05/05/2019 at 2:54 pm #61241
05/05/2019 at 3:37 pm #61243
Wow! Nice surprise Podcast on a Sunday afternoon, and all my Sundays are spent in a VERY BORING yet peaceful Sunday Workplace.
Slapping the number down fast so I can hang out with my friends J&R!
4/28 – 5/4/19 (no cross listing is done between platforms)
eBay store: totommyto
Total store items: 627
Number of items sold: 10
Total eBay sales (not counting s/h): $280
Cost of items sold: $14
Consignment payouts $0
Highest price sold: $45 – 1980’s toy lot – zero cost, COGS covered months ago, these are extras!
Average price sold: $28.00
Returns: TWO – $20 vintage ‘dried out’ Tandy paints (discard), $70 car part not fit (easy resell)
Money spent on new inventory: $42
Number of new items listed this week: 21
Sell through rate for the week: 1.6
Etsy store oldfleatoymarket
Total store items: 634
Number of items sold: 5
Total Etsy sales (not counting s/h): $118
Cost of items sold: $10
Consignment payouts: 0
Highest price sold: $45 – Rusty crane hook – paid $5
Average price sold: $24.00
Money spent on new inventory: $6
Number of new items listed this week: 4
Sell through rate for the week: 0.80
05/05/2019 at 4:34 pm #61248
The fact that you work together well is a function of the fact that you have a functional relationship to begin with. Being able to communicate effectively, resolve differences, and share common goals are all vital to working together in my opinion. Not every couple has that down pat, so I imagine that working together isn’t possible for every couple.
I had to laugh about you guys bringing frozen food to NYC. Last year we scavenged the world’s cheapest trip to Atlantis ($287 for the entire week in a 1 bedroom timeshare unit due to a fluke with the timeshare trading company we use). Atlantis is SO expensive for food and we have 2 kids, so I was absolutely determined to bring ALL of our food with us. We don’t live very far from the Bahamas so I didn’t even use a cooler…I packed a suitcase full of food and drinks including perishables lol. We literally didn’t spend a dime on anything the entire time we were there. When we were checking out we saw a family with a food bill that was over $1000 for the week. No thanks, I’ll do it the scavenger way. If we ever head to NYC I’ll be the lady with the frozen packs of chicken in my suitcase!
As for my week, it was about $1300. I have shifted most of my business over to Poshmark at this point, although I do still sell some things on Ebay. Ebay really scared me off last year when they randomly suspended me for 30 days for selling “adult items” and then admitted that they made a mistake and immediately reinstated my account. They’ve never been able to tell me what triggered the takedown, so I’ve gradually moved almost my entire business off of their site. I’m almost at 70K followers on Poshmark now, and I like the platform more and more. One thing that I love is that when a buyer makes an offer and you accept, it’s done. There is no waiting to see if they pay. Ebay should have that feature.
- This reply was modified 2 weeks, 3 days ago by ChristineK.
05/05/2019 at 5:55 pm #61267
That’s a great scavenger vacation. You guys probably had more fun because you were making it all up as you went along. An adventure 🙂
So you now make over $1k a week on Poshmark only? Thats super impressive. Have many items of clothes do you have listed?0
05/05/2019 at 6:42 pm #61282
No not yet! I’m at right around $500-$700 a week now. I just looked and it says that I have 513 listings. I tend to go for very quick flips though. Since the buyer pays shipping, I’ll take pretty much any offer if I’m making at least $5. Another cool feature of Poshmark is that the app tells you exactly how much you will net from any given sale. It makes it easy to decide whether or not to accept an offer. I’m selling clothes and of course hats. Hats were my bread and butter on Ebay too. I get them from Goodwill by the pound and yard sales, so I have very little into most of them.
About half of my income last week came from Ebay. Those were some bigger sales from stuff that my husband’s office was throwing out in a move (sealed copy machine toner!!). I haven’t been listing much on Ebay at all. I don’t cross-post between poshmark and Ebay. I find Poshmark so quick and easy to list on that I just tend to focus on doing volume on there rather than spending time cross posting. The only stuff going on Ebay is stuff that I cannot list on Poshmark. I really need to try Mercari too still.
- This reply was modified 2 weeks, 2 days ago by ChristineK.
05/05/2019 at 6:48 pm #61284
@christinek: Very nice!
One question. How do you see the sales prices on lighter items on Poshmark? I don’t seem to get much traction there, and when I do, it is for low sales prices. I think this is because the buyer has to pay $6.79 for items that I could ship on eBay for $3-$5, so they want a lower price.0
05/05/2019 at 6:57 pm #61286
I still sell a lot of lighter items like hats and swimsuits, sometimes at full price/$6.79 shipping, sometimes with an offer to likers/$4.99 shipping. The shipping is always the same on Poshmark. You can offer a discount ($1.80 off or free shipping) to likers, but otherwise they pay $6.79. Buyers tend to like to buy multiple items as a “bundle” because of that shipping cost, so it pays to have a lot of items in your store. You just do better when you do because shipping is less onerous when the buyer is bundling several items together.
On the heavier items, poshmark shipping is actually a screaming deal. I find it to be especially good on heavy shoes, boots, coats, sweaters, bags, etc.
- This reply was modified 2 weeks, 2 days ago by ChristineK.
05/05/2019 at 7:00 pm #61288
05/06/2019 at 10:21 am #61316
I’ve mentioned this before and I’ll mention it again – how does a fledgling company like Poshmark have the ability to negotiate such a sweet shipping deal with USPS while a giant company like ebay can only get commercial rates????
Shipping costs is quickly becoming the biggest issue on ebay. I routinely have buyers who pay $20 to ship a pair of shoes. My cheapest priority shipping is $8 for a padded envelope.
This is unsustainable and I think is driving alot of buyers off the platform.1+
05/06/2019 at 5:20 pm #61350
I totally agree. If poshmark can negotiate this deal, why can’t Ebay? It really is a selling point on heavier items.0
05/06/2019 at 5:30 pm #61351
I don’t see how it would make much difference, unless you were constantly shipping heavier items. In the last 90 days I’ve shipped 1,234 items. The average shipping cost was $6.22.
Granted, many of those were first class, though it also includes a couple hundred international shipments as well.
- This reply was modified 2 weeks, 1 day ago by The_SEAM_Store.
05/06/2019 at 5:35 pm #61353
Are you printing a shipping label from Poshmark? Maybe they’re eating the cost on heavier items and making up for the loss when shipping lighter items.0
05/06/2019 at 8:31 pm #61362
Yes, you ship with the Poshmark label they send you. They have some sort of negotiated deal because every label is Priority mail good for up to 5 pounds. If your item or bundle exceeds 5 pounds you can contact them for a heavier label.0
05/08/2019 at 9:58 am #61486
Christine I like the same thing about Poshmark, being able to instantly tell how much you will net from a sale. With ebay it has become so complicated. You can be dealing with an offer that has a sale price, promoted listings fee, ebay fees, paypal fees and possibly free shipping. It’s mind boggling to figure out if you are making any money.0
05/06/2019 at 7:52 pm #61360
you are my frugal hero!1+
05/06/2019 at 8:43 pm #61363
Lol! I actually had the zero balance receipt from our Atlantis timeshare check-out on our fridge for a while. My husband asked me if it was my “trophy”. Hahahaha yup!0
05/05/2019 at 4:36 pm #61250
April 28 – May 4
Total Items in Store: 2240
Items Sold: 19
Total Sales : $668
* BELOW yearly average of $877
Highest Price: $110 (Four (YES, 4!) Cooper Bros & Sons QUEEN ANNE Dinner Forks)
Average Price: $35
Cost of Goods Sold: $80
Costs of Goods Purchased this Week: $185
Number of New Items Listed this Week: Zero!
Good job on your sales this week! You had some pretty nifty sales for sure! And great topic too. Steph and I have our own system that seems to work so far. Basically, we work together by not working together. We have our own separate stores. We both do all of the aspects of running those stores (scavenging, researching, photographing and listing). Of course, neither of us would refuse to help the other if asked, but it’s kind of nice to not have to rely on the other to do a task for a shared store. The only downside that I’ve noticed so far is when we go together to auctions, it sometimes happens that we both want the same stuff (even though most of the time our interests take us in different directions). When that happens, I just have to remind myself that we’re still a team and it’s not a competition. The money that both of us earn is going toward the life that we’re building together.
So I decided to take the week off from listing to focus on my growing list of to-do’s around the house. I feel like I’ve accomplished so much! My biggest accomplishment was installing a security camera in front of our garage where we leave our packages for pickup. Now we feel a lot better about leaving our boxes out of our view.
We did go to a few sales though. My scavenge of the week came from a church rummage sale. I picked up a bunch of stuff (mostly kitchen items for myself) which included a Sirius radio kit. I’ve heard that some models have the lifetime activation on them, so I was thrilled when I plugged it in and started receiving all of the broadcasts. I’m hoping this is one that won’t expire, but I’m going to keep it until it does anyways. It’ll make those long auction road trips so much better.1+
05/05/2019 at 5:59 pm #61269
You make a great point. Two people can each have their own store, run them differently, but share the same money.
Yeah, when you own your time, you can get a lot done da after day!0
05/06/2019 at 10:32 am #61317
Excellent news on the lifetime sattelite radio! I love mine! I originally was going to use it for a few months to make sure it didn’t lose stations and sell it, but I just love having satellite radio out in my ebay room.
From my research, never “update” if the receiver prompts you to update, and never call in to sirius to inquire about the unit. They try to kill all these units they can to rope you into a contract.
I had satellite radio in my car for a year – they are one of the sleaziest companies I’ve ever dealt with.0
05/06/2019 at 11:01 pm #61368
Thanks for the tips, Retro! I’ll be sure never to let it make any calls to home base. It’s going to take a little work to get it hooked up to my car but I’m just thrilled to not have to fight with sketchy FM radio anymore.0
05/07/2019 at 8:18 am #61387
Get you one of the sirius boom box docks and put it in your ebay office like me. Then you can move it from car to office. You can get them pretty cheap on ebay without the receiver. Maybe someone on here has one in their death pile they can hook you up with.0
05/05/2019 at 4:44 pm #61251
I agree TTT: Nice to slide back. enter data and listen to Pals Jay and Ryanne on an afternoon.
Interesting that SL has a little over 5,400 members and only 27 are logged in today.
I know it is Cinco de Mayo, but hard to believe that 5,373 members are either out drinking Tequila or at an afternoon church service. And I also won’t believe that over 5,000 people are out buying “STUFF”!!! Out playing Golf?? Uuhh no, don’t think so.
So like the game “Where in the World is Carmen San Diego” … Where is the World are 5,000 SL members??? Hhhmmm. I know where one is, T-Satt is home inputting numbers like always. For all the numbers he “crunches” got to take a day before the week starts to “DO DATA ENTRY”.
Nice and quite so thought I would have some fun and burn some real estate space before all the hard line number crunchers hit.
Finally made the transition over to SixBit from WonderLister and that took from March 26th until the first of this month. So about 6 to 7 weeks. But up and running with SixBit with help from the SB IT Team and some help from Troy. Just now starting to get things being listed the way we want. Much faster and everything we post to Ebay is posting to Etsy except for a line or two of cut and paste including all shipping info. and the photos. I will be getting with Troy to discuss getting all the shipping to run through SB.
Any sales made on either platform are automatically ended and SB has separate financials on both platforms.
So speaking of working together, wife Susan and I celebrated our 50th Wedding Anniversary on April 25th. We have been through and seen a lot in our half a century together. But we have been slow working together at our business the last few weeks. One reason, making the SixBit transition from WonderLister coupled with some bad news / good news personally this month.
My wife Susan got a positive result from biopsies done a few weeks back and it confirmed uterine cancer. But good news is, that the doctor said it was caught so quickly in early Stage 1, Level-A, that a full hysterectomy on June 12th will take care of it with no radiation or chemo. He is 98% positive and of course a round of biopsies after surgery will confirm it.
It was a relief to us both and I asked the doctor, will a two week sick leave from our Ebay Store be enough recovery time, he laughed and said she should be recovered in one to two weeks, barring any unforeseen.
So long for now.. Good hunting and picking…
Kindest Regards from Hot’Lanta
Mike at MDC Concepts, Inc.
MDC Galleries and Fine Art2+
05/05/2019 at 5:00 pm #61256
Oh wow. I’m so glad they caught Susan’s cancer so early. It’s fantastic that it can be removed with no chemo or radiation though! I hope that she has a very quick recovery and is back to feeling well in no time.0
05/05/2019 at 5:06 pm #61258
Me too! She is our photographer and main purchasing and procurement officer of the company. Can’t run it without her, actually I wouldn’t want to run it without her. After 50 years, I can’t remember her not being in my life. It would be a lonely trek all by myself.
MC at MDCGFA2+
05/05/2019 at 5:16 pm #61260
05/05/2019 at 6:02 pm #61271
Glad you guys caught the cancer early. Great news. You sound like an awesome team.0
05/06/2019 at 11:03 pm #61369
Mike, I’m so glad to hear that you’re wife will be okay. Cancer is a really scary thing and can throw your world upside-down.0
05/05/2019 at 4:45 pm #61252
Amazing $270 on the lid! I get it. It is obvious the buyer recognized the lid, a hand carved specialized antique and maybe soon to sit on top of a very expensive jar? It might even be the correct lid for a $5,000 jar, soon to be a $7,000 jar now that it has the lid! Would be very cool!
Hey you guys almost blew my peaceful Sunday!
I wonder sometimes if my wife and I will work this business together as we slip out of our regular jobs. I’m about to ruin my peaceful Sunday again just thinking about it…she would agree0
05/05/2019 at 4:58 pm #61255
Health, prosperity, joy & peace, and in abundance.
05/05/2019 at 5:02 pm #61257
Thanks.. At 70 years old, I keep plugging away. Actually keeps me fresh and alert. Up at 6:00 AM and work until 6:30 PM , seven days a week. The model of a retired Baby Boomer!
Anybody want to start another business!! LOL 🙂 Just joking, enough is enough for the coming years.
mike at MDCGFA1+
05/05/2019 at 5:13 pm #61259
Wow Mike, I’m going to say DOUBLE CONGRATULATIONS! First on the 50th Wedding Anniversary, and second that you caught Susan’s cancer so quickly. Very grateful and glad that she will be good. Second Hysterectomy I know of in the past few months…
Let me know when you have any SixBit questions. Time for me to get going on that live stream to answer questions! I have completely slacked in that regard. Mostly tech issues that I just have to spend some time to fix (older laptop not on Windows 10).
And yep, crunching numbers. If only all that crunching helped my abs… 🙂
And you are the embodiment of Jocko on your discipline. My new favorite thing is Akira the Don and what he has done with putting some podcast talks to music. The one with Jocko is absolute fire. Veronica loves it too…0
05/05/2019 at 5:33 pm #61261
Thanks and will do T-Satt. I have a list of questions for you written down. Had 3 remote call in and remote control sessions with Dustin at SB. Great guy. The second sessions was supposed to be about an hour, but we went from 10 AM until 4:30 PM. It was on SBs side so he was scrambling to get it worked out. I helped him a little [I think] and he wrote up two requests for the developers to add a few things to SB on the next update.
I video recorded his remote session [with his permission of course] but ran out of video space on my phone 2/3rds of the way through. Really cool program though. Still have 41 older listings to get out of WL and into SB that have to be done manually, then we will cancel WL. Have our senior helper up and listing on SB and will start training the newer helper next week after some “Batch editing” of old WonderLister Costs into SB.
Oh, and be careful on that “older” laptop. I had to get a new one for the helpers to run SixBit on. It needs to clock out at over 3200 min. benchmark. If the processor runs slower than that SB will just slow down after one or two entries then stall. The new laptop is clocking at over 60,000. When I caught that and mentioned to dustin as he was doing something on the “network” he said, “Oh yeah, even with Windows 10, the motherboard has to run and process at a certain speed”. In other words SB does better on a newer motherboard and chip set than an older machine even if it has Windows. But we got a good deal of a new one and i had it up and running in a couple of days. Had to do all of my SB customizations I had done on it all over again after the fresh upload, but I was quicker now that I had done it a few times.
I will be getting back with you via PM in the near future.
Later gator.. mc in atl.0
05/05/2019 at 6:03 pm #61272
@mike: Yeah, our SixBit runs fine on the third laptop (mine), but I never upgraded it to Windows 10, and most live stream software I run into needs windows 10.
But, what I may do is get a Webcam for the Desktop. That is where I have dual monitors, so the whole setup would probably run better.
And…I may be purchasing a new desktop to hold the SixBit database, so that it is faster and gives me a better backup option. Maybe hitting up Dustin again soon. Yeah, great guy. All the SixBit folks are…0
05/05/2019 at 6:04 pm #61273
True. May she recognized the lid as super valuable. We didnt see it as that special. Plus we still have the jar.0
05/05/2019 at 9:50 pm #61293
I’m thinking not so much the lid, but now the buyer’s jar with the lid is much more valuable. Hoping you find another wood lid for that jar you still have and get a repeat! Hah!0
05/05/2019 at 4:49 pm #61253
Week of 04/28-05/04
Total Items in Store: 3,224 (Up 54% YOY)
Number of Items Listed: 130
Number of Items Sold: 103 (Up 14% YOY)
(Includes 0 Etsy, 9 Poshmark, 0 Bonanza, 0 TrueGether)
Weekly STR: 14% (Down 3% YOY)
Total Product Sales: $2,945 (Up 38% YOY)
Sales Volume Variance to Prior Year: Up $616
Sales Price Variance to Prior Year: Up $187
Cost of Items Sold: $675
Cost of Labor: $177
Highest Item Sold: $200 – Canali Suit
Competition: Highest Priced Sale: Troy wins the week and Veronica leads for the year 11-8.
# Listed: 1,930
# Sold: 65
# Listed: 695
# Sold: 28
# Listed: 599
# Sold: 10
# Listed: 3,224
# Sold: 94
# Listed: 232
# Sold: 0
# Listed: 768
# Sold: 9
Love the main topic. For Veronica and I, it is just finding out what we each do well, where we support each other, and treating each other with respect. After almost 24 years of marriage, we have learned that we truly love and respect each other. This includes the annoying things that we do to each other that grates on our last nerve sometimes. Those things just don’t matter. Our marriage and relationship matters.
Plus, we talk about suggestions on improvements to a process. Not “here is a better way”. Just hey, should we think about a change? We don’t put down how the other does things, we suggest how we can improve the business.
And Ryanne and Veronica are similar in giving up a process. Veronica started this business, and this was her baby. When I came in to work it as well, it was very hard for her to give that up. And I have learned so much about the business, what sells, how to photo, etc. I had to learn how to work at home, how this all works, etc.
Success is when we BOTH get better.1+
05/05/2019 at 6:07 pm #61274
Great sales as always. Looks like you’re long term planning is working.0
05/05/2019 at 6:20 pm #61278
“I love it when a plan comes together…” 🙂
Gonna be looking a upgrading to Anchor level soon. Then every new listing is essentially “free”.
Volume absorption…it is a wonderful thing!0
05/05/2019 at 4:53 pm #61254
05/05/2019 at 7:30 pm #61290
Total Items in Store: 1929
Items Sold: Ebay 22 Poshmark 2 Etsy 1
Total Sales: $785
Highest Price Sold: $130 Grateful Dead Tank Top, $158 Puzzle
Money Spent Inventory This Week: $45
Great episode discussion, working as a couple sure does have its ups and downs. I find after being with my husband for more than half my life we are pretty well suited to work together. Mostly he just puts up with me being ornery. I like what you said about going on walks, Edgar and I find that to be a great time to discuss life and work.
It would be great to see a video of a “Day in the Life of Ryanne and Jay”. I can come over and film it, they can edit it. 🙂
Selling lots of low priced items at the moment, almost no clothing. Thankfully had a couple items that were over $100 to save us. We are continuing to work on our death piles, ug.0
05/06/2019 at 6:54 am #61307
$158 for a puzzle? What was it that made it so valuable?0
05/06/2019 at 2:33 pm #61337
It was a 9000 piece puzzle! It was like 6 feet across. Giant puzzles are a BOLO for sure.1+
05/06/2019 at 11:08 pm #61370
Speaking of valuable puzzles, I recently bought one at a rummage sale by a company called Liberty Puzzle, and some of them can be worth over $100 USED. They’re pretty neat actually. The pieces are all cut from wood instead of the cardboard of most other puzzles.3+
05/05/2019 at 11:07 pm #61295
2019-04-28 – 2019-05-04
Total Items In Store: 2949
Items Sold: 15
Cost of Items Sold: $62
Total Sales: $506.37
Highest Price Sold: $60.00 (Youth Clothes Set for Dirt Bike Racing)
Average Price Sold: $33.76
# Items Listed: 24
Money Spent on New Inventory: $ 139.37
Gut Sales Report for the week: Felt like I had a lot of sales, but it was mostly
starting in May.
Challenge of the week: Buying awesome inventory. See below what happened.
Strategy of the week\month: Scavenging was the story of the week. For $20.50, I
bought 5 items that will sell for an average of $150. The first item was at a rummage sale. They wanted $20 for a Sony 300 CD Changer with a remote control, but they didn’t know if it worked. I got it marked down to $10 and it did work great ($150 worth). The scavenging jackpot came on Friday at at a garage sale and stumbled upon a cache of 4 vintage 1970’s – 1980’s Children’s Complete Play sets still in the original box’s! These are in excellent condition. I don’t think you could get much better condition unless they were unopened. And the good news is that all of these items will sell relatively quickly.
05/06/2019 at 7:50 am #61310
Month of April
Total Items in Store: 23
Number of Items Listed: 28
Number of Items Sold: 5
Monthly STR: 17%
Total Product Sales: $391.90
Cost of Items Sold: $46.98
Cost of Labor: $38
Highest Item Sold: $250 – Vacuum
Overall taking it slow until I find a suitable storage option. Fees killed me/underestimating shipping. However, I’m having fun again the worst part has been trying to make this work with my infant daughter at home with me. As a first time parent, I hate taking her out since I don’t want to cause her discomfort. We’re seeing good returns hopefully I can pick up another home run like that vacuum. Doing a couple of experiments with B2B products. Just starting out again so I did monthly numbers. A lot of people will say LIST LIST LIST. Which is true but I don’t feel like necessarily your bet best for incremental growth. At this slow pace, I can buy, evaluate, strategize. Now I know to buy vintage vacuums. Whereas if I just went and bought 40 porcelain dolls, 20 Pots, and 15 pairs of shoes now I’m stuck with that sunk cost of inventory. I have no pressure to scale. So, for now, I’m growing slowly and at a comfortable pace. Looking to grow my inventory but about 50% this month. No sales targets. Slow and steady wins the race.0
05/06/2019 at 7:53 am #61312
Sounds like you’re taking a very level headed approach to building your store. I know many sellers (including us) just started buying anything and everything. We’d have piles of stuff and then hope we could filter out valuable items to sell.
But if you have the time and knowledge to build a curated store, then that’s ideal. The fact that you’re also taking care of your first baby (!!!) also makes your journey different from many sellers.
What kind of experiments are you doing with business to business products. Do you mean dropshipping?0
05/06/2019 at 7:52 am #61311
Sorry about that every one the formatting got messed up then I got locked out of the post. Appreciate the repost Jay.
Edit: to add to post don’t want to spam
My wife is amazing and I make an effort to put that disclaimer out because she does so much for our family. She’ still in the military and comes home and kills it as a mom so I’m just the pinch hitter (kidding, we’re both parents here). So kudos to her.
Some tech accessories, fleet vehicle equipment. So far I’m not finding the views and follow through. I’m theorizing that entrepreneurs/business owners/reseller aren’t sourcing from eBay. Or maybe my prices are too high for a margin for them. Only time will tell. Meanwhile, I’m looking for more vintage vacuums.
Coming from a government background. I know sometimes government employees are quick to discount stuff as broken. When really all it needs is to be cleaned or maintained. I can recount a printer where I used to work was “broken” and we were ready to send it to the graveyard but the plug was just loose and needed to be held in place for it to work. So, I’m hoping to cash in on that. Also sometimes things NEED to be replaced after their useful life even if they’re not broken or used. There’s a lot of waster in the government even more so because it’s not the person’s personal money at stake when they make that determine whether something is useful or not.
- This reply was modified 2 weeks, 2 days ago by GoodsbyGarcia.
- This reply was modified 2 weeks, 2 days ago by GoodsbyGarcia.
05/06/2019 at 8:53 am #61315
My wife is not involved in my eBay business, though she supports it. So I don’t know about working on paid work at home with a spouse. But I believe if two people are butting heads at work, what’s often at fault is failure to delineate separate responsibilities. The solution is to parcel out responsibilities and give both parties their own pieces of the business, for which they are accountable. For example, the Czar of shipping and the Czar of listing, each in their own separate Imperium. Or, the Task-Oriented one and the Big-Picture one (this is a bit more hierarchical, which may be fine with you or may not). Conflict comes from two people having the same responsibility and blaming the other instead of discharging their portion. In the corporate world I’ve heard the term “two-in-a-box” for this troublesome arrangement, and likewise the military is very skeptical of co-command, for good reason (only example I know of that worked well is Lewis & Clark).
I had a good week.
Sales: CAD$1145, 4 items, COGS: $25 –> Item profit: $935
Expenditures: $91 –> Cashflow: $869
Listed: $515, 11 items
Hours: 8, $109/hr
Notable sales: truck part from an ancient auction $280, more VOIP phones $350, half the remotes I bought last week $25–>$405.
Scavenging: a whole bunch of surplus lab/medical equipment for very cheap ($2-$5 each piece for ~8 pieces that should be $100+ each). Instrument sterilization trays, mainly.0
05/06/2019 at 11:45 am #61323
@Simplico: That is a good point on division of duties. That can definitely help. Though with Veronica and I, the only real division is what we list. She does Hard Goods and Shoes, I do clothes. She usually also does jeans as well, to have something different to do that is on the commodity side.
But for us, I really like that we are cross trained. We can fill in for each other really well, which helps each other if something is going on. I am the primary back-end person, and that is really the only part that she has had to learn more of this year (my hike is perfect for looking on how to cross train).0
05/06/2019 at 10:53 am #61318
Items in Store 1141
Items Sold 23
Total Sales $873.50
Total Profit $676.25
Average profit $29.40
Average sales price $37.98
New Listings 73
I was a listing BEAST this week! I knew I was doing pretty well, but I was still shocked when the number 73 popped out. That is the most I have EVER listed in a week. I also believe this is the most listed items I’ve ever had. To think I did that number on top of all this:
– Most of the chores/cooking as my wife is still recovering from giving birth and concentrating on baby.
– Helping two oldest kids crate train 2 dogs.
– Newborn baby in the house
– Took 6 year old to music class this week
– Coach 2 baseball games with 8 year old
– Potty training 2 year old (she’s got the pee pee part down pat after 2 weeks. Yay!)
– Full time day job
And I still had time to practice baseball with older 3 kids and even played dollhouse with the two year old yesterday for like 2 hours.
I’m darn proud of averaging 10 listed items a day over a week. That is attributed to having processes, the right equipment, and working as efficiently as humanly possible.
I create listings at work during my 10 minute breaks and during lunch at work.
I take photos and clean shoes at home in 15-30 minute power sessions when I can.
You’d be amazed at how much can be done in 10-15 minute intervals when highly motivated and dialed in.
Sales are up and I hope that trend continues. The weekend was a dud though. I countered a few offers that I wish I would have accepted. The buyers turned out to be “one and dones”. I hate when buyers don’t make it clear their offer is firm. I could have broke $1k if I would have accepted a couple of decent ones.2+
05/06/2019 at 11:47 am #61324
@Retro: Congrats on the week. I know how good those weeks feel!0
05/06/2019 at 3:45 pm #61344
My highest item this week was $225 for a lot of Lego Minifigures new in package. But…..that’s not as great as it sounds….
I went all in and bought 150 Unikitty lego minifigure blind packs at Walmart a while back. I paid $1 per pack on clearance and had them listed for $20+shipping for a lot of 10, which was down from my original goal of getting $25 per lot. Had them listed for a couple months and didn’t sell a single lot. Not even an offer!
I got a message from a buyer inquiring about buying a handful of lots, and he eventually made me an offer for all of them. I decided to just cut bait and sell the whole lot for $225 shipped.
So after deducting shipping, paypal fees, ebay fees, promoted listings fees, and original purchase and sales tax, I made a whopping… $9.35. Whoopie dee doo!!0
05/06/2019 at 11:11 pm #61371
Rock On, Retro! 73 new listings is hard enough for me WITHOUT kids and another full time job. Keep up the hard work!0
05/07/2019 at 7:16 pm #61449
It might seem counterintuitive, but I find I get more work done overall when I’m busier. I guess you figure you’re spinning so many plates as it is, adding just one more to the pile isn’t a big deal.0
05/08/2019 at 12:57 pm #61514
@Almasty: Nope, makes perfect sense to me.
In my previous life, there were routine busy times where I was swamped. The worst was October. From mid-September it ramped up, and October was the worst. We had to close the quarter (week 1), prepare for the 4 month audit every year starting in week 2 (they did a hard close in Q3 then a rollforward for the rest of the year), we had to repor the 9+3 Reforecast in week 2 (reforecasting the yearly financials with 9 months of actuals and 3 months of forecast), and we had to have the first budget submission in late October.
I was always amazingly productive in that time. When we would get done, and work slowed down, I was never as productive. But when you ramp up and are cranking, you can add on more work easily…0
05/06/2019 at 11:14 am #61319
I love what Jay said in the pod cast:
” You don’t have to agree with what your partner says, but you have to at least respect it.”
I think my wife and I both struggle with this sometimes. It is hard to avoid feeling insulted or hurt when the one you love the most points out something you may not be the best at. I also tend to get frustrated when my wife misinterperets something I’m trying to convey.
One thing I don’t struggle with is apologizing. When I know I’m wrong, I humble myself immediately. It’s just the way its always been for me and I don’t understand why it is so hard for most people. My wife….not so much. Lol! It is probably the single most difficult thing in the world for her. I know for sure I can count on my fingers the amount of times she’s admitted being wrong. It is so funny when I can see the struggle just by looking at her that she’s connected the dots and knows she’s wrong, but cannot bring herself to admit it.
In my house this saying is very true:
“In a relationship there are two types of people: The person who is right, and the husband.”
We’ve been married 14 years this month but we’ve been together for 21 years – high school sweet hearts since I was 16 and she was 15. We’ve experienced the highs and lows of life together and there is no other person in the world I’d rather spend this life with.1+
05/06/2019 at 11:56 am #61326
@Retro: This is how opposites attract. But that is good, because if the two of you were the same, one of you isn’t needed.
You had me laughing at her inability to say she is wrong.
Is it like Fonzie that can’t say he is wrong?
Or is it Paul Reiser on Mad About You…where he says “This is not the most right I have ever been”?
05/06/2019 at 2:59 pm #61341
More like uncomfortable silence while she works out the timeline back far enough to find a way for it to be my fault. Lol!1+
05/06/2019 at 11:36 am #61321
- Location: Schnecksville, PA
Can’t wait to listen on my Monday evening commute, but in the meantime . . .
Apr 28-May 4
Total Items in Store: 3709
Items Sold: 60
Gross Sales: $991.79
Consignor Commission (COGS): $236.4(23.84%)
Highest Price Sold: $51.93 (Yoshi Yoshi Women’s Shirt)
Average Price Sold: $16.53
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
Number of items listed this week: 92(personally 46)0
05/06/2019 at 12:05 pm #61328
Week April 28- May4, 2019
Items in store: 3667 Listings for 5757 Items
Items Sold: 84 Transactions for 102 Items
Gross Sales: $5763
Highest Price Sold: $342, LVC Leather Jacket
Lowest Price Sold: $2.74 (shoelaces)
Average Price Sold: $56.50
Cost of Goods Sold $421, Plus consignment
Number of items listed this week: 138 items
$$ spent on new inventory this week $19
Repeat Customers: 4
Items Sold 2
Gross Sales $91.98
Cost of Good Sold $6
Direct Sales to Customer
Items Sold 2
Gross Sales $110
Cost of goods sold $100
05/06/2019 at 12:20 pm #61329
@SEAM: Solid numbers as usual. Hope everything is well with you. Last I remember, you had some life stuff going on…1+
05/06/2019 at 1:01 pm #61330
I’ve been ok. The first half of April was super slow due to my 4 week surgery recovery. By the 15th I only had about $5800 in sales. Once my restrictions were lifted on the 18th I was able to crank it out and finish the month with $16580, respectable but quite a bit lower than my pre-surgery projections.
Now my back pain is back in full force, I have another CT scan (have one every 6 months) and a follow up in a couple weeks. Hope to get another steroid treatment which will lessen the discomfort for about a year to 18 months, hopefully.0
05/07/2019 at 10:09 am #61394
@SEAM: Ouch. So sorry that you are going through all of this. Hopefully there will be light at the end of the tunnel soon!0
05/07/2019 at 10:25 am #61401
Possibly. The back thing has been going on for years, but perhaps there will be a new diagnosis in a few weeks. My recent surgery was entirely unrelated.
I’ve got a bone growth/tumor, inside my spinal column that impinges on my spinal cord, and also arthritis in the surrounding joints. The docs believe its been there most of my life (osteochondroma) but since we only recently discovered it, they check it every 6 months for growth. If it’s growing, it would more likely be bone cancer. It’s in a tricky spot, so they don’t want to operate on it unless it’s absolutely necessary. So they told me to “live with it”, some days I can live with it, some days it takes over and I can’t do much at all.
About the possible new diagnosis….I mentioned a few weeks back that I found out who my biological grandfather was through a DNA test with ancestry.com. I’ve been in communication with my new aunt, and have since learned that my great grandmother had Paget’s disease of the bone. The neurosurgeon had suggested this as a possibility a little over a year ago, and sent me to a specialist. Unfortunately, the specialist didn’t seem concerned and sent me away without any testing…and a bill of course. Paget’s can be hereditary, and I am about 40% more likely to have it if a relative had it.
The specialist said it was a rare disease, but I found that that is not entirely true. It is actually the second most common bone disease, osteoporosis being the first. It is “rare” in patients under 40, but “common” in patients over 40. As if midnight on your 40th birthday is the exact line for that distinction.
I am 39 and I literally have all the symptoms. With this new family history information, I am going to request the testing at my next followup in 2 weeks. It wouldn’t be a great diagnosis, but it would be better to know, than to not know.
- This reply was modified 2 weeks, 1 day ago by The_SEAM_Store.
05/07/2019 at 10:35 am #61407
@SEAM: Wow. But I agree, better to have the best knowledge properly so you can orient your life to fight the proper fight (or not fight if it isn’t there).
I never like bad information…but I would rather have as soon as possible. I never fear a dragon I can see…it is the one I CAN’T see that bothers me…0
05/06/2019 at 1:07 pm #61331
I just wanted to say it was great to hear the 2 of you explain that you aren’t actually against people having a Tesla or a big house if they can afford those things. I am very frugal by nature but I own both and they bring me a lot of joy.
I justify having these 2 extravagant things with my frugal nature by knowing that we paid cash for both the house and the car and have more than enough money for the rest of our lives. Our house came with solar panels and a 240 volt wall connector port for charging the Tesla so I’m actually saving a lot of money by never buying gas for the car. I also don’t have to pay for or build outside storage for my eBay inventory (I could probably store 10x the inventory I have in our basement). And I certainly don’t mind driving long distances for scavenging and I have both the front and back trunks to stash my purchases.
I had felt kind of guilty in the past for having these 2 extravagant things but I also know how hard my husband and I worked to get here. No one ever gave us anything, we bootstrapped our way here through nearly 30 years of 7 days a week work right out of highschool and now are enjoying the fruits of our labor. Kind of the same way I imagaine the 2 of you will be doing in 20-30 years.0
05/06/2019 at 4:38 pm #61346
Be proud! That’s awesome! As we get older, we’ll likely splash out on more luxuries. I like living comfortably. I like travel. We’d love solar panels.
There’s nothing wrong with spending money and having nice things. But in our equation, we always take into consideration the opportunity costs of our big purchases. In 2019, we could either buy a Tesla or renovate an apartment that will generate us income for the rest of our lives. Our choice will be different from other people with different goals and in different points in their lives.
But the big question is:
–what kind of Tesla do you have? Model 3LR?
–Are you afraid of scratching it, or do you use it like a work car?0
05/07/2019 at 10:20 am #61399
@Vintage & Jay: I think the guiding principles that we base our decisions regarding big purchases are this.
Do they bring us joy and happiness? I really don’t want to have buyers remorse on a large purchase, where I bought something that I thought would make my life better, and now it doesn’t. Cars are the one area that I struggle with. I really like and appreciate a beautiful and powerful car. But that beauty is easy to destroy, with carelessness, bad drivers, and just bad weather. If I am too afraid to damage that beauty, maybe it is better to appreciate it when I see other people spend the money.
But large purchases that bring joy and elevate your spirit are worth it. There is a value there. There has been large amounts of money spent by communities to build cathedrals, art, etc. Many churches took hundreds of years to build. But the results of those monuments have brought joy and elevated spirits to millions (if not billions) of people. There is value there. And we can do similar things in our own lives, where we have our “thing” that elevates our spirit and brings us joy. If you get that type of reward from money you spent, you got the better end of the bargain.1+
05/06/2019 at 1:16 pm #61332
Some days I’m sure my wife hates me. It’s been a real struggle to teach her why I do things the way I do them after 14 years of doing eBay alone, I’m a little bit obsessive with my methods, and compromise can be challenging for me, but we are making it work better all the time.
It seems that she may go back to school for her masters degree, possibly next year….which means I will not only lose her part time help for ebay, but also lose her for the other daily life tasks 2-3 full days a week. I encourage her to do what she loves, and if a masters degree is part of it, I’m 100% supportive.0
05/06/2019 at 1:21 pm #61333
@vintagetreasures personal finance is personal. As long as you know what your cash flow looks like and you assign money where it creates the most value for you, you should never be ashamed. This is exactly the situation I was talking about in our other thread. Why wait 60, 70, years to enjoy life when you can die tomorrow. Not to say frugal people don’t enjoy life but I’m also a realist and know luxuries by definition provide some improvement in the quality of life at a cost. Whether that luxury is $150 dollar work boots or $40k electric car.0
05/06/2019 at 3:32 pm #61343
I’ve always drawn a clear line between being frugal and being cheap.
To me, being frugal means giving thought to every purchase to make sure you are getting the best “bang for the buck”. Being smart with money and being able to get most of what you want without hurting yourself financially. Common sense reigns supreme. My wife is an excellently frugal person and always has been since she was a young child. She taught me the wise ways of frugality. We take pride in paying a fraction of what other people pay for the sames goods/services.
Being frugal takes discipline and patience.
Then there are cheap people. These folks do things or buy things because they are perceived as being a deal. They also do and/or avoid things because of fear of spending money. My mother and my mother-in-law are cheap people. Many “cheap” people in my experience are often obsessive compulsive buyers and spend WAY more money than they would if they weren’t cheap.
My mother used coupons, but she bought crap that no one wanted or needed because she “had a coupon”. I realized early on that manufacturers appeared to use coupons to offload undesirable merchandise, and our house was full of it. We never went on real family vacations – not because we couldn’t afford it, but because she just didn’t want to spend money – its like she had a deep seeded fear of spending money even when she could. It likely came from her childhood growing up as a Poor Wisconsin farm girl that didn’t even have indoor plumbing.
My mother-in-law bought a used Prius about 8 years ago. Afterwards she infamously told us she couldn’t come visit us as much as she didn’t want to put a bunch of miles on her “new to her” car. We lived a whopping 1.6 miles away from her….
She constantly avoids doing things that may cost her money, even if it is mere dollars. It’s like there is something wrong with her. She and her husband are quite well off financially – she has a masters degree and he has a PhD.
As an example just yesterday she called telling us she wanted to know if we were celebrating Cinco De Mayo (no) and if we were gonna go eat Mexican food. We offered that she could take some of the kids with her to do lunch. Now, because me and my wife weren’t coming that means she would have to pay for the kids meals – two of the four would have been free mind you if she went to the place we normally go, so her cost would have been $8 for 4 kids. She predictably fumbled around and decided to not do anything because she “couldn’t find any Cinco De-mayo deals”.
She is also a hoarder that has filled almost her entire house with things she has bought at thrift stores. There are rooms that are literally filled to the ceiling that you cannot enter except opening to door to see it all. I dread the day it falls on us to deal with that situation.
So in closing, frugal people rule and are my tribe. I think most folks here at Scavenger Life are frugal.
Cheap people IMO have a possible mental disorder that needs treatment.3+
05/06/2019 at 4:46 pm #61349
When the extreme couponing craze began, we looked into it. Turned out that people were just buying 100 liters of gross purple soda, or boxes and boxes of air fresheners. Nothing we would ever by or want even if it was free.
I like your point about not being afraid to spend money as long as we get value. When we fly on a plane, we always pay extra for better seats and early entrance and exit. That’s very valuable to me.0
05/07/2019 at 1:52 pm #61424
When I fly, I like to get my assigned seat and be the very last on the plane if possible…an early entrance is my nightmare! I love to sit back and watch everyone crash the gate when boarding is first announced.
I’ll easily pay for checked luggage also. I don’t understand trying to cram everything in a carry-on when you can dump everything at check-in and wander the airport freely.0
05/07/2019 at 5:07 pm #61439
Agreed. Ryanne likes to be one of the first ones on so she knows she’s set. I also like to be the last person on the plane so I can avoid the scrum and anxiety of fighting over limited storage space. We travel light so it all fits under the seat in front of us.0
05/06/2019 at 7:54 pm #61361
yes x100. cheap vs frugal is what we’re always fighting (ok it’s me mostly). pay for quality (this is especially true for renovations) and it should last a long long time. we’re frugal, not cheap. i want nice things that will last me years. and a lot of times i can get those things lightly used on ebay. love that.0
05/06/2019 at 4:39 pm #61347
Well said. As long as spending is conscious and not just bad habit, it’s all good.0
05/07/2019 at 10:22 am #61400
I will +1 on that! Searching for value is not the same as being cheap…0
05/06/2019 at 2:05 pm #61335
items sold: 39
sales: $1,014 (i don’t include shipping revenue)
average selling price: $26
cost of goods: $148.20
store listings: 978
inventory $ risk: $3716.40 (what i paid for all existing inventory)
listed this week: 40
ebay hours: 15.5
what’s on my mind: 3 miserable buying experiences this week on ebay. don’t ever under estimate how many incompetent sellers are in this marketplace.
caught a bug & was in zombie mode all week. did nothing ebay related on thurs, fri, or sat. surprised to sell at avg for the year. listed 20 items on sunday.0
05/06/2019 at 2:12 pm #61336
Interesting topics today. My wife sells things out of her closet on Poshmark, but that’s less than 1 item per week. I can say that buying & selling as a stream of income are me only, and occasionally it has caused friction – mainly figuring out storage of items & do business (packing, photographing) while keeping tidy & not disturbing the rest of the apartment. The filter of what type of furniture we picked for the second bedroom (where I do most of my store work) had to not only look good but also had storage functionality. Also successfully lobbied for our building to build storage units in our basement – for a fee that works out to about $90/mo, have been able to store packaging material, big/bulky items, etc down there. It’s currently working, but have seen the friction it could cause.
Week April 21-May 4, 2019 (2 weeks)
Total Items in Store: 1,006
Items Sold: 20 (1 Amazon)
Cost of Items Sold: $227.99 (24.6% of sales)
Total Sales: $925.41
Highest Price Sold: $129.99 (1966 Beach Boys – Pet Sounds original mono pressing)
Average Price Sold: $46.27
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $725
Number of items listed this week: 45
Promoted listings test: 11 sales, $472.96 (51.1% of total sales), $21.99 fees (4.6% of sales)
Solid numbers if this only covered one week, but iffy since they cover 2 weeks. First week I only sold 5 items for $215 – I’ll blame not listing leading in and also up to 5 days handling time because I had to be away all week travelling for work. This past week was much more “normal” – 15 sales for a hair over $700. COGS remain a bit high due to higher dollar items selling, would love to still get them back down under 20%.
This weekend I plan to get out to a lot of estate sales & maybe even the flea market if the weather holds. My wife is going to Scottsdale with her sister, mom, grandmother for mothers day and is leaving me home alone for 5 days – WOOO, bachelor pad! But seriously, haven’t been out to sales in a couple months with holidays, work, etc getting in the way. With the weekend to myself, I can get up and in line at big estate sales and then have all day/night to list when I get home.0
05/06/2019 at 4:41 pm #61348
Another great album sale. When you take your wife on those European vacations with eBay profits, I bet everyone is happy 🙂1+
05/06/2019 at 4:05 pm #61345
@retrotreasuresWV agreed on the cheap people! I’m glad you found the line between frugal and cheap. My hang-up is most people don’t get that. I subscribe to the value tribe.0
05/07/2019 at 8:27 am #61388
My personal test to determine if someone is cheap or frugal is what I call the toilet paper test.
Frugal people still buy the good toilet paper, but may try to use coupons or buy on sale to keep costs down.
Cheap people buy the cheapest paper thin crap even though it don’t work.
Only a truly cheap bastard will suffer WILLINGLY through bad toilet paper. Lol!1+
05/07/2019 at 9:59 am #61392
Good example. Yeah, frugal is about buying the best quality and the best price. It’s about VALUE.
Usually buying the cheapest means you buy the worst, so you end up spending more in the long term always replacing and losing usage.0
05/07/2019 at 10:26 am #61403
@Retro: Amen brother. I made that mistake once in my marriage…
05/07/2019 at 2:00 pm #61426
A truly cheap bastard is one who takes the cheap toilet paper from a public washroom for their home, and don’t see it as stealing…0
05/08/2019 at 8:27 am #61483
…or asks for a free water cup at a restaurant and then gets pop instead. My mother-in-law does it ALL. THE. TIME. If she does it with us I absolutely shame her in front of my kids. I want them to know that is NOT cool at all. Honestly its not even the stealing that bothers me as much as the lack of integrity in the situation.
The question I pose to them is “How much is your integrity worth?”. It takes a sad person to sell their integrity for a $1 soft drink… If you’ll do it to save a dollar, what else will you toss aside your integrity for?2+
05/06/2019 at 7:13 pm #61356
Jay, we have the long range model 3, and I wish it was only 40K, GoodsbyGarcia! Long range Tesla’s aren’t inexpensive. I do just treat it as a work car, and I’m still too frugal to have it washed much, much to my husband’s dismay…0
05/06/2019 at 7:51 pm #61359
exactly. if the best model was 40k, we might have one soon. but no, it’s much higher than that. some day!!0
05/06/2019 at 10:21 pm #61365
Yeah, the Long Range M3 is the way to go. I know it wasnt cheap, but you’re also paying a premium for being an early adopter of the best electric car ever made to date. Along with solar power on your roof to charge the car, you’re the living example of how transportation should be.
Thank you for helping push us forward 🙂0
05/06/2019 at 7:34 pm #61357
- Location: Southern California
Thank you for the podcast. I listened while I was returning from my dad’s on a road trip. My husband and I don’t work together on Ebay and are very compatible, but our occasional trouble areas are: (1) he is very goal oriented and I’m not. I can see the big picture, get what I need to get done, and don’t overspend, but I kind of take things day by day and do my best; and (2) sometimes we are in agreement but don’t explain things the same way – it’s a bit hard to describe but it frustrates him. Another thought is that while I appreciate his zeal for retirement savings, I wonder if I’m going to live to enjoy it. I have a sinking feeling that I will look back and wish we had traveled more and saved a bit less.
On vacation and closed the store this week for peace of mind. Have eight more boxes of stuff to add to my death piles. Sigh.0
05/07/2019 at 10:09 am #61393
Another thought is that while I appreciate his zeal for retirement savings, I wonder if I’m going to live to enjoy it. I have a sinking feeling that I will look back and wish we had traveled more and saved a bit less.
This would be a very important discussion to have with your husband. Sit down, do the numbers, and discuss options and expectations.
If the goal is to retire early, then maybe forgoing travel and luxuries now makes sense. I dont know how old you guys are, but being financial independent before 50 would give you years to enjoy your kids, travel, each other.
But if his numbers say he’ll work for someone late into his 60s, even with savings, then maybe traveling now does make sense.
Also you guys should agree on how much you actually need to retire with the life you want. Traditional retirement advice currently will suggest you have $50k+ plus a year. That’s insane. This why people think they need $10-million dollars for a post 20-year retirement. Tis is why people never stop working.
In my thinking, when we “retire”, our house should be paid off, no real debt, and living expenses should be cheap. $20k a year would easily let us enjoy life. This doesnt even take into consideration Social Security, any passive income, etc.0
05/07/2019 at 3:55 am #61378
Marie in FloridaParticipant
Items sold: 6
Average selling price: $55
Highest item sold: Vintage Men’s Sears Wool Lined Coat $150 to an overseas shipper
Lowest item sold: $13 Misc homeschool math items
Store listings: 472
Items listed 8
Took my frail mother back home from hospital after heart issues. Busy week, got less than 10 items up. BUT, great Ebay week The coat was gorgeous. I did a Ryanne too high listing, and after a year, I got it. It was part of a hoarder/estate sale. I bought a few things from the men’s closet at the sale All clothing items were old and $2.
Also sold Robert Zur shoes for $60. Hope they fit this time.
This is so much more fun listing this than the bare weeks 2 months ago when I would sell 1-2 items in a week. Think my work back then is helping now.0
05/07/2019 at 7:53 am #61386
As others have smartly said, all listings are “deferred income”. It’s never wasted work since everything eventually sells if you’re patient enough or price it low enough.0
05/07/2019 at 8:43 am #61389
I talked with my wife over dinner last night about our interesting partner conversation we are having here.
I really would like my wife to become more involved in our ebay business. In the many DIY projects we’ve done over the years, I cover the highly technical and process driven side, while she is the “outside the box” creative side.
I’m really only good at taking what other people have done and improving it. I’m a fixer, mainly because that’s what I do as an Engineer – improve processes. Sometimes I don’t think I have a creative or visionary bone in my body.
My ideal living room is big, symmetrical, and bare bones white walls. Clean, simple….highly efficient but bland and boring. She is the one that will add the character, the interesting asymmetrical lines and shapes, the colors, etc. Make it into something other people want.
My wife is the kind of person that spends some time learning the ropes of a new skill, then branches out to do things with it that other people wouldn’t even think to do – blaze her own path if you will.
I NEED her in this business to help it move to the next level, to evolve. Sometimes I feel like my ebay store is like that room – bland and boring. If we are going to turn this into our livelihood it has to be more than that.
I personally don’t know what “that” would be. I think she would once she knew the business enough to do her thing.1+
05/07/2019 at 10:11 am #61395
That would be a good conversation to have. But I assume that taking care of five kids (including a newborn) is her contribution to the business!
Working on eBay really does demand large chunks of interrupted time to focus and get into the flow. Maybe with kids are older and more self-sufficient, your vision of an eBay partnership would be more doable.
What does she say when you talk about this idea?0
05/07/2019 at 10:41 am #61409
We could make it work if I was home full time. We’d basically trade off on the ebay thing. I’d create listings while she did some School and games with kids and some chores, then I would do some chores/school with kids while she took pictures.
Pictures is the only thing she currently likes, but she says she would want to be able to do everything I do.
I disagree about the uninterrupted time thing. I work in 10-15 minute increments. I just now created listings for 5 items in 10 minutes on my phone in my car during break. Just have to take photos this evening. Sometimes if I’m lucky I get up to 30 minutes. After that I can feel my attention start to drift and I’m not as efficient.
This is the way I’ve had to get things done for years, because uninterrupted time simply does not exist in my house. I fought the process with kids 1-3. Once I had 3 kids though, I had to learn to adapt because working for hours at a time just wasn’t an option and I wasn’t getting ANYTHING done anymore.
Just a few months ago I found out there is an entire work strategy based off of intense short bursts of work broken up by breaks called Pomodoro method.
05/07/2019 at 10:31 am #61406
@Retro: Yep, that is what makes a good partnership.
I think we all need to live on the bridge. On one side is Order, where everything is structured and efficient. On the other side is Chaos, where new things happen and are created and born. We have to build our business, family, community, and even civilization on the bridge in between the two.
So always look for ways to destroy or create new things (your wife and mine), but once created, build them efficiently and with structure (your role and mine).
Live on the bridge. If you only have one perspective, you are missing out on a lot…0
05/07/2019 at 10:26 am #61402
What happens when a return is approved automatically by ebay, but the seller does not provide shipping label by deadline?
Dealing with multiple, lousy, ebay sellers this week. Bought some new (used) hardware for my office. In one instance, seller took 6.5 days to get an origin scan, shipped parcel instead of the Priority mail I paid for & shipped the wrong item. Also, what they shipped didn’t work. Seller is an ebay trillionaire with 36,000,000 listings of amazon returns & outsourced $2.50/hr support. I am the dope who bought from him twice- he uses multiple accounts. So everything above x 2.
Ebay is not unlike a form of business format franchising. Franchisees exploit Ebay’s infrastructure, brand equity & network effects in exchange for x% of their revenue. The costs & barriers to entry are negligible. Anybody can splash around in the waters of ebay. However, when buyers encounter bad sellers, few will say: “well, that is the last time I am buying from \\cc111iill36xyv”. They just blame ebay. I don’t have a complete solution for the slow return process I am dealing with, but I would like to see one new feature for all buyers. Let us block sellers.0
05/07/2019 at 10:38 am #61408
@call_me_raoul: Ouch. I really don’t like bad sellers for exactly this reason. And hoping that eBay getting Dropshippers off the platform will work as well.
I believe that if the seller doesn’t send the label, you get a refund automatically. We never let it get that far, so not sure. I would call eBay Customer Support and ask.0
05/07/2019 at 11:29 am #61412
What happens when a return is approved automatically by ebay, but the seller does not provide shipping label by deadline?
Call eBay. Like TSATT says, often they give you an immediate refund and let you keep the item. If the seller doesnt live up to their responsibility, eBay makes the buyer whole.
There are bad buyers on every platform, one of the new rules in the Spring Seller Update is aimed at Dropshippers. The idea is to keep pushing them down in the search rankings because they often provide bad service since they dont control their inventory.0
05/07/2019 at 12:16 pm #61413
Just to be clear: ebay is fine with drop shipping. You have a deal with a wholesaler, for example, and have the wholesaler ship to your buyer? That’s fine, and that is conventional drop shipping. What eBay prohibits is the sort of thing where I list an item I do not have, buyer buys it, and I then buy it on, let’s say Amazon, and have Amazon ship it to my buyer. In the first situation, I did not have the item in my possession, but I had an existing deal with the item’s possessor. In the second situation, I did not have the item in my possession, and I had no control over it when I listed it.0
05/07/2019 at 12:40 pm #61414
05/07/2019 at 5:05 pm #61438
Yeah, here’s eBay official stance on drop shipping:
I’m not sure how they know who has an “agreement” with a wholesaler, instead of someone just buying off Amazon. Ultimately I assume they look at shipping time. Right?0
05/07/2019 at 6:14 pm #61446
@jay: I’m betting that they have an algorithm that they have developed to find these dropshippers. Most of these folks are only making a few bucks per sale, so they have to have a ton of volume.
So large inventory, long shipping times, and bad reviews. I would start with there, but they get paid to know us too well, so I’m sure there are other characteristics.
The Tech Overlords know a LOT about us. All they have to do is choose to look…0
05/07/2019 at 6:25 pm #61447
Thanks for the replies. I am going to wait it out on the 1st no return label & see what, if anything, ebay does automatically in these cases before calling support. I’ll report back. Seller is not a drop shipper, but a very large re-seller of amazon returns. Looking forward to ebay throttling/banning sellers who favor retail arbs vs holding inventory or drop shipping. These are among the worst sellers on the platform.
Here is how the first return would look like on a calendar (dates adjusted for clarity):
May 1 Purchase item
May 7 Item ships (seller used UPS/USPS Surepost)
May 13 Item arrives, wrong item.
May 14 Open return case, auto approved.
May 21 Seller provides label (assuming seller provides in next 10 hrs)
May 22 I ship item back. (assuming same class of service on return)
May 28 Seller receives return
May 30 Seller refunds. (seller takes 2 biz days to refund, no weekend delays)
Does this look like a 21st century e-commerce transaction to anyone? Ebay has cool stuff you can’t find anywhere else so I’ll put up with it from certain types of sellers, but not this one.0
05/07/2019 at 2:26 pm #61428
In regards to Replacements.com, did you guys just show up and get a tour, or did you have connections to show you around? Sometimes, I feel I have a mini-replacements.com in my basement. Partial sets are so cheap and easy to find, and I can get some decent sales when someone is looking to add to their set. On the other hands, some of it is very, very long tail.
Week of Apr 28 – May 4
* Total Items in Store: 1361, eBay, 3 Etsy
* Items Sold: 9 eBay
* Cost of Items Sold: $11.90 + $0 Commission
* Total Sales: $207.21
* Highest Price Sold: $40 Small African Ashanti wood stool
* Average Price Sold: $23
* Returns: 0
* Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $23
* Number of items listed this week: 33
Another slow week, but the ASP is up. I still have work to do on buying higher priced items.
I had a few interesting events this week (leaving out some drama curtesy of my kids):
On Friday, I was at an auction. I ended up bidding on a lot of “bottles” that happened to be filled with alcohol; liquors, wines, tequila, etc. I opened a small bottle of Lancers from 1977, which my parents used to order when I was a kid (for example, in 1977). It was actually pretty good. I’m saving the other two bottles for when they are visiting in June. As the liquids are emptied, some of the bottles will be worth selling. A neat looking vintage phone was included in the deal.
On Saturday, a couple picked up the 1940s refrigerator that I sold them a month or two ago. Talking about Ryanne’s friend who owns a $350k boat, these guys had an RV built on a truck chassis. My son asked them how much it cost, and he said that the retail price was around $500k, but he didn’t pay that much. I think that they paid probably the same amount as that boat. They also had a large enclosed trailer in the back.
They needed the refrigerator for parts. They had one of the same model that they tried to get working, but the freezer had been pulled out (something they didn’t realize initially). Mine the only one available online. They left their house in California a week earlier, drove to Boston to pick up a classic Toyota Forerunner that they had bought, and drove to my house to get the refrigerator. After that, they planned to spend a night or two in PA, then a few days in Indiana to get some warranty work completed on the RV, and finally home.
Interesting people with an interesting story; they are probably in their 60s, maybe 70s. They are most likely retired and enjoying life with by traveling in a very comfortable RV and buying and refurbishing items that bring joy to them.
- This reply was modified 2 weeks, 1 day ago by Sharyn.
05/07/2019 at 2:52 pm #61430
Whoah… Those are some crazy nice RV’s.
I have zero desire to ever have an RV. I don’t want to drive one, don’t want to store one, and definitely don’t want to pay for one or the gas that is required to power it.
I am simply not a leisure driver. I want to get to the destination in as short of time as possible.
If I had the money to buy one of those, I’d just fly to where I want to be and stay in a luxurious condo. $750k would buy me at least 750 weeks of really nice condo stays (likely much more if I played my cards wisely and took into consideration off seasons and monthly rentals). That is staying in a WEEKLY condo rental for 14 years straight. It is also almost 14 straight YEARS of staying in $150 a night hotels. Both options are longer than the useful lifespan of that RV!!!1+
05/07/2019 at 3:43 pm #61433
I agree; buying an RV doesn’t make any sense unless it is the type of traveling that you really enjoy and are willing to pay extra. In addition to the cost of buying and maintaining the RV, you still need to pay for a spot to park it. You could buy a reasonably nice used one for $50-$80k and still pay more than staying at hotels/AirBnBs/condos etc.
The one nice thing is most RV parks are exactly that – parks. You are staying closer to nature, and you don’t have to pitch a tent or live rough. Many parks have nice cabins to rent, but they are hard to reserve at peak times.0
05/07/2019 at 6:12 pm #61445
@sharyn: Here is the scavenging RV rabbit hole to go down on YouTube.
Look up Van Life.
Veronica and I have seen a couple around here, and we know they are basically stealth parking in a lot of places when in town, including some Wal-Marts and other locations that are OK with the overnight parking.0
05/07/2019 at 8:25 pm #61453
I went 30 min into that rabbit hole.
These are folks that are living in a van and don’t have a house or apartment. If they spend a few bucks on a fancy RV, then they are spending their money wisely. In this case, they converted a van, which is even more thrifty. I expect the van is easier to get around than an RV when going grocery shopping or whatnot.
Maybe something to think about when the kids go off on their own, and we downsize.0
05/08/2019 at 12:47 am #61474
So Cal JoeParticipant
About 20 years ago, I bought a used Toyota Pickup based motorhome on the cheap to see the country. It was about 18 feet long, but had everything, stove heater bathroom etc and I loved it. It was pretty slow, but got 15 to 18 MPG, depending on the trip speed etc.
I did a lot of stealth camping/sleeping for free and spent a lot of my days at one of the many San Diego beaches. It was an interesting time.
Nowadays due to the housing crisis and the internet, things have changed. There are a lot more people living in vehicles of all types and unfortunately not all of them are responsible. Some are committing crimes and others and just plain being disrespectful and creating unsanitary conditions where they park.
As a result many communities have basically created laws to prevent street parking for any vehicle that remotely resembles an RV. Even residents are prevented from parking their own vehicles there. It’s really a shame, because the few bad apples are ruining it for the rest of us.
I had planned on buying another small RV for my scavenging trips, but have since changed my plan. I may just get a van and install a bed or convert one of my small trailers to sleep in and also use as a haul vehicle.
The whole RV thing is very American. The prices can be as low as $2500 for an older used unit up to six figures for the lotto winner. One of my favorites is a Vixen from the 1980’s. It’s got a BMW diesel and gets up to 30 MPG. Unfortunately it’s very expensive. The Toyota Pickup based RV’s from the late 70’s up to the early 90’s are also very popular and efficient.
It’s all about choices and what’s important to you, but you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a quality RV.0
05/08/2019 at 1:00 pm #61515
@sharyn: Veronica and I have considered this for a 6-12 month driving vacation. But after that, I don’t know.
I would do it longer term if I felt that I was still working and being productive.
One guy in San Fran has an RV parked in a light industrial area where he lives, and has a small car to go to work, errands, etc.
05/07/2019 at 5:08 pm #61440
We didnt get any official tour at the Replacements.com headquarters. We just walked around and asked a bunch of questions. Would have been neat to see their storage warehouse.0
05/07/2019 at 8:26 pm #61454
I just looked up their store address, and they aren’t far from where we vacationed last year. Oh well, missed opportunity.0
05/07/2019 at 4:00 pm #61436
- Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Thanks for the interesting podcast this week.
Here are my numbers:
Total Items in Store: 2962
Items Sold: 38
Total Sales: $918
Cost of Items Sold: $96
Average Price Sold: $24.17
Average Cost of Item: $2.55
Highest Price Item Sold: $79.95 2 sales at this price i) Sony Handycam DCR-HC32 and ii) Bose Wave Model AWR1-1W
Number of items listed this week: 28
YTD Sales: $15868
YTD sales compared to this time last year: +1%
Average age of items in store (in days since listing): 382
Average number of days between listing and selling this week: 226
Median age of sales (in days, between listing and selling): 96
Sell-through rate (for the week): 1.28%
Hats sold this week: 28 (73% of sales) worth $521.72 (56% of sales $)
The week on eBay was solid. Nothing much to say about it.
My wife and I have a division of responsibilities with the business. That obviously eliminates most of the potential conflicts. My wife does most of the listing/photography for our hat listings. I manage all other parts of the business.
Hope everyone has a great week!0
05/08/2019 at 12:27 am #61472
- Location: Merida, Mexico
Another great podcast, thanks for keeping up on these, I look forward to hearing what you both have to say every week.
Slow week sales wise for me, but spent alot of the week getting ready to pick up two lots of goodies in cancun that I won at auction. Arranging a scrap dealer to meet me on site to buy a bunch of stuff there that I did not want to ship back here and then arranging the transportation for 3 pallets worth of decent stuff and helping load all that when the box truck showed up, very sweaty day overall. Now to list it all…
Good sales to come!0
05/09/2019 at 4:42 pm #61584
Pretty huge (good) news for all the Etsy sellers out there:
05/09/2019 at 5:39 pm #61587
Since we don’t have cable tv at home, I was surprised how many online sites advertise on TV. Many Google ads. Does eBay advertise on TV regularly?0
05/09/2019 at 5:49 pm #61588
Yes, eBay & Amazon spend hundreds of millions of dollars on TV advertising. That’s why I think this is really thing – attracting more people to the platform can’t be bad.0
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