02/07/2021 at 4:40 pm #85697RyanneKeymaster
- Location: Virginia
Check out our coffee! ► broadporchcoffee.com Join the conversation in the forum>> Our Store Week January 31-February 6, 2021 Total Items in St
[See the full post at: Scavenger Life Episode 500: Fireworks! Lasers! Weekly Numbers!]
02/07/2021 at 5:52 pm #85700
Long time no see! I’m a bit behind on episodes, but I’m catching up this week. Here’s my numbers for this week.
Items in Shop:747
New Items Listed:50
Items Sold: 7
Net Sales: $241
Net Profit: $233
(Edit, I forgot a $14 bumper sticker on FBM, so there’s really 8 sales)
Awesome sales this week: Yearbooks and Collectible Plate Frames. Yearbooks are bread and butter for me. I charge between $35-$50 for one, and sold 3 this morning (my shop is 25% off, so they really were 25/35 sales, but simple packing!). Additionally, Last week I picked up a few collectible plates that no one was bidding on, I figured if one sold for like $20 then it’s worth bidding a dollar. Ended up with 2 out of 5 being in the 25/35 range, but they were in these frames from Van Hygne and Smythe, which turns out to be about $10 a piece. I had 5 of them, but they were pretty scratched, so I took an offer for $40 for all of them. So my $1 bid will end up with around $100 in sales, pretty good for what I thought was crap.
In personal news: I bought a house! It’s a super cute mid century ranch, and I moved my grandma in with me. I took 3 weeks off in December and January where all I did was ship items and no listing to get my grandma settled in. The house is great, but there is no storage room for the business, so I’m still in the office. However, I only paid 71.5k for my house and it’s on half an acre, so I’m pulling a page from Ryanne and Jay’s book and building a building. Mine will be smaller (24×28) but I have the permit, a deposit on the slab, and I’m hoping the building will be up in May. I’m currently netting about $1200 a month between Ebay and Amazon, which is covering office bills but not much else. In hindsight, the office was good for me on a personal/get my feet in level, but it’s not maintainable for the long term. Right now I’m paying about $800 a month in rent, electric bill (this is killing me) and internet. Once the building is built, I’m looking at $160 a month for the slab for 3 years and $130 a month for the building itself for 6 years, and another $100 or so in extra electricity and bumping up my house internet plan. This is also aligning with what I’m calling “heavy growth periods” in my buisness. Since I got into the office I went from somewhere around 150 listings to 750. I’m hoping to be at 1000 by the time the building is built, and the entire thing will be able to hold around 6000 items at max capacity if I keep selling the same size things as I am now. I know we’ve talked previously about how it took Jay and Ryanne about 2 years to get fulling running with Ebay, and I feel like I’m just getting started and I’ll be running strong in the next year or so. I’m still caregiving for mom, so I only work on ebay 20 hours a week, and I also applied to be a contact tracer for COVID for my alma mater for a couple months while I have a few months that I’m paying for the slab as well as paying for the office. The building payments don’t start until I have it built, so that’s nice.
So that’s where I’m at! Happy to be back!
02/07/2021 at 6:01 pm #85701
Congrats. Thats a lot of big moves in a short period of time. Just get the small stuff done each day, keep listing, and stay on top of your profits/expenses.
We’ve been through several of these big pushes where every penny went into growth. Had some sleepless nights from worry, but it was worth the effort.
02/07/2021 at 6:45 pm #85705
I’m definitely not at that point where Ebay’s making me rich, but I’m thankful for what I’m making right now and I feel like I’m just rounding the bend. Forgot to mention, last week I broke up with the post office- I used to go 3 days a week and take all my packages, but my house has a foyer so I started scheduling pickups. It is AWESOME. I love just packing the night before and not worrying about it the next day. 10/10
02/07/2021 at 6:11 pm #85703
TopNotch mentioned they buy truck trailers of Amazon returns (or some kind of returns).
Steve sent us a video of what one of these sales looks like in a different state: https://www.keloland.com/news/your-money-matters/long-lines-await-opening-of-a-crate-deal-liquidation-outlet-each-week/
Definitely not my kind of scavenging, but looks very busy for the store owners. Seems like it’d be worth going through and listing the really valuable items on eBay and selling just the lower dollar items to the public.
02/07/2021 at 7:04 pm #85706AmatinoParticipant
- Location: Texas
Great update, Lauren, glad you’re back. I’m so jealous of your opportunity to have your gran with you. I was never in a place to make it happen and she died a couple years ago. I feel the loss, even today. We were very close, but not close enough for me. If I had my life over, I’d have her living with me as soon as I could make it happen!
Jay and Ryanne, I was amused listening to your podcast today. I run four businesses and it’s always a juggle. You did great with yours: starting with eBay and building it up, then adding one BnB at a time, and now the coffee shop. You’ve staggered it in, which allows you to find processes and routines to make it work. Each new business has an adjustment phase, so a little bit of stress and pressure is normal, but from your historical evidence, you’ll do just fine! It might take you a few months to get there, but you will.
02/07/2021 at 7:15 pm #85708
Thanks. Good to have some perspective from another person that runs multiple businesses. I know we can handle it without a lot of stress once we get the new routine down. The most important thing is we love this new coffee venture. Our partners, the new challenge, and the opportunity to push our little town into the future.
02/07/2021 at 9:49 pm #85717
Re:Grandma, it’s definitely been an adjustment, but I love her dearly. I’m lucky to have flexibilty and a bit of a gig mindset than a regular 9 to 5, so I have time to spend with her. She’s 75 and doesn’t drive, so I figured out quickly that my 6 day work week needed to move down to a 5 day work week so that I have time to drive her around and do things. We’re careful with covid, but we all qualified for our 1st shots so I’m planning on relaxing some tighter restrictions we’ve been doing for the last year and start to move towards some sort of normalcy.
02/07/2021 at 7:11 pm #85707Mark SParticipant
01/31/21 – 02/06/21
Total Items In Store: 3340
Items Sold: 26
Total Sales: $ 1035
Highest Price Sold: $ 105 (Shoes)
Average Price Sold: $ 39.82
Money Spent on New Inventory: $ 139.02
Number of items listed: 8
Congratulations on hitting episode 500!
Gut Sales Report for the week: Shipping is still annoying, so that means sales are good. I have been averaging over $1000 per week since the first week in December. This is unusual for me, so we will see how
far into the year this can continue.
Scavenge of the week: Hit a huge cache of 1950’s – 1960’s Tonka, Buddy L, NYLint trucks last weekend. Most are in good condition, so we will see how they sell.
02/07/2021 at 11:41 pm #85718simplicioParticipant
Congratulations on Episode 500! That is some follow-through all right, and a testament to you guys that everybody still wants to hear what you have to say after 500 episodes.
I had a great week on ebay, despite issues with my phone, which is integral to my listing process (power and home buttons are going haywire). I bought a new (used) iPhone SE which should be here soon. This was a bitterly cold week here and good for just listing indoors, I got a lot up. I am about 3/4 through my last auction haul.
Sales: CAD$7257, 26 sales, COGS: $2004, Fees: ~$979, Postage: $869 –> Gross profit: $3404
Expenses: $540, New inventory: $0 –> Cashflow: $4868
One thing I didn’t understand on the pod… you guys were talking about ebay phasing out parcel select? So I don’t really know anything about that particular shipping option, being in Canada, but it seems weird to me to say that *ebay* is phasing out a particular parcel service. My postage is bought through Shippo, which I can hook up to any service whatsoever I have an account with – Canada Post, DHL, Fedex, UPS, etc etc. Ebay is not involved in that transaction at all, Shippo just gets the shipment info from ebay and then uploads tracking when I’m done. Are you just talking about not being able to calculate shipping in ebay for that option?
02/08/2021 at 10:47 am #85726
Yes, it just means that eBay will not be offering Parcel as an option. We can always purchase it off another site.
02/09/2021 at 10:43 am #85776
Yeah, we ship through eBay labels. I guess this could change if we wanted to ship through the myriad of other shipping sites.
02/09/2021 at 1:13 pm #85782simplicioParticipant
It’s pretty handy to have it all in one place. I have all my shipping cos set up in Shippo, the recipient address automatically imports from ebay, I fill in actual shipping dimensions and then see all the options, & pick (usually the cheapest). Especially nice as sometimes customers ask for a quote on one, two day or overnight service and I can just check there.
90% of the time Canada Post is the choice but especially for international shipments it helps to shop it around easily. I guess with GSP that’s not an issue for you. Still, even domestically or to USA, cheapest option is sometimes UPS.
02/08/2021 at 8:40 am #85720
Congrats on episode 500! There’s a book I read a while ago called Atomic Habits that lines up with what you were saying about just sticking with it. It says basically, success is the result of doing a few right things over and over again and over time your progress compounds kinda like investing. I think everyone should read that book but especially business owners.
As far as paying for shipping labels with a credit card, all you have to do is go to print a shipping label, scroll down and “select how to pay”. Set it to PayPal and then go to the transaction in PayPal and set it to pay those types of transactions with a credit card.
02/08/2021 at 10:18 am #85724
Thanks. Yeah, taking care of daily details is a pretty tried and true method of success.
But I think we forget about it with all the online videos declaring how easy it is to run a business and/or get rich/hustle/etc. There are so many unglamorous things we all have to do each day to make our businesses run well. Very difficult to teach those little details. You kind of have to figure it out on your own since it’ll be different based on yr circumstance.
02/08/2021 at 11:08 am #85727
Right, yeah I think you have to experiment with things at first to see what works and what doesn’t. Then, stop doing the tasks that don’t bring an ROI and focus on the ones that do.
Like with eBay, listing more items is far more important to the amount you sell than tweaking things is. If you list a new item, you’ve created an opportunity to make more money vs if you tweak a listing, you only make it more likely to sell something that may have sold eventually anyways.
02/08/2021 at 12:13 pm #85731
If you list a new item, you’ve created an opportunity to make more money vs if you tweak a listing, you only make it more likely to sell something that may have sold eventually anyways.
I want this tattooed on my chest. Yes 100%
02/09/2021 at 9:27 pm #85797
YES exactly! I’ve been meaning to finish out my sleeve anyway ;P That has been a guiding principle for me too… it’s only now that I can afford to hire people to take photos for me some of the time that I have the bandwidth to tighten up some of my processes, though tweaking listings will probably never be in the plan. Still though, the biggest ROI is for sure just listing, listing, listing!!
02/08/2021 at 11:25 am #85729Mississippi PickersParticipant
- Location: South Mississippi
Congrats on 500 episodes, something very few podcasts can lay claim to. It’s been a long but fun ride together 🙂 Love y’all
02/08/2021 at 12:12 pm #85730wasatchjulesParticipant
- Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
In regards to shipping, I almost never find Parcel Select to be the cheaper option. Lately, since this whole blowup with USPS, I’m finding FedEx Home Delivery to be a cheaper option more and more, especially if it is a heavier/larger item. Today though I found it was cheaper for a not very heavy/smaller item. I was shipping a coffee carafe and it weighed 2.5 lbs. Since it is going from Utah to Virginia it was going to cost $15.94 for Priority shipping though USPS (wouldn’t fit in a flat rate box) but ended up being only $9.00 through FedEx Home Delivery, and the shipping timeframe was the same as USPS Priority.
02/08/2021 at 12:21 pm #85732TemudginParticipant
- Location: Jacksonville FL
1/31/21 – 2/6/21
Total Active Items (3 different IDs): 316
Items Sold: 6
Gross Sales not incl shipping: $444.45
Highest Price Sold: $174 not incl shipping – USN Challenge Coin from USS THUNDERBOLT PC 12.
COGS: $193 (all 6 sales were consignment coins)
New Listings: 9
$ Spent on New Inventory: $0
Great pew pew there to celebrate, Ryanne. Let me add my congratulations and heartfelt thanks to you two. I started listening in early 2015 in the Episode 180-ish range I think it was and I still can’t do without my weekly fix of your wisdom and insight, belying your youth. Yes, nihilists can be optimists.
I am one of those who can’t seem to find the time to really ramp things up but it is mainly retirement fun for me so I can live with that.
02/08/2021 at 1:32 pm #85737old_man_martyParticipant
Notes: I’m back. Had to get some things in order.
Total Items For Sale: 47
Profit: $17.48 (Calvin Klein Men’s Dress Shirt w/ Tags)
Items Sold: 1
Items Listed: 3
02/08/2021 at 1:59 pm #85738oldtonewtoyouParticipant
- Location: new market, md
Congrats on episode 500!! I listened to every one and appreciate it so much! You both got me started when I first heard you on “You can afford anything” podcast. I’ve got 2200 items now and I make approx. $1000/mo after all expenses, which I feel like isn’t as great as most of you but as you say I’ll just keep my head down and keep on listing! I recently rented a booth in an antique mall (partly for storage)- but that isn’t doing fantastic either- it costs me $195/mo and I’ve only profited $200 on top of that since Nov. The owner is giving me a reduction to $150 for the next couple months to see how it goes… Anyone else have any luck with antique booths?
In regards to the question about using a credit card for shipping fees, I have PayPal connected to eBay for that and there I have my credit card linked- I collect points for travel as well.
And in regards to making counter offers and looking at past offers- you can see them all in your email.
02/09/2021 at 10:39 am #85773
I’ve heard other people use Antique Malls as storage…and for selling furniture. I think it really depends on where you are. Some Antique Malls have great foot traffic. Some are ghost towns.
02/09/2021 at 12:54 pm #85778
My dad and I share two antique booths and I mainly keep selling at it because it’s something we can bond over. I made a couple thousand in profits in 2020 and I probably went to the store every 3 weeks or so. I’ve found that selling small, lower-priced items is what works for me. It only takes a few seconds to write the tag and stick it on the item and I can fit a lot more inventory in the booths.
I usually sell 30-50 items a month and mostly $10 items but I do occasionally sell a couple things per month for $50 or more. My dad does better than I but he puts more time into it and doesn’t do eBay. He usually grosses $1,000 a month or so and sells more furniture than I.
If your store is okay with it, I would take pictures of your booth and do a facebook marketplace listing (if you have facebook). I’ve gotten a lot more people to come to the store and buy something because they saw my listing on facebook.
02/09/2021 at 9:28 pm #85798
I found y’all via Afford Anything too!! Thanks, Paula Pant!
02/08/2021 at 3:43 pm #85739DarlinDilsParticipant
- Location: Reno
Total Items in Store: 122
Items Sold: 7
Total Sales: $248.88
Highest Price Sold: $79.88 – Disneyland 1968 park map
Back to a more normal week for me. I am cranky today as eBay changed the shipping page to not include what they buyer paid. It helped me know if I was packed too heavy or needed to adjust something, especially on items I had offered free shipping. I will have to find a new method (again) to not have to go multiple places for information. On a crazy note – I had the BEST buyer ever – I shipped the item NOVEMBER 25 – it arrived to the buyer FEBRUARY 3!?!?! The box was absolutely demolished, crushed in half. Luckily it was a wooden figurine and survived unscathed. The buyer was so patient, wanted the item and was experienced enough not to panic since tracking showed it never left the distribution center. We kept in touch and alternated opening cases with USPS. I have been mostly lucky with good buyers overall, it makes this gig much easier.
Congrats to episode 500 Jay and Ryanne – that is quite the accomplishment. You don’t have to do all this great stuff for us – for free! I had a blog and YouTube channel but they are work to maintain and create content for, and I am not disciplined enough to keep them going regularly. I am happy with my 2020 scavenging efforts, and want to take it up a notch in 2021 – you and all the other scavengers here are an inspiration – than you everyone!
02/08/2021 at 4:58 pm #85740Julie BParticipant
- Location: Georgia
Fret not, Cdils for the shipping amount paid by the buyer is still on the same page, they just hid it a little bit and now require that you click the Show More link that is located on the lower right side of the page, in the order details box. When you click it, you stay on the same page but the info you’re looking for will appear. Don’t know why eBay changed it, it’s kind of annoying.
02/08/2021 at 5:04 pm #85741MegahausParticipant
Congrats to you two for being consistent and reaching 500 episodes. The issue that I see with eBay dropping Parcel Select is that you won’t be able to ship flammable items anymore with USPS. Parcel Select is ground service and all the other USPS services, excluding media mail, potentially goes onto an airplane. So sellers who sell perfume, cologne, alcohol, etc., will have to redo their shipping policies for those items to use UPS or FedEx ground. I guess FedEx smart post would be an option as well. Just my thoughts.
02/08/2021 at 11:26 pm #85762
Yes, exactly!! I have a ton of matchbooks (with matches in them) that I can only ship through USPS Parcel… it hasn’t been showing up as a shipping option for me for months, and I’ve been printing those labels through my stamps.com account. However, if the post office itself is doing away with that service… that’s gonna be a problem. I’ve never even looked into what the other ground services cost, because I’ve assumed they’re probably more expensive. We shall see!
02/08/2021 at 6:17 pm #85743
Congratulations on podcast #500!!! I had noticed a few weeks ago that you were at 495, but I wasn’t keeping track so this was a surprise!
For the guy who wanted to see his previous offer, there is a way to do it, but it is kind of kludgy:
Go to Manage Active Listings in Seller Hub. Search on the item with the offer. Under the Actions column, use the pull down menu and select Review All Offers.
In there, you should see all the offers you have sent as well as ones received including the one you are currently considering. And, why can’t eBay figure how to show all those along with the decline/accept/counteroffer buttons? This is a rhetorical question.
Week of Jan 31 – Feb 6
Total Items in Store: 1409 eBay, 27 Etsy
Items Sold: 26 eBay
Cost of Items Sold: $22.67 + $24.37 Commission
Total Sales: $627.46 eBay
Highest Price Sold: $84 set vintage drapes; $80 set 5 sterling silver shot glasses
Average price: $24.13
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
Number of items listed this week: 0
My biggest sale, the vintage drapes, sold for $84, and then the matching bed spread for $43 within a few hours of each other to different people. I wonder if one triggered the other somehow?
A week or two ago, I received Worthpoint pricing help on the forum for my second highest sale, the $80 sterling shot glasses. I received a message and then offer on them within an hour of listing.
02/08/2021 at 8:18 pm #85754PDX_CyndyParticipant
I didn’t even know having ebay shipping fees taken out of your balance was an option. As noted by others, my shipping fees are paid with paypal, and my paypal account is linked to my rewards credit card.
02/09/2021 at 10:40 am #85774
I forgot about this trick. The key, though, is you have to always transfer out your Paypal funds before you ship so you have a $0 balance.
I wish you could just connect your credit card and the charge shipping with no other steps. Like Pirate Bay.
02/09/2021 at 12:41 pm #85777
You can actually set it to pay for eBay shipping with your credit card even if you have money in your PayPal account. Not sure if this is how it is for everyone, but I can go to this page and see a list of things I’ve set up as automatic payments and I get to choose the payment method for each transaction type: https://www.paypal.com/myaccount/autopay/connect/. eBay shipping comes up as “eBay Inc Shipping”.
I use a credit card that gives me 1% back on all transactions so if I pay $300 per month in shipping that saves me $3. Not much, but I don’t have to do anything to get that $3 now that it’s set up.
02/09/2021 at 3:16 pm #85784
Huh, thanks for the link. This is the first time Ive heard you can pay for shipping through Paypal without zeroing out your account first.
02/08/2021 at 11:53 pm #85764MyCottageParticipant
On USPS Parcel Select. The USPS is NOT phasing this out. ebay is removing it—gradually—as a shipping options within ebay label shipping. ebay’s explanation:
“USPS Parcel Select is being phased out as an option for sellers using eBay Labels. This was due to it not being widely utilized, and having a higher rate of poor buyer experiences (more common INRs, etc).”
“The phase out is a slow one, but eventually it will no longer be an option to use with eBay Labels. Thanks!”
Personally, I’m NOT happy about this. But as far as I know, you can use other online label printers to send via Parcel.
My buyers often choose Parcel (probably because its cheaper than Priority), and I almost always provide a free upgrade to Priority , which usually costs me little or nothing because of the TRS discount through ebay. Buyers LOVE getting that complimentary upgrade. But I guess that’s one more competitive advantage ebay is going to take away from me.
02/09/2021 at 9:29 pm #85799
Ahhhh ok, good! Not as convenient, but at least Parcel will still be an option in general. Thanks for clarifying!
02/08/2021 at 11:53 pm #85765
Happy 5ooth Episode!! It really is a remarkable milestone, because I think that level of consistency is a rare treasure in and of itself. Thank you guys so much for your commitment to this community! Also thank you for the coffee. I’m a serious consumer of it myself, and Southern Split is giving me liiiife this week!
First of all, I too love a good cummerbund. I always buy them when I find them, usually for like 50 cents in a hole-in-the-wall thrift store. They’re fun! I also totally agree that it’s SO nonsensical that we have to now specify things like “department” which are so obviously inherent to the category choice. Come onnnn.
In any case, I have been B U S Y working on getting my over 10k items inventoried properly (thanks for the push in that direction, lol) as well as continuing to muscle my way through my storage unit full of estate items. Both are going much faster than I expected, but with it has necessarily come a second storage unit. I’ve cut out most other sourcing for now to focus on finishing those major projects within my business, and it’s working pretty well so far.
I am already reveling in the higher degrees of organization, but also trying to keep on top of the activities that generate revenue — namely, listing! It’s been awesome having helpers relieving my bottlenecks to keep the drafts piling up; thanks to them, we are going to surpass 10k active listings by the end of this month. That’s a super exciting milestone to me, and thanks to the free listings in collectible categories, seemingly indefinitely, we can keep building from there if we want.
The milestone of 500 episodes has me reflecting on my own business and where I’m at in this present moment, too. I find myself continually catching a bigger vision for my store/business as I climb a little higher… there’s a totally different view from the vantage point of 10k listings than there was at 3k. Both of them feel like equally huge numbers in a weird way, but I can envision much more clearly how to scale up and oil the machine a little better while retaining the heart/integrity of the scrappy beginning. I find myself wanting to tighten up processes more now, and really be intentional with how a given process works when I do it myself before I teach it to one of my helpers or something. Feels like it going to be a year of optimizing, or at least a Q1 of optimizing as we continue to build!
And now for some numbers!
Jan 31-Feb 6
Active Listings: 9606
Items Sold: 45
Gross Sales: 1561.60
Net Sales: 902.83
Highest Sale: Linearism Framed Art Print, $362***
Average (Gross) Sale Price: $34.70
No returns, no sourcing costs! I lost track of my actual number, but I think the COGs for what sold this week was under $50. Love it.
***This art print was HUGE. I constructed a double box to send it to California (of course, lol) and I think the long side was like 44 inches or something? HUGE! Anyway, this item was purchased outright for full price, I’d had it listed for well over a year, maybe more like two… (paid $5 for it!)…and when I went to print the shipping label, I noticed the buyer only paid like $40 for shipping. I thought it was weird. Well. It was. Somehow, eBay had defaulted my shipping dimensions to 10x8x6in. The weight was as I had originally listed, but those were the dimensions. I went back and looked at some of my other large item listings from pre-2019, and all of them had that default 10x8x6in dimension plugged in! I ended up paying about $65 for shipping via Fed Ex label through eBay, which is great in my opinion — only having to eat about $25 was well worth it considering I would likely have taken a lower offer on this item than what it sold for. Has that happened to anybody lately, where the shipping info on older items is just wrong?
02/09/2021 at 10:42 am #85775
Wow. 10k items! We’re stuck around the 8000 mark because we sell as much as we currently list.
Whats the vision for your store? How big can you grow based on your storage and current time?
02/09/2021 at 5:16 pm #85786
10,000 feels massive. What does your storage look like? I’m working on getting a new space and after running some numbers my top capacity is going to be around 7500, but I think I want to maintain a store around 5k. Do you sell mostly smaller things? You mentioned cummberbuns, of course you can probably fit like 50 in a tote, but cataloging that seems rough.
02/09/2021 at 9:55 pm #85801
It is a TON… many of my items are actually small/easy to ship and store, weirdly kind of thanks to the pandemic. I started sourcing more online in large lots of things like vintage magnets, hankies, lapel pins, etc… probably if I kept going only in that direction, my average sale price would eventually be pulled down a little, because many of those thing only go for 10-$20, which is less that I’d usually like. BUT… they’re like 5 or 10 cents each to acquire efficiently in a big bundle, they are fun items that I’m interested in selling, and I’ve sort of honed a new listing strategy that very much takes advantage of bulk editing like 95% of the listing information. I can list 100 similar small things in a day easily!
I think chewing through a 10×10 storage unit full of estate sale stuff in combination with having these large batches every once in a while of super-smalls is how my numbers have grown so fast. I’ve got one helper committed to photographing about 400 items a month for me, and another who is more on a batch-by-batch basis, but usually can do up to 200 a month. So my days are then spend prepping their bins and listing their drafts, and now also cataloging all the inventory from before they came on board… oh and shipping, duh.
So if we keep going at this pace, I’d have to be selling like 600 items a month to hit inventory homeostasis. I don’t know how feasible or desirable it will be to keep going at this pace once the estate storage unit is done, so at that point I think I’ll teach my primary helper to do some other things within the workflow besides photographing, and maybe even get her to help me source, too. That’s one part of the vision. Another part is to possibly start another “branch” of my store in the midwest (where I’m originally from) but that’s a lot more complicated and I’m not really there yet… I just know it would involve someone else doing every step in the workflow, not just photography or sourcing or shipping alone. I’ll keep you posted on that lol.
As far as space, I’ve basically got two 10×10 storage units and my garage… currently in the process of moving everything from my garage to the second storage unit. The first one is exclusively for the estate lot I’ve been working through since November. So until this month, my whole inventory besides that has just been in my garage since I started almost four years ago. There are definitely over 10k items in there alone! Lots of steel shelves and sterility bins, lol. My plan is to move all of that to the second storage unit, bin by bin as I continue to inventory it all by bin number, and then once I have my garage freed up, I can further organize and improve my shipping station (which will remain out there) and use the garage as my “overflow” for growing my inventory even more. I assume that when I hit a critical mass, I’ll have to get another storage unit or move to a bigger house lol!
Currently, I run percent-off sales a lot, I typically have one or two day handling time, and I take a lot of offers. I think if I’m ever fortunate enough to be overrun with too many sales all the time, I can just slow it down a bit by adjusting those parameters. Longer handling time, no sales, being pickier about offers, etc… and maybe train someone to help me ship, too! Part of getting my inventory in a more specific shape is with that in mind. I want to be able to outsource most of what I do if I need to or want to. We may be having kids in the next few years and there are a lot of other creative projects I’m sure I’ll want to do in the meantime without having to just turn off my store.
My fellow Illinois native! I’m from Highland 🙂 My storage, which has all been in the majority of a 2-car garage consists of about two aisles of steel shelves with lots of bins, boxes, totes, and a few other plastic drawer unit types of things. I’d say a solid couple thousand of my items are very small, like magnets and matchbooks and jewelry, and I do have those in drawer units for the most part. It is kind of a nightmare searching for those sometimes, especially the lapel pins! I’m trying to get a better system for that going soon… with the matchbooks it was actually pretty easy to store them in a more specific way. I divided them all into categories, like Restaurants, General Advertising, and Hotels/Resorts/Cruiselines and made a drawer for each. Then I created a 6-section divider out of cardboard to put in each of those drawers and sorted them by color within their categories. This has been SO MUCH FASTER than how they were grouped before, because now I only dig through like 50 instead of hundreds when I’m looking for one, haha. However, the way I’ll do it for most things going forward is just putting relatively like items in a bin on the front end like right after sourcing, then photograph a bin at a time, and then everything just lives in that bin and is assigned that bin number in my spreadsheet until it sells! I guess eventually I may have to consolidate bins, put new items into half-full old bins, etc, but I still think it will be way more efficient than what I was doing, which was just grouping like items together and then sorting by color if a secondary criteria was needed. Hope that all makes sense!!
02/09/2021 at 2:49 am #85767SimonParticipant
- Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Congratulations on 500 shows R&J. That takes a lot of grit. So many youtubers and podcasts have come and gone since I’ve been reselling but Scavenger Life has always been there encouraging and educating me.
Here are my numbers for the week:
Total Items in Store: 4431
Items Sold: 60
Total Sales: $1169.81
Cost of Items Sold: $121
Average Price Sold: $19.5
Average Cost of Item: $2.02
Highest Price Item Sold: $220 Magnavox DVD Recorder & 4 Head Hi-Fi Stereo VCR
Number of items listed this week: 54
Hats sold this week: 48 (80% of sales) worth $722 (61% of sales $)
It turned out to be another solid week. No complaints here.
Regarding seeing past best offers for a particular item, you can use this link. Replace the xxxxxxxxx bit with your item number:
Regarding using a rewards/points credit card for shipping fees when under managed payments, the only way I’ve heard of that being done is to empty your PayPal account so it doesn’t have a balance and then have a rewards/points credit card as a backup payment option in PayPal and select PayPal when creating a shipping label. I haven’t tried that myself but I remember hearing it somewhere. YMMV
I hope everyone has a profitable week!
02/09/2021 at 9:17 am #85768almastyParticipant
Congratulations on your 500th episode! Considering the amount of work you do with Ebay, your rentals and the coffee shop, I’m amazed that you’ve been able to consistently provide time to work on your podcast as well.
I’ve been too busy to chime in much over the past several months, but I continue to listen to episodes when I can and I’m continuing to work hard on Ebay/Etsy/Amazon as well. Still working through and adding to the backlog when I can, though it has been more difficult to source due to the normal winter sourcing doldrums on top of the pandemic sourcing doldrums. I can’t wait to get back to it this spring!
02/09/2021 at 10:38 am #85772
Almasty! I was just trying to think of the scavenger here who specialized in books and ephemera: https://www.scavengerlife.com/forums/topic/we-just-got-a-boat-load-of-antique-books/
02/09/2021 at 12:57 pm #85779ChristineRParticipant
- Location: Southern California
Total Items in Store: 351
Items Sold: 10
Gross Sales (ignoring shipping and taxes): $917
Cost of Items Sold: $351
Highest Price Sold: $240 (Clearance bedding set from January, paid $130)
Average Price Sold: $92
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $150 +/-
Number of items listed this week: 0
Congrats on the 500 mark. I’ve listened to them all and really enjoy the information you share and also your wit and fun personalities.
Great week for me considering it’s February. Sold new but also some vintage too. Profit will go toward costs of the RA inventory I just bought. Sale is over so paying those January purchases off. Some are backordered and still shipping out. Unfortunately a bit distracted by family stuff and my day job, so didn’t list much last week.
Like your caller I noticed this week that Ebay would send a “final offer” from a buyer so they must have added a toggle for counteroffers on their end, at least on one of mobile or desktop. Ok with me since rarely does going back and fourth 3-4 times result in a sale. I am using that pretty new “automatically send offers” function and I believe that has worked a few times already since my initial offer to buyer #1 would have expired before the sale came through.
Have a great week everyone. Keep on truckin’ J&R.
02/09/2021 at 6:35 pm #85788DarlinDilsParticipant
- Location: Reno
Thanks annasthetic23 for the info on finding the buyer paid shipping – I knew there would be a trick! (and I love your username!)
For the previous poster asking about spaces in antique malls, here is my 2 cents. I have a booth and have had one for years, it is where I started reselling seriously. My psychological concept for it is just thinking of it as a storage unit. Cost of doing business sort of thing – if I make money great, if not the stuff is out of my house. I actually did continue to sell stuff last year through grit of the owner and advertising online. There are specific things I put in there: stuff I don’t want to ship (large, fragile), local items (local businesses, casinos), and things that are unmarked/difficult to research online (easier to sell in person). When I am buying I think of who will be buying this item. Decorative stuff (cabin decor for Tahoe, rustic ranching, anything I have seen in a recent magazine) goes to the booth. I go through the booth a couple of times a year to pull old stuff which sometimes goes for sale online, sometimes to our yard sale. It is a fun sideline with little work (no listing or shipping time) and I can get my inner decorator out. I make money, not as much as online, but I also don’t put in the amount of work there that I could. Hope this helps!
02/09/2021 at 10:05 pm #85802
Yes!! I have a booth also that I see as a storage unit… it’s at a consignment shop type of thing, not as extensive as most antique malls, but I got it to put some overflow of my own personal furniture and stuff as well as a couple bulky items that I did in fact have listed on eBay! It’s like a storage unit where there is a chance to make some money or at least subsidize the cost of storage. I don’t put in much work there, and since I’ve started selling some of my furniture stuff on Facebook Marketplace (which a sincerely love/hate), and I’m actually transitioning my main inventory to just a regular actual storage unit, I may not keep my booth much longer. I’m usually lucky if I break even there, but I also really like the shop and have until very recently had no other way to deal with my furniture problems lol! I like the way you think about yours, and that it’s a creative outlet for you!
02/09/2021 at 10:22 pm #85803DoublythumbsParticipant
- Location: Hopedale, OH
Jan 30 – Feb 6
- Total Items in Store: 4,132
- Items Sold: 41
- Total Sales : $1,159
- * ABOVE yearly average of $1,076
- Highest Price: $116 (Vintage Brown Top Grain Cowhide Leather Doctor Bag w/ Key)
- Average Price: $28
- Returns: 2
- Cost of Goods Sold: $40
- Costs of Goods Purchased this Week: $135
- Number of New Items Listed this Week: 64
Congratulations on the 500th episode milestone! I’ve been listening to you two for over four years now. I’m so glad that you’re still pumping out the podcasts each week.
Last week (and still this week) has been full of customers with all kinds of questions. I usually get a question on something once a week or so. But lately they’ve become relentless and I’m losing track on who I answered and who I’ve ignored. What the heck is going on??
So my soda can experiment continues with great success! I’ve listed over 100 cans and have made almost $250 so far (plus ~$100 in current bids/waiting to be paid). I’ve spent a lot of time researching and gained a ton of knowledge on soda can collecting, knowledge that will help when I get to listing the 700+ other remaining cans. I’m gonna take a break with them and get back to listing normal random stuff now though. I don’t want to completely flood the market.
02/10/2021 at 8:51 am #85810TopNotchParticipant
- Location: WI
I tried to post, but I got this:
Error: Are you sure you wanted to do that?
And now I am rethinking that post!
Congrats on 500–we listen every week while going for a drive. Your podcast started me on a lot more than just an eBay journey. It got me to fall in love with Jim Rohn, Tony Robbins, Zig Ziglar, Brian Rose, Dan Pena, and more recently Gary V. Same messages at the end of the day, but I feel like I hear something a little more every time I listen to them. Changed my life–and it all started with selling remote controls from work that I had been throwing in the garbage. I was looking for someone I could relate to who would talk about the way I wanted to run ebay and you opened my eyes to a bunch of old junk that people still buy. I love the teamwork. I do purchasing, shipping, customer service, facebook, and advertising. Erika does all the cleaning, photography, and organizing. We share in the listing. I hate the research, so she lists the weird stuff I don’t want to figure out. I list faster, she lists better.
eBay sales have been steadily declining for me(40% this week), which I know is because of the local focus–making a brand per Gary V.
Gross sales $994
We did just over $5000 in gross on facebook marketplace.
Net is tricky there because of how we purchase, but it was very good.
02/13/2021 at 1:11 pm #85883
Congratulations on your 500th episode. What an adventure you guys have had. Always an inspiration. Looking forward to the next 500!
Have had a busy week. Lots of research time valuing some recent auction purchases. I had two recent halls that turned out to be much better than I anticipated due to getting some fairly rare items. Purchased a Passover Seder matzo plate that came with a menorah. The plate is bronze and brass and I new it was a good buy as I’ve sold them before. Didn’t pay much attention to the menorah and just bid for the plate. Turns out the menorah is from a fairly famous Israeli artist named David Palombo. Looks like it is going to be worth a good bit of money. At another auction that was primarily Art Deco themed items, I picked up a miner’s lantern from the UK that is from the late 1890’s. I didn’t know what I was getting due to poor pictures and description. Got outbid on most of the Art Deco stuff but ended up with a very cool crystal bust from the 1930’s by a guy named Curt Schlevogt.
Here are my numbers from last week:
Weekly Numbers 2/6/21
Total Items in Store: 1137
Items Sold: 37
Gross Sales (Not including shipping and tax): $1,384.35
Net Sales (After fees): $989.36
Cost of Items Sold: $187.00
COGS Percent 18.90%
Net Profit Margin: 57.96%
Highest Price Sold: $150.00 Pre-Columbian Pottery
Average Price Sold: $26.74
Money Spent on New Inventory: $579.66
Sold via promoted listings: 20
Promoted Percentage: 54.05%
Average Days Listed: 345
Longest Listed: 1242
New items listed: 17
02/13/2021 at 4:40 pm #85886
Just curious: Do you have any limit for what you’re willing to spend on items? Are you focusing on table lots?Or do you big high on the individual works of art?
(we may be bidding on some of the same auctions if youre around DC 🙂
02/13/2021 at 2:11 pm #85884
02/13/2021 at 5:31 pm #85889
@Jay – we don’t have a max dollar limit, but we’ve never spent more than $800 at a single auction. I try to keep bids below 20% of my expected selling price, though it’s not a hard rule and for a few high dollar items I expected a quick turnaround on I’ve gone to 50%. Of course, that doesn’t mean I haven’t made some mistakes and overpaid or gotten caught up in the moment during final bids. This last week I won 7 lots and in retrospect overpaid for 3 of them, fortunately, I will at least be able to get my money back on them, and will more than make up for it with the items I got for way under value. We’re also not above paying extra for items that we really like, allowing them to decorate our house while we wait for a sale.
I guess we might occasionally bid against each other. I usually stay close in and am reluctant to drive more than about 45 minutes.
02/13/2021 at 5:45 pm #85890
Understood. I am such a cheap skate that I have a difficult time bidding on individual items because everyone usually knows its value. But sometimes cool items go for cheap.
02/13/2021 at 5:55 pm #85893
Yes, I’m amazed at how low you guys are able to keep your cost of goods while still getting good stuff. Lots are the way to go, but I find there is almost always some overlooked low hanging fruit. I lose a lot more bids than I win.
02/15/2021 at 9:51 am #85921Retro Treasures WVParticipant
Items in Store
Items Sold 18
Total Sales $747.00
Total Profit $665.00
Average profit $36.94
Average sales price $41.50
New Listings 3
Items scavenged 0
Sourcing Allotment 2
Late to the party – was out of town last week.
Happy 500th episode!!!!
Pew! Pew! Pew!!! Lazer Beam! Lazer beam!
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.