Tagged: Best Offer it up
05/18/2017 at 1:21 pm #18202
I recently crossed the 2000 items plateau… where are the sales. Am I fooling myself.
So far less than $1200 this month in sales.. about $1400 for the month of April, $1785 for March $1250 for February. It’s been an ongoing train wreck.
Although I sold on Ebay years ago, I began this scavenging to sell about 2 years go and had to learn it all from scratch, including sourcing, pricing and shipping.
Most everything is sold, as good til cancelled. I tried ending old listings and sell similar, a few months ago with no real success.
Anyway, here’s my store if anyone wants to take a look. http://stores.ebay.com/Hot-Mugs-and-Cool-Wheels
05/18/2017 at 2:42 pm #18206omfugParticipant
your store looks fine to me with a variety of items–ebay is really slow for me and now that we are going into the summer slump it is easy to get down about sales–just keep listing, maybe run a few auctions on older items, try a sale?
05/18/2017 at 3:32 pm #18208
I also agree that your store looks good. Well-stocked, good selection, good photos, clear titles. I’m surprised you’re only averaging $50 a day in sales.
You could try adding “Make Offer” on your higher priced items.
05/18/2017 at 3:59 pm #18211Retro Treasures WVParticipant
I looked through your shoes since that is what I’m probably the most knowledgeable on. You have a lot of “dime a dozen” lower department store shoes in inventory. I would expect they would be slow sales since they often sell for your asking price brand new on ebay.
Do you research items before you purchase? I typically don’t buy anything unless I already know there is a demand and the sales price could potentially be $30+.
05/18/2017 at 4:02 pm #18212
Also, have you always been averaging $50 or less a day? or do your sales seem slower lately?
05/18/2017 at 4:59 pm #18214soniaParticipant
- Location: Northeast US
Are you listing regularly? My sense is that sales depend more on how much you list per week or month on average, vs. how many items in the store.
05/18/2017 at 7:11 pm #18223
My sales have never been great.. Good months have been $2000 to $2600 in sales. I keep thinking list list list… It really doesn’t seem to be a factor for my store, as least compared to the numbers other people are posting.
There are items in my store I wouldn’t buy today, but bought when I first started scavenging. The shoes you are seeing are may be some of those.
I’ve gotten better at sourcing, but still end up with lower priced items at auctions or in boxed lots. I wish all my items were $30 or more.
I have more items and for the most part better items, yet my sales are no more or possibly less than this time last year. I see everyone else with good numbers, so maybe the problem is me.
I put things on sale, usually 5% to 10% off and am always running sales. I’ve also run promotions on multiple purchases and a few promoted listings. Most of my higher priced items have best offer.
I really love what I do. The whole treasure hunt aspect is great. I’m also a shipping nerd at heart. Time will tell if this was meant to be. I really hope I can figure it out..
Thanks for the feedback.
05/18/2017 at 7:53 pm #18224
Obviously we all want to make as much as we can, but how much would you like to make each month to pay bills and thrive?
I will say that each month several expensive items sell that help push up our bottom line. Even though most of our sales are bread and butter items under >$30, we’ve definitely gotten better at finding those rarer sought after items.
05/18/2017 at 7:58 pm #18225
My goal is $150 a day in sales ($4500 a month). With that I can make ends meet, or close to it. I’m not getting half that now.
05/18/2017 at 8:05 pm #18226
And where are you scavenging? Mainly at the same places?
05/18/2017 at 8:32 pm #18228
Church Rummage sales, real estate sponsored neighborhood yard sales, estate sales and auctions. The thrift stores around here are a little on the expensive side.
05/18/2017 at 8:50 pm #18229
I think you’re doing a great job. Since you’ve worked hard to build up a big inventory, I would spend more time scavenging and listing items that will bring more money. Not easy. But we always have fun finding items outside our comfort zone.
05/18/2017 at 9:06 pm #18230
I’ve been trying to stay away from lower priced stuff, but old habits die hard.
I’ve been tempted to really drop prices, to generate sales, but I don’t want to get caught up in the race to the bottom. Pricing seems to be a real balancing act.
Thanks for the advice. The answer may be as simple as that, buying higher priced items.
05/19/2017 at 7:00 am #18238Linda ShieldsParticipant
- Location: St. Louis
No offence, but your prices look high to me. Do you research prices? Try to price towards the lower end rather than at the top? I would do a sale of 20-25% on the store and clear it out, then start with more high end inventory. Just my opinion. In real estate they say the only thing that keeps a house from selling is the price. For long tail high priced items items they need to be very unusual/rare to het high end prices. Compare your items to the SOLD items prices
05/19/2017 at 10:58 am #18248HabnabParticipant
I think you should take advantage of all the space we’re given in the listing title section. So, just for example, you’ve got a pair of red shoes listed with the title “Isaac Pumps Heels Red Italy Size 8.5 B” — looking at the photo, I feel like you could add descriptors to that title — “pointy toe” or “topstitching” or “bow” — or however many more words will fit. Writing titles is like knotting a fishing net — the more words you get in there, the more likely you are to catch a buyer.
05/19/2017 at 11:52 am #18249AmatinoParticipant
- Location: Texas
Perhaps it’s time for some math?
Unfortunately, I cannot remember where I read it, here or on another seller’s group, but if you want to see how much of your stock will turnover, do the math.
Look up each item. Be as specific as possible: look at brand, color, type, shape, etc. Once you’ve drilled down to be as specific as you can get without refining yourself to zero items, look at the number listed. Then hit solds, and note that number. Divide solds by listed to get sales, then divide by 3 to get months. (eBay lists solds for 90 days.)
So… if there are 45 items listed and 5 sales, 5/45 = 0.11. Divide that by 3 and you get 0.03. Anything below 0.25 is a bad seller and you’d do better just donating it to get it out of your way. Anything between 0.25 and 0.5 means you’ll either have to wait forever to sell it, or price it really low. For these items, I go for lots. Put 3 into a lot and sell it off for less than the value of all three. So if they’re going for $5 each, sell 3 for $12. (All prices a complete fabrication!)
If the numbers add to 0.5 up to 0.75, these are hot items. Price in the mid to upper-mid range to get quick sales. For example: listed 200, sold 350. 350/200=1.75 divided by 3 = 0.58. Terrific! Average sale price is $30. Highest sold price averages $45. Lowest prices average $15. Price at $35 with best offer. (Prices invented.) (You could price high, but then you wait for the sale.)
If the numbers are above 0.75, you’re in the money. Price high high high.
I wish I could remember who gave this advice so that I could give credit, but it seems to work really well. I have found that by working with this guesstimation, I generally have reasonable prices, and when the stuff hits the 0.5 mark, it sells within the month. Items over 0.75 have been rare, but they have sold within hours of listing. I’d kill for a regular source of 0.75 items!
Wishing you good luck!
P.S. Sometimes I don’t drill down to specifics, I do the same calculations using general matches. It’s not as good a barometer, but sometimes there just aren’t any “blue” of the item I’m looking at, for example, so I leave it open to all colors. You’ll get a sense of it as you go.
05/19/2017 at 1:44 pm #18250Retro Treasures WVParticipant
There are still treasures even in higher priced thrift stores. Sometimes they slip up and miss things. I have a high priced store near my work that I consistently walk out with plenty of affordable stuff. My average COG is $5-6 there, but the profit is still $25+ per item. Don’t relegate yourself to only cheap stuff to sell.
I highly recommend pre-researching items before purchase. Get more choosy! Make sure there is a known demand for the item before you even buy it. This is where thrift stores come in handy over yard sales – no one is gonna magically raise the price because they see you looking it up on ebay.
Another way to get away with researching at a yard sale is to bring your significant other. Let them browse and you can look uninterested and on your phone the whole time. They’ll think you’re just waiting on the other person while you are actually researching.
05/19/2017 at 2:25 pm #18251pythoneskParticipant
- Location: East TN
I think some of your titles are short. On the shoes it might help to specify “mens” or “womens”. Use as much of the space in the title as you can. Toss in all kinds of words at the end so long as they are applicable to the item.
05/19/2017 at 3:33 pm #18253GompersParticipant
- Location: Connecticut
I looked at your store briefly and one thing you can try is setting some of those listings to “buyer ID’s are private”
Specifically, your categories AA/recovery and religion. Also make sure to note that in the “item description” field. (Not the title since that space is more valuable)
Write something simple like “Buyer ID’s are private on this listing”
I have been doing this for a long time, I don’t know if it works or not, but I have noticed that other sellers seem to miss this option in their listings. I even saw one seller write something like “Do not leave feedback as it will allow everyone to see what you bought”
I recommend this for any categories that some may view as personal, embarrassing, religion, medical, weight loss, sexual, explicit, self help, to name just a few.
Sellers can’t hide their feedback, but they can hide feedback for specific listings. I think people get confused on this point and that’s why we don’t see more private listings.
06/10/2017 at 10:32 pm #19246
Gompers that is a good tip. I’m going to take a look and see if i have any listings that I should do this with.
05/20/2017 at 5:06 pm #18269
Thank you everyone who took the time to look at my store and leave comments.
My average selling price over the last several months has been about $23.Ideally, I would like this number to be higher. The average price of the items in my store is closer to $28.
I generally sell between 60 and 75 items a month. This number has been fairly consistent for about 6 months or so.
I should have included this information in the initial post.
I really expected to have at least $3000 in sales a month at this level of inventory.
Yes, higher priced items are in the future. Old habits are tough to break and Cogs of $1 to $3 is a hard habit to break. Even though I have a nice sized inventory, the dollar value of my inventory needs to be higher.
I have a lot of old stale junkie inventory I need to clear out.
Pricing is a tough one I need to figure out. There’s got to be a balance between making sales and creating a sweat shop. When I sell commodity items, like printer ink, it’s pretty easy. There are lots of solds to look at. With unique items, like vintage books, it becomes more complicated.
It wasn’t easy for me to create this post, but hey, we have to be honest with ourselves. I’m not a dumb guy, but if it’s not working, I need to figure out why.
Thanks again for all the posts, I’m considering all the comments, even though I may not have responded to them all.
05/21/2017 at 9:25 am #18276brianintexasParticipant
On the jazzfesr tshirts and sweatshirts I would double the price and change to make offer. I consider doing that with all your non-commodity inventory.
05/21/2017 at 9:33 am #18278brianintexasParticipant
Or you could try what one other seller does and just hold all your items up to your very substantial, um, well… boobs. Sex sells. Even on eBay.
See listings for seller:gbgorken
05/21/2017 at 11:52 am #18282ChristineRParticipant
- Location: Southern California
I have to agree with other sellers here who suggested filling all of the available space in your title with keywords. I don’t use sell similar, but often look at other’s solds if I am less familiar with an item and need more keywords. Don’t forget to say vintage or midcentury if it applies. I also keep my descriptions short but do try to imagine alternative uses and places for the item to be used in the home. Remember to use the singular and plural terms when applicable and start with the most relevant keywords first not condition, number or more descriptive terms first. I have some old listings that don’t conform to that as well.
For example, on this item http://www.ebay.com/itm/Set-of-3-Ceramic-Wall-Plaque-Children-Playing-Baseball-Nursery-Bedtime-/142255528315
I would put as the title “Vintage Baseball Art Nursery Wall Plaque Boys Childrens Room Décor Playroom Kids” as a title. Hope your sales pick up!
05/22/2017 at 9:25 pm #18395Linda ShieldsParticipant
- Location: St. Louis
ChristineR, on one hand we are told to do that, and to put the words in the order that someone would type them out, but then I read that ebay says we should have the most important words in the first 3 or 4 words, which is quite different! Now I am quite confused about it all. Does anyone know for sure??? inwas never confused about this before but now there is so much conflicting advice.
05/23/2017 at 8:08 am #18414eCommerce411.usBlocked
- Location: Michigan & South Carolina
Previously on this forum, I showed that often times, simply doing a search using just 4 words and changing them around will result in a different result. So yes, there is some credence that suggest some ranking of the order of words.
05/23/2017 at 9:11 am #18436flimParticipant
For some of your clothing items photographed on the table, the background is black, purple, and green. I’d try to simplify to a plain white to make it less visually crowded. Or if you hang it on the back of a door, the background would be one solid color. If the shirt has some kind of logo, maybe a closeup of that as the first photo.
And to echo what others have said, auctions to clear out old stock. Cover what you paid, but be willing to let things go.
05/24/2017 at 1:27 am #18489
Just happened to notice because I’ve been listing ties recently…you have wembley misspelled in this listing
05/24/2017 at 3:38 am #18490
I fixed it now.. Thanks
05/31/2017 at 1:16 am #18814Marjean28Participant
- Location: Minneapolis, MN
I agree with Flim about the photographery. A clean white background will pretty much do the job. Also, I’d take the lhoyo perpendicular to the item instead of at an angle. Good luck!!!!
05/31/2017 at 7:39 pm #18849
Thanks again everyone for your suggestions.
I’ve begun to modify the titles, especially on the shorter ones. It’s funny, when I look at items I listed over a year ago, It’s hard to believe I wrote the some of the titles.
Also I’m slowly culling my listings and just ending many items that aren’t worth the space they tie up in my storage.
Pictures and lighting, have always been a challenge to me. The reason, I end up with a two tone background is because I’m using towels as a back drop. I’ve read many of the posts on lighting and light boxes. It’s just an area I will have to continue to work on.
In order to shake things up, I went to my local box lot auction last week. I always do well there, but I end up with so much stuff, that it’s a little overwhelming. My filtering process is more steam lined now, but it’s still time consuming. As a result, I made some good sales this week.
Like most of you, there are other things going on in my life right now that I have to focus on as well.
Life is about change and making choices. If the glass isn’t half full.. maybe it’s time for a different glass…
06/01/2017 at 8:58 pm #18883JasonKParticipant
- Location: Florida
Do you have any knowledge/interest in electronics? I noticed you don’t have much of that in your store. I know not everybody feels comfortable selling that stuff but if you are knowledgeable enough to hook up things and test them before listing them the profits can be great. They don’t even have to be super “vintage” items. Some of the things I find frequently for cheap and sell well are Sony VCRs and DVD/VCR combo units (always with the remote), Texas Instruments graphing calculators, anything official Apple branded.
06/02/2017 at 11:43 am #18908
I used to buy more electronics, but it seemed, after testing, so much of it was not saleable. I wasn’t finding the higher end stuff, so even the stuff I could sell wasn’t worth the effort.
I appreciate the advice just the same.
06/02/2017 at 7:33 pm #18925JFHParticipant
Nice store. I am surprised you do not make more. I get paranoid too when my sells slow down, it is like a roller coaster sometimes. Some passing comments after looking at your store would be: brand names sell, and you could use more of them. I do a lot of clothes, so things like Prada, Coach, Nike, Brioni, Canali, Zegna, Harley Davidson, etc. come to mind. These names are what many people are searching for. With the vintage items, I would think key words would be even more important to help people find your things. Also, you have plenty of good pictures, but some of the back grounds look a little rough. Like the green. I usually like to keep back ground to a minimum, just plain white or maybe a light tone wood if it is a collectible or vintage item. Finally, you could try to do a little social media to help buyers find you. Probably won’t help much, but couldn’t hurt either. I do twitter, and am careful not to over sell. Most posts are normal, then I sell something once in a while.
06/02/2017 at 11:56 pm #18932DirkParticipant
- Location: Salt Lake City Utah
Jay already mentioned it but when I looked through your store I was thinking where is the “Make Offer” button. I would add make offer to all your items and use the auto accept feature of it. With all my collectible stuff I take The Scavenger Life advice and price high with best offer and I have it set to auto accept at about 90% of my price. I have a lot of offers get auto accepted that way. I get a fee low ball offers that I will counter and have gotten sales that way as well.
Also with best offer if you are asking 50.00 and you have a bunch of offers at 20.00 that can be a real market indicator. I haven’t really felt the need to mess with sales just because the list it and forget it with Best offer that Jay and Ryanne talk about has worked so well for me so far.
06/08/2017 at 11:31 pm #19203SimonParticipant
- Location: San Francisco Bay Area
I took a look at your baseball hats since that’s a specialty for me. You have a lot of hats priced very high and your shipping is expensive. I rarely sell hats over $20 and 99% of my hats ship at $2.77 (under 8oz) though I charge $2.95 for shipping. Unless you have a good reason for pricing high, either put your hats on sale or cut the prices to just under $20.
06/11/2017 at 3:01 am #19249
Thank you Simon for taking the time and looking.
Hats actually do sell for me. I try to price them according to relevance and scarcity. I agree some are rather high, but I think the prices are justified. You’ll also see I’ve got hats priced below $20.
In addition, I made a decision not to subsidize the shipping expenses. I do ship all my hats in a box. I started a post in the shipping forum to get an idea what other members think about reasonable shipping expenses. It’s not just what the USPS charges us.
Again I appreciate the comments and am not closing the door on any of your suggestions.
06/10/2017 at 9:15 am #19234Steven SParticipant
- Location: South Dakota
Hey Joe, this is only my opinion but I took a quick look at your store, listing your most expensive items first.
You have a lot of long tail maybes, hope for the best items.
The higher price items are what you need to sell to bring that average up. We all sell the bread and butter stuff but it’s the 2 or 3 $100-$300 or more items we need to sell each week to make this work.
Since you have a really large inventory, I would only seek out the high end items that have a higher probability of selling quickly. If you find 2 or 3 of those items each week you’ll have that start to work for you.
I hope I’m not making this sound simple as it’s not, you need some expertise in a number of areas and some luck in your search.
You have the experience so it’s really a matter of refining it.
06/10/2017 at 10:36 pm #19247
I agree with a couple of people who said some of your prices seem high. I’d go back and research your higher priced items.
06/11/2017 at 3:16 am #19250
Yes Steven you are correct my higher priced items are long shots at best. A few higher priced sales every week, would clearly boost my numbers and put me in a lot better shape.
I have put more of my items as a “best offer” and it’s been paying off. I am running more sales and also seeing results from that. It’s been a slow month for listing due to other things going on in my life, but my sales are no worse, and may even be better.
Thanks again everyone…
07/06/2017 at 7:14 am #20084MikeParticipant
Want to thank everyone for the answers. I am in the same boat as Joe. I piggy backed on the thread but got some great ideas. THANK YOU!
07/10/2017 at 4:23 pm #20205ZachParticipant
- Location: Kansas City
Lots of good advice here. I’ll offer mine as well.
When I first started, I almost never spent more than a couple bucks on an item. Over time, I’ve learned to never ignore anything at a sale. While I still find stuff for a dollar that will sell for $50+, I’m not afraid to research higher priced stuff. I live in a metro area and I see a lot of eBay sellers at estate sales and garage sales, but the competition really thins out for the more expensive stuff. And even if an item is marked high, don’t be afraid to negotiate. The bottom line is to look at the potential return when you are deciding what to buy. Nowadays, I’m not afraid to spend $50 if I know I can flip it for $150. On a weekend, I might hit 100 garage sales, but I usually only come home with a dozen items. I don’t have the time or the energy to list 2000 items. I am very picky and do my research while at the sale. I try to only buy items that will either move moderately fast or sell for a high price ($50+). I try to minimize those $10-$25 items, as they just aren’t worth it.
Long tail only works if the stuff you buy is worth the time, energy, and storage space you allot to it. Even if you buy a book for a quarter and you sell it for $20, if it takes 2 years to move it, that wasn’t a great investment. If you are going to buy a niche item like that, make sure the payoff is worth it. Search sold and completed listings to find those types of items. If you do buy items that only sell for $20, be sure it will sell in a few months at most. If you have lots of competitors, undercut their prices to move it a bit faster.
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