German Cuckoo Clock Pine Cone Weight

Dollar Flipper Ebay Flip, eBay Tips 17 Comments

Since we’re off to the races in 2015, it’s a good time to reflect on a mistake from 2014. Scrutinizing every dollar that I misspent will help me reach the lofty goal of $10,000 profits that I’m targeting this year.

Trimming the weight for the new year

I turned a profit on this cuckoo clock weight, but the return on investment was low. I’ll walk you through my thought process, and feel free to smack me upside the head for each mistake along the way. The goal here is for you to not make the same mistake that I did (and for me to not make these mistakes again)!

I’d love to think that I should have known better, but my 20-20 hindsight is clouding my vision. It’s a lot harder in the moment. Sometimes re-sellers get the equivalent of “beer goggles” when you’re out shopping.

I’d like to coin the term “thrifter’s goggles.

dollar sign sunglasses thrifters goggles

Every re-seller has worn Thrifter’s Goggles at some point.

The “beer goggles” “thrifter’s goggles” are considered to have distorted the “wearer’s” vision, making unattractive people items with low return on investment appear to be worth a lot of money, or at least passably attractive re-sellable.

Onto the actual cuckoo weight and why I bought it.

I love to grab items when they catch my eye, but I guess this does not always pan out. I put the weight in the cart without researching it, and I didn’t even know it was a weight for a cuckoo clock!

I was at one of my local Goodwill stores where you can only get cell phone reception at the FRONT of the store. This weight was with other knickknacks in the back of the store – a literal cell phone dead zone. If I’m unsure about an item, I have to haul it to the front of the store before being able to look up more information about it.

German Cuckoo Clock Weight Pine Cone eBay 1

Sometimes it helps to add in a ruler to the picture to give the buyer a perspective on size.

This thing is HEAVY. You can see on the side that it says 1500 BU. I’m not sure what “BU” means, but the 1500 is grams. This is equal to 3 lb 5 oz. If you have a cuckoo clock, you’ll want to make sure all of the weights that are being used weigh the same. I’d like to think that someone bought a cuckoo clock at a garage sale that was missing a weight, and bought mine to get the clock working correctly.

The nice thing about the weight was that it was very durable. I ended up wrapping it in a bunch of bubble wrap and fitting it into a padded flat rate mailer.

Here’s the details  from the actual eBay sale:

  • Purchase price – $5
  • End Selling Price – $19.99
  • Fees and Shipping/Handling – $8.23

Total Profit:  $6.76

Mistakes will make you cuckoo

The reason I started off with this post for 2015 is because these are the type of items I DO NOT WANT to sell anymore.

  • The weight wasn’t cheap.
  • It weighs a lot.
  • I had to research it a good deal before listing it.
  • It doesn’t sell for a lot.

As I said in my 2015 goal post and have updated in my new eBay seller FAQ, I am trying to increase my average sale price. I can only control this while listing new items. In the mean time, I’m going to have sales like this where I listed the item months ago, and it may not be up to snuff. This is part of the game though, and at least I know that I’m not spending my current energy on listing low profit items.

In the end, I still turned a profit on this mistake. As someone who ended up re-donating clothes that I bought from thrift stores because of small holes or stains that I missed because of I was wearing my thrifter’s goggles, this sale feels better!

Image Credit: PartyNet.co.za

Comments 17

  1. Question- couldn’t this have gone in a padded mailer for $5.27?

    1. Post
      Author

      Most likely you sell more items. I’m TRS but there are gold, silver, platinum, and titanium levels for sellers that give additional discounts. You’re probably selling more than 300 items per month on average.

      1. The post office has flat rate envelopes for free. They ship for 5.15 on the USPS site but on ebay they ship for 4.95. I sell about 100 items a month and this is what mine ship for. You can go to USPS and get the flat rate envelopes with bubble wrap in them and they still ship for 4.95. You should check it out. 🙂

        1. Post
          Author

          Hmm, that’s really strange. I just checked out the USPS site, and there’s nothing cheaper than $5.75 (without any discounts). I always use the padded flat rate mailer, and I get to ship it for $5.35 as long as I have the Top Rated Status discount within eBay. I’d love it if I could save $0.40 per item though!

  2. Yes, we have all been there, done that. ☺️ Seems to me that your big mistake was in not charging for shipping. If the buyer decides it is the wrong size weight and returns it you have spent all that shipping money for nothing. I do not do “free” shipping any more, no matter what Ebay says.

    1. Post
      Author

      Eh, it helps me in the end. These suckers generally go for about $20 a pair, so the fact that I sold it for $15+ S/H was above average. If the buyer returns it, I’d just relist it. I like the free shipping since I figure that it pushes me up in the ranks. It does give a visual cue at a minimum. Either way, I’m going to avoid these in the future!

  3. I’m in the same boat as you. Trying not to purchase those low profit items anymore. The trick is identifying them.

    1. Post
      Author

      The hardest part for me is to not list them. I get too attached, or I figure “This will net me $5 and will only take 5 minutes to list!” Well, it only takes 5 minutes to list the thing that nets me $20 too!

  4. If you can get a broken cuckoo clock cheap, it is sometimes worth it to strip it and sell the parts separately. Depending on the size and model, you can make a decent profit on one clock. I wrote a post about cuckoo clock parts. If you’re interested you can see it here: http://clamco.blogspot.com/2013/02/crazy-for-cuckoo-clocks.html

    1. Post
      Author

      That’s awesome! I haven’t seen a full one to part out, but that’s a great idea.

  5. I have definitely been guilty of wearing ‘thrifter’s goggles.’ Hopefully, as we learn more and more, the mistakes become fewer and less expensive. I’m trying to get my average selling price up also, but I still buy things like vintage and antique books that I can only sell for $10-$20. But I love books, and like an addict, I can’t pass them up for 10-25 cents each 🙂 Happy New Year!

    1. Post
      Author

      I know. It’s really hard. “I know this is worth $20” but then there’s tons of other things that are worth $30 or $50 or $100. I’d rather spend my time on the higher dollar items! Good luck to you increasing your average selling price too!

  6. P.S. I never would’ve known what that was if you hadn’t identified it as a clock weight.

    1. Post
      Author

      LOL I thought it might have been inappropriate at first. All I searched was “metal pine cone” and found it in the cuckoo clock section!

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