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So You Wanna Sell On eBay

Updated 2 days ago

Business
Technology
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Today's most successful eBay sellers and business entrepreneurs share their knowledge with you. Whether you are considering starting an eBay business or just want to know how to improve your existing eBay business. " So You Wanna Sell On eBay" delivers the questions that are on the minds of every eBay seller out there. Who better to motivate you and give you great business advise than those making it happen in their world. We also interview internationally known entrepreneurs that will inspire you and get your feet moving toward a better business. We are passionate about helping others. "So You Wanna Sell On eBay" is your eBay podcast.

Read more

Today's most successful eBay sellers and business entrepreneurs share their knowledge with you. Whether you are considering starting an eBay business or just want to know how to improve your existing eBay business. " So You Wanna Sell On eBay" delivers the questions that are on the minds of every eBay seller out there. Who better to motivate you and give you great business advise than those making it happen in their world. We also interview internationally known entrepreneurs that will inspire you and get your feet moving toward a better business. We are passionate about helping others. "So You Wanna Sell On eBay" is your eBay podcast.

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100 Ratings
Average Ratings
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Fantastic

By sonnybros - Oct 12 2019
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I can’t express how much this podcast has motivated/helped me. I appreciate you guys so much.

7 mins in!

By FANO - Jul 10 2019
Read more
And I’m hooked! Good stuff time to make room for a new pod 👍🏼👍🏼

iTunes Ratings

100 Ratings
Average Ratings
84
8
3
3
2

Fantastic

By sonnybros - Oct 12 2019
Read more
I can’t express how much this podcast has motivated/helped me. I appreciate you guys so much.

7 mins in!

By FANO - Jul 10 2019
Read more
And I’m hooked! Good stuff time to make room for a new pod 👍🏼👍🏼

Listen to:

Cover image of So You Wanna Sell On eBay

So You Wanna Sell On eBay

Updated 2 days ago

Read more

Today's most successful eBay sellers and business entrepreneurs share their knowledge with you. Whether you are considering starting an eBay business or just want to know how to improve your existing eBay business. " So You Wanna Sell On eBay" delivers the questions that are on the minds of every eBay seller out there. Who better to motivate you and give you great business advise than those making it happen in their world. We also interview internationally known entrepreneurs that will inspire you and get your feet moving toward a better business. We are passionate about helping others. "So You Wanna Sell On eBay" is your eBay podcast.

102: So You Wanna Sell On eBay - Casey Parris

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Casey AKA the Rockstarflipper is a full time Ecommerce Ebay & Amazon Reseller. Specializing in clothing & electronics the rockstarflipper sources locally from thrift shops pawn shops, goodwills and Salvation Army stores.

Interesting Notes
  • Casey saw his father and older brother worked all their lives. Both do have good lives, but they don't have the freedom.
  • So, he decided he did not want to work for anyone. He did not want to listen to anyone. He wants the freedom to be what he wants - be it a $50,000 per year or $50M per year guy. He does not want to have limits. He wants a limitless life.
  • He used to work for a reseller who had a communication niche. His work gave him a full-time paycheck to build the money he needed to start his own business. While he was working, at night time, he did his research and learned. He started working for his own store.
  • He started to sell a few items to have the feel of having his own business. He had a niche for several times and turned his vision into ex-merchandise. He realized that when you are good at something, you can be really good at it. But when its market slows down, you have nothing to rely on or fall back on. That is when he opened his horizon.
  • In 2012, he saw how cheap you can get merchandise from thrift stores, garage sales, and goodwill.
  • A day before this interview, Casey went to a store. It was around 10,000 to 12,000 sq. ft big. One corner is furniture, while the other is house goods. But most of the store is filled with clothing arranged per sections like men, women, children, maternity, etc...He tends to gravitate on the men's section and works his way up to the store, row by row. He went around the store in an hour or two and move on to the next one.
  • Casey calls himself a flipper because that is what he does for a living - he flips things.
  • Almost seven days a week, wherever he is, Casey goes sourcing for inventory of his stores. He spends 7 to 8 hours a day sourcing.
  • He has 2 stores - eBay and Amazon. He has to keep his stores supplied seven days a week.
  • He uses BMW I8 hybrid electric car when he goes thrifting. He can put 3 or 4 garbage bags worth of clothes in his car.
  • Casey loves the thrill of the hunt. He loves going out and sourcing. He loves finding an item for a dollar that is worth a hundred dollars. A day before this interview, he bought a coat for $10. People are watching it for $250.
  • He sold before a 1920 fire truck doll. He bought it for $60 and it was sold for $900.
  • The weirdest thing he sold on eBay is a shrunken head in a glass. It came from South America. He paid 10 bucks for two items. He sold it for 50 or 60 bucks per piece.
  • Casey's fiancee helps him in the business. She is the one doing the "behind the scene" tasks while Casey is out sourcing. She can get the things bought the previous day photograph and listed in just a day.
  • He has a small office, about 600 sq. ft size where some of the items are stored. In their garage, they have 40 storage bins for clothing and crafts. The bins can hold 30 to 40 items. Each bin is labeled with letters and numbers. So Casey knows what bins to go when an item sells. He can pull items in seconds.
  • Casey wants to continue to grow his inventory. He plans to buy in bulk. And with that, he needs to search for suppliers.
  • He also considers hiring 2 employees who will come full circle in their office. By that time, Casey would get a full-time warehouse for his employees to do everything in a system where Casey won't have to be there physically.
  • Casey loves to go around and he will never stop his circles in thrifting.
Advice, Tips, and Tricks
  • Even though Casey has sold many things, he still does research. He admitted that he does not know everything. He does not know a lot of things. So, he always uses his phone to research on some things.
  • For a unique item, he suggests to put it on the auction. Start at the lowest price you would want to take it for. If no one bids on it, then you will know that you have overpriced it. If they bid on it and you make money, then it's great!
  • Casey does one-day shipping. That means, everything that sells before midnight has to go out the next day. In the evening, before going to bed, Casey and his fiancee print all the labels for the next day shipping. When he woke up the next day, he pulls the items and put them on top of the labels. His fiancee would stick the label and the shipment is ready for pick-up.
  • On refund issues, Casey suggests that if you made $15 to $20 profit, send it to the customer. Because the amount of time you are about to waste on a $15 refund, can make you a sale for 3 to 6 times or more. So, it is best not to waste your time and then move on. But if refund issues happen over and over again, you need to fix what you are doing to prevent it from happening again.
  • He suggests to schedule your pick up for your packages even if it is a two or a day. That way, you don't have to leave your house and line up for hours in the post office.
  • Casey noted that most of the times that he lost money is because he was not careful and did not take the time. Like when bought a video game system and forgot to fully test them. Later on, he discovered that the joysticks were not working. Now, he learned to slow down and take his time.
Quotes
  • "If you have to do something, be a Rockstar at whatever you do."
  • "If it is cheap and you can sell it, by all means!"
  • "As you gain experience, you can go thrifting quicker and quicker."
  • "One of the most important thing about being a thifter is planning."
  • "You can have all the inventory and all the profit in the world, but if you don't have a system, you will crash."
  • "Take your time. Nothing is worth losing money over."
  • "If I make it, it's because I did it. If I fail, it's because I failed."
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Mar 27 2017

35mins

Play

092: So You Wanna Sell On eBay - Lynn Dralle

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For over 18 years, Lynn has made her living buying and selling on eBay. She is a third-generation antiques dealer with over 40 years experience in the antiques business. She started helping her grandmother in the antiques store and at shows when she was just 4. She is also an eBay consultant, author, and teacher. Her learning tools & free ezine will teach you how to sell online with eBay while staying organized, turning a profit, and having fun! She loves selling on eBay and can't stop-- some people think she is addicted! In 2015, she sold over $100,000 worth of unique items on eBay and she wants to help you do the same.

Interesting Notes
  • In 1967, there's a law to call something antique when it should be a 100-year-old. In today's time, you can consider a 50-year-old item antique.
  • Lynn describes a thing Vintage if it is anywhere between 10 to 40 years old. Like a computer 10 years ago can be Vintage. Anything over than 40 years old can be called either Antique or Vintage. It is your choice whatever you call it. Sometimes, it depends on what it is.
  • Lynn only has praises to her grandma, Cheryl Leaf. She is the reason why Lynn is doing what she is doing today. Her grandma has more energy and more entertaining than anybody Lynn knew.
  • Lynn's grandma started selling on eBay before antiques and collectibles were even anything big. She opened a store in 1950 out of the front of her living room.
  • Lynn used to work for her grandma every day after school. Her grandma would give her a $100 after the weekend. She learned so much from her.
  • Lynn's grandma used to write a column about reproduction for the National Antique Dealers Association. She was the founder of the said association.
  • Her grandma taught classes in the late 60's. One time, Lynn and her grandma were going through her grandma's stuff. Lynn found the notes her grandma had written for classes. They are 300 pages and are all typewritten.
  • The notes made Lynn start her "Antiques from A to Z". It is a compilation of the notes of her grandma. Lynn sorted her grandma's notes by letter of the alphabet. Then Lynn writes at least one lesson for each letter of the alphabet. She would explain her take on applying those lessons in today's eBay world.
  • Lynn feels like she is writing a new book with her grandma.
  • Lynn ran her grandma's antique store 10 years after she passed away. It took Lynn 2 years to liquidate because her grandma had millions of items in her store. 80% of the items are still in boxes and packed up. And Lynn has 120 huge boxes that she has not gone through yet.
  • Lynn started selling on eBay in 1998 when there is no competition. She observes that competition has driven prices down on some items. And on other items, it drives it up. As a seller, it is a must to follow the market and know what is going on.
  • At present, Lynn has 17,600 listings on her eBay. They are a combination of Fixed Price and Auctions. In a lot of her listing title, she would put Help, Maker, and a question mark. It indicates that she doesn't know who made the stuff. She doesn't know what the stuff is. And she is willing to learn from anybody that does it.
  • Lynn does not believe on Free Shipping. Why? Because it is like cutting out your international customers. The international customers end up paying the US Shipping plus the international shipping.
  • She does not use Global Shipping Program. Smart buyers search by price plus shipping.
  • She does not believe in a niche. She has specific niches that do well for her. Dinnerware is her number 1 category on eBay. She sells $40,000 to $50,000 a year. Then flatware and coffee mugs. They are not broad niches. But she can sell anything she can make money on.
  • Lynn's family love recycling. Her kids never buy new things. If they want something, they can find it on eBay or at thrift stores. If they have worn something, they give it to Lynn and she would sell it on eBay.
  • One time her daughter came to her about a school project. It is about showing the brain. Lynn remembered her doll heads in the Auction. She brought it home to her daughter. Her daughter picked the perfect one and put the brain on. She got the highest grade in the class. Her teacher told her, "Yours is the only one I am keeping!".
  • Lynn taught her kids about selling on eBay. She only gets 20% for PayPal and eBay fees, and they get the rest.
  • Indy's Fashion Find category is her daughter's Indiana finds. One time, they went to a sale in Washington. Indy spent about $5 and filled up 5 grocery bags full. And she sold everything. There is nothing left in Indy's Fashion Finds.
  • Another instance, she told her son to grab any textbooks he can on campus. The kids are not going to care about their textbooks anyway. Her son came home with a couple of cases full. He lists it on eBay and they have been selling. Lynn just sold one for $200. The cash that will come from the sales will go to her son for his college in Germany.
  • In 1998, Lynn invented a system for keeping track of her items. It is a paper sheet which she calls iSell binder. Today, she added a PayPal to the backside for the payment plan and a ruler on the front.
Advice, Tips, and Tricks
  • Lynn has 10 rules on how to be successful on eBay. Among them are:
    • 1. You have to consistently use Markdown Manager all the time. You have to be running the Markdown Manager on a consistent basis. You have to put the Best Offer on every single item.
    • 2. You have to price super high. The higher you priced your item, the higher it's perceived value. People would think it as a better item and of a higher quality.
    • 3. You have to put your items on Auction first for a week. You don't want to leave money on the table. You could have something super rare that you would price it at $200 fixed price, but it could worth a thousand.
    • 4. Always raise the price after every Auction.
    • 5. You have to use Promoted Listings. That is where you can go and pick a percentage range of an item that has multiple quantities. Since Lynn started to use it in June, it added about $40 to $100 to her sales.
    • 6. You have to use Promotions. Lynn has this promo "Spend $50, Get 10% Off!" Normally, when the buyers look at your listings, it won't take them away from other sellers' items. That is where Promotions come in. It would direct the buyers back to your inventory. If you are running a sale, promote it by saying "pick up one of these things and spend up to $50 and get the extra 10%".
  • Lynn spends her free time watching TV and list on eBay. She can watch TV and list at the same time. And while doing it, she is making money.
  • Listing to her is easy because she keeps on saying this to herself: "Sell Some More! Sell Some More!"
  • She always keeps 100 items on Auctions. Listing in Auction is a must because it drives traffic to your other Fixed Price listings. If people stop listing in Auction, eBay puts you down on Best Match. eBay does not promote anything that is not changing and updating.
  • Lynn goes out every weekend. She has made good friends with the Estate Sales dealers so she goes in first. She makes it a point to spend at least $100 so she can be invited back, before any dealer in the valley. She spends $500 to $2,000 in high-end quality stuff.
  • Lynn uses her iSell binder that allows her to keep track of the 17,000 different things she has. It shows the list of things that sell and don't sell on eBay. If it sells, the sheet goes in a pile of things that needs to be pulled. It got the shelf number and the buyer's name on it. When the items are pulled, it goes back to the shipping table for packing.
Quotes
  • "I'm willing to learn from anybody that does it!"
  • "Our inventory only gets better. We are not a grocery store. We are not a clothing store. Our inventory gets better with age. Theirs get worse."
  • "The higher you priced the item, the higher its perceive value."
  • "There is nothing I like better than watching TV and list on eBay! Because it is totally mindless."
  • "A new stuff is a fun stuff!"
Tools
  • 1. Markdown Manager
  • 2. Promotions
  • 3. Promoted Listings
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Dec 05 2016

38mins

Play

162: He Hates Thrift Stores! Discover Where He Sources - Dominic Carone

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Dominic Carone began selling on eBay in 2000 to make some extra money in graduate school. He currently runs the Prime Time Treasure eBay Store, which specializes in the sale of comic books, toys, books, pop culture items, clothes, and all things vintage and collectible.

Interesting Notes
  • Dominic is not a Thrifter. In Central New York, where he lives, thrift stores have higher prices compared to the garage, rummage, and estate sales. So, he stays away from thrift stores. He explained it further on his YouTube video entitled, "Why I Hate Going To Thrift Store".
  • He goes to garage sales, but he gets most of his eBay items from estate sales.
  • Dominic used to go to a Swap Shop in Florida. It is a huge outdoor flea market. Every weekend, he and his wife would go down the aisle. Back then there was no eBay app. So, one has to develop an eye for things. Sometimes they made mistakes. Sometimes they made big scores. That is how he started his reselling business and did it for a few years.
  • Then, he focused on his career outside of reselling. A few years ago, he got back again with reselling comic books. He watched a lot of other YouTubers and started to diversify his content. Now, his eBay store sells pretty much anything that is vintage and collectible. He hits all the categories.
  • Dominic runs his reselling business alone. His wife helps him, now and then, in some aspects to get more sales as he continues to grow and develop. He has two kids who once in a while come with him to the sales. His daughter who is fourteen has developed an eye for things. When she finds something, she will go to another room and bring things back to him. One time, she found a Kitchen Witch with the original tag on it. They got it for 50 cents and sold it within two days for $70.
  • He taught his kids how to negotiate with people and how to negotiate money. One time, his son who is thirteen, go up to someone independently and try to negotiate on some action figures.
  • Most people, especially in the Amazon Prime area expect free shipping. So, Dominic does free shipping on everything. This way, he maximizes the number of potential buyers who are going to see his items. People who search for items to buy would filter out based on whether there is free shipping.
  • Meanwhile, he keeps the Best Offer as an option. He is less flexible with the price in the beginning. But, as time goes on and the items are not sold, he becomes more flexible.
  • Dominic almost has two full-time jobs. He works full-time as a Board Certified Neuro Psychologist in a hospital. That is his regular full-time job. Around that, he tries to work on his reselling business. He is busy every day trying to fit in his regular work, reselling, family time and some other stuff.
  • Now, he is more focus on Q4. He wants to have a lot of items up and listed for the people.
  • One of the unique things that he found and sold on eBay is an old wrestling show poster from 1989. It is an advertisement for the championship match of Ric Flair. He did his research and saw that it was selling for $400 in the auction. After putting it on the auction, he received offers of $100 and $250. He took it as a red flag that it would sell higher and it did.
  • Dominic also loves to do Metal Detecting. It is like to reselling because he gets to go out and hunt for something. He also uses strategies to detect where something valuable might be. Sometimes he scores big and sometimes he does not.
  • He found something out of metal detecting. It was a fixture in a ceiling of an old ballroom that fits a glass lamp. It was from early 1900. He found the piece buried in the park's ground. He had it appraised to be worth $135. He could sell it on eBay if he wants to.
  • At the beginning of 2017, his goal is to develop the Facebook Group and a YouTube channel. He succeeded in doing it.
  • He now runs the Facebook Group called Reselling Resource Center. He created the group ten months ago and now has 3,000 members. It aims to help other resellers succeed by passing on tips and tricks. He allows people to post links to videos that they feel can be helpful. He also has posts of the "Beyond the Look Out Item of the Day" (BOLO). He provides a lot of detailed price information about the BOLOs. This way, people could learn about the items that are available and good to sell.
  • His YouTube channel is Prime Time Treasure with 1100 subscribers. It has 225 videos dedicated to helping people grow in their reselling business.
  • Right now, his focus is on developing a more efficient system for storage at his house where he runs his business. He does not plan to take a warehouse because he has a regular full-time job which he cannot give up. So, he is finding ways on how to work efficiently at his house.
  • And if things would go further, his wife will take a more active role in his reselling business.
Advice, Tips, and Tricks
  • Get to know the people and cities in your area. Certain cities are much more expensive than others. Certain estate sales dealers are much pricey than others. But there are some that are reasonable. Figure it out real fast and stick with the ones who give you good deals.
  • Subscribe to the email list of the estate sales dealers you are loyal to. This way you can get updates on the schedule of the next estate sales. Dealers would send pictures so you can preview on it and make a decision if that is something you want to go to.
  • He does research on the "completed sold" and see what things did sell in the last 60 days. He would also see what the current competition is if there is competition for. Then, he will price his items accordingly. He does not price his items lower than somebody who had the item in bad condition. Nor does he price it lower than another seller who has a bad reputation.
  • He has 100% positive feedback. So if someone else has a 95% feedback, he will not price his item lower than that person because that will scare a lot of potential buyers away. He would price his item relative to that taking into consideration what it is previously sold for in the last 60 days.
  • He works the shipping fee into the price. He makes sure that he has the time to source his items low enough. This way, he could sell far high enough no matter what the price will come up with shipping.
  • For items that he feels he is going to lose money, he takes it off and bundles it with another item.
Quotes
  • "You have to go to the right places."
  • "If you want to be successful, you have to find a way to put the time in."
  • "You have to make a sacrifice, something somewhere, if you have a full-time job and you want to make eBay work."
  • "eBay is more lucrative for me than metal detecting."
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Oct 30 2018

29mins

Play

085: So You Wanna Sell On eBay - Chad Pagel

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Chad & Kimberly Pagel are treasure hunters who have been reselling for over 20 years. They are all about the hustle and have sold on eBay since the late 1990's. Their adventures have taken them all over and they share their knowledge and experiences on their YouTube channel Golden Finger Picker and are co-founders of the Facebook Group The Reseller Society with over 19,000 members. They are motivated by the treasure hunt as well as the networking with like minded people.

Interesting Notes
  • The couple originally comes from Indiana. Two years ago, they retired and went to Florida.
  • They are well known in Indiana as one who gives auctions. They have business cards and pass it out to people. They have built a good reputation. People were calling them to sell their stuff.
  • Kimberly has been picking and reselling longer than Chad had. She is now working on her master's degree. Every chance she gets, Kimberly and Chad do things together.
  • A few months ago, the couple decided to bring their strategy to Florida. They think it's high time to get their selves establish in their new community. They get their cards out there. And since then they never go to thrift stores anymore. They get phone calls every day from people selling their stuff.
  • Chad described a treasure hunter as somebody who is out, about looking for that next huge score.
  • He noticed that sellers become discouraged because they are looking at picking or treasure hunting with expectations that are too high. They see a lot of TV shows as to how these great things have been found. But, in all reality, resellers and treasure hunters live out of the bread and butter.
  • Earlier in the interview, Chad went to two towns and bought some gaming stuff. The gaming stuff is selling within hours he got it listed.
  • Chad usually starts his day shipping his stuff. Then he would list and goes out. Thereafter, he would meet up with some folks who are selling their items.
  • One of the rarest things Chad had found is the Beatles record called the Capitol Records Executive Cover. There are only three or four Chad knew have existed. He had his find authenticated by the world renowned Beatles experts, Perry Cox. His find is the first one that has ever been sold to the public market. It was banging $110,000. He took the risk and put in on public auction. It sold for $32,500.
  • Just recently, Chad bought 13 Wind Stone Dragons for $200. He listed it all on a Saturday. All but three were sold on a Sunday for $2500 worth of sales. That was because somebody got his card and somebody else knew the person selling the dragons.
  • For his dead stocks, Chad creates a Facebook or Craigslist post saying "Free! Come and get it for resellers." There is some stuff that he would donate.
  • Chad and Kim have been doing eBay for over 20 years, and they are still learning every single day.
  • Chad cited one of the bumps in eBay --- the defect system that hurts the sellers because they had no control. It was set up in a way that sellers lose control over their business. They didn't have the opportunity to give good customer service. The opportunity to take care of their customer was taken from them. Because all the buyer has to do is click a button and the seller is nailed if you are a good seller or not. Chad is glad that eBay has fixed it.
  • He hopes that eBay would work on the mass saturation of fake China stuff.
  • Chad is the co-founder of a Facebook Group called Resellers Society. It is one big place for learning. They do not allow somebody to sell stuff on the group. They do not allow a marketer to try to pitch new app. It's all about meeting like-minded people and helping each other.
  • When what they do now stop being fun, then they will stop. To the couple, it's all about life and fun. It's all about enjoying life. Their kids have grown up and this is their time. They are looking for more travels together. Their goal is to go out and make $30,000 a month on eBay.
Advice, Tips, and Tricks
  • You have to get yourself in the mindset of constantly moving forward.
  • Knowing something is worth comes with experience. If you are walking through a thrift store, it is the things that you don't recognize that you need to be looking into. Then take the time to check it out. When you check it out, it's in your data bank now and you will recognize it the next time.
  • If you want to network, get out of the thrift stores and meet people. Get your cards made and hand it everywhere. And word of mouth, news will spread.
  • You need to check the prices. Your profit is determined at the time of purchase, not when it sells. What is important is you decide what kind of money you would make before you buy it. You don't buy and hoped you would get this amount of bucks for. When you are just hoping, you are taking a huge risk. The key to making a good buy is minimizing your risk.
  • Before buying, you need to check the prices. You need to look to see what your competition is going to be as well as your completed listing.
  • Where you live is relative to the kind of items you are going to find to resell. You need to develop your own business and do it your own way. And take some pieces that are going to help you put in place your business.
  • How to become a picker?
    • 1. You need to have an alt for this stuff. You can learn how to pick. You can go out for sourcing for all day long. But if you are not selling the stuff, you are going to fill your house up.
    • 2. Grab some stuff around your house that you are not using anymore.
    • 3. Get your eBay account started and start selling this stuff on eBay.
    • 4. Learn how to do it.
    • 5. Get a little bit of a reputation. Work on getting a good feedback.
  • The best thing you can do as a reseller is sell anything and everything that will make you money.
  • Keep learning because you get to keep moving with the market.
Quotes
  • "What people believe to be true happens overnight. It just does not!"
  • "It's all about mindset. You are going to have setbacks. It's all about the learning process."
  • "It gets easier as you go."
  • "The key is learning from your mistakes."
  • "You've got to be able to learn it to grow from your mistakes."
  • "The key is not walking past something that is going to make you a huge profit."
  • "Your profit is made at the time of purchase."
  • "No matter what you do, in this particular time frame you are in, you are learning. Whether it is a mistake or a success. It is a constant learning process."
  • "The key to making a good buy is minimizing your risk."
  • "It pays off if you let people know you are a reseller."
  • "The market and everything is always changing. If you do not keep up with the market, you are in trouble."
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Oct 10 2016

39mins

Play

071: So You Wanna Sell On eBay - Charlene Anderson

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Charlene started selling on eBay in 1998 and on Amazon in 2002,
and has grown her business from a $100 investment to a business
that grosses in the high-six figures, all without employees! Known
for her laser focus on wholesale sourcing before it was the cool
thing to do, Charlene brings organizational skills, business smarts
and enthusiasm to everything she does.

Interesting Notes
  • In 1984, Charlene has a brick and mortar store for yarns where
    she learned how to source her products. It is for people who knit
    and crochet and spun roll. But, yet, she shut the store down when
    she started spooling her time between Wyoming and Hawaii.
  • 3 years after closing her brick and mortar store, Charlene
    ventured to e-commerce. She is living in Hawaii then. She got back
    to her contacts, took a $100 and placed an order with somebody. She
    got the products and sold them. Since then she has kept building
    her e-commerce business.
  • At the time she started selling on eBay, pictures are not yet
    required in the listing. People could leave feedback for anybody,
    whether you have a transaction or not.
  • At those times, she had more time than money. So she put the
    time in to make her business grow. She became focused on sourcing
    good products. She does not have a lot of money so she cannot
    afford to make mistakes. She spends time in researching.
  • She has sold everything. From books to CDs, old hard drives
    (RAM), old computer mice and keyboards. Now, she sells more on arts
    and crafts. It is the field, she knows best.
  • She does everything in her business except bookkeeping. She
    outsources her bookkeeping because she hates doing it. It was like
    a torture to her.
  • The products she sells are all new. Those are from a
    manufacturer. In 95% of the cases, the manufacturer provides her
    the photos which are a huge time saver for her.
  • Charlene opted for a wholesale kind of sourcing her products to
    sell on eBay. There is only one thrift store in their town. The
    next one is 100 miles away. Garage sales don't exist except for May
    and July. If she'll hunt in a garage sale or a thrift store, her
    business will not progress.
  • Her advantages of selling new products: 1. She can do away with
    taking photos which can be difficult to learn the pro way, and a
    bit frustrating. 2. She can get listed faster. 3. With ease, she
    can replenish items from the manufacturer.
  • She does a lot of reviews, articles, and blog posts about her
    products. So, if people look for them, they will look for her eBay
    store. This is her secret in driving traffic to her eBay
    store.
  • She gives 100% free shipping. The shipping does not come out of
    her pocket. She build sthe shipping cost in the price. It is also
    an incentive to the buyer because they usually do not want to
    figure out how much will it cost them. They want fast, simple and
    easy sale.
  • She does not practice auction because she has replenishable
    items.
  • She got 100% feedback. Her secret? 1. She treats her customers
    the way she wants to be treated. 2. She ships products on the same
    day. 3. She is accurate in her product description. 4. She allows a
    return and give the money back to the customers. 5. She identifies
    problems so it won't happen again on the next batches.
  • Last February, she went to a trade show to coach 6 people who
    have not been in a trade show. She helped them navigate the whole
    trade show thing so they can learn it and have confidence. She was
    amazed that the 6 people get interested in 6 different niches, 6
    different products. It showed there is a wide range of interest and
    products people might sell.
  • Charlene goes to trade shows too to find the latest stuff that
    is coming in. In fact, she has got a new line of products in
    Germany that she has never seen anywhere.
  • What motivates her to keep going on her business? That is,
    being able to travel. She wants to earn enough money to travel
    because it is the most favorite thing she wants to do.
  • Charlene's great advice to sellers: 1. Do research no matter
    what you are selling. 2. Know the brands that are in your field. 3.
    Know the people who would buy your products. 4. Sell something that
    at least you enjoy looking at, handling and thinking about. 5. Be
    consistent in listing your products. 6. Look into yourself and ask,
    "what motivates me?". If you don't love it and your heart is not on
    it, don't do it. If it keeps you going, then use it as motivation
    for the times when things are not going too well.
Quotes
  • "You can see the possibilities if you are willing."
  • "It (eBay) is doable. It really is."
  • "It takes steady growth. It takes focus. It takes a lot of
    work."
  • "The thrill of learning can really motivate you too if you are
    interested in what you are learning."
  • "You can do well in pretty much any category on eBay."
  • "Treat your customers well and you will make sales even if
    other people are selling the same stuff."
  • "It's hard to maintain. It's a lot of work. But if you love
    doing it, it's possible!"
  • "You can't put all your eggs in one basket."
  • "Mean, nasty people, and people trying to scam you are the
    shoplifters in the online world."
  • "Once you decide to do it (eBay), treat it as a business. You
    made a commitment to your customers when you take their
    money."
  • "Treat it seriously. Do your job! And your job is to list
    products, sell products, ship products. Then you'll be
    successful."
  • "Stumbling blocks come up in any kind of business. The litmus
    test is: are you willing to work on fixing those? Or are you going
    to give up?"
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May 02 2016

38mins

Play

148: Amazing eBay Sourcing and Pricing Strategies To Try Now - Jason Deason

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Jason has been an eBay seller for 10 years. He deals mainly in the used clothing market, but is also looking to expand into shoes and hard goods. He has applied a sourcing strategy that increases his average sale price and a sell-through rate on his eBay store, and he would love to share his experiences and strategies with us today!

Interesting Notes
  • Jason had his first eBay store in 2008 but let it go after two years. He started a new one in 2010 and continues to operate until now.
  • He uses an eBay App called Price Spectre. The App enables him to set a pricing rule and release his items every 30 days. The prices continue to drop until it reaches the floor price.
  • He goes sourcing 3 days in a row. He sources his items from thrift stores. His average cost is $5.50. He tries to stay with items that have an average of $30 or better.
  • He also sources in Goodwill bins 20 minutes away from him. A month ago, he picked up a pair of Men's Nocona boots made of an Anteater. He bought it for $2 and sold for $250 within one hour he puts it on eBay.
  • He still looks at things up when he is in the thrift store. But there are also items that he picks up without doing research. In fact, a day before the interview, he found two pairs of Brioni Men's Dress Pants. He did not take time to look it up. He bought it right away.
  • There is a Post Office in their area that is open until 11 PM on weeknights. He ships his packages in the evening. That way he can ship out on the same day.
  • He does everything in his eBay business. His wife helps with shipping and in keeping track of the finances of the business.
  • His motto is "Do as little work as possible until the item sells". And so, he keeps his items hanging until it sells. Keeping the items hang proves to be a lot easier to find when there are questions.
  • It takes more time shipping daily because he has to pull the items down, fold it and pack it up. But Jason would rather take some time after an item sells than before it sells.
  • He keeps his store symmetrical to make it neat, clean and less garage looking.
  • His photos are point and shoot photo. He does not do Photoshop work. He uses a lighting kit. He likes a wooden background more than a white one.
  • He can list 70 items in one day. There are days when he does not list anything at all but just in the store making some changes in the pricing.
  • As a reseller of used goods, his favorite part is the adventure. It is looking for the items that are worth more money.
  • Jason recently started on shoes. He noticed that certain shoes have a much better resell price than a lot of clothing.
  • He follows Tino the Sole Advisor in YouTube. Tino has over 3,000 active listings of shoes. He sells those anywhere from $500 to $1000 in shoes every single day.
  • He has been in the niche of clothing that he feels like there is more to have. He wants to expand his horizon and take on hard goods. Hard Goods are electronics, toys, and things that are not in the clothing and shoe category.
  • The majority of the thrift store has clothing. But there are also shoes and electronics section. When he is in the thrift store, he would look at everything as he walks by and does his research on his phone.
  • One winter, he saw a women's cardigan made by a brand Barefoot Dreams. He had never heard of the brand before. He was looking through the cardigan, felt the fabric heavy and well made. He looked it up and it was selling for $70 to $80. He bought it right away. From there, he knew that Barefoot Dreams is a brand to pick up anytime he sees it.
  • The cheapest thing he ever bought and sold high is a Ralph Lauren turtleneck sweatshirt. To him, it is the ugliest thing in the world. He picked it up for $4 and sold it for $325.
  • The other day, he went to a pawn shop and picked up two used Samsung Galaxy Camera 2. Each is worth $315. He picked both for $315. He kept one and sold the other one.
  • Jason's average sales price is below $30. He wants to replace a lot of the items he has now with higher margin items. He wants to get to the point where he will be spending $100 on an item for a hope of a return of $200+. He wants to invest more in the products he sells to get a larger profit margin. And the only way he can do it is to educate himself on the different avenues of sourcing.
Advice, Tips, and Tricks
  • Jason prices his items at the peak of the market. He uses an eBay app called Price Spectre. Through the app, he sets his items to decrease the price by 1% of the previous day's price. He notes the decrease in the item listing description. This informs the buyers that the price will automatically decrease by 1% daily. He noticed that 40% to 60% of his active items start getting watchers. Once the item reaches the price point that the buyer is happy with, the buyer buys it.
  • He sets a floor price for his items. Once the price drop reaches the floor price, Jason starts sending his items to auction every 7 days. Then, he would drop the price to a dollar past the floor until the item is either sold or goes to a donation.
  • Jason lists his items by batches of 25 or 30 of the same categories. For example, he would lay all pants flat and take pictures. Then, he would take the measurement and write it down on a cheat sheet. He will then sit down and list one by one.
  • He assigns an SKU number for every item. He keeps everything hanging in numerical order by SKU until items sell. He has 10 industrial grade clothing racks in his shop building.
  • In the season when his sales slow down, he combats it by sourcing higher dollar items. It is less time listing and more time looking for things that are more valuable than his average $20 to $25 items.
  • Listing 10 items in a day that is worth $50 or better beat the heck out of listing 30 items in a day worth $20.
  • Explore in the different area of the thrift store to find things to resell. Have your smartphone with you and look at everything as you walk by. Then start to look things up. It will amaze you to see items that are worth much money. Doing so, you increase your brain capacity on what to buy and what brands to look up for.
  • He is not scared to drop a $50 on one item if the completed listings show that the item has a high sell-through rate.
  • When sourcing, he looks into the active and sold items to determine the sell-through rate on a monthly basis. He tries to stick at around 30% to 40%. This means that in a span of three months, he will be able to sell his items. With this practice, he noticed that he is selling 40% of his total stock every single month.
Q and A
  • Question: Is there a time where trends get old and no one would sell it anymore because people want something different?
  • Answer: Jason noticed that clothing trends differ from seasonality. Summer clothing does not bring in more money and profit as much as pants and winter clothing do. So, when it comes to summer stuff, he would prefer to search for a particular brand and size. He would lock those up in two or four pieces to give him a higher return.
Quotes
  • "Even if something two years ago was selling for $30, it does not mean that it is now."
  • "I would rather take some time after an item sells than before it sells."
  • "Do as little work as possible until the item sells."
  • "Sometimes, you need to forget about what it is sold for in the past and make a quick sale."
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Jun 26 2018

33mins

Play

157: How To Hustle & Grow Your eBay Store - Robert Courtemanche

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Robert started his resale journey at the age of 8 years old that moved quickly into sports cards which gave him the knowledge to get to where he is at now. Today, he is a jack of all trades and expert in making money out of nothing.

Interesting Notes
  • Rob's reselling journey started when he was in grade school. He saw a bunch of kids who were members of a certain school club selling Blow Pops. He told himself that he wanted to do the same even if he is not a club member.
  • With his mom, who had a membership at the Smart & Final Supermarket, he bought three boxes of Blow Pops. He was able to pay his mom and had some money left to buy another box.
  • He kept on turning his profit so he could use the money to play the Star Wars games.
  • Then came along the Garbage Pail Kids, a series of sticker trading cards. He wanted to have it too, but he did not know how to get them. That was when he started doing the hustling. One day when he exchanged a dollar for a quarter, he saw the cards and bought his first pack. He started trading with the other kids. Little by little, it grew up and pushed him into sports cards.
  • The first big collection he got was from his brother in law. It was a big photo album full of cards from 1968 to 1973 of all sports.
  • When he was growing up, Ken Griffey, Jr. and Bo Jackson, are the hottest players. He would trade their cards price for price or player for player. He would trade the 1973 cards for a $5 Ken Griffey, Jr. rookie cards.
  • He attended card shows, started to buy sports promo cards, and became smarter. He would buy the promo cards for 50 cents or $1 each and sell it for $10 or $20 each. The kids in their neighborhood thought that his promo cards are all unique. So, they traded their good cards with his promo cards. Some traded their bike, shoes, and other things.
  • Rob started selling the things traded with him. He would put the bikes and other stuff in his parents' yard sales. Little by little he evolved and moved on to test everything that would sell.
  • He started selling on eBay in 2000. After two years, he closed it down because of a feedback fight. He had more negative feedback than he wished to have because of the fighting. When he closed, he started to get more responsible. He had a full-time job then. He did the same hustles on a part-time basis. He made mistakes along the way. But his knowledge grew.
  • Rob considers himself a master of making money out of nothing. There are so many things that people disregard or throw away. But with Rob, he thinks and sees the worth of money of a thing and resell it.
  • He does not have a particular day dedicated to sourcing out. He can buy one product and gets 20 products out of that one. When online auctions pop up, he will hit those up as long as it is in within his local area.
  • The weirdest thing he ever bought and sold on eBay is false teeth. It was part of the $150 worth of truckload from an estate sale. He put the false teeth on eBay and it flies as high as $80. Another pair is sold for $100.
  • He follows a good workflow. He has a designated place where he takes pictures of his items. Behind it is a spot where he measures, scales and weighs the items. Next to it is a spot where he has his computer and does the listing. Everything is listed in one sitting. At nighttime, he would check YouTube videos. He wants to see what everyone is doing and see if he can help anybody who is struggling on eBay.
  • He sees a lot of people struggling with learning eBay. eBay is not that hard or difficult. People are often confused on how to do it and over think. This is because they listen to a lot of people who teach how to sell on eBay.
  • There are issues and negative things on eBay. But these are a small price to pay for what eBay allows a seller. Rob thinks that eBay is the only platform where a seller can virtually sell almost anything as long as it is not going to be a hazard to the customer.
  • Rob has two stores; both subscribed to a Premium Store.
  • One of his stores has got more feedback than the other. His goal is to grow his small store and dedicate a theme to it. He will convert his 19th Vintage Store into a High-Quality/Auction Store. He knows so much stuff that it is hard to pass it off when he knows it's going to make money. With the items that may not be of high quality, he will put it on auction and see what it do. If the items do not sell, then he will put it on the yard sale pile and do a yard sale.
  • He also wants to have a third store that would sell high-end stuff like furniture, arts, and other high-end stuff.
  • Rob thinks that eBay is moving in the right direction as far as growth. He thinks that most people over analyze the whole eBay algorithm. So, Rob and his wife work on a Reselling Facebook Page for people who will come and get help. They are strong believers in trying to help people for free.
Advice, Tips, and Tricks
  • The two biggest sellers on eBay are Items of Nostalgia and Items of Necessity. Items of Necessity are king over everything. Everybody needs clothes. But nobody needs a branded one. You can go to Walmart and get a shirt. To some, a car is an item of necessity. But if there is a bus line where you live, it is not really a necessity. Diesel parts are more of a need than a want as opposed to car parts.
  • Rob does not single out any particular place. He learned that there is money everywhere. If you just go to thrift stores, you just find thrift store stuff. If you just go to auctions, you will just find auction stuff. Do not be afraid to try anything. It is part of learning. With the cell phone, you can look things up, wherever you are.
  • The best way to grow a store is to put anything and everything into it. You will attract a lot more eyes instead of those who are only looking for clothing or looking for parts. So if you have cards, clothes, hats, comics, parts, etc...all sorts of people will come in and check out your store. These people are all potential buyers. Then grow your feedback and credibility.
  • The advantages of having an eBay store:

1. You get better results as far as the views.

2. You can put a name to your business instead of being a person. A store conveys a message that you are serious and credible to deal with.

3. You can do sales promotion.

  • The best thing to do before you get on eBay is to start looking for stuff around your house. Then try to sell the stuff locally first to get capital. You may not have stuff that is worth selling on eBay but would sell in a local market. When you have the capital, do your research and source stuff for eBay and list it.
  • You need to get the feel for buying and reselling before you try to quit your job.
  • You need to build your store and list your items. Make sure that you are on top of everything, doing it 100%.
  • The goal is not to have all the stuff for people to get, but to get good stuff for people to buy.
Quotes
  • "I mastered making money out of nothing!"
  • "The two biggest sellers on eBay are items of nostalgia and items of necessity."
  • "There is money everywhere."
  • "The best way to grow a store is to put anything and everything into it."
  • "The goal is to get good stuff for them (customers) to buy."
  • "Everything out there has a value. It depends on where you price it and where you sell it."
  • "I know nothing about art but I know enough to buy art."
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Sep 11 2018

33mins

Play

093: So You Wanna Sell On eBay - Gabriel Sharp

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Gabriel Sharp is 38 year old entrepreneur and eBay reseller. Gabe is an eBay Top Rated Seller and Powerseller with a desire to help others succeed on the platform.

Interesting Notes
  • Gabe used to work as a bartender in a restaurant for 20 years. He started working when he was 16 years old.
  • He loves to sell, so he started out with drop shipping. He moved his way up from there.
  • 7 years ago, Gabe has been successful in running a store with a partner. He reached a point where he considered it full time. One day, he woke up with a feeling that he would not want to work at his job anymore. He called his employer and informed that he is not going back to work anymore.
  • Gabe took a chance and it worked out. Now he sells on eBay, Amazon FBA, and Etsy.
  • He is buying and selling for over a decade. He also does online marketing, social media management, and drop shipping.
  • Drop shipping is working as a middleman. You copy and paste pictures and descriptions from your actual wholesaler. You sell it for your price so you can make a profit. You order from the company and when the order is placed, the company ships it directly to your customer.
  • Drop shippers use MAP (Minimum Advertised Price).
  • High-converting niche products work well for him.
  • Drop shipping is a good way to get an entry level position in starting a business. You just have to find a really good drop shipper.
  • Right now, Gabe is into basic buying and selling of T-shirts. People always focus on things that they could put a high dollar price. But you can get 20 T-shirts that can give you $15 a piece on.
  • He sells crazy western shirts. He just sold 3 Wrangler shirts 30 minutes before the interview.
  • He also sells vintage and concerts T-shirts. The concert shirts from 1990's are already vintage. It can give you $40 to $50.
  • He also buys and sells jeans. There are a lot of people trying to get the hand on jeans on eBay. But, not every single pair of 7 for all mankind jeans is going to sell for you on eBay. You've got to know what styles you are looking for. If you know the specific styles that you are looking for, it would sell at 2 to 3 days.
  • Gabe used to buy high dollar jeans for his self. He is a fashionable guy. He spent years of studying and learning authentic jeans. He would watch the trends and sold listings. He would jot down everything that he sold. He would see what selling the most in all those lines.
  • Now, when he hits the Thrift stores, he knows what he is looking for. And if he knows it won't sell within 30 days, he left it on the racks.
  • Gabe pointed out that bigger sizes do sell better and give quicker conversions.
  • He has an inventory system going wherein he knows where to find the items when he made a sale.
  • He does not have a huge storage room for the inventory that he has. He uses instead a storage unit and put it together.
  • He uses the basic skills in numbering his jeans and shirts. He keeps them labeled to know where they are at. It makes things a lot quicker for him when he is shipping the orders.
  • He ships using USPS Priority Mail. Priority mail is interesting because anything that can fit in the box cost only a flat rate.
  • Gabe has other accounts that he works with partners. Listing and sourcing can be time-consuming. But, he has specific sales set up in the Salvation Army. He knows exactly where he goes on the store. He can sift through the entire store in less than an hour.
  • He sells a lot of merchandise using eBay's Basic Listing.
  • He does everything on the phone. He lists 50 items a week. His goal it to sell at least 30- 40 items. If after 30days the items are not sold, he puts the items on auction and blows it out.
  • He is doing solo on eBay and FBA for 4 years already.
  • His awesome wife stood behind him the entire time. She works as a content writer. She writes an article for his website.
  • He wants to get back to designing T-Shirts. He is looking to expand on the private label products for Amazon FBA. He is looking for a survival niche.
Advice, Tips, and Tricks
  • 1. Learn what you are going to sell.
  • 2. Never underestimate how difficult this business is.
  • To handle a negative feedback, Gabe message the buyer and ask if there is something he can do to correct the situation. There were times that he gave a full refund without ever getting the return. Gabe tells a buyer that he can keep the item. Gabe will still give the refund and request the buyer to alter the feedback. Then he will send the buyer the revision request form.
  • Sometimes, we face a decision that is going to alter our life path. You have to lay it down in front of you. Am I going to take this risk? Is it worth to follow my dreams? Should I pursue this, or stay on the safe route? And when that moment comes, you have to make a decision whether you have the support or not.
Quotes
  • "It's amazing how money can be a motivator to learn." - Ron LaBeau
  • "You got to know what stuff you are looking for."
  • "If you are going to dream, you have to follow it if that is what you want to do."
  • "You are your own person. You can't allow other people to alter your life path, no matter who they are."
  • "Failures are a part of this (eBay) business."
  • "Feedback on eBay is golden. Your 100% feedback is the best thing you can do for yourself." - Ron LaBeau
  • "If you are making money, the fees would not hurt you."
  • "The easy way around is to sell some products in your house."
  • "Online sales is the new frontier business."
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Jan 23 2017

34mins

Play

094: So You Wanna Sell On eBay - Cyndi Zlotow

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Cyndi is a long time seller with over 15 years of experience. She and her husband now sell on eBay as their sole source of income. Last year they did just shy of a quarter of a million dollars in sales and today, she is here with us.

Interesting Notes
  • Cyndi needed a way to stay home to take care of their third child who was very sick.
  • She heard eBay from her Dad. The formula "stuff + eBay = Money" formed in her mind. They had stuff in their house. They had a digital camera. They needed money. And so Cyndi tried eBay.
  • It was the time when most items on eBay are on Auctions and pictures taken need to be developed and scan to get listed.
  • Most of the items they sell now on eBay are clothing. They have started to do more estate files. They bought a Disney collector's estate in the fall. Now, they buy a thousand CDs because they've got a great deal.
  • She has 253 CDs in stock right now.
  • Cyndi's husband, Matt, is the creative one. So, he takes care of the photography task. While Cyndi does all the data entries and numbers.
  • They source from stores. They do some estate and networks to get access to collections.
  • When they got their products, they sort it out. Matt would take pictures. They both do the measurements together.
  • They work by batch. For example, Matt takes pictures of all shirts, all at once. Then Cyndi does the listing of all shirts until all shirts are done. Then, they move on to another category.
  • If they have items that they need to research, they research it all at the same time.
  • By doing in batch, there is no slowing down. There is no stopping. It's bang, bang, bang.
  • They have a 2-car garage where they convert into warehouse space. They are connoisseurs of rubber made bins.
  • They ship out 800 to 1,000 items a month.
  • They wake up early every morning. So that everything that has sold the day before and until 4AM gets shipped out that day. They make it a point that they finish their shipping needs before their kids go to school at 7AM.
  • Cyndi likes to have mixed pricing. There are some items that sell better on Auctions. When you have an item that has a high sell through rate, go to the sold items listing. Then look at the difference between the number of completed items versus the number of items sold.
  • High Sell Through Rate is an item that is going to do well at Auction. There is a market for it. It is sold on a regular basis. A lot of people are buying it.
  • Matt used to have a corporate position. They never thought they would both work full-time on eBay. But Matt hated commuting at least an hour each way every day. He hated that he is not seeing their kids. And so, as Cyndi's business keeps on growing, Matt left his corporate job. They took the risk and rolled the dice.
  • Today, they work on their eBay business on regular work hours during the day.
  • They stick to what they sell now because of the storage. Cyndi would love to get into vintage furniture or paintings that there's a lot of money and they passed up. They do not have a room for it.
  • Cyndi always wants to expand, to grow, and to hit the next level. She wants to diversify more. She does not want to be in clothing only. But, she looks into a product line that is easy to store and ship like CDs.
Advice, Tips, and Tricks
  • They use bins to store their items. Every item goes into a specific bin.
  • They label their items using a letter and a number combination at the end of each item title. The said combination coincides with the bin that the item is in. So when the fresh photo shirt sells, she will look into her sold list in the morning to see what needs to ship out. So if it's an A1, she looks into the bin of A1.
  • On pricing their items, Cyndi would check on the list of completely sold. She tries to gauge at on that. But when she finds that odd and one of a kind item, she would look at Terapeak.
  • For a person who does not have an eBay experience, you can have a trial. Or you can put the item up on Auction and let the market decide.
  • Completed Sales Listing shows you everything. It shows you the unsold items and the sold items. Take a note of how many are there. Then click on sold listings. It will be going to show you the ones that are sold. If you can see that most of them are selling then you know that you are okay to go to Auction. But, if you've got only 10% that sells, and you put the item on auction, chances are it is going to sell on the opening bid. It does not mean that it is a bad item. It means that people are not clamouring for it today. So, you can't get a bid anymore. That is the item that you have to put in Buy It Now and wait for that one buyer to come in and buy it. It is still a great item. You have to use a different marketing strategy.
  • When you are in the thrift store looking for items to sell, you should ask yourself: "where do I leave money behind?". That way, you will know what to buy.
  • CDs are always easy to list on eBay. You scan on the barcode. You can do it on your phone in just 10 seconds. CDs are easy to store and easy to ship.
Quotes
  • "You are always trying to learn a new product, a new category where you can grow."
  • "In order to ship out many, you have to be listing more."
  • "Anything that you can do. That is where positive motion is going to be faster than switching from one item to the next."
  • "You have to look at the constraints of your life."
  • "eBay is not rocket science. It is hard work. It is not awful. We enjoy it!"
  • "You just have to do what you need to do."
  • "If eBay is like a full-time job then treat it as a full-time job."
  • "eBay can absolutely be done! You can do this! It is just about how much work do you want to put in!"
  • "Figure out what you are best at!"
  • "Find the things that you are good at. And if you can't, but you have somebody else, then let that somebody does the things that he/she is good at."
  • "The more you list, the more you sell. eBay is a number game!"
  • "You only live once. And the kids, they are going to be little once. You only get one shot. So, roll the dice and see!"
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Jan 30 2017

35mins

Play

072: So You Wanna Sell On eBay - Lizzy Clift

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Lizzy and her husband Tom have been selling full time on eBay since 2011. They fully support their family of four with their e-commerce businesses. They specialize in barely vintage nostalgic items.

Interesting Notes
  • Lizzy at the age of 22, a mom and a college student with no business experience, started selling online.
  • She started with her textbooks from college, sold it at Amazon and then move into eBay selling junks.
  • She went full time on eBay in 2012.
  • 80% of their sales now are from eBay. They focus more on eBay because Lizzy like the treasure hunting part of it. Moreso, they can profit more on eBay.
  • Their niche, barely vintage nostalgic, stems from what they like and know. Their market is the kids in the 90's who now have children. Lizzy believes that moms like her have a nostalgic feeling. They want their children to play with what they had played before.
  • The 90's kids can relive their childhood through their eBay store.
  • They source their stuff from Craigslist, Facebook, Thrift Stores, Estate Sales, Dumpsters.
  • Lizzy creates the listing. Her husband cleans the items and takes pictures. Their kids, 6 and 8, are involved in their business too. Their kids take pictures and test stuff by playing on them first. A true family business!
  • They just love shopping! So, the couple lists 150 items a day. Their motivation is: the sooner they can get the stuff listed, the sooner they can go to shopping again.
  • They take pictures in their dining room . There is no fancy set up. There is no high-end camera. They make use of whatever they have at hand.
  • On Tuesdays and Thursdays, they work 8am to 3pm when their kids are at school. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, they are out to find stuff to list. Saturdays are garage sales and also their family time. At the end of the day, their kids get their ice creams.
  • They have tried different methods of pricing. But, Lizzy sees free shipping as a bonus. So they adapted free shipping for all their items. They build the cost of shipping to their items.
  • Lizzy admitted that they feel lazy in shipping stuff. If it is not easy to ship, Liz will not buy it. If it requires extra care in shipping, Liz will not buy it too.
  • She based her descriptions on sold items especially the ones sold at high price. She figured out that those must have good keywords and pictures. Sometimes she adds the word "weird" because people like weird stuff.
  • Lizzy wants to be at home with her kids, and selling online is her way to do it.
  • The kids and to have more family time are their biggest WHYs in starting their business!
  • Their biggest mistake in selling on eBay is selling stuff that successful sellers sell. They realized that what works for others may not work for them.
  • Their greatest lesson: We need to sell what we know and what we like.
  • Lizzy and Tom enjoy the simple, easy, stress-free business in their garage. They like to stick with the niche they have now.
  • Their future plans include expansion and hiring employees.
Quotes
  • "You have to find your reason to do it!"
  • "If you don't have a WHY, you won't really have the motivation to do it."
  • "There's no better way to learn than to mess it all up."
  • "If it is not broken, I am not going to try to fix it."
  • "When you sell on eBay, it consumes your whole life, and that becomes your family time."
  • "A lot of weird stuff is sold on eBay every single day. I figured that if it is ugly or weird, it is going to sell."
  • "When you have a good WHY, you can accomplish just about anything."
Tools
  • eBay App
Contact Information Sponsors

May 30 2016

34mins

Play

122: So You Wanna Sell On eBay - Cheryl Tenbrook

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Cheryl has been selling on eBay since 2001, full-time since 2012. She's a Top Rated Seller and Silver Power Seller. Her eBay store, Funkarelics, specializes in all things vintage, retro, antique and eclectic - with a few new items slipped in on the side.

Interesting Notes
  • Cheryl is the only child. When her mother passed away, she brings all her mom's stuff, from St. Louis to Kansas. It filled Cheryl's basement.
  • Her mom's stuff gave her an inventory that did not have any cost. She decided to give eBay a shot. eBay at that time is still young and new.
  • She cut her teeth in selling learning all that and got hooked on eBay.
  • She takes her own pictures using her iPhone7. She has a photo booth of a linen tablecloth. It has a natural lighting from a window close by. The set up works well for small stuff. She goes to another room if she will take pictures of clothes and use a mannequin.
  • There is not much of a thrift store in Cheryl's area. Most of their houses have a basement because of the tornado. So, everybody saves everything.
  • She goes to Estate Sales and Auctions to source her inventory. It was in the Estate Sales that she got her postcards. She got a stack about 12 inches high for only $5.
  • The night before this interview, Cheryl sold one of the postcards for $40.
  • After sourcing, Cheryl would go through each of the items and get real photos. She would work on the postcards first because it sells the best. She would dump the damage stuff unless it is rare.
  • She would start to take pictures and put them up. She would take a whole batch of pictures, edit it and list the whole batch too.
  • It is so much faster if everything is in the same category.
  • Some products would take her long to list. She can list the postcards in 5 minutes. There are only 2 sentences to write and the title.
  • If you know what to charged for, then it would be very fast.
  • After this interview, Cheryl would work on the German Doll House. It would be slower because she has to search a little bit to figure out the brand. It would take her 15 minutes to get them listed because it needs to be measured.
  • Cheryl does all the processes by herself.
  • Estate Sales in their area runs every Wednesday to Saturday. So, she spends her Mondays and Tuesdays working hard on the listing process. She sources on the morning of the other days.
  • Cheryl bought Troll Dolls separately from an Estate Sales that has a couple dozen of trolls. She grabbed some that look interesting and were only a dollar.
  • With her longtime experience, she came to know the brands and about what they should sell for. She already sold 3 of the trolls, the more expensive ones.
  • Recently, the best item she has sold is the 3 Studio Cards. They are cards that Fleers Dubble Bubble Gum put out in 1959. She bought 7 of them for $9. She figured it would go for $30 to $50. One card in that batch is good for collectors and was sold for $1035.
  • She prints all her labels through eBay to get the discount and not have to stand in line at the Post Office. Their Post Office is 3 blocks away. She would run it down and drops everything off.
  • Cheryl appreciates the beauty of living in the Midwest. Since it is in the middle, her shipping time is a lot shorter compared to Coast to Coast.
  • She is working out on the paper lots from the last year. She has huge boxes full of all papers that she is going to sell in a big lot. She wants to get her investment in it.
  • Her store has a 99.9% positive feedback. She only had one person last year that gives her negative feedback. It was something that the buyer did not like and nagged her.
  • When a buyer says "I don't like it. It is not what I have expected!", it does not hurt her anymore. As much as she would rather have a 100%, she tries to roll with it.
  • If you keep selling, you bury those negative feedback.
  • Cheryl has rubber-made totes that she can seal. With her totes, she can keep anything, especially plastic things.She also has shelves in her room for the paper stuff that are in flat. She has shallow containers so that she can stack them.
  • She uses the bedroom of her 2 kids, who were grown up now, to store her eBay stuff.
  • One of the most exciting moments in her eBay life is when she got to visit the eBay Corporate Headquarters for a couple of times.
  • Another is every time she sells bigger items at a time when she needs money. She recalls selling a $700 Lion's Club pen that she paid for only 50 cents. It was a 1955 coconut pen from Lion's Club meeting in Hawaii. She had no idea what it was worth so she put it on auction.
  • Cheryl worked as a Secretary in the middle school for about 5 years. Then she pursued her college training which is Freelance Writing. She got a novel published and a couple dozens of magazine articles. The problem was she realized it did not pay as much.
  • She also managed a gym for a while. But, when eBay came along, it was perfect! She stayed home with her kids when they were younger. She enjoyed flexibility in her schedule. She loves being an Entrepreneur.
  • She wants to raise her average selling price. She cannot do much more, but she can learn to do it better and sell more expensive things. It takes a higher learning curve and a higher risk.
  • Now, she wants to learn more to do some expensive items and make more money by selling less. Her husband keeps on telling her, "It takes as much time to put up a $50 item as a $10 item. So why don't you just do a $50 item". She followed her husband's suggestion and sees where it would take her.
Advice, Tips, and Tricks
  • If Cheryl goes on a vacation, she would put an "on vacation" setting on. Then she would run auctions when she is gone. Items on auctions can stay up since people can't buy them. It can keep your revenue going a little bit if you are going out of town. Then she will come back and bring the auctioned items on, a day before she gets home.
  • She does not convert all her items into the auction. When she goes out of town, she makes sure she has 50 or 75 items on auctions. Then she would have 940 others that she will take off for a week.
  • On pricing her items, she would check on eBay what the item is sold for.
  • A lot of her stuff is a long tail and would take a while for the right buyer to come. So, if she has put the items on the Buy It Now, she would give it a couple of months. After which, if it does not sell, she would put it on sale using the Markdown Manager.
  • If she takes pictures, she would take two and uses one as the main photo. She would flip them so it would look different. She would rewrite the title and try to sell it again. If it does not work, she would put it on sale using the Markdown Manager.
  • If a postcard does not sell by itself, she would put it in a lot and would sell 20 of them. If it does not work, then sometimes they go out.
  • If she does not know what something is worth, she always put the item on auction first. Then she converts it over to Buy It Now if it does not sell.
  • She starts her auction at a price that she would be willing to take for and be happy if it sells.
  • Sometimes, she would do 95 cents auction with her junk that is not selling. Her goal is to pull people in and hope that they would hover and look around her stuff.
  • She uses Promotions Manager and Promoted Listings.
Q & A From A Facebook Member:
  • Member: How do you know what description to write? I struggled with writing good descriptions based on something I never had. Like on the postcards, how would you know what to write about?
  • Cheryl: I would check what is on the product as far as a factual stuff. Like on most postcards, there is a title at the bottom of the real photos that would tell you what it is. A lot of times, I would copy the title straight off. If I would flip the postcard over, there is a stamp box and a website playle.com. If you would look at that you can tell where the stamp box is made and so you could give a date. Sometimes, I would take a magnifying glass to a straight view to look up signs. It just takes some detective works, sometimes.
Quotes
  • "It is not smart to sell damage stuff unless it is really rare."
  • "It is a full-time job where I can wear my pajamas if I want to!"
  • "I love being an Entrepreneur!
  • "The Post Office is the eBay seller's best friend."
  • "If you keep selling, you bury those things (negative feedback)."
  • "I'm not here to make a profit. I want to get my money back!"
Tools
  • Promoted Listings
  • Markdown Manager
  • Promotions Manager
Contact Information Sponsors

Oct 17 2017

31mins

Play

147: 3 Types of Things To Sell On eBay - Jim Bennett

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Jim is a father to 3 boys and husband to his beautiful wife Ashlee who also helps with the business. He works eBay full time and is most recently known as the Ordinary Seller on YouTube since he is the guy just trying to pay his bills.

Interesting Notes
  • Jim used to work at Horizon, a cable wireless corporation. He also worked as a salesman in a company that sold custom printed magnets and pens. But he decided that the two jobs were not for him. He felt he needed to do something on his own.
  • He realized that he knew how to flip, to buy cheap items and sell it for more than what he pays for. It was his father who was a garbage man who introduced him into reselling. He was 12 years old when he started reselling. His father would pick trash and take it home. Once a month they would go to the flea market and sell the trash.
  • And so Jim decided to go for reselling and never looked back.
  • Jim and his wife, Ashlee, sell on eBay and Amazon. Jim manages eBay while Ashlee manages Amazon. Together, they do it full-time for five years.
  • When Jim first started, he got into Facebook groups and watched YouTube videos. He noticed that there were more people asking questions than answering them. The desire to share his information and help people grew in his heart. So he created his own YouTube channel, the Ordinary Seller.
  • He takes videos in thrift stores and yard sales. He also does sales update videos where he shows people what he is selling. He also does shipping videos where he shows people how he ships his products.
  • He used to take videos using his smartphone. But he realized that he also needs his smartphone to do research while sourcing. So, he bought a Go Pro type camera and now takes videos using it.
  • Jim is not one who plans his day. He would start every day fresh and go nuts with it. Each morning when he wakes up, he would ask himself what he needs to do. If he thinks he needs to go to a thrift store because he has not been there for three months, then he would go.
  • He works in their garage. He would buy his stuff, take it home, and sort it out. The good stuff goes to his back table which is close to where he takes pictures. After taking the pictures, he would stock his stuff on the shelves. When something sells, he would pick it up from the shelf, pack it up and place it in the bin ready for pick up by the mailman.
  • He works as efficiently as he can. His wife helps him handle his inventory. He makes sure that he has no death pile.
  • Every year, Jim takes his family out of the country for a vacation. They would go for a cruise for 7 to 10 days. This year they will have their vacation in October.
  • The beauty about doing eBay is you don't have to ask to go on a vacation. You just have to plan and prepare for it. Jim and Ashlee make sure that they have a good saleable inventory a few months before their vacation. They also save to take the time off. They would put their eBay store on vacation mode and extend their handling time.
  • Jim's son who is 14 years old started doing eBay. Jim set up a store for him where his son can list with 10 items.
  • eBay has a starter store program. A seller can have up to 100 listings for a minimal fee of $5 for an annual starter store or $8 for a monthly starter store.
  • Jim seldom puts his items on auction. If he has an item that he knows would go nuts, then he might put it on auction. He starts his auction at the least price that he would like to get.
  • A couple of months ago, he sold a vintage Hi-Fi stereo receiver on auction. He started the auction at $50 and it got to $85. He went back into his sold and the buy it now is selling for $175 to $225. He can accept $50 because he only paid $1 for the item.
  • Jim gives free shipping. But for heavy and bigger items, he uses calculated shipping.
  • The reason Jim goes full-time in reselling is that he wants to spend more time with his kids. He wants to make it to every soccer game. He wants to see every play and attend after school functions.
  • And so for as long as he can walk, Jim will do eBay. He wants to change the way he does eBay, that is, less thrifting, going to auction and estate sales. He wants to buy bigger bulk to get his inventory up.
Advice, Tips, and Tricks
  • 3 Types of Things To Sell On eBay

1. Sell What You Have - Sell what is around your house that you are not using.

2. Sell What You Know - If you run out of stock to sell from your house, then sell what you know. It could be clothes, sports collectibles, etc...

3. Sell What You Research On - Depending on how comfortable you are in your research, try to sell other things and branch out of your comfort zone.

  • When Jim started on eBay, he is allowed to list up to 500 listings. Now, with his son's store, he started with 10 listings. But 10 items are not enough to support a store. So Jim suggests that once you get your listings allowance up to that 200, 300, 500 thresholds, start looking into having a store.
  • If you cannot find the historical data of the item you are looking for, search for the same brand or the same type. Try to build enough information around the unknown item. You can do research on your smartphone.
Q & A:
  • Question: How do you get to the point that you move from the corporate into the eBay world?
  • Answer: No matter how prepared you are, you are never prepared enough. There is almost going to be a leap. Another thing to consider is money. How much money do you have? Are you able to pay your bills? Are you able to put food on your table? How much further do you need to push eBay to get things done? Whatever your answers are would determine your action plan.
Quotes
  • "I'm just a guy trying to pay his bills!"
  • "It is not always home run, home run, home run. Sometimes, you make a bad buy."
  • "We are not going to let our business interfere with our home."
  • "The beauty about doing eBay is you don't have to ask to go on a vacation. You just have to prepare."
  • "There's almost going to be a leap."
  • "No matter how prepared you are, you are never prepared enough."
Contact Information Sponsors

Jun 19 2018

32mins

Play

073: So You Wanna Sell On eBay - Beth Kelley

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Beth has been an eBay seller for over 13 years. She started out as a stay at home mom selling her children's outgrown clothing in order to pay for a family trip to Walt Disney World. She has now moved into catering to the Busy Woman with stylish fashions. eBay has provided her with a fabulous fun filled career and the ability to raise her children at home, many more visits to Walt Disney World, become debt free and pay for her children's college. She now has a weekly E zine/newsletter filled with tips and tricks for the Busy Woman, website entitled Busybethie along with her Busy With Style blog.

Interesting Notes
  • Beth does not intend to make a business out of eBay. She only does it to make money to go to Walt Disney World. True indeed, eBay gives her the money she needed.
  • It took her a couple of years before she realized that she wants to keep eBay going and develop it more.
  • Amazingly eBay makes Beth debt-free too, including paying off their house.
  • She takes her own pictures. She turned their theater room into a photography studio. She uses a backdrop and big photo lights.
  • She uses the basement of their house as storage and shipping area.
  • Beth sources her items from thrift stores twice a week. She also buys wholesale stuff. She puts 10 to 15 items a day. She photographs and edits everything. Then she puts a title and description and lists it.
  • She does her listing per item style or category. For items that don't sell well, she marks them 75% off or runs an auction. This way, she can get rid of stuff with ease.
  • She has tried selling glass for awhile, but she kept on breaking it so she stops. Now her niche is women's clothing for the busy woman.
  • Her niche came through because Beth has 3 daughters. So there's a lot of shopping going on. Clothes keep on coming through. She is familiar with women's clothing. She understands it. She enjoys doing it.
  • Her advice to those starting new on eBay: 1. Start with your cell phone to take pictures. 2. If you are selling clothes, you must have a mannequin. 3. If you are selling other products, start with a solid white background. Add a decent lighting then a good editing.
  • She adapts free shipping because eBay gives a boost when you have a free shipping.
  • She puts more time and effort in packing and shipping. She makes it sure that her customer receives the item like a present not as something purchased. Her customers would email her how happy they are and how much they like her items. She gets good feedback.
  • Beth believes in karma. So, she tried to work well with someone who wants something. That also gives her positive feedback.
  • To drive more traffic to her eBay store, Beth maintains a website. It collects email addresses for her weekly newsletter. She writes articles which turn into blog posts. She writes something that interests women. She also includes food recipes. She also tells what is going on in her personal life. Her customers who receive her newsletters keep on going to her eBay store.
  • For her PayPal paying customers, Beth sends a Thank You email.She adds to it an invitation to join her newsletter.
  • Beth admits that there is more competition on eBay now. Maybe, it is because eBay becomes a lot easier. Like you can list something from your cell phone in a minute.
  • She stays afloat against competition by trying to make the best of what she can.
  • She provides her customers with something that someone from China could not provide. Like she includes a wrap, a business card with her website address, a sticker, and a thank you note.
  • She does alone all the eBay and blogging works. Her daughters do the proofreading.
  • Two years ago when eBay ruled out the defect rate, Beth decided to join Facebook. She searched for eBay coaches and eBay groups to help her with. She ended up joining Niche to Profit group by Danni Ackerman. She took Danni's marketing class. That is where her website evolved.
  • Her advice to sellers: 1. Make sure to join the sellers group that talks positive. 2. Try to find sellers that are doing better than you. Then figure out what they are doing and do it. 3. Contact 10 sellers. Ask general questions, like "how do you do this"?. 4. Ask people for help. Everyone is willing to help.
  • Beth likes the freedom eBay gives her. It enables her to work on her own time. She can do what she wants to do when she wants to do it.
  • Beth plans to keep on growing her eBay store. She might also blog about Walt Disney World.
Quotes
  • "You need to do something you enjoy."
  • "I've tried too hard to make the customers happy!"
  • If you would do your best, serve the customers, and deliver a good product, you are going to stand out."
  • "eBay is a great opportunity!"
  • "Surround yourself with positive people."
  • "The sky is the limit!"
  • "You can be your own person. You can be your own unique personality."
  • "eBay's been a great blessing to me, and I love it!"
Tools
  • InkFrog
Contact Information Sponsors

Jun 06 2016

34mins

Play

143: The Easiest Way To Make Money On eBay: Sell Your Passion - Glen Zubia, Jr.

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Glen Zubia, Jr is an eBay seller from El Paso, Texas and best known for his YouTube Channel, Hustler Hacks. He hopes to inspire others who are struggling with money (especially after college) to take advantage of the many money making opportunities that are available through e-Commerce.

Interesting Notes
  • Glen was 13 years old when his cousin introduced him to eBay as a place where he could buy the big sports cards.
  • In his college days, he and his girlfriend (now his wife), used to sell McFarlane sports figures. The figures revolved around the NFL and NBA players. They custom painted the figures into a new player like the rookies. They sold for $160 the first player that they repainted.
  • He did the custom figures for a while. Then school got caught up with him.
  • In 2001, he started selling again. He started off thrifting and garage sales to pay off his student loan. Every week, he went to a 5 AM garage sale in their area. He had fun doing it.
  • One time, he and his friends bought boxes of ladies hats of the NBA and NFL games. They sold it and made $10,000 from the hats alone.
  • Glen loves to go to Ross, Burlington, Marshalls to find things to resell. From the sports figures, he niched down to shoes and clothing.
  • It was an easy niche transition because he has always been an NBA fan. When he is sourcing, he already knows when he sees one because of the past knowledge of being a fan.
  • Together with his friends, Glen would go sourcing trips to different cities. They have been to Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Portland. They would go to Nike outlets that have certain sales and deals. In the stores, they would look for items that sell most on eBay based on the result of their research.
  • They ship to their cities the items they purchased through USPS. They would try to get 25 to 27 pairs in one bigger box to maximize the shipping cost. They don't want to spend $80 or $90 on a box to ship back when they want to make a profit on certain shoes.
  • During his sourcing trips, Glen also does a mini meet up with people he talked online. He has been doing it for five months.
  • He sources Tuesday to Friday, two to three hours each day. At night, he would either do the editing for his YouTube channel or listing. He also does the shipping every night. He makes sure that the items sold on the day would get out the next morning.
  • He spends his mornings helping in their family business. His family has its own eBay store selling plaques, awards, and trophies.
  • All in all, he spends 20 to 25 hours a week for his eBay business.
  • Glen has his own office in their house. He stores his eBay stuff in their spare bedroom. He has put a system in place and so he knows where everything is.
  • Most of his stuff on eBay are brand new, with and without a box. Most of it goes to Phoenix and California, where shipping is cheaper for him. He ships using USPS. If he needs to ship an item without a box, he would ship it using a USPS box. The shipping cost ranges from $8 to $12 even if the shipment is going to New York.
  • If he needs to ship an item with a box, he would use USPS 1095 and 1097 box. He would cut evenly on the sides and make it almost snug for the shoe box to ship out. The shipping cost goes by the weight - the lighter the shoes, the better.
  • All through the years of selling on eBay, Glen has hit some home runs. One time, he bought heavy-duty Disney statues of Dumbo and Mickey Mouse from a Disney store that has closed in El Paso. He got each for $20. He did a high Buy It Now and took an offer. He sold Dumbo alone for $2000.
  • Another home run hit is a Dominique Wilkins Atlanta Hawks jersey dated 91. He found it at a flea market. He paid $2 and sold it for $750.
  • Home run hits are going to happen. It won't be all the time. It won't even be every month. But if you are consistent with your smaller finds and you are determined to make money, everything will build up.
  • Glen and his wife plan to have their first child next year. If that happens, her wife would be helping him in his eBay business.
  • He likes meeting people in person, especially those who have watched his channel. It warms him to hear comments like "your advice helped me with eBay to make my first sale or to pay off my student loan".
  • Helping people, listening and seeing what they are up to makes Glen more excited than selling random things on eBay.
  • If you are trying to figure out how to make money online, check out Glen's YouTube channel Hustler Hacks.
Advice, Tips, and Tricks
  • Look into eBay's completed listing and search for what is selling and what the price is.
  • Glen uses Free Shipping as it works for him. He makes sure he has a margin in there.
  • Glen does international shipping using eBay's Global Shipping Program. With the Global Shipping Program, the seller ships the item to Kentucky which in turn will ship the item out of the country to the buyer. It is shipped with complete confidence that your item will get into the hands of your buyer in good condition.
  • He takes all the pictures himself. He has a lighting kit and uses a little metal background. He likes to take zoom in pictures to focus on the different features of the shoes - the bottom and all the sides and angles. He takes 1 to 1 ratio so that when people are looking via mobile, they get to see all the features of the shoes. He also takes a picture of the inside tags for authenticity.
  • The beauty of eBay is that it gives you 10 to 12 picture range. Take extra time to take full advantage of it. It helps your customers. It eliminates questions.
  • He also uses templates that he himself made. He can set the template in, change the title and price. It speeds up his listing process.
  • He also uses spreadsheets for his bookkeeping. It helps him keep track every day what is sold, how much did he spend on it, how much is the shipping, and what is his profit.
  • Be consistent in what you are doing. Be determined to make money. Do everything you can. Then home run hits will happen.
  • If you have a passion for something, definitely go for that niche. But if you feel like you have a knowledge already, get deeper into that one. There is no need to jump around because other people are doing so. Focus on what you know and build it up.
Q and A:
  • Question: How do you organize your profit? At which point do you stop buying more stocks? At which point do you stop giving yourself a wage?
  • Answer: Glen divided his income in such a way that he can pay off his student loan and still have the money to re-invest. He used to do 50-50. He did a research before he buys stuff making him confident that he can sell the stuff and make money. He avoided death piles - things that never get listed and builds up. Whenever he buys stuff, he lists it all.

 

Quotes
  • "eBay has been awesome since then until now!"
  • "If you have a passion for something, definitely go for that niche."
  • "Focus on what you know and build it up."
  • "The number part is the most important part of your business."
  • "Home run hits are going to happen. But you've got to also do the singles."
Contact Information Sponsors

May 01 2018

34mins

Play

138: Five Tips To Start An eBay Business - Joe and Linda Yosso

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Joe and Linda live in Vancouver, Washington. They each have an eBay store. Joe grew up in Brooklyn and Linda in Santa Rosa, California. Linda started selling about 15 years ago and Joe joined her 4 years ago. They enjoy working together.

Interesting Notes
  • Linda started selling on eBay with things that her kids have outgrown and went from there.
  • Her eBay store is Pollyannagrammy. It is coined after her favorite movie Pollyanna and of what she calls herself - Grammy. Her little granddaughter loves to call her "my", short for Grammy.
  • Joe, her husband, has his own store, Joe's Gift and Gourmet. He initially thought of selling food items, but he never got to do it. Most of his items are jeans.
  • Joe and Linda use their house as storage of their eBay stuff.
  • They source their stuff from garage sales, thrift stores, and any place where they can pick up stuff.
  • Joe used to hate sourcing. But when he realized that he could sell stuff for more money, he got hooked.
  • The couple loves to buy stuff from thrift stores. Doing so made them feel that they are not only making a living, but also helping out charities. One of their favorites is the Second Hand Solutions that help homeless families. Another of their favorites helps Humane Society.
  • They don't have a budget when they go to source because they never know what they can find. But they keep their purchases reasonable.
  • Joe has the tendency to pick stuff in volume and give a low-ball offer. Once, there is a guy who sells the medical stuff of his son. The stuff turned out to be surgical shoes and 8 x 10 bandages. Joe knew nothing about it. He offered the guy $5 for the whole thing. Joe made $1500 out of the stuff.
  • Linda is the one who organizes their stuff. She uses boxes, bins, and shelves. 95% of their sold items, Linda can find right.
  • They have over a thousand mugs keep in boxes. Linda keeps 9-12 mugs per box. The box is labeled with a subject.
  • Linda takes all the pictures and does the listing. Joe takes care of their shipment. He brings 15 to 20 packages to the post office once in a day.
  • Linda uses an 18 x 18 lightbox to take pictures. She takes at least four angles of each item. With the use of a lightbox, her pictures are free of shadows. At other times, she would take pictures outside for a good lighting.
  • Staying at home is Linda's favorite part of selling on eBay. To Joe, it is making money.
  • One of the strange sales Linda had is selling her patterns. She is a seamstress and she has a thousand patterns. When she started selling on eBay, she started to sell her patterns at $2. She put them on auction and charged $2 for postage. One pattern was going up and up and wondered what was going on. One is sold for $50. Another is sold for $150 and charged $25 to send it to Australia.
  • Joe and Linda hardly do auctions now. They do only if they find something that they have no idea what it is worth. In those cases, they will start the auction at a price that they think is okay with.
  • One time, they had an item made of a pottery. They put it up for $15 and is sold for $107. It amazed them. There is stuff that made them nervous. They think that buyers might be disappointed. But this stuff turned out as the ones that buyers are excited about.
  • The couple embraced the changes eBay made in the past. Like when eBay made all the listings mobile-friendly. It took Joe and Linda awhile to get their listings fixed. It was hard, but they understand the changes to their benefit.
  • Linda pays $300 a month for her eBay store. With that, she got 10,000 listings, free packaging supplies and a quarterly credit of $50. Once you list the items, it's there. So it is going to cost you 10 cents a month.
  • When Joe's former business gone folded, eBay saved them. So, Joe and Linda want to go with the flow. They are doing well with their little stuff. If they could get small items, it would be better for them. They started doing okay with the jeans too. They've got better places where they could buy jeans for a low price.
  • Right now, the couple is renting. They plan to get their own place again and have two or three shed houses.
Advice, Tips, and Tricks
  • You can start an eBay business in 20 minutes. It is a matter of finding something that you could sell and make a profit on.
  • Five Tips To Start An eBay Business 
  • 1. Live with the idea that a lot of people make money so you can make money too.
  • 2. Thrive to live with the proof that somebody else has done it so you can do it too.
  • 3. Go out and find something that you like and that you can make money on.
  • 4. If you are broke, start around selling things in your house. Ask your relatives and friends if they have stuff that they don't want.
  • 5. Stay away from auctions. If you are going to do auctions, don't start at a dollar like some people say you should do. Start at a price where you will be happy with if the item is sold.
Quotes
  • "We love thrift stores. We are not just buying stuff to help us make a living, but we're helping out charities."
  • "The one who pays the most, for some reason, are the nicest people."
  • "With eBay, you could sell stuff all over the world!"
  • "You can start an eBay business in 20 minutes!"
  • "It is a matter of finding something that you could sell and make a profit on."
  • "Just TRY!"
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Mar 27 2018

35mins

Play

111: So You Wanna Sell On eBay - Suzie Eads

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Suzie is an eBay seller with over 20 years experience. Over the years, she's learned to adapt her business to an ever-changing marketplace. In doing so, she's sold to a variety of different customers. She also writes an eBay advice column and manages eBay for a major catalog company.

Interesting Notes
  • Suzie started selling on eBay in 1998 --- a time when not a lot of people knew what eBay was.
  • At that time she started on eBay, she had a newborn, a 3-year-old, and a 7th grader whom she had homeschool.
  • She thought of ways on how she could earn money and stay home. In secret, she bought 3 pieces of GI Joe Masterpiece Edition action figures. They were $85, yet she got them at 70% off. She was able to sell one piece for a $175. Another piece is sold $125, and the other piece is sold for $150.
  • Seeing the profit Suzie made, her husband encouraged her to do it again.
  • Suzie would go to auctions. She would buy stuff that she did not mean because she wanted one thing in the box. She started selling antiques, collectibles, and stuff that she had around the house.
  • She would take a couple of categories at night and search by highest price. She would look at the sold stuff. Not only did she see the highest price of things sold, but also she could figure out what things sold. That made her an authority.
  • She admits that she is not a good researcher. She is more of a "fly by the city" type. She is the kind that would spend this much money to see if she can sell it.
  • Today, Suzie does not only runs her own eBay store. She also manages the eBay (Victorian Trading Company) and Amazon businesses of a catalog company.
  • The Victorian Trading Company has its own warehouse. Suzie goes there almost every day to make sure that stuff are ship out.
  • Suzie's only credential is that she has been doing eBay for so long. Doing eBay gives her a challenge.
  • She cited that one of the major changes in eBay is the policy that sellers cannot leave a negative feedback for buyers.
  • She is not ecstatic on the Returns Policy, but she is happy with it. She is glad that eBay has a return process. It makes returns easier and you can customize it. It moves eBay sellers from being somebody working out of the basement to somebody who is working in the basement and operating the whole business.
  • When September 11 happened, she noticed that nobody wanted to buy Grandma's dishes anymore. Nobody wanted to buy the antiques and collectibles that she knew about. She thought she need to change. So, she searched for things that people need even at a time of crisis. She found a way to buy stuff from either the manufacturer or close up stores.
  • eBay is something that Suzie can do and involves her children in, and make money. Through eBay, they were able to pay the land that they had, and build a bigger house.
  • Her husband does the bookkeeping, while she does the sourcing and listing. Their kids help in their eBay biz too. Her daughter helps Suzie list, takes pictures, and ships out all packages. She also writes stuff. Her 12 and 14-year-old sons sort, carry and move stuff for her.
  • Suzie and her husband manage to impart the entrepreneurial spirit with their children. Her 21-year-old son has his own IT Security business. Her two 18-year-old daughters have their own businesses too. One manages a dance studio with 155 students, while the other has an art studio with 20 students. Their eldest works in their family business.
  • Suzie has a schedule that she tries to follow every day. Her children have their own schedule too. Suzie makes it sure that her children follow their schedule too. They are happy with themselves if, at the end of the day, they get everything done. If they did not, then they try harder the next day.
  • She learned a long time ago that dropshipping is not a good business. She owns all the products that she has in their BigDaddysMoney eBay account. Their house is the storage of their stuff.
  • Suzie taught about eBay for a long time. She writes weekly in Herald, in an eBay advice column.
  • She likes the shopping part of eBay. She loves doing eBay, and enjoy home with her kids. Her work does not feel like work because she is having fun.
  • Together with her family, they manage to remain as top rated seller in both eBay IDs. They ship things out within 24 hours. They have a schedule that they follow. They work through the night until everything is done.
  • She hopes that their eBay business would continue for a long time.
Advice, Tips, and Tricks
  • 1. Treat your eBay work like it is a business. If you say, you will work at 9 o'clock, then be at your computer and start working at 9 o'clock.
  • 2. Make sure, that like you are going to work in some place, your kids have everything that they need and you did all the needed household chores.
  • 3. You are not going to answer your phone. Nobody is going to bother you. You are there to work like you are at the real place of business.
  • 4. She sets a daily goal. Her goal is to write up ten (10) things a day. Every day, she would write up and get ready before listing her items. If she could get the ten (10) items written up then she is free to do what else she needs to do.
Quotes
  • "Everybody has a threshold for money."
  • "There is a method to the madness." - Ron LaBeau
  • "I just get up and try to be awesome every day!"
  • "Once you know how to write things up and you know where to get the products, things will be a lot easier."
  • "Real entrepreneurs do not become employees." - Ron LaBeau
  • "Treat it (eBay) like it is a business."
Tools
  • Outright
  • SixBit
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Jul 04 2017

34mins

Play

115: So You Wanna Sell On eBay - Ciara Brown

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Ciara Brown is 22 years old and was recently nominated as eBay's Young Entrepreneur of the year. Her business is called The Diamond Hanger. They sell new, used and vintage designer clothing up to 70% off retail price. They have a 1,000 square foot soft warehouse located in San Diego, CA. She started her business almost 2 years ago and now has 2 employees. On eBay, The Diamond Hanger has performed thousands of successful transactions and they look forward to many, many more :)

Interesting Notes
  • Ciara is the eBay's Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
  • At a very young age, Ciara and her sister had to learn how to resell. Raised by a single mom, her mother taught her how to have a garage sale and do anything she can to make extra cash on the side.
  • Every time Ciara got home from college, her mom would often ask her to get rid some of her stuff by selling it online. She tried to list some used jeans on eBay and ended up making $20 more. On that same day, she took pictures using her laptop and listed everything in her closet on eBay. Since then, she got hooked!
  • She first started in her room that looked like a thrift store. She had brown boxes scattered all over the floor of her room. Everything is here and there, like how anybody would start. Then, she started to get plastic jars and started labeling them per brand. Later, she had bins stacked up on top of each other which fills all the walls of her bedroom.
  • She juggled her time as a full-time college student, a Volleyball player, and running her eBay store.
  • Last year, while finishing her degree at San Diego State, she also dedicated herself to her store. She started to realize the potential that she can have a full-time income doing eBay. That she can do better than a lot of people who are having a regular full-time job.
  • She disciplined herself to do research. Every day and every night, she did as much research as she could on every single item and every single brand. Now, she can look at a rack and know exactly what brand the dress is before she pulls it out.
  • Today, Ciara has a photo box that allows her to have a very good lighting. There is a light all the way around the inside of the box. She makes sure that every corner of the item is well lit to make it looks professional.
  • She uses a software that is hooked to her computer. It pre-crops the images for her.
  • She has 3 people listing at the same time. One person grabs the item. Another takes the picture of the price tag. The other one dresses the mannequin. When everything is ready, Ciara takes pictures with the software. The whole process only takes less than 2 minutes for each dress.
  • They would list a couple of hundred of new items a week. They only spend 2 days for that. Doing so has allowed her to have more time to source her items.
  • On the days that they are not listing, Ciara is out trying to find the best stuff she can find for the lowest price she can get.
  • She sources her items from California. She buys designer clothes from a lot of people. She makes sure that the items are in great condition.
  • There are people who contact her to sell their stuff. Some are coming to her warehouse to sell their items. A day before this interview, an old gorgeous lady came in bringing clothes. The old lady does not wear anymore the clothes and sells it to Ciara.
  • She started to do consignment. She branches out to different areas to source items. She thinks that it is important to her long term plans with the number of items she wants to bring every week.
  • Ciara sells everything in her store. She wants her store to grow. She thinks it is best to reinvest her money and that is what she does now.
  • She sees reselling as a valuable thing. She does not want to start her own brand. After going to the Magic Show, she thinks she is doing better. She noticed that a lot of the brand is doing well. Some of the eBay sellers are even reselling those designer brands.
  • She first had one employee before she got the warehouse. Then when she got the warehouse, she hired the second employee. Now, she has another one who helped them in their online presence and in keeping their inventory up to date.
  • Ciara used to work at their 3 car garage. She used her parking space for the set up of her backdrop and put her new clothes on the rack. She also had a 300 sq. ft. storage unit down the streets. When they are done with the pictures, they would drive down the streets. They were checking inventory out of the storage unit. The clothing racks were so tight together because everything is squeezed. It was a lot of work, but it was worth it. Ciara would never trade those experiences for anything.
  • Today, Ciara runs her eBay store on a 1,000 square foot warehouse with 2 employees.
  • They have different clothing racks in their warehouse. There are labels of the brand at the end of each rack. They arrange the labels from A to Z alphabetical order. They hang the clothes according to the size and brands using colored hangers. Everyone knows exactly where everything is, all the time. They keep themselves organized because they don't want to cancel orders.
  • To find the items to ship, Ciara numbers the shipping list alphabetically. She labels the A brands as number 1, the B brands as number 2 and so on. These keep them going in random and less time going in circles.
  • She has a method for everything. She wants to cut down time because time is money. She wants to spend time shopping because she loves shopping.
  • Ciara finds it awesome and cool to see the evolution, from her bedroom to the garage to the storage unit to the warehouse. All her hard work showed during the eBay's Young Entrepreneur Award. She is grateful for it. It was 2 years of selling on eBay and it changed her life and how it helped the people around her.
  • She had an argument with herself about applying in the Shine Awards. They were driving up North for some inventory. Caught in a traffic on their way, Ciara she wrote her full story and submitted it.
  • Her jaw dropping moment happened a few days after she moved into her warehouse. She got a call from eBay saying that she was selected as a finalist in the Young Entrepreneur category. She cried in happiness.
  • Ciara had no idea what eBay community is about until she went to eBay Open. Everyone there is so genuine, so nice, and so willing to help each other. She had dinner with Devin Wenig, eBay's CEO. She described Devin as down to earth and so eager to hear her suggestions. She brought her sister with her, and eBay paid for their entire trip.
  • She made new friends at the eBay Open. Some groups in San Diego reached out to her for some eBay meet ups and gathering where they can help each other out.
  • The whole eBay Open was a fun and an awesome experience to Ciara.
  • Ciara realized that there is a shortage of dresses over the demand that eBay has. She thinks that eBay has a lot of customers that are looking for a lot of things. One only has to have as many as possible to keep up with the demands.
  • Ciara plans to maximize the use of her warehouse. She wants to fill it with items. She plans to get industrial clothing racks so that they can stack clothes up to two levels. She also wants to have a warehouse in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
  • But her ultimate goal is to spread all over the US.
Advice, Tips, and Tricks
  • Have a strategy in a way that you know where your stuff is all the time.
  • Put a system in place where other people are able to know where your stuff is. This way, when you need some help other people will know where to locate your items.
  • Take your time to research whatever it is that you love.
  • Find something that fits your niche, like products that you want to sell. Dedicate your time to researching everything there is to know about the product.
  • Stick to what you do and don't give up. Things can get tough. Don't give up on yourself.
  • Be disciplined and take the time to reinvest their money. Don't spend the money that you can make money with. In the long run, you can be very successful at anything.
  • Spend a little bit more time to source and find the best product. It depends on how much inventory you are bringing in. When you are spending so much time listing and you are not spending as much time finding the best product you can possibly find, it's kind of off-balance a little bit.
Quotes
  • "There's a lot of great places to go!"
  • "Reselling right now is such a valuable thing."
  • "You have to start at somewhere."
  • "It was a lot of work, but it is what I love to do."
  • "It is awesome to be surrounded by great people."
  • "Everyone needs a little bit more time to source and find the best products."
  • "Time is money."
  • "As long as you are disciplined and do your research, anyone can be successful on eBay."
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Aug 29 2017

35mins

Play

112: So You Wanna Sell On eBay - Keith Ritchie

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Keith is a former factory worker turned professional dropshipper. He has been dropshipping on eBay full-time since 2014. He employs virtual assistants to make his life easier & enjoys learning new skills and traveling. He also enjoys teaching others how to make a living online through e-commerce.

Interesting Notes
  • Keith defines Dropshipping as simply taking a product from one store or one vendor and placing it on a marketplace or website for sale with a markup.
  • He likes MAP (Minimum Advertised Pricing) price for wholesale, as long as there is profit.
  • He said that you will find good wholesale companies that police their MAP. There are some that don't care. And those are the ones that you have to let go.
  • When Keith was still doing the wholesale, he would look and monitor the competitor's prices. Then he would make a phone call to the company and report a competitor who is breaking the MAP. He would then see what the company would do. After 2 to 3 times that the company would not do anything, he would not continue to dropship.
  • When he first started, he would give a virtual address, a phone number, and a professional business email. He would come up with a big beautiful building when in reality he is only in his living room.
  • Dropshipping has a small barrier to entry. You need to know what you are doing. It is not something that you dive in and not have any direction. If you have a solid system and guidelines to follow, you'll be the next success.
  • Keith cited that the good thing about eBay is you are not necessarily competing on the price. You can change your keywords or images. You can do other things your competitors are doing to drive those buyers to your listings.
  • He uses the stock images of the manufacturer. He would resize them to make his stuff stand out in the searches.
  • Keith does Dropshipping for full-time since 2014. He used to work 6 to 7 days a week in factories. He would get as much overtime as he wants it. But when 2008 came, he gets lucky if he can get 48 hours of work.
  • Like any other people, he is looking for stability. Then came the great recession, and boom! He was gone.
  • Keith did not like his factory job anyway. He took his job out of desperation. He has to pay the bills. While doing his job, he listens to a podcast or an audio to feed his mind and help his belief.
  • He is selling on eBay and working at the same time. One time, he made an $80 profit out of a sale. That is almost his entire day's wage. He thinks of ways to improve and have more sales. He is trying to build enough so he can quit his job.
  • One day at work, he told a guy in-charged that he would quit. The guy looked at him and said "there is nothing I can do. Once you say it, then it's done". The guy asked him if his decision is final and Keith said yes. So Keith ended his employment that day.
  • Keith always wanted to look for different ways for ways out - an entrepreneurial spirit. Then, he stumbled across dropshipping and decided to make it full-time.
  • He started and found Dropshipping half worth. It was in the later part of Q4 (late in November, early December). Everything was selling. So he thought that it is easy money. In the mid of January, it came to a screeching point. He can still sell here and there, but he learned that he should have treated it like a business, as it should have been.
  • At the time of this interview, Keith got a negative feedback. It is a product review. The customer bought the product 5 or 6 months ago. They did not like it. So Keith called eBay and talked to a representative.
  • Keith created a dropshipping course - Easy Dropshipping. This is the kind of dropshipping from online stores. It is not a wholesale account. It places an overstock, that is, how to find items that are already selling and make them better.
  • In his course, he shows his system. He shows the different tools he uses to list and revise an inventory. He also teaches sourcing. He covers as much as he can in the course. What he does not cover there, he answers in the group. He is constantly updating the course.
  • He has a private group for all the members of the course. There are seasoned Dropshippers. There are brand new people too. He also has another Facebook group, All Out e-Commerce. It is a bigger community for multi-channel selling and dropshipping.
  • With dropshipping, you get paid first. Then you spend the money to buy the item and you keep the difference.
  • A lot of people have misconceptions about Dropshipping. They are scared to death of it. If you do not know what you are doing, you are likely to fail. If you get in there, start to dropship items, and you are not keeping track of your stuff for the price changes, you will only get broke.
  • It took Keith 94 days to get the $50,000 in 31 days in sales. For someone who has a selling history on eBay and with a big selling limit, it will not take you long to hit your target.
  • If you are a new seller and you have smaller selling limits, it may take you for a while.
  • Making it work depends on how dedicated you are. It depends on how much time do you have to put into it to make it work.
  • Keith's business grow leaps and bounds when he started employing Virtual Assistants (VAs). His VAs do product listings, place orders, all kinds of stuff that he no longer has to do.
  • He can now afford to travel because he got people who list, track information, and do different things for him.
  • Today, Keith praises God every day that he has the freedom. His only regret is not doing it years before.
  • For the listeners of this podcast, you will get a $50 off discount if you join Keith's course now. Click on this link: soyouwannasellonebay.com/easydrop You will get an email from Keith with instructions on how to create an account, how to log in, and how to join their private group.
  • His private group now has only 20 members. It is the best time to get in so you can get all the attention you need.
  • Don't forget to click on this link: soyouwannasellonebay.com/easydrop and get your $50 off.
Advice, Tips, and Tricks
  • 1. Feel each of your suppliers on how soon can they deliver the items. Keith put in his listing how many days is the handling time.
  • 2. If the buyer message you, give an excellent service. Be happy to help. Be happy to answer any questions.
  • 3. Learn how to handle customers even if they come out of the gate like a real jerk. Don't snap back. Apologize, even if it is not your fault. Apologize, even if you did everything you could. Say something like, "I'm sorry for the inconvenience. We're doing the best we can."
  • 4. Say up front that you are selling on eBay. If a wholesaler/company would not let you do it, ask for reasons why they would not allow you. If they insist, let them go and move on. There's a ton of accounts.
  • 5. There are name brands that would not let you list their items on eBay. The best thing to do is to get all the name brands. Do a research before you list their items.
  • 6. It is exhausting when you get to several 100 items and find yourself checking your inventory twice a day. When Keith reached that point, he decided to outsource, took the leap, and train the VAs.
Quotes
  • "It is a blessing in disguise."
  • "You need to know what you are doing."
  • "There is just no way of controlling. There is just a way of handling."
  • "Everybody does it differently."
  • "If you are doing it right and you have a system in place, you are pretty well on the road to success."
  • "I wanted to learn to be able to help people. To help people do what I did and get away from the grind."
  • "As long as you are dedicated, you can get results."
  • Only do the things that only you can do!" - Jim Cockman
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Jul 18 2017

35mins

Play

142: Why Does One Sell What He Sells On eBay with Jerry Pendleton, Jr

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Jerry has been selling on eBay since Dec. 14, 2014, with his wife, and he is making it his full-time job.

Interesting Notes
  • Jerry is a Salesman by trade. He worked with Keebler cookie company selling cookies for 12 years. Then he and his wife went into the network marketing industry. They did it very well for over 12 years. It brought them to Hawaii for a couple of times for free. Several times, they speak for the company they were with, in an audience of 1,000 to 2,000.
  • Then they started their own company with a partner. But it did not work well. From there, Jerry started looking for a job. No one hired him because he was overqualified.
  • One day, he saw a TV Show that talked about eBay and thought to himself that he could do it. Then a friend asked Jerry's wife to sell a Gucci bag for her. His wife did and sold it for $700. He saw a great opportunity there and got into doing eBay.
  • At first, he started off a little slow. He made some mistakes, but it did not stop him. He learned from his mistakes and keeps moving forward.
  • Because he loves hats, even as a kid, he started selling it on eBay. Then he added the golf clubs, the beer handles and a bunch of other things.
  • Most of the stuff he sells cater to the men. He likes it that way because men don't haggle too much. They want to get in, get the thing and get out.
  • Jerry started sourcing in the thrift stores. Then he hit the estate sales. Now, he is hitting the Kmart that is closing down in their area. He hits whatever that he can make money with. He even sources from eBay if he has to. He always keeps his options open.
  • His first thought when he wakes up is, "where am I going to make money today?" He starts his day attending to his social media thing, then shipping, and then making calls to hustle. He is always hustling to find something and make some money.
  • Jerry named his eBay store after their dog, Charlie. His store has a wide selection. He has flannel shirts, games and puzzles, glassware and mugs, Christmas ornaments and a lot of things.
  • Aside from the golf clubs that are in his garage, he stores his eBay stuff in a 10 x 12 bedroom. His stuff goes all the way to the ceiling.
  • He loves hats. He has 1,400 of it in his room. About 1,200 are in his listings.
  • The "hot hats" now are the unique hats - the K-Brand product that is American made. A lot of people in Thailand and Korea are buying those hats now.
  • One time, Jerry went to a place where the hats are so dirty. But he paid $2 each hat because they were all vintage hats.
  • There was also a time when he bought a hat that has holes. It was an old Houston Rocket hat. His buddy told him that it won't sell. But Jerry said it would sell. True enough, he sold the hat for $25; he only paid $2 for it.
  • He also has beer pull handles in funky colors. He finds them on eBay and buys them in lots. He has picked up 80 more beer handles.
  • Jerry also buys dresses. If he sees a Hawaiian muumuu - a Hawaiian woman's dress, he will buy it. He knows a little bit about Hawaiian stuff.
  • Last two weekends ago, Jerry and his wife went to a citywide yard sale in Morro Bay. There are 200-yard sales, but it rained. It is the same yard sale where he got his 400 Christmas ornaments the year before.
  • Close to the Morro Bay yard sale, Jerry found a Kmart that is closing. He spent $166 for a bunch of stuff there which could have cost him almost $900.
  • Jerry's wife is a school teacher. She teaches science in high school. She helps Jerry take pictures. She uses a lighting kit that they got online.
  • She could take pictures of four (4) boxes of hats and finish it all within 30 minutes. One box, the size of a shoe box, contains 10 to 12 hats.
  • Jerry works 8 to 10 hours a day on his eBay business. If he is traveling, he would also be thrifting. And if he is in a thrift store, he would always start looking for the hats.
  • The one thing he likes about eBay is that there is always something new to learn.
  • He wants his kids to get involved somehow in his eBay business. Her daughter works for a tax firm. His other son is a computer whiz who knows how to fix things. So if Jerry's eBay business grow bigger, his son could be his tech guy. His daughter could help him too.
  • Jerry is an eBay guy, all the way. He sees himself doing eBay even in his retirement years.
Advice, Tips, and Tricks
  • Jerry has learned to source in different ways. He checks on Craigslist, OfferUp, and the likes. Checking everything to see where he can make money has become his routine all day long.
  • There are two ways on how to look and treat eBay: to treat it like a hobby, but don't expect that the hobby pays, or to treat it like a business and expect that business pays. He chose the latter. His attitude is the result of how he looks at the whole thing.
  • He managed to set a system in place. He pre-write his description and it speeds up the process of listing.
  • This year, Jerry uses the number system in organizing his stuff. For example, he has a box of baseball hats that he has got listed. He will label it as MLB Baseball#1. Then the next box will be MLB Baseball#2 and so on.
  • Using the number system makes his work so much easier. It saves him a lot of time. It allows him to do something else instead of searching for a hat for an hour.
  • One thing he learned about sales is that a seller must always tell the truth. If a seller tries to lie to the people, the people are not going to come back. So he makes sure that people know the true condition of his stuff.
  • Some things have trends. So, he always keeps his eyes open looking for the next thing that is good.
Quotes
  • "There are always doors opening and there are always doors closing. You've got to be open to new ideas."
  • "There are many reasons and many ways that you can sell on eBay." - Ron La Beau
  • "A hobby costs you money, but a business makes you money." - Ron La Beau
  • "Time is money!"
  • "I know what I don't and I go with what I know and make it work!"
  • "We've always got to be able to change with times. If we don't change with times and stay the same way, we will never grow."
  • "There is a lot of stuff that I am learning all the time."
  • "With eBay, there is always something new to learn."
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Apr 25 2018

34mins

Play

082 - So You Wanna Sell On eBay - Anne Zarraonandia

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Anne Zarraonandia is a long time eBayer beginning in July 1998. She sells just about anything you can put into a box and loves "moving stuff around the universe" and getting cash for it! A former teaching tennis pro she still sells tons of used, dead tennis balls to dog owners around the country!

Interesting Notes
  • Anne started selling long before eBay has started. She started with mail order catalog called I Love Barbara Catalog. It is a Barbara Streisand's memorabilia --- records, posters, and books. She sold it to people and fans all over the world. Back then, they used a snail mail form to send the items.
  • Later, she sold memorabilia of Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, and anybody moviestar-wise. Aside from memorabilia, she also sells games, books and baseball stuff.
  • Recently she sold a Mohammad Ali autograph to a collector.
  • Anne describes eBay as a collectible marketplace. Everybody collects something. If they want to get rid of their stuff, those that sell collectible things got something to sell.
  • Her interest in selling things and her want to get rid of her tennis balls led her to sell on eBay.
  • Now, Anne sells tennis ball boxes of 25, 50, and a 100. Every day she puts balls in the box and sends them anywhere around the country.
  • Her secret sources are her sister who is teaching tennis pro, and her friends who are working in clubs.
  • Tennis balls go dead rapidly giving her an endless supply. In fact, in the US open tournament, they change the balls every nine games.
  • Anne also sells for other people. As a consignment seller, she gets a variety of things that she does not know about. She gets to learn those as she lists. That is where she gets the idea on what to price the item for.
  • The first thing listed on her store is a Thomas Hart Benton 1944 signed Lithograph priced at $40,000. Some of her friends had it in their cabin. She thought that it was something that she saw in an antique road show. She did a research and there were only 250 of them and it went for a bundle. She looked it up and realized it is valuable. So Anne priced it higher. She is just sitting on that one, waiting for the right buyer.
  • Anne has 15 active clients (on consignment) who just drop off their items to her.
  • She has a couple of teen agers who help her list. They are freshman high school students who want to earn some money. They are not afraid of technology and so they work faster and more efficient.
  • She moved her eBay biz from her home into sharing an office space with an Architect. She uses the backspace of the office while the architect uses the front. Her office has a shipping area, a photography area with a background, and then a lot of shelves. The shelves contain her items. The items are classified per category and labeled by persons as well to keep track of what she have.
  • She uses a code system to easily locate the items sold. She uses a software called SellerVantage. It is a consignment software that gives you a line where you could put the items. That keeps her from searching and losing things.
  • She also uses Auctane, a thrid party add-on software, to help her determine the shipping cost. It gives her an amount by putting the weight of the box and choosing the service she is going to use (priority, first class, etc...).
  • She also calculates for across the country by putting the zip codes. She does this when she lists so she will know in advance the farthest it could be and its cost. Then she builds the cost of her free shipping.
  • Anne observes that when you do free shipping, buyers would not even question what it cost you to ship. Doing so, she takes off the stress out of her calculation. It also takes the stress out of buyers if they would like what they paid for in shipping.
  • The best part of doing eBay is that Anne gets to make her own schedule. If she wants to take an afternoon nap or go out to lunch with friends, or play tennis on Wednesdays. It makes it all possible for her. She is her own boss so nobody would get mad at her if she won't show up @ nine o'clock.
  • Anne likes shopping because she is always looking for a deal.
  • The weirdest thing she sold on eBay is an open box of 10 pounds.
  • The initials of Anne's complete name are the beginning and end of the alphabet. Anne feels like that somewhere in the initials of her name is a gold mine coming her way through a pirate booty. She feels like she is getting those riches from doing the fun game on eBay. Thus, the eBay name A to Z Pirate Booty.
  • Her goal is to list the things that are actually in the basement of her house. She has a two-year plan. If she can get one box listed for a month, she can get to two years and can go shopping. She is holding back the shopping now. She tries to keep moving her stuff around the universe to get as much as she can and see what happens.
  • Anne loves to talk about moving stuff in the universe. True enough, something goes back to her. She got back her father's painting through eBay. It makes her feel good that she was able to give it back to him so he could enjoy it still.
Advice, Tips, and Tricks
  • Anne has a variety of stuff in her eBay store. Her experience taught her that everything has a value. She prices her items by doing this:
    • 1. She starts to do auctions. This way, she could see that people start to spend money.
    • 2. When the auctions went out, she put a fixed price.
    • 3. Sometimes she put a dream price. She hopes that somebody would put an offer with a price that she thought is going to be worth in the first place.
  • Everybody seems to get the paralysis of analysis. They worry too much. But to Anne, this is her philosophy: "I will try it. And if it does not sell, I will take it down and sell it later. I barely throw anything away."
  • On photographs, she goes with this line of thinking: "It would still be going to sell, whether the pictures are perfect or not." She takes returns. If the buyer sends it back, then she will accept it. She will sell it higher the next time, though.
Quotes
  • "eBay just made selling easier for me."
  • "Everything has a value."
  • "It's really cool to be able to learn each new niche and category."
  • "The more you list, the more you sell."
  • "I don't have to go looking for it (stuff). The business is just right there."
  • "Just try it (eBay)! You just have to give it a try."
  • "eBay is so unique because it is not just a standard barcode you buy in a regular store."
  • "Some old things were made better than the things that are current."
  • "There's a couple of different categories, of age, of types of things that you can't find anywhere but eBay."
  • "No one knows what people buy! If everybody did, we will probably be doing the same thing."

 

Tools
  • SellerVantage
  • Auctiva
  • Auctane
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Sep 13 2016

36mins

Play

168: How To Add $300 A Month To Your eBay Sales - Jessica Oman

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Jess & her hubby Johann play storage wars in real life! After buying a unit at a storage auction for $230, they got hooked on buying and selling and built a multiple 6-figure business while keeping literally tons of good stuff out of landfills. Jess applies her MBA training and business consulting know-how to keep growing the business and now she's ready to pass on her expert knowledge to help you grow yours!

Interesting Notes
  • Jess and her hubby had separate jobs before. They were both doing eBay as a side hustle. They find it fun to rescue and learn all things and pass them on. It kept growing. In the end, her husband quit his job and Jess closed down her consulting company.
  • They liked the show Storage Wars since 2012. When they learned that there was a local one, they went to its auction. They got the last locker of the day. They were clueless as they pulled things out of the big crates. They spread things all over the floor and found some cool things to sell.
  • The highlight of their first auction is the set of Royal Albert Old Country Rose China. It is a big set of a collectible pattern. They sold it and made about five times the money from that first auction.
  • Since then, they kept buying more storage units which filled their garage with stuff. When they ran out of space, they found another one until they ventured into a warehouse.
  • They realized that there is an actual business in buying storage units. So in 2016, they formalized their business.
  • No one knows what is inside the storage unit. The auctioneer will open the unit and people try to peek and see using a flashlight. Then the bidding starts. If you win, you have a couple of days to empty everything out.
  • Sometimes, they bought lockers that looked incredible but when opened, it was boxes of clothes, foods, and Christmas stuff. At other times, the other lockers that don't look so good surprised them.
  • A few years back, they saw a unit with a big pile of pennies at the front. They bid on it. A guy started making fun of them saying, "Oh, there's $5 in pennies at the front of that unit. You can start getting your money back!". They paid $300 for it. It turned out the pennies are only at the top layer. Underneath it was all quarters and Canada's Loonies and Toonies - $1 and $2 coins amounted to $300 bucks. They got their money back.
  • Jess and her hubby keep on learning about new product categories. As they learn more about what sells well for them, they become more selective about what they buy. They now have a better sense of what they can flip for the most money. They moved away from buying storage auctions to more consignments and estate sale picking. Doing so becomes more lucrative for them.
  • There was a time someone dropped them 5,000 Beatles record. All of a sudden they researched about it.
  • Recently, they got 100,000 Hot Wheels Diecast Cars consignment. They didn't know anything about it and so they did the research.
  • One of Jess favorite categories to sell is Ephemera Paper. She loves rescuing old paper. She always gets this weird stuff because people don't think it's worth anything so they gave it away. But there are some people who collect it.
  • They were able to sell a political brochure from the birth of a political party in Canada. The party started in the 1950s and is now defunct. The brochure is from 1953 and is rare online. It was sold in less than 24 hours for $30.
  • The couple was able to double their revenue every year for the first five years they were operating. But last year, they reached the point where they could not get beyond where they are with just the two of them. In fact, last year was the first year that they did not double their revenue.
  • So last year, they started hiring people. They hired remote workers as product listers who gives them consistent, new listings. They also hired a local worker who does their product price research.
  • And now, they are already seeing the benefits of having staff around. Their January revenue was up to 90% over January of 2018.
  • The couple has a 2,000 square foot warehouse. Though it is a bit small for their needs, they make it work. Everything they have has an SKU. Everything that gets posted has its box with its proper location. Whoever is in the warehouse can find things easily. Now and then, they made some tweaks on their processes to make it more efficient.
  • As they grow and scale their business up, they became more obsessed and passionate about it. They welcome lots of cool ideas to continue to grow their business.
  • In the process, Jess has become involved with various Facebook forums. She chatted with other sellers for a long time now. She heard a lot of complaints like there are too many sellers on eBay now. There is too much competition that is why nothing sells.
  • She realized that there is a huge gap in entrepreneurship skills and business skills. Sellers need to be able to fill this gap to be able to scale up and find profitability.
  • She thought that if a seller finds that nothing is selling, the seller needs to learn a skill set. Or there is an attitude that a seller needs to change. It could be a change of mindset at how to look at the eBay business and treat it more of a business.
  • So Jess started to asked seller what they need. They would talk about things like "I don't understand sourcing. I don't understand marketing. I don't understand cash flow."
  • With her MBA and her experience teaching business at a University, she could help sellers. Thus the birth of Hobby Sellers Bootcamp - a pilot course that teaches entrepreneurship and business skills and mindset. It has four modules:

The First Module talks about mindset shift. She calls it "You're not a doctor. You're a business owner!"

The Second Module talks about how to add $300 a month within a few weeks. This is the simple things that you can do for easy wins. Doing so will give you simple success and immediately start adding $300 or $400 a month to your top line revenue.

The Third Module talks about the business skills that you need to sort of scale up and make it a full-time income. A lot of people say, "I'm afraid to quit my job. I'm afraid to take the leap." This module will prepare you so that when you do finally drop your full-time job, eBay will be able to replace what you are earning.

The Fourth Module talks about scalability and tracking your progress. This is understanding what you actually need to measure to know how well you are doing.

  • In four weeks, sellers will have the opportunity to ask Jess question in her four live group coaching call. The course is not limited to what Jess has designed. She will adapt to what the sellers need based on their questions and concerns. Through this course, sellers will be able to set up a system that supports through the slower times. Doing so, sellers can amp up when things are getting fast like around November and December.
  • The course is priced at $247. By the time you complete the course, you are already adding $300 a month to your top line revenue. So the course is paid for itself and then you start to scale your business. It will be open for a few more days. Check it out before the cart closes - hobbysellersbootcamp.com
  • Jess finds it great and cool to teach other people to get to the point where they get what they have dreamed of.
Advice, Tips, and Tricks
  • You can filter the boxes inside the storage unit by looking at how things are packed and at the type of boxes used. Are they using banana boxes from the grocery store? Are they using nice boxes from the storage facility? If the boxes look really old, that's a good sign. If you see something that looks like Campbell's Soup box from the 1970s, there's likely to be something good inside.
  • Bringing people on as staff is a very scary thing to do. It can be quite intimidating at first. You are forced to put amazing processes and systems in place. Doing so will empower your staff to do their best work. You will see the benefits quickly, plus it is fun!
  • They have a simple setup for their photography. They use a white table with the sheets and a couple of big desk lamps that come down on either side. They try to make the background clean and eliminate shadows as best as they can.
  • You need to be an honest seller. You need to describe things well. You need to be conscientious.
  • If you are selling an item that you don't know of, you can try an auction. You don't always have to be concerned about maxing out and getting your top dollar for everything. Look at your margins. If you are spending an hour searching upon a unique and difficult item, you have already wasted too much time. Just put a price on it and wait.
  • As a business owner, there are things that can frustrate you. You didn't sell something for enough. You messed up with the packaging that causes an issue and your buyers got upset about it. These things are going to happen in business. You have to pull your emotions out of it. Try to walk away for five minutes and reframe your mind. Then come back and send the buyer a nice note with an apology.
Quotes
  • "There is a trill of the hunt every single time."
  • "You don't have to be a professional photographer to make your eBay business work."
  • "Don't get obsessed with every little thing that gets at you. Deal with it and move on!"
  • "One of the key things to have to get used to is the volatility."
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Mar 19 2019

28mins

Play

167: Learn How You Can Earn More By Thrifting - Jason T. Smith

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Jason is America's #1 thrifter and spends his time touring the country teaching others how to thrift and flip online. Jason was the star of Spike TV's Thrift Hunters and now hosts 2 Youtube shows Thrifty Business & Selling Past Your Expiration Date, Being Thrifty Over 50.

Interesting Notes
  • A few years ago, Jason taught his retired parents how to sell on eBay. They are 76 years old and flip a lot of water skis and TV-VCR combo. They are making $2,000 a month selling part-time on eBay.
  • Jason and his mom started the YouTube show called Selling Past Your Expiration Date Being Thrifty Over 50. It is a once a week, late at night talk show about thrifting for senior thrifters and sellers.
  • Her mom loves doing the show and enjoys it. It made her a celebrity on YouTube. She would go to flea markets, and people would recognize her. And Jason, being a Mama's boy, enjoys it. He finds it fun to watch the older generation hosting YouTube shows.
  • Jason loves to go to thrift stores. Someone tried to call him a picker, but he likes to call himself a thrifter. Pickers love to dig in attics, basements, and old barns. But Jason with a 6'5 feet height is not into getting on his knees and crawling around. He prefers going to thrift stores with air conditioning and bathrooms which is more comfortable.
  • His wife has a corporate career. She stands five feet and three quarters. When they go thrifting, his wife searches from the middle shelf down while he searches from the middle shelf up.
  • Jason is a big music nerd. He has over 4,000 CDs, alphabetized on shelves in his little library in their house. When he goes thrifting, he would conquer first the Media Section because that is what he knows well. His first stop is the Music Section. He would crash the CDs Section and pull out all the gems. Then, he would go to the Cassettes Section and check for eight tracks. He would also look through the record section to find video and computer games.
  • After conquering the section he knows best, he would work on the rest of the store. He would hit over to the Men's Clothing because he is a man and he wears clothes. He is well versed in Men's T-shirts, button-down shirts, and jackets. He also knows what jeans are good to flip and so he would conquer that section too.
  • Early on, he had also flipped bras because there's good money in used bras. But he made a one-time mistake of grabbing the same bra at the same time a lady had grabbed it on. So he made a note to himself to always shop on the right side of the bra rack.
  • When he had his TV show Thrift Hunters, there is a group of guys who kept on poking him online. These guys only sold fine men's wear - high-end button-down shirts, suit coats, blazers, and the like. He does not use those stuff because he lives in Vegas and rarely wears sleeves on his shirts. But he took on the challenge. One day, he went thrifting a whole store. He went into its Sport's Coat Section. With his iPad, he looked up every single brand on eBay sold listings. Doing it, he saw what was hot and was not. On that day, he bought a sports coat for $5. He ended up selling it for $300.
  • Since he learned the Sport's Coat Section, he went into one the other day. He was in Boston for a trip and he snagged out two sports coat. One was an Italian that cost $100 and the other cost $50. He estimated that the price to sell on eBay would be $599 or $699.
  • He also flipped neckties. They are super duper easy to ship and has no weight. The novelty neckties were great 10 years ago. It vanished so he stopped looking for it. Then on his Boston trip, he found some cool and unique neckties.
  • Jason's house is 4,000 sq. ft. big full of his Tiki Mugs collection. 50% of which comes from thrifting. He has a bamboo bar, the size of one room, full of his collection. He got rid of it because he bought a new bar that matched their furniture. So their house is a mess of the mugs he bought in the last six months. He filled their new bar with the duplicates that need to be sold or traded. And he got 200 extra ceramic vessels, most of which are in the boxes. That is a lot of space, a lot of money that has already been paid, and a lot of profit just waiting. But his Tiki Mug collection is full so if something new comes in that he likes better, he lets go of something old. And he keeps that flow. If and when he wants to sell his stuff, it is worth way more than he paid for it.
  • A Tiki Mug is a collectible mug where cocktails are served. It is made of a ceramics. You can take it home for a price. It is found in Tiki Bars. Tiki Bars started in the 30s. Thrift stores think they are a vase so they are in the vase section.
  • Every Tiki Mug has a name. The modern Tiki Mugs have a manufacturer at the bottom of the mugs. Oftentimes, they have a year and the designer. If you don't know what it is, you can message Jason on Facebook and he will tell you. If he needs it, he will buy it from you before you even get out of the thrift store.
  • He has a class in Portland. A new girl in the class ran to the Vase Section and found a very rare Tiki Bowl. The Tiki Bowl is for a group drink. The girl bought it for $6 and sold it for $60. With that one item, she paid for half of her class.
  • The other day, someone sent him a picture of two Tiki Mugs. If Tiki Mugs are legit, they are good ones. He told the sender not to buy them because those are knockoffs.
  • Jason used to work as an Operations Manager for his buddy who had a tub store in Vegas. He would deliver and fix tubs. He starts to work at 6 AM while his buddy works at 11 AM. Along the way, things did not go well with them. One day, he got an infection while working in some nasty hot tub. He almost died of it. He had two emergency surgeries to save his arm and his life. He was hospitalized for five days but his buddy never visited him.
  • His view from his hospital room is the Strip, the last thing he wanted while in a hospital bed. A strip is a place where people are having the funniest time of their life. When one stays in Vegas, the one thing one wants is a view of the strip. Those five days, with all the machines, he realized his work life is miserable. It is making the rest of his life miserable and he needed to fix it.
  • When he got out of the hospital, he quit from his work. He spent the next month doing eBay while rehabbing his screwed up arm. But he made as much money with one bad arm, sitting in his office than he did at a backbreaking outside job. Doing so made him realized that he is his own boss making the same money. And so he worked it up to make a lot more money, setting his own hours. He works longer and harder than he ever had but he enjoyed it.
  • Jason and his wife get up at 6:30 AM. He would ride a stationary bike in the gym in their house. Then he would catch up on his Facebook Groups real quick. His assistant comes to work at 8:30 AM and then they would do the shipping first. His assistant would then take pictures and on the next day, they would list it. On the other days, he would get materials together for whatever he will be teaching next. At night, he would go downstairs to watch TV with his wife and doggy. On weekends, together with his wife, he goes on thrifting. They would hit garage sales in the morning and antique stores after lunch.
  • His grand plan is to make money with no boss so that he can control the hours of his life and be happy. But as he continues to make his own living, he acquired more knowledge. As he acquires more knowledge, he shares it to a few people until it leads him to teach, run Facebook groups, and host YouTube and TV shows.
  • Last year, he started teaching two-day classes in major cities. He teaches where there are cool Tiki bars. He sees himself doing it more because he loves to travel the country. Besides, it is pretty awesome to travel the country and make money at the same time.
  • He loves shopping too! To him, thrifting is like a treasure hunt. So he wants to thrift more around the country and around the world. He wants to see the world through thrifting and teaching. He will continue to do so until he can do it no more.
  • He also has a TV show. He is the new character on the Pawn Stars. He has already shot two episodes. He finds it cool to show up, do his role, get paid and then leave the shoot. And he intends to do it more.
  • Jason is now living his dream with his life partner. Even if his wife has a different job, they do well together. He loves seeing his successes. But more so, he loves seeing everyone who follows him succeed. That is what fuels his heart and brain.
Advice, Tips, and Tricks
  • When flipping bras, always shop at the right side of the bra rack.
  • When you are in a thrift store and you don't know what section to go to, get your phone or your iPad. Sit in a section the whole day and learn it. Look up every brand you can find in the section on the eBay Sold listings. Then figure out what are the hot items.
  • There is so much money in every single section of a thrift store. Conquer what you know. Then start to teach yourself or learn from a Seller's Summit like the So You Wanna Sell Summit. Or you can learn by listening to a podcast like So You Wanna Sell On eBay.
  • If you have a mannequin, tie the necktie around the mannequin's neck. That way your potential customer can see how it looks.
  • Pay attention when you bring stuff in. If you get attached to it and you want to keep it, that is fine. But if something new comes in, learn to let go of something old. You have to keep that flow.
  • If you get into Tiki Mugs, 100% of the time, you can find it in the vase section. Every thrift store in the world thinks that Tiki Mug is a vase. So they put it in the vase section.
  • If you are a beginner on thrifting, start buying clothes of your size. Find some things that you think are cool, unique, or jeans if you like wearing one. Vintage Levi's do quite well. Buying clothing of your size and does not sell means that you've got an extra pair of jeans or an extra T-shirt in your closet. So there is no harm.
  • If you know something well, like Tiki or CDs, go to its section. Buy a bunch of the stuff. Then expand by buying big and ridiculous stuff like TV-VCR combo. No one is making them anymore today so you get them cheap. The only place one can buy them second hand is on eBay. His parents would get it for $5. Depending on the size and the brand, it can be sold for $80 to $200. Once it got a remote, no matter what the brand, that's a minimum of $80. The remote really adds huge value to it. So, when you go to the thrift store, go to the TV-VCR section.
  • The great thing about being a thrifter is you can work from anywhere. When you go on an actual vacation with your kids and spouse, they will probably let you thrift a little bit. But don't push it.
Quotes
  • "Everyone has a niche. Everyone has something they collect or know very well".
  • "Life's too short to be miserable every day".
  • "Don't work for friends. It never works out!"
  • "The great thing about being a thrifter is you can work from anywhere"!
  • "Life is so much better when you're with the right person!"
  • "Be your own boss. Create your own wealth. Create your own lifestyle". - Ali Young
  • "A miserable job is a pain which infects your entire life". - Ron LaBeau
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Jan 29 2019

31mins

Play

166: How To Earn Over $10,000 A Month Flipping Phones On eBay - David Kosciusko

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David went from being bankrupt to selling over 2 million dollars in phones and electronics on eBay over the last 6 years. He has helped hundreds of people grow their eBay business through buying and selling phones off classified sites and reselling them on eBay.

Interesting Notes
  • Broken cell phones sell fast on eBay!! Dave knows it because when he list it on eBay, it sells within a day or two.
  • Before he did this interview, he listed $7,000 phones. He sold $200 within five minutes. And he expects to sell $3,000 overnight. This thing happens every single week.
  • He believes that eBay has so much built-in traffic. With eBay, he gets to sell his products fast. Unlike a physical store where he has to talk to customers, people are already searching for stuff on eBay. When he hears the "cha-ching" on his phone, he would print the label on eBay, wrap the item in a bubble mailer, and it is done.
  • Dave loves eBay because he could move so much inventory so fast. It also takes a whole selling part of the business away from him. It also enables him to focus on what he is good at, that is, acquiring inventory at a price where he can make a healthy profit.
  • He gets his inventory by placing ads on classified sites - places like Facebook Groups and Craigslist. He would say, "We pay cash for phones". Then people would call and sell him their broken phones. He would offer them a price where he could make a 40% to 60% profit.
  • Ten years ago, Dave and his wife had lost their house and car. He was dead broke and lived in his mom's basement. He worked from their home as a carpet cleaner and made $300 a week. He wanted to have a business that he could do part-time.
  • The eBay business intrigued him because he likes the work at home idea. He enjoys working from their house. And to sell online looks exciting to him. So he started selling stuff on eBay. He started finding stuff from yard sales.
  • The first item he sold is an old antique flag that had 48 stars instead of 50. He bought it for $20 but sold it for $.99 with free shipping. He spent three months finding junks at yard sales that did not pay off.
  • On their wedding anniversary, he found a lady selling a designer purse - a Coach. At that time, Coach was a big thing. The lady sells the purse at $30. He bought it for his wife as a present on their wedding anniversary.
  • He thought of selling purses on eBay but was afraid because of his previous experience. He looked at what is selling on eBay and found out that purses sell for $230. He realized that he needs to go for high-dollar value items. The next week, he found four Coach purses at the yard sale. He bought the purses for $15 per piece and made $200 over the weekend. That was a huge, life-changing moment for him. The next weekend he went out again. With a little more practice, he was able to make $400. Selling designer purses turned into a little eBay business for four months.
  • Dave wanted to expand his little eBay business and have something consistent to sell. So he started posting ads on Craigslist saying, "I will buy your used cell phones and electronics, cash!". He wanted to try and see if he can get anything from it as the purses do.
  • He made $10,000 in his first month on electronics. With that, he switched from purses to electronics. His business blew up from there. In his first eight months on eBay, he made a quarter of a million in sales.
  • He does not advertise for cracked or broken phones. He advertised for phones in general. Though people sell him phones in good condition, there are others who sell him cracked ones. He accepted those because he learned from American Pickers that anything with a low emotional attachment usually is most profitable. It made him think, "who has an emotional attachment to cracked cell phones?" Then he realized that one can let it go so much cheaper, as cheap as $30. And it can be sold to eBay for $150, a massive profit margin!
  • Dave's philosophy is sharing information. He believes in the Abundance Mentality, that is, there is enough to go around for everybody. He never gives second thoughts on the competition. He worries about doing better for himself.
  • Now, he trained people on how to flip phones on eBay. And by him training people, they share ideas with him too. When he helped people do better, they also share the good things with him. So, from $20,000 a month on eBay two years ago, now he is averaging $30,000 a month.
  • He has trained over 70 people who have hit over $10,000 in a month flipping phones on eBay. He put them on his YouTube channel to be recognized and become a superstar.
  • He also flips laptops, tablets, Mac books, and iPad. He does not flip old and vintage items because it distracts him from his main business. He focuses on what he knows, that is, electronics genre, and do lots of it. He thinks that he would hurt his sales if he would try to diversify too much because he would not be so focused.
  • To Dave, electronics is cool because it is all the same. An iPhone is still an iPhone. Unlike with purses, you have to make it look pretty first and take at least 10 pictures.
  • When he lists an iPhone, everybody knows what it is. So he would take the phone out of the case, slap it on the table, and take a picture of the front and back, and it is done. Unless there is severe damage, he takes a picture of that.
  • In shipping his items, he would wrap it in one or two layers of bubble wraps. Then he would stick it on a bubble mailer.
  • For his flipping business, Dave uses only eBay tool to value an item. He tries to keep his business simple. He finds that complicated things make business worst. He goes to eBay search and do appraisals. He looked into the sold listings and find out what something is worth.
  • eBay makes sure that sellers think about their buyers. Dave too believes in customer service. He always gives great customer service in every business that he has. If there is an item that has an issue, he will be happy to take it back as a return. He gives back the money to the customers. Then he will resell the returned item to whoever wants it to get his money back.
  • Dave runs his business with this business philosophy: WORK LESS, MAKE MORE! He has built systems and structures. He hired people to work for him. Now, he runs four businesses completely automated.
  • The hardest part of a beginner entrepreneur is the Discipline in Structure. As an entrepreneur, you have to train yourself to think like you work for your bills. Think like your mortgage or your credit card payment is your boss. All those are telling you that you need to go to work today.
  • Dave has been selling on eBay for seven years. He has made over two million dollars. And he would still continue to sell on eBay.
  • Flipping phones on eBay is a business that he has done a lot and mastered. He has been training people for three years now on how to do it. He has thousands of students on his paid course. He has 20,000 people on his Facebook Group. He wants to help more entrepreneurs grow, and expand from there. He might get into bigger things in the future.
  • His life now is helping as many new entrepreneurs get into a business, make some money, and find a profit. People who are making $10 an hour in their jobs and who tried several ways to make money and failed, take his course. Two months later, these people are making $10,000 a month.
  • Last year, a kid with a $50 in his pocket, enrolled in his course. Now, one year later, the kid has a $100 grand in his bank account.
  • Dave feels good to be able to take someone from a struggling position. And he wants to do it for more people.
Advice, Tips, and Tricks
  • Focus on what you know and do lots of it. If you are selling $5,000 or $10,000 on vintage coins or something, you don't have to switch on flipping phones. You have to learn how to sell $20,000 or $30,000 on that something you sell. Figure out how to do it. Then stick to what you know.
  • Make sure you have the right keywords for whatever you are trying to sell. It has to be what the buyer would search for on eBay. Make sure you have the right keywords so that you would attract the buyers you are looking for.
  • Make sure you don't oversell in your listing so you would not get a bunch of returns. Even if the phone is in good condition, Dave's listing would say, "has slight scratches on it". This way nobody can get the phone and say "hey, there is a tiny scratch" and send it back to him. He undersells his listings rather than oversell. It is wrong to think that the more you hide something in the listing, the better it sells. Make sure your listing comes professionally. If you are over-promising, people can see it. People trust you more when you put something negative in your listing. He would say, "has some light scratches but works well". Winning people's trust makes them more willing to buy from you.
  • Make a structure for your own business even if you are the only person working. For example, posting ads to get the inventory. Your structure is to make sure to post 15 ads each day. So you post 15 ads every single day first thing in the morning. Make sure to take in calls to buy the items and make so many offers. Have a structure to remind you that you are going to hit a certain amount each day. Doing so creates consistency in your sales and in your business.
  • For whatever item you are looking to flip, find three same items using the Sold Listings on eBay search. Then find what people are paying for and take the average of those three. That would give you the accurate picture of what the market is going to pay.
  • If you want to be a flipper on eBay, you have to be very good at doing appraisals. You have to be very good at finding out what an item is going to be worth. The better you find out, the more accurate you are in finding out what something is worth. The better off you can make and be more confident to flip an item means more profit in your pocket.
Quotes
  • "eBay has so much traffic built in!"
  • "Iron sharpens iron!"
  • "eBay is all about buying. You made money when you buy the item."
  • "The key to business is: work less, make more."
  • "You've got to really hone in on something and be really good in at least one thing." - Ron
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Jan 22 2019

30mins

Play

165: 18 Tips To Start and Grow Your eBay Business - Mark Le Vine

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Mark Le Vine is co-owner, with his wife Robin, of Bubblefast, a shipping supply eCommerce business that began by selling a single roll of bubble cushioning on eBay in 1999. As pioneers, Bubblefast has enjoyed it's involvement in the eCommerce community ever since.

Interesting Notes
  • Bubblefast will be celebrating their 20th anniversary on May 2019. Having been a while, they have seen a few things.
  • Back in the old days, there were no many rules. The competition was not much and shipping was less complicated.
  • Back then, it was not easy to take good pictures so pictures were not as important as it is today.
  • PayPal was not a thing either. There was a lot of communication, back and forth, between the buyer and the seller. Once a seller sold the product, you had to sit on it and wait for the check to come in the mail before you even ship it.
  • With the advanced technology, eBay has come a long, long way. Now, it has its own catalogs where you can use stock photos. It has a Feedback System where a Buyer can give a review. As a seller, you can manage payment under PayPal, so you can get paid electronically. eBay is doing all the things that help the sellers make selling easier and to be better in eCommerce.
  • Today, eBay also has better customer service. They are more dedicated to helping you answer questions and even dig into some of the details. Listing is a lot easier and much more user-friendly now than it used to be.
  • eBay is not a cut-throat environment. Everybody sells different, unique items and are not competing for the same market share.
  • It is so diversified that although you may sell in the same category, you are not selling the exact same products. So, sellers can still help each other, feel good about it, and still make some money.
  • eBay keeps in mind the buyer and the seller for every decision that they have to make. It looks at the big picture and makes the decision for the vast majority. Sometimes, looking at the big picture does not sit well with the individual seller. Sometimes, the decision may not go well with the individual seller. But, eBay thinks for the best overall for the marketplace.
  • The more people tell eBay how they feel about the items, the more changes eBay can make to try to make it as best as possible for as many buyers and sellers. But if the buyers don't come to the platform, it does not matter what you sell or for how little you sell it. Nobody is there to buy the items. So eBay has to keep in mind and make sure that there is a lot of competition in the marketplace, not just within eBay. So eBay has to do its job to make sure that buyers come to eBay as oppose to other places.
  • The online business or eCommerce operates 24/7. It is the only business where you can go to bed at night, then wake up in the morning and find out how much money you make.
  • Mark went to a game several years ago. He got a gold Bobblehead as a free give away from the game. He put the Bobblehead down the seat and took a picture of it on the phone. He listed it during the game and within an hour it was sold.
  • When you are running an eBay business, you are on your own. It is stressful to some degree. You spend a lot more time on it. But all those things are yours! It is the best feeling about owning your own eCommerce business. You are not working your ass so that somebody else can make money off your sweat.
  • Mark's business has different processes than most of the eBay sellers. It is because they sell on different marketplaces. They have one database that somebody has customized an app for them. It downloads all the orders from different marketplaces into one central database. From there they work on each order - size and weight. Then they decide what service is to use for shipping each individual products to optimize their cost and shipping speed. They don't have a pick list because the items for shipping are printed right on the label. They grab the label, then they pick and pack it up. They have different couriers - FedEx and Speedy Delivery. The post office man picks up the rest of the items not meant for the couriers.
  • Their processes did not come and developed overnight. They made a lot of adjustments as their services change.
  • There are challenges all the time. Mark and Robin continue to grow and try to be on top of the things as best as they can. There are new products out there - even new shipping products. So they are re-evaluating what their prices are to maintain competitive edges. They continue to learn their customers' needs so that they can customize their products. Many times, they have customized products that people eventually caught up in. And they want to keep it going and work out on the next one.
  • If the rule changes, Mark and Robin would like to the first one to be on top of the rule. They want to supply products that fit the rule and make everybody happy. They believe that they cannot do it without keeping in touch with the eCommerce community.
Advice, Tips, and Tricks
  • eCommerce is getting a bigger and bigger piece of the market share of the retail business every year. Now is just as good as a time to get in. If you are a new seller on eBay, it is not difficult to list an item and sell. But there are a lot of rules that you have to be aware of. The rules have to do with shipping, packaging, how much to sell your item for, etc. Mark recommendations for starters are:

1. Don't quit your job. Instead, start selling as a hobby and play with it.

2. Sell things that are inexpensive.

3. Follow the rules and you will succeed.

4. Start small and learn. Stick to one item a week or one item a month.

5. Be prepared to make mistakes and lose money. Learn from those mistakes and grow slowly.

6. Find an eBay Sellers' Facebook Group. You don't even have to ask any questions. Nobody has to know that you are there. Pay attention to the questions other people are asking and read the answers. By doing, you will find new sources for questions, goods, suggestions. You'll be surprised how quickly your business can grow just by joining networks online.

7. Find yourself a local Meetup group at Meetup.com This is a face to face networking.

8. Don't be bashful about asking questions. Eventually, you'll become an expert in your niche. A time will come when people will ask you questions and you can pay forward by helping them out.

9. If you have the UPC Code on your item, make sure that you put that UPC code in your listing. Having the UPC Code in your listing gives your listing much better chances of showing up in the buyers' search than if you did not use the UPC code at all.

  • In regards to Shipping, Mark recommendations are:

10. Do a little research. The heavier and bigger the product, and the farther away you ship it is going to cost you more to ship. You also need to pick a different service.

11. Something lightweight and small is for a Priority Mail. Something heavy or large, you may want to go with the couriers like UPS. You have to learn the differences there.

12. Know how you are going to pack your products before you ship it. Once you can figure out how much it is going to weigh and what the dimensions are, then list it. Use the eBay shipping calculator to give you options on the least expensive and fastest way to ship your products. That way, your buyers can pick out whatever options they want to pay for and get the products faster.

  • In regards to Processes, Mark recommendations are:

13. As your business grows, learn how to be efficient. There are too many options and services. You will go blind trying to look for all. So in your networking, ask people what they use.

14. Be prepared to use the processes in your business. But things change and so does the offers. Some get better. Some don't handle what you can do anymore. Keep on tight on knowing what your own business is and you can make the changes quickly.

15. Listening to what your customers are asking for, or what kind of USPS rules is changing. Doing so will give you an idea when and how to modify your own products.

16. When you create jobs, create jobs for the position and not for the people. So that if people changes, the job description and the position do not. That makes the transition much easier.

17. If you have staff, don't ask people to do something that they are not capable of doing. Try to put them on the best spot. Try to cross-train your staff so that when somebody is not there, someone else can take over.

18. Better to train somebody else to do your job so that you can move up into a higher job and bigger responsibility.

Quotes
  • "Everybody wants to help each other on eBay."
  • "eCommerce model it to be the tortoise and not the hare."
  • "Start small and learn. Where you want to be, starting small and learning, is the best way to get there."
  • "You cannot move up in the ranks unless somebody else can move in your spot."
  • "Staying in touch is the biggest asset you can have in keeping and growing your business."
  • "Every eBay sellers has been helped by somebody else." - Ron LaBeau
  • “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don't want to.” - Richard Branson
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Jan 17 2019

31mins

Play

164: The First Lady of The eBay Meetup Group - Stephanie Inge

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Stephanie Inge began selling on eBay in 1999, founded the original eBay sellers group, The Dallas eBaybes & eMales in 2002 and became first EVER college-level eBay instructor.

She published Meetup Organizer Step-by-Step Success Guide in 2013 and is the organizer of the annual Sea Commerce Cruise, an at-sea eCommerce conference.

Interesting Notes
  • Stephanie is very passionate about teaching others. She loves the fulfillment she gets from doing it. Her greatest contribution to the eBay Community is organizing local events like Meetup Groups. And she does it for free!
  • She said that organizing a Meetup Group does not take a lot of money. Neither does it take a ton of work. All it takes is dedication.
  • Stephanie never misses a meeting! This year, her Meetup Group, The Dallas eBaybes & eMales, is celebrating its 15th anniversary. She is proud of what she has accomplished.
  • The Dallas eBaybes & eMales meet in a restaurant every month. They have veteran eBay sellers as well as new eBay sellers in the group. From 6 PM to 7 PM, everybody would eat dinner and network. Then from 7 PM to 8:30 PM, a guest speaker or someone from their group who is an expert would give a talk on a certain eBay topic like packing or shipping, or customer service, or photography. They would either have a speaker or a class.
  • Sometimes they would have a virtual speaker at their meetings. In fact, this January, their speaker Atty. Cliff Ennico will present via remote live broadcast. He will talk about the Legal and Tax Updates.
  • Being a member of a Meetup Group gives you a network of 450 people whom you can reach out anytime and ask your questions. Most of the meetup conversation is on a private Facebook group.
  • It is free to become a member of a Meetup Group. Just go to meetup.com and find a Meetup Group near you. On the eBay website, there is also a page where you can find Meetup Groups.
  • In a conference, you learned the most by meeting people from other places. You trade stories, tips and tricks, and other stuff over a meal. With a Meetup, you get to meet local people who do the very same thing you do. But you don't have to pay for the travel expense. You also get to do it every month.
  • Meetup Group covers every topic that would benefit an eBay seller. Today, there are 143 eBay Meetups in the US. And eBay is working closely with all the Meetup organizers.
  • Stephanie continues to sell on eBay. Her niche is shoes for men and women. She started it a year ago, fired up by Tino who is a total Rockstar when it comes to shoes. She also sells handbags.
  • One time, she took a picture of a purse from her death-pile galore. She did a research and asked a member of her Meetup Group to authenticate the purse. The member uses expensive software for authentication. He gave Stephanie a rough estimate of $150 as a price of the purse. Stephanie listed the purse on eBay and cross-posted it on Poshmark for $1200. She ended up selling it to a high powered attorney in downtown New York, City for $650.
  • Stephanie also sells T-Shirts and Merch. She uses Print On Demand website for those items. She has also published her book to CreateSpace
  • She is also learning how to create all kinds of journals and planners using CreateSpace. She will sell these through Amazon.
  • She has other websites that sell too. So when she creates a design, she does not upload it only to Merch. She also uses it on several Print On Demand websites, and one of which is CafePress. CafePress has thousands of products which she can put the same designs on.
  • Stephanie's legacy to the eBay community is that she gave an order to the Meetups. She came up with the step-by-step on how to set up and organize an eBay Meetup group.
  • In the eBay Open on July 2018, eBay gave her the greatest honor as one of the speakers for three different events. eBay has introduced her as The First Lady of the Meetup.
  • Stephanie has been teaching at the local colleges. She has also been teaching eBay in Amazon classes and social media classes for eBay. This 2019, she will expand her classes to include Poshmark. She has been using Poshmark for six months now and she loved it.
  • She also plans to incorporate into her classes the Vision Board classes. Vision Board is about the power of positive thinking. It is picturing oneself doing something and it will happen. She will add it to her repertoire.
  • To top it all, she plans to create an online class. She will have her classes recorded so that she can use it over and over again, making it an evergreen content.
Advice, Tips, and Tricks
  • Create one design and use it on tons of different Print On Demand websites and on thousands of different products. Just make sure that you have to be on point and always ahead of the trends.
  • Aside from listening to this Podcast, Stephanie suggests for those who are new or struggling on eBay:

1. Join various Facebook Groups. There are specific groups to join to like Thrifting Board. If you are selling antiques and collectibles, Thrifting Board group can help you identify various products. There are also generic groups for those who are selling in general.

2. Take a class from a professional eBay seller or instructor so that you can eliminate a lot of the common pitfalls.

3. Follow up or stay in touch with people via Facebook Groups, Meetup Groups, Podcast, and YouTube.

4. Be very careful of people who want to teach and sell you a course. Ask someone you know and trust if he/she would spend that kind of money. There are so much FREE information and digital resources available. Be sure to check all your resources before you spend a ton of money with someone that is selling a course.

Quotes
  • "If you want to do it, you can do it!"
  • "It's the thrill of the hunt!"
  • "When you shake a person's hand, you change the dimension of the relationship." - Ron
  • "There is never a dull moment on eBay. There is always exciting happening." - Ali

 

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Jan 09 2019

30mins

Play

163: Which Is Better: Brick & Mortar Store or eBay? - Ari Hofman

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Ari is an entrepreneur, selling on eBay since 2003. What started as a hobby in college, has become a full-time business selling vintage electronics and other discount items. He is a new father and enjoys the flexibility that e-commerce provides.

Interesting Notes
  • Ari started to work in their family's brick and mortar store when he was six years old. He grew up in the age of laserdisc, beta, turntables and all that. Now, he sells vintage items that date back to the 70s, 80s and early 90s. Among those items are turntables, turntable needles, cartridges, VHS, Atari games.
  • He started selling on eBay when he was still in college. He would buy and sell sneakers and it grew up. With his college students' discount, he would also buy computer software and sell it on eBay. But Microsoft frowned upon it which ended that kind of niche.
  • He realized when he moved back home from college that eBay is a viable business.
  • Today, he has taken over the management of their brick and mortar store. It is in the part of a town that is pretty dead. He noticed that retail in the brick and mortar store as well as in the shopping malls are hurting over the years. And eBay is another avenue to sell. So, all the items in the store that are not selling, he sells it on eBay.
  • He also has store employees who do not have much work so he formed a team of six people to run his eBay. He delegates eBay tasks to his team. Each has his own accountable tasks. Someone is in-charge for the shipping and another for the listing. He is in-charged for the hunting of new items to list.
  • He hunts items from warehouses in Laredo.
  • Laredo is the border town where the largest inland port in the US is. It is home to a lot of warehouses and distribution facilities. Owners need their warehouses empty so you can find deals in Laredo.
  • He and his team run his eBay store for two years now.
  • Ari handles more the issues with unhappy customers and returns. He also deals with the PayPal chargeback.
  • All his eBay items have a 30-Day Hassle Free Return policy. If it is something that he cannot repair, he just takes the return and refunds the money. To Ari, Return and Refund is the easiest way to end the issue. You will have upset customers the longer you make it to not to give what they want.
  • He does Free Shipping. He thinks that seeing an extra cost for shipping discourages people. eBay also wants everything fast and free. So, he integrates shipping into the price.
  • The majority of his staff ships out under three tiers - First Class Mail, FedEx, and Priority Mail. Depending on the size of the item, he could give or take the shipping. Something small goes with the First Class Mail which has $2 to $4 on shipping added. Big items go with the Priority Mail which is anywhere from $10 to $20 and $40 to $50 for FedEx.
  • Ari came across a rare red laser disc. He has 200 of those discs. He did not list them all at one time. He would test the market and the price first. Then, he would navigate for some years.
  • He works Monday to Saturday. He offers one day or next day shipping. He gets stuff sorted out every Saturday so that everything is ready by Monday.
  • The weirdest thing he ever sold on eBay is a trailer of blow up dogs. He did not think that it was something that he could list. He listed it on eBay and a guy from Africa bought them all.
  • Right now, Ari is working on a book - Pre NAFTA Laredo. It is a study of the before and after of Laredo in relation to the NAFTA.
  • Other than eBay, he is also into Real Estate and is busy with his travel trips.
Advice, Tips, and Tricks
  • Give the customers what they want. The longer you make it to not to give what they want, you will have upset customers.
  • He uses variations of listings apps. One is CrazyLister. He also uses some tracking booster.
  • The most important thing is the pictures so take good pictures. Show the condition that the items are in. Be true to what it is - No surprises! Don't give reasons for the buyers to be upset.
  • Add items specifics in the listing details. That is how people search for your items.
  • It is most important that you love what you sell. You have to have a passion for selling. Before he started delegating the tasks, he was doing it all by himself.
  • Breaking yourself on eBay is a tough thing to do. Just be patient. There are scammers, but not everybody is out to scam you. Give out your best and the results will show.
  • Delegate the tasks. Make sure that people are doing their job. Check on them, that is the way to do it!
Quotes
  • "eBay is a lot harder than the brick and mortar store."
  • "You have to delegate to have a great success in your eBay business."
  • "If you can buy it for a dollar and sold it for two, there's a profit right there!"
  • "If you list it, it would sell!"
  • "Starting off brand new is the hardest thing when you are on eBay. It is a tough start off."
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Nov 06 2018

26mins

Play

162: He Hates Thrift Stores! Discover Where He Sources - Dominic Carone

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Dominic Carone began selling on eBay in 2000 to make some extra money in graduate school. He currently runs the Prime Time Treasure eBay Store, which specializes in the sale of comic books, toys, books, pop culture items, clothes, and all things vintage and collectible.

Interesting Notes
  • Dominic is not a Thrifter. In Central New York, where he lives, thrift stores have higher prices compared to the garage, rummage, and estate sales. So, he stays away from thrift stores. He explained it further on his YouTube video entitled, "Why I Hate Going To Thrift Store".
  • He goes to garage sales, but he gets most of his eBay items from estate sales.
  • Dominic used to go to a Swap Shop in Florida. It is a huge outdoor flea market. Every weekend, he and his wife would go down the aisle. Back then there was no eBay app. So, one has to develop an eye for things. Sometimes they made mistakes. Sometimes they made big scores. That is how he started his reselling business and did it for a few years.
  • Then, he focused on his career outside of reselling. A few years ago, he got back again with reselling comic books. He watched a lot of other YouTubers and started to diversify his content. Now, his eBay store sells pretty much anything that is vintage and collectible. He hits all the categories.
  • Dominic runs his reselling business alone. His wife helps him, now and then, in some aspects to get more sales as he continues to grow and develop. He has two kids who once in a while come with him to the sales. His daughter who is fourteen has developed an eye for things. When she finds something, she will go to another room and bring things back to him. One time, she found a Kitchen Witch with the original tag on it. They got it for 50 cents and sold it within two days for $70.
  • He taught his kids how to negotiate with people and how to negotiate money. One time, his son who is thirteen, go up to someone independently and try to negotiate on some action figures.
  • Most people, especially in the Amazon Prime area expect free shipping. So, Dominic does free shipping on everything. This way, he maximizes the number of potential buyers who are going to see his items. People who search for items to buy would filter out based on whether there is free shipping.
  • Meanwhile, he keeps the Best Offer as an option. He is less flexible with the price in the beginning. But, as time goes on and the items are not sold, he becomes more flexible.
  • Dominic almost has two full-time jobs. He works full-time as a Board Certified Neuro Psychologist in a hospital. That is his regular full-time job. Around that, he tries to work on his reselling business. He is busy every day trying to fit in his regular work, reselling, family time and some other stuff.
  • Now, he is more focus on Q4. He wants to have a lot of items up and listed for the people.
  • One of the unique things that he found and sold on eBay is an old wrestling show poster from 1989. It is an advertisement for the championship match of Ric Flair. He did his research and saw that it was selling for $400 in the auction. After putting it on the auction, he received offers of $100 and $250. He took it as a red flag that it would sell higher and it did.
  • Dominic also loves to do Metal Detecting. It is like to reselling because he gets to go out and hunt for something. He also uses strategies to detect where something valuable might be. Sometimes he scores big and sometimes he does not.
  • He found something out of metal detecting. It was a fixture in a ceiling of an old ballroom that fits a glass lamp. It was from early 1900. He found the piece buried in the park's ground. He had it appraised to be worth $135. He could sell it on eBay if he wants to.
  • At the beginning of 2017, his goal is to develop the Facebook Group and a YouTube channel. He succeeded in doing it.
  • He now runs the Facebook Group called Reselling Resource Center. He created the group ten months ago and now has 3,000 members. It aims to help other resellers succeed by passing on tips and tricks. He allows people to post links to videos that they feel can be helpful. He also has posts of the "Beyond the Look Out Item of the Day" (BOLO). He provides a lot of detailed price information about the BOLOs. This way, people could learn about the items that are available and good to sell.
  • His YouTube channel is Prime Time Treasure with 1100 subscribers. It has 225 videos dedicated to helping people grow in their reselling business.
  • Right now, his focus is on developing a more efficient system for storage at his house where he runs his business. He does not plan to take a warehouse because he has a regular full-time job which he cannot give up. So, he is finding ways on how to work efficiently at his house.
  • And if things would go further, his wife will take a more active role in his reselling business.
Advice, Tips, and Tricks
  • Get to know the people and cities in your area. Certain cities are much more expensive than others. Certain estate sales dealers are much pricey than others. But there are some that are reasonable. Figure it out real fast and stick with the ones who give you good deals.
  • Subscribe to the email list of the estate sales dealers you are loyal to. This way you can get updates on the schedule of the next estate sales. Dealers would send pictures so you can preview on it and make a decision if that is something you want to go to.
  • He does research on the "completed sold" and see what things did sell in the last 60 days. He would also see what the current competition is if there is competition for. Then, he will price his items accordingly. He does not price his items lower than somebody who had the item in bad condition. Nor does he price it lower than another seller who has a bad reputation.
  • He has 100% positive feedback. So if someone else has a 95% feedback, he will not price his item lower than that person because that will scare a lot of potential buyers away. He would price his item relative to that taking into consideration what it is previously sold for in the last 60 days.
  • He works the shipping fee into the price. He makes sure that he has the time to source his items low enough. This way, he could sell far high enough no matter what the price will come up with shipping.
  • For items that he feels he is going to lose money, he takes it off and bundles it with another item.
Quotes
  • "You have to go to the right places."
  • "If you want to be successful, you have to find a way to put the time in."
  • "You have to make a sacrifice, something somewhere, if you have a full-time job and you want to make eBay work."
  • "eBay is more lucrative for me than metal detecting."
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Oct 30 2018

29mins

Play

161: Learn How To Prepare To Go Full-Time On eBay - Troy and Veronica Satterfield

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Troy and Veronica are a couple that has decided to chuck the normal lifestyle and own their time rather than chase fancy things. Gone is the rat race, the frustrating commute, the office politics, and the boss overlords. They work when they want, how they want, and where they want. Veronica is the frugal mom with loads of style, and Troy is the stubborn number cruncher. They have two wonderful boys in college, a beautiful house in suburban Denver, and a basement full of inventory.

Interesting Notes
  • Fifteen years ago, Veronica was a stay at home mom with four-year-old and six-year-old sons. She and her best friend used to go to garage sales on Fridays to look for kids toys and clothes. One day, she ran across an ad for a class on how to sell on eBay. She enrolled and after four weeks of classes, she started selling on eBay part-time. Aside from eBay, she also worked a bunch of part-time jobs throughout the years.
  • In 2012, she responded to an ad in Craigslist for a photographer-lister on eBay. She learned that the owner is running eBay as a full-time business. She learned from the owner the different things to sell on eBay and on how to run an eBay business as a whole.
  • Troy, on the other hand, worked as a controller in an oil and gas company. He was earning a six-figure income, but he had to drive one hour one-way to work. He did not like it much and was not enjoying his life. With his financial background, he started running the numbers of Veronica's own eBay. He figured out what will it takes to run a full-time eBay business such as:

1. how many items do they need to list each week;

2. how many items do they need to sell each week;

3. how much will it cost them in inventory to make eBay a full-time job.

  • As a result, he came up with a conclusion that eBay can be a viable full-time job. They may have less money, but they can have enough to be able to live and enjoy their lives at the same time. It is like a pre-retirement.
  • And so in 2015, they both quit their jobs and do eBay full-time together.
  • Veronica grew up seeing her father going to garage sales and antique stores. She imbibed in her spirit the love of going and finding deals. She never thought that one day she will walk away from her job and go full-time on eBay.
  • Troy never thought that he would leave his corporate job too. He recalls the first suit that he bought to get a full-time corporate accounting job. He bought it at Goodwill for $6 and now 20 years later, he is selling that suit.
  • One of the best things that Troy and Veronica did on their eBay business is hiring a photographer. The photographer takes the photos for their clothing and shoes at his own studio at home. They would drop stuff off to the photographer and pay him per item. For their hard goods, Veronica takes the photos.
  • They ship every day and they do it together. Monday to Thursday is their listing days. Every Friday morning, they hit the garage sales. Their Saturdays are their thrift stores and estate sales route day. Sunday is their day off. On their day off, Veronica gets to cook and get their meals ready for the week. Troy would catch up with the accounting. They also spend time with friends and with their son who lives with them.
  • They adopted a chunking program in running their eBay business. These four chunks are photography, listing, sourcing, and shipping. They group their task per chunk and do it per schedule. Their so-called chunking program keeps them focused on a task at hand. It keeps them on the same mood and mindset all throughout. This way, they get more things done every week and of better quality.
  • For their inventory management, they use a third party listing software called SixBit. They also use the SKU system. They would list all their items with SKU numbers.
  • Another best thing they did this year is getting a warehouse space. Their warehouse has a shelf location with SKU numbers as well. All the hard items that are listed are pre-packaged and are taken over to the warehouse. Veronica puts the weights and the dimensions into the SixBit and eBay listing. So when an item sells, they would print the label in their house, go to their warehouse, slap the label on it, and drop the items in the post office on their way home.
  • They store their clothing and shoe items in their house basement. The shoes are in numbered-shoe racks. The shirts and pants are in legal size file drawers. So, they have a basement full of legal size file drawers. Each drawer has its own numbers. So when an item gets listed on eBay, it has its own unique SKU and drawer number. When something sells, within 60 seconds, they can go down to the basement, pick the items, pack it up and ship it out.
  • It took Troy and Veronica for a while to get where they are at now in their eBay business. They encountered annoyances before, but they were able to fix it and became efficient.
  • One of their goals is for Troy to hire himself out of the listing chunk. He plans to take four to five weeks out next summer to hike the Colorado Trail. So to avoid backlogs in listings, they plan to hire someone who will do it for them.
  • They want that the majority of their jobs is to source items that they can make money at. They intend to keep the two other people employed to take pictures, list, and ship the items. This could help them get a cash engine generated. This way, they could free up more time and then start to venture into other businesses.
Advice, Tips, and Tricks
  • To go full-time on eBay, you must first know the capital requirement. How much it is going to cost? What are you going to have to invest in inventory? What are you going to have to invest in the time to get stuff listed? Answering those questions will give you the confidence to do it.
  • Set aside money for the following:

1. Build Up Money - the amount of money that you need to keep buying the inventory you need. If you need to buy 150 items a week and it cost $5 per item, you've got to have that money every week to be able to keep going and listing the items.

2. Nest Egg Money - the amount of money you need to pay for all your personal expenses, allowing you to live while you are making the business up and going.

  • Start with what you can do today. When you run into something that is an annoyance, fix it. Fix it before it becomes a huge problem.
  • We live in an entrepreneurial internet age and if you want to make money, it is out there to make. You don't have to have everything perfect. Start today. Start making that money. You will love the sound of the cha-ching. It tells you that you are at home and you are getting paid for it. Start with that and all the other stuff will come later.
Quotes
  • "Being in business for yourself is a little bit of a roller coaster. You will never know what the days can bring."
  • "Even if you are buying and listing, things don't sell in two days. Sometimes, it may take two years for an item to sell."
  • "eBay is a viable, full-time business."
  • "Once you find an annoyance, fix it, and it will be fixed forever."
  • "If you fix a small problem today, it saves you hundreds of hours in the future because you will never have that problem again."
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Oct 23 2018

32mins

Play

160: The Secret To Having Multiple Businesses Is eBay - Brianna Moller Greene

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Brianna is a former teacher & a competitive figure skater, with over 20 years experience in Ecom. She is an online business developer, serial entrepreneur, marketer, influencer and consultant who has successfully built multiple income streams that have afforded her and her family the freedom of time to travel, explore and live life full throttle on their own terms. Interesting Notes Bri stands 5'9, a tall one for a figure skater. She joined skating competitions from age four to sixteen. In 1996, at the age of fifteen, she started selling. She never had fun as kids often do. Instead, she would go door to door hustling and selling stuff. She did not have enough money to buy stuff to sell. So when she heard about eBay, she liquidated her bedroom. That started her endless journey of having side hustles that sometimes become big. She got a Master’s Degree in Biology and started teaching when she was 21 years old. She was living way beyond her means. Her eBay business started to take off in tandem with her teaching career. The more she was into teaching, the more she continued to grow eBay on the side. In 2010, she got her second Master’s Degree. eBay had been amazing to her too. She made more money from it working as a part-time. She felt burned out teaching and took a calculated risk. She left a stable, tenured career to follow her passion for entrepreneurship. eBay is a big part of Bri's life. When she was starting out, it taught her to be scrappy and resourceful. It made her realize that she can sell anything. It pointed her to the best place to find stuff at rock bottom price, that is, the rummage sale. She once went to a rummage sale where there were luxury men's clothes. She looked around and calculated the stuff to be thousands of dollars. And she got it all for $200 only. She had also gone to Junk Auctions. The Junk Auction is a regular auction that is clearing out its stuff. She and her mom would go and buy the leftover tables for a dollar to learn about products. It does not matter what was in there because she will figure out a way to sell it. She learned a lot that way. eBay also taught Bri the ins and outs of learning how to run a business. One can go quickly from a hobbyist to a business owner. Her average day starts early, around four in the morning. She would go through all her social media accounts, emails, and personal messages. Then, she would work for a couple of hours with her company Design4Dollars. She does her eBay listings every day and places her Amazon orders too. Then, she would attend her meetings with business partners or client calls or consulting sessions. Bri loves what she does because every day is different. She keeps a list of things to do every day as well as a list of floating things. She can cancel or reschedule her meetings to spend time with her daughter. She has the flexibility to make changes anytime she desires or needs to. She sees so many people whose passion lie in different areas. But they can spend more time on their passion when they use something like eBay to monetize it in some way. She knows of a musician that sells things on eBay related to being a musician. It funds what he enjoys and that is being a musician. Bri had taken her eCommerce experiences to multiple levels and multiple businesses. She has a team of amazing people. She believes that all the other things would not have taken place if she did not start with eBay. She also believes that getting into Facebook Groups and connecting with people is an important part of her journey. Without that piece, she would not have known how to make the jump into other platforms and help people. As a way to pay forward, Bri makes herself accessible to everyone. You can come up to her and ask her anything you want. She is also one of the speakers in the eCom Chicago Conference this October 18-20. Her utmost goal is to live comfortably. That is to live with the freedom to do whatever she wants and whenever she wants. She also wants to travel and take her five-year-old daughter. She wants her daughter to be able to see and experience things that others cannot do. Advice, Tips, and Tricks She goes to rummage sales and take advantage of the free stuff. She would go on the last day of the sale, take a garbage bag, and fill it with stuff. eBay is the perfect platform for starting. With it, you will learn all the different aspects. Make sure that you get into the Facebook Groups about eBay and learn all the information as well as connect with people. Be concise in making an item description. Give the important information, nothing more, nothing less. 65% of people are shopping on their mobile phones. Make your post above the fold. The fold is the very first thing that a buyer could see without having to continue to click through. She found success in charging people with the shipping fees. This way, people know what they are paying for, and it works on her eBay store. Quotes "It does not matter if you are tenured or not. If you've got to go, you've got to go." "You don't know what your fate is! I look at it that way - I'm not in control." "The journey thus far has made complete in other sense as to why I am where I am. And that I had to take the route that I did." "I love what I do. I'm passionate about it. I want to help people and I won't shut up about it." "There is a lot of cool stuff that you can do!" "Successful does not mean selfish!" - Ron Contact Information eBay Store: House of Greene WNY Facebook: Brianna Moller Greene Website: Design4Dollars Sponsors Solutions4Ecommerce eCom Chicago Norila Digital Marketing

Oct 09 2018

31mins

Play

159: She Is Crazy With "The Bins". Discover Why! - DeAnn Wilcox

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DeAnn began selling on eBay at the advice of friends. She had adopted a child that has medical issues and that made it hard to hold down a full-time job. She always has enjoyed thrifting and this was a natural fit for her.

Interesting Notes
  • With the prompting of her friends, DeAnn went to the Goodwill Outlet - otherwise known as “The Bins”. She put on a pair of gloves and jump in with the regulars. She filled her cart with stuff that only cost her $12. She sold the stuff on eBay for over $30. That got her hooked.
  • "The Bins" are things that did not sell at the other Goodwill stores. “The Bins” in their area is set up with a big donation drive-thru that weighs 5 pounds. She also gets estate sales items from "the bins". You can put a lot of "the bins" stuff in your cart and it goes by weights. The more you purchase, the more price of your cart goes down.
  • She is now a regular at "the bins" and everyone knows her by name. She made friends with the other regulars too. She would sometimes pack a lunch for them.
  • The regular at "the bins" want the newer things because a lot of them are set up at the flea markets. But DeAnn wants the older things that would sell in other places. For example, the mid-century modern nightgowns. The regulars would pass those by but she would grab those gowns.
  • So when at "the bins", she would look for whatever she thinks would sell. But she is more inclined to look for the Vanity Fair items, those that are made in the USA, or those that have the Union tags.
  • She also learned that Christmas items sell all-year round. So she also looks for them first.
  • Tuesday is her "The Bins" day. She goes first thing in the morning. People would start to peak at around 10 in the morning. She would hear people screaming that a new roll would come out. But she would walk away if "The Bins" are not worth seeing.
  • She thrifts her boxes. The Tuesday Morning stores give her their boxes and bubble wraps.
  • 70% of her eBay items come from "The Bins". The rest is from estate sales. Her items are either priced with specified shipping cost or Best Offer.
  • DeAnn priced her items based on her research. Between the time of "the bins" coming out, she would pick up something and does her research. She would also watch videos while taking pictures. At night, she would look at the Pinterest to see what other people are pinning or what is popular.
  • She was able to sell greeting cards for $30 and that surprised her. It will never cease to amaze her that someone is willing to pay such amount for a greeting card.
  • The weirdest thing she ever bought from "the bins" are Vintage Panties. It almost did not cost her anything to buy those panties. She put it for bidding and sold it for $63.
  • DeAnn does everything by herself. She makes sure that anything that is sold overnight is packed and ready to go. She would drop her stuff at the post office and then hit "The Bins". Her husband sometimes does the shipping for her.
  • Shipping is her biggest failure. She made mistakes before by not throwing the box on the scale with the item on the moment that she hit list or was taking the picture. Today, she does international shipping.
  • When she first started selling on eBay, she took advantage of the 50 free listing for two months. Then she went to the first level store. Then she took eBay's offer of a 50% price discount to go up another store level for four months. Today, she can afford to pay her subscription.
  • Doing eBay on her own is working for DeAnn. She does not ever feel overwhelmed. So for as long as she can manage to do eBay on her own, she will do it.
Advice, Tips, and Tricks
  • You have to keep a schedule; know it and stick to it.
  • She dedicates two days to take pictures. She sets these days in her schedule. Whatever is going on, she makes sure that she lists one or two items a day.
  • She takes pictures using her phone. She would edit pictures while watching TV at night.
  • You have to know what works. You should not be afraid to change if something happens.
  • To know the right price for shipping, she uses eBay autofill. She would put in the dimensions of the box and the weight of the item then eBay calculates the shipping.
  • In preparation for the Q4, she makes sure that holiday items are listed. She has scheduled to pick up more Halloween items and work on its listings.
  • It is possible for anyone to do eBay. You have to be motivated and keep yourself centered.
  • Know what you can do and do it.

 

Quotes
  • "You just jump in and do it!"
  • "Know what you can do and do it."
  • "Get the shipping right. Shipping can make or break you."
  • "The minute you walk in and turn on the lights, it costs you $500 to open your business every day."
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Sep 25 2018

28mins

Play

158: Amazing Story: A Job Loss, An Opportunity, A Jewelry Connoisseur - Kathleen Palmer

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Kathleen is an entrepreneurial spirit, selling on eBay since 2003. What started as a hobby to supplement her husband Gary's income, has become a full-time business selling vintage jewelry. She is a new empty-nester and hopes to take advantage of her extra time by taking her business higher.

Interesting Notes
  • Kathleen used to work in the Investment Department of one of the big banks in London. After the 9/11 attack, her job dried up and they moved back to St. Louis, USA. She tried looking for a new job but could not find a job in her field.
  • One time, she went to a garage sale with her sister. Her sister told her that she can make money from the things in the sale. She did not know then what eBay was. Her sister pointed to a couple of Disney collectible plates, 3 pieces for $10. She bought the plates and learned fast how to sell on eBay. She sold the plates for $50 per piece. That is the start of her addiction with eBay.
  • She did eBay part-time then while working in a hospital. She hated being away from home and her kids all the time. When she was able to recreate the income that she is making at the hospital, she quits her job and does eBay full-time.
  • Most of her inventory comes from the estate sales and antique malls around St. Louis. At times when she travels to Denver to visit her daughter, she would shop along the way.
  • She has established a good relationship with estate dealers. If they've got quality items, they know that Kathleen is going to spend money on it.
  • Her store carries 99% of jewelry. Once in a while, she finds something of quality. If she knows what it is, she would reconsider because she thinks that it is silly to leave money on the table.
  • Kathleen focuses on five niche markets in the Jewelry industry. She became familiar with the Native American jewelry. She knows what the buyers are looking for. It usually has to do with the color of the stone and the type of setting.
  • She has good friends in the Jewelry business who taught her how to measure a diamond and convert it to a Karat. She does not claim to know all the four Cs of diamond grading. Her item description does not say anything about the cut or the clarity unless it is an antique. Instead, it is based on what she knows her buyers want and how her items look.
  • There is counterfeit jewelry, especially in the high-end pieces. She had counterfeit Tiffany pieces before. So she studied how to detect counterfeits. Now, she knows what the hallmarks are. She specialized in Victorian Jewelry and a lot of it is not gold hallmarked.
  • She knows what gold looks like underneath 10 times magnification. She could get a good idea if an item is solid gold or gold-filled. If she has doubts about an item and it is inexpensive, she would buy, bring it home, and test it. She has two ways of testing gold jewelry. She gets an 80% success rate as far as looking at items in her hand. But the most accurate test it is to scratch a little bit off on a touchstone and place a small drop of an acid.
  • She can also sell costume jewelry if she knows what they are and their value. She has sold some Miriam Haskall and Weiss Rhinestone pieces.
  • Her eBay business is a one-woman show. She takes pictures of her items. She gets up five in the morning. The first thing she does is check out her eBay page. She cannot wait to see what happened overnight.
  • Saturday is her big day. Throughout the week, she would plan on what estate sales would she visit over the weekend. She would wake up four every Saturday morning so that she could be the first person in line to get the number one. If she gets the number one, she has the first opportunity to get to the jewelry table before anybody else. Most estate sales open at 5:30 AM.
  • Whenever she goes to an estate sale, she tries to avoid hustling and elbowing. She always reminds herself of her motto which is, "There is enough here for everybody. I am not going to fight anybody for anything."
  • The ugliest thing she ever bought and sold on eBay is a hunk of a Sterling Silver Turquoise Coral Ring. She paid a dollar for it and somebody bought it for $50.
  • Kathleen loves eBay though it has changed so much. People have been complaining about the changes, but if eBay had not changed at all, it would have been a Dinosaur. So Kathleen tries to keep up with the changes on eBay. Right now, she finds that the Buy It Now (BIN) items are not selling as fast as her auctioned items. So she makes sure to auction at least 10 items every week to keep her BINs in front of the people.
  • She considers vacation and holidays as working days. It means that she does not have to do the housework. Instead, she gets to do the fun stuff on her eBay job.
  • Now that both of her children are married and out of their house, she is considering to go to eBay conferences. She went to one of eBay fly-ins in Washington, DC and she finds it phenomenal.
  • Kathleen and her husband Gary plan to travel around the country. They want to see and get all the available inventory from all over.
Advice, Tips, and Tricks
  • When you are working at home, it is so easy to get distracted with something else when you are mid-listing. It is a matter of - "I've got to be disciplined. I've got to put the items away."
  • She uses plastic Tupperware containers where she keeps all her items. They are all in one spot, by item category - all the rings, all the bracelets, etc... As soon as she lists something, it goes into its proper container.
  • She always assesses her business by asking these questions: 1. Am I paying my bills? 2. Am I making enough profit? She may not be able to identify where her sales come from - from BINs or auction. But she makes sure that she is bringing enough sales on a weekly and monthly basis to reinvest and pay her bills.
Q and A
  • Question: How do you work on shipping your items? Do you ship using UPS or normal post? Do you add shipping costs to your price?
  • Answer: Unless somebody asked, Kathleen ships her items First Class or Economy shipping. She gives free shipping, so there is no reason to charge herself more to send it Priority. But with something valuable, she has to make sure that there is a signature confirmation. This is to protect herself in case the items get lost. Kathleen said that items almost never get lost but it is the risk that she does not want to take.
Quotes
  • "This (eBay) is going to be my life!"
  • "Knowledge is power in jewelry."
  • "If I kept these things for myself, it would never end. I find beautiful things and I get really excited about selling it."
  • "It is everybody's interest to just be kind to each other and be fair."
  • "The key to success is passion. If you love what you are doing, it is not a hustle. It is not a burden to do the work."
  • "I want eBay to be a safe place for my buyer. And I want it to be a safe place for me to buy myself. All of us are contributing to the honesty of the site, overall."
  • "There is enough here (estate sales) for everybody. I am not going to fight anybody for anything."
  • "This job is so compact I can do it from the road."
  • "You know enough what you know about so why get into something you are not sure about." - Ron
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Sep 18 2018

33mins

Play

157: How To Hustle & Grow Your eBay Store - Robert Courtemanche

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Robert started his resale journey at the age of 8 years old that moved quickly into sports cards which gave him the knowledge to get to where he is at now. Today, he is a jack of all trades and expert in making money out of nothing.

Interesting Notes
  • Rob's reselling journey started when he was in grade school. He saw a bunch of kids who were members of a certain school club selling Blow Pops. He told himself that he wanted to do the same even if he is not a club member.
  • With his mom, who had a membership at the Smart & Final Supermarket, he bought three boxes of Blow Pops. He was able to pay his mom and had some money left to buy another box.
  • He kept on turning his profit so he could use the money to play the Star Wars games.
  • Then came along the Garbage Pail Kids, a series of sticker trading cards. He wanted to have it too, but he did not know how to get them. That was when he started doing the hustling. One day when he exchanged a dollar for a quarter, he saw the cards and bought his first pack. He started trading with the other kids. Little by little, it grew up and pushed him into sports cards.
  • The first big collection he got was from his brother in law. It was a big photo album full of cards from 1968 to 1973 of all sports.
  • When he was growing up, Ken Griffey, Jr. and Bo Jackson, are the hottest players. He would trade their cards price for price or player for player. He would trade the 1973 cards for a $5 Ken Griffey, Jr. rookie cards.
  • He attended card shows, started to buy sports promo cards, and became smarter. He would buy the promo cards for 50 cents or $1 each and sell it for $10 or $20 each. The kids in their neighborhood thought that his promo cards are all unique. So, they traded their good cards with his promo cards. Some traded their bike, shoes, and other things.
  • Rob started selling the things traded with him. He would put the bikes and other stuff in his parents' yard sales. Little by little he evolved and moved on to test everything that would sell.
  • He started selling on eBay in 2000. After two years, he closed it down because of a feedback fight. He had more negative feedback than he wished to have because of the fighting. When he closed, he started to get more responsible. He had a full-time job then. He did the same hustles on a part-time basis. He made mistakes along the way. But his knowledge grew.
  • Rob considers himself a master of making money out of nothing. There are so many things that people disregard or throw away. But with Rob, he thinks and sees the worth of money of a thing and resell it.
  • He does not have a particular day dedicated to sourcing out. He can buy one product and gets 20 products out of that one. When online auctions pop up, he will hit those up as long as it is in within his local area.
  • The weirdest thing he ever bought and sold on eBay is false teeth. It was part of the $150 worth of truckload from an estate sale. He put the false teeth on eBay and it flies as high as $80. Another pair is sold for $100.
  • He follows a good workflow. He has a designated place where he takes pictures of his items. Behind it is a spot where he measures, scales and weighs the items. Next to it is a spot where he has his computer and does the listing. Everything is listed in one sitting. At nighttime, he would check YouTube videos. He wants to see what everyone is doing and see if he can help anybody who is struggling on eBay.
  • He sees a lot of people struggling with learning eBay. eBay is not that hard or difficult. People are often confused on how to do it and over think. This is because they listen to a lot of people who teach how to sell on eBay.
  • There are issues and negative things on eBay. But these are a small price to pay for what eBay allows a seller. Rob thinks that eBay is the only platform where a seller can virtually sell almost anything as long as it is not going to be a hazard to the customer.
  • Rob has two stores; both subscribed to a Premium Store.
  • One of his stores has got more feedback than the other. His goal is to grow his small store and dedicate a theme to it. He will convert his 19th Vintage Store into a High-Quality/Auction Store. He knows so much stuff that it is hard to pass it off when he knows it's going to make money. With the items that may not be of high quality, he will put it on auction and see what it do. If the items do not sell, then he will put it on the yard sale pile and do a yard sale.
  • He also wants to have a third store that would sell high-end stuff like furniture, arts, and other high-end stuff.
  • Rob thinks that eBay is moving in the right direction as far as growth. He thinks that most people over analyze the whole eBay algorithm. So, Rob and his wife work on a Reselling Facebook Page for people who will come and get help. They are strong believers in trying to help people for free.
Advice, Tips, and Tricks
  • The two biggest sellers on eBay are Items of Nostalgia and Items of Necessity. Items of Necessity are king over everything. Everybody needs clothes. But nobody needs a branded one. You can go to Walmart and get a shirt. To some, a car is an item of necessity. But if there is a bus line where you live, it is not really a necessity. Diesel parts are more of a need than a want as opposed to car parts.
  • Rob does not single out any particular place. He learned that there is money everywhere. If you just go to thrift stores, you just find thrift store stuff. If you just go to auctions, you will just find auction stuff. Do not be afraid to try anything. It is part of learning. With the cell phone, you can look things up, wherever you are.
  • The best way to grow a store is to put anything and everything into it. You will attract a lot more eyes instead of those who are only looking for clothing or looking for parts. So if you have cards, clothes, hats, comics, parts, etc...all sorts of people will come in and check out your store. These people are all potential buyers. Then grow your feedback and credibility.
  • The advantages of having an eBay store:

1. You get better results as far as the views.

2. You can put a name to your business instead of being a person. A store conveys a message that you are serious and credible to deal with.

3. You can do sales promotion.

  • The best thing to do before you get on eBay is to start looking for stuff around your house. Then try to sell the stuff locally first to get capital. You may not have stuff that is worth selling on eBay but would sell in a local market. When you have the capital, do your research and source stuff for eBay and list it.
  • You need to get the feel for buying and reselling before you try to quit your job.
  • You need to build your store and list your items. Make sure that you are on top of everything, doing it 100%.
  • The goal is not to have all the stuff for people to get, but to get good stuff for people to buy.
Quotes
  • "I mastered making money out of nothing!"
  • "The two biggest sellers on eBay are items of nostalgia and items of necessity."
  • "There is money everywhere."
  • "The best way to grow a store is to put anything and everything into it."
  • "The goal is to get good stuff for them (customers) to buy."
  • "Everything out there has a value. It depends on where you price it and where you sell it."
  • "I know nothing about art but I know enough to buy art."
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Sep 11 2018

33mins

Play

156: Maximize Your Free Listings On eBay And Earn More - Kenneth Morrison

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Kenneth is a full-time eBay seller with 15 years experience. He is the owner/operator of Jakedgames.

Interesting Notes
  • Kenneth inherited his entrepreneurial spirit from his mother. His mother loves to sell crafts and he used to go with her. As a kid, he made bracelets and had a friend sell them.
  • He is 15 years old when he started to sell stuff online. He has first sold on Yahoo Auctions. He sold some Pokemon games that he got for Christmas. Then he stopped for a while and became a collector.
  • When he got married and was going to have his own kid, he started to sell on eBay.
  • He sold his personal stuff and card games like Magic the Gathering, Pokemon, Marvel Universe cards from the 90s. Today, he sells sports cards, video games, movies, toys, CDs, comics, cameras and all kinds of nerd collectible stuff.
  • To source his eBay items, he checks on the various Facebook pages and Craigslist. He would look for people in their area who are selling their stuff. He would also visit Wallmart when it has a clearance sale.
  • But, most of his items are from thrift stores and stuff he had acquired over the years.
  • Magic the Gathering started 25 years ago. Kenneth has 70,000 magic cards in his storage unit that needs to be sorted. Those are collections from people he played magic with for 20 years.
  • He knows most of the prices of the cards. He knows what is valuable. He knows if a card is worth more than a dollar.
  • Kenneth does everything in his eBay business. His wife has a full-time job and helps him in sorting the cards. His two teenage kids also help in sorting.
  • He has a temperature-conditioned storage unit where he stores his eBay items. He has a couple of bookshelves for some of his stuff. The great thing about cards is that it can fit in a couple of boxes in a closet.
  • With the cards and comics, he uses a scanner to take pictures. For the bigger items, he uses a camera.
  • The weirdest thing he sold on eBay is a pen from McDonald. He got the pen as a token of having worked at McDonald. Someone bought it from him for $10.
  • When Kenneth had his full-time job, he only does eBay to get extra money. He would work five days and goes to thrift stores on a Saturday. He would list stuff at night or over the weekend. He never sees himself doing eBay full-time.
  • Today, he has 5,000 items for sale in his store; 6,000 items that he needs to scan and list; and 70,000 items that need to be sorted.
  • He subscribes to a Premium Store for his main eBay store. It costs him $59.95 per month with 1500 free listings a month.
  • Once his kids go back to school, Kenneth will start to look for a part-time overnight job to have more income.
Advice, Tips, and Tricks
  • Kenneth has a designated eBay store where he sells things under $5. He takes full advantage of its free listings by doing auctions for his comic books.
  • He sells anything that he can make money from. He has multiple eBay accounts. Each account has different products from each other. Doing so helps him save money from the listing fees.
  • He uses Good "Til Cancelled thing. It allows him to list his items and forget them until they sell. The good thing about Good "Til Cancelled is that it keeps your items relisted. And for as long as you have the free listing, your items are stored and relisted until it sells.
  • He uses Plain White Envelope (PWE) for shipping items bought from his main eBay store. With his other stores, he uses PayPal-eBay labels and wraps. He goes to the Post Office every day and drops his shipments.
Q and A
  • Question: For someone who is new to eBay, how many hours would one invest on eBay every day? How did you find your way to where you have streamlined everything.
  • Answer: With the years of doing eBay, Kenneth is able to streamline his processes. He started by following a routine. He would go to the thrift stores in the morning. In the afternoon, he would pack and list stuff until his wife and kids get home. Today, doing eBay full-time gives him space and flexibility. He could either spend 8 hours a day working or not to work at all. Sometimes, it depends on his moods.
Quotes
  • "You have to keep up with your business."
  • "Keep listing stuff!"
  • "There is nothing wrong with more money."
  • "Cha-ching is a great conversation starter."
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Sep 04 2018

30mins

Play

155: A Game Changing Way To Source and Sell on eBay: Create Your Own Crafts - Judy Harper

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eBay has been Judy Harper's side hustle since December 2002. She started with selling used collectibles, books and clothing and has expanded into new handcrafted items.

Interesting Notes
  • Everything started when Judy was cleaning their house one time. At that time, it was not practical to have a garage sale, so she listed the items on eBay. When she ran out of things to sell she started grabbing things from her kids' rooms. To increase her inventory, she started going to the estate sales. Later on, she makes her own items to sell.
  • She was a sewing teacher in a fabric store where she did all kinds of other things. She made little things and started selling it on eBay.
  • She learned to sew as a child. She took professional sewing classes in college. When she worked in a fabric store, she took more instructional classes. Her sewing skills grew over the years.
  • Judy has a full-time job now. eBay is only her second job - a side hustle. She is comfortable having a job and a side hustle.
  • She does not have any help in running her eBay business. She puts 10 hours a week doing eBay and it brings her the extra money she needs. She contracts with somebody to do her accounting and to repair her sewing machine. She keeps eBay manageable.
  • She sells every day during the week. She ships to make sure that everything goes out in time. Every Saturday she makes her crafts and can knock out 30 to 40 items. She would do first the special requests. After which, she would move on to making items that would run out of her inventory first.
  • Most of her ideas for her crafts started off with somebody saying "this would be a good idea" and then she tries it. At other times, she gets inspiration from the people who made special requests from her. This week, someone requested her to make a special need handicapped bibs made of towels.
  • One of the interesting requests she had was last week. She was making handicapped bibs for the handicapped people. The buyer requested if Judy can make some that are water-proof. Luckily, Judy found a material suited and sewed it into the front of each bib. If it works Judy might add it to her inventory too.
  • She also makes sleep masks. It started when she met her husband 10 years ago. Her husband goes to sleep with sleep masks on. Upon the request of her husband, she made him a sleep mask made of something comfortable like a blanket. Since then she has made sleep masks and sells them on eBay.
  • She also makes and sells towel beach wraps. She sells them in the Spring before everybody goes on a beach vacation. She also sells a bunch in the Fall before everybody moves into their college dorms. She doesn't sell them in the rest of the year.
  • A few years ago, scarves were in. She had a whole section in her store with hundred of scarves in different fabrics and designs. It did well but went out of fashion. She stopped making them and closed the section down.
  • She still buys clothes that looks good at the local Goodwill. She still buys books at the Estate Sales. Those are items in her store. But the majority of her items are the ones she made herself.
  • Judy enjoys going to the estate sales. She hits one early on a Saturday morning. If she finds something funny, she will get it and put it up.
  • Her husband is retired, disabled and loves sports cars. On a regular basis, they would go out for a ride. When they come home, something is sold while they're gone. That's the way they make money!
  • With what she earns from eBay, she is able to pay some bills and stash some in her retirement account. Her retirement account is her security. Fifteen years from now, she does not want to be one of those poor widows trying to live by herself.
  • At present, Judy helps a widow sell a Jazz CD collection. The collection belongs to the widow's husband who passed away last year. After expenses, Judy would divide the profit. When Judy collected $100 on the widow's money, Judy would take it to the widow's house and pick up another box of CDs.
  • Judy can only do so much as long as she is still working full-time. At some point, she needs to put some more time on eBay to get more inventory. If she gets to the point when she needs to or wants to retire for some reason, eBay is a great option.
Advice, Tips, and Tricks
  • You can go to estate sales and buy a bunch of books. You can go to a Goodwill and pick up some used clothing. You can get all the stuff listed and start making your own stuff. But if it is your own stuff that is selling, that is where you put your energy.
  • She uses a chart to keep track of her goals. Every week, she evaluates her business. She would look at her last 90 days sales and see at what rate is she selling each one of her categories. She would then check her inventory level and figure out how many days before she runs out of stuff. The items that she will run out first are the items that she will make first.
  • She uses Best Offer. She believes that if someone is interested to buy her items, she needs to listen and consider the offer.
  • When sourcing at the estate sales, she gives herself a specific budget. She will go through and view all the items. By looking at them, she knows what she is going to bid on. She would tell herself that she would not go over this amount for this. Buying something at a low price is where you can make money. If you buy at a high price you've lost your profit.
Quotes
  • "My own stuff that I am making is selling better than the used items I am picking up. So that's what I do more of!"
  • "Oh, I love doing hand-made crafts. I did it as a hobby long before I made money out of it."
  • "Learn from the experts!"
  • "The solution to business is to find the need and fill it."
  • "There is only so much I can do as long as I am still working full-time."
  • "When you have more inventory, you sell more."
  • "People do not plan to fail. They fail to plan." - Ron
  • "You make money on the buy, not the sell." - Ron
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Aug 28 2018

33mins

Play

154: 2018 eBay SHINE Awards Winner, Global Business Category - Bill Ingersoll

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Bill grew up racing Motocross in New York. In 2008, he suffered a spinal cord injury during a race. The accident marked a turning point in his life, catalyzing his eBay career selling Powersports Parts and eventually winning the Global Business Category at the 2018 eBay Shine Awards.

Interesting Notes
  • Bill grew up in a rural area and possessed a good business sense. His grandfather is a typical American Picker who loves to buy and sell stuff.
  • As a little kid, he was always with his grandfather. Together, they buy and sell as a hobby. That is how Bill got his knowledge about ATVs and dirt bikes. His times with his grandfather formed his business acumen.
  • In 2008, he suffered a severe spinal cord injury, which confined him to a wheelchair. The adversity leaves him with no option but to have a business. He did not suffer a brain injury. And with a sound functioning mind, he believed that he could work on a business. He saw eBay as one of the avenues where he could still be productive.
  • Being a fan of a Motocross enthusiast, he got an obsession with it from the early 90s until now. He knows most of the machines that they have made. He can identify the parts. He knows what are the things to look for and sell.
  • So, he decided to work in a field where he is comfortable and in control. He believes that it is to his advantage if knows the market.
  • In 2010, Bill started selling on eBay. His eBay store is a modern version of the auto sell junkyard. He used his passion for Motocross to sell ATV parts, Dirt Bikes and more.
  • One thing he learned from selling on eBay is that if you don't have a storage for your stuff, you have to be selling it. His ingrained mind thinks that everywhere he looks, he sees money sitting rather than junks.
  • Bill stores his eBay stuff in a building which is once a barn. He has shelves inside the building. He has two full-time employees and one part-time. He involves his employees in every aspect of his eBay business.
  • Everything that they sell is one of a kind item. So, they assign SKU numbers, tags and labels on the box and shelved the items that way. Some items have many small pieces within. They put the pieces in a bag and have everything in the box together. They use padded envelopes and flat boxes for their shipment.
  • With some of the used items, the condition varies a lot. They can have two functioning parts but their cosmetics vary enough. So they create unique listings so that their customers know exactly what they are buying.
  • Their customer based are more of Do It Yourself persons. They are the ones who would pay a lower price and do it themselves because they know the mechanical side.
  • On a normal day, Bill would sit on his computer, goes to a lot of auctions online, and see what is coming up. Then he would make his purchases online. Then he and his team would pick the stuff up. If the stuff is dirty, they would wash it and bring it to the shop. Then they will begin to disassemble the parts. If the parts need further cleaning then they will do it. After which, they bring the parts to the department which takes charge of taking the photos. If there are blemishes, they will mark the blemish part. After taking the photos, they assign an SKU number and list the parts online.
  • Bill believes that photos are a big selling point. So his team have a photo booth and use a white background and a lighting to make their photos look professional. They take a lot of pictures. A lot of the customers want to inspect the parts themselves before they buy.
  • His niche - Motorparts - is a small industry where everybody knows each other and works together.
  • With the different models and variations, he finds it tough to always have what a customer needs in stock. If a customer orders 300 units, only three of those might be the same. So he resorts to buying from other sellers who have the same thing. In his niche, sellers dropship some stuff from each other if they need to.
  • Everything Bill sells sells. He has stuff from 2014 that still sells. There is some stuff that after a while he would pull it off from the shelf and separate the scrap metal out. He would take it to the scrap yard and gets the money back.
  • One of the interesting things he sold is an old three-wheeler from the 80s. He wanted to dump it. He did a research and found out that the thing is rare. He listed and sold it for $1500 within an hour of listing it.
  • Bill won the 2018 eBay Shine Award winner under the Global Business category. eBay flew him to Las Vegas to receive his award. He got the chance to have dinner with the other finalists.
  • It was his grandfather's dream to see Bill's business grow. He wished his grandfather seen him get the Shine Award. His grandfather passed away last June.
  • Where he is now in his eBay business, Bill is happy. There is some smaller stuff that he wants to get into and sell on eBay. But for the time being, he wants to continue what he is doing now for the next three years or so.
Advice, Tips, and Tricks
  • Most of the customers don't care what you are saying in the description. They want to check and inspect the parts of an item through the pictures. So, give your customers the best ability to do that by showing them a lot of pictures.
  • eBay is doable. Use your knowledge base and get into it small. Then see its growth potential and build your business from there.
  • Test your business acumen and your appetite for business. Be sensible in the decisions you make. Then let it grow from there.
  • Keep an eye on what your competitors are doing and on what technologies are available.
  • Be in the right market and source your products cheap.
Quotes
  • "eBay is a marketplace where it connects anyone with whatever they want to buy."
  • "Everybody has their own way."
  • "We all work together. Nobody is taking any food out of other person's mouth."
  • "The better you know your market, the better your chances to succeed."
  • "Automation is key to any business. The more you can automate, the better off you are."
  • "A one-person show could make a good living on eBay just on your free time."
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Aug 21 2018

32mins

Play

153: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Selling Postcards On eBay - John Miller

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John has been selling postcards on eBay since early 1999. He's a part-time eBayer and a one-man operation. He has over 18,000 active postcard listings and grosses about $1,000 a week. He'll retire from his real job in about two years and will double his listings. He has a YouTube channel called Popeyes Postcards where he educates people about the profitability of selling postcards.

Interesting Notes
  • John got the nickname Popeye when he got out of the navy and went to college. He started collecting Popeye stuff. When eBay came along, he sold his Popeye stuff on eBay. Then he started going to live auctions to see what other things can he buy and sell. He bought box lots of junks and paper stuff. One of the boxes he got had a stack of postcards.
  • Postcards opened a wide door to John. He realized that postcards take little space to store and are easy to list, pack and ship. He pays only in pennies but makes a thousand percentage increase on the return of investment. So he made it his niche.
  • Now, he sells 6,000+ postcards a year with an average selling price of $10 per card.
  • He operates in a 12 x 12 office with a quarter of a million cards surrounding him.
  • His postcards date back to 1890s. Older cards are not always valuable. Sometimes, the cards from the 50s and 60s can make a hundred dollars.
  • The back of the cards helps sell the front of the cards. There are postcards that have secret messages, codes, or stamps in the back that help it sell.
  • Postcards are cheap to buy. When he buys postcards, he tries to stay under 25 cents per postcard. Sometimes he would pay up to a dollar.
  • A month ago, he bought 10,000 postcards for $600 or 6 cents each. It was a collection of postcards in New Jersey. He sold one postcard lot for $125.
  • John does a lot of sourcing from other eBay sellers who don't know that much about postcards.
  • Two months ago, he saw a postcard lot from an eBay seller. He pulled up the listings. It showed real photo postcards of the Filipino native warriors from the 1930s. He looked it up while the auction is still going on. He found out that the postcards are sold for $30 to $40. He bought the lot, 150 postcards in all, for 23 cents per postcard. He sold 9 Filipino native warriors for $575.
  • He also goes to antique malls and shows to source postcards. A couple of weeks ago, he went to a big antique show called the DC Big Flea. This week, he would go to a postcard show on the Eastern Shore in Maryland.
  • He spends an entire day sourcing from older postcard sellers in the postcard shows. These sellers do not how to list on eBay. He would buy the postcards from them for $2 or $3 and list it on eBay for $20 or $30.
  • One of the postcards he packed before this interview is going to an insurance company. The postcard is the old hotel where the insurance company is holding their office.
  • The weirdest postcard he has sold is a real photo of an adult magazine from adult movies in 1920.
  • Most valuable postcards are Hong Kong and other Asian countries.
  • He ships postcards overseas. The postcards he packed before this interview are going to Canada, to the UK and one to Germany. He uses the same mailers, but a different combination of first-class stamps. He charges a couple of dollars for the overseas shipment.
  • With 18,000 active listings and doing it all alone, John has set a system in place. He uses a combination of a Box Letter and a Tab Number for his labels. He also included the labels in his listings. For example, H09, which mean Box H, Tab 9. He keeps 50 postcards per tab.
  • Postcards can be made of almost anything. There are leather postcards, metal postcards, and silk embroidery postcards.
  • His best postcard costs him only 30 cents and sold for $545. But, it turned out to be his biggest failure. He failed to notice that the postcard had been trimmed on one side. He got it back and refunded the buyer's money. Eventually, he sold the postcard for $150 after he disclosed the trimmed side.
  • John has a YouTube channel, the Popeye's Postcards. There he educates people that postcards are a great source of income.
  • There are two main types of people who buy postcards:

1. People who like history. They are those who want to see what the main street of a town looked like a hundred years ago. They are those who are looking something old to see of their hometown.

2. True collectors who collect topic postcards like Halloween, Christmas, clown, acrobats, etc...

  • To date, he has 7,000 postcards waiting to go on eBay. He needs to scan them with his scanner, upload and do the listings. So he is set for years and years of selling postcards.
  • John plans to retire in 516 days. He loves selling postcards and he is excited to go from two hours a night to 12 hours a day work. He wants to expand, from 18,000 listings to 40,000 listings, doing it all by himself. He will also try to vend his postcards at the postcard shows and see how it will go.
Advice, Tips, and Tricks
  • Postcards are everywhere. There are billions of postcards produced and are still being produced. But the best ones are pre-1950 which can be found in grandma's house. So, start selling from your grandma's collection.
  • Go to antique malls or source from other eBay sellers who do not know what they have. Check their listings. They might be selling matchbox cars but have a listing for postcards. He bought a postcard lot from an eBay seller - 450 postcards for one penny. The seller made a mistake of starting an auction at a penny.
  • Go to postcards show. There are older postcard sellers who may not know what the cards are going to sell for on eBay. He had sourced a card from a postcard seller at a postcard show for a dollar and sold it on eBay for $125.
  • Be careful of the postcards to sell. The number one to avoid is a Niagara Falls postcard. Also avoid postcards of bigger cities like Wall Street, New York, Washington DC Monument.
  • He lowers the price to $.99 of the postcards that have been sitting in his list for long.
  • With his present inventory of postcards, he tries to put new postcards in his listings. He uses up his 1,000 free auction listing every month from his Anchor Store subscription.
  • Do a research on the postcards you are selling. Look them up on eBay sold items or WorthPoint, and see what those postcards are selling for. If you cannot find the postcards on eBay, do a Google search. Look for similar postcards and see what they are sold for. Then set a starting price of the postcards.
  • He patronizes and enjoys the service of WorthPoint. It has helped him get the most value out of his postcards.
Q and A
  • Question: With a low price item that offers Free Shipping, how do you incorporate all the fees to make sure that you are making a profit?
  • Answer: John's total cost per postcard is under a dollar. He builds it into the price of his postcards. He ships with a first class stamp. His shipping cost is 52 cents. He uses cardboard mailers that cost him 7 cents. He uses plastic strips for his postcards that cost him a penny. He buys his first-class forever stamps from other eBay sellers for 32 cents. He uses a tracking service called LetterTrack that costs him 11 cents. The tracker puts a bar code above the shipping address and it will track the first class letter. He pays $300 for his Anchor Store that gives him 10,000 free listings. For the extra 8,000 listings, he pays a nickel each. In summary, he spends $700 for listing fees that give him a cost of less than 4 cents per postcard per month to list. He builds it into the price of his postcards. If he sells a postcard for $5.99 and he only bought the card for only a quarter dollar or less, his return on investment is $4.
Quotes
  • "As a seller, the best and funniest part is going out and buying."
  • "Just because they are old does not mean they are valuable."
  • "People are like a little historian and want to see what the place look like a hundred years ago."
  • "The postcards back in 1900 are the Twitter of the day."
  • "You must have a love of history and love of learning to do postcards."
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Aug 07 2018

36mins

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152: How To Sell Costume Jewelry On eBay - Melody Purdy

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Melody started selling part-time on eBay in 2013 while still employed as a receptionist. Although a bit sooner than planned, in 2016 she left her office job to sell full-time on eBay and Facebook. Melody’s passion and main selling focus is vintage costume jewelry. She has plans to begin offering local group and individual eBay Selling Classes later this year.

Interesting Notes
  • Melody's husband had sold on eBay before. Within a couple of months of their marriage in 2015, they decided to get started together on eBay, part-time. They started out selling books. They wanted to add more so they sell dollhouse miniatures and a lot of variety of things.
  • Two years ago, they went on a vacation. They normally use their vacation as a time to reflect and plan for the future. On that vacation, they made plans that Melody will go full-time on eBay by the year 2017.
  • Their plans were changed a bit. On the first day at the office after their vacation, Melody was called to her manager's office. The manager informed her that her position was eliminated.
  • Melody always loved jewelry and made it her niche. She has two stores. The bigger one which she manages is called Melodys Uniquely You. Her husband manages the other one which is a bit hodgepodge. She transitions all the non-jewelry things to the other store.
  • She loves to go to garage sales during summer. She gets a lot of jewelry at the garage sales. She also goes to auction and estate sales. She started buying estates. She put a word out there that she is looking for estate jewelry. People who are getting rid of their jewelry started to contact her.
  • Her working hours depends on what she plans to do on the day. But most of her days, she starts on shipping. As much as she wants to go sourcing and shopping, she cannot because she has a lot of inventory.
  • Her husband has a full-time job but he sometimes goes with Melody to source. He also helps Melody takes the packages to the post office. He also does listings now and then.
  • She uses a digital camera and a lightbox in taking pictures. She takes several pictures at a time. If she goes garage selling, she tries to take all those pictures within a reasonable amount of time. Then she will sit down and list.
  • Melody learned everything about costume jewelry by selling. She immersed herself in researching. She owned 50 books about vintage jewelry and use it all for her references.
  • In costume jewelry, a lot of pieces has a signature on the back. She researched her pieces before she lists them. She knows a lot of signatures now. Still, she watches out for the fake pieces.
  • As far as precious metals and precious stones, she does not have to watch because it is costume jewelry that she sells most.
  • Melody thinks ahead of time what boxes she is going to need for her shipment and keeps stock of it. She also takes advantage of the free shipping supplies eBay gives to the sellers.
  • Jewelry is so easy to pack and ship. It is one of the reasons why she chose jewelry as her niche. It takes her five minutes to package and ship a piece of jewelry.
  • She would take a piece of jewelry and wrap it with a piece of tissue paper. If it is a more expensive piece, she would use a little box. Then she will put a bubble wrap, a shipping box and add some packaging paper and then ship it.
  • Most pieces weigh four to six ounces and so it is not expensive to ship. She can use First Class shipping. Unless the value is over $20, then she ships it Priority.
  • When Melody was selling part-time, she had problems with not being able to find pieces of jewelry sold. To solve it, she purchased wooden jewelry organizers. Every time she bought a new lot of jewelry, she would give the lot a name, put it in a bag and keep it inside the drawers of the organizer. Each piece is put in a small tote bag inside with a date on it. With her new system, she seldom has missing pieces.
  • When she goes for a vacation, she puts a vacation note on her store telling what day she will be back. She also changes her shipping policies. Instead of one business day, she changes it to 10 business days. Then in the middle of her vacation, she changes it into five business days.
  • In her product line, she has a lot of items that are one of a kind. Those are items that you cannot find easily on eBay or on other venues. She prices those as Buy It Now. She sometimes does auctions. But she is still scared to price her items at $9.99 to start when she knows those are worth $129.
  • She has regular customers. She keeps a note of what her customers like. She tries to let them know when she lists a piece of what they want. It may either from the same designer or the same style as the piece they bought.
  • The weirdest thing she had ever sold on eBay is a taxidermied toad. It was big, ugly and scary but she sold it. She did not know that she bought it. It came from a local auction box lot that she bought.
  • Another interesting thing she found and sold is a ticket stub to an Elvis Presley Concert in 1953. It came from a jewelry lot she bought. She sold the ticket on Auction and got $300 from it.
  • Melody has a video in her store - the very first she had ever done. She wants to do more videos. She also wants to start giving eBay classes locally. By October she will offer classes to those who want to start selling on eBay. It would be a 4-hour a day class for beginners and an alternate class for advanced or intermediate.
  • She is also working on increasing the average price of the item she sells. A lot of items she sells now is around $10 range. She likes to increase it to $20 and up.
Advice, Tips, and Tricks
  • If you are thinking of starting an eBay business, start however you want.
  • If you are struggling with your eBay business or you are still figuring out your niche, have confidence. Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone.
  • Learn from others. You don't have to reinvent the wheel.
  • Plan big. Think ahead - what is it going to look like six months from now.
  • If you have to look an hour for a $10 piece of jewelry, you are not using your time very efficiently. Make your systems smooth taking flow with your business.
  • Melody tries to keep up with the latest changes on eBay. She goes with the flow and makes it work.
  • If she wants to get people watching her items, she put her items on Auction. That way, when she switched over to Buy It Now with a different price, people still get to watch and the items may sell at Buy It Now.
  • Melody does her research on eBay. If she cannot find a similar piece on eBay, she would check from other similar auctions. If she cannot find at all, she will put the piece where she wants to put it.
  • If her item is not selling, she lowers the price until it sells.
Quotes
  • "When you plan on something it never quite works out."
  • "Be careful of what you pray for."
  • "Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone."
  • "What woman does not love jewelry!"
  • "Go with the flow. Make it work!"
  • "I love hearing the cha-ching!"
  • "When you sell a product that you love, it is fun!"
  • "The beautiful thing about eBay is you can do what is comfortable for you." - Ron
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Jul 31 2018

34mins

Play

151: How To Manage Your eBay Income - Liz O'Kane

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Liz has been selling on eBay since 2002. She sold part-time, on and off, until she retired from the Air Force at the end of 2016. She has been selling full-time and growing her eBay store ever since.

Interesting Notes
  • Liz calls herself a Jack of all Trades when she was working in the Air Force.
  • She sold part-time on eBay, on and off. Two years before she retired, she ramped up her game and was selling well.
  • She followed eBay very close even when she was a part-time seller. She treated eBay like it is a full-time job. She made a goal for herself that if she could hit her target in four months she will retire from her job.
  • She would come home at night and do her eBay works. She would ship on her way in the morning. She would do her listings on the weekend. Her family supported her all throughout.
  • When she retired, she looked for another job. She was confident that she qualifies for the job posts. But looking at the pay, she realized that she can make the salary working in their downstairs for eBay. With that, she decided to make eBay full-time.
  • Liz lives in Colorado, thus her eBay store is Colorado ReWorn. She is doing a lot of upcycling with recycled clothing through the thrift stores. She is also into retail arbitrage. She sells all year round because she sells internationally.
  • She is very fortunate to live in a place where she can do both thrifting and retail arbitrage. She enjoys both and does well in it.
  • She sources depending on her inventory. If her inventory is running low on dresses, she will go straight to the dresses section of a thrift store. If she is getting ready for Spring and Summer, she will go straight to the skirt and sleeveless tops.
  • There are certain things that she holds back when listing. She will not list new boots in May. Her experience taught her that those things do better in October and November.
  • The weirdest thing she ever bought is a kids onesie that had a marijuana leaf on it. She bought it to get it off the shelf. But she thinks that she won't be selling that kind of thing.
  • Liz has over a thousand listings and over 400 items not yet listed. She does her eBay business on their basement. She uses a big bedroom for her office. It is also where she keeps her listed inventory. The guest bedroom is also full of listed inventory. She keeps her unlisted inventory in a storage room.
  • She uses clear bins so she can see the items right through it. She sorts her items by season. Right now, she has two bins of snow boots and bins full of kids winter coats. With the other stuff, she will sort by Men Shirts, Women Shirts or Skirts.
  • She takes pictures of all the same item at one time. Doing so saves her time. It is easy to picture and easy to list.
  • Back when Liz is doing eBay part-time, she called herself a tote-tote seller. That is, she has one tote for unlisted and another one for listed. As she grows, she added her totes. Now, she has a stock room.
  • She has a filing system. She has all her shirts hang by brand. All her shoes are in totes by style underneath the shirts. She knows where everything is. But she admits that as she grows, she needs a better inventory management system.
  • Liz is the type of a seller who likes clean and simple listings. She researches everything she sells. Her listings would tell the buyers exactly what they are getting. If there are tags on, she would put Waterproof or Insulated in the description.
  • She sees negative feedback as what it is. She just has to provide a great service. If a buyer would complain to her, she would answer, "Hey, I'm sorry. How can I take care of it for you? What can I do to make it right?". If the buyer would not respond, then she will take it as it is and moves on.
  • Liz eBay business is growing. She has started in social media. She notices that she has more new customers. She has some repeat customers in some categories. She has a lady buyer who is remodeling her Airbnb. The lady asks Liz links to her new stuff so that she the lady can have the first look.
  • A lot of her prices depend on the competition. Sometimes, she priced based on the norm for the particular item. If every single sold item had free shipping and her cost can absorb it, that is the norm for the item. For the most part, she charges shipping.
  • She does a mix of direct shipping and international shipping. Sometimes, she would ship directly to safe countries like Canada, Australia, UK. She would also ship via eBay's Global Shipping Program (GSP).
  • GSP is a great program that has expanded the shipping options for the sellers. Since she signed up to GSP, she had not encountered any problem with it. Her sales have even increased than when she uses direct shipping only. She is doing international sales between two and seven times in a week.
  • Liz admits that none of her practices are original thoughts. She learned all things from other sellers. She also learns from brand new sellers.
  • She is paying forward now. She is mentoring a new seller she met at her friend's house. This new seller sells cosmetics. She gave the seller her card. She checks in with her mentee every week. One time, her mentee asked her when to up the game because the mentee is selling so well. Liz advised her mentee to build up first.
  • Liz is comfortable where she is now in her eBay business. She does not want to expand beyond her house. Though her husband, her biggest cheerleader, offered to get her a storage, she still wants to work at home.
  • So, for the next two to three years, she will grow her store and refine it. After that, she might have an extra bedroom.
  • One thing she likes about eBay, she does not have to go out where she is comfortable.
Advice, Tips, and Tricks
  • You've got to be all in or start looking for another job.
  • If you are on the verge of leaving your corporate job and you say you are going to do it, get ready.
  • She tries to limit selling flawed items. If it is a flawed item that can be repaired, she will state it in the title.
  • She knows and follows the sale date of all the thrift stores and retails in their area. She gets text messages from those. She does her shopping trips around the schedule.
Q and A
  • Question: How do you manage your eBay income?
  • Answer: Managing an eBay income would be different for a beginner-seller and a seasoned-seller. From Liz experience, three or four months after leaving her job, a lot of her eBay income went back right into it. Now, at the middle point, her eBay income has the capacity to pay herself every other Friday just like she had a job. Her husband gets paid every other Friday too. She saves the money left over from paying herself and her husband. She would use her savings to give herself an increase in six months time or a Christmas bonus.
Quotes
  • "Jobs will always be there!"
  • "I love what I do!"
  • "You take what you need from other sellers experience."
  • "Take pictures like there is no listing and description. Then describe like there are no pictures."
  • "Don't fear the flaw."
  • "Just provide great customer service!"
  • "The great thing about eBay is that it has so many different options for sellers."
  • "Everybody has their own set of processes." - Ron
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Jul 24 2018

35mins

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150: The Secret To Save More From What You Make On eBay - Craig Cody, CPA

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Craig Cody is a Certified Tax Coach, Certified Public Accountant, Business Owner and former New York City Police Officer with 17 years experience on the Force. In addition to being a Certified Public Accountant for the past 15 years, he is also a Certified Tax Coach. As a Certified Tax Coach, Craig belongs to a select group of tax practitioners throughout the country who undergo extensive training and continued education on various tax planning techniques and strategies to become, as well as remain, certified. With this organization, Craig has co-authored an Amazon best-selling book, Secrets of a Tax-Free Life.

Interesting Notes
  • Craig is an Economics major. He stopped in his third year and worked as a cop for 17 years, following his dad who was a Police Officer. He went back to college, got his accounting degree, and worked for an international firm.
  • He retired from the corporate and started his own firm - the Craig Cody and Company.
  • Now, as a Certified Tax Coach, Craig helps business owners keep more of what they are making. He looks for ways where business owners could legally reduce their tax liability. His ultimate goal for the business owners is to create a saving of $15,000 to $20,000 a year.
  • To achieve his ultimate goal, he takes time to communicate with the business owners and creates a Tax Plan. He makes sure that business owners have all the right documentation and know what to do.
  • He can work with entry-level clients - those business owners that are making $200 to $500 a month. He sees that he can save them some serious money.
  • He works with clients on a monthly basis. He conducts a regular meeting via Skype or Zoom or any online communication tool. He would go over the client's Profit and Loss statement. He makes sure that clients are doing the things that they talked about and planned.
  • Craig works with clients throughout the United States. His farthest client is Oregon. He does not encounter issues in tax rules. Federal rules don't change. The State rules differ a little bit, but for the most part, it is not a big variation.
  • Before working with Craig, you have to have a conversation with him for an initial assessment of your business. He would ask for your last year's Tax Return and your current year Profit and Loss Statement. He will review and do some analysis. Then, he will give you recommendations on what to do to save an extra dollar as a tax deduction.
  • You only pay once you decide to do a Tax Plan. Craig will set up a Tax Plan so that the business owners could do what makes them money, which is to sell. His services are 100% refundable. In his seven years of experience, no one has ever asked for their money back.
  • At the end of the year, he does a before and after with his clients. He shows them how much their tax liability would have been if they did not do what they did. He shows them their current tax liability because they do the things as planned.
  • Craig finds his work exciting. He feels gratified when he could sit down and he saves somebody $20,000 a year. The number can even grow bigger. He has a client who saved $465,000 in one year.
  • The most difficult part of his job is when he has to tell a client of a potential liability because of a wrong practice.
  • The weirdest tax issue he ever had is an evening call from a lady asking his help in preparing her taxes.
  • Craig's services focus on the U.S. income tax. He has been doing accounting works for 18 years. His own firm has been in service for 10 years. He has doubled their office space last June and bring in another three CPAs.
  • To date, there are nine CPAs working in his firm, including him. They want to continue to grow. They love what they do. They have a great staff. They have great clients. They want to keep pushing along and do what they do best.
  • Craig has co-authored a book entitled The Secrets of A Tax-Free Life. One of the secrets is to legally pay the least amount of money just like Warren Buffet and Donald Trump. And to do that you have to have somebody work it for you.
  • His second book is The Ten Biggest Tax Mistakes That Costs Business Owners Thousands. He is giving a FREE paper copy for all So You Wanna Sell On eBay podcast listeners. Click here to claim it now!
Advice, Tips, and Tricks

3 Things That Business Owners Can Do To Save Some Money

  1. Have a Qualified Business Income This is important for the tax planning. With it, business owners will get a 20% tax deduction over the net profit. But you will do certain things to make sure that you will get the benefits of it.
  2. Have a Medical Expense Reimbursement Plan
  3. Set Up a Home Office This allows you to deduct your transportation expenses from your house to your warehouse. This also allows you to deduct your home athletics facilities such as your backyard pool or your gym.
Quotes
  • "If you communicate, you can plan. If you plan, you can save money."
  • "When we do a tax plan it actually has a tax code that says, 'You can do this!'"
  • "If the billionaires can do it, why can't you?"
  • "A little bit of communication can turn into a lot of money."
  • "If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got!" -Ron
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Jul 17 2018

36mins

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149: How To Sell Memories To Grow Your eBay Business - Jewel Smith-Bolman & Marshall Bolman

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Jewel started back in 2003 selling commissioned motorcycle parts for a friend, then opened a store selling vintage items while working full time. Now living in the US, she sells full time & found a niche focusing on vintage toys. She considers it selling childhood memories and making new ones.

Interesting Notes
  • Jewel was a preschool teacher in Canada. When she moved to the US, she started selling any items that are vintage, from the 50s to the present. The toys that she sells now come from the 60s to 80s.
  • At first, she did not want to get into eBay. She only did it as a favor to a friend and sold something that she had no knowledge of. As her children were growing, she started listing dollar signs on all their toys. Instead of throwing old toys out, she sold it on eBay and made some money. That is how she started her Plush Toys niche.
  • Toys are where her heart is. She can tell what year the toys are made by what their eyes are made of, by the tags, and by the country where it is made.
  • Marshall is more into old knives and old watches.
  • Jewel and Marshall work together in their eBay store. They go shopping together but Jewel does most of the work because Marshall still has a day job.
  • Today, most people are buying from their phones more than from their computer. Things change so fast that sellers need to simplify things for the buyers. Sellers need to make buyers' shopping an enjoyable thing.
  • Jewel categorized her plush toys by what they are - group into the same movie or the same brand. Grouping is a great way to give someone a very good deal.
  • Jewel and Marshall give deals to preschools and daycare, candy bar companies, and the like.
  • Jewel sometimes finds eBay changes a little bit daunting because she has a huge inventory. But she understands that changes are part of running a business. One only has to be flexible. One has to go with the way the market is going.
  • Jewel and Marshall go sourcing together. They go to second-hand stores, Goodwill, garage sales, flea markets, and estate sales. Marshall's forte is in price bargaining and in getting vendors to sell items in bulk.
  • Marshall built a warehouse for Jewel's stuff. They have a thousand storage bins and tubs. Their bins are all-numbered. Jewel keeps a hard copy of her inventory list. The list includes what bin the items are and the location of the bins. They also have huge heavy duty bags full of stuff that is not yet processed. It took them three years to put systems in place.
  • Jewel's secret to a 100% positive feedback on her eBay store is being completely honest to her buyers. A few years ago, someone in her family passed away. Though she got herself absorb in work, she was not storing her online items properly. There were sales and she could not find the items. One buyer became so upset. Jewel explained her situation and the buyer was so kind and understanding.
  • One of their interesting sales is an old vintage nun doll with a cracked face and looked creepy. Kat Von D, a tattoo artist featured in HBO Show, bought the item.
  • Another interesting sale is a vintage metal Folgers coffee can. The buyer sent them an email thanking them for selling the item. It was what the buyer needed for her father who passed away with a request to be buried in a Folgers coffee can.
  • The ugliest but one-of-a-kind toy that they ever sold is a 6' Slender Man. Slender Man is an online urban legend who comes and steals children. They got it for $60 a year ago.
  • The majority of their items are vintage. They get their hands on the vintage stuff because they believe that a day will come that it will be hard to find. But more than that, they are selling memories, and they want to make children happy. To them, an adult looking for his/her childhood toy is still a child.
  • They have various stories of people making the best offer because the toy is very important. One is because of an autistic child that is so attached to the toy. Another is because the toy brings about the memory of a mother who gave the toy and was no longer with them.
  • eBay gives Jewel the flexibility that it is almost impossible for her to keep track of her working hours. She can work 19 hours for three days straight, listing and all. Then she can spend the rest of the week shipping and be answering questions.
  • October to December is their best time of the year. With the pre-Christmas and post-Christmas time, they could make half of their yearly income.
  • Jewel and Marshall enjoy every aspect of their eBay business. They get the freedom and flexibility of working from home. It allows Jewel to go back to Canada and visit her family whenever she wants to. It allows Marshall to take over their business when Jewel is gone. They could not ask for a better job to have.
  • They plan on doing eBay well into their retirement. And to do this they keep on accumulating a huge stockpile of inventory.
Advice, Tips, and Tricks
  • Be completely honest, keep your buyers happy and satisfied. There are times where buyers get disappointed and ask for a refund. In such case, Jewel and Marshall give a full refund plus anything in their store. They want to make their buyers happy by giving them twice the value of the item.
  • If the buyer's complaint is questionable, it does not matter anymore. Jewel and Marshall will do everything to make the buyer walk away satisfied.
  • Jewel does a lot of research on her items but there are items that just came up. If she can't find any data that gives her the answers, she would put the item on auction. If she feels that the item is a valuable one, she would start the auction at a high price. She would know if she is on the right track if people are people looking at the item. If people are ignoring it then it would tell her that the item is not as valuable than she thought it was.
  • Online sales are booming everywhere. There are so many places to sell. There are so many things to buy and sell. And a seller should keep these reminders all the time:

1. Do your research and find a niche that you are happy with.

2. Be flexible enough to go with any changes that are coming your way.

3. Sell nothing fragile so that you will not spend a lot on packing materials. 4. Listen to the buyers out there. They will tell you what items have value.

Quotes

  • "I get so much enjoyment selling toys!"
  • "It is so much fun when you really love what you do. It is hard to complain."
  • "You have to go with the way the market is going."
  • "The customer is always right."
  • "Yes, we want to make a profit. And we enjoy the business. But we really are selling the memory."
  • "It's fun but it does not mean it is easy."
  • "Let the customer win. The customer has to win." - Ron
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Jul 03 2018

35mins

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