(A series of essays about what it is like to sell stuff on EBay)
I am starting at the end but it also feels like the beginning. I finished my year end reports for 2011 yesterday and in some ways the news was quite underwhelming. But most things are rarely all good or all bad and bearing this in mind, here are some of the stats that I now have to work with and use for next years benchmarks.
1) My sales number ($$) was down 8.27 percent from 2010 :-(
2) My sales volume (units) were down 24.08 percent from 2010 :-( :-(
3) My net profit was up 1.97 percent from 2010 :-)
How can this be? The answer is......
4) My average profit per item sold increased by $2.08.
Sorry to my buyers but this was done primarily by:
5) My average selling price increase of $2.33.
Here is my brief assessment of those numbers. Unfortunately I didn't keep track of the hours that I was working on EBay in 2010. I do have an estimate for 2011 and I intended to keep even a closer eye on that number in 2012. Still I think it is safe to conclude that the amount of time I spent (at least on the back end specifically packing and shipping) was significantly, 24.08 percent to be exact, less than I spent in 2010. While it is not good that my unit sales were down by almost 25 percent I do consider it a success that I was able to increase my net profit particularly in light of the EBay fee change that happened in July of 2011. My estimate is that on average my fees increased by 25-30 cents per item sold. I wish I had that number to add directly into my bottom line.
It seems fair to assume that my increased pricing, at least in part, had something to do with my decrease in sales. I suspect that the decrease in sales also had something to do with how much was being feed into the system with new listings. I only started keeping track of this number last year so unfortunately for now it is just a gut feeling. Next year I will be in a better position to analyze the actual effect. Still it does seem prudent to pay attention to the balance between average selling price and average profit.
In conclusion I am pleased that the one thing I worked on was a success but it appears that I need to pay attention to a few additional things in 2012.