Remember the Sibbersen family who were featured in eBay’s MoneyMakers video series?
I recently had the chance to catch up with Windy Sibbersen, who graciously agreed to answer my questions on all things eBay. Let me tell you, Windy is a “straight shooter”, who really knows her stuff. We could have talked all day, and that would have been just fine by me. I hope you find the following information as inspiring as I found Windy.
How has life changed since making your eBay MoneyMakers video? Are you still able to generate enough income by using eBay to stay at home with your family?
My day to day life is much the same, but I’ve been able to quit my 1 to 2 day a week job to focus on eBay. Since the videos were filmed I have become a top rated seller and a power seller. I’m proud of those titles! Also, my sales have increased.
A lot of my readers say “they can only find so many items to sell when looking around the house”. Do you have advice or can you share your strategy for becoming a long term seller on eBay? What happens when you “run out” of items to sell?
I will never run out of things to sell! My closets look like an episode of Hoarders! There is always something to sell. I think we sometimes forget the bathroom closets, basement/attic corners or out of season items. If, and only if you have exhausted all of those tucked away spaces, the best way I know to become a long term seller is to start buying things cheap to sell for a profit.
Do you have any tips to share on how you decide if an item is worth the investment before you buy it?
My number 1 tool for what to buy is the eBay mobile app. I love it. Because it’s a phone app, I’m never without the information I need. I perform a sold items search to find actual sales prices on the item I’m looking at while I am in the store before I spend a cent. Everyone has to use their own judgment, but if I can’t double my money, I don’t buy it.
How has eBay changed, for better or worse, since you began selling?
For me, eBay has always been a tool that helps me make money. Not much has changed in that regard. However, I am excited to see more seller protections. Buyers feel very comfortable with eBay, but some sellers have been taken advantage of. Having had a few problem buyers in the past, seller protections make me do a happy dance!
What do you feel is the biggest misconception about selling on eBay?
Fees, fees, fees. Selling on eBay is a business, even if you are a casual seller. I hear and see online lots of complaints that eBay’s fees are too high to make money. I say it isn’t so. If you carefully list your items in regard to “extras” the fees are very reasonable. Consider that eBay pays for advertising, marketing, web hosting and MORE to be a household name. I doubt any casual seller could match the visibility eBay provides for less than they pay in fees.
To date, what item has been your biggest surprise? Selling or not selling?
I always tell the story of the mildewed windbreaker! I found a famous brand windbreaker in excellent condition at a thrift shop. It was priced at a couple of dollars. When I got to the register I noticed some tiny black dots, so I asked for a discount. I got it home and the spots would not come out! Forging ahead, I decided to play up the stains. I figured it couldn’t hurt. I was shocked when it sold well above my “double your money” goal.
Between me, you and my readers, is there currently an item in your house that you would just LOVE to sell on eBay, but can’t because it would upset one of your family members?
Uh, YES! I would love to sell my stepson’s video game consoles and game collection. My stepdaughter has a guitar she rarely uses, and I have some trinkets in the family shadow box that would probably sell well. Nothing is safe from my eBay eyes!! Bwahahahaha
I’m happy to share that since the eBay Money Makers series, Windy has also been added to our eBay Parent Panel. I think we all agree – she is a valued member and appreciate what she brings to the group.
I’d like to thank Windy for taking the time to answer my questions. You can follow Windy on her own blog at WindyLou.com.
I wrote this blog post as a member of the eBay Parent Panel. I hold a compensated position with eBay. Opinions expressed are still my own and always honest.