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Ebay items from storage lockers

Ebay items from storage lockers
« on: January 28, 2012, 04:02:23 PM »
I have been selling on eBay for a few years now. Most of my items come from garage sales, resale stores, etc. So I know what I paid and what I need to get out of something for profit.

Here's my question. What is the best way to list things from a locker? I was pretty lucky to find some vintage things that are valuable, but what about the ones that my not be? I can't just throw it out or donate it, because even at a buck or two, its better than nothing. For instance, I have 2 small tackle boxes that are like brand new. Im thinking at $5 a piece I can move them on eBay. But I am hesitant to start listings at 99 cents. If it sells for that, I am in the hole by the time fees come out. 

How many of you do the auctions vs buy it now? What is everyone's thoughts on this? I can't have a garage sale now (winter with snow here) and flea markets are pretty much the same til spring.

Re: Ebay items from storage lockers
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2012, 05:32:54 PM »
I try and use up all of my 50 free listings a month.  Either with new items, or re-list.  Now for storage unit items I just try and stay competative.  I mostly use flat rate shipping by USPS.  If item is to big or bulky I box it, weigh it, and let person bidding do the calculation.  I give them priority mail or normal mail options.

I mostly only sell items worth $5 or more.  Only during the last week or free listing days will I post under $5 items.  I try to keep pictures of everything handy.  I do all my digging at home.  So as I search boxes, etc. I'll take a picture of any item I want to research or post on ebay.

Offline Cobia

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Re: Ebay items from storage lockers
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2012, 08:29:37 AM »
I have been selling on eBay for a few years now. Most of my items come from garage sales, resale stores, etc. So I know what I paid and what I need to get out of something for profit.

Here's my question. What is the best way to list things from a locker? I was pretty lucky to find some vintage things that are valuable, but what about the ones that my not be? I can't just throw it out or donate it, because even at a buck or two, its better than nothing. For instance, I have 2 small tackle boxes that are like brand new. Im thinking at $5 a piece I can move them on eBay. But I am hesitant to start listings at 99 cents. If it sells for that, I am in the hole by the time fees come out. 

How many of you do the auctions vs buy it now? What is everyone's thoughts on this? I can't have a garage sale now (winter with snow here) and flea markets are pretty much the same til spring.

If you have the time and patience you can do a 30 day "buy it now" name your price and include an accept offers feature for what you are willing to take. After 30 days no luck, then you might try .99 auction, but you should always research completed listings and see what the same or similar items have sold for. An .99 sale on Ebay is a big hassle when you can get $1-$2 at the flea market. You really should not use the auction format unless you know there will be a lot of interest or you just can't sell what you have anywhere else. Look into sweetening the deal. Can you through in some cheap tackle with the boxes to peek interest?

Re: Ebay items from storage lockers
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2012, 09:00:13 AM »
Great idea Cobia. The husband can't seem to ever catch any fish, so I will just throw his stuff in...lol.  In doing more research, I am finding the stuff I didn't think would sell, is actually worth something. For instance, one of those floor to ceiling tension rod plant holders and wooden plant shelving unit. Those I am going to start at .99 and let them go.  Funny, all that crap I remember my mom having growing up is "vintage" and worth something. There were some pretty good books that would sell, unfortunately they stink like mildew. I put them in a bin with some of those rock things that absorb odor.  Hopefully that will work (the books are dry and in good shape otherwise).

There are a few other things I thought of throwing on "for parts".  After looking up some stuff, it gives me a whole set of new ideas as to what to look for at garage sales, etc!

Re: Ebay items from storage lockers
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2012, 07:03:22 PM »
Be sure to get your weights and package size correct and not mixed up.  I just did a bone-head thing and undercut myself on shipping by 5-7 bucks.  Since this is one of the few times it's a CA buyer all my profit (if not a loss) is going to the toilet on a $10 item.  Had gotten in a habit of $5.35 flat rate shipping for all these smalls and this group of tapes just will not fit.  Dummy me.

Re: Ebay items from storage lockers
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2012, 08:52:10 PM »
The packaging and weighing I hate the most!!! I don't use flat rate though, maybe I should check into it.  I sell a lot of board games, so I got a package of the flat rate game boxes from the post office. I couldn't believe they were over $14 to ship!!! I haven't used one yet!

I made my fair share of shipping mistakes. One I did over Christmas and got burned because I forgot to check the "large package" box! Even though I had the weight and dimensions right, the calculator was messed up. The almighty eBay rating system made me suck it up and ship at a $20 loss. And to top it off, haven't received feedback for the item!!!

I have also been doing free shipping. Of course the price is added into the item, but I hate getting a lower star rating for shipping price when I am not the Post Office!!

I am in the process of listing stuff .... ugh, I look around and think where the hell do I start!!!

Re: Ebay items from storage lockers
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2012, 09:03:28 PM »
Anyone have any ideas on selling this? I did take off the duct taped label and cleaned it up a bit. I found one similar on eBay (1930's army foot locker, sold for $70). Mine only has one side handle, but everything is intact, even the inside shelf. Should I polish up the brass, etc or just leave it be??

Re: Ebay items from storage lockers
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2012, 06:36:23 AM »
The footlocker goes for $50 - $100 in my area.  I've had a number of people ask to buy my beat-up-to-hell locker that I use to move some of my glass and other knick knacks in.

As for my shipping mistake - I figured it out last night and after fee's, shipping, etc. I made a total $2.70 from the item.  So far I've done ok on shipping.  I charge people what the USPS.gov site says.  Save 5% doing online postage so that makes the ebay fee 4% on shipping.  I use the flat rate medium boxes ($10.85 now) mostly so I don't have to screw with different shipping prices.  Everyone pays the same no matter if is on east or west cost.  Now if it will not fit in one of the boxes that is a different story.  Many times I've also found it to be cheaper then packing the item a different way and shipping.

Now if the postal service closes the sorting branch in my city I'm screwed.  That will add a day or two to the shipping.  So instead of 2-3 days priority mail it would be 3-4 days.

Offline rulesforrebels

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Re: Ebay items from storage lockers
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2012, 03:37:56 PM »
Don't get sucked into the flat rate shipping trap. I think alot of people do it becaus ethey are too cheap to invest in a postal scale but unless your selling heavy car parts, metals, etc 90% of the time your throwing money away using flat rate shipping or making the customer pay an exorbitant fee for shipping. Flat rate boxes really aren't all that big to hold larger items anyway. Invest in a postal scale, you wont be guessing and getting packages shipped back to you or the buyer paying the remaining shipping, You'll know exactly what to charge and you wont have to pay the extra for flat rate shipping

Offline Cobia

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Re: Ebay items from storage lockers
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2012, 07:20:13 AM »
Don't get sucked into the flat rate shipping trap. I think alot of people do it becaus ethey are too cheap to invest in a postal scale but unless your selling heavy car parts, metals, etc 90% of the time your throwing money away using flat rate shipping or making the customer pay an exorbitant fee for shipping. Flat rate boxes really aren't all that big to hold larger items anyway. Invest in a postal scale, you wont be guessing and getting packages shipped back to you or the buyer paying the remaining shipping, You'll know exactly what to charge and you wont have to pay the extra for flat rate shipping

^^LIKE^^

Re: Ebay items from storage lockers
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2012, 10:53:11 AM »
I actually bought my scale on ebay.

It's a 40 lb. max, accurate to .1 oz. and cost less than $20 shipped.

I was shocked how much the office supply stores were charging for scales, so I checked ebay and there ya go!

Being able to weigh out items allows me to use First Class whenever possible, making shipping cheaper for the customer and costing me less in ebay fees on the shipping cost.

I do wish they offered a flat-rate box between the small and medium. Sometimes it is the best option, but that jump from $5 to $11 is pretty steep.

Re: Ebay items from storage lockers
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2012, 06:03:34 PM »
I paid $10 a few years ago for my digital scale on eBay, too. It is right on, same weight as the post office and has certainly paid for itself.

I haven't sold anything that was cheaper using flat rate, and most of the time item I have don't fit in the box.

I use a lot of priority boxes though and it does have its advantages. They come free, I can have the carrier pick them up at no extra cost (one priority pkg and they will also pick up parcel, 1st class, etc, and the boxes they come in sometimes are just the right size for shipping something else  :)


Re: Ebay items from storage lockers
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2012, 10:03:23 AM »
A scale is a must, especially with USPS raising rates on Feb.1.  I weigh my stuff, check the USPS website for the shipping cost, and use this on my auctions.  If the shipping cost is above $5, I also normally add a disclaimer like “shipping cost is directly from USPS website” – that way people don’t think you're trying to rip them off on shipping. 

I have always believed high shipping scares off bidders, and let’s face it, most of your customers also sell on eBay, so they know exactly how much it costs.  Why risk bad feedback or a low rating.


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