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Welcome To My Second Side Hustle Ebay Income Report
Late last year I decided to try and work out how to earn a little extra income online. My first adventure in this whole side hustle movement was to try my hand at selling a product on eBay. My hopes for my adventures in side hustling would be to earn an extra $1000+ a month that I could use to invest in shares or save for that all elusive house deposit.
Since I already work so many hours in my "Real Job" business I didn't want to use up too much of my precious down time. I really wanted something I could do in the down times at work or spend an hour or so after hours to make it work. Luckily I had just the product and there's a market ready for it. Yay.
Why Am I Publishing My Tiny Side Hustle Income Reports?
I want to share this experience with you and maybe my experiences will help you in deciding whether or not you would like to pursue an online side hustle. So far my experiences have been happy ones and I am glad that I have tried it.
Already I am looking into increasing my side hustle adventure into different avenues. I would like to start another side hustle / product and sell on Etsy and this site. I am still working out the details of these other ideas. But I am hopeful soon to share something new on this blog and on Etsy.
Things I learned in my first month
1 . When relying on the eBay App on your phone to notify you of a purchase, make sure that the background app refresh setting is on! (This lesson has cost me, oops)
This tiny little setting was hidden in the phone settings. I had had all the notification settings turned on inside the eBay App. I also had the notification settings in the phone turned on, but since the App wasn't refreshing in the background I wasn't notified until I opened the eBay App! So thankfully only a day and a half had gone by when I found the order but I still had to pay express post by then because my reputation was on the line people! So for that order / sale I made a loss selling the item. But I learnt my lesson!
2 . My listing were usually selling between 9pm-11.30pm and occasionally early mornings. Since my target audience for this product is mums/dads with young children this told me that this was the best time for my listings to be seen. The kids were in bed and parents could get their to do lists done in peace.
3 . How to use templates to streamline my listings and give a more professional look to them.
4 . I learned that it was taking a lot of effort to list 5 different listings each night (manually).
January Goals were
- Achieve $100 in sales - Completed :)
- List 10 listing a week - Completed :)
- Order Business Cards - Failed :(
These may seem like very small goals, however I started back at this side hustle project half way through January. The end of year craziness followed me through into 2017 so my eBay hustle took the back seat for a while longer than I intended. So January comprised of about 2 (active) weeks for this project.
October/ November 2016 Sales (first foray, testing the market)
$56 Sales through Ebay
$27 Sales Locally
January - Sales
Total Sales $200
- Try controlling the expenses - Ordering larger quantity to reduce the price per unit so that I can keep my prices competitive with other sellers. Complete :)
- Adding in another larger size product - to help increase $ per listing Complete sold my first one!
- Achieve $400 in Sales. Failed
- Order Business Cards. Complete
- Display business Cards on the counter at work - to help increase local purchases this will help lower costs on delivery / postage. Still waiting for them to arrive
Things I learned last month
- The joy of scheduling listings! What a fabulous tool. In one night I was able to list a number of items so that each day for two weeks had at least 3 listings that would post during my peak times (9pm-11.30pm)
- eBay only gives you 40 free listing per month with out a shop account.
- How to do a refund via paypal.
- How to send an invoice via paypal using an email address.
- How to start an eBay store.
This month I tried to start working smarter and not harder. I start listing and scheduling in bulk so I would set aside just one night after work to list and schedule as many listings as I could to cover about three weeks. This worked out okay until I realised that I had exceeded my 40 free listings for the month and that some of my listings that went live had cost me $1.50 each. Now if I were selling items of a bigger selling point this wouldn't have bothered me too much. But since the items I am selling are under $20 on average this really cuts into the bottom line. And the whole point of this adventure is to make enough money for my time and effort to build up some savings to invest into shares.
So I spent a few days trying to figure out if I should pay the eBay shop fee and open a shop and get the extra "free" listings or just wait until next month and list smarter. Eventually I decided to open a shop and give the whole thing a try.
I also decided that $5 from every sale would be used to fund my $1000 shares project. What this meant was that one - any item I sell must have a nett profit of $5 or more and two - I had a solid reason why I was spending my free time listing items on eBay.
February - Sales
Total Sales $323.00
- Achieve $400 in sales
- Schedule 3 weeks of listings
- Run a FB competition to get more likes and shares on my Page.
- Organise my inventory, sales and COGs spreadsheets and keep them updated.
- Use Pinterest to try and drive sales
- Add an about the seller paragraph in the listings and see if that helps encourage sales.
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If you are interested in starting a handmade side hustle a good place to start would be opening an Etsy shop. While I encourage people to get their own site, Etsy is a great place to start and test the waters with your products.
When you are ready to really build your handmade business I recommend getting your own site. Buy your domain as early as possible to secure your brand name.
However if you are serious about creating your handmade business you should read my post about starting your blog + Biz with shopify. I highly encourage you to establish your own website and build up your brand as early as possible.
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