February Summary 2020

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Month Summary

What a solid month. Remember when you read this that I’m part time and we have a 12 week old bubba also!

This month I have added the net profit figure per hour so I can track how this is trending. The only goal here is to beat my the hourly rate from my day job. On a net basis of both then this figure does.

I hit the combined cash flow goal of $1000 for the month which I’m pretty happy about being less days in February.

On a time basis spent January and February ended up being almost identical. The only thing here that is evident is more time listing is required and less time sourcing!

Sourcing

This month was supposed to be a lean sourcing month. I even joined a separate Facebook group for Sourcing Ban Support. Even so I spent 8 hours actually out sourcing and $224 total.

Any time spent here directly affects my equivalent hourly rate and yes of course sourcing is required but not when I still have hundreds of items that need listing!!!

Still, I made the most of what I did do.

Again my favourite Op Shop delivered the goods which a large clothing haul and a stack of books for the princely sum of $10. If only multiples of this shop existed.

I finally used up one of my xmas presents (A 50% off coupon for Good Sammys). I had actually gone there to drop off some baby clothes for donation and ended up picking up a few rugby related items and some shoes. Saved $39 on face value (shoes were a little overpriced). Should be able to recoup $180 pretty easily.

This got me thinking, a trip to some of the other larger stores will be a good idea on one of those up coming days.

Had a couple of lunch time loot stops that were quite successful. Visited a Salvos for the first time that I had driven past hundreds of times and never stopped. As soon as I walked into this one I was disappointed, this store was huge but had the boutique feel straight away. I knew pickings would be slim. Sure enough found a pair of Levis and they were asking $17…, on another (fake) pair the same, I shook my head.

But at the back of the store on the book shelf was a huge stack of Star Trek books and they were only asking $1 each which is a good deal. There were a couple of larger ones which were $3 each. There were 30 books in total and I negotiated to $30 for all saving the princely sum of $5.

Personal Sourcing

One of the reasons I love this business so much is that it is possible to massively over time upgrade your life. Take the below example whilst cruising the Salvos isles one day. A Fat Max Toolbox for $7. I had been looking for a decent toolbox for a while.

$7 From The Salvos

And the equivalent listing on eBay:

A nice little saving of probably at least $50.

Another example, some time ago I took off a light fixture in the Garage. One Friday night I got motivated to clean up the garage and the absence of this fixture made it to my Hot List (read To Do List). Whilst out sourcing everywhere I went I looked for one of these fixtures to replace it. Eventually I found one new in a box at a Vinnies clearance outlet. Total cost $2.

I also scored some white Vans which were dirty for $7 and cleaned them up. Saving the equivalent of around $50. More on those further below.

I my favourite find of the month was the below book from the tip shop. I’m always on the lookout for discarded comics, even totally damaged ones as I use them as christmas and birthday wrapping for my family presents. Something a bit different. I came across this book and originally thought someone had simply pulled out all the comic strips from the book but its actually hundreds of pages of newspaper cut outs which have been painstakingly glued in to this collation. Theres not really any monetary value here at all but I can truly appreciate the amount of time that it took to create this book and am glad that it didn’t just get added to landfill. Eventually these comics will form wrapping paper and the comics will again be read once more, life extended.

Listing

Huge listing start for Feb with a 34 day list inn only a couple of hours – A new PB.

Then listing tapered off a lot in the days following. I was getting towards the end of my stockpiled listing photo bank with approx. 55 remaining.

Subcontractor used to process some further clothing finds from January Providing another 25ish (at a cost which will be captured in March).

Had plenty of small finds that need photographing from the January sourcing missions which I got to one Sunday afternoon later in the month.

Found a block of time on the 12th (a scheduled day off) to get some more listings done and then in the last couple of days I had a huge push on the back of a Facebook group challenge ending up listing 100 for the week.

Combined I smashed my goal of average 3 listings per day and even surpassed the stretch goal of 5 per day average. Lets hope this surge pushes into March sales.

The Return Of The 3 Day Weekends

As I was doing pre-bubba I need to schedule some 3 day weekends to get more items listed! (Which I have now since scheduled throughout the year).

Aside from scheduled public holidays I have booked 8 days, to make 8 x 3 day weekends which still leaves another 12 days free for holidays 😉 on top of the stash that I already have.

There are 2 of these days available to me in March (including scheduled public holiday)

Further Listing Optimising

I spent some time optimising and revising listings to meet seller standards of Top Rated Seller Plus. I had just over 600 listings which weren’t meeting the Plus standard and I modified these to reflect Free shipping, 1 day handling, 30 day returns and an additional express shipping option.

By having all of these conditions met these items experience a boost in search / best match.

I also made a point to fix a few older items had some errors relating to auto accept / decline values for offers (as I had moved the price down). I would think any error on a listing like that would probably not make it show in search.

A few others had calculated postage and / or pricing errors (mainly relating to shipping) which I amended. Items such as DVDs and games had the shipping as $13.80 satchels which is a legacy dollar figure, I’m not sure how that has actually occurred. Anyway, these listings were NEVER going to sell the way they were so this exercise was definitely productive.

Of course there are the item specifics that require fixing as well but I chipped away at those and now are down to a measly 22 on lower value items (made sure to sort all the higher value items as a priority). The upcoming March Item Specifics update which I will then need to amend another 60 odd according to the app.

Welcome To The Shoe Game

I finally began cleaning some of the shoes I have had lying around for ages. I’ve been putting this off for a while, I think in part, as I’m not 100% sure on what cleaning products work the best and have a real fear of damaging product. This is of course stupid. The ones I have previously picked up are all higher value items, its insane that I have left them so long.

Case in point though, I found some white vans out one day which were dirty for $7 that I thought could be cleaned up.

I attempted to clean and turned one shoe pink… This then resulted in having to find a way to bleach. The end result worked out well but this kind of highlighted why I have shied away from shoes initially.

Before
Before
I turned one shoe pick using a combination of Sard Satin Remover and one of those cheap red cloths from Bunnings.
They Cleaned Up Like New

Sales

February has been a solid month, improving against January 2020 and also against up 110.1% against February 2019, cant argue with that performance.

At one point my effective hourly rate was running at $80 per hour before dropping off as sourcing and listing time made their respective impacts.

This month I have added the sell through rate to record this trend. The initial result of around 7% is a little lower than others that sell similar (from a previous post this sits 10%) but I’m guessing my prices are a little more elevated also. None the less will be good it I can get this figure.

The first 10 days of February were amazing in comparison with January, after just this short amount of time sales were already at 66% of Januarys overall total with almost 3 weeks to go!

A couple of notes here:

I started being a little less greedy for offers coming in. If I was making at least $15-$20 I was taking them even if I might have got another $5-10 by holding out.

Spent a little bit of time sending offers out this month on a couple of occasions which generated one direct sale and one other sale which ended up being full price but to another buyer the next day. Coincidence? Maybe but I’m thinking the activity might have helped boost the item in search.

The Top Rated Seller Plus and other item tweaks must have helped a lot. Case in point a $50 T-Shirt which had sat for ages sold a day later after removing the postage charge and adding an express shipping option.

Upselling

This month I sold a jumper to a buyer who was quite time heavy with message interactions. This was a relatively new buyer who preferred making payments via bank transfers, fine by me. This buyer actually made the comment that another seller had refused to provide bank account details for a $20 Tshirt to which I replied please feel free to have a look around my store for anything else that may be of interest. Result, another $35 sale and no additional shipping cost as both fit in one small satchel. Customer service matters.

Returns

I had one return of some ink which was sold with a dyslexic title. I swear this killed my sales for the next few days. I had been happily ticking along averaging over $100 sales every day and then boom crickets for 2 days following the return request.

Then just when I was getting that sorted with issuing the refund boom another one for an item does not fit. That ones all good as buyer pays return shipping BUT I cant help but think it’s the same issue, if you have a return open it seems like you get punished. I saw a few other resellers on Instagram this month saying the same thing. Conspiracy theory perhaps but there does appear to be some truth to it. Indeed after this new return request came in, guess what, 0 sales for that day…

Random Sale

Random Sale From The Tip Shop. COGS basically $0.

Other Business Improvements

This month I put a Facebook Marketplace post and a Gumtree post asking for free Bubblewrap. I spent a bit of time crafting the message. Amazingly a lady contacted me the very next day and said she had a box available. The amazing part was that a third person who had gone to this lady’s house to buy packing boxes actually mentioned my ad. So second hand information.

Anyway the box was huge and I shouldn’t need bubble wrap for a good long time. I’m still looking for a more regular source though so ill leave the ads up for now and see if anything else comes of it.

Health

I have been looking for consistent ways to achieve a daily edge, whether that be for work or general life.

Mushroom Coffee

This was a new one for me but recommended by a friend. I brought some Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee mix. Tastes like coffee he says but gives you a “zing” (his words) without the jitters commonly incurred with excess caffeine consumption. I know I drink too much coffee, but I need something to keep me awake operating on reduced sleep with the new bubba.

The reviews on Google and Amazon were very favourable.

My own experience was reflective of what others have experienced. My thoughts became clear and focused and I found I was even able to effectively concentrate with multiple distractions going on all around, for example people talking really loudly in the office.

I even had a cup 20 minutes before I was due to go up and speak in front of 60+ people (that I wouldn’t recommend as I found myself wanting to actually calm down a little bit) but the speech turned out great in part I’m sure thanks to this coffee.

Definitely worth giving a go if your looking for an edge. Grab yourself some here.

The Daily Stoic Book by Ryan Holiday

Received this book as a birthday present and have thoroughly enjoyed it. Have been posting a daily screenshot of it on Insta. A couple of people have asked about the book itself so here is the link if you would like your own copy.

Personally I am considering adding my own thought notations on each page with the year. Then adding to it each year.

The Keto diet continues in Feb combined with some bouts of intermittent fasting. I briefly touched 86.13 kgs (189.9lbs) and am currently hovering around 86.63 kg. This is almost 50% of my goal acheieved after just 2 months of 2020.

Carb Refeeds

Had first carb refeed on a night out mid month. All white rices combined with some Katsu chicken. Interestingly I lost more weight in the day following this when I switched back into ketosis by fasting again until lunchtime. Perhaps a good way to break the plateau.

The second was at the end of the month with some stodgy Chinese food. This left me feeling like I had eaten cement and again interestingly I had some negative thoughts from the past return not long after consumption. I’m not sure if this was guilt or perceived guilt or somehow the hyper dose of carbs affecting things? The next day another fast till after lunch and feeling much better again. I like the new Keto normal.

Keto Keto Keto

Received another new book again (also for my Birthday). Looking forward to trying out some recipes (especially the one for Almond Bread). Keto is how I have knocked 10kg off in 2 months.

Currently Reading

This book is a true monster.

I’m listening to the Audiobook version and its 42 hours long! That’s more than 4x the standard long form Audiobook.

So far I have been impressed with the content (4 hours in). If you want improve multiple aspects of your life, then this is a great blueprint to use to start with.

As I touched on in last months summary health is a huge factor in overall quality of life as well as directly impacting financial resource requirements with correlations to age.

By spending some more up front now I hope to improve overall quality of life right now and save a huge amount of money over the long term.

I don’t see this as anything other than a win win.

Anyway if your interested you can check it out here.

Supplementation

These are the current supplements I am taking along with the reason why:

Yes there are a few there! In reality the upfront expense really isn’t that bad. Just adjust spending from somewhere else to accommodate.

Exercise

Exercise plans for the month were hit and miss.

I continued with the daily 100 pushups for most of the month but had trouble integrating the additional burpees. I think at least for a week I was fighting off another sinus infection so I made a conscious decision to ease off a bit. I did not want a relapse of the 3 month sinus infection saga from 2019 which required antibiotics intervention.

March needs to be better from an exercise point of view, back to the daily 100 pushups and try again to reintegrate the daily 10 burpees.

March Goals:

  • Continue listing and get those troublesome items listed (namely heaps of cameras and some old posters that I have multiples on).
  • Suspend Sourcing.
  • Continue with other reselling secondary projects. Details still to come later.

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