HOW I CAME TO BE AN eBay SELLER:
I have been selling on eBay now since the year 2013. What opened my world to start selling on ebay was being a buyer first. I LOVE EBAY! It’s like a huge garage sale! But were times when I got something that may not fit, may not be the item I actually ordered, and sometimes there’s nothing wrong with it but I just decided I didn’t really need it. I figured out that it was better to sell an item instead of return it and have to pay for the return shipping. If I didn’t want to keep something I had purchased then I would list it for sale, charge the new buyer for the shipping and just sell it. After I made it through several pitfalls learning how to price items, ship sold items using United States Post Office (USPS), respond to buyers’ questions and deliver good customer service I realized I could actually make a decent amount of money doing it part time. I had a full time job and worked an hour away from home but I had no social life to speak of and, quite honestly, I enjoyed being a seller on ebay! How many people can make money doing something they love?!? I decided it was time to open a store.
It was a couple months after opening my ebay store that my supervisor put in his official notice at work. My job had never made me feel much stability before he did this and now I felt complete panic. I needed a good 2 years of training before he retired and that was no longer going to happen. The new supervisor was hired and there was an unspoken conflict from day 1, as if she looked at me as competition in some form, an adversary instead of a team mate. I had already been through so much in this very challenging position that I made the decision to really push my ebay store and see what I could achieve financially. I stayed up working late into the night trying to list everything I could. I went to flea markets, garage sales, friends cleaning out their closets and Good Will Stores. Anywhere I could get inventory for a huge discounted price. I sometimes bought half the garage sale if not all of it! I stock piled inventory for the inevitable leap of faith I was about to take by quitting my corporate salaried position with a good company to do ebay full time! Scary right!!!???!!!
August, 2015, I turned in my notice to resign from my position with the company. It was an act that went against all I had worked towards for almost 4 years but it had been a rough road and had taken its toll causing me to be very unhappy on my job and in my personal life. The job was extremely stressful. It drained me till there was nothing left for my family. I didn’t smile anymore. I looked at the floor when I walked to the kitchen, bathroom or anywhere onsite at work. I gained weight from sitting in a chair for 8-9 hours a day only to go home and work some more. There was never any positives to balance the negatives. I was always trying to learn what nobody there would take the time to teach me. There was almost no training at this company. If you didn’t go to college you were treated like an underdog not worth training. They were, like so many other large companies, letting go and pushing out the door all their older experienced personnel and hiring younger, less experienced ones to take their place. Or, they wouldn’t hire anyone to take their place and just add those job duties to someone else. Their foundation was falling apart in the company. Employees no longer enjoyed working there due to no expectations. The company has had huge lay offs and many others have also quit, like me. It’s a great company so this is a very sad thing to watch happen all around you on a daily basis. It just drains the life and ambition from you.
But for every door that closes another will open. Ebay is a strong selling platform for anyone that wants to do it. The biggest challenge is the time it takes to list an item. Videos I’ve watched on You Tube say to list at least 20 items per day to build up your inventory and get more exposure to buyers. It’s all about the computer analytic levels. I have also learned that using the mark down tool is one way to boost sales. There are many different ways to do it but if you’re not doing anything then you will get what you put into it.
It is now the end of February 2016 and my lights and gas are still on, I still have food in my pantry and fridge, not much granted but you know what I’m finding out… you can live off of much less than you think. We live off of what we sell on almost a daily basis. When I quit my job I had over $4000 a month in bills. I have got behind and got caught up then got behind. It has been pretty rough on my credit report and I have some serious commitments that can NOT get behind. Period. No options. So this is a serious challenge that can be a really good thing or a really bad thing at this time in my life.
When you make the decision to sell on eBay, Amazon or any other selling platform. Whether you are going to have an online business or a local business, you must believe in yourself. You must keep putting one foot in front of the other. You must keep a positive attitude and not allow yourself to be overwhelmed. If you allow doubt, if you don’t stay positive you will start to feel like the world is coming down on top of you. You may get depressed and go days without being productive and you can not do this and run a business. You just can’t. Everything I read and everything I watch in videos that other sellers tell their stories and talk about what they had to go through to make it ALL Say Do Not Give Up. Keep Listing! Get off the couch, get away from the TV or the computer, stop watching videos all day on how to do and JUST DO IT!
Years ago there was a Nike commercial that would say “Just Do It” and I had a boss that used to scream at me to “be like the Nike commercial and just do it!!!” That was when I was selling cars over 20 years ago but you know what, I will never forget it. That man made me cry almost every day. He was tough and he wanted results. Feelings didn’t matter. All that mattered to him was making sales. I quit after about 3 months but I will always remember what I learned and that was that if you want to succeed you have to act, not talk about doing something, not write it down, not just study it… you have to JUST DO IT!
I have set goals on how many listings I need completed weekly. These goals are based on a 3 to 1 ratio. If I need to make $100 to pay a bill then I need to sell $300. If I need to sell $300 then I need to list $600. Sound extreme? Well, you won’t sell every item you list right away. And you will have selling fees, store fees, gas expenses driving to post offices and finding inventory, you’ll need to buy inventory to replace what you sell. If you have some kind of awesome sale, sell a bunch of your inventory in a garage sale for fast funds or at a flea market and let’s say you sell all your inventory without setting funds aside for buying more then guess what you just did… you just had a going out of business sale!
Your inventory is your job stability. Without it you have no job. If you are listing the number of items daily or weekly to meet your set goals then you will wake up one day and be able to breath again without feeling like every breath may be your last! lol I promise it can happen.
You are welcome to follow me on my journey to success in the eBay world of eCommerce. I will be sharing my experiences, the good the bad and the ugly, with you to hopefully help you avoid some of the pitfalls. Please always feel free to share your stories, ask questions or offer your own opinions and advice on what you think works well for you.
Thank you for letting me share! Till next time… see you on eBay!