March was a great month for me. I had great sales, lots of reviews and my business really grew. Unfortunately, everything took a dive when April came around. I’m not sure why but read on to find out what happened:
My goals for these past 30 days:
1. Get a 500 item listing limit – Accomplished. I called eBay at the end of March and got a limit increase from 150 to 300. I recorded that call and made a video about it if you want to check it out HERE . But THEN I got this email from eBay telling me I got ANOTHER limit increase! Woot! Goal met!
2. Upgrade to a basic store and skugrid – Accomplished. Getting a basic store was a no brainer after my selling limit increased. Also using skugrid to automatically upgrade my inventory and prices has been a HUGE time saver. I love it!
3. Upgrade my technology to make my life easier – Accomplished. I set this “goal” because the computer I was using at the time was so old it was slowing down my work. Also I do a lot of work from my smartphone so wanted one with a bigger phone. I invested in THIS $150 note 4 and THIS chromebook (It was $200 when I bought it but it's on sale as of this blogpost). Things run much smoother now!
I accomplished these first three goals before the end of March. Things were going great and I was feeling wonderful about the business. Then, for some reason I can’t explain, my sales suddenly died down. I can’t figure out why. Then a couple of my best selling items suddenly went out of stock nationwide. So that cut into my sales even further. If you look at this chart from eBay you’ll see what I mean. My sales still haven’t recovered either. While there are one or two days that look like I had great sales, most of those sales were actually cancelled.
4. Reach $1k in profit for month- Not there yet. I was on track to earn $1k but it didn’t happen. Not yet.
5. Focus more on listing- Accomplished. The silver lining around the low sales is that I was able to focus a lot more on listing. After my increase I wanted to get to 200 listings by the end of the billing cycle. I had to stay up until 11 pm (VERY late for me) on the 15th but I got it done!
This was the first month where I had cases opened against me. In the first case, a woman was claiming that she never received her package from UPS even though it was marked as delivered. eBay refunded her the sale cost but I was not found at fault. This is why proper tracking information is so important!
In the second case a man is claiming that he received a package from Home Depot but it was an empty wooden crate. I try to give all my customers the benefit of the doubt when they contact me but a lot of his story does not add up. That case is still pending.
I told myself when I started selling on eBay that I wanted to diversify my suppliers. It seems like the smart thing to do. But I find myself using Home Depot more and more. They are just SO easy to list from and to work with!
Gross income = $4920.66
Cash Back = 88.37
14.99 – Sku Grid
19.95 – Club Overstock Membership
25.00 – Basic Store subscription
3594.11 – “Inventory”
177.55 – PayPal
492.06 – eBay fees
Total Profit = $685
Hey, ok, that’s not bad! That’s $100 more than last month. I’m definitely growing even if the past 15 days have sucked. I just hope things pick back up to at least where they were in March and that my best sellers come back into stock soon. And this is already hitting my original goals of having enough “pocket money” to enjoy life a bit more.
Goals for Next 31 Days:
1. Listings – Get to 500 active listings. That’s 10 listings a day. That’s a lot of work for someone who works a full time job and only does this on the side. But I read a book recently called the 10x Rule by Grant Cardone. He said to reach any goal, you have to work 10x harder than you think you have to. So I’m pushing myself to list 10 items a day. If I only get to 350 listings, I’ll still be happy though. The problem is that I'm almost at my monetary limit (again).
2. Profit goal – Don’t have one. Okay, yeah yeah. I want to reach that $1k/month mark. But worrying about it has gotten me nowhere so far. Just fucking list.
Finally, I want to speak briefly about doubt. Self doubt. Doubt in this model. Doubt in the honesty of my customers. All of it. It plagues me. Sometimes I ride a high and think “this is working, I can do this”. But inevitably I come down and things get tough and I begin to doubt that I can run a sustainable eBay business. For now I am just pushing forward no matter what. Almost like I'm on auto pilot. I'm telling myself that for now, it doesn't matter. This is a 6 month experiment. I'm not loosing money and I'm learning so much. I already have a good 9-5 job so I have nothing to lose. Just keep going.