05/14/2017 at 7:58 pm #17983
This week on the forum we had another long discussion about the best way to sell on eBay. Is it wrong to let items sit in your store too long? Should
[See the full post at: Scavenger Life Episode 310: Am I Selling on eBay the Wrong Way?]
05/14/2017 at 10:34 pm #17990
Welcome back guys! I bet you are glad to be home. Great episode! Edgar and I have opposite ways of running our ebay stores. I like to sell similar to you guys, long tail items priced high. He is more about getting rid of stuff fast. I find the long tail is more profitable for me. I prove it over and over again. But wanting to keep our home life happy I will let him handle his store the way he wants. 🙂
05/15/2017 at 9:05 am #18002
Well said. Running an eBay store is all about trying out new ways of selling. You and Edgar can run each of your stores differently and then see the results. As long as you guys are profiting, it’s all good!
06/16/2017 at 1:48 am #19458
I am new to Scavenger Life and was wondering what the perspective is on sales – how often to have them, specific item types to put on sale, types of sales (percentage rates) etc.
06/16/2017 at 6:39 am #19463
I don’t think there’s a consensus on running sales. Some people have “perma-sales” because they think it boosts their item’s visibility in search. Some people run deeply discounted sales when they want to clear out inventory.
I think sales are just something seller does to make them feel like they have some control. Its just a tool you can use.
06/16/2017 at 8:57 am #19468
Welcome to the forum! Personally, I always have some sort of sale on but it’s specific items/categories and not my whole store or anything. Old, big, bulky items that have had little/no interest that I need to move get put in the clearance section of my store. That section is always on sale and max percentages off. Then, I’ll rotate certain categories on sale – some times it’s records, sometimes clothes, sometimes toys. I haven’t pinpointed if it actually helps sales at all, but it keeps me checking on items and ensuring old stock is moving while I bring in new things.
This of course all has to do with my limited storage in an urban apartment. If I had a larger area for my inventory, I might be less worried about moving stuff out.
05/14/2017 at 10:48 pm #17991
RR Store Week May 7-13, 2017
Total Items in Store: 1,313
Items Sold: 25
Cost of Items Sold: $46.23
Total Sales: $518.38
Highest Price Sold: $79.99 (50s eyeglasses)
Average Price Sold: $20.74
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $34
Number of items listed this week: 62
Yeah, another lame week. Not sure why; I listed consistently, and what I listed was all over the place, not just vintage clothing. I fielded questions, took/countered multiple offers, etc. I even sent a bunch of my really old items from Buy It Now to Auction to clear out some stuff. Still, crickets. I’m not in panic mode, but this is unsettling. I’d hate to have to get a little part time job to supplement my income.
Edited to add: Friday, the postal carrier skipped my packages. First time in a couple of months, but still. And it was six packages! So Saturday I took them to the post office, explained that they weren’t picked up, and asked them for a scan with Friday’s date. He happily obliged. I think it helped that the supervisor was standing right there. So, the retro scan is a thing!
- This reply was modified 9 months, 1 week ago by Rydell Relics.
05/15/2017 at 9:08 am #18003
Hopefully over the course of a month, your numbers will even out. How much do you need to make each month to avoid getting a job?
What happened to that guy you were listing LP’s for?
05/15/2017 at 10:24 pm #18073
Ideally, just over $3000 a month. And that just covers the basic bills and a bit for more inventory. If I could pull $4000 a month, my financial anxiety would be relieved. My biggest issue right now is not driving. My car is busted, so I’m not able to hit up as many estate sales, thrift stores, etc. as I used to. I’m lucky to have a girlfriend who likes picking with me, but she’s only available on the weekends. I’m trying to save up the dough to have the Benzo repaired, but it’s been tough with the low sales. It’s all a bad cycle I’m trying to break out of. Luckily, when I visited my storage unit last week, there was way more inventory in than I remembered. So, I have a lot to work with right now. And I just found an auction house a couple of miles away that’s open every other Sunday. They have box lots! Can’t wait to check it out.
The record guy let me go about a year and a half ago. His assistant said he couldn’t afford to keep me. A month later, he fired the assistant. Personally, I think he was going senile. His assistant was a whiz at coins, and I know records inside and out. Hard to understand why he’d let go of two experts that were making him money…and who worked for less than they were worth.
Interestingly, right after I wrote my initial post, I had a $380 sale, a Super Nintendo bundle. More of those, please.
05/17/2017 at 2:00 pm #18155
- Location: Atlanta
Got a question or two for you.
I just returned from a trip down in our basement looking over the space and came acroos a few old boxes which had colored stickers on them showing we have moved them several times with us over the decades but never re-opened them. They were heavy so I thought maybe old books, but nope, they are full of old LP Albums from the late sixties through the 70’s. All the beatles albums abby road, white album, jefferson airplane, Janice joplin, Iron butterfly, Jethro Tull, early allman brothers, vanilla fudge, moog sythensizer, grand funk railroad, and on and on. Many have the special posters and inserts in them. A Bob Dylan album has the poster inside which seels in the bread and butter range by itself.
A quick glance shows they sell in the ranges of $6-$7 to about $15. But I notice that many have rough wear on the bottom edge of the covers where we slide them in and out of wooden home made shelves. Many have scuffing that has left a dirt ring on either the front or backs from abrasion.
How about listings in lots. They are all so different I would guess if you only wanted beatles then lotting with Simon & Garfunkel wouldn’t fly.. Coo-Coo-cha-Chew Mrs. Robinson!! LOL 🙂
So here are the questions. I founf that a dry magic eraser removes most of the dirt without leaving any trace on the covers. OK to do so? Is it best to separate the inserts and list separately or leave with the album? Also I see some scruffs or rubs on the vinyl itself on a few. So should I need to get a turn table set-up and play each albun to see if those mars make the record skip? Or, since they only go for the $10-$12 range should I just list as untested?
I already have my costing for the 1 piece cardboard mailers, can use my clear bags to slip sheet them and cardboard insert spacers. So shipping is no problem.
Then lastly.. incl shipping [those mailers and weight of those heavier cardboard inserts] and list as FREE or do the calculated shipping thing.
Would appreciate any input from anyone on the topic
mike at MDC Galleries in Atlanta
05/16/2017 at 11:20 am #18099
Wow, who knew??? Thanks for the tip. FYI last week was dead due to Mother’s Day coming up. Never fails–the week before a holiday weekend everyone is planning for that and few are on ebay. Never fear, it will bounce back.
- This reply was modified 9 months ago by Linda Shields.
05/16/2017 at 10:21 pm #18126
Thanks Linda. I figured the weekend would be slow, but not the entire week!
05/14/2017 at 11:27 pm #17993
Interesting podcast. I have been thinking about trimming the fat from my store lately as well. With numerous old listings piling up I think it is hurting my sell through rate which in turn may cause Cassini to drop my listings in rank. Most of my dead listings are old cheap mall clothes and shoes, not one of a kind vintage items, so I think it is time to clearance and cut some listings. Thanks for the podcast!
05/15/2017 at 9:12 am #18004
If you look back at your older listings and realize they aren’t as valuable as you thought, then it’s smart to re-price or re-donate.
But if our items are well-researched and properly priced, we’re willing to sit on items till they sell. Often times these items won;t sell quickly no matter how cheap we list them.
05/15/2017 at 12:10 am #17994
Store Week 5/7/17 – 5/13/17
Total items in store: 1330
Items sold: 21
Cost of items sold: $24.22
Total sales: $1294.91 (My best week ever!!!)
Highest price sold: $240 (Pendleton blanket)
Average price sold: $61.66
International Sales: 4
Money spent on new inventory this week: $27.05
What a great week! I had several sales over $100 which is unusual, but I still didn’t realize how much I’d sold till I added it up this morning. And the COGS was great too, so that was nice. I sold a baby carrier that I used for both my kids, so I didn’t count that in COGS, and everything else was really cheap. Hope this keeps up! Some other great sales were a dirty old coat, a dirty old hard hat, and some dirty old maps. Thank goodness for those dirty old men! Haha! Planning to listen tomorrow …can’t wait!
05/15/2017 at 12:26 am #17996
5/7 – 5/13
Total Items in store: 362
Items sold: 10
Cost of items sold: approx. $17.75
Total Sales: $138.95
Highest price sold: $22.74 Butterscotch Bakelite Serving set
Average price sold: $13.89
Int’l sales: 0
Number of items listed this week: 0
Amazon disbursement – $0
Full time ebay goal – was March 2018; now – ????
Ebay to Amazon – 19 sales – $2,666 , COGS – $1283, fees – $334, profit – $1047
Every week my amazon sales amaze me. It feels too good to be true. What started as an experiment has turned into some consistent sales (knock on wood). While I am still working my “real” job, we are re-investing all of the profits from amazon. Hopefully the bigger the snowball is, the easier to pull out our living expenses when the time comes.
On the other hand, I know I do not want to put all my eggs in the Amazon basket. Just this week Amazon gated a lot of CDs. I have sold a handful of CDs in the past, and was previously grandfathered in. Now it seems they are closing the gate on any newer member, and I am now limited on what I can sell (Merchant fulfilled or FBA). Although CDs are not a part of my game plan, I realize that Amazon does not really cater to the small seller like me and could eventually close down categories I do use a lot. I am at their mercy.
05/15/2017 at 9:19 am #18005
I’m just amazed you can consistently find brand new electronics on eBay for so cheap, and can sell on Amazon for so much money. Plus, you’re not getting hit with lots of returns on Amazon.
Are you focusing on a small number of items, or are you always looking for new kind of electronics to buy and sell?
05/15/2017 at 1:51 pm #18047
I am always expanding what I am looking for on ebay. Sometimes I search categories, sometimes I search sellers that I have purchased from, sometimes ebay suggests items at the bottom of the page and that sends me on another search. My most recent rabbit hole that I went down was walkie talkies. Not the toys, and not the professional models, but the ones I imagine families at an amusement park might use. I found a half dozen items that I can double my money on, and they look like good sellers.
I have learned a few categories to stay away from because of the higher returns. One category was palm pilots. I bought a few new old stock, but because of the internal battery, the return rate was too high. I just moved on and started finding other items.
05/15/2017 at 11:01 am #18014
Every week my amazon sales amaze me. It feels too good to be true. What started as an experiment has turned into some consistent sales (knock on wood). While I am still working my “real” job, we are re-investing all of the profits from amazon. Hopefully the bigger the snowball is, the easier to pull out our living expenses when the time comes.
Isn’t it great Lee? We did exactly what you are doing and after 3 years we are still morphing and rolling with the Amazon punches. We recently switched to doing almost exclusively FBM on our smaller Health and Beauty stuff. Last week we did just over $3,900 on just Amazon. Our COGS was $1354. You have to love the margins and the quick multiple sales. We are on pace to do $23k this month and it feels good to have navigated all of the recent changes and still feel like we growing.
Now if eBay would pick back up. I am not a fan of being so reliant on the unreliable Amazon machine.
05/15/2017 at 11:08 am #18016
With your Fulfilled by Merchant items, are you doing Retail Arbitrage?
Are these new items that you can just keep buying?
05/15/2017 at 9:03 am #18001
It is like the adage in construction:
Fast, Cheap and Quality – you can only have two of the three.
05/15/2017 at 9:24 am #18006
I love this adage as well. Expecting all three happen is the path to insanity.
05/15/2017 at 9:45 am #18008
With my niche vintage store, I will just sit on items forever. In a normal ship-out, I will pack things that sell fast as well as an item or 2 that has been listed for 2-7 years. Yay.
You never know when your customer will look for and buy your item. Sometimes, it is within a few hours. Other times, it takes a few or several years.
This morning, I packed 1 item that had been listed for a day, 1 that had been listed for a week, and 1 that had been listed for over 2 years. After packing, I got a bulk offer on 15 items to 1 collector. They had been listed for over a year. Yay. Money and space freed up for more stock.
That being said, I do sometimes toss stuff and reprice. Space isn’t infinite, unfortunately.
05/15/2017 at 10:31 am #18010
We sell the same way, Jay and Ryanne. Unique items (generally). Hand picked. Wait for the right buyer. Example….this week we sold an oil painted portrait of a random women from 1962 which we got from an estate sale for $5. It sold for $500. Odd thing is, it was only listed a month. Prices it high with make offer because I liked it on our wall! The person didn’t make an offer, just bought it.
Wonder why people don’t make offers? This was a newer ebayer who maybe didn’t understand. Anyway, I wouldn’t have taken much less because it was so lovely.
05/15/2017 at 12:32 pm #18033
I’ve often thought about that too, why don’t they make an offer?
I think some people just don’t want to bother with haggling, or are shy about it. I know people who would never think about making a lower offer on something at a garage sale.
05/15/2017 at 10:32 am #18011
Total Items in Store: 1,450
Items Sold: 31
Cost of Items Sold: $36.10
Total Sales: $1400.68
Highest Price Sold: $500.00 (1962 Painted Portrait of a Woman, cost $5 from Estate Sale)
Average Price Sold: $45.16
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $92
Number of items listed this week: 41 (I was working a side gig at a Buddhist Monastery most of the week)
05/15/2017 at 10:37 am #18012
Side hustle….sounds weird. Anything other than eBay I call a “side gig”.
05/15/2017 at 11:20 am #18023
Retro Treasures WVParticipant
Side hustle to me insinuates you are doing something either unethical, illegal, under the radar, or generally taking advantage of someone.
When someone says “side hustle” I always assume they say that because they do not pay taxes on any of it.
If your ebay business is on the up n up and you pay taxes / take deductions, then it is not a “hustle” – it is a business.
05/15/2017 at 12:00 pm #18028
- Location: Atlanta
Agree with you Retro… The easiest way to sort of put a cap on it, is to go to Websters Dictionary.
As a noun there is two definitions of the word “Hustle” is #1:Busy movement or activity and #2: is “a fraud or swindle”. So, regardless of one’s opinion it is just that. As far as using the correct word in communicating to someone the using the word “Hustle” would mean according to the dictionary something that is more sinister like a fraud.
So guess I will gravitate toward that. Mike at MDC Galleries in Atlanta
05/15/2017 at 12:35 pm #18034
Saying side hustle is like being evasive about what you’re really up to. It’s used as cool slang but sounds nefarious.
05/15/2017 at 10:49 am #18013
Week of May 7-13
* Total Items in Store: 794
* Items Sold: 16
* Cost of Items Sold: $93.57 (high because of car part) + $5 Commission
* Total Sales: $356.96
* Highest Price Sold: $75 BMW Part – Strut Stabilizer
* Average Price Sold: $22.31
* Returns: 0
* Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $20
* Number of items listed this week: 32
The BMW strut stabilizer was something my husband bought for his car probably 10 or more years ago. After he bought it, he decided he didn’t like the idea of modifying his car. So, the part has sat in our garage for that long. He still has the car (19 years old). I finally listed it and, it sold within a few days. My COGS are higher because I put in the sale price as the cost price. He bought it for around $120.
For “stale” items, I’ve decided to take some of them and sell at a flea market next weekend. When I first started selling on eBay, I bought some auction lots just because they were so cheap. I’ve found that ordinary household stuff, even some nice china, doesn’t sell well unless there is something really special about them. I did sell some after I added best offer, but I need the space and don’t want to sit on the rest anymore. I’ll sell them for 50 cents here, a dollar there, whatever, but I have so much that I think I will make a few hundred dollars. Enough to justify the flea market rather than donate.
05/15/2017 at 11:05 am #18015
Jay, Ryanne: You are certainly permitted to have your opinion of the term, “side hustle”, but normally, when I hear this term used I am impressed that someone is going the extra mile to perform some task to earn additional money, learn a new skill or test a hypothesis to determine the lucrativeness of the hustle.
After listening to the first half of this week’s blog I was reading an article about a young guy who graduated from college, got a job and was blowing through his income. One day he decided he was going to try to have a net worth of $1 million by the time he was 30. A very tall order. He started a side hustle working, saving and investing (primarily index funds) diligently. Today, he’s worth about $1.3 million.
05/15/2017 at 11:13 am #18019
I think you may have misunderstood our point. It’s awesome that people create new sources of income for themselves by starting new businesses, working other jobs, or investing.
We simply don’t like calling it a “side hustle”. Why not call it “my business”. or “my second job”. Or “I’m an investor”?
“Side Hustle” sounds too cute and unserious. I dont think it gives the person enough credit for the amazing things they’re doing.
05/15/2017 at 11:20 am #18022
the term i was looking for to describe the words hustle and hustler is sleazy. it just sounds like you’re trying to “hustle” people out of money and it sounds negative to me.
05/15/2017 at 11:08 am #18017
I love having a huge store full of over priced items, I think it gives you so many more options. It allows you to not have to ship out as many items to make the same amount. It also helps to grow your store, alot of people dont think about it but a 5,000 item store has a value if you ever decided to sell it. You can also run a sale to generate extra cash If you need it. Also vintage things arent loosing value, if youre in this for the long term the market will catch up to your overpriced items.
05/15/2017 at 11:13 am #18020
Yep, we’ve all seen the sellers willing to move their items for under $10. So they may sell items fast, but that’s a real grind.
05/15/2017 at 11:30 am #18024
Retro Treasures WVParticipant
Total Items in Store:702
Items Sold: 11
Cost of Items Sold: $23
Total Sales: $352
Highest Price Sold: $100 Vintage WCW Sting hot pink hat
Average Price Sold: $32
Average Profit: $29.91
I crossed 700 items. Yay! That means I’m working my butt off and making headway. My ebay room is slowly shaping up. I have my three stations set up, I have my lighting mounted on the wall – I’ll do a write up on my lighting mount hack over in photography sometime this week.
The Sting hat is definitely one of my favorite sells. I have found a couple piles of vintage hats at yardsales the last two weeks. I remember seeing this hat and thinking it had an awesome look and that I could get $20 for it easy. Once I got home and started listing I wanted to research it a bit better. That’s when I realized it was official merchandise for Sting way back when he was a bleach blonde bright colored good guy. He was my favorite wrestler (not named Hulk Hogan) back in the late 80’s early 90’s.
Anyways, his vintage merch had pretty strong sales and I knew this hat was rare so I swung for the fence on price. I got a good amount of offers and settled on a $100 offer to a buyer in Japan.
05/15/2017 at 4:27 pm #18055
I’ll look forward to reading about your lighting set up. I’m having issues with my lighting but I just don’t have the room for a proper set up. Right now I’m operating out of my basement with only 6 ft high clearance. I’ve got a light box with a couple cheap studio lamps, but I simply can’t get my photos to be bright enough without editing. And the rest of my house is a lighting nightmare too.
And congrats on 700 listings. It looks like you and I are about tied for store size.
05/15/2017 at 11:46 am #18025
May 7 – 13
Total items in store 1305
Total Sales 1,105.63
Highest price sold. Shoes 55.00 Allen Edmonds
Average price per sale 29.10
Spent on new merchandise .00
New Listings none
Tunic Sales 834.73
Other Sales 270.90
Tunic sales carried me this week or it would have been a soft week for sales.
Love the podcast title for this week, will listen later on today.
- This reply was modified 9 months, 1 week ago by lizlangsteiner.
05/16/2017 at 11:33 am #18101
Liz, you are becoming my role model. 💕💕💕
05/15/2017 at 11:54 am #18027
Finishing up Listening to the podcast. I have around 5000 items in my store and organize 90% of the items in storage bins that are numbered. I add the bin number to the listing description so when it sells its easy to locate. Once the bins start getting low I refill them with new inventory. Just guessing around 200 bins total. I also keep 2 dehumidifiers going in the basement which keeps the moisture out of the air and it works well.
krauseinhiemer is my main store and thevintageengineer1 is my back up.
05/15/2017 at 12:11 pm #18030
Makes total sense. We need to just start from scratch, number each bin, and then put that number on each item page. Easy task but will take time for 6000 items.
05/15/2017 at 12:05 pm #18029
Week May 7th-May 13th, 2017
Total Items in Store: 866
Items Sold: 15 (2 Amazon, 1 Bonanza)
Total Sales: $560.90
Cost of Items Sold: $43 (7.7% of sales)
Highest Price Sold: $164 (1st ed Charlie & The Chocolate Factory)
Average Price Sold: $37.39
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $90
Number of items listed this week: 18
Promoted listings test: 5 sales, $237.36 (42% of total sales), $13.30 fees (5.6% of sales)
Another solid week. Volume of sales is down a good bit (have been 20+ for several weeks now), but the total of $560+ is still quite good for me on an “average” basis. And my COGS were some of the best of the year (I usually shoot for under 20%, so 7.7% is amazing for me).
Sometimes it’s amazing what you sell and when you sell it. The Charlie & The Chocolate Factory first edition on eBay has been through numerous sales, as much as 40% off since there seemed to be little to no interest in it. But it sold for full price (minus the small discount for being on Bonanza).
Pick of the week goes to a deck of cards I picked up for probably $0.25 (it was part of a “pile” I made at an estate sale for $10). I always pick up decks of cards as is, so that wasn’t a change, but these were in French, dated, and feature “risque” paintings of the Kings/Queens/Jacks. Based on research, this is an incredibly rare maker and set. Currently only other deck like it listed is $350, so I put mine up for $325 and would take any offer over $200.
05/15/2017 at 4:30 pm #18056
I can’t help but feel like I’ve seen that book cover before. Maybe in a thrift shop or yard sale. That’s a great price you got for it!
05/15/2017 at 4:42 pm #18058
Yeah, if you see it, take a look at a couple things to determine which edition/state… all of which I determined only after buying the book. First is easy – when was it published (the only one I knew) – 1964 with no other dates = good. On page 72 is the biggest offender, a rather racist depiction of the Oompa-Loompas. The movies have them as an orange skinned fantasy race, but in the original printings they are African pygmies that Willy Wonka steals for his slaves. That was omitted from later editions. Other key features are an no ISBN, $3.95 price on the inside flap, six lines of text on the last page (instead of other amounts, all of which determine edition). Mine had everything going for it except those lines of text – mine only had 4 lines of text, meaning it was third state. Still great, but a true 1st edition/1st state with dust jacket would have commanded $1000+.
05/16/2017 at 11:37 am #18102
Brian, I wish someone would give us a lesson on how to spot and price playing cards. I bought a bunch of them at a church sale for 25 cents each but have no clue how to evaluate them. They don’t look too exciting.
05/16/2017 at 12:24 pm #18106
O yeah, there’s definitely a learning curve. I learned from R&J there is a collector market out there for them, but like anything else, I had to dig into some resources.
First, if in the pack still, is there a tax stamp (or partial tax stamp)? For a very long time and up until 1965, playing cards were considered only for gambling and thus subject to a import/export tax. Could be a penny a deck or other amount over time. Here is a good resource for what tax stamps look like.
Second, if they are US playing cards, look at the bottom of the ace of spades and there should be a letter & number code. That should narrow it down to a year based on the code. Here is a chart to explain that system.
Third, who is the manufacturer and what do you know about them? A little long winded once you dig into all the extra links attached in the article, but here is a cool history of playing cards and some manufacturers.
And last, outside of all of these other factors, is there anything cool about them? One of my biggest playing card scores ever was finding a deck of Disney’s Bambi playing cards manufactured by Nintendo in the 1960s. Yes, that Nintendo. Before breaking into the video game business, they made other games, especially playing cards. Here’s some info on that.
Hope this helps with a crash course in playing cards. I by no means am an expert, these resources have just helped me spot interesting things out in the wild. I didn’t have any idea what I found this weekend until I brought it home, but out and about it looked interesting and was incredibly low risk at $0.25 or so.
05/18/2017 at 8:12 am #18186
Paul thanks so much for the card tips. I am saving your post to study when I tackle those cards!
05/15/2017 at 12:43 pm #18035
Today was a pretty good day. I realize many of you blew past me long ago, but today I crossed the $100,000 mark for lifetime eBay sales. I am a part-time eBay seller. I also recently crossed 1500 feedbacks.
From my Seller Dashboard on eBay’s site:
Your totals to date
05/15/2017 at 12:55 pm #18039
This is huge. Congrats!
Are you using the eBay money to supplement your income? Always fun to hear what the extra eBay money has allowed you to do.
05/15/2017 at 1:07 pm #18040
Congrats Brian! I myself just crossed $100k in sales all time last month after about 3 1/2 years.
05/15/2017 at 12:52 pm #18036
- Location: Southern California
Total Items in Store: 348
Items Sold: 12
Cost of Items Sold: $59 used + $83 new RA
Total Sales: $543
Highest Price Sold: $98 (Used German Beatrix Potter child’s tea set with gold plated accents)
Average Price Sold: $46
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
Number of items listed this week: 4
A solid part-time business kind of week for me. I’d like to encourage anyone with a small store who has limited time to pin your items to Pinterest and also join some morning pinning groups. It’s very quick to do and I really believe it has helped my sales since I’ve been doing it. The evidence is in the timing and number of 0 feedback buyers.
I’m trying to get to reviewing and revising my older listings. I have piles to add, so it’s hard to make myself go back and review but I do believe there is value in doing it. Had a wonderful mother’s day weekend in Los Angeles seeing musical theatre show with my daughter and using our last locals pass for Disneyland, so not much listing or shopping last week.
Regarding the forum post missing, I just performed a routine edit and went to republish. I don’t think it was unlike anything I’ve done in the past.
The summer update was interesting and my Facebook groups also try to keep the discussion positive. I remember that Ebay said they were going to delete all GTC new item listings without a UPC, then must have later realized that they could not make a functional UPC database for most items. So, they scrapped the policy change thank goodness. So, I’m adopting a wait and see attitude but sometimes I believe Ebay sometimes ends up looking a bit scattered or behind their own eight ball. I have like a .4% return rate and don’t sell clothes, so I’ll be fine with 60 days. I saw today on my front page (re the deals filter) that the filter includes only free shipping, so I hope buyers don’t like to use it as I do not want to provide that.
Have a great week.
05/15/2017 at 12:54 pm #18037
- Location: Southern California
Sorry – P.S. Did anyone else notice the changes to the appearance of mobile listings in the apple app? I mostly like it, but I think the item description should be more prominent and the font is tiny.
05/15/2017 at 1:20 pm #18043
A good example that good photos and good title are really key these days. Very few people on mobile are probably clicking the description.
05/15/2017 at 1:14 pm #18041
Jay, “Brian Treasures from Grandmas”:
Thanks for the compliments. I have a good position with my “day job” so for the most part I’ve just been saving the eBay money. Maybe it will be a reserve fund or an early retirement fund. We’ll see.
I’d like to point out that I was an occasional seller prior to “Ebay Scavengers / Scavenger Life”. I think there were a few podcasts available when I found this podcast. I have implemented so many of the topics you’ve mentioned on the podcast. It’s been great.
I’ll put a few $ into the Tip Jar today.
05/15/2017 at 1:18 pm #18042
Awesome. I remember you from the very early days of this podcast. You were one of the first people to comment on a regular basis.
05/15/2017 at 1:35 pm #18044
I bought a laptop like you did with the vacuum, thinking Ebay had my back. Turns out someone hacked another person’s ID and they said they couldn’t return the money. Called PayPal and they couldn’t do anything about it either. Really disappointed in ebay. Luckily, it was only $30.
05/15/2017 at 1:38 pm #18045
05/15/2017 at 1:59 pm #18049
Another very good discussion, thank you!
BOLO on something I found this weekend (bought for $5) on the last day of an estate sale when almost nothing was left in the house …
VINTAGE BRASS OR ALUMINUM DRAGON STEAMER like these in ebay solds:
Caution to not turn it over unless you are over a sink, cuz it’s probably filled with gunk. I found this out the hard way by pouring icky water and mineral deposits onto what looked like brand new expensive looking carpet (OOPS!). Thankfully the estate sale helper was around the corner to hunt down some paper towels and help me clean it up.
- This reply was modified 9 months, 1 week ago by Beverly - Far Out and Fabulous.
05/15/2017 at 2:15 pm #18051
Cool. Dragon Steamer. Never seen one, but I will probably see the next one I run across.
05/15/2017 at 4:15 pm #18054
I’ve never seen nor even heard of a dragon steamer before…but now I want one! 🙂
05/16/2017 at 11:43 am #18103
Wow, Bev, that’s cool! I bet they used to sit those on radiators. Great BOLO.
05/19/2017 at 10:42 am #18247
We’ve got steam heat, and now I desperately want one of these for each room in the house!!!
05/15/2017 at 3:17 pm #18052
- Location: Pennsylvania
May 7 – May 13
Total Items in Store: 661
Items Sold: 16
Cost of Items Sold: $8.50
Total Sales: $309.61
Highest Price Sold: 60.00 for box of Canon Toner
Average Price Sold: $19.35
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $15.90
Number of items listed this week: 76
Once again a mostly slow week blew up with a few days of great sales. Found 2 boxes of OEM Canon toner for $2 each at our local restore and they sold quick and for a great amount.
I was all set to go to the rain date of a local multi-family yard sale on Saturday – and it rained harder that day then on the original. So, hopefully soon.
05/15/2017 at 4:14 pm #18053
May 7 – 13
Total Items in Store: 737
Items Sold: 8
Total Sales (Gross Profit): $293
Net Profit: $167
Highest Price: $65 (Wentworth’s Triangle Brand Oysters 1-Pint Tin Can)
Average Price: $37
Cost of Items Sold: $32
Costs of Items Purchased this Week: $33
Another blah week. It’s getting harder and harder to find time to list on my end. We’re in our busy season at work and I’m putting in a lot of extra hours and it’s getting difficult to find the motivation to work on my eBay thing after I get home. That and the warmer weather is bringing on lots more chores and housework. But I’ve got some vacation that I have to use up before our fiscal year ends in July so I’m looking forward to devoting a few days to nothing but listing.
It’s nice to see my store hit another milestone. Over 700 listings now! Woot! My goal is it make it to 1000 by the end of summer. That might be pretty easy with the little amount I’ve been selling lately. It’s like someone turned off the faucet over here. But I remember it being like this last summer so I’m not concerned. It’s just a fact that summer generally dries up sales.
05/15/2017 at 6:49 pm #18061
Congrats on 700! I’ve just hit 500 for the first time, but it’s going to take me awhile to get to the next hundred. When I considered doing this as my additional source of income in my forced early retirement, I thought my problem would be finding enough good things to get up to the hundreds. But now I find with even a little effort, and I mean just a little (Friday’s yard sales and rummage sales, Sunday last day of estate sales if any nearby), I have no problem filling me up with enough to keep me busy for a week or more. Thanks to R & J and all the scavengers here for sharing their successes and stories, it really opens the eyes to the abundance of “stuff” everywhere. Plus I have discovered I have a bit of a “rescue” thing going on, I can’t see good stuff tossed aside, I want to clean them up and get them to someone who appreciates them. Those are the most fun for me.
05/15/2017 at 4:39 pm #18057
- Location: Richmond, Va
Total Items in Store: 144
Items Sold: 7
Cost of Items Sold: $20.50
Total Sales: $222.00
Total profit after fees and COGS: 167.01
Highest Price Sold: $80 Allen edmonds wingtips. paid 5.00
Average Price Sold: $31.71
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $75.00
Number of items listed this week: 25
This week was a little better for me compared to the last couple of weeks. Just focusing on experimenting with new types of inventory (clothes). Starting to realize that certain shoes do well for me along with sunglasses. Thanks guys for another excellent podcast. I listened to it this morning on my way to Charlottesville to pick up what I’m pretty sure is a vintage handmade Navajo rug for 25$. Hit up a thrift store while I was there and picked up some other goodies. If I don’t end up keeping the rug hopefully I can get a couple of hundred dollars for it!
05/15/2017 at 7:38 pm #18063
I understand why calling it a side hustle would be insulting. You can still run it as a business and do it on the side. It doesn’t bother me, and I’ve been guilty of using the term. Sometimes I call it that, or say I sell online to downplay it. Maybe the side hustle nation leads to the term being used more frequently. Perhaps side gig would be less annoying of a term.
I have cleared some things from inventory both on ebay and amazon. Mostly things that didn’t have much of a profit and they had been stagnant. I donated the clothes, and had amazon dispose (read: they sell it dirt cheap) some of the books and toys that had been sitting there.
This is my first time sharing numbers.
Total Items in Store: I don’t have a ebay store. I have 42 things listed. I try to stay within a 50 item limit of listings.
Items Sold: 6 on ebay, 78 on amazon
Total Sales: hard to figure this out. Total sales on ebay was 145, net profit about 130. Amazon net was 546. (I like to focus on net rather than sales volume)
Highest Price Sold: $50 pair of women’s shoes on ebay
Average Price Sold: Not sure how you figure this out. On AZ, it would be $19.
Returns: 0 but got a strange message from someone grilling me about the contents of an out of print book. It was very odd.
05/15/2017 at 8:32 pm #18068
I picked up my 8 types of new boxes (most 25 each) today at the “local” wholesale box store. I used 3 of them today! I’m really loving the 24 X 12 X 4 box, it is a perfect size for those long items and it was only $.92 each.
These new boxes accomplish 4 things for me:
1) I now have the small boxes I need to ship hats, etc. first class in the right box. I can now
make more money (as much as $10 more) by having that right box so that it can go first class.
2) No longer do I have to forego using Fedex Smartpost or home just because I don’t have the
right box (I used to be able to find a box, but usually way too big so the extra size and
weight nullified the point of using it). Again, more money.
3) I’m no longer feel that stress when it is time to pack and ship. I have all the right boxes
and shipping is now pleasant and fun again! What a concept, having fun shipping again!
4) I save so much time. No longer do I have to search over the house, garage, and basement to
find that perfect\close box. For me, $.92 spent for a box that saves me 10-30 min finding and
modifying a box is well worth it.
05/15/2017 at 9:43 pm #18069
I don’t usually bring the ebay Boards to ScavengerLife, but given the discussion about fast nickel slow dime, I thought sellers might want to know about this. This is a post from today’s Seller’s Board (not my post, I’m just quoting the post):
Recieved this email today. Effectively it will destroy my business since I sell long-tailed items which take years to sell. I would have never renewed my Anchor Store if I had known about this since 2/3 of my listing will probably come down. I currently have a little over 11000 listings. I do not understand this.
Courtesy notification about yours stagnant listings SR# 1-114867463539
This is a notification to let you know that this Thursday ebay will be ending any listings you may have listed that have not had a sale in 2 years. This is to remove stagnant inventory from ebay and to encourage sellers to make changes or adjustments to their stagnant listings to make their listings competitive or relevant, and to help increase your sales on items that are not currently selling.
Thank you for your understanding.
05/15/2017 at 9:59 pm #18070
I wonder if this is real. It doesn’t sound real. There’s no incentive for eBay to remove items from their site since a) they aren’t storing the items like Amazon b) they make money on any listing.
And if eBay were to really do this, I would think there would be a big announcement.
05/16/2017 at 8:59 am #18088
i’ve never seen an email like that, but the seller can easily end any items and ‘sell similar to make them start again in the bulk lister, shouldn’t take very long to do. ebay even tells you any listings that are 16 months old. we did that last summer to get rid of “stagnant” listings. whether it did anything is a mystery, but we did it.
05/15/2017 at 10:06 pm #18071
Jay, I’m pretty confident that this is real, having read posts from this poster for years on eBay. And yes, an Announcement from ebay would have been appropriate, but the lack of an announcement for something this important is nothing new. ebay will probably say that they told us before that they reserve the right to take down stale listings, and that only a small percentage of sellers are effected by it.
I think—-not sure—-that the seller can relist the items without penalty, but when we’re talking about literally thousands of items, that’s a lot of extra work and expense.
05/16/2017 at 7:40 am #18081
Good morning! Glad you guys are home safe and sound with your kitties!
Side note to the active content. If you run your listings through the active content scanner and you have links within your listings back to your store/other items you will notice you get the “target link” notification. Evidently those links need to be updated. Sometimes they work correctly and sometimes they don’t, whether or not they will ever work after June 1st is anyone’s guess.
The thought of updating 1200 HTML links was more than I could swallow (mine have already started to stop working sporadically) so I have decided to throw my entire store to auction this week. What ever doesn’t sell I will go through and either fix the link or remove it. This is probably a crazy idea but I was getting ready to shift inventory this summer anyhow so this just made me start a little earlier.
Hope you guys have a great week!
05/16/2017 at 11:51 am #18104
I have no clue what is supposed to be done. Will just wait for the hammer to drop and then figure it out I guess. Will my listings just disappear???
05/16/2017 at 12:16 pm #18105
Linda, If you are talking about the two year thing, you’ll apparently get a notice from ebay before they actually take action.
05/16/2017 at 10:10 am #18089
Enjoyed listening to the podcast this morning as I woke up and got into ebay mode 🙂
Anyway my numbers
Week 1 (07-13)
Number of Active Listings: 502
Items In Store: 743
Items Sold: 10
Avg Selling Price: $29.15
Cost of Goods Sold: -$24.00
Total Sales: $291.53
Unpaid Items: $0.00
Highest Value Item Sold: Pokemon Black and White 2 Strategy Guide…. This one went for $48, although profit wasn’t great. I’d made a miscalculation on our express shipping costs and next thing you know, $27 in shipping when I’d only charged $5. Oh well, lesson learnt, still made a healthy $16 profit all up. My best profit for the week was on a necktie, bought for 50c, sold for $30.
Things are starting to pick up again which is nice. Also we finally got over the 500 listings milestone, so we were pretty happy with hitting that goal. Unfortunately a large chunk of those 500 listings are lower dollar jewellery items, but slowly our inventory is becoming more and more high value as we go along.
05/16/2017 at 10:54 am #18092
I have googles and binged, looking to find anything that states eBay ends listings after 2 years. I can’t find anything on this topic. I’m calling eBay later today, but I am very skeptical that this is legitimate. However, I am open to what others might have located.
05/16/2017 at 11:04 am #18094
this is a link to the discussion on the ebay boards about the two year listing issue:
(If the link is not permitted here, please just go ahead and take it down, and accept my apologies.)
05/16/2017 at 11:18 am #18098
Jay and Ryanne, I hope you two get that Dyson wall mounted sweeper. We LUV ours. Got it at Costco during one of those in store specials they have around Christmas when there is a salesman showing it off. It will save you a load of work! I only drag out my central vac for big jobs now; use the Dyson almost all the time.
I sold 3 tiny demitasse cups w/o saucers that I got at a church sale for 25 cents each. They are stunning, but there are so many on ebay and w/o saucers so I sold them for $20 for all three. They are going to the ABC HOME store in downtown Manhattan. Wish I could visit the store and see the big price tag they will put on each one!
Last week was SLOW for me. Typical for the week before a big holiday. Just keep listing!
05/16/2017 at 5:26 pm #18113
Every podcast that you guys do seems to reaffirm what I’m doing with my eBay store. Truly, I don’t think there is a wrong way (unless you are a scammer or sell damaged goods). That’s the beauty of the flexibility on EBay. It’s your full time job and you have set it up to work the way you need it to work. I’m using it to supplement my retirement income and the need for flexibility in my life has been reinforced in the last week!
I am the caregiver for my 93 year old dad, as well as my husband (in his case it’s mostly taxi work since he doesn’t drive anymore.) last week dad ended up in the hospital and is now at a nursing home recovering from dehydration and pneumonia. If he recovers enough to leave the nursing home, he will have to go to assisted living. In spite of the craziness, I did get a few things listed and luckily sales were light.
At this point, I have decided my store is probably right at the size I can handle right now, so I’m going to try and keep it right around 800 listings. The other thing that hit me upside the head last week (even though I knew it was inevitable) is dealing with dad’s stuff and getting his house ready to put on the market. Assisted living is expensive! I wouldn’t have to attend another sale or auction for the next year if I focused on selling his stuff on eBay! Feeling a bit overwhelmed at the moment and very thankful that eBay is something I can put on a maintenance level and still earn some income while I focus on getting him moved. It’ll be a bit, but once I figure out the estate sale/auction, I will post it here so anyone who is close can attend.
05/17/2017 at 9:19 am #18140
Exactly! Once you get a nice size store (like 800 items), things will sell while you;re doing other things.
05/17/2017 at 9:09 am #18137
- Location: Northern Minnesota
I’m a bit behind on my videos. (I’ve been working hard on my airbnb listing, and am close to getting it online.) Here’s what sold March 26-April 1. Store has about 1100 items.
05/17/2017 at 6:56 pm #18171
Wallabee: NICE! Sorry about the golf clubs, but you more than made up for it with the baseball bats! Thanks for sharing.
05/17/2017 at 9:14 am #18138
I’m also not a fan of the word “hustle,” partially because for me it has shades of grifting, and partially because I’m not someone who personally has any “hustle” in the energy/outlook department, so it’s just a bad fit. It doesn’t describe what I’m doing or what I’m about in any way.
I spent a lot of last week volunteering at a massive charity rummage sale (worked 3 days pre-sale, one day of sale) — I’m not sure it made sense from a business point of view this year, but it definitely could (workers get first dibs on items, but pay 125% of marked price) if the right items came in. It was a ton of fun and I’ll do it next year regardless.
On my way home from working the sale this past Saturday, I stopped in at a nearby Goodwill (I almost never go there; prices are higher than I want to pay and I don’t often find anything good) and stumbled on what’s turning out to be a great score. My eye was caught by a bracelet I’d sold before, and as I went over to scoop it up I realized that 50% of that jewelry display was made up of that particular brand of jewelry, unused/unworn/new-old-stock. I rarely go “all in,” but I picked up every piece of it — 62 pieces for about $280, or about $4.50 a piece. I was really sweating, but once I started listing, the pieces were flying out of the store. So far, since Saturday, I’ve grossed $1016 on the lot, and still have quite a bit left. The brand is Sobral, and they’re resin pieces, often with stripes or inclusions. It’s very eye-catching and immediately recognizable. So, this is my trifecta of cheap, high dollar, and quick selling. I’m normally a bitterly long-tail seller so this is super exciting.
05/17/2017 at 9:17 am #18139
As long tail sellers ourselves, we do sometimes find fast selling items like you just did. When you see those items, you got to go all in! Because if you don’t, you’ll never see that stuff again.
05/17/2017 at 1:34 pm #18153
Congrats and now you will have more money to invest! Get going girl with summer coming rapidly, the kids will take up more of your time. BTW, I have never heard of that brand and that is why I like Scavengers so much, I learn all the time even after 30 years of picking!
05/17/2017 at 1:59 pm #18154
Sue, if you open up one of my Sobral listings you’ll see where I photographed the mark, as well, if you need confirmation on a suspected piece.
I went back to the Goodwill this morning to see if there was any left — I picked up three pairs of earrings I’d left behind as well as about 12 or 15 rings I hadn’t seen the last time. I think I got everything today.
05/17/2017 at 4:23 pm #18163
Habnab, thanks for the info on the Sobral jewelry. I often see interesting jewelry like that but if they don’t have a mark, I don’t know enough to evaluate them. I see a ton of “Sobral” listings on eBay, but hardly any show a mark like the big swirly S I see in some … Do you think those others not really Sobral ??? Or are some Sobral pieces not marked?
05/19/2017 at 10:32 am #18246
Beverly, all of the pieces I’ve found have been marked, although some of the rings I bought the other day have a sticker and I haven’t looked under the sticker to see if there’s also an imprinted mark. I don’t know if the pieces are always marked or not, but the buyers of these items seem really obsessed with the brand (in a good way) and would probably let sellers offering non-Sobral pieces know if their items were not legit. 🙂
Linda, the Sobral pieces photographed on a wood tabletop with a black background are mine. Scroll through my photos to see the mark (sometimes photographed better than other times.)
05/18/2017 at 8:34 am #18187
Wow, Habnab–that’s amazing jewelry. I may have a ring or two like that in a pile of junk jewelry if I didn’t already sell it in a junk lot. It just drew my eye–the colors are amazing. I looked for your store under habnab but that apparently isn’t your store name?
05/17/2017 at 1:24 pm #18152
May 7-13 2017
• Total Items in Store: 760
• Items Sold: 20
• International 3 GSP
• Total Sales $617
• Highest Price $60 classroom record player
• Average Price Sold: $31
• Returns: 0
• Cost of Items Sold: $30
• Cost of items purchased this week $30
05/18/2017 at 9:47 am #18193
Paulo H LeocadioParticipant
Putting the store on Travel/Vacation mode
Friends, just returned from a 3 week trip to Mexico, Wisconsin and Colombia for a project on my other business. In the meantime I sold my rental house and managed my eBay very badly.
What I usually do is to have wifey and kids to pack/ship for me since my volume is low, did not work this time and I missed 3 times. As a result I lost all my privileges.
Here is the catch: upon reviewing my ratings it does not mention the cases I missed shipping time at all, it mentions only the cancellations (items that sold on Amazon and I forgot to remove from eBay). Anyway my defect rate is now higher than 0.5% and I am not top top anymore.
And yet again here is the weird part: I changed handling time on the second week and then my store started the selling spree, even those items I purchased at the very beginning without any experience and other personal stuff are selling all of a sudden (2 really expensive pair of designer shoes, Microsoft t shirts never wore, equestrian hat I thought would never sell).
Crazy good coincidence. Lesson I never get tired of learning: listing and forgetting is the best of all this. Stuff will indeed sell (on my case for vintage/collectibles)
05/18/2017 at 10:04 am #18194
Agreed. If you have a lifestyle where you travel or work on other projects, then “list it and forget” makes more sense.
Other sellers are committed to riding their inventory day to day. That’s just a different model of sales.
05/18/2017 at 10:21 am #18196
Paulo H LeocadioParticipant
I am applying several learning’s besides list and forget. I heard you talk a lot about buying cheap, so I am focusing on my weekly auction on $5 items, with very few exceptions (like batches, or lots, or those items I am confident of knowing well). So most of the items that keep dropping to under that threshold I take a risk. They are helping me to build my bread and butter pipeline of collectibles and yielding a very nice profit margin.
Usually porcelain, Jasperware (sell these a lot), lately some crazy very interesting stuff like a 1919 photo portfolio album from a NYC studio sold yesterday to Italy through Global Shipping.
These art things (photos, 18mm projector from same era) are easy bet for Italy.
Also, been selling a lot of pre recorded MiniDiscs for $30 average
05/18/2017 at 10:16 am #18195
Earlier this week commenter MyCottage posted a comment stating that he/she read something from a “Seller’s Board” indicating that eBay would end listings that haven’t sold in 2 years. I called eBay today and asked them if this was true. After the support person investigated a bit she responded by saying that eBay does not have a policy of ending listings based on the amount of time the item has been listed. They will terminate a listing based on other criteria we’ve discussed before like VeRO (intellectual property violation), the same of items that are not permitted (example: firearms), etc.
You can list your long tail items to your heart’s content.
05/22/2017 at 1:27 pm #18347
- Location: Texas
In reply to Jay’s suggestion that someone creates a video of how they pick and pack, I’ve created a slideshow. I don’t know how to edit videos yet. 😉
It’s my first time loading an album, so I hope this works! 😉
Full information on the process included under each picture.
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