The Numbers: September 11-17, 2022

The Numbers: September 11-17, 2022

I was on vacation last week, and turning on Time Away for my eBay store led to my slowest week of sales in a long time. But I was too busy enjoying the food and sights and a nice Airbnb in Lancaster, PA to care too much. My week could have easily been much slower. I had three sales around $100 and zero cancellations. Every single buyer was fine with the wait time, which makes me excited for the next vacation.

I knew Time Away was going to slow down my sales, so I set up about 500 auctions to ensure that I would come back to at least some money in the bank. The first batch ended tonight, and the next batch will end tomorrow night, so all of those sales will be in next week’s numbers.

This was my first time running auctions in a long time, and I was very selective about what I sent to auction (mostly inventory that was 3+ months old) and how I priced it (around 50% of buy it now prices). It has been interesting to see what sells and what doesn’t. I added best offer to all auctions, and a few items sold for offers (including two on the day I listed them, and one today just hours before the auction was going to end). A handful of listings ended up in a bidding war, but the majority of auctions that sold only had one or two bids. Most of the listings didn’t sell, even some with 5+ watchers. Tonight’s final numbers: I sold 59 of 250 listings. We’ll see how tomorrow night goes. Since some items were 2+ years old and had received few or no offers, I’m pretty happy even with the ones that sold for opening bid of $10 or $20.

I’ll have to see how I feel after 2-3 days of shipping being a pain in the ass, but I might try auctions again the next time I go on vacation or take some time away, or want to raise some extra funds all at once. Auctions are very popular in trading cards which works to my benefit as well. I’d be curious to see how the occasional auctions would work for many of you who sell in other niches or a huge mix of items. I think there are some buyers who have been on eBay a long time and like auctions for nostalgia reasons, and others who prefer to search auctions for bargain deals or they enjoy the bidding war.

9/11/2022 – 9/17/2022

Total items in store: 1363 (down from 1425 last week)

Items sold: 17 (13 via best offer, 0 via seller initiated offer, 5 via promoted listings)

Gross sales: $1001.07 (down 71% from one year ago)

Net sales: $723.05 (down 70% from one year ago)

Average sales price: $58.89 (up 25% from one year ago)

Time spent searching through online auction listings for new trading cards inventory: 5 hours (down from 12 hours last week)

Highest price sold (net): $107.53 — Jerry Rice 1998 Upper Deck Prime Choice Reserve ##/100

I bought this card from the only other forum I post on, a big trading cards and collectibles message board, for all of $5. Everyone on those forums is obviously a collector or dealer, and a lot of the most active posters on there avoid selling on eBay for all sorts of strange reasons. Most people selling know what they have and price around eBay but occasionally I find some good deals. This is a once a year steal for me, more often my sales that net around $100 cost me $25 to $50.

Lowest price sold (net): $12.62— Bob Sanders Upper Deck Exquisite jersey ##/75

Two minutes of Googling taught me that Bob Sanders was an outstanding defense safety for the Indianapolis Colts whose career was shortened by repeated injuries. A lot of players like this (short career with one team, defense or other unglamorous positions) don’t have many cards with embellishments like an autograph, jersey, or serial number, so they end up with a small but devoted collector base. I sold another jersey card of Bob Sanders with a lower serial number for $20 to the same buyer in this transaction. These two sales covered more than half of my original purchase, which was an auction in late April — 14 Bob Sanders jersey cards for about $55 total. A great deal! 2 sold, 12 more to go.

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