The first quarter of the year is over. Did your sales come in like a lion and go out like a lamb? Or were they more steady, like my March sales?
For any new readers, I post my numbers every month. This is an effort to keep myself grounded. If you’re interested in my older monthly update posts, check them out here.
Let’s preface March’s numbers with the following: I have not been hitting my listing goal. This has consequences, but they’re not as bad as I thought they would be.
I listed a total of 7 items in March. 7! My goal would have been to list 60. What got in the way? Family. Work. Life.
March 2015 vs. March 2016
|Mar-15||Mar-16||2015 YTD||2016 YTD|
|Sales Tax Collected||0.00||0.00||0.00||3.00|
|Cost of Goods Sold||70.69||80.00||255.31||80.00***|
|Taxes and Licenses||0.00||0.00||0.00||34.98|
|Profit / Loss||387.34||348.12||982.54||897.46**|
* The sales for 2016 are nearly $1,000 less than in 2015. We’re 1 quarter into the year and have almost a 3rd less in sales. At a quick glance, I would make me assume that I’m not going to hit any goals this year. But make sure to look at the second note.
** I’m only $100 less in profit than this point last year. In 2015, I had over $6,500 in profit. It blows my mind that I can almost take a full month off from listing and be at nearly the same place as I was last year. I’m only off by about 3-4 sales worth of profit. Crazy!
*** Uh oh. I bought some inventory! I really love buying stuff, and I’ve been on the fence about unloading most of my material that I haven’t listed unless it’s worth a lot. Inventory management is a two headed coin. There’s the stuff you have already listed (I’m good at this part) but then there’s the black hole of things you need to list. I just can’t seem to get into some of the stuff that takes a lot of work (whether it’s hard to ship, needs cleaning, etc.). I’m not around for our community yard sale this year, so there goes a great opportunity to get rid of some duds.
Overall, the most important difference between 2015 and 2016 to this point is the spending. My wife and I have found this is true in our personal lives, so I’m not sure why it’s surprising that it translates to our eBay side business. When we don’t spend as much money, we can sell less but still make the same profits. It sounds so obvious but again, I need to keep hitting this home to myself. Every time I go off buying when I haven’t been listing, that’s profits that I’m eating into.
Not Listing, but What Else?
What have I been doing on these “days off”?
Mostly it has been family related stuff. My girls wake up early, and if the baby is awake at 530, I’m not going to spend time photographing eBay items when I can be laughing with my infant.
I’ve been a little more focused about writing consistently on the blog. I don’t like staying up late, so the writing has to occur in the morning.
If family isn’t enough of an excuse, my 9-5 job kind of feels like one. I’ve been put into a stretch position and have gotten new responsibilities. I’m learning a lot, but that comes at a mental cost. I just don’t have the reserves to go non-stop at work and then do the same at home. I think my mental muscle group just isn’t up to snuff!
Even though I haven’t been listing consistently, but I’m still meeting my 1-day handling time. The luxury of having put in a few solid months of listing consistently last year has let me coast. I’ve definitely seen a drop in sales during this time. Instead of the usual ~30 items per month, I’ve only sold about 15. But it doesn’t seem to matter. I’m still making money, and I can handle shipping an item every other day.
2nd Quarter Crossroads
I feel like I haven’t really made any progress since last month, and maybe have taken a step back. I’m going to have to focus on listing at some point soon. The inventory in my garage is hanging over my head, and I don’t like that feeling.
But what are my options? Here’s the best that I can come up with:
- List in the morning – but might have to write here on the blog a little less. This doesn’t bode well with me.
- Lower the listing goal to make it more manageable. Another short-sighted goal. I think I need to get better about writing on certain days and listing on others. A consistent sleep schedule will help with this!
- Continue with the same listing goal and keep using the “workarounds.” The way I handle this now is that if I end up playing with my daughters in the morning during the time I would have been listing, I take credit for it in Beeminder. What’s the point of listing and selling on eBay if it comes at the cost of family time?
- Really think about the goals for this year. I kind of put them in a gray area as I knew that there would be adjustments with a new baby. And I’m still trying to figure all of that out even though we’ve been doing this for 6 months now! I think my older daughter is taking more and more attention at the same time as the younger one is too. I feel like I’m back at the “something’s gotta give” state, but I can’t see what I want to remove.
Looking at the next few months, I’m not sure that my listing will be able to improve much. We have a lot of traveling plus a wedding. All of those weekends lead to less free time. I am taking some extra days off around those weekends, so maybe I can pull off one of the maniac Mondays again to get through a few piles?
In the end, all of this money is still letting us do things around the house that we wouldn’t be able to do otherwise without having to lower our monthly savings, which we don’t want to do. I need to focus on that and remember that instead of all this muck around the sides.
How was your March? What about your first quarter? Better than last year?
P.S. All of the winners of the tradu beta were notified. If you weren’t one of the lucky winners, don’t worry. Kevin will still be accepting people in the future, so make sure to sign up for a chance to test out the application!
Image Credit: alans1948