(A series of essays about what it is like to sell stuff on EBay)
At year end I try to give some thought to the metric data that I should continue to track, any new data that I should track, as well as any other ideas I should work on to grow my business. I also try to think of things that I should stop doing because they aren't adding any value to my business. I suppose that it would be prudent to do this more often than once a year but I guess once a year is better than not at all.
On the continue doing list:
1) Tracking my hours spent on EBay. (This may seem like an obvious metric but I didn't bother doing it until last year and to be honest when you are first starting out you might not really want to know your hourly wage.)
2) Tracking total items and dollars sold per month and comparing them to 2011.
3) Tracking total items listed and total potential profit listed per month and increasing that number over 2011.
4) Working on a higher profit per item average (ie: better margin)
On the new items list are:
1) Work on lowering shipping charges.
2) Work on finding additional product sources.
3) Look for items with higher dollar sale potential.
4) Implement a more systematic way to write-off and clear out obsolete inventory.
I am sure that there are a lot more items that I should be working on but this seems like a sufficient list to keep me busy.
As for the stop doing list. This one is always a little tougher. I have been puzzling over it for several days now and I haven't come up with anything. In years past I have simplified my listing process. I started out using a bunch of different templates now I use just one. I have shortened my photo taking and photo processing time mostly by getting smarter about taking pictures. One of the biggest time savers in this area was that I used to lay the clothes out on the floor. They looked nice but it took a long time. Now I take hanging photos most of the time this is adequate for a decent photo and much faster. I have stopped paying as much attention to other sellers. But, so far this year I haven't identified anything to cut out. I guess I will have to stay mindful about that one and see if anything presents itself.
For now I guess I will concentrate on the things on the list above.