The 4 Deadly Mistakes to Avoid Selling on eBay
We all make mistakes when we are learning something for the first time. That’s natural. But I don’t want to see you sabotaging your business by falling into some common traps. To help you out, I’m going to go over four of the biggest mistakes I’ve noticed beginning resellers making.
#1: Too Much Sourcing, Not Listing Enough
When people start on this reselling adventure, they often find that sourcing can be a lot of fun. You go to thrift stores and garage sales and find some awesome items. But then you get home and look at this pile of stuff you should be listing.
Overall, new sellers tend to source way too much without listing an equal amount. You might go out and source 50 clothing items or 50 books. It’s like a treasure hunt. You’re like a lion going after a gazelle. You’re hunting down those profits. It’s an adrenaline rush. But then you get home, and you have to list them—and that’s not so much fun. Many times we fall into the trap of just sourcing, sourcing, sourcing. We’re on that high, chasing that adrenaline rush, and we’re not listing enough items.
We’re not sending in enough items to Amazon FBA. We’re not putting enough items on Facebook Marketplace or craigslist or wherever we’re listing those items. You’ve got to make sure not to fall into that trap. You’re going to make your profit when you list and sell your items. If they’re sitting in your car, your bedroom, or your warehouse, they’re not available for sale. You’re not going to make any money.
#2: Not Tracking Profit
Many new sellers are happy because their overall sales are growing. Maybe they went from $500 the first month to $1500 the second and to $3000 the third. They see the sales going up and tell themselves that they are doing well. The sales are improving. They post on social media that they sold $50,000 this month, and everyone goes crazy for them.
But they’re not taking into consideration the cost of goods, paying employees, payingtaxes, buying supplies, or any overhead. There are so many different aspects of your business you have to remember to figure out your actual net profit.
Gross revenue may be a nice number to show off on social media, but what is your actual profit? One of the best software packages that I would recommend is called GoDaddy Bookkeeping. That’s a really good beginner software. Now, I have an accountant and use QuickBooks, but this GoDaddy Bookkeeping is a great thing that you can use to track everything in your business. You can link it up to your credit cards and your bank accounts. You can link it up even further to automatically put things in the office-supply category or cost-of-goods-sold category or all the different categories that you have in your business.
Make sure you’re tracking your profit. Don’t fall in love with your gross revenue; that’s really just a number that doesn’t even matter.
#3: No System for Inventory Management
If you’re selling on eBay, you need to be able to manage your inventory. You need to know where it is and how to find it quickly and easily because you’re going to be getting questions coming in left and right. As you scale your business, more and more items are going to sell.
I can still remember when I was living at home with my parents—my mom makes jokes about it now. My room was a huge mess. She said it was so bad, she wouldn’t even let the cat go into it. I had a million pieces of clothes in my room. I had no inventory system. It was a mess. Items would sell, and I couldn’t find them. I would have to cancel orders, and I got to the point where I knew I needed to figure out a system.
I created this masking tape system where I would put a piece of masking tape on each hanger and would associate a letter and a number to it. That would allow me to easily find my items when they sold or if there were questions.
A bin system works too. You can use bins, mark individual items, and mark an inventory bin number on the outside. There are a million and one ways that you can create an inventory system. But it’s a huge issue. As you scale your business, you need to scale your inventory management system too.
#4: You Stop Learning
People get comfortable with their results, and they think they know it all. Sure, they’re making progress, and maybe their business is slowly growing. They’re happy with where they are—and they stop learning.
It’s a big mistake. If you’re not growing, you’re dying. There’s always someone out there—another competitor, another business. The market’s always changing. If you think you’re just running in place, you’re falling behind. You have to continue to grow even to stay in place.
If you want to continue to scale and push past your competitors, you have to push hard and learn new software, learn new items, study the sold listings, watch webinars, and go through YouTube videos. Hang out in Facebook groups, and go to meetups. We have a Connecticut Thrifting Meetup that we throw every couple of months, and we do networking and learn from each other. These are things that are going to allow you to stay ahead of the competition and grow your business.
Take These Tips with You as You Grow Your Business
Stay sharp. Stay competitive. Do the things that will allow your business to grow. Tuck these tips into your brain as you are sourcing and developing your business, and you are sure to find success.
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