Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Chronicles of a New Full Time eBay Seller, The Story Continues Week 13



This last week we made 348.00 from our eBay sales and we sold 30 items. We had a low average price, less than 10.00 per sale because of our 40% off sale but we made what we needed to pay our bills and really that is what it comes down to. 

So ...
348.00 eBay
250.00 Contract Work
598.00 Weeks Total

I have mixed emotions about this last week because we had to take such drastic measures to get sales. On one hand it was great to get the sales but on the other I find myself questioning whether or not I have the kind of stuff in my store that people really want.

 The thing that sucks about where we live is that there is not an abundance of great items that people are overlooking here. About the only thing you can get here is clothing which sucks because as a general rule these are going to be 10 to $20 items and trying to make a living on 10 to $20 items is extremely difficult.

 We want to venture father out but at present money is an issue so we will have to wait until our store is at least making enough money to pay most of our bills at which point my wife can quit her job we can cash in her 401K and that will give us the money we need to go to the next level.

At any rate we are making progress and our store continues to grow despite the slow growth rate.

The way we are doing it now I am taking pictures on one day I'm making drafts on one day and then I'm doing listings on one day so I do this process twice a week and I'm able to put up about 20-30 listings each time so about 40 to 60 listings a week if I'm diligent which I'm not always diligent :-)

 On a positive note I just started a new etsy store which I have about 15 items in at present. I haven't sold anything in there yet but we are getting quite a few views I've had some inquiries and several likes. The sales in our flea market booth have continued to diminish so I've decided to put the money into etsy rather than the flea market.

 Listing on Etsy is so much faster you wouldn't believe and it's tempting to just build on that rather than my eBay Store but I know my future is with eBay so that's where I'm going to put the majority of my time.

 Anyway that's it for now.  As always thank you for reading :-)


Tony


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

We Are DOOMED !!!!

 Well it's September and sales have been miserable for the first half of this month. I think on the first week of this month we made a grand total of $297 and on the second week we made a grand total of $83.77.  Things were going so good at the first of the month that we decided to splurge a little on ourselves and we spent about $150 of that so when the second week hit those low numbers we were completely unprepared for it.

 I gotta tell you I was in panic mode because now online sales are my income, my livelihood, what I have to have to pay our bills and to let us eat, buy gasoline all those things.  If you've never been self employed and depended on the income from that self employment and pay your bills you probably really won't relate to this very much but if you've ever been in this situation then you will definitely know what I was feeling.

 Okay so I'm freaking out and kinda at a loss of what to do so my cool calm and collected wife Deidre says why not have a sale?  I sit there and think for a moment and I said yeah why don't we have a sale that's a great idea.  So that's exactly what I did the sale started last Sunday the 13th and we have already made $208 this week which will be our best week ever.

 Crisis averted, panic subsiding.

 So what have we learned from this? A good wife is worth her weight in gold :-)

Thanks for reading,
Tony

Friday, September 11, 2015

THANK YOU EBAY !!!!! NO MORE DEFECTS !!!!

This was the best news we could have ever gotten as eBay rolls out the 2015 fall seller update, it looks like the antiquated defect system has finally been put to rest.  Looking over the new rules it's obvious that there are still rules to follow but they are easy rules to follow if you are a good seller.

 I looked over the rules that they have set and they are all within the sellers control.  Basically it goes like this.

*  ship when you say you're going to ship and make sure your shipments to the post office are scanned in.
*  resolve problems with buyers without making eBay get involved. If someone wants to return something then let them return it and don't fight the return. Issue refunds and don't make eBay force you to do it.
*  if you have a listing up then make sure you have that inventory in stock and don't cancel transactions because you didn't have the thing in.


 They have lowered the threshold for Top rated seller status to .50% for defects but the only defects that count against you now are the ones that are well within your control.

 When the new system goes into effect in February 2016 any defects that you currently have that do not fall within the new guidelines will be wiped clean by eBay.  This is a great day for all eBay sellers as eBay is actually listening to it's sellers again and that is a good thing.

 One thing that is changing is that you will now need to offer a 30 day returns to maintain Top rated seller status as opposed to the current 14.  Personally I have no problem with any of the changes that eBay is making because they are all good. As a new full-time eBay seller I can't tell you how good I felt when I saw all the changes that are coming up because when your living depends on an online platform you feel helpless and afraid of what might happen due to things that are out of your control.

 As I said before all the defects are within your control as a seller now and it's up to you whether you stay or go.

GOOD JOB EBAY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks for Reading,
Tony

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Final Entry From A Beginner Full Time Seller on eBay, Mistakes and Good Decisions

So we are now about 2 months in as full time eBay sellers and here are some things I have learned.  Over the last 2 months I have come to understand that you can overload yourself with work and that is counterproductive when it comes to eBay so you need to find your own personal pace and do not go beyond that. 

 I found myself getting so overwhelmed with work that I was getting nothing done.  For me at least it does not work to do more than one task per day so one day I'm doing photography,  one day I'm doing drafts and one day I'm doing listings.  I will repeat this process throughout the week and I'm not saying that this is what's best for everyone I'm just saying is what is working for me.

 When I first started doing this I was trying to do the entire process from beginning to end in one day. For me this was a major mistake because I got nothing done.  For me my second mistake was offering global shipping on items that I might want back from the global shipping program . I like offering global shipping on things that I don't mind losing to scammers but those have to be things that I paid very little for.

 My reason for this is very simple, the one thing they don't tell you when you involve yourself in the global shipping program is that if someone needs to return something and is due to you're not telling them something ie. item not as described then you are responsible for paying to get that items back which includes all import fees which can be expensive. Of course you can always tell the customer to just keep the item and refund their money without it being returned but this only works if you can afford to lose the item.

I'm sure there are plenty of eBayers reading this  that will disagree with this philosophy and I'm not saying that this is what's best for everyone I'm only saying it's what works for me.

 I think this will be my last entry on the subject of getting started on eBay because I think by now you have a pretty good idea of how it works. My advice to anyone who would attempt to do what I have done is make sure you have the savings to support yourself for at least 6 months or it's going to be a major struggle. 

The best decision I made was doing daily 3-4 hours of contract work to go with my ebay business. If I did not have my contract work we would have been in trouble while I am still learning this business as that now provides us with 1000.00 a month alone. We could probably make it without it, but it would be much harder.

 I would say for sure do not quit your job until you are very comfortable that what you are selling does sell and that you can repeat it month after month. Don't be afraid to leave your city to look for new merchandise because your own city might dry up if your hitting it everyday unless it's a really big city.

 It was touch and go for a while but things are looking up and we have reached our first goal which is just too pay our bills and do that on a regular basis.  My hope is that this journal will be helpful to someone who is thinking is trying this themselves to not jump in until they are ready.

So what's next? Amazon ? Etsy ? Heck I dunno, just now got this thing under control so I think I will just breath for the moment. This has been the scariest and the most exciting time I think I have ever had in my life and it's great!  I love it and for me, I could never go back.

I can't believe I am 54 years old and sitting at the house doing whatever I want, it's like a dream. My wife will be quitting her job next but that will have to wait until we reach our next goal of 4500.00 from eBay.

I wonder what our business will look like in 5 years? lol

Thanks for taking the ride with us :-)
Tony and Deidre