06/23/2019 at 4:09 pm #63939
Join the conversation in the forum>> Our Store Week June 16-22, 2019 Total Items in Store: 8426 Items Sold: 35 Gross Sales: $887.14 Cost of It
[See the full post at: Scavenger Life Episode 416: People, Process and Product]
06/23/2019 at 7:28 pm #63969EliLoehrkeParticipant
- Location: PDX
Hi, It was a little hard to figure out who you were talking about at the beginning of the episode. Was it “The Profit” with Marcus Lemonis? Or “The Partner”? And where did you find his show? Thanks!
06/23/2019 at 7:40 pm #63970
yep The Profit is a show on CNBC with Marcus Lemonis. there is a spin-off called The Partner, that we haven’t watched yet.
06/23/2019 at 7:42 pm #63971
We just rent the shows: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=ELxJ6qfZe7yihA_X4ck2hTpA
Just play from our laptops to our big screen and speakers.
06/23/2019 at 7:54 pm #63973EliLoehrkeParticipant
- Location: PDX
Cool! Thanks guys. I’ll check it out tonight.
06/23/2019 at 8:14 pm #63974simplicioParticipant
Still don’t know how I could use someone else’s labour. I don’t think the parts of my business that are outsourceable are really worth outsourcing. I don’t spend much time listing and packing.
This was a really dead week on eBay for whatever reason. Until Friday I had zero sales. My major cash infusion came from some Herman Miller chairs I put on consignment at a local vintage shop a while back. All 10 of them sold and I received a payment of $860 last week. I’m including that as a “sale” in my numbers.
Sales: CAD$1777, 5 items, COGS: $420 –> Item profit: $1197
Expenditures: $702 –> Cashflow: $915
Hours: 11, $84/hr
Listed: $810, 22 items
Apart from my consignment payout, I got another $600 in microscope sales from my haul a couple weeks ago. That has been going well although I did have to partially refund one of them for a faulty mechanism.
Got some cool random stuff and auctions too.
One $300 item I sold to a Chinese buyer in December finally came back to me. I had the insurance payout for this already and the buyer was made whole. Hoping I can re-sell it to the same buyer again.
Next week I am planning to take possession of another 25’x10′ storage unit to supplement the 30’x10′ I already have. Now I’ll be up to about $350 in storage costs per month. Hoping this can last at least a year. Presumably at some point my inventory grows to the point where the volume leaving is equal to the volume I can scavenge (?). But I think that happens at about the fifth storage locker. :/
06/24/2019 at 8:06 am #63991
Yeah, we didn’t need any help until we did. We didt realize how much time it took to do the things we now pay someone to do.
Congrats on securing more storage. That’s actually really cheap for that much space.
06/23/2019 at 11:51 pm #63982
I haven’t listened yet…but the 3 P’s??
I come here to get away from corporate speak! Lol!
I kid, I kid! The 3 P’s is actually a good concept to keep projects and/or meetings flowing smoothly and on message.
06/24/2019 at 8:07 am #63992
Its definitely corporate speak.
06/24/2019 at 8:10 am #63994
we like to borrow corporate speak if we think it makes sense to being a scavenger hobo ; )
06/24/2019 at 8:32 am #63996
Oh absolutely use the good stuff. I use alot of the methodologies I’ve learned at work in my ebay business – that’s how I operate at a high efficiency level with my limited time.
Oh and by the way…
Make sure to “5s” your workstations and hold a Kanban event prior to starting your inventory system.
Next time you can’t find an item, be sure to perform an RCFA so it won’t happen again.
06/24/2019 at 8:45 am #63999
i love a good kanban
06/24/2019 at 4:04 am #63986The Thrift RaiderParticipant
I’m really glad that I sold those 1930s Iranian photos I had listed a few months back. Even then, I was told by someone here that they could have been pulled. They were on for several months though. I guess if I came across something like that again, I would just find a facebook group that might be interested.
06/24/2019 at 7:53 am #63987
Week June 16 – 22, 2019
Items in store: 4044 Listings for 6070 Items
Items Sold: 70 Transactions for 82 Items
Gross Sales: $4176.69
Highest Price Sold: $397.55… Two sport coats to the same buyer.
Lowest Price Sold: $10.99… 1920s photograph.
Average Price Sold: $50.94
Cost of Goods Sold $312, Plus consignment
Number of new items listed this week: 91 items
$$ spent on new inventory this week $80
Repeat Customers: 6
Incredibly non-productive week due to a few technical issues. When I used my iPhone to open a numbers file this week, I unknowingly saved a few of my consignors sales records to a newer version. Of course, the new version of numbers wouldn’t work with my preferred older OS. So I had accidentally forced myself into updating to Mojave, which had some negative effects on my main MacBook, the worse….causing me not to be able to use it to shoot photos from my usual tethered setup. I think I can do a memory stick upgrade on this one still and make it work better, but that’s a project for another week.
After a day fooling with the update, and getting my backup MacBook up to speed with the photo hookup….my camera lens began to malfunction and needed servicing. I was able to do it myself, but it was more time spent than I like.
After I finally got moving with photos, I found that the Mojave upgrade also played havoc with GarageSale compatibility, so it’s been slow going as I find work-arounds for simple tasks that are currently glitching. Good news: The next GS version is in beta right now, so the fix will be around the corner soon. Bad News: It comes with a hefty price increase. What was $69 one time license, with $20 occasional upgrade fees (only 1 or 2 in the last 5 or 6 years) will now become $15/month, every month. Sigh….Everyone wants a piece.
Meanwhile back at the ranch. My wife discovered a yellow jacket nest in one of our large patio planters, where we eat all our meals. She is allergic, so I was automatically selected to battle the swarm. That battle still goes on. I’ve been shopvac-ing them up in sessions. I plan to excavate tonight after dark. Wish me luck!
Needless to say, I didn’t get much accomplished this week. Didn’t get any listings up until Friday/Saturday….but we did get out on the lake for a few hours of kayaking.
06/24/2019 at 8:09 am #63993
$15/month for Garage Sale! What is it that you like about GS? The templates?
06/24/2019 at 8:51 am #64000
I like everything about it….except the upcoming new subscription fee. They upgraded all their templates designs to be ebay compliant and mobile friendly, but just list with plain white description….since ebay hides them on mobile and no one reads them anyway. Lol. Plus, after that mess a few years ago, I’d rather not have any code in my descriptions at all.
Main advantage for me, Speed of listing. Once you set up your main Master templates (I set mine up with a seperate pre-filled template for each type of item I sell) listing is just titles, drag/drop photos and field hopping for item specifics. The nice part is you can jump in and out of working templates quickly with clicks, arrows and tabs. Since the templates live on your Mac until you launch to ebay there’s no load time, and you are instantly in the next working listing. No need to save and exit one ebay draft and then load into another one. This makes it possible to group small tasks on batches of listings, which increases speed. I will typically work on about 15-30 listings at a time, usually in groups of similar items.
Here is the flow for 15 Sport Coats
-Prepare items and take photos.
-I may make a few basic photo edits in mac ‘photos’
-In GarageSale, I select my Master sport coat template, which is pre-filled with my sport coat shipping rates/options, and a generic description with blank measurement field, and make 15 copies. These 15 copies are my Working templates.
-Next I drag up to 12 photos into each of the templates. The photos upload almost instantly….depending on my mac storage at the moment.
-Next, I title all 15 items based on ebay’s titling recommendations.
-Next, I measure all 15 jackets and put the measurements directly into the awaiting Working templates, and filling out any basic details or damage notes in the description.
-Next, I do the item specifics for all 15
-Next, I price everything.
Beyond that, there are a ton of other features for inventory, shipping, messaging, smart group tracking/reporting, bulk live listing updating etc. I really should use more of these other features, but the listing speed has always been the main draw for me.
06/24/2019 at 10:58 am #64008
@SEAM: Amen on being able to use templates to speed up work. We do that with SixBit in a similar fashion.
Can’t imagine the way you batch your stuff though. I would get too confused. I take the item, do the listing entirely (measurements, item specifics, title, etc.), then hand off to the photographer. Then it is just drop in the photos and schedule them to upload. When I do my own, I do the same thing, just that I do the photo side.
But do whatever works!
06/24/2019 at 12:30 pm #64021
They are SKU’d chronologically and numerically, so I just keep them in order through the entire process and also when they go into inventory storage. I like to do the photos first, because that’s my best light for identifying flaws that need to be mentioned in the listing.
Indeed, the nice thing about this is there are hundreds of ways to make it work for your own personal style, schedule and work flow. No way is wrong.
06/24/2019 at 7:58 am #63989
Items in Store 1207
Items Sold 44
Total Sales $1,350.50
Total Profit $1,222.00
Average profit $27.77
Average sales price $30.69
New Listings 48
Week Goal Actual Difference
6/10/2019 875.00 411.00 -464.00
6/17/2019 875.00 577.00 -298.00
6/24/2019 875.00 1,350.50 +475.50
BELOW target by -286.50
Now that’s more like it! Good to see my hard work is paying off. I had two big sales, $175 and $153 and minus those I still had a $1k week with bread n butter items. This is the most items I’ve ever sold in a week as well. I greatly outperformed my summer goal and made up some ground from my slow start. Hopefully that trend can continue.
This week I listed a bunch of higher dollar items. Hopefully they start selling.
My listing numbers would have been higher, but I had some housekeeping work to do on ebay. I had to get a bunch of listed items in inventory. On saturday I rebuilt the first wood shelf I ever built in my ebay shed. When I built the first three shelves I had NO idea how quickly my inventory would expand. I did not build the shelf long enough to fit 3 totes side by side – I also built them free-standing instead of anchoring the shelves to the wall. With a little work and expansion I can now fit 3 wide on the shelf, which gives me space to put in 12 more totes.
I still have two more of these shelves to rebuild, and I’m going to need them at the rate I am listing.
Scavenging at yard sales this weekend was pretty good. One sale I went to had a TON of mens Ralph Lauren clothes. I’m not big on buying clothes right now, but when an opportunity presents itself…
The lady had signs up that said “Ralph Lauren is $5 each FIRM”. So I looked through it all and approached her and said “How much if I take ALL the Ralph Lauren?” I got her down to $3 and item and she ended up throwing in a couple for free, so less than $3 an item. All were like new.
This week I’m going to use my new helper – aka my daughter – to blow through listing them all as fast as possible.
The other things of note were a Bose iphone dock radio and a Yamaha Drum Sampler machine. Both of those will pull close to $100 and will be quick sales.
Have a great week everyone!
06/24/2019 at 9:21 am #64003Brian Treasures from GrandmasParticipant
- Location: Hoboken, NJ
Week June 16-22, 2019
Total Items in Store: 1019
Items Sold: 14
Cost of Items Sold: $109.50 (22% of sales)
Total Sales: $498.70
Highest Price Sold: $79 (Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon Master Recording)
Average Price Sold: $35.62
Number of items listed this week: 27
Promoted listings test: 7 sales, $287.98 (57.7% of total sales), $14.40 fees (5% of sales)
Slightly below average week for me, although last posting was so good that I’m still above average for the last 2 weeks. Not a huge dollar sale, but one of those neat sales was a handful of muscle car photos – was at the last day of an estate sale a few months back and they were at the point of “fill up a bag” so only paid pennies for them. Another decent sale were this gold fill Cross pen/pencil set, probably paid $5 for them.
Went to one sale this weekend and really cleaned up on some stuff I priced high because of rarity/not many other listings: 1949 Yankees photo pack, 1950 Yankees yearbook, c1980 ceramic Wayne Gretzky mold (also got Ron Duguay from the Rangers). That painted mold I paid $5 for both Gretzky & Duguay. I looked them up and there are some for $20-$30, but they’re generic without team or player identity. There are some with team jerseys in the $60-$75 range, so I put these players up higher to see what happens – Duguay for $100, Gretzky for $150 – and will happily take offers.
06/24/2019 at 10:16 am #64005totommytoParticipant
- Location: Naples, Fl
Good Morning, great podcast.
6/16– 6/22/19 (no cross listing is done between platforms)
eBay store: totommyto
Total store items: 666
Number of items sold: 13
Total eBay sales (not counting s/h): $386
Cost of items sold: $54
Highest price sold: $50 – lot of old glass door knobs, paid $15
Average price sold: $29.69
Money spent on new inventory: $17
Number of new items listed this week: 24
Sell through rate for the week: 2.0
Number International sales: 1
Etsy store oldfleatoymarket
Total store items: 645
Number of items sold: 8
Total Etsy sales (not counting s/h): $175
Cost of items sold: $23
Highest price sold: $40 – Samsonite train case w/ key, paid up $10 for a flip
Average price sold: $22
Money spent on new inventory: $17
Number of new items listed this week: 9
Sell through rate for the week: 1.2
# International sales: 0
06/24/2019 at 11:01 am #64009SharynParticipant
- Location: Central NJ
Week of Jun 16 – 22
* Total Items in Store: 1363, eBay, 3 Etsy
* Items Sold: 13
* Cost of Items Sold: $16 + $7.50 Commission
* Total Sales: $293.64
* Highest Price Sold: $89 – 1975 Oil painting racing horse, damaged
* Average Price Sold: $22.58
* Returns: 1 + 1 immediate cancel
* Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
* Number of items listed this week: 3
My daughter graduated high school, and we had visitors from out of town. eBay is somewhat on the back-burner. My parents did bring me free stuff from their friends for me to sell. I will get more when I’m at their home in a few weeks.
06/24/2019 at 11:07 am #64012
06/24/2019 at 11:06 am #64010
Week of 06/16-06/22
Total Items in Store: 3,185 (Up 39% YOY)
Number of Items Listed: 80
Number of Items Sold: 96 (Up 55% YOY)
(Includes 0 Etsy, 6 Poshmark, 0 Bonanza, 0 TrueGether)
Weekly STR: 13% (Up 1% YOY)
Total Product Sales: $2,631 (Up 65% YOY)
Sales Volume Variance to Prior Year: Up $877
Sales Price Variance to Prior Year: Up $156
Cost of Items Sold: $505
Cost of Labor: $120
Highest Item Sold: $135 – Corral Boots
Competition: Highest Priced Sale: Veronica wins the week and Veronica leads for the year 14-12.
# Listed: 1,879
# Sold: 70
# Listed: 725
# Sold: 19
# Listed: 581
# Sold: 7
# Listed: 3,185
# Sold: 90
# Listed: 222
# Sold: 0
# Listed: 772
# Sold: 6
So, the store bounced back. After two slower weeks where we had sales in the 70s, now we are back in the 90s. So…were the lower sales because we had 5 day handling when we came to Montana, driving down our momentum? Or are the higher sales because we ended almost all of our listings and resubmitted them this week? Or did none of that matter? Let the speculation begin… 🙂
Going to put the store back on long handling this week, as Veronica is driving up here to Montana on Tuesday. We are going to help my mom get ready for the Bitterroot 50 Mile Yard Sale, a two day event similar to the Nebraska Junk Jaunt. We will probably get some shopping in as well if we can.
Going to be nice to see her too! I kinda miss her!
06/24/2019 at 11:08 am #64013DoublythumbsParticipant
- Location: Hopedale, OH
June 16 – 22
Total Items in Store: 2351
Items Sold: 27
Total Sales : $1297
* ABOVE yearly average of $913
Highest Price: $320 (Two Sub Zero Refrigerator Glass Shelves)
Average Price: $48
Cost of Goods Sold: $90
Costs of Goods Purchased this Week: $68
Number of New Items Listed this Week: 50
Another good week of sales. You’re absolutely right about an eBay business having its up and down times. It wasn’t too long ago that I was really bumming about my sales. Now I’m back to making cushy profits. Next week I may only make enough to survive. After a certain point, there really is no control. You’ve just got to keep at it and stay focused on the bigger picture.
I had a good weekend of scavenging. At a yard sale there was a bicycle leaning against a truck with nothing indicating a price or that it was even for sale. So I inquired about it and the guy there said yeah, I’m asking $40. I couldn’t say yes fast enough. It was a mid ‘80s Trek street bike in near pristine condition. I could easily make $400 or more on it. I also found a rare Chicago Bears pennant flag behind a shelf at an estate sale for a dollar that has sold in the past for around $150. After several bad scavenging weeks in a row, it was really nice to actually find some great items.
This week will be more of the same… list list list. The sink that I was planning to install became too much of an issue and is beyond my capability, so I decided to hire a plumber to install it. Sometimes it’s good to bring in the pros to get something done right the first time, even if it costs more to do it. The aggravation that I was bringing down on myself wasn’t worth the couple hundred bucks I would save by doing it myself.
06/24/2019 at 12:17 pm #64018
Though we report our profits to you guys each week, I don’t stress about our numbers in just one week increments. Monthly and quarterly profits are always a more accurate picture of the health of our business.
When I see sellers stress about their daily sales, that is true madness! Too many little things can affect sales in such a brief snapshot.
06/24/2019 at 4:26 pm #64039MDC Galleries & Fine ArtParticipant
- Location: Atlanta
@ Jay.. Isn’t this what I have been saying for years here. Pull your P&L statement from your accounting software once a month. Make sure you have the settings set to also show you the percentages each line item of your P&L has.That is the comparison we use. What percentage of each line item in our chat of accounts is as compared to our total sales. standard accounting practices.
With the percentages you can see what percent of your Sales your office supplies are, what percentage are your utilities that are allocated to the business, what perctage is shipping supplies.
In Quicken for Business then at a click chart those and show how this “Month” compares to last month or another click shows you Year to date by month.
A year between P&L’s is too long, Quarterly is OK, but Monthly allows to see “cause and effect” with experiments and little changes. But weekly, creates to much uncertainty, over reacting, and over correction [knee jerk reaction].
That is why I have never posted weekly numbers. Don’t mean much to me now or when I ran an 15 million dollar company. Show me those percentages monthly as compared to revenue. That’s all you need, in my opinion.
Been working on the houses, so not much time to post these days. But the two story closes tomorrow at 4:30 pm. So we are doing punch out work since the walk through on Sat. The single story ranch closes on the 27th.
Then on to planning the next two, both will be two story with walk out basements.
How’s this for a cash flow scenario. Spend $140,000 over 16 weeks out of pocket and have to wait 4.5 months to close at $198,000. No profit at all until closing time. Talk about willing to kiss ass on these walk through’s and punch out lists. Do anything you have to to get the buyer to the closing table.
Talk about a balancing act. List two items this morning, pack and ship 2 items then run 40 miles and go tighten a loose sink drain, stick a magnetic fireplace cover back on and put a wall socket back in the painters left out.
I really am getting too old for this “stuff”. 🙂
Mike at MDC Galleries.
06/24/2019 at 5:44 pm #64052
We only post weekly numbers because we do a weekly podcast. Back when we started, no one online was talking about how much they made so we thought we’d add some transparency to make our conversations more grounded. For our business lives, we dont sweat the weekly numbers.
So you’ll make $50k a house. Do you think that’s worth the cash after splitting it between partners, paying taxes etc? When I look at the house building/flipping business, it seems you have to always be flipping to make money.
06/24/2019 at 6:04 pm #64057MDC Galleries & Fine ArtParticipant
- Location: Atlanta
I would say probably not worth it. Our Ebay growth has really suffered. We wanted to be close to 2,500 listings in both stores now and we are only at 1,191 on Ebay and 551 on Etsy. Now we have grown some, but very little.
Add to your equation, how much more would we have been making if we had another 750 or more listings in each store. Especially since SixBit does the Etsy listing and auto removal after sales.
And the agrevation. Today is a good example. I arrive at nine, our sub punch guy arrives at 10:30. I texted several times no reply. He works for an hour, then has to go to Home Depot while I do the walk through. He never comes back. I finally reach him at 1:30, he’s eating will be here in a short while. 30 minutes later calles me and says he has an emergency call at another house. Boom, I was there doing what I could with my limited tools and equipment, for 2.5 hours and he tells me he will be back tomorrow. Well the buyer is going to the lawyers office at 10:30 then the closing is after lunch. Wonder if I will have it finihed.
That’s why I said I am getting too old for this non-sense. Happens all the time, every trade.
So if I didn’t need some extra cash for Susan’s after surgery bills, no I wouldn’t say it is worth it doing one or two at a time. But we have 4 lots and built two. The remaining two are right across the street.
It is just as easy [almost] to do 4 at a time as to do 1 at a time and we would save a lot more by paying for 4 lots of building materials at one time.
The last two lots may be the last ones I do. Depends on how much the final medical bills are.
06/24/2019 at 6:37 pm #64064
That is good you’ll get a stack of money to cover any healthcare. Thats good timing!
When I hear of guys flipping houses, I wonder if it makes more sense to keep the asset and just rent it. I know you need a longer timeframe to see profits, and you’re wanting to get in and out.
But if you have a couple rentals, you should have good cashflow and assets that should keep gaining in value.
06/24/2019 at 6:05 pm #64058
Congrats when you get done with closing Mike!
I still think weekly is a good review to look at, especially when compared to prior years. Do I lose my mind if things change? Now, but I like to see the trends from prior weeks as well as to prior years.
But large scale, yes, monthly is the way to go. FWIW, when I do forecasting, I do it monthly…
06/24/2019 at 1:09 pm #64028wendalina22Participant
I would love to hire someone. I guess my hold up is the insurance. I looked at it once. It was so expensive to carry workers comp insurance. I’m just afraid of getting sued, you just don’t know what your gonna get. Anyone have a company they recommend?
06/24/2019 at 5:39 pm #64050
This is why we hire people who we know, not strangers. Business is always risk of some sort.
06/24/2019 at 1:41 pm #64031xxThinkLinkxxParticipant
- Location: Hopedale, OH
June 16 – 22
Total Items in Store: 1374
Items Sold: 13
Total Sales : $385
Highest Price: $45 (Green/White Handmade Beaded Belt)
Average Price: $30
Cost of Goods Sold: $18
Costs of Goods Purchased this Week: $50
Number of New Items Listed this Week: 20
Like Doubly mentioned we had better luck with yard sales this week. My only beef was that when people list ‘community sales’ in areas it’s frustrating to end up only going to 3-4 houses when it should way more than that…
I ended up finding some nice video games for a quarter a piece! I scooped up all the good ones. Good thing I grabbed the ones I wanted cause some little old lady hurried up and bought the few I left behind lol. Found some shoes, couple Dooney & Bourke purses, a few hats and some Lionel trains.
The moving sale was interesting that we went to. I kept contemplating offering money on a box of comics but we left and I forgot. We ended up going back around when she closed up and knocked on her door. Thankfully we went back because I got them cheap plus a Pepsi jacket I wanted, for lower than what she originally asked.
Also over the weekend we got to pet some adorable dogs. My favorite was a pair of Great Danes, so sweet!
We also rescued a little painted turtle that was on the road after we went to weak community sale. Named him Raphael and released him in proper land. Hopefully he’s adventuring and training in the way of the ninja, haha
Have a good week all!
06/24/2019 at 1:46 pm #64032
I hope Raph finds Splinter! 🙂
06/24/2019 at 1:52 pm #64033
Just heard the podcast this morning.
My thoughts on labor is that it can be a blessing and a curse, depending on how people are used. If you are hitting a wall on throughput (time is the constraint) then labor can level you up. But you MUST make sure that the labor will increase your average Revenue and Profit per week/month. If not, it is a luxury and has to be seen as such. It will reduce your margins, so make sure you know if you are doing this for more revenue/profit or for luxury.
Even when done for more revenue, you will have a cash flow hole when you bring on more people. Based on your STR, this will be short or long. When we brought on our photographer, I did the forecasting and knew that we would have a 4-5 months cash flow hole, while we were paying him NOW but the extra listings would bring more sales LATER.
I can’t stress enough that if you are bringing on people, make sure you do your own forecasting and know what that will do to your numbers short term (down) and long term (up).
06/24/2019 at 5:41 pm #64051
Agreed. We only brought on help when we knew we had plenty of things we could do to grow our business if we had employees do the basic work for us.
I’d never advise someone to hire employees just so that someone wanted to just lie around. It’s about maximizing time.
06/27/2019 at 4:00 pm #64189Mark SParticipant
Jay & Troy,
I think part time sellers see workers differently. We are so overwhelmed with regular work, family, and our eBay business. Getting workers is a great way for us to grow because our hours are very limited. But the basics are still the same: stay engaged and know what is going on. That seems to be a recurring issue on the show “The Profit” (which I love to eatch by the way). These people seem to get them selfs in a bad place by not being emgsged with what is going on in their business.
06/27/2019 at 4:07 pm #64191
Exactly. Be engaged. I think some sellers have a fantasy they can just buy buy buy and let someone else do all the work without supervision. Like a restaurant run poorly by its employees because the owner never shows up.
07/01/2019 at 2:48 pm #64342
@Mark S: Completely agree with your reasoning when you are full time on another job. Employees can increase your revenue because they are expanding your volume of inventory and listings.
And to both you and Jay, yep, you have to watch the numbers. You will most likely have a margin loss with employees as you are adding costs to each listing. But you should be making up for that (and more) due to the higher volume of listings that you are generating. And you have to know how long it will take for those higher sales to pay off. The higher the velocity of sales (higher Sell Thru Rate), the faster that you will get the benefits of more listings. The lower your STR, the longer it takes to get the payoff.
At the end of the day, an employee’s cost is increasing the cost of the inventory that you have listed (in a true accounting system, it would be added as an inventory cost). So the best way to think of it is as if you are paying more for each item you buy. That helps your thinking when sourcing. So for me, I make sure to add $2 to the price of every item I buy, since that is the cost of our photography.
07/01/2019 at 2:52 pm #64344
Well said. I think our employee costs adds $1-$2 per item. With high margins, its manageable. Buys us much needed time.
07/01/2019 at 2:58 pm #64345
@Jay: Exactly! You know what you are buying when you pay for the labor.
From a business sense, it should always be to either buy more Revenue (through higher volume) or more time for other business. As long as the time you buy back is to make more money (through other ventures), then it is a net financial winner. You are spending money to make more money.
Now, you can spend money to make life easier (more relaxation time). Hey, Hike Your Own Hike. But just be realistic about what you are buying with those labor dollars…
06/24/2019 at 1:53 pm #64034apertureParticipant
- Location: ARVADA
Hello all – just wanted to check in. I have continued to enjoy listening to the podcast, but have not posted in a few months. I was traveling for 5 of the last 8 weeks and not doing much eBaying. This past weekend, I dove in with both feet and finally sorted and listed 52 pairs of suspenders that I picked up at an estate sale. It took all weekend, but I got 44 pairs listed, trashed 6 pairs (lost their elastic) and donated 2 pairs (unacceptable condition – pulled threads etc.). This morning as I was finishing the last seven listings, I sold one pair of suspenders for $54 that paid for the entire lot (I paid $50). It feels good to be back on top of my store. Also I finally broke through to 500 items in my store!!!
Best wishes to all, Daniel.
06/24/2019 at 2:03 pm #64035
Regarding slow sales, STR, ROI, etc. both on the podcast and on the other thread, I think it comes down to the type of retail you are selling.
There are the Wal-Mart/Target type stores, that have both long and short term items that sell, but they are a higher volume, higher STR type stores as a whole. Then there are the antique stores, that have a much lower STR, but have a higher average ROI per item.
In my experience, most antique stores are never really crowded. Totally anecdotal, but I never seem to see many people there. But, they seem to stay in business.
Jay and Ryanne, you guys are much closer to an antique store model. Low STR, High Inventory, and willing to wait for the right buyer.
Most Amazon resellers are 3x models (pay $5 – sell at $15, $5 in fees, $5 in returned capital, $5 in profit) with high STR.
I think that Veronica and I are more in the middle at a 5X+ model, but willing to wait on some items, willing to quick turn on others.
All can work if you know how to run your business in the lane you are looking for.
06/24/2019 at 4:54 pm #64043Paulo H LeocadioParticipant
Diversifying Payment Types
Friends, always keeping in mind I have a small thousand-item store, almost every add on or alternative option I can offer to potential buyers help me on incremental sales.
For example, I have incremental sales from Bonanza, eCrater and TrueGether, for most of you would represent nothing, for me one sales each per month is great.
Second I added the WebInterpret on eBay, I was already offering regular shipping worlwide as alternative to Global Shipping.
Now I have added Stripe and Amazon pay to those platforms (on eBay I can only do PayPal and Money Order). Amazon Pay has been a super nice surprise.
What makes this scenario interesting is that what sells on those alternate platforms are those items that never sell on eBay, things I have in store for 3-4 years.
06/27/2019 at 9:23 pm #64201Anonymous
items sold: 29
sales: $856.26 (i don’t include shipping revenue)
average selling price: $29.52
cost of goods: $111.36
store listings: 995
inventory $ risk: $3,820 (what i paid for all existing inventory)
listed this week: 50
ebay hours: 17
what’s on my mind: ok week of ebay. focus elsewhere.
06/28/2019 at 6:41 am #64208simplicioParticipant
Nice, that’s a good sales/cogs ratio & hourly rate!
Just my two cents but I believe explicitly tracking inventory $ risk is not worthwhile. It kind of locks in sunk costs thinking. You can’t get that money back – now you just have a bunch of assets (inventory), which should be disposed of in whatever way makes most sense.
06/28/2019 at 9:37 pm #64236Anonymous
It is a carry-over from other businesses that I am involved in. I also sell on a site called 1stdibs & the carrying costs of that inventory is quite substantial (art, arch salvage etc..etc..)
06/30/2019 at 12:46 am #64271Steves StuffParticipant
- Location: Lakeland, Florida
Great show, as always! I have so much going on that I rarely get to actually sit down and work it out the numbers. I had a few slow weeks, but have been working on increasing my active listings (as well as doing a lot less auctions, per Jay & Ryanne’s advice). Been squeezing in between about 20 and 40 new listings a week for the past couple months now (ABL!). Not gotten a huge amount up and it’s been slow overall, but I’m still increasing my number of actives and working on raising the average value of my listings.
So I’ll try this numbers thing:
June 23rd – 29th
* Sales: 20
* Gross (not including shipping): $283.75
* COGS: $27 max (tough call; mostly from lots that have long since paid for themselves)
* Average sale price: $14.19
* Highest sold price: $50 (record album)
* Lowest sold price: $4.25 (N64 game)
* New listings: Approx 22
* Current number of listings: 348
* Spent on new inventory: $40
* Death piles: Yes, some. But I actually do work through them.
- This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by Steves Stuff. Reason: Correction
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