Part time eBay seller, full time job.

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United Kingdom United Kingdom
SM2030
Kudos: 31
Joined: Nov 6, 2016
Part time eBay seller, full time job.
6 Nov 2016
Hi,

Im in a bit of a dilema so hoping for some advice both for and against my plans from users of this site.

I am a part time ebay seller and have been for the last 2 years, I am also working full time with a lets a say an above average salary. I have been in my job over a decade and really looking to do do something different. Recently an opportunity has arisen in that I have the option to apply for voluntary redundancy.

My ebay shop built over 2 years from my garage is doing ok, I have around 250 different products listed, I have enjoyed doing this but have reached a point now where I either need to quit the job and move this from home to a more suitable warehouse, or scale it back.

What to do, any help or advice will be greatly appreciated.
Philippines Philippines
Yeongwonhi
Kudos: 88
Joined: Oct 13, 2016
Re: Part time eBay seller, full time job.
7 Nov 2016
Woah, this is not an easy decision for you to make. This is something huge. Anyhow, if it is your passion then I see no reason why your business will not flourish.

Only if you had provided your website (if any) then we would have seen a batter preview of the situation.

I am only basing this on what you said, that you actually enjoyed listing all these products - and I feel that that is something essential you should keep in mind upon making your decision. If you enjoy it - then you're already halfway there. Most people don't enjoy what they do; consider yourself lucky!

Best of luck with your decisions though!
United States United States
vspringer
Kudos: 24
Joined: Jan 24, 2016
Re: Part time eBay seller, full time job.
8 Nov 2016
@SM2030

Now is not the time to depend on eBay for full time income. As a seller for the past four years, I have seen a steady decline in sales. I sell pre-owned anything and everything. EBay is trying to be Amazon now. Meaning they want new products with UPC codes or USBN numbers. Everything else is hit and miss.

I have worked EBay as a full time business. Have been a power seller and top seller. My sales continue to decline. Like many experienced sellers, I am now faced with having to consider going to work for a steady paycheck.

Keep your job and work eBay as extra income. Keep it in house. Don't increase your expenses. And, good luck with whatever you decide.
United Kingdom United Kingdom
SM2030
Kudos: 31
Joined: Nov 6, 2016
Re: Part time eBay seller, full time job.
8 Nov 2016
@vspringer I am selling branded new products and to be honest I'm seeing an increase in sales month on month, nearing Christmas it could be seasonal but since I started I've always increased my sales by constantly adding new products. Perhaps the US market and selling preowned products is different.
United States United States
vspringer
Kudos: 24
Joined: Jan 24, 2016
Re: Part time eBay seller, full time job.
9 Nov 2016
@SM2030
Brand name, new products are selling. Brand name used items can sell too. It's all that's in between that is struggling. I have several eBay friends who worked eBay full time selling name brand and non name brand goods only to find a huge decline in sales over the past year.

To learn the inside scoop on eBay, Amazon, etc, I recommend the blog, ecommercebytes

Many sellers are struggling as eBay favors China imports and big sellers over the small seller. I had four stores at one time, went down to two but had 2500+ items. Sales declined no matter how many items.

Sad state of affairs. 100% positive feedback did not guarantee exposure or sales.
United Kingdom United Kingdom
SM2030
Kudos: 31
Joined: Nov 6, 2016
Re: Part time eBay seller, full time job.
9 Nov 2016
Agree it's difficult to compete with Chinese goods on price and the tax advantage they have makes it impossible. However, there is still a market for people wanting good quality products delivered fast.

[Last edited: 9 Nov 2016]
Kolkata, India India
OBVA Virtual assistants
Kudos: 102
Joined: Aug 25, 2016
Re: Part time eBay seller, full time job.
12 Nov 2016
@SM2030 This is my personal view. What make you interested and passionate, keep doing it. Even when you fail, you will still find ways to rise above. My all time favorite inspiration is Edison, who never gave up finding bulb even failing over for 999 times. The reason is he couldn't give up because it is his dream job. Your dream job should never make you sleep rather it should make you thrive
Nottingham United Kingdom
Bigian13
Kudos: 2,311
Joined: Feb 21, 2014
Re: Part time eBay seller, full time job.
16 Nov 2016
If you do not do it, will you regret it ?

I know many part time sellers who have taken the plunge and gone full time. Some have stayed with it and are making money, others fell within the first 6 months. The main things to consider are:

  • Enjoyment - If this became your full time 9 to 5+ would you still enjoy it ? When it is your own business, enjoyment is vitally important when starting out full time or really going for it. It may make up for some of the bad days and long hours ahead.

  • Overheads - Moving to a dedicated place is great, but have you worked out the true cost ? You will probably have rent, business rates, water, insurance (contents / buildings / public liability), heating, lighting, kitting out, broadband etc. Each square foot of space will cost you a certain amount per month whether you make a sale or not. Will your products continually generate the sales to cover the costs ?

  • Stock - If you do decide to move into your nice new place, you will need stock to fill it to help generate sales. Redundancy money can help, but so can your suppliers. Try asking for more favourable terms. Some may even back you with extended credit / SOR on lines.

  • Expansion - Selling on other marketplaces (a 'must do' to realistically expand) or selling a wider range of products usually means more sales. More sales means more work. If selling on multiple channels you may need software such as Linnworks for stock control, Reply Manager for customer service and possibly a whole host of others especially if you look to expand into global markets. Your own website can be set up for a couple of pounds per month. It may not be a big deal to start with generating few sales, but it is an additional channel and unfortunately an additional overhead. All of this software costs money. More sales also equals more turnover which will mean VAT (if you do not pay it already). Will you then need an accountant ? Possibly another additional cost.

  • Staff - More work eventually means that you need staff . Staff (unfortunately) want wages. Wages means holiday pay, NI contributions, staff pension and all the other things that go with being an employer. Another cost.

  • No doubt your redundancy money could help set you up and cushion the blow for the first few months until you have time to really get going, but how big a cushion have you got / need ?

    However no matter what I and others say, only you know your products and the potential that they may have. It is a hard choice, but I stand by my first question. If you do not do it, will you regret it ?

    Good luck with whatever you decide.
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