10/31/2021 at 3:28 pm #93700
10/31/2021 at 4:48 pm #93703julesbijouxvintageParticipant
- Location: Texas
Our Store Week October 24 – 30, 2021
Total Items in Store: 2070
Items Sold: 10
Gross Sales: $324.75 (including eBay fees, shipping, and taxes)
Net Sales: $181.97 (minus eBay fees, shipping, taxes & Store Subscription of $21.95)
Item Sales: 219.60
Cost of Items Sold: $ 22.05
Cost of helpers: $0
Highest Price(s) Sold: 49.95 – Needlepoint Christmas Stocking
Average Price Sold: $ 32.48 – Gross
Average Price Sold: $ 18.20 – Net
Returns: 1 – 145.00
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $ 92.01
Number of items listed this week: 25
Our worst week this year – We did get that $145.00 MCM Vanity Light Fixture cover back…. They paid to ship it back since it was described correctly. We have lots of lovely things to list though, so we keep listing.
10/31/2021 at 5:01 pm #93704Mark SParticipant
I just realized today that I have picked up a few titles. I went to the storage unit today and this guy that works there said to me, ” I hear you are the King of storage containers?”. He took a look in my storage unit and said, “Holy Molly!”.
I also have a few titles at my local thrift store: King of shoes and the Man with a bag (I carry an Ikea bag with me when I go into the thrift store because they are so many deals, I usually don’t have enough hands to carry it all).
Well, I could think of worse things to be called. So, not too bad to have picked up these titles.
10/31/2021 at 6:42 pm #93705old_man_martyParticipant
- Location: California
Total On eBay: 81 (Another record breaker!)
Items Sold: 4
Items Listed: 5 (Exceeded Goal By 1!)
Total Profit: $42.66
Average Profit Per Item: $10.67
Highest Profit: $15.20 (Steffner Women’s Wool Sweater)
Goal This Week: 4
Returns: Possibly 1 – my big $48 sale last week… we’ll see if she follow through…
10/31/2021 at 9:27 pm #93706SharynParticipant
- Location: Central NJ
Week of Oct 24 – 30
Total Items in Store: 1397 eBay, 36 Etsy
Items Sold: 10 eBay
Cost of Items Sold: $1.50 + $9 Commission
Total Sales: $159.63 eBay; Includes fees but no shipping
Highest Price Sold: $29 framed print on canvas
Average price: $15.96
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
Number of items listed this week: 8
No big sales this week, so my total is pretty low.
10/31/2021 at 10:29 pm #93708ChristineRParticipant
- Location: Southern California
Total Items in Store: 309
Items Sold: 4
Gross Sales: $290.59 (including eBay fees, shipping, and taxes)
Net Sales: $207.10 (minus eBay fees, shipping, and taxes)
Cost of Items Sold: $23
Highest Price Sold: $132 (Halloween mask)
Average Price Sold: $61
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
Number of items listed this week: 8
Happy Halloween! First one I’ve been home for in 20 years I think or more. Very quiet Ebay week until the end. Had one day to jump on and do some Ebay listing for a bit. Life might be slower until Thanksgiving week possibly. I gave my friend a Midcentury modern Swiss set of snack plates, cups and saucers from the death piles this week and she loved it. A win. Need to order more coffee.
11/01/2021 at 9:22 am #93712NCParticipant
- Location: Georgia
Weekly sales 10/24 -10/30
Random Item Store
Total items 1255
Items sold 46
New items listed 70
Gross sales $987.96
Net sales $654.73
Total items 3921
Items sold 72
New items listed 140
Gross sales $564.82
Net sales $432.48
Gross sales $107.00
Net sales $90.95
Gross sales total $1,659.78
Net sales total $1,178.16
Another solid week, hope it stays like this for the rest of the year and hope you guys keep having good sales!
11/01/2021 at 10:18 am #93714
Items in Store 1594
Items Sold 26
Total Sales $1,309.00
Total Profit $1,175.00
Average profit $45.19
Average sales price $50.35
New Listings 69
Items scavenged 8
Jay inspired me to list some high dollar death pile items and two of them sold yesterday within 24 hours. Getting lots of listing done. I’d like to hit 100 new listings this week.
Yesterday I went to a Goodwill for the first time since before I got sick. Since goodwill don’t have electric wheelchairs I had to walk REALLY slow with lots of breaks. I only went because my wife and daughter wanted to clothes shop. I really don’t need any new inventory since I’m so overloaded with death piles, so I only was going to buy high dollar ($100+) items. Well… they had a few. A pair of high end racing skis that sell for $450. A new billiard light I’ll sell locally for $200. An audio mixer board that will sell for $250. I’ll get them listed today so they aren’t sitting around.
11/05/2021 at 9:06 am #93776
11/01/2021 at 1:27 pm #93720DarlinDilsParticipant
- Location: Reno
Total Items in Store: 168
Items Listed: 3
Items Sold: 7
Total Sales: $134.50
Highest Price Sold: $50 Mid Century desk cone lamp
Wow, it is amazing what an effect choosing items to list that I really don’t want to has on my listing numbers! I pulled out my Christmas stuff to list; got some items up (mainly the smaller, non breakable items), photographed a few nice glass Radko ornaments, and got the antique glass ornaments laid out to organize – then came to a screeching halt! I really don’t want to ship all these antique glass ornaments, and that caused me to dither about how to list them (bulk lots, individually), which caused them to sit out on the dining room table for a week and taunt me. Some are really nice, some are just average, all need to go if I can give myself a kick in the duff and do it…
I did get the antique booth switched over from Halloween to Christmas (sorry Thanksgiving), so hope some shoppers there go crazy buying. Attended one estate sale with prices way too high. Had an interesting chat with a friend who likes to shop at garage sales. Has REALLY nice stuff, goes to the same sales I do much of the time. His secret is talking to the sellers. Most of his best purchases were not out for sale, they came up in conversations. I say I am allergic to talking to people, but I might have to take some medicine and just try it. Onward and upward…
11/01/2021 at 3:39 pm #93721
It’s best to just shut your brain off and “do the work” on things like this. I had to do similar with a large lot of Christmas Boyd’s statue things. Turns out the ones I have just weren’t worth listing individually so I listed 18 of them as a lot. Don’t think – just organize and photograph. I don’t even type out all the model numbers and names in the description. The less you pay attention to the details the better.
Regarding the shipping anxiety, do you have the proper shipping materials on hand? If not, order a roll of proper bubble wrap, proper size boxes, and list/pack.
I would order 8x8x8 boxes and big bubble bubble wrap. Wrap each bulb until it fills the box and ship it. They’ll be fine.
11/05/2021 at 9:17 am #93777
@cdils – There does seem to be a great advantage to developing a relationship with the estate sale organizers. I’ve frequently seen some of the long-time buyers get large discounts even on first day while I get the “we don’t discount on first day” speach.
Regarding the ornaments, I agree with Retro, having the proper size boxes and packing material is essential for those old glass ornaments. We sell a lot of Christmas and I keep several size squares – 6×6, 8×8, 10×10 and 12×12 – so that I have flexibility on shipping. I like the square boxes because they are sturdier. I ship a lot of single ornaments in the 6×6 with tissue wrapping paper as the padding. The larger ones are good for selling lots when you don’t have the original box. I always wrap glass ornaments first with a good layer of loosely wrapped tissue first as it is more forgiving, then bubble wrap or newspaper to fill out the box.
11/01/2021 at 9:01 pm #93722Steve ListParticipant
- Location: Richmond, Calif.
Monthly sales 10/1 – 10/31
Total listings: 1259
Items sold: 54
Highest price sold: $80 – Marvel Super Heros Game for PS1
Average price sold: $18.11
Cost of items sold: $172.80 / average cost: 3.20 each
Spent on new inventory: $87.00
Number of items listed: 74
My sales are down some compared to the past 3 months. I think a lot of it might be due to the big change that eBay did in early October. I have seen it mentioned here in the past, and a few other places just recently that ending your listings and then selling similar might help. I am going to try that experiment and see if it makes a difference.
11/02/2021 at 3:35 pm #93733TemudginParticipant
- Location: Jacksonville FL
10/24/21 – 10/30/21
Total Active Items (2 different stores): 386
Items Sold: 12
Gross Sales: $294.48 (what the buyers paid, not incl shipping or taxes)
Highest Price Sold: $66 plus shipping – vintage rifle bayonet
Returns: 0 (but had an INR for $10)
COGS: $70.85 (including consignment commissions but not including original cost of any family castoffs sold)
New Listings: 6
$ Spent on New Inventory: $0
The INR was due to me sending a buyer who bought one item a second item that someone else bought in a momentary bout of inattention. I sent a return label to that buyer and asked that they return the item they did not buy to me but they did not answer my message and so far have not used the label. Fortunately it was only a $10 item that didn’t cost me anything, going by Media Mail, so I’m only out the $3.19 Media Mail label. I can request a refund on the second label if they end up not sending it back. Fortunately the person who didn’t get their package doesn’t seem to be unduly upset about it, and I was quick to refund them before they even asked.
11/02/2021 at 9:58 pm #93738BrianBParticipant
Jay, Ryanne: Your profit numbers look good for the week. A $250 sale doesn’t hurt either.
11/02/2021 at 10:11 pm #93739
Agreed. Our sales have rebounded from the summer. Lots of nice big sales. Totally random items.
11/03/2021 at 10:22 pm #93765mscellaneousParticipant
- Location: VA
10-24-21 to 10-30-21
Total Items in Store: 1701
Items Sold: 6
Gross Sales:$ 618.09
Net Sales:$ 530.53
Cost of Items Sold: $ 46.00
Highest Price Sold: $ 460.00 1988 Set of Olympic coins
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $ 2.00
Number of items listed this week: 5
Did not get back to listing as I had hoped due to some other life stuff but I am making good progress so far. I actually went to a thrift store, it has been months since I did that due to moving and then unpacking. I really enjoyed looking around. Good to keep in scavenger mode. Found 2 small items that I paid for with coins in my car.
I also finally visited Broad Porch on Main Street. Such a cozy joint. I had an excellent Hot chocolate out on the back porch (which was pretty broad). Next time I stop in I am getting a cupcake or one of the other goodies in the glass case at the counter.
11/03/2021 at 11:51 pm #93766
Happy November, everyone. I hope that holiday rush is right around the corner for all of us!
I am planning to list a lot of items over the next few weeks, so it only feels appropriate to dig into the back catalog of the podcast. If anyone has suggestions for old favorite episodes which specifically get you motivated to list, please share them.
10/24/2021 – 10/30/2021
Total items in store: 3502 (up from 3445)
Items sold: 71 (43 via best offer, 19 via seller initiated offer, 3 repeat buyers)
Gross sales: $2899.18 (up 142% from one year ago)
Net sales: $1970.61 (up 153% from one year ago)
Lowest price sold (net): $3.71 — Tommy Byrne Historic Autographs cut auto
I sold two autographs from this set (an unlicensed set which only features autographs of 1950s players from the New York Yankees, New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers) to the same buyer for $10 each. According to my sales report, the net sale on Bob Cerv was $6.80. Not sure why there’s such a large difference between the two net sale prices in the sales report.
These are oversized items, so I’m happy to clear the space regardless of whether the profit is $6 or $3. Items like these are how I built up my inventory from a few hundred items to 1000 and beyond. But I am able to put that inventory space to better use now.
Highest price sold (net): $166.73 — Jose Urquidy 1/1 black prizm autographed rookie
This card sold just before Game 2 of the World Series, about an hour after Urquidy was named the starting pitcher for the Houston Astros. He pitched extremely well, and the Astros won that game, but ultimately lost the series to the Atlanta Braves.
This card is from one of the more popular brands (Panini Prizm) and the black prizm is their most desirable parallel version as it’s always numbered One of One or 1 of 1. A less desirable 1/1 rookie black prizm might sell for $20, even with an autograph, while more popular players regularly sell for hundreds and maybe even thousands if it’s a particularly valuable rookie or superstar player like Mike Trout or Shohei Ohtani.
I bought this Urquidy card at auction a few short months ago. The seller spelled Urquidy’s name wrong, which is more common than you might think for a niche that revolves around specific players and sets. I would have been happy with a $100 sale before the Astros advanced in the playoffs, but had a hunch to raise the price and the hunch paid off.
This was my only sale that netted over $100 this week. Sometimes doing the work means packing and shipping a lot of $20 and $30 items. But those weeks can be just as satisfying as the big sales. It’s nice to clear space for new inventory and for sales to stay consistent even without any big $250+ sales.
11/04/2021 at 8:39 am #93768
I bought this Urquidy card at auction a few short months ago. The seller spelled Urquidy’s name wrong, which is more common than you might think for a niche that revolves around specific players and sets.
How much can you buy a card that’s been misspelled? Do big card sellers start auctions at 99-cents? Do most card sellers use auctions or BIN?
11/04/2021 at 7:06 pm #93770
How much can you buy a card that’s been misspelled?
I paid around $30 including shipping for the Urquidy card. His name was misspelled in the original listing, but the listing was not terrible. The picture was clear and the title included the key features of the card like the autograph and 1 of 1 stamp. The reasons it only sold for $30 were 1. the misspelling, anyone looking for Jose Urquidy autographs would not have found that listing 2. auctions are not always the most efficient way to sell a rare card since it only allows your possible buyer 7 days (or whatever your auction length) to find your listing and 3. the timing, selling in August when the baseball season was winding down but before the playoffs where Urquidy was one of the best pitchers for his team.
Most of why I was able to sell the card for more now was that I used buy it now / best offer, priced it high and waited for the right buyer and time to sell — all lessons straight from the Trash Elf Manifesto! I made a little more because he pitched so well in the playoffs and his team made it to the World Series, but it still would have sold for $75 or more at some point. There are only so many 1/1 autographed rookies of Urquidy and this set (Panini Prizm) is one of Panini’s most popular.
This is the biggest difference between my niche and more traditional scavenging — my COGS is usually quite high. Even on listings with errors, all it takes is one other collector or card flipper to find the auction and that will bump the price up. But I put in my max bid and if I win, great. If I don’t, there will always be more auctions to bid on.
Do big card sellers start auctions at 99-cents?
A lot of sellers do. Here is one seller who I have no affiliation with other than I buy from them quite often and they have thousands of auctions ending every night which all start at $0.99. Some will end for hundreds and others for $0.99 or $2.25 if they sell at all. This seller is a big card breaker and I believe they sell items on consignment as well.
Other large card sellers such as probstein123 or COMC operate in a similar fashion. These are full-on corporations with massive warehouses and many employees. True card listing machines with millions of listings, but the downside is that your order is one of a million for them, so good luck resolving a problem if you’re not happy with the card’s condition or they send you the wrong card.
The biggest benefit to using auctions for cards is if the player has a stunning performance that happens to time exactly with your auction. For example, New York Jets quarterback Mike White — an unheralded backup — made his first start recently and had a completely unexpected record passing performance that was the best by a Jets QB in 20 years. You can see from sold listings exactly when he had his record breaking game and how big the spike in prices was. The buy it nows for his autographs were long gone by the time the game was over, so that’s why auction prices spiked for a few days. I linked his autographs but the same effect happened to his rookie cards, particularly those with a serial number or the cards from coveted brands.
I bought a few Mike White autographs in the week before the game, all less than $10 each, and eventually they’ll show up in the mail and I’ll make some money on them. Not as much as if I had them in hand the day after the game and got them listed that same day, unless he continues to break records. But it will probably be quite a while before his autographs drop back down to under $10 again, despite the fact that he’s much more likely to have had one amazing game than he is to be a future legendary quarterback!
One of my scavenger goals in the next year, now that I’m doing this full-time, is to prepare for these spikes better. Now that spending $$ is not as much of an obstacle, it’s a matter of organizing my inventory and to-be-listed items more (always a work in progress!), doing more research in advance and maybe spending $200 on 20 Mike White autographs the week before his game instead of $20 on 4 of them. Even typing that out makes me uneasy, but I’ve observed spikes like this over and over again, and eventually as a scavenger you have to trust your experience and knowledge.
Do most card sellers use auctions or BIN?
Many of the larger consignment sellers and breakers run weekly auctions and also offer BIN/BO listings. A lot of small time card sellers (<100 feedback) will do a few auctions every so often to clean off their desk or sell off their “hits” so they can buy more cards. Then you have sellers like myself who have a pretty sizable inventory and it’s all BIN/BO waiting for the right buyer to come along.
A recent blog post at the bid sniping service I use, Gixen, mentioned that sports cards auctions represent over 18% of all snipes that Gixen places for its users and collectible trading cards (non-sports) are another 4 to 5 percent. There are 30+ new sets every year for baseball, football and basketball, and so many collectors join breaks to get their cards rather than buying packs and boxes. So it makes sense that auctions are the most efficient way to sell off “hits” (the autographs, jerseys and rarest inserts) and get cash (or credit with the breaker) for the next break.
Before I found Scavenger Life a few years ago, I was selling cards here and there, but also CDs, DVDs books, records, and anything else I could find at the local thrift stores and flea markets. I did auctions a lot of the time because I was familiar to eBay pre BIN/BO. Also, I needed the faster sale from an auction because I needed the cash ASAP!
But this podcast changed my thinking. It didn’t hurt that many of my auctions ended for lower prices than I expected. It was still hard to switch to all BIN/BO listings because sometimes I needed that cash infusion, especially if I won some auctions that I didn’t expect to win. Which…in the card world, happens a lot more than I ever thought it would! I spent a couple years reinvesting most of my profits back into new inventory and a “real” setup (printer, desk, shelves, quality supplies).
It’s nice to have the option to run auctions if I ever want to reduce the size of my inventory or raise a lot of cash in a short amount of time. But now I try and focus on cards that are more unique because of their serial number, set design or a valuable player, and I prefer to wait for the right buyer or right time to sell. I’m fortunate to have that luxury. But this is also the culmination of a lot of years of learning from mistakes and experimenting to see what leads to more sales and a larger inventory.
11/04/2021 at 7:37 pm #93771
Yes but for every Mike white there has been ALOT of Jets, Bears, and Browns QB’s making their first start.
He’s definitely more an exception than the rule, but if you can make some cash in the short term on a flash in the pan more power to you!
the people that really fascinate me are the people shelling out the big bucks in this highly speculative single performance.
Is this just a form of really unhealthy gambling?
Are they just stupid rich people who just want to say they have that guys card and pretend they saw it coming with their Saturday night drinking buddies?
11/05/2021 at 12:56 am #93773
Is this just a form of really unhealthy gambling? Are they just stupid rich people who just want to say they have that guys card and pretend they saw it coming with their Saturday night drinking buddies?
Probably a little bit of both. The card breaking culture, and large consignment companies like COMC in particular, has made it possible to buy and sell cards without all the messy and time consuming work of scanning, listing, packaging and shipping. There are a lot of “collectors” who are interested in cards because there’s money to be made on them and you don’t even have to touch the card! But like most people at the casino, or buying stocks based on what Reddit says, they’re going to lose 9 times out of 10.
However, there are just as many buyers and sellers who purchase cards of specific players, teams, sets etc. because it makes them happy. I can relate to that. I like to watch a good game, especially like an underdog story. I don’t have an attachment to a particular team, but I can understand why others do if it was their team growing up or it’s their adopted hometown team or whatever. Same for individual players, even though I think hero worship is a little strange. But the card is a way of tapping into those good feelings. On top of that, some cards look really good aesthetically or are very unique. And of course the most valuable cards of the best players (Tom Brady, LeBron James, Sidney Crosby and many others) and from the best sets (Skybox Precious Metal Gems is my favorite example) have been going up and up in value for 20+ years now.
It’s not only specific players but sealed packs and boxes that have gone up in price. You can buy the cheap packs and boxes for $20 or $40 at Walmart or Target, but the good boxes with chances at the most unique and high quality cards are all sold online through breakers and distributors and they run from hundreds to thousands for one box which typically has 10 cards or less in it! So it makes sense that the top “hits” (rare autographs, desirable inserts, low serial numbers) from these boxes also sell in the hundreds to thousands.
If card companies never moved to manufactured scarcity, and this gambling mentality, cards probably would have died out in the early 90s when they printed so many as to make almost of them worthless. And at some point, card production will change in a new and different way. Maybe that is already happening to some extent with NFTs and digital cards. But it will be interesting to see the next big change, whenever it happens.
the people that really fascinate me are the people shelling out the big bucks in this highly speculative single performance.
These speculators (desperate gamblers?) fascinate me too. Recognizing how many of them are out there has been one of my favorite things about writing these posts. I didn’t realize how extreme the ups and downs were around these flash in the pan performances until I started documenting my sales week after week.
Those types of sales will most likely never be more than a few extra bucks a week for me. I would hate to rely on figuring out the next new flash in the pan and selling as fast as possible as a foundation for my business. Too dependent on time and luck. I prefer to do things on my own pace and rely on knowledge of what’s likely to rise in value or what’s undervalued.
For whatever it’s worth, Mike White made his second career start earlier tonight for the Jets. He played a nice first quarter and led the team to a touchdown on their first drive of the second quarter, but their opponents the Colts kept scoring touchdowns, so the Jets were trailing. After the Jets first touchdown, White exited the game with an arm injury and didn’t play again. The Colts kept scoring almost every time they got the ball, and the Jets lost 45-30.
What will happen to our friend Mike next week? Well, that’s the other part of what keeps the gamblers and collectors coming back. So much of life is very predictable, down to the hour and minute, and sports is one of those areas where something completely unexpected can and often does happen.
I am hopeful that by this time next week, I will have received a few of the Mike White cards I already bought so I can get them listed and sold. I know I won’t appreciate them as much as the buyer who is willing to pay $30 or $50 or whatever his prices are next week. I’m not fully sure that I can understand why that person is willing to pay more than I used to make in a few hours at my day job, but I will take care extra care in packaging their new prized possession and send them a few bonus Jets cards, too. Then we will all end up happy.
Well, maybe all of us except Mike White if his arm is still hurting. But he had a great day just last week. We should all be so lucky.
11/05/2021 at 9:42 am #93778
Sales Report for: 10/30/21
Total Items in Store: 1220
Items Sold: 16
Gross Sales (Not including shipping and tax): $653.07
Net Sales (After fees): $536.19
Cost of Items Sold: $49.14
COGS Percent 9.16%
Net Profit Margin: 74.58%
Highest Price Sold: $249.95 Briggs & Riley Suitcase
Average Price Sold: $40.82
Money Spent on New Inventory: $170.00
Sold via promoted listings: 10
Promoted Percentage: 62.50%
Average Days Listed: 416.27
Longest Listed: 1165
New items listed: 9
Late to the game this week. Mom is visiting for the week for the first time since the pandemic started so trying to enjoy the reunion.
Had one great sale last week with the Briggs & Riley suitcase selling for $249.95. This was a barely used suitcase that was part of a lot I got from the estate of a luggage store owner. I bought several Briggs & Riley and Tumi bags in a lot for an average of $18 each. This was the first I listed and it sold within 2 days. I’d never even heard of the brand before and had purchased the lot because of the Tumi.
50% of the sales this week were Christmas related, mostly ornaments but also sold a large vintage animated Santa for $50. Most of our listing focus is on Christmas inventory backlog. Cecile is the expert there and she researches and makes the listings while I take the photos and pack and ship. We get so much more done when we work as a team (duh…) She’s been off work recovering from her surgery so this has been a great time to dig into the death piles.
Went to one estate sale at the end of the week. Most things were overpriced as usual, but ened up buying quite a bit, mostly smalls that were unmarked in boxes. Scavenge of the week was either a vintage deck of marked playing cards from the 1940’s that should sell for $100 (paid $1) and a Vic Moran bubble bank that should go for $75 – $100 (paid $10). For me, the secret to estate sales is ignoring the obviously valuable items that are overpriced and finding the overlooked items. This is were the knowledge build up over time pays off. Some of those Vic Moran banks go for big bucks, as much as $1000 depending on the design. This particular one is more common Rainy Day theme so shouldn’t go for more than $100.
11/05/2021 at 11:26 am #93779
Much of my knowledge has been built at overpriced thrift sales and estate sales. I take it as a personal challenge to find something that they missed.
those times are when you can really develop the eye for unusual value.
11/06/2021 at 11:12 pm #93791dwashncParticipant
Congrats on hitting the 2k mark! Great week.
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