05/21/2018 at 4:42 am #40501RyanneKeymaster
- Location: Virginia
Our friend in a cush, tech job has never made a budget and didn’t know his monthly burn rate. What! We made sure he left on his trip home with the t
[See the full post at: Scavenger Life Episode 361: Be An Adult, Create A Budget]
05/21/2018 at 6:04 am #40503
05/13/18 – 05/19/18
Total Items In Store: 2,395
Items Sold: 13
Cost of Items Sold: $40 (around)
Total Sales: $ 414
Highest Price Sold: $ 60 (Vintage Leather Bag)
Average Price Sold: $ 31.85
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $ 23
Number of Items listed this week: 37
This week was good till Tuesday when sales started to fall off the cliff. They are slowly climbing back up the cliff, but slowly. I did a new sale where I take 15% off if they spend $35 or more to try and drum up business.
Sunday and this past week was a great time for me to find some great Hockey equipment. Not sure why, but just found a lot of unrelated sales with Hockey equipment for cheap. The hockey stuff seems to sell well for me.
05/21/2018 at 7:09 am #40505
Week of 5/13-5/19
Total Items in Store: 2,138 (Up 44% YOY)
Number of Items Listed: 129
Number of Items Sold: 74 (Up 30% YOY)
(Includes 0 Etsy, 0 Bonanza, 0 TrueGether, 0 Amazon)
Weekly STR: 15% (Down 1% YOY)
Total Product Sales: $2,147 (Up 97% YOY)
Cost of Items Sold: $343
Highest Item Sold: $200 (Twice) – Signed Kiyoshi Saito Japanese Woman Woodblock Prints
Competition: Highest Priced Sale: Veronica wins the week and ties for the year 10-10. (I told you I wouldn’t keep the lead…)
# Listed: 1,332
# Sold: 49
# Listed: 207
# Sold: 11
eBay Hard Goods
# Listed: 598
# Sold: 14
Etsy Hard Goods
# Listed: 152
# Sold: 0
Great sales by Veronica on the Japanese Woodblock prints. There is a third print that she sold for less because there were some flaws, but the buyer hasn’t paid either. If he doesn’t, I’m hoping we can reach out to the person who bought the other two to see if he would like it.
05/21/2018 at 9:24 am #40510
You are consistently hitting over $2k a week in gross sales. That’s awesome. Your clothes selling is a machine.
Does it worry you that you sold nothing on Etsy all week? Do you think its just a numbers game and you need x amount of items listed there before you can expect consistent sales?
05/21/2018 at 10:04 am #40518
I am a little worried about the lack of sales on Etsy, but not to a large extent. We haven’t done any new listings on there in a while, and I think the lack of fresh new products is part of the issue. I also expect that the summer slowdown is another reason for it.
Now that we have SixBit loaded on Veronica’s computer so that she can list directly through SixBit, I think this will change. We got her set up with some templates for shoes to make that faster, and she is going to start a Hard Goods template as well. Now that she is listing through SixBit, the Etsy tab is right there (There is an eBay tab and and Etsy tab on each item) so that she can quickly make the Etsy listing from the start. Plus, she is going to train me a bit on the Etsy side so that I can take some of my vintage clothing and put it on Etsy.
Overall, I thing the STR is slower on Etsy, which is why I wouldn’t stop listing on eBay to list only on Etsy. The STR is better on eBay, and there are more eyeballs, so we will always list everything there. The items that would work on Etsy we take 2 minutes, create the Etsy listing, and list it there as well. Makes our overall STR better with little effort.
05/21/2018 at 10:34 am #40527
Jay, I did a little looking a our Etsy store, and we also have a good 15%-20% of Christmas and Holiday items on there. Out of season, so that will make our sales drop, but will be ready for Q4.
I think the seasonality of those items is a factor, just like on eBay. We see a spike in Q4 because that cool, vintage, unique item is great for a gift at Thanksgiving or Christmas. I see the trend in clothes, where I now rarely sell a sweater or coat, but my short sleeve shirts are moving. But I’m still listing sweaters and coats, and setting up for Q4.
We are still early on the Etsy side, but we did really well on there in Q4 last year (for what we listed), so stocking up will be our strategy (I would like to get to 400+), but I would like to see what sells well there in the summer, or something that is more of an evergreen product.
If we can keep our Jun-Aug Total Revenue at $8k or better this year (that is my forecast), then we should set up well for Q4. This should be our last growth year before we really start churning in 2019.
05/21/2018 at 11:09 am #40530
How many items do you think you need to list on Etsy to have the consistent sales you’re looking for?
05/21/2018 at 11:21 am #40535
Right now our goal is 400. After that we will see. We did pretty well so far and have not crossed 200 yet. We are in the black money and time wise already, so the rest is just an improvement. If we go for months in the summer with no sales, that would concern me, as then the Q3-Q4 sales have to cover that hole.
Our plan right now is to keep using Etsy as another outlet for sales to improve our STR and to diversify platforms. In terms of cash, it is only $30 extra per month to have Etsy on our SixBit platform. The listing fees are $0.20/item, but they run for 120 days, so call it $0.05/month. Pretty low. Time is low two, since the cross posting is only 2 minutes. And nothing new to do on the backend since SixBit handles the inventory management (pulling items from one platform when it sells on another), and Shippo is hooked up to our Etsy account, so we ship from there the same as if it was an eBay sale.
05/21/2018 at 11:26 am #40537
I dont think I ever heard why you like Shippo vs just printing labels on eBay. Do you get the same discount?
05/21/2018 at 11:34 am #40538
Yes, same discount as eBay (it was better for a few months, but turned out to be a glitch and we lost that extra amount).
I like Shippo because:
1) We can get our eBay and Etsy orders into one place to ship from. I even add our Bonanza and TrueGether orders here, though I have to do that manually.
2) We can get a SCAN sheet for the USPS for all items. Since we are Guaranteed Delivery and we have Postal Pickup, this is huge. We ship 10+ items a day (and this weekend we are over 30+), so we need that SCAN sheet for them to be marked as accepted. If they don’t scan, then the first scan they would get is at the regional distribution center that night, which is sometimes after midnight, so they would be “late”. While eBay has a SCAN form, you have to print all labels at once. This was slower as we had to pack everything up, write the item and Zip Code on the package, print all the labels, then match them all up. With Shippo, we can print one at a time as we go, then when we are done, just print the SCAN form for all labels printed that day. Easy peasy.
3) It was easy to setup our PayPal credit card to Shippo so that we get 1% cash back each month. Nice bonus.
05/21/2018 at 11:52 am #40539
The Scan sheet sounds interesting.
eBay shipping allows you to put in your CC as well. We also get the 1% back on all our shipping. (Always making sure we pay off our CC!)
05/21/2018 at 11:57 am #40540
For us, we use our PayPal Debit card. Still get the 1%, but don’t have a CC to pay off.
Check into Shippo for the SCAN form. That little piece of paper has been a savior for us, and Shippo made it easy to do.
05/23/2018 at 5:18 pm #40845
I’m so disappointed in myself for not thinking of doing this…
05/22/2018 at 9:38 am #40616
LOVE scan sheets. I couldn’t imagine running a business without them. I use Endicia, and it includes the scan sheet functionality. I bring a large amount of mail to the post office each day (10-50+ packages per day), and I would feel so bad if the postal employees had to scan each item individually to get the tracking in.
I used to just leave the packages on the counter at the post office, and it would sometimes take days for them to get into the system (if ever). At least with scan sheets, your item is in the system and it is harder for customers to say “the item never shipped” or some such excuse, when you clearly have and they have received it.
05/21/2018 at 7:34 am #40507
I found a good link for Jay to start up his food truck business:
05/21/2018 at 7:43 am #40508totommytoParticipant
- Location: Naples, Fl
Oh no, the B word, can We talk about other forms of adult behavior…?
5/13 – 5/19
eBay Store totommyto
Total store items: 537
Number of items sold: 8
eBay sales (not counting s/h): $404
Cost of items sold: $8.50
Consignment payouts: $122
Highest price sold: $225 vintage scifi action figure
Average price sold: $50.00
Money spent on new inventory: $2.50
Number of items listed this week: 19
Etsy Store Oldfleatoymarket
Total store items: 473
Number of items sold: 2
Etsy sales ( not counting s/h): $92
Cost of items sold: $15.50
Consignment payouts: 0
Highest price sold: $70 set of 5 vintage Annie dolls
Average price sold: $46
Money spent on new inventory: $2.50
Number of items listed this week: 18
I also made a quick $2.50 to $20 small flip at the flea market, unloading some old toys that would not lot well online.
The sort and sell process from a huge buyout from 2 1/2 months ago continues. This has fueled new listings and taken care of scavenging itches for close to three months.
Last week beginning on Friday and ending on Sunday, not one sale on either platform! Shocked. This morning I accepted an offer of $150 for a rare toy I picked up on eBay months ago for under $20. Nice, the tide is turning! I learned here not to panic. By looking at the past 10 weeks I can see where my numbers average. The sales are coming!
Now to the podcast for more numbers talk it sounds like, and the B word.
Thank you again Jay and Ryanne and fine community.
05/21/2018 at 9:32 am #40512
We belonged to a CSA years ago. Our share was so huge that we went in 50/50 with another family. When zucchini was in season, we would get ones that were almost 2′ long and 6″ wide, and we would get 6 to 8 of them every week for about three or four weeks. I would triple a zucchini bread recipe and make three loafs at a time, and then freeze at least two of them. I’m guessing that you two wouldn’t eat zucchini bread, so you should look for other ways to freeze zucchini.
They kept raising the price of the CSA, so we eventually dropped out. So, for now, we just get our stuff from the grocery store.
Week of May 13 – 19
* Total Items in Store: 1159
* Items Sold: 5
* Cost of Items Sold: $6.50 + $7.50 Commission
* Total Sales: $69.76
* Highest Price Sold: $16.96 Levi’s jeans
* Average Price Sold: $13.95
* Returns: 0
* Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $63
* Number of items listed this week: 27
This week sucked. I don’t think I’ve had this bad of a week since I had less than 500 items in my store. However, yesterday, I had $69 in sales, so I’m sure this week will be better.
I purchased a number of items in an online auction that ended Friday. A few minutes before the items started to end and about 20 min after, the site was unresponsive. I emailed the company later and found out that their service provider had an outage. It just happened to be at the worst possible time for this particular auction. I was pissed that I lost out on some items that I really wanted to up my bid on; however, I won five items during that time where I might have been out-bid otherwise. Once the site was back up, I think I had less competition than normal.
05/21/2018 at 9:39 am #40514
The cost of a CSA is definitely not cheaper than the grocery store. Really just about supporting a local farm. Makes us feel good we have local farms still growing food for local people. Most of our farms are growing industrial scale food (soy/corn) that gets shipped to processing factories.
05/21/2018 at 10:04 am #40517
The one we had joined was actually run by a university with an agriculture program instead of a farm. Maybe a farm will be smarter about zucchini production.
05/21/2018 at 10:07 am #40519
We make zucchini bread (a non keto treat for cheat days…like yesterday) and freeze them. But Veronica also has an amazing Zucchini Soup recipe that she will make and can. Excellent to grab a jar, put in the pot, add some chicken, heat and top with cheese. Perfect one pot meal.
05/21/2018 at 10:13 am #40523
I may have to look into CSAs. I don’t mind paying up for good reasons and better quality.
Would you say the quality of the produce is better than the stores?
05/21/2018 at 11:16 am #40534
Is quality better than what you buy at a store? It depends what store you buy vegetables at. Some big stores sell decent vegetables. What you are guaranteed to get is your food from a local farm vs flown in from South America.
Here’s how we found our local farm: https://www.localharvest.org/csa/
05/21/2018 at 11:22 am #40536
We do pretty good at Sprouts, as the quality has been better an the prices cheaper, but I like the concept.
I’m on a similar site now. Lots in our area!
Thanks for the tip…
05/21/2018 at 12:35 pm #40546
When you get produce at a CSA, they typically harvest it just a few days before you pick it up. When I belonged to the CSA, the students would harvest Mon, Tues, and Wed, and I could pick up on Thurs or Fri. The sooner you eat something after it is harvested, the higher the nutrient value is supposed to have.
When you buy at a grocery store or other market, the harvest day could be weeks before you get it. Often, they will harvest before the veggie or fruit is ripe so that it has a longer shelf life. That also reduces the nutrient value.
This is also why the variety of produce is different at the CSA. Grocery stores only sell the produce varieties that are known for a longer shelf life.
05/21/2018 at 12:47 pm #40548
Good point. Our CSA is picking what we get right before we pick up.
05/21/2018 at 9:35 pm #40592RyanneKeymaster
- Location: Virginia
yep we eat zucchini bread, we just make it using almond or coconut flour. yum!
05/21/2018 at 9:34 am #40513
Items in Store 897
Items Sold 4
Total Sales $113.00
Total Profit $98.00
Average profit $24.50
Average sales price $28.25
So I did a painful experiment this week. I haven’t listed for 2 months yet I’ve had consistent 18 sales a week for around $500. I’ve used 3 day 10-15% off sales which boosted my sales. This week I did nothing. I wanted to see if the sales were truly having an effect.
This week I’ve already scehduled my 2-3 day sales for the entire week. If I rebound back to around 18 sales and $500 I’ll have pretty good data supporting using sales promotions to boost my sales.
After this week I’ll have to evaluate sales going forward. Some questions I will ponder:
Are my prices too high and the sales are bringing them down to where they should be, or is the sale itself prompting more buyers?
Should I simply lower my prices and stop sales, or raise my prices across the board and offer a larger percent discount (same final price but bigger perceived savings to buyer)?
I know retailers for years have ran perpetual 40% off sales to give buyers the sense of a deal. Many of these retailers are also going out of business these days so I’m not so sure the model still works.
In other news, baseball will be ending June 2nd. After that it is time for hardcore listing.
All of my kids have fallen in love with baseball this spring. Even my soon to be 2 year old is obsessed. It is awesome.
05/21/2018 at 10:12 am #40522
Retro: I remember those baseball days… We played travel tournament ball, so we were hard core from January (indoor facility to practice) through July. August was off for about 3 weeks, then Fall Ball from late August through October. Then practice on our own at the indoor facility until January. Repeat…
Interesting on the sales. We were getting a lower STR on some of our items, especially clothes, a few weeks ago. I would run some 10% off sales for 3 days, and sales picked back up. I went this week with no sales and they stayed pretty strong. I also note that Etsy sales seem to pick up when we run sales there as well. Whether it is buyer behavior or logarithms, who knows.
Buyers love deals. Buying on sale, making offer, free shipping… all similar…
05/21/2018 at 11:32 pm #40599
My hypothesis is that the sale itself drums up business, b/c it sends messages to sellers telling them that the price has changed on items they have been watching or have viewed. I have no proof of this – it’s just what I believe happens.
05/21/2018 at 10:08 am #40520Marjean28Participant
- Location: Minneapolis, MN
I have not yet listened to the podcast, but in the interest of getting my numbers up right away….
week of May 13 – 19
#items in store @ beginning of week 1190
Total Sales $328.85
Total Ebay & PayPal Fees $57.56
Total Listed 107
Highest item sold 41 Saldarini %100 Wool Scarf made in Italy, sold at auction
number of items sold 19
Average Sales Price $17.31
I put a handful of things on auction and benefitted from the results. My take away from the auction method is that is creates a sense of urgency in the buyer. If I start the listing at the lowest price I would have the item on sale for, then I’m ahead of the game. There needs to be a balance between commodity v. collectible/antique; fast nickel v. slow dime; bread & butter v. home run; sales/promoted listings/best offers v. pricing low, etc. What that alchemy is, I don’t know yet. The wild card in all of this is both the marketplace and the mysterious Cassini algorithm.
I had a good listing week and a relatively low sales week. My listing experiment is noted in the Random Thoughts section of the Forum under the title, File Exchange v. Wonder Lister/Six Bit/Other eCommerce Management Platform. Another take-away from listings and sales I had this week is like follows like. That is, if I sell something in a category with recent sales activity, for example an auction bid occurs or a new listing sells, it seems to follow that a full-price, older listing or two also sell in their wake.
One other thing I have been looking at is the sell-through rate (STR) on the commodity items categories I hope to populate, such as clothing, modern linens, books, etc. I picked out Chico’s womens brand of clothing. I was surprised to see how few listings fell into the category of fast and free (3 day guaranteed delivery) and free returns. It was just a scratch in the surface of the data, but interesting to note.
Again, I want to express my gratitude for those in the community who offer their experiences and provide feedback. This is such a reliable and vibrant community. I am so impressed by the high level of decorum and engagement. Even when there is a difference of opinion, which I love by the way because it helps us all see the bigger picture and keep from becoming myopic, there is so much respect displayed for one another. Thanks to Jay and Ryanne for setting the standard and thank you, Trashelf partners, for sharing your voices.
05/21/2018 at 10:17 am #40524
Marjean: I can second something that I see in terms of “momentum” sales. When I sell one sport coat, suddenly others will sell right behind. If I sell a certain brand, others seem to follow. When one type of shoe starts to move, others are close behind.
Not sure why, maybe buyers hunt in packs, but there is something there…
05/21/2018 at 10:10 am #40521ChristineRParticipant
- Location: Southern California
Total Items In Store: 384
Items Sold: 7
Cost of Items Sold: $40 + $6 free shipping
Total Sales: $184
Highest Price Sold: $50 (new plate)
Average Price Sold: $26
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
Number of Items listed this week: 0
As a working mom, sometimes I have a particularly demanding week or two where it feels like “the wheels are off the bus”. This was for sure one of those weeks. I’m glad I ran the numbers because I don’t remember consciously shipping 7 items this week! Despite the craziness, went forward with cleaning out the kids’ closets and having the garage sale with the neighborhood. Unlike our last garage sale, sales weren’t that great but it did force me to clean out a bit. I tried to unload a few harder to ship dish sets and my son’s old video game console but it was just pickers wanting stuff really cheap, like cheaper than Goodwill prices. 🙂 Watching all of these pickers come through our sale reminded me that it’s so much about what you are NOT buying. Stuff is really plentiful here.
I’m donating a few stubborn Ebay items and will spin off a few on auctions soon. Still plenty of piles left but I’m barely sourcing, seeing more space, and slowly digging myself out of the hole I made as a newbie. We are about to finally unload a very painful amount into our kitchen reno, so good that my contract work is busy and it would be helpful to get more listings up on Ebay. I find that I’m willing to take lower prices and offers than I used to and I’m leaning toward more velocity since it’s so easy to source.
I’m still waiting for my guaranteed delivery invitation that is supposed to come soon. Also planning on free returns but not until it’s required for TRS Plus. I want to see how they promote to buyers doing searches the combo of free returns and free shipping. Then I’ll decide about free shipping, but I’m leaning toward leaving it on for first class items even if I offer free returns.
One thing about the diversification discussion I have to say is that if I had more time, I would definitely consider Etsy at least. This is because Ebay is making colossal changes in the short term and they have not proven to be efficient or graceful at it in the past. The switch over to product based shipping I expect is going to be particularly painful to sellers of unique goods what that roll out comes. Ebay’s catalog sucks and they seem to want to put the onus on sellers to add products to the catalog. Just any software tinkering seems to dampen sales somewhat. I’m glad R&J you are still making what you need to even with the helpers. It’s so great that the other business has an opposite busy season and you’ve found success with the rentals.
05/21/2018 at 11:09 am #40529KatieScottParticipant
Total Items In Stores: 2,273
Items Sold: 105
Cost of Items Sold: (guesstimate) $250
Total Sales: $ 1,352
Highest Price Sold: $50 Fendi skirt; $45 Burberry top;
$41 Flax Top, $40 St. John pants
Average Price Sold: $ 12.88
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $400
Number of Items listed this week: 92
Notes: My Average Sale price was low this week because I marked a bunch of old inventory way down low. My Money spent this week was higher than normal because I am doing an experiment at the bins of buying every morning – it sort of wore me out but I did find great items like Vineyard Vines, St. John, and Lilly Pulitzer. My experiment is to buy more mall type brands at the bins and then lot them up, I have a bunch of lots up for sale now, so we’ll see how they do. My daughter was busy with her friends all week so I didn’t have my photographer, but my husband did take some photos for me on Sunday so that helped. I am still getting over the world’s longest cold, I just have a persistent cough. I realized that two weeks ago I did my best week so far this year $1,616 – and I thought that week was low (I don’t think I did my numbers on this forum that week so I did them late), but goes to show you – doing the numbers is actually a good idea because what your perception of what happened might not be what really happened. I did feel like, and actually did, get a bunch of returns for “I just didn’t like it” type reasons and I’m doing free shipping and free returns – so that is a bummer. The other thing, I was posting my Poshmark items in store incorrectly before this week, I don’t think you can see active listings on posh from a computer, only from an iphone, so I got that figured out. My storage room is getting a bit disorderly so I need to work on that.
05/21/2018 at 11:14 am #40533
KatieScott: “doing the numbers is actually a good idea because what your perception of what happened might not be what really happened.”
Amen on that. And even better if you can track each week in a spreadsheet so you can look back over the years.
It helps us knowing sometimes when we had what felt like a soft sales week, that it was more than what we sold in an entire MONTH in 2015….
05/21/2018 at 12:10 pm #40541SimonParticipant
- Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Thanks for the show R&J!
Here are my numbers today:
Total Items in Store: 2268
Items Sold: 41
Total Sales: $736
Cost of Items Sold: $77
Average Price Sold: $17.94
Average Cost of Item: $1.89
Highest Price Item Sold: $44.95 Pair of Birkenstocks
Number of items listed this week: 47
YTD Sales: $17082
YTD sales compared to this time last year: +22%
Average age of items in store (in days since listing): 334
Average number of days between listing and selling this week: 233
Median age of sales (in days, between listing and selling): 191
Sell-through rate (for the week): 1.81%
# of Hats Sold: 32 (78% of sales)
I put best offer (with auto-decline to filter out low-ballers) on about 900 hats that I’ve had listed more than 4 months to generate some business. It resulted in lots of sales but it bought my average selling price down be 2 or 3 dollars.
On the topic of budgets, I was a little like Ryanne. I was fairly careful with my money and didn’t think a budget would be particular useful but I’ve been doing a monthly budget (which is really just a tracking sheet as I don’t limit my purchases based on it) for about 4 years now.
I think a budget is really useful for helping you understand where you’re spending your money and then you can decide if your spending matches your priorities. When I first started my budget I found it really useful to identify a few areas of high spending – groceries and insurance. I re-shopped all my insurance policies and saved thousands in the first year. We have auto insurance, house insurance, flood insurance, earthquake insurance, life insurance, umbrella insurance (and health insurance through work). Insurance is a fairly big annual expense in our household budget!
Hope everyone has a great week!
05/21/2018 at 12:32 pm #40543
We’re super frugal with low spending, but insurance was a place where we saved several thousands dollars.
#1 by shopping around.
#2 by raising our deductible on houses.
#3 by switching to liability-only on our cars since they’re too old to get much money for them.
05/21/2018 at 12:35 pm #40545
Amen buddy. Always look at the big dogs first, as they are the biggest savings.
No car payments either. Cash for cars. Never finance something that goes down in value…
Only 15 year mortgages on houses. Always start that process where 2/3 of your payment is to principle, rather than 2/3 is interest like a 30 year mortgage is.
05/21/2018 at 7:05 pm #40585SimonParticipant
- Location: San Francisco Bay Area
> #1 by shopping around.
> #2 by raising our deductible on houses.
> #3 by switching to liability-only on our cars since they’re too old to get much money for them.
I did the first two also. I should double-check on #3 again for our older car. I suspect the cost is very low because our deductible is high and our older car isn’t worth much.
It’s amazing what a big penalty you pay by being loyal to an insurance company. Shopping around your insurance needs is well worthwhile.
When I first shopped our insurance around I cut our total insurance costs from $8600/yr to $4600/yr. (For a while there we had 3 cars and 4 drivers including 2 teenagers on the auto policy which was a big factor).
05/22/2018 at 8:38 am #40609
It’s pretty easy to find out what the insurance company will pay you if you “total” the car. After several years, they really wont pay much for a used car.
We pay our insurance bills in one lump sum each year (get a small discount). I’m always looking to see if they raise the rates or sneak in extra fees. I assume they think people dont monitor those charges.
05/21/2018 at 12:10 pm #40542
Total Items in Store: 1420
Items Sold: 23
Cost of Items Sold: $88.76
Total Sales: $589.82
Highest Price Sold: $109 (boat propeller)
Average Price Sold: $25.60
Returns: 1 pair of shoes, $28
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $108
Number of items listed this week: 32
Hi everyone, I am a long time blog follower and first time numbers poster. Wishing everyone a good week of sales.
05/21/2018 at 12:32 pm #40544
Congrats on the sales. Glad you’re joining the fun.
Where do you store 1420 items?
05/21/2018 at 12:39 pm #40547
Thanks Jay, I am fortunate to have an entire unfinished basement with over 1600 sq ft for all the junk/treasure.
05/21/2018 at 6:56 pm #40584
Amazing… you need that much free space to be storing boat propellers! What other neat/unique/big items do you have laying around down there in the basement?
05/21/2018 at 5:35 pm #40570driftmamaParticipant
Episode 361: Budget – for Brian the Shoe Guy – DMM Notice: Proper Use of Flat Rate Containers
Employees are reminded of the proper use of Priority Mail Express® and Priority Mail® Flat Rate envelopes and boxes (containers).
According to Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM®), when sealing a Flat Rate Envelope (FRE) or Flat Rate Box (FRB), the container flaps must be able to close within the normal folds. Tape may be applied to the flaps and seams to reinforce the container, provided the design of the container is not enlarged by opening the sides and the container is not reconstructed in any way. The weight restriction for domestic Flat Rate Envelopes and Boxes is 70 lbs.
If an FRE or FRB is presented at the office of mailing and the customer has manipulated or reconstructed it, the container is accepted using weight and zone — not the Flat Rate price. A customer is not required to repackage an item unless the contents are fragile and would be at risk of damage during processing and transit.
I have used the flat rate many times when it fit better or I didn’t have a regular box and never had an issue. I beleive this is saying it can be done…..
Thanks for all your info. Always listen on Mondays when I am working on my FBA shipment.
05/21/2018 at 6:18 pm #40577
One of the things I do, is use the Flat Rate Boxes. Seal them up. Use opaque tape for these and then I also slip the box into one of the white opaque mailer envelopes I have. I have several sizes up to about 24 x 28 [big]. I then fold them over just like wrapping a Christmas present and tape all the envelope seams tight.
This way it basically looks like a white plastic wrapped box and who knows what the internal box looks like.
Then as a back-up and for larger boxes that don fit into my largest white opaque envelope, I have a roll of 8 mil black contractors plastic I get from home depot. It is 10 Ft. wide by 100 Ft. long for about $30 bucks. Lasts a long time. Then I unroll a piece and cut it off with scissors then wrap it again, just like a Christmad present. Folding the ends in a nice triangle and sealing all seams with tape. It then looks like a plain old black box.
Then I use Priority mostly, so I print my priority label and apply, but then I also just the 2″ x10″ long Priority Decals sent to me from the USPS web site. I apply 4 of those sticker decals diagonally across two corners on the front and two corners on the back. That way all six sides of the box has a portion of the Priority Decal folded over on it. Then I apply a FRAGILE sticker to each side.
So in the end, I wind up with a white or black plastic box, neatly and tightly wrapped, with USPS logo on all six sides with a bunch of the Fragile stickers and a Priority label. Done so for years. I don’t think any one is going to go cutting open a box to discover what the inside box actually has printed on it. BTW… I also use FedEx boxes for USPS Shipments and also USPS boxes for FedEx. FedEx even allows the USPS boxes to not be covered. Seems they don’t care who’s box I use. But I usually cover them all in plastic any way.
In summary box it in anything you want. Christmas wrap it in opaque plastic, decal it with the prioity declas and ship it. Easy, Peasy…Just a thought.
05/22/2018 at 10:33 am #40627
May I ask why you go through so much effort to use flat rate boxes? You can order regular priority boxes for free from USPS.
If you are shipping non-priority, just buy the correct standard boxes and resize the height as needed. Most average boxes are between 50 cents to $2. How much is your time worth?
If you don’t wanna spend money then Walmart has an unending supply of any size box you want.
05/22/2018 at 1:15 pm #40652
I was trying to give a sugesstions to the previous poster on how he could use flat rate boxes through the system undetected. I have a huge inventory of boxes all computerized and placed on metal storage racks and use my box resizer several times a day.
The technique I outlined is usually for larger items or only occasionaly when I have something that is light and is going to go First Class and a FRB is a perfect size. it is more a matter of using a FRB for a class it doesn’t fit.
Out of 10 or 12 years, our discount is so good, that I hardly ever see where the FRB is less cost for the most items we ship.
So, think maybe you got me wrong. I have close to 300 shipping boxes on our Excel inventory sheet, both USPS and FedEx and can grab and go with close to a perfect fit most of the time and if not then down size one to fall under the wirgt mark to save a little if only a few ounces over.
The “let’s play..”Hide a FRB in Plastic” and ship it cheaper is only done once in a blue moon, blue the black plastic wrap is a way to hide that. That is all I was trying to say.
Mike at MDCG
05/24/2018 at 8:58 am #40909
Typically my only flat rate hack I use if for my “all in” purchase of clearance Burt Bees candles. Each candle is small but weighs well over a pound. I put them in a 6x4x4 or an 8x6x4 box and then put that in a padded flat rate envelope. I can fit two candles in a flat rate mailer.
Once upon a time I figured out how to trim a USPS shoe box to make two boxes that fit in padded FR envelopes, but that was alot of work.
05/24/2018 at 9:11 am #40910
Oh speaking of the USPS Shoe Box. I do that all the time and even have the “half size” shoe box size included in our inventory. I usually order 25 or 50 USPS Regular Shoe boxes. I have a jig I made that allows me to convert the reg. box in half in just a few minutes.
I take about 10 USPS Shoe boxes, set them on my jig, Run a razor knife down the straight edge a few times and viola’ I have 20 half size bozes. Then I use my box resizer to score the flap sizes again useing the edge guide on my jig, then put those 20 smaller boxes into our inventory.
So long story short, I keep both sizes in stock at all times. always have about 25 of both sizes at all times. The conversion is very quick.
Another trick I do, is take the USPS Shoe box and tear open about a dozen of them and lay them out as flat sheets. Then I cut those in half and put into my inventory as “flat sheets”. I use these to “roll” up cups, glass cyclinders and the such. The Shoe Boxes are thinner than the other boxes USPS supplies and because of this, the narrow strips I cut them opened up boxes into, works as perfect material to roll up. Make sure that you roll with the FLUTES [grain structure]. Beats having to buy flat rollable cardboard from Uline. It works perfect for rolling up glasses like tumblers or bar glasses. Then set each rolled up glass in a larger box and ship.
I usually ship everything Priority, so using Priority boxes inside of Priority outter boxesa is OK with USPS because you are still paying the Priority rates. USPS is a great source for just flat cardboard sheets.
But that is just one man’s story and one man’s opinion combined with $.50 will get you half a cup of coffee. 🙂
mdc at MDCG in Atl.
05/21/2018 at 6:52 pm #40583
Week May 13-19, 2018
Total Items in Store: 904
Items Sold: 19 (4 Amazon)
Cost of Items Sold: $129 (20% of sales)
Total Sales: $644.37
Highest Price Sold: $75 (Metallica Master of Puppets LP https://www.ebay.com/itm/202306386824)
Average Price Sold: $33.91
Returns: 0 (1 NPB though)
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
Number of items listed this week: 0
Promoted listings test: 11 sales, $339.44 (52.7% of total sales), $16.97 fees (5.0% of sales)
Nice solid, slightly above average week for me. Nothing crazy interesting sold, and I continue to run deep discount sales on old stuff to move it out. I started at the top of my longest days listed items and started to redo the descriptions and add more product identifiers. Always a small sample size and not sure if it actually did anything in the search rankings, but within 2 days sold 3 of the items that I revised.
Spent the weekend finishing up the reorg of my inventory in the storage unit. Lookin good. even decided to keep all the records I have listed in the room where I list – even though it’s set up like a reading room/den area, I have my record player set up and a long wicker storage bench under the window that lifts to reveal over 400 records. Since that’s my top seller, they’re always accessible to pack & ship and even listen to as I wanted. Rockin’ out to a little Def Leppard Hysteria right now as I pack some sales.
05/21/2018 at 10:21 pm #40594
I was watching the Pawn Stars, Season 15, Episode 15 where this guy brought in 80 Beatles records – most of them were sealed. The appraiser, I think was Clint from Hounddog Records, said that a sealed record is worth up to 15x as much as the same NM record.
05/22/2018 at 7:17 am #40606
Exactly, depending on the record. I sold a sealed Kiss Love Gun for $200 a couple weeks ago – open even in near perfect condition would be worth maybe $35-$40 max (in normal condition would be closer to $20). I recently picked up a sealed Rolling Stones record that I have up for $350.
05/21/2018 at 8:13 pm #40588SilverFoxFindsParticipant
- Location: Virginia Beach
Like Simon, I also do a daily tracking spreadsheet of any expenditures, which I categorize then tally monthly. Good to see where the $ goes, and where I might need to tighten up or re-prioritize. Thanks for the reminder on car insurance expenses, and how to cut them…might be time to review that one, with my ’08 going over 151K miles now.
Another soft week:
05/13/18 – 05/19/18
Total Items In Store: 921
Items Sold: 15
Total Sales: $427.46
Cost of Items Sold: $48.25
Highest Price Sold: $120 – Set of 3 Theodore Haviland Limoges France Platters Trays:
Average Price Sold: $28.50
Returns/Refunds: 0, though numerous cancellations right after purchases were made – annoying!
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $30.49
Number of Items listed this week: 2
Scavenge of the week: mint pair of Bed|Stu women’s ankle boots for $8 – hit up a Goodwill while on vacation.
Think I’ll follow suit as noted above on offering some steeper sales on items that I’ve had for too long. See if they move, or prove to be not worth storing any longer.
05/21/2018 at 9:13 pm #40590
@Brian Treasures from Grandmas: I wish my inventory was unique but most of it is run of the mill thrift store stuff. I sell a lot of men’s clothing and shoes, and I am always on the lookout for any type of quality hard goods, collectibles/antiques that I can find. I actually have my entire operation in the basement: office, photo studio, receiving, packing, and of course inventory. It is kind of a luxury to have everything down there since I can sort of escape from it when I want to. Also creates a more harmonious living environment since my partner, altho very supportive, is not that interested or involved in the day to day operations.
05/21/2018 at 10:55 pm #40596BigSallyParticipant
- Location: Washington State
Hi Jimi- Any estates sales out on the eastern shore? I have good luck with them- Are you near Rehobeth Beach? Fond memories of that place many years ago when I lived back east…Lots of old stuff in that area of the country – keep digging!
05/22/2018 at 12:51 pm #40646
Hi BigSally, I am about a half hour from Rehoboth Beach. Nice area. The estate sales I have been to so far seem a little pricey. If it is something even remotely collectible or antique they usually overprice, but there is good stuff to be found at scavenger prices if you are willing to put in the time searching.
Where about are you located in Washington state? I have family out there in Ellensburg.
05/21/2018 at 10:57 pm #40597VintageTreasuresParticipant
My Numbers 5/13 – 5/19/18
Total Items in Store: 210 eBay, forgot to write down etsy but around 120/130
Number of Items Sold: 16 eBay, 3 etsy
Cost of Items Sold: $18.75 (Approximately)
Total Sales: eBay $271.75, etsy $31.00 (shipping paid by buyer not included on etsy) $302.75 total
Highest Price Sold: Vtg Bucilla Doll House Hutch Cross Stitch Kit $39.95 + shipping paid by buyer
Average Price Sold: $15.93
Returns: One requested, I have a feeling it won’t be sent back though
Money Spent on New Inventory: $25.94
Number of Items Listed: 58
I’ve never tried running any sales (% off) in my store, so it’s interesting to read about it here. I’ve always just priced on the lower end of what my research shows the item has sold for (unless I have the only one for sale at that time – sometimes I wait to list until I have the only one so I can list it for a higher price). So I guess I feel that since my items are already close to the bottom price-wise I don’t want to discount them. OR maybe I’m just lazy and running a sale sounds like an extra step I don’t want to bother with?
05/22/2018 at 8:41 am #40610
Personally I dont think sales are in and of itself that big of a deal. Sales are just a mechanism where you can price an item high, but temporarily gives deals to entice a buyer who’s watching.
If you already price low, your item will show up in the top of searches if people are search “lowest to highest”.
05/21/2018 at 11:30 pm #40598
Vintage, Some sellers use the bulk editor to increase their prices by a certain percentage, and then put them on sale. Just sayin’…..
05/22/2018 at 8:49 am #40612VintageTreasuresParticipant
Thanks MyCottage! I had seen that tactic before on this forum, but I had completely forgotten about it. I’m gonna give it a try!
05/22/2018 at 11:11 pm #40755
Vintage, OK, but better read the new seller update…ebay has caught on to that tactic, and now has a 14 day price rule…I won’t go into detail, just read through the Seller Release that came out today and you’ll see what I mean.
05/22/2018 at 9:47 am #40619
Had a great Victoria Day long weekend with the kids, just heading back to work now. I’ll be listening in the car.
Had a good week; despite all my crazy spending this month on auction hauls I may just break even in cash terms. I have been listing like mad by my standards.
Sales: CAD$1542, 5 items, COGS: $285 –> item profit: $1005
Expenditures: $952 –> Net cashflow after tax: $77
Notable sales: 10 more medical wall panels for $800, profit will be about $550. Also lineman gloves for $200 (paid $10 and have 3 more pairs), a fancy faucet for $275 (paid $90 though), a Trimble survey controller, broken but still made $70 profit.
Hours: 21.5, $4/hr
Listed: $4620, 36 items –> Replenishment (listed minus sold): $3078
05/22/2018 at 10:14 am #40625
You won’t hear many people talk about making a p/t or f/t income on Amazon because most of those people tend to stick either to Reddit, Instagram or Amazon Seller Forums. They are for the most part FBA sellers, and they are not really interested in selling on Ebay, unless it is for clothes or shoes.
I’ve noticed a lot of people that used to say it was “so easy to make money selling on Amazon” have pretty much become completely quiet over the past year. Thank god. With all the new fee increases for FBA sellers that have been put in place or are coming up in the next few months, it is going to be nearly impossible to sell on Amazon unless you like micromanaging your inventory and creating flow charts for the length of sales for items based on ranks, sales history, etc,. At that point, it is not really selling. You will basically have to be your own personal statistician for every single item you have listed starting in September for FBA.
That is pretty much the result of “it’s so easy to sell on Amazon!” Everyone just filled the warehouses with junk because their phones told them to, not because they had any real knowledge of what they were doing.
When I went f/t selling online, I was 100% Amazon MF. The bulk of my inventory is still on Amazon MF, but I have slowly spent more time and effort working on Ebay. Now, my sales are 30% Ebay/70% Amazon, or 50% Ebay/50% Amazon, depending on the week and time of year. I maintain 2 separate inventories, and work more on Amazon than on Ebay, even though my efforts are finally starting to show on Ebay with those 50% weeks sometimes. I COULD focus all of my efforts on Amazon and do fine and make a living that way by just working on it more, but I prefer to have items spread out over different venues just in case. I also intend on working on Etsy, whenever I have the time.
If I could have stayed 100% Amazon, that would have been fine. I have plenty to do outside of selling online. But, the combination of the introduction of FBA and the competition of sellers out there in the wild for Amazon have really just make me shake my head and go “nope” at just 100% Amazon. You have to be a certain sort of robot to maintain just Amazon and be fine with that, and I am not.
Amazon requires luck & perseverance, while Ebay requires luck & knowledge.
05/22/2018 at 11:10 am #40633
When we experimented with Amazon, everyone told us you either sell FBA or go home.
–Do you not find your items at a disadvantage because you sell Merchant Fulfilled?
–Are you selling mainly retail arbitrage?
–Do you have a handful of listings that you just replenish inventory?
05/22/2018 at 11:42 am #40636
The advice you were given is both correct and wrong. You can do it, but it is a lot of work to keep up on repricing, culling, buying new items. Plus, you fulfill everything yourself, so you have to have time set aside everyday to ship in order to meet up with your shipping metrics.
Yeah, my items are definitely at a disadvantage being on MF. You are not only competing with FBA on items, you are also competing directly against Amazon themselves. It is really hard.
Combination of retail arbitrage, estate sales, thrift stores, just like for Ebay.
I find duplicates of items all of the time while I’m out sourcing, but I have been doing this for so long that I know what will sell when, so I grab it even if it doesn’t “look good” when you look at it with a scanner. I don’t intentionally go out looking for 1000x of an item, like the Walmart sort of RA.
05/22/2018 at 12:32 pm #40639
One issue we had when scavenging for eBay was sending in “like new” items. Basically unused but had damaged packing, or no packing. Even when we listed the items real condition, we felt we were getting a lot of returns because people assumed “brand new”.
Do you have any issues with this?
05/22/2018 at 12:41 pm #40640
I don’t sell brand new items on there because they ask for invoices to even list “brand new.” Items that are sealed go up on Ebay as brand new or on Amazon as “like new.” If the items are not sealed, they are mainly listed as G or VG.
I never got into selling on Amazon the way you guys did with large RA items, sinks and sort of items. I don’t know what the difference would be with MF for those sort of items.
05/22/2018 at 12:46 pm #40644
I know you guys have a lot of slow-moving, long-tail antiquarian books. You might find they sell as well on Amazon MF as they do on Ebay, with less initial work in prep to list them. Since you have the storage space, all you will have to do is ship them after listing them, just the same as you would if they sold on Ebay.
05/22/2018 at 12:49 pm #40645
Good point. We were turned off by the platform when we did FBA. Amazon Merchant Fulfilled might be something we try again.
05/23/2018 at 9:14 am #40795
Hard to beat Amazon MF for books. First, if people want books they go to Amazon by default; second, the listing process is literally less than 15 seconds.
The difficult part of it is pricing/judging rank. I don’t have much confidence as a book scavenger because I always end up with stuff so long tail I doubt it’ll ever sell. But if they’re cheap enough, why not…
05/22/2018 at 1:12 pm #40649SueParticipant
- Location: Wisconsin (Florida for the worst part of winter)
I tried waking up my store by adding best offer to my 500 most expensive items. I took lots of offers and countered many others. It seemed to increase my sales. I had my first Poshmark sale this week. I only have about 4 items over there so far, but am going to be listing more as I found it to be quite easy.
I also have been ending my GTC listings every day and selling similar to try to increase their rankings and tweak the listings (photos and title). I put them on 30 day, but may go back to GTC next month. I just felt like they were stale and needed to be refreshed.
Date: May 13-19
Total Items in Store: 955
Cost of Items Sold: $175
Amount of Items Sold: 39
Total Sales: $1379
Highest Price Sold: $180 (leather Harley jacket) on Poshmark
Average Price Sold: $35
Money Spent on New Inventory: $518
Number of items listed this week: 27
05/22/2018 at 2:41 pm #40674
I’m trying Inkfrog too. It’s about CAD$190/year, which doesn’t seem too bad. I already like what it allows you to do as far as a listing template; I’m certainly sick of re-typing my postal code for every listing. But main reason I got it is to back up my listings & photos.
Too bad it doesn’t have an app yet. I like to list on the phone.
05/22/2018 at 3:12 pm #40679
Can you export your eBay database and/or photos from Inkfrog?
05/24/2018 at 12:37 pm #40927
Don’t think so, and I found it doesn’t work at all with my phone-based listing workflow. They’re very big on templates, which I care not a whit about.
Decided to cancel. I’ll find another way to back up my listings.
I can see how other sellers would like Inkfrog though. Has a nice interface.
05/24/2018 at 6:42 pm #40949
Can you list without templates?
05/25/2018 at 8:16 am #40973
What I see they mean by templates is extra awesomecool html stuff and long spiels about your return policies etc. to put in descriptions. Unless there is some list of parts to enumerate, my descriptions are super lazy copy/pastes from the title and I sell just fine.
05/22/2018 at 2:59 pm #40676
Take a look at the reports and Financial data they will give you. I could not see any type of robust reports from InkFrog whereby SixBit and WonderLister do have Finacial type of reports. Programs such as these are not just an alternative listing programs, they should be intergrated. enterprise type of programs.
Customer support functions, with buyer data capture, all sales can be filtered by georgraphical location, [this will be real important if Congress passes any type of tax reform or laws that require us to report income from each state, and a program such as this should be able to sort and filter your current inventory, past inventory, and sold inventory in a huge amount of various ways.
There are some prgrams out there that are more listing type programs that were built by trying to emulate Turbo Lister and succedded and unlike Turbo Lister works, doesn’t glitch and is faster than the old Turbo Lister, but they are still a glorified listing APP.
Here is something to try with Ink Frog. Go to the WonderLister and SixBit web sites and print out a copy of what all these programs show in the table that shows what they offer and can do. Sort of a side by side comparison chart you make yourself. Then call InkFrog or type the list and send to them and ask them can they do everything on your list [in other words what SB & WL] can do. And if not then see how many other things it can do. If they provide atleast a comparable set of utlity tools for you as a seller then maybe you should look for a more robust program for about the same or less money.
I did this research for years and it was pretty hard to find anything in the price range T-Satt, Mark S. and I pay that will do all of what WL and SB does. There are several out there but not $20 or $30 per month but hundreds per month.
But that’s just an opinion of an old guy sitting at a computer in Atlanta! That and fifty cents will get you a half a cup of coffee. 🙂
05/22/2018 at 4:25 pm #40697DoublythumbsParticipant
- Location: Hopedale, OH
May 13 – 19
Total Items in Store: 1600
Items Sold: 29
Total Sales : $891
* above yearly average of $764
* WAY above 2017 total week sales of $155
Highest Price: $85 (Vintage Motorola Green Metal Portable Flip AM Radio Model 52M1U)
Average Price: $31
Cost of Goods Sold: $45
Costs of Goods Purchased this Week: $0
Number of New Items Listed this Week: 19 (Ugh!)
I had a pretty close to average week of sales this past week. A lot of low dollar items really brought my week’s average price down. And I was really disappointed with my total new listings this week. But it’s busy season where I work with all the schools trying to fit their field trips in before summer vacation. I just come home absolutely exhausted. Plus all the craziness of buying this new home has left me very little time to list. I’ve also been sick for the past 5 days so I haven’t had the energy to do anything at all. It really sucks. But hopefully when I feel better, I’ll get back to listing.
I was so pumped when I got mentioned in the podcast! It’s like a dream come true (the home buying, not the shout out (although you’ve made my Monday!)). Yes believe it or not, I only do eBay part time on top of my full time job. Still, I probably put in close to 30 hours a week on eBay… when I’m not buying houses. I attribute my sales mainly to the plethora of awesome items I find at auctions in my area. That and the knowledge and advice I’ve acquired from Scavenger Life! Really, Jay and Ryanne, it’s been you two who have inspired me to make it this far. Thank you!!
05/22/2018 at 4:28 pm #40698
It’s difficult to describe how excited we get finding other people willing to building unconventional lives. Instead of “keeping up with Jones”, we’re all learning how to share with each other.
05/22/2018 at 8:52 pm #40728anniethriftsParticipant
With the Summer update coming out today, I’m curious as to how many now are going to free returns in order to try to not have unnecessary INAD on their account.
Anyone already on free returns that likes it?
I also noticed that we’ll need to update our item specifics…still trying to find more information as to what that entails. It’s saying that for items that aren’t updated they may not show up in search at all.
05/23/2018 at 12:38 pm #40820
We have been on Free Returns for over a month, no issues. I don’t like it when we have shoes that we have to pay for the return (only once), but it is very simple and easy. I have not seen an increase in return rates so far.
05/22/2018 at 9:00 pm #40729BrianBParticipant
Amazon is cracking down on abusive returns. eBay seems to be headed in the other direction. http://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-bans-people-too-many-returns-2018-5
05/22/2018 at 10:41 pm #40746BethGreenParticipant
- Location: Ohio
I’ve got some concerns with the Summer Seller Update. Here’s what I sent to eBay for Business. Wondering if anyone here has any sound answers to my questions: I want to express my disagreement with the new Policy changes in regards to auto acceptance of returns when the Buyer selects INAD. 1. I have had very few return requests, and the ones I have had are often settled to the buyer’s satisfaction WITHOUT the return of the item. However, I still want to be able to decide to offer a refund without return or the opportunity to troubleshoot (many of my items are battery operated toys and most issues buyers have had after a sale are operator error that are quickly resolved…ie: describing where the on/off switch is) on a case by case basis. I am interpreting the new policy to mean I have to choose one or the other: Auto return label provided or business policies set up to refund without return, without the opportunity for communication with the buyer. If I set up RMA# requirements, will this provide me with the opportunity to address the customer’s issues before a return label is sent? 2. Why is “Item received damaged” a choice for generating an Auto return? If an item is damaged in transit, and it is returned to me, I am no longer eligible for a damage claim with the carrier. 3. We are required to upload Tracking info into eBay, the information is already there…Why are buyers allowed to open “item not received” cases when there is already Full Tracking proof of delivery to the buyer’s authorized address provided on the site? These cases should not be allowed to be opened against a buyer, since just re-stating the Tracking info already uploaded should result in the closing of the case in the seller’s favor. It is a waste of time. The dialog is always the same…check with family members, neighbors, your postal carrier, ask for the GPS tracking info from your local post office. Why can’t an automated message be sent to the buyer and then direct them to communicate with eBay (not the individual seller) if they are unsatisfied and want to pursue a courtesy “stolen from porch” credit? I would appreciate thoughtful consideration of my concerns and responses to the questions I have asked. Thank you.
05/23/2018 at 7:56 am #40782
Repost your questions here: https://www.scavengerlife.com/forums/topic/summer-seller-update-is-here-2/
And I encourage you to break up your questions into paragraphs. A wall of text is difficult to read and easy to ignore.
05/23/2018 at 10:44 am #40807mrsamsonite1Participant
Amazon continues to increase free and change policies. Some of those changes are :
-FBA in September will have monthly long term storage fees in addition to the regular monthly storage fees. So anything older than 6 months will be charge a monthly storage fee and a monthly LTSF. LTSF used to be every 6 month but will be monthly from now on. The monthly LTSF is less than the 6 month LTSF but, when you add the total you will pay every month it will be more than the 6 month LTSF.
-FBA is setting inventory limits based on your inventory performance index, which is a number Amazon give you based on how much you sell, how much you send in, and some other things. The score is from
1-1000 and if you have less than a score of 350 Amazon will put limits on your storage. If you have a professional account and your number is above 350 you have unlimited storage. If you have an individual account you will have inventory limits.
As far as my status on FBA, I will be downgrading my account from a professional account to an individual account because I no longer sell 40 items a month. I just dont send in as many items because the fees are higher and it really narrows what is profitable to send in. It was fun while it lasted and Ill still use it at a limited capacity.
05/23/2018 at 12:09 pm #40817
I swear I am so gun shy about selling internationally now. I think I am going to get ripped off by “disappearing” packages and I am a single mom, loosing out like that really effects me.
I am going to research all of my international customers before sending out. I’ve been looking for that website where you plug in the customers id and you can see their previous ebay purchases but when I google, only ebay links pop up. Could someone please tell me the website name.
- This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by Annalisa.
05/23/2018 at 12:44 pm #40822
Annalisa: I would suggest going to the Global Shipping Program. We used to ship Internationally on our own for years, but we decided to give GSP a shot this year. Love it. No issues, and you get tracking all the way to the buyer.
05/23/2018 at 6:27 pm #40851
T STATT Yes, my new listings have priority mail but I haven’t got around to changing all my listing. But I definitely do not ship to Africa. I had 2 instances of “lost” packages. I do mostly clothes so I don’t know if anyone will actually pay the extra money for global on clothes. Its a shame, that a few bad apples ruin the bushel, but same ole story. Thanks for your help! I think I will go ahead and go through with the sale, keeping my fingers crossed I am dealing with a good person :(!
05/24/2018 at 9:14 am #40911
Yes, people will pay on clothes. Shipping one to New Zealand today…
05/23/2018 at 12:36 pm #40819
I’d love to be proven wrong, but I think ebay removed the ability to see what buyers bought, so the website is gone.
I’m inclined to think if you are that worried about international,maybe you should just not offer it? Or maybe only offer it to certain countries that you feel more confident about?
05/23/2018 at 6:29 pm #40852
Thank you MY Cottage. Not good news though:(. That would have been a nice tool to investigate the customer.
05/23/2018 at 3:32 pm #40835
Alert: ebay is having issues with Fedex labels right now. Avoid using Fedex labels until they get this worked out.
I get the error: “There seem to be some issue processing your request” – and yes the message says, “seem” instead of “seems”.
I got this error after creating the label and when I try to do a reprint label. The ebay rep said it is a known issue now that they are working on.
05/23/2018 at 4:38 pm #40842Rydell RelicsParticipant
RR Store Week May 13-19, 2018
Total Items in Store: 1613
Items Sold: 34
Cost of Items Sold: $67.99
Total Sales: $610.23
Highest Price Sold: $79.99 (lot of slides)
Average Price Sold: $17.95
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $61.42
Number of items listed this week: 40
Rydell Relics Bargain Basement! Dig that average price..ugh. I took a few days off last week for some personal stuff, and it’s clearly reflected in my sales. “Soft” is an understatement. But this week I’ve been listing consistently, and sales have been pretty good.
Finally had a great haul at the estate sales this weekend. One guy was selling his own stuff at his own house; more of a moving sale, but he still had a ton of great stuff. He’s a collector, so he knew the potential value of his stuff. Even so, I still got a pretty good deal. Some of the stuff is going to require a bit more work; I have to sort through a large box of 45 records and a box of about 400 vintage advertising pens. But that’s part of the fun, right?
05/23/2018 at 4:56 pm #40844
Don’t have any numbers to share this week, and haven’t for a few weeks now. Super busy with life, and just took a much needed vacation to Colorado. Between hiking at altitude, the obscene number of breweries, and, uhm other things in Colorado I don’t think I’ve fully recovered from vacation yet…
But, as of May 20th I hit the 90 day mark of selling on ebay, and I’m now a Top Rated Seller! All the discounts belong to me! Just shipped my 300th item yesterday, so everything is going great. Just wanted to take a second and thank everyone here, all the information and ideas that I’ve gotten from everyone here on the forums has been a huge part of my success so far.
05/23/2018 at 5:18 pm #40846
I love when sellers go on random vacations. Colorado is a great state. Did you keep selling while you were gone?
05/23/2018 at 5:24 pm #40847
Absolutely did, just moved my handling time up to 10 business days. Something to be aware of though, if you have a best offer out on an item when you change the handling time and it sells after the change it defaults to the original time. Had my first late shipment because of it.
05/25/2018 at 6:15 am #40968
Which makes sense. You sent the offer to the buyer with quick shipping, so that’s what they agreed to buy.
But if there are no offers out, All “make offer” items with reflect the new extended handling time.
05/24/2018 at 1:17 am #40885
Hope you enjoyed our state!
05/24/2018 at 1:27 pm #40928
Mike (in Atlanta),
“I have close to 300 shipping boxes on our Excel inventory sheet, both USPS and FedEx and can grab and go with close to a perfect fit most of the time and if not then down size one to fall under the wirgt mark to save a little if only a few ounces over.”
I was meaning to ask you where you get all boxes from. I am assuming that you mean 300 unique size boxes. USPS doesn’t have anywhere close to that many different boxes, so I assume a lot of these are yours.
I have close to 40 unique boxes (total incl. USPS) and I thought I was doing well.
Please share where you get yours and how much you pay for (or free).
05/25/2018 at 12:16 am #40964BigSallyParticipant
- Location: Washington State
Hi Shayward- Awesome Progress! It is nice to see you since we practically have to same Ebay born on date 😉 Top Rated! Go!
Hey thanks for the tip on the best offer and shipping- I’m headed to Vegas Saturday, returning on Tuesday, planning to ship anything ordered out Wednesday-
Most of my stuff was originally listed with 2 day shipping and best offer- I changed it all to 3 with a bulk edit- can I make shipping conditions a part of accepting a best offer ? Or maybe bulk edit turn off best offer (might be a smart move while in vegas? ) hmmmm.
Glad for the heads up for sure-thanks!
Sally Sales way down this week by design, due to the above vacation and other pressing hustles- yet still unbelievably good time!
220 in sales 4 items
“pilot gear” Highest sale, fastest sale (1 day) and the one that saved my bacon for May stats is an online auction item score I paid 7.00 listed 110.00 accepted best offer of 100.00 even -shipping included flat rate large box-
DOUBLY hope you are feeling better the crud has been creeping around….
Great Items everyone, thanks for sharing
05/28/2018 at 11:16 pm #41164
Just catching up on last week’s podcast. I had the same experience as the caller wrt using flat rate boxes for non-flat-rate priority shipping. It was fine for a while, used the priority stickers to block out the “flat rate box” text. But then last time I did it I got charged later on for the difference. Not sure whether I will try it again, this time blocking out the blue bar code. We’ll see. I don’t like breaking the rules. Just sometimes those FR boxes are the exact size I need!
05/29/2018 at 9:40 am #41179SilverFoxFindsParticipant
- Location: Virginia Beach
I’ve often found that the Large FRB is a size I need for shipping a non-Priority item. I’ve made excuses to myself for using them before when the box has already been used once or twice, but regardless of condition I always wrap the box in brown paper to hide all markings.
05/29/2018 at 10:22 am #41184Lisa T.Participant
Catching up on last week’s episode after returning from vacation. I occasionally us a flat rate box and pay the regular priority rate. How would I know if I was being upcharged? Would I get an email? Does is show on the eBay invoice? How is it labeled? Thanks!
05/29/2018 at 2:07 pm #41204
you would get an email.
I don’t know if it’s on the ebay invoice or whether it’s just directly through paypal.
06/12/2018 at 3:36 pm #42292
Hey I’m just getting caught up on podcasts and was delighted to hear that you’ve joined a CSA!! I’ve been a member for 6 summers now and I have also been working for my share (2 hours a week gets me a 50% discount on my share!). My home is also a drop site where the farmer drops off shares and then members come and pick the shares up from my back deck. I get a 50% discount for being a drop site. So…in true scavenger style,I get my share for free! I work full time and do eBay part time so I am very thankful my farmer is flexible with my schedule. I also have a wellness incentive program with my employer where I get $100 for being a CSA member and completing other wellness activities (running in a race, using a fitness tracker, etc.).
I love the variety and the quality of the vegetables I receive. I was reminded of the importance of buying local organic produce this week when my boyfriend came down with a parasitic infection linked to a veggie tray he purchased at a convenience store a couple weeks ago. Knowing where your food comes from is so invaluable! And you’re supporting a small family farm/local business…could it get any better!
I also have the option of picking strawberries and raspberries in bulk and I get a lot of the “imperfect” produce she can’t sell for free. I freeze and can a lot of stuff so I get to enjoy it the rest of the year. I love my CSA!!
06/12/2018 at 3:40 pm #42294
You are a true scavenger! We need to figure out how to volunteer work for a discount on the produce.
When we first moved to this area, we used to do work in the crops for a local farm, and they let us have all the left over vegetables that they didn’t want to sell. We came home with boxes of beat up tomatoes which we’d then can.
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