04/04/2021 at 2:46 pm #87223RyanneKeymaster
- Location: Virginia
Check out our coffee! ► broadporchcoffee.com Join the conversation in the forum>> Our Store Week March 21-27, 2021 Total Items in Store: 7559
[See the full post at: Scavenger Life Episode 508: Independence = Responsibility]
04/05/2021 at 10:44 am #87234
Items in Store 1527
Items Sold 22
Total Sales $857.00
Total Profit $754.00
Average profit $34.27
Average sales price $38.95
New Listings 46
Items scavenged 18
Sourcing Allotment 15
I listed alot of big bulky items this week. I need space so I’m focusing on those kind of listings right now. It feels good to move big bulky things out the door!
The person I work with at my day job the closest tested positive for covid this past week. His 4 year old got it from his teacher at day care. I had to quarantine and get tested – thankfully negative. We wear masks and try to stay socially distanced at work, but in a loud foundry environment, social distancing isn’t always possible in order to hear each other talk.
This week I’m gonna keep on focusing on the bulky listings. Hopefully that reflects in my numbers as alot of these items are $100+ listings.
Have a great week everyone!
04/05/2021 at 11:09 am #87238
Hi all, hope your week is going well. I am really happy, having had my best single week ever on ebay for sales. Almost cracked 10k.
Sales: CAD$9683, 23 sales, COGS: $772, Fees: ~$1306, Postage: $889 –> Gross profit: $6716
Expenses: $610, New inventory: $752 –> Cashflow: $6126
Big sales were some circuit breakers 3 x $600, and some HVAC controllers, bought this week for $45 and sold overnight for $2400. You love to see it! This customer is a repeat customer who has bought this stuff from me a few times. Which hasn’t really happened much before.
04/05/2021 at 11:15 am #87239
I found a piece of inventory in my bins this week that is worth $600 but was not listed on ebay. Which is concerning. Too swamped now, but I really need to find a better way to reconcile my spreadsheet (which I am diligent about updating) with my ebay store. Ideally I’d be able to download the ebay store excel summary and run a comparison in less than an hour with my inventory sheet, that flags items not listed on ebay, or items listed that my sheet doesn’t contain.
Complicating factor is that some items have multiple listings (e.g., listed as singles AND as lots of 5).
I think the solution is to use the custom SKU field to do it – assign a unique identifier to each item and then have that in both the ebay listing and my spreadsheet. I HAD been using the custom SKU field as a redundant place to put items’ storage locations but maybe that needs to change.
04/05/2021 at 11:18 am #87240
Where do you think the mixup may be happening.
When we did a full inventory of our 8000 items, we only found about 100 or less items that were not listed. But we realized the error of each one. Usually we sold it, had it returned, and forgot to relist.
04/05/2021 at 11:36 am #87245
In this case, I think I simply forgot to put Qty=2 in the listing. It’s my fault, but I need a way of checking for these errors short of physically going through all 1750 items.
This time it was likely my fault, but 90% of the time when I find orphaned inventory, the culprit is the following:
-Listing has quantity 2 (or whatever)
-Buyer buys one, then cancels
-Ebay does NOT automatically update the available quantity back up to 2 on cancellation – this is a bug I’ve groused about before
-Other one sells
-Listing goes dark and is forgotten
I try to remember to always tweak the qty back up when a buyer cancels on a multiple qty listing, but sometimes I forget.
04/05/2021 at 11:19 am #87241
Isn’t WV offering vaccines to any adult over 16?
04/05/2021 at 2:02 pm #87246DoublythumbsParticipant
- Location: Hopedale, OH
- March 28 – April 3
- Total Items in Store: 4,151
- Items Sold: 38
- Total Sales: $1,358
- * ABOVE yearly average of $1,101
- Highest Price: $250 (Lot of 18 Vintage Leather Hole Punch Tools)
- Average Price: $36
- Returns: 0
- Cost of Goods Sold: $52
- Costs of Goods Purchased this Week: $39
- Number of New Items Listed this Week: 86
Another good week of sales. I love seeing my yearly average steadily go up each week. It’s great positive reinforcement and lets me know I’m doing something right.
I made a decision to part out a rare board game this week. The game is called Feeley Meeley, and they sell for over $100 in complete and good condition which mine met both of those criteria. But I noticed that there weren’t very many individual pieces being offered for sale (and there are a LOT of pieces that could get lost or damaged). So I priced everything on the high end, but fair enough for serious board game collectors who are missing a piece or two. If everything sells, then I think I’ll have tripled my profits. I’ll just need to be patient.
04/05/2021 at 2:38 pm #87248DoublythumbsParticipant
- Location: Hopedale, OH
I forgot to mention about my scavenge this week. There was an online electronics auction near me that I’d been eyeing since it was listed. Naturally, everything that I wanted shot up beyond my price range in the last 10 minutes. But I did manage to buy a neat piece of equipment called a Gould Recorder 6500. I think it records data onto reel tape. Anyway, I picked it up at what I found out to be an electronics recycling facility. Red Flag! I brought it home and plugged it in and it immediately exploded. Not too dramatically, but there was certainly a lot of smoke. I’m glad I only spent $35 for it, but I wonder about all the other expensive equipment that was sold to the other buyers.
04/05/2021 at 8:21 pm #87261
If they sold a lot of broken equipment, I’m sure they’ll hear about it. That sucks!
04/05/2021 at 10:16 pm #87269
Board game parts can be big business!
If a game is 100%, I prefer to keep it intact. If it is 99% and is a desirable game with lots of parts, then I may part it out.
I parted out a nearly complete copy of Heroquest a couple years ago. I made WAY more on parts than I did if I would have sold it whole. I think I cleared $300 in profit on parts. I had sole a 100% copy a year before that for about $180 I think.
04/05/2021 at 2:25 pm #87247DarlinDilsParticipant
- Location: Reno
Total Items in Store: 166
Items Sold: 6
Total Sales: $264.50
Highest Price Sold: $160.00 Peter Stone Artisan Hall Stock Horse
Local yard and estate sales are increasing with the nice weather, I had to resist going to several until I get my backlog listed. I hit a fun estate/yard sale a couple of weeks back where everything was dirt cheap and I bought a few piles of stuff. It is all selling quickly, I need to take advantage of those types of sales and buy more!
My interesting anecdote of the week- sold a nice MCM fiberglass shade wall sconce, then got the oddest email from the buyer. It had kind of poor english, and asked for a tracking number (which they should already have). It also asked for the item number to be written on the box, but I noticed when I printed the shipping label they somehow got the item number to be part of the address (HOW did they do that?). I was a bit wary that this was some sort of a scam, so I came here and searched the forums. Turned out to be Shop America, the freight forwarder. I guess they are still around. I am worried as I built a custom double-box for the lamp, and wired it into the inside box to protect the shade in shipping. I put in the email to pull the entire inside unit out, and not lift by the lamp, now I wish I had put a note inside the box. I have done this packing before with odd items (sent a heavy hand plane to France and had to wire it in it was so heavy and awkward), so I will type something up that I can place in the box for buyers just in case it goes through some intermediary.
04/05/2021 at 3:49 pm #87249SharynParticipant
- Location: Central NJ
Nice to hear that your coffee shop is close to opening!
Week of March 28 – April 3
Total Items in Store: 1369 eBay, 44 Etsy
Items Sold: 10 eBay
Cost of Items Sold: $8 + $74.80 Commission
Total Sales: $325.15
Highest Price Sold: $130.45 for 11 sterling hollow handle knives (on commission); $55 Curtain set
Average price: $32.52
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
Number of items listed this week: 18
Slow week for me, and would have been worse if I didn’t sell $130 worth of knives on Saturday.
04/05/2021 at 7:51 pm #87258gargolferParticipant
- Location: Illinois
Total Items In Store: 2195
Items Sold: 30
Gross Sales: $832.77
Highest Price Sold: $224 (7 Schneider Electric Switches)
Average Price Sold: $27.76
Returns: 1 $53
Money Spent on New Inventory: $0
Number of items listed: 46
- A pretty slow sales week, but saved by a $200+ sale on Friday.
- I got an e-mail today from eBay asking me to join eBay Expressions? I did a survey and then was asked to join their members panel as a seller. Has anyone else gotten this e-mail and joined? Hopefully this will turn out to be a forum where I can discuss seller issues directly with an eBay team.
04/05/2021 at 8:35 pm #87262Curious CuratorParticipant
- Location: Illinois
Loved the podcast. Always so informative. Regarding the “high prices” when you (Jay and Ryanne) list your items, I do the same thing. My philosophy is, if I’m going to “list it and forget it”, I want to be prepared when the long tail item does not sell immediately, and now I am “priced right” when it does sell. OR like Jay said, they can make an offer, and I can come down on the price. Once in a while I’ll get someone who will police my store and ask why I’m charging so much for something (usually cookie molds) and then I just figure they are the competition with the same item and they want to make the profit on said item. I just don’t over think it. I price high (most things-not all) and list it and forget it.
Yesterday and today I went through most of my totes (how I store my merchandise) and found that many items were not in the place I originally listed them in. So, if I listed a widget and put it in “Box 1”, it was not in “Box 1”. I have approximately 750 items. It has been a pain, but I’m sure I’ll be glad I did when the item does sell. For me sales are really slower than molasses. I guess I just don’t put the time in to it. I should have more time by the end of the summer. I have so many items not listed and some items in my totes were not even in my store. Certainly not going to many thrift stores or garage sales this summer.
04/08/2021 at 12:27 am #87325craig rexParticipant
- Location: south jersey
3/28/21 – 4/3/21
Total items in store: 2224
Items sold: 50
Gross sales: $3178.85 (up 88.6% from one year ago)
Net sales: $2315.37 (up 126.9% from one year ago)
Highest price sold (net): $311.17 — 4 authenticated autographs of former Supreme Court justices
Lowest price sold (net): $7.19 — Women at Work Vol. II softcover book
As expected, high dollar sales picked up this week with the start of the new quarter and new eBay bucks certificates. I will miss the daily 1% eBay bucks, that was about $150 back in my pocket every quarter since almost all of my sourcing is done through eBay auctions. Hopefully this means eBay will start rolling out 3% or higher eBay bucks promos more frequently.
My average sales price was quite high this week. That’s as much a reflection of how my scavenging has changed over the last few years as anything else, and it’s reflected in my highest and lowest price sales this week.
The low price sale was a book! A leftover from my weekends spent scavenging library sales. I am a big reader and library sales are/were such a joy for me, as long as there are not too many Amazon people with the scanners there. Almost everything is a buck or two, and there’s so much trash but always a few treasures and sometimes some truly amazing stuff. I used to have a full bookcase of books and media (CD’s & DVD’s) listings, but over the last year that’s dwindled down to half a bookcase (if that). And honestly, in terms of time to profit ratio, I may love buying things for a buck and listing them for twenty, but that’s a long haul to making $xxxx a week. So library sales may not be a part of my scavenging strategy post-pandemic.
But up until the last couple years, those low-dollar items were all I could afford. As sales improved, I was able to start investing in better inventory and more long-tail items like most of us do. That is what led to my highest price sale this week, sheets of stamps which were autographed by former Supreme Court Justices.
I bought these autographed stamps a year ago (maybe more?) in auctions from one of the sellers I regularly buy from whose selling strategy is to run thousands of auctions every week. That kind of strategy is not for me, but it’s very common among trading cards sellers in particular and often they’ll dabble in other stuff like Pokemon cards (which I know nothing about) or autographed memorabilia/documents/etc. I always get a little interested and bid a little higher when I can “add on” to my auction haul with something that’s a little outside my comfort zone. Learning about all this cool stuff is one of the best parts of being a scavenger.
There are a few main companies who do autograph authentication and all of the stamps I bought were authenticated by the same company. Beyond that, I compared the autographs to other examples (because even the authenticators make mistakes sometimes) and the autographs looked like other autographs by these Supreme Court justices. So even though I didn’t get the autographs authenticated myself, I was confident that they are authentic. So I figured if I could get these autographs for $50 or so each, it should be fairly easy to make money on these autographs. How many signatures could there possibly be of these Supreme Court Justices from decades ago?
I didn’t win all of the auctions I bid on (story of my life) but something like 8-10 of them. This was probably one of the first handful of times where I was able to spend $300 or so and didn’t need to make an immediate sale to get some or all of that money back. So I priced the stamps high to where if they all sold, I’d double my initial investment plus make a few hundred extra. I figured I could wait a while and see what happened.
It’s easy to get impatient after you have items that you’re sure will sell and you don’t get an offer. Not even a nibble. No activity. Nothing. And of course that’s what happened, and of course I got impatient. So I tried putting these stamps on sale. Once I got a watcher or two, I tried sending offers to buyers. I tried listing them on auction with a starting price that I would be happy. I sold two of them over the last 18 months or so, but that didn’t even cover my initial investment. It can be a little disappointing when you think you’ve found cool items and they just don’t sell…
Then, in the course of a single day, all those feelings change because the one buyer you were waiting for finds your listings. Just like that, I’ve covered my initial investment, almost doubled it in fact, and most of all got reminded the most important Scavenger Life Manifesto lesson. List it and forget it.
It still boggles my mind that someone will spend $300 (or more!) on the perfect things for their collection, but it’s very obvious from the buyer’s feedback left that they are a serious collector of historical artifacts and autographs. Who knows if my buyer ever would have been able to find these particular autographs if I hadn’t listed them. I’m sure their collection isn’t complete yet, but they were probably just as happy to buy these stamps as I was to sell them. And that’s kind of cool to think about.
04/08/2021 at 8:07 am #87329
The ironic part of me being an ebay scavenger is that unlike my target buyer, I have now lost almost all value for material things.
My wife tells me I’m super hard to shop for now. I don’t want for anything. Things I think would be neat to own eventually end up in my ebay inventory, I’ll tinker with them a bit to have some fun, then they go right back out the door for profit.
I could not imagine paying big money for some random trinket that I’m just going to sit on the shelf. I’m glad there are people out there that do this though, as they put money in my pocket. After all, I got 5 kids to feed man!
04/08/2021 at 8:16 am #87332
Well said. As a scavenger, we get to “collect” items, appreciate them, and then sell them. I like money. Money buys time 🙂
04/08/2021 at 2:07 pm #87334LukastreasuretroveParticipant
- Location: Chevy Chase, MD
@retro-treasures-wv – Exactly how I feel. Sourcing for eBay feeds that need to acquire new stuff and gives that Zen satisfaction of also letting it go. I just don’t have that same need to buy stuff for myself that I used to have before. Kids definitely help with that motivation.
04/08/2021 at 10:02 am #87333old_man_martyParticipant
- Location: California
Notes: Busy week w/ non-eBay projects. Exceeded Q1 goals by 15%.
Total Items For Sale: 69
Items Sold: 2
Items Listed: 3 (Goal Exceeded!)
Average Profit: $14.75
Highest Profit: $16.64 (Vacuum Brush Attachments)
Goal This Week: 0 Promised (Going for 6. I have 6 listings mid-process.)
04/08/2021 at 2:19 pm #87335LukastreasuretroveParticipant
- Location: Chevy Chase, MD
Thanks for the show. I’m on the edge of my seat waiting to hear how it goes with the store opening. Very interested also to hear how the change of priorities works out for you. After so long of the ultimate job for flexibility, having a schedule again will be a big change.
We went away for the week and used the Time Away feature for the first time. Seems to work great and it was very nice not having to go into each policy and modify shipping times. Took my kids to the beach in Wildwood, NJ. Between the cold weather and the virus, I’ve never seen a beach town so deserted. Still, it was nice to get away. Hit a few thrift stores in the area but it was poor pickings.
Sales were low, but about average for this time of year for me. Funny that with all things considered, we’re running 3% below what we did by this time last year.
Sales Report for: 4/3/21
Total Items in Store: 1147
Items Sold: 17
Gross Sales (Not including shipping and tax): $443.34
Net Sales (After fees): $357.47
Cost of Items Sold: $74.83
COGS Percent 20.93%
Net Profit Margin: 63.75%
Highest Price Sold: $79.95 Japanese Rice Bowl Set
Average Price Sold: $26.08
Money Spent on New Inventory: $55.00
Sold via promoted listings: 7
Promoted Percentage: 41.18%
Average Days Listed: 169
Longest Listed: 478
New items listed: 12
04/08/2021 at 7:36 pm #87346TemudginParticipant
- Location: Jacksonville FL
3/28/21 – 4/3/21
Total Active Items (2 different IDs): 342
Items Sold: 6
Gross Sales: $327 (not incl a cancelled sale I refunded)
Highest Price Sold: $177 – WWII Mauser rifle bayonet
Returns: 0, but there was 1 cancellation before I shipped
COGS: $98 (including commissions but not including cost of any family castoffs sold)
New Listings: 7
$ Spent on New Inventory: $18.75
I did get a negative feedback that was annoying. (I’ve only had one before: As a buyer I got a retaliatory negative, circa 1999.) I received an eBay message from a buyer that said only “Refund. This clock doesn’t work.” The item was a decorative clock with a quartz movement that had been working up until the time I took the battery out to ship it (double boxed, with peanuts). In my reply I was nice, apologetic, reminded the buyer of my 30-day free return policy, and nicely asked them to open a return for their refund. Of course they did not do that but left the feedback. Unfortunately they did not flame spray me and it was short and to the point so I’m not optimistic for removal. I did call eBay, getting a friendly, cheerful foreign CSR who promised it would be removed but of course it’s still there. I’ll probably try again or just live with it. Mickdog, I think it was, recently posted some helpful suggestions for minimizing its impact that I will follow.
In better news, and scavenge of the week, the $18.75 inventory purchase was a snipe for something I’m still pinching myself about. It’s a commemorative coin in a sealed pack that sells in the $400 range, even ungraded from amateur sellers.
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