069: The eBay Life Blogger – Miriam Otto

Miriam Otto is an eBay blogger and educator with 10 years experience selling on eBay. She is a frequent guest on eBay Radio and has participated in eBay seller panels and projects. She was interviewed by U.S. News and wrote for the Auctiva website. Last year, Miriam sold $188,000 worth of pre-owned items on eBay. Almost all of the items she sold were purchased at yard sales and thrift shops.

Interesting Notes

  • Miriam is the eBay video grand prize winner in 2009. It is a video contest, in an eBay event she went to, where she shared why she was on eBay, her lifestyle, and being an eBay class teacher then.
  • Miriam works 40 hrs a week in an adult school; 4 days a week.
  • She runs her eBay store together with her boyfriend, Johnny. He does eBay full time and in-charged with their shopping and shipping. They have people listing for them. Miriam takes charge of going through all the schedule of the listing. She makes sure that no mistakes are made.
  • Her eBay store has a variety of brands. She has 3 eBay IDs; BlueFrogShoes is the main one, the others are for collectibles site.
  • They source their items at yard sales and thrift shops. She usually goes to yard sales on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Johnny goes every day to the thrift shops. Sometimes, he goes many times every day and so he gets the best deals.
  • They focus more on lighter weight, smaller, high-profit items. This is to avoid the hassle factor in shipping. They go for Free Shipping. They just added the shipping cost to the products/items.
  • Miriam shares a quick story of a full-time eBay seller she met in Portland, Oregon. The seller has only 150 items listed, but still makes a living out of it.
  • She pointed out that yard sales in Portland are so good. Thrift shops are amazing because there are so many items to buy. It is easier to find high-end items in Portland than it is in her area.
  • She concluded that the type of sourcing varies in different places. What works for one may not work for someone else. It is due to the different type of items one have access to.
  • Initially, Miriam does eBay for fun, but she noticed it right away that she must keep up with the changes otherwise she will not going to be successful.
  • She listened to eBay radio and subscribed to a lot of blogs to keep her updated on the changes. To be up to date, she advises eBay sellers to: 1. read eBay's announcement (eBay sends it to all sellers) 2. read thoroughly eBay's sellers update 3. listen to eBay radio many times to make sure you understand what's going on 4. follow someone who actually sells on eBay
  • Miriam's idol is Tim Chapman! She admires Tim for doing so much with the little space he has. The items that Tim's sells are high profit. (Tim is our guest in episode 051. Check it here http://soyouwannasellonebay.com/shownotes/tim-chapman)
  • Experience taught Miriam what kind of things sell. She now knows what to look for. She also does a lot of inspecting to avoid selling defective items.
  • She uses eBay App and Terapeak for unique items to know if it is going to sell or not.
  • Miriam has a website, The eBay Life Blog, an all in one resource. She posts regularly what sells on eBay, eBay news and updates, and features eBay sellers and buyers.
  • On April 23 to 24, 2016, Miriam will be teaching in Portland, Oregon. It is about all the information one need to how to start an eBay business immediately.
  • Miriam's future includes giving eBay classes in Sacramento, California and Portland, Oregon. Those are an all-in-one, 8-hour classes where you will get all the information you need so you won't get the mistake she had made. Check her blog for more details.


  • “It is not too difficult to keep up with the changes as long as you pay attention.”
  • “We've made lots and lots of mistakes. You just have to practice. It is like a skill.”
  • “The easiest way to be successful is to educate yourself.”
  • “eBay is so fun!”
  • “eBay is an amazing activity for people who wants to make extra money or to create their own job.”


  • eBay App
  • Terapeak

Contact Information