Platform Diversification Contingencies

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Transitioning out of a full-time job into my side hustle full time is my end game.

For the moment my reselling journey consists primarily on eBay with 95% + of side hustle income coming from this platform at the moment. It is after all where my focus currently goes so this makes perfect sense. What happens though if my access to eBay goes down for an extended period of time or something even more serious like an account suspension perhaps for too many VeRO infringements.

I would be in big trouble should that occur, so it is obvious I need some other platform to provide income should a worst-case scenario come to fruition. I should note here that this idea applies to all platforms. Another example would be listing 1000 items on FB marketplace and then having your account hacked one day. Separation of platforms provides a level of protection and I see many are doing this already with eBay, Poshmark, and Amazon the primary three.

As for my own diversification, I have begun experimenting with other platforms and have successfully sold items on Gumtree (a local version of Craigslist) Facebook Marketplace and even Instagram. The Instagram sale surprised me a lot with a payment on faith alone for an epic t-shirt I had found which I had actually planned to list on eBay. Didn’t even get that far.

I have experimented with Etsy somewhat with my own created products but so far that has been a flop.

A 2nd eBay account as a contingency for a catastrophe:

I have resurrected my wife’s eBay account and this account currently has 40 odd items ticking over on it. The primary purpose is to grow its feedback score and listing potential on the chance that one day should the main store get shut down for whatever reason I could port the main store over to this one and effectively carry on. There are tools available to be able to do this. I have not explored it any further than that as obviously I want to avoid that at all costs! This eBay account is just the account with free listings so does not cost anything additional (except for higher fees). Who knows maybe as a side benefit one day my wife will also catch the reselling bug and she will have a great eBay foundation to start from.

Free to list or reduced fees:

Platforms like Gumtree and Facebook marketplace are free to list items and you don’t have to pay those completion fees which eat into your profit returns. The downside is there is no real protection or dispute resolution should you run into a problem.

The right product for the right platform:

Consider this real example from a couple of weeks ago. I found while out thrifting an 80s Kentucky Fried Chicken Coleman Drink Cannister. It is in good condition and I paid $8. The going rate on eBay when I checked it was around $30 including shipping. If I list it on eBay it looks like $30 – $8 (cost) – $3 (eBay Fees est) – $13.80 (Shipping) = $5.20 profit. Not very good to be honest.

However, this same item listed on Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace for a local pickup at $25 ($5 less than eBay) gives me a flat $17 profit.

Its 3x more valuable for me to list this item on Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace vs eBay. This is certainly the case for larger items which are cost prohibitive to ship.

I have started thinking in these terms now when looking for items to source with regard to what platform they will work on.

Amazon 126 (A-Z) FBA:

Amazon would be a great marketplace to get into and in particular, if using Amazon FBA (Fulfilled By Amazon where Amazon handle all the logistics after you send your initial items to their warehouse).

The problem for me, however, is that I am in Perth and to ship items to Amazon (which is in Melbourne) is daaaaayum expensive. So much so that I ran some numbers on books which I thought I could easily find and resell. If I sold ALL of them I would make $600 which seems ok but doesn’t include initial shipping or storage costs at the Amazon warehouse… This $600 could easily whittle down to $300 for around 40 items. Again, not terrific.

So, it’s no use, right? Well not exactly, it just means to have any hope of making it profitable I must find lighter items to send. Recently I brought a few items of Jewellery off eBay to flip, specifically men’s vintage jewelry a very niche category. I could send hundreds of jewelry items to Amazon for a low cost so this is the direction I am leaning towards with this.

Amazon has a signup bonus for new sellers on its marketplace in the Australian jurisdiction, so I have until December to amass enough light product, sign up under the offer and then ship to Amazon. After that, it will be a refinement to see if I can make it viable on a long-term basis.

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