05/06/2018 at 6:53 pm #39189
05/06/2018 at 7:16 pm #39191
04/29/18 – 05/05/18
Total Items In Store: 2,398
Items Sold: 17
Cost of Items Sold: $60 (around)
Total Sales: $656
Highest Price Sold: $85 (Vintage Star Trek Hat)
Average Price Sold: $38.59
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $ 288
Number of Items listed this week: 43
I was most excited by two things that happened this past week:
1. Smart Post rates are back to close to what they were before the Jan. increase – see the posts from episode 358 at the bottom.
2. I went to an awesome estate sale. I was on the far side of town, about 45 min away, for a gymnastics meet and had to drive all the way back on a Saturday afternoon. So, with all the down time at the meet, I looked at the approximately 100 estate sales to pick which ones to stop at on the way home. I narrowed the list to about a dozen because of their proximity to the expressway. After studying all of the estate sales, I only found 1 that I was really interested in.
So, we stopped at the sale. I loved the sale. It had things I had never seen before. Most of the good stuff was from the 1940’s – 1960’s. My favorite item was about 50 1940’s Cracker Jack Battle Plane cards. When was the last time you saw those at a sale? I also found some Wings Cigarettes plane cards. I was instantly drawn to a Box of 1960’s US Maps. My first instinct was to buy the whole box of about 40. I had never seen anything like this before, but I didn’t even bother to look them up. I ended up getting the whole box for $7.50 – score. Then I picked up a 1969 Sports Coat. I knew it was from 1969 because it had the exact date on it and because it was pretty wild looking! Picked up a Football Game from 1940.
Those are the kinds of sales I am looking for and love to go to. I only come across them every so often, but they are so fun to go to and explore – almost like a time capsule.
05/07/2018 at 9:45 am #39233
05/07/2018 at 7:56 pm #39332
Yes, that was one of my favorite sales of the year. Yes, I can expense the mileage to the estate sale which is great also. The amazing thing about those Cracker Jack plane cards is that they are in very good condition. For 70+ years old, that is amazing. I got about 50 of them for $30 (were $50 to start and on sale for 25% off, and then got him down to $30), so the price was right also. I am thinking of keeping them for right now. I have about 600 other Cigarette cards from circa 1910. I picked all of those up at a garage sale for $600. I estimate that I good ask for about $4000 – $5000 on ebay if I break them into sets and some by themselves. The thing that holds me back is 1. Somehow I connect to them and 2. They are so much work to get listed. So, I am sitting on about $5000 of Cigarette cards right now and that sounds weird saying that.
The maps were nothing real special, just your run of the mill Sunoco, Esso, Flying A Service fold out maps. But what was so interesting to me is that there are about 50+ of them and all from the 1960’s and all in excellent shape. They bring back memories of using those types of maps as a kid on road trips. Some can fetch $25 on their own, but most are the $5-$10 kind that I will lot together. They are for a number of major cities in the US. There is Baltimore, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburg, the Penn Turnpike, CN rail, Denver, Washington DC, Milwaukee, Duluth, St. Louis, San Francisco, Michigan, Indianapolis, Richmond, Evansville, Fort Wayne, Lucas County, South Bend, California, and detailed map of Railroads in Colorado. Most people should be able to connect with something in there.
05/07/2018 at 8:02 pm #39335
Those cigarette cards sound amazing! You have anything close to a set?
O cool – gas station maps. Here’s a tip for selling them, group them by year. I’ve sold to car guys that want maps from the year their car is from… so like group all the 1968s together and hopefully the guy who just restored his ’68 Mustang will buy them!
If not that direction, group them by gas brand cause sometimes you have collectors of just Esso or Sinclair or whatever.
05/07/2018 at 9:30 pm #39344
05/07/2018 at 9:40 pm #39345
Oh, I forgot about the cigaratte cards I already have. I don’t think there are any that are a complete set, but some are close. I also have original boxes for some of them. I estimate that I can get close to $500 alone for the boxes sold separately. I was thinking of selling the boxes first because for some reason, I have no connection to them. There is one box that I have which goes with a set of cards from around 1910. I think that is so cool to sell the box with the cards! I am going to get a jump on the price. The box is worth maybe $100 and the cards around $300, but when I sell them, I will list closer to $500 because it will be a great set.
The cigaratte cards are all over the place. Some are basically fortune cards. Other themes are cowboys, American heros, cars around 1910 (really cool and worth a lot), houses, landmarks, boxing (also worth a lot, but most are not in good condition, but a lot of world champions). There are also Navy Battleships, flags of all nations, Seals of the United States, Countries of the World, colleges (these are also worth a lot), military, etc. One card really puzzles me and I couldn’t find anything about it anywhere. It is a small cards that reads “June 11 1912 tuberculosis blue star day TOBACCO card”. Most have been to commemorate the day, but not sure who made it, when, and the exact reason. I have about 40-50 of those and was going to list with quantity if I could figure them out.
05/07/2018 at 10:22 am #39249
05/07/2018 at 1:20 pm #39283
05/07/2018 at 8:00 pm #39334
That is very strange that Smart Post would work for T-Satt and I and not for you. What size box are you trying to send? 15 X 8 X 6 shoes box size and smaller is what seems to work. Any larger than that and the price goes way up. Is that what is happening to you?
I wonder if others on the blog could chime in to say if it is working for them or not.
05/08/2018 at 2:01 pm #39410
05/08/2018 at 2:05 pm #39411
05/08/2018 at 2:30 pm #39414
05/08/2018 at 4:07 pm #39431
And if I am not mistaken, SmartPost uses the USPS for the “last leg” of the journey. FedEx flies your package to the closest town they package is going to. Then at that last juncture, they actually turn the package over to the USPS to do the actual ‘to the home delivery”. That being given, then the FedEx SmartPost system has to be proticular and keep within the guidelines of the USPS service also, on top of the Dim. weight issue. 1,728 cubic inches is USPS cutoff before dim. weight, I belive. LxHxW so a 12x12x12=1,728. Larger it will still gobut you may see that oversize bump.
That is why some on here are saying watch the dim weight. It is not just an easy peezt, thought process that SmartPost is always the cheapest.
But I stand for correction, but I am thinking this is maybe correct.
Mike at MDCG
05/06/2018 at 10:01 pm #39200
- Location: Port Royal, SC
Hey “ThriftShift” is my name! Glad you like it. It has a couple meanings I think. A second job after “regular” 8-5. Or changing a lifestyle to be more thrifty. Or shifting excess goods from one home to become income for another.
Total Items In Store: 839
Items Sold: 18
Cost of Items Sold: $51.80
Total Sales: $455.98
Highest Price Sold: $130 (Judaic Art Lithograph by Abram Egbi)
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $40
Number of Items listed this week: 27
I’m at the end of 20 years in the Marines Corps, and I have several friends who are in the same boat. One friend lives in Japan right now and has a storage unit 30 minutes from me full of furniture from a former marriage. She asked me to sell the furniture for her. It’s all grand brown furniture, very classic NC look. I didn’t really want to charge her 50% or drag it to an auction house; we are good friends. So I offered my teen daughter and her boyfriend a job. I went with them to the unit yesterday; they moved the furniture, took pictures, and I posted them on OfferUp, Facebook, and LetGo. The kids are getting 30% for the furniture. Anyway, they are happy to have made $80 for three hours of work so far, meeting people there and selling the furniture. My friend’s younger son also had a bin of 27 lbs of Legos, all mixed up. The teens spent 8 hours sorting it into bricks by color, mini-figures, and other stuff. It’s in lovely labeled gallon bags. I’ll put that up on ebay for them; they are getting $8 an hour for sorting + 25% of profit after fees+taxes taken out. Something funny happened “family-wise” too with the Lego sorting today. We actually all talked for several hours at a time, together, and joked, etc. It was nice. Normally teens are on the go. I got to hear about their lives and more. They were excited and I am happy to start having their help. Training them to take photos next for me. If any other friends want their help selling big stuff as they move onto other duty stations, we are saying 50% though.
I also applied for a PayPal Working Capital loan; I had planned to buy an expensive set of Tiffany flatware on an online auction in my town, but it got too high. So now I have money in my pocket plan to attend more auctions and really up my “high end” stuff; the teens will be attending with me and be my helpers. There is a great one coming up mid-June.
And here is my MOST awesome scavenge of the week: On Thursday I went to my favorite hidden charity thrift shop (no online presence). I bought a large leather duffel bag that I could tell was nice for $8. It sells for $650 new as a “Joseph Hanna Made in NYC” #102 “Antique Finish” bag. The donor of the bag was even there when I picked it up! She said “Ugh, I hate that old bag, it’s so cruddy looking”. It is GORGEOUS. Listed it for $590 OBO because it is beautifully distressed. Have a good week.
05/06/2018 at 10:35 pm #39202
I had an ah hah moment because of your comments on free return shipping in this week’s podcast. There is actually a double silver lining. 1. Buyers can not file INAD cases against a seller because of free return shipping being offered which then helps sellers protect their accounts from defects caused by buyer’s mistakes/decision making.
2. Free return shipping only means paying for the return shipping and not having to pay for the original shipping as one would have to do with an INAD case.
In addition, free returns may bring in more buyers because it addresses one of their concerns before and upon purchasing – what if I don’t like it or it doesn’t fit?
If returns remain low, this could turn out to be a win for sellers eventhough it is technically being forced by ebay.
05/06/2018 at 10:42 pm #39203
This is also our thinking with turning on Free Returns.
One correction: I’m pretty sure buyers can open an Item Not As Described Case. Someone would need to point me to eBay documentation otherwise. I dont see any mention of it here: https://pages.ebay.com/seller-center/seller-updates/2017-fall/returns.html
But the hope is that if buyers see “Free Returns” they’ll be less likely to claim INAD to get free shipping. Time will tell.
05/07/2018 at 7:15 am #39212
Yes we have had Free Return Shipping turned on now for a couple of months. I think I did it almost as soon as the Spring Update came out and remember you replying.. “so you are all in now.” So, we now have 30 day returns, Free Returns, and free shipping on many smaller-lighter items [and build in that shipping].
As AdE says..now we will wait and see how Ebay backs sellers up.
05/07/2018 at 12:14 pm #39274
05/07/2018 at 12:46 pm #39276
The Free Shipping is on things that are under a lb. so, for us at most, about $4, BUT dont you think I have twice that built into the price? You bet I do. I even have a 20% SALE Price built in and also another 20% for Make an Offer.
I can take something I paid $8 for and Worthpoint says they mostly sell for $45. I list at $95 with Free Shipping, can put it on Sale at 20% off, take an Offer 20% below that and then come out at just about where I wanted to be in the first place. $95 less 20% Sale=$76, then accept an Offer 20% below that = $60.80 now shipp it for Free for [a guess at $11] = $49.80, now I am right where I wanted to be any way. But the customer “THINKS” he got 40% Off and FREE Shipping!!! NOT!!! :-). Been working for us.
05/07/2018 at 12:51 pm #39277
05/07/2018 at 1:12 pm #39279
Really Doesn’t matter. The customer has a perception of value and that’s what counts. And since it is something Ebay wants and says we get juice from it and we changed everything in minutes, why not. To us it is just the same as list it and forget it. Everything is set to do it this way now and we can not worry about it any more. WonderLister will be ending 950 items automatically at the end of it’s 30 days and then automatically relisting it for us with a brand new ID. It works just the same for us as GTC, only Ebay doesn’t see it as “Stale” or getting old. It sees it as a brand new listing. Yaah!
You said one time, why not – can’t hurt so we did it and are done with it. Now WonderLister handles it all automatically and so does T-Satts SixBit.
Bet you dollars to donuts, they will change something next year and we will just change it again. More important things to focus on, which is trying to get our Shopify Store live and Etsy built up. If and when that works out and we are matching Ebay Sales, the plan is to then leave Ebay and manage our own store. Then we will be setting all of the rules anyway we want without any fees. Also I think Social Media Marketing may have a much greater impact than throwing fish at the internal Ebay algorythym. And one of the nice things is that WonderLister automatically sends a TWEET, A PHOTO and the TITLE of each of our listings without us having to do it. BUT now WonderLister will be sending all 950 items out every single month.
Currently the WonderLister team is writing code now to include “Pinterest” and “InstaGram” in that automatic send out.
05/07/2018 at 1:05 pm #39278
I understand the reasoning behind doing that, but it sounds like such an exhausting process to sell things at for the price you originally wanted to sell them at. I understand it’s all based on customer psychology studies for business, but still, wow. I just give my customers occasional 5% or 10% off sales to clear out stock, and otherwise make them pay my requested full-price the majority of the time lol.
05/07/2018 at 1:51 pm #39286
We don’t always run Sales. We have gone the past two weeks without one and things have been selling at full price with all of that built in. Don’t forget WonderLister handles all the Sales automatically for us. When we want a Sale pt on we click Run Sale and enter the percentage and tell it when to end and it does it for us.
As for Offers. We either get them or not and that has always been the case. Either you take them or you don’t so nothing new there.
This is not anything complicated or extra. It is using just one very high price at 10 to 12 times what we buy for. Then we may run a sale or not and we may take an offer or not either on or off sale. Same as usual.
We did about $500 last week on fewer items than when we do the Sales. During Sales periods or if we get offers on a lot of items we have to sell more to make the same.
When you price an item at what you want, then no Sales for you as you said, but then no free shipping either because you haven’t covered that expense and you can’t take an offer. You buy for $8 sell for 4 times the money $32, then take it or leave it.
My thinking is give the perception of value added, buyer getting discounts and if they don’t care or want it cheaper then they buy at set price. On these types of items unless the Buyer is going to TerraPeak, WorthPoint, shopping antique booths, then the “worth” of an item, is what they are willing to pay. If there are a bunch online already and we didn’t see that then our mistake. If there are a bunch and we see them, we usually don’t buy. We look for harder to find type of items, most of them time. But we do have some that are competitive and then we don’t do all of the extra built ins and just do 4 times the money and let it go at that.
Just our way of thinking. We saw way too many antique booth guys buy for $10, sell for $20, pay expenses and they were in the red.
05/06/2018 at 10:59 pm #39204
Yes, you are right.
Ebay needs to take INAD away as an option if sellers allow free return shipping for any reason.
It seems that ebay has still made INAD as one of the main choices for return which buyers are going to have to use to chose a reason for return, so it appears that either way a seller can still wind up with an INAD case due to buyer’s mistake in choices.
For now, ebay has configured it so that if a seller provides free return shipping they will back the seller as a way of pushing to make sure sellers do what they want. We will have to wait to see if they come through with how they handle buyers returning items and as to how they back sellers.
- This reply was modified 4 months, 3 weeks ago by AdventureE.
05/07/2018 at 8:13 pm #39337
From a buyer’s perspective, I think INAD should remain:
1. To allow buyers to get their original shipping back if they paid for shipping
2. To allow eBay to identify sellers that are providing a poor product / poor experience so that eBay can weed them out. Allowing returns is fine but it still makes for a less-than-ideal experience when products are poor or mis-described or faulty. As sellers, we want buyers to come back and the fewer negative experiences they have, the better.
05/07/2018 at 8:49 pm #39341
Simon: 100% agree. As long as the INAD is a true INAD. We have had some issues reversed.
Jay: I just remembered. When we had the GSP issue, the buyer had said the broken item was INAD. When I contacted EBay, they made sure that this would not impact us at all. The message we received was the buyer was being fully reimbursed, we were not impacted at all, and we would have no negative impacts on our account.
05/08/2018 at 6:16 am #39367
Yep, GSP is a different program from domestic eBay. Since we’re paying insurance, eBay just eats whatever the buyer is complaining about.
Again, we’ll call and dispute future domestic issues. I’ll be interested to hear what you find on your next domestic issue. Or really anyone here who calls eBay these days.
Do reps still get involved in return cases, or has their policy changed? We need more hard data.
05/06/2018 at 11:21 pm #39206
Week of 4/29-5/5
Total Items in Store: 2,095 (Up 41% YOY)
Number of Items Listed: 124
Number of Items Sold: 80 (Up 7% YOY)
(Includes 3 Etsy, 0 Bonanza, 1 TrueGether)
Weekly STR: 16% (Down 5% YOY)
Total Product Sales: $2,142 (Up 19% YOY)
Cost of Items Sold: $519
Highest Item Sold: $120 – Vintage Lot of 500 Star Wars Paper Dixie Cups
Competition: Highest Priced Sale: Veronica wins the week and Troy leads the year at 10-8. (She is crushing right now!)
# Listed: 1,299
# Sold: 54
# Listed: 185
# Sold: 13
eBay Hard Goods
# Listed: 611
# Sold: 10
Etsy Hard Goods
# Listed: 152
# Sold: 3
Number of Items Listed: 477 – New Record
Number of Items Sold: 333 (Forecast: 349)
Monthly STR: 18% (Forecast: 18%)
Monthly ASP: $24.19 (Forecast: $25.89)
Total Sales: $8,054 (Forecast: $9,025) – Increase of 6% YOY
Loving the change in our business with a photographer. Veronica and I were talking how as of now, we don’t want to go back to doing it all ourselves, and feel we should have done this sooner (though we had to absorb the initial cost of the labor…and we still are a little). I didn’t list for two days this week as I had my contract accounting job, and we still listed 124 items. This is big too, as my contract job is asking for me to help with a special project a day or two each week for the next month or so. But with the assistance (and amazing photos he is doing), we can keep our listing volume up.
05/06/2018 at 11:32 pm #39208
On the podcast, I have to say Jay and Ryanne, I love your thinking on Free Returns. At the worst, it is an experiment that you can move away from if it doesn’t work. But you also did some math and looked at what a “bad” month would be in $100 in paying for return shipping and realized that it is not a big deal and you can absorb this as part of your business in your Handling Charge. Whether as a Handling Charge, or part of your overall business, you are taking some of that potential cost and spreading it out across all your sales. It is something I’m glad to see more sellers doing: looking at the bigger picture, rather than just sale by sale.
Regarding SixBit, some information that I can tell you. Yes, the ability to have every listing backed up and relist/tweak/copy is nice. Like I discussed earlier, we had a return from Russia that was about 5-6 months old get returned to us. I just relisted. No new photographs, redoing a listing, nothing. Sometimes we get something that we know that we sold months ago that we can just tweak an old listing since it is in SixBit.
Also, yes, you can list directly through eBay and SixBit will import that listing. That is how we do things now. I list through SixBit, but Veronica lists through eBay and the listings are imported after that. She has a couple of final items to add to the database like cost and presets (the SixBit version of Business Policies), but not an issue.
Remote access I think would not work though. Since it is a database that will reside on your “server” (ours is my desktop), the employee has to be able to work in that capacity. But if you have them list through eBay now, these will still pull into SixBit. So they can work on your listings, just directly through eBay like you do now, and eventually these will pull into SixBit.
Shoot me an email if you have any direct questions. I can also give you some direct emails to some folks at SixBit that can answer direct questions. They are good folks.
I’m sure Mike will have the same information on WonderLister.
05/07/2018 at 1:13 am #39211
Store Week 4/29/18 – 5/5/18
Total items in store: 1654
Items sold: 16
Cost of items sold: $14.93
Total sales: $628.91
Highest price sold: $100.00 (Reindeer fur boots)
Average price sold: $39.31
Money spent on new inventory this week: $314.75
I’ve been out of the loop and not posting for a while, but I thought I’d better get my act together and share my numbers to keep myself accountable and on track! Things have been pretty quiet, but this week was okay and I’ve had a couple of great scavenging weekends. It was funny to hear you say last week that you never see Pendleton anymore. I’m finding it everywhere the last few weeks and loving it! I haven’t listened to the podcast yet, but it sounds interesting. I’ve been battling with INAD lately, and I’m almost afraid to listen!
05/07/2018 at 8:23 am #39220
- Location: Naples, Fl
Good Morning! Have not listened yet, thank you yet again for the consistent Sunday night/Monday morning go to.
4/29 – 5/5/18
eBay Store totommyto
Total store items: 524
Number of items sold: 12
eBay sales (not counting s/h): $423.94
Cost of items sold: $23.50
Consignment payouts: $75
Highest price sold: $75 lot of 5 ‘New Kids on the Block’ dolls
Average price sold: $35.32
Money spent on new inventory: 0
Number of items listed this week: 0
Etsy Store Oldfleatoymarket
Total store items: 452
Number of items sold: 6
Etsy sales (not counting s/h): $113
Cost of items sold: $17
Consignment payouts: 0
Highest price sold: $35 vintage mustard color metal tool tote
Average price sold: $18.83
Money spent on new inventory: 0
Number of items listed this week: 0
Last of my Northern family departs Tuesday morning. I cannot wait to get back to a consistent listing schedule! It is a great bonus that my idle stores are still producing decent income. As for scavenging, it’s more of a second or third level sifting and still discovering what I already have. I’m still dealing with a HUGE buyout from 3 months ago or so. Great things to list tomorrow, and we will see how the beasties respond to the feedings.
I have finally done real numbers for two months now. It is hard for me to believe that I bare backed my online selling for YEARS, not really knowing what I was doing or earning. When I needed cash, I simply worked harder, or even leveraged my business and took out loans. Once I sort all that out, it might lead to an interesting discussion! Now to the podcast.
05/07/2018 at 9:43 am #39231
Super interesting topic, listed to the show this morning. I think you made a really good decision on the free returns by adding the handling fee. I did the the handling fee a while back to help offset packaging costs, etc and now it helps with that return fee too.
Week April 29 – May 5, 2018
Total Items in Store: 930
Items Sold: 15 (1 Amazon)
Cost of Items Sold: $78 (19.5% of sales)
Total Sales: $400.44
Highest Price Sold: $70 (1963 UK Pressing of With the Beatles https://www.ebay.com/itm/192479067906)
Average Price Sold: $26.70
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $115
Number of items listed this week: 11
Promoted listings test: 9 sales, $238.97 (59.7% of total sales), $12.50 fees (5.2% of sales)
From my all time best week ever last posting to my worst week this year. If you average the two together, though, I’m still well above where I need to be. Nothing too crazy sold this week, 11 of 15 sales were under $30, bread & butter.
Not too many picks this weekend, but I did manage to grab another amazing sealed record from the 60s – this is one of Rolling Stones early albums https://www.ebay.com/itm/192532358837).
- This reply was modified 4 months, 3 weeks ago by Brian Treasures from Grandmas.
05/07/2018 at 10:05 am #39242
05/07/2018 at 10:20 am #39247
05/07/2018 at 10:27 am #39250
Us too. We just build it into the price.
Instead of $26.75 for an item, it is $27.75. Who knows the difference.
That is also how we handle the “No Separate Itemized Shipping Cost to the Buyer” Program .. Since Jay doesn’t like the semantic use of “Free Shipping” LOL 🙂 Or for Jay’s sake the NSISCTHB program. But for us, Call it what you want, it is built in. We add Zone 8 shipping cost for each weight class to every item we list as “NSISCTHB / FREE SHIPPING” aspect of our business.
Ryanne already says she rounds up. We do to. We round up in Lbs. not ounces. USPS Priority only goes by Lbs. also. So, if an item is 2.5 lbs on the scale, goes into an 10x10x10 box which is 1.38 with stuffing that equals 3 lbs on the item plus 2 lbs on the box = 5 lbs. total then that to zone 8 is about $18 we add to the price on the “NSISCTHB” [Jay’s semantic Free Shipping nemisis] :-).
We used to ship tens of thousands of dollars of merchandise in my old job. Shipping is just as much a “Profit Center” as our art dept., ink dept., film dept., press dept., bindery dept. and shipping dept. We made mark ups and money on everything we touched. If I could put a stop watch on it, time it and a person had to do it, I calculated our unit cost on it and then we marked all of that up. If you spit in the parking lot, I clocked it, accounted for it and built the cost in. We got huge discounts from all our shipping companies. Those were mine to keep. I negoatiated the discounts, they were ours.
So in what is called “True Unit Costing” in the manufacturing world, everything is a cost and everything is marked up and built in. Ebayer’s sometimes worry too much about the small details in the weeds, that are under water. We sold a sign to Walmart or Home Depot and it was $6.70 each x 15,000 = $100,500 invoice to them. They didn’t care about how many paper clips we used, but believe me, it was built into their price grid.
So very long way of saying, build it in. Nobody will balk. They will buy it if they want it.
But that is just our opinion. That and $.50 will get you a half of a cup of coffee and Oh, by the way, Sugar and the FREE USE of our Spoon INCLUDED. LOL 🙂
Mike at MDC Galleries and Fine Art in Atlanta
05/07/2018 at 10:38 am #39252
05/07/2018 at 11:33 am #39263
I added it over a year ago now… ranges from $0.50 to $5 (if it’s big, bulky, fragile, requires a ton of packing materials) however 99% of my items are $1 handling. Unlikely that my sales have suffered too much, as last year was my best year ever doing this and this year is projecting to be my second highest ever.
I think, as R&J have said, if you have a commodity item that a million others have, you have to compete on shipping costs. If you have unique or vintage items that only you or a handful of others do, then shipping costs are irrelevant.
05/07/2018 at 8:07 pm #39336
05/07/2018 at 10:49 pm #39350
I paid $35 for it, really think I can get close to $300 (priced at $350 so I have some wiggle room). A few weeks ago, I got a Kiss Love Gun from 1977 sealed – paid around $40 and within about 10 days sold for $200 (gave the guy a $50 discount cause he bought several hundred dollars of other items).
05/08/2018 at 6:43 pm #39448
Man, I wish I could find a sealed record from the 60’s or 70’s that is actually still popular!
Did they advertise this in the estate sale promo, or did you just stumble upon it?
Did they state they had a lot of records?
I am just trying to see if I can define the MO for this type of item so that I go to those estate sales.
05/07/2018 at 9:43 am #39232
Items in Store 914
Items Sold 18
Total Sales $474.00
Total Profit $412.00
Average profit $22.89
Average sales price $26.33
78% of my sales were either shoes or pants this week. While listing those cheap $20 or less jeans seems like a grind when doing the work, it pays off in a week like this. Pipelines, pipelines, pipelines! 8 shoes, 6 pants, 4 misc – that is how my week shook out.
Have a great week everyone. The trees are in bloom and the weather is great. It’s time to get some work done! I LOVE this time of year!
05/07/2018 at 9:56 am #39236
To Bonnie from California
Hello Bonnie, hope this message gets to you. Last week you mentioned about your case when your buyer opened a claim on PayPal.
Decided to write to you because I had 3 of these cases. One of them – the first – was painful and I lost because I did not know how to deal with it.
Then I learned: I always assume good intent, no matter what, even on cheesy cases you can smell stinky tofu. The thing is this one seems to be a “semi-scam”, meaning some buyers on some occasions try to warp the system and instead of open a return case on eBay for whatever reason (my two cases were one, the lady clearly wore the Armani Tallier and wanted to send back after the party, and the other the lady wanted just see the purse (which she knew I lot more than I do) and did not have the guts to do it on eBay.
So both these ladies and the first buyer opened a case on PayPal, one of them called the Credit Card company and said she never authorized the purchase, the other opened a case on PayPal stating she never received the item.
Except for the first, the latter two were really painful, took me around 2 months to be resolved on my favor, I had to provide same information over and over each time it was escalated up in their claiming process.
05/11/2018 at 8:52 pm #39722
TO: Paulo H Leocadio
This is Bonnie from California. In regards to my message left about the problem with a buyer opening up a Paypal case saying they never authorized a credit card payment( buyer asked to have the item shipped to a different address) after a couple of weeks back and forth with Paypal showing that indeed the buyer did contact me requesting that the item be shipped to a different location and that he did indeed purchase the item. Every time I make a sell I give that buyer a folder which I put in the original sale email, shipping proof of purchase, Paypal receipt and and emails between the buyer and myself. When the transaction is complete then that folder goes into a master folder titled Ebay sales 2018. Makes it simple having everything in one location if a problem arises. In my case the buyer had emailed me about requesting the address change on his company letter head with his work number and info on the bottom. I think that was the deciding factor why Paypal decided in my favor. How could he deny it when his name and company info. was all over the email. It all comes down to keeping good records of everything that does on with a sell. Best of luck with your claims.
05/14/2018 at 9:48 am #39842
Hello Bonnie 🙂
I have very similar strategy on organizing folders. I have a domain and a handful of email address I use to administrate the store.
So I have folder per item number (eBay code).
On the other hand I had a handful of cases where buyer asked me to ship to a different address: for example, a lady purchased a collector’s Harley Davidson vintage T Shirt (those made for/by a store located in a specific city). She lived like in Tennessee and asked me to ship to her boy friend in Texas. I even made a special package for that. Result: 5 stars for me.
There was one case in another country I was kinda afraid but it worked fine.
I think I was lucky because all of these cases they used the own transaction to communicate with me officially.
05/07/2018 at 10:02 am #39241
I added free returns on my items a couple of months ago and I’ve had 2 buyers open INAD cases during that time on clothing items that didn’t fit. It seems that buyers who have become conditioned to being dishonest in order to avoid paying return shipping will continue to do so (at least in the short term). On the bright side, there has not been an increase in overall returns.
05/07/2018 at 11:53 am #39267
05/07/2018 at 10:05 am #39244
Tax, Mint, Accountants, etc.
Folks, up until 2005 I used H&R Block for my (then) family/personal taxes. That year specifically they got me a bill of over $16,000 to pay, it was when I have up on them.
Afterwards I started to use Turbo Tax and it was just fantastic.
The thing is, years later when I had opened 2 or 3 businesses, I hired 1800Accountants and they found me so many mistakes where I could be getting money back. In summary, it is worth every penny the ~$300 per year since what I get in return easily pays for the investment. Even though I have the entire Tax legislation and buy that humongous Tax book every year, does not compare with what these IRS-certified CPA know what and how to do it legally.
Today Mint, Quickbooks, Quicken, Turbotax are all the same company. For my personal finances I use Mint, and it connects EVERY FRIKKIN’ THING, any account (gas card account, all bills even local power and water companies here in FL, insurance, etc. etc, loans, blah blah blah including my sons’). It is fantastic first for personal/family planning (a month ago I mentioned how I loved MS Money and its discontinuation was like breaking up with the love of your life). Houses and Cars it keeps market value updated and you can compare with how much you paid and with whatever loan you make.
For the Quickbooks for my today’s 2 companies, even the e-assets (thing Bitcoin and Domain name) it keeps up to the market value x what I purchased or invested on).
I just love all of these
05/07/2018 at 10:11 am #39245
When Ryanne started to pound harder on the policies, I too decided to give it a grasp. The first step was painful, but so painful, but know is like Nerdvana.. Wow, it is really great.
Now I started to receive all messages that my Top Seller plus whatever whenever is in jeopardy. And I cannot understand why. The one time this happened they were very precise, pointing to my defect rate and which were the items that impacted that. Now I am in the dark, assuming this is the 30 days free returns thing.
This weekend they sent me another email to help me how to improve and get the stamp back after I lose it in June, they listed 39 items for me to change the price, like it was a mandatory thing and one specific item I had to adjust the policies (and it uses the standard policy of the shop: same day, 30 days returns, etc).
Even though for me these changes are exactly what Ryanne mentioned in the Cast today, the issue is when I get lost not knowing why.
05/07/2018 at 10:28 am #39251
- Location: Georgia
I’m still confused about the buyer who returned an item as INAD because it arrived late. If Jay and Ryann are in the guaranteed delivery program, why didn’t eBay cover them for that reason? Was it because the buyer opened an INAD rather than whatever option is available to buyers that don’t receive their items within the guaranteed delivery window? IS there even a return option a buyer can choose if their item arrives late and it was purchased from a guaranteed delivery seller? I’ve never returned anything on ebay so I don’t even know what it looks like on the buyer’s end. I’m wondering if Ebay has made it clear enough to buyers about which steps they need to take if they do not receive their item within the guaranteed delivery.
05/07/2018 at 12:13 pm #39273
Buyers can choose the reason “item received late”. We were also confused about why we werent covered in the Guaranteed Shipping Program. All the rep said was “We are ot allowed to get involved in returns.”
If anyone else has a different experience when disputing returns, we’d love to hear more info.
05/07/2018 at 1:17 pm #39281
05/07/2018 at 4:38 pm #39302
Will do. But we’ve heard from other sellers with the same experience. eBay Reps were no longer getting involved.
The next time you call about a return, I’d be interested to hear what they tell you. I know you’re in the Concierge Program and you say it’s going to be the standard, but I see no evidence this is true. Can you link to any eBay pages that talk about the Concierge Program? I haven’t seen them mention it in any of the seller updates.
My guess is it’s like the Beta Returns Program that we were in. They tried it and ended it. I hope Im wrong.
05/07/2018 at 5:11 pm #39308
I hope you are wrong too.
I haven’t seen anything on the Concierge, it was discussed at eBay Open last year, we were put into it, and it has been great.
The last time I called, it was on a damaged item by the delivery service on GSP. They immediately refunded the buyer out of their own pocket, and closed the issue with no impact to us (financial or on any metrics). Took 5 minutes.
We did have an issue in March were the buyer claimed INAD (kind of rudely), and I called eBay since it was beyond our 30 days. They closed it immediately in our favor and we were not dinged at all.
05/07/2018 at 5:11 pm #39309
Your case is no longer an INAD case if you are part of the Guaranteend Delivery Program. It now becomes an ebay issue which is how it needs to be presented. Simply find the verbage on Guaranteed Delivery and your order and make sure it was within the guidelines for shipping using the Guaranteed Deivery program. If it was, find the verbage on how ebay will cover if it does not arrive on time and be prepared to share it with an agent calmly and professionally. Do not start the conversation as an INAD conversation. Start the conversation as a guaranteed delivery conversation and start it with a supervisor or manager. This is one of you those times you have spoken about where the seller needs to know ebay rules and regs better than ebay knows their own rules and regs.
05/07/2018 at 5:30 pm #39318
05/07/2018 at 10:54 am #39254
Toys R Us stores are closing nationwide. Buy to sell these items.
Many Toys R Us stores are closing near you and offering deals on inventory popular with eBay buyers. Below is information about some of the top trending items available at many of these retail locations:
Friends, I received message above from eBay a while back. Follow a list of recommendations. We have 2 of those very close and many others around 30 from my house.
The thing is the “sale” price is horrible. The end price you would pay would never sell on eBay (generalizing because I focused only on items recommended by eBay and a handful of others I am sure I can sell).
Someone else tried this?
05/07/2018 at 5:29 pm #39317
Yes, my brother is a full time Amazon seller. Went to his Toys R Us twice per week since the announcement… leading up to the closing, anything good was only like 10% off. The final week, however, everything went to 90% off. He was there early and bought about $1000 worth of stuff for less than $100. Key is to find the insider info on when exactly your store is closing.
05/07/2018 at 11:00 am #39255
Ryanne – I’m curious as to how you determined that the bonnet was that old. Fabric deteriorates faster than other materials. How did you get the confidence to date it to the 1800’s?
In regards to the caller talking about the scam messages, I assume that the scammer can message a seller of a sold item. The username won’t match the buyer’s, but, if the seller is busy shipping, they might not notice that the message is not legit.
Week of April 29 – May 5
* Total Items in Store: 1147
* Items Sold: 15
* Cost of Items Sold: $30.05 + $4 Commission
* Total Sales: $254.03
* Highest Price Sold: $49 Vintage Brass umbrella holder
* Average Price Sold: $16.94
* Returns: 0
* Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $30
* Number of items listed this week: 22
Another slow/soft week of sales.
05/07/2018 at 11:53 am #39268
We only ship to PayPal Confirmed address. This is an old school / old Ebay suggestion. If any requests come in via E-mail messages, we use our cut and paste auto reply to answer, which basically says to go and change your account at PayPal or Ebay. Otherwise contact your Post Office and request for a forwarding to take place or a hold until they can pick-up.
We just don’t play those games. Customer service or not, there is certain responsibilities that we feel the buyer should take care of. We are a Seller-Reseller not a babysitter / enabler. Too many “young” “I deserve it people” we come across. While we try to bend over backwards to help our customers, we don’t bend our internal policies [SOP’s – Standard Operating Procedures].
So we request that they kindly get their buyer credentials in order and we will be glad to ship to any please that is listed. May seem harsh to some, but seems to keep us out of hot water so far. Nobody refused to do it yet.
mike at MDCG in Atl.
05/08/2018 at 6:45 pm #39449
05/07/2018 at 11:03 am #39256
Hi J&R, Busy this AM, so just a few quick things: First, Thanks for the shout out! Second: Best of luck with Free Return Shipping, but I do want to point out two things:
1. The Free Return Shipping requirement doesn’t go into effect for TRS Plus until, I think, June. It is at THAT point that ebay will FINALLY provide a way for sellers to exclude International Sales from Free Return Shipping. UNTIL ebay does that, keep in mind that you are agreeing to pay the return shipping not just on domestic shipping, but international as well. As I’ve said to the point , probably, of annoyance LOL, I’ve been offering FRS for a couple years now—-I do have some international sales, and have taken a calculated risk that I wouldn’t get hit with an international return—and I’ve been lucky so far. But keep in mind, it IS a risk you are taking. When ebay first set up the free return shipping, I was told they would consider creating a way to exclude international, but as time went on, they did nothing about it. Now, finally, we are getting some action. But, at least until June, you are stuck with the risk.
2. I don’t think ebay will get rid of INAD reasons for returns. For one thing, if a buyer has a legitimate INAD basis, as a seller I want to know. For example, if I sell an “antique” I believe to be old, but the buyer, perhaps more knowledgeable than I, says it is not authentic, I want to know, so I can re-evaluate it before I relist it. The other thing is: INAD claims can be brought AFTER my return policy (30 days) has expired. I don’t worry about an INAD during my 30 days, because the buyer can return an item within 30 days for ANY reason, and I’ll pay the return shipping. So, whether INAD or buyer’s remorse, I’m out of pocket the same amount. But if a buyer files an INAD claim after my 30 days has run, ebay (supposedly) will protect me from a false INAD claim (or will at least review it). So, INADs aren’t going way completely, but as a seller offering FRS, I have reduced the likelihood of a false INAD claim being made within my 30 days, because I’ve removed the incentive. Hope that makes sense.
05/07/2018 at 11:19 am #39262
J&R, I checked your store to see if free returns was advertised. It isn’t highlighted in the either in the initial search or in the listing itself. All it says is something in the return policy: “Returns: 30 day returns. Seller pays for return shipping. 20% restocking fee may apply | See details”.
I provided a link last week to a listing where I am providing free shipping and free returns, and it is well advertised in the search result and in the listing itself.
I guess my point is that the “free” returns is helping out with INAD cases, but the buyer may not be aware of it when they buy something. It isn’t a selling point if the policy isn’t advertised.
Just a comment. I still see your point in doing it, and I may implement it in the future myself.
05/07/2018 at 11:40 am #39265
Hi J&R – Thanks for the interesting podcast.
Here are my numbers for the week:
Total Items in Store: 2261
Items Sold: 39
Total Sales: $901
Cost of Items Sold: $63
Average Price Sold: $23.1
Average Cost of Item: $1.62
Highest Price Item Sold: $209.95 1962 New York Mets Baseball Yearbook
YTD Sales: $15681
YTD sales compared to this time last year: +29%
Number of items listed this week: 63
Average age of items in store (in days since listing): 327
Average number of days between listing and selling this week: 233
Median age of sales (in days, between listing and selling): 110
Sell-through rate (for the week): 1.72%
# of Hats Sold: 29 (74% of sales)
My week got off to a good start with the sale of the Mets yearbook. (It was the first regular year for the Mets). I paid less than $1 for the program. I got a pile of magazines for $10 at an estate sale and the estate sale company was too lazy to see what’s I’d found in a box in the garage.
I’m glad you mentioned the pencil auction. I watched that one end and was amazed by the price. I haven’t seen pencils mentioned before.
I haven’t decided if I’m going to switch on free returns yet. I’ll be interested to see how you guys find it. I got an annoying returns this week. (2 hats sold to the same person being returned as defective where the notes say “doesn’t fit” grrrr…).
Hope everyone has a good week!
05/07/2018 at 12:33 pm #39275
You did good splitting up the ephemera lot to sell individually. Unless they’re genealogy specific, you are not really going to get a lot for an unsorted mixture of unspecified town ephemera. Of course, other themes do well bundled up (Valentine’s, Christmas, Halloween, for example), but for town specific stuff, you are definitely better off selling item by item.
I built 2 new bookcases for my office this weekend to store unlisted books in and have found so many boxes of unlisted ephemera on the floor in my office. This is on top of the ephemera I already know I have to get listed that’s stored elsewhere. As much as I love dealing with it, you can really drown in the stuff if you don’t keep up with it. It’s just so easy to put it off to the side while you deal with larger items (books, in my case).
05/07/2018 at 1:45 pm #39285
Returns– My stores have always been set to No Returns. So I’ll let you know how it goes for me. I just hate dealing with returns, even if I get less sales and don’t get the Top rated discount.
I just don’t like the online shopping culture that ebay is promoting on their site– where people who don’t return are subsidizing those who get free returns. I don’t trust ebay’s judgement in choosing this direction. But if I don’t have problems with my stores, then I’ll keep selling on ebay. I usually sell very unique collectibles, so I don’t think the return policy matters that much to my buyers.
Auctions– Jay, please don’t make generalizations about “people who sell with auctions.” I sell postcards individually or in groups, depending on what is most logical. Just because I occasionally use auctions (maybe 10 percent of the time or less), doesn’t mean I don’t research and only sell in big lots. 🙂 I respect your dislike of auctions and like to hear people with different ideas.
Many/Most postcards are worth $1-2 or less. So you may not want to sell every one individually. Some postcards are worth $100 or more, obviously.
05/07/2018 at 2:34 pm #39292
Good luck with free returns! It isn’t really on my radar, I think because it’s ebay.ca. I just hope it doesn’t get in the way of partial refunds as that’s how a lot of my cases end.
On adding a handling fee, my thinking is that your buyer has a certain willingness-to-pay for a given item (say $50), and you’re already doing your best to extract that from them with a high BIN & make offer. Adding an extra dollar handling fee just means they’ll be willing to offer $1 less for the item, on average. But I think the extra “unexpected” line item in the invoice may piss off the odd buyer, so IMHO it’s a negative, not neutral. Just my two cents. As a buyer I’d rather see $49 + $10 shipping than $48 + $10 shipping + $1 handling. Still… it’s only $1.
Not a bad week for sales, and I went and picked up 2 out of town auction hauls. Both were somewhat disappointing in the flesh, but I’ll still make decent money on them. I have a lot to list this week.
Sales: CAD$603, 6 items, COGS: $47 –> Item profit $458
Expenditures: $542 (auctions) –> After-tax cashflow: -$138
Listed: 4 items, $1910 –> Replenishment (listed$-sold$): $2048
Hours: 14.5, -$10/hr
Notable sales: HP transmission line tester $20 –> $248 – this is the cherry on top from a lot of barcode scanners I made $2k on a few months ago. Buddy also had this in his storage unit and although I had a distinct clenching feeling in my wallet after buying the scanners for $500, I yoloed and bought it.
05/07/2018 at 2:51 pm #39295
- Location: Pittsburgh
I am tempted to switch over to wonderlister after seeing some of the benefits of renewing listings so they don’t get stale. I currently use Auctiva, which certainly has its benefits (and many drawbacks), but nothing like what I am hearing from Wonder Lister. The advantage of using a third party listing service for me is the ease of posting. By basically copying old listings and changing a few words here and there + the picture, I can easily list 250 items a week and not feel like I am spending too much time doing it.
As for free returns, I started turning it on most new listings shortly after the seller update was announce. I omit bulky and fragile items from the program, as well as anything else that might take more than 5 minutes of effort to pack and ship. I also omit most clothing, since I don’t want to be in the clothing rental business. While I certainly have had my share of returns in the past 60-90 days, not a single item that was designated for “free returns” has been sent back. This covers thousands of listings too, so for me it doesn’t seem to be such a big deal.
05/07/2018 at 4:22 pm #39299
- Location: Fargo
I have been on Ebay since 1999 and am SOOO tired of trying to accommodate every Ebay whim. This Free Returns thing is the hardest to swallow. They argue that they are trying to keep up with industry standards, but I pay for shipping back to Amazon when I just don’t like something. I don’t get a free return. Where are they coming up with this “keeping up with industry standards” business? I’m sure I’ll fall in line and figure it out. But it is getting harder and harder for me. There…done complaining. Now back to listing!
05/07/2018 at 5:13 pm #39311
05/07/2018 at 5:57 pm #39323
Interesting on Amazon. The last two returns I had on Amazon were free. I didn’t pay a dime. And the last purchase I made on Wal-Mart.com I returned to my local Wal-Mart. Got every dime back. Just an anecdote, not data, but maybe I’m lucky.
One thing that always stays in my mind is that when I return something to a store, I get every cent back. As eCommerce grows and takes over more and more of the Brick & Mortar businesses, the “industry” is getting merged. Amazon and eBay are not just eCommerce businesses, they are retail businesses. Heck, Amazon just bought out Whole Foods. They are FULLY in the retail business.
I think of our business is the same (retail). If I want to have the advantage of the much higher margins and much larger reach that eBay provides over opening a retail B&M store, sometimes I have to take some smaller losses. If I can have more goodwill to my customers to make sure they return to my store, or at least eBay, then I’m helping to grow the customer base of eBay. If I have to invest a small amount of money or time to help grow my (and eBay’s business), then it will be worth it.
A quick back of the envelope on what our potential cost of Return Shipping would be in a given average month using our current numbers:
Total Sales: 350
Total Revenue: $8,750
Assumed Return Rate (Double what we are at now, just to cover an increase in returns using Free Returns): 5%
Total Returns: 18
Cost of Returns (Inflating to $8 to cover a much higher rate than now, since most returns are First Class items at sub $4): $8
Total Return Shipping Cost: $144
Return Shipping Cost as a Percentage of Revenue: 1.65%
So, my take? How much time and effort do I want to spend to eliminate a 1.65% cost to my business (if return rates double AND return costs double)? Or do I want to focus on the other 98.35% of my business? I’m not saying that it is nothing, but in the end, I should only give it the amount of time that it is due.
We can all run our businesses the way we want to, and our successes and failures will be a reflection of that. I’m not saying I’m right, or that others are wrong, I’m just saying that this is the math and decision making that we are doing in our business.
Just my two cents… or maybe $144…
05/07/2018 at 10:39 pm #39349
Also, my calculations show that you would also get a discount of $78.75 (10% of your 9% fees on $8750). for staying Top Rated. So now we are only talking about $65. And that is if the return rate and price doubles. I am with you, nothing to get upset over or fret about. Hey, maybe you will get even more sales and it is a wash or you actually make more money.
05/08/2018 at 8:07 am #39373
Mark: I hear you. We were a little caught off guard when they announced this, but once I started running numbers on the potential cost, it just wasn’t very much money to worry about.
I am a whole lot more concerned with finding more quality items, getting them for a great price, and getting items listed as efficiently as possible.
05/07/2018 at 6:31 pm #39329
Amazon’s Return Policy
Frequently Asked Questions
“What can I return?
You may return most new, unopened items sold and fulfilled by Amazon within 30 days of delivery for a full refund. During the holidays, items shipped by Amazon between November 1st and December 31st can be returned until January 31st.”
About Free Returns
Amazon.com offers free returns on some items. Look for “Free
returns” next to the price to confirm that the item qualifies for
To receive Free Returns on your eligible product(s)
Only product(s) that say that they are eligible for Free Returns on the product detail page are eligible for Free Returns. Free Returns only applies to product(s) fulfilled by Amazon. It does not apply to the same product(s) fulfilled by other sellers.
No minimum purchase is required to receive Free Returns.
Free Returns is available to delivery addresses in the 50 states of the United States only, including Alaska and Hawaii. Free Returns is available to APO/FPO addresses when using a United States zip code only. Additional geographic shipping restrictions may apply to particular products.
If you’re not satisfied with your purchase, return the eligible product(s) in new and unworn condition in the original packaging for a full refund in accordance with our returns policy. We do not refund the original shipping fees, however.
All product packaging and certificates of authenticity, grading, and appraisal must be returned with the product. Any product(s) returned without original documentation will be rejected. Any product(s) that have been resized, damaged or otherwise altered after delivery will not be accepted for return.
Eligible product(s) must be returned using a trackable shipping method. Please contact our Customer Service or visit our Online Returns Center and we will guide you through the process. We offer two options to return eligible product(s):
UPS drop off option: You can drop off your return at the authorized UPS location of your choice. There is no charge for this option.
UPS pickup option: UPS will pick up your return at the address of your choice. If you choose the UPS Pickup option and if the return is not a result of our error, you will be charged a convenience fee of $6 for the UPS Pickup.
Amazon will process your return and issue a full refund with no deduction for return shipping after receiving your return of the eligible product(s). If your return is not a result of an Amazon error, we will not refund the original shipping fees. If you return product(s) that are ineligible for free returns with product(s) that are eligible for free returns, Amazon may deduct the shipping costs for the ineligible products(s) from your refund amount in accordance with Amazon’s general returns policy. In addition, some special product, order, or handling fees may still apply.
- This reply was modified 4 months, 3 weeks ago by AdventureE.
05/07/2018 at 6:53 pm #39331
So, eBay is really keeping in line with Amazon.
“What can I return? — You may return most new, unopened items sold and fulfilled by Amazon within 30 days of delivery for a full refund.”
80% of eBay is new items, so that would mean that eBay’s policy is focused on the big sellers on the site that sell new items. We are just caught in this change (if people choose to be). Plus, most of the big sellers are using FBA so that they have access to the Prime members.
eBay’s Free Returns policy is mostly focused on the big sellers. We are caught in the change, and have the decision to do it or not.
05/07/2018 at 4:26 pm #39300
- Location: Hopedale, OH
April 29 – May 5
Total Items in Store: 1595
Items Sold: 29
Total Sales : $577
* below yearly average of $734
* above 2017 total week sales of $283
Highest Price: $50 (Large German Clear Sulphide Dog Shooter Marble)
Average Price: $20
Cost of Goods Sold: $50
Costs of Goods Purchased this Week: $42
Number of New Items Listed this Week: 62
After a record setting week previously, it would make sense to follow it by a soft one. Though $577 isn’t so bad. That’s about on par with what I make at my day job, though that’s not accounting fees and COGS. I wonder about the coincidence of removing free returns on everything and my sales drying up? I’ll give it another week and then turn it back on and see what happens. I’m all for experimentation, especially since I don’t depend on the sales to get by.
Interesting and thought provoking topic this week. It’s encouraging to hear your thoughts on all the change that’s happening on eBay. I’m with you about free returns. I can’t see any way that it benefits the seller, unless in the long run it attracts more buyers to the eBay platform. That’s a great idea about charging a $1 handling fee. If and when I turn free returns back on, I’m totally doing that (unless ebay takes that feature away too).
We went to look at a house on Sunday. It’s a beautiful two story home with tons of space, just what we need. The only problem is the drive to work and back…45 minutes. And it’s selling as an auction. So there’s no telling how much it’ll go for. But we’re hoping we can get it for less than $150K.
05/09/2018 at 4:55 pm #39527
05/07/2018 at 5:15 pm #39313
Total Items In Store: 386
Items Sold: 12
Cost of Items Sold: $126 + $32 free shipping/ins. + one item ours
Total Sales: $515
Highest Price Sold: $120 Cross stitch kit (paid $10 estate sale)
Average Price Sold: $43
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: about $30
Number of Items listed this week: 7
Pretty good week since I didn’t list while out of town the later half of the week. Continuing to sell off my RA inventory without replacing – probably 50% of the peak inventory level is gone now. Thrifted up by my dad’s house, so that was fun.
I’m planning to turn on domestic free returns when required for TRS+. As long as it doesn’t cost me too much I’ll leave it on and hope that I’m rewarded through better best match search results and maybe more sales, though I pretty skeptical about that last part. I’m sure I’ll be rational until I get a couple of $15-20 return hits. I’m on the fence about a handling fee because I hate the idea as a buyer of a seller profiting from shipping but probably don’t notice it. (I sometimes do not buy obviously inflated shipping cost items when shopping on Ebay on principle). I’m wondering if they will make a prominent toggle on top of the mobile search results like they did for guaranteed delivery?
I swear I saw a brief propaganda video from Ebay on Facebook the other day. It was made to promote free returns and reassure sellers about cracking down on abusive returners. It said their research projected over 20% sales growth to sellers who add it. I looked but can’t find it again to share unfortunately.
Have a great week.
05/07/2018 at 10:00 pm #39346
I’m a late adopter in most areas of life, and am not opting into Free Returns. I’ve actually started adding more No Returns to many items (though most are vintage NOS or things that would ding a re-sell/price if it was returned; others I just don’t want to have to re-sell again). Still accept clothing on returns b/c fit is hard; I buy clothes on eBay and want the outlet for a return due to fit. I am starting to add handling fees to certain items that require more/better packaging and are sold at higher price points. Mostly $1 here and there, but some more.
Soft as heck week.
04/29/18 – 05/05/18
Total Items In Store: 926
Items Sold: 13
Total Sales: $325.20 (glad I was working another job last week!)
Cost of Items Sold: $23
Highest Price Sold: $80 – Vintage Brass Handleset w/ Deadbolt for Entry Door
Average Price Sold: $25
Returns/Refunds: 0, though an interesting continuation of the other week’s Return request of glass cooking pans, 2 of which arrived to the Buyer broken: I emailed the Buyer though the Return screen, emailed them separately through the eBay system (asking if they wanted to keep the unbroken ones for a partial refund, and asking that they don’t ship back any broken glass, etc), and never heard anything. So, after about a 48 hr grace period and silence on their part, I just accepted the return. They shipped a day within their return limit. Today, their package is delivered, using the label I paid $22 for, and inside is just the 2 broken pots. Messaged them again, then opened a case with eBay for help.
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $5
Number of Items listed this week: 0 new, but relisted some things I had ended. Might start experimenting with 30 day vs my mostly GTC shop. Also may start looking into a Third Party Lister….assessing the business right now fo sho.
05/07/2018 at 11:42 pm #39352
Marie in FloridaParticipant
Half way through the podcast. Vented to my husband about the return policy. So I guess I have a few more days of discussing if not downright complaining. Will probably do what I usually do-let you pioneers with the bigger stores figure out what’s going on before I jump in.
Total items in store: 381 Personal high number of listings
Items sold: 9
Total sales: $170 Better than most weeks last month
Highest price sold: $37 Eileen Fisher pants. Lower than I like, but I’ve had it for years. Good to be gone
Average price sold: $18.90
Returns: 1 I had her donate They were size AAA shoes that I would never buy again
Money spent on new inventory this week: $2 I treated myself to a round at the Bins. Only 2nd time this year, since I’m working on death piles. I had some oddball items and asked the clerk for prices. He said $3. FOR THE CART! That included a bread machine which I’m keeping
05/07/2018 at 11:44 pm #39353
Marie in FloridaParticipant
05/08/2018 at 12:09 am #39355
- Location: Portland, OR
Getting my monthly numbers in
$ sold (minus shipping): $1397 (goal $1k, way over this month!)
Per sale average: $32.49 (goal over $25, highest ever!)
cost per item average: $3.50
Items in store peak for month: ~530
Biggest sale: Goorin Bros 1333 Minna Fedora hat for $120
This month was big for two reasons, my store had its one year anniversary (started with 50 items and now have 10x that) and I had the 2nd best month ever (other than Dec 2017). I had a couple $200+ days and days where I sold 5 items! Those are fun days. May is starting out slow so we will see if I revert back to the mean. I hope not.
I too have been thinking about turning on the free returns, I’ve gotten so few that it hopefully won’t hurt in the future or have my rate go up a lot. I like the small handling fee idea also as an offset.
05/08/2018 at 11:38 am #39399
I feel tempted to go ahead and put in free returns and definitely raise all my prices to cover having to refund the initial shipping as well for any returns that come in. Buyers are going to figure out very quickly that any return they do just put in the item not as described and then they’ll go after getting all their money back anyways. Basically what I’m hearing from other sellers is that all their prices are going to go up to help offset the change of Ebay not getting involved with items not as described on returns.
05/08/2018 at 2:11 pm #39412
I heard you discussing that Offer Up allows you to ship now, rather than being one of a million other local pick-up apps. I dont sell there yet, but you guys should look into the Mercari Selling App. They are a ship anywhere marketplace like regular online marketplaces. I’ve only been selling on there for a week and I’ve sold 20 items. It’s very active and its the only app based marketplace ive seen that actually works. They have a couple quirks, they make you offer ‘free shipping’ (but just add it into your selling price), and you do not receive payment until the customer receives the item and they confirm it’s ok. They only charge a 10% fee…. So far, im liking it.
05/08/2018 at 2:16 pm #39413
What kind of stuff are you selling there?
- This reply was modified 4 months, 2 weeks ago by Jay.
05/08/2018 at 6:35 pm #39445
05/08/2018 at 3:48 pm #39427
05/08/2018 at 3:56 pm #39428
I thought the same thing as soon as my eyes hit that phrase. I clicked delete this post and moved on. No way am I going to pull, pack, ship, wait for transit and a buyers approval before I get paid.
I think I would like to buy on there. Bet I can find fault with everything I buy. Sounds like a way for buyers to get free merchandise to me. Unless there is more to the story that maybe isn’t being told.
Mike at MDCG
05/08/2018 at 6:46 pm #39450
05/08/2018 at 6:37 pm #39446
05/08/2018 at 4:01 pm #39429
So, if I am reading the scenario correctly, you have “Shipped” 20 items – not sold 20 items. If u have only been doing it for a week, I am assuming most of the items haven’t even arrived yet and if the buyers take there sweet time in “Approving-OKing” your shipments I am guessing you haven’t been paid anything yet? Is that correct? You pulled, packed, paid for shipping [I guess if you don’t get paid up front] and are waiting on your buyers “blessings” and hoping you will see some money??
These are just questions, but you can see how I am reading what was mentioned. As Ryanne said, sounds like a big “Nightmare”.
Mike at MDC Galleries and Fine Art
05/08/2018 at 6:42 pm #39447
Yes, you described it accurately. So far it’s been perfect. I’ve had all my items listed for about 12 days now. I’ve been paid on the items that arrived, just have a few awaiting customer review or haven’t arrived yet. I’m telling you, it’s a great marketplace. Try it, what do you have to lose? I only have about 300 items listed. Just sharing some good info – check it out.
05/08/2018 at 4:05 pm #39430
05/08/2018 at 6:53 pm #39451
05/08/2018 at 8:48 pm #39454
05/09/2018 at 9:25 am #39487
HomeDecorGuy I’m interested in hearing from people selling successfully on Mercari. I also sell home decor.
I thought I heard on Youtube that the commercial rate is much better on Mercari than Ebay. Here’s a link to their chart: https://www.mercari.com/help_center/article/319/ I have suspected that Ebay is not passing on much of the savings they negotiated with USPS and FedEx to the sellers, especially recently. If Mercari can negotiate this, it seems to lend credence to that.
I also don’t really have a lot of time to be Etsy perfect, but I would like to use a more Google friendly platform than Ebay. Mercari seems more quick and dirty that Etsy, so if they have the traffic and Google likes them, that sounds interesting to me and I’d like to hear more about it on the forums.
05/09/2018 at 5:00 pm #39528
05/09/2018 at 6:07 pm #39530
T-Satt: Knowing you and some of us like numbers.. And presented in a positive light..4 numbers for comparison
Clicked on Vintage for Sale in Mercari and there are 95 pages x 50 listings per page for a total of 4.750 [guess some of those are HomeDecorGuys] vs. 15,170,343 on Ebay.
Now the one that caught my eye:
6 months of visitors to Ebay is 1.10 BILIION Potential Customers vs. 33.73 Million over 6 months for Mercari.
…>>> So, how I guess with being in a mix of only 5k other vintage items does not seem like a whole lot of competition.. but then again, you got to have traffic [buyers].
As Arsenio Hall used to say.. some things just make you go .. HHhhmmm!
Not being negative just stating the numbers or as Jack Webb used to say on Dragnet.. Just the facts ma’ame! LOL 🙂
05/09/2018 at 6:34 pm #39532
05/10/2018 at 8:36 am #39547
05/10/2018 at 10:38 am #39555
Kind of an interesting assessment from last year. https://randydreammaker.blogspot.com/2017/06/why-i-like-mercari-better-than-ebay.html
05/10/2018 at 10:48 am #39558
05/10/2018 at 11:00 am #39563
I’m with you on that point Jay, but I like the idea of spreading out and not having the income on just one site. Multiple pipelines. Like how you have your eBay income, your rental income, and your video work. Multiple streams, so you are not 100% on one area. So a similar diversification for eCommerce.
The question to me is how much time it takes to crosslist/manage listings for the sales that you will reap? Is that generating a good cost/hr? If so, you get a higher velocity of sales and less dependency on any one site. If SixBit already had a link for Poshmark (something I’m asking for), then I think we would already be there. I know that Cyndi has been putting some serious time there, and it is working well for her. The key is the efficiency of crosslisting and managing those listings.
Poshmark is becoming interesting to me, and I’m thinking we will start later this year. I just need a good process around it to make the $/hr work.
05/10/2018 at 11:08 am #39565
Yep, I hear this hypothesis all the time: “Sell in multiple places and diversify.” but I have never seen solid numbers where the extra work to list on multiple sites makes sense. It’s a fun business slogan but very much unproven.
For us, we only have so many hours in a day, so our experiments listing on other sites have been not created many extra sales. For example, when a seller says they’re now making a ton of money on Etsy, it’s because they stopped listing on eBay and lost that stream of income (see Omfug). As hard as Amazing Taste works, even her ventures into other platforms results in minimal extra profit.
If you try it, I’d love to see your numbers. I’m skeptical that it can listing across multiple sites can be automated since each site often requires different info. I’m always happy to be wrong.
05/10/2018 at 11:22 am #39566
Totally agree Jay. We all have the three T’s (Time, Talent, Treasure), but we can’t get more time.
That is where I want to eventually experiment. If I can crosslist to Poshmark at a rate of 30 items per hour, then what STR do I need to ensure that it is a better use of my time to do that vs. list during that hour? Also though is the risk mitigation, by not being 100% on one platform.
Like investing. Don’t put all your money on one stock. Or even just in stocks. If you have solid knowledge of multiple ways to invest, then when one item is down, the others are up. You smooth out your returns, and are less affected by one loss.
Trust me…you know I will have the numbers when I do this…If you aren’t measuring it, you don’t really want to improve…
05/10/2018 at 11:50 am #39569
I don’t have a lot of listing time and I feel like the buyer expectations on Etsy are higher. But, Mercari I find interesting because of the cheaper shipping on 1-3 pound items (which is most of my stuff), it looks pretty quick and dirty with the listing, and you can sell vintage and contemporary. If Google values Mercari listings more than Ebay listings, then you are not necessarily relying on shoppers to come from within the site and potentially don’t need to additionally pin items on pinterest. This last bit is an unknown but I’d be interested too to hear about sales volume from Mercari sellers.
05/10/2018 at 12:03 pm #39572
05/10/2018 at 12:01 pm #39571
Just got to push back on the poor metaphor: listing on different platforms isn’t like stocks because investing takes no work. The work/cost is the barrier to entry.
That’s the key here: being on other platforms takes work. Work on one platform takes time away from work on another.
But what if you could import listings and sync across platforms automatically? Bonanza takes no work to list because of eBay syncing, but we get only three sales a month. If everyone could sync their stores to Poshmark, etsy, mercado…then it’s just be a huge spam game of the same items everywhere.
Easy to start, hard to stick:
Every year there are new “eBay killers” that pop up because its relatively easy to create a site where people can sell items. The bigger challenge for these sites is gaining mindshare. So many of these sites dissolve quickly. Remember 11 Main? It’s a big risk to put a lot of time into a site that may not be here tomorrow.
Hire out the work:
You could hire someone to focus on listing on different sites, but then you’re paying more money to sell the same items. Maybe you’ll make more to pay this extra person. It’s a numbers game on top of more complexity.
I’m not saying that eBay couldnt crash or their rules push sellers like us out, but grumpy sellers have been saying eBay was going to fail for the last fifteen years. An eBay crash wouldnt happen overnight. I think it’ll be pretty obvious that Facebook or whoever was just sucking up all their business. We’d just switch over to where the buyers are for our kind of stuff. Right now, I still dont see where the big eBay competitor is.
05/10/2018 at 12:15 pm #39575
Jay: Ok, I have to push back on that. Investing takes a TON of work if you are doing it right. There is a lot of knowledge that has to be accumulated to know how to invest in good stocks, how to identify good companies, what is a good price, what is an exit strategy, etc. And then learning bonds (whole different animal). And then learning real estate (a totally different process).
There is no such thing as passive income. That is a myth. All value requires work.
On your other points, you are correct. There is work involved to cross-list, or to even put different items on different platforms. All part of the equation.
I’m not saying that any of these platforms are currently an “ebay killer”. But but it might become a serious competitor. You guys would not be selling like you are now on eBay had you not put in the time 10 years ago to learn it. For those that were early adopters of Amazon FBA and work it right, they are set up great now. If one of these sites DOES pop up to gain share, it would be good to learn it and be good at it early. And by learning different platforms, and how to develop an efficient process to manage it, we become better at our business. Knowledge is always valuable.
And my thought isn’t to sacrifice listings for new platforms. I want to maintain the level of listing we want to be at for eBay AND start branching out to CraigsList, or Mercari, or Poshmark…etc.
I have learned that a lot of life is AND…not INSTEAD OF.
05/10/2018 at 12:43 pm #39579
We dont invest in stocks, so I agree it probably takes work if you’re doing your own research on companies, picking stocks, and day trading. It sounds like a lot of work. I fall into the Index Funds vision of investing where you dont try to pick winners and losers because “stock experts” almost always get beat by the boring Index fund over the longterm: https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/05/18/how-to-make-money-in-the-stock-market/
Index funds are the true diversification. Buy it and Forget it. (Its where we got out “list it and forget it” motto.
Tsatt says: “my thought isn’t to sacrifice listings for new platforms. I want to maintain the level of listing we want to be at for eBay AND start branching out to CraigsList, or Mercari, or Poshmark…etc.”
If you can figure out how to list on different platforms without sacrificing listing elsewhere AND it not costing you more money in employee fees AND you enjoy your life, then you could be the new Youtube reselling Star.
05/10/2018 at 2:43 pm #39608
One last thought.
The best diversification I’ve seen are the sellers who sell different things on different platforms.
–clothes on eBay
–furniture on Craigslist
–retail arbitrage on Amazon
They arent duplicating listings, but choosing the best platform for specific items. So its the same amount of listing.
05/10/2018 at 3:35 pm #39614
If you don’t want to learn about investing then yes Index Funds are the way to go. It isn’t the best diversification, only the best diversification in stocks and bonds. But other areas like real estate, commodities, currency, options, etc. broaden the term diversified.
“If you can figure out how to list on different platforms without sacrificing listing elsewhere AND it not costing you more money in employee fees AND you enjoy your life, then you could be the new Youtube reselling Star.”
Yeah, probably can’t be done. But…can you have an efficient process where you are growing your net profit per hour worked? Yep. Might I use an employee to list while I cross-list? Sure, if I am making more net profit per hour at that point. It is all in the business model, and life, that you want to build.
Generally, at some point, investment in the business is worthwhile if the end result is better profit per hour or better life. One business model makes 40% on $100k Gross Revenue, another makes 20% on $300k Gross Revenue. If the risks are OK, and I like the job, I’ll take option B. Or would I prefer 20% on $100k but spend 25% as much time on the business? Maybe I take that too. Do I invest in an employee to make more net through volume, or do I offset that cost with better margins from different sourcing?
Investing more $ in the business doesn’t bother me…as long as the net result is worth it.
05/10/2018 at 3:54 pm #39616
I love these conversations. Numbers in, numbers out.
When I used to hang out on the Reddit Reselling group a couple years ago, there would be guys come at it like investing. “Okay, I have $20k. What do I buy so I can make $10% profit.” These guys were attracted to the Amazon model where you buy a new product wholesale from China, have it shipped to a packager in the US, they label and ship it to Amazon warehouses, Amazon would ship to customers. They wanted money in, money out. Click, click.
They would ask why they couldnt just go to a yard sale and say “I’ll give you $1k for everything here”. Hire some guys to load it all up, list it and sell it. I think that guy 10kontheBay had that mindset. Hire people to do all the work. Just throw money at the problem.
The issue is that we’re in the junk business. Everything needs to be touched. Each item has to be individually handled. You can get efficient but you cant take shortcuts. Even the Amazon guys realize that there’s a lot of things you have to handle between a China factory and the customer. There’s judgement calls that have to be made each and every day. I’ve never seen someone be able to automate the system.
I really enjoy the way you talk about your business. You have that “money in, money out” business experience, but you’re right there in the trenches with us junk hounds. There’s a definite tension between the two POV’s.
05/10/2018 at 4:36 pm #39626
Thanks Jay. And I get it on some of the guys that just want to spend money to make money, and spend more to make it smooth.
That isn’t always the answer. If you don’t understand the business for yourself of what works and what doesn’t, you will make bad decisions. I haven’t read it, but Daymond John of Shark Tank has a book “The Power of Broke”. I have heard him talk about it a lot on podcasts. Sometimes all money does is make you go broke faster.
You have to have the process down, and allocate the capital correctly. And for the love of God, know your business before you just throw money at a problem!
This ain’t no get rich quick thing we do. Growth takes time. You aren’t where you want to be? Go fast but have patience…you will get there.
05/11/2018 at 12:43 pm #39686
Possibly this is just an example for the sake of the conversation.
Just to comment on your example, the “correct” gross profit margin varies for different types of businesses (I think when you talk gross profit you reference to EBITDA, right?)
To simplify the conversation let me use net profit, meaning the moneys you pocket after paying everything including taxes, debts, raw material, whatever cost you have to have the product sold.
For retail, unfortunately the margin is at the 2-3% level because of the Amazons and Walmart. But we are also retail not in the same category, possibly, and in average, we are in the specialty retail. We should aim to the 35%-40% net profit (I am sure it is possible, on average, an eBay store have that level of net profit since we can buy something for $10 and sell for $100 and, on average, after all expenses and taxes, still have that money to pocket).
Now I hear you in your example. I think you hit the nail on the head when you bring the hrs/labor to the discussion. This is often left out when folks are discussing models.
05/13/2018 at 11:32 pm #39816
Paulo: I agree with your Net Profit percentages of 30%-40%. We have been in that range for the past few years, even while we expand and take on labor and warehousing. I’m sure that there are ways that we can improve that percentage, but most of them take being really be strong and hold the line on pricing, which would restrict cash flow and put inventory at risk for being obsolete. There are some items that we hold the line on, but there are a lot of others where we are looser on the price and “move the merch.”
I hear you on Passive Income. I can get with that definition. But I always feel that the less you are working on the business, the more you are at risk for losing it. Even on rental property, you have to make sure that the property is maintained, in good shape, think about capital improvements, etc. And if I had people in a property that long, I’m looking to get a second place and start a separate pipeline.
So I agree… But I’m probably not the Passive type… 🙂
05/11/2018 at 12:29 pm #39685
I have over $200k invested today. Most in stocks and thematic funds.
At the end of the year it totaled around #135k.
I have investments from The Lending Club to Managed Accounts. On a day over day view, this is what I dedicate my time the most.
Please notice this is where I withdrawal from to pay property taxes and property insurance, and it continues to grow.
Even though I am just a croach, the results are always positive and beating the market, imagine if you do dedicate more time and grow your expertise.
I “believe” in passive income. Possibly my concept is different. I call passive income for example you have a second property and, let’s say, all included, your gross $3000 each month and get net profit after tax of around $2000. The renters are there for 10 years and don’t even dream of leaving.
You have to do barely nothing, even have the automatic transfer to savings or other investment.
We can draw several different scenarios, but you get the gist of my interpretation.
Also, cross dressing, oooops, cross listing (hehehehehe) for me has been a negative experience. There are 3 sites that synch with eBay, the others I tryed (Etsy and Grailed) are not bad if you really put into them. Grailed specially for men fashion apparel you make really big bucks, however the challenge for me was/is focus. Let’s assume it is possible to have Jay/Ryanne level of success on Etsy just for this conversation. I think you would have to dedicate same effort.
For me what it did was just take my focus away from eBay and, worse, several cases I forgot to remove items from eBay and had to cancel the sale after the fact.
05/08/2018 at 3:45 pm #39426
Numbers: 4/29/18 – 5/5/18
Total Items in Store: 222 eBay & 120 Etsy
Items Sold: 15 eBay & 2 Etsy
Cost of Items Sold: $17.49 (Approximately)
Total Sales: $348.79 eBay & $24.95 Etsy (shipping paid by buyers excluded on Etsy) $373.74 in Total
Highest Price Sold: $64.00 (plus shipping) for 8 yards of: Moda Repro Cotton Quilt Fabric Collection for a Cause Hope Howard Marcus OOP.
Average Price Sold: $21.98
Money Spent on New Inventory: $113.50
Number of Items Listed Last Week: 8 – I was out of town for 4 days last week so not much time was devoted to listing.
Regarding the caller on the podcast this week, the same scam was attempted on my husband when he sold a $600 watch he no longer wanted. As soon as the buyer paid my husband got a message re: the watch that said: “Oh, this watch is a gift for my Dad. Please send it directly to him at this name and address rather than the name and address listed in Paypal.”
I do think a novice seller might fall for this scam. My husband is not a regular eBay seller but he of course noticed that the buyer’s eBay name and the eBay name of the person who sent the message didn’t match and ignored the message.
I’ve never had this happen to me with thousands of sales but I assume this scam is only targeted to expensive items – which unfortunately isn’t the kind of thing I ever find to sell!
05/08/2018 at 7:18 pm #39453
05/08/2018 at 9:23 pm #39455
Hey, who flipped the bozo bit? Or who turned on the faucet?
This was suppose to be a nice relaxing Tuesday in May. Tuesday is usually my low day, 1 maybe 2 sales.
But today I have had 5 sales on ebay for $226 (decent avg of $45) plus one on Bonanza for $28. I also had 3 good questions asked that I have had to answer. It feels like it does in December, but this is May.
Not that I am complaining, but is anyone else seeing this type of activity in their store today?
05/08/2018 at 10:24 pm #39463
05/08/2018 at 11:15 pm #39465
April 29 – May 5
Total Items in Stores: 955 + 560 + 260 + 1077 = 2,852
Items Sold: 31 + 24 + 24 + 7 = 86
Total $ Sales: $701 + $323 + $270 + 90 = $1,384
High Price: $178 Carolina Herrera Dress, $61 Eileen Fisher Dress
Average Price: $16.09
Total Spent: $200
Returns: 4 (all had free returns but 3 were INAD also but because it didn’t fit! which makes no sense)
Notes: I had a bad cold this past week so I feel a little run down and pessimistic, although my numbers were good for me this past week so I should probably just feel good about it. I guess I’m weirded out by having great weekends and then Tuesdays and Thursdays will be like no sales at all, it just seems so random. The free returns thing has me a little bummed out, my husband keeps telling me to switch it back to buyer pays for returns – he is flabbergasted about the free returns thing, but I’m going to stick it out and see how it goes. I did have a really good sale this week, it was an auction on a designer dress, so having the auction go up high was kind of fun to watch. I’m just hoping the buyer likes it and keeps it. I met with a fellow ebayer friend this week, he does consignment stuff on ebay and he couldn’t believe that I do so many clothes listings. Having my daughter helping with the photos really helps me to go fast when I’m listing. I still haven’t really broken out of clothes and into vintage stuff, which was sort of my goal for this year; I still mostly do clothes. So ho hum, I’ll get out of my funk when this cold is completely gone.
Meantime, I’m very thankful for the podcast & this community.
05/08/2018 at 11:29 pm #39467
P.S. I started cross posting certain brands from ebay to Poshmark. I haven’t been listing much on Poshmark, but when I did the cross posts it seemed to make me get some sales. I’m just going to cross post by a few particular brands so that when that brand sells I’ll know to take down the duplicate listing. I’ll let you know how that goes.
05/08/2018 at 11:42 pm #39469
05/08/2018 at 11:48 pm #39470
Poshmark is something I am interested in. Please let me know how it goes:
1) How long does it take to cross-list?
Like 2 minutes or less, very quick and simple, its just copying and pasting.
2) Men’s, Women’s, or Both?
3) How fast do items seem to sell?
It depends. The big downside to Poshmark is you have to do sharing and following etc., the more followers you have, the more likely people will find your stuff; the other downside is that I think the fees are a little more than eBay. The upsides are no returns, no listing fees, selling fees are straightforward – ie. easy to figure out how much they are, and shipping is extra and is paid by the buyer.
05/09/2018 at 7:52 am #39479
05/09/2018 at 8:32 am #39482
Katie: That seems to be similar to what I have heard from some other sellers regarding Poshmark. The crosslisting is pretty easy.
My concerns before going down this route are:
1) Since there isn’t any link to your eBay store, when something sells on Poshmark, I would have to manually end on eBay (and vice versa). SixBit doesn’t interface with Poshmark either. At the level of movement that I’m looking for, managing the inventory could get hairy. As of now, when something sells on Bonanza or TrueGether, I manually enter the order in SixBit to reduce inventory (and prevent SixBit from relisting). It is a small issue, but enough that I want a process around it.
2) It seems Poshmark is very social, and requires a decent amount of time to get traffic to your items. I haven’t done it, so I’m only going on what I heard, but it seems a bit more time consuming.
Right now I’m hoping to get more information on Poshmark and get some processes to deal with these issues, then we may have our second person working with us in September, which would free up some time for us to start expanding to Poshmark.
Keep us informed on how it is going!
05/09/2018 at 12:00 am #39471
Our Store Week April 29-May 5, 2018
Total Items in Store: 1586
Items Sold: 31
Cost of Items Sold: $33.23
Total Sales: $686.95
Highest Price Sold: $59.99 (Blackwood Brothers 5 CD box set)
Average Price Sold: $22.16
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $6
Number of items listed this week: 59
Soft week, for sure. But I’m ok with it because I have a new way of working in place that is already boosting my productivity.
Last week, I came to realize that my entire way of working was, well, NOT working. I’m a night owl, so I would usually work from around 2pm to around 11pm, roughly the same hours I worked at the record store. I thought I was getting the same amount of work done as the 9 to 5-ers, but that definitely was not the case. Truth is, I wasn’t even close to getting as much done as I should have been. So I completely changed my schedule. I’m up at 7am, then work a full 8 hours, if not more. I am shocked and pleasantly surprised how much I’m getting done on eBay and in other areas of my life. I’m more motivated. My house is clean. I’m drinking less. I’m actually tired when I crawl into bed. I don’t think I’ll ever be a morning person, but I’ve been pushing through the discomfort and getting things done. Feels great.
Have a great week, all!
05/09/2018 at 8:35 am #39483
Paul: I contend that we all have a Magic Time where we are most productive. For me, it is early. I haven’t used an alarm clock in years, still get up between 4am-5am every day. And I have to hit my big items first thing. Later in the day…not so good…
“He’s great out of the gate, but not much for stamina…”
My son’s are night owls, and will sleep late and then work until 2am.
05/09/2018 at 9:29 am #39488
I am right there with you T-Satt. Early bird for me. I try to be in the office between 5-6:30 am. I have an alarm set in case I over sleep, but usually been working for awhile in the office when it goes off.
Now, Susan and the cats. Three of a kind. By the time they drift into the office, I have worked for 4 to 5 hours, drank a whole pot of coffee, and am ready to go out to an early lunch. LOL
By 6 PM I am ready for an hour or so of rest and research [R&R], a few videos and then lights out around 9 PM. If I have a lot to do, I will wake up at 3-4 AM and hit the office. Seniors also need less sleep. 6 hours and I am good to go. 8 Hrs. great, more and I feel like I have wasted time and lost opportunities.
mike at MDC Galleries and Fine Art
05/09/2018 at 11:39 am #39496
We are on the same schedule Mike. I don’t see 10pm very often. When we have friends over, they start laughing at the yawns….
My last Controller job had a 50 minute drive up to Ft. Collins (without traffic. With traffic was 90 minutes). That was why I was up at 3:15 and out the door so I could be at the office at 4:30am and get work done before the staff arrived at 8:00. I crank well in the mornings.
I have done biphasic sleep before and really like it. Up at 2am, work until noon, nap from noon to 2pm, awake until 10pm, sleep until 2am. I am very efficient in that morning session, and my 2 hour nap was always more like 1:15. I found out my first sleep cycle is 45 minutes, and my second is 30 minutes. I would wake up at 45 or 1:15 every time.
Only downside is moving in and out of biphasic sleep. Hard to source all day when you want to nap at noon…
05/09/2018 at 12:42 pm #39502
I am an early riser also. I wake up between 5:15AM and 6AM depending on the day. I try to get to bed by 10PM, but when I am getting a lot of sales like last night, I need to stay up till about 11PM.
I still have a 50 minute drive up to work (without traffic. With traffic is more like 60- 90 minutes).
The good news is that I work from home 3 days a week.
If I go full time with ebay, I would probably still get up early because I have to drive my daughter to school. However, I would probably get up that early anyway to get things done.
05/09/2018 at 1:01 pm #39504
I don’t miss that time in traffic. Always feels so unproductive (even when listening to podcasts).
That is the way to do it when you go full time. Keep to a schedule. You can take time for other things when you need to, but you don’t get paid if you ain’t listing. Something I have to get my family to remember.
I don’t get a paid vacation anymore…
05/09/2018 at 1:28 pm #39510
Yes, and the traffic is getting worse with all the construction. So glad that is only 2 days a week.
Yes, also to getting into a schedule when you are full-time. I was just thinking about that. There are so many things to grab your attention. If you don’t have a schedule, you will be all over the place.
05/09/2018 at 1:41 pm #39515
Amazing how you “need” to do laundry, clean house, or get groceries (cause the stores are empty at 10am on a Tuesday) when you have a lot of listing to do…
I love our photographer for that. We have a schedule with him, and we need to keep him fed with items. We list before we give to him, so we HAVE to stay on track!
05/09/2018 at 7:37 am #39475
- Location: Minneapolis, MN
I haven’t listened to the whole podcast yet and am not ready to do my numbers, but I wanted to let you know Ryanne, there are a couple of possible answers I wanted to share with you. 1. you can get a list of your whole store through file exchange for free. just download the active (or whatever type) of listings you wish and it will be available in minutes for download, but the photos won’t be there. 2. I am working on a file exchange solution for enabling remote workers to be able to load listings into a spreadsheet and it would include photos, for free. I’m close to having that work. I’ll put my results in the thread that’s going about WL and 6bit in the random thoughts section. hope that helps some.
05/09/2018 at 9:40 am #39490
Can’t wait to become a senior in the sleep sense, not just the fact that I like nights in, comfortable shoes, and cottage cheese with applesauce, lol. 🙂 I need about 9 hours. Any less and a nap is definitely in my afternoon plans…
I do try to get up early and hit the ground running, hopefully after an evening of creating some drafts – I’ll start with photos to get some good and easy listing momentum, and keep going from there. I tend to slow down around 2p or so, and take a change of scenery with a podcast, cleaning, etc. Then back to it, unless something else takes precedence.
@katiescott, feel better! You’ll get your cheer back. I was thinking the other day of how you’re killing it with clothes, despite wanting to branch out. Go ahead and go with what’s easy to you, and branch out with some good and obvious sourcing when it presents itself. And enjoy the easy shipping! I can’t do clothes to save myself, unless they are of that “good and obvious” sort; they’re just not my natural skillset, I’m learning (though obvious when I look at how I dress myself). I feel like, for clothes (and shoes, more often than not), I’m in the business of storing rather than selling, so wondering how to flip that equation… 🙂
05/09/2018 at 12:21 pm #39499
05/09/2018 at 12:46 pm #39503
@t-satt: it’s borrowed from someone else on here! 🙂 Always aiming for the latter, and start to feel discouraged when I look around my office and feel its the former….oy.
05/09/2018 at 1:03 pm #39505
Just remember, everything sells…eventually.
I swear, just seeing things in inventory (or tweaking a listing) is like making sure it sells. I have heard of a seller that talks to her inventory when it hasn’t sold. She tells it to find it’s new home.
She swears by it. I can’t confirm it…but I can’t deny it either… 🙂
05/09/2018 at 1:23 pm #39509
OK.. If that works, we will see. I just went out into the storage area and told all my inventory ” it is time to get the hell out”, “go find a new home”. “The bins are tired of enabling you and carrying you for all this time”. “Go forth and find your new home” “and be quick about it”.
So, we will see, Guess I better get ready for a thousand Sales over the next few days. Boy, I am sure glad you clued me in on this “new thechnique”. I had no idea what may be the reason for periodic slow sales, but no I am enlightened. It is just a matter of implementing “tough love” to our inventory. LOL.. needed some humor. In the m iddle of listing 38 new items and getting “punch listing drunk”.
05/09/2018 at 1:39 pm #39514
05/10/2018 at 10:44 am #39556
05/10/2018 at 10:54 am #39561
Retro: If she is successful, send her our way!
Funny side note. I have a family member that is a ‘cooler’ at the gaming tables. Every time I was doing well at a roulette or craps table, when they came around, my luck flipped and I was losing. They hated all gambling (and generally I do, which is why I stick to Poker), so they just exuded that vibe, and losses would mount. When I would send them away, my luck would come back.
05/10/2018 at 1:41 pm #39584
05/10/2018 at 2:07 pm #39591
Any issues with a buyer not saying they got it, or not approving the shipment? Just curious of the issues of this system.
This is one horror story, but scams can happen on any platform.
I just thought it was interesting that Poshmark didnt seem to protect the seller even though she shipped to the address given.
05/10/2018 at 3:52 pm #39615
I spoke to Ebay in length today on setting up free returns. The person I spoke to was very candid with me and he said there’s no question that buyers are starting to frequently put “item as not described” in order to try to get free returns. He told me that Ebay is encouraging sellers to go ahead and set up free returns so that they don’t have to hassle back and forth with buyers that clearly just have buyers remorse.
I’ve already had two buyers lie to me this week about things they claim weren’t pointed out in the descriptions (that I know for a 100% fact didn’t exist when I sent the items to the buyers) . One actually marked the front of the garment and claimed it wasn’t shown in the photos!! I wish I was kidding. Now as to no surprise they want to know how they can “get a free shipping label,” to ship the item back. My guess is that it didn’t fit. All to get the free returns back. The worst part is that both of these buyers are Ebay sellers, they should know better.
So onto free returns I go.
05/10/2018 at 3:55 pm #39617
05/10/2018 at 4:02 pm #39618
I am sorry to hear of your situation. This is behavior ebay is teaching and reinforcing in buyers. This is where Top Rated Sellers and those with Anchor stores need to (as a collective) let ebay know that their practices are encouraging these kind of behaviors and their focus on what benefits them as a company does not benefit sellers but instead hurts them. If ebay took a stronger stand and balanced out the platform, buyers would think twice about this. So, will this buyer be reported in anyway that may serve to restrict their ebay priviledges?
- This reply was modified 4 months, 2 weeks ago by AdventureE.
05/10/2018 at 4:31 pm #39624
05/10/2018 at 4:41 pm #39628
annie you say ” I’m not going to just continue to let buyers make claims on my store that I’ve worked so hard to build up.”
But without FRS. you can only fight the claim once they make it, you can’t actually stop them from making it. But since the incentive for most false INAD claims is the free return shipping, you can reduce, and maybe entirely stop, your buyers from making false INAD claims by removing that incentive.
05/10/2018 at 4:17 pm #39621
And that right there is one of the main reasons–probably, THE main reason— I went with free return shipping several years ago : I saw the complaining from sellers about “false” INAD claims designed to get the free shipping, and concluded better to offer free shipping than try to change human nature. The simple fact is, a certain subset of buyers will use the INAD claim to get free shipping, and I can either spend time and energy trying to change their behavior, or I can offer free shipping and remove the main incentive for a false INAD.
Business is business. I’m in the business of selling stuff , not reforming human nature.
05/10/2018 at 4:15 pm #39620
I called Ebay and told them that I was going to just give the buyers a free return label, but that I wanted to make sure that my top rated status wouldn’t be affected by the buyer’s that claim “item as not described.”
The rep told me that it would affect my status eventually and to start free returns and that should help stop buyers from claiming something is defective.
To answer your question, when I called about returns I got an automated system at first that told me to deal with the buyers directly. Once I eventually got a rep on the phone she said that if this new buyer claims defective then I should call back and dispute it so it doesn’t affect my store. I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what the buyer is about to do, so I’ll be calling Ebay back today to dispute it. My photos are super clear that there was no mark on the item, so I’m curious as to which way it will swing. To be continued….
05/10/2018 at 4:34 pm #39625
annie, I have had very few returns, period (I’m pretty small, and most of my items aren’t high return type items). In the last 12 months I’ve had one return. My buyer notified me he loved the coat but it just didn’t fit (yes, I had included measurements) I made clear that he should just return it on my dime, no problem, and he gave me glowing feedback.
I suspect some buyers will continue to make false INAD claims even if a seller offers free return shipping, probably because the buyer hasn’t checked to see that the seller offers FRS. Thing is, as long as they don’t actually file a claim, just give the INAD as a reason for the return, I don’t think it matters. They do it within my 30 days, I provide the return shipping label, they send it back, I relist. No stress, no calls to CS, just simple straightforward return. Even if I suspect the reason they give for the return is bogus, it doesn’t matter….I can handle it as I would a legit reason return.
I’ve seen sellers saying for a long time saying “Ebay needs to DO something about false INADs!” Well, like it or not, ebay has done something: they are promoting free return shipping as the solution. The more sellers provide FRS, the fewer false INAD claims there will be.
05/10/2018 at 4:51 pm #39629
Jay – I haven’t had any problems on Poshmark with people getting the shipments. The only complaints I have with Poshmark are that the sales on Posh only really happen when you are actively sharing etc. and that the offers are pretty lowball (so you need to mark your stuff up).
(I did have the blackhole New Jersey problem on eBay when someone hacked into my account and purchased as though they were me and sent it there – in the end it got resolved & I got my money back.)
05/10/2018 at 4:58 pm #39630
05/10/2018 at 5:59 pm #39632
05/10/2018 at 11:48 pm #39661
- Location: Minneapolis, MN
Here’s my numbers:
sales count 21
average price $18.96
#items in store 1222
cost of returns $50.49
My returns were for a lot of craft books and a pair of glasses. In one instance the books didn’t include the cds that were originally with the book. I missed that and didn’t include that information in my listing. My fault completely, I issued an immediate and full refund and fell all over myself apologizing. The buyer actually left me positive feedback. The other return, the pair of vintage glasses, occurred because the buyer said they found a lower price from another seller. I had sold the 1970s Gant aviator glasses for 39.99 plus shipping. The other seller was only charging $17 for the same pair. My was returned, but I realized an $8 restocking fee. So, at least there was some offset. Sales were lighter than prior weeks, with no real boost realized from either promoted listings (which are glitchy on many levels) or sales (which I went as deep as 40% off with little bump in sales). I did run a number of auctions, approximately 122, but they all ended in this week’s numbers on Sunday & Monday. I’ll be able to share those positive results after next week’s podcast.
Oh, and I listed approximately 50 items.
Talk soon all. Marjean28
05/11/2018 at 9:37 am #39676
Had a fun time last night.
I recently drove 3 hours to pick up an auction haul that turned out to be rather disappointing when I arrived. I bid blind on some boxed kits (PTO shifters, if you care), and when I got them it turned out the kits had been raided for parts. So it looked like I paid $50 for about $100 worth of stuff, hardly worth the drive (had been hoping for $1000+).
The lot came on a pallet with a huge pile of other junk. Random gaskets and screws and rusty old chunks of metal. I threw out quite a bit in a bin at the auction site. Brought the stuff that wasn’t rusty or broken home, figuring I’d look it up just in case but probably take it to the dump.
Well I processed it last night and lo and behold, the random steel brackets I got are commercial semi-truck parts that are long-tail, but should bring $200-400 each. Plus a bunch of other unprepossessing stuff like a rev limiter. So I’ve just listed $2000+ of stuff I didn’t know I was getting, while what I actually bid on will get me just a little better than breakeven.
05/12/2018 at 12:38 pm #39747
- Location: Troy, Ohio
It’s been a totally crazy week and I’m just now (Saturday) getting around to listening to the podcast. I am definitely seeing the spring slow down. I went three days in a row with no sales! Whaaaaat? I had a better week than I anticipated given the 3 day drought, but nothing to get overly excited about. Of course this slowdown coincides with the best two garage sale weekends of the year. Combining the two weekends I spent around $170. Hope the new stuff starts selling!
eBay April 29-May 5
Total Sales. $94.18
Items in store. 1,000
Number of items sold. 14
Avg. sale. $6.73
$ spent on new. $92.05
# listed. 51
Highest Sale. $12.00-Red Fostoria coin candlesticks
05/14/2018 at 11:29 am #39857
- Location: Wisconsin (Florida for the worst part of winter)
Just getting here to post my numbers. It was a very discouraging week with sales that tanked. I haven’t started my business policies yet. I tried once, got scared off, and backed out. Maybe I’ll try again.
Date: April 29-May 5
Total Items in Store:
Cost of Items Sold:
Amount of Items Sold: 20
Total Sales: $568
Highest Price Sold: $60 (Weathertech floor mats)
Average Price Sold: $28
Returns: 1 ($40)
Money Spent on New Inventory: $383
Number of items listed this week: 21 🙁
05/18/2018 at 12:29 am #40258
- Location: Surprise, AZ
Did anyone mention yet that Scavenger Life was mentioned on Ask Griff & Lee today? Someone called in to verify if eBay reps no longer get involved with INAD cases, until after the case is closed, and mentioned that he heard it here. Griff said there are no changes to how they manage return cases. He then went on a rant about why eBay wants to make returns easier for buyers, and against making business policies based on fear of what might happen instead of actual data. That’s what I love most about Griff. Keeps me grounded with reminders that the best policy is to do what’s best for my customers, instead of worrying about protecting myself against what MIGHT happen. Who needs the stress?
It was a good segment. If you want to listen, it is segment 2 of episode 504 found here: https://www.voicemarketingradio.com/
05/18/2018 at 5:21 am #40259
06/04/2018 at 9:45 pm #41711
Hi guys, I’ve been catching up on your podcasts when I can and I also was always concerned about a full business shut-down/ glitch. Are your listings retrievable? Rather than a total store shutdown, I would worry more about violating something unknown / being reported, etc. and automatically becoming suspended or shutdown. Although my store has always been legit, I always wondered if our accounts were accidently deleted, suspended, shut down IN ERROR, does Ebay preserve all the listings. How many times have you clicked on an item and seen “Sellers Account Suspended”. I’m sure they didn’t have a say in that matter, so what happens to those sellers/and their listings? I don’t know.
Anyway although I too am not a big fan of third party, I always keep a bookmark link for File Exchange (FE) for their tools. I’ve built very complex Excel workbooks with drop downs and everything you can image to be used as a Bulk Lister and found could not keep up with Ebays constant changes….but they have a tool to download: All Active Items (.csv)
The download backs up:
All Item IDs
….all for free subscription to FE.
I have 625 items in my store and it puts all the above info + some to a nice spreadsheet.
If listing high volume like you, might want to make it a monthly routine to just download actives.
As far as backing up photos, I would guess you’d be paying for that
You can also download Sold, Archived, + more for past 90 days all in a spreadsheet (to search for a keyword in Excel for example)
Its my monthly backup routine for Titles/prices/custom Label…Also I quit my wage slave life and am pushing hard to net what I was at that job….with two kids! Thanks guys!
I have screen shots of FE steps, if you actually really cared. Later
06/05/2018 at 8:35 am #41717
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.