03/05/2018 at 8:42 am #34408
- Location: Virginia
There was a big hubbub when the Spring Seller Update was released because eBay is pushing “Free Returns”, meaning sellers will eat the return shippi
[See the full post at: Scavenger Life Episode 350: Free Shipping Is A Lie]
03/05/2018 at 8:55 am #34411
In Canada the seller update includes the news that we are getting seller hub, which I suppose I had assumed we already had.
Haven’t listened to the podcast yet but now is my chance to go over my numbers before the day job starts in earnest, so…
Sales: CAD$846, 8 items, COGS $69 –> item profit $629
Expenditures: $152 –> after tax cashflow $409 (target $525)
Hours: 7, hourly rate $58/hr net
New listings: 10 (324 total)
Notable sales: more floppy disks $320, used neti pot $140 (ebay is magic)
Freed up more storage space at home, need to shop for some shelving this week. And I am very keen to find some new inventory as this weekend’s snowstorm prevented me from going out scavenging.
03/05/2018 at 9:12 am #34412
BTW, Temudgin is the birth name of Genghis Khan. I suppose, like a food truck, being an invincible warlord from the steppes is another one of those gigs that go well with eBay.
03/05/2018 at 9:25 am #34415
Feb 25 – March 3, 2018
Total Items in Store: 1226
Items Sold: 15
Cost of Items Sold: $22.20
Total Sales: $411.88
Highest Price Sold: $60.00 (women’s sweater)
Average Price Sold: $27.49
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $13.00
Number of items listed this week: 21
Total Items in Store: 281
Items Sold: 3
Cost of Items Sold: $0.75
Total Sales: $24.78
Highest Price Sold: $11.19 (vintage embroidered patch)
Average Price Sold: $8.25
Number of items listed this week: 16
Pretty average week sales-wise for us. I was pretty busy personally, so listing took a back seat to life unfortunately. We managed to hit our goal of 1500 items listed (both stores combined) by March 1st though, so I’m not complaining.
03/05/2018 at 9:42 am #34416
So after complaining on the forum a bit this week about the new ebay policies regarding free returns I decided to just pull the trigger and try it out. If I am going to have the mindset of growing a larger business i figure i cannot get stuck in the weeds over the small stuff, and Ebay is telling us what is important in terms of how they rank sellers. I also dealt with a questionable fraudulent buyer this week, and even through the scenario was my word against the buyer, Ebay totally backed me up and i did not lose a dime all based on my reputation and feedback on Ebay – so that helped me muster the courage.
I made a few minor changes on how i am reporting numbers to myself and subsequently the forum. Most notable I am now tracking 30 day sell through rate on a weekly basis as it is how i think about things in general anyway, and i also am now tracking my money spent on new inventory on a weekly basis as cash flow is what really matters to me anyway especially these days as i continue to ramp up to a size i need to be at.
A little better week for me listing wise and look to keep on tracking up to continue to grow and hit my goals of 2,000 listings before summer and 3,000 before end of 2018 (with over 100K listed).
I have not listened to the podcast but as usual looking forward to as i go about my day.
2/25/18 – 3/4/18
Total Listing in store (beginning of week): 1208
Total items (including multiple item listings): 1327
Value of inventory listed beginning of week: $ $40,511.20
Value if inventory listed end of week: $ $41,665.01
Items sold: 20
Weekly sell through on 30 day schedule (based on number of listings): 7.10%
Total Sales: $ $654.66 (shipping backed out)
Average price: $ $32.73
Cost of items sold: $ $60.70
average cost of item sold (pre fees): $3.04
Gross profit: $593.96
Best sale: Antique Metal Mounted Mirror sold for $139.24 cost $1.45
New items listed: 96
03/06/2018 at 11:47 am #34524
Geoff: Your numbers are very positive on the $ side. You are at a 10X return, and your ASP is at $32+. Your only issue (like we discussed) is a low STR at 7%. Let me know if you are going to start looking for more high STR, lower return items to fund the 10-Baggers…
03/07/2018 at 11:43 pm #34680
Thanks for the encouragement. I have begun implementing some faster moving tactics as I’m intrigued with the ideas we discussed. I’ll keep you posted as I’m kind of excited to give it a try. I have found other sellers who sell simular stuff im into that seem to have good businesses with the faster approach.
03/08/2018 at 12:23 am #34681
Looking forward to it!
03/05/2018 at 9:55 am #34418
Brian Treasures from GrandmasParticipant
- Location: Hoboken, NJ
Week February 24-March 3, 2018
Total Items in Store: 902
Items Sold: 15 (1 Amazon, 1 Facebook)
Cost of Items Sold: $58 (13.8% of sales)
Total Sales: $420.19
Highest Price Sold: $81.24 (1980s Members Only leather jacket https://www.ebay.com/itm/201825261165)
Average Price Sold: $28.01
Returns: 0 (1 insurance claim for damaged package)
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $282
Number of items listed this week: 52
Promoted listings test: 4 sales, $143.22 (34.1% of total sales), $8.34 fees (5.8% of sales)
Even after doing the numbers, still a “slow” week. Didn’t want to claim that until I did the numbers. I had adjusted my baseline normal week up to $500 after exceeding each week that since about last October. All good though, still made nearly 8x my money for the week so can’t really complain.
That Members Only jacket was super cool, about a year ago bought 4x of them (this was the only leather one, the others were the standard cotton/nylon). I think I paid like $3 each for them at a yard sale, so selling for over $80 is pretty great. Actually sold one of the others on Sunday too, which will hit next week’s post.
Took advantage of the horrible weather in the northeast this weekend by putting my head down and knocking out 52 listings – which got me over 900 listings for the first time since last summer. Still have a basket of random items that is a catch all for things and my current “death pile”. Probably have another 30-40 items in there I hope to knock out this coming weekend.
- This reply was modified 1 week, 3 days ago by Brian Treasures from Grandmas.
03/05/2018 at 10:07 am #34420
The Michigan Rummage sales have kicked off and that started my crazy weekend of buying.
I have been on a quest for higher priced items. I am refining that to say I’m tring to get to a $60 average for new listings. Probably wont meet that all the tome, but a good goal. I have found that if you seek, you Will find. I have a new attitude now when i go to sales. Instead of thinking “what can i buy cheaply” i think “what are the highest selling price items here”.
These sellers here are getting more savy. Church rummage sellers who they say also sell on ebay. I went to this thrift store: they had a $60 coat, $100 shoes and a pair of boots for $200! The point is they sre getting more savy at this selling, sowe have to stay a step ahead of them by being armed with knowledge (or look it up).
I went to an estate sale and their prices wete fantastic. They also started to just give me good stuff because the sale was ending. They also gave me extra time at the end of the sale because i was buying so much. Right place at the right time.
I will post my number later.
03/05/2018 at 10:12 am #34421
- Location: texas
Hi I was the caller talking about Offer up. Yes I’m in a metro area. That’s why i was saying Offerup and FB doesn’t work for you guys. You can see all the items I sold last month. The last column is where i sourced it from and the cost. I do a lot of “junking” Yes most of them are 20-30 dollar items. I spend time talking with people and organizing the transaction. But for most sales I do “porch pickup” where i setup up sale. Give them my address and they leave the money under the mat on the front porch. So yes, I don’t sell weird antiques very often, or a whole lot of clothes. So yeah this should answer you questions for what I’m selling and what I’m selling it for. Keep it up guys!
item sale price location sold date cost found
lincoln hub caps 79.99 Ebay 2/1/2018 0 garage sale
ikea lamp 5 CL 2/1/2018 0 garage sale
milk crates 25 Facebook 2/1/2018 0 trash find
chain saw 30 NextDoor 2/1/2018 0 trash find
rolling toolbox 20 Facebook 2/1/2018 0 trash find
Visio tv power board 69.99 Ebay 2/2/2018 0 trash find
hand cart 10 CL 2/2/2018 0 trash find
coleman stove 20 Facebook 2/2/2018 0 had it
push reel mower 2 30 CL 2/3/2018 0 trash find
Wii U – White 170 Facebook 2/3/2018 85 Nextdoor
bike rack 50 Facebook 2/3/2018 10 garage sale
texas flag 5 CL 2/3/2018 0 trash find
suitcase 10 CL 2/3/2018 0 had it
2 vcrs 25 Facebook 2/4/2018 2 garage sale
coke crate 20 Facebook 2/4/2018 0 Nextdoor
girls bike 20 CL 2/4/2018 0 trash find
bike trainer 50 Facebook 2/4/2018 0 trash find
skateboard 25 Facebook 2/4/2018 5 garage sale
denon receiever 120 Facebook 2/4/2018 0 trash find
Metal stools 15 Facebook 2/5/2018 0 trash find
rifle case 30 Tony 2/5/2018 0 trash find
beetle shift lock 40 Steve-O 2/5/2018 0 had it
Magnavox VCR 40 Ebay 2/5/2018 0 trash find
push reel mower 1 30 Facebook 2/5/2018 0 trash find
magnavox stereo 25 OfferUp 2/5/2018 0 trash find
2 red suitcases 30 Facebook 2/6/2018 0 trash find
red bird feeder 10 Facebook 2/6/2018 0 trash find
large rachets and strap 20 OfferUp 2/7/2018 0 trash find
coke crate austin 30 CL 2/7/2018 0 Nextdoor
red ll bean blazer 29.99 Ebay 2/8/2018 10 Goodwill
bow 5 CL 2/8/2018 0 trash find
6ft level 25 Facebook 2/8/2018 0 trash find
JVC Tuner 25 CL 2/9/2018 0 trash find
candy metal tin 20 Facebook 2/9/2018 0 trash find
propane colmen lantern 20 CL 2/9/2018 3 trash find
bamboo rug 20 CL 2/9/2018 0 trash find
laser level 450 Facebook 2/9/2018 250 CL
3 tier table 50 Facebook 2/10/2018 0 trash find
Pit 30 Facebook 2/10/2018 0 trash find
Work table 30 Facebook 2/10/2018 0 trash find
sony boom box 25 OfferUp 2/10/2018 0 trash find
dyson dc35 80 OfferUp 2/11/2018 0 trash find
sector 9 longboard 50 CL 2/11/2018 25 garage sale
bose sub 20 Facebook 2/12/2018 0 trash find
pet pen 30 Facebook 2/12/2018 0 trash find
5 bird feeders 25 Facebook 2/12/2018 0 trash find
samsonite suitcase 20 Facebook 2/12/2018 0 trash find
ladder 15 Facebook 2/12/2018 0 trash find
microwave 15 Facebook 2/12/2018 0 trash find
girls bike 20 Facebook 2/12/2018 0 trash find
Toolbox 40 Facebook 2/12/2018 0 trash find
Jewelry 25 Facebook 2/12/2018 0 trash find
ammo cans 25 Facebook 2/12/2018 0 trash find
lincoln tail light 39.99 Ebay 2/13/2018 0 garage sale
power washer 15 OfferUp 2/13/2018 0 trash find
wood file drawer 20 Facebook 2/14/2018 0 trash find
metal gas can 60 CL 2/14/2018 0 had it
2 folding chairs 20 CL 2/14/2018 0 trash find
bamboo rug 35 CL 2/15/2018 0 trash find
ski boat speakers 300 Ebay 2/15/2018 0 trash find
ut license plate 60 CL 2/15/2018 20 estate sale
dog crate – L 30 CL 2/15/2018 0 CL
Work table 27 Facebook 2/15/2018 0 trash find
two bike wheels 20 Facebook 2/16/2018 0 trash find
bose speakers 110 Facebook 2/16/2018 0 trash find
fisher stereo 25 CL 2/16/2018 0 trash find
weed claw 5 CL 2/16/2018 0 trash find
25 cut off wheels 40 CL 2/17/2018 25 CL
2 lexus wheels 100 CL 2/17/2018 0 trash find
Purple Martin bird house 30 Facebook 2/17/2018 0 trash find
pink bat 10 Facebook 2/17/2018 0 trash find
haro bike 200 CL 2/18/2018 80 garage sale
chicken wire 30 CL 2/18/2018 0 CL
dyson dc17 60 Facebook 2/18/2018 0 trash find
beer mirror 20 Facebook 2/18/2018 0 trash find
golf shoes 44.99 Ebay 2/19/2018 0 trash find
mail box 10 CL 2/19/2018 0 trash find
Milk crates 10 CL 2/19/2018 0 trash find
guitar case 10 Facebook 2/19/2018 0 Nextdoor
polk speaker 40 OfferUp 2/21/2018 0 trash find
wood plane 60 Ebay 2/22/2018 0 trash find
hard hat 54.99 Ebay 2/23/2018 25 CL
dog crate – M 30 Facebook 2/23/2018 0 trash find
hard hat 55 Ebay 2/23/2018 25 CL
2 matrix hub caps 34.99 Ebay 2/24/2018 0 trash find
Metal stool 15 OfferUp 2/24/2018 0 trash find
4 stools 50 Facebook 2/24/2018 0 Nextdoor
24 in imac bag 54.99 Ebay 2/24/2018 0 trash find
cycleops trainer 50 Facebook 2/25/2018 25 garage sale
sarris bike rack 20 CL 2/28/2018 0 trash find
Spent Made Profit Ebay fees Total after fees
590 3946.92 3356.92 212.36 3144.56
03/05/2018 at 12:11 pm #34436
That’s awesome. You certainly sound like you’re working hard and making sales. I hope your neighbors don’t think you’re a drug dealer with all the cars coming in and out!
Thats great to save on the 15% Paypal/eBay fees. You probably spend as much time messaging and setting up deals as we do packing. And if you’re having fun with money in your pocket, that’s all that matters.
03/06/2018 at 11:50 am #34525
Longboard: That is very inspiring. I think we will have to look into this more for a source of hard goods. Thanks for the numbers…
03/05/2018 at 10:34 am #34424
- Location: Metro Detroit
Weekly number for Feb. 26th – March 4th…
Total Items in Store: 112
Items Sold: 14
Cost of Items Sold: $28.05
Total Sales: $436.98
Highest Price Sold: $84.79 Garmin Fishfinder
Average Price: $31.21
Money Spent on New Inventory: $225 – $150 of which came at a Estate Sale Company that was having a warehouse liquidation sale. Working hard on getting items together to increase total inventory.
Number of Items Listed: 47
Just continuing to grow. I know it’s early in the life of my business, but I’m very happy with the progress I’ve been making so far. I have enough inventory to get me over 200 total listings now, so this week will be spent focusing on that and not sourcing as much.
Just wanted to take a second and thank Jay and Ryanne specifically, but everybody here in general. This is a great place, and I’m very happy to have found it!
- This reply was modified 1 week, 3 days ago by shayward23.
03/05/2018 at 12:15 pm #34437
You made almost have as much as we did this last week…and we have 6000 items in our inventory. You’re doing great! Glad you found us.
03/05/2018 at 11:04 am #34427
- Location: Port Royal, SC
Feb 25-Mar 3
Items in Ebay store: 658
Ebay Items sold: 29
Total Ebay sales: $704.78
Ebay COGs: $92.80
Offerup sales: $55
Items/COGs: red toolbox sold for $35 (cost $5); red lantern sold for $20 (cost $1)
Facebook sale: sold MCM 9 Foot green couch for $550; cost $350 one week prior at Estate sale (we thought we’d keep it but it needs too much restoration work and we are downsizing in a year anyway; I just loved it so).
Sold a vintage Headbangers MTV Tee for $30 with all kinds of marks; sold a needlepoint bellpull for $89; sold 7 packs of Rolodex refill cards for $65 (10 cents each at store); sold 70s Fantasia blacklight poster and small Disney print for $85 together.
I will likely move to free returns and up price on those items too; if it’s the way of the world, I do not want to lose out.
I had a buyer fail to return a Gucci briefcase she bought for $480 within the 5 day window…well it just showed up last week on my porch. I did give her a refund minus original shipping costs, insurance and delivery confirmation cost + $20 for my trouble, so she got $420 Back. Ugh. It’s over and I made double that this week so I moved on.
03/05/2018 at 11:44 am #34430
- Location: Texas
For the chap who called in about not finding his ashtrays in search, I had a similar result one day. When I eventually found the item I was searching for, I discovered that I had spelled the keyword slightly differently in my listing. I typed in Figi and the listing was Figis. It seems the search is not intuitive or comprehensive, but rather exact. So, if your caller listed one as Ashtray and another as Ash Tray or even ash-tray, perhaps that might make a difference?
Also, check that you don’t have one of the filters selected, such as category. I got super frustrated one day searching for a pair of jeans, until I realized I was in my Hats category! 😉
03/05/2018 at 11:46 am #34431
Just jumping in with my numbers, as I have not yet listened to the podcast. Plus we are gearing up for a blizzard!
Total items: 799 (numbers are going up, up, up!!!)
Items sold: 19
Total Sales: $230.10
Average price: $12.11
Cost of items sold: $19.84
Net profit: $179.83
Best sale: $35 (took offer from $60) A lamp I made from an antique enamelware coffee pot
New items listed: 155
Again, a similar week, with the positive trend in number of sales. DVDs keep selling for me. Which, I asked for since I listed them! I am hoping to start selling some of my newer listings which have much higher start values. One or 2 items have sold, but not any of the jewelry I dumped money into. One bracelet sold but didn’t pay yet, so I haven’t included it in my numbers.
03/05/2018 at 12:10 pm #34435
- Location: Southern California
Total Items in Store: 428
Items Sold: 8
Cost of Items Sold: $48 + $18 free first class or PFR shipping
Total Sales: $394
Highest Price Sold: $105 Needlepoint kit to Park Avenue https://www.ebay.com/itm/232662692009
Average Price Sold: $49
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
Number of items listed this week: 0
Shout out to the forum person who started the thread about marking down prices on watched items and also to BethGreen discussing auctions boosting sales (and possibly visibility) with activity. One day in a rather neglectful Ebay week, I chose some old items to do .99 cent auctions – just stuff I’m really tired to looking at or keep cropping up in my suggested changes page over and over. I’m over my basic store limit, so ready to cull some old stuff. I also dropped some prices on a handful of other items. I immediately saw some action, receiving a bid immediately, selling an item within minutes of reducing its price, and selling another older BIN item. It just reminded me that activity is apparently rewarded. So I’m running an experiment this week by reducing the price by 10% on my 15 most heavily watched items. My auctions will be ending and I’ll have a lousy ASP next week. So far, I have not received an email from Ebay asking me to drop the price of a particular item.
This week I sold another needlepoint kit for over $100 and an antique tile for $80. It occurred to me that these are the perfect items to sell on Ebay with the increased shipping rates and fees – small, lightweight, valuable – and ones that I could easily afford to offer free returns on but very rare so it is unlikely to come back. I wish all of my items were like that! Unfortunately, I’m working through the backlog and thinking really, really I should be evaluating what is worth listing since I have such limited time. There are a number of low dollar items in the backlog as well as heavy ones. I have them sorted by type (not by value) and so far I’ve just been listing what category I’m in the mood for. Have a great week!
03/05/2018 at 12:21 pm #34438
Ill be interested to see how many of your 990cent auctions sell for 99-cents.
03/05/2018 at 1:22 pm #34451
- Location: Southern California
I’ll let you know. They end Friday and so far I only have 4 with bids. But, I would have donated them anyway, so just trying to maybe get my $ back. Only one I bought on clearance inexpensively, the rest were thrifted at $1-3 bucks.
03/05/2018 at 12:23 pm #34439
Retro Treasures WVParticipant
Items in Store 977
Items Sold 22
Total Sales $518.50
Total Profit $455.80
Average profit $20.72
Average sales price $23.57
Had a couple of days with no sales this week. Not much to report really. Just another week. I’m excited for warmer weather and more daylight in the evening. I did start cleaning/organizing my storage shed this weekend. I have big plans for optimizing my storage and finally organizing my main work space in the garage.
03/05/2018 at 12:36 pm #34442
I had a pretty good week and made about $1,200.00. Anytime I’m doing over $700 a week I feel pretty good.
03/05/2018 at 1:04 pm #34445
You mind breaking down your numbers a bit more? Always interesting to see how things happen for each individual seller:
Feb 25 – March 3, 2018
Total Items in Store:
Cost of Items Sold: $
Total Sales: $
Highest Price Sold: $
Average Price Sold: $
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $
Number of items listed this week:
03/05/2018 at 1:07 pm #34447
Active listing beginning of week: 552
Active listings at the end of week: 617
New Listings: 94
Items sold: 33
Total Sales: $910.07
Average price: $26.77
Cost of items sold: $164.71 (18.10%) – a little high this week…
Best sale: $110 For a Teac untested Reel-to-Reel (local pick up so we didn’t have to ship!)
No Returns (1 threatened, but then never followed up… She may still.)
Spent on new Inventory $513 (We are still aggressively trying to build up inventory with the cash we set aside to do so. But still think we may have overspent this week on some items… We will see)
We did link with Bonanza this week and did sell one item for $35 (included in numbers above).
Overall, we are really happy with our progress and will keep listing this week with our goal of listing at least 100 items a week. We didn’t quite reach our goal this week. Our power went out Thursday night, so we missed a whole evening of listing. And, we had family over on Sunday so didn’t get much done then either. We will make it up this week. 🙂
03/05/2018 at 1:11 pm #34448
As a seller, what do you think of the Free Returns program? Do you think the numbers work out for you to pay for free shipping on all returns? Any worry about customer abuse?
03/15/2018 at 2:18 pm #35261
(Malinda tried to post this but got an error, so I’m posting it for her)
Malinda from eBay. There have been some questions around the new Returns policies announced in the Spring update. I wanted to provide some answers and perhaps some more context on the changes. I hope this helps!
–if a seller chooses not to offer Free Returns, will eBay punish us in search ranking?
No, eBay never punish sellers for not offering returns. However, sellers can *benefit* from offering Free Returns, especially since it will be part of the eBay *Top Rated Plus* listings requirement. Obviously those listings that make TRP will be shown higher in search since they’re offering the best retail standard set of services and value.
–eBay says they’ll protect sellers from buyer abuse, but how will this manifest itself? It’s tough to always call and be on hold for every little issue.
This FAQ in the most recent Seller Release may help give some context on what we do to use friction up front in order to protect sellers from misuse of returns by buyers:
(Make sure to read through the FAQs on the second tab for more details)
–Does eBay have any data that says sales will rise with Free Returns? Small sellers are worried it’s just more expenses and no more profit.
Yes; this is the 2017 data:
eBay wants small and medium sellers to know that we are not forgetting them or punishing them. We just need to remember that ecommerce is becoming increasingly competitive and saturated. For sellers to compete in such a landscape, they need to consider retail standard offerings (e.g. free shipping, returns, quick customer service, etc.) Sellers should think about what they are looking for as a buyer when making a purchase for themselves.
I would also say that you need to be more competitive when you’re selling the same damn widget that everyone else is selling. But, for me, and I’m sure for many of you, you are not selling the same things. As scavengers, we offer *unique* items that are not readily available.
Although I work for eBay, I do NOT offer free shipping (for record keeping purposes and clean transactions I like to see them separate…) and we have done very well so far. I also do not pay for returns if the return reason is buyer’s remorse. Obviously for items that are not as described, that’s different story.
I hope this helps a little in understanding the spring update. Go through and read the FAQs posted above and let me know your thoughts.
03/05/2018 at 1:29 pm #34453
how about up and down?
“sales were down.”
“sales were up.”
also, when you ship smartpost, your postal carrier picks it up instead of dropping it off at fedex? maybe that’s the difference in prices? maybe the longer it stays in fedex’s hands, the price goes up?also, if your postal carrier takes smartpost, do you track it? and if you track it, does it stay in USPS hands or does it flip flop between FedEx? idk.
03/05/2018 at 1:33 pm #34454
Feb 25-Mar 3 2018
• Total Items in Store: 825
• Items Sold: 23
• International 3 GSP
• Total Sales $1590
• Highest Price $420 Sony mixing console
• Average Price Sold: $70
• Returns: 0
• Cost of Items Sold: $110
• Cost of items purchased this week $475
Everything came together last week for a quick trip to Colorado, I found a guy on one of my FB stereo groups who had a Reel to Reel Tape deck like the one I sold a few weeks ago for $500. That one was working but it was a little rough and I had no knowledge of it’s repair history.
This one I paid $400 but it was completely gone through electronically and mechanically. It’s in superb physical condition as well so it should at the very least go for double.
The weather was great, I hit many small town antique and thrift stores, not the bounty I was hoping for but some interesting items.
And with my handling time extended I was still able to sell quite a few high end items and no one wished to cancel.
03/05/2018 at 1:44 pm #34456
Week of Feb 25 – Mar 3
* Total Items in Store: 1149
* Items Sold: 23
* Cost of Items Sold: $25.30 + $43 Commission
* Total Sales: $639.05
* Highest Price Sold: $90 Dynasound cassette holder
* Average Price Sold: $27.78
* Returns: 0
* Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
* Number of items listed this week: 30
For the previous week with President’s Day, no one wanted my stuff, and I only sold 8 items for a little below $160. This week, people did want my stuff, and I had over 4 times the sales! Go figure. I guess President’s Day did have something to do with my lousy week, but why was this week good? Who knows.
For the whole free returns subject, here is something I plan to do. Last month (or was it January), I bought an auction lot of new pants. I’ve started a listing, but ran into an issue with variations, and it isn’t up yet. But, from the beginning, I thought about doing free shipping and free returns on these. The reasons are: I’ve got about 280 pairs of pants in various sizes, they will be less than a pound each to ship, and I want to sell them as fast as reasonably possible.
My point is that these are target items for this program. Right now, I’ll put them up, and, if someone just “rents” them, I’ll probably be out of luck. Come May, I can reduce the refund by 50%, and Ebay will back me up. So, I’m very excited about the program. Now, if I can only get my butt in gear and finish the listing.
I’ll probably not have free returns on most of my other stuff. I’ll think about it, and maybe do what makes sense. But that’s the deal, I can pick and chose.
03/05/2018 at 2:31 pm #34458
This is absolutely my favorite recipe using kimchi https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/kimchi-udon-with-scallions. Perhaps it would be just as delicious with shirataki noodles. Which by the way are a traditional Japanese food item, not some newly created “frankenfood”. I haven’t been posting my sales because my store is small, with a lot of low dollar items, but since I am here I will for once.
Feb 25 – March 3, 2018
Total Items in Store: 279
Items Sold: 7
Cost of Items Sold: $ 10.47
Total Sales: $ 131.96 (does not include shipping)
Highest Price Sold: $ 42.00 (vintage 40s house dress)
Average Price Sold: $18.85
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $ 4.50
Number of items listed this week: 9
03/05/2018 at 5:31 pm #34466
Those noodles look awesome.
03/05/2018 at 4:37 pm #34459
24 hours ago, I never heard of Lalique…then I watched the BBC show “Bargain Hunt” and one of the contestants was looking all over a flea market/antique show for Lalique glass. He found this little fish that looked like a yellow and slightly larger Swedish Fish candy, that was Lalique glass. It was 80 GBP. I would have thought it was some cheap bathroom accessory from Target.
Then I listen to the podcast this afternoon, and Jay mention that Lalique would make his heart race if he found some. I’m sure myself, and many others would have easily walked past many Lalique glass items in the past.
I’m doing a quick Google Image Search to get a visual education on what the various Lalique glass items look like – and BOLO for them in the future.
03/05/2018 at 5:29 pm #34465
A couple years back, Flim from NYC showed us how she sold an empty Lalique perfume bottle for $1200. Wow!
03/05/2018 at 4:44 pm #34460
- Location: Pittsburgh
Feb 25 – March 3, 2018
Total Items in main Store: 9,517
Items Sold: 197
Cost of Items Sold: $325
Total Sales: $3097
Highest Price Sold: $399 (vintage Burberry jacket)
Average Price Sold: $19.11
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $130
Number of items listed this week: 256
Total hours logged: 56
Two comments about this week’s show.
First, Offerup and Letitgo is a GREAT place to sell, quite literally, garbage. I have no hesitation about picking up a lawnmower or piece of furniture curbside and taking it home. Throw it up on one of those two sites or FB Marketplace with a reasonable price and there is always somebody willing to come and buy it, even if it doesn’t work. I don’t even bother testing mechanical items that I find in the trash (unless it it appears to be high end and worth selling on ebay). My effort is limited to putting it in the vehicle and posting it for sale. I sometimes move the item further down the curb, away from the real garbage, photograph it, and post it immediately. When I get home, it sits in the driveway, and if it doesn’t sell in a week or two, it simply gets pushed to my curb. I answer silly questions with one word answers because some of those sites measure response time and rate. I work from home, so I just tell people to text me when they are here to pick up. A lot of no-shows, but at least I’m not waiting around for them either. Some of the older guys that like to fix things can get a little chatty, but that can be entertaining sometimes. That said, I don’t go out looking for trash, but if it presents itself to me, well then. Currently my driveway has no trash sitting in it. I find it a good way to make a near effort-free $1500 + each year. And I’m recycling.
Second, I second the caller today that offered you encouragement to sell internationally outside of the GSP. I sell a lot of smaller lightweight items that fit into bubble mailers or poly bags, so international shipping via First Class is between $10-23 depending on the country. The last time I studied the numbers, I sold about 13% overall internationally, and my “gone missing” rate was about 3%. So yeah, things do disappear. Take into account what you are selling when you list it. Real valuable things should never ship without the protection of GSP. Gewgaws? Bring it on. This weekend, I sold a camera FLASH manual, not even vintage, for $14.99. It was one of those things that I have had forever, and when I pulled it to ship, questioned myself why it was in my possession in the first place. But somebody in Korea, that one person, had to have it. If it disappears, I’m out $13 in shipping. There is only a 3% chance of that happening though. I’ll take the 97% odds and $14.99 that it will be safely delivered.
03/05/2018 at 4:50 pm #34461
Yep, as the caller said….Offer Up and CL are great for urban scavengers. We’d be all over reselling appliances and used furniture. In our rural area, its a bust.
And selling First Class overseas? Sounds like you don’t mind the risk and hassle. That’s cool. We just think some buyers are too cheap to pay the proper shipping costs and their own country’s duty fees. These are often the ones who ask us to lie about the value of the item. You can have those buyers (you’re welcome!)
03/05/2018 at 6:07 pm #34469
Indomatt – are you leveraging file exchange, employees, or some other means to list over 256 listings in the week? If you dont mind sharing, how many of the 56 hours were needed to list 256 items?
03/05/2018 at 7:49 pm #34483
- Location: Pittsburgh
13 hours last week. Some weeks I can spend well over 20 hours posting and only get the same amount done. I do it all myself. Combination of posting from phone while I’m waiting for kids at their after school activities and nights spent sitting in front of laptop using auctiva. I can usually find the same or similar items in my active listings or history to make minor alterations to and change the photo (advantages of having a huge inventory). I photograph similar/like items in batches so when I’m cruising it takes less than a minute to list. What ends up taking time is finding a new item and having to research it.
03/05/2018 at 5:37 pm #34467
RR Store Week Feb 25-March 3, 2018
Total Items in Store: 1496
Items Sold: 48
Cost of Items Sold: $94.94
Total Sales: $1,382.11
Highest Price Sold: $306 (lot 49 reel to reel tapes)
Average Price Sold: $28.79
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $60.43
Number of items listed this week: 18
Ah, life. Last week was …interesting. I had my mom’s birthday dinner, an exploding coolant hose, a funeral, my girlfriend’s dad in the hospital, a visit to the emergency pet hospital, an unexpected family friend visit, and two very sad estate sales. All these things occurred when I’m usually listing. As a result, I was only able to list 18 items. All that said, I had one of my best weeks ever. So crazy. And if I had a regular job, I would never have been able to take the time off to deal with all of these mini crises and events.
Lately I’ve been channeling my inner Steven Schultz and selling reel to reel related items. I pick them up whenever I can. This week I sold 6 different lots of reels, including the lot of 49 Ampex tapes; they went for $306 at auction, starting at $149.99. I’m usually not into auctions, but with a lot this size, I kinda just wanted to see what would happen. I would have been fine with my opening bid price. I paid $10 bucks for them. I’ve also enjoyed parting out two reel to reel players, a Sony and a Roberts. All those little parts add up.
Off to try to replicate this week’s success. If I can hit close to this each week, I’ll be just fine.
03/05/2018 at 6:17 pm #34470
I have no concerns at all about free returns. I think it’s good customer service that gives me a competitive edge. Some customers are going to filter on it, so like Guaranteed Delivery, it has a potential of reduced traffic. Sure some customers may abuse it, but my philosophy is to not set my policies based on fears. I don’t want to set blanket policies for all customers to protect me from a few who may abuse it. So you lose $10 here and there on a few returns. It’s a drop in the bucket for the profits we make. I like anything that makes me appear to have exemplary customer service, including “free” shipping on fixed price shipping (I charge for Priority) and free returns. Buying online is a risk, so anything I can do to mitigate that risk for my buyers, I’m in.
03/05/2018 at 6:51 pm #34473
When you say “free” shipping on fixed price shipping”, do you mean on items that fit in a flat rate envelope/box? I assume you just add the cost of the shipping in the price?
03/05/2018 at 8:04 pm #34485
My numbers for the week of 2/25/18:
Total Items in Store: 138
Items Sold: 18
Cost of Items Sold: $88
Total Sales: $740 + shipping
Highest Price Sold: $91 (Metal tree sculpture)
Average Price Sold: $41.11
I had a great week…in my top 5 ever for highest sales.
Regarding the Free Returns debate, I don’t intend to opt in. To me, it’s not at all worth the $20-ish I’m getting for the final value fee TRS+ discount. And, although I have seen eBay state that TRS positively affects your placement in search, I cannot find anywhere where it’s even hinted at that TRS+ provides an additional boost. That would be the real loss, not the paultry FVF discount. If sales plummet, I can always reconsider. But to be honest my first thought was “Oh, Crap” and my second was “Yay! If I’m going to loose the discount anyways, I am definitely going back to 2 day handling”. It takes away the only part of this job that feels stressful…when the printer suddenly doesn’t connect to the computer, when the substitute mail guy reaches over my packages to deliver the junk mail and leaves the clearly marked Priority packages just sitting there, when the internet goes out, if the power goes out… Yeah, I’m definitely sitting this one out. I don’t do free shipping (except for some occasional First Class items) and I don’t do Guaranteed Delivery (even though I always ship next day) and I don’t do Promoted Listings (the whoever-pays-eBay-the-most-fees gets the most visibility policy). We’ll see how it goes.
03/06/2018 at 1:20 am #34509
BethGreen – you are absolutely right on the reduced stress of longer handling time. I have 3-day handling. I usually ship within 1-2 days, but knowing I have the buffer just in case is such a great feeling of freedom.
I’m not opted into Guaranteed Delivery either. And I’m not going to rush into Free Returns. Taking a wait and see approach on how things work out for others.
03/05/2018 at 8:16 pm #34488
Side note: I’d never heard of Lalique before and wanted to read up on it. RealorRepro.com has some good information, but beware: “Lalique marks are forged more often than almost any other marks on glass with the possible exception of American cut glass. There is such a huge variety of forged Lalique marks it is impossible to list them all.”
03/05/2018 at 8:23 pm #34489
Side-Side note: My issue with FedEx Smartpost is not the initial discrepancy that occurred between what the customer paid and what my cost is. It is that packages that used to cost $12 are costing 4X that amount! Just for example, a 4# 15x15x15 box (not really that large or heavy) from OH to CA in the Shipping calculator is showing as $18.14 Parcel Select. FedEx Smartpost price $48.31 ($38.27 with the eBay discount)!!! Ryanne are you saying you are not seeing this crazy price increase?
03/06/2018 at 12:21 pm #34529
BethGreen: I followed up with eBay on this issue today, and they are supposed to get me an update via e-mail today. They saw the issue and were able to recreate it (which is the biggest hurdle), so they know that this is a problem. I will pass on what I find out.
Interestingly on our numbers, this week we removed FedEx as an option, and our STR on Hard Goods jumps back up to 13%. We are either flat rate $9.99 Priority shipping on items under 4lbs, or we are using Calculated shipping marked Parcel for larger items. Sales started to pick up…
03/06/2018 at 7:14 pm #34587
T-Satt – Just so I understand you correctly, is eBay acknowledging that the prices are incorrect? That the price I see in the calculator is not the price it would be if I drove it down to FedEx (assuming all the same discounts of printing at home) and that it is grossly overinflated? Or are those the prices that FedEx actually changed to when they had the recent DIM increase?
03/06/2018 at 7:32 pm #34592
They said the prices are incorrect.
03/06/2018 at 8:36 pm #34600
I am so glad to hear that. I thought I was loosing the market on the west coast completely for my bigger items…it can’t handle that huge of a price increase.
03/06/2018 at 9:28 pm #34607
BethGreen: no real news, but here is the response I received today on the FedEx issue…
Just reaching out to you to let you know I have not forgotten you and your Fed Ex Smart Post calculator malfunction. At this point the technical team has opened a new investigation into this issue based on the information you provided to us on Feb. 26th when we spoke. I received an email the next day letting me know that they are seeing the issue on your account and are now collecting examples of other accounts experiencing the same malfunction, to determine how wide spread the issue is. (This information is collected through the reports of other agents). Since receiving the email from tech-support, I have heard nothing more.
Today when I got your email message, I reached out to our department supervisor to see if he could get us an update. At this point I have not heard back from him, but will let you know when I do – to pass along his update.
I am truly sorry for the frustration this situation is causing.”
03/05/2018 at 9:57 pm #34496
02/25/18 – 03/03/18
Total Items In Store: 2,263
Items Sold: 21
Cost of Items Sold: $75 (around)
Total Sales: $612
Highest Price Sold: $50 (Vintage GI Joe)
Average Price Sold: $29.14
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $ 358
Number of Items listed this week: 66
Sales volume was normal, but the average price was down a lot.
03/05/2018 at 10:35 pm #34497
Feb 25 – March 3, 2018
(I have 3 ebay accounts and a poshmark account)
Total Items in Store: 882 + 512 + 195 + 1051 = 2,640
Items Sold: 42 + 10 + 10 + 5 = 67
Cost of Items Sold: estimated $250
Total Sales: $652 + $181 + $362 + 66 = $1,261.00
Highest Price Sold: $80.00 Lilly Pulitzer Dress & $65.00 Exclusively Misook Dress
Average Price Sold: $18.82
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $ 70
Number of items listed this week: 48
This past week I went to Goodwill and another local thrift store a couple times. I also went to a new to me auction but didn’t buy anything. I try to list 100 items a week but only listed 48. I’m feeling a little burned out on clothing but then I go to the thrift store and find St. John within minutes so it is hard to stop. I am trying to figure out where and how to source higher dollar vintage hard good items, next month I think I’ll try to buy my first table lot at the auction.
- This reply was modified 1 week, 2 days ago by KatieScott.
03/06/2018 at 6:04 am #34510
I have had good success finding higher dollar vintage hard good items at estate sales. I pick and choose which ones I go to carefully because estate sales can suck up your time. But I hit it just right this past Saturday, the items looked like junk to most people but they were actually from the 1940’s – 1960’s and good items. They were giving some of them to me at the end of the sale just to get rid of them. These will probably longer tail items, but I do like these vintage hard good items.
I have also had good success finding vintage hard good in the “older wealth” neighborhoods. Those are the neighborhoods that were very trendy about 30 years ago, but now they are older. But, the people there still have the good stuff from 30+ years ago.
Also, do they have Value World in Florida? I went to one on Saturday and found about 4 coats that will sell for over $100. I had to pay up about $10-$15 each, but I think it was worth it.
03/05/2018 at 10:42 pm #34502
Flim Store Week 2-25 to 3-3-18
Total Items in Store: 1065
Items Sold: 46
Cost of Items Sold: $550.30
Total Sales: $2,911.90
Highest Price Sold: $700 (high end shoes)
Average Price Sold: $61.95/48.08 without highest
It’s been a while since I’ve calculated my numbers the SL way. This past week was pretty crazy, generally good numbers and Saturday was close to $1000 in sales with the $700 shoe sale. The shoes were a bizarre find at my local kinda junky thrift. There were actually 2 pairs of high end shoes, both unworn, one new with tags. They cost $200 each at the thrift, so I was really taking a pretty big cost for 2 pairs of shoes. But retail was $1300-$1480 per pair. I have no idea why they were there, why they were unworn, but I figured I would take a shot. The other pair sold for $750 in January.
My Feb sales were really slow and I was getting nervous. March has been a big improvement. It also helps that I had access to a high-end cosmetics sale recently so I have a bunch of new higher end items for low COGS.
Re: spring seller update – I’m def going to miss the restocking fee. Since I have sell a lot of clothing, the restocking fee helps cushion the blow for expensive returns for fit. I recently sold a $780 dress (found for $26!!!!!) but just got the alert that she wants to return it. The restocking fee is $156. Not sure how I’ll proceed in the spring. Probably for used clothing I’ll have to eat the free returns – it will be hard to compete in that category without it.
03/05/2018 at 11:01 pm #34505
“When you say “free” shipping on fixed price shipping”, do you mean on items that fit in a flat rate envelope/box? I assume you just add the cost of the shipping in the price?”
Yes, anything that is less than 1 lb (1st class) or that ships flat rate priority or media mail, I’ll include the shipping in the price. When researching what my item has sold for recently, I’ll evaluate shipped price, and price mine competitively. If items sell around $20 + $5 shipping, I’ll go $24.99 with best offer. Yes, it’s a game. People like to see “free shipping”. I think they know it’s included, but there’s something psychological about not paying something additional.
I sold my old iPhone 7 Plus this week for $500 with free shipping. I shipped Priority with insurance and signature confirmation. Did not factor that into the price. I’m not going to squabble over $20 on a $500 item.
03/06/2018 at 10:52 am #34519
Week of February 25 to March 3
Total items in store start of week: 264
Total items in store end of week: 270
Total sales: $183.98 (does not include shipping or cancelled items)
# items sold: 3
Weekly Sell Through Rate: 1.11%
Average Sales Price: $61.32
Cancellations: 1 for $40
Unpaid Items: 0
# items listed: 9
A slow week was salvaged by the sale of a few high priced items. The best being a vintage backpack for $120. I was happy to finally managed to break the 270 item level.
This weeks total items listed goal: 280
03/06/2018 at 11:21 am #34521
- Location: Virginia Beach
Great to hear about everyone’s week. Here are my latest #s:
02/25/18 – 03/03/18
Total Items In Store: 772
Items Sold: 29
Total Sales: $1,193.65
Cost of Items Sold: $57.43
Highest Price Sold: $264 – Rigol Portable Digital Storage Oscilloscope (commission sale, put on sale, w/free ship)
Average Price Sold: $41.16
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $93.66
Number of Items listed this week: 0 (traveling)
Solid week, and was able to move some long-held items. I’ve put a small sale on a lot of those, and am considering following ChristineR’s lead and putting other long-held items (and perhaps bad early buys) on auction. It’s Spring cleaning that ensures sales/income on a set day, and keeps my limited space primed for better items.
Appreciate all the BOLO advice I’ve encountered…a great recent sale that will go in next week’s #s is a vintage brass wire soap dish, the kind that hangs over a claw foot tub, for example. Picked it up for $10 at an estate sale, and sold it yesterday for $125. I love old stuff.
@simplicio – a USED neti pot for $140??! Was it jewel-encrusted? Wowsa. Love it.
03/06/2018 at 11:52 am #34526
- Location: Wheeling, WV
Feb 25 – March 3
Total Items in Store: 1376
Items Sold: 25
Total Sales : $850
Highest Price: $150 (Authentic Heavy Duty Licinio Chavez Sombrero Hat)
Average Price: $34
Cost of Items Sold: $70
Costs of Items Purchased this Week: $0
Number of Items Listed this Week: 40
Another pretty solid week of sales on my end. But I’ve been slacking a bit lately with listing. I’m getting into my busy time of year at work so I’m putting in more hours and coming home exhausted. That on top of lots of stuff going on in my personal life just makes it hard to get into eBay as much as I would like.
I got my taxes back from my CPA. It turns out I owe less than I thought I would. I made a total of $34,000 in sales. I spent $16,000 in expenses (shipping, fees, mileage, supplies, internet and rent deductions) and $5,400 on COGS and about $750 in returns. That left me with a Net profit of $11,600. Subtracting my refund from my day job, I owe $2,700 state and fed combined. (These are all very rounded numbers). My CPA charged me $250 to take care of all my tax things. Not bad for my second year of selling on eBay. Though looking at my numbers, I don’t think I’ll be able to make it to my year’s resolution of $40K Net Profit. Maybe $25K would be a more realistic number.
As for all this commotion with the spring seller update, I kind of have to say that these changes make it appear that eBay is focusing more on high volume businesses and are forgetting us small-time sellers. The new store size category can tell you that much. It’s sad to think that they’re forgetting their roots and seem to only have their eyes on profits. Like you said, it’s probably just a bunch of MBA business people coming up with these plans to benefit the company. They’re out of touch with the likes of us. Like many of you, I’ll try out the free returns to see if it works for me. I don’t get very many returns anyways so it might not make a big difference. But I don’t expect to make more sales either. The nixing of the restocking fee is a bummer too.
03/06/2018 at 12:55 pm #34537
Glad you got your taxes done by a pro. Makes it so much easier.
As far as the Seller Update, I dont think eBay has any bad intensions. Like you said, their business folks are looking at their numbers and tweaking policies because they see they can squeeze more money from the commodity sellers. Lets keep having fun in our little corner we live in.
03/06/2018 at 2:20 pm #34550
One way to look at it: If we can keep having eBay make money, stay relevant, and bring buyers to their platform, we ride their coattails to more sales.
Yes, on the 80/20 rule, we are the 20…but that doesn’t mean we can’t make good money there…
03/06/2018 at 12:11 pm #34527
Week of 2/25-3/3
Total Items in Store: 1,886 (Up 32% YOY)
Number of Items Listed: 42
Number of Items Sold: 69 (Down 16% YOY)
(Includes 2 Etsy, 0 Bonanza, 1 TrueGether)
Weekly STR: 16% (Down 9% YOY)
Total Product Sales: $1,804 (Down 4% YOY)
Cost of Items Sold: $372
Highest Item Sold: $100 – Vintage Texas Eagle Black Inlay Leather Cowboy Boots
Competition: Highest Priced Sale: Veronica wins the week and Troy leads the year at 5-4.
# Listed: 1,145
# Sold: 41
# Listed: 114
# Sold: 7
eBay Hard Goods
# Listed: 627
# Sold: 19
Etsy Hard Goods
# Listed: 139
# Sold: 2
Number of Items Listed: 318 (Forecast: 400)
Number of Items Sold: 243 (Forecast: 375)
February Sales Breakdown:
eBay – 248
Etsy – 3
Bonanza – 2
TrueGether – 2
Monthly STR: 14% (Forecast: 20%)
Monthly ASP: $25.22 (Forecast: $18.94)
Total Sales: $7,699 (Forecast: $9,243) – Increase of 21% YOY
The discussion of “slow” sales triggered how we discussed sales in my old industry. When they weren’t as good as we wanted, sales were said to be “soft”. So you week isn’t “slow”, it is that “sales were soft”.
Regarding the discussion of “retail standard” on Free Return Shipping, the more I think about it, free returns IS a retail standard. Many of us compare to Amazon, but if we think bigger than that, we realize that Brick & Mortar stores are free returns to the buyer. Platforms like EBay are not just competing in the online space, they are competing in the Retail Space. Shoppers can return items back to Wal-Mart, Target, etc. all the time. If we want the advantage of being able to reach more buyers that at a Brick & Mortar store, we will sometimes have to have the disadvantage of paying for return shipping. Really thinking of ourselves as competing in the Retail Space, not just eCommerce, is making many more business decisions clearer.
03/06/2018 at 12:53 pm #34536
I like that: “sales are soft”.
I keep trying to compare it to the money we need to make each week. I think its good when we each have our own personal concrete financial goals. Making money just to make money is a slippery slope.
03/06/2018 at 2:18 pm #34548
Yeah, it is always interesting (and important) to have numbers in the proper context. Without relevance, they mean nothing.
For us, sales felt strong this week, back up to $1,800, but they were actually below last year (just barely). We had a solid month, up 24% YOY, but well below what we forecast.
All in how you see things…
03/06/2018 at 2:19 pm #34549
I know you like to track growth, but what is your current monetary need each week/month?
03/06/2018 at 2:29 pm #34552
Our goal right now is to get to $4,800/week in sales. That will generate the profit we need to fully fund our expenses as well as invest in our next venture.
03/06/2018 at 3:09 pm #34557
Wow. $19,200/month! That would a pretty incredible eBay business selling clothes and stuff from thrift stores, etc.
Our best month ever was about $14k.
This is before eBay/paypal fees, taxes, etc.
03/06/2018 at 3:21 pm #34559
Agree. That is the Total Revenue number, not the net. But at the margins we are generating on the bottom line, that would get us there.
Can only be done (with what we are selling now) with employees. But I would love to start expanding the items we buy to get there without spending too much in labor. I’m watching someone (and learning) with a $26k Revenue January, running at about a 50% margin after COGS and Fees.
03/06/2018 at 3:36 pm #34560
Got it. So that seller makes $13k net profit per month. That’s doable if they’re really motivated, have employees, and put a whole lot of time into running the business.
I do wonder if it’s sustainable though. We know an eBay store that probably makes that much per month (maybe more?), but:
–they buy out estates so have huge up front costs paying $5k+ for each house.
–they bought and must maintain two large box trucks
–they have at least 10 employees (including movers and eBay photographers and listers)
–they rent two large buildings to do all the unpacking, and storage.
I’ve never seen two people work so hard all the time. I’m always looking for ways to grow out kind of business without adding too much more work.
- This reply was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by Jay.
03/06/2018 at 3:44 pm #34563
This seller may not have employees, that is what I’m trying to find out. They just have a high ASP, and a high Average Cost. I don’t think their constraint is time (which would be ours to reach that level), it is capital. At a $13k Cost each month, that is a high bar, and a high capital risk to manage.
03/06/2018 at 4:20 pm #34567
Ryanne’s mom has a neighbor who sells high end watches on eBay. I assume he pays big money for nice watches, and sells them for higher. He must be willing to risk the capital tied up in expensive inventory.
I have no idea what his actual net profit is each month. It’s like the Amazon FBA Youtubers who say they sell $1,000,000 a year. How much is cash in the pocket?
03/06/2018 at 4:28 pm #34570
Completely agree. If you sell $1M, but your cost was $900k, you still made $100k, but you are definitely at risk of losing capital.
We continue to maintain two floors:
1) Aim for 3x to 4x on COGS at the lowest.
2) At the LOWEST, $10 net profit on the item (but has to be a 4X on COGS MINIMUM)
By doing that, we stay pretty safe. But as Time is now becoming more of a constraint than Capital, we are looking to raise ASP, and be willing to accept a 2X IF the profit per time is worth the investment.
I’m OK with a $1M in sales, if my cost is $500k…
03/06/2018 at 4:40 pm #34571
–We’ve hit the limit of time we want to put into eBay.
–We’ve also not found the consistent stream higher dollar items we can sell to raise our profit. For our kind of scavenging, it would take a lot of time attending auctions to find these items at a reasonable cost.
–We also refuse to change from our method of scavenging and risking more capital.
So no easy answer. I think any long time eBayer eventually hits a ceiling unless they change some part of their equation.
03/06/2018 at 4:47 pm #34572
Amen brother. That is what I am seeing in my forecasting spreadsheets. By next year, we are at “stasis”, meaning that at our STR, our listings and sales are the same. So we are capped out. So we have run our model just about to completion.
So, we have to adjust the model. We are looking to increase ASP, and increase volume. Hoping to get our first employee shortly. After that, I can foresee getting another employee, taking a lower amount of profit, but getting more time outside of the business. Then if we can maintain the business with less time, we can focus on a new income stream.
Similar to you guys. You have 3 income streams (though the video work is only 1 or 2 times a year), so you only have so much time. If we can get everything up to the right level, then take a haircut but get more time back, we have moved from the S quadrant to the E quadrant. And then we try to move to the I quadrant…
03/06/2018 at 7:19 pm #34588
I have to disagree…Brick and Mortar accept the return, but they don’t pay you for the gas you used to drive the item back to the store. Transit is on the buyer.
- This reply was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by BethGreen.
03/06/2018 at 12:29 pm #34530
Store Week 2/25/1 8- 3/3/18
Total items in store: 1618
Items sold: 25
Cost of items sold: $37.26
Total sales: $854.12
Highest price sold: $125.00 (Rotary dial phone)
Average price sold: $34.16
Money spent on new inventory this week: $38.73
Thanks for another great podcast. I hadn’t checked out the spring update yet, and I’m kind of bummed to learn the news of the free shipping thing and the loss of restocking fees. I know I can just add the shipping onto the price of the item, but I’m not always great at figuring out what it’s going to cost since I won’t know where the buyer is. So I guess I will either keep doing what I’m doing and lose that discount, or get studying! Like you said, it will be fine in the end.
Last week was MUCH better than the previous week, and I was happy to sell some hig
her priced items. I’ve been really happy lately that I do have quite a few lower priced items, since that is pretty much all that’s been selling. It does add up!
03/06/2018 at 1:53 pm #34543
The phone must’ve been in a rare color?
Red, aqua, yellow and orange seem to get the best money.
03/06/2018 at 2:13 pm #34547
That’s real good money for a rotary phone – I only get about $30-$40 for a working/clean black/white/beige/brown phone, and odd/bright colors like red, aqua, orange, etc. barely get me over $60.
03/06/2018 at 11:58 pm #34614
Yes, it was a red, wall mount phone. I always look for phones in bright colors and this is the first one I’ve found. Although I did sell an avocado green desk phone for $50 a while back, which I thought was pretty great. Hoping to find more!
03/06/2018 at 3:02 pm #34554
Was thinking more about my position on free shipping and free returns, and I guess it doesn’t bother me as I don’t sell items that are a high risk for returns. Sounds like clothing and shoes are a different story (doesn’t fit, don’t like the color, etc).
I do charge for shipping on rates that vary by distance. I used to be all in on free shipping, and would get best offers from the other side of the country that I would accept if the buyer was closer. So now I only include shipping on rates that are the same to CA as they are to NY. At the end of the day if someone is sending me $25 for me to ship them my item, I don’t care if my listing was $20 + $5 shipping or $25 with free shipping. But I can see if you get frequent returns, why you wouldn’t want to include shipping. My separating it out, you can refund only the purchase price. Makes sense.
03/06/2018 at 3:13 pm #34558
So you just add $25 to all your items, and then add free shipping?
Edit: Or you add $5 to everything and add free shipping? If so, I assume you sell very light items?
- This reply was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by Jay.
03/06/2018 at 3:56 pm #34565
My biggest concern with free return would be the buyer who filters for it is probably the one most likely to return items.
Clothing would be very susceptible to this practice.
03/07/2018 at 10:29 am #34624
Definitely. In fact, I’m the person who does that as a buyer. Of course I try not to return items, but I almost never order anything to wear (from any company) unless it has free returns …and I often end up sending it back. I guess this this an example of both the benefits and the drawbacks.
03/07/2018 at 10:33 am #34625
This is really interesting. So if you return a lot of the clothes you buy because it doesn’t fit or make you happy, why not just buy clothes in a store where you can try it on?
Does the Free Returns make it so easy that you might as well “window shop”?
03/07/2018 at 11:13 am #34631
I hardly ever buy clothes online, but I live in a small town without a lot of options. So mainly I just order if I’m looking for something very specific. Like shoes. I have major back issues and it’s VERY hard to find shoes I can wear. I’ve pretty much scoured the town, so then I’m left ordering and hoping that they will work. But I really don’t do this on eBay because it’s the little guy, just like me. But I’m sure many other buyers wouldn’t think twice about that.
03/07/2018 at 11:21 am #34632
Understood. If an eBay seller adds “free returns” to their items, then you have every right to return it free with no questions asked. Don’t feel bad. The seller is choosing to allow you that return luxury.
I do wonder how eBay will punish buyers who return things too often. How often is too often? And why can’t a buyer return anything they want if that’s what this new policy is?
03/07/2018 at 11:24 am #34633
Also, while I really don’t “window shop,” I know for a fact that a lot of people do. I’ve worked for years in retail where you can return your orders in store (hence, no return shipping). Some people would place huge orders of draperies, etc. without knowing if they even like the color. They’re just trying it out instead of ordering one piece. Or they order two or three sizes of the same item to see what fits best.
03/07/2018 at 11:31 am #34634
Yep, thats what folks do at Lowes and Home Depot when doing renovation projects. Buy more than you need and return it all later.
But that’s the deal these stores make with customers. I guess the idea is that people will buy more knowing they can return things with no questions asked. The customers are doing nothing wrong.
The big question is: does a small eBay seller want to have that level of returns? As everyone says, lets see if return rates rise for those who do Free Returns.
03/07/2018 at 11:05 am #34628
This also is my concern though with electronics. Maybe coincidence but i am dealing with 2 likely cases of fraud in the last 2 weeks – only one of which took place after switching to free returns however.
The more I look at the free return situation the more i realize that the 20% reward for being top rated is completely gone and the increased costs likely will be more than 20% This pattern does rub me the wrong way as it feels a lot like a bate and switch in terms of guiding my behavior with incentives in a disingenuous way. I made a business decision to become top rated and the rules of the game completely changed only a couple of business quarters later.
Furthermore my ‘hypothesis’ is that folks that are looking to make trouble on ebay with sellers do target top rated sellers and likely will all the more do so with the free return situation. They know top rated folks guard their reputation and suspect that they will more likely make the business decision to give in to demands to prevent negative feedback. It is easy enough to resist and Ebay has backed me up historically, though it makes me wonder more if top rated is worth the trouble.
Perhaps having less stellar feedback on Ebay would not be that bad? And lastly — free reruns may be the standard with on premise businesses, however, it is pretty common to see on premise businesses shutting their doors and going out of business too.
03/07/2018 at 11:12 am #34629
Just one note: eBay changed the TRS discount to only 10% last year.
03/07/2018 at 11:47 am #34636
right – it went from 20 to 10. The 20% may have covered the costs of the new free return policy, measuring against 10% may be more difficult.
As you guys point out often, it is not productive to sit here and complain, but the policy is significant. I wish Ebay would focus more on activities that add value. This may or may not have a positive effect on the platform long term, but from the vantage point of a small business it certainly does not feel right, and looks at the moment more like smoke and mirrors to try to raise quarterly EPS. These days my response is to ask Ebay for a seller discount to make up for their policy — it may be a rhetorical question in effect but is a fair question i feel.
I think there has been a lot of positive perspective from more experienced sellers about appropriate response to offset costs, which i appreciate. I am a bit frustrated so i will sign off for the moment on this chain and focus on more productive things — and will chime back in to the forum when i can add value.
03/06/2018 at 3:58 pm #34566
Marie in FloridaParticipant
All of a sudden Ebay is clicking for me. Not selling that much, I think it was $165 this week, about $250 last week. But I’ve done a few things right
1 Every week I try to have more listed. Even if it’s only 1 or 2. And I don’t beat up myself if I am lower cuz I had a lot of sales. Currently around 350
2 I found the listing date button. Looked at the oldest items. I have clothing items from 2015! Not cool things, but old Ralph Lauren shirts, Chico’s tank tops, J Jill pants. Every few days I lower the price. And lower it again. And again.
3 It’s starting to walk out the door. Not for a lot, but it’s going. These are the Wouldn’t-Buy-It-Again items, not the cool long tail items. Baseball hat for $9, Tommy Bahama for $17, 3 Chicos pieces for $20
4 I looked at some items in detail and found errors. Had one butter mold with pictures of another. Got it right and sold in 10 days for $75.
03/06/2018 at 5:26 pm #34575
I have a small store of 200ish items. Been a TRS+ since it was invented. Right now I’m about 80% clothing, shoes and accessories, but with the race to the bottom in those categories, bit by bit, I’m transitioning to this/that.
Over the past six months or so, I’ve been doing mostly free shipping with a 20% restocking fee and my CS&A return rate is about 4-5%. Ironically, instead of the upcoming changes prompting me to be more buyer-friendly, I’m heading in what Ebay likely views as the opposite direction. Won’t be doing free return shipping, which means no more 10% FVF discount, therefore, no reason to knock myself out with 1-day handling either. In light of Ebay taking away the restocking fee, I won’t be doing free outgoing shipping either. We’ll see if sales crash. I’m not expecting that they will.
03/06/2018 at 5:32 pm #34577
Please let us know how sales continue by not choosing Free Returns. I’m feeling that customers will still buy if the price is right for the item they want. Maybe we just let the people racing to the bottom slug it out until they burn out.
03/06/2018 at 5:29 pm #34576
Now that I have had a chance to listen to the podcast, I’ll chime in with my weekly thoughts beyond the numbers, which I already posted above. First off, I am that person who has truly and actually managed to butt dial in a purchase!!! It isn’t that hard to do as it happens. I was looking at another seller’s tennis shoes. Then somehow in setting down my phone, I managed to click the buy it now/immediately option. I quickly reached out to the seller and he canceled the sale, thank goodness!!!
I look on in awe at the numbers folks are putting up relative to their inventory. Then it struck me, I’m paying sooooo little for COGs that I’m ending up with too many low dollar items. Yes, I may occasionally luck on to a vintage waffle iron that I can clean and flip for $75 or so, that I only paid 30 cents for, but that’s more often overshadowed by the curling iron I pick up for the same price and can only sell for 10.
In an effort to really raise the bar, I went to an auction last night and laid out almost 800. Some highlight purchases: Brand New still in packaging 4 piece Hartmann Tweed Luggage Set; 4 enormous panels of Barkcloth lined pleated drapery; a huge lot of mid-century nautical cotton lined drapes and table cloths with cool graphics, a large lot of sterling and gold modern jewelry, a large lot of crystal including waterford, a primative hand loomed bed coverlet, an antique tribal prayer rug, and a walmut breakfront (that one is for me).
The jewelry experiment hasn’t worked out just yet. still biding my time there.
03/06/2018 at 5:49 pm #34578
Well done on taking the plunge! Taking some risks are good, as long as they aren’t fatal.
We did a buyout of a seller last night for $500. Should be no LESS than a 3X. Nice that it only took 1 hour to go through and get the good stuff. Normally it would be a solid Saturday to get that much inventory.
03/06/2018 at 6:04 pm #34579
I used $20 & $5 as an example. I do sell very light items, most ship first class. I don’t factor in shipping to some set price I want. I price at what it appears the market is paying, including shipping. I have some trucker hats, and if a certain one shows a history of selling for $10 + $5 shipping, I just price at $15 free shipping.
I think that just like “free shipping” is a psychological benefit for buyers, seeing shipping separated out is a psychological benefit for sellers. Feels like we’re getting X dollars for our item, and the buyer is paying shipping on top of that. We pay FVF’s on the total amount.
Hope I don’t sound like I’m trying to persuade anyone to use free shipping, just discussing why I use it. It may not generate any more sales, but I figure it doesn’t harm anything either. Some of the benefits to me include:
If actual shipping is less, don’t have an angry customer leaving negative feedback because I overcharged for shipping
Get automatic 5 stars for shipping costs
Get “Free Shipping” added to my listings, and people may filter on that
Maybe increased exposure in Best Match?
But you’re absolutely right, it’s not free. Just included in the price. And only works for me when shipping cost is flat across the country.
03/06/2018 at 6:14 pm #34580
Interesting about the $500 buyout of a seller. I see eBay sellers advertising that they’re liquidating sometimes, but assume they’re going to want too much for their items. I liked one of Jay and Ryanne’s podcasts a while back about increasing ASP. I’m ready to start shelling out more money for items, to make more per transaction. Paying $100 for an item I can sell for $200 doesn’t have the profit margin percentage of a $1 item sold for $20, but it’s $100 made in one sale. The hard part is finding items like that. 🙂
03/06/2018 at 6:35 pm #34582
Amen. Though as someone posted earlier…if you look, you will find…
I’m starting to think 10 items deep for new sourcing areas…
03/06/2018 at 6:52 pm #34586
I think that finding items that you can ell for higher takes more time trying to find. So even that has a cost.
Even if we were willing to spend $2k a week on high quality items, we’d need to go to three auctions a week to get enough of those items to change our current model.
Auctions are all day events regardless of what anyone says. Preparation, travel, the actual auction, loading up, unloading, sorting, preparing to list.
03/06/2018 at 7:45 pm #34595
Based on my numbers, I can find an item to sell every 5 minutes, including travel time. If I only made $5 profit per item, I would be making $60/hr to shop.
That is where the profit is made in this business.
03/06/2018 at 8:25 pm #34596
True. It’s easy to find items that sell for $15. That stuff is everywhere.
My hazy future goal is to find items that sell for $300 each (and I purchase for $50 or less). I’d love to build up an inventory of 500 of these items so we can a $300 items sell each day.
But those items are really only at estate sales or auctions in reliable numbers. Takes time and investment to find/buy them. Much different than running into Goodwill and just going through a rack of shirts.
03/06/2018 at 8:25 pm #34597
True. It’s easy to find items that sell for $15. That stuff is everywhere.
My hazy future goal is to find items that sell for $300 each (and I purchase for $50 or less). I’d love to build up an inventory of 500 of these items so we can a $300 items sell each day.
But those items are really only at estate sales or auctions in reliable numbers. Takes time and investment to find/buy them. Much different than running into Goodwill and just going through a rack of shirts.
03/06/2018 at 8:35 pm #34599
That being said: my goal is a fantasy. Your goal is a reality. I like $60/hr if you can keep up the listing.
03/06/2018 at 8:47 pm #34603
The key is to execute the plan…
03/06/2018 at 8:46 pm #34602
I don’t think it is a fantasy, but hard to make a living on JUST that. You use the smaller items to fuel the fire to keep finding the Unicorns…
03/06/2018 at 10:39 pm #34611
You said, “I think that finding items that you can ell for higher takes more time trying to find. So even that has a cost.” I think that is very true for your situation. And I think that is probably true in general. But I have found that just going to the same places that I already go to (that is a lot of estate sales and some thrifts) with a different mind set to find those higher value items is working. Now, will it always work, probably not. But if I put in just a little extra effort, I can get some of the higher priced items.
One of the keys form me here is that the estate sales are so plentiful and “relatively” cheap, that I can pick and choose the very best sales to go to so that I do not waste a lot of time is key. I think that is much of the reason that I have been avoiding the auctions, because they really can take the whole day and I don’t have that much time. I like flying into an estate sale that is close by or already near the route I am already taking.
So, I think in your situation you are right in just keeping to what you have been doing. It works, you make the money you need, and that frees you up to do other things that you want to do. And every once in a while you can take that trip to a bigger town and have some fun at their estate sales or auction. That is a great way to live!
03/06/2018 at 6:35 pm #34583
I posted above that I am having good success finding the higher priced items. For me, it was just a change of thinking. Instead of thinking “What can I find cheap” I am now thinking “What is the item here that I can sell for the most money”. I will worry about price later and maybe try to talk the seller down in price if needed.
The strategy worked at a rummage sale. I bought a sweater that was $10. I was like $10 for an old sweater, no way. Then I decided to give it a chance and look it up and it was selling for $100 or more.
So, I don’t think you have to spend $100 for a $200 item. I am finding that if I spend $10-$25 an item, I can get an item worth $100 – $150 or more. I am just changing my mind set and seeing where it goes, but so far so good.
This may only work in the type of market I am in: Plenty of sales and most of it is cheap. The sellers are getting more savy, but I just try to stay ahead by being armed with my knowledge (and ebay lookup on my iphone).
03/07/2018 at 12:54 pm #34639
I think that everyone has a comfort level – when you purchase an item, it is a short-term investment that you want to cash in for a profit.
My wife and I for a period were buying a particular brand of clothing where we would pay $100 to $125 for an item, and flip it for $200 to $250. After fees, we were making about 80% profit on an item, but were tying up a lot of capital. We also were lucky that buyers didn’t complain or damage/rent the items but it was another risk. We tended to stress when items sat for over a month and weren’t selling.
On the other hand, with the same $100 I could buy a bunch of smaller items (up to $5) – and find the odd unicorn. These smaller items would deliver more profit margins, and sell through at a consistent pace over time instead of waiting for the one sale.
As for unicorns – I scavenge at the 3 same thrift stores almost weekly and find maybe 1 or 2 items for a few dollars that get over $100 once a month, maybe an item every 3 months or so that gets $250 or more, and I have found items that have sold for over $1000 – but that is only every few years. I rarely spend over $5 on an item, and usually only like to spend under $3.
03/07/2018 at 12:54 am #34616
- Location: Oregon
It was really fun to hear about your sale of vintage Nike shoes to someone in Nike. The Nike campus is less than half a mile from my house and I have several friends who work at Nike. They are doing massive construction to the Nike campus and adding several more buildings and my best guess is that your shoes will end up on display in one of the buildings or perhaps in an executive office. The largest of the buildings being built is going to be named the Serena Williams building and will be over a million square feet and the largest building on campus. That’s a lot of display space to fill!
03/07/2018 at 8:11 am #34618
I have been a Nike guy since the 1980’s. Last summer I read the book “Shoe Dog” by Phil Knight the co-founder of Nike and I caught the Nike fever! I was all into finding vintage Nike shoes because the story was so inspiring to me. That led me to find some great shoes. Phil did some crazy things back in those early years, it was a wonder to me that company even survived, but it did.
I would recommend that everyone read “Shoe Dog” by Phil Knight.
03/07/2018 at 11:37 am #34635
Because of your caller I checked my buyer restriction list (blocked bidders…buyer requirements)
I don’t even remember setting these up but…I would recommend taking a quick look… I had restrictions on multiple purchases checked.
among those restrictions were….
Block buyers with a minimum of 4 policy violations or more in 1 month….. what violations would these be that you get 5 strikes before you are out.
….then I noticed that there was an option to block buyers with a negative feedback score starting at -1 or lower. ? How relevant is this.
Thanks for all you do!
03/07/2018 at 5:16 pm #34651
Is anyone else having trouble accessing many parts of my.ebay.com?
03/07/2018 at 5:24 pm #34654
I get the following error:
“Uh-oh, something went wrong and we can’t customize Overview.
We’re showing the default view while we iron things out. If you’ve made customizations, you’ll see them again in a bit.”
I don’t use any customization, so it looks normal except that a few things say that they can’t be displayed at the moment.
03/07/2018 at 5:25 pm #34655
- Location: Virginia
jay was having trouble with this the other day, clear your cache and cookies, it should fix it.
03/07/2018 at 9:19 pm #34672
There was some issue retrieving messages. After 10 minutes it was working again.
03/07/2018 at 8:21 pm #34666
- Location: Glendale, AZ
Well, a mini-experiment gone wrong to the tune of $35.36! I haven’t gone through and raised all of my flat shipping charges on my 900 listings this year after the shipping costs (FedEx SmartPost especially) went way up. Because I’m tired of eating the difference and losing profit as a result, I finally decided to try shipping shoes–specifically a pair of Dr. Martens open back sandals–in a Padded Flat Rate Envelope. If those of you who successfully ship shoes that way have said in the past to wrap them in bubble wrap or protect them some other way inside the envelope, I must have missed that bit of advice. I didn’t add any protection except to seal them inside a plastic bag. The buyer got them, sent a photo of the damage to the insole at the heel of one of them, and rightfully asked for a refund. Back to shipping in a box I suppose! Do you all think I can make a claim with USPS for the damage caused in shipment? Any advice would help, thanks!
03/07/2018 at 9:24 pm #34673
Jay is always saying it is so cheap to list stuff on eBay, but after the spring seller’s update goes into effect for sellers with a Basic store listings in excess of the 250 free listings each month will cost $0.25/each. The Anchor stores are $0.05/each so this is a huge difference. I realize the Anchor store owners pay considerably more for the store fee, but this is a huge difference. Previously, it was $0.20/listing over the 250 listings and I thought that was high.
I am reviewing my store and cleaning out or combining some of my listings that aren’t worth the $0.25/month fee. Thus is sad. :(
03/07/2018 at 9:42 pm #34674
You’re correct. 25-cents isn’t cheap. If someone just sells casually, their strategy probably isn’t list and forget it. It should be list and sell quickly.
That being said, if you can sell an items and make a $30 profit, even paying 25-cents x 4 months isn’t bad.
03/08/2018 at 12:42 am #34684
Interesting. The way I look at the listings beyond 250 (I have a basic store), is not that the extra listings are 20 cents each (for now), but I average out the listing price across all my listings and my subscription fee. So if the fee is $20/month for 250, and then I have 100 listings at 20 cents each, thats 350 listings for $40, or 11.4 cents per listing. Less than $1.50 per year per listing. That’s not bad at all in my book.
I know it’s going up now, so it will cost more, and that sucks. But maybe that means the cutoff point where it’s worth it to get a premium store will be lower, and it will be a good reason to upgrade.
03/08/2018 at 9:50 am #34694
As a casual seller, I have to strategically use my free listings (I get 100/month) and if I go over, I start to think about it.
For me, to pay the listing fee after the first 100 items on something I know will sell quickly is a no brainer. However, for items that stick around I’m not going to rack up the charges month after month and need to eliminate them or figure out how to bundle them, or other ways of making them sell.
I also weed out inventory that is stagnant or re-price once I get beyond the 100 item threshold.
You also need to spread out the costs – listing the 101st item is going to cost me, but it’s really spread out across the 100 free listings.
If you have a lot of items sitting around, I wouldn’t keep paying fees. Cut bait and move on to faster turnover items if the fees are killing you.
03/08/2018 at 10:09 am #34696
Do you always get 100 free listings a month? I get offers and use them as I don’t have a store yet either. I don’t always get the offers.
03/08/2018 at 10:43 am #34700
I get 50 U.S. $ listings, and 50 Canadian $ listings a month.
I get offers above those occasionally for additional listings, or specific categories.
I’ve been a Top Rated Seller for years – it may be a perk I received.
I believe everyone gets different offers and freebies based on performance and activity.
03/08/2018 at 1:15 pm #34704
Just figured I would share some analysis I have been doing. Below is a chart illustrating fee’s based on the following scenario(s):
^Sale price of $34.00
^Consumer Electronics category regular rate (not a special rate item like 3% for guitars or something)
^including paypal fee, insertion fees or portion of store subscription fee for the item, final value fee’s under store and non store / top rated not top rated scenarios.
^premium store assuming max 1,000 listings in case of store scenario fee’s
^Items that sell after various time periods representing “normal sales’ for various STR rates and/or “dead inventory” costs
^assuming .25 cent insertion for both above store credit, and no store, ignoring the free listings ebay gives for promotions or non store members every month.
:: Personally I have been reviewing my business and working to get a more firm understanding of the costs of doing business on Ebay, as well as looking at merits of different strategies around STR rates, top rated vs not top rated, etc.. Since a comment on the blog got me going on this particular spreadsheet i just figured i would go ahead and share it in case it is useful to anyone else.
With a store for listings above the free credit, top rated seller
Months above store credit store Fee’s %
total fees top rated
5 $5.65 17%
12 $7.40 22%
16 $8.40 25%
28 $11.40 34%
62 $19.90 59%
1 $4.65 14%
With a store above store credit, not top rated
above store credit Fee’s %
Months not top rated
5 $5.86 17%
12 $7.61 22%
16 $8.61 25%
28 $11.61 34%
62 $20.11 59%
1 $4.86 14%
With Premium Store with 1,000 listings, top rated seller
store Fee’s %
Months top rated
5 $4.70 14%
12 $5.12 15%
16 $5.36 16%
28 $6.07 18%
62 $8.11 24%
1 $4.46 13%
With a premium store with 1,000 listings, not top rated
store fee’s %
Months not top rated
5 $4.91 14%
12 $5.33 16%
16 $5.57 16%
28 $6.28 18%
62 $8.32 24%
1 $4.67 14%
No store not top rated
no store fee’s %
Months not top rated
5 $7.94 23%
12 $9.69 28%
16 $10.69 31%
28 $13.69 40%
62 $22.19 65%
1 $6.94 20%
03/07/2018 at 10:53 pm #34678
Well put So Cal Joe,
I would just like to add that just as the top paying tenants have a strong voice when renting and can draw the line with the management and/or owner as to what will and won’t be accepted, so can those who have the title Top Rated Seller and Top-Rated Seller Plus. draw the line with eBay. This thought of just accepting what they hand down does not do anybody any good. eBay is watching out for themselves as a corporation, so why can’t sellers watch out for themselves as those engaged in the practice of business? What is status quo is only so because it is accepted to be as such without being challenged. While there are many business practices at play that seem to “make sense” because other businesses engage in it, it does not mean that Top Rated Sellers could not make their voice be heard as to the negative impact the increase in fees and store rates along with the mandate for free returns in order to be a Top Rated Seller is going to have on sellers. eBay watches out for their bottom line and so should sellers regardless of their status.
Based on what we have already seen, if Top Rated Sellers decided to voice their opinions as a group, eBay would take notice. They are not going to risk losing Top Rated Sellers if enough are saying the same thing. As many Top Rated Sellers on SL know, Top Rated Sellers bring in thousands and thousands of dollars for eBay just on fees alone. While ebay may not care about losing small time sellers, they know it takes time for people to build up and maintain a store let alone earn the title of Top-Rated Seller status, so they are not going to be to quick to see Top Rated Sellers leave. Moreover, eBay knows that the Top Rated Seller status brings buyers to the platform. If those with Top Rated Seller and Top Rated Seller Plus status loose their status and/or decide to leave, it would have a strong negative fiscal impact on ebay. The “benefits” ebay is extolling by making the changes are actually just deficits carried by the exact people who make them money every hour every day.
03/08/2018 at 1:09 am #34685
Re: “MBAs behind desks”, I’d like to add a little clarity as to what actually goes on, as my previous life was as a product manager in silicon valley, which means I was one of those people deciding what software features get built next. But I didn’t work for a consumer-facing company like ebay. My customers were datacenter managers.
Anyway, those MBAs are absolutely NOT behind desks. They are on planes and on conference calls. They talk to customers constantly. Typically the big customers. They understand what these customers want and try to get it for them. One of my big customers was ebay, and we spent a lot of time with them, hearing how they use the product, all their ideas for improving it, etc. I had regular biweekly calls with a small group of large customers to go over our plans and get their feedback. I have no doubt that the product managers at ebay are doing the same.
So the problem is not that they are behind desks coming up with ideas out of thin air, but rather that they’re focusing on users other than us. Or, perhaps not enough of us attend their user events? I don’t know how to get them to focus more on us. We know they run focus groups – are those just for buyers?
Now, there IS definitely pressure from the very top (ie, CEO and board), to come up with “big things” that “move the needle” – ie, move the stock price up. And none of our wishlist items fit the bill. So you’ve got that part right. I always hated that b/c I really wanted to just fix all the little problems once and for all before building the next huge feature, but it’s hard to keep the super smart engineers at the company if you’re just working on usability fixes. I could go on. But I’ll stop myself.
03/08/2018 at 7:05 am #34686
Interestingly, last night I was deleting some listings that haven’t sold (due to upcoming $0.25/item/month fees in spring update over the basic store allotment). I also consolidated some listing to reduce my item count. This morning when I checked eBay I had received a message from eBay with a list of my items. It stated, “Lower the price by 5% on these items in shoppers’ carts, and we’ll email them to say their deal got better.”. I had never seen this message before. I have to wonder whether I triggered some action at eBay because I deleted several listings. I didn’t know that eBay would message buyers to inform them that I had dropped the price on certain items. I am wondering whether this is a tactic by eBay to have me drop prices instead of deleting listings.
I have no proof of course. It could very well be a coincidence.
03/08/2018 at 9:21 am #34690
First Sales Posting; hope I’ve done it correctly!
Store Week 2/25/18- 3/3/18
Total items in store: 125(ish)
Items sold: 29
Cost of items sold: $46.08
Total sales: $527.89 (includes shipping)
Highest price sold: $49.95 (Vintage Playmobil Patio Furniture #5323 – NIB)
Average price sold: $18.20
Money spent on new inventory during week of 2/25 – 3/3/18: $109.00
03/08/2018 at 10:44 am #34701
03/08/2018 at 11:46 pm #34731
- Location: Portland, OR
Again late to the thread this week (very busy in my full-time job) but here are my February monthly numbers:
37 sales (including my first Bonanza sale!)
$ sold (minus shipping): $743.66 (goal $1k)
Per sale average: $20.10 (goal over $25)
cost per item average: $4.36
Items in store peak for month: ~510 (but only 385 listings)
Biggest sale: Pair of unmarked Copper Wall Sconces $55
Even lower sales than January, but there were four less days of selling also. My sourcing score of the month were four 1970s strategy military games, bought them all for $16 at a Goodwill and expect them to sell in total for around $300! Two of them are in unused condition! Hopefully will list them this week.
I listed a bit this month, and got up to over 500 items (!) for the first time but that was mainly due to 3 listings with multiples, including hardware (thanks to advice from scavengers!) and postcards. Need to get some solid listing in over the next two weeks as I’ll be out of town for five days at the end of the month.
03/07/2018 at 2:31 pm #34643
SoCalJoe – well said, Ebay definitely is not my BFFE. There revenue growth rate over the last 5 years is 5.5% which is about the same as walmarts. They are currently trading at 18X free cash flow. I like selling on their platform for now but if i had to get involved in their stock it likely would be a short so i would hold off on labeling then a good business and time will tell if these decisions are good for their own self interest or not. Full disclosure – i am definitely not a shareholder.
03/07/2018 at 9:43 pm #34675
(reposting because his edit deleted the post)
So Cal Joe wrote:
Ebay is in a very advantageous position. They own the platform and right now it is the platform of choice. Amazon has been pushing out the small seller and the selling APPS are way behind the curve. Who knows, maybe Poshmark or Etsy will close the gap, but right now it’s Ebay.
Being in the business to make money, they are going to exploit this advantage for as much as they can. I am sure they know we want from them. They have to know we want a mid level store and are not happy about all these changes being thrust upon us.
The reality is that our wants and needs are not important to them right now.
Like any good business, they are going to push us as far as they can and just watch the numbers. If enough people leave, they may alter their policies. In this current environment, they are the land owners and we are the share croppers.
An apartment complex at full capacity will raise rents until there are vacancies. Storage units also do this. It is a successful business strategy. In essence, Ebay is doing the same.
I don’t expect things to change in the near future. maybe it’s time to try other platforms. People seem to be happy with Etsy and Poshmark. It is all a choice.
What Ebay is doing is not evil or dishonest, it’s just business. If they lose loyal customers, who have been with them for decades. it’s the risk they run. They are making that choice, the same way we can choose to leave or stay.
I have no illusions regarding Ebay, like I have no illusions regarding my cell phone company.
We all have to do what makes sense for each of us.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.