Sunday, April 8, 2012

Our eBay (& Etsy) Month - March 2012

March was a good month, not great, but it continued a series of above average months for us.  It also was the start of a bold new experiment, where we are slowly but surely moving our postcards, snapshots & trade cards to etsy, concentrating our antique photo sales on eBay.

So, while March was an above average month for us, we did not sell as much as we did in either of the previous two months.   It is easy to tell why at a glance of a spreadsheet I keep - both our average daily transactions & average items sold per day were down by 1 item a day from the previous month, while the average price we received for items was about the same.  If you sell less, you generally earn less, which is not really that astute an observation.

But again, it was a good month. 

Etsy contributed, but not a whole lot, and we didn't expect it to at this point.  We'll give Etsy until October or so, or maybe to the end of the year, and if it doesn't start paying for itself and then some, we'll call the experiment a failure and start backing off.  Etsy of course is famous for hand made items, but they do allow sales of vintage collectibles and other items, and that is where our postcards fit in.  I don't know if it will be a success for us or not, but we shall see.

March was the end of the 1st quarter.  Our 1st quarter earnings, both gross and net, were roughly 10% higher than 1st quarter of 2011, so that's good.  However, they were about 10% lower (give or take) than our 4th quarter 2011 earnings.  We had a very good 4th quarter last year.    I've noticed that in 3 of the last 4 years we've had a 3rd quarter slump - summer months - so I'll guess I'll be thinking about how to handle that as time goes on.

Our international sales were strong, once again.  Much stronger than our yearly average.  International sales actually got a bit of a boost from Etsy, literally 3/4ths of our sales from that site went to Europe or Canada.

In March, for the first time this year, photo sales were greater than postcard sales.  In fact, the reason that March was not quite a good a month as February is because we sold fewer postcards.   That could be an effect moving things to Etsy, really can't say at this point.  Eventually,  if things work out as planned, photos will take over our eBay business.  If they don't, then postcards will be back there.  I reckon.

April has started off very well eBay-wise, very poor Etsy wise.  It'll be interesting to see how it turns out.

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