I’m Nikki, an eBay seller and Mum of 3. My route to eBay selling wasn’t traditional but I picked up some important skills along the way.
I started online in 2004 after I quit my fitness job to set up as a private personal trainer. I wanted to advertise my services and desperately wanted a website.
Back then, websites were really expensive to have made and I had no money so I set about figuring it all out by myself. I learnt HTML and a bit of coding and in the end, I created a pretty good-looking website.
Then I realised that a website was no good if nobody knew about it. So I started another self-taught journey of marketing, advertising, traffic, SEO, selling techniques, email marketing etc. etc. I read everything I could find and to my surprise, it was an area that I had a real passion for. I loved learning a technique, applying it to my personal training business and seeing it work!
$8 changed my life
eBay became a thing for me in 2009 after baby number one arrived. Then it came time to think about going back to work. My body was worn out from 15 years of exercise instruction and I felt I couldn’t go back to that.
My husband suggested buying some bits and pieces from a website called dealxtreme to resell on eBay. (I never did quiz him on where his brainwave came from!) We bought 20 mobile phone exercise armbands and they sat in our kitchen for over 6 months. The task of figuring out eBay and selling was just too overwhelming and some early scam attempts just put me right off. Finally, I just got on with it. Within 2 weeks, all the armbands had sold for a whopping €8 (about $8) profit each and I was hooked!
I spent the next 2 years buying to resell and bought mostly from China and from eBay. I would order a few of the product, if I liked it when it arrived, I’d place a large order. The products I sourced and bought had to fit 3 criteria:
- No electronics. Too great a risk that it would break or malfunction and a buyer would want a refund
- No toys. The potential for injury to a child from poorly made toys wasn’t something I wanted to get caught up in
- Nothing that could potentially cause harm. As an example, beauty products were big sellers for others but I never trusted the ingredients.
Buy low, sell high
Although I hadn’t heard of drop shipping back then, I don’t think I would have taken that option. It was important to me to be in control of my inventory. To see and feel the product and know its quality and to be responsible for the packing and shipping.
It was all going really well and I was making great money but there was a problem. It was a lot of work AND I was a little risk-averse. Buying cheaper items to make a small profit carried little risk but I wanted more profits from fewer sales and less work. I knew it could be done but I needed to buy more expensive items with bigger profit margins.
Orders from China took about 8 weeks to arrive and that was a long time to have money tied up. There were other business growth issues to deal with and spending more on inventory meant less for other areas.
The a-ha moment.
Actually, I can’t say it was an a-ha moment because I don’t remember how or when it happened! 2 things happened, I just don’t remember in which order! Firstly, I discovered the eBay Trading Assistant Program. Then a stranger that had bought something from me asked me to sell some stuff for her.
And so in 2011, I began the journey of the most perfect eBay business model…selling O.P.S (other peoples sh*t). It was an endless supply of things to sell and I didn’t have to pay to buy it. The business has morphed and grown over the years to include digital product creation, affiliate marketing, e-commerce and web design. To complement that original business I set up a social media advertising business and a digital marketing business. It has become harder and harder to sell on eBay and remain competitive. Now I can provide a comprehensive service to my clients. I don’t just list their items or manage their account – I generate traffic, get sales and create customers for them.
Reboot and Reset
Selling Rebooted is 9 years of learning, adapting, hustling and loving what I do. Everything I do centres around eBay because it is an incredible marketplace. Don’t don’t get me wrong… I don’t love eBay right now. I think they are making some bad decisions and trying to emulate other marketplaces rather than sticking to what made them special. Sellers are being pushed to within an inch of their sanity and abuse of the system is being ignored. I do accept eBay for what it is right now and work around it.
Selling Rebooted will educate you on the bigger picture. I can show you how to reboot your selling and create a successful online business.