So my 2nd week of dabbling with the flip life is over. It’s been tougher than I thought, but that’s not going to stop me from trying to make a real success out of this.
When I say it’s been tougher, I don’t so much mean the actual buying and selling of the items. I mean the actual profit-making – after taking all eBay/PayPal/postage fees into account. I had a few mishaps when it came to judging the postage costs of certain items. I’ve actually lost money on 3 of my items, but it’s not the end of the world. After all, this is still a learning process.
I’ve decided to readjust and keep pushing on.
Here’s what I’m going to be doing differently from now on.
Limiting My Use of Fixed Price Listings
Stopping the use of so many buy it nows on eBay. eBay charges 50 pence for each item you apply a buy it now on, and this can really start to cut into any potential profit. There will, of course, be exceptions to this – if for example the item you’re selling is guaranteed to sell for a good sum of money, and you’re looking for a quick sale without having to rely on the fixed auction lengths.
Not Relying on eBay to Tell Me My P&P Costs
Not sticking with the default postage & packaging price recommended by eBay. I need to remember that this cost is paid for by the buyer and it coves the packaging too, not just the postage. The buyer wants the item to be received in good condition without any damage. I’ve found they will be more than happy to pay the extra to ensure their item is well protected and packaged to avoid any potential damages. I’m really making an effort to factor in the packaging cost to my p&P price. This also helps ensure I’m not making a loss when it comes to buying additional packaging – even though I’ve been lucky and sourced 99% of it for free so far!
Carefully Planning My Auction End Times
When posting any standard auctions, I’m really planning when I want my listings to end. Previously, I was just listing items without giving it any thought as to when the auction end time would be. This meant that some of my auctions were ending at times when traffic on eBay was rather low. Think of an auction ending at 8.30am Sunday morning compared to 8.30pm Sunday evening. It makes more sense to me that more people will be online at the later time compared to first thing in the morning – most people would still be sound asleep in their beds, especially on a Sunday!
Tracking My Actual Profit & Loss
Keeping a spreadsheet updated with all my profits and losses. I’m using Google Sheets to do this. I have a number of relevant columns set up for each item, and I’m tracking the likes of my initial purchase cost, sale price, eBay fees (insertion, buy it now, final value) P&P costs, total profit. This does take quite a bit of work to keep updated properly, but it’s helping me see what items are making me profit, and what items are leading to a loss. I’m hoping that over the long term this will give me a good indication as to what sells well at a profit, and what is best to avoid. I definitely recommend you start using something like this if you’re a seller on eBay. It’s sometimes too easy to think you’re making money, when in fact everything you’re doing is really leading to a loss. I’ll post a screenshot of my spreadsheet soon!
Video Update – End of My 2nd Week
Check out my video below for an update at where I’m at now. You’ll get to see the items I bought last week that are next on my “to be flipped” list!
Also, my two cats, Ollie and Oskar make an appearance, and they’re much entertaining than me!
Do you flip things on the side, or perhaps do it as a full-time gig? Let me know in the comments section, thanks!