June was a crazy month.
- Best profit result to date coming in at $2035 for June across all platforms.
- Implemented a Thank You note for all purchases.
- First 2 Etsy Sales, one of which was over $100, great for a shop with 0 feedback!
- Managed to successfully have a negative eBay feedback be removed. This has its own post and can be found here.
The plan for June, was again List. List. List. Unfortunately (solely from a listing goal perspective) I failed as I kept selling items and barely managed to keep up and maintain the listing total over 700. At the 30th of June 2019, I had 725 active on eBay.
As you can see above, the trend of this reselling business is definitely heading in an upward direction and interestingly it appears to have taken 8 months of effectively “spinning the wheel” (and even a couple of months of negative cash flow) before things have taken off in the last 3 months of the financial year. If I was to overlay the total number of listings on top of this graph also there would also be a direct correlation with increased number of listings equaling increased sales. An easy way to think about this is assuming the same sell through rate of 10% of total listings then 100 items listed would equals 10 sales, 1000 items listed equals 100 sales!
Inventory procurement this month was a little more reserved vs May. In fact, after 10 days of the month I had spent only $55. By the months end however I had grown this amount to $380 mainly due to a last big spend up on a day trip mission down south.
I was extremely picky but still managed to come away with some great items. There is definitely experience assisting in this regard, lessons learned from previous sales. It could also be my conscious reminding me gently that I have lots of items which need listing. Buying things that I might make $5-$10 is not going to help.
Closing Down Sale
One of the local op shops closed down and had a sale spread over the month. I went several times over a couple of the weeks and picked up a large lot of band T Shirts, some video games, among other things including a bunch of free genuine printer ink worth about $200, could not believe my eyes when I saw that sitting there and that no one had grabbed it already.
In the final week this store had a $2 everything sale, and when I saw this advertised as I pulled up in the car I did not hold much hope of really finding anything left. Sure enough the store had been raided well and truly with many shelves totally bare and yet even in desolate landscape I still managed to find 5 things which people had not seen any value in. My favourite find, a pair of vintage sewing scissors which I paid effectively 25c for (after using the last of my store credit) I sold 1 week later for $100. There was also a set of vintage sewing patterns which I haven’t listed yet I hope to get around $100 which was marked $35 down to $2.
One point I will make here is if you come across these closing down sales make sure you get in early and spend up. If you wait until the end where things are at 50-75% off you will find that quality items will already be gone. This is what I did with the T Shirts, the store manager had been saving them to make a big music themed display, now that the store was closing she put all of them out at 25% discount (and they were already reasonably priced). I managed to negotiate even further on top of this (built on a long standing network relationship with the store manager) and ended up with a huge stack of T Shirts for $27 and a free Nirvana flag thrown in on top.
So great sourcing here with the only down side being the loss of a built up network relationship and a local store. 🙁
I made two separate trips to the bins this month and they did not disappoint. No $500 single item finds as such but I found several quality items at fractions of the cost they would usually be in an op shop, even found a pair of Levi’s! (At this bins price paid is based on weight).
The estimation is being able to generate close to $1000 in total sales from a spend of about $23.
This month I actually took the time to stop at a couple of garage sales. It is something I have been meaning to do a lot more particularly with climbing op shop prices but they can be hit and miss. This time I was lucky and one that was only a couple of minutes from my house had a lot of deceased estate items. From this I was able to purchase a few old Jaguar Car items with I promptly listed and sold within a week. I got more than 10x my money back with limited fees (split local and eBay) and still have a stack of old vintage Tea Towels to list (yes you read that right) which are 100% pure profit.
I had another crack at some eBay arbitrage this month. I ended up buying a bulk lot of football pins, a couple of scout badges and some odd ball items. Within this bulk lot was a Kirby Game Boy cartridge and a horse shoe. Between Kirby , the 2 scout patches and the Phillip Island patch I should get most of my initial investment back. What I like about this is that the other items are super easy to list and storage space is next to nothing.
The overall cash flow although good could have been even better still. While I was making good sales I thought it prudent to take the time to reinvest some of the profits back into improving critical infrastructure including a huge stack of tubs for inventory storage, poly bags, bubble wrap and wrapping paper. Expenditure on next month for all of this should be very minimal.
At the start of last June I signed up for the Australia Post Business Account. This account has given me the ability to print 1kg and 5kg Satchel labels which, frankly, has already saved me over $30 in June by itself. I will be writing a separate post on this in July as there were some unexpected outcomes which deserve more detail.
This month I made a concerted effort to do a lot more cross posting across Facebook Marketplace and Etsy. Although I only had 6 sales across these platforms the total profit was $285 or more than 10% of the overall monthly total. I will be making much more use of Etsy in particular going forward with lots of vintage items still to list. Dual listing across eBay and Etsy only adds probably an extra minute or two in time as all the details entered are still in my Auto Hot Key GUI and I can use Auto Hot Key to fill the listing in both eBay and Etsy. If I had 2 screens I could probably make this even faster still.
The only downside of having dual listings is having to remember to de-list from the other platform when it sells! Having 2 simultaneous sales of the same item would be a problem. I could perhaps create an Auto Hot Key script to automate this process in the future once I have hundreds of cross posted items. For now its not much of an issue.
This month I also added a new category to my tracking, network sales. This is as it sounds, sales achieved through building a network of people who I think or know would be interested in items that I pick up.
This month I sold the above Bootlegged SNES Games complete with boxes to the Aussie reselling legends 2aussiethrifters (find them on Instagram @2aussiethrifters). I knew from watching their YouTube channel that Brad was an avid collector of Nintendo. As a thank you for the great content he had been putting out I offered these to him first and we agreed on a win-win deal, the best kind of outcome. He also ran an unboxing video of these at the start of his huge RM Williams Mega Haul which was epic.
Why is a network important? Well because I often sell things which are collectable or sit within a certain niche and I can offer items to these network contacts first.
There can be a number of benefits to doing this including:
- Hopefully speed up the sale (Save Inventory Space),
- Perhaps bypass having to even list it on a platform (Save Time),
- Save money on fees (Keep More Profit),
- Get repeat purchases (Make More Money),
- Get information from collectors who are often experts on a particular subject. For example, I know a guy who I can contact anytime for prices on a group of niche items. He will tell me what it retails for and if he wants to buy what hes willing to pay. (Build Knowledge, Make Sales)
Network sales this month amounted to $100.
Thank You Label For Customers Combined with SKU Update
This month I implemented a very simple Thank You label to be added to outgoing orders. It is super simple with just a thank you for your purchase along with a smiley face.
Built on top of this implementation I also decided it was time to upgrade the use of my SKU system. Previously I would just list the bin # and that was that. When a sale occurred I could simply walk to the bin and fish through what was in there to find the item. Over the last couple of months I have collected so many pairs of Levi’s and RM Williams Jeans that this would simply not work anymore as I could have more than 20 of the same type of jeans in the same bin. So the easy fix is pretty obvious, Bin # Item Letter. Example A1 # D.
So now I have one label which acts as both a thank you and helps optimise my inventory. The only thing that remains now is to perhaps create some graphics for the label. Perhaps the SKU could even sit inside the graphics so it blends and becomes part of the picture itself.
Sell Through Rate (Or Perhaps Store Turnover Rate)
This month I came across an interesting statistic called a sell through rate. It is calculated on total sales divided by the total number of listings and it gives a percentage of turnover of an item. Seems I don’t have items the have huge multi quantity the store turn over rate is probably a better name for this, in my case total store listings against total sales gives a total percentage of turnover. There are a few opinions around on what is considered good, Sub-Reddit https://www.reddit.com/r/Flipping/ has some good reselling reading with most comments I browsed through on this topic averaging between 8 -17% which give an approximate idea on what a good through rate is. I’m not really concerned with that as I imagine these are heavily relative against the type of items being sold for each store owner leaving comments. However I do think this might be an interesting metric to keep a track of and see if I can get this trending upward by testing out some ideas. For this month I sold a total of 80 items on eBay against a maximum listing total of 751. Therefore the approximate store turnover for the month was 10.67%.
The Stats eBay
June was a cracker, what can I say. There was no huge spikes to speak of, there was just a lot of consistency across the month.
This month holds the new total profit record coming in at $1660.69 in actual profit (after fees, COGs, shipping).
The number of listings increased briefly to over 750 and then came crashing back down to 700 after several quick sales. This was the same story as May, I was selling as many things as I was listing which translates to – I am not listing enough to continue this growth. This is evidenced by the big red mark of the total store value actually dropping by $350 this month.
The Stats Facebook Marketplace
The expansion into other platforms for diversification continued (a previous post about this concept can be found here).
I only had 4 sales through Facebook Marketplace this month but they were solid. During the month I found a couple of nice items at low cost that are perfect for this platform. I expect July cash flow to be much better here.
The Stats Etsy
Welcome to the team Etsy. I have had a couple of multi quantity listings up on Etsy for a while. Here and there I have sold a couple of things. In June I decided it was time to really start making use of this platform so when I came across a couple of high value items I cross posted on both eBay and Etsy. They both sold soon after within a week, one on eBay and one on Etsy.
One return this month for “item does not fit” which was no problem as buyer paid return postage and once relisted this sold again a few days later. All in all, nothing unusual here.
Plans For July
“No Buy July” has a nice ring to it, so that’s whats happening.
- I have 800 listing spots I’m paying for that I need to fill. I also have several 50ltr containers packed with clothes that need to be listed. This really does need to be the month when I get this done. I already have approximately 40 items photographed and ready to be listed which is a great head start.
- As part of this, @2aussiethrifters laid down a listing challenge which was great timing. Just another way to keep accountable for getting through those items that need to be listed.
- Post First YouTube Video. The account has been created, have found some music. Have spoken to some people about some useful software to help get content made. Now all that remains is to sit down, create some tutorials and get them posted.
- Create a Reselling Business card to distribute. I came across a couple of instances this month where I missed out on some easy profit. More on this soon.
- Add some style to the Thank You Labels.