02/12/2018 at 8:12 am #32732
02/12/2018 at 8:41 am #32736
so, when you’re making your kimchi and want to substitute the sugar, use fuji apples and/or korean pears. i use both by pulping it and throwing it in with the rest of the “sauce”. also, leave room in the jar for expansion, and put the jar in the sink or something to catch the pickling juice. aaaand, it’s gonna smell like farts.
02/12/2018 at 9:27 am #32738
Total Items in Store: 1211
Items Sold: 13
Cost of Items Sold: $16.08
Total Sales: $362.03
Highest Price Sold: $41.99 (vintage rug)
Average Price Sold: $27.84
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $34
Number of items listed this week: 46
Total Items in Store: 252
Items Sold: 2
Cost of Items Sold: $0.60
Total Sales: $15.18
Highest Price Sold: $7.99 (vintage embroidered patch)
Average Price Sold: $7.59
Number of items listed this week: 13
Pretty standard week for me. Steady, but not busy. Got a bunch more listed out of my death piles, and some of it has sold already. Had an informal meeting last night with a few local Amazon sellers. I’ve dipped my toes in, but have done very little actual selling (less than 100 items in 2017). Hoping to do at least a little bit more this year. I certainly don’t enjoy the platform like I enjoy ebay selling, but the opportunity for another income stream (even if it’s small) is too hard for me to completely ignore.
On a personal level, we’re moving a few months from now, and are debating either selling or renting our existing house. We’ll likely look to rent, and if there’s not much/enough interest, we’ll list it. In the meantime, we’ve begun a HUGE purge. Things we’ve been hanging onto for YEARS are being donated, listed, thrown out, and sold locally. We’ve come to the realization that very few of our belongings are sentimental enough to keep clinging to, and that much of the “value” they’ve been given was given by others, and not us. It’s nice to have less clutter, less to move, and for the stuff that remains to be actually meaningful to us.
02/12/2018 at 9:40 am #32751
We just did an early spring cleaning and got all our personal stuff into just a single box each. Everything else we own is just practical items we use everyday (or art on the walls). It helps that we have a small house with only one closet. No hiding stuff away.
02/12/2018 at 9:28 am #32739
With the Iceland call, I think you missed something. The buyer bought from her from another account, going around the blocked ID. It was obviously the same person, from Iceland both times. I had this happen to me too with a domestic buyer who literally made another account to get around the block, and Ebay absolutely sided with me as it was clearly the same person. When the person left a neg, Ebay removed it under “disruption of business”. That caller needs to call Ebay back. What the buyer did going around the block isn’t allowed.
About the new Queer Eye…did you guys like the new cast? I just didn’t love them like I loved the original guys. I watched the same episode as you guys did. Maybe I need to give it another chance though. I agree with you that it’s great how much times have changed since the original show though.
02/12/2018 at 9:38 am #32750
You’re correct. She actually called back in for next podcast. The same buyer did buy through another account. That’s how the buyer got her phone number. I agree she should just keep calling eBay to get it removed.
The new Queer Eye is fun. Comparing to the old series might make it disappointing.
02/12/2018 at 9:30 am #32741
Total Items in Store: 410
Items Sold: 9
Cost of Items Sold: $56 + $13 free shipping
Total Sales: $238
Highest Price Sold: $36 new pie plate
Average Price Sold: $26
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $26 (one church sale)
Number of items listed this week: 9
Wow. It really felt like I sold no items this week. Finally listed yesterday after a three week break. We recently found out that one of the children has a rare problem and will need surgery and major specialized orthodontics. Despite a high likelihood for disturbance to roots of adult teeth, not considered medically necessary for insurance purposes since she can still eat with missing teeth. So, time to tighten the belt a bit more between that and additional taxes we anticipate this year without the SALT deduction.
One of the ways I’m saving is to use Walmart.com for groceries shipped free in 2 days. Love it! I’ve completely abandoned Amazon at this point due to my non-prime orders not shipping out for a week, because Amazon is annoyingly not showing the lowest price by default, third parties getting $3.99 to ship, etc. Also need to make time to hit the grocery outlet we got last year. Finally, I’ve majorly cut back on RA purchases and will keep focused on the death piles. It will be interesting to see how this affects my numbers and velocity, though I have a couple of thousand in RA inventory I bought in the past with Ebay profits. It probably would be wise to price the vintage items more competitively than I tend to price them. (Gears turning in my head…)
Smartpost was like triple what the buyers were charged for me and these were not huge packages – one
was an afghan I crammed into long medium flat rate – it was going to be $38! It’s so weird that you guys are not having a big problem also. Jason T. Smith did a show on this last night, though I still don’t know that I have any items SP would make sense for at this point vs priority. Most of my items are smaller than a large breadbox. I find USPS parcel post is often more expensive than priority by a tad. I donnno. My takeaway as a hard goods seller is that I need to give future purchases more serious thought if the item is not particularly valuable and can’t go flat rate or first class.
One last thought. I bought a like new top that is one of my favorite retail brands – Velvet by Graham and Spencer – for like $10 bucks on Ebay. This seller was priced well below others and new would be like $125. Made me wonder if they didn’t do their research, if the market is flooded with bin sourcers, or if they are just cranking out volume. In any case, I’m definitely looking for clothing deals on Ebay, especially for my kiddos who are growing in leaps and bounds. Have a great week. BTW, love Queer Eye, but Carson’s humor really made the old show for me.
02/12/2018 at 9:56 am #32756
Sorry to hear about the need for surgery. Supposedly if you’re willing to pay in cash, you can negotiate a better deal. Have they said how much it’ll cost without insurance?
02/12/2018 at 10:46 am #32759
Thanks Jay. The good news is that we have really capable people on board to address this hard case and they can save the adult problem tooth. We haven’t gotten the $ news yet from the surgeon or the orthodontist, but only some of the orthodontics will be payable this year. We do keep an emergency fund for things like this thankfully and can pay cash though I”m not sure how negotiable this will be since these people are in high demand.
02/12/2018 at 11:12 am #32763
Christine, if you talk to them and say that you are paying cash and not through insurance, you have a good chance at getting a lower cost. If you talk with them person to person, and explain the situation, a lot of people get it and will reduce where they can.
At worst, it never hurts to ask. Making that human to human connection can do a lot…
02/12/2018 at 1:02 pm #32787
Issues like this is why I put every dollar I legally can every year into my HSA fund. For a family plan, my max contribution is $6900. $1800 of that is a company match, so I put $5100 of my money in there every year. My out of pocket maximum on insurance is $9000 a year, so protecting myself from that huge potential bill is TOP priority.
It is a pre-tax contribution, so it lowers your tax bill as well. If you or your significant other is not contributing to your HSA, I cannot recommend enough that you put every dollar you can afford into it.
02/12/2018 at 1:05 pm #32788
Amen Retro. We don’t have this option any more, now that we are on a Christian Health Care Sharing rather than traditional insurance, but we have a separate account where we stash money each month for any medical costs. Always feels better knowing that there is money there if we need it for medical costs.
02/12/2018 at 1:12 pm #32790
How happy are you with that plan. We have friends who are on it who are very happy. If we go full time it will definitely be the way we go for insurance.
02/12/2018 at 1:16 pm #32792
Love it. So far (knock on wood), we have not had to use it. But I love that my money is going directly to the family that needs it for their medical costs. It is nice to send a direct check and a direct message of encouragement each month. It also is a nice reality check each month, on how good things are in our life.
02/12/2018 at 1:48 pm #32799
Just be aware that Christian health sharing plans isn’t insurance. From the plans I’ve looked into, it’s more of a agreement among a network of people to help each other with no actual guarantees that costs will be covered. Obviously read the fine print.
02/12/2018 at 2:00 pm #32808
The possibility of coverage with health sharing is better than the guarantee of no coverage I have with a high deductible HSA plan. I have a $5k deductible. Basically I pay $3000 in premiums a year for the privilege of paying all of my own healthcare costs. Awesome. And my $3k a year in premiums is pretty low compared to other folks it seems.
Unless someone in my family gets catastrophically injured or sick, I’ll never get actual coverage from insurance.
Sorry for ranting…it’s just damn frustrating to have “insurance” but still have to ask my doctors for cash rates and not even use the “insurance” just to keep my costs down.
02/12/2018 at 2:08 pm #32810
I hear you. I wish we had a better system. I believe in “everyone in and nobody out”. We’re a wealthy nation. A healthy population is a prosperous, efficient, productive population.
You have a wife and six kids, correct? How much do you think you should pay each month for full, guaranteed health coverage of your family?
02/12/2018 at 2:19 pm #32815
See, and we are on the other side. I don’t want someone telling me what I HAVE to do in regards to retirement or health care.
To me, your basic health care costs should be covered by you through cash flow and savings. Insurance should be for catastrophic issues first (don’t go broke financially for health costs), and even major costs (surgeries, child birth, etc.) if you pay for it through your plan. I don’t want a plan that covers everything, since I won’t use it for everything.
There should be a discussion on the difference between Insurance and Health Care Costs. Those are two separate issues, but most people conflate them.
02/12/2018 at 3:01 pm #32822
I have 4 kids.
I don’t want 100% coverage. I want healthcare cost reform so I can pay reasonable routine care costs out of pocket and have insurance in case of something major. As T-satt says, insurance and health care costs are different….but the market costs were set due to insurance companies only paying a fraction of the billed rate. Now the bloated billed rate is being passed directly to the patient. The mere fact I can be billed $250 through insurance, and at the same time pay straight cash for $100 and cut the insurance company completely out of the transaction shows how broken the system is.
I was hoping things would line out eventually pricing wise as cost reform should have naturally adjusted once insurance was no longer paying for routine costs. Unfortunately, the high deductible health savings is not fixing things. For a while I was able to get good discounts asking for cash rates. Healthcare providers now know they have us over a barrel and we have to pay it either way, so those discounts are disappearing. I asked for cash rates at my wife’s last dermatologist appointment and they wanted $400 cash up front, with the option to charge me more after they finished depending on what the dermatologist did. This was just for the office visit – no lab costs.
Before High deductible HSA my dermatologist cost was $40 Copay a visit, plus 20% of the lab fees.
Now my wife’s yearly dermatologist visit costs me about $1300 out of pocket after lab fees if she has a few moles removed and/or biopsied.
Because of these high costs, I choose to no longer go to dermatologist myself. I have to save that money in case any of my kids get sick.
I don’t know how to fix the system but I can tell you my health care costs are ASTRONOMICALLY higher now than they were just a few years ago.
02/14/2018 at 8:29 am #32962
There is a newish system in the US for accessing a doctor. It’s called Direct Primary Care:
You find a participating doctor that you pay a monthly subscription fee. Then you get a certain number of visits per year and routine checkups. For the doctor, he/she can charge less because they dont have the overhead of dealing with insurance companies.
Then you get insurance on top of this for the big stuff.
02/13/2018 at 8:10 am #32862
I like what T-satt says: basic healthcare should be cheap enough to pay out of pocket. Like getting your car fixed. Insurance is for the big indidents that happen (cancer, car accidents, etc).
But when I hear someone say “I don’t want someone telling me what I HAVE to do in regards to health care”, I think of our current day Freedom Man in Amercia.
See, Freedom Man doesnt want you to tell him how to live his life. He’ll do whatever he wants. He definitely doesnt want to pay for healthcare because he doesnt need it. Until:
–Freedom Man gets lung cancer because he loves to smoke.
–or Freedom Man gets diabeties because he loves to drink Mountain Dew all day long
–or Freedom Man has a tragic accident because things just happen.
When Freedom Man gets a ride to the hospital in an ambulance, the hospital helps him immediately because the US has a law that says they can turn no one away. Everyone’s life will be saved because we’re a caring nation. Freedom Man will even get dialysis and oxygen for the rest fo his life. Costs will be enormous, but that’s what we do in the US. Our system saves people.
However the US doesnt have a way to pay for Freedom Man because he chose not to get insurance. Freedom will get the help he needs and the hospital will send him a bill. Freedom Man can’t pay for it. So the costs are absorbed by those Americans who can pay for it. Cost-sharing isn’t necessarily a bad system because this is how we help each other out, but currently it’s a super inefficient system because we have to keep up the illusion that Freedom Man can do anything he wants.
Look, if leaders who want Freedom Man to have the freedom to say “I don’t want someone telling me what I HAVE to do in regards to health care”, then that means we have to let Freedom Man die on the street if he cant pay for healthcare. Period. That’s Freedom Man’s thinking taken to its logical conclusion.
Currently, we have a very broken, inefficient universal healthcare system without anyone having to be responsible for paying for it.
02/13/2018 at 8:51 am #32870
Jay, you make a good point about your straw man you call Freedom Man. He makes all the bad choices, and we all have to pay for it. But even if we go to the “utopia” of Single Payer system…Freedom Man will get the same result. He can make all the bad choices, and because we are a caring nation, we all pay for it. So…nothing changes.
Yes, if your straw man makes poor choices, he gets a poor result. As he should. Will he get help? I’m sure he will. We are also a charitable nation, giving money to those in need. There is a large amount of charitable giving in this country. And it is VOLUNTARY.
My only point is that I believe that health care is between me, my doctor, and my insurance company. I should get the coverage that I deem fit for me and my family, not forced by law into something I don’t choose. I don’t believe that in a nation of over 300 Million people, that a small group of people can make the right choices for all of us in regards to the type of insurance that we need. We are too diverse of a nation, with different needs, values, and resources.
Should Freedom Man be held accountable for his poor choices? Yes. We all are, every day. Finances, relationships, careers, health…we all are the sum total of the decisions that we make.
02/13/2018 at 9:02 am #32873
In a true universal healthcare system, it can be created to be more efficient than what we have now. There are plenty of studies that show other nations who spend much less on healthcare than the US and get much better results.
But I hear you. We should eithr have universal healthcare or a free market system. Someone doesn’t want anyone telling them what to do. That’s fine. Then we should advocate for a truly free market system. You cant pay, you get left on the pavement. If a church group wants to come by and help you voluntarily, that’s fine. If not, we’re okay with death on the street.
As I said before, we currently have universal healthcare without a smart way to actually pay for it. Our system allows everyone “to be free” while other people are hard at work taking care those that need help.
02/12/2018 at 2:10 pm #32811
Yeah, the lower cost is good, but they can do that because they are allowed to not cover pre-existing conditions (though some can petition the group for coverage), and costs due to drug or alcohol abuse are not covered either. Lots can be said on this subject, so I’ll leave it here.
If it might fit, look into it. We are with Samaritan Ministries, and are very happy. It fits our lifestyle and is perfect.
02/14/2018 at 9:49 pm #33014
Funny though, that’s actually what insurance is supposed to be. A network of people sharing the costs, nothing more.
02/12/2018 at 2:15 pm #32813
My husband works at the hospital so we get great benefits, including a self funded pre-tax plan of some sort. I believe the way it works is we have to decide in April each year at reenrollment how much to put in there for the following fiscal year, and if we don’t use it by the end of that fiscal year, then we lose it altogether. I’m not sure if this dental stuff would be allowable either. He’ll have to look into that. So, always a challenge since you never know when you are going to get a whammy like this. Anyway, I did ask about insurance at the dr. meetings to let them know we were concerned about cost. I think I get to talk to the office ladies about payment later and it can’t hurt to ask for a break. It was extremely bad luck, not a routine case. Anyway, time to list on Ebay and rebuild the emergency fund!
02/13/2018 at 9:19 am #32879
Being Canadian, I find the American Healtcare system bizarre and scary. Not having to worry about any healthcare costs is one less burden to deal with in life and knowing I can walk into any hospital at any time and get seen, call an Ambulance when I need to, or visit a doctor about anything and not have to worry about how I am going to pay for it is a blessing.
Being near the border, it makes me sad when I watch U.S. news and they are trying to raise big time money for someone to get treatment for something that anyone would get covered for free by the government in Canada.
Where I live prescriptions are now free for anyone under 18 (or 25 if they are in school) and they are looking to extend this to everyone.
02/13/2018 at 9:32 am #32881
In our small rural town, our corner stores usually have a small poster attached to a milk container filled with loose change. There’s a photo of a kid/adult who looks really sick with a brief story about how this person is going to die soon if they don’t get a transplant/surgery/medication/etc.
This is US healthcare.
02/13/2018 at 9:56 am #32883
That really goes to the heart of the issue…how to pay for it. Canadians have a much larger tax burden than the US does to be able to afford that coverage. It is not easy to break out how much of the increase in taxes is direct to health care, but it is in there.
That is the main crux of the argument…how to pay for it. Will health care be compulsory or voluntary?
Philosophically, my question is this: Whose responsibility is it for health care? Government or individual?
02/13/2018 at 10:24 am #32885
Easy answer for me: healthcare is a human right. Society is responsible. Government is our mechanism as a society to create the outcomes we want. I’ll pay more taxes to create a safe environment for all the citizens around me. Taxes are just a way to pool resources.
Just like we help pay for schools for my neighbors kids. Even though we don’t have kids ourselves, I selfishly want/need my neighbor’s kids to be well educated and successful so we can have a better quality of life in our community.
02/13/2018 at 10:34 am #32888
See, and that is where we disagree. I do not believe that healthcare is a human right. Much like other entitlements, I do not believe in the philosophy of “I exist, therefore I deserve stuff. Others must give it to me.”
I believe “I exist, and it is my responsibility to provide for myself. If I choose to be in a group and follow the group rules, I get the responsibilities and benefits of the group.”
I don’t believe in equality of outcome, I believe in equality of opportunity.
02/13/2018 at 11:18 am #32891
i dont think anyone believes “i exist, so i deserve STUFF”. but to exist and not die of cancer or things you can’t control, yeah i believe in that.
02/13/2018 at 11:33 am #32894
That “stuff” in this case is money. Any compulsory entitlement is just that. Someone exists, therefore they deserve the money to pay for their entitlement.
02/13/2018 at 1:34 pm #32903
I always wonder if I was born in the U.S. what my views to healthcare would be – here it is a right when you are born to have healthcare, no matter who you are.
The other big difference I find socially with Canada is education – here every teacher/school is funded the same, so if you live in one neighborhood your education is the same as another – no matter how rich or poor you are – teachers get the same pay, schools get the same funding, have the same resources, etc. When I see some schools have no heat in the U.S., while others are building 20,000 seat football stadiums, it confuses me! Also, parents buy houses in certain neighborhoods because of the school in the area – just completely mind blowing to me.
Our taxes are high – where I live it is about 40% on income, 13% sales tax, beer is at least $32 for 24 bottles, milk is $4 for about a gallon – but our income is higher as employers don’t have to pay health insurance (minimum wage is $14/hr, going to be $15/hr in 2019) so it all is a balancing act in the end in my opinion.
02/13/2018 at 1:43 pm #32904
World perspectives are always shaped vastly by experience. While we debate these issues, I wonder what people in third world countries would think of our “issues”.
We are all on this forum in the top 1% of income in the world. We are the upper class, squabbling about these issues, when they struggle for things we take for granted.
We never really appreciate how good we have it, in the world today, and in comparison to history. I try to find great joy every day that I am here, where I am, with what I have. Most of the world would give anything to have my “troubles”.
02/13/2018 at 2:55 pm #32914
Legal cannabis (this year?) and legal kratom–damn I live about 3 hours south of Vancouver, if I weren’t so old and settled in my ways I might move there (however it must be said that Canada has pretty strict immigration laws does it not?)
02/13/2018 at 4:23 pm #32924
@t-satt – agreed. We are arguing about being the top 1% of the world population. We all have it good in North America no matter where you live!
@omfug – Cannabis will be legal July 1, 2018 across Canada. The government will be selling it (just like alcohol). Curious to see how it affects where I live, as I am on the border and we already have a problem with young Americans coming over to drink (the drinking age is 19) and government supplied legal Cannabis can’t help.
Immigration depends on who you are, what you know, who you know, or how much money you have. Probably similar to the U.S. in most ways.
Our politics are pretty different as well – Bernie Sanders would be pretty moderate or even boring here! He wouldn’t be Liberal or Socialist enough to get attention.
02/14/2018 at 10:38 am #32978
My relatives from Sweden visited us last year and we had an interesting discussion about the differences. It made me feel a lot better about our relatively high tax burden here in California after speaking with them, though I wasn’t feeling so good about our public schools. At least some of the taxes were in 40-50% range if I recall correctly, but they were very confident in their government to provide both quality health care and education among other things. Simply put, lately I’m not feeling so comfortable to rely on ours with the lack of integrity and strong influence of special interest $ polluting the greater good philosophy. No time that I can remember has this ever been so barefaced in government. And really we just have a individualistic mentality going on that people don’t want to share and are rather resentful about strangers taking from the till. I think most Americans are kind and feel differently though if it’s someone they know or someone who really can’t provide for self who is receiving the benefits. If we could get back to the middle somehow and balanced fairness, it would be so good for us as a country. It’s good too to remember how lucky we all are. I try to remind my kids all the time. And I applaud Jay’s way of thinking – even the state of education we have is very expensive.
02/12/2018 at 9:30 am #32742
Week of 2/04-2/10
Total Items in Store: 1,825 (Up 33% YOY)
Number of Items Listed: 97
Number of Items Sold: 57 (Down 7% YOY)
(Includes 0 Etsy, 1 Bonanza, 0 TrueGether)
Weekly STR: 13% (Down 6% YOY)
Total Product Sales: $1,402 (Up 21% YOY)
Cost of Items Sold: $269
Highest Item Sold: $150 – Original Microsoft XBox Console Lot (* on this…sold on Saturday, still waiting for payment…)
Competition: Highest Priced Sale: Veronica wins the week ties up the year at 3-3.
# Listed: 1,083
# Sold: 41
# Listed: 112
# Sold: 4
eBay Hard Goods
# Listed: 630
# Sold: 12
Etsy Hard Goods
# Listed: 153
# Sold: 0
We are definitely seeing a slowdown in sales, especially on Hard Goods. I think the FedEx Smartpost issue is hurting us, as buyers are seeing that much higher price to ship. I wish that I had the breakout (Clothes, Shoes, Hard Goods) for this time last year so that I can see by category how we are looking. At the high level, we always see a slide down into February, and then we pick back up into March-April, until we slide to the summer pit, but I will be interested in starting to track the types of items each year.
Love your perspective on how hard you would work for yourself. That was the mindset that made me leave my high paying job. I was paid, but didn’t own my life. We make a LOT less right now, but we are much happier. I am always a hard worker, but I love doing it for us and when I want to. I’m taking a month off to hike the Colorado Trail, and didn’t have to ask a boss if I could (though…I did make sure Veronica was cool with it!)
02/12/2018 at 9:34 am #32745
Items in Store 946
Items Sold 19
Total Sales $390.17
Total Profit $333.17
Average profit $17.54
Average sales price $20.54
Sold lots of low dollar items. The weekend was very slow. I’m accepting lower first offers on things that in the past I would have countered. I’m wanting inventory to turn over faster now because I simply have SO MUCH STUFF! Seeing stuff go out the door clears inventory space which makes me happy.
Had a great weekend going out of town to celebrate my daughters birthday and to scavenge. I scavenge every day on these weekend trips so it is a business trip with family time in the evening. On this trip I limited myself to only scavenging items I could list for $50+ and I STILL filled every extra inch of space in the van over the weekend.
This week I have challenged myself to list everything I scavenged this weekend. Considering they are all $50+ items I would be dumb not to!
02/12/2018 at 9:43 am #32753
I always calculate the amount of money I make per hour spent on eBay to compare to my full-time job hourly rate.
I keep track of every minute I spend on eBay in a spreadsheet and know up to the minute what I’m making an hour on eBay.
The last few weeks I’ve spent little time, but had great sales on eBay so my average for 2018 is $42.78/hr on eBay. For 2017, the average was just over $25/hr.
I’m doing things differently though for 2018 – I’m not listing lower-profit items this year, and spending a lot less time because of it. I’m curious to see how it works out in the long run for 2018.
02/12/2018 at 9:52 am #32755
Inglewood, I love that thought, but since I’m an OCD accountant, I can’t decide how to get a true profit from the calculation (without putting in more accounting work).
The downside to tracking current hours spent to current sales, is that the hours you worked this week aren’t related to the sales this week. The hours you work this week are related to future sales.
In the cost accounting world, this is where you capitalize your labor. You take the cost of labor (and for us, I would have to have a calculated hourly rate), and add that to the value of the inventory on the books. So if a shirt cost me $3 to purchase, and 15 minutes to list (from shopping to listing), and I value my work at $20/hr, then I have a $8 shirt in Inventory ($3 cost + $5 labor). Then when that item sells, I don’t have a COGS of $3, I have a COGS of $8, so I get a truer profit per item.
I just haven’t decided to spend the time doing that. Maybe I will at some point, but I’m not there yet.
02/12/2018 at 9:59 am #32758
We always say we wont list low dollar items (under $30), but it’s difficult to find enough affordable items that sell for more. If you run a full-time store, the bread and butter items (under $30) still seem to have their place.
If we only wanted to sell high dollar items, we’d have to put much more time into scavenging. Probably 30 hours a week going to auctions and estate sales to find enough to sell.
02/13/2018 at 10:58 am #32890
Amen to that Jay. That is what I have been looking into, raising the ASP, but the effects of buying less, lowering STR, and spending more time sourcing. A lot of moving parts…
02/12/2018 at 10:49 am #32760
02/04/18 – 02/10/18
Total Items In Store: 2,245
Items Sold: 14
Cost of Items Sold: $50 (around)
Total Sales: $582
Highest Price Sold: $90 (WWII Uniform)
Average Price Sold: $ 41.57
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $ 63
Number of Items listed this week: 43
I am still on a listing spree to get to 3000 items by about June. If I focus on what needs listed instead of lack of sales, I do better because I know if I do the listing, the sales will come.
My family went to Chicago for the weekend because my daughter was in a Gymnastics competition. Really fun, but the prices there are crazy for everything. Parking is my pet peve there. $48 to park your car at the hotel each night?! Are you kidding me?! Some hotels for me don’t even cost that much.
I used “ParkWhiz” in advanced because I knew that and found parking at the same address as my hotel (not sure how that works) and got it for $75 for 3 days which is pretty good for Chicago. We did the City Pass thing there and that is a good way to go if you want to see the main sites there. My younger daughters liked it. But then they still charge you for parking and coat check, etc. $4 per item to check at the Field Museum – I carried my coat and put the others in a backpack. My driveway had 2-3 feet of snow if some places because of the snow plow when I got back home. Some fun plowing that out late at night after I got back.
02/12/2018 at 10:57 am #32762
2/4/18 – 2/11/18
Total Listing in store (beginning of week): 1130
Total items (including multiple item listings): 1164
Value of inventory listed beginning of week: $39,059.31
Value if inventory listed end of week: $39,338.91
Items sold: 9
Weekly sell through (based on number of listings): 0.80%
Total Sales: $475.44 (shipping backed out)
Average price: $52.83
Cost of items sold: $34.55
average cost of item sold (pre fees): $3.84
Gross profit: $440.89
Highest item sold: Vintage Cassette Deck (245 dollar sale with 29.50 cost)
New items listed: 42
Asking price of new items listed: 755.04
02/12/2018 at 11:16 am #32764
Store Week 2/4/18 – 2/10/18
Total items in store: 1585
Items sold: 21
Cost of items sold: $25.58
Total sales: $565.87
Highest price sold: $79.99 (Leather Biker Hat)
Average price sold: $26.95
Money spent on new inventory this week: $56.09
Got quite a bit of listing done this week, and I’m still down about 50+ listings from where I was at the beginning of November. I see it as a good sign when I can’t keep up with my sales.
I’ve hardly collected any inventory the last couple of months, and have been trying to sort through some of the death piles, but I bought some fresh stuff the last couple of weekends, and that helps keep me going. Way more fun than those old death piles!
02/12/2018 at 11:18 am #32766
Week February 4-10, 2018
Total Items in Store: 889
Items Sold: 20 (2 Facebook)
Cost of Items Sold: $42 (10.2% of sales)
Total Sales: $411.93
Highest Price Sold: $42 (Lot of 3 metal records)
Average Price Sold: $20.60
Returns: 0 (1 says he’s sending back though)
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $608
Number of items listed this week: 48
Promoted listings test: 11 sales, $257.94 (62.6% of total sales), $13.84 fees (5.4% of sales)
Lowest total dollars in sales since probably Aug/Sept of last year, but also probably the lowest COGS% since then as well. Volume was solid, but average price sold was super low – only one sale over $30 this week.
Spent most of the weekend cleaning, organizing, listing. Usually only get 20ish things listed per weekend, but was able to knock out 48 which I was excited about. Also, my entire inventory is stored in our second bedroom in our condo so I’m constantly pruning and donating old inventory so I can buy new inventory. However, our condo just announced their building 5x5x9 lockers in our basement and I jumped on the list immediately. Excited to combine the need for storage space with the inconvenience of it being in the building. This could allow me to cross that 1000 item barrier that I’ve been stuck behind simply because of space issues.
02/12/2018 at 11:29 am #32771
I hear you Brian. We have a large house with a lot of room, but we are still cramped for inventory. I started our Taxes this weekend, and will be changing our Home Office Deduction from the Simple ($5/sq ft) to the Actual (a lot more work though). Why? We are now at 19% of the house is devoted to the business. We could go more, but we have drawn the line that each room of the house is for either work or living. The entire ground floor is living only. We did this so that we didn’t feel like we lived in a hoarder house, and so that we could “leave” work.
When you get that unit, fill that sucker up! You are paying the same amount if it is full or empty, so make sure to keep it full, and your quick turnaround items keep in the house. We are doing that with our inventory. Hard Goods are going to the warehouse, and I’m even moving Suits/Sport Coats there as they are more of a long tail item. Other clothing, shoes, smaller hard goods, or hard goods that are going local/Craigslist are staying here.
Best part about our storage unit…it is next door to a Goodwill…
02/12/2018 at 12:03 pm #32780
Yeah, for our taxes, I take 15% of our mortgage payments as an expense as that’s the approx sq footage I use (plus internet bill, car payment, mileage, etc).
02/12/2018 at 12:18 pm #32782
You are talking 15% of your Mortgage Interest, right? Not 15% of the entire payment (they don’t let you get a discount on paying off the principle).
02/12/2018 at 1:14 pm #32791
Interesting. I’ve been submitting 15% of the monthly mortgage (via GoDaddy Bookkeeping) – I’ll have to talk to our CPA.
02/12/2018 at 1:20 pm #32793
By all means, let me know if I’m wrong. I ain’t a tax guy, and don’t play one either…
I just went through the Pub 587 on this yesterday, but Federal Regs are not easy to follow…
02/12/2018 at 1:51 pm #32800
Yeah, I’d really make sure your accountant is on board with how you are deducting your home for business expenses. Our accountant says that’s one of the biggest auditing red flags for self-employed people since folks often want to write off much of their living space as work space. The rules are pretty strict.
02/12/2018 at 1:52 pm #32801
Yeah you guys definitely need to talk to a CPA. You definitely can’t just deduct a percentage of your whole mortgage payment. You can do repairs, utility bills, mortgage interest, stuff like that.
02/12/2018 at 2:04 pm #32809
Also, if you take the mileage deduction you can’t take any other deduction for vehicles.
02/12/2018 at 2:13 pm #32812
Somewhat. You can take either the mileage (easiest) or the actual. But this is for Business Use of Personal Vehicle. You could have the business own Vehicle A, put all actual costs and depreciation on that vehicle, but still get mileage on Vehicle B if that is your Personal Vehicle.
02/12/2018 at 11:22 am #32768
Jay, just finished up the rest of the PodCast, and I liked your part about “slow” sales…slow to what? I’m always daily in my head comparing to the prior week, and since this is our planned downturn time, I am a little better mentally, but I still feel the slowness. But to your point, that is why I’m posting the Year Over Year comparisons for each week now. If we are doing what we should be doing, we should be seeing our YOY numbers growing, and that look back really helps.
When climbing the mountain, focusing on the summit as your goal is the key…but it is also helpful to look back and see where you came from…it gives a great perspective.
02/12/2018 at 1:54 pm #32803
I love all your numbers and wish I was better at keeping that level of detail in spreadsheets. As I said in the podcast, what helps us is to know what we need to make each month to survive/thrive.
Maybe it should be, but our goal is never keep growing exponentially. We’re just wanting to afford the life we enjoy. A true businessman would think we’re crazy, but he can keep his stress for ever-increasing growth.
02/12/2018 at 2:42 pm #32819
Amen brother. HYOH (Hike Your Own Hike)
02/12/2018 at 11:29 am #32772
Thanks for the show R&J!
Here are my numbers for the week:
Total Items in Store: 2136
Items Sold: 42
Total Sales: $888
Cost of Items Sold: $68
Average Price Sold: $21.15
Average Cost of Item: $1.63
Highest Price Item Sold: $64.95 Helly Hansen jacket (paid $10)
Number of items listed this week: 65
Average age of items in store (in days since listing): 305
Average number of days between listing and selling this week: 203
Median age of sales (in days, between listing and selling): 169
Sell-through rate (for the week): 1.97%
# of Hats Sold: 29 (69% of sales)
I had a good week overall. The weekend was busy but the weekdays were all over the place sales-wise.
I’m one of your listeners with golden handcuffs / golden cage. Replacing my salary with used hat sales isn’t practical and living in my current hcol area (SF Bay Area) on my ebay sales isn’t practical. I’d have to uproot my family and move somewhere cheaper which isn’t desirable right now. (Eldery MIL nearby and a kid in the local college). I’m still thinking I’ll try partial retirement in a couple of years. I can dream.
02/12/2018 at 1:55 pm #32804
Yeah, sacrifices need to be made when going out on your own. It would be difficult to afford to live in one of the most expensive places on the planet (SF) by just selling old hats.
02/12/2018 at 2:30 pm #32816
At least selling old hats on the internet is easing the pain of paying more for everything! #TeamCali 🙂
02/12/2018 at 2:56 pm #32820
I’ve very proud of the money I make for my self on eBay. It’s much more important to me that the money I make through my day job even though my salary pays for the vast majority of our expenses. My wife is loving the list-on-ebay lifestyle. She’s so much happier doing that than working a part-time retail job so at least one of us reaps that benefit.
Eliminating my 3.5hr daily commute would make my life a whole lot better.
02/12/2018 at 7:17 pm #32844
“Eliminating my 3.5hr daily commute would make my life a whole lot better.”
Wow. East Coast? Or California?
I started not liking my 50 minute, 50 mile commute here in Colorado (Denver to Ft. Collins) right before I made the plunge to full time eBay, but 3.5 hours…damn…
02/12/2018 at 7:20 pm #32845
I just saw on the previous posts you are in SF Bay. Wow, I commend you for living there. I did some consulting gigs there in my (distant) past. Some nice parts about it, but too many people and too expensive for our taste. As it is, Denver is getting bigger each year. The good news is that I can be out and in the mountains fast…
02/12/2018 at 11:46 am #32776
- Location: Wheeling, WV
Feb 4 – 10
Total Items in Store: 1325
Items Sold: 26
Total Sales : $1,170
Highest Price: $230 (Bentwood Norman Cherner for Plycraft Mid Century Modern Orange Padded Chair)
Average Price: $45
Cost of Items Sold: $137
Costs of Items Purchased this Week: $0
Hey, look at that! My sales picked up again! You’re right with what you said in the podcast about complaining when sales are down. It’s just a part of eBay life to have crummy weeks sometimes. Sales always seem to pick back up again. I had a few really nice sales too. Including the largest individual item I’ve ever had to ship… a mid-century modern wood chair. AND IT WENT TO GERMANY! What a headache that was! I listed it as pickup only, but the buyer was very adamant about seeing if I can get it to fit in a box if I disassembled it. To make a long story short, I managed to disassemble it enough to fit in a small enough sized box that USPS would accept. No way would I have gone through all that effort if I wasn’t going to get more than $200 for it. I REALLY hope he’s satisfied with it because I don’t want the hassle of a return.
I didn’t get a lot listed last week because I was focusing on getting my tax numbers in order. This is the first year that I’m consulting a CPA. He owns a small-time CPA business with just two employees (him and his secretary) which was just what I was looking for. When we met up on Friday to go over my numbers, he was so impressed with everything and how I kept tabs on my sales and COGS and mileage and numbers that he wanted to hire me to work for him. LOL. Nah, I’ll stick with selling old stuff on eBay.
02/12/2018 at 12:11 pm #32781
Awesome to know that you have something to fall back on if it’s ever needed!
02/12/2018 at 12:20 pm #32783
Feb 4 to 10 2018
• Total Items in Store: 835
• Items Sold: 8 all ebay
• International 2 GSP
• Total Sales $1142
• Highest Price $500 a tie: tape deck and a pair of amplifiers
• Average Price Sold: $143
• Returns: 0
• Cost of Items Sold: $148
• Cost of items purchased this week $360
Legitimately slow as far as number of sales. Went 2 full days without a sale and if not for a literal 11th hour sale (11:30 Saturday night) of 2 amps it would’ve been a pitiful week.
My daughter came down from St. Paul for a visit, she’s sells on Poshmark so we usually go thrifting together.
There was an estate sale we hit on Saturday, it was a big McMansion owned by a couple who made their money by selling the family Dodge dealership to a huge conglomerate of dealerships. Tacky is the the kindest description I can come up with for what was for sale, even the house was just dumb huge rooms, 4 bathrooms on just the main floor. Money doesn’t equal good taste.
There was a wooden box containing a chess set priced at $500 that I only glanced at, but with nothing else to pique my interest I went back and looked it over, turns out to be a hand carved Anri Cavalry vs. Native American tribe set made in Italy, quite rare with 1 sold for $1325 and another with broken pieces listed for $1500. Since it was the second day everything is marked down 25% in the morning and will go down to 50% in the afternoon. The lady who runs the sale knows me so I asked her a little about it, she told me that was one of the few items that she wasn’t allowed to discount more than 25%.
I went home and after some research went back, asked her if she would make the owner a $300 offer and it was accepted.
I listed it and immediately received a message offering $1400, I sent an email offer back but so far it has not sold.
I try never to shy away from a big purchase opportunity even when it’s been a slower than usual week. It always turns around sooner or later.
02/12/2018 at 1:45 pm #32798
Listened but haven’t had a chance to read the thread yet. The $500 question reminds me that I need to be applying to a better restaurant with booze. Summers just around the corner and that’ll be easy $ making time around here.
Feb 5 – 11
Total Items on Ebay – 20
Items Listed – 4
Items Sold – 3
Total Sales – $65.97 (profit after fees and shipping)
Highest Price – $39.00 (Dansko clogs)
Average Price – $21.99
Total Items on Etsy – 28
Items Listed – 14
Items Sold – 2
Total Sales – $36.10 (profit after fees and shipping)
Highest Price – $19.95 (baseball light fixture globe)
Average Price – $18.05
Cost of Items Sold – More of that fill a bag for a $1 crap.
Costs of Items Purchased this Week – $0
So no new feedback on either venue yet but No News Is Good News. 😉
Off to work, hoping I’ll have time to read the thread later. Thanks for all the valuable info!
02/12/2018 at 2:32 pm #32817
Week of Feb 4-10
* Total Items in Store: 1127
* Items Sold: 19
* Cost of Items Sold: $29.66 + $41.80 Commission
* Total Sales: $399.20
* Highest Price Sold: $58 Vintage brass door knocker
* Average Price Sold: $21
* Returns: 1
* Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $28.75
* Number of items listed this week: 24
The money I spent on new inventory was for a framed tapestry. Prices were rather high at the auction, so I just bought the one thing.
I’m a bit annoyed at Ebay for the way my return was handled. I sold a small denim purse, NWT, through GSP to the UK. The buyer messaged me showing that the brand name was applied upside-down! Duh. It was visible through the packaging, so I should have seen it. I had another one, so I just wanted to ship her a replacement. I called Ebay, and the rep insisted it would be covered under GSP, and I would be reimbursed. That didn’t sound right, so I asked her several times and had her give me a reference number.
Based on that information, I told the buyer to open a return case. When I called back, the new rep would not reimburse me saying that they only covered for damage or nondelivery. Makes sense, but I was told otherwise. The reference number did not help even though he saw I was given incorrect information. My point was that I would have shipped a replacement without having to reimburse the buyer. His point was that I wouldn’t have been covered under Ebay’s seller’s protection.
The buyer was very nice (most UK buyers are), and I hope that she repurchases the purse. At least I can minimize my losses.
In the end, the cost of the shipping was less than $7. That seems awfully low (shipping to KY was just over $4), and I wouldn’t have been able to ship the replacement purse to the UK for that little. Maybe it was better this way for me, but I’m still pissed anyway.
One comment on the podcast: I’ve recently had buyers (including the purse lady from the UK) say that they were hesitant to contact me because maybe I wouldn’t be so friendly. So, like Ryanne who had to deal with harassment from a seller, there are grumpy sellers the same as grumpy buyers. Some buyers are grumpy, at least initially, because they think that the seller will give them a hard time.
Also, that mug was very cool! I follow R&J’s store, and I definitely noticed it when it came up.
02/12/2018 at 3:02 pm #32823
I have been listing consistently every day since 2/3/18 for the first time ever. It has resulted in almost a sale or 2 every day which is very exciting to me.
last week’s sales:
number of items in store: 564
# items sold: 12
total $ of sales: $214.75
number of items listed: 96
highest price of item sold: $40 (The New Marian Missal for Daily Mass Sylvester Juergens 1956 Large Print Edition)
cost of highest price item = .05
total amount spent on inventory this week: $49
02/12/2018 at 6:48 pm #32842
at my part time retail job, after taxes etc, it takes 10 days to make $500. last month, with my two ebay stores, my net was $440.
02/12/2018 at 8:20 pm #32848
RR Store Week Feb 4-10, 2017
Total Items in Store: 1509
Items Sold: 24
Cost of Items Sold: $16.49
Total Sales: $421.36
Highest Price Sold: $53.99 (Latin music CD)
Average Price Sold: $17.56
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $80.36
Number of items listed this week: 75
Well crap. It appears my sales have fallen off a cliff. I know that, for the most part, I have a very eclectic inventory, but I’ve made a conscious effort to source more mainstream items. I hit my listing goal, I ship on time, I have Top Rated Seller status, but things have still slowed to a crawl. And I know people are seeing my listings, as I have many views and watchers…just very few buyers. Remember last week when Jay said he had that slow sale dread that always turns out to be an overreaction? I have that same dread, but I’m afraid it may be justified. If the last few weeks are any indication, this isn’t sustainable for me. I’d hate to get a part time job or drive for a food delivery service or something, but it might come to that unless sales rally. Luckily I have a weekly DJ gig that gives me the cash I use at estate sales. I hate to sound so negative, but I’m sure not what else to do except keep listing.
02/12/2018 at 8:57 pm #32849
Paul: What were your numbers during this week last year? And how does this year compare? What were your sales trends during these weeks in prior years?
Dig into that data before you make too many decisions.
You can still do what you need short term, but knowing what your seasonal trends are will let you know if changes are normal or signs that a change is needed.
02/13/2018 at 8:38 am #32868
Diversify, diversify, diversify!
You have some awesome stuff in your store for sure. I don’t know how you find so much super interesting stuff. Having said that, it’s time to branch out into other sections of the thrift stores my friend.
When I started selling I was all vintage electronics and toys, hence my user name. Now I’m basically Al Bundy, pedaling women’s shoes and I love every moment of it. Don’t limit yourself to being the kitschy vintage guy.
I’d also recommend promoted listings and putting best offer on everything – even your cheap stuff. Some people just want to get a deal, so they’ll offer you $7 on an $8 item. Whatever it takes to make the sale.
02/14/2018 at 1:06 am #32949
T-Satt – Last year around this time, I was still dealing with a life changing move to a new house and a host of other issues. eBay had taken a back seat, and I was mostly living off savings while I dealt with said issues. So I’m actually up 12.5% from last year. But honestly, I’m more like Jay & Ryanne when it comes to numbers. I look way more at what I’m selling vs. when I’m selling. Because my inventory is so eclectic, it’s harder for me to codify the process, if you get my meaning. That said, I’d like to be a bit more analytical when it comes to my numbers. Thank you for your suggestions!
Retro Treasures – I swear, I’m diversified! Years ago, I was strictly vintage clothing, but soon learned (with the help of this podcast) that I needed to sell anything and everything in order to make it work. I find the weird vintage stuff because not many others are looking for it. But I’ll gladly sell newer items…anything I can make money from. No ego involved. And I love the Al Bundy reference…I just sold modern women’s shoes last week!
ChristineR – Thanks, I do as well. I will look into Pinterest; it just seems very daunting. I know literally nothing about how it works. And I’m in The Thrifting Board too! But I’ve never participated in those sharing posts. I’ll peep those out as well. Thank you!
omfug – I did so lousy on Etsy, but that was a few years ago now. Maybe it’s time to revisit the site. You’re such an Etsy cheerleader! Thank you!
02/14/2018 at 10:14 am #32974
Pinterest is super easy to use and fast. Easier on the desktop than the app though IMHO. It’s just a virtual idea bulletin board and you can make ones for different subjects if you wish, but you could pin all onto one board. Inside your Ebay item pages is a little red link for pinning. So you can sit with your phone somewhere while waiting or on your computer and pin all of your active items. I also view and pin new listings as I make them. You have nice photos and interesting items, so I think you would do well. Only downside with the parties is that you have to pin some godawful items of other sellers as a requirement. LOL.
Many people go to Google first rather than starting in Ebay and Google loves Pinterest. I have used Pinterest when we have a theme costume party to go to our my kids have a project, reno project, Halloween ideas, etc. though I don’t have much time for it now that I look at Youtube reseller videos. I’m sure hard core collectors often use Pinterest.
02/16/2018 at 3:12 am #33166
Thank you so much, Christine. Seems pretty straightforward. I will definitely check it out!
02/13/2018 at 9:06 am #32874
Hi Paul, hope things turn around by March. February has been my worst month historically. Maybe try pinning some of your items on Pinterest. The time investment is very minimal. I also participate in three Facebook groups some mornings who have pinning parties exchanging pins. This takes only 5 minutes. The three groups are Vintage Ebay and Etsy Sellers, The Thrifting Board, and International League of Thrifters. I believe it has helped my sales and I have sold some items immediately after I posted them to the parties. Google likes Pinterest better than Ebay and some people don’t really think about going to Ebay to search for items.
02/14/2018 at 1:07 am #32950
02/16/2018 at 8:42 am #33170
I learned something new ChristineR, thank you. I always wondered so many items I see on google searches goes to pinterest. I just created my first board for a bunch of vintage ornament based on what you suggested and it was super easy.
02/13/2018 at 3:03 pm #32916
expand to Etsy Paul–it has a younger buyer that I think would really dig your stuff–it is extra work of course but better not to have all your eggs in one basket.
02/12/2018 at 9:07 pm #32850
Total Items in Store: +/- 200
Items Sold: 15
Cost of Items Sold: $90.50
Total Sales: $895.00
Highest Price Sold: $250 (painting)
Average Price Sold: $60.00
Returns: 0 (knock on wood)
Super-good week last week. I sold 2 paintings for lowball offers to the same buyer; I’d had them listed for a long time and to my chagrin noted I’d rejected much higher offers in the past. Ah, well. I still made a good profit and my family will be happy not to be tripping over them anymore. They were too big to store anywhere but the mudroom!
Perhaps its because I tend to turn away from my shop around Christmas in favor of spending more time doing family things, but December is historically one of my worst months — February is always way better for me.
As for work vs. eBay, it would take me two weeks at my part time job to earn what I made this week (although this week on eBay was unusually lucrative.) That said, I do feel fulfilled in some very different way by the work I’m doing at the school, and it’s a very flexible and low-stress (most days) position. So, on the one hand I can’t get out to auctions and the first day of estate sales as much as I used to — but, on the other hand, I’m not earning less than I did last year when I wasn’t working, so I feel like for now it’s a good balance. Having the guaranteed income of working at the school is great, and I’m out every day by 1:45, so I’ve got some time to source, etc…
Regarding the caller who asked about refunding the difference in buyer paid vs. commercial shipping rates — a few thoughts. First of all, I feel like the buyer has agreed to the total cost of the item: a stated purchase price plus a stated shipping price. So any differential that comes from eBay to me is between me and eBay and isn’t something that accrues to the buyer… ESPECIALLY because eBay charges us a final value fee on the paid shipping amount. Secondly, as for a buyer being enticed by a lower shipping cost… Well, this goes to my mantra of “I am not my target buyer.” Although I personally might be enticed to buy one item over another by shipping that’s a few bucks cheaper, I’m aiming more for the buyers who don’t care about a few dollars here or there. I find that, without fail, it’s the buyers who nickle-and-dime in small-dollar transactions that cause the most problems. So — NO. For the most part — and particularly for the seller of quirky, vintage, one-of-a-kind items, I don’t think we should trouble ourselves with refunds of shipping differentials.
02/12/2018 at 9:41 pm #32852
I should reed your last paragraph verbatim on the next podcast. Smart reasoning.
02/12/2018 at 9:21 pm #32851
Malinda from eBay. I just wanted to let you know that the issue with the FedEx SmartPost front end calculator was resolved last week. You shouldn’t see any more issues with buyers not being charged enough for shipping when doing calculated shipping through FedEx Smartpost.
Our numbers this week:
Total Items in Store: 308
Items Sold: 9
Cost of Items Sold: $22
Total Sales: 211.00 (although, 1 cancellation for $24 an 1 UPI for $40)
Highest Price Sold: $60.00 (Vintage Schell Doctor Bag)
Average Price Sold: $23.44
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $455.50
Number of items listed this week: 84
02/12/2018 at 9:45 pm #32853
Good to know about the FedEx issue being fixed. Just curious: why doesn’t eBay have a page that makes note of known problems and updates on the solution? Seems like it would cut down on all the misinformation, frustration, and confusion that sellers experience during these issues.
eBay needs a changelog:
02/13/2018 at 12:49 am #32858
To be honest (and I’m not speaking on behalf of eBay, just to be clear), but I think it’s because it would be too hard to manage and keep accurate and up to date. We have lots and lots of product teams that focus on different areas of the business and they are all working in an agile environment. My concern is if they started a list like that, it would never be 100% accurate and would cause more churn and calls.
I am happy to report that eBay is in the middle of deploying all new Help pages. We are 100% live in AU and ramped to 50% in US today. So, when you click on Help & Contact in the top header, some of you may see the new Help experience. It’s meant to explain things in an easy-to-understand way with improved search and improved flows that walk you through things like returning an item, changing your password, checking the status on a case, etc. We should be rolled out to 100% before the end of the month.
02/13/2018 at 8:00 am #32861
Mallybills: Thanks for the update. I was doing my own checking yesterday, and was coming to the same conclusion. Once the bug hit, the calculated cost was much higher than the past year, to the point where Home Delivery was always cheaper (but more than what was charged to the buyer). So periodically, I have been checking items by seeing what eBay would charge if I shipped via FedEx rather than USPS, and yesterday, for the first time, our calculated rate for SmartPost seemed appropriate.
I can also see that one of our shipments of Hard Goods today going to New York has the correct SmartPost rate (comparing eBay’s rate to the SmartPost rate on efulfillmentservice.com).
The good news is that I will turn FedEx Smartpost back on for our listings. That lower rate is huge for us getting sales. As an example, the buyer of this item today lives in New York, for a package 16x10x4, 8 lbs, the FedEx SmartPost Rate is $15 (and checking efulfillmentservice.com, they show $14.94), so the rate looks correct again. The buyer of this item paid Parcel Select through USPS (since we stopped offering FedEx) at $26.37. That difference between Parcel Select and USPS of $11.37 I know has been killing our sales for the past few weeks on Hard Goods.
Thanks again for the update. Very much appreciated.
PS – To take a small tack from Jay’s comment. Is there a possibility that when we call eBay with an issue, that when that issue is sent to an eBay team to be worked on, that the issue is given a ticket number that we can track? I have worked in a few large corporations, and when we log something with IT, we get a message with a tracking number on our issue, and we get automated updates on where the issue is (working, fixed, pending, etc.). Is there a way that something like this can be done with eBay? It would be very helpful for sellers to know when there issues are fixed.
02/13/2018 at 9:11 am #32876
T-Satt: Would you mind keeping us up to date on how your SP charges pan out? I thought the problem was the SP jacked up the rates based on DIM, not that Ebay was miscalculating the estimated fees. Thanks!
02/13/2018 at 9:28 am #32880
No problem. I had thought that as well as that was what I had heard third hand. But it didn’t make sense that the DIM was the issue on SmartPost, when Home Delivery was cheaper. They are both on the same DIM calculation (from what I understood), so why would the slower method be more expensive? So to me, the SP cost was wrong (and compounded by the issue that it was not the price passed on to the buyer).
So I would recommend that all Trash Elves do some testing as well. Take a current sale that you have and check what the cost would be if you shipped via SmartPost. If it seems to be back in the range of last year, it should be fixed. You can also check it against the 2018 rate table at http://www.efulfillmentservice.com/shiprates/fedex-smartpost-2018 to make sure that it is appropriate.
Anything that is really large won’t match that rate chart, but most items 16x12x8 or so should work
02/13/2018 at 1:49 pm #32906
- Location: Ohio
My SmartPost calculations are not fixed. I just checked an item I have to ship. It’s 12x12x9 and I’m actually sending it Priority for $7 and change but if I switch to FedEx in the print labels screen it is showing $16.86 for SmartPost and $12.40 for Home Delivery which is crazy!
02/13/2018 at 2:16 pm #32910
Yeah, not good.
Interesting too that my Concierge person that was working on this for me sent me a message that it wasn’t fixed. It is just very wonky right now. We will be doing our shipping soon and I will run some more tests on our account. Not sure if it is account by account, or some other metric whether it works or not.
02/13/2018 at 2:33 pm #32911
So, here is a quick test on our sales. All shipments are from 80020
Package of 12x12x10, 4 lbs:
to 74137: SmartPost – $17.03, Home Delivery $12.51
to 60411: SmartPost – $18.29, Home Delivery $15.07
to 13053: SmartPost – $24.43, Home Delivery $20.26
to 16830: SmartPost – $25.02, Home Delivery $21.26
to 94597: SmartPost – $18.29, Home Delivery $15.07
For a box 12x12x8, 4 lbs:
to 74137: SmartPost – $11.84, Home Delivery $12.17
to 60411: SmartPost – $12.50, Home Delivery $14.77
to 13053: SmartPost – $15.57, Home Delivery $19.38
to 16830: SmartPost – $16.16, Home Delivery $20.38
to 94597: SmartPost – $12.50, Home Delivery $14.77
Obviously there is a DIM component in there, but it really does not make sense that those 2 inches are making that big of a difference…
I’m not sure this is fixed yet…
02/13/2018 at 8:19 am #32865
I think updated help pages are great. That’s awesome, especially if the look of the site is becoming more and more consistent.
But this doesn’t solve the issue of being transparent with sellers about known bugs. It’s very frustrating to have something break down in the daily buying/selling process and then have no way to tell if its just a hiccup, a serious problem, etc.
As a seller, do I need to make a change in my selling routine because it’s a month long fix, or can I ignore it because it will it get fixed overnight? I bet 75% of the negative ranting that happens on eBay would disappear if there was this level of transparency.
I would think eBay would want to do it just for its own sanity. I cant imagine the number of phone calls/emails that eBay has to deal with when a known issue occurs.
02/13/2018 at 8:56 am #32872
100% agree Jay. That is the big issue that I have with the bugs. I never like it when they show up, but I understand that sometimes they happen. I just never know when they are fixed.
When we had the issue last year where buyers in Puerto Rico couldn’t pay for our items because eBay thought they were International Shipping on our account, the issue went on for a couple of months and we never heard anything about it. Then suddenly, we get a sale from Puerto Rico and everything is working fine. We never were contacted that the fix had been made. It just was.
I always appreciate that eBay gives us the ability to contact them about issues that we are having so that they can get fixed. It is just painful to ever find out WHEN they are fixed…
Great at RECEIVING the information, but not at GIVING the information.
02/15/2018 at 7:41 am #33033
Don’t know if things changed but I actually got a “it’s fixed” message this week on email from Ebay from the person I was talking to. It was about a week or less after I called it in.
02/13/2018 at 12:41 pm #32897
Mallybills, I know you dont speak for eBay, but do you know how the Guaranteed Shipping Program works? We have same day handling and expedited shipping on all items.
When I search our store as a buyer in our zip code, only 1/2 of our items are guaranteed in 3 day. Does the Expedited Shipping need to made the first choice?
Just curious how we trouble shoot our choices to get all items to fall into the program.
02/14/2018 at 9:34 am #32971
Here are a couple of links to details about Guaranteed Delivery in both Help and the Seller Center. The piece I am following up on for you is how you can determine what is in and out of GD. The pages below have good details and some videos.
I’ll try and get back to you on that today. If it’s not available right now, hopefully it’s on the roadmap.
02/14/2018 at 10:01 am #32972
Thanks. Ill check the links out.
02/14/2018 at 10:29 am #32977
Hi Jay, I think the first thing to check out are the category restrictions for Guaranteed Delivery. That is the most likely reason some of your items are not included. That list is here in the FAQs. –> http://pages.ebay.com/seller-center/shipping/ebay-guaranteed-delivery.html#category-level-requirement-ht
Also, the other call out that I have seen that I have noticed are a problem with some of my own listings are not having your zip code in the listing info. If your zip code isn’t in there properly, the estimated delivery date can’t be properly calculated.
02/14/2018 at 12:55 pm #32986
I have an update for you. There is a new dashboard available in the Seller Hub (no link in the SH yet, but it will be there soon) that will show you all of your items that are not in Guaranteed Delivery and help you optimize them (if possible) so they are included. I don’t participate myself in Guaranteed Delivery, so can’t test it out on my own, but you and Ryanne should take a look at this and see if it helps.
Let me know.
02/12/2018 at 10:20 pm #32855
Jay I understand your point about “how long does it take you to make $500 on ebay vs your job.” I always like that you use ideas like that to help people see the potential in selling on ebay. However, I think your example this week could use some elaboration.
I think a better question is… How long does it take you to make $500 PROFIT on ebay vs GROSS $500 through your normal job? Those two words make all the difference. I can gross $500 through ebay, but once I pay all my transaction and shipping fees, COGS and misc business expenses my profit is more like $250. That $250 profit has a lot more in common to the pre-tax amount on a normal pay check than the original $500. I don’t think your example was bad, I just worry about making comparisons to gross sales on eBay and the amount that is actually paid to somebody on a pay check.
02/12/2018 at 10:24 pm #32856
Fair enough. I agree that net profit on eBay sales is the best number to look for.
But when someone works a job for $20/hr, they don’t take home $500 in 25 hours. Social security, medicare, etc all get taken out before the check clears.
02/14/2018 at 10:14 pm #33017
Not to mention cost of going to work. Car, maintenance, clothes, haircuts…. it’s a slippery slope
02/16/2018 at 12:20 pm #33196
I know the $500 challenge is really just hypothetical situation but JasonK is correct. It’s more accurate to compare $500 gross paycheck pay against $500 net profit (before taxes) on eBay. Federal, State, Medicare and Social Security comes out of your paycheck immediately when you have a job but you actually do pay the same taxes (including Medicare / SS taxes) on your eBay money in the form of self-employment tax. It just happens at a different time when you have an eBay biz.
02/16/2018 at 12:24 pm #33197
doesnt really matter how you compare the two, as long as they’re equal (gross vs gross, net vs net). OR how about, how long does it take you to make the amount you need to pay your mortgage, your phone bill, your utilities. doesn’t matter what it is, the argument is just making a point to shift your perspective.
02/16/2018 at 12:32 pm #33198
Fair enough. If I was really nerdy, we’d code up a little tool to help people compare.
Enter hours worked, hourly wage/salary, benefits, commute time
Items listed, hours worked money spent on inventory, average selling price
The game gets messy and fuzzy quickly because there are too many factors. People with families will rarely leave a job with benefits because the independent market for medical insurance is scary to Americans.
I guess my point is to just imagine how much money you make for the money an employer pays you. Compare that to what is possible if you put the same amount of time into your own business.
02/12/2018 at 11:49 pm #32857
Week of February 4-10
Total items in store start of week: 262
Total items in store end of week: 264
Total sales: $161.97 (does not include shipping)
# items sold: 6
Weekly Sell Through Rate: 2.29%
Average Sales Price: $26.95
# items listed: 8
Last week was an average week for my small store. My best sale was a $50 jacket. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like the buyer will pay. Still need to list more, but I am happy that I am getting sales.
Next weeks total items in store goal: 270
02/13/2018 at 2:01 pm #32908
- Location: Ohio
My numbers for the week of 2/4/18:
Total Items in Store: 120
Items Sold: 12
Cost of Items Sold: $34
Total Sales: $293 + shipping
Highest Price Sold: $69 (Brand new FitBit I found at Goodwill for $7)
Average Price Sold: $24.41
I have the flu. 🙁
02/13/2018 at 2:03 pm #32909
Just wanted to say I’m jealous of your kimono score. I have a great love of Japanese textiles and have a stash of my own, mostly collected from flea markets in Japan. I keep collecting kimonos and yukatas and obis with the idea of re-using the fabric, but so far I have actually only cut into a couple of items. I guess I feel kind of bad cutting up a kimono that is still in good, wearable condition. Anyway, it doesn’t look like you have them listed yet, but I will be checking them out when you do.
02/13/2018 at 9:59 pm #32944
Do you think the kimonos are more valuable as fabric? or do people still buy them to wear? Or maybe to hang on a wall as decoration?
02/13/2018 at 11:11 pm #32947
Jay, a lot of people display them, especially if they are antique or of exceptional quality. Others, particularly quilters, are buying them for the fabric. I think it is less likely that people are buying them to wear. I guess if you are really tall you could wear a kimono like a robe, but for me they drag on the ground because they are supposed to be long enough to tie and fold up under the obi. But I do have a boy’s “happi coat” that I wear like a blazer and there are other short kimonos called haori that are good for wearing.
02/13/2018 at 6:01 pm #32930
PDX_Cyndy – are you a quilter? Those materials would make awesome quilts! My great great grandmother made a baby quilt for me when I was born made entirely out of pink satin corsets! It is gorgeous. I think your fabrics would be too!
02/13/2018 at 6:19 pm #32931
@northernpinesgallery: I’ve only done a couple small wallhanging type quilting projects. I agree, a quilt would be a great way to use some of the fabric. I have a sundress pattern that is made up of narrow panels that I think will work with the narrow width of kimono fabric that I am also planning to try.
02/13/2018 at 7:00 pm #32937
- Location: Texas
PDX_Cyndy, I have the same problem with Indian Saris. I buy them for the fabric and then like them so much, I don’t want to cut into them! LOL. However, my salvation lies in discovering you get cotton saris as well as silk ones. Now the silks can sit by and wait for something special, but I have no problem chopping up a cotton sari. 😀
02/13/2018 at 9:05 pm #32942
Amatino, Oh yes, I’ve been collecting saris too! I find them frequently in the Goodwill Outlet bins. Usually with a little damage, but still great for crafting.
02/14/2018 at 11:32 pm #33021
Do you have any plans to do a cooking YouTube series? Seriously people would watch videos of you cooking with your instant pot. I suck at cooking but I’m thinking of buying one soon. I know there are already videos on YouTube but I don’t know those people and it might be interesting to see what you guys are cooking since you do it more frugally. Even just a few videos would be cool.
02/15/2018 at 7:45 am #33036
I watch cooking videos all the time, I learned a lot from doing that and you guys are so cute, I totally second that suggestion. I would watch your videos and you could definitely get another money stream from doing that I believe.
02/15/2018 at 8:19 am #33045
i would love to have time to make some cooking videos for sure. i’ll keep it in my mind!
02/15/2018 at 10:25 pm #33156
You can keep it super simple and just set up a tripod when you go to make a meal. Then just talk your way through it. I certainly don’t want you to have to add more work to your plate but if your already cooking anyway, might as well film it 🙂
02/15/2018 at 7:43 am #33035
Jay, I heared you say that you look at your watched items, yes? I do that all the time just to reassure myself that I listed correctly and to see what items are of most interest. Why do you do it? And how does that help you?
02/15/2018 at 7:46 am #33037
I will look at our active items but don’t sweat watchers (or lack of). Most of the items we have arent going to have very many watchers.
02/15/2018 at 7:48 am #33038
Totally get it, so how does it help you to look? What I am trying to ask is why do you do it and how does it assist you in your selling? Do you change anything based on what you see? Or you are just curious?
02/15/2018 at 7:52 am #33039
It doesn’t change how we sell.I look at active listings just because its data that eBay provides. Really just a point of curiosity. I expect more than 50% of our items to never have any watchers. When an item does have 4 or more watchers, I might do a little more research to see if we missed something.
I know some sellers live on their active listings page, always tweaking things based on watchers, price, time listed.
02/15/2018 at 7:57 am #33041
I know you are right. Often I sell something that was completely off the radar, not watched and I even forgot we had it. I don’t change much in my listings when they are being watched, but I have noticed that a lot of my wooden items consistently float to the top, this has given me the idea that wood items are desirable…
02/15/2018 at 8:59 am #33055
It typically takes me 20-25 hours to make $500, this includes the whopping $6.25 an hour they’re required to pay me. I’m a waitress. It’s a great part-time gig, if you like people and can smile while thinking wtf. The stories I could tell…
Just last night I had a guy walk out (with my managers business card) because he couldn’t order his burger medium rare. His ? to me “why the f**k can’t I, that guy just ordered his steak MEDIUM! blah,blah,blah” I smiled and apologized, gave him the requested number. Funny part…he had to come back, 20 minutes later, when he realized he left his credit card on the table. I just smiled. E Coli dude… I don’t make the rules.
Food allergies are real. But sometimes people fake them and it’s quite obvious. 😉
02/15/2018 at 10:49 am #33067
Unrelated to all of the above, but I was cleaning a coat that I bought to resell and found a used tube of chapstick in the pocket. I got “plumb tickled” thinking about Jay and his confession and that maybe I should mail it to him. Just thought I’d share, thanks for all that you guys do!
02/15/2018 at 10:50 am #33068
Wipe or cut off the end. free chapstick. I’m using one right now!
02/15/2018 at 11:21 am #33071
I’m just finalizing my tax numbers for 2017, and based on my rough estimate of 10-15hrs/wk spent on ebay, I made $23.08/hr on average over the whole year. That factors in everything but income taxes (COGS, household expenses, mileage, etc).
That’s almost as high as my full-time salary pays me (not factoring in bonus and stock options). I don’t have “F you” money in the bank (yet), but it’s comforting to know that if necessary, I could probably ramp up my efforts and replace the income from my day job.
02/15/2018 at 6:39 pm #33132
My hubby gave his two-week notice last Saturday (on my birthday – happy birthday to me!) We are both so excited for him to be able to do this full time. We have continued to ramp up our sourcing and listing and are seeing sales every day (even if only 1 or 2). Our goal is to net $500 a week, but are giving ourselves a couple of months to get to that point by having a couple months salary in the bank for bills, etc., plus some additional set aside for resourcing, supplies, etc.
The freedom this change will allow us at this is so liberating! Thank you to Jay and Ryanne for all your guidance. It has been so useful. xoxo
02/15/2018 at 7:04 pm #33139
Huge congrats. Are you going to eventual quit as well?
02/16/2018 at 10:08 am #33182
I don’t have any plans to quit my job, at least right now. I really enjoy what I do (Program Management) and eBay is a great company to work for. Great salary and benefits, good time off, a sabbatical every 5 years… And I love the company culture and values. So, for now, I’ll stay put. I’m just glad that my hubby has the opportunity to have more freedom in his work again.
BTW, did you ever check out the Guaranteed Delivery Optimization link I shared with you? It shows you all of your listings that are not in Guaranteed Delivery and why they are not included, so you can correct whatever may be wrong. I know it’s not perfect, but it’s a start. Me and a couple of others are pushing the Product team to also add an indicator in the Seller Hub active listings view as well. That will be a longer pull. 🙂
Here is the link again: https://www.ebay.com/sh/lst/active/guidance-egd
02/16/2018 at 10:19 am #33185
I’m glad that eBay treats its employees well. I always think of corporations as being soulless entities to simply maximize profit for shareholders, but I guess smart corporations know they have to treat people well to keep them from leaving.
Yes, I saw your link.
This is cool because it shows why some of our listings weren’t included. Nice.
Here’s the issue.
–We have 6000 items.
–If I look at our store as if I’m a buyer in our same zip code, only 3000 items are guaranteed to ship in 3 days.
–When I go to https://www.ebay.com/sh/lst/active/guidance-egd, it only shows 45 items that need fixing to be included in the program. These are all furniture so cant be fixed.
–So we have no idea why 2950 items in our store are not included in Guaranteed Shipping even though we do Same Day Shipping and offer Priority Shipping. It’s a data hole.
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