Two and a half years ago I left my part-time job and decided to take a shot at building my own business on eBay.
The first year (2021) was met with lots of challenges due to the ongoing Covid lockdowns.
Despite that, the business was still able to achieve 6 figures in revenue (in its first full-length financial year) in what felt like 12 months of fumbling in the dark.
I should note here, for transparency purposes, that although the eBay store is run mostly by myself, I get a lot of support and assistance from my girlfriend, Sarah - in particular women's clothing.
Today marks the end of the 2nd financial calendar year and I thought it would be a great time to capture a few results that I'm proud of for FY22-23.
A few caveats to get more context:
- Previously we sold any second-hand items we could find to flip for profit.
- Around May 2022 we niched down into just clothing.
- This is when the scaling of the business started.
- At the start of this phase, we were listing 20 items a day, up to 80/day between Jan 2023 to March 2023.
- Now (in June 2023) we rolled it back to 50 a day (increasing incrementally 5/day with each consecutive month) - July is 55/day, August is 60/day etc.
For the financial year, we rehomed 11,028 pieces of clothing (maybe 20-30 were other random products) and helped give them a second chance at life in a new wardrobe.
This was from a total of 8,459 orders (an average of 1.3 items per order).
Pretty incredible to think we can help contribute so substantially to the circular economy.
We made 14,893 items available for sale on eBay with a sell-through rate of 74% for the year.
As mentioned above we reduced the daily listings from 80 items/day at the end of March to focus on having a better sell-through rate (see below) with a target of having a consistent 90%+ sell-through rate going forward.
Our model is designed around liquidation and moving items fast to keep the overhead for storage as low as possible, but also to provide quality items at a super competitive price.
Of the items sold, 4% were purchased the same day they were listed on eBay and 24% were shipped out within 7 days.
With that in mind, the average length of time that an item sat on our eBay store from the listing date to the sale date was 74 days. This average was pushed up by the items that sit around for 6-12 months and eventually sell at a heavily discounted rate.
The statistic that we're most proud of is the growth in revenue, which was made possible by sticking to a clearly defined niche (second-hand fashion), ultimately allowing us to develop a more simple and repeatable process and workflow.
The rate of growth when we switched to this model couldn't be clearer than in the 90-day running total graph (above).
It has since stabilised and is incredibly manageable at this rate, however, we are ready to put some new plans into place to ramp up the revenue even further.
If you enjoyed this breakdown, you can get more context on the business by watching the 2 videos below: