08/15/2021 at 5:24 pm #90347RyanneKeymaster
- Location: Virginia
Check out our coffee! ► broadporch.coffee Join the conversation in the forum>> Our Store Week August 8-14, 2021 Total Items in Store: 7448 Ite
[See the full post at: Scavenger Life Episode 525: Eccentric, Unemployable]
08/16/2021 at 10:17 am #90351TemudginParticipant
- Location: Jacksonville FL
8/8/21 – 8/14/21
Total Active Items (2 different stores): 329
Items Sold: 4
Gross Sales: $159.56 (not incl shipping or taxes)
Highest Price Sold: $77 plus shipping – bronze and wood presentation wall plaque from the USS STOUT, a US Navy destroyer.
COGS: $33 (including consignment commissions but not including cost of any family castoffs sold)
New Listings: 16
$ Spent on New Inventory: $58
Another slow week but at least I got back into listing, finally.
I laughed out loud at your businessman with polo, khakis, and earpiece on an important call impression, Jay. I met my share of that type when my law practice focused on small businesses. I also met my share of Elon Musk-type megalomaniacs at one end of the stress spectrum, and torn t-shirt wearing, driven but laid back types at the other end, as well.
08/16/2021 at 11:51 am #90355JayKeymaster
- Location: Virginia
I also met my share of Elon Musk-type megalomaniacs at one end of the stress spectrum, and torn t-shirt wearing, driven but laid back types at the other end, as well.
I know this type as well from our days working in SF.
08/17/2021 at 7:58 pm #90385
08/16/2021 at 11:00 am #90353PopeyesPostcardsParticipant
I had an epiphany while listening to your podcast: I’m dead inside, that’s why I like the monotony of selling postcards. 🙂
08/16/2021 at 11:50 am #90354JayKeymaster
- Location: Virginia
Postcards are probably one of the smartest categories to get into because its so deep. All the different topics, geographies, and eras are included. It must be fun to buy a huge collection and deep deep for all that’s inside.
08/17/2021 at 3:30 am #90370Antique FrogParticipant
- Location: Leicester
Nah, it’s all churches, public buildings, crowds on esplanades, piers and empty bandstands in the local park. The interesting ones, the ones Grandpa Wilfred brought back from his R’n’R in Egypt, he kept where his missus couldn’t find them. 🙂
08/16/2021 at 11:59 am #90356
Aug 8 – 14
- Total Items in Store: 4,235
- Items Sold: 15
- Total Sales: $347
- * BELOW yearly average of $987
- Highest Price: $75 (Pelican 1500 Protector Hard Case)
- Average Price: $23
- Returns: 1
- Cost of Goods Sold: $49
- Costs of Goods Purchased this Week: $0
- Number of New Items Listed this Week: 47
Whew boy, I’m feeling the slowdown bad. I’m having worse profits than back when I first started recording my numbers in 2018. This summer has been such a bummer in terms of sales. I know I haven’t been listing quite so much and instead have been focusing on other areas in life, but this is starting to not feel right. I can’t help but wonder if downgrading my store negatively affected my sales. Steph is doing even worse though. She’s lucky if she makes a handful of sales a week. I’m not worried too much yet since I’ve got a comfortable amount saved up for emergencies, but I’m hoping things pick up here soon.
As I mentioned, eBay’s been sort of taking a back burner for a little while this summer. It’s been nice to have free time to work on projects and adventures. But like after a long vacation, I’m looking forward to getting back in the swing of things again once the summer ends
08/16/2021 at 12:26 pm #90358
Weekly sales 8/8 – 8/14
Random Item Store
Total items 850
Items sold 26
New items listed 57
Gross sales $527.49
Net sales $292.58
Total items 2809
Items sold 57
New items listed 135
Gross sales $336.28
Net sales $258.68
Gross sales $140.65
Net sales $119.55
Gross sales total $1,004.42
Net sales total $670.81
Appreciate the convo! I think what I plan to do is get my random item store up to 1,000 listings and maintain it there with maybe 5-10 listings a day and then focus the rest of my efforts on patches. I’m netting about $1k a month right now selling patches so if I can build my store by about 4x then we could just about live off patch sales alone. I enjoy selling patches and it is a very deep category. Takes volume to make money, but you can list about 5 patches in the time it takes to list 1 bigger item and you can store thousands in one closet.
08/16/2021 at 12:32 pm #90360
I think I’ve just gotten a little stagnant with my patch store because I bought a huge lot of them and a significant amount have foreign languages so it takes extra work to list since I have to google the words to see what they say. Once I slug through them, it’s back to American-themed ones where I can list much faster. I’d like to learn more about military patches, but I know from the ones I’ve bought before that there are lots of reproductions in that category.
08/16/2021 at 12:28 pm #90359MyCottageParticipant
At an individual seller level, I’m sure there are a lot of factors in decreased sales: listing numbers, nature of inventory, etc, but on a macro level, I think (or I keep telling myself) that it’s simply the pendulum swinging….during lockdown, it swung hard in our favor, and now, as people get out and about, it has swung hard in the other direction. I could be wrong, of course, but, barring some major economic disaster, I think we’re going to see a really good Q4….and I think many shoppers will start buying early because they remember last year’s shipping delays and so forth. Also, much will depend on Covid….if we don’t get it under control, more people will be back buying online.
So, for now, I’m focusing on prepping for a blow out Q4.
And hoping. Doing a lot of that, too LOL
08/17/2021 at 8:54 am #90373
@mycottage You’re absolutely right with the pendulum analogy. It’s just really tough to be on the downswing. This pandemic situation has really upset the balance with a lot of things. I can’t wait for some sort of normalcy, whatever that may be. Here’s hoping to a great Q4 too!
08/16/2021 at 12:33 pm #90361gargolferParticipant
- Location: Illinois
Total Items In Store: 2348
Items Sold: 39
Gross Sales: $1126.12
Highest Price Sold: 140 – (Harvest Maid Dehydrator)
Average Price Sold: $28.87
Returns: 0 $0
Money Spent on New Inventory: $0
Number of items listed: 39
- Sales were pretty good for me this week. I haven’t reported numbers in a few weeks due to vacation and a wedding and golf outing. The previous two weeks were light though with my store on time away.
- I’ve had a couple of solid weeks of listing and I think that has helped drive sales. For some reason, I always seem to get a bump in sales after I’ve listed items. It doesn’t even end up being newly listed stuff sometimes.
- On a non-eBay note…my wife and I are considering turning one of our small rental homes into an Airbnb. It is located about 15 minutes from a state park and I’m thinking we could probably double our income on it even if it’s only rented about half the month.
08/16/2021 at 3:03 pm #90364DarlinDilsParticipant
- Location: Reno
Total Items in Store: 156
Items Sold: 2
Total Sales: $23.10
Highest Price Sold: $12 9 Dolly’s Hosiery cardboard stocking forms
Kinda embarrassed to post my numbers this week, it is glaringly obvious I haven’t listed in far too long. I need to get back to business but will be gone next week taking care of family stuff. I plan to take a bunch of pictures and make up drafts or just have the listings go live next week so I don’t end up with much of anything selling while I am gone. Also need to see if I can change my handling time to longer since I don’t have an eBay store.
On the bright side I did make money at my yard sale this weekend. Didn’t sell the larger furniture I was hoping to, but I did clear out some space in the garage. I have been keeping records for about 5 years now and it seems my fall sales always lag the spring sales. I have been having 1-2 yard sales a year for a very long time and that was my feeling, but looking over the notes I kept it is obvious any sale after June nets about 50% the April/May sales. Live and learn, and my next sale will be in the spring! Craigslist and FB ads have had no finalized sales, I might just take them down and relist the stuff in another form closer to fall.
08/17/2021 at 12:28 am #90367simplicioParticipant
Doing a little late night listing tonight and remembered I never checked in.
Good week. FIL just brought me a carload of stuff to list, that’s working out really well, he’s a huge help and allowing me to expand quite a bit.
Sales: CAD$4660, 12 sales, COGS: $286, Fees: ~$606, Postage: $850 –> Gross profit: $2919
Expenses: $123, New inventory: $1039 –> Cashflow: $2042
08/17/2021 at 2:57 am #90369old_man_martyParticipant
- Location: California
Total Listed: 72
Items Sold: 0
Items Listed: 0 (Missed goal.)
Goal This Week: 2
08/17/2021 at 7:06 am #90371Retro Treasures WVParticipant
Items in Store 1570
Items Sold 22
Total Sales $848.00
Total Profit $772.00
Average profit $35.09
Average sales price $38.55
New Listings 87
Items scavenged 28
Well it has been an eventful weekend! First, the good news. We had our baby at 5:10 AM on Monday. She is healthy and doing well.
And now the bad news: My wife and I have Covid. We’ve been careful, social distanced, etc and avoided this crap all this time. One of our midwives brought it into our house this past Thursday. She tested positive on Friday. I started to feel run down on Sunday, and that is when I was informed of her positive test. I feel like I have the flu basically. Fever, cough, body aches. This morning I feel somewhat better but I am sweating like crazy!
To say that dealing with covid , homebirth, and a newborn is tough is an understatement.
08/17/2021 at 8:59 am #90374
08/17/2021 at 6:30 pm #90382
Congratulations, and also hope you all feel better. What a week of highs and lows!
One of the things that helped most when I had Covid last year were long, hot showers and epsom salt baths. My body aches were really bad, especially at night, but the steam from the shower and the salt on my muscles gave me enough energy to accomplish small tasks like cooking a small meal or packing a few sold items.
08/17/2021 at 7:48 pm #90384TemudginParticipant
- Location: Jacksonville FL
You have had a busy week Retro! Congratulations and hang in there!
08/18/2021 at 11:16 am #90393
@retro-treasures-wv – Big congratulations on the new baby! Such a bummer that you have Covid at the same time and can’t fully enjoy the experience. Hopefully you’ve got a bit of help to take up the slack. Take care of yourselves!
08/19/2021 at 10:13 pm #90410
08/17/2021 at 7:15 am #90372MyCottageParticipant
Retro, Congratulations! And my thoughts are with you—
08/17/2021 at 6:26 pm #90381
I was a lurker on these forums for a long time before I started posting, so it was a thrill to get mentioned on the podcast this week. Thank you. The podcast and this community has provided me with so much encouragement and positivity, and it feels great to provide some of my own knowledge and experience in return. There are a lot of things about the process of selling on eBay which are universal even if the specifics about what we sell and how we sell are different.
Before I found my current niche, I used to be one of those scavengers wandering around the Goodwill outlet or the local flea markets looking through piles of shirts and other random gewgaws for treasure. I knew there was money to be made on those things, and every so often I would find something worth selling. But most of the time I would spend less than $10 and find almost nothing at all. Maybe it’s because that particular Goodwill or flea market wasn’t very good, or maybe I was there on the wrong day. But more likely I didn’t know enough about what I was looking at. It’s hard to find something worth selling when your main strategy is hope you get lucky enough to find a hundred dollar item. It’s more likely you’ll find multiple things that will sell for $20 or $40, but only if you know what you’re looking for and why it’s valuable.
8/8/2021 – 8/14/2021
Total items in store: 3151
Items sold: 77 (54 by best offer, 9 by seller initiated offer)
Gross sales: $3277.85 (up 37% from one year ago)
Net sales: $2345.89 (up 44% from one year ago)
Lowest price sold (net): $6.44 — autographed Art Ditmar card
The set concept of these Historic Scripts autographed cards is simple: 10 autographs in a box for $100 or whatever the boxes cost, and that’s it. A handful of the autographs were all-time greats and the vast majority were a mix of baseball players from the last 100 years of baseball history that don’t sell for much. Maybe you pull a Mays or Mantle, but more likely you’ll get someone who played 18 games in 1957.
I picked up a huge quantity (200+) of these Historic Autographs Scripts cards in a huge lot auction a few years ago. There were just a few pictures, so it was kind of a mystery lot beyond the title. I paid around $2.50 each, or a little over $500 total, and at the time that was the most I’d ever spent on one auction.
I made my initial investment back within a few months, since there were a few autographs in the lot that were more valuable because the player was popular or had died many years ago. For the last year or so, I’ve sold a few of these cards every month. They rarely sell for more than $10 since most of the players are obscure and the cards are ugly. Not a great combination, and if the cards were not autographed they would be worth nothing, really. Every so often, new auctions for autographs from this set pop up, and they almost always sell for $5 or less.
More often than not, I am the one who buys them. I don’t list many items for under $15 anymore, but I have a weakness for this particular set.
Maybe once a month, I sell a few to the same buyer who collects a particular team. And once or twice a year, I receive a really enthusiastic message or feedback about one of these cards because the buyer has a personal connection to the player, who was a long deceased family member or an old neighbor or something. Those are messages are why I keep an eye out for these cards when they’re cheap enough. Even buying them at $1 or $2 each, the profit on one card is just a few bucks, and you can’t have a profitable store only selling items like that. But it’s always rewarding when they sell, and it’s nice to have items like that in your inventory.
Highest price sold (net): $118.81 — Mike Mussina 1/1 Topps Archives autograph
The Topps Archives Signature cards are a good example of how modern cards work. The boxes cost about $70 each, which is a great price compared to the more expensive brands like National Treasures and Flawless that cost hundreds or even thousands for one box. Those brands, and most others, offer a chance at rookie cards, or jersey cards, or shiny inserts that get jaw-droppingly expensive for the best players. But Topps Archives Signature sets keep it real simple. In Topps Archives, you receive 1 serial numbered autographed card in your box.
If you get a good player with a low serial number (like a 1/1), congratulations! You did good. If you get a lesser player numbered to something higher (like /87), tough luck. Those cards regularly sell for $5 or less. People who open these types of boxes typically buy a case (15-20 boxes) since that improves your odds of getting a name player with a nice number.
I purchased this Mussina card from someone who opened multiple cases worth and didn’t want to deal with the “hassle” of selling on eBay, so they posted their “hits” to Reddit. One of the many weird things about the modern cards market is that eBay is what allows card buyers and sellers to connect. Prices would be so much lower if eBay didn’t exist because it’s a simple worldwide platform that’s easy to use. Yet there is a small subset of card collectors, maybe 5 to 10 percent, who do anything and everything they can to avoid using “feeBay.” So this whole separate universe of transactions happens through message boards and social media. I’m not a social media person, so I mostly avoid those places unless there’s a deal to be found when I happen to be looking.
08/18/2021 at 11:43 am #90394
Thanks for the show!
Finally had a good week after so many low dollar weeks. This was my best week since January thanks to one large dollar sale. I sold a mid-century Menorah for $1000 that I picked up at an auction for $7. I didn’t realize what I had purchased, just thought it was cool looking. Turned out to be by a famous Jewish sculptor, David Palumbo. He made a lot of brutalist art and welded iron menorahs, in particular. Sold to a buyer in Hong Kong and shipping to China. I’ve had good luck selling mid-century Judaica. The area I live in has a lot of it and it usually ships overseas, often back to Israel where it was originally made.
Regarding fear of training others to do what we do, I think your attitude it right on. There is abundance all around us if you look hard enough and plenty to go around. One of my favorite quotes from back in my days in sales was from Zig Ziglar: “You can have anything in life you want if you just help enough other people get what they want.” Anytime anyone has asked me to give them some help getting started I’ve been completely open and helpful. I feel like what goes around comes around.
Scavenge of the week was a box of old postcards that I purchased at an auction. Lots of cool old cards and playing cards from the early 20th century. Previous owner was a French person who immigrated to the US after WWII so they are all from Europe and many prior to WWI. I haven’t sold many postcards but I’m looking forward to digging into these.
Lastly, just passed another milestone this week: 1500 feedback.
Sales Report for: 8/14/21
Total Items in Store: 1080
Items Sold: 7
Gross Sales (Not including shipping and tax): $1,404.90
Net Sales (After fees): $1,219.43
Cost of Items Sold: $45.59
COGS Percent 3.74%
Net Profit Margin: 83.55%
Highest Price Sold: $1,000.00 Vintage Menorah
Average Price Sold: $200.70
Money Spent on New Inventory: $277.00
Sold via promoted listings: 2
Promoted Percentage: 28.57%
Average Days Listed: 386
Longest Listed: 1253
New items listed: 1
08/18/2021 at 10:10 pm #90404
Congratulations on the great sale of the menorah. I got curious and looked it up and it’s a really beautiful piece of ironwork! what a steal for $7!!!
What was the international shipping to China like? Did you ship direct to China, did the buyer use a US freight forwarder like Shop Airlines or (I’m assuming is most likely) do you use Global Shipping? I don’t use GSP since most of my inventory is less than 1 pound and fairly easy to ship internationally, but for an item like this it must be a lifesaver!
08/19/2021 at 11:04 am #90406
@craig-rex Thanks! Shipping to China was $78. I used USPS Priority International direct to China. I don’t use GPS on my items as it is usually much more expensive for the buyer and like you most items don’t warrant. I did splurge for insurance just in case, but I’ve shipped a fair amount overseas without problem.
08/18/2021 at 7:28 pm #90402SimonParticipant
- Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Thanks for the show R&J
Here are my numbers for the week:
Total Items in Store: 4666
Items Sold: 83
Total Sales: $1725.81
Cost of Items Sold: $266
Average Price Sold: $20.79
Average Cost of Item: $3.21
Highest Price Item Sold: $139.95 1970 AFL Championship Chiefs / Raiders Game Program
Number of items listed this week: 130 worth approx. $5591
YTD sales compared to this time last year: +29%
After taking a vacation week, the week before last and seeing a dramatic slowdown from not listing or sending offers, my store came roaring back to life last week. Sending out offers on several hundred listings bought in lots of sales (32 sales in one day – a new record) and I made an effort to get lots listed – 130 items (my biggest week of listing ever).
I didn’t put my 2 cents worth in last week’s discussion about niche’s but I’m one of those people with a big niche (hats). Having a niche definitely makes it easier to improve and optimize processes. Everything from knowing what to source through to having the correct shipping supplies. But, I’d be bored to tears if I only ever bought and sold hats. I could sit at home all day sourcing and listing hats but I enjoy in-person sourcing (who doesn’t) and I buy lots of other interesting and profitable things through garage sales and estate sales. Hats gives my store a good foundation but it’s all the other sales during the week that determine whether my week is good or just meh. It also keeps me interested. Cameras have become a secondary niche for me.
I hope everyone has a fun and profitable week.
08/19/2021 at 1:21 pm #90407UtahbillParticipant
Simon- I like your approach of building a base with an item that’s easy to source at a low cost. This really helps keep your listing numbers up. I plan to do the same with a different item than hats. I also totally agree with sourcing other items to keep things interesting. Treasure hunting never gets old, and you have to be in it to win it. As Mel Fisher used to say, “Today’s the Day!”
08/19/2021 at 10:22 pm #90411
Thanks for the input Simon! I’ve always picked up hats that I thought were cool but hadn’t focused on them as a main niche. After thinking about it a lot, I’ve decided it will probably be better for me to list a set amount of random stuff every day and then focus on my patch store. I’m more likely to find $100 items more frequently if I have a broad search vs if I try to only look for one category of stuff. I can always pick up every hat I think is cool still while also picking other stuff. I really like vintage and want to delve more into jewelry if I can find a good source for it
08/19/2021 at 10:58 am #90405mscellaneousParticipant
- Location: VA
8-8-21 to 8-14-21
Total Items in Store: 1629
Items Sold: 7
Gross Sales: 209.90
Net Sales: 149.85
Cost of Items Sold: $ 10
Highest Price Sold: $ 60 Star Notes US Treasury
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $ 0
Number of items listed this week: 30
Running behind but I promised myself I would do my best to post my numbers every week. Haven’t even listed to the podcast yet. I hope everyone is doing well!
08/20/2021 at 10:14 pm #90424SharynParticipant
- Location: Central NJ
I had another short trip coming back on Tuesday, so I’m posting rather late.
Like Jay & Ryanne, I also sell a variety of items not really focusing on a niche, but I do find that I will focus or bid higher in a few categories:
Liquor advertising – signs, whiskey pitchers, bottle openers, and so forth, just because I’m interested
Judaica – I am Jewish, so I can recognize and understand those items and sometimes figure out the Hebrew
Vintage radios – just because they are so cool looking, and even the nonworking ones sell
Then there are categories where I can buy in large quantity real cheap and filter out the higher value stuff: Books, household (ceramic, porcelain, glass), art (prints, paintings)
Week of Aug 8 – 14
Total Items in Store: 1360 eBay, 41 Etsy
Items Sold: 12 eBay + 1 Etsy
Cost of Items Sold: $23 + $27 Commission
Total Sales: $282.83 eBay + $20 Etsy
Highest Price Sold: $70.51 Artist signed glass vase (on commission)
Average price: $23.29
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
Number of items listed this week: 0
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.