How do I make what I love into making money? Need your advice.

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sunnykristina
Posts: 13
Joined: 04 Aug 10
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5 Aug 10 12:44:36 am
Hi,

My name is Kristina, I am a newbie to salehoo and to selling on line. My story like many of you is that I am a stay at home mom trying to bring in some income to the family.

I have been studying all the info on this site along with doing hours of my own research to form a worthy plan that will be successful. I know it will take some time but my goal is to be able to profit between $500.00 -$1000.00 a month with in six months.

Originally I wanted to start by learning what sells on e-bay and then hit the f garage sales, clean items up, list them with great descriptions be extremely friendly and helpful and use the money I make to generate income to buy more items to sell. Seems like a simple plan until I started researching.

Now I am at a loss. Go with a niche market, go with dropshippers...

I love being a mom, finding household things that make my life easier from the perfect toilet brush to a great gadget for chopping onions, I am eco friendly I love using all natural cleaners, cloth diapering, wooden toys for the kids... But how do I make what I love into making money? Do I start with the garage sales and then as I have money go ahead with buying in bulk through wholesalers or do I skip the yard sales find out what sells and just try dropshipping until I make enough to do wholesale?

My one concern with dropshipping is I have not personally used or tried the stuff. I like it when I buy something from someone they can personally recommend it because they themselves use and and swear by it. Because then when I buy a item I do not feel like I am taking a shot in the dark, I might win or I might loose. I also enjoy when I feel like a person is selling it to me from themselves and they are not only selling something for their paycheck but because they stand behind the product. So because I like all of that when I have been a buyer I want to provide that as a seller.

I hope this rambling is making some since to you readers :)

I would love to hear any advice on the wisest way for a newbie to begin selling on ebay.

I like the idea of the liquidation pallets because that seems like item for item you get new things at garage sale prices you can sell, but I understand that can be a risky investment as well.

I look forward to hearing your expert advice in these areas.

Blessings,

Kristina

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richelle_salehoo
Posts: 5226
Joined: 20 Oct 08
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5 Aug 10 03:33:30 am
Welcome to SaleHoo, Kristina :)

Don't worry to much you're definitely not alone just as I am not exactly an expert but I would love to help you just a bit :)

It's great that you have actually identified a potential product or set of products you wish to sell. You can start by searching for potential suppliers that can dropship for you. We do have a number suppliers that carry eco-friendly baby products.

Although I cannot guarantee you the profits you want to earn but with the right effort and in due time - I'm sure you will be able to start earning a decent income.

Garage sales are great places to start your hunt for products - it offers you the chance to see the products before actually buying it and you have no shipping to pay for (just gas money). But an even better place for you to start searching through is your own home. You'll be surprised at the things you can find to sell. There are two excellent reasons for starting out in this way especially as you're planning on selling @ eBay:

(1) Feedback is hugely important for any eBay seller. With a feedback rating below 10, it is going to be difficult to get people to take you seriously. The first 100 sales are the hardest as buyers look for high feedback as reassurance that they can trust the seller. Generally, the higher your feedback, the better - with powerseller status being the ultimate goal.

(2) You get to sell a range of products and see what works well. The results may surprise you!

Nothing beats knowledge gained from experience and selling stuff from around the home is the best way to get it without any risk.

After some practice with goods from around the home, I recommend buying small wholesale lots of products that most people use on a daily basis.

Also you can do test purchases of certain products (and keep them for you use or sell them) to check the quality and reliability of the supplier before you actually start selling their products to your customers.

Hope this helps.

PS - You might want to add a photo to your profile, it would be nice to see the face behind the name :)


Richelle

Customer Support Manager
SaleHoo Group Limited
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Free Member
sunnykristina
Posts: 13
Joined: 04 Aug 10
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5 Aug 10 12:22:43 pm
Hi Richelle,

Thank-you for taking the time to answer the question for me. I have been selling a few things from home. My current ebay account has 11 stars.

By todays standards my husband and I live very modest lives and have very little of any value to sell. We did use a web-site called value my stuff to get an appraisal on an antique silver asparagus fork to place onto ebay. We listed the item, but no one bid or bought, but of course I understand that selling an antique that has a higher value is probably more difficult. I have thought about re listing it without a reserve or buy it now option, just leaving it as a raw auction, but I am afraid I will loose. If I had gotten the fork from a yard sale for a couple of dollars it would be fine, but it is a engagement gift from a friend of his family and we hate to part with it based on the fact someone gave it to us as a gift. But on the other hand it is not like we are ever going to use it and where we live it gets tarnished very quickly so we should get rid of it and see what happens. Similar forks on ebay go for $300-1000.00, however after really watching I have observed most people selling this sort of item are power sellers who own antique stores on ebay as well as in a physical location, they put the item up with a buy it now for 30 days and repeat until it sells.

I think I will get started with garage sales and some dropshipping at the same time.

I was wondering out of curiosity how "professional" should one make their ebay profile... When I am looking to buy on ebay as a "Buyer" I like to find people who put that personnel touch on it and do not seem like a "store" because I feel like a person and not a customer. I also know for me when I am going to ebay as a buyer I am looking to save about 50% on an item used or new, If I am paying close to retail price I will go to a retail store where I know I can easily take it back.... Do you think this is how the average customer using ebay looks at it or am I weird?

Blessings,

Kristina

PS I will get a picture up as soon as I can :)

Site Admin
richelle_salehoo
Posts: 5226
Joined: 20 Oct 08
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12 Aug 10 01:17:22 am
I was wondering out of curiosity how "professional" should one make their ebay profile... When I am looking to buy on ebay as a "Buyer" I like to find people who put that personnel touch on it and do not seem like a "store" because I feel like a person and not a customer. I also know for me when I am going to ebay as a buyer I am looking to save about 50% on an item used or new, If I am paying close to retail price I will go to a retail store where I know I can easily take it back.... Do you think this is how the average customer using ebay looks at it or am I weird?


First of all, you're not weird :) Personally, I like seeing eBay listings/stores that have the seller's personal touch. But you can make your listings just as professional even while you add a touch of you in it. It could be in the way you design your listing template or your lay-out. Everything about your listing is actually 'you' unless you're the "copy and paste" from the dropshipper's site kind of seller.

Everyone on eBay is on the hunt of the best deals - so like you said if its close to retail better get it directly from the nearest retail store :)

Cheers!


Richelle

Customer Support Manager
SaleHoo Group Limited
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erika-garnica
Posts: 47
Joined: 22 Oct 09
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12 Aug 10 05:19:18 pm
Hi Kristina,

It sounds like you've been putting a lot of thought into this, which is great! The #1 factor I've found that determines the level of success one can attain on eBay is how much effort you put into it, how hard you work at it. Everything else can be learned, but you can't teach someone to have determination and enthusiasm.

From one stay-at-home mom to another, you have to consider the fact that time is money, and things that take too much time can cut seriously into your profits. Therefore, I generally stay away from garage sales, since they're so time-intensive. I also stay away from buying my products up front, then having to photograph, package, and ship them myself.

I have found dropshipping to be perfect for me. Once you spend the time to conduct your initial market research and find some viable products to sell, and get a bunch of long-term, multiple-quantity, fixed-price listings up on eBay that will always be up there, the time you need to spend is very minimal to process orders and make small changes here and there.

For me, it doesn't matter that I've never used the products myself, or even that I don't really know much about the products I sell. The market research tells me how good a particular product is -- otherwise, so many people wouldn't be buying it! You can also research products online to find out how good they are.

As far as your listings are concerned, Richelle is totally right. You can have listings are both professional as well as personal, which is definitely the best way to go.

As far as your antique fork is concerned, if you had a reserve price on it, that could very likely have been why no one bid on it. As a rule, most buyers hate reserve prices and will avoid reserve auctions like the plague. It's better to set a higher starting price than to use a hidden reserve price, which usually just frustrates buyers and sends them elsewhere.

But the very best thing of all to do is to set a low price and let the market determine the value of the item. Most buyers are pretty savvy, and your item should receive what its really worth, depending on what your competition is offering and how much demand versus supply there is for that type of item. That's why research is so very essential.

If all else fails, eBay allows sellers to end their auctions early and pull them completely off the site up until the last 12 hours of the listing, so you can set a low starting price and then closely monitor the listing to see how high the bidding gets up until those last 13 hours or so, at which point you can decide whether or not you want to end it early.

I hope that helps!


Erika Garnica
eBay User ID - Theauctionguru
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sunnykristina
Posts: 13
Joined: 04 Aug 10
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16 Aug 10 12:49:12 pm
Hi,

I wanted to thank everyone for there kind advice. I am taking it all to heart as I pursue this endeavor.

I am 8 days away from starting this thing officially. I love the idea of dropshipping but I am overwhelmed with what things to choose to sell. I also as explained in another post live outside of the US most of the year and pay my taxes to the country I reside, and therefore I have no Tax ID number and find it difficult to get one. I can for a small price register the name but I highly doubt there will be a number of any meaning to a drop shipper on it.

This week my plan is to update my ebay profile. I think because at the moment I will sell a variety of things I am going to call it Kristina's Attic, not all that creative but captures the fact there will be a variety.

I look forward to bouncing lots of thing off everyone here in the weeks and months to come as I get started with this.

Blessings,

Kristina

Site Admin
richelle_salehoo
Posts: 5226
Joined: 20 Oct 08
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16 Aug 10 09:19:20 pm
Hi Kristina,

You said you are paying taxes to the country where you reside - then you can use your tax ID number from where you're at right now. For customers outside the US, they equivalent of a US Tax or resellers ID is sufficient to fulfill a supplier's requirement :)

All the best! Hope you have a grand opening!


Richelle

Customer Support Manager
SaleHoo Group Limited
Sell more with your own professionally designed and search optimized e-commerce website. Check out Link hidden: Login to view now!
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dmdiscounts
Posts: 103
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16 Aug 10 11:10:57 pm
Kristina

Depending on where you live you can pick up things cheap at storage unit auctions. I do this and sell the big stuff that I dont want to ship in a garage sale at my home. The small stuff I list on ebay. Just to give you an example a few months back I bought 2 units for 70 dollars and rented a truck for about 130 dollars for a total investment of 200 dollars. Included in what I got was a washer and dryer, 2 couches. a love seat, 5 TVs 15 trash bags full of clothes with the tags still on, other clothes and about 150 dvds and other misc stuff.

My wife kept about half the new clothes, we traded the dryer for a cut, color and style on her hair. Had a yardsale that weekend for the used clothes and furniture and TVs. I sold all this stuff for over 600 dollars. The dvds I put on ebay and made after fees about another 300 dollars, took the baby items including clothes, cleaned them up and sold them to a resale shop for about another 200 dollars. Still have all the other new clothes packed away and will be putting them on ebay around the time school starts.

So far off this 200 dollar investment we have brought in over 1100 dollars and still have more to go (not to mention what my wife kept out of the units)

2 weeks ago I bought 6 units for about a total of 65 dollars and rented a truck for 130 dollars. Total investment 185 dollars. Had a yard sale last weekend and made almost 800 dollars. One unit was filled with computer parts and some computers. I am in the process of checking them out to see what they have on them right now, before I list those on craigslist. The computer parts we will list on ebay. As for the things that I can't sell I list them for free on Craigslist and people come out of the woodwork to haul my garbage away.

Now be advised that you will also get some things you would not expect. Twice I have found human ashes in the units. I just call the funeral home they came from and return them there.

If you are interested and live in the states the website I use is www.auctionzip.com.

Good luck as this is a good cheap way to source product.

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sunnykristina
Posts: 13
Joined: 04 Aug 10
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17 Aug 10 02:46:19 pm
Thank-you dmdiscounds -- The web-site is GREAT! Thanks a lot

Your advice is great and I will follow up on it.

My current plan is to do the storage auction along with some garage sales. If I see incredible clearance deals picking them up and re listing them. As I sell more and build up my rating I will look into dropshipping but for me it seems this is the way to go for now.

I will be in the Kentucky area in the US for about two months to get this off the ground, then the plan is to leave stock there but I will be back on the little island I am from. When I run out of stock I will then turn to dropshipping or take another trip and re stock the goods.

It seems to me if you are willing to treat this like a job you can be very successful and that is what I plan to do.

Thanks to all for the post.

Full Member
dmdiscounts
Posts: 103
Joined: 30 Jul 09
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17 Aug 10 03:10:35 pm
I know a guy that buys 15 to 25 units per month and sells on craigslist and ebay. He told me he makes a good living doing it and that he finally found something that gives him a little more freedom then a 9 to 5 job.

Free Member
sunnykristina
Posts: 13
Joined: 04 Aug 10
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28 Aug 10 12:40:33 am
Hi,

I wanted to give a brief update. i sold the antique spoon for $200 US -- I am very happy with the result. Now I have two new items to take pics of and put up on ebay this evening. I am want to start going to some auctions to get items to sell as I think this might be easier. But I am very happy that things seem to be working out well.

I am sure I will be posting some more questions soon, again thanks to everyone for your responses.

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