Deal #4 - Multi Book Flip on eBay with ROI of -72%

the road to character book
July 10, 2020

Learn why I lost money on a book flipping deal on eBay. I bought books from a local garage sale, sold them on eBay, and lost some money in the process.

Not every flipping deal I've made in my life has been a good one. There have been times where I've bought something that I haven't been able to resell or I decided to off-load it just to recoup a part of my initial investment.

Deal #4 counts as one of these times. It just didn't return what I initially hoped it would.

You won't be able to make money on every single deal out there. Even though it's frustrating and sucks sometimes, you have to look at the bigger picture and remember the lessons learned from the experience. Take the lessons learned and move forward knowing more than you did before.

Big Picture

What I Flipped: 4 of 6 books

Where I Bought it From: A Local Garage Sale

Where I Sold It: eBay

Finer Finance Details

Cost of Item: $4.00

Sell Price: $14.23 (but wait just a minute - it's not that pretty)

Net Profit : $14.23 - $1.45 (eBay fee) - $11.66 (shipping) - $4.00 (cost) = - $2.88

ROI = (Net Profit / Cost) x 100 = -(2.88/4) * 100 = -72%

Money Currently in the Flipping Pot: $1.12 +  $0.04 (remaining $ after purchase) = $1.16

What I Learned from this Flip

1) This deal was the worst one I've made yet. Losing so much money on shipping is what hurt me most. I didn't plan out enough of the future costs of each book I purchased. I bought a total of 6 books at a local garage sale at a total of $4. I believed I was getting a pretty good deal on the books. eBay fees are typically 10% so it was easy to plan for those. However, shipping absolutely killed me. Spending between $2.66 and $3.17 on postage was not good and absolutely killed my margins. I have to meticulously forecast this into my plan from now on.

2) Aside from losing so much money on shipping costs, I didn't research enough on the books I bought at the garage sale. While I did look at previous sales of the books I had bought, there wasn't enough demand to sell all of my books at the prices I would like. When I look up similar books on eBay, I need to make sure there's a higher number of sales of the certain book I'm considering buying. There just wasn't enough demand for the books I purchased.

While I could wait to try and sell my other two books, I've decided to continue moving onward and getting something else to flip. There's no reason to focus on a failure.

The only failure is if you don't learn from your mistakes. Like one of the books I sold on this deal says, it's part of the road to character.