Wendy and Mikey interview Libby and Tristan, eBay sellers and true scavengers in East Hampton, Massachusetts- home to several colleges and a prime spot for scavenging goods at tag sales, flea markets, thrift stores and college dumpsters. They use Brickyard Vintage Finds as a flexible source of income, listing a bunch when they need to and keeping it lean when they’re working on other projects. Check out the Tiny House they built from scratch with money from a big tag sale.
Mikey and Wendy talk about putting their store on vacation mode and selling on the road. Cool sales have included a mid century lamp, bought for $12, sold for $139. Also, a vest that has come back, lives on and is sold a second time around. Mikey also lets us know that he is the lady’s shoe expert in this couple!
Creative Commons Flickr photo by Alan Cleaver
When we first started doing eBay, it was like running little yard sales. It felt like a hobby that made us some extra pocket money. However, after a couple years of listing and building a store with 1000+ items, we realized that we were making A LOT of money. Enough to quit our jobs. Great! But we also realized we needed to pay taxes on all our scavenger loot.
Paypal tells the IRS when you make over $20,000 in a year.
So like any business, we had to learn how to do accounting for our growing eBay business. This means claiming BUSINESS EXPENSES. In this episode, we talk about how we use Outright.com (Now called GoDaddy Bookkeeping to keep it real simple.
We’d love to hear how you handle your eBay accounting. Just talk in the comments.
Remember to check out the IRS standard mileage deduction. For 2013, it’s 56.5 cents for every mile driven for business.
Bought for $50, sold for $950. BOOM!
Jay and Ryanne talk about what’s going on this week in their ebay store. We had a slow week after Labor day, but things really picked up when we sold another piece of furniture, a fancy sink and some new in the box Lineman’s boots. As long as it all averages out at the end of the month, we’re happy.
Our tip of the week is to always have a back up printer. If something goes wrong, you don’t want to be stuck without one! Remember to check out our favorite Brother Laser printer.
You can easily avoid having your feedback look like this guy’s!
Jay and Mikey cover the basics on how to avoid negative feedback and deal with angry customers on eBay.
- First, don’t buy items in very bad condition or that you can’t easily test.
- Second, if there is a problem, deal with it professionally and courteously. Ebay will absolutely take your inbox responses into account when siding on a case.
- Remember not to take things personally, people get defensive when they have had bad previous experiences with sellers and it’s easy to diffuse someone with prompt and consistent communication.
- Sometimes you get negative or neutral feedback without a word from a customer, but eBay has some new policies about removing certain dings like this.
eBay recently suspended 15,000 sellers (out of 15 million) from listing new items because of bad performance. Just read the rules and give eBay a call, they might just delete that negative for you!
Vintage Fire King green “Jadeite” mugs and glassware can sell for a helluva lot of money. This one sold for $65.
Mikey and Jay talk about what’s been going on in their eBay stores this week. Mikey is getting some NYC trash picking and auction advice for his upcoming trip. Find auctions near you on AuctionZip.com. Look for Fire King vintage “Jadeite” green glassware while scavenging. People will ask a high price for it, but you can usually sell it for more on eBay!
A nice score of vintage Apple software free from the trash.
Jay and Ryanne talk about traveling and having their eBay store in vacation mode. USPS has a new program where anything sent Priority worth $50 and less gets free insurance. Nice! Also, we’d love to hear from you about what kind of experts we should interview in upcoming episodes.
Ryanne and Jay travel to Williamsburg, Brooklyn to interview lighting restoration expert Dawn Ladd of Aurora Lampworks. Dawn was gracious enough to sit down with us and answer a few questions about how she started and how she runs her business. Check out her gallery of work. She’s done some amazing stuff and really has an expert perspective on the value of antique and vintage fixtures. This interview can help you learn how to sell vintage lights and lamps on ebay.
For the first time ever, all four of us talk about what’s going on in our stores this week. Wendy and Mikey deal with non-payers and discuss using fixed price on items they know will sell high. Ryanne and Jay explain their notebook methods (see scan below) and discuss their success with selling furniture.
|Good thing I can read my own writing, sometimes.|
Always scavenging. NYC is a prime place to turn trash into cash!
We all look back on what has worked, was surprising and inspiring and what we can look forward to in the future on the podcast. Also, Jay gets in a fight with a homeless dude in NYC over who gets first dibs on NYU trash night.