Failed Test 2015 Grade

2015 Year in Review and 2016 Goal

Dollar Flipper Profits

Well, 2015 is done with! We had a fun holiday with lots of family time. I have one more day off (Monday) before I head back to work. Hopefully, I can clear through some more of my “to list” items!

Read on to see how my 2015 numbers looked and what’s on the horizon for 2016!

For any new readers, I (mostly) post my numbers every month. It’s an attempt at keeping myself grounded. If you’re interested in my older monthly update posts, check them out here.

2015 Grades Are In!

 Nov-15 Dec-15Total YTD
Blog Referral110.200.00233.26
Shipping Income15.547.98413.79
Sales Tax Collected0.000.005.10
eBay Fees141.58136.941,451.51
PayPal Fees52.6746.11486.29
Shipping Costs119.53166.051,760.67
Cost of Goods Sold51.0070.001,552.59
Travel Expenses0.000.001.00
Amazon Fees5.909.03137.69
Office Supplies0.000.00133.33
Office Expense630.450.001,005.39
Other Expenses0.000.0050.75
Profit / Loss410.27801.486,700.02

Well, how’d I do? $6,700.02 towards my goal of $10,000. 67% of the way there (2/3’s). That’s OK. I think that even though I didn’t hit my goal, I’m not that upset about it!

Failed Test 2015 Grade

Getting a 67% on a test never felt so good.

So, let’s start off with a positive vibe. This quote seems to get me in the right mood.

“Failure is the key to success; each mistake teaches us something.” – Morihei Ueshiba

Before I chock 2015 up to “mistakes”, let’s just note that here are my profits each of the past 3 years:
  • 2013 – $1,577.96
  • 2014 – $4,886.99
  • 2015 – $6,700.02

So this may be a slow process, but I’ve increased my sales each year! On top of that, I’m still refining my eBay process (more on that to come in 2016). Things will get smoother. Additionally, I’m tracking my expenses better and better. These reduce my overall profit, but they also help in the tax department.

So, let’s look some of the overall numbers above and find mistakes that we can avoid in 2016!

2015 Sales

I just didn’t sell enough in 2015 to hit my goal of $10,000. $13,000+ is a lot of money coming into this side hustle, but with about a 50% margin, I’d have to sell another $6,500 before I made my profit goal. I think I might be aiming for a higher sales number in 2015 since the margin is pretty solid. This means I have to list more (go figure).

December Returns

In December, I sold a Gloverall duffle coat for $200. It was a bargain, but I’d already had it returned once (November 2014) so I was glad to get it out of my house (again). Well, ends up this buyer wasn’t happy that the coat didn’t have a zipper – even current models of this coat only has the little toggles. In the end, he returned it quickly but became upset when I didn’t return the $40 restocking fee (I have 20% on all of my items). The buyer opened up a PayPal case and sent me some choice words through eBay messages. I’m sure that PayPal will side with me, but even so, any returns are a PITA.

On the whole, having 4% returns on overall sales is pretty reasonable. The coat is back up and hopefully I sell it once it gets colder at a higher price.

eBay/PayPal/Amazon Fees

There’s not much I can do here. I’m at the premium level for eBay and still only sell a few items on Amazon a month. I’ll stick with my current setup unless I decide to do an FBA experiment, but who the hell has time for that?

Shipping Costs

I do take a bit of a hit here. Part of this is Free Shipping, but I build that into my listing prices and take into account buyer location when I take a Best Offer.

The other part is that I don’t skimp. I abhor Parcel Post. It’s cheap, sure, but you don’t have the insurance, you don’t get the speediness, and you have to pay for anything that doesn’t get delivered. It’s just not worth it unless you’re shipping super heavy/large items cross-country.

I try to stay away from these types of items to save on boxes and better estimate my shipping costs!

Office Expense

This number will be smaller in 2016. OR ELSE!!!! I won’t be spending as much money on upkeep on the blog since I bought it for another 3 years.

On top of getting a new phone, I purchased a Microsoft Surface 2 RT (I love it but wish I didn’t get it. Maybe I’ll change my mind in a few years? Either way, no big expenses in 2016!

2016 Goal

After looking through all of my ‘mistakes’ in 2015, I realize that there were only two things that could have pushed me over the edge. First is not spending as much on big-ticket office items, and the second is list more.

I sold 274 items on eBay in 2015. I can find my Amazon sales, but they weren’t that much in total. This means that I’m profiting ~$20+ per item which is PERFECT. I’m not selling enough because I’m not listing enough. In the end, it all comes down to me listing more.

As noted above, I ‘failed’ to hit my 2015 goal. I’ve completely accepted that. I made $6,700 in profits and have a much more warm and fuzzy feeling regarding our ancient appliances.

As to 2016, I’m going to be completely unoriginal here and stick with $10,000 in profits. Or should I try to gr0ss $20,000 in sales? I can’t decide.

I don’t like just having the same goal as 2015, so I’m leaning towards both $10,000 in profits AND $20,000 in sales. That way, I’m hitting the same goal from two different directions (plus I’m hedging my bets – if I hit one or the other I’d be thrilled).

I hope everyone had a great holiday time and is rejuvenated for 2016! I’ve already had a good amount of sales and need to remember – listing is key!

What’s your 2016 goal? Any non-eBay related goals you care to share?

Image Credit: amboo who?