107: The Juggle and Hustle: How To Be Debt-Free Through eBay – Jennifer Santiago

Jennifer is a struggling mother of 3 kids and 3 fur babies. She loves animals, the beach, being around any type of water, and her kids. She has done nothing but struggle most of her life and had decided that she wasn't going to struggle anymore. She started selling online in January 2015 and has done nothing but grow her business since day one.

Interesting Notes

  • Jennifer has a 21-year-old daughter named Jewelianne where her eBay store name came from. She has two boys, a 17-year-old Alex, who is an attention seeker, and a 15-year-old Joel.
  • Her kids help her in listing and the youngest helps her on shipping too.
  • Her fur babies are a dog and two cats.
  • Jennifer has a full-time day job with an Amazon vendor. She is an Accounting Specialist for its Amazon department. She deals with the unpaid invoices that Amazon decided not to pay out.
  • Her love affair with eBay started in 2004 when she worked as a Clerk in the United States Postal Services. She would see a lot of people coming in with tons of package. People told her that they go to garage and yard sales, then sells on eBay.
  • At that time, Jennifer had tried eBay without knowing anything about it. She started with a few items at home and put it up on eBay. She ended up listing it 4 times at the time that she did not get free listings. It was a complete fail. Later, she found out that her mom had an eBay store.
  • Then in 2014, Jennifer got back to college and took a business class. As a project, she needed to interview somebody who owns a business. She decided to interview her mom. But, her mom went to Germany to visit her sister. Instead, Jennifer did all the research and submitted her project. She finished her business class in November and decided to go back to eBay.
  • In December 2014, Jennifer started joining eBay groups on Facebook and asked questions. She did tedious research too. On January 2015, she listed her first item. It was sold on February 2. On February 3, she upgraded to a store with 2 listings on her account. And she never looked back.
  • Her first year on eBay was very slow. She did not even make a thousand dollars for her first year. She went through a lot of personal issues being a student and working full-time. Her first year was pure learning.
  • Jennifer wanted to hit a thousand dollar sales in one month. So, she mirrored Gladys Ramos store. Gladys became her mentor without mentoring her.
  • With that, Jennifer started listing on a consistent basis. Then in May 2016, she hit a thousand dollars for the first time. Since then, her sales never go down.
  • Aside from eBay, she also sells on Amazon, eCrater, and PayPal. She also has her own website that is starting to go through.
  • Jennifer has been into Dropshipping for over a year. She started in December 2015.
  • She searches in Google for stuff. Then she goes and deals straight to manufacturers. A lot of other suppliers are not manufacturers, but Dropshipper as well. And Jennifer avoids dealing with that kind.
  • Research taught her that companies who ask for an upfront fee of $100 for the whole year are usually not legit. So, she does not drop ship from anybody who does not require her to have a business license. She only drops ship with those that requires her to have a fee, like a per item fee or per order fee.
  • She sells on many platforms. And with the Dropshipping, she started buying wholesale so she extended her handling time. She would get her orders throughout the week and place it to the Dropshipper. She would have the items ship to her and she ships it out to her customers. But if she only has one item from a supplier, she can have it drop ship.
  • There are a lot of Dropshipping companies that she does not use and would not use. Part of her selection process is to request a Dropshipper to send her sample items. That way, she can see how the Dropshipper ships.
  • She has 3 Dropship companies that she has credit on.
  • The prices of her items depend on the manufacturer that she uses. Some manufacturer has a Minimum Advertising Pricing (MAP pricing) and some don't.
  • Minimum Advertising Pricing (MAP) is the price the manufacturers decide. They don't want their items sold for anything less than that and you have to abide by it.
  • The pictures of her items come from the Dropshipper.
  • Jennifer also sources from Thrift Stores, Goodwill Stores, and Plato's Closets. Plato's Closets are a teen consignment shop.
  • For items that have flaws, Jennifer prices it low. It is not her intention to look for items that have flaws. If she picks one with flaws, it is because she finds it cute or saleable. The experience taught her that even if items have flaws, it sells.
  • Jennifer is not at all bothered by eBay active content policy. Her listings are very basic. Gladys Ramos advised her when she was starting out to keep her listings basic.
  • Jennifer took 5 classes in college and worked 60 hours a week at her day job. Plus, she also helped a friend on a Spa business.
  • She stayed busy because she is trying to get out of debt. She will not leave her day job until all her debt is taken care of. She has to make sure too that she has at least 3 to 6 months of bills in the bank.
  • To this day, her mom did not teach her about eBay. She taught herself. At present, Jennifer is a moderator of two Facebook groups.

Advice, Tips, and Tricks

  • She is honest with her customers. She offers something for free and so she did not get any negative feedback.
  • From the start, Jennifer did not like Auction and decided to stay away from it.
  • Jennifer always sets her prices on the higher side no matter what the item is. This is so because she is always running some type of a sale.
  • She uses Inkfrog for her listings. Her kids would make a draft and she can choose what to put on. She does not have to worry about logging in and out of eBay. She can simply log in to Infrog and do all her listings.
  • She schedules out her listings to launch every single day. Doing so, allows her to have a consistent daily listing without having to list every day.
  • She uses ShipStation to pull in all her orders from every single platform that she sells on. She does not need to log in to every account she sells on.
  • She does not pull her Amazon listings into Inkfrog because it changes.
  • She uses Dropbox which automatically uploads her photos taken through her phone. She also takes pictures of the measurements at the same time. That way, if she is at work and has a 15-minute break, she can list without having the item in front of her.
  • She listens to what other people do. She tried a lot of things. And chose to adapt what works for her.
  • To newbie out there, Jennifer's advices are:
    1. Do your research.
    2. Ask a lot of questions before you list something. There is no stupid question than the question you don't ask.
    3. Never give up.

Quotes

  • “It's a lot of research!”
  • “When you start out new because your funds are on hold, you have to have the money up front.”
  • “Everybody does things differently!” – Ron LaBeau
  • “The only way to grow your business is by trial and error, and find out what works best!”
  • “You have to make a plan and a time schedule. And if you stick to that, you can do it no matter what.”
  • “You've got to remember that not everybody on eBay, Facebook, and YouTube show you the whole picture.”
  • “There is no stupid question than the question you don't ask.”

Tools

  • Inkfrog
  • ShipStation
  • Dropbox

Contact Information

Sponsors