12/18/2016 at 6:39 pm #8363
Last week we had a discussion on then forum about how free shipping might be a accelerator for sales. We’ve always been clear that we find the concept
[See the full post at: Scavenger Life Episode 289: Our Free Shipping Experiment]
12/18/2016 at 6:57 pm #8366Brian Treasures from GrandmasParticipant
- Location: Hoboken, NJ
I too have things very light/easy to pack listed with Free Shipping. Those things usually sell in waves, but just like anything else in many of our shops there’s little to no rhyme or reason. I’ve found that even with charging shipping, people will make offers to either give them free shipping or make an offer that with shipping it equals an even total.
Week Dec 11-17, 2016
Total Items in Store: 745
Items Sold: 22 (1 offline)
Cost of Items Sold: $70
Total Sales: $594.18
Highest Price Sold: $70 (Masonic bible)
Average Price Sold: $27.01
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
Number of items listed this week: 0
Another strong week in sales volume. A lot of records and smalls – perhaps white elephant/secret santa office gifts? The Masonic bible I mentioned on the Wednesday what sold post – was dated & named, which I think made it a bit more attractive to blank editions currently listed. Sold a WWII era drafting kit to someone who works on the same street as me in NYC, so we met in my lobby and she paid cash. Nice little $50 sale made easy without shipping or paying fees.
Still have my store on auto-pilot while our master bathroom/bedroom renovation continues. Progress is being made – new electrical & plumbing done; but a lot more to be done – tiling, fixtures, and then finishing touches. Fingers crossed there are no more snags (some unexpected plumbing issues put us a couple days behind schedule) and we’re done by the end of next week (12/30); but even worst case scenario shouldn’t be done later than 1/6.
12/19/2016 at 6:33 am #8384
We just finished our plumbing too. But we still have a long way to go.
12/18/2016 at 7:56 pm #8369
Total Items in Store: 387–etsy, 210–>ebay
Items Sold: 21 (11 on etsy, 10 on ebay)
Total Sales: $741 ($386 on etsy, $355 on etsy)
Highest Price Sold: $95 (cigar cutter)
Average Price Sold: $35
12/18/2016 at 7:58 pm #8370AnnaParticipant
Total items in store: 230
Items sold: 8
Cost of Items Sold: $31 thrift + $29 retail
Total Sales: $216.88 ebay + $60 craigslist
Avg. price: $34.61
Highest price item: $79.99 Burton ski jacket
International sales: 0
Money spent on new inventory: $0
Number of items listed: 1
An average week for me. I haven’t been listing and I have been removing some of my old low value items.
12/18/2016 at 8:20 pm #8371BryanParticipant
Another strong week with around 130 sold items for about $4,700. Funny thing is we actually made more money last year than this year, but our holiday sales have been better than ever. I didn’t work for around 3 months at the beginning of the year, so it’s not too surprising that we made less.
We tried free shipping a long time ago, and other than losing us money, it didn’t change our sales much.
12/18/2016 at 8:47 pm #8372teh_longinatorParticipant
- Location: Toronto, Ontario
Numbers for Week of December 11th to 17th:
Total Items in Store: 242
Items Sold: 2
Cost of Items Sold: $20.96
Total Sales: $35.98
Total Profit: $10.50
Highest Price Sold: $29.99 (TMNT Action Figure)
Average Price Sold: $17.99
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $297.25
Number of items listed this week: 10
Still super new, but hey, at least I made my profit quota of $10. Gonna see if I can’t do $15 next week. 🙂
Purchased a bunch of Star Wars Toys I should be able to double my money on (It’ll probably backfire), and some decent clothing this week. Just trying to ramp my inventory up to 450 items.
12/19/2016 at 6:35 am #8385
It’s all about experiments. As long as you get inventory cheap enough and are patient, you can really never lose.
12/18/2016 at 10:20 pm #8374spinachetrParticipant
Week Dec 11-17, 2016
Total Items in Store: 13.319
Items Sold: 124
Cost of Items Sold: $17.36
Total Sales: $866.63
Highest Price Sold: $56 1940’s Shelton CT Commodore Hull Bridge
Average Price Sold: $6.99
Returns/Lost Cards: 0
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $62 (continuing with Goodwill flipping experiment)
Number of items listed this week: 10
I talked about it in my interview, but I ship 99% of my items for free and build the shipping costs into the selling price. For the most part my shipping costs for a normal postcard is about $.45. To be competitive it makes sense for me to offer free shipping…….until you consider that I’ve sold over 5,000 items so far this year at $.45 a pop ($2,250 in free shipping). I would have to sell over 320 cards to make up that amount of free shipping. Might have to try an experiment and charge $.50 for shipping.
12/19/2016 at 6:36 am #8386
I assume you sell a lot of rare postcards. Since there’s little competition, the Free Shipping is really just a perk. A collector would most likely pay shipping if you have the only one of that card.
12/19/2016 at 12:10 pm #8416
why not make them pay for shipping? .50 is insignificant–unless you are selling volume and absorbing that cost.
12/18/2016 at 10:40 pm #8375The Thrift RaiderParticipant
Just a random non ebay related question, are you guys planning on making the rentals “smart”? As in making everything in the house responsive to Alexa (Amazon), etc. to run lights, thermostats, etc. I don’t listen to your other podcast so I don’t know if you’ve discussed it. I’ve been hoping to get an Echo Dot for Christmas and thought it would be cool to have everything in the house voice activated.
12/19/2016 at 6:37 am #8387
I’ve thought about it, but I think the technology needs to be a more commonplace. We don’t want renters to come to our place and be confused.
12/19/2016 at 8:01 am #8392
i agree with jay, it’s stressful enough to make sure people know how to use the coffee maker and trundle bed. we’ve thought about getting smart thermostats, mainly so we could control them via our phones mostly when people leave. that way if we can’t come clean right away, we can turn the AC/heat down which saves a lot of money. we have two thermostats, one on each floor. the average price no matter the brand (nest, ecobee, etc) is about $250. so that would be $500 out the door. i think we’ll make that happen eventually, but for now we’re sticking to old fashioned manual house.
12/20/2016 at 9:42 pm #8523
Walmart had the Nest 3rd Gen for $99 on black friday. Since its not a common item on most people’s shopping list there was a small pyramid of them left over the next day at our local Walmart. When I was at Luray shortly after Thanksgiving I asked if they had any but they had sold out.
I would like to link the door locks and thermostat at the cabin so I could control them from home. But, still no internet at cabin, fighting it off as long as possible. We only lost one renter this year from lack of internet and that weekend quickly rebooked.
12/20/2016 at 9:58 pm #8525
Total Items in Store: 8325
Items Sold: 174
Cost of Items Sold: $325
Total Sales: $3491.92
Highest Price Sold: $110 Quilted Bootsx2
Average Price Sold: $19.72
Returns: 12 (Clothing and broke HO train)
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $65
Number of items listed this week: 585 (All DVDS and Books)
Probably the last good week of Christmas sales, it started dying off Sunday night and has been a slow decline throughout Monday and today. A few weeks back I bought 100 brand new boots that were donated to a local charity for $5 apiece. Someone bought 2 sets for $110 and then an additional set for $60. Sold a few others for $55-60 to other customers. Sold a Xbox 360 set for $65, bought it for $10 at a thrift store, didn’t have controllers but I have buckets of those. Sold a firefighter helmet for $60.
Bought four boxes of older cell phone cases, mostly otterbox for Iphone and Samsung phones, from a charity for $20. Counted 120 cases and some chargers, so not a bad deal will just take awhile to sell. Also bought a few more game systems, full-size bed for $20 (going to the booth), and one of those bike tow behind child carriers.
I offer free shipping on light clothing, replacement board game parts, and small appliance parts. I just build it into my price so I don’t lose money. If it gets sent back I just eat the few dollars as a loss and move on.
12/18/2016 at 10:49 pm #8376ErikParticipant
Total Items in Store: 862
Items Sold: 39
Cost of Items Sold: $271
Total Sales: $1,402.56
Highest Price Sold: $129 Peal & Co / Brooks Brothers Oxfords
Average Price Sold: $35.96
I do not usually do free shipping but one buyer convinced me to offer her free shipping on an item, and it ended up not fitting her so I had to eat the original shipping…Also there is a physiological thing that happens when someone is selling a pair of shoes for 49.99 free shipping and another person selling the same shoes for 39.99 plus shipping…to me 39.99 sounds better.
But A ton of people do it and recommend it…so I dont know.
12/19/2016 at 6:38 am #8388
Understood. that’s why we’re doing the experiment of free shipping. If you think it’s a good idea, just try it and see what you’re numbers are like.
We’re starting our second week and so far no big surge in sales.
12/19/2016 at 12:19 am #8378mayberrymom24boysParticipant
- Location: Texas
Pretty slow sales week for me. I like my bare minimum to be $100 / day in sales. Several days below $50, things finally picked up a good bit today, though.
Total Items in Store: 467
Items Sold: 24
Cost of Items Sold: $65
Total Sales: $606.59
Highest Price Sold: $60 Carraig Donn NWT Women’s Irish Aran Fisherman Sweater
Average Price Sold: $25.27
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $64
Number of items listed this week: 26
One huge sigh of relief. A few weeks ago, I made the biggest mistake of my entire eBay career. I switched the labels on 2 Fedex packages. First time *ever* to switch labels. The worst part is that one of those was a $900 tapestry (biggest sale to date) that was supposed to go to Australia. I couldn’t have picked a worse transaction to botch. Instead of the tapestry, my Australian buyer received 2 vintage paint by number Collie Dog pieces that were supposed to go to California. I won’t go into detail here, but might post the whole saga separately this week, especially now that it’s all wrapped up and there was a happy ending. The tapestry finally made it to Australia, and the buyer is a happy camper, and I didn’t have to refund $900. So…I guess I can’t complain about $606.59 in sales. Things could have been much worse.
12/19/2016 at 6:40 am #8389
We’ve accidentally switched packages before. As long as you reach out to the buyers and admit the mistake, most times they’ll ship items to each other. Glad it worked out.
12/19/2016 at 8:41 am #8394
as jay said, i’ve done this before (on some $20 shoes). the buyers were very nice and shipped to each other and i paid their shipping costs. that being said, if i had a $900 international package going out, i’d be sure that that was the only thing i was packaging and labeling at the moment. actually i only do my packing/labeling one by one. even when we have 100 boxes to do, i pack one, label that one, 100 times til i’m done. it takes much longer but it soothes my paranoia of sending something to the wrong place.
12/20/2016 at 3:11 pm #8501
Oh, that’s so awful! I recently mixed up 2 pcs of jewelry. One went to Germany and one to California. Fortunately they kindly returned the pieces so I could send them to the right person. I’m so glad it worked out for you!
12/19/2016 at 7:05 am #8390lizlangsteinerParticipant
Items in store 1100
Items sold 20
Total Sales 712.83
Highest Price Sold $150.00 Montgomery Ward Lined Drapes (4 Panels NIP)
Ave Price 35.64
Intl Sales –
Returns – 1
Items Listed 14
Spent on new merchandise 25.00
Record breaking week in terms of the number of transactions. Sales have been steady since Thanksgiving. Yesterday I sold 268.22. According to my seller hub I am up 39.6% compared to the same period a year ago. Inventory this time last year was 700 items today I have 1100.
Friday Dec 16 I was on my way to my storage unit when I hit a sheet of black ice. Totaled my Honda CRV thankful I was not physically hurt but now I am on the hunt for a vehicle?
Thought I would share something interesting. My mail carrier is reselling the Amazon Fire Stick. He jail breaks the stick & loads it with programs. Check him out dave870. Dave shared his numbers from his iphone with me $26,000.00 in 60 days.
12/19/2016 at 9:51 am #8398
Hi Liz, glad you are ok. We are a Subaru family and very happy with the value and safety features. We also have a minivan, and that topic has been discussed here before – very versatile but not cool and kind of a pain to back up in the City so you get a bit more car for the buck. We got a really good deal on a repo. Good luck!
12/21/2016 at 1:15 pm #8572Djett83Participant
- Location: Northern VA (Warrenton)
We’re also a Subaru Outback family. We’ve had our outback since 1999 (knock wood). It is great during the winter although in black ice it usually doesn’t matter what you’re driving it will still slide. I’m glad you’re ok. We recommend Subaru as our ‘winter’ vehicle. We also have a Prius but that’s definitely not a snow car.
12/19/2016 at 10:20 am #8410
Yes, glad to hear that you are okay. Black ice is my worst driving fear.
I have started looking into Subaru as well. I currently have a VW Jetta Wagon Diesel that is under the buyback program for the emissions scandal. I plan to sell it back in April, but won’t need to buy a new to me car until February of 2018 so I’ll be continuing to look for a deal. I have heard great things about quality and safety of the Subaru brand and I know they are known for going 200K+ miles. My car has 150k on it now so I need something that keeps going.
12/19/2016 at 12:53 pm #8418lizlangsteinerParticipant
You are in Southern CA? I will be in Ocean Beach from Jan 3 Feb 3. Would love to meet up?
12/19/2016 at 4:35 pm #8428
Hi – Love San Diego and used to live there but I’m up now in Santa Barbara at the Northern end of So Cal, sort of considered Central Cali almost. Have fun if you go picking down there. I’ve written before I like to hit the thrift cluster around the Balboa/Rosecrans area in Point Loma.
12/19/2016 at 8:50 am #8395MattParticipant
You talked in this episode about some high dollar items that you sold (Quimper, firewood holder). I know that USPS priority covers up to $50 insurance but when do you pay for additional insurance on the shipment?
I think I could ship a small Quimper piece packed well to prevent breaking but sending a ~$200 breakable piece uninsured might give me anxiety.
What kinds of things and at what price points do you typically spring for shipping insurance?
12/19/2016 at 10:16 am #8407
if you are a top rated seller, USPS Priority covers $100, which is nice. but then i cover the rest with ShipSaver through the ebay 3rd party app (google it). basically i have been insuring anything $75 an up as of late.
12/19/2016 at 9:53 am #8400TerriParticipant
Approximate # of Items in Store: 285
# of Items Sold: 22
Average Cost of Items Sold: $7.73
Total Sales: $1,352.22
Highest Price Sold: $175 Fur Jacket
Average Price Sold: $61.46
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $4.00
Number of items listed this week: 25
If only it could be winter in Ebayland, but not outside my window, all year long. LOL. Sold a mix of sweaters, coats and boots this week. Sales remained brisk and I continued to list from my backlog of inventory on hand. Except for a few that are air drying right now, all my sweaters are listed. Finished coats a while ago. Also tackled and finished ski pants this week (HATE listing those). The only exclusively winter stuff I have left to list is 5-7 winter scarves, which I’ll probably work on today.
12/19/2016 at 10:05 am #8403
Total Items in Store: 348
Items Sold: 10 (1 Facebook)
Cost of Items Sold: $16 (used) + $113 (new RA)
Total Sales: $423
Highest Price Sold: $166 (Quantity 3 Anthropologie cow butter dishes @ 1:00 in the morning. I confirmed. 🙂 Paid $66 earlier this month on sale.)
Average Price Sold: $40
Returns & Int’l Sales: 0 – International sales have completely dropped off. Mine were mostly Canada and UK.
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $25
Number of items listed this week: 4
Sick all week, personal life stress, and not much listing. Have a bunch of Christmas stuff that didn’t sell or went unlisted (sigh). Week was just ok, but the big sale was helpful. Lots of buyers with zero feedback, which seems to suggest pinning is working.
The Hatchimals are still around. They released some into stores this month and other Ebayers dropped prices to unload while I was not paying attention. The Facebook group totally called it – priced to sell and 1.5x their $ in November – and I think at least one person here on the forum expected that too. Luckily, I only bought two for my experiment and plan to donate them if they don’t move express delivery even though I can maybe still double my $.
I don’t offer free shipping but plan to rework my older listings of new items in the new year in accordance with my suspicion that Ebay is placing an emphasis on freshness and my (so far) positive experience with Smartpost.
Happy holidays trash elves!
12/19/2016 at 10:07 am #8404AshanaParticipant
- Location: Illinois
This is my first week of “officially” being an ebay seller. I got my first sale on Saturday, and I couldn’t be happier.
I got laid off of my job on the 9th. I decided it was time to start busting my ass for myself than to keep on busting it for other people, with no payoff. I have so much more to list… but I am also worried I don’t have enough… I realized I have less than I thought. It’s difficult, it’s snowing like crazy and I’m new to the area. I am excited for this coming summer, but hopefully I can pull this off through the winter.
Week Dec 11-17, 2016
Total Items in Store: 75
Items Sold: 1
Cost of Items Sold: $16.58
Total Sales: $16.58
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
Number of items listed this week: 68
12/19/2016 at 10:09 am #8405amazingtasteParticipant
So funny to hear you guys are trying free shipping again. As soon as I said on here that I hate free shipping (still stand by that) somethings happened that got us thinking maybe we should try it again. So, we turned back on the free shipping. I am back to yelling I hate free shipping! The issue we have found is that when you have BO on your items you get so many more offers that you just can’t take because of the free shipping.
Anyhow ended up being a solid week here. It has been a roller coaster though. We had a day where we didn’t even break $200 and the very next day we were over $1000. Just goes to show that you can’t get discouraged about one bad day.
We are working on 2017 goals here. Would love to hear you guy’s goals for 2017!
Have a great one!
12/19/2016 at 10:10 am #8406
I’ll be adding numbers from a second store I started in October. I wanted to see about selling only T-shirts and other casual shirts since they are easy to source and list. My sales haven’t been great, but the store is still small. I was thinking I’d be listing more, but I had to pause inventory purchases while we finish the work on the house. I had two sales this week so I think it is time to start adding the store numbers since it adds to my bottom line. All my shirts under a pound are free shipping and my goal is an average $10 net profit per shirt. I figure this will need volume to be successful.
Store numbers (main/t-shirt)
Items in Store: 175/80
Items Sold: 5/2
Total item Sales: $157.47/$31.98
Shipping paid by Buyer: $14.84/$0 (4 total items free shipping)
Net Profit: $85.45/$21.21 Total= $106.66
Returns: 0 – One outstanding partial refund and or return, but will likely be after Christmas. Currently in the customer’s court.
International sales: 0
New items listed: 2/5
Spent on new inventory: $0 – working on current unlisted inventory
Interesting to hear about your experiment! I think the free shipping debate will always be a debate because it is so difficult for sellers who have single items to determine any effect free shipping has on sales because there is no “control item” to base results on. I’m happy to add to the discussion by running the experiment on same items. I know there have been many studies done on the effect of free shipping on consumer behavior, but once again, I think it is for common and abundant items and fits more with RA, but the psychology behind buying behavior should at least be considered. Personally, I think offering free shipping isn’t an all or nothing thing and needs to be used when it makes sense. I also don’t think it is a magic sales booster, but can lower the buying threshold for some buyers who may have initially passed by the listing with shipping. I think I’m going to dive into the eBay provided metrics of listing impressions for the pencils and see if I can determine if the two listings have different impressions and search results. At the end of the day, it will come down to making an individual decision for your business and items will still sell with or without free shipping.
On other things, I opened up a third account, but not a store, to sell items that can be mailed first class without tracking. I am in no rush to get items up since I am not paying fees. I have a good number of post cards now that I’ll start on that account. I’ll move over to a store when sales justify the cost. Once the house it done, I’ll have more free time to refocus on growing my eBay sales.
12/19/2016 at 12:14 pm #8417
Just realized I missed adding some of the fun numbers—
main store highest priced item: $110 Renato 10 slot watch display case
T-shirt shop: Reebok Capitals Hockey Shirt $16.99
average price: $31.49/$15.99
12/19/2016 at 10:19 am #8409TerriParticipant
Haven’t listened to this week’s Podcast yet, but I wanted to comment on free shipping.
Jay and Ryanne, just my opinion, but I’d be surprised if any meaningful conclusions can be drawn from your experiment, no matter how long it runs. Since the subject is currently being discussed on the podcast this week, I’ll copy some of what I said in the freight thread a couple weeks ago.
The problem for a lot of us, not just for free shipping, but for any differences in listing methods, is coming up with meaningful results when we sell unique items, rather than either multiples of identical items, or items that are competing apples to apples with other sellers.
Despite the majority falling into one general category (CSA), my inventory is always changing and my sales swing so wildly from week to week that there’s just no way to come up with valid results from a basic experiment like rolling the cost of shipping into the item cost.
During any discussion of listing practices with people who carry a variety of items, I generally dismiss 90% of the reports that contend “I (* fill in the blank) and haven’t noticed any difference in sales”.
*started free shipping
*stopped free shipping
*started including measurements
*spend a lot of time on my photos
*stopped editing photos
*use a mannequin
*throw stuff on the floor
12/19/2016 at 10:22 am #8411JasonKParticipant
- Location: Florida
On the topic of free shipping. I sell “most” of my video game stuff with free shipping. Most of it is under 8oz so just like Ryanne said with your experiment items I know the cost will be $2.60 to anyplace in the country. I wouldn’t call these commodity items since they are mostly vintage and out of print games but there are quite a few of them on eBay. In the video game category free shipping is very common so I mostly do it just to stay competitive and factor the cost into my profits when I’m sourcing for items to sell.
I have been very tempted to try free shipping on more items but its so tricky to factor the cost into your price because a person who lives near me would have a much lower shipping cost than somebody on the other side of the country in California. I may still try it and just kind of split the difference on the cost. I don’t find a lot of truly one-of-a-kind things so I’m typically competing with a decent number of other sellers on all my items.
12/19/2016 at 10:22 am #8412BethGreenParticipant
- Location: Ohio
My numbers for the week of 12/11/16:
Total Items in Store: 60
Items Sold: 24 (7 Auctions/17 BIN)
Cost of Items Sold: $72
Total Sales: $708
Highest Price Sold: $100 – Talking Ariel
Average Price Sold: $29.50 (+ shipping)
I don’t believe in free shipping unless you are shipping light 1st Class or Flat Rate envelope type items. Many sellers who offer free shipping say they add the cost of shipping to the furthest destination into the price of their item . That is not logical to me. Unless you have a truly rare item, this method makes your item a better deal to the furthest states and overpriced to the ones close to you. So more of the $ you collect from the buyer goes to the carrier and to eBay for FVFs on shipping than would stay in your pocket.
Holiday sales continued for me this week. My inventory is low, right where I like it at year end. I’d love to have under 50 items as I start 2017. I expect a dramatic drop off in sales though because I won’t be listing this week and possibly not next either…we have out of town holiday plans + 2 of my 3 kids have Birthdays during the week of Christmas. Enjoy the Holidays everyone!
12/19/2016 at 10:36 am #8413BGBParticipant
Total items in store: 209
Items sold: 16
Cost of Items Sold: $70
Total Sales: $561.51
Avg. price: $35.09
Highest price item: $150 1987 Apple Mac Superdrive
Money spent on new inventory: $30
While the Mac sold (and is included in this week’s numbers) I had to open an unpaid item case on it yesterday. A new buyer gave me a best offer (that I took), but in the note he said “This is my only offer. Shipping is already way too much.” I think he’s got buyers remorse and I highly doubt I’ll see that money.
(Side note: of course shipping is a lot. It’s 30 lbs of computer heading from Kentucky to California.)
Jay, have you looked into book groups at your local library? I’m a librarian, so I feel obligated to preach the gospel of free books and community support when I get the chance. Every library system is different (particularly in more rural areas) so they might not have anything you’d want to participate in, but it’s always worth a look.
I’m still relatively new to selling on eBay so I might be missing some subtleties y’all have picked up on (and if so please tell me so I won’t keep throwing away money), but I offer free shipping on 90% of my items.
My reasoning is that small things/things that easily fit in flat rate boxes make it really easy to know exactly how much it’ll cost to ship, so I just build that into my selling price. I was under the impression that I’d get some of that shipping cost recouped in my final value fees since I’m a top rated seller, but if that shipping money is collected separately I’d miss out on that small amount.
So, for instance, let’s say I want to sell an item for $10, and I know it’ll take $3 for postage and shipping supplies, I would be better off selling it as $13 over $10 + $3 because I’d get to shave a couple of cents off fees, plus I can snag the eyeballs of people that search for free shipping, plus I get the better search ranking since eBay favors free shippers. (Hypothetically favors free shippers? I’ve heard this, but I don’t remember if that’s 100% accurate or conjecture.)
Plus if my price is such that it accounts for, say, a medium flat rate box for shipping, but the buyer isn’t far away, I just ship it out regular calculated priority and I save a couple of dollars.
12/20/2016 at 12:21 am #8456SimonParticipant
- Location: San Francisco Bay Area
The flip side of your theory on the benefits of free shipping is that if you’re selling your item for $13 with free shipping and I’m selling mine for $10 plus shipping of $3, some people may think of my item as cheaper than yours.
I honestly don’t think it makes much of a difference one way or the other and you’d actually need to be a high volume seller of a single item with both choices listed at the same time to ever know. Different items (with different markets and different competitors) are going to sell differently depending on the shipping charged so if you’re selling a bunch of different things like most of us here I dont think you’d ever be able to prove the effectiveness of one option or the other.
12/19/2016 at 11:41 am #8414Part Time PickerParticipant
One quick thing on diving in the recycling bins at the dump. They probably don’t want you to do it because you are taking money from them. Most municipalities sell the recyclables. I dumpster dive sometimes but I won’t generally do recycling dumpsters because they are an income stream for someone.
12/19/2016 at 11:42 am #8415SimonParticipant
- Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Here are my numbers for the week:
Total Items in Store: 1335
Items Sold: 37
Total Sales: $753.09
Cost of Items Sold: $61.15
Average Price Sold: $20.35
Average Cost of Item: $1.65
Highest Price Item Sold: $49.95 Mare Island Pictorial History (1940s)
Number of items listed this week: 70
Average age of items in store (in days since listing): 198
Average number of days between listing and selling this week: 77
Median age of sales (in days, between listing and selling): 54
Sell-through rate: 2.77%
# of Hats Sold: 21
It turned out to be a pretty good week. The weekend was busier than normal and that got my sales numbers a little higher than normal.
This week I also tried a free shipping experiment for a few days this week. I put all my hats on free shipping but I didn’t see more sales than normal. I think it probably only makes a difference to a small number of sales. In my case, if it boosted sales by 10% it would only add 2 sales which wouldn’t be a noticeable difference since my sales number vary by more than that from week to week anyway.
My wife is still helping me with the eBay business but she’s still content to just photograph and list hats. Every other aspect of the business is left to me. Having her list hats helps a lot but she’s not really invested in making this a business so it feels more like having a helper or employee than having a partner.
12/19/2016 at 2:32 pm #8420
INSURANCE USPS VS SHIPSAVER: What’s everybody’s experience with actual claims with USPS vs Shipsaver Insurance? I’m wondering specifically about items received broken and items never received. What’s your experience with those claims being actually paid by either of them?
12/19/2016 at 4:41 pm #8429BethGreenParticipant
- Location: Ohio
I have had one claim with USPS. Package was sent Priority Mail and was received damaged (obvious outer shipping box damage, item inside broken). I did the online claim with USPS and had my $ (declared value + shipping cost) refunded to me by check within 7 days. Easy.
I’ve had one FedEx Smartpost claim. Item was received broken by the buyer. No visible damage to the outer packaging. Forget it…The claim has to be filed by eBay to FedEx. FedEx says it’s USPS issue and USPS points you back to FedEx. The only way you will get reimbursed is if the package is so damaged FedEx won’t even deliver it. Never got any $ or any response even from the claim.
I have never used Shipsaver, but I’m not a big fan of buying unnecessary insurance. Higher dollar items are usually going Priority Mail which has $100 ins. included. I would never just automatically buy insurance for run of the mill things…you will pay more for the coverage than if you just took a loss on an occasional broken item. In 7 years of selling, I have had zero lost packages, and only the 2 broken in transit items mentioned above.
12/20/2016 at 2:57 pm #8497
Thanks, BethGreen, your experience is consistent with others I have talked with about claims. I’m gradually taking FedEx Smartpost off listings that I don’t absolutely have to have it on because they are very heavy and USPS is very costly. With my discount, USPS is usually pretty close in cost.
12/19/2016 at 3:31 pm #8421
November 6 to 12, 2016
Total sales: $1,313.84
Total # of sales: 57
November 13 to 19, 2016
Total sales: $1,462.86
Total # of sales: 61
November 20 to 26, 2016
Total sales: $1,396.5
Total # of sales: 56
November 27 to Dec 3, 2016
Total sales: $1,565.33
Total # of sales: 63
December 4 to 10, 2016
Total sales: $1,563.52
Total # of sales: 61
December 11 to 17, 2016
Total sales: $1,637.58
Total # of sales: 70
I’d love to see if free shipping has an advantage versus charged shipping and equal price shipped. I have a feeling it does since it makes sense to me that Cassini would favor free shipping.
Are you paying your helper in cash? It seems like paying them through a payroll system plus all of the tax implications seem to make it not viable for a small eBay business to have one employee.
I wonder how many of the people in this community have the tax exempt certificate? First I’ve heard of it just recently and its a savings for me of 7% on all purchases. Only needed to register for it which was $25 one time (not yearly) (your state will vary).
12/19/2016 at 3:51 pm #8423
I’m registered in my state but I do not use my tax exemption. Most of the thrift stores are not set up for it, and some will flat out refuse to do it. It also attracts an unwanted level of attention.
The only time I really would like to use it is at Home Depot or Walmart for supplies and building materials, but I never do. Those purchases are random and only a few times a year. I think I’ll set a goal for 2017 to start using my exemption.
12/19/2016 at 6:16 pm #8439
From my research, additional fees to hiring an employee is only about 15% extra of what you pay them. This includes your contribution to their FICA and Medicare. Online Payroll services are about $50/month. I guess it all depends on if you feel the person is helping you grow your business.
Yes, you can get a tex exemption from sales tax when buying inventory. But be aware that the state now knows you are a business and will expect you to pay taxes on the items you sell. They only exempt you from buying inventory because they expect to collect taxes on the sold items.
12/23/2016 at 10:35 am #8685LeeinTNParticipant
Just a thought. I had a lawn care business with a couple of employees. withholding from their check for taxes took only a minute or two. Initially there is some set up of EIN numbers and other minor items. But week to week I had printed off a spreadsheet from the IRS, just go down the side to the gross pay, across to the number of deductions, and it gave an amount to withhold. Move the money in the bank account easy peasy.
12/23/2016 at 10:47 am #8687
Yeah, it doesn’t look that complicated. Sure, it more difficult than running a cash business out of the back of your car, but it’s not rocket science.
Its interesting that when you’re a worker, it’s only logical that you expect you’re employer to play by a set of rules and provide some basic stability in return for your time/labor.
But when people become business owners, there’s a siren call to wish we were back in pre-industrial days when you could have workers with no social contract.
12/23/2016 at 10:48 am #8688
Which IRS sheet is that? Also, what percent of what you paid to your employees was your tax liability? You see, you are an example of proving that these things don’t have to be handled by a 3rd party if you are a small business. I can see a 3rd party advantage if you have dozens or hundreds of employees but not a few.
12/23/2016 at 10:52 am #8689
Hey Fred. I feel your frustration over the past weeks over the idea of paperwork around hiring an employee and paying taxes.
If you don’t want to find a local accountant to help you (which I recommend), you should just start googling.
I just google “how to hire an employee:
You can do anything yourself if you’re willing to put in the time.
12/24/2016 at 3:30 pm #8733LeeinTNParticipant
Freds, I honestly don’t remember the exact sheet number and things have probably changed since then. But I remember dreading the process ahead of time, but when I actually sat down and did some research (the internet is a wonderful thing), the process was a lot simpler than I had dreaded. Update:I just looked, it is at the end of publication 15 from the IRS. Also, Tennessee does not have a state income tax, so it was a little simpler because of that as well. Publication 15 is 70 pages long, but a majority will not apply. The table starts on page 47.
- This reply was modified 4 years, 11 months ago by LeeinTN.
12/20/2016 at 10:25 am #8465pythoneskParticipant
- Location: East TN
That’s what I was afraid of… getting on their radar.
12/19/2016 at 3:56 pm #8424
I plan to register for 2017. My state doesn’t charge sales tax on goods like clothing and shoes so it is really only the hard goods that I need it for. I just started this in 2016, and have limited sales, but I will be doing much more in 2017.
12/19/2016 at 4:47 pm #8431MDC Galleries & Fine ArtParticipant
- Location: Atlanta
We have been a sub S Corporation since 2001 and have also had a Sales Tax Exemption Certificate. I would like to bring to your attention “Resell Exemption”. Note the word “Resell”. We use our Certificate all the time for the purchase of inventory that we are going to resell. We use at all thrifts [that take them], estate sales, auctions [especially auctions] and any retail or wholesale distributor.
BUT THEY ARE NOT NO TAX Cert. They are to be used only for merchandise that you are going to resell. Each state places sales tax on items but with a cert. they will with hold that tax and the burden of collecting the tax for the state then falls of you. There is where when you resell, you then have to charge the tax and then file monthly and send it to the state. No the BIG ISSUE that is political right now is that most of us sell online and across state borders and we currently don’t then have to charge that tax, re-coup it and send it in. BUT who knows what the future holds on that topic.
If you are buying supplies for your business, like shipping, cleaning, shelving, storage stuff, anything other than for resale then you can’t use your Tax Exempt certificate and you have to pay tax on the goods bought. So in other words, tax exempt only for COGs.
Here is another tid-bit that is a downer. Once you file with your state and get a number, you then have to file a monthly report to your Dept. of Revenue and declare all of your Sales for the month. Then you have to declare how much of it is “exempt” from state sales tax. Since we sell everything we buy online the only sales that have to have state sales tax paid on them [as of this time until congress changes things or [IF] is what we sell right here in the state of Georgia.
So be-prepared that as you move into the world of operating like a real business for all the extra administrative chores that come along with it. So think hard if you buy enough and would save enough to make the hassle of filing 12 monthly Dept. of Revenue reports, listing all your monthly sales, them subtracting all that are exempt, then shopwing and paying the state tax you collected on it to your state. So far this year we have only paid about $15 sales tax to GA but had to file 12 reports. And if you are late, there is a $30 penalty. All because we have a Resell Tax Exempt Certificate.
Just food for thought mike at MDC Galleries in Atlanta
- This reply was modified 4 years, 11 months ago by MDC Galleries & Fine Art.
12/19/2016 at 3:44 pm #8422
Total Items in Store: 631
Items Sold: 20
Cost of Items Sold: $137
Total Sales: $660
Highest Price Sold: $79.99 – Lalaloopsy easy bake oven ($25 RA purchase)
Average Price Sold: $33
Average Profit: $26.15
FBA items sold: 7
Total FBA sales: $173.84
FBA COGS: $31.5
FBA Fees: $61.44
FBA Profit: $80.90
FBA Average profit: $11.56
FBA notes: I have sold most of the Retail arbitrage toys already on FBA. I still have a few items in quantity that I don’t think will rebound in time for Christmas unless something drastic happens. It seems everyone is tanking the price today for fear of getting stuck with product.
I did sell 4 books this week for $63 in profit. For those of you who fear the long term storage fee, think of it this way: Those 4 books just covered the LTSF of over 100 other books.
As for ebay, I’m working hard to list my coats and jacket backlog. The good news: I have help!!! My wife decided to come on board this weekend. She takes great pictures, and she has agreed to take photos of 5 or so items a day if I lay them out for her and create the drafts beforehand. I’m very much looking forward to getting her more invested in the business so we can be true business partners. It’s a great thing to go into business with your best friend.
12/20/2016 at 7:39 pm #8521
Retro, I am so happy to hear that your wife has also become your partner. Good for both of you! Supporting each other in important interests makes for a happy marriage.
12/19/2016 at 6:33 pm #8440annabel52Participant
Just my 2cents, but I absolutely hate free shipping. If you sell a f/s item and it gets returned you eat the shipping costs. I know, cost of doing business, but I still don’t like it. The answer I want to give customers who have haggled over a price then they want free shipping too is, “when was the last time you took a package to the post office and didn’t pay any shipping fees?” Never, so there. But I just bite my tongue and say no free shipping. If I have small items that ship first class and every other similar listing has free shipping then I do also. But I build the cost into the sales price.
Putting items on sale. Don’t like that either and don’t do that either. I think I have only had 2 sales since I have had a store. I didn’t see any jump in sales so I decided I didn’t want to have sales. When I get questions from buyers about when is it going on “sale” I always answer that I try to offer reasonable prices in line with other similar items online. Sometimes they buy, sometimes they don’t. Funny thing is that some shoppers who get their feathers ruffled with NO free shipping will come back in a few days and buy the item. If you have an item that someone wants and if its priced fairly and has a shipping cost they will buy it.
As always love the podcast and listen faithfully. Have a safe and happy holiday. Enjoy your break from ebay and the remodel.Get your second wind for the new year.
12/19/2016 at 7:31 pm #8443
J&R, that is SO awesome that you found all those paint by numbers for a dollar. Amazing. I recently found one at the local thrift–they are so rare–and while researching it to list I was amazed to see how much some of them sell for. In the hundreds. Not mine, but still I will always BOLO them now.
12/19/2016 at 8:23 pm #8446Steven SParticipant
- Location: South Dakota
Dec 11-17 2016
• Total Items in Store: 714
• Items Sold: 17 eBay 1 TrueGether
• International 1
• Total Sales $1368 ($1338 eBay $30 TG)
• Highest Price $400 Stereo receiver
• Average Price Sold: $76
• Returns: 1 jacket for size
• Cost of Items Sold: $82
• Cost of items purchased this week $200
The auction was sparsely attended again on Saturday with temps not rising above 0.
Stayed around until they got to the furniture and picked up a few vintage chairs and a danish modern coffee table. The chairs were cheap but the coffee table cost me eighty bucks, it’s a Bassett.
I’ve advised a few potential buyers of turntables to beware of free shipping, the seller may not put in the time or effort involved in safely packing those. May apply to other fragile items as well.
12/19/2016 at 8:34 pm #8447Rydell RelicsParticipant
RR Store Week Dec 11-17, 2016
Total Items in Store: 1092
Items Sold: 14
Cost of Items Sold: $17.74
Total Sales: $449.88
Highest Price Sold: $119.99 (1926 Vogue Magazine)
Average Price Sold: $32.13
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $7
Number of items listed this week: 100
Before finding the podcast, I did free shipping on my clothing items.On J&R’s advice, I started charging and I’ve never looked back. I’m very interested in the results of the experiment, but unless the results are really convincing, I’m going to continue charging for it.
I have an interesting picking story. My former landlady, and a childhood friend’s mom, passed away a few weeks ago. She was a super cool lady with wild, eclectic taste, which is part of why we bonded. She was one of the first adults I met who appreciated weird, vintage items like I did. In accordance with her wishes, my friend had a party at her house instead of a funeral. She wanted people to take something from the house they loved as a memento; I got this awesome vintage GROCERY sign I was always fond of. But after the party, there was still a ton of cool stuff left over. Although I initially said no, my friend convinced me to go to the house and take whatever I think I can sell. I told him I felt like a vulture, but he insisted that it would help him out. So my girlfriend and I spent a few hours there on last Friday night picking. We filled up her back seat and trunk with amazing stuff. Vintage t-shirts, records, vintage nik naks, plus shields and spears from the African Masai tribe, and Navajo blankets straight from the reservation. I cleaned up, and all for free. I do plan to give him a cut, even though he says he doesn’t care about the money. And perfect timing, as my death pile is shrinking and I was running out of things to list.
OK, back to work!
12/19/2016 at 11:59 pm #8455MyCottageParticipant
Paul, sounds like quite a haul, even if made under sad circumstances. Hope you get time to share some photos with us!
12/20/2016 at 2:52 pm #8494
That lady will be glad her treasures are going to be out there and used by someone that appreciates them, and that you might make a few bucks off of them. Don’t worry, she’s cool with it!
12/20/2016 at 12:29 am #8457DeedaInSeattleParticipant
We have an eBay store and we strictly give Free USA Shipping. We do add in our costs, and it gets us eBay discounts on our fees, and is just simpler to figure in. We get the ‘Fast n’ Free’ moniker on our listings, too. Buyers seem to figure it out just fine, and I think it’s just a mental thing to get something ‘free’. It may hurt us a little when we have a Return where we might have to pay return shipping, but those are pretty rare. I have extremely detailed listings, and I have had very good luck in having any negative feedbacks taken off in the last year–eBay Customer Service just seems more responsive and supportive to Sellers nowadays. You automatically can’t be dinged on your star ratings for shipping, too. So far (cross your fingers) we have been at a 100% feedback rating. It’s been very helpful that First Class has gone up to 16oz, too. Using the Free eBay credits to buy eBay Branded Padded Envelopes (when you have an eBay Store) has helped defer shipping costs of supplies like envelopes and bubblewrap, too. (tho I usually can find it for free or very cheap) And anything we use for the business is pretty much tax-deductible anyway. We max out our Priority Flat Rate Padded Envelopes & Boxes! Our International sales seem to have gone down a bit with the raise in shipping prices, and using eBay’s Global Shipping program…we used to offer our own international shipping thru USPS Priority International and First Class Intl, but now the difference is so little we just stick to the Global program. We also like it becomes eBay’s problem once it goes out of the Kentucky Global warehouse–we can’t be dinged for delivery issues. I’ve noticed that more places in CA & FL seem to be popping up that do the international deliveries, like to Japan, Korea, and South America.
12/20/2016 at 9:57 am #8463
Week of Dec 12 – 18
* Total Items in Store: 558
* Items Sold: 11
* Cost of Items Sold: $21.05
* Total Sales: $110.43
* Highest Price Sold: $31 Harmony Kingdom Figurine
* Average Price Sold: $10
* Returns: 1 item – placemats
* Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $44
* Number of items listed this week: about 30
Pretty lousy week for me. I guess that I don’t have much in the gift category.
I had a return of a set of placemats where the buyer didn’t like the color. I had listed them as tan, and the buyer said it wasn’t as described because the placemats were yellowish. I know that color isn’t a reason for not as described, but the buyer said “please” and “thank-you”, so I accepted the return.
I spent $44 in an online auction for 8 items. I’m focusing on items that have a higher selling price rather than quantity or low COGS. I hope this helps in the new year.
There were two online auctions I was interested in. One ended Wednesday, and the other Thursday. I was busy in the evening for both days, so I didn’t know what I won until I got home. The first I did well and bought the 8 items. I was completely outbid on the other. The plus side was that I only had one pickup this weekend, and I didn’t have to put up a significant amount of cash. The prices were very high in the second auction because the items were high end modern art and decor. The items would have commanded high prices, but I don’t know how long they would have taken to sell.
12/20/2016 at 10:57 am #8467
I wanted to comment on something discussed in the podcast. I also like to hear that “cha ching” on my phone. I wouldn’t say that I get depressed when I’m not hearing it, but I feel like I miss it or something. I realize that it is psychological – similar to a casino. People get addicted to the sound of the slot machines, and it pushes them to do it more and more. I feel like at least I know what is going on, so I can live with it. But, I definitely get happy when I hear that sound!!
I’ve heard it three times this morning, so life is good!
12/20/2016 at 10:21 am #8464Country LaneParticipant
- Location: Indiana
The only items I list with calculated shipping are those that will not fit in a flat rate box or go first class. It seems that most of my items I can look in sold listings or active listings and figure out what the total price someone is going to pay is. Be it calculated or free, the total is the same. If I am able to list it for that maximum price and I am able to ship it cheaper than flat rate that is more money in my pocket, but at least i know what the worst case scenario is. My calculated shipping I try to price the item so that it is only a good deal for people in my region. I’m in Indiana and I want my price to be say $2 cheaper than the free shipping item if a person in Ohio buys it. If someone in California is interested the shipping makes it not feasible for them. So i know if I sell a calculated shipping item to California or Hawaii that I under priced my item.
12/20/2016 at 10:57 am #8468pam nParticipant
- Location: Boston, MA
Store Week Dec 11-17
Total Items in Store: 426
Items Sold: 18
Cost of Items Sold: $55
Total Sales: $675
Highest Price Sold: $110 vintage sealed doll clothes
Average Price Sold: $38
Returns: 0 / 1 cancellation
International Sales via GSP: 3
Money Spent on New Inventory: $83
Number of items listed this week: 26
The past two weeks have been great for my small store. I’ve had a dim view of the Savers thrift chain, but I visited one I’d never been to before and found a pile of 70s sealed vintage doll clothes for $2-$3 each. Who knew that a doll known as Suntan Tuesday Taylor existed and someone would pay $110 for an outfit. Even weirder that I’d be the one to sell it to them. Cha-ching.
12/20/2016 at 11:26 am #8472
My sales have died since Saturday. Is anyone else experiencing a slowdown. I assume it is because people are looking to buy from folks who guarantee Christmas delivery. I have 3 business day handling so I guess that is hurting me.
I’m currently trying to change over all my listings to 1 day handling for the rest of the week. So frustrating that I can only do 200 at a time and the system keeps locking up. Fixing the bulk editor should be at the TOP of eBay’s priority list. Grrrrr…..
12/20/2016 at 11:32 am #8473
Yes, my sales were slow this week as well. I sold nothing on Sunday or Monday. I did sell three things this morning (Tuesday). I don’t have a reason for why this morning is different than yesterday’s. Like J & R say, maybe no-one wanted my stuff until today.
12/20/2016 at 12:33 pm #8476
My last sale was Saturday morning, but I can’t say things are slow for me. I don’t usually get sales every day so….maybe? 😀 I have 1 day shipping on all my listings so I think most people feel the cutoff has already started. I’m guessing things will pick up on Monday.
12/21/2016 at 11:32 am #8557
I bulk edit up to 500 at a time. Wonder why the difference.
12/25/2016 at 7:33 am #8764
Any time I have ever tried to edit all 500 at a time, the process will lock up and never finish. I have tried on several computers and different networks – even in different states! It does not matter . Every single time it locks up and will stay that way for hours. I have to do 200 at a time, which is one page, in order for the bulk edit process to finish.
I have heard of many other folks encountering this issue as well.
12/20/2016 at 1:10 pm #8480
I have one package for usps pick up today … but it is a box that fell out of the truck when the postman picked up a few yesterday. Oh well.
12/21/2016 at 12:42 pm #8565
Edgewood WA–we are neighbors!
12/20/2016 at 2:59 pm #8498JasonKParticipant
- Location: Florida
Store Week Dec 11-17
Total Items in Store: 280
Items Sold: 12
Cost of Items Sold: $22.5
Total Sales: $469.80
Highest Price Sold: $110 (3 vintage barn lights)
Average Price Sold: $39.15
International Sales via GSP: 0
Money Spent on New Inventory: $0
Number of items listed this week: 34
Had a decent number of higher dollar sales this weekend although some of them didn’t make the cut for this week because they were early Monday AM purchases. I’m really happy with the sale of the barn lights though. Picked them up at a garage sale for $8 and took a best offer of $110 on them. I’m also selling lots of used shoes which I’m really enjoying. It’s hard for me to find a category of item that I can consistently source for $1-$2 and sell for as much as $50. Overall I really wish I was selling more during the week though. It seems this holiday all my sales are on Friday and Sunday. I’m lucky if I sell 1 item a day during the week.
12/20/2016 at 6:01 pm #8511HahnFam4Participant
Hey Jay and Ryanne and fellow scavengers,
I wanted to share my latest ebay what sells video https://youtu.be/EJUNa6GII7Q since Ryanne encourages us to post them here. More importantly, I wanted to share a cool story where I acquired some personal belongings from a famous celebrity that fellow scavengers might enjoy, I wrote it in my blog website;
12/20/2016 at 6:27 pm #8515
We love when people post their videos. More please!
12/20/2016 at 6:06 pm #8512AtomicStarParticipant
Store Week Dec 11-17
Total Items in Store: 963
Items Sold: 47
Cost of Items Sold: $115
Total Sales: $1103.82
Highest Price Sold: $193.70 leather jacket
Average Price Sold: $23.46
International Sales via GSP: 2
Money Spent on New Inventory: $220
Number of items listed this week: 84
Chiming in on the free shipping. I tried for awhile and I saw no difference. Back to charging for me unless it’s something super common which I avoid anyway!
12/21/2016 at 2:16 pm #8577mayberrymom24boysParticipant
- Location: Texas
Regarding free shipping, I wish there was a way to provide free shipping up to a certain threshold. Like a combo of free and calculated. I have certain items that I don’t want to weigh and measure, but estimate $10-$15 for Fedex and list as Flat Rate. But then I inevitably get someone who lives in a remote location, and there end up being extra Fedex fees tacked on because of that, so I end up paying additional over what I’d estimated. I’d love it if I could offer free shipping (work that into my item price) up to a certain amount, but any destination that cost more than than could get tacked on and paid by the buyer if it was above and beyond the shipping allowance I’d listed. Kind of a hybrid shipping idea, I don’t know. Probably unrealistic. I used to only offer free shipping, but then started selling a few bulkier items. I came around to Jay and Ryanne’s way of thinking, and started doing calculated shipping for almost everytying. It doesn’t seem to have harmed by overall sales.
12/21/2016 at 9:50 pm #8610
You can create custom shipping plans to exclude certain areas. I am not sure what you mean by remote but you can create a free shipping plan and exclude APO/AE, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico Ect..
I have about 10 different shipping plans and I just name them according to the item I am shipping. Ie. “Book Calculated” will ship via media rate based off of weight, “Remote Control Flat” will ship all remotes for a flat $4. “Clothing Free” will ship clothing for free, while “Clothing Calculated” will ship clothing based off of the weight at priority speed. I have “No Global” plan for items that cannot be sent to global shipping. Ect..ect..
- This reply was modified 4 years, 11 months ago by michael d.
12/23/2016 at 10:08 am #8679
Good idea. I have been listing everything above first class/16oz as Economy Shipping and using your same exclusion list. That way I can decide when I ship which one is most appropriate. No one seems to notice.
12/22/2016 at 11:30 am #8629finditlistitsellitshipitParticipant
First time posting our numbers. Had a very good week, lots of boots and outdoor gear! Now to get back to listing on a regular basis….
Total Items in Store: 630
Items Sold: 35
Cost of Items Sold: $75
Total Sales: $906.59
Highest Price Sold: $99 (Iverson Wood Snow Shoes)
Average Price Sold: $25.90
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
Number of items listed this week: 10
Total Items in Store: 67
Items Sold: 8
Cost of Items Sold: $52
Total Sales: $513.71
Highest Price Sold: $250 (Timberland Super Boot)
Average Price Sold: $64.21
Number of items listed this week: 3
12/22/2016 at 12:18 pm #8630
Let me guess, store #2 is mostly either clothing or shoes?
12/22/2016 at 12:24 pm #8631finditlistitsellitshipitParticipant
Good guess! No clothes, mostly boots, bicycle parts and gear, some hats. Trying to keep this store smaller with high end merchandise. Our main store is a real mix of all sorts of items. $10-$300.
12/22/2016 at 5:08 pm #8650
Man I would so be into a store that only concentrates on men’s high end shoes, unfortunately I can’t find enough stock in my area–but yeah, shoes totally sell for great prices.
12/22/2016 at 2:45 pm #8638unorthodoxlifeParticipant
Been listening since episode 1, but first time poster. I wanted to chime in on the ongoing clothing conversation.
I agree with Jay, that the sellers who let their items go for low prices will inevitably either burnout or come to their senses. The new emergence of the “bins” stores have had a definite impact on the market but I don’t think it’s a game closer. For every seller that’s willing to let something go for $5 to $10, there are 3 more that get $30-$40 for that same item. Ronnie Hart is a prime example. Ronnie posted that he profited $69k (profit, not gross) for 2016 and took the summer off. He also admits that he rarely puts in over 40 hours a week. He could feasibly grow to $100k a year without killing himself in the process.
As Jay says, your eBay store is a pipeline. What we put into the pipeline and how we price what is in the pipeline defines what type we’re building. Are you building a business or a sweatshop? Doing some research on eBay, reveals that there are several clothing sellers with an average selling price of $30 and up. The sellers that are selling their inventory for super low prices are under a false assumption that they’re building a business. What they are building is a job. I could go get 2 or 3 jobs in my local community and work 100 hours each week. For what?
I think most of us are in this to build a business. Having owned multiple businesses in the past, I can tell you from experience, if your margins don’t support hiring, you aren’t building a business. Not that you have to hire helpers, but you want that option if so choose to do so down the road.
My plan for 2017 is going to be to dump my less sought after inventory at lower prices and move it out. I will then be more selective in what I purchase and buy clothing, shoes, etc.. that command higher prices. I’d love to hear others plans for building and scaling the clothing side of their businesses in 2017.
12/22/2016 at 3:01 pm #8639
I think this is a great plan for 2017. Ryanne and I have talked about a similar desire to focus on buying higher priced items. Obviously it just takes more time scavenging to find those items.
12/23/2016 at 10:33 am #8684
I agree with you all. I am getting burned out on having so many old inventory cheap items I just want to make them go away. When I go thrifting I am making myself walk away from anything that will sell for only $20 or less. I feel much better about coming home with one $100 item than a cartload of junk I’m not excited about. I am doing much less thrifting, wishing only to sell my backlog of items completely. It would depress me not to source at all, but the GW outlet is the last place I want to see.
My dream store would be one with less than 1000 items, all upscale. (Wouldn’t we all like that?) So I am having constant sales and gradually removing the junk while being picky on new items. While walking thru a high end consignment a couple of days ago I found zero items of interest, until in the clearance room I found a stack of gorgeous 12 French snack plates with a matching pie server, all marked down to $25. Score! Research looks like I can sell for at least $200. That’s all I found while doing my usual errands, but that made it a successful outing for me.
I will still have low priced items to clear out (a large collection of jewelry and embroidered linens) but I will tend to put them in grouped lots to move them. Looking forward to that goal in 2017.
I would love to hear what would be your “perfect store” and how you plan to achieve it in 2017.
12/22/2016 at 3:19 pm #8640
You can build a business selling clothing for less than $20 or even $15. That is because of the Goodwill Outlets. If you choose this model you simply need a way to list more. Look at sellers like Pittsburgh Mike that sell Gap, Old Navy, etc.
I don’t have an Outlet so I choose the best model for my area. $20 shipped is the minimum I will pick up to be worth my time. Use the simple 3X rule to see if the margin is right. If its purchased for $7 I must be certain it will sell for $21. This rule gets more obsolete the more expensive the item is so use an online calculator in those cases. My average COGS is $3 and my average price sold is $23. So on average I try to do beyond the 3X rule.
I wonder what your method for valuing your items for resale are? This is key to your business.
12/22/2016 at 10:05 pm #8658
I am also planning on getting rid of lower price and slower moving merchandise and focusing on higher value. This past year I bought some household dishes, cups, and such because they were so cheap. In an online auction during the summer, I bought the contents of two cabinets for $1 each. It’s been easy to make money on it – all I needed was one sale, but it moves so slow, it is hard to pack, and it takes up lots of room. In the new year, I will put it on 50% sale. I don’t know if that will be enough to unload it, so I’ll most likely go to a flea market in the Spring or Summer, and get rid of the rest of it.
I do need to add clothing. I bought winter stuff pretty cheaply this past spring, and it is paying off now. I’ve never been to the GW Outlet in my area, so I’ll do that at some point. See what this weigh and pay stuff is all about. I’ll continue on the online and live auctions, but just being more careful.
12/22/2016 at 4:52 pm #8647unorthodoxlifeParticipant
Jay, I’m thinking along those very same lines and agree it takes going to more stores/sales but in the end, it is time better spent – in my opinion.
Fredspremium, I agree that the outlet sellers can make a profit, I’m merely saying that it’s a volume game and the margins have to support paying an employee or more to picture, measure, ship, etc… while also being able to cover payroll expenses, for that to work at any degree of scale. In most cases, I don’t see that happening. On lower margins, what happens is that the employee (or more) that you hire eats up any extra profit that you make and you make the same that you were or less. Can it be done? Absolutely.
Some sellers are perfectly fine working around the clock. Other sellers like to make more money selling less items so as to own more of their own time. That’s why most sellers start this type of business to begin with.
My average selling price over time isn’t accurate to clothing because I used to sell expensive hard goods. My average selling price over the last 10 years is around $70.00. When I began selling clothing, that dropped significantly and I’m in the process of trying to get to $30 per item as an ASP. I have an outlet within a half an hour of me, I’m just not interested in that business model. The average cost of quality merchandise in my area is around $6 an item. If the outlet people are happy with their current procedures, growth and time freedom, then I say more power to them, but there is more than one way to eat an oreo.
- This reply was modified 4 years, 11 months ago by unorthodoxlife.
12/22/2016 at 11:52 pm #8661cebanakParticipant
- Location: South Carolina
Week Dec 11-17, 2016
Total Items in Store: 714
Items Sold: 11
Cost of Items Sold: $29
Total Sales: $214.94
Highest Price Sold: $50 (Renaissance Painting Print)
Average Price Sold: $19.54
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
Number of items listed this week: 0
Not a bad week. Sold that painting that I got in a lot of 6 that I paid $1 at a auction for so that’s a awesome amount of profit. Did not do any listing last week because of all the cleaning we are doing for the holidays. This week is looking just as bad for listing but sales are steady at least even a week before xmass.
I only offer free shipping on ties or video games because it seems like people just don’t want to pay that extra $3… well they do but they don’t think they are? Its fine as long as I make the sale, I’m not worried about returns on items like that since its only going to cost me a few bucks. Big items yeah calculated shipping all day… I had a painting sell this week that had $40 in shipping and it was only worth $25 so if I had free shipping on that one I would have been out of luck.
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