Side Hustle Update

07 Oct

We are 283 days down and only 2717 days to go on our 3000 day journey to financial independence....

Almost 10 months ago we launched our side hustle - A SEED TO SOW. You can read about this launch here

Our business model is buying certified organic seeds in bulk, repackaging them into smaller, retail size packets with our own branding and reselling these via eBay. Our eBay listings are here if you are interested. 

Starting a side hustle/business has definitely been a learning curve. It can be hard work, frustrating and time consuming to set up. However it can also be a low risk way of earning some extra income.  You can start small, keep your day job, you don't have to take on debt and you can grow the business as fast or as slow as you want.

So how are we doing?

We are pleased to say the business has started to turn a profit, albeit a small one. We will definitely not be able to live off the income, however any extra income is always beneficial. Here are our figures:

Number of Orders

 $        905.70

Cost of Goods Sold
-$          60.85
-$       100.59
Ebay Fees
-$          90.57
Ebay Store Fees
-$       174.65
-$       146.00
Start Up Costs
-$       255.12

Total Expenses
-$       827.78

Net Profit
 $          77.92

Profit Excl Start Up Costs & Store Fees
 $        507.69

Profit per month
 $          50.77


You can see we have only made a net profit of $77.92 over the first 10 months. This is obviously not going to allow us to retire anytime soon. However if we exclude one time start up costs & eBay store fees (see Lesson 1 below), then we would have made $507.69 over 10 months or $50.77 per month. 

That may not seem like much.....and well it isn't really. However this business is only 10 months old, so we are very happy to already be turning a profit. Plus $50 per month could cover one of your annoying bills such as car insurance, home/contents insurance or it could be invested each month and after 3000 days you would have around $6,000 assuming a 5% return. Now, that's nothing to be sneezed at!

This business is very easy to run, it probably takes less than 30 minutes of my time per month, this equates to an hourly rate of $101.54 per hour...not bad at all!!

Lessons and Mistakes:

As mentioned, this side hustle/business has been a learning curve. We have learned some valuable lessons along the way and as always we would like to share these lessons with you guys so you don't make the same mistakes. 3000 days is all about sharing the love! So here are our top 3 lessons:

Lesson 1:  Don't sign up to an eBay store

What a waste of money this was...$24.95 per month in fact, plus seller fees of around 8%.

We thought that having a store front on eBay would add a level of professionalism that would allow us to build trust with our customers. However since we have dropped the store, our sales have remained consistent. So we don't believe a store is necessary for us.

We initially created the store as we could not initially find a way to get a link to all of our products so we could place this link on our website. That is until we discovered you can select "sellers other items" on one of you listings, copy this link and there you go, you have a link to share. 

In our opinion, an eBay store would only be beneficial if you were selling higher priced items as you get slightly reduced final value fees etc. However for us it was a definite mistake....we wasted $174.65 on the eBay store.

Lesson 2:  Build a free website initially

We made the mistake of building a website and paying for a hosting package rather than just starting off with a free page.  

Our business is on eBay so customers are searching through eBay rather than going through our website. Therefore our website is quite redundant. We are very low on google rankings as the organic seeds market is a crowded space and it is hard to get a foothold. However our website also suffers due to our lack input on the site (my bad). 

Our view is if your business is on eBay, just work on your eBay ads. The website can come later once you build your business and brand. 

Funds wasted: $196.14.

Lesson 3:  eBay tips and tricks

Here are some valuable eBay tips and tricks we have learnt along the way

  1. Go fixed price - eBay usually has $0 listing fees for fixed priced listings. Plus the duration is a lot longer so you can create your listings one time and set and forget.
  2. Communicate with your buyers - We always keep our buyers in the loop and let them know when their order has been shipped. We have a standard thank you message that we send to customers which we just copy/paste to save us time.
  3. Strive for 100% positive feedback - Buyers look for this, so be nice, be efficient and communicate.
  4. Postage hacks - Australia post is ridiculously expensive. Learn the most efficient way to pack your items. For us, we can post seeds in business envelopes for $1 postage in most cases. 
  5. Check you listings on multiple devices - some of our eBay listings looked great on a computer however they did not look good on a mobile device, so make sure to check your listings out.  

In summary, we have started to generate a side income....albeit a small one at this stage. The benefits of this business are that, it does not take up too much time, it is something we are passionate about and it is something that is kind of fun for us. Therefore we plan to keep running this business into the near future and see where it goes. 

Do you have a side hustle? Do you have an idea for a side hustle? Do you have any eBay tips/tricks? If so, please post a comment below and share your experience with our readers. 

Good luck on your FI journey!

Cheers, Jason (Mr 3000)

Thank you to our readers, our blog has been featured at #8 in Top 10 Australian Retirement blog list.

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