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July Self-Sufficiency Summary

July 29, 2012

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Another month has come and gone, with my personal mega-hobby chugging along nicely for me.

Sales were actually pretty strong in July, something I hadn’t expected when I posted this monthly update just over four weeks ago.

My buying actually ramped up as well, another behaviour that is rarely common for me in the summer months.

In the end I spent slightly more money than I brought in, making that five out of seven months in which I find myself in that situation.  Thankfully June was so strong that I am only in the hole by a fairly small amount on the year as a whole; nothing a couple of good months of sales and some restrained buying can’t fix!

In addition to the brief mention of a not-so-self-sufficient month, here’s a recap of how I’m doing with the 15 goals and objectives I have set for myself for 2012:

Collecting

  • It was a big month for my 2006-2010 Toronto Blue Jays project as I added 38 cards from two separate purchases, paying an average of less than 35 cents per card.  If only all projects could be added to so affordably!
  • No further additions to the number of sets I’ve exceeded Collecting Goal #2 by, but 14 sets from my want list are now within 5 cards of being completed, with 6 more with 10 or less cards to chase.
  • It was another very slow month for additions to my player collections, with a grand total of 9 cards coming in.  Among those, however, were 3 cards of Sergei Samsonov that were more than 10 years old.  Of the 25 cards of that age I’m trying to add to my player collections this year the tallies now stand at: 0 Lemieuxs, 1 Roenick, 9 Samsonovs, 5 Thorntons, and 5 Yzermans.  A long way to go for each if I want to achieve Collecting Goal #3!
  • Purging my collection of duplication (Collecting Goal #4) has not progressed to the degree I had hoped thus far in 2012, largely because I simply haven’t forced myself to do so.  The room I have my cards in is in dire need of some organization right now though, so I’ve identified a week in mid-August during which I’m going to tackle a bit of a reorganization of that room and pulling out duplicates items to eventually post in my eBay Store will be among the list of tasks to get done.
  • Another month, another trade completed!  XX cards for the various base sets I’m working on came in this month through a single deal, making it 7 straight months of progress towards achieving Collecting Goal #5.

 “Business”

  • As I said in last month’s summer, a very strong second half of the year will be necessary if I hope to achieve “Business” Goal #1 of a 10% increase in both volume of items sold and revenue.  July provided returns that were another step in the right direction, especially for it being the NHL off-season.  If the usual increase in sales happens come the start of the 2012-13 season, this goal might just be achievable.  Without it, I’ll be looking at two years in a row of failing to meet this objective.
  • For a time I was over the 2,200 mark for items in my eBay Store inventory, though that number has dipped slightly as I’ve been selling more items that I’ve been listing as of late.  I’ll need to make a strong push to list items over the coming months if I want to have any hope of meeting “Business” Goal #3.
  • Though they have not been posted as of yet, I have ads ready to be posted on Kijiji, Craigslist, and Sports Card Forum for a number of base sets I’d like to try to unload.  Those will go up later in August once I return from a week of vacation.  I also continue to run ads on my website and while they have generated tiny bits of income I have yet to pass the threshold necessary to result in a pay day just yet.
  • Last month I inadvertently left a repeat of the previous month’s update on my investment project in this place, completely missing the opportunity to identify the positive place this project was in because of my success in flipping items I bought at the Toronto Spring Expo.  You can blame that on me not prepping the post far enough in advance and doing a lackadaisical editing job.  This month I bought a box of 2011-12 Panini Rookie Anthology and a bunch of items on eBay that aren’t going to be a part of my permanent collection, which leaves my investment project account balance at $346.94 and 144 cards.  Not as great a position as I ended last month in, but still a positive contributor towards the goal of a financially self-sufficient hobby! 
  • I all but ignored my website in July, but I did start doing some research on how to make better use of the program that I run the site with.  The ideas I have may not be implemented for a while still, but at least I’m putting the wheels in motion.

Writing

  • Aside from my review of my break of 2011-12 Panini Rookie Anthology (and this regular lengthy month-end wrap up post) I have continued to limit the length of my posts. Getting my articles down to the magic 500 word area is quite a challenge for me, but I’m continuing to try my best to do just that.
  • Just like in June, I was able to spread my net fairly wide with the topic matter for the eight articles I posted in July prior to today’s, including:  my first box break review since March; the first ever post in my Recommended Reading series; and a return of my Calamity on Cardboard series, among others.
  • There was a bit of a decline in comments and likes being submitted for my articles in July, which stands to reason given that this month will have the lowest level of readership for 2012.  I’m not overly concerned though.  Given that this is generally a hockey related blog and it’s the middle of the summer, a bit of a dip was to be expected.
  • My first Recommended Reading post went up this month and I managed to include links to some other blogs and website in a number of my posts, something I will be aiming to do even more frequently moving forward as I try to provide fellow collectors with useful information and resources.
  • The next edition of my eBay Store Monthly Newsletter will be going out today before I head out for that week of vacation I mentioned earlier.  Subscriber numbers actually increased in July after remaining stagnant for quite some time, which was nice to see.  You can become a subscriber too and qualify for exclusive discounts and specials!

And that’s about it for another month.  If you’ve got any feedback for me please feel free to get in touch.  Leave a comment, connect on Facebook and Twitter, or email me at bb_bros@hotmail.com.

Also, if you aren’t already a subscriber to this blog, take a second and sign up!  Use the RSS feed or just click the link or the “Sign Me Up!” button in the right column of the page to receive instant updates every Wednesday and Sunday when I post a new article.

Until Wednesday, all the best in your collecting pursuits!

Ryan

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