA1.29lb clothing, .79lb houseware, shoes are 2.99(ish)pair for adult sizes, electronics is a flat $2 item doesn't matter size or what it is. They do price special items depending on quality.
Mystery of my no pickups solved. It just so happened my partner in crime ran into the mail lady at our mailbox. Because he was there she got out of the truck to head up to my packages after asking him if we have any even though the note said we did. Half way she stopped and asked if we have animals. He said we have cats to which she said she's deathly allergic to them and asked him to go get the packages for her. He ask how this was going to work going forward and she said this was her only day on the route. Now let's talk about the truth of what really is going on. She's probably come to pick up my packages before and noticed I had a cat tree or a cat door and she's probably afraid of cats. Even though he told her the cats will never be out there. If she's truly deathly allergic she should never be a mail carrier anyway because cat hair travels. Hopefully she'll be gone after today and someone else can be trained.
I thnk it was an excuse to "explain" why she didn't pick up the packages earlier (when she was really just trying to avoid getting out and walking up the driveway).Cuz face it, half of America has cats and the cats have probably come into contact with the mail and packages she picks up!
I saw a new guy today. Told him about the cat lady. He looked very skeptical. Told him I missed my old mail carrier. He said that was his sister and she's considering coming back. Fingers crossed. He was just filling in though.
Anyone notice their labels or tape being affected by the temperature? I had my packages in a well air-conditioned room and I looked over to see my eBay tape peeling up and the label wrinkling. No bueno.
A lot of people are complaining about the eBay tape not sticking. Beware.
It's easy to peel up I know that. I accidentally made my tape crooked and went to lift a little on the end and the whole thing came up. Makes me wonder about the security of the packaging now. I may have to do a shipping experiment.
I smooth most tape down with the flat part of my fingernails. Takes a second and seems to make a difference. Haven't tried it with the ebay tape, but I imagine it's like all the rest.The ebay tape seems just a little too thin for me. I hope they can adapt and make it a better product. I would hope ebay demands some serious QA and wants only the best, but hey, it's ebay. If they're going to keep copying amazon, why can't they copy their tape. Seems like good stuff. Does anyone know what it's called? Maybe if we all demand it in the feedback they'll get the message. After they raised fees and threw us the coupon crumbs, I'd like to at least get something I can use.
Reaching out to the electronics people today. I found this amazing 50s clock for $2:http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-LIGHTED-MASTERCRAFTERS-CLOCK-STARBURST-ATOMIC-EAMES-ERA-WALL-MANTLE-50s-/172198812778?hash=item2817d95c6a:g:u~cAAOSwqbZXE-b1I was delighted to find that it is lighting up and keeping time. However the base got very hot after several hours. I'm branching out into small light fixtures and clocks. My question is do any of you put a safety disclaimer on your vintage electronic items and if so, what does it say if you don't mind sharing. I have this same issue with vintage children's items. Thank you.
I would have mentioned it personally, the motor can be changed out. Love your Nelson clock, last Nelson clock I got about $800 for.
Hi everybody, this is OT, but I think everybody will find it interesting. First, let me preface this by saying I don't know these folks. Second, I admire people who have serious cajones. They are not 9 to 5 ers. This is a young couple with 2 cool cats who got a big following leaving the typical life behind and exploring in their RV. A few weeks ago, they shocked thousands of their followers by ditching the RV and sinking 300k into a Catamarran without any sailing experience. Yep, u read that right. Their video blogging is stunning, colorful and interesting. I am only mentioning it because they seem our type of cool (although clearly, there are differences). You can look back a few videos to see how they ended up getting the boat they did and a but about how they use solar and cost cutting to help move their dreams along. They call their show Gone With the Wynns. If nothing else the views are refreshing. http://youtu.be/sddkM-GdcOo
I love your podcasts! Thanks for doing this. I have a question on how best to pack baseball/trucker hats to balance shipping costs vs. not getting the hats crushed? Do you just bubble wrap them well or do they go in a box? Thanks!
box is best for presentation. just use minimal padding so it doesn't bounce around - then send it 1st class. no bag, no poly mailer. and let's be honest, trucker hats are not stetsons. if you can get over $100 for a trucker hat, sure, pack it in gold leaf popcorn and insure it, but other than that, you could be cheap, throw it in a poly mailer with no padding and be fine 99% of the time. i'm not saying do it, i'm just saying, they ain't antiques...
i ship them in polymailers, they are mostly made of foam and so can get smooshed a little bit. if they are fitted baseball hats, you should ship them in a box. that's my take.
I have had two complaints from trucker hats that I have shipped. Well, the buyers, not the hats. Both sold for over $25 and I shipped as I always do. Wrapped in tissue, some stuffed in the crown, and in a poly mailer. When I received the complaint that the hat was crushed. I immediately asked for photos. Never got photos on either hat and no more communications. The first guy was nice enough to give me negative feedback because he didn't like my packing. I didn't try to fight it. I just responded that I asked for photos and moved on. The last time I sold a trucker hat for over $25 I packed it in a box and then a poly mailer. Nothing but happy words from the buyer. Lesson learned. I will box trucker hats over $25.
I fold the hat section in half and put a little scrap of bubble wrap or wadded up paper to hold the shape. I also put a scrap of cardboard around the bill to protect it from getting bent. Then the whole thing goes into a plastic bag to keep it together, and then into a poly mailer. I've not received any negative feedback on them ... knock on wood.
Poly bag the hat and then put it in a 8 x 6 x 4 box. Get them for 30 cents. Almost always ships under 8 ounces so even after factoring the cost of the box I still make money off the shipping. If someone shipped me a hat in just a poly bag I'd leave a negative if the hat was damaged.
i've never had one complaint of a trucker hat shipped in a poly mailer. a fitted, shaped baseball hat- yes (learned my lesson on those), but never a foam trucker hat.
Scavenging in IstanbulHello friends, while in my data collection week in Istanbul, took the last two days to go to downtown visit, be astonished, buy present for my best half and kids and scavenge.Well, cheap, desirable/sellable, low volume. Not sure about worthiness. Good thing is knowing price scheme of the Grand Bazaar and street shops.Also great tips from another blog similar to this bug for international scavengers.Will see. Have 3 more weeks and other two more trips
Sounds like fun in Turkey. Whats the other blog about international scavengers?
Sorry for the delayed message Jay.It is an open forum under Trip Advisor where the traveler discuss about what to bring back as gift as well as merchandise to sell.Hope this helps
Loved the grand bazzar, been to it twice 2008 and 2014. Each time spending half a day looking around. Haggle to your hearts content, never set a price your willing to pay. If they don't give you a price you like walk a few booths down to get a lower price and come back with a lower offer pit them against each other. If you have a good guide, or local contact look for markets outside of the bazaar. Think flea markets in the states, you will find some interesting things. Where are your other trips to?
Hello Michael!Spent the entire saturday at the Grand Bazaar ... ouchIt is very very very difficult for me to haggle without my wife ;-) I was with an old friend who did a great job replacing her on the role.I even walked away on some deals and the guys came after me. Got free CDs (crazy about Free Jazz, Contemporary music), great deals on parshminas for my love and my daugther, etc.As per scavenging, the recommendations were for the little satin hand bags. They are indeed cheap and really pretty, however I am not sure about "sellability" since I have similar from Thailand on my shop with little interestI have a 3 months project here, will stay for 7 weeksCheers
What do you think is a better system? Selling items for close to its comparison value or just making a decent profit compared to how much you bought it for? For example if I have an item worth 60 but I spent 1 dollar to get it, is it better to accept a 30 dollar offer for a 29 dollar profit or hold it for closer to its value? If I spent 20 in it then obviously I would hold out. But I don't want to miss sales that are good profit just holding out for top dollar.