131: Increase Your eBay Sales Through Promoted Listings – Theresa Cox

Theresa was an Exclusive Guest Panelist speaking with eBay's Bob Kupbens on the main stage at eBay Open in July 2017. Theresa has over 20 years experience selling on eBay and helping others.

Interesting Notes

  • Theresa had wished to be on a panel to talk to eBay sellers and help them however she could. Then one day, she received an email invitation to be one.
  • She has been promoting eBay's Promoted Listings since June 2016. She is a user of the product and she loves it! In Nov 2016, eBay came to her house to shoot a video of Theresa for their Promoted Listings campaign.
  • She has 3700 listings in her store. Every single one of them is on a promoted listings campaign.
  • Promoted Listings is a way to market your listings through eBay. Theresa likes Promoted Listings because there is no risk. You only pay for it if the item sells because it was promoted. It is available even for single-quantity listings.
  • Because you only pay for it if it sells, someone has to click on the promoted listings link and then buy it. Promoted Listings has an algorithm that makes it relative to what a shopper is looking for.
  • Promoted Listings is easy to do and easy to set up. It only takes two minutes to set up a campaign.
  • Theresa is not a thrifter. She sources retail stuff. She had been selling on eBay for 15 years when she tried thrifting in June 2012. It was when she lost her job.
  • Thrifting with the Boys by Jason Smith has introduced her to thrifting. Jason Smith is the first whoever stood up in front of a group of sellers and said “This is what you do. You buy this shirt for $2 and you sell it at $40. You buy this tie for $2 and you sell it for $25.” So she thrifted for a while because she needed merchandise to sell. It kept her going. But she admitted that she does not have the thrill to hunt like anybody else does.
  • She had been a hobby-seller for 15 years and eBay was her play money. She was making $800 to $1000 a month. She thought she was living her dream. So she started going full force into it and then February hit. Sales were slow so she started to look for a job.
  • She spent 30 years in higher education doing finance and operations. The last job she had was at Arizona State University. She was doing eBay at that time and she knew she needed to build it up. She was also living in a huge house by herself which cost her a lot of money and it was ridiculous.
  • Theresa left her job at ASU. She also got rid of two houses and moved up North. All are part of her plan. She knew what she needed to do. She knew how much money she needed to make. She needed to reduce her expenses and she did.
  • In Oct 2017, she purchased another home, qualified for the loan with only her eBay income.
  • Theresa is doing eBay full-time for two and a half years now.
  • She did not think that her eBay biz has grown so quick. She only put in the amount of effort and works into it. She dedicates the time it takes to build it up. She thinks that having built the business 15 years before she attempted to go full-time help.
  • She has helpers whom she calls “minions”. They are the 4-year old, a 10-year old, and a 14-year old children in Williams, about a mile down the road where she used to live. They would come down and help her take inventory, process orders, takes pictures and whatever needs to be done. She helped their parents get started on eBay and do some selling on Amazon.
  • While she was in Williams, there is a 2800 sq.ft Quonset hut on the property. It is a half-round middle building that is popular after World War II. There was one of those in her property measuring 40ft x 15ft. All her eBay listed inventory was housed in that room. When she moved, she made a deal with the owners that she could leave her eBay inventory there.
  • Today, Theresa's shipping rests in the hands of a 14-year old. Every evening, she sends the girl an email of what the girl needs to pull. The girl pulls out the items and emails Theresa the shipping information. Theresa would email the labels and the girl prints the labels and ships the items. Theresa compensates the girl 5% of the sales price for shipping and 5% for storage.
  • Theresa designed and created a tool that allows a seller to ship a package international first class letter. The tool is called Size Me Up. View it here Size Me Up Tool
  • She created a prototype using coffee stirrer sticks and dental floss. There are size restrictions to ship a package international first class letter. It cannot be thicker than ¾” thick. The Size Me Up tool will allow you to take your item and put it in the slot. If it passes through, then it is less than the ¾” thick limitation and you can ship it using international first class letter classification. This is much cheaper than shipping it international first class package.
  • Theresa is also building a Facebook group called Business for Online Selling Success or BOSS. She has learned over the years that eBay sellers love to thrift and sell, but many do not understand the business side of things. So, she has taken her 30 years of finance and operations experience to help sellers. She teaches sellers what their margins are, what an ROI is and all sort of stuff. The group also talks about the taboo topics like taxes.
  • She has been selling her personal possessions and downsizing from her huge house. So, she created a blog called sellingmylifeonebay.com
  • Theresa wants to travel around the country, stay in an area for a while, source and sell out of her vehicle. She wants to go to Tybee Island and spend two or three months there and source and sell. Then she would go to Colorado and to Washington State and just travel all over the country.

Advice, Tips, and Tricks

  • You can determine what your ad rate is through Promoted Listings. So if you want to do 3% or 20%, you can do that. Theresa has hers at 3% and it sells.
  • She put labels on her inventory shelves, like Shelf A1-5, Shelf B1-6 and labels them all the way. She does a physical inventory. Sometimes, there are things missing.
  • Now, she has inventory in two places. She has wire shelves on wheels that measure 82”HX48”WX18”D. They fit three boxes that are 18x14x12 inches across. She has every box labeled 1 to 100. She has listed and unlisted inventory on the shelves. She would pull box 33, takes pictures and list it. In her SKU, she would say box33 and then she put it back on the shelf.
  • She does not keep or group her stuff altogether like Halloween or Christmas stuff. Her new system allows her to easily integrate new inventory.
  • She runs sales more often. It boosts her sales every time she runs a storewide sale of 15% off in conjunction with Promoted Listings. She tried 40% off and 50% off, but 15% off with a Promoted Listings campaign at a 3% ad rate is the sweet spot for her store.


  • “Red things just makes me happy!”
  • “You can make a real living doing eBay full-time.”
  • “I just knew what I needed to do!”
  • “It's fun to be me right now!”

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