The Numbers: February 6-12, 2022

The Numbers: February 6-12, 2022

Good summary of the pros and cons of the winter seller update in the weekly post. I figure 0.3% is a small price to pay for how easily eBay connects us sellers with interested buyers, especially considering all the small changes around the margins which help sellers that eBay has added in the last few years. Of course, if eBay adds another 0.3% fee increase next year, I might be singing a different tune!

This wasn’t a particularly busy or memorable sales week for me, mostly a slow grind with a lot of $25 and under sales. But it’s nice to see those add up as well. There was some nice weather in the Northeast all week, a reminder that spring is coming and hopefully with it, a return to even more sense of normalcy.

2/6/2022 – 2/12/2022

Total items in store: 3363 (up from 3362)

Items sold: 62 (48 via best offer, 5 via seller initiated offer)

Gross sales: $2569.83 (up 24% from one year ago)

Net sales: $1697.34 (up 20% from one year ago)

Lowest price sold (net): $8.81 — Reggie Jackson silver prizm

I have been pretty aggressive about reducing prices on lower inventory the past few months. I need the space for new inventory, and I have realized in these last few months that some amount of my inventory has been sitting in scavenger purgatory. I’ve had the item for a year (or longer), no one’s bought it, no watchers, no offers that weren’t auto-declined or maybe no offers at all. For the $100 and up items, even $50 and up, it’s worth waiting for the right buyer to come along.

But these $25 and under items that aren’t particularly unique? I might have them slightly overpriced or the demand is just not there at the price I have them at. So, even if it means taking $10 or $12 offers, let’s get them out of here. I can buy a few more $25 and under items with the profits from this sale, and in theory, I have a better sense now of what will sell quickly. In theory.

Highest price sold (net): $161.00 — Derrick White orange prizm rookie card #7/9 PSA 10

Derrick White was traded to the Boston Celtics last week, which probably explains the timing of this sale. The value in this card is in the set (a nice quality), the fact that this is one of his rookie cards, the serial numbering #7/9 and the grade. I find sales like this to be fascinating because White is not a star player, best known for his strong defense, and at 27 years old he’s in the middle of his career. So basically, what you see with him now is what you’re likely to get for the next few years. A good player for the team, but usually their cards (even the rare, more valuable ones) are not as expensive compared to more star players or the new young potential star.

In fact, I bought this card at auction two months ago for about $35 —here’s the original listing. The seller in the original listing, COMC, is the largest card seller on eBay as they operate massive consignment warehouses in Washington state. Basically you send them your cards and they handle all the dirty work for a fee (minimum $0.50, often more) plus additional fees when the card sells. Most of COMC’s buying and selling action happens on their website (which I have started to use more frequently as a seller in the last few months, primarily to move $20 and under cards) but COMC also cross-posts their listings to eBay and runs auctions. Their listings don’t always get top dollar since so much of the process (like title creation) is automated, but they are usually decent enough. For example, the original listing for the White card that I won for $35, that listing was fine and had basically the same information that my listing had. It’s just that auctions can be weird and don’t always end with a reflection of an item’s “real” value, especially auctions during the holiday season. Timing had something to do with it in this case as well, but this card was going to sell for a nice profit at some point in the next year as long as White’s performance stayed somewhat in line with his consistent baseline from the last four years. The original purchase was a real steal.

Is it possible that White is one of the stars when the Celtics win the championship in a few months or years, and his cards are all worth a lot more? Sure, that’s how card prices work sometimes, and I guess anything is possible. Sports can make for very unlikely heroes, and I think that’s part of the fun for a lot of fans and especially for card buyers and sellers. But it’s easy to hold out for a higher priced sale that never comes along, or get caught up in haggling over $20 for no real reason other than “what it’s listed for.” I spent $35 and sold for $161 after fees. Heck, even the buyer’s original offer of $150 was a sale that any of us would take 95 times out of 100.

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