So we said eBay Challenge…but…eBay update – April

This is a quick not so quick update on our eBay Challenge.

If you’ve been reading along you may remember that selling things on eBay in February netted us $72 after expenses (eBay fees and shipping), March a whopping $193.54, and we made a goal for April of $160.

So how’d we do in April?

Well, technically… not good, but actually, quite great. Let me explain: so, the name of the challenge is the eBay Challenge and on eBay we have had a slower month with a number of items failing to sell resulting in a format change to “Buy it Now or Best Offer” rather than “Auction”.

Screenshot 2018-05-08 at 4.59.31 PM - Edited

This type of tactic is good for items that maybe aren’t in that much demand on eBay. Take for instance vintage car parts. The Volvo 240 ash tray housing we took out of our Volvo is in mint condition and to the right restorer could be worth upwards of $70! (I know, right, like who even smokes in their car anymore? Certainly not Mrs. SS or myself, so why would you possibly need this? Whatever, people will buy anything, precisely our reason for selling it, it’s just money laying around.)

Look at those sexy Berlin Wall-era lines!

However, you’ve got to find the right buyer. Not that many people are restoring one of these beauts so you can list it over and over and over again for auction, or you can get lazy (and open the door for haggling via the Best Offer feature) and list it as Buy it Now. I don’t have a ton of experience with this format so we’ll have to see how it goes.

Now off eBay is another story. In April I sold a used generator. Back before we had power on the land we were entirely off-grid. Electricity came by way of a 450 watt solar panel and a propane powered generator if it was cloudy for a few days or if it just got too hot to bear and we wanted to turn on the AC. Our main generator (purchased for something like 92% off) needed servicing, but since we were not in a position to be without one, we were forced to buy another. Now having both grid-power and a fully functional propane generator, we have no need for a second, less powerful, noisier, more pollutant gas version, so onto Craigslist it went, earning us $275.

“RV ready, runs goooood”

Also sold this month on Craigslist was a used dog crate. Sadly our bulldog Golde passed away recently so we found ourselves with a crate that needed a new home, another $40!

Bought used at a yard sale for $4, sold 3 years later for $40, not a bad investment.

Lastly, I sold some silver coins to a local collector for a whopping $130! I probably could have gotten more for them on eBay but after fees and shipping not much more. Plus photographing, listing, selling, packaging and shipping 16 coins is no small task. I took the opportunity to sell them all in one go and save myself a lot of time and hassle.

So, what’s all this add up to? All said and done, after fees and shipping, on eBay we netted $90.25 in April, not too bad, still more than February’s $72 but a far way from our goal of $160. However, on Craigslist, we sold $445.00 worth of items with no fees or shipping costs. Making our grand total for online sales in April $535.25!!! 

We had one return for one of our items from March so that reduces March from $193.54 to $168.27. Add that to February’s $72 and April’s $90.25 and you get $330.52, or right around $110 a month. Assuming we continue this for the rest of the year we’re looking at an extra $1,320 per year or, if placed in an interest earning account assuming 6% annual return, over ten years that equals $18,639.56!

If you figure in the Craigslist items, we’ve sold something list $775 in three months or and average of $258 a month, making that same compound interest example above $43,718.24. What would you rather an extra $18,000-$43,000 in the retirement fund or ten more years of junk in you house, garage, storage unit etc.?

So maybe we need to change the name to the “Online-sales Challenge” doesn’t quite roll off the tongue though does it? What would you call it? We can’t call it the Money for Nothing challenge, that name is taken for something else we’re working on, and you can read all about it…coming soon 😉

So what’s the goal for May? We are getting ready to leave for our summer gig in June and will be trying to get a lot of homesteading work done before then. Keeping that in mind, we will keep our eBay challenge goal for the month to a reasonable $110, which we just calculated to be the average.

Stay tuned!

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