This is just me, trying to figure out if what we're doing is working or not. I thought one way to figure that out would be to compare the results of the month just ending to the previous month, and also to the same month the previous year. This time last year we were still doing consignment, but that was winding down a bit. It'll still skew the comparisons a bit, but not too tremendously. Also I want to do this without giving out actual dollar values of income and/or expenses, so hopefully I'll have figured out the best way to go about that by the time I stop typing this post.
Our eBay business lives and breathes on old standard sized (3.5 x 5.5 inch) postcards and antique photos. We do sell other things from time to time and we plan to sell more 19th century trade cards this year, but right now month in and month out it's postcards and photos.
We had a pretty good January, significantly better than December 2010, and also better than January of last year. January 2011 also out paced the monthly averages for all of 2010, so it qualifies as a good month for us. When I look a little closer, the difference between January 2011 & December 2010 becomes very obvious. Postcard sales for the month were almost identical - both in the total sold and the amount of money we received for them. Sales of photos, however, were significantly higher in Jan than in Dec. We generally sell photos for more than we do postcards, so that was good for us.
This is a trend I've noticed. Frequently it's the sale of photographs that determines if we have a good month or not. Our postcard sales seem remarkably steady. The photo sales are less so, and I don't really know why we sold significantly more photos than normal in January. We have some repeat customers and one person (bless his heart) bought several, but it doesn't account for the difference. All I know to do is to keep doing what we're doing & hope the sales keep increasing.
I do plan on increasing sales of Trade Cards - 19th century cards usually with pictures and a write up advertising products and businesses. People collected these cards back in the late 1800's, and they still do today. Hopefully this will help boost sales.
About 20% of our total sales last month were to international customers, a higher percentage than normal. About half of our international sales last month went to our Canadian customers, and I thank every one of them. The others went to Australia, Ireland, Luxemborg, Italy, UK, Japan, France & Germany. I thank all of them too.
Still haven't figured out a satisfactory way of writing this up without using dollar amounts. I guess percentages will have to do, because actual dollar amounts just aint gonna happen. It appears that in January 2011 we earned 20%+ more than we did in December 2010, and about 30% more than the 2010 monthly averages. That's a decent month for us.