Scott Rauber was kind enough to be a guest on my online radio show PowerSellingMomRadio.com.
He is the author of the eBook: The A-to-Z List of Flipping Smalls for HUGE Profits and an eBay seller since 2003. (Click to view on eBay)
Scott graciously shared a few of his insider secrets to his flipping success during this interview and you can listen to the radio show or read the complete transcript below:
Danna: Hello, and welcome to PowerSellingMomRadio.com. My name is Danna Crawford, and thanks for joining me today. We had a bit of a mix-up on my part, because I had 11:00PM, and I didn’t discover it until right when I tried to setup the show. Please forgive me, Scott. I’m glad that you caught it. I’m happy to report that all is well, and we’re going to carry on. Thanks to those in the archives. We appreciate your support, all of you that download on iTunes, we really appreciate all of that.
Those that are just tuning in, again thank you for joining us. I’m here today with Scott Rauber, and he has an awesome ebook and a blog about flipping items to sell on eBay, and he’s actually been an eBay seller since 2003, and he’s author of the ebook The A-Z List of Flipping Small for Huge Profit. I think it’s so cool the way that he shares all of this in his ebooks, and I’m sure he’s going to have a series of them coming out, and he’s just really good at what he does. It was my pleasure to meet him at one of my workshops up in New Port Richey, Florida. Let’s see if we can get him on the line. Are you there, Scott?
Scott: Yes, ma’am.
Danna: All right. Thanks for joining us. Did you see how I messed up that time?
Scott: Yeah. I said to my wife, that’s not scheduled till 11:00 tonight.
Danna: I’m sorry I didn’t catch that sooner, and thanks for being on top of it.
Scott: No worries.
Danna: How are you today?
Scott: Fine. How about you?
Danna: I’m fine. Thank you. I really appreciate you taking the time for this, and I just can’t wait to jump in and hear about your ebook. When did you finish your ebook and have it out there?
Scott: It came to an end right at the end of 2014. My goal was to get it prepared so I could sell it on eBay by January 1st, and I was a few days late. I think it put it on there January 5th or something. Right at the end of 2014.
Danna: It really helps having goals, doesn’t it?
Scott: Not that I’m much of a goal setter, but every once in a while I accidentally stumble on one.
Danna: Tell us. What’s your money item?
Scott: My favorite thing that I have part in when I’m at an estate sale, garage sale, yard sale, joyous party, is a Sony Walkman, especially the type that are cordless. They sit up on your head, and all the dials and bands and volume and controls are all enclosed in one piece, and it has a little antennae sticking up on top. Whenever I find something like that Sony Walkman I usually can pick them up for a $1 or $2, and sell them for $30-$40.
Danna: Isn’t that crazy? Even myself as a long term seller I would probably walk past that.
Scott: Yeah. Most people do, I think.
Scott: I’ve found them, Sony Walkmans, on the last day of a garage sale or an estate sale, and they’re sitting on a table, and they’ve got them marked at $1. I walk up, and I’m like, oh my gosh, please let this thing work. I check the batteries real quick, and then off I go.
Danna: That’s great. I know, it was a couple years ago, but my husband found a white one that was one of the first Sony Walkmans, and he got almost $800 for that.
Danna: That’s crazy, and I, again, wouldn’t even think Sony Walkman. Perfect. This is one thing that you kind of look for.
Scott: I definitely keep my eyes out for it. My first one that I came across was $1, and I brought it home, and I looked on eBay for completed and sold listings, and I’m like, holy moly. It was good.
Danna: Good job. When you say small, as the title of your eBook says, what do you mean exactly?
Scott: Number 1 I don’t like to have a large investment in what I’m buying. I can’t really afford to do stuff like that. Anything that would fit in a 6×9 manila envelope with a little clasp on it, or will fit in a flat rate envelope or a padded flat rate envelope. That’s generally what I’m looking for.
Danna: Okay. That’s a great thing to do. Then you don’t have to worry about a lot of storage.
Scott: Exactly, because I live in a condo, and I have the second bedroom as filled up as my wife doesn’t want it to be. I keep it in a drawer, most of it.
Danna: Then do you do tubs?
Scott: I got a couple of tubs and a couple drawers around in here, and a couple more drawers. Little bit in the closet. I try to get rid of it. My wife’s like “What are you doing with all this stuff?” I’m like, “Believe me, I’m not collecting it. I want it out of here too.”
Danna: Do you have a section that’s waiting for eBay and then a section that’s on eBay?
Scott: Most of my stuff, I guess I have a waiting for eBay section, but that’s very short. Then I have stuff that’s on eBay, and stuff that I’m like, I can’t believe this didn’t sell on eBay. Then that’s gone in that bin, and I figure one of the things I’ll do is put it in a lot with other stuff and sell it out. Most of it doesn’t stay around too long.
Danna: That’s good. I know I hate inventory too. Do you have a limit, like six months?
Scott: I guess probably six months is it. I’ve had a couple items I’m like, “This is not selling. I’m taking you down.” I guess probably six months, six, seven months.
Danna: That’s good. My motto, move it in, move it out. Sell the heat, sell it cheap. So you can move on and make more money on something else.
Scott: That’s right.
Danna: I’d love to see how you have it all set up. Tell me. Why did you write the ebook?
Scott: It came about because I watch a lot of YouTube videos on flippers and pickers and looking at all these guys, I’m like this is a lot of information. This is great stuff, and then I’d go to an estate sale and be like, what did they say? Was it the black model, or was it the purple model that was the great seller? Then I’d meet with some friends, and we’d hang out and talk, and the guy would be like, “I would love to do that, but there’s just way too much to know.” Another guy said, “It’d be nice if you had pictures, then I could deal with it.” So I thought, what if I could put together something that was really simple, very easy, a list of some sort that somebody could take with them and not have to eBay search it while they were at the garage sale?
Danna: Good idea.
Scott: I started at A, and I said, let me see if I can fill in all 26 letters of the alphabet, and I did.
Danna: Awesome. Brilliant idea. Then they can open it up on their Kindle or reader. It’s a PDF, right?
Danna: Perfect. Brilliant, I must say.
Scott: Thank you.
Danna: What could you share with us has been the biggest flip, profit wise? I know there’s a lot, but if you could just focus on one.
Scott: One item that I made the mac daddy score?
Scott: I’ve got to say it was a pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses in the case, aviator pair. I didn’t know much about them at the time, but they looked kind of cool in the case, and I gave $2 for them, brought them home. Listed them on eBay, not knowing much, and I think I started it at $0.99. They ended up selling for $168 or $162, something like that.
Danna: That is awesome. You started at $0.99. Did you have free shipping?
Scott: I believe I did, yes.
Danna: That’s awesome. Don’t you just love that? You just sit there and watch it go up.
Scott: It’s crazy, because you’re watching it at the end, and it’s coming down to the last minute. I think it was up to $80 or $90, and I’m like, this is awesome. You know, the last few seconds of the auctions and it goes from $90 to $112 to $130 to $147 to $168. You’re like, wow.
Danna: That’s so fun watching auctions go up in the end.
Scott: It is fun.
Danna: Then you’ve got your sniper that always shows up.
Scott: Always. Thank God for snipers, that’s all I’m saying. Thank God for snipers.
Danna: Are you a sniper?
Scott: No. I do buy some stuff on eBay, and I’ll put in my max bid, and if it goes above that, I’m not paying any more.
Danna: That’s exactly what I do. I say if it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be. This is what I’ll pay.
Scott: That’s right. Agreed.
Danna: What items sell well most people would overlook, can you think of?
Scott: Most people would overlook that sell well, sharpening stones.
Scott: Heavens to Murgatroyd, I’ve made some big money on those.
Danna: Is that right?
Scott: It looks like a rectangular hard piece of sand. It’s black or charcoal colored, and it may be a different smoothness on one side and a different roughness on the other side. There some I haven’t made, but there’s been so many that I have made, and I forgot another one. I forgot to tell you this one. I should really tell you this one, not that one. Forget I said that one. Don’t pay attention to that, people.
Danna: Back up, rewind.
Scott: Just kidding. Foam, mesh back, snap back, trucker’s hats. Remember those?
Danna: Yeah, the trucker’s hats.
Scott: They’re ugly, and they’re nasty, and they’re like, who would wear anything like that? They’re adjustable, because they’ve got the snap back. It’s not Velcro. These are the old snap back ones. I picked up three snap back Snap On hats two weeks ago for $3, $1 apiece, and I sold two of them so far for $45.
Danna: Nice. What did they have on them?
Scott: The cool thing was it had the Snap On logo, but the really cool was it had a deer head, a trout, and something. It was their outdoors series cap. It’s probably done back in the 70s. These things were in mint condition. The lady’s like, “Just give me $1 apiece for them.” I’m like, “Thank you very much.”
Danna: Don’t you get excited when you get something like that? You want to run home and get it listed.
Scott: I do.
Danna: Should I keep treasure hunting, or should I run home and get this listed?
Scott: I know. It’s crazy. You have to go back to the car and have your little celebratory dance inside your car instead of out in the middle of the street.
Danna: Keep a straight face.
Scott: Keep a straight face. Say to the people, “Thank you. Have a nice day.”
Danna: That’s great. Trucker’s hats.
Scott: The best place to find them, I’ll tell you two places. Obviously in the garage, but if you’re at an estate sale, you go inside, look in the closets on the top shelves.
Danna: Okay. Good point.
Scott: Most people they go in, they look at all the clothes, and they look at the shoes, and they never lift their eyes up above the hanger rack. You can buy 3, 4, 5, of them for $1 or $2.
Danna: That’s great advice, really good advice. I just recently was allowed to go into this ladies house and take what I wanted, and so I went around the house. I started getting stressed and overheated, and it was like let me just look through the closet real quick. I never even bothered with the top shelf. When I was going through his closet I was just digging through looking for IZOD and logos on shirts, and I never even went to that shelf. You’re right. I missed opportunity.
Scott: The beautiful thing about this, Danna, is most of the time if you come across like these Snap On hats, there was no completed listings or no sold listings on these, so I set my own price.
Danna: Make an offer?
Scott: Yeah, make an offer. It’s different if there was six or seven that had sold for $9.99. There was no proof that they had sold or completed unsold. So I’m like, I’m going to make my own price. I listed them at $30.
Danna: Good call. I call that take it out for a spin.
Scott: That’s it. You can’t lose for $1, right?
Danna: That’s it. So you start it high with make an offer, and let the market decide the price. Good job. How fun.
Scott: Thank you. Yeah, it is.
Danna: Can you disclose one letter in your A-Z ebook? Say for example the letter I in your ebook.
Scott: I tell you what, I’ll give you two. I’ll give you a little bonus coverage, not including the sharpening stones.
Danna: That was a good one, thank you.
Scott: Especially if you can get the sharpening stone with the original box. That’s money. I, the letter I, ink cartridges.
Danna: Like for printers?
Scott: Like for printers. Still in the wrapper, still brand new in the box, whatever they come. Most people have them on their card table at the garage sale for $1 or $2, and you can usually bring that home and sell it. Every once in a while I get stuck with one, but usually you can bring it home and flip it that day for $15-$25.
Danna: Nice, and that adds up.
Scott: It does add up. Then the other thing, the letter Z, as in zebra or Zippo. Zippo. Zippo lighters are huge sellers, fast and furious, the older the better.
Danna: Even if they don’t work?
Scott: Even if they don’t work. By the way, it’s very simple to go to your local convenience store and buy some Zippo flints and Zippo fluid and turn your broken Zippo lighter into a working lighter, if you want it to work, but you can sell it on eBay nonworking for, it depends, $20-$50.
Danna: Even if they’re banged up?
Scott: Yup. The older the better.
Danna: Okay. Any certain logos you noticed on Zippos that do well?
Scott: That’s a good question. This is mack, if you find any military related Zippos. Military is huge, war related, cavalry, army, marine corps, navy, anything military. Make sure though that it’s a Zippo. Look at the bottom. The next thing that you’ll learn as soon as you start to mess around with Zippo, and why Zippos are so collectible, is they are date stamped. Meaning you can look at Zippo on the bottom of the lighter, and you can go on the internet and Google Zippo date codes, match up what’s on the bottom of your lighter to the date code chart, and it’ll tell you, 1963, 1972.
Danna: Great tip. Then you’d actually be able to put a date on your listing. That’s awesome. Love it. Thanks so much for sharing that. I didn’t know that. I didn’t know that you could look up a date like that. That’s huge when you’re doing your listing.
Danna: That you can give an exact date.
Scott: It’s very huge, because Billy Joe can be out there collecting all of the Zippo lighters, and he might need one from 1979, or he might need a Zippo Slim from 1982 to complete his collection. It’s amazing. Whenever I see Zippos that’s another party when I get in the car item.
Danna: You made another good point, because with the keywords in those titles, and when you have that exact date. Billy Joe, God love him, he could have that in his saved search so that as soon as someone lists 1968 he’s getting a notice on his email.
Danna: Great point.
Scott: It’s brilliant.
Danna: I’m curious, Scott. Tell me, do you have a preference on garage sales, yard sales, flea markets for shops? What do you like best?
Scott: If I had my preference I’d only go to estate sales.
Danna: You and my husband would like each other. He likes those best too.
Scott: My favorite ones are the ones that there’s so much crap in the house they can’t price it all. You fill up your bag, or you fill up your box, and you take it in the checkout line, and the lady looks in and goes, “$20 all right?” I’m like, “That’ll be fine.”
Danna: Yeah, because you can wheel and deal more so in box lot, right? You can fill up a box.
Danna: Very good. Do you have a lot in your area?
Scott: Do you want another story?
Danna: Sure. Yes.
Scott: I have a lot, every weekend, like 12-15 garage/yard/estate sales every weekend.
Danna: Love it.
Scott: Here’s an estate sale I go to April, beginning of April, May, few weeks ago. Mobile home estate sale. I walk in and people are, “Hey, how are you?” “I’m good. How are you?” “We’ll be better when you spend some money with us.” “Okay. Fine. Sure.” She says, “It’s still a box for $5.” Initially I was a little hesitant, because I’m looking around a mobile home and the enclosed carport, porch area. Through the back door I can see this man cave of old vintage tools and work bench and vices, and I’m like, “Maybe I’d better grab a box.” Heavens to Murgatroyd. I went back in that little tiny 4’x4’ area and packed down this box. I’ll bet you the box weighed 25 pounds when I left, and gave them a $5 bill. Turned that $5 bill into about $160.
Danna: Nice. If it fits, it ships.
Danna: Wow. Love it. Love the fill a bag sale. There’s nothing like it, when you can fill a box. Did you get old tools?
Scott: Yes, ma’am. I sure did.
Danna: Good job. I know we only have four minutes and counting. Do you have a specialty that you focus and try hard to find? Anything special that’s your favorite niche?
Scott: I do, and let me tell my website before we leave.
Danna: Yes, absolutely we want to do that.
Scott: Okay, flippingfindsfast.com, all one word. Favorite thing is American made knives, pocket knives, hunting knives, stuff our grandads and our dads used to carry all the time because knives were okay, and everybody was cool with carrying a knife. American made pocket knives.
Danna: Nice. Quickly, your website is flippingfindsfast.com. You’ve been an eBay seller since 2003, and will you come back? We can do this again?
Danna: Okay. How much is your ebook?
Danna: Perfect. How awesome is that, people? You can get a list A-Z of small items that you don’t need to live in a warehouse to store, and I really like the concept of small items, because that helps a lot of people, like yourself in condos, also people that do eBay from RVs. I know a lot of people do that.
Scott: Yeah. It’s enough information. You can print the last page, because it has the item for each letter. You can actually show up to garage/yard/estate sales, look at the letter, open up your little cheat sheet, and go Z, Zippo, I’ll get one of these. It should put you on fast forward there.
Danna: Perfect. Your final tips for eBay sellers.
Scott: Oh my gosh, pictures, pictures, pictures, more pictures, and an excellent description. You must describe.
Danna: 12 pictures and describe it. Don’t tell me about your shipping.
Scott: Don’t tell me about your rules and regulations.
Danna: Don’t tell me how you’re going to leave me bad feedback.
Scott: Just tell me what I want to know about the item.
Danna: That’s a fact. Quick tip for shoppers.
Scott: Quick tip for shoppers, bundle buy. Do as much as you can. Buy as many items, look at them and go, “What do you got to have for this?” “I don’t know. How’s $10?” “That’s perfect. Got to go.” Bundle buy.
Danna: Scott, I really appreciate it. For those that are viewing right from the BlogTalk page at PowerSellingMomRadio.com there are direct links for you to just click on that will take you directly to his eBay store, his eBay listings, and to his website at flippingfindsfast.com. Also, at the home page on PowerSellingMomRadio.com I have a link for you to click to sign up for future webinars. I have a lot of webinars coming up, so you want to get on that waiting list so you’ll get a notice. Maybe we could do a webinar with you, Scott, down the road.
Danna: You could share some tips as we go along. Again, I wish you all the best for continued success. It’s a pleasure to know you, and we’ll have you back again.
Scott: Thanks for having me, Danna, my pleasure. Thank you.
Danna: Have a great eBay selling day.
Scott: You do the same.
Danna: Thanks, everybody, for joining me. I’m Danna Crawford. Until next time, bye bye.
Danna: Done. See that wasn’t bad. Done.
Tune in to hear his tips for finding the goods to sell on eBay for a bigger profit than most. Scott will share his strategy with a few insider tips on flipping for profit. I had the pleasure to meet Scott in person at a local eBay event in Florida which is his home base where he flips for profits every weekend.
This father of 3 and grandfather of 7 enjoy the thrill of flipping and helping others turn a quick profit using his tips. Learn more about Scott online where he blogs about his flips at: http://FlippingFindsFast.com