03/22/2020 at 11:32 am #75361TopNotchParticipant
- Location: WI
These last couple weeks have presented a few opportunities, and I have spent more on inventory than I have sold. I want to make sure I keep purchasing while the deals are hot, but it’s a delicate balance without any inventory moving and a lot of uncertainty.
I was able to purchase the remaining contents from an estate sale for $300 and contacted another estate sale company about doing the same. There are still a couple online sales, but the organizer told me that there is no place to donate items and sadly the items they don’t deem worthy of an online auction will all be bound for the landfill.
I know most estate sales companies are simply closed. I was wondering if a house clean out may be a viable alternative source of income AND scavenging during this time. Seems like a lot more work than I want to engage in, but with sales crawling, this could be a good use of time. I have none of my “day jobs” scheduled for the foreseeable future and my kids have also lost their jobs in the service industry at this point. With my boys home from school, I have free labor for hauling junk.
03/22/2020 at 11:55 am #75363Julie BParticipant
- Location: Georgia
Even with all of the stores offering massive discounts online, for me there is just too much uncertainty about the economy and the length of time it’s going to take for things to bounce back. Estate sales are probably a better idea than purchasing brand new merchandise. But I fear that even the used market is going to take awhile to come back. Although it will come back sooner than the market for new consumer goods.
- This reply was modified 4 months, 3 weeks ago by Julie B.
03/22/2020 at 12:03 pm #75365SharynParticipant
- Location: Central NJ
The online company MaxSold closed all my local auctions as NY, PA, and then finally NJ announced a “shelter in place”. One of the live auction companies I use announced that they were delaying their March auction to April and making it online, but that was before NJ’s shelter in place. The other auction house I use had an April 3 event planned, but I’m sure that will be delayed.
This is a good time for me to go through my stuff and sell some of it on eBay. It is something that I have been planning for a while, so I think the time is now. It also prevents me from spending money on inventory. I still have some backlog to list as well.
03/22/2020 at 3:23 pm #75372almastyParticipant
GOOD. I’m surprised it took that long for MaxSold to come to their senses and cease auctions for the time being. Every time I’ve received an email from them over the past few weeks, I’ve been shaking my head. Even though the items for pick-up are most likely safe, I worry for the staff members herding all the buyers around. Being around strangers in an enclosed space is not safe at this point.
03/22/2020 at 12:42 pm #75367IndySalesParticipant
I agree with Julie. Right now I have very little confidence in the market. I don’t think it would be a good idea to source even if the opportunity presented itself. All the money I had slotted away for new inventory has been moved into personal checking to soften the blow of this downturn. Maybe some TrumpBux will get the ball rolling again, but for now I think the best move is to shelter both myself and my store in place until something changes.
03/22/2020 at 12:44 pm #75368KimberlyHParticipant
- Location: IL
I made one more run through all of our local thrift stores a few days before we were ordered to shelter in place. I have enough to list for the next few weeks. Unfortunately, I don’t think the shelter in place will be over in a few weeks. It’s times like this that I wish I had a few death piles. Though sales are way down, I have sold a few things each day, and I’m grateful for each of those sales. My husband’s office set him up to work from home, so he’s, thankfully, still getting paid.
03/22/2020 at 2:05 pm #75369workhorseParticipant
- Location: California
I think this is a situation each of us individually has to gauge. It depends on what part of your income comes from online sales and what you earn from elsewhere and how stable it is. it also seems to me that some people are selling the same amount as before, some less, some more. For some reason, I am selling more than before (my speculation is because I have a lot of media items like books, movies, music) so people being stuck inside with little else to do is a boon. So I am a little more confortable sourcing stuff– But I am seeing as the OP said, some great opportunities to buy where nobody else is paying attention. The main thing I am focusing on is buying stuff people will always need even if the economy stinks for a while– stuff related to work, home, health, safety, etc.
03/22/2020 at 3:34 pm #75373almastyParticipant
I’m currently on week 5 of sourcing solely online. The last time I went out to source in public was in one thrift store in mid-February. Even at that point, I went to what I perceived to be the “cleanest” thrift store and hand sanitized frequently. While the sourcing was good, I knew it was risky to be sourcing out in the wild even at that point. After that, I skipped all local estate sales, thrift stores, library sales, auctions, etc,. It was not worth it.
I am continuing to buy stock online because I am getting through it fairly quickly and I just list it in rotation with my backlog. It is nowhere near the amount of stock I would normally buy, but it brings some sense of normalcy to my business.
Our current scheduled shutdown starting tonight is supposed to ease on April 19th. I highly doubt that’s going to happen. In NY, I suspect that we’ll be on shutdown through July in some way or another, at least in NYC. That’s being optimistic. Even if it’s “safe” to start sourcing again mid-summer, I personally will most likely not source again in physical stores or estate sales until the fall.
03/22/2020 at 5:28 pm #75380MyCottageParticipant
All my routine sourcing venues are closed, and I’m not really into retail arbitrage even though a few regular stores are still open. We are basically going to the PO and that’s about it. If and when we need groceries, we’ll probably try to call in an order for pickup.
That said, we have tons of shelter-in-place piles to list (as Jay noted, “death piles” is probably not the best choice of words for the piles these days LOL)
So for us, ebay is basically about listing, continue to ship with one day shipping (for now, at least), make offers, run sales, and re-organize the listed inventory, shipping and photo spaces. I’m not ruling out buying some additional inventory online, but we certainly aren’t under any pressure to do so. We have a LOT of collecting reference books which are here and there, totally unorganized, and I hope to get to that as well.
03/22/2020 at 7:47 pm #75388AmatinoParticipant
- Location: Texas
How about “home thrifting” instead of “death piles”? 😀
03/22/2020 at 9:00 pm #75389RyanneKeymaster
- Location: Virginia
omg, yes let’s call them Physical Distancing piles.
03/23/2020 at 7:54 am #75401Antique FrogParticipant
- Location: Leicester
Thrift bookshop I volunteer in closed from Saturday onwards. My last day was Thursday morning- I was the only volunteer there until a colleague arrived for the afternoon shift. Fortunately the manager never trained me on the till, so I didn’t have to serve what few customers there were. I stayed in the back with a big Physical Distancing pile of books and a box of gloves.
03/23/2020 at 10:07 pm #75446TopNotchParticipant
- Location: WI
I spent the afternoon cleaning up my piles of cardboard boxes, bubblewrap, and unsorted inventory. Spent about half a day and barely made a dent. I am confident I have enough work and unlisted items to get me through a month or longer. A couple of those once a pandemic buys should keep me going through summer if it goes on that long. Luckily most of us here have very low bill totals, so this shouldn’t devastate us as much as “normal people.” I haven’t had a job in a long time, but my other business is 100% shut down. There is definitely some uncertainty, but I think there may be major opportunity if we all pay attention.
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