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Continuing to Adjust my eBay Selling Approach

December 4, 2011

As I have written about on a number of occasions over the past year or so here on the blog, being willing to adapt and adjust to changing situations with the “business” side of my hobby has been vital to keeping myself on track when it comes to my pursuit of a financially self-sufficient hobby.

To say that things have not gone according to plan in the latter half of the year would be an understatement.  This deviation from ‘the plan’ – a term use loosely when it comes to my approach to 2011 – has caused me to operate my eBay Store in a very reactionary manner since July, making adjustments along the way as I try to find the best way to keep my eBay Store in the black come the end of the year.

For the first six and a half months things were humming along nicely with sales easily out-pacing the costs of operating my store.  This allowed me to take those funds and buy items for my collection without having to spend much of my regular personal income.

Then in July my store subscription level was downgraded.  With that came a 300% increase in listing fees, a fact that resulted in me adjusting my approach to operating the store by removing all of my listings priced below $2.00 in order to limit the fees I was incurring.

Since then I have had months that I have made money as was usually the case prior to the downgrade, but I have also had a few months in which I have lost money in the operation of the store.

My October Auction Series helped alleviate some of those losses, but when November turned out to be a total dud I decided another adjustment was in order.

The latest adjustment that I speak of basically boils down to another significant reduction in my eBay Store inventory, coupled with an increased reliance on auctions for revenue generation and trading for collection additions.

The inventory reduction will come in the form of temporarily delisting any cards with an asking price of less than $10.  This will leave me with an inventory in the neighbourhood of 150 items by the time I get through ending the listings.

A far cry from the 4,000 items I had listed less than 6 months ago, but it should leave me in a much better position to remain profitable until I can return the store to its former operation.

The timing on returning the store to its former operation was actually the catalyst for this latest round of adjustments.  In the process of developing a real plan for the year ahead, I have been taking a closer look at what I can expect from my eBay Store.

That closer look revealed that I can now be fairly certain that I will not be able to return my eBay Store to its former state until well into March, if not into April, of 2012.

Given the yo-yo situation that seems to be taking place with my eBay sales since the downgrade, I decided that it simply was not worth risking any further losses prior to returning things to normal.

With this latest situation I should only need to sell as few as 6 items in a month to break-even with the store, which has unfortunately become the goal with the store at this point.  In order to actually make a profit I am planning to go the traditional eBay route and use auctions to generate funds.

Another part of the newly revised plan of attack will be to increase my activity in online trading forums in order to actually add items to my collection.  I figure that since I’m likely to be spending much less time on my eBay store then the least I can do is dedicate that available time to making some deals for myself.

At the end of the day this is just another action in trying to make the best of a bad situation until I can get the situation back to normal, but I must admit that I am actually somewhat excited by the prospects of it.  Who knows, perhaps this lower-volume, higher-margin approach might end up sticking for a while.

Until Wednesday, all the best in your collecting pursuits!


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