09/20/2020 at 2:34 pm #81713
09/21/2020 at 7:25 am #81733InstanceParticipant
Strangely enough, through this episode I discovered that I’d also happily listen to a podcast centered around a pair of interesting people working their way through the process of setting up a coffee shop.
Highlight of the week for me, after searching high and low for a missing piece of an order I admitted defeat and sent the buyer the dreaded “I’m so sorry, i can’t find (this part of the order). Would you like anything else from my store or would you like a refund?” email. Just as I hit send I had a moment of “What if…” and found the missing piece behind a box.
Had to eat some humble pie in a “My bad, I found it” email.
They laughed, a sale was made.
09/21/2020 at 7:27 am #81735
Ha. I guess you found that podcast since that seems to be a weekly thing we’re now talking about 🙂
09/21/2020 at 7:32 am #81736TemudginParticipant
- Location: Jacksonville FL
Total Items Listed (2 different IDs): 297
Items Sold: 10
Gross Sales (not incl shipping): $172.51
Highest Price Sold: $39 1st edition autobiography from the ’50s
New Items Listed: 48
$ Spent on New Inventory: $0
Not very exciting report, though, other than having a more productive listing week than usual. Since I haven’t said it for a while – thanks for your podcast!
09/21/2020 at 8:51 am #81737
I had a good week on ebay.
Sales c/w shipping: CAD$2881, 16 sales, COGS: $672, Fees: ~$409, Postage: $258 –> Gross profit: $1543
Expenses: $544, New inventory: $598 –> Cashflow: $1073
Best sale was a radar liquid level sensor for $700… paid $400 for two of them.
I found out my dream of buying some land and putting a quonset on it is a little harder than I thought… was not aware that you would typically need a 35% down payment for that, which equates to $50-70k for the price range I thought we were in. So this plan is on hold for the next couple years.
Also, my FIL may be starting an ebay business and wants some help! I am excited about that.
09/22/2020 at 7:25 am #81789
Yeah, if you need a bank loan on land in the US, terms are much tougher. Not like buying a primary residence.
How much is a piece of land? Can you save up the cash to buy it outright? Usually a raw piece of land in a rural area will be affordable.
09/22/2020 at 9:57 am #81796
It’s probably going to run us around $100-150k in our area for a few acres…
09/22/2020 at 1:55 pm #81805
Maybe Im thinking of another scavenger. That doesnt sound like rural land prices. $50k an acre for raw land is like middle of the city, right?
09/23/2020 at 5:23 pm #81863
I think it’s super variable all across North America and even in my own province. But yeah, those are the typical asking prices (CAD$) for 2-5 acres in the area I’m looking (within about 30 min drive of my town = 1 hour drive of a major city). I think there is a fair amount of demand for acreage lots.
09/23/2020 at 5:38 pm #81865
I can see $10k USD for an acre of good land. So at 5 acres, that’s be $50k USD or $67k CAD.
I guess I just encourage you to be a scavenger when it comes to property as well. We’ve found good deals when we look for property that’s not “obvious” or might have some issues other people aren’t willing to deal with.
This year we bought a prime piece of property next to a lake only because I spent five years getting to know the land owner. Got a good deal but it took a lot of long conversations.
And yeah, raw land is almost always a cash deal. Banks wont touch it unless you are taking equity out of your home.
09/21/2020 at 9:14 am #81740
Items in Store 1465
Items Sold 34
Total Sales $1,126.00
Total Profit $1,005.00
Average profit $29.56
Average sales price $33.12
New Listings 77
Interesting scavenge of the week – an iRobot Looj. It is a Robot gutter cleaner. I paid $25 for it, but I have it listed high for $350.
I also found a HUGE box full of Boyds Bears figurines at the local Goodwill for $25. There were multiple people in the store that were audibly ticked off that I got it instead of them. I did some preliminary research, but I’ll need to take a deep dive to see if any individual ones are valuable. Worst case it’s an easy $200 full lot flip. Best case I could eat on this one for a long time listing individually and turn it into big profits.
I had a big week listing this weekend. Hopefully this week I can crack 100 new listings. I’ll have to push HARD if I want to meet my goal of 1600 active by beginning of October.
09/21/2020 at 11:01 am #81744DoublythumbsParticipant
- Location: Hopedale, OH
Sept. 13 – 19
- Total Items in Store: 3,948
- Items Sold: 32
- Total Sales : $1,356
- * ABOVE yearly average of $1,018
- Highest Price: $175 (Antique Tobacco Cutter Tool)
- Average Price: $42
- Returns: 0
- Cost of Goods Sold: $92
- Costs of Goods Purchased this Week: $4
- Number of New Items Listed this Week: 59
I hunkered down this week and really concentrated on listing some inventory. I also had a stellar week of sales. Coincidence? LOL! Perhaps, but I always like to think that there’s just something in eBay’s algorithm that rewards hard work with more sales. At the very least it’s a good motivator to work hard.
I run into the doubt mindset a couple times a year. I’ve talked about it here sometimes when I’ve had a lousy few weeks or months and my business just doesn’t seem like it’d be worth continuing. But things always turn around and grow better than before. What helped me tremendously has been keeping records of my numbers from past years. That way I can have a bigger view of my success and growth. That also applies to our lives too, doesn’t it? Taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture always helps my perspective and sort of cheers me up.
You two should collaborate with your partners and create a special edition coffee blend for scavengers. It’d be a creation of your own that we can all try and enjoy.
09/21/2020 at 11:49 am #81747old_man_martyParticipant
- Location: California
My Sales Week Ending 9/19/20
Total Items For Sale: 52
Items Sold: 4
Items Listed: 0
Average Profit: $65.15
Highest Profit: $178.75 High End T-Shirt On The Real Real
Cost of Items Sold: $0
$ Spent Sourcing: $0
09/21/2020 at 3:15 pm #81761LukastreasuretroveParticipant
- Location: Chevy Chase, MD
This time of year on eBay always fills me with doubt. Last year about this time it was so slow that I considered I may have to figure out something else to do. Then the Christmas season hit and we had our best year yet. Looking forward to things picking up again.
Had a good week this week with a large $495 sale. High cost of goods due to the same sale. The lens was from a large camera lot that I paid up for since I new it was good quality stuff. Paid $203 for the lens and had to sit on it for 8 months before it sold.
Week Ending 6/19/20
Total Items in Store: 1228
Items Sold: 20
Gross Sales: $1,164.88
Net Sales (after fees, shipping, etc.) $893.55
Cost of Items Sold: $267.69
COGS Percent 29.96%
Highest Price Sold: $495.95 Camera Lens
Average Price Sold: $44.68
Money Spent on New Inventory: $0.00
Sold via promoted listings: 12
Promoted Percentage: 60.00%
Average Days Listed: 334
Longest Listed: 1236
New items listed: 25
09/22/2020 at 7:26 am #81790
Our early eBay years were the same. Slow times scared the hell out of us. This is why we make sure our expenses match our lowest expected weeks. Then when we have great selling weeks, its all gravy.
Nice sale on the lens. We stopped selling camera lenses after issues with fungus inside.
09/21/2020 at 5:03 pm #81764
Total Items in Store: 364
Items Sold: 6
Gross Sales: $468
Cost of Items Sold: $164
Highest Price Sold: $238 (4 new plates)
Average Price Sold: $67
Returns: 1 $60 (wrong item in packaging)
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $38
Enjoyed the podcast. Sounds like you are getting closer on the coffee shop. Do you have an estimated opening date / month? Also enjoyed looking on Insta at some cute homes in your area. Stunning the price per sq. foot out there.
Ebay was completely dead for me for six! days, then I got a flurry yesterday and a good multi-item sale. I have not been listing unfortunately. Work might be less busy this week and I might be able to catch up a bit on some Ebay before we take a short trip on Saturday for our anniversary. At this stage of Covid, I’m have days that I am excited about catching up with old friends or the holidays coming, and then other days when I feel in a bit of a Groundhog day funk. Most days I just don’t feel as productive as I should be. I’m serving as my son’s college counselor and we are in the thick of that too. I cannot wait for December on that front. Just like with Ebay, I got an excellent free education online and in a forum about admissions. The internet is a wonderful thing.
For the second time in my Ebay career, I have a return involving a new pillow sham that has the wrong item inside the packaging. Unfortunately I didn’t check and used stock photos this time, so I have no way to know if it was the Ebay buyer or someone else who swapped it out and returned it to the retailer. Last time I reported the buyer to Ebay because I knew. Bummer and lesson learned.
Have a great week everyone!
09/22/2020 at 7:28 am #81791
SoCal prices are like a different planet, but you also have a great quality of life with all the conveniences of modern society 🙂 Property is cheap all over rural America. But then you have to develop your own culture.
09/22/2020 at 12:20 pm #81800
When we bought our first house here some friends said it helped them decide to move to Tennessee. It was a total fixer for the price. LOL. But it is a nice community and we do have some awesome local coffee shops https://www.handlebarcoffee.com/pages/our-story. This one has the most amazing avocado toast. Of course because I’m cheap I get our coffee at Costco usually and we are using a crappy Keurig. So expensive real estate but cheap coffee, that’s what we get here.
09/22/2020 at 10:25 am #81799
Oh yeah, I’m definitely in that groundhog day funk most days!
My day job has been really weird for months. So many folks are just going through the motions.
Stress manifests differently in everyone, and we all have a BUNCH of it in our lives right now. The best you can do is try to be aware of how it is affecting you and take steps to counteract it.
09/22/2020 at 12:23 pm #81801
@ Retro Good thinking. I feel like I’m not depressed but strangely less productive. I prefer to compartmentalize my time and office work. Here there is always a number of other things I could be doing and greater temptation to slack off.
09/21/2020 at 6:14 pm #81768SharynParticipant
- Location: Central NJ
I enjoy hearing about the coffee shop and all the work behind it. I like hearing about your AirBnBs and listen to ShampooAndBooze.com at times. I like hearing about your eBay store and all the work there. Hum, maybe I just like listening to you guys in general!
Lots of sales on Saturday helped this week end well.
Week of Sept 13 – 19
Total Items in Store: 1299 eBay, 35 Etsy
Items Sold: 19 eBay + 1 Etsy
Cost of Items Sold: $43.75 + $13 Commission
Total Sales: $421.10 eBay + $17.39 Etsy
Highest Price Sold: $84 Women’s head modern art sculpture
Average price: $21.92
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
Number of items listed this week: 27
09/22/2020 at 7:30 am #81792
Items in Store 343
Items Sold 10 lots, 4 on Ebay, 6 on FB Marketplace
Total Sales $307
Total Profit 261.5
Average profit 26.15
Average sales price 30.70
New Listings 43
Slow week, but still made money. This week I focused on raising prices in my store, so for about half of the week I didn’t have a sale running because it was being priced and I’m assuming that’s what has led to my sales dropping. Large COGS cost this week compared to most, but here’s why- I bought 10 cardtables from a woman for $15 a few months ago, kept one for myself, and sold the other 9 between two orders for $85 this week. Also sold about $10 boxes of glassware that I’m valuing a COGS of $25 for $50. This was the bottom of the barrel random junk no name glass candle holders and other stuff left over from the woman I bought 45ish boxes of her estate a couple months ago. I still have about 15 non-glassware boxes to go. I sold it to a lady that makes glass and ceramic flowers and lawn ornaments. Still made money, but basically recouping losses from what I couldn’t sell.
Talking about the estate sale, I learned a valuable lesson this week. I am too young, and frankly too new, to really know what I’m doing, but that’s okay. A few months ago, I bought 45ish boxes sight-unseen of an 85 year old’s estate for $5 a box. ($225) plus renting a uhaul that almost killed the whole thing ($90), so I was in about $315 for all of it. There was a lot of stuff, and frankly none of it was anything to write home about. I was making about $20ish-$30ish in listable items (this is before I repriced, so probably more like $30-$40 now) per box, but there was a lot of junk. I was putting off going through it and have been working at it slowly, but I had a buyer for all the extra glassware that I couldn’t sell coming by on Wednesday, so I made it a goal to finish at least looking through the boxes by then. Kept pulling stuff, including some ugly beer stein that I put on the shelf to be processed. I think to date I’ve sold about $150 worth of stuff from this lot, and still have about 15 boxes of usuable listable stuff to go through (some of these will be cheap lots for the entire box. I think there are like 50 picture frames for example to lot up). Anyways, I made it to the beer stein and looked it up on Terapeak. Turns out its some super collectible stein from a big brewery’s smaller tasting room, and comps in the last year have gone for $150-$225. Mine has some condition issues, but I listed it high with a low BO decline and already have 4 watchers on it. Mine is the only one currently for sale, and I’m hoping it goes sometime this or next month. With that, It’ll put me over in the black with plenty of more stuff to list. The “I don’t know what I’m doing” lesson comes into this because I really just thought it was a tacky souvenir beer stein that I was gonna list for like $25. Terapeak has become my best friend, all the comps sold more than 3 months ago so without it I wouldn’t have known that this stein was such a win.
After our repricing conversation, the value of all the items in my store went from 8k to 11k, while running a 15% off sale when it was 8k and now a 20% when it was 11k.
The Hats that I found at the yard sale this week are looking like they’ll do well. After doing more research, I realized they weren’t all the 1980’s vintage patch trucker hats, but I do have 3 up for over $100 with low BO decline numbers. List price total for the 30 something that I have listed are at $1200, if I get a third of that I’ll be happy, since I paid a quarter each for them.
Always growing, always learning. Thanks for the podcast this week! I did want to ask about using newspaper end rolls for packing. Currently, instead of using biodegradable packing peanuts I use butcher paper to crumple up and use as outer filling for double boxes. I pay $26ish bucks for 400 feet, and I feel like it’s thick enough that my stuff hasn’t broken since I started really packing it in. How much do you get on an end roll of newspaper, and do you think it’s thick enough to keep the umph of a package wiggling around inside? I think our newspaper company sells them for $5 an end roll, so not as cheap as $2, but I’d love to cut my shipping cost down if possible. Also, naive question but how wide is an end roll? My dispenser is 24″.
Thanks for all you do!
09/22/2020 at 7:33 am #81793
It’s good to try experiments like buying all those boxes. But also don’t be afraid to ask to look through what they have for sale. Thats a lot of work if its mostly junk. All lessons are expensive.
Our local newspaper sells end rolls for $2 an inch of usable paper. Its basically like butcher paper. We pack many things with just the paper, but we’ve learned to use peanuts if we are shipping heavy delicate items. Heavy items tend to crush the paper flat.
09/22/2020 at 2:20 pm #81809LaurenParticipant
- Location: Central Illinois
$2 an inch? Wouldn’t that make 400 feet like $128 bucks? Or am I doing math wrong.
Did my comment disappear? I’m on my girlfriend’s laptop-mine bit the dust this week. Not sure if I need to adjust my settings or something to post on the group.
Re: Estate: It’s definitely not no money. I think in like 6 months I’ll be happy with it, but they are long tail items so it’ll take a while. Office real estate is the biggest hassle right now.
09/22/2020 at 2:39 pm #81813
Yes, your comment disappeared for some reason. I just copied it over from our notification.
We pay for $2 for 1″ thickness. Usually they are 2-3″ thick.
09/22/2020 at 6:04 pm #81827LaurenParticipant
- Location: Central Illinois
I think I’m hearing you wrong. Do you mean an inch as in an inch of paper on the roll, like radius wise? I was thinking a literal inch of paper. LOL.
09/23/2020 at 1:35 pm #81855Kentucky PickerParticipant
- Location: Newport, Kentucky
<div class=”gmail_default”>J&R, thanks for another great podcast. Jay, I’m right there with you, replaying memories from decades ago. I don’t do well with lots of idle time, which is a large part of why I’m drawn to scavenging. There’s always something you can do be doing better.
Listings in Store: 692
Items Sold: 13
Gross Sales (includes shipping): $435
Highest Price: $149 – Pot-filler faucet
Average Price of Solds: $33
Cost of Goods Sold: $60
Cost of Goods Purchased this Week: 0
Number of New Items Listed this Week: 0
Scavenge of the Week: File this one under ‘Superspreader Disaster Event’. Wife and I decided to attend a live in-person auction Saturday morning in rural southern Indiana. The auction listing ranted how everyone was strongly encouraged to wear a facial covering etc., etc. We get there, put on our masks and get out of car. After signing in we noticed that no one was wearing a mask. Not even the auctioneers. This is a crowd of about 300 people. Young, old, kids, babies. What universe are these people from? We noped out of there after about 20 minutes. Most of it was piles of rusted junk anyway.
Scavenge of the Week Part 2: A few weeks back I bought about 300 vintage vacuum tubes. At first the plan was just to sell them as-is, untested. Welp, after the first one got returned I went to Plan B, which was buying a tester. Got lucky and found a tube tester on Facebook Marketplace for $80. After I test all the tubes I’ll sell the tester for 2x what I paid for it.
On the wisdom of buying packing supplies: That’s a big ‘yep’. I did the dumpster diving for a while for bubble wrap etc., but it takes time and you rarely end up with exactly what you need. Much more efficient to buy it and have it delivered. Although I still hunt for over-sized boxes.</div>
09/23/2020 at 2:56 pm #81858
I now keep a bag of biodegradable peanuts on hand for the days I just don’t want to try when shipping a big awkward thing. Soooo much easier to just dump in the bag and go. It pays for itself in time easily.
Purchased supplies definitely have a place as you scale up, but I still prefer to get freebies whenever I can.
09/23/2020 at 4:52 pm #81862
I’d be curious to know how many of those tubes are still good. I see boxes of them for sale often. Wonder if its worth buying a tester.
09/23/2020 at 8:44 pm #81876Kentucky PickerParticipant
- Location: Newport, Kentucky
Have tested about 100 so far. About a third are bad. I’m selling the higher value ones as singles, lotting the rest. On the plus side tubes are easy to store and cheap to ship. Remains to be seen how they sell.
09/24/2020 at 2:36 pm #81890almastyParticipant
I managed to listen to the podcast this week. It was a good one, like always! Thanks for staying consistent during the pandemic.
I feel like doubt, and a general sense of unease just permeates everything these days. What should be a normal expansion of business is just complicated by what will life be like post-pandemic. It is just another layer added to the normal question of “will this work out?” There’s always a normal level of anxiety when one starts a new line of business. It’s completely understandable to feel more anxious than normal when starting a new line of business now.
Sales have remained consistent over here, no matter how much I list. 120-150 orders each week on all venues. I did not experience a summer slowdown this year, but I also didn’t experience much of an increase either. It has stayed oddly consistent. This year is an odd one.
Since not much is changing, I’ve slacked on listing as much over the past few weeks. Each day feels like another day to work or not work. Sometimes I just work in the morning. Sometimes I work all day. It’s hard to do this full-time and not work, there’s always guilt but I am starting to get used to it and not feel as bad. I find it is healthier to just take more breaks these days and not stress as much over the business, or anything sometimes. Everything is going to be more difficult no matter what. Just have to take it easy.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.