Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Pros and Cons of Selling on eBay

     I have an eBay store called The Fleas Knees.  I confess, I sell on eBay more as a hobby than as a "serious seller", because it's too much fun to call it a "real job", and although I take the trust of my buyers very seriously.  If I can't leave them happier than they were through our transaction I have failed, regardless of my bottom line. One of the perks is that you can sell as much or as little as you wish--and if the selling fees or the occassional nastygram from a buyer gets you down you can quit at any time.  At least for a few days, anyway...  Because selling on eBay is quite addictive, because it's so darned fun in so many ways! 

     One of the most enjoyable things about selling on eBay is that it gives me a chance to "meet" so many delightful people from every corner of the globe.  They renew my faith in the decency of humans in general. And I really like "meeting" other Sellers when I buy from them, too. There is often an instant rapport with people I meet through buying and selling.

     Ebay also gives me a viable excuse to go hunting for great bargains. Also it's fun to haggle over the price, which I get a kick out of doing--it's a fun game to me. Keeping me busy like this is probably keeping from other less savory activities, like hanging out at the local bar, or worse yet, gossiping with the neighbors. And it does bring in extra income through doing something quite enjoyable, which is not at all like bringing in income from a "real job."  (I dislike "real jobs"; can you tell? Because for me my only "real job" is being a wife, mother, grandmother and home manager.)  I can work from home, a little or a lot, and in my robe and slippers--with or without make-up!
     Another huge perk is that I have developed good friends who are also eBay sellers, which is kind of like being fellow members of an insider's club, providing lots of fodder for conversation and a great excuse for going "junking" together. Just ask my friend and neighbor, Janine, whom I "converted" to selling on eBay.  She curses me for it good-naturedly when she can't organize her "piles" of eBay goodies at home, but admits that she is sure it has become a lifelong addiction.   Her eBay store is ZuZuPetal, where you can find delightful vintage items and holiday notions.  This is Janine as we unloaded after an excursion to an antique show in the fall.  Notice she is all smiles!

     Then there is my friend, Miriam Otto, who I met via eBay. After signing up for one of her tutoring sessions, Janine and I invited Miriam to share our condo with us at the Las Vegas eBay Live meeting last year, and did we have fun running around with her--she is total non-stop energy! When we picked Miriam up at the airport she jumped in the car and said, "OK, we are hitting these thrifts on the way to the condo," and she whipped out her map with everything circled. The first place we went to was a Salvation Army where she bought a pair of men's Ferragamo shoes which she had listed on her smartphone by the time we got to the next thrift shop. When they sold it covered the cost of her airline tickets! Miriam has a wonderful website at chock full of great advice and ideas for eBayers. Miriam specializes in selling high quality shoes in her store BlueFrogShoes1. Here I am with Miriam last year in Vegas (she's the very adorable blonde on the right.)

     And here is the culprit who got me interested in eBay in the first place, my friend LaVonna. We also enjoy going on photo shoots together. And we talk several times a day, mostly about eBay of course. LaVonna's eBay store is at  Her Seller ID is Vantagepoints. She is a single woman who supports herself with her photography business and her eBay store, where she sells the cutest-ever clothing and accessories. I wish I had her knack for finding great handbags!

     Another unexpected perk is that eBay allows me to have discretionary income for charity.  It gave me the freedom, for example, to "adopt" a little girl in the Dominican Republic a few years ago.  I love reading her letters and seeing photos of her as she is growing up into a lovely young woman. And this morning I came across a wonderful ministry in Denmark on You Tube and was able to quickly send them a donation through my eBay Paypal account.

     And how much fun it is to teach my oldest granddaughter, Gretchen, how to help me with my eBay business! She just turned 14 years old, and when she was here for three weeks she wanted to learn how to list for me. (REALLY!!!) It made a nice little summer job for her, and she is also learning a new talent.  I even taught her how to make tied fleece blankets, and she sold her first one already! She is looking forward to opening her own eBay store one day.

     And last, but maybe not least, what I really like about being an eBay seller is that in the course of searching out items to sell I often come across things that just have to live at my house for a while.  Take for example the "new" rugs that just came to stay at our house. 

     These two matching rugs still have the original price tags on them, amounting to a total of $1200.00.  But at the garage sale in our neighborhood I only paid a total of $125.00.  I would never have splurged on them otherwise. And, luckily, I found a couple of other similar rugs at the same sale that I will sell on eBay as soon as I can get them listed.
     BUT that brings up the fact that there ARE drawbacks to selling on eBay.  One of those drawbacks is that I get too much "help" from my two cats.  I was just trying to get photos of the octagonal rug I am listing on eBay (from the balcony over our entrance) and guess who showed up and sprawled herself all over it? Doesn't Rosie realize that some (weird) folks hate cats, and the thought of a kitty on their rug could ruin a perfectly good sale???

    Well, they can just go pay full price at Macy's. :-)


  1. I really enjoyed this post. I too am addicted to selling on ebay. I got back into it when my husband lost his job and my job wasn't going to cover all our bills. I started then and even after he found a new job, I won't quit the ebay selling. I would much rather do ebay. The thrill of the hunt and the thrill of the selling is so fun. I don't have many supporters (just my husband) But I still enjoy every minute of it.

  2. How could we ever be eBay sellers without the support of our husbands? No way! I am so thankful for my patient, encouraging husband, too. And I applaud you for being so supportive of your DH through difficult times! Linda

  3. Like you, I am a dedicated homemaker. Since our first child was born 37 (yikes!) years ago, I have not had a "real" job, but cottage industry types that have allowed me to be active in the ministry of our church, be with grandchildren and elderly parents and keep our home and 4 1/2 acres together. My first free-lance job was sewing, then cake decorating, wallpapering, then eBaying. My biggest problem with eBay is finding/making the time consistently and BOOKKEEPING! That has been like an albatross around my neck, and I am definitely open to suggestions!
    I just found your blog, love it and am adding it to my favorites. Thanks so much for sharing!

  4. Thanks for the comment, Paula! Yes, I love having the luxury of being able to stay home and yet bring in some extra income on Ebay, too. I really like the free app on Ebay called "Outright" for helping me with "BOOKKEEPING!" It is simple, which I like, and it sends me a weekly update on all my selling data, including how much "Profit" I made--which is what I really like about it. Have you tried it? I know there are other helpful things out there, but this one is my personal favorite. Linda