Keep Records and Watch Your eBay Profits Grow!
When I first started selling on eBay back in 2001 I made a point to note down everything I bought and sold to try and earn money. This was mainly acheived by making a spreadsheet and filling it in after each sale.
It was slow and boring work but my little spreadsheet showed the meagre profit I had managed to eek out from eBay. Watching this profit grow actually spurred me on.
Two years later, this spreadsheet tells a very interesting story:
In 2003 I sold 63 items and made a proft of just under £300. My average profit per sale was about £4.50 per item.
In 2004 I sold 147 items, profit of £900 so average profit was about £6.00 per item.
So far in 2005 I have sold 79 items. My profit is just under £1900 so my average profit per item is about £24.
Each and every time I sell an item I make sure to note down the exact cost involved. These are as follows:
Cost of Item -
How much I actually paid to get the item in the first place. When I first started selling on eBay I was importing DVDs from non-European countries. Because of varying exchange rates the price of each DVD I bought was different. However, I made sure to double check the credit card statements so I knew exactly how much each had cost me in Pounds Sterling.
Remember, if you buy an item from eBay the actual price is the cost of the item plus the cost of the P&P. Factor all of this in.
Amount Sold For -
Very simply, this is the amount the highest bidder won my item for.
P & P -
The amount I charged the highest bidder for P & P
eBay Fees -
Unfortunately, it costs money to sell something on eBay. I always made sure to note down exactly how much the fees were for each individual item. That is the sum of all individual fees related to the same item number.
To find out exactly what fees you have been charged for each item, log into "My eBay" then click on "Seller Account" in the left hand column. Now click on "View Account Status" and then sort by "item number". Your transactions will now be grouped by item number so you can see the exact amount it cost you to list and sell one specific item.
PayPal Fees -
It you accept PayPal payments, make sure you note down how much it costs to receive your payment
Postage Cost -
If your item is physical (ie not a digital product like an eBook) then you will have to post it which costs money. Your postage cost is the cost of stamps plus the cost of packaging.
Total Profit -
This is your most important figure. This is the Amount Sold For + the P & P minus the Cost + eBay Fees + PayPal Fees + the Postage Cost.
If this figure is positive, your eBay business is working!
If you can discipline yourself to note down the accurate costs relating to your eBay selling it can prove to be a great motivator.
At the same time, try to keep your eBay accounts seperate from your day-to-day spending. The best way to do this is to use a seperate bank account and credit card and use these only when dealing on eBay.
This method ensures that all your profits go into one account and are then there to use to buy more stock.
Start slowly and build up and you will soon see that end column "Profits" increasing.
Till next time, thanks for reading,