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I quit my full time job once I was making more from my business than I was from my job. I saved up a good amount of money first, and also had plans of opening another related business within a few months of quitting. It was just over a year ago that I quit and since then we have opened up a second retail location and I’ve also obtained my auctioneer’s license and opened an auction house, all while still expanding our eBay inventory. I guess my suggestions would be to have a safety net financially and also have a plan on how you’re going to use your new free time to expand your business.
- This reply was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by TrunkFullOfJunk.
We pay $1800 a month in rent.0
I do not own the building, we rent.
Here are some photos of our store. It’s a mess right now, especially the back area. Mostly because in the past 10 days we won 4 storage units, had a trailer-load of auction winnings and cleaned out the estate of someone moving to an assisted living facility.1+
You are right Jay, when dealing with this quantity of stuff it is impossible to sell it all if you have limited floor space. Storage units result in quite a bit of trash while auctions seem to result in the least. Buying entire estates can also supply a lot of less desirable items. We usually try to put every item somebody could conceivably want on the floor for at least a short time. Well over 90% makes it onto the floor or onto eBay. If items don’t move quickly we become much more negotiable on price. Towards the end of the month we will often have a “fill a box for $5” sale from a certain section of the store (books, clothes, cheap glassware, etc). When it gets to a point where we have to liquidate, we have three outlets for the excess inventory. If the stuff looks decent we will make box lots and take them to the auction. Otherwise we will donate it to a charity thrift shop or we have a couple of people we can call who will take almost anything for free.
Regarding items getting cluttered, yes it happens. I’ll try to get you some photos of our space over the weekend to give you an idea.0
Our monthly overhead is low, under $2500. We purchase anywhere between $2000 and $10,000 a month in inventory just depending on what opportunities come our way.1+
It’s difficult to calculate exact margins on a per item basis because we buy in such large quantity. When we buy it is usually trailer-loads at a time of a variety of different goods. Overall I can say our profit margin is around 80% on average. Nearly half of the profit goes into fees, taxes and overhead.
As for sell through rate, eBay can range between 6-10% a month. In the store we try to get rid of items quickly to make room for the new inventory. Except for certain unique or expensive items we move everything within 6 weeks.0
I quit my job a month ago. When I was still working I was working that job 4pm-2am four days a week. I would work at the store every other moment I could. I didn’t sleep much last year.
My partner was doing something similar on a smaller scale. When we teamed up she bought into my portion of the business as I had significantly more inventory. I wouldn’t have partnered with just anybody but she was someone I had known and trusted for a long time.
We are an LLC, 50-50 between my partner and I. My wife gets paid hourly since she often has to take time off to care for our young son. My partner and I each take a salary with everything else remaining in the business. Just to give you an idea of what is possible, in 2018 I made more from the business than I did from my tech job in the telecommunications industry. Thats when I knew it was safe for me to quit.
In the event one of us wants out of the business, the remaining partner would pay the exiting partner for half of the inventory and other property owned by the company. Not retail value, but whatever was invested in it.2+
Yes I did speak to you awhile back. We do still hope to move our business North in the next few years.
–who runs the store? what are your hours?
We partnered with a friend of ours, so it is my wife, our partner and myself working at the store. We are open 10am-5pm 5 days a week and 10-2 on Sunday.
–who photographs, lists, and packs for eBay?
I photograph everything at the store and list it at night from home. My wife does all the shipping there at the store.
–who is going to auctions and buying new inventory?
My partner and I go to auctions and do pickups.
–Where and how do you sort through all the stuff you buy?
We keep a section in the back of the store for storing unsorted inventory as well as eBay inventory. As we sort we divide it into eBay items and in-store items. The in-store items are priced with a price gun. We use totes and pallet racking to try to maximize the space. We also have a 500sq ft office area that we use for photographing, shipping and box/packing material storage.
–How large is your eBay inventory?
We currently have about 3000 items listed. There is probably close to that many more waiting to be listed. We’ve been building up our inventory in anticipation of me quitting my job.
–Do you have employees?
We are currently looking for a part-time employee to work at the store. Since they will be dealing with cash we are being very selective.1+
Yes, I was working 80+ hours per week between my job and my business. I did it long enough to be certain the business alone could support our financial needs. No regrets now though as I am home with the family every night and I enjoy going to work every day. My wife was also working at the business full time all of 2018.
I am in deep South Texas.0
I assume you’re talking about the Ropes Usadas places? I have friends that have tried ii and I’ve looked through their clothes. It’s good if you’re doing flea market sales or maybe if you have a owned a small clothing/thrift store. From what I’ve seen the clothes appear to have been picked through somewhat. Lots of low-end brands and quite a bit of clothing with issues (stains, missing buttons).0
I keep one posted at all times advertising that I buy estates, business closeouts and just about anything else. I also have business cards advertising this that I had out often. I get a few calls a month and a few have turned out to be great oppurtunities.0
I paid $7500. Normally I won’t pay this much, but this was great stuff, and NWT. 800 pair of shoes NIB. So far I’ve only listed about 200 of the items for about $10k asking price.
I currently have just under 2000 items listed.
My wife and I will both process items, but since most of this is NWT, we won’t have to take photos. We are able to use stock photos from the manufacturer. Since some it is the same style, but just a different size, that also makes listing quick. Also, I’m lucky enough to work a job where I can list items periodically while I work.
As for storage, I use an extra bedroom, my 2 car garage, 2 sheds on my property as well as rent 2 12’x26′ storage units just a couple of miles from my home.
I’m with you cebanak about estates sales/auctions. I typically buy an entire closet of clothes for $10. Great way to get vintage items.0
This is good advice. I’m friendly with two auctioneers in my area. Always make sure they know the types of stuff you buy.
One of the auctioneers just last week went to a business that wanted to have an auction. The auctioneer wasn’t interested because he knew the local market would not bring much money for these items. He gave me their number and I went out and looked at the stuff. 10,000 plus items of clothing, shoes, sunglasses and many other items, all new with tags and popular brands. No dollar store stuff. I couldn’t get to the ATM fast enough. These items will keep me busy listing through the normally slow first quarter and will result in steady sales for months if not years.
In return for these auctioneers looking out for me, I also help them out. If someone calls me wanting to liquidate an estate, but it’s not the type of stuff I sell, I refer them to my auctioneer buddies. Also whenever I have stuff I want to sell locally quickly, I take it to these local auctions.002/07/2017 at 2:16 am in reply to: How do you handle 1 Day Handling time on Shipping? #11947
I work a full-time job, 4pm-2am and I don’t get home until 2:45am most nights. My wife gets most of the sold items together so they are waiting for me when I get home. I then proceed to package and ship everything. Clothes of course go quickly, but large items and fragile items do take time. Most nights I have somewhere between 5 and 80 items to ship. Shipping can take anywhere from 10 minutes to 4 hours on busy days. It’s tough but this is one of the sacrifices I make to keep this business going and one day make it my only occupation.012/22/2016 at 9:58 pm in reply to: What are some of the coolest places you have sold to? And What was it? #8656
Off the top of my head…
Sold an Indiana Jones press kit to Lucas Film in CA.
Sold a vintage PC to a computer museum in NYC.
Sold a large collectible that had ties to Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard and WWII to the Church of Scientology.0