11/13/2017 at 11:42 pm #25574
Hi! I’m luckysparrow. I live in Nebraska. I was raised by parents who loved auctions, thrift stores, garage sales, and dumpsters, so scavenging is in my blood!
I started selling on ebay in 2001, specializing in vintage shoes and clothes. I put myself through grad school by selling my finds on ebay. I graduated debt-free. Then I worked for over a decade in the non-profit museum world. Long hours, working on weekends, stress, the realization that I couldn’t climb any higher in my field without going back to school. I had a hard time finding reliable before and after childcare for my 5 year old daughter. I was sick, tired, and extremely grumpy all the time. I burned out HARD.
After much deliberation and planning, I quit my job in September 2016. I took my knowledge and put it into my ebay business. Note: my husband has a full-time job with insurance. We had discussed the ebay back-up plan for months before actually doing it. In that time, I built my ebay inventory and store up as much as I could.
I’m so much happier. I get to spend time with my kid while she’s little. We have taken more vacations and road trips in the last year than we did in the last decade. We drive old cars, we wear shoes from Goodwill. We live a humble, debt-free life that is rich in experiences and low in stress. Ironically, I actually earn slightly more from selling on ebay than I did at my job that required a master’s degree.
In regards to selling, my specialities are: vintage textiles, vintage clothing, women’s clothing, midcentury home goods. I sell on ebay, etsy, poshmark, amazon, and facebook buy-sell-trade groups. I regularly take loads of clothes and books to used bookstores and places like Plato’s Closet. I sell stuff at local consignment pop up sales.
When I pick my kid up from school, I often talk to other moms, who assume I’m a stay at home mom too. “So what do you do during the day?” they ask me. “Oh, I have a bunch of side hustles that keep me entertained,” I say and smile.
11/14/2017 at 10:12 am #25587
- Location: Southern California
Congrats on your successful reselling business from another mom seller! I’ve been working part-time since my children were born with 15 month breaks when they were infants. Now that they are older, I really treasure the memories of being with them and still enjoy the afternoons and weekends with them. The old cliché is so true that they grow up quickly.
11/15/2017 at 9:03 am #25632
- Location: Virginia
It’s kind of crazy to think you can make more selling scavenged goods online than an educated position. Our country has crazy priorities. Also just shows how much abundance this country has.
Glad you found us. Do you find a lot of midcentury items in Nebraska?
11/16/2017 at 11:06 am #25722
It is crazy (not that i am at a point yet where i am making more at my business than a job). But I think there always has been a truth behind there is a lot of potential reward for taking a leap and working for yourself as a business owner as compared to someone else. Ebay is a great outlet to do that / get that going. I was in sales before as well — and i get so much more gratification hearing that ching sounds and knowing that i keep all of the pie as opposed to selling someone else’s dream.
Welcome luckysparrow. I am a stay at home dad and it is great being available to be part of my kids lives everyday. I too am way more happy. It is great — i am running now and have lost 20 pound as compared to before i was traveling all week and missing my family! Like you I don’t really have a specific answer i tell people when they asked me what i do. They see my in my warm up pants picking my son up at kindergarten and probably don’t know what to think as i the only dad doing it.
11/15/2017 at 10:58 am #25651
There’s definitely more competition for MCM stuff here in the midwest than there was 10-15 years ago. There are other pickers who have muscle, connections, cargo vans, warehouse space, and brick & mortar stores who are able to scoop up the furniture and bigger items. I’m okay with that though, because they have awesome taste and I like to shop in their stores! I feel like the local MCM dealers price their furniture very reasonably compared to bigger coastal cities. I also can tell other dealers that I’m looking for something specific (ie. a dresser or a credenza) and they will contact me when they see something I might like. We also sometimes trade smaller items with brick & mortar dealers for store credit.
So, I don’t find a lot of furniture at thrift stores/estate sales, but I DO find good textiles, smalls household stuff and a LOT of interesting art here.
11/17/2017 at 4:23 am #25748
Sometimes, we ebayers get a little carried away with the good life. On occasion, I have become a super fan and tried to convert others to our way of life. I get a lot of puzzled looks.
My wife and I own rental homes and I have done the same thing there. Rentals have been very good to us (for 30 years) and I try to “convert” non-believers, but nearly everyone says no. My wife finally said “you know, rentals aren’t for everyone!” So true.
Well, ebay/scavenging isn’t for everyone either. People who have never been self-employed have no idea of the satisfaction of taking something cheap and turning it into big $$. Most of us have found broken items cheap or things that cost us nothing and made some nice cash. Wage slaves cannot understand that. The deep fear of cutting ties with a regular paycheck/benefits are real. IMHO, that is why most ebayers started out part time/hobby selling, and had to see it to believe it before going “full time”.
Add the part that you have to have a certain amount of discipline to succeed, and there you have it.
Where else can you spend $100 on initial inventory, and by turning it over, and re-investing, can have a store of hundreds or thousands of listings in a couple of years? We know it can be done. But, it’s not for eveyone.
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