September from a stats perspective was pretty poor.
I started off the month with a roar like I intended, listing more than the 10 per day that I was intending to average and then got the flu which hit me like a sack of potatoes keeping me bedridden for more than 24 hours and then several days following of a general terrible feeling. I probably spent the best part of 2 weeks recovering.
In some ways this is what the store would be doing were it only on auto pilot
This was followed by a change of priorities immediately once feeling better to getting several jobs around the house completed for the impending little one in December. I can honestly say I have got more done around the house in one week than probably the last 2 or 3 years.
I channeled my inner eBay demon (I wonder what that would look like) and worked my ass off till 9:30pm each night to get things completed.
3 weeks of effective downtime obviously impacted sales a lot as listing was very limited after the first week but I still managed a positive cashflow after inventory and outsourcing expenses which is great. Reflecting back on 2018 at this time September returned a little less in profit (against waaaay less inventory mind you) and October was dead before a big upswing into November and December.
One interesting point was the $ value listed rose by a massive $4388 against 70 new items listed equals ASP of approximately $63 average. Higher quality items with better returns.
Selective September was the theme for this month. With limited time due to the aforementioned I made good use of the times I did call into an Op shop.
I was lucky enough to even come across a massive chunk of inks on clearance in a Woolworths one afternoon that someone appears to have possibly mucked up on the pricing. I say this as I attempted to call past other supermarkets in the area. All had clearances on some inks but nothing like I stumbled across. Right place right time!
We visited several Op Shops looking for quality baby items and often found a hidden gem each time. This belt below was at a Salvos under a counter at the back. Unless you took the time to complete a crouching squat you would never see it.
I think I have reached a critical mass as far as inventory goes now ahead of the little one arriving which means going forward I will be limiting sourcing, with two exceptions:
- If the network contact from August contacts me again.
- I will be heading out on the Garage Sale Trail in October 19/20 https://www.garagesaletrail.com.au/
Other than those I am almost certain I have enough items to get listings to 1500 which is my short goal.
The outsourcing continued this month again with the clothes photography. If you missed this concept a full explanation can be found in last months August Summary 2019. Thus far I have sold enough from each lot of 25 to retrieve my expense cost. More if you consider the tax deductions for the expense. So its been great really, I have currently 75 items of clothing that are ready to be listed and now that I have gotten through the initial couple of lots where I had some marginal buys I am feeling pretty good about it. I have noticed that I am thinking a lot more about this when picking up clothing items when out sourcing as the outsourcing directly impacts the cost base I find myself being super selective.
Auto Hot Key
I haven’t written about Auto Hot Key for a while now as I have been coasting along with things working well. This month however a new team member started at work (the day job) and in the process of training some new innovations became apparent. This team member seemed excited by the idea of Auto Hot Key so it was installed and they commenced their own basic learning of this.
I installed a watered down version of my own script with some useful functions. Others I removed as I wanted this team member to create a few scripts themselves before moving into the more advanced ones I had created.
I wanted the learning and discovery to occur else there won’t be the motivation (as someone else has simply done it for you).
As an example, imagine in your new job you have a particular task to do every day which requires a few different windows to complete. Every morning you come in, turn on the computer and click through to open each window maybe using a bookmark or shortcut on the desktop.
Like starting any new job, sometimes the fastest way to improve your productivity effectiveness is to simply know where to find things that you need quickly or better – instantly. It’s often the navigation slowing down everything initially and simply improving this frees up time in actually learning the new role.
This formed the idea around the startup scripts whilst I was completing training of the new team member.
The concept and execution is simple.
There is a task A which requires 6 specific spreadsheets to be referred to. All of the web addresses these relate to (google sheets) are loaded in and coded to a shortcut key, say Crtl+Ctrl+G. Hit that key combination and all 6 launch at once instantly.
We repeated this process across three very different tasks, each with separate hot keys opening different variations of windows and programs. The effect was remarkable. The next day this team member after only two days of training was able to come into work and complete the first task of the morning without any assistance.
Another innovation I found useful was 3 key email replies including sending the email itself. There are times that you simply need / want to thank some one or indicate you have received information. Perhaps you need to forward an attachment and write the same text each time.
Now it can be simply use the keyboard short cut Alt+R (reply singular) or Alt+L (reply all) then type “]rr”, the shortcut string and Auto Hot Key inserts the pre-scripted prose and uses the keyboard short cut Ctrl+Enter to send the email.
How does this relate to reselling? Well I use the same concepts to launch my eBay GUI, eBay itself, Sizely, the folder my pictures reside in all from a hot key. I can be literally listing (assuming I have the photos already) in less than a minute from turning the computer on. Removing some of these barriers helps immensely from a motivational perspective.
I also have a previous post about using this for sourcing on Facebook marketplace using specific search terms and tying them to a one click script (which can also be hot key). That post is here.
Plans For October
- Finish The Business Cards
- 10 listings a day (or more) for the entire month.
- Explore future options relating to Amazon. With Aus Posts pricing changes effective 30 September 2019 it appears as though getting inventory to Melbourne may become feasible cost wise.
- Update listings to qualify for the top rated seller benefits.