Forum Replies Created
07/02/2018 at 2:38 pm in reply to: Scavenger Life Episode 367: Every Day Could Be Your Day #44237
June 25-July 1
Ebay items in store: 849
Items sold: 27
Total sales: $1,394.20
Consignment payout: $574
$1,148.00 was consignment sales of antique tools for an acquaintance; I don’t seek out consignees but she heard about my store from another friend for whom I sold furniture when she moved to Japan. I had 90+ listings for the new client of individual machinist parts and Woodworking items. $574 goes to the owner of those tools for this past week; I took 50% of her items sales. I have another 70 listings for her still and watchers on many of the items.
Highest sale was $580 for a wooden toolbox “Gerstner”. Several tools fit into nested holes in it, but I removed the rest and are selling them too. I also liked my $22 sale of an IBM coffee mug and software lot sales of $48 and $25.
So my share of sales is $820.20; I received $574 from the consignment work. I don’t have a Cost of Goods for the consignment items of course; for my other items the COGs were $25. So I made $820.20 with a COG cost of $25. And I have learned a ton about antique tools. Now they are all listed, my time was well spent, and I hope more sell this week. You can view the listings in Sold or Active by typing in my client’s code “SAZ” in the Collectible Tools category of eBay.06/25/2018 at 8:51 pm in reply to: Scavenger Life Episode 366: How To Run A Small, Local Business #43527
June 17 – 24
Items in store: 816
Items sold: 34
Sales total: $1,077.32
Cost of goods sold: $107.75
4 clients got Consignment payouts totaling $120.50
One person bought 8 items and is doing local pickup equaling “free shipping” so I took lower offers to clear out some inventory. I’ve actually been having higher sales the last 6 weeks than I did earlier this year, equaling about $1K of sales each week. I have found myself taking low offers on lower-priced inventory (50% of my items are under $20) and scoring some higher end inventory. I took a PayPal loan of $4K three months ago to buy higher end inventory and paid it back within 2 months. I still have a lot of that inventory up.
I retire from the Marine Corps on Friday, 13 July after 20 years and am so excited. I can concentrate on ebay and my husband’s business. It’s all going swimmingly.
As far as states being able to tax internet income, the Supreme Court usually leaves it up to states to develop their own tax regs. It’s what attracts businesses to certain states. For example, the majority of corporations in the US are incorporated in Delaware. So perhaps states will offer tax breaks to small internet businesses to attract them. We may all end up living in Alaska and the Dakotas!
Hey “ThriftShift” is my name! Glad you like it. It has a couple meanings I think. A second job after “regular” 8-5. Or changing a lifestyle to be more thrifty. Or shifting excess goods from one home to become income for another.
Total Items In Store: 839
Items Sold: 18
Cost of Items Sold: $51.80
Total Sales: $455.98
Highest Price Sold: $130 (Judaic Art Lithograph by Abram Egbi)
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $40
Number of Items listed this week: 27
I’m at the end of 20 years in the Marines Corps, and I have several friends who are in the same boat. One friend lives in Japan right now and has a storage unit 30 minutes from me full of furniture from a former marriage. She asked me to sell the furniture for her. It’s all grand brown furniture, very classic NC look. I didn’t really want to charge her 50% or drag it to an auction house; we are good friends. So I offered my teen daughter and her boyfriend a job. I went with them to the unit yesterday; they moved the furniture, took pictures, and I posted them on OfferUp, Facebook, and LetGo. The kids are getting 30% for the furniture. Anyway, they are happy to have made $80 for three hours of work so far, meeting people there and selling the furniture. My friend’s younger son also had a bin of 27 lbs of Legos, all mixed up. The teens spent 8 hours sorting it into bricks by color, mini-figures, and other stuff. It’s in lovely labeled gallon bags. I’ll put that up on ebay for them; they are getting $8 an hour for sorting + 25% of profit after fees+taxes taken out. Something funny happened “family-wise” too with the Lego sorting today. We actually all talked for several hours at a time, together, and joked, etc. It was nice. Normally teens are on the go. I got to hear about their lives and more. They were excited and I am happy to start having their help. Training them to take photos next for me. If any other friends want their help selling big stuff as they move onto other duty stations, we are saying 50% though.
I also applied for a PayPal Working Capital loan; I had planned to buy an expensive set of Tiffany flatware on an online auction in my town, but it got too high. So now I have money in my pocket plan to attend more auctions and really up my “high end” stuff; the teens will be attending with me and be my helpers. There is a great one coming up mid-June.
And here is my MOST awesome scavenge of the week: On Thursday I went to my favorite hidden charity thrift shop (no online presence). I bought a large leather duffel bag that I could tell was nice for $8. It sells for $650 new as a “Joseph Hanna Made in NYC” #102 “Antique Finish” bag. The donor of the bag was even there when I picked it up! She said “Ugh, I hate that old bag, it’s so cruddy looking”. It is GORGEOUS. Listed it for $590 OBO because it is beautifully distressed. Have a good week.
Items in store: 812
Items sold: 32
Average price: $31
Highest sold: Preowned and lightly used set of three Deep Sea Cosmetics creams for $161.50
Second highest: sold two green canvas and leather LL Bean duffels tonsame buyer for $59 each
Question: my husband has a consulting business (metallurgical and corrosion control engineering); and I have Ebay. He needs a new accounting software platform because his old Mac laptop cannot support his version of 2014 Quickbooks. I use a spreadsheet for Ebay now. We are considering moving it all to a cloud system. I cannot send invoices for his business unless I have his computer, which is crapping out more and more. I’m beginning to research subscriptions that might allow multiple businesses by one owner. Godaddy, quickbooks, any other suggestions?
I become CEO/CFO of his LLC in July when I retire from federal service, and I’d prefer to have a cloud system that I can access anywhere.04/16/2018 at 11:48 am in reply to: Scavenger Life Episode 355: We Catch Up w/ Maria & Ryan from Passport Vintage Austin, TX #37761
Total items in store: 828
Items sold: 30
Total sales: $829.64
Great week! Had some higher dollar sales and low COGs. A lot of my items that sold came from “lots” when I make a pile at a store or yard sale and make an offer. It won’t work at GW, but it does at our local Franciscan thrift store, run by awesome nuns. Make a giant pile of hard goods, and they say $5. Love those ladies. They get their money from the clothes in their shop, which range from $3 to $10.
Highest sale was $120 original painting of a Gullah African shopping scene, bought with another print for $25 at Habitat (Buy One, get one free day for art). I sold the other print for $79. I sold another piece of art (random San Diego paper collage art) for $79 that was $1 lot from online auction; a 1980s denim jumpsuit for $79 that was $2 from hospice thrift; and some funky brass jewelry for $50 from a local artist’s estate sale (was $10). I just realized I list a lot of things at $79!
Also went to my church’s annual clothing sale on Friday where they give you a cardboard box about 36″ x 24″ with a string on it, and you drag it around like a sled, filling it up. I skipped the Ann Taylor and focused on higher end Brooks Brothers, NWT items, and good looking shoes. I like to look at “amazingtaste”‘s sold items and sort by highest price to look at the brands they find. I did find a St. John tank top that sold for $42 in 24 hours, so I was happy to discover that brand.
I thought I had calculated shipping costs well for two paintings but I ended up short about $20 on each. So I plan to add a handling charge now on all larger items; it seems the boxes I create out of other boxes are always heavier than I think. That or add an extra lb even when I think I have estimated it correctly.
I have a regular job, but I retire in 2 months, 3 weeks, 5 days – Friday, July 13. I’ll get to do this full-time, while also helping with my husband’s independent consulting business, and caring/home-schooling our 4 year old. I can’t wait to own my days!03/19/2018 at 6:26 pm in reply to: Scavenger Life Episode 352: Scavenging is The Alternative Early Retirement #35610
Week of 3/11-3/17
Total Items in Store: 703
Number of Items Listed: 28
Number of Items Sold: 26 (25 ebay, 1 FBM)
Total Product Sales:$559.85
Cost of Items Sold: $76
Highest Item Sold: $78 vintage Pierre Cardin suede trench with LOTS of stains, going to Italy. Bought for $6 at Florida thrift store.
What an apt podcast! I am sitting in a “retirement seminar” this week, 5 days of required attendance from 8 am to 5 pm. I am due to retire from the DoD this July. Tonight my homework is to do a comparison of my current job skills to future jobs in the civilian sector. I am an attorney now – I want to sell on ebay in my pajamas. That didn’t go well, and apparently to be given my class completion certificate, I have to write in a “real job” according to the instructor (who is all of 28 bless her heart). So I will do “retail sales”; they don’t have any options for online sales. It’s very antiquated. Interestingly enough my personality test said I should be a facial reconstruction surgeon or an acupuncturist. So I am all over the place. I like ebay – I can have lots of interest and have adventures, be it sticking needles in people or sitting in pajamas and listing old shoes. BTW, I have no medical education! I guess I can have that luxury of choosing to be my own boss because we have lived frugally for so long and KNOW our budget and plans. So my retirement pay + expected ebay income will be nearly the same as my current paycheck. One of my other homework assignments this week to create a 5 year budget so I will have real numbers on that prediction of a similar income. It’s kind of a pain in the ass, but I do appreciate the DoD making its service-members do this before they get out. We mostly get everything handed to us during active service – housing, food allowance, and steady paychecks. Many of the folks never learn to manage their own lives’ logistics. However, in exchange for this you can lose your life of course…
It was a “down” week for me. I had 2 unpaid items, but anytime I am $500 or over, I’m happy. So looking forward to retirement!03/05/2018 at 11:04 am in reply to: Scavenger Life Episode 350: Free Shipping Is A Lie #34427
Feb 25-Mar 3
Items in Ebay store: 658
Ebay Items sold: 29
Total Ebay sales: $704.78
Ebay COGs: $92.80
Offerup sales: $55
Items/COGs: red toolbox sold for $35 (cost $5); red lantern sold for $20 (cost $1)
Facebook sale: sold MCM 9 Foot green couch for $550; cost $350 one week prior at Estate sale (we thought we’d keep it but it needs too much restoration work and we are downsizing in a year anyway; I just loved it so).
Sold a vintage Headbangers MTV Tee for $30 with all kinds of marks; sold a needlepoint bellpull for $89; sold 7 packs of Rolodex refill cards for $65 (10 cents each at store); sold 70s Fantasia blacklight poster and small Disney print for $85 together.
I will likely move to free returns and up price on those items too; if it’s the way of the world, I do not want to lose out.
I had a buyer fail to return a Gucci briefcase she bought for $480 within the 5 day window…well it just showed up last week on my porch. I did give her a refund minus original shipping costs, insurance and delivery confirmation cost + $20 for my trouble, so she got $420 Back. Ugh. It’s over and I made double that this week so I moved on.
I had the Gucci briefcase INAD…called yesterday on business day #6 and closed the case, no problem. Same with the shirt, never got returned. That was $500 held up for a week. Glad I stayed calm and it’s all closed out.
Jay, this is the first time we are experimenting with it. She gets two free suitcases which she packs full, and paid some extra in baggage fees. She already made the baggage fees back with a sale this week. She does travel stateside about 3 times a year. When I retire from the military in June, I can fly on military cargo planes over to Germany for $15, as long as there is an extra seat somewhere in the plane. I am allowed 150 lbs of baggage there too. She scavenges mostly household goods – blankets, vintage American clothing, needlepoints. She got the blankets for 1 euro each at a local store near her. I told her to price it high and we’ll see what happens. I have the storage space for her here in the US.
- This reply was modified 3 years, 7 months ago by ThriftShift.
I have two open returns for INAD right now. One was a $22 70s shirt that obviously had a faux fur collar but I said “fur” (did not say faux) and she said “I thought it was real fur”. Ok, no problem, I accepted the return. She hasn’t mailed yet with the label that was sent to her, so I am calling today to close it. Wed morning is 7 business days and I forgot to call on Tuesday.
The bigger one is a Gucci briefcase from the 1980s. It’s a hardcase and classic with logos and gold hardware, awesome. I sold this briefcase for $480. She claimed “doesn’t seem authentic”. I accepted the return last Thursday night and am waiting for 0001 on Thursday morning tomorrow to call on the 6th business day and CLOSE it. She was extremely nasty in the message, so I’m glad I stayed pretty calm. Do I think it’s authentic? Yes; it came from the same online estate sale where I bought a lot of unopened vintage 80s Gucci perfumes, designer purses, and a bunch of jewelry that happened to have a $5K white gold watch in it (I paid $600 total for everything). But to be on the safe side, I had planned to send in pics to an authenticator if she mailed it back in time and be able to say that when I listed it again…so we will see. It’d be a real bummer if she later went to PayPal and got to keep a refund, AND the briefcase. Maybe because I offered a return, and she DIDN’T mail it back, I would be allowed to keep the funds. Waiting for Thursday morning anxiously!01/22/2018 at 2:41 pm in reply to: Scavenger Life Episode 344: Decluttering and Auction Cravings #31044
Now this was my best week ever!
Items in store: 696
Listed this week: 22
Items sold: 37
Highest price: $110 Woolrich Coat (paid $10 at thrift); $80 Tommy Bahama Original scent (paid $1 at Estate sale)
Whoa! Prices ranged from $9-$110. Most were in the $20-30 range.
Sometimes I’m surprised at what I listed prices at! I don’t remember listing a Pendleton shirt at $39 or 1980s shoes for $25. But I am happy I did.
4 months, 2 days to retirement from day job.01/16/2018 at 10:20 pm in reply to: Scavenger Life Episode 343: Our Business = Little Things Every Day #30607
Last week was great with sales of $831.93; this new week not so much. But it all evens out once I look at the month to about $500 a week.
Items in store: 691
Listed new last week: 27
Items sold: 22
Just plain old inventory. Most of it was stuff I picked up at bag sales. I went to an auction on Sat with my 3 year old and we only made it for about an hour before she melted. So we just saw rugs and I bought two vintage French train travel posters. Somehow I walked away with a 1960s shag rug by Karastan, 12 x 9 feet and weighing 90 lbs! So I listed it. Cost me $80; it’s Mid-Century Modern. It belongs on “Stranger Things” or “This is Us”. So come on prop people. The posters are going to my sister in Belgium to decorate her house. She went to a thrift store outside of Brussels this past week and bought 5 wool blankets for $1 euro each. I remember Jay and Ryanne buying those at a market in Denmark? a few year ago. I told her to pack a bunch up for me when she comes stateside in February.
I listed the rug at $900 to include shipping. It’s got some flat and balder spots but no stains. I did shipping estimates on U-Ship and going to Oregon would cost about $250-350 depending on who bid on shipping auction. I thought including the shipping might make it easier rather than people trying to figure out how to ship it. I also listed on Facebook for $600.
I also listed two Sikes wooden banker-lawyer chairs from the auction for $520 free shipping. Same process as above; these two need more refinishing work. I’ll see if anything happens in a few months with the “free shipping” cost inclusion, then may move back to “local pickup and you arrange shipping” method. I did sell an Ikea bed that way last year to Los Angeles from SC.
Doublythumbs, I only submitted one photo, it had the box label, broken figurine within the photo.01/09/2018 at 6:26 am in reply to: Scavenger Life Episode 342: Big Knives and Trashcans #30081
Lowcountry FF Jan 1-7, 2017
Total Items in Store: 690
Items Sold: 39
Cost of Items Sold: $73.00
Total Sales: $831.93
Highest Price Sold: $120.00 (vintage 1960s VERY MOD dress)
Average Price Sold: $21.33
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $111
Number of items listed this week: 19
Most items were sold for under $30 I had two high sales of a $120 vintage dress and a $90 pair of designer shoes (Delman). I had bought 22 pairs of designer shoes (Delman, Rangoni, Ferragamo) in September at a Charleston auction for $220 and have sold three now for $90, $90, and $80.
Everything else was gloves, belts, small pillows, Stampin’ It Up lot…
I tried to go to auction last Thursday night and then Saturday, but they were iced out down here in SC; we don’t have snowplows or salt trucks so the roads were stilly slippery until yesterday. So this Sat’s auction in Charleston will be massive; I’m trying to decide if everyone else is going to go now too, or if I should go to a promising estate sale that same morning. There are 12 great Persian runners/rugs at the auction, so perhaps I can snag one for cheap to sell high. My auction does the reverse and sells all individual items first, then table lots at the end.
There is an auction tonight at 5:30 pm, about an hour away, that has a lot of green Fire-King restaurant-ware. I’m debating today on whether to drive out there and take a chance that at least some of the lots will go cheaper. I have my three year old with me, so I really have to think hard about it. I might say what the hell and give it a go.01/01/2018 at 4:46 pm in reply to: Scavenger Life Episode 341: Happy Scavenger New Year! #29641
From South Carolina: Week of Dec. 24-31
Total Items in Store: 667
Items Sold: 18
Cost of Items Sold: $84.30
Total Sales: $553.00
Highest Price Sold: $90 (vintage 1950s blue velvet swing coat)
Average Price Sold: $30.70
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $72
Number of items listed this week: 8
I had a 10-day handling time on the above items as I took a trip to USVI to visit my husband working there and Florida to visit the parents. I have spent 8 hours today shipping, which took extra long due to a malfunctioning printer and having to travel to my storage unit; but I overcame technology and triumphed in the end. The $90 sale was a “best offer” for a gorgeous blue velvet vintage coat; bought at online auction for $12 and now heading to Napa, California. I also had a $80 sale for a 24-place pipe stand that cost me $15 at a charity store, so thank you Steve and Ryanne for mentioning those in your videos and podcast respectively.
I am VERY excited for it to be 2018! I retire in July at age 42 from federal service. Everyone keeps saying “what are you going to do?”; I say “sell online and own my own time”. That gets me crazy looks and I have heard that I am wasting my graduate education (upon which I owe no student debt and paid in cash at the time). This doesn’t bother me nor my husband…I want to wake up when I want and have adventures on random Tuesdays. Ebay can supplement that lifestyle easily.
A quick glance at my yearly numbers (without my accountant’s help yet):
2017 Revenue: $34,367.12
COGs, Fees, Shipping, Refunds: $15,593.53
I do need to add up other expenses too: mileage, storage unit, new printer, shipping supplies, and provide to my accountant.
1. Go to more auctions and estate sales for inventory. This is consistently where I find the higher dollar items.
2. Set up quarterly tax payments with accountant.
3. Fund restoration of our new “boat home” with ebay funds exclusively if possible.