Home › Forums › Weekly Numbers › Scavenger Life Episode 293: How To Hire Your First Employee
- This topic has 81 replies, 36 voices, and was last updated 6 years, 2 months ago by Val.
01/15/2017 at 6:35 pm #10358
This week we had a good meeting with our accountant to discuss hiring an employee and other things we want to do this year for our business. We cannot
[See the full post at: Scavenger Life Episode 293: How To Hire Your First Employee]
01/15/2017 at 6:53 pm #10363omfugParticipant
Total Items in Store: 217–>ebay, 405–etsy
Items Sold: 19 (9 on etsy, 7 on ebay)
Total Sales: $594.40 ($316 etsy, $277.46 on ebay)
Highest Price Sold: $85 (mink wrap on etsy)
Another good week.
01/15/2017 at 9:35 pm #10372Rydell RelicsParticipant
RR Store Week January 8-14, 2016
Total Items in Store: 1143
Items Sold: 14
Cost of Items Sold: $14.22
Total Sales: $478.43
Highest Price Sold: $129 (50’s wool car coat)
Average Price Sold: $34.17
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $116.00
Number of items listed this week: 29 new, 99 sell similar
Not a great week, to be sure. I was taking care of a lot of other business, like health insurance and medical appointments, so I didn’t list as as much as I wanted to. And my sales reflect that. Time management is something I’ve always struggled with, but I am getting better.
Yesterday I went to a couple of great estate sales and left with a bunch of cool items. They started hitting my eBay store as soon as I got home. Just say no to death piles! Already sold one item, and the other are getting lots of views and watchers. After my massive purge last year, I’ve become way more selective about what I buy when out picking. Ending stale items and Sell Similar-ing them has also helped sharpen my focus. Always be learning (and listing).
I’m still pulling a few records a week out of my own personal collection to sell. I swore I never would, but with space being an issue, some of it has to go. I sold a couple of 60s Chinese pop records to a government official in Malaysia for $78 bucks. Not bad for some vinyl I haven’t listened to in years.
01/16/2017 at 5:54 am #10387
Glad your move and unpacking sounds complete. Sell more records if you aren’t using them!
01/15/2017 at 9:55 pm #10377
Items/listings in store 1446/1282
COGS $88.41 for items ($59.60 for 1 RA item see below) , $99.30 free shipping = $187.71 (I offer free shipping on 99% of my items)
Highest Price Sold: $240.00 shipped Converse John Varvatos Men’s Leather Jacket ($6 COGS, $6.60 shipping regional A box, $24.54 fees, .25 packaging, $202.61 profit)
Lowest Price Sold $6.85 (1991 Love Stamp First Day Cover– cogs 3 cents, shipping 2.60, packaging .25, fees $.99 = $4.95, profit = 3.23)
Average price Per Sale $37.73
Intl – 0 Returns –0
$ spent On New Merch –$57
Listed New 48 Items
Return rate 1.04% overall / 1.61 clothing
Pretty good over all week for me. My second highest sale was a RA sale on a Star Wars Lego set. Sold for $107 shipped but COGS was a bit over $60. After fees and shipping I made $24.20 on the item. I still have 2 more of them and I have had them over 6 months. This was a bad buy but happy to sell at least one. (while I was typing this ANOTHER set sold! Gotta love the ebay algorithm …..)
The John Varvatos jacket was a great buy and was found at my ‘honey hole’ vacation area church thrift shop. I saw this one weekend and did not know if it would be a good buy at $6. On the drive home I knew I should have picked it up because what leather jacket is NOT worth enough to make back at least my $6 after fees. I do not have a smart phone (it is a long story) so was not able to look it up till I got home (110 miles away). Went back 2 weekends later and it was still there (thankfully). I was amazed…..
My lowest sale was a stamp related sale of a 1991 Love Stamp 1st Day Cover. I got over 100 of these (all different) from 1989-1992 time period. They are basically postcards with the card being about the scene depicted in the stamp. I got the lot of them for less than $3. The problem is that they are individually not worth much. This was an early buy and I would probably still get them now but would not list them the same way. What I should have done is either list them in similar themed lots – like maybe 4-6 themed FDC’s for $15-$20 OR have a 2nd store like Spinach Eater that does not have/need tracking. They are EASY to list, EASY to store and EASY to ship. If I could ship for $1 instead of almost $3, I think these would be awesome!
Sorry for the long post …..
- This reply was modified 6 years, 2 months ago by Kelly1mm.
01/15/2017 at 11:56 pm #10383flimParticipant
Flim Store Week January 8-14, 2017
Total Items in Store: 782
Items Sold: 40
Cost of Items Sold: $295.30
Total Sales: $2,299.22
Highest Price Sold: $410 (NWT dress)
Average Price Sold: $57.48
Returns: 5 (aughh)
Heading out to the Philippines tomorrow for 3 weeks to see family I’ve never met before. Then ~1 week to travel solo in Singapore – I haven’t even booked my ticket yet. Around this time last year I was getting ready for a 2 week trip to 2 countries, and every moment spent at work I was counting down the days until I could leave. This time it’s so much more relaxed – I don’t need to cram everything into two weeks – and I’m super grateful. Here’s to 20 day handling times and any sales I can get while I’m away.
01/16/2017 at 5:53 am #10386
So glad to see you pursuing scavenging full-time and being able to take these long trips. I promise you that this lifestyle will get addictive. Someone will offer you a job and you’ll just laugh at them when you consider how much time the job will demand for the money.
01/16/2017 at 7:42 am #10403
love your numbers this week!! please you have to post photos while you’re traveling so we can all be inspired.
01/16/2017 at 2:04 am #10384So Cal JoeParticipant
I just listened to the podcast. You inquired about “sell similar/sell one like this”.
If you hit “sell similar” from one of your items, everything is copied including pictures.
If you hit “sell one like this” from someone else’s listing, the title is copied as well as the category and the item specifics. The pictures and description do not get copied. Of course that doesn’t stop someone from doing a copy and paste on them. I don’t believe the shipping information is copied either.
01/16/2017 at 5:51 am #10385
Good info. So I guess if someone copies your listing, they have to go out of their way to do it.
01/16/2017 at 12:10 pm #10416KarenParticipant
Whenever I hit “Sell Similar”, the only time I get a photo is if it is a stock photo. Generally on DVD or CDs. I have never gotten anyone else’s photos. Odd
01/16/2017 at 12:22 pm #10422
Yes, we’ve been corrected by several people that “sell similar” on someone else’s listing does not copy the photos or description. We were wrong in this podcast.
01/16/2017 at 8:54 am #10407
Going to do an abbreviated sales report since I only sold 1 item this week:
Items in stores (main/t-shirt/postcard): 168/86/11
Total Sales: $16.99 + shipping on a pair of shoes in the main store. COGS was maybe $3.
Items listed: 0/0/0
New inventory purchases – $0
Returns – None
Still going hard on the house and my week nights were consumed by tile and the weekend was focused on finishing off the pine floor on the main floor. We got it all sanded and the first two coats of polyurethane applied. Cabinets come in this week! Here is a photo of that work for those who enjoy construction: Floors In Progress. We are getting closer to the end of this so I see the light at the end of the tunnel. After this I just need to make sure I funnel the same energy into listing on eBay.
I’m off work today and I can’t do much in the house so I plan on getting a few items photographed and posted today. I may stop by the goodwill for t-shirts since I am running low on those to list and keep my store active, but today is their $0.49 tag day so I won’t be putting out too much money. I can get them washed, into inventory, and photographed today so I have them ready for listing through the week.
Okay, time to get to it!
01/16/2017 at 8:57 am #10408
wow you guys are doing a ton of work. we’re right there with ya! looks great.
01/16/2017 at 9:37 am #10410
Are the floors & walls wood or the tile that looks like wood? I think I mentioned last week we’re considering the tile that looks like wood for our second bathroom reno that we’ll be doing later this year.
01/16/2017 at 12:18 pm #10420
@Ryanne – Thanks! Yep, we are doing most of the finish work for ourselves. It is a nice way to be invested in your dream home.
@Brian – The floors in the photos are 1×10 pine planks that are face nailed (by hand) with cut nails for that extra rustic feel. The walls are a mix of 12×8 solid pine logs (all first floor exterior walls) and then a 1×8 T&G pine for the interior walls. The wood look tile we are using in the wet areas for the floors….master bath and mudroom. There is some drywall in the house, but we didn’t skimp on the wood products since we are building a log home.
01/16/2017 at 11:59 pm #10492
Flooring looks great!
01/17/2017 at 7:17 am #10506
01/16/2017 at 9:33 am #10409
Week January 8-14, 2017
Total Items in Store: 700
Items Sold: 18 (2 Amazon, 2 Bonanza)
Cost of Items Sold: $91.00
Total Sales: $882.43
Highest Price Sold: $225 (vintage tarot card deck)
Average Price Sold: $49.02
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
Number of items listed this week: 0
Awesome week for me. Two sales of $185+ really helped out, but otherwise the week was very steady too. Surprised when I saw two payments come in from Bonanza… hadn’t had a sale there in nearly two months.
No new listings will hit for this post before 1/14, but I’m sitting here listing while listening to the show… feels great to get back on the horse after not listing for a good 6 weeks. To your point about having good sales vs. the holidays, I looked back at my numbers and the past two years January I’ve had more sales than in December. I’d say it’s probably because most of my items are vintage as opposed to NWT in package. Some people are opposite.
- This reply was modified 6 years, 2 months ago by Brian Treasures from Grandmas.
01/16/2017 at 9:58 am #10412
Total Items in Store: 638
Items Sold: 10 (9 ebay, 1 bonanza)
Cost of Items Sold: $39
Total Sales: $324
Highest Price Sold: $75 Pedal for Audio Recorder
Average Price Sold: $32.37
Average Profit: $28.46
FBA items sold: 4
Total FBA sales: $108.96
FBA COGS: $8
FBA Fees: $37.37
FBA Profit: $63.59
FBA Average profit: $15.90
FBA note, the last few weeks I’ve been selling several oddball books a week. I do enjoy the extra $50-100 that FBA brings each week. I guess January is a good book selling month.
As for ebay, I did zero listing or buying this week. I joined the no shopping January experiment as another way to test my willpower. I’m on a personal journey to better myself physically and mentally (NOT a new years resolution). I stopped chewing my nails back in December as a warm-up to prove I could have some willpower. Now I’m working on my fitness and eating habits. At my worst I weighed in at 352 lbs. Trust me, you don’t get to that point without some serious commitment to the cause.
So my ebay business is going to take a hit for a month or two, but it is very much worth it.
01/17/2017 at 12:03 am #10493
January is always our highest grossing month on Amazon for books. Classes are starting up and people are purchasing textbooks/research material. Every January I end up selling books that I have had listed for over 4-5 years, some as old as 8 years.
01/19/2017 at 3:30 pm #10715
Looks like it dried up. No sales so far this week on FBA.
01/16/2017 at 9:59 am #10413ChristineRParticipant
- Location: Southern California
Total Items in Store: 352
Items Sold: 12
Cost of Items Sold: $27 used + $111 new
Total Sales: $463
Highest Price Sold: $98 Two discontinued Anthropologie chicken art plates (paid $12 Spring clearance)
Average Price Sold: $39
Returns, Int’l Sales: 0
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0! – Week 3 of the No Scavenge Challenge. Went into thrift but bought nothing.
Number of items listed this week: +/-10
Great week for me. The two chicken plates I was considering having my kids use at breakfast so I put them aside and was pleasantly surprised when I finally listed them that someone had a search out. I had another buyer who purchased multiples of two different items in my store. Love that. Sold a bulky afghan recently listed from the death piles. Love that. Once I started listing again in my store, sold other things right away. In fact most of these sales are from yesterday and the other day I listed this week. Funny how that works. My kids are out of school today and I’m hoping to slip in some more listings here and there.
I’m with you Paul on the time management challenges, pickier buying (though I’m on a break now) and medical distractions. Also I LOVE your store logo. If anyone can recommend a source please I need a new graphic and cannot figure out how to load a banner photo of the right size. I learned on the very first pcs (ms dos) and a gigantic mainframe in the late 1980s – it wasn’t pretty and I’m still scarred from that black screen with constant error messages. Now I resist learning anything techwise I don’t absolutely need to know. But, I would like a prettier store. Have a great week.
01/16/2017 at 1:13 pm #10429The Thrift RaiderParticipant
I have more proof that 80’s and 90’s nostalgia sells well! I bought a Nickbox subscription that contains lots of nostalgic things from old Nickelodeon shows, like Clarissa and Legends of the Hidden Temple. It’s a fairly expensive box at $60, but it’s super fun to do unboxing videos for it. Anyway, though maybe half of the items were actually cool useful items, I ended up with a couple things that really just sit on the shelf. I listed a ‘Piece of the Aggro Crag” from the show Guts, and within a couple of days it sold for $30! I’m considering selling some of the other items I don’t need as well, so I can at least make my money back.
01/16/2017 at 1:16 pm #10430
Still listening but just had to say your guys are so funny today.
01/16/2017 at 1:57 pm #10438teh_longinatorParticipant
- Location: Toronto, Ontario
Total Items In Store: 103
Items Sold: 2
Total Sales: $53.49
Cost of Items Sold: $28.45
Highest Price: $30.69 (Shower radio)
Average Price Sold: $26.75
Items Listed: 20
Cost of Items Purchased: $163.03
edit: Added “Profit” line.
01/16/2017 at 2:35 pm #10441LAwomanParticipant
Wanted to share an incident, similar incidents to a couple of things from the podcast:
re: GSP: A few months ago a buyer in Canada wanted to buy a pair lizard skin italian pumps. She tried a few times. Wouldn’t go through. After a few days I guessed that it was the word lizard. I deleted any references to lizard, anywhere in the listing, the buyer was able to order. The shoes were confiscated because, I assume, they were lizard skin, or snake, or whatever. I have no idea on what part of the journey this happened, Kentucky or the border. Ebay let me keep the $ and they refunded the customer…
Also had a neutral feedback. I didn’t have a pair of shoes in stock, they had been sold on Bonanza and somehow stayed on Ebay. I was very apologetic and refunded. A couple of weeks later her feedback was ‘didn’t have items in stock, seller was very nice and immediately refunded.’ But picked Neutral. I sent her a message, asked her to remove the neutral… I went over how sorry I was this happened, and tried to explain how a neutral will stick with a seller etc… and she changed her feedback! Same comment, but positive. 😉
01/16/2017 at 4:35 pm #10444
After waiting a year my last negative dropped off a couple weeks ago. This morning I awake to a negative, in Spanish saying package did not arrive. 150 dollar radio sent to Florida on Dec 30, tracking still shows “in transit”. I start a missing package case with USPS and call eBay. The rep says that the negative will stick unless the buyer does a revision.
Now I’ve had no contact with the buyer, no case has been opened. The eBay rep says I should’ve paid extra for express Mail, what? really? I got off the phone quickly after that.
I messaged the buyer letting him know I’m working on finding his package and hoping he’ll revise his feedback.
It was a great couple of weeks seeing that 100%
- This reply was modified 6 years, 2 months ago by Steven S.
01/17/2017 at 8:52 am #10515
i feel your pain!
01/16/2017 at 4:49 pm #10446BGBParticipant
Total Items In Store: 225
Items Sold: 10
Total Sales: $120.40
Cost of Items Sold: $5
Highest Price: $24.99 (Calculator)
Average Price Sold: $12.04
Cost of New Items Purchased: $30
That’s so funny to hear you all bring up Tai Lopez. I’ve seen his ads too, and he has to be the smarmiest “guru” types I’ve seen in a long time.
This week things settled back into the numbers I was doing before the holiday rush. The weather has been freakishly warm here, so I took today (I was off work for MLK day) and cleaned/consolidated/organized my eBay storage system in the garage.
Question to anyone that might know: I found a signed Elmore Leonard book the other day, and I was wondering how y’all handle listing items like that. The book came from a good source, so I’m confident it’s real, but I’m worried about how to handle the provenance of such an item. Just put that I’m confident about it the listing? Try to find someone to authenticate it?
01/16/2017 at 5:14 pm #10448
I sell signed copies once in a while. I’ve never thought about the provenance of the item.. Hmm. I think if someone is buying it on eBay they don’t really care unless it is a very valuable book. You could just comment that you can’t verify the signature. Good question.
01/16/2017 at 5:25 pm #10449
Store Week 1/8/17 – 1/14/17
Total items in store: 922
Items sold: 15
Cost of items sold: $6.25
Total sales: $469.30
Highest price sold: $142.90 (Pearl Jam promotional poster)
Average price sold: $31.29
International Sales: 3
Money spent on new inventory this week: $60.77
This was a pretty good week! I listed a bunch of postcards recently and they’ve been selling pretty quickly. I had a hard time pricing them, so maybe I priced them a little too low, but it’s nice to have them moving. And a great poster sale really helped too. Since I sell a lot of posters, I’m always scavenging for mailing tubes, and I have a hard time finding them for free or cheap (I prefer the round tubes to the free triangular tubes you can get from USPS). But last week I called the movie theater to see if they had any they were tossing out. Just a few days later, they gave me a whole box of them! Might be something to look into for any of you that use them.
01/18/2017 at 9:54 am #10617
Awesome sale on the PJ poster! I’m a huge fan, would you mind posting a link to it? Might have sold this week as they were just announced as R&R HOF inductees for 2017!!!
01/19/2017 at 2:58 pm #10709
Thanks! I had a huge price on it, but really didn’t expect to get nearly that much, so I was pretty happy with their offer.
01/19/2017 at 3:08 pm #10712
Was that your poster, or just one you found?
01/19/2017 at 3:25 pm #10713
It was part of a huge lot of posters I bought a couple years ago. I paid $5 or $10 for all of them and I’ve made over $3000 on them. I dread the day that they run out!
01/19/2017 at 4:22 pm #10721
Wow, what a killer poster! And congrats on how much you’ve made on the lot thus far. I checked out your store and your other posters and they’ll surely sell.
01/16/2017 at 6:50 pm #10453TerriParticipant
Approximate # of Items in Store: 250
# of Items Sold: 19
Average Cost of Items Sold: $6.44
Total Sales: $749.33
Highest Price Sold: $100 – Ski Pants
Average Price Sold: $39.44
Returns: 1 – Sweater $100
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
Number of items listed this week: 0
Sales are heading back down, as expected. Ouch on the sweater return, though. Buyer was polite and returned it quickly. It’s a high-quality cashmere and will resell at some point, but that might not be until next fall/winter as I won’t clearance it.
Nearly half of what I sold was stuff that’s been sitting around all winter or even relisted from last winter, so I’m fine with the lower ASP. Always so satisfying to clear out old inventory.
Managed to get zero new listings done last week. Not good.
01/16/2017 at 7:06 pm #10455
Jan 8 to 14 2017
• Total Items in Store: 706
• Items Sold: 23 eBay 1 Truegether $40
• International 0
• Total Sales $1635
• Highest Price $450 Pioneer Turntable
• Average Price Sold: $68
• Returns: 0
• Cost of Items Sold: $120
• Cost of items purchased this week $0
01/16/2017 at 9:35 pm #10471
• Total Items in Store: 643
• Items Sold: 68
• Total Sales $1,630.02
• Average Price Sold: $23.97
Squareup isn’t available in my state. So I am looking at a similar company Patriot. There’s a really good tutorial on how to do payroll yourself on Excel by Tutoring Pop https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kun-aYUz_M&index=2&list=WL
01/17/2017 at 5:37 am #10499
Yeah, as you said there are other online services that do payroll. Lots of reviews that are helpful. People have been using these services for a while.
Or you could do it yourself. Does hiring an employee still seem as complicated as you first thought?
01/17/2017 at 4:05 pm #10542
A lot is clear now. But still Im getting mixed signals on employee vs contractor. For me, the photo person would work from their own home and on their own time. Id be telling them how to do the photos though and probablt providing equipment.
01/17/2017 at 4:13 pm #10543
This is when it’s helpful to have an accountant who can give professional advice since he/she would most likely help you if you’re audited by the IRS.
A contractor is someone who does the work on their own time, in their own way.
For instance, Ryanne and I do video work for companies. They just tell me they want a video of a topic. They don’t tell me how to do our job. They aren’t watching the hours of when we work. We also do this work for other companies as well, not just working for one person.
At the end of the day, just imagine sitting across from an IRS agent explaining your reasoning. You can do anything that you can justify.
01/17/2017 at 10:30 pm #10595
My CPA says go the contractor route. I don’t think it would hold up though with a very diligent IRS auditor. The question is how diligent are the people at the IRS? I hear they are cutting back severely in funds with that department.
I would honestly rather go the employee route because of employee loyalty and long term association. Are the taxes really similar to just paying a dollar extra per hour?
01/18/2017 at 7:48 am #10611
Understood. If your CPA feel the person can be a contractor, then that’s good. Again, an honest accountant will be the person who deals with the IRS during an audit. That’s the difference between having an actual accountant vs just taking your taxes to a tax prep place. The accountant is on your team for the long term and has help you strategize your money.
But you also bring up a good point. Hiring someone as a W-2 can make that person feel valuable and give a sense of stability. If that person is helpful to you, then you might want to do everything you can to keep them. We just imagined how we would feel if she told us she didn’t want to work for us. For us, there was a price we’re willing to pay for making her feel secure.
As an employer, you pay 6.2% of the person’s FICA tax, and 1.45% in Medicare taxes.
My accountant agreed, it would add about $1/hour to a $12/hr pay.
Using a payroll service makes it easy to withhold those taxes and send them on to the appropriate state and federal agencies. And then keep track of the accounting.
You could always try out some people before you pull the trigger. Might also be good to have them work with you for several weeks so they understand your process. I’d be hesitant to just have a conversation and then expect them to work independently from home.
01/16/2017 at 9:43 pm #10473hartleymanagesParticipant
Total Items in Store: 281
Items Sold: 21
Total Sales: $534.26 ($175 from a local sale through Instagram)
Highest Price Sold: $175 restored vintage Pioneer SX-636 receiver
Average Price Sold: $25.44
The Pioneer receiver was bought off a guy for $40 on Offer Up – it was tobacco stained and only had sound from one channel. I cleaned her up inside and out and got her working again. I posted my progress on Instagram and then when finished I posted a before/after photo on Instagram saying it was for sale and had four offers immediately. I sold to a friend for $175 up the street.
I am going to try this social posting more often with vintage gear – it obviously takes longer than listing clothes, etc, on eBay but I find a lot of joy in fixing up this old gear and since I’m not reselling for a living I can afford the time invested in each piece. And when people buy locally I’m obviously saving on fees, etc.
Here is a photo of the restoration job.
- This reply was modified 6 years, 2 months ago by hartleymanages.
01/17/2017 at 12:05 am #10494
Total Items in Store: 8993
Items Sold: 149
Cost of Items Sold: $213
Total Sales: $2489.32
Highest Price Sold: $65 (Firefighter pants)
Average Price Sold: $16.79
Returns: 5 (clothes and one app part)
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $80
Number of items listed this week: 65 (all remotes)
Decent sales, really haven’t listed any items since before Christmas. Been busy converting our Amazon FBA to merchant fulfilled and it’s taken away all of my extra ebay time. Top sellers this week were a pair of firefighter pants for $65, Fireplace poker set $48 and a Size 6X Blazer for $45.
The good thing about converting over to merchant fulfilled is that the books carry over to our ebay listings. We did not cross list our FBA items to Ebay in the past due to the way our software worked, it always had problems shipping from FBA to ebay customers.
Off this whole week for our anniversary, we have a getaway cabin in the same town that Jay and Ryanne live near. Have an interview set up for when I get back to work, I am hoping it works it out, it will be nice to get back to the huge pile of items waiting to be listed.
Congrats on hiring your first employee!
01/17/2017 at 6:11 pm #10562
Thanks Michael. If anyone needs an employee, it’s your operation!
I look forward to hearing how merchant fulfilled does for you.
01/17/2017 at 9:30 am #10516SharynParticipant
- Location: Central NJ
Week of Jan 1 – 7
* Total Items in Store: 581
* Items Sold: 14
* Cost of Items Sold: $43.22 + $16.46 Commission
* Total Sales: $350
* Highest Price Sold: $40 Soviet Union Wood Bar Plaque
* Average Price Sold: $25
* Returns: 0
* Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
* Number of items listed this week: 35
Good week for me with a decent average price sold. Recently, I was given some stuff to sell on commission from a family friend. She gave me jewelry that is mostly sterling silver, so that stuff sells really well. Of the 14 items sold, three were hers. Most of the 35 items I listed were jewelry.
The $40 bar plaque was from an online auction I did at the end of the year. I bought it for $8.80. This is part of my goal to spend more for a higher profit, but lower ROI. I’m very happy with that sale, and I’ve now sold 3 of the 9 items I bought.
I had an issue with the USPS. After I came back from my year end vacation, I had a large number of items to ship. One of them was a car repair manual sent media mail. I brought it to the PO on Jan 3 or 4, but it didn’t get scanned until 13th, about 9 days late. The buyer had contacted me on Jan 9 asking why I hadn’t shipped it, and I replied that sometimes media mail doesn’t get the tracking that other mail does. After the tracking info finally showed up, I sent a second message saying that it was now on its way, but I didn’t know why there was a delay in the shipping. So, I’ve got two potential issues. One is that my customer might not believe me and could ding me for the slow handling time. The second is that eBay will automatically ding me for the slow handling time.
I’m fixing the issue for the future by not putting anything in the drop boxes, but, instead, standing in line and getting the items scanned right there and then. I’ve had similar issues on a few first class packages where the tracking didn’t show up until the item made it to its destination, so I feel that this is necessary. It is a pain because I can’t drop off on a Sunday or holiday (like MLK holiday yesterday). I know it won’t affect my 1 day handling time I have on some of my items, but I feel like I’m not shipping fast enough. I’ll have to get over it.
One last thing – just a comment on the podcast – I registered my company, in my state, as a single person LLC. I originally did this based on different plans I had for a business at that time. I had to reregister at the end of the year and pay a $50 fee. I still have plans to expand my business into something else other than eBay, so I’m sticking with it. It does protect my personal assets should someone sue me. I realize that is very unlikely, but I set it up, so I’ll keep with it.
01/17/2017 at 12:34 pm #10525
While LLC’s can be very useful in some situations they are not as useful as many people think in protecting personal assets in small businesses. This is because they only really protect the owners personal assets from liability arising from the actions of an employee of the LLC. The individual doing the action that leads to liability (employee or owner) would be personally liable for the damages as well.
For example if you have a worker who you have drive packages to the post office and that person causes a car accident, that employee would be liable as well as the employer (the LLC in this case). Lets say the LLC only has $20,000 in assets – the most the victim can get from the LLC is $20,000 and nothing from the owner of the LLC. However the liability of the driver is personal to him and can take all his assets, up to the amount of damages.
So lets now say that you, the LLC owner, is the one driving the packages to the PO. Both you (personally) and the LLC would be potentially liable. The LLC would offer no actual protection for your personal assets.
Here is a link for more info:
- This reply was modified 6 years, 2 months ago by Kelly1mm.
01/17/2017 at 6:03 pm #10561
Good example. I think the protection of an LLC is overrated.
01/18/2017 at 8:33 am #10614
I read a book on the subject of LLC vs Sole Proprieter before I set up my business. The general thought was that if you are the only employee of the LLC and there is a true litigation that comes up, it is pretty easy for it to be proven you are running an LLC as a sole proprietorship. Once that is done, POOF! There went your LLC protections.
I am set up as a sole proprieter DBA (doing business as) Retro Treasures WV
01/19/2017 at 7:01 pm #10734SharynParticipant
- Location: Central NJ
Well, I was under the impression that the protection was more substantial, so thanks for putting me straight. I’ll keep re-registering, though, just in case I do end up needing it.
01/17/2017 at 12:30 pm #10523lizlangsteinerParticipant
Jan 8 14
Total Items In Store 1060
Total Sales 309.90
Highest Price Sold Lot of 10 cassette tapes $69.99
Average Price Sale 30.99
Spent on new merch 110.00
Listed new 0 items. But already listed 12 items for this week.
Chillin at the “Hummingbird Coffee & Tea House” in Ocean Beach California. I love Cali life it’s that cost of living “ouch”. Found some great picks at the San Diego Rescue Thrift Store in Ocean Beach. Everything was 60% off even the stuff in the cases at the counter and the stuff on the shelves behind the counter. Just to name a few picks, Longchamp made in France handbag (I listed for $125.00), pair of Allen Edmond Maritime green color boat shoes (I listed for $75.00) silver metal hippie vintage peace sign chain belt (listed for 49.00.
01/17/2017 at 12:59 pm #10529amazingtasteParticipant
Hey guys! Always enjoy listening to Jay create a visual picture of things, loved hearing what you think Ebay customer service is like!
Couple of things that might be of interest to the people here.
1. Ebay is going to offer an authentication program on designer items. While this probably doesn’t effect you guys it does help to build more buyer trust in the site which I think will help us all. http://pages.ebay.com/authentication/
2. Have you guys looked into the Ebay Partner Network? It is like the amazon affiliate program but for ebay. The thing I like about it is I can tell from it which social media outlet is driving traffic by using an affiliate link on one site but not another for a day. It has been interesting to see what is really driving traffic. Plus a couple extra dollars here or there never hurt anyone!
Have a great week!!
- This reply was modified 6 years, 2 months ago by amazingtaste.
01/17/2017 at 5:46 pm #10555imjoshParticipant
- Location: Virginia
Hey Jay and Ryanne,
Regarding LLCs/s-corps, there’s something you should check into; it could potentially save you quite a lot of money (scavenge those $$$s). This is info I got from my CPA:
1. There’s a potential tax savings available to you if you elect to have your business taxed as an s-corp. I won’t try to explain it in detail but the bottom line is that you can reduce the amount of self-employment tax you pay by receiving some of your business’ profits as dividends instead of income. You still have to pay yourself “a reasonable salary” and the employment tax owed on that. “Reasonable” is fuzzy and different people/accountants are comfortable w/ higher or lower ratios.
2. You don’t have to organize as an s-corp to elect to be taxed as one. s-corp has more paperwork. you can form an llc for $50/year to the scc (easy enough to DIY but I’d pay a lawyer a few hundred to do everything). Once you have an llc you can file a form w/ the irs asking to be taxed as an s-corp.
3. You’re already paying quarterly taxes (and you’re adding an employee) so it really won’t be much more complicated. Besides, pay your accountant to handle the paperwork.
My cpa said the amount of money saved in taxes would more than offset his fees to handle it starting at about $20k of business income. You make way more than that so there’s essentially free money you’re passing up.
As others have stated, the liability reduction you get from an LLC is a bit overrated, but the tax saving bit is real money in your pocket.
The first link I found about this: http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/why-you-might-choose-s-corp-taxation-your-llc.html
01/17/2017 at 6:01 pm #10559
Thanks for the info. We spoke with our accountant about it and got a little bit of a different story since he intimately knows our financials. For now, it wouldn’t really help us for the work it’d take to set up.
And I honestly can only handle so much complexity at a time. This year we’re hiring an employee and putting another vacation rental into action. We’ll also be building a big storage building. That’s plenty on our plate.
Maybe S-corp next year. i’d love to hear from others that currently have one.
01/18/2017 at 1:21 am #10600LoveJamParticipant
Hey guys can anyone help me with this…is there any way to add additional images to an active listing that you already have sales on? eBay seems to say no, which seems lame. Do I have to end the listing and relist to be able to add an extra picture or two? I hate to lose all the watchers on this item, but I think these extra images would be super helpful to interested buyers.
01/18/2017 at 8:06 am #10613amazingtasteParticipant
I think if you have someone send a question you can add pictures to the response and then save it to the listing. You might try that.
01/18/2017 at 5:32 pm #10661
i thought you could just add more photos to the listing at any time. i’ve never had an issue with that.
01/18/2017 at 2:00 am #10602SimonParticipant
- Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Here are my numbers for this week:
Total Items in Store: 1421
Items Sold: 29
Total Sales: $600.67
Cost of Items Sold: $78.3
Average Price Sold: $20.71
Average Cost of Item: $2.70
Highest Price Item Sold: $47.92 -Snap-on Soft Blow Bronze Tip Hammer
Number of items listed this week: 70
Average age of items in store (in days since listing): 197
Average number of days between listing and selling this week: 118
Median age of sales (in days, between listing and selling): 34
Sell-through rate: 2.04%
# of Hats Sold: 18
This was another very typical week for me all around though we did get more new items listed than usual. I’ve also set up a second account to try my hand at selling postcards. I listed about 25 old postcards as a test and didn’t sell any yet. Not sure it’s going to be something I’ll pursue.
One question that came up in this week’s podcast was “What kinds of hats sell?”. I extracted some info out of my main spreadsheet to show you a summary of the kinds of hats sell for me.
01/19/2017 at 8:51 am #10692
You’ve done well with hats. Do you still have a steady supply of these? How much are you paying per hat. It seems you gross average about $18 per sale, right?
01/18/2017 at 2:32 am #10605LizParticipant
I really liked this podcast. I liked the comment about “not trying to build an empire”. I have a small store by most people’s standards. I make in a month what Jay and Ryanne make in a week. Would I like to make more money? Sure. But I have other responsibilities, and as Jay said up-thread, there is only so much complexity I can handle at a time. I have sometimes felt a little reluctant to share numbers, because they aren’t that great in comparison to others. I don’t want to build an empire. I just want to make enough money to fence in my property and install carpeting. After that, I want to visit my aunt in NY, and then save all my money for retirement.
Anchor store reps and regular store reps: I have felt for a little while that the service I get from the ebay reps has gone down hill. Last year I had the mid-tier level store, and had mostly positive experiences with reps that seemed to want to help me fix problems. This year, I downgraded to the basic level store, and often feel like I get a “whatever” response from the reps. I had one rep recently tell me “Ebay really doesn’t want to get involved in these sorts of problems”, in reference to an INAD case. I was like, ok, well, I guess I’ll go f*** off then, lol, (no, I didn’t say that).
I hate the idea that there may be tiered level customer service, but it doesn’t surprise me. Lots of businesses do it. Maybe they are over-run with problems from basic level stores run by SAHM selling $3 shirts from the weigh and pay, and are only willing to invest more time into people that are willing to invest more in eBay. *shrug*
01/18/2017 at 10:40 am #10618MyCottageParticipant
Simon, Great info on the hats! Thanks!
01/18/2017 at 11:07 am #10620Marie in FloridaParticipant
Jay, Where on Amazon is the site to compare ALL my listings to the lowest price? I’m trying to do a similar type of fire sale on my books. I know how to look up each individual book and compare my price to the lowest price. But it doesn’t sound like you took the time to do each individually. I’d love to do it en masse and be done. Thanks
01/19/2017 at 8:47 am #10691
–Go to Amazon Seller Central
–Click on “Inventory” in navigation bar
–Choose “Manage Inventory”
Then you see a list of your inventory. It tells you the lowest price of each item. You have an option to match that price or set a new price.
You still have to do it one by one, but at least its all on one page.
01/18/2017 at 2:50 pm #10647Beverly – Far Out and FabulousParticipant
- Location: Edgewood, WA
Congrats on clearing our your death piles. I also took the winter time to clean out more of my own stuff. The sales were good, but lower dollar, but it was all fine by me. I’m going to start on my overstuffed closet of all my silk blouses and leather jackets from my work days…hard to part with some of it because I have that personal connection and know how much they cost originally, but it would be nice to have half the closet for my ebay stuff. Starting to go back to estate sales, got a few cool finds at one not even a mile away. Yard sales will not start back up in the rainy northwest for awhile.
01/18/2017 at 3:00 pm #10649Beverly – Far Out and FabulousParticipant
- Location: Edgewood, WA
Oh and thank you two for all the times you’ve talked about selling really messed up distressed things for costumes or for movies, etc. I bid on a fringed buckskin jacket sight unseen … yikes. Got it for $6.00, but when I picked it up, it was stiff, covered in powdery mildew, some missing fringe, and the pockets were coming unstitched, but the worst was it stunk to high heaven. I thought of just throwing it away or donating it, but remembered you guys.
So I hosed it off and looked up how to get rid of the mildew (put it in a big bag in the freezer and forget about it for awhile, kills off the mildew, it’s how the natives did it). When I took it out and let it defrost and dry, almost all the smell was gone, it just smelled like buckskin, not the gagging mildew.
So I listed it at $59.00 obo, got a $50.00 offer the next morning.
Here’s the listing with lots of warning about the condition, which is what I think made it sell:
01/18/2017 at 3:16 pm #10652
Nice sale. You did a good job describing the condition and showing it in your pics
01/18/2017 at 3:16 pm #10651mcgallicherParticipant
- Location: Virginia
Store Week January 8-14, 2017
Total Items in Store: 519
Items Sold: 26
Cost of Items Sold: Maybe $60 ?
Total Sales: $658.10
Highest Price Sold: $99.00 for a set of 50 paperbacks from the Sweet Valley High series
Average Price Sold: $24.37
How do you figure the COGS for something when you get a whole bag or box for $10? Do you divide the number of the items you bought into the cost, even if some are high ticket items and some are junk?
01/19/2017 at 8:52 am #10693
Yes, you guess. When items are that cheap, it almost doesn’t even make sense to try to deduct that cost. The amount of time it takes to keep up with items that cost you 25-cents seems silly.
01/18/2017 at 9:28 pm #10671ManateejaqParticipant
January 8-14 2017
Total items in store: Etsy 290 // Ebay 44
Items Sold: Etsy 8 // Ebay 1
Cost of items Sold: Etsy $35.84 // Ebay $0
Total Sales: Etsy $128.80 // Ebay $2.99
Highest Price Sold:$24.85 (Tie between a vintage Cinderella Book, and a Ninja Turtle Graphic Novel)
Average Price Sold: $16.10
Number of items listed this week: 31
Finished setting up my inventory system, and liking how easy it is to find my sold items now. I have my little light box set up now in the basement for small items, and will be setting up a spot to take pictures of larger items this week.
My toddler and I went to visit family over the weekend, and got hit by some bad weather at the end – so we stayed for an extra day until the roads were better. One less listing/work day this week, but at least we stayed safe.
01/19/2017 at 8:54 am #10694
Sounds like you’re doing it right. Put time into setting up alogical system and your business will flow.
We see a lot of new sellers just focus on buying (and more buying), then just dumping it all into a pile. Then they wonder why they’re tearing out their hair.
01/19/2017 at 4:46 pm #10724
sheepishly raising my hand ……..
I am in recovery though …….
01/19/2017 at 7:56 am #10686Marie in FloridaParticipant
Beverly, what a good make lemons of lemonade story. Profit is profit
01/22/2017 at 4:53 am #10832ValParticipant
- Location: Wisconsin
TO THE MAN WHO BOUGHT TRUCKER HAT WITH CRUMBLING FOAM…SELL THEM!! You just vacuum out the foam and you disclose it in your listing. Folks are more than happy to buy them and pay big money for them. Every once in a while I actually have to wash one even after vacuuming out the foam, is the foam is trapped behind stuff, but otherwise you are good to go.
I had the same question at one time after buying a huge moving box full of vintage trucker hats with great logos and patches. Because most were new I never thought to check the insides, so I was really bummed when I got them home and the foam had disintegrated. Sure enough that same day I was in the Facebook group The Thrifting Board and that specific subject came up. A great seller who does a ton of business in used hats gave the advice I noted above. He sells them all the time. Sure enough, I did what was suggested and they sold for good money and consistently! Good luck!
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