April 2015 Profits – Love Re-Stocking Fees

Dollar Flipper eBay Tips, Profits 8 Comments

Another month in the books! Spring has been a little weird around here in Maryland.

It’s gone from winter, to spring for 2 days, then right to summer. Then back to winter (it actually snowed on Saturday last weekend), a week of spring, and now we’re going to have a high of 86 today.

Basically, I’ve gone from wearing my winter jacket to shorts within a span of a week!

But hey, all of this means that it’s garage sale season, and I’m already enjoying the deals out there! I just need to keep my purchases to a minimum and really be buying with purpose.

April Profits by the Numbers


Anyone see something they’d like to buy from here? Those snow boards look pretty fantastic (this picture is circa 2005).

Mar-15 Apr-15Total YTD
Blog Referral33.71 12.00 51.71
Sales836.42 903.64* 3,631.94
Shipping Income92.59 61.36 216.80
Returns-84.99 -35.99** -206.97
eBay Fees92.9393.22 391.68
PayPal Fees30.9228.82 128.78
Shipping Costs147.36122.63 542.24
Cost of Goods Sold70.6980.48 335.79
Mileage35.088.22 66.52
Travel Expenses0.001.00 1.00
Utilities25.3525.35 101.40
Amazon Fees13.6935.77 73.30
Office Supplies58.370.00 79.02
Office Expense0.000.00 374.94
Advertising10.000.00 47.00
Other Expenses0.0027.00 50.75
Profit / Loss387.34518.52 1,501.06

Things to note:

* I seem to be right around that $900 in sales per month. This proves to me that eBay growth definitely isn’t linear. I’ve gone from ~200 items up to 300 and have only increased my income incrementally.

To illustrate, the people over at Scavenger Life like to net $1500+ per week, so that’s ~6k a month. This is on ~4,000 items in their store though! They have 6x as much sales as me but have 13x as many items in their store.

**I’ve put in a 20% re-stocking fee for all of my items. This helps recoup some of my costs from offering Free Shipping.

I sold a Pendleton shirt that I shipped to NY for $5.35 (padded flat rate mailer). It was returned due to not fitting. So here’s the math on it (ignoring original purchase price and eBay/Paypal fees since I either got them back or it will come out again the next sale)

  • Sale Price – $44.99
  • Shipping – $5.35
  • Return (minus 20% re-stocking fee of $9.00) – $35.99

Total Profit – $3.65

As a seller, I’m a huge fan of re-stocking fees! I had the shirt listed for a few months, so that’s probably ~$0.60 in re-listing fees. Then there’s the costs of bags, stickers, and labels I use. All of this ignores the time I spent packing, shipping, and re-listing the item.

In the end, I feel zero guilt making a buyer pay for this. I had the size in the listing, and I had the measurements.

This also taught me a nice lesson on buying on eBay – check the measurements against something that you own and fits you well and be comfortable with a seller’s return policy. You can’t leave negative feedback for a return policy that you agreed to prior to purchase.

Most sellers give you some return window and re-stocking fees are slowly becoming more popular.

All in all, April was a solid month. I still haven’t had a good enough month to make up for the lousy January and March, but I’m also just sticking with my Beeminder goal of listing 15 items per week.

I understand that this won’t get me to my goal of 10,000 in profits for the year, but it is something that fits into my life schedule while still remaining a hobby. I’m not doing this full time (yet?) even though working from home may be a long term option.

Stay tuned for next week where I’m not going to do one of my usual flip posts. It’s going to be all about “flops!”

This co-insides with our community garage sale so I have everything nicely organized into depressing piles of sub-par profits. If I sell it for $1 at a garage sale, it’s better than me donating it back to a thrift store.

Hopefully I’ll be able to help you avoid some of the mistakes I’ve made while also making a little cash back!

Image: ICMA

Comments 8

  1. The weather here in Chicago is the same. Last week we wore winter coats and then Sat/Sun everyone was in shorts. I don’t mind it, but I still haven’t pulled out our warm weather clothes yet..so the kids only have like 1 pair of shorts out. That’s a project I’m not ready to tackle yet.

    I’ve been enjoying some of the garage sales around here, but they are still a bit sparse. Have a productive week!

  2. I’d say you are doing pretty well for a “hobby.” You are doing much better than I am. But I am currently working my way up to have 150 items listed in my store at all times. I just opened my eBay store in March. I hope May is a great month for you.

    1. Post

      It’s fantastic that you got up to 150 items so quickly! I have definitely been a slow growth kind of guy.

  3. I take great care in listing measurements and just had a nightmare customer… she didn’t read the measurements and never emailed me back for a return address. so the item got lost in the mail. I had to refund her, she left me a bad feedback (even though I did nothing wrong and I usually don’t accept returns). so I am out the item and the $, then she opened a case to get get shipping back. thankfully I talked to ebay days before and they refunded her so I didn’t have to. ugh. people need to read.

    1. Post

      Yep. I switched to accepting returns because you generally get your item back. You should be able yo have eBay remove any negative feedback if you stated the size and measurements. Might be worth a call!

  4. You’re right about the size of your store not leading to exponentially greater profits. But a large inventory does give you a buffer when you can’t list each week. It levels out your monthly sales over the year so you have fairly consistent income without a lot of stress.

    1. Post

      No question! I also don’t rely on my eBay sales for full time income like you guys, so if there’s a slow month it’s no skin off my back. That’s just less money going into my Furnace fund. If it were paying the bills, I’m sure I’d be a little more judicious!

  5. Pingback: September 2015 Profits - Impact of Baby Break - Flipping A Dollar

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