01/09/2017 at 10:56 am #9802
01/09/2017 at 11:43 am #9804
Total Items in Store: 848
Items Sold: 37
Cost of Items Sold: $256
Total Sales: $1,475.65
Highest Price Sold: $99 (Eminem Action Figure)
Average Price Sold: $39
Sorry about the 1,600 return….didn’t hear your feelings on the podcast yet. I really have a hard time when I get those return requested emails…even though I know it part of every retailer who does business…I have a hard time not making a big deal out of it…9 times out of 10 it will just sell again and its no big deal…although it really hurts when you know its a hard to sell item…
01/09/2017 at 11:44 am #9805
Week January 1-7, 2017
Total Items in Store: 714
Items Sold: 13
Cost of Items Sold: $99
Total Sales: $514.97
Highest Price Sold: $200 (collection of family photo negatives)
Average Price Sold: $39.61
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
Number of items listed this week: 0
Good week, driven by that collection of photo negatives. I’ve had them for about 6-7 months, sold the most interesting ones in a lot of their own – some professional modeling negatives – and the rest were family vacations, christmases, birthdays, etc. Had them listed for $300, got an offer for $100, countered at $250, and then accepted $200. Paid $10 for the lot, so real nice ROI on that. Headed to Paris now.
Other good sales included two RA buys – a Waterford limited edition champagne flute bought after Christmas last year for $30 at Home Goods sold for $65 and the last pair of those Coach gloves sold for $60.
Also, the bathroom renovations are done and the final cleanup & touch ups are being done right now. We moved back into our bedroom over the weekend, so my eBay space in the second bedroom is available again. As soon as the final cleanup is done, I’ll post a video of the final product… I also have a TON to list as it’s been over 5 weeks now since we’ve been displaced. Very excited to get back on the horse.
01/09/2017 at 1:39 pm #9825
Congrats on the complete renovation. What a good feeling.
Did eBay money pay for the work?
01/09/2017 at 1:57 pm #9832
It contributed a little bit, but it was a very expensive renovation. eBay probably contributed ~10% of the cost.
01/09/2017 at 4:10 pm #9866
Yes, congrats on the project completion! Can’t wait to see the final photos!
01/09/2017 at 11:53 am #9806
Wow, I couldn’t even imagine the sink in my stomach if I got a return request for $1600. Listening to the podcast now to see how you handled it.
01/09/2017 at 12:04 pm #9808
Items/listings in store 1419/1272
COGS 24.56 for items, $54.04 free shipping = $78.60 (I offer free shipping on 99% of my items)
Highest Price Sold 2 Items $39.99 each Brooks Brothers Men’s Lambswool Sweater / WearGuard insulated coveralls
Lowest Price Sold $5.69 (Yamaha fuel tank fitting – cogs 1.06, shipping 2.60, packaging .25, fees $1.03 = $4.95, profit = 75 cents)
Average Price Per Sale $23.24
Intl – 1 GSP to UK
$ spent On New Merch –$72
Listed New 80+ Items
Slow week but I just put my store back online after a 3 week vacation. Sales picked up and have been steady since 1/4. This is my 1st weekly report and hope to do it all year.
To add something different I am putting in my lowest price sold item and a bit of info on it so you can see something to avoid. The Yamaha fittings were a EARLY purchase (over 1 year ago) that I got from Walmart clearance. I got many different fittings for marine applications for 1.06 each with tax. This was the last to sell. Some sold for as much as $10. but I have been slowly reducing the price. I bought these without looking them up and it was basically a newbie error.
Thanks to all the posters on the forums – I learn so much!
01/09/2017 at 1:43 pm #9826
Reply to add return rate:
Over all 1.04%
I try to really check my items and fully disclose flaws. Also I am probably 60% clothes and of that 90% mens clothes and 10% womens.
01/09/2017 at 12:05 pm #9809
Total Items in Store: 643
Items Sold: 12
Cost of Items Sold: $29
Total Sales: $442
Highest Price Sold: $185 (Marantz Recorder – Resold after a false return)
Average Price Sold: $36.83
Average Profit: $34.42
FBA items sold: 4
Total FBA sales: $98.55
FBA COGS: $9
FBA Fees: $34.06
FBA Profit: $55.49
FBA Average profit: $13.87
These are the weeks that are pretty cool. Yes my numbers are a little low, but I did almost ZERO work for ebay. What other job can you take a week off and still make money!
Our School Room is almost complete, and I have one half of the new ebay room set up. Still a TON of work to do to get the ebay room finished. I’m not going to have much spare time for ebay for maybe two more weeks. There is so much other more important work to do to get our house in order. After all that is done though, I’m going to attack my death piles like a mad-man.
As for Amazon FBA, I have not sent anything in for several months it seems. I’m still making between $50-100 a week. I am going to go through and delete some of the long-tail low value items before the Feb deadline. I’ll keep long tail items that I’m confident will eventually sell for $29.99 or higher. I will wait until the day after the LTSF deadline and then send in a new shipment of items I have accumulated. If you wait till the day after, you get a year before LTSF will be applied. I’m sure amazon will come up with a way to take care of that loophole as well…
01/09/2017 at 12:13 pm #9813
Total Items in Store: 338
Items Sold: 7
Cost of Items Sold: $9 used + $54 new
Total Sales: $178
Highest Price Sold: $40 Williams Sonoma Dishtowel & Spatula RA Set (paid $16 summer clearance)
Average Price Sold: $24 Taking offers!
Returns: 0; Int’l Sales – 1 mug to Canada GSP
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0! No Scavenge Challenge week 2
Number of items listed this week: 11
So funny and weird because I just this morning emailed about this local CL Crate & Barrel chair. I think it might be the one in your truck photo. https://santabarbara.craigslist.org/fuo/5899293888.html It’d be more like 2k new so congrats. Mine is stale listing so fingers crossed.
Speaking of scavenging, we are staying at the Disney Aulani later this month. We were so slammed that it was too late to get an AirB&B unfortunately to stay in after my husband’s conference hotel. I talked to the reps and they suggest calling over and over to see if we can upgrade from the standard room to a larger one. He gave me the tip that people normally book in the mornings and cancel in the evenings. Also to try around the 5 day window when it becomes a permanent booking. This particular property has not been as successful as they hoped and apparently there are a lot of cancellations happening routinely. I used Trip Advisor to look at our next hotel stay but booked directly with the hotel, and recently got an TA alert about the price dropping, called and got it down $100 without having to cancel and rebook. Awesome!
Meh week of sales. I’ve dabbled in Williams Sonoma RA and it gets a lot of hits but even their sales prices can be strong. I’m sticking with my no scavenge challenge and I’m taking offers. Thanks to those of you who joined me in the challenge. It totally helps my resolve to have posted it in writing. I’ve got a lot of stuff to clear.
Not great listing #s after the beginning of the week because we are really focused on cleaning out our non-Ebay house and kids stuff. Our thrifts have all stopped taking used toys, so I guess we’ll be freecycling some of that. I put a bunch of stuff on Craigslist but it’s very quiet. I did list a big plastic tub of bulky afghans on Ebay and I’m having a $3 hairy Pendleton blanket cleaned. Thanks for the wool blanket cleaning tips. Some really grab fibers, but the dryer did release things on others.
Have a great week everyone.
01/09/2017 at 1:30 pm #9822
Sorry for the lengthy forum post today. Chair sold not surprisingly. 🙁
Wanted to share a couple of tidbits about the reviewing your homeowners insurance. Our insurance is through USAA and based in TX. We live in coastal CA where the land value is 5x the structure and the labor cost is very, very expensive. I had to work with them on a couple of issues scavengers in our situation might want to review. First, they had our structure value too high (based on the property tax statement). Then they have a tangible personal property amount of $500k+ for furniture, etc. tied to the home value so we were way over insured for our stuff in the house. Their program makes assumptions about this, not knowing we have all second hand stuff pretty much and only invest in renovating. Anything really good and you need a rider anyway. Second, their regional estimator had a rebuild at $150 per square foot and was actually from another town south of us. I would love to build a house (esp. kitchen & bath spaces) here for that – not happening. They allowed us to bump that up and pay a higher premium for it.
01/09/2017 at 1:52 pm #9830
Very good point. Our agent made a lot of assumptions as well. We just went line by line to question each piece of coverage.
01/10/2017 at 6:48 am #9913
That’s a good point. We also lowered our insurance on personal property in the house. We can easily replace anything inside since its all scavenged.
01/09/2017 at 1:51 pm #9828
Thats the exact chair. Its a beauty. There is a small oil mark on the headrest, but we’ve been looking to see how to remove this.
01/09/2017 at 12:20 pm #9814
Total Items in Store: 401 on etsy, 225 on ebay
Items Sold: 18 (11 on etsy, 7 on ebay
Total Sales: $786* (includes $100 unpaid for item on ebay, I have been promised payment)
Highest Price Sold: $125 antique bracelets on etsy
Average Price Sold: $43.
Returns: 1 (a clothing item of course, LOL)
even removing the waiting for payment item, a solid week.
01/09/2017 at 12:55 pm #9820
Total Items in Store: 1140
Items Sold: 60
Cost of Items Sold: $83.72
Total Sales: $1503.60
Highest Price Sold: $300 Video Game Console (paid $7 at an Estate Sale) and $150 for an old Keyboard that was in a free box at another Estate Sale
Average Price Sold: $25.06
Returns: 1 for $50 (Radioshack Answering Machine that buyer claimed wasn’t fully functioning)
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $32
Number of items listed this week: 55
Total Offers: 30
Items Sold: 154
Cost of Items Sold: $619.25
Total Sales: $2617.34
Highest Price Sold: 59.99
Average Price Sold: $17.00
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $80
Number of items listed this week: 0
01/09/2017 at 1:24 pm #9821
Store Week 1/1/17 – 1/7/17
Total items in store: 881
Items sold: 13
Cost of items sold: $14.00
Total sales: $304.90
Highest price sold: $45.00 (perfume)
Average price sold: $23.45
International Sales: 3
Money spent on new inventory this week: $10.01
This was a pretty decent week for me, but mostly low dollar items. Hey, I’ll take it! Working on listing as much as possible this week to get my numbers built back up. I really didn’t list anything during December, as I was too busy with work and holiday stuff, so I dipped way down, but I’m climbing back up.
Now for the exciting news! At the end of this month, I’ll be stepping down from my full-time position at work to go (almost) full-time on eBay and work about 1 day a week at my job. I’m not making that much at eBay at this point, but I’m hoping that with a lot more time to focus on it, I can increase my numbers and my sales to make up for it. At any rate, it will be amazing to work on my own schedule and have a lot more time with my kids while they are still little. Still crazy to think about it since I’ve done the same job for YEARS, but for once I’m doing something bold! Wish me luck!
And now, I shall listen and LIST!
01/09/2017 at 1:54 pm #9831
Huge congrats. People around here are probably tired of me saying it….but if you put in the amount of work for yourself as you’ve done for an employer, you’ll do fine (or better!)
01/09/2017 at 8:04 pm #9892
Flim Store Week January 1-7, 2016
Total Items in Store: 815
Items Sold: 35
Cost of Items Sold: $334.99
Total Sales: $2,277.90
Highest Price Sold: $250 NWT bag
Average Price Sold: $65.08
A+ sales that I’m grateful for, since I’m leaving next week for 4 weeks in Asia. My first time meeting family in the Philippines – I’m really excited but also nervous about sales coming to a halt in my absence.
I mixed up 2 packages for the first time and it was pretty rough. One wanted to meet the other in person, but the other didn’t, and then one wanted a refund and the other still wants the item. So having them mail out to each other wasn’t an option. Just hoping packages come back this week so I can properly refund/resend/relist.
J&R, what do you do with returns when you’re away for long trips? Just refund from the road when the packages are marked as being delivered?
I’ve been running sales but it wasn’t really spurring much action. Then I put Make Offer on all listings yesterday and sold $600+ in one day. We’ll see if it keeps up throughout the week.
01/09/2017 at 8:09 pm #9893
nice sales! yes, when we’re away and someone wants to return something, i just make sure they give tracking and i refund when it says delivered. it’s only happened a couple times, but it’s worked out fine.
01/09/2017 at 1:30 pm #9823
And sorry, you asked about return rates and I forgot to include ours.
On eBay we are currently just under 1%. Amazon has removed the metric that told us our return rate, but historically it was about 1.5%. Amazon’s was a bit of a joke because they would authorize the return, take our money, and count the return against us. 45 days later they would give us back about 75% of what they took because the item was never actually returned and our metrics still took the ding. While the amount of money was fairly minimal there is a huge principle there that really torques me.
01/09/2017 at 1:51 pm #9829
In response to your topic about the partial return case: There are new options now once the item has been delivered to you. You will be able to choose the option of partial refund minus restocking and shipping due to misuse of returns and the money will automatically be refunded thru Ebay and the case will close. BUT the buyer still gets the chance to escalate if they don’t agree. Please let us know what happens but definitely wait until you get it back so you see those new options. It was a test beta thing that may or may not be rolled out to everyone yet.
01/09/2017 at 2:05 pm #9834
Hello Jay and Ryanne,
I’m one of the silent active participants. Over a year on ebay, full-time, over 2,000 listings, one-person show. Too busy to read but listening keeps me company while listing.
My heart sank when I heard you say you would keep over $300 restocking fee for that necklace! I use a restocking fee for some of my items because of what I learned on your Podcast but after awhile I decided I was not going to put it on the easy to put back items, like an ashtray or vase. I do keep it on large, glass, fragile, bulky items that are a bear to pack and possibly have to repack as a disincentive to returning the item.
I just think $300 is a lot to keep for a simple thing like a necklace. But, I guess if the guy can splurge for $1,600 on a necklace on Ebay, $300 out the window is no biggie.
Thanks for the Podcast. I really enjoy it.
01/09/2017 at 2:19 pm #9838
I agree. I would make sure the item was returned undamaged then back out the original shipping and maybe $25 (so about $50???) and return the rest. I have free shipping on 99% of my items so the restocking fee basically serves to reimburse shipping expenses. I certainly understand to arguments that our time has value and should be compensated but on this easy to ship item I personally would not charge the full 20%. That being said I think you have the right to charge the 20% if you wish.
01/09/2017 at 2:52 pm #9850
Yep, it’s all transparent. Our restocking fee is clearly listed on all our items when someone buys. When someone wants to return an item, eBay clearly states what the restocking fee is.
The restocking fee is more a tool for small buyers like ourselves that forces buyers to make sure they want the item.
–If a buyer just changes their mind, it’s a hit to our cash flow and time. We’re not big enough sellers to get a lot of returns because buyers changed their mind.
–If we’ve done something wrong, we of course pay for all fees.
–And because the restocking fee is clear before purchase, the buyer has every opportunity to purchase from another seller with more lenient return terms.
01/10/2017 at 10:00 am #9935
Hey Jay: Don’t over look the obvious that is in all of our listings. Both of your stores, mine and most others that use the No Hassle Returns and that is the use of the word “MAY” apply. The standard line of the Ebay wording for those who have the restocking fee checked off on their return policy says a “20% Restocking Fee MAY Apply”. That then leaves you the executive choice to apply it or not after you have gotten the return back, inspected it, had time to inspect the item [not rec’d back damaged or substituted], then you get to decide what you are going to withhold [apply] as a restocking fee at your discretion.
One way to also lower that is to not apply the whole 20% if you think it is too much on a higher priced item. Or to apply the whole 20% but reimburse the return shipping which may equal out to a 13%, 15%, or so forth restocking fee. So, may apply leaves you the options to actually make the restocking fee anything you want.
mike at MDC Galleries in Atlanta
- This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by MDC Galleries.
01/09/2017 at 3:21 pm #9856
I just realized that the 20% restocking fee is also a good deterrent for anyone wanting to buy an expensive item and return it with a fake.
So you charge a have a 20% restocking fee on your items, but then you waive it.
01/09/2017 at 3:48 pm #9859
Since my restocking fees ‘purpose’ at least in my mind is to defray the cost of the ‘free’ shipping I give, if I had a very high priced item I would, if it was returned in as sent condition, waive part of it. Again, this is only my opinion. You make several good points for charging it.
Additionally I have not had this situation come up. I have only had 3 items sell for more that $200 in the 18 months I have been doing ebay and (luckily) none of those were returned.
- This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by Kelly1mm.
01/09/2017 at 3:54 pm #9862
Fully understand this. Always wonder if eBay will have your back on a buyers issue with high priced item. Depending on an item and what I have into it, I will put the most stringent buyer requirements that I can place on an item. I only wished I could limit those with low feedback, especially when buyers are new with zero feedback. I request this feature whenever I can with eBay. I guess you need to start somewhere. In two instances I can remember, I have called eBay asking if a buyer has any marks against them. I figured if I really felt uncomfortable with a buyer, that I would cancel the transaction, pay the fees and take a negative hit on my reputation, over losing the item the money completely. Luckily in the handful of high priced transactions with eBay, I’ve not had any problems.
01/09/2017 at 2:22 pm #9840
Jan 1 to 7 2017
• Total Items in Store: 706
• Items Sold: 16 eBay 1 Truegether
• International 0
• Total Sales $1490
• Highest Price $400 Marantz Turntable
• Average Price Sold: $88
• Returns: 0
• Cost of Items Sold: $125
• Cost of items purchased this week $0
I did spend $40 on a 1963 Motorola Console Stereo but I’m thinking I may keep this one for my self. It in a Drexel cabinet, part of their Tourain grouping, although not a big fan of French provincial it’s in fantastic condition.
This has an all tube 3 channel amplifier and reverb.
- This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by steven s.
01/10/2017 at 6:29 am #9911
I can understand keeping it for yourself. That is a beautiful piece!
01/12/2017 at 5:42 pm #10182
Wow that’s nice! I got a smaller one in not as good shape (electronics and turntable didn’t work). I also found out that console radios are hard to sell / aren’t worth all that much. I kept mine – it’s nice furniture – and I retrofitted a new amp and bluetooth to play my music through it. Big woofers and tweeter horns sound good!
01/09/2017 at 2:35 pm #9845
My Musings of Podcast 292 regarding finance. A topic I’m all too happy to chime in on.
Everyone should take a look at their insurance needs annually. If beginning of the year is best for you, then by all means. Personal auto and HO insurance is of public record from the insurance business, so when your policy is coming up for renewal is the better time to shop for insurance so that you can pit each company against each other and get a better rate. Also best to compare apples to apples, so compare companies with similar insurance ratings. This is a highly regulated industry so the variance in COI is very slim. What stands out will be services and additional benefits. When I hear someone has saved a bundle on insurance without changing coverage is translation that they went with a lower rating insurance company.
Rule of insurance is always insure what would devastate you financially if you have to fix or replace it. Do you really need that warranty coverage on that flat screen you just bought?
$100 deductible… ARE YOU JOKING? No doubt for grounds for questioning the intent of the agent.
$10,000 deductible… AGAIN, ARE YOU JOKING? Just kidding, actually quite interesting. I never thought of catastrophic insurance (high deductible). I will have to look at that for my assets. My personal concern is having asset too close together (read tornado, stream weather damage, etc).
I’m sure you’re taking advantage of the multiple polices discount… Have you thought about a “Blanket” policy? One policy covers all of your assets… Always good to look at that as an option as well.
On a side note, you’re probably still have not incorporated or LLC yourself for your properties. My opinion is you’re driving without a seat belt on. When you meet with your accountant, start that conversation.
Also remember, business assets (computers, printers, furniture & fixtures, inventory…) are not covered under regular homeowner’s insurance. These are typically covered under a rider or separate policy.
I’m not of fan of sellers charging a restocking fees, unless the item is new or the value of the item returned could vastly be changed by doing so. I think this is an overly zealous inappropriate practice and I stay clear of sellers and retailers that have them. Personal preference.
Lastly, on the topic of taxes. It’s a pet peeve of mine with individuals that want to run a successful business but don’t understand the different between a deduction and a credit and how it applies to them. Oh, and also for marginal tax rate. Not saying you don’t… just thinking out-loud.
Sorry for the rant, but as a financial maniac, again, I can’t help myself in adding my 2c worth when the topic arises.
01/09/2017 at 2:46 pm #9849
Agreed. Each of us should figure out what level of risk we can handle.
01/12/2017 at 5:51 pm #10185
Hi Jay, I was wondering about your $10k deductible. It seemed like the amount you saved on the premium wasn’t much compared to the deductible increase. Wasn’t it like $200/year for each house? So you save $200 but increase your risk by essentially $10k? If so, you’re basically betting you won’t have a major claim in the next 25-50 years, right?
On insurance agents and riders – I had an old-school state farm agent handle my insurance. He seriously saved me (by personally pulling strings when my policy didn’t quite cover a situation). Was well worth whatever commission he was getting.
And, he saved me another way: although he didn’t try to snow me w/ worthless riders, he insisted that I should absolutely purchase a rider for sewage incursion (septic in your area?). It isn’t covered by most policies w/o a rider. Three years later we had some crazy rain and the sewage system backed up and ended up in my place. Luckily I was covered because I paid the couple bucks a year for the rider.
Anyways, as always, great podcast and info!
01/12/2017 at 7:08 pm #10196
It sounds like you have a lower tolerance for risk. There is certainly all kinds of insurance you can buy to protect you from any possible problem. Especially if you have kids, this can help you sleep at night.
We did the numbers and like the idea of saving $1000/yr by taking on more risk.
I know we would never make an insurance claim for small problems on our car or house. This just makes insurance companies raise your rates if you make too many claims. We’ll absorb broken windows and problems under $10k. No problem because we’re good savers. I sleep fine.
We basically want “catastrophic” insurance on our house, just like people get for their health insurance. Again, this brief post by Pete (aka Mr Money Mustache) is a good argument for risk: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/06/02/insurance-a-tax-on-people-who-are-bad-at-math/
01/09/2017 at 3:48 pm #9858
Very nice, Jay. Very nice. Thank you.
01/09/2017 at 4:08 pm #9865
Items in store: 170/86/11
Items sold: 1/1/0
Total Sales (less shipping): $7.00/$29.99
Highest price: $7 Milk glass candy dish/$29.99 SF Giants Will Clark T-shirt cir 1990
Avg Sales Price: $7/$29.99
Net Profit: $5.79/$23.52 – $29.31
International sales: 0
Customer Issues: None
New listings: 2/5/0
Money Spent on new inventory: $0 – death pile challenge!
Very low sales, but I haven’t been listing much so not very surprising. I was happy about the candy dish sale as it was one of my first items and I’m happy to move my glass items out. The shirt I sold came from my mom and sold over night. I was happy to get a little time to list the few things I did. I had to take time off work to wait for some tile being delivered and made sure I put it to good use.
I did some scavenging for the house as well. I found a dinning room light fixture on Craigslist for $100 that I’ll pick up once they have their new light in and replace it later this week. The web price on the light is $850 new. I’m keeping an eye out for other stuff as I still need more lighting fixtures and eventually furniture. I’m ready to get this house done to shift my focus back to eBay. I spent 13 hours over the weekend putting the tile down in the master bath. Here is the link to a picture of the progress for those who want to see tile progress. I feel for you Jay and your desire to go to the auction, but having to work on the house! I still have a lot of tile in my near future before I can take the time for an auction. Building new storage shelving and an auction or two will be my celebratory activities once we get to move in!
01/09/2017 at 4:12 pm #9867
Great tile job. You’re saving so much money doing it yourself.
We don’t trust ourselves to do tile!
01/09/2017 at 4:28 pm #9868
Love that tile that looks like wood! We’ve already picked that out for our second bathroom for later this year! I think it makes it feel like a spa/sauna.
01/09/2017 at 7:14 pm #9887
Thanks Jay! I estimate we are saving between $30k-$40k by doing some of the work on our own. Granted, we have done a large portion of the finishing work ourselves and still have a good deal to do. I keep hearing from people that they wouldn’t take on tile and it doesn’t seem too difficult. This is the third area I’m working on and I had never tiled before this. YouTube is a great resource. I love gleaning skills from online resources….like this one! I’ve always been an educational scavenger!
Brian, if you think the tile makes it feel like a sauna, check out this picture of our stairwell! Stairwell Sauna We are building a log home and a lot of the walls are the pine tongue and grove so we have the sauna feel all over. I think the wood look tile is a great option for bathrooms and brings a different feel to the room. We are going to carry the same tile up the shower walls and then use a pebble “tile” for the shower floor.
01/09/2017 at 8:10 pm #9894
How is tile for keeping clean, any trouble with the cracks attracting dirt?
01/10/2017 at 6:41 am #9912
Steve – Like Brian said, you can get grout that doesn’t show the dirt or some that prevents staining. And good grout lines shouldn’t be too deep or have any cracks. In general, I find tile easy to clean and you can use a steam mop that really picks up the dirt. Sweeping is easy and pet hair tends to push to the edge of the floor like with wood.
01/09/2017 at 10:46 pm #9904
@shortandstout – that stairwell is incredible!!!
@Steven S – you can get different color grouts to 1) match/compliment and 2) hide dirts. For our bathroom, we actually got epoxy grout which is stain repellent and also doesn’t need to ever be resealed over time. Of course, it’s a little more expensive.
01/09/2017 at 5:20 pm #9870
RR Store Week January 1-7, 2016
Total Items in Store: 1129
Items Sold: 13
Cost of Items Sold: $29.78
Total Sales: $631.90
Highest Price Sold: $225 (Vintage moon landing needlepoint)
Average Price Sold: $48.61
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $11.93
Number of items listed this week: 28 new, 40 Sell Similar
I just knew someone else was going to love that crazy needlepoint. It depicts the Moon landing, and includes the astronauts’ names, among many other details. It’s borderline folk art. I had it up for $239, so I jumped at that $225 offer.
That return really sucks, J&R. I’m about to listen to the podcast, and I anxiously await the details. I don’t even have anything in my store priced that high! But as you said, there’s no crying in scavenging. I checked my return rate, and it’s at 1.53%. Not too shabby.
I’ve had some issues with my ears recently, and it has definitely cut into my productivity. Very hard to focus. So I cleaned up my store a bit by ending stale listing and using the good ol’ Sell Similar. It’s a great opportunity to adjust pricing/shipping costs, delete any extraneous text, and fine tune the title. This week I did see a few things that I recently ended sell off, so that’s cool.
Back to it, friends.
01/09/2017 at 5:20 pm #9871
Total Items in Store: 1380
Items Sold: 30
Total Sales: $ 929.07
Cost of Items Sold: $210.65
Average Price Sold: $30.97
Average Cost of Item: $7.02
Highest Price Item Sold: $119.95 Snap-On Tools 1/2” Flex Rachet 25” long
Number of items listed this week: 46
Average age of items in store (in days since listing): 196
Average number of days between listing and selling this week: 122
Median age of sales (in days, between listing and selling): 82
Sell-through rate: 2.17%
# of Hats Sold: 13
I had a great week. Lots of higher-dollar items sold this week, raising my average sale value (They cost me more however so my COGS is quite a bit higher than normal too.)
My favorite sale of the week was an old baseball glove that I took off someone’s free pile. It turned out that it was from the 1950s and it sold quickly for $45.
The suggestion to update your insurance policies is a good one. In recent years, insurance companies have apparently started applying loyalty penalties. Some people will stick with the same insurance company for decades and don’t notice their premiums rising. The advice from financial advisors these days is to shop around occasionally.
2 years ago I noticed my insurance costs getting out of control. I have auto insurance (3 cars, 4 drivers including 2 teenagers), homeowners, life, earthquake, flood and umbrella insurance. Before I shopped around, my insurance costs were $8,650 annually. After raising deductibles and switching companies on several policies, my insurance was $4,823 annually which saved me $3,827 in the first year. It’s still a lot of money but I don’t feel like I am over-insured.
01/09/2017 at 5:26 pm #9873
What is an umbrella policy? Our agent tried to sell us one, but it just sounded like extra insurance to what we already had.
01/09/2017 at 10:41 pm #9903
Jay – our umbrella policy is not exactly what eCommerce411 described. Basically it’s supplemental insurance over, and above, home and auto insurance. It’s not a replacement. Our umbrella policy provides up to $1 million of coverage. So, for example, if one of my kids has an auto accident and killed a number of people, my auto insurance has a limit of $500,000 (the highest limit available). If I was sued, my umbrella policy would kick in a provide additional insurance up to $1 million. I have the policy to prevent my assets from being suddenly wiped out. It’s pretty cheap insureance. Just a few hundred dollars a year and it provides peace of mind that I wont lose everything I worked to save for retirement.
01/10/2017 at 6:59 am #9914
That’s about how our agent described umbrella coverage. I guess if I had teenagers driving, I might bet extra insurance too!
01/09/2017 at 5:29 pm #9874
Another term for blanket policy. Wrap your insurance under one policy rather than many. Generally replaces all other policies, although can be used for specific instances or loss.
01/09/2017 at 5:53 pm #9876
Assuming the buyer returns the necklace in acceptable condition,do you both really think charging a restocking fee of $300+ is an acceptable business practice? I get that this is a beginners forum (as we discussed previously) & that you both don’t have much business experience outside what you talk about on your podcast, but does it really not strike you as greedy (and maybe top scummy) despite what you are within your “rights” to do? The point of a re-stocking fee is to get the seller “whole” after a return. That is, the seller gets to where he was before the sale. When the necklace is in your hands (in the same condition) & you get your fvf’s credited back, your outgoing shipping paid back your back to even. You two seem to think that an extra $300+ is due you & that’s not the case in anyway. Was the necklace in sealed, original, high end packaging & you can no longer sell it for xyz? I am guessing the answer is no. You should probably re-think this as you both come off pretty poorly about the matter.
I had two large christmas sales of >5k & >8k. I am pretty certain the smaller sale is coming back. Buyer has been completely upfront with me (just as yours has, so far) wouldn’t dream of scooping 1K off the floor from her as I have re-stocking fee enabled as well. Wouldn’t dream of it.
01/09/2017 at 6:04 pm #9878
What did you sell for $5k and $8k? That’s incredible.
01/09/2017 at 6:12 pm #9880
Shoutback at ya from Morrisville, PA!
01/09/2017 at 7:06 pm #9885
ha, i knew there would be someone from Morrisville out there!
01/09/2017 at 6:30 pm #9882
Returns 0.98% in Q4
Highest week ever by about $400. Funny how last week was barely $1000 because of Holiday broke and drunk people. Bought an Accord EX manual sedan that gets 35mpg and it is so far a much better car for the business. Easier to put bags in and more space.
Could be my mind over thinking it but I wonder if anyone has experienced this. When I price my goods I price everything to the same formula which is basically on the high end of solds. I then run a perpetual sale that ends every 24 hours. Well when I do 33% off I get nearly double or triple the amount of sales as when I do 32% off. I wonder if buyers have an app that show individual sellers pricing trends and see that I bounce from 33% to 32% daily. Or, I could simply be right at the perfect price vs demand curve at 33%. I think it is weird how exponential the difference of 1% makes though. It could be just coincidental around the times eBay is recovering from the holidays.
How many items can you photograph in an hour?
Here is a picture of some cool pants.
- This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by Freds_Premium.
01/09/2017 at 7:45 pm #9890
My numbers for the week of 1/1/17:
Total Items in Store: 57
Items Sold: 10 (2 Auction, 8 BIN)
Cost of Items Sold: $20
Total Sales: $233
Highest Price Sold: $75 – Sea World Playsets
Average Price Sold: $23.34 + shiping
My Average price was lower than normal but almost everything I sold this week were things that I’ve had listed for quite a while, so I was happy to ship them out. As far as returns go, I can count on one hand how many returns I have had in the seven years I’ve been selling on eBay. Seriously…not more than 5 items. It is probably due to what I actually see as a flaw of mine. I am overly meticulous when it comes to item prep, photographing, and listing. It takes me way longer than I think it should. I’d really like to improve my efficiency going forward. The up side is, I don’t really get returns.
I’d like to ask everyone…what is your estimate of time investment per item listed? I’m talking if you add up EVERYTHING (sourcing, cleaning, photos, listing, answering ?s, managing your store with sales/relists/price adjusting, shipping, all of it). I am always in disbelief when I hear people say they can list 50 items a day. It may be a conservative guess, but I use 1 hour per item in my mental planning strategy. Meaning if my average profit per item is $25 and it takes me 1 hr per item to completely process…I am making $25/hr. Which means if I want to go full time/40 hr per week I’d be at approx $50K per year.
01/10/2017 at 7:06 am #9916
I think the numbers we all throw around probably need to be put in context.
Ryanne can list 50 items on a good day….only because I’ve taken all the photos, measured, and written titles.
If you do one item an hour, that makes sense if you’re also photographing, measuring, researching, writing the title and description.
We just have developed a way to split up the work to be more efficient.
- This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by Jay.
01/10/2017 at 9:46 am #9932
I am curious how long it takes others. I feel that my 1 hr per item has alot of room for improvement. It is an estimate of course. I don’t have a partner on eBay, it’s all by myself. And I prep, photo, and list in batches to be efficient. But I also feel that if people are really honest about it, adding up every element of processing the item from purchase through after sale issues, 1 hour per item may be closer to accurate than most would think (or like to admit).
01/10/2017 at 10:25 am #9939
I’m curious as well about how many items people generally list in an hour. Hi Beth, I sell décor (not clothes) and used to be a lot more careful, take a while with my photography, and put more in my description. I’ve since adopted more of a quick and dirty approach. Some of the lighting admittedly isn’t great in my photos, and I’ve reduced the amount of cropping and editing I’m doing. Ebay has made some welcome upgrades too since I started a couple of years ago and my photos load faster now thankfully. I’m also using the template and custom insert functions – are you using those?
I’m on a shopping hiatus but when I begin again I will definitely be taking into account – among other things – the amount of cleaning, difficulty to photograph, and profit margin. I also admire the Esty sellers I follow – everything looks so perfect and is more thoughtfully researched and described. I’d really like to sell on Etsy but I’ve come to realize that I just don’t have enough time to list things like that right now. I think I’m good at finding attractive items and shipping out quickly, so that’s good enough for Ebay if the photos look fairly good.
01/10/2017 at 9:12 pm #10031
Hi, Christine. One of my main categories is toys and they are just so time consuming to clean, set up, and photograph. There are often lots of pieces or battery functions that need to be tested. I can’t imagine listing kids toys without cleaning them first. I know people do, but I really wouldn’t feel okay with it. Even so, I would much rather do my types of items than clothes that have to be washed and ironed. When I hear some of the quick flipper youtube sellers who buy pounds of clothes at the Goodwill bins and list them without washing them I am pretty grossed out. I think it ends up giving eBay a bad reputation when buyers receive items like that.
01/11/2017 at 8:31 am #10050
It is pretty easy to tell what clothes at a goodwill are clean, and which are dirty. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again – when you donate clothes to goodwill, where do you grab them from? If you are like most people, then you grab them from the closet or long term storage. Rarely does anyone grab clothes straight from the dirty hamper to donate to goodwill.
01/11/2017 at 12:41 pm #10084
I’m always confused when people are grossed out by clothes at Goodwill. Does anyone think new clothes off the rack at the luxury stores haven’t been touched by hundreds of hands before we by it?
I wash wash any piece of clothing I plan to wear whether it from eBay or a retail store.
01/11/2017 at 1:05 pm #10088
No germophobe here… straight out of the package and right onto my body. That what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. 🙂 However, thinking of the number of people touching clothing reminds me of guy that I often compete for clothing with. He shows up wearing a mask and gloves. I don’t think I need a mask, but gloves would certainly make it cleaner. Now that I think of it, I’ve even noticed employees doing the same.
01/11/2017 at 6:28 am #10042
My average time on an item depends on the item. Some need extra cleaning, some need testing, some need a ton of research so it all depends on that. Photographing one item can usually be 5-10 minutes to get things set right and pictures taken. Hopefully, once I get things set up in a more streamline manner, I’ll be more efficient. I like to sell t-shirts and I have estimated that I can have 9 hours total in 30 shirts from scavenging to shipping. 2-3 hours for scavenging, 15 active minutes in washing, 30-60 minutes for logging inventory, 1-1.5 hours for photos, then I can average 5 minutes per shirt for listing. I’m still working on the process so there are areas for improvement. My shoes and hard goods tend to take about 30-60 minutes to list when considering researching price as part of that.
01/11/2017 at 9:24 am #10054
I estimate about an hour per item, too. Clothes are washed and hung as soon as they come home from the store and, if necessary, ironed before taking photos. I vacuum inside and pockets of purses and condition them if they’re leather. I clean up shoes, wipe them with leather conditioner and/or vinyl/rubber conditioner. If they have removable insoles, I take out the insoles and vacuum both the insole as well as the inside of the shoes. If insoles can’t be removed, I wipe them down with disinfecting wipes.
I generally list and prep in groups of like items. I won’t pull out all the stuff to prep one pair of shoes or one purse.
01/12/2017 at 11:42 am #10157
I (and your customers) appreciate that you wash the clothes. I’m no germaphobe, but I beg to differ that those “clean” clothes you pick at the thrift are even close. Even if they started out that way, they have basically been sitting in a pile of dirty laundry till you bought it. While it’s easy to assume that most people are generally clean, and donating from their clean closets…and that is what an average eBay BUYER expects as well…the truth is there are people who smoke, who have pets, who have bedbugs, who are cleaning out their hoarder family member’s house and have been exposed to rodents & feces, who are unloading a deceased person’s things who wasn’t able to clean properly (themselves or their home) towards the end, people who don’t care and are getting rid of their kid’s stuffed animals after finding they have lice, and some who are just plain dirty. It all goes into the same bins. And it sits there till it gets sorted and on the floor. This is not what an eBay buyer expects, they expect that a used item is coming out of a nice clean closet, just as a lot of the repliers here assume. Which is odd, because I know you all are familiar with the scent of a thrift store. Earlier in my marriage, my husband installed security systems in residential homes. There were several times when he came home and hugged me tight, thanking me for being clean. He has seen things, people. So, I stand by my “it’s gross not to wash it” comment and I think the majority of eBay Buyers would say the same.
01/09/2017 at 7:48 pm #9891
- Location: N. ID / E. WA
Thanks for another great podcast. I should have been listing while I was listening but we are in the middle of a snowstorm so I listened while I plowed the driveway.
I did have one quick response about feeling disillusioned with Amazon. I’m facing some storage fees too and I find myself bypassing the book isle (or just listing them on eBay) lately. On the other hand, I’ve discovered lately that people will pay a premium for certain things on Amazon FBA. I sourced some NIB high end Texas Instrument calculators at a police auction for about $40 each. I threw them on eBay for $210 each for the better part of a month. Not even a nibble. I ended the listing and sent them to to Amazon FBA and put them up for $245 and had sales the same day they hit inventory. So there are some items and categories that Amazon will still work.
01/10/2017 at 7:09 am #9918
I agree with this Phil. I know there’s still stuff we scavenge that could be sent into FBA. We’re just a little disillusioned right now since Amazon doesn’t currently fit our way of scavenging.
I’m glad we created an account, got approved for a number of categories, and learned how to send in FBA boxes. After the dust settles, maybe we’ll jump back in.
01/09/2017 at 8:35 pm #9895
- Location: Maryland
Just started listening to this week’s podcast but had to pause it and throw in a quick post. You’re talking about DC and IKEA…that’s my home stomping grounds…I live only about 10 miles north of IKEA. And you’re right…Craigslist scavenging is HUGE here in this urban area. On any given day there’s so much being given away for free.
I’ve done quite well over the past year re-selling free pickups. My most successful has been a collection of magazines that a man was parting with. He had every issue since the mid-1980s…it was a weekly magazine too! So many boxes! I sold a couple sets of individual years on ebay, and then someone else that collected them contacted me for about 4 boxes of specific years he wanted. That sale alone was $400!
So yes, urban is good fro Craigslist. I’m a country boy…I hail from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan originally, so this urban living is not really my cup of tea. But the availability of items does a bit to alleviate the pain of seeing concrete every day…
01/10/2017 at 7:11 am #9919
If you live in NOVA, what a goldmine. Furniture would be a great niche to buy for cheap on CL and then resell. I’m seeing almost perfect $3000 couches sell for $300. The only real issue is storage depending on where you live.
But as you said, I wouldn’t want to live there unless the job really paid well. It’s meat grinder!
01/09/2017 at 9:02 pm #9896
Jan 1-7, 2017
Total Items in Store: 13,448
Items Sold: 140
Cost of Items Sold: $26.07
Total Sales: $1,104.74
Highest Price Sold: $79.99 petrified wood bookends ($8 at GW), highest postcard $77.00 Beach Haven NJ Sand Dunes Pre 1920’s
Average Price Sold: $7.89
Returns/lost in the mail: 0
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
Number of items listed this week: 75
Total Items in Store: 51
Items Sold: 9
Cost of Items Sold: $18.64
Total Sales: $306.33
Highest Price Sold: $125 Antique Servants Shop Spring Bell (paid $1.49 at GW)
Average Price Sold: $34.03
Returns: 1 Sold a plastic model kit that was missing parts, gave complete refund.
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $49 at Goodwill
Number of items listed this week: 15
Good postcard week with 270 auctions that ended on Saturday. Still finding good things at Goodwill. The Petrified wood bookends and the antique bell were great finds.
My Q4 return rate was .06% (1 out of 1663). If there is a problem I just refund their money and tell them to not bother returning the card that only cost me $.13. In this case I sent the wrong card. I told the buyer to keep the mis-sent card and I shipped him the correct one. So not really a return since they ended up keeping the wrong item and did receive the correct one.
01/10/2017 at 7:12 am #9920
Nice to see you branching out into other items. You’ve really expanded quickly.
01/09/2017 at 9:31 pm #9900
January 4-7 2017
Total Items in Store: 278 (Etsy), 27 (ebay)
Items Sold : 1 (Etsy), 0 (ebay)
Cost of items sold $0
Total sales: $54.85
Item sold = Vintage 60s Buddy L Toy Truck
Returns: 0, but Canada post sent one back to me that I mailed in early Dec.
Number of items listed this week: 20
Last Thursday was my first day as a full-time reseller. I have been a hobby seller on Etsy since 2011 and looking forward to making this full time gig work. Most of the past few days have been spent making an inventory system. I had too many cases over the last year where I looked for an item for over an hour because I couldn’t remember where I put it. Three days of inventory work will be worth saving the frustration down the road, especially when I have a bigger shop down the road.
My goals for 2017:
1. Transition to full-time without burning out / defusing my excitement. My mantra is: this is a marathon, not a sprint.
2. Stop hoarding the good stuff. My deathpiles aren’t made of the low-value stuff I don’t want to list. For me it has been easier to list and sell off the low-value items and keep the ‘jewels’. This ends now.
3. Learn more about shoes.
01/10/2017 at 7:13 am #9921
Congrats on the jump over. What life circumstances allowed/forced you to sell full-time online?
Are you going to mainly be selling on Etsy, or are you going to go full ebay?
01/09/2017 at 10:07 pm #9901
Did you guys get the Ghandi bust in Maryland? I think I’ve seen it and am now kicking myself if it’s the same one.
01/10/2017 at 7:14 am #9922
Nope. It came from California.
01/09/2017 at 10:47 pm #9905
Jan 1 – 7
total items in store 1072
total sales $300.00
spent on new merchandise $115.00
number of new listings 0
In San Diego with my Mom who is 89. This trip is about family time so I won’t be listing but I did get some good picks in Coronado thrift stores and the base thrift stores.
01/10/2017 at 12:06 am #9907
Great podcast again. Per the Amazon FBA storage fees, I have been actively closing out my FBA inventory. It was just books. Started last year about this time as I kept seeing books at estate sales and figured that FBA would be a great supplement to my eBay sales. And of course the success stories were plentiful even though I knew that retail success breeds competition which can create a saturation point. I didn’t expect the saturation point to be Amazon warehouse overload but it makes sense that it is. Not sure I agree they are trying to get rid of the little guy yet through their actions. I personally think they are trying to get a handle on their business approach. It just seems to me that they allowed their warehouses to be overloaded by allowing everyone to send in anything for sale so to counter the impact they increased fees which should have the effect of emptying them out. If I am right I would expect in the coming months that Amazon will ease up in some way shape or form to bring inventory back in. I just hope that as they figure out how to handle their etail business model they will allow the little guy to still be part of it.
01/10/2017 at 7:16 am #9923
I dont blame Amazon. It makes sense. But having to pay long term storage fees on any item will logically push out those of us who like to “list it and forget it”. We now have to send in items we know will sell in under six months.
We never sold wholesale or retail arbitrage, but Amazon’s new rules about getting permission from companies to sell their products certainly sounds like a big push to kill off scavengers.
We’ll see. Thanks god eBay is still just a big flea market!
01/10/2017 at 12:59 pm #9967
Thank you J&R for experimenting with Amazon FBA and taking us along for the journey. It was something that in the back of my head, I kept thinking I should try. I didn’t think it was the right fit for me. Now I know for sure its not!
01/10/2017 at 12:41 am #9909
Stuff My Mom Threw AwayParticipant
- Location: South Texas
Jan 1 – 7
Total items in store: 342
Sold: 28 (16 fixed price, 12 auction)
Total sales: $344.46
My overall return rate is 0.53%. I have had 3 returns this past year, 1 for fit, 1 person changed their mind, and 1 person who is just a lying sack and got free use of Halloween decorations from me by claiming INAD, (not that I’m bitter or anything).
I am running an experiment with auctions. I have a basic level store, so I get 250 fixed price listings and 250 auction listings free. I have never used the auction listings very much, and decided to utilize them to move some stuff that was lower value and/or had been sitting a long time on my shelf. Most of what I listed, (and sold), were books that could be shipped in free ebay-branded padded mailers. I started the auction at the same price I would have listed them as a fixed-price listing. Most sold for the starting price, a few had a couple of bids.
I initially listed 51 items, and 12 of them sold. So far, only 1 non-paying bidder. The 11 auction payments I received totaled $103.62.
Was it worth it?: This week, yes, (to me). The buyers paid up quickly, and the books were super easy to pack and ship. I “lost” about $10 in ebay and paypal fees for those sales, and I have *maybe* $7 in COGS for those items, (I estimated high, because I cannot remember if I paid a dime or a quarter for some of the books).
- This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by Stuff My Mom Threw Away.
01/10/2017 at 7:18 am #9924
Agreed. Auctions come free with every store subscription. why not try to use them?
We just get tired of all the starting auctions and then re-listing. Never have enough sold auctions to make it worth the time. We’d rather focus on listing new items.
01/10/2017 at 8:03 am #9925
Total Items in Store: 235
Items Sold: 8
Cost of Items Sold: $31
Total Sales: $255
Highest Price Sold: $46 (Men’s Pendleton Black Watch Wool Shirt)
Average Price Sold: $31
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $4
Number of items listed this week: 17
Hi everyone, this is my first time posting numbers. My store is pretty small compared to most people here. Overall, this was a pretty good week for me. My store is about half clothes. After listening to the podcast for a couple of years, I started to branch out into collectibles and other types of items. My goal is to have gross sales 10x COGS and an average sale amount in excess of $30. Last year I came close, but no cigar. I keep track of my sales and COGS, but never quantified new listings by time period. Listing 17 items is a lot for me — before I counted them up, I thought it might have only been 5 or so. Putting the numbers down like this really informs.
Anyway, thank you everyone, and especially Ryanne and Jay, for this community.
01/10/2017 at 1:23 pm #9978
Having a high profit margin is great, but it’s not a number I really keep track of.
What’s more important for us is that we’re making a certain amount of money each month to pay the bills. We naturally have evolved over time as we learn how much time it takes to list enough items to make the amount of money we need.
01/10/2017 at 3:17 pm #9999
To combine reflections on thoughts from several postings
For me the gross sales = 10x COGS calculation is based on time available for listing and my (in)efficiencies in listing. I note that I don’t take into consideration time sourcing or transportation costs. It takes me about 15 minutes per item to photograph, research, price and list. And, my photos aren’t all that great. I list mostly items in the $20-$40 range. My COGS calculation is helped by those items with a $0 cost to me that I find driving alleys, cast offs from friends, and items around the house. I figured with time constraints related to a full time job, I need to work towards a goal. I could approach the goal from a time motion calculus instead and work to get my listing time down, too.
I live in Washington, DC proper. I love the Virginia countryside, spending time on grandparents’farms in Culpeper and Clifton growing up. But, my spouse is a city denizen, so no country living for me. Plus our jobs (that is until retirement) are in the DC rat race and, truth be told, we’ve liked it. I think we’ll be DC rooted until we can’t live in the house any more.
I haven’t done much scavenging off Craigslist. I’ve sold a few things, but haven’t sourced. I see this as a brave new world once I’ve retired and have more time. You all are right the DMV area can be a gold mine, especially because of the wastefulness of many of its inhabitants. I expect that this winter we’ll see the predictable move outs and ins that come with the change of every administration. Can’t wait to drive alleys in the swankier parts of town then.
I so appreciate reading everyone’s thoughts and approaches to online selling. Everyone’s lens is different, but each helps my focus. Thank you all.
01/10/2017 at 3:57 pm #10003
Cogs is really irrelevant to me. When I go to a thrift shop, I’ll typically buy 10-20 items for $40-50. I know that if I list them all immediately, at least 1-2 will sell quickly and cover the entire COGS expense. The other 9-19 items are then free.
So if you think about it this way, you can see why I don’t care if my items are $1 or $6. As long as they are quality items I’m going to hit my $30 profit target on most things.
01/10/2017 at 8:20 am #9926
Week of Jan 1 – 7
* Total Items in Store: 560
* Items Sold: 12
* Cost of Items Sold: $15.66
* Total Sales: $122.82
* Highest Price Sold: $30 Vintage Porcelain Ceiling Light
* Average Price Sold: $10.24
* Returns: 0
* Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
* Number of items listed this week: 10ish
I was away for the last week of 2016, so I didn’t spend anything on new inventory. I was given stuff to sell by my family and some friends, so I’m working on listing that now. Sunday and Monday has started out pretty well, so I think my numbers this week will be better.
01/10/2017 at 8:52 am #9929
Jan 1 – 7
Total items in store: 292
Sold an old Stereo Receiver of mine that I no longer use through an easy Facebook post to a friend: $50 cash (so no fees, yay)
Total sales: $246.16
Not a huge week in sales but we were traveling all through NYE still and I wasn’t doing much to entice buyers with sales, etc. I had a huge sourcing day on Jan 2nd where I bought a bunch of old audio gear that I need to clean up and list.
Thankfully I sold two higher priced items on Sunday and Monday of this week that already passes the above numbers. I have a Bose CD player that I found on offer up for $60 listed on ebay at $599 and have been dealing with a lot of of lowball offers on it and a few that are getting close. I’m really trying to hold out for at least $500 instead of just taking the quick $400-450 offers that have been coming in. Listening to you guys have made me think I can hold out and get as much as I possible can if I’m just patient. We’ll see!
01/10/2017 at 9:20 am #9931
Total Items in Store: 224
Items Sold: 14
Cost of Items Sold: $10
Total Sales: $360.90
Highest Price Sold: $99.99 Set of vintage Conan the Barbarian paperbacks
Average Price Sold: $25.77
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $5
Bummer about the necklace return. C’est la vie.
In addition to my normal day job shenanigans and my scavenging, I also sold an article to The Billfold this week for $40. I’m pretty pumped about it.
I was an English major in college and tried to be a fiction writer for a long time, but after years of effort with only a handful of (admittedly not very good) short story sales I gave it up in favor of developing some skills so I could get a promotion at work.
That was the right move to take, but as I’ve been looking around for ways to diversity my income stream, writing seemed like it could be a legitimate (although time consuming) option. This sale was the first article I pitched this year, so I’d like to get a couple more sales here and there to help pad out my savings account.
01/10/2017 at 9:50 am #9933
BGB, that’s awesome. Love the Billfold. Send us a link when it posts!
01/10/2017 at 11:14 am #9948
Will do! I think it goes live tomorrow, so we’ll see. The piece is about selling on eBay, so it does have some crossover appeal to the forum (although it is written for a general audience, so y’all might not find it that interesting).
01/10/2017 at 1:21 pm #9977
Please post a link here. I like reading different points of view about money and selling online. I find too many people make it overly complicated.
01/10/2017 at 10:08 am #9937
Approximate # of Items in Store: 260
# of Items Sold: 17
Average Cost of Items Sold: $10.46
Total Sales: $1,201.70
Highest Price Sold: $160 – Down Jacket
Average Price Sold: $70.69
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $56.19
Number of items listed this week: 13
Very good week again for me, but these numbers are likely not sustainable. Over the past few months, I’ve sold the majority of my $100+ items and I’m not consistently finding new inventory at those price points to replace each of the sold ones (although I haven’t been shopping much). A lot of stuff I’ve listed this fall/winter is from my backlog of inventory, so I had several seasons worth of thrifted fall/winter inventory that I’d never gotten around to listing in season which was finally listed this fall/winter. Since I’m about 80-90% through with the backlog (yay!), I won’t continue to have the same volume of unlisted high-priced inventory to list in the future. Also, November-January are historically my best sales months. Sweaters, coats, and boots, bring a much higher ROI for me than shorts, sandals, and swimwear.
While it’s handy for extras and I did use Ebay money to pay for a new furnace and AC this year, I don’t depend on Ebay to pay the bills, so it’s all good. Grateful right now for the Ebay money I have socked away from the good run I’ve had over the past several months.
Haven’t listened to the podcast yet, but I was sorry to read about the high-dollar return.
01/10/2017 at 12:28 pm #9963
FredsPremium, your numbers are very impressive. Especially given the amount of items in your store and being a one man band. How many items do you find that you need to list per day to hover around where you’ve been for the past few months? Also, do you list 7 days per week? Congrats on the great week.
01/13/2017 at 10:48 pm #10240
Sorry Just now seeing your reply.
I list 11 things a day or maybe 10 if I’m low on time. I list about 5.5-6 days a week.
I do it all in a 300 sq ft space (office + storage).
01/11/2017 at 10:29 am #10069
Here’s the link to The Billfold article I wrote if anyone’s curious: https://thebillfold.com/the-glories-and-tribulations-of-an-ebay-side-hustle-5b0b5a7baa38#.hm6b57cb8
Like I said, it’s for a general audience, so y’all might not find anything interesting in it since pretty much everyone on here has way more eBay experience than me and I’m sure everyone’s insights would be more valuable than mine.
Interesting side note: I’ve already grown way too accustomed to getting paid instantly via Paypal. The check for the article (yes, an actual paper check) is coming by mail in 1-2 months.
01/11/2017 at 12:36 pm #10083
Nice article. Good summary of how eBay and scavenging this works. I will say though that I hate the term “hustle”. It makes it sound like some kind of get rich quick scheme. But I know “hustle” is the common term used in the financial independence world. “Whats your hustle?”
As far as getting paid by check, I’m still four months into waiting for a payment from a large media company for some freelance work I did.
01/11/2017 at 6:25 pm #10112
I’m not a huge fan of the current use of “hustle” either, but since it’s common parlance on the internet now I sort of felt like I had to use it.
I was just reading an article about how calling a second job a side hustle only obscures how screwed up it is that so many people have to work so much just to get by, and I sort of lean more that way. eBay is a lot of fun, but if I actually made enough money at my day job so that I could pay my bills and put some money away in savings I highly doubt I’d be selling online.
01/12/2017 at 6:07 am #10131
Peoples should be paid a living wage for sure.
I also like the strain in the FI community that stresses frugality because our spending is the control each of us.
01/11/2017 at 1:35 pm #10092
Thanks for the link! I think it is a great perspective of starting in the world of reselling and one that isn’t often shared.
01/11/2017 at 6:28 pm #10113
01/11/2017 at 1:53 pm #10093
Beverly – Far Out and FabulousParticipant
- Location: Edgewood, WA
Thanks, enjoyed reading that. Cha ching!
01/11/2017 at 6:28 pm #10114
01/12/2017 at 10:02 am #10139
January 1-7, 2017
Items listed on Ebay – 80
Items sold – 1
Total sales – $15
COGS – $0 (sold a t-shirt my boyfriend had)
Returns – 0
Money spend on new inventory – $7.50
Number of items listed – 8
I’ve been selling on Ebay for about a year now, and I’m really trying to make this into a decent income stream. I spent much of December listing items, mainly the t-shirts my boyfriend decided to let me sell. The last half of December, I sold 5 items, which is the most I’ve done in any month. Now, I’m trying to figure out how to keep that momentum going. I’ve about run out of stuff around the house to list, so I hit a couple of thrift stores last week, and I’m heading back out today.
The cool thing about the t-shirt that did sell was it was one from Garmin (the GPS company). It was a high quality shirt in like-new condition, but before finding Scavenger Life, I would not thought I could sell it, or would have sold it for about $5. I have learned so much from the podcast, everyone’s videos and comments. Hopefully I can return the favor and add to the discussion this year!
01/12/2017 at 11:18 am #10154
There are two strategies:
–List few items, but each item is high dollar. Your time is spent scavenging for these treasures.
–List all the time. Until you have at least 500 items listed, it’s difficult to guarantee regular income. The goal is to have about an average of $30 per item.
01/12/2017 at 12:27 pm #10162
Thanks Jay! Right now I’m trying to get my listings up, and having 500 as a target really helps. Hopefully along the way I can find some high dollar items. My boyfriend found a couple of beach bikes at the curb on Sunday; he cleaned them up and they sold within an hour on Facebook for $80, so that helps!
01/12/2017 at 1:07 pm #10164
- Location: New Jersey
Our Store Week January 2– 8, 2016
Total Items in Store: 232
Items Sold: 13 (8 eBay / 5 Amazon
Cost of Items Sold: $225.25 (eBay) $20.00 (Amazon)
Total Sales: $1,340.60 ($840.65 eBay/$499.95 Amazon)
Highest Price Sold: $290.00 (Butcher Block)
Average Price Sold: $105.08 (eBay)
International Sales: 0
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $197.00
Number of items listed this week: 0
Sales Review: Decent week, and made my first sales through Amazon FBA which was pretty cool. Moved some inventory that was taking up a ton of space and that I paid a little too much for, so I was very happy to gain the square footage and get my investment back out.
Customer Issues: None.
Scavenging: Went to a local auction house, but didn’t by much.
01/12/2017 at 7:28 pm #10197
Marie in FloridaParticipant
Wow, lots of good comments this week. I like the idea of seeing someone’s lowest sale too. My lowest was an auction that I meant to list for $9.99. Except I forgot the first 9. And yes I sold a Chico’s sweater for $.99. Bagged it, shipped it out and I’m glad it’s gone. Highest sale-$89 Allen Edmonds. I have started to put all my lifeless listings on auction. It means I’m selling the items that I bought 3 years ago for $6-12, but these are items that I wouldn’t look at now. I want them gone. They are slowly selling. On weeks when I didn’t sell much, Ebay still sees these as sales, so I think it helps my other listings. I will keep listing these low items cuz I have piles(rooms) of them.
Shopping Hiatus I still let myself shop, but I’ve become very strict. If it’s a great buy, but I have something similar at home that’s unlisted, then I pass. 9 trips to thrift stores=one item to resell. I’m learning.
Amazon I’m reducing the price of my FBA almost daily. I think I’ve sold most of the good stuff, I am trying to break even before I have to face a loss on the remaining books
Beth, I am a very slow lister, don’t feel bad. Not unusual to spend 30-45 minutes. Now some of the research is that business or just plain fun?
Restocking-I have a 10% fee. I think I would take less on the return of the necklace. Now off of the boards and back to listing
01/15/2017 at 12:24 am #10299
JFH store =
It has been a slow 30 days. Really slow. i keep listing, churning the items out, and sells still slump. I honestly do not know what it is. As a primary clothing seller, I think it is my asking price. I am likely pricing too high and list it and forget it w/ best offer is maybe not the best way to go for this particular niche. Many clothing sellers have gone to auctions. What ever it is, I will keep plugging away. The good news is my FBA is really picking up steam. I see real potential in it. I recently opened an etsy store for old trucker hats and ties I find at my weigh and pay. No sells yet but we will see. Hopefully sells will improve. If not, i will sell my ebay store and go all in on FBA. Maybe I need to go back to dumpster diving more and leave the clothes alone.
01/15/2017 at 9:16 am #10302
Clothes are a unique beast and the environment keeps changing. I imagine tens of thousands of stay-at-home moms across the country are buying cheap clothes at the weight-and-pay…then listing the items for $10 or less. It’s a grind. Unless you have special brands, then it’s a race to the bottom.
Selling ties and trucker hats might even be more of a grind since those are less rare for people to buy. Fewer men wear ties these days, and trucker hats are a specialty item. Seems more and more sellers are getting in on the market thinking its easy money. We have hundreds of hats listed and are only sometimes selling only 4-5 a month.
What are you selling on FBA that is making you so positive? Is it retail arbitrage or stuff you scavenge at thrift stores?
01/16/2017 at 12:07 pm #10414
I agree about the race to the bottom on clothes. It seems the sellers who are doing well are either selling the clothes super cheap for tiny profits or are selling very high end brands with tons of demand. I will continue to seek out other items to sell and gradually move away from clothes unless it is nwt or higher end.
As for FBA it seems everything I send in sells. I live in a wealthy suburb so my Goodwills are packed with items that are new and still in packaging. I also have been lucky to find some good items like a foodsaver and some nib board games and wii games. Recent sells included a Nintendo Nerf DS case for 75, washing machine noise reduction pads for 25, a manchester united nwt trucker hat 25, and so forth. I sent in a new shipment this week so I hope everything continues strong. I have only sent in a few books, only the ones that have high profit margins and rank well under 1 million. The fba seller app is what I use and it lets me know if it is a slow seller.
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