04/17/2019 at 9:55 am #60377
In 2018 from 1/1 – 4/15 I had gross sales of $11789 with an average of 2257 items listed per month.
In 2019 from 1/1 – 4/15 I had gross sales of $9823 with an average of 2804 items listed per month.
So, on average, I had about 25% more items available for sale during 2019. But I only made 83% of what I did in
2018. I would have expected about 25% more or $14736 in sales. But I made about 50% less than that – $9823.
So, my question is why did this happen and what can I do about it?
For the why. I think it is mostly because of the increased competion from other sites such as ETSY and Postmark, etc.
But I don’t know that for sure, but that seems to be the big change from 2018.
Any other ideas? If this just a blip, or is this a new trend of downward sales?
What about you?
Is everyone else seeing a similar situation? Does anyone like T-Satt or others have numbers to say for sure what their situation is like?
04/17/2019 at 10:47 am #60379
We talk about this endlessly and I think it’s impossible to say. All your suggestions may be correct. I guess we’ve seen the ups and downs over ten years that we don’t stress it. We’ve had a down year, and the next year is much higher. Nothing we’ve done to affect the change.
–Maybe we’re listing different items. Even if we sell shoes, it matters what kind of shoes. You’d need to sell the exact same item year on year to say if the market has changed for that specific item.
–I’m certain that different categories get overwhelmed. Sellers find out that baseball caps are cheap to buy and easy to store. Everyone lists baseball caps. Prices go way down and people sell less.
So we just keep finding different things to sell that excite us. For our own sanity, we dont waste time trying to look for one lever to pull to sell more because I dont think it exists.
04/17/2019 at 10:54 am #60381Retro Treasures WVParticipant
$8742.90 on 288 sales
$11632.34 on 307 sales
(skewed by $2500 sale, so adjust to $9132.34)
I’m actually quite surprised by these stats.
04/17/2019 at 11:09 am #60385
Did you have any high dollar items in 2018 that may have been outliers that could account for some of this difference?
Also, sorry, 2804 items – that’s your average total listings on ebay during the period in 2019?
If so, I really don’t think 25% more listings equates to 25% more dollars. This is the nature of the long tail – every year, the most long-tail things continue to pile up in your inventory. My data clearly shows the majority of my income comes from fairly recently listed items (3-6 mo), with older stuff providing a much smaller income stream.
So I’d be looking at the quality and quantity of new listings in between these periods as the most likely driver.
04/17/2019 at 11:18 am #60388
We’ve debated about “why don’t more listings mean more income” so many times.
Our store is the prime example of not making more even though our inventory grows. Our 8000 item inventory only guarantees that the money will come over time. We dont more money in the short term, but we do make consistent money.
A large inventory us you time if we need to walk away from eBay for a while. This is why you see sellers on this forum make as much money (or more) than us, even with a 1/10th of our inventory. But if they stop listing for a couple weeks, they’re sales will probably drop off fast. We have front loaded the work.
04/17/2019 at 11:30 am #60391
I would think my sales would be at least a little more in 2019, but you have to take into account some degragation of STR. But even with that, it doesn’t explain why I actually went down so much. If it wasn’t that 50% I wouldn’t be so concerned. I knew my sales were down, but when I see the hard numbers and how far apart they are, it is concerning to me.
As I explained to simplicio, my items quality and picture quality from 2018 to 2019 dreastically improved. That is why I am perplexed here.
I think as you have explained, there are so many factors, it is hard to nail down the reason. ebay ebbs and flows with high times and low times. I guess if everyone was seeing a similar thing, then I wouldn’t be so concerned. But if I am way out of the ordinary at 50% then I would like to know why.
The one thing I can also point to is that I am heavily into clothes (maybe 50%) and those have not been selling great lately.
04/17/2019 at 11:47 am #60394
You keep saying you’re making 50% less than least year, but I think you’re making too many assumptions. You assume because you have 25% more items you should make that much more.
The fact that 50% of your store is clothes is a big factor IMHO. Clothes sales is the most competitive category on eBay. It’s where almost every new seller starts. Many clothing sellers will tell you sales are down because of more competition.
Even Troy has said he’s changing to different kinds of clothes as sales go down (I think men’s shirts weren’t selling like they were a year ago).
But it’s great you;’re thinking of this stuff. Try different experiments. Just dont get discouraged if you cant find the one lever to pull to suddenly boost your sales.
04/17/2019 at 11:30 am #60392
Yeah, absolutely. I have a much smaller inventory than you guys so you’ve definitely front-loaded more, but I suspect recent items still play an outsized role in your sales.
A fun exercise is to find your sales for the trailing year ONLY from inventory listed 1 year ago and before. I call this my inertial sales. For me trailing year inertial sales were $18.8k as opposed to total trailing year sales of $55.8k (difference $37k).
So 66% of sales in the last 365 days were from stuff listed in those same 365 days.
04/17/2019 at 11:22 am #60390
No big outliers in 2018, I actually had more in 2019.
My quality of items has been getting a LOT better and so has my pictures, that is why this is really hard to understand.
04/17/2019 at 11:32 am #60393
Interesting – what about quantity of new listings?
04/17/2019 at 12:13 pm #60398
I had about the same new listings during this timeframe for bith years. Maybe a Little more in 2019.
Jan is where I am seeing the biggest change. About $4300 I. Jan 2018 vs about $2500 in Jan 2019.
It is just discoursging when you are working harder and a Little starter, yet sales Go down.
My take away right now is staying away from clothes unless it is a very good Quality at a Great price.
04/17/2019 at 1:21 pm #60407almastyParticipant
We’re probably in a recession now, or about to be in one.
My numbers for this year are down overall compared to last year. However, I am sourcing 50-75% less than I was to last year, or the year before. If I sourced more, would I sell more? Is my long-tail stale? What I am sourcing, does it compare in quality to what I got last year, or the year before?
How much can I blame myself vs. blaming the economy? Or the sites themselves? Maybe what I am listing is not wanted or needed by anyone. I could just be listing a lot of unneeded “junk.” Other people could be having the best sales of their lives because they have customers that want their items.
There are more resellers out there than ever. Maybe they have better, more interesting versions of what I have. They could have better prices. We are fighting for the same customers.
On and on.
04/17/2019 at 1:47 pm #60411
Actually, clothes are more like about 1\3 of my inventory once I back out shoes.
Of course since I have 25% more items, I will not automatically make 25% more. But in my forecast by month, I take the STR from the prior year\month and the ASP from the prior year\month and mulitple by the number of items I have. Of course there is going to be a degradation in STR and maybe ASP. I know T-Satt takes that STR degradation into account.
But my point is that my sales should not drop by 17% if I am basically doing the same thing and even better this year. Or, is this just normal? Thing is I have forecasted like this every year and this is the first year that the results for a long period of time actually degradated this much.
January 2018 vs. Jan 2019 had the biggest difference. The actual numbers were Jan 2018 $4514 and Jan 2019 $2646. So, I think that is the bulk of my difference. If Jan. 2019 were the same as Jan 2018, then my gross sales would have been roughly the same and I wouldn’t be posting this. So, I guess that is my take away that January 2019 sales were down and just live with that. Also, shy away from clothes and keep on keeping on.
04/17/2019 at 5:23 pm #60426IndySalesParticipant
I’m up about 1k from last year in gross sales, but Jan/Feb were my worst months ever since starting eBay while March was one of the best ones. So far April is about tied with March and last week was a record week. This week, however, is one of the worst, probably because the weather is getting better again and everyone is outside thawing out. Or I just haven’t listed anything interesting.
Don’t get too down on yourself and just focus on the process. List list list until that stuff stops selling, then switch up what you’re listing and list list list again.
04/17/2019 at 6:49 pm #60429SharynParticipant
- Location: Central NJ
I’ll just throw in that the buyers with the most “disposable” income (per the podcast subject) may also be the same buyers that were hit the hardest with taxes due or had lower refunds. Even those that didn’t get hit that hard aren’t going to have as high of refund because less money is being taken out of their paychecks. So, that could be a factor.
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