12/12/2016 at 12:56 pm #7862
Interesting conversation on the forum about the glut of clothing sellers on eBay (and elsewhere) and the reasons why. This speaks to the broader quest
[See the full post at: Scavenger Life Episode 288: The War Of Attrition Will Not Grind Us Down]
12/12/2016 at 1:05 pm #7864
Hey J&R, I know you all are feeling down right now. I just want to send you some positive vibes. You’ve made a difference in many people’s lives with your story and your positivity. I don’t think I would have had the confidence to keep going with this business and fully commit if I didn’t happen upon your website. Along with many people here, I look forward to turning on your podcast every Monday. Stay positive and keep listing! 🙂
12/13/2016 at 6:11 am #7968
Hope it didn’t sound like we were feeling down. We were just tired after a long day of work. The race to the bottom for online sales is just the way the market works. At some point, the sellers who don;t make profit will drop out.
12/12/2016 at 1:23 pm #7866
We’ve been running weekly store wide sales of 15% – 30% off, but we’ve managed to keep our average price sold at $37, and we sold about 135 items for a 1st time ever grand total over $5,000!
12/12/2016 at 1:57 pm #7876
man sales never work for me, but I don’t do clothing very much.
12/12/2016 at 2:20 pm #7886
They always work well for us, but we’re listing a ton of clothing every week. My partner/fiancee (recently got engaged), has been doing an amazing job finding inventory to sell.
12/12/2016 at 4:47 pm #7914
So if you run perma-sales of 15-30%, and your average sale price is $37, then you’re listing most items at $50? That must mean that all your inventory is super high quality.
12/12/2016 at 5:00 pm #7916
Our average price sold over the last few years has been about $35. Lately it’s been lower because of the constant sales and promotions, but this week we managed to sell a lot of higher priced items. Normally when we sell over $4,000 in a week while running a sale, our average price sold is lower.
12/12/2016 at 1:24 pm #7867
Total Items in Store: 615
Items Sold: 21
Cost of Items Sold: $62.20
Total Sales: $829
Highest Price Sold: $200 Marantz audio recorder
Average Price Sold: $39.48
Average Profit: $36.51
FBA items sold: 10
Total FBA sales: $402.86
FBA COGS: $111.25
FBA Fees: $115.90
FBA Profit: $175.71
FBA Average profit: $17.57
It was a great week on Ebay and Amazon. My Toy RA purchases are finally paying off on amazon. Ebay is steady. One thing I noticed this week was that my sales were very balanced based on category. I sold a little of everything: shoes, shirts, jackets, hats, toys, books, electronics, and oddball items. It definitely pays to diversify your inventory!
12/12/2016 at 1:25 pm #7868lizlangsteinerParticipant
Dec 4 – Dec 10
Total Items In Store 1104
Items Sold 15
Total Sales 687.88
Highest Price Sold 99.99 sold 2 items at 99.99 fist a vintage pyrex flameware coffee percolator paid 5.00 at a garage sale, the other item is a really cool vintage Chiefs Jacket paid 2.00 for the jacket at a thrift store it sold for 99.99
Average Price Sale 45.85
Intl Sales –
Spent On New Merch –
New Listings 32
This was a good week for my store. I am listing death piles, cleaning and organizing so that I am ready for Feb/March church sales. This will be my last week this year of grinding it out. Kids come home next week. Mom & I go South on Jan 3 so I will be getting ready to leave town. So far it’s been a good holiday season for my store. Thankful for everyones help. My seller Hub says I am up 16.4% compared to the same time a year ago.
12/12/2016 at 1:27 pm #7869
Week Dec 4-10, 2016
Total Items in Store: 763
Items Sold: 19 (1 Amazon, 5 Etsy – more on that below)
Cost of Items Sold: $57 (eBay/Amazon only)
Total Sales: $538.66
Highest Price Sold: $70 (partial bottle of vintage Arpege Lanvin)
Average Price Sold: $28.35
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
Number of items listed this week: 9
Solid week, nothing spectacular. Mainly bread & butter on eBay and a RA piece on Amazon. Bigger news (for me at least) is that I made 5 sales on Etsy this week. I don’t do vintage or picks on Etsy, but I have a little photography shop. I’ve mentioned before that photography is a hobby and I sell a photo here and there – usually about 1 per month – but this week I sold 5 for about $200 which I’m super pumped about. Here’s a shameless plug to my store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/BrianTuchalskiPhoto
Otherwise, still cranking along on the bathroom reno that started last week. Things are now mostly out of my hands and into the contractor’s hands for electrical, plumbing, etc this week and then next week should start tiling. I’ll jump back in for cleaning and painting in a couple weeks.
Can’t wait to listen to the show on my way home!
12/12/2016 at 1:55 pm #7875
wow on your photographs–they are beautiful!
12/12/2016 at 2:00 pm #7878
Thanks! Always appreciate the kudos. Not bad for a hobby.
12/12/2016 at 2:53 pm #7894shortandstoutParticipant
- Location: Central Pennsylvania
Yes, awesome photos!
12/12/2016 at 4:43 pm #7912
12/17/2016 at 10:14 pm #8272finditlistitsellitshipitParticipant
Beautiful-You have a great eye!
12/12/2016 at 1:35 pm #7871AnnaParticipant
Total items in store: 241
Items sold: 12
Cost of Items Sold: $27 thrift + $105 retail + $23 consignment
Total Sales: $438.39
Avg. price: $36.53
Highest price item: $79.99 tie – Ugg Shearling Shoes, Burton Snowboard Pants
International sales: 0
Money spent on new inventory: $0
Number of items listed: 0
This was a great week for me, especially since I haven’t listed in over a month.
12/12/2016 at 1:53 pm #7874
Total Items in Store: 209–>ebay, 388–>etsy
Items Sold: 20–>13 on etsy, 7–>ebay
Total Sales: $862
Highest Price Sold: $125 antique stationary box on etsy
Average Price Sold: $43
a solid week
12/12/2016 at 2:15 pm #7883HabnabParticipant
My whole eBay existence has sort of fallen apart over the last two months. It’s my inventory system has utterly imploded, it takes me forever to find items, and I’m feeling depressed by the flotsam and jetsam of uninteresting items that have cluttered up our house. Furthermore, I don’t seem to be finding anything really decent when I’m out there sourcing. Sales, predictably, have also fallen. Perhaps it’s a biorhythm trough? 🙂
In any event, I’ve closed my shop for the season so I can focus on what needs to be done at home for the holidays. After the new year, I’ll re-group and see what I can do to improve sales and make this fun and profitable again. This was my best year financially since I started selling online in 2007, so I’m not throwing in the towel just yet, it’s just that I’m in a super rough patch at the moment. Mojo = lost.
Edited to add: This isn’t meant to be negative re: eBay generally. I don’t blame eBay or think that selling eBay isn’t a sustainable business, or anything like that (and the solid sales others have posted clearly bear that out.) I’m just in a slump for various organizational and personal reasons.
12/12/2016 at 2:17 pm #7884
how many items do you have listed right now?
12/12/2016 at 2:24 pm #7887
Approximate # of Items in Store: 285
# of Items Sold: 25
Average Cost of Items Sold: $6.64
Total Sales: $1,043.03
Highest Price Sold: $90 – Shirt
Average Price Sold: $41.72
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $15.94
Number of items listed this week: 39
Happy with the total. Not my highest week dollar-wise, but I don’t think I’ve ever sold 25 things in one week before, so that was fun. Also, I’m a REALLY slow lister, so getting 39 new listings up is a fairly major accomplishment for moi.
12/12/2016 at 3:59 pm #7904
Wow, those are nice numbers for a small store. What type of stuff do you sell?
12/12/2016 at 4:53 pm #7915
her top earner was a shirt so I am guessing clothing, LOL. despite a softening of the market, if you list the right stuff they will buy…
12/12/2016 at 7:05 pm #7928
Thanks. About 90% pre-owned clothing, shoes and accessories. Men’s and women’s with a smattering of vintage. The other 10% is random stuff. The shirt was a vintage Pendleton.
12/12/2016 at 2:48 pm #7893shortandstoutParticipant
- Location: Central Pennsylvania
Items in store: 175
Items sold: 7 (3 free shipping)
Total sales (excl. shipping): $383.45
COGS: $104.45 ($87.50 for the watch alone)
Average sales price: $54.77
Average COGS: $14.92
Shipping fees collected: $29.78
Shipping fees paid: $45.45
Total Selling Fees (incl. shipping): $94.97
Total Net Profit: $214.04
Highest Sale: $189.99 Invicta Men’s Watch with Free shipping — got email from customer today so it may be coming back or a partial refund being issued for $20. Next highest was $64.99 for an unopened 1.7 oz bottle of Allure by Chanel perfume with free shipping.
New Listings: 4
Money Spent on new inventory: $58
Returns: 0 (for now)
So….best week I’ve had, but not without issues that are coming up now. About a month ago I decided to spend more for potential better returns and I will say that as of now, it isn’t what I was hoping for. The watch I sold this week has been sold twice, I messed up the listing (because I don’t really know watches) and the customer just emailed asking for a partial. I offered him $20 back or a return with me paying shipping. Honestly, I think him returning it would be better, but I don’t really want to deal with it. I’m still earning a profit on it either way so I haven’t paid for any lessons…yet. I still have 2 higher priced watches listed, but I’m staying away from buying watches for a good while.
I added some shipping cost info since I do offer free shipping on some items. Since it is an ongoing topic, I figured I would share the numbers. The three items that sold with the free shipping were all common items that had multiples of the item listed. The four items I was able to list this week do not have free shipping due to limited quantity of similar items and not many other listings offering free shipping. I currently have 17 items with free shipping, mostly shirts, post cards, and hats.
Started organizing my unlisted items and realized I now have enough unlisted items to push me well into the middle store subscription. I will not be buying any more inventory for the next few months while I turn this stuff into money. I have a little more time this week to list as we are waiting for the drywall guys to wrap up. Once they are done, my time will be limited until we move in, but I’m going to focus on 1 item a night between working on the house and bed. My full time job closes down for the winter break so I’ll have a big chunk of time between Christmas Eve and the day after new years to get a lot done on the house which leads to more time for listing!
12/12/2016 at 3:08 pm #7901
Maybe those of us with a big backlog should have some sort of group challenge in 2017. “) Good luck with yours.
12/16/2016 at 12:00 pm #8203almastyParticipant
I’ve thought about starting motivational listing threads on the days I’m listing a ton, but with such short-notice it doesn’t make any sense. Maybe there should be a subsection related to this? Listing goals for the day? Week? Death pile motivator, 2017 (I write this as I’m photographing items to list, but not really looking forward to listing outright).
12/12/2016 at 3:07 pm #7900
Total Items in Store: 344
Items Sold: 11
Cost of Items Sold: $23 (used) + $152 (new RA)
Total Sales: $368
Highest Price Sold: $122 (Anthropologie peacock toile euro shams)
Average Price Sold: $34
Returns & Int’l sales: 0
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $85 ($10 thrift + $75 RA)
Number of items listed this week: 10 (multiples)
Happy “Green Monday” everyone – free shipping deals abound. Considering that it’s Christmastime and I sell some new items, just an ok week for me but I’m grateful. Sick this week, some personal stuff going on, and not a lot of listing going on unfortunately. A few older listings sold and I’m hoping the condition description was adequate for two buyers. :_ January sales were good for me last year, with people buying I suspect for themselves after Christmas.
In another topic post, I explained that I’m really feeling like I need to get my Ebay life in order next year. In a nutshell, I definitely overbought used items as a rookie and now I realize I only have so much time and storage and really want to sell quality items I’m personally excited about and/or have worked well for me. I love selling on Ebay, and I feel really confident about being efficient now. I want to keep learning to identify artists and marks in my areas of interest. It’s mostly time management I need to work on.
Quick shout out to Sheldon. After watching your packing videos, I bought a couple of supplies that have helped lower my frustration when I’m rushing in the morning – like the one handed tape dispenser. I have these dull handheld guns that are driving me nuts. If anyone can recommend a sharper gun, please do. I’ve also asked for that knife for Christmas.
12/12/2016 at 3:35 pm #7902amazingtasteParticipant
Solid week. Working like crazy people!
Couple of points –
Love our white board! If it doesn’t get on the board it doesn’t get done!
Hate free shipping! I will try anything once. We tried free shipping for six months to give it a solid try. I think it works if you don’t have best offer. We found that people submitting offers would offer the same amount whether it had free shipping or not. At the end of the day, the profit margins went down with free shipping. I realize that we may be missing out on the people that are clicking “free shipping”, but profit margins have to trump all.
Sold listings are not always accurate! Remember that ebay does not show best offers. On the PC it will at least show “best offer accepted” but the app doesn’t even show that. You have to use a third party to see what it actually sold for and those third parties are usually 48-72 hours behind. Just an FYI.
Lastly the best thing we can all do to help each other is to become more frequent buyers. If every seller would become a buyer we would all be more successful. The problem we are seeing is that there has been an influx of sellers but those sellers aren’t also buyers. If you are an ebay seller the first place you should shop is ebay in my opinion.
Have a great week!
- This reply was modified 4 years, 10 months ago by amazingtaste.
12/12/2016 at 4:03 pm #7905
I agree wholeheartedly.
When I need something I’m always looking for it on eBay first.
12/12/2016 at 7:12 pm #7930Rydell RelicsParticipant
Same here. If I need something, but can wait a few days, I go right to eBay. It helps other sellers, plus it bumps up your feedback, which is always nice. Gotta support what supports you.
12/12/2016 at 4:08 pm #7907
Dec 4-10 2016
• Total Items in Store: 709
• Items Sold: 22 eBay 2 TrueGether
• International 0
• Total Sales $1479 ($1102 eBay $377 TG)
• Highest Price $361 Pioneer Stereo on TG
• Average Price Sold: $62
• Returns: 0
• Cost of Items Sold: $140
• Cost of items purchased this week $100
So glad I went to the auction Saturday even though it was snowing. Spent $85 on a wide variety of items, there was a sparse crowd so the weird stuff went cheap. They still had an outside ring, you had to brush the snow off to see what was there. I bought a big box of vinyl LPs and as soon as I got home I spread them out on the living room floor so I could get the snow off before it melted. Box of wooden shoes, 5 vintage costumes, electronic testing devices, a 1966 Panasonic clock radio.
It always amazes me what can be found here on the prairie.
12/12/2016 at 5:26 pm #7920Marie in FloridaParticipant
I feel like I’m running 2 stores in one. The more promising items are the recently purchased things-like vintage McIntosh audio components or Allen Edmond shoes selling for $95. However, I am digging out from 2-3 years of buying stuff. The bins can make for dumb purchases. Stupid stuff that will only net $3-15 each. Way too much. I’m listing both, but the RL men’s shirts and other items that I shouldn’t have bought are being reduced drastically and are on auction. Some of it is walking out the door for $5 and that’s ok. It’s already written up and even very low sales has to help with my other listings.
Hopefully in a year or two the majority of my stuff will be items that yes I would buy again. Like the McIntosh components
12/12/2016 at 6:17 pm #7924BGBParticipant
• Total Items in Store: 204
• Items Sold: 18
• Total Sales $581.74
• Highest Price $219.99 Sealed copy of Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0
• Average Price Sold: $32.31
• Cost of Items Sold: $37
• Cost of items purchased this week $14
It’s interesting hearing about the clothing market on eBay, particularly in light of what I’ve been observing while I’m out hitting the thrift stores. Case in point: that high-priced old software I sold this week. I picked it up at Goodwill the Saturday before last, and the place was crawling with other resellers at the time, all of them going through the clothes. I’m sure I’m probably leaving a lot of money out there by not paying attention to clothes and shoes, but if I had to sell them I’d rather just give up eBay and find another side gig.
Instead, I always hit the new racks, the home goods, and the media section only. And on that day, with at least three other people in the store obviously buying to resell, I picked up the software, two nice DVD/VHS recorders, and a TI-84 Plus calculator. That stuff was just sitting out, and anyone else could have snagged them long before I got there. I’ve already sold everything but one of the DVD/VHS players.
Did any of those other resellers find $300+ worth of sweatshirts and jeans there that day? I don’t know. Good for them if they did (so long as they keep leaving behind the software, books, and vintage stuff for me).
12/13/2016 at 6:42 am #7976
Clothes can be profitable. Like anything, you just have to have the eye for what sells.
But I agree that clothing is the most obvious thing new sellers go for. We’ve done well by finding and selling items that everyone else overlooks.
12/13/2016 at 1:52 pm #8042
There’s nothing wrong with using your time wisely and grabbing the low hanging fruit. I only do a deep dive in clothes once in a blue moon if I have extra time to burn. I usually find some good stuff when I do this.
Even if I were full time, I think I’d only do an indepth look into clothes once or twice a month. The junk to treasure ratio is just too high.
12/12/2016 at 6:27 pm #7925SimonParticipant
- Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Here are my numbers for this week:
Total Items in Store: 1302
Items Sold: 28
Total Sales: $603.34
Cost of Items Sold: $56.4
Average Price Sold: $21.55
Average Cost of Item: $2.01
Highest Price Item Sold: $44.95 3 Sealed TDK metcal cassette tapes
Number of items listed this week: 41
Average age of items in store (in days since listing): 198
Average number of days between listing and selling this week: 125
Median age of sales (in days, between listing and selling): 46
Sell-through rate: 2.15%
# of Hats sold : 16
This week was completely typical for me. I wouldn’t have guessed from the numbers that we’re so close to Christmas. I guess I’m not listing stuff people want to give as gifts. This comes after my biggest week ever the week before. Strange how that works.
Hope everyone has a good week. I would imagine that for eBay sellers, this is going to be the last big week of sales before the shipping times wont work for xmas.
12/12/2016 at 6:52 pm #7926cebanakParticipant
- Location: South Carolina
My Store Week Dec 4-10, 2016
Total Items in Store: 717
Items Sold: 7
Cost of Items Sold: $5.25
Total Sales: $73.94
Highest Price Sold: $22.99 (Metal Beer Sign)
Average Price Sold: $10.56
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
Number of items listed this week: 5
Kinda slow this week. I accepted a few half off offers on some clothes I have had for a while that are out of season. The metal beer sign was one that I found in a lot of 8 I paid $20 during the summer. I also sold a corn cob pipe I got at a auction a few months ago.
I have not listed much since Thanksgiving. I had 100 items with pictures and descriptions ready for my holiday trip so I went from 600 to 700 items over thanks giving. But in weeks since December has started I have been so busy with stuff I normally don’t handle and its killing my eBay sales. I know in reality listing does not mean you will sell more but I know that typically when I list I sell the same amount of “old” inventory and then I sell a couple of the items I just listed and that gives me more “old” inventory that could sell the next week.
My goal is to be at 800 items by New Years. I want to start breaking $500 a week and I know I need to list higher end items but its so hard not to list little things that sell for $5 instead of just throwing them out cause they do have value.
12/13/2016 at 6:30 am #7975
We’ve been listing those lower dollar items too. But $5! After eBay fees, there’s not much on the bone there.
The only way it may make sense is if it’s a multiple of a single items where you list once and it sells again and again.
12/12/2016 at 7:09 pm #7929Rydell RelicsParticipant
RR Store Week Dec 4-10, 2016
Total Items in Store: 1047
Items Sold: 16
Cost of Items Sold: $23.99
Total Sales: $358.85
Highest Price Sold: $59.99 (60s art frame lamp)
Average Price Sold: $22.43
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $14
Number of items listed this week: 46
My week started off strong, and I thought it was the holiday rush finally kicking in. But by the end of the week, sales really fizzled out. That, plus some personal drama, made for a lousy week. But yesterday a new week began, and as I’m typing this, I just sold a Vogue magazine for $120. Very motivating! Peaks and valleys, peaks and valleys.
My girlfriend and I hit four estate sales this weekend, but didn’t really find much, which is rare for me. My record collection got a nice little bump, but not my eBay inventory. The last house we went in was an old, run down Victorian. The deceased was an antique dealer, so the place was packed. But it was mostly high dollar stuff from the 1800s; I don’t know enough about that period to justify the expense, so we left empty handed. And we couldn’t get out of their fast enough. We got the creepiest vibe in that house. I though it was just me, but my girl had the creeps as well. Ah, the perils of this scavenger life.
12/12/2016 at 7:48 pm #7935IdahoarderParticipant
12/4/16 – 12/10/16
Total Items in Store: 876
Items Sold: 19
Cost of Items Sold: $25.20
Total Sales: $888.91
Highest Price Sold: $150.00 (Brio train tracks set)
Average Price Sold: $46.42
International Sales: 2
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $12.50
This was my best week ever! It has been so slow through the holidays, that this was definitely exciting! I sold a few higher priced items, which really helped. My faves were a vintage USPS hat that sold for $99.99 and a set of vintage cat sheets (minus the fitted sheet) that also sold for $99.99. I also went to an estate sale, which is kind of rare this time of year. Don’t think I’ve ever been to one with a bunch of snow on the ground before! Now I just need to find a few minutes to list, as I picked up some pretty good “gifty” items.
12/13/2016 at 6:24 am #7974
12/12/2016 at 10:15 pm #7943spinachetrParticipant
Total Items in Store: 13,142
Items Sold: 156
Cost of Items Sold: $23.40
Total Sales: $1,103.58
Highest Price Sold: $75 1940’s 1 Gallon Stoneware Whisky Jug ($2.49 @GW)
Average Price Sold: $7.07
Returns/Lost in the mail cards: 0
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $50 box of postcards/pictures kind of a bust
Number of items listed this week: 350ish
Sold a stoneware whisky jug for $75 that I bought at Goodwill for $2.49. Great profit but my god I hate packing. The time it took to find the right sized boxes, wrap, double box, etc I would have been able to pull & pack 30 postcards.
Also had some nice artist signed postcards by an artist named Beatrice Mallet (French I believe since all 3 cards went to France), that I bought for $.25 each and sold for $16, $18 & $33. nice profit on $.75.
12/13/2016 at 6:21 am #7972
Nice sales. By the way, are you just listing directly on eBay? Or do you use one of those listing programs to manage 13k items?
12/12/2016 at 11:45 pm #7946MarkParticipant
Why don’t you build a new building, make it 2 story and make the top floor another Air BnB rental. Then when you finish the building it will pay for itself more quickly and you will have a more diversified investment.
- This reply was modified 4 years, 10 months ago by Mark.
12/13/2016 at 6:18 am #7970
An interesting idea. Unfortunately our specific neighborhood doesn’t allow short term rentals. Plus it means we’d have to add plumbing and HVAC (which we weren’t planning on doing).
I think we’re moving towards doing the big building. Just may take a little more time than we hoped.
12/13/2016 at 6:19 am #7971
trust me, my office would already be an airbnb if that was possible. our neighborhood association does not allow short term rentals, so no-go. that’s why we research the HOAs (or hopefully lack there of) when buying other properties for rentals.
12/13/2016 at 5:52 am #7958
I’m with you on the go big or go home. I don’t sell near what you do, but am currently in the process of putting up this building exclusively for eBay. It has a 60×44 warehouse and a 27×44 office space. I’ve recently hired my first part time employee to help and hope to hire more once I have the space.
I’m having the worst time with the pictures. I’ll try again later.
- This reply was modified 4 years, 10 months ago by Country Lane.
- This reply was modified 4 years, 10 months ago by Country Lane.
- This reply was modified 4 years, 10 months ago by Country Lane.
- This reply was modified 4 years, 10 months ago by Country Lane.
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12/13/2016 at 6:16 am #7969
12/13/2016 at 8:00 am #7980Marjean28Participant
- Location: Minneapolis, MN
J & R, I find your musings on what building to build compelling, having built a building (a log home) myself around your age. I vacillated so much on what and how to build. I recommend building a pole barn, either metal or wood, in such a way on the lot that, later, if you want to put a home on the lot, you could. I don’t recommend over building for something that doesn’t suit your needs. Personally, I plan on putting up a pole building on our country lot. I’ll probably use retired telephone poles and rough cuts, scavenger style! Have fun with your build.
12/13/2016 at 8:07 am #7981
Ok, let’s try this again. I have a contractor building most of it. I’m doing the electrical, network and plumbing. I’m hoping to be all in less than $90k.
- This reply was modified 4 years, 10 months ago by Country Lane.
12/13/2016 at 10:38 am #8002
holy shizzz, that is quite a job!!!
12/13/2016 at 1:38 pm #8037Beverly – Far Out and FabulousParticipant
- Location: Edgewood, WA
I showed this to my boyfriend / partner. He’s drooling with how many motorcycles would fit into that space!!! Ahhhhhhhhhhh
12/13/2016 at 8:13 am #7983spinachetrParticipant
@ Jay I use Sixbit to list. I only have to change the title and the 2 pictures in their offline listing template…click save…click duplicate…repeat. I can get a new listing completed in less than a minute. When I have all the listing done for the week (usually 200-300) I’ll schedule them to upload to ebay using the Sixbit program (free using sixbit, $.10 if you use ebay to schedule). I’ll submit them to start around 8pm on a Sunday and space them out at 1 minute intervals.
I’m also using sixbit to print my mailing labels and send shipping notification emails. I still use ebay for relisting ended items. Sixbit will do that for me, but when I look at the number of “unsold/not relisted” items in the Sixbit program they don’t jive with the number of “unsold/not relisted” items showing in Selling Manager Pro and I’m afraid of listing thousands of duplicate items. I just haven’t taken the time to completely figure it out, but I need to because relisting 13,000 postcards, 200 at a time, takes too long. And, no, I don’t like “good until cancelled” because I feel that your item gets lost in the search program.
- This reply was modified 4 years, 10 months ago by spinachetr.
12/13/2016 at 8:39 am #7985michael dParticipant
• Total Items in Store: 8300
• Items Sold: 151
• Cost of Items Sold: $205
• Total Sales: $3249.58
• Highest Price Sold: $145 Size 60L Suit
• Average Price Sold: $21.52
• Returns: 3 (clothes)
• Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $220
• Number of items listed this week: 50
Since the shopping season has started the last few weeks has produced solid numbers. Top sellers this week Size 60L suit for $145, Flames of War miniature gaming models $123, broken kitchen aid for $40.
Didn’t list a whole lot on ebay, been focusing more on getting the last rush of FBA items in before the Christmas prime cut off date. Amazon FBA sales have really spiked since Thanksgiving, and we are clearing out a huge glut of board games and toys that are in FBA.
Question about the building, when you say stick building to you mean something like a barn or pretty much a house? Will you run into any zoning/HOA problems constructing a large building and running a business out of it in a residential area? I know it’s not allowed here but I am sure the zoning is different in Luray. I have been looking for some land close to Woodbridge that will allow a metal building for our warehousing, zoning has been the main obstacle to overcome. I would like to get out of the renting a warehouse and just build one instead, that way when we leave we have a property to rent out.
That’s exactly what I want, the one I have priced out is about 6,000sf, 23k for plans and material a lot extra for labor, concrete and other associated costs.
12/13/2016 at 8:45 am #7987
Yeah, I’m not sure what the breakdown in material labor really is. This was a bit of a rush job with the impending winter weather. The building itself with concrete was 70k. That’s with the whole thing insulated and the warehouse lined. I’m having someone else do drywall in office. Things like fill stone, hvac, lighting etc… are really adding up.
12/13/2016 at 9:00 am #7990SharynParticipant
- Location: Central NJ
Week of Dec 5 – 11
* Total Items in Store: 529
* Items Sold: 19
* Cost of Items Sold: $16.31
* Total Sales: $461.89
* Highest Price Sold: $105 Mask / Face Sculpture
* Average Price Sold: $24.31
* Returns: 1 item – scarf
* Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $45
* Number of items listed this week: about 31
Finally, after a few dud weeks, I get a good one! I had a higher overall number of sales plus a decent average price (for me) as well. I had one return of a scarf because the buyer just didn’t like it. She paid return shipping, so no problem.
As far as shipping goes, my current philosophy is to include shipping for all first class items and those that will fit into a padded fixed rate envelope. The exception is anything that I sell with best offer – shipping is always extra for those. I once had a decent offer for some antique plates, but I couldn’t accept it because I had included shipping.
Occasionally, I will include shipping for something that fits into a medium or large fixed rate box. I sell used tennis balls, and I have to include shipping in those because of competition and usually use FedEx Smartpost. I’m lucky that I have a FedEx Kinkos in my town, but it is a 15 min drive. I prefer the USPS which is a 2 min drive.
Last week, I posted a link to the sculpture I sold for $105, so I won’t do it again. Here are a few other favorite sales:
I don’t do too much in clothes, but I would like to add more. Here are a pair of youth snow pants I bought for $1 in the summer. Sold for $28 which included first class shipping:
Someone recently suggested to remove needlepoints/embroideries from the frame if the frame wasn’t in great condition. I sold this one very quickly that way. Paid maybe a dollar, sold for $20 with shipping:
A few Christmas items; The first I bought in an online auction for a dollar or so, and the second was given to me:
My brother-in-law gave me a bunch of Harmony Kingdom figurines to sell. Here is the first one to go, $35 including shipping:
My first rug sale! Paid maybe $2 at a live auction, sold for $35 plus shipping:
12/13/2016 at 10:28 am #7998
Couple of quick notes. We have been selling online for over 15 years. I don’t mean to sound like a crotchety old timer, but you won’t make it selling online without diversification.
Quite frankly, people sell the easiest, readily available crap to sell. I think that includes contemporary clothing, video games, electronics and book related items.
In my experience the key to survival is a balance between, antiques, collectibles, contemporary and media. Having a niche that you can get known is also helps.
IF this is a competition problem, waiting them out is the name of the game: most businesses fail. Sad to say but true.
Personally, I think it’s two problems: other places to shop like Poshmark, Allmodern, Etsy, open Sky, 1stdibs and many more means buyers are looking across channels and being more savvy.
Worse though is the R word. I’m a Econ nerd. I’m pretty sure but for the monetary pumping of the Fed, we would be in a Recession.
Ultimately, I think we are getting into a deflationary environment. Compound that with the fears stirred up on both sides of the political spectrum, and people are not spending. Excuse the humor but college snowflakes are still freaking out, while most of the NRA is still stocking up on ammo and survival gear. There are too many distractions. Meanwhile, the grass gets stomped on and suffers. Either way, spending is down.
IMO, diversification in what you sell, where you sell, including overseas, and multi channel efforts basically is going to become the norm.
Finally, we are doing a lot of Oculus Rift tinkering. When the time comes, I want to be using 3-D when it’s viable. There’s some really awesome free stuff to check there, btw.
12/13/2016 at 10:42 am #8006
You’re 100% correct. It’s not limited to online business, but all businesses and investments – diversify so when one thing is down the other is up, etc.
Additionally, it’s also key to note that this country is huge and each area has a different economy. Certain areas are down, depressed, struggling while others are flourishing. For example, my area in NYC/northern NJ real estate is skyrocketing through the roof and things are generally good. I would think that the same is true in SF/San Jose/Silicon Valley, Austin, Nashville, etc. But there are other areas that are in extremely bad conditions. As sellers, there may be opportunity there. In those depressed areas, there might be people willing to depart with their excess just make ends meet. Whereas in flourishing areas, there might be luxury goods available. Regardless, it does take effort to first identify the opportunity and then act on it.
12/15/2016 at 8:17 am #8147
Eve, since Yellen did a .25% increase yesterday, plus promised 3 more in the near future, I think things are going to start heading back to normal. Soon people will be screaming about inflation, but some inflation is a good thing especially for investors. Earlier in the day we were in a run to 20K in the stock market, but she put a screeching halt to that and it fell back 200 points. I believe we have been in a depression for years–gov’t stats are lies, built on false info such as not including food or gas in the figures, or true unemployment numbers.
12/13/2016 at 10:29 am #7999
I know we have a couple of tiki experts in the house here that have been talking over the past week or so… I’ve had this mug for a couple years with little to no interest. Is it priced too high or have I misidentified it?
12/13/2016 at 10:46 am #8007
you know what to do, check solds, check actives.
there are a lot of this brand of mug.
i literally have the almost exact one listed (for same price too!)
maybe we both need to lower our price.
12/13/2016 at 10:52 am #8009
Totally. I guess my question to tiki experts is there a keyword I’m missing or some logo I’m missing that makes mine less desirable to others? I’ve certainly checked the sold listings and it seems to be priced appropriately and that took me to the description/keyword question – two years of being listed, discounts sales, etc and not even a question or offer seems weird to me.
12/13/2016 at 10:58 am #8011
I think your price works. It’s a relatively common tiki, but give it time and it will sell.
12/13/2016 at 1:31 pm #8030
The real expert (or one of them) is Jason T. Smith. Here’s a link to his store – maybe he has a similar one listed or recently sold? http://stores.ebay.com/Tiki-Pug-Music
He knows exactly what mugs are worth on Ebay. If you find a rarer one, he has an open offer – send him a photo and he’ll evaluate or even offer to buy it. He also has a Facebook group you can join and they encourage asking questions.
12/13/2016 at 1:40 pm #8040
Thanks for the info! I’ll browse his items and then possibly contact him via Facebook. Has he been active on here? If I say “I was directed to you from SL” will he know what I’m talking about?
12/15/2016 at 8:21 am #8148
There’s a saying in real estate–the only thing that keeps something from selling is the price.
12/13/2016 at 1:52 pm #8041Beverly – Far Out and FabulousParticipant
- Location: Edgewood, WA
My mom was born and raised in Hawaii, we lived there from time to time, and I’ve always loved Tiki. I like to watch the “Jason T Smith” youtubes and take notes about what sells and doesn’t. I’ve done well with Trader Vic and other tiki mugs and bar guides.
I would have thought since this one is made in Japan, it would be a good bet, but it does look like you’re a tad high for this particular brand.
Here’s my TIKI notes:
Eekum Bookum, SHAG, Tiki Farm, Trader Vic, made in Japan,
Vintage style: often unmarked, FRANKOMA, Paul Marshall Products PMP, STEVE CRANE
FURREAL HASBRO Talking Parrot (must have perch, remote & cracker), MUNK TIKI,
NOT: DW brand, Libbey, made in China, plastic
12/13/2016 at 10:42 am #8005JtotheNessaParticipant
# sold: 72
Total Sales: $3189
Highest Item: hallmark peanuts wireless band $400
Average Price: $44.30
My best week to date. Things feel like they are slowing down today and yesterday. Which I’m ok with. I need some time to work on Christmas for my 4 kiddos. Talking about buildings, I have a 30×40 insulated shop with heat/air running water. It is an essential part of my eBay success equation. The first 10 years of my eBay adventures I did without a shop so I know it can be done without but I’m grateful we found a home that had one already built. I think the original invoice that we got with the home documents said it was $19000, but that was also 10 years ago. Then we spent $5000 to put in heat and air. I store unlisted inventory, clean items, photograph, and list in the shop. I do packaging in my office inside the house.
12/13/2016 at 10:46 am #8008
Oh, one more thing, my very humble advice is when building major structures on one’s property, one must think of one’s leverage and debt to income. It’s also important to think about property value in light of that.
Now before getting annoyed, who is the person that bought an H2 under the pretext it was tax deductible (which it SO totally was at the time), THIS GIRL. Okay, so I’m not Miss Frugal. I can’t help it, I was car deprived as a teen.
But I do know good old fashioned leverage and making business projections. Given the uncertainty of two sources of income, does a two story building work, if the economy barfs for about 6 months? If you built that and suddenly had to sell off, would it be a blood bath? Have you run the tax numbers in terms of how that can be used to help at tax time, or hurt.
So channeling my dad who bought cars in bizarre colors to get a discount for that in an effort to be ultra frugal: If I were you two, knowing nothing else, stick with needs and not wants. You can always add or expand in a few years. Stick with the original purpose.
12/13/2016 at 10:53 am #8010
original purpose is storage. if we do 2 stories, we get double the storage. that is my main motivation at the moment. i know in my heart of hearts that we’ll build one story and kick ourselves for not building up. hoping if we hire the dudes who are doing (and have done) our renovations, we can keep the costs lower than some of these insane quotes. plus no HVAC plumbing and all that stuff.
12/13/2016 at 11:19 am #8016
Well two concerns:
This is probably going to show up on your business taxes somehow, somewhere so are there any tax implications depending on the how’s and what’s.
Constructions generally get you 39 years of depreciation and are considered permanent structures, which is often not as beneficial to a business as a modular structure. These can fall under tangible property as long as they fall under the “assembled/ dismantled” rule of thumb. Then your business can take 7 years depreciation instead, and the shorter depreciation allows you to realize a greater tax benefit in the short term.
Or under section 179 of the Code as you probably already know, u can deduct the cost of certain types of property on income taxes as an expense, rather than having the cost of the property to be capitalized and depreciated. So modular offices, racks and office furniture would be handy if it can be fit here.
It always helps to Tax Design Before hand. Very roughly, a $50,000 project could lead to a major difference in savings overall.
2. Property Tax etc.
Probably not a big deal in your rural area, but if you do this and get reassessed your property tax goes up.
This is good news if you want to play deep and try to re-finance the whole shebang a la Grand Designs.
Yeah I now like the sound of this.
Anyway, it’s not too late to sit down and design the tax stuff on this. If it’s not being done under an LLC or a partnership, I highly recommend you sit down and bang out the numbers to see what the scenarios are. You need to maximize that Before the Line hodgepodge. You can still do this AND build, pretty sure.
12/13/2016 at 11:29 am #8019JasonKParticipant
- Location: Florida
Week Dec 4-10, 2016
Total Items in Store: 270
Items Sold: 16
Cost of Items Sold: $9.50
Total Sales: $380.15
Highest Price Sold: $56.95 (Sega Genesis Console bundle)
Average Price Sold: $23.76
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: 0
Number of items listed this week: 0
Very soft week coming out of the “post Thanksgiving” sales period. Thank goodness for the cold weather that went through the northeast and midwest late last week as that seems to have saved me from a truly terrible week. I think I sold 10 of the 16 items on Thursday night and Friday morning so I guess everybody stayed home and shopped online due to the cold and snow. Had some odd-ball returns too including a hat that the buyer claims they never purchased and a game that buyer claims did not work but of course did work when I got it back.
12/13/2016 at 11:43 am #8020
Funny but horrible story, in my infinite wisdom years ago, I was deciding between three different professors for choosing a tax course for a graduate level degree I was working on.
I chose a professor that I was assured was “easier” than the others and this professor even handed out an outline for the class, so you “only” needed to “follow along”. No need to do my own outline? Bell curve? “Easiest”? Two tests for the grade? Sign me up!
Soooooo, this kindly old professor hands out the midterm exam.
Multiple Choice exam, based on 8 fact patterns.
Here were the choices: A thru F.
D. was All of the Above.
E. was none of the above.
F. was often a combo of A. and B, A and C etc.
And, oh by the way, if you screwed up the fact pattern you generally didn’t get 1 wrong on the fact pattern, you got ALL of them wrong because your numbers were off.
Iceberg meet smug dumba$$es. It was a bloodbath. I ended up skating the course with a C, but ohhhh that moment of realization when u realize you are so frakked you can’t even take a bus Back to frakked.
So indeed, I learned to take the act of figuring out the tax code a lot more seriously.
Anyway hope that amuses.
12/13/2016 at 12:44 pm #8022
Has anyone filed an insurance claim with something shipped via SmartPost?
An item I shipped that way arrived to the customer wet/damaged. The customer sent pictures so I have the proof. When trying to file a claim seems there’s an endless loop – FedEx only allows the sender to file a claim, which technically is eBay and not me. However eBay won’t file a claim on my behalf. When contacting FedEx, they also only will reimburse if the damage occurred while the package was in their possession and it’s impossible to know if it happened while they were in possession or when handed over to USPS.
Here’s a pretty negative thread about it that seems to be what I’m running in to: https://community.ebay.com/t5/Shipping-Returns/Don-t-try-to-file-a-damaged-claim-with-FedEx-SmartPost-read-my/td-p/19211893
At the end of the day the claim would be for like $21, so I’m not crushed even if there’s no way to file a claim. But I have sent more expensive things that would really be a problem if a similar situation happened.
12/13/2016 at 1:19 pm #8027
what i understand is that FedEx has up to $100 insurance on their shipping (is this wrong), BUT the 2nd half of the postage is USPS Parcel so that has no included insurance, so you couldn’t claim through them anyway. so you’d want to go through fedex. but like you said, you can’t prove who did the damage. that might be a question to call ebay about. let us know.
12/13/2016 at 1:38 pm #8038
You’re partially correct from what I’ve been able to piece together so far – that FedEx automatically has insurance up to $100. But (assuming you buy a FedEx label through eBay) because you don’t pay for FedEx upfront (it’s added to your monthly statement), eBay is actually the shipper and we are 3rd parties in the transaction. By those rules, only eBay can file the claim. I will be calling eBay this evening to see what more they can do or if they have more info.
12/13/2016 at 2:21 pm #8048
I’ve railed on smartpost here before based on my experience. Long story short – you are hosed. USPS has ZERO liability for their end of the transaction. USPS can punt your package over Niagara Falls just for fun and you would have no recourse. The only way you can file a claim is if FedEx marks the item as damaged in their system before they hand it over to USPS. I’m pretty sure the only way that is gonna happen is if they literally flatten it or catch it on fire.
Only use Smart post if you are absolutely sure your item is 100% unbreakable or if you can afford to eat a total loss including shipping.
12/13/2016 at 3:56 pm #8066
I find FedEx ground to be cheaper than Smartpost, at least here in the middle of the country.
12/13/2016 at 8:23 pm #8075
smartpost is cheaper up to a certain weight/size, then Home Delivery is cheaper. (I am in St. LOuis) If you want to ship something expensive play it safe and ship it Priority or Fedex Home rather than Smartpost.
12/13/2016 at 10:41 pm #8081
Brian when we sell a high dollar item or are nervous in general we use Shipsurance.
I went thru this antique parasol phase and no matter how well packed, it seemed like the really expensive ones got destroyed in the mail.
Shipsurance was a champ about it and we still use them when it’s suitable.
12/14/2016 at 7:40 am #8087SharynParticipant
- Location: Central NJ
I went through the same thing happen two weeks ago. The method of submitting a FedEx Smartpost claim is confusing, and I had to make a phone call to eBay and then FedEx to double-check. The process doesn’t allow you to check up on status. If they don’t decide in my favor, will I even be notified? My claim was also in that $20-$25 range, so I’m not overly concerned. I guess I need to reconsider using Smartpost for expensive items, or at least using shipcover insurance.
12/15/2016 at 8:33 am #8150
The problem with using Shipsaver (what I use) is that it always says they are the last line of insurance, after Fedex or USPS. So if those two won’t pay Shipsaver is not going to pay either. So don’t count on getting reimbursed on anything sent via Smartpost. Fedex does give free insurance up to $100, but you can’t count on that with Smartpost because Fedex will blame the USPS and USPS will blame Fedex.
12/13/2016 at 1:37 pm #8035mayberrymom24boysParticipant
- Location: Texas
Week of Dec 5 – 11
* Total Items in Store: 456
* Items Sold: 24
* Cost of Items Sold:$55
* Total Sales: $1361.05
* Highest Price Sold: $750.00
* Average Price Sold: $56.71 (including $750 sale), $26.50 (not including $750 sale)
* Returns: 0 returns, 1 cancellation
* Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $200 give or take
* Number of items listed this week: only about 10-15
- This reply was modified 4 years, 10 months ago by mayberrymom24boys.
12/13/2016 at 2:48 pm #8053
what do you sell? what sort of thing sold for $750? it is hard to put your numbers in context when you are being so vague.
12/13/2016 at 2:59 pm #8054
i believe it was this piece of art–
but yeah, y’all gotta tell us what your highest $ items are. that’s the fun part!
12/13/2016 at 3:02 pm #8056
Just did a search for vintage eyeglasses and a lot of them have “Hot Rod” in the title description. The only thing I can think of is that they’re mostly for the horn-rimmed buddy holly (also a descriptor) style glasses that were popular in the classic Hot Rod era. Anyone have a better explanation? It’s so common, I wonder if it helps sell them at all. I guess it couldn’t hurt.
I feel like I’ve learned quite a bit researching, but I wonder what I’m missing, so I’m curious if people have any good knowledge to pass on when it comes to selling glasses. I think I have the basics down (I thought it was interesting that there are a ton of gold filled glasses out there). I have a pile of mostly vintage I need to get through sooner than later. It’s not exactly a death pile, maybe more of a zombie pile…
– Cheers all
p.s. should this be in another section? it seems like podcast comments continue to be the big catchall.
12/13/2016 at 3:05 pm #8057
it’s fine if it’s here, but we do have a Selling On Ebay section, that might be a good place for research questions–
12/15/2016 at 8:35 am #8152
Dylan, to learn about selling glasses follow Dorky Thrifters on Youtube.
12/13/2016 at 3:38 pm #8063cebanakParticipant
- Location: South Carolina
Jay you make a good point about selling $5 items, after fees its only like making $3-4, and that really sucks if I only sell that one thing and then have to go get it out of storage. I guess I need to just put those items in the “yard sale” pile and just donate them if they don’t move quickly, its like I got them for free anyway since they usually come from a box/table lot so unless I’m gonna open a thrift store I don’t think I will keep them around.
I think over the holiday I need to purge the cheap junk and just make $10 my lowest limit.
I know you guys talked about your storage situation in the podcast and I wanted to say I was looking into the same thing. Currently I pay $125 a month for a 10×10 at a storage place a few miles from my house, that is as cheap as it gets around here. I think I could get a metal shed for $300 or so and it will paid for itself in 3 months but I might also look into getting a nicer building that I can pay on over time. It might be worth paying $100 a month for a 12×10 with a real roof for a couple of years to have my stuff located in my back yard in a good solid shed then a flimsy metal one.
12/13/2016 at 3:48 pm #8064
R&J: Future building:
There are pros and cons to this, but What if you put up a metal building or pole-barn with barn doors and a regular door and then have a big “tiny house” built to park inside, or even cheaper, a big old RV or bus that isn’t running (or 2?). Tow it in there, gut it, and build what you want inside, or use as is.
The main idea is that the tiny house on a trailer (or a bus or RV) is not a permanent structure, so you wouldn’t be taxed on it and you could still have even more storage in the area not taken up by the tiny house/mobile home. You could even build a kind of 2nd story inside the way they do in some warehouse spaces. I know this is probably not the clean aesthetic you want, but I’m just trying to think outside of the box (or in it, in this case).
The tiny house could also just be the office within the metal or pole-barn building. Another pro, is that you could make the tiny house off-grid with a mains connection option to plug into your power and water, thus avoiding the huge cost of wiring and plumbing a regular house. Come to think of it, I was assuming you would have to/want to have the tiny house on the concrete pad in the structure, but you could just park it outside and still have the whole structure for storage. Well, just some thoughts off the top of my head, to give you even more to think about…
12/13/2016 at 5:20 pm #8069NancyParticipant
I sell all kinds of things like Jay and Ryanne. After thinking about it I’ve decided to offer free shipping on some first class categories like hats and tshirts. I bulk edited and added $3 to all and then added free shipping.
Before I was hesitant because of the returns issue but I just don’t get enough returns for that to stop me. I know people filter by free shipping so I’m going to try it out on some items. Maybe it will increase sales and visibility.
12/13/2016 at 8:24 pm #8076Steve ListParticipant
- Location: Richmond, Calif.
Most of my items I charged shipping on. I normally have flat rate shipping except for the larger items that I send FedEx SmartPost. When I research an item, if there are more than 5-8 listed on eBay, then I will bump up the price and use free shipping so it shows up higher in the search results. I sell mostly vintage non clothing items.
12/13/2016 at 8:44 pm #8077LizParticipant
Week of Dec 5 – 11
* Total Items in Store: 320
* Items Sold: 29
* Cost of Items Sold:$94
* Total Sales: $567.98 (ebay) + $45 (Bonanza)
* Highest Price Sold: $85 (set of Theodore Haviland dishes)
* Returns: 2 returns, (1 pair of boots for fit, another item that was damaged by FedEx Smartpost, so I refunded, rather than spin my wheels on an insurance claim)
* Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $68
COGS is a bit high, because I sold one RA item, (a Coach Pacman keychain). I probably should have returned it to the store, because I only made about $15 profit, but the store was far away. I didn’t feel like driving out there). No money lost, so whatever.
I have seen a lot of new faces in the thrifts and at the auctions. A lot of people are opening booths at the “antique” markets, (Good luck with that!). Lots of people digging through the clothing racks at Goodwill. I never noticed these guys before, but then again, I wasn’t looking for them.
I think people are freaked out about the economy tanking. My dad said before the election that no matter who won, a recession is coming. I kind of think he’s right.
What I’ve noticed with my sales is people are less likely to buy things for the sake of owning a thing. They are buying things that contribute to experiences or are utilitarian. They buy fabric, embroidery kits, or replacement parts for their grandma’s stand mixer. All the quirky hard carved wood sculptures I bought? Not moving at all. But the fabric and replacement glass Pyrex lids sell out quickly.
12/13/2016 at 11:37 pm #8085TiffyKayeParticipant
I enjoy the conversations about what types of items to scavenge and how the market changes. I have been a fairly consistent yet lower volume seller for more than 10 years, and in the last year or so I shifted from my primary focus on clothing. Geography had a lot to do with my decision. As a suburban Omahan, the time I was spending sourcing quality clothing was probably triple that of sellers in more densely populated and higher income areas of the country. After having three kids I decided my time was just too valuable. I’ve been surprised to find how much I enjoy the challenge of finding different items, and after I took some calculated risks that paid off, my confidence as a seller has definitely grown. I won’t abandon clothing because I still feel the profit margin is high enough. I am just happy that in a world as complicated as the one we live in, I am able to make some money doing something that is relatively low key and allows me to spend time listening to podcasts.
12/15/2016 at 3:24 pm #8170
I agree that clothes are still a good category to sell in. But it’s just becoming tougher. If you have a good eye and scavenge special, high quality items, there are plenty of customers for that.
But if you made a living selling modern Levis jeans and Polo shirts, the price is dropping out from under those sellers.
12/14/2016 at 11:16 am #8102mayberrymom24boysParticipant
- Location: Texas
Omfug, my apologies. This was my first time to post numbers here. Not intending to be vague. Yes, as Ryanne said, it was a piece of art. A framed litho by Bernard Buffet. As far as what I sell…pretty much anything that will turn a profit. Clothes and shoes are my bread and butter, but I also sell household items, both current and vintage, linens, framed art, collectibles, occasionally electronics, you name it. Haven’t really gotten into furniture much, as I don’t have the storage to keep it around. I think the largest item I ever shipped was a Stokke high chair.
12/14/2016 at 3:00 pm #8125
I was interested to hear the opening comments in your podcast today. I am a small part time seller (going on 7 years). In the past I had always felt that you get what you put into it when it comes to eBay. My effort has grown, and my sales reflected it. This is the first year where I have not felt this was true for me. I have worked harder on eBay than ever, I listed more items than any previous year, I consider myself pretty skilled at sourcing…yet my sales numbers are just barely what they were last year. I have a higher number of unsold inventory items than I have ever had in the past. I am sensing that supply is starting to exceed demand (even in used items) and I’m getting a bit worried as I look to the future. Jay and Ryanne, how are you overcoming this? You are currently putting a big investment in your business with the new storage building and even contemplating making it a much bigger investment than you originally thought. While at the same time acknowledging that your sales are officially down from 2015 and your active (unsold) inventory is continuing to grow. How do you look toward the future and feel that this is a good time to make such an investment? Do you feel that it is an up and down economy thing and the coming years will improve? Or do you agree with the listener you mentioned that said it may get worse before it gets better? I am asking this question sincerely as I try to figure out my own plan for the coming new year.
12/14/2016 at 8:36 pm #8138
As we said in the podcast, its a war of attrition: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attrition_warfare
The sellers who survive will be those who have a varied inventory and can weather out the sellers who are willing to dump inventory for pennies on the dollar. Eventually these sellers will realize the numbers dont make sense for them.
I also agree that all those Youtube haul videos have probably helped create the frenzy. Someone shows off the cheap clothes they got at Goodwill and puts an unrealistic potential profit of what they “could” sell the items for. So someone thinks they can do the same thing until they actually start to list. When items don’t sell right away, they start lowering the price just to get rid of them. I can’t imagine they sell for very long. But this scenario gets multiplied thousands of time. Thats a lot of inventory dumped on the market.
It’s all cyclical. If we continue to offer interesting items, the right people will find us.
12/14/2016 at 3:10 pm #8126
Are sales numbers down for multi-channel sellers? Eventually, I’d like to learn etsy and have everything on ebay cross-listed there. I know OMFUG does some of this, but not sure who else. There seems to be a quite a few here who sell on amazon and ebay. Are their numbers down as well?
12/14/2016 at 9:44 pm #8141michael dParticipant
I am generally up, eBay more than any others because that is what I concentrated on growing this year. Two weeks left and I am hoping those numbers keep shifting up.
Amazon 5.5% Up
Ebay 19% Up
Alibris 8.3% Up
Half 3.5% Down
Barnes and Nobles 4.3% Down
Just started Bonanza this year, will see how it compares next year.
12/15/2016 at 2:34 pm #8169
Thanks for taking the time to do that.
12/14/2016 at 3:11 pm #8127
My numbers for the week of 12/4/16:
Total Items in Store: 71
Items Sold: 28
Cost of Items Sold: $55
Total Sales: $690
Highest Price Sold: $71 – Doll
Average Price Sold: $24.64
12/14/2016 at 8:29 pm #8137
Do I assume you do auctions? Selling 28 items in a week with less than 100 items in your store is pretty amazing.
12/15/2016 at 9:41 am #8156
Thank you, Jay. I do a majority of BIN but the main categories I sell in do well at auction this time of year (even just 3 years ago they did well at auction year-round, but that has changed). I sell a lot of pre-owned toys, seasonal items, boots, and a mix of other things. Right now about 20% of my active items are auctions, but of the 28 sold last week 17 of them were auctions and 11 were BIN. Of course those numbers reflect the holiday buying season for me so they are higher than average but I generally do 3 inventory turns per year. I am a long time listener, and I really enjoy your podcast and listening to your philosophies on things. My business model is a bit different than yours, though. My focus has always leaned towards finding things with a high sell-through rate. So a large inventory has never been my goal. So far it’s worked for me as a part-time seller with limited storage space. I can’t help but find this years numbers a bit discouraging for me, to have worked harder for about the same outcome.
12/14/2016 at 8:25 pm #8135teh_longinatorParticipant
- Location: Toronto, Ontario
Week: December 4 to December 10 2016
Total Items in Store: 197
Items Sold: 5
Cost of Items Sold: $31.02
Total Sales: $91.23
Profit (After fees): $10.67
Highest Price Sold: $27
Average Price Sold: $18.25
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $86.66
Number of items listed this week: 94
I’m just a scrub right now, but I’m starting to make a steady $10-20 per week profit. Getting there, I guess. Was looking at Amazon, but you need a tax number, so I’ll wait until I figure all this out.
12/14/2016 at 8:28 pm #8136
We all started at ten beginning like you. You’ll get better and better at spotting the valuable items. Its a process.
12/15/2016 at 1:17 pm #8163trextradingcoParticipant
I’m worried about the glut of clothing sellers. These people will burn out. Brands come in & out of style. Prices go up & down. A really think a lot of the people who shop at the bins are getting lower quality items.
12/18/2016 at 8:43 am #8292
Regarding the price drops in clothes, I just experienced this last night. I’ve been buying the nice Nike Golf Dri fit polos off and on for a couple months. They seemed to be good for a $25 sale pretty consistently. When I researched prices last night I was shocked to see that many of these shirts were selling for $9.99 or less! Maybe the time of year is contributing, but that is definitely a steep drop off. I still listed them at $24.99 and we’ll see what happens. I’m not in any hurry.
12/25/2016 at 11:50 pm #8788Twisted ThrifterParticipant
It’s harder to get attention in women’s clothing listings for sure. I’m going to mostly avoid sourcing women’s clothing. I wonder how the teen from ep. 268 is doing with clothing nowadays. I remember that she was doing her sourcing at a goodwill outlet.
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