01/08/2018 at 8:36 am #29996
Another very cold and busy week of solving problems and getting stuff done. What’s new? Hope your week is warming up! Join the conversation in the f
[See the full post at: Scavenger Life Episode 342: Big Knives and Trashcans]
01/08/2018 at 9:07 am #29998
12/31/17 – 01/06/18
Total Items In Store: 2,086
Items Sold: 30
Cost of Items Sold: $100 (around)
Total Sales: $1079.75
Highest Price Sold: $100 – Promo Car
Average Price Sold: $ 35.99
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $ 5
Number of Items listed this week: 56
Another great week for me. I have been averging $4000+ in sales for a rolling 31 days and that seems to keep going. This is best run I have had in my store.
I was thinking about why things are going well. I put together a top 10 list for this that I will post below. I think we have talked about all of these on the blog before, but I wanted to put it down in one place.
If you have any other things that have helped you, please voice these so that we can all learn from you.
01/08/2018 at 9:12 am #29999
Top 10 list for ebay Success
Ebay has their own generic list for this which is good, but more for people who are just getting started. ebay says: http://www.ebay.com/gds/10-KEYS-TO-SUCCESS-ON-EBAY-/10000000002691984/g.html
I think right now there are external factors that are helping us:
1. The US economy is doing well right now, especially with the new tax cuts.
2. Right now is the ebay high season.
But I have listed 10 keys that will be true in any economic condition.
1. Have the highest ebay rating possible.
Think about it. This is in the ebay cassini algorithm. Why would ebay want you to sell an item if
you have issues? If you are shipping late and have a lot of bad feedback, ebay is going to put
someone else higher in the rankings.
For example, if you have a high return rate, why do they want to waste time with you? Or, if you
don’t ship on time, you make them look bad?
ebay’s goal is to sell as much stuff with as few problems as possible. Having the highest ebay
rating possible achieves this.
Also, customers will look at your feedback. They will avoid sellers with issues.
See this articule for more on cassini: https://www.thebalance.com/make-ebay-s-cassini-search-work-
2. List more than you sell each week.
I think ebay would like to give sales to stores that are growing, not those that are dying.
I have been having success right now and this seems to be one of the key factors for me.
3. Listing Advice.
A. List quality items that are priced at a average minimum of X ($40 for me, figure it out for
you). The listing must be high quality in every way – pics, price, etc.
I think this one goes without saying, but I am saying it. You are going to sell what you list.
If your average listed price is $10, well then $10 will be close to your average sale price.
If your average listed price is $100, well then $100 will be close to your average sale price.
B. List a lot of higher priced items over $100 or more. The more the better, but shoot for at least
10% of your store in this price range. 20% or higher priced items should be the goal.
This goes back to the key above.
If 20% of your store has $100+ items in it, then your sales will have close to 20% of items
C. Don’t buy items under $X (for me $30, however sometimes I will go as low as $19.99 if I like the
This will avoid creating your own sweat shop.
You are doing nearly the same amount of work for a $10 item as you do for a $100 item.
Use your time wisely.
D. Do you homework for reasearh before you begin the listing.
Don’t get into analysis paralisys on every item.
But when you come across an item you have never seen, take at least 10 min. to figure out what
it is and what its value is.
If you can’t determine that, ask for help or put it aside for another day of research.
You will be much more confident when you get a best offer.
4. Have a sale.
People love sales. I notice that my sales drop significantly when my sale ends.
5. Promote as many listings as ebay allows.
Brian has noted how well promoted listings help. I have noticed this as well.
I started new promoted listings 3 days ago and have had 3 sales for a total of $205 so far.
6. Use “Best Offer” on all items $X (for me about $30 and above, with some exceptions).
This could bring in a lot of sales you might not have had.
If the customer doesn’t like your price, they can name their own. If you don’t like their price,
jsut decline it or counter.
7. Respond quickly to questions from your customers and offer them a deal.
You can ignore those wierd questions about measurements.
But for the true customer who is asking good questions, respond promptly, nicely, and give them a
deal to close it.
8. Have a diversity of items.
This will even out your sales. If all of your store has 1 type of item, then you will have extreme
high periods and extreme low periods of sales.
For example, if you sell all winter coats, the winter season will be great. But the spring and
summer will be extremely low.
Having a diversity will even this out.
I like to have diverisity in all areas:
seasonal items fall\winter, spring\summer
Modern \ Vintage \ Antique
9. Build a pipeling of Multiple listings.
I love to have listings that keep selling for me. This has great savings in time and effort.
This is how Multiple listings help:
1. You only have to make 1 listing and it keeps selling and selling.
2. If it has a good STR, you know you will have steady sales from it.
3. This may promote repeat customers or friends of customers.
4. It makes shipping easier because you pack nearly the same way every time.
10. If you find that you have “dead” listings, end them, update them and relist them. Or just put a sale on them.
I have found that I have about 350 dead listings in my store. I need to fix these or just move
them out with a sale.
I call them dead because they have been listed for at least a year and have less than 250 hits on
them (my average is 389 hits per item).
01/08/2018 at 9:42 am #30004
Haven’t listened to the entire podcast yet, but about your cleaner…it sounds like maybe a substance abuse thing, especially since she promised to come the next day and then you literally didn’t hear from her for 3 days. I’d be a little wary of having her back into the houses unless I could somehow verify that she was clean. It could be a liability if she’s on something and gets hurt or even possibly leaves something around the property. Maybe I’m just a little wary right now because of hearing so much about the opoid (sp?) epidemic, but in some areas it’s really, really bad 🙁 With her being so reliable and then suddenly flaking out in an extreme way, I’d be super wary of a substance being involved. My friend’s daughter is like this when she relapses…she’s reliable when she’s sober/on the wagon, but totally flakes like that when she relapses.
Is there something like Merry Maids in your area where they would drug test their employees and carry the liability if they allowed someone not sober onto your property? That may be a safer way to go unfortunately.
- This reply was modified 1 week, 3 days ago by ChristineK.
01/08/2018 at 12:19 pm #30030
- Location: Southern California
The Christines agree. This is the first place my mind went. I think it’s probably harder when you know the person to recognize and have your mind go there.
01/12/2018 at 2:18 pm #30377
I worked in drug rehab and drug education for 20 years…. regarding the house cleaner, my first thought was drugs.
01/08/2018 at 9:51 am #30006
Ugh. I hate the cold. I hate the early darkness in the evening. With their forces combined, my energies and motivations are zapped. Anwyays, on to numbers.
Items in Store 1001
Items Sold 23
Total Sales $887.00
Total Profit $802.70
Average profit $34.90
Average sales price $38.57
Highest Price item: $180 Nike Duck Boots.
Drumroll please…… I finally hit 1000 active items in my store!!
Strong sales through the week and then sales died for the weekend. I closed out Sunday with a huge sale of a pair of Nikes to make up for the sluggish weekend.
Once I hit my goal of 1000 listings early Saturday, I celebrated by building a RetroPie system and playing a bunch of classic Nintendo and Arcade games with my kids all weekend. Man what a time waster! If you don’t know what RetroPie is, do yourself a favor and google it. It was too freaking cold to do much more than stay indoors and be lazy.
01/08/2018 at 9:59 am #30009
congratulations on the 1000 listings – I hope to join you this week.
01/08/2018 at 10:26 am #30011
I built a RetroPie last year. The funny thing is, I got bored with it after a day. I guess when you have thousands of video games at your fingertips, you can’t really appreciate each game individually. I remember saving my allowance for months just to buy one Nintendo game. I would play the crap out of it. But I’m glad you’re introducing your kids to the real OG video games!
01/08/2018 at 10:57 am #30013
The key to a RetroPie is to only load a couple games at a time. That way they can enjoy them for a while then you can add a couple more as time goes on. I love how EASY it is to load new games to the pie and then use the scraper to add the image files. It is definitely overwhelming to just dump the entire collective of emulated games on there.
Oh and my kids have a lot more than just a retro pie to raise them right. Here is my gameroom.
01/08/2018 at 11:43 am #30021
Overwhelming is probably the good word for it. Your game room looks awesome! Is that Area 51?! I have so many fond memories of playing that game at the roller skating rink.
01/08/2018 at 11:48 am #30023
It is a Area51/Maximum Force combo game. I have a couple more shooting games I swap out. Currently I have Police Trainer in there. I also have Sharpshooter (a more kiddie version of Police Trainer), and Area 51 Site 4.
01/08/2018 at 3:14 pm #30050
OMG, even pinball machines. That’s like my dream. A few pinball machines and a 1954 mutoscope drive yourself road test. Or, a 1940s one. Whatever!
I was a 90s kid, but I grew up by an old arcade that was filled with pinball machines and other weird games from the 40s-early 90s. Love that stuff.
01/08/2018 at 9:58 am #30008
My numbers for the week continue to trend in the right direction. I have started getting into tracking my inventory dollar amount versus sales etc.. in more detail which i will start incorporating (i did last week for the month). It is actually no easy trick pulling that info accurately out of Ebay — one of the dashboards says i have north of 45,0000 in inventory however in reality it is only 30,000 ish. I had to break out File exchange to avoid manually adding it up. (I still wish I could find a way to use file exchange that makes sense for this business — the imaging issue kills it for me but if anyone has a trick i would love to hear)
I also am working on getting a little more sophisticated on reporting on sales costs etc.. on an per item basis, as well as looking at more efficiently tracking my time to eventually incorporate as well. Watching how guys like Tsalt do things on the reporting and numbers side has taught me a good amount and I plan on continuing to refine analysis.
I fell short on my goal of hitting 1,000 listings before the New Year. I am however pleased at my progress. My focus gong forward in 2018 is:
-Continue to build efficiency and “hack” all of my business processes to make my business more efficient – for the time being as a “one man” operation with some assistance from my wife — bring my listings per week to 140 is a concrete goal in this regard. Outsourcing complex shipping items is another recent addition to my processes that should prove to be huge
-continue to hone my craft /skills at picking. More top dollar items, spending relatively less — creeping that average dollar per sale up.
– 0 death pile policy. I do not have unlimited cash — and it plainly is not efficient having inventory sitting around unlisted. I know list everything prior to sourcing. I find that there literally is great sourcing opportunities everywhere – so i can afford to let opportunities pass until all of my items are listed.
-continue to hone my sell through rate / maximizing sale price on a relative basis to hit my sweet spot which is ideal for my business and needs. I am phasing out best offer and using only buy it now – with automatic reprice after a no sale every month. I plan on staying with this process for the entirety of 2018 to analyze after the fact.
On a side note — I am having a blast! It is so refreshing working for myself. I am glad I have found this community online – it really is a great group of folks and certainly helps just having a virtual sounding board as no one in the real world really gets what i am doing. Happy New Year everyone.
12/31/17 – 1/6/18
Total items in store (beginning of week): 945
Items sold: 28
Weekly sell through: % 2.96
Total Sales: $759.69 (shipping backed out)
Average price: $28.42
Cost of items sold: $110.00
average cost of item sold (pre fees): $3.93
Gross profit: $685.69
Highest item sold: Oil Painting end 19th Century signed Vase with Purple Flowers oil lamp 1899 sold for 85.00; cost 1.45
New items listed: 59
Asking price of new items listed: $2,286.68
Cost of new items listed: $ 139.43
average ask of newly list: $38.76
average cost of newly list: $2.36
01/08/2018 at 10:00 am #30010
Dec. 31 – Jan 6
Total Items in Store: 1071
Items Sold: 28
Total Sales (Gross Profit): $1174
Highest Price: $200 (Lot of over 200 Vintage 1980s Racing Decals & Stickers)
Average Price: $42
Cost of Items Sold: $142
Costs of Items Purchased this Week: $250
It’s been one of those weeks where I didn’t think I did that great until I saw the numbers. I can’t believe I made over 1K. But going through the sales, I guess I forgot about a few higher priced ones.
I kind of took a little unintentional break from listing last week. Life tends to get in the way of eBay sometimes when it’s not the other way around. But I did manage to get to an auction on Saturday. It was a morning outdoor auction. Single digit temperatures. Harsh winds. Shouldn’t be a whole lot of contenders to deal with, right? Ha! Everyone had the same idea as I did. Prices were going as crazy as the people that showed up. I couldn’t even get the one thing that I drove all the way out there for (a collection of old brass oilers). I did manage to snag another aluminum Christmas tree for pretty cheap along with about 50 n-scale model trains in a lot.
I came back home to an interesting message on eBay. To make a long story short, I acquired a scrapbook full of vintage racing stickers. Since they were taped to the pages, I listed each page of stickers (front and back) individually. Well some guy offered me $200 for them all. Now, that’s a little less than half the price than the total I had them listed for. But I chose to make a quick nickel rather than the slow dime on this one. They weren’t getting the interest that I had hoped, and it would have probably taken a couple of years to sell them all off.
01/08/2018 at 11:04 am #30014
Things still feel really sluggish considering I’m supposed to be making $10k per day in Q4 and Q1.
Gross sales: CAD$644, 3 items, COGS $36, item profit: $511
Notable sales: EKG machine $26 –> $440
Expenditures: $169 – mostly shelving for my new storage unit
Cashflow after tax: $266
Hours: 7.5, hourly “wage” $35/hr
Looks like I’ve found a solution to my storage problems… about 300 sq ft at the local airport for $100/month. Haven’t pulled the trigger yet but I will by February or March. I will still use my house but I’ll move most of the multiples, big, and slow moving items to storage.
Haven’t listened to the pod yet but I hope I’ll find time today… at home for all of January with the kids. It’s fun but I’m really itchy for new inventory.
01/08/2018 at 11:09 am #30016
Week of Dec 31 – Jan 6
* Total Items in Store: 1180
* Items Sold: 14
* Cost of Items Sold: $15.11 + $0 Commission
* Total Sales: $291.16
* Highest Price Sold: $40 Lot of specialty engineering paper, $39.55 Panasonic pencil sharpener
* Average Price Sold: $20.80
* Returns: 0
* Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
* Number of items listed this week: 30
Ebay continues to be a bit slow for me. The slowness started about five days before Christmas. I finally got back to listing, so that will help.
It has been very cold here in NJ as well. A snow storm closed school on Thursday and Friday.
01/08/2018 at 12:27 pm #30032
For the caller asking about a damaged blazer, I find that suits can do well. If you think you can get over $30 and the damage is hidden in a pocket, I’d mend it. You can disclose the mend and include a photo.
In general, though, I’m learning not to bother with issues. I purchased a large bag of clothing at the beginning of December that I just listed last week. I found issues with several pieces after looking more closely, and most of those will be donated.
I found two suits with stains, and I’m going to try to clean them up. They are dry clean only, but I’m going to try the delicate cycle with Woolite. If that doesn’t work, out they go!
I did get two Members Only jackets (the first time I’ve scavenged those!). One had a few minor stains, but I still listed it. I’m sure it will sell. The other is a leather jacket with a number of issues. I figured there would still be interest, so I listed it in “Rough Shape” with a lower price. It’s not getting many views, so perhaps it will be a dud. We’ll see …
01/08/2018 at 12:16 pm #30028
Store 12/31/17 – 1/6/17
Total items in store: 1554
Items sold: 33
Cost of items sold: $41.46
Total sales: $1589.80
Highest price sold: $250.00 (Pendleton Blanket)
Average price sold: $41.46
Money spent on new inventory this week: $13.60
Wow, what an awesome week! I remember this week last year being pretty great, so I was hopeful, and it turns out it was by biggest week ever! Even though I’ve been eBaying for years, I continue to be blown away at the profits that can be made. $41.46 cost of goods sold turned into over $1500 in sales, and I got to stay home with my family. Pretty cool.
In other news, a relative hired me this week to help deal with her grandparents’ estate. I was planning to help anyway, so it will be nice to get paid since it could keep me away from listing on eBay for a while. It will likely be a lot of work, but it sounds really fun to me, and I think I’ll learn a lot about items I’ve never paid attention to. Not sure when we will get started, but I’ll let you know how it goes.
01/08/2018 at 1:27 pm #30033
I have a question for you guys. Your second store doesn’t bring in a lot of money compared to your other store, but you do have a decent amount of inventory. That seems to be the issue for a lot of sellers who can’t figure out how to make more money in general with their store. So, what would you do differently with your second store if you wanted it to match the income of your first store? That answer could help a lot of people. Why do you think it doesn’t make a lot and what would you add to to make it more profitable? Would you source differently for it?
01/08/2018 at 1:39 pm #30034
Just listened to the podcast while doing my Monday morning packing.
You know, you guys are so lucky to have found each other, you compliment one another so well with your own skill sets in the businesses you run. Wish there was a dating site for Scavenger minded people.
Dec 31 2017 – Jan 6 2018
• Total Items in Store: 811
• Items Sold: 24 (22 ebay / 2 Bonanza)
• International 2 GSP
• Total Sales $1320 ($1280 ebay / $40 Bonanza)
• Highest Price $200 tie, Toast O Lator – DVD Recorder
• Average Price Sold: $55
• Returns: 0
• Cost of Items Sold: $164
• Cost of items purchased this week $25
01/08/2018 at 6:11 pm #30059
The Speckled GoatParticipant
Great idea! With your voice and beautiful dogs, not to mention your taste in mid-century decor, how is it even possible that you are single?
Perhaps we can talk Jay & Ryan’s website dude into a sub-forum of Scavenger Life devoted to scavenger romance. Sort of like the new recipe sub-forum! LOL. Why not.
01/08/2018 at 7:56 pm #30068
Steve has mentioned a girlfriend in past comments, but we aren’t really kept up-to-date 🙂
01/09/2018 at 5:14 pm #30179
No need to create another Main Forum Folder, just put this new romance sub-folder under “Sourcing”!! LOL 🙂
01/08/2018 at 1:45 pm #30037
My numbers for last week are too awful to even post since I wasn’t actively listing, but they seem to be recovering to their normal levels for this current week since I’m back to listing. Last week was a big week for us. We paid off our mortgage in full. It feels good to finally be done! My Ebay income definitely played a big role in paying the house off aggressively. We’ve been in this house 6 years, but I only started aggressively paying it off 21 months ago. I involved the kids every step of the way in an age-appropriate way so they could understand what a mortgage was and why mom and dad didn’t want to be paying ours for 30 years. Hopefully it made an impression!
Now my Ebay income will go into index funds for the most part a la Mr. Money Mustache.
Steve, I think this IS the dating site for scavenger-minded people lol. I know what you mean though. Jay and Ryanne are really lucky to have found their other scavenger halves! My other half has really grown in his scavenger ways since we met…makes me proud 🙂
- This reply was modified 1 week, 3 days ago by ChristineK.
01/08/2018 at 7:40 pm #30067
Yay for you, Christine, on being mortgage-free! Maybe we should start a forum topic where people can share their paid-off debts, whether a mortgage or a car loan or a credit card. And I think Steve S. Should start the forum for singles. I predict he would get snapped up in no time!
01/08/2018 at 10:16 pm #30077
Congratulations on paying off your mortgage. That is an incredible accomplishment.
01/08/2018 at 1:52 pm #30039
Hey, I’d like to address the caller who was asking about shipping refund reimbursement. I’ve been maniacally listening to all the back episodes, and I think I remember what she’s talking about. When she mentioned a caller who “saves them up and then calls them all in at once” that rang a bell for me. In a previous episode, someone called in about final value fee credits on partial refunds. She had discovered a bug that ebay was not automatically crediting final value fees on partial refunds, so the caller was saving them up and calling in a list of them every month or so. I think that’s what the questioner was referencing, and maybe got that mixed up with shipping refunds. Ebay won’t pay for your shipping refunds, but when you issue a partial refund through paypal, you shouldn’t have to pay the full final value fees on that listing. You should get a portion of the final value fee credited back to you, because now you’ve essentially sold the item for a lower price. Apparently this doesn’t happen automatically between paypal and ebay, but you can call in and get it taken care of. It could be a very small amount of money, so it may not be worth calling in and waiting on hold to get a credit of a few cents, but if you do a high volume and can save them all up for one phone call, that could be a worthwhile call for sure!
01/08/2018 at 2:11 pm #30044
So Cal JoeParticipant
That’s the way I remember it. The original caller was calling Ebay to get refunds on final value fees for partial refunds made directly through Paypal. Some of them may have been for shipping overages.
The recent caller didn’t make it clear if she was calling Ebay, for reimbursement of the actual refunds she gave the buyers, or just the final value fee on those refunds.
Also she stated that she had several hundred dollars in refunded shipping. I wonder if she refunds every single shipping overage. I have heard of sellers who do that.
01/08/2018 at 2:12 pm #30045
Yes, Killingit. I believe you are right about the credit being given on the final value fees. Yes, I too recall the caller noting that she saves them up and then calls in and goes through them one by one. If I recall correctly, I think she said she got back $13 or $23.
01/08/2018 at 2:01 pm #30040
Here’s a funny buyer excuse return story I read a few days ago on the Amazon forum.
Buyer purchases “snow crimps” which you put on the bottom of your shoes/boots to get better traction in snow/ice. Buyer wants to return because they are wrong size. Seller approves return, but buyer can’t leave house to mail return because he has “two broken femurs.”
I have gotten some funny excuses before too like, don’t have a car, don’t have money, don’t have a printer, but “two broken femurs” takes the cake.
- This reply was modified 1 week, 3 days ago by Gompers.
01/08/2018 at 10:18 pm #30078
My latest one was “I lost my wallet”
01/08/2018 at 2:49 pm #30048
Beverly – Far Out and FabulousParticipant
- Location: Edgewood, WA
To the caller about refunds on shipping:
I just did this a few days ago. I just called ebay and gave them a list of item numbers from the last 90 days (and she said she could go further back if I had the item numbers) where I had refunded part of shipping for combined shipping or where I was able to ship for a lot less than they were charged, or for an item refund that did not include refunding the shipping. They took all the item numbers down and hung up to go figure it all out, then called me back within an hour or two to give me the amount of the total refund. Just call back and get another rep.
01/08/2018 at 3:40 pm #30051
Those trash can sales are great! One of my favorite finds ever in the wild was of a vintage metal trash can at an estate sale. I’ve been using it ever since, and that was over 5 years ago! Even those can go for 20+ consistently on Ebay, more so for ones with vintage cartoon or sports designs from the 50s-70s.
Sales the first week of January were down 50% from the last week of December. I was running the biggest sale of the year during that week in my store, so lots of items went out the door at that time. It was nice to clear out some very old inventory without too much effort.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have the time to list much last week, so sales declined. Not much will be listed this week, either. I am spending the larger chunk of time I do have to work on photographing and prepping items to be listed when I do have the time. It’s better to squeeze in a few listings here and there than do nothing because I haven’t given myself the time to get the prep work out of the way.
01/08/2018 at 3:46 pm #30052
Since I am a part-time eBay seller and plan to stay that way for the foreseeable future I found this article interesting. https://hbr.org/2018/01/how-to-figure-out-what-your-side-hustle-should-be
01/08/2018 at 8:23 pm #30071
About listings without UPC codes not being relisted:
A few months ago I switched all my listings over to Good ’till Canceled. My store was small enough before then that I didn’t mind using the bulk editor to relist, and occasionally a listing would fail to go through because either the UPC or MPN were missing. Why was I even able to list them in the first place?
After moving over to Good ’till Canceled, I started noticing that my active listing count was going down and the “unsold” count on the app was non-zero. I thought maybe I’d accidentally listed some things at 30 days, but was surprised to see they were GTC. I went to relist them on the app and got an error message (“NULL”,) and went to the desktop to relist instead, where I got an alert that the UPC and MPN was missing.
Neither UPC or MPN codes are available on my version of the eBay app for Android, so it’s useless for relisting right now. However, it does seem to allow me to list items WITHOUT the UPC or MPN since there is no way to plug them in. I assume these items will go unlisted after 30 days.
Worst of all is that I’ve been getting no emails for these listings being taken down. It’s only by chance that I saw the number of unsold items go up on the app.
01/08/2018 at 10:12 pm #30076
Week of December 31-January 6
Total items in store: 250
Total sales: $170.93 (does not include shipping)
# items sold: 6
Weekly Sell Through Rate: 2.4%
Average Sales Price: $34.19
# items listed: 2
This was a decent week for my small store. A sale of a set of 6 coffee mugs for $60 helped boost my week.
My total items listed are now at 250 with these sales. This number is going the wrong way.:(
This week I need to list more and get it going in the other direction.
Next weeks total items in store goal: 260
01/08/2018 at 10:29 pm #30079
RR Store Week Dec 31-Jan 6, 2017
Total Items in Store: 1424
Items Sold: 33
Cost of Items Sold: $35.40
Total Sales: $665.58
Highest Price Sold: $89.09 (vintage army jump boots)
Average Price Sold: $20.17
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $31
Number of items listed this week: 41
Slipped a bit last week, but so did my listing. My gal is out of town all week, so I’m using this solo time to list like crazy. My albums are really starting to move. It’s so rewarding to see them sell for a decent price, not the 25 cents I’d probably get at the used record store, if anything. Plus, now I have room to actually flip through the crates; I’m used to them being completely stuffed. And I still have about half of my collection to go through. And it’s not just the doubles; I’m also getting rid of records I know I’ll never listen to again, especially if they’re worth good money.
I love the idea of the recipe thread! I’m awful at meal prep, but I do love cooking at home. I’ve been doing more and more of it lately, and it is so rewarding. I dig branching out into other cuisines; I’ve tried my hand at Thai, Indian, Chinese, and Mexican (just like Grandma used to make). So thankful for YouTube. Whenever I need help, usually with knife skills, I turn to the Tube. But, truth be told, I like mixing cocktails more than cooking.
Back to work!
01/09/2018 at 6:26 am #30081
- Location: Port Royal, SC
Lowcountry FF Jan 1-7, 2017
Total Items in Store: 690
Items Sold: 39
Cost of Items Sold: $73.00
Total Sales: $831.93
Highest Price Sold: $120.00 (vintage 1960s VERY MOD dress)
Average Price Sold: $21.33
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $111
Number of items listed this week: 19
Most items were sold for under $30 I had two high sales of a $120 vintage dress and a $90 pair of designer shoes (Delman). I had bought 22 pairs of designer shoes (Delman, Rangoni, Ferragamo) in September at a Charleston auction for $220 and have sold three now for $90, $90, and $80.
Everything else was gloves, belts, small pillows, Stampin’ It Up lot…
I tried to go to auction last Thursday night and then Saturday, but they were iced out down here in SC; we don’t have snowplows or salt trucks so the roads were stilly slippery until yesterday. So this Sat’s auction in Charleston will be massive; I’m trying to decide if everyone else is going to go now too, or if I should go to a promising estate sale that same morning. There are 12 great Persian runners/rugs at the auction, so perhaps I can snag one for cheap to sell high. My auction does the reverse and sells all individual items first, then table lots at the end.
There is an auction tonight at 5:30 pm, about an hour away, that has a lot of green Fire-King restaurant-ware. I’m debating today on whether to drive out there and take a chance that at least some of the lots will go cheaper. I have my three year old with me, so I really have to think hard about it. I might say what the hell and give it a go.
01/09/2018 at 9:01 am #30093
Week of 12/31-1/6
Total Items in Store: 1,658
Number of Items Listed: 66
Number of Items Sold: 62
(Includes 0 Etsy, 0 Bonanza, 1 TrueGether)
Weekly STR: 16%
Total Product Sales: $1,732
Cost of Items Sold: $333
Gross Profit for Week: $1,099
Highest Item Sold: $89 – Harris Tweed Handwoven Scottish Wool Tweed Sport Coat
Competition: Highest Priced Sale: Troy wins the week and starts the year in the lead 1-0.
# Listed: 954
# Sold: 43
# Listed: 91
# Sold: 2
eBay Hard Goods
# Listed: 704
# Sold: 19
Etsy Hard Goods
# Listed: 123
# Sold: 0
Starting out the week behind in our listing goal (150). Only good news is that it is because of my contract job needing me for three days. We were also spending a lot of time getting moved into our storage unit. We are about 40% into a 10′ x 30′ unit. Shelving is in, labeled, and Veronica and my oldest son were packing and labeling items for them to move. Our process is that hard goods will get packaged up and ready for delivery, labeled with the name and SKU, and taken to the storage unit. When the item sells, we print the label, go to the unit, attach the label and drop off on the way home. Process started this week with two items selling that were over there. Veronica liked that hey, they are already boxed and ready to ship!
01/09/2018 at 11:27 am #30118
When I first started selling for real on ebay, I prepackaged everything. Once I got over 100 items in inventory I started the bins system and quit prepacking. Two years later I still have 3-4 things still prepacked from those days in a deep dark corner of my storage building.
I still have some hard goods that I’ve been putting off listing forever. I need to bite the bullet and get them listed, but also prepacked so I don’t ever have to dread the shipping part.
01/09/2018 at 10:40 am #30098
I have a question for my fellow scavengers. Jay and Ryanne haven’t commented very much on this topic, but it does appear in the blog comments. The issue is eBay’s promoted listings. I have to admit that I have a bad attitude concerning eBay’s promoted listing feature. To me, it appears to be nothing more than another eBay fee. I realize eBay is “promoting” my item because I am paying them a fee, but shouldn’t they be doing this just for being part of the eBay inventory without the fee? If certain listings are given priority in search results because the sellers pay an additional fee then my non-promoted item is given second-class citizen status because I am not paying the fee.
If promoted listings didn’t exist then search results would be based on listing that had the best words in the listing title or eBay specifics and the seller’s reputation. Now, with eBay promoted listings you can circumvent those attributes and just buy your way into the best search results.
I get it that this is another revenue stream for eBay, but it seems counterproductive to me.
I have a few listings with PL since I get (I think) $30/quarter from eBay to spend on PLs.
01/09/2018 at 10:59 am #30106
We have started using Promoted Listings quite heavily, and we sell about 90+ items a month using them.
Is it a revenue stream for eBay? Yep. Does it move you up in search? Yep. Does that bother me? Nope.
Their platform, their rules. They have the eyeballs, so I have to play within their parameters (Bonanza has a similar setup, but we don’t pay it ’cause they ain’t got the eyeballs).
Do I wish that they didn’t have it at all? Sure. But when the rules of the game change, I change my tactics.
I don’t mind the extra fees at all. I could always just try Shopify or my own site, but it takes years and tons of money to advertise to get people to your site. And since I only pay when something sells, it is a great deal.
We had that Dicken’s Village up for almost 2 years…but it sold through the Promoted Listing.
01/09/2018 at 11:27 am #30117
Brian B: .. You hit the nail right on the head. And T-Satt said it just right also and just the way we feel. We use PL for all of our 900 ++ items and our report is showing most of our sales are coming from within the grouping of PL. It is what it is.
Think of this, isn’t that the same as buying an advertisement in the newspaper, Largest ad costs more and gets bigger space. Home Advisor and Angie’s List work the same, pay more and as a home handyman or service provider you get presented and promoted in more zip codes for a fee, buy up into any service and get more juice. Those that buy million dollar minutes at Superbowl get presented, no pay no see. Just the way it works.
So I think it works this way in almost any e-commerce offering on a wide offering format site.
mike at mdc galleries in atl.
01/09/2018 at 11:36 am #30122
Mike and T-Satt, what percentage do you set your PLs at if you don’t mind me asking? I’ve dabbled in promoted listings when they were first introduced but was hesitant to really use it until I got other sellers’ opinions.
01/09/2018 at 11:45 am #30127
No problem DT:.. We use 6% mostly. Ebay has a drop down menu that shows the trends / averages being used by most sellers by the categories that items are listed in. We see some way higher and some lower. But in Vintage, Collectibles, Home Decor the trend is 5% to 6%. High end fine art and real costly antiques are some of the higher ones but can’t remember how much.
mike at mdcg in atl.
01/09/2018 at 12:13 pm #30131
We have stayed at 5%. I see the trending rate on shoes is up to 11%, and I have seen men’s clothing go up close to that as well. I want to keep where we are as a baseline before moving up if I feel we need to.
01/09/2018 at 4:03 pm #30173
Thanks! That’s about where I would like to try it out at and it’s good to know that you’re having success at that percentage.
01/09/2018 at 9:21 pm #30192
I love promoted listings too. Since my post at the very top about my ebay top 10.
However, I have a feeling that promoted listings may have a short life if too many sellers jump in. Not sure how to define “short”, but I guess that depends on how many sellers jump in.
My reasoning for this is that if most everything is a promoted listing, then really nothing is a promoted listing.
But hey, I’m going for it well the getting is good. After it is over saturated, I may have to jump out, but it is great for now.
01/09/2018 at 10:26 pm #30195
I agree with you Mark S and we will never really know that saturation has occured because ebay would never reveal that. They would just spin it in such a way as to make it desirable to pay a higher or another fee to have them do what they are supposed to be doing in the first place and what store owners already pay for by paying their monthly store fees and final value fees – promote our items.
- This reply was modified 1 week, 2 days ago by AdventureE.
01/09/2018 at 3:43 pm #30170
Jay and Ryanne,
Ugh. I recently decided to stop selling clothes and pulled most of my inventory to give to another seller. In the process, I discovered a bunch of listings for items I had previously listed with GTC had just disappeared. Today, I was pulling an item to ship and noticed another item I hadn’t seen in a while. I was pretty sure I hadn’t seen it in my listings. Sure enough, I looked it up and it was gone. In a few months, my husband is going to retire and one of his new jobs is to help with ebay. We are going to do a complete inventory to see how many items are no longer listed. Right now, I’m thinking it could be as much as 5%.
01/10/2018 at 11:00 am #30225
Week December 31-January 6, 2018
Total Items in Store: 845
Items Sold: 18 (1 Amazon)
Cost of Items Sold: $110 (17.3% of sales)
Total Sales: $636.41 (+$815 of scrap 14k gold jewelry I sold for a family member)
Highest Price Sold: $80 (2) (1979 Empire Strikes Back Tauntaun and c1950s CAT Puffer Vest)
Average Price Sold: $35.36
Returns: 0 (1 NPB though)
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
Number of items listed this week: 7
Promoted listings test: 6 sales, $215.96 (33.9% of total sales), $12.25 fees (5.7% of sales)
Sales kept on truckin’ post holiday. Gonna assume most of my sales were “self gifting” – lots of records, some vintage toys, etc. The Star Wars Tautaun was part of the high end toy lot I bought last year, bought that piece for about $25 so only 3x my money but keeps nicer things in my store. The CAT puffer vest on the other hand was a nice $1 garage sale find that sold for $80 after about 6 months, headed to Japan.
Building off of R&J’s comments in the show, I’ve also noticed that my “normal” weeks are much higher than this time a year ago. Yes, I have a bit of bigger store, but I’m going to have to think that eBay’s optimizations and getting out of Google’s doghouse have to be driving more traffic. Last year $300-$500 was normal and now I’m more like $600-$800 as being the norm. I’ll take it.
Any watch/Rolex experts in the forums? I took a stab at buying a box lot of watches at an auction. Paid up at $350 because it looks like there are 3 Rolexes in there. Obviously a big concern and big difference in money if they’re real. Looking for reliable sources online that I can check serial numbers, things to look out for on fakes, etc. Fingers crossed.
01/10/2018 at 1:36 pm #30243
On the Rolex watches, there are some very good fakes out there but mostly modern ones like Submariners, Presidents etc. If it’s an older oyster perpetual or doesn’t have a screw down crown it’s a good bet it authentic.
Easy fake identifiers are quartz movements or skeleton (see thru) backs. Take it to a jeweler/dealer, they’ll open the back and tell you right away.
01/10/2018 at 3:02 pm #30260
Brian TFG: Like Steven S stated. A fast, quick check is most fake Rolex’s have a second hand that jumps, second by second. Real Rolexs have a smooth, constant sweeping second hand.
01/10/2018 at 4:34 pm #30269
Thanks guys. I’m absolutely going to take to a jeweler, but also want to do my research online first so I sound at least slightly educated. Knew about the smooth second hand movement, but good point on the quartz callouts. Any suggestions on serial number lookup sites? Found this site but the past 7 years of “random” serial numbers freaks me out a little bit.
01/10/2018 at 11:36 am #30230
Jay and Ryanne in previous podcasts you’ve talked about using Google when you talk on phone at home. Do you still do that now that you are using Ting? I have Ting but lately have been on the phone a lot and even my Ting bill is getting too high. I want to try out what you were referring to. Can you explain it a bit? Is it Google Voice?
01/10/2018 at 9:00 pm #30283
so with Ting you pay for what you use. so if you use less minutes, you pay less. so yes we use Google Voice and the Google Hangouts plug-in for Chrome to make phone calls when we’re at home to save on minutes. it helps a lot!
01/10/2018 at 9:17 pm #30285
Thanks Ryanne. My Ting bill has been creeping up because I’ve been spending more time than usual on the phone. I think I will try out Google Voice. Keepin’ those bills low!
01/11/2018 at 8:38 am #30295
We have family in Hong Kong and Scotland at present. We talk/video/text for free with What’s App. It works perfectly all the time—so much better than anything else we’ve tried. How do they make any money on these free apps??? Of course the person on the other end has to have the same app for it to work. Would be nice if everyone had it!
01/11/2018 at 9:23 am #30301
WhatsApp may be free to you, but it’s not free to everyone. In some countries, it costs $0.99 to download. In some places, it’s free to download and free for the first year, then $0.99 per year. While that can add up to $500MM-$700MM, it’s a drop in the bucket to the $19B that Facebook paid to acquire the app a couple years ago.
The real revenue comes from ad sales. No, there are no ads in the app, but because they’re now owned by FB, they can use the data gather from your location, the location of the people you’re talking to, etc for ad targeting. They estimate 42B messages sent per day, that’s a lot of data points. The more data points, the more stable ad targeting becomes on FB’s ad supported platforms (FB proper, Instagram, Oculus, etc).
01/11/2018 at 11:29 am #30308
Thank you Linda! I will have a look at that one too.
01/11/2018 at 3:32 pm #30321
instant pot, Instant pot, Instant pot….
I don’t get it! Isn’t this just another name for a pressure cooker????? Sounds like a lot of marketing hype for an item thats been around for a long time.
We’ve had a pressure cooker for years and love it (one with electronics, not the older “manual” style) but can someone please explain the difference to me? I’m just so confused!!
01/11/2018 at 4:22 pm #30331
From what I understand, an Instant Pot is just like any electric pressure cooker. But there are different settings that other pressure cookers may or may not have like rice and saute and slow cook. You can probably replace “Instant Pot” with “Pressure Cooker” in any IP recipe. It may in fact be marketing hype that’s causing you to hear about it so much lately. But having never owned a pressure cooker before, I can’t rave enough about mine. It reminds me of the “Air Fryer” craze. It’s really just a smaller glorified convection oven with a pull out drawer. But I have one and it’s really nice.
01/11/2018 at 5:36 pm #30332
The main difference for us…you can’t pressure can with the Instapot. That is a no-go for us.
But it sounds like a great deal for those that don’t want to pressure can Food. Much easier to use…
01/11/2018 at 10:22 pm #30361
Posting a bit late.
Jan 1 – Jan 6 2018
Total items in store: 408 Etsy // Ebay 564
Items Sold: Etsy 12 // Ebay 9
Cost of items Sold: Etsy $23.23 // Ebay $37.74
Total Sales: Etsy $140.20 // Ebay $128.91 ((Total = $269.11))
Highest Price Sold: Ertl Tractor model $30
Average Price Sold: $12.81
Number of items listed this week: 27 (at $365)
Well January 2018 has started out not so great, I got back from my holiday trip last Tuesday and have been sick since Wednesday. :/ I was so excited to get back from the trip and get back into listing on eBay and getting things rolling again. Instead this week has been filled with trying to recuperate from sickness, Dr. appointment, Dentist appointment, catching up on the usual house chores, and a snow day (= no childcare) so it has been very frustrating. I should look at things from a different perspective and say “hey, at least you can be flexible with your time and take care of yourself and your family.” But it is hard when on the flipside I want to make my business more successful and it always seems to be the lowest priority.
01/11/2018 at 10:38 pm #30362
- Location: Ohio
My numbers for the week of 12/31/17:
Total Items in Store: 116
Items Sold: 13
Cost of Items Sold: $39
Total Sales: $501 + shipping
Highest Price Sold: $212 – Mercury Glass Christmas Tree Set
Average Price Sold: $38.54
I have decided to go for it in 2018! I have been very part time so far and now my kids are getting older. For years I have been going back and forth in my mind of whether to go back to regular employment or to see what I can do if I was more serious with eBay. I’ve decided to stick with eBay. My listing goals are to do double what I did last year. Hoping my sales will follow suit!
I like hearing about your latest recipes. I actually went to Johnson & Wales University and have a degree in Culinary Arts. Decided it was definitely more a hobby than a career fit for me. And ironically my husband is the definition of a meat and potatoes guy. No fancy sauces for him! I just make them and leave all the flavor off of his portion, and we’re all happy.
01/12/2018 at 11:04 am #30372
- Location: Georgia
I was an extra in one episode of Halt and Catch Fire season 2. I was pretty much over doing that type of work but since my husband loved the show, I worked on it one time. For period pieces extras have to go in for a wardrobe fitting a few days before. The office for the fitting was decorated in all kinds of furniture and props from the 80s that were used in prior episodes. I wanted to take it all to flip on ebay. It was incredible, especially the old gaming consoles and t.v. Day of the shoot was incredibly long. Almost every extra in the Atlanta area was there. It was for a large crowd scene that was supposed to be a shareholders conference. It took 10 to 12 hours just to get everyone through hair and makeup. I was one of the very first to get styled. My hair was done up very bouffant as the scene was not only taking place in the 80s, but in 1980s Texas! A 1/2 can of of aerosol hairspray later and my head was quite flammable. The makeup artist got very carried away trying to recreate Brooke Shields era eyebrows. I already have pretty bold eyebrows to start with. I was a walking bouffant hair piece with eyebrows that could be seen from a mile away. Other extras were literally stopping in their tracks when they saw me. The hair and makeup people dialed back a little bit after I was styled. Finally everyone was ready, we packed into a hotel conference center for the shoot. They took a bunch of shots of the crowd as we all pretended to be up in arms about some kind of software malfunctioning during what was supposed to be a live demo at this shareholders conference. From start to finish, extras were onsite probably 18 to 20 hours. At the end, I tried to de-bouffant my hair and scrub off the brows before heading back out into the real world to drive home. But it was a futile effort. And after all of that they only used about 1 second of the footage and I think if I pause the show at just the right millisecond I can see part of myself. Bummer.
01/12/2018 at 2:57 pm #30381
Great story Julie. Lucky an errant cigarette didn’t light you up
like a candle. That might’ve got you more screen time.
I’m really having trouble getting into this season, the characters are becoming more and more unlikable, to me anyway.
01/12/2018 at 1:37 pm #30374
Jay, as you said 500 items, is a milestone. We hit that milestone this week! I think we should have badges for milestones, like they do in the boy scouts, I mean we worked our booties off to get to 500 items and we made it!
We list a lot faster now and the sales have picked up in the last few days since we hit the 500 items mark. Just in the last four days, our net profit on items sold is 383.00.
Thanks you to everyone that has encouraged us through your posts and of course to Jay and Ryanne who have been steadfast and unwavering in their convictions.
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