What eBay Sellers Love About eBay
eBay sellers have our own lifestyle, values, and culture. Even though we haven't met each other in person, we have share attitudes, values, goals, and a lifestyle that characterizes us. I asked a few sellers on my Facebook Group of over 25,000 eBay sellers worldwide for their input about what they think of the eBay reseller's corporate culture and found that there were several distinct reasons people love selling on eBay.
Keep in mind it isn't always about the money. eBay is about loving what you do and wanting to get up every day and do it. Sure, some tasks like taking photos and bookkeeping are tedious, but the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. Most people who gravitate to eBay stick with it because they love the concept creating money from unwanted items, helping another person find something they have been looking for, and the entrepreneurial aspect of working from home running a business built from a passion for the work.
Love Re-Homing Items
I personally love eBay because I love re-homing things. Finding that item and thinking, "Somebody is going to love this!" And the satisfaction that comes with selling it to someone hundreds or thousands of miles away and receiving the "I love it" feedback. That is what makes it all worthwhile.
Re-homing, recycling, up-cycling, and repurposing are very popular trends right now. For example, visit Pinterest for a plethora of ideas about repurposing everything from clothing to old books. Just because an item no longer serves you, doesn't mean it won't serve anyone. The repurposing community is helping to keep items out of the land fills and preserve our planet. Many eBay sellers are passionate about protecting the environment and keeping the recycling cycle going.
eBay is really the highest level of recycling. We keep items out of landfills, re-home them, and sell broken or damaged items to others who may repurpose them. Some sellers are attracted to eBay selling just for this reason. For example, did you know you can sell broken appliances or parts on eBay? When your food processor or blender stops working, don't throw it away. Sell the blades, lids, even the motor for parts. With this mindset, you can earn money from home, on your own schedule, and help the environment at the same time.
Robert in Tacoma, Washington, flips storage units and has a huge consignment business. He gets great satisfaction from putting an old, unwanted, or discarded item into a buyer's hands. Robert actually found a WWII veteran's Purple Heart in a storage unit and was able to return it to the family. That kind of find makes eBay selling so rewarding.
Accessible to the Disabled
Many eBay sellers are disabled but can still work from home, on their schedule, on days that they feel up to it. eBay gives them a welcome distraction from their illness and the ability to contribute to household income. eBay is a flexible way to earn an income when you have to work around life's physical challenges.
As our population ages, more and more people are having to leave their jobs due to disabilities or health issues. Whether it is early retirement, injuries, illness, or the choice to leave corporate America, eBay allows anyone continue to earn a living and stay engaged in a business and in life. Baby Boomers are paving the way by gravitating towards eBay as a source of income.
There are plenty of active and successful sellers who suffer from illnesses like Fibromyalgia, severe arthritis, Crohn's Disease, chronic migraines, MS, thyroid issues, or are actively battling Cancer or in recovery. eBay is flexible enough to put on the back burner on days when a seller is not well, and pick up the next day when they are able. Or, they can work on their eBay business for a few hours a day, rest, go to doctor appointments or treatment, then pick it up later in the day. eBay is there 24/7, waiting for us to list items, ship our sales, take photos, or do research.
Genie said about her husband,
"My husband has severe arthritis and we have very little retirement. I guess we thought we would never live that long! Anyway, this is a means of income even when you are homebound. May not happen, but you never know what life will throw at you."
Flexible Enough for a Part-Time Gig
Nurses, teachers, students, and full-time moms, and parents love eBay because it is a fun and fulfilling way to earn extra money in their spare time. eBay is a side hustle for many people simply because it is a business that a seller can adapt to his or her lifestyle.
There is a huge segment of teachers who sell on eBay, simply because eBay can be done at home, during vacations and school breaks, doesn't interfere with family time or a teaching job, and isn't a huge commitment. Home-schooling parents love eBay because it provides income and allows them to stay at home with children. eBay home-schooling moms enjoy finding fun items to supplement home education like microscopes, books, puzzles, art supplies, and visual aids.
Parents make the perfect eBay sellers. They have a steady stream of products to sell as their children outgrow toys, clothes, and educational materials. Rather than having garage sales, where you have to drag everything outside and hope for good weather and high attendance, list those items on eBay so they are available for sale 24/7, to anyone in the world. Selling outgrown items helps pay for the things the kids need next, it keeps items out of the landfills, and creates a steady stream of income all year. Kids are going to grow, that is a fact. eBay helps parents keep some of that "child-raising" money in the bank.
It's in Their Blood
Some sellers are second or third generation thrifters, antique dealers, or just love the art of reselling. In fact, reselling isn't anything new. The internet makes it seem like a new phenomenon, and definitely makes reselling more convenient and accessible to both buyers and sellers, but reselling has been going on for generations. Remember Dr. Marigold, the book by Charles Dickens, about the street peddler? Or more recently, the TV show Sanford and Son, the junk sellers? Maybe Mrs. Kim on Gilmore Girls, whose house is cluttered with antiques and junk she resells? eBay sellers are modern day peddlers, but the beauty is that we don't have to go from town to town, the buyers come to us virtually 24 hours a day.
eBay was founded in 1996, so now we are seeing a second generation of eBay sellers. My daughter, for example, started selling in 2012 when she was in high school, and is a successful eBay seller. She was raised with the business all around her — eBay is a way of life is she knows and understands. It is a natural progression for the children of sellers who started eBay early to transition into their own eBay business, following in their parent's footsteps. Ashley, a home schooling full-time mom in Atlanta says,
"eBay selling is in my blood. Being raised in the antique business, I love the art of selling. I love a good deal, whether I am buying it for myself or selling it to someone. I love the challenge of selling things that people don't think will sell. I like to think I am helping people too, like replacing a lost toy or lovey."
Having a family history in the antique business is a huge advantage, and provides a springboard to eBay selling. Sellers who had parents or grandparents in the antique business have a huge advantage over sellers who don't have reselling in their family history. They can recognize things their parents and grandparents taught them about, that were in their antique stores, or that were part of their childhood. This saves tremendously on research time. For those of us who are learning as we go, there are websites and research tools to help identify unusual and rare items.
eBay Sellers Unite!
If any of this looks familiar, reach out online to connect with other eBay sellers who share your joys, your pain, and your struggles. We have a lot in common. Even though we may never meet in real life, we can support each other and connect through online venues. Search Facebook for eBay groups and you will find literally hundreds of them!