Monday, January 26, 2015

Follow Up to My eBay Experiment - Working Smarter

I wanted to do a follow up to my September post about increasing average sale price, because some of you have been asking. (Read that post here.)

2015 is my 12th year selling on eBay and I still continue to refine the business every day. I set a goal for myself to increase average selling price to $40 by the end of 2014. I didn't make it, but here is my progress.

October was exactly the same as September and August - $29 per item. I saw a huge jump to $57 per item in November, but I can't take credit for hard work there. I sold these Auburn vs. Alabama tickets for $1,588.99:

Where did I get them? My dad is an Alabama alum and at the age of 77 still gets season tickets every year. He no longer goes to the games so I sell the tickets locally and on eBay for him. By the way, event tickets are a great way to pick up some consignment commission using your eBay skills. Tickets are the only item I put on auction, they are a guaranteed sale, super easy to list and ship, and are never a returned. So this big sale skewed my numbers for November.

December was actually kind of slow and my average sale price was back down to $35 an item. I offer free shipping on items that can be shipped first class or fit in a padded flat rate mailer so that is included in some sales in the average sale price calculation.

So, I did not meet my goal of $40 per item average sale price, but my number of sold items is increasing alongside the average price per item. I sold 71 items in December which was 10 more items than in November, and 19 more than in October. Slow progress is still progress.

No, I am not a huge seller, in fact, I am a pretty small seller. eBay is one of many income streams I have built over the last 12 years. See my eBay store here.

But, I am a real seller, I sell items every day, and I am in the trenches right there with you and have been since 2003. I have built several other businesses over the years but eBay is still my favorite and something I am passionate about. I strive to be an efficient seller by doing the following:

1. Carefully choosing products to sell. I always consider profit margin and the amount of time involved in cleaning, photographing, listing, and shipping an item before buying it for resale. It is never a matter if something will sell on eBay, but how much time will be involved in dealing with the item and how much profit I will end up with. Pick your battles.

2. Listing what I have already purchased before buying more. Unlisted items cannot sell. Period. When I was interviewed for a reality show about eBay sellers a couple of years ago, the producers told me my workspace and storage area was "not exciting enough for TV." I told them that the reality is that not all sellers have thousands of items in their homes and that this business can be done with very little stock and in an efficient manner.I was not their gal because my inventory was not impressive enough - which is ok - eBay does exactly what I need it to do for my unique business.

3. Keeping things manageable. I have never had more than 500 items in my eBay store because I can generate the kind of income I want from eBay with fewer than 500 items and the time investment that works for me. There is nothing wrong with having hundreds or thousands of items, but I tend to feel overwhelmed with that many items to manage. At one point I had 12 people working for me (listing, shipping, shopping, running errands, teaching) and my life became about managing other people and paperwork. I prefer to do my eBay business in a very hands-on way so I can do what I am passionate about and what inspires me every day. The push on the internet these days is "grow your business - scale your business!" That wasn't for me. I would rather keep things manageable and have my sanity and a life. I would rather run my business than have it run me.

4. Constantly refining the business. Learn something new about eBay every day, whether is it what to sell, how to keep better records, how to save time, or new ways to use your eBay expertise to make money. Selling on eBay is a skill that is marketable in our culture in many different ways whether through consulting, consignment, teaching classes, or writing articles.Figure out how to use your eBay knowledge in different ways to create more streams of income. Want to know more? I am here for you!

Related Articles:

Join My Consignment Seller's Directory

eBay Sellers - If  You Have It, List It

Are You Wasting Time Micromanaging Your eBay Store?

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