How Do You Know What to Sell?

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.

546373_10151780424615578_789131787_nI 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.

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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.

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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 BoardThe 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 I with our The Thrifting Board tshirts

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.

 

Comments

comments

9 comments

  • Pat

    Awsome read I just have to say I have never meet jason but thru this group and txt here and there I change my business around

    • eBayNerd97

      Facebook groups have changed the way we all do business. Having easy access to online sellers all over the world is a big deal. Managing a group is no easy task and not for the faint of heart, but when it’s done right, with great members and no drama, it can be fantastic!

  • Lornajane Thompson

    Love this! Well said T! I have said it before and I will say it again I LOVE your journey!

    • eBayNerd97

      Thanks Lorna…..I’m patiently waiting for the house to sell as I’m not really looking forward to moving to the cold, but I’m making progress and selling off some major pieces of furniture and I’m appreciative for the extra time to be able to get top dollar for them.

  • Peggy Smith

    Theresa Cox that was one of the greatest posts ever. Learning more about your ebay venture just blows me away. I am so glad I have gotten to know you and proud to be your friend. What you have shared in this group with your knowledge has been beyond the call. I am so proud that Jason T Smith has become a great friend of yours so that we could meet. Much success always. Love you.

  • What a great post!!.I joined the group not to long ago and have already learned so much!. It really is such a great group of people who are so willing to help. I am blessed to be learning from the best…thanks

  • Geri Alexander

    So excited to follow your journey! I’m a long time thrifter, and a long time hobby seller. I have never been interested in doing Ebay full time, but I love the thrill of the hunt part time. Can’t wait to see how you downsize your home. I’ll be watching…or reading, rather.

  • Joyce Venezia

    Great post, thanks so much.

  • I just watched the video you did with Raiken Profits. It was excellent. I, too, live in Arizona, in the White Mountains. I have approximately 24 items for sale on eBay and of course, nothing is selling. I know I need to list it and forget it. My mother and my brother recently passed away, within the last 6 months, and I have piles to go through. It is my intention to list as much as I can. I am a little overwhelmed by the task at hand. I take a look at all the stuff in one of my bedrooms and then I turn around and do something else. I love eBay but I just can’t seem to focus on photographing (which I am not good at doing), and input the listing. I know I need to put my nose to the grindstone and get with it and then I will be off and running.
    I believe I am suffering from information overload. I have followed Steve Raiken for some time, and I have been a follower of Jason Smith. My focus needs to be narrowed down to the best source of information. I believe you maybe the best source for me. I look forward to getting familiar with the way you do things, and I just signed up to receive your newsletter.
    Thank you so much for sharing, and hope I get to meet you some day.

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