04/16/2017 at 7:48 pm #16653
- Location: Virginia
It’s no secret, it’s flea market season and we love it. So get out there and flea it up! Also had some mad luck on good old Craigslist this week both
[See the full post at: Scavenger Life Episode 306: We Love Flea Markets and Craigslist]
04/16/2017 at 8:30 pm #16655
Things have been slowing down from March, but still decent sales.
I have been thinking about ways to improve my store and have been thinking about Etsy, but I have some questions. I have been selling on ebay, Bonanza, and Truegether. Bonanza, and Truegether seem
to gross about 2% of the sales that I gopss on ebay, which is fine. I thought I would try to expand to Etsy. However, with Bonanza and Truegether it was a simple import from ebay. When I look to do this with Etsy, it appears to be more difficult and you have to either download a program and pay or pay someone to do it manually. So, my questions are: 1) Has anyone found a simple and free method to
import listings from ebay to Etsy? 2) Should I import all of my listings or just vintage ones? 3) From what I have heard, there seems to be more work involved with Keeping up your store in Etsy. 4) When an item sells, is it as simply as Bonanza to just go to Paypal and print the label? 5) I think Mike in Atlanta mentioned that there was a company that was working on a simple import from ebay to Etsy but it wasn’t ready yet and it wasn’t free. Does anyone have the details on that? 6) Has anyone imported from ebay to Etsy? If so, how have your sales been going?
Any advice would be helpful. Any other helpful tips about Esty would be appreciated.
04/17/2017 at 7:34 am #16687
There is a Etsy selling app. Yet I cannot figure out how to get it to work.
04/17/2017 at 5:08 pm #16719
Mark have you seen the Etsy thread? There are some good tips there for starting out on Etsy.
You can print your shipping labels right from Etsy.
I don’t personally know of a simple way to import listings like you do on Bonanza.
You can only list Vintage, Hand Made or Craft Supplies on Etsy.
04/17/2017 at 8:01 pm #16728
Thanks Nancy. I knew I saw this information before, but I didn’t remember that it was in a totally different thread. I think the one on “Cross Listing on Etsy” was the most helpful, but I think everyone is looking for what I’m looking for. Mike seems to think that Wonder Lister is a good choice.
04/16/2017 at 8:46 pm #16656
4/9 – 4/15
Total Items in store: 381
Items sold: 3
Cost of items sold: approx. $2.5
Total Sales: $50
Highest price sold: $25 Trucker hat
Average price sold: $17
Int’l sales: 0
Number of items listed this week: 0
Amazon disbursement – $2674
Full time ebay goal – was March 2018; now – ????
Ebay to Amazon – 7 sales – $1305, COGS – $321, fees – $72, profit – $547
04/17/2017 at 12:11 am #16667
Impressive online arbitrage. Does your fees include shipping costs to you, or are you adding that into your COGS.
04/17/2017 at 7:24 am #16685
Michael D, the shipping cost to me is included in the Cost Of Goods Sold. That I can think of, the only costs I don’t really account for are shipping into Amazon, the $40 per month “Amazon store fee”, and Inventory Lab fees. Shipping into Amazon, I buy heavy duty Moving boxes that cost $2 18x18x16. They generally cost around $8 or $9 to ship into Amazon and weigh 30 pounds. I buy the new boxes and spend the extra money on them because most boxes I send in have $3k or more in inventory.
- This reply was modified 1 week, 5 days ago by LeeinTN.
04/17/2017 at 7:31 am #16686
My real amazon numbers: It seems I didn’t do the math right:
Sales – $1305
Fees – $155.15
COGS – $604
Profit – $547
04/17/2017 at 5:55 pm #16721
Heavy duty boxes make sense when I ship in DVD/CDs I only use new heavy duty from lowes or home depot. A single box can add up to 2k.
Seems like you have found a nice niche!
04/16/2017 at 9:49 pm #16657
Podcast sounds like an exciting one. Very excited to go to The Stormville Flea next weekend! You guys should take a roadtrip for the weekend 🙂
Week April 9-15, 2017
Total Items in Store: 836
Items Sold: 15 (4 Amazon, 1 Bonanza)
Cost of Items Sold: $114
Total Sales: $557.66
Highest Price Sold: $100 (Iggy Pop Lust for Life record)
Average Price Sold: $37.18
Promoted Listings Test: 3 sales, $234.99 sales, $11.75 fees (5% of sales)
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
Number of items listed this week: 0
Decent weeks without a lot of effort put into the store as we were traveling for Easter. The Iggy Pop record was a great sale, but also sold some cast iron & marble bookends for $55 and vintage Nike bowling shoes for $80 to help out the average sales price.
04/17/2017 at 6:37 am #16679
I’ve noticed that you’ve been having great steady sales for a while now. You seem to have really hit your stride in the stuff you find and sell. $500+ a week is awesome.
04/17/2017 at 9:15 am #16697
Yeah, it’s been really great so far this year. In Q1 my gross sales were $8330 which is +61% vs same time last year ($5177). I’m on pace to have my best year since getting serious about this halfway through 2013 (I had $28,904 in gross sales last year).
I’m not sure what exactly it is – in fact, it’s probably a combination of things… being more selective, willingness to pay more for quality items, better photos & descriptions, most items in store to date, and also my promoted listings tests. Additionally, moving to a condo with less storage about 18 months ago, I’ve had to focus on smalls – 311 of my 836 listings (37% of my store) fall into Records, Playing Cards, and Cassette Tapes because they’re easy to store. 🙂
- This reply was modified 1 week, 5 days ago by Brian Treasures from Grandmas.
04/16/2017 at 11:29 pm #16662
This week I sold only 38 items compared to last week’s 57 sales. I think we had a double whammy with a holiday week the same week that taxes are due. Almost all of my sales have been low priced, but they do add up just the same. Looking forward to listening to the podcast!
04/16/2017 at 11:43 pm #16663
Flim Store Week 4/9-15
Total Items in Store: 824
Items Sold: 23
Cost of Items Sold: $193
Total Sales: $1,468.18
Highest Price Sold: $328 (vintage bag)
Average Price Sold: $63.83
Had 2 buyers flake out this week on a $150 item and a $350 item, so that was a drag, but my numbers have been relatively steady.
I finally get all the burnout talk from J&R all these years! Especially being a 1-person business – it’s tough to self-motivate some days. The clothing market is really tough some days when I feel like people churn and burn with $10/free shipping items. I can’t make that happen with NYC thrift prices and being a 1 person show. I also had a really scary temporary hold placed on my account for listing what some 3rd party business considered a fake Coach bag. I’m 99.9% positive it’s real, but ebay wanted to suspend my account from listing for a week. I called them at 4am (got the email at 2am) and had a conversation with a manager and convinced them to let me sell. Consistency is key, and a week without listing would have impacted my sales for at least 2 weeks. That was a scary email! Of course, there are dozens of listings for the same bag live right now on ebay, but I’ll be selling Coach bags on another platform from now on.
I did some consigning with the Real Real (fancy resale site) before I was away in the Philippines so I could make some money while I wasn’t listing. It’s nice to get another income stream and they do free pickups in NYC.
04/17/2017 at 6:49 am #16681
We had a caller on this podcast mention that she was suspended from listing because of a Coach bag. Seems wise to just not sell Coach bags on eBay if they’re going to be that aggressive about it.
And yes, burnout is a real thing. Working alone makes it doubly dangerous. Just make sure you’re taking time to enjoy the things you like doing. Like seeing a movie in the middle of the day. My favorite thing I used to do in NYC.
Hope your Philippines trip was fun!
04/17/2017 at 10:06 am #16701
The Philippines was fantastic! They have “ukay ukay” stores which are all secondhand clothing – the thing is, at that point the clothing is usually on its 5th or 6th owner. While I didn’t find anything to resell, it really hit home the fact that the US is so incredibly wasteful. People reuse so much more because they have to. I loved seeing all my cousins and aunts in my old clothes that I’ve been sending abroad for YEARS. Also showed me that I buy way too much. -_-
04/18/2017 at 12:39 pm #16742
flim: My wife would beg to differ with you. She says I never throw out my clothes, that I wear them forever. 🙂 However, I realize that many people/Americans are not like me.
04/18/2017 at 10:58 pm #16755
Isn’t there a website where you can get Coach bgs authenticated? Do they give you a special number to add to your listing to prove it’s authentic? Is it exhorbitant in cost?
04/16/2017 at 11:52 pm #16664
Haven’t listened yet, waiting until tomorrow when I will finally get to take photos again. I was happy to see in your second store your biggest sale was a winter coat. I have a stack of coats measured and just sitting there waiting to be photographed. I debated with myself if I should list winter stuff now or pile it up and wait. But myself finally decided an item listed now is listed and I can forget it. Spring, Summer or Winter I don’t think it really matters. If a buyer likes it and needs it they will buy it.
04/17/2017 at 12:20 am #16668
I agree, list them now. We sold two pairs of ice skates, winter jacket and two pairs of insulated snow boots this week.
Between now and say November you will end up spending .25 in listing fees on each item. Or free if you don’t max out your free monthly listings.
04/17/2017 at 6:51 am #16682
We just like to get stuff up when we have it in the queue. I wouldnt just list winter coats all summer, but if you have them ready, put them up.
04/18/2017 at 11:01 pm #16756
Last week I sold a mens overcoat and a couple of womens swim suits. It’s hot/cold somewhere all the time!
04/16/2017 at 11:52 pm #16665
Store Week 4/9/17 4/15/17
Total items in store: 1244
Items sold: 19
Cost of items sold: $28.83
Total sales: $878.92
Highest price sold: $125.00 (It was a tie between a set of George Washington miniatures and a 1940s photo album full of pictures.)
Average price sold: $46.26
International Sales: 1
Returns: 0 (But I did issue a partial refund for one item, for a return initiated last week.)
Money spent on new inventory this week: $32.98
The week started out really slow, but I got some listing done, and it ended up great with several higher priced sales late in the week. And today, on Easter, I sold a Halloween decoration! Can’t wait to listen tomorrow!
04/16/2017 at 11:54 pm #16666
annabel52 – I have a few vintage ski jackets ready to list that I was a little hesitant about, but in the end I agree with you – better to list now and have it all done with.
04/17/2017 at 11:50 am #16707
I find if I put coats and things in a tote an decide to “handle them later” that I forget about them until too late. I have a tote half full of swimwear that I needed to get up but my SweetiePie keeps me busy and his medical needs are more important than swimwear. I’ll get them eventually.
04/17/2017 at 12:21 am #16669
Total Items in Store: 9190
Items Sold: 123
Cost of Items Sold: $187
Total Sales: $3,137.85
Highest Price Sold: $285 (GIJOE Toy Set)
Average Price Sold: $25.50
Returns: 3 (VCR, Clothing)
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $145
Number of items listed this week: 52
Good week on ebay and amazon, highest item sold was an exclusive set GiJoe toy for $285. Other higher selling items on ebay, PFAFF sewing machine $208 and a Mormon LDS book set for $231.47. On amazon we sold a Charleston AFB history book for $201, Any Warhol Index $205 and a Nightmare on Elm street poster for $90.
I love flea markets and yard sales. I skip over all of the new junk/knock off items and coupon resellers, unless I need something for the house. I usually look for people who are clearing out their houses or doing a once a year yard sale. They typically want to sell as much as possible because they don’t want to re-load their car. I do several flea market sales throughout the year just to clear out some stuff that I do not want to put on ebay, I usually source more during the sale than I sell.
Jay, I go to the toll gate flea market what is other one is in your area? Have you gone to the reinstituted Charlestown flea market?
Went to the Goodwill pay by pound while I was in Baltimore last week, scary place, makes my local pay by pound look like a Saks 5th Avenue.
- This reply was modified 1 week, 5 days ago by michael d.
04/17/2017 at 7:06 am #16683
The other one we go to is just a small local one near Woodstock. It’s hit or miss. I love Double Gate.
Is this the other one you’re talking about in Stanton?
04/17/2017 at 5:59 pm #16722
Yes, that looks like the one. They closed it down for awhile and it recently reopened last year. My brother-in-law went to it as a seller and said the layout is nice.
04/17/2017 at 12:37 am #16671
RR Store Week April 9-15, 2017
Total Items in Store: 1,252
Items Sold: 31
Cost of Items Sold: $43.95
Total Sales: $814.49
Highest Price Sold: $110 (vintage Hakata doll)
Average Price Sold: $26.27
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $27.85
Number of items listed this week: 31
Between my birthday and taxes, I didn’t get a whole lot listed. But I still hit my goal, which makes me very happy.
Lots of what I sold this week were freebies from friends and family. My neighbor’s old clothes are starting to move, and some sunglasses my parents gave me sold as well, including a pair of vintage Vuarnet sunglasses for $60. That’s pure profit! And I didn’t go begging; my folks are trying to downsize before retiring and moving in the next few years. They’re happy to give stuff to me instead of donating it. I got my “eye” from my Mom, so I know most of the stuff I’m getting is quality.
Also, did anyone else get asked to be an eBay Expressionist? I was invited to this new program where they get a cross section of sellers to discuss the platform. From the sign in page:
“eBay expression is a community of eBay sellers, who have the opportunity to provide feedback, input and insights through surveys and forum discussions about eBay products, services, new concepts and ideas. These valuable insights will help us improve and shape the future of eBay. eBay expression is by invite only and the mix of sellers participating will change over time.”
I will definitely be checking the “How Can eBay Improve?” threads here on SC and contributing what I can on the Expression site. Unfortunately, I had to sign a non disclosure form, and since my eBay seller name and my name here are the same, I don’t think I’ll be able to share much. But we’ll see.
04/17/2017 at 12:39 am #16672
My numbers for the Week April 9-15, 2017
Total Items in Store: 877
Items Sold: 18
Cost of Items Sold: $28.94
Total Sales: $376.31
Highest Price Sold: $100 (Navy Pea Coat)
Average Price Sold: $20.91
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $20
Number of items listed this week: 20
04/17/2017 at 1:40 am #16676
Week 3 10-16
Number of Active Listings: 235
Items Sold: 6
Avg Selling Price: $46.10
Cost of Goods Sold: -$3.00
Total Sales: $276.62
Unpaid Items: $0.00
Highest Paid Item: 2x Antarctica Souvenir Minted Silver Coins, both went for $95 each.
Super slow week for me that got saved at the end by a few last minute purchases. Didn’t get much of a change to do any scavenging this week either so going to have to focus on that a bit more next week.
I’d also set my goal to reach 300 listings, which we almost achieved… until eBay pulled down 30 of our listings because we used the word “Swarovski” when we were selling handmade jewellery using Swarovski crystals, go figure…. contacted eBay they basically said we needed to talk with Swarovski and get authentication, hit up Swarovski and they basically told us we’re going to get trademark violations if we use the word regardless they’re gonna make the claim…. I could explain to them how Australian consumer law and copyright works but that seems like a lot of effort for items I’m selling for only $10-20, so probably easiest to just remove the word and relist. What’s more annoying is when they remove a listing you can’t just go back and edit it and relist, they just delete it forever, which is great coz it means our SKU’s for where they were stored in inventory also got deleted…. so that was fun searching for them. We also decided to pull down about another 20 listings because we felt we’d slacked on the photos for them (items when we first started) so they got unlisted and put back in the death pile.
- This reply was modified 1 week, 5 days ago by davidbloop.
04/17/2017 at 7:13 am #16684
We like to post these weekly numbers because it can be nerve racking focusing on daily sales. Some days will be slow, especially with under 500 items in your inventory. But if you look at your sales over a week or month, things average out.
And yes, it doesn’t make sense to sell items that eBay aggressively pulls down. That’s a losing battle.
04/19/2017 at 9:02 am #16764
What’s funny to me, is that personally, I find even when it’s going slow for us, I’m still amazed at how well we’re doing. I was ready to cop weeks or even months on end without sales until I got my inventory up, so even though I may act like I’m sweating the slow times, I’m still managing to surpass my own expectations with every sale.
Had our first international sale yesterday too, so that’s a good milestone to cross off the list 🙂 Good way to learn how customs forms work too… by jumping in the deep end and promising a customer you’ll handle it 😛
Had our first refund too… oh well fair game, item arrived broken. Posties must’ve used the package as a skateboard ramp or something… anyway apologised to the customer and gave a full refund, then got the best glowing feedback we’ve received so far 🙂
04/17/2017 at 7:48 am #16689
Those “Junkers” at the Flea Markets are probably pulling in the most money there. They make a minimum of $600 to 1K a day. Even in small not well attended fleas. If you go to them enough, the regular Junkers will give a tally to each other. Its like a race to see who sells the most. They do cleanouts or auction buys. They pull out the high end stuff. Sell it to high end dealers, high end auction houses, or on eBay themselves.
Its the volume. They just don’t care about the small dollar items. They don’t have time to look at each and every piece. Because next week, it starts all over again. There is one guy that gets about 5K a week doing this. He is thinking of taking a real job. He’s getting older and it has benefits. Yet he will be taking a pay cut. So he will probably dabble in both.
There is an auctioneer that has been around forever. Not one thing escapes his scrutiny. He squeezes every last penny out of everything. It is a waste to go to his auctions or house sales. He sells the high dollar items on eBay. Puts the things that look like they would sell high on eBay in his auctions. And leaves big items at high prices in his Estate Sales. He is no ones fool. He doesn’t hire much help. I don’t know how he does it all himself.
Anyhow those “Junkers” are getting more than gas money. They have it all figured out.
04/17/2017 at 7:55 am #16690
In New Hampshire, everyone is fighting to dig through those boxes on the ground. New Hampshire shoppers are true scavengers. When I see that mess of people fighting over the boxes, I head out in the opposite direction. Usually I find the most amazing things.
I have found amazing things in Brimfield as well. Once I was slowly walking one field, while my ex was walking another that just opened. So I went into the tent of one of the highest priced dealers in Brimfield. I found a couple of figurines that were hot at the time. I wasn’t going to ask the price, but I did and was surprised. He hardly asked anything for them. They were worth about a grand.
Not everyone knows everything. A spouse, relative or friend could be watching the spot and just throw out a price. They mess up on the price. Or they are sick of whatever it is. Bought it years ago. Haven’t sold it for years. Want it gone and right now its the hottest thing, but they don’t know it. Its all one big scavenger hunt. Low end/high end, you can find something anywhere. That’s what makes it so thrilling. THE FIND!
04/17/2017 at 11:32 am #16706
Karen, That’s so true—you can find stuff anywhere—I suspect most of us are scavengers instead of retail arbitragers because we love the thrill of the hunt. (Not knocking retail arbitrage…I do it when the opportunity falls in my lap, and it’s worth doing, but for me, the real fun is digging through an antique shop or thrift store, yard sale or auction…
04/17/2017 at 8:02 am #16692
Week of 4/9-4/15
Total Items in Store: 1,438
Items Sold: 64
Number of Items Listed This Week: 18
Total Sales: $1,901.37
Cost of Items Sold: $359.93
Highest Item Sold: $60 – Carhartt Heavy Canvas Field Jacket (Troy wins this week, Veronica leads 3-2)
Sales slowed this week, but that was expected with our low number of new listings for the week. Had a great few days with our son at college, watched him pitch six innings in his baseball game, secured the win, and looked very happy. We were also helping my parents as they move to Montana, so a lot of time away from the business this week. But we had a chance to shop and restock the inventory, so ready for a big week next week!
Regarding the Scan Sheets, you mentioned that since you sell unique items, that the Bulk Shipping doesn’t work for you. I agree, that using it is a little slower, but we sell lots of unique items as well, and we still make it work. We look at the “Awaiting Shipment” list, pull each item, pack it, mark down the item/name/zip/weight, then use the Bulk Shipping to print the labels. Anything that goes out FedEx we ship individually first. Also, the Bulk Shipping brings in the amount and type of shipping the buyer chose (Parcel, Priority, First Class), so many times, we don’t have a change. But if we do, we can make the change from the grid. You can also ship your International as well as Domestic in the Bulk Shipping tool. I track our time on each task, and we only spend 5 minutes longer to use the Bulk Shipping tool vs Individual labels, for 10-15 items per day. For us, the Scan Sheet is too important, as we don’t want to have to pay return shipping for Guaranteed Delivery if we don’t get the acceptance scan. If your post office is getting your packages scanned the same day they pick up every day, then you don’t have much of a risk. Ours is not that reliable…
04/17/2017 at 8:58 pm #16730
T-Satt, I’m starting to get the hang of it. Still takes me longer, but that scan sheet is worth it. In fact, I just heard the sweet sweet beep of the postal carrier scanning my sheet. Music to my ears!
I created kind of a work-around for the Global Shipping snag: I sold a bikini to a Canadian customer via Global Shipping. Glad for the sale, but it was on a Saturday, which throws a wrench in my Bulk Shipping plans, especially since I had a busy weekend. Since the bikini was my only GS sale, I printed that one up the normal way, then just dropped it off at the post office Sunday night; I knew I’d be close by, and it only took a second. So the GS item went a day early, the scan sheet covered the rest of the weekend’s sales, and all is right with the world…until tomorrow.
04/18/2017 at 8:55 am #16734
Rydell: Sounds great, that is what we do as well. Every so often, there is a problem with a buyer’s address that we have to correct, and the only way to print the label with the correction is individually. Those packages we drop off at the same location that we take our FedEx deliveries. Works like a charm.
Heads up: There have been two cases where the bulk shipper kicks out one label at the last minute (when generating the labels). No known reason. They print fine individually, so no idea why the bulk shipper kicks it out. A little frustrating. Next time it happens, I’m going to call eBay to see if a techie can look at a fix.
04/17/2017 at 9:03 am #16696
Marie in FloridaParticipant
Oh crud, summer has hit!
Total Items in Store: 270
Items Sold: 3
Cost of Items Sold: $4
Total Sales: $35
Highest Price Sold: $18.50 Vintage FP letter/stamps toy
Average Price Sold: $11.50
Lowest Price Sold: $5.99 Chico’s jacket
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
I will continue to have low sales like the Chicos. I have so many Chico’s. Stuff originally sells for $70-80, you would think it would resell well. I bought lots of it. Won’t again, but in the meantime I have a closet full of $6 Chicos items that I’m slowly listing.
04/17/2017 at 9:24 am #16700
- Location: Southern California
Total Items in Store: 341
Items Sold: 4
Cost of Items Sold: $21
Total Sales: $68
Highest Price Sold: $22 (used Pottery Barn Easter Bowl Set)
Average Price Sold: $17
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: +/- $30
I did all of my ebay bookkeeping and our tax return this week, so no listing even though I had a day off work. I also fell off the challenge wagon too and went thrifting one day. I was very selective but need to flip the ratio back this week.
Doing the bookkeeping made me reflect on my past approach to things. I was disappointed with my profit overall and realize I had too little profit on some types of items, but I have a plan to raise my average sales price after the piles are cleared. I also feel like I’m too slow dime on the vintage items and want to move items faster since there is an abundance to source. Finally, I really want to expand to Etsy if life is less crazy than last year and no surprise medical issues. So, we’ll see. Need to get out of phase II first clearing the piles.
04/17/2017 at 11:28 am #16705
My brother visited from overseas this week. I haven’t seen him in a couple of years since before I started eBay. The look on his face was priceless when I mentioned I had 1600 items listed on eBay. The average person thinks of eBay as a place to list one or two things at a time, not hundreds.
Here are my numbers for the week:
Total Items in Store: 1630
Items Sold: 20
Total Sales: $501
Cost of Items Sold: $42.98
Average Price Sold: $25.07
Average Cost of Item: $2.15
Highest Price Item Sold: $59.95 Vintage Apple Macintosh M0110A Keyboard
Number of items listed this week: 27
Average age of items in store (in days since listing): 226
Average number of days between listing and selling this week: 98
Median age of sales (in days, between listing and selling): 17
Sell-through rate (for the week): 1.23%
# of Hats Sold: 11 (55% of sales)
I had less than half the number of sales this week compared to the last couple of weeks. I see the same thing happened this time last year so hopefully things will bounce-back this week. My favorite sales of the week were a couple of piles of vintage architecture magazines that I bought from a hoarder’s estate sale a few weeks ago. The same person bought both piles for $45 each. I have a whole box more of the same that I haven’t listed yet.
04/17/2017 at 6:09 pm #16724
I love when I bump into old workmates or even neighbors who I don’t talk to much. They know what I did in the past and don’t understand why I would give up a high paying job in D.C. to sell junk on ebay. I never go into specifics on what I make or how I make it, I like to leave them scratching their heads as to what the heck is going on. I love driving my big junky gold colored 15 passenger van, usually full of crap, into our neighborhood. I try to park it right next to the shiny benz my neighbor leaves out on the road.
04/18/2017 at 11:22 am #16737
Michael D – I’m just part time right now, but I look forward to the day that I can toss in my 9-5 and just do what I want. I have a few years to go so I’m not sure if I’ll still be keen on eBay but right now, an eBay life sure does sound appealing.
04/18/2017 at 1:01 pm #16744
Simon: It is a lifestyle, that is for sure. You have the freedom to take time when you need it to do what you like. But you also have the responsibility to put in the hours and hard work to have that freedom. We do this full time and love it, but we know that we have to list at least 100 items per week (preferably more), otherwise the business starts to turn.
Take a long hard look at your numbers, what you can list each week, your average selling price, sell-thru rate, time to list, and forecast each month before you start. But it is worth it if you can do it!
04/17/2017 at 11:51 am #16708
- Location: Texas
Total Items in Store: 181
Items Sold: 2
Cost of Items Sold: $0.50
Total Sales: $90
Highest Price Sold: $82 (Tory Burch Wedge Pumps)
Average Price Sold: $45
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
Items Listed: 10
Lost part of the week being away in Corpus Christi, then part of the week was spent sorting my death piles into categories per my post in the Death Pile Challenge 2017. All clothes (sorted by type, e.g. shirts, dresses, jeans, etc.), shoes, hats, bags, and linens are now boxed individually. I’m listing all the items that don’t fit into those ^ categories to get them out of the way, then I’ll hit the boxes in the snowball system; smallest to largest, until they’re all done. ChristineR – wanna race? LOL
04/17/2017 at 12:09 pm #16709
I think it would be interesting for you to interview your assistant on your podcast. For example, why doesn’t she start her own ebay business? What are the pros and cons of being an ebay assistant? What has she learned that will help her in the future? What advice would she give others?
Love the podcast!
04/17/2017 at 12:27 pm #16710
04/17/2017 at 12:33 pm #16711
We’ll put this on our list. Not sure if she’s ready for primetime yet.
04/17/2017 at 12:38 pm #16712
You said she is in college, right? Sell it to her as interview or communication skills. You can never have too much of that.
04/17/2017 at 6:13 pm #16725
Not sure you would want to ask her why she hasn’t started her own business yet. I know you have gone over the reasons your not worried about it before but it seems like a loaded question.
04/17/2017 at 12:38 pm #16713
Regarding your pestering t-shirt guy, Perhaps if he bought it thru Bonanza or Truegether he would be happy with the price as it’s always a bit lower than what you have it listed for on eBay and he couldn’t leave you bad feedback on your eBay account either.
04/17/2017 at 3:15 pm #16715
Paulo H LeocadioParticipant
This week’s cast is phenomenal because it gets to the exact point about my passion (eBay as a business is a “consequence” of my passion to merge the hobby and possibility to make money).
I love picking, scavenging, goldimining as much as I love the rarities, to talk about them.
I am very introverted (shy actually, not necessarily introverted) and radical nerd. The things I do personally and professionally were not well interpreted in the past (remember the 90’s movies about nerds and also being a trasher).
Today the media coverage, TV shows, etc enabled people like me to come out and have a good time.
eBay is a great enabler for businesses in different levels.
I can travel and do what I like and at the same time do it with a purpose to make money (until recently I was just a major hoarder).
04/17/2017 at 3:54 pm #16716
To Carole, the woman who keeps calling in about her Fedex shipping issue:
It’s strange and very unfortunate that the Fedex employee forgot to take account for your package’s size when he measured it. But you should be measuring and weighing your packages yourself, not spending time and money bringing it to Fedex and taking videos of them doing it for you. You are losing quite a lot of time and money by not doing the work at home; for one thing we get an enormous shipping discount by buying it through eBay. It doesn’t take any time at all; I would recommend listening to the early episodes of Scavenger Life (when it was still called eBay Scavengers) to learn about things like handling your own shipping and packaging.
04/17/2017 at 5:05 pm #16717
Great description of the different types of flea market sellers. They’re identical to our car boot sellers. The only difference here is that we also have non-business sellers who are just trying to get rid of their stuff and make some money. We don’t really have yard sales here so a carboot sale is like a flea market and yard sale combined.
Regarding the caller who got the New Era Red Bull cap taken down. I think the VERO claim will have been on the New Era brand (rather than the Red Bull brand). I had a New Era cap taken down too. I guess they’re constantly on the lookout for sellers trying to flip they’re products.
04/18/2017 at 10:11 am #16735
I just had a red bull hat that sold new without tags for $25.
I think rb is very popular I had 1 person ask me to lower the price then the next day it sold fp.
Most of my hats sell in the 14.95-18 range but after looking them up I raised the price.
It was up for about 2 weeks and I had no issues with VERO. The inside of the tag clearly showed that is was an authentic RB hat.
I’ve had plenty of New Era hats though New Era was not in the title.
I did have yet a second hat removed for velcro violation. It was an older listing that I forgot to take velcro out of the title. Now I just say adjustable see photos.
04/18/2017 at 11:25 am #16738
Nope. It’s definitely a Red Bull claim. They specifically mention the New Era Red Bull cap on their vero page as not being authorized: http://www.ebay.com/gds/vero-profile-red-bull-gmbh/584edbaea5ab1d07881ba710/g.html
04/17/2017 at 5:06 pm #16718
Brimfield Fair in Brimfield MA is just over 2 hours from me here in NH, coming up in early May then again in July & Sept. It’s a great day, so huge, so much stuff. I love seeing all the mid century items, beautifully staged vintage booths and superb people watching! Yes, there are items to be found for resellers, I’ve picked up many small items simply because I didn’t want to carry big things. You can hire porters to haul your big purchases to your vehicle. Just watch for rainy days or the morning after a big rainstorm otherwise it’s a muddy mess, bring spare footwear. Be ready to walk & walk & walk. We even took a nap in the back field before. As Ryanne says, be prepared- food, water, sunglasses. You may even see Lara Spencer & Flea Market Flip filming, I did. My favorite part is just taking lots of photos. I can’t wait to go soon!!!
- This reply was modified 1 week, 4 days ago by Willow603.
04/17/2017 at 9:44 pm #16732
Week of 4/9-15
Total items in store: 793
Items sold: 29
Total sales: $339.36
Average sale: $ 11.70
COGS: $ 25.79
$ spent on new inv: $35.59
# of new items listed: 25
Highest sale-$50 Martha Washington bedspread ($5)
I was actually pretty pleased with this week’s sales. Lots of small sales, but enough big sales to make it a good week. Plus, every small sale I make gets replaced with a much high priced listing.
Question-what do you do if an item is returned as undeliverable and you contact the buyer and get no response? It’s not a high priced item and I emailed twice. It’s been at least 30 days since it came back as undeliverable. Should I just relist it and move on?
I had EBay make me take down a Kate Spade purse about a year ago. My youngest was delighted as she ended up with it. I also tried to sell a machine I got when I had my knee surgery and EBay took it down because of some medical equipment rule. Both times they warned me, but did stop me from listing more items. Bonanza has taken down a John Deere hat, but it goes back up every time they update my listings.
Even though sales may slow down in the summer, I consider it my prime scavenger season! Garage sales, church sales, estate sales all pick up and I always say I sell on EBay to support my treasure hunting!
04/19/2017 at 12:20 pm #16782
retiredtreasures719, On the item returned and buyer not responding
I recommend refunding immediately (you can deduct shipping and any return shipping if paid). I had a big heavy law book returned with markings “packages not accepted.” I tried contacting buyer repeatedly and no answer. I waited about 10 days, thinking maybe they went on vacation or something and was going to wait until the end of the month. Well, before that happened, the buyer opened a case with their credit card company, which opens a PAYPAL case. I called paypal and responded to the case, but the buyer got her money back for the item price, case closed. They didn’t refund her the original shipping, but I was not able to deduct the return shipping. eBay and PayPal were very sympathetic and said they would have allowed me to refund and keep any shipping I was out, but since it was opened through her credit card company, there was nothing more to be done.
So I recommend refunding them the item price, call ebay to make sure you get your final value fees back, and notifying buyer you have refunded them and are relisting and if they want it, they’ll have to buy it again, with correct address.
04/17/2017 at 10:43 pm #16733
Week of Apr 9 – 15
* Total Items in Store: 757
* Items Sold: 15
* Cost of Items Sold: $24.99 + $24.73 Commission
* Total Sales: $321.68
* Highest Price Sold: $87.80 Harmony Kingdom Collectible Box
* Average Price Sold: $21.45
* Returns: 0
* Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
* Number of items listed this week: 0
I was on vacation this past week, so my sales were pretty strong considering my extended handling time. My slow weeks were more in mid to late March.
Today was spent packing and shipping. I use bulk shipping, and I edit the shipping information for each item as I pack it up. I print out the scan sheet at the end. I don’t know if that takes me longer, but today, lugging all my items into the PO with a hand truck, I know that the people behind me in line appreciated how fast I finished my turn. It was busier than normal due to tax time.
I didn’t list or buy anything because of my trip, but my parents gave me half a trunk load of stuff. It will keep me busy for the next few weeks!
I like flea markets and yard sales, but I find that the good stuff at low prices can hard to come by. Once I find a good sale, though, it can be better than the auctions. Last year, I bought a set of 10 Jadeite cups and saucers plus a few bowls for $5. I doubt I could get that price at an auction!
04/18/2017 at 11:07 am #16736
- Location: Wheeling, WV
Apr. 9 – 15
Total Items in Store: 687
Items Sold: 9
Total Sales: $288
Highest Price: $70 (Martex Percale Cotton Blend 4-Piece Full Size Bed Set)
Average Price: $32
Cost of Items Sold: $92
Costs of Items Purchased this Week: $308
Well Summer Slowdown has hit for sure! I’ve gone through this last summer so I know what to expect. I’m just thankful for my day-job to support me in the slow times while I get my listings to a higher level.
I’m a bit late on posting this week. We’ve been busy! On Thursday, we went to a HUGE auction. Lot’s of primitives and antiques…and lots of collectors and resellers. We managed to get a car-load anyway so we did alright. I spent two days doing inventory on all the stuff I bought. And I’ve been giving online auctions a try. They’re not as fun as the live ones, and I hate not being able to look over the stuff you’re buying in person, but I managed to score some good loot for really cheap.
The only customer issue I had this week came from a person that I sold a phone dialer extension to. He sent me a message wanting me to call him and explain how to program phone numbers into it. I’m just ignoring him for now, but if he sends me another message, I might call ebay to see what they think I should do.
04/18/2017 at 12:26 pm #16740
Tell him you sold it coz you didn’t know how to program phone numbers into it*
EDIT: Terrible advice dont do that…… id probably just explain that you aren’t able to provide technical support to him for the item and then maybe take the time to point him in the direction of a website that can help him.
- This reply was modified 1 week, 3 days ago by davidbloop.
04/18/2017 at 12:42 pm #16743
see if you can find the manual for that item on line and send him the link to it..
04/18/2017 at 1:06 pm #16745
Listened to an interesting podcast on eCommerce Momentum today about a guy who has a goal to get to 10,000 listings on eBay by the end of this year. There is a lot of information in here, some I agree with, and some I don’t, but I like to listen to lots of different ideas to see what I can experiment with.
04/18/2017 at 1:54 pm #16747
I haven’t listened to this audio yet, but I’m going to assume he’s not listing one of a kind items. Because everything you list then becomes everything you need to store.
04/18/2017 at 2:32 pm #16748
Actually, he really means 10,000 listings (not just items that are the same). Lots of clothes and small items (not like the stuff that you and Ryanne do), and they talk about his process, storage, listing, employees (he is at 2, wanting 3-4 more), sourcing, etc. I think there will be more of a challenge than he thinks, but he really has done some thinking on this and is cranking. Looking for $10/item profit. Will be interesting to track…
04/18/2017 at 2:39 pm #16749
Will be interesting to listen to. We know two guys who do house clean outs. They started selling on eBay in a big way. Hired eight people to photograph, list, and ship. Plus a manager to supervise everything. They rented a big warehouse space to process and store items. They sell mainly low dollar items. Definitely under $20 sale price.
After all their costs, I have no idea how they make any money. That’s when the business is working you just to keep up with expenses.
04/18/2017 at 3:48 pm #16751
I totally agree. The numbers have to add up to the life you want. My wife was the one that pulled me into this life, as she took a job for a while working as a lister for someone here in Denver that was working eBay/Amazon/Etsy/Craigslist etc full time. I REALLY wanted to look at his books. As an accountant, and growing up around businesses, I could not see how he was profitable. Veronica was the only one that I thought was making them money (as every employee should be increasing your bottom line). That is when I first thought of being able to do this full time. So I ran my own projections and figured out how to do it.
After Veronica left him and we went full time, her old employer pivoted to more large items on Craigslist and unique on eBay. But with his overhead and labor, I don’t know how he can be profitable. The big advantage you and Ryanne have is the “free” warehouse space (no rent, but I realize you just built a new warehouse).
Good accounting, forecasting, and budgeting is rare in this space. You do a good job of it for you guys, and that was what I brought to the business for us. I LIVE by the numbers…cause they don’t lie…
And if you love selling cheap stuff a lot and managing all that activity…great. Do that. End of the day…make your numbers work for the life you want…
04/23/2017 at 9:19 am #16937
I listen to a lot of podcast and YouTube channels for reselling, and I just found the guy listing 10,000 items on YouTube. His channel is 10k on the Bay.
Jay & Ryanne: He listens to Scavenger Life. I went to his YouTube channel and started listening from the beginning. On Episode 3, he talks a little about his pricing strategy, and he referenced Scavenger Life and your pricing and store model.
Just wanted to let you know!
04/23/2017 at 10:22 am #16940
Ha. A good example of us creating our own competition. Let’s keep all the stuff our of landfills!
I know I need to just listen to his podcast, but what’s the summary on his selling strategy? Is he selling stuff cheap to hopefully sell it fast?
Any reason why he wants to list 10,000 items? Or just an arbitrary number?
04/23/2017 at 12:55 pm #16944
I’ve watched a few of his youtube video. He set the number at 10k because he runs through the math and at 10k listings he hits the set amount of money that he wants to make per month. He sells primarily mens dress shirts. He bases the projected model from his current small inventory. I tried this last year with limited success, we stopped at 5k clothing listings because sales didnt match our growing inventory.
Starting fresh is nice though, he does a great job listing to everyone out there and applying their methods to his business model. He has a good stream of inventory coming in and a good inventory management system. His next hurdles will be storage and someone to help him pack if he truly wants to push out 100-150 packages a day.
I have too much time on my hands…
04/23/2017 at 5:02 pm #16951
So, two basic thoughts that he has discussed. One is buy at $10, sell at $30 (gross), and net $10 (after shipping, fees, and paying employees). His math there works based on our model, but I have heard him say he plans to pay $2 for listing (and that means drop of the item, and the lister photos, lists, and drops off ready to ship.)
The other philosophy he has stated was to be just under market price at 75%, willing to go down to 50%, to keep his sell thru rate at 33% per month. There is some validity to that as well based on our numbers, as long as the research is good.
04/18/2017 at 1:50 pm #16746
Wow 10,000 is quite the goal! I personally have set my sights on 4,000 by then 😉
04/18/2017 at 11:29 pm #16758
I get a headache just thinking about that many listings. I keep trying to keep mine down to 1K because I only have limited storage space (2 rooms in the basement.) ideally I wish I knew how to get things to sell faster–I did add Make Offer to most of my listings and that has helped. But I’ve still inched ip to 1300 listings.
04/18/2017 at 3:33 pm #16750
April 9-15 2017
• Total Items in Store: 725
• Items Sold: 13
• International 0
• Total Sales $540
• Highest Price $125 Shure phono cartridge
• Average Price Sold: $42
• Returns: 0
• Cost of Items Sold: $35
• Cost of items purchased this week $25
Very slow week, already more than doubled that with 1 sale this week as you’ll see in tomorrow’s video.
04/18/2017 at 4:08 pm #16752
April 9-15 2017
Total items in store 1321
Sold 51 (34 Tunic sales)
Total Sales $1,549.85
Highest price sold Birkenstocks paid 20.00 sold for 75.00
Average price 30.38
International Sales 2 GSP
Spent on new merchandise 155.00
A phenomenal week for my store it feels like eBay turned me on. It’s the tunic sales. I sold 34 for a total of 1033.00. Other sales totaled 516.85 which is still a good week (with out the tunics).
Someone asked if the tunics are new. Yes new in the package with tags, found in a thrift store.
Question for Jay & Ryanne (or anyone else)
From what I gather square doesn’t do payroll in MO? I remember you mentioned on a podcast that you researched several payroll companies but decided to use Square. Maybe you can recommend an online company that can do my payroll? My helper is working 10 hours a week and doing a great job. She mostly creates drafts but we have started doing some inventory management. BTW I am adding a unique ID number to the SKU field on my listings for inventory. It’s great only I can see it and I can run a report that shows items sold with SKU number along with the picture of the item.
04/18/2017 at 7:01 pm #16753
Yes, Square Payroll only seems to be in certain states. Not sure why. We like them because its a simple design and system.
We just googled “best payroll systems”. There are some good tech blogs that do side by side comparisons of price and features. Congrats on your success!
04/18/2017 at 11:35 pm #16759
I could tell that the holidays and taxes were over when I had eight items to pack and set out on the porch yesterday morning. Having both things distracting buyers at one time does put a crimp in sales for a bit. I do love getting back to “normal”.
04/19/2017 at 12:34 am #16760
April 9-15 2017
• Total Items in Store: 428
• Items Sold: 9
• Total Sales $302
• Highest Price $175 (used World of Warcraft Collectors Edition set)
• Returns: 1 (a ceramic figurine broken in the mail, so I refunded and submitted an insurance claim via USPS)
• Cost of Items Sold: about $10. I have no idea what we paid for the WoW set 10 years ago. Probably not $175, though.
Slow week. Lots of rain here, too. We had to get the roofer out to do some spot repairs after a nasty storm blew through here, so I’ve been dealing with that and not listing much. I leave town for Chicago on Thursday. While I am there, I’m hoping to hit up some of the thrifts in my old neighborhood in the suburbs.
04/19/2017 at 9:15 am #16767
This is about Craigslist on mobile. I have an iPhone and I use an app called Cplus for Craigslist and it works just fine for searching, maps, posting etc. This doesn’t help the guy with an android but for those with iPhones it might. Just wanted to pass that along.
04/19/2017 at 4:34 pm #16832
I use that app on my iPhone. It’s not bad. Strange Craiglist doesn’t just make their own mobile app.
04/19/2017 at 4:27 pm #16831
I recently received an email from Goodwill (I’m in the NorthWest)…anybody else?
You let us know you wanted lower prices. We listened.
We’ve dropped apparel & book prices and we’re
bringing more bargains back throughout the store!
Now you can get that vintage band t-shirt and still afford their comeback tour tickets.
Here’s the article: https://www.goodwillwa.org/shop/bringing-bargains-back/
04/20/2017 at 12:10 pm #16871
Hi, I live in Brown’s Point, so we are close neighbors, anyhoo, I was just out in the GW stores yesterday and didn’t notice much cheaper prices although I don’t buy clothing in general, but I do buy shoes and the prices seem like they always have been–sort of pricey.
04/19/2017 at 9:26 pm #16846
- Location: Pennsylvania
Total Items in Store: 512
Items Sold: 20
Cost of Items Sold: $6.50
Total Sales: $412.15
Highest Price Sold: $68.65 Vintage Robotech Jet Toy
Average Price Sold: $20.61
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $63.60
Number of items listed this week: 32
I had a pretty busy week in my store (and elsewhere…). I think this may be the 1st time I’ve sold 20 items in a week, and it was a lot of little items I put up a few months back. Not a lot of money on those things but then I had a lot of higher priced items go on Friday and saturday. Lots of toys from the 80s.
04/19/2017 at 9:28 pm #16847
Congrats, Andrew … bit by bit.
04/21/2017 at 1:27 pm #16903
Went to Goodwill today. Saw a pair of ankle-length Harley Davidson boots. They were used, but in pretty good shape. The soles looked very good. They wanted $15. I was about to pop on them when I noticed the left boot was size 9 ½ and the right boot was size 9. I looked at both tags a few times and yes, they were different sizes. I left them since I didn’t want to have to explain this situation in the eBay listing and probably end up with a return. Got me to wondering whether in this age of customization whether one could buy a pair of different sized footwear. Yes you can. I’m sure there are others, but I found this site.
I still didn’t want to buy them, but am curious if anyone else sells different sized footwear for one pair of shoes/boots, etc.
04/22/2017 at 7:55 am #16924
Yes, I’ve sold a number of mismatched shoes and boots, although they were all bought by accident. They went for better than average price too.
Single shoes sell as well.
04/21/2017 at 3:03 pm #16912
BrianB, a few months ago I sold a pair of mens dress shoes with different widths (one medium, and one wide). They actually sold pretty quickly. As I was doing research, I found quite a few “mistmatched size” shoe listings on ebay. So yes, it’s a thing.
04/23/2017 at 11:54 pm #16958
Hi, you guys got a new podcast coming tonight?
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