03/24/2019 at 4:01 pm #59147
03/24/2019 at 4:08 pm #59150
2019-03-17 – 2019-03-23
Total Items In Store: 2848
Items Sold: 17
Cost of Items Sold: $65
Total Sales: $687
Highest Price Sold: $76 (Allen Edmond Shoes)
Average Price Sold: $40.41
# Items Listed: 15
Money Spent on New Inventory: $
Gut Sales Report for the week: Felt slow, but sales were really up this week – probably because of the ASP. My STR for March 2019 is way down from March 2018. But my ASP is way up, so I guess that balances things out.
Challenge of the week: Those clocks are still sucking some time. There are so darn interesting that they suck a lot of time. But the good thing is that I know my Big Ben Westclox clocks now. Got another one today at an estate sale.
Scavenge of the week / Sale of the week: The last 7 days of scavenging has had some strange things happen, but a good strange. I call it “Scrat Scavenging” (means buying something not knowing exactly what you are buying, then it turns out to be a great buy), let me explain.
I rarely find items older than the 1950’s at estates sales. But in the past week I have found 3 great items from the early 20th century: 1. One of those Big Ben clock was dated 1915 (the first style they made and it is working). 2.
Yesterday, I found a Stanley Woodworking plane circa 1910-1918. 3. I found a No 1 Kodak Camera circa 1914-1927. What are the odds of all that in 1 week? Not very likely at Michigan estate sales unless you go specifically to the Antique ones, which I didn’t.
The other strange Scavenge of the week was two different sets of Fireplace Tool Sets. The first one I picked up at my shoe thrift store. I tell my kids I was like Scrat (the character in the movie Ice Age who saves the world, but doesn’t know it – that is why I call it “Scrat Scavenging”) finding this Fireplace Tool Set. I bought it for $5 not knowing what it was and just tossed it in the garage. It turns out that it is a Seymour Mid Century Modern set in excellent condition (I think the condition is what threw me off what it was). The Seymour will easily go for $150+. Then yesterday, I was at an estate sale and I see another Fireplace Tool Set. Again I didn’t know exactly what it was. I looked it
up and it was a Vintage Brass Mid-century Fireplace Tool Set. Then today, I ran into another Fireplace Tool Set that was fairly old, but bad condition, so I passed on it. I need to study up on these Fireplace Tool Sets!
03/24/2019 at 8:37 pm #59163
Love that term “scrat” scavenging!0
03/24/2019 at 5:57 pm #59158
- Location: Canada
I think your hunch is spot on I’ve noticed some signs purely anecdotal but spidey sense tells me something is a foot and some sort of correction is coming.0
03/24/2019 at 6:54 pm #59160
- Location: South Mississippi
Speaking on the subject of ebay taking the money out of your paypal or whatever when you make an offer I think this is one area where Poshmark excels because that is exactly what they do. When someone makes an offer on poshmark they are immediately charged once you accept the offer. Come on ebay it’s time to grow up already.1+
03/24/2019 at 8:39 pm #59164
Agree 100% with this.1+
03/25/2019 at 12:26 pm #59209
I know it’s frustrating when buyers cancel but I don’t think a policy change is needed. The main problem is just violated seller expectations. Gotta calibrate to the fact that a sale doesn’t real until the buyer pays. I don’t do a damn thing, not even update my spreadsheet, till Paypal notification comes in.2+
03/27/2019 at 7:23 am #59322
100% on the money. Don’t even pull the item until money is in hand. You’re just setting yourself up for disappointment and extra work otherwise.0
03/24/2019 at 7:01 pm #59161
- Location: Schnecksville, PA
Can’t wait to listen, another disappointing week, but here we are:
Mar 17- Mar 24 2019
Total Items in Store: 3578
Items Sold: 57
Gross Sales: $1058.79
Consignor Commission (COGS): $414.60 (39.16%)
Highest Price Sold: $250 (Hobart Commercial Grinder-local pick up)
Average Price Sold: $18.58
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
Number of items listed this week: 136 (119 personally)
Did not hit our new survival goal of $1250 per week, but our
average sales price is up, which is getting closer to our $19 goal
surely but slowly, we are getting there.0
03/24/2019 at 8:42 pm #59165
03/24/2019 at 8:52 pm #59168
So it turns out that having all the time in the world to “ramp up” the eBay business doesn’t mean squat if you have no self discipline or consistency. Fell short of my listing goal of 50 listings in a week by 80%. I could list all the reasons why but it really doesn’t matter.
So new goal: 3 a day. Lame, I know, but I have to be honest with myself. If I can’t even do that then I need to donate my 30 x 10 storage unit full and begin intensive counseling/therapy.4+
03/24/2019 at 8:54 pm #59169
- Location: Washington DC
Great episode. Congratulations on your sizzling 10,000 feedback! OK so it maybe it means nothing, but still it’s pretty cool.
Sorry to hear it has been slow for you. My Jan – Feb – Mar 2019 has been the best ever, but I will admit that every year these months have traditionally been my strongest months. Maybe that’s when eBay turns on my store and turns off yours? Ha ha, just kidding.
Comcast may suck but it’s awesome, given rural alternatives. Congrats! Comcast was all we had in Florida on a military base and I was very happy to have it. Here in DC on a military base again and it’s dismal – either dish or AT&T over phone lines. Lots of cable laid but no tapping into it for personal use. With a teenager who’s gaming, we have to take turns. We have a house in Texas and the only internet is air. Full time residents in that area are always crying on Nextdoor and hassling all the providers about when they’re going to wire/cable the area but no one coming in any time soon. “Too remote; not enough people” is all they say.
Recession! Talk is in the air! The press wants SO BAD for there to be a recession going into 2020 for the election so I expect that’s all we will hear about for the next year and a half. Before you deny it, I always say that just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get me.
It’s also my opinion that the press turned what should have been just a minor blip recession in 2008 into a full blown depression by scaring the living crap out of everyone. People just stopped buying things. Restaurants were empty. Convenience stores were empty. All retail was a ghost town. Nobody did anything. Why should a stock market drop hurt the average person? So a bank goes bankrupt, but your deposits are insured! People were irrationally frightened and the government reacted stupidly in response. Many of us here on the forum know and practice living frugally but with our current economy it’s those people rich and poor spending their paycheck every week who keep our economy chugging along. I wish it weren’t.
Flea market bargaining: It may be painful and perhaps a little disgusting to watch but I always attract more flies with sugar. You cannot be too obsequious with a flea market seller. Flattery will get you everywhere. The story may change about why I can’t pay full price but I always love their item, their display, their clothes, their car, their hair, whatever I can think of to butter them up. It works!1+
03/24/2019 at 8:58 pm #59170
March 17-23, 2019
Total Items in Store: 1,636
Items Sold: 21
Gross Sales: $628.02
Cost of Items Sold: $86.60
Highest Price Sold: $250.00
Average Price Sold: $29.91
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $88.60
Number of items listed this week: 13
Store 2 (CAD)
Total Items in Store: 854
Items Sold: 9
Gross Sales: $162.90
Cost of Items Sold: $14.20
Highest Price Sold: $27.99 (vintage patch)
Average Price Sold: $18.10
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $85.00
Number of items listed this week: 31
Amazon.ca sales: $474.00 (CAD) (Approx $142.20 net profit)
Amazon.com sales: $1,699.00 (Approx $509.70 net profit)
Haven’t listened yet, but will tomorrow morning when I’m packing eBay sales and a few boxes for amazon.
Only had a partial week of work. Got back from traveling late Monday night, and spent all day Tuesday packing/shipping.
Then most of Wednesday and Thursday were spent shipping and replenishing my amazon inventory.
Ebay sales were down, but a $250 jacket sale saved my bacon. Finally got back to listing on Friday. Excited to plow back into things now that I’m officially full time online.
In life related news, my wife just drafted her resignation letter. Tomorrow she’s tendering the letter and giving her employer eight weeks notice. Two and a half months until we move across the country. It’s GO TIME!2+
03/25/2019 at 1:16 pm #59219
Congrats to your wife on her impending freedom!1+
03/24/2019 at 9:40 pm #59175
- Location: valdosta, ga
When a recession does finally come, your 8k+ inventory will be an asset. You’ll just need to pay more attention to cash flow, but probably will be a good time to source!
New to eBay. Sold 3 items for $129.48 gross. All items from house (camera, book and vintage horse.)
I’m up to 58 items in the store, only 2 of which I sourced from Agri Supply Company.
My goal is only to net $1,000 this year.0
03/25/2019 at 6:20 am #59181
–Are you mainly focusing on retail arbitrage?
–What kind of items are you buying at Agri Supply Company?
–How much do you purchase the items and how much do you sell?0
03/25/2019 at 11:18 am #59197
- Location: valdosta, ga
Still trying to find my retail arbitrage niche. Bought a couple of Oregon Mower blades on clearance for $3.14. They both sell on eBay for $21.49 incl. shipping, so I priced $10.99 plus shipping. The volume is just not there (before I learned to search completed/sold listings.)
Those are the only 2 items bought so far. Still plenty of $ lying around the house😃0
03/25/2019 at 9:02 am #59185
I am not sure if i should post this here or another topic.
Has anyone else noticed Defects showing up on your account I just looked and i had two out of stock defects that had not been there the last 6 months one is almost a year ago and another from September .
I also had two late shipping show that weren’t there was again was almost a year old .0
03/25/2019 at 9:11 am #59186
Just listening now;
On the rural internet topic, as we’re currently home shopping and looking to scale back, this is a real issue. We’re currently in a city with great internet service.
We had offered on a rural home a month or two ago that checked almost all of the boxes for us and the sellers were pretty sticky on their price. At the end, we could have paid more for it than we probably should have, and almost did, but the slow internet speeds were the deal killer. We just couldn’t justify overpaying for a home just because we “loved” it, and not even getting quality internet service along with it.0
03/25/2019 at 10:20 am #59190
I had a rough time for years with rural internet in my area – only in the last year do we have some competition.
Originally, the only company that had “high speed” internet was the phone company (Bell Canada) – it was horrible. Not even close to the speeds I was getting in the city, and would be constantly down (no service at all). It was VERY frustrating. We looked into satellite internet, but the costs were very high at the time.
We were lucky – with development in the area, a cable company (Cogeco) invested in putting lines down the street we live on – ever since we have been with them. Bell is also slowly adding fibre optic phone lines replacing the copper lines we currently have. Hopefully it provides even further competition.
There is a couple other locally run ISP options where you need an antenna device on your roof – most of the very rural people in our area have this – it looks like a “diamond” shaped road marker, but I hear the speeds and reliability are good unless it is snowing/raining/foggy.
I also looked into the cell data route – it’s too expensive for what I need compared to the cable company.
Where we are moving, we were lucky to have a cable line already installed into our house, so we have another cable company (Eastlink) supplying us there – it seems OK, but really haven’t put it to the test.1+
03/25/2019 at 9:43 am #59187
- Location: Naples, Fl
Good Morning all, listened through while packing items last night, looking forward to a more active listening repeat here at work (work looking like mostly non work today).
Last week felt like what I believe my present normal should be, which is not so bad. After only a year of really doing numbers, I’m still trying to figure out what normal is for me.
Honing in on the basic goals of:
6 listings per day, $1,000 Gross per week, Source aggressively and creatively so I actually HAVE 6 good items to list a day!
Getting my head right to back up accomplishing these goals with proper thinking and believing, faith and affirmation fueled Mindfulness.
3/17 – 3/23/19 (Items listed are unique to each platform, no cross listing is done)
eBay store: totommyto
Total store items: 589
Number of items sold: 16
Total eBay sales (not counting s/h): $585.00
Cost of items sold: $49
Consignment payouts $5
Highest price sold: $100 – 1949 Collins Holy Bible (paid $1)
Average price sold: $36.60
Money spent on new inventory: $150
Number of new items listed this week: 11
Sell through rate for the week: 2.7
Etsy store oldfleatoymarket
Total store items: 616
Number of items sold: 7
Total Etsy sales ( not counting s/h): $154
Cost of items sold: $13.50
Consignment payouts: 0
Highest price sold: $35 – Rusty boat 10 lb anchor (paid $5, bread & butter Etsy item)
Average price sold: $22
Money spent on new inventory: $50
Number of new items listed this week: 4
Sell through rate for the week: 1.1
- This reply was modified 4 weeks, 1 day ago by totommyto. Reason: spell/grammar
03/25/2019 at 10:12 am #59189
Total Items in Store: 1916 (301 on Poshmark)
Items Sold: 32
Gross Sales: $1055.69
Highest Price Sold: $158.85 (Face Lotion)
Average Price Sold: $32.90
Returns: 2 (fit)
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $220 (Half Price at Goodwill)
Number of items listed this week: 90
We were gone most of the week at the ASD show in Vegas. It was a pretty slow week, without a few high priced sales it would have been grim. While in Vegas I was able to work on listing on Posh Mark. So far in five weeks I have made $575 on Poshmark, so I think I will continue working on it for now.
Great conversation about recession. Thankfully we live our lives pretty frugally, but could do better for sure.
We have only been hitting our local goodwill when they have half off days, we just can’t afford it otherwise. While there I really have noticed a TON of scavengers. I really like seeing kids my kids’ age out there, but I don’t really like the competition. HA!
Congratulation on your 10,000 feedback, while it my not help the algorithm it does show what an amazing job you are both doing. Thanks again for creating this amazing community for us all to be involved in. It is a great place to come and learn in a positive environment.0
03/25/2019 at 2:01 pm #59225
03/25/2019 at 2:31 pm #59229
We have found it to be a good use of our time. Almost all of our inventory is used goods or goods sourced from thrift stores or estate sales. We have been wanting to branch out a bit to try to diversify our business. We find the classes offered at the ASD shows to be informative as well. We actually put in our first wholesale order, I am thinking we will be selling it exclusively on Poshmark. So we will see how that goes. Have you been?0
03/25/2019 at 3:51 pm #59250
Rhianna, how do you get an exclusive deal to be the sole seller of a product on Poshmark?
–is it only on Poshmark, but the supplier can sell elsewhere?
–do you sign a contract for a certain amount of time?
–do you commit to buy a certain amount of product each month?0
03/25/2019 at 4:20 pm #59260
Hey Jay, it is not an exclusive deal at all. I am small fish and they won’t waste too much time and energy on me. I found a place I could do small orders of 24 items minimum. Because of the price we decided to get 60 items in total to sell. It is only a test at this point. Hopefully the items will sell and we can order more in the future.0
03/25/2019 at 4:05 pm #59254
@rhianna: No, we haven’t been, but it is on our radar. We aren’t planning to go to eBay Open this year with me already planning to be gone on the hike, and I have thought that this would be a better use of a business trip than eBay Open. We already know most of what eBay can talk about, so we want to move up the chain a bit.
I would love to hear more about ASD and if there are good deals there. I think that some areas may be too saturated, but like all sourcing, people may look for different things.0
03/25/2019 at 2:34 pm #59231
What is ASD?0
03/25/2019 at 2:40 pm #59232
ASD is a trade show, it stands for Affordable Shopping Destination.0
03/25/2019 at 11:11 am #59196
Items in Store 1027
Items Sold 14
Total Sales $352.50
Total Profit $317.50
Average profit $22.68
Average sales price $25.18
New Listings 11
Things have definitely slowed down since I haven’t been consistently listing. I actually am “listing” things, but I’m bottlenecking at photography so they don’t get posted to ebay. I’m creating drafts at work, which is everything but the photos. I just don’t have any time right now to do anything other than basic shipping at home. I have 50 completed drafts at the moment.
Usually I photograph early in the morning before I leave for work and on weekends before everyone wakes up.
Mornings became complicated. For a while I was oversleeping and struggling to get up to go to work, so there was no time to photograph. Now I have that under control and I have plenty of time but we got another doggie so I spend that extra time with her doing her scheduled things to get her house broken.
On the weekends my wife is no longer sleeping well due to getting close to the end of the pregnancy, so she is waking up early when I do. Even without an alarm I am usually awake by 6:30 on the weekend. Usually wife/kids don’t wake up until 9.
The only other time I could do work is late at night… but I value my sleep too much right now. Not happening.
So this brings me again to hiring a photographer to get past this hump. My daughter is possibly ready to take on this role, but she needs to finish out her homeschool year first. Once that is done I’ll see if she has what it takes to meet my requirements. That would be a TREMENDOUS help. I can crank out 50 drafts a week just on breaks and lunch at work if I stick to bread/butter shoes & clothes. Lord knows I have plenty of those that I need to get listed.1+
03/25/2019 at 3:34 pm #59241
Oh! I forgot to mention that I sold my first vintage used Cologne last week. Sold a 3/4 full bottle of Estee Lauder Metropolis Cologne for $65.
I would never in a million year thought to even look at used cologne without this site. When I saw that tray of colognes being set up though while in the checkout line, I abandoned my spot and ran over to them ASAP.2+
03/25/2019 at 4:24 pm #59261
Vintage Cologne/Perfume has been the best profit items I’ve found the last few months. Just love finding it – it’s always dirt cheap, and they sell quickly and for good profit. Even drug store brands are worthwhile.
I guess people love their scent – and can’t change to a modern one.0
03/25/2019 at 11:46 am #59202
We are not nearly as recession proof as I’d like to be. Ebay is definitely part of the plan, though. Hard to know for sure but I’d speculate we’d see more competition from sellers as well as more buyers in a downturn. Hard to know whether the two cancel each other out or not.
I had a good week for sales.
Sales: CAD$1765, 12 items, COGS: $365 –> Item profit: $1101
Expenditures: $430 –> Cashflow: $1035
Listed: $1070, 10 items
Hours: 7, $92/hr after tax
Notable sales: Drader plastic welder, $300 –> $750 within a day or two. Bit risky for a return but fingers crossed!
Other stuff is… interesting, lately. I got a promotion and significant (25%) raise, which was a pleasant surprise. I also am getting kicked out of my airport storage unit by the new owners, who are attempting to quadruple the rent starting in April. I intend to just move before April and not pay them a cent, but I’m curious to see if I have legal remedy. I just don’t like being pushed around. My lease agreement was written up by the previous owner like a residential tenancy, so it only references the landlord/tenant act for rent increases & notices of eviction (3 months notice) and doesn’t specify them directly. Regardless of whether the act should have applied to a commercial lease, I would think that by specifically referencing it, it becomes relevant to expectations of the contract (certainly that’s how I originally read it). Also not sure if, by vacating before April, I forgo any legal standing anyway. Or whether I really want the hassle. But, feeling very vindictive at the moment. Running residential rentals, I find this behaviour kind of shocking. Generally I only raise rent in between tenants.
I was sore tempted to build a storage unit at our house – we have space – but alas, the money is not there right now and I don’t want more debt. So, it’ll be a storage locker (for $215/mo instead of $100/mo). Sigh. I’m going to rent a u-haul this weekend and blitz it. May purge some of the junkier stuff at the same time. And I’ll try to organize the new unit better.0
03/25/2019 at 12:29 pm #59211
Not sure I should admit this but uh… whenever you guys get all nitty gritty about $5 shipping rate discrepancies I giggle. I made $3500 in shipping profit last year. =)
Mostly because I charge my buyer calculated Canada Post and then ship Chitchats.0
03/25/2019 at 1:22 pm #59220
The eBay calculator for Canada Post is great – I get up to 37% discount at Canada Post now so it’s way off. I’ve started to lower my “fixed” shipping costs to compete on competitive items with U.S. sellers, but keeping the calculator on for other items.1+
03/25/2019 at 3:42 pm #59245
Yeah, shipping income is income for sure if you ship efficiently.0
03/25/2019 at 3:39 pm #59243
Congrats on the raise. 25% more per month is a very visible change. Sock it all away!
How much storage do you need? At Home Depot, they sell those pre-built storage buildings that can be plopped in your backyard.0
03/25/2019 at 4:11 pm #59257
Yep, thanks! I hope it will help us pay down debt ASAP.
If I built a building it’d be something like 12’x24′. Could possibly even go bigger, to 12’x40′ before we hit our property line.
The 12’x24′ looks like it’d cost CAD$6000 built or $5000 for a kit. I may still do it but I don’t have the cash at the moment and certainly don’t have the time to build it.0
03/25/2019 at 11:56 am #59204
- Location: Central NJ
I had noticed the 10,000 feedback shooting star earlier in the week (as I monitor the solds in J&R’s store), and I think it does help. Not necessarily in the algorithm but in the newer buyers. I know that I look at the ratings of the seller before I buy something, and I’m sure other people do as well. Anyway, congratulations!
For the concern about eBay charging too little for Priority postage: As I understand it, we aren’t buying postage directly from the USPS. eBay gets a negotiated rate from the USPS, and they resell it to us at a higher rate. I would think that if eBay accidentally charges us too little, the USPS wouldn’t see that. If eBay turned around and charged us back payment, that would be illegal. You can’t advertise one price and then turn around and charge something different days later. Of course, this assumes that your weight and size are correct.
Week of Mar 17 – 23
* Total Items in Store: 1381 eBay, 3 Etsy
* Items Sold: 18 eBay
* Cost of Items Sold: $19.95 + $7 Commission
* Total Sales: $315.36
* Highest Price Sold: $50 Vintage set JCPenney drapes & valences
* Average Price Sold: $17.52
* Returns: 1
* Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $156
* Number of items listed this week: 37
Things to do list: No progress this week
I had a good number of sales (for me), but they were mostly lower priced items.
- This reply was modified 4 weeks ago by Sharyn.
03/25/2019 at 3:33 pm #59240
Thanks for the rational response to the USPS-eBay relationship. For some reason, there’s some weird rumor in the eBay world that USPS will start clawing back money from sellers. It’s very very weird. No one can point to any proof, but it’s a powerful fear that some enjoy discussing.
I agree that eBay negotiates lower rates because of their volume. If eBay makes a “mistake”, it’s on them.0
03/25/2019 at 3:46 pm #59247
I pointed this out last week, but I’ll state it again here.
Yes ebay has hit me multiple times for underpayment when I followed ebays shipping screen perfectly.
I really don’t have much desire to call ebay and deal with their Schite Customer service and get myself all worked up over a couple dollars. I guess their mission to discourage CS calls to save money was a sucess….
Anyways, it is obvious the ebay shipping screen was WRONG and I did nothing wrong but ebay is sticking me with the bill for their error.
Here is the text from one of the underpayment charge emails:
Some of your shipping labels have cost adjustments
The US Postal Service has let us know that some of your recent shipping labels required a cost adjustment. That means you paid too much or too little for the actual cost of shipping. You can see some of your adjustments below or view all shipping label cost adjustments in your eBay account.
We’ve attempted to charge or credit your account. If we were unable to successfully charge your account, you may see the charge on your invoice.
What you need to get right when shipping your item:
If you think these adjustments are incorrect, you can contact USPS Customer Care at 1-844-819-5187 or firstname.lastname@example.org to open a dispute. USPS will respond within 5-15 business days.
View shipping cost adjustments
Learn more about how to avoid underpaying on postage.
Underpaid adjustment: $3.86
Item: J Lindberg Gray Ankle Boots Side Zip Men’s Size 8.5
Reason: Package weight different from specified
Weight on label: 4lb 0oz
Actual weight: 3lb 6oz
Date printed: Feb 21, 2019
Revenue Assurance ID: 20348083410
03/25/2019 at 4:11 pm #59256
@Retro: This makes no sense. You paid for a 4lb label and the actual weight was 3lb 6oz. You paid correctly! We always round up to the nearest pound on our shipments, and we have never received a +/- adjustment.0
03/27/2019 at 7:41 am #59323
There is some back story to this.
The ebay classic shipping screen was glitching on me. For me, anytime I have free shipping on an item I am forced into the classic shipping screen – it will not go to the new shipping screen. I had two different items that the classic screen was trying to GREATLY overcharge me. The items were going to East coast customers and the label was going to be $20 for a 3 lb package!
I reported the issue to ebay and I got the ususal glorious customer service experience. First they told me I was wrong. Then I proved their system was screwed up in real time. We even experimented with one that undercharged me a dollar or two. The CSR told me to just call in with whatever labels overcharged me and that if I was undercharged then that is basically a “freebie” I can keep.
I was told IT would look into the problem and get back to me within 3 days. Well as per usual, they never got back to me and they never fixed it. Eventually I figured out the issue – the zones are backwards for me in the classic shipping calculator. So….if I use the classic shipping screen for items shipping to California then I can ship 3lb + items for about $8! I did this a few times….these are the items I got the underpayment emails on.
So I’m not too terribly upset because I just got charged back the money I should have spent on ebay. There’s nothing I can do about it since ebay will just deny that the CSR ever had that conversation with me…
I just avoid the classic shipping screen now and use paypal labels if I am forced to use classic.0
03/25/2019 at 4:20 pm #59259
- Location: Ohio
Retro, thanks for posting that letter.. I have never received anything like that on eBay, ever. Why would you have been “under-charged” for a 3 lb. 6 oz package when the label was for 4 lbs. ? That makes no sense! Those charges are going to add up for you – I would be complaining!0
03/25/2019 at 4:29 pm #59262
Retro, this is good info, but as TSATT said, it doesn’t make sense they charged you more for a lighter weight. I’d want to call just to understand.
Every so often we get a Cost adjustment message too because we accidentally under-weighed an item. We make mistakes and USPS needs a way to correct it. I like that USPS no longer makes the buyer pay the extra, then the buyer complains to us.
Can we lay down some parameters here?
–How many times have you been hit with a cost adjustment over what period of time?
It’s important to understand the frequency. The spreading fear of USPS clawback makes it seem as if every eBay label will have a cost adjustment.
- This reply was modified 4 weeks ago by Jay.
03/25/2019 at 5:20 pm #59269
- Location: Central NJ
The customer service number they give you is for USPS, not eBay. From my experience, USPS reps are much better than eBay’s, so you should definitely call. What you have is a software glitch and not an actual weight issue.0
03/25/2019 at 4:02 pm #59253
I’m not sure that eBay is making anything in profit on us on USPS. We see the same Commercial Plus pricing on ShipRush that EBay provides. I think that eBay just allows us to get the discounted rates since we are buying through them0
03/25/2019 at 12:21 pm #59208
- Location: Peachtree City, GA
I have a theory why the slow ebay weeks lately….people are outdoors more where Spring has sprung. But they aren’t quite buying their Summer gear yet. Other areas of the country are flooding or snowed in. You don’t shop when you are trying to save your house from a natural disaster. I saw the same thing when the hurricanes come through.
03/26/2019 at 8:00 pm #59319
- Location: Southern California
There are some of us too paying a tax bill this year we did not have before under the new law. For certain people in Cali, NY or Jersey, it’s time for some extra belt tightening. We are the minority of taxpayers but still there are enough of us that I think it might be making some impact on retail. We are discussing not taking a vacation this summer, driving somewhere close by, or staying at a relative’s house instead of flying. The people who didn’t anticipate the hit are probably not feeling spendy.3+
03/25/2019 at 12:27 pm #59210
Mar 17 – 23
Total Items in Store: 2114
Items Sold: 26
Total Sales : $654
* BELOW yearly average of $903
* WAY BELOW 2018 total week sales of $1569
Highest Price: $70 (Peacock Bird String Art Picture)
Average Price: $25
Cost of Goods Sold: $40
Costs of Goods Purchased this Week: $30
Number of New Items Listed this Week: 29
I had a so-so week last week. A little better than the previous week, but I just wish I was seeing the numbers again from a year ago. It’s a tad daunting when the moment you quit your full time job to focus on eBay, your eBay numbers drop. But I believe you’re right about this economy at the moment. We’ve just got to tighten our belts, learn to be frugal and wait out this little recession or whatever it is going on. I feel confident that things will pick up again relatively soon.
There wasn’t much in the way of scavenging this week. We went to a tag sale on Friday. It was pure chaos. We were near the front of the line when they opened the doors and the house was instantly filled with 50 or 60 people. I barely managed to pick up some things that weren’t ridiculously priced, including a box full of vintage safety glasses for $3. I’ve just got to clean them up. I’ve done well with those in the past.
This week, my goal is to list list list. I’ve been slacking lately due to various things (sickness, vacation, projects). But I need to kick it into gear like I’ve said I wanted to. I’m sitting on a lot of cool stuff that I just know people are eager to buy.1+
03/25/2019 at 2:53 pm #59235
Doubly, I’ve been watching your transition to full time with great interest.
I don’t think you need to get too far down on yourself. You really haven’t been listing much and to be honest, if you aren’t desperate for the money then that is FINE!
You likely need to decompress and allow yourself to mentally adjust to this new situation. Take for instance homeschooling: Many homeschoolers who take their children out of public school will do short term “unschooling”. Basically they give their kids a break several weeks long of having nothing scheduled. Then they allow their kids to follow their interests and passions for a few weeks. Once the ingrained patterns of the public school has faded a bit then they start to form the structure that makes up their homeschool day. Some stick with unschooling while others bring in some forms of a structured day.
The process is typically 1-3 months.
So yeah man if you need to decompress, do some work around the house, etc and you can financially afford to do it then don’t feel guilty about it.
The numbers will come roaring back once you find your groove.0
03/25/2019 at 3:49 pm #59248
Yeah, sales go up and down over the weeks, but you should have pretty steady income if you consistently list.
Remind us what your “survival goal” is per week? What do you need to make to keep the house paid for and lights on?0
03/25/2019 at 5:15 pm #59266
My bare bones survival goal is around $350 a week. That’s for food and bills. I know I’m making double that for the most part each week, and that should be a good indicator that I’m doing fine. But like I mentioned above, I need to get over this mental hurdle that I should be making much more than that. I think I’m confusing my long term goals with my current expectations… and I need to quit doing that.0
03/25/2019 at 7:00 pm #59278
Yeah, if you meet your survival number each week you’re a winner. I always remind Ryanne when things are slow: “we hit $1000. It’s all good”.
If you are unhappy with your weekly numbers, then strap in and work. What you list now often wont sell tomorrow. But if you don’t list them now, they’ll never sell. Payoff is usually delayed. This is a big downfall of some sellers: they stop listing because things aren’t selling. Listing is the best antidote for future anxiety.
Good news is that if you put in 40 hours a week like you would a job, you’ll easily make more money than you need. And if you put in the time up front, you could even work less than 40 hours/week later since you’ve front loaded your inventory.
You made your money this week. Sleep well!0
03/26/2019 at 10:34 am #59298
Thanks, Jay. I think I’ve fallen into the trap of perceiving my average weekly sales as an end-all means of comparing how well I’m doing. That number is a double edge sword. It’s great to see myself exceed that goal, but when I fall short it can be devastating. I’m going to put some thought into a better means of evaluating my sales. The survival goal is fine (and important to know) but I’d like to figure out another number to reflect content. I’ll call it my comfort goal. I’ll give it some thought and come up with some ideas on that for next week.1+
03/26/2019 at 10:42 am #59299
Doubly: Since I live in the numbers world, I get your thoughts and your nerves when they are down and your happiness when they are up. What I have learned to apply to my thoughts are that the numbers…are just numbers. They are data and information, and the important part is how I react to them.
So if something is lower than you like, what do you do? The important part is to take a rational step that can help with the situation. And sometimes…it is just slow. Just part of the job. But if something isn’t what you want, put your efforts into actions to help. As Jay says…nothing like listing to make a positive change in your life.
One piece of advice on your numbers: don’t compare this year to the average of all of last year. You had some high times last year, and that is baked into last year’s average. I would look at your weeks and see if you have a seasonal curve to your sales. For us, we are highest from Oct-Mar, and Jul-Aug are going to be the low point. So when I do comparisons, I compare the week this year to the same week last year. This way, seasonality is removed.
Just something to consider.0
03/26/2019 at 11:00 am #59302
I think for myself, and maybe yourself, you come from a world in your career where numbers are blasted at you non-stop, and there is a “Scoreboard” for everything. That’s one of the challenges I have is that I’m focused on numbers, and in the end as long as the money is coming in, the nitty-gritty numbers don’t matter.
My wife is real bad – over-analyzing views, watchers, etc on her items and speculating why items don’t sell…I don’t focus on that as all that matters is 1 buyer – views and watchers don’t matter in the end.
I’m also starting to think “weekly” numbers is too tight – I’m going to start looking at things monthly before evaluating myself. We had a low sales week a couple weeks ago and if we didn’t focus on it, the monthly average is well above expectation.
I struggle with “thoughts” also – but find the best cure to supress the “bad” thoughts is to keep busy with other activities or listing.1+
03/26/2019 at 12:35 pm #59304
My wife is real bad – over-analyzing views, watchers, etc on her items and speculating why items don’t sell…I don’t focus on that as all that matters is 1 buyer – views and watchers don’t matter in the end.
This is one of the biggest mistakes I see some sellers make: they watch their listings like a hawk. It drives them to think if items don’t sell in short time, they’ve done something wrong. So they might lower their price so low until it sells (and make no money), or stop listing until their current items sell (stop the pipeline).
I know our “list it and forget” strategy is extreme, but it’s an antidote to over-analyzing listings. Take good photos, do the research, write a good title, price appropriately, list…and then trust your skills and move on to the next one.
It makes sense when sellers re-visit listings, but I think revisiting every month is too much. Prices dont change that quickly on the kind of items many of us sell. I think every six months would be plenty.0
03/26/2019 at 12:37 pm #59305
I like that: a survival goal and a comfort goal.
Just curious: what are your big plans now that you’re on your own?
–What would you do with a bunch of money?
–How much money do you need to attain this?0
03/27/2019 at 4:54 pm #59329
My big plan so far that comes to mind is the renovation of our home. The roof is in bad shape and that may be the most costly portion. But we’ve got that sorted out already and it’ll be replaced in May. That’ll cost about $12K but our insurance might cover a good portion of it from what we’re seeing. Besides that, I’d like to get the back porch floor boards replaced because they’re starting to rot. Also the electrical throughout the house needs upgraded, the driveway needs repaved, the yard needs some landscaping done and I’d like a storage shed built in the backyard. Oh, and new vinyl siding. It’s a fine house really, it just hasn’t seen a lot of updating since probably the 70’s.
If I had a bunch of money, I would of coarse hire the best people to do all that for me without worrying about cost. As for how much that would cost… maybe a ballpark price would be $30-$50K. Of course realistically I wouldn’t need to have everything done at once. So each upgrade may only cost a few thousand.0
03/27/2019 at 6:30 pm #59330
Good goals to have. You did say you got the house for a steal so makes sense it needs upgrades. What we do is just save for each project we do. We just paid $2000 to sand wood floors. They look awesome.
$12k to redo a roof seems high. Is that for just new asphalt tiles? Or do they need to actually replace rafters?
- This reply was modified 3 weeks, 5 days ago by Jay.
03/28/2019 at 11:12 am #59344
That does seem like a high amount for a roof, but our house is quite large. It’s a two storied 5500 sq.ft home plus a 3 car garage. It’s a lot of roof to cover. And we decided to go with a metal roof for longevity which was a little more expensive but we thought it would improve the worth of the house.0
03/28/2019 at 1:15 pm #59345
03/25/2019 at 5:08 pm #59265
Thanks for the confidence, Retro! You’re right, I have been rather hard on myself lately. I guess I’ve just been comparing my better weeks and months to how well I’m doing now without really putting any context to it. But really, seeing everyone else’s numbers and how they’re very similar to mine helps me out a lot.
Your homeschooling analogy is interesting, and you might be on to something. Since quitting my “stable” job, I haven’t felt like I’ve come to terms with this new career. It’s one thing to switch day jobs, but working for myself from home is so radically different. Not harder per se, just unlike anything I’ve ever done. It’s going to take a little while until I find my rhythm. I guess I didn’t expect this mental hurdle.
As far as taking time off to decompress, I don’t know, it might help. But it might drive me crazy too. I tell you what, I’ll take it into consideration for later this spring once the weather warms up and I can have more things to keep me occupied. Warmer weather just might help to get me out of this funk too.1+
03/25/2019 at 6:35 pm #59276
I haven’t felt like I’ve come to terms with this new career. It’s one thing to switch day jobs, but working for myself from home is so radically different. Not harder per se, just unlike anything I’ve ever done. It’s going to take a little while until I find my rhythm. I guess I didn’t expect this mental hurdle.
You are feeling all the right things IMHO. This is why, even ten years later, Ryanne and I are mainly talking about the emotional aspects of being a full-time scavenger. All the mechanics are pretty static once you learn them: finding items, taking photographs, writing a good listing, packing, printing a shipping label. But the day-to-day interior life of being your own boss is ginormous.
Working for yourself can feel like being dropped out of a plane…into the ocean…and having to very quickly build your own boat…out of the flotsam/jetsom floating by…while storms are raging…and your radio is broken.
Good news is that if you can build a little life raft to get through the first storm, you quickly learn to build a better boat, and then a better one. You learn the ocean. You get used to the storms. You learn to survive on what floats by. And you learn you can talk to others for help/support.
I think the biggest danger is just getting bored or burnout. But that’s an inside game.3+
03/26/2019 at 8:45 am #59289
That’s a fantastic analogy!0
03/26/2019 at 9:12 am #59291
Boredom is good. A lot of us quit our jobs to work on outside projects that aren’t easy to do while maintaining a 9-5. I think it’s more problematic when people allow themselves to be a “reseller” in both profession AND hobbies. Yikes.
Boredom is a good reminder that you didn’t quit your job so you could be a 24/7 reseller worker bee. You are not 100% defined as being a reseller. Burnout happens when you forget and put too much work into it, not leaving enough time for everything else (the everything else should come before the work, once you have been doing this long enough to mainly work on auto-pilot).1+
03/26/2019 at 9:27 am #59292
Well said. Running a business is part of our life, but not our whole life. Part of owning our time is finding time to do things we love. Important to do that or, as you said, we’d just be little worker bees.0
03/26/2019 at 10:55 am #59301
After 3 months of working full time during the week, and spending all weekend on eBay, I finally hit the “burnout” wall…I’m still finding the right balance, but the crazy store expansion I’m going through has reached the reflection stage for this weekend…going to take this weekend for myself and other neglected tasks to re-fuel for the next push…0
03/26/2019 at 10:31 am #59296
“Working for yourself can feel like being dropped out of a plane…into the ocean…and having to very quickly build your own boat…out of the flotsam/jetsom floating by…while storms are raging…and your radio is broken.
Good news is that if you can build a little life raft to get through the first storm, you quickly learn to build a better boat, and then a better one. You learn the ocean. You get used to the storms. You learn to survive on what floats by. And you learn you can talk to others for help/support.“
One of the best things written in this forum…0
03/26/2019 at 10:42 am #59300
Agreed, an awesome analogy! And it truly resonated with me. It’s all about the small accomplishments. I think I’m beginning to get my head on straight again. I’ll try to quit stressing so much and learn to appreciate the small victories. Perhaps I was dreaming of building a cruise ship from the start instead of working on a life raft.1+
03/30/2019 at 10:40 pm #59428
Me too! The life raft has to come first and I have to be ok with that. When there aren’t a a bunch of ca-chings I get anxious and paralyzed. Then I go down research rabbit holes and justify it in my mind – “I don’t want to make this into a sweat shop”. But honestly, I think I need to treat it like a sweat shop for a while. At least until I have 1000 listings. When I re-listen to the Podcast, it sounds like J & R really pounded out the listings in the beginning (’08).
Anyway, I had a decent week. And I’m grateful for that. I want to “ramp up” but I also have to realize that is going to feel like HARD WORK.
Ebay store numbers for week of 3/23/19 to 3/30/19
Total Items in Store: 523
Items Sold: 9
Gross Sales: $544
Cost of Items Sold: $79.50
Highest Price Sold: $150 (Waterman Fountain Pen)
Average Price Sold: $60
Number of items listed this week: 20.
Still shy of my goal of 3 a day. Head down tomorrow for sure.0
03/31/2019 at 9:16 am #59433
You make a good point. It is a sweat shop until you list enough and build up smart processes. Nothing can replace the need to put in the time to do the work.
But eventually the goal is to get it all set up where it’s not always a sweat shop.0
04/01/2019 at 12:58 pm #59516
Amen Jay. And that is a great way to think about it.
For us, we are cranking hard to get to where we want to be (closer every week), and then we can grow in different ways (less volume, higher ASP).
But if you want to make a go at it, plan to work your butt off first, and refine along the way.
Like you have said, this ain’t no Get Rich Quick thing.
This is a get Independent Over Time thing…0
03/25/2019 at 12:30 pm #59213
- Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Hi R&J – thanks for the podcast!
Here are my numbers for the week:
Total Items in Store: 2798
Items Sold: 28
Total Sales: $754
Cost of Items Sold: $76
Average Price Sold: $26.92
Average Cost of Item: $2.73
Highest Price Item Sold: $144.95 Pioneer PL-117D Fully Automatic Vintage Stereo Turntable
Number of items listed this week: 67
YTD Sales: $10288
YTD sales compared to this time last year: -6%
Average age of items in store (in days since listing): 367
Average number of days between listing and selling this week: 248
Median age of sales (in days, between listing and selling): 140
Sell-through rate (for the week): 1%
Hats sold this week: 21 (75% of sales) worth $367.17 (48% of sales $)
Another weird change in sales activity in my store. From 46 sales last week to 28 sales this week for no particular reason. My average sale value was pretty close to last week even though it felt like I sold more high-value things last week. (My total sales $ fell from $1278 last week to $754 this week). I’m still perfectly happy with my overall sales though I’d love more weeks like last week if the eBay gods obliged.
I’m old enough to have seen several boom bust cycles. My very first stock purchase was the day after Black Monday in 1987 when the stock market tumbled around the world. I rode the dot com boom and bust and was forced to freelance when the San Francisco tech sector all but dried up and I grinded through years of a soul-sucking job at an insurance company through the 2008 recession years. While the stock market could take a tumble I dont feel any building pressure for a major economic collapse right now. I hope I’m right especially a I’m hopefully less than 18 months away from a planned early retirement.
Wishing every a profitable week on eBay!2+
03/25/2019 at 3:41 pm #59244
The only thing I can see if just a weird political time. There’s not much confidence with all the infighting and impulsive decisions going on.0
03/25/2019 at 2:00 pm #59224
Week of 03/17-03/23
Total Items in Store: 2,961 (Up 56% YOY)
Number of Items Listed: 141
Number of Items Sold: 73 (Up 18% YOY)
(Includes 1 Etsy, 0 Bonanza, 0 TrueGether, 7 Poshmark)
Weekly STR: 14% (Down 3% YOY)
Total Product Sales: $18,891 (Up 11% YOY)
Sales Volume Variance to Prior Year: Up $302
Sales Price Variance to Prior Year: Down $115
Cost of Items Sold: $289
Cost of Labor: $270
Highest Item Sold: $75 – Disney Parks Stitch Jumbo Large Plush Toy
Competition: Highest Priced Sale: Veronica wins the week and Veronica leads for the year 8-4. Awesome sale, purchased, listed, and sold in 1 week
# Listed: 1,798
# Sold: 51
# Listed: 598
# Sold: 11
# Listed: 565
# Sold: 11
# Listed: 2,961
# Sold: 65
# Listed: 221
# Sold: 1
# Listed: 625
# Sold: 7
Will listen later!1+
03/25/2019 at 4:17 pm #59258
- Location: Central Florida
Total Items in Store: 262
Items Sold: 7
Gross Sales: $118.18
Cost of Items Sold: $16.16
Highest Price Sold: $27.00 (set of 4 salad forks)
Avg Price Sold: $16.88
Money Spent on Inventory: $83.38
Number of Items Listed This Week: 49
I am working towards my target of 300 listings by the end of the March, it will be close! I probably had the same amount of sales as I did last week, but this week they were low price items. This week was Spring Break for me, so I had the week off and did go a little crazy thrifting for resale.
I appreciate the accountability that the forum offers by posting weekly numbers. It helps to keep things in perspective and to eventually see an increase in sales and listings.
I did find some interesting Disney items, a cast member top from the Polynesian, listed it high with a best offer. You never know, Disney collectors are passionate. I have a thing for Disney stuff, but only to find it and then flip it. I also found a stash of Souvenir Albums from major plays that took place locally in the late ’60s and early ’70s. They are colorful and have great graphics, but having checked the solds on eBay, they do not seem too profitable.
There was a bag of flatware that will take some research. I see that as a challenge for sure. It is all good.0
03/25/2019 at 4:47 pm #59264
- Location: Ohio
Here are my numbers, and looking forward to listening to the podcast!
Total Items in Store: 1044
Items Sold: 19
Gross Sales: $349.58
Cost of Items Sold: $35.71
Highest Price Sold: $59.49 (Vintage Levis)
Average Price Sold: $18.40
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $36.61
Number of items listed this week: 13
I actually went to my first garage sale of the season this past week and for some reason didn’t have my negotiating mojo with me – I didn’t ask for a ‘better price’ on my pile of stuff like I should have and normally do – out of practice I guess. There really wasn’t anything great there – but I did get a pile of duffel bags and cases that I know I will be able to make some profit on.
I had a real bummer of a return this past week: Three years ago a lady sent me a barrage of questions on a 3 piece career suit. I dutifully answered ALL of her many measurement questions and questions on color hoping for a sale and never heard from her. (I know better now.) Last week I received three more emails asking the same questions as 3 years ago and additional questions on color and measurements… I remembered her distinct name and ignored and blocked her. She opened up a new account and made a best offer the next day. I didn’t realize it was her – but I should have suspected. Lo and behold, I accepted and she paid. Hoping for the best – I sent out the suit. But, of course, she wore it, and then opened up an INAD return (because the suit was “dark gray” and not black). (It was clearly worn and slightly stained upon return.) I was so ticked off. Free Return to boot – so I lost over $20 in shipping so she could screw me over with an INAD. I didn’t say anything and I didn’t even call eBay to fight this one, honestly just wanted to get over it mentally and move on and not waste my emotional energy. Just sharing this because if you block someone and then get an offer soon after or the next day on the same item with a zero feedback buyer – I really should have declined the offer or cancelled the sale and refunded her before proceeding. I lost on this one… live and learn!2+
03/25/2019 at 5:15 pm #59267
Quick thought on using stamps…. older stamps can be bought for a significant discount then used to mail items at regular rates.. I buy discounted stamps for mailing letters and personal packages….you just have to add up a bunch of 33 cent, 7 cent etc stamps to get the correct postage. The clerks let you know how much postage you need…0
03/25/2019 at 5:17 pm #59268
That is cool stamp hack. But to be clear, if you use postage at the Post Office, the retail rate is much higher than if you print labels at home.0
03/25/2019 at 5:46 pm #59271
03/25/2019 at 8:41 pm #59283
Sold: 25 items
Returns: 3! (one INAD, one fit, one I talked buyer into keeping with a partial refund). A lot for me! They come in waves. WHY? who knows.
Highest Sale of the Week: anthropologie jewelry $100
ebay Auction talk: I have been running 10-20 auctions to move some older clothing. I experimented with 7 day, 5 day, 3 day and 1 day! Best results were a 3-day starting Thursday PM- Friday AM. Free shipping is a deal sealer and seems to help immensely. Not one item got bid up – all sold at first listed price.2+
03/26/2019 at 10:33 am #59297
Marie in FloridaParticipant
I got a bit puzzled around minute 11, where you thought the 2008 unemployment was 25%, possibly higher. Didn’t remember that detail so I looked up national unemployment by month/year. 2008 was about 5-7% unemployment. The worst recent years appear to be 2010 and 2011. Unemployment ranged from 8.5-9.9%. I remember that, we felt it. My high school and junior college kids were trying to line up a part time job and it was tight. Chipotle opened a new restaurant. They applied and found out there were 3, yes three levels of interviews for a fast food position. They applied and made it only through the second level. Good early lesson on humility and the fact that smarts/grades won’t always mean a job.
The worst in my memory was the gas crisis in 1979-80. High gas prices meant less cars sold. In Michigan this meant not only a slump in the auto manufacturing, but a slump in all the thousands of businesses that made things for the huge auto manufacturers. We had about 18% unemployment. There were NO job openings for more than a day or two. And that’s if they got published. As somebody in college I remember how terrifying that was. So I freaked a little when I heard 25% and 30%. Can you check your numbers? Here’s where I found info. http://www.ncsl.org/research/labor-and-employment/national-employment-monthly-update.aspx1+
03/26/2019 at 12:43 pm #59306
You are absolutely correct. We were wrong on the unemployment numbers during the 2008 crash.
It was during the Great Depression when unemployment was at 25%:
Though unemployment rates don’t show the real number of people without jobs. Many people are simply not reported because they’re not looking for officially work:0
03/26/2019 at 1:43 pm #59311
- Location: Virginia
right, sorry for that confusion. i was also channeling the great depression when unemployment was 25%. but to tack onto what jay said, in the 2008 crash, unemployment numbers didn’t reflect all the people who decided to just retire early or go back to school because they could not find work, so those people were never counted as unemployed (they just shifted their status). i had a number of friends who decided to go to grad school then because they could not find work and getting a student loan was more practical (hm?).0
03/26/2019 at 2:29 pm #59314
- Location: Washington DC
Bad memories for sure. The ‘70s and ‘80s were awful. There was an even worse gas crisis in 1973. Gas prices quadrupled and supplies got so bad that some areas were down to $3 and $2 limits, gas station lines around the block, etc. Inflation was crazy, over 10% a year at times. Interest rates were ridiculous. They got into the high teens and peaked over 20% in 1980-ish, IIRC.0
03/26/2019 at 2:56 pm #59315
I think I grew up with too many grandparents and a great-grandparent telling me how bad the blitz was in England growing up during WWII, the Irish Revolution/Struggle, and various war stories that a recession doesn’t sound as bad as being bombed or shot at all day long…
I’ll eat Chef Boyardee all day long and suffer with less if it means my not being terrified or killed at any minute.4+
03/26/2019 at 5:01 pm #59318
- Location: Atlanta
Yep.. Remember the gas lines well. Lines around several blocks, hours and hours waiting to get to a pump and then a small dollar limit on how much you could buy. No fill ups and certainly no extra gas cans. They had people guarding the pumps or should I say monitoring.
Interest rates sky high and inflated prices. Friends bought an older 15 yrs ++, smaller ranch, about 1,100 sf for $185,000 end of 1979 to 1980 and bragged about getting it at 18% interest.
Luckily I had a steady job back then. Just starting in the printing business which lasted almost 25 years with the same employer.1+
03/26/2019 at 1:53 pm #59312
Listening to the podcast now. Yeah, my sales dropped 50% in December of 2008. THAT WAS A FUN HOLIDAY SEASON. 🙁 It took a few years to recover. At that point, I was primarily on Amazon, so I’m not sure how Ebay itself was doing during that time. I had my inventory duplicated on Half.com and some listings were up on Ebay due to Alibris. I did have a small, separate inventory on Ebay during that time, but that was just extra money and was not really a concern. Sales began to recover in 2010 for Amazon.
This past year into now is the closest it has felt to recession levels since the recession. November-December was lackluster. January was better, but not as good as it normally is. February and March have been meh. My Ebay sales are actually UP YOY, but so are my stock levels. You need more inventory to make the same or even less than in the past few years.
What I noticed during the last recession is that A LOT of resellers disappeared. However, new resellers took their place just as quickly. It evened out.
I also can’t believe the amount of resellers I’m seeing everywhere. More sellers with the same amount of customers = a lot of desperate resellers. I’m sure a lot of them will quit during the next recession, only to be replaced by a new set of resellers. The new set will go from a time of prosperity to googling “how can I make money at home?” and find all the youtube resellers bragging about their Goodwill Outlet haul videos: “How I spent $30 to make $1,000!” It’s going to get rougher out there, to an extent. Buyers will temporarily decrease. Some new buyers might also be drawn to Ebay that are used to paying full price for new items. Still, once it is really felt in the economy, a lot of people will pretty much stop buying anything or eating out or just plain having fun.
Congrats on hitting 10k feedback! I actually think that having a 10k+ feedback helps attract buyers. I noticed that once I hit that numbers, my sales went up (this was a few months ago). Anything helps!1+
03/26/2019 at 3:38 pm #59316
- Location: Southern California
Total Items in Store: 282! Ebay, About 38 stale Mercari
Items Sold: 5 Ebay, 2 Mercari
Gross Sales: $100 Ebay, $35 Mercari best offers
Cost of Items Sold: $39 + $7 shipping included + some items ours
Highest Price Sold: $25 best offer 70s Heller Canister Set
Average Price Sold: $15 Ebay, $17 Mercari
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $8 (thrifted two sets of Dansk plates)
Number of items listed this week: 0 🙁
Super busy with helping unusual family needs. Both a generation up and a generation down. Contract work is also busy. My little Ebay store is diminishing and limping in with a few sales. On Mercari took some lowball offers on household stuff. I look forward to getting back to listing and I almost finished my bookkeeping but still need to finish my tax return and planning for my daughter to be somewhere all summer.
We subscribe to a pretty good financial newsletter at my firm. Said market might be a bit shaky for a while but they don’t expect a recession based on the current state of the economy. Said eyes on April corporate earnings. Crazy times.
I’m a bit afraid because my dad is downsizing this summer to a condo. We have moved most of the smaller salable items here but there will probably be some more stuff coming to my house. Ugh! My garage is still pretty full of death piles! Stuff overload. Lots of stuff I’m determined to sell but not enough stuff moving out!0
03/26/2019 at 8:52 pm #59320
- Location: Virginia Beach
@almasty, appreciate your insights on sales over the past decade, and enjoyed the podcast and general chatter about recessioning, if you will.
I went into grad school in 2009, voluntarily leaving what felt like a dead end job, and felt the lean-ness of the job market after graduating in 2011. Now, my field was sustainable agriculture and food systems change, which is always lean on the paying side of good work, where positions are few and candidates many, but I really branched out in applications and in my considerations of work. It was a tough time, and it didn’t help to be living in DC at the time, with city rent, etc.
Sales have been low for another week, and I have not been consistently listing since before the weekend. Back to it tomorrow. Spent the weekend going through my grandmother’s house/belongings in prep for an estate sale and if I never see another basket, gewgaw, P Buckley Moss print, or permanent flower, I’ll be a happy lady! Was a long weekend of travel and work. 3 days this week I’ll be working my part time job doing organizing/senior move managing, and I’m often too tired and disinterested to list much on those evenings. Stuff fatigue! I can occasionally score an item or two that folks are donating, so that’s a nice bonus to the work. Today I only scored the extra task of taking towels and blankets to the SPCA, after which I visited with the animals and almost went home with a cat. Alas.
Was really hoping for more like double these numbers:
03/17/19 – 03/23/19
Total Items In Store: 1075
Items Sold: 18
Net Sales (Total Sales – Selling Costs): $410.07
Highest Price Sold: $70 Tarot of Oz
Average Price Sold: $22.78
Cost of Items Sold: $20
Money Spent on New Inventory Last Week: $0
Number of Items listed this week: ~401+
03/26/2019 at 11:53 pm #59321
Here are my numbers for the week. 🙂
Mar 17-23 2019
Total items in store: Etsy 387 // Ebay 710 (unique items, not crossposted)
Items Sold: Etsy 7 // Ebay 20
Cost of items Sold: Etsy $24.58 // Ebay $74.20
Total Sales: Etsy $111.95 // Ebay $323.38 ((Total = $435.33))
Highest Price Sold: $47 Puffer Jacket
Average Price Sold: $16.12
Returns: 0 (Waiting on one)
Number of items listed this week: 41 (at $928.79)
I’m trying not to imagine my vintage toy and childrens book shop on Etsy during a recession.1+
03/27/2019 at 11:35 am #59327
- Location: ARVADA
With regard to preparation for recession, I have the following strongly held opinions:
(1) NO ONE knows the future. The past does not predict the future. If four out of four past bond inversions predicted recession in the next 18 months, then the chances that this bond inversion predicts the same is 0. NO one knows the future.
(2) Ways to prepare for a downturn include (a) diversify your asset risks: it is increasingly hard to diversify assets such that you are hedged against a recession. Most do this by owning stocks, bonds AND real estate. Some will add precious metals to that holding. If all your eggs are in one basket, then it is important not to have to sell one of these assets when its value is in decline. This leads to (b) Plan for a short fall in cash flow. A great reason to have 3 to 6 months of living expenses in cash (I mean in the bank) is so that you can cover expenses during an economic down turn when your assets value has dropped. You do not want to sell your assets when they are discounted 25% to 50% compared to market peak – so keep cash on hand to cover expenses in the event of something that hinders cash flow. (For those of us selling on-line, this could just be a crash of eBay or PayPal that turns off buyers for a period of a few months OR a personal illness or a global recession). Of course you can make this goal more easily if you (c) Live frugally. Live frugally and be able to cut expenses further. J & R already mentioned this, but it is worth saying again – a dollar you don’t spend is worth twice as much – it is a reduction in future burn rate and it can be invested to make more dollars.
(3) The worst economic advisers are on the television. DO not listen to them. If the economy goes south, they will all be screaming about the doom and gloom and how this may be the start of a 20 year slow down. The wise investor will know that a fall in stock prices is just a FIRE SALE in the market. Selling only locks in losses.4+
03/27/2019 at 4:32 pm #59328
Very good advice. We’ve already talked about saving up to buy more real estate in the next downturn.0
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