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August Month-End “Business” Update

August 28, 2011

For those new to the bbbros.ca blog, I generally try to use my Sunday posts to give some insights into how I am working toward making my hobby of collecting sports cards and memorabilia 100% financially self-sufficient.  I am trying to achieve this through the “business” portion of my hobby that involves selling my unwanted cards and memorabilia online and then using that money to buy items that I do want.

On the final Sunday of each month I post my Month-End “Business” Update, at which time I provide something of a report on where things are at on the “business” side of things and where I am hoping to take them in the future.

During the month of August my “business” began suffering through the hard times I have been anticipating since early in July.  Having significantly fewer items available in my eBay Store, coupled with decreased search standing results on eBay due to my store subscription downgrade made for some pretty bleak sales numbers.

While that fact could easily lead me to turn this into another rant about how I cannot understand how eBay establishes certain policies and fails to protect sellers (particularly small volume stores), I won’t be heading in that direction today.

The reality is that I have come to accept that I will go through a few months of challenges before things can get back to normal.  By no means am I happy about it, but I have accepted it at the very least.

Not only that, but I have also been trying to focus my time and energy things much more productive than writing a rant is for my “business”.  Maintaining that focus for the past month has actually allowed me to get quite a bit accomplished that will result in some very positive things over the long-term.

In spite of the fact that I have had an incredibly busy month personally (I was occupied with numerous personal events over the course of the month) and professionally (far too many lunches at my desk creeping back into the daily routine), the list of things that I managed to get done includes the following:

  • My first Want List Wednesday post went up here on the blog, aimed at helping me finish off a number of base sets that I hope to one day put up for sale. I will continue to post this series on the first Wednesday of each month in the hopes that some of my fellow collectors can help put the search for the remaining cards in these sets to rest.
  • All of my base set singles are organized and ready to be sold, traded, or sent to a fellow collector who is also on a hunt of their own.
  • I have ended my buying hiatus and have been picking up plenty of items, both for my collecting projects and to eventually flip in my eBay Store.
  • I drastically reduced my eBay Store inventory to mitigate the impacts of the subscription level downgrade.  It has left me with only about 1,000 items available in my store, but the overall quality of my items has been strengthened as a result of eliminating the lower end cards.
  • Every single listing in my store now includes a photo.
  • I surpassed the 2,100 mark for my eBay feedback rating. No neutrals or negatives in more than a decade!
  • Every card that will one day end up back in my store has been categorized and ready to have listings updated with an image or created for future listing.  By the time I am able to ramp back up to the Premium subscription level, I am on track to be able to achieve my goal of having my store inventory represent 1% of the entire hockey card category listed on eBay.ca.  It might not be able to take place before the end of 2011 as I had planned back in January, but at least I am on the right path.

One thing that I have yet to execute on in a significant way is to diversify my sales channels beyond eBay.  I have tested out an ad on Kijiji and had minimal success, but have not made any other inroads to date.  In order to ensure that I can achieve and maintain my goal of a financially self-sufficient hobby in the long-run, diversification will need to become a larger focus in the coming months.

As always, please feel free to get in touch at any time by emailing me at bb_bros@hotmail.com, leaving a comment in any of my blog posts, or connecting on Twitter or Facebook.

Also, if you enjoy reading this blog and would like to receive automatic updates of my weekly Wednesday and Sunday posts, just click the “Sign Me Up!” button in the right column or subscribe via an RSS feed.

Until Wednesday, all the best in your collecting pursuits!

Ryan

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