Grow My Profits Study

Listen to what Bryan says about doubling his profits with HammerTap  
Listen to what he says about Worldwide Brands  

During the Grow My Profits study, you will have an opportunity to take a look at how real businesses grow and develop, using HammerTap market research and Worldwide Brands product sourcing tools.

Bryan Mills Study Journal

Entry One
Entry Two
Entry Three
Entry Four
Entry Five
Entry Six  

"This week I just achieved PowerSeller status.... I am doing the same amount of business with a fraction of the number of listings that I had prior to this study. My eBay costs are now less than half of what they were before. This is no surprise since I am now running 50 listings as opposed to 250." - 11/17/06

Jen's Comment: Bryan's selling a lot more efficiently now. He's increased his profits enough to reach PowerSeller status this month, even though he's decreased the number of listings he's offering by one 5th. Way to go, Bryan! More profits, less fees.


September 28, 2006

WEEK ONE: From Sunday 9/19 Through Saturday 9/26

Total Auctions Ended = 107
Total number sold = 29
% Successful Auctions = 27.10%

My Percent and $ sales would have been higher...but I was forced to manually end 20 auctions because they were sabataged by a hacker. I also changed my Password. Reported incident to EBAY Safe harbor...they provided absolutely zero help.

$ Sales = $285.41
$ S&H Collected = $145.00

Total Amount Collected = $347.90

Inventory ordered = $0.00
S&H Costs = $60.00 (Estimate)
Auction Costs + Paypal Costs = $19.98 + $48.15 + $20.87 = $89.00
Inventory Cost of goods sold = $145.00 (THIS IS A HIGH ESTIMATE...NEXT TIME IT WILL BE EXACT)

Total COSTS = $149.00 (HIGH ESTIMATE)

Total $ Collected - Total Cost = $347.9 - $149 = $198.90 (Estimated Profit)

This is not a bad return for 10 hours of work in a week. I hope this is what you are looking for...I am sure that as we do this we will come up with a better way to report our summaries.

Bryan


October 7, 2006

Total auctions ended = 89
Total ending with sale = 23
% Success rate = 26%
Total $ collected = 344.12

Total costs S&H + EBAY + Paypal + Inventory = $176.39

Profit = $ 167.73

This week was not so good because I was low on a couple of my strongest items...I have since replenished those items...so the next week is going to shape up a little better than this on. All in all...this is not so good so far.

Hopefully these numbers will improve,
Bryan


October 12, 2006

WEEK THREE: From FRIDAY 10/06 Through THURDSDAY Saturday 10/12

Total Auctions Ended = 226
Total number sold = 50
% Successful Auctions = 22.12%

My Percent of successful auctions would have been higher...but I spammed out alot of additional auctions as a test....this also drove up my listing costs substantially. I am now in the process of trying to figure out the optimal number of listings to run for each different item that I keep in stock. I have also selected several items in order to test the effectiveness of multiple quantity "BUY IT NOW" auctions. I suspect that this will increase my percentage of successful auctions while at the same time reducing my listing fees. This assignment will require a few weeks to determine the actual impact.

My assignment to complete for this week is to determine the impact that auction quantities have on my sales and costs, report my progress on obtaining new suppliers, look at the new Hammertap product for Overstock.com...and report on the usefulness of this product.

I have completed my first assignment for product sourcing. I have purchased the WWB wholesale list...Premium package. My goal for this week is to locate at least one new supplier and then set up an account. This is a very good list, and Tisha has been wonderful help....This will project will soon become very interesting.

$ Sales = $ 452.26
$ S&H Collected = $230

Total Amount Collected = $ 682.26

S&H Costs = $100.00 (Estimate)
Auction Costs + Paypal Costs = $ 162.74 + $ 40.92 = $ 203.66
Inventory Cost of goods sold = $195.5

Total COSTS = $499.16

Total $ Collected - Total Cost = $682.26 - $499.16 = $183.10 (Estimated Profit)

In summary...I would have had more profit by optimizing my costs better....my sales are up due to better reseach capabilities....my profits did not improve due to the fact that I need to better optimize the number of auctions that I am running. Once that problem is handled...my profits will begin to increase.

Thanks and take care,

Bryan




This study is being conducted by HammerTapTM and Worldwide BrandsTM. Not all qualified applicants will be accepted for participation.


October 19, 2006
From Sunday 10/13 Through Saturday 10/19

Total Auctions Ended = 198
Total number sold = 60
% Successful Auctions = 30.3%

My sales quantities are up slightly every week...but my profits continue to get eaten up by the outrageously high listing fees for lower priced items. A competitor also used the safeharbor system to attack one of my items...they claimed that I was Keyword Spamming, even though my item headers are no different than everyone elses. Those auctions were actually pulled down by the trusty Ebay Safe Harbor People. I have also found them to be very helpful whenever I have other problems. (This was my Rant)

I will revisit Ipod Accessories when all of this settles down...I get liquidation quality pricing with my wholeseller and I can compete head to head with anyone on pricing. My main problem is in figuring out how to get the most from my each of my listings in order to cut down on costs. I also learned a lesson about what I can and cannot get away with when it comes to crafting an item header.

Total Amount Collected = $700.73

S&H Costs = $116.00 (Estimate)
Auction Costs + Paypal Costs = $181.13
Inventory Cost of goods sold = $207.5

Total COSTS = $488.63

Total $ Collected - Total Cost = 211.49

It seems like if sales increase....my profit should go up with them...this was not the case for this weeks study. A very paltry return for my efforts....but I am getting closer to becoming a Powerseller.

Thanks and take care,

Bryan


October 26, 2006
WEEK FIVE: From Friday 10/ 20 Through Thursday 10/26

Total Auctions Ended = 108
Total number sold = 43
% Successful Auctions = 39.8%

My sales quantities are up down slightly this week...but my profits earned from sales stayed about constant. I attribute this to the fact that I ran a fewer number of auctions with a higher rate of success.

Instead of running alot of single quantity auctions, I have began to run all "Buy It Now auctions" with a quantity of 5 each. I am still experimenting with my auction quantities and pricing. Next week will be the first compete week of results with this experiment in place. I have found that managing muliple quantity "Buy It Now" auctions is much simpler to handle and is more cost effective than single quantity listings. The result is beginning to show a higher return on profits for each listing.

No problems to speak of happened this week...I am almost ready for the next phase of business improvements. That will be with the product sourcing side of this business. I have been researching different suppliers and I will start making decisions about who do deal with and what products to add into my existing line over the next few weeks.

Total Amount Collected = $472.58

S&H Costs = $69.76
Auction Costs + Paypal Costs = $97.73
Inventory Cost of goods sold = $147.6

Total COSTS = $315.09

Total $ Collected - Total Cost = $157.49

For this week...my profit returned for the amount of effort placed was about what I expected....I have effectively learned how to control my costs....now I need to expand my sales...hopefully over the next few weeks.

Thanks and take care,

Bryan


November 23, 2006
From Friday 11/17 Through Thursday 11/23

Total Auctions Ended = 32
Total number sold = 38
% Successful Auctions = 42% ( this number is difficult to guage due to my change in auction format) but this is what Hammertap tells me.)

This week I just acheived Powerseller status. My sales quantites are in a holding pattern at this time and are staying at about the same level. Hopefully I will be able to reach my goal of doubling my sales by the end of this study. Right now most of my time has been devoted to researching for new products to add to my existing lines. During this next week, I will be adding in and additional 15 to 20 new items. I have also contacted other wholesellers regarding the setting up of new accounts. I have also started renegotiating the pricing that I receive from my current wholeseller....they have been very good to me in the past and are willing to make a good deal for me.

"This week I just achieved PowerSeller status.... I am doing the same amount of business with a fraction of the number of listings that I had prior to this study. My eBay costs are now less than half of what they were before. This is no surprise since I am now running 50 listings as opposed to 250."

Jen's Comment: Bryan's selling a lot more efficiently now. He's increased his profits enough to reach PowerSeller status this month, even though he's decreased the number of listings he's offering by one 5th. Way to go, Bryan! More profits, less fees.

My experiment with multiple quantity Buy it Now auctions had been a very good success for me. Instead of listing them as one at a time Buy it Nows...I use a quantity of 5 or 10...as a result I am doing the same amount of business with a fraction of the number of listings that I had prior to this study. My eBay costs are now less than half of what they were before. This is no surprise since I am now running 50 listings as opposed to 250.

I have also hypothesized that when I run auctions this way it is essential to use the gallery picture along with a competitive pricing scheme...otherwise my auctions run the risk of getting buried under everyone elses auctions....this is a testable hypothesis through the use of the Omniture data that is available through Ebay. My theory is many Ebay buyers sort by price in order to make their purchasing decisions along with looking at the sellers.

Total Amount Collected = $485.50

S&H Costs = $76.91
Auction Costs + Paypal Costs = 32.10 + 25.90 = $58.00
Inventory Cost of goods sold = $ 133.75

Total COSTS = $268.66

Total $ Collected - Total Cost = 216.84

This time my cost cutting measures allowed me to make about the same amount of profit with less work and expenditures. Now all I need to do is increase my sales by 5 times over in order to make a decent amount of money with Ebay. This is very doable (200 - 250 units per week will get me to wheer I want to be). My goals are becoming more clear each time I do this exercise.

Thanks and take care,
Bryan



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