07/25/2021 at 3:36 pm #89841RyanneKeymaster
- Location: Virginia
Check out our coffee! ► broadporch.coffee Join the conversation in the forum>> Our Store Week July 18-24, 2021 Total Items in Store: 7435 Item
[See the full post at: Scavenger Life Episode 523: Will You Ever Stop Selling On eBay?]
07/25/2021 at 6:47 pm #89847
07/18/21 – 07/24/21
Total Items In Store: 3673
Items Sold: 13
Total Sales: $ 332.03
Highest Price Sold: $ 40 (Vintage Hat)
Average Price Sold: $ 25.54
Money Spent on New Inventory: $ 300
Number of items listed: 36
Gut Sales Report for the week: Yes, another a very slow week. I am still focusing on where I am going instead of what sales currently are.
Focus for the week (and rest of the summer): Starting this week till the end of August, I am trying to get 100 items a week listed because my summer help goes back to school in September. I have been buying like crazy and buying containers to store all of the new mechandise.
Scavenge of the week: I found a 1960’s Marx Johnny West Thunderbolt Horse in the Original Box. The rest was just great bread & butter items.
Storage: A caller asked about storage. For me, the best storage solution I have found is the tough box ($8.48) and tough box shelving unit ($39.98) at Sams club. The shelving unit comes with 5 shelves, but the great thing about these is that you can build it as high or as short as you want. Also, these tough boxes are very strong. You can stack them 8 high by themselves and they will not cave in. For clothes, I like the double clothing rack. See my pictures below.
07/25/2021 at 7:09 pm #89848
Thats a nice system. Can they shelves hold weight if you have heavy items?
07/25/2021 at 7:15 pm #89849
The specs say 150 pounds per shelf – See photos below on the shelving unit and tough box. They do seem a little wobbly though if you put heavier containers too far up. I try to put the heavier containers toward the bottom.
07/25/2021 at 7:20 pm #89851
Here is my idea. I am plan to rent a 10′ X 30′ storage unit in the fall. These shelving units are 3 foot long. So, I should be able to put 10 of them on each side of the unit and 10 down the middle. That will leave 3 feet on each side. I will stack them 8 high on each shelving unit. I will have to have chair\stable ladder to get the containers up high. So, 240 containers in a 10′ X 30′ storage unit. If I can average 16.67 items per container, the storage unit will hold 4000 items.
07/26/2021 at 9:03 am #89871NCParticipant
- Location: Georgia
Weekly sales 7/18 – 7/24
Random Item Store
Total items 704
Items sold 27
New items listed 63
Gross sales $1,272.51
Net sales $957.06
Total items 2685
Items sold 33
New items listed 51
Gross sales $272.76
Net sales $208.34
Gross sales $89.80
Net sales $76.33
Net sales total $1,241.73
Had another great week for where I’m at currently. My best sale was a vintage Univox automatic rhythm instrument I got for free from a friend and sold for $400. I also sold a Winnie the pooh teapot for $100 and a Pepsi bottle opener for $80. So those 3 sales boosted my numbers substantially. I paid $2 for the teapot and a dollar for the bottle opener.
I’ve been sourcing a lot and settled on a few different things to look for at thrift stores that I can almost always find in everyone I go to.
I’ve been slacking on my patch store but plan to crank things up with it. I still have thousands and thousands of patches I need to sort through and list and that’s why I’ve been slacking. There are duplicates of most of the patches I have and they’re all mixed up so I need to get them organized and stop digging through to find ones I haven’t listed yet. I’m looking forward to getting through this death pile and on to buying new lots.
Stop selling on ebay? You could always stop listing but as long as you’re making money each month, why not just let it keep coasting and ship out what sells?
07/26/2021 at 10:32 am #89876
Glad to see things going well after selling on eBay full-time!
07/26/2021 at 9:07 am #89872simplicioParticipant
Morning, hope everyone had a good weekend! We got some beach time in and a hike with the kids as well, which was nice. Ebay was good this week.
Sales: CAD$3982, 12 sales, COGS: $542, Fees: ~$518, Postage: $360 –> Gross profit: $2563
Expenses: $105, New inventory: $0 –> Cashflow: $3000
Biggest sale was an inverter drive for $1800, however there is a higher than average risk of return on this one.
07/26/2021 at 10:33 am #89877
When was the last time you had a big return?
07/26/2021 at 7:19 pm #89901simplicioParticipant
I think I had to refund a $1000 breaker about 1 month ago. Rolled the dice and lost on that one. It happens… but it still seems to be very +EV to take the risks on potentially high dollar inventory. The insurance is making sure one doesn’t overpay on iffy items, so you make 5x-10x on the successes and lose 1x on the odd return (really just refund, I never ask them to send anything back).
07/26/2021 at 7:44 pm #89902
Its awesome to see your system work. Big risk big reward!
07/26/2021 at 9:14 am #89873Retro Treasures WVParticipant
Items in Store 1474
Items Sold 17
Total Sales $917.00
Total Profit $872.00
Average profit $51.29
Average sales price $53.94
New Listings 36
Items scavenged 18
I accomplished my goal of listing 10 $100 + items this week. I actually listed 17 of them, with plenty more in the $80 range. I sold 3 $100+ items this week, but all three were older listings. Hopefully this week I see some fruits from my $100 item listing push.
I had two cancelled $50 sales this week. One was an auto cancel for non-payment. Why do people accept offers and then ghost? It makes no sense. The other a person accepted an offer and immediately started asking questions and showing concern about condition. Red flags galore on this guy! His feedback left matched up with a trouble buyer too. I ended up talking him into cancelling. Never have I been more thankful for a cancelled sale!
I did some casual scavenging this weekend. I didn’t even get out to the yard sales until almost noon. One sale had a bunch of good audio equipment, but their prices were about half of what the things went for on ebay. Still lots of money to be made but I didn’t want to tie up that much capital or space in untested equipment. I did find a vintage Shure microphone for $5 though that is worth more than everything else he had at his sale. It will sell for between $100-200.
Well after the sales were done, we went to Walmart around 3. I saw a yard sale sign on a little side road next to walmart. Surely it was an old sign, but I was able to see a bunch of stuff in a yard up there so I went to check it out. One table had a massive amount of Manga books. I was able to by the whole table (95 books) for $110. Honestly I didn’t know what they’d be worth, but I figured even at $4 a book average on ebay I’d be making a few hundred. When I got home I organized them by set and started looking them up to see what they go for. The first set I grabbed to research:
Holy freaking cow!!!! I have books 1-12 of that set in really good condition. Needless to say, I went ahead and got all of the manga stuff listed immediately. I priced really high with best offer because comps are all over the place and every listing is missing various books or in various states of condition. In total I ended up with 11 listings and a list price of 2400! Now I won
t get $2400 because I’m fishing on a few of the listings, but I do think I’ll get $1500+ when all is said and done.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. It is VERY hard to stop scavenging completely due to finds such as this. Always at least have to have an eye out for $100+ items, and I’ve done pretty good at finding them recently.
07/26/2021 at 10:35 am #89878
What a find! You sound very disciplined in your scavenging since you’re willing to pass up lower profit items. The danger only comes when someone is buying carloads of crap that only takes up space.
07/26/2021 at 11:15 am #89881mscellaneousParticipant
- Location: VA
7-18-21 to 7-24-21
Total Items in Store: 15
Items Sold: 3
Gross Sales: 88.41
Net Sales: 66.70
Cost of Items Sold: $ 2
Highest Price Sold: $ 49.00 Creative Zen
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $ 0
Number of items listed this week: 20
Slow week on ebay but a crazy week in everything non ebay. I haven’t even listed to the podcast yet. I look forward to it tonight.
Stay cool everyone!
07/26/2021 at 12:27 pm #89885DarlinDilsParticipant
- Location: Reno
Total Items in Store: 170
Items Sold: 5
Total Sales: $75.50
Highest Price Sold: 2 Taylor & Ng naughty rabbit mugs
Slow sales but I listed a bunch so hope to see a bump in sales in a bit. Almost everything I bought last week sold, so I must have had them priced well. I was happy! I did a few auctions recently with disappointing results, only half the items sold and only for minimum bid. I am glad I found this website with the emphasis on buy it now instead of auctions. I was old-fashioned and only thought that was for the new stuff.
Did some light sourcing and found a cache of old halloween Beistle decorations in a box under a table in the corner of a basement at an estate sale. Those can go for big money – mine aren’t in mint condition but the market is super-hot so they should still fetch good prices (especially since I spent $5 for a huge bag full). That is one area I almost always put items at auction, the prices really can take me by surprise. Just check out vintage halloween sold prices, tiny bridge tallys and greeting cards sell for amazing money. The only hard part is several of the decorations are very large and will require a specialized box to keep them flat and unbent. I am thinking wood dowel rods to hold them from being bent in shipping.
07/26/2021 at 12:57 pm #89888
I had box-maggedon this past weekend. I had a sale of a very large wood lamp shade on Friday. It has about a 23″ diameter at the bottom.
When I listed it, I had planned to ship it diagonally in my largest 20x20x20 box. However, I had just used my last box the day before. In addition, the buyer is in CA, so it has to go coast to coast. I decided I should ship it so that it sits horizontally.
I tried to change a box I had in storage to different dimensions (someone had once posted a video of how to do that on the forum). Because the box was so large and unwieldy, it ended up being sort of lopped sided, so that wasn’t going to work.
I finally purchased a 24x24x36 wardrobe box for $13 at Home Depot and cut it down to size. Shipping ended up being about $3 more as well. Boy, I better not get a return on this one!!
Sales were better this week.
Week of July 18 – 24
Total Items in Store: 1377 eBay, 42 Etsy
Items Sold: 11 eBay + 1 Etsy
Cost of Items Sold: $6 + $69 Commission
Total Sales: $329.97 eBay + $18 Esty
Highest Price Sold: $90 Eickholt Vase (on commission); $46 photography lighting kit
Average price: $29
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
Number of items listed this week: 19
07/26/2021 at 1:18 pm #89889BookHawkParticipant
- Location: Westminster (Denver)
Items in Store 372
Items Sold 10
Total Sales $691.35
This is an outlier week for me as I usually do about 100 – 150 but I had a really big book sale. I’ve been holding some books back about tattoos for when I needed a boost and now just seemed like the time. I really need up upgrade my photo setup so that is where the money is going. Straight to B&H! https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/45652-REG/Savage_63151_Multiple_Polevault_System.html
I sourced a little but with no awesome results but I keep finding piles of stuff to list so I really just need to keep grinding on that.
07/26/2021 at 4:34 pm #89891markaleseParticipant
- Location: NYC
Jay, great audio quality upgrade this week! so much more crisp and clear than before. excellent. If I had 1 minor critique it might be it gets a little boomy on the laughs or raised voices but maybe I am just used to the lower volume from before. Overall yuge upgrade.
– NYC Mark
07/27/2021 at 11:48 pm #89925
Loved the new microphone, the audio sounded great this week. It is so great to hear you two buying new microphones and clothes for yourselves and those sorts of things. I love a good side of the road burger as much as the next scavenger, but you two deserve to reap the rewards of all your hard work in every way possible and that definitely includes treating yourself.
Had a fun almost catastrophe with two packages in the middle of last week.
Sold an autographed $2 bill of Hall of Fame basketball coach Ernest Schmidt. He was the longtime coach of the Pittsburg State Gorillas, a dominant team decades ago. The buyer was located in Pittsburg, Kansas, which surprised me a little more than it should have. I was kind of disappointed that this sold so quickly (less than a day) because it was the first $2 bill I had ever “owned.” Of course with the sale price ($90, all the value in the signature) I can buy a bunch more $2 bills, and isn’t that part of the fun of all this.
In the same batch of orders, I sold a $20 autograph of a minor league pitcher. This was a card I had paid maybe $3 at auction, probably last year when sports were shut down or this winter when prices decline since the new season hasn’t started yet. With just a little knowledge, you can make good money on cards by being patient and smart about when you buy.
Now the player on the card is back in the minor leagues, hoping to perform well enough to make it to the big leagues. If the player makes it to the majors, and performs well, his cards will sell more often and for higher prices. I assume that’s why this buyer purchased this specific card. The prognosticators had started writing about how this player was on the path to the major leagues, and a lot of buyers buy and sell based on those ups and downs. This phenomenon is called prospecting, and it’s been really common within the sports card world for the last ten years, since cards became about uniqueness and rarity.
This buyer was also located in Pittsburg, Kansas. Two different buyers, two different items, in a city of 20,000.
Bizarre coincidence? eBay conspiracy to sabotage my perfect seller rating? eBay is hiding my listings to every other part of the country except the midwest? You be the judge, but I love a good conspiracy so I hope it’s all of the above.
Even with packing slips printed out, I put the wrong label on one envelope before I caught on to the situation. If the packages weren’t different mail classes (one priority flat rate padded, one first class 4 ounces), I’m sure I would have mixed them up. But I caught what was going on in time, so it’s all good fun.
7/18/21 – 7/24/2021
Total items in store: 3025
Items sold: 68 (43 by best offer, 6 by seller initiated offer)
Gross sales: $2572.33 (up 5.3% from one year ago)
Net sales: $1742.38 (down 0.7% from one year ago)
Highest price sold (net): $262.70 — 13 certified autographs all to the same buyer, the most expensive being this extremely large cut signature of King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy
This buyer sent me a message asking about combined shipping if he bought multiples. Most messages are some variation of lowest price? which I never respond to, but I always reply to the messages about combined shipping even though my combined shipping terms are clearly stated in the first line of my item description. It’s worth the few seconds to me, even if the buyer only replies 1 in 5 times, because every so often the payoff is 13 items to one buyer.
I can’t figure out what this buyer’s collection is about, since his purchases didn’t have any obvious theme to them — a few actors, a few boxers, a baseball player or two, a former Supreme Court justice, and the big Victor Emanuel signature. But he said he’ll buy more from me in the future, and now that his packages were delivered, all that’s left to do is wait and see if he keeps his word. I have more autographs to list this week, so maybe I have something else that will catch his eye. I hope so. Repeat buyers make all of this a little more fun.
Lowest price sold (net): $12.09 — Roger Hane Art Times and Tragedy softcover book
This was a $30+ sale but it was an oversized book and shipping killed me. Since I sell mostly smalls, the only box I had where the book fit comfortably was a regional box B. And isn’t it always the case in situations like this that the buyer is on the other side of the country.
Fortunately, I still made a few quarters profit. This book was a leftover from my library sale days so I only paid a buck or two for it, and I’ve had most of my media listings on increasing sale prices because I want that shelf space back. Trying to fit this book in five different boxes and failing every time reminded me to be grateful that I can ship 90% of my items in 4×6 or 6×9 bubble mailers. Usually I find shipping cathartic and calming, especially adding void filler and sealing the package (which would probably make a great ASMR video if anyone is looking for alternate income streams). But searching for the right box is stressful and I have no idea how some of y’all do it every day.
07/28/2021 at 7:10 am #89926Retro Treasures WVParticipant
But searching for the right box is stressful and I have no idea how some of y’all do it every day.
Simple – you make them. I stock cube boxes in 12″, 14″, 16″ and 18″. I can turn an 18″ box into a 24x10x8 box, or a 20x16x15, or any other combination after resizing and cutting down the top. It’s pretty easy – just two folds and then 4 zips with a box cutter in the new corners.
I can turn 2 12″ cube boxes into a 30x12x12 box. You just put one box inside the other and you have an accordion style box with an adjustable length. The flaps make up the extra length. I always slap a little glue under the flaps before I tape them up.
A couple times I’ve strung together 5 priority shoe boxes to make a 72x8x5 box for skis.
Once you do it long enough, it just becomes second nature.
07/28/2021 at 3:24 pm #89932
I would love to see you make a video of you doing this. It is hard for me to picture this in my mind.
07/29/2021 at 6:13 pm #89973
I second Mark’s comment, I would love to see a video of the box resizing process. I can definitely see the process becoming easier and easier the more that you do it, but because it’s something I’m unfamiliar with, it seems a lot more complicated and difficult in my mind than it likely is in reality.
07/28/2021 at 7:12 am #89927
It’s so fun to see how well playing cards are selling. It’s especially fun to see how knowledgeable you are. Scavenging is profitable when you know what you have.
Do you predict any slowdown on card collecting as COVID wears off? Or is there now a baked-in market?
07/29/2021 at 6:52 pm #89974
Jay, the annual National sports card convention is happening this week in Chicago, and if the reports from the first day are any indication, then the card bubble is as big as ever.
The bubble will eventually burst for a lot of the investors and flippers and breakers who are new to cards and don’t know what’s worth money and what isn’t and why. Certainly that’s happened to an extent in the last few months. I suspect my sales would be down significantly this summer like everyone else, except that I’ve built up a massive cache of inventory over the last year and I have been listing furiously this summer. I was at 2300 listings in May and I’m nearly at 3100 as we approach August. Anytime you list that much, you’re bound to get a lot of sales.
The bubble may burst more later this year once PSA gets caught up on their backlog of 1 million plus cards to be graded. Or it may be next year or the year after, most likely after a top rookie draft pick is a major bust and speculators lose thousands and thousands of dollars on the player’s best rookie cards. Or it may happen years down the line.
Or maybe not at all. A lot of the same fundamentals that have driven the spike in card prices over the last year (rarity, uniqueness, aesthetics of certain sets and desirability of certain players and teams) have been present for the last 10 or 15 years. It’s all more visible now as the very high-end cards get news articles for sale prices in the millions of dollars. Those super-expensive cards are luxury items, like fancy cars or watches. Not the kinds of things that most of us scavengers own, or even want, but there is a joy in finding them out in the wild because we know there is a buyer for them somewhere.
The same goes for the kinds of cards I sell, which are mostly in the $20 to $100 range. Some of my buyers, probably the majority of them, are flippers like myself and make money buying certain cards at the right time and reselling them for a higher price down the line. At a minimum, if you know your stuff, you can fund a pretty nice collection through flipping the cards you don’t want or the good deals you find. Since boxes of cards are so expensive to open, and usually a losing proposition in terms of what you spend versus the value of the cards in the box, the resale card market on eBay (and to a lesser extent social media, other sites, etc) is really what the hobby is about nowadays, and how it has perpetuated for the last decade.
Once you get past the nihilist idea that it’s all just cardboard, it’s a fascinating and strange little world.
07/29/2021 at 12:32 pm #89963So Cal JoeParticipant
As far as the $2 bill is concerned, you can just get them from any bank. In fact once, before going to yard sales, I went to the bank and asked about $2 bills. They sold me everyone they had. They were happy to be done with them.
I thought they would give me bargaining power at the yard sales. They really didn’t and quite a few people looked at me like they were counterfeit.
07/28/2021 at 1:50 pm #89930
07/29/2021 at 7:03 pm #89975
Antique Frog, thanks for letting me know the backstory behind the signature! I imagine that the original document, before it was cut down and authenticated, looked something like this listing.
From the standpoint of preserving a historical document, I think that authenticating and encapsulating the signature serves its purpose. It’s nice to know that this type of historical document won’t get further damaged or lost.
What is especially fascinating to me is how these items end up in circulation in the first place. I can certainly take educated guesses as to how, but I’ve never found items with this degree of historical significance (or even something on a more local/personal level) at flea markets or estate sales. But I’m basically a complete amateur in terms of finding the right sales or the right flea market stalls. I’m sure it’s largely a numbers game where as you go to more and more sales, eventually you find a few with these types of unique items and you also learn what to look for and what not to look for.
07/29/2021 at 12:47 pm #89964So Cal JoeParticipant
Hi all. thanks for the Podcast.
There is a big gray area between listing consistently on Ebay and closing the store and selling off all your inventory.
My store peaked out at just under 2100 listings. In 2018, I stopped listing and sourcing to focus on moving. Since then I’ve become somewhat unmotivated and have also been looking at alternative streams of income.
My store has become somewhat passive. Occasionally I’ll end and “sell similar” my listings and I now ship with a 3 day handling time.
Even so, I’m cash flowing after expenses about $200 to $300 a month on existing inventory which is now below 1400 items. It’s not a lot of money, but it’s also not a lot of work. I do have to update some of my item specifics one of these days.
I’ve also got the option to start listing again to bring the store back to a more “active” level, if I choose. This is a great comfort to me, knowing it’s an option.
Developing multiple steams of unrelated income is a smart concept you two have come up with. I wouldn’t be in any rush to close the Ebay door.
07/29/2021 at 2:35 pm #89969
So Cal Joe,
This was my thought, why would I stop selling on ebay? I already did all the work. If you don’t want to be that active, then just quit listing like you did. You will still make money, just not as much.
I think it will be a long time before I get to the place of not listing. But, it is good to know that option is out there if I am forced to do it in the future.
07/29/2021 at 8:54 pm #89976
There was a really good video of the box resizing several years ago but I can’t find it now. The guy in this video does a passable job at showing the square-to-rectangular box hack in his third tip:
The first two re-sizings he does are pretty self evident but the last one is tricky unless you’ve seen it done.
07/30/2021 at 7:12 am #89982junque reduxParticipant
Temudgin, is this the one you’re thinking of?
07/30/2021 at 10:17 am #89987
Yup, that was it. Short and sweet. Thanks!
07/29/2021 at 8:56 pm #89977
Sorry, I messed up the link. Try this:
07/29/2021 at 10:23 pm #89979
I tried this for the first time earlier this week, but with a huge box. Didn’t come out so well. I think it is much easier for smaller boxes like he showed. I was doing rectangle to square, but I don’t think that makes a difference.
07/30/2021 at 6:44 am #89981
Cutting dashes in paper or card is called rouletting, so you need to ask for a box cutter with a roulette wheel at the hardware store.
A mix of essential oils such as lavender and lemon acts as a safe cat repellent.
07/30/2021 at 10:29 am #89991jaepeteParticipant
- Location: Carrollton, TX
I’ve been looking at that cat picture for a while now. I need to print that out and put it on my wall.
07/31/2021 at 5:19 pm #90014
7/11/21 – 7/24/21
Total Active Items (2 different stores): 331
Items Sold: 9
Gross Sales: $1,126.10
Highest Price Sold: $500 w/free shipping ($26) – grain moisture meter kit for farming; runner up $320 plus shipping – British commemorative coin from the 2012 Olympics.
COGS: $154 (including consignment commissions but not including cost of any family castoffs sold)
New Listings: 0
$ Spent on New Inventory: $0
I missed last week due to a camping trip (southwest NC mountains) so this report is for 2 weeks. It is funny how putting my stores on Time Away always seems to trigger sales. But when I get back it’s crickets.
I’ll always do eBay. I’ve been treasure hunting since I was a teenager and will continue to do so as long as I am able but I have to have a sales outlet. I don’t want to do to my kids what my parents and in-laws did to their kids, leaving houses full of cool old stuff that had to be disposed of at fire sale prices upon their deaths due to various personal situations among the kids at the time.
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