Thursday, September 18, 2014
Profiles of Successful eBay Pickers - Laura Feyh-Nicoletta
Time for another installment of "Profiles of Successful eBay Pickers."I reached out to sellers on my eBay seller Facebook group, which is now approaching 17,000 members, to find sellers who have a proven track record of selling on eBay and maintaining a sustainable eBay business over time.
There are similar characteristics across these profiles that define the qualities of a successful seller.
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. (For whatever reason.)
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 Laura Feyh-Nicoletta
When did you start selling on eBay?
Why did you start selling on eBay?
I am an at home mom and wanted to help with the family income. I always loved selling. We started with Pokemon cards and my boys loved to see their toys sell.
What is your store name, and what types of items do you sell?
Storageunitauction I sell one of everything. I love to thrift and concentrate on areas I know can be winners. Shoes, toys, small appliances, mens graphic t-shirts, cosmetics.
Do you specialize in a certain niche, or are you open to selling anything?
I am open to selling anything, but research every item with my iPhone while thrifting. After so many years, you learn.
If you specialize in a certain niche, why?
I am trying to stay with shoes, plush and small appliances. These tend to be my higher profit items. I am getting tired of the small profit margins. Every time I shop I think “What can I flip on eBay?” I made a killing one year when the Smurfs movie came out and McDonald’s Happy Meal toys were hard to get. I had folks paying $30 or so for 1 Smurf. Parents will get the kiddos what they want. I felt a little guilty buying out the McDonald's deliveries, but business is business.
What is your average monthly profit?
I am in a downward spiral compared to last year, but my profits range from $2K-5K and that is really on a part- time basis. There has been some upgrading and changes through eBay itself which is out of my control, but I can see they are fixing that. If I put in a 40 hour week, which I am concentrating on now because I am empty nesting, I think I can double that with the inventory I have.
How many hours do you typically work a week on your eBay business?
As stated above, part-time. It can range from 15-25 hours. Summer is a tough time. My gardening gets away from me sometimes. Vacations don't help either, but 'tis the season.
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 believe in eBay. And the items I sell do not fit on Amazon’s platform. I have been selling so long on eBay, I know nothing else. And not to be lazy, but honest, I really do not want to learn. I tried to look into the how-to’s, but again, I would have very limited stock and it’s not worth it. It also seems like Amazon would be the boss in my business, not me.
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?
I sure have. And I love it.
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 do save my holiday items not yet listed until September/October. These would be direct theme items only, like ornaments and figurines. But if they do not sell, they stay in the store. I have had folks purchase ornaments all year round.
Do you list more items in anticipation of holiday sales? If so, when do you start this process?
I keep things on a steady listing schedule. As stated above, I believe folks think Christmas after Labor Day.
Do you have any hired help for your business? If so, what tasks do they do?
No help. I’m a one mama show.
What is one piece of advice you would give to new sellers who want to transition to eBay full time?
Research before you purchase stock or list anything you find around the house. I have learned not only to check completed listings, but active ones also when you go to list to set your price. Always try to be one step ahead of your competition. Being involved in a couple of forums on Facebook, not too many as that can be overwhelming, is vital. Though Facebook was not available back in the day, the same stands true today. Research. Read. Find an eBay buddy. Use the resources eBay itself has to offer. There are many links through their site that are tutorials.
Anything else unique about you or your eBay business you would like to share?
There is nothing unique as many folks do exactly as I do. Thrift, visit yard sales, scout out my own home. What is unique is how I treat my business. I am a 100% positive feedback Top Rated Seller with Silver status. I attribute that to being on top of my business 24/7 and taking care of my customers on an intimate basis. Every sale counts, no matter what the profit margin. I am OCD, that is for sure. I do get emotional and try to put a lid on it, but my personality does not allow that sometimes. But I will go over and above to make it right. That’s the key to my success, I believe. Treat others as you would like to be treated. If you get a sour grape, do the best you can. If it still falls short for you, put it aside and keep listing. Just keep listing.
If you have a great eBay story to share - send it in. We can all inspire each other.
Read about more eBay pickers:
David and Rhonda Conner