The use of Crypto for insane ROI is the real meat of this sandwich if you will (I’m hungry which is why that’s ended up there).
The volatility of the crypto market is second to none, hundreds and thousands of % pumps often followed by 95% crashes. Its certainly not for the faint of heart and it goes without saying:
This is not financial advice, do your own research and due diligence and only invest what you can afford to lose.
In fact I would go as far to say if you invest in crypto at the moment from an emotional point of view, assume its going to $0, zero, zilch, nothing.
But…. if it doesn’t (and the technologies here to stay in my opinion) you are witness to the birth of a new Macro trend friend.
Just like I thought the same thing about lithium back in 2015/16 (and still do with that running for many years) its very early in this trends adoption or even value relating to actual utility.
I didn’t reap the rewards of my early lithium insights until 5 years later.
How early in Crypto?
Well I once heard a fantastic metaphor which aptly describes this. Imagine you are one of the sheep. One day you get separated from the flock and end up going over a rocky mountain path which winds down and opens out onto a magnificent meadow. This meadow is lush with grass and basically an all you can eat buffet. There is a small catch though, there are leopards which roam nearby and there is a chance you will get eaten, especially alone.
There’s the rub, your early so you can experience those astronomical life changing gains (eating all the fresh grass you can) but also experience death (loss of capital) from getting eaten by the Leopard (rug pulls, investing in shitcoins).
Had the whole flock arrived at once all of the grass would have quickly been consumed but here you are able to eat to your 4 part stomachs desire.
In my opinion, right now, there’s 3 or 4 sheep in the flock grazing, the rest haven’t arrived yet, but they will in due time.
I can count on fingers still how many people I know physically outside web3 (whole different story that one) who actually own crypto. How about you?
How early then really?
The answer is I am not entirely sure.
You will note that there’s currently no timeframe on my goal and that’s partly because its tied to this market.
You see Cryptos in a bear market right now and there’s potential for the stock market to go either way in the near future still.
The Crypto market can still go down from here.
So why am I writing about this at this moment? Well during times of max fear and pain it is concurrently the time of most opportunity. The issue is emotions get in the way and buying things after they have already dropped 90% might seem like a good idea but if it drops another 50% can you handle that? Its hard to buy during these times. Everything’s negative, news, social media.
So its tough most definitely but the risk is skewed asymmetrically at the moment on a long term basis with maybe 50% more downside but hundreds of % upside.
Remember the market is also forward looking and by the time the narrative changes and becomes positive you would have already missed a significant move up.
So for now I continue to chip away each week using dollar cost averaging.
Alright, so what am I buying with my book proceeds?
Primarily: Casper $CSPR
The Casper Network is a decentralized layer one Proof-of-Stake blockchain built off the Casper CBC specification. Casper is designed to accelerate enterprise and developer adoption of blockchain technology today and evolve to meet the needs of the future. (From: https://casper.network/en-us/)
Why am I buying it?
Open architecture make it easy for developers to build on it using languages already familiar with.
Upgradeable smart contracts.
Below / On Key Technical Chart Levels (at time of writing).
Hosting as Davos means relationship building opportunities with many billionaires.
Secondary: Hbar $Hbar
The Hedera proof-of-stake public network, powered by hashgraph consensus, achieves the highest-grade of security possible (ABFT), with blazing-fast transaction speeds and incredibly low bandwidth consumption. By combining high-throughput, low fees, and finality in seconds, Hedera leads the way for the future of public ledgers. (From: https://hedera.com/)
Why am I buying it?
Has a governing Council made up of huge companies from around the world.
Multiple Use Cases.
Below Key Technical Chart Levels (at time of writing).
My first purchases have been completed into Casper using proceeds from book sales thus far around 4.5c USD.
Fingers crossed I can quickly sell the rest of these books before things really take off.
Use the links above to go and check out each project.
In my opinion buying now and then doing nothing for a few years will get this done and pay off my student loan.
Again not financial advice, just a reseller on the internet having a crack.
I am endeavoring to turn $50 into $50K to pay off my student loan and have some change.
A combination of reselling luck, hard work, research, more luck with a macro trend and an execution plan.
Part 1: The Setup:
To kick the journey off I used my reselling skills and $50.
The other day I got lucky. Really lucky.
In my current reseller career which now spans a few years (more than 6 on a regular part time basis) I count count on one hand the times when a similar event has happened.
This ROI is astronomical and will be critical to setup Part 2.
On a Tuesday afternoon I happened to call into an Op Shop on route to the storage unit. I arrived just before the close and struck up a conversation with some staff, friendly banter. I was offered a large selection of about 40 books for the princely sum of $25 were all from the same set. I didn’t even bother to check prices as I knew selling only a couple would recoup my cost. To make things even better they were desirable which can sometimes be tough in the world of selling books. Having that X factor can really get that sell through rate way up.
Anyway, the following day I ventured back with the Mrs. at the same time of day on the off chance that the rest of the set had been located. As luck would had it it had and the staff had only just finished putting them all out this time with $5 each. I asked if I could have the balance again for $25 effectively creating a full set and succeeded!
I now had just over 80 books for $50. Over the next 2 nights I hustled late into the night after work and the gremlins were asleep (before midnight) to get these up and listed for $35 each. Yep you read that right, $35 each.
Quick math: 80 x$35 = $2800 which is an ROI of 5500%. Not bad. This figures gross obviously.
I’m not that greedy though and wanted to really move these on. It wasn’t long before offers starting to roll in for several of these books @ $20 a piece. Even at $18 a piece profit (after factoring fees and accrual for shipping across bulk buys) that still works out to be somewhere in the vicinity of: 80 x 18 = $1440 or a lazy 2780% net profit.
Stay tuned for Part 2 and what’s happening to the $1440.
Once upon a time there was a reseller who was heading towards becoming a hoarder.
The love of item sourcing was so strong that the death pile was ever expanding.
It’s no surprise that almost every reseller loves sourcing, who doesn’t like finding treasure?! The rush is sometimes much greater than the attached monetary value, and other times its the inverse with perceived value simply tied to ones own nostalgia and emotions. Lastly the potential discovery of a gem that many others might have missed.
The biggest issue I have always struggled with so far in this reselling journey has been converting all those amazing finds into actual real $$$. The concept is dead easy. 99% of everything found has potential to make some decent money but the follow through with getting stuff actually listed has been somewhat lacking. I say somewhat because I do list quite a few items, I just tend to gravitate towards the ones I enjoy within my own operations. I have 3 categories or buckets that I could group my items into:
Items that I really don’t mind listing, perhaps even enjoy. Some book niches, old vintage computer games, other unique items. I actually get through these items at a decent clip.
Items that I don’t mind finding but hate listing. Clothes are the perfect example of this. I did outsource most of this process however I’m in a transition period to a new photographer at the moment which will hopefully work out. When this workflow is going smoothly getting this stuff listed can actually be very fast (and also quickly add up outsourced costs here too).
Items that have potential for some really good returns but require additional work in some form. This might include cleaning or testing. Think old camera equipment, video players, electronics and such. Here I often procrastinate or defer due to time investment (I’m very time poor, currently, and for the foreseeable future) and also I think a big part of sitting on this sort of stuff is dealing with higher value item returns, or even more simplistically, the fear of these even occurring.
Anyway, I have digressed a little, one day I walked into the storage unit and had a momentary sense of panic. Perhaps even a mini panic attack you might say. There were vestiges of sourcing missions everywhere, stacked haphazardly at multiple heights. I had recently installed 6 shelves in the storage unit which had all the listed inventory arranged and accounted for but even with this installed there was still a huge mess.
I mentally decided that this would be an excellent time to hit pause on acquiring more items, also known by some in the community as a sourcing ban. I have attempted this a couple of times before but never really succeeded for more than a couple of weeks. Previous iterations of this concept have often triggered simply by knowing that I have been buying more than what has been selling which was easily viewed by reference to my monthly summaries. Being that I hadn’t collated data for these in quite a while (the time to do this became a bit of a roadblock here and I worked out this was costing me around $1000 a year vs actually listing. Good news though, I have recently been able to 95% automate all eBay and time tracking data meaning these summaries will be returning again soon!) so this time I knew I needed to get a little smarter with how I implemented this ban. I decided to pick a date and attach a reward goal at the end for additional motivation (in addition to other motivating factors including getting a heap of items listed and hopefully a heap of additional sales).
I ended up deciding that 55 days was the answer being the exact number of days until the Garage Sale Trail 2020 which would also serve as my reward post sourcing ban. Being that I had a huge 2019 (on the Garage Sale Trail) and picked up some great items I thought this would be an excellent chance to have a big spend up after not purchasing any inventory for almost 2 months.
The Metrics and Targets
Daily Listed Value
At a rough guess I figured that I probably had over $10,000 in unlisted stock and probably closer to $15,000 if I got literally everything listed. After mentally estimating potential numbers I immediately followed with a further thought “That is a straight up ridiculous amount of cash just sitting around”.
I chose a number that I thought I realistically ‘Should’ be able to get to on most days and instead of a daily listing number target that many others might focus on (I.e 10 items per day, a common number often used a a benchmark in the greater reselling community) I took a $ value amount instead which was $300 listed value per day.
This could be made up of a single item for $300 or 30x $10 items. Whatever worked to get to that $300 figure.
I allocated around 2 hours per day on average to get items sold packed first and then focus on listing. This figure is pretty accurate during the workweek but less so on the weekends. I still work full time in a role that has become more and more demanding as time has progressed (in a good way mind you) so this is really about what I can get to without having significant negative / adverse impacts on the family. (This could be debated at times and is a topic for another post).
I had down time of:
2 Days Working Away.
2 Days Sick.
5 Days Carers Leave (Looking after Sick Family).
The AFL Grand Final Day.
The $5 Challenge Admin Day.
There is 11 out of 55 days where I wasn’t able to list due to physical location, time constraints or consciously chose not to list.
I spent a Half Day one Saturday with Manga Listing for 5 hours but otherwise most weekends I tried to list both days but I often failed in this regard with family time the main priority.
This left effectively 44 days of listing available.
I started off very well in the first couple of weeks while initial motivation was high and item values were also high. I quickly found myself over $2000 ahead, more than double my weekly target of $2100 after just week 1.
After just 2 weeks I felt noticeably lighter when walking into the storage unit. Just a little less stressed or anxious.
The sickness (both my own and the families) thrown into the mix at different times did impact motivation significantly I think and as the days wore on I found myself definitely losing motivation to list.
From a sourcing perspective, while I was getting listings banged out I had no real inclination after the first week to go sourcing. I do have to drive past 2 different Op Shops to get to my storage unit so I found that an interesting insight. However like a junkie I did have a few occasions over the 55 days where I did do some sourcing. These occasions came after the bouts of sickness which rolled me out of my listing rhythm. I cannot say what was the direct cause of slip ups but it was probably a combination of losing the listing momentum combined with a good old thirst for some treasure hunting! Had I not gotten sick I think I could have completed all 55 days.
In comparison with the preceding few months however what ended up being sourced was almost nothing in comparative dollar terms. As in the last 30 days while getting around to writing this post has been over $800. That’s a huge difference obviously.
I did however make it through the half way mark all the way to 34 days without sourcing even a single item which I’m pretty proud of. I actually came unstuck in part to the wife who wanted to go to the Op Shop for some baby items.
She twisted my arm…and I was kind of saving money by doing so…
I spent the sum of $14 on only the highest quality items, even putting a few back on the shelf. I made a mental deal with myself to list these items the very next day, which I did, turning $14 into $135 Potential. Sold one item the next day which paid for what I had spent. I’ll call that a win.
This seemingly justified event seemed to release the kraken though.
I spent $5 on a mis-priced listing whilst actually searching currently listed items to gauge price (minimal completed listings available for reference). The items I came across were the same price or better than I would find in an op shop and included delivery. Yes please, this may have been a sourcing ban but I’m not going to leave easy money on the table particularly when it is sourced in mere seconds!
I picked up some Free Books Day 39 from a family member which turned out to be a bit of a bust. There was promise of a few old speedway ones which emotion prevailed and these were no longer leaving. Fair enough. There was another box which had already been picked through though (I was told this), so in the end I ended up taking a big old box of books to the op shop and kept only a few. I did sell a couple the next day for $30 cash so all was not lost and there’s some interesting ones which will fetch some good money but could take years to sell. All in all this was not a good use of time.
I spent $10 at Salvos on an insane amount of DVDs and items. The team at the shop recognised I hadn’t been shopping in some time so were very generous. This little lot will turn into over $350 eventually.
By Day 41 and my motivation to list was definitely waning.
Day 42 I had to take some general items from the house to the tip and I gave in and brought about 25 books in my favourite niche from the Tip Shop for $10. This is a similar concept (to me anyway) as buying some baby clothes from the Salvos. I already have to go to the tip anyway so why not at last try and make some money for having to do so and at least effectively pay me for my time.
Day 46 Post Gift. On this day I some good general life news and celebrated by heading back to the local Salvos again. I spent $31 on a large selection of DVDs and games. Brought a set of xmas placemats which I sold a couple of weeks later which paid for everything.
Day 48 Visited the Vinnies Clearance Outlet Plus Sammy’s $21. I picked up some puzzles and a couple of block prints. I later sold 2 old Holden puzzles alone for $95 combined within 24 hours…
Day 49 Weekend mission $36 spent at the local honey hole. Some of this was for baby again but came away with a couple of items for reselling as well including a vintage VB Singlet from the 90’s which should sell very well.
The Grand Summary Total
The 44 equivalent adjusted days listing value came in at $11,783 which is the equivalent of $267.80 per day…
Not too shabby and very close to target on the adjusted basis.
I did spend $138 on sourcing in the second half of this challenge, of which this entire amount was recouped in sales prior to the challenge ending (and then some).
Sales during the period? Interesting question though I haven’t loaded any sales data in for quite some time using the form. Now that I have this process automated (see an upcoming post on this) I will be able to easily calculate this next time. Using the hugely accurate bellwether (not) of the 90 day eBay app tally, all the extra listing didn’t really give me a massive boost. I should add that it has been very consistent though hovering around that 10K 90 day total for a while, without running and sales events for months now.
Lessons Learned From This Process
This is a great time to complete this heading into Q4 to really get some listings cranked out. This process has been so valuable that I intend to repeat this exact same experiment again next year in August and September (the seasonal months where my sales tend to take a dip). By doing this I may flatten out the curve a little.
The unit needs to be a little more organised. Ever since moving in I have had plans to custom build my own listing and packing desk by enlisting some help. I haven’t quite got there yet but I found at times I was being slowed down packing items which in turn reduced the available time for listing. A big part of early next year will be getting this space setup. Some design concepts first then execution.
Poor planning – Lighting Fails x 2. I had 2 days (See Day 31/55 Instagram) where I had intentions of listing but ran into problems with the batteries for lighting (the unit has no power). Although the days weren’t total losses being able to do other tasks they certainly were not as productive as they might have been otherwise. Perhaps a third battery might be a good idea moving forward.
List the most rewarding first. This seems like common sense but it definitely helps get a bit of a roll on. I spent a lot of time particularly in the early days with some high $ amounts. I found these days very easy compared to a day of listing say 7 DVDs for $100 and thinking geez I have along way to go to get $300 for the day. On days like these a single $80 odd dollar item can make all the mental difference and help get you over the line.
Love me a multi listing. Experimented with a couple of multi-listings over this time and sold a couple of items. When I do find a good replenishable with variations this will come in handy. The entire concept is really great, 1 listing with number, type and price variances.
Stretch Targets are great. Setting super ambitious or high targets will help elevate your overall performance. I didn’t end up succeeding in hitting my target of listing $300 a day but I did still end up listing more than $1472.80 per week on average for the 8 weeks. As a pert time seller I have to be pretty happy with this amount.
Business Policies. If you are not using them you should be. I’ll readily admit I didn’t use these for a long time and when I changed over to using them I had to spend a bit of time fixing all the existing listings up and matching them etc… Now that they are set though they speed up listing on the phone a lot! These also played an important part in setting up my record keeping automation later by keeping the naming conventions the same. Once you get the hang of these you will never go back I promise.
April was my best month yet from my reselling endeavours. I even managed to meet my own Gold Star mark which I set myself back in the January 2020 Summary where I introduced a goal mark system to track my own score. I honestly didn’t think I would see this mark for some time. G sits above A.
As you can see above the net profit per hour is still above $100 an hour for the second month on the trot combined with higher volume as well which I am happy about.
A side note on this: Part of me feels like a bit of a skite even publishing this number. I’ve even added it into the post title which feels click baity even though it’s not. After all, both where I’m from (NZ) and where I live (AUS) this sort of thing (skite) is somewhat frowned upon. That said, its here because:
I’m proud of it, I had to learn a lot over multiple years and put in the effort and hard work to get this number. I don’t view this number as a boast, I view it as a reflection of my efforts for reselling activities and a reminder that this number always must be better than my day job.
I want people to really thinkabout their reselling business and the time they are putting in vs what they are getting out of it. Even better track and record so able to constantly identify areas for improvement.
I want to put it out there to show what is potentially possible at least on a part time basis. Work smarter and more efficiently to make this number better.
Highlights of April include:
A new daily reselling high score.
Highest amount of sales for any month.
Highest sell through rate for any month.
This month was out of control, I sold 128 items over the month vs 69 the month before on a sell through rate of just over 12% which is far superior to the previous 3 months which each sat in between 6-7%.
The Coronavirus was obviously a huge factor in this, people at home choosing to shop online. I did have a sale which ended early in the month and I followed this up with a 30% off book sale on my higher priced items. There were a few sales in there for sure which on a time basis were not worth the reward after the sale amount slashed it but these were only a few and the increased traction through the rest of the store seemed to pick up.
Had some solid sales this month with several items leaving at over $100.
Some interesting YouTube reselling conversations resulted in me joining the #puzzleclub and listing all of the puzzles that I had had lying around for a while. Cheers to 2AussieThrifters and The Mad Tatter for getting me motivated there. As soon as I jumped off the stream I listed 5 Ken Duncan Puzzles before I went to bed. The next morning I sold 4/5 within an hour. Strike while the reselling irons hot! Over the next couple of weeks I sold several other puzzles I made the effort to get listed. Would I still pickup Ken Duncans moving forward? Yes, but only for personal completion.
The time spent this month was definitely an improvement on March, I still would have liked to get more listed. I did find it difficult to manage working at home and getting items listed. Perhaps this is the new normal with a bubba for the moment.
No Sourcing completed for the month, sort of. I didn’t actually go to any Op Shops as they are still closed. I briefly used my Facebook Search Shove a couple times and made a couple of inquires on items. Both were a bust, one I was just too late and the other for some reason the guy did not reply to several messages even when I indicated I was keen to buy. Eventually he responded that they were available just not right at the moment. Bewildered I said ok let me know when they become ‘available’ and moved on. Perhaps it was Covid19 related but will probably never know. Outside of this I did not actively look nor have I posted my wanted ad yet.
I did purchase a bulk lot of choose your own adventure books. I am undecided whether to class this as actual stock yet as I want to compile the collection for Leela over the next few years (or maybe for dad to read with Leela). Anyway I paid just a little bit more than I really wanted to when factoring reselling but I didn’t have much choice as they were located outside my region and with restrictions on regional state travel here still in place I couldn’t pick them up. Still, I had a nice conversation with the people selling and they actually agreed to throw in some other similar books called twista plots as well. I could probably sell these and retrieve 1/3 of the cost leaving me with the choose your own adventures. For now these remain as a personal purchase.
Start Of A New Collection
A while ago I had found a Linkin Park tour T-shirt from 2007 in a rural thrift shop. Not long after Chesters death in 2017 I had the opportunity to buy a bulk lot of Linkin Park T-shirts but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. It’s funny, reflecting on growing up when I encountered a situation where someones favourite person / idol had died that they were affected so much. I couldn’t understand it at the time. They didn’t know this person directly, sure it was sad and often tragic in most cases but I couldn’t wrap my head around it. Chesters death however crushed me, I still vividly remember finding out off hand in a random conversation and I refused to believe it. I was also shocked just how shook up I was. Their music has gotten me through some seriously dark and shitty times and also really resonated with me through some great times. They are still are my favourite band. Chester’s death also forced me to reevaluate my own life again, after all how could someone who seemed to have conquered so many battles still succumb to the darkness and despair. I felt lost listening to any of their music and even found new meaning in some of there newer music in light of his death. After a while I couldn’t even listen to the music any more as every time I did I found myself upset. What was once a source of great strength for me had turned into anguish. I now finally understood what others had been trying to explain to me all those years ago.
I’m not sure what changed this month but I found myself pulled towards wanting to begin a collection of Linkin Park memorabilia. I already had the tour T-Shirt to kick things off so I began looking around the various platforms.
So far I have purchased a couple of tour T-Shirts one from eBay and one from Gumtree. The Gumtree one will be interesting as I paid via PayPal and specifically asked for a tracking receipt once sent. This was over a week ago. See what happens but I may have to open my first PayPal chargeback as a buyer already, just have that feeling about it.
I also came across a listing in another part of the country and convinced the person to send me these items. They haven’t turned up yet so I’ll wait to share what I got. In my opinion, a bargain, but what I will say is that it always pays to UpSource, ask the question, I’m also looking for X,Y and Z do you have any of these also? In the Choose Your Own Adventure purchase this question turn into FREE extra books to get the deal over the line. In the Linkin Park purchase it actually turned into other Linkin Park memorabilia shipped all together at an extremely good price.
An interesting query fell out of this, could it be possible to claim this collection as office furnishings as I intend to hang T-shirts etc… A grey area I am sure but will be following up with the accountant. I will also be posting a little more about creating collections using reselling in the future.
I did achieve some listings for the month but after selling so much the total store listings actually dropped by over 50. I just fell short of my minimum daily average goal for the month and also failed to list some of my higher value items that really should have taken priority, shoes for example.
I am reselling things faster than I can get them listed. Good problem to have I suppose. Just tricky to find that balance with working full time, packing what I’m already selling and spending time with the family.
I did have an extra day off scheduled for April but this got put on the back burner. With all of the Covid19 going on it seemed smarter to hang onto any accrued annual leave days for a rainy day… That said with things calming down somewhat I may be able to take the day that I have scheduled in May to attempt to get as many items processed as possible.
I finally got listed the vintage fantasy posters I have been siting on for over a year now. I have 93 at a cost of approximately 25c each and I just sold my first set of 5 for over $80 (figures captured in May revenue). Turns out they are actually vintage Lord Of The Rings so I don’t think I’ll have trouble selling them all over time. This should turn $25 into over $1000. Not to shabby at all but considering I only had to make one listing for all of them this should have been done much sooner.
The Death Pile
The reselling death pile still exists though it is shrinking relatively fast. For the moment I have listed most of the books and random sort of hard goods that I had stacked away. Remaining includes now: a bunch of PS2 systems and games, a box of random DVD box sets, old vintage cameras, various shoes, several guitar hero controllers and some other small items.
I also have a couple of tubs full of cards and other small items. Shrinking yes but still plenty to keep me out of trouble for this month and next.
Paid entire years PO Box rental. Got this out of the way and accounted for the entire cost in this month.
Brought a new mouse to replace my old one I actually wore out and simultaneously upgrade my productivity. I wrote an entire post about the benefits. You can read here.
The remaining months business expenses relate to purchase of postage mainly – stamps.
A Return From Italy !
The end of the month gave me a return all the way back from Italy in the middle of COVID19.
Needless to say I had many questions as it was unclaimed.
I’ll cover this separately in an upcoming post.
May Coming Up
Both May and June last year were my best months for reselling in the year 2019. A significant portion of my store is geared towards sports related clothing and winter clothing, mainly jeans. I am hoping this year will be the same if not better than last. With there at least potential for some sport to resume later this year I may see some of these items begin to move. If not it doesn’t matter I am happy to wait and have also turned down a few low ball offers over the course of April related to sports memorabilia in particular.
Tax Time Planning
Tax time is fast approaching again and I need to get a handle on whether I should be looking to make some business related purchases in this financial year to reduce my gross business income. As I only implemented my current custom system on Jan 1 I have a hodgepodge of records to organise.
If you have any suggestions for what might be a good business purchase feel free to leave a comment below. I already have this year upgraded by mouse and keyboard, I already have 2x Thermal printers, I could prepay some postage in bulk, I.E stamps. I have been thinking about a new chair as my current one kills my back after sitting for a while.
The Multi User Access Permissions
I noted this in a recent eBay update and have been hanging out for this to be honest. I already outsource my photos for some items and this will allow the draft listings to be created also. This will allow me to stick to the best part of the process.
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
I have been looking for
consistent ways to achieve a daily edge, whether that be for work or general
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.
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.
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.
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.
Vitamin C – Immunity Support And Reduce Length Of Common Colds.
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 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.
Continue listing and get those troublesome items listed (namely heaps of cameras and some old posters that I have multiples on).
Continue with other reselling secondary projects. Details still to come later.
It may seem somewhat counter intuitive but this year I want to slow the growth down a little bit to spend more time focusing on my newly expanded family with the addition of a little one just recently.
Growth for the sake of growth is not necessarily directly correlated with increased sales, profit or happiness, it took me 20 odd years to realise that time is just time, and much more valuable than money.
My own growth this past year whilst not exponential has been pretty steady and I’ve gone from only around 100 listings at the end of 2018 to almost 1000 at the end of 2019.
Rapid growth can also have some other problems particularly relating to cash flow. Some good examples are companies that grow too big to fast without implementing the systems required to effectively achieve sustained growth along with the cash flow required to support it. This growth explosion can often come at the expense of the company with resources stretched too thin or decisions made on anticipation of business contracts which fail to come to fruition. Chaotic growth can cause business failure, particularly with small and medium sized.
I felt this year I have done a reasonable job of managing cash flow with only 2 months of the year being negative due to inventory purchasing, and only slightly so. There’s also been a fair amount of infrastructure been acquired. Items like thermal printers and rolls, post office box, a second phone number, accounting consultation fees, tubs – many many tubs, bulk purchases of satchels to save on cost per item but there’s still a cost up front. All of these things add up probably towards $1000 I would think. In 2020 there will be far less of these which will improve net profit. That saving alone is the equivalent of 2 extra house payments.
Sales this year have been up and down but definitely improving each month. Cash flow has been the same (up and down) and I have spent very heavily on inventory at times, so much so that it might actually be possible to hit my upcoming listing targets for 2020 without even sourcing for half a year (or more).
That’s how big my money pile of unlisted items currently is.
There’s hundreds of items ready to be listed and sold. Just gotta do the work.
If your reading this it may seem like madness to have that much stock, you gotta list things to get paid, your leaving money on the table and all that jazz and yet, this is only partially true.
Maybe you even think it is just laziness, procrastination, hoarding or a combination of all three.
Nope, none of the above.
You see, I had always planned this to occur at this point in time like I had before, when I first started reselling, to have a huge cache to fall back on. On this occasion however it’s all about the upcoming time availability and not the money. I am literally not going to have the time with my family commitments to get much physical sourcing done over the year and honestly of course I would rather spend time with my beautiful wife and daughter.
There will still be the odd sneaky look here and there naturally, I’m only human after all! I am lucky to have 2 locals op shops that can provide cheap quality stock when I need less than a 5 minute drive away. I can also work in some lunch time loot missions during work hours when convenient.
The other interesting point to make here is that because of this upfront effort in sourcing so much in 2019 leading up to the birth I anticipate that actual net profit for 2020 is likely going to double or more.
This is due to the available time I will allocate to reselling being focused on listing instead of sourcing, the flow on effect of this change is minimal inventory expense. In 2019 I have maybe had the ratio of time utilisation at 70% / 30% in favour of sourcing. 2020 will see the inverse of this with sourcing dropping to 30% or less of my time available .
I’ve learnt a lot during this past year and tweaked things as I’ve gone on the fly. I’ve tried new niches and ideas and gotten some things right and others wrong. I do learn best from mistakes and this business is very forgiving initially with low cost of entry to play the game.
By stepping back a little bit in 2020 I think I can get further useful systems implemented, tested and reviewed to make even more effective use of my limited time. I am a pattern person by nature and have a real passion for process improvements, indeed my university degree focused on just this, information systems. Even in my own little reselling world I have identified several areas I can already improve upon in 2020.
My mission statement for this year:
Clean Up Time Leakage
Conduct Efficient Sourcing
Always Put In The Work
What is the figure that I need to hit each day? Really it should equal either the steady-state turnover of the store or sustained slow listing growth.
Being that I’m still just under 1000 listings and paying for 1500 with the store it makes sense to try and get to this max number quickly and then scaleback if required.
I sell on average between 2-3 items per day (when listing consistently). Therefore I need as a minimum to list this amount per day to keep a steady level, ideally sitting right on max free listings if possible. So extrapolated out that’s 1100 listings for the entire year just to spin the wheel.
Really I need to bump this up to 5 per day minimum which equates to 1825 for the year to get some low solid growth.
The initial plan is to set the minimum target each day of 5 listings and then anything above that can either be added to the target of 1500 to get there a bit quicker or scheduled for future days to ensure that new items are getting listed each day to satiate the mysterious eBay algorithm.
Branching out into other platforms needs to become a priority this year also, I have seen too many posts lately about how a couple of small isolated incidents have canned peoples eBay accounts. This is not just isolated to eBay either with Etsy also setting some ridiculous service metrics to be abided by or face suspension potentially triggered by only a couple of misdemeanors.
These platforms also have to look after the sellers or they will go elsewhere.
My competitive advantage vs peers relates to my speed of listing using technology shortcuts including auto complete, templates and use of additional software such as auto hot key to semi-automate listing.
It makes sense that I spend more time cross posting to Etsy, Facebook marketplace and Depop. Indeed I already have Etsy and Facebook Marketplace scripts competed so I can quickly build a listing and replicate it across multiple platforms.
There are other pieces of software such as List Perfectly which can assist with some elements of cross posting but of course they come with a pricetag and limitations tied to price tiers. I get more or less the same functionality as some of these software packages for free as well as other aspects such as the hot strings and other scripts that can help. Still it may be worth a trial of this (or others) service to give some insights on potential improvements to my own script functionality.
Halfway through the year I realised I could shave a few seconds of the way the existing script was operating at the time and I calculated this equated to an extra two listings per hour which doesn’t seem like a lot but when you’re spending hours upon hours listing things it really matters to the bottom line. It’s the equivalent of an extra $20 an hour (assumes $10 per item net profit). That’s $7280 over the year.
Another example from 2019 was setting up startup launchers which make getting into the listing frame of mind easier by removing that initial friction. For example my computer takes only seconds to turn on and get to the desktop thanks to the SSD. I can then double click the auto hot key script then use a single shortcut combination to open all the browser windows and folders I need to get listing instantly.
My current launching script opens instantly and logs into:
EBay template page
Sizely template page
Australia Post business account page
Working folder containing photos
There’s a theory you may or may not have heard of called Peratos Principle which says: 80% of your results come from just 20% of your efforts.
The most common examples I have seen used for this principle relate to business customers. By focusing on your best customers whilst simultaneously culling your least valuable (in time commitments or problems for example) you can markedly improve your business results.
This same principle can be applied to reselling. I have been to a huge number of different Op shops over Perth city in 2019. It became apparent that a select few tended to yield either better high value items on occasion or were consistently better priced than others.
So you can probably guess where this is heading. By focusing on just these high yielding shops in 2020 I can dramatically reduce my physical sourcing time whilst still maintaining good returns.
It makes total sense for procurement to be completed without leaving the house.
In 2019 I set up search shoves automated using Auto Hot Key. The script when triggered automatically searches Facebook, Gumtree etc using predetermined search strings running all queries instantly. This all allows quick survey of relevant results without wasting time with the inputs.
2020 will also be more of the same but expanded upon to capture more specific niches and key words. I will also be adding some additional text expansion to assist with procurement questions.
The other addition for this year will be online auctions. I will be very selective with what I pick up but it is an option.
Garage Sale Sourcing
I will potentially check out convenient local sales if driving by.
I will however complete both days of the garage sale trail coming up in 2020. 2019 was a great example of what could be achievable when routes can be planned with efficiency. I only did the one day in 2019 and came away with a full ute load for minimal cost.
Another aspect I will explore will be sales leads by networking with op shop‘s and other previous contacts made. This was originally the reason I wanted to get business cards made up so I could get some deals coming to me. Over the last year and a half I have gotten to know quite a few people who work at some of the op shop‘s including managers and some know that I am a reseller and some may correctly assume. I’m still a little bit undecided whether I will make this known at the op shops I intend to frequent for the year but this will be very relevant for ones that I may happen to pass by for example during a lunch break on a work day in a suburb that I wouldn’t usually go to. I can certainly see less harm or risk coming from doing this this way. I’ll add a side note here that I have set up a separate Skype number that relates just to the reselling business, and this way I can still use my own phone and the number will go to it.
Patterns Identified In 2019
It became apparent over the course of the year that I was running out of space in the room I was operating out of.
I spent up big when the stock was there, but found myself begin to forgo larger items due to space issues.
It got so bad that I was literally stepping over stock to even get to my computer or exit the room. This of course also meant that when I had to find something to ship I knew what tub it was in thanks to the SKU system but I still had to move a whole bunch of items including unlisted stock also in tubs to get to it which is hugely inefficient.
I felt physically pained when having to do this and having to continually move multiple tubs to access one costs precious time. Every time I faced this problem it wasn’t a huge time sink in isolation but the cumulative easily aggregated into at least a couple of hours of dead time. Dead time is the devil to be vanquished.
Some plans for 2020 include:
Transition more items into the shed. I can still fit another few tubs here.
Install a new racking system outside that I can put tubs on. I’m thinking of using this as my death pile/money pile to give me a visual reminder of what needs to be listed and also stop me from more sourcing until this is done.
Implement regular consolidation of existing tubs to maximise tub usage and therefore overall physical inventory footprint. This can be easily done visually, consolidated then the SKU updated. I’ve been toying with a digitised way to manage this but more on this another day.
Another process I identified during the year that needs tweaking was improving my packing processes. This thought mainly revolved around the efficiency of getting items picked and packed to just be better organised with where required tools and equipment are located and how work spaces are set up. I cannot convey how frustrated I have been sometimes when looking for a pair of scissors that have been misplaced by someone and not returned. This results in walking around the house trying to find where the scissors are and failing that trying to find an alternate pair, as crazy as it sounds I’ve probably spent over two hours this year just gone looking for some combination of scissors, tape, boxes, eBay tape, dymo labels, measuring tape, etc…
The fix, well a few fixes actually:
Wall mount some hangers where the common tools will hang. Like the back of the door.
Create a secondary emergency caddy as a backup.
Ensure that point 1 is remedied ASAP should items become missing.
Pre Printing Thank You Labels. As it sounds, simply have these printed from the Dymo ahead of time.
Of course being better organised also has the benefit of identifying earlier when stock levels are running low on consumables. An example is bubblewrap which can be brought in multiple places nearby but usually at a higher cost along with the required time value to go and pick it up so it makes sense to better plan ahead this year and order early.
Another goal for the coming years to see if I can source a cheap supply of bubble wrap and other packing materials. I have seen some previous posts on some of the reselling groups which may have some good leads on this, for example places which carry a lot of parts, car service centres, bike shops, etc…. may have excess materials that can be sourced for free or minimal cost. Anything that can be found in this matter will be a direct cost savings to the cost of goods sold.
The rehoming items often second hand is great. I love the idea of rescuing items that might otherwise become trash. Even more so that I can get paid to do it. The packaging of these items to get them to where they need to go does however create a lot of plastic waste.
So I’ve been researching how I can improve this aspect of my business.
There are compostable bags, etc that can be used and even bubble wrap.
More research is required but I will be making this a priority this year to get some some (if not all) of these implemented. Looking to create a sustainable business.
More on this soon.
At the moment I am just one man band on a part time schedule with the reselling due to full-time work commitments. I am a little envious of other reselling couples who it is obvious to see have some synergies in their work processes and practices to get things done. This coming year I would like to get some extra help with the business. I already started in 2019 to outsource some of the photos for clothes and other items which has already helped a lot but this is still a cost as I am paying a sub contractor to do this.
If only I could convince my wife that this could be a viable alternative to traditional work which would still allow her to stay home and look after our baby girl….
So she doesn’t know it yet and she probably won’t read this post either but I’m going to try and get her involved this year in someway, likely taking photos to start with for easy items such as media, books etc and then go from there. I guess the other thing that would probably help me a lot would be the odd trip to the post office or even helping with shipping.
Indeed this is part of my own five year plan to grow this business enough, to a point where perhaps she could go back to work full time and I could stay at home do the school drop off‘s etc and fit all the reselling in between a school day. That right there is the end game.
Health And Wellbeing
This one is pretty straightforward.
Whilst working away doing FIFO I was a nice trim 80 odd kilos doing double boot camps and eating whatever I wanted to. Fast forward to the job back in the city which has been predominantly desk bound for the most part combined with minimal exercise and a couple of really nasty flus this season has left me overweight and extremely unfit a combination not experienced since the early 2000’s when I used to smoke and drink too much combating undiagnosed depression at the time.
Now I have some extra motivation to get this area of life in order as within a year I will be chasing my little one around!
The remedy to repair the damage is:
Just as I need to make time for my own business as in the reselling I also need to make time for my own health each and every day to work out a balance that works for myself and the family. Easier said than done but I’ve already started.
Collaboration and Innovation
So there’s a couple of collaboration projects I will be working on this coming year, details are sketchy at the moment.
I also have some meetups with fellow Resellers planned, the first of which will be late January.
I’m planning to get more YouTube content created as well but yet to see where I can fit this in just yet.
As far as innovation goes high on my priority list is creating some google forms which can function as registers of sourcing, returns completed, inventory consumables purchased etc… the point of setting this up is to make tax time far simpler. A google form can be easily used on mobile and can make that record keeping that little bit easier.
2020 is shaping up to be an exciting year. Although the only metric I have locked down is the 5 listings a day I have a feeling that even my turtle growth plan is going to reap excellent results.
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.
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.
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.
I am going to call this month “maintenance month”. Realistically I have listed basically nothing throughout the whole month nor made any real progress with advancing the eBay business in any form such as increased productivity. I had every intention of course but, life smashed me directly in the face and had other ideas for me. Sometimes things just happen and you must adjust. Add time sinks of management of repairs to two leaking showers and two 4 day weekends and well a lot of time was spent elsewhere on other projects and some quality family time.
And yet, as my comment above on the below Instagram post from Ralliroots I could have done more. #iamnotworkinghardenough. I know I could have done more but I found it so hard to focus at times, and I did have some large chunks of time, they just weren’t utilised well. I wasn’t motivated to list at all. I look at the results below from Ralliroots and know I could get close to this if I only just put in the work. I mean I can think of 4 items off the top of my head which would sell for around $500 total, cost me $20, but aren’t listed. I literally am hamstringing my own results.
The month overall (outside eBay) as a whole has been a massive life win and very successful.
I’ve finally managed to secure a new tenant for the rental which will immediately provide some much-needed cash flow to help pay this rentals mortgage.
This month was my third (I think) attempt at a “No Buy” month due to having no tenant in the rental. I needed to spend less as I was pretty sure I was going to have to pony up for the mortgage payment of April. I’ll be honest, I failed once again at not buying anything! It’s a resellers curse I tell you. If you are here reading this, you likely can relate. I did, however, make it through almost the entire month only spending $150 which is much lower than most of the previous months. I will add that in the last 2 days of the month I spent another $100 in celebration of finding a new tenant for the house. So the total spent on inventory for the month was $250.
I have really noticed a difference this month with my thought processes.
There is still a monster pile of things to list. I certainly do not need to go sourcing anytime soon. I can count 8x 50ltr tubs filled with items which need to be listed. Its an organised death pile, what can I say.
I missed the sourcing, its true, so when I ventured out to buy something, in particular, to actually use, (which I knew I could find in a thrift/op shop for cheap) I just couldn’t help myself by doing the rounds of the shop. I found blank VHS tapes for a great price. What was I to do? Just walk away and leave free money?? I don’t think so. This month I have been super extremely selective with what I have brought as I already felt guilty breaking my “no buy” rule. Making $10 profit from an item just was not worth going ahead with the number of items I still have to list ahead of me. Consequently, I feel like this month has actually forced me to improve item quality and only take those special deals or pick up only rare finds, which over time can only benefit the store and the income it generates. I passed on a lot of items this month and it actually felt really liberating.
I have definitely spent considerably less this month on items and have been much more selective with what I am picking up. I am leaving those items which could probably net $10 profit but could take months to sell. All though these are generally bread-and-butter items so to speak I already have probably 100 I need to list for a start.
An example of this from yesterday: I had to travel to the rental to move a fridge and inspect the overall condition. On the way, I made it my mission to stop off at a couple of thrift shops and see what I could find (have to frequently look!) I purchased only 3 items over 3 shops.
I ended up with a fitness DVD pack (which was free on store points), another WAFL ISC Jacket that was in great condition for $12 which I ended up getting for $10, should sell for $50+ and last but not least an old Holden workshop service manual that was sitting on a display holder on the counter of one of the shops. It caught my eye before I had even entered the shop, I knew what it was and that it was old. I walked straight up to it expecting it to be around $50 but the sticker showed $10. Other current listed ones of the same item were listed for $130 plus shipping in worse condition. Solds were much lower, but I think this will still get a decent return over some time. $20 into $150 – $200 with only 3 items.
Another example, a Sydney Bears jumper from the early 90s official NSW RL. I paid approximately $2 for this due to an error on the clerks part. I didn’t feel bad at all about this however as earlier in the month I had been overcharged at the same chain for some items that should’ve been discounted so I considered the balance of the relationship restored. Anyway, this is the type of item that is really unique and will appeal to a collector somewhere. Comparable anything from this era is getting super rare. A match worn Jersey’s from this team (the only one listed) was sitting at $800 currently with several watchers. This is just a jumper, of course, however, should return $50++. I will obviously start this much higher due to its rarity.
This was the story of this month. I made it a point to try and spend as little as possible for maximum profit picking up very niche items with potentially much higher returns. More of these finds, please. Less time to list, pack and ship and fantastic ROI.
In summary, my “no buy” turned into spending $250, which, in turn, could transform into $1500 – $2000. I will be more than happy if I can roll like that each month and I can forgive myself for overspending now and then.
The House Update
So this month a tenant was finally found, hooray! Only took two weeks after the previous tenant signed a break lease form which was great.
Total confirmed damage/loss: Approx. $750. This amount remains owing as a combination of unpaid rent and costs incurred from the break lease and relisting process. These are payable by the previous tenant under contract.
So now the process is:
#1: Get back to normality! I can finally start applying the reselling profits back onto the rental mortgage once again.
#2: Chase up the outstanding money. This will be a slow process and have to go through the court and then likely followed by a debt collector. Could take a while but done by the property manager so only a minor inconvenience. On the positive side of this, the house is in good condition with no damage, the loss can also be incurred in this financial year and provide some tax relief whilst I wait for this money owing to be returned. My insurance provider also may help with this process.
After I had confirmation the new tenant was all signed up and had paid his money I celebrated as any reseller would do! By going out and doing some sourcing!
Sales were par for the course this month. I didn’t actually list much at all (24 Items, most in the first 2 days of April) and this probably contributed a lot to flat growth here.
This month has a profit of $573.17 after all fees, shipping charges and Cost Of Goods Sold (COGS).
One anomaly noted was the total value of all items listed managed to rise even in the face of a reduction in listings. This is due to listing higher $ value items on the items I did end up actually listing.
The cash flow for the month is $323.17 which was sent to the rental mortgage account to assist for Aprils payment. Not quite the full amount I was hoping for but still better than nothing!
No returns this month. Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeees.
This coming month of May, the plan is simple.
Get to 600 listings and then bust through that. I checked today (1st May) that I have 509 active listings so I have 91 to go to get to 600, excluding the 30 odd I should sell for the month based on prior month, meaning I really need to list 120+ to hit this target.
It really should be as easy as saying I will do 5 a day, which equals 155 over may.
The other thing I need to work on doing is a whole store audit to check I don’t have any stupid listings up from last year which really have no chance of selling. Perhaps this might be a good month to unload a bunch of stale items at cost (or even a slight loss) to make way for my ever-growing cache of higher value items. Makes sense to me.
This month was, I think, a turning point in this side hustle business. It feels like I have taken some large steps forward and that all the groundwork put in over the last few months is finally starting to show good results culminating in the highest monthly profit (after all fees, shipping and COGS) of $812.05.
This month I took advantage whenever I could to get to Op Shops / Thrift Shops, most of the time on the way home. For the majority of the month, I managed to fit in a stop each day. This turned out to be both a blessing and a curse as I had a few days where I found some bargains but this contrasted heavily against others where I struggled to find items at a reasonable price and so wasted a lot of time just trying to find something. That said however over the course of the month I still managed to spend an additional $637.20 on inventory which conservatively should expand once sold out to over $3000.
I went on a sourcing mission one Saturday morning and travelled a bit further afield than usual with great results. It was comparable to probably being the most effective sourcing day ever so far with a combination of being in the right place at the right time occurring several times that particular day. At the first stop 2 mins from my house, I picked up specialist Monopoly sets of Dragonball Z and Adventure time along with mint condition Playstation 3 games. On the way home I drove past a Garage Sale sign and picked up an entire box of Manga books for $5.50 followed by a Harry Potter First Edition Deathy Hollows in fantastic condition for 50c. I then headed way south and made my target Op Shop with 15 minutes to spare before close. I picked up 3 Pairs Of Levi’s For $9, and an entire Tony Robins Personal Power CD Collection with the box For $6. This shop had no change or eftpos and the lowest denomination I had was a $20. So I was forced to find a brand new with tags Ben Sherman Vest (RRP $79.95), a pair of Jet Pilot board shorts and a couple of nice shirts to round out the difference. I was definitely on a high that day, it seemed everywhere I went there were bargains to be had. That $20 by itself from that one shop could turn into $300 – $400 By itself. For the day I spent just over $100 total.
Another day I hit a small jackpot in the last half an hour by again being at the right place at the right time and picking up a vintage Hero Quest game. That crazy story can be found here.
The House Update
I’ve been lapse with the house updates over the last couple of months. Other than a new oven being required there hasn’t been much to report. At a point during this month, however, I noticed that I hadn’t been paid rent from the rental property management company. I checked three or four times just to be sure as there had been no notification and sure enough, when I pressed them they made me aware that there was a problem. I had a mental list of major disaster problems that ran through in my head however it turns out it was a relatively simple one (be it also critical) that the tenant was no longer paying rent, was two weeks in arrears (behind) and had every intention of vacating prior to the end of the tenancy (lucky for me the remaining tenancy only had 2 months left till expiry).
Now originally this side hustle began as a way to augment paying this house off as quickly as possible and then this house would provide free cash flow. To date, this side hustle has been very helpful and I’m currently eight months ahead with mortgage repayments. I’m definitely less concerned about this unpaid rent than I otherwise might be were the situation different. That said it’s interesting to see the process unfold, whether it ends up going to court, whether or not I get my money owed back, and ultimately just how long that takes as well. Realistically, this is the whole point of having a property management company to help you manage situations just like this. To be able to remain somewhat disconnected makes it far easier to deal with and make decisions with most emotional influences removed.
Anyway sidetracked a little bit, in previous months I have talked about making months “No Buy” or “No Sourcing” months as I still have literally hundreds of items of stock I need to list. In previous months, (that is every month in which I’ve previously said just this), I have failed miserably in my restraint, often heading out on extensive thrifting/sourcing missions. This coming month of April is different because I actually need to make $600 in profit to help pay the mortgage on this property, something I should be able to achieve so long as I don’t procure more stock!
So the primary goal of April will be a “No Buy” sourcing month, well at least until I find another tenant anyway.
Sales have been definitely trending up and I’ve been keeping an eye on the seller hub watching the arrows against the previous periods of 60 days pretty much always in the green.
This month has a record profit of $812.05 and would have been even higher had I not had two returns which I have removed from the figures above.
The total value of all items listed has now crept over $20,000 which I am pretty happy with considering I only added an extra 61 listings. this equates to an average listing price of $38.87 per listing. It is quite possible that this figure will be even better next month as I have some bigger ticket items to get up and sold.
The cash flow for the month is a paltry $4.85 with the difference between profit – inventory being one off purchases of storage tubs and a Dymo 4XL Label Printer.
This month I have crashed through 500 listings with the relative ease. I’m not sure why that number held any power of any kind but I did prove a psychological resistance for a little bit. Aprils secondary goal is to get up to 600 listings which are the maximum amount I can have on my current store subscription (without incurring additional charges). The plan then is to reassess at the end of April and then if I decide to go ahead and push through 600 and power on towards 1000. I probably will.
A couple of small problems this month. I had two returns, one where a buyer was trying to say I sold a fake book, which was total rubbish of course. Currently this return is still ongoing. Is there really such a thing as fake books? I find this hard to believe. This will be covered in greater depth in a future post. At this point it feels like I am currently being scammed.
Another I accepted a return where a camera wasn’t working, I did state on the listing it was not tested. I was happy to accept the return anyway but I will see where that ends up with eBay and their view on an item not as described (INAD) because it is described as not been tested. I still might have to request any defect allocation to be removed on this one. Sigh. I suppose I learned my lesson, things I’m not 100% sure on, need to be labelled as for parts / not working and described as such. Still once I get this back I will still be able to resell again for profit.
Being that I was on a roll early on with some decent sales I decided to finally take the plunge and buy a Dymo 4XL Label Printer that I have been thinking about for a while. A suitable one flashed up one day on an eBay saved search I had set up for specifically this. As luck would have it I also managed to snag this whilst eBay was running its 10% off discount sale so I ended up getting the Label Maker plus five additional rolls of labels from another seller combined for $170ish dollars. I had a small problem of this label maker going missing in the post. The seller used Sendle a courier carrier which to be honest was super painful with no tracking on the listing initially. The Label Printer was late, the labels had already arrived. When tracking was provided after I requested it from the seller the item appeared to have arrived in the city but was stuck in a loop being checked into the depot each day it said for over a week. I had actually experienced the same problem before at my day job where I wasted a substantial amount of time getting in touch (on hold or being run around) with the courier company to find out where the delivery was (I am talking over a hour at least cumulative). I had absolutely no intention of wasting my time following this up myself, particularly as the buyer had made the choice to use a cheaper option to save literally a couple of dollars. Eventually, after opening a case for item not received the seller chased it up with the courier company and it finally appeared 3 days later, yay. I was pleasantly surprised when I finally opened it. The unit was in much better condition than what the eBay pictures had shown, maybe it’s the surface of it as I had trouble getting a half decent picture myself. And then as an added bonus inside the Label Printer was still a half full roll of genuine Dymo labels, which was odd because the listing specifically said no labels were included. $10 bonus right there.
I already have a smaller Dymo 450 so will spend some time getting these set up side-by-side. I use the smaller labels for other purposes such as labelling tubs and some items of clothing. Getting the Dymo 4XL set up was a breeze already having the Dymo 450, it was basically ‘plug and play’. However, getting the right print set up on eBay proved to be more of a challenge with Google leading me in the wrong direction initially with trying to find printer preferences through eBay itself. It turns out that simply modifying the scale and selecting the correct setting label type setting was perfect.
It’s hard to describe just how much of a difference this makes as far as productivity goes. The old printer was in a totally different room on the Wi-Fi network and often did not print initially resulting in me going to the other room and see no paper had actually printed. Then I would have to return to the computer in the other room and run the printer troubleshooter to spool the printer queue to get the printer to work. This also had the annoying side effect of reprinting the previous label as well meaning I had to be careful not to mix up the labels accidentally resulting in an item sent to the wrong person. Frustrating? You betcha.
Simply fixing this printer issue by using using the label printer has resulted in much smoother packing experience.
The labels stick on nicely on the satchels and I can now use them for parcel packages as well.
Auto Hot Key
The eBay script got a work out this month. eBay had modified its listing template again resulting in me having to retweak the script (again). Overall though the script is working better than ever now with very minimal errors.
I added on to the front end, to open a new tab and search for the item title (input from the GUI) on existing listings and then filter by Sold Listings (automatically of course) before running the rest of the script. This does help a little to some extent but results can vary a lot depending on how many keywords I use in the title. The more keywords the narrower the results. However, because the string has already been searched for in its own new window I can simply take a couple of words out of the title and search again for broader results. It’s definitely a quicker way to price research than how I was previously doing it, and I no longer have to copy and paste at all so I will take that as a win for now.
I still have been toying with the idea of automating the process of the item measurements through Sizely as well. I tend to use only a few types of templates (at this time anyway) so wouldn’t be too much of a stretch. Its not such an issue currently anyway as I can usually create the measurement image (through sizely) just before the last photo has uploaded to eBay.