Selling on eBay from Chicago to Miami
Recently I wrote on how I first started on eBay, buying from the Nike outlet with my credit card and reselling the items on eBay. While I was making money I moved and so did my source for inventory, which caused me to stop selling on eBay. Later on I moved to Miami and did what everyone recommends when starting on eBay and get rid of debt, I sold some of my own. It’s a great way to get familiar with the website, selling features, and what you need to do to start selling.
I listed and sold my Kelty Red Cloud 5600 Internal Frame Backpack, then moved on to a couple hats that were almost brand new in my Philadelphia Eagles Hat NFL Reebok Flexfit Football and Chicago Cubs MLB Baseball Hat Wrigley Field New Era which made a few dollars. I took the pictures, put a fun and honest description and title(actual titles and keywords), waited for the item to sell, and then did my best to figure out the shipping. I really feel like if you can take a picture, follow directions online, and put something in a box, then you can sell on eBay.
Ultimately I didn’t really have that many things I thought I could sell of my own. I needed to find some items to sell, because if you don’t have merchandise eBay is not going to work. When I moved to Miami I came across a store that I never had seen in Chicago. This store sold a little bit of everything: clothes, shoes, household goods, toys, and everything in between, the store is Ross Dress for Less. If you are unfamiliar with Ross, they are very similar to Marshall’s and T.J. Maxx in which they are buying last year’s styles and irregular items for less and selling them at a discount from the regular price. Here’s an article that goes into a little more detail on the ins and outs of these type of stores. I found some of the same Nike and Jordan items(stick with what you know) at great prices, I knew from my experience selling I could sell these items for more than I was buying them from Ross and worst case scenario I could return the item if they did not sell(retailers frown upon this). I even had some help from the current Mrs. Even Steven, she grabbed a pair of Nike Pro Combat Dri Fit Padded Shorts Football Men’s L and found the retail price was $70, Ross was selling them for $9.99, it was worth the risk. My final auction sales price came to $57, I was back!!!
I bought more items Jordan backpacks, Nike polo shirts, and anything with a college or pro sports team. It was all working, I started to have more and more items to choose from and even more than one store in the area. The extra money was great, but at that point I was only side hustling doing my best to make ends meet. I knew something had to change and for me that meant going back to Chicago and the old days of caddying for MJ, while I look for the full-time 9-5 job everyone is trying to get out of including myself, but that I desperately needed. The good news was I was able to get the 9-5 gig, but my eBay was shut down again. I sold my car so driving up to the Nike outlet was out of the picture and my new found gold mine in Ross was not in the Chicago area so I was shut down again.
In my first eBay experience, I learned:
- eBay really is not that hard to operate, if you can run your smart phone you can figure out eBay
- Know what you are selling. I am very familiar with Nike and that helped in the beginning, but you need to know what sells and what people want
- Starting a business on a credit card is not the smartest decision. I ran into problems with paying off the card and facing possible interest charges, it was also really hard to keep track of what I was buying and selling and returning.
- Inventory is key. Unless you have something to sell eBay won’t work simple as that
In my second eBay experience I learned a little more:
- There are other places to get inventory, get creative. As long as you can sell the item for more than you paid(including fees, taxes, etc) it’s possible to make money on eBay
- The more items you sell the better you understand selling on eBay. You get more feedback from customers which leads to more trust from potential buyers, you understand what sells, you get faster at listing and shipping each item.
- Part-time, Any time. I was side hustling at the time and realized that I could buy and sell on eBay whenever I wanted. I didn’t have to have a set schedule to show up at work on Sunday at 3:00 pm. I can list while watching a football game or listening to my favorite eBay podcast, Scavenger Life.
For me eBay has been a growing experience as I found out more and more about selling items online, more about myself as an entrepreneur, and more about my drive to stick with something. I have grown from my first sale on eBay and continue to sell today. I will be sharing more on my experience, let’s just say I’m not driving to Nike or Ross to make some extra cash living in the city of Chicago.
Have you had a business shutdown or fail? What has your experience been selling online?