I’m back again with another Flip Chats interview! This time I spoke with the lovely Anna who writes at BeU Thrifters blog. She shared with me that she and her part-time co-seller are disabled and are using eBay profits to help pay off their medical bills and cover household expenses. They also sell for other members of the disabled community, and they hope later to start an organization that helps people discover their passions in life. Are you inspired already? Read below for more, and be sure to check out the blog!
Tell us how you first got the idea to start selling on eBay.
I first started selling on eBay back in 2007. My health declined after my body rejected the second transplant in my knee. Officially disabled and without a job; I needed some income and ebay seemed like a logical solution. First, I just sold my own belongings; then advanced to selling thrift store items. I sold off and on between 2007 and 2014. Last year, I needed to quit my part time job due to another knee surgery and figured why not dive in head first this time? It’s really the perfect part time job for anyone with a disability.
What does a typical week look like for you?
Truthfully, I don’t have a typical week (that’s one of the perks of selling on eBay). I make my schedule up as I go! Routines aren’t my style so it works perfect for me. Plus, I often go on thrift shop trips around the country; which totally throws off any normal schedule.
A typical schedule without anything else to do would include:
9:00-10:00: breakfast while packaging anything I sold the day before. Leave it all on front porch for mailman to pick up.
10:00-12:00: take pictures and list items.
1:00-3:00: Thrift shopping
3:00-4:00: go through everything I bought. Write down all the details so when listing I can just type it out. Research the right selling price.
4:00-5:00: Cook dinner and eat dinner
5:00-rest of the night: relax. I spend EVERY night while I’m watching tv at night reading other people’s blogs, fashion magazines and any source that will further my knowledge of what has high resale value. The research and knowledge is one of my favorite parts of the job.
* I’m the companion for a girl with severe Down’s Syndrome part time, so I schedule thrifting around my work schedule.
What’s the biggest obstacle you’ve overcome (or are working on now)?
The biggest obstacle I face is mental. I’m used to having a consistent paycheck and ebay is more of a roller coaster. One month can be amazing and the next can be horrible: December and January for instance. Luckily, I have other forms of consistent income; but it’s been a major adjustment for me. I’m a worrier, so I have to keep my fears in check and not worry myself back to a 9-5 job.
What advice would you give to someone who’s thinking of starting an eBay business?
I’d tell someone starting a new ebay business that knowledge is power! You must spend a lot of time learning what to buy and sell before you can be successful. We all make mistakes at the beginning, but keep learning. My list of brands I search for is over 250 brands long. I find so many $100-$200 items on clearance at thrift stores because nobody else knows the brand is valuable. Be a sponge; sponges are successful.
I would love to interview others and continue this series! If you’re interested in being interviewed, please comment below, or send me an email at email@example.com. Thanks!