02/17/2019 at 7:00 pm #57139
- Location: Virginia
We wrote our manifesto back in 2013 when we started this podcast. We were pondering the other day if it was still valid. We break it down to see if
[See the full post at: Scavenger Life Episode 399: Our eBay Manifesto Breakdown]0
02/17/2019 at 7:34 pm #57142
Awe, you guys. I’m so humbled, thank you. – Wesley0
02/17/2019 at 9:59 pm #57147
2019-02-10 – 2019-02-16
Total Items In Store: 2,691
Items Sold: 24
Cost of Items Sold: $120
Total Sales: $1204
Highest Price Sold: $250 (Vintage Suit)
Average Price Sold: $50.17
# Items Listed: about 18
Money Spent on New Inventory: $96
Gut Sales Report for the week: Felt a little slow, but what another great week! That is 2 weeks in a row of $1000 or greater. This is new territory for me. This is really near where I want to be: sell about 1% of my inventory each week for $50 ASP each.
Challenge of the week: Still trying to get my mens suits listed (about 40 of them) before the Spring rush for them begins. I have started listing the golf clubs for for the Spring rush. Golf clubs are not the easiest thing to list and most don’t sell for over $30, but they do sell well for the right clubs.
Scavenge of the week: Turn of the Century Underwood Stereoview Full Set (1 missing of 36) View Cards in the Original Underwood Case.
02/17/2019 at 10:34 pm #57148
The Thrift RaiderParticipant
Hi guys, I love that you revisited your manifesto. What’s funny is that I’ve never been close to 500 items (part timer). My highest at any given point was 164 which I did last summer and a bunch of stuff sold in Q4. I’m super impressed at part timers that bring in 1k or more in a single month. I’m now down to 130 items but that’s because I ended up having a garage sale with the rest of the neighborhood and sold some slow moving items as well as some personal items. I’m still in my one bedroom apartment with only a single shallow closet for storage so it was nice to get some space back for some new stuff.
However, this has made my store super slow, and the thrift stores haven’t really given me anything much. For example, I’ve sold 7 items this month. I’m going to try to list as much as possible in the next few weeks as I’ve recently acquired some stuff from a church sale, and I have a few items from the death pile that need to go up. We are supposed to move soonish so I’m hoping on getting more storage. I’ve been wanting to move for over a year now but for all kinds of different reasons it hasn’t happened.0
02/18/2019 at 11:15 am #57172
Yeah, unless you scavenge and sell really special, fast-moving items, profit comes with a larger store. 100 items or so won’t net you much profit. It really is a numbers game.
Hopefully in your new place you’ll have more storage.0
02/18/2019 at 1:36 am #57149
- Location: St. Charles, IL
It’s been another pretty solid week and it went along with a few good finds. Loving this new life style!
Total Items In Store: 521
Items Sold: 34
Cost of Items Sold: $91.50
Total Sales: $1,020
Highest Price Sold: $80 (Southwestern Boots – Craigslist flip, bought for $15)
# Items Listed: 42
Money Spent on New Inventory: Approx $65
Find of the Week – Great Britain First Edition/First Impression – The Silmarillion – Bought for $0.50 – listed for $500 / Also grabbed a Technics Turntable in great condition for $10 – debating whether I should keep it or sell it.
I made a nice purchase today as well as my basement was starting to get flooded with inventory with no good place to put it. I posted to Nextdoor indicating that I was in the market for some basement/garage storage shelves and a lady contacted me saying that she had 7 Sterilite Shelfs that she needed to get rid of. Got all of them for $50 and now the basement is looking quite organized!
- This reply was modified 6 months ago by SpartyQ.
02/18/2019 at 7:49 am #57154
Good Morning, and thank you again! I cannot wait to listen to this one!
So, ZERO sales in my once trusty Etsy store this week. That’s a first since it has been beefed up over the past year!
eBay holding lackluster steady, with a very low COGS being the high point again. I have not really been ‘working the shop’ so to speak these past few weeks, just tending.
2/10 – 2/16/19
eBay store totommyto
Total store items: 581
Number of items sold: 16 (one International)
Total eBay sales (not counting s/h): $383.50
Cost of items sold: $25
Consignment payouts $0
Highest price sold: Two items sold for $45 each – a 1 1/2″ tall plastic toy soldier & a lot of chandelier crystals
Average price sold: $22.84
Money spent on new inventory: $20
Number of items listed this week: 1
Sell through rate for the week: 2.7
Etsy store oldfleatoymarket
Total store items: 623
Number of items sold: 0!
Total Etsy sales ( not counting s/h): $0!
Cost of items sold: 0
Consignment payouts: 0
Highest price sold: 0
Average price sold: 0
Money spent on new inventory: $15
Number of items listed this week: 4
Sell through rate for the week: 01+
02/18/2019 at 8:21 am #57155
Week of 02/10-02/16
Total Items in Store: 2,675 (Up 45% YOY)
Number of Items Listed: 138
Number of Items Sold: 80 (Up 21% YOY)
(Includes 1 Etsy, 0 Bonanza, 0 TrueGether, 8 Poshmark)
Weekly STR: 15% (Even YOY)
Total Product Sales: $2,595 (Up 68%)
Sales Volume Variance to Prior Year: $327
Sales Price Variance to Prior Year: $726
Cost of Items Sold: $490
Cost of Labor: $221
Highest Item Sold: $125 – Giorgio Armani Three Button Italian Wool Suit
Competition: Highest Priced Sale: Troy wins the week and Veronica leads for the year 5-2.
# Listed: 1,676
# Sold: 58
# Listed: 541
# Sold: 12
# Listed: 458
# Sold: 9
# Listed: 2,675
# Sold: 71
# Listed: 209
# Sold: 1
# Listed: 554
# Sold: 8
I love the Manifesto Breakdown. I’ll have to think about what ours would be…0
02/18/2019 at 9:39 am #57158
- Location: Georgia
Sorry for the long voicemail! 🙁0
02/18/2019 at 11:24 am #57173
It’s all good. Thanks for the audio tip.0
02/18/2019 at 9:56 am #57159
February 10-16, 2019
Total Items in Store: 1,633
Items Sold: 22
Gross Sales: $698.60
Cost of Items Sold: $36.20
Highest Price Sold: $49.99
Average Price Sold: $31.75
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $62.51
Number of items listed this week: 54
Store 2 (CAD)
Total Items in Store: 768
Items Sold: 16
Gross Sales: $272.83
Cost of Items Sold: $26.75
Highest Price Sold: $24.99 (vintage patch)
Average Price Sold: $17.05
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
Number of items listed this week: 45
Amazon.ca sales: $622.00 (CAD) (Approx $155.50 net profit)
Amazon.com sales: $1,339.00 (Approx $334.75 net profit)
Gut sales report: Slower than I’d like. Seems my STR dropped from 1.75-2.00% down to 1.35% on the main store. Between that, and the fact that my highest sale was $49.99, my numbers for the week were lower than ideal.
Scavenge of the week: I didn’t do much sourcing this week, but found a pair of jeans for $5 that I ended up listing for $99. Made by the Jean Shop. Selvedge denim made in USA.
Challenge of the week: Giving my notice at work. On Friday, I gave my two week notice at my full time job. As of end of day March 1st, my 8 1/2 year career with this employer will end, and I’ll be 100% full-time online selling. WHAT!? Guess it’s go time! Freedom 38!
Have some loose ends to wrap up with my employer this week, then need to really push to list more. Two weeks until we head out on vacation so I’ve got to get the numbers up!1+
02/18/2019 at 10:05 am #57161
Thanks Troy! It’s daunting, and slightly terrifying, but incredibly exciting at the same time!0
02/18/2019 at 10:41 am #57167
Winchester: That is how LIFE SHOULD BE!!! 🙂2+
02/18/2019 at 10:24 am #57162
Total Items in Store: 309 Ebay, 45 Mercari
Items Sold: 3 Ebay, 0 Mercari
Gross Sales: $80
Cost of Items Sold: $16
Highest Price Sold: $35 New ceramic watering can
Average Price Sold: $27
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
Number of items listed this week: 4
Well at least it was easy to do my numbers this week. 🙂 February is always my slowest month and I’m really not feeling it for listing. I prefer to do my COGS bookkeeping than list, but that needs to get done anyway.
Mercari news and it’s not good. Just as Mercari was starting to get some traffic and traction, they just really bumped up their shipping rates on packages .5-3 pounds. Someone in a nearby zone would pay a lot more than calculated and Poshmark was already high so they only bumped .30 apparently. You still have the option to ship on your own, which is great.
A bigger downer is that the Facebook group noticed Mercari isn’t showing in Google front pages all of the sudden like they were before. Instead Ebay’s product pages are coming up near the top! Pretty great for Ebay. This page example is from a search I did for an item I just listed on Mercari (which I scrolled 4 pages for and never saw). Ebay comes up first and it’s not really a single product page, it sort of takes you to best match listings. Can’t tell if they are promoted. So, who’d they have to sleep with at Google…no just kidding!
Re taxes, yeah it’s a big deal. People have fun blowing their refunds. And 6% of us are paying MORE taxes, some of us in the thousands! Thank God our kids are under 17 or it would have been even worse. People are even moving to Florida from high tax states over this SALT deduction cap. It’s really unfair to pay double taxes to State and Fed. I think you are right Jay that tax changes will affect winter and spring sales. Refunds will be delayed this year too.2+
02/18/2019 at 11:28 am #57174
People in California, New York, and New Jersey (and other rich blue states) really got a bad deal in this tax reform.1+
02/18/2019 at 11:55 am #57185
Oh, boy. Haven’t started work on ours yet.0
02/18/2019 at 12:23 pm #57198
Yes Jay! Just regular homeowners on expensive and highly taxed dirt. Thanks for listening to my rant. LOL. Ebay helped me pay my higher quarterlies so I’m grateful for that. I’m waiting to hear in the news when more people in the high tax states start figuring it out as they get their returns done…0
02/18/2019 at 12:35 pm #57202
I’m in one of those “rich” blue states As far as I’m concerned, the pressure should be on our states to lower the ridiculous taxes rather than on lower-tax states to continue subsidizing federal tax bills. Even though I’m going to end up paying more taxes, I support the SALT limitation.1+
02/18/2019 at 12:58 pm #57210
Following this logic, then we should also stop tax dollars from richer states to subsidize states that don’t have enough tax dollars to support themselves:
“Wealthy populous blue states such as California subsidize less developed mostly red states. South Carolina, for example, despite its long history of opposition to the federal government, takes nearly $4 in federal spending for every dollar its citizens pay in federal taxes.”
So either we charge the taxes that citizens need, or poorer states need to cut back on their spending.0
02/18/2019 at 3:50 pm #57226
As appears to be the case with most issues these days, unless you’re doing exhaustive research with your own methodology, you can find data to support both sides of an argument. Didn’t mean to hijack earlier, just wanted to note that despite being negatively impacted by it, not everyone in a high SALT state takes a dim view of the limitation.0
02/23/2019 at 11:34 am #57509
- Location: Maine
We pay sooooo little in taxes and it shows. But what’s funny (yeah, not actually funny) is every republican runs on a platform of lowering taxes.0
02/18/2019 at 1:00 pm #57211
Actually the rich blue states already generally subsidize the poorer red states, since rich blue states tend to pay more in federal taxes than they get federal money and it generally is the reverse with poorer red states.
If you want to actually argue fairness, then the poor red states should stop being takers (who ironically rail against government handouts) and every state would get back federal money equal to what is paid. Then the richer blue states could easily lower state taxes.2+
02/18/2019 at 1:22 pm #57214
The ability to deduct state taxes was the acknowledgement that rich states have always paid more federal tax and subsidized poor states.
But this logic even works on a smaller level. We live in one of the poorest counties in Virginia. Our county has never been able to raise enough taxes to pay for our needs. So the state subsidizes our schools, court system, Sheriff’s department, etc. This money comes from the rich counties in Northern Virginia. It just happens that NOVA is “blue”, and poor counties like ours are “red”.
It always bothers me that there’s no gratitude for the help our county gets. As much as some folks rail against socialism, we definitely have a long history of re-distribution of wealth. It’s how our nation has thrived.2+
02/18/2019 at 1:30 pm #57216
Right, we are giver not taker states. And this change really felt divisive and politically motivated. The net effect is to hurt the blue states’ bottom line if this new cap sticks around and people actually relocate. Certainly it affects individual taxpayers now because of the higher cost of living and higher state and local taxes they are already paying. I think most Americians would agree it’s fundamentally unfair to pay federal tax on dollars you gave away in tax to the state or local government. I don’t always agree with state and local spending priorities but that’s out of my control beyond voting with limited choices.0
02/23/2019 at 11:40 am #57510
- Location: Maine
<The net effect is to hurt the blue states’ bottom line if this new cap sticks around and people actually relocate.>
And if that happens, more red states will vote blue. Numerically speaking, there are more people who vote democrat than republican but due to the electoral college (which was originally set up to benefit slave holding states because they did not want to count enslaved people as actual people but wanted their total population to count toward representation) the votes in lesser populated areas hold more weight.
I’m pretty sure there are whole voting districts in upstate SC that have fewer people than 2 blocks of most cities.
- This reply was modified 6 months ago by antarestar.
02/18/2019 at 10:28 am #57163
Week of Feb 10 -16
* Total Items in Store: 1337 eBay, 3 Mercari, 3 Etsy
* Items Sold: 12 eBay
* Cost of Items Sold: $45.45 + $7.30 Commission
* Total Sales: $295.55
* Highest Price Sold: $50 Vtg Edinburgh A Watson Turnbull Etching Framed
* Average Price Sold: $24.63
* Returns: 1 (+ 1 case opened prior to shipping)
* Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $33.36
* Number of items listed this week: 41
Things to do list: Nothing accomplished this week
I had a weird case on PayPal open. A sale came through on eBay, and then a PayPal case opened up just minutes later. I called PayPal, and they said that this person was having issues with their account, and I was not to ship the item. The sale is now sitting in my eBay account as late. I did call eBay, and I will not be dinged for the late shipment because of the open case. PayPal seems to take weeks to close a case, so I’m kind of annoyed that I have to live with it staring at me, and I still have another open case from a week or two ago.
Otherwise, it was a normal sort of week for me. I bought some stuff in an online auction. Nothing too exciting, and the prices did go a bit high just like the live auctions. Hopefully, prices will start getting more reasonable next month.1+
02/18/2019 at 10:39 am #57166
So, Veronica and I reread the Scavenger Manifesto, and had our own conversation about it.
Here are the items we 1000% Agree, We Second That, and We Double Down On It:
“This is not passive income. It takes hard work, which many people don’t want to hear.”
This is work. Everything you get paid for requires work. You can also look at this as investing, as you are investing your time and money to reap more money down the road (good way to think when you are sourcing). But you don’t get paid for doing nothing. Aesop had it right with the Ant and the Grasshopper…
“Open a Store on eBay / List 500 items”
If you want consistent returns, get to 500 items. Now, that is also 500 GOOD ITEMS, but get some bulk first. We see this now when we are starting our Poshmark and Etsy stores. Once Poshmark got to 500, it started to be more consistent. I’m sure Etsy will be the same.
“The key to success is bulk listing, maintaining a large <RIGHT> inventory and the ability to store all your items in an organized way.”
Agree 99%. Get efficient at listing, put your items away where you can quickly find them, and make sure you don’g lose items. Process, process, process…
Now, here is where we diverge:
For us, we don’t necessarily want a large inventory, we want the RIGHT size of inventory. What is right? Different for everyone. We want inventory that sells, not just large. Jay and Ryanne, I know what you mean on this topic, but I think it has to be clear that since you have unique items with a (generally) smaller audience that you are selling at a higher price, consistent sales can only come with a large inventory. For others, they may want or need cash to flow faster, which will keep the inventory low. And based on changing tastes, styles, and technology, this might be a requirement!
“It’s about getting outside of the Goodwill and Salvation Army shopping.”
We totally get where you are coming from here. And we see the value here as well, looking for what others can’t see. This is why Veronica is still keeping this side up (and where Troy wants to get this side bigger too…he sees the value!). But for anyone just starting out, it isn’t a bad place to start. And there is a lot of value in having items you buy for $3 and sell for $20 on a consistent basis, especially if they sell quickly, you get more money to put back in the business. So while I agree that since you guys are on the Advanced side of this, for any Beginners (or those that like consistent cash), there is value in hitting the Thrift Store and looking for quick flips. It ultimately isn’t where you want to stay forever (we are moving out of this model eventually), it is a good place to start.
“List it and forget it”
Yeah, you know I still disagree. Mostly because eBay can mess with things and your listings stop being seen. Like I say, “If your listing isn’t being seen…is it really listed?” We have just wrapped up another review session on our listings (about 3 times per year, but we had let it slide for a while), and we found a TON of places where eBay changed the categories, changed the item specifics, etc. Once we updated the listings to fit the Item Specifics again, and looked at prices again, we are seeing old stuff move again.
I’m not saying that Good Till Cancelled doesn’t work (though I think 30 Day is better), our main directive is that you should periodically review your listings to make sure they still look good, have the right Item Specifics, keywords, pricing, etc. Mostly, don’t “Forget It”, cause if you do, eBay may Forget It too…
The one area that I would add…
KNOW YOUR NUMBERS!!!3+
02/18/2019 at 11:40 am #57177
In the early days of this podcast, we had people complain about how expensive Goodwill etc was becoming. Goodwill is the gateway scavenging location for anyone starting out so competition will obviously be greater. We really encourage people to search outside of the easy places.
But you guys have proven you can still build an incredibly efficient and profitable business at Goodwill. You just have to be on top of your game.1+
02/18/2019 at 11:45 am #57180
And our Goodwill’s are going up this year. I have seen prices rising to the point that some of the top end items that I could get at full price (during the week) I wouldn’t get now. Part of why I am looking for new sourcing opportunities. And why we are married to shopping long days on Saturday’s when it is 50% off.
Sourcing is always the biggest weakness….
PS – We had a good time with Jason T Smith last Thursday on the Google hangout. Would you and Ryanne want to do a Google hangout sometime? Reseller Happy Hour? This is a good excuse for me to learn how to do the Google Hangout software, process, etc… 🙂0
02/18/2019 at 11:49 am #57182
A hangout might be fun, but I haven’t seen one done yet that wasn’t long and kind of boring. Usually its like eight people on bad webcams talking over each other for two hours with long awkward silences in between.0
02/18/2019 at 11:56 am #57187
Totally agree on that point. My thought would be 30-45 minutes max, and only a couple of topics to discuss.
Let me do some thinking and research, and I will hit you up later to see if you are interested…1+
02/18/2019 at 11:57 am #57189
- Location: Ohio
Our Goodwills keeps raising prices.. to the point where it is cheaper now to get (new and better quality) clothing items cheaper at Walmart. All good name brand mens shoes (bread and butter) have all but disappeared at my goodwill down the street. It is as if they are on to the fact that this is a higher profit item and they are keeping these items for their online store or for other channels. 2-3 years ago – the picking was great and now it is dismal. While I won’t stop dropping in to occasionally look, (I have one right next to my post office and right next to my kids’ school.. it is too convenient!) Goodwill just isn’t cutting it anymore for me…0
02/18/2019 at 12:19 pm #57196
Goodwill is an easy place to start. But for us, the best scavenging is in paces where most people dont look. Every region of the country has these nooks and crannies with treasures being looked over.0
02/18/2019 at 12:41 pm #57207
ebaymom and Jay: Yeah, I’m seeing that too. Harder to find good items at a good price, and I won’t go the binning route. So while the process stays the same this year, we are looking for new sourcing spots, hoping to transition out of just where we are.
When everyone on YouTube is saying “shop the thrifts and make easy money”, that is where a lot of folks are going. And with some shops pulling the high end items looking for the bigger money, that is harder too.
Sourcing is always the biggest weakness.0
02/18/2019 at 12:04 pm #57193
Reseller hangouts look like the most boring, tedious videos imaginable for the people watching or listening to them. I think some people did a 7 hour video a few weeks ago? Why??1+
02/18/2019 at 12:22 pm #57197
I think it’s just social. People want to hang out with each other, but its a very low information block of time. Some of those resellers are also developing a public persona hence the facetime.0
02/18/2019 at 12:45 pm #57208
7 Hours???? wow…no…
Yeah, our thought is just to have some social time, having a drink and discussing a topic. We don’t have water coolers in this business, unless it is online, so we were thinking we could create something there.
Maybe we pick one big theme or question each time, and let the discussion go where it goes. Like Thrift vs Auction vs Estate Sale vs Garage Sale. Or long tail vs churn and burn.0
02/19/2019 at 10:35 pm #57319
The Thrift RaiderParticipant
I watch resellers quite a bit at work and while I’m doing ebay. I saw that long hangout, and while I wouldn’t want to rewatch, I get why they do them. While some people may want to develop the persona thing, I think some genuinely want some social interaction, which I totally get. I get super bored sometimes just listing. Sometimes I think it’s fun to listen to live resellers and be able to chat to them while I’m doing ebay work. To each their own though!0
02/20/2019 at 9:07 am #57334
Agreed. I think social interaction is a big motivator. Might as well take advantage of modern technology.0
02/20/2019 at 10:05 am #57343
The lack of social interaction is a motivator for me to be in this business…after 25 years of working in offices, I’m looking forward to not having small talk!1+
02/20/2019 at 10:05 am #57344
Yeah, that is our thought, just have some folks to hangout with, have a drink, and talk about life, reselling or not.0
02/18/2019 at 4:17 pm #57227
Just a comment on the Goodwill/Savers inventory. It has been talked a lot in the forums about clothing prices going down on eBay but I’ve been doing more garage sales and church sales lately and not buying a lot of somewhat generic clothing at thrift stores so I haven’t been keeping up with current clothing prices–so it is a bit of a shock today when I’m listing.
Yesterday I went to a thrift store during a 50% off sale and found a lot of fairly high end mens jeans (Diesel, 7 for all Mankind, Versace as well as some more middle of the road like Lucky, Cinch, etc…), wow the sold prices on eBay are a lot lower than I recall they were several months ago. I’ll still make a profit since most jeans were ~2.75-5.50 after the sale discount. But with listing fees and if I promote and pay fees to be seen in the competitive clothing category, the profit margin is a lot smaller than I was anticipating. I’m still going to try to list at the higher end of the solds but expect I may eventually need to discount to get these jeans to move.0
02/18/2019 at 5:42 pm #57236
ctebay: Yep. 100% agree…0
02/20/2019 at 9:19 pm #57409
- Location: Virginia
as we always say, this manifesto is what works for us, take our template and tweak, tweak, tweak and make it work for you. then we learn from each other. each scavenger situation is unique and will have a different equation based on your passions, location, lifestyle, health, relationship and kid status, etc etc.0
02/18/2019 at 10:45 am #57169
I loved hearing your manifesto gone through again. I basically agree with all of it, only thing I would add is an injunction to keep working hard on scavenging because what you scavenge is the key factor bar none.
OK sales week this week, nothing special.
Sales: CAD$1045, 8 items, COGS: $125 –> Gross profit: $744
Expenditures: $378 –> Cashflow: $491
Listed: $740, 7 items
Notable sales: smoke detectors $307, air sampler intake thing $200.
Hours: 7, $32/hr after tax0
02/18/2019 at 11:43 am #57179
Yep always be scavenging. But it was important for us to let people know there’s light on the other side once you hit a certain amount of inventory. The pressure is off to be so hardcore (unless you want to keep pushing).0
02/18/2019 at 12:04 pm #57192
My wife and I have been talking a lot lately. My not being home enough catalyzed a discussion about quitting my/our jobs, tiny houses, RVing, etc. Inconclusive for now except we agreed that for now, regardless of the ultimate plan, we need to save hard, and that in about 2 years (when our car is paid off, which improves cashflow by $800/mo), it’ll be time for me to quit if ebay is pulling in enough money (even what I make now is close to adequate). She’s a nurse and should be able to work as many shifts as needed to cover any down month we have on ebay. We’d also save around $400/mo in childcare costs which’ll help.
Biggest problem is our large fixed monthly costs, primarily our house. We’re kicking around the idea of downsizing but we like our house, especially our big backyard… plus not convinced that it’ll really save us that much money especially after the transaction costs of buying and selling.
Feels good to have a tenative timeline though.
Honestly I like my eng day job in many ways but the trajectory ahead of me is stark. Many more hours & responsibility for not very much more pay. Already I’m in a quasi-managerial role and it eats a lot of time (50+ hrs/wk).1+
02/18/2019 at 12:17 pm #57194
I sometimes must hold back my desire to tell everyone to quit their job. Not all jobs are bad. Doing something you enjoy is important. No job will be perfect. Selling on eBay isn’t perfect.
Don’t forget that it’s not an all or nothing scenario. You could negotiate a part-time schedule at your current job, choosing to just do the parts you enjoy. Or even become a freelance contractor like we are. We still do video jobs, but we have the freedom to pick and choose our clients. We still enjoy the challenge of using our professional skills without being dragged down by the petty politics of an unhealthy workplace.
Also, there are a lot of savings when we started working at home. We spend less on food because we cook most our meals. We spend less on fuel because we drive much less. We dont spend much money on clothes, etc because we have no one to impress. We dont spend money on vacations because our traveling are now mostly scavenging trips where we actually make money.
- This reply was modified 6 months ago by Jay.
02/18/2019 at 12:38 pm #57204
I’ll second what Jay says. There is no one path. If you like your day job, even if not perfect, it is a good place to stay. Likewise in running your own ship.
If you can keep the day job and build up the side gig and that makes a happy life, so be it.
Making the life that you want is the ultimate goal. And everyone has different wants…1+
02/18/2019 at 1:00 pm #57212
Yeah, I like my job but I hate the hours, and that aspect is only going to get worse.
It’s true and good advice, I will certainly try to keep a foot in the door as a contractor and to keep up my qualifications JIC SHTF. That being said, unless I hit diminishing returns fast under full time, my ebay hourly rate has historically been quite a bit better than my day job, so it probably doesn’t make sense to do a lot of my old job. But I won’t be burning any bridges, for sure.0
02/18/2019 at 2:03 pm #57219
Another scenario sees a person study and train for a career, get good at it, enjoy it, and then grow out of it.
Ryanne and I both worked in Television production but realized it wasnt what we thought it was. No harm no foul. We then used eBay to realize we enjoy property development and hospitality.
Sounds like you’ve taken your career in that field as far as has made sense. You have a whole other lifetime ahead of you.0
02/18/2019 at 1:19 pm #57213
“Biggest problem is our large fixed monthly costs, primarily our house. We’re kicking around the idea of downsizing but we like our house, especially our big backyard… plus not convinced that it’ll really save us that much money especially after the transaction costs of buying and selling.”
I just moved my oldest son and new wife back in with us due to a mold problem in their apartment. Another reason to hold on to the big house for awhile are the move backs. Happened with my daughter as well several months ago for different reasons. And the pets come back with the grown kids as well. Two extra dogs in my house now!
Hanging out here on SL has really gotten me to think more about my future. Yes, I would love the freedom to buy/sell without the constraints of a regular job. My dilemma is that I have a good job. Just because you work a job that you are relatively happen with, does not mean that you stop imagining the ‘perfect work life’ for yourself. The ‘good’ job takes the motivation away from the hard steps in making that move however. You just cannot have it all in most cases. So, I will continue to slowly build for the inevitable transition into retirement, or perhaps my second early retirement. If all remains the same, eBay and other platforms will be here for me. The kettle is warm, just not likely to boil for some time. This is the hard truth for me right now, but it is not so hard.1+
02/18/2019 at 11:47 am #57181
- Location: Ohio
Really looking forward to listening… Thankfully this week was better than last… Happy to resell an antiquarian book (.50 from Goodwill Bins) that I had complained about a while back with a Japanese buyer who wanted to renegotiate First Class International shipping after the sale so we had to cancel. I was very happy to sell this book again last week to Belgium via GSP, for $80… I also ended all of my promotions and started new promoted listing campaigns and it seemed to jump start the sales:
My Store Week Feb 10-16, 2019
Total Items in Store: 1062
Items Sold: 20
Gross Sales: $348.66
Cost of Items Sold: $30.99
Highest Price Sold: $80 (Book)
Average Price Sold: $17.43
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $21.76
Number of items listed this week: 10
Have a good week everybody!0
02/18/2019 at 11:56 am #57188
Brian Treasures from GrandmasParticipant
- Location: Hoboken, NJ
Great show as usual. It would be interesting to discuss the things that you know now that you’d love to go back and tell your 2009 selves that would have saved you something (time, money, headache). Because of you guys, I’ve done things like keep track of COGS, set goals, develop ways to store items so i can find them, keep meticulous expenses for tax season, etc. For that, I thank you and I bet a lot of us feel the same way.
Weeks Feb 3-16, 2019 (2 weeks)
Total Items in Store: 1034
Items Sold: 36 (1 Bonanza)
Cost of Items Sold: $274.18 (20.3% of sales)
Total Sales: $1,351.34
Highest Price Sold: $179.99 (1965 Midge)
Average Price Sold: $37.54
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $669
Number of items listed this week: 47
Promoted listings test: 15 sales, $318.96 (23.6% of total sales), $14.58 fees (4.6% of sales)
Decent couple of weeks – two week numbers since I was out of town last weekend. 4 day handling time instead of 1 day caused no problems. Contacted each person after a sale went through and no cancellations.
That Midge high dollar sale was still part of the large early Barbie lot I bought about a year ago. Has been a great pipeline. Originally bought 24 for $1300 – so far have sold 20 for $2,835 and still have the most valuable one to sell.
Other bigger sales came from all over – this Beatles record via Bonanza for just under $124 (paid $25, kind forgot I still had my Bonanza store open), c1945 sealed deck of mini cards for $50 (paid $1 at the flea market). Also sold this painting – was one of the items I sent out offers to watchers on, sold for $100. Had bought it like 4 years ago and had high hopes for it that just never panned out. Paid $30 for it, so still more than tripled my money on it.
Using the long weekend from my office job to catch up on listing. By the end of today, should be close to clearing out a “money pile” (NOT DEATH PILE). 🙂2+
02/18/2019 at 11:57 am #57190
Depending on what you sell, you can go f/t with a 200 item store, or a 20,000 item store. It all depends on a number of factors, such as what you’re listing, popularity of items, your price points, str, etc,. At the very least, everyone’s different in their approaches to all of this, so it keeps it interesting. It would be boring if everyone went after the same items with the same str and asps, and just posted their numbers like that week after week.
For my main store, it took 10,400 items listed to sell 46 items this week. I only listed on the store 3 days this week (I’ve been focusing heavily on stocking up my 2nd ebay store this week) for an hour or less apiece, so I thought that was great for the level of work I put into it. For others, they might be listing everyday for 2-4 hours a day and selling the same amount with only 100-500 listings. Yet, their net might be less. Or, they’re sourcing more, but they are also paying more in both time & money in order to make what I make or based on low cogs and little time spent sourcing. Or, they’re making more $$, but they’re spending a lot more time sourcing than I am. So many variables to look at in terms of effort with reselling.
I was listing through a bag of items I purchased last summer this morning. I found another seller with a stock similar to mine who has 300,000 items listed! With the Enterprise level store, I estimate listing fees to be $16,500 a month. 9,200 items were sold over the past 3 months. If all items averaged out to $10 asp + shipping, 3,000 sales per month would equal $30,000 sales per month. Items appeared to be going for $10-20 for the most part, so there could be $45,000 gross sales per month, possibly more. For an inventory that large, a warehouse (or 2) would be required.
Some people are f/t with Ebay, while others are extremely f/t with Ebay. I’m happy with my level of sales. Others require 290,000 additional listings to make their required income. Others need 9,000 less items than I have listed. Ebay can accommodate all levels of ambition.1+
02/18/2019 at 12:34 pm #57201
Re scavenger hangout:
I’ve been in an Amazon sellers “mastermind” group of nine members for the last year or so. We meet online one evening a week for an hour and discuss/work through whatever issues are coming up, suggest things to one another, and to learn from the experiences of others. It’s been super helpful to me. The best part is that I’ve made connections with other people, from all walks of life, all over the country. I’ve recently met one or two from the group in person, and it’s just like seeing an old friend. Kind of a neat experience.0
02/18/2019 at 12:40 pm #57206
We’ve been using Zoom to host the meetings. Works great. You can see all of the other people on one screen. Sound and video quality is surprisingly good.
Our group is private. The founder set up a Facebook page where we can suggest topics, bounce things off of one another/etc during the week. The invite/link to the meetings is on our fb page, but it could just as easily be emailed out etc.
Some weeks we’ll have a loose outline (prepping for q4, dealing with returns, process improvement, etc), others will just open the floor and discuss whatever comes up.0
02/18/2019 at 1:29 pm #57215
Feb 10 – 16
Total Items in Store: 2098
Items Sold: 31
Total Sales : $1,120
* above yearly average of $921
* above 2018 total week sales of $712
Highest Price: $180 (Subzero Refrigerator Louvered Grille Vent Cover)
Average Price: $32
Cost of Goods Sold: $36
Costs of Goods Purchased this Week: $0
Number of New Items Listed this Week: 31
I had a pretty profitable week despite not listing a whole lot. I was actually amazed when I just did my numbers. It felt way slower than it was.
Thanks for the shout out on the podcast this week! My name is Dan by the way. I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned it here before. Yes, I gave my notice a week ago and they’ve been working me to the bone since then. My boss and coworkers are kind of freaking out because nobody besides me has taken the initiative to really learn the technology that drives my department. And that’s really big problem regardless of me leaving or not. So this past week I’ve been training a temp worker as much as I could about networks and videoconferencing and our space simulator and how it’s all connected. They even had me write up a guide book on how to do my job. Which explains the low amount of new listings this week…. I’m absolutely exhausted by the end of each day. But this is my last week so I told myself I’d take it easy. I doubt they’d fire me for that.
No active scavenging this week, but I was given a NOS floor scrubber motor to try and sell. It came out of a supply cabinet at my dad’s job. He bought it from them for scrap price (less than $5) and I think I can turn it over for around $600. For all the things he’s given me to sell without asking for anything in return, I’m going to take him out for a nice dinner sometime soon.2+
02/18/2019 at 3:09 pm #57223
I sense an opportunity to turn your existing job into a consulting gig.
–Sign a contract with a high hourly rate, with a maximum limit on your time. You’re not an employee that can be told what to do, but an independent contractor that carries out agreed upon tasks in a way that makes sense to you.
–Every time they need help on their system, you bill them by the hour whether it be by the phone or in person. This way you’ll still get paid by an organization that needs you but on your terms.
If this were to make sense, I’d encourage you to do it after a couple months so its clear you’re no longer an employee doing your day to day tasks as always.
- This reply was modified 6 months ago by Jay.
02/18/2019 at 5:41 pm #57235
I second this part Jay. This is what happened with my current consulting gig…
Worth it to be back, but on YOUR terms…and paid by the hour… 🙂0
02/18/2019 at 5:46 pm #57238
And it’s important that you see yourself as a Consultant/Contractor and not an Employee.
As a Consultant/Contractor, they tell us what they need, and we do it the way that works for us. No micromanaging or bosses.0
02/20/2019 at 1:15 pm #57363
I have put some thought into becoming a contract worker when I first played with the notion of quitting. The one issue that would make it unfeasible is money. Long story short, as a official employee I get paid by the university. As a contractor, I would be paid by the department (because our space center isn’t an official part of the university, we just rent the facility in exchange for a cut of any profit). And there just isn’t any money available for hiring any contractors. Hell, there isn’t even any money for upgrading our own technology. Which is one of the main reasons for leaving in the first place. I can only duct tape a computer so much…figuratively speaking.
But also I’m tired of the tech support gig. It’s time for a career change.0
02/20/2019 at 1:27 pm #57366
Fair enough. Your realization and decision to make a change is invaluable. Most people live their lives in between choices they need to make, but never do.0
02/20/2019 at 1:47 pm #57368
That use to describe me… unsure and unconfident. The major redeeming skill that my job has taught me over the years is how to take charge and be the authority. So even though I had a boss to report to, I because the authority on the technology. I learned to take charge without instruction and to do what needed done without being asked or told to. And that’s what is helping me in transitioning to becoming my own boss as a full time eBay seller. A kind of discipline to keep making major choices on my own all day long. It’s not easy for a lot of people, I know. So I’ll always be thankful for gaining that experience and talent.1+
02/20/2019 at 10:25 am #57352
Interesting to me anytime an employer suddenly demands that the ‘Drop Dead Manual’ be written. Even though you are being the good soldier while writing one I’m sure, the manual you leave behind is going to be far from sufficient. Like you mentioned, the initiative of your co-workers was not there to begin with. In their defense, many of them may simply hate performing the advanced tech aspects, and it may be that the learning and doing is actually beyond them. I see this in my own job. My direct supervisor is almost irreplaceable. Smart people from all departments are in awe of him, and character wise, well he walks on water. All of your experience, nuance nohow, troubleshooting, and all of the rest is going to be a serious challenge to replace. Knowledge is power. Jay’s idea is amazing. I hope this transition out of that specific job works to your best advantage, if you decide to stay connected.
- This reply was modified 6 months ago by totommyto. Reason: spell
02/20/2019 at 1:19 pm #57364
Totommyto, writing a manual on how to do your own job is the pits. But since I knew I would be quitting, I began writing it months ago. You’re right though that it won’t be anywhere near adequate for someone who’s taking over my position. Some things just can’t be taught from a book.0
02/20/2019 at 1:33 pm #57367
You know they’re going to call you to solve problems. I have no idea if this service works, but there are sites that let you charge by the minute: http://www.ether.com/HowItWorks/
02/20/2019 at 2:10 pm #57371
This is great! I’ll save this link in case I want to offer them my expertise down the road. Thanks!0
02/18/2019 at 1:38 pm #57217
- Location: Virginia Beach
Earnings were half of last week’s. So it goes. Onward and upward…
02/10/18 – 02/16/18
Total Items In Store: 1056
Items Sold: 17
Net Sales (Total Sales – Selling Costs): $554.35
Highest Price Sold: $116 – Blundstone boots that I had bought for myself and didn’t fit
Average Price Sold: $32.61
Cost of Items Sold: $153.10
Returns/Refunds: $84, for a tarot deck gone abroad that Buyer claimed was missing a card.
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $98.75
Number of Items listed this week: 30
Trying to find the fire under my butt that got me to 500 items a few years back (in line with the manifesto), not that I can go too much higher in inventory due to current storage. Starting to look into alternative income streams that would complement the current scenario, and not require off-site storage.0
02/18/2019 at 1:51 pm #57218
- Location: Georgia
My Goodwill just got rid of the display case where they used to display the nicer slightly higher priced items. I suspect that they have started listing those to the GW online auctions instead of selling in store. Bummer for me because it was always fun to see what unusual stuff might be in the display case. I’ve gotten a roomba (for myself) there, and taxidermied opossum and raccoon for my dad as gag gifts, which he ended up loving. Those were fun finds.
In reselling news – I’ve sold a lot of warm weather vacation destination type items over the last few weeks: swimsuits, shorts, Kate Spade passport holders. Spring break is just around the corner…0
02/18/2019 at 4:22 pm #57228
Retro Treasures WVParticipant
My local Gucci Goodwill has a E-commerce unit that supplies the stores with a list of items to not put out on the floor. Then they have a list of items to price at a higher”specialty” rate.
They had gotten pretty out of hand with with their specialty racks, but the last few weeks they’ve been dialing back and putting more Nike/Under Armour/ Ralph Lauren kind of stuff back in with the normal clothing.
One local Goodwill with specialty racks completely abandoned the specialty rack. They just send in the E-commerce requested items and put out the rest as general merch.
I think they finally realized they may have been pissing off the folks that donate the merch. Duh!!0
02/18/2019 at 5:45 pm #57237
Plus, I think their sales are dropping because if it as well.
Look, $1-$2 isn’t killer on shirts or jeans, but when $7 for jeans becomes $15 (and shoppers are seeing the increase due to the name brand), then shoppers say (why pay $15 when I can pay $7). Some will pay up, but a lot won’t. Plus, they then have more that they have to send to the bins.
the killer is when they want $25 for a suit, and a low end suit at that….0
02/18/2019 at 4:32 pm #57229
Retro Treasures WVParticipant
Items in Store 1064
Items Sold 9
Total Sales $258.00
Total Profit $232.00
Average profit $25.78
Average sales price $28.67
New Listings 0
Sales did a nose dive!
I didn’t really care though – I had to rush my son to the hospital Wednesday night because he had a seizure. That is not a scenario I wish on anyone. He had two more in the hospital. My wife and I tag teams staying awake by his side 24/7 until we came home Saturday Evening. He appears fine now thankfully – they couldn’t figure out what was happening so we just have to hope it was an acute issue. Then Saturday night just as we settled into bed, the stomach bug started with my other children. First my youngest son all Night and most of Sunday morning, and now my 2 year old. Needless to say, I haven’t slept much in a week. Goooood times.
Also of note, while I was at the hospital I had a bunch of items go overdue on shipping. So now I’m over their “we’re gonna give you a talking to” limit. Is that why my sales tanked? Who knows. Ebay is not high on my list right now. I’ll get back into it later this week.1+
02/18/2019 at 4:45 pm #57230
Yikes. Yeah, eBay is not a priority when kids are sick. Shut the store down so nothing else sells.
Glad you’re getting the help he needs. Be interested to hear if they know what happened.0
02/18/2019 at 5:47 pm #57239
Wow, so sorry Retro! I wish I could do more to help than just send you some prayers.
I would rather lose a limb than see my kids that sick…0
02/19/2019 at 9:39 am #57277
So sorry to hear about your son. Can’t even imagine how scary that was!0
02/20/2019 at 1:23 pm #57365
Retro, wow, I’m sorry to hear about your kids’ troubles. I’m hoping everyone is doing better now.0
02/21/2019 at 3:45 pm #57450
Yeah Retro.. Sorry to hear about your kids. Hopefully, everything will level out in short order and things will start to stabilize and the kids are all well again.
02/18/2019 at 5:30 pm #57233
2/10/18 – 2/16/19
Total listings in store (beginning of week): 407
Items sold: 11
30 day sell through (rate): 11.58%
Gross Sales: $549.12
Cost Paid for Items sold: $89.62
Shipping Cost: $180.11
Ebay Fee’s: $39.84
Paypal Fees: $19.66
Total Costs: $329.23
Net Profit: $219.89
Profit % Rev: 40%0
02/18/2019 at 5:38 pm #57234
- Location: St. Louis
Total Items in Store: 2730
Items Sold: 38
Cost of Items Sold: $35
Total Sales: $1321
Highest Price Sold: $101.50(vintage sweater)
Average Price Sold: $34.76
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $41
Number of items listed this week: 16 (was busy with some carpentry work this week so not much losing)
Our manifesto is the same. Buy for as little as possible from places that aren’t Goodwill. We live in St. Louis city, but if we drive 30 minutes in any direction we are in rural areas. We have thrift stores all over that we hit which have very low prices. Also we go to estate sales most weeks. We price high and wait for the right buyer.1+
02/18/2019 at 5:50 pm #57241
MoCoyotes: You always amaze me with your low COGS. Always less than $1 per item! That is like getting it for free!3+
02/18/2019 at 8:09 pm #57247
- Location: St. Louis
Thanks! Yeah, when I look at what we sell, each item is nearly free. Last week we sold some Spanish American war photos for $150 and I had paid $12 for them in 2016. That’s one of the highest prices I paid for any of our inventory. This area is great for us. St. Louis has low cost of living and the rural areas nearby have great thrift stores. St. Louis City also has tons of estate sales every week.1+
02/19/2019 at 9:16 am #57271
I’m putting on my jealous face… 🙂1+
02/18/2019 at 10:11 pm #57252
Returns chat – I WISH ebay would bring back the 14 day returns not 30 day. However, 99% of returns I’ve had are within the first day or two. Not bad. I had an expensive watch returned on day 29. I googled the buyer and he was a consignment brick and mortar jeweler! Pretty sure he was selling my watch and when it didn’t sell in his shop he sent it back. He had a whole story and it was borderline neurotic. Thankfully I was listening to SL at the time and had good drama free practices in place.
Spent today sourcing President’s Day sales and yesterday my 50 cent Sunday sales. Keeping those inventory costs low! Still got lots of stuff and forced me to get out of box and grab some cheapies but goodies.
Weekly ebay Report:
Items Sold: 27
Best Sale of Week: Ran a 30% off sale on old inventory and sold some old stuff for still a decent profit. Hooray.
Weekly Other Platforms after fees:
Depop: $11 (belt)
Mercari: $31 (MCM tray)
Poshmark: $110 random clothing
I am SHOCKED at how much buzz my vintage items get on Mercari.2+
02/19/2019 at 11:18 am #57287
Total Items in Store: 1938
Items Sold: 31 (Etsy 1, Poshmark 2)
Gross Sales: $904
Highest Price Sold: $76.44 Vintage Irish Coat
Average Price Sold: $29.16
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $188
Great episode, it is amazing to think that most of the things you had on your manifesto still hold true.
I was laid up in bed for a week or so and decided to try my hand at Poshmark. I was able to list about 100 items and will keep adding to it if I keep selling. I really like how easy it is to list on Poshmark.
We hit our local goodwill for 1/2 price day. We were able to get some great items. We went to another local thrift store as well and we decided they have lost their minds. There prices are just crazy. For example they had some shoes, Walmart brand, non leather for $14. That is may be more expensive than buying them new. UG
I have also noticed about 30 items that have missing pictures…. so I will be spending time this week fixing those items.0
02/19/2019 at 2:26 pm #57300
Hope you feel better. I forget what your status is: did you sell the house and move to another state?0
02/19/2019 at 2:37 pm #57301
Thanks Jay. We are staying put for now. Trying to figure out what we want to do when we grow up. We are hoping to ramp up our ebay business but I have had a hard time finding hard goods to sell in this area, at least in our price range. We are mostly just finding clothes. We are also trying to expand our skills and try to find something we can do remotely, that would give us the ability to move somewhere else or even RV around the states. 🙂 We can’t wait to see your progress on your new apartment.0
02/19/2019 at 4:06 pm #57302
Its smart to take your time to figure out your next move. I thought you had local auctions where you were buying hard goods? Or maybe you were shopping at the resort area?0
02/19/2019 at 4:48 pm #57304
All of our local auctions have moved online. I have found some awesome things but they came at a cost. We are keeping our ears and eyes open to different opportunities. Once the weather gets a little better in our area I think we will be able to travel to some auctions.0
02/19/2019 at 5:51 pm #57307
- Location: Raleigh, NC
Week of 2/10-2/16
Total Items in Store: 1,606
Number of Items Listed: 41
Number of Items Sold: 26
Total Sales: $1,121.85
Cost of Items Sold: $142
Highest Item Sold: $315 – Michael Jordan 2nd Year Graded Card
Average Price Sold: $43.15 (Had 4 different sales above $70)
Inventory Spending: $0.00
Consignment Payouts: $335.01
Sell Through Rate: 1.62%
Cash Flow (+/-): +528.81
This was a pretty good week for me. I left Friday for a conference in Boston and have continued selling a good number of items through the last few days despite a longer handling time. Sold a few high dollar consignment items that helped the overall numbers. Get home late tonight and have 25 items to ship by tomorrow…good, but tiring problem to have.
Treasure Hunt Business:
We had a one-off request to run a Valentine’s Day treasure hunt and did so last week. Also have set up a meeting with our local visitor’s bureau and are excited to discuss opportunities to get our treasure hunt into the agendas for visiting conventions. This would be a great way to generate business without having to commit marketing dollars.1+
02/19/2019 at 10:18 pm #57318
Week Feb 10-16, 2019
Total Items in Store: 3488 listings for 5367 total items
Items Sold: 105 Transactions for 113 Items total
Gross Sales: $5830.88
Cost of Items Sold: $373 + $708 consignment payout
Highest Price Sold: $199.99 (1950s Frye Jet Boots)
Lowest Price Sold: $4.99 (Pair of Shoe laces)
Average Price Sold: $55.53/transaction, $51.60/Item
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $3
Number of items listed this week: 43 Listings
Amazon Products – 54
Items Sold – 11
Gross Sales – $261.92
Average Price Sold – $23.81
Cost of Goods Sold – $24
Lost some listing time due to my car trouble. Losing more time this week due to car shopping. I hate car shopping.
A photographer buddy is coming tomorrow (snow permitting) to shoot some pics on a trial basis. Hoping to make it something semi-regular, but we will see how it goes. Fingers crossed.0
02/19/2019 at 10:44 pm #57320
- Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Thanks for the show! I just caught up with it today after having a day off work on Monday. (I always listen to you podcast on my way to my full-time job).
Here are my numbers for the week:
Total Items in Store: 2703
Items Sold: 37
Total Sales: $845
Cost of Items Sold: $74
Average Price Sold: $22.83
Average Cost of Item: $2.01
Highest Price Item Sold: $76 Kontrol Stempel Copper Soda Acid Fire Extinguisher lamp
Number of items listed this week: 51
YTD Sales: $5343
YTD sales compared to this time last year: -9%
Average age of items in store (in days since listing): 360
Average number of days between listing and selling this week: 223
Median age of sales (in days, between listing and selling): 72
Sell-through rate (for the week): 1.37%
I was interested to hear that eBay was quiet for you guys this week. This week was pretty normal for me but the previous week was on the quiet side. My biggest sale of the week was an odd item (for me) :- a fancy old fire extinguisher that had been turned into a lamp.
I distinctly remember reading the Scavenger Life manifesto when I first started on eBay in 2015. It was the reason I knew that selling just a few items wasn’t really going to get me the results I wanted. Up until that point I had no idea that people like me could list hundreds of items on eBay. It was quite an eye-opener and it gave me the motivation I needed to ramp up.0
02/20/2019 at 9:10 am #57336
Yeah, it’s a simple concept but I think a big mental barrier. “You mean I need to just sit and list all 500 items that I have? Why not just list 20 things and list more as they sell and they give me free listings?”0
02/20/2019 at 10:07 am #57345
Yep…Listing fees should never be a barrier.
If it is, either the thinking or the pricing is wrong…0
02/20/2019 at 10:09 am #57346
I’m hitting that mental barrier now with needing to upgrade my store subscription soon…for some silly reason the $40 extra a month in fees messes with my mind – and I can’t reasonably justify it!0
02/20/2019 at 10:12 am #57347
We are about to cross a barrier soon to, from Premium to Anchor.
I’m somewhat looking forward to it. Then every listing is like it is free. Flat subscription and list all we want!0
02/20/2019 at 10:16 am #57351
Premium to Anchor subscription is the biggest jump. 1000 listings per month to 10k per month! That’s a lot of room for growth.0
02/20/2019 at 2:17 pm #57376
- Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Being in the “donut hole” between Premium and Anchor isn’t fun. I’m currently paying insertion fees for about 1700 extra listings. I guess the break-even point for an upgrade is around from Premium to Anchor is about 3300 listing. I’m not sure that I’ll ever get there while I’m doing this part time.0
02/21/2019 at 3:48 pm #57451
Simon: Your phrase in the donut hole is a perfect explanation and reason Ebay should have and needs a middle tier store in there somewhere.0
02/21/2019 at 4:38 pm #57453
Even better…could be grounds for experimenting!
Make two listings on the same item (slight changes so eBay doesn’t see it as a duplicate and spam). One with Free Shipping, one with paid shipping. Use the SKU as reference to the other listing to pull down when sold.
Do this for 100-200 listings, see what the STR difference is.
No extra costs involved at that point, so the experiment is free…0
02/20/2019 at 10:15 am #57350
If you pay the extra $40, you’d need to commit to really expanding your inventory.
$40 is just an extra one or two items sold per month.
But if you can sell an extra 30+ items a month, you’re way into the black.0
02/19/2019 at 11:22 pm #57321
Loved the show! Listened over Monday & Tuesday. Thanks for the Loro Piana info. This evening we stopped at a thrift store and found a Loro Piana 3-in-one coat made for the equestrian team of the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. Also found a Paul Stuart reversible trench coat, while doing ebay research, what pops up but a photo of Jay modeling a recent sold! Too funny0
02/20/2019 at 8:28 am #57332
Nice find on the Horsey coat, those are pretty sweet. With the vest too? I’ve found a few of them over the years, but the vest was always missing.0
02/20/2019 at 9:09 am #57335
If you find listings where we’re modeling clothes, you know its at least three years old. Thankfully those clothes are slowly being sold off, so people will spot us less and less 🙂0
02/20/2019 at 10:44 am #57354
- Location: South Mississippi
Another great episode, I generally listen to the weekly episode multiple times and this one was no exception. I completely agree with the Scavenger Life Manifesto still being a solid blueprint, it was accurate in 2013 and it’s still accurate today. I can barely wrap my head around the fact you guys are about to hit episode 400!!! Holy cow, that doesn’t even seem real.
I think T-Satt gave some really good advice … “If you can keep the day job and build up the side gig and that makes a happy life, so be it. Making the life that you want is the ultimate goal.”
Kudos T-Satt, I will give that advice 2 thumbs up. I wish I had done that the first time around.
I think sales were down for many of us but it’s like a roller coaster sometimes and the trick is to learn to pay it NO attention, up or down, it always comes back. I like Jay’s stock market analogy, very accurate.1+
02/20/2019 at 2:59 pm #57380
Marie in FloridaParticipant
Total Items in Store: 466
Items Sold: 5
Gross Sales: $162
Highest Price Sold: $50 Anne Fontaine Shirt
Average Price Sold: $34
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
Expect my items-in-store # to go down. I’m going through everything item by item and pulling items that are not worth storage space or packing time. I’m about to delete a set of Garfield glasses that I had no nibbles on. At the reduced price of $6 it’s not worth packing for a profit of a few bucks.0
02/21/2019 at 10:31 pm #57458
- Location: Troy, Ohio
Hey gang. eBay is on the back burner for me right now because my husband has been in the hospital for 10 days. Thank goodness I have enough listings that things can go on auto pilot for awhile and all I have to do is pull and ship. Anyway, I have had a lot of time to read and ran across an interesting article today I wanted to share that fits right into the discussions here. The Washington Post did an article on one couples venture into retail arbitrage.
02/21/2019 at 10:32 pm #57459
Hello all: I am going out of town for a few days so I tried to set my handling time to 5 days instead of 1 day. However, when I try to implement the bulk handling time change it updates some of my listings, but most of them fail with the error message, “Package weight exceeds the maximum limit.”. I thought I had First Class in my business policy for items over 1 pound, but that was not the case. I had Parcel Select, Retail Ground and Priority Mail. My international postage is Priority Mail International. I called Ebay. They told me I cannot change the handling time for items with “Buy It Now”. I am quite sure this is false, but I don’t understand why this fails. Any ideas?0
02/22/2019 at 5:27 am #57465
BrianB: If you have your First Class business policy set as to stated .. ” I thought I had First Class in my business policy for items over 1 pound, but that was not the case. I had Parcel Select, Retail Ground and Priority Mail.” Is this correct. First Class setting should be for anything “UNDER” 1 pound. If you have heavier items [more than 1 lb.] with the First Class bznz policy that may be why Ebay is saying “your weight exceds the max.”. Well sure it does, if they are over a pound.
So, that needs to be corrected anyway regardless of your handling time. You will need to go through your listings, see which ones are “over” a lb. and bulk edit them so they have one of your policies that handle over 1 lb. packages. Then do the same for all of your listings that are under 1 lb. and make sure they are set for first class package.
But by you saying you thought you had First Class set up for items OVER a pound may be the issue. Just thinking out loud.
02/22/2019 at 7:12 am #57468
Brian: This may be of interest to you and-or others. It just so happened I started to list 3 items that were easily under one lb. roughly 4 ozs. So I placed 6 ozs. in my listing in the “ounce” box and did a verification and it did not verify. [I use WonderLister] so may be different if you are listing directly into the Ebay form or on your phone. But WL will always tell you something is wrong during the verification process.
Well after the item did not verify, which means I had to make corrections to the listing before it would submit to Ebay. The nice thing about WL and possibly SixBit is that it will tell you what is wrong. Turns out that all I had to do was “ADD a Zero into the Lb. field. Once I input 0 then 6 ozs. it verified and uploaded.
So maybe Ebay now wants sellers to into a zero in the pound field then the ounces into that field.
Give it a try on one listing, add the zero and see if it works.
Guess Ebay again has changed something without telling any of the sellers.
02/22/2019 at 7:20 am #57470
If you use business policies, then you should be changing your handling time within those policies. You should not be using the bulk editing tool to change handling.0
02/23/2019 at 10:03 am #57505
It’s been a long week stuck at home for me, but I found a new (to me) car and I’m back on the road again! I usually don’t thrift on Saturdays, but I think I’ll make an exception today and hit a few local shops.0
02/23/2019 at 4:33 pm #57520
We left MA for Florida 14 years ago due in large part to the high taxes and we’ve never looked back. We didn’t take a salary hit when we came here as engineers make about the same here as where we’re from, so it was a net gain to our family’s bottom line. My extended family has slowly migrated here also.
Our area has seen large influxes of highly-educated workers moving in in the past few years, but it has really picked up lately with large corporations in the area hiring engineers from out of state. We definitely feel the wave of people moving here from high-tax states. The thing is, these states are losing their high-earning, highly-educated taxpayers. It’s a net gain for FL but a net loss for those high-tax states IMHO. I don’t know what to think. This is driving up housing costs in our area bigtime, like to the level of the bubble housing prices and beyond. Hopefully it will all shake out.
Ebay has been SO SLOW for me lately. I’ve started mainly using Poshmark instead of Ebay because my items on Ebay don’t seem to be getting anything close to the number of views they normally would. This means that I’m selling more clothing which isn’t my preference. When I was promoting at the “going rate” my sales were fine. As soon as I pulled back to 1% my items stopped getting very many views and my sales really slowed down. I don’t really want to play this game. Like Ryanne said, you eventually start to wonder if you’re making any money when you’re paying Ebay fees, an extra “going rate” fee, paypal fees, etc.0
02/24/2019 at 9:28 am #57541
- Location: Southeastern New England
I haven’t posted my numbers in a long time, but here’s Feb 10 to 16, 2019.
Total Items In Store: +/- 90
Items Sold: 6
Cost of Items Sold: $47
Total Sales: $334
Highest Price Sold: $150 (set of antique plates; paid $10)
Average Price Sold: $55
# Items Listed: about 10
Things at work have settled down a bit, and I’ve been digging into the death piles to find unlisted items (or things that expired months ago and are too old to re-list) and get them up and listed. (That’s been working out well; this week, I sold some mugs within 24 hours for $90; they’ve been sitting on a shelf for at least a year.) I’m also trying to get out and thrift a little more than I’ve been able to over the last several months. I’ve found a few decent items, and sales have picked up. (I had kind of a high COGS this week, because I sold a few things for cheap that I shouldn’t have bought in the first place.) I still don’t have the time I used to have (I’ve added a grad school class on top of work, eBay, and parenting!) but I’ve been doing okay, and sales really haven’t been bad, considering my tiny inventory and long handling time (5 business days is my standard, just because I need that wiggle room. I almost always ship within 24 hours, but I need that flexibility in the event of sick kids or long days at work.)0
02/24/2019 at 9:44 am #57542
Glad you still have time to pop your head in from time to time. Always enjoy your deep dives into research.
That school and those kids are lucky to you full-time.0
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