11/29/2019 at 12:53 am #71166
I was just curious:
How did you all get started selling on eBay?
What item categories do you enjoy selling in?
How much do you like being a Seller?
I’m always interested in hearing how people get started so tell me your story!
11/29/2019 at 3:18 pm #71176Old DadParticipant
- Location: Missouri
I started selling almost 11 years ago when I was 60 in order to have something to do in retirement and perhaps add to my retirement savings if things went well. About 3 years in I lost my job due to outsourcing and was out of work for 17 months. That’s when I really ramped up the business and I was able to survive that challenge without having to dig into my retirement accounts or savings. Then I worked another 3 years until finally retiring from my paycheck job at the end of 2015. Now selling is something to fill my days.
- This reply was modified 9 months, 3 weeks ago by Old Dad.
12/01/2019 at 1:13 am #71200
That is one of the reasons I have always been interested in working for myself. I wanted to have some control over what could happen to me and the amount of money I could bring in. I know that no job is fail proof, but it’s nice to be responsible to yourself and not someone else.
Old Dad, you must really enjoy selling to continue doing so now that you are retired. Do you have other hobbies that you enjoy doing as well?
- This reply was modified 9 months, 3 weeks ago by jess.
11/29/2019 at 4:19 pm #71180IndySalesParticipant
I graduated and briefly had work in the video game industry before a larger game studio picked me up. They immediately fell into bad standing with the IRS and I was tossed into the meat grinder of the “gig economy” while I tried to lock down my next job. During this I started flipping items on eBay, and after about two years, finally had the potential to go full-time in 2018, although I did have some clients I was doing work for that softened the financial blow for another year.
I sell in consumer electronics, but would like to move most of my inventory to biz/industrial, a much hotter category IMO.
Selling on eBay gives me my independence, and also allows me to explore “career” work/projects on the side that could potentially be spun up into forms of income down the road.
11/29/2019 at 5:55 pm #71184JayKeymaster
- Location: Virginia
Ooooo, IRS trouble. Would you mind sharing your story with the IRS? What happened? How’d you fix it?
11/29/2019 at 6:51 pm #71187IndySalesParticipant
It was the owner’s IRS problem thankfully, not mine. By the time I got brought on he was just getting a bunch of the studio’s financials in order after their game had become hugely popular. I guess he started thinking that someone should look over his books and ended up finding he owed a lot of money after the fact.
12/01/2019 at 1:16 am #71201
You ever miss not being directly involved in the video game business?
Or do you think some of your projects might include that down the road?
11/29/2019 at 5:12 pm #71181tam from Tam’s Vintage & MoreParticipant
I won a large box lot at an auction. It was full of vintage toys. I wanted one thing in the box and did not know what to do with the 30 or so other things. My brother who is quite successful selling on ebay suggested I give it a shot. By the time I had sold 5 or 6 of the toys I was looking for other things to sell! It wasn’t smooth sailing and there were a lot of things to (sometimes painfully) learn about selling on ebay, but here I am 4 years later :). I sell old stuff mostly but if an opportunity presents itself I jump right in.
12/01/2019 at 1:18 am #71202
Are you the same Tam that runs Tam’s Place on Youtube? Just wondering!
11/30/2019 at 11:14 am #71195pythoneskParticipant
- Location: East TN
I had occasionally sold things on ebay over the years. Just stuff I wanted to get rid of. Most of the time I lost money on shipping so I didn’t see how people could actually make a living doing it. About 4 years ago I stumbled upon Scavenger Life and learned about calculated shipping and weighing my items properly, adding something for packaging, etc. I simply ADORED Ryanne’s “what sold” videos. I wish she’d still do them even if just once a month or so!
It wasn’t hard to convince my husband to get into ebay. He already had a scavenger mentality and knew something about antiques. So we got into going to auctions, flea markets and yard sales. It’s always a thrill when you turn a buck into 30, 50 or even $100. Before I met him he was flipping things on rare occasions. He once went to a yard sale and bought an old desk for $10 and immediately took it a couple blocks down the road and sold it to an antique shop for $200. LOL, I love that.
12/01/2019 at 1:22 am #71204
I think that’s what hooks folks. They make a decent profit off of one item one time and are blown away. It’s like hitting a home run out of the park when you weren’t expecting to.
12/01/2019 at 6:17 am #71205Antique FrogParticipant
- Location: Leicester
Yes- found a beer mat from a local brewery in a university bar. Kept it for years and then listed it on eBay as an auction starting at 99 pence, back in 2002. A few days later I checked, and it had been bid up to £99. One of the bidders contacted me and told me that it was a rare pre-war mat, and he expected it to go for considerably more. Sold for £220! I sometimes wonder what happened to that mat…
Of course there’s always the things that go in the other direction pricewise 🙂 Oil painting of an Edwardian lady, bought for £300 at a live auction ‘cos it looked like a John Lavery , sold at a live auction for £40… it wasn’t.
12/01/2019 at 11:01 pm #71241
I got started by selling parts from semi-vintage Alfa Romeos I would buy for cheap and either fix and flip or part out. Ebay was actually my ‘clearance’ store as most of the sales were through specialty Alfa Romeo websites. That was back in 2008-2010. Then I did a little bit of couponing and found myself with hundreds of ‘free’ items that I did not like so I sold those (I remember that my first big sale was 30 McCormick’s Spice Packets!) in early 2015. I then saw a few Youtube videos including Scavenger Life and moved into mens clothes and thrifting and it just snowballed from there. I still am a part time seller as I am a part time tax attorney and also run a family law program for the court system one day per week.
I enjoy selling mens clothes, MCM objects/furniture (although I mainly hoard them for myself), and I am collecting a huge pile of vintage/semi-vintage audio equipment that is waiting for my ebay barn to be built (will have a electronics testing area)
I very much prefer being a reseller as compared to my other jobs. I like the time flexibility the most. I may work on Ebay 40+ hours in certain weeks but I decide when those hours are.
12/01/2019 at 11:52 pm #71243
It’s nice to run your own schedule as you see fit! One of the perks of eBaying.
12/02/2019 at 7:39 am #71245BourbonTrailBazaarParticipant
- Location: Kentucky
I started on eBay in my teens. My account has been open since 1999 and started selling Hallmark Ornaments that I had bought through my dad who was a Hallmark store manager.
In the mid 2000’s (pre smartphone) I started selling books. I used to go to Goodwill’s after work looking for books for myself and realized there was likely money to be made. I sold my first book for $50 and took off from there. I ran that model for a couple of years until I moved and had to liquidate my inventory.
I dabbled off and on from 2008 – 2016 never taking anything serious. In March of 2016 I was tired of being bored and wanted a constructive and profitable hobby. I did some research and dived back in with $200 selling clothing from thrift stores. I then found out about yard sales and that catapulted me into more profitable inventory. I continually ramped up and due to my position being eliminated, I went full time in June of 2018. I am on pace for my best year ever in 2019. My girlfriend and I are building a 1500 sq ft warehouse and should be working out of there come spring. We will also be running a screen printing business from there.
I call my store a bazaar, because I sell almost anything. I look for nearly anything of value that I can ship (and some that I can’t). I don’t know that I have a favorite or specialized category. If I were to choose a couple, it would probably be sporting goods and kitchenware.
I love being a full time seller. It gives me the freedom to work how I want. I currently average about 30 hours a week (I do not have, nor will I have death piles). My low weekly hour average gives me plenty of time to do what I want as well as expand without feeling overwhelmed.
12/02/2019 at 4:58 pm #71282
I think it’s always neat to find out what other businesses people pair with their eBay business, such as your screen printing. I hope it’ll work out well!
12/02/2019 at 12:22 pm #71264TemudginParticipant
- Location: Jacksonville FL
First a shout-out to Kelly from a fellow attorney (I’m about 90% out of it now) and former vintage Alfa Romeo fix-and-flipper. I started the latter activity in the ‘70’s with ‘50’s and ‘60’s vintage Giulias or Giuliettas. I wish I had kept at least one of them.
I came to eBay in my 40’s. My parents grew up as depression babies. Mainly that meant that purchases were not made unless absolutely necessary and every bit of use was gotten out of things. My mother bought new, but usefulness and durability were the most important criteria. My father always bought used if he could; once buying half a house full of furniture at auction after a cross country move, for example, and frequenting pawn shops for stereo equipment. So I guess the scavenger life was in my blood but it did not really come out until about 1972 in high school when my girlfriend’s older brother (who was a full-time antique dealer) introduced me to the world of vintage treasure hunting.
I was hooked and have been doing it pretty much ever since. Sometimes it has been full time but mostly on the side with varying levels of involvement through my various careers and other activities. So I had over 20 years as a collector, hobbyist picker, and part time flea market/antique mall dealer before I discovered eBay in 1997. I love eBay primarily as my favorite way to sell found treasure and as a safety valve for my collecting jones. It’s a bonus that my favorite retirement hobby is a viable money making business.
As for categories, I particularly enjoy selling Militaria but I’m happy in just about any Collectibles subcategory.
12/02/2019 at 4:54 pm #71281
Love the back story of how you became an eBayer!
There must be something about Attorneys and flipping.
12/02/2019 at 8:46 pm #71287
The prices on the 50’s 60’s Alfas are out of sight and were so even 10 years ago. I did pick up a Giulia Sprint GT that was left in a woodlot since 1984 – totally rusted out but otherwise complete – got for $200 and was able to salvage $4500 out of it. I mainly did Milanos and 164’s (maybe 5 each) and a couple of spiders and Alfettas. Still have my original Alfetta Sport Sedan in the garage but sadly the value of it depends on how much fuel is in the tank!! I am thinking of getting back into the car flipping niche but with 1st gen BMW Mini Cooper S’s (2000-2005)
12/03/2019 at 12:38 pm #71315TemudginParticipant
- Location: Jacksonville FL
My last Alfa project was a Graduate I flipped about 10 years ago. I think Spiders or Graduates could still be worthwhile; still enough of them out there that they can turn up cheap and that parts are needed.
Interesting idea re the Mini Coopers. My thought was doing ’92-’11 Ford Crown Vics/Mercury Grand Marqs/Lincoln Town Cars with so many people trying to keep them alive.
12/03/2019 at 2:27 pm #71316marylibrarianParticipant
- Location: Dora MO
Hi – I started selling in 1999 and have sold on and off over the years since I am addicted to yard sales, flea markets, and especially auctions. I am a K-12 school librarian in a very rural area and I still enjoy my job, but have been thinking about retirement. After listening to all the episodes of Scavenger Life, I decided to try a store to see if I would be able to make enough money to pay my health insurance after retirement. I have had my store for a little over a year and I do make enough to pay my insurance plus extra. I love having an eBay store and wish I had opened one years ago. I like to sell antiques and collectibles, and especially ephemera. I don’t really like to pack items, so I tend towards things that don’t break and are smallish.
12/03/2019 at 8:28 pm #71330chaoticgoodParticipant
- Location: Kansas City, MO
I can’t remember how long I’ve been selling. I know I was selling books, especially textbooks, in the late 2000s. Maybe earlier. I had purchased lots of beads and jewelry supplies on eBay in the 1990s. I signed up for Etsy as a seller pretty early on.
I enjoy selling in vintage jewelry and collectibles. But I also love getting random items, figuring out their purpose and value, and then making some money off of them. Of course, my favorites are the piece of junk that turns out to be worth $50+.
To be honest, I wish I were having more fun as a seller. It’s definitely work, on top of a demanding full-time job. I like that it’s a challenge, and that sometimes my hard work correlates to good sales. Sometimes, it doesn’t. I’ve enjoyed figuring out product photography, too.
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