Forum Replies Created
Great news, Retro! We’re still praying for you.09/10/2021 at 11:42 am in reply to: Dazor lamp, Vacuum tubes, Tail light, Stereo, Attache case, Hamms beer tray #93054
Hmm let me try that grip photo again:09/10/2021 at 11:40 am in reply to: Dazor lamp, Vacuum tubes, Tail light, Stereo, Attache case, Hamms beer tray #93053
Great sales on those vacuum tubes, Steven. I picked up a big box of them at the flea market a while back for $1 with the idea of delving into testing them but learned that the proper equipment to do so is expensive and even with the right equipment they are not easy to test conclusively as good. The ones I bought were not in the original boxes so it’s not unlikely they are bad. @Sharyn I’ve had the same problem so I now draft my post off site and then copy and paste.
This consignment challenge coin is from the NATO Implementation Force for Operation Joint Endeavor in Bosnia etc in the mid-1990s. Not very glamorous but there is interest in the coins. It was a short, relatively small, highly successful NATO mission in which the US played a major part. Though not the best condition this coin sold for $130 plus shipping.
An obscure corner of the postcard collecting hobby is inhabited by art cards of the early 1900s that were mass produced with a faux brush stroke finish. Generic landscapes are usually one of the least desirable types of cards in general, but the Oilfacsim and Oilette series by Raphael Tuck are an exception. (My theory is that they were featured in a YouTube video at some point.) This is one of 4 a buyer bought together, each selling for $8.89 plus combined shipping.
This is a card with photograph from President George H.W. Bush’s Presidential Funeral in Washington DC, a family item. It sold for $18 plus shipping.
This is a pewter license plate featuring the official coat of arms of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Another family item, it sold for $40 shipping included.
This is a one-piece wood pistol grip from a cheap vintage Italian-made reproduction antique black powder revolver, a copy of the US Colt Model 1851 Navy. Inexpensive Italian and Spanish made reproductions of US antique revolvers and rifles of varying quality have been available since the 1950s but there has only been a relatively recent explosion of interest in them with a commensurate rise in prices, probably because even with the proliferation of gun control laws they’re easier to purchase than regular firearms and still can be shipped direct to the consumer (in most areas). EBay allows the sale of parts for antique firearms (other than the frame or receiver) with certain restrictions. This grip sold for $50 despite it being from one of the cheaper, less desirable brands (ASM – Armi San Marco) and having condition issues.
8/01/21 – 8/31/21
Total Active Items (2 different stores): 355
Items Sold: 36
Gross Sales: $910.31 (not incl shipping or taxes)
Highest Price Sold: $77 plus shipping – US Navy ship plaque.
COGS: $214.49 (including consignment commissions but not including original cost of any family castoffs sold)
New Listings: 67
$ Spent on New Inventory: $12
I’m providing August totals because I think I missed a week or two in there. The month seemed exceptionally slow but my gross ended up not too far off my typical annual average of $250 a week. I have upped my listing game and I do need to keep it up.
As for “The End”, I can’t really improve on the many kind words said in replies to your last episode other than to echo the recurring message that your podcasts have had a consistent positive effect on me like they have had on so many others, and in many ways, large and small. Thank you. And thanks for continuing to provide your unique forum of crowd-sourced content. Speaking of that, I rang your tip jar today to become a patron, and I encourage others who find value here to do the same if they have not already. Also, without the podcast to spread the word on YouTube, how do you think we can get eBay sellers who haven’t found you yet to visit and join the conversation?08/24/2021 at 9:25 am in reply to: Scavenger Life Episode 526: Are You Happy? Do You Feel Trapped? #90447
8/15/21 – 8/21/21
Total Active Items (2 different stores): 344
Items Sold: 13
Gross Sales: $359.16 (not incl shipping or taxes)
Highest Price Sold: $66 plus shipping – bronze and wood presentation wall plaque from the USS VELLA GULF, a US Navy cruiser.
COGS: $82.05 (including consignment commissions but not including original cost of any family castoffs sold)
New Listings: 27
$ Spent on New Inventory: $108/20/2021 at 10:23 pm in reply to: eBay Store configuration for International Shipping #90425
Oh, I see what you’re saying. I was able to recreate your glitch by pretending I was a buyer of one of my items, from a different browser, and rather than entering a USVI zip code for a US address, I used the pull down country selection menu. That is a strange glitch. Some idiot at eBay put those locations on the international list and should not have. I can only hope that buyers from those locations have registered their correct addresses as US so their shipping charges are automatically calculated correctly when they check out, just like those of us on the mainland. Like I said, I’ve had a few items go to territories and the buyers didn’t seem to have any trouble figuring it out with my calculated shipping.
Yeah, there’s a bit of a learning curve with international shipping. But I think it’s worth it. Just remember: I often snipe items for resale from sellers who won’t ship international because I know my international buyers will pay lots more.08/20/2021 at 7:42 pm in reply to: eBay Store configuration for International Shipping #90422
@Timo – I’m not sure what you mean by your country dropdown box not working correctly for PR/USVI. I have shipped to both and packages go same as domestic mail with a zip code as LTT says. It’s not international mail to a different country so I wouldn’t expect it to show as such. Any buyer’s mailing address from there will have a zip code.
I also ship international directly and have been since I started selling on eBay in 1997. I use eBay labels for the most part. I have found that international Pirate Ship labels (First Class or Priority) are usually the same price as eBay now. I also find that Pirate Ship’s Simple Export Rate is within a few cents of eBay Send. No surprise there since Simple Export Rate packages goes to a consolidator similar to eBay Send, except that Pirate Ship’s consolidator is in New York instead of Kentucky. The printed label only shows it going to NY.
I have found that my eBay account does not play well with Pirate Ship’s Simple Export Rate tracking, though, and it confuses buyers. A label from off eBay requires a manual entry of the tracking number, and the Simple Export Rate tracking number generated upon shipment only shows final delivery to the New York consolidator. Ebay recognizes that as delivered. Pirate Ship has some kind of proprietary internal system to show tracking from New York to final delivery so it is accessible but requires additional steps. The first time I used it my foreign buyer got an eBay message that their package had been delivered in New York and they were very irate until I figured out what had happened. I ended up sending them a Pirate Ship link and an apologetic explanation. Maybe there’s a workaround, @Lukastreasuretrove?
For all buyer locations US and foreign, I use eBay calculated shipping. So long as I enter size and weight correctly, it’s been dead on for years. (Except for the dreaded FedEx packages.) I add at least $1 handling fee to cover insurance, and I also use Shipsaver (with a threshold of $50 and above). Post Office First Class International Package (up to 4 lbs with dimensional limits) is not insured, otherwise.
One thing about Shipsaver is that they have a list of destination countries for which they won’t insure packages. Any place they won’t insure, I don’t ship to, as I figure they have the data that tells them where it’s too risky. Ebay allows you to pick and choose countries to exclude. I found that once I picked the excluded countries, eBay listing flow automatically populated my preferences for all new listings. Also, there are special requirements for jewelry and a few other things to be aware of with Shipsaver. A claim can get denied if you don’t follow their requirements.
If you ship direct international, the eBay label generated will be the proper customs form. For First Class International Package it is a single sheet that can be adhered to the package like any domestic label (after you sign and date it). Priority International will generate a four part form that you need to put in an adhesive clear plastic envelope available at the PO, after signing and dating. Ebay will automatically populate the contents description line on the customs forms using your listing title which can be an invitation for a hold up in the foreign country’s customs while they open your package to figure out what it is. Also, there aren’t enough characters; it’ll only accept about half of the eBay listing title. I recommend shortening the description to a very short, generic statement as to the contents. (If you use Pirate Ship you’ll have to generate all the information from scratch anyway.) So, for example, a listing for “Vtg Smith & Wesson Dark Brown Leather Police Duty Belt Holster Inside Thumbbreak” became simply “Belt Holster, Leather” for the customs form. I usually take the extra step of providing the proper Harmonized Tariff Number but you don’t need to do that.
One last thing about international: Ever since Managed Payments came on line, eBay labels does not generate the proper customs form for APO/FPO/DPO packages so I always go to Pirate Ship for those addresses.
Bottom line is that eBay international labels are fine (except APO etc) and calculated shipping functions properly but there is a learning curve. I actually find the eBay international label interface to be slightly more user friendly than Pirate Ship’s.08/19/2021 at 7:55 pm in reply to: Touch tone phone, Boombox, Turntable, Wooden Checkers,Herman Miller chair legs #90408
Some interesting sales, Steven. I’ve sold a few old phones in my day (I recall one went to Malaysia, of all places) but I’m wondering if that market’s drying up. I don’t know anyone who has a land line any more. Maybe people have a way to use them. Speaking of land line, I do know that they would accept pulse dialing as generated by a dial phone even after touch tone had been around for a long while. I kept a wall mount red dial phone in the kitchen when the kids were little because they would not mess with it, unlike a touch tone which was a very attractive nuisance for them.
We’ve talked about my soft spot for old Alfa Romeos before. This is a 1950s Floyd Clymer reprint of a 1948 factory catalog for the 6C 2500; a beautiful car. A flea market find for a couple bucks, it sold for $26 plus shipping to Canada.
This is one of the last of a lot of military salvage Vietnam era slant-pocket jungle fatigues I bought a while ago, last used by a soldier from the US Army 82nd Airborne Division out of Fort Bragg, NC. I wish I knew the story of how they came back to see the light of day but it doesn’t matter. I paid $27 each and I’ve been getting in the mid-$100s for them but I let this one go for $70 plus shipping as it had been sitting for a while.
These are cut-out magazine advertisements from 1944, mounted on cheap board, depicting pilot rescue boats built by Herreshoff Shipyard. As it happens, the old Huckins PT boat factory is right around the corner from me here in Jax and I’m friends with a descendant of the owner during WWII. I’ve had these ads for quite a while; source unknown. The lot sold for $25 plus shipping.
Challenge coins have been adopted whole hog by the police in the US. (Sorry 🙂 ) Here’s one from the San Diego Police Air Support Unit that sold for a great price of $48 plus shipping. Pilots like their shiny metal objects.
I mentioned this 20×16 oil painting done by my wife’s grandmother when I provided my numbers for an episode earlier this year, provoking a bit of discussion. I still think it is ugly as sin. Sharyn, for one, does not agree with me. It sold for $90 plus shipping and the buyer loved it.08/18/2021 at 7:28 am in reply to: PWCC Baseball card seller accused of shill bidding on Ebay.. #90390
“Wow” is right. Especially since eBay normally lets large volume sellers get away with murder. Either it was really out of control or there’s something else going on here that eBay isn’t talking about. @craig rex what do you think?08/17/2021 at 7:48 pm in reply to: Scavenger Life Episode 525: Eccentric, Unemployable #90384
You have had a busy week Retro! Congratulations and hang in there!08/16/2021 at 10:17 am in reply to: Scavenger Life Episode 525: Eccentric, Unemployable #90351
8/8/21 – 8/14/21
Total Active Items (2 different stores): 329
Items Sold: 4
Gross Sales: $159.56 (not incl shipping or taxes)
Highest Price Sold: $77 plus shipping – bronze and wood presentation wall plaque from the USS STOUT, a US Navy destroyer.
COGS: $33 (including consignment commissions but not including cost of any family castoffs sold)
New Listings: 16
$ Spent on New Inventory: $58
Another slow week but at least I got back into listing, finally.
I laughed out loud at your businessman with polo, khakis, and earpiece on an important call impression, Jay. I met my share of that type when my law practice focused on small businesses. I also met my share of Elon Musk-type megalomaniacs at one end of the stress spectrum, and torn t-shirt wearing, driven but laid back types at the other end, as well.
That’s a lot of postcards! It would take years to sell them individually if you want to get that kind of money for them, but unfortunately lotting them up will result in just a fraction of that in realized prices unless there are some real desirable rarities in there. John Miller of Popeye’s Postcard (eBay ID: spinach-eater) has been the resident Scavenger Life postcard expert for years but he doesn’t come by often. He’s a major guy in the field, also having had a Youtube channel for a while. Probably best to contact him on eBay. He may be able to assist but he’s on the East coast. For that quantity of cards it might be best to find a brick-and-mortar auctioneer near to you who is on Proxibid or one of the other online auction sites for national and international exposure.08/11/2021 at 4:44 pm in reply to: RF video modulator, Glass blocks, Trucker hat, NAPA cassette rack, Old Key lot #90255
Here are some items that sold earlier this year. As I work my way forward hitting highlights, this group includes some especially good sales:
I was at dinner with friends when one of them started ranting about trying unsuccessfully to sell something on eBay. When he said he had tried an auction and got a non-paying bidder at a $4,000 winning bid, my ears perked up since I’m willing to take consignments under the right conditions. We worked out a consignment deal for 18% of net after all fees and expenses were taken off the top. There was a bit of a learning curve for me since I don’t play golf. It took a while to sell and there was some buyer drama with a cancelled sale (before I shipped, fortunately) but I eventually cleared almost $600 on a $3499 sale. It’s a golf launch monitor, a Doppler radar packaged with software that records a number of data points in a golfer’s swing and shot to help them improve their game.
This book was in a free box at a yard sale. I had no idea about its value; I just grabbed the whole box. I almost tossed the book because it had a little water and binding damage but fortunately I researched it first. Even with the damage it sold for $175 with free shipping on a BIN. It is a fascinating read on the Atlanta child murders of 1979 – 1981. Although Wayne Williams was only convicted of the murders of two adults, police at the time blamed him for most of the 28 child murders that occurred and closed their files despite persistent criticism such as that found in this book. Atlanta authorities now admit the child murders are unsolved and the cases have recently been reopened.
This is a consignment challenge coin from the Commanding Officer of USS WASP, an amphibious assault ship. Commissioned in 1989, the ship is still in service and looks kind of like a small aircraft carrier. Its primary mission is delivering US Marines to shore by helicopter and air cushion landing craft. It can also accommodate vertical/short take-off and landing Harrier attack jets for close air support. It sold for $35 plus shipping.
As flea market dealers get more savvy about the value of things making deals harder to find, items like this one keep me going back to paw through piles of junk. Costing me a measly $3, it is a folk art painting on board done by a US soldier in England in the waning days of WWII. He was a country boy from West Virginia and probably never saw combat (his rank indicating a technical trade; he could have been anything from supply clerk to radio repairman) nor did he ever do anything noteworthy enough to show up in a Google search, but I was able to locate a photo of his gravestone and post that in the listing to confirm it was the real thing. It sold for $108 plus shipping on a best offer, going to a collector in France.
This consignment challenge coin had a couple things going for it – first its connection to Naval aviation, and second it is from the former US Naval Air Station Keflavik, Iceland. The base was established as a NATO base to house US forces operating as the Iceland Defense Force in 1951 under an agreement outside of NATO between the two countries. US forces departed in 2006 but the US is still responsible for Iceland’s defense, should it become necessary, under the agreement. Iceland has never had a standing army and has an interesting political history. I spent some time there in the ’90’s in both the dead of winter and in summer and I can attest to its beauty and fascination in the latter season. The coin sold for $44 plus shipping.
8/1/21 – 8/7/21
Total Active Items (2 different stores): 313
Items Sold: 6
Gross Sales: $183.56 (not incl shipping or taxes)
Highest Price Sold: $40 plus shipping – challenge coin from US Secretary of Defense William Cohen (1997 – 2001).
COGS: $76 (including consignment commissions but not including cost of any family castoffs sold)
New Listings: 0
$ Spent on New Inventory: $0
Mostly consignments out the door last week so COGS were high but it’s easy money and ROI is still good since they don’t cost me anything up front.
It was fun to hear about your curb trash scavenging in NYC. Reminds me of seeing lots of nice German furniture in the quarters of married Army friends of mine in the ’80’s. They were guys who had been stationed in Germany in the 1970s and 1980s and they would talk about how they’d picked the stuff up off the curb out in town on trash day. They said the Germans as a rule would only buy new furniture and there was no market for used so it was just tossed out.08/10/2021 at 12:42 pm in reply to: Anyone else attending the Virtual eBay open next week? #90237
To me all marketing is just noise, including stores. Either somebody is specifically looking for and finds my long tail one-off or they don’t. They don’t care what my store looks like and it’s unlikely they’ll ever see it. It’s extremely rare for me to get repeat customers. I’ll pay for a store to save money but the less time I have to spend dealing with it, the better.
Of course I am a part-timer and I’m the kind of seller who wishes eBay would go back to their easy 1997 user interface (I love the simplicity of Craigslist) so my comments are probably not helpful. But I think it’s good for eBay to know there is a segment of sellers that couldn’t care less about stores other than clinging to the hope that their lives and their buyers’ searches are not made harder by eBay fiddling with them.