Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Working from home Works for Me!

(First, can I just preface my entire post by saying that being number ONE on the Works for me Wednesday post is what REALLY works for me??! How the heck did I manage that? Do I get a trophy?

That's all I have to say about that... on to my real post!)

*This is a reposted entry from a previous Works for me Wednesday. :) I thought it was worth revisiting and reworking a bit.*

**Don't forget to scroll down for the Book A Week Give Away!**

When people find out I sell on eBay there are so many questions... how did you start?, what do you sell?, can you sell something for me?, can you teach me how?

The truth is that selling on eBay is my full time job and it's a LOT OF WORK. I work on my eBay business harder than I have ever worked at any job in my life. I don't take lunch breaks and the time I would spend commuting from home to a job is spent answering emails. I am constantly at the mercy of eBay's policies which can be scary!

It all started back in 1999 when I was pregnant with my 1st child. I had a good friend who started cleaning out her closet and selling everything and she was making a ton of cash. Since finances were tight and about to get tighter I decided to try it, too. At first it was just the designer wardrobe I had outgrown, silver jewelry I didn't wear, and some odds and ends around the house. I was HOOKED. Everything sold for more than I could have dreamed to get at a garage sale and I loved my new access to instant cash. Watching auctions close began to be my nightly addiction.

Shortly after my son was born the company I worked from home for underwent some big changes and I lost the marketing position I was in love with. I sent out my resume and went on interview after interview but found myself in a position I hadn't found myself in before. I was now a mother. Employers were wary of hiring a mother with an infant and I was wary of leaving my new little Bug in the care of someone else during the day.

It was then that I decided to give eBay a full time go. I started out by begging my friends and family (and my family's friends) to clean out their closets and let me have the loot. I lived for months on that before I had to actually source my own inventory. I learned where and how to find barely used clothing that would sell. I learned name brands, what couture was, how to tell counterfeit from the real stuff.

Eight years later I'm still selling (with small breaks throughout the years while I tried other things) and I've learned to adapt to all the changes that have been thrown my way. Now, The Man and I are a team and he, being the computer genius he is, has streamlined our business so we can maximize the amount of items we can offer.

Because of my work from home job choice I've never had to put my children in day care, I've never had to ask my boss for a day off to spend taking my kids to the zoo. When one of my little monsters is sick (and when I inevitably come down with the bug, too) I can spend the entire day feeling foreheads and cleaning up vomit and I don't have to worry that my job is in danger. Sometimes I don't put shoes on all day. I don't even own a business suit or a pair of panty hose and I do my grocery shopping at 10:00 AM.

Nowadays people are making a great living selling on eBay, but it's no cake walk. It takes a lot of self-discipline and time management to do well. That can be difficult, especially when blogging is so much more fun! However, I do know that anyone can do it. It just takes time to learn the ropes, like any job.

For more Works For Me Wednesday posts, check out Rocks In My Dryer!

PS - for all of you wonderful Works for me Wednesday readers that used the Restaurant.com coupon from last week's entry and got 50% off, I got a NEW code this week. If you enter ALLSTAR at checkout you can get 60% off your order until the 20th.

PPS - if anyone is interested in an "I'm not going to BlogHer" Margarita Party, please let me know here. The Man is looking into setting up some chat apparatus for this weekend and I'm just wondering if anyone would show up to chat. :)

PPPS - Okay, he actually DID create it! And it's BEAUTIFUL. You just have to go see. :)

Book A Week Give Away

Last week I gave away This Body to Shirley at My Army of Five. This week I've got another book to give away. This week's Book A Week selection is Icy Sparks by Gwyn Hyman Rubio. I read this a while ago and I absolutely loved it. It was truly heart breaking and heart warming at the same time.

From Publishers Weekly
The diagnosis of Tourette's Syndrome isn't mentioned until the last pages of Rubio's sensitive portrayal of a young girl with the disease. Instead, Rubio lets Icy Sparks tell her own story of growing up during the 1950s in a small Kentucky town where her uncontrollable outbursts make her an object of fright and scorn. "The Saturday after my [10th] birthday, the eye blinking and poppings began.... I could feel little invisible rubber bands fastened to my eyelids, pulled tight through my brain and attached to the back of my head," says Icy, who thinks of herself as the "frog child from Icy Creek." Orphaned and cared for by her loving grandparents, Icy weathers the taunts of a mean schoolteacher and, later, a crush on a boy that ends in disappointment. But she also finds real friendship with the enormously fat Miss Emily, who offers kindness and camaraderie. Rubio captures Icy's feelings of isolation and brings poignancy and drama to Icy's childhood experiences, to her temporary confinement in a mental institution and to her reluctant introduction?thanks to Miss Emily and Icy's grandmother?to the Pentecostal church through which she discovers her singing talent. If Rubio sometimes loses track of Icy's voice, indulges in unconvincing magical realism and takes unearned poetic license with the speech of her Appalachian grandparents ("'Your skin was as cold as fresh springwater, slippery and strangely soothing to touch'"), her first novel is remarkable for its often funny portrayal of a child's fears, loves and struggles with an affliction she doesn't know isn't her fault.

If you'd like to win my pre-loved copy of Icy Sparks, leave a comment here asking me to enter you and I'll draw a name on Tuesday! Please make sure there's a way for me to get a hold of you, though, or I'll have to leave you out of the drawing. :(

PS - Don't want to miss the Spaz? Subscribe!


Dawn said...[Reply to comment]

I'd love to be entered for the book. I love to read and am always looking for new books.

Carol said...[Reply to comment]

I'd love to know how you got to be #1!

I don't think I'm disciplined enough to do eBay. Sure have found some good deals there over the years, though.

Bek said...[Reply to comment]

How intriguing to do Ebay! I'm so glad that it works for you and that you can stay home with your kids, which I think is SO important! Good idea for other moms, and I think you should give it a try, to anyone else who's reading this, because it IS a great way to work from home. I tried it a few months ago, but we didn't have enough funds to keep it going, since we had no access to free stuff. Good luck to anyone who tries!

Anonymous said...[Reply to comment]

I would love to be entered for the book. My best friend's daughter has Tourettes so this sounds so interesting.


The Momster said...[Reply to comment]

How cool that you are first - there should be some special award for sure!
I have always wondered about the Ebay situation. I'm glad to see that it works for you and allows you to be at home.
Thanks for sharing :)

Anonymous said...[Reply to comment]

Congrats on being first! That is definitely a cool accomplishment.

My bff has an eBay business and she is doing really well with it. It does sound interesting to me, but it does seem like a ton of work. I'm glad it is working out for your family.

I'd like to be entered in the giveaway. :)

The Apron Queen said...[Reply to comment]

I started my store, Rick Rack Attack, off on e-bay, but then I switched over to ProStores. Only because I wanted to carry large inventory w/o paying for it and needed to be off e-bay to ask higher prices. My ProStore & e-bay are integrated, so it is great when I want to liquidate or have a big sale. You're right- it's a ton of work, but very rewarding! :)

Robin said...[Reply to comment]

I've never bought or sold on ebay (shipping to Israel makes it not worth the effort) but I love love love working from home for all the reasons you said.

Michelle@Life with Three said...[Reply to comment]

You did it!!!! You're the first one!!! "How to be #1 on WFMW" should be your tip for next Wednesday.

I've thought about selling on ebay, but haven't made the plunge yet.

Anonymous said...[Reply to comment]

Thanks for having a giveaway. I would love to win this book!

Unknown said...[Reply to comment]

I too sold on Ebay for a few years. It can be quite an undertaking.

Good luck with all of your sales!

Bek said...[Reply to comment]

Yes, I did make them! Thank you!

Kim said...[Reply to comment]

Wow did you have to get up at the crack of dawn to be the first? Congrat!

I have considered selling on eBay before but it seems so complicated and I am lazy :)

Anonymous said...[Reply to comment]

My in-laws run their business full-time through eBay, too. It is a lot of work!

Audra Krell said...[Reply to comment]

Congratulations on the being first!! What I really appreciate it that you have a lot of great information. I just saved a TON at restaurants.com. Thank you! I read Icy Sparks a few years ago and loved it. I hope whoever wins it will love it too. Thanks for your story about eBay, it was fascinating and I appreciate you sharing!

Jen @ JenuineJen said...[Reply to comment]

The career you've built for yourself sounds magnificent to me. I wrote a related post called Thirteen Ways to Earn Money with Your Blog but I have not yet developed it to be my sole source of income.

Have you found that a specific day and time work best for ending your auctions on eBay? Does it vary depending on what you're selling?

Anonymous said...[Reply to comment]

thank you for the post. I was just thinking about ebay the other day!

Unknown said...[Reply to comment]

Jen - The vast majority of what I've always sold has been ladies clothing and I have definitely noticed that evenings (between 8 and midnight EST) from Sunday to Thursday are best. Every time I've tried to end auctions at other times they've always bombed.

Unknown said...[Reply to comment]

So you'll be retiring from blogging now that you've reached No: 1.

Seriously about the margaritas. Would 1am be considered too late or too early to start drinking.

Unknown said...[Reply to comment]

1 am? I think it's just about right... is it ever WRONG to start drinking Margaritas?

Unknown said...[Reply to comment]

May have to get the blender going a teensy bit earlier than that and load the fridge up with jugs of the stuff, but count me in. I'm a night owl anyway.

Anonymous said...[Reply to comment]

I just started selling a bit here and there on eBay this year (mainly to clean out my basement/Toys R Us) -- nothing as big as you do, obviously. Do you notice that sales tend to drop in the summer time?

Unknown said...[Reply to comment]

I would love to hear more from you about how you manage your business from home and blog - oh and what about the margaritas? I read margarita didn't I?