Ronnie aka Harts Pickers on Youtube has seen many come and go in this reselling world. But as he explains with patience you can and will find your lane, your niche in this humongous retail world if you stay focused and put in the time. Great advice from a long time successful seller.
Transcript: (note- this is a new tool I am trying out so it is not perfect- it does seem to be getting better)
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Stephen: [00:06:07] Also want to mention about grasshopper. Who was that? Just talking to somebody the other day and they were like, Oh yeah, use this company called grasshopper. I’m like, Dude, did you buy it through my link and save 30 percent? Hello? No, they missed that. So save 30 percent. It’s try grasshopper.com. Forward slash momentum. No surprise there, but you’re going to save 30 percent and what the real cool part about that is they’re using it for their private label business and it gives them virtually a second phone on their current phone without having to get another number. They can make up a vanity number. They don’t have to go and do all the grief and sign loan contracts. Pretty easy stuff, and so if you’re creating a brand that you want to identify, you want to look professional, you want to look like a real company. Grasshopper is a great tool. It’s an app you put on your existing phone and boom, you now have a customer service to. You now have a sales department. You’d have a manufacturing division. You could forward it to somebody else. You can have it go to different voicemails, different departments, and it’s all included. So try grasshopper.com, forward slash momentum. Save 30 percent.
Cool voice guy: [00:07:13] Welcome to the ecommerce moment. Didn’t bond gas. Will we focus on the people, the products, and the process of ecommerce selling today. Here’s your host, Steven Peterson.
Stephen: [00:07:27] Welcome back to the ECOMMERCE momentum podcast. This is episode 300 and Fifteen Ronnie heart. How many people would know Ronnie from Youtube? Uh, he has a channel called hearts pickers and he’s on a whole bunch of other people’s channels a lot. Um, and he’s mostly known as an expert in selling high end clothing, reselling high end clothing, but there’s more to it and there’s more depth there. And what’s cool for me is there’s a whole bunch of things I didn’t know. Um, and I think there’s, there’s two or three really powerful things to take away. First off, Ronnie is very laid back and chill and he’s, he said he wasn’t always that way, but he got there. That’s intentional. They also have designed their life. Him and his wife, they’re on the same page. They have some interest and so they’re very intentional about designing their business to fit that life.
Stephen: [00:08:17] Um, and I think that that’s really powerful. The other thing I think is really powerful is his ability to move in and out of different channels as they slow down. So for his example, and he sells clothing and summer it slows down an Ebay. That’s just a natural occurrence so he could put more energy and effort and put more volume up, or in his case, he takes his foot off the pedal a little bit in sales on other platforms because he designed it again. And so this just doesn’t happen by accident and you know, you’ll hear the work that he put in to learn this, um, because he talks about, you know, mass selling the Walmart model, selling everything, but then since he’s niched down and the other thing is he niched down in his neighborhood, he niched down in his market so he’s not running around the country doing things and then dealing with the repercussions of all that. Again, designing that life, being intentional. I just think it’s so powerful. Um, and it’s just, it’s just so cool to hear. Let’s get into the podcast. Alright, welcome back to the ECOMMERCE momentum podcast. Very excited about today’s guest because he’s a very long time seller, has moved in and out through the different channels and figured out his lane probably better than most. And I just think that that’s such a healthy, you know, to be so self aware I just said is such a healthy thing for your business. Ronnie heart. Welcome Ronnie.
Ronnie: [00:09:40] Hey, how you doing? Thank you for having me on.
Stephen: [00:09:42] I think you, um, you are, uh, one of my youtube watches. Um, I’ve watched so many of your videos, so you’ve been on so many different shows. Hey, you’ve done your own, but you’re on so many different shows even still currently and you’ve been very free with your information. Sharing it free to share. Um, but the thing I appreciate what you do is you don’t make it sound easy. I mean, you put in the time, right when you go to an estate sale, you’re one of the few really good estate sale people that come on air. And I’m sure there are others, but, um, you put in the time, don’t you?
Ronnie: [00:10:17] It’s definitely, um, you know, work. I pick and choose which ones I go to.
Ronnie: [00:10:22] And,
Ronnie: [00:10:24] you know, it takes a little time to research and to, you know, I’ll research even the value of people’s houses to get an ID or. Oh no kidding. You know, like, you know, they’ll put the address up the night before I’m checking it in the morning to see if it’s sold, is it per sale, you know, just little different factors to get a little bit of a, maybe an edge over something else. Um,
Stephen: [00:10:46] well what would that tell you? Because that’s a, that’s a, that’s a very interesting. It’s almost like you’re profiling them, right? Um, and I’ve seen that like on the storage, more kind of places, right? Those, they profile a storage unit based on the dust, based on the, you know, the first things they see, that kind of thing. So you’re talking about similar thing. So if you see a house and you’re up in the northeast where house prices are high, right? They just always are, right. There’s no low market and in up in that northeast market, correct
Ronnie: [00:11:14] where we are. It’s pricey. It’s not California Pricey, but it’s definitely one of the more pricier areas I would say within the US. So you know, top 10 places I would say.
Stephen: [00:11:27] Alright. So tell me again like what would you be looking for? So you profile now you, you have these houses and you have low end spectrum. What would you expect from that medium spectrum and high spectrum? What would that look like and then what would you expect them to kind of bring?
Ronnie: [00:11:44] I mean most of the time when I put in there, I’m looking for average home around us is probably low, like a starter home. It’s like 40, 50 depending on what town you’re in. Some towns the average home price is over a million dollars so it just depends on the town. So I could even find a million dollar house and you may not find anything really that spectacular. So a lot of it goes into just put it in there. Sometimes other information will come up. You may come like figure out, like we went to a sale and we found out the guy who actually owned the Saturn dealership, which Saturn hasn’t been business for awhile, but that information came up so. And then when we will check it online, we go, we use a state sales.net a lot and when we looked at the pictures, it didn’t say anything about clothing, but we see it was like two or three closets packed full with suits and this and that. So I figured it was a million dollar house or just around a million, you know, the fact that he owned a car dealership probably own another one, I’m assuming most do. So, you know, I thought there was a very good possibility that these weren’t going to be lower and suits just, you know. So even though it didn’t talk about clothing,
Stephen: [00:13:00] so you’re able to put those two and two together and make a reasonable assumption so that you say, oh this is probably worth going. And then what would do the opposite of that? What would you be? Give me another example of what would turn you away from it. Steer you away.
Ronnie: [00:13:16] I’m just looking at you. Looking at pictures of furniture. You look at pictures of just stuff they have in the house in general and if this stuff doesn’t look high quality or it doesn’t look that great, you know the sentence probably they’re not going to have good clothing because people, they usually have good coal. Then they’re going to have a nice sofa. They’re going to have nice kitchen table. You know, the kitchen’s probably going to be updated in the house. Just little things like that. Look for neatness. And
Stephen: [00:13:45] so you would steer clear of that because if it wasn’t that because, you know, in a precall we were kind of talking about it. Your goal is to do more with less meaning that you want to stay single person operation or you and your wife a little bit whatever. And the ability to buy better things and sell them at higher prices is a much better path for you. You feel.
Ronnie: [00:14:10] I’ve always been on the um idea that a higher selling average price is better than a low saw in price just because of the time it involves to get everything done. So we live in the area unfortunately, or not unfortunately, but for me it’s good because we can source higher end clothing. I know a lot of people can’t be due to their area and it’s just what we find in our area. But um, it’s a lot of work though because we’ll spend more time going to either waiting in line at an estate sale, you know, then go into the estate sale or a go into thrift stores. I mean there’s times where we may go hand in 12 stores on one day to get those maybe 30 items that I can sell for 50 or more versed. Someone going into the bank and spending two, three hours just filling their car with $10 things. And then, you know, it’s difference. I sell one thing, they sell five, six. It’s less time, you know, less shipping, you know, just the whole thing that we don’t like it. The listing process that the shipping process, I’d rather have more fun with the sourcing for. I mean the sourcing part of it, going out there and looking for the home run. I think it’s set up
Stephen: [00:15:33] well. I think it’s good advice. I mean I think what you’re saying is that that’s the part you love as you say, the listing part and that kind of stuff is because the list of $10 shirt generally is the same amount of time it is to list eight $50 shirt. Right? Generally, I mean, and I know you might go a little more detail, hence the reason you’re able to sell it, but the value though is that it’s a long. It’s a long funnel. It sounds like to be like you have to put a bunch of stuff in, it probably don’t benefit very quickly because of $50. Buyers are harder to find the $10 buyers. I think that’s reasonable to assume and so you have to have patients more than likely for those 30 items. It might take longer to sell, but if you’re. If you put your head down and do the work you’re going to have, when that does sell, that takes up for those other five. Right. It’d be like, I think, I think we’re kind of saying the same thing and I just. To me the fact that, you know though, that that’s the part you enjoy, makes it worth it. How do you feel though, when you go to that, those 10 thrift stores and only find 39? I mean, is it disappointing to you? Do you still have that or do you know that maybe the 11th one is going to have an item?
Ronnie: [00:16:40] You know, sometimes you’ll get depressed, like I don’t know why I use the word depressed, but you’ll feel and maybe go to like three or four stores right in the back and you’re like, oh, what’s going on in that? Fine. And really much. We did one of these probably a six weeks ago. I haven’t done it as much recently to summertime. I kind of slow it down a little bit just because clothing sellers does that little dip in sales. I kind of let my foot off Ebay for a little bit and worry about other platforms, but we went out and it was probably the eight store where we spent three quarters are our money and we found
Ronnie: [00:17:21] like probably at that one store, 20 [5:30] items as the other stores. I was finding one item, two items maybe, and it was just like, Oh wow, you know, it’s give and take. You’re bound to find something. The more storage you go to, um, you know, for whatever reason you could fall behind somebody else, another picker going through there. I mean, there’s so many different people, the rafters and stuff now looking stuff online, mean rich doors and stuff like that, that it kind of, you know, you, you hit the right place at the right time. There’s no other way to say it.
Stephen: [00:17:58] Well, it’s an interesting question. So there are more people doing it were. And the more you put out information to be fair, right? Saying, Hey, these are brands you should look for that you’re, you’re basically training your, your competition in some ways, right? Some would argue. Does it take you longer to find those items today than it did say eight or 10 years ago or, and, and you know, logically I would say yes, but then I think about it. You’re so specialized because you’ve raised your game. Does that keep you kind of is that gives you your edge because you keep raising your game, looking for better quality, you know, perfect items that’ll sell at a higher price that precludes others from going there is that you get what I mean? Yeah,
Ronnie: [00:18:43] I mean overtime we get more and more pickier also with what we picked up. So what we picked up three, four years ago is not the same as what we pick up now and we’re a lot more students for pope heavy, so they’re longer tail items. A lot of resellers in general or a lot of characters in general don’t understand the difference between a suit, a sport coat, and that just came from me learning about it. Me Reading up on it, me watching a men’s videos on youtube, trying to understand the difference things, reading up about it and like men’s forum and stuff like that. And that’s just comes with like a little bit of knowledge trying. There’s no way you can buy that inflammation that really helped you because you’re not learning at you’re reading that you just wanted to make money and it’s a longer tail game too. You could sit on something for average three to six months as a lot of people. They just, they want to sell stuff. They don’t want to wait. They want the Oh, it has to sell them now mentality. And unfortunately not everything sells at a day.
Stephen: [00:19:53] And I think, I think it’s a valid point and into model that you’re using. It’s not the most capital intensive. I mean, maybe, maybe I’m wrong, but I think it’s not as like, you know, a guy who’s buying endcaps target, you know, and buying it at 50 and selling it at 80 and making $7 flip, flip, flip fast, fast, fast. That’s still a lot of capital to type when you’re buying a suit. I mean, I don’t know what you’re paying on average. Um, but to sit on it for six months is not a big deal for you to get that $80 or $90 or whatever a suit would sell for. Could you talk that through a little bit just for perspective?
Ronnie: [00:20:27] Yeah. Average, uh, average sport. But for us it’s probably between 50 and 10. There’s a few times where we may pay over that average suit on between, I’ll say six to 15, 20. Just depends on what store you go into. If you’re going through the savers going to be a little bit more, go to the army, you may catch it on the half off day. It’s going to be less side goodwill’s kind of in the middle. Just depends. I know last, I believe it was last month, our average, I mean last year our average price per item was $8 across the board for Ebay and our average sale price was $64. Right. And so, you know, there’s a lot of a room and margin there and you know, we have to sit on some things. I’m okay to sit on it because usually if we’re buying 30 items, five or six items sell, I already made back that money.
Ronnie: [00:21:25] There’s times where I sold just one item that paid for everything. We got an a day. We went out to the store, you know, so it just, it just depends, you know, just look good and you know, you get your initial investment back right away, but then you just can sit on the rest of it, you know, in a, you know, I think that part of it just comes into how fast you need the money come in. Some people are super fast would it I can wait and be patient and get that dollar of I want.
Stephen: [00:21:55] But that comes with, you know, again, like you said, skill that comes from experience and that comes from putting in the hours and doing the work. To me, I think it’s a very, very, you know, compared to like a business, right? Who’s paying, you know, you know, that’s $64 item. They paid $32 plus shipping, which is usually eight or 10 percent. So they’ve got 35 or $36 into that item that they’re going to hopefully sell for 64 and here they’re sitting on that. I mean, that’s a lot of money to tie up a mess. Sometimes they get terms and all the rest of his. Okay. But it’s going to take six months to sell. Well, guess what? I mean, not six months is painful when you’re starting to make interest payments on it, right? Because that now at this point it’s not selling and they got $36 into it. The bill came due every month it sits there. That’s going to be probably a financing cost for them. And so I think, I think it, it’s, it’s a very cool model, but I’m thinking about this.
Speaker 7: [00:22:48] Okay.
Stephen: [00:22:48] A story. No suit is not an easy task. Right? And as soon as you do, you just take it off that, that um, is a estate sales shelves or the rack and then just put, take pictures and then put it on a rack or do you clean it or do you have to do different things to it? And then how do you store such a large volume of stuff?
Ronnie: [00:23:09] Um, we store. Most of our stuff are nice extra bedroom. We had a warehouse for awhile. The warehouse was just A. I jumped the gun if my wife, my wife was away in Italy and England and I rented a warehouse, just, I seen it and kind of jumped the gun. There was a bunch of different issues. I just, I missed with the warehouse being just gotten home. I want this space. It’s close to the house. Terrible idea for us at that time. Just because the locate the Belbin was that not right for what we wanted it for. So we used our spare bedroom in our condo. Everything fits in there. We only have about 400 items on Ebay. 600 as before when we had the warehouse, we had about a thousand 900 to 1200, I would think somewhere in that range. And we still do almost the same amount of money now because we’ve gotten so much pickier. What we picked up. And um, there was another part of that question.
Stephen: [00:24:12] Well, it just made though, I think this is very powerful, what you just described. I mean, I hate to say you’re, you’re describing me. You do get sloppy when you, you know, spaces in a problem. Ah, you’ll rationalize a lot of stuff because you have to do more volume to cover that cost. That’s a big competitive advantage. What you just described. You have the ability to go to a much smaller space because you don’t have that overhead. Therefore with that smaller space though, you also have to be more picky because you want to get the premium for that space. It’s kind of like shelf space. When you think about a retail store, right? There are always competing for shelf space and your world. You really are competing for that small, but it forces you, it kind of forces you from both ends. So that’s pretty cool.
Ronnie: [00:25:01] Yeah, I mean it, it definitely, um, made us, you know, just change our business model a little bit. You know, we have a shelf in our bedroom when just one though. The wife will allow one in there some stuff in there. But um, what was the time when we buy a shoe will depends. Not all the time we have it clean if it needs, it needs to be client adds a funky smell to it, but most of the time people take stuff out of their closet that’s clean and donate it to the fridge doors where it comes from a dry cleaner, so unclean merchandise and it dropped off at the dry cleaner. Not True many times do people go out of their camper and stuff and throw it into the, you know, goodwill pile. Most of this stuff going into a third story is fairly clean for the most part. Um, you know, so it just depends on what it looks like or if it’s wrinkled or stuff like that. And then we have a deal with a local dry cleaner where he cleans our stuff for,
Ronnie: [00:26:00] I think I jackets like five bucks. So if we need to, we get it done. And then storage is just. I put them in the United States post office boxes. So what state when you photograph them, I get it listed. I basically followed the Jack. I did a video on this on my youtube channel where you just fold the jacket and half and then half again, put it in the dry cleaner bags and then we put it in the postal boxes and then we have a inventory number for that jacket and then we just put them in the, um, because it just saves space instead of having them on a rock, you know, and then you might have 20, um, you know, blue sport coats with gold buttons and you’re trying to figure out which one is it,
Stephen: [00:26:46] which one is, what can you do the work upfront so you literally, I mean, this is a power tip pro tip right here. So you’re doing the work upfront by organizing and getting it ready to sell, knowing it’s going to sell, putting it in a box, labeling the box, um, to identification. So literally you just Yank it off, slap a label on it and it’s gone.
Ronnie: [00:27:06] Yeah. They only read differences. Sometimes we’ll change boxes depending on where it’s going. Um, but that’s the only thing. And then I’ll just reuse the box and just give it a new inventory. You don’t seal the box now I don’t see a lot because I just put a little bit of tape on it. That way I can cut it with a utility knife if need be. Just a case. Somebody asks a question. There’s always. Yeah, there’s one suit that I, I think I’ve, I’ve received about six times now. We’ll take it, gets all these questions. If for whatever reason it’s unreal, but it’s expensive suits.
Stephen: [00:27:44] Does that make you a better seller? Would you see it? All those questions coming in because obviously you, I mean this isn’t, don’t get offended by this. You didn’t answer those questions in your listing. Right? That means your listing wasn’t good enough. Does that make you then better as you go forward listing and say, you know, I better answer this question. I see this kind of question repeated.
Ronnie: [00:28:05] Yeah. Most of the time it’s, it’ll be a question that like, um, you know, I added it into the description recently, like if there’s extra material in the waist, the pants or if there’s action material in the, um, the, um, the pants, like the inseam or if they’re coughed or on a, I kind of didn’t do that originally they were, that’s a few of those questions now. So more and more you add little bit different details so somebody sees your listing, you try to have as much info in that listing as possible, but you also want to make sure it’s clean. You don’t want to be writing a novel, that same vein, you know, 2001 where you’d go to buy somebody and they had 20,000 different, um, things, you know, I shipped one day a week, I.
Stephen: [00:28:56] Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Ronnie: [00:28:57] It’s like some of those listings back in the day we’ll do an Ebay back in the day was crazy to begin with, period.
Stephen: [00:29:05] No Soup for you kinda thing, right. It’s like you, unless you meet these things, I don’t want to sell you my stuff into like, whoa, that’s too many rules. I just want to buy your stuff, make it easy. Right?
Ronnie: [00:29:14] Yeah. I mean if people complain about Ebay changing here and there, this and that, but I mean overall experience still leaps and bounds better every year. I think because of the changes they do, you know, it’s just to make the platform better for the, of or for the buyer. Um, you know, US sellers, we hate them. We hate the challenges bringing buyers in or making buyers more comfortable. Bias and that go to other platforms.
Stephen: [00:29:44] Yeah, I agree. I don’t like the changes just because we have such an old account and the stuff that I used to do, which was okay, now all of a sudden is not okay and they’re like, you got to fix it. Um, and the problem I have is that when I go and fix it, it’s not that one thing that’s wrong with it. There’s always three other things that all of a sudden show up. And it’s like, wait, but you said to just fix this, but. And then it won’t let you go past that unless you fix these other ones too. However, this last round I was able to do a whole bunch of that and that. So they have gotten better at that. I agree with you. I mean there I always say, you know, they’re, they’re, they only make money when you sell stuff, Ronnie, period.
Stephen: [00:30:23] I mean you might pay them a small fee to be there, but they’re not making any money on that. You have to sell stuff for them to make money. So their goal is for you to sell more stuff, not less. So these things are designed to help because the thing that I don’t think people think about is that a lot of traffic comes from other places to Ebay. So they have to consider changes that Google’s making. Right. And being in all these other places, they have to consider that for your products. And I don’t think people think about that. They have no. I mean, Ebay has no control over those outside companies yet. They need them to help drive traffic to get to your stuff. Right.
Ronnie: [00:31:00] That’s what it’s all about.
Stephen: [00:31:02] How did you get into selling? I mean, what, what was it? I mean, especially vintage clothing, expensive vintage clothing, you know, brands that I’d never even heard of and you could talk about it like a fashion expert sometimes I’ve seen you and I’m always like, wow, how does he know all this stuff? And I’m sure it’s experienced and stuff. But what got you into selling?
Ronnie: [00:31:24] Um, I was always familiar with the Ebay website in general. I bought and sold cars for a dealership. I bought and sold cars for myself back in the early, late, early two thousands. I sold baseball cards when like 80, 98 to like, oh, five. Oh six when I got out of that phase. So I was always familiar with Ebay. I always knew I could make money on Ebay. When I moved to the Dominican Republic in 2009, I sold a bunch of my stuff on Ebay. Um, was auctions, which probably I think that was around the turn, the time where auctions kind of turned and can do all that great. And they started doing it now. But when we came back and I came back, I was married to my wife, we got married, we came back and I needed that even though I was working sometimes two jobs, I needed that little bit of extra income. So I’d always do different little things. I would always flip a laptop or buy it on craigslist in a I live on Cape Cod and then try to sell it in either providence or um,
Ronnie: [00:32:33] uh, Boston’s, you know, craigslist, it’s Kinda like a retail arbitrage and you’re taking a product that’s not really getting momentum in one area and trying to sell it somewhere else because there’s a bigger market. And then we’d meet somewhere halfway and usually I’d flip and make a few hundred dollars and be happy. So I started all of a sudden one day we came across some videos on Youtube, I think it was a book selling, you know, early on. And I got into that for a little bit and realize that wasn’t my thing. Then it just started to happen that I really noticed that we live in an expensive area to clothing. And I started researching on clothing, does go onto Ebay, sold listings and looking around seeing what sold. Then I joined the forum, which I can’t remember the name of the form. It was a men’s forum. We’ll be talking about clothing in general. And um, I was over there for awhile. I’d basically be in the shadows, but soak up a lot of information, see what was going on, you know, she trends and stuff like that. Go to department store, you know, higher end department stores and see what clothing retails at. So you have an idea of what it could sell for. Um, you know, pre-owned, like, okay, if it sells for $2,000, it has to have some value, you know, just stuff like that,
Stephen: [00:33:59] you know, it’s interesting to me that you didn’t go the car route though. You didn’t go. And so because you were into cars and it just interesting to me that you didn’t choose that path and sell because I just met a guy who sells a million dollars and um, oh, what are they? A mini cooper parts and because he’s into one, you know, that’s his world and so he needs to provide mini cooper parts so he realizes there’s a market and he gets to sell something he loves. But it’s interesting that clothing was your thing. Would you, I mean, would you consider yourself a fancy dresser or do or you want to be like the better clothing? Is that something that interests you? Dressing up and I mean, does that make you not sound weird? You know what I mean? Yes,
Ronnie: [00:34:45] I know what you’re saying. I like dressing up occasionally when you have to. I’m thing is I worked for myself. I work from home now. Most of the time my wardrobe is gym shorts and a tee shirt. Sure. Winter time. If I don’t like jeans, I’ve never been a jeans guy, you know, so I’ll wear. Even though we lived in, in Massachusetts, I’ll wear shorts almost year round. It drives people crazy, but when I worked in the restaurant it was hot in the kitchen, so I’d always wears shorts. Me.
Stephen: [00:35:18] So you’re used to. That’s your, that’s your thing. Okay. That’s interesting. When did you know that that this was gonna work, that you could leave the security of a job, right? Because there’s the security issue, right? Getting that paycheck every week that you can count on while it. Yes. You trading time for our, um, it, it still is an issue. The fact that you don’t need that. When does, when did, when did you figure that out?
Ronnie: [00:35:46] What was definitely a, it was definitely a jump. I was unprepared for that jump when it happened. It happened in the end of 2013 where I scheduled a vacation and that vacation was for six weeks. Go back to the Dominican Republic, spend some time on me and my wife were just family and have fun and stuff like that. And we had some issues at my job. I worked at a restaurant and I wasn’t the boss or anything. I just worked on someone, I worked there for 16 years at that point and he’s like, you can’t go like a week before, and I’m like, no, I’m going like, he was just, even though he knew we had some issues with employees and we’re lacking employee at the time. One just left and it was like, that’s not my problem. That’s your problem. So we kind of pushed the issue and then I just said, you know what?
Ronnie: [00:36:42] This is your restaurant on Don. And I think my bed, I had my best month on Ebay at that time, just in that November. And I think I quit in December. We had did $7,400 on Ebay and that was part time and I was just like, you know what? We could make this, we could do more. And then I went full time. It was like I turned to my wife and my wife was an assistant manager at a party, so I was just like, you know, work, honey, why don’t you just go full time with me? Like let’s go, let’s do this together. It was, it was the craziest thing I’ve ever done before because I never thought of it that way and I made, you know, we, we’re talking about probably $80,000 in salary just saying, okay, let’s just walk away, let’s walk away. Really knew this and we told ourselves, hey, this is for more, more travel and more. That’s what we wanted to do more traveling. And my wife recently took a job recently for jet blue and it’s all about traveling as I took that job is because, hey, we can I see a state sale now and almost anywhere in the US I can hop on a plane and be there.
Stephen: [00:37:56] You know that. But here’s what’s so cool and this is, this is really important. If you employ people, this is so important. In the old days, you know, employees didn’t have options. You know, it was hard to get a job. Now when I studied macroeconomics, right? The unemployment rate was five percent. You’re unemployable rate. They said you’ll never dipped below five percent because anybody in that group are unemployable, meaning that a, they never want to go to work or they have disabilities or you know, uh, they, they are not going to be able to work well. We’re way down in the pool right now. And so there are more jobs than there are people that want those jobs. Right? And people have options. And so in the old days, it was expected for you to care more about that job than anything else in your life, Ronnie. And it was like a switch turned on, like what you just said is like a switch. Wait a second, this is your business, not Ronnie’s business. Why do I have to care? Uh, yes, I am going. That reality, it’s almost like you’ve given yourself permission and there’s so many people who haven’t given themselves permission yet because they don’t realize it. It May. Maybe it’s a generational thing, but that’s a very cool moment when you’re like, wait, that’s your responsibility. Me and my wife, that’s my responsibility. And so therefore I have other options. That’s a very powerful moment.
Ronnie: [00:39:18] Definitely. It was just something I wanted to work on my own. Originally it was gonna be the car thing,
Ronnie: [00:39:25] but um,
Ronnie: [00:39:27] could just never scratch up enough capital
Ronnie: [00:39:30] for that.
Stephen: [00:39:31] Be Thankful that you didn’t because look at where you are now. It’s because like you’re saying your thing and it sounds like your wife’s is to travel and enjoy life. You’ve designed that. I mean, how cool is that? And then to fill it in with her now taking that job in jet blue because it, it allows even more of that. It accelerates that in the precall we were talking about it. You could take your foot off the pedal a little bit. That’s a, that’s a cool place to get to. But that didn’t happen by accident. Love it.
Ronnie: [00:39:59] A lot of hard work setting up, uh, you know, and getting a new. You have to work to get to a point and then once you’re comfortable, once you have, you know, money that flows in. We have so much money that flows in every year and depending on their certain time is a year where we kind of switch off one platform or another platform that we sell on and kind of generate the money from them when there’s always some money set aside for the slow times. We all know there’s always peaks and valleys would all selling platforms, you know.
Stephen: [00:40:35] Well, I don’t want to lose that because I caught that earlier. I was kind of come to that next. That was right where it was going. Great segway was that you had mentioned that. So you know when, when clothing sales tend to fall right in the summer in the bay, that you’re able to turn on other platforms care to allude on any of them. I mean like we sell on poshmark for example, or we sell on Ebay and Amazon and we have our own sites. How about you?
Ronnie: [00:41:00] Yeah, we sell a lot more on Amazon over the summer. Um, I’m not a retail arbitrage guys, so a lot of my stuff does come from either, um, estate, sales, yard sales or thrift stores. Occasionally I’ll, I’ll just hold stuff for this time. It’s like a savings now I’ll say that’s smart, few hundred things and just, okay, now it’s um, you know, getting their summer, I’ll start sending that stuff into Amazon, Amazon, some stuff we’ve merchant for like video games we’d merchant fulfill just because they sell pretty quick and they’re easy to ship. They’re not different hassles, you know, so that part I don’t mind. It’s such a boom, boom, boom, you’re done. And out the door, print the label, it goes to the mail, never have any issues. So that part I don’t mind. Um, but some of the other things I’ll just hold onto them and it’s kind of like my little savings accounts for the summer and you know, and it just gets us ready because that six month window before they start charging longterm storage fee, most of that stuff’s gone by the time January rolls around anyway.
Stephen: [00:42:10] And this would be counterintuitive to most people. Most people who like running send it home and get everything done, get everything done. But then again, you’re like, wait, I’m leveling off my life because I’m designing my life. So to me again, this is self awareness. Were you always the self aware? I mean because you gotta chill about you. You don’t. I imagine when you get excited or upset, it sounds like you can go off the edge, but generally speaking you’re pretty level. Is that, have you always been that way?
Ronnie: [00:42:39] Oh No, I, I was more of a hothead when I was younger. I, I, I didn’t know how to. I was talking to a friend from high school about this just recently. I mean I was more like I go off the handle about almost anything and a lot of it had to be in management positions. I was too young to manage at restaurants and stuff like that to understand how to control people, how to talk to people. I was not a really bad person, but sometimes I came off a little, you know, I came off like sandpaper and over the, over the last few years, I don’t know if it’s been my wife or whatnot, getting married, I’ve become a lot more calmer. I mean, someone backed into my truck the other day and I kind of laughed when it happened. Everybody’s like, no, I’d be pissed. It’s like, it’s a bumper plate and I haven’t charged like, his insurance is gonna cover it, so I don’t even have to worry about the deductible unfortunately.
Ronnie: [00:43:36] I mean I don’t want to think like, oh, maybe it might cost 500 bucks, but you know, it doesn’t matter if it’s a small little, minor thing. I mean, yeah, it looks bad, but in a week it’s going to be fixed. It’s a little bit of inconvenience, but nobody was hurt. The truck’s fine. It’s, it’s, it’s, you know, nothing to get all excited and worked up for loose sweep. And the same thing happened to even on Ebay. If somebody, like, somebody bought a suit from me and they returned it and I kind of laughed at it because this is the first time I can remember this happening. It might have happened before. It was actually a handkerchief, the jacket. So it was like you wore the jacket and now you’re retired. And I was just like, I kind of laugh because it’s like, okay, so once it’s gonna sell again, you’re not really that big of a deal. I sent the guy in message and took a picture with a title, like, Hey, I still gave me a refund, but you know, this was. And he actually told me to take my already sent them the money though. He said, Oh, you can keep a few dollars to have it dry cleaned. And he was like, you know, I’m not going to go and post that in all 20 different facebook groups saying, oh, this guy gabby. It’s just some small little thing. It’s not really that big of a deal. You know?
Stephen: [00:44:55] You’re not letting him steal your joy. I mean, to me that’s a very powerful state. You’re in control of how you feel. You’re not letting him be in control. I think that’s a powerful thing. It’s just when you’re saying it, I’m thinking to myself, because I would be flying off the handle and you’re saying, no, I’m not a big deal. Because like, what are you going to do? You’re going to sell it again. There’s nothing you can do about it, so
Ronnie: [00:45:19] twain, you can hoot and Holler about it, but at the end of the day, it’s not going to change anything.
Stephen: [00:45:24] Very cool. Gosh, you’re so good. There’s a reason that you’re having the success you’re having is these, these approaches, these attitudes. Um, it’s tough because at least in my world, everybody is complaints about everything. Everything’s a big deal when really it’s not, as you just said, it’s a bumper or it’s a jacket that gets returned that you’ll resell. It’s a little bit of your life. It’s a little inconvenience. It’s not when you have perspective with health or something like that. All this other stuff is trivial. When you think about your strengths, why do you think, I mean, why do you think that you could go into an estate sale and find so many good things? I mean, I know we already talked that you find tune, you know, you’re, uh, you put some effort and energy into learning all these things, but what do you think one of your biggest strengths are? That that probably gives you a competitive advantage?
Ronnie: [00:46:17] Just my knowledge. I took the time to just study and spend countless hours either, you know, like I said on forums or reading about stuff or online or just watching videos or going through Ebay sold just to get an idea of what’s selling, what’s not.
Stephen: [00:46:42] I mean were, were you always a good student or is this, you have to work harder at this so, so this might take you. So then it makes it even better because if you’re not a good student and you’re not, you know that where some people can just look at something and just take the test and they pass, right? If you’re not that guy you had to work even harder to get to that knowledge level. But boy it just pays off.
Ronnie: [00:47:05] Some people are book smart and some people will just, you know, it’s something that interests them and they just know about it and you know, they might not know what, five bucks, five minutes, but they could probably tell you, you know, retail prices for top brands and stuff like that. It just fit the wrestling. People send a lead towards one thing or you know, and what, you know, what you like,
Stephen: [00:47:35] what interests you, and I think the things in your past tend to lead you there. When you look back, you know, I’m assuming you could look back and see some things that have gotten you to where you are and you’d be like, yeah, I guess I always knew I would end up here or I guess it makes sense that I’m here at this place. When you look at your personal habits, and I’m. One of the things that I heard you say is that, you know, you’re putting in the time. So when, how many people are willing to do 10 thrift stores? Most people do one or two. It’d be tired and say, ah, Ronnie, you know, I’m not finding it. It’s just not happening to them. Going home and, you know, watch a youtube videos. Right? You’ve already described that you’re gonna put in the time to do that. What are their habits that you have that, that really have allowed you to have this success?
Ronnie: [00:48:17] I mean, like you said, hard work is probably the one. Then you can’t even teach it, it’s on teachable, see that something you have or you don’t have. And I think that’s what separates a lot of the better resellers from the other ones, the weaker resolve or what you would consider it, but you know, they’re willing to put the time and they’re willing to work long hours that they have to work long weeks or do whatever has to be done to accomplish the goal of working for yourself or to get that little extra side income or second income, third income, whatever it needed, you know, so maybe you could afford that new car, that vacation home or whatever it may be. Um, so my other thing is just, I hate piles. Everything gets listed pretty quickly. Like I get stuff, it gets drafted when a day or two, then it gets put in tubs and my wife, when she has spare time, she’ll take the photographs. That’s the one thing she really does that and organization she does. So it’s, sometimes I’m waiting on pictures but at least I’ll have it all set up, kind of ready to go.
Stephen: [00:49:28] So when you have this big team, right, you’ve got 12 people come in and do hold these listings for you.
Ronnie: [00:49:34] I wish my business model, I mean, the way I look at it, look at the, I would have a hard time trying to feed 12 people because I would have to be out constantly, right? It was the impossible or the air,
Stephen: [00:49:48] the financial goal. Like. So when you go to that, those 11th restores to find those 30 items and you know, they’re going to sell for $65 statistically. Right? So that’s what two grant, I can’t do that math. Close to two grand. Is that, does that, does that, do you say, okay, that’s two grand. That’s a week’s worth of revenue. And then boom. Okay, ready, go list. Boom, move on to the next. I mean, do you have targets like that? They kind of give you a. okay, I can stop now. I got to go list because like you said, you don’t want death piles. Uh, how do, how do you do that?
Ronnie: [00:50:18] Yeah, there’s no real target or anything like that. Um, because I’ll get pulled different ways or we’ll focus on one thing or some weeks on some of the other things I saw like vintage advertising, not facebook and craigslist and stuff like that. So I may concentrate heavily on that for a week or two and not Ebay or Amazon may get more love. So I’m always bouncing around this. Not anything like if I go out to thrift stores it, there’s no guarantee I’m going to find something. So if it’s a little dry summertime, thrift stores kind of always notoriously just drier or I don’t know the word for word, but the donations are not as. There’s not as many donations over the summer because people tend to sell their stuff on their own yard sale or people are busy with vacations. They’re busy with kids now because they’re home for the summer.
Ronnie: [00:51:14] People just don’t deal with giving stuff away as much on their donations. It’s not like the fall when you’re cleaning out your new wardrobe, especially if you’re out north or Christmas time, you’re getting new stuff. So other stuff may go away or the spring when I think people just start to, you know, okay, we’re going to buy new stuff in the fall they start to get rid of stuff because they’re not going to keep it. So summertime it’s always a little slower. The thrift store. So to sit that you just never know what you’re going to find either. You can’t control that. So one thing,
Stephen: [00:51:49] the way you described it, you know, like you said, hey I could sell on this channel and this channel and then I do these other things. Is that how have you been able to keep it not a job and make it still enjoy because it sounds like you still have a passion for it. It comes across like you do. I mean that’s the vibe I get. And so that’s hard for people because usually when you do something for a long period of time maybe becomes a grind. Right? But is the variety what keeps you kind of excited and into it?
Ronnie: [00:52:21] It does. I mean it just keep it. For Awhile we did just because I was just spending it on Amazon for a little while and it took a little while to get back over there and we really, the only income we had was mostly for Ebay. And when you have that one site and you just grinding away at and there’s no break, it’s kind of repetitive. The same thing now, summertime, I know it’s going to be a little bit harder. So I kind of relaxed a little bit. It just, it’s fun. I still go out, I still look for stuff every day. Um, you know, but there’s so many other ways to look for stuff nowadays too. And uh, this is your change your certain things interest me a little bit more, but I still love what I do overall reselling and buying stuff and flipping it. Um, you know, and when it doesn’t interest me and no more, maybe I’ll move on to something else. But for right now it’s, I still have that interest that Walton and hopefully it stays there.
Stephen: [00:53:29] Well, you’ve done a very good job. And what’s cool to me again is that when one’s waning, you can wax on something else. So these are all terms wax and wane, right? But it, it, it makes sense to me that you could kind of. And then like you say, you pull back a little bit on e Bay, that way you don’t lose interest yet. You still, you know, you keep your toes in the water and to me I think it’s a very, very healthy way. And again, it’s because you built up this huge backstock of inventory. I know 400 items does it sound like a lot, but at $65 an average sale, that’s, that’s a lot, right? That’s a lot of retail value that you have out there. And so by building that up over time, that does give you a little of the ability to put your foot off the pedal a little bit.
Stephen: [00:54:10] And I think that’s a very healthy thing. When you look at where you’re going. I mean, what, what does it look like to you? I mean, do you see, you know, because I hear doom and gloom every day for every platform, right? I mean it’s always so Amazon is trying to kill you. They’re trying to close you are on you. They don’t want you around. They’re doing everything for themselves. They’re gonna kick you off. Eventually Ebay is going to go out of business because they’re making the worst decisions in the world. Facebook, I don’t know what facebook’s doing. Craigslist is all scammers from Nigeria, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. So all the things when you look out there, what do you see?
Ronnie: [00:54:45] I mean, I seen money. All these, all these sites are still valuable sites. There’s new sites that come in the play all the time. I mean like craigslist had offer up and Lego came in and that was because their inability to change a little bit and all those other sites. I’m more mobile friendly and what everybody going to mobile, they didn’t jump on that. So I like Eva, nobody’s, you know, he know Ebay’s always going to be that basically pre-owned site that people can, you know, even though a lot of it’s more new stuff, but we’re, most people sell their own stuff no matter what it is, like tronics or if it’s clothing poshmark maybe came along to take a little bit of something. It, it’s kind of like, um,
Ronnie: [00:55:42] you know, it, it’s, it’s Ebay is kind of, you know, our older generation of people. It’s been around 20 years, you know, it’s now the newer people. I think the younger people that maybe 14 to 25 years old that shop on arch or you know, there’s certain crowd of people that go to etsy and stuff like that. You know, now there’s a little bit more competition. There’s rail, which I sold a few things over there. Not really super excited about that. So it’s just different sites, but they have a little small percentage of what’s really going on. Posh probably has the biggest potential, um, for the future. I mean, we’re talking years away. So.
Stephen: [00:56:27] But you sound optimistic. You don’t sound pessimistic.
Ronnie: [00:56:29] No, I’m over there and I sell stuff. I sold something this weekend over there and you know, it’s just about building and forming a foundation, like everywhere and you know, you can’t expect the, you know, like Rome wasn’t built in a day. If they were, we would hire their contractor. I mean it’s just, you know, it takes time. Everything takes time and that whole I want it now mentality is kind of, it just doesn’t happen. Right.
Stephen: [00:56:58] I agree. So hearts pickers is, is that the youtube channel that you have? Yes. Hearts, pickers and you spend a lot of time talking about what you bought and what it’s sold. You give a lot of advice, you’re also on A. I know Chad you’re involved with. Is it the, is it the reselling? How did they say? What’s the name exactly of that group? I don’t want to mess it up.
Ronnie: [00:57:23] Yeah, the resell our society
Stephen: [00:57:24] reseller society. Okay. I’m a member there. I am in a member of the whole bunch, but I, I just, there’s so many spins on the words. Okay. So reseller society, that’s the facebook group and that’s a free group. Um, but there is a little bit of policing there to make sure that, that, you know, none as spam and all the rest of that jazz. And then arts pickers is your youtube channel and I’ll have links for that. Best way if somebody wanted to follow up on a question with you,
Ronnie: [00:57:48] um, best way is either to find me on facebook. I’m running hard or through the results society or instagram at heart pickers. Um, you know, don’t message me on, especially with the new rules now with the telephone number and stuff like that. You just never know what Ebay may flag for. Um, you know, thinking his message or trying to sell outside of, um, because we don’t hide our ebay account, this one we have to Ebay accounts one that we sell a majority of our stuff on, one that l cell signs and stuff on a cage on that one I don’t share just because. Well, people could find it. They really wanted you because you see the signs. So I put on Instagram, sometimes they go right onto that site. So if people were, you know, that people really wanted to figure it out and find it, they wouldn’t be hard and then they would see the user name and laugh because it’s, it’s the, it’s a interesting user, Dave, that
Stephen: [00:58:55] we were okay until you said that. And it is hard with just, there’s no in it, it’s the, a, it’s hard to teach art, so people. All right, so I’m going to put all those contexts and all the links in the, on the, on the episode. So I’d ask you for this, um, and I think you’ve given a bunch already, but I’m going to ask you to dig deeper, find another one for. And so a lot of people that listen to this show gets stuck, right? They measure themselves against others and they’re saying, oh my God, you know, uh, Ronnie’s talking about selling a million dollars in Ebay. I’m, I’m terrible because I’m only selling $40,000 on Ebay, right? Or they are looking at Amazon and seeing guys selling $10,000,000. And they’re like, man, I can’t sell, you know, $20,000 a month. Right? And so they get to that place because I think a lot of it is they’re measuring themselves unfairly against others rather than looking inward. What’s your advice to get past that point when they hit that point of stuck because you’ve been stuck before in your life.
Ronnie: [00:59:49] I mean, we’ve been stuck and we were stuck before we start selling clothing. We were selling like this, like the biggest thing we’re, we’re probably selling like one of my favorite youtube channels as Lonnie flips, you know, that kind of stuff. Like he was, but we just weren’t finding enough stuff. And I was getting kind of depressed because we had like a thousand dollars a month on Ebay, you know? And it was just like, Ugh, maybe maybe there’s resolving things just not for me. I think we had like 900 and 600 over the summer. Then I started leaning towards Kohl’s a little bit because you just go into a third store and that’s what you see. But it’s just kind of figuring out what your area has and figuring out how to resell that or how to get that. Um, you know, there’s people that live near these pallet that’s a good way to source for some people, other people, they may live near a, uh, a goodwill bins and you know, maybe there are monies on the low end, that’s a good way to get started and to get your capital and to bring in some income, you know, it just depends on using what’s around you to go out there and figure out a way to exploit it and make money on it.
Speaker 9: [01:01:06] Um,
Ronnie: [01:01:08] you know, and just clothing for us was around us, but I know it does not work. Maybe you’re in West Virginia or you know, depending on where you are,
Stephen: [01:01:19] I think, I think it sounded advice because like you, like, you see Steve Steph actually have one of those places near them. Well most of us don’t have that. So yes, you could add cost and have that stuff shipped to you, but then you’re now competing against somebody who doesn’t have that and so that you’re not going to be a successful. Right. And so by knowing, again, we’re back to self awareness, I think it’s exactly where we started the conversation. We’re right back there by knowing what’s around you, what you have access to. And then quite frankly exploiting it, like you said, putting all that effort and energy into learning clothing. You Stop Spinning your wheels, niching down as they call it, but niching down in your market, I think it’s definitely one of the most powerful things that I’m gonna take away from this conversation. Dude, there’s a reason you’re successful. There’s a reason you have figured it out because you’ve designed it that way. And I think, I just think it’s so cool and I really appreciate you taking the time because it really is inspiring to me really. I mean that deeply.
Ronnie: [01:02:17] No problem. I really appreciate you reach out to me and having me on and been a lot of fun.
Stephen: [01:02:23] Take care of what a great guy. A great story. Um, and you know, I mean, I don’t want to downplay what he does. He does a phenomenal job, but again, it’s intentional. I hope there’s something there for you. Um, don’t, don’t feel like you have to measure yourself against everybody else. Measure yourself against you and your goals. Right? You heard him say he has goals and so he hit his goals and so therefore he can adjust even further. I think that’s powerful. I think there’s a lot of information there and rather than spending, especially if you feel like you’re spinning your wheels, because a lot of people do, if he feel like it, then look backwards. Become self aware, be reflective. Doesn’t mean you failed. You know, I’m not an outlier. I say that all the time. I’m not an outlier. Um, I’ve got a ton of friends that are and that’s awesome for them, but that’s not me. So therefore I have to do things different. Does that mean to fail? No, just means I’m different. Cool. Right? So, so be self aware and really reflect. And again, I would listen to this again, especially if you’re spinning your wheels. He drops tons of hints about what he did to stop spinning his wheels and then designed a life that’s right for him. Not right for you, but it’s right for him. I think that’s powerful stuff. ECOMMERCE, momentum.com, ecommerce momentum.com. Take care.
Cool voice guy: [01:03:38] Thanks for listening to the momentum podcast. All the links mentioned today can be found at incomers momentum. Doug, come under this episode number. Please remember to subscribe and the lake us on itunes.