11/13/2016 at 8:52 pm #5707RyanneKeymaster
- Location: Virginia
James Collins is a good friend of ours. He’s also one of the well-known bloggers who focuses on Financial Independence aka “early retirement”. (If you
[See the full post at: Scavenger Life Episode 284: Where did you learn about money?]
11/13/2016 at 11:29 pm #5715The Thrift RaiderParticipant
My parents were never good with money, and at a lot of times were downright awful. I’ll never forget riding with my dad to 5 different pay day loans in one day, borrowing from Peter to pay Paul (or vice versa).
So I hoped to one day learn about it since I found it so complicated. I started watching Suze Orman by accident and discovered that she would teach money terms in a really simplistic way. I got pretty obsessed with watching as many of her shows as possible.
You can say some of her advice is debatable but there’s no doubt she’s probably taught a lot more people than just me about basic money lessons. I still don’t know everything, but I’m always trying to learn more, and make good decisions.
11/14/2016 at 6:33 am #5736
I think any of the Tv and radio personalities who teach people to not overspend and save money are positive.
I’ve watched Suze and it’s funny to hear the people asking if it’s smart to buy luxury items that they cant afford.
11/14/2016 at 1:14 am #5718DylanParticipant
Good show. The personal stories are interesting. Jay, I think your ambivalence about money comes from an honest, moral place that is tied directly to politics. Unfortunately, this isn’t a good place to talk about politics.
11/14/2016 at 6:31 am #5735
True. I’ve certainly evolved in how I view money, but now just see it as a tool. The fact that we can make money scavenging feels about the most honest way I’ve ever earned it. And the fact that we can all share info so we can each make money is even better for us.
I like the idea that there’s abundance to share vs a scarcity to fight over.
11/14/2016 at 1:33 am #5719AnnaParticipant
I learned about money from my parents. Papa was a fireman and photographer. My mom was a stay at home mom until Papa died at 38. My sister and I were 6 and 10 years old. We were lower middle class and then became a working poor family. My mom sold our 3 vehicles and we lived on the proceeds for a year. My mom was then able to get a job as a secretary at the elementary school.
Papa’s life insurance was the equivalent of 2.5 years salary. My mother invested his life insurance money into Treasury Bonds and T-Bills. From my experience, I’m a big advocate of having life insurance equal to 10-12 times your annual salary.
Before Papa’s death we would take weekly trips to the savings and loan to deposit $10 dollars into my savings account. I loved going because I would get a lolly pop and all the tellers would ooh and aah over me. I thought it was magical how the teller would stick the passbook into the machine and it would loudly print out the new balance and I could see how the number was getting bigger week after week.
Papa also took me to Holly Securities and we would see Mr. Peek, the stock broker. There was a lava lamp in the front waiting area that I found fascinating. They would talk about stocks and I would go into the darkened back office and watch the ticker tape. Papa was a risk taker and bought penny stocks. Nothing ever came of them, but at least AT&T did well.
Starting when I was five I got a 55 cent allowance. I was required to save 5 cents for church and then rest I could save or spend on gum which was 25 cents. I really liked Bubble Yum. The allowance increased such that by the time I was a senior in high school I would get $7 a week, which I could keep or spend on lunch, which cost $1.10 a day. I always packed my lunch and socked the $7 away. Seventh through 11th grade I had free or reduced school lunch which was 40 cents.
Once my father died my mother held monthly budget meetings with me and my sister. She would say this is my pay and then break out how much went for rent, clothing, food, electricity, water, gas, clothing, church, etc. We would then review the budget the following month to see if we had kept within the budget.
My mother saved every single receipt. She would even make sure to take the 35 cent receipt for the New Jersey Parkway toll. The grocery receipts went in the drawer with the kitchen scissors. She used cash for most everything. She paid bills on the 1st and the 15th of the month. She always balanced her checkbook. She found a dollar error one time and went right to the bank to have it corrected.
I started working under the table as a breakfast waitress when I was 12 during the summer. I held jobs every summer as a waitress, chambermaid, and lifeguard. I also cleaned my grandparents house once a week. I used my savings to pay for college. My mother and I split the cost of my college tuition, which was small based on the number of scholarships and financial aid I received.
My mother worked very hard to support me and my sister. She died herself at age 61 from cancer. She never bought a house and lived in the same rented duplex from 1974 to 2008. She worked from 1984 to 2007. Her starting salary was $19,000 and when she died she was making $40,000. In the end she had nearly half a million dollars in assets plus a pension. We chose not to cash out the pension. I signed the pension over to my sister, which is good for the length of my sister’s life. My sister gives me a small check every month. It makes me smile to think my mom is still giving me an allowance.
I do feel that people are predisposed to be a spender or a saver. The same parenting doesn’t necessarily translate into children becoming savers or spenders. In my house, my son is more likely to work to earn money and then spend it right away on things he wants. Whereas my daughter is a saver and frequently uses her money to buy gifts for other people.
Total items in store: 292
Items sold: 7
Cost of Items Sold: $18 thrift + $16.30 retail + $7.65 consignment
Total Sales: $189.93
Avg. price: $27.13
Highest price item: $36.99 Columbia coat
International sales: 0
Money spent on new inventory: $15
Number of items listed: 4
11/14/2016 at 6:41 am #5737
Thanks for sharing your story. Your mom sounds like she was an incredible woman. I love the idea of a parent sitting down with their kid and being open about the finances each week. I can’t think of a better way to teach a kid about money.
In the US, we seem very scared/shy/embarrassed to talk about money with the people closest to us. We always want “everything to be okay” and not show that it’s a daily struggle to juggle a family’s finances.
11/14/2016 at 7:25 am #5738shortandstoutParticipant
- Location: Central Pennsylvania
My parents and grandparents were good influences, but I think the issue of money was a side topic to that of work. When my brother and I wanted my parents to buy us something, my father would do the math and tell us how many hours he would have to work for it. Both my brother and I started working early and I had odd jobs starting around 10 years old then baby sitting around 13. I was never really a saver even though I knew it was a good thing. I’d only save as much as I needed for my next big want. I knew if I wanted things, I just needed to work. It wasn’t until recently that I found myself in a massive amount of credit card debt and started looking at personal finances seriously. My husband has always been a natural saver and we have held separate accounts for the most part. I would justify my spending and debt because he had our safety net. Then we went to build the dream home and I woke up to the mess I had made financially. I found Dave Ramsey and started to do the baby steps. Now I am addicted to personal finance podcasts like Afford Anything (Paula Pant – where I first heard J&R) and Stacking Benjamins that go farther into the financial independence space and actual depth over the just save principles. Now I have my eye set for savings and building up my FU money.
Moderate week for my store:
Total items in store: 177
Items sold: 3
Cost of Items Sold: $4.50 ish
Total Sales: $41
Avg. price: $13.60
Highest price item: $24.99 – Vintage NIB Italeri Volvo 760 GLE Model 1:24 Scale No. 651
International sales: 0
Money spent on new inventory: $445.11 on 3 watches and accessories – largest amount I’ve spent on any single item, but I’m hopeful that I can get it listed and sold for the Christmas rush.
Number of items listed: 0
Had one customer issue from the last week where I sent a customer the wrong legs for a stool so it was more like a seller issue! Got the correct legs out to her the next day and provided a return label for the wrong legs since they go to another item I have. She seemed happy in the end and left positive feedback so more just a hiccup than anything. Next time, I’ll be sure to test the legs before I package them up.
I didn’t get much listing done, but I will have more time this week. I have the watches that I want to get up on Tuesday after I pick them up. Thankfully, they all have their paperwork of authenticity so I’m not too worried about VeRO. I have another auction tonight where I hope to pick up a bunch of boots so they will be up on Thursday after pickup. I need to get listing as my unlisted pile is continuing to grow 🙂
11/14/2016 at 9:00 am #5741
I didn’t really learn about money until I was into my adult life. Growing up, all I knew is that we didn’t really have any, but I also didn’t know how to save or how to manage budgets.
My dad chose a life of service coming out of high school. He was enlisted in the Army, which I will forever be grateful to him (and everyone else who does it) for. And my mom was a homemaker until both my brother & I were old enough to come home from school and be alone for a few hours. Since my dad was military, we had a lot of things provided to us – the best healthcare was free, discounted foods at the commissary & cheap entertainment ($0.50 movies or bowling on the base), etc – but at the same time his take home salary was practically nothing. My parents certainly lived paycheck to paycheck and would borrow money from family often to make ends meet. Hot dogs or mac n cheese or cans of soup were common for dinner. My mom was an extreme couponer – she was in groups with other homemakers in town to share, clip, trade coupons as needed. She was all about rebates & freebees – save 5 boxtops from Cheerios and get a toy. Then I got that toy in my stocking for Christmas.
Because of this, anytime I got a little bit of money I spent it on things I wanted. Got $5 from grandma when she came to visit? Go out immediately and buy a GI Joe. Get $20 in a birthday card? Go out and buy the biggest Lego set I could afford. This mentality lasted through college and into my early adulthood.
Only recently, with the help of my wife because she comes from a family that cherished saving and planning for the future. She & I work in the same industry and are within a year of each other career wise, so no matter how much or how little our salaries, we have lived within our means and only increased the way we live when we have more means. It’s a much better way to live than my old way.
And, because of living within our means, this eBay part time income has allowed me/us to still have fun and buy “wants” even if we don’t need them. While over the past few years has been about paying for vacations or nice dinners or entertainment, we’re now using some of the profits to remodel our bathrooms and thus [hopefully] building equity in our condo… again, for the future.
11/14/2016 at 9:51 am #5746
Nov 6-12 2016
• Total Items in Store: 732
• Items Sold: 28
• International 3 GSP
• Total Sales $3780
• Highest Price $750 vintage Turntable
• Average Price Sold: $135
• Returns: 0
• Cost of Items Sold: $270
• Cost of items purchased this week $50
Good week but all the packing of big delicate items had me wishing it was more spread out.
11/14/2016 at 4:24 pm #5801
Steve! You about matched one of our highest sales weeks ever.
How did you make that $3700?
Were there other high dollar items than the $750 turntable?
11/14/2016 at 7:03 pm #5816
This weeks video will tell the tale, mostly hi end amplifiers.
It seems this was the week all those vintage audio geeks opened their wallets.
11/14/2016 at 9:58 am #5747
What an interesting topic! I can break my money learnings down into a few basics and then one detailed “ah-ha” moment.
1. My mom and wife are natural savers. I didn’t learn a thing from my mom because I was a kid, but I appreciate my wife’s abilities. My wife pinched every penny she ever got as a kid. If grandma gave her a dollar, she saved it. We were able to buy a house as 23 year old newlyweds due to her ability to save.
2. My dad and sister are natural spenders. In debt waaayyy past their eyeballs. My mom had to bail both of them out multiple times. I did learn from their mistakes. I never even wanted a credit card! To this day I only have two cards, each with low limits and I pay them off regularly to get the free rewards. It irritates me quite a bit that I am punished on my credit rating for only having the credit limits I can afford.
3. My mother-in-law introduced me to the wonderful world of coupons. My mom couponed, but she just bought whatever had a coupon whether we wanted it or if it was even good. She wasted a lot of money getting stuff no one wanted. While dating my future wife, my mother-in-law started giving me coupons from this magical book called and “Entertainment book”. It isn’t as good now, but back then it had BOGO meals at all the best restaurants, bogo activities at all the best entertainment centers, and even cheap evening movies. I was able to take my future wife on very nice dates and spend next to nothing. Gents (and ladies), if you find a significant other who loves coupons and understands the value of a dollar while dating, then that is a keeper!
3. And now for the ah-ha moment! As a freshly giddy and engaged couple, my wife and I went to a bridal expo. We entered our name into a drawing for something, though it was really just putting us on a mailing list. We were soon contacted by someone who said we “won” a free cruise. We just had to come downtown to a hotel to claim it. We participated in a presentation on a line of cookware called Royal Prestige. It was a great presentation. We fell for it hook line n’ sinker. We were the proud new owners of $2300 in dishes and cookware… at 18% interest compounded monthly. I paid the payment a few months, then me and my fiancé had a heart to heart on what we had done. We also researched what the stuff sold for on ebay…ouch. We dipped into her savings and paid it off in full. It was a very painful lesson, but we learned a lot from it. I learned to love eating veggies because the presenter cooked a meal for us and the steamed broccoli & carrots were great. We learned all about interest rates and what the real cost of investment is. Most valuably, we learned to check ebay! As a bonus, we still have that cookware and it is indeed just as good as presented – it was just way overpriced. It will last our lifetime easily.
Oh, and we did use that cruise! I was able to upgrade the free “basic” cruise to the cruise we were already planning to take on our honeymoon. It saved me a few hundred dollars.
11/14/2016 at 4:25 pm #5802
When I was 15, I bought a bright yellow fiat with cash I saved over two summers. My father told me it was a dumb idea but I didn’t care.
The car turned into a money pit and never ran well. I finally sold it for scrap for $400. I never wasted money on expensive dumb stuff again.
11/14/2016 at 4:52 pm #5806
I buy expensive dumb stuff…but I don’t pay expensive dumb prices. I got smart!
For instance I have a garage full of arcade and pinball machines. They are expensive…if you aren’t smart about it. I learned to fix them so I could buy them for super cheap. Then I started fixing them to sell. Then I started taking repair jobs from other people. I also started buying lots of parts and reselling them with proper descriptions.
I have every machine I ever wanted to have and I have zero money tied up in them. It also feels good to have those assets knowing I could sell them all in a pinch for quite a bit of money.
11/16/2016 at 12:12 pm #5951Eve EverettParticipant
Wow Retro, our game room currently has about 10 pinball machines, a 50s diner booth set, and one of those modified video arcade machines!
11/16/2016 at 12:27 pm #5955
Cool! Are you into a specific era, or do you have a mix? I like a good mix. Currently I have an early 80’s Bally Mr & Mrs. Pacman, a late 80’s Williams F-14 Tomcat, an early 90’s Williams Slugfest, and a mid-2000’s Stern Roller Coaster Tycoon. In my wheeling dealing days I went through a lot of pins. The only era I haven’t messed with is EM’s.
I service an Elvis pin at a pizza place right down the road from my house. I have a key and can play whenever I want. It’s the greatest way to “own” a pin – If I notice something is wrong while I’m playing, I pull the glass and fix it and get paid VERY well to do it. Lol!
I’ve sold more than a few multicades as well. They are a great gameroom addition.
I have a real nice hard wood booth that came out of a historical Restaurant in Huntington that used to be a train station. It was our favorite restaurant before it shut down.
11/14/2016 at 6:59 pm #5815
Ah, but if you held onto that yellow Fiat it might be worth a few thousand today, they have become hot again. What model was it?
11/14/2016 at 7:47 pm #5822
I guess if you keep anything for 30 years, it’ll be valuable. It was a crap car.
11/15/2016 at 12:20 am #5835DylanParticipant
Yeah, It’s funny, but they will never be great mechanically, just like the alpha romeos of those years. Not engineered and built well at all. But that Italian style…you had the right idea there. Many MGs have the same mechanical nightmare reputation. As for the topic, good learning experience about researching what you’re buying first.
If I had money and storage, I’d have been buying up rare (or even not so rare, but old) Japanese cars for the past 20 years. I told that to a friend of mine in the ’90’s when muscle cars were going off the charts and he laughed. The collectable Japanese cars are a lot more expensive now, but you can still find them if you’re out there scavenging. Unfortunately, they don’t fit into a padded flat rate envelope… 😉
11/15/2016 at 8:24 am #5853
Oh man, that is one sweet ride. It’s Italian so it has to look good standing still, they do that a lot.
11/14/2016 at 10:08 am #5748
Week Nov 6-Nov 12, 2016
Total Items in Store: 758
Items Sold: 4
Cost of Items Sold: $21
Total Sales: $134.99
Highest Price Sold: $85 (nearly full bottle of Chanel No. 5)
Average Price Sold: $33.75
Returns: 0 (one guy started a return but I haven’t received notification he sent it)
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $110
Number of items listed this week: 24
Absolutely dreadful week. If I didn’t sell that perfume, I’d have had 3 sales for $50. I hope that the slow sales were due to me neglecting listing for several weeks. I listed 24 items this week, so hopefully that helps jump start some interest & sales.
Bought a few things from online estate auctions this week. Some of the cooler items include 1930s Apex Magical Multiplying Pencil, vintage decks of cards from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, three 1920s/30s saftey razors, and a couple of sterling silver rings found in a box of costume jewelry.
Bring on the holiday sales!
11/14/2016 at 10:39 am #5752eCommerce411.usBlocked
- Location: Michigan & South Carolina
I love this week’s podcast. Jim and I could have been cut from the same cloth. What money means to me is security and choices.
I definitely credit my parents with teaching me how to accumulate money through a solid work ethic and need to further education beyond high school. It wasn’t until high school that I started focusing on making my money work harder for me. Not sure exactly where my entrepreneur spirit came from because it started in middle school and has been with me all of my life.
It is the subject of learning on how to make my money work harder for me that I feel has benefited me most in life. Not necessarily from a financial standpoint, but also for learning and understanding of making honest and conscious decisions throughout my life.
Looking back, I can credit two “Ahah” moments that solidified this learning.
- The learning and understanding of compounding. When you hear financial people talk about the need to start early, this is the what their taking about. Also not just from a savings standpoint, it equally applies to debt as well.
- I would have to say of all the hundreds of personal finances books I have read thus far in my life, the one I also go back to and credit the most for learning how to manage my money is the book I read in high school titled “The Richest Man in Babylon” by George S. Clason. I gave this book to read to my children as well as to my wife. If you can get past the biblical verbiage, the teachings of this book is priceless
During high school I remember two conversations pertaining to this. One with my father who at the time was 56 and making about $40k as an engineer and we got into a heated debate that I was crazy to imply that I would be making $100K+ by the time I reached his age. With a low inflation rate and time on my side, that figure has long come and gone.
Second conversation was with a friend’s brother who laughed at me when I said I was going to be a millionaire by the time I was 30. Again, time on my side but under estimating my lifestyle, it took 22 extra years to make it.
Here’s a link to it on amazon. The best $7 dollars you’ll ever spend.
The Richest Man in Babylon – On Amazon“>
Again, I really enjoyed the podcast. Wished the subject of compounding and how it applies to scavenging would have been discussed. I think it really would open many people’s eyes with respect to what decisions they are making.
- This reply was modified 4 years, 11 months ago by eCommerce411.us.
11/14/2016 at 10:42 am #5753
Total Items in Store: 570
Items Sold: 7
Cost of Items Sold: $ 41
Total Sales: $232
Total Profit: $191
Highest Price Sold: $45 Dickies Boots (Retail Arbitrage from walmart clearance)
Average Price Sold: $33.14
Average Profit: $21.22
Another slow week, but things appear to be picking up. I started a 10% off sale and have had a few sales from it. 6 of 7 sales were shoes. Yay for shoes!
Nothing much to say about amazon. One sale and made about $20 after COGS and fees. Still no motivation to send anything else in. The prices of all my arbitrage stuff is not going up to where I want them, and I think my amazon motivation is directly tied to those items. If that all sells before Christmas I’ll continue with amazon. If not I may just let it die and stick with ebay.
11/14/2016 at 11:41 am #5759
My father worked for 40 years at the same firm. I guess I always grew up expecting to work in a regular 9-5 job. My dad was a bit of a tightwad and I think I inherited some of that tendency from him. I didn’t learn my about finances from my parents but I’ve always been interested in money and I’ve learned a lot about personal finance over the years.
Here are my numbers for the week. From a sales $ perspective, this was the best week I’ve ever had since I started selling on eBay about 18 months ago:
Total Items in Store: 1196
Items Sold: 34
Total Sales: $1274.3
Cost of Items Sold: $114.85
Average Price Sold: $37.48
Average Cost of Item: $3.38
Highest Price Item Sold: $349.95 4ft Pickett Slide Rule – bought at an estate sale for $10
Number of items listed this week: 53
Average age of items in store (in days since listing): 197
Average number of days between listing and selling this week: 79
Median age of sales (in days, between listing and selling): 16
Sell-through rate: 2.84%
# of Hats Sold: 18
Here’s one for the BOLO list:
Las Vegas travel brochures from the 70s – sold quickly for $34.95
11/14/2016 at 12:00 pm #5763
Amazing sale on the slide rule… I’ve had dozens of Pickett slide rules in the past but only ever 12″-18″ and they sell very well. How’d you ship a 4′ slide rule? Long poster tube?
11/14/2016 at 11:47 pm #5831
@brian – on the day that slide rule sold, on my way home from work I passed a curbside recycling pile outside a business and they had a skinny 46″ long box full of foam sitting in the pile. It was fate! I added another box and shipped it parcel select. I hope it arrives safely.
11/14/2016 at 2:49 pm #5782omfugParticipant
Slow week in omfugland. Made $324 between ebay and etsy with an $80 majolica platter as my top sale, on the downside I had a $100 item break in transit. The election seemed to kill my sales and they are only sluggishly coming back.
11/14/2016 at 2:51 pm #5784
Finally managed to re-register to the new Forum. Using other personal e-mail to make it work.
Dying to share many updates.
In short, listed a handful of Trump-related items during election week, made good money indeed.
On the verge of 500 items listed. Remember my ultimate goal for this business is to get to 1000 items by the end of the year. Target is challenged but I am working with that mindset.
11/14/2016 at 4:22 pm #5800
Glad you made it over Paulo!
11/14/2016 at 3:55 pm #5790
Amazon asking me more and more to stick to eBay:
” Dear Seller,
As we have previously announced, the Holiday Selling Guidelines for the Toys & Games store go into effect November 17, 2016. Sellers must meet the set guidelines to sell in the Toys & Games store through the remainder of the year.
We regret to inform you that you do not meet the Holiday Selling Guidelines and we have removed your ability to sell seller-fulfilled items in the Toys & Games store during the holiday season. Amazon will notify you at the end of the holiday season when the restriction has been removed.
In order to view the listings that we have removed, follow the below steps.
1. Access the Manage Inventory tool
2. Towards the upper left side of the page, click the circle next to the Inactive filter
Please do not create new Toys listings until further notification.
Regards, Amazon Services
11/14/2016 at 4:10 pm #5795
If you are exclusively an FBA seller, that email is meaningless. FBA is exempt from that policy because Amazon is doing the fulfillment.
11/14/2016 at 6:16 pm #5813eCommerce411.usBlocked
- Location: Michigan & South Carolina
Is this part of Amazon “gating” policy started last August?
11/14/2016 at 4:38 pm #5803SharynParticipant
- Location: Central NJ
I think that my parents were sort of in between – they weren’t big spenders, but they weren’t frugal. When I was in high school, my mom gave me a budget for new clothes, and then let me buy what I wanted (within reason). She taught me to buy at sales, and sometimes we went to flea markets to buy or sell. So, I’ve always had that in me.
When I went out on my own, my mom suggested I buy a money magazine to learn the basics. I started with Sylvia Porter’s magazine (can’t remember the exact title), which went out of business a few years later and Kiplinger’s took over. I started just reading one or two articles a month until I understood it. My investments in mutual funds helped me buy my first home, and my first home helped us buy our second after we started adding to the family.
My mom also told me to start with my company’s 401K as soon as I had a chance. That money has really grown well over the years.
Since I haven’t been working at a company for over 2 years now, my family and I have had to become very frugal. We weren’t spenders, but I was able to cut out expenses that we really didn’t need and reduce costs of our months bills (like cell phone provider).
If I should make a better income in the future, our new frugality will help us.
Anyway, here are my numbers from this week:
Week of Nov 7 – 13
* Total Items in Store: 467
* Items Sold: 16
* Cost of Items Sold: $28.60
* Total Sales: $411.12
* Highest Price Sold: $80 NWT Beaded Evening Bag
* Average Price Sold: $25.70
* Returns: 0
* Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $9-ish
* Number of items listed this week: 20
I sold fewer items this week, but the average sale price was higher. Several of my sales were from collectable Zippo and other lighters that I listed this week. In fact, one listing sold within about 5 min of me posting it. Lighters are definitely on my BOGO list now. The lighters and the evening bag mentioned above were all from the same online auction from September. The bag had been listed for a while, but I just hadn’t had time for the lighters until more recently.
Here are some links:
Evening Bag (sold to someone in Alaska!):
I did get my first negative feedback. A buyer told me that what I sold him was a women’s belt, not a man’s, and he was very disappointed. I offered a full refund, but he said that he gave the belt to someone else. I called eBay to try to get the feedback removed, and the guy I talked to gave me the “it’s his opinion” line. I will call back again later. In the meantime, I went through all the belts I had and changed any that I wasn’t sure about to “unisex belt”. I did a little research, and there is a different direction to put on belts depending on gender. Sometimes the writing on the back of the belt can help figure that out. Still, I wasn’t sure on some.
11/14/2016 at 5:30 pm #5809LizParticipant
The only conversation my parents ever had with me about money was to tell me that just because I still have checks left in the book, it doesn’t mean I have money in the bank to back them up. That was it!
Needless to say, I discovered the hard way how insufficient that limited education turned out to be. While I have only bounced 2 checks in 26 years, I wish they would have answered my questions about money, budgets, and personal finance. I never knew how much money my parents made, how much rent/mortgage was, how much groceries cost. They would periodically yell that the phone bill was too high, so I needed to stop making so many calls, but refuse to let me see the bill. So how much is “too much”? What is a normal amount for a bill? What can we afford? How much do I need to cut back to make it affordable? 10%? 50%? 75? I never had any idea.
To this day, I have no idea what my mother’s financial situation is. She is 65. Does she have retirement savings? How much? Any long term care insurance? Is she getting anything from social security? No clue. She says it’s none of my business, which is what she told me as a teen when I asked. *shrug* Then I suppose you are on your own to sort it out in your “golden years”. In case it wasn’t obvious, my mother and I do not have a good relationship, for many reasons.
I have had to learn about money as an adult. There were many expensive mistakes made along the way. I try to do better for my son than what my parents did for me: I told him how much I make on ebay, how much daddy makes at his job. He will tell you that if we waste money, it’s like daddy having to work hard for nothing, and that’s not fair to daddy. He knows how much the mortgage is each month, and what a mortgage is. I give him the receipts at the grocery store and have him read it, and tell me what the items cost, and what our total is. We talk about credit cards and debit cards and how they work. When it’s time to buy things like first cars and pay for college, there will be many conversations about loans and interest rates, and cost vs benefit.
I hope that he will go out into the world with a better understanding than what I had. He is only 8, so we have some time. 🙂
Total Items in Store: 332
Items Sold: 20
Total Sales: $527.84
Cost of Items Sold: About $58
Average Price Sold: $26.35
Highest Price Item Sold: $100 (vintage Bucilla Felt Nativity Kit)
Number of items listed this week: 26
11/14/2016 at 11:55 pm #5833
It sounds like you’re doing a good job with your son. Those discussions about finances are important. I’ve never told my kids how much I make at my day job. I used to worry that they would tell their friends. I will talk to them about any other aspect of I thought they’d be interested. My kids now have jobs and I have been opening Roth IRAs in their names and matching their earnings with contributions to their IRAs. I’ve show my daughter how much it should grow if she leaves it untouched for the next 40 years.
11/15/2016 at 8:35 am #5854
I talk frequently about money with my kids. They’ve been using realistic looking play money as currency inside the house for years. They have a store they can buy items from with the money they earn doing chores getting their school work done on time.
I don’t tell the kids how much money I make at my job – kids have BIG mouths. Personally I don’t care what other people make, but other people can get real hung up on these things and it can cause problems. I do share with my kids data about ebay because I am showing them something that they can do to make real money.
Through all my conversations with my kids about money I can tell you most of it goes in one ear and out the other and they are on to the next distraction. Some kids are predisposed to being money smart, and some are doomed to learn money lessons the hard way. I can tell which of my kids fall into each category already. Hopefully the seeds have been planted though.
11/15/2016 at 2:12 pm #5890
I wouldn’t talk to young kids about salaries. The numbers are too abstract. Sounds like you have a good system of talking about money.
But I would have benefited as a teenager if my parents had been transparent about their income and expenses. This would have taken a whole different relationship between us which would requite much more openness about a lot of things.
There’s obvious shame/fear when it comes to talking about money with even your spouse, let alone kids or friends. Do I make enough? Am I good enough? Will they think I’m wasteful? Will they think I’m bragging?
Being transparent about money is like talking about sex.
11/14/2016 at 5:57 pm #5812ChristineRParticipant
- Location: Southern California
* Total Items in Store: 320
* Items Sold: 5
* Cost of Items Sold: $79
* Total Sales: $208
* Highest Price Sold: $68 New Anthropologie Knobs
* Average Price Sold: $42
* Returns & Int’l Sales: 0
* Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $15
* Number of items listed this week: 0
Another pretty slow week, but I did sell RA items, some as Christmas presents per buyer. Life is really getting in the way of listing and my contract work is quite busy. I’m in a tax sensitive field, so post-election should get interesting. I’d love a day of simple ebay listing with a scented candle lit and a podcast on…
I learned about money from my dad, a proudly cheap Swede from MN. My dad grew up wealthy but is extremely thrifty because he is super practical and cares not for impressing others. He’s about doing his activities not buying – “a car gets you from point a to point b”. My father-in-law grew up the poor son of a trucker in the South. He was cheap out of necessity and dreams of being rich – he just finally bought himself a new luxury car and now he won’t turn on the air conditioning.
I share this because it’s interesting that my husband and I both learned to be frugal from each of them for different reasons. They both were all about education and helped us with college and graduate degrees so we could help ourselves. We are pretty much the same with our kids, but they are still growing up and I think you need to scale the lessons and examples until they are ready to hear it. As a bit of a helicopter mom, I find it hard but useful to let them fail in safe circumstances. My son at 13 has already gone from a spender to a saver once he realized it’s no longer fun to buy just to get something, and had some of his own purchase regrets.
I do share Jim’s belief that much is nature not nuture. Some kids will be harder to influence then others and maybe need to make more mistakes.
11/14/2016 at 7:20 pm #5818NancyParticipant
A question for JL. When you are financially independent how do you obtain health insurance. Can you get it through Obamacare (for now) even though you have all this money set aside or do you purchase it outside? Are the costs of your healthcare super high? Since my income is low my healthcare through obamacare is very affordable. What is it like for those of you with higher incomes?
11/14/2016 at 11:43 pm #5830
I’ve been really excited to post my numbers! I have committed to attacking my “death bins” as I will call them. I have resolved to not spend another penny on inventory until I list 1000 items. It might take me a while but I’m actually listing items much quicker. I think the changes ebay has continued to make really has helped listing time become much shorter. At least for me that seems to be the case. I have been hard at it for less than a month and have listed 265 new items. All while my main job is still wrestling a one year old and chauffeuring the other 3! So I’m pretty proud of myself. Anyways, like we all know… list list list! And it’s working! 🙂 I had 25 packages waiting for my poor mailman today.
Total Items in Store: 400
* Items Sold: 40
* Cost of Items Sold: $291
* Total Sales: $2260.13
* Highest Price Sold: $525 184 littlest pet shop animals
* Average Price Sold: $56.50
* Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
* Number of items listed this week: 100+
- This reply was modified 4 years, 11 months ago by JtotheNessa.
11/14/2016 at 11:59 pm #5834
Those are some pretty impressive numbers. How big was the collection of littlest pet shop toys that sold for $500+? That’s amazing?
11/15/2016 at 10:28 am #5869
There were 184 – all cats and dogs – no duplicates. Took me almost 5 years to amass the collection. 🙂
11/15/2016 at 6:56 am #5838
The fact that you made over $2k last week is proof something is working.
We’ve been enjoying/hating focusing on our death piles over the last 18 months. We’re hoping to be completely finished with our backlog this winter. It doesn’t make sense to have unlisted inventory piling up.
11/15/2016 at 10:32 am #5870
Yep. I will be the first to admit that I used “treasure hunting” as a coping mechanism for some personal struggles I was going through for several years. I’m doing much better now, clear mind, focus, and joy. And it’s showing in the numbers! 🙂 I cannot wait for the day that the death tubs are no longer starring me in the face. Party time!
11/15/2016 at 12:44 am #5836Rydell RelicsParticipant
RR Store Week Nov 6-12 2016
* Total Items in Store: 1030
* Items Sold: 16
* Cost of Items Sold: $37.78
* Total Sales: $451.32
* Highest Price Sold: $105.45 (2 70s California Vanity License Plates “EZ GOES”)
* Average Price Sold: $28.21
* Returns: 0
* Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $16
* Number of items listed this week: 23
I’ll be blunt: I suck at personal finances. Outside of a Humanities class during my junior year in high school, no one really talked to me at length about money. When I got my first job, I went right out and bought a Casio keyboard with my first paycheck (still have it). I earned it, I spent it. Since then, I’ve never had a job that paid me enough to have anything left over after paying bills to save. Investing seemed a million miles away. But ever since I started selling on eBay, the idea of having leftover money after the bills are paid is slowly becoming a reality. I have a long term goal that I’m working towards: starting another business. My plan was to save my eBay pennies until I’m ready to get started. But now I want to save for that business and start investing in index funds. Complete financial independence isn’t my long term goal at this point, but if I can save enough to start my next business, I’ll be pretty close.
Now, back to listing. The election threw off my groove last week, so I have a lot of work ahead of me.
11/15/2016 at 8:04 am #5851Cheryl – The Lynn CompanyParticipant
slowwwww week here too!
My parents were divorced. I learned mostly about money from my dad…but I wouldn’t have called him a saver…he always said it wasn’t worth worrying about…when you need it, it always seems to appear:) My mom was very frugal…she could make 10 cents perform like a 1.00 bill…but out of necessity. I decided early in my married life to be somewhere in the middle:)
11/15/2016 at 8:17 am #5852SugarNSaltParticipant
Dad was an investor. He didn’t leave much behind because he withdrew it and spent it helping out extended family and my brother and sister. That taught me a lot, some people will be grateful and other will always have their hand out towards you the moment you give them that opportunity. He taught me making money sometimes meant spending money and tightening your own belt in order to grow quickly.
Is this where numbers go?
Total items in store: 725
Items sold: 34
Cost of Items Sold: $122.72 (combo of bins/thrift/in home items)
Total Sales: $1083.23
Avg. price: $31.86
Highest price item: $58.50 Ballantyne Sweater
International sales: 4
Money spent on new inventory: $423 (Thrift/Goodwill)
Number of items listed: 76
11/15/2016 at 10:15 am #5866LeeinTNParticipant
Total Items in store: 451
Items sold: 3
Cost of items sold: approx. $7
Total Sales: $55
Highest price sold: $ 30 – Lightbulbs
Average price sold: $18
Int’l sales: 0
Number of items listed this week: 0
Amazon disbursement – $809
Full time ebay goal – was March 2018; now – ????
Ebay to Amazon experiment – Had 0 sales. Amazon is still a viable option, I just have not sent any items in for over a month. I have about 40 items here ready to send in, I have been relaxing.
About 6 weeks out from baby #2 coming along (another little girl) so I am splitting my free time between nursery prep and mom to be assistance.
I am going to put off making a decision to go full time for a couple of months. I really want to buy/sell full time. I am caught between doing what I will enjoy right now, or waiting and doing it as a side hustle for a few more months before jumping in full time.
11/15/2016 at 3:39 pm #5898Eve EverettParticipant
We were breathtakingly reckless with money over the years, unrepentantly so, good times! As we age, it has occurred to us it probably wasn’t the soundest decision ever made. Still, it was a hoot. We are both paying and making up for that now by saving more. But let’s be honest, that Challenger SRT Hellcat isn’t going to buy itself.
Anyway, sold two homely dolls for a bit over $200. Sales on eBay a bit slow, Amazon books moving at a good clip. I read an interesting article about that furthers my tin foil hat conspiracy of cycling on Amazon. http://miami.cbslocal.com/2016/11/14/secrets-of-online-shopping-discrimination/
If this happens, then cycling is not a stretch.
Winter will be cold this year or so the Farmers Almanac and the wooly bear caterpillars tell us. Here is my Winter is Coming What Sold video. http://youtu.be/LN0BYbYFmSI
11/15/2016 at 6:07 pm #5904
Welcome to The Misfits Lair
Friends, interestingly I read several comments and a couple of phone questions to Jay and Ryanne about their Freelance projects.
I have been directly or indirectly (hired freelancers during my entire professional life) in my Computer Sciences Engineering Career. It seems little to nothing exists out there like the Scavenger Life for freelancers.
I started and never moved any Blog in my life, now because of the example set here and the fact there is a huge universe to explore, I started this one dedicated to people looking for the Freelance world, mostly on IT, with some Finance, Accounting and relatives too.
The idea is the Scavenger Life for Professional Services.
I plan to update it weekly, I talked with some friends to contribute. Visit me if you are interested.
11/15/2016 at 8:03 pm #5907Freds_PremiumParticipant
• Total Items in Store: 705
• Items Sold: 57
• Total Sales $1,337
• Average Price Sold: $23.46
Good week. I thought it was a bit slow at one point so I did a 25% off sale (5% higher than usual) which really helped. I am planning for an employee. I wonder how you guys found an employee, my idea is Craigslist. I think an ideal employee would be a college student or high school that is taking photography classes and already has their own equipment. They could work from their home doing the photography and packaging part of my business. Anyone know how to protect your business from theft or negligence resulting in damage to your equipment (if I were to loan out some). I suppose a lawyer would have to make up a contract. What is an ideal employee for this kind of job? It would probably pay around $10 which is $2.75 more than minimum wage here. Part time hours but could lead to growing opportunities for them.
I wonder if it would be possible to make a forum look like reddit. That way you could easily manage replies to a post inside a thread.
11/15/2016 at 8:08 pm #5908
You seem to have consistently solid weeks. Shows that you’ve really built that pipeline.
You could try CL to find employee. We took our time and looked into our network of people we knew. A daughter of some friends made sense because we knew we could trust her.
11/16/2016 at 12:49 am #5920banjomoonParticipant
My parents went by this mantra “If you make $10, save $2.” I’ve always followed that and even as a single parent was able to work and save and eventually buy a house. Also, any major item we wanted for as a child i.e. new bicycle etc..my parents put up half and the other half we worked for. I did chores, babysat, had a paper route, sold xmas cards door to door, etc to save money. I am so thankful for the work ethic and money smarts they passed onto me. In turn I passed that onto my daughter, who as a very young child sold her handmade crafts at art fairs etc and continues to have a deep work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit.
Week of: 11/6 – 11/12
Total Items in Store: 440
Items Sold: 16
Total Sales: $707.42
Highest price: $200 Filson Cruiser Jacket
Average Price Sold: $44.21
Returns: 1 (t shirt. My mistake. Wrote wrong size in description)
Cost of Items Sold: $76
Money spent on new inventory this week: 0
Great week! Highest priced item sold was a Filson jacket for $200 I bought for $20. Took a year to sell as it was a small size. This week I just happened to list a Leonard Cohen/Jeff Buckley record the day before Leonard Cohen died. When his death was announced, it sold immediately. I realized I had another one, so put that up and it sold quickly as well. These were new sealed 7” vinyl limited releases I bought 4 years ago on Record Store Day. I spent $20 on them and total they sold for $120. Not the first time I’ve had sales when celebrities died. Sold a vintage Eagles shirt that I had listed for over a year when Glenn Frey died.
11/16/2016 at 6:03 am #5935
Those are solid numbers. Not sure if I remember if we’ve heard your story. Do you sell full time?
11/16/2016 at 12:27 pm #5956TerriParticipant
I’m forever grateful to my parents for the strong work ethic and good financial sense they instilled in me. My husband and I followed their blueprint when raising our own three children who are now financially independent 20-somethings with college degrees, decent jobs and money in savings. Each have, on occasion, expressed their gratitude to us for teaching them to work hard and not overspend.
Approximate # of Items in Store: 225
# of Items Sold: 9
Average Cost of Items Sold: $6.02
Total Sales: $515.86
Highest Price Sold: $100 – Tote
Average Price Sold: $57.32
Money Spent on New Inventory: 0
Number of new listings: 12
11/16/2016 at 12:36 pm #5958banjomoonParticipant
Hi Jay & all ~ As to my story… I’m PT. I run another small biz, working from my computer with lots of flexibility & independence built in. eBay is increasingly becoming more of my income. I’ve sold on and off since 2000. Finally got serious a couple years ago & put more effort forth. I have death bins. Boy do i have death bins…yikes! Years of scavenging, DIY rural lifestyle, and a very large house & shop etc. The more space you have, the more you fill! I tend to sell vintage electronics, clothes (especially vintage t shirts), anything weird, obscure. I have a background in photography and love old cameras and darkroom equipment. It wouldn’t take much for me to make the jump to FT. I feel myself moving away from my other biz in the next 1-2 years and will probably make the leap then. I am going to miss most of the Xmas sales this year, as I am going cross-country for an extended stay to be with my elderly mom. I’m thankful for the flexibility I have in my life to be able to spend this precious time with her. Not sure when I’ll be back, so my store will be on vacation. Thinking I may start another account while there as I do go out and thrift. Usually send things back, but thinking I would try to sell as I go. Anyhews, that’s a little about me.
11/16/2016 at 7:55 pm #5990TrunkFullOfJunkParticipant
Great episode. I was irresponsible with money when I was younger, but these days I’m constantly working towards financial independence. I hope to quit my FT job within the next 2 years. The 16 hour days get hard but I know it will all be worth it in the future.
Approximate # of Items in Store: 1200
# of Items Sold: 58
Average Cost of Items Sold: $2.00
Total Sales: $2891.47
Highest Price Sold: $300 – Lot of Microwave radios
Average Price Sold: $49.85
Money Spent on New Inventory: $631.08
Number of new listings: 120
11/17/2016 at 7:52 am #6002cramgalParticipant
I learned about money from online sources.
My parents never had money. It was always tight. I did not want to live that way so I would always budget out every penny. I learned frugalness from my family since they didn’t have a choice. It helped us out immensely. I always babysat when my kids were little so I could stay home. Then I discovered Ebay.
I discovered Dave Ramsey six years ago and loved the concept. We managed to pay off our final debt (mortgage) this year. We were putting money in a 401K all along because Walmart (Husband’s employer) matches 100% up to 6%) Now we plan on doing more investing possibly a Roth IRA and then index funds after that.
We have 2 big splurges every year – family vacations and my husbands flying budget. Both worth every penny.
I only do Ebay part-time ,but having it has made our lives so much better!
11/18/2016 at 5:40 am #6056
Wow I had no idea Walmart would match a 401k up to 6% annually. That’s the one perk about working for someone else.
11/18/2016 at 12:43 pm #6081BGBParticipant
This episode with James Collins is really good.
I have an interesting (at least to me) history with money. I grew up in rural Appalachia, but by the time I came along my parents had managed to claw their way out of severe poverty to where they were quite well off. They really tried to instill a sense of frugality and how important it is to save and invest wisely, but at the same time they were also trying to give my siblings and I a much better life experience than they had when they were kids. Consequently I had a really terrible work ethic for years.
It wasn’t until I got out of college and started working for a non-profit (which I’m still at) that I really understood how important controlling one’s monetary destiny was. Hence my current status as trash elf in training.
Total Items in Store: 213
Items Sold: 10
Total Sales: $128.86
Highest price: 23.99 (vintage paint-it-yourself plaster Christmas house)
Average Price Sold: $12.89
Cost of Items Sold: $8-ish
Money spent on new inventory this week: $14.10
11/18/2016 at 12:59 pm #6084
I was probably 30 before I really started to put all the lessons of money (good and bad) to use. I’m always amazed at the kids in their early 20’s that have the vision and start early. We all start when we start.
01/16/2018 at 5:25 pm #30573
This is a test!
01/16/2018 at 5:27 pm #30574
This is a new test
01/16/2018 at 5:50 pm #30577
01/16/2018 at 5:56 pm #30578
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