07/24/2017 at 7:19 am #20663
It was a busy week on eBay, our video job and at the house renovation. Sometimes feels like juggling, but it’s all stress we’ve invited into our lives
[See the full post at: Scavenger Life Episode 320: Spinning Plates, Keeping It All Going]
07/24/2017 at 8:29 am #20665
I saw this news story. I thought of Jay and that he might like it. http://www.nbcnews.com/business/your-business/why-does-everyone-suddenly-seem-have-side-hustle-n783771
07/24/2017 at 9:28 am #20667
Sales: CAD$547, 4 items
Hours: 8.5, hourly rate $37/hr
Listed: 13 items, $1088 estimated value
So slow all week I was losing the will to live. I only sold a little medical consumable foot pad $5–>$50 overnight.
On Friday when searching flatware on kijiji, I found a listing for about 45 pieces of sterling flatware for $100 total. Thought it must be too good to be true, no brands were given, so I looked at completeds on eBay for sterling flatware and chanced upon the pattern shown in the picture. It’s a beautiful one called Wallace “Grand Baroque”, the other half of the pieces were a less attractive one by International Silver. So I swooped on those babies like a starving vulture. It was an hour drive. A wealthy lady getting rid of her parents’ silver… I guess she thought because the sets weren’t complete they weren’t worth much.
I listed half Saturday and sold $300 worth before I finished listing… think the whole thing is going to get me around $1100. I can’t believe my luck.
I must admit it was a bit bittersweet to sell, as I was sore tempted to keep that set and let it be a family heirloom. But we need to pay down debt more… maybe someday I’ll get a set we can keep.
Kinda surprised how many people are selling solid silverware on ebay for really close to the melt value of the silver! I mean, it’s not a flipping opportunity because of shipping, but it seems surprising.
Also paid $50 for a blue glass Aladdin lamp, expecting to sell it for $250… then the fuel cap broke off in the car. 🙁 Can’t win ’em all, I guess.
07/24/2017 at 9:50 am #20668AmatinoParticipant
- Location: Texas
Only 100 years ago most people were still smalltime entrepreneurs who earned their money from a range of sources.
Robert G. Allen (wrote a series of real estate book and is co-author of The One Minute Millionaire)
I love how life, like fashion, is circular. 🙂
07/24/2017 at 9:58 am #20669
We’d be a healthier society if we were made of hundreds of thousands of small businesses versus just a handful of huge corporations.
07/24/2017 at 10:18 am #20670
Totally agree Jay. Imagine the increase in knowledge we would have if he majority ran a business rather than just being an employee…
07/24/2017 at 10:28 am #20671
Great podcast this week. Sounds like the weeks we sometimes have when I’m working my accounting consulting gig, Veronica is cranking on eBay, and the garden is producing. Feels great!
We won’t have numbers this week, as we are on the road now in Vegas for eBay Open. We did have some great days last week, so I know the week was the best it has been in a while.
We found a few different places that we liked that we could move in to, so now it is choosing the RIGHT place. We can get more land in some areas, but that comes with an extra hour each way when we go sourcing, plus the mail doesn’t come out to the house, so we would have to drive into town every day to drop off the shipping. Some other places are much closer, and prettier, but not as much land, so we have some thinking to do.
We were selected to be part of eBay Guaranteed Delivery, so let us know if any of you have been selected as well. We will talk with some eBay reps this week at Open and share what we find out.
07/24/2017 at 2:15 pm #20679
When you can move anywhere, it must be tough to choose. But it sounds like you guys are creating parameters on the best choice. For us, we needed to be 1.5 hours from a major airport, have (relatively) fast internet, and an area that was rural, cheap, and gorgeous.
07/24/2017 at 3:02 pm #20682
Yep! We want rural, space for Garden and Inventory, within 3 hours to source, and a reliable daily shipping service at the house.
07/24/2017 at 11:19 am #20672SimonParticipant
- Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Thanks, as always, for the podcast!
Here are my numbers for the week:
Total Items in Store: 1875
Items Sold: 36
Total Sales: $928
Cost of Items Sold: $72.46
Average Price Sold: $25.76
Average Cost of Item: $2.01
Highest Price Item Sold: $100 Starrett No 657 magnetic base with a no. 711F dial indicator. Second highest sales $90 for Nintendo 64 Zelda game.
Number of items listed this week: 60
Average age of items in store (in days since listing): 253
Average number of days between listing and selling this week: 123
Median age of sales (in days, between listing and selling): 60
Sell-through rate (for the week): 1.92%
# of Hats Sold: 24 (66% of sales)
My highest sale was for for a tool that I never figured out. I don’t know what it’s for. I just found it at an estate sale, thought it seemed cool and did some research on similars to figure out how to price it. I had a good week, buoyed by this sale and the game sale I mentioned above.
You were talking on the podcast about investing. I’ve never had the desire to be a landlord and I’ve never been very familiar with real estate in general so I’ve concentrated on investing in the stock market through index funds. It’s definitely not an exciting investment but over the decades, it’s worked out fine for me. I place to follow the 3-4% withdrawal rule when it comes time to retire perhaps supplemented with a little ebay. I feel confident that my strategy will work to give me a comfortable early retirement.
07/24/2017 at 11:45 am #20674ChristineRParticipant
- Location: Southern California
Total Items in Store: 350
Items Sold: 7
Cost of Items Sold: $12 used + $39 new RA
Total Sales: $234
Highest Price Sold: $103 antique cast iron Indian chief bookends
Average Price Sold: $33
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
Number of items listed this week: 0
Better than I thought once I added it up, so glad I kept the store open during vacation. We were gone and then had family in town so zero work on Ebay except to ship these items out. I had 5 days handling time (because of the limited options) on but immediately sold a couple of things when we left and then it presented as overdue, so hopefully I’ll still make my % for TRS.
I’m looking forward to seeing the photos of your new rental. You’re doing my favorite part – decorating with cool, quality budget finds and I enjoyed looking at the Farmhouse photos.
I’m taking a more seasonal approach these days to Ebay and I really want to get items listed for the Fall. I’m also giving a lot of thought to my pricing. I find that I tend to price high, but then when offers come in for used items, I tend to take it because I paid so little. On my Easter stuff, I priced it more to move, thinking I did not want to store it for a year with all of this backlog. I’m in a fantastic place to source and there is always plenty more stuff around the corner. Since I have so much stuff already and I’m running to the post office to drop an item or two everyday, it totally makes more sense to price lower if something is not that special and is not RA with a higher COGS.
R & J Mad Maine has some old videos about sourcing in Norway. I love her personality and have found some pewter and glass here, though glass identification can be a challenge. Have a great week!
07/24/2017 at 12:25 pm #20675
Total Items in Store: 793
Items Sold: 29
Cost of Items Sold: $112
Total Sales: $922
Highest Price Sold: $60 Wireless Headphones for Chevy SUV
Average Sales Price: $31.79
Average Profit: $27.92
What a great week! I have been listing more, and I started a 25% off sale from Monday through Thursday. Some of the things I have been listing have been electronics and odd-ball stuff. Almost all of that sold.
The downside of selling odd sized stuff – shipping. It’s been a LOOOONNNNGG time since I’ve had to pack & ship so many large things. I had to get back in the mindset for sure. I’ve been spoiled by padded flat rate mailers and poly bags.
In other news, I bought a truck last week. Got a steal of a deal too. 2002 Chevy 1500 4WD, 155k miles, and nothing wrong with it at all. Has typical rust on rockers and wheel wells, but even the AC works and the tires are good. Only paid $1500 for it – very motivated seller. This week I’m swapping out the center console for a center front jump seat so it can meet my final requirement – seating for 6 (I have 4 kids). On ebay the jump seats are $250+, but I found one at a salvage yard for $79. Score!
I’m ready to start buying some bigger stuff to sell now.
07/24/2017 at 12:32 pm #20676
Loved the convo & analogy with spinning plates and keeping everything afloat. I totally have felt this over the past couple weeks with having an emergency flight down to Florida last weekend, driving down to Philly for a friend’s “white coat ceremony” for medical school, plus working 50+ hrs/wk at my “real job”. I obviously love the sales listed below on eBay plus some photo projects I picked up via Etsy, but there’s been no break recently.
Week July 16-22, 2017
Total Items in Store: 911
Items Sold: 28 (2 Amazon)
Cost of Items Sold: $153 (15.9% of sales)
Total Sales: $963.51
Highest Price Sold: $119 (1960s Disneyland Oil Can)
Average Price Sold: $34.41
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $120
Number of items listed this week: 0
Promoted listings test: 18 sales, $467.18 (48.5% of total sales), $11.52 fees (6.0% of sales)
Another really great week, even with two higher dollar sales that had high COGS (the Disneyland Oil Can above that i paid $50 for and also the lot of Beatles 45s that I mentioned on the What Sold post that I bought for $40). I’m really becoming a believer in Promoted Listings – I hate to pay any extra fees, but I look it as reinvesting my TRS discount back into the business since they mainly offset each other.
On Friday, headed down to my friend’s “White Coat Ceremony” in Philly, which is a major milestone for those in medical school. It signifies that they are heading into their final year and are done with in classroom learning and are moving into actual field work on real patients. I actually turned it into a scavenging trip too – was answering a message from LetGo and just casually checked what was around me and found a great lot of old rock records: about 50 Dead, Zepp, Bowie, etc that I paid $120 for. After I inspect all of them in greater detail I should be able to list for about $1200, but even on the low end I should be able to get $650 for all of them. Also, tax write off on all the mileage!
07/24/2017 at 12:53 pm #20677
I’m actually going to disagree or augment what Jay and T-Satt stated about, “We’d be better off if the majority ran a small business rather than be an employee”.
1. Not everyone is up to the task of running their own business.
2. I believe we are better off when we have strong businesses all across the spectrum.
a. Strong small businesses tend to be more nimble.
b. Medium sized business are great as well.
c. Large businesses have the resources to take on tasks that small and medium sized business can achieve. Large companies can also make products affordable for people other than the wealthy. You’d never have a smartphone developed by a mom-and-pop company.
3. I agree people would be better off and certainly appreciate what it takes to run a business if we all had to have some idea of how accounting, sales, customer satisfaction, etc. worked.
07/24/2017 at 2:25 pm #20680
I was wrong to make it an either/or situation. Big companies do big things for sure. But I also don’t think its healthy when certain market gets gobbled up by handful of companies. Innovation can get stifled. Small businesses are hungry.
07/24/2017 at 1:47 pm #20678
I figure the mix of small and large we see in the market is, for better or worse, optimized for today’s technology, regulatory environment, labour costs, etc. etc. It also likely emerges from people’s preferences about stability of income. There are doubtless those who could run their own business but don’t like the uncertainty of working “without a safety net”, where a bad month for sales could mean negative cashflow. And I have met many “entrepreneurs” who are failing because in the absence of a boss to motivate them they can’t accomplish much besides surfing youtube, or because their whole business idea is ridiculous and doomed from the start.
It is interesting how resilient the traditional employer/employee relationship is, when a priori one might expect each employee to, say, negotiate their own specific hours, customized dress code, etc. When it comes to labour it seems we have a feudalism-shaped hole in our hearts.
07/24/2017 at 4:08 pm #20684
Agree. And BrianB, I agree with your third point, and that is my main motivation, having more people understand what it is like to run your own business. No, it is not for everyone, and only those that can handle the swings and now how to develop a business should do it. But I would love for a larger part of the population to understand that business owners put their own heart, soul, blood, sweat, tears, money, and hours into their businesses.
I have worked for large corporations as well as small businesses, and I have had to hire lots of people at an entry level. It drove me nuts when some would see the perspective of some when it came to the business. Some were there to punch the clock and get paid, do the minimum work in their hours, and complain that the boss was just some fat cat (in their eyes), that was rich and stealing money from them. These people had no skin in the success or failure in the business, they saw it as the boss “owed them a job, benefits, and pay, whether they work hard or not”.
They never see the money the boss invested in the business, the hours they put in late at night, on weekends, the sacrifices that they made to keep employees working and getting paid. No, not every owner is like that, but it is the vast majority from my experience.
Ok, rant over… 🙂
07/25/2017 at 1:02 pm #20767
T-Satt: I can whole-heartedly agree with you on newbies or maybe not-so-newbies who come to work for whatever sized company and immediately have unrealistic demands. I was green at one time too and it took me a while to realize that it takes a lot of work to be successful, stay ahead of the competition, etc.
07/25/2017 at 1:46 pm #20774
Amen brother. What really gets me is when that attitude is in someone over 30. They really should have learned by then…
07/24/2017 at 2:54 pm #20681SharynParticipant
- Location: Central NJ
Week of July 16-22
* Total Items in Store: 953
* Items Sold: 16
* Cost of Items Sold: $19.80 + $6.50 Commission
* Total Sales: $347.33
* Highest Price Sold: $75 Vampire Tarot Card & Book Set
* Average Price Sold: $21.71
* Returns: 0
* Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $155
* Number of items listed this week: 33
The tarot card set that sold this past week was my second to last. The last one sold on Sunday, so I will speak to it next week. Sorry to see this little cash cow go, but I will find new ones!
I finished listing the many, many books that I had to buy in order to get the tarot card sets. I then set up a discount for multiple purchases that I hope will help with getting these out the door quicker. However, I forgot how limited eBay is in offering a discount with invoicing. I had a very nice lady from Alaska buy four books, but I had to adjust the process a couple of times until I came up with something that worked within the confines of eBay software ability (basically a refund through PayPal). I very much appreciated her patience.
I don’t think that many people will bother reading down to where I have the discount explained, so I will also be gathering 10 +/- books in a lot and selling them at a greater discount. I will keep the lots in general subject areas and pick out the books where I have multiple copies. Hopefully, I will start moving them out faster. In the meantime, I have people buying just one book at a time. It will take years to get rid of them that way!
07/24/2017 at 3:36 pm #20683
July 16-22 2017
• Total Items in Store: 804
• Items Sold: 21
• International 2 GSP
• Total Sales $1413
• Highest Price $225 Bose 901 EQ
• Average Price Sold: $67
• Returns: 0
• Cost of Items Sold: $44
• Cost of items purchased this week $200
Total turnaround from June. Some weeks I didn’t even sell 10 items.
07/24/2017 at 4:11 pm #20685Knockout HideoutParticipant
Hi Ryane and Jay! Great podcast this week (as always). You mentioned that you were going to Scandinavia next month. My husband is from Denmark, and I recently got back from a trip over there. You didn’t say specifically which country(ies) you were going to, but I found an absolutely amazing flea market in (very) rural Denmark that you guys would love. It’s in Brørup, and absolutely worth the drive. I found the most AMAZING things, everyone is super nice, and the prices are great. Just be aware that shipping from Scandinavia is super pricey, so plan to carry or pack as much as possible. Enjoy!
07/24/2017 at 7:41 pm #20709
We fly into Copenhagen, stay five days, rent a car, then drive around Sweden, Norway, and down to Vienna. A good long 3 week trip.
So please email us with more info on that flea market. If its happening, we’ll go!
07/24/2017 at 8:13 pm #20715Knockout HideoutParticipant
Jay, absolutely. There are a few other places you and Ryane may also want to check out. Copenhagen is really not worth spending a lot of time in. Check out the off-the-road places and thrift stores for a real treat. I am reasonably confident they see next to no Americans at that market in Brørup. I’ll gather up a list for you of great stops. You’ll be there from late August – mid-September?
07/24/2017 at 8:25 pm #20716
07/24/2017 at 10:39 pm #20721JoParticipant
I hope you guys have a fantastic trip!
Look for Fretex shops in Norway, their logo looks like the Salvation Army here. Just thrift stores, but you can definitely find some unusual stuff.
If you want to challenge your hiking skills, Preikestolen is so cool- https://www.visitnorway.com/places-to-go/fjord-norway/ryfylke/hiking-to-the-pulpit-rock-preikestolen/
Trygge Reiser (Safe Travels)
07/24/2017 at 4:35 pm #20689
So, funny (and interesting) story today. We are on the road in Vegas for eBay Open, and we are using SixBit to manage our listings while we are away. We scheduled (on SixBit) new listings to hit eBay every day while we are gone (to keep eBay knowing that we are putting new listings daily), as well as having SixBit automatically relist any items that fall off (30 day listings or auctions). Any item that is “unsold” and still has a positive inventory quantity will get relisted as a new listing.
Well, we had a listing pulled down for a DEA violation (as in Drug Enforcement Agency). We had a glass blown hookah that was for sale, that they said was no bueno, and so eBay pulled it down.
Well, the SixBit database did it’s job…and automatically relisted it!
I’m sure you all know how that can be a bad thing. eBay pulls it, tells you it is a bad item, and if you relist it, they can suspend you for a week.
We were lucky that our youngest son was home, and I walked him through how to change the database to stop the auto relisting, and then he pulled it down for us.
So…now I need to look at some of those options for remote access to your computer from the road. Mike in Atlanta, I may need your thoughts on this. I know you mentioned some options before, but I need to get that side going.
I may fix the barn door after the cow has come home…but she don’t get out twice!!! 🙂
07/24/2017 at 7:39 pm #20706
So did you recently start using Sixbit? I now you had expressed interest in using Wonderlister after Mike mentioned it.
We’ve been thinking of using one of these listing programs and curious why you made the decision on Sixbit.
07/24/2017 at 8:07 pm #20713
Yeah I am curious also. SB cost more, the database is way larger, takes way more time to back up, uses up the MS allotment of the SQL server due to it’s size, WL is going to handle etsy and Shopify [which is one’s own store], so yes, I am super curious also.
T-Satt I saw your statement about working remotely. I will do a short post, maybe tomorrow outlining the App / software we use, how we do it and what our process is and the other things one can do with remote access software. It is really cool. While we were down in Orlando visiting my daughter, I was up hours before anyone elase and I was running my store from there each morning in full screen and full power mode.
mike at mdc galleries in atlanta
- This reply was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by MDC Galleries & Fine Art.
07/24/2017 at 11:36 pm #20729
Thanks Mike. WL just didn’t feel as good. Like I mentioned, Coke vs Pepsi.
I kept the database down by keeping the pictures out of the Database (so SB just references the location on the drive), so I seem to be good for now. At some point, our business will be needing to upgrade to a larger database driver anyway, so I’m not as worried. Having a look and feel that I would enjoy every day was more important.
07/24/2017 at 11:33 pm #20728
Loaded SixBit on July 7. I tried WonderLister, but it just didn’t seem to flow for me. I liked the flow and tools of SixBit better. Like Coke vs. Pepsi…
The main driver was the customization features of the listing screen, and the auto relist feature. We can still list on 30 day listings, to get the first and last 24 hour boost. Plus, you can force any relists to be NEW to eBay (it blows away any previous sales history…especially the bad ones).
Our cost is $70/month, as we went higher, but the savings on no longer relisting, but still keeping a higher STR with the auto relist was worth it.
07/24/2017 at 9:23 pm #20719SimonParticipant
- Location: San Francisco Bay Area
T-Satt – I’ve been using TeamViewer for remote access to my mother-in-laws computer for several year so that I can do tech support for her. There’s a fully functional free version. It’s very slick. (You’d want to be using a computer at your end. Not sure if there’s an app). The remote computer needs to be switched on to get access and the software already has to be installed on the remote computer before you can access it.
07/24/2017 at 11:23 pm #20726
Thanks Simon, that could be huge. I have my laptop with me (as I always do when I travel), and that is my backup plan. Just in case anything happens with SixBit, I can fix it from my laptop with a remote connection.
07/25/2017 at 7:25 am #20742
Good Morning T-Satt: Thank the Lord for Coffee! And I hear drinking it everyday now prolongs one’s life and staves off Alzheimers.
Yep.. we use TeamViewer also. Our home office rig has to stay on when we are gone. Each computer has an ID number assigned to it. We set the office rig up as the “host” so to speak and we “allow” the separate ID number that is on the laptop “access” to the office number. Sort of like computer “A” allows” “B” to access. You have a password for each computer so when on the laptop, from any location-anywhere, we click on the TeamViewer Icon, input the office password and it then connects.
Tip-Trick. We bought a second monitor for the home office rig. So with two screens, on TeamViewer it recognizes that and all we do is click the 2 screen button to switch back and forth. If I am listing on the road, I keep a browser open on the second monitor and WonderLister open on the first and just click back and forth to switch monitors and multi-task that way.
Nice thing is also you can also transfer files between our laptop and the office rig. If we need a printout of anything we “transfer” our file to us [laptop], then print it out on any local available source or put on a thumb drive and take to a printer locally. Don’t have a small travel printer because hardly ever need a printout.
We can also do a re-start of the home office rig, TV will disconnect for a few seconds, then auto reconnect when the office rig is back online.
WARNING: The only thing you can’t do or have happen is for your home rig” to be turned “off” while you are gone. There is no way to turn it on remotely unless you call a friend-family and have them go turn it on.
Check it out at the TeamViewer web site. We use the Free version, no ads, fully functional. Good luck with it.
Yep, the screen customization is a nice function of SB, but you can only do a couple of sections and WL does have a 3 view split screen now. We also keep all of our photos now on Google drive which also cuts down the space. We only pay $25 a month for WL as compared to your $70 was it? But SB did have a little bit of a “Jazzier” look to it but not worth over twice as much and WL is always making a lot of improvements. BUT both are great to use and they do so much more, faster than Ebay, especially when soon we will be able to do Etsy and Shopify along with Ebay / Bonanza all from one master dashboard-intergrated piece of software.
Here’s to automation and using your brain and not your back!! 🙂
Mike at MDC Concepts, Inc in Atlanta
MDC Galleries & Fine Art and SmartParts Equipment divs.
- This reply was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by MDC Galleries & Fine Art.
07/25/2017 at 8:01 am #20748
Thanks Mike, very much appreciated! TeamViewer is getting done when we get home! We have a week in Montana over Christmas and another AZ house scouting trip in January, so this will put me more at ease when on the road.
I love always improving…
07/25/2017 at 8:45 am #20753
So Sixbit and Wonderlister don’t store your info on their own servers? Seems this is an issue if we wanted to travel and work on our store.
Remote Access to our home computer is a possibility, but seems like a fragile connection.
So with Sixbit, you pay a monthly fee to use software on your own computer? There’s no hosting? What exactly is the service you pay for each month?
07/25/2017 at 9:52 am #20754
At the basic level, it is basically a subscription service for the tools that the software provides (similar model to Microsoft 360, where you pay to have the use of the software, and they constantly maintain the software).
For us, the decision to move to the enterprise edition was for the Auto Relist feature. For us, we want to maintain 30 day listings, to keep the boost in search that occurs during the first and last 24 hours of a listing. However, now that we are over the 1500 listings mark, doing relists takes too much time. We tried to do mass relists via eBay, but we noticed that when we would do that, we would have very few views of the listings after we did that. So SixBit gave us the best of both worlds: 30 listings without the time involved to relist items one at a time. The Enterprise version also had some analysis tools that I find very useful, being able to query the database for specific listings, see when the listing was originally made, when it was last modified, how many views and watchers each time it was listed (to help with when to refresh the listing), etc.
We also like the feature that if a listing ends, has had many previous listings with low views, we know that it will not do well in search, and needs to be reworked AND be seen by eBay as a NEW listing. SixBit has a feature to make sure that when you send a listing to eBay, it strips out any previous sales history and the listing is fresh. We have seen that useful already, as we have had many old items that had low views in the past have had higher views and sales in the past few weeks.
Overall, we enjoy the ability to set up our listing screen the way we like, we can schedule listings in the future (for free) through SixBit, we get the auto-relist feature, the ability to analyze our listings to see where we need to tend the garden, we can change handling time for all listings with one click, and the ability to work if our internet connection goes out (since you are working on a database). Plus, when I return, I will be working on setting up the Description Wrappers and Templates so that I can list clothes even faster. They have the ability to write out your Item Description based on the information you put in your Title, Item Specifics, and other Snippets that you can customize.
I am calculating that with the time we are saving and the improved features to increase listing speed, this has already paid for itself. And down the road I see us moving up to the max version to add Etsy and other platforms to the mix, with the ability to list on multiple platforms with a single listing, and the software handles the inventory levels across all channels. That can really be a game changer, so that we are efficient with our time, and have our items on as many platforms as possible.
Overall, we are very happy already, and we are excited about the future that this software can bring.
07/25/2017 at 9:55 am #20755
Jay, one item I forgot to mention. You can put the SixBit database in the Cloud, so that you can have remote access. I didn’t choose this, as I wanted to be able to continue to work even if we lose internet access. Something that you may like…
07/25/2017 at 11:23 am #20759
Hey T-Satt: Get a quote on them to do that. I did and it is hundreds of dollars, form both SB & WL, if I understood the line items correctly. BTW: WL & SB both do it, but at the extra cost.
To date I am just storing photos now on Google drive which reduces space consumption on the office rig.
To Jay: One thing you will like about both SB & WL is the “Inventory Management” part of them. I added a custom field to WL long ago. It is called “BIN LOCATION”. After we list an item we also put the bin number we stored the item in, into that field. So how is that useful, you may ask? Well several things, one is that you can print out a list of all of your “active” listings and customize that report to include location, cost of the item, total cost of all inventory, etc. Second, each morning I open up WL and first thing I do is print out a “Pick List”, one of the reports both WL & SB will do. It prints a one line summary of each item sold all on one sheet. It shows a small thumbnail pix of the item sold, the title used on ebay, the associated SKU number and the bin it is located in. This would be a great list to just hand your helper each morning, she goes to your [NEW STORAGE BUILDING WITH ROWS OF NUMBERED SHELVES AND BINS] and she grabs a rolling shopping cart, and then just walks down the rows andpulls everything sold and needs to be shipped that day out of the bins and brings them all to the shipping area. OR, thirdly you can print out all of the “Packing Lists” for each item instead of a consolidated list and then you can place each PL with each item you pull.
Another neat thing you can pull is a report that is sorted by item name then shows where it is stored, or you can print a list sorted by the BIN NUmbers, numerically [001 – 1,000 etc.] and see what is in each bin. This way you can dedicate a certain number to contain only ties, or shoes and when you buy more of those items you can see what bin numbers you use to hold those like kind items.
Finally a good reason to have this all on your own computer is as stated, in case the internet goes out for some reason, also these files can be exported quickly into spread sheets if you want, you have more control by “owning and maintaining your own data”, and it is less costly to keep it own your own rig [but make sure you do proper back ups]. As T-Satt said you can have it put into the cloud but both SB & WL will charge more for that service.
So what you are paying for is quick access to technical support, how to instructions and help, them doing constant updates and improvements based on customer recommendations, them constantly “pinging” your Ebay and Etsy account and updating your inventory, sales, financials and profit reports every few seconds across multiple platforms, also reimbursing them for the research and development of their software in the first place and then for them to keep improving SB & WL as an expanding tool, just like we all have to reimburse for our medicine prescriptions from Pharmacy companies, and other things.
What these programs will do has been posted in many other past posts but as an exercise, I would suggest two things, first go to SB & WL web sites and print out a list of what all each will do, and then compare that list to what you know or think Ebay does. Next form your own questions that you can’t find and pick up the phone and call them. I did for several; companies and ask the big question, “What do you offer or bring to the table that Ebay doesn’t and what do I get for the fee that I can’t get elsewhere”?
And then lastly, you said earlier, what if you ever get kicked off of Ebay for some reason, well you will have your whole store right there on your own computer, just open an Etsy Store or create your own web site and everything you need to populate that new store platform is right at your finger tips.
Just continuing to share experience(s) of off line listing and inventory software stories.
Mike at MDC Galleries in Atlanta
07/25/2017 at 11:49 am #20762
Mike, absolutely fabulous post. I loved your last paragraph about being able to move platforms. That is huge as a risk mitigation. All your hours of work is saved. Low money to pay for “insurance” in many forms.
07/25/2017 at 8:40 pm #20801
Wonder Lister has been great, but some of the features you mentioned in Wonder Lister I don’t have.
I looked it up in pricing. It appears that you don’t get “Description Templates” and “CSV Export for other marketplaces” till you are paying for their “Silver” which is $25\month. I am only paying $10 a month for Bronze. I don’t see the pick list report either, does that come with Silver also?
I really like the BIN location feature. I put that in all my new bulk listed items. I put the container # and the item # – 120-12 (Bin 120, item 12). I could use this to find my COGS later.
One other question. Wonder Lister shows how much the buyer paid for shipping. However, it doesn’t display what I paid for shipping. I see the fields in the DB but they are blank. Do you know if they are working on this, or is this one of those things I will also get with a Silver Subscription?
I have my bulk listing process down now for WL, now I’m working on semi-automating the pictures – it is an invention that I’m working on that I may sell in the future. Once I get that up and running, I may be able to list as many as 10 items per hour when I get good at it.
07/25/2017 at 8:11 am #20749
Yes there is a cell phone app. But using it on a cell phone to remote control my home office rig, which has double monitors is like trying to fly a passenger jet plane using a Wii controller! LOL 🙂
The phone app is like all type of complex apps, the print and screen layout is just too small to be able to handle things comfortably. But some people still do it, but we just prefer a larger screen. I have never been one to try to run a business only using a phone, but some do.
Mike at MDC Galleries & Fine Art in Atlanta
07/24/2017 at 6:28 pm #20700
FYI on something related to our space…
We are essentially middlemen in our space, so we should think about the products we provide to the market, and our service to our customers, and make sure that markets other than Amazon stay relevant in buyers minds…
07/24/2017 at 7:14 pm #20702
I enjoyed today’s podcast, thanks so much for all you do! You’re both the bee’s knees!
Some R&J inspired sales, all sales are shipping extra:
Upholstery fabric, paid about $15, sold $69:
“Good Eats” TV Show DVDs, paid $7, sold $79.99:
Exercise DVD from a stash I had in the cabinet…kept the ones I like the best and selling the rest, sold $14.99:
Prayer Rug…ahem, sorry if I am part of saturating the market, paid $5, sold $39.99:
And a Steven Schultz inspiration:
Cassette Holder, paid $2, sold $55: http://www.ebay.com/itm/112478237344
07/24/2017 at 7:26 pm #20703
Nice, those Napa Valley organizers always sell, even the little ones for CDs or games.
07/24/2017 at 8:03 pm #20712
Seconding the Napa Valley organizers… I’ve never had a tough time selling them. I personally always chose the smaller versions simply because of my lack of storage space. I usually sell the 10-12 cassette, cd, and dvd versions for $20-$25 after basically getting them for free at yard sales.
07/26/2017 at 9:29 am #20842
What a coincidence. I have the same wooden cassette holder and I was going to throw it out. I will have to double check the name, I’m not sure its a Napa Valley. I do have a Napa Valley vinyl record holder that’s for personal use. That thing must be 25 years old by now.
How did you clean the wooden cassette holder ? I would guess compressed air.
07/26/2017 at 12:24 pm #20852
Gompers: The cassette holder had lots of dust, but it was all dry, so easily cleaned out with a vacuum. Compressed air would have worked also.
07/24/2017 at 7:32 pm #20704Linda ShieldsParticipant
- Location: St. Louis
T-Satt, I agree totally. There are the motivated employees with a work ethic, and then there are the bottom sucking cream puffs who whine and cause “office politics.” If the latter ever had to survive on the fruits of their own business they would starve to death.
07/24/2017 at 7:55 pm #20711Rydell RelicsParticipant
RR Store Week July 16-22, 2017
Total Items in Store: 1,312
Items Sold: 39
Cost of Items Sold: $51.96
Total Sales: $894.44
Highest Price Sold: $100 (50s silver plated sugar bowl)
Average Price Sold: $22.93
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $39.95
Number of items listed this week: 13
What Jay mentioned about inviting a certain amount of stress into your life when you choose this business is all too true. After several doctor visits, it’s looking more and more like the problems I’ve been having with my ears are indeed stress related. So I decided to take a mental health break and try to reset a bit. I’m going to put myself on a schedule, and include things like yoga and meditation. I was already planning on doing so, but my body clearly wants in to happen sooner. I’m also going to take some time to reorganize my office/storage space and some other parts of the house. Streamline a bit. I think it will ultimately relieve stress, make me more efficient, and make it easier for me to do the most important thing: listing.
The sugar bowl was from the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. It belonged to my grandparents, and even though I’m very sentimental about their belongings, I never heard a story about it. Plus, it’s not really my style, so I listed it. I jumped at a $100 dollar offer on a $120 listing.
OK, back to stressing out about trying not to stress out!
07/24/2017 at 9:40 pm #20720
I haven’t listened to the podcast yet. And I’m not going to report my numbers. I just need to vent. Me and my girlfriend’s house was caught in a flash flood. Our basement, the location of 95% of our inventory, got about 4 feet of water. Everything is ruined. We spent all day today pumping out the water and tossing everything out into our destroyed yard. Apparently, the heavy rains we had caused the creek by our house to flood and overflow. Mud and debris is everywhere. Our basement still has about 6 inches of wet mud on the floor. I just can’t believe it. All that work. Everything that I’ve built for this business, just gone. My car got some flood damage too. I’m going to have an insurance agent come out to look at the damage to it. Unfortunately, our renter’s insurance doesn’t cover flood. Neither does our landlord’s insurance. We are just beside ourselves. We had family come to help fortunately, otherwise nothing would have been able to get done. I have to count my blessings though. Two people died only a mile or so from my house. Swept away in a van. It’s heartbreaking to hear.
So I put my store on extended vacation mode with the option to make it so nobody can buy anything. I had to cancel three sales. Luckily, I had the foresight to store my slides upstairs. I sold a bunch of those to that same guy in Korea. I just don’t know how I’m going to pack them with no shipping supplies. What a disaster. I just feel so defeated…
07/24/2017 at 11:39 pm #20730
Wow. So sorry this happened. Like you said, the good thing was that everyone is safe.
We will keep you in our prayers tonight…
07/25/2017 at 12:20 am #20732mickdogParticipant
- Location: Portland, OR
So sorry to hear about all the damage doublythumbs, so horrible! Glad you and your girlfriend are safe.
07/25/2017 at 1:47 am #20734Denny E.Participant
- Location: Glendale, AZ
I read your post with such a heavy heart, Doublythumbs. I prayed for you right away and will keep doing so. Thanks for letting us all share your grief.
07/25/2017 at 7:57 am #20745
So sorry to hear about this DoublyThumbs. Our prayers go out to you and your girlfriend and your neighbors. We had a basement flood many decades ago in Ct. and the water came up to the upstairs floor. Totally covered the basement and ruined everything, so we can relate to your heartfelt pain.
As Scavengers we all are sort of Troopers and organizers. I am sure after you get all of the administrative details out of the way, you will just start to “pick” the situation, save and clean what you can, and inch by inch, will start to rebuild the inventory. God has strange ways to test us at times and the one thing you can do is to simply keep going, through the tears and pain, just pick up and keep going.Like the mantra ABL [always be listing], switch to JKG [Just Keep Going] mode.
Keep us all informed and if you have any questions, shoot them out to the SL community, even though we are all mostly far away, we can still maybe provide some answers for you.
Mike and Susan at MDC Galleries in Atlanta
- This reply was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by MDC Galleries & Fine Art.
07/25/2017 at 3:19 pm #20783
Thank you Mike and Susan. Yes, you’re right. Just gotta pick up the pieces and keep movin’. Stay strong, cry if we must, but trudge forward. It’ll be okey once the house and everything we’ve rescued is clean.
07/25/2017 at 8:39 am #20751
You did the right thinking by immediately getting a handle of your eBay store. The only way your situation could be worse is if eBay kicked you off because you sold a bunch of items that you can’t ship.
So we would put the whole store on vacation and delete any items that are destroyed. Only turn the store back on when it’s dry, organized, and you’re ready to ship.
07/25/2017 at 3:23 pm #20784
Good advice, Jay. And yes, that was the first thing I thought about after the initial shock. I’m glad I got the store in order. My girlfriend sells on ebay as well and she did the same thing. She’s actually new here on the forums. Her name is xxThinklinkxx. She might comment on here once everything is settled.
07/25/2017 at 10:13 am #20756ChristineRParticipant
- Location: Southern California
Doubly – I really enjoy your what solds and admire your ability to find interesting items with surprising value. Best of luck to you while you get back on your feet.
07/25/2017 at 10:39 am #20757
I’m so very sorry to hear of your loss Doubly thumbs. Here’s to hoping you get back on your feet quickly!
07/25/2017 at 12:38 pm #20765IdahoarderParticipant
Doubly Thumbs – Oh, I am so sorry to hear this. I can’t even imagine what you are going through. Good luck with everything and know that you are in my thoughts. Please keep us updated on how you’re doing.
07/25/2017 at 1:26 pm #20768
DOUBLYTHUMBS: I am so very very sorry to hear about this flood. I saw some on the news about it, but it’s not quite as real as hearing from someone that it has directly affected. It must be surreal right now looking at everything that was lost. So sad to think about all the very cool things that got damaged and you worked so hard to get them and list them.
But please take consolation that the most precious of all the things was not lost, and that is you and your girlfriend.
I’m so sorry to hear about your neighbors, sending prayers to everyone there. Just get through this moment, this hour, this day, and there will be a day everything is back to so-called normal. You’re a hard worker and a survivor, you’ll get through it and it will totally change you forever. God bless.
07/25/2017 at 3:27 pm #20785
Thank you! Yeah, I did lose a lot of awesome stuff. But I saved some really high-end things too so I was happy about that. But the worst is the personal items that are gone. My grandma left me her stamp collection when she passed that she collected since she was little. My grampa’s tools too. A lot of my childhood items. I won’t lie, I broke down when I opened that tote.
07/25/2017 at 3:13 pm #20782
Thank you, everyone, for keeping us in your thoughts. I’m taking a much needed lunch break now from it all. I’m absolutely amazed at all the help we’re receiving. Red Cross is out here. Several church groups. Fire Dept and state organizations all coming together to clean up the city. I haven’t even got away from our house but I guess other neighborhoods got hit just as bad. I just keep thinking about that boy and girl. So tragic.
07/25/2017 at 3:45 pm #20786
It’s amazing the transformation that happens when there is real human tragedy. We get caught up in so many political/religious/racial/economic attacks and arguments everyday, that it’s hard to imagine anyone every coming together. Here in NY/NJ a few years back, many of my neighbors were devastated by Hurricane Sandy. My family & I were blessed to only lose power and have a semi-flooded basement, but many in my town even just down the street lost everything. The National Guard was in Hoboken rescuing people from second and third story windows by boat because their entire first floor was flooded and there was raw sewage and gasoline in the water. But people came together – the folks that didn’t lose power near the college (Stevens Institute of Technology is in Hoboken and has it’s own power grid that didn’t blow) were amazing running power strips out of their windows so we could charge our cell phones and call loved ones, they took the passwords off their wifi so we could let people know we were ok, they came out with hot coffee, restaurants that lost power cooked all of their perishable foods instead of throwing them out to serve to the displaced. It was a true showing of the human spirit.
@Doublythumbs – while this is a horrible situation, know that for the most part it’s only “stuff” that you lost. You still have the memories of those items. There will be plenty of stuff to replace what was lost and you’ll make it through.
07/26/2017 at 3:11 pm #20866Linda ShieldsParticipant
- Location: St. Louis
Doublythumbs, i’m behind on reading scavenger life so I just read how you were flooded. I’m so sorry for the devastation that you’re going through. I also understand how amazing it is to see people helping people and situations like that . Our town has had a devastating flood for two years in a row and it has really brought our town together then and many times before. I’m always amazed at the courageous victims of the flood and how they bounce back. Best wishes to you both and to your eBay business.
07/25/2017 at 9:12 pm #20804SharynParticipant
- Location: Central NJ
DoublyThumbs, I was so dismayed when I saw this post last night. Your more recent posts sound much more upbeat, so I’m sure you will be up and running soon.
My previous house was built on top of marshland, and we had a sump pump that seemed to run all the time. When we bought our second house, one of our requirements was that it had to be situated on top of a hill. Like Brian from Hoboken, I also live in NJ and had to deal with “Superstorm” Sandy (and Hurricane Irene before that). We had no issues except for having to deal with no electricity for 5 days.
I recently purchased a self-install alarm system from SimpliSafe to replace our old ADT system. I purchased a water detector alarm. I’m not too concerned with a flood, but I am concerned about the water heater. Except for a stash that I keep in the office, all of my boxes are in the furnace room. If the water spread beyond that, I would also be dealing with a loss of inventory.
Now, if I can just get off my butt and get the system installed.
07/26/2017 at 2:40 am #20817Rydell RelicsParticipant
DT, I echo everyone’s sentiments here. Just awful. But, as you mentioned, you and your girlfriend are safe, and that’s the most important thing. In the end, they’re just things. And once the dust settles, you’ll be back at it armed with all the great information shared here. Please keep us updated.
07/26/2017 at 8:41 am #20835
i’m so sorry to hear that, but glad you guys are safe, that’s what really matters. you need packing supplies? i have a crap-ton of tape and boxes and poly mailers i just got from ebay shipping supplies. i can mail you a bunch. just email us off list- TheScavengerLife@gmail.com
07/27/2017 at 7:35 am #20895
Thank you Ryanne! We were able to save a bunch of ebay tape and some bubble mailers and bubble wrap. And we have a good source for free boxes not far from here. I think we’ll be fine, but I’ll let you know once we set up our operation again.
07/27/2017 at 7:53 am #20898
So it’s day four of cleanup. We’ve managed to get all of the water out of the basement, but we’re having a heck of a time finding a company to clean out the mud and disinfect everything. Looks like we’ll have to shovel it all out ourselves. Luckily there have been many volunteers from various organizations helping out. I got my car inspected by the insurance agency and they said it was safe to drive. I just need to get the carpets replaced. They cut me a check to do that so I’m thankful. Our garage is somewhat clean now and clear of most of the mud. Other than all that, we’ve just been cleaning off all of our stuff the best we can and storing them in there. This mud is different. It’s so hard to get off of everything. It’s like really thick and greasy or something. The one thing I’m worried about are thieves. There’s already been reports of things getting stolen from the flood victims.
I’ve got to head in to work today. There’s just too much to catch up on and nobody else there knows the technology like I do. I’ll just do a half day and hopefully they’ll understand.
And I just wanted to say thank you again to everyone who took the time to share their thoughts! It’s feels really great to read everyone’s support! THANK YOU!
07/24/2017 at 10:40 pm #20722
I can’t imagine that happening! I had some small flooding that only got a few loose things wet, but a total loss, that is hard to handle.
I will remember to say a prayer for you tonight.
07/24/2017 at 10:42 pm #20723
7/16/17 – 7/22/17
Total Items in Store: 2,111
# Transations: 18, 25 Items sold
Cost of Items Sold: $50 (around)
Total Sales: $787
Highest Price Sold: $92 (2 Tied, both Make Up)
Average Price Sold: 43.72
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
Number of items listed this week: 26 created, but not listed yet
About $425 of my total sales were from the make up. I think the promoted sales really work. I
set up the promoted sales for a lot of the make up listings. The next day I made 5 sales for about $300. Two of the listings of make up had not seen any sales yet in 32 days, so I would have to say it was the promoted listings. My average has been 1 sale every other day for the make up, now I am making multiple sales for 2 days in a row. Some of the sales are less than $10, but I will still take it.
07/25/2017 at 12:32 am #20733JFHParticipant
Had a good week, finally. It has been really slow, the slowest June and early July I have seen. I made 1200 this week on eBay, so hopefully the back to school crowd will help things along. I have used the slow month and a half to work on my Etsy store, which is starting to really come along. I can now count on several sells from Etsy every week. And in many ways it fits me better than eBay, no Cassini to penalize me for not listing daily, no need to ship within 1 day to maintain TR status, no low ballers and best offers, and in general a more easy going atmosphere with less competition. I have several ideals I am working on, and 2 main niches which are vintage trucker hats (find them in abundance at my city outlet) and something else which has helped also. Hope everyone in the SL forum has a good week!
07/25/2017 at 10:51 am #20758IdahoarderParticipant
Store Week 7/16/17 – 7/22/17
Total items in store: 1424
Items sold: 10
Cost of items sold: $23.75
Total sales: $430.95
Highest price sold: $160.00 (Filson field bag)
Average price sold: $43.10
International Sales: 0
Money spent on new inventory this week: $23.75
I didn’t sell a lot last week, but my average price sold was great! We have one more little vacation coming up, and then I’ll have some time to really crack down on the listings and get ready for fall. I love nothing more than vacation, but I’m ready to get to work!
07/25/2017 at 12:15 pm #20763jewelfoundParticipant
I am a new member but has been listening to the podcast for a while. Last week I found a pendant at an estate sale that has GG logo on the back. This is black Onyx huge stone and 18kgf metal. I have searched a lot for this logo and I believe it’s not Gucci, based on all the logos that came up. I have listed it with a higher price.
Item number is 322601311407
Anybody has any idea about the logo.If any of you have come across this before, please post a reply.
07/25/2017 at 1:49 pm #20775
I dont know the logo, but still a nice piece. if you can confirm its 18k gold filled, then it’ll attract buyers with the right keywords in your title.
07/25/2017 at 12:23 pm #20764junque reduxParticipant
DoublyThumbs, so sorry to hear about your disaster. Make sure you keep good records about whatever you can’t salvage and any expenses you pay to clean/repair/rebuild the items or storage/packing area, and talk to your tax person about a possible business casualty loss. It won’t really compensate for the lost income, but it might help you a bit at tax time.
07/25/2017 at 12:46 pm #20766jewelfoundParticipant
Hopefully things work out for you fine. Prayers for you.A couple of big sales in future will make up for the loss..Stay positive
07/25/2017 at 1:35 pm #20769
You didn’t mention in your podcast, but if you have an Acura Integra 2-door version (I’m not sure if they had a 4-door version) those cars and their parts are in high demand. Reason being they are very popular with the “2 fast 2 furious” crowd. Even if the major drivetrain components such as the engine, tranny, drive axle are blown, this crowd will still buy them. They are always crashing and breaking stuff.
In case you didn’t know, large or heavy parts can be sold on craigslist. However, I would be cautious about having people coming to your house if the car is on your property. They may come back at night to strip more parts you never know. IF someone knows what they are doing they can strip any part in 15 mins or less (excluding drive train)
IF you do sell parts on ebay I would NOT offer returns on any of the mechanical parts especially electrical. I know ebay and paypal will make you take a return, but offering no returns may discourage people returning stuff. You don’t want people trying out your “alternator” to see if it works only to blow it out. However, I would offer returns on “trim and finish” pieces such as, mirrors, consoles, knobs, trim, floor mats, etc.
I have sold car and motorcycle parts on ebay and I do not offer returns on mechanical parts only trim pieces. I haven’t had any return requests yet though. No returns is an industry practice even on ebay.
Before parting out, you may want to check the scrap value for the car. Yards in my area usually offer $250 per car. Your area may be different, but you can make at least $250+ very easily only selling trim pieces.
360k is is quite the accomplishment, especially if the car never had any major repairs.
- This reply was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by Gompers.
07/25/2017 at 1:39 pm #20771
Yep, this car was stolen from us when we lived in SF back in 2006. That’s when we realized it was a “hot” car with the fast and furious crowd. Thankfully, they just stripped the seats and some other trim pieces before dumping it several blocks away.
We drive like old people which is probably one reason why its lasted so long. If it does finally break down, we’ll see what we could salvage. Everything is pretty beat up, scratched, dented.
07/25/2017 at 1:57 pm #20776
The “2 Fast 2 Curious” crowd won’t care if the parts are scratched and beat up because they are going to beat those parts up even more LOL.
A coworker of mine had his 10 year old Honda Civic stolen from the employee parking lot in broad day light. Car was found about 6 weeks later stripped and sitting on blocks in a ghetto part of the city. So you never know what will get stolen or what has perceived value to someone else.
Motorcycles are even worse, especially if you have a new sport bike like a GSXR, CBR, R6, etc.
2 or 3 guys pick up it and place it in a minivan and off they go. Plenty of videos like this on you tube where the crime was caught on security cameras.
- This reply was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by Gompers.
07/25/2017 at 2:14 pm #20778
This is good info. When we squeeze all the life out of this car, maybe we’ll do a “parting out” experiment.
07/26/2017 at 8:50 am #20838
yeah we’ll def. let people know if we part out our car. i keep telling jay that the motor heads don’t care if it’s scratched up. it’s a 20+ year old car where parts are going to start to be hard to come by.
07/25/2017 at 2:58 pm #20780mattyfuParticipant
- Location: Kamloops, BC Canada
I did a lot of reading up on Shopify a few months ago (okay I admit, I got excited and paid for a store, spent a day or two setting it up and then was like “why on earth am I going to spend money to drive traffic here when the market is already gathered on eBay and etsy?) but your talking about the famous musician and studios buying your items reminded me of a crazy automated stalking plug-in they have on shopify. It takes the buyers information and looks for social media accounts and checks if they’re famous / internet famous with the idea being that you can comp them their order or give them extras or write them a note begging in the hopes that they’ll promote your brand.
07/25/2017 at 3:04 pm #20781
That’s a crazy plugin. I guess it makes sense, but still crazy.
I don’t mind paying 13.5% of profits to eBay/Paypal to handle traffic and payments. The idea of driving traffic to my own website that we must maintain is antithetical to why we’re doing this.
07/25/2017 at 9:38 pm #20806RetailTherapyResellParticipant
I haven’t had a chance to listen to this week’s podcast yet. I got back from San Francisco late last night and spent today doing nothing but shipping.
I’m exhausted from packing all day and can’t imagine handling the load that Ryanne does after your trips.
I had a return to deal with as well. It was a crop sweater that didn’t have the size tag so I just listed measurements. The person said it was not an extra small as she thought but instead was an extra large. I thought about calling eBay to fight having to pay the return shipping, but decided just to reimburse her and let her keep the sweater. It was one of my very first scavenging “finds” three years ago. Knowing what I know now, I probably wouldn’t have bought it, so I didn’t want to hassle with fighting the return shipping cost.
I did hit a few vintage stores and two Goodwills in S.F., but the prices weren’t as good as they are here in Colorado so I didn’t do any scavenging (although I did pick up a bunch of freebies at the S.F. Marathon expo that I’ll eventually list).
07/26/2017 at 12:18 am #20815
Veronica and I sat with an eBay rep today at the eBay Open reception. Amazing conversation and insights.
81% of items sold on eBay are new.
New items are a growing market on eBay.
eBay buyers are a devoted, but aging demographic.
Amazon has set a new standard for buyer expectations in online commerce.
Veronica and I have been contemplating these nuggets as we look out over the glitz of the Vegas Strip and imagine the future…
07/26/2017 at 2:41 pm #20861
The “Amazon has set a new standard for buyer expectations in online commerce” can be annoying. I’ve had ebay buyers contact me after 2 days asking “where’s my package”? One person contacted my every day until their package arrived and of course this was one instance where USPS was slow or misrouted the package. It took 6 days via priority mail – which is unusual even for USPS.
Given what I know about the USPS, I don’t think ebay’s “guaranteed delivery” they are rolling out is going to work. I hope they have deep pockets for refunds.
I can not find package delivery numbers, but as of 2016 the USPS collected approx $15 billion dollars in shipping and packing services. That is just over $1 billion per month. The USPS averages 1%-2% failure rate which is on priority mail, express, certified, and registered. (I may be forgetting some other classes) but I know for sure 1st class mail is not counted in the numbers.
One may be able to infer what ebay may be facing in refunds given those numbers above. I would hope someone at ebay was smart enough to do the analysis.
07/26/2017 at 5:32 am #20818dearmilaParticipant
Doublythumbs, I’m very sorry to hear about what happened. I will keep you and your girlfriend in my thoughts & prayers.
Ryanne & Jay, thank you always for the podcast, it makes me happy when I see that a new one is up each week.
July 16-22, 2017
Total Items in Store: 328
Items Sold: 15
Cost of Items Sold: approx. $19
Total Sales: $215.46 (not including shipping costs)
Highest Price Sold: $35 (nice set of women’s pjs)
Average Price Sold: $15.39
Returns: 1 (for fit)
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $47.56
Number of items listed this week: 27
Much slower week, but expected it, since I’m focusing more on going through inventory than listing this week. In traffic on Friday, had alot of time to think about work approaches. Right now I have some leeway with what I need to bring in, so I’m going to focus away from regular auctions & running so many sales which I had been doing. Sometimes it felt fine, but other times it felt like I was just going over the same territory too frequently. Other things in life were not being taken care of because of the amount of time I spent every night running sales and auctions continually, and less listing was getting done. Instead I’m going to focus on sourcing and listing what I get each week, catch up with bookkeeping, and getting new bookkeeping systems in place for the rest of the year. Because I get most of my inventory from “the bins”, I’m also starting to pay more attention to individual cost of goods, by weight. I’m not that fast of a lister at all, so I’m going to put my time in trying to grow my store steadily & strongly and see how that compares to the fast auctions.
Have a good week everyone.
07/26/2017 at 9:20 am #20841ManateejaqParticipant
July 16- July 22 2017
Total items in store: Etsy 503 // Ebay 468 (Items not crossposted I list different types of things on Etsy and Ebay)
Items Sold: Etsy 7 // Ebay 13
Cost of items Sold: Etsy $20.62 // Ebay $37.96
Total Sales: Etsy $109.95 // Ebay $193.93
Highest Price Sold: Rainbow Brite doll w/ Sprite $40
Average Price Sold: $15.19
Number of items listed this week: 12 (Listed at $184)
Had to deal with a grumpy buyer this week. I realized after a couple messages exchanged that there was no way I was going to make the buyer not grumpy, so I just moved on.
I also took a listing break this week. Now I am charged up to list again! I can see how the break took a toll on sales though! 🙁 I think I only sold 3 items over the weekend.
07/26/2017 at 3:34 pm #20870RhiannaParticipant
Great episode. It is nice to hear that things are full speed ahead on the rental, can’t wait to see the pictures. We have been very busy listing and finally got our store over 1000 items! We went to have ice cream to celebrate. We are starting to feel the lack of space now, so we are thinking of a plan for the future. We want to continue to grow our business and want to incorporate other things as well. We have been very busy with sales, crazy busy for us. So we are saying YAY for SUMMER. 🙂
Reading the post about the flood really does put things into perspective. I appreciate others giving advice in what they have done when faced with issues, it really helps me figure out what I need to be doing myself to prepare.
Total Items in Store: 1022
Items Sold: 28
Cost of Items Sold: $42
Total Sales: $1061.61
Highest Price Sold: $300 (Canon Video Camera my husband picked up for 20$ )
Average Price Sold: $38
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $75
Number of items listed this week: Not sure the best way to track this.
07/26/2017 at 8:02 pm #20878CindiParticipant
Thank you Ryanne and Jay! I love your podcast! I learn so much from you. It helps time wise, with no kids in the mix…but they are a blessing in the long run (I have 4, plus 4 in-law kids, plus 6 grands). We have 8 rentals…no vaca rentals, which I think are much better. I love that, Jay, I can see Christian values in your life, do unto others, even though parents fought, I can still see the influence, which is awesome…we want everyone to live those values. STEVE…Thank you so much for your WHAT SOLD…I wish I had the electrician brain! My husband does, but isn’t interested in buying/selling…super bummer! BUT, I LOVE YOUR VIDEOS and am slowly learning! Thank you, again, Steve!!!!! I keep buying electronics…but so far just have them stored… Cindi
07/27/2017 at 8:34 am #20900
Welcome Cyndi. Do you guys have any issues with the long-term rentals? Problems with evictions?
07/27/2017 at 9:55 am #20908
So, it is official, we are in the eBay Guaranteed Delivery (EGD) program. We were invited to early adopt this program, and after talking with a lot of the technical people on the program, we are looking forward to it.
We are in the Handling Time program, which means that as long as we meet our handling time (0-1 days) and we get the scan at the USPS, then if the package arrives late, eBay will pay the recompense to the buyer.
For more information on how it works:
On the Handling time program, if you opt-in, only items that are marked with 0-1 days handling, returns are accepted, and no restocking fee will be part of Guaranteed Delivery.
Starting in September, our items that are part of EGD will have a green text added to them that shows the Guaranteed Delivery date (similar to how Fast & Free shows on your items). The buyer will be able to see this as they scroll through the listings. There will also be a toggle button on the top right of the screen where buyers can filter to only see Guaranteed Delivery items. After turning this toggle on, there will be options on the left of the screen to select items for 3 day, 2, day, or 1 day arrival.
Based on the delivery options you provide, eBay will determine the time it takes for items to reach the buyer based on the zip code of the seller. They have analyzed all the shipping data from point to point for the past several years to develop their own algorithm for delivery time point to point.
Buyers will see the date that an item will arrive (avoiding any confusion on # of days). Guaranteed Delivery items are 4 days (1 day handling + 3 days shipping time).
Since we are in the Handling Time, all we have to do is meet our commitment on handling, and eBay takes care of the rest. If the item is late, the buyer can either ask for refunded shipping price (which eBay will cover) or to return the item. If they buyer asks to return the item, eBay pays for the return shipping, the buyer gives a full refund, and eBay refunds the seller the original shipping cost (so the buyer is whole, the seller is whole, and eBay covers the extra cost).
eBay has been working with USPS a lot on this, and they continue to ask us for any information on USPS offices that are consistently under performing (not scanning packages being the #1 item). If we provided that information, they will bring this up with the upper levels of USPS in their weekly meetings (eBay and USPS meet weekly to discuss issues).
We will keep people informed on how this works for us. If you have any questions for us, just let us know.
07/28/2017 at 8:58 am #20952
This is cool. Pretty amazing that eBay is willing to eat the cost of late shipping if you ship on time.
The big issue will be USPS. Im surprised eBay is betting money that USPS will ship within 3 days.
07/28/2017 at 9:05 am #20955
They are trusting their own data for years on what the times are, and they are having their own weekly talks with USPS to make this work.
And eBay has a large stick. If they get a special rate from UPS or FedEx like Amazon…
07/27/2017 at 9:57 am #20909
PS – Jay, Trash Elf Nation is strong. We ran into some other people here at eBay Open that are Scavenger Life listeners.
07/27/2017 at 10:04 am #20910
And as another bit of information that we say at eBay Open, they are rolling out eBay Image Search – which is a program where you can take a picture of something (shoes, outfit, lamp, etc.) and have eBay search for similar products that you can buy. This could be a huge item to drive casual buyers to the eBay platform.
The main thing for us as sellers to capitalize on this is to take quality photos, and make sure to use the Item Specifics well, filling all of them in and using new ones if you need.
and a PS on the photo side. We found out that Google Shopping will not show any photos of items unless they have a white or black background…
07/27/2017 at 2:29 pm #20930
T=-Satt: Great field reporting on the Ebay Open event. Interesting tid-bits that I am sure we all will be discussing once the event is over and things start to get reported that they heard about. Everything sounds very interesting.
What surprised me was 81% of the “Solds” are NEW Items. That means only 19% of Sold Items would then be in the used-vintage-old category. Humm.
Mike at MDC Galleries in Atlanta
07/27/2017 at 4:16 pm #20933
I’m not surprised at all. There are a TON of cheap imported electronics and knick knacks sold on ebay. Also many businesses run duplicates of their stores on ebay.
07/27/2017 at 4:33 pm #20936
Exactly. Made think that we may be too tied to the wrong end of the 80-20 rule. We will never stop collectibles, and eBay will always support it, but since I am the high-volume lower-margin side of the house, it makes me want to up my game on sourcing…
This has been a great trip. Tons of great info, sat down with SixBit and got all my plans laid out, got lots of technical issues answered with eBay, and they are taking in lots of feedback from sellers on how to improve. Worth the money and time.
07/28/2017 at 9:01 am #20954
Competing on commodity items seems like a losing game unless you’re willing to really up your infrastructure and really get into volume sales. It’d be like selling on Amazon. Razor thin margins.
07/28/2017 at 9:16 am #20958
True, but I like to think about what can kill my own business, then adapt. If I don’t like the business, I can move to a whole new business. Part of the good news of owning your own time…you choose what to do. But outside forces don’t always help, so I like to look for risks and adapt.
07/28/2017 at 9:26 am #20960
Agreed. If you like that challenge, then awesome. You are organized with your data and numbers to take those commodity sellers on!
07/28/2017 at 9:36 am #20963
We will see. Mostly it is about looking for different opportunities than I have before. The myriad of purchasing and selling models we have seen here has been amazing. From the HUGE tribe of collectible sellers that Jason T Smith of The Thrifing Board and Thrifting with the Boys fame, to brick and mortars that sell online, and the seemingly endless number of one-off sellers we find and hear their model and think “Wow…I never thought of that!”
Just a good mind expansion exercise on ways to improve.
To quote on of our families favorite movies…”Improvise, Adapt, Overcome”
07/27/2017 at 5:23 pm #20937
eBay will soon allow buyers to search for items using images Similar to what they are looking for. https://www.theverge.com/2017/7/27/16048884/ebay-shop-photo-matching-artificial-intelligence-ai
07/27/2017 at 5:32 pm #20939
Yep. This what they did a demo on at eBay Open yesterday…
07/28/2017 at 9:28 am #20961
Isnt this what Amazon has already? I guess its good for sellers out in the field to find out the price range and popularity of an item.
07/28/2017 at 9:47 am #20966
This is beyond that, not a barcode scanner, but any photo can be examined, items are identified, and similar items are shown on eBay. See an outfit a girl is wearing you like, snap a photo and shop similar items immediately on eBay. See a cool lamp or like the way someone decorated? Snap a photo and shop similar items on eBay.
07/28/2017 at 10:52 am #20969
Have you used google reverse image search before? I have somewhat extensively, and found it pretty flawed. This sounds similar.
BUT… I think part of the reason for that is a huge # of false positives when searching EVERY IMAGE ON THE INTERNET. Perhaps when your database is limited to products people are selling, you get a bit more specificity and less garbage hits. All the same, I’ll believe it’s a good functionality when I see it.
07/28/2017 at 11:08 am #20971amazingtasteParticipant
Great field reporting! Thank you for all the infomation!
07/28/2017 at 12:29 pm #20973
It’s all part of the AI (Artificial Intelligence) revolution that’s coming our way. Even if this doesn’t work very well Ebay and other sites will be expanding beyond textual-based searching. I agree, this could be very hacky out of the gate, but these times are a-changing.
07/30/2017 at 7:54 am #21028Julie BParticipant
- Location: Georgia
I too occasionally take on a short term job in my former field (anti-money laundering consultant). Ideally I work on such a job 1 week a month or less. At the beginning of 2017 I had just started ramping up my ebay store to take it to the next level when….. in late February one short term project snowballed due to gross incompetence of other parties. Fast forward to July 30th, and I’m working full time on this side job, 6 to 7 days a week and have been for months. In addition to the long hours I’m being micro-managed by someone who doesn’t know what they are doing and is only involving himself in order to have plenty of hours to bill the client. I think most of us self-employed ebay sellers can agree that we don’t like being managed by other people, so the micro-managing is killing me. I didn’t want this! While the paycheck is nice, I’d rather have my time, my freedom to do what I want, when I want, where I want. I think I have about a month or 2 to go before someone is brought in as a permanent replacement. I cannot wait!!
As far as ebay during this time, I had a lot of inventory in my store, over 1,000 items so sales were pretty consistent for me for a while but have since slowed as I ignore my store more and more. I have done some online retail arbitrage in my hotel room late at night so I’ve had a little bit of inventory coming in. But I so miss the daily grind of listing and shipping!
07/30/2017 at 9:22 am #21029
I think its good to keep one foot in your respective [profession if its work your enjoy. But we do know the traps of getting caught up in long term employment. We’re very strict about setting boundaries with the people we work for. We are clear with the specific project, timeframe, and compensation. always have an exit strategy!
07/30/2017 at 11:43 am #21031
I agree. I still have the consulting job a few days a month, and will pick up at the end of the year again. It is nice to exercise that part of my brain again, and I am lucky that the people I work with like having me and let me do my job the right way. I still own my life even when serving them…
07/30/2017 at 1:12 pm #21035falconeddieParticipant
- Location: Orlando Florida
OK on the podcast this week you were talking about wool rugs and I see them occasionally. What is the best way to tell if they are real wool if there are no tags on them?
07/30/2017 at 6:36 pm #21039
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