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I managed to listen to the podcast this week. It was a good one, like always! Thanks for staying consistent during the pandemic.
I feel like doubt, and a general sense of unease just permeates everything these days. What should be a normal expansion of business is just complicated by what will life be like post-pandemic. It is just another layer added to the normal question of “will this work out?” There’s always a normal level of anxiety when one starts a new line of business. It’s completely understandable to feel more anxious than normal when starting a new line of business now.
Sales have remained consistent over here, no matter how much I list. 120-150 orders each week on all venues. I did not experience a summer slowdown this year, but I also didn’t experience much of an increase either. It has stayed oddly consistent. This year is an odd one.
Since not much is changing, I’ve slacked on listing as much over the past few weeks. Each day feels like another day to work or not work. Sometimes I just work in the morning. Sometimes I work all day. It’s hard to do this full-time and not work, there’s always guilt but I am starting to get used to it and not feel as bad. I find it is healthier to just take more breaks these days and not stress as much over the business, or anything sometimes. Everything is going to be more difficult no matter what. Just have to take it easy.09/24/2020 at 2:20 pm in reply to: Source without a car, U-Haul or Public transportation? #81889
I’ve been full-time reselling for 16 years without a car. Here’s how I’ve managed:
Bring a rolling suitcase with you, or a rolling backpack with an additional backpack stuffed inside of it. Get to thrifts via public transportation or uber during the pandemic. Leave your bags up front, be friendly with the cashiers and they will let you put your bag(s) behind the counter.
Haul your stuff back via public transportation. If it’s too much, get an uber. If it’s too much for an uber, get an uber van. I’ve never learned how to drive, so a rental van is out of the question.
If you believe your haul is going to be too much for 1 uber van (you plan to go to an auction), bring someone along (a friend or significant other) to get a 2nd uber or uber van to haul off the excess. Tip well. Be kind. Thank everyone.
It sounds like the buyer is trying to get a partial refund.
I would apologize and let them know that I would be happy to accept a return for a full refund. They’ll either at that point return it, ask for a partial refund, or do nothing. When offering a return option, I would just not even mention the smell, because it is like you’re admitting that there was indeed a smell when you sent it (who knows?). I would just say “I apologize that you are unhappy with this order. I would be happy to accept this vintage item back for a full refund” and see what they do from that point. I just wouldn’t engage and get into an argument with the customer over a smell (non-existent or not).
It’s easy to have a generalist store on Ebay and a specialized store on Etsy/Instagram. You can do both. There are also a lot of generalist sellers on etsy/instagram and they still have good followings. It doesn’t seem to matter as long as people like your stuff.
I see down in the thread you talk about buying and selling antiquarian books. There are a lot of book dealers on etsy/instagram that focus on that sort of aesthetic. It’s really anything goes.
You’ve got multiple options here. You can sell the collection complete with a high shipping cost on Ebay to another dealer or collector. This will allow them to do the work of splitting the lot up and doing all of the work, but depending on how much you paid for it, you should be able to do really well just by selling it complete and not having to worry about the nitty gritty of putting work into it.
You can create smaller lots of the slides and sell them that way. Prices will vary depending on location and years.
You can do a combination of the above and do additional research into areas where individual slides will do well – people will pay up for vehicles and transportation ones, as well as some locations depending on the year. For example, if you have any slides from China, they might do really well individually if the locations are identified. Street photography from China from decades ago does really well on Ebay.
I have multiple slide collections that I am going through myself right now, but I haven’t had the chance to deal with them in a few months. It’s one of my favorite things to do when I get the time to work on them.
I’ve only been out sourcing once in the past 6 months. That’s it. I went from sourcing sometimes 3-5 days a week (I do this full time) to never. The one time I did go out I managed to get 25 boxes of stock. Most of it has been listed, I think there are only 7 boxes left to go through. I let it sit in quarantine for a week before listing any of it.
The last time I went to a thrift store was in mid-February. The last estate sale was mid-July. It is now almost mid-August. I almost went to an estate sale this weekend, but instead stayed in and worked on the backlog because I didn’t see enough of the items I’m interested in to risk going. I got up 20 listings from the backlog today and created drafts for another 10 items to get listed tomorrow.
I pretty much have plans to just list through the backlog until next spring, or through until summer 2021 if I have to.08/08/2020 at 3:52 pm in reply to: Scavenger Life Episode 474: How Do We Only Sell High Priced Items All The Time? #80468
Just catching up on the podcast for the week. I don’t know if anyone has answered your question about how to find out how many collectibles you have listed, but you can find that here:
You currently have 1,765 active items listed in collectibles, if that link doesn’t work.
Agreed. They should’ve just given it to everyone in all categories in order to encourage more items listed over the entirety of Ebay.
I really feel like in this case Ebay is giving the shaft to long-term sellers that sell in these categories. My “yearly” subscription for an anchor store was renewed in May or June. That is why I am looking at a $900 “fee” to go down to a premium store to take advantage of the overall lower subscription fee. If Ebay had stated their intention to do this a few months ago, I would’ve gone to monthly ($349.99 a month) for my anchor store for a few months while I waited for this to happen in August.
However, other sellers in books, dvds, collectibles, etc,. that list elsewhere (such as on Mercari, Amazon, etc,. this is obviously to draw sellers away from those sites) will look at this new fee structure on Ebay and think “wow, I can get a premium store for $59.99 a month and list 50,000 (essentially unlimited listings because very few sellers have 50,000 items in their stores) items! What a great deal, I should get on there!”
Yay, I did it! I removed all of my restricted listings off of Ebay and have signed up for managed payments.
I also took a look at my inventory count of items that are outside of the “free” listings categories – I currently have less than 200 books and pieces of ephemera that are listed outside of the newly created free categories. These items could be easily moved back to the books and collectible categories, making my paid for listing count practically 0. With nearly 14,000 items still listed on Ebay, a premium store would be ideal for me at this point with the new fee structure. I’m really hoping that Ebay will provide a few weeks for people to change their store subscription levels for free, because clearly a lot of other booksellers and collectible sellers are in the same boat.
For the past 2 days I’ve only had 3-5 orders per day on my main Ebay store. I haven’t listed anything new in my main Ebay store at all for the past 7 days or bothered to run a sale, so I’m to blame for the slowdown in sales.
Last week, however, was sort of nuts for sales in my main ebay store. I had 18 orders in 1 day alone last week, plus sales on the higher end of average each other day.
If you create a new account at this time, are you automatically put into managed payments or old paypal Ebay?
I just checked and the early termination fee for my anchor store will be $900! That is insane!
I’m going to move my managed payment restricted items off of Ebay anyway. Maybe Ebay in the meantime will think of extending a grace period for store sellers to move to managed payments and change store subscription levels without incurring such a hefty charge.
Also, as high as that fee is, I’m looking at savings of $400 a month on listing fees. The early termination fee would “pay” for itself in less than 3 months. Considering how much I can also expand with the new “free” listings, it is still worth moving to managed payments for my store model in order to overall save more money.
I think my main account got an invitation to join managed payments today. However, I continue to sell items in prohibited categories. I’m considering yanking all of these items off of Ebay and signing up for it. It sounds like at that point, I could go from an anchor store down to a premium store as the majority of my listings fall in the books, collectibles, music and movies sections.
My second ebay store is a store that also primarily lists in the music and collectible categories. I just reduced it down to a basic store a few months ago. I have signed up for managed payments for it, but have not officially joined it yet.
I’m excited at the thought of having store fees of less than $100 a month for nearly 15,000 items. I’m not excited at the thought of how much breaking the yearly anchor fee contract will be once my anchor store is able to sign up for it.07/13/2020 at 2:50 pm in reply to: Scavenger Life Episode 471: Building Equity, Our Free Scavenger Education #79551
Still busy here. 164 items shipped out last week Monday-Saturday (almost). 28 additional items going out today, more ready to go out tomorrow. I say (almost) for Saturday because the temps at the post office did not pick up my packages on Saturday. This has happened 3 times in the past 2 months. Unfortunately, the post office closes before the mail carrier comes, so I can’t run to the post office with the packages. Now I have to figure out if I want to just do Monday-Friday pick-ups with larger pick-ups on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays, or do Monday-Friday pick-ups and walk the packages going out on Saturday to the post-office.
I actually went to an estate sale this weekend! The last estate sale I went to was in January. The last time I sourced in a thrift store was mid-February. I can’t believe it has been 5 months since I’ve gone sourcing in person. I was going to wait until the fall to risk going out, but I sort of feel like we might be at the lowest level of cases we’re going to get here. Plus, they took temperature checks at the door, limited the amount of people in each room, let only a few people into the house at a time, and everyone wore masks. No air-conditioners on, just windows open. I actually felt safer being in an environment like that than I would in a cramped, air-conditioned thrift store.
The items we got are currently “in quarantine” for at least a week. If the covid numbers stay low and a future sale advertises the sort of stuff I like dealing with, I’d probably venture out again to another estate sale. I’d possibly also risk doing a pick-up from an online auction. If the numbers do show any significant increase, I’m back to being a complete shut-in.