05/31/2020 at 3:04 pm #77962RyanneKeymaster
- Location: Virginia
Join the conversation in the forum>> Our Store Week May 17-23, 2020 Total Items in Store: 7738 Items Sold: 59 Gross Sales: $1,672.34 Cost of I
[See the full post at: Scavenger Life Episode 465: Shipping Commodity Items]
05/31/2020 at 3:17 pm #77966old_man_martyParticipant
- Location: California
My Sales Week Ending 5/30/20
Total Items For Sale: 51
Items Sold: 2
Items Listed: 10
Average Price Sold: $29
Highest Price Sold: $40 (iPhone 7 For Parts; it needs a new $50 battery)
Cost of Items Sold: $0
$ Spent Sourcing: $0
05/31/2020 at 4:54 pm #77968Mark SParticipant
05/24/20 – 05/30/20
Total Items In Store: 3413
Items Sold: 18
Cost of Items Sold: $ 55
Total Sales: $ 571.68
Highest Price Sold: $ 72 (Painting)
Average Price Sold: $ 31.76
Money Spent on New Inventory: $ 0
Number of items listed: 1
Gut Sales Report for the week: Sales have started to slow down.
Challenge of the week: Get my taxes done.
Scavenge of the week: Well, this is from last week because I went up North for the weekend and didn’t post last week. I found an Antique Municipal Siren at a garage sale. Never bought one before. Looks like these sell for good money.
Trends of the week: Things opened up last week in Northern Michigan. I was finally able to go out to eat in a restaurant. I was able to go to 3 garage sales.
Quotes of the week: I had a clock sell and my wife said, “It’s about time”.
05/31/2020 at 9:03 pm #77975ChristineRParticipant
- Location: Southern California
Total Items in Store: 375 – approaching 400, about 65 Mercari
Items Sold: 12 Ebay, 5 Mercari
Gross Sales: $440 Ebay, $77 Mercari
Cost of Items Sold: $126 Ebay, $10 plus some items ours
Highest Price Sold: $60 new pair of pillow shams bought on clearance last week for $18.
Average Price Sold: $37 Ebay, 14 Mercari
Returns: 0 – opened one unpaid item case
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $80
Number of items listed this week: 39
It felt like a busy week of shipping. My day job really slowed down this week, so I’m able to keep hitting up the piles. Hope to do it again this week. We are also working on my son’s college apps. Strange times to be thinking about sending him away for college (Fall 2021). We have a counselor at the school but I’ve dug in and listened to loads of podcasts so I’m acting as his college counselor essentially.
Thank you for the podcast. Shipping feels like a moving target. The rate rules and rates keep changing and going up and up. Calculated seems easy. I kind of had a chuckle because I’m sure the coffee business got a bump but we are all pretty cheap in here and we are very familiar with what the cheapest shipping rates are for different weights, so you kind of have to assume someone might touch on this. I love getting free shipping as a buyer, but I usually get it from big business. I agree that it doesn’t make sense for smaller businesses who need to stay reasonably competitive on price. On Ebay and Mercari I charge shipping.
Stay safe everyone.
05/31/2020 at 9:23 pm #77978MDC Galleries & Fine ArtParticipant
- Location: Atlanta
It is a matter of semantics. It is actually “SHIPPING INCLUDED”, but the word FREE is a marketing term that gives the False Impression of FREE.
We have the exact same items in our store cross listed on Ebay and Etsy both. We sell almost as much on Etsy as Ebay at times but the same item on Etsy has the cost of the item shipped to Zone 6 away from us built in [INCLUDED]. If the buyer would only do a quick online search, they would see the same item listed at a lower item cost BUT they will pay the shipping. If they are closer to us, then they pay less.
So, what. If they won’t take the time to search for themselves, not my worry.
Also, when an item sells in zones 7 and 8, we eat the cost difference.
we have a system whereby we know what the shipping cost is for every item to all zones, so we just add on that shipping into our Etsy prices.
Also, we build in a handling cost to make a “Franken” box on the extra-large and irregular shaped boxes.
The Free Shipping is a dead issue for us. There are even times that we build in shipping and then on top of that we also list it as Calculated Shipping if we have to do a Franken Box.
If you want fair, then yell at retail stores for selling you a $12.00 lipstick that takes only $.07 cents to make. The beauty of the Capitalistic Free Enterprise system, mfg. for as low as you can and sell for as high as the market will pay. If the market isn’t buying, then create a false need or desire through advertising, use of searched keywords, etc.
Do any sellers on here ever gotten an item they got for free and then discover it has a market value of $500 and then feel guilty for selling it because the market will bear it or pay the price? Nope, didn’t think so. No guilt or need to worry about being “fair” there.
Shipping is a business expense. It is a cost of doing business and is an accounting line item in standard accounting principles. The item, tape, box, shipping label, ink, toner, procurement costs, your electricity dedicated to your office space, the air conditioning wear and tear, all office supplies, your internet costs, and many more. If you haven’t covered those expenses by being extremely detailed in your cost of goods accounting procedures then having a 2 or 3 extra dollars built into your unit costs is just another way of recouping your real costs that you haven’t kept track of.
Remember your business is an entity unto itself. You should have a line item in your accounting called OCRA. That is Operating Capital Reserve Account. After every expense under the sun has been tracked by your V.P of Operations 🙂 [you], and all payroll expenses are covered, all salaries have been paid, all business licenses and business insurance has been paid, all taxes covered, THEN you NEED TO PAY YOUR CORPORATION. Thus OCRA.
So, what difference does it matter where that income stream comes from. If you are not good at tracking all those expenses AND BUILDING THEM INTO YOUR PRICE OF YOUR ITEM, then it is an easy method to just have some extra BUILT INTO the SHIPPING DEPARTMENTS Function.
Thus, the question still remains why do some customers pay $69 for an item in our Etsy store, when they could buy the same exact item in our Ebay store for $57.50 + $11.50 Calculated shipping even though they may be closer or further away and that zone 1-5 difference may only be a few bucks.
Our contention is that the buyer doesn’t want to our can’t do the math. The only reason we don’t do Shipping Included on Ebay is because Ebay allows offers and we get so many low ball offers and we would lose some of those profit margins if the Shipping was Built In.
So, we settled this issue long ago and just keep on truckin!
This is just our opinion and that along with $2.50 will get you half a cup of “designer” Coffee! And think about it.. $5 and $6 dollar cups of Coffee with a branded logo on it! Who’s fooling who and bet that logo brand doesn’t think it is unfair, it is what the market will bear, and they smile all the way to the bank. Buy or make for it for as low as you can and then turn around and sell it for 10 times or even more if they can. Welcome to the American Way and What a Country It Is.
mike – mdc galleries and fine art
05/31/2020 at 10:37 pm #77980simplicioParticipant
Interesting discussion on free shipping. I do not do free shipping on ebay, but if I sold something in standard sizes with high competition, I would. It should be easy to figure out the cost to anywhere in the US, and then set a rate of $X_avg (based on most common destinations) so that on average shipping is breakeven, then bake that rate into the purchase price. There is no need to lose money on this unless you do the math wrong.
There’s a reason Amazon and others do free shipping. Buyers hate paying shipping, even if it is irrational. I do as well. Given an item I am perfectly willing to pay $100 all in for, if it’s $50 plus $50 shipping I start asking a lot of questions and trying to reduce that cost. If the seller hadn’t shown me how the sausage is made, I would have just bought it without question.
I had a cooler week on ebay after two months of absolutely gangbusters sales.
Sales c/w shipping: CAD$1151, 12 sales, COGS: $92, Fees: ~$162, Postage: $300 –> Gross profit: $596
Expenditures: $1003 –> Cashflow: $689
I can’t find the graph, but I read a while ago that e-commerce penetration increased more in the last few months than in like 5 or 10 years combined. That may not be totally sticky and while I think the wuflu buying boom will moderate, it seems like ebay is going to be a more hopping place from now on than it was before.
06/01/2020 at 9:14 am #77985MDC Galleries & Fine ArtParticipant
- Location: Atlanta
Spot on Simplico.
Many offers we get contain a statement about the reason for the low offer is that they are trying to reduce the “high” shipping cost.
Buyers are clueless to shipping costs. Unless they themselves are a seller, they have no idea of the weight of the actual item, no idea of the dead air space we leave around an object, no idea of the type of dunnage we use, no idea of the extra added weight of that dunnage, no idea of the weight of the box, [thin walled, reg. walled or Dbl. walled] box, no idea if we double box, no idea if the final box is over 1,728 cubic inches which means it gets a sur-charge and DIM Weight extra rates gets applied, and no idea if we are going to jump carriers and skip USPS and jump over to FedEx because rates are lower, or use cubic pricing.
But many offers come in to us with some type of statement about them thinking the shipping is “a little high”. So when we have a 25% Off Store Wide Sale running they offer 50% to 65% off trying to recoupe what they, in error, think is high shipping.
Over in our Etsy store we sell all the time, shipping is included [built in] and have only had a hand full of times someone has messaged us and asked for a discount.
We are going to also have shipping built in on our new Shopify store. Ebay will be the only calculated shipping platform.
As far as competition goes, most of our items ar fairly unique, not completely but fewer sellers. AND I feel like we all need to teach the low-ball SELLERS how to raise their prices, raise the floor, stop the race to the bottom mentallity and try to get sellers to research other places other than Ebay Solds. We find many sellers price their items way too low in the first place.
And we still abide by Ryanne and Jay’s old philospohy and that is price high, really high, way high and if it sells OK, if others have the same item lower than you, wait until it sells and then yours will be the only one left. In some cases we have even bought the competitors one, if priced way under the real value and then we change our listing to “Two” available and add it to the one we have at a much higher value.
Buyers don’t want to have to go to the trouble to compare, research, not even read descriptions or item specifics. They see a picture on their phone, see a price then want to buy it with a click at this point. So a one, all inclusive price fits right into that type of Buyer Mentality.
Make it “Easy Peezy” for them.You like it???? $39.95 and it’s yours!!! Simple, Simple.
As far as OUR profit goes that is our job to work that out. We make way more profit on the items we sell on Etsy with Shipping built in than on Ebay. Why, because we can build in enough to cover any zone we want, any weight we want, handling for Franken Boxes and there is no way a BUYER CAN FACT CHECK US BECAUSE THEY DON’T HAVE THE SHIPPING DATA.
But again just another opinion for an old retired artist / printer in Atlanta and that is not worth a plug nickle.
mike – MDCGFA in Atl
06/03/2020 at 9:02 am #78063
Agreed. You sold iPhone cases, it’s doable to set free shipping since you can spread out the cost of shipping across the quantity of items you sell.
But it becomes irrational when a buyer asked why you cant sell your industrial security camera with free shipping. Why not? I can buy that iPhone case with free shipping. Shipping is $200? Are you crazy?
06/05/2020 at 3:13 pm #78113simplicioParticipant
I think maybe we are confusing two issues here.
(1) A buyer asks for free shipping as part of a price negotiation. Basically, they are just asking for a discount. Depending on whether shipping is a large or small fraction of the overall price, you might humour them, or you might say “are you crazy?” for a great big item that will cost $$$ to ship.
(2) Baking the shipping cost into the item price as a business strategy. This is what I would say may be a good idea for certain sellers, including coffee roasters… specifically, where there is high competition, and where your package size & weight are very predictable.
It’s not really about spreading the shipping cost over many items. Your price should cover your shipping costs 100% (at least, averaging over different postal zones), so even if you sell only one you should still make a profit. It’s really just about buyer psychology.
If I did free shipping in this sense I would expect to make the exact same profit per item as with calculated shipping – because the postage cost to me has not changed, and the buyer’s willingness-to-pay has not changed. But I would expect more sales due to buyers not seeing how the sausage is made and getting irrationally grumpy.
05/31/2020 at 10:39 pm #77981annaesthetic23Participant
- Location: Flowery Branch, Georgia
Total Items In Store: 4706
Items Sold: 49
Gross Sales (including shipping): 963.64
Cost of Items Sold: 25.98
Highest Price Sold: 38 (Purple Butterfly Throw Pillow)
Average Price Sold: 19.66
Sourcing Cost: 80.90
Another awesome podcast episode this week. I find myself regularly preaching to the choir (e.g. my husband, John) about how I don’t offer free shipping because shipping does indeed cost something (lol). I personally feel that we’ve all lost track of the awesome wonder it is that we can pay someone a nominal fee to to have it transported from hundreds of miles away to our doorsteps. That’s amazing, and usually totally worth it!
It was a good week on eBay overall for my store; I also found myself selling loooots of low dollar stuff, but hey, it adds up! I didn’t have a single sale over $40! That’s pretty unusual. Hoping for some better sales this upcoming week, and hoping to start sourcing a little more like usual. My favorite thrift store is open again! Yay! I am curious about how many yard sales may be cropping up in the next couple of months. What do you guys think? More than usual perhaps, because many people have had time to clean out their homes, accumulate more than usual via online shopping, and want to make some cash? Or fewer than usual, because of people wanting to continue to be cautious?
06/03/2020 at 9:05 am #78064
It’ll be interesting to see how quickly things open up. In our area, things are opening up quickly.
We’re playing it safe. It feels like a big medical experiment and I dont want to be a patient 🙂
06/01/2020 at 11:06 am #77989Retro Treasures WVParticipant
Items in Store 1486
Items Sold 39
Total Sales $1,168.00
Total Profit $1,063.00
Average profit $27.26
Average sales price $29.95
New Listings 0
Bizarro world continues – 10 day handling time most of the week and THIS is a slow week now at almost $1200 gross? I’ll TAKE IT!!
So my day job has set some deadlines for us to use up vacation time. I was forced to burn a week of vacation by the end of May. It just so happened that South Carolina was far enough along in opening that beach resorts had their pools in service. It also happens that due to the CRAZY good sales on ebay that I am flush with cash right now. So instead of sitting at home for a week, we went and “social distanced” on the beach. We scored a great deal on a 2BR condo and we had an awesome time. It is always so fun to go down to the beach/pools for a few hours, then come back to the room to see I sold multiple things. It feels like I got paid to play! Everyone there at the resort handled social distancing quite well – it was never a problem.
Due to the way handling time issues, I had a couple sales that still had 2 day handling that sold. Thanks to my inventory system and revamped and organized workstations in my office, I was able to recruit my 74 year old mother-in-law to pull 2 items, pack them, and ship them. I guided her through it via facetime. She handled it like a champ!
Now that I’m home I have to face the music: I have 50 things I need to pack/ship tonight. Ugh…
Last night I pulled all of them but didn’t have the energy to do any actual shipping.
06/01/2020 at 12:11 pm #77994SharynParticipant
- Location: Central NJ
I did about half the sales as last week:
Week of May 24 – 30
* Total Items in Store: 1330 eBay, 32 Etsy
* Items Sold: 12 eBay
* Cost of Items Sold: $19.84 + $26.90 Commission
* Total Sales: $327.25 eBay
* Highest Price Sold: $98 Vintage Zenith Trans Oceanic Radio
* Average price: $27.27
* Returns: 1 (damaged, refunded half purchase price)
* Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $50
* Number of items listed this week: 4
I finally did some sourcing! The prices were a bit high, but I got reasonable deals. I really don’t need to be sourcing anyway.
I had a weird sort of message this weekend. A buyer said that he felt the leather messenger bag I sold him wasn’t the authentic to the brand. Strange because the brand is Land, which isn’t a big name and isn’t luxury like Coach or whatever. I don’t think the company is in business anymore. I responded saying that I didn’t have any guarantee of authenticity and that he could return it if he was unhappy. I haven’t heard anything, so maybe he was fishing around for a refund.
06/01/2020 at 12:47 pm #77995RyanneKeymaster
- Location: Virginia
Brian Treasures from Grandmas wrote:
Good morning Scavenger Life! Haven’t posted in a couple months because day job has been hectic (blessed to still have that day job) but I have been listening & reading every week!
My sales have been through the roof compared to my “normal” over the past several years. A normal, non-holiday week has been stable for the past couple years, ranging around $600-$700 per week. This year, I have not had a week under $1000 since February. Until this morning, I didn’t put together a year over year comparison, and the numbers are incredible for me not only in volume of sales but also quality of sales (avg price). I have made a concerted effort to get higher quality items in my store, even at the risk of lower profit margins.
Records continue to be my main driver of sales, but books, games, toys, collectibles also all selling better than normal. My concern for the future is that I haven’t been sourcing en masse since January?February (picked up a handful of thing through online auctions/estate sales). My inventory is currently stable since I had an incredible backlog of things to list.
Hope everyone is staying safe out there!
06/01/2020 at 12:52 pm #77996Brian Treasures from GrandmasParticipant
- Location: Hoboken, NJ
Thanks Ryanne! My post must be caught up in spam filters. The thing that didn’t get transferred in the copy & paste is the screen shot of my monthly numbers & trends year over year. Hopefully this link works:
+77% in total gross sales, +23% in average sale price per item
YoY Monthly Numbers & Averages
- This reply was modified 1 year, 4 months ago by Brian Treasures from Grandmas.
06/01/2020 at 5:36 pm #78004SimonParticipant
- Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Thanks for the podcast!
Here are my numbers for the week:
Total Items in Store: 3925
Items Sold: 66
Total Sales: $1189.15
Cost of Items Sold: $163
Average Price Sold: $18.02
Average Cost of Item: $2.47
Highest Price Item Sold: $63.71 Biotechnology Text book
Number of items listed this week: 94 worth approx. $1589
YTD Sales: $24300
YTD sales compared to this time last year: +16%
Average age of items in store (in days since listing): 452
Average number of days between listing and selling this week: 342
Median age of sales (in days, between listing and selling): 192
Sell-through rate (for the week): 1.68%
It was another decent week. Pretty much the same as the prior week and definitely down from the super-high levels of a few weeks ago.
It’s funny that you talked about shipping costs for the coffee because I got another 2lbs this week and I noticed that it came priority but not in a flat rate envelope like I would have shipped it. With packing material, that would weigh just over 2lbs. I hope calculated priority shipping wasn’t used (3lbs priority shipped across the country would be a lot more than $6).
I think that feedback still has value on ebay. Imagine if you’re going to buy a new phone. I wouldn’t ever buy something expensive from someone with just a small amount of feedback. Even knowing that ebay will have my back as a buyer, I don’t need the headache. And for new eBay buyers, they have no idea what the process would be if they buy from a bad seller so they are naturally going to prefer buying from someone with some visible feedback history.
Hope everyone has a good week. Stay safe and healthy.
06/02/2020 at 2:42 am #78014Steve ListParticipant
- Location: Richmond, Calif.
Numbers for May. 2020. eBay store: steve-list
Total Listings: 1122
Items sold: 61
Gross Sales: $1,232.65
Cost of Items sold: $139.64
Highest Price Sold: $75 – Reiter Floor Mounted Crane Warning Bell
Average Price Sold: $21.69 – Average Cost: $2.28
Spent on new inventory: $307
Number of items listed: 56
Returns: 1 (refunded and let them keep it)
I did a lot of scavenging the last week of May. First a neighbor was having a free estate sale on their front yard – they just bought the house with contents and just wanted to get rid of stuff. I scored quite a lot of framed art and at least one Louis L’Amour first edition, though it is missing the dust jacket. Then on the third day of a local estate sale (the first one in the area that didn’t require an appointment) I spent just over $300 but should be able to quadruple that or more in sales. My favorite item was a framed page from a 1649 edition of Ambroise Pare’s book “On Monsters and Marvels” showing a colt with a man’s face. Probably not very valuable but it looks cool.
Haven’t listened to the podcast yet but I will do so in the morning while taking photos.
06/02/2020 at 5:53 am #78017Naptown_HustleParticipant
- Location: Indianapolis
May 24 – May 30, 2020
Total Items For Sale: 248
Items Sold: 26 (9.5% Sell Through Rate for Week)
Gross Sales: $1031 (Includes Shipping)
Weekly Profit: $474.43, $67.76/Day (after shipping, fees, COGs)
Cost of Items Sold: $229
Highest Price Sold: $205 (6 Rare Star Wars Hardcovers, Global Shipping Program)
Average Price Sold: $39.65
Returns: I need to track when I get a return, I only track what item was returned and how much was refunded.
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $345
Number Of Items Listed This Week: 33 ($1500)
My goal for the month was to list something every day. This week I missed my first day because of being busy with “real life”. My ebay sales were fine but a little down from the previous weeks. My goal for the year is $50 a day profit (after COGs, Fees, shipping etc) so May will meet the target regardless. Overall a fine week.I have been working on porch pickup a lot lately and I think that is hurting my ebay numbers a little bit.
As far as FREE SHIPPING goes or (shipping included), I think the concept is dumb since shipping is never free. However, I get that it is A.) the industry standard, B.) rewarded by the ebay algorithm, and C.) it possibly has a psychological effect. So, I play their game, free shipping, free returns, white backgrounds, lots of pictures, 1 day handling, the whole 9 yards. I won’t do free shipping if it is over 2 lbs though unless it is books. 90% of what I sell is less than 2 lbs or books.
Thanks for the podcast!
06/02/2020 at 9:29 am #78020MegParticipant
Love the shipping talk. Since I sell mostly commodity items, I feel I need to offer free shipping. If you are competing with 10 other sellers and you are charging shipping, even if the price is lower, the free shipping sellers get the sale. It’s crazy but like what was said upthread, people don’t like to add the price and shipping. They want the bottom line. Anyway, I just factor in a shipping fee with the price.
I think it makes perfect sense to charge shipping if you are selling one of a kind items. It’s just not easy for me to come across. But the good news is our governor has finally lifted the stay at home order so maybe thrift stores will be opening up.
Regarding your sewing machine customer, I’m not sure if ebay sends a reminder. Like, if you want to return this item, you have 10 days left or something. Or he could just be one of those annoying customers.
06/02/2020 at 9:58 am #78023Julie BParticipant
- Location: Georgia
May was my most profitable month since May 2017. May has always been one of my most profitable months.
I’m trying something new this month – I bought a box from a liquidation company. I’ve never been able to get the numbers to work until this particular offering. I was planning to triple my investment but now that I’m listing, I think I’ll end up only doubling it. But it hasn’t been much work – only around 25 multi-quant listings for 180 items total and all are easy to ship. But now the question is, how long will it take for the items to sell and for me to get back my initial investment.
Through this process I’ve have discovered ebay’s variable listings have gotten very glitchy since I last used it probably a year ago. I’ve been getting error messages when I try to use size as a variable in certain categories of clothing. Sometimes when I’m able to get the size variable to work, I’m then required to enter one size in the non-variable section of the listing, which negates the entire purpose of the variable to begin with. Frustrating but all it means is I have to have a separate listing for each size now rather than one listing with size as a variable.
06/02/2020 at 4:54 pm #78040Steven SParticipant
- Location: South Dakota
Regarding Feedback, I’ve enjoyed having no negatives for the last 4 years or so, I did receive a neutral last week but it was really a review of the book I sold, nothing to do with condition or any other complaint, “Disappointed most of the pictures were black and white.” What the hell.
I do go back and forth on its relevance.
I will sometimes get a message saying they bought an item because of my feedback where buyers have made a compliments on my packaging.
I think that if it went away I would just get a message asking about my competence in packaging. I do that when buying a delicate items.
The FB system is also screwy lately, I just received 4 positive Feedbacks and my number only went up by one and these aren’t repeat customers.
06/02/2020 at 5:44 pm #78042
Yeah, I may just be salty. I just find that feedback these days are for unhinged buyers to leave irrelevant feedback. Amazon reviews are at least somewhat helpful because its about the product itself.
06/05/2020 at 7:21 pm #78125
Yep. People are angry and frustrated over the way the world is right now and are taking it out on us sellers through feedback and messages. Reminds me of working low paying jobs that involved with dealing with customers in person. Maybe those sort of people are transferring the normal negative ways they would sometimes interact with store cashiers for us since a lot of them can’t leave their homes these days.
06/05/2020 at 7:17 pm #78124
You should be able to get the feedback removed since it was a product review. I had a neutral removed a week ago that stated the buyer had no idea the book would be so small, even though I had listed both the measurements and page count for it. I just filled in the removal request form and it was removed a few hours later. I didn’t even have to call or email Ebay to deal with it.
06/02/2020 at 8:45 pm #78044DoublythumbsParticipant
- Location: Hopedale, OH
May 24 – 30
Total Items in Store: 3,947
Items Sold: 32
Total Sales : $878
* Below yearly average of $945
Highest Price: $130 (Silver Fold Up Doctor Medic 19th Century Eyeglasses)
Average Price: $27
Cost of Goods Sold: $44
Costs of Goods Purchased this Week: $0
Number of New Items Listed this Week: 10
I did okay this week. I can’t complain since I made almost no effort to work on my store. I’m surprised I managed to list the 10 things that I did. But that’s not to say that I’ve been lazy. Everyday I was working outside doing some spring projects on my house and yard. It was nice to get away from the daily listing grind, but now I’ve gotta get myself back in the rhythm.
06/03/2020 at 8:23 am #78060
Its incredible you now have 4000 items listed. I remember when you had that job at the college with many less items.
God thing is your large inventory can usually carry you on weeks you want to work on other projects.
06/03/2020 at 9:16 am #78065DoublythumbsParticipant
- Location: Hopedale, OH
Yup. I started with a box of old toys that I had laying around back in April 2016. Back then I didn’t really know what I was doing. .99 cent auctions were only landing me a few dollars at close when what I was selling should have earned a lot more. It was a few months into it when I discovered your podcast and it really changed my business. I’ve had my ups and downs over the years but now that I’m rolling steady, I have a very healthy outlook for the future.
06/03/2020 at 8:05 pm #78086TopNotchParticipant
- Location: WI
I thought the week was slow, but still grossed 2k with shipping. There were several VERY low days and it just felt dead, but held together by a few larger sales.
Shipping is mostly a non issue for me. I like charging for it so I don’t have to refund it on returns, but I also think it hurts me in sales to certain people. If items are low cost multi item listings, I do free shipping so they can’t try to talk me way down due to “combined shipping.” Still, 90% of our items charge for shipping, but I am probably going free on all items going forward. Free shipping is now my default policy because it makes some people feel better because they cannot think it through. Never overestimate consumer intelligence!
Feedback is important to me as a buyer. I had an issue purchasing cell phones a few months back which took me more than a month to recover $1000. These were sellers with 96-97% feedback. 2 purchases in a row were completely useless buys that would not work with my carrier. The 99.7% sellers delivered better than what I expected. Item was listed as not perfect, but it looked brand new, came quickly, and worked. I have had several other less than perfect purchases since then as well and I understand why buyers prefer to purchase on AMZ in many cases. You would think 95% is a good rating, but those sellers generally suck and do a major disservice to those of us who try hard.
IMO, sellers with 96% feedback make frequent mistakes or misrepresentations and are often trash. They are likely to have inflated feedback due to ebay seller protections. The sellers with 99.6% are victims of bad buyers mostly IMO. I purchase as much as I can on the platform I sell with, so I have experienced good and bad sellers. The feedback is key when I am making a purchase and several sellers have items I want. For commodity items, I absolutely will spend an extra few bucksr to buy from someone with high feedback. I know they will deliver the expected product within the shipping window.
Low feedback is a result of poor business practices in general that could make me unhappy with the transaction for a variety of reasons. I do not worry about negatives anymore. I am at 99.9% and have had a neg and a few neutrals. I dont think people look too far into a 99.9% rating, but I bet they would at a 90%.
06/05/2020 at 12:15 am #78107Old DadParticipant
- Location: Missouri
I sell NOS auto parts, I suppose those are so-called commodity items. Everything I sell is “free shipping”. It’s more accurate to call this total pricing instead of free shipping, I think most buyers know shipping is just included in the price. I’m smack in the middle of the country (Missouri) which makes averaging shipping costs easier. I believe shoppers want to easily see and compare the total cost, I know I sure do when shopping online.
I haven’t always included shipping in the price. I’ve been selling on eBay for over 10 years and started doing this around year 3. I certainly was nervous about it at the time, but I saw a very definite increase in sales, and profit wasn’t impacted. I’ve shipped over 25,000 orders on eBay with I’m guessing 20,000 or more being ‘free shipping”. Another 5,000 or so on Amazon and also free shipping.
Over time I have moved to lighter weight items and items that will work with flat rate prices (love those padded flat rate priority mail envelopes).
We all have to come up with a business plan that works for each of us, this is what works best for me.
06/05/2020 at 7:04 am #78108
Can you give us an example on the price breakdown of one of your items?
–Whats the price of item + price of shipping?
–Do you lose a little money if if it goes to CA, but make a little if it’s shipped in your town?
06/06/2020 at 5:04 pm #78130Old DadParticipant
- Location: Missouri
For many items, my cost is 50 cents to $2 and sell for $15 to $30. Most weigh well under 1 pound and ship first class. The shipping spread isn’t very much usually. My markup is enough that I don’t ever actually lose money on an order, but I may make more on some than others because of the relative cost of shipping. To be honest, I don’t pay any attention to profit on individual orders.
Another thing is that most of my orders are very easy to ship, most in a polybag or flat rate padded envelope. For bigger items that won’t fit in flat rate boxes, where I have enough quantity I purchased specific box sizes to keep on hand. For example, I have boxes that will fit 2 boxed shock absorbers perfectly, and another for a large performance tuneup kit I sell, etc. I can ship 20 orders an hour by myself most of the time, even less time depending on the mix. My average order value is $26 but I have some parts that go for over $200 and some I can only get $10 for. I average 70-80 orders per week.
I’m not getting rich but combined with Social Security I can live well enough to suit me and not have to dip into my retirement funds yet. The only thing I owe money on is my house and it will be paid off in 8 years making the regular payments.
06/07/2020 at 11:19 am #78148
Free Shipping makes sense for your store since you have homogenous inventory. I love how organized you are. Plus, it sounds like you sell in quantity that helps spread the cost of shipping.
I just cant make the free shipping equation work for our inventory.
06/05/2020 at 3:30 pm #78114LukastreasuretroveParticipant
- Location: Chevy Chase, MD
Haven’t posted in a four weeks. Don’t even know where the time went. These endless days of lockdown have me questioning what day of the week it is most days.
Interesting discussion on shipping. I’m still on the fence about offering free shipping. I have some commodity items that I include free shipping on but most items are still calculated. I did just make a major change to remove my items weighing under 4 lbs from Global Shipping and changed everything to ship direct via International First Class. I’ve already seen an uptick in sales from Canada. I’ve also started using Pirate Ship for their discount on International First class. So far, I’ve seen a discount of as much as $6 over what the cost would have been to ship via eBay.
Sales have slowing down progressively after having above average sales for most of the year. 5/9 – $582.36, 5/16 – $534.7, 5/23 – $467.68, 5/30 – $278.87. Well below my average for the year of $994/week. Interestingly though, if I look at last year, I’m up 3/6% year over year. Also had a very large return for a camera I had sold for $499. That was a big ouch.
The lower sales have at least given me more time to focus on posting items, so I have listed 200 items, averaging 50 new listings per week.
I tried something new over the past few weeks. If anyone else follows the Thrifting Board on Facebook, the founder, Jason, is frequently suggesting that posting CDs is a good pipeline for sales. I came across an auction listing for 1000 CDs a while back and bought the lot for $100. Going through them was daunting so left them alone in their boxes for a year. Finally started in on them and went through the whole lot over the past few weeks. The majority were worth next to nothing and weren’t worth the time to list, but I ended up with 90 listings that have a potential for $3,574. Four sold already for a total of $80. It will be interesting to see how many actually sell. I’m anticipating that most will be long tail. A lot of pretty obscure artists that aren’t in existence any longer and several for which I could find no information at all on the web. We’ll see…
Here are my numbers for last week, the worst for the year:
Week Ending 05/30/2020
Total Items in Store: 1210
Items Sold: 10
Gross Sales: $278.87
Gross wo Shipping $204.55
Cost of Items Sold: $25.48
COGS Percent 12.46%
Highest Price Sold: $49.95 Hitchcock DVD Collection
Average Price Sold: $20.46
Money Spent on New Inventory: $0.00
Sold via promoted listings: 4
Promoted Percentage: 40.00%
Average Days Listed: 175
Longest Listed: 485
New items listed: 52
Hope everyone is staying safe.
06/05/2020 at 7:01 pm #78123
Sounds like a good cd haul. I’d suggest looking up the artists on discogs as well, if you haven’t already. The cds might have pages and items listed in the marketplace. The marketplace also offers a sold (low, high and last) history.
06/07/2020 at 9:28 am #78146LukastreasuretroveParticipant
- Location: Chevy Chase, MD
Thanks for the discogs suggestion. I did discover that site and in many cases it was the only source in which I could find some of them. Others weren’t even there. Still not sure whether that is good or bad. May turn out that they aren’t there for good reason.
06/05/2020 at 3:38 pm #78115Kentucky PickerParticipant
- Location: Newport, Kentucky
Total Items in Store: 590
Items Sold: 12 eBay; 3 Facebook Marketplace
Gross Sales includes s/h: $938 (eBay – $259, FB Marketplace – $680)
Highest Price: eBay – $100 for Newco ACE-LP Coffee Brewer; FBM $250 for conference table and chairs
Average Price: $26 eBay; $227 FBM
Cost of Goods Sold: $15 eBay; $408 FBM
Costs of Goods Purchased this Week: 0
Number of New Items Listed this Week: 9
Gut reaction to week: eBay’s been a roller coaster for me the past month. Up one week, down the next. This was a real down week. What saved the week was office furniture sales on FBM. But all the good stuff is sold on FBM now. Sourcing is a real issue now. Even though businesses are opening there are very few yard sales. Yard Sale Treasure Map shows a whopping 14 sales in the entire Cincy metro area for Saturday. Normally there would be dozens. My local GW re-opened this week. I was shocked when I checked in this week. Under normal times it’s usually sparse. It was even worse than normal. No electronics at all. A couple of days before I checked I saw a line of cars donating stuff. Maybe they’re still working through the backlog.
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