04/16/2020 at 8:04 pm #76322
Here is what I know:
Asking price $4500
10k feedback rating
1500 listings currently online
3000 items in inventory
Very low dollar amount sales. Median sale approx $15.
$12k total inventory at $4.22 wholesale cost per item
220 sales last 90 days
Entirely first class shipping. 4x4x6 box seems appropriate if not too large.
Enire inventory can be stored on 2 4x7x2 shelving units
Accounting for fees, subscription, shipping, fees…my quick estimates are 7 months to recoup the investment. 49 months worth of inventory. Not realistic that it would not slow as inventory dwindled or that it would all sell. Approx $25k total profit if all sold over at least 5 years.
These are not the margins I am used to, but it is 100% online already. Most labor is done besides shipping. It includes some minor things like supplier info, thermal printer, etc but that really isn’t a factor.
Thoughts? I think it’s a good investment, but the opportunity cost of tying up $4500 is the hiccup for me. I’m considering a half price offer and work from there.
04/16/2020 at 9:52 pm #76329
I don’t have much to say about the price other than paying $4 to make $15 seems like a lot but the items seem to be selling well (for now…) and you get to avoid creating 1,500 listings.
On the other hand, most of us scavenger sellers have limited tolerance for items selling for under $20. Usually try to avoid them unless free or only cost pennies, are easy to list, pack, and ship, and not the type of thing that gets returned. You haven’t said the type of stock it is but it sounds like it is low-hassle inventory so that’s good.
But regarding those 1,500 listings you’re getting, just make sure you’re going to actually be able to get them. Ebay does not allow transfer of IDs without their authorization and I don’t know if there’s any way to get that authorization. If the seller’s ID is a corporation or LLC you can buy the corporation or LLC from the owner and it’s not a “transfer” of the ID as far as eBay is concerned, but there are disadvantages to buying someone else’s business that way rather than just their inventory and equipment (assets). Which is why most small business sales are asset sales. If you were only buying the inventory, what would you pay for it at auction?
04/17/2020 at 8:40 am #76339
I’m curious about how many different skus there are? 220 sales over 3 months equals roughly 73 sales per month. That’s a gross of a little over 1k per month, before all the expenses are accounted for.
It looks easy, but what comes to mind is if it’s so easy and takes up so little space, why would this person be jumping out of the business now? Depending on how many skus there are, what would happen if the price crashed with a few thousand units left?
I might also be hesitant to buy it because you can pretty much list anything online at this point of time and sell it. If the pandemic hasn’t increased the sales of this item over the past month, that’s really not a good sign.
04/17/2020 at 11:13 am #76346
Thanks for the responses. I appreciate input good or bad on this.
The actual products are glasses. Sunglasses, reading glasses, ski goggles, etc.
As far as the Ebay ID is concerned, couldn’t I simply get a 3rd party like inkfrog or sixbit and download the listings then put them on my existing store if Ebay will not approve? Seems easy enough and our max threshold will easily swallow up their inventory.
There are many skews. They have a couple hundred shoe boxes with inventory tags on them. I believe they will actually sell better as it warms up, but I would not count on that. The last 3 months are probably not the greatest of times for sunglasses. Each of the 1500 listings appear to be independent models or at least colors.
They are retiring, moving south, and don’t want to take it with them. Also selling a $90k boat and a bunch of other things locally to prep for the move.
I can get other inventory, I view this more as value add for labor of 1500 listings. The seller views it more as $12k in inventory at a slashed price. Currently we have about 3k listings, so this would increase our store by 50%. Of course they are all low dollar, so the actual gross would likely improve around 15%.
04/17/2020 at 1:46 pm #76357
And as a Scavenger, I’d be remiss not to point out that if they’re asking $4500, maybe they’ll take $3000 🙂
04/17/2020 at 1:29 pm #76355
Very interesting! I know nothing about using inkfrog or sixbit to do that but I can’t imagine eBay caring if you’re lifting an entire listing to put in your store so long as the original owner doesn’t complain. If they’re that organized maybe some or all of the unlisted glasses are already cataloged. That would be a bonus.
I also know next to nothing about selling glasses. If you don’t either, Dorky Thrifters on YouTube specializes in glasses. I don’t think she posts regularly anymore but she has done informative videos on cleaning, pricing, etc. glasses that are still on her YouTube channel. (She used to hang out here on SL, too, several years ago.)
I’d be concerned about trends overall in sales of glasses with this level of investment per a single type of item. Maybe WatchCount would be helpful to see how the market is doing on eBay.
Certainly an intriguing proposition for you – Good luck!
04/17/2020 at 2:38 pm #76361
Agree–I was thinking a 50% offer and see if I could negotiate them down to 3k or less. I know they don’t want to move it and I think it’s unlikely they find many real buyers posting on CL.
Thanks for the tip on Dorky Thrifter. I will look into that for sure.
I never heard of watchcount before. Interesting. I see some glasses have 4500 watchers on them.
Next question to ponder: Would you try to keep the store separate if Ebay allows? They have a website forwarding to their Ebay store and it could be useful to drive more sales by posting the site on fb marketplaces in larger metro areas of the country. I believe that is likely why the seller mentioned they could triple it, but are not actively working the business currently. They definitely did some work building a brand.
I don’t need competition if I decide to go ahead, but feel that I am among friends here http://www.theloftsunglassshop.com
It is definitely not my normal jam, but sales are sales. I would NOT spend the time creating listings for such a low margin, but they already did it.
04/17/2020 at 3:52 pm #76365
Not sure. Its much different kind of business than what we do. Its commodity items that everyone sells. Honestly doesnt look like they did any branding. Just a generic photo of a young couple wearing sunglasses.
Have you seen how much other people sell these glasses? Assume there are lots of chinese sellers that will be competition.
04/17/2020 at 5:34 pm #76366
Oh, yeah. I just assumed the inventory was used/vintage. That’s Dorky Thrifter. I would respectfully disagree with Jay though regarding commodity items. With a commodity, that long time, legit, US-based store you’re getting is really important. I think anyone who has bought commodity items on eBay knows there is a surplus of bad sellers in those categories and many buyers do try to avoid them and also won’t buy direct from China. (I’m dealing with a bad one right now, in fact, and I tried to be selective.) I’ll bet as reliable as they appear, in that category they get a lot of repeat buyers.
As cheesy as it is, that store is all that you’ve got going for you in selling new no-name glasses. There’s no barrier to entry – I can probably go on Alibaba right now and order these wholesale for a lot less than $4.20 a pair. (As a matter of fact, you ought to check that out and see what they paid.) So yes, I’d try and maintain the store if I could. Otherwise I would only pay pennies a piece for that product.
But – I am probably the wrong person to be giving advice on a commodity item store 🙂
04/17/2020 at 5:56 pm #76369
I’m definitely not the one to know about selling commodity items. I just see a bunch of no name sun glasses that anyone can buy wholesale and resell.
Here’s an eBay search for unbranded sun glasses:
It’s all about the lowest price and free shipping. Right?
Hope some sellers who specialize in wholesale jump in here. I’ll learn as much as you will.
04/17/2020 at 6:54 pm #76372
All valid points and appreciated. I’d wonder how they sell so many no name brands without steering traffic directly to the store. I’ve purchased for just over $1 each for bulk shelf pulls from Kohls right off Ebay.
I dont think the items themselves hold the value, but the listings they have setup are working. I wouldnt have been able to sell those items based on prior experience.
I’d likely increase the lowest dollar items by $1.50 per item and see if they still sell. I know its race to the bottom, but a couple items I looked at were sold for 2 bucks less than the competition.
04/17/2020 at 7:00 pm #76374
In a perfect world, that store has some special place in search because of its successful history. Then you could just keep buying more of the same items and keep selling.
But again, you have to be willing to deal with those items, shipping each day.
Wonder how many glasses get returned? Did they show you that info?
04/17/2020 at 6:57 pm #76373
That search you posted is pretty scary. Talk about a drop in an ocean!
04/18/2020 at 10:00 am #76382
A lot of the solds are $5-10 apiece with free shipping. If you’re spending $4 on an item, there is hardly any room to make any money off of this.
I actually LIKE selling cheap items, but I only spend a nickle or a dime on items this cheap. To buy at $4 to sell at $8-10 with free shipping, fees, shipping supplies, store fees, etc,. is a bit much. I understand the appeal of selling items that are already listed, have stock photos, multi-quantity, no hard work, etc,. but the initial investment to do so seems really high.
04/18/2020 at 10:15 am #76384
I’ve been buying collections, inventories, bulk lots, large quantities of items for years now. Here’s my advice on dealing with them:
You have knowledge of items that sell, how they sell, what to buy developed after a number of years of doing this. If you don’t, you know how to quickly research what you are looking at to buy. Sometimes, knowledge combined with your gut will tell you what to buy and what not to buy. If this had been a home-run, or really good buy off the bat, you would’ve just bought it. Since you thought about the price asked, the selling prices of the items, the sold history, etc,. and DIDN’T buy the items, you were initially hesitant to buy them. If all of them had worked together and the math worked in your head, you would’ve bought them right off the bat. Instead, you came on the forum to ask what we would do. Most of us said “eh, I wouldn’t deal with this,” because your initial reaction to not buy the lot outright at the price asked was correct.
Sometimes buys are amazing and you are so happy you stumbled into them. Sometimes buys look like a bad deal and turn out to be not worth it, and you’re glad you didn’t buy them. I totally get turning numbers over and over again in your head to see if they would work, I do that all the time with potential buys, including very minor $20-$100 buys. It’s natural. Sometimes it’s just best to go with your gut.
04/18/2020 at 11:13 am #76387
Thanks Almasty. I too am familiar with selling items like this. I bought out an NFL merch dealer and many of the items sell for less than $10. Nothing about it is exciting, but until the SuperBowl I was selling several every day and very quickly made my money back. I likely have enough inventory sitting on shelves to last for another several years.
These sunglasses are priced at $1.50 each. It’s really not the product I am interested in, but the labor from all the listings. Dropping a 1st class package twice per day may not sound appealing to everyone, but to me it actually does. We already send out 5-10 every day of the week and this takes up only an extra minute or 2.
My initial reaction was actually that its a pretty good deal that could be a great deal if the price drops. The hesitation is more from the dollar amount and length of time it would take to recoup. My previous largest purchase was only $2000. Sourcing right now is difficult, so I bought pallets of toys last week and have recouped half the investment in just 7 days. Previously we had been doing ALL sourcing from local auctions, so I’m just trying to expand my skillset out of necessity. All other work for me has stopped, so this is our only source of income.
My gut is telling me to leave the seller sit for a week and approach them with a lowball when they think they are stuck with nothing.
04/18/2020 at 11:56 am #76388scott2Participant
- Location: Merida, Mexico
Topnotch, while this type of merchandise is not everyone’s ball of wax if it pays and you can deal with it and get a good enough price I would go for it. If you decide to make an offer one BIG thing I would also ask for is the contact info for all of his suppliers so you can re up in the future if it works out. If they are, as they claim, getting out of the business, that shouldn’t be a problem for them to provide.
Personally I really like bulk, barcoded, easy to list stuff…
04/18/2020 at 7:52 pm #76394
Thank you, and yes the suppliers were part of the deal along with a thermal printer, packing supplies, etc. Honestly doubt I’d use their suppliers at the prices she claims
04/19/2020 at 11:11 am #76412
I offered $1/listing and they are going to talk it over.
Ebay for business said they will not allow the transfer with the exception of a business (such as a car dealership – not an eBay-only business) that the account owner has left the company.
I will need to get setup with 3rd party to transfer the listings if they accept the offer. Inkfrog is definitely the cheapest, but is it convenient?
04/19/2020 at 2:04 pm #76422
We like InkFrog because its all “in the cloud”. We have not used the other services. Those make you run your own database on your computer. Probably isnt a big deal, but we wanted to be able to access our account from anywhere and any computer.
Ink Frog isnt the most user friendly. Like anything, you just have to learn how they do things.
04/19/2020 at 3:12 pm #76423craig rexParticipant
- Location: south jersey
I just came to this thread today, so reading all the posts was quite an emotional roller coaster. After the OP’s post, I was excited and thought it was a great opportunity. But after seeing the store full of sunglasses and Jay’s post about unbranded sunglasses listings, my doubts crept in.
This seller only has about 187 feedback received over the last 6 months and 447 over the last year. Their solds are fairly consistent at 3-5 items per day and most sales are right around or under $10 with free shipping. The average sales price may be $15 but that is heavily propped up by the occasional $50 “premium” sale. So continued sale of those SKU’s is really vital to how quickly you recoup your initial investment, whether it’s a year (or less)
Did the sellers give you any data on returns? This strikes me as a category that would have a high number of returns. I’m not sure whether high means 2% or 10% or 20%. Whatever the percentage is, that loss will be compounded by the free shipping both ways.
My main niche is smalls (trading cards) which take just a few minutes to package and I built my inventory from a few hundred items to a few thousand mostly primarily through $10 items. I imagine sunglasses are similarly quick to package (and of course you have the listings already taken care of) so I understand the theoretical appeal.
I really wonder how this niche might be affected by the pandemic. I wouldn’t be optimistic that year-over-year sales will increase, that’s for sure. So I hope that you can negotiate them under $1/listing. You really have all the leverage here, and I wish you luck.
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