Home › Forums › Weekly Numbers › Scavenger Life Episode 478: Access To Opportunity
- This topic has 44 replies, 20 voices, and was last updated 2 years, 6 months ago by Jay.
09/06/2020 at 7:19 pm #81322RyanneKeymaster
- Location: Virginia
Join the conversation in the forum>> Our Store Week August 30-September 5, 2020 Total Items in Store: 7730 Items Sold: 43 Gross Sales: $2,513
[See the full post at: Scavenger Life Episode 478: Access To Opportunity]
09/06/2020 at 9:50 pm #81324LaurenParticipant
- Location: Central Illinois
Total Items in Store: 314
Items sold: 5 on Ebay, 2 on FB Marketplace
Gross Sales: $199.43
Highest Price Sold: Panini Press (42.49)(this came from the free wall!)
Average Price Sold: $28.34
Money Spent on New Inventory: $0
Number of items listed this week: 4
Had an emergancy surgery on Friday that’s kept me down for most of the week in preperation. Also decided to put in my two weeks at my boring retail job after my boss said that taking time off for said surgery might affect my job, so I only have 4 working days left until jumping into resale full time. Packed some FBA stuff, but in the chaos of surgery it’s sat in my car for the whole week. Looking forward to being able to get to work on Tuesday!
09/06/2020 at 10:14 pm #81325
Sorry to hear of the surgery. Hope it all went well. Sounded like you have a little runway after your job is over. Just go full force into running your online business. Put in long days. You can always get another job if you had to.
09/07/2020 at 7:16 am #81326spinachetrParticipant
Total Items in Store: 26,496
Items sold: 165
Gross Sales: $2,256.92
Highest Price Sold: $225 postcard sized color chart used for ordering postcards & $125 Tempe AZ Street View from 1920’s
Average Price Sold: $13.68
No Returns, but another Item Not Received refund, luckily only for $1.49
Money Spent on New Inventory: $0
Number of items listed this week: +/- 655
Great week for me. Sold a few dental books and also sold a lot of CD’s for $68 that were part of a larger collection of over 400 that was being thrown out during our last community bulk trash day.
09/07/2020 at 11:47 am #81328SharynParticipant
- Location: Central NJ
Thanks for the podcast! I love coffee, so your new business sounds so interesting. You guys are setting yourselves up for success with all the careful planning.
I had a reasonable week for the end of summer. No sourcing. I only bought stuff for myself at garage sales. I’m going to an auction this afternoon, so we shall see.
Week of Aug 30 – Sept 5
Total Items in Store: 1292 eBay, 36 Etsy
Items Sold: 19 eBay
Cost of Items Sold: $35.85 + $12.50 Commission
Total Sales: $325.72 eBay
Highest Price Sold: $34 Mens Wrangler Thermal Jeans
Average price: $17.14
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
Number of items listed this week: 20
09/07/2020 at 12:34 pm #81330ChristineRParticipant
- Location: Southern California
Total Items in Store: 354
Items Sold: 8
Gross Sales: $415
Cost of Items Sold: $78 (a few items ours)
Highest Price Sold: $110 small vintage painting of Paris (paid $0 (my parents’))
Average Price Sold: $58
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
Number of items listed this week: 0
<div id=”powerpress_player_9307″ class=”powerpress_player”>Well the week of sales started out well but has been very quiet the last few days. I’m just sitting down to list for a bit and start a sale so hopefully will get a bump. Look forward to listening to the podcast. It’s strange having Ebay dumping money weekly into my account.
<div id=”mep_0″ class=”mejs-container mejs-container-keyboard-inactive wp-audio-shortcode mejs-audio” tabindex=”0″ role=”application” aria-label=”Audio Player”>
<div>Our dog became mysteriously very ill (and is now improving) and there is another crazy heat wave so it was a crap week where I got nothing much done on any front. Lots of day job work to start catching up on tomorrow. Both kids back in school this week, so might help with the chances for listing after that. I’m kind of getting excited about Fall.</div>
09/07/2020 at 1:05 pm #81333
Thanks for the podcast! 🙂 Great to hear from you guys again.
We had a bit of an adventure this weekend. I got a response to my kijiji ad ISO a warehouse, offering me a 4000 sq ft quonset for a rent of $800/mo. It was too far away from us but it started our land hunting a little more in earnest. We went to see a few properties yesterday. The goal is (a) a place with a big quonset or space to build one, (b) with a few acres as well & potential for us to build there when we retire, plus have big gardens, chickens etc. now, (c) within 30 min, (d) for under $200k (which would equate to an $800-900 mortgage payment, which is about my limit).
One way to see it is I’m hoping eBay will allow me to monetize having an acreage so it’s not a mere extravagance.
I am encouraged by what I’m seeing – although we haven’t found the perfect place, there are some in the ballpark. There was one quonset on 4 acres for $165, but too far away and the quonset was in bad shape. There was really nice bare land, with beautiful trees on 5 acres, for $270k but I bet we could knock $100k off the price. I think we will figure this out this year. I am looking forward to all the things we could do with such a property!
I had probably my best single week on eBay last week, thanks to one big sale.
Sales: CAD$8765, 15 sales, COGS: $831, Fees: ~$1185, Postage: $262 –> Gross profit: $6488
Expenses: $942, New inventory: $1920 –> Cashflow: $4457
The big sale was two hydraulic crimpers to the same buyer for a total of $6500. I think I found these on ebay for a total of $500. There is a moderate risk of return but I am pretty sanguine.
Had a few other decent sales, like a lathe chuck for $550, but the rest are rounding errors. Does seem like sales are starting to pick up in the fall though!
09/07/2020 at 1:29 pm #81334
We started watching Alone as well, on your recommendation. I think we have got to season 3 now. It’s an interesting show! It’s remarkable to me how much of the winning formula is a combination of either finding calories, or learning to make good decisions and not have a mental breakdown while subsisting on near-zero calories.
09/08/2020 at 7:49 am #81349
I find it ironic when the Navy Seals or Military guys tap out within the first few weeks. Seems the biggest challenge is the inside game. Many of the winners have been the nerdier types who maybe struggle to find food but are good at being alone for several months.
09/09/2020 at 8:46 am #81390TemudginParticipant
- Location: Jacksonville FL
I haven’t watched the show but I have to say from personal experience that in military special operations, it is the nerdier types who make the best operators. It sounds like the show may be getting the loudmouths who you could never be sure you could trust to hang when the going got tough, whether alone on a mission or not. We called them “legends in their own minds”.
09/10/2020 at 7:28 am #81429
True. I don’t mean to dismiss service members who probably are excellent in a team setting. It’s just interesting to see that the more loud mouth guys are the ones who tap out early on Alone.
09/08/2020 at 7:48 am #81348
Thats a crazy giant sale. $6500! How are you shipping those crimpers?
I think there’s a real overall interest in land outside of cities after this pandemic. Obviously the less “cool” the area is, the cheaper it’ll be. Many city people want the rural land where someone has already made the area fun and convenient. The good deals are where the town is boring 🙂
Are quonsets common near you? We have a couple in our county but I find them very space inefficient because of their rounded roofs.
09/08/2020 at 8:12 am #81351
Yeah, I suspect with the military types in particular, they are used to being highly competent as a part of a team where you are well equipped and someone else is taking care of many logistical challenges, or at least at the squad level you have a buddy to rely on. Totally alone is a different ballgame. I have been relatively impressed by the “wilderness skills” types, although I suspect their secret is mainly just practice.
These crimpers are not super heavy – it’s a hand tool about 25 lbs or so. They come in a sturdy metal carry case a foot long so I just boxed that and sent it like any other package, thankfully!
I am not married to the idea of a quonset – once we get the land I may consider sea cans or some other solution too, assuming there’s nothing already there. I agree about the rounded roof for a small one but if we’re talking 3-4000 sq ft you don’t lose much to the curved walls, I would just try to use that space as an access aisle.
09/07/2020 at 1:40 pm #81335
My Sales Ending 9/5/20
Notes: Terapeak subscription for one month to help determine profit on death piles by looking at yearly averages and high sales. Reduced death piles from approximately 200 items to approximately 60 items. Donated remainder. Should help me keep average at $30 per item rather than the lower profits I’ve been seeing lately and help me prepare for rental of my current home and a move to a better home in 2021.
Total Items For Sale: 62
Items Sold: 5
Items Listed: 7
Average Profit: $15.61
Highest Profit: $27.34 Adriano Goldschmied Women’s Jeans
Cost of Items Sold: $0
$ Spent Sourcing: $0
09/08/2020 at 1:20 am #81346
Thanks for the podcast. I listened as I did a late evening hike in the hills near my home tonight. Have you thought about doing a podcast about what it’s like to start a retail business. I think that would be pretty entertaining. I’d listen to a podcast about opening a coffee shop for sure.
Here are my numbers for the week:
Total Items in Store: 4086
Items Sold: 52
Total Sales: $1766.62
Cost of Items Sold: $288
Average Price Sold: $33.97
Average Cost of Item: $5.55
Highest Price Item Sold: $529.95 Zebra ZT410 300 dpi Industrial Thermal Label Printer
Number of items listed this week: 85 worth approx. $1717
YTD Sales: $41536
YTD sales compared to this time last year: +21%
Average age of items in store (in days since listing): 465
Average number of days between listing and selling this week: 218
Median age of sales (in days, between listing and selling): 66
Sell-through rate (for the week): 1.27%
My numbers were skewed a bit by my big sale of the week – an industrial label printer that I got from a neighbor who worked for a now-defunct startup company. I bought a pile of electronics from him a month ago and finally got around to testing, selling and shipping this big printer. (Knock-on-wood it arrives safely).
We’ve had the same heat wave in Northern California that @ChristineR is getting in Southern California. It’s been over 110F here the last 2 days. Thankfully the air quality has been OK for the last few days. We had 5 days last week where the air quality from the nearby wildfires was so bad that it was unhealthy to open the windows.
My big news outside of ebay is that I’ve decided to ditch my day job and retire from that world. I’ll give my notice in the first week of October (after I get a company stock grant – RSUs). I have a couple of years worth of expenses in cash so I wont need ebay sales to pay the bills but I’ll probably ramp up slightly so that I can hopefully pay half of my monthly living expenses via ebay. I had originally planned to retire in June but retiring into a pandemic seemed too weird so I stuck it out. (Working from home instead of commuting was also much easier to handle).
I hope everyone has a profitable week on ebay.
09/08/2020 at 7:50 am #81350
Wowowowowow This is huge Simon. Congrats on pulling the trigger to retire. You earned it. Look forward to seeing how you like life where each day is our own.
09/08/2020 at 10:30 am #81357ChristineRParticipant
- Location: Southern California
@Simon congrats! I hope you enjoy your retirement and growing your Ebay store. Since we are both under heavy CA Covid restrictions, thought I would mention that the half of our independent thrift stores that have been closed are finally either reopening with extreme limitations on shoppers or having outdoor storage container sales. Might be a good way to ramp up on inventory if you have that going on.
09/08/2020 at 9:06 am #81353Retro Treasures WVParticipant
Items in Store 1405
Items Sold 27
Total Sales $766.00
Total Profit $683.00
Average profit $25.30
Average sales price $28.37
New Listings 68
Good week getting alot of things listed and organized. I condensed 12 totes in my inventory storage so I have plenty of room now to list. Lots of family stuff and did some traveling to visit family as well this weekend. I jumped off a 30 foot waterfall yesterday which was pretty awesome!
My plan is to grind away at listing as much as possible this month so I can enter 4th quarter at my highest ever listed inventory numbers. 1578 is my highest inventory number, so I want to be at 1600 or better by the end of the month. I’ll need to list about 300 items to get there.
09/08/2020 at 11:47 am #81361
09/08/2020 at 12:35 pm #81363ArrowheadParticipant
- Location: KS
I just wanted to chip in on the subject of withholding money from a customer’s account when they accept an offer- one of the things that I like about sending offers is the fact that customers can accept multiple offers from us and then we can send an invoice with the correct combined shipping amount. Ebay’s calculated combined international shipping can be laughably high sometimes. Often, a customer will balk when asked to pay the combined shipping amount that ebay has calculated and then rely on us to send a refund. And for some reason, most customers have a hard time accessing the feature that allows them to take the buy it now option on multiple items and then request the total from the seller. I’m worried that requiring upfront payment would make combined shipments look more expensive than they should be, since we refund shipping overpayment.
I REALLY REALLY wish that Ebay had a feature that allowed sellers to send multi-item offers to customers, with a discount option, and with our combined shipping amount included. We had a customer in Japan recently who had to send us 41 separate messages so that we could send him offers with an appx. 20% discount on all of them. It’s just such a clunky way to do things. It would be inconvenient if an item sells before the customer accepts the group offer but there are ways to deal with that- the offer could delete that item and they could still accept it as is, or you could send a new offer with the sold item removed, etc.
09/09/2020 at 7:07 am #81388
Yeah, clunky is a good word for it. I think their current implementation was probably a relatively easy solution for them. All the things we all want would take some serious work.
09/09/2020 at 9:01 am #81391ArrowheadParticipant
- Location: KS
I hate to sound like too much of an ingrate because sending offers has been a great feature. I just wish it went further. Many people still have this perception of eBay sellers as being slightly unreliable/unprofessional or not completely trustworthy. So when I can’t lay out all the numbers in front of them pre-sale, and instead ask them to rely on me for a shipping refund, it doesn’t always go over well. It’s so frustrating when a multi item deal fizzles out.
09/10/2020 at 7:29 am #81430
It’s good for us to push eBay to keep improving.
09/08/2020 at 4:57 pm #81367Kentucky PickerParticipant
- Location: Newport, Kentucky
J&R, sounds like the roasting course was intense but worthwhile. You mentioned the topic of bad buys. I think Jay called these paying for your picking education. I’ve sure made my share of bad buys, but never anything that really stung. If I end up losing a few dollars and in turn learn something about a category of type of item, I’m fine with that. Whatever I’ve lost I’ve more than made up for on the plus side.
Listings in Store: 678
Items Sold: 12
Gross Sales (includes shipping): $505
Highest Price: $195 – Tom Cat Battery Charger
Average Price: $42
Cost of Goods Sold: $20
Cost of Goods Purchased this Week: $44
Number of New Items Listed this Week: 13
Challenge of the Week: Spent a large part of the week re-taking photos. I have a new LG G8 phone and figured out how to increase the brightness of my photos. As soon as I posted a photo taken using the new setting, it instantly made the of my listing photos look like crap. So I started taking new photos like mad. I’ve only done about 100 items but I’ve decided that’s enough of my current listings. Counting about 5 photos per listing, that’s 500-600 pics. With almost 700 listings it would take a least another week to do everything. Not sure it would be worth the time. Anyway, I’m very happy with the new photos.
Example with old settings: https://www.ebay.com/itm/154053155872
Example with new settings: https://www.ebay.com/itm/154079008667
09/08/2020 at 6:39 pm #81370gargolferParticipant
- Location: Illinois
Total Items In Store: 2041
Items Sold: 29
Gross Sales: $2058
Highest Price Sold: $600 (IRD Vibration Analyzer)
Average Price Sold: $70.96
Returns: 1 $100
Money Spent on New Inventory: $300
Number of items listed: 38
- A great week in sales this week. Aided by some high dollar sales. $200, $200, $250 and $600 sales. The $600 sale was an item I picked up for $50 at an auction about a month ago. Probably my best average price sold ever this week.
- I spent $153 at an auction house this week. One of the lots was a garbage bag full of purses I picked up for $6. My wife found $12 in one purse and $100 in another.
- Had a great week scavenging for new inventory. Scored some great items at a local online auction, had a truckload full at the auction house and a local lake community had their community yard sales after postponing from memorial day weekend earlier this year.
- My highest priced sale from last week was returned this week because it wasn’t working correctly. That was a bummer, but it happens sometimes.
09/08/2020 at 7:53 pm #81374
One more comment regarding this week’s podcast. Similar to Ryanne, I recently had an Ebay Standard International Delivery order that had tracking stop updating (in Mexico). I filed an insurance claim and it paid out pretty quickly. Insurance info can be found here: https://pages.ebay.com/sell/send/termsofservice.html
You file a claim using this form:
(For anyone that hasn’t come across it before, this website gives much more detailed tracking info for international standard delivery orders that you’ll find on ebay: http://parcelsapp.com/en/ )
09/09/2020 at 3:43 am #81385RyanneKeymaster
- Location: Virginia
yes, thanks for the reminder on the insurance. issue is we have to refund my buyer in full, including the shipping label price, but the insurance only covers the price of the item, it won’t even let you ask for the full amount, it just gives an error until you type in only the price of the item. so that sucks. i switched all my listings back to GSP today because of this.
09/09/2020 at 3:48 pm #81405
but the insurance only covers the price of the item, it won’t even let you ask for the full amount,
Isn’t that the dumbest thing! Given that the delivery service failed you would assume that the insurance would cover that aspect. I couldn’t believe it when the insurance. claim form prevented me from requesting price+shipping.
On the upside, my claim was approved fairly quickly.
09/08/2020 at 9:51 pm #81381
Hey all! Great podcast this week; I listen every week though I haven’t been great about reporting my numbers for the last few weeks. I so appreciate everyone (consistent, or inconsistent like me) who post their experience and numbers on the forum. It’s seriously such a great source of encouragement!
Also, you guys rocked my world on the podcast this week talking about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. As a licensed professional counselor who practiced privately with therapy clients in my former life (before full time eBay, haha) I think about that concept ALL THE TIME, especially related to my own transition to full-time-ish eBay work as a way better fit for my life!
I’ve been pressing ahead, listing like crazy and working with a new helper too. I’m trying to get to 10k active listings by the end of the year… I’m at about 6350 right now. I’m not totally sure why, but it feels like a big milestone to me and I think there will be a lot of good stuff in the journey there as well as on the other side, speaking of self actualization! Sales haven’t been super great, but not terrible either. It feels a little tight as I’m now paying my new helper for photographing 400-500 items per month and the sales haven’t caught up to my higher inventory quite yet. It’s an adventure; it’s got to be at least a little bit scary. I’ve also just yesterday turned over my final author proof of my book about the function of my eBay store to my publisher… it’s hopefully going to be in print in the next week or so! Eeeek!
Wishing everyone a satisfying and productive week as we all gear up for the holiday season!
09/08/2020 at 10:00 pm #81383
Oh and I forgot to mention… I’ve also had some super annoying trouble with eBay send, similar to what Ryanne described on the pod episode this week. I already changed all of my listings back to global shipping because the process is so much smoother almost every time!
09/09/2020 at 3:55 pm #81408
I made 24 eBay Send sales in August. I haven’t heard of any problems with any of those. (Knock on wood). I’ve only had a single eBay Send order truly go missing this year that I used an insurance claim on. (I also had one with a bad address and one where the customer didn’t pick up the item. Neither of those orders were returned).
For me, the increase in sales makes it well worthwhile to do eBay Send on lower value items. I use GSP for large & expensive items.
09/09/2020 at 11:43 am #81396
Thanks for everyone’s comments. Annaesthetic23, if Ryanne and Jay would allow it, I would be very interested in you sharing that book when it is available for reading? You did say it is about eBay, correct? Thank you.
09/09/2020 at 6:56 pm #81420
Hey! Yes, it’s about eBay and kind of my story of getting into it…it will be available to anyone and everyone once it’s officially out! I’ll mention in on here when it’s available 🙂
09/09/2020 at 2:01 pm #81403intimewithmusicParticipant
- Location: Kelowna, BC Canada
Hi. Jay’s accidental purchase of an “incoming” offer was so funny. I recently did the exact same thing! I listed a video game ( new & sealed). I don’t sell them regularly. I guess I researched it for price and found one (sealed) and put a watch on it. About 2 weeks later I received an offer and the listing looked exactly like mine. It was a good offer about $5 less than mine so I clicked “ACCEPT”and there was no “cha-ching”! I then realized I bought the one I had a watch on. Just like you I had to do the “walk of shame” to cancel it but the worst part was my purchase was from a charity! So you think I rec’d bad karma? 🙂
09/09/2020 at 7:22 pm #81422
Thanks, annaesthetic23! That sounds great.
09/09/2020 at 10:03 pm #81425
Checking in. Long time since I’ve been on the forums, but I’ve been listening as usual, and have been working like crazy. I’ll swing by and update our numbers next week if I get a chance.
Wanted to weigh in on ebay send. I’ve used it about ten times now, and I’m done with it. Just had my third package go “missing”. This one shows as delivered to my buyer in the UK, but they’re saying they didn’t receive it. $30 item, $40 shipping… ugh
I’d rather use global shipping or USPS International going forward.
09/10/2020 at 7:30 am #81431
Hey! I was wondering how you guys have been doing. My guess is you’ve gone all in with your Amazon business. The last we heard, you guys were attending meetings with other big Amazon sellers.
09/10/2020 at 12:30 pm #81444
Things have been good. We saw a HUGE bump in sales during the initial “shelter in place” orders. Amazon is definitely pulling it’s weight for us, but ebay is still our favorite.
I’ll find time soon to go update my “going full time” thread, but quickly:
We just surpassed $300k (Cdn) gross sales YTD on Amazon
We just paid 1/2 of our mortgage off (Paid $25k on a $50k mortgage).
Ebay sales are the highest they’ve ever been.
Added a Shopify store to our offerings for some niche products we carry, and had our first sale last month.
Generally LOVING life and the lack of alarm clocks…
09/10/2020 at 4:26 pm #81454
You know what Ill ask 🙂 whats the net profit on $300k sales? That’s a crazy number!
09/10/2020 at 8:50 pm #81466
We hover between 30-35% profit across all of our Amazon sales, so $90-105k roughly.
Ballpark it on the lower end of that to allow for some overhead costs, supplies, etc that don’t easily get calculated into the above numbers.
09/11/2020 at 7:13 am #81470
Amazing. That’s real money that’s not even counting your eBay sales.
09/10/2020 at 10:28 am #81434LukastreasureParticipant
- Location: Chevy Chase, MD
So exciting about the coffee adventure. Can’t wait to taste the results.
Maslow’s theory is what sticks in my mind most from my psych classes. It makes so much sense in so many ways. How can you focus on anything else when you are concerned day to day with food and shelter. So many in our society are stuck in the lowest tiers and more so with our current quarantine situation and so many out of jobs.
I also relate to your comments on sleep. Back in my “real” job as a project manager I stayed awake so many nights worrying about all the minutiae of the job and keeping my projects on track and my boss happy. It is a rare night I lose sleep like that now. Love being my own boss and setting my own agenda.
My big sales last week were fun. I sold two newspapers from 1865 that announced the assassination of President Lincoln. Got busy listing last week and went back into my trunk of historical documents that I purchased last summer. All that is left are newspapers and other similar items, and low and behold two of them were from April 15, 1865, the day after Lincoln was shot. Fascinating to read and satisfying to post and sell almost immediately. Both papers sold within 24 hours, which tells me I probably didn’t ask enough, but “c’est la vie”. I made out all right. Also sold a diary from the box from 1843 that was a travelogue of a 4 month trip along the Erie Canal. That sold within 1 hour of posting it for $100. Tough pricing items like these.
Week Ending 9/5/20
Total Items in Store: 1200
Items Sold: 20
Gross Sales: $1,158.00
Net Sales (after fees, shipping, etc.) $875.91
Cost of Items Sold: $31.95
COGS Percent 3.65%
Highest Price Sold: $260.00 Lincoln Assassination Newspaper
Average Price Sold: $43.80
Money Spent on New Inventory: $0.00
Sold via promoted listings: 13
Promoted Percentage: 65.00%
Average Days Listed: 268
Longest Listed: 707
New items listed: 33
09/10/2020 at 12:19 pm #81443morninkParticipant
Where did you get all of those historical documents? What a treasure trove you have there!
09/10/2020 at 2:23 pm #81450LukastreasureParticipant
- Location: Chevy Chase, MD
@mornink – I picked up the trunk at an estate sale last summer. I’ve posted about it a few times due to digging deeper. It contained a few documents with presidential signatures, civil war currency, and LOTs of newspapers and other ephemera. It’s been one of those rare finds. It took up a lot of time to go through as it was so interesting I would go off down a rabbit hole. I had to put it aside to get work done. 🙂
09/10/2020 at 12:02 pm #81441morninkParticipant
Hello. I just listened to this podcast yesterday. Thank you for going into more detail regarding the subject “if anyone promotes their store on social media”. It makes sense to me that it would be time consuming and that is why I never did it before. It seems that the time and effort that has to be put into it is not very effective for bringing more traffic to the store.
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