06/18/2017 at 6:45 pm #19546
- Location: Virginia
A couple weeks ago, we were talking about our backup plan to eBay. But many commenters on the forum were discussing that eBay IS their backup plan to
[See the full post at: Scavenger Life Episode 315: Okay, you’re making money. Now what?]
06/18/2017 at 8:49 pm #19550
Total Items in Store: 2113
Items Sold: 13
Total Sales: $513.83
Highest Sale: $112.50 (Vintage Polo Jacket)
Decent week. Sold a lot of jackets.
Got going on Wonderlister and I believe this is going to be a game changer for me.
I love the bulk lister and I think that will make a big difference. I have access to
the data behind the scenes in SQL Server and I love getting a behind the scenes look
at what data goes into ebay\Wonderlister. I think that it could replace GoDaddy for me
except it doesn’t seem to have return items in it. I will have to look into that.
Thanks Mike for suggesting Wonderlister!
06/18/2017 at 9:18 pm #19552
I believe Mike says that you have to run the software on your own server to get it to work. Is that true? How much set up was there?
How is the WL’s bulk editor different from eBay’s bulk editor?
06/18/2017 at 9:53 pm #19553
I think Mike was referring to Sixbit that requires another server. In any event, I just used my stand alone PC and got it to work without any issues. The set up should have been easy, but since I had an older version of SQL Server loaded on my PC it didn’t work. I chatted with their tech support and they got it working for me. The bulk editor on WL is so much better. You just highlight the items you want to change, go into the bulk editor and change the fields you want to. I only did this for about 35 scheduled items, but I think Mike said that it would work for as many records as you have to update on ebay. This will make updating handling time for my upcoming vacation a breeze.
The bulk lister is what really sold this to me in my trial period. Basically, you just enter your listings into a .csv file, fill out your store specifics and the things specific to the item. It took me a lot of trial and error because there are a lot of required fields and I didn’t see anything telling you what those were, but I figured it out (after about 20+ attempts!).
It works great if you have all like items. I was doing this for the makeup I had bought and the dimensions were all the same. I was able to load 35 listings incredibly fast since I already had the title, price, and quantity already in a spreadsheet.
My goal is to be able to set all the basic settings and upload a batch to Scheduled listings. Then just add the pics by phone and measurements if needed. I may have to add some item specifics and a description if that is needed for the item. I am thinking that my wife and I could list upwards of 200 items in an 8-10 hour day doing it this way (because I already have the spreadsheets with the basic information already there).
06/18/2017 at 10:17 pm #19554
Jay – You can do a 15 day free trial with Wonderlister. It is $10 for up to 2500, $25 for up to 5000 listings, and $50 for up to 10,000 listings, so you may want to start with your second store to see if it works for you.
06/19/2017 at 9:19 am #19563
Hi Jay… Mark is partially correct. You can run both WonderLister and SixBit on your own computer. But what I also said is that SixBit grows so much bigger and faster than WL and that SB takws up 10 times the space [footprint] as does WL.
We have 884 listings in our store and no problem with WL but got a message from SixBit saying our database was getting close to the 10 GIG size limit of MS SQL. SB just has a ton of “bloat” added to it. Don’t know why. A good question to ask SixBit why there data file grows so large so fast. What do they do behind the scenes to make it grow so big so fast.
But in any case in WL the coding and the way they handle, store and compact the data seems to make it a much, much smaller file and in turn it runs extremely fast also. So your own computer “IS” your server.
There are numerous differences to how you can bulk edit. Things like being able to append listings, preprend listings. sorting and filetring them and inserting data in the middle of listings and others that you just need to work with rather than explain here. But the biggest is that you click “control key and the letter A and every listing you have is highlighted, all 10,000, then you change the handling time, click enter and all 10,000 listings will start changing in the background and you can then just go about your business and keep working on listings. 10,000 will take a short while to complete but it is neging down in the back ground as you continue to work. Try highlighting all 10,000 listings in Ebay and ask Ebay BE to then change the handling time. Well it won’t work because Ebay limits the amount of listings you can change at one time. I believe 250 for us Premium store owners and 500 at a time for you Anchor store owners. I have stated this in a prior post but guess it wasn’t picked up. But what a time saver for you guys. The amount of time for you or Ryane to clcik and hit keys to change all 10,000 listings might be 5 to 10 minutes. Now compare that to how long it takes you guys to change 10,000 listings 500 at a time. It will take you guys 20 different times at the Ebay Bulk Editor area to do what you can do in one session in WL.
I think I have heard Ryanne say it tales hours for her to change your setting in Ebay BE. Now if you take 4 trips a year calculate how many hours she spend changing handling time in Ebay.
One never knows how nice it is to own and drive a car if you don’t learn how to drive. Best I can say, you have to try it, use it then draw one’s own comparison. If you run a small store, part time with just a few hundred listings, I don’t think this is for you. But if you run numbers, want all in one financial compilation of data and especially with the upcoming Etsy interface, if one runs two stores on these two programs and you want to run them from one “command central” location – dashboard then it is for you.
Interesting I see mark S. has already stated that he thinks the compiled financial statements in WL he thinks will replace Go Daddy for him. Just think if you run “two” stores on Etsy and Ebay.
By the way WL does allow us to have up to 5 Ebay accounts and it keeps track of all of them. We don’t use that feature, but you and Ryanne “DO” have two stores.
In any case, as you well know, I have covered a lot of bases on these apps and hopefully those interested should just jump in and try them. Personally, I think the cost is just pocket change as compared to all of the savings and benefits we have gained.
mike at MDC Galleries in Atlanta
06/19/2017 at 10:43 am #19569
Thanks to Mark S and Mike for the continued discussion on WonderLister. Good to hear from a new person (Mark S) on what his experience is using it.
I really need to get on the ball with giving it a try. I enjoy doing similar items in batches to stay efficient. I changed my process a month ago and that has me listing at 5 items per hour now (start with photo, use templates to create draft listings, edit photos, add to listing, price and list). I use a laptop computer in the studio to create the draft listings, then finish on my computer in my office. The only snafu with WonderLister would be that I would have to either network the two computers together, or change the process around.
Mark, keep letting us know how it is going. I’m going to be getting into the WL game soon as well!
06/19/2017 at 11:42 am #19572
Yes to work from multiple computers you do need to set-up a local in house net work but that is easily done on a PC. It is a point and click quick process.
I work from my laptop downstairs all the time, almost every night. I also had a helper for a while and she was listing on the laptop over on her desk and I was working on different things and other listings in WL on my desktop. Two people can work within WL at the same time. Only restriction is two people can’t work on the exact, same listing at the same time. Other than that two people can be attaching photos, adding prices, writing descriptions at the same time.
If you also need help setting it up, the WL Tech Support team will help, even do a remote control access and do it for you very quickly.
Also a neat thing about WL over Ebay Listing module is you can create “Custom” fields for anything you want and add them to the listing. Mine are mostly private settings whereby the data these “custom added fields” hold is data I want only for myself / my eyes only.
Also you can add as many customized “Item Specifics” as you want, same those in as many different template formats as you want and keep those templates or any drafts for as many years as you want. You can also create as many “User Folders” as you want and keep those different templates stored in their respective and commonly named folders.
Just tons of stuff one can do with WL.
You can also create as many different “Views” as you want and name them. This allows you to be able to see only what data – fields you want to see. In my Warehouse view I only see certain columns that pertain to new listngs that are coming into our system. In my Archival View I only see those items that are older than 90 days [a setting that I control].
Also every column and view can be searched with a very powerful search tool that will search by dollar amounts, contains certain words or phrases, does NOT contain those things, etc., etc and then you can sort and filter those results any way you want to see the data.
Mike at MDC Galleries in Atlanta
06/19/2017 at 11:53 am #19575
Thanks Mike. That is very helpful as well. I need to learn how to set up the home network through the WiFi router that I have. Once I get that done, that will make some other parts of our business easier as well.
I gotta get onto WL!
06/19/2017 at 12:14 pm #19580
Well you are going to love this.
But first a comment about the network. You have to remember that you desktop is your main rig. It is what WL is going to call your “server”. That means that the WL database resides on the C:// drive of your main desktop along with your photos. Your laptop is a satellite so to speak. While you will have a WL version installed on your laptop [that is what allows you to work on files independently on the laptop], the “stored data” that is accessed is in the main database on your desktop [acting as your server]. [[ think this may have what confused Jay when I talked about the server topic]].
Now this is no big issue… what you may love and I ceratinly do, is that by using a “remote Acess” app like “TeamViewer” you can drive hundreds of miles away, open up your laptop, start up the TeamViewer app and then access WL while on the road!! Now to those of you who use TeamViewer this is no surprise, but it allows me to continue to do my Ebay business from on the road through WL. The only thing you must do though is to leave your main desktop computer turned on while you are away. But we go visit my daughter in Orlando [we are in Atlanta] and I continue to do business the whole time I am away. The internet does not need to be turned on.
All I have to do is make sure that I do change my handling time as far as shipping sold items go.
Also with TeamViewer you can also do a remote boot and start of your computer, but you just can’t turn it completely off. So if you need to reboot-restart for some reason, then do so and then TeanViewer will become live again after the restart of your desktop.
Now I know anybody can access Ebay and also do this directly in Ebay, but Ebay doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles of WL.
In any case thought you might find this capability of interest.
mike at MDC Galleries in Atlanta
06/19/2017 at 12:16 pm #19581
If you’re just buying a software that you run on your computer, why is there a monthly fee?
Is Wonderlister’s contribution just keeping the software up to date and that’s why its a subscription?
06/19/2017 at 12:39 pm #19590
Well that is probably a good reason for it. There are controls as to how often you want WL to update and synch with Ebay, but mine is set to synch every 15 seconds [I think]. So I get fresh information with regards to how many impressions, watchers, number of offers, immediate Sales records, PayPal amounts paid, cost of labels, Profit and Loss statement is updated every 15 seconds which of course requires WL to stay in constant contact with Ebay and PayPal. It is just a few seconds behind Ebay and in some cases [when Ebay is running slow] I even get information from WL before Ebay posts it.
Also I guess you know Ebay just doesn’t allow anyone to access there data. You have to have a “Key” to access it. SixBit and also WonderLister have access to Ebay’s data because they are a pre-approved partner with Ebay. In SixBIt you have to go through a total “key” authorization to allows SB to access your account and so do you when you do the initial set-up with WL. That has to be renewed I believe annually. I don’t know if these programs have to pay Ebay to acess all of this data on behalf of their subscriber customers. And if they do, this may also be a reason for some of the subscription fee. You are aware that TerraPeak is just Ebay 90 data on steroids and Ebay owns TerraPeak [or atleast used to, but think they still do]. If you want the data from Ebay for further back than 90 days, then you have to go to TerraPeak to see it. That is why I subscribe to “WorthPoint”. It gives me data more longer than a year ago. I know you have said you don’t see any value in data over a year old, but many times I have found only 3 or 4 sold items of some fairly rarer item that was sold 18 months ago and I only found it on WorthPoint, along with many times great descriptions, back ground data and keywords I can use.
On another WonderLister note, I have a User Folder set-up called Sold on Another Venue and every time a Sale is made on Bonanza, WL moves that item to my Sold Off Ebay folder and I click on it as a Bonanza Sale.
With the Etsy fall roll out all of the constant synching back and forth will also being done for that platform as well.
As for your two stores WL will keep track of all of this by separate accounts. 5 for us at the Silver level is allowed.
Here is also something I haven’t brought up before. I also have 4 consignors that I sell items for. WL keeps track of all of the items sold by each of these consignors by way of the Consignor Customer Code I have set-up. Each Consignor has an independent code. That is all I need to do is every item I list and upload I click on the name of the consignor. WL then keeps separate financial reports for each consignor. Creates a report for me showing all the fees, shipping costs, and what the percentage of split is. It creates a report I give to each consignor every month that shows what items are still active and listed, what items sold, and what the amount is that the consignor gets “AFTER” the expenses are subtracted.
Also WL keeps track of all of the sales in each state, what items are sold by state and of course I get a report of what the Sale and Use tax is a have to pay monthly for georgia. The user checks off which states they want to see the owe sales tax in. In your case you will check the box for W. Virginia [Ibelieve]. If congress ever passes some sort of internet law where we ahveto pay tax in every state we sell something in, this report will provide the amount for each state for you. [but let’s hope that never happens].
mike at MDC Galleries in Atlanta
- This reply was modified 5 months ago by MDC Galleries.
06/19/2017 at 12:42 pm #19591
Mike, you rock! I will have to look into that as an option. The network piece has been my only holdup. I knew my Desktop would be the central database that my studio laptop and Veronica’s laptop would have to remote to, but getting the three linked up wireless has been my stumbling block. Tech is not my strong suit!
06/19/2017 at 10:23 am #19566
Interesting point Mark. I am unsure how WL does handle the “returns” since I don’t have many at all. But it does handle refunds because I have done a few of those and see them in the financial data.
Check it out. I and you both can report this to the WL tech Team and dollars to donuts they will get it corrected if it is not working correctly or will write code for it and add in the next updates. They are very receptive to what we are trying to do as vintage sellers and are also looking for ways that WL to provide those desired features to us as vintage, one off Sellers.
mike at MDC Galleries in Atlanta
- This reply was modified 5 months ago by MDC Galleries.
06/19/2017 at 1:43 pm #19598
I was looking for this at the database level. I was looking for a table called “returns” or “refunds” but didn’t see any. I think they may just put them in the transactions table. I can’t replace go daddy this year because my data in WL only goes back 3 months from this past Friday. I asked for more data but the tech support says they are limited to 3 months back because of ebay. I would think they could get more from the backend but maybe not. But they don’t delete data so I will have all the data going forward. Those are some nice features that you described Mike, I’ll have to take a look at those. I will also have to look at the user guide. Really a great product. I read that the guy who started WL worked on turbolister for 10 years.
Have you looked at the data In The database? I am learning the tables and writing my own Sql queries (I do sql server development at work). I also want to use WL for my cogs but that will take a bit to do.
06/18/2017 at 8:52 pm #19551
Total Items in Store: 460, etsy, 206 ebay
Items Sold: 15
Total Sales: $592.45 (etsy $307.97, ebay $284.48)
Highest Price Sold: $100 (vintage game on ebay)
Average Price Sold: $39.49
Good week again.
06/18/2017 at 11:22 pm #19555
Brian Treasures from GrandmasParticipant
- Location: Hoboken, NJ
Cool topic that I’d love to hear more of this week. I’ve said in the past that I do this a side hobby/gig (not a hustle 🙂 ) and my profits go towards things my wife & I want (not necessarily need because that’s what our day jobs buy us) – date nights, dinners, vacations, splurge gifts, etc.
Week June 11-17, 2017
Total Items in Store: 925
Items Sold: 15 (2 Amazon, 1 Bonanza)
Cost of Items Sold: $61 (9.5% of sales)
Total Sales: $640.89
Highest Price Sold: $200 (NIB Wedgwood Gold Filled Cufflinks)
Average Price Sold: $42.73
Returns: 0 (1 NPB though)
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
Number of items listed this week: 0
Promoted listings test: 3 sales, $82.98 (12.9% of total sales), $4.90 fees (5.9% of sales)
Another pretty good week. Low-ish volume, but a couple of nice sales saved the week. I bought the Wedgwood cufflinks at an estate sale about 4 weeks ago for $15, put them up for $250 and took the $200 without hesitating. Another fun sale was a lot of Buitoni pasta trading cards from the 1950s – apparently one came in each box and if you collected and sent in 100 you got a free 1lb box of Italian candies. Well, I’m glad the person kept their cards as I ended up taking a best offer of $60 on them since I’ve had them for a good 8-10 months, paid $3.
Didn’t get to any listing this week as we spent Sunday at my wife’s parents’ house for Fathers Day, BBQing. Made it out to one sale on Saturday and did decently, but also found a guy on CL selling about 50 records for $100. Made an appointment, went over, and ended up buying them. Many were in rough shape, but there were enough gems in there to make it worthwhile – Beatles, Zeppelin, Floyd, Bowie, etc. The rest I’ll re-donate for the tax deduction.
06/19/2017 at 12:02 am #19557
6/11 – 6/17
Total Items in store: 341
Cost of items sold: approx. $14
Total Sales: $74
Highest price sold: $28 NASCAR pit shirt
Average price sold: $15
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 – 16 sales – $2,850; COGS – $975; fees – $300; profit – $1,573
Nice profit on Amazon this week. Sale of the week – $699, bought on Amazon for $109 5 weeks ago.
06/19/2017 at 1:30 am #19558
RR Store Week June 11-17, 2017
Total Items in Store: 1,292
Items Sold: 18
Cost of Items Sold: $32.47
Total Sales: $808.99 ($743.99 eBay/$65 private sales)
Highest Price Sold: $275 (Mason Williams book manuscript)
Average Price Sold: $44.94
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $57.56
Number of items listed this week: 60
Slow week. Thankfully, I had some higher ticket stuff sell, which helped shore up the really slow days. That Mason Williams manuscript sold within an hour of listing. I had it up for $379.99, but I took a Best Offer of $275. Probably should have held out for more, but it was such a slow week that I jumped on it. Besides, I paid a dollar for it. Just barely hit my short term weekly goal of $800; also hit my listing goal of 60 items. Hopefully this week will be a bit better now that Father’s Day and most graduations are over.
I’ve mentioned it here before, but since the podcast posed the question: I want to open a Tiki Bar. A real, authentic, mid-century style Tiki bar with all the trimmings. I think it will satisfy many of my creative urges and interests, like interior design and collecting/scavenging, while providing a good livelihood. We have a thriving Tiki “scene” here in Southern California, and I’m confident it could support another Tiki establishment. I’m also fortunate to be surrounded by so many resources: tropical decor wholesalers, artists, Tiki carvers, fresh ingredients, and a very knowledgeable community of like-minded folks. But, it’s a long term goal. Right now I just want to knock out my rent and bills. Tiki time will have to wait a bit.
- This reply was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by Rydell Relics.
06/19/2017 at 9:41 am #19565
- Location: Southern California
Total Items in Store: 322
Items Sold: 5
Cost of Items Sold: $49 new + $1 used
Total Sales: $124
Highest Price Sold: $38 new pj pants
Average Price Sold: $25
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: about $20
Number of items listed this week: 0
Well keeping it real over here with some slow sales. It’s my third week not listing. This week I did have a couple of windows and I have to admit I just wasn’t feeling it for Ebay. One of my challenges is that I’m stubborn and have hard time giving up on items and donating them back. I’m not sure why since they can’t all be winners. So I’ve deleted some items as I am nearing my 250 basic limit and don’t want to pay $50 more a month to upgrade. I found the stinkers with some help from the forum. I find the growth tab to be useless, but better information under the performance/traffic section. At the bottom is a long list of your listings I had been blowing off. You can sort and I found out that some of my listings were getting impressions (I don’t think keywords are the problem) but hardly any clicks. Besides the seasonal and newly listed items, there were some Etsy type lower dollar items. I hear Etsy is slow for veteran sellers and maybe tinkering with search, but I hope to get on there later. I have read that you need to get up 100-150 listings ideally, so that is kind of a deterrent for me with the time constraints I have.
Speaking of time constraints, I love being a mom and I’m doing exactly what I want to be doing. It is very challenging at times and some kids are harder to parent than others. Lately just regulating internet use is the bane of my existence. I have good paying contract work to fill most of the time they are at school and now I squeeze in Ebay too as a hobby but also to pay for extras. I just took my daughter to see Into the Woods in LA and we stayed downtown with Ebay $.
Fixing up houses would be amazing and there are many midcentury and ’20s homes here that could use some love, but you need serious capital even just to get into and carry a house around here for months. The permitting process is expensive and ridiculous. We do our reno on our home one project at a time and that’s about as much as I can handle at once. So, I guess I’ll be watching flips on HGTV instead. They sure make it look easy and Flip or Flop labor prices are insanely low for So Cal. The joke around here is that if you grab someone talented from a cheaper area and rent them a place to stay here while they are working then the labor cost would still be cheaper with you putting them up than hiring someone local.
Brian, the art on those pasta cards is amazing. I’m still working on the piles, but I hope to switch to estate sales later. And Paul, love the tiki bar goal. We’re looking for an authentic looking 3-6 ft. tiki for our backyard and don’t want to pay shipping. If you know of a place in LA, let me know.
06/20/2017 at 2:32 am #19627
Thanks Christine! It’s a goal I am determined to reach. I really dig the eBay business, but as I get older, I feel like I need something more permanent. And what better way to earn a living than by combining your favorite hobbies into a business venture?
There’s a store not far from me in San Dimas called Bonita Antiques. The owner, Sam, has a good quarter of the store dedicated to all things Tiki/Hawaiiana/Pop Polynesia. Every time I go I just hand my wallet over. So much great stuff. I was there last week and he had a decent selection of larger Tikis to choose from. He can be a bit pricey, but if you told him you came all the way from the central coast because Paul recommended his store, I’m almost positive he’d give you a discount. I usually get 20% off each time I visit. Sam’s a great guy.
If you really want to go right to the source, try Oceanic Arts in Whittier. Bob and LeRoy opened the place in 1956, and have supplied countless bars, restaurants, theme parks (like Disneyland), and home Tiki enthusiasts. It is quite literally a warehouse. Tiki Mecca.
06/19/2017 at 10:38 am #19568
Either a great weak on ebay or a mediocre one, depending whether the buyer pays for my one big sale. :S
Sales: CAD$1528, 3 items
Notable items: Norwegian Bruksbo rosewood table $75–>$1300, box of table hockey players $6–>$130
Hours: 7, rate $179/hr
Listed: 11 items, total 158
Expenses incl. sourcing: $106
Bought 4 printer trays for an office printer NIB for $5 each. I think they will get $150 each. From the same place I’m thinking of getting a pallet of monitor holder thingies if I can get them for <$5 each, they sell for $70+ but it’ll be slow to unload them all.
Also got a really cool old morse code key, I’m not sure on price but for $20, worst case, I like it for myself.
06/19/2017 at 11:19 am #19570
- Location: Wheeling, WV
June 11 – 17
Total Items in Store: 902
Items Sold: 19
Total Sales (Gross Profit): $619
Net Profit: $436
Highest Price: $160 (Victor Phonograph Talking Machine Record Player Horn)
Average Price: $33
Cost of Items Sold: $24
Costs of Items Purchased this Week: $160
Another pretty good week for my <1K store size. I love how the sales are keeping steady, even when I’ve been really lazy lately with listing. I’ll need to get back into it soon though. The mountain of stuff that I’ve been acquiring is growing! The yard sale season has been really good to me this year. But I really do need to stop sourcing if all I’m going to do is look at it. I’ve got one more really good auction to go to this upcoming weekend, and then I’m done! I’ll start hunkering down every night and listing. Maybe then I’ll be able to tackle this mountain before the busy season.
I tried another online auction house this week…with disappointing results. This auction house had the items listed for about a week and for that entire time, the bids were so low that I thought I could buy everything. Well sure as rain, the bids started rolling in at the last hour. It wouldn’t have been as big of a deal if the location wasn’t an hour away. So I won three items. One I’m keeping for myself, one I might be able to make $20 profit, and another was a total bust worth less than what I paid for it. I can see why auctioneers are turning toward the online auction avenue, but I might steer clear of it for the time being.
06/19/2017 at 11:40 am #19571
I’m behind in the numbers this week, as I was watching my oldest boy pitch on Saturday (great outing) and spent Fathers Day with my youngest son fishing in the mountains.
Regarding the first caller talking about how to allocate “paying yourself”. (Thanks Jay for the shout-out!) First, I always say that cash is King. Your entire business life blood is cash, as is EVERY business. Proper allocation of cash will make or break any business.
This is how we fund our lives through our full-time eBay business:
We are in the resale business, and we have to have large enough inventories to generate consistent sales and cash coming in. So we need to list every week, which means we have to buy every week. No list, no sale. So the first place that we have to fund with our revenues is enough cash to buy more inventory. For us and the inventory that we buy, we spend around $500 at the thrift stores, and we can spend another $500 at Yard Sales. So first things first, we always make sure that we have $500 in cash for Yard Sale money, and $500 in PayPal for Thrift Store purchases (we use PayPal debit card to also get 1% back).
The next item of importance is paying our eBay fees out of PayPal. So before I transfer any money from PayPal to our Business Checking account, I make sure to leave $500 for purchases plus the current balance that shows in eBay fees. I usually do one transfer from PayPal per week, unless sales are hot and I want to move the balance to cash quicker. I don’t like a high PayPal balance since they can freeze that at any time (happened to us about 1.5 years ago…not a fun week).
Next is Self Employment Taxes. I run the estimate for the year (as Jay mentions, I forecast our entire Business, line by line, for the current and future year), so I have a good idea of how much we will owe in taxes. I have a separate checking account that is for our self-employment taxes. I have a reminder in Quicken at the end of each month that says how much I need to transfer from the business operating account to the taxes account. That way when I pay the quarterly taxes, the money is already there. (I do this with lots of other non-monthly personal expenses such as Christmas Spending, Property Tax, Homeowners insurance, etc. Makes life SOOO much easier).
The rest is what we live on. We try to have all business costs run through PayPal first (shipping supplies, any cleaning or repairs, etc.) so that I know easily what the balance is in PayPal, what “floor” I need to cover upcoming eBay fees and purchases, and I transfer the rest. Then I keep in the business checking enough for yard sale purchases and for the business taxes, and then we can transfer the rest to our personal checking.
When you are growing the business, you are always behind on cash. You are buying more product and getting it listed than you are selling. We are still growing, so we are still behind the cash curve, which is why I made sure we had LOTS of cash in reserve to live while we grew. We are now just about at the point where the business is 100% supporting our bills, and will be there by Q4.
Growing and first starting a business, you never have enough cash, which is why you see people on Shark Tank, and why when you read about Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, etc., how they lived like paupers while they grew the business. If they can live cheap to fund their dreams, we can do the same. That that is also why before we went full time, we built the business and the processes (Veronica was HUGE in laying that groundwork, I just brought the business and accounting side to it) and we saved up to handle the lean times.
There is another school of thought that is similar, called Profit First, based on a book by Mike Michalowicz that I would love to read. Sounds similar to what we do with the multiple buckets, but he sets aside extra buckets for profit and for paying yourself as well. That might be another way to go.
Hope that helps! If you have any other accounting questions, just let me know!
06/19/2017 at 12:00 pm #19577
I also agree about paying your business. Our business is an entity unto itself just as an employee. With a good and proper COA [Chart of accounts] set up which we do], we have a line item called “Retained Earnigs” – OCRA “Operating Capital Reserve Account”. Guess you recognize those terms T-Satt. :-). In any case we make sure that those accounts get feed out of the gross income that comes from the Ebay Sales. We pay the business first before we pay ourselves. But in many cases we don’t pay ourselves “directly” but indirectly by running many things throguh our business as expenses and by doing such we don’t have those expenses in our personal lives that we have to [pay.
Examples, We use Mile IQ for mileage. We can then classify every trip we take as personal or business at the swipe of the phone screen. Well 90% of our driving is business. If we go to an auction or yard sale but need to stop along the way for a personal errand it is still a business deduction. All we did was stop for a few minutes.
Our cell phones are 90% for business so, the business pays for the cell phone bill. Our internet usage / cable is paid by the business because the only interneting we do other than listing research is just very minimal. We also take approx. 50% of all utility bills, mortgage and interest as business expense because half of our house square footage is 100% dedicated to business use. We also use toilet paper, paper plates, paper towels, toothpaste, soap detergent, magic erasers, Clorox, Lestol cleaner, Simple Green, steel wool, you name it as business expenses because we use this stuff all the time to clean, polish, wipe our inventory. So while we may not pay ourselves directly, we do have a much lower payments to have to make to live.
Now don’t get me wrong, we do have to use some of this stuff personally but we do take the deductions for only the part we use in the business.
So yes, bills first, company needs second and then us last if anything left.
mike at MDC Galleries in Atlanta
06/19/2017 at 12:09 pm #19578
Agree Mike. We are not as aggressive as you on the expenses (we do 100% of the phone, but 50% of the internet charge. We do Apple TV as our main entertainment, so I couldn’t argue 100%), but yes, as a business, take every legitimate business expense you can. I don’t give tax advice, I don’t even pretend on the internet, so everyone consult a tax accountant, but there is a reason that the tax code is set up in favor of business owners. Running your own business is tough, we take the risks, and eventually, we hire employees. So take every advantage you are given!
And yes…I recognize those accounting terms!!! 🙂
PS – How do you like Mile IQ? What is the monthly charge and do you think it is worth it? Another item I’m looking into…
06/19/2017 at 12:24 pm #19586
Mile IQ hasn’t cost me a dime as of yet. Started it Jan. of this year. It gives you 40 “trips” per month for Free. As of yet we are only doing 2 or 3 trips to source per week and as such we have not gone over the 40 trips per month yet.
It sends us weekly reports to review and we have classified them and Mile IQ then remembers those trips to those addresses in the future. It has memorized every thrift store and auction house we go to by now, so we don’t even have to review those any longer. So we only see yard sales and personal trips. Swipe the screen left for personal after each drive. swipe right for business and tap the “yard Sale” category we set up. That’s all there s to it.
We also get a monthly report to print out if we wnat and then of course a yearly cumulative to date summary and finally a year end tax copy. The benefit there is every trip that has been classified by us like the auction houses and thrift store not only shows the mileage, it also has the dates, time, the stores name, address [location] included on each line item I know you see the benefit in that for the Tax man. :-). It is painless, seamless, and free up to this point. If we did more yard less then we would probably go over the 40 free trips. At that point I think it is $5.99 per month or $59.99 per year if paid annually. First time we start to hit 40 trips I will spring for the annual subscription.
Mike at MDC Galleries in Atlanta
06/19/2017 at 12:25 pm #19587
Yeah…I gotta get on that!!!
06/19/2017 at 12:18 pm #19583
You spend $500 at thrift stores and $500 at yard sales every week?
06/19/2017 at 12:24 pm #19585
It has happened. Not every week, but I run the business on the conservative side, making sure I have the most available at any one time. To keep feeding the beast at 100 items per week, we end up averaging around $5 purchase price per item (APP). That may be from Thrift Stores or Yard Sales or both, but I like to have both barrels full at any time.
To be clear though, we avoid Death Piles like the plague. We have gone 2 weeks before without ANY sourcing. If we have enough product to list for the week, we will skip spending the cash, list what we have until we are low again. That is the nice part about some of our sourcing on clothing. There are enough Thrift Stores that keep their prices reasonable that I can source during the week if I get low. There are some that are too high and I only source on 50% days.
06/19/2017 at 12:35 pm #19589
This is where our numbers really differ. If we spend $500 in an entire month on inventory, then we spent a lot. We’ve been known to spend $1000 at an auction, but that’s for an overflowing truck of items that has high dollar value.
We usually spend no more than $50 a week if we’re just sticking to thrift stores and yard sales because we know which stores are doing bag days and big discounts.
So I guess that’s the difference in the equation maybe? We spend much less, but takes longer to sell. You sell quickly, but pay much more.
06/19/2017 at 1:18 pm #19594
You are absolutely right. I’ve done some sourcing in rural areas like yours (I grew up in small rural areas of NM), and the material is very different. It is much lower value (as most of the economics in those areas are lower as well), but harder to sell and a longer hold time. You are doing it right by sticking low on the purchase side though, as that keeps your Invested Capital (the money you have invested in the business that will bring future economic value) low, even though you have 4.5 times the number of listed items that we have. That is good money management. I think you probably run at around a 8X-10X on your profit (receiving 8-10 times in Selling Price what you paid for in Purchasing Price), but your Sell Thru Rate is around 4%-5%, so you get the return, but it takes longer to get it. And it takes that larger inventory to generate the needed monthly sales. Having the large “free” storage at your houses makes that work. That is a solid working business model, and proven by the fact that you have done it for so long.
We can sometimes find those High Return items like you, but they are at Yard Sales, involves a fair amount of luck to be at the right one before another reseller gets there, and not as plentiful. Veronica builds on this side for the most part. Friday she did that, spending around $150 at a couple of sales, and should yield around $800+. But I live in the 4X urban world, buying at $5 what I can sell for $20, storage of 2,000 items is easy in one spare bedroom, and I sell the items in 120 days or less. It helps smooth out the nature of Veronica’s side.
We are a bit of a blend of you guys (Veronica) and Amazing Taste (me). And that works for us. And that is why I work the process and efficiency side so much on my side. I moved my side to 4-5 items per hour, and would like to get that to 8+ if possible without an employee. As of now, if I can list 4 items per hour, at a minimum $10 profit per item (after fees, shipping, etc), then I’m making $40 per hour. Not a bad gig. That is $80,000 per year in the “real world”…
06/19/2017 at 2:01 pm #19603
Agreed. Different models work for different sellers in different places.
It’s always interesting to hear you talk about cashflow and sell-through rates.
–We never have cashflow issues on eBay because our expenses are so low. Our cashflow issues come on the renovation of our rentals, but that’s just because we’re trying to do so much is such a shirt period of time. eBay is a cash cow.
–I’ve never worried about sell through rates. Don’t even look at them. I also have never looked at item views or watchers. What we look at is our average profit per day. As long as enough stuff sells each day during the month to make the money we need, we’re golden.
06/19/2017 at 2:44 pm #19615
Yep. Like you said, the nice part about eBay is that you can work different models. And since you and Ryanne have a different personal situation, you run a different business model that fits your needs.
Veronica and I have two boys, both about to be in college, that play travel baseball, with a mortgage and a small home lot (compared to you guys). With the higher personal expenses than you guys (even though we are low compared to our neighbors), we have to manage the business different to fit our needs. I’m sure your monthly burn rate on personal expenses is about 25%-40% of what we run at, which allows flexibility. Though that comes with tougher sourcing in your area. Always puts and takes in life, and you do the most with the hand you are dealt.
06/20/2017 at 12:58 pm #19640
I loved this question too, it is actually my favorite topic as I mentioned a few times.
Also, Jay says he does not have degree on this but what he does and the advises from him are much better than most. Jay is always super sound with clarity and objectiveness.
Also, T-Satt always post great details, they are really great compendiums on each topic he comments.
Having said that, I think both have shared great insights bout how to allocate cash, since biz ops management is my favorite topic, I will just add a few thoughts.
Jay and the friends in this thread mentioned several times it is up to the model we decide to follow, possibly there is not only one right response or model.
However, the foundation is related to where is the business built in relation to your life. For example, Jay and Ryanne have their business and activities built around their personal lives. So their business entity (call it business persona) is themselves. eBay Store 1, eBay store 2, rental 1, rental 2, video producing freelancing are intertwined. Watching from “here”, they see their revenue, they have their personal expenses then they can decide how to use their profit, with a very solid inventory strategy.
Another model is when you have eBay as a complement to their main job. This is where I offer my first tip: if possible treat this eBay entity separately so that whatever you have to put down to start, you can have clarity when you have recovered and also you will have a decent understanding on how it is going. And, off course, have visibility about revenue, profit to give you solid decision points. You would also have clarity to assess how much investment on inventory for example yield in terms of revenue increase, among many many other things.
However if you do not keep it separated, it might be confusing to have clear understanding of where you are going.
My case is the other side. I have everything separated as I mentioned in my post that Jay recovered. It started like that by default and eBay was one of the consequences, I did not start because of eBay.
Originally I had 3 independently running businesses, I recently sold my rental house (it was incorporated too).
For me it makes very easy. From eBay for example, being a steady cash-flow, I can pay mylself periodically. Please note this is a salary, I do not take a few bucks this week, than a hundred next month. This way I can also have clear understanding that I have that salary being paid by eBay business and even if I sell nothing in a month the business have that previously know expense to pay its employee.
I think out of these 3 foundation models you can have your conclusions.
06/20/2017 at 2:14 pm #19645
Well said Paulo!
06/19/2017 at 12:10 pm #19579
AWARENESS: (apparently) odd items from Designer Fashion Brands
Just a quick remark about the Gucci pipe stand mentioned in the cast today.
It is not uncommon for brands like Gucci, Hermés, Tiffany’s and others to have apparently odd items under their brands. Even more vintage or antique. I can dare to say that the more antique the higher the odds to have something unusual for these and other brands.
Also, as an interesting rule, they use alternative logo, symbol or brand recognition mark on those items, so it is worth paying attention.
Also, they always yield very high price, needles to highlight that condition and other details are impactfull too, So if you have the patient it is very likely you will make good dime on those items. They are very collectible and sought after (not necessarily that specific item but odd items from those brands).
Other important detail: it was not unusual for those brands to have customized items, for marriages, baptism, etc.
Example a few weeks back I found a 1870’s Tiffany’s silver cup from a grandfather in my auction. I did not pay cheap but I tripled what I paid in two days. I could have full prince (was asking $500 for a tea sized cup more or less) if I wanted to wait longer.
06/19/2017 at 12:22 pm #19584
How my “list and forget” mistake helped me to bypass current eBay motion to remove older posts
I just recently learned there is a “Good til’ cancelled” option to list. Until a few months back, my listings were all 30 days and then I would select the last listings and add the “list continuously until the item sells” option.
What it does is that after 3 automatic re-listings your listing is finished but then this configuration makes it re-listed without the need to manual intervention.
I do not have any evidence but it dubs what Ryanne did for her 200 listings in an automatic way, so my assumption for not receiving cancellation messages from eBay is because I am bypassing the system.
06/19/2017 at 12:29 pm #19588
Total Items in Store: 720
Items Sold: 8
Cost of Items Sold: $20
Total Sales: $225
Highest Price Sold: $48 Born Shoes
Average Price Sold: $28.13
Average Profit: $25.63
I was hoping to keep the sales train rolling this week but it was not meant to be. I only listed a few items and I did some “gardening” by relisting via sell similar about 40 of my oldest items.
Real Life(TM) has just been SOOOO busy lately with kids activities. There is a light at the end of the June tunnel though.
Also this past week our family minivan AC took a dump…again. I replaced the AC compressor and associated parts last summer. Combining that with all the other issues and the fact that the transmission is likely to go out in the next year, we got a new one. Yes, a NEW one. I absolutely hate doing that, but what we wanted in a used van had very high sales prices. Another new trend – used car dealers no longer negotiate! Its the weirdest thing. Literally they refuse to negotiate at all.
In the end we bought a 2017 new model and negotiated a very good price. The price difference between a new van and a used one with 40k miles and no warranty was only $4k.
I hate having a car payment but I’m at a point in my life with 4 kids and two jobs that it is worth it to take the stress of worrying about the family vehicle out of the equation.
06/19/2017 at 1:06 pm #19593
Week of June 11 – 17
* Total Items in Store: 843
* Items Sold: 16
* Cost of Items Sold: $24.82 + $0 Commission
* Total Sales: $543.26
* Highest Price Sold: $119 NWT Men’s leather messenger bag
* Average Price Sold: $33.95
* Returns: 0
* Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: approx. $57
* Number of items listed this week: 64
I had an awesome week! It started off with a bang on Sunday – the messenger bag mentioned above, a book for $99, and a set of drawer pulls for $40. During the week, I sold two more of the vampire tarot card sets for $70 that I mentioned last week.
On the topic of cell phone service – about 2 or so years ago (before I started listening to the podcast), I looked at Ting. At the time, Ting only used Sprint, and, for some reason, Sprint didn’t have coverage at my house. They were going to add T-Mobile, but hadn’t started at that point. So, we signed up with Consumer Cellular. Consumer Reports gives both Ting and Consumer Cellular top marks for price and customer service. I did compare the price at that time, and they were comparable. Not selling anyone on the company we ended up with, just saying that there is a choice.
I bid in an online auction, which I picked up yesterday. One of the lots has a number of Pantone color charts and books, most from the 80’s. I was going to skip that lot, but I looked up Pantone charts on eBay and they seem to sell at decent prices. I ended up in a bidding war against someone at the last minute. I paid close to $50 for the lot, but I think I will still see some excellent rates of return.
06/19/2017 at 1:44 pm #19599
Help with my last reply
Jay and Ryanne, I created a long reply to this post to talk about my operating model. Then I edited the post and made something wrong.
If you can please recover the post draft and republish I would really appreciate it.
It disappeared from my end and it included a lot of information about my operations and plans.
Thank you and sorry for the mess
06/19/2017 at 1:54 pm #19600
I don’t know why editing deletes your comment. We’ve asked the guy who runs the servers. Will keep trying to figure it out. In the meantime, here is your post:
Paulo H Leocadio wrote:
My very own long personal philosophical discussion thoughts
Interesting enough I wrote an Article on LinkedIn about the philosophical discussions that open today’s cast. Into 30% of the cast still, summer makes my commute to be reduced to 30% of the usual, but the good part is that I can digest the cast at its commas.
If you want to read my brainstorming here is the post:
Wrapping up around what I have been sharing about my business model, I operate under 2 independent incorporated business entities: one of them is my Mobile App that became an eCommerce business that opened the door for eBay. This is a full blown company.
The other company is for my IT Consulting and also for other engagements related to computer sciences.
This model gives me a lot of benefits in terms of Tax, etc.
New Storage Space
During this weekend my new storage shelving arrived. It was extremely heavy work, however I got 75% of the new storage space and system, super well organized, I know in details how far my inventory can growth, not to mention where to find stuff.
The best of all: it was totally absolutely funded by the business, I did not put one penny from the other business or from personal. Even better, the “furniture” goes to asset and other material goes to other lines totally deductible from tax.
Tired but happy!!!
How my eCommerce/eBay business operate
I have my pricing strategy and overall P&L method that gives me a lot of flexibility in terms of accepting offers and even to initiate sales.
For example, I have been selling a lot the first things I listed when I first started and first joined this community January 2016. Even though there were decent items, the listings were very poor and the pictures really amateurish.
My business have Bank Account, Credit Card (I do not have roll over, whatever I spend I have to pay in 40 days), Debit Card, PayPal account, everything linked.
I have my fiscal year but I also have a fiscal week, where I close all previous week’s transactions and processes and close it transferring the money from PayPal to Checking. It pays interest and money back from Credit Card. Also it accumulates points that fund me important costs like Stamps.com and hosting.
My target is always to get 3x from cost, so I usually price 5x cost since psychologically – in my case – buyers bet more on items where they can haggle. So all my best offer have room to accept most hagglings. Also for super cheap items (like vintage sports hats and Wedgwood Jasperware, two top bread and butter items for me) that I buy on batches or super cheap, the pricing is a bit different.
My cost is calculated:
“Raw” price paid + Paypal fee + eBay fee + shipping + handling.
On top of this I add my customer facing price with a premium (as I said 5x the cost to get a 3x as gross revenue).
I calculate Gross Profit as Gross Revenue – COGS
I calculate COGS as Current Price of Inventory – Initial Cost of Inventory
I calculate Net Profit as as Gross Profit – Operating Costs
This method is the standard operating model for retail. Specifically, profit is a function of volume and not of individual sales.
I sell only antique/vintage collectibles, oddities and similar. I am phasing out clothes and accessories with exceptions.
Since I operate under incorporated business, my expenses are also incorporated, meaning that shipping and material are operating expenses totally deducted from tax, computer, furniture, domains are assets. So Asset depreciation and operating costs are all business expenses. Non depreciated assets add to the business value.
So how this maps to the topic of the cast?
Fist my app being funded by eBay is my ultimate goal. The goal has changed since eBay will also be a great source of revenue for the business forever, but I do want to release the second version of my app and launch it in other countries.
Also I want o proceed with other investments. I invested on a Cloud Technology start up, we published and copyrighted IP. After a year I recovered my investment and kept a small percentage as “profit”.
This was not a personal investment, this was a business investment that did not impact any personal asset, on the contrary. I plan to have more of those.
06/19/2017 at 1:57 pm #19602
THANK YOU JAY!!! MUCH APPRECIATED!!!!!
Sorry for the mess
06/20/2017 at 10:41 pm #19654
- Location: St. Louis
Paulo, thanks for the link to your blog. I have always liked you. Now I know why. We are both misfits. But wouldn’t fitting in be boring? 😊 Perhaps that’s what it takes to be an official Trash Elf.
06/21/2017 at 1:47 pm #19677
Thank you Linda, we always connected well since our first exchanges 🙂
Being a Misfit is all about me, I always try to do things differently, to break paradigms, break rules, find alternatives
When I got the idea for the freelancing blog here, this did not take long to come to mind
And the image I found for the graph blow me away 🙂
06/19/2017 at 1:57 pm #19601
Everyone: regarding cell phones, I thought this Wikipedia article might be if interest. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_mobile_virtual_network_operators
06/19/2017 at 2:03 pm #19604
Thanks for this link. Yes, there’s many of these different discount phone carriers. We just happen to like Ting, but everyone should choose one of these instead of paying big bills to one of the big three carriers.
06/19/2017 at 2:25 pm #19609
Regarding the Lane Bryant shirt/vero block… it was probably just a glitch or a vero alert keyword not having anything to do with the brand… I have had that kind of thing happen a couple times and it might have something to do with a current vero keyword … that’s what I was told by a rep… my particular problem was that I had some keyword that activated a vero alert… and I believe it was in my description, not even in the title, but it might have been… it had something to do with a keyword related to some new apple product release (or some such tech item being newly released on the market and the company was on their toes at the time)… the word was used correctly in context for my listing and there was nothing to indicate the item was an apple product or whatever, so I changed my listing.
If this happens to anyone, either clean up your listing to be as simple as possible, mark as used or new other perhaps… and it will probably go through.
But, who knows, maybe Lane Bryant is trying to put pressure on the secondary market.
06/19/2017 at 2:37 pm #19610
- Location: South Dakota
June 11-17 2017
• Total Items in Store: 789
• Items Sold: 9
• International 1 GSP
• Total Sales $1510
• Highest Price $600 x 2 Console stereo and a pair of speakers
• Average Price Sold: $168
• Returns: 0
• Cost of Items Sold: $40
• Cost of items purchased this week $90
How about that for and average price sold, wish I could sustain that as I sure lessons the workload. I love the weeks total money but hate the number of sold items, could’ve been a stellar week.
06/19/2017 at 2:37 pm #19611
- Location: South Dakota
June 11-17 2017
• Total Items in Store: 789
• Items Sold: 9
• International 1 GSP
• Total Sales $1510
• Highest Price $600 x 2 Console stereo and a pair of speakers
• Average Price Sold: $168
• Returns: 0
• Cost of Items Sold: $40
• Cost of items purchased this week $90
How about that for an average price sold, wish I could sustain that as it sure lessens the workload. I love the weeks total money but hate the number of sold items, could’ve been a stellar week.
- This reply was modified 5 months ago by steven s.
06/20/2017 at 9:10 am #19629
As a Millennial, I know that realistically I’ll never get to retire. I doubt all the money I’m putting into social security will be around by the time I am able to collect. I just hope there’s at least Medicaid left, but who knows with the way it’s currently going.
So, I have to think of life in terms of being semi-retired now. This is the only chance I’ve got. If you do anything creative, having a job on top of it is a no-go, unless it’s a completely meaningless, minimum wage job that expects very little of you. You’re just too drained at night to have anything left to put into anything that is not work. Since I run an Ebay business and do things outside of it, I have to act “retired” at night and have to force myself to not care about having a store.
As fun as running an Ebay business is, I just have to turn the computer off in the afternoon and work on other things. I cannot let the business side of my brain work all day. There’s too much to do! I do this to do those things, not to just run a store 24/7. It is easy to forget, sometimes, that this is not all there is to do (especially in the feedback loop of an Ebay blog/forum).
If you can get to the point of having various income streams running to lessen the burden of your daily attention, you are very lucky indeed! You just have to turn off the “go go go” part of your brain and take it easy at that point. Then, do other things that are not work related, if you want to.
I hope to eventually have a few more income streams (Air B&B, Etsy), but I’m not stressing it. Ebay is taking up too much of my time as it is. And everything else.
06/20/2017 at 10:14 am #19631
Big Nasty Customer Issue
As I always mention, I accept hassle free returns, no questions asked. Best scenario is when buyer messages me and comment about the issue or change of mind.
I also learned to avoid those customers who always bring trouble, usually those who come complaining even before bidding on an item.
On the other hands those cases where customers file for return and just lie with the item not as described or worse, these cases I usually move to eBay.
One of these cases I mentioned 2 weeks ago, the person purchased one of the Austin Sculptures I usually sell, in summary the person came demanding email only contact and 24hrs turnaround otherwise several threats came following.
I replied over the messenger service and never heard back. About a week later the person found me or already new I was on other services and did the same, this time with pictures, HOWEVER THE STATUE WAS CLEARLY NOT THE ONE I SENT (we can discuss details if anyone wants).
More threats about erasing me from the map, etc.
Well, I just ignored all these interactions and just waited for a contact officially from the site where the sale was closed.
Nothing came. I am expecting more of this since each contact came in about 7-10 days interval and now it is about time for the 3rd contact/threat to be made.
BTW, there is little return movement, very little. Usually the return generate positive comment.
06/20/2017 at 10:16 am #19632
Quick comment about Global Shipping
Global Shipping was removed from my options a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately I would sell relatively well internationally.
I added other shipping options and my international sales grew over the period. Mostly Italy and Russia as been the normal.
It sort of aligns with feedback and complain from buyers related to Global Shipping not being good in terms of cost.
06/20/2017 at 10:35 am #19634
Loooong Tail / Slooooooow Sellers
Friends most of what I have, I dare to say 600 out of my current 620 items are slow sellers, they will take longer than a year to sell.
These are the items the potential buyers will think a lot to buy before actually taking any decision and even so they will try to push the price down.
Take a look at my “bread and butter”, Wedgwood Jasperware is the one type I sell the most, others I listed Jan/Feb last year are just selling now.
Even my personal designer clothes I purchased in the early 90’s originally from the designer stores take a long long time to sell.
This is actually by design for me, I do not thing I will ever be able to have other type of store because of lack of skills to find those items. As a rule everytime I try these things never ever sell.
Other issue is I cannot find things cheaper than my usual $5/$20, try to avoid anything higher, even though they would yield a lot more if they would sell. I have for example a super rare Armani Sculpture I paid $70 and it’s there sitting and looking at me. I out other $70 in a 19th century Tiffany’s custom cup that sold for $290 in 3 days.
06/20/2017 at 12:32 pm #19635
Don’t know if someone posted this or if you saw this Gucci item http://www.ebay.com/itm/Gucci-7-Pipe-Leather-Holder-w-Brass-Horsebit-/192102026359?hash=item2cba2c4c77:g:OhwAAOSwr~lYnj00
P.S. I love your Victorian Door knobs! These are things that I generally keep. I don’t find it boring or tedious at all.
06/20/2017 at 1:23 pm #19643
I have printed shipping labels from my phone. I just bought a new Canon printer. Called Canon. They walked me through step by step. LOVE Canon’s Customer Service located in the USA. One issue I had was with Global Shipping. For some reason, I cannot print from my phone. Its like it needs an extra step that I just can’t figure out. Hopefully I won’t have to anytime soon. As I only figured it out because my computer was dead at the time.
06/20/2017 at 2:22 pm #19646
I have a Brother laser printer with airprint. I print my ebay labels at home directly off the app on my phone to the printer. You have to have wifi though to “see” the printer. The phone and printer must be on the same wifi band.
I also have a router – Nighthawk A1900 – that will turn any printer into an airprint printer. You just plug the printer directly into the router and set it up. I haven’t done this but it would be interesting maybe with a zebra printer.
06/20/2017 at 8:47 pm #19651
Week of 6/11-6/17
Total Items in Store: 1,565
Items Sold: 50
Number of Items Listed This Week: 100
Total Sales: $1,227.23
Cost of Items Sold: $250.88
Highest Item Sold: $69.86 – Circle S Western Suit
Competition: Highest Priced Sale: Troy wins the week, Veronica leads for the year 14-9.
Competition: Highest Total Sales: Troy leads the year $19.6k to $14.5k
Summer slowdown was worse this week, and more returns. But we plan for this, have cash reserves to cover the shortfalls, and we focus on what we can control…we list. Keep focus on listing at least 100 items a week…it will pay off down the road. It does every year…
06/20/2017 at 11:43 pm #19655
By the way, WL will give you your weekly numbers (or whatever date range you want) with just a few clicks. I used to hate figuring out all the stats for the week, now it is easy. With you volume of sales, I can see that it would be much more time consuming.
Yes, the returns are crazy. I hardly ever get returns and I had 3-4 this week.
06/21/2017 at 8:14 am #19658
Thanks. Just another reason to get moving on WL.
My longer process I need to clean up is my accounting. I use Quicken for both the business and personal accounting, but PayPal does not bring in the transactions in a way that I would like. I manually enter each transaction on Sunday/Monday for the prior week, takes longer than I would like. At some point I need to find a solution for that, but saving time on listing is more important.
Thanks for another kick in the butt on getting on WL!
06/21/2017 at 9:24 am #19660
Good Morning T-Satt:
I use Quicken Home & Business version. [Used to use QuickBooks for decades but now that I have sold off my other larger businesses and sort of retired – Ha-Ha] I no longer need all of the full functions of QB so Quicken is doing the job just fine, now that I have the Transactions Categories all set-up.
As you already know, Quicken pulls in everything from PayPal and assigns the categories automatically, but you do have to have “those categories” pre-set up in a “Category List”. Make sure you “classify and categorize the transactions” and Quicken will “remember” those in all future downloads. The only thing is they will not assign the category to individual sales because each of those transactions have a different name on them [the customers name] so each are one of a kind transactions as far as Quicken goes. So every week when I do my auto download from PayPal everything is auto filled in, except the sales. It is obvious which are Sales because the category name is blank and also u can see that the dollar amount is in the deposit column [money into your account]. All I do is hold down the control key [on a PC] and highlight each of those lines [each sale], then right click my mouse button and a drop down menu appears. click on “Assign Category” and then select Ebay Sales [which I already have set up in my Category – Chart of Accounts] and click enter. Then all of those Sales get assigned to the Ebay Sales category and I am done. So maybe less than 30 seconds to categorize any and all sales. Other than that all other transaction are automatically categorized according to my original set up of categories such as dining, inventory purchases, Ebay fees, Ebay shipping payments, and many others.
So check over your set-up and make sure you have set up all of the account category names you want to use and then as those show up in your down load they will be remembered after you assign the transaction to that category. This is just about how Go Daddy works also. Ryanne also has to do some first of the month work with GDB also, and I would guess it is to “assign transactions” as “Sales”, but just a guess.
Any way hope this helps speed up your work in Quicken.
Mike at MDC Galleries in Atlanta
06/21/2017 at 9:39 am #19661
Thanks Mike. I have the same version, but I still run into trouble.
First, I am an OCD accountant (Acceptance is the first step on the road to Recovery). To that end, the dollar amounts that come in from PayPal for sales are just the net amount. I want to split them out into their 3 (or sometimes 4) components. Each sale has the Sales Price (Gross Purchase Price the buyer pays), Shipping Revenue (Shipping Cost paid by the buyer), PayPal Fee (expense that I pay to PayPal), and sometimes Sales Tax Collected (amount that I must remit to Colorado).
The other trouble that I have is that there are so many extra transactions that it brings in that are NOT part of changing the balance, that I spend a lot of time working out what is a true transaction and what isn’t. Each purchase seems to have three transactions, spread across 2-3 days, it drives me nuts.
So it is my OCD that is the big problem, I realize that. I just wish Quicken would only pull in the transactions the way I want it. You know, they should just do it MY way… 🙂
06/21/2017 at 11:42 am #19667
How much is your time worth? Godaddy bookkeeping splits everything up very neatly from ebay and paypal. It’s a few bucks a month but soooo worth it.
06/21/2017 at 11:57 am #19669
Yeah, I have thought about it. I have everything in Quicken now the way I like it for weekly and Monthly reporting, so far the hour per week doesn’t hurt yet. WL to speed up listing and relisting is priority 1 right now.
If I switch though, I think GoDaddy is how I would go.
Thanks for the advice. Another vote for GoDaddy!
06/21/2017 at 1:40 pm #19676
Well, I mentioned a couple of times I have OCD …
I use quickbooks for the each of the two businesses and I had Quicken Rental for the rental house.
Everything is connected, including PayPal
06/21/2017 at 2:35 pm #19678
I have used Quickbooks before in a previous job. I’m sure the connection would work, but I would not need that much power for reselling.
And it is my accounting mind that makes it longer. I like to see Sales, Shipping, and PayPal split out for analysis.
I make this mess myself…😄
06/22/2017 at 12:01 am #19690
Dropping by to post my numbers for last week. 🙂
June 11-June 17 2017
Total items in store: Etsy 406 // Ebay 392 (Items not crossposted I list different types of things on Etsy and Ebay)
Items Sold: Etsy 7 // Ebay 14
Cost of items Sold: Etsy $22.25 // Ebay $70.57
Total Sales: Etsy $75.95 // Ebay $230.26
Highest Price Sold: Three way tie for $30 each: Keen shoes, Cutco knife block, and Birki’s sandals
Average Price Sold: $14.58
Number of items listed this week: 44 (Listed at $714)
06/22/2017 at 5:16 pm #19708
After some advice from Linda, I started to sell on Etsy, it took a while to take off, but now I have consistent sales, however I stopped listing.
I was cross listing, but since listing is what blocks me from doing more, I decided to stop there to maximize my labor.
From one side, there is no way for me to split since my focus is mostly the same, but apparently for my scope, more focus on Etsy would yield me more sales.
Crossing my fingers for them to open import from eBay …
06/22/2017 at 10:22 pm #19713
Paulo, I understand your dilemma. We are similar, but hoping a solution is on the horizon.
Mike, isn’t WonderLister adding Etsy in September?
06/22/2017 at 10:47 pm #19714
That is what I was told during my last discussion with the WL Tech Team. We were discussing the Etsy interface and asked specifically if they would venture out with a date. They reply was “early fall” then later it was mentioned “Maybe even early Sept.”. So, that is not engraved in stone but at least something to hang our hats on.
P.S. Guys there was also some talk of by mid 2018 a Shopify interface “MAY” also be on the horizon. So I am looking forward to having my own store under our own domain name on the world wide web, our Ebay AND Etsy store all being run from one dashboard “command center”. Still don’t know how the financials are going to be separated but will know more as the project moves along and gets developed to a greater extent.
WL also had an Amazon Interface but the Tech Team said they saw all the problems with Amazon and Amazon jumping around with all the screwy changes long before everything started to hit the fan and WL gave up and abandoned that work. Instead they acellerated and refocused their R&D toward Etsy and Shopify. I know there was some BETA TEST stuff with Shopify in early Jan. 2017 and I think it may be well into the works of coding. I sure am keeping my fingers crossed on that achievement also.
mike at MDC Galleries in Atlanta
“Live to Create and Celebrate”
06/22/2017 at 11:28 pm #19717
Thanks Mike. Something we are looking forward to. Big change for the business to be able to add Etsy with little extra labor…
06/26/2017 at 5:55 am #19776
Hi hi again! So I went missing for a couple of weeks, I run a record label also and one of my artists had an album release so had to focus on that for a while.
For those that are curious here’s a clip we got released just a couple of weeks ago, you can spot me as the doctor with the face mask on 😉
Anyway, ebay has slowed down a lot but that’s because we had to leave it alone for a while. No listings done for close to a month now but, we’re back in the swing of things starting this week 🙂 Still got some sales though so still happy.
Not going to bother posting my numbers though, most weeks were sub $150 total sales, except for 1 week where we sold a gold coin for $500, which was a nice boost.
Catching up on the Scavenger Life episodes I missed now 🙂
06/26/2017 at 11:22 am #19797
That’s cool you use eBay profits to help fund your record label. I love it!
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.