Reap What You Sow
I don't spend alot of time on eBay forums and message boards (I'd rather be making money) but, when I do, I see the same exchange happen over and over again:
"Why am I not having sales? Is eBay slow for anyone else?!"
Expecting to have sales without first listing a ton of items is like expecting a field full of corn after planting only one kernel! Let's be serious for a second: having a successfull eBay store is a business. Yes, it is easy to get into and is a very low cost startup, but building a large or profitible store is just as hard on eBay as on the corner down the street. eBay is not a magical land where you can not show up to work and still get paid. The reason eBay is special is that it lets you work as hard as you want! I have friends who have $1,000 a day in eBay sales, but they also work 16 hour days and have help from their spouse, friends, and family. If you want to keep listing only a couple of items a day, you better be listing cars, otherwise you'll be forever limited to a couple sales per week.
If you have fewer than 100 eBay listings, you should never be asking whether or not eBay is slow. With so few listings, you should not expect daily sales unless you have really great prices! Once we had around 300 listings we have several sales a day but would still have random dry spells where nothing would sell for 2 days or more!
Here is our general rule of thumb for eBay sellers:
List 4 times as much as you want to sell.
This means, if you want to have 4 sales per day, you better be listing 16 items per day! If you want $100 in daily sales, you better be listing $400 worth of product! Of course, these are just rough numbers but we give them to new sellers to give them an idea of the work required.
So how many things do I need to list a day?
We often get asked, "how many things should I list a day?" Well, as many as you can! When we first started selling on eBay, we were given some great advice: "Don't try for a certain number of listings per day. Instead, work on eBay for a set amount of time, just like a real job." During the summer, my wife and I spend 4 hours on eBay a day (including listing, shipping, and inventorying). When we first started, we would only get 20 or so items listed during that amount of time. Now, we can do almost 50!
The most common goals seems to be: 5 listings a day. Great. If you want your eBay business to sputter along and provide you with some extra money to eat out, 5 listings a day should be adequate. But if you want a real business, one that provides you with financial freedom, you need to set your sights higher. Get up an hour earlier, watch less TV, do whatever it takes to get things listed. If you can dedicate 2 hours of your time a day to your eBay business (and source on weekends) you can grow a thriving eBay business in a very short time.
Some eBay Sales Math...
New business owners are always surprised at the amount of cash flow they need for a relatively modest amount of profit. Doing some number crunching, my wife and I have discovered that, to live off our eBay income, we need around $400 worth of sales per day. After taxes, fees, and product purchases, we are left with just enough to live on. However, this means that we need to consistently list several times that! So we encourage you to figure out how much you average in profit per sale, make a goal for daily profit, and find out how many things you need to list daily to get there! One size does not fit all, and 5 listings a day in not adequate. So what are you waiting for? Get our there and list, list, list!
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My wife and I are a young couple, still in school, and doing our best not only to make ends meet, but to excel! We feel like we have so much to offer and can kick this world's butt if we can just get on our feet. Join our journey!