You can get a business education anywhere - it could be through employment experience, books, a conversation or simply observing and experiencing life. I’ve sold items on eBay for 7 (almost 8!) years now and I’ve learned a good deal of business lessons in the process. Last month, I gave you 5 of them.
Now, I’m giving you 5 more business lessons I’ve learned from selling on eBay for 7 years:
1. Efficient processes are highly valuable -
It’s vital to value time, after all it’s more valuable than money. When selling on eBay, it is essential that I can do it efficiently and excellently.
I have appreciated the updates eBay has made to the process in the past 7 years (especially the smart phone app, which makes it even easier to list items and upload pictures). On my end, when I've taken the time to set up an area to efficiently ship items, it has saved me significant time. When I discover ways to make a process more efficient, I am thrilled because of the saved time.
2. The extra effort matters when shipping items -
Spending more time on packaging that fragile item has been worth my peace of mind. I once sold a set of fragile, heavy, vintage chalk figurines. When I packed them up, I felt 90% okay about how they were packed. I bought insurance and shipped them. They arrived to the buyer broken. USPS wouldn’t pay out for the insurance on them because they said they were poorly wrapped. I ended up refunding the item and shipping to the buyer, without receiving the broken figurines back (not that they were worth anything). Lesson learned.
Better to feel 100% confident in the packaging than lose an item plus time and money on it.
3. It's important to know your audience -
eBay is so straight-forward in this area. I have to know what people are literally searching for, for a specific item, to ensure I have those terms in my item title. A term could be as nuanced as the correct adjective or as essential as the condition.
4. But it's better to be your audience -
When trying to find the right title words to include or create a detailed description for an item, I've found it's easiest to know what to write when I am part of my audience. It's far easier to sell items I love than those I don't. I think this is the secret to sales - you have to sell what you know and love.
5. You can schedule business into your life instead of your life into business -
It’s all comes down to mindset. Selling items on eBay has been a great side-project for me because it’s easy to schedule it around my life . However, it is still easy to get into a mindset where you blow off your spouse so you can pack items. Or you are too busy responding to customer messages and you miss out on an opportunity for quality time with your family. I’ve messed up a bunch in this area and I’ve realized it all comes down to mindset. I don’t need to schedule time with loved ones around selling on eBay, I can schedule selling around my time with them. It’s about priorities and not letting fear or love of money rule you (it is a tool, after all).
Consider your experiences - what lessons have you learned that are applicable to business? I'd love to hear them - leave a comment below if you'd like to share!
Oh and, disclaimer - I am not compensated by eBay in any way for this post.