Deflated Balloon Wikipedia eBay

January 2015 Profits – Need More Listings

Dollar Flipper Profits

Happy Groundhog Day! In line with David Seah’s Groundhog Day review, I’m going to look at how I’m doing and where I need to go if I want to hit my 10k in profits for 2015. I’ll break away from his methods and report profits the first of every month, but I figure it’s as good a day to start as any.

On a side note, am I the only one hoping for a huge snowstorm still? I’m sure any New England readers would slap me for saying that. We haven’t gotten anything significant down here, and it’s been pretty disappointing.

Huge Slim Profits

I was hoping to come out in January, guns blazing, and hitting goals left and right. Let’s just get this out of the way and pull off the band-aid.

I barely turned a profit!

Deflated Balloon Wikipedia eBay

This represents the sound of my ego deflating. You might not be able to hear it over the sound of Seattle Seahawks fans whining though…

Now, there’s some silver lining here so let’s start out with that. I’ve increased my eBay store size from 176 items on 1/5/2015 to 261 items as of 2/1/2015. That’s 118 items listed in the month of January! (I also sold 33 items). That’s a lot of listing! Prepping over the weekend and listing 5+ items every morning has really been working out. I could be over 500 listings in just a few months at this pace.

I’m also hitting my listing goal for Beeminder:

The auto-integration has really helped me keep on track listing at least 15 items per week. I’ll probably ratchet that up a little in the future. I’ve built up a great buffer just in case I slip up, but I do no plan on doing that!

I will be using GoDaddy Bookkeeping to keep track of these numbers so I don’t have to do any of the calculations. On top of that, it will force me to keep up on the data entry.

Jan-15Total
Income Total
1,000.341,000.34
Sales975.61975.61
Shipping Income24.7324.73
Expense Total
952.21952.21
eBay Fees106.97106.97
PayPal Fees38.9038.90
Shipping Costs150.29150.29
Cost of Goods Sold (New Inventory)*170.50170.50
Mileage19.219.2
Utilities25.3525.35
Amazon Fees8.418.41
Office Supplies20.6520.65
Office Expense**374.94374.94
Advertising***37.0037.00
Profit / Loss48.1348.13

So yeah, that’s not too great. I mean, it’s still in the positive. So there’s that.

Where did all the profits go?

They all went to those pesky little asterisks. Let’s get through with my whining explanations as to what these were.

*First note is that I only count my new inventory as an expense when I buy it. I do not remove it from my sales as an average cost of goods sold. I’ll clarify how I’m tracking my COGS in a future tax update.

But onto how I actually spent the money… I swore up and down I was going to refrain from buying this January. But then there was an estate sale right in our development, and my wife wanted to go! So basically this is all her fault (not really).

I went, spent $20 on ~6 items, and we also bought a couch! It was a pull-out love seat in fantastic shape for only $50. But no, I couldn’t include it in my cost of goods.

So when I returned with my car to pick up the couch, I mentioned to the lady that I would love to take all of the clothing and shoes from her at the end of the day. She told me to return after 1.

There were 33 pairs of shoes (women’s size 5. Some generic brands and some nicer ones), a pair of cowboy boots, and a ton of leftover clothing. I got it for about $110, but the deal required that I take all of it. I was able to group a good amount together plus donate a bunch of it. As such, I’m going to sell a big chunk of these in lots, and probably, *gasp* at auctions no less! I just want to move these piles. They’re next on my list as it was 3+ garbage bags full of listable items!

** Sigh. I bought a tablet with a keyboard. It’s a Microsoft Surface 2 (RT), and it has let me gather listing information a lot easier. I’m using it to add all of my measurements, and it’s streamlining my listing process. The tablet came pre-loaded with the Microsoft Office suite too!

It’s not an entertainment tablet like all of the iPads and the Android tablets. Still, this is a lot of money to drop on a tool when I’m trying to hit a ridiculous goal. That hindsight isn’t making me feel great about the purchase, but when I’m using it, I’m really appreciating it.

***This is a blog plugin that let’s me easily add Amazon affiliate items to my posts (including pictures and buy buttons). They’re over on my Tools of the Trade page. I’m trying it out and figured that $37 was worth a shot. Theoretically it will pay for itself and help keep this blog in at least the black (break even would be perfect for now). I’ve made a few dollars from ads, but I don’t think I can count this blog as a side hustle!

These numbers aren’t going to cut it if I want to hit my $10,000 in profits. I’m already starting in the hole now, and I’m a month behind.

Remember, I’ll need to have $833 in profit each month. If we ignored the tablet purchase, I’d still only be at $423.07 in profits, or about 50% below my target. So while the tablet purchase wasn’t ideal, it still wasn’t the only thing that was holding me back.

I did sell some brands from my clothing series including an L.L. Bean fleece, 3 Pendleton Flannels, 3 Polo Ralph Lauren shirts, a Woolrich sweater, and pearl snap! Plus I sold another pair of my Fashion Bug plus sized pants too! There’s definitely profits in clothing!

Next steps – Always Be Listing

The point of these monthly breakdowns is twofold. First, I’m updating my readers on how I’m progressing using real numbers and not just looking at potential (looking at you haul video people). We all know that the buying is fun, but it doesn’t make you anything but a hoarder if you’re not listing.

The more important reason is to give myself a smack upside the head when I’m not hitting my goals.

Let’s just say this is a sobering wake-up. Here’s my plan to have higher profits in February

  • Keep on listing. This is a no-brainer. Listing more yields to more sales.
  • Don’t buy any expensive electronics. I’ve done it, it’s helping, but I don’t need more (even though I do want a few).
  • Don’t buy anymore inventory. If I were trying to do this full time, I couldn’t afford the luxury of just buying whenever I wanted to. To simulate this, I’ll refrain from buying in the month of February. OR ELSE.

So, with Groundhog Day upon us, I’m going to course correct and get to where I want to go!  Don’t want to be living the same month over and over again for the rest of the year.

groundhog-day-bill-murray-day-ebay'

Sometimes I feel this crazy.

Image Credit: Coyau, Doddle