Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Our eBay month - July 2011

July was a pretty sad month eBay-wise.   It was by far the worst month of the year, and, with the exception of June, it continues a downward trend for the year.  We've seen a monthly decrease in our average daily shipping amount (dollar wise) each successive month since January, again with the exception of June. Even so, July is the first month this year I'd consider to be a "bad" month. 

June was a special case - we sold some pretty unique items at a pretty good price.  Had we not sold those items, June would have continued the trend.

So, if the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting the results to change, then perhaps I'm crazy & we need to totally revamp the business.  Of course I think the definition of insanity has a lot more to do with disorganized thinking, auditory & visual hallucinations, paranoid delusions and stuff like that than it does with the way we run a fairly minuscule eBay business.  But still.  I wish I knew what's going on.

July 2010 was a very good month for us, so I don't buy the explanation that it's summer & people are doing summer stuff.   It was summer last year at this time.

The overall economy is not in great shape, but I also can't believe that our postcard and photo sales reflect anything going on with the financial or housing markets, or anything else having to do with the national economy.  But I can't discount it either.

Our sales of single postcards were normal - both in quantity and price. They were right at what our average for the year is.   Our sales of old photos and Victorian trade cards were less than normal, and our business expenses were somewhat higher than normal, but not extremely so.  

I just checked our trade card sales for the year and I'm surprised at how much less than normal this month's was.   So I guess that was the issue.  Lower than normal photo & trade card sales, higher than normal business expenses. 

I track postage expenses separately from business expenses, and while they take out a chunk, they were actually a little lower than previous months. Lower sales, lower postage expenses. We offer free shipping on virtually items shipped domestically - perhaps that bit us a little this month.


But at any rate, January 2011 was a good month, and it's been going down hill ever since.  With the exception of June.  June aggravates me, because since it was a good month I have to keep writing "with the exception of June".   But, with the exception of June, sales keep getting worse & worse.  So I gotta think of something.

I do know something though.  Good inventory sells.  Even in the summer, even in a bad economy, even in a bad economy in the summer, even on eBay.  "The exception of June" kind of proves that point.  The trick is getting good inventory.

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