08/02/2020 at 6:19 pm #80282RyanneKeymaster
- Location: Virginia
Join the conversation in the forum>> Our Store Week July 25-August 1, 2020 Total Items in Store: 7829 Items Sold: 54 Gross Sales: $2,758.57 Co
[See the full post at: Scavenger Life Episode 474: How Do We Only Sell High Priced Items All The Time?]
08/02/2020 at 7:56 pm #80286
DebitEndCredits Sales for W/E – 8/1/20
Total Items In-Store: 2,303
Items Sold: 50
Cost of Items Sold: $248.01
Total Sales (Sales + Shipping but does not include sales tax) $1,754.31
eBay / PayPal / Shipping Costs / Fees $512.63
Net Profit $1,241.68
Highest Price Sold: $299.99 Big Trouble In Little China Board Game
Average Price Sold: $24.83
Number of new items listed: 78
Scavenge of the Week: Big Trouble in Little China Board Game
Found at GoodWill – it was priced at $75.00, but I knew I could flip it quickly. It was in my store for less than 24 hours before it sold!
08/02/2020 at 8:31 pm #80287JayKeymaster
- Location: Virginia
That’s a crazy price for a board game. $300! I would have walked right by it. The power of knowledge.
08/03/2020 at 8:28 am #80298
When the numbers all make sense and the flip time is that short, the COGS really don’t matter.
08/03/2020 at 9:53 am #80304MyCottageParticipant
Wow! Nice job on the game! (as I add Big Trouble In Little China” to my BOLO list….)
08/02/2020 at 8:54 pm #80288Kentucky PickerParticipant
- Location: Newport, Kentucky
Jay and Ryanne, nice score on the artwork! In my limited experience, I see two routes to finding higher value items: (1) you spend most of your time on the hunt. Not only will you find those kind of items but your knowledge of what kind of items will sell high will expand; (2) Find a niche and develop connections. You build a network in which contacts bring items to you. I think it would take years to build that kind of network.
RE the caller musing about Facebook Marketplace’s effect on scavenging: I scour FBM a good bit and have found good deals. But I also see what I call the ‘eBay effect’. Seller A has an espresso machine and wants to sell it. She goes to eBay to check comps and then prices her machine to match those prices. The issue becomes that FBM buyers in general want items for almost nothing. That espresso machine is going to sit forever (I think) b/c the vast majority of FBM buyers won’t pay anything close to eBay comps. Often when I post decent quality stuff on FBM for a fair price it’s either crickets or lowballs. Maybe an overstatement, but not by much. So, I don’t think FBM is going to ruin eBay.
Total Items in Store: 659
Items Sold: 16
Gross Sales: $466
Highest Price: $70 – Vintage Coleman Cooler
Average Price: $29
Cost of Goods Sold: $30
Costs of Goods Purchased this Week: $78
Number of New Items Listed this Week: 24
Gut reaction to the week: Solid week for mid-summer.
Scavenge of the week: Got a free faux leather big white Bible for free! It will be my first time listing for a Good Book.
08/03/2020 at 2:22 pm #80317
@KentuckyPicker – I agree about your assessment on FBM. Though I have found a few good deals there occasionally list there, I find the prices are usually high eBay and when I post anything I get very lowball offers, similar to my experience of Craigslist. I also find there interface clunky and don’t find it user friendly as a buyer. I normally only list items there that are too big to ship easily.
08/02/2020 at 11:18 pm #80293Mark SParticipant
07/26/20 – 08/01/20
Total Items In Store: 3344
Items Sold: 12
Cost of Items Sold: $ 25
Total Sales: $ 243.13
Highest Price Sold: $ 45 (clock)
Average Price Sold: $ 20.26
Money Spent on New Inventory: $ 30.29
Number of items listed: 26
Gut Sales Report for the week: Sales were very slow, even for this time of year.
Scavenge of the week: Got a Smith Corona Electronic Typewriter for $2. It was basically in the box unused.
Trends of the week: Selling low STR and low ASP.
08/02/2020 at 11:54 pm #80294
@Jay limited run Board games are BIG collector items especially the ones made by small batch designers (i.e. not Milton Bradley). Some of these new in the box titles by Game Designer rock stars go for big bucks. With a cult film like Big Trouble in Little China I knew that I would at least break even.
08/03/2020 at 2:11 am #80295old_man_martyParticipant
- Location: California
My Sales Week Ending 8/1/20
Notes: Clothing pipeline on steady course. Experimented with sourcing a lot from eBay.
Total Items For Sale: 68
Items Sold: 8
Items Listed: 5
Average Profit: $16.27
Highest Profit: $33.42 for a barely worn Tommy Bahama Shirt
Cost of Items Sold: $0
$ Spent Sourcing: $350.19
08/03/2020 at 4:39 am #80296
Numbers for July 2020. eBay store: steve-list
Total Listings: 1128
Items sold: 58
Cost of Items sold: $131.35
Highest Price sold: $300 (100 small Hamm’s beer patches / $98 Book reprint
Average Price Sold: $26.63 – Average Cost: $2.26 (I counted the patches as one sale)
Spent on new inventory: $253
Number of items listed: 49
The beer patch sale and a few high value books and games made July one of my best months ever.
As for packing peanuts, if you have a health food store near you, ask them if they have any peanuts. Many vitamins and supplements are packed with them, the store I go to is happy for me to take as many as I want. They may also have small boxes available.
A handy tool I bought a few weeks ago is an electric Styrofoam knife. I would avoid the cheap Chinese ones and get a US made one. I bought mine form the Foam Factory in Lompoc, California. I’ve used it quite a few times in the short weeks that I have had it and found it to be very useful for packing large and heavier items. I purchased the 4″ one but I think the 3″ one may be just as useful. They are on eBay and are also easy to Google for their online store. Note that I do not have any relationship with them other than liking their products. J&R, maybe if you contact them about an affiliate link they would send you some to try out for free.
08/03/2020 at 8:39 am #80299
Items in Store 1300
Items Sold 21
Total Sales $877.00
Total Profit $760.00
Average profit $36.19
Average sales price $41.76
New Listings 6
A snapshot of how little listing I’ve done the last few months: On April 26 I had 1578 items in my store. Today I have 1300. I’ve been on cruise control since then, but what an amazing cruise control it’s been! Amazing that an $877 week can be considered a disappointment.
We have an appraisal of our home on Thursday for our refinance. We made the impromptu decision on Friday to blitzkrieg our house with improvements before the appraisal – stuff we’ve been putting off for years. I’ve installed lights, planted plants, moving/installing cabinets, and we’re repainting ALL of the common areas of the house.
It’s ton of work in a very short time frame. It will feel real good to have it all done! Will it have an affect on appraisal – don’t know don’t care. What’s important is I needed that hard short duration deadline to get in the zone and get alot of work done. I’m the type of person who best performs under pressure at the finish line. It’s a blessing and a curse. I don’t do well with long term project timelines…
Anyways, highlight sale of the week was some digital time keepers and software. Bought it all for $20 at the government surplus place locally a few months back. Sold for $200. That place had sky high prices on everything so I made it my personal mission that day to find the “diamond in the rough” that they overlooked – these time keepers were it. I love how I can find awesome stuff that sells for good money pretty much anywhere I go.
08/03/2020 at 10:49 am #80310
@Retro just fyi our refi was taking a while and interest rates dropped after we locked. I found out that you are able to walk or ask for a float down (where they will sometimes lower the rate for a fee). They ended up offering us half of the difference in rate, which compared well online so we took that.
08/03/2020 at 11:37 am #80312
Thanks for the tip. I’ll keep it in mind.
I was told it may be September before we can close, but maybe it will be sooner since the Appraisal didn’t take as long as expected to schedule.
08/03/2020 at 8:40 am #80300ItemsfromthesouthParticipant
- Location: Florida
Numbers For July 26 – August 1st:
Total Listings Between 2 Stores: 1450
Number Sold This week: 38
Sales Not Including Shipping: $1,013
Jay and Ryanne:
Responding to your comment about branching out…I started selling cheerleader uniforms in 1999. Soon thereafter, I opened an eBay store (Sunshinecheering). At that time, I was the only person on eBay who had a selection of uniforms so I could get the price I commanded. I also worked full time but eBay generated a really nice income for me. Over the years, other people came on the platform and started selling cheer uniforms. With this expansion, my prices had to come down and I was not selling as many. I wanted to go full time eBay but knew I could not do it by selling just cheerleader uniforms. So, several years ago, I opened another store (ItemsFromTheSouth) and started selling other things. I found your podcast (went back and listened to every one of them) and watched many YouTube videos. I remember in one podcast Ryanne mentioned selling vintage perfume. I found several bottles at an estate sale and SCORE, sold each one for around $100.
Last summer I quit my job and started reselling full time. I’m not quite up to the income I was making as a bookkeeper but OMG the FREEDOM is SO worth it! Selling full time is a dream come true and I could not have done it if I had not become a trash elf !
08/03/2020 at 9:42 am #80302WabashValleyRelicsParticipant
- Location: Indiana
Awesome week J&R, the quest for cheap items we can sell for $500+ is something I think we all wish we could do on a constant basis. I wonder how much of your customer base that would eliminate if all you had were $300-500+ antique/vintage buyers. Like, are there enough high end vintage collectors on Ebay that could sustain that model? It’s an interesting thought
Anyways, my week was kinda slow. Another week below $2k gross, bogus.
Current items in store – 15,128
Gross sales – $1,920.63
#of orders – 83
Total # of items sold – 101
Cogs – ~$20-25
Again, most sales were from the free magazine haul. Stuff I paid for that was over a buck – Barbie Midge lot – $10, Multiplex Tuner – $5, Disney Board Game – $2
Rest of items were smalls/glassware that I paid under a buck for.
I spent over $800 at an auction this week. Pretty high amount, used to spending a lot less than that. But, I should be able to get over 1,000 listings out of the haul, so my COG should be right around were I like it, around our under a buck an item.
CEDS, Movie Posters, Hubcaps, Magazines, a crap load of Train ephemera; thats about all the items I picked up at the auction consisted of. Super excited to tear into it, I just have a mountain of crap I have to process and list first.
Now, back to work. Hope everyone has a great and profitable week on the bay.
08/03/2020 at 5:51 pm #80324
Solid finds at the auction, congrats! Are you going to in person auctions now that things are opening up (depending on the state) or online? Sometimes I find the starting prices on some online auctions can be a bit overpriced but often times there are deals to be had too. The positive like you and Jay have said is getting a large quantity of items at once to be able to list.
08/03/2020 at 9:53 am #80303
Total Items in Store: 354 Ebay, 109 Mercari
Items Sold: 8 Ebay, 2 Mercari
Gross Sales: $521 Ebay, $24 Mercari
Cost of Items Sold: $189
Highest Price Sold: $295 (Duvet and shams set, paid $128 in May)
Average Price Sold: $65 Ebay, $12 Mercari
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $250 (Summer RA Clearance)
Number of items listed this week: 11
Thanks for the podcast. Great art sale and I really like the piece. I agree that getting hooked up with estate sale company or other connections would be a good way to increase access to higher dollar items but I’m ok with rolling out the multitude of bread and butter items readily available.
I also do not double box. I hate peanuts too since they end up all over the place. So I use large bubble and also some dish foam sheets as cushion. I do appreciate Ryanne’s earth-friendly method.
Ebay was pretty quiet this week most days. My day job has been in a busy cycle and honestly I’ve been kind of in a weird, less productive state for about a week and not sleeping that great. Also obsessing a bit over my senior son’s college search and apps. So, not a big listing week. I feel like I need a really good “just focus on Ebay listing” day. Probably would be good idea to stop watching the news and reading Facebook.
Have a good week everyone.
08/03/2020 at 9:53 am #80305simplicioParticipant
Nice work on the art! Yep, especially with art, I think to at least some extent the price is what you make it. Imagine the kind of person shopping for art on eBay – they are not likely to be hard up for cash!
I agree that high dollar items mean more scavenging time relative to listing and shipping… to me, that’s a plus. I like scavenging better. I also think if you want to grow your business, scavenging is the lever you can move that actually makes the most difference, once your basic business is running smoothly.
I had a better week on eBay – July was my slowest month in over a year though, overall.
Sales: CAD$2119, 14 sales, COGS: $1044, Fees: ~$289, Postage: $318 –> Gross profit: $469
Expenditures: $955 –> Cashflow: $558
Got some good online auction hauls.
Best sale was a bearing for $590 (paid $320, so I’d call this a mediocre buy) and a centrifuge rotor for $350 (paid $50).
08/03/2020 at 10:03 am #80307simplicioParticipant
I do think if you want to break into a new area, in this case, the high-end stuff sold at the end of the auction, it may make sense to just commit to an experiment. Like, you see a piece of artwork you think is cool, and you commit to being high bidder even if it goes 3x as high as you’d “like” to pay. Do that a few times, sell a couple things (even at close to breakeven) and you’ll learn a lot, and feel like you have “permission” to continue doing that.
The nice thing about auctions is if you win something for $350, it means somebody else on earth (indeed, someone else in your local area) was willing to pay $325, so even if you overpaid, the loss can’t be THAT huge (well, as long as the other bidder wasn’t blindly bidding based on the same logic!).
08/03/2020 at 10:06 am #80308DoublythumbsParticipant
- Location: Hopedale, OH
July 26 – Aug 1
- Total Items in Store: 3,985
- Items Sold: 27
- Total Sales : $1,246
- ABOVE yearly average of $985
- Highest Price: $400 (Benchmark Rolox Viper Stag Handle Lockback Sliding Knife)
- Average Price: $46
- Returns: 1
- Cost of Goods Sold: $32
- Costs of Goods Purchased this Week: $11
- Number of New Items Listed this Week: 37
Another stellar week over here. I resold that knife that got returned a month ago. Let’s hope the new buyer likes it this time. I had a few other notable sales including a Bose equalizer for $115 and a vintage fishing rod for $90. If it weren’t for those sales though, I would have had a pretty soft week. I just didn’t have quite as many things sell as I normally do.
I have the same mentality when it comes to big money items. I rely on these accidental “sleeper” items, usually buried at the bottom of a box lot. There’s an auction house that we go to that runs three rings at a time. There’s the box lot ring, the table lot ring and the individual time ring. We stick to the first two there, but every now and then I’ll venture to the third ring where prices are regularly over $100-300. I know these people are reselling these items for 10x what they pay for them because I’ve looked stuff up afterwards, but I’m just not at the point where I can take that kind of risk. For now, I’m happy with my random box full of $20-50 treasures.
We’ve got a busy week ahead of us. I’m going to try several online auctions again since the last one was a success. I’ve learned that I’ve got to branch out further if I want to find any good ones. We’ve also got our community yard sale this weekend and I think we’re going to try setting up with all of our “donation” pile.
By the way, I’m currently sipping on some Southern Split. It’s very good! I got samplers of the Guatemalan and Ethiopian too that I can’t wait to try.
08/03/2020 at 10:30 am #80309PikapopParticipant
- Location: Hampton, VA
- Sales [Ebay 2/$50 gross] [Poshmark 1/ $28 net]
- highest price: $30 Talbots linen dress
- Items: 137
Listed a ton of items this week, $500 worth. I surprised myself because I thought I wouldn’t be able to hit my goal of $1000 listed by October. What helped was really getting a process down and jumping on spare time to tackle bottleneck issues (for me, photographing).
This has been the slowest week of the year. Nothing sold for me on TRR and only 2 Ebay sales. I did however make a Poshmark sale I wouldn’t have made without ListPerfectly, so the experiment has paid for itself this month.
@KentuckyPicker I see what you mean about FB Marketplace. So far I haven’t sold a full price item (haven’t been doing it long though) but we do feel it’s valuable for getting rid of random household goods items that we would otherwise send to Goodwill. For some reason people are willing to pay $5 or $10 for stuff we would never be able to sell profitably on Ebay.
@RetroTreasuresWV, we also are in a fixer-upper mode for refinancing. I think the upgrades you do does affect appraisal so we are putting it off a year or two until we can get some major projects done. Good luck to you!
08/03/2020 at 10:56 am #80311
Yeah the way I understand it is that they assign a form of a multiplier to the sq footage based on the quality of the place. It could also affect the comps chosen. In our case we have 5 kids and they routinely ransack the place – dings in walls, drawings on the walls, etc. We also had a couch that tore up the wall in the living room where it touched the wall.
In my experience, appraisals can be a mixed bag. In my old house I had to refinance in order to maintain two mortgages until sale when we moved. The appraiser did a BS drive-by appraisal and chose incorrect comps. Literally didn’t even get out of his car. I was PISSED and had to issue a formal complaint. He had to do it over.
08/03/2020 at 1:38 pm #80315spinachetrParticipant
THANK YOU for talking about mortgage refinancing!! It prompted me to call my current mortgage company. I’m dropping from 3.5% to 2.375% and will be doing a VA streamline refinancing with no points, no appraisals, no inspections, no documents, etc. Zero out of pocket expenses. It’s going to save a little over $400 a month. Add to that the $1100 a month savings in ebay listing fees. Besides starting to buy that fancy cheese in a can, what to do with an “extra” $1500 a month?
08/03/2020 at 2:26 pm #80318
08/03/2020 at 5:11 pm #80323
I’m in the no-double-box camp as well. I try to make sure that I have 2 -3 inches of padding on all sides of the item and have multiple layers with newspaper and bubble wrap. I will occasionally double-box if something is really expensive or appears extra fragile.
This week’s sales were a bit of a let down after having my best week ever last week. Back to normal summer sales levels and well below my average of $1000/week. Still, for not listing a lot lately.
(un)Scavenge of the week: I purchased a vintage Aladdin blue-flame heater at an estate auction last week. Would have been a great buy at my $22 bid, but when I arrived the heater had disappeared with the house painter. 🙁 Quite a disappointment as I have done well with these in the past and wouldn’t have bid on anything at the auction if this hadn’t been there. Still ended up with a few pieces of interesting art and a vintage Danish cast-iron fondue pot which should sell well.
Week Ending: 08/01/2020
Total Items in Store: 1136
Items Sold: 12
Gross Sales: $434.70
Gross wo Shipping $316.49
Cost of Items Sold: $17.20
COGS Percent 5.43%
Highest Price Sold: $44.95 Playmobil Advent Calendar
Average Price Sold: $26.37
Money Spent on New Inventory: $84.12
Sold via promoted listings: 8
Promoted Percentage: 66.67%
Average Days Listed: 323
Longest Listed: 1001
New items listed: 10
08/03/2020 at 6:59 pm #80325LaurenParticipant
- Location: Central Illinois
Total Items in Store: 160
Items Sold: 2 (9 Including Good of FB Marketplace. Saved me this week)
Gross Sales: $37
Highest Price: $20- Guitar Pickup
Average Price: $18.5
Cost of Goods Sold: $0.50
Costs of Goods Purchased this Week: $50
Number of New Items Listed this Week: 20
Most of last week was still recovering from the whole wisdom teeth debacle. Sales were slow, I had my first damaged package issue, and overall just was clunky. Short term goal is to get up to $461 a week in profit between Ebay, Amazon, and FB Marketplace. I basically have until the first week of October to make it happen before bills start becoming an issue. This week between all three platforms netted $285, which was solid growth from the beginning of the month.
Also, I’m starting to pull back from my awful retail job! Not less hours (girl has to pay her bills) but I moved my shifts from open availability to 1pm-9pm and it looks like my schedule is going to be mostly 4pm-9pms about 5 days a week. Losing two hours, but gaining a much more doable schedule with the plan to be able to give it up completely some time next year.
So, shitty week. But better than not doing anything, and still dealing with post surgery I think it’s okay.
08/04/2020 at 2:06 am #80338SimonParticipant
- Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Thanks for the podcast this week.
Here are my numbers:
Total Items in Store: 3978
Items Sold: 64
Total Sales: $1421.73
Cost of Items Sold: $276
Average Price Sold: $22.21
Average Cost of Item: $4.32
Highest Price Item Sold: $89.95 SHARP VIEWCAM VL-Z3U Mini DV Camcorder
Number of items listed this week: 63 worth approx. $1846
YTD Sales: $34920
YTD sales compared to this time last year: +17%
Average age of items in store (in days since listing): 462
Average number of days between listing and selling this week: 239
Median age of sales (in days, between listing and selling): 66
Another pretty decent week and a good end to the month.
Sales for the month of July : 287 (65% more than for July last year)
Value of Sales for July: 6104 (38% more than July last year)
Congrats on the good art sale. I consider a $200 sale to be a great sale. I only get a handful of those per year.
Complaints for the week…. thanks for listening 🙂
– A seller cancelled a sale as “Buyer requested to cancel” when they were out of stock. ebay doesn’t provide a way to dispute that reason without calling. Annoying.
– Reserve auctions – why do people use them? I bid at auction but the reserve wasn’t met because there wasn’t another person for me to bid against so the auction never hit my max bid. The buyer might have made a sale if they just started the auction at the price they wanted.
– I had an ebay seller (who is running an auction I’m going to bid on) ask me why I was interested in their lot of manuals today. That’s a first for me. (I had asked them to switch the listing to media mail). I’m not answering because I don’t want to lie and I don’t want them to get upset to find out I’m going to resell. It’s kinda an awkward question.
Anyway, hope everyone has a great week.
08/04/2020 at 4:26 am #80340DaysiParticipant
Jay and Ryanne, I was so glad to hear about you have not figured out how to make a FB store. I have deleted my FB page years ago, but resurrected it to make a “store front” or what ever they call it. Talk about rocket science. I again deleted my FB page. I too detest Facebook. I never liked it. Still don’t. Never will.
I too do not double box. I recently sent a glass candleholder using only bubble wrap and got positive feedback. I’ve sent small frames with the glass just using bubble wrap. No problems. I am, however, not buying anything breakable if I can help it anymore though. I really am being focused on listing selling my old stock and re-thinking my selling strategies. If this virus has done anything for me, it has kept me focused I must say. I just wish this virus never existed. I am bothered when I hear of all of the deaths as a result of it. But, I digress.
Loved the “Insane Clown Posse” mention! Always makes me laugh so much when Jay goes “Woot, Woot!” I’m going to record that and listen to it when I’m in a stressful situation, or bad mood. 😊
This week’s podcast was great! I love the longer podcast. There was a lot of info and laughs.
I usually pass on the board games. I have a few I’ve never listed and just recently learned that USPS actually has boxes for them. I should request a few while on the subject. That was a great flip! I love hearing other peoples success stories on big flips!
This has been a week of a lot of big dollar purchases. Dentist, taxes, a large fabric purchase, etc. I need to list on ebay. My sales are slipping on ebay and etsy is picking up, but I have been feeding etsy, and not ebay. The few $2o. sales lately won’t cut it. However, there was that one $185. sale on a needlepoint kit I sold last week. Paid $5. for it, so I was happy (and surprised) it sold-no “offer”, they just paid up. Win, Win!
Wishing everyone top dollar sales this week!
08/04/2020 at 6:12 am #80342PellMellResellParticipant
I’m not a double boxer either. Takes too much extra time and space in my opinion. My method is to use shredded paper. I pack it in there real tight and well packed on all sides and so far I have never had anything break yet, with this method. It does add some weight and it’s messy, but it works great and I can recycle all the junk mail into free packing material. I only use this for fragile glassware and such and the kids love to shred for a few bucks here and there. Works great in my opinion.
08/04/2020 at 2:24 pm #80353Old DadParticipant
- Location: Missouri
A word on the Board Game boxes. These are just Large Flat Rate boxes with a different shape and I think most board games are going to be light enough to be cheaper to ship at the normal rate. They are handy to keep around for the occasional long heavy items, however.
08/04/2020 at 3:06 pm #80354
@old dad – Regarding the Large Flat Rate “Game Boxes”, I agree, the only time I’ve found them cost efficient was when I sent a Mahjong game to Hawaii. Might work for Alaska, too.
08/04/2020 at 5:40 pm #80356
The long USPS Large flat rate boxes also work great if you are sending 3-4 rolls of wall paper. Doesn’t happen very often, but for me twice in the last year it saved me quite a lot in shipping cost.
08/04/2020 at 12:39 pm #80351mickdogParticipant
- Location: Portland, OR
Me listening to podcast last night: Huh, Ryanne says she’s been selling a lot of travel collector items lately. Surprised I haven’t noticed that myself.
Me just now hearing a notification on my phone: Those Vintage Yosemite National Park Double Deck Playing Cards just sold for $30. Woo Hoo! Never doubt Ryanne!
08/04/2020 at 12:53 pm #80352mickdogParticipant
- Location: Portland, OR
My thoughts on packing and double boxes. In the 3+ years since starting my part-time store, I think 5 or 6 things have been broken or partially damaged. I do double box when things are very fragile or there are multiple pieces that could hit each other (and never had any of these shipments break but we might be looking at 20 items tops).
The rest of my fragile items, I bubble or foam wrap a few times around and then use the packing peanuts as the caller does. (5 or 6 broken in many hundreds of fragile shipments).
But I do agree with Ryanne, it doesn’t really matter how you pack, it is the amount of space between the box and the item, and the amount of packing material used.
The times there have been damaged shipments, upon reflection, it was almost always there was not enough room between the item and the outer box. Sometimes I was trying to use a box I shouldn’t, or trying to fit under the 12x12x12 size. And then once in a while, it is not my fault, and it seems that a box was thrown or dropped or crushed and there was really nothing I could do.
08/04/2020 at 7:03 pm #80357mscellaneousParticipant
- Location: VA
My comment is really about last weeks podcast. My favorite small item is enamel pins (the kind with a post and clasp on the back). I’ve collected them for years, when I started my ebay store I went through my collection and thinned it out a bit.
They are small and easy to store and ship. You can get $15 each and lots more depending on an endless amount of variables. I’ve been buying big lots of them via ebay for cheap and listing them 1 by 1. Usually 1 sale covers my COG.
Then you can always lot up the “garbage” after you cherry pick a lot and sell them as a lot as well. Its the Circle of Life. 🙂
08/04/2020 at 8:36 pm #80364gargolferParticipant
- Location: Illinois
Total Items In Store: 2037
Items Sold: 34
Gross Sales: $1776
Highest Price Sold: $202 (Safgard Home Milk Pasteurizer)
Average Price Sold: $52.24
Returns: 0 $0
Money Spent on New Inventory: $30
Number of items listed: 14
- Put my store on 3 days handling last week, as I was out of town for a wedding and had my son doing my shipping for me.
- Sales were awesome this week even with a 3 day handling time. Only 34 items sold, but my average price was over $50 due to a number of high dollar sales.
- I resold the same milk pasteurizer this week that I sold a couple of weeks ago. The buyer never ended up paying for the item. This buyer paid right away, so its off to Texas!
- I agree with the comments on FB marketplace. I do use it often though to get rid of big items I don’t want to deal with. I generally put a low price on it so it goes away quickly. Kind of the opposite of my Ebay store.
- Scavenge of the Week: Stopped at a yard sale in the middle of nowhere western Colorado on Sunday afternoon and the temperature was 100 degrees. Behind the house looked like a flea market with the entire back yard covered with tons of junk and a couple tents full of stuff. It looked like just a ton of junk, but once I started digging around I found a Tramex Moisture Encounter Plus meter. Sells on Ebay for around $200 and was priced at $3.75. Also found a few other great items and only spent $15. I wish I had a few hours to just dig around there, as I bet I would have found some great deals.
08/05/2020 at 10:43 pm #80395amandawParticipant
Haven’t done my numbers yet but sales were horrible this week. But I also haven’t listed.
What if (dreaming here) the reason eBay is offering free listings in Collectibles is because they finally realize that eBay shouldn’t try to be Amazon and should promote their site as the place to find weird, fun, used collectibles?
I would love input on a situation I am in. A family member downsized and moved and I agreed to help find a way to sell some of her things. She left me 10 huge bins of mostly high end china from Romania and Germany but also some cool German dolls and two really cool coffee “kaffee” grinders. Two options:
1. Have an estate sale company do a sale. They take 20-30%, I won’t get anything (she may give me something, but not much since I am not really doing the work). Pros: won’t take up my time, she will get $ fast, I can throw some of my own items in the sale for some quick $
Cons: she probably will get much less for her items, I won’t make much $
2. I sell everything for her. I would take 25% off the top.
Pros: I can make some $. She can get top dollar.
Cons: Huge time suck for lower profit margins, it will take years for all of it to sell probably, the thought of shipping/storing such delicate items is annoying, I already have a significant death pile
Most sellers steer clear of commission sales and I usually do but I am likely going the estate sale route but would love to know your thoughts. Thanks!!
08/06/2020 at 12:56 am #80398
You could cherry pick the higher priced items to sell on eBay and possibly take the rest to a consignment store if there is one in your area. They will try and get a higher price for the stuff but they also tend to take 40 to 50% of the selling price. 10 bins sounds like a lot of stuff but I think most estate sellers wouldn’t be very interested because to them it is too small of an amount to make it worth their time to do a sale. Sets of china haven’t been doing very well for a few years now because many of the younger buyers have very little interest. If you do sell the items, first look at sold comps on eBay as you may do a lot better by splitting the sets up and selling individual pieces – but you are right, it could take a few years to sell it all.
08/06/2020 at 1:56 am #80401DaysiParticipant
That’s kind of a tough situation to be in, especially where space is concerned. I had to tell a few friends to “not” think of me when unloading stuff. My brother had a treasure trove of things to unload, and I refused them. Did not even want to look at them. I am on a mission to get organized and unload my own things. That being said, I don’t really have any sage advice, just good luck, whichever path you take unloading the items you have.
I watched a podcaster who has a shed just for ebay items (I’m sure there are many podcasters who have this). Then I hear Jay and Ryanne talk about their space. I am trying my darnedest to reach that goal. I’ve gotten started, but a ways off from “getting there”. When I find things around the house I want/need to sell on ebay, I remove it from my house and put it in my storage space. Eventually, I’ll get there.
I get bored easily and like to switch furniture around, change decor, and just my environment all the time. I cannot see something sitting idle for long, as it will drive me crazy. I love the idea of having what I picture in my head Jay and Ryanne have set up. A nice big place with plenty of space for everything. And out of the house.
08/06/2020 at 1:17 pm #80405
Lonnie at GarageFlips has a shed and a podcast! I don’t watch every video he puts out but I listen to his podcast, and he’s a stand-up guy.
I’m similar in wanting to switch decor around and change things up. I always seem to want to improve on my living space and make it look more presentable. Would love someday to have similar to Jay and Ryanne’s setup.
Interesting about refusing friends who are clearing stuff out. I understand your reasoning though I also think if one builds up a team it could be quite lucrative. That said sometimes not worth the time, effort, or risk of friendship.
08/06/2020 at 6:55 am #80402BrianBParticipant
Ebay just verified my account has been updated for managed payments. Does anyone know whether my future payments will be made to my bank account? I am a small seller who doesn’t sell something every day.
08/06/2020 at 10:49 am #80403
On the China go to replacements.com. They might be a good halfway between list and wait on eBay and consign and get less money. They will make an offer on your China and buy direct. Great way to move stuff quickly if that is a concern.
08/06/2020 at 1:26 pm #80406
I have a similar situation to @amandaw though slightly different. Though in weighing in on her situation I’d say pick out items you want to sell and have space for and then find a consignment company or the like to sell the rest.
As for me, my grandma on my dad’s side broke her hip. She’s now confined to a wheelchair and in an assisted living facility. She’s in good hands and is doing fine thankfully. As per legal stuff her house is to become a rental property. Perfectly reasonable. My job is to list stuff and get it sold. I have listings on eBay, Offer Up, and LetGo. I’m avoiding FB Marketplace as I have a crazy relative that would get bent out of shape. Problem is that I live in the Midwest and my grandma lives in Arizona. I’m going down next week for 3 weeks, a month or so ago I had just wrapped up a 3-4 week visit helping list stuff initially. Since then my dad was down there with another sister of his sorting through stuff and a whole room full of inventory to list. Aside from the listing process itself, I’m wondering to what extent it makes sense to list and sell what I can and then keep my eBay account (set-up one just for this thing) on vacation mode or extended handling time until my dad or I are back. I’d imagine it would get to a point where I should ship stuff cheaply back to the Midwest to sell or just donate. I definitely want to sell the big stuff local first. Good news is I’m getting all the profits which is nice due to being on Unemployment currently. Thoughts?
08/07/2020 at 3:28 pm #80431BrianBParticipant
Info on UPS implementing higher fees on some shipments later this year:
08/07/2020 at 8:16 pm #80444declutter978Participant
- Location: Massachusetts
Thank you for the podcast. I feel sorry for Paypal too, it was funny to hear you say that Ryanne!
I have 371 items in my store today. I listed 22 items today, that was a high, I think. I made a few sales last week. I need to really up my game.
I like Facebook marketplace to unload stuff I don’t want to ship, and I agree with others’ assessments, although I don’t put too many high priced items up on FBM. My husband picked up a Starbucks espresso machine at an estate sale and sold it on FBM for $100. I know it worked, we tested it and it was nice to know it wouldn’t be returned or get damaged in shipping. I did tell the gentleman to let me know if it didn’t work for him, though. Did not hear further from him.
I have cleaned out old paint on FBM, which is nice.
About the seller who called in and doesn’t double-box, that was good to hear. I am so stressed out by thinking about shipping heavy and/or breakable items. I fell like bubble wrap, big boxes lots of room inside stuffed with peanuts is the way I will go, going forward.
I’ve also used the padded flat rates with mugs wrapped in bubble wrap and cardboard inside them a fair amount with good reviews on shipping.
08/08/2020 at 3:52 pm #80468almastyParticipant
Just catching up on the podcast for the week. I don’t know if anyone has answered your question about how to find out how many collectibles you have listed, but you can find that here:
You currently have 1,765 active items listed in collectibles, if that link doesn’t work.
08/08/2020 at 6:09 pm #80470littleBlueHouseParticipant
- Location: North Chesterfield, VA
When I started out I would help my friends out with consigning for them and I would take a %. I got too stressed out because I would worry I wouldn’t be selling it for enough, taking a long time, or whatever reason. Most recently my SIL was getting rid of some American Girl stuff. I knew that it would make a good bit of money and I was going to suggest me helping her out, but I didn’t want to deal with the stress. I decided to just buy it for what she wanted. I’m still going to make money, and probably more than what my % commission, and I don’t have to deal with the stress or pressure. If I end up making a lot of money off the items I will probably give her a cut of it, but I did not let her know because she won’t be expecting it. She knows that I’m going to flip the items and she is happy with what I paid. So all around everyone is happy and everyone made money. Obviously you can’t do that with a huge lot, but just a different way of handling “consigning for your friends.”
08/09/2020 at 2:47 am #80477PellMellResellParticipant
I agree the consignment thing doesn’t really seem to work out very well. I tried it once with a neighbor, but it was a headache tracking her down when something sold and trying to figure out what I owed her once something sold. Not to mention it took forever for things to sell which is not very exciting for her or lucrative for me. I still get asked by friends all the time, but now I usually just tell them I don’t do consignment because I’m spending time listing their items for only 30-50% profit when I need to be listing my own items for 100%. I just explain its a time issue, and say that I prefer to just buy the lots outright and resell on my own. So if its an option or worth it momentarily its best to just buy the product. If not I just say I’m not buying right now all my buy money is tied up. That usually get you off the hook and I’ve had several people just give me stuff anyway for free. Anyhow the point is get your own stuff however that may be and make that 100% and don’t bother with consignment, just my humble opinion though.
08/09/2020 at 10:45 pm #80495SharynParticipant
- Location: Central NJ
For those of you considering how to sell off a large amount of items, consider an online auction such as Maxsold (if they are in your area). Look on Auctionzip to find ones in your area.
For those sites for free items, they are supposed to be to help your neighbors by giving them items you no longer need. I belong to a Freecycling group, and the rules there are specifically for personal use and not for resale. I’m good with that. Occasionally, I find something there I need, and I get rid of box lot items that I don’t care to resell.
I’m just getting back from a vacation and catching up with the podcasts. This particular week was quiet, and I had a 10 day handling time at the end.
Week of July 26 – Aug 1
Total Items in Store: 1272 eBay, 36 Etsy
Items Sold: 5 eBay
Cost of Items Sold: $2.58 + $18.50 Commission
Total Sales: $131.32 eBay
Highest Price Sold: $40 for 4 vintage Middle Eastern metal bowls
Average price: $26.26
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
Number of items listed this week: 22
08/10/2020 at 3:16 pm #80520BigSallyParticipant
- Location: Washington State
@spinachetr That VA Streamline refi- is that a 30 yr note or 10 yr or ? That rate sounds amazing!
08/18/2020 at 11:15 pm #80817KyleHParticipant
Selling More Expensive Things – What I’ve learned over the last few Years
Jay, you’re not alone in the desire to sell better things. You guys have mentioned this on a few podcasts recently. This has been a goal for me over the last couple of years. I work full time, eBay is my side hustle / hobby. My store has fluctuated between 300 – 500 items. In 2017 I tore my ACL and had a lot of time off my feet and away from eBay. I took a really long break, and when I came back, I decided to change what I sell. Since real numbers help, I included my rough numbers for the last 4 years. 2016 I was selling the basic scavenger stuff – clothes, yard sale items, whatever I could scavenge. The last two years I’ve been making a serious effort to learn and sell better and more expensive antiques & artwork. I think I’ve got a long way to go, but I’m having fun and learning a lot along the way. I by no means think I’ve got this all figured out, but I thought it might be an interesting forum discussion to share some of what I’m learning and hear from the community on the subject. Below are my numbers and reflections.
Many thanks to Jay and Ryanne, this community and the podcast has been inspirational, encouraging and motivating.
Cheers – Kyle
- Revenue: $26,527 (not including shipping fees)
- COGS $9,104
- Average Price of COG = $36.27
- Profit $13,237 – After cogs, fees, and all expenses
- Profit per Item: $52.53 (252 sales)
- Sales resulting in over $100 profit: 44
- Revenue: $30,648 (not including shipping fees)
- COGS $10,318
- Average COGS = $28.50
- Profit $15,513 – After cogs, fees, and all expenses
- Profit per Item: $47.50 (362 sales)
- Sales over $100 profit: 53
<u>2017</u> * Tore my ACL this year – majorly disrupted eBay
- Revenue: $8,278 (not including shipping fees)
- COGS $2,165
- Average COGS = $13.12
- Profit $4,921 – After cogs, fees, and all expenses
- Profit per Item: $30.00 (165 sales)
- Sales over $100 profit: 10
- Revenue: $20,000 (not including shipping fees)
- COGS $3,647
- Average COGS = $6.04
- Profit $15,063 – After cogs, fees, and all expenses
- Profit per Item: $24.95 (603 sales)
- Sales over $100 profit: 14
Reflections on the Numbers / Things I’ve Been Learning
#1 – My profits have not skyrocketed, but I’m handling less items: My final profit hasn’t dramatically jumped. The final number between 2016 and the last two years is about the same – BUT – I’m making the same amount selling about half as many items. I’ll note this as well – I’m a collector, some of the best stuff stays in the house, If I liquidated all the “good stuff” I’ve picked up over the last couple of years, I think my profits could as much as double each year. Selling fewer better things does mean less shipping, fewer items.
#2 – My average profit per item is rising. Happy with this. Hoping to continue this trend. Since I’m a hobby seller, this is a big metric for me. I like my career, don’t intend to leave – so it’s a win if I can use my limited time to make more per listing.
#3 – My Cost of Goods is also rising. This is unavoidable. To sell better stuff you’ve got to spend more money. Every once and a while you find a $600 item at goodwill for a couple bucks, but its far more likely that you’re spending $300 for a $600 sale.
#3a – I Have a Lot More Money Tied Up In Inventory. If you’re just getting started – stick to the thrifted items. The difference in my COGS between 2016 and now is 10k.
#3b – Insurance. Chances are your basic renters or home owners insurance does not cover artwork and collectable. I know have a separate insurance policy to cover my inventory and collection. This may be worth considering if you start spending more on your inventory.
#3c – The “Dry Tinder” Principle. When you go camping you always want to have a little dry tinder on hand so you can quickly start a fire when needed. To be effective picking and buying better and more expensive items you need to have a decent amount of cash on hand. If you get a chance to buy a whole collection or a whole estate of good items, you don’t want to miss out. This year my goal was always to have at least 10k available to pounce. I know antique dealers that keep 50 or 100.
#4 – It’s more interesting / more fun. Is it worth it? For me it has been. I got really tired of selling blue jeans and t-shirts. I feel like I’m learning a lot more, developing expertise in a few areas, and creating future earning potential every year. The knowledge is an asset that feels like a growing investment. The inventory is also a semi-liquid investment, hopefully growing in value over time.
#4b – It better be interesting. You can’t spend time, energy and money on things you don’t care about. Pick something that can hold your interest.
#5- Educate yourself – Read and Research. My interest really started with one category that really struck my interest. Early on I went to the library and checked out every book on that category I could find. An old antique dealer I know said that if you read a book on one category you likely know more than 99% of the population on that item. If you want to sell expensive stuff, do you know about expensive stuff? Follow the expensive auctions, join facebook or reddit groups of dealers and collectors, ask questions, identify some sellers who are dealing in the kind of stuff you want to sell – observe their store. Learn one niche market – then learn another one! Every year I try to push into some new areas, it makes me a more effective picker.
#5b – Educate yourself on substiles. In high end stuff subtle differences can mean huge differences in value. Size, condition, color, age, so many things can change value. Collectors absolutely know the difference, you need to know it too, or you’re sunk. Worthpoint has been really helpful to me in learning.
#5c – There is a cost to education. Leveling up for me has meant being willing to take risks. I’ve had risks that have paid off, and I’ve had pieces I’ve lost money or broke even after selling. That’s the cost of education. I make less mistakes now than I did before, but it’s a part of the game.
#6 – My picking has changed. New locations and tactics. I still pick thrifts and yard sales, and love doing it – BUT I’ve also added picking antique stores (yes there are absolute deals to be had in antique stores, not every dealer can know every item) buying direct from collectors, and buying estates or partial estates. For me I had to start trying new things to find different kinds of stuff. I imagine that would be true for most people. If you could buy dozens of amazing items at your current locations you’d already be doing it.
#6b – My Picking has changed: Leaving some things behind. I have to be willing to leave some things behind that I used to pick. If I blow my buying funds and then listing and research time on low dollar stuff, then I don’t have the funds or time to invest in the stuff I want to be dealing in. Over Covid I found a couple boxes of 2015 / 2016 thrifted clothes – I pulled one good jacket and donated the rest back.
#7 Patience: This is nothing new here – List it and leave it. Some sell fast, but sometimes the big sales take a couple years. The scavenger life pipeline hasn’t changed – but there is more cash tied up in the pipeline.
#8 – Trust / Community: Reputation in the collecting community has become important the more I’ve gotten into some niches. In many categories a lot of the collectors and dealers know one another. If you can develop trust you can get better prices, and more access to better inventory. More of my sales ( a few a month at least) have moved off of eBay, direct to collectors I’ve connected to or repeat customers.
I’d love to hear from you. What lessons have you been learning? What has helped you level up into better stuff? Many Thanks – Kyle : )
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