Forum Replies Created
10/23/2018 at 10:30 pm in reply to: Scavenger Life Episode 382: Treasure Hunting with a Fishnet #50637
We hit both city and rural auctions, but I prefer rural currently as I’ve found less competition and lower prices overall. In Michigan we are lucky to have camping options throughout the state, but we have “camped” in the van at Walmart parking lots a few times. Definitely not my favorite, but it is an option. When we decided to go all in on ebay, purchasing a van was part of the plan. Plenty of room for what we buy and saving on hotel stays all in one.1+10/22/2018 at 4:31 pm in reply to: Scavenger Life Episode 382: Treasure Hunting with a Fishnet #50566
Total Items in Store: 1,665
Items Sold: 16
Cost of Items Sold: $30
Highest Price Sold: $65.00 (Air Purifier)
Average Price Sold: $29.10
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: about $15
Number of items listed this week: 0
Been a busy period and was away from the forum for a while, but I have been listening to the podcast every week:)
End of the fiscal year is crazy at the day job along with a two week vacation following that hiking and camping in West Virginia.
I had extended shipping time set and experienced no significant drop off or issues regarding sales.
Very low average sale price this week, but without listing for almost two weeks I won’t complain.
Definitely plan on getting back in the listing groove this week, which means getting out of the vacation mindset.
Regarding auctions, I tend to pick an auction based on what I think I can get out of it (sometimes it is box lots, other times it is for higher end collectables), but often I find the reality of what is being sold is not what I expected and I have to switch gears.
I try to be flexible enough to roll with what the auction has that is not being bid up to, and beyond, retail. If I focused only on high dollar items, I would leave multiple auctions empty handed. It could work in the future, but not feasible while working the day job as I need to make each auction as productive as possible.
Just a comment from a couple weeks ago, you were talking on the podcast about the extra expenses of traveling to auctions. We travel up to 300 miles, one way, for an auction. I have a full size van for the business and we camp or stay in the van when on the road. Along with planning and preparing our meals, the gas tends to be the largest expense. Not for everyone, but we enjoy it and I love the cost savings.1+
That’s excellent, I took a look at your rental properties listings a while back and you can see the care and time put into your properties. I enjoy hearing the updates on the progress and hope we get to see before and afters on the new building!0
9/3 – 9/9
Total Items in Store: 1222
Items Sold: 17
Cost of Items Sold: $290
Highest Price Sold: $625 (old sign)
Average Price Sold: $80.86
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $608 (an auction)
Number of items listed this week: 42
Overall not a terrible week for sales. The old sign sure was a pain to ship as the first time I packed it I went overboard and it was WAY too big. I would have had to ship it freight. So I did it all over again and got it back down to a manageable size.
I was dogging it on the listing front this week, but after a solid auction I have plenty to get listed this week. This weeks auction had a lot of smalls so I came home with hundreds of patches, hats, and manuals. All relatively low priced items but they should trickle in money for a while.
I like the term long term greedy haha! The ability to understand that, barring an unforeseen tragedy, you will one day be residing in the future is so important in our life outcomes.
I don’t know if you’ve mentioned it already Jay or Ryanne, but are you documenting the transformation of the new property? It would be awesome to see the process when complete.
Everyone in the storm path stay safe!1+09/05/2018 at 3:40 pm in reply to: Scavenger Life Episode 375: New Beginnings in Concrete #48407
Being frugal and maintaining a budget are great points when evaluating taking the leap to full-time selling. I have always been frugal and debt averse (other than those dang student loans). I only leverage when it makes sense interest rate and cash flow wise, never to subsidize an outsized standard of living. We stick to the budget. When I was younger I had no idea the power of budgeting and wish I did.
My girlfriend and I have our living expenses way down. Camping and travel are the only splurges (the collective age of our vehicles is almost 100 year). We are actively looking for a new house in a different state with a relative low cost of living similar to northern Michigan. But we will be doing a large down payment in order to maintain a low house payment.1+09/04/2018 at 4:23 pm in reply to: Scavenger Life Episode 375: New Beginnings in Concrete #48365
Very true Jay and T-Satt! For me leaving the job is not a question of if, just when. The parts of the job I love have been dwindling over time, not surprising just the reality. Being a bureaucrat was never a goal but it has rapidly become the persona I must put on 50 hours a week. Soul sucking!
And the struggle/insecurity is something I am looking forward to. Being more directly responsible for my successes and failures is a huge motivation. Comfort is not my motto. I could ramble on for far too long on the subject, but a drastic lifestyle change has been in the works for me for years and it is exciting seeing the results of that work.1+09/04/2018 at 12:03 pm in reply to: Scavenger Life Episode 375: New Beginnings in Concrete #48341
8/27 – 9/2
Total Items in Store: 1205
Items Sold: 11
Cost of Items Sold: $130
Highest Price Sold: $200 (license plate)
Average Price Sold: $68.75
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $30 (a few local yard sales)
Number of items listed this week: 142
Low number of sales buffeted by a high ASP again. I had to do unplanned maintenance on the van this weekend, so I was unable to hit an auction or go camping for the holiday. Got a bunch of household stuff and listing done but definitely wish I had more inventory to list. I will likely have every item listed without a “to be listed” item left after this week. I will be finding a good auction on the weekend and loading up!
I am one of the full-time day job people and it is a challenge. I manage a social work program for my State and it is a high workload position. I have eBay and another side business that I have grown over the last few years. Like other’s, I do this with the goal of retiring from the day job. I have loved the day job at times but it is far from how I want to spend the rest of my days.
I have a goal to retire and it includes having at least two income streams that replace my current job income and a specific cash and investment fund in place. I am on track for hitting those goals by the end of the year, but as the leap from a stable day job comes closer there are times I question if I am crazy for shooting to drop a job with that security. Existential crisis running strong!
Good to hear the podcast back and Ryanne feeling better!1+
Get some rest and get well soon Ryanne. (Unsolicited advice warning) If you take an antibiotic regiment, consider following up with a month of a good probiotic supplement.
8/20 – 8/26
Total Items in Store: 1101
Items Sold: 16
Cost of Items Sold: $120
Highest Price Sold: $200 (antique sign)
Average Price Sold: $63.06
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $50
Number of items listed this week: 100
Low number of sales but that was offset with a solid ASP. Been receiving a noticeable increase in offers over the last couple weeks, hope that will translate to more sales at some point in the near future.
I have been working on listing items that just seem to take forever to get listed. I have a couple extra days off from the day job so I intend to take advantage and get a solid amount listed this week before the holiday weekend.1+
8/13/18 – 8/19/18
Total Items in Store: 1,060
Items Sold: 21
Cost of Items Sold: $47
Total Sales: $900.22 (not including shipping)
Highest Price Sold: $151 (Trucker Hat)
Average Price Sold: $42.86
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $5.50
Number of items listed this week: 140
Numbers are right where I would expect based on my inventory, so no worries there.
Another week where I felt I needed to choose between listing and finding inventory and I switched it up and got to listing again.
I was able to get about half of the high dollar items listed that I purchased at last week’s auction. But I still have a significant “to be listed” pile so that cushioned the blow of missing out on the auctions this week.
I have been handed a lot of extra responsibilities at the day job, which is cramping my eBay style. I’m hoping for that to settle back down soon, but in the mean time, I will take it as a challenge and keep on hitting goals.
After a handful of months listening to the podcast (including most of the back episodes) I am impressed with J&R’s consistency. It is not an easy task to run multiple successful businesses for the length of time you both have. It speaks to the power of doing the right things over and over again, and what can be accomplished with intelligent, consistent work.008/13/2018 at 2:09 pm in reply to: Scavenger Life Episode 373: Should Running A Business Be Complicated? #47394
Great recommendation on Argosy!008/13/2018 at 2:06 pm in reply to: Scavenger Life Episode 373: Should Running A Business Be Complicated? #47392
That last point is spot on! There are days where I don’t mind an excited buyer who sends these type of messages but there are other days where I just don’t have enough time and it can feel like a chore. But as of now I will take that over the type of issues I hear from clothing and commodity sellers. I compare buyers of pricier collector items to be more like the people shopping at the upscale consignment shop you visited in NY where the commodity buyers sound too similar to the nightmare shoppers I see yelling at the Walmart customer service counter employees. Couldn’t make enough money to coax me into dealing with that on a daily basis.008/13/2018 at 11:45 am in reply to: Scavenger Life Episode 373: Should Running A Business Be Complicated? #47358
Absolutely, and bringing old bad habits in is a good insight. I am still tempted to overanalyze my eBay store but I just remind myself that I am not experienced enough to know it all, and that is alright.
One of the best lessons I have learned from you and Ryanne is the importance of just getting to work on listing. The best ways to learn, in my opinion, is through experience and mentors (but a mentor is just learning from their experience so maybe there is only one way)
I got a lot of original classic car parts (hundreds though I haven’t even begun to count them all), the type of stuff collectors and people restoring a car will want. This is an area I had only a little prior knowledge on but took the time to learn as there is so much of it in Michigan. I also found numerous advertising pieces. Lot’s of large items so I am looking at shipping options before listing those.
I am finding I really enjoy selling to collector’s. They appreciate the pieces, are willing to pay more, and I have never had an issue from a higher dollar collector trying to nickel and dime me.008/13/2018 at 11:04 am in reply to: Scavenger Life Episode 373: Should Running A Business Be Complicated? #47346
8/6/18 – 8/12/18
Total Items in Store: 962
Items Sold: 16
Cost of Items Sold: $41
Total Sales: $608.17 (not including shipping)
Highest Price Sold: $85 (Typewriter)
Average Price Sold: $38.01
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $2,000+
Number of items listed this week: 77
Soft sales and all lower dollar sales this week. Had limited time this week so I decided to focus on building inventory as I am very low on items to list. Hit a great auction along with some good old fashion picking and acquired a lot of great high dollar items. These will be much more fun to list and sell so I am looking forward to getting back on track with listing this week.
Absolutely agree with you on not making things unnecessarily complicated. I have started multiple small businesses, both profitable and not, and early on I was so enamored with research, tracking statistics, and shiny object syndrome that I spent way too much time on tasks that did little toward moving me to the ultimate goal of making more income.
I believe it is absolutely imperative when starting any new venture to keep it simple. Do the basics until you know them inside out and are making progress. Only then do you know where to try new tactics or tools to make you more efficient.
When it comes to selling on eBay, it is all about finding good items at a good price, listing them, and shipping them. Making it more complicated than that when you are still learning the basics is a form of procrastination at best, and a recipe for failure at worst.
Hope New York is treating you well, one of my favorite places to visit!1+
Mostly auctions but I do hit yard sales and flea markets, time permitting. Last week two of my highest priced sales were a yard sale and a flea market find.0
I appreciate that! That is an interesting theory on STR. I would be interested in seeing a data set on this, I have a tendency to get in the weeds and succumb to data paralysis (If I don’t watch myself I will spend more time analyzing and researching than getting work done that moves the needle) but I am allowing myself to track core numbers, and STR is one of them. I would have to pull up my spreadsheet but for the summer I’ve ranged in 12-20%/month range. Hard to extrapolate much being so new to the business but I haven’t been surprised by the numbers at least.0