21. Flipping on eBay – Truth behind the numbers


I thought I would take a few moments to realize some truths around the numbers when selling on eBay.  I would have to say that I am making my eBay seller side hustle work.  Granted, like most of you that have a side hustle, I have a full time job and family commitments as well.  Today I am going to highlight where I am with my eBay flipping since that is where I have been focusing a lot of my time.

I like to say I started this side hustle with $40.  I started selling a few books on Amazon and eventually grew my eBay items to where they are now.

Truth in the numbers

Available to sell

I currently have just over $3,800 available to sell.  That is a long way from the initial $40 investment.  What does “Available to sell”?  Basically, if I sold everything on eBay that I have listed, at the price I have set for those items, that is what I would make off those items.  That number may look impressive for a part time eBayer but it isn’t money to count on until the sell is made.

What I made off eBay

If you looked at my reports, you would see that I have made just over $1400 in sales first quarter of this year.  This is where the numbers get tricky.  Often times you will hear folks tell you how much they made.  Is this truly how much they made?  Well, total sales does not take into account how much was profit.  On eBay, for example, that total sales includes what you sold the item for as well as shipping received.  When it comes to brass tax, the actual profit is considerably less.

Lets look at the last 30 days-

Total sales$869.16

eBay fees($100.50)
  • Listing fees($1.25)
  • Final value fees($75.55)
  • Subscription fees($24.95)
  • Fee credits$1.25
  • Discounts–
Shipping labels*($230.86)
PayPal fees($42.17)
Net sales$495.63
As you can see, the Net Sales is quite a different in my total sales for the last 30 days.  Fees and shipping equate to about 51% of of my total sales amounts.  The bulk expenditures is related to shipping.  Sometimes the shipping costs more than the purchase price.  This doesn’t mean that shipping cuts into the product necessarily.  I collect about 90% of the shipping fees from the customer.  I bring this to the forefront because you may hear folks tell you that they make in the triple digits a year selling in eBay, a good chunk of that may include the money they collected for shipping and other fees.  This could cause some misconceptions when you are starting to consider this as your next side hustle.
I still feel this is a good hustle to get in to.  It is a good felling to see money being made and not lost.  Doing this as a part time gig has proven profitable.  I am only sharing so that you are aware of the truth behind the numbers.  When someone sells you on the idea that you are going to make millions immediately, don’t call your employer and quit your day job right away.  You can make this a viable business and eventually make it your sole source of income if you want.  It will take time and work.

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