The eBay and Etsy Experiments: 6 Months Until my First Sale!

It’s been a while since I last posted and there’s good reason for that!

I’ve been busy implementing some of my business ideas. The basis of my blog is the movement towards self-employment and I wasn’t doing a very good job with that.

Writing about it can only do so much but it won’t get me any closer. At this point in time, I make no money from blogging so I decided to focus more time on projects that I can make money with over the last couple of weeks.

Action is good.

But only when it’s taken on things that will give you the opportunity to actually achieve the results which you desire.

You can wish to be a professional soccer player as much as the next person, but playing Fifa ’16 the entire day won’t bring you any closer to this goal; no matter how much you play or how good you are.

So instead of writing about being self-employed, I decided to do something that will actually help me get there: Making money and growing some revenue streams.

You see, I used to be a big deal on eBay! (Joking…kinda.)

In our best year, my dad and I made $130,000 in revenue selling on eBay. (That’s a story for another day, maybe.)

So I went back to what I know. eBay has changed throughout the years; some for the better, some for the worse.

But what I really enjoy now is the fact that you can list up to 50 items a month for free! Right off the bat, that’s a savings of $15. It might not seem like much, but it was a huge barrier of entry for someone like me who’s trying to make a couple of bucks here and there, without getting killed by fees. (I really wish that eBay wouldn’t make 10% off of you, but what can you do? They’re a huge online marketplace and good for them for pushing their weight around.)

Now, every item doesn’t have to sell the first time around and it won’t cost me any money to have an item listed for months on end.

This also means that I can keep items up that don’t sell for a while and don’t have to worry about it eating into my profit. In the past, selling a $5 item would actually mean you lose money if you had it listed for a long time. It just wasn’t worth it.

But now it is.

Why would I keep items listed for sale that clearly aren’t selling?

Because they eventually will and it’s not costing me anything to keep them up so why not? I already put in the work to take pictures and list it. At this point, that’s all a sunk cost.

Why is selling an item for $5 worth it?

It’s two-fold:

I’d like to possibly eventually open an eBay store and that’ll cost money. If I sell these small ticket items, the “rent” will be paid for.

I’m also trying to increase my seller level. Once I can do this, the big incentive is that my seller fees will drop from 10% to 8%. It might not seem like much, but 2% is 2%!

So how do I increase my seller level? It’s simple. I sell stuff! You need to sell 100 items and $1,000 worth of items within the last 12 month period. I don’t think I’ll have problems with the monetary part but the 100 items might be a hang up. That’s why selling a $5 item here and there will help me out in the long-run.

So how am I doing?

Well, I’ve sold over $400 within the last 30 days. It’s not much, but it’s not shabby for selling random stuff around the house on my days off!

These are things that I bought a long time ago so I wouldn’t exactly call it a business quite yet seeing how this is basically all profit at this point. But it is how I’m raising funds for future ventures while decluttering our house of things that we no longer have use for so I’ll take it! It’s not really costing me money to sell on eBay, (the fees happen only when I sell items so it is what it is,) just time on my days off. Which is why I haven’t been writing as much.

Another venture that I’ve put more time into lately is our Etsy store.

I opened it up back in January with one simple listing. I didn’t do much with it until May because it wasn’t much of a priority. I started a new job in February, it was busy season at work, and we went on vacation in April.

From January to April, we had just over 200 total views. Not bad for having it on autopilot, but not great if this is how you eventually want to make a large portion of your money.

So I got serious in May and added some cool items that my dad created years ago and it started to look more like a shop! People would favorite our items and shop more frequently and we picked up some momentum. I even had someone reach out to me about an item and the possibility of some custom work and all of the sudden, “holy shit, things are starting to come together and we’re legit!”

That culminated with our first sale on June 23rd! $20 isn’t much but it’s a start. It’s a work in progress. It’s a hands-on approach to learning what works and what doesn’t.

But most of all, it’s proof that I can do this. I can sell my dad’s creativity and people are willing to pay for it. He’s an incredibly talented guy and I always thought it was a shame that he couldn’t make money off of something that he enjoyed.

That just changed. And there’s only one way to go and that’s up.

We’ve had over 4,000 views from May until now. That kind of growth is crazy. And the more time and effort I put into it, the more it’ll pay off eventually.

It’s extremely hard to be patient with both of these ventures at times. Especially since that means I’m sacrificing the blog. I wish I could do it all but I just can’t.

Just like I have to be patient with my projects, you have to be patient with me and my lack of posts from time to time. And for that, I thank you. I truly and sincerely thank you for that.

In other news, June 13th marked the one-year anniversary of the Self-Employed Movement! Thanks for reading and being a part of it.

I thought about blogging for a while before I launched it but I was scared that no one would care about what I had to say.

I was wrong.

This has been a crazy last year and I’m glad to have you all on board. I can’t believe that I stuck with something for so long which is a feat within itself.

If you want to do something, just do it. Get started, get it out there and see what happens. You’ll end up being pleasantly surprised!

Here’s to those who turn thoughts and ideas into action and do what we have to do to get to where we want to go.

You rock!

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Going forward, I’ll have a page dedicated to updates with my eBay and Etsy experiments as well as my other side hustles.