053: Once a Teacher, Now a Full-Time Seller – Melissa Klundt

Melissa began selling on Ebay in 1997 while pursuing a Writing Degree and Master’s in Education. She has 3 children, 2, 6, and 22. After her daughter was born in 2013, Melissa dreamed of staying home and selling online full time, which she did in 2014. She sells on Ebay, Etsy, and Amazon and writes about it on her blog http://www.grannyshoard.blogspot.com.

Interesting Notes

  • Back in Melissa’s college days, she tried to sell some of her granny's hoard to earn extra money. There are also times when her mom needed some help to get rid of some stuff and Melissa knew that it was worth some money, so she sells it too!
  • A close encounter with death due to hemorrhage made up Melissa's mind to quit her teaching career and push her eBay dream forward.
  • As a stay at home mom with an eBay business, she's got the freedom to spend quality time with her kids and husband, which she wouldn't trade for anything else.
  • With her determination, she eventually turned her business as a family affair. Her 2 year old is pretty good at taking off price stickers, while her 5 year old, helps her pack things and carry it to the mail box. At Christmas time, her dad and mom helps her pack, and her husband takes pictures for her.
  • In the beginning, she tried to niche on vintage items, but found it hard to have enough inventory to do that, and then people started giving her things. And as she goes, she learned that she can do better if she had a wide variety of stuff.
  • Now, Melissa sells anything that makes money. From a variety of women's clothing, shoes, Christmas decors, glassware, and gifts for anybody in different categories.
  • She sources her stuff from anywhere she can, like goodwill outlets, thrift stores, and garage sales. She also gets the first priority on the stuff that her family members & friends want to get rid of.
  • She has a warehouse, which used to be her husband's garage, 5 steps away from her house. Every time she goes to thrift stores and garage sales, she has bins at the back of her car and throws whatever she buys after putting its label knowing that it is so much easier to list when you have the same things together. When she gets home, she unloads the bins into the warehouse.
  • She reserves one (1) day a week to take a whole bunch of pictures and does it even when the kids are awake. All the rest of the week, she makes a list, especially when her kids have their nap time or when her family is asleep. She makes sure to have 100-250 items out in a week.
  • She is more inclined to the buy-it-now style with offers.
  • Melissa's biggest failure is when she posted an item on eBay with a $100 shipment cost and a lady posted an offer of $10 less than what Melissa is asking. Melissa was on her phone then, when she accepted the lady's offer. When she got home, for some reason, a free shipping had been selected. The posting was different in the laptop and on the phone, so Melissa talked to the lady and they ended up agreeing in the middle.
  • For efficiency and productivity, Melissa uses a numbered system, whereby in just 10 minutes, she can locate the item and it's ready to go.
  • For motivation and profitability, she uses a calendar where she writes how many things are listed and are sold, as well as how much is the daily or weekly profit. So when her sales are down, she list some more. It helps her track to meet her goal.
  • The weirdest thing she sold on eBay is a whole box of plastic things that the kids used to count for math (from her teaching days) which she sold for 25 bucks instead of throwing it away.

Quotes

  • “I research a lot and always try to learn new things.”
  • “I love it when I go somewhere and I know there's a bunch of sellers there and I'm still able to get a big haul of stuff that they didn't know would sell for anything.”
  • “I can always seem to find something that I can make money on!”
  • “I love the freedom! My family was able to go for 5 days and go camping and we still have money coming in when we get home.”
  • “I buy something that is worth a lot, and which I know, I could get people to buy it.”
  • “If you have a slow day, and you need to make some money, you can accept some offers that can help to make the money going.”
  • “Buy-it-now with the best offer is the way to go.”
  • “For especially big things, you've got to make sure that you have a box, and then you weigh them, and know exactly the size and the weight so that you won't mess up.”
  • “The biggest learning is figuring how to organize your inventory when you start. Because if you try to do it after you already have a 100 items is horrible. It is so overwhelming!”
  • “Try to figure out the system that is going to work before you get so much inventory that is so overwhelming.”
  • “If you've got anything on your feedback that you think is something that is not fair with you, you need to call eBay right away.”
  • “Anytime that you have any question, just call eBay and fight your case.”
  • “Ship your packages out as soon as possible.”
  • “Keep on top of your dashboard and keep on top of your feedback!”

Tools

  • Dry Erase Calendar
  • GoDaddy

Contact Information

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