12/05/2016 at 7:18 am #7158
We’ve had a steady stream of sales on eBay since the summer, but we certainly haven’t seen crazy holiday sales that we all love. Are people buying les
[See the full post at: Scavenger Life Episode 287: How Is the Holiday Selling Season for You?]
12/05/2016 at 7:40 am #7161lizlangsteinerParticipant
Nov 27 – Dec 3
Total Items In Store 1091
Items Sold 18
COGS 56.00 (NICE R.O.I.)
Highest Price Sold Vintage Schott Shearling Leather Coat listed for 199.00 accepted best offer of 140.00.
Ave Price 39.00
Intl Sales –
Spent on new merchandise 20.00
New Listings 48
Been a good week. Sold 6 items for less than 20.00 and still managed a 39.00 average sale price. 8 sales (mostly Christmas items) were items I listed last week. Ebay profits will pay for my taxes this year. Have a prosperous week.
12/05/2016 at 8:29 am #7165
Hey Liz.. Think you maybe skipped dropping in your Total Sales number? Thought I would let you know it is blank. Jay allows for a certain amount of time for us to edit our posts but after a few hours I think that ability is closed. mike at MDC Galleries in atl.
12/05/2016 at 9:16 am #7167Brian Treasures from GrandmasParticipant
- Location: Hoboken, NJ
Store Week Nov 27-Dec 3, 2016
Total Items in Store: 777
Items Sold: 19 (1 Amazon)
Cost of Items Sold: $82.00
Total Sales: $681.45
Highest Price Sold: $195 (Starrett Caliper)
Average Price Sold: $35.87
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $140
Number of items listed this week: 45
Pretty good week for me. Lots of smalls that will likely be gifts, lots of weird & quirky things, and then the big sale was the Starrett Caliper. Several years ago I picked one up cause I knew tools sold well and I had never seen something like this. It sold immediately and for way more than I anticipated, so it was added to my BOLO list. I’ve bought several over the past 3 years, this one I picked up a few months ago for $15 and it sold for the $195 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/191867257194).
May have gone out for my last pick of the year. We’re having our master bathroom gut renovated so we’re living out of the second bedroom which is also my eBay room/photo studio. Good thing I have my death box so I can at least list something to keep the pipeline full.
Listening to the podcast now!
12/05/2016 at 12:29 pm #7196
A new bathroom is a great improvement. Get it done!
12/05/2016 at 2:01 pm #7205Brian Treasures from GrandmasParticipant
- Location: Hoboken, NJ
Yeah, we’re very excited… we have a huge master bathroom in our new place but the bathroom was blah. We worked with our contractor and in 4-5 weeks will have a new master suite – custom shower, free standing soaking tub, 4 new closets, massive vanity, and some great marble-looking tile. In a place like Hoboken, we’ve found that things like this really set condos apart and add a premium to the value. We’ll see.
12/05/2016 at 9:33 am #7168ChristineRParticipant
- Location: Southern California
Total Items in Store: 331
Items Sold: 12
Cost of Items Sold: $28 (used) + $81 (new RA)
Total Sales: $374
Highest Price Sold: $100 (Anthropologie Seahorse knobs – summer clearance $42)
Average Price Sold: $31
Returns & Int’l Sales: 1 possible return for accidental double purchase coming.
Number of items listed this week: +/- 15
Sales picked up for me this week. Most of the sales were very recently listed new RA items. During the last few months I’ve formulated a totally unsubstantiated theory that Ebay has placed more emphasis on freshness in the recent past. Sorry, no evidence. I also have some old listings that don’t have Fed Ex Smart post, and a couple with over 20 watchers and thousands of views. I plan to rework those after Christmas. Hoping to get some more Christmas items up this week. I’ve been a lot more casual with my photos and I’m cringing a bit, but I just need to get more quantity going with the time I have.
I’ve written before about the mood being in-Christmas like around here since the election, but the weather has finally cooled and we’re decorating. I think things are still a bit serious in tone generally, but I’m looking forward to the holiday and seeing family and turning off the tv – especially the news. Uncharacteristically, I have done very little gift shopping. Have a great week!
12/05/2016 at 10:55 am #7174LeeinTNParticipant
Total Items in store: 441
Items sold: 8
Cost of items sold: approx. $9
Total Sales: $138
Highest price sold: $ $35 – electronic dartboard
Average price sold: $18
Int’l sales: 0
Number of items listed this week: 0
Amazon disbursement – $0
Full time ebay goal – was March 2018; now – ????
Ebay to Amazon experiment – Had 0 sales.
About 4 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.
12/07/2016 at 11:29 am #7505
Congrats on the incoming baby trash elf! It might be better to hold off until after the holidays to evaluate going full time. Sounds like you have a lot of changes there.
12/05/2016 at 10:56 am #7175
Total Items in Store: 600
Items Sold: 17
Cost of Items Sold: $76
Total Sales: $513
Highest Price Sold: $65 pair of Adidas shoes
Average Price Sold: $30.18
Average profit: $25.69
Items sold on FBA: 10
Amazon sales: $200
Amazon FBA profit (after fees & COGS): $72.50
Total combined profit: $509
Business picked up this week with more sales but mainly bread & butter items. I had a great scavenging week at a local goodwill at which someone dumped a TON of nice and barely worn mens and womens shoes. I bought over 30 pair of shoes!
I haven’t done much listing because I’ve been spending time sorting Legos. It is so much fun! I could literally sort Lego all day every day – I just have that personality type. I hope to get all my lego listings done this week. That $20 purchase is going to make me well over $1000. My list price of just single complete minifigures will be over $600 easy.
Have a great week everyone
12/05/2016 at 11:40 am #7180
Wow, that’s awesome Retro! I can’t imagine sorting all those Legos, although we just bought a new set for the grandson. He never gets enough!
12/05/2016 at 12:23 pm #7191
Are you listing on that Lego piece site?? I remember that podcast. It will be interesting to see how well you do and how quickly your items sell
12/05/2016 at 1:10 pm #7201
No I’m not going to use brick link – just ebay. I’m going to do a mix of small lots of desirable parts, by the pound lots of generic parts, minifigures, and bulk lots of minifigure parts. I’m listing my first batch of minifigs today.
It’s crazy because I spent 2 hours yesterday morning sorting and assembling minifigures with my wife. After we were done (and she felt like we had wasted the time), I added up the list prices of the completed minifigs we made and it was over $400. It was just a small percentage of what we have too!
Assembling minifigs from a pile of disassembled crap is much more rewarding than doing a boring old regular puzzle.
- This reply was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by Retro Treasures WV.
12/05/2016 at 11:43 am #7181MattParticipant
Did Jay put a log in the wood burning stove halfway through the podcast?
The crackling fire sound effects were totally appropriate for the “Holiday Sales” episode. Haha.
12/05/2016 at 11:54 am #7183
Total Items In Store 811
Items Sold 35
Total Sales 1,497.67
Highest Price Sold Gucci Loafers $120
Ave Price 42.79
My ultimate goal is to buy higher and higher end items to where I need to sell fewer and fewer items. To do that, to me its all about education and experimentation until I get there.
Interesting item of note, I have a friend that owns 2.5 hours of raw video of Beyonce when she was 11 and starting her girl band. It documents basically the start of her career. He has been working on it, editing it for years…He is just an average guy trying to pay his bills. He used to work for National Geographic as a photographer. Anyways, the video is being sold in a London auction, valued at somewhere around 2-3 million…The auction is January 10th…hope he does well.
12/05/2016 at 12:24 pm #7193
Yup, I heard the pop belly lid open and close while RYanne was talking…sounded cozy.
12/06/2016 at 12:08 am #7276soniaParticipant
- Location: Northeast US
That beyonce video sounds cool. Keep us posted on how much your friend ends up getting.
Re: buying higher and higher end items, I got motivated to do the same when I recently listened to an old SL podcast with J&R’s art selling friend James. It’s amazing how he worked his way up into the millions… As you say, it’s a matter of education and experimentation.
12/05/2016 at 12:19 pm #7188
Growing up in the sixties, my dad was the manager of the Greyhound bus depot. I remember at 8 years old (1966) being put on a bus alone bound for Duluth to visit my cousins. Also getting a box of illegal (for Minnesota) fireworks that a driver would pick up n the way back through South Dakota.
In 2003 I traveled around Uruguay and the bus service was great, they even had a beverage cart with an attendant serving refreshments.
Maybe the crossover listings on Bonanza and TrueGether could be your back ups.
My home is starting to be very much like that guys. I’ve been acquiring furnishing from that period for a couple years now. They remind me of what I perceive was a better time and I think they look cool. Madmen, Bewitched, Dick Van Dyke and any footage of the astronauts wives watching the liftoff in their homes give me ideas.
I’m in the process of looking for a home to buy and one of my criteria is it must be a built in the sixties ranch style.
12/05/2016 at 12:33 pm #7198
That’s an interesting idea that Bonanza would be the backup for listings if eBay had an issue. I wonder, though, if eBay had an issue is that issue would automatically sync with Bonanza.
Your place looks great!
12/05/2016 at 2:10 pm #7206
I’ve had items taken down by eBay (Fedex jacket) but it remained on Bonanza (and sold).
12/05/2016 at 3:43 pm #7239
Wow. A couple of ears ago I sold a Fedex pilots ring for $300.
12/05/2016 at 6:51 pm #7256
Nov 27 to Dec 3 2016
• Total Items in Store: 707
• Items Sold: 26 eBay 1 Craigslist
• International 0
• Total Sales $1217
• Highest Price $250 tube stereo
• Average Price Sold: $46
• Returns: 2 for size issues
• Cost of Items Sold: $68
• Cost of items purchased this week $40
Sold an empty phonograph cabinet on CL that I took the tube amplifier out of.
12/07/2016 at 11:33 am #7506
Gorgeous lamps. Love it!
12/05/2016 at 12:25 pm #7194
Total Items in Store: 207–>ebay, 391–>etsy
Items Sold: 14 (7 on ebay, 7 on etsy)
Total Sales: $600 ($350 on ebay, $250 on etsy)
Highest Price Sold: $125 ring on ebay
Average Price Sold: $43
good week for me.
12/05/2016 at 12:31 pm #7197John BastonParticipant
Store Month of November
Total Items in Store: 498 Ebay (250 Amazon)
Items Sold: 109 Ebay (157 Amazon)
Cost of Items Sold: $1,703.00 Ebay ($1,985.07 Amazon)
The COGS is so high on EBay because I liquidated a lot of old stock using auctions starting at $0.99
Total Sales: $6061.95 Ebay ( $11,575.47 Amazon)
Highest Price Sold: $400 Bose Entertainment System (Ebay), no clue on Amazon
Average Price Sold: $55.61 Ebay ($73.72 Amazon)
The month felt much slower than actual numbers. When I did the totals I was pleasantly surprised. I think this is due to a 3 months crescendo ( Aug -> Sep -> Oct) followed by a slow down in November compared to October (about 27% on Ebay and 18% on Amazon). So the lesson here, like Jay and Ryanne always say, DO YOUR NUMBERS 🙂
There were some small oddities: I sold fantastic on Ebay on Thanksgiving day but close to nothing on Black Friday. Amazon was fantastic on the Cyber Monday week, not so much on Thanksgiving week. December started strong on Amazon but Ebay has been lulling since Black Friday. I still get about 1k+ on sales per week but not the 1.5-2+k numbers from before.
One thing that I learned this year for Amazon FBA is that you really have to be prepared inventory wise for Q4, right now I am running literally on fumes (250 items vs 400+ I usually have) and I don’t see how I can get a lot on inventory during the winter. I guess I know what will happen this year once garage sale season open – my purse will open big :). This pas year I was a bit reticent to splurge on inventory for Amazon for Q4 (still spend 1000 to 1500 per weekend on inventory but it could have been more)
As the end of the year draws near I am starting to look at the business overall, how we did on our goals, setting goals for new year, see what we should stop doing or improve upon. I will have a summary of the analysis on January along with December numbers.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone!
12/05/2016 at 12:36 pm #7199
I like to hear people’s thoughts and plans for the next year in their online business. Look forward to it.
12/05/2016 at 1:47 pm #7204newvintagenyParticipant
- Location: Albany, NY
For those of you that have people that work for you I would recommend sending them a little bonus for the holidays. It always keeps up morale and studies show happy workers are more productive workers.
It doesn’t have to be much it’s just the gesture they will appreciate. I gave everyone $100 bonus personally. Obviously if they have just started it’s different but for those that have been doing it for around a year it’s nice.
12/05/2016 at 2:28 pm #7207
Ryanne, listening to you talk about the overalls return, is there a way to close a case if they don’t return it? I have a woman who opened a return case on November 19th and still has not returned it. When I click on the return I don’t see anywhere where I can close it. Maybe that’s not possible but I thought I’d ask if you know. Thanks.
Edit: Ah! sorry, I should have kept listening to the podcast, you answered my question. 🙂
- This reply was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by JtotheNessa.
12/05/2016 at 2:35 pm #7209
Since it’s been five business days, if the buyer hasn’t posted the item, you can close the case.
12/05/2016 at 2:37 pm #7210
Customer call in my Home!!
Yesterday, Sunday the 4th, received a scary call from a recent customer complaining about an item and asking for return. Even though my wife had that SCARED FACE, I told the customer to please go ahead and initiate return case using the Platform provided tools – she insisted she only paid through PayPal and could not remember where she purchased from. I told her I did not know how she found my personal phone, however we need to use the official channels provided by the Commerce Site and Paypal because they are the official mediators for cases like this.
Informed her I accept 30 days return guaranteed and I was waiting for the return request.
My only inference is that she looked my address online to find the phone number.
This is terrible terrible
12/05/2016 at 2:56 pm #7213
We’ve had a couple customers call us over the years? Other than being unexpected, what;s the fear? You know her address so I assume she doesn’t live close. She’s probably just a drunk. If she threatened you, report her to eBay and call the police.
I’m pretty sure when someone pays for an item, they get your info just like we get theirs. And like you said, anyone can find out our info by just googling.
12/05/2016 at 3:07 pm #7224
Thank you Jay, it is a relief to hear it.
12/05/2016 at 3:40 pm #7236
Paulo, you can get any customer’s phone number thru Ebay, and they can get yours. I actually prefer talking directly to a customer when there is a complicated issue, as it is easier to communicate what you want to say. And it reassures the customer that you are just a regular person who is concerned about their welfare. Like last week I called a woman who was having a hard time figuring out how to buy multiple spoons. So I just called her to straighten it out, and we had the best time talking and laughing. It was super! She even bought several more items from me than she had planned–$200 in all. A phone call is a BIG opportunity!
12/05/2016 at 4:51 pm #7247
Was not aware it was that simple to get numbers from the Commerce company Linda.
Great hint though, turn the contacts into business opportunities (I worked on Customer Services and Support for over a decade, we did exactly that, even though we were on the technical support for enterprises, the Engineers in my team would also grab each and every opportunity).
12/07/2016 at 11:21 am #7504
Meh. It happens. We never answer the phone. If someone calls, I answer it thru ebay’s email system. Normal people get the hint.
I wouldn’t worry too much.
In the early 2000s I used my father’s home address as I travelled a great deal and was using that as a home base.
I had a buyer who lived the state over, randomly emailed me and said he was coming to the house to drop off an item he bought.
I told him the following: for your own sanity, NO. It’s very hard to find, there’s no reception down there (to this day, it’s sporadic, if that), I’m not there right now, AND my dad and/ or his neighbors will do one of the following: Confront you with or without a weapon, (hopefully), release dogs (more likely), fire warning shots (probably) at your car.
Well the guy showed up anyway. My dad answers the door with an old hunting rifle in his hand. The worst case scenario happens.
My dad talks to him for over an hour. Dad still is quite the chatty Kathy to this day. He forgot about the rifle, which he was about to clean when company came. The poor man was taken aback, but too polite and frightened to so much as twitch.
Eventually my poor buyer got the courage to excuse himself and make his escape.
He never returned the item, and I never heard from him again.
Dad said he was a nice person but with not much to say.
Anyway, I hope I don’t get a visitor, but sometimes you get a few pests.
Some people use a Suite address thru UPS or a local company.
12/05/2016 at 2:43 pm #7211BGBParticipant
Total Items in Store: 218
Items Sold: 19
Cost of Items Sold: $40
Total Sales: $438.22
Highest Price Sold: $ 99.99 (incomplete set of Foxfire books)
Average Price Sold: $ 25.43
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $45
I too enjoyed the sounds of a crackling fire. In the last week it’s finally gotten cold here in Kentucky. When I was a wee lad our house was old (built in the 1860s) and it had a massive stove in the kitchen (although, now that I think about it, it was probably more of me being a tiny person as opposed to the stove actually being large). My current house has a regular old heat pump. I doubt anyone ever has (or ever will) have evocative feelings about a heat pump.
Another above average week for me, sales-wise. I’m trying to be diligent about finding new stuff to sell as the trash to treasure ratio isn’t great for a lot of the places I hit. I’d like to get to the place where I have a few death piles lying around, if for nothing else than the piece of mind that I’m not going to run out of stuff to sell. Right now I can get everything I find listed within a few days. I know I should hit some auctions and try to snag some box lots, but it’s a lot easier to drift in and out of thrift stores while I’m out buying groceries or what have you.
12/05/2016 at 2:58 pm #7215
You’re doing well for the size of your store. As you said, if you’re not finding enough items in your local thrift stores, you need to branch out.
It’s a lot to ask for scavenging to be super convenient, inexpensive and really profitable!
12/05/2016 at 3:06 pm #7223
BGB, I have 500 items and 8 months into eBay, have not yet made it a routine to go to auctions, estate sales, garage sales. Huge block on me, except one weekly online auction
Will try the commercial auctions and estate sales on the week days, weekends proved impossible
12/05/2016 at 2:51 pm #7212
QUESTION ON FINAL VALUE FEES ON A RETURN: I had a customer request a return for a Revere Ware pot, he had wanted a 1 quart but ordered a 2 quart by mistake and returned it. I refunded his price for the item, he paid shipping both ways. I was charged $1.80 Final Value Fee for the item on the original sale. But on my November ebay Invoice, I’ve been issued a credit of only $1.44 FVF. Is this what I am supposed to expect? I thought we would get the entire FVF for the item credited. Thanks, I can’t find anything specific about this in ebay help pages.
12/05/2016 at 3:02 pm #7220
Never was lucky enough to find old manuals. Boy they sell. Even old Texas Instruments calculators are going.
Now my challenge is to have a better send of what others, like Audio Systems, manuals do sell. I have plenty at home. The challenge is as much as there are manuals, there are also the actual audio systems in various conditions.
Possibly I will look into the beyond vintage ones. Seems like electronics from last 15-20 years are not worth the effort.
Comments? Computer related seems to sell anything
12/05/2016 at 4:53 pm #7248
I snap up owner’s manuals whenever I see them, vintage or not. Power tool manuals sell well, but I’ve sold manuals for treadmills, TVs, stereos…all kinds of stuff. When I get them at estate sales, they almost never charge me for them. I usually list the regular manuals at $9.99, and more on vintage ones. May not seem like a lot, but those ten dollar bills add up. Plus, they’re super easy to list and store. I’ve also sold high end audio manuals for around $40.
12/05/2016 at 5:00 pm #7249
Hey Paul Rydell Relics,
I need to grab some of your skills on this. I do not have a fraction of the commercial sense most of you guys here have, on the contrary. Super Nerd, Hyper Geek.
So what happens on this specific? See manuals, know you can download any PDF on line. Ask: why would someone buy it from me if you can just download it …
However they DO SALE A LOT. I am caught in this hyper analysis paralysis loop.
ALSO: THE LONG TAIL THING, right? Like most we do, list and forget it. The secret is to have your backlog built, downtheroad someone will buy it.
12/05/2016 at 6:11 pm #7255
Not sure exactly why they sell when the download is available, but they do. Maybe people don’t have a printer and want a physical copy. Or maybe there is no download and the only way to get it is to give me $10 bucks. And it doesn’t take a trained eye to find them. I usually find them in the home office and/or the garage at estate sales; sometimes the kitchen will have appliance manuals. You just gotta dig! But you’ve gotta get out and get to the estate and yard sales. And since you’re a computer geek, keep your eyes open for vintage computer manuals. As Jay and Ryanne have mentioned, they definitely sell.
12/05/2016 at 7:26 pm #7261
Have mu manual pile out for listing
some will save to sell with 30 year old equipment all original
going for early 90s Garmins
Today sold for $30 a TI calculator manual I purchased for $0.30
12/05/2016 at 3:42 pm #7237
Great opportunity for “commercial” long tail
Folks, as result from the probable policies from the President Elect (specifically lowering taxes from the rich and large corporations; eliminating social security and health benefits from low income and others with pre existing conditions; partnerships with powerful lobbies like dirty energy producers including the mega oil corps, full power to coal producers). There would be interesting consequences. And I will put aside environment and global warming and focus only on economy.
It is very likely that because of the short to mid term fiscal deficit, government spending will be in pressure and the inflation will go up, recession will affect so far immune sectors like commerce, small businesses and the poorer population will have less money to spend and worse condition.
It is very likely that the look for second hand office material, equipment,, machines to make things from T shirts to food will come stronger. Compare to the commercial auction houses and estate sales.
I am not sure how much we can leverage that. buying and selling perspective. For example we will see more ceramic sinks for liquidation from the smaller shops and the chains that will consolidate, also portable electronic players in moderate quantities.
I plan to go to one of these auctions tomorrow to see who are the buyers. Wonder our case in terms of shipping and storing would be.
12/05/2016 at 5:39 pm #7250
Paulo–excellent post. Trump contradicts himself on policy so we can only wait and see on what those “good” things that he is going to do for this country will be, LOL. I live with a Trump supporter so I am no stranger to the arguments for him…sigh…
Meanwhile in my State employers are fighting for workers since jobs are fairly plentiful. Need I remind people that in terms of creating jobs, etc. it is the State and Local Government that make policies that really produce employment opportunities, the Federal Government can only do so much, it is up to the states to create an environment where companies want to do business, and here, in the home of the $15 per hour base pay (even without that WA state’s minimum wage is one of the highest in the Country), business is hiring period.
12/05/2016 at 5:50 pm #7252
Sue, except my wife all here are Republicans … including me. The older boy fell in love with Sanders, geez, my case I cannot stand people like Trump or Ted Cruz or even our homie Rubio. Did we come all the way from Reagan to this? Ouch.
Anyway, SoFlo employment is CRRRAZY, 14 year old kids have no problem finding jobs for example, not to mention the crazly booming health care market (they are importing here more than TI. specially Nurses and Pharmacists with Bachelors have a faster path to diploma recognition because of the deficit).
I am hoping all goes well. The handover present from current president is a very solid economy.
12/05/2016 at 3:50 pm #7241BGBParticipant
Jay-Too true! Reminds me of that saying about work: you can get it fast, cheap, and good, but never all three at once.
Paulo-I’m glad I’m not the only one. I’ve been at it for about 6 months, myself.
12/05/2016 at 7:23 pm #7260
BCB, I have “enlisted” 4 commercial Estate salws for tomorrow, 3 finalists, trying to decide between one with toys and other with electronics.
I will try to have these activities on weekdays. Florida booms in the South on garage sales on winter time, however I have yet to educate myself better.
From one side Hyenas (was to call them scavengers but the mammal gives better sense) and the garage sellers looking at buyers and yelling “no eBay no eBay I dont want to see any of my stuff on eBay”
You folks will say “just ignore them” … remember ‘nerd, asperger’s, etc”
12/05/2016 at 3:53 pm #7242
Paulo, younare very confused about Trmp’s “probable policies”. Please stop listening to the lamestream media. I have heard him sa exactly what his defnite policies are, and they are the exact opposite of what you said for the most part. Please go to his webste and read for yourself. Then uou can relax and look forward to good things like the rest of us. 🙂
12/05/2016 at 4:47 pm #7246
Good points Linda. Not sure why you say I am listening or not to media or whatever. Even though mainstream media is very important source of facts for any free democracy when appropriately providing solid evidence and information to support their news and questions.
My case the “sources” (as you say) are Trumps site (the one you posted), my business sources, Republican party actions and their love affair with corporate lobbies, Trump’s mouth and actions and, more than anything else, analysis from economists and scholars from US and other developed countries.
For sure this is “futurology”, even more we are considering similar cases that happened in other countries when Trump-like people took power, please the names he has already appointed.
His site is not strong on providing “what, how, when”. Mentions from inception about “vast majority” and has not details at all on how he plans to do things like “repeal and replace” affordable care act.
Finally, let’s make America Great Again? Believe me, I am an immigrant who was invited to pledge allegiance on behalf of 200 other immigrants receiving their citizenship eons ago: AMERICAN HAS NEVER STOPPED BEING GREAT. simply the best Nation in all history of the planet.
Anyway, I do not want to bring politics to the table. My topic is actually something that seems to be interesting to both of us since you are my inspiration in terms of what to sell on eBay and on Etsy. With the opportunity that is drawing ahead for commercial long tail (just to remind us all, the MBA definition for Long Tail is “infinitely large quantities of mutually unique items”).
I am better (not as good as you though) on collectibles and antiques and on designer fashion than on “supplies” (using this term in a really broad way).
There will certainly be more people and small businesses souring their money making routines through long tail, not in the collectible sense though, more in the professional sense.
There are great examples from Jay when he buys dozens of bottles of this cleaning product, dozens of finger nail products, those vintage nails, etc. The business nerds (business analysts of the long tail segment) have put an interesting bet this will be the next ship to leave the dock.
12/05/2016 at 10:05 pm #7270
I do so enjoy watching your growth as annEbay entrepreneur. I just want to encouraage you to not be fearful–of Trump, OR of little old ladies calling you on the phone. LOL
12/07/2016 at 11:44 am #7510
Linda I don’t get all the fear at this point. Trump was a democrat for decades, something that conveniently eludes the MSM and thwarted globalists. At some point, the fear just sounds like larping.
Meanwhile the stock market continues its usual climb. And if anyone read wikileaks then you know Both parties are infested by corporate interests. Still if you want you USD dollar hegemony, and trust me, you do if you are a trash elf, it’s a necessary evil.
I think Keep Calm and List Like a Maniac is the order of the day.
As an FYI I am vague libertarian with a deist leaning atheist philosophy and a constitutionalist. I am a direct descendant of folks that defeated the Brits in the Revolutionary War, and grew up about 300 yards from their graves.
PS-OMFUG, I just got a $350 rebate check from the health insurance carrier because of the ACA.
Quite a contrast, I know.
12/07/2016 at 9:34 pm #7576
@Eve Everett: High Five from Linda!I am not a diest or an atheist (very much a Jesus follower), but we an SO agree on the Trump thing (he doesn’t fit into anyone Box), and the libertarian leaning constitutionalist. FREE JULIAN ASSANGE!!!
12/05/2016 at 6:02 pm #7253
RR Store Week Nov 27-Dec 3, 2016
Total Items in Store: 1047
Items Sold: 17
Cost of Items Sold: $19.29
Total Sales: $481.86
Highest Price Sold: $59.99 (60s bowling trophy)
Average Price Sold: $28.34
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $43
Number of items listed this week: 20
I totally identify with that dude in Phoenix (and Steven S, apparently!). My house is furnished and decorated with mostly vintage items, all from the 50’s and 60’s. I’ve been collecting things from that era since I was a kid. I’ve always loved the mid century look, and that love is now making me money. Another niche I collect is tiki; eBay is dangerous for Tiki nerds on a budget. But it’s one of the few places where one can find super specific items, like a mug or menu from a certain tiki bar or restaurant. I have a whole room just for my tiki junk!
Same week for me; lots of low dollar items sold, a result of listing death pile pieces. But I’ve definitely seen an uptick in my sales. I doubt it’s because of the holidays; I think it’s because of my return to consistent listing. And I sold a bunch of mugs too! A 60s drug mug, a Walt Disney World plastic mug, a handmade signed cat mug…what a strange coincidence.
Yesterday I had my first Facebook sale. It was a program from a tiki convention called Exoticon, held in 1995. When I was moving, I found an extra copy in my archives, so I put it up on a tiki collector page. Had a buyer within a few hours. I did have to remind him to pay after a few days, but he quickly apologized and immediately sent me the money, $24 including shipping. Not bad for some old paper.
12/05/2016 at 7:47 pm #7265ChristineRParticipant
- Location: Southern California
I like mid-century tiki as well but haven’t really let myself shop for it on Ebay. It’s funny how few tiki items I find out in the wild. So far just cheap common mugs and lots and lots of monkeypod. I’ve found a couple of koa items though, a $50 Shag print, and some Siestaware walnut wrapped glasses. Have you checked out Tiki Magazine Paul? It’s fun.
12/06/2016 at 6:05 pm #7426
Same here. I rarely spot tiki stuff outside of antique malls. And if I see one more monkeypod bowl…! Once in a while I’ll find a small Coco Joe piece; nothing to write home about. My best tiki score was a giant 5 foot tall blue fiberglass tiki from the 60s. It’s hollow inside, and came with a light socket and switch. It lit up at one point! It all needs to be replaced, but in the mean time, he stands guard on the patio. And yes, Tiki Magazine is super cool.
12/05/2016 at 7:10 pm #7257ZachParticipant
- Location: Kansas City
Nov 27-Dec 3, 2016
Total Items in Ebay Store: 1050
Total Items in Amazon Store: 535
Items Sold Ebay: 44
Items Sold Amazon FBA: 20
Ebay COGS: $178.85
Amazon COGS: $106.50
Total Amazon Fees: $211.58
Total Ebay/Paypal Fees: $321.02
Total Sales Ebay: $2,207.65
Ebay Excess Shipping Income: $ 56.71
Total Sales Amazon: $1,061.26
Total Income: $3,325.62
Net Ebay: $1,764.89
Net Amazon: $ 849.68
Total Weekly Net Profit: $2,614.57
Highest Price Sold AMZ: $ 249.99 (New Sony Boombox – sold 3 at $250 each)
Highest Price Sold Ebay: $ 149.99 (2.5 oz discontinued lotion)
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $60
This is my first time posting my weekly numbers. I do ebay/amazon in addition to a part-time 23 hour a week job. I do this on my own and been building this up as a serious business since around April of last year. I sell a little bit of everything. I have a lot of hats, eyeglasses/sunglasses, shoes, socks, and electronics in my store. I’m probably spending close to full time hours on online selling, between sourcing, listing, and shipping.
Christmas season is definitely in full swing with my store. Sales have been crazy. Big stuff. Little stuff. Everything is selling right now. It’s hard to keep up and get it all out. Had a nice week with Amazon as well. I purchased some brand new Sony boomboxes from a person who buys liquidation items. Sent those into Amazon and they have brought a tidy profit thus far.
12/05/2016 at 7:20 pm #7258
Whatever you’re doing, it seems to be working. Big congrats on having your first holiday season go so well.
12/05/2016 at 7:43 pm #7263ZachParticipant
- Location: Kansas City
Thanks for the encouragement, Jay! If I hadn’t stumbled onto your podcast, I doubt I would have ever seen eBay as more than a hobby. I appreciate all the work you and Ryanne have put into this community.
12/07/2016 at 5:53 am #7450
Just curious. What are you doing with all your eBay money? Between that and your part time job, it sounds like you have a good amount of cash lying around?
12/07/2016 at 12:02 pm #7514
Awesome! It can get slow in Mid January thru Easter, so make sure you put money aside as a buffer.
12/05/2016 at 9:13 pm #7269
Total Items in Store: 544
Items Sold: 78
Cost of Items Sold: $533
Total Sales: $3107.37
Highest Price Sold: $187.50 loving family dollhouse lot
Average Price Sold: $39.84
Number of items listed this week: 90+
I believe last week was my best week ever. November was my best month ever with $9900 total sales. And cyber Monday was madness, 20 items sold for $900+. I packaged 36 items this morning… with a sick baby under foot, so I’m absolutely exhausted. You know you’ve hit your limit when you’re looking forward to things slowing down?! I have 10 death tubs of clothing left and then I will have gotten through all of my unlisted inventory. Which is so crazy to me. If you would have asked me three months ago if I was ever going to list it all, I would have laughed at you. It feels great.
12/06/2016 at 9:53 am #7303
You have some awesome toy inventory. Are you selling from a personal collection or is that stuff sourced? Your numbers are simply amazing!
12/06/2016 at 10:34 am #7308
Sourced. My kids come out to the shop and play with unlisted inventory. My kids hardly have any toys at all. What this business has taught our whole family is that kids want experiences, not toys. (even though they think they want toys – haha) That’s why I can find them in abundance to resell. Parents buy them, donate them, and then go buy more. It’s weird. But works for my business! 🙂 I get my stuff from garage sales and consignment sales. Finding inventory has never been a problem for me, it’s getting it listed that I struggled with. But I think I’ve found my rhythm with that too! Thanks for the kind words Retro. 🙂
12/05/2016 at 10:23 pm #7271
Jay, I will say it once more. I have a hunch that having hundreds or thousands of old listings is not necessarily a good thing. I suspect that lots of old listings may in fact drag you down in The Cassini search engine. Look at all the big weekly stats from sellers with comparatively few listings. I think fewer listings with faster turnover is the sweet spot. I hope to start thinning out my old deadweight things and selling them super cheap or donating them to see if that helps sales AND to free up storage space. I have zero desire for getting a warehouse. My aim is going to be to have no more listings than I get free each month with my Premium level store. What do you think?
12/05/2016 at 10:50 pm #7273LizParticipant
Total Items in Store: 337
Items Sold: 19
Cost of Items Sold: $30
Total Sales: $298
Highest Price Sold: $39.99 (tie between a pair of suede Salomon Contagrip shoes, and a set of brass candlesticks)
Number of items listed this week: ?
Last week was just ok. The only indication it is the holiday season is that I am getting more questions about items. I’ve received a few messages about shipping fees, which I have ignored. When the message starts “If you lower your shipping to something *reasonable*…”, I don’t bother responding. People have been spoiled by “Free Shipping”. They really have no idea how much it costs to mail something across the country.
We did a pre-Christmas toy and book purge from my son’s room. Between that and death piles, I could probably skip the auction this weekend! I’m really glad I cleaned out his room, though. He has played all day with toys that were overlooked, simply because he had too much stuff. It’s really nice to listen to him play. 🙂
12/06/2016 at 2:47 am #7277
Linda, even though I do not have evidence either way, based on observation and perception, I agree with your assessment.
The same line of thinking takes me to conclude that stores with thousands of items will be less affected but very likely will be undeperforming to their potential if they were moving things around like you said.
Fof smaller store like mine listing is king. If I do not list daily it affects my sales a couple of weeks down, if I do list and move the store,,prices, promotions the sales go up and even old forgotten items move.
I have some suspicious about static x dynamic items (ex those listed 2yrs ago and never touched ever since)
I think you touched several strategic decisions like size of inventory, merchandise turn over, promo frequency, inventory aging.
I have to design my strategy now. Moving to 1000 items listed. Like Paul said during the manual discussion, I am 90/10 on $10/$15 items because they give movement to the algorythm, positive feedback and allow the perception of movement, until I pass the 1000 barrier
12/06/2016 at 5:42 am #7284
We each have our own scavenger equation. Your husband works full time as a doctor, and we depend on eBay for full time income. So you see your business differently than we do. Storage is just a part of our equation.
And sure, it’d be great to only find and sell items that sell quickly and for big profit. And it’d also be great to find these items really cheap. Yes, that’s the ultimate goal. Just doesn’t always happen.
12/06/2016 at 7:47 am #7289
I agree. You obviously need a large inventory. But I am wondering what you could do to stir up the very old listings, even just as an experiment. They are like disintegrating crud rotting on the bottom of the swimming pool. They need stirring up and cleaning off to get good circulation. You could “End” listings and then “Sell Similar”. In the process you could add any missing Item Specifics that were not required when you first listed them, as well as any other new info that wasn’t a factor then. So they would be updated listings with a brand new item #. And during the process you might want to update pricing since prices change with time. I think as soon as your death piles are gone this would be a great use for your great new employee. Just my suggestion FWIW. I hope to do more of the same myself.
12/06/2016 at 7:52 am #7290
Jay, PS: I personally want to purge some of my old listings because I have limited storage. That doesn’t mean I think you should. But sometimes when we are new we buy things that are no longer in demand, and they might be worth more as a donation than taking up limited space.
12/06/2016 at 7:56 am #7291
Jay, PPS: and having a sale in various categories also raises your visibility in Cassini. I know you doubt that, but that’s what the Australian Ebay employee said in that video some time ago, and I find it to be helpful.
12/06/2016 at 9:01 am #7297MyCottageParticipant
Linda, Do you have a link to the video you mention, about the ebay Australian employee? I’d be curious to see exactly what he said. I think ebay often says things like “Will raise your visibility” and sellers take that to mean “Will give you a bump in Organic Search ranking”, when it may simply mean that your items will have more visibility because, for example, links on your listing page can drive a buyer to your Promotions page.
12/06/2016 at 9:04 am #7299
12/06/2016 at 9:49 am #7302
Yes we went through this with a long thread sometime last year. Myself and a few others had a long discussion on the Ebay Engineer, his video and that he was part of the team that designed [built] the Cassini search engine. For the group here it was evident of the split into two camp. Those that did believe the engineer, that they built Cassini to start to by pasws on “Stale” listings he called them and those that remained active, ever changing and being refreshed. I won’t rehash all that was said at this point.
But the division here at SL was those that thought it just wasn’t so and those that believed the guy, those that interpreted his statements in different ways and those that said it was just to laborous to be ending and relisting their listed items. Several of us here, including myself, use other [3rd party] listing software instead of Ebay or the now defunct TurboLister [I told everyone that TL was horrible as compared to other 3rd party programs anyway that do the same thing and much better]. Anyway, with the third party software one first sorts by ending today, then in a grid view just like Excel, you click and drag down to highlight all those listings ending today and use one click and end. Those then show up in a seprate window in a grid view and you can edit anything you want line by line, [prices, title, specifics] or just leave them as is. Then click relist and my program then relists them in seconds. That way they start over, get a new Ebay ID number, Cassini Search Engine thinks they are brand new, gives them a “Newly Listed” bump and also a newly listed symbol on the listing and reposts. Remember some people think they have already looked at all the old listings in a certain category and they have their searches now set-up just for only the new listings popping up. This way they get to see all of your newly listed items as “brand new listings”.
Yes the views and watchers get reset, but according to the engineer that is a good thing. Old listings with many viewers and not sold is not desirable and that is what Cassini is looking for so it can by-pass giving any extra bump or extra showing of those items in Best Search views.
Ryanne mentioned that you can only do 250 listings at a time in Ebay. Well yep that is why I use a 3rd party application. I don’t have this many listings, but you can do thousands at a time if you want to. I know there are some sports stores that have 80, 90,000 or more items listed in their stores. If they want to end and then re-list their inventory using Ebay would just not be possible. But with a 3rd party app, one can list or re-list as many as you want in one shot.
So to end this… there are several members here, including myself, that each morning take a quick look to see which listings are ending today, highlight those in seconds that are over 90, 100 or 120 days old, click end listings, then re-list within a minute or two, then go on about our business.
Jay says, prove that this works and improves sales. I say prove that it doesn’t. The Ebay Engineer-Employee is the one that used the phrases, “Cassini is designed to by pass old non-selling listing, he coined the phrase that they could recognize “stale listings”, he is the one that said he would advise ending old listings and relisting them to get a bump. So, I now do so because I trust that he knows, he helped build the darn thing.
So now on the ending the few listings that I have showing that they are ready for auto-renewal that are over 90 days old, ending them manually myself and re-listing them all within less than a minute.
mike at MDC Galleries in Atlanta
12/06/2016 at 6:08 pm #7427
Thank you Mike! I totally agree. You can either leave things the way they are with ever-diminishing returns, or you can try something new. AND a big part of my advice is to update the listing information and pricing while you sell similar. This takes more time because uou have to do each one individually. But I believe it is working for me. I just need to do it more with those “older than 18 months” listings as they show up. This week I may not list a thing due to packing and shipping gifts and baking cookies. Baklava anyone?
12/06/2016 at 6:15 pm #7430
While I think it can’t hurt to be aware of your inventory, I think the re-listing items is being over-sold. We re-listed our entire inventory as new items over the summer: http://www.scavengerlife.com/2016/07/scavenger-life-episode-266-maybe-ebay.html
No bounce in sales. None. Nothing. Zero.
I’m glad we tried it, but I think if you list unique, quirky, vintage items (aka “long tail” items), you have to have patience. Good news is the stuff is cheap to buy, does sell, and makes an incredible profit. It just takes time.
If you want fast turn over, buy and sell extremely popular things. This is what Amazon sellers do. They also pay huge money for their inventory and their profits are often fairly small, making up for it only in volume.
So pick your strategy and live it.
12/06/2016 at 3:06 am #7278KellyParticipant
- Location: Australia
Possible solution for the photo storage/backup problem when taking photos on your phone, so as not to max it out – on my android I simply send the photos to my google drive account for backup. You need good wifi though if sending a lot of them, otherwise it can be slow!
12/06/2016 at 5:31 am #7279Steve ListParticipant
- Location: Richmond, Calif.
Numbers for month of November
Total eBay Items: 671 (670 last month)
Items Sold: 52 (50 last month)
Total Sales: $943 ($662 last month)
Cost of Items Sold: $116 ($143 last month)
Highest Price Sold: $70 Hoftritz Germany Steak Knives
Average Price Sold: $18.13 ($17.39 last month)
International Sales: 3 gsp / 2 non gsp
Number of items listed: 37 (50 last month)
Spent on new inventory: $118 ($84 last month)
I’m starting to list some higher priced items (many long tail) so my average price sold should slowly increase.
Some recent sales:
Friendship & Sisterhood Brooch
Paid $3 sold for best offer of $30
Richmond Pacific Railroad Hat
Paid .49 at a thrift store and sold to somebody in New York for $26.95
Levi’s Saddleman Boot Cut White Jeans
Paid $4 sold for a best offer of $54
Old White Rotary Sewing Machine Manual
Paid $1 sold for $22.95. I was pretty sure this was a reprint, and you can download this manual online for free, but if you have the machine or are a collector the hard copy is nice to have.
PG&E of California Centennial Story Book
Paid $4 sold for $59.95. Histories of companies and organizations always seem to sell at a premium for me.
-Steve in Richmond, Calif.
12/06/2016 at 5:45 am #7285
Good to see your progress. Keep at it.
12/06/2016 at 6:43 am #7286shortandstoutParticipant
- Location: Central Pennsylvania
Items in Store: 178
Items sold: 5
Total Sales: $97.47
Highest Priced Item: $25 Thatcher Co. 1 Gallon Square glass milk jug
Avg. Sales Price: $19.49
International Sales: 0
Unpaid item cases: 1
New Listings: 1
New inventory costs: $9.90
Okay week for me. I was happy to see a good number of sales even with the average price being lower. Most of what I sold had been in my store from the early summer. I had another handbag sell so I think that sale may be helping. It is hard to really infer anything when the sample size is so small, but I’ll take it. COGS is high because one of the items was part of a bad auction buy. Was trying for some nice watches and then found out that the watches were knockoffs. So, I’m assigning the cost to the items I can sell. I should still break even with the other items, but this one was a good lesson about not getting excited over specific names if you don’t know how to do a high level authentication. My one unpaid item was a larger ticket for me, but I closed the case, relisted, and had it resold yesterday…this time with payment. Many of my unpaid items are GSP sales so I’m wondering if buyers don’t see the full GSP price until after they initiate the check out process. Any one have insight into how that works?
I got my first section of shelving built in the basement this weekend. My husband helped and we used some of the left over lumber that we have around after construction. It isn’t even scrap wood! We have a huge pile of 2×6 pine tongue and groove and many sheets of plywood in the yard still. I have more than enough to finish the rest of the shelves. I plan on a 3’x21′ run with 4 2’x4′ sections running perpendicular. Each will have 3 shelves with room to store on the floor under it. I can’t wait to get the rest built, but for now, the priority is the rest of the house. Still need to do the painting so we can get the flooring down. Our scheduled completion date is sliding back and now we are looking at end of January instead of Christmas. I’m eager to get it done just so I can have more time to focus on listing. It will happen soon enough! I am planning on 2017 being a good year for building up the eBay business so I can get the house paid for and move into owning my own time!
12/06/2016 at 7:16 am #7287TerriParticipant
Approximate # of Items in Store: 265
# of Items Sold: 13
Average Cost of Items Sold: $7.92
Total Sales: $714.92
Highest Price Sold: $125 – Shoes
Average Price Sold: $54.99
Returns: 1 – $35.98
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $34.76
Number of items listed this week: 28
12/06/2016 at 7:26 am #7288MyCottageParticipant
J&R, Listening to the podcast…. You mentioned you now have zero defects (I assume you had one before). I believe defects drop off after 12 months. I will know better soon, because I have one “out of stock” defect which I received mid-December of last year. I expect to go down to zero within a few weeks. And you are right, the defect structure was changed radically after Wenig became ebay CEO. The two main concerns today are cases closed without seller resolution, and “out of stock” cancellations.
12/06/2016 at 8:38 am #7292spinachetrParticipant
Items in Store: 13,192
Items sold: 172
Total Sales: $990.36
Highest Priced Item: $28 Norwich, VT Univ Alumnia Hall RPPC
Avg. Sales Price: $5.76
New inventory costs: $0.00
Ran a 3 day 50% off sale just to move some product. Hoping to finish out the year with 14k postcards and am trying to add at least 300 postcards a week.
After initially starting everything at auction, I’ll run all of my items as 30 day listings. Kind of a PITA to relist 13,000 items (200 at a time, since I haven’t figured out how to bulk relist in sixbit…just laziness on my part). But I find that the first 2 days my cards are relisted my average daily sales (approx $120) more than double. That never seemed to happen when my GTC listings renewed. Curious if those that use GTC see a huge spike in sales when the items renew for another 30 days?
Just dropped under 3 years until I can retire from my real job.
12/06/2016 at 6:00 pm #7423
Do you “relist” or “sell similar”?
12/06/2016 at 8:43 am #7293
J&R have you ever interviewed Fred’s Premium Closet? His store clothing photos are so good. It makes me wonder how he folds the shirts. Does he use cardboards in each one? I would love to hear an interview with him, or get a link to one you have done.
12/06/2016 at 9:20 am #7301
Thanks for another great podcast! Sorry your sales haven’t been spectacular but it’s great that you are getting all your death piles listed so you can start scavenging for higher dollar items again.
12/06/2016 at 12:10 pm #7326SharynParticipant
- Location: Central NJ
Before I list my numbers, I was wondering if anyone here had purchased the 230 VCRs/DVDs auction lot in NJ that I had posted about last week. I had checked it a few hours before it ended, and someone had bid the minimum of $230.
Week of Nov 28 – 4
* Total Items in Store: 517
* Items Sold: 11
* Cost of Items Sold: $10.40
* Total Sales: $212.94
* Highest Price Sold: $35 Antique Cup & Saucer
* Average Price Sold: $19.35
* Returns: 1 damaged item
* Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
* Number of items listed this week: about 25
This was an OK week for me, but better than last week. Sales picked up Sunday and Monday. The damaged item was my fault. It was a cake plate that was awkward to pack, so I didn’t do the normal box within box. Brain fart, I guess.
The antique cup & saucer was in an auction lot that I was not charged for. I didn’t realize their mistake until a few days later, otherwise, I would have said something. I initially didn’t think that the set was that nice, but I tracked the hallmark down:
Here is something sold yesterday that will definitely bump up my average sale price for next week. The buyer paid full price of $105. The auctioneer said it was a funeral mask, but I’m not sure whether it is or not. I paid about $3 for it.:
12/06/2016 at 12:16 pm #7327
Hey guys! Late to the party again this week, but another great podcast. I wanted to throw my 2 cents in about sales. I recently put my sales numbers up on my blog as a way to track them visually for myself. Anyhow I saw that while Thanksgiving day always brings good sales the weekend that follows falls off. I took time with family those days since I knew it was coming. My theory is that everyone does HUGE discounts that weekend and if you aren’t giving things away you just don’t sell as much.
This brings me to my second point with your sales. You have been listing more clothing and accessories items. I can tell you for certain the market is more saturated now than it has ever been. There are more sellers in clothing than there are buyers. There are also a plethora of sellers that are willing to sell items with $1-$2 profit margins. This has caused a huge decrease in the value of items. Furthermore, if you are researching using sold listings you may not be getting a true picture of the value. Ebay is not showing the best offer sold price but the original listed price. This can cause you to over price your items. I am using the “completely” app to research and price. It will show you the actual sold prices for an item along with showing the average time on the market. The app is only available on Iphones but I know you guys are Apple users. I have spoken with the creator of the app and while she has plans to create a Droid version she is currently working on another project.
Hope this helps and I hope you guys are having great sales this week!
12/06/2016 at 12:27 pm #7330
This is great information. We’ll test out that app:
Are your net profits declining as more people get into the market?
Or are you just selling more volume?
Maybe looking for higher end clothing?
12/06/2016 at 12:34 pm #7334
Yes, net profits on similar items that we were selling as recently as this past spring are down. We have to sell twice as many of those same items for the same bottom line profit. A shift out of clothing may be in order. I am not 100% positive how we will move forward. The market is just so saturated that unless you have a warehouse with employees, or are happy making $1-2 per item I’m not sure how exactly it works.
12/06/2016 at 1:01 pm #7354
We make decent profits on the clothes we sell, but we just don’t sell clothes quickly in volume. It’s a nice side stream of income in addition to all the other stuff we sell.
As you said, there’s a glut on the market. We know of a local eBay seller who starts all clothes on one week auctions at $20. Any clothes that don’t sell get listed for BIN at $3 or $5. If they don’t sell after a month, the clothes are sold for $1.50. They also pay people to photograph, list, and pack. No idea how they make money.
I assume many sellers like this will burn themselves out. I don’t see how it’s sustainable.
12/06/2016 at 1:24 pm #7357
I don’t know how it is sustainable either, but I fear we haven’t seen the bottom yet. If I was a betting girl I would say clothing at least is going to get worse before it gets better. The race to bottom is in full swing.
12/06/2016 at 1:46 pm #7363
I think it started when the “weight & pay” or Goodwill outlets began popping up.
I remember it was about three years ago when we noticed them opening up everywhere.
There have always been sellers who could find ways to buy clothing in wholesale or by the pallet. But these specialized sellers. The Weight & Pay shops have not democratized wholesale clothing to everyone.
I think this is one reason for the glut.
12/06/2016 at 12:31 pm #7331
Full disclosure. I have not looked at your items are anyone elses and so I don’t know that you are over pricing. I simply know that I have been shocked by the low prices things are actually selling for when researching. It’s just a thought.
12/06/2016 at 1:36 pm #7361newvintagenyParticipant
- Location: Albany, NY
Clothes have been around the same for me the past year. It boils down to the law of diminishing returns when you reach a certain point.
I am closing in on 9k items many of which are clothes and your profits won’t exponentially increase as your listing do based on what I see. They do go up but not by the same percentage.
I make like $100 extra a week from 5k listing to 8k listings. It seems like there are certain tiers that you need to break through to make more. For clothes I think if you got to the 15k listing marks you would see a big change from when you are at 8k.
The returns are too much for me on clothes to even think about giving them up. It’s easy money. The main thing you need is patience and storage. I sell items regularly that have been listed for over a year.
I could probably not list one item next year and make $50k from eBay which is why I just keep pumping up the listings. You won’t see a dramatic increase right away but you will see it over the course of time. When you get a lot of listings.
12/06/2016 at 1:42 pm #7362
12/06/2016 at 2:26 pm #7365banjomoonParticipant
My week update. I am away from home, in a different part of the country and my main inventory due to helping out my elderly mom. I’m missing out on the xmas sales, but I’m grateful for the flexibility to be here. I have been out to thrift some. I opened up a new ebay account last week, so I could list a few things while here. A few stumbling blocks. I found out that a new account on ebay, will not allow you to post through 3rd party software until you have 10 positive feedback or been on ebay for 90 days. I use Garage Sale for Mac. Oh well, that forced me to use the ebay interface which I hadn’t used in years. Also, forgot about how they freeze your $ too. I wish ebay made it easier for an established seller to open a second account i.e. grandfathered it in. I put 20 items up, sold two. A sweater and a goose down parka for: $184. 99. Cost of items: $6.53. I spent a bunch more on inventory but haven’t added up yet. What I don’t sell while here, I’ll ship home. Funny I am going from Zero feedback on the new account, and just turned 1000 on my main account. I’ll be here a few more weeks.
12/06/2016 at 2:43 pm #7366
re clothes, I still think that luxury brands will do well–Flim still seems to be making good money on high end but being in New York is her advantage. I think that the collectibles market has gone soft too, I am selling about the same as I always do, except summer when it gets even slower. Searching completed auctions is depressing–and I suppose that some clothing is going the way of the “penny book” probably because how wide spread the “weigh and pays” are. I don’t know– the market is changing for sure–Jay I think you diversified into rental properties while holding on to your consulting business at exactly the right time.
12/06/2016 at 3:11 pm #7371BryanParticipant
Between both stores we’ve been selling $3,200 to $4,400 every week since the end of August, but we’ve also been running constant sales and promotions. I think once you’ve had the new hire listing like she has been for the next few months, you’ll see your sales picking up substantially.
12/06/2016 at 3:58 pm #7414
How many items are you selling each week to make $3,200 to $4,400?
What is your average sale price?
Have you seen any more competition on clothes since last year?
12/06/2016 at 4:17 pm #7417BryanParticipant
Our average selling price is still around $35 per item and we sell around 100 items a week. Sometimes our average price is much higher and we sell fewer items or vice versa. Lately over average price has gone down because of our sales/promotions, but we’ve been selling a lot more items.
We can definitely feel the competition more than we used to. We see more people professionally shopping for clothing at the same places, and we’re seeing lower average selling prices on eBay. We’ve always worked hard to find cool things and take professional photos, and I think that’s really helped us stay about as profitable as we’ve ever been.
12/06/2016 at 6:09 pm #7428
It’s been great to see you guys evolve. I’m so impressed that your sales continue to be solid. Making $3-4k a week can really give you the cash to make things happen. Buy property, invest, start another business, pay off debt quickly.
12/06/2016 at 8:58 pm #7435flimParticipant
Hey, it’s been a while since I’ve written in with my numbers, but they’ve been around $1500+ for the past couple weeks. This past week was great with about $2,400 in sales, boosted by a high sale of $750 for a Thom Browne overcoat. As Omfug mentioned, I’m definitely keeping the clothing sales afloat with higher end labels. And as Bryan/Cyndi mentioned, definitely seeing clothing prices drop along with lots of competition at the stores. Being fulltime I definitely see all the regulars I always suspected, as well as others I never saw during my former quick lunch break shopping trips! And I think the weigh and pays encourage people to dive into selling clothing quickly and cheaply. -_- I think for clothing, schedule markdowns help keep sales going. I never used to run sales, but notice sales get stagnant if I don’t have at least one category on sale. Good thoughts for everyone’s December sales!
12/06/2016 at 10:16 pm #7440
Flim, I only wish I had access to the cool things you find. You have the knowledge base too. Your sales rock!
12/06/2016 at 5:58 pm #7422
I had an interesting question today on a Revere Ware 5 qt. Stockpot:
I have a flat top range and it is very important that the pot sits flat with no wobble at all. Please check this and be honest as I have sent back a couple that did wobble.
Like heck, it’s perfectly flat on my counter, but I’m not going to say it’s not going to wobble on HIS cooktop. If it’s glass, they CAN have issues. So here’s what I responded:
Hi there. I had a flat cooktop like that once, drove me crazy until I finally got the manufacturer to send someone out to look at it, and they found it was not perfectly smooth. I cannot guarantee this pot is not going to wobble on your cooktop. Good luck, you might try having someone look at it.
I should probably block him, cuz he’ll buy it and want me to give him a full refund because he won’t be happy with the slightest issue.
BLOCK HIM OR NOT?
12/06/2016 at 6:05 pm #7425
It’s really dealer’s choice. he asked the question and you said you couldn’t guarantee that the bottom is even. If he buys it and is unhappy, then he can;t say you didn’t tell him. You were honest.
For us, it’s all about how they wrote messages. if they seem reasonable, we assume people have good intentions. If the message is oozing with anxiety and suspicion, we choose not to do business.
12/06/2016 at 6:11 pm #7429
I once had a ceramic surface stove. You really do have to have pots with flat bottoms. It was a very reasonable question.
12/07/2016 at 1:03 am #7445AnnaParticipant
Total items in store: 253
Items sold: 3
Cost of Items Sold: $3 thrift + $32 retail
Total Sales: $75.97
Avg. price: $25.32
Highest price item: $59.98 2 packages of jockey underwear
International sales: 0
Money spent on new inventory: $0
Number of items listed: 0
It was a dud of a week. This week is already much better.
12/07/2016 at 8:58 am #7463
Yesterday was a dream ebay day! I sold 12 items for $460! Oh how I wish every day was like that…
12/07/2016 at 9:32 am #7468
Thank you Jay & Ryanne for taking time out of your busy day yesterday to help me jump into the forums! Fell into a Pinterest rabbit hole this morning. Here is the best quote I believe I have ever heard (and completely relevant for me at this moment. Working on this ALL.THE.TIME.): Have a great day Scavengers!
No amount of security
is worth the suffering
of a mediocre life chained
to a routine that has
killed your dreams.
12/07/2016 at 10:10 am #7477
Jen, BIG THANK YOU!
You have no idea how much I needed those verses right at this very instant
You made my year
THANK YOU Scavenger Life for existing
12/07/2016 at 4:37 pm #7556
Paulo~ Very glad to hear that this hit home for you as well =) I felt like those were the words I need to hear this morning too. Routines and expectations are the things that ruin a perfectly good life. Almost a new year and wishing you all of the best!
12/07/2016 at 10:24 am #7480
Jen, I LOVE that–so true! And, oh my, that Pinterest rabbit hole is a biggie!!! Check out my pins sometime–crazy!
12/07/2016 at 4:43 pm #7558
Linda~ I can and have slid down the Pinterest rabbit hole for hours!!! I will have to check your boards out. Mine are FULL of recipes I will probably never get around to making. Hair styles I will likely never (and probably SHOULD NEVER!)have. Projects that honestly I think are a bit above my skill level. Anything and everything and I just can’t help it sometimes!! Glad I’m not alone on this one 😉
12/07/2016 at 9:53 pm #7579
Trust me, Jen, you are NOT alone. Not only do I get sucked into Pinterest, but I am an official YouTube Addict. I actually sat down one night at the computer and clicked on a funny cat video, and then the next one and the next, and next thing I knew the sun was coming up–truly!!! I know every “conspiracy theory” (enough to know that many have at least some truth, and many are much more truthful than the “fake news” of the MSM), and now consider myself to be a graduate of “YouTube U”, feeling that everything I know I learned on YouTube, from how to sell on Ebay to knowing that “Aliens” bore me. I go to sleep listening to something YouTube on my under-pillow speaker (wow; that really puts you to sleep fast; it’s so relaxing!), and when I awake at 2:00 am as I did last night I just select another video/podcast and fall right back to sleep. I think the MOST revolutionary thing of our century is the ability of ANYONE to have a voice on YouTube. (Pause and think of that–Selah.) We don’t all have to be indoctrinated/dumbed down by the lamestream media anymore! We can actually diligently research the truth for ourselves. Yay!
12/07/2016 at 10:19 pm #7580
Linda~ “YouTube U”….LOVE IT!!! I was on the verge of becoming a grad as well. It is too easy for me to lose an entire day watching YT. My Pinterest binges are usually at night after I am done listing and veg out on the couch. I lose track of time and then regret that I am tired the next day and tell myself that I have to pay attention to the time. Sometimes that works. Most of the time not so much. No different with YT. I’m grateful for the Scavenger Life community. You guys all keep me productive between binges (Lol)! And really? An “under the pillow speaker”?? Is that a thing? If it is I must get one! That sounds like the way to doze off to me! But yes, I agree that it is a wonderful thing that we can be heard and find our own information without it being fed to us by the powers that be.
12/21/2016 at 1:25 am #8530
Jen, sorry for the delayed reply. Yes, it’s a thing. Look on Amazon for a “pillow speaker”. You’ll love it! hahah ohmygoodness we should talk!!!
12/07/2016 at 10:44 am #7489
Hey Ryanne did somebody trip over the plug in the What Sold Section? I can’t post a What Sold video there. Maybe I need to give literacy a chance? What am I doing wrong.
Also do you two have a po box for any December Solstice gifts? I have something here to send.
Anywho, it’s been pretty steady on books on Amazon and dries and drabs on eBay.
Now is the time to consider pruning dead inventory before eBay hits ya with that automatic renewal listing fee.
I was going to be an entitled prick and post my What Sold video here anyway, but I am entering my mid life crisis adult phase, which reminded me that would be poor form.
If anything I had weird sales the past few months, like the $70 Squishable frog, and some Betamax tapes. Somebody wanted out of a lot, just one Young and the Restless Betamax for $50, so clearly, the money is out there somewhere.
Guys suck it up and sell books on Amazon. It’s a nice, steady income as long as you have a price changer. We have a home brew changer, but I have heard Amazons isn’t too bad.
Basic numbers for last week:
eBay total for all accounts:
We do not use FBA. My control borg partner(ish) cough long story, would bleed out of his eyes if we did.
Also any advice on how to deal with my new but perpetually angry at the entire universe mailman, greatly appreciated. Tattling would result in all mail going to His basement, so if there is a way to get his route changed anonymously, I’m all ears.
- This reply was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by Eve Everett. Reason: Just random thoughts
12/07/2016 at 10:53 am #7495
yes you can post your video here–
(i just tested the embed and it’s working)
12/07/2016 at 12:05 pm #7515
12/07/2016 at 12:12 pm #7519
Hi, okay, I checked again.
There is no Reply button and at the bottom with yellow background it says it is basically locked and not accepting comments.
Is there a “privilege” issue. Maybe you have higher rights than me, so aren’t seeing it?
12/07/2016 at 10:46 am #7491
I’ve had a great week, in my humble little part time seller way. My sales really picked up over the past couple of days — though Cyber Monday was flat. People are clearly in a gift-buying and coat-buying mode. I haven’t had a return in a while either, yay! Providing partial refunds to people with legit complaints for items I don’t want to have to re-list has helped prevent a couple of returns this fall.
Another cool thing is that my husband, who was dubious about my ebay hobby (addiction!) is getting more into it as he’s seen what I can sell. The other day he was saying it’s like creating money from nothing. Exactly! We’ve enjoyed taking some trips to thrift stores as a family and he’s shown incredible talent in finding high-end men’s outdoor gear that I wouldn’t have thought to look for. And also, OMG, he just cleaned out his closet for me to have many more vintage outdoorsy items to sell.
I don’t track my numbers, but my current goal is to get my store to 250 listings and keep it at that level. Based on prior performance of my store, 250 listings would result in income of approximately $500 to $1,000 per month, depending on whether I’m able to sell higher-$ items in any given month. I have about 210 listings right now. 250 is somewhat arbitrary, but I’m going for it because that’s doable with my storage and sourcing resources, and it’s the maximum amount of listings you get for “free” with my store subscription. I like how Ryanne and Jay recommend 500 listings as a sustainable level, but for me, I have a strong gut feeling that 500 is too many, but 250 is just right. (Did I mention I have a FT job, a young kid, and limited attic storage space?!)
12/07/2016 at 12:05 pm #7516JasonKParticipant
- Location: Florida
Total items in store: ~300
Items sold: 22
Cost of Items Sold: $22
Total Sales: $671.79
Avg. price: $30.54
Highest price item: $114.84 Sega Master System II Video Game System
Money spent on new inventory: $0
Number of items listed: 0
I was sick as a dog all week so the only eBay I did was to pack up stuff and get it out the door. Having a 4-month old baby in daycare is like the virus gift that just keeps on giving. I think either the baby my wife or I have been sick for the last 2 months straight!
I did sell some neat stuff this week though. The Sega Master System came out of an awesome video game lot my brother picked up a while back. It’s a prime example of how knowing your stuff helps make the $$. He called me because a lady had a huge lot of games at a yard sale but wouldn’t sell him just the Nintendo stuff and she wanted $80 for the lot which was more than he was willing to pay. When he told me everything that was in the lot I nearly drove the 30 miles to the sale myself. Instead I immediately sent him $40 through PayPal and told him to buy the lot and give me all the non-nintendo stuff. I’ve easily made $500 off just the stuff he gave me and I know he made at least that much off the Nintendo stuff including some rare circuit boards for a demo-unit that he sold for $285.
12/07/2016 at 12:07 pm #7517
CTLady, I also have a FT job 🙂
One of the main motivators for me after leaving a 20 year job was staying home with the Twins a bit (I have 5 kids and have never given same attention to the 11 yo Twins). And my wife always wanted to resume her career, for me I had all the reasons to support her and stay a bit with the Twins.
Having said that, I just hit the 510 items listed mark. I have an aggressive goal to reach the $1000 mark using even slow ticket items to generate me traffic.
I was on the $2k/month for Aug/Sept/Oct, dropped on november and it seems it will stay lower in December. Also consider I had mostly designer clothes and other higher tickets before and it seems my average ticket item is lower since I stopped buying clothes.
Depending on what you are listing will not be difficult to be at least that level
12/07/2016 at 12:40 pm #7523
Jason K – Regarding your comment about being sick all the time with your baby in daycare, please know that IT GETS BETTER! I was soooooo sick for the first winter my daughter was in daycare, with multiple bad colds and bacterial infections. Yuck! But knock on wood, two winters later, I haven’t been sick in months! (I did get the flu last winter, eeek!) I think you will eventually develop resistance to a lot of the daycare bugs. That’s why the teachers never seem to get sick.
12/07/2016 at 1:05 pm #7526JasonKParticipant
- Location: Florida
That’s what other people have told me. I was honestly very tempted to take him out of day care and just watch him at home since day care is so crazy expensive, we are paying $700 a month for one kid! Then when he got sick 2 weeks ago I watched him at home for 3 days and its just impossible to get more than an hour or two worth of work done because the only time I could work was when he was sleeping.
12/07/2016 at 1:17 pm #7527shortandstoutParticipant
- Location: Central Pennsylvania
We had our son in daycare and we nick-named him Bio-hazard for the first 2-3 years. The positive to come from it was when he started school, he had fewer sick days. My nieces stayed at home and got sick a lot the first years of school. It does get better and as hard as it is now, it does get better and easier. I had to be home with my son for a morning a few days ago (he had strep) and he was content playing in his room or watching tv on his own and I was able to focus on eBay for the most part. He is now 8 years old and doesn’t need the full time supervision.
12/07/2016 at 9:40 pm #7577
All one more reason people homeschool. So much safer on many levels; especially the germ thing.
12/07/2016 at 10:45 pm #7581AppollyonParticipant
Nov 27 – Dec 3rd
Total Items in Store: 124
Items Sold: 4
COGS: 51.10 (One item was a 50 dollar buyout)
New Listings: 11
Second week in, we did list about a few items but our seller limits are slowing us down and we can’t seem to get ebay to bump them (no live people to ask). Still, not bad at all and this week appears to be headed down a good path as well. Fingers crossed.
12/08/2016 at 11:58 am #7615
My sales have been good on both ebay and etsy since Thanksgiving. I do stock a lot of vintage Christmas items and Christmas craft kits though.
Something I’ve notice recently about Etsy. Buyers on Etsy must not shop around for best price. I cross post most of my vintage on Etsy and buyers will often pay more for my item on Etsy than they would for the same item I have listed on Ebay. The reason it’s less on ebay is because I run sales on Ebay. On etsy there is no system to run sales unless you use a paid third party application.
Mon 28th – Dec 4th
19 items sold on Ebay
average price $17
11 items sold on Etsy
average price $25
12/08/2016 at 12:29 pm #7616
Nancy, I have noticed the same thing about buyers on Etsy — they do not seem to be as price-sensitive as ebay buyers. If they want the thing, they buy it! I have added a $1 handling fee to my Etsy postage (you have that option) and as far as I know, this hasn’t affected sales (but you know, maybe it has?) The handling fee is not visible to buyers — they just see a shipping fee that is $1 more.
12/08/2016 at 1:33 pm #7619
CTLady one thing is buyers don’t have a dozen or more identical items to choose from like is often the case on ebay but they also don’t seem interested in checking ebay to see if it is cheaper there. Small example. I just sold a christmas ornament on etsy for 9.99 plus shipping. I didn’t even list it on ebay because there were so many (109) of that ornament and it was selling for as little as 4.50 free shipping. On etsy there were only five others. Mine was not the lowest priced on etsy either. Don’t know why it sold before the other two priced lower. Maybe it was because they saw mine first and thought the price was low enough that it wasn’t worth price shopping. After all it was only 10 bucks but I do see this with higher priced items as well.
12/08/2016 at 3:23 pm #7631brooklyn_procurementParticipant
- Location: Brooklyn
Havent posted in a while, a lot going on, love the new site!
so far the Holidays have been busy on Ebay and personally. Went on my first vacation while running a store, went smooth! Used your advice and changed my shipping time to 10 days and had no issues at all and still had sales. Holidays too I am having a lot more returns than usual
Also I finally became a top rated seller!!!! very excited.
Havent listed much with the holidays, but was able to do two good hauls and have now been trying to list. My father is not doing well, and is declining and it has been hard to stay focused, groups like this keep me going.
Hope you guys have fun in brooklyn
12/08/2016 at 3:39 pm #7634
Sorry about your father. I can empathize. My mom died in August and it was so good that I could extend my shipping handling time for a while so that it wouldn’t be an additional stress. I was able to spend time with her that I couldn’t have done if I had been working full time at a conventional job.
12/09/2016 at 9:14 am #7701mp from tnParticipant
Have a question: MDC Galleries talks about re-listing older items that have been on for 90, 120, etc. days. It’s probably very basic, but I’m wondering how you can view the age of your inventory without clicking into each item. I have been re-listing when items get a lot of views but no action, but am not sure how to view that other stat.
12/09/2016 at 9:26 am #7702
Hey MP from TN. I used to live in Collierville, TN and worked in Memphis for a few years, long ago.
To answer your question [on a computer-unsure how this will work on a cell phone]. But from your dash board their is a major area called, “Listings”. In this area it has a line that says “Active Listings” and shows the numbers of “Active Listings” you have in your store. Click on this and it brings up a “grid structure view”, [much like a spread sheet view] of all of your listings. There should be a column that says “start date”. If not this whole area can be customized by clicking the “Customized” word up toward the right side off to the right of the Large Font saying “Manage Active Listings”. Here you can select to add the column “Start Date”, but you only have to do this IF you don’t already have the column “Start Date” showing. Now, notice there is a small arrow beside the column name, “Start Date”. Click on this button and it will sort your complete listings [everything you have active] by date. Click it once to sort from oldest to newest, click it again, and it reverses the order and shows you the newest to oldest. Then from there you can click any item you wish to take any action on, either as a single item or in sme sort of “bulk action” if you wish.
That should do it for you. mike at MDC Galleries in Atlanta
12/11/2016 at 9:45 am #7803
Thank you for sharing this! I’ve been trying to figure out how to get that info forever!
12/09/2016 at 10:16 am #7708mp from tnParticipant
Thanks, Mike! I appreciate the instructions… I now have that column set up. As I said (and thanks to some things you said earlier this year), I’ve been ending listings that are about to re-up and have many views, and re-listing as sell similar. Some have sold, many have not, but I am becoming convinced that ebay likes an active store… new listings (even if you’re just listing things you’ve ended), feedbacks, editing, etc. I don’t have a large enough store where that’s a problem, it’s just part of the daily routine.
12/13/2016 at 1:33 pm #8032JFHParticipant
In response to the clothing sells saturation, I see it to. I have seen steady sells but very little growth. One reason I don’t post my numbers on here as much is because every week it is between 650 – 750 dollars without fail. Yet I keep listing and the item count in my store keeps growing. I have started looking for niches within clothing, such as hunting clothes, and also I have tried to move towards more NWT clothes and higher end clothes when I can find them. I have always kept about 20% of my store in non clothing items so I have some diversity if the clothing slows (and it does this time of year for me based on last year clothing sells were down until right after Christmas when people got gift cards and money). One thing I have been looking at is repairing jewelry broken higher end jewelry. It is a slow process to learn and then you have the fear of authenticity strikes / vero. Otherwise I plan on streamlining my store and moving out some of the old bad pics and dead stock and going from there. Thanks for the podcast!
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