Forum Replies Created
Welcome Kenny! You may regret admitting you work for an auction here 🙂
I love auctions and would love being a ringman. Congrats on quitting your crap job!03/20/2018 at 11:48 am in reply to: Scavenger Life Episode 352: Scavenging is The Alternative Early Retirement #35640
ThriftShift have fun in TAP class if you can stay awake. What you don’t wanna chase ambulances? I think I told them I wanted to pump gas at a marina, but only if they didn’t make me wear shoes. That didn’t go over well either.
I have to confess I continued to practice law but never much liked it and was happy to finally get out of that game. Congratulations on your retirement!
I sell used – very different than selling new items in many ways. I very rarely use auctions, only for specific strategies like Amatino, or CraigslistHunter’s technique of setting a high BIN for items difficult to price and then dropping them into auction if many watchers are accumulated and I want a quick sale.
I agree with pretty much all that has been said. My personal take on the indispensable boot camp basics for new scavenger-type sellers, having sniped many an item from them over the years:
– How to pack and ship a variety of items. I have received countless poorly packed and damaged items from eBay sellers over the years, and have seen where sellers have paid way too much for shipping for not choosing the best method for size, weight, and destination. It hurts them directly if selling with free shipping, and takes money out of their pockets on the realized sale price if charging too much for shipping because they don’t know any better.
– How to take good, well-lit photos, including identifying marks and hallmarks, and take as many as needed to show everything a buyer wants to see.
– How to research items. How to look at a history of sold similar items (on eBay and elsewhere) and getting a sense of why there might be a large price range and learning how to distinguish what is valuable data and what is not.
– How to write good descriptions. Laziness in condition specifics will come back to haunt them. The use of high selling examples from their research to use the right key words to get the best price for their items.
New sellers’ failures in these last three points especially, along with using low-start auctions, have resulted in many very good buys for me.
Right now when I click on subcategory Collectibles / Collectibles Wholesale Lots / Other Collectibles Wholesale Lots (selected for “US only” to keep out the new China junk) there are 13,193 active and 13,016 sold listings (assuming eBay is showing me all of the listings, which they may not be). On sold listings, it’s about 75/25 BIN/Auction. You can refine the search in Other Collectibles for Coins, Knives, Silver, Watches, “Junk”, etc.
But Figurines, Flags, Knives, Lighters, Pins & Buttons, Postcards and Paper all have their own subcategories also at the same level as Other Collectibles.
It’s the Wild Wild West in there, a very interesting place. Many of the lots with “junk drawer” in the title aren’t so junky and go for hundreds of dollars.03/08/2018 at 8:32 pm in reply to: How do I find what I offered to a potential buyer? #34723
Thanks AdventureE and sonia but I think what Sharyn is asking about is outgoing offers. I’ve got the same problem – I recently sent out a couple “reply with offer” messages in response to messages and I can find no record of them anywhere. They don’t show in Offers and the outgoing message does not show up in Sent Messages. There is a note on the incoming message that I replied to the message, but there is no link to my reply.03/07/2018 at 8:58 pm in reply to: Hi, I'm Alex, currently in northern Virginia (NoVA) #34671
Hi, Alex. Full disclosure: I’m a part timer so I don’t have the experience of volume, but I have been buying and selling on eBay for over 20 years so I think I know a good listing when I see it. I agree with Sonia – the pictures look great. I’ve been looking at your items trying to pick apart your listings but I’m not having any luck. I’d say you’re doing everything right, I don’t see any balls being dropped. Overall your store is a class act – very professional.
Since J&R turned their blog into a multi-page forum, sometimes things that are posted off the main page aren’t viewed much. I know you just posted this today and you may get more responses eventually, but I would recommend posting on the main weekly Episode page using Jay’s “post your numbers” format and ask there for some more critiques on your store and you will get some ideas from different perspectives. Do it early in the week for maximum exposure to the collective.
Lastly, you’ll see I’m close by in DC, Southeast to be exact. But I just moved here this past summer and again I’m just part time and I have not been to any auctions yet. (I worked here for a while years ago but lived in Annapolis so I would go to markets and auctions on the Eastern Shore.) I would just do a google search or even yellow pages, plus there are probably some in the area that are online. I do have long and varied experience with auctions having been into antiques, picking, and scavenging on the side for 20 years before eBay and I would not recommend taking kids. There’s too much going on and you need to be able to concentrate and focus on the bidding during the auction, and then checking out after and getting your stuff and packing up can be a zoo. The best auctions for buying are the weekday auctions anyway, and they’re all business and would not appreciate the kids.03/03/2018 at 5:28 pm in reply to: GSP question our items do not show up on other eBay sites internationally? #34340
I have never heard that GSP specifically provides the benefit of your items showing up on the foreign eBay sites. Have you found that written somewhere in eBay’s policies?
I do not use GSP but I have been interested in how listing for foreign eBay sites works because a significant portion of my sales go outside the country and I would be interested in increasing that. When listing I have the option of including eBay UK, if I want to pay extra, but that’s the only foreign site that shows up as an option. I have never opted to do that and I can only assume that my foreign sales come from buyers who are registered on eBay USA.
I have gone on the foreign sites and my brief research leads me to believe that there is no rhyme or reason to what US listings show on those sites. For example I have found multiple US listings on the UK site that do not offer international shipping at all. My listings don’t show up on the UK site, but do show up on the French site and the Italian site, for example.
One other quirk is that eBay does not guarantee that your listings will show up in every search every time for your item. Ebay reserves the right not to show your listings sometimes “in the interests of the optimum buyer experience” or something like that.
You should call eBay though and see if they have any explanation.
Thanks for the BOLO! Every once in a while I fall back into the bad habit of not researching the current values for something if I think it looks cheap or if I’ve seen hundreds of the same type of item over the years languishing at flea markets etc. But I have frequently regretted that, and have just as frequently thanked myself for overcoming my laziness and researching something I was not going to bother with. My mantra: Always research. I say again: Always research. Never forget it: Always research.03/02/2018 at 7:42 pm in reply to: What Sells On eBay: Metal car banks, Cross stitch kit, Marantz parts, Easy Bake oven, Pocket Braille Writer #34262
So the code goes in the post. I got it now (I think). Gonna try it in a minute. Thanks!03/02/2018 at 12:37 pm in reply to: What Sells On eBay: Metal car banks, Cross stitch kit, Marantz parts, Easy Bake oven, Pocket Braille Writer #34246
Steve, I like the way you did that with the jpgs being hyperlinked. I tried to figure out how to do it but no luck. Nothing I use appears to have the capability of embedding the hyperlink. Is there anything you could tell us down at the internet-for-dummies level about how to do it? Thanks!03/02/2018 at 12:25 pm in reply to: What Sells On eBay: Metal car banks, Cross stitch kit, Marantz parts, Easy Bake oven, Pocket Braille Writer #34245
It’s mighty quiet here in DC today with the government shut down over 35 mph winds and the threat of a dusting of snow. Sheesh. It would be funny if not for the waste of tax dollars.
This 1933 Chicago World’s Fair Art Deco belt buckle was out of my grandfather’s estate and has been rattling around my junk drawers for many years. World’s Fair stuff appears to be a slow category and this took a while but finally sold for $40 plus shipping.
Thousands of these military Vietnam era TA-1 field telephones have been surplused out over the years so they can still be sourced on occasion for reasonable prices. I bought three of these at a junk shop for $14 each and they’ve each sold for $84 plus shipping. This is the last one I had. They use no batteries or electricity and can be tested for output with a multimeter, or output and input if you have two of them (or something to generate comparable DC voltage) and some wire. Besides the collectors and reenactors they are going to preppers now, too.
I used to love dealing in books but I have sworn off them in general. So many of them are worthless that I’m totally done with going through piles of them to look for the diamond in the rough. But certain niches will continue to be worth looking for, I guess. This was my daughter’s, a college textbook she got at a garage sale for what I’m sure was very little and she had dumped in our Goodwill box. It doesn’t look very fancy and with its liberal arts subject matter I didn’t think it was worth the trouble to check the value, but fortunately I did before it was donated. It sold quickly for $88, free shipping in a priority flat rate padded envelope.
I know little about jewelry so it took me quite a while to find out anything about this Victorian Wax Seal Fob that cost me a buck or two in an auction box lot of random smalls. I didn’t want to spend too much time because it looked so cheaply made that I figured it was not worth much. Well maybe I did not spend enough time on this thing because I priced it at what I thought was high at $29 plus shipping and it sold in two hours.
I often wish that eBay would break off our weird vintage corner of eBay into a separate site rather than trying to repeatedly jam all of us round pegs into their square, Amazon-fighting holes designed for new merchandise. I know they won’t do it because it won’t make them money but I can dream.
I get so few returns and my ROI is pretty good so it shouldn’t hurt my bottom line to do free returns. But eBay annoys me by saying it’s the retail standard, because it ain’t. Years ago everyone jumped on the free shipping and free returns bandwagon but they’ve backed off on that. My family orders lots of things from Amazon and independent sites and they’re always returning stuff because they changed their mind or whatever. Since I’m the shipping nerd of the household, I get to make the returns happen and I always read the fine print before I ship. I want to do the math to see if it’s more cost effective for me to resell the item on eBay instead because there is more often than not they paid for shipping in the first place (unless Amazon Prime, which costs money) and there is a restocking fee, and/or a return shipping fee, and/or they won’t return original shipping paid.
My family is oblivious to these costs for returns. No site makes it as clear as eBay does right on the item listing page what the returns policy is for an item. I think the clarity alone should be a big competitive advantage but I don’t think eBay mentions it at all in its advertising.
The FAQs say that after May 1 no one is required to have a store and once signed up, it can be cancelled “without an early termination fee.” As I understand it, nothing changes until May 1 so whatever the present policy on cancellations would apply until then.02/27/2018 at 1:13 pm in reply to: Scavenger Life Episode 349: Having A Huge Inventory Is Not The Goal, It’s The Strategy #33995
Hey R&J, great podcast. You guys were on quite a roll Sunday. I still don’t use GSP and I can confirm that you won’t get a delivery scan with Priority Mail to all countries. I more often ship First Class Package International and tracking gets a little better all the time. It seems with more and more countries I’m getting a delivery scan or at least one or two steps into the destination country, like at customs clearance or “office of exchange” or nearest major city. I insure with Shipsaver if item plus shipping is over $50 so I don’t sweat it.
Never heard of Board of Canada before but am enjoying some right now. Nice. With a cat in my lap while I’m trying to listen and work. He can be a bit needy. At least he’s not sneaking up and grabbing my arm, which he likes to do occasionally if I’m not paying enough attention to him.