03/02/2019 at 9:38 am #57987
OK – I have been going along nicely at listing $500 / day for 3 months since I went Full time.. Sales are more steady for me. At this pace I see about an $100 per day sales average with a monthly ASP around $35-$40.
I need to earn more, bottom line. 🙂 I am working at lowering my COGS, getting choosier and expanding my knowledge into new areas.
All that being said: I want to be listing $1,000 per day on average. I am trying to budget how much I need for inventory to make this happen. My average COGS always end up at $5 per item between my goodwill outlet finds and my higher end estate finds.
If I am able to increase my Average Sale Price to $40, that would mean I would need 25 of those items daily to reach $1,000/ day listing. Which means I need $125 per day (COGS) or $3K / month for NEW inventory to reinvest?
If you read this far – thanks. Did I do this right?
right now I have 1300 items and sell mixed inventory.0
03/03/2019 at 11:48 am #58019
Your numbers sound roughly right to me. How many days per week do you list? Five days a week? Seven? If it’s five, at $125/day, you’d be at roughly $2,500/mo COGS (depending on the month).
Sounds like your listing numbers are roughly the same as mine, except I’ve been focusing less on the listed value, and more on the quantity of listings while letting the listing values fall where it may.
I’ve been finding that 20-25 listings per day is quite doable. I aim for that range. I’ve done as many as 44 in a day without any help, and without working a non-stop 8hrs.
Keep me/us posted on how it goes!0
03/03/2019 at 12:28 pm #58021
I list 7 / days per week most weeks. I focus on value b/c I really want to build my store on total value not items. I would like to move to 5 / days per week I need some days to do other stuff. 🙂
Thanks for the response!0
03/04/2019 at 12:57 pm #58073
BCFO: Your numbers are correct.
So, a couple of questions:
25 items a day x 7 Days a week = 175 listings per week. Can you find 175 items every week when sourcing at the $5 price point AND they sell for an average of $40? Also, can you list that amount every week? We have current goal of 125 per week for Veronica and I, and a stretch goal of 150, and we can’t hit it consistently.
I would agree that listing 7 days a week is a grind, and you may want to chunk your days to listing/photo/sourcing.
Veronica and I can get close to your numbers between the two of us (and if I was truly full time eBay, much easier, but I keep having 1-2 days a week on my contract gig), but not necessarily at a consistent $40 ASP. We are closer to $30 on an average $5 purchase.
So your numbers math out, but can you handle that type of lifestyle (175 per week by yourself seems like a stretch), but only you can answer that question.0
03/04/2019 at 1:11 pm #58075
Another thing to consider is that if your reached your listing goal, your profit would go to 0 or negative in the short run. Can you handle that since your whole reason was to make more money?
My math says at $125/Day for Cogs, that’s $3750 for the month and you only gross about $3000 right now. It would work in the long run, you just need to make sure it works in the short run. Think if it as an investment that will pay off. You just need the capital to make the investment until the payoff comes in.
03/04/2019 at 1:33 pm #58076
Mark is 100% correct. This is the main reason I like to forecast, so that I can see what happens from a net cash perspective when I make a big change. For us last year, that was bringing on a photographer, and I know that was going to generate a 4-5 month cash flow hole before the increased purchasing, listing, and paying for the photographer was going to pay off. Now it is much better, but for a while it was tight.
You can ramp up, but it will depend on your STR as to how long it will take for your increased listing activity to generate increased sales. If your monthly STR is normally 33%, then you are turning your store over every 3 months, so you can expect to see your return pay off in about 3 months. If your STR is 10%, it will take closer to 10 months to begin to see the benefits.
This is why cash flow is so important, and why startups are always looking for venture capital (or just cash in any form) to feed the beast on the front end. As Mark says, this is an investment…
For us, it was mostly growing into it. We spend about $700-$1000 per week when we source, and average sourcing about 3 weeks a month. But we used to be at a third of that. We just grew into that level over the years…
And now I see opportunities in the $3,000-$16,000 range, in one single purchase. This is the level up that you go through.0
03/04/2019 at 6:54 pm #58109
Mark: Thank you ! That is exactly why I posted the question – is it a good idea to spend every last cent you make per month on new inventory while in growth mode? I am stocking piling my cash for this as an investment, and don’t need to pay myself, being at $0.00 (or negative) is scary but also, I can swing it.
T-Statt: Broken down into 175 items / week, holy Sh*t that is a lot of stuff per week. I would really have to revamp HOW I source. And not seeing the “fruit” for 10 months …. well, I guess it is what it is. I can see why folks want to take the loans / need a cash injection. Can I borrow some money? Ha!
Lots to consider as I want to grow.. but perhaps it’s better to be slow and steady as I have done for last 2 years. Maybe instead of $1,000 / day I look at a smaller step while I build up more cash. I want to be able to make a bigger “buy” at some point.0
03/04/2019 at 7:08 pm #58111
bcfo: Here is what I would do…
Sounds like you are working at a $500/day level, so that is $3,500 per week. I like to think in weeks, because I don’t list every day, but I list every week.
So, for the next month, push that to $4,000 per week. Make that a goal and show that you can hit it. After you do that for 4-5 weeks consistently, move to $5,000 per week. After 4-5 weeks move it to $6,000.
I’m a big fan of the Adjacent Possible. You can’t get from A to Z, but you can get to B. Then C, then D.
I have had 150 listings per week for the past two years…still ain’t there, but we are getting closer…0
03/04/2019 at 6:58 pm #58110
I asked on another thread but thought I’d bring it here: How much do you need to make each month to keep the lights on?0
03/05/2019 at 8:54 am #58135
Well, when I started ebay, I didn’t need the cash b/c I was working Full Time at a salary job of which I was laid off several months ago. DUring that time,I just saved all the money and built up a modest nest egg from it and watched it grow every month. As I look for new job, I am still not spending my ebay sales as I am saving it. I pay some random bills with it but nothing huge.
I would like to start paying myself from it, but I would rather reinvest it in ebay.
I am looking for a FT or contract job (which is an entirely different thread), of course while I build the business up. I was really considering just trying to go Full Time after the layoff, but I can’t financially do that without more growth.
I am trying to leverage the “downtime” i have – hence trying to do the $1,000/ day while I am “free.”0
03/05/2019 at 8:59 am #58138
Understood. I understand if you dont want to share your numbers (though you are anonymous here), but it’s often helpful to discuss what you need to make while you think of building a business.
–How much money do you need eBay to make each moth to pay all your bills?
–Did your job give you a severance?
–Are you collecting unemployment to hold you over?0
03/05/2019 at 8:56 am #58136
T-Statt: I love the sales goal per week idea. Realistically, I need a day off. Or like yesterday I had a migraine and couldn’t stare at my phone! Thank you. $4,000 / week sounds doable for March as well.0
03/05/2019 at 4:18 pm #58182
Yep, you need a day off. That is a requirement if you are going to last for any length of time.
You can go hard and everyday for a while, but sooner or later, you need a break.1+
03/05/2019 at 6:30 pm #58191
This x one million. None of us are robots. Its important to be analytical, but there needs to be plenty of room for play/rest.1+
03/05/2019 at 8:57 am #58137
I’m with Troy. Set a smaller, incremental goal. Hit that one, and ramp up again. Doing it that way will be slower, but will impact your cash flow less, and won’t feel so monstrous. Plus, hitting those milestones can be really fulfilling and will keep you motivated to push further.
For me, I’ve approached it differently, but I usually focus on my 60 day sales number when I open the ebay app. I can remember setting a goal of $1,500 originally (works out to $25 per day). Then $3,000. Then $5,000, then $6,000. Now that I’ve made the jump to full-time, my goal has jumped to $10,000.
I know that by listing more items, and having a bigger inventory, it puts me in a position to hit those goals, so by working backwards, I set my listing goals. Different approaches, but at the end of the day, the same result.2+
03/05/2019 at 10:15 am #58148
This is what I would do, but a lot of storage space is needed:
If you’re going to the Goodwill Outlet, temporarily reduce your asp for items to $25 or even $20 from $30-40. If you’re already buying items at those price points, reduce your items from the goodwill outlet down to $15.
You should be able to increase your store numbers quickly, and temporarily have to spend more time listing/packing than you are now. This will also help you to reach your listing goals more easily of 1k per day – having a higher number of lower-pricer items to increase activity in your store. This should also temporarily get you above the $100 a day hump, and bring you up to $125-$150 a day relatively quickly.
Once you have established a more active storefront and have a healthier cashflow, at that point invest more money into the original idea of higher asp items.1+
03/05/2019 at 11:21 am #58156
For us, it made more sense to make listings goal of number of items. We committed to photographing and listing 20 items a day. This means in 30 days, we theoretically could have a 500 item store.
Didn’t make sense for us to list $1000 of inventory a day since that number is relatively arbitrary. We often take offers at lower prices, or you may discount items that stick around too long.
The number of items in your store is solid. The worth of your inventory is dynamic.1+
03/05/2019 at 11:43 am #58158
From my numbers the last couple months, it looks like I can spend the day sourcing and find about 60 items, or if I spend the day listing, I can photograph and list about the same 40 items. Averaging that out, it is about 25 items sourced and listed in a “full” day (about 8-10 “casual” hours).
Therefore, I think the goal T-Satt has of 150 items a week is reasonable for a committed full timer.
For us, who are only free on the weekend, we are aiming at the 50-75 items sourced and listed a week between two of us for a comfortable growth, and that eats up most of our profit at the moment.1+
03/05/2019 at 2:28 pm #58173
This is an interesting subject!
I’ve been thinking about how I would “feed the beast” if I was full time. I have a large backlog of unlisted inventory that would keep my busy for a couple months. My goal was to have enough inventory on hand that if I was laid off at work I would not have to spend a single penny on inventory for 3 months. I have that secured for sure
But…what about after that? I have a series of thrift stores in my area that I can do a couple runs during the week to shop. One 30 mile circuit East and west can get me 6 thrift stores each way. I also have a thrift store within 10 minutes of my house I could hit every time I run an errand to check for shoes. So those 13 thrift sources I think I could do 75-100 bread n butter items every week at $5 COGS, $25 ASP on average.
In yard sale season, which is April through September, I can do a TON of sourcing. MY COGS on yard sales is MUCH lower than thrifting – somewhere between $1-2. If I took yard sales very seriously and went from 7am-1pm and greatly expanded my radius, I could easily get 100 items every Saturday at $25 ASP or better.
Lastly, I have a ton of Metro areas within a 4 hour drive. Several are about 2.5 hours away. We currently do weekend trips a couple times a year and I source on these trips. My sourcing is limited to 2-4 hours over an entire weekend though because my family is with me. If I took it VERY seriously and went from 8am-9pm I could fill my full size truck no problem. The beauty of scavenging in a metro area is I can stick to low hanging fruit, and I can stick to higher ASP items. I typically stick to $50 ASP or better when I am on these weekends since I have finite space in the van to bring things home with. A lot of these stores go 50% off one Tuesday a month, so if I was full time I could make a day trip of it during the week.
Bottom line, I think I could very easily feed my store 150 items a week just by expanding my current shopping methods.1+
03/05/2019 at 9:21 pm #58201
Thank you all for the insights and coaching! I am feeling less overwhelmed about this next phase.
Jay – Yes, my store worth is dynamic, bit I would find myself setting a listing goal of 10 per day, but then only source items that weren’t too great. When I started my $500/ day goal it was specifically to motivate myself to learn new categories of higher priced items – as in, would I rathe list 50 $10 things or 10 $50 things?
Retro – I am committed hard core to yard sale season this year, no excuses. I really need to hit it hard b/c the COG (S) are so low.
Almasty- I do have a GW Bins near me (30 min away) and I pull some good stuff from it and some high dollar vintage items as I think regular GW doesn’t even put out vintage items anymore. Your idea of volume intrigues me as I do have additional time on my hands. Why not leverage it? I go 2/ month, but I could easily go more.0
03/12/2019 at 9:56 am #58550
Hello, it’s been 10 days since my posting and my 4K/ week action plan is underway. What have I learned in these 10 days?
1. Buy more stuff – duh! OK, well I have gotten into habit of getting to thrift and buying my greatest hits and skipping over sections entirely.
2. Buy more stuff cheaply – I’ve been hitting the dreaded dollar sales, GW bins. Auctions are still on my to-do list.
3.eat before I go thrifting/ have a food plan. This can seriously detour my alertness. LOL.
4.Improve my intake process. I am working at creating an “intake” area in my basement to dump and sort items. Right now my dump and sort is my living room which is not good!0
03/12/2019 at 10:37 am #58557
I try to get things sorted neatly into bins as soon as possible. Even if I can’t get to them for a while, at least they are neat and sorted and stackable.1+
03/12/2019 at 11:19 am #58559
Retro – I like this ides! I think I will do this0
03/12/2019 at 11:25 am #58560
Just this past weekend we went to Columbus and I came back with a load of 65 items. I brought bins out to the van and sorted right there, that way only bins came into my ebay space rather than plastic bags of things.1+
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