October was our best month this year.
In looking at the sales & things I keep track of, in one way it seems like a broken record. Most of our sales are either postcards or various forms of antique photographs, and so much of what determines whether we have a good month or not depends on the photograph sales. The same was true for October.
Our sales of single postcards - which I still consider the core part of our business - was a little higher than average, and the price we got per card was a little higher than average. It was a good solid postcard sales month & I'm quite happy with it, but we've had months this year where we've sold more.
Our sales of photographs is another story - they were by far the highest sales of year. Actually the highest sales ever (except for June, but that was a special case, so I don't want to count it). Also, for the first time since we've been selling photographs, they generated more money for the month than the postcard sales - and we had a good postcard sales month. (Again, except for June) Our photos are the same types of photo's we've always had. (Once again, except for June). Its as if people suddenly discovered that we sell them. I really don't know why so many sold this month.
We offer free shipping domestically, maybe that played a role. eBay increased the title size to 80 characters, perhaps that helped. I really don't know for sure.
June was a special case, photo wise, where a few unique photos did very well for us. In October, it was volume, photo grunt work so to speak, the most individual photos we've sold in a month, ever. In October we sold our typical photos, and there is no reason why we can't repeat that. We may not, but it's entirely possible. In June, we had a few unique photos and that will be very hard for us to replicate. June was a little bit of luck, but luck had nothing to do with October.
I pay attention to photos - I know what makes an antique photo unique and collectible. They are actually hard to get hold of for a reasonable price (unique items being unique and all). I also know that people collect photographs for reasons other than absolute uniqueness, and I'm doing my best to get a share of those people. At the same time I keep my eye out for something really interesting or unusual.
It's like a car dealership that sell Mercedese and Chevys. The Mercedese are much more expsenive, but they'll make more money over all on the Chevy sales. I won't get into maintenance, because there the analogy may break down.
There is nothing special about the month of October. October 2010 was a poor month for us, sales wise. You'd have to go back 18 months or so to find a month where we did better than last month.
Another first for October 2011 - we actually sold more than we listed, so the inventory in our eBay store has gone down a bit.
eBay fees are high. Of course the more you list & sell the more fees you pay. There are also PayPal fees, which aren't as high, but are high enough. Postage is also a major expense - generally our second highest expense of the month.
Even with the increased expenses it was a good month. November seems to be starting off well so we'll see if it keeps up.