Buying a home is tough in today's economy. An uncertain job market and the cash required for a downpayment and closing costs can make it difficult for the average American family to realize the dream of homeownership. But one couple was able to purchase a home with the help of their eBay side business.
How the eBay Business Started
Amanda Batzel is a married stay-at-home mom of a four-year-old boy and had been reselling on eBay for about a year when she decided to start saving her eBay proceeds for something special. She didn't even have anything in mind, but wanted to put aside her profit for the future. She explained, "I decided in April 2017 that I was going to start saving all of my profits in a separate bank account, I just wasn’t sure what I was saving for!" She was wise to do that.
Amanda originally started selling on another site called Mercari, expanded to Poshmark, and then finally started on eBay. Amanda admitted, "I tried eBay last because the fees scared me!" But she realized that eBay is the largest online platform and has the largest worldwide audience, so the potential for making money was the greatest and she needed to tackle eBay. If millions of other sellers can do it, she can, too!
What Amanda Sells
eBay sellers reading success stories usually want to know what a successful seller has in their store. (It is all about watching someone who is doing it right and following their lead.) Amanda sells mostly women’s higher-quality name brand clothing, but she will pick up men’s or children's clothes and the occasional household item. She loves shopping at different thrift stores including goodwill, Salvation Army, and her local consignment and thrift shops. When she was saving for her home, she was selling between 85 and100 items per month for an average profit of $1,200 a month.
Amanda is actually a newer seller, with only 218 feedback. Her track record shows that you don't need thousands of items listed for a long time to make money. eBay is about consistency and focusing on higher profit items. She sells higher-end clothing items including:
- Lily Pulitzer
- Free People
- Lucky Brand
- 7 for All Mankind
Based on the math of selling 85–100 items a month, and averaging a total profit of $1,200 a month, her average profit is about $13 per item. So the little things add up with time, patience, and consistency.
Deciding to Purchase a Home
Amanda said, "The opportunity opened up for us to start house hunting in July, and I decided our down payment is what I would use my savings for!" From April to September she was able to save about $6,000, which was used to cover 100 percent of their closing costs, down payment, and home inspection.
$6,000 is a significant amount to have socked away in such a short time. Amanda is a testament to what can be done with an eBay business when there is a goal, motivation, and dedication to the business. Amanda was fortunate enough to have a good friend to help her learn and grow her eBay business. Her best friend Katelyn Martinez, "Taught me so much about reselling and really inspired me to take my reselling to the next level. I owe my success to her and many other people who have helped me along the way!"
Why It Worked
Amanda says her husband Scott is extremely supportive of her eBay business. He works a full-time job at Dart Container near their home in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Having a supportive spouse and having the family on board is crucial to succeeding in any home business. She also lives near enough thrift stores to provide the supply of inventory to keep her store stocked.
Networking is also important to a seller's success. Along with her friend, Katelyn, Amanda uses social media to connect with other sellers on Facebook. There are literally hundreds of Facebook groups dedicated to eBay selling. Unfortunately, being an at-home solo entrepreneur can be isolating and lonely, and social media helps sellers connect any time they like.
Amanda is a testament to what hard work, dedication, and patience look like in the eBay world. Set your goal, work toward it every day, and continue to learn. Visit Amanda's store to check out her current inventory, as well as her feedback from previous months.