May was a crazy month.
- I had my best profit result.
- I had to upgrade the store level to get more listings.
- I branched out into Facebook Marketplace and have already made some sales. I have added a separate section for Facebook Marketplace stats going forward in this summary.
- I ticked over 500 feedback on eBay at 100% only to receive a negative feedback on May 31!
- I had my first VERO For Beach Body P90X.
The plan for May, was simple. List. List. List. And that’s what I did. I am happy to report that I ended up getting to 600 listings as planned and then smash through that. I started 1st May with 509 active listings and needed to list 120+ to hit this target (to allow for sales to drop the number again).
I ended up making it to 700 total, crushing my goal. There’s always been conjecture whether listing itself will bring sales. I can say that I noticed a marked difference between the start and the end of the month. I have attached the screens below.
The majority of my listing occurred in the 2nd week and then look what happened, sales took off. It could be that I’ve just been picking up, listing and selling better items, which is true, or it could correlate with increased activity.
I shelled out a lot on inventory again this month. I found some great stuff and now have aloooooooooooooooooooooooooooot left to list for June.
I have been increasing my own knowledge skill set into other areas such as vintage T shirts. Shout out to a guy from Tasmania who I have been learning from. You know who you are if you are reading this and thank you. Anyway I found a vintage single stitch band T shirt not long after and to be honest its something I likely would have passed right over before but it just adds that element of depth. I’m yet to list or sell this but it could be worth $100 – $200. Later in the month I found another vintage single stitch singlet because I knew what I was looking for. Its so critical to keep learning to be able to grow (an even survive) reselling.
Another example from a garage sale today (2nd June when writing this), I turned up to a garage sale literally 2 streets over from my house. It was late morning already as I had given blood and been to the markets. Anyway there were some video games that were reasonably priced. In amongst those was a single DS Spongebob game which I picked up. The lady said “oh there was one after all, the guy who brought the DS this morning took everything else…”. Bugger, and yet sitting what must have been right in front of this section of games was a LeapPad Platinum in good working condition. What is this? Google it and you will learn something new. These are currently trending for $121ish plus shipping for the console (new). I picked it up for $10 and I guarantee far less than what the DS that I was too late for would have cost. Who’s margin would have been better I wonder? Keep learning and opportunities will start to appear everywhere.
Along these lines of sourcing growth I created a nifty little Auto Hot Key script that definitely speeds up Facebook Marketplace sourcing. Simply initially enter items you want to search for constantly, save it, run the script once and each query will run each search string in its own window instantly. Now all that’s required is to browse through though and find the bargains. This has already saved me a bunch of time. So much so that i’ll be making this the first video I release coming up sometime in June.
Random EBay Theory
Late April around Anazc day I brought a book about 2x VC Winner Charlie Upham from eBay. A day later I received a message from the seller that the book was on its way. I did not respond as I don’t really care so long as it arrives. However what I did notice was that this seller had over 3000 feedback. I made a mental note of this and finally came back to look at his store almost two weeks later. Interestingly it consisted of hundreds and hundreds of books. By itself this is not unusual however it was the type of books the intrigued me. They were mostly all older style books relating to war or western types. I realised that the physical size of these books was the key here. Most were listed at 11.99 (I am not sure of this significance if indeed there is any) with free shipping. Here’s the kicker, due to the size, almost every single book I scrolled through in this store could be shipped as a letter with a cost of $3. Assuming a cost per book of somewhere between free – $1 every book sold would return a nice profit of around $8.50 after fees.
This month was really about getting some of those higher value items photographed so they can actually be listed. Like I have said in a previous post I have an organised death pile and the more I do this the better things I find and the more that I can literally see money sitting around…. However although it’s organised it is also stupid, I found three pairs of Levi’s which have been sitting in their respective containers for quite some time, two pairs of RM Williams jeans, a pair of Kuhl jeans. I have made a mental resolution with myself to really try and get on top of this, excluding the games and a couple other bits and bobs I ended up taking photographs of 34 items of clothing over the course of one day. I wasn’t sure if I should be happy with this or not, I suppose I didn’t really start till after photographing a bunch of games, going to the post office to ship sold items and then a very quick detour to the local thrift shop which is a two minute walk (very handy).
So from around 10:30am to 5:30 pm I spent taking photographs for the clothes listings. That total time is pretty close to a full days work at 7 hours. At $10 profit per item we get a rough $340 profit for the day. I suppose this isn’t too bad really but I was curious to see what my potential profit should or could be, here were my workings:
- Games, approx $180 potential.
- Board Game $40.
- Tony Robbins Cd Box Set $100.
- Clothes….. $1029.
I spent probably total actual time photographing of 6 hours, allowing for some coffee and lunch. Allocate 10 mins an item sourcing = 6 hours. 3 hours left to list. 3 hours total to pack. Total time in. 18 Hours. ****I’m probably being perhaps a bit hard on the sourcing aspect as multiple items can be found at once in the same store for example. I just allocated 10 mins to average things out with those days where not much is found****
$1349/18 =$74.94 an hour in real dollars. The pre-tax equivalent using 30% tax rate is $97.42 per hour.
I was quite surprised by this to be honest. Granted, this small sample size is using some of my better items as I intentionally structured my scheduled day off like this to derive maximum value. Still even with more mundane bread and butter $10 items that hourly rate is still likely to be better than the day job rate.
I will be experimenting further in June to understand how much time vs reward is occurring. Only by tracking this can improvements be made.
Whats my point then? Well you obviously want to be spending as much time as you can on the activity which generates you the best results. Hell it’s a great motivating factor when you get home after work and need to list a few items. Even more so when you sell a couple of things whilst doing so.
I also believe that this per hour number is actually likely to go up over time as skills are increased / honed like I mentioned earlier.
It’s a simple numbers game then to be able to grow to a point where the actual day job income could possibly be replaced, just have to put in the work upfront.
This is delayed income. Again, the work has to be done upfront. Every month my main metric I’m actually trying to grow is my cash flow followed by total store value, this is achieved by finding better items each month and getting those listings done.
The Stats eBay
It was quite a month for eBay stats during May. This was easily the single best total profit month experienced thus far Topping out at $1277.10 in actual profit (after fees, COGs, chipping). This translates to an actual positive cash flow for the month of $750.30, due to heavy expenditure on inventory procurement this month.
The number of listings increased substantially to top out at just over 700 and then come back down to 700 after a few sales. Half of these 191 listings were actually completed in 2 days and represent roughly $1000 of the $2808 total increase to the current overall store value.
The Stats Facebook Marketplace
This month I made a solid effort to begin to expand reach onto Facebook Marketplace and even ended up selling a couple of things this month which was a nice bonus.
I am starting to like it a bit more. Some of the items I am picking up I am able to sell a bit cheaper as I don’t have to factor in shipping on the price, this is particularly relevant on bulky items such as board games or puzzles. This is increasing the velocity of some of the sales it seems. A good example would be boots, I have picked a couple of pairs up this month and they just don’t make economic sense to sell on eBay as after fees and postage there is not a lot left. There’s a few pairs I have I know I can get between $25 – $85 fairly quickly on Facebook Marketplace.
To make things a bit easier to get this process happening I have rewritten some of my Auto Hot Key script to include Facebook Marketplace in the GUI. It didn’t take long to get this working and now its super quick to get a new listing up 80% automated.
No returns this month. Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeees. However I did receive a negative feedback which I am currently managing by …. doing nothing. There’s 2 weeks left before my 30 day return window expires. Should this buyer not open a return case within this time I will simply request eBay to remove the feedback 😉
Plans For June
Again get listing, my goal initially is to get to 1000 listings.
Cross post the vintage T Shirts (and band shirts) on Etsy also. I have previously written the script for this to semi automate, perhaps it still works as it should. Anyway this will be the first month where I actively cross list items on different platforms using Auto Hot Key to assist. I will be timing the results.
Setup and get some video content posted.