Selling on eBay
- Full-time RVer Robert F.
(Going from Resort Work to eBay Sales: Excellent Tips)
I came halfway across the country for a job in the eastern Sierra Nevadas. It’s beautiful country here, mountains, springs, lakes, snow still visible on top of the peaks in early September! Never gets warmer than about 80 degrees, so perfect for living in a RV.
I had a job set up on a beautiful lake working at a resort. I worked the job for 1 1/2 months, but wasn’t too keen about the owner and his management style. I decided if I was going to continue working there I would ask for a raise. I was being paid much, much less than the going rate for my skill level, and I had to put up with the owner! When I asked for a raise, the owner threw a fit, called me all kinds of names, and I basically walked off the job. I spent the next few days getting my back pay, and payment for living costs that he had promised but hadn’t delivered on, and felt lucky to be away from that place!
So, now I needed a job. I very much liked the area, and wanted to stay for a while. I’m planning on spending the winter in Baja Mexico, but it was too hot to leave for Mexico in early July, so I started contemplating where I could get a job. I have a lot of experience in construction, so I looked around in that field.
One day I went into one of the local thrift stores, and wow, they had great stuff! I had sold on eBay before, and still had an account. I bought a couple items, and within a day had sold both items. I kept going back, every day in fact sometimes more than once a day, and kept selling more and more items.
One of the keys to my success is the area is very affluent. The average home sells for a million. Crazy! So the quality of items was/is great.
As of quitting my job, in two months I’ve sold over $5,000 of goods on eBay. I sourced all the goods at three thrift stores, two within 3 miles of where my RV is parked, and yard sales in the area. I like to motorcycle, it’s my favorite hobby, and on rides I would stop at yard sales. Most of
my rides paid for themselves in eBay sales, and then some.
My most profitable item was a '70s vintage Akai cassette player made in Japan. I bought it for $15, and sold it for $350 in about a week. It was mint.
I sold several musical instruments, commercial equipment, tools, items I knew. Selling items you’re familiar with is a good place to start on eBay. Brands you are familiar with, hobbies your involved with. There’s a lot of stuff for sale on eBay, and not all of it sells! So the more you know the better.
Brands are big. The best brands sell faster and for more money.
It doesn’t take much to get going selling on eBay, a computer or smart phone, a printer for labels (which you can buy on eBay at a discount), some boxes from the local grocery store or dollar store, and some tape. That’s about it! A little business smarts helps too.
Take good pictures of your items, buy items in good shape, don’t pay too much, and price them competitively. The buyers will show up!
One last thing on eBay, they recently added a new feature which is really cool. When you go online to look up an item, you have to be skeptical of prices people are asking. There will usually be a pretty wide swath of prices on the same item from different sellers. But now if you find a similar item to the one you are considering buying and placing on eBay, you can find comps on sales for that item, what price they sold for, and how many sold in the last 90 days. That’s key! It really helps to have actual sales data to show you what is selling and for how much.
So, as it turns out I didn’t need a regular job, with mandatory hours, and bosses, and taxes, and...all the crap that goes along with a regular job! There’s a million ways to make a buck. You just have to keep your eyes open for opportunities, and take advantage of them when they come along!
I’ve been an entrepreneur for over ten years, so for me it comes sorta natural. I’m always looking for situations or opportunities to take advantage of. But it isn’t rocket science, determination and hard work go a long way! Cheers.