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May Month-End “Business” Update

May 29, 2011

There are only a couple of days remaining in the month of May, which means it is time for yet another Month-End “Business” Update here on the blog.

For those who have not read one of these articles in the past, basically I use the last Sunday of each month to update the status of my pursuit of a financially self-sufficient hobby.  In short, the goal is to eventually have the sales of my unwanted/needed cards and memorabilia fund a select group of projects that I have decided to focus on.

Back in January I outlined some new year’s resolution, goals, and objectives for 2011 that I believe will push me ever-closer to achieving my goal.  I did a quarter-year review back in March and will cover the next quarter again in June.

For today’s article, my focus will be on a few key issues that arose over the course of the month.

First on the docket: my goal of having every single card in my eBay Store inventory updated to include an image of the item.  Unfortunately, the pace I was working at in April was short-lived as May has turned into a bit of a debacle of under productivity.

I wrote in last month’s edition in this series that I thought it might be until the end of May before I could get all of the scans complete based on the progress I had been making.  A more realistic target may now be the end of July and even that might be ambitious.

I blame some of this on a busier personal life now that the snow is gone and I have more going on than I tend to in the winter months and perhaps a bit of a post-Toronto Expo hangover as well.  Most of the blame, however, can be applied to my apparent lack of motivation to work hard when things are not going as well as I had hoped in the store.

The first couple of weeks in May were unusually soft for sales.  When I say soft, I mean nearly the non-exist kind of soft.  During one seven span I actually sold less than I do on an average day.

As things continued to look worse and worse, my motivation to continue to scan like a maniac got lower and lower as well.

Thankfully, over the past few days I feel like I have made progress in reversing that trend, much of which I attribute to an especially successful round of auctions of the cards I picked up at the Expo to flip online, coupled with the fact that I was able to recognize that my attitude was doing nothing to help.  Hopefully this will allow me to regain the momentum I had earlier in the year.

Next topic up: I have decided that the time has come to provide eBay buyers with an easy to understand breakdown of why I charge what I do for shipping fees on their eBay purchases.

I have mentioned this before and I will say it again: I do not profit from the fees I charge for shipping an item.  Apparently my math and my word are not good enough for some people, as I still deal with an occasional 1 or 2 rating in my shipping fees portion of my “Detailed Seller Ratings”.

I simply cannot afford for this to continue given that changes to eBay’s discount program having been instituted very recently, changes that make the discounts increasingly difficult to qualify for.

So far what I am thinking I will do is dedicate a post on this blog to outlining the costs involved in shipping, posting a permanent link to the article on my website, and then just including a label in each package that I ship out that directs the customer to that link for more information.

At this point, that is the cheapest and easiest way I can think of to make the information available.  If you have another idea please feel free to get in touch, I would be happy to take it into consideration!

Another thing about shipping: the need to explain the fees is all the more important since I am likely going to need to raise my rates for the first time in years at some point in the very near future.

Despite my best efforts to maintain my shipping rates as they currently are by finding some efficiencies in sources and prices for my shipping supplies, the reality of regular increases in postage rates, an 8% increase in the taxes I pay for that postage, and eBay deciding to force sellers to fork over (more) money by including the shipping amount in its Final Value Fee calculation, I am left with little alternative.  The increase will be marginal, but it is not something I relish having to do.

Now on to the website: I have decided to make some updates, upgrades, and changes to my website, including this blog.

A better layout for the website is the number one priority.  From looking over a number of other website designs and layouts in a variety of business areas, I know that there is much more I can do to make the site more visitor-friendly, and potentially more of a sales driver than it has been to this point.

Adding a blog roll to this blog with other blogs that I find valuable – including some not related to sports cards or memorabilia in any way – is a priority as well, along with a reassessment and reclassification of some of my blog categories and an increasingly structured posting schedule for my articles.

These are not projects I anticipate completing any time soon necessarily, but I have put them on my radar as an area that requires some attention moving forward.

Last, but not least: later today I will be distributing my monthly eBay Store Newsletter, offering up exclusive discounts and sales to eBay members who subscribe to that specific piece of communication.  Just head to my eBay Store to sign up.


So another month is all but gone and another “business” update along with it.  Feel free to get in touch at any time by e-mail at, on Twitter (@bb_bros) or Facebook, or by just posting a comment in an article.

Until Wednesday, all the best in your collecting pursuits!


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