The Backstory of My Ebay Side Hustle Income
My Ebay side hustle income began in December of 2016. I decided to give Ebay a try because they were running one of those “list for free” offers. I had a cute, brown, leather GAP jacket that was a tad bit too small, and I thought that I might as well make some money off of it. The jacket sold within a week or two, leaving me searching my closets for more stuff to sell. Eventually I went back to my roots of thrifting, and I decided that I would sell the good finds that I didn’t want or couldn’t use on Ebay. That was the birth of my Ebay side hustle income.
Renting Vs Owning
After asking myself what my goals were, I decided that I was not going to put all of my eggs in the Ebay basket. Selling your stuff only on Ebay, Amazon, Etsy, or any of the other ecommerce marketplace platform is like renting an apartment. You pay for the space that you occupy, but you are limited to what you can do while you’re there. These marketplaces take a cut of your sales, or in my case, a cut plus charge a monthly store subscription, but you never own “your” space. Although I pay a monthly subscription fee which allows me access to more features and benefits, I am prohibited by Ebay from even using email marketing to reach out to the customers that I have already sold to. This makes it very hard to establish a business. Some other disadvantages of selling on Ebay is that you cannot control the look of your store; making it harder to stand out amongst the competition on a factor other than price, and you are restricted from selling certain items.
Can you believe that Ebay once suspended me for 7 days for trying to sell a Coach purse?
They said that it was a fake, but they wouldn’t tell me why they thought it was a fake or even let me prove to them that it wasn’t. I was SUPER heated about that! Marketplace platforms can also raise the rates that they charge you to do business on their site at any time, which means smaller profit margins for you.
I don’t know about you, but I like the idea of and the creativity and security of ownership. In February of 2017, I added a WooCommerce-powered online thrift store to my blog. I was able to customize the look of my store, create any kind of special offers that I wanted, use email marketing, sell whatever I wanted to sell, and most importantly, I did not have to pay Ebay a share of the sales from my Ebay side hustle income.
The Challenges of Ownership
Along with the perks of owning an ecommerce store came the challenges. Challenge number one, I haven’t made one sale from my own site…YET. Not a one…ughh.
I’m not embarrassed to admit that either, because it’s hard out here on these digital highways!
I thought that if I built it, they would come. Well, coming is just half the battle, the other half is converting the traffic into sales. This is something that I have not yet mastered, and it’s okay because I’m striving toward it. This is the reason why Ebay can charge 10% for sellers to do business on their marketplace. They’ve already put in the work to establish their brand. Sellers, like me, pay for the brand recognition to potential customers. It’s just like a franchise.
Keep it Moving
I’ve just recently (December 2017) changed my store from a self-hosted WooCommerce on WordPress to a self-hosted Shopify store on the suggestion of my college buddy who is a coder and owner of Certified Coderz. I was consulting him to do some work on my website to increase traffic to my store, and he made my head spin. I resisted at first because I put so much damn time into building my WooCommerce store, but once I really thought about it, I knew he was right. One day I would actually have tons of business, and Woo and WordPress just wouldn’t fit my needs anymore. Having lived through one tedious transition (Blogger to WordPress), I know that it would best to make big changes prior to growth.
One hundred percent of my sales still come from Ebay.
Meanwhile, I continue to experiment, improve, research, and learn because I will never be content to rent when I can own. I guess it’s the boss in me!
2017 Ebay Side Hustle Income Reports
Now on to what you probably really came for: my Ebay side hustle income. You want to see how much a girl can make reselling thrifted stuff on a very part-time basis from the comfort of her home. I have uploaded my monthly reports for the whole of 2017 just for you. Once you’re done looking over them, scroll down below the December report to read my analysis and explanation of the numbers.
Data Analysis (Most Noteworthy)
The most profitable month of my 2017 Ebay side hustle income was January. I did $562 in sales. I was fresh out the gate and had no clue what the hell I was doing! January was also the month that I made the most money per item. I had an average selling price of $20/item. In February, I sold the most items (qty 53) in a month’s time. 2017 was a rough year for me because my time was so divided. I had to split it between transporting my sons to and from games and practices, working full-time, and taking 2-3 intense, masters-level grad classes online. Something had to give, and it ended up being my Ebay side hustle. The weekends that I once spent sourcing items to sell on my Ebay store became filled with homework.
I did a total of $3,821 in sales for 2017, all while working a full-time job and fulfilling other life obligations!
Summer is basically around the corner, and I am finished with grad school, so the only thing that will hold me back from dwarfing last year’s numbers is myself. I said this last year. I said I was going to crush, and I ain’t crush nothing. I underestimated those damn master’s courses, for sure! This year, I plan on streamlining my inventory, doing more experimentation in what I carry, and niching down. I read that a small percentage of your inventory drives 95% of your sales, and that more than 10 products overwhelms potential customers. Right now I carry over 200 items, so I am both curious and nervous about what getting rid of so much inventory will do to my bottom line.
On the other hand, it would definitely be great to not have to store all of that stuff in my garage and attic!
I may decide to continue to carry all of my products on Ebay, but offer a more curated collection on Suthern Soul Thriftin’, my Shopify boutique. I also plan on keeping way better records. Ebay doesn’t know how much I spent for each item that I sold, so the numbers in the reports can’t totally reflect my real bottom line. This is why I plan on keeping better records this year.
If you are an Ebay beginner, what’s one thing that you plan to do differently this year or this month? Do you know how you’re going to get it done? If you need help getting started or someone to run ideas by, let me help you with that. You can take the first step to creating extra income by joining my tribe, and signing up for the FREE Ebay tutorials below.
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