eBay store on vacation for a few weeks…

Yeah. Trying to run an eBay store while you are packing up to move is not fun. I decided to put the store on vacation until after I move to our new house.

It was also time I cut loose all of my inventory that wasn’t selling. So I had a yard sale and sold/donated everything that had been sitting for a while on the store. I will have a fresh start once I re-open later towards the end of May.

In the next few weeks while I am waiting for the bank to close on our current house (and we get paid!) and when our future house closes (we pay for it) I will be looking at my numbers since January 1st 2017 and working on my bookkeeping workflow. I hope to gain some insight into what works and doesn’t so far and then apply that knowledge going forward in my sourcing and listing strategy.

Here are some things that I have had success with and will continue to do.

Trust my judgement in the weird and wonderful. These are the things that sell best on ebay. Continue to hone this aspect of my sourcing.

Look for things out of place in thrift stores. Either previous shoppers have placed these things intentionally to buy later when they are half price or they are just under valued by the store.

What I’ve found, which people on youtube have confirmed, is that Goodwill in particular and to a lesser degree Salvation Army thrift stores mark up stuff they think is valuable to on line sellers.

The game is to find things that are undervalued by the thrift store but rare and desirable to eBay shoppers.

I’ve also come to understand that the thrift store prices are retail not wholesale. Sometimes you can get 99 cent clothing and half priced items that sell for a healthy profit but more often you are looking at a very slim profit margin at best. I’ve seen many things that I thought were valuable sit in my store and maybe sell for a 99 cent auction.

Vintage clothing and household items do sell but not always for what you would like. Buy as cheaply as possible. I plan on sourcing from auctions and flea markets in addition to estate sales and thrift stores to try and get items cheaper.

The most important strategy for eBay selling success is to list consistently each day.  There are many theories why this works. I think that it’s because every time you list an item eBay gives you a “newly listed” boost by having your items appear on like pages that customers are currently browsing.

I’ve also learned that if you get an offer on an item, you may not get another one once the newly listed boost has expired. So, I plan on making sure my best price is on the new items, with “make an offer”.  This is in contrast to my previous method of trying to offer the lowest possible price for an item, thinking that the customer would impulse buy.

What I have come to realize is that for the vintage, rare and special items customers will pay the price even if it’s higher because it’s exactly what they were looking for. And if they make an offer you want your original price to be as high as possible so you start at a higher point. For example if you list something for $19.99 a decent counter offer from a buyer is usually at half of the listed price, or 9.99. If you listed this item at $29, or $39 initially you would get a half price offer of 14.99 – 29.99. If the item doesn’t get any offers you could then put it on sale and still have a good starting price. Basically don’t start too low when first listing an item because you soon run out of room for any decent profit.

Finally, I am going to concentrate on selling on eBay and Amazon only for the time being. These get the most “eyeballs” to your products and produce the most sales.

I will also try sourcing from the apps like letgo/offer up and craigslist as you can get deals. There are also deals on ebay. My goal is to find items more easily than driving around to thrift stores, garage and estate sales.

What sold recently on the Internet of Things eBay Store: 03/11/17 – 03/25/17

What Sold this week 2/17/17 – 2/24/17

What Sold This Week ending 02/24/17

Hey there! This is my first blog post on the latest incarnation of this site detropia.com. The focus of this site has changed to match what I am doing in real life.

To keep myself accountable and to keep my numbers front and center I will be posing each week between Friday – Sunday sometime to list what I sold, where it came from and how much I paid for it. My hope is that it will help me learn more about what sells and at what price.

I will also talk about any challenges I faced as a re-seller and how I dealt with them.

What I sold this week, in order of highest profit:

Ebay Store: (200+ items)

Mizuno Wave Rider 19 Running Shoes Blue Green Men’s Size 10 Seconds
Purchased at Salvation Army in Detroit for $6.99. They were listed in the store for only a few days at $39.99 plus shipping. I accepted a best offer of $32 plus shipping.

DEMONIA BOXER-05 4″ Platform Velcro Strap Adj. Sneaker Goth Unisex Men’s Size 8

These were purchased in a Detroit Metro thrift store, not GW or SA. I prefer not to say exactly since this has been a magic place to find weird, quickly selling stuff. I paid $3.99 for these shoes. They sold to someone over seas for $19.99 plus  shipping to KY for eBay’s global shipping program. I’ve sold at least 2 items including this one via the GSP, no problems so far but I’ll keep you posted.

Vintage 1980’s Glasses Retro Big Eye Frames Women’s Prescription Brown Gold

I got these at Salvation Army for $1.00 they sold after a couple of weeks for $9.99 plus shipping. The bows were kind of bent and I noted that in the description and photos.

Nick & Nora Women’s SMALL Light Pink Flannel Owl Pattern PJ Pajama Set Cotton

I paid half price, plus it was SUPER SENIOR day at Salvation Army, so I probably paid only $2.00 or so for these. They sold after a month or so for $9.99 plus shipping.

AKM Men’s Silk Handkerchief/Pocket Square Made In Italy Red BKG with Navy/Olive

Purchased in Salvation Army in Detroit for $0.98. Sold for $9.99 plus shipping. It sat in my store for a couple of months. Glad I didn’t mark it down and try to sell it on an 99 cent auction. From what other long time eBay sellers are saying, you can sell anything on eBay eventually for the price you set, within reason. It’s just a matter of having the space for storage and being able to wait for the sale. For the next few months I’ll be trying to sell a little quicker because we’re moving. Stay tuned for crazy deals 🙂

American Rag Faux leather Bomber Jacket; Knit Collar; Womens Size M; Color Beige
This was one of the first items I purchased at a local Goodwill Family center. I have quickly realized that Goodwill/Salvation Army are really retail prices when you are trying to resell clothes online. I never pay more than 1/2 price. I think I probably paid about $5 dollars for this item. It sat for months, probably because this is a fall jacket and I was trying to sell it in winter. I put it up for 0.99 starting price 7 day auction. It sold for 0.99 plus shipping. Totally lost money on this deal but glad to free up the space at this point.

346 Brooks Brothers Tie, Pure Silk, Made in USA, Yellow w/blue flowers

This was another 0.99 auction. Sold for 0.99 plus shipping. I bought it at goodwill for 1.99. Again no gain no pain. Moving on.

Customer Service:

I had one weird incident where a buyer, who was also an eBay shop owner, gave me a negative review on an item. They said there were stains on a garment that I honestly didn’t see stains on, they didn’t show up on photos either. But rather than contact me, I would have gladly given them a refund they just gave me a negative feedback. So, it was some kind of “punishment” on their part. Meh! I am quickly learning that people will scam you if you fall into any sort of eBay selling traps. But I am also learning that sad, drama possessed people enjoy controlling others anyway they can. eBay is a convenient platform for that as well as buying/selling. This buyer/seller didn’t open a case, yet. I contacted then to apologize about the item and offered a full refund. So clearly there was more to it than being disappointed by a purchase.

This week I also listed several large items for local pickup. Some one did a “buy it now” full price for one item. They then never paid or contacted me on how to complete the transaction. You can’t do instant payment for local pickup items on ebay. I contacted them to complete the sale but they never responded back. So I cancelled the sale and relisted the item at a slightly lower price. My reasoning is that perhaps another seller who was selling the same item at a lower price may have wanted to disable my listing somehow. The buyer profile showed only 1 feedback. Could be a bogus account. So it goes.

Postmark Store: 6 items; no sales this week.

Etsy Store: 10 items; no sales this week.