03/11/2020 at 4:13 pm #75017
Sadly it appears as if the world is about to change pretty significantly, even if just for a modest period of time. So I have to ask, what categories will be boosted by this trouble. Thinking about being locked in the house for two weeks and suddenly a lot of the old classics appear like board games, craft kits, maybe even books and dvds .
Sourcing may be challenging, though.
Excluding the panic hoard items like sanitizer ( hey, love the alcohol spritz idea J&R!) what might be in demand?
( fighting adding “ great for self quarantine” to my game listings. )0
03/11/2020 at 4:24 pm #75018apertureParticipant
- Location: ARVADA
I have not had any eureka moments about what might get a lift in sales, but I have thought that the pandemic may lead people to question whether they want to buy items from a source that could be infected. It may never emerge as a concern, or people may just move away from buying things that are not packaged new. I had this thought after having the morbid thought that estate sales may pick up due to COVID-19 associated mortality, and then thinking that perhaps estate sales will disappear as people worry that the home they walk into may be a source of infection. Sorry – pretty dark thoughts.0
03/12/2020 at 7:15 am #75031
I’ve had the same thoughts about estate sales. They will increase, but who will want to go to them? It used to be beneficial to say “from an estate” in listings, but now?
I was going to thrift today, but I’m skeeved out by the thought of it and putting it on hold indefinitely. If I do this for a living, how will other people who do this for fun feel? I guess this might cause thrifts to lower their prices if a lot of people eventually feel the way I do.
To be honest, I wouldn’t personally invest a lot of money in buying stock to resell at this time If I did, I would just continue buying and selling the same sort of items I normally do. If you have a backlog built up, spend the next few months listing through it. At the very least, this will have enormous implications for the economy and will push us straight into a recession (if we’re not already in one).
I’ve been reading articles on this since before the quarantine in Wuhan back in January. I knew at that point that my normal spring buying habits for my stores were not going to happen this year. A true pandemic with quarantine and travel restrictions coupled with a crippling recession is very, very bad with the effects felt way beyond a few weeks of potentially having to be a shut-in.0
03/12/2020 at 10:27 am #75036
Like everyone, I’m concerned about this, but trying to stay positive: As almasty notes, this is a good time to work on my death piles, and God knows we have plenty of unlisted inventory here to list. I’m hoping that the warmer weather will impact the virus the way it does the flu (Of course, we have no proof that will happen). In any event, IF this is pretty much over in a couple months, I’ll have a lot more inventory up and ready for what will hopefully be a great Q4.
Stay safe, people, and try to stay positive!0
03/12/2020 at 10:49 am #75038SharynParticipant
- Location: Central NJ
Because I’m in NJ, and we have several confirmed cases, COVID-19 is starting to affect me. Yesterday, the police announced that one of the cases was from our town. The schools are closed down today and tomorrow for cleaning. My son is in the VoTech, which is a different school district, and his is not closed.
A number of events have been delayed or canceled, and now an organization that I am involved with wants to delay one of our events. Since I manage this event, I’m in the mist of looking at what we can do. We might end up cancelling.
It’s just a crazy time. I’m annoyed, but I know these crazy precautions are necessary.
As far as sales, mine have been pretty good, but this weekend was suddenly very slow. This week has been better, but not gangbusters. On the other hand, I had more items in my “make offer to buyers” list this morning. I expect that sales will be better for a while because of all the crazy stuff going on.0
03/12/2020 at 11:47 am #75041
Closures are a sign of preparedness. We have the advantage of knowing what this has been like in other places that did not take steps to curb this ahead of time. We’re lucky in that regard.
There’s a startling amount of useless information being spread at the moment. I follow an AI-powered news aggregator that groups together similar stories, and even it is breaking down under the sheer volume of material from every outlet that suddenly deems itself worthy of covering a situation like this. The CDC has said that excessive exposure to news surrounding the virus is causing unneeded panic and affecting mental health of those already at risk for mental health problems. I don’t think we need example number 342984823498 that the 24/7 news cycle is worthless, but here we are.
People need to realize that the amount of information you need regarding this is a tiny fraction of what’s currently out there. Pay attention to statements from the WHO and CDC, in addition to whatever local information you have access to.
I don’t feel a need to speculate on a potential downturn/uptick in sales. Last week was my second best week on record. This week is the slowest so far in 2020. I’m operating as normal until my immediate situation changes.0
03/12/2020 at 12:32 pm #75042TemudginParticipant
- Location: Washington DC
I don’t think we’ll see a noticeable increase in estate sales. The CDC says that as of yesterday 29 people have died in the entire US from COVID-19, out of about 1,000 reported cases, and most likely thousands more cases that are unreported because of milder symptoms. By way of comparison, in the US an average of 102 people die in motor vehicle accidents per day, every day, day in and day out. And that’s just one of many causes of death.
+1 IndySales. Trying to stay positive but what worries me most is the complete insanity that has seemingly overcome everyone in pointlessly cancelling travel and many other normal activities, the same things that made the 2008 recession so severe. This is not the Black Plague or Ebola in terms of lethality. Catching COVID-19 is not a death sentence. Yes it’s a danger to adult vulnerable populations, as are many aspects of normal life. We should be focusing on enhanced protections for those vulnerable until this virus runs its course.1+
03/12/2020 at 1:13 pm #75052
Have to admit that I was coming at this from a somewhat less dire – people are going to stuck at home with nothing to do, and that often leads to more time to shop online- so hopefully they will turn to eBay and maybe even look for things to pass the time, enhance collections, etc.
I was forced to travel for work today and there are at least half as many passengers as usual. Planes loading fast, leaving on time, arriving early. The sun is shining and I wiped everything down. Wish me luck!1+
03/12/2020 at 6:17 pm #75063apertureParticipant
- Location: ARVADA
We are at risk of exponential growth in virus cases. Interventions are intended to slow or stop that growth. If number of infections double every six days, exponential growth would look like this:
Date –> Infections
March 10 –> 2000
March 16 –> 4000
March 22 –> 8000
March 28 –> 16,000
April 4 –> 32,000
April 10 —> 64,000
April 16 —> 128,000
April 22 —> 256,000
April 28 —> 512,000
Early May —> 1,000,000
6 days later —> 2,000,000
6 days after that —> 4,000,000
I hope that unchecked growth like this will not persist. If things don’t change, then somewhere in May, the US will no longer have ICU beds and ventilators and doctors will be making hard decisions about who to put on a ventilator and who may be equally at risk of death, but does not get a ventilator.
Sources: This is a brilliant YouTube video explaining the risk of exponential growth of COVID-19. It has a CDC tag on it, though it does not appear to have been made by the CDC: https://youtu.be/Kas0tIxDvrg
This article is from March 10 and is where I grabbed that stats above from:0
03/12/2020 at 6:48 pm #75065DantheDinerParticipant
With everyone switching to remote work and avoiding large stores, I am sitting here waiting for the sales spike in my inventory of LPs and Soviet memorabilia items. Nothing so far.
I’m in NJ like Sharyn. Serious anxiety is everywhere, and most large organizations like schools and public-facing businesses are either temporarily closing, or else instituting substantial proactive measures. I just started training as a Census field organizer. They’ve hired about a million door-knockers, constitutionally mandated to physically visit every non-responding address in the country in just a few months, after this pandemic gets properly heated. Can you imagine worse timing?0
03/12/2020 at 7:09 pm #75066
I wish I could say I was expecting a spike in my sales, but I’m not. I’m just hoping to maintain a decent rate of sales by adding a lot more listings (plenty of unlisted inventory here, so we can stay put and list if need be) and by running sales, sending out offers, etc. I’m also finally going to try to ramp up my social media efforts. I’m hoping that , if people are stuck at home, they’ll still want to DO something and so games, craft kits etc might do well, and also I’m hoping collectors might decide to do more online buying rather than shopping the B&Ms, flea markets etc. Of course, consumer confidence is likely to take a hit….the virus, an election year, scary stock market, etc…. This will also likely give me time to work on my inventory system, and also redo my shipping and photo areas. We’re just going to do our best to work through this, and hopefully when things rebound, we’ll actually be better prepared than we would have been otherwise.1+
03/13/2020 at 10:21 am #75085
I’m starting to think that people on eBay think differently than the rest of the population. My sales have been slower, but not really that bad. It makes me wonder if people who have no problems with purchasing second hand goods have less qualms shopping for the same goods during times like these. Maybe they just know that the odds of a germ surviving on a package are slim. I really thought my sales would stop during this crisis, but they are only down by about 20%.0
03/13/2020 at 11:48 am #75086ChristineRParticipant
- Location: Southern California
There are no tested cases in my city yet but with all of the state closures people are really starting to freak out. My husband works intensive care at the hospital so we have already prepared to quarantine and stay away from my dad. I’m absolutely surprised and concerned at our country’s lack of preparedness and I’m not super confident in our local authorities but hopefully they are getting testing online in the next couple of weeks. The closures are a good thing and hopefully we can flatten the curve.
Wondering if sellers are considering tightening up return policies? Thoughts?0
03/13/2020 at 11:59 am #75087
I’m afraid if we tighten up return policies it will affect sales.0
03/13/2020 at 12:50 pm #75089
I’m in NYC (it’s a completely long & convoluted story about the hows & whys of it) and I feel like my business could shut down any day now for I don’t know how long? At this point, I’m just taking it day by day. So, the panic I have about my business reflects my fears over the unknown of what could happen here over anything else.
My handling time for orders is 2 days for all the sites I sell on, but I’ve been doing it same day or next day for all orders since Wednesday. That way, if it gets serious here and services shut down, I can try to eke out a last day of shipments before I put the stores on vacation for an unknown period of time.
I’m glad I got thrifting out of my system in the first few weeks of February. I have been ordering stock online for the past week – some of it is coming today, some next week. I might continue buying a bit online, it really depends. My buying overall is way down already for this time of year, and will probably go to nil for a few months soon.
I had to run errands in the financial district in Manhattan yesterday and you wouldn’t know anything’s amiss. Broadway was still full of tourists, commuters, residents, the tour buses were still completely full on the top of people pointing at things, most of the normal food carts were out, the annoying touts were out. It was weird to walk around there and then read about all the closures happening around the city – Broadway theaters are shut down, the major museums are temporarily closed, talk shows are without audiences or temporarily going off the air. It’s weird now and will probably get weirder. de Blasio says we might have 1,000 cases by next week.0
03/13/2020 at 1:28 pm #75090
Maryland has shut down schools. I am thankful because my 16 year old had Lyme disease and she is very vulnerable to respiratory infection. We saw this coming and are prepared. As far as business goes, I just need to make 1/3 of my normal sales to be ok. So far, so good.0
03/14/2020 at 2:48 am #75095Antique FrogParticipant
- Location: Leicester
The UK government appears to be adopting a position of herd immunity. A week ago, the number of new cases was doubling every four days- at that rate about 90% of the UK population will be infected by the beginning of June. A case fatality rate of 1% means about 600,000 deaths. The government’s banning large gatherings, the majority of sporting events have been postponed as have the local elections.
A firm’s developed a test for the virus which gives results a lot quicker (maybe within hours)- apparently this is going to be used on pharmacy staff first.0
03/14/2020 at 4:33 pm #75101craig rexParticipant
- Location: south jersey
Seeing all of the sports leagues shut down made COVID-19 real for a lot of people, I think, but I worry that too many people (young people in particular) are still thinking I feel fine and then going out like normal and spreading the virus without realizing it. Most inessential workplaces (restaurants, retail) are still open and of course from an economic perspective, it’s obvious why. But in terms of virus containment, these decisions seem foolish. We’ll learn a lot in the next 5-7 days, from Seattle and NYC in particular.
I suspect if this new, strange life carries on for weeks, it will become a good opportunity to buy on eBay as inexperienced sellers clean out their closets either out of boredom or a need for extra cash. Hard to think that way now. I’m glad I have enough death piles to tide me over for probably a month. The first three months of this year were my best by far but I expect sales to slow down significantly over the next few weeks. I hope I’m wrong about all of this.1+
03/14/2020 at 8:57 pm #75103chaoticgoodParticipant
- Location: Kansas City, MO
I’m finding this week confusing from a reseller perspective. Maybe it’s because I listed 20 items early in the week, but my sales have been better than normal. I’ve sold several items through offers and had quite a few full price sales. They include:
– Several pieces of costume jewelry under $15, quite possibly for gifts.
– Starbucks Cocoa Mix (retail arbitrage)
– Nice Orvis men’s boots
– Men’s hiking pants
– Some women’s clothes
– Hardware that might be in low supply due to shortages from China
I made offers and accepted offers on Ebay and Poshmark.
I do get the sense that quite a few of my sales are due to people preferring not to go out, several sales to California.
I went to the bins twice last week as a reward for my listing. I was also worried about COVID coming to Kansas City, and I think those were my last trips for several weeks. Our family is trying to do as much social distancing as possible.
The good news: I’ll be more focused on getting this inventory listed. I have probably hundreds of items to list. I FINALLY got up to 200 items on Ebay, but I’ve been selling so much that I’m down to 195.0
03/14/2020 at 9:20 pm #75104
At least in the short term, I don’t think buyers will stop buying. I do expect to get more offers, including more lowball offers, as some buyers will conclude that sellers may be feeling desperate to make sales. We have a decent cushion here, both in terms of financial situation and unlisted inventory, so that I don’t think we’ll feel heavy pressure to sell cheap. But….I admit, I’ll probably take some offers now that I would have rejected a month ago…depending on the item.
It may seem counter-intuitive, but I think outdoor stuff might do well…hiking boots, backpacking stuff…people still will want to get out of the house (especially with Spring almost here) and a hike in the woods without other people around still qualifies as social distancing. Stuff for maintenance and repairs around the house…..a lot of spouses are going to have a hard time claiming they are too busy at work to take care of the “Honey-Do” list, not when they are home all day….0
03/14/2020 at 11:37 pm #75105PaulParticipant
This experience makes me appreciate the lifestyle I have and the money I have saved.
I’m not overly concerned about the virus but we have prepped for a quarantine just in case.
The family and I are going to stay in for a few weeks as they have closed schools for my kids.
Changing my handling time to 2 days starting Monday. I will leave the house to ship orders every other day or so. Until the dust settles a bit.
How fortunate most of us are here to be able to shut or slow down our lives without fear of getting in trouble at work or dealing with childcare etc.0
03/15/2020 at 9:39 am #75108ZachParticipant
- Location: Kansas City
So far, the last couple months have been great in terms of sales. Even this week has been very strong. I sell mostly obscure vintage items and old electronics. My store is more predicated on getting a few large sales rather than doing a ton of volume, so I’m hoping that the big spenders are still willing to buy even in uncertain times. Still, I’ve saved a large emergency fund and have a part time job that provides benefits, so I should be okay for quite a while.0
03/16/2020 at 10:59 am #75160Antique FrogParticipant
- Location: Leicester
UK’s sewage system in danger of gridlock from toilet paper substitutes
I had to break up a standoff between two feral cats today on my garden wall. I told them next time I’m going to grab one and use it as a toilet paper substitute. They’re soft, warm and fluffy, and they’re re-usable because they’re self-cleaning. 🙂1+
03/16/2020 at 12:36 pm #75164workhorseParticipant
- Location: California
I’ve seen a spike in sales beyond normal over the last 3 days. It spans multiple categories– household, entertainment, vintage items. I have a ton of stuff to list so I’ll be doing that. Yesterday I spent all day taking pictures. In the SF Bay area, I think we’ve been seeing the illness going around for a while since we are the first place travel from Asia lands. When news first became big (late feb) about covid 19, us (including me and my wife) and a lot of our neighbors had what we thought was just a cold or mild flu going around. I think we all already had it. Don’t know for sure of course because seemingly nobody can get tested.1+
03/16/2020 at 7:59 pm #75187
Yesterday, email from Goodwill about staying open to provide availability of donated goods for those who rely upon them. Also, expanding the disinfecting. And , honestly, there aren’t many retail stores that spray most items down. ( my kids hate thrift store smell )
Today? Closing them all for at least the rest of the month.
Liquor stores also shut down ( those were some crazy lines! )
Keep selling my listing backup. People still want this old curated crap.0
03/17/2020 at 12:09 pm #75217DantheDinerParticipant
You guys should really check out the toilet paper auctions on eBay right now. I’ve never seen such competitive auctions for a commercial good.
And I’m with buytikiselltiki. My sales are scary low, but this seems like a great opportunity to get through some death piles.0
03/17/2020 at 1:32 pm #75230
Funny – the reason we’ll still be dealing with this in 3-4 months is entirely thanks to these people who are standing in packed grocery stores panic-buying non-essentials like TP. Now I realize some of these people are doing this just to make some cash, all with a non-zero chance of being non-symptomatic and spreading it to a bunch of people. Cool!
It’s a joke to people. We’re on lockdown here – no non-essential travel – yet hardly anyone is taking it seriously. People are out walking around and just living life like it’s a free vacation day.0
03/17/2020 at 1:51 pm #75231
we’re pretty much self isolating, other than shipping at PO (no pick up here) and gas station/grocery trips. So, I’m not really getting out to see how well people are complying, but I am seeing a drop off in people outside. (And of course, we can go outside and take walks etc…just not in groups. If I get stir crazy, I’ll probably just go hiking.)0
03/18/2020 at 7:25 am #75259Retro Treasures WVParticipant
Where I work, they want all employees with the capability to work from home, to work from home effective immediately. I only have to go physically be there every third day as part of a shop floor support coverage rotation with 2 other coworkers.
I’m gonna get soooo much ebay work done.0
03/18/2020 at 10:38 am #75264ChristineRParticipant
- Location: Southern California
Everything is closing down where I live in California other than essential businesses and take out / drive up services. Most people are taking it very seriously. My husband says the hospital is relatively empty in a calm before the storm prep mode. My office is already work from home. My day job is sitting at the computer so between that and my kids being off I’m not getting any listing done unfortunately. The schools are still trying to roll out online learning.
I’ve been shopping online – my daughter’s birthday presents, some pre-owned clothing. Also looking for bargains and sending low offers because I’m online more than usual. Strangely, because of our virus-related demand professions we will probably work and make more this year. A strange reason for feeling ok about continuing to shop online.
I would think as long as deliveries continue, people will continue and Ebay might benefit from other retailers’ delays, retail therapy, and people being on their phones. I’m watching Mercari for amateur listings but not sure if those people realize they can ship without going to the post office or are prepared to pack items. I think a lot of people will be cleaning out during the break, so I would expect a crazy amount of inventory donated after this. My mom FB groups are all talking about doing that. I’m very surprised the major retailers I follow with b & m exposure are not yet running good sales – I’ll be watching for that RA and later for GW online urban listings, though I don’t really need to do much sourcing.
Stay safe everyone!0
03/18/2020 at 1:27 pm #75269VintageTreasuresParticipant
Thanks ChristineR for the reminder about GW online. I haven’t been to any thrift stores in weeks (we’re self-isolating here) and I won’t be thrift shopping in the near future; I’m not even sure if any thrift stores are still open here. With the knowledge that this virus may lull but will likely return 3-4 times I guess it’s possible that I’ll run out of death pile items in my basement before it’s all said and done. GW online will come in handy if that happens.0
03/18/2020 at 1:39 pm #75270
I’ve been continuing to buy stock online. Not going too crazy just in case we’re forced to shut down our stores. When I get items in, I just let them sit for a few days before opening. I’m probably going to start wiping down the cardboard boxes when they come in, even though I’d rather save cleaning supplies.
I found 2 tarot decks in my backlog that I listed this week and sold within a couple of days. I’ve also been doing well with kook books. I think everyone’s feeling a little bit paranoid and scared right now.
I think people might be starting to get over prepping and are back to buying normal items. Even though sales are down overall, they are slowly starting to come back in. I am also starting to get higher dollar values for items as well. It could be that either people are feeling more back to normal, or this is the new normal, so they’ll get back to their usual routines. It could also be for reasons a bit more depressing than that, but I’ll just go with it while I still have an opportunity to make sales.0
03/18/2020 at 2:54 pm #75282
My sales have been OK given the circumstances. Fri/Sat last week were awful – probably under $100 both days combined – then nearly $300 on Sunday. Going into this week I fully expected for nothing to sell, but things are fine so far.
I’m looking at some unlisted inventory and thinking maybe it’s time to break into some of the more repair-heavy items. Could easily spend a few hours just working on one thing if I get too involved.0
03/19/2020 at 1:50 pm #75300PaulParticipant
I’ve been “hunkered down” for a few days now. Tempting to go to thrift stores and even some yard sales, but I am trying to do my part.
The upside of staying in is that I’m able to get to some of the backlog that requires cleaning or testing. I also am caught up on my accounting for the current year. For the first time this in a while.1+
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.