09/13/2020 at 5:40 pm #81537RyanneKeymaster
- Location: Virginia
Join the conversation in the forum>> Our Store Week September 6-12, 2020 Total Items in Store: 7747 Items Sold: 41 Gross Sales: $1,429.65 Cost
[See the full post at: Scavenger Life Episode 479: We Love Small Town America]
09/14/2020 at 8:43 am #81546
Items in Store 1422
Items Sold 29
Total Sales $1,041.00
Total Profit $959.00
Average profit $33.07
Average sales price $35.90
New Listings 46
Well my “no Scavenge September” didn’t go so well. On Wednesday I felt an irresistible urge to check the thrift store near my house. This is not normal as I only go to this thrift on the weekend. I haven’t went on a weekday in a long time. I trust my gut though – it’s almost like a scavenger 6<sup>th</sup> sense. I did my usual quick browse route and hit the jackpot in mens jeans – 8 pair of NWOT VINTAGE Levi’s! Sadly not Selvedge, but still over $100/pair typical selling prices for those model #’s.
On my listing challenge for the month, things also didn’t go well. I noticed a hint of an odd smell when I came downstairs Saturday morning. I traced it to the garage. Apparently at some point in the night a skunk walked through my yard and sprayed in the general direction of the dogs and my garage side door with the doggie door in it. I have a fenced area outside the door as well as a fenced area inside the door so the dogs have plenty of space when we are away and at night. The garage REEKED of skunk!!!
Needless to say, not a lot of listing got done this weekend. I washed all suspect areas and aired it out. I even ran my ozonator for a while. There is still some smell out there but it is much more bearable.
I still don’t understand how the garage smells so bad – the dogs didn’t seem to be sprayed as they didn’t smell when we washed them. I don’t think it is possible that the skunk got in the garage as it would have had to hop a 48” metal fence that can’t be climbed and then it would have had to contend with the dogs.
09/14/2020 at 8:56 am #81548
Yikes a skunk! That a pretty potent smell. It doesnt take much for the stink to linger. Your ozonator will really help.
09/14/2020 at 9:17 am #81549DoublythumbsParticipant
- Location: Hopedale, OH
Sept. 6 – 12
- Total Items in Store: 3,919
- Items Sold: 24
- Total Sales : $504
- * WAY BELOW yearly average of $1,006
- Highest Price: $80 (Kenner 1984 Han Solo Carbonite Star Wars Power Of The Force Action Figure)
- Average Price: $21
- Returns: 1
- Cost of Goods Sold: $23
- Costs of Goods Purchased this Week: $0
- Number of New Items Listed this Week: 0
I took a hiatus from the forum last week while we went to visit some friends down in Georgia. There wasn’t much to report anyways. My numbers have been quite awful as of late, but I think I know why. eBay’s been sort of on the back burner throughout summer and I think it’s finally catching up to me. But that’s okay. This week I’m going to jump back in and hit the ground running.
Jay, the way you described your experience by the creek sounds like a Norman Rockwell painting.
I also watched that Cheap Old Houses video. It was located in my previous hometown, Wheeling, WV. It’s so fascinating to see our little neck of the woods in the spotlight.
09/18/2020 at 11:20 am #81678
I know Wheeling. Its a cool little city with a university. Lots of very cool houses. The big key is to be willing to put the time in to help make the town a good place to live. Big urban areas are nice because there’s so much energy.
09/14/2020 at 10:11 am #81550simplicioParticipant
Had a good week on eBay, both buying and selling.
Sales: CAD$2340, 15 sales, COGS: $177, Fees: ~$327, Postage: $401 –> Gross profit: $1436
Expenses: $434, New inventory: $1722 –> Cashflow: -$544
Sold an actuator for $950 to Germany. Bought a lot of stuff to sell off of eBay… no individual thing to write home about yet but we’ll see when it gets to me. I must have 20 items coming in the mail soon.
09/14/2020 at 11:30 am #81552old_man_martyParticipant
- Location: California
My Sales Week Ending 9/12/20
Notes:<span class=”Apple-converted-space”> Juggling multiple goals this week. A lot of work. Little money.</span>
Total Items For Sale: 60
Items Sold: 5
Items Listed: 4
Average Profit: $8.26
Highest Profit: $16.66 Nike Blue Windbreaker Pants
Cost of Items Sold: $0
$ Spent Sourcing: $0
09/14/2020 at 11:39 am #81553ChristineRParticipant
- Location: Southern California
Total Items in Store: 364
Items Sold: 5
Gross Sales: $159
Cost of Items Sold: $56
Highest Price Sold: $49
Average Price Sold: $32
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $20
Number of items listed this week: 19
Thanks for the Podcast. It’s exciting to hear about you raising up your small town. It would be fun to see a video after you open the coffee shop.
Slow sales but I was away over the weekend on a short trip with extended handling time. I did quickly flip two items I sourced on Mercari, so that was cool. They were poorly described so they weren’t even what I expected but it worked out great. On my trip I sourced a few small new items at great prices. They probably have awesome thrifts where I went but didn’t have time to make it. Also missed a thrift store pod storage sale last weekend and skipped waiting in a huge distanced line for a grand reopening at another. Sigh.
I’m all backed up on my listing even with new summer clearance items but have day job projects. Happy the kids are back in school (remotely).
Have a great week! Happy fall.
09/14/2020 at 11:53 am #81554jamieParticipant
I had the same thing happen to me that happened to Jay with the accept offer. The seller was very nice and canceled the order when I explained that I was selling the same item and thought I was accepting an offer on my item. The odd thing was this was just a listing that I had looked at for comps and hadn’t put on my watch list.
Love the new Instagram page Ryanne. I live in a small town in Westen Md where housing is super cheap yet requires sweat equity. We bought our 3 bedroom home 13 years ago for $42,500. Most of our downtown is also empty. The city’s efforts to bring business to our small city have been unsuccessful. Now they are planning on tearing up our downtown outdoor walking mall area to open it up for traffic. I wish people would move here and revitalize our city. But I’ve been waiting for 12 years.
09/16/2020 at 4:45 pm #81607TheCarolPetersonParticipant
I had the same issue accidentally accepting an offer. Hopefully Ebay never does that again.
09/18/2020 at 11:21 am #81679
Yeah, we’ve lived in Luray for 12 years. Volunteered on a lot of boards. After a while, we realized we couldn’t wait for someone else to improve the city. We had to roll up our sleeves and put our money where our mouth is.
09/14/2020 at 4:16 pm #81557Julie BParticipant
- Location: Georgia
I grew up in a small town of 9,000. For small towns to thrive they need to be either near an urban center, have a large employer or be home to a wealthy college. My hometown is very lucky to be home to a small liberal arts college that has a 2.1 Billion dollar endowment (thanks to shrewd investing years ago by Warren Buffett.) A vocal group in the town complain that the college buys everything up and practically runs the town council but without that college, it would be just another quasi-ghost town with empty downtown buildings.
09/18/2020 at 11:22 am #81680
A college makes a small town awesome. Lost of money flowing in. Professors buying homes. Students who stay after they graduate.
The difference now (maybe) is people can possible start working from home which means they can live anywhere. If true, that changes everything.
09/14/2020 at 7:39 pm #81560Kentucky PickerParticipant
- Location: Newport, Kentucky
It will be interesting to see if the pandemic fuels a resurgence in small town America. I know you chose your town carefully in that you’re only a couple of hours from DC and are next to a national forest.
Listings in Store: 696
Items Sold: 17
Gross Sales (includes shipping): $420
Highest Price: $44 – Jogger stroller wheel
Average Price of Solds: $25
Cost of Goods Sold: $20
Cost of Goods Purchased this Week: $30
Number of New Items Listed this Week: 35
Gut reaction to the week: Nothing special, all smalls under $50. No complaints. Since I made a breakthrough in my photos, I’ve been motivated to list more from my deathpile.
Scavenge of the week: Couple of weeks ago I bought 300 vintage electronic vacuum tubes for $100. Just starting to wade through them now. At first I regretted the buy but now I think I’ll do OK.
09/14/2020 at 8:28 pm #81562SimonParticipant
- Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Couple of weeks ago I bought 300 vintage electronic vacuum tubes for $100.
That’s interesting. Do you have a vacuum tube tester or are they all new, old stock?
09/15/2020 at 8:06 am #81572Kentucky PickerParticipant
- Location: Newport, Kentucky
@Simon: Most appear to be new-old stock – in box, no signs of use. I plan to sell them as NOS with free returns. I’m seeing some ‘solds’ of tube lots by sellers who explain they got a large number of tubes through an estate sale, haven’t tested the tubes, selling as-is. So I will try selling some individually, some in lots.
09/14/2020 at 9:42 pm #81567LaurenParticipant
- Location: Central Illinois
First, a comment RE: sending offers. So, when you send offers to people a couple times a day, I’ve noticed that half of them go to people that are watching my item, and the other half are going to what I assume are people that just look at items (whether to price their own, whatever). I had been looking at shelving a couple months ago and did NOT watch or save anything and was still recieving offers for about a week. You can see on the offer page where it says how many “interested buyers” are getting your offer. Sometimes, this number is higher than the amount of people that are watching.
Items in Store 300
Items Sold 11 on Ebay, 2 on FBMarketplace
Total Sales 244.27
Total Profit 235.77
Average profit 18.13
Average sales price 18.79
New Listings 0
Pretty good number of sales for me this week, but there were a ton of $10 items, which really drug down profit. Spent the first half of the week getting through the end of recovery from the surgery about 2 weeks ago now.
Yesterday was my last day at my boring retail job, and man am I stressed. I’m trying to keep the momentum to just get to work but I’m feeling a little frozen. My non-listed shelves are full, so tomorrow will be a full day of listing that I’m hoping to get a good chunk listed. Goal is to have 500 listings up by the end of the month, equalling about 13 items a day if I list for half the days left in the month.
A couple weeks ago I got approved for shipping for FB Marketplace. What I’ve noticed is that my number of FB sales have actually dropped, and I am having no in person sales. So, the new plan of action is to list my local pickup items from my business page rather than my personal account, and I’m hoping that they start showing up in search again. That being said, what I am selling on FB Marketplace is the same exact prices I charge on Ebay, but there’s no fees attached through the end of the year. So, less volume, but bigger $$.
09/14/2020 at 9:57 pm #81568SharynParticipant
- Location: Central NJ
I’ve always lived in the suburbs or smaller cities, but, when I visit a town, I often check out the real estate and day dream of buying a house there (which won’t happen any time soon). I find the stories about Luray and your different businesses very interesting. I did check out Ryanne’s Instagram account when it was mentioned last week. I really like the A-frame cabin she highlighted.
Week of Sept 6 – 12
Total Items in Store: 1292 eBay, 36 Etsy
Items Sold: 16 eBay + 4 outside sales
Cost of Items Sold: $33.25 + $37 Commission
Total Sales: $383.70 eBay + 117.90 outside sales
Highest Price Sold: $80 Vintage Corning Lab Hot Plate Magnetic Stirrer
Average price: $25
Returns: 1 (Also, forgot to mention a partial refund in last week’s numbers)
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $70.75 (one auction and a few garage sales)
Number of items listed this week: 20
The outside sales were to forum user debitsendcredits who was looking for props at his day job. That was fun! I sold two items that I had bought earlier in the week and hadn’t even listed, and the other two were things he found in my store.
My highest sale was something I bought at the beginning of the year, but was lazy and hadn’t tested it. Then, because of forum user Amatino and her Woebegone challenge, I tested and listed it, and then it sold very quickly.
This forum has always been such an inspiration for me and my little business, but it was really amazing how some forum users helped me this week!
09/15/2020 at 12:29 pm #81576gargolferParticipant
- Location: Illinois
Total Items In Store: 2106
Items Sold: 45
Gross Sales: $1865
Highest Price Sold: $175 (Precision Trolling Manual)
Average Price Sold: $41.44
Returns: 3 $132.28
Money Spent on New Inventory: $0
Number of items listed: 101
- Another very nice sales week this week. Two weeks in a row of great sales.
- I had a return this week was for $50. They contacted me about an hour before the post office picked up the item and wanted to cancel their order. Better that way than after it shipped at least. I also had another $60 return for a college textbook that took almost a month to reach the buyer. They had to purchase the book somewhere else to have it in time for class.
- Scavenge of the Week: It was actually last week. I picked up 3 Precision Trolling Manuals from a yard sale at a local lake for $3 each. One of them sold this week for $175.
- I got quite a few things listed this week and got my store back over 2100 listings for the first time since April.
- I love that Ebay is going to be having time away settings. I currently have around 15 different shipping business policies that all have to be changed several times when I am out of town. Too bad this doesn’t go into effect until the end of September, as I am traveling next week and it would have been nice to use the new feature right away.
09/15/2020 at 2:20 pm #81581LukastreasuretroveParticipant
- Location: Chevy Chase, MD
Love how you guys have taken such an active role and positive attitude towards your adopted town. It is such a nice little town and such a shame to see all the empty businesses. I looked at the population statistics while we were there a few weeks ago. Looks like the population has been basically level over the last several censuses. Do you feel like there has been an uptick since you’ve lived there?
Regarding the new Time Away function, I assume they are not taking away the 30 day handling time completely, just not incorporating it within the time away tool. I guess that remains to be seen. Tried to take a look at the tool, but doesn’t appear to be available yet.
Spent the week posting a lot of Christmas items to get ready for the holiday rush. Picked up a large lot of 68 hand-painted wood ornaments by a local artist. They are very creative and cute. Hoping that will make a nice holiday pipeline. I believe that makes the top new listings we’ve ever done in a single week.
My best sale this week was extra special. I sold a vintage fishing lure for $100. I was asking $199 as I couldn’t find any comps. Right after I listed it I got a note from a guy claiming my price was way out of line and that they sell all the time for $15. Claimed he was in charge of some collector’s club. I thanked him for his input and left my price alone. Took 5 months to sell. I purchased it in a lot and had about $2 in it.
Week Ending 9/11/20
Total Items in Store: 1215
Items Sold: 12
Gross Sales: $614.27
Net Sales (after fees, shipping, etc.) $432.11
Cost of Items Sold: $36.00
COGS Percent 8.33%
Highest Price Sold: $100.00 Vintage Fishing Lure
Average Price Sold: $36.01
Money Spent on New Inventory: $0.00
Sold via promoted listings: 8
Promoted Percentage: 66.67%
Average Days Listed: 370.5
Longest Listed: 1025
New items listed: 85
09/15/2020 at 3:18 pm #81585
Don’t you want to hunt down that old message and reply with an “In yo’ face!” response?
Oh how I’ve wanted to do that so many times over the years.
09/18/2020 at 11:25 am #81682
I have been known to message people who have been outraged at our prices after it sells for what we want 🙂
09/18/2020 at 11:24 am #81681
The population hasnt changed much in the last 30 years. Mainly older people move here to retire, so we have as many people dying each year and moving in. Luray had manufacturing and textile industry till the 90s when it all moved overseas. Not many good jobs here.
But since we’re near DC, Luray is an up and coming location for second homes, or people who can work from home and just need to go into the city once a week.
09/15/2020 at 2:49 pm #81582TemudginParticipant
- Location: Jacksonville FL
Total Items Listed (3 different IDs): 259
Items Sold: 5
Gross Sales (not incl shipping): $106.09
Highest Price Sold: $30 US War Dept German Language Guide Pamphlet (’50’s reprint)
New Items Listed: 8
Money Spent on New Inventory: $0
Re the new watch authentication service for all watches over $2K, I believe the update said somewhere (or maybe it was on the eBay for Business podcast) that doing this for high end watches was just a first step and that additional similar features were planned. I see the good news about this being a feature that focuses on eBay’s core strength in the rare and unusual (and in this case, expensive) rather than the usual “Amazonian race to the bottom” (quote Julie B). It’s not really that big of a step despite the hoopla, though, as they’ve been offering third-party authentication for $500-plus handbags and watches for select sellers since 2017 and 2018, respectively.
Watches have been one of eBay’s top selling categories for years. Maybe high-end sneakers are next. When my son told me about the StockX authenticated trading platform for sneakers back in 2016 when it launched I thought it was just a flash in the pan and an unsustainable business model. (I did some initial research and it appeared to be a scammy gimmick.) But I was apparently wrong as StockX is going strong and they now have multiple competitors.
09/15/2020 at 3:05 pm #81583BrookesGoodsParticipant
Hello Ryanne. What’s the name of you instagram account? I’ve tried every combo I can think of the spell lovelylourayrealestate.
Thanks in advanced
09/15/2020 at 3:18 pm #81584
09/16/2020 at 2:32 am #81597sonia_pcParticipant
- Location: Lisbon, Portugal
Loved to browse the insta account. Some great properties at really affordable prices. I was stunned! I started following the account, just because it’s something I started to like doing recently – looking at real estate oportunities and pondering the possibilities. Not ready to act on it yet or maybe ever – and certainly not planning to move to the US :).
Regarding my sales, following a few months – since march – of a steady flow of well distributed over time sales, the last 3 weeks the pace seems erratic. It’s either crickets for days or some serious flurry of sales.
(Context: I am mainly a Etsy seller and only have ~200 items listed with limited multiples so the “flurry” must be put in perspective – 37 orders in total the last 30 days. Some orders comprise several items.)
09/18/2020 at 11:26 am #81683
We have a good friend whose Portuguese (but grew up in NJ). He has his family home in a small town in Portugal. Just like the US, real estate seems very cheap outside the big cities like Lisbon. Just not a lot to do and few jobs.
09/16/2020 at 8:33 am #81602apertureParticipant
- Location: ARVADA
Total listings: 853
Items Sold: 25
Gross Sales (not incl shipping): $1096.29
Highest Price Sold: $417.99 – 1960s Sandwich Isles Jacket
Returns: 0 (1 unpaid for $90)
New Items Listed: 125 (books and magazines)
Money Spent on New Inventory: $65
I had a good week due to a few big items. Lots of time, I sell plenty of low dollar stuff ($10 – $20). I can put myself in a frame of mind where it seems like a waste of time (especially when listing). On the other hand, I am a frugal person and “a million dollars is made $10 at a time” is something I believe to be true. Besides, sales beget sales – at least I think that is how the algorithm tends to think.
I am trying an experiment this week. I got a bunch of woodworking magazines and archeology journals for free from a lady that was tired of her garage sale by Saturday at noon. I listed a ton of them because they are super easy to list. The woodworking magazines are desirable but sell cheap. The archeology journals are longer tail, but higher price. I was glad to see examples in both categories sold in the first 24 hours.
I continue to enjoy (and support) your podcast. You guys have such infectious optimism, I find it quite refreshing (compared to political & news feeds on reddit that I have had to mostly stop looking at). Best wishes, Daniel.
09/18/2020 at 11:27 am #81684
Specialty Magazines can be fun. Easy to get and easy to list. But they are long tail as you said.
Always appreciate the support. Glad you keep hanging around 🙂 Nice to see that retirement is treating you well.
09/18/2020 at 5:27 pm #81689
Magazines are one of those niches that a lot of sellers don’t think about much but profit margins can be incredible.
Stuff like home and garden, wood working, national geographic, those are lower desired than other publications and sell cheaper and can be long tailed, but if you can get tons of them for free and don’t mind the grind, they’ll definitely make you some money.
We’re by no means complete experts in magazines, but we generally do sell 10+ magazines a day. Just some tips if you ever see some magazines while scavenging; condition/cover/content/rarity, these things all matter.
The magazine categories that sell the best of us are soaps, fashion, celebrity, gossip/tabloids, sci-fi, horror, Mens/Womens Interest, Pin-ups, and adult. Most sports mags are junk ,there are key issues of Sport Illustrated to look out for, but not many. Usually all the vintage sports magazines with sports cards included, attached to spine, will sell well.
Here are some of the vintage celebrity covers that have sold well to us and that we know has a collector base; Brooke Shields, Lynda Carter, Loni Anderson, Linda Evans, Olsen Twins, Pam Anderson, Larry Hagman(or any mag with Dallas/Dynasty actors on the cover), Dolly Parton, Liz Taylor, Delta Burke
The highest fashion magazine we’ve sold is a 1970s Lynda Carter cover for $150
Highest tabloid was a Jeffrey Dahmer cover for $120 (serial killer covers sell great)
Magazine catalogs sell great as well. Service Merchandise is a good one to look out for, they sell quick and for a good price.
Follow bigger magazine sellers like Mr. Magazine and DTACollectibles to get a better idea of what kind of magazines to scavenge.
Alright, I could go on and on gushing over this category, so I’ll stop now lol.
Have a great day 🙂
09/18/2020 at 5:22 am #81672
The issue you guys are having with Ebay international standard delivery is super weird to me. Out of the 100s of international orders I’ve sent with that service, only one item was “not received”. Buyer opened an item not received case. Ebay rep notated that the item is being held at the post office and buyer refused to pay import fees. Case closed in my favor. Super quick.
Global shipping became a pain for me. Not being able to send custom invoices when I’m getting combined orders daily is kind of a deal breaker for me. I’m hoping they keep both shipping methods, so sellers can choose which method fits their business model the best.
Great podcast as always.
I’m too tired to pull up this weeks #s, but we’re having an incredible month so far. I picked up another huge magazine lot. I spent $280 and have sold 2 magazines out of the lot so far for a total of $750. I sold a $20 mag as well, but that’s not as impressive. So yeah..the next 700 or so magazines will be pure profit.
Today was a big milestone for us. We hit 100k in gross sales. Finally. Feels like it’s been forever since I transitioned my business model away clothes/electronics/household and started focusing on paper and media. Lots of long hours. Seeing it pay off finally is a good feeling. Now on to 150k!
Look forward to next weeks show. Have a good one.
09/18/2020 at 9:04 am #81676
Sounds like you’re a full fledged ephemera seller now. We have a couple others here too. Glad business is good.
09/18/2020 at 10:21 pm #81699declutter978Participant
- Location: Massachusetts
im listening through all of the post casts I downloaded I’m getting so educated and inspired. I keep hearing all sorts of new ideas and really appreciate all the info. Thank you Jay and Ryanne for putting all the time and effort into the podcast. You guys are the best!
09/18/2020 at 10:42 pm #81700
So this one was recommended to me a while back, but I put it off because the scope of it was a bit intimidating. Once I started though – OH MY GOODNESS!!! I can’t stop listening!
I did something I didn’t think was possible this week – I did NOT listen to the new scavenger life podcast because I couldn’t stop listening to We’re Alive. Don’t worry I’ll get caught up once I catch my breath at the end. 😉
I’ve even been able to listen while working. As long as the work is mindless it hasn’t been a problem. I’m currently in season 4.
09/19/2020 at 8:51 am #81701BrianBParticipant
Hoping my fellow scavengers can help me out:
I know I’m late in the week, but does anyone know what this rug thing with clasps on the end is? The bell hanger thing was in the same box lot. It has the same style as the clasps on the end of the rug, table runner thing, but I don’t know whether it goes with the rug/table runner item.
09/19/2020 at 9:34 pm #81702soniaParticipant
- Location: Northeast US
It’s called a “bell pull”, and is decorative. This is (or was) a popular type of needlepoint craft project. My guess is that the end with the large ring is the top, and is used to hang on the wall, and the end with the small ring is what the bell attaches to.
Here’s something similar
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.