06/11/2017 at 7:51 pm #19277RyanneKeymaster
- Location: Virginia
Every so often, we record conversations with other sellers. You can find them all here. How do we pick who we speak with? It’s always sellers who are
[See the full post at: Scavenger Life Episode 314: Selling on eBay while in the Military]
06/11/2017 at 8:44 pm #19282IdahoarderParticipant
Store Week 6/4/17 – 6/10/17
Total items in store: 1359
Items sold: 15
Cost of items sold: $11.36
Total sales: $369.17
Highest price sold: $70.00 (Lot of vintage equestrian ribbons)
Average price sold: $24.61
International Sales: 1
Returns: Who knows. I’ve had way too many lately! I think I had one or two (with three in the works!)
Money spent on new inventory this week: $14.50
This week was pretty lame, but I’m sure it was in large part because I haven’t listed much (I’ve had two extra kids staying here for the last 2 weeks!). I did sell several hats since hats were about all I listed. At least that’s working! Hopefully I can crack down again in a few days. Can’t wait to listen tonight!
06/11/2017 at 9:28 pm #19284ThriftShiftParticipant
- Location: Cabarete, Dominican Republic
Flavio, I’m proud of you. Keep up with the saving and being frugal. I retire at age 42 next July 2018 and will not have to ever hold a “normal” job again. I am a female attorney, active duty; however, I will not practice law again. I hope to supplement my retirement by earning $40K from scavenging, and travel to “nice” places (not deserts) and wake up at my own pace (not 0500). Ryanne and Jay, you are very inspiring and have validated my future plans. Our “low-cost” lifestyle plan is to move onto a sailboat within 2 years and have an on-land office for my husband’s independent business and ebay storage.
Flavio, I also give out ethics advice to military members who have secondary employment while active duty, so if you want my email to ensure you have no conflicts of interest per the DoD Regulations, or hear stories to avoid…you are welcome to contact me. Maybe we can share emails via Jay. Take care.
06/12/2017 at 7:08 am #19293
Can you send me your email? I’ll pass it on to Flavio and give you his.
06/12/2017 at 7:15 am #19295
06/12/2017 at 12:19 pm #19309Beverly – Far Out and FabulousParticipant
- Location: Edgewood, WA
ThriftShift: I love your idea of living on the sailboat. It’s an amazing freedom for those that can do it. My ex-boss in the computer world lived on a boat for years up here in the Seattle area and finally quit his job and he and his wife took off to sail the world. He’s done some computer odd jobs in some places and also bought a heavy duty sewing machine to repair his own sails, and had turned that into a little side business to repair other peoples’ sails for a fee.
Here’s his blog spot: http://wingssail.blogspot.com/.
I haven’t read his blog for awhile, looks like they’re back on this side of the world, down in Mexico. Super nice guy and his wife is amazing, please contact them if you like, he loves to share info and teach. Tell him Beverly Racine sent you.
06/11/2017 at 9:46 pm #19285omfugParticipant
Total items in store: 206 ebay, 447 etsy
Items sold: 7 on ebay, 5 on etsy
Total sales: $979.91 ($875 ebay, $104 etsy)
Highest price sold: $625 (civil war photograph)
Average price sold: $81.60
Obviously a very good week because of one big sale. Etsy has slowed way down for whatever reason, running a 10% sale on ebay has boosted sales this week fortunately.
06/11/2017 at 10:07 pm #19288
06/11/2017 at 9:59 pm #19286
Excited to listen in the morning. I come from a military family, although we didn’t live on base. I know the struggle to make ends meet while serving the country. It’s honorable and the thing I’m most proud of my father for (after Army BT, he worked in the White House & then Camp David before retiring from the service in 1992 after his 20 years enlistment).
Week June 4-10, 2017
Total Items in Store: 936
Items Sold: 19 (1 Amazon, 2 Bonanza)
Cost of Items Sold: $75 (12% of sales)
Total Sales: $626.91
Highest Price Sold: $156 (48 Star Philadelphia Quartermaster flag)
Average Price Sold: $33
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $170
Number of items listed this week: 30
Promoted listings test: 5 sales, $247.49 (39.5% of total sales), $14.10 fees (5.7% of sales)
Another above average week for me. Summer seems to be here during the week & early weekend, but Sunday nights I’m killin’ it. 14 of my 19 total sales this week came on Sunday & Monday. 5 sales the rest of the week.
Picks this weekend were good too. What I think will be my biggest score was finding a box of 14 antique locks working with keys. It was the second day of a sale, so the guy gave me all 14 for $50 ($3.57 each) and I listed 13 for $39.99 and one for $29.99. This is the range I sold the others I’ve had in the past.
06/12/2017 at 12:31 pm #19310SilvanaSParticipant
Please, excuse my ignorance. I am originally not from the USA and my immediate US relatives have never been to the military so I just do not know. But my question is if the military helps the personnel with taking care of the housing, food and clothing, why do these guys and gals struggle financially?
06/12/2017 at 1:29 pm #19313
I’m not in the US military, but I know they are not paid very much. Yes, all their necessities are covered. Monthly paychecks are low. The carrot dangling over their heads is to put in 20 years so they get a military pension and medical care for the rest of their lives.
Flavio isnt selling on eBay because he cant afford his life. He’s selling on eBay so he can save money like the rest of us.
06/11/2017 at 10:03 pm #19287The Thrift RaiderParticipant
Just a thought on listening to the podcast, I LOVE retro video games because they are just so easy to sell, especially Nintendo items. And many of them sell for good money. I really don’t see this going away soon like a fad. I just wish they were easier to find out in the wild! I was 5 minutes late to a garage sale selling games and there were already some guys there getting to it.
06/11/2017 at 10:11 pm #19289The Thrift RaiderParticipant
Do you know if you can sell Cuba stuff on Ebay? Me and my fiance are considering places to go for our Honeymoon. I was hoping to cruise to Cuba and possibly looking for stuff to scavenge. But I think I saw you that you can’t sell Cuban stuff.
06/11/2017 at 10:20 pm #19290
The way I understand things is that you can sell Cuban items that were made before the embargo (1958). The style of these pennants and the silk handkerchiefs point to them being of that era.
If they take my stuff down, I’ll live with it as I’m only out a few bucks. There were other Cuban items that I passed on because of the price – crocodile shoes & handbag, tobacciana, etc.
06/12/2017 at 11:30 am #19308MyCottageParticipant
I wouldn’t call this vague: “We don’t permit the sale of items that claim to be pre-embargo because we cannot determine when an item was removed from a specific country”
Seems pretty clear. Not saying don’t try it, but recognize the risk.
06/12/2017 at 7:12 am #19294
yeah, I think the retro video game niche is almost too competitive these days, but if you like the hunt then someone has to find the games!
06/12/2017 at 1:36 am #19291Rydell RelicsParticipant
RR Store Week June 4 – 10, 2017
Total Items in Store: 1,228
Items Sold: 25
Cost of Items Sold: $27.99
Total Sales: $1,209.96
Highest Price Sold: $641.00 (vintage mah jong set)
Average Price Sold: $48.40
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $121.50
Number of items listed this week: 24
So grateful for that large sale, but it made up over half my weekly total. Without it, I would have missed my goal by several hundred dollars. Not cool. But now that my back is better, plus a living room full of newly acquired items, listing will be full tilt this week. My goal is 60 items.
I cleaned up at the estate sales this week. Lots of cool stuff that will be fun to list, unlike pants. On our way to the last estate sale of the day, we decided to follow some signs to a yard sale. It was like 2:30, so we expected it to be shut down. But not only were they still there, but they were giving everything away for FREE! I grabbed some clothes and books, but the big score was 8 bottles of Aveda Professional hair treatment, the stuff not sold retail; Aveda salon stylists only. Last one sold for $42.25 for just a single bottle, so I listed them all together for $109.99. I’d be thrilled with that. As we were loading up the car, the neighbor asked me if I wanted a bag of men’s clothes. I said “sure!”. Hopefully there are a few good pieces in there.
Have a great week everyone!
06/12/2017 at 7:54 am #19297SilvanaSParticipant
Week June 4 – 10, 2017
Total Items in Store: 969
Items Sold: 12
Cost of Items Sold: $ 17
Total Sales: $ 191.39
Highest Price Sold: $ 64.99 (set of breast forms)
Average Price Sold: $ 15.94
International Sales: 0 (GSP 0)
Returns: 2 (1 did not fit, 1 broken lamp)
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $ 20
Money spent on photographer: $120
Number of items listed this week: 35
I had a beautiful banker lamp that I sold last week. I bubble wrapped it, I put styrofoam on every side and filled all gaps with tissue so it does not shift and a ‘fragile’ sticker on the top. It still broke. It was insured so hopefully I will get my money back.
What made me scratch my head was the buyer’s reaction. She sent pictures so I saw the lamp was broken, I immediately refunded her. But then she began implying the repair would cost more that the refund and she is still not happy. On top of that the refund was delayed because she originally had paid with a credit card and I began receiving demanding and threatening emails. So I stopped the communication.
Sometimes I wonder what some buyers’ expectations are. Do they think they can receive more than they have given if they threaten? I feel many sellers dread the negative feedback so they are willing to do anything to avoid it.
Here is a topic for Ryanne and Jay – is the customer always right?
06/12/2017 at 8:29 am #19299
June 4-10 2017
• Total Items in Store: 784
• Items Sold: 18 (16 ebay, 2 Truegether)
• International 1 GSP
• Total Sales $1160
• Highest Price $250 phono cartridge
• Average Price Sold: $64
• Returns: 0
• Cost of Items Sold: $42
• Cost of items purchased this week $250
Junk drawer phono cartridge took top honors again this week.
Been buying some large vintage audio equipment this week.
EV Interface D speakers for $150 and a Magnavox Concert Grand console stereo for $75, good thing my son was able to help get this stuff out of my van.
Garage sales are so plentiful. I try and find the sale that aren’t on CL or a yard sale app as it’s a higher percent chance that it will be older people, not regular computer users who have interesting items for cheap prices. Sales that are only advertised in newspapers or local shopper type flyers are a good source.
06/12/2017 at 1:15 pm #19312NancyParticipant
Steve good tip on focusing on garage sales just listed in the paper.
Why was the phono cartridge worth so much?
06/12/2017 at 4:40 pm #19323
Certain carts are very valuable, I’ve sold them for as much as $700. The audiophile world is full of people with discerning taste and expendable income.
06/13/2017 at 3:05 pm #19346The Speckled GoatParticipant
- Location: Kansas City, MO
Steve – I did my first vintage turntable listing with video demo – would love your feedback.
Here’s the listing:
Lots of work these vintage electronics! What with the repair, clean-up, video & detailed listing. Yikes. Maybe for hundreds of $ but for a $100 item, not so much! Good practice for me though.
Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions!
- This reply was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by The Speckled Goat.
06/13/2017 at 3:46 pm #19350
Your video is blocked due to copyrighted content. You’ll need to choose something obscure, the album you play is not really that important, it’s a the visual of the functionality.
06/13/2017 at 4:15 pm #19354The Speckled GoatParticipant
- Location: Kansas City, MO
Frustrated. To.say.the.least. Will try again. Thanks for your reply.
06/12/2017 at 8:40 am #19300
Total Items in Store: 734
Items Sold: 16
Cost of Items Sold: $64.25
Total Sales: $538.50
Highest Price Sold: $50 shoes (had three $50 shoes this week.)
Average Price Sold: $33.66
Average Profit: $29.64
Now we’re getting back to where I want to be sales wise. I got some listing done this week but I also did some “gardening” like Jay did with the growth tab on ebay. I revised or repriced all of the “100% unlikely to sell” listings. There actually was some good data in there to better asses the market for some of the items.
Lately I’ve been thinking more of balancing out my store with commodity clothing – ala Amazing Taste. I know the profit isn’t as good, but if I can get the stuff cheap then that helps a lot. This weekend fate decided that I was on the right path. My first yardsale I bought out a lady on higher end mall brand jeans – about 50 pair for $50. Miss me, 7 for all mankind and other better ones were littered through.
The next yardsale I bought 15 4XL Izod, and Hilfiger mens long sleeve button down plaid casual shirts. $1 each. The NEXT yard sale I got 10 more nice mens shirts, one being a Lacoste polo.
The final mark was last night. We were hanging out at a friends house around a campfire. The guy asked me if I was still selling on ebay, to which I said yep. He said he had two boxes of stuff he was just gonna take to goodwill and wondered if I’d be interested. The boxes were 24″ cube and full. Miss Me Jeans, like new coach shoes, nike shoes, Tommy Hilfiger clothes, etc.
So needless to say, I was overwhelmed this weekend with VERY cheap commodity clothes.
Another note of interest – the kids are done with homeschool for the year. Yay! My wife is going to take a week off and then she tells me she is ready to dive into ebay. If she truly commits to it then our store is really going to take off. It’s an exiting time for sure!
06/12/2017 at 9:46 am #19304
One more yardsale note – I went to two yardsales that just gave stuff away. At one I got a pair of like new Clarks Artisan Sandals for free. Free yardsales rule!
06/12/2017 at 9:19 am #19301ChristineRParticipant
- Location: Southern California
Total items in store: 325
Items sold: 6
Cost of items sold: $18 used + $175 RA
Total sales: $416
Highest price sold: $240 (New bedding bought in spring for $140)
Average price sold: $59
Money spent on new inventory this week: $0
This week again not Ebay friendly with graduation, kids getting out of school early, company, and very busy contract work as we prepare for summer vacations and people being out of the office. Nothing listed and mostly small, non-vintage sales, so it’s nice when I sell a bedding set to boost a week like this.
It’s time to do a little reorganizing as I get more seasonal about my approach with things. My goal is to get a bunch of Christmas stuff up by Fall this year. My contract work is fine and fruitful, but I long for a couple of just uninterrupted listing days. It really goes against my grain to list a few items here and there, plus and there are always chores or something else to do with a short window of time. The plague of the part-time mom seller.
A teeny rant here. I’ve mentioned before I get annoyed with Ebay picking randomly on a few of my new item listings in the growth tab. They show my all of my own sales next to the item as comparison and the remaining item is actually priced less, and then say it has a 100% chance of not selling. What? I’d blow it off except I don’t want to draw attention as a stale item seller and get things removed, so I tinker with it. Anything with a ribbon or suggestion, I go in and tinker with or remove. I’m also putting “does not apply” in the upc on new items, because I don’t want Ebay to make it easier for buyers to comparison shop or click away, and I want Ebay to stop sending me listing recommendations to ship everything for free. I don’t see much upside to putting it in since I’m often not the lowest price and I draw in shoppers from Pinterest.
06/12/2017 at 10:16 am #19307
I had a fair to middling week on ebay…
Sales: $255, 4 items
Hours: 6 (hourly rate $25)
Listed: 4 items (150 total)
Went a little bananas at the salvage centre (thrift store at the dump!) but I know I got some good stuff. Still not sure how I feel about those weird chairs I paid $50 for but there was a good $500 of other stuff there so…
06/12/2017 at 1:07 pm #19311Beverly – Far Out and FabulousParticipant
- Location: Edgewood, WA
Nice one today, totally enjoyed hearing from J & R and Flavio. The military life is a special one (I grew up Air Force brat), and will forever influence your life in a wonderful way in my opinion. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing this strong yet humble man talk about what he’s doing. Thanks, all!
06/12/2017 at 3:06 pm #19317
Just curious, who here buys insurance on their items and if so, why? I figure if the insurance company is making money on average then I’m losing on average, so it’s not worth insuring against an item being lost unless I’m into the item for so much the loss would be a catastrophe.
06/12/2017 at 3:35 pm #19318
I buy insurance on a case by case basis. If the item is small, not expensive, and unlikely to get broken, I don’t add insurance. If the item is big, often times Priority Mail covers enough (first $100). If the item is super expensive and I would take a hard hit if I had to refund, I insure in full.
06/12/2017 at 3:36 pm #19319
If you ship priority, $50 insurance is included. If you are TRS, that extends to $100. UPS and FedEx include $100 in insurance standard.
The occasions I actually purchase insurance are few and in between. I have made several claims based on the included insurance and have always been able to fight to a payout if they try to buck me.
06/12/2017 at 8:06 pm #19325DoublythumbsParticipant
- Location: Hopedale, OH
June 4 – 10
Total Items in Store: 888
Items Sold: 17
Total Sales (Gross Profit): $720
Net Profit: $605
Highest Price: $150 (DonJoy OA Adjuster Osteoarthritis Knee Brace)
Average Price: $42
Cost of Items Sold: $32
Costs of Items Purchased this Week: $66
I had a GREAT week this time! Thursday was my day of big sales. Several bigger ticket items sold to pump up my weekly average. Plus a lot of bread and butter items that I was more than happy to get rid of.
I think I’ve finally hit max capacity in my storage area in my basement. And the rest of the house is looking pretty cluttered with our eBay things. So I’ve decided to build some shelving in my garage. I’m just going to do a couple basic 1⅓ x 8 feet, four level wood shelves and anchor them to our cinder brick walls out there. I’ll transfer all of the non-fragile items to those like the tools and hardware and houseware. That’ll free up a ton of space. Clutter tends to create a lot of stress for me, and it’ll be a relief to be able to walk around my basement without tripping over everything.
My garage manual experiment continues to do well for me. I’m making some real profit on them now. I sell probably one every two or three days. Next up, I’m going to try my saxophone part experiment. I bought a beat up sax at an auction without getting a good look at it. I finally got around to taking it apart and individually photographing all the keys and levers and things. It’ll be interesting to see how well they’ll do.
06/12/2017 at 8:12 pm #19326SharynParticipant
- Location: Central NJ
Week of June 4 – 10
* Total Items in Store: 795
* Items Sold: 11
* Cost of Items Sold: $26.73 + $6.50 Commission
* Total Sales: $285.60
* Highest Price Sold: $75 Set 6 Martini Glasses & $70 Vampire Tarot Deck & Book new/sealed
* Average Price Sold: $25.96
* Returns: 0
* Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: approx. $158
* Number of items listed this week: 33
I had a pretty good week for me; also an interesting one.
There is an auction near me that sells unclaimed merchandise, overstocks, returns, etc. The issue is that they usually sell by the piece, and their lots can be rather large. I have to consider all the usual stuff about how well the items will sell, but also how much space the lot would take up and how the price of each piece will add up to a total that I would be willing to pay. Then I have to come up with the cash within a day. I had been to it 4 – 5 times in the past, but I was trigger shy.
This time I came more prepared, and I bought two lots. One had books – 14 boxes of new books most with remainder marks. I bought it because it had tarot card sets. I was very happy when I got all of them home and found that I had 6 new sets of The Vampire Tarot, which I could price at $70. One set sold the next day. One actually sold today. I also have 4 copies of another set that I’ve priced at $20. The whole lot cost me $150, and I’ve already sold $140 worth of tarot cards. The issue is that I have about 300 – 400 books that I need to list and sell. I’ve got a plan, but it will take some time to get it all together. I’ve put the books aside for the moment so that I can list other stuff.
The other lot has craft labels – thousands of them. I’m planning to start on them tomorrow. If they don’t sell well, it won’t be a big deal. I hardly paid anything for them. I may list them on etsy as well, which I’ve never done before.
Quite an exciting week with much lugging around of heavy boxes. I look forward to seeing how it all plays out.
06/12/2017 at 9:10 pm #19329SimonParticipant
- Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Thanks for the interview Jay. I’ve said it before but I always enjoy these interviews. It’s interesting to hear how others can fit a side-biz into their lives.
Here are my numbers for this week:
Total Items in Store: 1766
Items Sold: 31
Total Sales: $833
Cost of Items Sold: $84
Average Price Sold: $26.85
Average Cost of Item: $2.71
Highest Price Item Sold: $124.95 Advanced Dungeons & Dragons lot
Number of items listed this week: 43
Average age of items in store (in days since listing): 242
Average number of days between listing and selling this week: 91
Median age of sales (in days, between listing and selling): 39
Sell-through rate (for the week): 1.76%
# of Hats Sold: 20 (64% of sales)
I had a pretty weird experience while sourcing this weekend. I went to a church rummage sale. There was a young guy there with tubs of video games and video game systems. It’s not a specialty for me but I know enough to sometimes do OK. I’d just recently sold a few Nintendo Gamecube games and knew they are somewhat in demand so I asked the guy about the price of some of those that he had. He said to me – “Listen, if you take the GameCube and all the games, you can have it for free. I just want to get rid of it”. My jaw hit the floor. I told him I’d give him $20 and took the system and about 10 games. He also had a Sega and NES with a couple of games. I got each of those systems for $10. I’ve already listed $400 worth on eBay and I sold about $100 today alone. I couldn’t grab my stuff and run away quick enough. I was shocked.
I had a business trip this week and didn’t post my numbers for the previous week but it was my biggest week ever in terms of the number of sales (48 sales). This week was also pretty good. I picked up a collection of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons books for $10 last weekend and already sold $240 from that. Definitely a BOLO.
06/12/2017 at 11:56 pm #19331retiredtreasures719Participant
- Location: Troy, Ohio
Gang, I am up to my neck in stuff. It gives me a whole new perspective on estate sales. At some point it gets totally overwhelming. Pretty sure I threw stuff away today that I normally would look at and think, Is this EBay material? Instead I just thought ewwwwww, trash! The 35-40% estate company fee is looking pretty attractive right now!
That being said, the sale is this weekend come hell or high water. I’m not advertising this in the ads, but Saturday is 1/2 price day. Thursday & Friday 9:30-4, Saturday 9:30-3. Lots of furniture, TVs, computers (old), kitchen items. Crystal & glassware, 12 place setting of Noritake Toko-Ri china. Collectibles from 1950s Japan, Sri Lanka (Ceylon) and Thailand. Men’s clothing, linens, garage stuff. Like to think my pricing is reasonable. 1090 Greenfield Dr., Troy, Oh.
06/13/2017 at 9:18 am #19334
Week of 6/4-6/10
Total Items in Store: 1,547
Items Sold: 58
Number of Items Listed This Week: 101
Total Sales: $1,450.13
Cost of Items Sold: $274.52
Highest Item Sold: $40 – Lemax Sugar N Spice Frosted Candy Road Christmas Village Accessories
Competition: Highest Priced Items: Veronica wins again and expands her lead for the year 14-8.
Competition: Highest Total Sales: Troy leads the year $18.9k to $14.0k
Felt the summer slowdown this week, and lower sales number reflects a growing number of returns (I run this as a cash business, so returns lower the sales for the week).
Listing activity stays up, even with two days of me working a contract job. Our improvements to our process continue to show dividends, so that we can list more per hour, giving us the opportunity to grow as well as time to do other non-eBay things.
06/13/2017 at 10:37 am #19335
I love that you’re making projections on your numbers. We could do a public experiment if you’re into it.
At 1500 listings in your inventory, you are experiencing the strong sales that many of us did up till about 1500. But as our inventory grew, sales did not exponentially grow with our inventory numbers. Blame it on some eBay switch being flipped, stagnant listings, or over-saturation of certain categories, whatever.
What’s your prediction of your sales when you hit 2000 items? 2500? 3000?
Or do you expect to keep 1500 steady inventory but just sell more in 3 months, 6 months, 12 months?
If you’re willing to share these numbers now, we can then see how your predictions play out.
06/13/2017 at 8:10 pm #19372
No problem sharing my forecasts. And here is to hoping that they are on the conservative side.
As to the 1,500 selling level…right now, I don’t give it much thought. To me, it is a number, nothing else. I am forecasting my sell through based on past sell thru rates by month. I don’t think that the inventory level has any bearing on that, provided that you are not saturating your market (something I think is hard to do by one seller unless the market is REALLY small), the market in general (which NONE of us can predict), or your market for what you purchased hasn’t changed.
That last statement I think is the key. If I have loaded up on something that was selling, and then it STOPS selling as the market tastes change, that can reduce the sell thru rate and leave me with a glut of inventory. Similar to the Amazon Buy Box when Target goes on sale. You see that the item is selling great, but then by the time you buy it and get it to Amazon, EVERYONE is selling it, and after the race to the bottom, your inventory just sits there, not that I have experienced that personally… 🙂
For example, I was able to sell 7 Diamonds shirts pretty well in 2013…now I avoid like the plague. That is happening now with Thomas Dean shirts. I can see that they are slowing down, so I’m avoiding them. Same with some Ralph Lauren shirts. I have gotten better on my CURRENT purchasing, but until recently, wasn’t really culling out the old stuff and blowing it out to start fresh. I think that mentality shift is what has to happen to keep the sell thru rate up and avoid the downturn that some see at the 1500 mark. Old purchasing mistakes are still there. Plus, look at how much better you get at that level. You take better pictures, write better item descriptions and titles, price better, etc. If you don’t tend the garden, a lot of old stuff sits there, the sell thru drops, and you tread water on the total sales $ and volume, as the fresher stuff sells, but the past mistakes are still out there.
Ok, so that is my reasoning for not caring about the 1500 level. As to the forecasts, I started getting GOOD data by month in 2015. So I look at each month in the past two years (2015 and 2016) as well as the previous month in the current year, and forecast what I think 2017 will be for that month. So for June, we had a 24% STR in 2015, 14% in 2016, and May 2017 was 20%. In the past 2 years, June had a lower STR than May (2015 was a drop from 28% to 24%, 2016 was a drop from 17% to 14%. So, I predicted June as lower than May. May 2017 was 20%, so I planned a drop to 17% for June 2017. Seems reasonable.
For July (the month I hate the most), 2015 was 12%, 2016 was 10%. Small variance between the two, so I forecasted 11%. I REALLY hope that it is more than that, but I would rather prepare for the worst (optimist in thought, pessimist in planning).
So based on forecasting 100 new listings per week, and sales volumes using this method, I predict we will cross into 2,000 in inventory in November 2017 (though we flirt with it in Sep at 1,967 and Oct at 1,966.
Lots of things can change this, so I don’t bet the farm on being 100% accurate, as I can only control one number, how much I list. But if I’m listing the wrong things, or the markets change, or any number of things, it will affect the actual sales. As I said in my previous job…ALL PREDICTIONS ARE WRONG! I just don’t know were it will be wrong…
06/13/2017 at 12:36 pm #19337Linda ShieldsParticipant
- Location: St. Louis
T-satt I must have missed somewhere that you explained your business model. Don’t know who the people are. Would love to hear you be interviewed. You sound pretty interesting! Go girl!
06/13/2017 at 8:29 pm #19374
No problem Linda.
My name is Troy and my wife is Veronica. We sell on eBay full time as a couple. Veronica started our business as a hobby in 2004, and I grew tired of working for other people in 2015 and we made this our full time gig. I still do some contract accounting work with my old company, but we don’t count on that money in our income.
The business model is that Veronica loves collectibles, toys, and holiday items, and that was all we did until I came in full time. I saw that the thrift stores were 80% clothes, and wanted something that sells more consistently and with a different cycle than her items, so I focus on men’s clothes. We like to make this a bit of a competition (we call it “He Sells, She Sells”) and like to see who sells the highest priced item each week, and who sells the most in dollars for the year.
If Jay ever wanted to interview us, that would be fine. We were on a game show once, so podcasting doesn’t scare us!
06/14/2017 at 12:40 pm #19401
What gameshow? That would be so fun to do!
06/14/2017 at 6:56 pm #19419
We were on Lingo on the Game Show Network in 2007. It was a word game where you had to guess the word based on where the letters were in the word. Veronica was the sharp one, I just had to feed her good info and be the goofy guy while she guessed all the words. Won the game and $5,000. Had a shot at $19k, but we were not lucky enough. Had a blast though, got to meet Chuck Woolery and Shandi Finnessey, ex-Miss USA. Great memories!
06/13/2017 at 1:25 pm #19339
Good Week, found my first Omega Constellation the other day. I actually just got off the phone with eBay to discuss a piece of feedback. I called yesterday and talked to one Rep. who told me there was nothing they could do, I then asked for the manager and same result. So I called again today and walla no more negative feedback. I am super appreciative to understand the system but somedays it is almost just one big headache. It would be awesome if there was a more cut and dry scenario, or if they looked at how much business you do without involvement and they just took your word since 95% of the time we all know more about their site then they do. Also, I know we are not getting the bottom of the barrel when you have the direct connect line but perhaps it was people that CLEARLY knew the rules and regulations. It is beyond frustrating sometimes just knowing that you have to call and explain and then explain some more just to get the obvious outcome. I have to remind myself though that things could be so much worse… I could not know the system (thanks to all of you)… or worse yet, I could have a BOSS. So glad those days are gone. Heres to owning our time. I can’t tell you how thankful, especially during the summer I am to be able to literally do what ever I want. Like now, I think I am going to take a nap while the little ones take theirs. Then it is off to the park and a walk in the forest preserve.
06/13/2017 at 3:29 pm #19348
Awesome find on the Omega Constellation. Is it working and do you have any idea what year it is?
06/13/2017 at 4:04 pm #19351
Thanks, yeah its working and is 1968. The inside is just awesome, almost looks rose gold. The crystal needs to be replaced and it should be serviced but that is $200 I don’t want to invest myself.
06/13/2017 at 6:19 pm #19366
06/13/2017 at 4:16 pm #19355
On the slower growth after 1500 listings thing: it doesn’t seem surprising, because the more listings you have, the more *old* listings you have, and old ones are naturally selected for being less desirable (the desirable ones being largely sold already). You can keep throwing more marrow bones into the same pot but the ones you threw in last week have already given most of the broth they can give.
So my question is: do you see lower returns *at the margin* for items listed after 1500 listings?
I don’t know how you track inventory, but my sheet has date acquired and date sold. So I bet if you look at the delta between them, you’ll find most of your sold items sold fairly soon after listing, and old stock makes up a smaller proportion.
06/13/2017 at 4:39 pm #19357
So if someone is listing 100 items a week, it’s pretty easy to get to 1500 items in their inventory even if selling each week.
What do you suggest this seller do?
–lower prices on any item that is more than 30 days old until it sells? If so, does this mean you just write off any profit on an item that doesn’t sell quickly to get it out of your inventory?
–What happens if items simply dont sell quickly no matter how low the price? Do you just remove them?
- This reply was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by Jay.
06/13/2017 at 4:50 pm #19359
Well I’m in no position to give advice! But I reckon ebay makes it very cheap to keep listings alive indefinitely, so you might as well leave everything listed and collect the occasional dividend. It’s just that you should expect a really low sell-through rate on the old stuff. Write it off, so to speak.
Like, if 90% of your sales are made within 1 year of listing (I’m just making up numbers here), and you have 5000 items, half of which are more than 1 year old, then you *effectively* have 2500 listings.
That’s my theory anyway but my data is pretty limited and new. I’d be curious to see a histogram of your sales versus time listed.
- This reply was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by simplicio.
06/14/2017 at 8:59 am #19389
Jay, here is my thinking on inventory. 30 days is too quick to make a call on an item. For a 33% sell thru rate, that is everything selling in 90 days. So I am not concerned if something doesn’t sell in the first month, but I look at the views that it had in the first 30 days. That is when it will get the best boost, and if it had low views, I have to rethink titles, pictures, keywords, pricing, etc.
I don’t have a great way now of seeing what our histogram would look like for how long it takes for our items to sell (listed vs sold), though we are tracking the listing date better now. Before, our inventory sheet was on the day it was purchased, not listed, but we changed that recently. But, I would bet we are about 60-70% sold in the first 90 days. I’m totally spitballing, which as an OCD accountant, I hate, so I may have to see what I can come up with.
For older items that just aren’t moving, yes, I lower the pricing to blow it out, even if it is break even at that point. I figure that I have already done the work to get it listed, might as well get some good feedback when I sell something at a low price to someone. We sometimes pull lower items and sell at a yard sale too, just to get them out.
06/14/2017 at 9:45 am #19390
I did a some excel work and calculated the days to sell by category for our sales for 2017 (would be interesting to look at a combined file with 2016 and 2015 as well). Was really good to see this number, and you can see I was wrong about the 90 days metric. More like 120-150, and we have an average of 166 days to sell.
It was even better to see numbers that show that my thinking was correct on why I went to clothing to smooth out the business. You can see that the clothing categories are much lower time to sell than the holiday and collectibles that we had before. That helps turn inventory and generate a baseline of cash flow more rapidly.
06/14/2017 at 3:30 pm #19408
06/13/2017 at 8:35 pm #19375
Yep, I agree. And for the margin…it depends. For my clothing, since a large portion are items under $25, I would rather sell it at a lower margin, turn over the inventory, and put the cash into something that will be new, fresh, and better. If it is a collectible…holding for the right buyer may work.
I see everything as item specific. How I treat an old Ralph Lauren shirt would be different from an old Brooks Brothers shirt, and different from a Samuelsohn suit, and different from a christmas village collection (or how Veronica would see it anyway).
06/13/2017 at 4:35 pm #19356
Here’s a histogram of my sales count since I’ve been keeping records, with their total time listed. I know the scale is weird but you can see there is a clear trend that most sales are newly listed items (0-17 days). (Maybe this means I’m pricing too low!)
I don’t know how meaningful this is since I’ve only been at it since November and keeping records properly since January. Be curious what yours looks like.
06/13/2017 at 6:21 pm #19367
Is that histogram a tool you use or is it just from a spreadsheet you make? Neat little visual and I might like to do something like that myself.
06/14/2017 at 1:53 pm #19403
Yeah, it’s just google sheets generating it. Excel will do the same thing for you. I just subtracted date listed from date sold for all my sold items and then did a histogram of all those numbers.
06/13/2017 at 8:39 pm #19376
Fresher stuff sells well, but depends on what and when. We know we get a boost in the first 24 hours of a listing, but I also think it lasts for a while. I sold a suit this week within 20 minutes of listing it. We have also sold Halloween costumes and Christmas items within the same hour or day, at the appropriate time.
Sometimes the quick sale is luck or aggressive pricing…but sometimes there is money in waiting. Again, depends on the item. I will take a 20% cut on some shirts (since that 20% is only $4 or so), but wait longer on some suits, since that 20% could be $20.
06/14/2017 at 10:31 am #19392MDC Galleries & Fine ArtParticipant
- Location: Atlanta
Hey T-Satt: Question… for those of us who use a secondary inventory and listing app, we end almost all of our listings after 90 to 120 days. We bulk end the listings and then bulk relist those items. That then deletes the old Ebay ID number and creates a brand new Ebay ID number and it is picked up as a “New Listing” by Cassini and gets the benefit of the “new listing” juice. What does that do to a histogram such as you are using, type of view. I may have had an item in my store for say 1 year. But it has been relisted every 90 days, [4 times] during this period and if I just relisted it yesterday, it is showing as a brand new item that is only 1 day old.
BTW, the app we use does keep track of the buy date, the original list date, each new list date, the amount of views and watchers for each of those periods, and tracks how many times the item has been put on Sale and what % the sale was. But that is another story which we have beat to death in other conversations.
Mike at MDC Galleries in Atlanta
- This reply was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by MDC Galleries & Fine Art.
06/14/2017 at 3:34 pm #19409
Hey Mike. I’m guessing that tool is WonderLister, correct? Still on my list to get done…
The number of times to relist wouldn’t change the data. I use 30 days, so the 110 days to sell means it was listed 4 times (original and 3 relists).
06/13/2017 at 6:51 pm #19368
Are is the link to the bay listing Brian. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-1968-Omega-Constellation-564-35mm-New-Leather-Alligator-Style-Band-/252988225965?ssPageName=STRK:MESE:IT I had a new leather band put on, it is genuine cow leather that looks like alligator.
06/13/2017 at 6:57 pm #19369
06/13/2017 at 8:40 pm #19377spinachetrParticipant
Flavio, thank you for your service. I spent 3 years in the Navy and now work with the Feds as a LEO. Ebay will supplement my pension when I retire in about 2 1/2 years. You can ask me anything.
06/13/2017 at 10:16 pm #19380
06/13/2017 at 11:35 pm #19383TiffyKayeParticipant
I come from a military family, and I have to say living in base housing was my introduction to the secondhand market. Families moving overseas were often going someplace with a completely different climate, much smaller living quarters, or their furniture and heavier items put them past the weight limit designated for moving expense allowances. Downsizing was a way of life, which meant constant moving and garage sales. All of our furniture and most of our toys and clothing were used. By the time I got to college, shopping secondhand was already a way of life and I was able to live on less than many of my friends.
In response to the question about money management problems by military members, it is not always a lower salary that creates problems, but larger re-enlistment bonuses and hazardous duty or deployment pay that gives service members increased salaries only temporarily. Also, just as Jay and Ryanne discussed the need for eBay sellers to adjust budgets to match their slowest sales months, military members have to adjust their budget to accommodate drastically different standards of living both within the U.S. or overseas. Families sometimes are unable to sell houses in the short amount of time they are given to move, and paying two mortgages or maintaining separate households is sometimes a reality. Military life has many benefits, but can be tough as indicated by the many pawn shops and advance check cashing storefronts located around military bases. That being said, the VA home loan and GI Bills are invaluable benefits and my husband and I would not be where we are today without these resources.
Hats off to Flavio and other service members who are willing to mentor and provide guidance to the younger people who perhaps may be more willing to listen to peers and coworkers than parents.
06/14/2017 at 8:26 am #19387
Do military base residents have rummage sales?
Are they open to the public?
I would think they would have some interesting things at bargain prices.
06/14/2017 at 12:33 am #19384ManateejaqParticipant
Wish I had more time to be a part of the conversation, but for now, just contributing my numbers for the previous week.
June 4-June 10 2017
Total items in store: Etsy 386 // Ebay 401 (Items not cross-posted I list different types of things on Etsy and Ebay)
Items Sold: Etsy 8 // Ebay 13
Cost of items Sold: Etsy $10.15 // Ebay $54.64
Total Sales: Etsy $88.65 // Ebay $217.87
Highest Price Sold: $35 Guess Ankle Boots
Average Price Sold: $13.93
Number of items listed this week: 33 (Listed at $714)
06/14/2017 at 11:01 am #19396eziegelbeinParticipant
Hi all! I’m a military spouse, so can probably answer a question or two on the military family perspective. First off though, awesome interview with Flavio. It is interesting to hear his unique perspective on inventory management and doing this while also being active duty. So cool!
SilvanaS, I agree with what TiffyKaye stated. Sometimes its not that they make so little, sometimes its the surprise unknowns of being military whether those surprises are good or bad. My husband and I lived in base housing for a long time and got to see how quickly some of these families outgrew those bonuses and paychecks. Now add in moving often and quickly, forced downsizing, families being apart during deployments, raising kids, etc. It can be overwhelming and the divorce rate of military families is high. Plus, you have to remember that many members of the military are very young. My husband always calls new members in his shop “kids”. That’s certainly not meant to be patronizing, its that to those of us in our 40s, a new recruit at 18 is still technically a teenager. Most of the staff my husband works with are closer in age to our 13 year old than to us. We learned after a while to stop inviting the new families moving in to base housing for drinks, since many of them couldn’t legally drink.
As far as my eBay business, this is the only money making venture I’ve found that is portable, can be done no matter where we move, and can be turned on and off easily. I’ve sold on & off eBay since 2005 and have full-timed it since 2014. We thought we were moving last year and at the last minute, the Air Force changed their minds. Had I been working a regular full-time job that I had already quit because of the impending move, I would not have had a paycheck the last year. But with my eBay store, I just turned the listings back on again and everything with my store was back to normal. Now that we are preparing to move again this December (the Air Force is certain this time), it will be time to scale back the store and turn everything off during the move. So I’ve started downsizing older inventory that I probably wouldn’t buy again, clearing out supplies that I won’t need, etc.
06/14/2017 at 12:38 pm #19400BrianBParticipant
I thought I would pass along this (possible) tip. I received one of those emails/messages from eBay this week stating that some of my items need to be updated. I clicked on the link to review the items. One of them had eBay verbiage in red stating that there was a problem with the Warranty attribute on one of mu items. It stated that “No” was not a valid Warranty type. In the interface that was provided “No” was an option, but maybe that was just because that was what I had specified. I selected the “No warranty” option and submitted the change. The item sold the next day. It had been listed for many months, maybe a year.
It could be a coincidence or maybe eBay had previously considered this an invalid item until the attribute was fixed and after I fixed it they may have pushed the item up in the search rankings. Whatever happened the item sold quickly after I fixed the attribute.
The tip is to not ignore eBay’s suggestions for fixing listing defects.
06/14/2017 at 1:15 pm #19402
What kind of item did they want a warranty on? I assume a new item, and not a vintage item?
06/14/2017 at 3:20 pm #19407
I have a question about listing on other ebay sites. Maybe Mike in Atlanta or someone else has experience with this.
Wonderlister has as a feature: ‘List on all eBay sites (total 22) including eBay US, UK, CA, Australia, Germany, Hongkong, Singapore, India and others”
Does anyone have experience listing on other ebay sites? How did it work for you?
Mike: Do you know when Wonderlister is going to have the feature to directly import into Etsy?
06/14/2017 at 4:13 pm #19411MDC Galleries & Fine ArtParticipant
- Location: Atlanta
Yes WL and Funny you should ask that question. I was just talking with engineering support yesterday and we were discussing the exact same thing. Anticipated roll out of the Etsy interface. As a BETA tester I see some things in my version of WL that some others don’t have, since Part of what I do is try out new things and see if it is glitchy. Well the coding for the Etsy interface has been in the works for over a year. Coding takes a while. At this point it was left that sometimes in early Sept. is the target for the Etsy rollout. Also an interface with Shopify is in the works but in a longer projected rollout. Team is waiting probably to see how the Etsy goes and also will have to work out a few bugs in the early days of the rollout.
There is still some debate about how it will go, if to a CSV file first then get converted or straight into Etsy’s form. Certain Item specific fields were an issue prior but think that is all settling down. Also the exec’s are contemplating if a costing tier is going to be involved or not. So some things still to iron out.
As far as listing on other sites, those selections are being picked up by WL from your Ebay site. Those options are available from Ebay also from your Ebay account and the Seller Preferences section. Again funny you should ask because I was in my Ebay account for something totally unrelated the other day and just happened to stumble across those other country selections. About half were selected. I went ahead and checked off all of them. BUT I was under the impression that if you use the GSP [which we do], that all of the countries that Ebay will ship to under the GSP program would also have all of our items listed [being shown] for sale on those respective country’s Ebay sites. But who knows.
Hope this helps somewhat.
Mike at MDC Galleries in Atlanta
- This reply was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by MDC Galleries & Fine Art.
06/14/2017 at 5:40 pm #19417
Thanks for the response Mike. So they are targeting September for Etsy, that is good. In the mean time, I could use the export .csv file (I don’t have WL yet, but based on what you have said about it, I would think the $10\month would be worth it for me). I think you said you used that and you just had to exclude the fields that caused issues. Other than that, did the export from ebay and import to Etsy go ok for you? Just have to go back and add the Etsy tags?
About other ebay sites, I just called ebay and they said that you can’t list items on a couuntry’s site in which you don’t live. So, since I have an address in the US, I can’t list on the UK site for example. But of course I can use GSP from the US site to ship to people in the UK. I guess that feature in WL would only be of value if you are moving to a different country and wanted to move your listings to the new ebay site in that country.
Do you see value in the WL Shopify rollout? Can you export\import into Shopify now via .csv file? If so, how do you use Shopify? The way I understand it is that you create your own online store with Shopify. Does that make sense as an ebay seller? How much does it cost? How do you market your site? Would like to hear thoughts on this.
06/14/2017 at 7:22 pm #19425
I found a post from you from April by doing a search on Shopify. You said, “But to go live with owns own web site you need to speed a lot of time and have the knowledge to drive your own traffic to your store, then convert it. It will take a lot of upfront work, then constant working your store by writing new, and relevant content almost daily.”
What you said sounds right. Shopify’s website would have you to believe they do everything for you. My guess is that the truth is somewhere in between and probably depends on what you sell. If it is a “constant working your store” then I don’t think I would be interested. But, I have quantities of certain items: it would be interesting to see if a Shopify web site could attact people to say, all used shoes or all used jackets.
06/16/2017 at 9:14 am #19470
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