Thursday, August 14, 2014

Profiles of Successful eBay Pickers - Antique Chic

Time for another installment of "Profiles of Successful eBay Pickers." eBay is getting a lot of bad press lately about not being a sustainable business, losing traction as a trusted marketplace, or being inferior to Amazon. I reached out to sellers on my eBay seller Facebook group, which is now approaching 16,000 members, to find sellers who have a proven track record of selling on eBay and maintaining a sustainable eBay business over time.

My hope is that we can see similar characteristics across these profiles and define the qualities of a successful seller, then work to achieve those qualities and reach success.

The criteria I set for participating in this series:

1. Full time eBay seller for at least 3 years. (To show sustainability.)

2. Does not sell on Amazon. (Because they were doing so well on eBay, they didn't need to go to another platform.)

3. Sells inventory purchased at thrift stores, yard sales, estate sales, auctions, consignment sales or any combination of those sources. Does not purchase inventory wholesale, from liquidators, retail stores, from China, or drop ship. Must be a "picker."

4. Is an "at home" seller.

5. Must be willing to share eBay ID. (Keeping it real.)

Today's star picker is Renee Franco of Antique Chic.

When did you start selling on eBay?

February, 2011 

Why did you start selling on eBay?

The company I was working for downsized and I was laid off. I did not want to go back to corporate America and I surely didn't want to drive an hour each way to and from work anymore.

What is your store name and what types of items do you sell?

Antique Chic, Inc. I sell antiques, collectibles, and vintage items. 

Do you specialize in a certain niche, or are you open to selling anything? If you specialize, why?

Yes, I specialize in my niche because it is what is interesting to me. The items are fun to find, photograph, and learn about

How many items do you typically have in your store? 

1,000 - 1,200 items.

What is your average monthly profit? 
(We are focusing on profit here because that's what you get to keep!) 

$4,500 per month and increasing each year.

How many hours do you typically work a week on your eBay business?

I work 9-5 Monday through Friday, and Saturdays I am at estate sales or auctions. So usually 48 hours a week.

Many eBay sellers are being shamed into selling on Amazon, as if it is a superior platform. Why have you never sold on Amazon?

I have never felt like I needed to sell on Amazon. eBay has provided a nice income for me, and my sales are increasing every year, so I continue to focus on 1 selling platform.

4th quarter can be a lucrative time of year for many online sellers. Have you typically seen an increase in sales during 4th quarter in past years? 

Yes I have seen an increase in the 4th quarter every year. My average sales per month during the 4th quarter last year was $15,000 per month. During Q1 through Q3 my average sales are $12,000 per month.

Do you sell anything different for holiday selling season, or just sell more of the same kinds of things you normally sell all year? 

I sell more of the same. Usually, during the late summer I begin to buy more merchandise in preparation for the 4th quarter.

Do you list more items in anticipation of holiday sales? If so, when do you start this process?

Yes, I typically begin to buy and list more items in late summer. August is really my "build-up" reminder month to prepare for more inventory.

Do you have any hired help for your business? 

No, I have never hired anyone. My husband helps me from time to time.

What is one piece of advice you would give to new sellers who want to transition to eBay full time? 

If you were going to transition to full-time, I would suggest finding something you enjoy selling. I truly have a passion for antiques. Because I enjoy what I sell, it does not feel like I am working! I really believe this is what has helped me become successful on eBay.

Anything else unique about you or your eBay business you would like to share? 

We also take antique and collectible consignments. This is a great source of extra income and it is risk free inventory for my store.

Be sure to follow this series here on my blog, and make sure you have subscribed to my newsletter for more great tips for your ecommerce business.

Read about more successful eBay pickers:

Michelle Farmer

Nicole Bilbao

Kathy Bradley

David and Rhonda Conner
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