06/25/2018 at 8:21 am #43398
We decided to switch CSA farms this season to go with a more experienced, local business. As small business owners ourselves, we are super critical of
[See the full post at: Scavenger Life Episode 366: How To Run A Small, Local Business]
06/25/2018 at 8:32 am #43403Retro Treasures WVParticipant
Items in Store 863
Items Sold 16
Total Sales $416.00
Total Profit $373.74
Average profit $33.17
Average sales price $26.00
Sales were up this week which is a welcome surprise. More importantly though, I am back on the listing train! I worked through some dollhouse furniture sets on Saturday, and created listings for a tote of shoes yesterday. My wife will be photographing throughout the week as long as I keep her a full tote of shoes. I’m hoping she follows through. Now it’s time to step on the gas and start the race to 2000 listings and $1k/week sales. We have a September vacation to pay for people!
I also had some great scavenging this weekend. We came at the end of a large indoor yard sale for the local high school soccer team. They gave me two tv/vcr combos and a small vintage Panasonic monitor. Each of those will sell for between $80-100. They were blowing out their clothes and shoes for $1 per walmart bag. I scored a bunch of great shoes.
Yesterday I scored a bunch of new in box good brand safety shoes. I should be able to get another load of them next Sunday as well.
The star of the weekend was my haul of almost 200 packs of new Smartwool socks. That was quite the thrill! I’ve sorted them and I should only need to create about 20 listings since there were quantity of each size/style. That makes things so much easier.
06/25/2018 at 9:29 am #43404
Nice Scores, especially on the SmartWool socks!
06/25/2018 at 9:30 am #43406
Posting numbers now, listen on my way to the contract gig…
Week of 6/17-6/23
Total Items in Store: 2,287 (Up 46% YOY)
Number of Items Listed: 57
Number of Items Sold: 62 (Up 13% YOY)
(Includes 0 Etsy, 0 Bonanza, 0 TrueGether, 0 Amazon)
Weekly STR: 12% (Down 3% YOY)
Total Product Sales: $1,598 (Up 44% YOY)
Cost of Items Sold: $360
Highest Item Sold: $78 – Lily Bloom Cat & Mouse Purple Mauve Rolling Carry-On Tote Bag
Competition: Highest Priced Sale: Veronica wins the week (again!) and Veronica leads for the year 14-11.
# Listed: 1,447
# Sold: 49
# Listed: 257
# Sold: 5
eBay Hard Goods
# Listed: 583
# Sold: 8
Etsy Hard Goods
# Listed: 160
# Sold: 0
06/25/2018 at 10:41 am #43408Willow603Participant
Hi there, faithful listener but rarely post. My sales are down 47% for the year, mostly pre-owned clothing. I feel sure this is due to 1) buyers, especially younger buyers, are now shopping more on Poshmark and consider Ebay “old fashioned” and 2) prices on both platforms are falling to rock bottom given so many new sellers.
In response to Jay’s question, does Ebay consider small sellers like us? Minimally, in my opinion. 81.5% of items sold on Ebay are NEW. Also, look at Ebay’s endless massive $$$ aquisitions worldwide-India, Asia which all seem to cater to NEW items. We are literally a drop in the bucket, just a drop, so raising fees, dropping discounts, expecting more, ending seller protection simply benefits Ebay.
06/25/2018 at 11:20 am #43414Steven SParticipant
- Location: South Dakota
I am beginning to think that sellers of unique used items need a new selling platform as eBay seems to be transitioning away from those items and favors new items. Smart on their part I guess as there will be less involvement in customer dissatisfaction due to INAD cases.
06/25/2018 at 11:40 am #43417
I have been selling on Etsy for a few years now. My sales there are really just a bonus, 10-20% of my eBay sales for the most part, pretty decent though around the holidays. I do not cross list, my items are unique to Etsy. The smaller lower end items really not worth listing on eBay seem to do OK on Etsy and actually sell for a bit higher. The fees are lower still. I’m up to 500 items on Etsy, basically the same one offs, collectibles, and small vintage stuff I have on eBay, just lower end. I’m an old hand at it, comfortable. It is going to be my go to if things begin to crumble for me on eBay. Hopefully Etsy can juice up for the future and still somehow maintain the easy going nice to be around atmosphere.
06/25/2018 at 11:42 am #43418
Steven: I think this may be the Etsy/Poshmark/Mercari/Graild, etc growth that is occurring now.
It may not be one site, but more niche sites for specific items. As eBay is more on the new items now, and can’t fund it’s growth without it, it may go the way of fighting Amazon. I think this would be a mistake.
eBay’s USP is that it is the place to find unique and discounted items. The “Fill Your Cart With Color” fit that USP. But after that, I’m not seeing the follow up.
The smaller sites know what they are and would love to have the growth from fresh blood that is going away from eBay. Dunno, not all doom and gloom, but I can definitely feel a shift…
06/25/2018 at 12:30 pm #43427
In my tiny retirement account I make individual stock picks (most of our retirement is in my husband’s accounts and in funds). About the time when Jay and Ryanne soured on Amazon, I figured Amazon small sellers would turn to Ebay, and Ebay vintage sellers may turn to Etsy. I bought stock in both. Etsy said they raised fees to do marketing. I think they will be very wise to captialize and grow given Ebay’s current focus and issues. I currently love Ebay because it’s comparatively quick and dirty to list, and you can list anything. But, as I move away from RA selling to more vintage, I’m hoping Etsy will step up it’s vintage game and draw shoppers. Maybe after a few successful Christmas seasons and better advertising, shoppers will start thinking of Etsy. If Etsy items show up better in Google or Mercari than Ebay items, that’s a big factor too.
06/25/2018 at 2:11 pm #43450
I remember when I first discovered SL I couldn’t believe they weren’t on Etsy, haha! I’m still building up my store there but I still come to find that Etsy tends to sell my vintage stuff faster and for more money. I just had a thermos lunch box sell there for $10 more than the price I had on Ebay (sold to a movie set by the way). Ebay will probably remain my big store for a while, but I’m working on cross posting all my vintage over there. It really doesn’t take long since I just work on it at night or whatever, the thing I find most time consuming is trying to think of tags for the item. Ebay has been getting on my nerves lately though. I don’t even care about the free returns, it’s the whole picture glitch and the views glitch that I find so annoying. I like to look at my views just because and not being able to see them is pretty frustrating.
06/25/2018 at 2:20 pm #43456
The views glitch is really something.
I sorted our listings by ending time, moving the ones that will be ending soon to the top. Lots of items with a – for number of views. I click on the listing, then go back out…
Suddenly lots of views are showing for the items that previously were – .
Tried again, it didn’t work. But I refresh the screen and the views show up.
Also saw similar glitches in the Impressions section. Lots of 0 or – views. But when you click on the listing, the listing itself shows it has lots of views…
I don’t spend a lot of time with this, but it would be nice to have a tool that is accurately showing items with little impressions or views. It would help us to decide to either tweak the listing or pull the item as a bad buy…
06/25/2018 at 3:15 pm #43467
Just a couple more thoughts about Etsy, I love that you can easily see stats about what search terms people are using to find your items, and what other items they are looking for. Is this even a thing at Ebay? Even if it is, it’s not easily viewable from the app. It gives me ideas about what other items I can be listing to get people’s attention. Not to mention it gives you other stats about where people are coming from when they find your items. Stuff like that is really fun and interesting to look at.
06/25/2018 at 7:08 pm #43508
Can we talk numbers? I hear sellers say that their vintage items sell fast and fr more on Etsy, but then they admit they dont sell much there. A seller will have $1000 sales on eBay and $100 on Etsy.
Thirft Raider, what are your weekly sales like on Etsy compared to eBay?
06/26/2018 at 3:42 am #43562
Hey Jay! I completely admit I have nothing to show other than the occasional observance, and I certainly didn’t mean to call you guys out for NOT doing Etsy or that everyone should jump ship from ebay. I’m using Etsy as a an extra platform that might get stuff sold, sorta like how Bonanza was for you guys. I only have 16 listings on Etsy vs. Ebay’s 125-130 atm. As I add more and more to Etsy I hope I continue to find that Etsy items are selling for more and quicker than Ebay, since they’re cross posted.
06/26/2018 at 7:32 am #43569
Its great to try different platforms, but when someone says another platform is really great for x, then it’s good to talk numbers.
06/25/2018 at 11:48 am #43419
I sort of agree overall. A SL member who has sold a ton of clothing on Ebay [Cyndi] “Amazing Taste”.. has been lowering prices for some time now. A quick glance shows.. out of 709 items in her current store approx. 400 [over half] are all under $15.99 and a bunch have Free Shipping on top of that.
We don’t watch clothing much anymore but our daughter, her friends and others we know, all shop on PoshMark or other similar platforms as opposed to Ebay. Our daughter says Ebay is just old fashioned just like you mention, as far as a shopping experience goes.
We have 3 tubs of some of her clothes she has outgrown through the years and we even have some that still have tags on them but see many sellers of these non luxury brands selling for $9.99.
Also u mention that many others are getting in on selling there stuff. Well nobody researches their “stuff”, and price according to a few “quick looks” at what others are selling at and they just keep going lower and lower. Nobody is trying to shore up the market, just under cut and dump. My neighbor says easier than having a yard sale, putting out signs and having to stay home and bake in the sun all day.
But as Ryanne and us too say, where else are you going to find a rare piece of Italian art glass for your collection other than Ebay.
Mike at MDCG in Atl
06/25/2018 at 12:22 pm #43423Willow603Participant
Agree MDC Galleries- we just had a long overdue yard sale Sat. Despite loads of social media and CL ads, signs everywhere, it was a pretty terrible outcome and soooo much work. We made $187 but this took hours and hours. Some furniture like painted rocking chairs going for $10, buyers bartering from .50 cents to a quarter. Plus a completely unexpected early rain shower likely made many yard salers stay home. Now we have tons of junk in the garage to figure out. Never ever again, I’d rather get poison ivy, a root canal and a migraine all at once!
- This reply was modified 3 years, 7 months ago by Willow603.
06/25/2018 at 2:00 pm #43447NancyParticipant
Oh no! Sorry to hear. After my last rummage sale a few years ago I said never again but I’m having one this weekend. Going to clear out my inventory that is not worth keeping and donate what doesn’t sell or put it on the curb for people to take for free.
06/25/2018 at 12:41 pm #43430
Mike: I agree on where Cyndi is at. I have always wondered what her COGS is, because her prices are so very low. Either she just wants the quick cash or her COGS is really low to begin with. I really have to tip my hat to her. She really works hard and kills it on volume. I just don’t want to go to that low of a level at this point.
06/25/2018 at 2:04 pm #43448
Right there with you brother. Even if she got everything in her store for $.10 or even $.05 I would not want to put in that amount of time for that amount of sales.
Good thing I am ramping up my art studio again. I can make my own paintings, sculptural wall mirrors, clocks, lamps, table sculpture, wall hangings and the such. Doing that creates saleable products and satisfies my need to “make stuff, so 20 year old vintage along with my art-sculpture can go on Ebay and Etsy at the same time”.
P.S. Got some things worked out on the SB Trial and working on a new customized Listing Template. Also talked with JC at SB and discussed Shopify and “yes” it is on the drawing board and SB will be creating an interface for Shopify. I also discussed them on how WL was doing auto-SEO on Social media and he thought it was a great idea and was going to add it to the SB “To Get Down” list especially since the Twitter postings were so easy and I told him about the Instagram method. Send the first display picture. The only caveate’ is that you have to host your own photos, [which we do on that new 4 TB external HD] and have a real name / rename for your hpotos. U can’t use Ebay photos because Ebay renames all photos with a jumbled code. But if all SB users will host and name thier own photos, them InstaGram will work. JC seems very interested. So maybe SB will be a real multi-platform App by the time everything falls into place.
Mike at MDCG in Atl.
06/25/2018 at 11:39 am #43416SilverFoxFindsParticipant
- Location: Virginia Beach
Interesting thought, Steve. I imagine if I have to move sales platforms at some point, I’d go to Etsy where ~90% of my inventory would have a home. I don’t plan to look into that until there’s a more urgent push to do so.
I’ve never had strong clothes and shoes sales, and am moving even more away from those items in my sourcing. For the listings I do still have, I try to put in lots of measurements to ensure a good fit, and for many of my clothing items (less so shoes), I’m no longer offering returns at all (now that 14 days isn’t an option).
Had a steady week of listing, and made some good $ sales yesterday, which would be a nice trend to continue and report on next week. This past week’s #s are holding steady at ~40-50% of what stronger months’ sales numbers are. Just chugging along…
06/17/18 – 06/23/18
Total Items In Store: 878
Items Sold: 19
Total Sales: $459.56
Cost of Items Sold: $31.35
Highest Price Sold: $70 – Vintage LL Bean Brown Waxed Canvas Boat & Tote Bag
Average Price Sold: $25.77
Returns/Refunds: 1, some bolts that I messed up the sizing on
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $5 (taking a welcome break from sourcing to clear the office of piles)
Number of Items listed this week: 47 (and removed nearly 100, whittling out inventory for a yard sale)
06/25/2018 at 11:52 am #43420
Just FYI… Our Sales are down 67% from the past several months. But ahead of last year because we do have a lot more items listed than last year.
06/25/2018 at 11:53 am #43421Julie BParticipant
- Location: Georgia
Love the photo for today’s podcast. Your CSA story reminded me of when I lived in the DC area. In the summer we’d drive to Rehoboth Beach, DE. There were tons of fruit/veg stands along the way. We’d always stop for some fresh locally grown produce until I noticed that many of them were just buying their products from the grocery store – they wouldn’t even remove the fruit stickers half of the time.
My eBay summary page is showing that my sales are down 42% from this period last year and I can definitely feel it. My plan is to devote a little more time to listing this week. I’ve been slacking and the numbers show it.
After yesterday’s eBay photo fiasco I dipped my toe into Poshmark waters. I posted 3 items that I feel are good brands for that market (higher end brands that appeal to younger women). I really don’t understand why Poshmark makes all of its sellers “follow” each other and “share” each other’s items. It seems that doing so just causes whatever item that was just “shared” to be immediately buried by the 1000s of other items being shared at that same moment. I saw one buyer that has followed over 700,000 other Poshmark users! How does she have time to do anything else? I’m not going to participate in all of that. I figure if someone wants my item, hopefully they’ll find it by searching the key words. I’ll let you know how that goes.
Best eBay sale this week was $120 Wedgwood Oceanside Covered Casserole dish that I’ve had listed for 2 years. I used to sell a lot of dishes but have gotten away from it. It’s not worth all of the time it takes to pack it nor all of the space it takes to store.
Another good sale was $69.99 for a Ted Baker dress that I bought from Bargain Hunt for $7. I always get excited when I find Ted Baker. It sells fast for good $. I think it gets passed over at thrift stores because regular shoppers don’t understand that Ted Baker uses vanity sizing (i.e. Ted Baker size 4 is like a reg size large).
06/25/2018 at 12:01 pm #43422
Thank you again for the podcast. It’s nice to look forward to Monday mornings!
6/17 – 6/23/18
eBay store totommyto
Total store items: 537
Number of items sold: 7
eBay Sales (not counting s/h): $411
Cost of items sold: $23
Consignment payouts: $7
Highest price sold: $135 – Vintage Harvard bookends set
Average price sold: $58.71
Money spent on new inventory: $15
Number of items listed this week: 8
Etsy store Oldfleatoymarket
Total store items: 500
Number of items sold: 5
Etsy sales (not counting s/h): $84
Cost of items sold: $7
Consignment payouts: 0
Highest price sold: $25 vintage ice cream scoop
Average price sold: $16.80
Money spent on new inventory: $15
Number of items listed this week: 2
Finally went to the flea market, had Wednesday off from my regular job so able to go to the best flea in my area. In most parts of Fl there is a flea market every day of the week all year round. This one is at an old drive in theater, long shut down, and is the type Jay describes. So much junk spread out on the ground Mad Max style and plenty of characters and rogues to go around on both sides of the table. This is off season for us, when January rolls around this market will be insane, and I will be stuck in my regular job which I like enough but always yuck to that! There is another almost as good on Tusday mornings though, so easy to settle for that one.
Happy picking and earnings and hoping the photo debacle has not pained too many too much. I had 20 listings affected, not sure yet how to fix with the Google cache, maybe, somehow, it will be magically fixed by the beast itself!
06/25/2018 at 12:52 pm #43433jimiParticipant
- Location: Delaware
Total Items in Store: 1565
Items Sold: 18
Cost of Items Sold: $85.43
Total Sales: $602.85
Highest Price Sold: $80 (logger boots)
Average Price Sold: $33.49
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $239.50
Number of items listed this week: 61
Enjoyed the podcast. Thanks!
I had an okay week. Per ebay my sales are 31% above a year ago, which is probably due to the last few weeks of listing a lot of stuff. I agree with others that ebay wants sellers to go the direction they have mapped out. I will definitely be done with this little venture if/when the day comes I am forced into the cut price lower lower, free ship free return model they seem to be pushing. I tried etsy briefly and have 5 things listed on poshmark but for me it is too much to keep up to multiple platforms. Altho after this recent missing photo mess I may need to reconsider. I hope everyone has a good week of scavenging and sales.
06/25/2018 at 12:53 pm #43434
Pretty good week for me. Only, I spent way more than I planned to.
Sales: CAD$1240, 9 items, COGS: $145 –> Item profit: $897
Expenditures: $524 –> After-tax cashflow: $285
Notable sales: 4 security cameras $12 –> $200 (I think I got them so cheap just because they were grimy!), 2 cases of nicotine gum $30 –> $270, bacterial colony counter $27 –> $182
Notable scavenges: $320 for 300 Police/EMS uniform pants (I posted about this earlier in the week). If these things do, in fact, sell at all, I should do great at $1/unit cost. 4 nice like-new PDUs (basically fancy power bars) for $5 each, should go for at least $100 each. Also got a car diagnostics tester thingy for $80, should get $500-900.
Listed: $1755, 28 items. Finally broke 400 listings total.
I feel like I have hit a milestone in that I now have so much good stuff to scavenge that I’m now more limited by money than time. Before I really got into auctions I found it hard to get good items worth the time, and so I always had the cash to buy them; now I find so much good stuff that spending is a big issue. It feels stupid to turn down an item that I know I can get 10x cost on, just because I’m trying to control the credit card spend.
06/25/2018 at 1:04 pm #43436
Total Items In Store: 441
Items Sold: 11
Total Sales: $622
Cost of Items Sold: $202 + $24 free shipping
Highest Price Sold: $255 New Duvet & Shams (paid about $130 clearance within a year)
Average Price Sold: $57
Returns: 1 partial cancellation / buyer mistake
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: About $50
Number of Items listed this week: 20
After the photo fiasco, I have to confess to you all that I went over to the dark side, looking briefly at ecommercebytes and Ebay forums. I found an interesting and lengthy post from a large seller whose sales had dropped “off a cliff” since December. The gist of it was that in March, Ebay changed the mysterious algorithm to treat high sales history less favorably and effectively punish sellers or listings (not certain which he was alleging) with staleness. Discussion went on to say more than 60 days was stale and furthermore that staleness might trump best practices in best search placement. I bring this up because I noticed that my newest listings are selling, and I did some price drops and tinkering with my stale listings having watchers and sold a few of those. The remaining items have been quiet. I’m wondering if anyone else has noticed this pattern.
I also read once that Ebay has a hard time competing for tech talent in the Bay Area. It really seems like they need to work on managing change better and notifying sellers when there are important issues to show good faith. I would not want to be a rep for them at the open fielding questions! Have a great week.
06/25/2018 at 1:16 pm #43439
06/25/2018 at 1:17 pm #43441
Christine: I’m thinking somewhat similar, that sales drive sales more than anything. I’m looking at my Traffic and Impressions, and lots of 0 views, and lots of listings with very low impressions. Some are out of season, but some aren’t.
Starting to contemplate how to have a review of items with low impressions rather than just old items.
06/25/2018 at 2:19 pm #43455
@ T-Satt: What do you mean by a review. if you mean just a sort-filter of low views or impressions that is available on WL & SB both with a click of a button. You must mean something else.
06/25/2018 at 2:25 pm #43460
Our only review has really been on old listings, not really on listings with lower than expected Impressions and Views.
I’ll look into the SixBit side later tonight on what it has. It would be the best place to do it as I could revise right from there.
06/25/2018 at 1:25 pm #43442Julie BParticipant
- Location: Georgia
Good sale on the Anthropologie bedding, ChristineR. I love flipping Anthro. There is a last-chance Anthro store 4 hours from me in Augusta, GA called The Final Cut. I really need to go to it someday. A Posh reseller recently posted a youtube video of her shopping there. It’s like the goodwill bins but for Anthropologie brands.
- This reply was modified 3 years, 7 months ago by Julie B.
06/25/2018 at 1:32 pm #43444
Thanks Julie. I find their sales are unfortunately not as good as they used to be as of 9 months or a year ago. I used to score mornings online and locally at the extra 40% off sale sale – they rarely discount that deep now and people are totally on it online when they do. For that reason and because of all my vintage death piles I’m not buying much RA. I’m getting a bit nervous as my RA inventory is now about 30% of the peak. If you lived near an outlet though, wow. That would be great to hit up!
06/25/2018 at 2:17 pm #43453
Good point you make about having it hard to recruit the talent then on top of all the issues having to deal with users face to face at Ebay Open shortly.
Guess they better practice the “oh my goodness, we are so sorry” speech.
And dont forget it was a few years back, the Ebay engineer that worked on the Cassinni search engine actually came out and said that stale listings were being written into the code and that would be a factor. That is why some of us abandoned the GTC-List it Until Canceled model of J&R and started using 3rd party app to end our listings every 30 days and relisting them as “new” and with new ID numbers.
So my WonderLister program and I have also re-downloaded SixBit and am running both simultaneously, having them end and auto relist our items. Troy [T-Satt, Mark-S and us], have 10 or 20 listings that are ending every day and our software, just auto relists them as new, gives them a brand new Ebay ID, clears the sales, history [who cares about that any way any more]. as far as Ebay’s Cassini is concerned we are listing beand new things every day [NOT- just the same ones over agagin]. But we still are seeing the Summer slow down.
Then we also use Promoted Listings and run periodic sales. It is all part of the “Brave New Wprld”, we are in. Business at the “Speed of Thought”.
Mike at MDC Galleries and Fine Art.
06/25/2018 at 2:23 pm #43457
Agree Mike. We still do some GTC, but only on multi-quantity listings. Our thought being that if we get sales on the listing, I want that good track record to move us up in search.
06/25/2018 at 2:19 pm #43454
I also had a “fall off the cliff” date, but it was in September of 2016. Average sell-through rate went down ~35-40% over the course of about 10 days and never recovered. I’ve somewhat recovered by adapting and changing both sourcing and selling practices. Understanding and coming to terms that my boss is an algorithm has been key.
06/25/2018 at 3:57 pm #43475
Indomatt: That drop for us was on August 17, 2016. That was when the Google Traffic was turned off.
I can still see the almost elimination of “Outside of Ebay” traffic in our graph….
06/25/2018 at 2:12 pm #43451Beverly – Far Out and FabulousParticipant
- Location: Edgewood, WA
On the EMPTY RETURN BOX OF SHOES: Please contact EBAY FOR BUSINESS on FACEBOOK immediately!!! Send them a Facebook message. Give them all the info, item #, your info (seller id, name, email, phone #, etc.), buyer info, and they will take care of you.
06/25/2018 at 2:24 pm #43458
Regarding moving inventory from one ebay store to another with ease, I have a method that I’ll take the time to write out if anyone here indicates any interest. The drawback to the method is that you’ll need to download the ghost ship Turbolister. The benefit is that once set up, it takes only a few minutes to transfer any amount of listings, including photos.
06/25/2018 at 2:27 pm #43461
Indomatt: I have contemplated setting up a second eBay store and linking it to SixBit. One listing, two stores. I could run TONS of A/B testing with the same listing through 2 stores: Free Shipping, Free Returns, GTC vs 30 Day…
06/25/2018 at 2:37 pm #43464
I agree with T-Satt. Within WonderLister or SixBit these app handle not only multi-platforms but multiple stores within those platforms. They would be a better way.. Be real careful doing anything back with TurboLister.
It was getting very buggy back when it was active, it is old “spahgetti” code. then when abandoned nothing has been written to fix anything. The old Blackthorn team and TurboLister guys left Ebay and formed their own companies. Chavi at WonderLister and John Slocom of SixBit all used to work together on BlackThorn and TurboLister. They have had thier own companies for about 5 years. I would not encourage people to jump back into TurboLister, but that is my opinion only.
If any thing, I would maybe [just maybe] download the trial version of one of these app instead, then download your store into SB or WL and then upload back into another store. But a waord of caution.. these 3rd party APPs are powerful relational databases. They have a ton of features but saying that also come with a learning curve. If all you have ever done is list with the Ebay app, then my guess is weeks of learning these programs and how to navigate them.
Yes File exchange is also an alternative but that too takes work and is not just a seamless click and it is all done.
But all this is again just my opinion and there are others much stronger in 3rd party apps, file exchange and the such who may be able to chime in.
Mike at MDCG&FA
06/25/2018 at 7:06 pm #43507
If its easy and transfers the photos from one store to another, I’d love to hear how you do it with Turbolister
06/25/2018 at 11:04 pm #43545
Here is a link to the TL download. It is no longer supported, and buggy as stated above, but I haven’t had any issues with this process. I like it because it is free and once you do it a few times, very easy to do. I have been using it to transfer stock between 3 ebay stores for several years. Since I started using Business Policies on my main store this has required additional editing after the transfer, since the secondary stores aren’t invited to use BP by ebay yet. A minor quibble.
Make sure that you have both of your stores linked to your TL and recently synced.
1. From the ebay store that you are transferring a listing FROM, highlight an ACTIVE listing, or many. Right click, and select “end item”
2. Click on Synchronize on top of page
3. From the menu on left, select ENDED LISTINGS, and highlight the item(s) that you just ended
4. File–>Export Selected Items–> Turbo Lister Database (TDB) File–> Export
5. Enter a filename that is easily found (I usually just call it export1+today’s date) and choose where to save (I usually do desktop)
6. File–>Change User –> bypass backup option–> select ebay store that you are transferring TO
7. From the store that you are transferring TO, select INVENTORY on left side of page
8. File–> Import Items–> From File
9. Select the folder where you saved the file, and toggle Turbo Lister Database (TDB) in bottom right corner
10. select your saved file–>Open–> Import
11. Highlight item(s) that appear on inventory page–> “add to upload”–> “go upload”–>”upload all”–>”upload now”
I would suggest trying this on an item or a handful at first and get the hang of it before doing a mass transfer. If they show up in the new store buggy or messed up somehow, you always have the item saved in your Unsold Items folder in the original ebay store to fall back on. You could simply relist at that point.
Feel free to move this to its own thread if deemed helpful.
06/25/2018 at 5:07 pm #43490Rydell RelicsParticipant
Our Store Week June 17-23, 2018
Total Items in Store: 1584
Items Sold: 41
Cost of Items Sold: $51.58
Total Sales: $791.12
Highest Price Sold: $50 (TWA Captain’s certificate holder/book)
Average Price Sold: $19.30
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $43.99
Number of items listed this week: 23
Thankfully, the estate sales were decent this week. I finally have stuff to list! My goal is 75 new listings by Friday. I also got a huge lot of vintage Syracuse china for free. Looks like the pattern I was given does pretty well. But man, is it ever boring to list. But hey, it’s free money once it starts selling. Can’t beat that.
Have a great week, everyone.
06/25/2018 at 6:16 pm #43502
I’ve sold fine china several times and done OK with it. In retrospect, I wish I had listed it all in big lots. As it is, I listed in 2’s and 3’s and inevitably there are some pieces that just sit, forever. And storage becomes a problem as the longer it sits the more likely I’ll break it accidentally when looking for another item.
06/25/2018 at 8:51 pm #43527ThriftShiftParticipant
- Location: Cabarete, Dominican Republic
June 17 – 24
Items in store: 816
Items sold: 34
Sales total: $1,077.32
Cost of goods sold: $107.75
4 clients got Consignment payouts totaling $120.50
One person bought 8 items and is doing local pickup equaling “free shipping” so I took lower offers to clear out some inventory. I’ve actually been having higher sales the last 6 weeks than I did earlier this year, equaling about $1K of sales each week. I have found myself taking low offers on lower-priced inventory (50% of my items are under $20) and scoring some higher end inventory. I took a PayPal loan of $4K three months ago to buy higher end inventory and paid it back within 2 months. I still have a lot of that inventory up.
I retire from the Marine Corps on Friday, 13 July after 20 years and am so excited. I can concentrate on ebay and my husband’s business. It’s all going swimmingly.
As far as states being able to tax internet income, the Supreme Court usually leaves it up to states to develop their own tax regs. It’s what attracts businesses to certain states. For example, the majority of corporations in the US are incorporated in Delaware. So perhaps states will offer tax breaks to small internet businesses to attract them. We may all end up living in Alaska and the Dakotas!
06/26/2018 at 7:07 am #43567
ThriftShift: Congratulations on your upcoming retirement! And thank you so much for your 20 years of service to our country!
06/27/2018 at 8:41 am #43686
Semper Fi, Once a Marine, always a Marine,
I’m working retired, not straight from the Corps, yet retired.
Congratulations! Enjoy the peace of staying in one place, if you so choose to!
06/25/2018 at 9:22 pm #43532DantheDinerParticipant
To the empty return box caller:
1. Regarding the money taken out of your PayPal account: I don’t think that the money was refunded to your buyer. When a case is taken up on eBay, PayPal automatically freezes the proceeds of the sale until a resolution is reached or you refund the money. What you’re noticing is probably just the money having been taken out of your available balance fund. Keep digging, and you should find a note on this in ‘Open Cases’ or some similarly named section.
2. Like Jay and Ryanne said, this is very uncommon, but eBay does have clear protocol on this that usually sides with the seller if everything is adequately documented. eBay also has a lot of reps who don’t know what they’re talking about, and it sounds like you reached one of those. Take photos of the returned empty box, and keep calling eBay until you reach someone who resolves it for you. After you’re done, file a formal complaint against the buyer. Google instructions on how to do it.
06/25/2018 at 9:43 pm #43536retiredtreasures719Participant
- Location: Troy, Ohio
Better late than never, right? It was a really slow week, which is frustrating, but I guess everyone is as broke as I am by the end of the month. I feel like I have been hemorrhaging money this month-all the regular bills plus quarterly taxes and the wedding. Which, in case you are curious, went splendidly. I spent time listing and am back up to where I was before I did the big purge of old low dollar items. Since I am not planning on upgrading from my current store size (1,000 monthly fee buy it now listings) I’m sure there are more purges in the future as I upgrade the items I have listed. Just getting rid of some of listings from when I started this in earnest. You know, the ones that make you say to yourself “What were you thinking?” Enough blather, here’s my sad numbers….
eBay June 17-23
Total sales. $95.93
Items in store. 1,043
# sold. 8
Avg. sale. $11.99
$ spent on new. $25.14
Highest sale: $24.99 Westmoreland milk glass dish & candleholders
PS I have owned a small brick and mortar business it’s hard. eBay is so much better!
06/25/2018 at 10:43 pm #43538JFHParticipant
Rough couple of weeks for me in the resell business. First order of business to address is the eBay vanishing picture glitch. I have about 25 (some of my better higher prices items) items that have vanished as far as pictures go. Ebay says they are working on it but for now nothing can do. I am guessing something to do with the Summer sales update. My sells have tanked, but thankfully my other platforms are keeping me breathing. Rough numbers = Poshmark = 15 items, 3 sold for 90 dollars; FBA 3 items sold for 94 dollars; Etsy 6 items sold for around 100 dollars; eBay = around 15 sells for 450 dollars (the week before was only 300 dollars, the worst week I have had in 3 years of f/t on eBay).
So going forward, I think I am going to put more clothes and shoes on Poshmark, and switch to more toys, small electronics, and vintage items on eBay. I am also thinking about parts, I see old sewing machines and old Shwinn Bicycle parts go for good money, as do other vintage electronics. Thanks for the podcast!
06/25/2018 at 10:57 pm #43542
Hey JFH, we started a mini Poshmark thread in “random thoughts” category. Would love to hear your feedback on selling on Posh as well: https://www.scavengerlife.com/forums/topic/poshmark-things/
06/25/2018 at 11:02 pm #43543
Jay & Ryanne: We quit our CSA, too. If they ran out of a certain item (or a bad crop), they just doubled up on another one. Which was fine, except once it was 3 bottles of honey or soap. I don’t need 3 bottles of honey per week. So, we now just go to Farmer’s Markets if we want “farm fresh” and get what we need to support local farmers or homesteaders in that way.
06/25/2018 at 11:10 pm #43546
Yeah, I can see how its just as easy to buy at a farmer’s market. We’re going to try out this new CSA and see how it goes.
06/26/2018 at 9:21 am #43575Brian Treasures from GrandmasParticipant
- Location: Hoboken, NJ
@Ryanne – so YOU’RE to blame for this selfie craze!?!?! 🙂
Week June 17-23, 2018
Total Items in Store: 903
Items Sold: 12
Cost of Items Sold: $45.33 (16.5% of sales)
Total Sales: $274.37
Highest Price Sold: $49.99 (Def Leppard Hysteria https://www.ebay.com/itm/192565933017)
Average Price Sold: $22.86
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $305
Number of items listed this week: 37
Promoted listings test: 7 sales, $142.48 (51.9% of total sales), $7.83 fees (5.5% of sales)
Like your sales, mine were slow this week as well. Interesting stat, half of my 12 sales came from 2 buyers who also bought things over the past 2 weeks. So at least I’m making someone happy with my items.
Went to an interesting sale on Saturday and filled up several bags of bread & butter items – a box of vintage flash bulbs https://www.ebay.com/itm/192578305817, a box of early cassette tapes dated 1972 https://www.ebay.com/itm/192578302299, several bottles of high end perfumes https://www.ebay.com/itm/192578385718, boxes of NIB golf balls https://www.ebay.com/itm/202349186006, first edition Godfather with dust jacket https://www.ebay.com/itm/202349168479. All good stuff that shouldn’t take too long to sell.
06/26/2018 at 9:28 am #43576
it’s a funny question, because i was all about talking to the camera as a way to communicate with my community. not to take vanity-type kardashian photos like on instagram. but, maybe???
06/26/2018 at 12:20 pm #43600mom42terrificgirlsParticipant
I admit it. I only came here today to get Ryanne’s Gross Brownies recipe! lol
06/26/2018 at 1:09 pm #43606
sorry i forgot to post in the blog—
06/26/2018 at 3:39 pm #43626mickdogParticipant
- Location: Portland, OR
Lots of small notes from the excellent (as always) podcast.
1) After a horrible May I’m having a great June, so I’m the exception to the rule. It will already is my 2nd best month of the year with 4 days left and is 50% higher than May. Reasons? Not sure because a bunch of things happened at once in late May: I activated free returns (none so far), I’ve listed more these past two weeks (and some new items sold right away), and I put 80% of my store on promoted listings (5% rate) and had a bunch of sales mid-month. I’m guessing that the latter is the biggest driver.
2) Sales tax. It’ll be interesting how it all plays out. I live in Oregon and am spoiled with the no sales tax (other taxes are higher of course). I love buying everything for the exact listed price! I’m always confused when I travel and have to mentally add 5-10% on to every purchase. I wish I would get some benefit in my eBay store for being in Oregon with this new ruling but I’m guessing that states will get their share no matter where the seller is.
3) eBay photo glitch. I was out of town this weekend (store on extended handling time, made 5 sales yay!) and I got a message from someone viewing my item that this had happened. When I got home yesterday, I checked and it appears only two listings were affected. I do have things synced to Bonanza and did use the photos there to recreate them. So thanks for mentioning that on the podcast!
4) Free returns. Interestingly you added $1 to each listing which in supply/demand theory should lower your sales a bit. But your research seems to show that sales are flat, so maybe that means you have sold a few other items because of free returns and they are cancelling each other out. Also you took in more in from that $1 than you paid out in returns this week. So I wouldn’t turn it off quite yet, you are definitely ahead of the game! My small store has had no returns yet since turning it on and I’ve probably made $30 with my extra handling fee, so I’d probably have to get 2-4 returns to offset that. Last year I only had 4 returns total.
5) Lastly I like hearing about what you “eat on” each week! Mainly because I’m a “slow carb/low carb” eater so Ryanne’s forays into that arena are of interest to me.
06/26/2018 at 4:22 pm #43630
It just feels so wrong to have someone send back and item for no reason and lose money. We lost $16 on an item last week. Seems so dumb. I doubt that person will ever buy from us again. So whats the upside?
But when we unemotionally do the numbers, we’re still coming out ahead with Free Returns. We’d have to lose about $120 in a month to feel the pain.
06/27/2018 at 10:42 am #43710
I went back to look at my messages and saw that ebay said if I turned on free returns they would cover the cost of the return through August. I can’t figure out for sure if they are or not. I will be turning it off if things continue like this, I can’t afford that many returns if I am paying for shipping.
06/26/2018 at 4:30 pm #43632SharynParticipant
- Location: Central NJ
I am currently on vacation, so I probably won’t listen to the podcast until next week. Last week sales were dismal. I’ll post my numbers at the end.
Our vacation this year is in Durham, NC so that my daughter can check out UNC Chapel Hill. The straightest way to drive from NJ would be through Baltimore, DC, VA. However, my husband is allergic (has a bad reaction to) traffic so we drove a few hours into PA and turned south onto Rt 81. So, three comments:
First, We drove through MD, WV, VA. In VA I saw the exit for Loray. I totally thought about you guys.
Second I was starting to think that we were crazy for driving about two hours out of our way to avoid traffic. However, my parents drove from VA, just south of DC, to NC to meet up with us. They were stuck in crazy traffic and had to drive around three separate accidents, all of which added about 1 1/2 hours to their drive. They didn’t even have to drive through Baltimore and DC. So maybe we aren’t all that crazy.
Lastly, this is the first time that we are renting through Airbnb. My parents get a bedroom and bathroom on the first floor. My kids and my husband and I get separate rooms on the second floor with a shared bathroom. Perfect!
Because of the vacation, I haven’t been able to do anything with the eBay photo issue. I’m not sure that is a bad thing. I’ll have to deal when I get back home, but maybe it will be fixed by then? or not.
Week of June 17- 23
* Total Items in Store: 1211
* Items Sold: 6
* Cost of Items Sold: $14.40 + $0 Commission
* Total Sales: $107.27
* Highest Price Sold: $50 JVC VCR
* Average Price Sold: $17.87
* Returns: 0
* Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
* Number of items listed this week: 41
06/26/2018 at 4:35 pm #43633
It is incredible that you can now rent an entire home for the cost of a couple nice hotel rooms. Much more roomy and cozy.
Yes, I-81 is the way to travel around here. You skip the I-95 meat grinder. This is the real Virginia as they say around here.
06/26/2018 at 5:14 pm #43639Mark SParticipant
All this talk sbout the Force being strong is hitting home with me. I am on vacation at Disney Hoolywood Studios and just met all of the Star Wars characters!
06/26/2018 at 5:17 pm #43640Mark SParticipant
We drove down to Florida from Michigan. Had a nice stop in Gatlinburg TN for a couple days. Drove thru Georgia that everyone was talking about last week. I peobably drove right past a lot of you going down I-75.
06/26/2018 at 5:49 pm #43645tenadParticipant
- Location: Colorado
Please share your brownie Keto recipe
I have been Keto for over your and love this way of eating
Heavy Whipping Cream , Cream Cheese , a little sweetner .
06/26/2018 at 6:54 pm #43657mickdogParticipant
- Location: Portland, OR
She did earlier in the thread, here it is again:
06/26/2018 at 5:52 pm #43646
Total Items in Store: 2215
Items Sold: 42
Total Sales: $955.88
Highest Price Sold: $72(Italian Silk Blouse) Paid $5 at an estate sale
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0 (Trying to work on the piles of stuff that bore me to list 🙁 )
We had a slow week comparable to the past few months, but we are still way up compared to the same time last year. We will take it! We have also been on a roll of selling low price items, under $50. Returns have been a pain. I find that having to call ebay to fix the INAD cases is time consuming and annoying.
I agree that it seems ebay has poor communication skills when it comes to its sellers. Seems odd that a company that size would not have a department especially dedicated to sellers and communication with sellers. Maybe they do have it but it is not working. I like the idea of having different tones for different sales, I think if it is over $100 I would like the sound of wining the jackpot in Vegas!
Haven’t been very productive lately, watching the World Cup has been very time consuming! We are starting the process of selling our house so trying to get things packed and organized has been a hassle. It doesn’t leave much time for ebay work.
I have also been helping out at my old job, they are really struggling right now and I am taking pity on them. BUT…. I told my manager that I am too busy to keep working so much. He doesn’t get it…..doesn’t understand the ebay thing. Doesn’t understand how I make more money and am much happier having my own time. Got to love our jobs!
Thanks again to Ryanne and Jay for being awesome.
06/26/2018 at 6:41 pm #43654
Did you guys buy that piece of land to build on?
06/26/2018 at 10:57 pm #43672
We did buy the land. We met with the builder and have decided on a nice simple house plan with a huge bay in the garage for my ebay business. We are hoping to start building soon. The builder is family, we also have family that do framing, drywall, and electrical. We are stressed out already… but it will work out. I will share pictures of the progress for sure.
06/27/2018 at 8:49 am #43688
Yeah, we’d love to see photos as they come. When you build new, you can customize the space to anything you need.
06/26/2018 at 9:18 pm #43661
Sales week of 6/22-26
Items Sold: 13 (ebay) 1 Poshmark
Cost Goods Sold: $34
Highest Sale: ETRO women’s blouse $49
Smallest Sale: Kodacolor old film role (not rare): $10
Scavenge of the Week: This was a HOLY S moment. My husband loves to pick up silver items for his “man cave.” I decided to go sourcing at a antique mall market based on some seasoned advice! Lo and behold, he picks up a sterling silver piece I see “CART”… stamped on bottom, but rest is faded a bit. um, is this CARTIER? “I dunno.” he says, “I just liked it”. For $10 we took it home, 1 hour research later it IS Cartier. Off to the jeweler to be polished professionally as it was in ROUGH shape ($50). So far, a $60 investment.
New categories I’m exploring: costume jewelry. This month I sold a $39.99 ring and $49.99 unicorn pin for “generic” type hallmarks I price high and hope for best. They sold extremely fast to other dealers, which is fine by me! I am going to buy a loupe as I have some wins but also losses due to not reading marks right. But I also see what the thrift store missed.
06/29/2018 at 3:50 pm #44020
Wow, the sterling silver part alone is amazing.
One of my first big picks was when I had a “flatware” alert set up on my phone. Lady posted two sets of silver flatware for $100, one of which is this awesome one called Wallace Grand Baroque. the listing didn’t say sterling or the name of the sets, but I figured it out from the pictures. Couldn’t get there fast enough (it was out in the sticks but I happened to need to drive that way for work).
So far, made $900 off that pick and still have 20 pieces of solid silver flatware left to sell.
06/27/2018 at 12:37 am #43675VintageTreasuresParticipant
My Numbers: June 17-23, 2018
Total items in store: 217 eBay / 144 Etsy
Items sold: 33 (26 eBay / 7 Etsy)
Cost of items sold: Approximately $14.00
Total sales: $522.20 ($468.95 eBay / $53.25 Etsy)
Highest price sold: $69.95 Johnny Was LA Dress
Average price: $15.82
$ spent on new inventory: $22.73
# of items listed: 18 🙁
Wishing everyone a good week!
06/27/2018 at 7:44 am #43680ChristineKParticipant
My numbers for last week were also a little “soft” as Jay and Ryanne say. Having just removed free returns this week is the real test for me though. So far, I don’t think it’s affecting me but I guess time will tell. During the summer I spend a few weeks in Orlando so my kids can do camps there. While they are in camp, I source bigtime at the Goodwill bins and other thrift stores. I’m focusing on stocking up that way so I can be ready when buyers hopefully return to Ebay in the fall.
The CSA issue that Jay talked about was interesting. I hope that they take the advice and become more transparent, because if you’re paying that much you want to know where the produce was grown. There have been some instances of people at the farmer’s market selling stuff from the grocery store in my area, so for now we just buy our produce at Aldi with the rest of the groceries. I wish I felt like I could trust the farmer’s market, but I just don’t.
06/27/2018 at 8:10 am #43683Retro Treasures WVParticipant
We have a growing farmers market here now. I was so excited to finally have one! Then I went… It was incredibly overpriced. $8 for a pint of blueberries?!? It wasn’t even an organic growing process once we talked to the farmer. It actually wasn’t even a farm – just a guy who set up a blueberry garden at his house. This was definitely geared to a certain demographic of people with more money than sense.
I do get fresh eggs and meat sometimes from coworkers who run small farms at home.
06/27/2018 at 9:53 am #43699
Retro: “This was definitely geared to a certain demographic of people with more money than sense.”
How often I see this in daily life… That’s is what happens when you are a Scavenger!
06/27/2018 at 9:31 am #43695
I don’t really want to talk much about last week, but it was the first time in a very long time I’ve had ZERO sales. I think I went 8 or 9 days without a single sale. With the end of school and beginning of summer, it wasn’t the worst week for my store to go dark, but it was a little discomfiting. Then, yesterday, I had about $300 in sales. With the summer off, I’ll have more time to list and, with luck, can turn things around for myself.
I also just went back and looked at the numbers for the school year. Without doing heavy crunching, it looks like my sales were basically the same, down only slightly, this school year vs. the same time last year (when I wasn’t working outside of eBay.) I’ll get to some better number crunching later on.
06/27/2018 at 10:18 am #43702
Habnab: It is just so random right now. We have averaged $268/day in product sales this month, yet…
The roller coaster is real..
The saving grace for me is our numbers. I track STR (on quantity) and ASP all the time, but I also track ASP on Dollars. I look at what percentage our rolling 30 Day Product Sales are to our Inventory in Dollars.
June 2016 – 12%
June 2017 – 11%
June 2018 – 10%
Some slight degredation (long tail items and some slow movers we need to purge), but basically the same rate.
This rate will be 15%+ in Q4. Just have to trust it will come back if we are buying good items at good prices.
As my Mom always said: “This too shall pass”
Of course, I always added: “Yeah. Like a kidney stone…”
06/27/2018 at 10:35 am #43707
I look at our numbers and see them as being normal for this time of year as well. As much as we hate the ups and downs of our sales, our monthly income remains amazingly consistent for such a long-tail store.
So looking at your numbers, do you think there’s anything wrong with eBay other than the usual weird glitches? Assume you’re reading all the threads where sellers are trying to come up with big moves behind the scenes that are affecting their sales.
06/27/2018 at 10:40 am #43708
Nope. I think it is same as normal. I’m a little surprised that we had a couple of days that are so slow recently (had a few this time last week too), but this happens this time of year.
I always wonder a bit if some of the technical glitches affect sales (keeping buyers off the site), but buyers don’t shop online as much in the summer. They are on vacation, hiking, camping, at the beach…like they should be! Getting on the phone or computer to shop is not on their minds.
Come August, when back to school is coming, then Halloween, then Thanksgiving and Christmas…then buyers are in the mood. Then in the winter, they shop online to avoid going out in the cold and snow. Then they get out for fun in the sun.
Happens every year.
06/27/2018 at 10:45 am #43712
Agreed. I sometimes feel alone voicing this opinion every summer. “Its slow because its always slow in the summer.”
I truly believe many sellers peg their living expenses to holiday sales, and then freak out by April when holidays sales disappear. The struggle to pay bills is real but not eBay’s fault.
06/27/2018 at 11:07 am #43715InglewoodParticipant
I personally don’t feel a difference this year from previous, but I did take a look at my numbers to see if things are slower for me this summer.
Because my volume/inventory changes year to year, I ran a % of items listed that sold month to month for the data I have going back a few years (4 years to 2015).
So far, for June 2018, I’ve sold 21% of what I have listed at the beginning of the month with a few days to go to add to that number. Last year, I was at 17%, 14% in 2016, and 22% in 2015.
July is my slowest month historically – I average 14% of inventory selling. My best months are tied between October and November, with 52% of my listings selling in those months.
Obviously, the items change year to year, my inventory may have more or less good items in it, but the sales dip is expected.
I use these months to source (this is the best time of the year to find inventory) and prepare for the holiday season to maximize sales.
I don’t see eBay different than most retailers that sell non-necessity items – sales dip in good weather as people have better things to do. Sales increase when they buy holiday gifts or they are bored.
06/27/2018 at 11:28 am #43719
Yep. That was the double tightness I felt when going with our photographer now. Bulking up inventory, paying for labor, when the payoff is 4 months down the road…and I do it in the summer, the slowest time of year.
But we saved up for it (not that we are enjoying it right now!) and we know the payoff is coming. Things are hitting like we thought (actually this June is higher than I thought as our ASP is up) so I know I can trust my forecasting. Life is better when you plan and forecast what is coming, so that even when the crap happens, you knew it and you have a plan to get through it.
This is why you have preached (and we are with you) that before you go full time, you have to KNOW what your business will throw off in cash, what it takes to get there, what your seasonality is, and how you will survive that.
Being in business for yourself is great…but scary if you aren’t prepared. You can’t blame the boss when sales are slow. You can’t blame the market if buyers aren’t buying. As the boss, you get all the glory and all the blame…and all the responsibility to provide for your employees and your family.
06/27/2018 at 1:41 pm #43739almastyParticipant
I think the expectation that sales should evenly match or outpace year-on-year for items that are one-of-a-kind is sort of head scratching. It is more healthy to look at numbers and consider the purchases that were made at the time to make those sales when comparing numbers even year over year.
Last year, I had a combination of amazing buys and a very strong work ethic to push me through listing all of the desirable items I had purchased. That resulted in strong sales last year at this time. This year, I am working much less, having less amazing buys (but still overall good buys), and as a result, experiencing overall decreased sales. Couple that with the low-point of my business being this exact time in the summer, and you know how it goes.
Overall, my favorite part of having a very large, very long-tail store is that even with an overall decline of sales for this time of year, I am still shipping out items everyday. I am not working as hard, but my items listed still are. People are still sending questions. The store is as active as it ever was, even if I’m not.
06/28/2018 at 8:48 am #43801
Again, you have a lot of wisdom here when thinking of a long tail store.
“It is more healthy to look at numbers and consider the purchases that were made at the time to make those sales when comparing numbers even year over year.”
This totally make sense for our store. If we have a year when we havent sourced as much inventory, especially high end inventory, it would make sense that out sales would drop the following year.
I know this year we’ve also been floating on our large inventory and sourcing maybe once a week. We’re listing a lot of items under $30. This will affect our sales next year if we dont change.
06/28/2018 at 9:00 am #43802
almasty, Definitely agree. It is hard to make apples to apples comparisons when you aren’t selling apples, you are selling fruit cocktail LOL I think it is also why so many of the “improvements” ebay has been making don’t impact us in the way intended. A lot of ebay’s changes—such as price guidance, best match formulas, etc, are based on a commodity, regular retail model….and while our businesses are certainly similar to that model, the fact that we mostly sell one offs and that our inventory is so varied…well, that’s a huge difference.
I remember years ago, I read the first book about ebay that wasn’t basically an “ebay for dummies” book. I think it was called something like eBay Strategies…it was by the founder of Channel Adviser. For me, it was a real eye opener….he made a lot of good business suggestions. BUT….I realized that very few of them could be adapted to MY business, because they were aimed at commodity sellers.
We’re just a different breed, and I do think eBay has never really figured out just where we fit.
06/27/2018 at 9:45 am #43696
We have a number of long established farmers markets in my area— most produce sold there is not necessarily “in season, local produce” Some is, you have to know the seller and you have to know when stuff is in season locally. But the larger sellers in particular buy the non locally grown from wholesalers. If you want a wide selection, it’s the only way to do it. Let’s face it, no one is growing bananas in my area, but some of the sellers have bananas for sale.
So, I’d say at most long established farmers market, you are getting a mix of locally grown and non locally grown. At some of the newer frou frou markets aimed at the upscale market, I’m sure there’s more emphasis on local and organic.
Of course, we’re also lucky around here in that there are farm stands selling their own produce….just bought rhubarb at an Amish farm the other day: knocked on her door, she went out to the garden and pulled rhubarb for us while we waited. No question THAT was locally grown LOL
06/27/2018 at 10:42 am #43711
Some farmers markets have strict rules around where products can come from: local only. Some markets are a free-for-all where guys just buy produce off the backs of trucks that drive up from the south. Most farm stands are basically this. My skeptical self feels its probably the reject produce they couldnt sell to the big stores.
Buying truly local food isnt cheap because growing food isnt cheap. North Americans have really become spoiled by ridiculously underpriced food. We dont want cheap immigrant labor from the south, but you better give me fresh tomatoes all year round for nothing.
Obviously for scavengers, the best local food is growing and preserving it yourself.
06/27/2018 at 11:29 am #43720
Amen to all of that!
06/27/2018 at 11:04 am #43714
Yes, some have strict rules, but in my area those are mostly the newer (and usually smaller) farmers markets targeting a younger, affluent, more “socially conscious” market, and usually found in a more urban or suburban locale. The old established markets around here are usually a mix of farmers market and flea market without a whole lot of rules, and the target market is mostly anyone who wants to eat….whether they want to eat healthy or not LOL
06/27/2018 at 11:11 am #43716
We have a flea market where a guy is always selling produce out of his truck. It’s not super cheap, but cheaper than local markets.
I guess our point of the podcast is simply why would I buy produce from the Flea Market guy if he’s selling the same sourced produce at Walmart? If its from the same industrial farm but more expensive, why pay for thus guy’s inefficiency?
At the least the “frou frou” markets with real local vegetables are selling products with a true difference.
06/27/2018 at 11:34 am #43721ChristineKParticipant
We have a local produce store in town where they owner drives to Plant City twice a week and buys wholesale from the growers there. It’s more expensive than going to Aldi, but he does a booming business because everyone knows where it actually comes from. I feel like it’s more reliable than the farmer’s market in terms of the stuff actually being grown in FL. I do shop there occasionally, but more as a fill-in trip between weekly Aldi runs than as a regular matter of course. We eat a lot of produce, and Aldi is cheap…I agree that Americans are addicted to cheap food, but that food probably shouldn’t be so cheap as it’s not cheap to grow.
06/27/2018 at 12:10 pm #43727
If he provides good friendly customer service and variety, I can see the wisdom of paying a little more than the corporate supermarket, even if it all comes from the same place. Now you’re paying for experience.
06/27/2018 at 12:22 pm #43729
It’s not about how much things cost…it is about what their VALUE is…
06/27/2018 at 12:05 pm #43725
I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this, but, for me, the 4th quarter isn’t usually the best quarter. In 2016 and 2017, in fact, it was my worst quarter. In 2015, it actually was my best for the year, but was outstripped by the first quarter of 2016. Actually, first quarter has been my best quarter for the last three years (including this one — so far, anyway), and although they’re essentially equal to each other (no growth year over year), that means that going back to work 30 hours per week didn’t have a negative effect on my ability to make a solid part-time income on eBay.
I’ll have to go back and see what my number of sales was, to see if I’m getting more efficient and increasing my ASP. I hover at around 200 items in my store.
Edited to delete, and then edited again to replace: I’m terrible at the business/numbers side of this whole process. Bring me your unreadable signatures, your mystery pottery, your unidentified artists, and I’m your (wo)man. Start talking STR and ASP… and talking about business policies and SEO… not so much.
Edited to add: I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but I had a terrific performance review at work. They’d like to bring me on full-time (if there’s room in the town budget, which is always a question.) Full-time would be just a handful more hours per week, but would include health insurance. I had a great, meaningful year and really have my fingers crossed about this. I’d stay on eBay to be sure.
06/27/2018 at 12:21 pm #43728
Habnab: “I’m terrible at the business/numbers side of this whole process. Bring me your unreadable signatures, your mystery pottery, your unidentified artists, and I’m your (wo)man. Start talking STR and ASP… and talking about business policies and SEO… not so much.”
You and I would be a perfect match then…we would cover each other’s weaknesses perfectly! 🙂
06/27/2018 at 12:27 pm #43731
Hahahaha! I deleted that part of my message because I thought I sounded a bit precious and entitled. But, I agree — your strengths are my weaknesses for sure. I’ll go restore it for the sake of honesty. 😉
06/29/2018 at 3:59 pm #44023
T-Satt, if you have a moment – you seem to use sell through rate as a key metric. Wondered if you could enlarge upon your reasons for doing so… why do you care about it (as opposed to: net cashflow, item profit, $ listed which are the things I tend to focus on).
It seems like STR is geared towards sellers for whom storage space has become a serious bottleneck. Do you agree?
06/29/2018 at 4:37 pm #44033
Also, do you calculate it in dollar terms, ($sold/$in inventory), unit terms (units sold/units in inventory), or listings terms (sales/listings total)?
06/29/2018 at 5:02 pm #44044
The STR that I report is in units (units sold / units listed).
I have a separate calculation where I do it on $ ($ sold / $ listed) for an overall picture. I prefer the units STR with the ASP so I can see Price vs Volume Variance. Using just $ doesn’t help to break out the Price vs Volume Variance.
06/29/2018 at 4:57 pm #44042
Simplico: I use it in conjunction with ASP to get information on our sales.
When looking at our sales revenue compared to another time period (prior month, prior year, forecast, etc.) there are two components for the variance, price and volume. Comparing the volume of sales let’s me know if we sold more or less, comparing the ASP let’s me know if we had higher or lower prices.
I like to see STR as it let’s me know the velocity of our sales. For example, if I see that our STR is decreasing, I want to know why. Is it seasonal? Is our pricing too high? Is our inventory not as sought after?
Plus, I use the STR and the ASP to forecast our future months. I use the STR and ASP by month in all our forecast calculations. Using that method, we are pretty close to forecasting what our numbers are going to be.
For example, I forecasted our June to have $6,177 in Product Sales, assuming a 13% STR (last June STR of 17% less a 4% degradation which yielded 292 items sold) and a $21.17 ASP (Last June with a 10% increase for higher items). Right now we are going to beat that. We are already at $7,575 in Product sales. We have sold 294 items so far (so I was close on the volume) but our ASP is $25.77. This appears to be an increase in our shoe volume which is driving up our ASP overall. Now I can factor that into forecasting for next month.
I do other calculations each week (Average COGS per Product Line, Average Profit per Product Line, ROI by Product line, etc), I just don’t report all of that here. I bore most folks with our numbers as it is!
I’m a spreadsheet geek and former Cost Accountant and Financial Planning and Analysis guy…I love me lots of numbers! But…as long as they are relevant and give me guidance for future moves. For example, with our photographer coming on board, I’ve seen that we haven’t been getting as many Hard Goods listed. So Veronica and I put a plan together to get more Hard Goods going in Q3 so that we are maxed out for Q4.
Numbers and analysis can help you guide your business if you use them right…
06/29/2018 at 5:18 pm #44047
Thanks for the explanation! I’m going to track mine, just to see if it gives me any ideas. ATM I think the vast majority of my variance in sales is literally due to what I’ve listed in the past 30 days or so. (About 1/3 of my sales are within 30 days of listing.)
06/27/2018 at 12:32 pm #43734
It sounds like you really enjoy that job, so huge congrats. Its not work if you love doing it!
06/28/2018 at 10:03 pm #43923SimonParticipant
- Location: San Francisco Bay Area
I’m very late to the party this week but I had a good week last week so that makes me more inclined to pop in and post my numbers.
Total Items in Store: 2359
Items Sold: 48
Total Sales: $1132
Cost of Items Sold: $225
Average Price Sold: $23.59
Average Cost of Item: $4.7
Highest Price Item Sold: $149.95 Zoom H4N Digital Recorder (paid $40 at a yard sale)
Number of items listed this week: 68
YTD Sales: $21032
YTD sales compared to this time last year: +18%
Average age of items in store (in days since listing): 318
Average number of days between listing and selling this week: 178
Median age of sales (in days, between listing and selling): 75
Sell-through rate (for the week): 2.03%
# of Hats Sold: 32 (66% of sales)
My sales total was buoyed by some lucky electronics find at a yard sale the weekend before and a pretty solid demand for my other items. My sales total was about $500 higher than the weekend before and the number of sales was up about 50% over the week before. I don’t think I’ll ever truly understand the unpredictability of retail sales.
I’m annoyed at eBay for that photo issue. I’m not annoyed that the photos disappeared. (S*** happens). But I am annoyed at their lack of transparency in terms of giving us information about whether they are actively working on fixing it and when we might see it fixed. Their status page is useless. The tech company I work for will update their website and tweet about website issues within minutes of having an issue that affects customers and updates will be made every hour until the issue is resolved even if it takes days to fix. (Ebay is one of our customers as it happens. We need to teach them about incident management.).
06/29/2018 at 4:26 pm #44031
Here is something from left field. It is almost the end of the 2nd quarter. We do a quarter end inventory count of our shipping supplies and then take our min.-max. list and decide on what shipping supplies we need to order and how to spend our up coming $50 coupon.
I went to the Ebay shipping supply store and they have cut way back on the products. Maybe it is due to them running out before the end of the 2nd quarter and they plan to re-stock but there is just a couple of days left to do that. If this is all they are going to offer, then they are only showing 5 selections of boxes. Last quarter it was 10 size selections. All 3 of the square boxes are not showing and the 12x10x8 and the 18x14x12 rectangle boxes are not showing.
For a suggestion, wish they would offer large rolls of 50lb. brown kraft paper, pads of cut newsprint paper and CLEAR tape. But that isn’t going to happen. As we gravitate toward other platforms we will be using plain generic shipping materials anyway. I still love the Duck HD tape Ryanne uses. The Ebay tape is extremely cheap and of real low quality [thickness and adhesive properties].
Don’t think Ebay will offer anything much that goes “inside” a package as they don’t get any branding-advertising out of something not seen.
This may be more suited in the Shipping section, but thought I would just throw a different topic into the “can’t Ebay get anything right” discussion today. 🙂 We have to be careful we don’t go down the Ebay Forum road of “Everything Ebay does sucks”. We got to stay on the high road path guys. But I do think a nice, tall, cold, Vodka Tonic would go real well right about now. LOL 🙂
Mike at MDC Galleries
06/29/2018 at 4:40 pm #44035
From what I remember in past quarters, their supplies seem to run out before the new quarter begins. Lets see what happens in the next couple weeks.
And yes, eBay’s motivation is to give us branded supplies. That’s fine. Tape might not be the best but it works and its one less thing we have to pay for.
Ryanne and I were just talking about how we love the polymailers.
06/29/2018 at 4:43 pm #44037
I’ve never used a poly mailer in my life. All boxes, and the (very) occasional bubble mailer.
07/03/2018 at 4:10 pm #44336
Just an update… The Ebay store has not added to or included any other shipping selections to choose from. Still only have 5 box sizes, bunch of mailers, tape and tissue.
Think I may just buy a bunch of Tape and then create a listing to resell it at 10-15% less than Ebay is selling it for. That way I can at least get cash back to go buy the box sizes I really need. LOL :-). Actually not a bad idea!
07/03/2018 at 5:05 pm #44342
Mike: Funny you brought this up. Veronica was looking at that when she did her packing buy this morning, and just bought a bunch of poly mailers for clothing. She was ticked at the lack of boxes as well.
Where was it you said you saw some cheaper boxes? I would like to see about getting some short flats ordered. 12″ x 16″ x 6″ for jackets…
07/03/2018 at 6:22 pm #44351
For the larger sizes Home depot and for a fairly wide selection at half the cost, Staples Office Supply [believe it or not] with Free Shipping on $25 min. order I belive.
Of course Uline has one of the largest selections of every kind of box, bag, telescoping, jewelry boxes on the planet, but not at the low cost of Staples.
We used to order from Uline because their warehouse is only 5 miles up the road from us, but they implemented a $30 Up-charge if you did local pick up at their “will call” desk. Bunch of non-sense, they said in a letter to their customers it was because their yard was getting full of cars and the trucks had a hard time manuvering around. Bunk. Never bought anything from them since because if you only need a $10 item it will cost you $40 with the local pick-up extra charge.
So try Staples, one size box was 42% less cost than Ebay’s price and free delivery the next day or two at most.
Going to print out their shipping supply section and keep on my inventory check list clip board for future oredering. Now how to figure out how to get some real value out of my Ebay $50 coupon. Guess that will have to be 36 rolls of tape!!!! LOL 🙂
mike at MDC Galleries
06/29/2018 at 4:59 pm #44043
Mike: “But I do think a nice, tall, cold, Vodka Tonic would go real well right about now. LOL”
I was listing last night with a nice bourbon at my desk…perks of the job… 🙂
06/29/2018 at 4:52 pm #44039
Same for us. Hard to get a candelabra, Crock pot, coffee pot, kitchen nesting bowls, art glass vases in an envelope. We dont sell clothes except for a few items. 95% of what we ship is breakable thus boxes and our “specially customized cocoon shipping method”. Adds a little extra weight and time but only 3 or so breakages since 2002. Pretty good I think.
I use poly-mailers to slide over other boxes in most cases to hide the fact they are of different type and cost category if you catch my drift. 😉
We keep 31 different size boxes in stock in our shipping dept. and we also cut and splice a lot of boxes together also to make custom sized boxes. I ordered 100 poly mailers and bubble mailers Jan. of last year and still have about 25 ea. of those. Plus many USPS boxes are “thinned walled” as mentioned before here on SL.
So hope Ebay gets in stock and puts back in those 5 sizes from last quarter.
- This reply was modified 3 years, 7 months ago by MDC Galleries & Fine Art.
07/01/2018 at 1:13 pm #44134
Just looked in the Ebay shipping supply store and we do not see where they have added any more box sizes. They were offering 10 sizes last quarter and now they are down to only the 5.
They only have 23 items total in their shipping supply store. We would really like to order a few of the box sizes they have now abandoned unless they add some back in over the next few days.
We are going to wait and see before we order. Don’t need $50 worth of tape.
Mike at MDC Galleries
07/01/2018 at 1:24 pm #44135
Also down to our last 5 USPS Size “C” boxes. When we first heard about USPS discontinuing them, Ryanne mentioned about ordering a bunch herself to “hoard” some for future use and we did the same. Ordered about 200 of them. But, alas now only five left when we did our quarterly inventory hard count the other day.
Now for anything much over 12x12x8 as far as USPS goes we have to get elswhere. And the largest Ebay box of 18x14x12 is one of the ones that Ebay is not offering now. So anything over 16x12x8 and looks like we will have to start outsourcing and buying from box sources.
Anybody have any suggestions on where they get good prices for mid to larger size corrugated boxes and Uline is NOT one of them. We use Staples and Home depot for the very large ones, not bad prices. Staples was the big surprise for us but because we are a Gold rewards member the shipping box prices are not bad. Someone mentioned here on SL one time also about Staples.
Will have to see if $50 goes further there instead of the Ebay store.
Mike at MDC Galleries.
07/01/2018 at 2:12 pm #44138
Here is some interesting numbers. Just did a quick comparison of 2 size boxes from Ebay store vs. Staples store.
Size 16x12x8 = Ebay $1.01 vs. Staples price of $.72 per box [29% less at Staples]
Size 10x8x6 = Ebay $.72 vs. Staples price of $.39 per box [ 46% less – almost half the cost]
So for a one off comparison $100 spent on the Ebay store for 10x8x6 boxes would buy me 138 boxes. The same $100 spent at Staples for the same size box would buy me 256 boxes. Before someone jumps, yes there needs to be a comarison of the test strength in Lbs. for the boxes and a eye put on the “flute” structure. Are they E flute, C flute, or what, but a size wise comparison shows that I am not a good Scanvenger from a budget friendly standpoint of using Ebay boxes. But then again they are paying for the first $50. But as a far out projection, what if they made the cost $5 ea, we would only get 10 boxes.
I would love to be able to spend my $50 on something else, such as buying inventory from another seller or heck just lower my $75 store cost by $16.66 each month. But doing that they would miss out on reselling the converted boxes and custom printing to us.
Being from the graphics / commercial printing background, I wonder how much Ebay is paying to have those boxes custom printed with their logo and what mark-up they are putting on that process?
I think some of the other sellers who buy nothing but Ebay tape then resell it in there stores have the right idea. Recoupe that $50 then go and buy twice as many boxes as one could get from some place else rather than Ebay.
But what do I know.. just an opinion from some old artist printer guy down in the deep South. who remembers watching Dennis Miller rants on SNL. LOL 🙂
Mike at MDC Galleries
- This reply was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by MDC Galleries & Fine Art.
07/02/2018 at 10:17 am #44178
Mike: I love how you think!
07/02/2018 at 10:58 am #44188
Total Items in Store: 400
Items Sold: 10
Cost of Items Sold: $106 + $6 Free shipping
Total Sales: $458
Highest Price Sold: Best offer $140 (Awesome folk art tapestry Paid $40 half price day at estate sale around the corner from my house)
Average Price Sold: $37.21
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
Number of items listed on Ebay this week: 9
Number of items listed on Mercari this week: 15 (no sales yet, just switched to free shipping – Mercari says you are twice as likely to sell, but this filter is at the bottom)
So, good week on Ebay for me. I even had a buyer purchase multiple different items from my store (rare but I put this language in my listing).
I am trying an experiment on Mercari by listing my daughter’s clothes, which I got for free as hand me downs. I REALLY, REALLY love how streamlined and transparent Mercari is compared to Ebay and I can list about 3-4 times as fast from the seller app so that’s huge for me. I did this because I heard that Mercari is “crushing it” on Google Shopping and confirmed this by running some test searches. But I’m a bit cautious about Mercari and will avoid putting higher priced items on it. There are some poor reviews about account closures with $ in them and pretty much you can’t get customer service as a seller without great patience and effort. I also see that the solds are more pop culture, popular clothing brands, video games, etc. Sold item prices seem to run on the lower end. Also, in April they apparently lost their awesome deal with USPS, though they still have a pretty good one for heavier packages with FedEx. Some cool vintage stuff has sold for cheap, so I bet other resellers are hawking it. It is easy to see which of your items are getting views and likes and the views are certainly much lower than Ebay. Stay tuned. 🙂
I’m a perma-sale believer and I am disappointed like the shoe caller. I did notice a boost pattern with running a weekly sale. Perhaps dropping my prices back down 15-20% will result in sales though and I can understand Ebay wanting to make this change and get to the seller’s bottom line. I can’t decide yet if I’ll drop prices down or run a sale every 15 days.
Have a great week!
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