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I used to consider my average time 10 minutes. I’ve improved my efficiency and outsourced some work which I’ll detail here.
I’ve outsourced cleaning and photograph to my kids – 50 cents each task so no time there. About 80% of my shoes require no cleaning at all. Of the ones that do require cleaning, about 60% just require a real quick wipe down. The rest need scrubbed and/or dirt/rocks picked out of the heels. Outsourcing this to kids was a huge time saver. When I did do photography I had that down to 2 minutes or less a pair. The part that drove me nuts was the time spent uploading the photos into ebay. Again, huge time saver.
Listing is 2 minutes average. Templates, sell similar and ebay auto filling item specifics from the title speeds this way up. The only times I’ll slow down is if I have an extra special pair that I want to do a deeper dive on price research but that is a rare exception.
Picking/shipping is less than 2 minutes a pair. The more I have to ship in one session the farther down I can drive that pick/ship time. Shoes are incredibly straight forward to ship. Padded flat rate, regular tyvek, or extra large envelope. The rare exception bigger boots or expensive shoes. These get a priority shoe box or 2 other common sizes I have ready to go. The box doesn’t take much longer than an envelope.
I spend 5-10 minutes max going through shoes at thrift stores no matter how many pair I buy, so time invested per pair greatly varies. The only time I slow down is if I find a pair of shoes I’m not familiar with, and that doesn’t happen often. Sometimes I buy 15 pair, sometimes 2 pair. It only ever takes me a few minutes since I have it down to an art. The drive time would get dispersed amongst all the items I source, not just shoes yeah if I just sources shoes that would drive up my average way up for sure. I also tie thrift runs into my normal commute and errands so drive time is negligible. I rarely make a planned trip to only go to thrift stores, and the stores I do regularly visit are located next door to places I am going anyways. Taking all that into consideration I feel that a minute a pair to source is fair.
I am a spread sheet engineer nerd, so I have ran time studies on my work to determine my average times. I’m obsessed with getting as efficient as I can. I even got my daughter to do a time study on her photography so she could calculate her hourly rate (thus show her she makes more per hour if she improves her skills). She is at 3 minutes per pair ($10/hr) now as long as she stays focused.
You don’t run a store my size with a full time day job and 5 kids in the little spare time I have without figuring out how to be as efficient as possible.
I loved hearing your talk about coffee sales, profit, etc.
Ever since I’ve been at this ebay business I’ve viewed small businesses in my area differently. I walk into a small local business and it dawns on me they may only have 10-20 customers a day, and each customer pays $10-15 max. Sure they may have busier days but I don’t see any real path to significant profit after expenses. I honestly don’t even see how some of them afford to pay their employees.
I’m all the time working out various businesses business model in my head to see just how much money the likely make and/or could make.
As for me and any future business plans, I am ruined by what I call the “shoe” rule. Shoes are my bread n butter. I know my average profit is $25. I know my average total time invested in each pair is 5 minutes. So my theoretical hourly wage for shoes is a WHOPPING $300/hour!
I understand it is not exactly apples to apples as the shoes work is a pipeline that can take months or years to pay off. Honestly it’s more of a series of micro investments than a commodity sales business.
So enough babbling and time for my question:
How many customers a day do you truly expect to have at your coffee shop and what is your estimated profit per transaction?
I know it is outside the scope of Scavenging, but I’d LOVE to hear you discuss the numbers of the coffee business more on the podcast.
Items in Store 1468
Items Sold 23
Total Sales $1,305.00
Total Profit $1,240.00
Average profit $53.91
Average sales price $56.74
New Listings 1
Spent alot of time playing a new switch game with the family this weekend (Killer Queen – awesome), so not much listing. I did get a bunch of cleaning and organizing done that ABSOLUTELY needed to be done. I also did all the research on my Boyds Bears lot I got 2 weeks ago. They are ready to list this week. Nothing extremely valuable, but a few $50+ items. Some of them are pretty long tail it seems. Total list value should be around $700.
Volume was way down this week but my ASP was way up thanks to some high dollar items. The iRobot Looj sold at full price for $350. Score!! Sales like that are why it is soooo hard to stop scavenging. I would have missed that sale if I stuck with no-scavenging September. I scrolled through my sales for the month and counted over $1000 in sales from things I bought and immediately listed in September.
In other news, I finally finished all of the We’re Alive podcasts. Now I can get back to catching up on Scavenger Life. The last one, “We’re Alive: Goldrush” was freaking outstanding. I swear I had a smile on my face the whole time through 10 episodes. An odd thing to say about a zombie holocaust drama, but it was a different and completely unexpected style story.
Yes you just print the label – easy peasy. You can save a ton on 1st class international on pirateship. In some cases it is about half price with the simple export rate.
I personally use it for 1st class labels (to get more CC points)
and for west coast shipping of large envelopes (mainly shoes) to take advantage of cubic rate shipping.
As a shipping nerd, you really should set up Pirate ship and use it. It takes a few extra clicks when shipping compared to ebay labels, but every time you do it you are saving a couple bucks. It’s worth it.
We always a hard NO on consignment. We arent even nice about it. No way no how!
This times 100. I’m always happy to give free advice and answer questions for people who want to list their stuff themselves. I will never ever do consignment for friends/family. Too much can go wrong that can ruin relationships.
Sellers have been begging for this for years. I’ve always opened up the classic site in safari on my phone in order to see my SKU’s when picking items to ship.
Just another example that we have the RIGHT people in charge at ebay now. Little things like this mean ALOT towards seller satisfaction with the marketplace.
Items in Store 1490
Items Sold 34
Total Sales $1,243.00
Total Profit $1,089.00
Average profit $32.03
Average sales price $36.56
New Listings 59
Ah well I don’t think I’m going to get to 1600 listings by Oct 1st. More important than that, since I started my big listing push my Weekly items sold has increased over 50% and my total weekly total sales $ has pretty much doubled. I’ll take it! I’ve been focusing on listing the bigger items that take up room and that I’ve avoided a while. They take longer to list, but it needs to be done.
This weekend I did something I don’t think I’ve ever done which I am proud of. I ended up buying a good amount of things at the yard sales Saturday and I committed to listing all of it and I did it. 47 listings for $1421 BIN price for all of it. Kinda shocking when you see how much the value is compared to how much I paid (just under $100).
I now keep a bag of biodegradable peanuts on hand for the days I just don’t want to try when shipping a big awkward thing. Soooo much easier to just dump in the bag and go. It pays for itself in time easily.
Purchased supplies definitely have a place as you scale up, but I still prefer to get freebies whenever I can.
Ah, the olden days when you had to PURCHASE your internet browser software.
I learned to write HTML and Java on Netscape navigator Gold 4.0
I may still have that book somewhere.
He totally got caught switching up. Glad this worked out positively for you.
Scammers will always go out of their way to make you happy so you go away as quickly as possible so you don’t upset their apple cart.
Oh yeah, I’m definitely in that groundhog day funk most days!
My day job has been really weird for months. So many folks are just going through the motions.
Stress manifests differently in everyone, and we all have a BUNCH of it in our lives right now. The best you can do is try to be aware of how it is affecting you and take steps to counteract it.
Items in Store 1465
Items Sold 34
Total Sales $1,126.00
Total Profit $1,005.00
Average profit $29.56
Average sales price $33.12
New Listings 77
Interesting scavenge of the week – an iRobot Looj. It is a Robot gutter cleaner. I paid $25 for it, but I have it listed high for $350.
I also found a HUGE box full of Boyds Bears figurines at the local Goodwill for $25. There were multiple people in the store that were audibly ticked off that I got it instead of them. I did some preliminary research, but I’ll need to take a deep dive to see if any individual ones are valuable. Worst case it’s an easy $200 full lot flip. Best case I could eat on this one for a long time listing individually and turn it into big profits.
I had a big week listing this weekend. Hopefully this week I can crack 100 new listings. I’ll have to push HARD if I want to meet my goal of 1600 active by beginning of October.09/18/2020 at 10:42 pm in reply to: Scavenger Life Episode 479: We Love Small Town America #81700
So this one was recommended to me a while back, but I put it off because the scope of it was a bit intimidating. Once I started though – OH MY GOODNESS!!! I can’t stop listening!
I did something I didn’t think was possible this week – I did NOT listen to the new scavenger life podcast because I couldn’t stop listening to We’re Alive. Don’t worry I’ll get caught up once I catch my breath at the end. 😉
I’ve even been able to listen while working. As long as the work is mindless it hasn’t been a problem. I’m currently in season 4.
1500 for $31. Works great in my Zebra09/15/2020 at 3:18 pm in reply to: Scavenger Life Episode 479: We Love Small Town America #81585
Don’t you want to hunt down that old message and reply with an “In yo’ face!” response?
Oh how I’ve wanted to do that so many times over the years.