124: 10 Tips To Become A Successful eBay Seller – Doug and Valerie Ugent

Doug and Valerie from Urban Chic Resale Boutique started their eBay business in 2010. It became evident that eBay was a great source to showcase and sell beautiful things at great prices. Valerie has a great eye for buying unique and unusual things. She loves to decorate and was invited to showcase her home to the public for a museum fundraiser.

Interesting Notes

  • Doug and Valerie are doing eBay full-time. They own a very old house with a wraparound porch. Valerie decorated it from top to bottom every themed-occasion like Fall, Halloween, etc.
  • Doug used to sell insurance, door-to-door, going all over St. Louis, St. Peters, and St. Charles. After so many calls, he realized that direct selling was not for him. So, he started selling on eBay on the side, selling luggage and sporting goods. One day he felt he had enough of direct selling and liked the freedom he gets from listing and selling on eBay. So, he quit his job and made eBay full-time since then.
  • Valerie does the sourcing and listing. Doug does the shipping and other backroom tasks.
  • They source their items from little church's shops, Estate Sales, Garage Sales, Goodwill and Salvation Army.
  • They lived in a small town of 900 people. They have to drive farther to get to their first stop.
  • Valerie has a route plan when she goes thrifting. But she can do a little detour whenever something caught her great eyes or she sees a sign that has a word SALES.
  • She sources for only a couple of days a week. She travels far, as far as two and a half hour travel to one stop because she believes she can find there a good stuff.
  • They describe sourcing as time-consuming. But once you get into it, you will know which store is best to get the items that you need.
  • Valerie has done a lot of research on what stores and locations are best for sourcing their items.
  • They use an App to check the prices of an item while they are sourcing.
  • Valerie believes that it is the job of a seller to know what your buyers are looking for. Since there is a rapid change in trends, she keeps herself updated with latest trends in fashion. She researches to know what colors are coming in the season. She also follows the HTTV trends for decorating houses. Some are looking for a French County or Farmhouse or Cottage. Those are keywords and those are things that people are searching for. So she looks for those things because she knows that people would love to have those in their homes. Those are things that sell quickly.
  • Social media is something that an eBay seller must do to promote your items. You cannot expect eBay to do it for you. Valerie does Pinterest and Facebook.
  • There is no autopilot on eBay. But, there are a lot of ways that you can promote your business. You can do Promotional Listings.
  • When they buy stuff, they get it listed right away. Valerie would get up as early as five in the morning, get a quick coffee and list. She does not allow anyone or anything to distract her while she is listing.
  • She would batch things, like take 15 to 20 pictures, and then she would sit down and list those items. Then she would get up again and take another 15 or 20 pictures and list again. She can do 50 to 70 listings in a day.
  • She makes sure to get the keywords because people are going to search for those words.
  • One of their biggest challenges is the transition to get their listings mobile-friendly.
  • Doug and Valerie are always looking for the possibilities in store for them in the future. Like, they want to buy stuff as a wholesaler. But, they are taking things one step at a time. They are happy with the things that are going for them now.
  • They want to keep on top of all the things. That is why they always go to the meetup because trends are coming out in the meetup groups.
  • Valerie encourages anybody to join a meetup group so you won't miss an opportunity. They belong to the Chicago Meetup group of Rich and Nila Siok.

Advice, Tips, and Tricks

  • Use an App to check what the items are going for.
  • Try not to listen to anything that discourages you.
  • Don't make excuses. Instead go on and do the best you can. Work hard always.
  • Don't buy something for the sake of buying. Source for the best and research to make sure that you get & resell the things that people would want to buy.
  • Stay on top of all the things that would help you like social media and get involved in the meetup groups.
  • Stay organized and keep motivated otherwise you will lose control.
  • Try to stay away from death-pile – that is, buying as much stuff but it does not get listed.
  • Use keywords to get your buyer to find your stuff with all the competition out there.
  • In your description, get to the basics. Show the facts, like the color, the size, the material that made up the item. Stop trying to describe in any other way. That would help you save time in coming up with words that could not help you in the search.
  • Make your listings mobile friendly because people shops from their phones.

Q & A

  • Member: How do you know that the product you are selling is authentic?
  • Guest_Valerie: I do a lot of research to make sure that what I got is authentic. eBay can also verify it for you, but you have to pay for that. One of the keys to knowing your products are authentic is to know where you are sourcing it. If you are going to an average store, you can question everything.

Quotes

  • “Sourcing is a big thing. It is very challenging!”
  • “Social media is a big part of selling on eBay.”
  • “Social media is what drives everything today. If you don't do it, you are making a huge mistake as a seller. You will miss a lot of opportunities.”
  • “There are so many different ways to grab a buyer from your competition.”
  • “Stay focus because that is what it takes to get the job done.”
  • “Use keywords to describe your item and it will save you time!”
  • “Everybody wants facts.”

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