Thursday, March 14, 2019

Is eBay still Worth it in 2019?

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Season 2 Episode 11

I've been selling on eBay intermittently since 1999. I've had a store on/off for the last 6-7 years. My store currently has less than 350 items. I've thought about bringing it down to 100 items earlier this year because I felt I was paying too much in storage costs. Also, I thought to go back into book publishing as another income source. But my audience isn't asking for that and writing and editing a book can be a time suck.

I'm continuing with eBay as there is a comfort level there. In putting this article together I researched my costs and sales made for 2018. This is what I discovered.

To get these figures I've subscribed to Godaddy Bookkeeping and Selling Manager Pro in eBay. Godaddy tracks almost everything while Selling Manager Pro gives you exact figures on your eBay sales.

Last year I didn't spend much on sourcing. I just made up the $500 figure. It may be less. Most of the stuff I sold was my own items and older inventory. The high priced items where video equipment I bought(drones, gimbals, cameras). My rule was if I didn't use them for a period of time, I sold them. I did this at least 2-3 times last year.

There were times I felt I was making no money in 2018. Where the amount paid for the storage rooms was more than I made in sales for that month. For most of the year, I had 2 5'x 5' storage units, near the end I swapped out one of the storage rooms with a smaller room where I currently keep my shipping supplies and a few items. The other remaining unit has most of my inventory. This thankfully has reduced monthly costs.

eBay has shown me that there's money to be made even with putting in part-time hours for the entire process of sourcing, listing, storing, shipping. As I mentioned before, I was thinking of reducing my inventory to 100 items, but after discovering my 2018 costs and sales, I should be ramping things up instead. I thought; how can I accommodate 150 more items at home? The big storage unit is almost at capacity. I went to my local 99 cent store, purchased various sized plastic containers and organized them neatly in my studio apartment.

I'm excited to grow the store to 500 items. Why 500? This is what I think I can comfortably fit between my apartment and storage unit without my place looking like an episode of the Hoarders TV show.
This year I will be sourcing more often as well, but I will try garage sales more so this spring/summer for lower cost items and greater profits. I will also ask co-workers for older(stylish)clothing they may be getting rid of. Nothing beats free(worthwhile)inventory! I will still do the thrift stores in my neighborhood.

How do I run my store? I've been running a 50% off sale in my store every month since December. I'd rather the fast nickel than the slow dime. 'Buy It Now' is my preferred listing type. I also charge for shipping. Most times its USPS Priority Mail. It's tough at times to ship during the work week. I put a 5-day handling time on all items, giving me time to ship on my off days. I've received positive feedback from customers saying I shipped quickly. I'll take it. I learned the handling time trick from the Scavenger Life podcast which you can find here(leave link). They've been a big influence I continue to follow.

In 2016 I got rid of my eBay store of 600 items just to focus on the podcast. I shouldn't have done that. Not in lieu of my decision, but I could've had a 1,000+ item store by now. Live and learn right?
I'm ready to push this to 500 items. I have a web address which links to my store. That is

This takes time and work, but with a little elbow grease we can all make some money off of the items in our houses/apartments which are there simply catching dust.    If I can be of any help please contact me.

Thanks for listening/reading.

Scavenger Life podcast  
Check out my eBay store here 

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