Welcome to the first Reselling January 2020 summary. This year’s going to be epic.
Straight up if you have read these summaries in the past you will immediately notice a difference in how the figures are presented. I’ve spent a bit of time massively improving some internal systems which as an added bonus spit out these nice summary figures which can be tailored to analyse a number of different business aspects.
In the Year Of The Turtle post regarding goals I had left things somewhat vague other than a minimum listing target. After creating the reporting dashboards I decided to set up my own personal scorecard and give myself a grade each month. For now the grade is based on the overall goal to pay off my investment property in 5 years or less, after which the rent proceeds from this house should allow me to take things semi full time while allowing epic amounts of time with bubba.
Realistically I need at least $1000 net each month to be applied across to the investment loan. To succeed fully this will need to be even more but I have five years and this seems like a great place to start.
So therefore for 2020 the score card will be set like this with totals for the month:
$500 or less: D – Colour Red. If I end up here for the month I probably stuffed something up badly like overspending on either inventory, other expenses or subcontractor costs.
$500-$1000: C – Colour Orange. I would call this range the OK range, not great but towards the top end heading towards the $1000 mark is close to where I’m gunning for.
$1000-$1500: B – Colour Yellow. Minimum target met but a little bit like a B at university, have put in some solid work but could still be improved upon.
$1500-$2000: A – Colour Green. At this level consistently the goal will be easily achieved and ahead of schedule.
$2000+: G – Colour Gold – A throwback to the primary school gold stars. Above this level for this year will make me very happy.
All of the above will have either a + or – added to the grade as well to define which side of the range the result sits on. For example a C- would be $500-$750 where as a C+ would be from $750-$1000.
Also to note is that the total net figure will also include recovered cost of goods sold. I have already outlaid thousands of dollars over the last year and a half on inventory, it Is time now to recoup some of my initial investment here and move it across to the investment property.
So without further ado, behold, January’s figures:
A couple of notes:
- The store value and total listings is compared against October 2019 values as I did not calculate Novembers and Decembers due to time prioritisation commitments with the new bubba.
- The other business expenses for this month are definitely out of the ordinary and include additional shipping associated with the bush fire relief (covered further below) and the purchase of a couple of office supplies including a new desk. All tax deductions of course.
- I am aware that this is 30 days and that January has 31 days, this for me is a rolling scorecard and at the moment I don’t feel like I am deriving any extra value from spending the extra time to go back an modify formulas for one day. If anything the results will always be a little better than what is posted.
The Magic of Tracking
This month I started logging time in the interest of continual business improvement. I think it will be very useful to be able to reflect where tweaks could be made to improve profitability or identify potential time sinks in all areas of the business. Indeed there was an interesting discussion on The Australian Resellers group page recently on just this question – What defines a part time seller?
This month across all aspects of sourcing, listing, packing and shipping I have spent:
28 hours for the month which equates to 7 hours per week which in my view is definitely part time.
It was a very slow start for January, closely I suspect (hope) due to lack of free available funds by many people contributing towards the ongoing bush fires.
Looking back against Jan 2019s figures of $723.15 net on 30 sales against 421 listings with a total listed value of $15889. The Jan 2020s results have been, in contrast, quite average considering I have just popped over 1000 active listings with more than double the total store value.
However, considering that I sold 0 high value items, (that is anything over $100) for the entire month I guess I should actually be pretty happy with this result.
Another factor which may have played a part could be the non-existent listing in December effectively flowing through into early January.
A Failed Sales Run
Tried to run a store sale with a rule, 15% discount on all orders over $40. This would have been my largest sale dollar amount to date and after I created the Sale + Markdown event only 1 listing showed in the sale initially! I check back 2 days later and there were 7. Well below the 326 that should have been in the sale…
I actually followed this up via an eBay chat and was informed that, if the same items were in the previous sale that has just ended then they would have to wait 5 days before being automatically added to the new sale… My previous sale had been 8% storewide so this was definitely true.
Something to keep in mind for future sales.
Changing The Store Name
I finally got around to changing the store name and updated the cover and icons with the new icon set. I’ve listened to Pure Hustle Podcast a lot and distinctly remember them saying with their interview with Sell Quick Ship Quick that it wasn’t a good idea to make huge sweeping changes across the store. Sure enough there was a slight lull but picked straight back up afterwards.
Business Fun For A Great Cause
It was my great pleasure along with the support of my wife and good friend from work that we were able to support 2AussieThrifters and their live YouTube bushfire donation fundraising event with a painting and drawing respectively being put up for auction and raising over $300.
This took place on the 12th Jan 2020 over several hours and featured fellow resellers live from around the world coming together and offering their own items up for auction on the live stream with all winning bid amounts being applied to one of 3 different charities, all of which are directly involved with the ongoing bushfires across Australia. Together as group the total raised was a massive $12,000+ for the cause.
You can see the replay on the YouTube link below, skip to 4 hours 35mins 30secs to see my appearance along with my beautiful wifes Painting and friends drawing.
January Business Improvements
A reorganised packing station is working well, being able to find things easily unsurprisingly leads to improved efficiencies with packing and shipping times.
Buying stamps in bulk has led to some notable improvement with time savings by not having to go into the actual post office.
Setup a new tracking system for the business which will pay dividends in both visualisation snapshots of the business and record keeping for both analysis and tax purposes. I’m still tweaking various workflows but am pretty happy with how it’s come together. Come tax time I will be able to have everything for the year organised very easily which will be in sharp contrast to last financial year where it took hours to get everything organised.
Previously providing the monthly updates were quite time consuming, with the way the tracking system is setup now I can get a snapshot at the months end accurately and extremely easily. All of the figures you see in this months report are from the dashboard of this system.
More on this system later in the year as I believe it could really help others across a number of different areas. Will spend the next few months with further testing and making it even better.
Finally got around to completing the business cards and getting them printed. One afternoon I was, for want of a better word, inspired and just sat down and smashed the whole design out. 2 sided, gloss finish, 100 cards for just under $40 delivered. One side with the usual stuff like logos and contact details, the reverse with a segmented list of reselling items I’m looking for. As previously written about I know most of the local managers, I cannot really see any downside to handing these out, especially when I already have so much stock on hand. Lets see how much sourcing comes to me over the next 6 months. The cards themselves came back from the printer and the text was slightly blurry due to the font sizing. Not totally unreadable but needs fixing for the next run.
So far I have used them twice, one when talking to a staff member in a Vinnies and the second time I handed one to a guy I know quite well at a local Salvos. I am being super selective where handing these out. I think its important to make sure those relationships are firmly established before attempting this. One of the reasons for starting to actually roll this out is that after some reflection it is becoming increasingly clear that sourcing from some of these larger chain stores is becoming an inefficient use of my time. If I get a couple of calls in 6 months about this it will be worth it I am sure. Guess will see how it pans out.
Also it is critical to note that I am NOT doing this at all at the local “honey holes” I spoke about during my 2020 plan, the items I find at those shops are already awesome and cheap to boot. Don’t shit where you eat.
Well this area was supposed to be non-existent, as previously stated I have heeeeaps of items sitting in the death / money pile. But like many a reseller, I broke my own rule and took some sourcing opportunities where they were effective use of my time.
I had a small mission on December 31st 2019 which was actually quite fun as the stores were empty owing to New Years eve. I recommend going sourcing on this day, staff were friendly, places were empty. Thoroughly enjoyable. In my mind this was technically still 2019 so I wrote this off as my last hoorah at the time.
The remainder of January featured some truly selective sourcing. The following are about as efficient and effective as I think I could possibly get (aside from digital sourced with delivery). I spent a grand total of $157 on a massive 115 items in only 7 hours. This is part time sourcing truly at its best. I estimate there’s easily well north of $700 in value.
I had to visit the local tip one weekend on the direction of my wife. Whilst there I took the opportunity to peruse the tip shop they have as this required no extra time to do so. I actually left my wallet at home thinking I wouldn’t need it, always the way. After quickly looking around I came across a good condition Gilbert Rugby body armour set and several vintage PC games. I’m guessing someone had thrown out a big box of these and the guys at the tip had rescued them. Anyway, I had $10 in my pocket, so when I walked up to one of the guys and said how much for all this? I was fully expecting to have to put a few things back. Today was my lucky day however and $10 took it all including over 20 vintage games (all later determined in good condition aside from a couple of broken cases, 1 was a bootleg), the Gilbert gear and a vintage QLD drink holder from the 70s, 80s or 90s (determined from a combination of the phone number and the use of Golden Fleece on the holder (a vintage petroleum brand). For a visit that had to happen (going to the tip), I was very happy to walk away with well over $400 worth of resale value (20x$20 games, excludes the drink holder and Gilbert Rugby Gear). So far I have sold one game for $20 and the drink holder for $45. Well into the money here.
Next time I’m bringing more cash money.
I finished work one day having to go to a shop to buy some items (work related). It was on the way home and literally around the corner was a clearance outlet, less than a 1 minute drive.
20 minutes spent and came away with a couple of tennis shirts, 3 hats (including 2 Guinness flat hats) @ 50c each, and 5x 8 Track Tapes! These blew me away, first time I have seen them in physical form – ever. Anyway they don’t appear super valuable but should return an easy $10 profit each. I cherry picked the best 5 of 10 available.
The day job resulted in a reconnaissance mission down south through some country towns. Conveniently through towns I have been meaning to get to for a long long time as obviously being so far out, fellow resellers are in much lower numbers and therefore potential treasure likelihood increases.
I utilised my lunch break to peruse a couple and was not disappointed coming away with some bread and butter items along with a couple of gems such as an ACME Sydney 2000 hat and a Pokemon 1996 Bum Belt Bag (Fanny Pack – American). Prices were very reasonable to boot.
I wrote about my local “go to” Op Shops in my 2020 goal post The Year Of The Turtle. One Saturday I needed to get out of the house and have some introvert time alone to recharge. After a 5 minute drive I was happily browsing through a shed full of books on a “fill a bag for $5” mission. They also happened to have some bags handy so I found an oversized tote and set to work filling it up. After I had found all I thought would be useful I went inside only to be told that they were closing in 5 minutes. I quickly managed to find 2 pairs of shoes.
For 32 items I spent a grand total of $12.50 which included a $4 extra donation which was all the change I had in the utes centre console. There may have been some other treasures hiding in here as I actually ran out of time when the shop closed at 13:00pm…
On a Sunday there was a garage sale less than 100m from my house. I scoured my entire house and could only manage to find $4 in loose change. I considered not going as what could I possibly get for $4? However as it was so close I thought why not. I was pleasantly surprised with the prices when I arrived and I ended up buying my first ever NERF item, an elite pistol with a large supply of ammo. This had $4 on the bag when I saw it so I thought yes I can probably make $10 from that. As I went to pay for this however I spied a Magic The Gathering logo at the bottom of a stack of puzzles. This turned out to be a Plainswalker Board game and had $2 on it! Now I was torn as I now had to get the game but still wanted the NERF gear. I asked the lady if she would take $4 for both and she said yes…Cha Ching.
Began working through the death / money pile, spending the first couple of weekends of January heavily hitting taking photos for mainly books and media. It’s a good feeling to finally begin to at least start to get on top of it, particularly when it’s obvious there’s literally thousands of dollars sitting there ready to be sold.
My goal for the moment is simply to list more than 3 items per day on average and 5 per day as the stretch target. I’ll be honest I still struggled with this for most of the month but got pretty close to the stretch goal at 4.93 average per day. Finding time, an hour here or there can prove extremely difficult with the little one. It basically needs to be when she’s asleep so I don’t miss out on the magical life events.
I came across on Daily Refinement’s Insta feed an interesting poll that was run about listing which gave a nice summary breakdown, obviously the sample size is a little small.
I could list over 50+ items per day if I had all the photos ready and did nothing else for 10 hours straight – no interruptions. This little screenshot got me thinking what might be possible on a full time basis. I think I could achieve 30 listing per day on average and without burnout (which is a key consideration). This is based on 3 hour window of a larger 6 hour window. The other 3 hours being for sourcing and photos etc… Could work. Not really applicable for the next few years but interesting none the less.
Had a couple of low balling peanuts and stupid offers this month.
Had a lady buy a spoon only to send me a message asking if it had been used (listing was for used). Then afterwards sent me a message asking for an additional 50% off as it was used. Cheeky, then she spammed me with messages to cancel the transaction after I said I would be cancelling it!
One to add to the block list for sheer entitlement. Super annoying that this costs me that PayPal fee for interactions such as this.
Thankfully, that was the extent of negativity this month.
A new addition for these summaries but I am serious about getting my health in order this year after letting it go over the last couple. Afterall what good is making lots of money reselling if it destroys your health and relationships.
There’s a lot of data around about the increasing costs of healthcare as you age. I am looking to find ways and methods now to stave off poor health and disease later. Ideally I’d like to live past 100 with relative good health all the way. After all I have a little bubba to care for now. She is great motivation for getting my ass into gear.
The below chart illustrates some average costs by age group in USD for generic spending and also in relation to some common illnesses / diseases.
Its plain to see that the longer one can prolong exposure to age related disease the better from both a health AND a financial perspective.
So where to start then?
My initial goals are:
- Eat Better.
- Exercise More.
- Sleep Better. I have already posted about sleeping better here.
- Lose 20kgs for the year which is the first time I am documenting this number. This will take me down to 76kg a weight of which I have not been in over 10 years. So Starting weight of 96kgs.
Weight however, is not the primary focus, its about eating healthier, exercising effectively, spending more time with loved ones and living longer, the weight loss is a bonus from the process but a useful metric (one of) to be able to track.
For the month of Jan I lost 6.36kgs, yes 31.8% of my total goal already and not a bad way to kick things off, but a lot of that will be water weight and results from here on will slow to a crawl.
The Keto Diet and 100 Pushups Per Day, that’s it.
I expect the next months progress to be much slower obviously but this is a great start with some rather unexpected benefits resulting in a Reselling Secret Weapon, more on this in another post soon.
Plans For February
A new side project. January also birthed an idea for a Merch side project which I will be working on that relates to the reselling world. This will appear on my Insta feed (and here) when available. Might roll into March depending on supplier shipping.
Consider scheduling additional 3 day weekends with accrued annual leave, perhaps once a month where a single day can be dedicated to getting as many items listed or photographed as possible. I was actually doing this over a year ago before we received the news about the bubba whereby I then immediately began hoarding leave. These 3 day weekends are great to get focused blocks of work done whilst still feeling like you have a weekend!
Increase exercise for the Health mission, specifically adding a minimum of 20 Burpees to the daily routine in additional to the daily 100 pushups.