Selling on eBay - A Day in the Life of an eBay Seller

7:00 A.M. Start the day with customer communication and service.

By 7:00 A.M., I have already walked the dog, made a pot of coffee, fed the dog and myself, showered and dressed for the day, taken a package of roast beef slices out of the freezer and popped it into the fridge to defrost for lunch, and arrived at my office.

Now I sit down to the computer to see what's happened overnight with my current eBay listings.

Because eBay never sleeps, two of my items have new bids and two have sold. There are four questions from potential buyers about my active listings that I need to read and answer, and I received feedback on my sales and must now leave feedback in return.

First, I answer the potential buyers' questions and leave the feedback, because timely email communication is vital in this internet sales and shipping business where you never meet a customer face-to-face.

For the two items that sold overnight, I prepare shipping labels and thank-you cards, an insurance and a delivery confirmation form, and a US customs form for the one that will ship overseas. I carefully pack the items and load them into my car for delivery to the post office later in the day.

Some Selections of the Day

Antique Imari Plate. Photo by Sally's Trove.
Antique Imari Plate. Photo by Sally's Trove.
Freirich Necklace. Photo by Sally's Trove.
Freirich Necklace. Photo by Sally's Trove.
Cast Iron "Arabian" Safe. Photo by Sally's Trove.
Cast Iron "Arabian" Safe. Photo by Sally's Trove.
Hagenauer Deco Boxer. Photo by Sally's Trove.
Hagenauer Deco Boxer. Photo by Sally's Trove.

8:30 A.M. Select and research the items to be listed today.

With the morning's correspondence and paperwork out of the way, I make another pot of coffee. It's time to start creating today's listings.

I select seven items from the inventory on hand...a piece of older Japanese pottery, three pieces of funky designer costume jewelry, an antique bank, an Art Deco sculpture, and a vintage porcelain tea strainer. As you can tell, we have an eclectic inventory, since we sell mostly antiques, collectibles, and pre-used items.

Two of the seven items destined for today's listing need to be researched (no one here is an authority on everything!). So, back to the computer to learn more about the Japanese pottery and the Arabian safe. If I can't find what I'm looking for online, I have a large collection of reference books that can help. If I still can't find the information I need, I go to the library or consult with a local expert.

Today, I am happy to find the information I need online, saving myself a trip to the library or expert.

9:30 A.M. Write descriptions for today's listings.

Selling on eBay requires that you be honest and thorough in your descriptions and photographs. If you shop by mail, you know why: you can't hold the item in your hand to feel its weight, inspect it visually for quality, or see the true colors. That is why we go to great lengths to inspect our items and spell out every aspect we can, including dimensions, weight, colors, condition, and sometimes history.

For every item we sell, we use a log sheet to collect the descriptive information as well as our own internal inventory and shipping information. On the log sheet we record the title that will head the listing, the eBay category into which the item falls, the selling format (auction, store inventory, or buy-it-now), appropriate pricing information, notes for a clearly written summary description, specifications (dimensions, weight, maker's marks), a statement of condition, our inventory number, shipping weight, and shipping service options.

It is now 11:30 and time to deliver the two packages to the post office, go home to walk the dog, and have that roast beef sandwich for lunch. But no more coffee for me!

Photo Editing Software Is a Necessity

1:00 P.M. Photograph the items for today's listings.

Back at the office, I start taking digital pictures. Since I inspected our items carefully earlier this morning and wrote detailed descriptions, I have a clear idea of which views of an item are both necessary and effective.

Once the shots are done, I import them into an application where I can crop them and make adjustments to color and contrast. I then export the refined photos to the hard drive.

2:00 P.M. Pull the descriptions and photos together and upload the listings to eBay.

I use eBay's TurboLister application to list items. Entering the descriptions and photos goes fairly quickly, as I am a rapid-fire touch typist and use templates to capture information about items that are similar to each other. I schedule the uploaded listings to appear on eBay between 6:00 and 8:00 P.M.

3:30 P.M. Wrap up the day at the office.

Sally's Trove is a business, and like any other business, we have administrative, bookkeeping, marketing, and operations tasks to tend to. In this last hour and a half of my day at the office, I file paperwork, pay bills, do some market research and networking, line up buying appointments, and probably sweep bits of packing materials off the floor and take out the trash. Oh yes, and clean the coffee pot and set it up for tomorrow.

My choice at the cocktail hour. Image courtesy of Patti on sxc.hu.
My choice at the cocktail hour. Image courtesy of Patti on sxc.hu.

5:00 P.M. Head for home.

When I arrive home, it's time to unwind, shake the day off my shoulders, and clear my head. I make a cocktail and take a sip, walk and feed the dog, and pull my dinner together. Since I usually plan ahead for dinner, all I have to do is check my weekly menu, haul my already-prepared dinner out of the refrigerator, and finish that evening cocktail.

After dinner, I sit down at my home computer and review the listings I uploaded this day. If all is well, then I am done and can have some serious play time with the dog, get in touch with family and friends, take care of domestic business, and maybe sketch out some ideas for a new HubPages article. If all is not well, for example if I find that I've erred in a category choice or opening bid price, then I make those revisions from home.

At 10:30 P.M., there's one last trip outdoors for the doggie, then I brush my teeth, fall into bed with a good book, and feel lucky if I can stay awake long enough to read a few pages. Lights out!

Selling on eBay can make "9 to 5" look pretty darn good.

I hope you enjoyed sharing a day in the life of an eBay seller.

For those of you who buy on eBay, I hope I gave you a good picture of the time and effort running an eBay business can entail.

For those of you who sell on eBay for others, next time one of your friends, customers, or family members says something cute like, "Oh, just throw this up on eBay for me, will you?", don't say a word, just give them the link to this hub.

Meanwhile, please visit us at Sally's Trove on eBay.

More by this Author


Comments 99 comments

In The Doghouse profile image

In The Doghouse 8 years ago from California

Sally,

I have dabbled in selling on E-bay and it is a lot of work! I think the researching and product description time can be extensive and exhausting! I am not sure I am completely sold on the venue yet! Thanks for your insights.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

In The Doghouse, all I can say is, this selling venue is not for everyone! If you are selling new products that you buy wholesale, things are much easier. But once you are in the business of eclectic oddities, you can get headaches! Thanks for your thoughtful comments.


robie2 profile image

robie2 8 years ago from Central New Jersey

Great hub,ST. I've been a buyer and occasional seller on ebay since 1998 and am amazed that people still think selling on ebay is less work than a regular 9-5. I bet those friends who ask you to "throw things up on ebay" want you to do it for nothing too LOL. I've used ebay as my personal online garage sale for small items for years and that's enough work for me--but I did go look at your ebay store and I like your merchandise I must say. Gonna add you to my list of favorite sellers. You are my kind of girl :-)


proudgrandpa profile image

proudgrandpa 8 years ago from Charlotte, NC

Hello Sally,

It just occurred to me, you are kind of in the recycling business also.

I have never ventured onto ebay but I feel it is like anything else, if you are going to do it right it isn't easy but it can be rewarding. You have spurred some thought and given us a road map. Thanks for that. NEIL

Ps. I bet you can't guess what my favorite part of your video was. No silly, I love the blue birds of pardise. What did you think I was going to say?


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Robie, you have been my kind of girl for some time...we have yet to make that coffee date at Golden Nugget!

Thanks for adding Sally's Trove to your list of favorite sellers. I'd love to add you to mine. Since HP does not channel email well to my comcast.net account, I'd be happy to hear from you through eBay messaging, any time!

Thanks for the good words. I had a lot of fun with this hub, even though in the writing I had to scratch my head and say, "WHY AM I DOING THIS?" But we have such awesome items at times, and eBay is a fantastic venue for the best of the best.

Warmest regards, ST.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

proudgrandpa, I knew from the beginning that you and I were in the same business: recycling, but in a different way. I am all about re-use, re-purpose, re-cycle. And when I read your first hubs, I tucked a smile into my cheek and said to myself, "Neil and I will find that common place."

We, as a people, have so many wonderful things, objects, from our past that we should be re-using and finding a new life with. It all goes to not wasting, not polluting, and well, a host of other "green" disciplines and philosphies.

My grandmother used what she had. I use what I have. And I want to share that idea. There are beauty and usefulness in objects that are 10 years old, 25, 100. Some of these items can bring big dollars in the antiques and collectibles business, and I'm glad for it. But at the same time, some little-valued item will find use in someone's house, and in the future will maybe save that family from starvation because it became a valued collectible.

It's all about education, isn't it?

PS. I never thought you would be going any other place than the bluebirds of paradise. ;)

Warmest wishes, S.


MrMarmalade profile image

MrMarmalade 8 years ago from Sydney

I like your talk and programme.

I have been on Ebay getting slightly discontented.

They obviously push the needle for buyers. I tend to believe they can not buy any thing unless they have 'Sally's Trove.'who sells them what they want to buy. So why make a distinction between them? Like no criticism for bad buyers.

I had a good record last Xmas I sold a small wooden chess set with photos and measurements. Lady bought in Perth 2 days before Xmas, I paid extra in the spirit of Xmas, to endeavour to get there for the magic moment.

She did not give me a bad comment, just a neutral one. The pieces were too small.

In to May (5 months)I loose my 100% Good. I had not made any comment other than this lady was a great ebayer.

Disenchanted Ebayer


marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 8 years ago from USA

I loved it!! Now I know how your day goes!! As i've told you...I know EBay is time-consuming...I was not good at it as I had to teach myself so many things along the way it became discouraging.

I shop ebay and am Glad some people are proficient!! This was a fun hub and I loved the video!! anytime you work for yourself, you work long....

Thanks for doing this hub!!!!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

MrM, I know exactly what you are saying.  Now, there is no ability for sellers to leave negative or neutral feedback.  Buyers can leave negative comments for sellers, but not the other way around.  I saw your comments earlier, in other hubs.

I was a part of the boycott in February through April.  I took my listings down, and did my diligence in forums and email, where ever I could.

eBay is a behemoth, but it is also the world's greatest online auction venue.

That lady about the chess pieces, she didn't know the damage she could do by leaving a less than positive comment. Not to mention the fact that she dismissed your extra efforts at good customer service. I don't have a huge amount of customers, as you can see by my eBay stats, so every customer's input counts.  My ratings are 4.8 and 4.9 only because of ONE customer, who apparently followed the principle of "nobody gets 100%, ever", and so my ratings are not 5.0 in the DSR.

Thank you so much for your comments.  I always want to hear what you have to say.

S.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

marisue, I just could not put up that video with Dolly dancing with the white rabbit! (Although I loved it in your hub, as I said.)

Thanks so much for your comments. I know that you have tried this, too, and it just doesn't work for everyone.

Warmest, always, S.


robie2 profile image

robie2 8 years ago from Central New Jersey

Well, we better get together at the Golden Nugget soon:-) HP does channel my email to my gmail account so send me an email through hubpages with your comcast email address and we'll set it up. Can't wait--btw I'm pinkpackrat2 on ebay. but don't bother to add me to your favorite sellers list as I haven't sold anything in over a year and I'm too obsessed with Hubpages at the moment to start now LOL


Rob Jundt profile image

Rob Jundt 8 years ago from Midwest USA

I Love eBay. Been there since 1999. I've sold many things I never could have sold locally and bought the same. Very realistic and practical hub.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Thanks for your input, Rob.

I wonder, is your day ever like mine??? :)


Blogger Mom profile image

Blogger Mom 8 years ago from Northeast, US

Sally, I realized how much work went into a proper eBay listing when I tried selling my first item a few years ago. I thought it would be so easy - but if it were that easy, everyone would be doing it, right? ;) Thanks for a glimse into a true eBay day! - Deb


FlyingPanther profile image

FlyingPanther 8 years ago from here today gone tomorrow!!

Sally great hub again my dear friend all I can say is yes you are a busy bee because I was there to see it,keep intouch babygurl ,love always ...FlyingPanther!!xoxo


Rob Jundt profile image

Rob Jundt 8 years ago from Midwest USA

Sally, I do eBay very part time. When I first joined, I was real active. But now I'm more of a shopper. I've thought about using eBay as another way to earn revenue but I'm stumped as to what niche to follow. What are your opinions on dropshipping?


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA

I never was successful at ebay and it is hard work as Robie says. You cannot just put an ad on there and expect someone to buy your product. I might try selling on there again, but no one bought the little books and things I put on there. So many people are competing and I was not offering anything unique. Maybe I will try again, but I feel it takes research to do it well. Thanks for the good hub.


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago

Bravo! I feel priveleged to have seen this before you published, and you know my initial reaction :)

Even though I am only a buyer on Ebay, I HATE the fact that they made that horrible change to feedback. It simply is NOT FAIR! I had hoped when we boycotted Ebay that it would have made a difference, but I guess they are just too big for their britches!

This is a wonderful hub, very enlightening and extremely well written (as are all your hubs). I love the 9-5 video, great touch!

Keep up the great work my dear friend,

Patty, your #1 fan :)


Eileen Hughes profile image

Eileen Hughes 8 years ago from Northam Western Australia

Sally's trove,  this was a brilliant account of what selling on ebay entails.  Some of the whinging buyers should read it.  It might just make them realise how hard it is.

What annoys me on ebay is the fact (then) someone could put a neutral or negative feedback simply because the post didn't deliver when they expected it to be delivered..

Lets face it. I always say I will post as soon as cleared in my bank. And will take great care in packaging but once in the hands of the post I cannot be responsible.  or something similar.  

 If I post today and the postal dept takes a week and it gets thrown about off the conveyor belts and a 20kg parcel is dropped on my article, really I cannot be responsible.  The post explained when packing if that happens even though I insure article.  I wont be paid.  As it is not their responsibility.

Another bitch I have Is...  People charge enormous postage and sell item cheap.

That is not on.  I would not buy from them.  I write small booklets, I dont make much but enjoy it.  I love ebay but not sure of paypal.  I prefer bank deposit.

This sounds a bit negative, but just want to show what some people do to good sellers. Apart from those negatives it is great and good fun, and you make friends just like on hubpages.

Great hub by the way. Thanks


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Deb, thanks for reading my hub and for your comment. You are so right...if it were that easy, everyone would be doing it. Of course, as time goes on and you get better at it, well, it does get a little easier, but I guess that's true for most adventures. I think the key is really liking it, really having a passion for it, and that's what drives you over the tough places and into somewhere more manageable. Regards, S.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

FlyingPanther! Yes, "busy bee" alright! Thanks so much for stopping by and adding your lovely comment. S.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Rob, I've never tried drop-shipping, although I have researched it.

One concern I have with it is that I personally would not have control over the availability of the product or the shipping and handling. My fear is that I would spend too much time explaining why a product didn't ship in a timely way, and having to do that kind of explaining is not my idea of good customer service.

Another concern I have is reducing my already small profit margin. No drop-shipper provides this service for free (if anyone knows differently, we'd all like to hear about it!). As anyone who sells on eBay knows, eBay and PayPal fees can chew up 15% to 25% or more of your sales (depending on your sell-through rate), and when you add the drop-shipping fee plus the cost of extra communications, well you get the picture,

Thanks for a great question, Rob!


esocial profile image

esocial 8 years ago from California

eBay was the palce to go, but not any longer, sorry to say. They suspend and block people left and right for no reason. Here's to better management there, new leadership there and treating sellers like they are real people, as they would want to be treated.

Yep, sad Nazi era there now at eBay....bummer!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

SweetiePie, thanks for sharing your experience.

Selling on eBay in many ways is the same as selling anywhere else. It's all about marketing, research, and customer service. You need to know your customers, know your product, and do everything in your power to bring the two together into a happy partnership. I can say that eBay offers some helpful seller tools, such as sales reports and customizeable email newsletters. These tools take some time to master, but they can be useful in understanding the flow of your business and driving customers into your eBay store or listings. Even a product that is not unique can be made to "float up" through the competition, as long as it is a quality product offered at a fair price and delivered on time.

I wish you good luck when you start up again! Best regards, S.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Patty, thank you so much for your help! You did a fantastic job editing and commenting on the first draft. I love working with you on a piece of writing.

I am glad that you joined the spring boycott as a buyer. I think it surprised sellers to have so much support from buyers on the feedback issue. Of course, eBay implemented the new policy anyway, but I think new friendships and positive relationships between buyers and sellers were forged.

And thanks so much for your positive comments on this hub!


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon

This is a great article! I find many of my friends turning to Craig's List instead, however, because it is free - no listing fees, etc. I still sell things, very rarely, on eBay, but usually don't make enough to make it worth it! Steph


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Eileen, I hear you!

It seems as though, no matter what you write in a description about postage and handling, it doesn't get read.

To share a little story, a gentleman purchased an item that I shipped for FREE, yes, FREE! In the description, I was very clear that the package would ship parcel post, with no charge to the buyer, and that delivery could take up to 10 working days. I was also very clear about this 10-day possibility in the invoice, payment notification, and shipping notification emails I sent to the customer. Four days after shipping, I received a message from the buyer that the package hadn't arrived, and the customer said he's worried about being ripped off again by an eBay seller. I gritted my teeth, forced a smile, and hammered out a *lovely* email message reminding him about the shipping terms (and that the terms appeared in the listing as well as in the previous messages I sent him) and asking him to be patient for another 5 days. Two days later, I received a very gracious and apologetic email message from him saying that he received the item, how pleased he was with the quality, and how this transaction restored his faith in buying online. Generous positive feedback was left in both directions.

I think the key to this happy outcome was the constant communication on my part that eventually led him to actually read the terms. I wish I didn't have to work so hard at encouraging someone to read!

Eileen, could you clarify for us what you mean by *If I post today and the postal dept takes a week and it gets thrown about off the conveyor belts and a 20kg parcel is dropped on my article, really I cannot be responsible. The post explained when packing if that happens even though I insure article. I wont be paid. As it is not their responsibility.* It sounds as though there's no point in purchasing insurance in Australia...am I reading that right?

About charging outrageous shipping and handling fees for inexpensive items, well buyer beware! As long as buyers continue to patronize these sellers, this unethical practice will continue. Like you, I stay away from these sellers.

Finally, yes, eBay is a lot of fun and you get to meet some gifted, crazy, and exciting people.

Thanks so much for your comments and positive feedback on this hub!

Best regards, S.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

esocial, sounds like you have a much longer experience with eBay than I. Would that be as a seller or buyer, or both?

For the most part, I have found that eBay communicates clearly about what can get you suspended or blocked. As long as you follow their rules, you shouldn't have to worry. In some ways, it's just like renting a brick and mortar store in a mall: you have to pay the rent, conform to the management's policies, abide by local laws, and promote rather than hinder fair trade. When you do this, you then earn the right to benefit from a marketplace for your goods.

I do agree that eBay is not as responsive to sellers as they should be. I'd like to think that the spring boycott made that message clear, but as far as I'm concerned, the jury's still out on that one.

Thanks for your comments.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Steph, thanks for stopping by and leaving such a nice comment!

Many sellers have turned to CraigsList and other online venues, especially since the spring boycott. I don't have any experience with CraigsList, but it's on *MyList* to check out. :)


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Robie2, I am obsessed with HubPages as well! It would be so easy--and pleasureable--to let it dominate my time. It was very hard to assign HP a lower priority than eBay!

There's a message from me to thee in your eBay mail.

Regards, S.


kristieluane profile image

kristieluane 8 years ago from Georgia, U.S.A.

Wow! I had a little idea of what it was like to be a true Power-house ebay seller from a seminar I attended, but I had no idea how much work it truly is! Thanks for the insight. It was valuable information!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Kristieluane, thank you so much for your comment.

I never attended an eBay seminar, and I never bought one of those eBooks about how to sell on eBay. I just jumped in a little more than a year ago in order to sell off some of my family's things. I had no idea at the time that it would become a business.

Learning eBay is a little like learning HubPages...all the information is out there, you just have to look for it and get organized about how you absorb it all.

But when push comes to shove, it IS a lot of work, just like any business!

Best regards, S.


lewgard profile image

lewgard 8 years ago from Southern Michigan

Sally, this is a great hub. I honestly had no idea this would consume a full day, and I imagine many people who think it's "easy money" don't realise this too.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Lewgard, thanks so much for your comment.

I don't think there is such a thing, ever, as easy money, unless you win a lottery. But even then, you've probably been putting time and energy and money into the lottery ticket purchase process!

Not all eBay sellers are putting the kind of time into selling on eBay that I am. I'm just learning that eBay is only a second or third outlet for some sellers, and so their time on eBay is not nearly as intensive as mine. But then, they have a large staff to help them, and I don't! Maybe some day.

Best regards, ST.


Seabastian profile image

Seabastian 8 years ago from Raleigh

Any business whether online or off is tough and major disappoinments arise when anyone thinks differently. To be successful requires constant hard work, a relentless search for improvement, knowing your customers and caring about them.

It's obvious from this hub that you follow that formula-good job all around


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Seabastian, thank you for your wise and encouraging words. Best regards, S.


Rob Jundt profile image

Rob Jundt 8 years ago from Midwest USA

Sally, Thanks for the info on dropshipping. This is kind of what I thought as well. Ebay will only be a secondary revenue source for me if I ever jump into it full barrel. I encourage you to keep on doing what you're doing. Your efforts will pay off.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

I'm glad my thoughts helped, and I'd really like to hear from anyone out there who has had a positive drop-ship experience. Thanks for the good words, Rob!


derekcaulfield 8 years ago

ebay is something i'd love to get in to, i know it's work though


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Thanks for stopping by, derekcaulfield.

Yes, it's a lot of work, but it's also a lot of fun, especially if you enjoy matching up customers with the items they want and love. Selling on eBay is easy enough to get into. The tough part is keeping it going with excellence!

Regards, S.


annemaeve profile image

annemaeve 8 years ago from Philly Burbs

*hums* Workin' nine to five, what a way to make a livin'... Thanks for my stuck-in-the-head song of the day!

Excellent hub, as always, Sally. I admire your dedication and comitment to a schedule that nobody but you is making you keep. All I want to know is, what are you commuting costs like? ;)


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

annemaeve, I know what you mean about that song being stuck in your head. It's been driving me crazy since I published this hub.

You ask a good question about commuting costs. Considering the fact that the office is within walking distance, I can use foot power instead of horse power. :)

Thanks so much for stopping by...I've missed you!


jzorro profile image

jzorro 8 years ago from Portugal

Nice tour on the daily life of a eBay Seller! If your 9 to 5 work gives a lot a fun and enough $$$ to live than a dificult goal... There are few people that can attain bough $$$ and fun!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

jz, you are so right. Whatever we do for a living, we should be having fun, too. That's the best way to make a life, but sometimes hard to do.

Thanks so much for your comment.


The How To Hub profile image

The How To Hub 8 years ago from Australia

This sounds like an awful lot of work, but only good things can come from effort.

You must find it very rewarding personally : ) I enjoyed reading about your days

Shaye


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Shaye, it is a lot of work, but I get a great deal of satisfaction out of what I do.  Not to mention, I have no boss except myself!

Thanks so much for the good words.  :)


Minnie's Mom profile image

Minnie's Mom 8 years ago from Seattle, WA

I sell on ebay too but not as motivated as you are Sally. I think the key word is "pot of coffee". I will be trying that method with my listings to see if it helps me. If not, I am going to ask you what kind of coffee you drink. Your effort into your ebay business should be applauded, you go the extra mile for customer service which is very rare nowadays. thanks, I'll be checking out your store today.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Minnie's Mom, I guarantee you that successful selling on eBay does not happen without coffee! Just in case your coffee doesn't work, mine is a half and half blend of Melitta traditional roast and French roast. I drink it black and pure, no additives!

Thank you for your kind words. It's important to me that I treat customers as I want to be treated when I'm a customer. When I get good service from a seller of a quality product or service, I'm loyal.

Best regards, S.


Garry Nelson profile image

Garry Nelson 8 years ago from Hawaii

I’m a power seller on ebay. I have been selling for 7 years. I only sell things that I can get over and over again that look exactly the same. Research one time, Make auction one time, sell until it does not sell fast enough, then move to store. A good item will sell for years with no further work other than shipping. Do it yourself until you can pay someone to do the parts you don’t want to do. Hire at home moms, grandmothers etc. People who need a little extra money but more than anything they want to do something. They tend to be very trustworthy.

Then, you wake up at 10:00 have a cup of tea because you don’t need so much caffeine. Work out, eat breakfast, go to the beach, of course a nap has to be squeezed in there somewhere. In the evening research new things to sell if you feel like it. If not, go to the movies, dinner or both.


Cailin Gallagher profile image

Cailin Gallagher 8 years ago from New England

Garry,

I think there may be an e-book there. You know, like the 4 hour work-day type one? Think about it.

E-bay sellers of the vintage and antique ware must be committed to the value of the business I'm sure. We all love you guys for it!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Garry, you have the ideal situation after following a good strategy.  From my previous corporate communications life, I would call your approach WOUM...Write Once, Use Many.  I take that approach with templates for eBay sales, but you are able to take that approach with the actual goods you sell.  Unfortunately, antiques, collectibles, and pre-used items don't fit very well into the WOUM world.

However, I like your business day a heck of a lot better than mine!  Looks like you found a great *niche* and are very successful.   Thank you so much for sharing your strategies.

Best regards, S.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Cailin, I think you had great advice for Garry...think he's doing it already?

Thanks for reading this hub and appreciating what we sellers of the oddities do.

Best regards, S.


minnow profile image

minnow 8 years ago from Seattle

Thanks for the insight into what people who sell on e-bay are really doing. I like all the ideas this hub generated.


VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 8 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

Checked your Ebay site, and its very professionally done; nice pics and clear descriptions.

I don't like the idea of sellers not being able to leave feedback; I have had maybe two buyers who bid and never paid for the item; so its not a good idea to not let both seller and buyer give each other feedback.

I have bookmarked your hub and given you a thumbs up, as its so well done!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Minnow, I like the ideas generated by this hub, too. Hubbers are smart and creative. Don't you find that often the comments are just as interesting as the hub itself?

Thanks for stopping by!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

VioletSun, about the feedback issue, you know that there continues to by dynamic and heated discussion on the eBay boards, discussion that began at the end of January when eBay announced the change in policy. I don't think this hot issue will cool down any time soon!

I, too, have had non-paying bidders, the most recent one just as the new policy went into effect. Time will tell if eBay's policy change really does make eBay a better environment for trade, which has been their rationale for this change all along.

Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful comments!


Sophie Esperana profile image

Sophie Esperana 8 years ago from Los Angeles

Hi Sally,

This is a very informative hub to eBay novices such as myself.

Thank you :)


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Sophie, thank you so much for your good words. I was a novice, too, and in some ways I still am. It's a learning experience all the way!

You are so welcome. :)


Eric Graudins profile image

Eric Graudins 8 years ago from Australia

My opinion is that EBAy these days is great for people who just want to sell some unwanted stuff that they have lying around the house.

If you are going to do it as a business, be prepared to put in a LOT of time and hard work learning the tricks of the trade.

And be aware that arbitrary policy changes from EBay could quickly damage or destroy your business. You have no control over anything.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Eric, thank you for your comments.

I think that you can see from this hub that I have put in *...a LOT of time and hard work learning the tricks of the trade.*

eBay these days is great for mega super sellers who import iPod accessories and sell them at volume on a 10%  or less return, with a 60% or less sell-through rate.  It's also great for real estate, automotive, and high-end fashion label resellers.  eBay's business model no longer supports sellers of "unwanted stuff they have lying around the house".  The customers (that is, sellers) eBay targets now are totally different from when they started. 

Yes, eBay is guilty of arbitrary policy changes, and they are equally guilty of not training and supporting their staff members to manage those changes or to communicate them to their customers.  eBay is in a communications swamp.  I think they are in another kind of swamp, but I won't go into that here.

For now, they are still the premier online marketplace for trading in the oddities that are antiques, collectibles, and pre-used items.

As we all know, diversity is a key element of success.  Sally's Trove is mindful of that, and so we have the control we need.

I'm sure readers of this hub's comments will take your words to heart.

Best regards, S.


desert blondie profile image

desert blondie 8 years ago from Palm trees, swimming pools, lots of sand, lots of sunscreen

Boy! this hub sure got a lot of comments! Shows how popular you are AND the impact of ebay in our lives! I've bought and sold there as well. Good "scores" for each pursuit. Hubby has suggested I start again, and I suggested right back that he try selling a few things and see if he truly thinks it's worthwhile for us. (the photographs, descrips., following through on questions, the packing, the shipping) ...now all the sudden he's thinking we should just have a yard sale! LOL


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Desert Blondie, thanks so much for the good words. It's been wonderfully supportive to get so many comments from fellow eBayers, because nobody understands how much work it is until they do it themselves. I've been enjoying that support, and the sympathy that goes along with it. :)

eBay does have an impact on our lives, doesn't it? I'm sure someone's done the research to show how eBay rates globally in name recognition. It wouldn't surprise me if it were up there in the top 5, along with McDonald's and Coca Cola.

Sounds like Hubby saw you work hard enough on eBay to know that HE doesn't want to do it. So, I propose that you tell him the yard sale is his...he can do all the work, and you'll take all the money.

All the best, S.


Karen Ellis profile image

Karen Ellis 8 years ago from Central Oregon

Very interesting and fun to see how it all works. Sounds like it's a lot of hard work, but interesting.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Karen, thanks for reading and commenting. For sure, it is an interesting business, especially when we research an item that we bought maybe thirty years ago just because we liked it, not because it had any great value, and come to find that on today's market it's become very desireable. That's when WE start having fun! Glad you enjoyed spending a day with us. Regards, ST.


flutterbug77 profile image

flutterbug77 8 years ago from USA

I've had good luck selling on E-bay. It sounds like you're down to a routine. Best of Luck to you.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

flutterbug, thank you so much for the good luck wishes. I'm sending the same your way!


Guru-C profile image

Guru-C 8 years ago

Sally, I really enjoyed this hub and your writing style. My going to forward it to my parents who are in the process of setting up a business on E-bay as we speak. Wishing you a great day! Cory


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Cory, thanks for stopping by and leaving your good words. And best wishes to your parents in their new adventure!


02SmithA profile image

02SmithA 8 years ago from Ohio

I've never gotten into the ebay selling, but it sure looks like an action packed day.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Never a dull moment, that's for sure! Thanks for reading and commenting. Sally


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 8 years ago from St. Louis

Hi, Sally, You've really captured a serious ebayers day well. I did it exclusively for two years, selling anything that I could get my hands on, but mostly rare books and estate jewelry. People think you don't have a job. I felt like I worked non-stop 18 hrs a day.

Right on the head with the people asking you to "throw something up" on ebay. I finally just started charging 50% for my service, explaining to them in detail what was involved. I didn't really want to deal with their stuff anyway. I thought I was organized, but you seem uber organized! I'll be sure to visit Sally's Trove soon.

Thanks so much for you thoughtful comment. Sincerely, it was the best, most thoughtful comment I have received. It really made my day!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

I love what you said..."People think you don't have a job." How true. They have no idea of what's involved. Thank you for the affirmation that comes from personal experience.

I also love your reflection on the service percentage. Clients don't understand that 25% is not sufficient, even when we like their stuff. :)

You are so very welcome about my comment. I meant every word of it.

Warmest regards, Sally


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 8 years ago from St. Louis

Hi, Sally. I wish I had thought of this before, but my sister sent me this link a long time ago. If you've never heard the Ebay song, I think you'll enjoy it.

Cheers!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKtlK7sn0JQ


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Thanks so much for putting a smile on my face. I had heard the song before, but never watched it, so to speak.

Wait a minute...just a minute... Aha, here it is. I wish you could see what I just found under the counter...a Smurf tray! ;)


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago

hi Sally,

Hope you don't mind, but I have to say thank you to Christoph for that video! As you know, since I USED to buy from Ebay, it sooooooo hit home! I was hysterical laughing with every line, saying to myself, he's singing about me! LOL

So, thanks Christoph for sharing that with my best friend, it was priceless! I've saved it in my favorites so I can show my daughter, who knows only too well the daily visits from UPS.

Sally, love ya!


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 8 years ago from St. Louis

I am so glad that both of you enjoyed it. When I first watched it, I laughed by fanny off - 3 or 4 times! Thanks again for the great hub Sally's Trove!


needful things profile image

needful things 7 years ago from Poland

eBay does consume a lo of time. Now with hubpages in the picture... I was wondering... But then again "time you enjoy wasting is time not wasted" especially if they bring in income... Thumbs up!!!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

I see you have a little experience with eBay. Thanks so much for sharing the pain!

Your Hub on building your own portable eBay office is excellent.


ReMarkaBlogs profile image

ReMarkaBlogs 6 years ago

Great Hub.

When I got to the '5:00 PM Head for home" section, I quite enjoyed the picture of your "cocktail". Quite a unique slant on the use of the 'Add image capsules".

Please share the Cocktail recipe book from where you 'drug' this one out. It'll be our little secret.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

I see we both have stresses in our lives that may lead to cocktails. I clink my glass to yours and enjoy your puns enormously.


Granny's House profile image

Granny's House 6 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

Great hub. Well done.


Granny's House profile image

Granny's House 6 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

Oh, I forgot to tell you, I am going now to check out your Ebay store. I am also going to follow at rate up!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Granny's House, thank you for checking out our eBay store...we are just gearing up for the winter season. So glad you enjoyed this Hub and rated it up!


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States

A fantastic hub for people who are thinking about getting into EBay. Sounds like a lot of work - but creative, interesting, and sustainable!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Indeed, it is sustainable, Dolores. As for any other business, it also takes organization, know-how, and, as you surmise, a lot of hard work. Thanks for reading and leaving your good words!


Dave Powell profile image

Dave Powell 5 years ago from Winchester, MA

Raging cool hub, Sally! I've been selling on eBay since it started, and was thinking about writing a hub just like yours. But YOU beat me to it!!! (Not hard, though... I'm a brand new hubber, and just published my first eBay hub... so our little community is expanding!)

All the best,

Dave Powell


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Raging cool Hub of yours, too, Dave. Have linked to it from here. Anyone who wants to know how to succeed on eBay needs to read your words. You describe not only the nitty-gritty of the day-to-day, but the selling strategies that can make or break an eBay business.

As for being a brand new Hubber, welcome! Looking forward to reading all you have to say, about everything.


GrowingDeeper profile image

GrowingDeeper 5 years ago

Great Hub. Have yet to open shop on EBay but have given it a decent amount of thought. Now, if or when I do, I am much more informed on what it takes to do it right. (Note to self):must read more raging cool hubs :)


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Thanks for reading and leaving the good words, GrowingDeeper. An eBay store has its pluses and minuses, like anything else. I wish you good luck!


sabrani44 profile image

sabrani44 4 years ago

Great hub! It was interesting to read a seller's point of view. I am an active ebay buyer and I never knew how much work it really takes for the seller. Just curious, do you make a good amount of money on ebay? The Paypal fees and listing fees seem ridiculously high.

Awesome hub, keep up the good work.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

sabrani44, thank you for commenting here as an eBay buyer, sharing your thoughts about not knowing how much work is involved on the part of the seller. We love you for your understanding!

You ask a very good question about the cost of doing business on eBay. EBay sellers pay fees to eBay and to PayPal. The fees are high, as you recognize. However, like any seller, an Ebay seller needs to weigh the cost of doing business against not only other online venues but also against brick and mortar.

Personally, eBay's fee structure doesn't work for me now, which is why I've been keeping a low profile there in recent months. Perhaps things will change.

Thanks so much for sharing your insight.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

I have never sold anything on ebay.

This is quite an interesting read.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Glad you enjoyed the read, Vinaya. Thank you for commenting.


moonlake profile image

moonlake 4 years ago from America

Selling on ebay is work lots of work. I use to do this day in and day out. No more. When ebay changed I stopped selling. Great Hub. Voted Up.


daisydayz profile image

daisydayz 4 years ago from Cardiff

Wow you are one busy person! I have sold the odd thing but am no where near a ebay business or power seller, you know your stuff! And seem pretty busy! Great hub full of helpful info for would be ebay sellers. Voted up!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

TY so much, daisydayz, for your comment. Selling on eBay isn't the fun it used to be. It's gone very much to the volume seller, rather than to the seller of ephemera, the seller that has a unique item to showcase. I've toned down my selling on eBay, and I guess that might be another hub!

Thanks again for your comment...it's made me rethink a few things. :)


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

Sally, I came here from a moonlake's eBay hub and I'm glad I did. I learnt so much of what goes in the day of an eBay seller.

This read id very informative and useful as I'm thinking of jumping on the eBay bandwagon.

Voted up, useful and interesting and yes, sharing this.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 3 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

rajan jolly, thanks so much for the good words! Selling on eBay can involve more work than it might seem. Good luck with your eBay selling. I wish you much success...and fun. :)


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

Thanks Sally!

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