01/02/2017 at 12:03 pm #9390
Hi! I’m Karen from New Hampshire. Originally from Massachusetts slight detour to South Carolina for 10 years and Back to New Hampshire once again.
When I worked in the real world, I was an Executive Secretary. Also worked as an Office Manager. Because of chronic fatigue and Fibromyalgia, I can not hold a regular job. I am disabled and NO I DO NOT get disability. Now I can barely get through a listing on eBay. Truth be told, writing this is hard (took 2 hours off and on).
In March of 2016 I opened a store on eBay. After the first six weeks of trying to get up to my 250 items, I literally had a breakdown. I think I got to 150. Now I have approx. 300 listed at any given time.
I actually thought I would do very well in 2016. In reality I made poverty wages. Yet better than no money coming in. I like sourcing. Even though hard, it is enjoyable. I like packing. I hate listing. Its where my mental confusion makes the process excruciating. The storage of purchases are debilitating.
(This is my Bubble and Booze diversion). I owned my first house in my name at the age of 20. I had my third house paid off by the time I was 38 years old. I’ve owned 9 properties in all. And in four different states. If I didn’t achieve that, I would be homeless for sure. The book that helped me accomplish that is Your Money or Your life. In my early 20s I was sick and I was scared. That book help me focus on attaining financial security.
My last house in South Carolina was HUGE. I moved back to New Hampshire and all I could afford in the area that I wanted to live was a 924 Sq. foot SINGLE WIDE MOBILE. Of course that’s when I decided to support myself by having an eBay store. I have one small 10 x 10 bedroom to store my items. My kitchen is my office. The majority of the very small cabinets hold eBay stock and supplies. I try to keep my living room and bedroom free of stuff. Yet my living room ends up housing the decorative items that I have listed. I have two bathrooms. I don’t need TWO BATHS. So I use the bathtub in the 2nd one as storage for boxes and mailing supplies. Only one shed is allowed on the property. Right now its a tiny Rubbermaid that leaks. I can’t afford to purchase a better one at this time. I’m in a 55+ park. Very well kept. Owner is very picky as to where it can be placed and how large. So I wouldn’t be able to put a much larger one in.
At the end of yard sale season, I had stuff coming out of the storage bedroom. Then in the 2nd bath and into the hall. Then into the living room. All over the living room. I knew that I only had a few more weeks before sales would halt. So I kept going. I must get organized over the winter before yard sale season begins again! Before winter set in, I donated a car full of space hog, low profit items. Totally freeing!
For 2017 I will try to purchase less small profit items. Which is hard because occasionally you buy something stupid for $1 or less and it ends up being a high dollar sale. You can’t always look up every item you buy. Especially at yard sales. Because of limited space, I wonder how effective it is to have so many articles of clothing. Or for that fact other categories. Watching what sold during the Christmas/Holiday season has narrowed what I think is long tail or practically extinct. I like books, but some categories seem to be a waste of time, money and space.
Which brings me to pricing I see others who sell on eBay. Really for the amount they are making, why don’t they have a yard sale. Or go to a flea market a few times a year. They are driving down the price for the rest of us. I can totally see why postcards are low priced and why they would do better online. Yet to ship a large item, especially breakable and make $3 is INSANITY. I would like to see a section in this group that says this is what THEY got for this item and this is what I got for it! In my best Charlie Brown voice over “WAWA”
For instance I had a motion clock that was in fabulous condition. I put it up over $200. I kept seeing a couple listed in the $80 to $100 range. Of course those would sell before mine. Yet I knew that they were uncommon and eventually mine would probably be the only one on there. Especially because the condition was so fabulous. I sold mine in about 8 or 10 months. If you need a quick turn over, sell it in on Craig’s List locally. Why go through the eBay hassle to get the LOWEST PRICE POSSIBLE? No common sense and what little clarity I have left, mind boggling!
Anyhow 2017 will be trying to further organizing my tiny storage space. I can’t decide if I want to go the next tier store for 1,000 items. Is the next tier worth it if you only list 500 items? I will make that decision over the next few months.
Love your podcast. I would have loved having a spouse or man in my life that is on board with what I do. Where we could share the highs and the lows of selling on eBay. With your podcast I get to hear what that would be like. Thanks for all you do Ryanne and Jay!
01/03/2017 at 3:14 pm #9486
I’m in a similar situation, ebay-ing with CFS. It’s hard, but I’m grateful for the flexibility it offers. I’m with you on the goal/strategy of going for higher-profit items, listing at a high price, and being okay to wait a long time to get that price. When one has only a tiny amount of physical & mental energy to spend per day on shipping/photographing/listing, profit per item really matters. I spend most of the day lying around on the couch or in bed anyway, so I’m now trying to think of that as the productive “waiting” part of the business equation. 🙂 Based on my experience of the last year, I’ve decided that 250 items is the max size store that I can handle, so maintaining that with higher-profit items is my goal for this year.
Oh, here’s another CFS-specific tidbit. Others on SL often mention how they listen to the podcast while working/listing. Well, I can’t do that! Do to brain fog issues, I can’t pay attention to two things at once. If I pay attention to the podcast, then I make mistakes in my listings. If I pay attention to listing, then I miss what is being said in the podcast. So I listen to the podcast while relaxing in bed. 🙂
For the same reason, I have to completely pack and label a single purchased item before printing out a label for the next one, otherwise I get the labels all mixed up! Not meaning to complain here, just sharing my strategies for adapting my process to what works with the limitations I have. Setting my handling time to 3-days also helps a lot to accommodate those absolutely-zero-energy days.
01/04/2017 at 9:43 am #9536
I completely understand! Yes I cannot do two things at once. Which drives me crazy because before the illness set in, I’d be doing four things at once and my brain would keep up. So I kind of beat myself up for not having the capacity to produce the way I would before.
I think I may try to go for around 500 to 600 listings, but feel they have to have a chance to actually sell. For instance I have some great books that have been on there over a year. I just think that the chance of them selling is close to nil at this point. Let’s put it this way, if I see that type of book, even at 50 cents, I walk away.
Have a healthy and prosperous New Year!
05/18/2017 at 1:54 pm #18204
Okay so the chronic fatigue has kicked my butt. There is no way I could support myself doing this. Listing two items a day kills me. For the same reasons I cannot work a regular job, I can’t thrive doing this.
Yet it still gives me something to strive for instead of just staring at the four walls. I will keep on working for a cure for my fatigue (seeing Doctors and doing many things for the past 2 years). In the hopes that someday I would be able to support myself.
For single people out there, remember when you see what a couple makes, divide by two and that’s your income. Although there are many single people that do that and more!
I love listening to your Podcasts. Love everyone’s success stories. Its better than Antique Roadshow because it shows what great things an average person can do. Wish you all continued success!
05/18/2017 at 11:14 pm #18232
I hear ya. After a big trip yesterday to see a new doctor many hours away, today I am barely moving at all. My only ebay goal for the next few days is to be able to ship by Saturday the two items that sold yesterday. It will be a while before I can get back to listing again. Definitely not supporting myself doing this, but, like you said, it is a really great productive activity for when I do have some energy, and even a little extra cash is always welcome. I think I would go crazy without it.
Hang in there.
05/19/2017 at 12:31 am #18234
You hang in too Sonia. All we can do is our best.
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