03/21/2021 at 3:43 pm #86900RyanneKeymaster
- Location: Virginia
Check out our coffee! ► broadporch.coffee Join the conversation in the forum>> Our Store Week March 14-20, 2021 Total Items in Store: 7562 Ite
[See the full post at: Scavenger Life Episode 506: We Don’t Have The Luxury Of Being Mediocre]
03/21/2021 at 5:26 pm #86903CLTbayParticipant
- Location: NC
About the “death” of Yard Sale Treasure map, bummer I know, it was convenient. I usually use the craigslist website on my desktop, and sort by the map to see the ones closest to me or to make an efficient route. I then do have to write them down and map them out on mapquest. Google maps is better but only lets you put 10 locations at a time! I like to use the search terms church, neighborhood & community to identify the good ones first, then build a route around that. However, in the last few years less and less people are putting an ad on CL to start with, making the YSTM less effective a tool overall. Until Nextdoor or FB Marketplace make a similar tool, it’s defiantly a step back in planning an efficient route. For all the yard sale only sourcers out there, we know that those 5-6 hours a week are precious. Good Luck out there Scavengers! Stay Safe and may your inventory reserves grow!
03/21/2021 at 5:51 pm #86905LaurenParticipant
- Location: Central Illinois
Items in Shop: 801
Items sold: 10 (9 on Ebay, 1 on FBM)
Net Sales, after FVF: $242
Man I was feeling this stimulus check being sent out. I sold a $60 hat, a chintz dish I’ve been sitting on for months, and a cigarette display rack that I was using as a display for months before listing it ($50+ $50 shipping) Grandma had cataract surgery this week and I’ve just been unable to really give Ebay attention. Had a minor breakdown with my dad about not being able to afford the office rent, the payment for the building, and being able to pay myself, and so he’s going to help with the dual office/building payments for the next few months while I’m waiting to move in. I feel like my pride hurts a little bit taking help from dad, but the bigger picture is moving all my inventory twice and disrupting my household for 3 months waiting for the shiny new building to be built is just hectic and not productive, so it’s really awesome that he can help out.
Facebook is definitely slowing down, I’m still getting messages but not as many buyers. This will be my 3rd week of renewing listings, so I’m curious to see if when I relist everything in a couple weeks if I’ll go back to having like 5 sales a week on there.
Building update: Slab gets poured tomorrrow. The crew has been prepping the sight this weekend. I think it’s finally settling in just how big this thing is going to be. Additionally, I went with a new company and have been doing some edits to the building and the building itself has gone from $8,500 to $7100, which is awesome.
03/23/2021 at 8:42 am #86953
Congrats on the slab! What an exciting project!
03/22/2021 at 2:16 am #86915
Note: I had a low goal last week since I knew I was chasing a new job at my company. Landed a transfer from Customer Service Supervisor to Audiovisual Tech which will pay 25% more. Yay!
Total items For Sale: 63 eBay (+1 on The Real Real)
Items Sold: 4
Items Listed: 4 (Goal Achieved!)
Average Profit: $29.50
Highest Profit: $69.68 (Electrolux Vacuum Hose)
Goal This Week: 8 Listings
03/22/2021 at 9:07 am #86918
Congrats on the upgrade. In our career work, we’d be hanging out with you in the AV crew.
03/22/2021 at 10:54 am #86924
Yes! It’s been a while since I’ve been a tech, stagehand, lighting guy, etc. It will be cool. Thanks!
03/23/2021 at 8:42 am #86954
This sounds so fun!! Congrats!
03/23/2021 at 11:03 am #86960
I just finished the latest podcast last night on my way home from work. I feel very Scavenger Life famous right now. I so appreciate your acknowledgment. And, you are right. I, too, feel we really can’t escape that pull to compare ourselves to others. I think, similar to what you said, we can use those comparisons to learn and improve and not to have them stop us. I love you guys – and this community. Thank you.
03/22/2021 at 8:09 am #86917simplicioParticipant
Great to hear from everyone as always. Good week on ebay for me.
Sales: CAD$6537, 16 sales, COGS: $162, Fees: ~$883, Postage: $393 –> Gross profit: $5099
Expenses: $183, New inventory: $0 –> Cashflow: $5078
HVAC controllers again for $4400 were the big sale.
I have an auction on Wednesday that I’ll hopefully get a decent amount of inventory from.
03/22/2021 at 9:07 am #86919
Incredible sales. How long did you hav to sit on the HVAC controllers to get that price?
03/22/2021 at 9:54 am #86922simplicioParticipant
I’m not really holding out on price on these things, actually they’re probably worth double the offer I took this week (of $220 each for 20). But I had qty 200 (now about 150) so I want them to move a little faster before the market dries up.
These are slow movers so the challenge is really just waiting for the buyer to come along. A lot of whom are themselves resellers I think.
BTW when you said on the podcast that your business hero was “Jimmy”, I immediately thought “he must mean Berkshire Hathaway’s CEO Jimmy Buffett!”, then you said you meant the local mom & pop garage guy, and then I realized half an hour later that actually Jimmy’s just the margaritaville guy and Warren Buffett is the investing Buffett. So anyway, if you guys want any stock tips let me know.
03/22/2021 at 9:58 am #86923
I’d take that offer all day long. You’ve built an awesome pipeline. Buy for $10 and sell for $220! and if you have the storage, you can wait for the buyers.
Yeah, I dont look up to the “big guys” in the financial world. I’m strictly mom-and-pop business. Feels real and solid.
03/22/2021 at 9:14 am #86920
Items in Store 1437
Items Sold 27
Total Sales $1,008.00
Total Profit $886.00
Average profit $32.81
Average sales price $37.33
New Listings 0
Items scavenged 2
Sourcing Allotment 2
So I had a pretty crappy week. Wednesday night, an electrical burning smell I couldn’t locate in ebay room (garage). Couldn’t sleep all night for fear of house burning down. Thursday night, thunderstorm and power freaks out in house – partial power loss. Power company came and showed me that power coming in was fine, so something wrong in my panel. I was up at 3am probing my panel to diagnose the issue – found the unlocatable burning smell…
Friday found an electrician to replace my entire electrical panel. Spent Friday evening and all of Saturday installing new panel. I put my family in a hotel for 2 nights while it was all done. Once done Saturday night had to spend a couple hours verifying circuits. Needless to say, I haven’t slept much in many days, and ebay ground to a halt.
In other news, I did stop by a yard sale Saturday that was near my house. It was intended to just be a mental diversion to burn a few minutes, but it ended up being one of those unicorn sales. Toys as far as the eye could see!!! First thing that caught my eye was an ENTIRE STORAGE TUB of Pixar Cars Die cast cars. These can be big bucks. I bought the whole thing for $60. I’ve already created 40 listings that total over $1k list price, and that is only a fraction of what I have. Some of them sell for $100+
When I showed interest in the Cars stuff, they showed me a Cars Geotrax tub. Sure I want that. One problem, they weren’t sure it was all in that one tub…then they pointed at this wall of tubs that was all geotrax. 8 GIANT storage tubs. They wanted $200 for all of it. Ugh…I didn’t really want that much. Then they opened one of the tubs and it was full of nothing but the motorized cars and remotes. I have sold many of the remote controlled cars and even the common ones sell for $40+ each and they sell fast. There was over $1000 of easy money in that one tub, and I had seen numerous other RC cars with remotes in the Cars tub.
So yeah, I ended up loading up my car and the guy brought the rest over to my house in his SUV.
That’s where I drew the line at that sale. There were 4 giant overflowing storage tubs of Hotwheels. There were 3 50 gallon tubs overflowing with nerf guns. I didn’t even ask because I already have a bunch of nerf guns in my death pile, and the hotwheels would be way too tedious for me to mess with. Still, there were $1000’s in inventory there for the taking.
I talked to the people – an only child/grandchild with parents with a ton of money and grandparents with tons of money. He’s a teen now and they had kept everything. All of that stuff for one single kid. Crazy!!!
03/22/2021 at 9:37 am #86921
That’s crazy you had to replace your entire electrical panel. That’s some real work. But obviously better safe than sorry.
Nice haul on all those toys. That much inventory would keep us busy for months.
03/22/2021 at 3:03 pm #86939
It’s entirely likely I will only list the geotrax cars/trains and just offload the rest in bulk on facebook.
The research is all pretty straightforward as there is model numbers on most everything. Paint variants are what to look for on the Pixar cars. I have this one Mater that the normal one is a $10 car, but the one I have is the oil stain variant and it sells for $85 consistently.
03/22/2021 at 7:54 pm #86952
Well scratch that idea. I’m gonna have to take a deep dive this week and see if I can put together complete sets. I just cracked the lids on all of the geotrax to take a look (I didn’t open any of them at the sale except the one with all the cars). Right off the bat I found the complete train and all the big track pieces of this set:
It sold for over $300 during the holidays on terapeak.
03/23/2021 at 8:46 am #86955
That is AMAZING!! I haven’t been sourcing much as I’ve still been eating through a storage unit full of estate stuff for months… this is the kind of thing that I’m afraid I’m missing out out lol!!
03/23/2021 at 11:53 am #86962
@retro-treasures-wv – Wow, a mysterious burning smell, that’s really something to keep you up at night. Glad you found it before something serious happened.
That sale you found it what makes this job so much fun. You never know what you’re going to run into. Now to find that$700,000 Chinese bowl. 🙂
03/26/2021 at 4:23 pm #87012
So this just happened:
I had it listed as an auction and a buyer messaged me an offer. We agreed at $225 and he bought immediately. I REALLY wanted to let the auction run it’s course but he was offering me WAY more than all the researched prices were showing. Bird in hand, as they say. I think it is unlikely it would have reached that price at auction, but we’ll never know now.
03/26/2021 at 4:52 pm #87013TemudginParticipant
- Location: Jacksonville FL
Congrats, great sale! Don’t be tempted to overthink it. 🙂 That’s out of that unicorn yard sale? So you’ve blown through the COGS on that whole sale. You’re going to be eating off of that unicorn for a while.
03/26/2021 at 6:03 pm #87021
Yep! I knew that item would be valuable, but I considered valuable to be $50-60 at the sale. Never would have thought it would be worth that much!
So be aware, the star wars Pixar Cars crossover toys are definitely BOLO. I wish there would have been more of them!
03/26/2021 at 7:04 pm #87028
Wow, that is a great sale! Congrats! I’d given up on Pixar stuff since every time I found something it wasn’t worth much. Obviously looking at the wrong things. Thanks for sharing.
03/22/2021 at 11:38 am #86926gargolferParticipant
- Location: Illinois
Total Items In Store: 2192
Items Sold: 28
Gross Sales: $1445.27
Net Sales: $917.72
Highest Price Sold: $300 (23 Cans of Aeromarine engine oil)
Average Price Sold: $32.77
Returns: 0 $0
Money Spent on New Inventory: $0
Number of items listed: 6
- Overall a decent week in sales.
- Really hating the loss of yard sale treasure map. I tried using it on our trip to Louisville and got the notice that it wasn’t pulling from Craigslist anymore. I ended up using the Craigslist app to find some sales, but was so much easier on YSTM. We travel quite a bit and it was a great tool for pulling up sales in new areas.
- My wife and I went to Iowa on Friday and I located an estate sale that was a little out of the way, but in the general direction. We got there about an hour after it started and I didn’t think it was going to be very good as we saw people leaving without any goods when we pulled up. When we went in, the house was completely packed full of stuff…every room! Here’s the deal though. The prices were absolutely outrageous. Even with high prices, I can usually find a few gems to scavenge, but there was nothing here I could touch for reasonable prices. We spent 30 minutes there and left with nothing. The house was full of people and they were only selling a few items here and there. The lady running the sale was telling people everything would be half off on Sat and even cheaper on Sun, but it seems to me they are losing a ton of money with all the people like us that will never be back. Maybe I’m wrong, but it seems to me they would make more money in the long run if things were priced reasonably from the start.
03/22/2021 at 11:52 am #86931Julie BParticipant
- Location: Georgia
Gargolfer – I’ve been to an estate sale like that before. The first thing I saw was a dining room table with a $6,000 price tag. My mind couldn’t even process that an estate sale price would have that many zeros on it so I assumed they must have meant $600. They did not. Since no one was buying anything, they put up a sign telling people to make offers. None of us were making offers because based on their starting prices, we knew that any reasonable offer would be shot down. How do you offer $300 on something that the owner priced at $6,000? The owner and the person running the sale were completely perplexed. I don’t think they’d ever ran a sale before. Or they mistook small town Georgia for Beverly Hills.
03/22/2021 at 3:16 pm #86941gargolferParticipant
- Location: Illinois
Julie B – Yeah, I don’t get it. This estate sale had a cabinet full of items that were make an offer on as well. I didn’t even look at it based on the asking prices on everything else. It can’t be good for them when people who are there to spend money are walking out with nothing. Seems to me they are losing in the long run. Oh well, there will be other sales and I’ve run into far more good ones than bad.
03/23/2021 at 8:48 am #86956
YES! Julie, I have been to some like this in North GA as well. What the heck!?
03/22/2021 at 11:43 am #86929Julie BParticipant
- Location: Georgia
I have a little rant. I had an amazing clothing haul from an estate sale last weekend. Due to the size of the sale, it was scheduled for 2 weekends. There was very little parking so the Estate Sale company asked that only bulk buyers shop the first weekend and to make an appointment. There were lots of shoppers there but as far as I could tell, I was the only “bulk buyer.” After shopping 4 hours and accumulating 100s of items of clothing I asked them to give me a price, expecting them to give me a bulk price. Nope. They sat for over an hour and went thru each item one by one. Clothing had set prices unless otherwise marked (ex. all shirts $5, pants $6) however, the lady started changing all of the prices on me. She would say, “well this is Save the Queen and all of those are $15” etc. even though there were no signs whatsoever to that effect. I was really annoyed but I was so exhausted at that point that I didn’t want to just abandon everything and leave. The stuff was so plentiful and the brands so good that I went back a second time but made sure one of the hourly employees tallied up my haul instead of the lady running the sale. Even after purchasing probably 500 items, I didn’t even make a dent in all of the clothing they had. I texted them earlier this week and offered to buy all leftover clothing after their last day (which was yesterday) because otherwise they were going to donate it all to charity. The lady wouldn’t even give me a price. She said that she needed to get her client a good tax receipt from the charity. Then why even sell any of it in the first place? I think she just doesn’t like resellers. At least I came away with some good stuff to list, even though the experience kind of left a sour taste in my mouth.
03/22/2021 at 2:32 pm #86937LaurenParticipant
- Location: Central Illinois
I can’t stand resellers that don’t like other resellers. If you aren’t highkey haggling the price, what does it matter what they do? I had a similar event happen when I first tried to do books in Vermont. They had a price of 50 cents each so I got a few baskets worth. Got to the front and they all had tags on the inside cover, between $4-8 EACH! For books, at a Salvation Army. I couldn’t get them, that’s what I would be making, so I left the lady with 3 baskets of books to recolorcode. I had been back a few times for personal shopping, and I never saw anyone buy books.
03/22/2021 at 1:40 pm #86936SharynParticipant
- Location: Central NJ
I have a little story sort of similar to the caller who talked about finding the exact crocks that her daughter wanted. A few years ago, I bought several lots from a MaxSold online auction. One of the lots had a vintage Flint spatula, which was exactly the same one we owned. My husband, who is the pancake maker in our house, would talk about how great it was and how much better quality it was compared to modern utensils, but it had a cracked handle from going through the dishwasher too many times. I handed him the one I just got, and it took him a second, but he suddenly smiled and became very excited over this new to us spatula. He washes it by hand, and I am not allowed to put it in the dishwasher. I think that the original one was given to me by my grandpa years ago when he was downsizing, so now we have two.
Week of March 14 – 20
Total Items in Store: 1373 eBay, 44 Etsy
Items Sold: 20 eBay
Cost of Items Sold: $10.43 + $46.23 Commission
Total Sales: $413.94
Highest Price Sold: $65 for Sajen goddess pendant (but, going to be returned), $38 oil painting (no frame)
Average price: $21.60
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
Number of items listed this week: 8
A gem fell out of the Sajen pendant (which is a consignment item) en route. I was going to refund the buyer $10, but she wanted to be able to return it if her repair was screwed up. I said just to return it, and I will do the repair. She may rebuy it if it comes out fine. She was going to use superglue, so I’m sure I’ll do a better job.
03/22/2021 at 3:44 pm #86943mscellaneousParticipant
- Location: VA
3-15-21 to 3-21-21
Total Items in Store: 1210
Items Sold: 11
Gross Sales: $200.16
Net Sales: $83.63
Cost of Items Sold: $3
Highest Price Sold: $29.89 Anime Bluray
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
Number of items listed this week: 49
Steady week of low dollar sales. Continuing to list and feel good about that. Sold some items for my friend who had to move in a rush and did a major downsize. Feels good to send here some cash every few months from stuff she would have trashed/given away just to be rid of it. I give her all the profits after fees/taxes are covered.
Most excited to be scheduled for my 1st vaccine shot Friday. Looking forward to being able to go out and be more comfortable in public in 6 weeks. And being able to swim this summer!
03/22/2021 at 3:56 pm #86945cdilsParticipant
- Location: Reno
Total Items in Store: 162
Items Sold: 11
Total Sales: $1,16.50
Highest Price Sold: $850 Breyer Special Run Olympia Morgan Mare
Well I am sure glad I worked so hard in the last few weeks to list to eBay – it paid off for sure! Several older pieces sold which was very nice as well as several items I just listed. I laugh every time I sell a cassette or VHS tape. Did well with some TDK PRO SM-X90 sealed blank tapes, some sell in the $20 each range, I got an offer of $15 each for all of mine – sold!
I went to 2 estate sales last weekend and they couldn’t have been more different. One was the official company where they total each item, everything is priced close to retail the first 2 days, with discounts the last 2. They do sell, but I only bought a few things for myself and the house was still pretty full. The second was a couple clearing out mom’s house, stuff in the front was cheap, stuff in the backyard was dirt cheap. I bought 2 big boxes of miscellaneous items – they were happy and I was happy – win-win! I do need to tone down the buying so I don’t totally neglect selling from my storeroom, but it sure is fun to discover new things.
03/22/2021 at 7:18 pm #86951TopNotchParticipant
- Location: WI
I used to use yardsale treasuremap all the time, but I started noticing most were listed on fb instead of cl anyways.
There is a local estate sale company that prices basically at retail, then marks down day 3 and 4. Even at 75% off, the prices are usually too high to do well on. These companies keep as much as 70% of the proceeds. I love the family member cleanout estate sales and have done exceptionally well at some–and I feel the family can likely do just as well without the middlemen taking such a huge chunk.
Jumping on some of that special coffee–we prefer light roast, so that sounds good!
Busy week. Finally signed our warehouse lease, but it has been a very slow process. No clue when we will get keys, haven’t been told what to do with the check, etc. It is unreal how un-motivated they are to get someone in the building. Cannot wait until it is finished. Until keys are in hand, there is major stress.
We sell a lot on facebook. Generally the large things like you all do. It has allowed us to drastically increase our asp and we have even done 40 shipping orders through it. FB has eclipsed eBay sales for sometime now, but eBay is consistent like a clock.
03/23/2021 at 9:53 am #86959Steven SParticipant
- Location: South Dakota
I’ve noticed as well that garage sales are being listed more on FB marketplace than CL the last couple of years. Also, Ive gone on wild goose chases following some miss placed pin locations on the CL/Yard Sale app locations, I sometimes forget to check the address listed that doesn’t match the pin location.
03/23/2021 at 9:04 am #86957
Loved the episode in general and all the calls this week! The crocs story was awesome; I’ve had a similar thing happen! In psychology, we usually chalk experiences like that up to the recency bias, but I can say from personal experience that sometimes (like in the case of the yellow crocs) it seems a bit TOO serendipitous to be only that! Feels a little magical! As frequent shoppers who always have our eyes out for certain things, we deal in recency bias all the time… but something like the yellow crocs is just uncanny compared to all the things we now notice because we’ve just heard about them or whatever. So cool. Also, so great to hear from Marty!
It’s been BUSY still around here. Hitting the home stretch listing stuff out of my storage unit, preparing to move HALF my garage inventory to a second storage unit and continue my inventory cataloguing! BOY that is boring, but worth it. I can’t wait to be done. Lol. Sales have been all over the map for the past 6 weeks. I also feel like I noticed an uptick from the stimulus checks, and may still be… but overall, compared to January, February and March have been slooooow. It’s interesting because I’m still listing a ton every month, thanks to my helpers… usually upwards of 500 items, all miscellaneous as usual, and it seems that the longer this alternate universe goes on, the less predictable my sales are. I just kind of notice that, and then keep working haha. Either way, the answer is to keep on listing. It’s nice not to be stressed about it, for the most part!
Active Listings: 10,130
Number of items sold: 57 (the most in one wee since the end of January, when I was selling 70+ per week!)
Gross Sales: $1844.38
Net Sales: $949.97
Highest Sale: Vintage Halogen Torchier Lamp, $274.39
Average Sale Price: $32.35
No returns, no sourcing!
Have a great week, everybody!
03/23/2021 at 9:10 am #86958
Wow. 10k items in your inventory. Congrats. Is that individual SKU’s or total number of items? Do you have a goal of how big you want your store to get (or that you have logically store?)
03/23/2021 at 11:00 pm #86973
10k is active listings, so considering multiple quantities of a small number of them, my actual number of items is around 11k! I’m not totally sure how big I want it to grow; kind of playing that by ear! I planned to hit 10k and then sort of feel it out from there. I’ve got a two car garage and two 10x10ft storage units in terms of available space for now, so I’ll keep going until I need to address storage again. The value of things that can be held in a highly organized 10×10 storage unit far surpasses the monthly cost of the unit, but the next house we move to will hopefully have substantial storage options. I’d love an unfinished basement or something to work with instead of storage units, but for now, this lets me grow and scale up more!
03/23/2021 at 11:07 am #86961
Thanks, Anna. Awesome work! And your book has been sooooo helpful to me. Thank you. I gave it a great review on Amazon. 🙂
03/23/2021 at 12:30 pm #86963
Thanks for the show! Appreciate the level headed advice you always give. Low on hype and right on in substance.
Slowest week of the year so far for me. Really has been a roller coaster year with weeks going up and down. On the bright side, I’m still ahead for the year compared to last. My problem really is in getting listings done. I need to focus and block out the distractions. Should help temporarily as kids go back to school finally. My son started two days a week last week and my daughter should go back in mid-April.
Took a big gamble and booked a non-refundable AirBNB for July in Europe. Keeping fingers crossed that the vaccine rates keep climbing and we’re able to get ours before then. Currently the country isn’t accepting any travelers. Prices were so low that it was tough to bypass.
I’m going to miss the Yard Sale Treasure Map also. I checked out Craigslist’s new app that you mentioned and it is pretty weak. That’s really going to leave a void.
My biggest sale this last week was a vintage Dunhill tobacco pipe. It was one I restored myself to increase its value. I bought a large lot of very collectible pipes that were in poor condition. In researching them I came across some blogs detailing how hobbyists were restoring them and thought I’d try. A little elbow grease can go a long way to increase value. This was the third I’ve restored and sold from the lot. The other two sold for more than $100 each. I’m in about $3 per pipe plus labor. Takes about 2 hours to restore each. Of course, restoring a pipe takes up time I could be listing…
Week Ending 3/20/21
Total Items in Store: 1153
Items Sold: 13
Gross Sales (Not including shipping and tax): $366.51
Net Sales (After fees): $298.19
Cost of Items Sold: $31.16
COGS Percent 10.45%
Net Profit Margin: 72.86%
Highest Price Sold: $74.95 Vintage Dunhill Pipe
Average Price Sold: $28.19
Money Spent on New Inventory: $32.20
Sold via promoted listings: 9
Promoted Percentage: 69.23%
Average Days Listed: 369
Longest Listed: 1363
New items listed: 11
03/23/2021 at 2:07 pm #86964
I think its a good gamble to buy travel now. My gut says travel will explode this summer. Hoping its true for our coffee shop as well when we open that people will be hungry to gather after vaccines.
03/23/2021 at 7:48 pm #86969
@Jay – Will keep my fingers crossed for your shop as well. We hope to make the trip over to check it out. It’s a shame your place is always booked whenever we check it out.
The place we booked is normally $200+ per night, but we booked it for $89. We’ve been going every summer for several years now and that is the cheapest we’ve found for a 3 bedroom house. Only 15 minutes from downtown Brussels.
We lucked out and found a deal on flights from Iceland air that had fully refundable tickets for less than we normally pay for non-refundable.
03/23/2021 at 3:25 pm #86966
Carving out time for listing is my main dilemma, also.
My uncle in Baltimore (retired engineer) was doing pipe restoration as a part-time job. I think bringing a hobby into the eBay pipeline can take up a lot of time but could really pay off because of the expertise and enthusiasm you bring. I’m doing that with comics (slow burn). Good luck!
03/23/2021 at 7:54 pm #86970
@martyholthaus – I have to watch myself on things like this. I have tried my hand at electronics repair, camera repair, fountain pen repair and furniture restoration since I started eBay, to varying degrees of success. They can increase my return dramatically, but sometimes at a significant cost of time. I’ve pulled back on the electronics especially because it can be a deep hole. The pipes at least are a more finite spend of time.
The comics could be fun. I see lots frequently at auctions, but don’t know what I’m looking at and pass on them. I know the right one can be fruitful, like with the trading cards. Nice niche.
03/24/2021 at 1:53 am #86975
I hear you. I spent 45 minutes today carefully steam cleaning five fine silk pocket squares with a cotton cloth as a barrier of protection. They had a lot of wrinkles and dry-cleaning seemed to be a waste of money so I spent some time on it instead to give it a better presentation. Two of them comp at around $100 on the higher end so it seemed to be the right choice.
03/23/2021 at 7:27 pm #86968TemudginParticipant
- Location: Jacksonville FL
3/14/21 – 3/20/21
Total Active Items (2 different IDs): 347
Items Sold: 7
Gross Sales: $147
Highest Price Sold: $45 – consigned US Navy USS Tarawa Commanding Officer’s personal Challenge Coin.
COGS: $20 (including commissions but not including cost of any family castoffs sold)
New Listings: 2
$ Spent on New Inventory: $11
Wise words from you two on the podcast this week. But I had to laugh when Jay said he would be “licking” stamps if he had to be shipping. I still have the habit of saying “dial” the phone, but I do have about 25 years on Jay, I think.
I have had annoying eBay buying experiences similar to one in your discussion. It’s the kind of thing that gives eBay a bad reputation. I’ve bought items specifically because they were represented as tested working but I found they were not upon receipt, and it was obviously not due to damage in shipment. The seller had simply lied that the items were tested. The last time it happened it was a $150 item and when I opened a return, the seller simply refunded me and didn’t even send me a label to return it, and it was suitable for First Class Package. So that told me they had zero time and money into and were just rolling the dice that I wouldn’t notice or something.
03/23/2021 at 11:10 pm #86974DoublythumbsParticipant
- Location: Hopedale, OH
March 14 – 20
<li aria-level=”1″>Total Items in Store: 4,105
<li aria-level=”1″>Items Sold: 27
<li aria-level=”1″>Total Sales: $709
<li aria-level=”2″>* BELOW yearly average of $1,064
<li aria-level=”1″>Highest Price: $125 (Vintage Snow Lion Sleeping Bag)
<li aria-level=”1″>Average Price: $26
<li aria-level=”1″>Returns: 0
<li aria-level=”1″>Cost of Goods Sold: $27
<li aria-level=”1″>Costs of Goods Purchased this Week: $0
<li aria-level=”1″>Number of New Items Listed this Week: 54
It’s been kind of slow over here on my end last week. That’s the way it goes sometimes I guess. I managed to get a lot of items listed, so that’s a plus. This week I’ll be taking care of some stuff around the house, so I’ll neglect my listing duties for a few days. Gotta get an area behind my house leveled off for a shed. Fortunately, I got locked in on the price last year before the cost of materials skyrocketed.
03/24/2021 at 11:32 pm #86987craig rexParticipant
- Location: south jersey
3/14/21 – 3/20/21
Total items in store: 2295
Items sold: 84
Gross sales: $3178.98 (up 200.3% from this week last year)
Net sales: $2153.19 (up 226.4% from this week last year)
Highest price sold: $187.74 — an autograph rookie refractor (refractor = shiny) of Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager graded 9 mint
Lowest price sold: $11.97 — a plain, unadorned rookie draft card of Australian basketball player Joe Ingles, who was not drafted and only has a few rookie cards
Last week, my sales were slightly higher because I had about 10 sales of $75-$100 and 10 sales of $100 or more. This week was much more typical (at least for crazy stimulus sports card bubble times): 8 from $75-$100 and 4 over $100.
Even when I sell 84 items, I never have 84 packages to send out because I always have a few buyers who purchase multiple items. This week, I had one sale of 12 items to one buyer for $170 less Canada shipping and fees.
All 12 items were different hockey players printing plates. Printing plates are the various colors (black/yellow/cyan/magenta) used in stamping ink on the cards. Most manufacturers insert printing plates plates as a “hit card” every x number of packs or boxes, often with an accompanying autograph from the player, or a piece of their jersey. A few manufacturers use the plates to create a new product, like the Panini Plates & Patches set. You receive at least one printing plate and patch card in every Plates & Patches box, but the name is mostly branding. There are lots of regular cards beyond the plates and patches cards, though “regular cards” in most sets in 2021 often have an autograph, a piece of jersey and/or some kind of foil/colorful design and serial number.
Have I mentioned how high the cost of buying a box of trading cards is in 2021? Each five card box of 2020 Plates & Patches football cards will set you back at least $375. That’s over $60 for each card, and Plates & Patches is not even a premium expensive brand! It’s pretty run of the mill average in terms of pricing. The most high-end boxes run $1000 or more for a box of 5-10 cards, so you can do the math at how absurdly expensive a 12-box case gets. Most collectors don’t get their cards through buying boxes anymore. They either buy or trade for individual cards or purchase “their” team (or player) in “box breaks” or “case breaks.” Here is a very well-written article on case breaks that explains the process better than I can.
I know what breaks are, but I’ve never participated in one since it’s basically all luck. No need to take a shortcut and gamble when I already have a system where I can make money as long as I put in the work. I originally purchased the plates I sold this week through various eBay auctions last month, all from the same seller. This is very common with trading cards, most sellers use auctions, but it’s an inefficient way to sell and prices vary a lot. I suspect many eBay trading card sellers need to sell this week to pay for their purchases next week. In fact, I was like that for a few years. It’s only this past year where I’ve truly broken out of it, somewhat from the increased demand (more people buying cards) but mostly from smarter buying habits.
Like these plates. The 12 plates I sold this week cost me just over $5 each, and even after shipping to Canada and fees, I made a tidy $90 profit. I had each plate listed at $20 and I had already sold some other plates at that price. But I had the flexibility to go down to $15 or even $10 and still make a profit, and whenever I get a buyer who sends me a bunch of offers at the same time, I’m always inclined to take it.
I have a new lot purchase of over 100 plates in the mail which I’m looking forward to. Sadly, this will probably be my last cache of plates until next year’s sets come out. But at least I went out with a bang. I got very lucky with my winning bid and only paid about $3.50 for each plate. Most will get listed at $20 with a few at higher prices if the players are collectible or popular. A handful will sell within twenty-four hours of listing, as collectors often focus on a certain player and set up saved searches (e.g. ‘Mario Lemieux plate’) to alert them to new listings so they don’t miss their players’ cards (especially the rare ones) before another collector snaps them up. They have to be quick, especially with the most desirable cards. I’ll make back my initial ~$400 investment with the first 25 or so that sell, and then the rest is all profit.
I loved this week’s podcast so much. Inspiring and grounded at the same time. It’s so important to find something that’s worth putting in the extra time and effort on, like the thoughtful things you include for guests who stay at your Air BnB’s.
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