08/05/2018 at 10:08 pm #46873
08/05/2018 at 10:21 pm #46876
07/29/18 – 08/04/18
Total Items In Store: 2,412
Items Sold: 12
Cost of Items Sold: $50 (around)
Total Sales: $523.46
Highest Price Sold: $ 125 (Soccer Trophy – a very large one!)
Average Price Sold: $ 43.62
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $ 105
Number of Items listed this week: 4
Gut Sales Report for the week: Ok sales this week despite the fact that I have gone several days without any significant sales. It was very hit or miss this week for me. When it is good, it is good. When bad, it is really bad.
My process improvement for the week: I am trying to write some code to automatically list my items to ebay that I have in my spreadsheet. I have made good progress, but the Item specifics and photos may be more difficult. I had a similar issue with the Wonder Lister bulk lister from a spreadsheet – they needed so much info, it was easier to do it manually. But my code is going to use my listing templates which already have a lot of the basic information for a particular item.
To Do: Set up all my daily, weekly, and monthly reports to be done automatically at a set time.
Scavenge of the week: I picked up a Vintage American Flyer Train Set for $30. This set is from 1966 and looks nearly brand new! I think I can get upwards of $300 for it. I am trying to find the space and time to set it up with my daughter and try it out. Also, I pickup up 29 Magnetic Compressors by Russ Bassett CO (trying to figure out exactly what they are) for Media Storage for $3.. I think I can charge $9.99 each for these and net close to $300 for a long tail item in quantity. I went all in, but for $3, you can’t go wrong.
Challenge of the week: Actually, this may last a month or longer. I need to clear out space in my basement and garage to store inventory. I will have to take some time off of work to do this. But, after I am done, I should be able to store 5000-6000 items without and issue in my basement\garage.
08/05/2018 at 11:12 pm #46879
Week July 30-05, 2018
Total Items in Store: 903
Items Sold: 29
Cost of Items Sold: $117
Total Sales: $2,079.90 (not including shipping)
Highest Price Sold: $450 Walkie Talkie set
Average Price Sold: $71.72
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
Number of items listed this week: 99
The three week drought on higher dollar sales ended this week with 5 sales over $100, with steady sales each day of the week.
The day job took me out of town for part of the week and I struggled keeping up with my listing goal, but I accomplished some much needed yard work and household organizing so it was still a productive week. Picked up some free smalls from a local thrift that is closing doors, sad to see them go as they are the only thrift I didn’t dislike going to.
Looking forward to making up some lost time on listing and building up the inventory this week and listening to the podcast when I go in to the office tomorrow.
08/06/2018 at 7:33 am #46884
08/06/2018 at 10:20 am #46904
08/06/2018 at 10:33 am #46907
08/06/2018 at 10:56 am #46916
By hitting mostly auctions I find 10x is not that difficult to reach on a regular basis (I have gone to auctions since I was a kid but I have only been doing this to generate income for the last few months).
Hitting 10x with thrift stores and yard sales just isn’t in my wheelhouse, as I do not know much about the value of clothing and the more modern items I find there. My background knowledge and interests fall in line with the weird and old stuff I find at an estate auction.
I do not anticipate my sell thru rate to drop beyond what is expected with a growing inventory as it will inevitably skew toward long tail items as we grow. (Bookmarked and studied the discussion you and others had on the forum about this a while back)
08/06/2018 at 11:29 am #46921
MMVI: Sounds great. Do you track your STR now to get an idea of what it is?
I’m seeing a theory (that I would love to prove out) that 10X return is usually a 4%-8% monthly STR (at scale), and that 4X-5X return is (or should be) a 13%-20% STR. Just a theory, but when I scroll around numbers, I seem to see this rough pattern.
I may have to see if I can start getting some data sets on this and see how things trend.
Let me know if you have any questions, and you can hit me up on my direct email.
08/06/2018 at 8:49 pm #46993
I appreciate that! That is an interesting theory on STR. I would be interested in seeing a data set on this, I have a tendency to get in the weeds and succumb to data paralysis (If I don’t watch myself I will spend more time analyzing and researching than getting work done that moves the needle) but I am allowing myself to track core numbers, and STR is one of them. I would have to pull up my spreadsheet but for the summer I’ve ranged in 12-20%/month range. Hard to extrapolate much being so new to the business but I haven’t been surprised by the numbers at least.
08/07/2018 at 3:16 pm #47043
08/06/2018 at 8:30 am #46889
08/06/2018 at 10:14 am #46901
08/06/2018 at 7:51 pm #46988
Great work @mmvi. What kind of walkie talkies did you find that sell for that much money? Pretty impressive.
08/06/2018 at 8:41 pm #46992
08/08/2018 at 1:20 am #47075
08/10/2018 at 2:04 pm #47292
08/06/2018 at 1:28 am #46880
Very excited to listen to the podcast tomorrow, but first my numbers:
My Store Week July 29 – August 4, 2018
Total Items in Store: 1083
Items Sold: 7
Total Sales: $258.26
Cost of Items Sold: $20.87
Promoted Listing Sales: 1
Ad Fees for Promoted Listings: $9.60
Highest Price Sold: $80 (Vintage Boots)
Returns: 1 (FINAD!!)
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $10
Number of items listed this week: 14
Slow week! Hope this week goes better…
08/06/2018 at 7:35 am #46885
Week of 7/29-8/04
Total Items in Store: 2,498 (Up 63% YOY)
Number of Items Listed: 84
Number of Items Sold: 79 (Up 80% YOY)
(Includes 4 Etsy, 0 Bonanza, 0 TrueGether)
Weekly STR: 14% (Up 1% YOY)
Total Product Sales: $2,206 (Up 127% YOY)
Cost of Items Sold: $436
Highest Item Sold: $114 – Under Armour Bozeman Speed Freek Hunting Boots (She swooped in at the last moment and took out my $100 suit!!!)
Competition: Highest Priced Sale: Veronica wins the week and Veronica leads for the year 18-13
# Listed: 1,612
# Sold: 60
# Listed: 324
# Sold: 9
eBay Hard Goods
# Listed: 562
# Sold: 6
Etsy Hard Goods
# Listed: 159
# Sold: 4
Number of Items Listed: 429 – (Forecast 450)
Number of Items Sold: 303 (Forecast: 296)
Monthly STR: 14% (Forecast: 13%)
Monthly ASP: $29.59 (Forecast: $23.41)
Total Sales: $8,965 (Forecast: $6,927) – Increase of 82% YOY
Business Improvement for the Week – Begin CrossPosting to Poshmark. This is on my side, manually crossposting a few items per week to Poshmark, and marking the items in SixBit (and therefore eBay) with a “PM” at the end of the SKU so that if an item on eBay sells, I can see the “PM” on the SKU and know to remove it from Poshmark. Obviously everything that sells on Poshmark will have to be removed from eBay through SixBit. My thinking that if I don’t have a good STR and results in the Q4 timeframe, then it won’t be good during slower times. For now, looking to start with my higher priced items first and work my way down, as I feel that the higher items can absorb more labor to sell them and we obviously want the higher items to have more chances to sell.
Q4 Prep work this week – To get ready to maximize Q4, I need to take on the jeans and shorts work from Veronica (She is keeping shoes for now) so that she can have more time to work on Hard Goods. Our Hard Goods always have a great STR in the later part of the year, so since we have a little bit of a backlog on them, and I can do Jeans and Shorts easily, I need to do more of this type of listing to free up her time.
Listening to the podcast now while I’m shipping. To clarify, the multi-user access to your eBay account was discussed in one of the big General sessions, so it should be coming. Mohan discussed it would be 2019. I would think around mid-2019, as they hinted at early 2019, but I would plan some slide into that timeframe.
Just wanted to thank Jay for the interview, I had a great time and would love to do it again if there is any interest. I also want to thank all the Scavengers out there for expressing their gratitude for the info. And to a few special Scavengers that are asking for me to do some videos on eBay numbers, putting together some spreadsheets, and how to use numbers to forecast. I’m looking into it now, I just have to carve out the time!
08/06/2018 at 8:33 am #46890
08/06/2018 at 9:49 am #46897
Jay: That would be great and I think really interesting. We came into this business from different paths, and since we run different types of businesses, it would be fun and informative to see how the numbers can work in different ways.
You’re the chocolate, I’m the peanut butter. You’re a little bit country, I’m a little bit rock ‘n roll (if anyone gets that reference…)
Hit me up and I’ll be ready. Maybe around the end of Q3 and going into Q4?
08/06/2018 at 2:21 pm #46946
08/06/2018 at 2:24 pm #46947
08/06/2018 at 2:37 pm #46948
08/06/2018 at 2:42 pm #46950
Mike: Paraphrase the front. (I ain’t that good)
“I know what your thinking. Did he shoot 6 times or only 5. In all this excitement I forgot myself.
But since this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and can take your head clean off…you gotta ask yourself one question…
Do I feel lucky?
Well…do ya punk?”
Clint Eastwood…Dirty Harry Callahan
08/06/2018 at 2:51 pm #46952
No you are better than you give yourself credit for. That is “just” about what he said. The “feelin lucky” did refer to how many bullits were left.
My brother in law has 2 Colt .44 Magnums, chromed silver and white grips [don’t know the material]. But just like in the movie, when we have gone to our local range a few times, indoors those puppies are extremely loud, louder, loudest of any hand gun I have ever heard. He has never let me shoot either of them.
I believe they could take your head off or not much remaining.
The auction house we go to sells a lot of guns, rifles, shot guns, and hand guns. Never bought any and way too much issues to try to ever sell, but some do.
Mike at MDCG
08/06/2018 at 2:55 pm #46954
08/06/2018 at 7:56 am #46886
+1 on the caller that said you need a plan for how things can get done if you are gone! Great inventory process (why I did this on clothes and now Veronica is doing on shoes, plus why we are prepacking items going to the warehouse) and procedures for how someone else can take over. With my Hike next year, always foremost on my mind, and it really helps you think, analyze, and improve your business.
PS-Loved the facetime comment. I do that if I’m shopping for shoes for Veronica and I’m on the fence. I Skype her, show her the shoes and price, and she makes the call. Helps me learn and we buy smart!
08/06/2018 at 8:11 am #46887
- Location: Naples, Fl
7/29 – 8/4/18
eBay store totommyto
Total store items: 608
Number of items sold: 6
eBay sales (not counting s/h): $332.25
Cost of items sold: $11.50
Consignment payouts: $76
Highest price sold: $190 – 1:18 scale Diecast car
Average price sold: $55.37
Money spent on new inventory: $13
Number of items listed this week: 17
Etsy store Oldfleatoymarket
Total store items: 552
Number of items sold: 6
Etsy sales ( not counting s/h): $157.60
Cost of items sold: $7.50
Consignment payouts: 0
Highest price sold: $54 – 1980’s plastic flash link bell charms
Average price sold: $26.26
Money spent on new inventory: $4
Number of items listed this week: 12
08/06/2018 at 8:15 am #46888
To Bill Williams who called in to the show and was asking how to net out your profit when something sells. I would recommend for you to get the Easy Auction Tracker spreadsheet which will do this for you and for only $50 for the year.
I have a file that I’m finishing today for some people that asked for it that will do numbers for you on a total basis (per week and per month). If anyone else wants my file, just let me know at email@example.com and I will send you a copy of the file.
08/06/2018 at 10:43 am #46911
As a small seller, I love easy auction tracker! Just be careful to stay on top of it each month and our IT clean up guy says it lives in temporary files, so don’t accidentally delete. I have yet to successfully collect all of my sales for the year on it due to user neglect or error, but most of them come through and it’s great.
08/06/2018 at 12:19 pm #46928
Hey Bro.. Used Auction Tracker for a couple of years. Good as a starting point. Has many Macros running that will automate everything. It is best to start at the first of the year because it only will pull in 3 months going backwards [as per Ebay]. But get it now and you will have May up until now.
Usually they run a Sale later in 4th quarter as they get it ready for the new year.
But, after I discovered WonderLister I moved away from it and came to rely on WL 100%. Plus with SixbIt and WL getting all set on the Auto Cross posting all within one software / dashboard that would leave Auction Tracker out in the cold. But it is a very good starting point especially since all you have to do is, open it up and clcik on update.
BUT.. you do have to use the inventory Tab to log all new acquisitions into the spreadsheet, what you paid for the item [item by item] and of course have started to use a custom SKU number inventory control number system within your business to help the spreadsheet do it’s thing.
Something for those thinking of starting to use a SKU number system. It is strongly recommended that a custom sku number have more than just a storage location to it. Also try to keep the SKU to the same length of characters. Try using a consecutive numbering no. first, then the buy date, amount paid in the middle and the storage location at the end and something like that.
This will help you on all platforms going forward, become a SOP, and also tell you all that data when you are away from your office the information you need to accept or decline offers, tell office helpers where thnigs are or they can see for themselves and leave you free to “buy stuff” 🙂
Mike at MDC Galleries and Fine Art in Atlanta
08/06/2018 at 1:27 pm #46937
Amen to what Mike says about proper use of the SKU. If you are planning to scale up and would need a SixBit/Wonderlister software, you HAVE to have a unique SKU on each item (we had some lots in our conversion that I had to work with).
So our SKU#’s are now like the below:
We crossed over the 10,000 listings level, so we use a 5 digit unique number for each listing. We have a Google Doc that Veronica and I can both access that shows the next number available. The second section after the – is the location (in this case, shelf rack 6). The -WH would denote that it is in the warehouse (not in our house). The -PM would denote that the item is crossposted to Poshmark.
08/06/2018 at 3:17 pm #46961
Here’s how we create ours. I posted this before some time back. Will re-do for those maybe new or thinking about it.
04942051750340718g1542a Everything we need to know is “embedded” into this numbering system.
Here it is broken down by section 04942 is a consecutive numbering process. 5 digits allow for us to go to 99,999 items before we will have to alter our method.
the 05 is a fake filler number always two digits to help cloud others from figuring our system out.
then the next 4 digits is the price we paid for the item. In this case $17.50, but can be any amount up to $99.99. On smaller amounts we always use zeroes so the SKU always stays the same length. If it was $.50 cost those 4 digits would be 0050.
The next two digits are also fake / camoflage numbers to agagin help cloud and disguise what we are doing
The next 4 digits is the buy date, month and year. In the above example 07 18 = July 2018
Next single letters is the big location G=Garage, A for=Attic, B=Basement, L=Library, D=office drawer
The next 4 digits is the exact bin number in the garage where it is located
and finally the a is the bin also. We store 1 lg bin and 2 small bins in one space, so a is the large bin, b would be 1 of the smaller bins and c would be the 3rd bin. We should have just gone with all numbered bins, but the shelves we have has a small amount of space above the big a bin so we used the same bin number to fill in that space. We could re-do it but we need to list right now, not move bins around.
So the above example simply tells us we have item number 04942 – we paid $17.50 for it – we bought it in July 2018 – it is in the garage – space 1542 and if more than one bin in that space, it is in the larger A bin.
This variety of numbers works for a unique customization on each item to make it unique for every item to be identified by WL, SB, IF, AT or any other 3rd party app. They are all consistantly the same length [except for some old ones], it is useful to sorting and filtering in WL by using the sort filter and contains any of those numbers, begins with, ends with, contains, etc. Helps identify dupicates ASAP and also WL will and so does SB will identify duplicates almost instantly.
And lastly if we are away from the office and get an offer we look at the listing scroll down and there is all the data we need to make a decision to accept or reject and offer. Buy date [how long we have had it], what we paid for it. Then if it sells our helper[s} can look at the listing also or we can text them, “pull item #04942” from the garage bin #1542a it is sold and start packing for us.
Presently we do all of this ourselves, but by setting up the system properly in the beginning, we have set the foundation for growth and having others be more effecient at helping us grow the business.
Sounds complicated but is really simple once you get used to it and every, all, any Inventory Management 3rd party app is going to want and need individual, custom SKU numbers. Just plain old, operations management 101. So why not, while we are small, just start now, early on. And it does allow for expansion once we get to the 100,000 mark on items [front number] and over 10,000 storage bins ending number. Ha.. I only wish.
But just my opinion. That and $.50 will only get you half a cup of coffee! 🙂
Mike at MDC Galleries and Fine Art in Atlanta
08/06/2018 at 4:25 pm #46968
08/06/2018 at 6:05 pm #46980
Absolutely we get that sku.. but we get it because we make sure we get it and don’t rely just on Ebay. The last data field in our Item Specifics is z-mdc galleries sku: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx and WL also populates automatically the Ebay SKU field from it’s SKU field and it is always there in the IS unless I overlook to copy and paste it in that field.
Also by doing this then even if I don’t or can’t see the Ebay SKU field I can see it by clicking on “See MOre” on the listing and there it is in the bottom and worst case, I just click on the link back to the listing in our store I see it there.
Yes it is a public field and shows in the IS area and can be seen but with that is why we use so many numbers as well as those fake camouflage numbers mixed in, it is very, very difficult for a buyer to figure out what all those numbers mean.
mike at MDCG
08/06/2018 at 8:39 am #46891
- Location: Leeds, UK
Posting my monthly numbers for July. I’ve converted from GBP to USD.
Total items in store: Etsy 1012 Ebay 32
Total sold: Etsy 34 Ebay 2 (19 international)
Total sales: Etsy $911 Ebay $29
Highest price sold: $91 Art Deco glass lampshade
Average selling price: Etsy $27 Ebay $14.50
Money spent on new inventory: $247
New items listed: 183
Another slow month, but I’m pleased to have pushed my listings past the thousand mark. We’ve just bought a new shed for storage and invested in lots of heavy duty metal shelving. Space for more stuff.
I’m hoping Etsy will invest some of the higher seller fees in promoting the platform to UK buyers. It’s crazy that more than half our sales are international. Hardly anyone has heard of Etsy over here. Plenty of room for growth in our UK sales…
August has started really well for us. We just sold our highest price item of stock on Ebay – antique Ernst Bohne porcelain half doll ‘Dresden Flowers’. We took an offer of $522 and she’s on her way to Texas. She was $6.40 in a charity shop.
08/06/2018 at 10:19 am #46902
Retro Treasures WVParticipant
Items in Store 1068
Items Sold 12
Total Sales $350.00
Total Profit $307.90
Average profit $25.66
Average sales price $29.17
Twas an interesting week. I ended up with a REALLY bad case of poison ivy. I was off work (worked from home)most of last week and on steroids. I had no idea that poison ivy could be this bad!
I still got some work done though – I was able to create listings for hats easily while laid up on the couch.
Yesterday I was able to get around halfway decent, so I’m hoping the worst is behind me.
08/06/2018 at 10:30 am #46906
08/06/2018 at 10:45 am #46913
Retro Treasures WVParticipant
Just had a local family we were friends with relocate to Colorado Springs. Now our facebook is full of how awesome Colorado is.
I already hated our winters due to a severe case of pneumonia a few years back. Now I’m afraid I’ll hate the rest of the seasons due to having debilitating poison ivy. Either way it’s gonna be a LOOOOONG time before I touch anything other than grass. The way I feel right now about plant life I think I’d be perfectly happy living in the middle of the desert. Lol!
08/06/2018 at 1:59 pm #46941
- Location: SC
Retro Treasures WV – in case you don’t know, poison ivy is one of those things where the more you are exposed to it, the worse your reaction. And if you have pets, the oils from the poison ivy can hitch a ride on their coats and transfer to you even if you haven’t touched the plant yourself.
And under no circumstances should you burn it. You can end up inhaling it and that’s every bit as bad as you can imagine.
08/06/2018 at 9:45 pm #46998
As an avid disc golfer living in Michigan I can say with absolute conviction…poison ivy is the devil! I lose more discs then I’d care to admit in the summer because my willingness to go into the woods to look for a bad throw evaporates the second I see a patch of the stuff in the area I need to search.
08/06/2018 at 10:40 am #46908
Total Items in Store: 418
Items Sold: 12
Cost of Items Sold: $109 plus $24 free shipping + minor promoted listings fees
Total Ebay Sales: $584
Highest Price Sold: $119 (Vintage OOP early readers books set, paid $1.50 at charity church sale)
Average Price Sold: $49
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: About $30 (a couple of thrift store stops this week) plus RA clearance $250 for a few items.
Number of items listed this week: Only listed once, 5 items, ugh.
Mercari update: Sold three clothing items (two free hand me downs (Ivivva) and one ours used @ at loss North Face), cleared $75 after shipping and 10% fees. Sold shipping included. Good brands, probably would have sold for about 20-35% more on Ebay or Poshmark, but took like a minute each to list and sold in about three weeks so I’m quite happy. Money is still waiting on buyer approval. I think I later send it right to my bank account without paying Paypal a fee.
A solid week on Ebay for me, timely because it helped pay for some textbooks and back to school (used and new clearance) clothes for the kids, plus a bit of RA sourcing at end of summer clearance sales. Struggled to list this week with the kitchen remodel on top of the usual. Really painful to spend this much $ on anything! Our labor costs are very high here. R&J I’m glad you are enjoying the process! Picking the tile will be fun but it’s hard to make a decision. I’m like a kid in a candy store at tile showrooms.
Yes, I hope Ebay is more stable going into the balance of the year. If they are smart, it will be a low key Fall Seller Update. Online elsewhere I heard someone bring up that Ebay is really a hybrid platform of new and used goods. The person was advocating for different treatment of each so used sellers don’t get drug under with the “advances” for bulk new sellers. Someone also pointed out that young people are not shopping on Ebay or finding it cool. Their costly marketing spending is apparently not paying off with enough growth.
At this point in my Ebay career, I have to continue to list the vintage piles and items from my parents’ house – it will probably be at least another year at this rate realistically. Buying was unusually high this week but I’ve flipped the equation on it’s head and have become very particular about my buys. I also stop at thrifts way less than I used to. My goal is sitting down to list at least 3-4 times a week, even if it’s only a couple of items. Another focus will be upping my sell through rate. I plan to try pricing just a bit lower or running steeper % sales because I’d really like to move more stuff out. Have a great week!
08/06/2018 at 12:04 pm #46924
Hi all, J&R, thanks for taking time to answer me! OK, no more questions about long tail pricing… for some reason it interests me but I’m probably weird.
This was a really glacial week for sales. Virtually no action. All I sold was 3 (three) pairs of socks, and 1 (one) broken faucet, for a total of $80. BUT I listed like $2700 worth of stuff. Not going to do a detailed breakdown because it’s too depressing but my cashflow is like -$120, which I guess is OK for a busy listing week. Lots of cheap scavenging but I didn’t find many high dollar things.
Did find a big lot of used outdoor fibre optic terminals for $10. I think I ought to be able to pull $1000 out of them, which would be pretty cool. Or they will sit forever.
Haven’t scavenged any really huge whalefish items in a while. But I know they’re out there.
08/06/2018 at 2:12 pm #46944
08/06/2018 at 3:03 pm #46957
Gotcha. I’m in a very slightly different pickle. My game is mainly long-tail commodity items. Like, obscure tools and parts. I tend to price super high like you, but I suspect it does scare away some buyers even with make offer. I think when an item is 5x retail, buyers just shrug and move on, and skip the make offer button.
08/06/2018 at 12:06 pm #46925
- Location: South Dakota
Monthly numbers for July 2018
Items listed in store 885
Sold 56 eBay 55 Bonanza 1
Gross sales eBay $4312 Bonanza $50
Highest sale $800 Sun Valley Poster
Even though I usually never sweat about an expensive item I’ve shipped, the poster caused me some concern, I didn’t double box it, just a round mailing tube. I did receive a positive FB so all went ok.
I’ve hit the 900 item mark which is saying something for a guy who is a very slow lister, just enough to keep the lights on. I guess it also proves how slow this summers sales are.
08/06/2018 at 2:54 pm #46953
Steve – you repair and/or clean up many of your items, which slows down your process. Since most of your stuff sells at a pretty high price, it works well for you. I have more items that you do, and probably list faster, but my total sales are much lower. I have some vintage electronics needing testing or repair that I could be making some decent money on, but I keep listing the easy stuff. I admire your slower but higher paying strategy.
Anyway, for your poster needs, consider the free triangular tubes from the post office. You just have to charge priority instead of first class to use them. You can wrap the poster in blank craft paper to make it smaller than the tube. Then use packaging or another smaller mailing tube to ensure that any outside poking doesn’t damage the inside poster.
08/06/2018 at 12:09 pm #46926
- Location: Bellingham, WA
Jay and Ryanne: I have an alternative plan for you guys – maybe you can hire another helper and just do what you are doing now, but just go more often. Being annoyed by the amount of listing shouldn’t be a problem if somebody else is doing it. You guys seem to get good stuff every time you go, so it stand to reason you’re missing out on a lot of stuff in the month and a half you’re not going. Since you guys have an anchor store and your own warehouse, I’d just go all out. Everything sells eventually.
08/06/2018 at 2:13 pm #46945
08/06/2018 at 12:14 pm #46927
Thanks for the podocast, as always. Fun and interesting. I enjoyed hearing about the new building project. I hope you continue to give us updates on that.
Here are my numbers for the week:
Total Items in Store: 2409
Items Sold: 49
Total Sales: $1514
Cost of Items Sold: $182
Average Price Sold: $30.9
Average Cost of Item: $3.72
Highest Price Item Sold: $199.95 Eichler Homes 1950 or 60s Sales Brochure for Terra Linda (Bay Area)
Number of items listed this week: 47
YTD Sales: $27373
YTD sales compared to this time last year: +20%
Average age of items in store (in days since listing): 314
Average number of days between listing and selling this week: 140
Median age of sales (in days, between listing and selling): 57
Sell-through rate (for the week): 2.03%
# of Hats Sold: 34 (69% of sales)
One of my best weeks ever!
I sold a bunch of higher-priced electronics items that I’d picked up at estate sales and yard sales recently (including a non-working Atari computer from the 80s) but my biggest sale was a sales brochure for a local housing development that I picked up at an estate sale for a dollar or two which sold for $199. (I had seen a single similar sale so I shot for the moon and got it).
Jay’s comment about feeling like the Beverly Hill Billys after the auction made me laugh. That’s what the photo you posted reminded me of.
Hope everyone has a great week.
08/06/2018 at 1:10 pm #46934
08/06/2018 at 2:02 pm #46942
08/06/2018 at 4:05 pm #46965
Thanks Jay. It’s certainly nice to see a few quick decent-value sales. I’m so used to a 3 month wait on my sales that I sometimes forget what it’s like to see a quick sale.
@christiner – me too. Maybe I’d just sell ephemera if I could find enough of it to make a business. I suspect that many estate sales (especially family-run) toss a lot of interesting ephemera into the trash.
08/06/2018 at 12:55 pm #46930
- Location: Sussex County, Delaware
Total Items in Store: 1489
Items Sold: 16
Cost of Items Sold: $56.64
Total Sales: $564.02
Highest Price Sold: $129 (Harris Tweed jacket)
Average Price Sold: $35.25
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $63
Number of items listed this week: 15
Enjoyed the podcast. So so week for me. Seemed slow but not that terrible once I looked at the numbers. With all the issues on ebay the last few weeks, I am now trying Wonderlister – mostly for a backup and it sounds like it will have some cross listing functionality so might try that down the road. Happy scavenging and sales everyone.
08/06/2018 at 12:56 pm #46931
BTW… WonderLister now has incorporated Multiple User Limited Access. I haven’t done it yet, but will set-up the first Admin. account for me with full access priviledges and 3 helper accounts with limited access priviledges to only certain areas-section of WonderLister.
Will let ya’ll know how that goes later on today.
BTW.. We are going to maybe start with our second helper later this week. She will help a few hours per day Mon.-Thurs. and our first helper of almost a year now still helps a few hours, Fri.-Sun. We are hoping to get all of the new inventory we purchase a week ago listed 250++ items in the near future. Then will come the art prints from our portfolios, then the huge Stamp collection.
We really need to get all of this done as soon as possible.
Mike at MDC Galleries
08/06/2018 at 1:02 pm #46932
- Location: Bellingham, WA
I just tried the bulk editor to find that I had 3 listings with only 1 photo. Interestingly there was en entry under “errors and warnings” called Photos and when I clicked on it the listings affected were filtered for. I didn’t notice it until I’d already found and fixed the first 2 but if you have a big store and lots of effected listings it would take you right to it. I’m not sure if this is a new feature or not in response to the recent photo glitch.
08/06/2018 at 1:02 pm #46933
I don’t believe I have shipped with Greyhound before, but I have used Amtrak for shipping very heavy, large, bulky items. I don’t know if they would accept furniture, but it might be worth looking into.
If you’re sort of meh about your current way of scouting, I highly recommend trying something different in order to inject new energy into what you are doing. It is easy to get set in your ways of scouting when you have been doing it for so long, especially when you’re getting good items and doing well overall with your business. It works, so it’s fine. Why change anything if it works? That’s pretty much where I’m at right now.
I have made slight changes to my business over the past couple of months and feel like I am having fun with it again. It got to feeling too much like work after awhile (which I realize it obviously is, but it felt stagnant the exact way I was going about it). I would also get enough stuff to list through for a week or two and feel like yay, no more scouting needed. Now, I am getting a third to half of what I used to get, and not feeling guilty or anxious over leaving “money” behind. It takes a bit to lose the feeling of guilt over leaving items behind, but it is sort of joyous after awhile to be hauling around less stuff that is just ok.
I am scouting more and getting better items, but I am paying less overall for the items I am getting when factoring in the cost of all the marginal items I used to get. I am hitting up more places more often and making a day out of it, rather than bulking up on what I want and going straight home with all of the marginal stuff, listing through it for a few weeks. While those items are still good overall for my business, it is not really great with all the costs associated with getting all of the items and hauling it all back, and neglecting other places to source.
At the same time, if you are getting lots with $50 items in it, you might still want to get them, but also maybe spend extra money to get the other items as well? Maybe instead of listing everything to squeeze all of the profit out of it, only list good items that are worth $20 or $30+, donating the rest to a thrift store? That way, you are able to go through what you are listing faster, able to source at a higher frequency for more items since you are no longer stuck on plodding through the cheaper items, and open up more time for your lister to list the good stuff that you will be now getting more of since you are sourcing more for it.
08/06/2018 at 2:09 pm #46943
We might have given the wrong impression about our level of enthusiasm. We’re still psyched by what we find and sell. But as you said, its important to not get stuck in ruts. We like to keep exploring and being more efficient.
And personally I’m still on my long drive for the stream of $1000 items that I can find cheapish. I find them cheap because of our experience and knowledge. A fun quest.
Plus, we stay motivated because of our building renovations. Thats really the reason why we do all this. Nice to feel we’re really building something.
08/06/2018 at 4:48 pm #46972
Several years ago, I used to flip items that I purchased for 200-300 apiece for 1k apiece. Since I sunk so much money into them, I chose only items that would sell within 6 months to a year. Long-tail, but not incredibly long-tail. This was maybe 2-5 times a year for a few years straight.
I don’t do that anymore. It was fun while it lasted! I have since only been able to to flip 1 item for over 1k over the past few years – something I found while out thrifting for $2.
I think that in theory it would be fun to have a business that only had items that were worth that much, but it would definitely be a whole different beast unto itself.
Maybe niche it up with a few specific focuses, get repeat customers and build up an audience that can trust paying 1k for an item off the internet, repeatedly. It could also work as a generalist store, but a high-end general store. I would probably have expensive items like that be a completely separate ebay store, while having normal items remain in the larger store.
08/06/2018 at 5:03 pm #46973
–I dont think you’d have to have separate stores. Its just another listing.
–There is a type of person where $1000 isnt a big deal for the right item.
–Totally agree it would be a different business. You’d need to spend MUCH more time scavenging. I imagine it’d be going to auctions all day, every day. It’d have to be fun.
08/06/2018 at 5:05 pm #46974
almasty: In my head, the biggest issue with finding an item that is worth $1000 that you can buy for $200-$300 is that once you get to items with that high of a value, it is hard to find someone that will sell it for that cheap. Would that be correct?
I’m thinking that these items are hard to find to begin with, and having a seller that either doesn’t know it’s worth that much or is willing to take that much of a discount is even rarer.
Do you think these types of scenarios are that rare? Or are you still seeing them but passing on them?
08/06/2018 at 5:09 pm #46975
I dont know the answers, but here’s my hunch.
At auctions, there can definitely be $1000 items selling for cheap because the particular crowd in attendance is unknowledgeable. I see the Asian men who sit for hours waiting for just a handful of Asian ceramics go up for bid. They must know something we dont.
So this means:
–you have to go to a lot of auctions to increase your chance of finding these undervalued items + ignorant audience
–really build up knowledge of a broad range of different items (art, carpets, antiques, furniture)
08/06/2018 at 5:23 pm #46976
Yeah, ceramics from China can be worth big $$$. I wonder if they’re selling on Ebay directly here or selling them onto an expert in China, or consigning to auction houses there, etc,. They probably have really deep pockets for items like that, especially if they have potential buyers already lined up. I would love to hear a podcast of you buying items like that and competing against those bidders, haha.
08/06/2018 at 5:29 pm #46978
I haven’t looked in years for items like that, but when I did it, it was online in a veeeerrry specific niche. The key was to buy off 1 venue cheaply and flip it on another with a price for 4x the amount. I’m sure this could be done buying off ebay to resell on ebay as well.
I’m sure that even now you can do that with items you have a deep knowledge of that other people might not. I don’t know if you will have the same spread of 200-1k, but I’m sure there are items on Ebay now that most flippers will not dare buy on auction or even potentially fixed price for 100+ to potentially make 500+. Just have to have knowledge, money and time to look.
08/06/2018 at 6:12 pm #46983
We have rock solid knowledge for items under $300. I’m like a little baby when it comes to items worth $1000+. But I imagine selling $1000 items is the same as anything once you get your head around it.
When we first started a decade ago, I never dreamed we’d regularly be selling items for $100. I didnt even dream that people would be dumping stuff worth that much.
I think it just takes time and finding the places where the higher dollar items end up.
08/07/2018 at 7:15 am #47010
The under $300 items are also easier to source out in the wild, even at thrift stores or estate sales. I find there is a larger audience for them online, as well. You might have to pay up sometimes for them, but if you know what you’re doing, $100-300 items are pretty easy to pick up and list.
The $1k listings require real intense research prior to purchasing them and listing them in order to explain why it is worth so much, if it’s not some obvious vintage electronic item or other obvious very expensive high-end item. Or, just dumb luck.
I DID source a book earlier this year that I listed on ebay for $1.5k. This was a dumb luck scenario book, actually. I paid $2 for it in a thrift store, barely looked at it until I got home, then once I got home realized it was very special. No other copies for sale online I believe EVER, a completely forgotten book overall that due to its provenance was an “oh, wow, this exists?!” sort of item. With research and knowledge, I created the market and price for this particular item. There was nothing to compare it to. I just knew that if I found it special, someone else would as well.
I think I could have gotten 800-1.2k for it if I waited, but someone offered $450 for it within a few months, so I took it. Maybe THEY can get over 1k for it. Or, maybe they just wanted it for their own collection. I don’t know. I think a lot of it is venue. Having the right buyers that look to you to provide specialty items. Ebay is not really conducive for such items sometimes. Maybe people will look for items like that more at an antiquarian book fair, or at an auction house. If I had more time, I would have done the same. Alas, I was happy to see it go, and for a high amount for a completely ?? item.
08/07/2018 at 3:25 pm #47046
almasty: “Ebay is not really conducive for such items sometimes. Maybe people will look for items like that more at an antiquarian book fair, or at an auction house.”
I think you are 100% right. I remember a great interview that Jay and Ryanne had WAAAY back in the day with a guy that BOUGHT high-end art on eBay to SELL at the auction house.
08/06/2018 at 2:45 pm #46951
You hit the nail on the head when you said, “where is the closest Greyhound station”. My father in law used to work for Greyhound in shipping and baggage. He said many people used to ship greyhound using the bagge shiiping process to ship heavy, bulk items. as long as it will fit under and in the bagge area of a bus it will go and they mostly hand move things about.
He said people even wound pack old suitcases with several smaller boxes or wrap items in towels, pillow cases, etc. and stuff them all into a cheap, throw away suitcase they used for one way shipping.
I guess you could still do the same. I just don’t know where the closest terminal is to us. In Atlanta, not too interested in driving to downtown and back.
But I need to maybe remember to Google this and call and see what thier rate charts / pricing is currently. May be an option.
Mike at MDC Galleries
08/06/2018 at 2:55 pm #46955
- Location: Georgia
Ryanne – I love r/powerwashingporn too! You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes. I used to pressure wash our driveway which is a HUGE! It would take me a few weeks to do, working on it every evening. I get bored and start doodling pictures with the washer. I can’t help but mentally note whenever I see a public place that could really use a good power wash. If I had a half way decent washer I could see myself pressure washing people’s small walkways for money.
08/06/2018 at 3:04 pm #46958
08/06/2018 at 4:00 pm #46964
Week of July 29 – Aug 4
* Total Items in Store: 1224
* Items Sold: 11
* Cost of Items Sold: $15.57 + $0 Commission
* Total Sales: $262.66
* Highest Price Sold: $39 Limoges trinket box
* Average Price Sold: $23.88
* Returns: 0
* Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $39
* Number of items listed this week: 10
I finally got around to fixing the missing photo issue. I started out with un-listing anything that wasn’t worth spending the time, mostly mugs and padded briefcases.
When I searched for cached links, sometimes the first link didn’t have the photos, but another one down the line did. For a few, I saw a message that Google didn’t show every link because they were duplicates. However, when I clicked to show all the links, I sometimes found the photos in a “duplicate” link.
In the end, I have four listings without photos. I know that two of them were recently ended and re-listed as “sell similar” because they had become “stale”. I’ll deal with them later.
08/06/2018 at 5:28 pm #46977
I still think you guys should give Sixbit a chance. It does all of the stuff you are wanting to do. You have total control over every employee account, you can choose every item they are allowed to access or change. Plus you can create all the drafts you want. I haven’t figured out all of it’s capabilities yet, but my favorites are as follows.
-You can export the data to csv in any combination you want, since I keep my info in an excel file this is handy.
-You can print shipping labels with the buyers address and your return address on to a 4×6 thermal which makes it easier to send items with stamps.
-You can print pick lists when you ship that shows a picture, the location, and the other details that are handy when you gather your sales. (be nice if they had an app for that though)
-I know you can use it to actually print postage, but it doesn’t integrate with eBay that I know of so you would have to use a third party service. I don’t use it to actually ship.
-You can categorize drafts.
– It makes it easy to scan over your drafts looking for issues like wrong shipping rule or qty. If you are listing like 100 widgets in a ow you can crank through them fast and scan back to see if you missed something.
– Templates can be set up for anything and you pick what is in it.
– “duplicate” has a great feature that allows you to choose what elements you want to take from a listing when you duplicate it. When I duplicate I take the storage location, item specifics, category, and shipping info. I have it drop things like pictures and qty to list. It is all customizable to what you want to do.
– eBay motors listings have the ability to import compatibility data from eBay(when it works).
I know you want remote access, which I believe you can set up a VPN for that, but I have a laptop that I keep the master database on which all the computers in my shop can connect to. If I am traveling I just take that laptop and use it to create listings on the road. It does have the capability to link photos from the web, but I don’t know how to use that.
It is quite buggy, but I have found they do address issues when you bring them to their attention. It would also be nice if it integrated on more platforms. I have to manually reduce my inventory if I sell an item on Truegether or Bonanza. I have also not found a way to get good category recommendations like you get on the eBay listing tool, but it is possible that I haven’t figured that out yet..
It was fairly easy to fix the photo bug (other than figuring out which ones were bad) I basically tried to identify the date range on active listings, selected them all, then hit “send revisions to site” and BOOM the pics were back.
08/06/2018 at 5:43 pm #46979
08/08/2018 at 12:13 pm #47133
Easy fix.. so buy a cheap PC. Why let the fact you have a Mac relegate you to something like InkFrog when the SixBit or WonderLister Platorm is just so far advanced, and I will spare you the details.
A suggestion is stop thinking of the 3rd party software as just another listing APP. It is a IMS .. complete Inventory Management System. It is a business platform tool.
And I will ask again, can any Mac user tell me what the Motorola chip sets and OX OS do that that a well built PC rig with WIN 10 OS and Intel chips can’t do.
In the printing business we used all Mac G4 back then. Had about a dozen stations in our art dept to handle customer files on Zip drives to color separate films and use Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and the such. I had to write a check one time for over $80,000 dollars to upgrade all those “mothers” and all associated software.
People used to say that Mac was less infected and attacked but these days no one is exempt. And PC run somewhere in the neighborhood of 80% ++ of businesses in the world.
Now decades later, many PC run Adobe, only pros can tell the difference, Ripping files for film sepraration is done by specialized software. So why pay so, so much more for a computer rig that has the Apple logo on it when nobody can provide bench marked test data that proves the Mac can process faster and is worth the extra investment and even if they can, is the difference so great it qualifies as a candidate to overpay so much for that difference. Still after all these decades, just curious.
But again, just like always, just an opinion from an old guy, which combined with $.50 may get you about a third of a cup of coffee.
MDC @ MDCGFA
- This reply was modified 1 week, 2 days ago by MDC Galleries.
08/08/2018 at 1:10 pm #47139
You’re correct. If our need was that great, we’d be willing to buy a PC to use a system we needed.
Currently, if eBay really does implement multiple users (+ limited access), then we wouldn’t need anything else.
In a perfect world, I just want eBay to provide the services I need. I think it’s weird that people are shipping using this platform, listing with this platform, paying to research with that platform…What is eBay good for?
08/08/2018 at 1:24 pm #47140
Jay: “What is eBay good for?”
Bringing buyers to our items. That’s really all I want them to do at this point. While I REALLY appreciate the work that they have done by making everything possible in just the platform for a new seller (especially shipping and payments), I would rather see them partner with other software providers to handle those areas for them so they can focus on helping keep the platform itself stable.
They are strengthening their partnership with ShipRush. I want them to outsource the whole damn thing. Get it off their plate. Let ShipRush handle it, as they are better. Similar to having Adyen do the payments.
Focus on maintaining the database of listings, keeping it simple, and driving buyers to the site. I like the front end things like using a photo to find it on eBay. Great. But keep the core business stable while doing it!
Let us use other tools to handle the listing, inventory management, shipping, etc. Keep the core of what they do, providing a platform for buyers and sellers to meet, stable and engaging.
08/08/2018 at 2:07 pm #47149
This is an interesting take. eBay focus on the platform and let other companies handle the mechanics.
Here’s my issue:
–We pay eBay a lot of money. Subscription fees + final value fees.
–Using third party apps is also expensive. (I dont know how Shiprush makes any money)
If we continue to pay $300/month for an anchor store subscription, eBay needs to provide all the tools we need to do business.
If eBay wants to wave that $300, then I’d be willing to pay these other services to provide tools to run our business.
It cannot be both.
08/08/2018 at 3:09 pm #47153
I’m sure eBay is paying ShipRush. Free for us, but they pay the bill.
And that is what I’m talking about. Make the ShipRush experience the EBAY platform, free of charge. You outsouce that side and pay good money for them to do it right. Same with Adyen for payments. Outsource it, manage it, but don’t BUILD AND HAVE TO OWN IT.
The ONE thing. Great book. Focus on the ONE thing.
Ebay is to provide a solid marketplace. Outsource the heavy blocking and tackling of other items to companies that can manage it better. Ebay doesn’t have to do it all…just PROVIDE it all…
08/08/2018 at 6:36 pm #47177
This makes sense. So we pay eBay, eBay pays the 3rd party, and we use all their tools for free. Sign me up.
What I don’t want is to pay:
–$300 for an eBay subscription to list.
–$70 Sixbit to manage listings.
–$10 Godaddy to manage accounting
–$12 Terrapeak to do research
If you plan to build a big business, I guess these are minor costs. But it adds up if you are running a tight ship.
08/08/2018 at 7:29 pm #47182
Jay: So, similar to the conversation with Mike…
Each of those costs are worth it IF it either saves you time (and money) or covers a risk. That is why we pay for SixBit. Speeds us up, controls our data (photos included), lots of history, etc. Money that we get back overall.
For example, we are about to get a housekeeper soon. Why? Because we will net more money to work during those hours than we will be paying for the cleaning. Net win, plus, we will be less stressed about getting it done. Same goes for our lawn maintenance. I don’t worry, it gets done, and we net more in net revenue by working during that time. Remember “Hire out what you hate”?
Not all money spent on business is wasted. A lot can be, but some things are an investment…
08/08/2018 at 7:33 pm #47183
08/08/2018 at 9:13 pm #47193
Yep. Got it. We’re not shy about hiring out what we hate. We’re way ahead of you on house cleaning and lawn care. I havent mowed a lawn in six years.
Paying for third party apps is still a learning process for us. Glad that you and Mike like the heft of six bit and wonder lister. So we see:
–changing from mac to PC
–changing our whole eBay process to fit their system
I know you guys love the benefits. eBay itself isnt painful enough yet for us to make that leap.
08/08/2018 at 10:52 pm #47195
“I haven’t mowed a lawn in six years”.
Ok, you are my hero!
No worries big man. I get it. For your setup, the conversion to SixBit or WonderLister is more complex and is more of a commitment. I was just using it as an example that not all costs are money thrown away.
I can’t abide a monthly cost for GoDaddy or other software. I’m ticked that Quicken went to an online service. So for me, that is my line.
Just saying that sometimes the “cost” is worth the investment, and everybody needs to look at spending through the right lens.
08/06/2018 at 8:07 pm #46989
- Location: Oakville, MO
I have used Greyhound a lot. One it can be cheaper and another it’s not as “handled”. I will sell dish sets and ship via Greyhound considerably cheaper than any other method. (especially when going to the west coast from the midwest) Since it is handled less, I feel more comfortable that there is less chance of breakage.
Why print the label online??? You get a 20-25% discount off the shipping which I can pass onto the buyer to encourage them to buy or pocket for myself.
To avoid the error you had when you got to Greyhound, I find printing the label as I walk out the door works best. If the label is over 24 hours old I will get the error and have to call Greyhound call center.
In over 100 Greyhound shipments I’ve had zero issues. Greyhound will also offer a bus to door service, if the customer wants to pay there is that option.
Fastenal stores also offer a shipping from store to store service. I had an anvil go from St. Louis to Washington state at a rate of $80 whereas FedEx want 140.
08/06/2018 at 10:40 pm #47001
other than the glitch that kept us on the phone for a long time and having to get another label and pay more etc etc. it was a cool thing to be able to ship a big piece via bus. i don’t understand why they have that glitch though, i set the date and the time i was going to drop off (kind of like USPS, yes i’m shipping today or tomorrow, label is still valid!) so why was the label invalid? that’s obviously a huge problem that needs fixing. i wanted to purchase online because they said it was cheaper, as you mentioned, so i guess next time, i’ll print right when we leave for the station.
08/06/2018 at 9:13 pm #46994
Been a minute since I’ve shared, I’ll try and get back in the habit of doing so…
07/30/18 – 08/05/18
Total Items In Store: 665
Items Sold: 28
Cost of Items Sold: $69.09
Total Sales: $611.94
Highest Price Sold: $ 39.64 (Napa Valley Box Company CD Rack)
Average Price Sold: $ 21.85
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $55
Number of Items listed this week: 75
Good-ish week for me. The real bonus was last Friday the Salvation army’s in my area ran a 10 for $5 sale on all color of the week clothing items. Managed to pick up 100 pieces of inventory for $50, so hopefully in the end it will end up being between $2000 – $2500 dollars worth of new inventory.
- This reply was modified 1 week, 4 days ago by shayward23.
08/07/2018 at 5:27 am #47008
08/08/2018 at 3:14 pm #47154
Well that certainly takes the whole PC vs Mac totally out of the equation.
Now the final step is to enlighten someone who doesn’t know what they don’t know that there are many ways to improve effeciency other than only the ways they know and to show a business owner where all of the monetary dollar loss is taking place. Are people walking too slowly, walking too far, need tools closer by, just need new tools to do the same things being done only faster.
Example, replace a secretary who types 40 words a minute and with one who types 80 words per minute, BUT, wait how about voice recognition software. Replace both of them with a program that types automatically for you will you speak even faster than 70 words per minute. BUT wait, how about a portable unit around your neck that you can use while you walk around your business and doing even other things, even when in the restroom. (-). Get the point.
In many of my consulting cases it is very hard to explain to a business owner that they are the “bottle neck” not the production line or their employees. But some times it is. But another point for another time.
So even if now the Mac vs. PC is not an issue or “Bottle neck” as it’s called in Operations Management, then comes the need. And the only way I ever succeeded in selling an owner on the need was after I did my 3 month ManPower and Systems Analysis of their operation, was to show them the bottom line. How much I could save them, if they allowed me to make the changes, implement and do the training for them. My numbers were NET Bottom line numbers so if I could save a company $200k a year that meant they had to sela lot more than that to net out. So they could then in turn actually work less hard, with less people with less expenditure and smile all the way to the bank.
I worked for a base salary, plus expenses if I had to travel and stay in a far location and took 15% of every dollar I saved a company. 🙂 🙂 nice checks when I have saved co. millions of dollars.
Now the big BUT… BUT the business owner has to have an intrerest in saving that money and also not really worry about what it is going to take AND BE INTERESTED in doing it. If there is no interest or they can’t or won’t implement what my report says or keep me on to do the implementation then it is a lost cause.
Until Ebay can provide me with the type of tools I would like to have, and they will probably never be able to do so in my remaining lifetime, I am opting for 3rd party app if nothing else, to make my life easier.
One easy example try to increase or decrease every item in a large store of 6,500 items by 6.75% and be able to do it clicking highlight all, type the decrease arrow, type 6.5% hit enter and walk away. Ebay will only provide several hundred items to do this, page by page by page. About 35 pages in all. So if doing it all in 10 seconds is of no interest then Ebay does provide a way, just not an efficient way.
I want to send an email to all of my customers that have ever bought from me announcing the opening of our new shopify store and wish to offer a 15% discount for their first purchase. Well, I have all emails of every buyer for the last 5 years in my WL database and the mail merge blast will do that in seconds. Ebay will never do or allow this, to take buyers away from the Ebay platform, heck no. Me I am going to pull every buyer I can away from the Ebay buyer list and drive them to my store.
Oh, want to send a snail mail, glossy-slick postcard to all my buyers, well my database has all their real home address, zips and even phone numbers. Thousands of them. BUT-BUT… Don’t ever see a need or a want to do this, and do it automatically.. well there is no need for a 3rd party APP.
OH, BUT-BUT what about sending everylisting you create on Ebay to Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc., etc. the moment you hit the submit button to send your listing to Ebay. Well SB and WL does that. I wake up every morning to many replies back from those who are starting to follow us and like the item we just posted. well some then even say they went to our store and loved what they saw. Buy!!! Who knows, but within months those potentials will be being pushed to our Shopify store.
Dont have a separate store, don’t see the need to ever have one, or to break away from Ebay, then an owner doesn’t need this either or a 3rd party app.
So as Jay is also stating only in other words… Form Follows Function [an old Bauhaus design saying]. If there is no desire or need envision then the item does not need to be designed, used, bought or sold. Just stay where one is at, keep getting it done and in most access successfully according to the anaylsis at hand and keep making the money based on the secure methodology
Also the learning curve is an investment of time, and with big projects such as large scale renovations foucs and interest certainly can move to bigger and more important projects.
To Quote .. here it comes Troy [a repeat] .. “The only way to win is not play.. How about a nice game of Chess Dr. Faulkin?” I love this saying when business owners could just not see why they needed the improvements and there was no way to convince them other than look at the money you will make. But in these cases the owners just didn’t know or understand. Then it was a waste of my time and theirs.
Again.. grab that $.50 after reading and go get that 1/3 cup of coffee!
08/08/2018 at 3:57 pm #47157
Mike: Totally agree with your mindset. When you are doing this as a business, you want to have more control and better tools to manage the process. Outside tools do that. Ebay doesn’t have to.
And on the mindset of process. I don’t look for Gamechangers (as they are usually very easy to spot to begin with). I look for the small things that add up. If you can list one more item an hour, that is 5-10 per day (depending on how long you list). That can be a significant difference after 3-4 months of a process improvement.
I used to say on my side of the Consulting world: “If you fix the process and save 30 minutes per day, you save that amount FOREVER. The ROI on FOREVER is huge.” Small moves add up. Make one improvement that saves some time or some money, then the next, then the next. Find the Adjacent Possible and take that step. Then find the next Adjacent Possible…
08/08/2018 at 5:00 pm #47162
Sorry if this duplicates..did an edit and it disappeared. My first time ever.
One word I used to say all the time to the Middle supervisor staff. And if they took it to heart and either they or I could validate then raises and bonuses would be based on it.
I am going back now.. Original stemming from QC [Quality Circles] and that was KAIZEN! I even had signs and banners placed around facilities. Going to see if you know it.. [if not Wiki it-wink]. This became the foundation of Six-Sigma! Am I taking you back buddy?
When employees at review time were fishing for a raise and they always 9.75 times out of ten, stated their case with, I work hard, I am here on time, I don’t miss any days, I voluntere for over-time.. My reply was that’s no grounds for a raise, that was expected the day I hired you at $24 per hour. Failure to do thos things are grounds for firing not giving raises. Then I would teach, show, explain Kaizen agagin, because they were not paying attention at the plant meeting when I went over it with the whole plant.
The Best at Kaizen and could show it and provide me a report on those efforts were the ones who got the promotions, raises and middle management status and perks. The rest, sorry to say, were and probably still are the worker bees.
Here’s another name for you.. Back in 1950s a dr. William edward DEMING !! Yep went to Detroit and pictched his theory of what KAIZEN is based on. They laughed at him and ran him out of every major car factory office. so he said to heck with you, packed his briefcase and fly to Japan. You ceratinly know the story of what happened next and we have never recovered, even today. We lost everybit of mfg. to Japan and the auto industry was detsroyed, which i belive, from my classes, was because of those first rejections.
Sure decades later we all came to embrace the principles of Kaizen, Six-Sigma was born and then the qualification for ISO Standards and ISO2000 and up. Took me over two years to get our Memphis plant up to the ISO 2000 first tier.
Man would love to get into an old factory today, that is floundering and losing money and apply those principles. You could join me, what a team, what a Country. Turn that plant around and then Sell It.
Unfortunately that’s what many of the owners did, after I applied “LEAN Mfg” to everything down to the sheets of toilet paper [Ha-ha but true], got the staff on a KAIZEN mind set, and proved the bottom line documentation, and got them back in the black with less staff, lower payroll, less overtime, less outlay, the owner’s then usually sold the company and there went my job! :-). My job was to work myself out of a job. But as Jay says.. “the Good ‘Ole Days”.
Did you enjoy your trip down memory lane? My Battle cry.. Toyoto has a 2.250% Reject Rate we have got to beat that and do it faster and cheaper.
Alas the Chinese beat us to the punch and said we will just do it crappy and so cheap that you could never make it at this low and maintain quality. Well all the young American bought into it.thus we now are flooded with all the “Junk” Jay mentions we find flooding the thrift stores and most homes in America, we don’t have much mfg. left, but we have developed one skill though..
You will love another of my sayings, Want it built rugged, give it to the Germans, then if you want it shrunk down to the size that it will fit into your pocket give it to the japanese, then want it built as cheaply and shoddy as possible give it to the Chinese, then if you want 3 of them sold to a person who doesn’t even need one of them give it to the Americans! 🙂 LOL Love that one too.
We have turned into a seller, pusher, sit down, make nothing, buy cheap and dispose of when finished society.
>> Call this 800 number and get this [unsaid cheap, crappy, hunk of junk plastic —you fill in the blank product] for only $19.95. And if you call in the Next 15 minutes you will receive a 2nd one for FREE [Jay says ain’t no such thing} only pay Shipping and handling [which is about the cost of another product}.. But remember You Are In Good Hands, Beacuse we Know a Thing or two Because we have Seen a Thing or two.. AFLAC !!
Guess you can see I had some down time today due to some computer maintenance running.
Almost Miller time.. How about that Makers Mark, have one waiting here for you. 🙂
08/08/2018 at 5:22 pm #47166
Great post MDC, just a quick addition: 6 Sigma for Quality Assurance can be used towards ISO 9001:2000, and not ISO 2000.
ISO/IEC 2000 is more recent, dates back to 2005 and still pending for standards of IT Services Management. More or less the ISO version of ITIL.
At a corporate level, we would use 6 Sigma to implement a “Kaizen culture” in generic terms.
08/08/2018 at 5:49 pm #47169
Bingo and you get my Drift. Kaizen or the methodology of Apllying “Continual Improvement”.. is the process by which anything and everything that can be a vaidated improvement can be applied then discussed in Quality Circles and a process of implementation worked out.
The approach of not needing 3rd party APP is not discussable until all of the ‘range of motion”, employee involvement, is discovered and documented. Then once identified, qualified by motion studies and time studies of everything from coughing-sneezing to running across the room for a roll of tape in a cabinet or trying to find a screw driver in a maintenance shop. Once quantified and documented in those time and motion studies, comes the application of the unit cost factor. everything from wiritng or generating a Purchase Order, phone conversations, ordering,, accepting, unpacking, walking to throw out the empty box and trash, recording the incoming data, assigning sku tags, carrying the object to it’s work cell / group if a JIT part, staging in the assembly line, or longer term storage if required. The pulling, packing, pushing, mobilization, etc., etc., etc. Then once a units “TRUE COST” [all total and complete, does the next step take place and that is the Cprative / alternate results. this area is a little bit more elusive because of usually not having a model or test equipment set up for comparison. It is usually taking the Mfg. specs and working out a comparative analysis to reach a go no go decision to buy, hire, fire, replace, upgrade. The whole executive decision making process is a process methodoligy. Once it is shown to be proven that to any one of those things will lead to an impovemnt in process, lower the cost and improve the quality or least not degrade it.. then the decision is made and action taken to implement.
The use of 3rd party APPs for use it Total Inventory Management process, even within a small two man shop or Ebay business can sqeeze out prfits many times over. A break even chart is created [the two converging lines representing the intial cost up fron [i.e. buying the software, buying a PC, training time is all charted out and then as soon as those two lines intersect then it is just like Troy says, nothing but ROI [Return of that Investment} for the life time of the process as long as it is in place and doesn’t wear out or obsolute out, which does happen. But that’s also another story of of MBA approach and also of Operations Management.
Once these process are understood, a proficiency in Excel spread sheeting acquired, then these types of tests and comparisons can be done in very short order. Then the benefits of being a “small business” is you can implement on a quick time frame as well if things don’t work out, back out quickly.
But like Jay has said before, turning a large ship takes a lot of room and is a slow process. That is what we are seeing within Ebay and other companies. Some with tons of manpower though like Ebay and Amazon, can and do apply these processes fairly quickly considering there over all size.
So do any of the members here really need a 3rd party, Enterprise System, I would guess it would be hard for most to figure out a true answer to that question. Which now brings us all back to your statement of you don’t know what you don’t know, and if you know that you don’t know, etc., etc, your total quote.
Mike at MDC Galleries and Fine Art.
08/08/2018 at 5:34 pm #47168
Enjoy your posts on eBay operational improvements! 5 years ago (feels like a former lifetime before I quit my 9 to 5 – I worked for GE) – I was able to earn my green belt in six sigma – (you are probably a master black belt, I am guessing?!?) Anyway, that was a terrific experience… so I know a small bit about KAIZEN!! I apply that mindset everyday when building my eBay business.. how can I maximize my time? Streamline things? Avoid defects? Maximize profits? It is fun like a game of chess.. 🙂
08/08/2018 at 6:23 pm #47174
Yes, writing all this took me back decades ago.
Si glad to hear that you know and understood the drill. Like preaching to the choir.
The thing we can all agree on I believe though when we are all asked by the newer members, “Can I make a lving or a full time income on Ebay”, the short answers is sure, absolutely. But many of us also follow that up with “If you run it and treat it like a Business”. But alsa so many don’t have the business acumen or thorough enough knowledge to run it a fine tuned business level. is it absolutely ncecessary.. no, but boy it sure helps and short cuts what is a large learning curve. How many times i hear people talking and they don’t understand the difference between GROSS and NET. To the average quick new seller, they live in the World of GROSS the MBA / Business people live in the world of NET.
As troy and I talked a time back..Many company’s would give their left arm to NET in the double digits [10% or More].
That span bewteen the two “worlds” is what seprartes the men from the boys. A through understanding of your expenses, Jay talks about this hundreds of times is vital. But not only your personal expenses, but your OE / Operational Expenses. And those need to be fined tuned down to how many running inches of tape you put on a box. $.06 worth or $1.11 worth? I am serious. That is what us OPerational guys do. We “measure everything” Time. Space, Materials, Payroll.
One plant I monitored had a payroll of $140,000 a week for productionlabor [no officer-executive salaries incl.] that’s $560,000 per month. After I completed a 90 out on the floor study, even hiding in the balconies and spying, i discovered a big leak, comprised of small drips. [My job to find].
The bottom line was a lost production rate of $1,680,000 [yep a million and half dollars] The total time added up to three months. When i presented the owners with the amount I put it this way, You are paying wages for 12 months of work and only getting 9 months of work from the staff. You are paying them for 3 months to do nothing. In other words you might as well ahev all the employees show up for work but stay in the parking lot, then have them start walking around the building for 8 days then get in there cars and go home. Then have them come back the next day and do again and have them do this over and over for the whole month of June, July and august. Then on sept. the first you can let them go back in and start producing for you. those owners were flabergasted.
The first question was what is that kind of non-productivity coming from. i then proceed with some of my final reports and it was comprised of hundreds of pages of small things, extended breaks, extended lunches, walking too far for tools, walking to ask a question of a supervisior, the supervisors office to far away, packing tables not on wheels, nothing modular, nothing mobile, taking 3 or more people to lift a heavy tabel instead of one to unlock the wheels and rool it. Buying small rolls or conatiners of needed things so having to go get more too often. etc., etc. ad nauseum. Yep One and half million dollars or wating time, walking and o course doing their jobs ineffeciently which I had to retrain everyone. They would cluster together so they could talk during the day.
So I bought a lot more tools and secured then at every place they were needed. Moved supervisors out on the floor into cubicles, bought larger containers or longer rolls of eveything, Took the cigareete machine out, created a no smoking policy on company grounds, etc., etc.
My bonus that year was some odd number over $300,000. The company got cut down from about 250 employees to about 185 if I remember, we produced more product, faster, and made MORE NET PROFIT which I created a Bonus Sharing Plan for every employee and every person got a bonus after we finished the end of year audit.
Now just do this on a very tiny scale and apply to your store. Also be applying KAIZEN, always be improving, if you can’t list something, then tweak your listings, if you don’t do that then move your shipping supplies closer, reach less for knives, tape, magic markers, paper towels. Get a Costco card, buy bulk, create over head storag in your garage, considering buying a storage shed, buy the house next door and move your offices over there, shop on line… IN OTHER WORDS LIVE UP TO THE TRUE MANIFESTO OF J AND R SCAVENGERLIFE.. AND always be Continually improving.
Ok I have to go and make another contribution the J and R Tip Jar. I have ceratinly used way over my fair share of their bandwidth and have created as Jay calls it “wall of Text”, but hopefully some of this is of use in some of the members thought processes of Can I Make a Living on Ebay or online anywhere … YES but you “have to know your expenses” and Discover your TRU COSTS [not just what u paid for an item] get your NET NUMBERS THEN AND ONLY THEN SEE IF YOU CAN LIVE ON WHAT YOU SEE.
An example.. you may GROSS $20,000 but if you could root all all TRUE COSTS you may find you only NET OUT $10,000 or even LESS. Now listen to Jay.. Can you live on that???
Mike at MDC Galleries and Fine Art
08/08/2018 at 7:11 pm #47180
Mike: I loved all of those posts! But…
..You had me at KAIZEN… 🙂
That is the mindset. Once you see this as a business, everything needs to be efficient. I HATE inefficiency. Small things add up. Even Veronica has made this switch. She is definitely more the right brain side, and definitely the Softer Side of T-Satt, but she digs it. We worked her office so be efficient. She LOVES SixBit and won’t move away from it because it is faster. She is moving to more inventory locations in the SKU as now she hates the searching…all of it.
Part of your texts made me remember the ORIGINAL McDonald’s owners revamping their store layout to be efficient in “The Founder” (great movie). All KAIZEN…
Now…about that Makers Mark… (and Makers 46 if you have it!)
08/08/2018 at 7:45 pm #47186
MDC, my favorite happens quite often, when people change gross for net and vice versa.
It hurts but it’s funny.
My second favorite is when a person (my wife’s friend is a great example). She buys custom gold jewelry, let’s, $50 in average and sells for $60.
She does the sales events with endless Champaign, out of this world hors d’oeuvres, a fortune.
Than per week she makes the accounting bought 10 for $500 and sold all for $6509 My profit was $150. Even her husband lost it
08/07/2018 at 10:23 am #47013
MONTHLY report: July 1-31
Amount items in store: 600 (just upgraded to Premium store)
Highest item: Copper Pots/Pans $120/each.
Returns: 1 (did not fit)
$310 after fees
14 items sold, 120 in store “Closet”
Scale Goals: I want to be to 1,000 items by Xmas. Which means buying stuff. I don’t have death piles, but I source daily (!) as I live by so many options. I need to figure out a sourcing budget for real aka how much to reinvest. If anyone has any strategies around this I am all ears.
08/07/2018 at 10:28 am #47014
(I did an edit because I read your post incorrectly).
Listing 400 items is doable if you treat this like a full-time job. In a perfect world, you really want to have it all listed by October when holiday buying begins.
–What are you buying?
–How much do you pay for items now?
–What kind of net profit do you make after COGS?
08/07/2018 at 10:49 am #47017
I’m guessing that they mean 1000 active listings, which would 400 + everything they sell between now and then. Definitely doable in my opinion, as long as your process is in order and you have enough free time. Since the last week in February, when I started my business until now I’ve managed to list 1239 total item, 655 current active listings and 574 items sold since then.
I source mainly thrift stores for men’s clothes, I actively monitor the day to day sales that all my local stores put up on facebook and have my process down to not paying more then $2 for any one item. I can’t speak for where you live, but being in a major metro area affords me a huge access to cheap inventory. It’s been a learning process for me, but had I known what I do now at the start I think I’d be well over a 1000 active listings already.
08/07/2018 at 11:46 am #47029
You’re doing incredibly well. So much better than what we did out of the gate. Love the passion and efficiency.
Remember that its a marathon and not a sprint. So many new sellers get excited, build a process, make money…and then burn out.
The key to long term success is finding out what will prevent burnout for you.
08/07/2018 at 12:09 pm #47030
Speaking for myself, knowing that I never have to walk into another factory and spend 8+ hours a day for 6-8 days a week is all the motivation I need to stay on track. The one true benefit of the 15 years I spent working in manufacturing facilities is that I’m well ahead of the curve when it comes to process and efficiency.
08/07/2018 at 11:11 am #47019
Average COGS: If I am being honest, probably $3-8/ item depending on my return. I bought some copper pots for $12 / each but they sold for $120 very fast. So those things happen.
July was probably my highest sourcing month ever at $600 which almost gave me a heart attack. However, it did give me 200 listings.
I mostly source Womens & Mens Apparel across all categories ($25+ higher ASP only)
Home Decor (vintage or new, Linens, blankets, tablecloths, fabric), cookware
Collectibles: When I can find it folk art, vintage smalls, china.
And of course, every random goodie I know I can make 5-10X on.
i dont do an RA unless I come across a crazy deal. But I do seek out bulk buys when I can usually at the thrift when a store drops off a bunch of stuff.
08/07/2018 at 11:20 am #47023
July was probably my highest sourcing month ever at $600 which almost gave me a heart attack. However, it did give me 200 listings.
So you’re paying an average of $3 an item. If you average $30 profit, then that’s a great return. Walmart would be drooling for that kind of profit per item.
If you’ve listened to our podcast, we find all kinds of places in our area where you can buy items by the bag (thrift stores), Tag sales (thrift stores), table lots at auctions, and 75% the last day of estate sales. At yard sales, we just make piles of stuff we want and get huge discounts because people want stuff gone.
Bottom line: we’ve learned to avoid just going to thrift store and paying per piece. Bulk is the way to go. Go big.
08/07/2018 at 11:16 am #47022
shayward23 – Same as me. I live in a city similar to Detroit in demographics / sprawl but not quite as large. So many opportunities b/w old money estate sales and thrifting. thanks for your feedback.
And yes, 1,000 active listings is the goal for Xmas if possible. This is a kind of a random number but I upgraded to Premium so it feels like a good goal! 🙂
08/07/2018 at 3:49 pm #47048
bcfol440: I totally hear you on what it takes to ramp up. I just emailed you my file for numbers tracking, and I touched on the forecast side that is the true meat of it. My full file has a section where I forecast the number of new listings per month, and using beginning inventory and STR I can predict your number of sales per month. Using ASP, you get your top line Revenue (with a forecast for Shipping Revenue).
Using your number of listings per month x your average COGS will give you an anticipated Purchase cost for the month (this is one of the real nuggets in terms of scaling up). I’m on the conservative side, so plan for the higher end of the range when forecasting purchases (better to have actuals win on the upside).
Forecasting Shipping Cost and PayPal fees are as a percentage of Total Revenue. eBay fees are a percentage of LAST months sales.
Then add any other costs you have: employees, supplies, warehouse, etc.
If you have a good history of your actuals, you should have a good idea of your future. If you are all over the map on things like ASP or STR month to month, it is tougher, but usually things smooth out over a given month.
Forecasting is more of an art than a true science.
08/07/2018 at 11:44 am #47027
- Location: St. Louis
Total Items in Store: 2562
Items Sold: 47
Cost of Items Sold: $40
Total Sales: $1569
Highest Price Sold: $122.06 (Buddha statue)
Average Price Sold: $33.38
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $10
Number of items listed this week: 30
Best week since June. Lots of sales. Just had someone open a return for a heavy cooler. It cost $60 to ship from St Louis to California. They said the handle had more rust than the picture, which isn’t true. With free shipping we would be eating the return shipping anyway, but unless eBay sides with us when it gets back here, will be out $120. The buyer is one of those companies to ships stuff to Japan. Maybe they are just fishing for a partial refund and won’t retuen it, who know.
08/07/2018 at 3:53 pm #47049
08/07/2018 at 3:01 pm #47042
July 29 – Aug 4
Total Items in Store: 1631
Items Sold: 18
Total Sales : $626
* below yearly average of $742
* above 2017 total week sales of $0 (Closed my store after the flood)
Highest Price: $70 (1953 Korean War US Military Hand Grenade Wood Box)
Average Price: $35
Cost of Goods Sold: $47
Costs of Goods Purchased this Week: $7
Number of New Items Listed this Week: 71
Great podcast! I appreciate all the work both of you do with it every week. It really keeps me motivated and inspired.
I had kind of a slow week last week in sales. But I’ve been listing like a rock star! It’s funny how it just takes a few minutes of effort to get the ball rolling on a task before you get going and don’t want to stop. 71 items in a week may be pretty typical for a full time eBayer, but it’s very significant to me.
That being said, I’ve been putting more and more thought into going full time with this. My job has become a dead end and is beginning to resemble a sinking ship with poor management and money problems. I’ve figured that I’m making roughly the same amount each week in eBay sales than I’m making in my take-home paycheck, and that’s only working on it a couple hours a night. Now there’s a lot more to take in account such as taxes and health insurance, but I imagine if I were to put in full time hours, I could easily double my gross profits after a few months. My only concern is how much health insurance will cost me. Plus all the other unknowns that I haven’t even thought up of yet. Unexplored territory and all that. It’s a scary step, but I think I’m going to take it.
08/07/2018 at 3:28 pm #47047
71 listings in a week for a part timer is outstanding! I wish I could list that much as a part timer.
It looks like you are nearly ready to take the plunge and go full time. My advice would be to have several months of living expenses saved, just in case. And of course you will have to take into account the taxes and health insurance. T-Satt said his insurance was around $500/month if I remember correctly, but it is not traditional insurance.
I would think that after you go full time, you would blow away the numbers you are currently putting up.
08/08/2018 at 8:17 am #47090
Thanks for the encouragement, Mark! Yes, I’ve been saving up a little nest egg for this moment. Right now I have 8 months salary in my savings account. I’ll keep putting more in until the day I leave too, so I expect that number to rise to 9 or 10. One downside to leaving my job is that eBay won’t be the second income to just bank without a second thought. Saving might become harder to do…at least at first. But my dirty math indicates that I’ll eventually be making more with eBay than my current day job. It’ll just take patience and perseverance.
08/07/2018 at 3:59 pm #47050
Doublythumbs: “It’s funny how it just takes a few minutes of effort to get the ball rolling on a task before you get going and don’t want to stop. ”
That first step is always the hardest. The adage is true, that the journey of 1,000 steps (listings) begins with the first one. And it is the hardest.
Like I was telling bcfol440, take your set of number and do an honest forecast so that you know how many listings you will need to get a NET profit that will replace your current income. Using STR, ASP, and Average COGS are hugely important, and using % of Revenue for eBay Fees, PayPal fees, and Shipping Cost.
PS – Look into Samaritan Ministries for health care coverage. For your family, should be around $500/month.
Let me know if you have any questions about the full time gig, along with Jay and Ryanne and others on here. It is great, but can be a scary ride sometimes. Gotta know how to ride the waves and climb out from the valleys too…
08/07/2018 at 4:13 pm #47051
Doubly: And ditto to what Mark S says on the expenses, savings, all that stuff. We have had to dip into the savings more than once when things were lean. And when you make a big change, like ramping up your listing, that means you need to have the capital to ramp up your inventory purchases, and you need to know your STR and ASP to see when those extra listings will start to pay off.
We are at about a 15% STR, and with my forecasting, I figured a 4 month cash flow hole while we paid for more inventory as well as for our photographer before the sales really started to kick in. This is showing to be true. If your STR is lower, then it will take longer to get that return on your investment. This is why knowing your velocity for your business is so key.
Also, make sure that you can readily find enough items each week to back up what you plan to list. We are in the 150 items per week to list range, and we can do that on a good Saturday at 50% off, but if we fall short, I need to know that I can go during the week, pay full price, and still get to our volume. I can, but less to buy, as at full price, some items aren’t worth the time (I don’t list for practice!). Good news is, sourcing during the week is less pressure, and I’m finding some items that probably don’t make it to Saturday (as my competitors are out during the week too).
Really running through the numbers, and the logistics, of your full time plans is key. I can always make numbers in a forecast be what I want (yep, 25% STR with a $50 ASP looks great!), but making sure that they can equate to reality is key. I know our business very well, so my forecasts are solid, so it will be for you when you want to make that jump.
How much can you find?
How much will you pay?
How long until it sells?
How much is left over?
When does it really pay off?
This is why it is key to get this part-time gig really rolling before you start, with a good bankroll of capital to not only fund the business when you REALLY start buying and listing, but also to cover any shortfalls on the personal expenses.
You can do it! Just know what your roadmap is, and make sure that when you draw that map…it isn’t with rose colored glasses…
08/07/2018 at 4:43 pm #47057
@doublythumbs – I’m in the same boat as you – working for a company that is blowing through money at the moment, not paying there bills, and all the good employees are leaving for other jobs. I assume that my time will be up soon! I’m just riding things out for government benefits – I’m in line for about 5 months of severance and 48 weeks of unemployment – so I’m riding things out to get that money and safety net. My wife and I are planning well ahead – we have everything figured out when the day arrives to move on to the next stage of our lives. We are not going to count on eBay entirely, but it will be a good part of our future financial needs.
We found a good exercise was to determine out current expenses – those that are completely necessary – and how to minimize them. We are planning on moving to a cheaper community, downsizing, and living off a combination of savings, eBay, random gigs that we have skills to do, and part-time work (if necessary – I’m perfectly content working at McD’s or Walmart to pay the bills and get some basic benefits). We have everything planned out to what items we are going to sell before we move, moving expenses, how to invest the equity in our current house when we downsize, etc. Just waiting for someone from HR where I work to come by and tell me I’m free!
08/08/2018 at 9:07 am #47095
08/08/2018 at 8:46 am #47092
That is quite a lot to think about, Troy! But you’re right. I’ve got to think honestly about my figures and see if they make sense for my budget, both business and personal. As far as finding new inventory, I don’t think that will be a problem. Auctions are in abundance where I live, along with vintage items that I’ve got a good eye for. My only missing piece (well not the only, but the biggest) is time. I’m currently limited to only Sat. and Sun. for sourcing inventory. It will be great to start going to auctions in the middle of the week when it’s not so crowded.
Now with your insurance, I assume that cost includes both you and your wife? I’m not married yet, nor have any kids so I would expect that price would be lower in my case.
08/08/2018 at 9:25 am #47100
08/08/2018 at 9:47 am #47108
Jay: Amen brother. Knowing your numbers (both business and personal) is crucial. And in knowing those numbers, be realistic. You can go rice and beans for 1.5 to 2 years, but after that, you hate your life.
As Lazarus Long said: Budget the luxuries first!
Meaning, have SOME pleasures in what you budget for. Enjoy life too!
08/08/2018 at 9:43 am #47106
08/07/2018 at 3:20 pm #47045
- Location: Troy, Ohio
Just got the EBay Fall Seller update email. Less than thrilled with some of the stuff it laid out. However I will soldier on and adapt as needed. I purged a few more long term low price items and will continue to do so as they pop up with the ‘This item has been listed longer than 16 months’ message. I figure that’s as good a time as any to re-evaluate an item. Most of them I relist, a few I even raised the price. I also decided to bite the bullet and go above my 1,000 listing limit, even if I have to pay a bit more each month. My death piles will never go away if I don’t and hopefully revenues will increase to offset any extra fees. Sourcing is still the best part for me and if I want to keep sourcing, I need to get listing!
Pretty good week for me considering the summer slump. I just want to go on record here and say that I hate it when someone pays with an e-check on PayPal. I have never had one that didn’t have a problem going through. Just had one go through today that took over 3 weeks. I wish buyers understood better the delay they are creating when they select that option. Rant done. Scavenge of the week-Old Spice shaving mug filled with 3 vtg razors (1930-1940) and 2 vtg shaving brushes (one with Bakelite handle) for $5. Here’s my numbers:
eBay week of July 29-August 4
Total sales. $191.94
# sold. 17
Avg. sale. $11.29
$ spent on new $31.70
# listed. 22
Highest sale. $35 pair of Framed Dragonfly Cross Stitch Set and $25 vtg Radio Shack Peace Sign radio 1976.
08/07/2018 at 4:23 pm #47055
Updates from my side of the business.
Yes indeed, so much happening, so much to talk about. Talking only about what is in topic here, which is specifically my eCommerce stores, all of them under the name of one of my companies named sculpIT. This company owns dozens of domains, literally, it is one of the revenue sources.
a. Managed to beat the 800 items listed for the first time
b. Been assessing other payment methods for international people, learned Stripe is a big no, people had their account locked because of that. Anyway, Etsy and others use it, and I managed to integrate with respective company’s Quickbooks. Works similarly with the old PayPal App (which I consider btter than the new).
c. Finally spent the whole day yesterday sorting through a 360 slides from a family trip. I assume they are Germans, traveling throughout German, there are Munich’s Olympics, Italy, Vatican, the Alps, France. It will generate me several listings.
d. Both my companies passed the 2 year barrier to be considered viable by banks and bureaus without debts, so their credit is skyrocketing 🙂
08/08/2018 at 10:35 am #47115
forgot one bullet yesterday which is very important for me:
e. I use an App called ATracker (quite sure one of the friends here mentioned that in a couple of podcasts ago). It helps tremendously, first you learn what your doing with your hrs, second you build your calendar and chronogram. It is a must have for people with multitude of activities.
08/07/2018 at 5:03 pm #47059
Love you guys. I haven’t been doing too much ebay these past months, just selling but not much listing, trying to get my health better.
I had to say something about the Ouija board. I usually don’t say this talk about my “woo woo” things to people I don’t really know, but I feel you are friends and I have to speak up.
I have seen angels and spirits and ghosts all my life. My life was saved from a huge semi running over me when I was 5, another time when I was 21. My father came to tell me he died (was only 52, not sick or anything) before I was called. I have found lost pets by asking the pet where they are, also worked with the police on an unsolved case near me. I have found lost items for friends, like a diamond so small that fell out of its setting at work, and you couldn’t even see it unless you were on the floor 2 inches away. I had premonitions and dreams before 9/11, the Indonesian tsunami that killed so many, the bridge collapse (Minneapolis?), and many many other tragic events. I have seen wonderous magnificent things, and also really bad and scary things. I have talked to some of the people that have passed at their estate sales…kinda weird, but they were fine with it and actually have guided me to a real treasure a few times. Sorry for all this, it’s not bragging, it’s just I am trying to convince you I am not a nut case, it’s just a part of my life. But it’s real.
One of the scariest things I ever saw was my teenage grand-daughter playing with an Ouija board with some of her friends at a family get-together. There were horrible freakish evil entities coming out from where their hands touched the thing that moves. The girls became surrounded by these leering snapping grabbing horrible monsters. To these girls, it was just a game, they were not into it really believing, but they were still letting these things through.
I have seen many Ouija boards that don’t do a thing to me, but more than half the time, they gives me goose bumps and a severe pain in my solar plexus. I believe it is not the board itself, but the people as they are using them, open themselves up, and these things take advantage of that. But then once that is opened up, it is somehow easier for these things to come through when other people use that board.
So please take it from someone who you have sort-of known for several years, it is not just silly.
You don’t have to believe it happens to let it happen. I have seen many at estate and yard sales, and don’t go near them whether I get the icky feeling or not.
08/07/2018 at 6:17 pm #47063
–Are angels different then ghosts?
–Do ghosts know each other? Can they be friends?
–Are you excited to become a ghost and have a whole other life after this?
- This reply was modified 1 week, 3 days ago by Jay.
08/07/2018 at 7:40 pm #47068
Jay, yes angels are different than ghosts. Angels have never incarnated here, ghosts did and died. Spirits are not angels and never incarnated, so also not the same as ghosts. People think it’s cool to see or hear ghosts or spirits, but you have to be very careful. Would you want to be around every single person on the planet now, even if they were really bad and mean? Probably not, wouldn’t be safe. So if ghosts used to be here, you need to make sure what kind of ghost is hanging around before you give the ok to speak with you. You don’t open your front door and invite just anybody in, same thing.
I recently spoke with my ex-husband about all this, as I didn’t tell him when we were married. His parents had been killed in a plane crash before we dated and they were often with us, although the ex did not realize it. His dad protected me once in a drunken car adventure and his mom told me to not let her son act like the little general (he is the son of a 4 star general and could have an attitude). My dad, who was also ex-military officer and died after we were married, would often come through along with his dad the general, as they both did on this phone call with my ex. So yes, they are in touch with each other. It was a relief to talk to my ex about this, as I held it back because I was afraid of what he would think, but I validated things I never knew about the plane crash and told him why it happened, what his dad told me, and that his parents lifted out of the crash immediately and did not suffer. I was also able to tell him things about his 2 daughters he has had since, and how his parents kissed and held them before they were born, and I told him about these birth marks the 2 girls had under their hair, each in different spots, and he confirmed this. So they’re all palling around somewhere together.
Well, I’m not excited about the process of dying, but look forward to being able to be closer with friends and family and all my pets. They are there too …
Anyway, sorry to take things off-topic.
Love your show, J&R. You two are so dang cute together.
08/08/2018 at 9:32 am #47102
08/08/2018 at 9:38 am #47104
Jay.. Would love to hear you talk with a Ghost…
“So, tell me, What are your numbers, where do you store all of your inventory, what is your best sourcing secret, how do you clean silver-plate, how do you ship a hat? AND BY THE WAY.. Tell me, How do you know you really exist??” LOL HaHa 🙂
Mike at MDCG
08/08/2018 at 9:49 am #47110
08/08/2018 at 11:47 am #47126
08/08/2018 at 11:17 am #47118
“Do you have a lot of space out in the spirit world to hold all your belongings? Or do they only give you the equivalent of a studio apartment? Do they have thrift stores like they do here? So, tell me, what are the estate sales like when ghosts move on, or move elsewhere? Does your ghost spouse help you in the business, or are you doing it alone? Do you have any other duties you have to do as a ghost, or is it like being retired?”
08/08/2018 at 11:56 am #47131
The ghosts I have seen have been whole, no injuries. My very good friend who was a quadriplegic and lost one of his legs and all of his fingers was completely whole and standing and wiggling his fingers at me at his own funeral (his little 2 year old niece pointed at him and laughed like she could see him too, but nobody else could see him). People that died with severe illness like cancer look super healthy.
They look like they are here, solid but not quite the same, not sure how to describe it. As if behind a sheet of plastic I guess, colors slightly faded. But if you saw them and didn’t know they had passed, you would think they were just a person standing there.
Now the spirits or whatever they are around the ouija board, those were reallllly gross and ugly.
08/08/2018 at 12:32 pm #47135
08/09/2018 at 2:15 pm #47236
08/09/2018 at 3:08 pm #47240
I suppose I am a psychic medium. I had these things all my life, runs in my mom’s family I later found out. I got the look from my mother not to say things many times as it wasn’t kosher being raised Catholic to be psychic or cavorting with spirits. When high school friends looked at me weird when I said to answer the phone (and I would say thing before the phone rang, didn’t realize it wasn’t yet), its so-and-so and he wants this, I just cut it off. You know how teenagers are, too susceptible to others’ approval.
It all started back again in my 40’s when as a joke, I set up a reading for me and my boyfriend with a psychic I saw on a TV talk show. Her name is Char. I haven’t seen her around for awhile, but she was popular at the time.
So it was a phone reading, we call a phone number at a certain time and talk to her. She had no idea who we were other than first names. My boyfriend went first and as they started talking, he said, wait a minute I want to look at this picture while we talk. It was a picture I had just given him for our first Christmas together, done by Bev Doolittle of a native american on a horse wearing a bear skin, the front legs of the horse are in the water, but the reflection in the water is of a big grizzly bear. Char said oh that’s your spirit guide, water bear, described the picture IN DETAIL and said that’s why Beverly bought it for you, cuz she’s psychic. OMG I got chills. And when it got to my reading, she said the same thing and set me up with a few phone consultations with the lady that taught her, who also agreed I had some ability, but I never followed up on it past a few phone calls and “psychic exercises”.
It’s not something that most can just do now and then, it’s like any muscle or mental skill, it must be practiced. I was working a more than full time job of a computer programmer / project lead and didn’t have the mental or time capacity to do more with it. Also I do not know how to handle that deep emotional part.
You must be aware of and be able to handle the negative things out there, as we discussed with the Ouija board, and learn how to protect yourself. I saw a really dark something coming down the hall at me one night I was alone, and it scared the heck out of me, said my prayers really loud and ordered it to leave and the black smoke finally disappeared. It’s not all fun and games.
It also can be quite depressing as the disaster premonitions can make me feel absolutely sick before, but I can’t pinpoint them enough to do anything about them. Like 9-11 I paced around for 2 weeks saying something awful is going to happen, felt something evil being thought about and planned, just felt the despair of all the people that would be affected. The night before I had nightmares all night as if I was in it. Walking into work happy and then in smoke and fire, standing on the edge of the building holding my best friend co-workers hand as he and I jumped, and more I don’t even want to think about. Same for the big tsunami, woke up thinking I was drowning. Of course these are not nearly as bad as the what these people suffered, but I felt a lot of emotion and it doesn’t go away for a long time if ever.
So I asked God to just give me things I can handle and premonitions I can do something about. My other good friend was going to Israel back just before when the coast towns were getting hit. I begged him not to go but it was a big trip for his wife as her family is all there, he said it would be safe. So I told him not to go near the big fountain I saw in my mind being blown up. He later told me they did pass by a big fountain in the center of the little town daily but one day he remembered what I told him and steered his family around it to get to where they were staying. 5 minutes later that fountain was totally wiped out by a missile. They ended up being stranded there for 2 more weeks until they could get out in the middle of the night and gradually make it to an airport to get home.
I used to dream some amazing solutions to my programming problems, techniques or coding I didn’t even know before. Since I’ve been laid off a few years and doing ebay, it works its way in sometimes, like I said earlier at estate sales. I’ve also stopped people at times and given them little messages if it’s really loud and clear and I can be precise about who it is from. But I don’t practice enough to be quite like Long Island Medium.
By the way, OJ did it, saw Nicole up there during the trial and she said so. I did not predict who would win the President this time until the night before and I didn’t believe it myself. I cannot predict my own future very well, which is typical of many psychics. My boyfriend knows not to ever lie to me ;o)
And I do believe everybody has some psychic ability. It’s when you get a hunch and act on it, it reinforces that and you get more hunches, and it grows. Try it with what’s coming in the mail today or the next time the phone rings. Keep doing it until you learn the difference on how it feels between a guess and a real “woo woo” thing.
08/09/2018 at 3:36 pm #47245
So it would definitely take a toll on you emotionally. I’ve heard John Edward say the same thing. I was also raised Catholic but I’m an agnostic/atheist these days (and I’m a programmer too). I think organized religion, with their man-made rules and regulations, have completely corrupted spiritual thinking. I wonder if there is a way to separate spirituality (your experiences) from religiosity (man-made BS) and where exactly the dividing line is.
08/07/2018 at 8:05 pm #47069
Patrick Swayze in “Ghost” is friends with other ghosts.
Casper is friends with Wendy.
Ghosts are the nicest.
If I found a ouija board from the 1800s, I’d probably have it on display for a little while. I would eventually sell it because it’s worth $$$, but that would be so cool to find and have for a bit.
If I had deep pockets and was the “target audience,” one of the collections I’d have would consist of mid 1800s-1970s spiritual type literature, games, cards, photos, and other items. The imagery is so good. I’d have a large wall full of folk arty type ouija boards.
08/07/2018 at 8:07 pm #47070
08/09/2018 at 11:43 am #47216
08/07/2018 at 6:12 pm #47062
I’m glad you spoke up on a sensitive topic. A lot of people who have an atheist world view may not agree with what you are saying – but certainly with this large of an audience there are some followers who have a religious or spiritual background. I am Catholic and believe that an object can be blessed so conversely I suppose I have to believe the opposite. I definitely believe in a spiritual realm and that is why I mentioned earlier I wouldn’t feel comfortable bringing a Ouija board into my home – not that the board is “haunted”, but that it could open a door to allow something or someone unwanted access, energy, or influence in our lives. My kids would probably love playing with it and well – they are too young and innocent and to me, it just isn’t worth playing around with something I can’t see or explain. It would be very hard to turn down an original 1800’s board like the one Ryanne found, knowing it is worth thousands of dollars though… if I saw one at a yard sale I would be crying inside to pass up something that valuable. I am glad I have never come across one and I hope once they list it they sell their board quickly and for a lot of money! 🙂
08/07/2018 at 8:09 pm #47071
08/07/2018 at 11:48 pm #47073
I am also glad that you posted about your experiences/spiritual sense. That takes courage, or at least a strong sense of not caring too much about what other people think, both of which are admirable. My own view about such things is that despite all the progress brought to us via science, there are still tons of things about our world that the scientific community (and most people) does not yet understand, and who am I to say which of the “woo woo” things are real and which are not. I mean, acupuncture and chinese medicine in general used to be in the “woo woo” category…
08/08/2018 at 9:23 am #47099
I have no beef for what anyone believes as long as they’re willing to discuss it. If things are real, then there are facts to its existence that we should be able to explore.
The Chinese/Alternative medicine movement has matured because some of it has stood up to actual testing. Meditation, yoga, some herbs actually have been proven to be effective. Other things (homeopathy) maybe works as a placebo but has no recordable evidence of effectiveness.
Questioning things are good. We’re Americans. We love to incorporate things that are proven to work.
08/08/2018 at 10:06 pm #47194
“We love to incorporate things that are proven to work.”
Who doesn’t? It’s certainly a perfectly fine way to go. I’ll call it the late adopter approach. But there were many people getting benefits from meditation, acupuncture, etc, long before they were officially proven to work (call them early adopters), and that’s great, too. Unfortunately, many of them were subject to ridicule for doing so, and my only point here is that I have a beef with that. I wish people were more open-minded about how much we just don’t understand about our world, and stop punishing the early adopters.
“I have no beef for what anyone believes as long as they’re willing to discuss it. If things are real, then there are facts to its existence that we should be able to explore.”
Just because someone doesn’t want to discuss something doesn’t mean that what they believe is not real. And sometimes the only fact that they have or need is “It works for me.” Other facts exist, but may not be currently known. I guess it’s you’re right to have a beef with someone like, but it seems overly harsh to me.
08/09/2018 at 9:21 am #47206
You’re right. I’m wrong. I phrased that harshly. I dont have a beef with anyone.
My point is that it’s proven to be healthier when we pull things into the sunlight and discuss. But if people dont want to discuss their beliefs, that’s fine too.
I like hearing about talking to ghosts. I wish I could do it. I’m mainly talking to demons but its no where near as interesting as what Beverly described (just ask my therapist).
08/09/2018 at 1:44 pm #47231
08/09/2018 at 11:39 am #47214
Jay – I’m here to say that Homeopathy definitely works. But! You have to have a practitioner who can guide you to the right remedies. My homeopath saved me from 3 surgeries, but she’s expensive! Now that I know those remedies (for swollen thyroid, diverticulitis, gallstones) if they ever rear their ugly heads again I have the remedies at home and they are very affordable.
A friend of mine has a son with Down’s Syndrome. He was completely non-verbal and was covered with horrible acne scars. Homeopathy was able to turn those things around. He still had DS but he began to speak in full sentences. The acne cleared up and even the scars filled it. Unheard of!
Please don’t discount homepathy. Look at the extensive use they make of it in India. That’s because it works, but again, you need a really good homeopath to choose your remedies.
08/09/2018 at 1:17 pm #47229
Yes, it seems like there is a lot of anecdotal evidence and positive claims like the stories you’ve shared.
Unfortunately Homeopathy has never stood up to scientific testing: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeopathy
So it’s cool that people practice it. Just not something that’s repeatable. Kind of woo woo.
We knew a man (friend of Mikey and Wendy) became a follower of Jasmuheen (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jasmuheen). She was a breatharianism (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inedia) and said you could survive without food or water. He actually didn’t eat for almost a month, became psychotic and had to be put into a hospital. Quite a story. If something is true, it should be repeatable.
If not, it’s a belief or faith. That’s a different thing.
08/09/2018 at 1:40 pm #47230
@jay – Again I must point to India. They use it because it works, the results are repeatable. However, choosing the right remedy is part art and part science. Poorly trained homeopath doesn’t always choose correctly. You know that Wikipedia is not to be trusted absolutely. There are some placebo controlled, double blind studies being done on Homeopathic remedies. Here’s just one: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0118440&utm_source=April2015ebook&utm_campaign=2015April-ebook&utm_medium=email
Science can’t explain everything YET, but they are beginning to understand how water can hold onto energy almost like a memory. Once they understand how this works I think that will explain why homeopathy works. Anyone who wants to read more about this just google Banerji protocols. And my homeopath is Joette Calabrese. She does a lot of teaching online and has a great library of articles & podcasts. It’s not all woo woo and patchouli incense. Just practical advice.
08/09/2018 at 1:58 pm #47233
I second pythonesk’s comments.
Re: needing scientific proof, I’ll just say that it was science in the 80s and 90s that told people that eating fats was really really bad for you. Being told I was eating the wrong things when I ate half an avocado all at once, and never gave up on egg yolks or butter was frankly pretty annoying. And if you asked me to discuss the details of why I kept eating those things, I wouldn’t have had any super convincing scientific facts for you, b/c I was not any sort of expert. I just had a general sense that eating natural foods should be fine, and that it worked for me. And margarine tasted disgusting to me.
So science is an awesome tool, but scientists don’t always get things right the first few (hundred) times.
08/09/2018 at 2:54 pm #47239
Yep, there’s definitely bad science, or corrupted science:
This just means that everything must be questioned and tested. Just like we do with eBay. If there’s an issue, we find evidence and adjust our business to it.
08/09/2018 at 3:54 pm #47246
Re science: Nutritional science, because of ethics, is one of the hardest disciplines for scientists to get good, accurate data–and without good data, it is more challenging for the scientists to develop good hypotheses. The good thing about science, though, is more and more data gets collected and the whole point of science is to challenge previously held hypotheses with new data, to keep getting improved hypotheses.
There are very strict regulations-which is a good thing!–around conducting experiments on people, so most nutritional studies start with animals. From a data standpoint, the good thing is that diet can be controlled, but the bad thing from a data standpoint is that results in animal models sometimes aren’t good predictions for how people will respond.
And when human nutritional studies are done, there are often major challenges/problems with the data. Scientists can’t lock people in a room and control their diet and exercise, so there is reliance on self-reporting and trusting that people will follow a diet & lifestyle. But there is a lot of evidence that people either don’t remember or lie when they self-report their diet. And also, unfortunately, people don’t always follow a controlled diet that they’ve been assigned to even if they report that they are.
And for finding nutritional links to long term disease requires following people in a study for decades–which is expensive and time consuming and again–there is no ethical way to confirm absolutely that the people in the study are really eating what they say they are over a decades long study.
Often, the media will report on attention-grabbing results of an animal study or of a short-term, small, poorly controlled human study. Then when more data and evidence comes out that contradicts the original early media report, understandably the public gets angry with science/scientists. But please remember when you see nutritional media reports, that all studies are not created equal. Long term, well controlled studies, double-blind, with a placebo variable are often not the ones reported on.
With regard to the butter and saturated fat issue–this actually is a whole other can of worms. There was a lot of human sins of greed and ego that helped drive this–not just data. There’s an interesting laymans’s article in the New York Times on How the Sugar Industry Shifted the Blame to Fat and also an even better article that give the history is in the Guardian titled The Sugar Conspiracy which really goes into depth on the career climbing personalities & egos of the people who bull-headed this hypothesis through. Data is neutral but people are not always. Interestingly, even in the 80’s and 90’s there was still contradictory data that was even given its own name–The French Paradox, since the French diet was very high in saturated fat with low disease. Again, data is neutral but relies on people to correctly analyze it and media to report it in proper context–which doesn’t always happen
08/09/2018 at 9:55 pm #47257
08/09/2018 at 5:40 pm #47251
08/09/2018 at 7:14 pm #47255
08/10/2018 at 9:01 am #47279
@pythonesk I am the one to apologize. I tried to be sarcastic but it went bad, sorry indeed.
I had in mind things like Missy Juice (she claimed could even regrowth limbs …) and a miracle pill launched as cure for any type of cancer (today sold on natural pharmacies or GNC as supplement), but the irresponsibility of the scientist who bypassed the process is unforgivable.
Please accept my apologies.
08/08/2018 at 9:32 am #47103
I just want to speak up as a member of Team Religion with an opposing viewpoint. I have no problems with Ouija boards…my teenage kid has one. If there’s any Hasbro board game that is a conduit for evil, my chips are on Monopoly 🙂
I love the multiplicity of viewpoints on this forum and appreciate the ability of its members to converse with empathy and respect, whether they agree or not. It seems to be a rare thing these days, unfortunately.
08/07/2018 at 6:42 pm #47065
Good questions, LOL!! I’ll answer from my perspective:
–Are angels different then ghosts?
Yes, angels are different than ghosts. Angels are pure spirit and do not (and never had) a body. They do exist and they help us. I do not know much about “ghosts” but believe they would be more of a “disembodied soul” so to speak – someone who has lived and died and is not resting in heaven or hell.
–Do ghosts know each other? Can they be friends?
I have no idea.
–Are you excited to become a ghost and have a whole other life after this?
I hope I never become a ghost, but I do believe our souls are eternal and that we will know one another beyond this lifetime – hopefully in heaven! 🙂
08/08/2018 at 1:33 pm #47144
Well, it is a topic that teases my interest a lot, for years.
First off, thank you Beverly for opening up.
I do not have the gift, the capacity, I do not even have a soul or a spirit, so I cannot talk to Angels and Demons, I would love to though.
A few moments would suffice for each creature:
(1) Where are you?
(2) How do you manage to cross the extra dimensional border?
(3) Do you wear clothes?
(4) Can you see others of your race or other races? (example, can Angels see Ghosts)?
(5) What’s the temperature like where you live? Overall, do you have physical feelings?
(6) I can see and talk to you, why nobody else can?
(7) Can you please help me build a extra dimensional communication device?
(8) How can I be sure you are the one you say you are? How can i be sure you are not something else?
(9) If you are an Angel, how can I differentiate you from a Demon?
(10) You say you are a ghost of John Doe, how can I be sure you aren’t something else?
(11) Can I film you? Record you? Take a picture? Can I call some neighbors and folks from the University to talk to you just for a few moments?
(12) if not, why?
(13) Nobody will believe you talked to me, help me with one simple reliable evidence that you exist and you can manifest in nature.
(14) Being from other dimension, why are you here? Why me?
Just the first bunch. Possibly this is why nothing supernatural will come to me.
08/08/2018 at 4:23 pm #47158
Paulo: I also think many of these same questions.
The only thing I have captured on film is when I visited Bodie ghost town in California while returning on a motorcycle ride to the Grand Canyon. I happened to already be pointing my camera at an old buggy in a falling down building. Nobody around me as it was early morning and no other tourists, it was like we were there by ourselves, and then whoosh a form flit across the view in my camera and I caught it in my picture. I’ll have to dig that picture out.
I don’t know why everybody does not see them or why it is so hard to prove. But it doesn’t mean it’s not really there. Many things we now accept as scientifically proven were once this way.
As a hippie high school math teacher impressed upon me… as the circle of our knowledge expands, we become more aware of what we don’t know, things we were not even aware that we didn’t know, but now we realize more of what we don’t know, but there is still way more we don’t know that we still don’t even realize we don’t know it. It goes on forever. Mind blowing.
08/08/2018 at 4:40 pm #47159
“as the circle of our knowledge expands, we become more aware of what we don’t know, things we were not even aware that we didn’t know, but now we realize more of what we don’t know, but there is still way more we don’t know that we still don’t even realize we don’t know it.”
Amen to that. There is a vast amount of things we don’t know and don’t understand, and even more that we don’t know we don’t know.
“1500 years ago, everybody KNEW that the Earth was the center of the universe. 500 years ago, everybody KNEW that the world was flat, and 15 minutes ago you thought that people were alone on this planet. Imagine what you will know…tomorrow…”
08/08/2018 at 5:16 pm #47164
I am not sure how far I go on this beautiful thread. Don’t mean to look neither arrogant not disrespectful.
Like Troy (T-Satt) mentioned a couple of times, he is an Accountant by profession, by Grad and by practice.
The same with me with STEM sciences. My under, grad, post grad are all in Sciences with one Master in Business.
“The only thing I have captured on film is when I visited Bodie ghost town in California while returning on a motorcycle ride to the Grand Canyon. I happened to already be pointing my camera at an old buggy in a falling down building. Nobody around me as it was early morning and no other tourists, it was like we were there by ourselves, and then whoosh a form flit across the view in my camera and I caught it in my picture. I’ll have to dig that picture out.”
The thing is, to have one picture by itself does not mean anything, this is why I would lay out a long list of questions
“I don’t know why everybody does not see them or why it is so hard to prove. But it doesn’t mean it’s not really there. Many things we now accept as scientifically proven were once this way.”
Not sure if it is as generic as this. It’s been quite the opposite. Flat Earth (even though some brainless individuals created a strong movement to make Earth flat back), Solar System, Galaxy (1910 Universe = Via Lactea). Science has repeatedly proved the common popular belief to be wrong.
“As a hippie high school math teacher impressed upon me… as the circle of our knowledge expands, we become more aware of what we don’t know, things we were not even aware that we didn’t know, but now we realize more of what we don’t know, but there is still way more we don’t know that we still don’t even realize we don’t know it. It goes on forever. Mind blowing.”
This is perfect. Let’s say of all the things we can know in the whole Cosmos we know 5% (just randomly). The moment that 5% growth, it also growth our ignorance because we learn there is a much larger pie and what we know we don’t know is much larger.
So the more we know the more ignorant we become, in terms of not knowing what is there, possible to be discovered. Interesting many people cannot rest with this thought. It seems like certain people must find a purpose and a response for everything, filling gaps with the inexplicable.
Things without reliable, repeatable evidence I do not accept. But generally, with a few exceptions, I am open to its existence. Other things (like Unicorns or Equus equus with the horn and Flying Horses or Equus equus with the wings) I am certain do not exist. I do not need the falsifiable evidence, or, I cannot prove it does not exist, but I do not need to.
This is how the machine in my head works.
08/08/2018 at 7:22 pm #47181
Paulo: Great points. As a wise man said though…”It all depends on your point of view”…
For me, if I can see it, measure it, touch it…I believe it. That just makes sense. Or, if I can see the evidence that it exists (I can’t see gravity, but I am believing it!).
What gets tricky are the things that we can’t see or prove. As the great Palmer Joss said: “Did you love your father? Prove it.” That has always stuck with me. Just because I can’t prove it, doesn’t make it not true.
And science has so many things that we don’t understand and can’t prove. After reading “The Future of Humanity” by Machio Kaku, it just blew me away the things I never new existed (like rogue planets that DON’T orbit a star). And it made me think even more that just because we don’t know it, can’t prove it, or don’t understand it…doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
So I always feel like making sure I stay open to things I can’t prove. It may be a whole different way of thinking that helps us make the next leap…
08/08/2018 at 6:21 am #47080
- Location: Port Royal, SC
July 29-Aug 4
In store: 751
Consignment payout: $23.75
Highest sales were a Vietnam fatigue Army blouse with great patches and 0-6/Colonel insignia for $129.00. I guess I had ignored the best offers on this! I listed it at $129 on this past Sat morning. While watching the “Incredibles 2” with family (for $4 a ticket locally!) from 1400-1530, I turned phone off; had two offers for $65 and $75, then one of them bought it full price during the movie.
Other high sale was perfume (Ralph Lauren Romance Body Mist) for $90; bought 50 of NIB tester
bottles for $10 at church sale on July 13.
I retired on July 13 from day job and now spend days with my 4 year old. It’s a lot of work; I had no idea. I am planning days around gym time, reading/“school”, meal preparation, listing and shipping, and taking her thrifting with me. So worth it though! I’m 42 and own my time now. No more Sunday night dread!
08/08/2018 at 9:14 am #47097
Congrats and enjoy your time with that little one. The old cliche about it going by fast is true. It’s hard work physically but the wonder and imagination of little ones is amazing. I wish I had discovered Ebay when my kids were little. Helps stimulate the adult brain but is a solitary and flexible activity.
08/08/2018 at 9:27 am #47101
08/08/2018 at 7:41 am #47085
ThriftShift: Congrats on the retirement! And I hear you on the workload of a stay-at-home parent. Veronica was INCREDIBLE raising our 2 boys. I only had a little taste of it when I went full time and our youngest was in 8th grade. Planning drop off at school with Post Office drops and Thrift Store runs before pickup. One year and then he was going to high school with our oldest.
I had it waaaaayyyy easy compared to Veronica. I definitely married UP!
08/08/2018 at 9:42 am #47105
Thanks all for the support re: my anxiety about scaling v. out of control spending! Yeesh. T-Statt’s spreadsheet is pretty great for tracking these things (cash flow). I had started tracking my COGS every 90 days (+ fees, etc) which was a great first step in “growing up” on eBay. But not good at forecasting how to spend on inventory.
08/08/2018 at 11:57 am #47132
08/08/2018 at 12:51 pm #47136
- Location: South Dakota
The Bonanza synch doesn’t always work. Easy to deal with when something on Bonanza sells, just delete it from eBay but the other way round would be quite tedious. It happens about half the time, something sells on Bonanza that already sold on eBay, I just cancel the order and click on the ‘refund fee’ button.
I haven’t sold an item on Trugether since last year, not sure what’s up with that site.
08/08/2018 at 12:57 pm #47137
Yeah.. Forgot about TruGether. I am getting ready to do a whole bunch of manuevers within WonderLister for a Beta Test of the Eaby to Shopify to Etsy cross platform listing all in one fell swoop. Until some glitches are worked out as we go with the WL team I will most likely have to do some manual edit, delete stuff.
I am thinking it may be best to disengage the Bonaza, Trugether listings and empty those out. Once I start within WL to watch and manage 3 platforms I don’t think I need a sale or two here and there by keeping those platforms to create a distraction or glitch-issue within WL until everything on those 3 big platforms are rolling along smoothly. Even when they are, I will probably only stick with those 3.
MC @ MDCGFA
- This reply was modified 1 week, 2 days ago by MDC Galleries.
08/08/2018 at 1:07 pm #47138
08/08/2018 at 2:45 pm #47151
I am erasing my Etsy account, cannot manage double listings.
However I have TrueGether, eCrater, Bonanza (2 sales today only).
eCrater does not synchronize transactions and, depending on your memory, it adds same item 2x when synching.
TrueGether seems useless (one sale ever)
Bonanza is funny but the synch not always work perfectly
08/09/2018 at 1:48 pm #47232
08/08/2018 at 5:50 pm #47170
Weighing in on the demon topic…Ouija boards don’t scare me. I don’t see how a board game can be possessed. I almost hate to actually admit this, but I’ve found religious books on demons to be GREAT sellers on Ebay. I never pass them up when I see them. The ones written for a Christian audience sell especially well, and they seem to be in every thrift store and at every rummage sale. In general religious-topic books do great for me, but the ones about demons/Satan/being possessed/etc. are reliable and fast sellers. The topic isn’t really of any interest to me but clearly there is a wide audience for this stuff.
- This reply was modified 1 week, 2 days ago by ChristineK.
08/08/2018 at 7:37 pm #47185
08/09/2018 at 8:01 am #47198
It must be where I live then (coastal FL, land of many churches) because Christian books on Satan/demons are at every thrift store, most estate sales and every church rummage sale. They are like printing money…like you said, list and sell almost immediately. I do well with other recent religious books too, but the demonic ones are definitely the best sellers.
08/08/2018 at 8:07 pm #47189
I had a good July, around $2000 divided almost equally between Etsy and Ebay–helped on ebay by that $450 print sale, but I also have had a couple of other sales at around the $100 mark. Definitely a better summer this year I think because, in part, the world economy is better–I sell quite a bit to the UK followed by Australia and then other places in Europe. It is interesting that my fellow Etsy seller who is in Britain sells mostly to the USA when I see an eager buying community in his neck of the woods, then again, I sell quite a bit of jewelry which is light weight and easy to ship.
08/10/2018 at 11:17 am #47284
Howdy SL Super Stars. Doing some new Helper training here and a coupple of good questions has popped up. Svereal of ya’ll have commented on eleminating the use of Punctuation in Title areas.
So here are the questions that have cropped up….
In the Title area no use of . , / – #
so Vtg [no period]
two adjectives side by side [no comma use to separate]
typing a measurement do we use 6-3/8″ or 6 3 8ths in or 6.375 in [do we need to go to decimal measurements and what about the period? or should we just not put measurements in the title?
Use of Quote marks
Do we als eliminate the use of all of these in the description area
Do we also eliminate use of punctuation especially the / [slash] in fractions of a measurement 3/8 or quote marks for the inches 3/8″
If we can use the slash [/] and ” for inches in the Title should it be the very last entry into the title field so when Google hits it and starts to skip over it, they will be the last entries.
Thought it would be best to run it past all you guys for feedback while both of the helpers are still here training.
Thanks for any input…
Mike at MDC Galleries and Fine Art
08/10/2018 at 11:24 am #47285
Mike: I have thought about this as well. We have been eliminating the use of / and () in our listings. We still have the . for our decimals for measurements.
Overall, I think the best think is to keep them to a minimum. Again, they said that it lowers you in search a bit, but who knows how much. I see in research people that have sold well using these characters.
I think they mainly do this to eliminate the L@@K crap…
08/10/2018 at 12:01 pm #47286
Understood. But think somebody mentioned above that Google will crawl the line of copy but then when it hits a punct. mark it stops the scan and wont finish the crawl of the line. So wondered about Cassini also.
On decimal measurements do buyers even understand them? 9.625 x 3.750 without use of ” for inches I wonder how many emails we will get asking, “what size is this?”
then when it comes to a number like #250 and number #283 would now be 250 283 so how will a buyer digest it. or typing scott Stamp Catelog numbers like 2634, 3214, 6396, will now read 2634 3214 6396
Some of this just seems so, I don’t even know how to describe it. Does just bothersome come to mind! 🙂
mike at MDCG
08/10/2018 at 12:09 pm #47288
08/10/2018 at 12:39 pm #47289
It is not for Ebay so much as WonderLister auto sends our listings to our Shopify Store and Shopify Stores are highly driven by organic traffic and google searches and so is some of the Etsy cross listings. we thought we would just be better off doing it the right way from the beginning. That is why we started using long enclusive custom SKU numbers from the get go, along with a BIN Storage retrieval process and naming all our photos and incl, our part of our custom SKU in those photo renames. Even though Ebay changes the photo names on their own site, the fact our photos are named and are stored in the cloud server, the photos when attached and sent to Shopify show in Google. Many times we are looking for an object on google and use the by Images filter most of our inventory shows up there.
Once WL gets the InstaGram and Pinterest interface finished, all of our inventory will be auto posted there as well and they will all have the first 5 digits of our SKU and the short name we renamed them and all 1,012 listings are searchable by Google and all of this will be outside of Ebay and Etsy.
Tips we got from those who were successful in developing their own stores and eventually pulling their stores out of the Ebay arena.
08/12/2018 at 9:45 am #47311
- Location: Minneapolis, MN
Mike @ MDCG,
“Tips we got from those who were successful in developing their own stores“….wouldn’t that be great?!!!
Here’s my approach to training on titles, which I now have trained a number of VAs in on. Mind you, my goal has been for an eBay title optimization not other platforms or Google searches, though they may be optimized for those too coincidentally.
-no punctuation. No apostrophes, no periods, commas, slashes, etc.
-no words like: and, the, of, with, near, by, over, etc.
-clothing titles: brand then gender. Ex. Eileen Fisher Women Pant Wool Black Pocket Fully Lined Wide Leg Belt Loop
-measurements in item specific details, even if custom fields are made for certain measurements-because many mobile buyers don’t look beyond item specifics and open up the description section at all. I used to put my measurements there and would still get measurement questions
I don’t know if that helps you, but for sure I put my procedures in writing, give regular best practices tips, give regular specific feedback, and am going to start giving QC bonuses for good scores on QC testing I’ll start conducting and commissions on sales.
I come from a sales production environment. I get the whole thing about Six Sigma, Lean, etc. I’ve done a tone of root cause analysis in business analysis duties, but nothing motivates like monetary rewards.
There’s an old adage I live by, “production cures all woes”.
08/13/2018 at 6:27 pm #47426
RR Store Week July 29-August 4, 2018
Total Items in Store: 1615
Items Sold: 28
Cost of Items Sold: $19.24
Total Sales: $634.03
Highest Price Sold: $200 (Nick Drake record)
Average Price Sold: $22.64
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
Number of items listed this week: 31
I can’t believe I spaced on doing my numbers. Now on to this week…
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