10 Tips for Going eBay Full Time – How to Transition from Part Time or a Hobby
Articles,  Blog

10 Tips for Going eBay Full Time – How to Transition from Part Time or a Hobby

hey you BAE friends it’s Susanne a Wells
thank you for coming back for another video and I want to talk to you about
how to transition your part-time or hobby eBay business to a full-time
income stream so you’ll want to stick around for this whole video because all
of these tips are important also if you have recently lost your job and
downsized and didn’t have a choice you were kind of thrown into this these tips
will help you to obviously if you’ve lost your job you haven’t had the luxury
of planning for this but a lot of this information will help you also if you
are transitioning into retirement soon I talked to a lot of people who are in
this position of knowing they’re gonna retire in two or three years and they
want a business set up for them when they retire so that they can have fun
and produce income from home and have it be a business where it can be done on
their time frame their schedule so first of all I’ve got my handy notepad the
very first thing you want to do and you might want to pause this video and get a
pen and paper and write these down because these are kind of an order of
what you need to think through before you go full-time so number one is
evaluate your numbers I have a video that I’ll put a link to above that
explains exactly how to evaluate your numbers and know what you’re making you
really need to know your average profit per item and what your sell through rate
is and that video explains everything but you need to know where you are now
so that you’ll know where you want to go if you you can’t improve what you don’t
measure so it’s really important to know your numbers also if you’ll be able to
survive on this income and how you can scale it up to produce what you need for
your monthly expenses or savings or whatever you want to do with it number
two very important evaluate the benefits you will lose when you leave your
full-time job so that can be insurance it can be vacation time
it can be sick pay you’ve got to evaluate what you’re going to give up
when you make this transition and health insurance is the most difficult thing to
leave behind when I started eBay full time I didn’t have a choice
I was just thrown into this because I lost my jobs so you want to look at
options of what you can do there and it’s very difficult if you have a family
to support if you’ve got two or three kids or more or even one and you’re
gonna have to figure out health insurance so that’s a tough thing right
now but you need to investigate that to figure out what you’re gonna do very
important also number three is you want to get your family on board it’s very
important and that everybody in the household understands what’s going on
that this is gonna be mom or dad’s new full-time job they need the time and the
space to be left alone to do it and everybody needs to be on board so
unfortunately a lot of sellers do have the issue of their spouse is not
supportive of this business and that’s really tough so perhaps if that’s you
work up the numbers and show them you know this this will work I’ve done the
math I know this can work and you know present your case like you’re an
attorney in court that you know here’s what I want to do here’s how the numbers
work and you know try to get them on board a lot of people are resistant to
their spouse doing this full-time because they just don’t understand it
they don’t have the passion for it and they don’t understand how it works and
they just have a hard time believing that you can go out and buy junk and
resell it for a living so I have a lot of success stories on my youtube channel
I have a playlist with other sellers that I’ve interviewed as well as on my
blog so you know reach out do they do the research and present a good case to
your spouse to try to get them on board with this and you know one thing you
might want to say is you know they’ll say something like
well this is not guaranteed income this is too risky well no job is a hundred
percent guaranteed anymore ever you know IBM and coca-cola and Apple and
all these big companies they layoff people all the time nothing is
guaranteed anymore so the beauty of your own business is that the more you work
the more you make and as long as eBay is still there and use items are still
there you can make a living doing this if you do it correctly so that’s
probably a whole another video but you do have to get everybody in the
household on board with what you’re doing
number four is do not plan to use eBay for 100% of your household income that
is a bad idea because eBay is like this throughout the year it’s you know up and
down and some are slow and there’s all kind of things that happen so you want
to have some backup plans for other ways to make money you know look into driving
for uber or lyft you know babysitting keeping other neighbors kids while
they’re at work of course that would cut into your eBay time but you’ve got to
think about you know part-time job waiting tables a few nights a week or
you know what else can you do if things are slow and you need money because
you’re gonna be tip depending on this for a hundred percent of your income and
that can be really scary it’s very anxiety-producing to know that
you can’t pay your electric bill til somebody else buy something on eBay and
that is not a good way to live so if you’re good at writing there’s all kind
of jobs you can do on sites like up work or Fiverr if you’re good at photo
editing or you know photography or there’s all kind of things you can do
through upwork.com or fiber comm to use your other skills to make money from
home at your convenience so you know look into those things don’t expect to
just do eBay 100% and that’s your only income that’s a
very dangerous plan so don’t do that number five is create a support system
this is very important to have moral support and to be with other like-minded
people who also earn their living on eBay I did not have this when I started
which is one reason I have this huge Facebook group is I created a community
for myself because there just wasn’t much around back then to network with
other sellers and it’s really important to keep your morale up and to be able to
interact in person with other people who understand the way you have to earn a
living so there are meetup groups look those up
you know join those go to those just to be around other sellers my mastermind
groups we are loving that you’ve got three or four other sellers in there
with you we meet every week and we discuss the pains of this business our
successes or failures how to move on how to do new things it’s very helpful if
you don’t have a support system YouTube is great you know when you’re commenting
on videos with other people but it’s not the same as meeting somebody or
interacting in person you could do Skype you could do FaceTime zoom all these
ways that you can actually see another person and interact with them it’s
really helpful and it keeps your morale up because we all get discouraged we all
have bad days and if you don’t have a good support
system of people who understand the way you earn a living and the way your life
is this is gonna be very very difficult also there’s coaching if you have a
coach that you meet with once a week to help help you stay on track and keep you
accountable for doing what you’re supposed to be doing that is also very
helpful Facebook my facebook group is great but that’s not the same as an
in-person ebay buddy or ebay group and there can be a lot of drama on these
groups that just you know are huge time-suck and hurt your morale so just
think about what that you can network with other sellers
in person to help keep your morale up and to grow your business okay number
six create a schedule think about what your
day is gonna be like because if you’ve got kids and if they’ve got school and
activities or if you’re a caregiver or you know whatever you’re doing if you’re
on a farm and you’ve got livestock to take care of or if you already have
another part-time job lined up you have to figure out when you’re gonna do your
eBay work and it’s very helpful to have a schedule you don’t want to just go
into this and say I’m gonna work on eBay ten hours a day because that’s not gonna
work you know figure out like when I was selling on eBay full-time and my kids
were in school I would get him up in the morning get him off onto the bus and I
would work on my business either and go to thrift stores during the time before
they got home or I would do my listing I would be there for them when they got
home off the bus we would do homework their activities dinner they would go to
bed around 8:00 and then I would work another three or four hours before I
went to bed I was fortunate enough to where they would go to their dad’s every
other weekend so I had those times to really I would
work 1214 hours a day because I had the time without any distractions or
interruptions to do that so you have to plan out when you’re gonna do your work
also a schedule is very help for helpful for people who aren’t so great at
working at home it sounds wonderful but a lot of people are not cut out for it
they get bored very easily they need to get out and be doing things and if you
are not a work at home person there’s a lot of distractions at home there’s the
pets there’s doing the laundry and getting meals made and the kids and all
that you might want to consider going somewhere else to work you know go to
the library use their computers what I have done before is when I was living
with family a couple years ago when I was in transition I would take all my
pictures and do my measurements on my items and then I would I would have
that all written down and then I would go to the library and just sit there and
input everything and then after a while I got to the point where I just took
stuff to the library with me after I had taken pictures and I would sit there in
one of the study rooms and I would measure and you know list everything and
I would have the items actually with me and that was because where I was living
they had just really crappy internet and it took forever to do anything so the
library was much faster so you want to figure out how you can do your work most
efficiently without being interrupted and you know went what parts of the day
you’re going to use and you want to try to use the parts of the day where you
are at your best mentally to do this because you can get a lot more done in
an hour if you are rested and alert and mentally you know up then you can you
know when you’re dragging along and you’re tired when you’re tired you’re
gonna make mistakes and have to do things over again so you really want to
create a work time around when you are mentally at your best because you will
be the most productive and you will get the most done okay
so number seven is take a trial run if you can by that I mean if you are
considering leaving your job or retiring soon use some of your vacation time to
work full time on your eBay business see if your gonna like it because you may
get into this and it just might be too monotonous too boring not enough variety
you don’t like it you don’t like being at home all day and this isn’t for
everybody I’ve helped a lot of people with their business and it just turns
out that they just didn’t like this business full-time they just only wanted
to do it part-time so if you have the luxury of vacation time or sick time you
can take before you leave your job like a week at a time or even two weeks I
would definitely take a chunk of time and throw yourself into the full-time
eBay business to see if it’s for you if you really want to do it be
cuz if you go through all this and leave your job and then plan to do eBay
full-time and you hate it that’s gonna be a big problem okay number Ruby on
think we’re on number nine somehow my numbers got messed up treat
it like a business this goes back to getting the family on board this is not
a hobby anymore this is how you’re gonna pay your bills so you need to be serious
about what you’re doing and you know creating your schedule keeping up with
your numbers being time efficient and treat it like a business it’s no longer
a hobby so you know you’re gonna have to say no to some things you’re gonna have
to say no when the neighbors invite you over for dinner and you’ve got this
whole pile of stuff to list you know you’re gonna have to say no because your
income is now a hundred percent on you and you know that was the hardest part
for me becoming an entrepreneur it was giving up things you know I get
invitations to do things and I’ll be like no I can’t I have to work I have to
work but you do get the luxury of taking time off when you want to so I didn’t
really ever say no to my kids activities that was one reason I wanted to be
self-employed was so that I could be available to do things with my kids as
much as possible but you know my life did change and I was practically married
to my business for ever still now but that’s what I love doing and so just
realize your life is gonna change because most entrepreneurs put in you
know 80 hours a week to avoid having to work 40 for somebody else and that’s
just the way it is okay and the last one is realize it’s going to take some time
to build this business to what you want you’re gonna have to do what you have to
do till you can do what you want to do and it’s gonna be a little chaotic
one of my favorite sayings is all great changes are preceded by chaos and that’s
true you’ve got to get through the the chaotic part and get everything figured
out and systemized and Jeanne’s setup and schedules to make
this work so it definitely can work but I’d really just want to caution you
before you make the jump to think through all of these things and make
sure that you know this is going to be for you that you’re financially set up
to do this because eBay has slow times and it’s frustrating and there’s nothing
we can do to make people buy only thing we can control is how much we list how
often we list and the kinds of things we list so you know one thing we go over in
my mastermind groups is optimizing what you’re already doing how can we get more
sales with what you’ve already done it’s not about how much can you list in the
day how fast can you list how many things can you get in your store
I don’t approach it that way because you don’t have to I’ve never had more than
500 things in my store and you know I would make between three and four
thousand a month profit so it’s how you do it it’s what you’re selling it’s how
you’re selling it and there’s a lot a lot of in-depth things you can do to
optimize what you’re already doing so you don’t have to just spend your time
being a robot buying as much as you can and listing as fast as you can because
that is not that’s that’s not a life for anybody you want to enjoy what you’re
doing and focus on higher profit items and selling better not necessarily just
more so I hope this was actually ten things that made a lot of different
notes on here so it’s not I’m sorry but we love your comments if you’re trying
to go full time some of the struggles you’re having if you have any questions
about going full time and seriously would like you know you to watch my
mastermind video I’ll put a link to that because we are making great progress it
really helps to have other people helping you with your business and it
can save you a lot of mistakes and a lot of time so ask me any questions below
and I love your input on going full-time have a great day on ebay bye


  • Ma Deuce

    You can begin receiving Social Security retirement benefits at age 62, but your benefit will be greater if you wait until your full retirement age (currently 66 for those born after 1942) or later. If you are under full retirement age for the entire year, they deduct $1 from your benefit payments for every $2 you earn above the annual limit. For 2017, that limit is $16,920 before taxes. As soon as you begin thinking retirement, get an appointment with your local SS office so you understand your rights and responsibilities. These are things I learned a year before I retired. If you can afford to survive without SS while you sell for awhile, your SS benefits will be larger once you start collecting.

  • Hauptmann

    I started in 2001 and went fulltime in 2004. One thing I can say to any seller is never say things like "that's stupid I wouldn't sell something like that" because you'll find yourself missing out on opportunities. That was my biggest mistake and after making a few million in gross sales on ebay selling in a niche market, when that market became saturated and the prices dropped I found myself scrambling to learn what else to sell and it cost me nearly everything just by not planning for the what if scenario as well as being arrogant about what I was selling, not thinking I would ever need to sell anything else.
    Don't get the Bud Fox mindset from the movie Wall Street where he told his dad "things are good and they're gonna stay good" because there will always be something that pops up and if you are diversified and have planned for it you'll keep on moving in the right direction and not like myself where I had built a one man empire only to lose it by not planning.
    Now I sell anything that will make profit, sell on 5 different sites and have plans to design and operate my own ecommerce site again in 2018.
    Newbies, listen to everything Suzanne is telling you and if you have the money to get her coaching, do it.
    When I started youtube and self help books didn't exist on selling online because it was all new.

  • M W

    Thank you for your inspiration. I would love to hear more about your story. MY spouse ran away with his co-worker. Lol. I'd love to now tell his co-worker NOPE..NO RETURNS!!! But, it is crazy scary trying to stabilize the boat after someone jumps off!

  • Victoria Schless

    If someone told me a decade ago that I could work 80 hours a week for myself instead of 40 hours for someone else, I still would have done it in a heartbeat. And yes to the chaos. And numbers. I can't math. Don't even get me started. great vid, as always.

  • Vic Godard

    Suzanne, I love your videos. You offer such intelligent insight and kind, generous advise. I have just started 3 weeks ago selling items from my own home to build an investment base for my future purchases for resale. That way, my starting investment will be virtually zero. This is stuff that I would have sent to the thrift store a few years back. Thankfully, my items are moving and eBay increased my selling limits from 10 to 50 in only 2 weeks. My plan is to build up and learn the business while on an fixed income. That would make my jump into full time selling a little more certain. Thank you again for all the help you give us all newbies.

  • Beach Town Reseller

    This is the most honest and thorough video I’ve ever seen about going full time. Especially the part about never making it your households primary income. The fluctuations are just too stressful, and are no way to live. Thank you for always leaving out the hype, and the “list 100 items per day” bull.

  • Cindee Khakdoust

    Thank you, I love working at home because I get to create something. This answers so many questions for me, and I appreciate it! I am learning and struggle with "what to buy" so I just work with what I have to get sales while I figure out what to buy. I run auctions, I run a sale every weekend, I adjust my prices up and put best offer. Creating systems, and looking for a job, all this stuff does work, but I sell maybe 2 items a week…lol

  • MRS_D3N1M X

    Every video you put out only increases the amount of respect I have for you, your many years of experience selling on ebay, and your efforts to educate other sellers on their ebay journey. Thank you for everything you do. This video should be required viewing before anyone meets with their spouse to discuss going full time, and absolutely required before anyone quits their current job.

  • ThriftDanceEatRepeat

    I quit my job 3 weeks ago to focus on reselling. My struggles right now is the loneliness of this job, long hours, setting a schedule, being disciplined. My biggest mistake is that I didn't leave enough cushion for expenses that can incur when sales are slow so now I'm looking to get a full time or part time job to get a steady stream of income. Part of me feels like I failed but it gave me an insight on the realities of reselling and what to expect if I want to go full time again in the future. Thanks for this video.

  • 5797029

    Another very informative video. I was forced into early retirement in 2012. My wife and I were struggling paying the bills with income from Social Security for both of us and my pension. I found ebay in January 2015 hoping to supplement our incomes with an extra thousand or two per month. Right from the start sales took care of that goal. Then we refined a few things and ebay took on a life of its own, growing so fast I have trouble keeping up with it most of the time. I have the support of my family which is very important to our success as our profits almost double that of our retirement incomes. I have a flexible schedule working around 40 hours per week. Mostly early mornings and late nights. Until you find the right ebay formula, don't quit your day job. Then be prepared to adapt to the market. We specialize in the "dreaded" mens shirts and a hard line of products. LOL. Mike S.

  • tertodmcl

    Suzanne would you consider doing a video on clothing brands and or shoe brands that are popular in the UK to buy from us as US eBay sellers and/or also for Australia and Canada. Thanks so much for all your helpful information

  • Cynthia Whitaker

    Thank you SO much for all your helpful videos. Merci beaucoup from Louisiana!

  • Faye Roberson

    Time management is key and you have to list everyday whether you sell or not. Stay on top of all messages, people are your business!!!

  • Donna O'Shaughnessy

    I started Ebay selling as a part time job 9 months ago, only needed an extra $500 income a month to meet our obligations. I reached that after three months. Because my husband and I have choosen this very simple homesteading life where our annual needs are met by less than $25,000 a year (we produce nearly 90% of all our own food) I don't need to do Ebay full time, but it's great to know that I can…if our circumstances change.

  • The Senior Thrifter

    Totally agree. I have been doing Ebay full time for 3 years and I work a part time job for those slow times. Depending upon where you live, there are food demos that can be 1 day to 5 days a week. CDS, a contracted food demo co. inside of Costco pays fairly well. Pay varies according to the cost of living in your area. Sam's Club also has demo people. My friend makes a living dog sitting and dog walking full time. House sitting is another option. If you drive or travel quite a bit, Roadie is another option. You deliver anything from dogs to lamps to important papers, etc. and get paid. Think about it. For example, when folks are on vacation, they often buy items that won't go on the plane and they need someone to deliver it. If you have lots of energy, catering companies are always looking for help. Long hours but the pay is really good in urban areas. I've been an entrepreneur for years and have learned to always have a back up plan. Don't ever rely on one thing.

  • franticbob

    The biggest challenge I have is working for myself but not having company provided insurance. I'm not sure what the options really are for getting insurance when working for myself. I would have to earn at least $700 or more a month just to cover that… Also hard to let go of the "identity" I've built at my full time job over the years. Working to get my eBay biz up to a full time income before I'd consider leaving full time.

  • Debra Kuebler

    Suzanne, your videos are awesome. So informative and well put together. Question: you mentioned in this video you profited $3,000-$4,000 per month, when you were working a lot of hrs. was that just from ebay, or was that other side jobs figured in? I got the impression it was just from ebay. Thank you!

  • Carol Donegan

    Hi, I've been selling on ebay since April and was starting to get 20 sales per month (I don't have a shop…I'm not making enough to warrent one). Since August it has reduced drastically to 6 per month. I'm still buying clothes with the same popular brands, although getting big name brands is hard in the area I live. I don't know why my sales have dropped and I would love to do this full time but I don't want to buy more clothes if the ones I have aren't now selling. What can I do to achieve going full time ?

  • c.t. Coburn

    would like to thank you for advising a part time (at least) job and sharing realistic income (not top line sales numbers) of successful Ebay seller. was beginning to think I was crazy or not ambitious enough to want to keep working or that successful resellers could or should not do that.

  • Pam Yates

    I have found your videos to be so helpful. I teach and am planning on retiring after one more year. My husband and I have been making items out of wood and selling at festivals and craft fairs for the past 3 years. We also sell on Etsy. I am beginning to diversify by selling all the stuff we have collected over the years on eBay. When I have room to put some more inventory I plan on sourcing through various avenues. Thank you so much for sharing what you’ve learned through the years.

  • Oscar Garcia

    Great video! Very helpful information. Do you have any videos on reportimg income/taxes? Im selling in ebay part-time, but have questions on what tax forms I may need for next year or any other forms I may need to file to be considered a legit business. Thank you very much.

  • ReSALE Rafa

    Hey Suzanne, just wanted to send a quick note of thanks for your vlogs. I fall partway between the 2 categories of going full time- I had been making preparations to launch into healthcare entrepreneurship, but in the midst of that got cut. While I’ve learned so much from so many youtubers, I appreciate the non-frantic presentation of your info because my situation provides enough chaotic emotions as it is. Just trying to say you give me some hope and info to show how my future is largely based on my immediate actions day to day, and to not work myself into an unproductive frenzy. Grace and Peace, Rafe

  • Freezer Dweller

    luckily my wife is on board.. but man are the rest of the folks i know not! they think i'm crazy. I think they're crazy lol

  • Sandy Jenney

    You said so many things that fit me to a "T". I was laid off last June and decided to go into this to build it up as a business so my husband and I can do it as a retirement job. He's still on the "trying to get it phase" and has no interest in selling clothes – but he is starting to talk about looking for tools etc to sell. 🙂 Thanks

  • Marcy Kennedy

    Great tips! I think the best are treating it like a business and surrounding yourself with SUPPORTIVE like-minded people. Great video!


    Hey Susan I am 42 with a wife and 2 kids and feel I want to go full time not sure I am ready right now but want to be soon. I know it's difficult to make the jump or transition..but I feel it's something i need to do thanks for your help.
    Ps..gonna get a part time job first 🙂

  • Valerie Driver

    Thank you Suzanne for telling people NOT to depend on EBAY for 100% of their income. You are one of the few you tubers that is giving people responsible advice. It’s refreshing!

  • Fativore Lifestyle

    I started on Ebay when they were one year old. I supplemented my income with sales of things I wasn't using and garage sales. Over the years I honed my picking craft. I learned so many things. I never went full time but I wish I had. Now I'm retired, do a out 30 hours a week. I dont need the money. I just live picking. 2000 a month profit is pretty simple for me. Buy I have years of knowledge.
    I think anyone can do this if they do their homework. Knowledge is power.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *