Forum Replies Created
02/02/2020 at 11:13 pm in reply to: Scavenger Life Episode 448: Revisiting Numbers with TSatt aka Troy Episode 377 #73595
Kind of a slow week.
1/27 – 2/2
Total Items In Store: 788
Items Sold: 9
Total Gross Sales: $ 543.22
Highest Price Sold: $ 202.55 (Architecture Book)
Average Price Sold: $ 60.36
Number of items listed: 23
Total Items In Store: 1879
Items Sold: 59
Total Gross Sales: $ 1059.78
Highest Price Sold: $ 103.40 (Engineering Handbook)
Average Price Sold: $ 17.96
Number of items listed: 79
Antique Mall Storefront Only
Total Items In Store: 582
Items Sold: 7
Total Gross Sales: $ 62.00
Highest Price Sold: $ 15 (Local History book)
Average Price Sold: $ 8.86
Number of items listed: 25
Total money spent on new inventory (Across 3 platforms): $101.50
Goal for the year is to boost eBay up to 2000 books001/26/2020 at 2:18 pm in reply to: Scavenger Life Episode 446: Interview with Dan The Diner, Fellow Scavenger! #73301
A slow week for book sales on eBay, trying to ramp up average inventory levels to 2000 books and book lots this year, as this is my market for higher-priced long tails and I follow the list-and-forget system as well. Amazon was okay but I sold about a third of my inventory in January and the January sales spike is slowing down. The antique mall booth remains a slow-moving site to sell duds that aren’t profitable on my other two platforms. I don’t earn a lot, but I don’t lose money either.
1/20 – 1/26
Total Items In Store: 774
Items Sold: 16
Total Gross Sales: $ 480.95
Highest Price Sold: $ 75 (Category Book Lot)
Average Price Sold: $ 30.06
Number of items listed: 31
Total Items In Store: 1952 (The January sales spike depleted my inventory a lot)
Items Sold: 108
Total Gross Sales: $ 2170.53
Highest Price Sold: $ 123.30 (Hospitality Management Textbook)
Average Price Sold: $ 20.10
Number of items listed: 0
Antique Mall Storefront Only
Total Items In Store: 589
Items Sold: 12
Total Gross Sales: $ 100.35
Highest Price Sold: $ 17 (History of Fashion book)
Average Price Sold: $ 8.36
Number of items listed: 15
Total money spent on new inventory (Across 3 platforms): $122.50 – ramping up inventory again.
Good podcast, always enjoy those interviews with other sellers.001/20/2020 at 4:20 pm in reply to: Scavenger Life Episode 445: We Went To An Auction! #73115
There is a fairly simple way to determine the amount of sales tax paid by eBay, without having to go into the PayPal spreadsheet, which I found while working feverishly on taxes this weekend:
PayPal > Summmary > Reports > Statements > Custom Statements.
Select the date range, and after it downloads, you get a PDF document which breaks down the PayPal fees by category, and “Tax Collected by Partner” is broken out under “Payments Received” in the summary at the beginning.
Good podcast and discussion on auctions. A lot of the auctions around here (Arizona) are going for a hybrid in-person / online auction. I prefer in-person only (it reduced the numner of bidders to those willing to get up and drive to the auction), but the advantage in the hybrid auctions is that the auctioneer will always favor the in-person bidder – he will always make sure you get one last bid if you have already bid before, whereas if you are bidding online it is sometimes easy to miss the last call.
That might be a good topic for a future podcast – tips and tricks for bidding at auctions.0
Thanks, I will try that next time.0
Good article from Wired Magazine from 2015 on a dumpster-diving techno-picker: https://www.wired.com/2015/02/high-end-dumpster-diving-matt-malone/0
I find the worst part of selling on Amazon to be the inability to communicate with anyone with the power to make a decision on a potentially business-ending action – they are increasingly using bots and AI to answer appeals to discourage them. And the risk of selling a book that a textbook publisher’s attorney flags as “counterfeit”. Sellers have little recourse in an appeal. For all its faults, eBay is like dealing with your mom and dad by comparison.0
@scott2, yeah, Amazon sales have been good to me. Their draconian attitudes to 3P sellers makes it a very precarious market, though, which is why I expanded back to eBay as well, which I found I like a lot.0
I haven’t seen any of the “Make Meth-Level Profits by Selling Old Crap on eBay” paid courses, but I have seen many of the eBay videos that urge people to make a fortune on eBay. I see lots of suggestions about scaling and out-sourcing and virtual assistants, all of which are probably good ideas for many sellers, yet I never hear eBay gurus talk much about research.
I do very well, IMHO, selling books because I know the market very well. I can pick out the valuable items on a shelf very quickly before using a scanner to verify. But I’m pretty useless when it comes to finding the really valuable pieces in jewelry, or china, or LPs, or marbles, or model trains, or hundreds of other categories. Sellers with a much broader range of inventory, like our hosts, have a much better range of knowledgeable about specific niches from working with a lot of categories.
If it seems like the collectible market is no longer profitable for me in the category I specialize in, I would pick a couple more and start really heavily researching it – reading reference works, haunting bulletin boards devoted to the subject, and obsessively reading the “solds” on eBay each night. I’m doing this now with fine cooking/chef’s knives, which I’m starting to find in estate sales. I should probably pick out a few more niches.
My guess is that if the market is shifting and becoming more and more competitive on collectible and rare items, becoming a specialist in more categories (while still maintaining a jack-of-all-trades mindset on anything that will sell) may be the best way to surf the waves of a changing marketplace.
Generalists or Specialists – who do you all think will do best in the future? I’d be interested to hear.0
I had an interesting conversation with the owner of a comic book store about the boom and bust cycle that affects widely collected items, whether those are comic books, Playboy magazines, sports cards, or beanie babies.
He said in the collectible comics industry, you had all these guys who amassed large comic book collections over the course of decades, often with the idea that they would cash in and sell them at some point and make a fortune.
The problem, however, is that there are a lot of other people with the same idea. There is a point when people who have developed these large collections, and hauled them from move to move, decide they have little interest in the subject anymore, usually as middle age hits. This is also a time when we naturally start to think about divesting ourselves of material goods in favor of financial reserves. Often, they may offer the collection to their child or family member, only to find their kids have no interest in dad’s hobby. So they decide now is the time to cash in and make a killing and use the funds to buy something they really want. Or they may have a sudden need for big cash, due to a divorce, bad investments, medical crisis, or a child’s college bill.
The problem arises because a lot of other collectors in their age cohort had the same collections and the same idea, and the market gets flooded, which drives prices down as supply increases. This has happened in the last decade in the comic book market, with books that were once expected to rise in value dropping precipitously, as collectors find their carefully curated collections are not worth anywhere near what they thought they were.
eBay and Amazon makes just about everything available as well and makes anyone who wants to sell a copy a dealer, which also increases supply and further drives down prices.
Some comics will still maintain value if rare, and from the era before when the publishers created a gazillion different variants designed to appeal to “collectors”; comic books that were published when they were cheap, fun, and disposable “kid’s stuff” will still be collectible; but every year there are fewer of those to be found in a footlocker in someone’s attic.
As discussed on the podcast, the general value of collectibles will fall due to the number of people selling on eBay, and probably due to an aging population selling off their collectibles, I would guess.0
Books for me, August is the huge sales spike, with January a close second.
If you go to your eBay selling page, and click on Research > Sourcing Guidance, it will take you to links for different inventory categories. You can click on each, and it will show you charts on how well each sells by month, based on 5 years of accumulated seller data. It can be helpful if you specialize in a particular category and it has doldrum periods – you can do some planning and find inventory that is likely to sell better during slack periods.1+
Hey Jay – Amazon changed its Long Term Storage fee (LTSF) structure last year, they no longer assess fees at the 6 month mark, but at the 1 year mark, when they start charging an (average) of 25¢ per book per month on the 15th of each month. I review all my books approaching that point just before the 15th and make an assessment – if its competing prices are still high and I just think it needs a little more time to find a buyer, I pay the small fee to have it returned (50¢) and list it on eBay. If it circling the drain and there are a lot of other lowball competing offers and I don’t think it’s worth keeping, I pay 15¢ to have it disposed. In practice, most of my long-tails are on eBay and I only list shorter-tailed books on Amazon, so I don’t have many books hit the 1 year point – I think last month it was about 30. There is a small monthly storage fee assessed as well on all items but it’s not much.0