10/01/2018 at 8:03 am #49379
10/01/2018 at 9:24 am #49389
9/23 – 9/29
Total items: 2469
Items sold: 18
Total Sales: $908.27
Highest price sold: $170 (shealing jacket)
Avg sell price $50.46
Items Listed: 12
New Inventory: $30
I hit a major milestone this past week. I’m sure many of you have long hit this one, but this is a big deal for me. My store hit $100,000 in Lifetime sales! Whoa who!
The week started very slow, but starting on Wed it felt like the busy season. High dollar items were selling fast. This was such a contast to the rest of Sept. I made over 40% of my sales for Sept in the last 5 days of the month.
I took a friend out scavenging with me this weekend. He is a real estate agent (very good one) and owns 4 Bnb’s. He used to flip houses. He is interested in ebay now. Lots of fun showing him how do do it.
10/01/2018 at 9:51 am #49392
Brian Treasures from GrandmasParticipant
- Location: Hoboken, NJ
10/01/2018 at 1:07 pm #49415
10/01/2018 at 9:17 pm #49442
10/01/2018 at 10:42 pm #49447
10/02/2018 at 10:17 am #49462
10/02/2018 at 11:08 am #49465
10/02/2018 at 12:16 pm #49471
10/02/2018 at 12:18 pm #49472
10/02/2018 at 12:22 pm #49473
10/02/2018 at 12:23 pm #49474
10/02/2018 at 2:55 pm #49480
10/03/2018 at 9:36 am #49518
But I wonder if the “sales” number includes shipping “profit” which actually isn’t cash in our pocket. Also, there’s the automatic approx 15% deduction for eBay/Paypal fees. Then taxes.
If you think about it, it’s not that great for two educated adults to gross $700k in 10 years. That’s really just like each of us having a $35k/year salary with zero benefits (no healthcare, 401k, or paid vacation).
BUT we’re amazed what we’ve been able to do in the last 10 years with this self-generated income. Being thrifty was key. We wouldn’t trade it for the world.
- This reply was modified 6 days, 2 hours ago by Jay.
10/03/2018 at 9:59 am #49521
Jay: Amen brother.
Like most things, you didn’t do this just for the money…
And like most things, the best thing is to make sure you love the life you are living. If I wanted just money, I would still be in my old game. But…I would have missed my kids, my wife, and the adventure we are on now.
This is why I’m always so cautious for others to go full time. You really have to see what the schedule is like, what the grind can be like, what the ups and downs are, and what the TRUE expectation of the financials are before they jump off the cliff…
10/03/2018 at 12:03 pm #49525
It’s not for everyone. Some people want a new car every 2 years. Some need large homes filled with stuff and closets full of clothes they may never wear. Some people need to go out for coffee, lunch, dinners, etc. all the time. They choose to live like that, and need to be a slave to a corporation/employer to keep at it.
I get called cheap by co-workers all the time, friends and family think I live in a small home for my income level, I like to drive my car until it is completely dead (15+ years).
In the end, I think that some people need stuff to make them happy, or feel good about themselves. I personally prefer my time and less in my life to stress about.
I think I’m lucky that I’ve had financial hardship in my early 20’s – if not, I may be a consuming corporate robot until I’m 65…
I also feel some people don’t realize that everything comes to an end at some point. I know people in their 60’s financing luxury cars, re-financing homes, and for some reason don’t think the “party” is ever going to end…and then the complain when someone else retires in their early 50’s and can’t figure it out.
Oh well, we all make our life choices – some of the people who spend without care are probably our best customers…
10/03/2018 at 12:28 pm #49527
I definitely have noticed that in my father’s generation (Boomers) where they relocate to their “dream location” in their mid-60’s. Getting a 30-year mortgage at 65? Why do banks even do that? They make a big move, start over, meet new people, etc.
Our plan is to be mortgage free at 65 and in our forever home. We’re making the relationships now that we’ll keep when we’re that old. Life should be so cheap at 65 we could live off our Social Security payments if we had to.
But then again, Im hoping we only have to buy one (or two more) cars for the rest of our lives. Hell, I hope we quickly get to a place where all cars are just self-driving and we dont need to own one. The robots just roam around and we just order a car on our phone for a couple bucks.
10/03/2018 at 12:56 pm #49528
Amen on your goals Jay. Our plan is that the last mortgage on a personal home will be gone in less than 9 years. Mortgage on income producing property is a totally different subject.
I think the main goal is…what makes you happy? Do you like working in the 9-5 (or 7-7) job to afford the things you have? If so, great! You do you.
Do you like living frugally and having ownership of your time, but less income? Great!
Tension comes when you want all the toys AND all the free time (meaning you don’t have to work for the toys). I think the biggest disconnect I see in the world today is when actions don’t meet goals. When people want X, but don’t do the steps to achieve X, and then they complain that they don’t have X. I see it in fitness and in wealth/finances A LOT. Lots of people WANT, but few DO the steps to achieve their want.
Set your goals, know the life that achieves those goals, execute, and don’t care what the others think.
Hike Your Own Hike…
10/04/2018 at 7:59 am #49567
Hell, I hope we quickly get to a place where all cars are just self-driving and we dont need to own one. The robots just roam around and we just order a car on our phone for a couple bucks.
That’s the former big city talking in you. I’d say for the majority of your neighbors in rural VA that is a nighmare scenario. Lol!
10/04/2018 at 9:16 am #49576
You’d be surprised. There’s a growing population of elderly people who spend too much on cabs to get to their doctor’s appointments. Plus the guys who drive the little scooters that go under 35mph on the highway because they had their license taken away because of a DUI.
Some guys will definitely want their cars. Other people just want to go fro A to B without worrying about it.
10/04/2018 at 10:06 am #49583
10/04/2018 at 10:12 am #49584
10/04/2018 at 10:22 am #49586
10/04/2018 at 10:42 am #49588
- Location: Atlanta
Just to throw an opinion in. The vast majority of accidents are rear end collisions. I think it is way up in the high 70 to 80%. So what I think would be a much faster help in that respect would be a quick modification to the auto braking system already out on the market and that is that your car would automatically begin braking or slowing down the closer you get to the car in front. I believe 10 feet [a full car length] for each 10 MPH. So at 60 MPH your auto braking system would keep you 60 feet behind the car in front of you.
The next suggestion is for pressure sensitive brake pedals, How many times have we seen brake lights in front of us, but we don’t know how fast they are de-accllerating? So if you are just lightly braking your rear brakes lights come on normally, but as you apply harder and harder compression, the lights in the back start to blink, then flash, the with real hard braking, the whole back of your car starts flashing both red, white and blue lights, signaling hard emergerency braking is taking place?
Just asking. Sure it would add to the price of a car, but since cars cost more than my first house, what a few hundred dollars more, especially if it could cut down on the largest cause of car crashes and lives saved. An acctual life saving additive to automobiles.
But what do i know, I am just drinking my coffee and thinking, instead of listing, which I should be doing. 🙂 🙂 🙂
10/04/2018 at 10:48 am #49589
- Location: Atlanta
Jay.. Boy that would add to the avg cost of our goods to add a $25 trip charge to the cost of going to thrifts, sales, auctions.
In Atlanta the Ubers are running $50 for a 36 mile trip to the Atl airport. That’s $1.38 per mile. Atlanta is really spread out as you know first hand. We source all the way to Marietta sometimes. That’s 40 miles west. If we came back with 50 items that would add $55 over there and $55 back or $110 round trip or $2.00 per item to our COG. Yikes,
But just kidding around here. I get your point. Many oldster’s [which Susan and I are], do just need to get to the doctor, groceries, a friends huse a few times a week.
10/04/2018 at 11:37 am #49593
The vision of Self-driving cars dreams of cheap transportation because no human is needed to drive. The cars are electric so there is little maintenance or fuel costs. This also imagines a much evolved electrical grid where more power is derived from renewables with industrial level battery backups.
We may see it in our lifetime, but it’s still far out. Too many players heavily invested in the status quo (coal + oil).
10/04/2018 at 11:39 am #49594
That’s pretty much where I’m at with Uber. If a good thrift run or estate sale is by my house, I can sometimes fill up a trunk for $10 or $15. Most of the time, an uber trip back will cost $20-80, depending on how far the thrift run is, or the estate sale. If I want to fill up a trunk, it better be a good run!
Otherwise, I have to figure out when I’m at a sale how much I want to bring back in addition to the actual costs of the item at the sale, and how much I expect to get for them on Ebay. If it’s not worth it, I will fill up a backpack with stuff. If it’s good, I go all in and buy a ton of boxes in order to make an uber trip back worth it if it’s far away.
10/03/2018 at 3:23 pm #49540
If it wasn’t for reselling, I definitely would’ve atrophied at a normal job. The hours may sometimes be similar, but the differences are vast. A normal job will leave you lacking in ambition for your own personal projects, shunting them to weekends or vacations (if you even get paid vacations off). Eventually, all you will have to do is look forward to retirement to do what you actually want to do.
If you have a self-directed business backing you, you can push some of the momentum into projects outside of what you are doing. Then, you can succeed or fail while you are in a prime age to be doing it (mid-20s-early 60s), rather than starting your “second life” after you have retired (for the full-timers reselling).
(Being able to move around without having to sit at your desk all day makes it totaaallyyyyy worth it by itself. Having to sit perfectly still at a desk all day is meh. Wearing headphones so you don’t bother your co-workers is meh. Being able to play music loudly all day and dance around to it because you’ll only bother your sleeping cats is the best.)
Also, I’m sure if you broke down the numbers, 35k per year per person in a rural area vs. having to move to an expensive city in order to get a good job for your degrees would probably leave you with more money earned in the rural area. Those posted numbers also don’t include your rentals.
10/03/2018 at 3:38 pm #49541
Totally on board with what you’re putting down. And definitely not poo-poo’ing our career eBay numbers, but think its good to be honest that our kind of scavenging doesn’t necessarily make you rich in money. A two person household making six figures in professional careers would likely laugh at our eBay numbers.
As you said, we feel richer because of owning our time: moment-to-moment freedom each and every day. I’m addicted to it.
- This reply was modified 5 days, 3 hours ago by Jay.
10/04/2018 at 7:49 am #49566
Those that do this for even a few months will quickly realize it is not the way to get instantly rich. The only people putting out that sort of false information to the detriment of the reselling community are the youtube people who expect to get a viable secondary income stream coming in by promoting “how to make six-figures as a reseller, join my patreon or mentorship group and I can show you how” sort of people.
I think just telling people you’re a f/t reseller will be enough to confuse them, even in 2018, let alone telling them how much you make from doing it. It was completely unbelievable 15 years ago as no one knew what the heck you were talking about. Now that everyone can “do it for themselves” and has sold probably 10-20 items themselves online, it is even more of “What? How?” They think there must be something else other than reselling. Nope.
That being said, I am with you on the feeling of “Really? That’s all I made?” when you look back at all the hard work you’ve done over the years, and the actual earnings displayed on a year by year basis. At the time, it does feel like more is being earned. Still, there is a lot to untangle from the feelings of money and free time earned after the hard work has been put in (too much for this response before coffee).
10/01/2018 at 9:48 am #49391
Brian Treasures from GrandmasParticipant
- Location: Hoboken, NJ
Week September 16-29, 2018 (2 weeks since my last post)
Total Items in Store: 982
Items Sold: 28 (3 Amazon, 1 CL)
Cost of Items Sold: $244 (19.7% of sales)
Total Sales: $1,236.01
Highest Price Sold: $200 (Vintage 1977 Bose speaker pair)
Average Price Sold: $44.14
Returns: 1 started, although not yet shipped
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $385
Number of items listed this week: 73
Promoted listings test: 12 sales, $500.26 (40.5% of total sales), $25.34 fees (5.1% of sales)
Nice solid two weeks – not through the roof, but above average. Hoping this is the beginning of the Q4/holiday sales! Some good sales include a vintage Harvard piggy bank (https://www.ebay.com/itm/201834671425), a 1960s era Las Vegas Stardust hotel door hanger (https://www.ebay.com/itm/202370357119), lot of flashbulbs (https://www.ebay.com/itm/192578305817), and some dead batteries (https://www.ebay.com/itm/192097103797). Love those batteries – people collect them! I pull these out of a radio I bought at a sale. I always look in the battery compartment to see if it’s clean and sometimes can pull out these gems.
Went to a few sales this weekend, one being a very high end one. That high end one featured the work of a local artist – pottery specifically. Literally hundreds of pieces for sale as they downsized to retire to FL. Actually bought a couple pieces for our own use, plus some cool pieces for sale: woven decorative bowl (https://www.ebay.com/itm/202453984092), layered tray (https://www.ebay.com/itm/202453986482), stained glass jewelry box (https://www.ebay.com/itm/192674939381).
10/01/2018 at 10:54 am #49396
We’ve been buying our coffee beans from Costco for several years. The kind we get is organic & farmer friendly. The price is very good, and I’m usually able to buy it for a few dollars off when it goes on sale. It is a dark roast, which my husband and I both like.
My sales were so pathetic this past week that I actually called eBay this morning and made sure that my account had no issues. The CS rep could not find any problems, so I guess it is just a combination of a slow retail period and coincidence that no one wanted my stuff this particular week.
I also seem to have a dropped listing. I will need to now recreate it because it is not in ended or unsold. I’m thinking of sending some photos to a consignment shop to see if they are interested first.
Anyway, here are my numbers:
Week of Sept 23 – 29
* Total Items in Store: 1174 eBay, 13 Mercari
* Items Sold: 5
* Cost of Items Sold: $4.25 + $0 Commission
* Total Sales: $51.78
* Highest Price Sold: $17 Marilyn Monroe DVD & Book (- about $4 shipping)
* Average Price Sold: $10.35
* Returns: 0
* Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $2
* Number of items listed this week: 3
10/01/2018 at 11:05 am #49397
Haven’t listened to the podcast yet, but …the Good Life? Yep. We just spent two days at a town wide yard sale we go to every year, loaded the car, and spent the next morning shopping some nearby flea markets, small ones, real old fashioned flea markets with a minimum of new stuff and lots of old stuff. Car was already so full, we had to pass up some stuff, but managed to pick up some neat smalls and paper stuff. Met up with an old flea market friend, and chatted with lots of friendly flea marketers. The sellers skewed older (just like us LOL), and I suspect many have been at this for years. It made me ask, not for the first time, why no one has ever set a TV comedy show in the Flea Market world…so many colorful characters!
We stay at the same hotel every year, a rambling old place on the Main Street of the town…its not fancy, but the staff is friendly and we’ve come to look forward to it. One couple we talked to has been coming there for 15 years for the Town Wide Yard Sale. It’s a good size, not so huge as to be overwhelming, but big enough to make it worth the trip.
Of course, we’re home now and I’ve got to empty the car and start photographing…no rest for the weary, but we enjoy this, and that’s the key!
10/01/2018 at 1:04 pm #49414
10/01/2018 at 1:18 pm #49419
10/02/2018 at 10:23 am #49463
10/02/2018 at 11:12 am #49466
Idahoarder: Amen on that.
We watched a great exchange at the Junk Jaunt. We saw the future Jay (this guy had an AMAZING garage with an AMAZING collection). He knew we were resellers, so we talked shop for a while. Then some old guy comes in, asks how much he wanted for some shovels outside. Our guy said $20 since they were new and were $40 at the store. The grumpy guy says “that aint yard sale prices. Your crap is too high.”
THEN grumpy asks “How much for the ammo boxes?”. Our guy just says “I ain’t sayin’…why don’t you just leave and be grumpy somewhere else?”
We were dying with laughter…
10/02/2018 at 3:01 pm #49481
If you are looking for a TV show, try finding BBC’s Bargain Hunt. I’m up to season 51…
It follows around teams as they go to various sales in Europe (antique fairs, boot sales, thrift stores, antique markets, community sales) and then try to resell the items at auctions for a profit.
It’s a good show just to learn about different things and their values as well. If you are into Antiques Roadshow on PBS, a lot of the people will be familiar on Bargain Hunt that serve as experts.
10/04/2018 at 9:51 am #49581
10/04/2018 at 12:30 pm #49596
It use to be on constantly on BBC America, but it seems BBC America isn’t much BBC UK programming these days.
There are several posters who post new episodes on YouTube – most of the new episodes are up from September 2018. Just do a simple search in YouTube for Bargain Hunt, and for full episodes (they are about 45 minutes long) just filter to get the full show instead of highlights. They are also several hundred episodes available free on the BBC website, but you need a VPN to pretend you are in the UK to watch them.
10/01/2018 at 11:08 am #49398
10/01/2018 at 11:22 am #49400
Total Items in Store: 373 Ebay, 60 Mercari
Items Sold: 10 Ebay, 4 Mercari
Gross Sales: $331 Ebay + $94 Mercari
Cost of Items Sold: $84 + $32 free shipping + some items ours
Highest Price Sold: $65 Ken Edwards Mexican Pottery Paid $2 at moving sale
Average Price Sold: $30
Returns: 0, but DIM weight calculated shipping ding cost $24
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
Number of items listed this week: 1 Ebay, 15 Mercari
A lot of life busyness, transitions and milestones for me this Fall. I turned 50 yesterday. That kind of gets your brain buzzing with philosophical thoughts. I’m grateful for my life.
Since it’s faster to list on Mercari – no measurements – and I’m trying to clean out and organize our home I’ve been listing clothing there. I still love Ebay but I have a lot of competing interests for my time. I’ve been getting some pretty low offers while I run that experiment in Ebay. Makes for smaller profits but I’m clearing some older inventory. I sold something on Mercari in a couple of weeks that I’ve had on Ebay for almost two years. I paid too much for it and I’m so happy to see it go and get my money back! On Ebay I’ve been getting a lot of questions from cautious potential buyers. Perhaps that’s because I have fewer new items left in my Ebay Store. I’ve not been shopping and I’m consolidating inventory in my garage boxes. Still have more organizing to do.
Just started the podcast after school drop off. Hope you find the perfect rental in the urban area R & J. Don’t forget rummage sales. Also maybe check on tripadvisor or yelp to find great cheap local food.
10/01/2018 at 11:41 am #49401
9/23 – 9/29/18
eBay store totommyto
Total store items: 618
Number of items sold: 7
eBay sales (not counting s/h): $343
Cost of items sold: $25
Consignment payouts: $67
Highest price sold: $150 – 1:18 scale Diecast car
Average price sold: $49
Money spent on new inventory: $14
Number of items listed this week: 17
STR for the week: 1.1
Etsy store Oldfleatoymarket
Total store items: 615
Number of items sold: 11
Etsy sales (not counting s/h): $235
Cost of items sold: $19.50
Consignment payouts: $5
Highest price sold: $50 – lot of 5 vintage boys adventure books
Average price sold: $21.36
Money spent on new inventory: $12
Number of items listed this week: 8
STR for the week: 1.8
Thank you again for the podcast, never loose your motivation! You both play such a big part in mine (ours)!
10/01/2018 at 11:50 am #49404
I’m doing my day job from home today so I’ll save the podcast for my commute tomorrow but here are my numbers for the week:
Total Items in Store: 2567
Items Sold: 41
Total Sales: $1183
Cost of Items Sold: $110
Average Price Sold: $28.85
Average Cost of Item: $2.7
Highest Price Item Sold: $279.96 POQET PC “CLASSIC” MODEL PQ-0164 Portable Handheld Computer (paid $5 at an estate sale).
Number of items listed this week: 62
YTD Sales: $34794
YTD sales compared to this time last year: +18%
Average age of items in store (in days since listing): 328
Average number of days between listing and selling this week: 169
Median age of sales (in days, between listing and selling): 106
Sell-through rate (for the week): 1.6%
I had a pretty good week. One of my best for the year so far. Those pocket computers are definitely something to pick up in you see them. They look like old calculators and apparently have some collectors out there. I found and sold a similar one a couple of weeks ago (for a lower price than this).
10/01/2018 at 11:59 am #49406
Sales still not very good, but anything’s better than last week.
Sales: CAD$352, 5 items, COGS: $26 –> Item profit: $262
Expenditures: $160 –> After-tax cashflow: $59 (bought myself a work laptop)
Listed: $5785, 33 items (listing binge from that auction haul continues apace)
Hours: 6.5, $10/hr
Notable sales: some plastic bushings from my auction haul for $110, almost threw those out. Good week for cases – 2 empty Ultrium cases for $120. But yeah… slow week.
Looking back at the month, I see my September STR was 0.7%, which is the lowest it’s ever been, and half as much as the previous 2 months (1.2%). Not sure why September was so much worse than August & July. But it was my craziest listing month ever, with estimated inventory value of $16.6K listed. So hopefully all this stuff sells this winter and I make a killing.
Had a painful refund this week. $1890 for an ice-cream maker that didn’t work. Rolled the dice on this one and lost… in general these things work out more often than not though. But it’s painful when I thought that was money in the bank.
- This reply was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by simplicio.
10/01/2018 at 1:48 pm #49423
I can sympathize on that return. I’ve had an unusually high number of returns recently but nothing of that magnitude.
Funny story – i received a return on a dvd player remote last week. The buyer said it didn’t work. When I checked the battery compartment today I found they had inserted the batteries around the wrong way. doh!
10/02/2018 at 3:03 pm #49482
10/03/2018 at 12:46 am #49510
Thanks, good reminder!
I had 2 packages to ship tonight. One was 12 kg, so it didn’t qualify. Then I tried to buy the label for the other and Canada Post’s website is down. I could still buy through Shippo so I just bought the label. :S gotta get some sleep.
I might tweak my handling time to take advantage next week though.
10/01/2018 at 12:04 pm #49408
So life / day job has had me away a bit — i still have half of last weeks and this weeks episode to look forward to listening. My store has converted to 3 day handling time – does not seem to effect sales be it a very small sample in time and inventory size – so that is good.
9/23/18 – 9/29/18
Total items in store (beginning of week): 378
Items sold: 9
30 day sell through (rate): 10.20%
Total Sales: (no shipping): 422.45
Average price: $46.94
Cost of items sold: $104.80
Average cost per item: $11.64
Gross profit: $317.65
Highest item sold / best sale: Meiji EMZ Microscope – sold 295.00 paid 20.00
New items listed: 7
10/01/2018 at 12:27 pm #49410
- Location: Florida
Total Items in Store: 350
Items Sold: 17
Gross Sales: $786.82 Not including shipping
Cost of Items Sold: $102.50
Highest Price Sold: $125 but paid $60 for it
Average Price Sold: $46
Items Listed this week: 32
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $218 Went to a huge Estate Sale
I want to thank Ryanne for telling us about vintage perfume. I purchased 4 bottles at an estate sale this week for a total of $2.50. When I researched them…I had to list them immediately. One sold over night for $135.00 plus shipping. That will be on next weeks totals. Thank you and I’ll be adding to the TIP jar!
10/01/2018 at 1:00 pm #49412
Sep 23 – 29
Total Items in Store: 1770
Items Sold: 22
Total Sales : $657
* below yearly average of $814
* above 2017 total week sales of $600
Highest Price: $170 (Marco Powerfeed 70 Drain Plumbing Pipe Snake Cable Line Feeder Part)
Average Price: $30
Cost of Goods Sold: $26
Costs of Goods Purchased this Week: $46
Number of New Items Listed this Week: 20
Slow sales at the beginning of the week, but then they exploded on Wednesday and Thursday only to slow down again over the weekend. Weird, this is not the normal trend for me. But as long as my numbers are steady, I’m alright with it. I started listing some of the 35mm slides that I’ve spent the previous week sorting. I sold one set within an hour for $40 and I’m wondering if I should have auctioned those. They were a set of 14 of a railroad locomotive from the 70s. Well, I’ve got tons more so I can afford to try different experiments in selling them.
Steph and I spent the weekend in Amish country, Ohio. It was a fun little trip. There’s a little thrift store there that we love to visit whenever we go. We shopped there for 2 hours! But I found so much good stuff, including my buy of the week… a beautiful mid century hanging brass lamp. It only cost me 6 bucks, but I know I can get at least a couple hundred for it. A couple other notables are a rare Ohio State throwback football jersey and a vintage Air Force wool overcoat. We also filled up a couple coolers with meat and cheese and bought several bottles of wine. You can’t visit Amish country without doing so.
10/01/2018 at 1:13 pm #49417
Eager to hear about the slide sales, especially when you list/sell the one shot specials for big $$$. I have a small batch cherry picked from a big batch of commonish ones sold off awhile ago.
In there, is a Kodachrome of a little boy hanging upside down by his legs off a playground horizontal bar, wearing one of those clown costumes. The coloring, lighting, background all weirdly perfect.
Thanks! I would have forgotten to list it!
- This reply was modified 1 week ago by totommyto.
10/01/2018 at 1:52 pm #49424
I’m interested to hear how you photograph slides. Do you take photos from a slide viewer or do you have another technique?
I’ve got a box of glass latern slides from the early 1900s. I’m looking for ideas on how to photograph/list those. Some of the slides are from WWI Europe with military scenes. Almost too good to be true. Hopefully they are not photos of photos.
10/01/2018 at 2:25 pm #49425
10/01/2018 at 2:29 pm #49427
I have a technique that suites me well enough. First, I scan a bunch of slides in using my Epson V500 scanner. It’s kinda a slow process as I can only do 4 at a time, but I may upgrade to something faster later. Next, after I have a bunch saved on my computer, I run a batch process in Photoshop that puts my watermark on all of them. This might not be necessary if you’re uploading a low resolution picture as the preview, but I like to use high res to let people see the details. Then I use a slide sorter to take pictures of the front and back of the slide. For sets of slides, I line them up. That’s pretty much it. Here’s an example of one I sold last week…
Military and war slides are amazing! I’ve made over $2600 so far on a little box of Korean war slides that I acquired last year. It’s sometimes tricky to know whether they’re original or reproduced. Are they labeled in any way? I’ve listed some mass produced magic lantern slides from Egypt that I can’t seem to even practically give away.
10/02/2018 at 8:36 am #49456
10/02/2018 at 6:40 pm #49499
Thanks for the tips @totommyto and @doublythumbs. I hadn’t thought about using a regular scanner for any part of the process. I might try that first and the may the homemade slide view will be plan b. @doublythumbs – your listing really helps give me some ideas for presentation.
My lantern slides do have some handwritten descriptions. I haven’t looked at them for a few weeks (as I’ve been procrastinating) so I’ll need to take another look. There were 2 boxes of them at an estate sale I picked out all the interesting ones and left all the photos of museum visits behind. The whole collection dated to the early 1900s but the military photos were so interesting that I wondered if they had been taken of someone elses photos. They looked like photos from a newspaper photographer, not like photos of a tourist (like most of the rest of them).
10/03/2018 at 9:56 am #49520
I’ve found that the shots that are too good to be original usually aren’t. Bu you never know. People still find original Ansel Adams photos. If you take a strong magnifying glass, look and see if the picture is more grainy than normal. An original slide will be really clear as long as the camera was properly focused. Otherwise, you’ll see the little “pixels” indicating that it was a picture of a print.
10/01/2018 at 2:27 pm #49426
Week ending 9/23
Items in Store 1133
Items Sold 18
Total Sales $647.70
Total Profit $586.45
Average profit $32.58
Average sales price $35.98
Week ending 9/30
Items in Store 1108
Items Sold 25
Total Sales $860.00
Total Profit $747.50
Average profit $29.90
Average sales price $34.40
Ugh…I had my whole post typed out and my computer auto shut down for a forced update… First day back from vacation…I’m not typing it all again…
Have a great week everyone. This week shows that even with 5 day handling and no listing you can still have great sales.
10/01/2018 at 2:38 pm #49428
- Location: Richmond, Calif.
Numbers for September: 09/01/2018 – 09/30/2018
Total Listings: 944
Had 40 Sales for a total of $991.70
Cost of Items Sold: $112.60
Highest Price Sold: $210, best offer for 7 out of print magazines
Average Price Sold: $24.79 – Average Cost: $2.81
Spent on new inventory: $135
Number of items listed: 29
1 return, 1 GSP Canada
A week of jury duty slowed me down on the listing in September but I still plan to reach 1000 listings soon. The out of print magazines were ‘Carrousel Art’ which of course are about Carousel Horses and such. If you ever find these magazines at an estate or yard sale – grab them. They are kind of rare and I’ve sold single issues for up to $50.
The one return was a buyer who purchased a cassette tape and started the return before they even received it. Even though the title, pictures and description all indicated it was a tape, they thought they were buying a CD. I re-listed it and it only took about 3 days to sell to a local buyer.
10/01/2018 at 4:40 pm #49433
- Location: South Dakota
Items listed in store 970
Sold items 64 (eBay 63 FB Marketplace 1)
Gross sales total $3935 (eBay $3510 FB $425)
Highest sale $425 Pioneer Turntable
Not really a return but the buyer of the La Barge mirror last week asked to cancel after paying and also after I had taken the mirror to be professionally packaged. She said she measured wrong, so now I have nicely packaged mirror ready to go.
10/01/2018 at 4:50 pm #49435
- Location: Virginia Beach
This week I made a little over half of what I made the previous week…ugh. So it goes.
09/23/18 – 09/29/18
Total Items In Store: 948
Items Sold: 17
Total Sales: $461.76
Cost of Items Sold: $14.50
Highest Price Sold: $77.39 (sale price on Kelty Pathfinder Baby Hiking Pack)
Average Price Sold: $27.16
Returns/Refunds: 0 (though 1 near refund, as a Buyer in Hawaii still hadn’t received a $60 vintage Griswold skillet, shipped at the start of Sept via Parcel Select. He rec’d it a day or two into the request).
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $79.00
Number of Items listed this week: ~30
10/01/2018 at 10:05 pm #49444
My Store Week Sept 23-29, 2018
Total Items in Store: 1144
Items Sold: 17
Gross Sales: $429.46
Cost of Items Sold: $46.45
Highest Price Sold: $57.92 (Painted Egyptian Papyrus Art)
STR: 6.4% (Calculated Troy’s Way)
Returns: 0 (1 Unpaid & 1 Cancel)
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $12.85
Number of items listed this week: 9
It has been a slow listing week (and will be this week as well) because I’m having insulation put in my basement (eBay room) and am in the process of removing my ENTIRE inventory into another part of the basement. It’s horrible, bin upon bin of stacked bins and piles… but I’m taking the opportunity to make a more efficient office, re-organize everything, hopefully end up with a better working environment once it is all said and done – it’s just quite messy right now and is taking me away from being able to list.
A Warning.. don’t do what I did: After cancelling my international sale over the Chinese book non-buyer I was complaining about earlier this week, I turned off Alternate International Shipping (it was masking GSP on 90% of my listings for an unknown reason). I decided to fix this and was playing around with consolidating all my many shipping policies and using the bulk editor to make sweeping changes … as you all know .. it is so buggy… Long story but MY ENTIRE STORE ACCIDENTALLY GOT SWITCHED TO FREE SHIPPING… I quickly realized the mistake right before dinner and was frantically trying to figure out how to get my really heavy listings turned back on with calculated shipping. I was yelling at the family, “Eat without me, I HAVE SOMETHING I NEED TO DO RIGHT NOW!!!” I am still trying to sort out what is first class and Priority and most of my store is still on Free Shipping… (so best offer is temporarily OFF until I sort it out) another reason why not much is getting listed until I fix everything back. I immediately sold 4 items as soon as the free shipping hit, (all women’s jackets and shirts) which I thought was interesting, so ended up having a good day on Sunday because of that – but thank goodness I didn’t lose money on “free shipping” of stereo equipment, furniture or anything heavy!
I hope everyone has a great week and Jay & Ryanne, I am very grateful for your podcast and can’t wait to listen tonight!
10/01/2018 at 11:27 pm #49449
Store Week: September 23-29
Total items in store: 1852
Items sold: 23
Cost of items sold: $36.95
Total sales: $960.43
Highest price sold: $180.00 (SRA Reading Lab)
Average price sold: $41.76
Money spent on new inventory this week: $0.41 (I’m a big spender)
Wow, what a great week! Last week was the best I’ve had in a long time for sales, and I also got tons of listing done. And this week has started out great as well, so I’m hoping it continues.
But here’s the REALLY exciting stuff! I finally stumbled on a big treasure like I’ve always dreamed of! I was listing a big tote of accessories the other day and pulled out a belt to list. I didn’t realize it when I bought it, but it was a money belt, so I thought I’d better unzip it just in case. There was cash inside, folded up tiny, and at first I thought it was a couple of tens and I was thrilled to find $20. But as I kept unzipping, there were more bills, and they weren’t tens …they were hundreds! I kid you not, there was $1000 cash zipped up in that money belt! Woo Hoo! I still can’t believe it. And thankfully, I don’t remember where I got it, so it’s totally guilt free!
I haven’t had a chance to listen yet, but it will keep me company tomorrow while I work.
10/02/2018 at 4:55 am #49451
Week of 9/23-9/29
Total Items in Store: 2,696 (Up 49% YOY)
Number of Items Listed: 66
Number of Items Sold: 93 (Up 21% YOY)
(Includes 0 Etsy, 0 Bonanza, 1 TrueGether)
Weekly STR: 15% (Down 4% YOY)
Total Product Sales: $2,506 (Up 25% YOY)
Cost of Items Sold: $609
Highest Item Sold: $144 – Gathered Traditions Joe Spencer Lorilee Pumpkin Witch Doll
Competition: Highest Priced Sale: Veronica wins the week and Veronica leads for the year 23-16
# Listed: 1,669
# Sold: 72
# Listed: 417
# Sold: 13
eBay Hard Goods
# Listed: 610
# Sold: 8
Etsy Hard Goods
# Listed: 161
# Sold: 0
Business Improvement for the Week – Start new purchasing streams. I made my first purchase of some liquidation items to test a source. Should get the items in this week and I’m hoping they are solid.
Nebraska Junk Jaunt was a lot better this year, though the weather sucked. Cold, misty, and then rainy for 3 days. But we left with a full truck of inventory…
10/03/2018 at 2:20 pm #49535
Posting my monthly numbers for September. I’ve converted from GBP to USD.
SEPTEMBER 2018 – Total sales $1,646
Total items in store: 1125
Total sold: 56 (29 UK, 20 USA, 5 Europe, 1 Japan and 1 Australia)
Total sales: $1,637
Highest price sold: $169 Typewriter
Average selling price: $29
21 items for sale, of which we sold just one for $9!
Money spent on new inventory: $335
New items listed: 76 (all Etsy)
Good month again for us, although lots of lower price items were selling so our ASP is down on last month. We managed to (finally!) get about 20 mirrors listed and some typewriters, which should bump up our ASP when they sell through.
It’s amazing that people want to buy typewriters! My partner is becoming quite an expert at cleaning and fixing them up. There’s a good profit to be made on Etsy if you can offer them in good working order and are willing to ship them.
Car boot sales are winding down for the winter, so we’ll be working our way through listing our backlog over the coming months.
10/03/2018 at 2:43 pm #49539
Here is a great article about typewriters and the recent interest in them:
I have about 7-8 typewriters, two manual and the rest electric, that I have to test and list. The pain with them is the ribbon. There are vendors on eBay and Amazon that sell the ribbons, but you have to order them, clean the machine up, and then test. It’s a good deal of work, but they do sell for good money.
10/03/2018 at 4:25 pm #49546
Thanks Sharyn – interesting article!
We buy the ribbons on Ebay, mostly they are pretty standard. We steer clear of electric ones, which I think are harder to fix and there’s less demand for them.
We’ve sold 10 manual so far on Etsy for prices ranging from $100 to $200 and they’ve all sold within four months of listing.
We look out for bright colours – red, yellow, orange, blue etc
Definitely worth it if you don’t mind putting a bit of work in to research the model and get them working smoothly!
10/03/2018 at 2:25 pm #49536
- Location: Portland, OR
Finished the podcast while scavenging at thrift stores yesterday afternoon. I need to post my monthly numbers but first two quick notes from the podcast.
1) While I was listening to you talk about the scavenging of high end coffee makers, what do I find but a lightly used $200 (when new) Nespresso Machine that looked like it was in perfect condition for $10. Took it home, cleaned it, plugged it in and it appears to work great! I’ll probably use it for a month before listing it, hopefully I (or my wife) won’t fall in love and want to keep it because I should be able to make $100-$120 easy.
2) I also had more returns than ever last month. I did the old Jay/Ryanne trick though, and once the items come back and are verified in okay condition, I actually listed them for more money (to offset my free return cost). One just sold this morning again at that higher price! Weirdly that person also left me immediate positive feedback (before I’ve even shipped) and mentioned that it was a great product at a fair price. A return with a happy ending!
10/03/2018 at 2:38 pm #49537
Eh, go ahead and…. TREAT YO SELF!
Keep it if it makes you happy. Every time you use it you can think to yourself “this only cost $10.” It will brighten your day every time you use it.
I have a Sirius Radio boombox I picked up for $2. When I tested it I found out the receiver has a lifetime subscription. I intended to sell it for $300….but I like it too much. It makes me happy every time I turn it on out in my ebay room.
10/03/2018 at 7:18 pm #49550
- Location: Pennsylvania
Karen from Lavenderclothesline here 🙂
Im new to the forum so please forgive me if im not sure how to post lol..
I sell full time on Ebay for just about 5 years now, single older woman supporting myself 🙂
My Ebay store is Lavenderclothesline because I started by selling womens clothing but now sell anything not tied down! HA I live in Pa.
My sales for
9/23 – 9/29:
78 items sold.
My average sale price is usually between $30 – $35.00
My average cost of goods is $4.50
I have sold 8903 items and have just reached over 200k in sales ( my first year was slow as I learned!)
I am trying very hard to get to 3ooo listed.
I buy mainly from thrift stores & yardsales
I have learned so Much from Ryanne & Jay, Thank You guys!!!
PS If I need to post something differently for the forum, please feel free to correct me, lol 🙂
10/03/2018 at 8:41 pm #49552
10/04/2018 at 12:37 pm #49597
- Location: Pennsylvania
Thanks so much for the welcome! I would love to follow you back on IG 🙂
About 3 years ago, I purchased a house with having onsite ebay storage capability in mind.
I didnt want to have to go to a rented storage unit every day
so I have turned my basement into a “ebay warehouse”
I have posted photos of the way I store my 2900 items in my basement on my Instagram account 🙂
10/04/2018 at 7:47 pm #49620
10/04/2018 at 10:56 pm #49636
- Location: Portland, OR
Month of September Numbers:
59 sales (one shy of last month)
$ sold (minus shipping): $1421 (doesn’t count refunds, see below)
Per sale average: $24.09 (goal over $25)
cost per item average: $2.99 (new lowest for the year)
Items in store peak for month: 765 (trying to get to 800)
Returns/Refunds: 3 The most I’ve had in a while and they were all toward the end of the month. Each was different. A pair of used shoes had the soles fall apart (refunded after seeing photos). A student bought the wrong textbook for class (refunded, I relisted it). And a person returned a blanket saying I misdescribed it (I kinda did). They returned it, I relisted it with the correct verbage and it already resold. So all in all, not bad considering there were a lot of issues.
Biggest sale: Pair of my wife’s lightly worn Dansko’s for $80.
Sold a little bit of everything, textbooks, shoes, patches, mugs, kitchen wares, vintage items – you name it. Also sold a few things I’d had for over 18 months, so that felt good.
Still want to hit 800 listings before Thanksgiving if possible, but my free time is limited. Hope I make it!
10/04/2018 at 10:59 pm #49637
- Location: Saratoga Springs, NY
Just came here to say that I giggle every time you guys call yourselves “trash elves”. My husband and I adopt way too many cats and we adopted our 4th cat literally out of the garbage…so we call her trash cat. She has weird breathing problems and lots of boogers and snores louder than our french bulldog but she’s perfectly nice and we love her! My favorite scavenge lol. Trash elf finds trash cat. hehe
10/05/2018 at 10:20 pm #49678
- Location: Saratoga Springs, NY
So I can’t remember which episode it was but I know it was a recent one-a guy called in and was basically explaining how he does “make an offer” but manually through messaging. I decided to try this method out, because if you lower the price on the item, it definitely motivates the person to buy it sooner because another person could take advantage of the deal before them.
Backing up a little….I’m actually a seller on etsy. I do it part time when our son is at preschool or after I get home from work. I’m a waitress at an overpriced place downtown haha. (And Jay you’ll be happy to hear my husband and I have a dream of owning a hot dog cart!!! He has a corporate supervisory job and one day we’re just gonna be slingin’ dogs and chillin!!)
Well anyway, after listening to you guys for a while I decided-the heck with all the etsy crap they tell you you “HAVE” to do. When I first started, I watched a ton of videos about etsy and studied SEO and learned about how your packaging has to support your brand message and whatever. Well, I calculated the cost of frilly packaging and it was INSANE. So I decided….I’m gonna try to run my etsy like ebay. I take pretty good photos, but I don’t spend 2 hours curating a frickin scene in my house, you want the item, you buy it, I cover it in bubble wrap and boom. Tada! No frills! I’ve gotten a couple complaints because people expect a baby bird to come flying out at you when you open an etsy package. One woman actually messaged me and said “there was nothing special about your packaging AT ALL, but the items did arrive in perfect shape…” as if she was disappointed….weird. haha. Annnnyway, I’ve had lots of success running my etsy like an ebay instead of like an etsy. Just thought I’d throw that out there since I know Jay is always like….I don’t get etsy there are so many ribbons and dumb extras!! lol.
Well so the other day I decided to try this manual make an offer thing. I changed the shop announcement on my page and said anyone could make an offer and if it was reasonable and fair I’d be happy to negotiate! Well within just a couple of hours I made three sales from people who made offers! Just thought it was neat because those are probably all sales I would not have made unless my announcement told people they could make an offer.
Yay for ebaying even when you’re not on ebay! haha
10/06/2018 at 6:05 am #49686
Hi dlvintage! So funny about Etsy advice – baby birds!!
I’m a UK based part-time Etsy seller and ignore the advice too. Good clear photos (no props!) and safe (mostly recycled) packaging is how we roll.
We occasionally have some one make an offer on Etsy, and have sometimes accepted, but as a rule we just wait for someone to pay the ‘Etsy price’.
There may be fewer buyers on Etsy, but they have deeper pockets!
Lesley at DigVintageStuff
10/06/2018 at 8:43 am #49689
10/06/2018 at 9:21 am #49690
- Location: SC
10/06/2018 at 10:50 am #49694
Jay, I know this was a ways back on the thread but I think you are thinking about your total sales wrong.
You said that 700k was not great for 2 college educated adults (though you wouldn’t trade it for the world). You are only including the sales from your business and not what it is worth today. Excluding the air b&b business, you business now is worth at the very least 400k with the storage area and your inventory. You could easily not do a thing other than ship for 2 years and be fine. That’s how you actually should value the business.
That is all from starting with less than $100 buying cheap jean jackets. That’s quite an accomplishment.
10/06/2018 at 11:34 am #49696
Agreed. We have taken our eBay profits and made sure to invest in other assets. Income generating rentals and our home + warehouse that now has real value. As you said, we’ve built up our own safety net by creating a huge online inventory that will keep making money for 6+ months if we ever needed to take a break from listing.
It shows the beauty of being thrifty scavengers. eBay isnt making us a million dollars cash. It’d be nice but money alone wont solve problems. It’s about controlling our budget, being willing to live in an untraditional location, being creative.
If we made $50k a month on Amazon but lived like luxury banshees in an expensive urban area, then that huge income doesn’t mean as much in the long run.
10/07/2018 at 9:35 pm #49720
10/07/2018 at 10:34 pm #49721
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