Like so many of the early eBay sellers, I didn’t start selling online with the intention of making it a business. I started selling partly as a hobby and mostly out of necessity as I had a house full of junk that I wanted to get rid of. Of course, I started on eBay in 1997 when it was only a few months old, was one of the only options out there, and had not yet become the cultural phenomena that it is today. Selling online was a curiosity, a way to earn a few extra dollars. Now its reputation precedes it and many sellers approach a site like eBay or Etsy with dollar signs in their eyes, fueled by tales of the riches they can make with the junk in their attic.
Can you make money on selling online on a site like eBay? Yes! EBay, Etsy, Craigslist or the marketplace of your choice can all be fantastic places to earn some extra income and can definitely be built into a full time business. The evidence of successful sellers using these platforms and others as a full or part time source of income is everywhere. But it takes work to be successful selling online and it’s not the get rich quick scheme some people view it as.
Maybe you’re selling online already or maybe you’re looking to get started. Veteran or newbie, it all comes down to one thing: where do you get the items to sell? There’s dozens of ways to find products. On one end, you sign with a wholesaler, strike deals with suppliers or manufacture your own products. On the other end, you go to thrift stores and scour discount bins, garage sales, flea markets or even eBay itself for collectible items to resell. Both of these methods are proven ways to make money on eBay but both are a lot of work.
But there is an easier way. You can let people who already have a product to sell come to you. You can sell their stuff on consignment and piggyback on their profits in a process known as Selling Assistance.
Acting as a Selling Assistant is one of the most versatile ways of earning income online and it is easily adaptable to be either full or part time depending on your needs. Unlike starting a traditional retail business, there is no need to contract with wholesalers or purchase tons of inventory that you may never sell and you can adjust your work flow to best fit your situation. Best of all it’s one of the easiest businesses to run from your home making it ideal for students, stay-at-home parents or anyone looking for a work from home opportunity.
How do I know this? I have successfully served as a Selling Assistant for over a decade and a half on sites like eBay and Amazon as well as on my own website. I’ve shifted my Selling Assistant services back and forth between part time and full time to suit my current needs and have adjusted my workload volume to be anywhere from 90% of my income to 5% depending on my current situation. I can ensure you first hand of both the profitability and flexibility of being an SA.
In the chapters that follow, I hope to share with you the wealth of my own experience as a Selling Assistant and to guide you through the process of starting your own consignment business on eBay. But before those dollar signs pop back into your eyes, remember, there’s going to be work involved. Lucky for you, you’ve got someone who’s been through it all before and knows how to get you started on the right foot.
Let’s do this together. . .
Sincerely, your Selling Assistant assistant,
PS: Whenever possible, I’m going to try to make these excerpts into standalone blog posts but sometimes, like with this one, it’s just not possible. Sorry. Also, I’m literally posting things as I finish them and I sometimes skip around but I’ll try at least to post them in some kind of order that makes sense, even if it’s not their final order in the book.