eBay Listing Strategy: Work on One Task at a Time

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Most of the eBay sellers that I know are moms who work and sell on eBay, or moms who home school and sell on eBay, or dads who work all day and come home and sell on eBay.

Even Lizzie and I don’t sell on on eBay as our only source of income.  Both of us teach piano lessons, both of us have a child and responsibilities at our churches.  So, we know first hand the feeling of staring at a pile of inventory that needs to be listed and wondering “Where am I going to get the time or the energy to get it all done this week?”

Especially for newer sellers, the tasks can be daunting:

1) Finding inventory.
2) Cleaning it up.
3) Taking pictures.
4) Creating listings.
5)Answering questions/accepting offers
6) Shipping.

It all takes time, and until you really get a system down, sometimes it feels like it’s all more trouble than it’s worth.  I’ve been there.

I have been told on more than one occasion that I am the Energizer Bunny, but that’s really not true (you can ask Lizzie……when I’m at her house, I sleep in every morning :)   I blame it on jet lag, but she knows that’s not true…..sleeping is my favorite hobby.)

The only way I am able to get so much accomplished each day is that I am organized, I think ahead, am pro-active, and I do things one step at a time.

So, for example, today I’m teaching piano lessons all day, but I knew I’d have an hour break, so I brought some music with me that I need to work on and I brought my laptop so I could write a few posts during my break.

Every day when I get home and check the mail, I put the note in the mailbox and put the flag up for the mail carrier to come pick up my packages the next day.  I put everything I need to take with me in the car either the night before or have it sitting at the front door so I can have everything ready to go in the morning.  I don’t like to be rushed, or be behind, so I like to stay ahead.  That way, when something pops up in my day, it’s not a major crisis, I have time to stop and take care of it because I’m ahead on everything I’m working on.

As far as eBay goes, I rarely have a chunk of time big enough to sit down and do it all start to finish at one time, so what I do is stop at thrift stores between piano lessons, or while I’m running errands on Tuesdays. That evening, I take pics of my new inventory and upload them to my PC and then to photobucket.

Anything that needs to be cleaned up or fixed up before listing, I put to the side for now.

Due to my teaching schedule I don’t have time to list until Thursday night, Friday, and Saturday, so I have everything ready to go and on Thursday evening, I get the most important items listed (the ones that are the hottest sellers or the ones that I’m listing for higher amounts) then on Friday, I work on getting the rest of the inventory listed.

When I have time on Friday or Saturday, I clean up or repair the items that need a little TLC (although, I try to stay away from items that need TLC unless they’re going to bring a nice profit.  It’s not worth it to me to spend time cleaning up a $5 or $10 item.)  The items that I just cleaned up will go in the next batch of pictures that I take either over the weekend or on Tuesday.

I usually stop at a thriftstore either Friday or Saturday, take pics and then work on the listings on Monday.

This is what works best for me.  Everyone has to get into their own routine, but don’t pressure yourself into thinking that you have to take pictures, get items ready and list them all in the same day.  Divide your tasks up, do the prep work and then when you have time to list the items, it will go much faster for you.


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