01/15/2018 at 8:37 am #30463
Whatever business we happen to be working on (eBay, rentals, video), the process is the same- lots of little steps and actions make the end goals a
[See the full post at: Scavenger Life Episode 343: Our Business = Little Things Every Day]
01/15/2018 at 9:28 am #30465Mark SParticipant
01/07/18 – 01/13/18
Total Items In Store: 2,117
Items Sold: 29
Cost of Items Sold: $100 (around)
Total Sales: $1191.44
Highest Price Sold: $117 – Motorcycle Boots
Average Price Sold: $ 41.08
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $ 13
Number of Items listed this week: 71
Another great week of sales with Promoted Listings leading the way.
I am on a new listing campaign for my store. I am planning on investing about $7000 into my store between now and the end of April. I had about 1000 items all ready to list, but just sitting in containers. I estimated that I was losing at least $1500\month in revenue from this. So,
I have challenged my lister to list 250 items a month and pay a premium when they hit a certian point for the month. Also, I have hired a photographer which will get even more items listed. My goal is 3000 items by May.
This week was round 2 at the common estate sale at a lower end house. After researching common items from the 1920’s – 1970’s, I had a better idea of what had value and what didn’t. So I went back on the 50% off sale (full price was already a great deal). I ended up getting 4 full boxes for $13! I have only gone through the first 2 of the 4 boxes and have found $825 worth of items. Of course, they are mostly going to be long tail unique vintage items. But isn’t that the kind we all love? I know I do.
Last week was my top 10 keys for success. This week is my top 10 things for ebay to do now (well, I had to put 12 in). See my post below.
01/15/2018 at 9:31 am #30466Mark SParticipant
Training and strreamline process for Support
1. Train your customer support. All of them should be like the support people the anchor stores receive.
2. All employees should have a consistent message.
I shouldn’t call 3 times and get 3 totally different answers to the same question.
3. Every major detail of a call should be logged and accessible to all support people.
4. Communicate all major changes well in advance in as many ways as possible.
5. Come up with 1 rule book. It seems like I have to hunt for the “little details.”
Process and Identity
6. Don’t change the rules and then make me do a ton of work do comply.
Like, removing watermarks from pictures. Adding UPC codes after the fact.
7. Don’t try to be like Amazon, be yourself and be proud of it!
8. Make it mandatory that every employee read 2 books: 1. Good to Great by Jim Collins
and 2. Raving Fans by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles
Then have company discussions to see what should change.
Listen to your sellers
9. Have the CEO or Griff actually meet with real sellers and find out what they are saying.
10. Take ideas from the sellers and implement 1 idea per month.
My favorite is J&R’s set a date for when you will be back from vacation and then
make it an automatic count down timer till the day you start shipping.
11. You are basically a software company. It is time to rewrite all of your systems into one cohiesive site. The site looks and behaves like a mom and pop shop that don’t have any money to fix all of their technical debt so they just live with it.
12. Don’t make me pay for things I should already get for free.
For example, data older than 3 months.
01/15/2018 at 9:36 am #30468
01/15/2018 at 9:46 am #30472Linda ShieldsParticipant
- Location: St. Louis
There’s a weird green box over this again—I’ve seen it happen before. Jay, maybe notify your website guy?
01/15/2018 at 10:26 am #30474simplicioParticipant
Happy Monday all!
My month at home continues to be fun, great to be with the kids all day. I have managed to do a little sourcing, though not at my preferred locations so much. There are some big online auctions coming up shortly though that I am pretty excited about.
Sales: CAD$710, 7 items (COGS $93, item profit $508)
Listed: 13 items
Notable sales: fancy ceiling fan (Monte Carlo brand) $5–>$250, sattellite dish $1–>$80 locally
Notable buys: lot of 8 beat-up headsets by a fancy brand, hoping for $500 or so
01/15/2018 at 10:40 am #30476DoublythumbsParticipant
- Location: Hopedale, OH
Total Items in Store: 1086
Items Sold: 30
Total Sales: $1,281
Highest Price: $350 (Vintage Western Electric 6A Audiometer Hearing Tester)
Average Price: $43
Cost of Items Sold: $66
Costs of Items Purchased this Week: $0
Another great week for me! I don’t know if my mailman either loves or hates me by now. There’s always a pile of packages for him to pick up.
I had my first return in a long while. It was a VHS-C to VHS Cassette Adapter. The buyer said that it arrived damaged and wouldn’t work. I had him send it back of course. When I received it, I couldn’t find anything wrong with it, though I don’t have any vhs-c cassettes to adequately test it. I’m suspecting he needed to transfer a tape but just wanted to “borrow” the converter. When I find one of those cassettes, I’ll test it to know for sure and just relist it. But it’s annoying regardless and I’m out shipping costs
So I spent my whole Saturday organizing and taking photos of old 1960s advertising ephemera. It’ll be an experiment to see if there’s any interest. I found a medium sized crate of all of this ephemera at an estate sale. It was hidden away up in an attic for years. I only paid a few bucks for the whole thing. It’s mostly from a local paper product company that’s no longer in business. So while it’s not exciting stuff like car or soda ads, I’m hoping it’ll interest at least some people.
01/15/2018 at 11:00 am #30479almastyParticipant
I’ve only listened to the first few minutes of the podcast, but I think I understand the mindset of the people contacting ya’ll asking for help. They believe that if they can quit their jobs, work for themselves and do everything on their own, that somehow all of the problems in their personal lives will simply disappear. What they don’t realize is that even if they work for themselves, they’ll still have all of their problems. That is something that goes way beyond selling on the internet. It sounds like people are asking for free therapy on top of selling advice.
Selling on the internet does not make the problems in your life go away – it exacerbates them if you have to go go out on a limb to pay for rent/mortgage, food, health care, stock, everything on your own with no support net and if you are already having a hard time finding stock, getting it listed and selling on the internet. It is not some magical cure-all.
In terms of the everyday little tasks that need to get done, I actually purchased one of those Rifle Paper Co planners this year. For each weekday, they have this two-column space you can fill in your to do lists for the day. I’ve started putting in what I need to get done on the left-hand column, and filling in on the right-hand column what I have actually gotten done for the day, or the results of previous work on that day. For selling online, I’ll write “listed 30 items on Ebay today,” or “25 packages went out today.” Just little notes of encouragement to myself that my seemingly small efforts are actually paying off in the long-run.
01/15/2018 at 11:08 am #30481GeoffParticipant
Have not had a chance to listen to the podcast yet as doing some family activities but looking forward to this evening. Matched last weeks sales on an item sold basis. Made some large purchases at a local auction – which could have been a lot larger as I bid pretty high on some art work however lost out to some phone bidders. Nonetheless got some higher dollar items I am excited about in the inventory which I believe I bought well.
1/7/18 – 1/14/18
Total Listing in store (beginning of week): 967
Total items (including multiple item listings): 1088
Value of inventory listed beginning of week: $30,223.22
Value if inventory listed end of week: $33,417.51
Items sold: 28
Weekly sell through (based on number of listings): % 2.90
Total Sales: $837.22 (shipping backed out)
Average price: $29.90
Cost of items sold: $232.92
average cost of item sold (pre fees): $8.32
Gross profit: $604.30
Highest item sold: Cello Case sold $395 cost $150
New items listed: 28
Asking price of new items listed: $ $4,954.95
Cost of new items listed: $1,148.25
average ask of newly list: $176.96
average cost of newly list: $ $41.01
01/15/2018 at 11:12 am #30482
Week January 7-13, 2018
Total Items in Store: 850
Items Sold: 20 (2 Amazon)
Cost of Items Sold: $196 (21.2% of sales)
Total Sales: $923.78
Highest Price Sold: $199.99 (1962 Barbie)
Average Price Sold: $46.19
Returns: 0 (1 NPB though)
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $325
Number of items listed this week: 17
Promoted listings test: 14 sales, $725.81 (78.6 of total sales), $43.14 fees (5.9% of sales)
Strong sales continue, along with my highest avg price sold I’ve had in a long time. Sold two of those vintage Barbies, plus one of the last vintage Star Wars toys from the lot I bought last year.
Picks were pretty incredible, ended up at 3 estate sales on Saturday – got a 1966 Disneyland map/poster, 1897 card game, some large church keys, a victorian photo album & photos, plus tons of bread & butter stuff.
Now that we’re completely closed on 2017, I’m calculating all my sales/COGS/etc. In a separate post in a few minutes, I’ll summarize my 2017 including best & worst buys.
01/15/2018 at 12:33 pm #30488
2017 Year End Totals
– Total Items Sold: 978
– Total Sales: $37,563
– Cost of Items Sold: $7,203 (19.2% of sales)
– Estimated Net Profit after Fees/Taxes: $23,300
– Best Sale (Highest Price Sold): $499.99 (lot of grammaphone records)
– Best Sales (Highest Net Profit): $404.99 (lot of grammaphone records) & $300 (Beatles record carry case)
– Best Sales (Highest % Profit): 11427% (Neil Young & Crazy Horse Everybody Knows this is Nowhere LP, paid $0.70 sold for $79.99) & 10557% (3 BASF Chrome Maxima Cassettes, paid $0.45 sold for $47.99)
– Worst Sale (Biggest Net Loss): -$87.50 (Seth Thomas Mantle Clock)
– Worst Sale (Lowest % Profit): -30% (Seth Thomas Mantle Clock)
– Best Month (Total Sales): $3700 (May)
– Best Month (Highest % Profit): 792% (January)
– Worst Month (Lowest Sales): $1863 (February)
– Worst Month (Lowest % Profit): 188% (October)
– Average Price Sold: $38.41
– Total Donations/Write-off Purchases: $487
– Promoted listings test: 415 sales, $15,012.74 (39.9% of total sales), $856.73 fees (5.7% of sales)
Best year I’ve had in total sales & net profits. 2015 had a higher % profit margin, but sales were slightly less than half of 2017. I’ve also expanded into higher quality items that may cost a bit more but also command a higher price.
Cache Updates – some of the times I went “all in” in 2017
– March – at the same sale I bought 3 Celtics jackets & 1 Red Sox jacket for $40, sold for $590 total
– March – bought a box lot of 73 records for $325, have sold 58 for $1584
– March – bought a box of vintage 12 Zippos for $75, have sold 8 for $290
– May – bought a lot of family vacation slides for $20, sold for $180
– June – bought a box of 14 vintage locks for $50, have sold 7 for $222
– August – bought 52 Beatles records from a collector for $750, have sold 41 for $1769
– October – bought 24 1960s Barbies for $1300, have sold 14 for $2423
01/15/2018 at 12:44 pm #30498
Total Items In Store: 429
Items Sold: 5
Cost of Items Sold: $30 + $6 free shipping
Total Sales: $128
Highest Price Sold: $34 Dr. Seuss Hallmark Figurine; Cost $0, a gift received long ago)
Average Price Sold: $25
Returns: 1 $93 RA pajamas – Didn’t like
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: About $20 thrift stop + RA additional markdown sale $150
Number of Items listed this week: 41
Well a weird week and not a good one at all for making money. We have the tragic nearby mudslide that is very disruptive to my day job plus Ebay was dreadfully slow. RA items are not moving at all compared to a great January last year. Not sure what is up with that. No politics but between absorbing the flood news, the national political news, and handling some kid arrangements I found myself very distracted and disturbed needing to absorb it all. On the bright side I did sit down to list 4 times this week and got through a couple of boxes of death piles. Just keep listing, just keep listing…
01/15/2018 at 12:44 pm #30499LeNyttenParticipant
Items in store: 181
Items sold: 7
Total Sales: $182.16
Highest price: $80.00 (1970s Ashbrooke Studios Drip Painting)
New inventory cost: 0
Items listed: 8
I hesitate to post numbers for my fledgling store since it’s still so small, but I decided to check my ego and put it out there for accountability’s sake.
A flooded basement got in the way of my listing goal for the week — we had to vacuum up about 170 gallons of water & then deal with the remaining mess. I’m so glad I had access to a giant shop vac.
My stretch goal for the week is to get my listings up to 200, which probably sounds like a piece of cake, but for me it will be a feat.
Hope we all meet our goals this week.
01/15/2018 at 12:47 pm #30501
We all started with an inventory of 0. It’s one item at a time.
Where do you live where it flooded?
01/15/2018 at 1:04 pm #30505
Santa Barbara, a small coastal city of about 90k. Montecito you are seeing on the news one of two uber-wealthy enclaves / suburbs at the South end of town. Between the December fires and the mudslides, the local economy is definitely affected.
01/15/2018 at 1:08 pm #30508
Yep, I know California has seen floods.
Is that where LeNytten lives? I was responding to his/her comment of a flooded basement.
01/15/2018 at 1:11 pm #30511
01/15/2018 at 2:33 pm #30526LeNyttenParticipant
I’m in Missouri and it didn’t actually flood here, we just had a couple days of rain/sleet. I think the water came down fast enough & the ground was frozen enough that the water pooled up by my foundation and found its way inside.
01/15/2018 at 5:37 pm #30532
01/16/2018 at 10:42 am #30556Linda ShieldsParticipant
- Location: St. Louis
I live in Eureka Mo. it was zero this morning. But the first peek of sunshine in days. A friend in St. charles had to spend 4 days at a hotel due to a flooded basement from frozen pipes. Always turn off the water lines to the outside spigots and remove the hoses in the fall!
01/15/2018 at 12:54 pm #30502anniethriftsParticipant
Great podcast and commenting on the television props…Ryanne’s right, a lot of shows have auctions. The show Turn had a huge one last year in Virginia. I wish I could’ve gone to it, but wasn’t able to.
01/15/2018 at 1:32 pm #30515
Week of 1/7-1/13
Total Items in Store: 1,684
Number of Items Listed: 65
Number of Items Sold: 67
(Includes 2 Etsy, 1 Bonanza, 1 TrueGether)
Weekly STR: 17%
Total Product Sales: $2,035
Cost of Items Sold: $374
Highest Item Sold: $125 – Bespoke Tom James Hand Tailored Suit
Competition: Highest Priced Sale: Troy wins the week and starts the year in the lead 2-0.
# Listed: 983
# Sold: 36
# Listed: 91
# Sold: 5
eBay Hard Goods
# Listed: 701
# Sold: 29
Etsy Hard Goods
# Listed: 119
# Sold: 2
Second slow listing week in a row, this time because we were getting our youngest son moved out to his new place in downtown Denver and getting started at college. Feels a lot different around the house now…Veronica and I are officially Empty Nesters…
We had our second refund we had to process due to International Shipping losing a package, this time in Russia. We are now going to shift over to the Global Shipping Program this week. We also will be changing our shipping costs (we do flat rate shipping) this week to get ready for the change in costs from the USPS.
- This reply was modified 3 years, 10 months ago by T-Satt.
01/15/2018 at 2:06 pm #30522
We used to always ship First Class internationally. But not having tracking is a killer. Once we got hit with a couple “lost items:, we also joined GSP. It’s really a no brainer for us.
01/15/2018 at 4:15 pm #30528
Agree. We even had the tracking in Moscow…but stopped at out for delivery, no delivery confirmation. 90% chance that he has the item, but I have no proof.
01/15/2018 at 5:35 pm #30531
Yeah, we had buyers where we assumed they actually got the item, but we couldnt prove it without delivery tracking.
01/15/2018 at 2:01 pm #30521
My year started off slow, and this weekend has been pretty slow as well. However, I had stopped listing about 2 weeks before Christmas and didn’t restart listing until half way into the first week of January. So, finally, this week, sales did pick up. I hope the trend continues!
Week of Jan 7 – 13
* Total Items in Store: 1182
* Items Sold: 17
* Cost of Items Sold: $36.90 + $5.50 Commission
* Total Sales: $520.10
* Highest Price Sold: $231.90 – 6 x 5pc Fiesta Ware place settings
* Average Price Sold: $30.59
* Returns: 0
* Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
* Number of items listed this week: 34
01/15/2018 at 2:16 pm #30525
I should also mention that I decided to drop some items and donate them. Clear glass doesn’t sell very well at all. Even crystal doesn’t sell so much. I’m not ready to get rid of crystal, but I gathered some clear glass stuff and removed them from my store. They take up space and just aren’t worth it.
01/15/2018 at 4:45 pm #30529AdventureEParticipant
Just listened to the podcast and wanted to comment on the caller who identified the buyer who chose to refuse the package as a way of returning it. Refused packages do have a longer post office processing and delivery time span. As for ebay, refusing a package takes the buyer outside of ebay coverage and due to the fact that the seller put it in writing that the buyer was to follow the ebay return process (which the buyer chose not to do) the case will most likely be closed in the seller’s favor. The seller may want to call ebay about this sale. If a negative feedback is given (depending on what is said) the seller can call ebay and ask for it to be removed. If ebay will not remove it, the seller can follow-up with a professional message based on what the buyer has said.
01/15/2018 at 10:58 pm #30538DianneNHParticipant
Ryanne- So funny to hear you worked on Zoom! Sopo dopoes thopat mopean yopou copan spopeak opop lopangopuage?
01/16/2018 at 2:59 pm #30567HabnabParticipant
I’m sure Ryanne worked on the second incarnation of Zoom… not the one I remember. I still have my “Do a Zoom Do” book around here someplace. Make tortillas! Sew your own dashiki! Carve an apple head doll and melt some crayon shavings between sheets of wax paper with an iron! Let’s put on striped rugby shirts and party like it’s 1976!
01/16/2018 at 7:06 pm #30594
the 1970s ZOOM was amazing!! the kids literally ran around the WGBH studio barefoot with tangled dirty hair, it was incredible and so 70s. but yes i worked on the early 00’s (very clean and tidy) version.
come on and ZOOM ZOOM ZOOM-ado!
01/16/2018 at 7:03 pm #30593
ha ha, no but all the writers and producers could!
01/15/2018 at 11:08 pm #30539
RR Store Week Jan 7-13, 2017
Total Items in Store: 1420
Items Sold: 34
Cost of Items Sold: $27.09
Total Sales: $549.68
Highest Price Sold: $62.99 (70’s ruffled tuxedo shirt)
Average Price Sold: $16.17
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $79
Number of items listed this week: 24
So it’s embarrassing to admit, but I’ve been without a car since Fall of 2016. Since then, I’ve been relying on my girlfriend, Lyft, the bus, and friends to help me with sourcing inventory. It has completely sucked. I could only source once or twice a week, and even then usually just for a few hours. I was always hoping that the one estate sale I could attend was a good one, as that was likely the most buying I would be doing for the week. But, all this has finally changed; I got a new (to me) car last Thursday. Nothing fancy: a 2002 Honda CR-V. Over the weekend, I hit five estate sales and half a dozen thrift stores. At long last, I can source the way I should have been this whole time. Now that I’m mobile again, I’m going to try my best to make awful weeks like this a thing of the past.
Funny that props were mentioned. I sold three items to prop houses/art departments last week and another item today. One was a 50’s calendar for “Mr. Robot”, but that’s the only one that named the show. Back in the late 90’s, I went to a wardrobe sale for “Prefontaine” and gobbled up at least 20 pairs of vintage and contemporary Adidas, plus wardrobe; just sold the last of them in December. Back in 2006, I went to the taping of the last episode of “That 70’s Show” and the subsequent wrap party. I found out that we missed the wardrobe sale, which was almost all vintage. But I did get some props and set decor, so that was cool.
01/16/2018 at 1:04 am #30541ritabradParticipant
- Location: California
Paul, congrats on the new car! I appreciate your honesty about your struggles. It helps me because I have struggles of my own. Mostly analysis paralysis. Hope to get my itty bitty numbers posted soon. It will be fun to see my eventual improvement. I’m not quitting, even if I don’t get better.
01/16/2018 at 8:08 am #30547
You were in LA without a car!!!!!
Self-driving cars are coming soon. None of us will need them.
Glad you got your groove back.
01/17/2018 at 2:58 am #30617
Jay: Thanks a lot. And no kidding, right?! It was awful. Thankfully there’s a Trader Joe’s within walking distance. But my girlfriend Jessica is the real MVP. Taking me to estate sales and thrift stores, picking me up for grocery shopping, and never giving me a hard time about it. She’s a keeper.
ritabrad: Thank you as well! And as for sharing, well, this scavenger life we’ve chosen definitely has its ups and downs. This is a very honest space, and not driving was a very real part of my life for a long time. It was difficult, but somehow I made it work, usually by the skin of my teeth. If others see that it can be done, in spite of such a situation, hopefully it will be encouraging.
As for your analysis paralysis, it’s a common problem, especially for new sellers. Remember, not everything has to be an exact match. If you have a purple shirt by Brand X but there aren’t any other purple ones, see what other colors sold for. Sometimes getting a sense of the market is enough; you don’t have to be perfectly spot on. And if you have something really unique and cool, do as Ryanne suggested: price it super high and see what happens. I do that often, and am sometimes surprised by how much I get. You have the right attitude…just keep it going. Looking forward to seeing your numbers!
01/15/2018 at 11:49 pm #30540
Another note about production and props/wardrobe: if the show is high profile enough, the studio will hire a third party to auction off the items to the public. I worked at the “Battlestar Galactica” auction held over two weekends in 2009. They auctioned off anything that wasn’t nailed down, from full size ships all the way down to writing pens. Even back up props and wardrobe that weren’t screen used were sold. “Star Trek”, LOST”, and “Mad Men” have had similar auctions. I own a couple of “Star Trek” costumes; they were the villain-of-the-week costumes used on “Deep Space 9” and “Voyager”. I also got some unused fabric from “Battlestar Galactica”, the blue suiting material used to make some of the uniforms.
The wrap party for “That 70’s Show” was crazy. It partly took place on the sets, so we are all hanging out drinking in the living room, kitchen, basement, etc. As the night went on, we noticed people taking souvenirs from the set. So my friend and I did the same. Once the treasures were safely in the car, we went back and partied with the cast and crew into the night.
01/16/2018 at 2:42 am #30543The Thrift RaiderParticipant
I mentioned it in a past sold video and maybe on this blog but I had sold a ceramic pumpkin candle holder to the prop person on This Is Us. I was sooo excited lol. Wish more things would sell to places like that. I also got to go to a prop clothes sale for films here in Baton Rouge last summer. They had some great stuff even if some of it was too expensive for my taste. They were just needing to get rid of some stock I guess.
01/17/2018 at 3:10 am #30619
How fun! I also love selling to prop departments. Last year, I sold a pair of 50’s cat eye sunglasses to the wardrobe department for “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”. Sure wish I had Amazon so I could look for them on the show.
The dream would be to have a few art directors that called on me to find them specific pieces on a regular basis. That would be so cool.
01/16/2018 at 7:35 am #30546ChrisfromNJParticipant
I do the numbers on a monthly basis so here is half the month
Our Store 1st half of Jan 1-15, 2017
Total Items in our Stores: 1406
Items Sold: 118
Cost of Items Sold: $650
Total Sales: $4869
Average Price Sold: $41.26
Amazon FBA Store:
Total Items in our Store: 313
Items Sold: 44
Total Sales: $2402
Average Price Sold: $54.59
Cost of Items Sold: We make on avg 60% on amazon sales after cogs and amazon fees
01/16/2018 at 8:44 am #30549
Very nice on the Amazon sales! Is that RA items that you are picking up? Or items at Thrift Stores?
01/16/2018 at 9:57 am #30553ChrisfromNJParticipant
Amazon is 99% trash elf scavagened (thrift stores/yard sales/ etc) just like eBay. The retail arbitrage margins are way too thin for me on amazon and no fun anyhow.
01/16/2018 at 11:32 am #30559
Completely agree on RA. We tried that and it didn’t work.
You must be finding some good new items then! We don’t seem to find much that would go on Amazon. We may have to look harder…
01/16/2018 at 9:48 am #30552junque reduxParticipant
Thought I’d weigh in on the 20% taxable income reduction Jay talked about, since I just attended a webinar yesterday that discussed this.
This deduction is called the “qualified business income deduction”. The general way it works is that starting in 2018, you will get a deduction against taxable income equivalent to the lesser of:
a) 20% of “combined qualified business income”, which very generally means your aggregated income and losses from wholly owned and passthrough businesses (sole proprietorships, LLCs, partnerships, S Corps). Any business losses carried forward from prior years need to be included.
b) 20% of your TAXABLE income, not including capital gains and losses.
So to give a very simplistic example, let’s say I am a W-2 wage earner with a side ebay business. My total taxable income for 2018 (currently this is line 43 on the 1040) is $60K. My net income from ebay (sole proprietorship) is $10K of that. I have no carryforward losses or capital gains/losses. So my deduction will be the lesser of ($60K x 20% = $12K) OR ($10K x 20% = $2K). So in this scenario, my qualified business income deduction will be $2K, reducing my taxable income to $58K.
This deduction is against taxable income…it doesn’t reduce your adjusted gross income (AGI), which is the number that many limitations are calculated on. Also, there are some limitations on this deduction that kick in at higher levels of income that you should be aware of if you are in that situation.
I think the general idea with this deduction was to give some parity with the decrease in tax rates for C corporations. As Jay says, it certainly wasn’t done with an eye towards simplifying the tax code.
This is intended as general information only and is not meant to be construed as giving advice on your individual tax situation.
01/16/2018 at 10:23 am #30554
Ye, we can thank Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson for holding his support for the bill unless they agreed to a 20% tax break for small businesses. If not, it would have just been a bog payoff to large corporations. Still a big mess.
We will be meeting our tax accountant soon, but this is still an interesting conversation to have publicly.
So if a person gets a 1099 from Paypal of $100k, we get the 20% off AFTER we deduct expenses. m I reading your interpretation correctly?
01/16/2018 at 11:15 am #30557junque reduxParticipant
That’s my understanding. I also forgot to say earlier, this reduces your taxable income, but it’s not going to reduce your self-employment income for the purposes of SE tax.
01/16/2018 at 11:31 am #30558
Ah, so we still pay the 15.3% on the gross profit for self-employment tax?
01/16/2018 at 11:35 am #30560
Jay, I would say yes on the 15.3% SE tax. Totally different type of tax.
What worries me is the “lesser of” provision. I have a contract accounting job, for about $20k a year. But to get the job, they put me as a W2 employee of an outside agency.
So, we have a HIGHER net income on the eBay business than what I get on the W2 side. I’m hoping the 20% break is still on the business income, NOT on the W2…
01/16/2018 at 11:38 am #30561
Hang on, I just reread that. Lesser of all TAXABLE or BUSINESS. It should still reduce the business side. We should be good then.
01/16/2018 at 2:01 pm #30563Retro Treasures WVParticipant
Items in Store 1003
Items Sold 11
Total Sales $248.00
Total Profit $228.90
Average profit $20.81
Average sales price $22.55
Highest price sold: $80 Paintball jersey
What a dud week compared to last week. Sickness is running through my house and the weather is horrible. I haven’t gotten the flu from them yet, but its only a matter of time. Nothing much of anything is getting done around here except the bare essentials of feeding people and keeping a minimum of clean clothes/dishes on hand.
I did list half of my coats death pile which was good. I hope to finish the second half this week unless I come down with flu, which is seeming to be inevitable as much as I’ve been exposed.
01/16/2018 at 5:41 pm #30576
Maybe tis is why Congress made the child deduction even bigger ($2000/kid). Kids make parents more inefficient, so we need to subsidize those willing to do the work to carry on the human race. As a proud childless couple, we salute you!
01/16/2018 at 3:41 pm #30569Steven SParticipant
- Location: South Dakota
A weak week.
Jan 7-13 2018
• Total Items in Store: 824
• Items Sold: 16 (15 ebay / 1 Bonanza)
• International 0
• Total Sales $653 ($638 ebay / $15 Bonanza)
• Highest Price $140 Plastic model car
• Average Price Sold: $41
• Returns: 0
• Cost of Items Sold: $100
• Cost of items purchased this week $375
Everything was aligned perfectly at the auction last Saturday.
-10 degree temps kept the attendance down and there was some very high end stereo equipment being offered plus it was on the second table of the day so I didn’t have to wait around for hours to bid on it.
Only one other bidder put up a fight but I used my bold bidding approach, the one where you don’t delay in upping the bid, no hesitation between bids and he dropped out quickly.
The table consisted of a Sansui G-8000 amp, a pair of Sansui speakers all in original boxes and a Teac Reel to Reel deck all for $250. I spoke with the auctioneers and they said they moved it out of an expensive home’s den where it had been since new and the boxes were in the attic.
01/16/2018 at 5:39 pm #30575
I’ve been usnig that bidding method too when I want something. Instead of waiting for the bid autioneer to get down to a $5 opening bid (because everyone waits), I’ll start the bid higher. Then I’ll bid quickly to scare people off. This is how we get big tables of stuff for $50. Seems like a lot of money but its pennies if the table is covered in good stuff.
01/16/2018 at 7:01 pm #30592BethGreenParticipant
- Location: Ohio
My numbers for the week of 1/7/18:
Total Items in Store: 106
Items Sold: 14
Cost of Items Sold: $63
Total Sales: $388 + shipping
Highest Price Sold: $81 (Lego lot)
Average Price Sold: $27.71
I love the Goldbergs! That mother cracks me up. And whenever I watch it, I always see all the “eBay-able” stuff in the background. I’m pretty sure I have sold EVERY phone in their house (not to them, but…). Hahaha.
I had a really weird problem this week with an order. A GSP customer bought an item, but did not pay yet. Sent me a message saying he was having trouble with PayPal and to cancel the order, but once he got payment figured out he would re-purchase it. I cancelled the order. I got the auto message through eBay confirming the cancellation. I re-listed the item. A little short of 24 hours later, I got a notification on my phone that payment was received…but when I went on my PC, the order was still showing cancelled and the re-listed item was still active. Long story short, somehow the buyer was able to put through payment on the cancelled order. Ebay would not let me print a label for a cancelled order, I could not even see the buyers info because it was through GSP. I had to call eBay and they told me to refund the buyer through PayPal and have them re-purchase. Ok, done. But then the customer messages me and wants to know when they will receive the international shipping they paid. Argh! All this communication back and forth was tricky with a broken English customer. He couldn’t understand why I had to refund in the first place. Today (4 days later) he did end up re-purchasing the active item and I sent it out this morning. Don’t know how long it will take GSP to refund his shipping.
01/16/2018 at 10:13 pm #30606jewelfoundParticipant
Is the highest price Vtg necklace sold, the Ox blood red coral Barse necklace? Jay or Rayanne, could one of you reply if it’s that one and how did you find out the authenticity of the coral. Coral is also sometimes dyed, I believe. Nice sell on the jewelry! Love the Podcast! Thank you for your time and sharing the knowledge.
01/16/2018 at 10:20 pm #30607ThriftShiftParticipant
- Location: Cabarete, Dominican Republic
Last week was great with sales of $831.93; this new week not so much. But it all evens out once I look at the month to about $500 a week.
Items in store: 691
Listed new last week: 27
Items sold: 22
Just plain old inventory. Most of it was stuff I picked up at bag sales. I went to an auction on Sat with my 3 year old and we only made it for about an hour before she melted. So we just saw rugs and I bought two vintage French train travel posters. Somehow I walked away with a 1960s shag rug by Karastan, 12 x 9 feet and weighing 90 lbs! So I listed it. Cost me $80; it’s Mid-Century Modern. It belongs on “Stranger Things” or “This is Us”. So come on prop people. The posters are going to my sister in Belgium to decorate her house. She went to a thrift store outside of Brussels this past week and bought 5 wool blankets for $1 euro each. I remember Jay and Ryanne buying those at a market in Denmark? a few year ago. I told her to pack a bunch up for me when she comes stateside in February.
I listed the rug at $900 to include shipping. It’s got some flat and balder spots but no stains. I did shipping estimates on U-Ship and going to Oregon would cost about $250-350 depending on who bid on shipping auction. I thought including the shipping might make it easier rather than people trying to figure out how to ship it. I also listed on Facebook for $600.
I also listed two Sikes wooden banker-lawyer chairs from the auction for $520 free shipping. Same process as above; these two need more refinishing work. I’ll see if anything happens in a few months with the “free shipping” cost inclusion, then may move back to “local pickup and you arrange shipping” method. I did sell an Ikea bed that way last year to Los Angeles from SC.
01/17/2018 at 9:39 am #30645Marie in FloridaParticipant
Busy with family and sales reflect that. One amazing but not expensive sale
Total Items in our Stores: 321
Items Sold: 5
Cost of Items Sold: $11.50
Total Sales: $87
Average Price Sold: $17
Most Fun Item: Customer receipt for an old ATT phone. Listed all the color and style options-$13
Highest Item: SAS Shoes $30
01/17/2018 at 9:45 am #30646
you sold just the receipt for the ATT phone?
that is awesome!!
care to share a photo or link?
i love old receipts! (i know, we are weird)
01/17/2018 at 9:50 am #30648
scratch that, i looked it up on ebay (duh). what a great sale! i love that.
01/17/2018 at 10:35 am #30649Marie in FloridaParticipant
Yeah, just the one yellow carbon copy receipt. I know that phone collectors can be an intense lot, although I’ve never sold a phone. This is part of a box of mishmash ephemera that I picked up at garage sale. I spotted that they had both touch tone and rotary princess phones as 2 of the options and the light bulb went off.
01/17/2018 at 11:20 am #30651UtahbillParticipant
Here are my numbers from last week. Better late than never.
Week of January 7-13
Total items in store: 240
Total sales: $349.90 (does not include shipping)
# items sold: 8
Weekly Sell Through Rate: 3.3%
Average Sales Price: $43.73
# items listed: 0
It was a pretty good week for me considering how small my store is. I sold a motorcycle seat for $200 which helped my numbers a lot.
My total number of items listed is now at 240. My total number of listings continue to decline. This is a good news, bad news thing. Lots of sales are reducing my inventory, but the good news is that money is coming in. However, I must get listing or eventually the party will end.
Next weeks total items in store goal: 250
01/17/2018 at 11:55 am #30652PunkParticipant
Hi All! Just starting out here, so no store yet.
# listed – 15 items (I’m a little slow, trying for steady)
# Sold – 1. (better than none 😉
Total sales – $40 (shipping not inc.)
cogs – under $1 (from one of those “fill a bag for a dollar” church sales) I love those sales! I haven’t done much scavenging in the last year because I need to focus on selling. Fortunately but unfortunately, I have others that like to give me “good” stuff. I’m working on reorganizing my etsy / ebay rooms and processes this month. I think I’ll need about 3. 🙁 I’ve been an off and on etsyier for about 9 years. I have a bunch of items that need to be reviewed and renewed, then many that are in draft mode. I need to get on that this week!
Off to my part-time waitress job (which I love!).
Wishing you all big $ but easy to ship sales this week!
And thanks for all the helpful info you all put out here, I really appreciate it.
01/17/2018 at 11:57 am #30653
eBay and waitressing sounds like a good combo lifestyle.
If you haven’t heard it enough around here, it’s all about listing.
Always be listing.
01/17/2018 at 12:21 pm #30655
Very nice sale! 40x on your money is always a great thing!
01/17/2018 at 3:28 pm #30669HabnabParticipant
Although I would have thought it was super-cool, I definitely would not have known that the phone receipt had any value to anyone else.
My sales have really picked up this week. I’m feeling really good about it and am looking forward to reporting in next week.
01/18/2018 at 12:39 am #30687Vintage LacyParticipant
- Location: Oregon
It’s fun to hear all your stories about prop sales. I too tend to see vintage items on TV shows and in movies and get distracted. I was SO excited when I sold a pair of funky 60s earrings on Etsy to the Sony prop department in LA about a year ago. It was an $8 sale but I was psyched!
Grimm was filmed here in Portland and they had a HUGE prop warehouse sale after the airing of the final episode last spring. It was heavily advertised and made all the news channels so you can imagine the excitement. I chose not to go because I had other stuff going on, and I also wasn’t sure there would be picking prices..but several friends went. They got there an hour early and waited over THREE hours in line to get in. Yikes.
01/18/2018 at 10:08 am #30697SimonParticipant
- Location: San Francisco Bay Area
I didn’t make the time to post my numbers this week (just an average week for me) but I wanted to mention that I got a GSP order today and the country code on the shipping label is BR which I think is Brazil. That’s a first for me. I know that Brazil’s postal system is notoriously bad so I hope GSP is successful. That’s another 200 million potential customers!
01/18/2018 at 10:48 am #30701
yes, i’m hoping that GSP is expanding into huge markets like central and south america, china and india. that would be amazing.
01/18/2018 at 10:50 am #30702
We agree. We signed up for GSP today.
In process on changing our flat rate shipping costs for the US as well to be ready for the rate change this weekend.
01/18/2018 at 11:10 am #30709GompersParticipant
- Location: Connecticut
So many ebay buyers get cancer, it makes me wonder if ebay causes cancer.
I wanted to drop a quick note regarding the “refused – return to sender” When a package is refused the USPS puts it into the lowest/slowest class of mail. To be more specific it’s thrown in with the medial, parcel select, and merchandise returns.
IMO if a buyer wants to return something and it is of high value and/or you just want it back quickly, instruct the buyer to open a return case via ebay and print out a return label.
I imagine buyers do the “refused – return to sender” to avoid paying for shipping, but if I really want the item back, I’m willing to pay for return shipping anyway.
01/18/2018 at 4:54 pm #30734TemudginParticipant
- Location: Jacksonville FL
Some interesting discussions in this episode. A friend of mine is working for a company that is developing nanotechnology-based miniature atomic clock chips to create tiny locator chips to track things worldwide. So someday you might actually be able to track your packages in real time with a chip embedded in the shipping label.
I have successfully received and mailed larger glass covered framed pictures. They were steamship photos that had little plaques with the ship’s name affixed to the frame so it was desirable to keep them intact. I bought like about 10 of them from an online auction and they arrived 2 to a box. Copying how I got them, to ship them I used heavy duty mirror cartons to construct the box and just padded the corners inside really well with heavy packing paper to seat the frames. They went UPS, IIRC.
01/18/2018 at 6:05 pm #30737almastyParticipant
I’ve had a few requests from prop departments over the years to ship items to them asap via their own fedex accounts. The last show that asked was “Masters of Sex” a few years ago. They will usually message you with, “Hi, I work for blah blah show, and we are filming an episode that requires this specific item in next weeks episode. Could you please send it via our fedex account so it can arrive on time?”
For the ones that don’t, it’s fun to play the game of “I wonder what show/movie this piece is going to?” when you see a studio lot in the ship to address field.
01/19/2018 at 12:29 pm #30782IdahoarderParticipant
Here’s an interesting auction happening right now. A Dixie Cup used by Elvis going for $1700+. I’ll be watching this one!
01/20/2018 at 4:28 pm #30885Julie BParticipant
- Location: Georgia
In the Atlanta area there is a very large prop company that claims to have over a million items for TV and film productions to rent. They occasionally will have a large warehouse sale open to the public. They announce their sales on their Facebook page GA. Prop Source. They also have a website Gapropsource[dot]com. I haven’t been to any of their sales (2 hour drive one way) but I’ve seen plenty of pictures. Most items are down right boring (boxes and boxes of generic picture frames) but sometimes there will be something cool like a vinyl couch. They advertised a bunch of props from off of The Vampire Diaries set once. They seem to definitely know what their stuff is worth so I don’t know if there are any real scavenger bargains to be had or not. Would be great to hear from someone who has actually been to one of their sales. Someday I’ll have to make the drive down there to check it out.
01/21/2018 at 10:30 am #30909MDC Galleries & Fine ArtParticipant
- Location: Atlanta
Hey Julie .. Interesting place. Looked at their video. Makes it easy for the prop masters to come and select because everything is organized by type-category. It is 55,000 sq. feet.
The Antique Mall we had 6 booths at is 110,000 sq. feet. Two stories of 55,000 sq. ft each, so twice as large as this place. The big difference is with over 500 dealers, while the selection and diversity was there, it was not organized by category of item because everyone is a separate dealer and arranged there own personal inventory within there own spaces. This “by category” makes it easier to select for a movie. If you want retro looking lamps, just go to lamps and make your selection while at the booths, you had to look all over the place.
But that did not stop the prop masters from coming out and “picking” the whole Antique Mall [all 500 dealers]. They had it down to a system. We had many prop master come in with a group of 6 to 10 assistants. The prop master would be out front with a clip board [a list of what they were looking for] and walking the aisles. She would hang big yellow tags on anything she wanted to buy. Her helpers were coming along behind her pushing rolling canvass laundry carts and picking up everything she tagged and taking it all up to the checkout desk area. This happened quite often. It was not unusual for them to spend $10,000 to $20,000 in a day long sprint. We came in one day and we saw a lot of yellow tags on all our bamboo furniture and we knew a prop master was in the building and the helpers had just not gotten to do the pick up yet on our isle.
This place is up I-75 toward Marietta. Funny though that there are now about 15 or more movie studios shooting out of Atlanta. I hear a lot of them are occupying the old Lakewood Fair Grounds buildings which are in South Atlanta. I would think that a prop rental company would prefer to be down south of the air port and closer to where all the new studios are congregating. I have heard that, they are calling South Atlanta, the New Hollywood East because of so many film making studios here along with record recording studios.
There were a few dealers out at the Mall that did nothing but “rent” there inventory, but it was mostly for weddings, business gatherings and the such. It was all mostly chalk painted white, distressed, shabby look items. But had a lot of flatware, linens, glasses and the such that were old looking. I guess it was sort of like a “Aaron Rents” party rental only for “old looking stuff”.
The old monthly antique show that used to be at the fairgrounds, now relocated several years ago, called Lakewood Antiques are in a permanent building in Cumming, GA. Think that is much closer to your location [I believe] They are open once a month, sort of like Scott Antiques in South Atlanta, only smaller. We go occasionally but they are all dealers and hard to get any real “Bargain Prices”. They know the drill, know their items and know the prices. So we go more for just to get out. My wife calls it “airing me out”. LOL 🙂
Mike at MDC Galleries in Atlanta.
01/22/2018 at 12:41 am #30958philParticipant
- Location: N. ID / E. WA
I had a few items sell to prop departments in the last couple of weeks as well. One was a 1940’s 8mm film projector. The buyer wanted to make sure it worked because it needed to actually run for his production..something in Florida. He was in a big hurry too. Paid $60 in shipping fees.
The other prop story was an incredibly tacky coffee maker to True Detective. It’s this hideous hunk of poop brown molded plastic made to look like kitchy, old timey barnwood. Sounds like the third season of True Detective is set in the 70’s.
02/22/2018 at 8:03 pm #33735KatieScottParticipant
1. Getting Stuff Done: I think so much of how people are motivated to get things done has to do with personality type. I think everyone should know where they fall on the Meyer-Briggs test. Another interesting approach to personality types is Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies personality types. So some people are going to be motivating by breaking projects down into steps and others aren’t depending on their personality type. I do think that having different personalities working on the same project can be challenging but also more effective than just one type of person – it’s just a matter of figuring out everyone’s strengths and weaknesses etc.
2. Rich People Scavengers: We have a couple of (dreaded air quotes) “rich” friends who do the reselling thing on a much higher level than we do – one resells houses and motorcycles and the other one resells airplanes. I think it is pretty similar to what we do here on ebay but just on a larger scale. It is the same mental process.
3. Tax Loopholes: My dad was super frugal and smart. He used to buy a cow and sell a cow every year for the sole purpose of taking advantage of a tax thing. I never saw any cows so I don’t actually know whether they were actual cows or just cows on paper. On the other hand, we are very cautious with taxes and would rather pay a little more in taxes and avoid an audit.
4. Buttons: For a while I was doing well with cutting buttons off men’s suit coat blazers that I was purchasing for $1 each and selling them, but for whatever reason they stopped selling. Brands I liked when I was doing that were Ralph Lauren, Brooks Brothers, and, oddly enough, Stafford.
5. “Our own corporate policy”: I really liked hearing this, I think it is good to have systems and policies and ways of handling certain situations in ebay selling. I think it makes for easier decision making and helps to avoid getting your feelings hurt over grumpy sellers and other problems.
02/23/2018 at 11:15 am #33767
#2 – Amazing how so many things are similar. Flipping on eBay, flipping houses, flipping cars, trading stocks, Investing in real estate, bonds… Learning the ability to see value where others don’t, and then knowing how to sell that value to the marketplace. It is all around us…
#3 – Made me think of my dad. I grew up on a small family farm, and my dad “flipped” cattle. We always had one or two young calves that he would by at the auction that were sickly and skinny, he would nurse to health and fatten up, and then sell at the auction months later. And now…he made sure his new place in Montana was large enough that he qualified for an agricultural tax exemption. Knowledge is king…
02/23/2018 at 11:11 am #33766KarenParticipant
Jay & Ryanne is there a place that you posted the no carb diet your on? I know I feel better with no carbs but that’s all I eat and can afford to eat. I’m sure if anyone does it affordably, it would be you too. Do you have a thread committed to your diet that I missed?
02/23/2018 at 11:26 am #33771
There’s this thread: https://www.scavengerlife.com/forums/forum/random-thoughts/food-recipes-tips-eat/
We dont promote a no-carb diet, but it’s certainly gotten popular these days. Just google “ketogenic diet”. There are lifestyles bloggers all over it.
A couple years ago we realized that all we lived on bread, pasta, cereal, and fruit juice. We were becoming bloated marshmallows.
First thing we did was get rid of any carbs and sugar in our house. We actually gave away four boxes of food on Craigslist. Then we just began eating meals of vegetables and meat. We still eat a lot of diary (cream, butter, cheese, yogurt). Ryanne is probably stricter than I am, but we feel better.
02/23/2018 at 11:35 am #33772
like jay said, we were heavily relying on carbs as a cheap and easy way to eat. i would live on bread, bagels and pasta if i could, i just love that food. but my weight was going up up up and not stopping. one day mikey and wendy (our original Scavenger Life collaborators) mentioned they had gone keto and it just made a lot of sense to us. it’s not easy, but we feel much better, lost a bunch of weight and have stayed steady since then.
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