Guest post by Kimberly of Garage Sale Heaven
My online selling success story began with a “dance”. Prior to selling online, I was working as a part-time writer and full-time homeschool teacher to my three children. My husband’s job as a public employee paid the bills, and the little bits of cash I made here and there for writing gigs paid for our little extras.
My oldest daughter, Madison, has danced since the age of three and in February 2013, she was accepted into Nashville Ballet’s Summer Intensive Program. Dance is her passion. She eats, sleeps, and breathes dance.
Needless to say, she was beyond excited to get this opportunity. The only problem was that it was going to cost over $3,000 to attend the 3-week program.
My husband and I knew what an incredible opportunity this would be for her, and we wanted her to have it, but we didn’t have an extra $3,000 sitting in the bank to pay for it.
While brainstorming different ideas, my husband remembered that he had several boxes of toys in the basement from his childhood. Since they were just collecting dust, we decided to try and sell them on eBay.
To our surprise, the toys sold quickly, and for great money! And to top it off, I really enjoyed selling and interacting with customers. After our success with the toys, we wondered what else might sell.
In June of 2013, I opened my online store, This and That Shack. In July 2013, Madison attended the Nashville Ballet Intensive, where she had the opportunity to follow her passion thanks to my eBay sales! And by a happy dance accident, I also found my passion. I haven’t looked back.
Since that time, I’ve expanded my sourcing to garage sales, auctions, antique malls, and the clearance racks of brick and mortar stores. I work, on average, about 25 hours per week. My sales have continued to grow, and I’m earning about $2,500 profit each month after expenses!
While dance is my daughter’s passion, eBay has become mine. I love sourcing and listing cool stuff, and I love hearing from happy customers that I helped them find exactly what they were looking for. This is definitely the most enjoyable and lucrative part-time job I’ve ever had, and I’m grateful for the opportunity.
My family is grateful, too. They are enjoying many more little extras since I started my new endeavor. We’ve enjoyed a few small vacations, and Madison has since attended another Ballet Intensive in Michigan.
For those of you who might be interested in selling on eBay too, here are a few tips:
1. You will need to set up a PayPal account. All payments on eBay are done via PayPal.
2. You’ll need to register as a new user on eBay. Just click the Sell your item button on the eBay home page, and you will be walked through this relatively quick process.
3. As far as tools/supplies, you’ll need a computer, tablet, or smartphone with internet access, a digital camera or phone that takes good pictures, a shipping scale, shipping tape, bubble wrap and boxes. You can order free Priority boxes from USPS.com.
4. You will need a space to keep your inventory neat and organized. Once you sell something, you don’t want to have to dig to find it.
5. If you’re wondering what sells on eBay, the answer is practically anything. The trick is always to buy low and sell high.
6. It’s a good idea to get the eBay app on your phone. When you are at garage sales, thrift stores, or auctions, you can easily look up items you’re interested in to see what they are selling for. Keep in mind that eBay and PayPal fees will take about 10-13% of each sale.
Any other tips from experienced eBay sellers?
Kimberly is a wife, mom, teacher, and eBay Top Rated Seller. She created her blog, Garage Sale Heaven, in order to share her frugal finds and reselling adventures. She loves a good garage sale! If you feel the same way, she hopes you’ll stop by.