04/30/2018 at 8:45 am #38753RyanneKeymaster
- Location: Virginia
We got an interesting call on our voicemail line this week that sparked the question you see in the title. Great question and it really made us thi
[See the full post at: Scavenger Life Episode 358: Knowing What You Know Right Now, Would You Start Your Business Today?]
04/30/2018 at 8:50 am #38759
Week of 4/22-4/28
Total Items in Store: 2,047 (Up 35% YOY)
Number of Items Listed: 103
Number of Items Sold: 100 (Up 35% YOY)
(Includes 6 Etsy, 1 Bonanza, 0 TrueGether)
Weekly STR: 21% (Even YOY)
Total Product Sales: $2,578 (Up 71% YOY)
Cost of Items Sold: $655
Highest Item Sold: $125 – Two items: Vintage Curved Stained Glass Hanging Swag Lamp & Vtg Nocona Womens Cowboy Western Boots (Both by Veronica, who also had the #2 and #3 highest items)
Competition: Highest Priced Sale: Veronica wins the week and Troy leads the year at 10-7.
# Listed: 1,277
# Sold: 74
# Listed: 161
# Sold: 8
eBay Hard Goods
# Listed: 609
# Sold: 12
Etsy Hard Goods
# Listed: 141
# Sold: 6
Sales were slowing down, so I ran a couple of sales (10% off), and it seemed to reignite the store. Huge increase week over week on STR (from 15% to 21%), and the ASP actually went up. I didn’t run the sale over the weekend, and the trend seemed to continue. Best sales week since the high point of Q4. I will have to keep this in mind…
04/30/2018 at 8:59 am #38760
Hey, the podcast is out! I will be listening anon.
This week pretty well ends the month, which was something of a milestone for me, as April was the first month in which I made more as a reseller than in my 9-to-5 eng job. I doubt it will happen next month, it’s mostly a matter of several really good sales clumping in April, and I am somewhat depleted of good inventory. Still, an encouraging sign as I still typically put about 8 hrs a week into reselling versus 40 into my day job.
A great standalone week for sales, too. But my scavenging slump continues.
Sales: CAD$4,099, 7 items, COGS: $610 –> item profit: $2,950
Expenses: $267 (mainly supplies) –> after tax cashflow: $2,644
Listed: 3 items, $245 –> inventory replenishment -$2,399 (boooooo!)
Hours: 15, $176/hr
Notable sales: the great 3.5” floppy disk pick is officially at an end. I sold the last 83 packs for $2,838 (cost for those was $175). So on the total pick, $565 COGS to $4310 profit. Best pick so far. Also a printer drawer $5 –> $315 (almost a year later).
I also had my first freight experience. A while ago I bought an espresso maker at auction for about $200, not realizing from the online photo how heavy the damn thing was (about 170 lbs). It took about 9 months to move but I finally sold it to a guy on the other side of the country for $600 (after all the screwing around and money spent at hardware stores etc, I would say this transaction was breakeven). On Saturday I palletized it (not too hard, I just wrapped it, put a big hunk of cardboard over, and roped it to the pallet tied with a bunch of trucker hitches). On Sunday I took it to Air Canada freight in the back of my Honda Fit (fantastic little pickup truck, if you’re in the market). I think the buyer paid about $400 for shipping.
I might do an item like that again, but it would have to be really high profit. I feel like this one was a huge time waster. But freight no longer feels scary either, and I have some leads on shippers.
Tomorrow is an auction I’ve been looking forward to for a while. Hopefully I can finally get some good inventory listed.
04/30/2018 at 9:24 am #38761
OH MY GOD. Taxes.
I did mine this weekend. Must’ve blocked it from my mind.
The good news is that preparing them wasn’t too bad in the end and I will be able to do them myself henceforth, I think (using simpletax.ca). Assuming I didn’t screw it up and end up audited.
The bad is that we owe $8000. About half of that is ebay’s fault, and half is due the fact my wife’s mat leave pay only remitted 2% in tax for some reason. I think that happened with our first kid too, but we were too exhausted by the first year of parenting to remember it happened in time for the second child.
04/30/2018 at 11:50 am #38778
Yeah, it looks like you make serious money on eBay. If you arent paying quarterly taxes (do they do that in canada?), then that tax bill can really add up at the end of the year.
04/30/2018 at 12:31 pm #38783
Yeah, theoretically I should be doing quarterly.
The easy workaround if you have a day job is to have payroll deduct extra, which I have now set up so I should be neutral or close next year.
04/30/2018 at 9:43 am #38763
Woo! It’s here! Hopefully I can listen during the day, but if not def on the way home this evening. This morning’s commute was definitely missing something without the show.
Week April 23-29, 2018
Total Items in Store: 934
Items Sold: 37
Cost of Items Sold: $480 (19.2% of sales)
Total Sales: $2,501.32
Highest Price Sold: $400 (Lot of classic cars pictures http://www.ebay.com/itm/202076181021)
Average Price Sold: $67.60
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
Number of items listed this week: 2
Promoted listings test: 13 sales, $463.36 (18.5% of total sales), $23.21 fees (5.0% of sales)
Yes, those numbers are correct. My week was through the roof – highest volume or sales and highest dollar sold in any one given week. The week was trending slightly above average (probably in the $800 range) until one buyer started making offers on several items. I contacted him and let him know I would be accepting some and countering others, but would also combine shipping. I was nervous it was some sort of NPB scam, but when all was said & done he had purchased 14 items for over $1800 (plus several hundred dollars in shipping with heavy items). I did a bit of online stalking and it turns out he’s a photographer in the UK – seems like he specializes in car & studio photography (so him buying those photos and huge boxes of slides and other antique photos made sense) plus he bought a bunch of Americana (1969 moon landing papers, advertising playing cards, classic records including that sealed Kiss record, etc). COGs this week are teetering right on the edge of where UI like to be (20%), but that’s mainly due to the high dollar items I sold and also giving this guy great deals.
No picking this weekend as our storage units in the basement were installed and I started re-organizing and moving things down there. This move forced my hand in reorganizing and it will be really beneficial. Also excited to really set up the second bedroom into something nice – plan on displaying some of my best picks as decor while making the room cleaner & less cluttered. As I went through things, also started pruning items – have a big box ready for donation and also started ending items sitting in my store for years and putting up for auction just to get rid of them. Auctions starting at $1 will be posted throughout the week just to move the inventory.
04/30/2018 at 10:10 am #38767
Brian: You crushed on your numbers this week too! Very nice!
04/30/2018 at 10:14 am #38768
Yeah, a lot of “self gifting” as soon as tax week was over and then this guy swooped in and made my month!
04/30/2018 at 10:17 am #38769
Love those types of sales. I had a guy in Russia one time purchase 20 pieces of clothing from our store. One night, just sales ringing every couple of minutes. Was the best!
04/30/2018 at 10:04 am #38764ChristineRParticipant
- Location: Southern California
Total Items in Store: 429
Items Sold: 12
Cost of Items Sold: $97 + 8
Total Sales: $384
Highest Price Sold: $84 (Set of 4 new bowls, paid $20 winter clearance sale https://www.ebay.com/itm/332481759279)
Average Price Sold: $32
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $15
Number of items listed this week: 24
Yeah! Back to listing this week as I got a break from the day job. I started on Ebay after watching Thrift Hunters with Jason T. Smith. I saw some great vintage stuff I admired but I’m pretty minimalist. It occurred to me (unfortunately after the recession) that I could essentially swap that stuff for stuff my family needed. I wonder if other people started shopping secondhand during the recession too. I did that more often for my kids clothes when my contract work was slow and it was part of my evolution.
I still advocate for you guys scavenging the nearby urban areas. Be ready for some competition I guess with the phones out, but your knowledge runs deep and maybe you need to get closer to the source if thrifts are getting picked over. Thanks for sharing all that you do! There’s the crowd on Youtube who are there to make a buck, and there’s the crowd who want to help others and connect. Super grateful that you two are in the latter category.
Have a great week! Also quick shout out to Mike, Kate and others for help with my art topic. I’m flying into San Francisco this weekend to meet my dad but probably won’t deal with it then since I won’t have a car. I’d like to get on it soon. I have dreams it will pay at least one of our quarterly tax payments!
04/30/2018 at 10:06 am #38765Marjean28Participant
- Location: Minneapolis, MN
I have not yet had a chance to listen to the podcast, but I’m on a roll getting my numbers out straight away on a Monday, so here we go:
sales total $538.68
avg sale $15.84
# sold 34
promoted listings fees $20.75
net total $517.93
# listed 53
new $ spent 0
I have been super nervous about the lack of sales, so I ended up raising my promoted listings rate and running a 30% off sale. This resulted in more sales but a vastly reduced sales price. Whatever gets me to the bottom line is fine with me. I would have been happier with a few hundred more though. There’s still work to do in order to figure it all out.
Happy sales this week! Marjean28
04/30/2018 at 10:32 am #38771Dirt Poor PickerParticipant
- Location: Dallas Fort Worth
I disagree with you. Why?
I sold in 2008 and before that. I quit from about 2013 to now.
I was going to sell again and even though I had been a top seller on eBay in the past since I quit for so long they made me a new seller so to speak.
I had a 5 limit per month item. I said fine and thought maybe in a month I would be lifted. I was not and called. All 5 listings were sold with all 5 actually leaving positive feedback since I sent them bonus gifts to get that feedback.
I was not lifted and called. They said well we will put you at 10 limit. I asked them questions and they tried to skirt the question and would not give me a complete answer but after talking to them I knew it would take me forever to get my limits to where I could make a decent amount of money.
I do agree with everything else you state though. I won’t even go to storage auctions any longer. The only type of auction I usually buy at is online now because it seems I can still buy low enough.
Thrift stores and I love this, they will have eBay or Etsy pictures of listings such as their item and show that price. I have had one of my favorite thrift stores sell out to a new owner and now the new owner puts all the good stuff back for a few people who hit it daily.
Also now the sites are getting to be all about the buyers. In other words they have all the advantage, you have to pretty much offer things for quite a bit less than you could in 2008.
04/30/2018 at 11:58 am #38781
Huh, we’ve had plenty of new sellers come here with questions about selling limits. After the first month or two, everyone I know have had their selling limits quicker than than they can list. Since you had a store in 2013, I surprised you even had a selling limit since you must have had a history of sales already. Did you start a new eBay ID? And if so, why?
Im also surprised you’re having difficulty sourcing items in the USA. We cant leave the house without coming home with a carload of stuff to sell. Are you specializing in a certain category?
05/01/2018 at 7:24 am #38834sonia_pcParticipant
- Location: Lisbon, Portugal
For the sake of accuracy regarding selling limits, I can share my experience, as I have just started selling on ebay less than 2 months ago so I can tell you exactly how things went:
– Early March: default(?) new seller limits 10 items / $500
– March 13: limits raised to 30 items/ $1,500
– March 28: limits raised to 90 items/ $3,000
– April 13: limits raised to 180 items/ $4,500
– April 28: limits raised to 180 items (stayed the same)/ $5,900.00
So, every two weeks they have kept raising the limits without even having to ask.
In this time frame I only sold 9 items/ roughly $600. I had some positive feed back, but not from all buyers (no feed back from some, but ebay “knows” things are being shipped and delivered timely).
Despite not selling heaps of stuff, I kept listing as much as my limits allowed me to. On the last raise just the amount went up, maybe because I don’t need a larger number of items (right now my $ selling limit is maxed out with just 28 items listed…). I still have stuff listed on Etsy that is not on Ebay.
05/01/2018 at 7:50 am #38835
This is the experience I’ve heard. In a month or two, you’re limits will be so high it won’t matter.
I feel eBay would only be cautious about raising selling limits if they thought there was a problem, or there was a history of problem sales. And if they’re incorrect, usually a phone call fixes the issue.
04/30/2018 at 10:38 am #38772SharynParticipant
- Location: Central NJ
In the podcast, you talked about a 20% off coupon, but, when I click for details, it shows that it is only good on certain products from certain sellers. Unfortunately, the coupon that covered any seller and any item only came up two or three times during late winter. If the details are different for you, please share the coupon code!
Week of April 22-28
* Total Items in Store: 1139
* Items Sold: 14
* Cost of Items Sold: $60 + $0 Commission
* Total Sales: $366.40
* Highest Price Sold: $125 Framed Judaica Lithograph by Sami Briss
* Average Price Sold: $26.17
* Returns: 0
* Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $17.05
* Number of items listed this week: 32
Sales were a little better than last week, but still “soft”. I wish you guys all the best in sales, but I appreciate it when your sales track mine. 🙂
On the other hand, I was finally able to list a good number of items. I had about a month and a half where I just had other things I had to do, and my listing numbers dropped. Right now, I am listing my new items and slowly testing, fixing, and cleaning up my old, death pile items.
04/30/2018 at 12:00 pm #38782
This is the coupon from the front page: https://www.ebay.com/rpp/6901?_trkparms=%26clkid%3D3563597044187318137
Is there a limitation on it? Sucks if true. But our question was simply if eBay was eating the discount.
04/30/2018 at 12:43 pm #38784MyCottageParticipant
Jay, if you scroll down to the bottom of the page you linked to, you’ll see the list of sellers included in the sale. As far as I know, these sellers are offering the discounts out of their own pocket, but in exchange they are getting the enhanced visibility the sale brings, so most likely they are seeing increased sales velocity.
When eBay runs the across the site discount sales, ebay picks up the tab as a marketing expense.
04/30/2018 at 12:57 pm #38787
Understood. That makes sense in this case that eBay is just advertising other seller’s sales.
04/30/2018 at 12:51 pm #38785DoublythumbsParticipant
- Location: Hopedale, OH
Total Items in Store: 1572
Items Sold: 34
Total Sales : $1701
* WAY above yearly average of $739
* WAY above 2017 total week sales of $641
Highest Price: $300 (Coil Guide Arm part from an old Marco Plumbing Drain Snake)
Average Price: $50
Cost of Goods Sold: $88
Costs of Goods Purchased this Week: $8
Number of New Items Listed this Week: 37
Cool podcast and that’s a great question at the beginning. I still consider myself relatively new to selling on eBay. It’s been a little more than two years since I’ve sold my first two things on auction. I had to look it up just now. They were two old handheld video games. The kind with the LCD display. They sold for $15 each and I felt like I was rolling in money! Little did I know two years later I would be pulling in around $1K a week. So I think it’s absolutely possible to start out brand new selling on today’s eBay platform. Like you said, there are advantages and disadvantages when comparing today’s eBay from that of 10 years ago. But there’s still one constant that remains the same… you’ve got to put the work in if you expect to get a livable wage out of it.
So now onto my numbers. BOOM! RECORD TOTAL SALES! I killed it this week! I sold a bunch of high priced items. 5 of my 34 sales were for over $100. I resold that frame that was returned last week for $100, sold a rare book for $270, and even sold an antique potty for $200. But my best sale makes for a fun story. I bought this old junky plumbing drain snake at an auction for $50. I don’t know what even compelled me to do it. The thing could barely fit into my car. But I brought it home and listed it a few months later for $350 local pickup only. Well the messages kept coming in… will you please consider shipping it to me? I didn’t want to mess with shipping. It weighed about 180 pounds. So finally, one guy said he just wanted one part and he’d pay me $300 for it. So I spent all Sunday afternoon disassembling the thing. Sold him the part and I’ve still got several other sellable pieces. We’ll see if anyone’s interested in them. If they sell, I could stand to make way over a thousand bucks!
04/30/2018 at 1:16 pm #38794
Doubly: Great numbers and awesome on the snake sale!
04/30/2018 at 12:56 pm #38786Steve ListParticipant
- Location: Richmond, Calif.
I still recommend to friends to sell on eBay, I just caution them that if they want to be more than just a casual seller selling a few items, it will take lots of time, effort and planning to have a good income from it. After learning about your experience with Amazon J&R, I will not sell there and I wouldn’t recommend it to anybody. Etsy is a toss up for me, I did sell there early on, but I found that I did better if I concentrated on just one on-line site.
Numbers for month of April
Total Listings: 906 (1200 items/total value $26,461)
Had 45 Sales for a total of $1,202
Cost of Items Sold: $183
Highest Price Sold: $230 (one buyer bought 3 US Navy 9.5″ Bowls)
Highest Single Item Sold: $100, Original I, Robot Arcade Game Marquee
Average Price Sold: $26.71
Spent on new inventory: $71
Number of items listed: 21
No GSP this month
I only listed 21 items this month, but 5 of them sold for a total of $400 which helped my numbers a lot.
$60 of my purchases this month were for the 3 US Navy serving bowls. One buyer bought all three for $230 (shipping included). I sold one Atari I, Robot Marquee for $70 best offer, then a second one sold for full price of $100. I still have about 20 or so of them left over from my scrapping days years ago so I basically got them all for free. I just started listing them this month so I was surprised at the quick sale. Overall they will be a very long tail item because only about 600 of the games were ever made.
04/30/2018 at 1:00 pm #38788NinaLaLucaParticipant
- Location: Alberta, Canada
I haven’t listened to the podcast yet, but am looking forward to do so on my commute home today.
My numbers for the week aren’t horrible, but could be better for sure.
Items in Store: 511
Total Sales: CAD 233.52
Cost of Items Sold: CAD 62.44
Highest Price Sold: CAD 59.17 – Kawasaki Ignition Coil
Average Price Sold: CAD 21.22
I think one of the reasons for my slow sales is that I don’t have many decent bread and butter items in my store.
One reason for that is, that I was / still am a bit afraid of big purchases. That’s why I pick a bit here and a bit there, which costs more time than money.
Yesterday I bit the bullet and went to the 90% OFF Sale at Plato’s Closet and bought 80 items for an average price of CAD 1.34. It’s an experiment for me, to see if I can handle bigger lots of clothes or if I lose interest half way through and just throw it on my deathpile…
I also will learn if clothes can be my bread and butter and if I just can replenish my stock every few months at this sale (it’s 3-4 times a year) and work away at it until the next sale.
I am aware that 80 items won’t tie me over for 3 / 4 months but again, everything starts as an experiment and I would still add other items to my inventory from yardsales etc.
A big Question for me always is time. With a full time job, a long commute and several responsibilities in life I just don’t have the time to go to thrift stores and thoroughly go through them on a regular basis so I have to figure something out. Sourcing these items cost me about an hour. So that’s a pretty good ratio I believe. Assuming the items actually sell. lol
So far I’ve learned that being the last person at the sale doesn’t leave you with much. (Although I found some nice gems) But I also learned that it’s way out of my comfort zone to push my way through other shoppers during peak time and load up bins / bags etc. I just don’t like being an inconvenience to others. Lol
So I have to start somewhat within my comfort zone and build up on that. This time I contacted the store, introduced myself to the manager and went at the end to pretty much pick up the left overs. I am hoping to establish a good relationship with the manager and maybe get some perks along the line.
Pet Peeve of the week: Why do people think they’d have to judge your pricing?! I started selling on Mercari a few weeks back and instead of Sales, I get messages how overpriced my items (especially 2 hats i have listed) are. Which wouldn’t be a problem if people would have a friendly way of communicating. If you don’t like my price, send me an offer and if you don’t have anything nice to say just say nothing at all and feel free to ignore my store. Are these items overpriced? Maybe… Do these douchey messages just provoke my stubbornness? …. Absolutely. So these hats will sit there until someone comes along who doesn’t have a problem with my price, contacts me in a friendly manner and makes an offer or until they turn to dust in my inventory room. I don’t care!
That being said, as there are no sales coming in, and people just communicate to lecture you… makes me not want to sell on this platform anymore. Sad but true.
Anyhow, I wish everyone a good start to the week and may the tomorrow always be better than yesterday!
05/02/2018 at 2:53 pm #38929
I think people just like to see their opinion in print no matter how crappy it is.
05/02/2018 at 3:46 pm #38937
In their twisted view of reality, it brings value to their life. The internet, for the most part, is all a lot of people have left. So fulfill their sense of self-worth by trolling away their day.
That’s the scariest mostly realistic part of the book/movie “Ready Player One”.
05/02/2018 at 3:58 pm #38942
Agree Retro. That is why I love to fish, hunt, and hike. Doing things in the real world. Grow vegetables, provide food, hike from Point A to Point B with my life on my back, and not needing a phone to get there.
The ability to exist without an electronic leash.
That said, the movie was good…but the book was much better! (as usual!)
04/30/2018 at 1:10 pm #38790SueParticipant
- Location: Wisconsin (Florida for the worst part of winter)
Date: April 22-28
Total Items in Store: 953
Cost of Items Sold: $81
Amount of Items Sold: 24
Total Sales: $774
Highest Price Sold: $119 (Nylon Hartmann Suitcase)
Average Price Sold: $32
Returns: 1 ($30)
Money Spent on New Inventory: 0
Number of items listed this week: 42
Wondering about adding a handling fee to cover any “free” returns. Does that fee just show up in the buying price or is it part of the shipping fee? Where can a buyer see the handling fee?
04/30/2018 at 1:15 pm #38793
It’s just added to the shipping fee that are shown before purchase. The only downside is that your total shipping might be more expensive than a competitors.
04/30/2018 at 3:23 pm #38806
Items in Store 923
Items Sold 18
Total Sales $557.49
Total Profit $495.24
Average profit $27.51
Average sales price $30.97
No listing again, so I’m staying around $500 in sales a week and haven’t listed consistently in about 2 months.
While I haven’t been really listing, I have been organizing. I tackled my enclosed trailer this weekend. In the fall when I converted my garage I devolved to just throwing and stuffing stuff in the trailer until I couldn’t enter it. Now it is organized with large items stacked properly and everything else in tubs that are stacked neatly. Soooo…. much….good…stuff in there! I kicked myself repeatedly for not having it all listed!! Such is life.
Why am I not listing? Well between Saturday and Sunday we had 5 baseball/softball games at different venues to be at. I coached 3 of them. This week we have two games each night at completely different locations that my wife and I need to split up to cover. It’s complete madness but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Baseball gets us out of the house and at community parks having fun and being active as a family for hours on end.
I’m just trying to organize and clear up space when I can in preparation for the big summer listing push. Once June hits I plan on doing 1000 listings in 3 months. I’ll add it to my weekly metrics to track it. approximately 13 weeks in the summer for us June-August, so 77 listings a week to hit my target. Very attainable if my two helpers (wife, daughter) follow through on their promise. The reward: being able to afford a Florida Vacation to Disney and Universal in September.
04/30/2018 at 6:53 pm #38817
Amen on the baseball schedule Retro. I coached for many years, and club baseball at that. Every weekend from Mid March through July (except Mothers Day, Memorial Day, and July 4) was tournament season. 2 on Saturday, at least 1 on Sunday. And when my teams got good, it was 3-4 on Sunday. Long weekends…fun…but long…
And then Fall Ball starts at the end of August… 🙂
04/30/2018 at 3:23 pm #38807Marie in FloridaParticipant
Slow? My numbers are 1/10 that of last week
* Total Items in Store: 375
* Items Sold: 5
* Cost of Items Sold: $9
* Total Sales: $79
* Highest Price Sold: $21.99 Tie for a ResMed cushion & Max Factor Primitif perfume. Perfume was $1 at an estate sale
-Lowest Price Sold: Also a tie at a whopping $8.99 Replacement Conair Curlers-my last lot of these. And more Gymboree sox. These are part of an overlooked box of vintage Gymboree clothes. My early Ebay life involved clothing my kids in marked down Gymboree, then Ebay listing their outgrown clothes. I would always make enough to pay for the clothes and covered my kids for free.
* Returns: 1 I knew this would fail. She asked too many questions. But has left me good feedback
* Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $3 Vintage Pan Am bag
Not worrying about the slowness. I had more items listed than every before. Going to up it this week too.
04/30/2018 at 4:21 pm #38809Beverly – Far Out and FabulousParticipant
- Location: Edgewood, WA
Nice call today, guys.
On the lady who called in about PayPal and the buyer claiming they did not order the item …
It is true that eBay will look at the ebay messages and support the seller if the buyer asked for something be sent to a different address. However, you are ONLY protected in PayPal when you ship to the address on file. Remember PayPal does not have access to eBay messages. PayPal will not support the seller on this one. I did it once and got bit, never going to do it again. I now instruct buyers that they can add the other address to the Address Book in PayPal and select that address when they pay.
04/30/2018 at 5:17 pm #38811buytikiselltikiParticipant
Favorite thing about Scavenger Life is being able to hear honest and open discussions about issues that are important to a steady eBay seller. This week, topics that have been top of mind! No one does it better than you two!
Sincere Compliments aside …
Biggest theme – you have to change with the times because times change.
I AM the old grump – hate returns, hate fake free shipping, even resist leaving auctions but, sorry times change. Hated it when shipping was added to the fee schedule because sellers were jacking up the costs. Hated it when we were FORCED to use PayPal since money orders worked great. But ya gotta change with the times!
If you doubt it, just check in with my friends at Borders – at one of their big meetings the CEO announced that the whole Amazon thing was a fad, stores would be fine, and the new Borders.com would rule. George Stephanopolous was the keynote. What a night!
But eBay in 1997 and eBay in 2018 gives anybody that wants to access to a GIGANTIC marketplace with virtually no barrier to entry, people looking for every thing you can imagine -absolutely anyone can generate sales by merely listing. So, yes, join up!
But at least…
Please try to spell your titles correctly!
Many other things today, this is already too long, appreciate and want to hear more discussion regarding coming clean as a seller which I comprehend but can’t do, will even deny; efficient listings by strong helper or weak; missed pricing opportunities in the context of margin, if you made 1000% on your investment, is that bad?
Please, Jay and Ryanne, keep the lines open!
04/30/2018 at 6:24 pm #38813
Since we’re not selling you guys anything, we have nothing to lose being honest. We really dont know the answers. It helps us to openly discuss our confusion and then work out logical answers here. As we’ve said before, our eBay business has gotten better and stronger because of you guys.
04/30/2018 at 6:34 pm #38814MDC Galleries & Fine ArtParticipant
- Location: Atlanta
Here’s a thought that came to mind as I was iostening today.
I would be willing to pay $10 more per month to have Ebay cover me with a Buyer Problem Policy. For $120 bucks a year, that money would buy me Ebay as my customer complaint dept. Anything and everything would be handled by Ebay. Any have any issue whatsoever, call or meail Ebay and yack at them. They do it all. I already have 30 day returns allowed, I have Free returns allowed, so why not then pay more per month for Ebay to tell all complaining buyers whatever they want and leave me out of it. My Insurance Policy I pay for annually would cover me.
Just a thought. It is like the insurance you buy to cover the $5,000 50 ft. putt in a golf tournament. Chances are very few people in the USA make those $5,000 putts but everybody buys the insurance policy.
Crazy thinking. just smiled when I thought of what I would pay to not have to deal with any issues after the items are shipped.
Oh well, just wishful day dreaming.
04/30/2018 at 6:47 pm #38815
It’s going to be interesting to see how eBay works for sellers in a year. If they are not going to let sellers dispute returns, then eBay really has to be on top of buyer abuse.
05/01/2018 at 8:12 am #38836
I like my customers too much to torture them by making them call ebay. I avoid that route at all costs.
05/02/2018 at 8:57 am #38905Julie BParticipant
- Location: Georgia
But wouldn’t ebay just side with the Buyer nearly every time?
05/02/2018 at 9:28 am #38908MDC Galleries & Fine ArtParticipant
- Location: Atlanta
Well that’s pretty much the way it already is for those of us in the Hassle Free Returns Program. If buyer is unhappy in any way, they get a return label automatically. Don’t want a customer unhappy for anything at all. So return it. The hassle Free Returns program has eliminated those buyers that want to “fish” for a partial refund. But of course we have to pay for that return.
But I was just thinking is there a way to get insurance to cover us sellers for the return shipping amount. But probably not. We only get a couple of returns a year. So not worth the cost of any type of insurance. Guess we just live with it.
05/03/2018 at 7:54 am #38964
No way ebay doesn’t just side with the customer! Ebay has flat out called my customers liars and refused to give them any refund even when I had the item back!
This happened with a pair of boots that came back marked “return to sender”. The buyer expected me to pay to ship them back to him and was mad that I didn’t want to refund original shipping since they were return to sender if we just canceled the sale. I called ebay and they said they’d take care of it. Next thing I know they closed a case in my favor even though I had the item and refused ANY refund to the buyer.
In the end after multiple appeals and reversals, the customer got all his money back, but ebay pretty much ran him off the platform with their atoricious methods of handling the case. After the debacle he got all his money back (and I got to keep the money and item too), and we had a talk about what happened.
This kind of bad CS is documented here on Scavengerlife many times. I always try to handle customer service myself without ebay mucking things up. The problem is that ebay is now taking away the ability for sellers to handle things.
04/30/2018 at 6:58 pm #38818VintageTreasuresParticipant
My numbers this week: 4/22-4/28/18
Total items in store 4/22: 201 to start and at end 4/28: 222
# of items sold: 23 on eBay & 8 on Etsy
Cost of items sold: $22.50 (approximately)
Total Sales: $334.78 eBay & $50.00 Etsy (shipping not included on Etsy)
Highest price sold: $69.95 (with free USPS first class shipping) Vtg Lot 14 Gray Pingouin Mohair et Soie DK Yarn Mohair Silk Blend Knit Crochet
Average price sold: $12.41 (my ASP is so low because I sell lots of single sewing patterns for $5 and up, but I mostly get those for free)
Money spent on new inventory week of 4/22 – 4/28: $29.16
Number of items listed this week: 55
I’m down 30% for this last week on eBay compared to the week before. And this weekend and today have been absolutely dead. Less than $40.00 in sales on Saturday & Sunday combined. Hoping things pick up!
Wishing you all great picking, listing and sales!
05/01/2018 at 10:01 am #38844RhiannaParticipant
Total Items in Store: 2089
Items Sold: 42
Total Sales: $1291.65
Highest Price Sold: $128 (Face Lotion: Paid $6)
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $98
Great episode! I think you get what you put into it. I left my full time job to do ebay full time and couldn’t be happier. Ebay isn’t my only source of income stream, I do a little bit of other stuff here and there. I do still go into my old job here and there when they need extra help but I find myself telling them I can’t, I just don’t have time. My time is better spent on my piles of stuff to list at home.
We had another great week. We have a giant pile of stuff to list so we didn’t do much in the way of buying new inventory.
Getting ready to go up next week to watch our oldest son graduate college!! We are so excited. We also plan to hit all the local thrift stores in the small town the college is at, we might even plan a trip up in a few weeks to go scavenging again, college kids get rid of the craziest things.
05/01/2018 at 5:16 pm #38873
RR Store Week April 22-28, 2018
Total Items in Store: 1580
Items Sold: 28
Cost of Items Sold: $28.27
Total Sales: $621.74
Highest Price Sold: $79.99 (vintage t-shirt)
Average Price Sold: $22.21
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $27.25
Number of items listed this week: 35
I had some heavy life stuff happen last week, so listing took a back seat. I think my soft sales reflect that. But I’ve already passed last week’s listing total, and it’s only Tuesday.
Have a great week, everyone!
05/01/2018 at 8:45 pm #38889HabnabParticipant
Hang in there, Paul!
Knowing what I know right now, I’d absolutely start my business today. Right now, I’m working part-time at a high school (totally loving it, would probably do it for free) and then selling part-time on eBay. But, as much as I do love my outside job, being back in the hourly-pay world (I became a stay at home mom in 2004) has given me a fresh perspective on, and a renewed incredulous joy in, the wonder of thrifting and selling. Finding a plate, or a vase, or a pair of shoes at the thrift shop and selling them for a bigger profit than I make in several hours at the school… it’s breathtaking.
05/02/2018 at 9:01 am #38906MyCottageParticipant
Finally got time to listen to the first part of the podcast, about the caller’s question. I started on ebay in the very early days (kind of chuckled when Jay talked about the “old days” before smart phones, when you guys actually used digital cameras for photos—-I go back to the days when we either used film cameras or rigged up a scanner to act as a camera.—so yeah, in some ways, it is MUCH easier to sell online these days. Of course, in other ways, it is a greater challenge—-the competition is much more intense, and continues to grow.
The caller didn’t seem too concerned with competition and other changes—more focused on ebay’s rule changes over the years. I’m with you guys on that—sure, I complain about this and that, but after 20 plus years, ebay still hasn’t done anything that has made it impossible for me to sell there. It’s all a question of learning to adapt. I do notice that some of ebay’s harshest critics are often older ebay sellers who remember the “good old days” and blame ebay for everything that has changed. Two points about that: 1. When I started out, I told antique dealer friends to sell on ebay—-back then it was auction only, and most stuff went for crazy high prices and sell through was great. But I also warned them to jump on the gravy train ASAP, cause it isn’t going to last—-as more sellers come on to the site, the days of crazy high prices and amazing sell through will take flight. And that is what happened. eBay is still a good lace to sell, but the laws of economics can’t be set aside. The real surprise is that ebay survived the dot com bust, and is still around and still successful. Had it not changed, it would have been a flash in the pan novelty site.
My second point is simply, new sellers coming on now don’t have the baggage older sellers have. An example: I see sellers bitching because the TRS Plus discount went from 20% to 10% a few years ago. But new sellers coming on only know the discount as a 10% discount. That is either a meaningful amount to their business model or it isn’t. They aren’t spending time bitching about how it USED to be 20%, and now its worthless. I think most new sellers probably aren’t too shocked by rules like: Yes, you have to state a return policy. To new sellers, that probably just makes sense. But older sellers contrast it to the days when they could say whatever they wanted in their listings…and so they complain about it.
The last point I’ll make: When I started, I knew tech oriented people who were crushing it in the dotcom boom. But for average folks with zero tech skills, ebay was practically the only way to be a part of the “boom” —-no, an angel investor wasn’t going to hand me a million bucks to boost my start up, but if I could spend a quarter on a postcard and sell it for a hundred bucks….well, that was as close to cashing in on this new WWW thing as most people could hope for….and it felt great! If a young person asked me today, should I start an ebay business, I’d say “sure” but with qualifiers. I’d say: Look around. There Internet has created tons of opportunities beyond ebay and beyond just selling stuff online. If scavenging or retail arbitrage or whatever is for you, go for it! But if your passion is something else, go for that. There are people making good livings doing nothing but putting up YouTube videos about stuff their passionate about. There are so many ways to make money on the Web these days, I would say figure out what you really enjoy and do that. Me, I enjoy doing this, but it’s not for everyone.
05/02/2018 at 12:23 pm #38920
So good, MyCottage! I love the sentiment about “just stop bitching” and move forward [or, frankly, don’t if you don’t like the changes]. The world evolves, our species evolves, why can’t our businesses?
Generally, the changes I’ve seen over the past few years have been for the greater good. Yes, eBay has increased fees, reduced the TRS discounts, etc… but they are actually trying to attract more buyers which is only good for us sellers. eBay saw the need to note that it can be better than Amazon – you can get your everyday, new in the box, utilitarian goods just like Amazon… but within the same platform you can also get quirky, unique, vintage, collectible items that you can’t find on a place like Amazon [at least not easily].
05/02/2018 at 3:38 pm #38931HabnabParticipant
These are all great points!
Also, of course, the market itself is constantly changing. I worked at an antique shop in the 1990’s, and we were getting great prices for things — Victoriana, depression glass, Nippon — that sit and sit at local thrifts with no interest today. One’s understanding of not only the platform but also the market has to be flexible — and there are so many people who just want to complain instead of learn.
05/02/2018 at 3:42 pm #38934
05/03/2018 at 8:50 am #38973
This is a great summary. Experienced eBay sellers do have a lot of baggage. You get used to running your business that you depend on, and it’s scary when eBay forces you to change how you run it. But good or bad, it’s just the reality.
05/02/2018 at 9:21 am #38907maybel9Participant
Total Items in Store: 365
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $42
I think auctions are great in rare cases when an item is extremely rare/ unique and collected.
If an item is truly unique, then the collectors really know best about how high the price can go. I remember that the collectors have more knowledge than me, and I’m not going to be able to match their expertise. So on those truly rare items, I start the auction as high as I can imagine, and then see if the collectors think it is worth even more. Sometimes I am pleasantly surprised at how high things go.
Regarding telling people you are a reseller– You don’t have to tell them until you have bargained a price and paid. Then you can say, Oh, do you have any x, y or z that you haven’t put out? I really love x, y and z and I find x, y and z fascinating and research them and sell them. This starts a conversation. Then you can mention other things you look for in addition. Often they will have some x, y or z put away, and you ask if you can call them in a few weeks. Works great!
05/02/2018 at 12:11 pm #38918almastyParticipant
My comment disappeared again, reposting:
Just got a chance to listen to the podcast. I think the changes through the years with Ebay have been positive (I might be alone in thinking that!). I no longer fight for TRS status, so I don’t care what hoops have to be jumped through(sorry). Back in the day, we didn’t even have a TRS to get a discount on. I recall the savings Ebay passed back on back in the day to sellers was for merely being a powerseller?
In terms of being able to list items on Ebay, you had auction & fixed price that was charged at a similar rate to auctions. If you had a store, your store listings were actually HIDDEN from the front page of Ebay search. You had to be a savvy buyer and click on the bottom of a page to see the hidden store listings. A lot of listings got lost in the search due to this.
Now, you have to pay more to have a store, but your listings are actually VISIBLE from the start. I don’t know why Ebay didn’t do this the whole time, but at least it eventually happened. Yes, I wish that the stores were both cheaper and had more items included in the number of listings, but I’ll take what I can get. I also think the “free” shipping supplies are a big improvement. I have actually been receiving a lot of positive feedback for the protective way items have been shipped in Ebay’s air mailers. I think that was actually a good strategy on their part.
For early (early 2000s) Amazon sellers, do you remember zshops? For some reason, a lot of items listed to Amazon in the early 2000s were shuttled straight through to your zshop. I don’t remember Amazon’s catalog pages being the same as they are now. I don’t remember when the switch happened between zshop and marketplace. I do remember having to switch over inventory from zshop to marketplace and create pages in the new Amazon marketplace for those items.
Sites change and evolve over the years. Ebay has gotten better, Amazon has gotten really difficult to sell on (FBA really changed the game for 3rd party sales, and now they too are starting to have difficulties with higher fees).
Streamlining major policies for Ebay is not the worst thing in the world, especially for those that like to compete to be “the best of the best.” Hold up the impossibly high standards. Ship same day. Ship for free. Accept returns for free. Customers love that. If you don’t want to do that, don’t. You can still sell things online. Otherwise, having basic policies to shore up your business and make it appear outwardly to the world that it is a business is a good thing. It is good to have an outwardly professional appearance shown to your buyers, even if you’re only sitting inside your house listing in your pajamas.
05/02/2018 at 12:23 pm #38921
almasty: ” It is good to have an outwardly professional appearance shown to your buyers, even if you’re only sitting inside your house listing in your pajamas.”
Amen. Also true for many parts of life…
Agree with the rest of your post too. We are on the other side of many of the new sides (we do same day shipping, we do free returns (mostly), and we are tinkering on Free Shipping (again). Does that work for us? Yep. Does that mean everyone should? Nope.
Everyone can do things the way they want to. There will be pluses and minuses to each business based on those decisions, but everyone can decide.
I know on person that has $82k in sales in the past 2 months, 50% margins, on just 87 current listings, with almost 2000 items sold (replenishing multiquantity listings). Way different than most of us. Different model, works great. Do we have to do that? No. Do we want to do that? Maybe.
Always evaluate other ways of doing business. Take what you like, leave what you don’t.
05/02/2018 at 12:55 pm #38925
04/22/18 – 04/28/18
Total Items In Store: 2,386
Items Sold: 16
Cost of Items Sold: $50 (around)
Total Sales: $569
Highest Price Sold: $150 (1960’s \ 70’s Mens Suit)
Average Price Sold: $35.56
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $ 132
Number of Items listed this week: 38
Decent week this week.
Kicked off the Michigan Rummage Sale season in great style. Got a lot of great items on the cheap. Also went to a “mini Outdoor Flea market” and scored some great golf clubs.
This week I went to a Car Parts shop that wanted to down size on some old stuff that was laying around – got some good deals there. I have done some work with automotive related items, but not a whole lot. This was a good opportunity for me to learn some new tricks. I was able to get some 1971-73 Mercury Cougar set of hub caps for $15. Got a Good Humor very large lighted sign for $5 (Wow, worth $125)
The great thing is that this guy told me he is going to continue the sale for several weeks. He is adding stuff all the time and he tells me he just wants it gone. Bam, I’m in. He offered me the cooler to the Good Humor sign for free, but it was way too big and not sure it worked. He also proved my theory, I never mentioned ebay, but he told me he knew he could get more for some on the stuff on ebay, but he didn’t want to bother.
05/02/2018 at 3:40 pm #38932
April 2018 $4874
Items listed in store 830
Gross sales $4874
Highest sale $1200 Pioneer RT 707
The big Kingswood rummages were last week, at one I asked if they had any stereo equipment and the lady says she thinks her husband might, so I left my ph number. A couple days later she messages me some pictures.
4 vintage pieces: Pioneer Reel deck, Marantz amp and tuner, Sound Shaper EQ.
I asked how much and she says just come get them…wow! And they all work.
05/03/2018 at 8:53 am #38974
Steve, you’re the scavenger I want to be when I grow up.
Do you tell people that you’re a seller, or just a collector?
05/03/2018 at 9:55 am #38978
Although I will strike up a conversation with sellers I rarely if ever disclose that I m a reseller.
If someone asks what I’m going to do with it I can honestly say “to play the box of records or tapes I’ve had since the seventies.” I do that as the equipment needs to be evaluated.
I will talk to them about my genuine interest in what they have for sale and people don’t usually ask questions.
05/03/2018 at 9:58 am #38979
This is my tactic. I am genuinely interested in the items I buy. No need for them to know I’ll be reselling.
If you told them you were a reseller, do you think it would change how they deal with you?
05/03/2018 at 1:17 pm #38990
I think it would hinder attempts to procure these items for a low offer if they knew I was a reseller.
Sometimes, after a longer than usual garage sale conversation I may let on that I’ve sold stereo pieces on eBay but it’s usually with a disdain for the hassle of eBay selling.
05/03/2018 at 9:58 am #38981
This is my tactic. I am genuinely interested in the items I buy. No need for them to know I’ll be reselling.
If you told them you were a reseller, do you think it would change how they deal with you?
05/03/2018 at 7:05 pm #39008TemudginParticipant
- Location: Jacksonville FL
It changed for me once, with an elderly widow yard sale seller who, after I bought a number of her deceased husband’s WWII souvenirs at the sale, invited me to come back the next day to see all the rest of his stuff in the basement that she hadn’t brought out. I went down in the basement with her and there were multiple closed footlockers and also WWII uniforms and wool Army overcoats hanging up. The first things she showed me were the overcoats and I said “those are nice but I can’t get much for them” (which was true at the time). She stopped up short and kicked me right out of the house, saying she thought I was buying for myself. Also there is an indy thrift shop I go to now that has big signs that say “No Reselling” and I’ve seen them confront people who are too obviously looking up prices on their phones.
So with amateur sellers and some shops there’s always a chance they’ll get offended that you might be making a dollar off them. If I get asked why I’m buying something, I say “I can use it” or “I like it”, both of which are true. If they push and ask what I’m going to use it for, I say “oh I never tell” with a big smile on my face and that has always been successful in fending off further inquiries. But I will admit it if I think it will work in my favor.
On the other side of it, if it was my yard sale or I was set up at a flea market, I would give other dealers discounts. Some, like Len, would come right out and say it, and I gave them good deals and they’d buy a lot of stuff. Sometimes if I suspected but they hadn’t said either way I would ask a browser if they were a dealer and they would deny it. Then I would say that’s too bad because I give a substantial dealer discount. The reactions were amusing as they tried to decide whether to admit their lie or what.
05/03/2018 at 11:52 am #38983ChristineRParticipant
- Location: Southern California
I like Steve’s approach. I often get asked if I do needlepoint. I have to say no or that I’m not very good to avoid getting into a conversation. Sometimes the older ladies at the thift store ask me what I’m going to do with things. I usually just say that I just buy what I like.
One sharp lady (pricing nemesis) at an indy thrift asked me and I once told her the truth. She always grills me about that I’m buying or inspects it at the register. Last time I bought some pottery and she’s like “what do you know about this” – I honestly told her nothing. She told me she decided it looked midcentury but wasn’t old because the bowl was not worn on the bottom. It was a wall hanging with a hole in the back but I didn’t mention that to her. I just shrugged and told her sometimes I just buy things I like. https://www.ebay.com/itm/332629420473
05/02/2018 at 11:03 pm #38956SilverFoxFindsParticipant
- Location: Virginia Beach
I love reading these mini-conversations, full of support and pleasantry and prioritizing living before working. 🙂 About halfway through the podcast – listening in spurts, unfortunately. I’m in Louisville KY for the week, working for a friend’s catering company while it’s extra busy with events for Derby week. 12 hour day today, and I’m needing to rub my feet and head to bed.
04/22/18 – 04/28/18
Total Items In Store: 944
Items Sold: 27
Total Sales: $1,768.39 (minus $967.66 for commission sale)
Cost of Items Sold: $23.96
Highest Price Sold: $1,425 IFR 1200 Super S Communications Service Monitor Analyzer (commission sale, incl shipping/insurance)
Average Price Sold: $30.79, excluding the big sale above
Returns/Refunds: 1 in process; some of the glass cookware sold last week broke, and I received an eBay message informing me the Buyer had opened a case for a Return. No idea if they actually want to keep some of the pieces; they haven’t replied to my messages or shipped the items.
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $8.53
Number of Items listed this week: 30
No scavenge of the week, but I did hit up a “peddler’s mall” here in Louisville (the owner of some stackable crates we needed for an event marketed via craigslist, pointing buyers to his booths at various peddler’s malls), and walked around a bit, eyeing things I’d like to pick up when I’m back in a month with my car…
Enjoy your weeks!
05/02/2018 at 11:11 pm #38958SilverFoxFindsParticipant
- Location: Virginia Beach
Also, Steve, can’t wait to see your video outlining some of those sales – great quantity of items and wowsa on the $$$! 🙂
05/03/2018 at 1:19 pm #38991
Thanks, but those numbers were for all of April.
05/03/2018 at 8:19 am #38967totommytoParticipant
- Location: Naples, Fl
Late, late, late!
Is there a prize for that?
Lots of northern family in town last week and some still here,
Party, party. Eager to get back to eBay (and Etsy) basics, still have not heard the entire podcast!
4/22 – 4/28/18
eBay Store totommyto
Total store items: 536
Number of items sold: 11
eBay sales (not counting s/h): $541.65
Cost of items sold: $11.00
Consignment payouts: $159.00
Highest price sold: $142.00 1:18 scale diecast car
Average price sold: $49.24
Money spent on new inventory: 0
Number of items listed this week: 4
Etsy Store Oldfleatoymarket
Total store items: 465
Number items sold: 8
Etsy sales (not counting s/h): $134.80
Cost of items sold: $10.50
Consignment payouts: $9
Highest price sold: $22.00 JP Mini dinosaur set
Average price sold: $16.85
Money spent on new inventory: 0
Number of items listed this week: 3
Now to the podcast, from the beginning, again, and hoping to listen straight through!
Take care, thank you again J&R and everyone,
05/03/2018 at 3:08 pm #38996LosingitagainParticipant
As so many have said before, it can become more difficult to sell “collectibles” now than in years past. When someone found something in the wild to add to their collection, they were so excited and would pay whatever price necessary to purchase it. Now, they hop on the internet and purchase the cheapest one in the best condition…the thrill of the hunt is no longer there. My neighbor just went into a care center and her six children were cleaning out the house to get it ready for sale. The mom was excited for the kids, grandkids and great-grandkids to pick from all of her treasures, but no one really wanted to take them (minimalists, not their memories, etc.) so much of it went to Goodwill (I wish I was here for that or I would have snatched a lot of it up, but I am a snowbird and wasn’t in town).
I decided to let my TRS Plus go this month. I am currently not interested in offering free returns and some of the other requirements to get TRS Plus for the small 10% discount. Now mind you, I am not “complaining” about the 10% over the 20%, it just doesn’t work for my model.
I opened a second account at the beginning of the year and have a Basic Store under another account. I initially opened it for things like postcards and other light items that I could ship without Delivery Confirmation so I didn’t screw up my TRS Plus on my other account, but now that the badge doesn’t matter to me, I decided to open a Starter Store for that account…except the eBay glitches still go on and all I get is “We will be back soon” when I try to sign up for a store. UGH!
I have decided to get through my hard goods death pile this summer. I have a corner of my basement with items from box lots, things neighbors have given me, etc. that I have to decide to list, donate or toss. When I get back to Phoenix, I will get back to the Goodwill Outlet “the bins” to add to my clothing inventory. It is so true to sell things that you enjoy…that’s why my hard goods pile is “piling up!”
05/03/2018 at 6:27 pm #39006EdwardParticipant
- Location: Orlando, FL
Made my first Bonanza sale! After hearing you mention Bonanza many times and hearing more about it in a FB group, I took the plunge and set up accounts with Bonanza and Trugether a couple weeks ago and synced up both with my eBay store.
I also have started adding 1st Class Intl to some listings and made my first sale to Canada.
Every avenue helps move me toward my goal.
05/03/2018 at 8:35 pm #39014
Congrats. Bonanza sales come few and far between for us. It doesn’t cost us any work and it’s always a nice surprise.
05/03/2018 at 8:48 pm #39018
Our TrueGether site has puked. We can’t access it, and attempts to contact them to fix have failed.
Funny thing is…things keep selling. The PayPal notification is our only notification when something sells.
05/04/2018 at 12:04 am #39030
Concerning the question at the beginning of the podcast, I know I would do things different if I was just starting. For one, I would not sell used clothes and shoes. Instead, I would stick to vintage. The reason for this is simple. Vintage items are numerous and cheap. Thrift stores make you pay up for good shoes and clothes, and most everyone goes strait to the shoe rack when they enter a thrift. Also, I will be honest and say it sucks paying taxes. I grossed about 50k last year on eBay and FBA and the tax man KILLED me. Between eBay, Paypal, FBA, Etsy, and IRS fees, the actual profit isn’t that impressive. The only thing that makes it worth it to me is owning my own time and getting to treasure hunt for a living. You do get better at what you do and know as the time passes, so hopefully it will eventually pay off. I am staying positive and will continue looking for new sourcing opps., but it is naive to over look the pitfalls. Thanks for the Podcast.
05/04/2018 at 8:00 am #39038
Taxes have always been applicable to eBay profit. I guess the change was in 2010 when Paypal began sending your income to the IRS so you had to actually pay taxes. (Before it was based on voluntary reporting)
Do you pay your taxes quarterly? Or in one big chunk at the end of the year?
05/04/2018 at 1:39 pm #39055
Yes, quarterly, but last year I made enough that I also had to pay up on April 17th in the tune of several thousand. And now my quarterly estimated is up as well. I will adjust and make it, and hopefully next years higher deduction will help. I am looking at selling local on offer up.
05/04/2018 at 1:46 pm #39058
Taxes are tough, but that’s what makes our society run whether you agree or not. Think of the one thing you love (military, healthcare, schools, roads, library) and just imagine your tax dollars go there.
If you made $50k at a job, they’d also take out taxes so taxes aren’t just on your eBay business. And as others said, we all get to deduct our business expenses before we pay taxes. So if you grossed $50k, I’d be surprised you couldn’t deduct enough normal business expenses to only pay taxes on half that amount. If not, get a good tax accountant!
The other option is to become a flea market rat. There’s a reason why some guys love to buy at auctions and sell from the lack of their car in an open field. All cash business!
05/04/2018 at 9:48 am #39043
Well, there is good news for 2018. “If your business is a pass-through entity (sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC or S-corporation), then you can now deduct 20% of your Qualified Business Income. Qualified Business Income represents the bottom line profits from your business; i.e. all of your business revenues less all business expenses.”
See this article: https://www.score.org/blog/2-important-tax-changes-small-businesses-2018
That should make a big difference for 2018.
Also, don’t give up on used clothes and shoes. There are other places to buy them than at the thrift store. Estates sales are a great place to get these items. They know the probability of getting just the right buying is close to nil. I have picked up a lot of great shoes at estate sales for very cheap.
05/04/2018 at 1:42 pm #39057
Thanks Mark, I do check estate sells once in a while but haven’t had great luck so far. I will keep looking 4 sure. Recently, I visited a store that sells shoes in my area called “Marti and Liz shoes”, it had a big sign on the front door that said “no re-sellers”. I subsequently did not buy anything.
05/04/2018 at 10:21 am #39044Julie BParticipant
- Location: Georgia
The eBay profit listed on your tax return isn’t your “true” profit because if you take full advantage of deductions, you will have deducted from your profit some expenses that you would have had to pay regardless of having a business or not. For example: my phone. I have to pay my phone bill every month, may as well get the benefit of writing some of that expense off against my ebay profits since I use the phone for ebay. Also, space in my house that wouldn’t have been used for anything anyways (basement storage for example). I get to write off around 17% of my home’s expenses because I use approximately 17% of my house’s square footage for ebay space. Thus while on my taxes ebay profit is shown as X, in actuality it was more than that because of the expenses I got to write off; expenses that I would have still had to pay out of pocket even if I didn’t have an ebay business. Large businesses really take advantage of this to obscene levels. I won’t mention any names but think of some of the wealthiest people in this nation who live like kings and yet show a loss on their taxes year after year. Their accountants have found ways to make many of their every day expenses into business expenses. Things that we small fries could never take advantage of.
05/04/2018 at 12:42 pm #39050
Hey, has anyone checked using Smartpost lately? I was able to get 2 packages cheaper yesterday and 1 today. This has not been possible since the rate changes except for really small packages.
Give Smartpost another try, you might be surprized now.
05/04/2018 at 3:16 pm #39071
Mark: We will have to try again. When I was working with EBay on my smart post issue earlier this year, the rep said that they were supposed to negotiate better rates with FedEx. Maybe they are in line now.
05/04/2018 at 10:07 pm #39084
Yes, seems like it. I am back to being able to make some good money using Smartpost. I just noticed it working yesterday. I think I had given up on Smartpost, but I was checking every so often.
05/05/2018 at 6:05 am #39094
Another good rate from Smart Post.
I think Smart Post is back to close to its rates from before!
05/05/2018 at 6:11 am #39095
The reason this is such good news is because I use USPS parsel select for most everything. Usually I can get a $1 – $2 (sometimes $5 or more) savings with Smart Post. So, assuming an average of about $1.50, if I sell 1200 items (my projection for the year), then that is $1800 for the year or $150 a month. $150 a month is enough for a lot of things such as a good used car payment or whatever you want to spend it on.
My point is that the savings is significant and it can really add up, especially if you are a high volume seller. There is a “profit maker” for me and I put it on my forecasting spreadsheet.
05/05/2018 at 7:51 am #39097
Mark, I think you are right. I ran a test this morning, using the package that I had used a few months ago on this issue to compare the rates.
Going from 80020 to 58973, 2lb box, 16x16x8 the SmartPost cost in March on eBay was $19.89.
Today that rate is $13.83.
So it looks like the SmartPost Rates are back. I will continue to test and if so, move many of our listings back to using SmartPost as the first option.
Thanks for the heads up Mark!
05/05/2018 at 7:58 am #39098
PS – This is only on Ebay. I checked the SmartPost rates on our FedEx account, and SmartPost is $18.77 on our FedEx account.
05/05/2018 at 8:13 am #39099
Yep, looks like the rates are lower. Below is a comparison of the 10 types of shipments that I tested in March using SmartPost compared to the rate that I am getting today for the same shipement:
Package of 12x12x10, 4 lbs:
to 74137: March – $17.03, May – $11.24
to 60411: March – $18.29, May – $11.25
to 13053: March – $24.43, May – $14.30
to 16830: March – $25.02, May – $14.88
to 94597: March – $18.29, May – $11.25
For a box 12x12x8, 4 lbs:
to 74137: March – $11.84, May – $10.97
to 60411: March – $12.50, May – $10.62
to 13053: March – $15.57, May – $13.97
to 16830: March – $16.16, May – $14.55
to 94597: March – $12.50, May – $10.62
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