10/25/2020 at 1:47 pm #82848
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[See the full post at: Scavenger Life Episode 485: Job, Career, Small Business]
10/25/2020 at 4:54 pm #82851Julie BParticipant
- Location: Georgia
Speaking of listing variations – Over the last 6 months or longer eBay has really screwed up the variations listings in the clothing category. I’ve had to change every single one of them because eBay now says they are missing item specifics and that specific is size. So for listings that had multiple size variations, I’ve had to end all of them and make a separate listing for every size. Super annoying.
10/25/2020 at 6:02 pm #82855LaurenParticipant
- Location: Central Illinois
Numbers for this week:
Items in Store : 632
Items Sold: 5
Total Sales: 181
Total Profit: 176
Average profit: 36.20
Average sales price 37.20
Highest Priced Item: Colt Presentation Case: 110
New Listings: 30ish
Had a nice quick sale this week for a Colt Presentation Box. Couldn’t figure out what guns it fit, it was scratched to hell, and sold for $125 shipped, so about $110 gross sale. Probably could have gotten more, but was happy for the quick 3 day flip for something that wasn’t even what I was bidding on in the lot.
Secret’s out- I’m buying a house! My grandmother is moving in with me from California to Illinois and my dad is gifting me a downpayment. Trying to get a loan is challenging at best because no one wants to use self employment income for my application, even though between amazon, FB,and Ebay I’ve been consistently making 2k+ a month in sales (1200 net or so, low estimate) so they are trying to base the entire loan on 1200 a month that I get for caregiving for mom part time. Dad’s willing to cosign, and the house is under 100k, and my girlfriend and grandma are going to be paying rent, so it’ll be fine. I just need to find a house. So….fun.
Ebay was slow. Amazon has been on fire- those 130 listings I posted last week went live and I had a $250 day on Amazon for just books. Still feeling slow on Ebay, but we’re getting through it. Kayley and I didn’t get to list much this week before today. My dad is coming to Illinois on Wednesday for a week so I’m anticipating not getting much done when he’s here, but I hope I can get more done on the front half of this week because he’s traveling most of Wednesday.
10/25/2020 at 6:25 pm #82856So Cal JoeParticipant
Wow, great news.
House prices in Illinois can be very reasonable, but the property tax rate tends, to be on the high side.
As long as you considerate it as part of your monthly expenses, you should be fine.
Congratulations on your new house.
10/25/2020 at 8:36 pm #82861LaurenParticipant
- Location: Central Illinois
Thanks So Cal Joe!
Yeah, property taxes are rough out here. The house that I’m looking at’s bill is about 2200 a year. Just trying to not put too many eggs in one basket, but I’m really excited about one in particular.
10/25/2020 at 11:14 pm #82866So Cal JoeParticipant
Great, it sounds like you’ve been doing your research regarding your monthly housing expenses.
When I bought my first house, I was not yet selling on Ebay, but I was self employed. I had to provide a P and L (Profit and Loss statement) and copies of my bank statements to show a history of cash flow.
The usual lending requirements also came into play, such as credit score, income and time on the job.
Since you’ll be renting to others, you should be able to show that as income.
It also helps if you’re putting down at least a 20% down payment.
I bought my first house before the 2008 recession and lending standards were relatively easy. After the crash, they tightened up and have since loosened a bit.
With the pandemic, I really don’t know if they are tightening or not. If your housing expenses are less than 30% of your income, it shouldn’t be a big deal. Of course, that’s if you have a good credit history and aren’t overloaded with debt.
Are you doing online applications or have you dealt with a mortgage broker? It might be that you just haven’t found the right lender yet.
Good Luck with it.
By the way Clark Howard is a financial guy who’s been on the radio forever. His website is clark.com He’s got a consumer action center you can call and ask these type of questions. It’s totally free and he’s not trying to sell you anything. You may want to listen to him on the radio or catch his podcasts as well. He’s the nicest guy on the radio. I’ve been listening to him since the 1990’s.
10/25/2020 at 9:24 pm #82863TemudginParticipant
- Location: Jacksonville FL
10/18/20 – 10/24/20
Total Items Listed (3 different IDs): 329
Items Sold: 26
Gross Sales (including @ $12 total free shipping): $762.97
Highest Price Sold: $200 plus shipping – 1935 Harvard 300<sup>th</sup> Anniversary Map Print (family estate item)
New Items Listed: 38
$ Spent on New Inventory: $61
I’ve had multiple careers and jobs – I think I liked them all, at times. But I also tired of every one of them after a while. Been a busy week for me – which is good because my sales typically plateau during the holiday season.
10/26/2020 at 4:06 am #82869
Agreed. Jobs, careers…all good to have. I always hated feeling trapped. Wish it was easier for people to switch between jobs without stress (universal healthcare 🙂
10/26/2020 at 2:00 am #82868WabashValleyRelicsParticipant
- Location: Indiana
10/18/20 – 10/24/20.
Total Items Listed 15,279
# of orders – 87
# of items sold – 102
Gross Sales $2,159.41
Net (after shipping costs) $1,575.42
Highest order – Return buyer bought twice from us this week, photo lots. $165 + shipping.
COGS – approx $25-30.
New listings – a lot.
Money spent on new inventory – $0.
October has been slowww. I checked Oct 2019 and 2018 sales and we saw a drop for Oct both years. Good news is that we’re still up 17% over last October, even though we’re around 30% down from last month.
Congrats and good luck on the house hunting, we’re currently going through the same thing. This will be our first home, but it feels like the process for self employed is a bigger headache than being a w-2 wageslave. Two years tax returns, current year profit/loss sheets, figuring out what deductions can be added back to our net. Bleh.
10/26/2020 at 4:10 am #82870
This will be our first home, but it feels like the process for self employed is a bigger headache than being a w-2 wageslave. Two years tax returns, current year profit/loss sheets, figuring out what deductions can be added back to our net. Bleh.
As a business owner, we deduct as much as legally possible to avoid overpaying taxes. However, this may show we have lower income…which banks do not like when considering loaning you money. Its a catch-22. For us, it helped working with a local bank who knew us, our business, and the local real estate market.
10/26/2020 at 9:21 am #82874
Hi guys, great to hear from you again!
As it happens, Shippo is ebay’s partner in Canada and you have to use it to print your labels. I have grown to like it… I have Canada Post, Fedex, and DHL accounts all hooked up to it so I can always see the best price for an international shipment.
Your discussion of coffee and shipping costs is interesting. If I understand right, you charge $6, but then pay $7.50, losing $1.50 on shipping.
…Ultimately though the idea that you “lose” money on shipping is kind of funny. A buyer has a certain maximum willingness-to-pay for a commodity item, and if you charge an extra $1 in shipping that’s presumably $1 less they’re willing to pay for the item. In money terms it all washes out. (The same is true for handling charges – a $20 handling charge is $20 less I’m willing to pay for the item itself.)
But as I understand it, Amazon did its homework and figured out that buyers irrationally hate paying shipping charges. So for an item of standardized weight like coffee, using free shipping seems like a good idea – just bake the real shipping cost into your prices.
I had a normal week on ebay.
Sales: CAD$2221, 12 sales, COGS: $664, Fees: ~$290, Postage: $265, Gross profit: $1003
Expenses: $84, New inventory: $1 –> Cashflow: $1581
10/26/2020 at 10:44 am #82877SharynParticipant
- Location: Central NJ
This was a slow week for me as well.
I have found a few online auctions here and there where I’ve been able to accumulate inventory for listing. I’ll buy now not only for the possibility of another shutdown, but also bidding prices tend to go up in the few months before and after the holidays. This happens every year, not just this one!
Continued good luck for your coffee venture. I purchased the espresso while I was listening to the podcast yesterday. I used my eBay bucks while I was at it!
Week of Oct 18 – 24
Total Items in Store: 1324 eBay, 33 Etsy
Items Sold: 11 eBay
Cost of Items Sold: $48 + $14 Commission
Total Sales: $198.49 eBay
Highest Price Sold: $37.50 Men’s wool cardigan sweater
Average price: $18
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $22.23
Number of items listed this week: 34
10/26/2020 at 11:59 am #82882
Good choice! Glad you were able to use your ebay bucks!
10/26/2020 at 1:12 pm #82887
I think I will order some for Christmas presents!
So one note, if you search ebay’s search bar for “broadporch coffee” your listings do NOT come up. I had to find you through the SL post about it.
Maybe you already thought about this and wanted the space for other search terms, but might want to add “Broadporch” to your listing titles if not.
10/26/2020 at 1:23 pm #82889
I also searched Broad Porch and no results yet, I’m thinking ebay has just not really indexed us?
10/26/2020 at 1:28 pm #82890
I’m thinking on it, that’s a lot of characters on the title, but might be worth it.
I’m adding “Broad Porch Coffee Co.” to the description now to help.
10/26/2020 at 2:37 pm #82892
Oh, I thought it was all one word. Now I do see you guys but you’re definitely not the first ebay search term for “Broad Porch Coffee”.
10/26/2020 at 11:46 am #82880LibbyParticipant
- Location: Schnecksville, PA
Great podcast. I wanted to comment on the seller initiated offers. The “Automatically Send Offers” only appears if you are doing a single item. If you are sending in bulk, it does not show.
I do have questions on whether or not the wording is the same if you click “automatic”, I am going to ask ebay for business and report back.
10/26/2020 at 11:59 am #82881
ah, that’s right, that’s why i only see it sometimes. hmmmm
10/26/2020 at 12:39 pm #82883OldNorthParticipant
- Location: NC
Week of Oct 18 – 24
Total Items in Store: 140
Items Sold: 9
Cost of Items Sold: $29
Total Sales: $148.91
Highest Price Sold: $39.99 (a tie between a Canon Point & Shoot camera and Wario World GameCube game)
Average price: $16.55
Returns: 1 (still waiting for it to actually be returned so we’ll see what happens)
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
Number of items listed this week: 16
Most of what I sold this week was relatively low dollar video games. I was shocked to see how much you can get for a point & shoot film camera, and mine was on the low end because it was untested. The return was for a necklace the buyer ended up not liking, so they’re paying for the return shipping. Waiting to see if they actually follow through before issuing the refund. I think last week someone mentioned the chosen shipping method was defaulting to something different and I’ve been seeing that this week too. A lot of my stuff is setup with calculated shipping via First Class and those have been popping up with Priority Shipping preselected when I go to print the label even though it shows the buyer selected First Class.
10/26/2020 at 1:05 pm #82885old_man_martyParticipant
- Location: California
My Sales Week Ending: 10/24/20
Notes: 42 year old garage doors replaced – and, since the garage is my photo booth… might not be listing till my cinefoil comes so I can black out the windows. Also, 8 year old is back in school 4 days a week so I am scrambling to catch up on house and yard. #$%!!!
On a good note, I have pricing high on almost every single item and am being pretty strict about not going much below average comps. It is increasing my profit per listing and per hour spent.
Total Items For Sale: 55
Items Sold: 2
Items Listed: 0
Average Profit: $34.86
Highest Profit: $48.28 Lot of Men’s Turtleneck Shirts
Cost of items Sold: $0
$ Spent Sourcing: $0
10/26/2020 at 2:56 pm #82893DoublythumbsParticipant
- Location: Hopedale, OH
Oct. 18 – 24
- Total Items in Store: 4,015
- Items Sold: 25
- Total Sales : $578
- * WAY BELOW yearly average of $1,009
- Highest Price: $65 (NOS Vintage Walco Seeburg Sapphire Phonograph Needle)
- Average Price: $23
- Returns: 0
- Cost of Goods Sold: $29
- Costs of Goods Purchased this Week: $118
- Number of New Items Listed this Week: 22
Looks like another soft week on my end. But I’m not sweating it since we live our lives quite frugally. Our rainy day fund can actually keep us afloat for many months even if we stopped making a single penny. I’m pretty confident, too, that things will pick back up again here in a few weeks just based on my selling history.
Not much to report on this week. I won a few bids on a couple online auctions, including an assortment of vintage hunting outfits and Carhartt garb all for very cheap. I picked up a new hobby that could potentially tie into ebay scavenging… metal detecting. Maybe I’ll find some old coins or relics in the ground that could be worth some cash. Even if not, it’s fun and gets me to leave the house.
10/26/2020 at 5:11 pm #82898PikapopParticipant
- Location: Hampton, VA
Items Sold: 15
Estimated Net: $144
My week has exploded compared to the previous. Went 5 days without a sale, then back to back sales for 8 days in a row, bringing the monthly average into the black. Almost everything selling has been low-ish (under $30) childrenswear while womenswear has been stagnant. I wonder if this is reflecting a general economic uncertainty (people still willing to spend on kids but holding back on themselves) or if it’s just a weird seasonal quirk.
10/27/2020 at 9:08 am #82904LukastreasuretroveParticipant
- Location: Chevy Chase, MD
Regarding higher returns since going on Managed Payments – I wonder if it could be MP is opening us up to a larger audience since they aren’t as restricted on payment methods. Sort of the same rational as the new buyers due to the pandemic argument, just more people who aren’t used to the eBay way of doing things. Personally, still waiting to get on MP. I originally thought they were holding me back because we had old currency for sale, but that has all been sold off for at least two months.
An average week this week for sales. Big sale was a vintage Rolleicord twin lens reflex camera from the 1950’s. I actually bought this two years ago and never posted it because I thought the shutter was malfunctioning. Finally pulled it out again two weeks ago and read the manual only to realize I needed to change a setting to release the shutter. (face palm). One of the hazards of buying old stuff – they did things differently back then.
Posted a fair amount of vintage Christmas last week and already sold three of the items. Definitely seeing the beginning of the surge for xmas related items.
Week Ending 10/24/20
Total Items in Store: 1262
Items Sold: 20
Gross Sales: $1,007.28
Net Sales (after fees, shipping, etc.) $761.57
Cost of Items Sold: $75.35
COGS Percent 9.89%
Highest Price Sold: $350.00 Rollei Camera
Average Price Sold: $38.08
Money Spent on New Inventory: $0.00
Sold via promoted listings: 12
Promoted Percentage: 60.00%
Average Days Listed: 251
Longest Listed: 1122
New items listed: 39
10/27/2020 at 8:03 pm #82920
Listings in Store: 747
Items Sold: 14
Gross Sales (includes shipping): $469
Highest Price: $75 – Keurig 2.0 Brewer System
Average Price of Solds: $34
Cost of Goods Sold: $40
Cost of Goods Purchased this Week: $41
Number of New Items Listed this Week: 12
Thanks J&R for the podcast! The convo Ryan and Phil had about approaches to shipping was very interesting. Setting cost aside, lately I’ve put a lot of effort into streamlining my shipping process. Mainly by ordering a wide variety of box sizes and polybags. The results are that I’m getting my items packed faster and they’re packed better. Looking back a couple of years I was slapdash in my packing and things broke in delivery. I’ve also started using calculated shipping more, inspired by J&R. Next goal is researching the mystery of Regional Rate Box A shipping.
10/27/2020 at 9:11 pm #82926Mark SParticipant
The mystery of Regional Rate Box A shipping is not such a mystery. Anything that fits in a Regional Rate Box A box (side loading or top loading) and is 3 pounds of more is going to be cheaper than regular Priority Mail. 2 pounds or less is cheaper with regular Priority Mail.
10/28/2020 at 8:24 am #82934
Thanks for the info! Just what I needed. Going to place an order today. Looks like it is always a buck or two cheaper than Priority Mail.
10/27/2020 at 11:21 pm #82927
Here are my numbers for my first week as a “full-time” ebay-er:
Total Items in Store: 4177
Items Sold: 56
Total Sales: $1246.72
Cost of Items Sold: $187
Average Price Sold: $22.26
Average Cost of Item: $3.35
Highest Price Item Sold: $94.95 Bose Wave Music System Radio Stereo w/ Remote
Number of items listed this week: 73 worth approx. $1593
I probably spent roughly the same amount of time on ebay last week as I did when I had a full-time job but I got lots of other projects completed and got in some volunteer hours in at our local food bank. I also rented a storage unit for ebay overflow. Sales-wise it was another good solid week. I see a lot of people online complaining about slow sales. It will be interesting to see when holiday sales start picking up this year.
Hope everyone has a good week!
10/28/2020 at 8:32 am #82935
Simon, congrats on your first week as a full-timer! You really crank out those hats. I saw an article (maybe CNN?) citing a study saying about 12% of families will cut back their holiday spending. I can believe it.
10/28/2020 at 11:47 am #82942
Sounds like you have the right kind of inventory at the right price point. 56 items at $22/each. So lower dollar volume is working.
Glad you’re enjoying your time of no more job!
10/29/2020 at 1:53 am #82973
Yes @jay. Hat sales are remarkably stable throughout the year. There’s plenty of work required to source, clean and list a high volume of hats but they are cheap to buy, easy to store and quick to ship. Of course, they are also extremely slow sellers so it wouldn’t be the kind of business that would suit most people.
10/29/2020 at 5:48 pm #82984ChristineRParticipant
- Location: Southern California
Total Items in Store: 316
Items Sold: 6
Cost of Items Sold: $31
Total Sales: $106
Highest Price Sold: $35 (Cross stitch kit, paid $6)
Average price: $18
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
Number of items listed this week: 3
Low dollar week and I have to admit to being unproductive and snacking and napping to much. Absorbed with the college stuff and not listing. My son got an awesome score on the ACT after he finally got a shot at it, so some relief there. I think I should take a break from the news and buyers might be lying low because of the election?
I jumped on the Broad Porch coffee train and ordered some along with the coffee maker you recommended on the forum Ryanne. We’ve been using a Keurig for a little while since I needed to limit my caffeine intake but I decided to upgrade. Maybe going back to drip coffee will give me the boost I need!
10/30/2020 at 12:53 pm #83002
Yeah! I think you’ll really like the Bonavita machine. I’m actually surprised how much I’m liking drip coffee lately. I guess good beans are the key : )
10/30/2020 at 2:09 pm #83003ChristineRParticipant
- Location: Southern California
I bought the new Bonavita but can’t bring myself to splurge on the Breville. We love coffee but the drip will be an upgrade to what we are doing now. Looking forward!
11/02/2020 at 8:39 am #83112Retro Treasures WVParticipant
Items in Store 1548
Items Sold 24
Total Sales $1,059.00
Total Profit $882.00
Average profit $36.75
Average sales price $44.13
New Listings 8
Late to the party as I was out of town last week.
A couple high dollar sales right before I went out of town helped me out big time. The highlight was $200 for a women’s Harley leather jacket that I bought for $20 at a yard sale this summer. That was a fun one because the woman wanted it gone and her husband was really upset about it. As I walked away he said to her “that is totally going on ebay later today”. Yessir, you would be correct! Lol!
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