Scavenger Life Episode 274: We Don't Care About eBay Watchers iTunes   YouTube   Download .mp3  Download .ogg

Each of us runs our own store using different techniques. One thing we do is ignore if a listed item has watchers or not. All we do is research the item, list it, and then wait for the right buyer. Every year or so we go through older items to see if they can be tweaked, but we know our items are long tail so just need time.

Why do we ignore the number of watchers on an item? What if an older item has ZERO watchers? Shouldn't that tell us that we've done something wrong?

Let's look at the numbers.
This week we sold 35 items.
11 of those items had zero watchers.
Most of those items have been listed more than a year.
So that's more than 25% of our sold items with no watchers, selling at full price.

If we had stared at the number of watchers, fretted and second guessed ourselves, then we may have ended up selling items at a fire sale because we might think no one wanted our stuff.

We have a healthy amount of items with large numbers of watchers that haven't been bought in over a year. If so many people are watching an item, why doesn't someone pull the trigger? Who knows. What we do know is that someone will eventually buy it. And as long as items are selling each day, it doesn't really matter what item it is.

This week we mentioned the following links in the podcast:
  • Shane sent us this article about "fast fashion".  Some companies are putting out new clothing lines every other week, creating a huge stream of unwanted clothes. The US is sending millions of tons of good clothes to the landfill because of the lack of demand.
  • The eBay 2016 Fall Seller Update is out . Make sure you read it. Takes about ten minutes but keeps you up to date on the small changes eBay is making. These updates come every Fall and Spring.
Hope you had a good week. Happy Labor Day, Trash Elves.

Our Store Week August 28-Sept 3, 2016
  • Store #1
  • Total Items in Store: 4,173
  • Items Sold: 35
  • Cost of Items Sold: $587
  • Total Sales: $2,229.32
  • Highest Price Sold: $1000 (artwork)
  • Average Price Sold: $63.69
  • Returns: 2
  • Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $50
  • Number of items listed this week: 42

  • ----------
  • Amazon FBA Store
  • Number of items sold: 16
  • Amazon total sales: $592.60
  • Amazon FBA Fees, COGS, Returns, Shipping: $209.81
  • Net profit after COGS: $382.79

  • Bonanza:
  • Sold 3 items for $80
  • ----------

  • Store #2
  • Total Items in Store: 1080
  • Items Sold: 5
  • Cost of Items Sold: $10
  • Total Sales: $141.96
  • Highest Price Sold: $40 (vintage leather purse)
  • Average Price Sold: $28.39
  • Returns: 0
  • Number of items listed this week: 0


  1. One comment before I list my numbers, I know you guys don't like consignments, but the art that you have consigned from your LA friend has been a real winner, even though you think that it has been slow to sell I seem to remember quite a few high dollar sales in the lot you sent back--(I have watched your solds and can usually spot the consignment from your friend and over the last couple of years or so you guys have made thousands of dollars, so sometimes consignment works out, LOL.) But I know that listing hundreds of pieces of art that you didn't discover yourself can be a drag.

    Total Items in Store: 190 on ebay, 347 on etsy
    Items Sold: 7 on ebay, 6 on etsy
    Total Sales: $424
    Highest Price Sold: $65 (antique doll on etsy)
    Average Price Sold: $32.61
    Returns: 2--->clothing, ugh!

    Overall a good week however, especially since last week was so slow...

    1. Very true. We are not ungrateful for the consignment we've sold. But for us, it's not enjoyable and would never be a sustainable business model.

      For the handful of pieces that have sold for big money, we've worked hours researching, photographing, listing and shipping many low dollar, mediocre pieces. Makes it a grind since there's no pleasure of the treasure hunt. If all consignment sold for $1000, count me in! However, these are few and far between.

      Since you say it's difficult to find affordable, quality in your area, maybe consignment could work for you?

    2. LOL...consignment is not for me either (I always worry about the item not fetching enough money then disappointing the consignor), finding stuff here is not a problem, just have to pay more for it, although the thrift stores are getting hilarious--the local Savers had a vintage snap shot album with no real photos of any great interest priced at $49.99! even so, I still shopped the rest of the store and found several decent items at prices I could afford (just not at the dollar or less per item that you guys and others can find in your area.)

    3. Maybe you need a buying road trip Omfug X. Not sure where you are located, but come to Ohio, I'll share all my favorite spots with you:)

    4. deb truervalues

      Hi Cheryl - I just might take you up on that sometime. I'm in MI. Been wanting to cross the Canadian border in Detroit and shop Windsor sometime...have you ever done that?

      Honestly, though, I find so much stuff here, I'm not sure I NEED to go other places!!

      Drove 2 hrs to Grand rapids--spent my time being lost and hitting high prices. Was feeling like I wasted my time. However, the merchandise was somehow DIFFERENT, and therefore more interesting. Maybe it's just good to change venues once in a while to keep your interest up.

      I still haven't made it to Detroit,which is 2 hrs in the other direction--I could probably spend several days and not get to every store over there.

    5. Cheryl I am in the Seattle-Tacoma area, lot's of dealers here, so very competitive and the stores/estate companies know it--I would love to go on a road trip again (been in the business since 1984 and have gone on many) but I have some health issues that make me hesitant.) I just deal with the high prices.

  2. Week 8/28-9/2, 2016
    Total Items in Store: 12191
    Items Sold: 154
    Cost of Items Sold: $18.48
    Total Sales: $920.53 (all postcards)
    Highest Price Sold: $33 Double Panel Put-In-Bay OH Hotel Victory Panorama
    Average Price Sold: $5.98
    Returns: 0
    Items Not Received: 0
    Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $10 (20 victorian tradecards $.50 per card)
    Number of items listed this week: 462 Postcards sold: 2 = $18.73

    A little above average for a week for me. I have most of my cards on 15% discount, accepting lots of Best Offers, and only has a few auctions that ended on 8/28. I fixed the 400 listing that didn't upload earlier in the week and am currently working on trying to get a bunch of auctions ready to list on 9/11. Store will be on auto pilot for the next 2 weeks.

    Concerning watchers, if an item doesn't sell at auction and there were a bunch of watchers, I'll use that info to bump up the price when I relist the item as a BIN. I'll also add a best offer or put the item on sale to maybe prompt a watcher to buy the card.

    1. How do you keep track of 12,000 listed postcards?

    2. Hi, they are separated by states, then broken down alphabetically by city. Topics, such as holidays, transportation, humor, greetings, people, etc and foreign countries are also sorted into their own tabs. They are all sitting on a 2 1/2 foot x 4 foot tall shelving rack to the left of my computer. I sent Jay some photos of my set up which I believe he'll show when he posts the interview I did with him. I think it's pretty manageable unless I misfile a postcard which I've done a time or two. - John

  3. Okay, Jay, don't let Ryanne fool you. Shipping is not easy...okay ALL shipping is not easy. Smalls and items that fit well in regular boxes, sure. I am still struggling with big items. I just sold a Halloween blow mold. I knew I would have to Frankenbox it; that wasn't the problem. The problem for me is the postage. I put in all of the exact dimensions and I wanted to send it Parcel Select. It gave me a price and I wanted to make sure I was doing it right, so I went to the post office to have them weigh it and estimate the cost for me and he told me it was beyond the acceptable measurement and the computer wouldn't allow him to process it as Parcel Select. But he also said that can't be right because it was under the 108 combined length and girth (which I already knew. He said if the computer wouldn't allow him to print postage, there was nothing he could do. He figured it up as ground service which came to over $56. Needless to say, on Tuesday, I will be going to FedEx to have them give me a price. I have gone on FedEx website before and plugged in my dimensions and came up with a price and then gone to their store and it was almost double. I don't want a COD for the buyer, so I want to make sure I get it right. Bottom line...Jay, let Ryanne do all the shipping (and pay her well for it) it is NOT EASY!

    1. Shipping sucks. I will pass on a lot of things just because I know it would take me an hour to ship it(15 minutes of dread, 15 minutes finding right box and materials, 30 minutes to actually pack it). It also will force me to use fed ex who I absolutely hate.

    2. One of the benefits of selling just postcards, uniform packaging and postage. I can pick, pack and ship about 40 +/- postcards in under an hour.

    3. Jay, there's a theme going on here...keep your day job of taking cleaning, taking photos and writing titles...leave the shipping to Ryanne and bring her lots of coffee!

    4. Just wanted to make sure you knew that you can check Fed Ex rates right from ebay and print your label on ebay too. If you need directions on where to find this info, let me know and I'll post them. This will save you time running to Fed Ex for just a price. Plus you'll get the ebay rate instead of the retail rate.

    5. I think you second guessed yourself unnecessarily by going to the post office. Your in-store retail pricing, for USPS, FedEx and UPS, will all be more than online pricing on eBay or if you have accounts with those shippers, and also there are some aspects to having the commercial pricing that I believe allows you to ship certain ways that are not available retail. As long you’ve put in the correct dimensions and weights and you’re able to print a label online, I think you can trust the system to get your package there.

    6. I’m along the same lines. Majority of items fit in various standard size boxes I keep in stock. All I have to do is weigh the item and add the set weight of the box and packing material, to determine the shipping option for the listing. On Larger, heaver or fragile items, I always prepackage the item as if I was going to ship right then. This gives me all the info to add to the listing. When the item sells, I pull the box from the shelf, quickly check the contents and weight. Slap a label on it and it’s done. Rarely I’m off by more than a couple ounces.

      Recently, I was away for two weeks and had 18 items to ship when I returned. Shipped all but one in just over 2 hours. I figure it takes me under 10 minutes to ship an item

    7. Thanks for all of the encouragement. I will ship tomorrow and is only going one state over, so hopefully by the next podcast, I will have good news that I fretted over nothing and it all worked out. If not, I will be selling everything I own to pay for shipping. LOL

    8. At one point Parcel Select was online only and retail was a different service, standard post. This may or may not be the case any longer.

      Also, 13-16 oz first class is online only.

      Talking to the people in the post office can confuse you and result in paying more. Figure out the rules, print your own labels and you'll be fine.

  4. How can you list an item for sale without first know what the shipping cost will be? For myself, this goes into how I price an item.

    1. Well, I put in all of the information, made 3 selections for shipping options (and they ended up being the correct measurements, correct weights, etc.) but when I go to print the label, I second guess myself and take it in to "make sure" and what eBay tells me is the postage is not what I end up paying. For Parcel Select, there is no discount so what I pay through eBay should be what I pay at the retail outlet and they are never the same. I don't know why.

    2. I have no problem with "regular" items which is about 99% of what I sell, but large items (like this stupid blow mold) will be the death of me!

    3. spinachetr

      By all means, by the look at your store inventory number, you are not a newbie. This may seem silly, but the quoted rate on your shipping amount through eBay will ALWAYS be lower then at the shipping store (i.e., USPS). For one, everyone gets a commercial rate through eBay shipping, and if you are top rated, then you get a steeper discount. This may be obvious, and perhaps I am not understanding correctly.
      Also, perhaps it's the glitches going on with the eBay shipping, in which case I would call eBay and explain your situation.

    4. Sorry
      The above was meant for Losingitagain

    5. No, Eric. I had no idea that eBay received an across the board discount on all classes of mail. I see my little discounts when I print Priority Mail (Postage: 11.95 Discount: 2.95 You Pay: 9.00) but when I didn't see the discount a the label print section, I assumed I would pay the same price at the Post Office. I just found it odd that the clerk couldn't even get Parcel Select to go through after he put in the measurements because it was too big (even though the combined length and girth should be less than 108" you can still use Parcel Select up to 130" and just pay a balloon rate. Is that the same with FedEx and UPS (should I select them at listing) or is just an agreement between the Post Office and eBay? I am just so afraid of some "do gooder" at the destination Post Office checking rates and finding that I somehow short paid and makes the buyer on the other end pay to get it. YIKES! I guess on Tuesday, I will just print out my label as usual and send it on and cross my fingers! Thanks again for your reply.

    6. From my experience, 90% of the time Priority mail is the same as parcel select (sometimes cheaper). One important thing to not regarding Parcel select and Priority mail....When you ship Priority as a top rated seller, you automatically get $100 insurance instead of the standard $50. Also, if there is a problem with the package reaching its destination, the the USPS will return the package to you at NO cost. Now, with Parcel select, You get NO insurance and yo are paying for a one way trip. Meaning, if the package is unable to reach its destination (bad address, moved without forwarding address, etc...), the you are on the hook for the price to be returned to you.

      In regards to shipping at home....
      As long as you weight and measurements are correct, then you have nothing to fear.
      The size limits are measured by the longest length plus the largest girth.
      Example; if you were shipping a guitar... you measure from top to bottom, then add the 4 sides at the widest part of the guitar box.
      I'm surprised you didn't see the discount at the print page after entering your weight and dimensions.

      I'm not sure about UPS, but FedEx rates are different from USPS.
      eBayers still get a discounted rate, but FedEx's rate scale differs from USPS. I find that lighter items, or items that fit in Priority flat rate boxes or regional rate boxes are much cheaper at USPS. But, when it comes to larger and heavier items, the Usually (unless shipping within the same state or the next state over), FedEx is much cheaper. Sometimes half the [price then USPS.

      Hope that helps.
      Feel free to ask additional questions, we're all here to help and share knowledge...

    7. my advice, you probably know it already, measure the box, weigh the box, put that info into ebay labels, compare prices. switch between USPS and FedEx and see who is cheaper (it will prob be FedEx SmartPost or Home/Ground). then ask for a pickup (or drop off at FedEx tomorrow).

    8. It is so odd, the measurements are 37" x 18.5" x 14.5" and weighs 9 pounds and my eBay shipping says it will only cost around $11 by Parcel Select.It is going to the next state (from Wisconsin to Michigan). I am going to slap on a label tomorrow and give it to my carrier (I usually take it in for the receipt, but I don't want to call attention to it. I am pretty nervous about this one, but I am confident with my weights and measures, so let's see how it goes!

    9. as long as you have the correct measurements because it's over sized, you should be fine. if it's just the next state over, that's why it's cheap. nice job!

    10. deb truervalues

      I ALWAYS compare shipping . Learned this the hard way after a bout a year doing ebay (wonder how much $$$ I lost?).... Sometimes Regional A boxes are cheaper than priority, and legal flat rates are cheaper than padded flat rate, if you have fairly thin items.

      The post office rewards you with lower rates on their uniform size boxes.

    11. In addition to the above comments..

      I use Priority Mail as one option and FEDEX Smartpost as the other. Anything 3 lbs or above FEDEX Smartpost is the first option. If it's close, I may at my discretion upgrade the customer from FEDEX Smartpost to Priorty. If it's too big for FEDEX Smartpost then I substitute FEDEX Ground.

      Over 1728 inches (Length X Height X Width) is oversize territory. As Ryanne says "Trust your measurements" and you'll be fine.

      After I had a heated debate with a Postal Clerk, about placing a box inside a Flat Rate Padded envelope, I make every effort to keep them out of the loop. My local mailman is great and he's theguy I rely on.

    12. That $11 sounds very low for such a large package.

    13. When I shipped that heavy box of china to NC last week I was surprised that FedEx Home which takes 2-3 days was cheaper than FedEx Smartpost which is 2-7 days. I have no idea why, but it arrived safely and the buyer was thrilled. So am I.

  5. Store Week 8/28 – 9/3

    Total items in store: 788
    Items sold: 6 (one is still unpaid)
    Cost of items sold: $3.25
    Total sales: $137.98
    Highest price sold: $34.99 (Vintage Halloween Die-Cuts)
    Average price sold: $23.00
    International Sales: 0
    Returns: 0
    Money spent on new inventory this week: 0

    A pretty lousy week, but I did manage to convince myself to skip the yard sales yesterday and focus on listing. I got a lot done and had 2 offers today on items I listed yesterday. It really works!

    My favorite item I sold this week was another empty box! A vintage fireworks box that was pretty awesome. The lot of Halloween die-cuts I bought came in it, and after I got to looking at it, I decided to list the box too. It sold for $30 even though it had “Halloween” written on it. So far I’m up to $200 in sales for that box of goodies!

    1. Sarah, I love these sales! How cool that you were able to sell the box they came in too:)

  6. Anyone come across a website or two (besides eBay) than explains how buying on eBay works. Ever since I’ve changed my marketing approach I’ve had my fair share of new eBay buyers that are really making my head spin. Don’t get me wrong, new business is great business, but NO, I cannot add someone else’s listing to mine and ship them together. Really?
    As for watchers. Nope. I don’t pay attention to them. When I’m researching an item, I often mark an item to watch to come back to later. People that know me, know that I focus on views. Views lead to purchases.

    1. I feel your pain. I had a buyer once ask me to compare my vintage purse to another, similar one that was not my listing. I guess they think we are all sitting in a huuuuge warehouse somewhere together!

    2. REALLY! Now I have eb newbie that doesn't know their address....???? Package was sent to a city that the street and address didn't exist... I thought eBay/PayPal verified this stuff. Ground Control to Major Tron.

    3. eCommerce 411, I believe your situation has to do with the shopping basket more than anything else. On Amazon, things added into the cart, might be shipped together from different sellers since they come from the same warehouse. Some people may not understand, or care, that eBay is different.

  7. Store Week 8/28 – 9/3

    Total items in store: 378
    Items sold: 5
    Cost of items sold: $33
    Total sales: $442
    Highest price sold: $180 (Lot of Crafting items)
    Average price sold: $88.40
    International Sales: 0
    Returns: 0
    Money spent on new inventory this week: $36 at a flea market
    Items Listed: 18

    We have been in the middle of selling a house and moving. Hoping to buckle down and list away. While moving we put all of the "dead pile" items in boxes. We named them TBL: To Be Listed, I am excited to get to those piles. I would like to have a method like Jay and Ryanne, get things listed right away. Does anyone else have a method that works well for them?

    1. I use different listing Technics depending on what stimulates me. For an example; sometimes after sourcing items and bringing them home, I will further inspect the items, write down information (size, color, gender, model #, UPC #, etc...), then shortly after I will hit the computer to do my drafts (except for the pictures). Now that all that is done, all I need to do at a later time is take pictures and make the listing live. I'm a one person show, so completing many listing at one sitting is not motivating for me at time (depending on the mood and items).
      Also, this may sound sill y to some, but recently if I'm going to be able to complete 30 or so listing and I know I.m nt going to be able to list the next day, I will make about 20 or so of the listings live and save the rest for the next day. My thought is that the Ebay software like to see active buyers keep listing. It may bring the listing up in rank and increase t my store traffic. This is just an experiment I've been doing for about a month. My sales are increasing (specially the older listing), so who knows.

    2. I use a numbering system. Applying a SKU to every item, the date, amount and source of the item as well. I keep track of all this using MS Excel. My goal before I do any listing is to inventory everything first. I’ll write a quick description of the item and then tag it with the SKU# and set it aside then go on to the next. If I can’t inventory the items right way, at a minimum, I will throw everything in a box, include some quick notes about the purchase and assign the box a SKU#. When I eventually get to the box, the first item will be assigned the SKU of the box and then each consecutive item from the box will have its own SKU#. Then I will go back and update the GOG for the items from that box.

      It all sounds complicated, but it’s amazingly simple and the process flows perfectly. Not only does it keep track of my GOG, it also is a constant reminder of how old the cost I have in unlisted inventory. Two items I try to keep within a preferred range (although I have violated this lately due to being in the middle of a relocation myself).

      I hope this helps.

    3. I like TBL: "to be listed". Not as emotionally charged as "death pile". But those unlisted piles do feel like they are sucking out our lifeblood.

      We now have two plastic bins in our home.
      One bin is of older items that we need to list or donate.
      The other bin is fill of items we recently bought.
      I go back and forth between these bins when taking photos.

      This way, I'm keeping up with all new items we buy.
      But I'm also slowly working through our older items as well.

    4. I took a couple of hours one day to organize my backlog by item type. I'm on a medical leave now, but I have bags and boxes of items of the same type. I do think this has helped me list faster. I joined Facebook group that has a theme week and goal sharing. Sometimes I pick the bag that is their theme for the week. I'm being very selective on vintage, but any new picks get added to the existing bag of that item type.

    5. ecommerce, do you put a SKU sticker or tag on each item, or is the item just assigned the number? If you apply a sticker, do you bag each item? Or do you just know the blue hat in bin 37 has this sku so when it sells you backtrack it that way? Question #2 do you ever buy items in lots? how do you "value" those items?

    6. LeeinTN, I will eventually have tags on everything. I use the Avery removal dots to mark everything. They easily peel off with no residue. Depending on the item as I’m inventorying, I’ll put the sticker right on the item itself or I’ll use a poly bag or box. I picked up a dozen of the slotted plastic baskets to use as well and will put a sticker on the basket. I hang all the clothes on hangers and wrap 1” painters tape around the neck of the hanger and mark it. I did have a problem with hats. Not as I was inventorying them, but after they were listed so I purchased a tagging gun. Best recent purchase ever.

      With lots, I just average the # of listings from that lot. So if I spend $30 and get 10 items to sell, that’s COG of $3. That doesn’t always happen. Sometimes I come across something in the lot that I don’t know if I should sell it separate or combined. So I will leave it combined at a COG at $3. If at time of listing I decide to split it into say 2 individual listings, the COG for each of those items is $1.50 (3 divided by 2). I don’t go back and adjust the other nine items. I could, but that is a bit too detailed.

      I hope this explains the method of my madness.

    7. @Rhianna: We use a method almost exactly like Eric states with a few minor twists. Mike in atlanta

  8. Total Items in Store: 678
    Items Sold: 34
    Cost of Items Sold: $423
    Total Sales: $1,793.70 (best week ever!)
    Highest Price Sold: $300 (8x10 Etan Allen Rug)
    Average Price Sold: $52

    Wow what a week. It was a challenge to ship that 75 pound rug. That is the heaviest, most awkward item to date.

    1. How did you end up shipping it?

    2. also have the same question, just listed an 8x10, non-flatweave rug. wondering how you shipped it, did you fold it in half? not sure mine would fold.

    3. So first step I roll the carpet (This is a thick wool rug so you cant really fold it) Then I wrap it in shipping stretch wrap. You can ship smaller rugs this way if you use enough of it and then attach a label. Since this was larger and heavier, I then got cardboard from a couple large boxes that I cut and wrapped the box around the carpet then I taped cardboard to secure it. If there is a bit of a gap, thats ok because its wrapped in plastic underneath and you tape the cardboard together over the gap.

    4. One more thing...I didnt wory about covering the ends so much, just made sure that the wrapping plastic was thick there and then I let the cardboard overhang just a little and then taped the ends...if that makes sense..I shipped from California to Florida right before the hasnt arrived yet one week later but I am not too worried. It cost the customer about 100 bucks UPS ground. Oh and I paid 10 bucks to have UPS get it off my doorstep. Well worth it and you could get that back as a handling charge.

    5. I shipped an 8' x 6' carpet not long ago and I rolled it up secured it with cable ties, encased it in plastic, then completely taped the whole thing, slapped a fedex label on it and shipped it across the country for $50.

  9. Weekly numbers:
    Total items in store: 490
    Items sold: 4 (3 ebay, 1 Bonanza)
    Cost of items sold: $25
    Total sales: $186.98
    Average price sold: $46.75
    Total Profit: $161.98
    Average Profit: $40.50
    Highest priced sold item: $61 - Value Tales vintage 15 book lot

    FBA numbers:
    Items sold: 8
    Total sales after fees: $97.86
    COGS: $17.80
    Total Profit: $80.06

    I was at the beach with my family last week for a well deserved vacation. It was awesome! I haven't listed on ebay very much the last few weeks and it is reflected in my diminshed sales. Still, between amazon and ebay I made $240 profit without lifting a finger. I'll take that!

    We have entered crunch time though. We encountered some extra expenses from vacation - our van broke down and we had to rent a vehicle for the trip. So between the rental and the pending repair costs, we're going to take a pretty hard unexpected expense hit. The good news out of this? My wife has agreed to take on a bigger role in the business so we can expand our store quickly to capitalize on fall sales. Yay!

    Have a great week everyone!

  10. Aug 28-Sept 3

    Items in store - 506
    Items sold - 27
    Cost of items sold - $34.00
    Total sales - $636.74
    Highest price sold - $100 (Vintage Wrangler Denim Jacket)
    Average price sold - $23.58
    Returns - 0
    Money spent on new inventory this week - $117.88
    Number of Items listed this week - 50

    Finally cracked 500 listings. Week started great then died on fri/sat. And our first zero day in quite a while yesterday. Chalking it up to the holiday weekend.

    The wrangler jean jacket was a pristine, with gold selvedge from the 60s/70s and a co-worker of mine who's a serious denim junkie said we could've gotten much more than $100 for it! Oh well...we made someone in Japan very happy. And we made $100 off a $3 purchase.

    1. Dave @ Outer Spaceways Inc., I hate it when someone says that...after the fact! Great sale. You learned something, made a wonderful profit and have money in your pocket. AND you'll know the next one when you see it:)

    2. Yeah--the jacket was his size and he said that HE would've paid us a lot more for it! Still happy with the sale and I told him I'll run good looking denim by him in the future....

    3. Sounds awesome, I would love to find selvedge anything let alone a jacket. Where did you find it? Did you know it right away that it was a home-run?

  11. Week August 28-Sept 3, 2016
    Total Items in Store: 774
    Items Sold: 9
    Cost of Items Sold: $81.27
    Total Sales: $296.43
    Highest Price Sold: $125 (Chanel perfume)
    Average Price Sold: $32.94
    Returns: 0
    Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $50
    Number of items listed this week: 0

    Ho hum week... really high COGS in comparison to recent weeks and where I need to be due to selling a "mistake" that I paid too much for (1974 Mego Planet of the Apes doll). The Chanel perfume really saved the week.

    Over the weekend went out to the Akron, OH area to visit a friend who recently had a baby. We spent some time together on Friday and then knowing about my store, took me the Hartville Flea Market on Saturday. It was huge and great. Since I knew I either had to ship purchases home or carry them on the plane, my goal was to get a lot of smalls - hoping for regional stuff that I can't get at home in NYC area. While I didn't get too many regional items, I did fill up my carry on duffel bag with tons of smalls. Including: 1950s pennants from Canada, bags of unopened made in the USA marbles, awesome playing cards including a deck of sealed (with tax stamp) cards from 1945, vintage toys, and more.

    I also won an online estate auction of 20 heavy metal & punk records from the late 70s/early 80s. I got caught up in the moment and paid way more than I usually do for records, about $100 for the lot - but after getting them home and doing research, I've already found 2 that should be close to $100 each, plus 6 that should be close to $50 each. Should gross close to $750 on the lot.

    Listening to the podcast now while I research, photograph, and list on this lovely Labor Day off!

  12. Hello everyone I am back from supporting my family in San Diego. Here are my numbers from Aug 14 - Sept 3rd

    Aug 14 - Aug 20
    Total items in store 1,000+
    Total items sold 8
    COGS $34.50 (extremely high due to buying fever)
    Total Sales - $283.93
    Highest price sold $49.99 Burberry Tote/Golf Bag
    Ave price sold $35.00
    Intl - 1
    Returns - 0
    Spent on new merch $40.00
    New listings 24

    Agu 21 - 27
    Total items in store 1000+
    Items sold - 6
    COGS $10.00
    Total Sales $171.94
    Highest price sold $29.99 shoes
    Average Price Sold $29.00
    Intl -
    Returns - 1
    Spent on new merch $2.00
    New Listings - 0

    Aug 28 - Sept 3
    Total items in store 1057
    Sold 12
    COGS $22.75
    Total Sales $525.88
    Highest Price Sold shoes $164.99 paid $3.00 at thrift store
    Allen Edmonds Park Avenue Polished Cobbler Cap Toe Mens Shoes
    Ave price $44.00
    Intl -
    Returns -
    Spent on new merch $120.00
    Listed this week - 2

    1. How was the picking in SD? I love to visit there.

    2. Hi Christine,

      My daughter by marriage and I only went thrifting one day. That was the day the kids started school. Seems like I always find the modest length denim skirts for girls in the San Diego area. I sell them between $19.00 - $24.00. Spent most of my time getting the grandkids ready for school. We did find a few military thrift stores to check out on my next trip in October.
      In July we went to the Goodwill next to the border in San Ysidro. You wait in line for a number then they auction off large containers full of clothes and shoes. Or you can go inside the building get in line, wait for a number, pay a flat fee or pay $1.00 per item you pick. Not for me. So far the military thrift stores look to be the most promising.
      Nestor is a community next to Imperial Beach located close to the border. Back in February I went to a large swap meet in Nestor where you can find some military memorabilia. For the most part I pay a little more in San Diego for the same items I pick here in the Midwest.

  13. Video will not show up on Mobile because there is no Adobe flash player.
    I wish ebay would create a video hosting area in back office for sellers to upload demo's for listings that would be converted to HTML5 format so it would play on mobile phones.

    With vintage items this would be a great feature to show potential buyers any blemishes/wear and also explain how something might operate.

    1. i believe that youtube and vimeo have switched from Flash to HTML5 players which can be seen on mobile OS versions.

    2. I agree. eBay would be smart to allow video uploads.
      They may just think most sellers couldn't handle the video production and quality needed.

    3. Actually, based on the active content information, you will not be able to link to YouTube videos. eBay is to be releasing an alternative method this fall. Not sure if it will be their own gateway to YT or an entirely separate system that you would have to upload videos to. Since you can still add YT vids to your listing today, unlike java, it doesn't seem much of an issue right now. It wouldn't surprise me if they charge for this feature. It does take of bandwidth and does cause latency within the pipes.

    4. What? I have only one listing right now with a YouTube video showing a vintage clock radio working, but I love using the videos to demonstrate the item working. Hopefully it will sell to a movie prop company soon so I won't have to redo it! Yuck.

    5. That's good to hear. I make use of videos all the time and believe it has helped immensely with sales of high value items. My videos show up fine on mobile listings now.
      When I preview the listing without active content it's shows the YT square with an "error occurred".

    6. Videos only show up on pc/mac browsers, Yes HTML5 is what chrome uses but try it and you will see that mobile doesn't display the video.

      @Steven Schults are you embedding the youtube video's with code?
      maybe I need to get new embedded code to replace the one I keep using?

      ebay could limit the video's to 2 min. max and be included with a store subscription to save on bandwidth.

    7. @Jay... video production? you crack me up lol
      point > shoot vid ? upload > embed > done.
      reward yourself with a coffee.

    8. I'm glad you have faith in the majority of eBay sellers. Being positive is a good trait.

    9. d'oh i guess they do consider YT vids to be active content. that stinks. they really will need to find an alternative or a code that works for all the electronics nerds.

    10. Agree wink wink ;)

    11. Thans Steven, that will do it.
      I see it is set for "Mobile Friendly" by default

    12. That worked for me! Thanks, Steven!

  14. deb truervalues

    Week August 29-Sept 4
    Total Sales: $ 578.42
    Number of items sold: 25
    Average Sale price: $ 23.14
    Highest price sold: $ 65.00 – Antique Pendant with large teal stone and pearls-costume. $50 - Pewter fish platter and plates
    COGS: $ 95
    Free items sold: 5
    International Sales: 1
    Returns: 0
    Number of items Listed : 22
    Spent on new inventory: $ 132.82

    Best week since beginning of August. Some interesting sales.

    Pendant with broken chain. This was an antique piece of costume that had been altered. I thought it was very cool and unique. Came from my grandmother's things, so I didn't pay anything for it. I priced it high, but kept getting low offers. Finally settled on $65, which was the highest offer I had received (listed more than a year).

    Got these fish plates because of FLIM. I thought they were unique--also had them up high, because I hadn't found any like them. They were pewter and signed. This was also the highest offer I had received, so I took it--going to a US address, but eventually will go to the UK.

    I learned something new on this sale. The buyer tried to purchase it and it was on GSP. They wanted it shipped to a US address, but couldn't make it work. After trying and failing to change it myself, I called ebay. They said the buyer had to opt in the shipping address BEFORE making their payment.

    1. Hi, Deb. Your fish plates were Bruce Fox aluminumware; he sold the line to Wilton Armetale in 1975 -- I think from the marks that your pieces predate that sale. "MAT" stands for "mature adult trout." :-)

    2. Deb I am pretty sure that your necklace was an unsigned (nearly all of her early pieces were unsigned) Miriam Haskell--although it could also have been Robert, this might had had a double strand of pearls hence the extra hooks, I don't know if correctly identifying it would have fetched anymore money, but it might have helped.

    3. It would be great to have a Scavenger Life "what is this/what is it worth" forum... :-D

    4. @ deb- LOVE those plates. Nice find and sale.

      @ kate- everyone here is so effing helpful. If R&J ever decide to do a formal forum (but sounds like a shitton of work to me) that would be a great addition. Ya'll know so much!

    5. Long live fish plates!

      Kate, I love your wide range of knowledge!

    6. Ha! "It's not knowledge, it's Google" (TM)

    7. deb truervalues

      thanks, all!

      oops on the aluminum vs. pewter, but I had a ? after the word pewter in the title, so hope I don't get an INAD.

    8. I love the fish plates. I did some searches on how to tell the difference aluminum from pewter. Aluminum is not magnetic, pewter is usually not because of the metal mix. Pewter heavier and darker than aluminum, but it's a judgement call unless you want to try to dissolve a chunk in some acid. You did the best you could I think.

    9. I cheat. I have a Niton Alloy analyzer at work when checking metals.

  15. deb truervalues

    PS. This is the third or fourth pewter item I've sold to the UK...JUst thinking, perhaps it's a trend? Best items will be unique and SIGNED.

    The last thing I sold was a small pitcher with a dragon handle. Posted the pic a few months ago. I have paid an average of $10, but have realized $50 or more on each.

  16. Aug 28-Sept 3 2016
    • Total Items in Store: 710
    • Items Sold: 28
    • International 0
    • Total Sales $1564
    • Highest price $400 Power Amplifier, sold 2 days after acquisition and 1 day after listing. 5 watchers.
    • Average Price Sold: $56
    • Returns: 0
    • Cost of Items Sold: $83
    • Cost of items purchased this week $85

    Slow start, busy finish for the week.
    Although I don't put a lot of value in watchers I do keep track on newly listed items as an indication of validity or interest, like the mismatched size boots I put up last week, they have a watcher, and sometimes if something acquires multiple watchers in a few hours it often sells in a few days. So many times though, out of nowhere it seems, something sells with 0 watchers for the whole time it's been listed.

    1. I just think of how I purchase items.
      I want something so I do a search.
      I quickly narrow it down to 2-3 items.
      Then I buy.

      "watching" an item usually means I'll come later.
      But if I want an item, I want it now.

    2. If I'm not in a hurry I will sometime watch an item I want to purchase and, if it changes to make an offer I do so, or wait and see if it goes on sale and I'm notified, but most times I'm like you, look, compare, buy.

    3. In my experience, different categories of items come with different sets of watcher/buyer behavior. Certain collectibles or trendy items (Victorian buttons, vintage Fisher Price toys, Cathrineholm or Dansk enamel, and certain studio pottery, to name a few) reliably get tons of watchers, while other whole categories of pieces never seem to get many watchers at all.

      Personally, I "watch" items identical to ones I'm planning on listing, or items from local sellers who bought and listed something I passed up (to watch and learn -- should I have bought it, and should I buy it next time?). I don't watch items I actually want; those, I just buy.

    4. My 12 year old son watches items he wants to have on his Bday/Christmas/When he gets money list. I sometimes have to slow him down LOL Those often get purchased. I watch things I want, but I try not to impulse buy so I watch and then go back later and decide. If it's gone then I'm okay with that. If I still want it I get it. If I don't then I delete it.

    5. In the very beginning I did not pay attention to watchers. Then it stressed me out after I read one of our discussions here.
      Then naturally I let it go, I do not care and my sales have "some" relation, however my great and better than great sales have little to no watchers.

      EXAMPLE: I buy a lot of antique home stuff like grinders, Sad Iron, butter churning, etc. A lot. Got a pair of Sad Irons from early century.
      (I usually draft post and later in the day I finish with polished and more photos)
      I listed both and before I had finished the second I had a crazy buyer like desperate.
      This is how it goes for me :-)

  17. 5 parcels (so far) going out tomorrow--all purchased from etsy, I have truly lost my ebay mojo. A funny story, I had an item cross posted on both sites and an offer came in on ebay followed by a retraction and an email from the buyer noting that he had purchased the item on etsy (where it was $10 cheaper--$5 less than his ebay offer, LOL.) I was a bit embarrassed about the different pricing (I play around with pricing on both sites) and emailed him that it was ebay fees that made the difference.

    I could go out to sales in the thrifts today, or I could/should dip into the "TBL" pile--haven't decided yet.

    1. It must be getting close to the end of yard sales as I'm not too excited about going out to see them lately. TBL piles are high.

    2. Sue, my Etsy mojo was boosted for recent sales. The thing is I am an Etsy boy, vast majority of what I sell is Etsy style.
      What I need to do is to go faster on listing to catch up since I had sort of given up. I am astonished.
      I still need to push my trips to thrifts, I rely too much on auctions. Even more now that my sale volume got really serious demanding a professional dedication without an option.

      Steven and Sue and others, What is your routine or schedule to go to Thrifts, GW and others? You have a day of the week for each? How long you spend in each?

    3. I go to the GW/savers on Tuesdays (senior discount day for over 55 year olds-->10% at the GW, %30 off on Savers) and Friday when the GW offers a 25% off facebook friday coupon.

  18. Total Items in store: 460
    Items sold: 2
    Cost of items sold: approx. $11
    Total Sales: $78
    Highest price sold: $ 60 – cat dozer manual
    Average price sold: $39
    Int’l sales: 0
    Number of items listed this week: 33
    Amazon disbursement - $1673
    Full time ebay goal - March 2018

    Ebay to Amazon experiment – Had 4 sales. Cost $204. Sold $819. Amazon fees $88 (11%). Profit $527. Average profit per sale $132.
    You guys talked about auctions in your podcast. I like the idea of listing something as an auction starting at your buy it now price, then switching to BIN if it does not sell. This seems like a little extra insurance in case I miss something in research. I believe terminal99 does this as well as some other sellers. It wouldn’t cost anything extra and could potentially bring in more. It would be a little time investment to bulk switch.

    1. wow on your Amazon sales--I bet that you kill it this holiday season--and it is great when ebay sales are so sluggish that you can make up the revenue in amazon sales.

    2. LeeinTN, if you're Amazon sales are doing so well...why not double down?

      or is there a ceiling to how many items you can arbitrage on eBay and sell on Amazon?

    3. Jay I have been doubling down and re-investing. My goal now is to increase the size of my Amazon snowball. Remember I started with $200 10 months ago. I don't think there is a ceiling for total number of items, but there is a ceiling on how many of a specific item are available on ebay. Each specific item is its own little unpredictable market. For items currently on my "list", whenever one sells on Amazon I look for a replacement. If a replacement can't be found at a reasonable price on Ebay, then I look again in a few days. Adding items to the "list" is a totally different animal that does require some time investment. This is something I am definitely going to expand on as time goes on.

    4. It sounds like a fun experiment. Just another way to scavenge.

      So how much cash on hand do you have after that initial $200?

    5. I was going to do this break down next week, but here is my current numbers. YTD amazon experiment. I will revise and re-post with my numbers next week.
      COGS - $3,788
      Sales - $11,090
      Amazon fees - $1,495
      Profit - $5,807

      of the profit I have $4,429 in inventory
      and $1,378 in cash

      In all fairness, this is not 100% accurate as it does not account for returns or shipping costs. Sometimes there is a dollar or two that is made on shipping, this does not include that. Right now my goal is to reinvest 100% of the profits.

    6. Sounds like a successful experiment.

      Do I assume you are selling "merchant fulfilled" vs FBA?
      Only $1495 amazon fees seems really low on $11k gross sales.

      How many returns are you getting?
      What happens to those items since they are no longer new?

    7. Selling FBA. The fees vary according to item. On a $400 item, fees are $32. FBA there are several per item fees that can take half of a $10 item. But it seems as the price gets higher the percentage gets lower. Your mileage may vary

    8. I have had some returns opened, but I think only a few have been actually returned, maybe 5% or a little more. I have them return to me, if they are workable I list them on ebayI have had 3 returns that did have issues, all with the LCD screen. Obviously there is a total loss there.

  19. I collect vintage clothes - mainly coats, dresses, skirts, and bags. I buy new shirts, but layer it with vintage. Considering how expensive thrift stores are for clothes, if there is a sale going on at a K-Mart, Zara's, H&M, Urban Outfitters, the clothes can be nearly the same price as buying used at a thrift store. This is especially true for places like NYC.

    Anyway, here's my two cents on the VERO mess: I have had 2 major sweeps of items being removed for "Unauthorized Item/Listing" by Rights Owner in the past year. The first was by an airline company for 4 pieces of ephemera. All removed by Ebay. I didn't have a chance to remove them myself.

    The second was by a religious organization that took down, I believe, 8 listings. All books. This might have been in January. I cannot find the email anymore or message about it in Ebay messaging. Same reason as for the Airline company. All of the listings were automatically removed from Ebay. I didn't have a chance to take them down myself.

    All items listed had comparable items that were listed or sold. I guess it was just bad timing for both.

    I have had single VERO violations in the past, so I am definitely at more than 3 at this point. I am a Top Rated Plus seller with an Anchor store. Maybe they don't scrutinize on boring dealers like me, and instead go after the clothing/perfume/bag people? I don't know.

    1. Numbers for August:
      Total Items in Store: 661 (642 last month)
      Items Sold: 51 (49 last month)
      Total Sales: $910 ($945 last month)
      Cost of Items Sold: $102 ($145 last month)
      Highest Price Sold: $40 HS Year Book/$40 Old Computer Memory Card
      Average Price Sold: $17.84 ($19.28 last month)
      International Sales: 2 GSP / 1 non GSP
      Number of items listed: 58 (56 last month)
      Spent on new inventory: $159 ($95 last month)
      Returns: 1 (first in about 3 years)

      Had one return, a notary pocket type seal that the customer said they returned because they thought it had rubber stamps instead of metal inserts...

      Steve in Richmond, CA

    2. Could you provide the names of the airline and what type of ephemera? And the religious organization? Those seems like odd VERO guardians...not sure if I should hold off listing some stuff now or not...

    3. I had 4 Lufthansa safety cards listed. There are a couple of the exact cards currently up on Ebay right now. I really don't understand why mine were taken down. I didn't feel like getting into a conversation with them about it at the time. I just tossed them.

      The books were Rosicrucian. Only 8 of my listings were taken down; I still had a few that remained listed and eventually sold. I don't understand why they only wanted some of my books removed and not others. I have since sold 4 or 5 Rosicrucian books.

      I just wanted to illustrate that you can receive a LOT of Vero violations and still have your store be in good standing.

    4. My guess would be that Lufthansa complained that the safety cards were stolen property. If the airline never sells the cards in surplus or whatever, then they can take the position that any in circulation had to have been taken without authorization. There’s a lot of stuff out there on eBay that the same could be said but perhaps there are liability sensitivities about the cards. Regarding other identical listings, as Jay and others have said the eBay policy enforcement is random. But I see that all of the individual Lufthansa cards that are currently listed are from foreign sellers. I have frequently found foreign sellers in repeated violations of eBay’s prohibited and restricted items policies in other categories, too. I’m curious to know why that is.

      I wonder why the Rosicrucian books were an issue. Perhaps those particular books were unauthorized uses of the Rosicrucian registered trademark. But thanks for the very helpful information about surviving those multiple violations.

    5. Rosicrucian? It looks like ideological police.

      For the Lufthansa safety cards, someone had to take them out of the plane and sell those. No matter what the discussion is or who took them off, you would be selling property not authorized for selling.

  20. Argh, I was very excited about finding a couple of Rosetta Stone software sets at the thrifts today, but it looks like they're a big VeRO red flag. But there are definitely sold, completed listings for used sets. Has anyone sold these before?

    1. Big no no. You can't sell them anywhere. You basically rent the software when purchased new.

    2. Those sold on ebay may be by verified dealers--but they will get pulled if you list them.

    3. Dragggggg

      Thanks Mike and Omfug...anyone need to learn Spanish? Or Danish?

    4. can you sell them on Amazon, merchant fulfilled? or is that also a no-no?

    5. Yet the thrift store resold them? ????

    6. jay says "sell them on craigslist!" you have the power of NYC craigslist at your fingertips!

    7. I was kicked off amazon for selling Rosetta Stone, took me two weeks to get reinstated. Its on their page of restricted products, its when I first started selling and I saw so many other vendors selling them used. I did sell about 4 or 5 before they banned me.

    8. I caught a swift VERO violation for listing a German set. Wound up selling it at a yard sale just to get it out of my house.

    9. I could put the Spanish to use in my house. We homeschool. How much?

    10. Brooklyn_procurementSeptember 6, 2016 at 12:15 PM

      better off selling on craigslist. I would only sell software that is floppy disks and other retrotech

    11. Hey, Retro! Email me at - I can sell it to you at a scavenger discount or maybe we'll trade if I like something in your store!

  21. Total Items in Store: +/- 210
    Items Sold: 6
    Cost of Items Sold: $52.50
    Total Sales: $355.00
    Highest Price Sold: $130 (French art glass bowl, paid $8)
    Average Price Sold: $ 59
    Returns: 1 return, $60
    Number of items listed this week: +/- 10

    Also had a non-sale of a $200 rug to a non-paying buyer. Bummer.

    After months, if not years, of not being at all interested in Amazon FBA, I set up an account yesterday and am gathering items for a book shipment, starting with a selection of books from around the house. I find Amazon's whole process a little murky, so it's an open question whether my excitement about it will be enough to power me through the entire learning curve.

    1. FBA has a very steep and intimidating initial learning curve, but once you get past that it isn't too bad.

  22. • Ebay
    • Total Items in Store: 7828
    • Items Sold: 165
    • Cost of Items Sold: $205
    • Total Sales: $2790.87
    • Highest Price Sold: $240 (children’s book lot)
    • Average Price Sold: $16.91
    • Returns: 4
    • Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $190
    • Number of items listed this week: 105

    Good week with some interesting sales. I just finished listening to podcast during my 5 hour packing session. I love getting away for a three day weekend but pay for it when I get back. 95 items to pack between ebay and other sites. Top sellers this week $240 for 20 sets of Magic Tree House books, we put 10 of the same number together and call it a guided class reading set. This works great for any set of 8-12 identical children’s books. We buy the kids books by the pound so the 67lbs box cost us $6.70.

    Other high sellers were a set of Library of American Freedom books, buyer from last week purchased our other two sets for $230. 4 HP printer paper trays for $180, the printers did not work so I ripped the trays, memory, power buttons, displays and feed trays off them. Size 66L Blazer $70 from the Mens Warehouse bulk buy, so glad these are paying off was worried I would never sell size 50-70 mens clothing. Mix and match set of the girls LEGO’s for $85.

    I never pay attention to how many watchers I have on my Buy it now items. On auctions I look to see how many watchers an item has in an attempt to gauge how the last minute bidding might go.

    Bought a lot of good stuff last week can’t wait to dig in and start listing some of it. I sold the girls LEGO’s quick but have a lot of other LEGO’s purchased at the same time that I am trying to figure out the best way to sell them. It’s a bunch of Call of Duty vehicles and figures, Halo sets and Lord of the Rings sets.

    1. That's smart to sell identical books sets as "guided reading".

  23. RR Store Week August 28-Sept 3, 2016

    Total Items in Store: 1047
    Items Sold: 9
    Cost of Items Sold: $16.46
    Total Sales: $217.92
    Highest Price Sold: $79.99 (1966 yearbook)
    Average Price Sold: $24.21
    Returns: 0
    Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
    Number of items listed this week: About 30 Sell Similar

    Coming up on six weeks of doing the bare minimum on eBay, and it's making me crazy. So glad I saved money earlier this year, as I'm mostly living on my savings. My estate sale should have happened already, but life keeps getting in the way. I'm truly pushing the flexibility of being an eBay seller to its limits! If I had to do all this moving/prepping while holding down a regular job, I'd lose my mind.

    This week, my bum knee made me use Uber for the very first time (I know, I know...late to the party), and I love it! I've been chatting with the drivers, and it made me curious: are there any scavengers in here that drive for Uber or Lyft in addition to selling on eBay? Both platforms offer incredible flexibility, so it seems like at least a few people would do both.


    1. Our son in law is a divinity college student who drives for Uber when he has spare time in the Denver area. He enjoys it for spare money whenever he wants it.

  24. Total Items in store 620
    Items Sold 30
    Cost of Items Sold $106
    Total Sales $870
    Highest Price Sold $100 (antique crazy quilt )
    Average Price Sold $29.00
    Returns 1
    Money spent on new inventory $50ish
    Number of items listed approx 25

    I had a really good week of sales. I ran a sale in my store which helped but I also didn't realize labor day weekend is a good shopping weekend until I listened to the podcast.
    Another goal I hit was 600 items in my store. I am actually at about 630 and my goal for September is to get to 700. Things keep selling so it is not easy, but I am not complaining.
    Lastly, I have a quick question. I have heard people say that we are now in Q4 but a quarter of a year is 3 months so shouldn't 4th quarter start October 1st? Just kinda confused about that.
    Have a great trip! I am jealous you get to go to Ireland!

    1. Marci, The Fourth Quarter begins October 1st. What people really mean is we need to treat Sept as if it were part of the 4th Q...things we do now: list more stuff, make sure we have plenty of shipping supplies on hand, determine whether we are going to run promotions or not, etc...all those things should be done NOW.

  25. Interesting almasty! AND, I googled both and learned something new today:) Thanks for sharing.

  26. Arghh! I went to my shed this morning to pick the items that sold while I was at the beach. One of my sealed wardrobes had collapsed from being overloaded.
    I like the idea of the sealed wardrobe, but the frame is just too weak. I'll be re-evaluating this week and will see if I can make it out of PVC pipe or maybe steel conduit tubing and still use the enclosure.

    Either way, it sucks to get back in the groove and be presented with something like that first thing.

    1. Retro

      We made some of our clothing racks out of metal conduit, completely customizeable size and length. We picked up the black steel tubing from Lowes, each rack cost about $75 and can hold around 400lbs.

      After awhile we did go with Z racks, just for ease of use and mobility.

    2. We built our racks out of wood and metal pipes. Probably $150 each. They'll never fall apart.

    3. My normal racks are all wood or metal. I had two of these fully enclosed wardrobes I was using for clothes.It is basically a giant breathable bag that zips up and encloses a plastic and metal frame. They were like $30 at walmart. This is similar but not the exact ones I have:

      The plastic base busted apart where the metal legs went in. I want to take the full enclosure fabric part and build a new, more sturdy frame for it. Basically I can just build a wood frame and run a metal hanging rod across it. I may have to widen the holes that the original frame went through. The benefit is I can also add a floor base to put things in the bottom and add a shelf over top of it.

      Gentleman, we can rebuild them. Better, stronger, faster.

  27. Retro Treasures WV, ugh...I feel your pain!

    just a thought, we "file" our clothing in standard size cardboard boxes (but our clothing is stored inside the home). You may be able to do the same with Clear Plastic Tubs.

    I turn the box on it's end, list my clothes and then fold them and place them in the box. When I turn my box back on it's bottom, every single piece of clothing in the box is visible from the top. It's worked well for us.

    I also number the boxes and then add that number to the end of my title so we can easily find the item. When a box starts to get empty, I pull it, turn it on it's side and refill it.

    I figure I am going to fold the item when I pack and ship it so it doesn't really matter if it gets a few wrinkles. If the wrinkles are excessive, I may or may not throw it in the dryer for a bit before I ship it.

    If you used clear plastic tubs you could then seal it and put it in your shed.

    1. I have been using tubs as well for clothes lately. I've been in the process of converting the wardrobes to only holding coats/jackets, bulky items, and delicates. I store everything in a non-climate controlled shed, so I want to insure no surprises crop up when I pull items to ship. I have cedar hanger pucks in the sealed wardrobes. I suppose I could rig something up inside my tubs to hold cedar planks without contacting the clothes.

      The tubs I use don't seal well. They are the cheapo $5 clear ones at walmart.

  28. Total Items in Store: 1063
    Items Sold: 30
    Total Sales: $678.2
    Cost of Items Sold: $39.6
    Average Price Sold: $22.61
    Average Cost of Item: $1.32
    Highest Price Items Sold: $66.95 - Breg Polar Care Cube Cold Therapy System
    Number of items listed this week: 15
    Average age of items in store (in days since listing): 181
    Average number of days between listing and selling this week: 131
    Median age of sales (in days, between listing and selling): 41
    Sell-through rate: 2.82%
    # of Hats Sold: 15

    I had a good week and a busy weekend for sales. I’m not doing much listing so I’m happy to see things continue to sell.

    When it comes to watchers, two or more watchers gives me confidence that an item will eventually sell. I find it interesting to sort my items by watchers to see the most-watched items and to try and figure out why the item is being watched, but not selling. Currently - my most-watched items have about 10 watchers (a cup and a hat).

    1. I find that some of my highest priced items have the most watchers, I have 2 or 3 now with 20 or more watchers.

  29. Just celebrating that I just passed the 200-listing mark. I've been working my way to that number all summer, but sales were pretty steady so even with adding about 10 listings a week, it took a while to get there. I'm just a PT seller with a FT job and a young child, so 200 listings is a lot for me.

    I've learned a lot about ebay over the past year and some of my listings are things I wouldn't source again. (Hello, bulky sweaters and blazers!) I'm thinking that the used clothing trade has really changed, thanks to ThredUp and Poshmark and all the other new sites. All my lower-end "designer" clothes from brands like J Crew are slow to move. But ebay is still great for the true vintage and weird stuff. And I've gotta say how much I love my buyers from Australia! It seems they're the ones always willing to spend a couple hundred bucks on the oddball stuff... vintage surfing magazines, rare walkmans. I've read that Austrialians have to pay sky-high shipping for domestic in-country shipping, so maybe this makes them more willing to pay international shipping.

    Another random comment: Flim talked about using giant ikea bags to transport sourced stuff around NYC. So smart! I do a lot of thrifting at lunchtime and random scavenging when I'm out and about at work, and so I use an extra large LL Bean Boat and Tote bag as my work bag so I can stash scavenged items. I don't think my colleagues ever suspect the crazy treasures in there! They just think it's a "mom bag." It's the strongest bag that has held the strangest things -- if bags could talk!

    1. If you want to sell J Crew its good, much stronger in the mid range pricing tier than Ralph Lauren for example. You must pick only the items that have a special trait in this brand though (and almost every other brand). If it says slim fit, tailored, athletic, or anything like that, pick it up. That special trait is powerful compared to regular or classic fit. Next special trait is material: linen, silk, wool, merino wool, cashmere, chambray, madras.. if it were to have any of those it would also be a good pickup. If it were a combination of slim and a good material, their magic stacks up on each other! Finally, the size trait, and tall or XXL and bigger is good to pick. If the J Crew was a regular fit shirt size Large with 100% cotton it might sell for $15-17 in about 1-3 months but once you pick up some of those special traits it becomes $20-30+ in less than a month sell through time. Hope this was helpful to someone :)

  30. Help! I've tried in vain to print this one shipping label over 10 times now. It gives me the normal red box try again later msg but I've printed all of the others so I wonder if the address is the issue. It's a funky military one. Here's how it looks, any tips would be great.

    Street: afsbn-ku Attn FWD APS-5
    State: AE (armed forces)

    1. Was there a zip code? It should have one. (I think the "Attn FWD" might be the confusion though). When I've been really stuck with eBay, I switch to PayPal ( ) and just upload the tracking number from PayPal into eBay. PayPal seems a little more lenient.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. One more idea – are you trying to use GSP? APO/FPO is not supported by GSP. The address structure you’ve got looks correct with APO as the city and AE as the state. Usually the street line is a little simpler with often just a box number but the “ATTN” and all that should not matter. APO/FPO is normally an overseas address so US export and host country import restrictions come into play and there are size and weight restrictions. A customs form has to be used, not a straight mailing label. On eBay the customs form with postage should automatically come up as the shipping label for the item. If you go to the post office to do it off line, you’ll need a mailing label and a customs form and postage. If you do it on Paypal, your “AE” translates as “Armed Forces Europe” on the State drop down menu.

    4. Hmm. From what I read eBay treats this type of address as a US address so everything should work fine but it's not. I wish the page would tell me what's wrong and not just give me the typical we cannot print your label at this time try again later message

    5. Thanks guys. I went to print from PayPal which costs a little more but the eBay label page wouldn't even pull up for me anymore to even get my error. By doing so another screen popped up for customs. That must have been the issue. I printed it but realized it didn't put tomorrows date the way eBay will late night. I'm hoping that won't be an issue since it says you have to mail it the date listed.

    6. I've mailed a day after the label date occasionally both domestic and international and it has never been an issue.

  31. Brooklyn_procurementSeptember 6, 2016 at 12:34 PM

    the people in Brooklyn you where referring too are the hipsters. I worked with them at a tech startup for almost a year. They spend so much money on vintage and vintage looking items, it blew my mind, that and they said "bro" a lot

    This was not a very good week, but August was by far my best month...$999.99 in sold items! Yeah really disappointing

    this weekend I made my first scavenging mistake. I over paid for junk at a yard sale and will probably just break even. turns out the people I bought from also scavenge and resell, but not online...I just bought the junk they couldn't sell. Unfortunately I found out after I had already made a deal and paid.

    It is official, I have separated my eBay and paypal from my personal and now have everything running through a dedicated gmail. Also I broke over my 300 listings and heading for 400! Couldn't have done all this without this podcast and the people on the blog!

    It really hit me this weekend that savaging is what I want to do. I was downstairs in my office organizing new inventory and my wife and son came down to visit. My son was playing with his toys on the floor, while my wife sat with him and I continued to work. It was perfect. I could never get that while sitting at a cubicle all day.

    1. BP, don't give up on the yard sale stuff yet. Just because the sellers couldn't find a local buyer, that doesn't mean there's not somebody out there who will want the pieces. Experienced scavengers and dealers make mistakes, and someone selling only locally is at the mercy of the local market. I've made tons of great purchases from local scavengers who don't sell online; the fact that your haul was someone else's leftovers means nothing if they didn't have it listed and available to a national audience. Hang in there!

    2. yo bro, did you ride here on your fixie with some cold brew coffee? yeah i know the hipsters. oddly they are some of our best customers! so i can't harsh on them too hard.

    3. Hipsters are great to sell to - they overspend like no other group!
      Hipsters become a problem when they take over one of your hobbies. For instance, hipsters have brought back pinball from the brink of death. The downside is these overpaying idiots have TRIPLED the cost of machines! What I used to be able to buy for $800 now costs $2500 and up. New machines from Stern used to be $3000-4000. Now they are approaching $10k.

      I've pretty much had to walk away from the hobby.

    4. Congrats on your Scavenger break through.
      Those moments when you realize that this is the life for you are very important. Helps you through the slow periods.

    5. Brooklyn ProcurementSeptember 9, 2016 at 2:38 PM

      some good news on that yard sale. I bought a lot of action figures and one alone will make me my money back. Plus I have already sold a few and I have already broke even, the rest of the stuff I bought is now "gravy". So my failure actually worked out in my favor.

      cant knock the cold brew! I love that stuff.

      Now I got to look for pinball machines!

    6. hipsters know the quality foods and clothes, no doubt. cold brew is great.

  32. Jay and Ryanne, I still have a lot of those old Auctiva scrolling photos listings. I used Auctiva to be able to post more photos back when you had to pay extra for them on Ebay. I d/c'd my Auctiva account long ago. Surprisingly the listings remained, but sadly so did the annoying scroll. Now I don;t know how to get rid of it! Any idea? If I have to just end them they are so old I am sure I will not go to the trouble to re-photo and relist. And another big problem is that I don't know which listings have Auctiva unless I happen to click on it. What a headache!

    1. might be worth a call to ebay to ask how to get rid of that code. i'm not sure how to do it without going in one by one. which you heard, took me 3 weeks!

    2. I will do that and report back. Thanks.

  33. Total Items in Store: 608
    Items Sold: 46
    Total Sales: $926.73
    Cost of Items Sold: $109.35

    This week was slow to start and I knew it was because I had about 4 days the prior week of not listing due to research and implementation of my new camera setup. The delayed effects of that were evident this week. I tried to counter by listing over-time and catching my store up. I think it may have worked but no doubt it would have been a $1000+ week if I could have not had the 4 day hiatus in listing the week prior. I think I was at the low $800 range Saturday morning but then had a great Saturday to end up with a solid week.

    I am increasing my quality and price of items. I am having to source more but it is possible by putting more mileage on my car. I am lucky to be between two Goodwill regions so I can take advantage of their sales in double. The 50% off days do have the trouble of competition. Not by pickers, but by the public in general. By noon I do notice that places seem picked over. Wednesdays are special though because they do 40% off most locations and much less competition.

    1. Yeah, having higher priced items will allow you to float for a week at a time vs the grind of always listing.

      You have a great business so far, but selling 46 items a week means you really cant every take a break.

    2. I love what I do though so I never work :) I work fewer than 40 hours a week I'm guessing.

  34. Total items in store: 320
    Items sold: 6
    Cost of Items Sold: $16 thrift + $6 retail + $9.50
    Total Sales: $134.95
    Avg. price: $22.49
    Highest price item: $39.99 NWT Ralph Lauren Shirt
    International sales: 1
    Returns: 0
    Money spent on new inventory: $0
    Number of items listed: 5

    A slow week, I had 4 consecutive days with no sales. In 2 days I've already sold the same amount this week as I did last week.

  35. So in response to your driving fears, I lived in New Zealand for 6 months and have been back a few times. My expat friends gave me sage advice, 'driver goes in the middle' meaning no matter which country you are in, the driver should be closest to the center line, if you are closest to the shoulder you are in the wrong lane (or you are driving a right hand drive car in the US or Canada). Also, do not drink too much, you will always get in the wrong side of the car after the pub and feel dumb.
    Have a great trip and I hope you sell a lot while you are away.

    1. Yes. I've traveled back and forth between the US and Australia and driven on both sides. Keeping yourself near the middle is good advice. You'll find yourself drifting to the side otherwise.

      The only times I had issues were when I'd get in the car (usually in the evening) and not be thinking about which side I should be driving on. When you're consciously thinking about it, making the switch is not difficult. (Headlights coming straight towards you are a good reminder that you might be on the wrong side of the road).

    2. thanks y'all. yeah i keep picturing driving over there and just making sure that i'm in the middle. so driver side is always by the road lines (if any), in all countries. i'll just drive like a very slow, elderly person and i'm sure i'll be ok.

    3. I've driven in England and it took a bit to get used to shifting with your left hand. Also, when turning a corner you sometimes end up in the wrong lane, and the left front corner of the hood will seem like it's a mile away at first.

    4. Ryanne - I hope you reserved a car with automatic transmission. The UK really loves stick shifts for some reason. Having to shift with your left hand and deal with unfamiliar everything is just too much. Be especially careful at zebra crossings.

    5. yes, we got an automatic, though i can drive stick (we have one), i wouldn't want to try with my left hand, confusing!

  36. Cyndi (amazing*taste)September 6, 2016 at 3:30 PM

    Slower week last week. We did have sales on Amazon, Etsy, and Bonanza though so that all adds up. Happy to hear I was a help to all of you. You have all been such a help and inspiration to me! Have a great week!


    1. You guys are smart. We know you'll get through this.

  37. I really don't care about watchers either, except I do loosely gauge them when price changing. Sometimes, I will fiddle with prices of items with lots of watchers and often get a sale that way.

    Bravo you two had a pretty huge sales weekend.

    HEADS UP: I was spot checking some older listings and discovered eBay "lost" pictures for at least 10 items (so far), for the late 2015 / early 2016 time frame. Instead of pictures in search, you see a grey box in search, and grey boxes on the listing. My partner, aka IT Guy, says it's definitely an eBay issue. Other listings posted at the same time are fine. Also, we still have pictures in our descriptions and ftp them, and those are fine for the same listings that eBay has a Gray Picture Box for. So you may want to spot check and see if you were affected. I'm still doing clean up.

    Apparently my partner who also is the Great Bean Counter says I need to post the expensive stuff on eBay. Those Nissan GT-Rs won't buy themselves, so time to get out of the rut. It was fun while it lasted, but the partner knows best.

    Here's recent sales and cute puppies:

    1. I have one listing where ebay seems to have lost the pictures. I don't save my pictures, so some day I'll pull it out of storage to take new pictures.

  38. Flim Store Week August 28-Sept 3, 2016

    Total Items in Store: 719
    Items Sold: 22
    Cost of Items Sold: $136
    Total Sales: $1,186.50
    Highest Price Sold: $136 bag
    Average Price Sold: $53.93
    Returns: 0

    Steady sales. Again, some days were very high ($400+) and others had 0 sales. It's tough getting used to that unevenness.

    This should give you all a good laugh: look up retail prices for "golden goose distressed" shoes.

    Also, found this article from Entrepreneur re RA vs ebay, not sure if someone may have posted it already:

    1. very interesting article....thanks for the link!

    2. That story is super interesting.
      I guess as long as buyers are willing to pay more by not researching the items, then dropping shipping from Amazon to eBay will always be a thing.

  39. Total Items in Store: 1578
    Items Sold: 16
    Total Sales: $420.00
    Highest Price Sold: $70 Fur Coat
    Average Price Sold: $26.25
    Returns: 1

    It was a decent week. I had my whole store on Best Offer and a 10% off sale at the same time for a good part of the week. I think this gave me a bunch of sales. The downside was that they were mostly low priced items. Also, I had some people doing 1/2 price best offer on a sale item. I thought I might have caused myself a lot of work, but it also made sales so that is good.

    I have been thinking about other avenues for ebay:

    1. Retail Arbitrage - I already do some small scale RA and have had success so far.
    I am going to research and maybe buy more this coming January.

    2. Consignment - I would only be interested in this if the items were $100+
    I was thinking an antique store that isn't online savy might be a good place
    to try this. Maybe, if the right deal comes along.

    3. Selery - I am going to do this, just haven't got around to it.
    The great thing is that you just send it in and you are done, almost like amazon.

    4. Buy smalls on ebay and resell - Don't think this will work for me right now.

    5. Sell low priced items - Not a good option for me right now.

    So, I'm trying to jump into Selery and later with Retail Arbitrage. The others are on the sidelines for now.

    1. Mark, I am going through THE VERY SAME thought process RIGHT NOW
      :-) ;-)
      Really great to have colleagues to share same moment. Also, I am on the $500/week store.
      From one side my store is best offer standard for all items.
      From the other, my main pain is myself in terms of needing better discipline to go picking, scavenging. Specifically, I need to improve my Thrift visiting schedule. What is killing me is how to plan/program those visits.
      Every Wed I go tho a major Goodwill Megastore since it is just across the street from my weekly Auction two towns down.
      However there are other 3 GWs even closer and with much better price (2 of them in my town) I need to have same rigor and discipline.
      I know, I am too nerdy on everything, I overthink everything

    2. Paulo,

      What were your ideas on this topic of other avenues to do on ebay? I like to keep the ideas flowing and go with one when it makes sense. Selery is making sense right now because I'm getting to the point of running out of space. Plus, shipping is starting to consume more of my time with the busy season upon us. 2500 items is my limit right now unless I move more of my personal items to storage. I like to have my ebay items in the basement.

    3. Great topic Mark, thank you for bringing it on. I have dedicated last 2-3 weeks to, besides operating my store, draw a very rigid discipline and build my strategy moving forward.
      First, the "let go's". The article R+J shared about clothes is perfect to exemplify. CNN Money posted a similar article talking about No Fashion is the new Fashion. In summary, streamlining the clothing long tail market. So, I am letting clothing go, unless I find real pink elephants. I am not spending or dedicating much of my time to dig on clothing. Instead, I will replace that time to what I have good to great knowledge (antiques and some forms of vintage collectibles).
      Second, the standard operating procedures. I used all 9to3 time of the last 2 business weeks to reorganize completely my storage space. Trowing out, donating, cleaning and, more importantly, organizing with "a system".
      Third, strengthening the retail as a pro business instead of the more amateurish/hobbyist. It grew fast and I am still me, myself and I, so financial, automation and decision making processes (to buy, to sell: I cannot spend time ruminating about the cost of that item and whether I should take that best offer).
      I need to look at the business as a whole: one hit versus 10 scores is more than excellent

    4. I need to better explore other retail arbitrage (eBay and Amazon), and books (Amazon), to replace my current Software RA. This components serve to generate "bread and butter" revenue. B&B equals comfort to operate and explore.
      Remember Jay's interview with the Comedian who eBay'ed Lego characters? So part of the time I used for clothes will go "desirables". Challenging though because you might get lost in that huge pile of beanie bears or endless shelves of LPs. Answer is look, sort, move to next.
      Example, the other day someone dropped a considerable collection of sports related porcelains. One of the twins grabbed some player statues, the rest sold fast. A Hockey goalie/goal plant vase from the 50's had multiple parallel offers. That day I decide to look the China session for the first time instead of clothes.

    5. I do not have Ryanne's skill to find dollar items to sell for thirty. She often mentions "who would buy that"? Even though she buys and sells really good. Most - if not all - items I tried I failed. So until I get better educated I will set it aside. This time is replaced by books. Got a grasp on that. I can now swipe my eyes on large, wide shelves and identify and then fine tune. Have been finding an average of 5 $50-$100 books per visit. The week I took the older boys to College I sold like 5 in one day (actually I did $1000 in one day for first time on Amazon, books and RA).
      Finally, for this round at least, Designer Fashion Brand Jackets are on a hype. Not the street fashion, rather it is the fine elegant casual fashion. You can find $10-20 items to sell for $50. There are some interesting tweaks worth my while to dedicate a tad bit more time to sort through.

      Many many many details on my note book

    6. Mark, whats the problem you;re trying to solve?
      Need to make money for less work?

    7. Jay - I'm trying to maximize profit and enjoyment based on my current constraints:

      1. Time - I have about 10-12 hours a week to put into this for about 48 weeks a year

      2. Space - I can only store about 2600 items in my basement. I want to keep inventory at my house right now.

      3. Resource - my lister can only list about 100-120 items per month.

      4. Money - Don't want to tie up too much money in items that sit for a long time.

      Also, I don't want to miss out on new opportunities (Being an Opportunist - episode 269) because that will
      add to my enjoyment and hopefully maximize profit. For example, what if I can find an Antique dealer with some
      high end inventory that needs to sell online but doesn't want to do the work? That could be a great opportunity! Same thing with Retail Arbitrage. What
      if I can find a store where I can get high end inventory at 10% of MSRP that sells well? I could buy in multiples so that it is easy and economical to list. I do small scale Retail Arbitrage right now.
      I find that I need to be at about 10% of MSRP to make it worth while. I can find some at 10% on a small scale,
      but not sure about on a large scale. If I could, that would be a great opportunity.

      Once I hit 2600 (at about 1600 right now) listings, I should net about $3000 per month. That is about my terminal velocity right now because I will be out of space, a resource to list, and near my time limit of about 10 hours a week.
      That is where Selery comes in. It nearly eliminates the need for more space. My time is saved because
      I don't have to ship more items. I can spend my last 2 hours a week on it. I could make about $1000 a month on Selery at terminal velocity. So, for about 50 hours a month, I would be making about $4000 net before taxes. That's about $80 per hour. That is how I want to maximize profit based on my current constraints.

    8. Makes sense. Sounds like you're figuring out the right equation that works for you.

      It's amazing if you can find new retail items at 10% of their original price. That's very rare for us.

  40. ==== VeRO cold feet ====
    Friend's, I've got VeRO coldfeet. From one side I feel confident with items like Coach bags I have on store, however I am in panic with my retail arbitrage (as I mentioned a couple of times, it gives me my steady, ground level supporting income to offset the operating costs that hit my CoGS line). This line I sell only on Amazon.
    I decided I will NOT restock my software line, even more after reading the Rosetta Stone discussion above.
    Even more now that I am on the late teens of my store (maturity-wise)

  41. Second unwarranted raise in less than a month...kinda crazy. I assume its some crazy computer algorithm instead of someone actually raising my limits.

    Monthly limits
    1.8Mmore items
    8,483listed and sold / 1.8Mlimit on quantity of items

    $230,911.12listed and sold / $33Mlimit

    1. I wonder if this is for activity and not for sales. My sales are small, but my listing activity is high. I was far far away from previous limit, now is like the other side of the known universe

  42. I think there is a difference between "death piles" and "To Be Listed". A death pile is random items piled in a room without much order to them. A "To Be Listed" items are usually organized and put in a box - hopefully in the basement or another out of the way place. "To Be Listed" is much more preferable to me because when I'm ready, just go grab the box and away I go. Death piles are like a box of chocolates .... you never know what you will find!

    1. By the way, my comments are from experience. I had so many death piles in my room, I didn't even realize how deep and far they went! I recently put them all in containers and stacked them in the basement. I feel so much better now, and my room is much easier and pleasant to navigate!

    2. Hey Mark, I mentioned here at my beginning as participant that I am pathological hoarder (good news is the year here with Team R&J got me to remission like no other clinical treatment before).
      I started listing my own hoard and, till now, never accumulated dead piles. Worse case scenario is week old TBL.
      Also, I buy and sketch picture and create draft listing. Vast majority of cases is just upload remaining of the 12 pics and fine tune details (I need my disclaimer on each listing)
      The lowlight is that I am potentially buy less than i can sell

  43. Hello,
    i have been lurking old episodes and comments for a couple months now. thank you to ryanne & jay for maintaining such a great site (thankfully, with no forums) and to all the posters who contribute here. the signal:noise on ebay re-selling makes my head hurt. promise i'll be back soon & post some better content. atm i have a paypal & ebay fees payment issue to comment on.

    i don't reconcile my paypal in any formal way. i did when i first begin selling on ebay in a more serious & deliberate
    fashion (re-selling), but after a while it didn't seem necessary. i defaulted to just having a general idea of what
    my balance was each day. a couple of weeks ago i began questioning myself. "huh?, i could swear the balance was $75 higher this morning". that sort of thing. i don't use paypal for anything other than collecting ebay payments, buying shipping from USPS via ebay & the ebay return center (which everyone is opted into without choice). i do not use paypal to pay ebay seller fees either, but i'll get into that in my second comment. well, it ends up that paypal is indeed having some issues displaying accurate account balances. the rep i spoke to said she would prioritize my concern & pass it to
    their engineers. i have to say this is kind of annoying. maintaining ledger balances is not exactly state of the art
    technology these days. basically payment from a buyer posts & the balance updates correctly, but on your next transaction
    (the proceeding line, which on paypal floats to the top of your ledger) such as an ebay postage charge, the balance is wrong. after calling them today, i went through a month of entries and found 2 more instances of this. i also noticed that i got multiple notifications on my phone from the paypal app (not the ebay app) of buyer payment.

    how do you handle paying your ebay store, final value & any fedex fees you accrue during the month? i no longer use
    paypal, but have come up with a work-around to get the full 30 days to make payment. payment is actually due 30 days from your statement date, but in my experience ebay will charge your credit card or draw on your paypal within 7-10 days.
    i have low-limit card that i keep on file with ebay. it never has & never will have enough room on it to pay my average ebay charges. the day before my payment is due, i log into ebay & make a one time payment. i like to pay my bills, but only when they are do.

    1. We've personally never had an issue with Paypal.
      We just pay it on our credit card so we can rack up points.
      Then we pay it off immediately so we never pay interest.

      Its really easy.

    2. i heard about the paypal ledger issue from two other re-sellers today, not including the person who posted about it on this site in the other thread. i guess you guys reconcile every paypal transaction pretty closely & i should probably start doing so again, but i never thought i would have to doublecheck the payment entry & every entry that proceeds it for accuracy. well, at least i got a nice paypal refund out if it!

      i pay ebay fees on my credit card to accrue points also. that's not really the point. i want the full 30 days to pay ebay & the only way i have achieved that is captioned above. of course, people can pay their bills whenever they like. i just want to pay them when they are due & no sooner.

    3. Have you called Paypal about this? If it was happening across the board, Paypal would be on the hook for a huge mess. It's a public company and can't just miss transactions.

      Just curious about wanting to wait to pay your eBay bill till the last minute. Is it just the principle of "why give it to them early", or are you juggling bills?

      We pay bills as soon as they are issued. Gets it off our books.

    4. re:paypal I was literally stunned by it. I had gone from reconciling every line entry in my paypal account to finally convincing myself that paypal was capable of keeping accounts current & i was wasting my time. i mean, computers! come on! So i stopped closely reconciling & then this happened. It took about 18 hours, but paypal restored and displayed an accurate balance & corrected the ledger entries that were in error. However, there is still a small error (which is in my favor) that as of this post has not been corrected. paypal is publicly traded, but is not technically a bank, so it is unclear at times what laws prevail. i agree that they can't just mess up like this in the course of business, but they did. just to be clear, they didn't miss a transaction. an item would sell, phone notification from ebay of sale & payment, sep notification from paypal app of $ received. everything on paypal accurate so far. then lets say i go to buy postage to ship that item or just buy something on ebay, the next line item would be for that purchase, but the balance would reduce by the purchase AND the amount paid by the LAST buyer. pretty messed up.

      i'll get back to you on getting the full 30 day term on ebay fees

  44. Hey Everyone. Just an administration note.

    It seems some of you are getting caught in Blogger's spam filter.
    I check it a couple times a day and approve the comments. Blogger seems to be flagging long comments, especially if they have commercial names included.

    We do allow anonymous comments and are very open to differing opinions as long as everyone is being respectful. But the spam filter is more aggressive on anonymous commenters.

    To avoid the filter, signing in with a blogger (google) account makes it easier. Gives you an identity.

  45. Number of Items in Store: 185
    Items Sold: 21
    COG: $40.81
    Total Sales: $643.68
    Highest Price: $111.96 Longaberger Cereal Bowls
    Average Price: $30.65
    Returns: 0
    Money Spent New: $42.83
    Number of New Items Listed: 30

    Amazon FBA
    Number of Items Sold: 21
    Total Sales: $389.95
    FBA Fees, subscription, Inbound Shipping, COGS: $263.27
    Profit: $126.68

    My kids started school and it was my intention to hit the ground running. I think I did OK. I am a one woman show, so doing Ebay and Amazon is a bit much for me. Yet I really enjoy doing both. I am sending books to Amazon, so I feel like I have good margins.

    1. Tiffany,
      your ebay numbers are great! those are really impressive ratios! your average sale as a multiple of avg unit cogs is ~15x & you sold >11% of your listed inventory in a 7 day cycle. my avg price is a bit higher than yours, but 15x is multiple i work to average every week. you must be a skilled & controlled buyer as well as a competent lister to hit those numbers with a relatively short inventory. do you happen to track your total inventory risk in dollars? that is, do you know how much you spent buying the 185 items in your store? avg sale, avg sales multiple, inventory turn & total inventory risk $ are the 4 main metrics i work. and i really mean work. i always ask myself how can i buy cheaper, sell faster, sell higher, and keep less money on the shelves & more in my pocket. Really great job!