Forum Replies Created
12/03/2018 at 9:53 am in reply to: The Need for Speed: Improving Efficiencies in Reselling #52571
Hi – I appreciate the discussion about tape dispensers. I use a tape gun and lately I’ve been getting something like “tape gun carpal tunnel” (my term) from my right elbow to my wrist/hand. It’s great to have lots of sales to ship but after a big packaging session my arm us almost useless. I’ve been doing some stretching exercises to mitigate but was wondering if anyone else has experienced this, and if so is the heavy duty tape dispenser the answer?
@Sharyn, thanks for the links! No, that’s not the jacket. Mine is a waist length blazer — probably too soon for it to show up.
Interesting, thanks. I’ve never looked at that site but will check it out.
Thanks to all for the info. And interesting that eBay resells this stuff — I’d love to peruse it if anyone finds the link.
Thanks, Jay. Just wasn’t sure if I should wait to see if the buyer actually wanted it but had moved since ordering, or some other kind of mixup in the delivery. But since they haven’t said anything at this point it seems reasonable to refund and move on. Seems strange to order and pay for a nice vintage bar set and then forget all about it!02/06/2018 at 10:39 am in reply to: Scavenger Life Episode 346: Frank Discussions. Gewgaws. Storage. #32275
Hi — Great podcast this week! A few random comments on some of the things you talked about:
– Loved learning the new (to me) word, Geegaws. I will add this to my vocab. Where I grew up, we also used “thingamajig”
– Fine china. I am starting to hate it too after buying some big lots and it’s often hard to ship. However, some things sell well so I’ll probably still buy but be more choosy. For eg., bought a set of CornishWare (blue stripes) and everything sold over a few months. Also regularly sell teacups and teapots but have learned to be very selective about the maker, color, etc. We go to a lot of estate sales so I know what people do with them — they all have display shelves or curio cabinets with their collections and are looking to fill in the gaps.
– Returns. I also accept returns automatically if buyers just don’t like something. However, the “item not as described” reason (which requires me to pay return shipping) can be very murky. Example: ‘this necklace does not lie flat on my neck’ — is the problem my description or her neck? Usually not worth arguing however and I just pay.
– Ebay’s new payment platform: My hope is that it leads to immediate payment as a regular thing (like almost everywhere else), and we no longer have to deal with unpaid item cases.
@inglewood – thanks for your advice and encouragement — it really helps! It will probably end up being one of several income sources for me too
T-Satt: thanks! We’re also bidding on online auctions and trying not to be afraid to invest a little more in inventory in order to sell more high priced items. I think we’re on the right track… hopefully it will all pay off eventually!
I started out thinking January would be a fantastic month and that we were finally on our way to consistent sales/income. But we periodically hit slow periods that make me question my whole business model. It’s an emotional roller coaster as we try to build this into a real business. The hardest part for me is when I get a week of consistent /multiple sales per day and then a day or 2 with next to nothing. I’m taking Jay and Ryanne’s good advice to use those slow times for listing but nonetheless it can be depressing and make it hard to stay motivated. The more we sell, the more energy I have to list. Makes me feel better that these ups and downs are normal for most people here though, and that it doesn’t necessarily mean I’m failing!
I’ve also had one of my best selling times in the weeks since Christmas — selling about double of what I had been before that. Not sure if it’s the time of year or the fact that I’m finally getting close to 1000 items in inventory. It just slowed down yesterday — hope that’s not a trend!
I did this recently and it worked fine. EBay suggested that I do several confusing things involving paypal and USPS, but I finally realized that I could just print another label and change the addresses. Good to know!11/20/2017 at 10:30 am in reply to: Scavenger Life Episode 335: Strategizing Out of Our Own Sweatshop #26042
Just listened to the podcast and can really relate to your thinking about spending more to sell fewer, more expensive items. My husband and I have been thinking along the same lines lately and spending more to acquire some original art and other valuables through online auctions. Also trying to discipline ourselves at estate sales: we won’t stay at a sale if it seems like we’ll only get a big pile of small items or if the organizers don’t seem to be discounting high-ticket items or working with resellers. A few more thoughts about listing less vs. more valuable:
– Only list less valuable items (ie, $10-25) that are fairly easy to ship (especially the $10 ones). Example: I recently bought a big container of vintage hat pins for $20 and can sell them in lots of 3-5 for $15-$20 each. Good example of what is worthwhile to sell for less as they are very easy to bundle and ship in an envelope. Compare this to a vintage oval framed print I just sold for $25: It wouldn’t fit into any ordinary size box so I spent almost an hour trying to find a box, wrap it so it wouldn’t bend, and make a custom box. Bad idea!
– Our sales strategy might change as we shift to more valuable items. I could be wrong on this, but I think that customer reviews and marketing might matter more to buyers who look for fine art or other high priced items on eBay. And you might get more repeat buyers. Personally, if I was going spend $1000-plus on a painting, I would care about and read the seller reviews and generally want to know more about them. Maybe buy a couple of smaller items first. To this end, I’m investing time in certain long-term efforts that don’t have an immediate payoff: ie, sending out a weekly customer newsletter (getting emails through Facebook ads).
– Appraisals. Looking into getting original art appraised. It makes me more confident in selling it and also helps me learn about the market. It’s nice to get higher selling prices but along with that is risk; I’m nervous about not sounding like I know what I’m talking about!
– Finally – interesting to hear about your knife sale. We just sold a vintage collectible knife that had Arabic lettering engraved on the blade, a carved lion head handle, and leather sheaf. Listed for $195; sold for $150. (purchased at a tag sale for $5).
It’s interesting because I’m doing the exact opposite! I had sold only on Etsy for a year and a half. I did ok but the volume just wasn’t there. I decided to try eBay and am now transferring over all my Etsy listings. I like some things about Etsy — the lack of haggling and (usually) nice customers. However, there are so many more potential customers on eBay. I decided to take Jay and Ryanne’s advice and just list a lot of stuff on Buy now/Make Offer. I’m only up to about 700 items but I’m already doing significantly better than on Etsy, despite the higher fees. Plus I find eBay’s platform much easier to use. That’s not to say that Etsy can’t work; I just decided to focus all my efforts in one place.
Etsy seems to be making improvements though so I’m interested to hear how others do going forward.11/07/2017 at 2:47 pm in reply to: Scavenger Life Episode 332: Share Your Extreme Scavenging Confession #25223
Thanks for the info Jay. you’re right they’re probably not selling on eBay. I guess it just seems odd how they get support from local governments when it’s a for-profit business like any other..11/07/2017 at 10:02 am in reply to: Scavenger Life Episode 332: Share Your Extreme Scavenging Confession #25214
It’s called “Bay State Textiles.” Info on the town website says the town gets a “$100 rebate” for each ton of textiles recycled. Here’s what they say happens to the stuff they collect – it’s kind of vague about the clothing, but sounds like they stand to make a good profit:
“Approximately 45 percent of the material will be packed for export and as used clothing. About 30 percent of the items including flannel, t-shirts, towels, denim and other adsorbent material will be cut into rags and resold to industrial companies for cleaning equipment. The remaining 20 percent will be turned into fiber material. This material will be shipped to fiber mills and ground down and made into new material for use in items such as carpet padding, insulation, and high tech building materials.”