Tagged: Copper and Brass Screws
02/04/2019 at 7:42 am #56353RyanneKeymaster
- Location: Virginia
Join the conversation in the forum>> Our Store Week Jan 27-Feb 2, 2019 Total Items in Store: 8154 Items Sold: 58 Gross Sales: $3,578.66 Cost o
[See the full post at: Scavenger Life Episode 397: Scavenger Buying Equation]
02/04/2019 at 8:04 am #56356totommytoParticipant
- Location: Naples, Fl
Good Morning all, slapping down the numbers before things get going here at my regular job.
Thank you again for the ever faithful podcast.
eBay & Etsy stores about equal in performance this week.
1/27/19 – 2/2/19 (note – I do not cross list across platforms, items are unique)
eBay store totommyto
Total store items: 595
Number of items sold: 11
Total eBay sales (not counting s/h): $335.00
Cost of items sold: $22.00
Consignment payouts $47
Highest price sold: $75 (paid $10) – beat up late 19th century small steamer trunk
Average price sold: $30.45
Returns: 1 – 5 laundry coin boxes, did not fit buyer’s machines, should be an easy resell.
Money spent on new inventory: $0
Number of items listed this week: 5
Sell through rate for the week: 1.8
Etsy store oldfleatoymarket
Total store items: 619
Number of items sold: 10 (1 International)
Total Etsy sales ( not counting s/h): $292.50
Cost of items sold: $9
Consignment payouts: $5
Highest price sold: $80 – for another Hamilton typesetter drawer (found on street)
Average price sold: $29.25
Money spent on new inventory: 0
Number of items listed this week: 2
Sell through rate for the week: 1.6
02/04/2019 at 8:41 am #56357
Items in Store 1088
Items Sold 24
Total Sales $836.00
Total Profit $766.00
Average profit $31.92
Average sales price $34.83
New Listings 17
I really look forward to my Monday morning numbers and philosophical overview of my business. Thanks again J&R for encouraging sharing of numbers in this format!
I had a cancelled sale on a $200 pair of shoes. That one hurt. Oh well, I knew this one wouldn’t end well due to buyer behavior after the sale (asking condition questions after payment), so better for him to get cold feet BEFORE I shipped the item.
Combine that with another cancelled sale and a few offers that were just a bit lower than I could accept, and I could have had a $1200-1300 week.
Much like the title of this weeks podcast, there is also a Scavenger Offer Equation. This is an equation I am in flux on. I’ve started to accept more and more lower offers, especially on long tail items I’ve never had an offer on. Like I said above, I turned down a few offers that just weren’t quite up to snuff. I am also starting to better identify my items that quite literally may only have one potential buyer in the universe. Should I risk running them off with a counter offer? With the offers I did not accept this week, I know I can do better than the offers that were presented to me. On the other hand, I really want to move product. Also, at the end of the week I could have had a $1k week if I would have accepted some of those offers. Maybe I should have just accepted them…I still would have made an absurd profit margin.
The recent shipping increases have also affected my offer equation. Shipping increases happen every year and they’ve never bothered me until this year. This years increase feels like it crossed a tipping point that will majorly affect my offer AND scavenging equations. More and more buyers are paying $10+ for shipping now. All buyers are now paying more than $8 for priority mail.
02/04/2019 at 8:59 am #56358
Those unpaid and cancelled sales are painful. Its just the nature of then business but it can make or break our sales week.
02/04/2019 at 11:07 am #56373
Oh and I forgot to add that the BEAUTIFUL weather this weekend gave me time to get some “false spring” cleaning done in my inventory building. I was able to condense and pull 11 totes! That’s an incredible amount of wasted space. I could have done 1-2 more, but that would have been clothes – not worth the time investment. I’ll get them next time.
I’ll get those 11 totes filled with new inventory and back out there in no time.
02/04/2019 at 9:11 am #56360simplicioParticipant
The equation is very complicated and very interesting. There are really a huge number of factors and balancing them is damned tricky.
Re auctions, there’s a huge psychological difference between scavenging for almost free, versus having to go up to your full willingness-to-pay. The latter requires a lot more research and can be kind of psychically agonizing. When you get a lot for the amount you decided it would be borderline not worth getting it for, there’s not the same scavenger high (although I find it comes back when the stuff sells).
I wish I had a good rule for when to go with your gut versus trust your calculator but I’ve had big successes and failures both ways. I remember agonizing about some barcode scanners for weeks, buying them for $500 on trust-your-calculator logic, thinking “whoops, that was a mistake,” and then they sold in a few days for like $3000. Then again, I can point to 3 similar piles of junk in my storage that have had zero movement and are tying up huge amounts of capital, that seemed like sure things on paper.
One rule holds true which is, you almost always get better value buying a lot of miscellaneous stuff at auction, than you do buying individual, legible things.
I like lotting stuff up. It is true that you (usually) make more money by splitting lots as much as possible, but the more you split the more time it takes. I find the sweet spot is to lot stuff so that the lots sell for around $100 (provided the item makes sense to lot up at all).
Regarding the painting and the lady who couldn’t pay. Did you try an e-mail money transfer? I personally have not done it but it seems like it could be a good solution in this sort of case.
On electronics, it’s all about risk/reward. You sold that DVD player for $30 risking shipping of what, $15? plus your initial COGS. Not worth it because you don’t stand to gain much. If you get a piece of electronics that sells for $400, you better believe it’s worth taking the risk if it powers on (I wouldn’t risk much COGS on it though – assume it’s broken). Kinda paradoxically Ryanne said “at least it wasn’t a $500 sale”. No! That’s exactly the kind of sale it’s worth taking the risk on. Now, it will be *more disappointing* if it gets returned, but the risk/reward is way better.
Anyway, annother fair to middling week.
Sales: CAD$1026, 8 items
Gross profit: $716
Hours: 7, $51/hr
Listed: $810, 14 items
Notable sales: rubber lineman’s gloves $280 for 2 pairs.
Purchases: got a fancy projector, some fridge filters, and some timers. Nothing spectacular.
02/04/2019 at 10:00 am #56364simplicioParticipant
To the caller with 1 sale in 5 days. Sales are lumpy and 500 items isn’t enough to smooth out the lumpiness. You’re seeing noise and taking it for a signal.
I have a store about the same size as yours (680 listings) and I average 5 sales/week. Run the Poisson distribution and you find, purely by chance, a 4% chance that a week will have either 0 or 1 sales given that average. 4% of 52 weeks in a year is 2 weeks out of the year that this will happen. That is ignoring things going on in the broader world (say, tax time) which make people more or less likely to buy.
Are you making good money on ebay on a timescale of months/years? If so don’t fret about smaller slow periods.
I suspect your call centre person was just trying to give you what you wanted and reacting badly to a confrontation.
02/04/2019 at 2:08 pm #56400
Good point about taking the risk on more expensive electronic items. I guess we just like to sell items we confidently know we can defend.
Im much more willing than Ryanne to pay up for a good auction.
02/04/2019 at 2:54 pm #56403
There are certain areas of electronics I dabble in, and my best advice is to pay less than what it would sell for if you had to sell it for parts/as-is/needs repair if you can’t test it fully when you buy it.
Also, get to know your electronics category – certain areas have higher issues. For example, about half the cassette players (Walkmans up to cassette consoles) don’t work completely when I bring them home. Where other items, such as video game consoles or remote controls, typically work 95% or more of the time.
Some of my best buys have been electronics, but most of my worst buys have been electronics. I’ve really narrowed down what I want to get involved with over the last year as the time to test, repair, and clean some items isn’t worth the profit it use to be. Prices also seem higher when sourcing, and the sales prices on some categories has gone down significantly.
02/04/2019 at 9:34 am #56362
Strong show today. It was posted just before I left for work this morning, so got a chance to listen on the way in. To one of the first topics – at thrift stores, Goodwill, etc I definitely seen a difference in what’s available over the past 5 years I’ve been doing this. Jay has said it many times, thrift stores now have “the case” under lock and key things they deem valuable, plus anything super valuable ends up on their website and never in the stores. However, I’ve found that estate sales still seem to have everything and at least in my area those are my go-tos. Drawback there is that they seem to be increasing in popularity and I’m standing in more lines that I used to.
Week January 27 – February 2, 2019
Total Items in Store: 1014
Items Sold: 29 (6 Amazon)
Cost of Items Sold: $218.67 (16.3% of sales)
Total Sales: $1,339.31
Highest Price Sold: $99.99 (German carved chess pieces – sold same day I listed last week)
Average Price Sold: $46.18
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $612
Number of items listed this week: 39
Promoted listings test: 11 sales, $384.18 (28.7% of total sales), $18.92 fees (4.9% of sales)
I’ll take weeks like this anytime. Just awesome – above average volume, 50% higher price sold than my average, COGS below 20%. Outside of that chess set that I probably should have priced $25-$50 more, other great sales included an empty reel to reel (bought for $3, sold for $68 best offer), pro recording reel (bought together with the empty reel for $3, sold for $85), Empire State Building handkerchief (paid $1, sold for $30), tarot cards (paid $1, sold for $50), Givenchy perfume (paid $10, sold for $50).
You spoke of buying online lots and that’s exactly what I did this week. Hit a couple of good lots and then listed the contents individually for much more – I’m sure I won’t get my asking price on everything, but piecing it out will pay off in the long run “pipeline”.
02/04/2019 at 3:01 pm #56404
I find my local thrifts are split into those that have anything worthwhile overpriced (and some even print off ridiculous eBay listings that are unsold to put on the item!), and those that are reasonable.
From a scavenging perspective, I just go to where the sourcing is good, and avoid the annoying places. There are places where I walk in and I can’t find anything at a reasonable price these days, however, other places I leave with 10-20 items I know will sell and I don’t have to do too much hunting.
The best places seem to be volunteer, non-profit, charity stores. Value Village, Savers, Goodwill, and any other “chain” place seem to be mostly unreasonable, but still they miss the odd item.
02/04/2019 at 10:26 am #56367NCParticipant
- Location: Georgia
Numbers for the month of January:
Amount of Items sold: 39
Gross sales: $775.37
Cost of goods sold: $79.99
Profits after all expenses: $615.56
Average profit per item: $15.78
Ended the month with a total of 337 listings
02/04/2019 at 10:31 am #56368bcfol440Participant
I am doing my January Numbers roughly:
Poshmark: $550 (after fees)
Returns ebay: 3 items, $350 total.
My sales are down 45% from December. I am still doing my listing goal daily and doing well!
20% of JANUARY sales were non-ebay platforms. Something to pay attention to moving ahead for sure.
02/04/2019 at 10:42 am #56370shayward23Participant
- Location: Metro Detroit
Total Items in Store: 999
Items Sold: 30
Gross Sales: $835.92
Cost of Items Sold: $57.50
Highest Price Sold: $45 (Orvis dress pants)
Average Price Sold: $27.86
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
Number of items listed this week: 70
Was just one of those nice easy balanced weeks for me. Haven’t been doing any sourcing, but that’s because I actually got a fairly sizeable death pile built up. Though in my defence it had way less to do with not getting enough done, and everything to do with some great post Christmas thrifting tips that resulted in more work then I could get through. Also, unless sales go completely crazy this week I’m going to hit 1,000 active listings for the first time…feels like a bit of a milestone to me!
02/04/2019 at 10:44 am #56371LibbyParticipant
- Location: Lehigh Valley, PA
Can’t wait to listen on my Monday night drive! I’ll post my numbers now.
Jan 27 -Feb 2, 2019
Total Items in Store: 3515 3535
Items Sold: 65
Gross Sales: $1297.16
Consignor Commission (COGS): $448.62 (34.6%)
Highest Price Sold: $150 (Dell Inspiron Laptop)
Average Price Sold: $19.96
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
Number of items listed this week: 84 (68 personally)
Decent week, good amount of sales and our average sold price is slowly
climbing. Trying out a few items on Mercari, and refreshed our booth
at the local antiques mall.
02/04/2019 at 10:50 am #56372almastyParticipant
How did the online auctions go??
After making good progress in January in listing through the backlog and hardly buying anything, I failed miserably at life last week and went thrifting/online sourcing/online auction bidding/rummage sale’ng. It felt like a spring week of sourcing! Now, I am back to working hard with my head down and listing as fast as I can. I’m hoping to build up 100-200 drafts this week, on top of the 60-100 items I plan to list straight through to Ebay this week.
I also found a box of unlisted inventory from 2009 that I have been working through on top of the backlog and all the new inventory that came in. Ugh.
You guys should check out the most recent episode of Broad City. It features the trash of NYC!
02/04/2019 at 11:11 am #56374
LOL, I immediately thought of R & J when watching the episode last week! Lamp – check, rug – check, tables – check, power strips – check. 🙂
02/04/2019 at 2:06 pm #56398
We’ll have to watch. It’d be easy to furnish a small apartment from street trash in a couple months.
02/06/2019 at 2:22 pm #56513Steve ListParticipant
- Location: Richmond, Calif.
jchi680 asked: “How did you list the screws and stuff? Curious how you lotted it up and described and titled it”.
I grouped them in lots depending on past sales. It took time to count them out but well worth it.
8-32 x 3/4″ Brass Slotted Fillister Head Machine Screw Coarse Thread 145 Count
6-32 x 5/8″ Copper Slotted Round Head Machine Screws Coarse Thread 50 Count
02/04/2019 at 11:12 am #56375
2019-01-27 – 2019-02-02
Total Items In Store: 2,683
Items Sold: 16
Cost of Items Sold: $50
Total Sales: $516
Highest Price Sold: $76 (Hunting Jacket)
Average Price Sold: $32.25
# Items Listed: about 20
Money Spent on New Inventory: $0
Gut Sales Report for the week: Somewhat slow week. Had some good sales on Sunday, so I’m good.
Challenge of the week: Have to start on my taxes. Bad news is that my Go Daddy account got shut down because I forgot to have money on a credit card. The good news is that I don’t think I need it. I can get everything I need from Wonder Lister.
Scavenge of the week: Nothing
Movie of the week: Ralph wrecks the internet! Must see ebay movie. See my full post about it at:
02/04/2019 at 11:29 am #56377SharynParticipant
- Location: Central NJ
We had a vacuum cleaner where the belt kept breaking, so I decided to lot out the pieces just like your coffee machine. I sold the canister for $20 this week. I paid $5 for the whole thing and got about 3 years of use out of it.
On the other hand, I am working on grouping up some items that have been sitting for a year or two and haven’t sold. I feel these are better lotted up, or I’ll donate them if they sit again for a long amount of time.
Anyway, my numbers look decent, but I’ve got several issues:
Week of Jan 27 – Feb 2
* Total Items in Store: 1326 eBay, 10 Mercari
* Items Sold: 22 eBay
* Cost of Items Sold: $18.40 + $25 Commission
* Total Sales: $563.54
* Highest Price Sold: $60 x 2 IBM Wheelwriter 1500 Typewriters *May need to cancel both*
* Average Price Sold: $25.61
* Returns: 1
* Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
* Number of items listed this week: 27
Things to do list: Listed 1 death pile item, retook photos of a few pieces of jewelry (need better phone camera to finish them off)
Both typewriters were listed as local pickups, and both buyers are not local. One did respond to my messages, and I was able to find a box for it. Adding shipping after the fact is difficult, but can be done. Since she hasn’t responded to my last message, I think I’m going to cancel and then message her after I relist it with shipping.
The other buyer hasn’t responded. I’m going to send another message with a deadline on getting a response. If I have to relist, I’ll add an abbreviated Local Pickup in the title. I don’t have much room to add it since I also have “parts or repair”.
These typewriters work, but need servicing to work as intended. They’ve probably been sitting around for one to two decades without being used or maintained.
Then I sent the wrong pair of pants to a buyer (a repeat customer at that). To fix the issue, I resold him the pants for $5, and I’m waiting to get the wrong pair back so that I can refund him. This is maybe the second time I’ve done something like this in the three years I’ve been selling, so, oh well.
My last issue: A buyer opened a case in PayPal against something they purchased October 4 saying that they didn’t authorize the purchase. I know what to do; I’ll give all the information about the purchase with the tracking number, eBay listing, etc. The big issue is that the buyer opened it right after the USPS dropped the tracking information from their system. I called the USPS number this morning, and they said that tracking information is removed after 120 days.
I’m hoping that I’ll still win the case after providing all the details. I’m thinking that the buyer said that they didn’t authorize the purchase not that they didn’t get the item. I have nothing to do with their PayPal account or their credit card, so I shouldn’t be involved.
02/06/2019 at 9:20 am #56501SharynParticipant
- Location: Central NJ
Just an update on my issues:
I did cancel one typewriter and relist it with shipping. The original buyer did not repurchase it.
I was able to get in touch with the other buyer through email. I told him that he could cancel the purchase or set up shipping with his company of choice. I ended up doing the leg work for him, but I drove the typewriter to the UPS store, and he paid more for shipping and packing than for the item itself.
I did get the pants back and refunded the buyer. He now has the correct pants, and I haven’t heard from him. Hopefully, this is the end of that.
I submitted the info for the case that a buyer opened in PayPal. Hopefully, it closes without any issues.
I forgot to put that I spent $5.75 for new inventory. Auctions at the beginning of the year are always really pricey, so I didn’t spend much. My second one will be this Friday. Right now, I’m working on my death piles.
- This reply was modified 3 years, 4 months ago by Sharyn.
02/04/2019 at 11:39 am #56379SilverFoxFindsParticipant
- Location: Virginia Beach
January and April of last year were my high points in sales, and this January is suggesting a repeat. Though I do wish more months were like this!
I prefer to list items for a fair and good price, sell them BIN, and forget about it, but am starting to tinker around a bit more with pricing and Best Offer to motivate sales. I think my preferred means of selling (and buying) might be in the minority, so better to get in the game and make the sales. And, as Retro mentioned above, shipping will likely become a greater part of the equation – though it hasn’t proven to be an issue with any Buyers in the last week. I see that First Class 1 oz (not letter) is now over $3. Many of my items are in the 1-2# weight class, and they’ll really beg a comparison between shipping methods to see what’s best. I’ll have to be strategic with shipping/sizes methinks.
01/27/18 – 02/01/18
Total Items In Store: 1010
Items Sold: 28
Net Sales (Total Sales – Selling Costs – commission sales): $1,207.16
Highest Price Sold: $290 Cycleport Kevlar Motorcycle Jacket (commission sale); $129 Lowa hiking boots
Average Price Sold: $49.76
Cost of Items Sold: $131.17
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $51.00
Number of Items listed this week: ~30
02/04/2019 at 11:45 am #56380
Thanks for the podcast R&J!
Here are my numbers for the week:
Total Items in Store: 2695
Items Sold: 39
Total Sales: $777
Cost of Items Sold: $86
Average Price Sold: $19.92
Average Cost of Item: $2.23
Highest Price Item Sold: 2 items sold for $44.95 i) Line 6 Tonecore Uber Metal Distortion Pedal ii) Roxant Pro Video Camera Stabilizer
Number of items listed this week: 86
YTD Sales: $4032
YTD sales compared to this time last year: -8%
Average age of items in store (in days since listing): 360
Average number of days between listing and selling this week: 261
Median age of sales (in days, between listing and selling): 225
Sell-through rate (for the week): 1.45%
This week’s sales were about on par with the same time last year and didn’t have anything particular notable. Just a fairly consistent stream of sales (up until Superbowl Sunday).
Regarding changes in sourcing over time, there are lots of factors and trends are one factor. I used to find lots of George Foreman grills and juicers at garage sales. I don’t see them as often now. I’m waiting for the first Instapot to appear at a yard sale.
Regarding sending an offer to watchers, try this link. Replace the whole xxxxx bit at the end with your item number:
Have a great week
02/04/2019 at 12:23 pm #56383
Thanks for the offer link… I just sent out some offers items with the 5 most watchers. We’ll see if something happens.
02/04/2019 at 2:05 pm #56396
Your method is much more specific. Cool.
I found the option on this page:
Scroll down to “Send offers to Watchers”. It gives you random items that you can do this with. Wish they gave you info on if people clicked, etc.
02/04/2019 at 5:21 pm #56418
Yep. I had that linked bookmarked also but the selection of listings presented was pretty useless the times I’ve looked at it.
02/06/2019 at 9:04 am #56500
So it happened – sent out offers on the top 5 items with the most watchers… and one sold! I’ve had this piece of art listed for somewhere between 4-5 years. Obviously priced very high because comps were all over the place for this artist. Ended up selling for $100 in an offer sent to a watcher (paid like $25 for it at an estate sale). https://www.ebay.com/itm/191920094923
I guess I’m a believer now. 🙂
02/04/2019 at 11:58 am #56381GeoffParticipant
1/27/19 – 2/2/19
Total items in store (beginning of week): 403
Items sold: 9
30 day sell through (rate): 9.8%
Gross Sales: $854.29
Cost Paid for Items sold: 85.66
Shipping Cost: $240.93
Ebay Fee’s: $47.47
Paypal Fees: 25.17
Total Costs: $403.67
Net Profit: $450.62
Profit % Rev: 53%
02/04/2019 at 1:36 pm #56389Steve ListParticipant
- Location: Richmond, Calif.
Numbers for January, 2019
Total Listings: 1000
Had 71 Sales for a total of $1500.46
Cost of Items Sold: $231.02
Highest Price Sold: $82.30 (7 lots of brass and copper small screws)
Average Price Sold: $21.13 – Average Cost: $3.25
Spent on new inventory: $0
Number of items listed: 108 (many were multiple quantity)
No returns, 2 GSP, England and Australia
I finally hit 1000 listings this month, actually I hit it about 4 times because of sales each time I got went over 1000.
A BOLO I always check for in the garages and sheds at estate sales are small brass and copper screws and nuts. I spent under $10 for a lot of them recently at a sale and already have had $137 in sales and still have 11 lots for sale.
My weirdest sale in January was 2 lots (different buyers) of 100 Diet Coke plastic bottle caps for $10 plus shipping. Not a big sale but since I drink a lot of the stuff and have been saving the caps for a few years it was basically free money. These were ones with unused redemption codes, (just sold another lot over the weekend.)
One last note, I had an $80 sale to the state of Washington. eBay put a small note on my order page stating that the purchaser was charged sales tax and that it will be remitted to the state by eBay. I hope eBay does this for all of the states that charge sales tax, it will make life easier for all of us online sellers.
02/04/2019 at 2:01 pm #56395
Its my understanding that eBay will charge and deal with any state tax that exists. I see no other way for it to work with small sellers.
02/04/2019 at 5:19 pm #56417
Since it’s tax time, I’m wondering if the sales tax that the WA, OK etc customers pay will be included on the 1099 from PayPal. If it does, (and assuming that you use the PayPal 1099 as a the basis for reporting your revenue for the year) then we actually do need to know what the customer paid or we could end up having that money end up in our taxable profit figures. (This sounds confusing when I write it out).
02/04/2019 at 5:24 pm #56419
From what I’m seeing, the seller never touches the tax. eBay adds the state tax to the customers bill and handles the tax as a separate transaction.
If anything, it’s probably a big pain in the ass for eBay.
02/05/2019 at 12:49 am #56434
It would be great if they could deal with sales tax for sales within the seller’s state (for states where that applies), but I haven’t heard of any plans for them to do that. 🙁
02/05/2019 at 1:13 am #56435
For the folks on here based in Washington state, what’s the current process for remitting sales tax for in-state transactions (ie, both buyer and seller are in Washington state)? Do you still have to collect that tax and remit on your own? Or has ebay’s implementation of collecting sales tax for sellers outside of Washington selling to Washington-based buyers also collect tax for your in-state transactions?
I’m a bad citizen and have not yet gotten around to collecting and remitting sales tax for sales within my state. But since my state is on the list of states now requiring sales tax for out-of-state transactions, it would be great if once ebay implemented collection for my state, it took care of my in-state transactions too.
02/05/2019 at 8:30 am #56440
None of these platforms want to deal with taxes unless they are forced to.
02/06/2019 at 1:59 pm #56511jchi680Participant
- Location: Midwest
How did you list the screws and stuff? Curious how you lotted it up and described and titled it.
02/04/2019 at 2:05 pm #56397DoublythumbsParticipant
- Location: Hopedale, OH
Jan 27 – Feb 2
Total Items in Store: 2084
Items Sold: 36
Total Sales: $1,011
* above yearly average of $915
* above 2018 total week sales of $521
Highest Price: $160 (Lot of four 35mm photo slides of 1975 Reno, NV)
Average Price: $28
Cost of Goods Sold: $46
Costs of Goods Purchased this Week: $0
Number of New Items Listed this Week: 64
Another decent week on my end. And you two had an exceptional week I see! That’s what I’m striving toward but I know it’ll be a long while before I make it up to that level. But I’m making great money now and it’s all being put away for when I don’t have my standard day job anymore, one way or the other.
We narrowly avoided a catastrophe on Saturday. I was down in my basement taking some photos when I started hearing an odd dripping sound. I investigated and found water dripping from the ceiling onto my inventory. The first thing I did was moved everything out of the way, then I ran upstairs and opened the laundry room door and there was a fountain of water spraying up out of the back of the washing machine from where a pipe broke! If I hadn’t been down there or if it was a day that I was at work, it would have been a disaster. Luckily nothing downstairs was damaged. Water sucks!
Other than that, it was an uneventful week. The university where I work closed for the last 3 days of the week due to weather, so it was really nice to stay home and concentrate on listing. I felt like I got so much done! And it kind of gave me a sense of what it will be like once I take the plunge and go full time. I’ll need to work on a better schedule though. I wasn’t getting started until noon, which to me is way too late.
02/04/2019 at 2:38 pm #56401
Once you leave that job, you’ll wonder what you were so worried about and why you didnt do it sooner.
We have a neighbor whose house had a frozen pipe on his second floor. When things thawed this weekend, it burst and poured water onto hid second floor, to his first floor and polled up in his basement. Because he’s out of town, the water ran for two days. Yikes.
02/04/2019 at 2:45 pm #56402
Totals for the MONTH of January 2019. I am mainly a mens clothes seller, free shipping, free returns, 1% promoted listings, no best offer, good till cancelled.
Listings/items at end of month = 3688 / 4197 Total listed value $89,109
Items sold = 302 up 36% YOY
$ sold = $8684.16 up 42% YOY
ASP = $28.75 up 7% YOY
Postage = $1649.55 (19.3% of gross)
Ebay fees = $1,012.20 (11.7% of gross) (includes Promoted listing fees of 97 sales totaling $2528(25.55-8.33 credit = $17.22) 32.1% of items sold/ 29.1% of $ sold)
COGS = $955 (11% of gross)
Returns = $312.84 (3.6% of gross)
PP Fees = $356.30 (4.1% of gross)
Total operating expenses = $4,285.89 (49.3% of gross)
Total operating profit (my name for it – does not include expenses such as mileage, shipping supplies, depreciation, etc …) $4398.11
Vtg Evercraft Art Deco Skyscraper Style Stainless Steel Cocktail Shaker 13″ Tall cost $3, sold for $249.99
Vtg Woolrich Mackinaw 503 Cruiser Wool Hunting Jacket USA Made Size 44 (large) , cost $7, sold for $117
Lot of 10 WELL used Fire Resistant Reflective shirts to Bermuda??? cost $10, sold for $125 to forwarder.
Sales breakdown by price range:
80-100 = 1
60-80 = 8
40-60 = 13
30-40 = 34
20-30 = 98
10-20 = 145
02/04/2019 at 3:22 pm #56405
This is probably the best reporting of numbers I’ve seen on here. That’s ALOT of information presented in a clear and concise fashion.
Have you considered doing any experiments?
Flat $5 shipping per item?
Trending rates in promoted listings?
02/04/2019 at 3:50 pm #56410
I have done this type of breakdown each month since November 2018. I keep changing it a bit when I see others put something in I think is interesting in their breakdowns.
I am doing this by myself and have other ‘regular’ jobs that are 3/4 time (1400 hours a year) so I am not doing to many experiments. I got on the GTC, List it and forget it, J&R list it high and wait bandwagon in 2015 and just keep listing.
I do 1% promoted listing just so I get the 2x listings and with an anchor store I get a $25 quarterly credit so might as well. I don’t like to pay even more for ebay fees!
02/04/2019 at 3:28 pm #56407
How are you recording and keeping track of all these numbers?
02/04/2019 at 3:57 pm #56411
All the numbers excluding COGS are available in the ebay/paypal reports. I sort the months orders by price to get the number per price band and see what is interesting/notable that sold. Paypal financial reports for the month give gross payments, returns, shipping labels and paypal fees and YOY % increases in # sold, total sales $, and ASP $. I get the ebay fees from my invoice. GOGS is on a spreadsheet. To put it all together in this ‘report’ takes about 40 minutes including some analysis and contemplation!
I only do it once a month – and post it here for accountability.
- This reply was modified 3 years, 4 months ago by Kelly1mm.
02/05/2019 at 1:17 am #56436
Just a note of clarification why the ebay fees seem a bit high, or at least more than I thought it would be. Part of that fees is the return shipping labels that are added to my invoice. I am not going to back it out of there and add it to the shipping line but I will note it in the future.
Probably increases the shipping line by 1% of gross and decreases the ebay fees by 1% of gross.
02/04/2019 at 3:39 pm #56409The_SEAM_StoreParticipant
- Location: PA
Week Jan 27-Feb-2, 2019
Total Items in Store: 3565 listings for 5513 total items
Items Sold: 66
Gross Sales: $5285.65
Cost of Thrifted Items Sold: $278
Consignment Payout $1071, less any future returns.
Highest Price Sold: $516 Vintage Tanuki Fur Coat- (consigned) $357 Citizen Eco Drive Watch – (Thrifted)
Average Price Sold: $80.09
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $1242.69
Number of items listed this week: 63 listings for 87 Items
Amazon Products – 45
Items Sold – 5
Gross Sales – $97.80
Average Price Sold – $19.56
$ Spent on amazon inventory this week – $20
Just barely missed breaking $25,000 in sales for January, second month in a row within $200!
My wife decided she wanted to give poshmark a try, so I spent some time this week helping her with photos. She listed 13 and sold 1. It was fun watching her go through all the emotions of a new seller.
02/04/2019 at 4:02 pm #56412Jean JanglesParticipant
- Location: Queensland Australia
My Store Week Jan 27-Feb 2, 2019
Total Items in Store: 1566
Items Sold: 35
Gross Sales: $777.08
Cost of Items Sold: $28.50
Highest Price Sold: $65 (LG Washing Machine Front Panel Cover)
Average Price Sold: $19.63
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $100
Number of items listed this week: 100
Thought I’d post my numbers for once since this week has been one of my biggest.
I’ve been selling alot of washing machine & dishwasher parts from machines I get for free
from people on gumtree.
I also sell DVD’s which I usually buy in bulk for less than 50c each.
I’m going to focus on washing machine parts for the time being, they seem to be working out pretty well..
02/04/2019 at 4:58 pm #56416
If you’re handy and have access to quality appliances, parting them out is good business.
02/04/2019 at 4:04 pm #56414retiredtreasures719Participant
- Location: Troy, Ohio
I’m relieved to hear that other sellers are having periods of days not selling items. I was starting to think I was doing something wrong. There are always occasional days when nothing sells, but recently it’s become so regular and stretches into 2-3 days that I get a little freaked out. That being said, I did have a good week. I sold a consignment item for a friend of my husband that boosted sales quite nicely!
For me, sourcing always sucks in Jan. & Feb. weather has definitely been a big factor this year. Hopefully Puxatawny Phil will be right for a change and spring will come early along with garage and estate sales. Haven’t been doing much listing for a couple of reasons. My pile of things to list is getting pretty meager and I am in the process of trying to find my dad a new assisted living place so I’m spending much of my free time on the phone. I have spent some time tweaking my active listings-ending low priced items and revising some older listings.
Question-is there a place on eBay that allows you to run a yearly report with sales information you can use to prepare taxes? I was looking, but could only find quarterly reports.
eBay Jan. 27-Feb. 2
Total sales. $326.32 (less commission $367.32)
Average sale. $13.60
# sold. 24
# listed. 8
# in store. 1,098
COGS. $19.08 + $59 commission &78.08
$ spent on new. $5.97
Highest sale. $100 Wm Barclay 16 vol. Study Bible (commission item)
$24 Siam Sterling cufflinks & tie clip
02/04/2019 at 4:10 pm #56415
As far as I know, eBay provides no info on taxes.
Paypal sends you a 1099 of all your sales + shipping income.
Its up tp each seller to independently keep track of expenses.
02/04/2019 at 5:56 pm #56423The_SEAM_StoreParticipant
- Location: PA
Question-is there a place on eBay that allows you to run a yearly report with sales information you can use to prepare taxes? I was looking, but could only find quarterly reports.
You can subscribe to “Sales Reports Plus”. It’s a feature of old ebay, but there is a link to it on the seller hub in the “Selling Tools” Section. Unfortunately, the sales info you will get is not retroactive, but it will keep a record of your sales from the day you sign up, forward.
02/04/2019 at 7:07 pm #56427
In case it’s helpful, you can export down a full year of activity from PayPal. Just watch out for the different activity types (eg: refunds) so that you’re only using what you actually need.
02/04/2019 at 8:10 pm #56428
You provided the missing link that I needed!
Wonder Lister had all the information I need for my taxes, except my USPS shipping costs (it only saves Fedex, I believe it is a bug). Anyway, with Go Daddy losing my data, I had no way to get this data. The only accurate way to get it was to add up it up by hand the postage I paid from each 1 page print out. I didn’t want to do that, so I just downloaded the shipping costs from Paypal (had to filter it), but it gave me the number I needed.
Thanks again Simon.
02/05/2019 at 10:34 am #56452
Thanks Simon! I use easy auction tracker but there always seems to be some glitch where I don’t get all of the sales updated. Our computer guy erased it from the temp file this year so I have to go to paypal for Jan and Feb.
02/04/2019 at 9:10 pm #56430
Week of 1/27-02/02
Total Items in Store: 2,120 (Up 18% YOY)
Number of Items Listed: 124
Number of Items Sold: 78 (Up 41% YOY)
(Includes 4 Etsy, 8 Poshmark, 0 Bonanza, 0 TrueGether)
Weekly STR: 13% (Even YOY)
Total Product Sales: $2,568 (Up 74%)
Sales Volume Variance to Prior Year: $526
Sales Price Variance to Prior Year: Up 488
Cost of Items Sold: $605
Cost of Labor: $238
Highest Item Sold: $250 – New HUGO BOSS Aamon/Hago Suit
Competition: Highest Priced Sale: Troy wins the week (FINALLY!!!) and Veronica leads for the year 4-1.
# Listed: 1,332
# Sold: 59
# Listed: 428
# Sold: 12
# Listed: 360
# Sold: 4
# Listed: 179
# Sold: 4
# Listed: 400
# Sold: 8
02/05/2019 at 1:25 am #56437
Nice numbers T-Satt! Is it just me or is your ASP creeping up? Any YOY change on that?
02/05/2019 at 6:21 am #56438
Kelly: You are 100% accurate on that. ASP is up 23% YOY.
That is what the Price Variance of $488 represents.
Current Year ASP: $32.50
Prior Year ASP: $26.32
Current Year Sales Units: 79
($32.50 – $26.32) x 79 = $488
The Volume Variance is the increase in sales units YOY:
Current Year Sales Units: 79
Prior Year Sales Units: 56
Prior Year ASP: $26.32
(79 – 56) x $26.32 = $605
Current Year Sales: $2,568
Prior Year Sales: $1,474
$2,568 – $1,474 = $1,094
$488 + $605 = $1,094
So, our week had $1,094 more sales revenue than last year, $488 was due to higher prices and $605 was due to more sale volume.
02/05/2019 at 8:29 am #56439
Looks like your Poshmark experiment is doing pretty well. You make almost $300, right?
02/05/2019 at 4:13 pm #56478
Jay: Yep, starting to hum. About $300 per week the last couple of weeks. Been on a string of selling at least one item per day on PM right now, about 10 days in a row.
I have been seeing how it proves the numbers true. If you want to sell something every day…have a 500 item store. Once I crossed about 375 on PM, the string started…
02/04/2019 at 10:09 pm #56432vikingsilverParticipant
- Location: Raleigh, NC
First post here! Been feeling on eBay since 2001…my first job as a 16 year old was actually working at an ISoldIt on eBay store. I’ll write up a better introduction post at some point. Here is my week. I am excited to work on my current Ebay business plan…doing actual numbers is a step in the right direction.
Week of 1/27-02/02
Total Items in Store: 1,578
Number of Items Listed: 52
Number of Items Sold: 39
Total Sales: $839.32
Cost of Items Sold: $117 (this is a guess…one of the numbers I need to work on)
Highest Item Sold: $103.99 – Beachwaver Curling Iron
Average Price Sold: $21.52
Inventory Spending: $341.63
Consignment Payouts: $250.98
Sell Through Rate: 2.47%
Cash Flow (+/-): -$58.89
02/05/2019 at 8:30 am #56441
Welcome. We all love numbers so thanks for sharing.
02/05/2019 at 9:13 am #56443
Half way through the podcast, and enjoying it! 🙂
Here are my numbers for the week:
My Store Week Jan 27-Feb 2, 2019
Total Items in Store: 1069
Items Sold: 16
Gross Sales: $246.38 (adjusted for returns)
Cost of Items Sold: $27.75
Highest Price Sold: $30 (tie between a pair of men’s dress shoes and a Greek bookend)
Average Price Sold: $15.40
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
Number of items listed this week: 14
Slow sales… low dollar… feeling the winter blues over here… I can see that last February was a slow time for sales also and I am yearning for Spring and Garage Sales. I have been really struggling with getting my eBay business up to where I want it to be at this point and I just haven’t been able to find the time that I wish I could to devote to my business. I know there are a lot of other mothers with small (and big) kids on here and full time jobs doing VERY well – and I honestly don’t know how you all are doing it… I am struggling just to keep my inventory number stable. My kids are 1,4,6,8,and 12. Between feeding them all and trying to keep my house in order and keep them from killing each other and shuttling people between activities, every time I try to delve into listing or photographing, I am interrupted, or just too darn tired. Don’t mean to complain here at all – I love eBay and am very grateful for this extra income, I just need to figure out how to break through to the next level and I would like to double my income. I am not sure if that means listing more of the same types of items or having a smaller store with better quality items? Maybe online sourcing to save time? (Goodwill thrifting is getting completely out-of-hand as we’ve talked about on here before – almost to the point of being unbearable.) Anyway, glad to be part of this community and learning from the best! Have a good week everyone…
02/05/2019 at 10:36 am #56454
You’re not complaining. You are taking care of 5!!!! kids under twelve years old. Im surprised you hav any time to run any kind of business.
02/06/2019 at 7:56 am #56494
Thank you, Jay, for the vote of confidence! I am feeling so much better today – as my old boss used to say “Sales are the best medicine”.. I had gone 2 1/2 days with no sales and I think my mood was reflecting that!
02/05/2019 at 11:24 am #56459LibbyParticipant
- Location: Lehigh Valley, PA
I can’t even imagine how you get that much done with 5 kids! How???? I think you are doing pretty amazing!
02/06/2019 at 7:58 am #56495
LOL!! Thank you Libby!
02/05/2019 at 11:53 am #56462
Hang in there Ebay mom, I hear you and that’s quite a spread in ages you have with all different needs. I think online sourcing could be a time suck unless you are talking quantity. The best way to step up if you really want to I think is to hire someone flexible for listing. My older one is way too busy and neither kid is interested, but I’ve thought about finding someone since the sourcing is plentiful here. But for now, I’m content to let reselling go to the back burner as needed, knowing that I will probably step this up later when life is less demanding. I also really enjoy listing on Mercari since it’s super fast and easy. You can promote with your phone anywhere during downtime – like waiting in the car to pick up. Good luck!
02/06/2019 at 8:29 am #56498
Thank you for your supportive response… I downloaded Mercari last night and I am going to post some clothing on there (maybe from my own closets just to get familiar with the new platform) – if it is truly as easy to list as you say – I will let you know if/when I get my first sale. I have been meaning to get on another venue just to round out the eBay sales a bit and give a fresh perspective, so no time like the present! In regards to hiring a listing helper – I would love to do that but honestly my house is always in a state of chaos (it’s the dishes and laundry thing… that retro mentioned!) so I don’t see that happening anytime soon. I am overwhelmed with housekeeping and usually have to decide “Am I going to list today or clean up the mess?”…(there is no question what I would rather be doing…but sometimes the family needs have to come first!) My 12 year old does listing drafts and some pictures for me in order to “pay” for her cell phone costs (~$35/month which I would pay anyway – but she doesn’t know that 😉 and additional “wants”. I credit her $1.00 per draft/photograph and she likes to do a lot of the “smalls” that I don’t generally like to do (small toys/trinkets/etc.) which always sell for $10-$20 – this is a great help, yet she is very busy with a packed schedule so this only amounts to a few hours a month – but I take whatever I can get. I think things will get easier once my little ones are in school – I will be able to have more dedicated time to focus on sourcing and listing. Until then – as you say – sometimes the business just has to go on the backburner…
02/06/2019 at 10:06 am #56507
@Ebay mom: You’re welcome! If I had a helper, I would probably have them pick up a tote and take it home to photo and start drafts. But, takes time to find someone of course.
I have the lighting issue you have. I have shadows on my items, poor lighting as I am often taking photos early morning before everyone wakes and don’t want to set up a lighting kit in our main living area (no basements out here). I think my photos are good otherwise and stuff does sell. My current motto is “great items, great prices”. I used to have aspirations of some perfectly curated Esty store.
Sourcing-wise, you could try rummage sales to buy in bulk. Garage sales are time consuming but estate sales could potentially pay off better with quantity buying.
On Mercari, I started with liquidating my own kids’ better brand stuff and books. I suspect that there are a lot of young moms on Mercari shopping. The Farmhouse stuff, Rae Dunn promoted by Youtube young moms is selling on Mercari. It’s way faster to list, but the prices are not quite as strong as Ebay generally speaking. Still, I’ve moved some super stale items crossposted from Ebay on Mercari and Mercari is gaining traffic I think. Maybe it would be good for the smaller items your daughter likes to list.
02/05/2019 at 2:48 pm #56471
Ours are 12, 8, 5, and 2 and a 5th will be here in April.
My dirty secret…. let the house go to pot. We homeschool too, so they pretty much never leave. Lol! We absolutely hate the state of disarray in our house on most days, but it is WAAAAYYYY too much effort to keep a nice house with 4 tornados constantly swirling around destroying. Not to mention the sheer volume of clothes and dishes – just dishes and clothes is literally a full time job! You either have hobbies/interest or a clean house and well kept yard when you have kids. I’m convinced you can’t have both. My wife and I have many hobbies and interests, so….
Also in many cases, sleep is the item I have to sacrifice.
I strive for peak efficiency in every ebay task I have. Scavenging I can scour an entire thrift store in 30-60 minutes and that includes researching most items before committing to purchase. I’m an efficient machine when I am in scavenge mode – don’t try and talk to me in that state because I won’t hear you. Listing I process in batches. Clean a tote of shoes, then next time create the listings, then next time shoot all the photos. Then I will upload the photos in mobile in spare minutes throughout the day. I have a very specific method of photographing for every style of item to keep the time to a minimum. I have good lighting and do not have to edit any of my photos except an occasional crop or rotate.
With shipping I have constantly evolved to speed up the process. I have standardized on mostly priority mail boxes and mailers. I have a zebra label printer. I’m already packaging the next item while waiting on the label to process and print for the last item because that 10-20 seconds of dead time adds up to 5-10 minutes if packing/shipping 15+ items. Speaking of that, I also save time by have 2-3 day handling time. This minimizes the amount of trips I make to my inventory shed as I only ship 2-3 times a week. It is more efficient to fit all my shipping into 2-3 sessions.
My entire ebay business has been built in 15 – 30 minute increments. Occasionally I’ll get a 2-3 hour power session but they are few and far between.
02/05/2019 at 4:19 pm #56479
ebaymom: I’m sure that Veronica especially can relate!
A lot of great ideas already sent, and I’ll second the “chunking” piece. Doing things in batches is way more efficient of you set it up right. Do a batch of just photos, then a batch of just listings, etc.
My question would be what are your free times to work? With that many kids and that range, you would have to schedule your time out very well. Maybe getting up before the kids, or staying late after they went to bed would be good to carve out some blocks of time to crank out the work, then you can focus on family time the other times of the day. Just depends on your schedule.
Keep it up!
02/06/2019 at 9:54 am #56505
Thanks Troy, You made me think of implementing a daily morning “bubble bath” which holds my youngest kids captive for a good 30 minutes or so – I can take pictures the night before and get in 30 minutes of extra listing on my laptop during this time while they are occupied! 🙂
02/06/2019 at 9:44 am #56504
Hi Retro, Thanks for the great response and terrific advice! I bet your kids are so excited about the baby – our kids are similar ages… this last child (she just turned 1!) has been by far the easiest and most fun kid ever… Everyone “helps” out and the baby has brought so much joy to our family, I am thankful, everyday. I always say having 1 and 2 kids was hard – 3 was the hardest… but after 4 and 5 it is all downhill from there! Keep us posted! AND I LOVE YOUR DIRTY LITTLE SECRET! I call my kids “The Destroyers” as I will be picking up one room, and lo and behold, they will be in the next 2 rooms throwing toys all over the floor… I know you get this. It is a losing battle… Too bad my husband gets bothered by the mess so I need to at least pretend to sometimes have a clean house – I have resigned to cleaning off the kitchen counter before he comes home (sometimes) and clearing toys from the 1st floor. I could spend an entire day doing dishes and laundry and then it is rinse and repeat ad infinitum and a few hours later looks like I didn’t do anything!
Now, I really am going to take to heart what you are saying about “peak efficiency”… because while I may suck at housekeeping – I still want my eBay business to thrive and grow while I am taking care of my kids. Lately when I thrift (2x a week) I have been so concerned about picking quality goods that I at times have only walked out with 1 or 2 items… not a great use of my time. Maybe I need to broaden where I am going and source less but buy more… Also, you mention batch processing – which is how I handle things… but one area I need to improve is the photography. The best lighting is during the day with giant white poster boards on my kitchen floor. Now that the baby is walking… she will touch/walk/interfere with whatever I am trying to measure and photograph. So now I am stuck with night photography which is not nearly as good – and I do need to lighten and contrast all 12 photos which is a massive time sink. Did you buy special lighting? Can you or anyone recommend a good cheap light set (is this even possible) that I can buy ~$100 for late night photos in my dimly lit basement? This would help immensely!
As far as 2-3 day handling time … well I really don’t want to “loose the TRS” status/benefits.. but to be honest… for the meager < $10 credit every month and 1 day handling time – I cannot tell you how many times I have had to “run” to the post office, load the kids in the car, and drive the 7 miles one way to drop the single package in the slot because I forgot to schedule a postal pickup. It is a pain in the butt.. and probably doing 2 day handling time would more than pay for any loss of TRS credits by only having to go the post office once or twice a week instead of 3-4-5 times a week. I am going to SERIOUSLY consider this one.
One last item, is the label printer. I have read all the posts on SL regarding the Dymo, and was considering a 450 or 450XL but don’t know much about the zebra. What model do you use? Does yours print out 4×6 labels? (Hey, did you know you can get labels for FREE if you have a Fed-Ex account? Wow, I just saw this on you tube in case you didn’t know:
) Anyway, I thank you again for taking the time to give some awesome advice! Congrats on the arcade sale too, btw… Hope that local pick up went OK.
02/06/2019 at 2:46 pm #56515
I used a Dymo 450 Turbo (long skinny labels) for a long time and really liked it. I happened upon a zebra label printer with a pile of labels when the local K-mart closed for $70 so I jumped on that. Fed Ex labels are still not zebra friendly on ebay, so I still use the laser printer for those rare labels.
My garage is a dedicated space to ebay now, so my photography area is kid-free with dedicated table and lighting. Before I had that, I used the kids table in our school room with a trifold cardboard background and replaced the standard lighting in the room with daylight LED bulbs.
Here’s an example of that setup:
It got the job done.
So if you can’t do dedicated photography lighting, at least replace every light in the room you use with daylight LED bulbs – preferably 75 watt equivalent or better.
I’ve photographed a lot of my items at work either at my desk or on the conference room table with whatever room lighting I had. This worked okay, but the iphone struggles with blue colors in bad fluorescent lighting.
Office Cubicle Desk https://www.ebay.com/itm/262694390998
Conference room table https://www.ebay.com/itm/262695636933
For smalls I have used two options.
For super cheap setup, I simply used a sheet of 11×17 paper taped to the wall and draped down onto the table right on my office desk. Worked surprisingly well even with crappy office lighting.
Then I broke down and bought a 24″ cube LED light box. My thoughts were that this would make it easier to set up and break down so I could photograph anywhere at anytime.
Honestly I really don’t like the light box. I currently have it under my cubicle at work and occasionally crack it out. It does not play well with the wide angle lens of my iphone 7. I can’t really photograph things larger than say 8x8x8 or else the foil sides of the box come into view.
Other creative “photograph when I can” iterations of my photography include
A white plastic table at church in the gymnasium after Wednesday dinner while kids are in youth program
A blanket covering the trunk of my hatchback car outdoors while my kids are at soccer practice
A white painted piece of plywood sitting on carboard boxes in my driveway
For backdrops I’ve used felt, blankets, blackout cloth, sheets, carboard, plywood, and the wall itself. I can tell you after years of experimentation that the absolute best backdrop is White Marine Vinyl: https://www.joann.com/marine-vinyl/4789087.html
It is very durable, doesn’t wrinkle, and is washable. You can keep this stuff mounted on a roll on the wall above your dining table and roll it down just to do pictures then roll it back up.
Replace your dining light with a 5 light dining chandelier such as this
and you would be in business for sure. That was my set up with a very similar light for a long time. Use all 75w Daylight LED’s and rotate the lights to point upward to flood the room with light to kill the harshness.
I can tell you this from experience. If you truly want to take this to the next level you need a dedicated photo area that is adaptable to everything you sell with excellent lighting that provides true to color photos with no adjustment needed.
02/07/2019 at 10:14 am #56548
Thanks for the tip on the Marine Vinyl…I’m constantly going to the dollar store to replace my Bristol board backdrops as they get smudges, dirt, or dinged up from use. I’ve tried felt, cotton sheets, painted wood but hoping this is my answer for a strong, cleanable, and easy to store photo background. Looks hopeful!
02/07/2019 at 10:47 am #56550
ebaymom: I had the same trouble when I first started with lighting. I could only do it during the day, and the only place that worked would have a shine I had to deal with off of the wood floors. So being able to photo at any time of day is critical.
Two options I would recommend. Look on Amazon and eBay for Cowboy Studio lights. They are a good place to start for lighting. From there you can look to move up, or move up now, depending on your budget.
Option B: Hire a photographer that has their own studio. This has done wonders for us. May be a bit of a search, but if you can find it, it is huge.
02/07/2019 at 1:34 pm #56576
That’s the basic setup I started with.
Here’s another option to really crank up your lighting on the cheap:
put 4 of the 75w LED daylight lamps in there and you’re pushing some serious light and still keeping the actual wattage below 60 watts.
02/05/2019 at 9:16 am #56444
I came up with a Scavenger Buying Equation Matrix.
For those of you having a difficult time deciding if you should buy an item or not, maybe run the purchase by this matrix:
02/05/2019 at 10:31 am #56451
I’d add shipping cost / whether it fits in a USPS flat rate or is eligible for cubic rates.
02/05/2019 at 4:54 pm #56480
Great Mark.. I printed the Matrix out and showed to wife susan and both Helpers. We all had a good laugh when one of the helpers said, “And isn’t this cute” is not on the list!
That is my dreaded phrase, that if Susan picks something up and says “isn’t this cute”, then it is going to get bought regardless of profit margin or buying cost. It usually means it will never get listed and BAM! it sits somewhere in our house or the glass collection.
And by the way, I never hear her say, “isn’t this cute about a full tackle box, an old hatchet, or an old rusty barn item. No, no nothing I would ever want to keep for just me!
We all had a good laugh and said we need to add that to your matrix.
mike at MDCGFA in Atl.
02/05/2019 at 6:30 pm #56483
Mike, Jay, Christine,
Back by popular demand is the Scavenger Buying Equation Matrix Version 2.0! And yes, “cute” makes the matrix this time!
I thought I would make the headings simple. Also, there is now an “Ok” in the middle of great and not great. Here is the new link to version 2.0:
02/05/2019 at 9:18 am #56445
Regarding the Scavenger Buying Equation Matrix above – You can come up with your own strategy. For example, the item has to be in the Great column for at least 3 out of the 5 categories.
02/05/2019 at 9:24 am #56446
I’d add “Do you want this item in your life?”
02/05/2019 at 11:13 am #56457
Total Items in Store: 309 Ebay, about 50 Mercari
Items Sold: 9 Ebay, 0 Mercari
Gross Sales: $306 Ebay
Cost of Items Sold: $27 + $14 shipping included + some items ours
Highest Price Sold: $94 (Christmas! stocking needlepoint kit, paid $4 goodwill)
Average Price Sold: $34
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
Number of items listed this week: 6
Busy outside Ebay but enjoyed the podcast. I like this kind of analysis, though I’m not sourcing much these days. Sold the expensive craft kit after participating in a group Pinterest FB share. February is usually the worst month of sales for me, so I’ll have to try to goose along sales as much as possible. I sent offers to watchers on Ebay – no results yet. Thanks to those who were sharing about that beta. Chatter on FB that Mercari is pretty dead this month. Have a great week.
02/05/2019 at 7:53 pm #56485mickdogParticipant
- Location: Portland, OR
Seemed quiet after a gangbusters December, but still a good start to 2019!
January Monthly Numbers
56 sales (down 10 from December)
$ sold (minus shipping): $1495 (above last year’s average by over $200 so that’s good)
Per sale average: $26.70 (above my goal of over $25)
cost per item average: $5.39 (A few items were personal and they had high purchase prices so this number doesn’t bug me)
Biggest Sale: No big sales at all but this Italian soup tureen was the highest and Jay will appreciate it as it was a piece of pottery that I got in a kitchen/pottery/glassware lot at an auction and I completely thought was ugly and it turned out to be the biggest money maker! https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vietri-Solimene-CAMPAGNA-Royal-Blue-Fish-4-Qt-Covered-Soup-Tureen-Lid/192606165971
Items in store peak for month: 820 or so trying to stay above 800 but I’m busy and not listing as much.
Returns/Refunds : 1. Got an email late in the 30 day free returns for a blender I sold in December. Buyer said they used it about 5 times and then motor started smoking. It was used and also from that same kitchen lot mentioned above, so I just refunded their money in full and told them to throw it away.
Customer issues: none other than above issue.
Sourcing: Found a few higher dollar items including a couple things that I spent more on ($10-20). Most of these are listed in the $50-100 range so hopefully these bigger purchases bring nice sales.
02/06/2019 at 8:12 am #56496
Anytime we can sell pottery or glass is the best feeling. Its our big personal challenge since that stuff is everywhere.
02/05/2019 at 8:42 pm #56487
I’m excited about my scavenge of the week:
A vintage Aquascutum wool coat! I’ve found this brand only once or twice before, and both times there were flaws that I was very happy to notice while in the store, so I didn’t buy. This one is in excellent condition. Paid $40 at Goodwill.
02/06/2019 at 10:02 am #56506
Sonia, I have never heard of Aquascutum – I love learning from all the cool stuff you find!
02/06/2019 at 5:30 am #56493Marie in FloridaParticipant
The last several weeks have been emotional roller coasters as my mom had several serious setbacks and some amazing recoveries. Enjoying her sweet content company while we have her. In the meantime I’ve reverted to that simplest of goals-have more listed at the end of the week than you did before.
459 items listed last week Getting closer and closer to the big goal of 500
02/06/2019 at 9:25 am #56503antarestarParticipant
- Location: Maine
First time posting numbers:
For the month of January
Items in store: ~525
Items sold: 77
Gross Profit: $1,610
I picked up two of these Granite Gear Backpacks at the bins on half price night so maybe paid $2-3 each, because they were the biggest backpacks I had ever seen in my life. I’m pretty sure I could have gotten into either one of them. Plus the tags said Made in the USA. I do well selling any kind of hiking backpack – the huge one with rigid skeletons are a bit of a pain to pack but not too bad. I end up washing them in the bathtub and imagine I’m reenacting the Lucile Ball scene where she’s crushing grapes.
02/06/2019 at 10:11 am #56508
Yeah! I sold a craft kit for $135 with make offer to watchers beta on Ebay. Sweet.
02/06/2019 at 11:28 am #56509BigSallyParticipant
- Location: Washington State
@ Jay “I’d add “Do you want this item in your life?””
…I know your talking about a Ouija Board….;) Heh Heh
02/06/2019 at 2:06 pm #56512jchi680Participant
- Location: Midwest
Haven’t done my numbers yet but did sell some stuff I’ve had listed for 6+ months. I was able to get an offer on an item I was sick of looking at and was fine with the offer.
02/06/2019 at 7:56 pm #56530MoCoyotesParticipant
- Location: St. Louis
1/27 – 2/2
Total Items in Store: 2735
Items Sold: 38
Cost of Items Sold: $32
Total Sales: $1419
Highest Price Sold: $189 (mid century ash tray and drink stand)
Average Price Sold: $37.34
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $40
Number of items listed this week: 77
Like I said last week, we do sell a lot of clothes. I’m have a lot of knowledge in vintage workwear, denim, military and also 80s and 90s streetwear. We sell a lot in these categories as well as hats. We have been slowly growing this store since shortly after Rita and I began dating (now engaged). This store started in spring 2016. Before that I had a different eBay store. Beyond clothes we sell lots of estate sale vintage household items, old books, etc.
Out sales slowly increase as our store size increases. We haven’t noticed any slowdown in clothes or hard goods.
02/07/2019 at 9:52 am #56544
Congrats on the engagement. Do you both sell online full-time?
02/06/2019 at 8:19 pm #56532
Since I am doing year end numbers for taxes, I thought I would compare 2017 to 2018 in a certain way.
I want to know if the percentage increase in the number of items translated into the same or more percentage increase in the dollar. It was nearly dead on! I increased my number of average items per month from 2087 to 2402. That is a 15.25% increase of average items per month.
My 2017 total sales were $28,894.85. My total sales for 2018 were $33,385.32. That is a 15.5% increase in the total dollar amount.
02/06/2019 at 10:49 pm #56533
Has anyone noticed that we are about to have 5000 members on this blog anytime now? 4994 right now.
02/07/2019 at 9:55 am #56545
It’s surprising since we probably only have about 50 people posting regularly, but thats pretty normal in online communities with a small percentage doing most of the conversing.
We also strictly moderate so very few spammer accounts in here. Welcome everyone.
02/07/2019 at 12:45 pm #56566
Yeah.. I remember way back in early episodes where Jay and Ryanne would get to the end and had no callers and Jay would ask for members to post questions on the board or call in. Haven’t heard him ask for participation in a long time.
Mike at MDC Galleries and Fine Art
02/07/2019 at 12:03 pm #56559tpkrause86Participant
Not sure if anyone has delt with this before but thought I would mention it since its the first time this has happened to me and ive been selling on ebay for almost 10 years.
I sold an item that was a local pickup in august of last year and the guy picked it up from my house. He then 6 months later reversed the paypal payment on the item and I wasn’t able to win the case because there was no tracking since it was locally picked up. So I would say the only safe way to do a local pickup is to have them pay with cash.
- This reply was modified 3 years, 4 months ago by tpkrause86.
02/07/2019 at 12:37 pm #56564
For local pick up, I print out the listing with a picture of the item. When the buyer picks it up, I have them sign it saying they have received the item in the condition they expected. I keep that and mark the item as shipped.
I had an issue with a buyer on local pick up recently. Ebay was willing to accept my signed paper as evidence, but I didn’t end up needing it. I will see if Paypal would accept a signed sheet also? What else could you do?
02/07/2019 at 12:42 pm #56565
tpk86: “So I would say the only safe way to do a local pickup is to have them pay with cash.”
100% agree. That is our business practice. Purchase on the site (so fees are properly paid), but pay cash on pickup.
02/07/2019 at 12:47 pm #56568
Same for us. We print out a sheet with the full listing and get it signed and also ask for some ID, either drivers license or ask for some other form.
We date it and state received in condition as described. Only had a few local pick ups though.
mike at MDCGFA
02/07/2019 at 12:47 pm #56567
Sounds like you had the worst case scenario happen. I agree that requiring cash payment only would solve it. Basically you treat eBay Local Pickup like a Craigslist transaction.
On the other hand, we’ve always required buyers pay through Paypal before we will arrange pickup or drop off. This solves the issue of wasting our time. Never had an issue. We’ve had people buy an item, pay through Paypal, and never pickup the item. It’s weird, but we feel better when the pays first.
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