One of the comments I hear most often when I talk about the items I sell that yield the greatest profit is “You’ve got a good eye for that stuff” or “You know what sells well; I don’t have a clue”.
My response is always the same, “It hasn’t always been this way and I still buy my share of duds.”
I sold on eBay for 15 years before I attended my first eBay seller’s event, eBay on Location (EOL) in Denver, CO May 2012. I met other sellers there and learned that some were making some pretty serious cash selling online. I quickly realized that my $800-1,000 per month was nothing to the $30,000 per month others were making.
I was happy as a hobby seller. Other than friends who were a husband and wife team and actually doing this full time, I didn’t have anyone in my circle who loved selling on eBay as much as I did. I struggled with knowing if I was doing things right or not. People were not willing to share their secrets and I didn’t know what to do to grow my hobby into a business. I wanted to learn more and decided to attend the eBay Radio Live event held that June in Las Vegas, NV.
Mom and me during a break
So I signed up, dragged my mom with me so she could learn too and for two days we sat in a room with 200 other sellers and listened to speakers talk on a variety of subjects related to selling on eBay. The last speakers on the first day were the thrifting duo Jason T. Smith and Bryan Goodman known as Thrifting with the Boys.
At first glance I didn’t think I was going to be too interested in the presentation. I’m not a thrifter and at that point had only been in a thrift store once to find a costume for an Oscar themed party I was attending. But these guys blew me away.
Jason T. Smith hanging out chatting with eBay sellers
For 45 minutes they stood up in front of a room full of sellers and freely gave away all their “secrets” and I was in awe. We were told to buy t-shirts for $2 and sell them for $40, that Hawaiian shirts sell for $50+, coffee mugs and ties were great sellers too. They had a Facebook group with about 600 members and I joined before I left the room.
Over the next several months I was very active and involved in the group, reading posts, scrolling through pictures, absorbing what others were sharing. I would stop and read all the BOLOs (Be On Look Out) and wouldn’t you know that on my next trip to a thrift store I’d find something I recently read about, picked it up, listed it and sold it for a nice profit. I read, commented, posted and was engaged in this group and learned so much…and all of this was free! The group grew to over 16,000 members from every corner of the world and was a great resource for sellers at just about any time of day or night. Members could post questions at 3am and someone in some part of the country or world was up and ready and willing to help.
I was so active in the group that I was made an admin to help run it. I became friendly with one of the owners, Jason T. Smith, and we soon became great friends. Only in my circle of eBay friends would I have ever come across a 6’5” ZZ Top bearded, bald headed, tatted up, Tiki Lovin’, Rum drinking guy that turns out is the biggest teddy bear around.
The Thrifting Boys have parted ways and Jason and his admins/Lifeguards created a new Facebook Group, The Thrifting Board. Being part of this group changed me as a seller. I got out of my comfort zone and started buying things that I would’ve never noticed. I started thrifting (although I’m still not a thrifter and don’t enjoy it as much as most of the members of the group), I started noticing Hawaiian shirts, and t-shirts and men’s jeans and I bought them. I listed and sold them and in a few short months my sales quadrupled! I also learned to price my items higher. I learned how to do better research, how to take better pictures, how to use better key words and all this knowledge and information helped me become a better eBay seller and helped grow my business!
Jason T, Smith and me at an eBay event representing The Thrifting Board
Three years later I’m happy to be part of this team. I’m getting ready to make this my full time gig again and proud to call Jason T. Smith my friend. He was the first person who shared his knowledge and gave it away at no cost to anyone who wanted to join his group, listen, participate and learn. For that, I will always be grateful for him and all he does for the eBay community.
If you’re one of those sellers who is nervous to branch outside of your comfort zone, click on the link or picture above, join the group and introduce yourself to everyone. We are a great group of positive sellers that love to help and encourage each other. But do yourself a favor….sit back and observe for about a week. Get a feel for the group before you jump in with both feet. Like posts and comment when you can and it won’t take long to learn the culture of the group. Every group has a vibe and it is easy to pick up if you just take some time to watch and learn. So pull up a beach chair, grab some sunscreen and be prepared to be blown away at all the knowledge everyone is so willing to give away every single day.