1. Start reading Sell Their Stuff by Hillary DePiano for free right now
  2. What is a Selling Or Trading Assistant? The Ultimate Overview of Consignment Selling
  3. What does consignment mean? What is consignment selling?
  4. What exactly does a Selling Assistant do? What’s a typical day like?
  5. How does a Selling Assistant make money? Who can become one?
  6. Can eBay Trading Assistants still sell on consignment for others now that the program is gone?
  7. Where can a Selling Assistant sell their client’s consignment items?
  8. What kind of items can a Selling Assistant sell on consignment for their clients?
  9. Sellers, here’s why you should add Selling Assistant services to your existing e-commerce business
  10. From SAHMs to retirees, students to teachers: here’s who should start a Selling Assistance service
  11. Designing your Selling Assistance service from terms and conditions to services and features
  12. Money Matters: How does a Selling Assistant profit from selling items for others?
  13. Resale and the Selling Assistant: Sometimes it’s simpler to just buy the items outright
  14. Selling Assistant fees: What are they and how do they work?
  15. The Pros and Cons of charging a fee for your Selling Assistant services
  16. Does charging a commission on your Selling Assistant services maximize your profits?
  17. Charge a combination of fees and commission to maximize your Selling Assistant profits
  18. Here’s how I profit from my Selling Assistant business
  19. Should a Selling Assistant give their client a deposit or advance on future earnings?
  20. Should the Selling Assistant require a deposit of new clients?
  21. Who pays for what when selling for others on consignment?
  22. Should the consignment seller cover all selling fees or pass them onto the client?
  23. How discounted & free shipping offers affect consignment selling
  24. Shipping costs & selling fees are the least of your worries…
  25. Paying your clients their share of your Selling Assistant sales
  26. Calculating client payments on a Selling Assistant contract
  27. Method of Payment: How should I pay my Selling Assistant client?
  28. Reporting and reconciliation of a Selling Assistant client contract
  29. Build yourself a timeline for paying Selling Assistant clients without getting burned
  30. Money Matters Managed
  31. Your Selling Situation: Where and how should I sell my Selling Assistant items?
  32. Multi-Channel Consignment Selling: List your items on multiple marketplaces for greater exposure
  33. Practice your Selling Assistance service before you start taking on clients
  34. Do you need a storefront or standalone webstore to be a Selling Assistant?
  35. Is eBay still the best place for a Trading Assistant turned consignment seller?
  36. Does the Selling Assistant consignment sell from their own account or the clients?
  37. Should I have a designated selling account for my Selling Assistance consignment service?
  38. The 8 questions you must ask yourself before you start selling on consignment
  39. Good customer service is a selling point that can distinguish your services
  40. The benefits of having a PO Box or other Locked Mailbox for your business
  41. Designate a business phone line for more professional client contact
  42. Consider VOIP & internet-based phones like Google Voice or Skype over traditional options
  43. Offering pick-up services is an easy way to attract local Selling Assistant clients
  44. Should you allow Selling Assistant clients to drop their items off?
  45. Expand the reach of your Selling Assistant service by letting clients ship their items to you

Beyond the Cell or Landline

A designated cell or landline can be pricey. I’ll let you into a little secret that has served me very well over the years. VOIP and internet-based phone numbers aren’t just cheaper, they often give you more features and flexibility than a landline ever could.

My business number is actually a telephone number I have through Skype. It only costs me a single yearly fee that is less than a single month of a normal phone line. When a client calls that number, they are actually calling the Skype software on my computer. If I’m working, I answer the call through my computer headset as if it were a normal phone call. If I’m not at my computer, it goes to the voicemail that comes with the number.

Skype is only one of many similar options out there. Google Voice is another and, at present, they offer both incoming and outgoing calls for free. AOL will also give you a phone number for free, though you can lose it if you forget to log in on a certain timetable, which can be a real pain if you’ve already started using it on official forms. If you decide to go this route, look for a service that’s reliable and lets you pick your own phone number. Some even let you choose individual digit combinations if you want to create a memorable number. When you’re running a local business like a SA service, having a phone number with a local area code is very important even if that number is a virtual one and not really in the area. Clients will never know they’re not calling a local number and still pay local rates as if they were. It also makes your business seem closer to them, and that gives them a better perception of you right from the start.

Clients often call at all hours of the day or night because they think you’re working out of an office and don’t realize it’s actually your home. Some clients can also be annoying, calling all the time. Because my phone is through software on my PC, the phone doesn’t ring and disturb anyone in my house if I’m not available to answer. This allows me to run an international business and never worry about getting woken or disturbed by unwanted calls. Your number will also work on most smartphones and every computer or tablet, meaning I always have my business phone with me, so it’s as good as a designated business cell phone but uses whatever you’re already carrying. It can also do text messaging, video chat, instant messaging and caller ID if you need those features. Most also have the option to forward calls to the normal phone of my choice whenever needed. All this for much, much less than a cell or landline.

From the perspective of your customers, an internet-based phone number works exactly the same as a normal phone line, but from your end, it gives you more flexibility and substantial savings over a designated land or cell line. That said, none of the services listed above are a perfect option. You’ll want to do your own research to find what best fits your needs and look into phone line options both traditional and non.

Photo by Claira Ross