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September Month-End “Business” Update

September 25, 2011

As September draws to a close, with it comes the end of the third quarter of 2011.  As I did in March and again in June, it is time for another quarterly review of how I well I am faring in accomplishing my the ten hobby-specific goals, objectives, and resolutions I set for myself for 2011 in this edition of my Month-End “Business” Update.

Since my last quarterly review things have certainly changed on the “business” end of things.  Unforeseen circumstances that really should not have been all that unforeseen have sent things in a very different direction than I had intended when 2011 started off, making completion of a couple of the items below completely unattainable.

While disappointing, it is certainly not the end of the world and I am already looking forward to having them as priority items again in 2012, but this time with a contingency plan on how I can ensure they get achieved.

So without further ado, here’s the latest review my progress:

GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

Have my listings account for 1% of all hockey card listings on eBay.ca

This is one of the goals that I am all but certain will not be achieved in 2011.   As I have written about a number of times in the past three months, I was thrown something of a curveball by having my eBay Store subscription level downgraded (and fees subsequently increased…massively).  As a result, I have shrunk my inventory from nearly 4,000 items to just over 1,000.

Given that my listing fees increased 300% per item because of the subscription downgrade, I am simply unable to incur the financial hit I would take by getting my inventory up to the approximately 6,000 items I would need listed in order to achieve this goal.

I will not likely be eligible to have my subscription level brought back up to where it was previously until into 2012.  When that opportunity arises I can then refocus on achieving this goal.  In the meantime, I am working hard to have enough listings ready to go in Turbo Lister so that the day my eligibility is returned I can achieve this goal in one massive listing.  Until then, my inventory will have to remain close to the 1,000 item mark, a level that I can feel comfortable about at least breaking even on each month.

Increase my eBay Store sales by 10%

At the end of June I noted that I was well ahead of this pace and felt confident about my chances of achieving it.  Now I’m not so sure, but I guess that will depend on whether I look at this goal in terms of the number of items sold or the revenue figure generated from the sale of those items.

To be right up front about it, sales volumes have taken a nosedive since the store subscription downgrade.  Since I removed all of the lowest priced listings when I went through my inventory reduction exercise the average sale price per item has remained relatively steady though, which is a somewhat positive spin on a negative situation.

As a result of the rate I have been selling items since July, I am still on pace to achieve this goal from a dollar figure perspective, but just barely.  In terms of the number of items sold for the year I am behind pace.

Given my current situation I am fully expecting that regardless of which way I choose to look at this goal I am unlikely to achieve it.  For 2012, I will definitely need to better define what I mean by the percentage increase as it is all but certain to reappear in next year’s list of goals and objectives.

Have 10 articles worth of blog posts completed in advance and ready to post.

As was the case last time around, I still have not had all 10 articles finished off at any point in the year in order to mark this goal as even temporarily complete, but my progress on having drafts and notes ready to go for future articles continues to improve.

At this time I actually enough articles planned to get me through 2011 and into 2012, which is a great feeling for me.  All that’s left to do is get them finished off and ready for posting.

Ensure that 100% of my items have a picture included in the listing.

I wrote about this back in August, but it’s worth noting once again, this goal can officially be marked complete!  While achieving this goal came about in a way that I had never intended, it is complete nonetheless and something that I will treat as somewhat of a silver lining to an otherwise disappointing few months.

Do all of this in an absolute maximum of 17 hours, or 10% of my time per week. 

While I do not keep a detailed time log of when I am working on hobby-related activities, I am more than confident that if I were to do so I would easily achieve this goal.

The combination of being better organized than I have been in years, keeping my buying in check, and spending less time on my eBay store as a result of the reduction in sales has led to less time being spent on my hobby than since my last quarterly recap.

Given that the last time I provided this quarterly update I figured the average week only saw 10-12 hours of time spent on my hobby, then I know that this time around it is still safe to say I am on track to achieve this goal for the year.

RESOLUTIONS

Buy only what I need for my specific projects or what will benefit me financially by flipping items through my eBay Store.

This is a resolution that I have been very successful with over the course of the year.  Maintaining a specific focus for my collecting projects has been essential to this success, as has being much more selective in what I purchase with the intent of flipping in my eBay store.

List new items in the store every week of the year.

The downgrade of my store subscription level has made this goal officially unachievable…and I am entirely ok with that.

Sometimes the best of intentions simply don’t work out the way you plan and this is one of those situations.  The situation I have run into since July was not something I saw coming when these resolutions were made, so there is really nothing I can do about it now.  I have accepted that fact and will move forward through the remainder of 2011 focussing on the items in these lists that I can accomplish, without dwelling on why I couldn’t accomplish every single one.

Get pictures posted in as many of my listings as possible.

As noted in the fourth of the five goals listed above, “as many as possible” is officially 100% of my eBay Store listings.

Do not miss a single post on this blog.

91 articles since I started this blog and not a single post has been missed!  Look for new posts every Wednesday and Sunday.

Do not let my hobby, or the pursuit of my goals related to my hobby, interfere with my personal and professional responsibilities.

This resolution has proven to be easier to accomplish than I thought it might be when I set these resolutions early in the year.  I have established a steady routine for myself that all but eliminates the chances of my hobby negatively impacting any other aspect of my life, in spite of the significant role it plays.

As was the case back in June, I simply do not need to remind myself of this resolution in order to achieve it, I just go about the routine I have been following for months and it takes care of itself.

*****

In spite of some of the successes I outlined above, it should go without saying that any chance I had of achieving my ultimate goal of a financially self-sufficient hobby has been all but eliminated for 2011 as a result of the store subscription downgrade.

Not what I had hoped for, but far from the end of the world too.  In the big picture it actually serves as even greater motivation to achieve and maintain such a situation in the future and I look forward to continuing to work toward that goal.

Until Wednesday’s Project Progress Report for September, all the best in your collecting pursuits!

Ryan

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