Lori started selling on eBay for fun in 2007, but after becoming caretaker to her 2 year old granddaughter and 64 year old mom in a two month time span became more serious in 2009. She started selling women's clothing primarily but has since expanded into vintage and collectible items as well as other fun things.
- Lori's son had a video game that he no longer wanted. He asked Lori to try to sell the video game on eBay. Lori sat down and started to learn how to sell on eBay. And within 24 hours, she sold the video game.
- eBay was a challenge to Lori because she learned it completely on her own. She taught herself step by step. Her knowledge and skills in computer helped her make it through.
- Now, she does eBay full-time and 100% on her own. She sometimes spends 10 hours a day working, 7 days a week. Her only day off is when she is away from home.
- Lori is single and is supporting her family of four. eBay is the only source of her income. She does not have the budget to attend eBay conferences, though she likes it.
- She sources her items everywhere. During the summer, she sources from the yard and garage sales. In winter, she sources from thrift stores, estate sales, and auctions.
- Her difficulty lies on having limited room to store her items. Her storage is her bedroom. There are bins everywhere. Her closets are full of items.
- But the hardest part of doing eBay is the Bookkeeping.
- The biggest problem she encountered is not knowing what to look for. She did not belong to any Facebook group before, so she had nowhere and no one to ask help from. What she did is look for things that she knew a little bit about.
- The fun and positive thing that eBay brings to Lori is the Facebook groups. There she meets some great people who were a big help in her eBay journey. And as a way to pay forward, she helps anyone she can and share anything she can.
- Lori believes she has good eyes for finding things. She looks for something unusual and vintage. She does not find a lot of “holy grails”, but she found several.
- The best finds she ever has is the Victoria Secret Doll. It is 3 feet tall and 5 feet long. She bought it for $6 and she sold it for $400.
- She loves to go to garage sales. She wakes up 6 am every Saturday and ready to roll.
- She enjoys what she does. She can't wait to go to the next sale. She feels like she misses something if she sees online sales and did not get the items she wants.
- She sells only the stuff that she finds and buys. She is not sure if she wants to sell for anyone else because she is too picky.
- Lori has seen changes on eBay. And she feels that as a seller, you have to keep up with the changes. If you don't keep up with, you are going to sink.
- She believes that the changes are trying to boost sellers.
- Lori's sales right now are consistent and she is happy with that. She knows that she is not the biggest seller on eBay. Neither does she make a fortune. She is making enough to cover her bills. And she takes pride in that.
- This June, after a 15-year long distance relationship, Lori will move to Virginia to live with her boyfriend and her little girl. She's hoping to make the transition as easy as possible with the least amount of downtime she can manage. Once settled and with more room, she plans to expand her eBay biz.
Advice, Tips, and Tricks
- Lori does her eBay works first thing in the morning. If she has done her pictures the night before, then she will do her listings and shipping in the morning. By 1 pm, she is free to do the household chores like laundry, cooking, etc…She finds everything not easy, but she does her best she can.
- She takes pictures of the same types of items. If she is doing the clothing, then she would do T-shirts or dresses. After taking pictures at once, she would sit down and list similar items at once too. Then she would move on to the next one.
- She tries to do at least 10 items at a time to make it more manageable and less tiring. She does everything in small chunks to keep her focus.
- Her goal is to list between 5 to 10 items a day as long as she is at home.
- Generally, Lori does not run auctions. But she decided to draw up the 99 cent auction to clear out some old inventory. She is getting ready to move in June and she does not want to take the old stuff with her.
- She stays away from auctions. But if Lori has some rare, hard to find, or “who knows what for” items, she would put those on the auction.
- Her preference is Buy It Now with Best Offer. 75% to 80% of her sales are Best Offer sales.
- “I'm hardcore! I love to do thrifting!”
- “eBay is not easy, but I love it. And it pays the bill!”
- “It is the thrill of the hunt.”
- “When you find something that you know, that is a score!”
- “I do not want to sit and complain because it would not change anything. I'd rather get out there and do what I need to do.”
- “You have to be able to make yourself do what you need to do.”
- “I don't want to be the biggest seller. But I want to be the best seller I can be.”
- “I keep my eyes open. I pay attention!”
- “Only do the things that only you can do.” – Jim Cockman
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