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I haven’t put together my numbers yet for September, but just wanted to let everyone know that today is the day! These are my last hours at work and I received a VERY generous package for sticking it out! Just cleaning up my personal stuff, loading up my car, and in a few hours I’ll never turn back!
We have been able to get our inventory/”warehouse” setup in our new place – but I’ve been scavenging so much as of late it probably is ready for expansion – we have about 1000 items in a death pile I can now focus on listing. We still don’t have our packaging/photo room setup yet (we’ve been packing on the kitchen table, and there are a few empty rooms to quickly setup a photo studio).
I’m having so many positive emotions – feeling great that we have reached our goal that has been about a 2 year process. Looking forward to living our new life. And with the package I received, I feel like I won the lottery.
We’re also excited to be “real” with the community here – we’ve kept our identities a bit of a secret just in case it affected work, but we no longer have that worry. We’re excited to share photos and videos when we are settled.
Now we have a lot of hard work ahead of us – but it’s worth putting in the hard work when it is all for yourself.
Just listening to the podcast, and one call mentioned they would like to ship just within their state (California).
I’m not sure if ebay.com has the same options, but ebay.ca breaks down Canada into zones for shipping, in what they call “Shipping Tables”:
Therefore, it allows me to offer “free shipping” to those who live near me (zones 9 and 7). I use this on many items as I know the fixed cost will be about $8-$10. For those outside the area where shipping is under $10, I continue to use calculated shipping so I don’t get burned with a rural address across the country that may cost $40 to ship the same item.
You can also make shipping “prohibitive” if you want to ship only locally – for example, I don’t want to risk sending a large breakable item too far, I’ll just make the shipping outside my area ridiculously expensive to scare away far-away buyers.
eBay.com may have something similar – as ebay.ca is always a year or two behind.09/09/2019 at 4:31 pm in reply to: Other ways of scavenging that you're impressed and refreshed by!!! #67621
There seems to be dozens of scrap metal guys wherever I go that seem to drive nice trucks when they pick-up junk on the roadside.
I also saw a documentary years ago about bottle collectors in the Vancouver area making a few hundred bucks a day picking up cans and bottles. Somehow they would find up to 5000 containers a day, which I find insane.09/09/2019 at 4:28 pm in reply to: Winchester38's Journal – A Journey To Full-time Reselling #67620
Hope you didn’t get affected by Dorian too much where you are – it looks like NS got most of it. It was a good reminder about getting back-up systems and stockpiling some food for us.
Curious how your Poshmark Canada sales go – there is not much chatter from Canadian selling on Poshmark yet and I’m interested in how they handle things vs. the U.S., especially if they have the same lucrative shipping in Canada.
The latest end date for my job will be sometime around March/April 2020.
I’m both milking my job, and also waiting for 2 payouts – the first is about 8 months pay for losing my job, and then I qualify for 48 weeks of unemployment payments from the government. Also, when you are laid off from your employer where I live, there is also various resources and funding to start, or improve your own business. I can’t explore those options until I qualify, but there may be some interest free loans, free grants, etc. coming my way as well.
I would love to just move on, but financially it’s like giving up a winning lottery ticket.
It’s about 30 weeks to go – 2 which I get off around Xmas/New Years, then in January I get 4 weeks vacation for 2020 that I’ll use up immediately. Therefore, it’s manageable to get through, just not the ideal use of my personal time.09/03/2019 at 3:04 pm in reply to: Scavenger Life Episode 426: Our Financial Lives Are Tied To The Mysterious Whims Of A Website #67331
I think that you hit the nail on the head – building the pipelines and inventory while employed full-time is a long-haul task, however, once that is established then taking on work and maintaining the pipeline is a much easier task.
As I’ve been studying the numbers of full timers on this website, it has brought me to the conclusion that once you build it, the sales will come – it’s just a matter of maintenance at that point. If you sell 120 items a week, and list the same, you will generally maintain your seasonal sales levels. If you list more than you sell, you will grow.
The big challenge is when you reach your weekly peak – where with every minute of your time your sales and listing numbers equilibrate – then something new has to be done to generate growth.
I’m curious what my “maintenance point” will be when it comes to my time spent on eBay, and when I want new challenges.
We had a very crazy month with housing. Just to remind you of our situation, we have a house we aren’t fully living in yet that is about 3-4 hours away from where I am working a job I’m about to lose. Where I still work, we were renting a small apartment during that we stayed at during the work week until my job ends.
In July we were kicking around the idea of selling the house we just moved into due to a hot market – we debated it endlessly and in the end we decided not to list and continue the renovations/planning we originally wanted to do. Then, on August 16th, the temporary rental unit we are in during the week had a massive sewage backup on the main floor (we are on the second). The health unit forced us to evacuate and we had to pack-up the belongings we had in the unit (all our eBay inventory, and some personal items we use during the week). It took all weekend as there was a bunch of protocol, and everyone in the building was moving all at once. The people on the first floor near the back-up had everything destroyed. The only real things of value we had were our eBay inventory and some electronics, and we were not affected at all by the back-up. We’re lucky to have a place to go – but others this was there only home so it was a real bad situation – and they didn’t have anywhere to go or even the money to rent a truck to move there stuff. In the end we just re-located our stuff to our new house. That left me with finding a place to stay during the work week – I’m currently just bouncing from hotel/AirBNB – whoever has a good rate for the few days during the week I need a local bed.
The August numbers…
I don’t have firm numbers yet because of the couple wasted weeks we had this month, but it appears we had a decent profit of just under $600. We didn’t spend much time sourcing, but had some bins of goodies given to us by relatives to list. We also managed to photograph our deathpile, and get about 100 items listed. Still working through the final numbers, but before the back-up it was a good month.
Lessons learned this month…
We’re thankful to be able to move on from a small disaster that destroyed other’s lives. It would have been horrible to lose our inventory to a sewage back-up. It was probably good for us to have to pause a moment and feel good about what we do have instead of worrying about what we don’t have yet.
We also learned how to use the mass listing update tools on eBay.com and eBay.ca (which of course were not the same). As our ship from location is now our new place, we changed all our location information and addresses to calculate based on the new location.
Next steps for September…
Renovations…unfortunately, we did not have our eBay area setup yet in our new home, yet our inventory is now there. Shipping/packing isn’t the easiest on the kitchen table, but we are making it work. We have our rooms in the basement of our new house laid out, and they have been drywalled as of this weekend. Still need to be taped/finished, and flooring put in. We have setup two rooms for eBay – we were originally going to have one huge room, but decided for resale value (if we ever sell) to setup two large “bedrooms” – one for our “warehouse” of inventory, and the other room for packing/shipping/photography/listing. We are trying to source some cheap countertops, cabinets, and lighting for the non-inventory room to make life easy when it comes to the packing/shipping/photo/listing tasks. As we are doing the renovations ourselves, the first few weekends will be gone working on the house – again, more time taken away from listing this month. However, we are excited to have a dedicated workspace that is setup from our 20+ years of experience being part-time sellers.
Where our heads are at…
The one thing that really sucks is not having a steady place to sleep and my wife away at our new place during the work week – heading down at the beginning of the work week to temporary places for the week then back home on the weekend isn’t fun, and probably won’t get better when the winter weather comes. Oh well, I can be done my job in days and at the worst next spring – just need to hang in these next few months and keep telling myself the pay-out is worth sticking around for. It’s just really hard at night to sit in a hotel room alone and trying to figure out meals – but I may start sourcing in odd places to pass the time during the week if I start to go crazy.
Also, since I have NOTHING to do at work at the moment, getting things photographed at home then bringing them with me will allow me to list – I did this last month and it helps the day go by. Just wish I could setup a photo booth at work…however, once we get the renovations done my wife will be photographing my stuff for me to give me something to do during the week when I can’t be at home.
It’s been a wild ride, but hopefully we have a less eventful September – sales seem to have picked up the last week for sure!
I’ve heard the comment “if you fail at something, teach it!” before…seems to be the case for a lot of these “gurus”.
I know if I was making a fortune doing something, and had lots of tricks and secrets I built up over the years, I’m not sharing them with anyone for a few hundred dollars. Especially something like selling on eBay that has very few barriers to entry and potential for infinite competition.
I hate the “get rich quick” motto a lot of these gurus spew…making money on eBay is hard work. It takes a lot of skill, knowledge, patience, and willing to roll with the ups and downs of the business. I’m sure that less than 0.1% of eBay sellers have been successful over a long period of time. And of those successful sellers, most are making a living – not making a fortune.
Anytime I see a testimonial, it just turns me off…
Good companies/products don’t need to force feed you testimonials – they will have a reputation that will speak for itself.
I enjoyed the above story – there are people who make money offering fake testimonials, hence in my opinion a scammer scamming another scammer…
I buy Beanie Babies all the time at thrift stores…especially if they are 25 cents and new in the package.
My wife and I take them home, cut open the stitching on the back, drain out the plastic pellets in them, and stuff them with catnip. Our cats love them (well, sort of like Lenny from Of Mice and Men) and once they are destroyed, we just replace them again.
I checked out there “top ten flips” from the last year. Half looks like the good finds that people on SL talk about in the forum, where the other half they don’t seem to mention they refurbish a lot of the items, and the cost to ship them (such as the Harley signs) has to be crazy for the amount of materials and labor required to pack them.
Most of the success stories are just the best finds from the average eBay seller…
I’m always curious if the people who offer courses are actually making money on them, or just giving the illusion of “riches”…
However, they do show that you can sell some crazy huge stuff on eBay – I personally don’t want to start making wooden shipping crates and organizing transport, but for those willing to there is money in it! Hope they don’t get a INAD on the sign or a return…that would drain years off my life.08/29/2019 at 10:23 am in reply to: Winchester38's Journal – A Journey To Full-time Reselling #67080
Pulling huge bank drafts, or cheques always freaks me out – even getting them after selling freaks me out as I don’t feel good carrying them between lawyers/banks in case something happens.
Looking forward to seeing your dedicated space! We’re still debating how to finish ours and would love to see how you organize things. Our challenge is do we create a separate listing/packing room and a warehouse room, or just one big open space. My wife is also more into Etsy style photographs with backgrounds/backdrops/staging for her items so we’re trying to figure out the best way to accommodate “props”. We hope to steal some ideas from you.08/29/2019 at 10:13 am in reply to: Where do the hot Q4 toys start actually getting discussed? #67078
I’ve hit gold a few times with just promotional items that come out around Christmas. If you see anything at your local stores that is a special pack or has a nice gift add-on, look it up and see if it selling on eBay, or buy one and test out the market yourself. And if you find gold, be quiet about it until the gold rush is over!
One of the best items that was a “gold rush” for me was a few years ago. Kraft is a huge Peanut Butter brand in Canada, and for the holidays they had a special pack that had a Gund Plush Bear (their logo/mascot is a pair of bears on the package). I would buy up every one I could find (they were $10-$14 each) and I was selling them almost instantly for $50. I was loading up carts, and shipping out a few a day for the few weeks I could find them. I had family/friends all over the place text me when they found them on shelves and I would buy out the entire store. Eventually inventory ran out…they are still going for good prices out of the package:
There are very few people who make a fortune for doing very little…my favorite is the St. Louis NBA franchise that doesn’t even play but gets there cut of the NBA TV revenue for 45 years and counting…08/28/2019 at 10:43 am in reply to: Am I the only one who still takes an enormous amount of time to edit photos? #66966