Flipping Challenge Week 7: Making My First Sale On eBay

I’m officially over half way done with my flipping challenge.

While I’ve already made considerably more than the $1000 that I was aiming for at the start of this challenge, I’m still working hard to see if I can get to my new goal of $3000.

This week marked another major milestone though: I got my first sale on eBay!

Getting Started on eBay

Last week I talked about the process of listing my first 12 items on eBay.

One of the biggest surprised for me was the fact that auctions are not the default method of selling on eBay anymore. Fixed-price listings are at least as popular as auctions, and they seem to be the default for most items with an “established” value.

This is especially true if there are similar items to yours that are also available. Auctions seem to do best when you have a highly desirable and highly unique item that is tough to put a value on – like a collectible that people will battle for in the final minutes and seconds of an auction.

This Babe Ruth autograph is a good example. How much is an index card with Babe Ruth’s autograph on it? At least $3999, apparently:

Even for collectibles, there are situations where a fixed price listing might be better. Let’s say you have something highly desirable but to a very small audience that you can’t guarantee will find it right away. In that case, an auction carries the risk that the person who is willing to pay the most never sees the item.

With a fixed-price listing, you can let the item sit until someone comes along who is willing to pay at least your desired asking price.

Getting My First Sale On Ebay

Of the 12 items I got listed last week, 10 of them were fixed price and 2 were auctions.

Of those 12 listings, I have sold half of them.

Both of the auction items sold because they were 7-day listings. The two items were from the collection of bar decor items I got from the estate sale early on, and both sold for more than I would have listed them for on Craigslist. I am very happy with the results, and after eBay fees and shipping I cleared about $47 on the two auctions.

In both scenarios, payment via Paypal was made within a few hours of the end of the auction (a few minutes on one, actually).

For the fixed-price listings, I had room to undercut other sellers on a lot of them so got full asking price on all four items that sold. Those brought in another $62 after fees and shipping.

So thats $109 from my first week selling on eBay. Not a bad start.

TIP: Prepare for shipping ahead of time.

I did make a big mistake during this process though.

When my first item sold, I realized that I didn’t have any boxes or shipping supplies. I had to run out and buy everything I needed at the last minute, which was more stressful than expensive.

If you are preparing to sell on ebay (or anywhere that involves shipping) for the first time, I highly recommend getting your supplies together ahead of time.

Buying and Selling This Week

Now for the bad news.

Much like this gif, I came up short this week.

I didn’t acquire a single new item this week. It wasn’t for lack of trying. I went to several stores and sales this week, but I wasn’t able to find a single item.

One of the main problems was that I was extremely focused on high-dollar items. Last week I set a goal to buy an item that cost me at least $150 because I want to try to deal with less items overall, but I didn’t find any item in this price range that I was comfortable buying.

There were a couple of items that I should have bought in hindsight but didn’t know enough about at the time, so I’m thinking that in the future this strategy may still pay off. With that being said, this week I will also make sure that I pay more attention to all profitable items, not just ones that cost a lot.

What I Sold This Week

On top of the 6 ebay items, I also sold 2 things via Craigslist.

  • 6 ebay items – $109 (+$64)*
  • Lawnmower – $45 (+$30)
  • Recliner – $35 (+$22.50)

Current Status of Challenge

Here are my stats so far (plus the change from last week)…

Cash: $701 (+$189)

Items Sold: 24 (+6)

Items Currently Listed: 21 (-6)

# of days into the challenge: 47 (+7)

Time invested: ~ 29 hours and 45 minutes (+ 3 hours and 15 minutes)

Gas Used: 14.5 gallons (+3 gallons)

Estimated value of current inventory: $900+T

Looking Ahead

I’m now up to $700 cash.

While its exciting to have made that much already, I’d really rather see my inventory growing rather than cash reserves. I can’t make any more money on cash.

So this week, my only goal is to get that money reinvested in more inventory. At this point, I have plenty of room to buy both higher-value items and smaller ones like I’ve been buying up until this point.

To be more specific, I’d like to…

  • Reinvest at least half of my current cash ($350)
  • Purchase at least one item for over $150

What About You?

Where are you at with your challenge?

What has been your biggest challenge so far? Any plans for the upcoming week?

Let me know in the comments below!

3 thoughts on “Flipping Challenge Week 7: Making My First Sale On eBay”

  1. Hi Dylan, congrats on your success thus far. I was wondering if you are using the spreadsheet that Ryan suggested in the flipping course. If not, what system are you using? I’m a little worried about keeping track of my listings so I’ve only been listing a couple at a time.

    1. Thank you! I’ve been keeping track of products using that spreadsheet and another tool called notion. I haven’t figured out which method I like best yet. What is worrying you about keeping track? I stressed out a lot about whether I would do it “right” or not, but ultimately I had to just make myself start and I’ve been constantly adapting my system based on my needs. Feel free to ask additional question!

  2. To make any significant amount of money you have to list multiple items at once, not just a couple. I am just worried about keeping track of 20, 30 or more items. Nervous about making sure items are shipped out timely and to the right place, not mixing things up. I want to make sure I have a fail proof system that is still easy to navigate. I only have one item listed right now but this weekend I am going to list about 15 items. I’ll use the spreadsheet for now but I would be interested in hearing more about Notion as well.

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