After I began selling on eBay, people started asking me if I’d sell their items.
I didn’t have much in my store and I thought selling on consignment would be a good way to gain eBay experience and increase my feedback score. I said “yes.”
Currently, I sell on consignment for 9 people.
I charge my clients a flat 35% of the selling price. I don’t get rich doing this, but it covers my ever growing sellers invoice each month.
Basically, I operate my store and do all my selling for free. I make a little bit off the shipping of their items and gain the extra feedback so I’m happy.
I like selling on consignment for several reasons:
1. I meet some wonderful people. I started selling for the mother of one of my piano students. She told everyone about me. They started calling me and telling more people. Some consignors contact me with a one time consignment need. I sell for others on a continual basis.
2. I learn a lot about other brands. This has been a huge help when I go to thrift stores. I learn about the items they bring me. Many of them are high ticket items. When I’m looking in the thrift stores, I already know how to tell if the item I’m looking at is authentic or worth paying the price the thrift store is asking.
3. I don’t have to spend as much money on my inventory.People bring items to me. I list them in between my own listings as I have time. I don’t have to pay out a cent for the inventory. In the long run, my consignors pay me to have my eBay store and all my selling and listing fees.
4. I offer a higher number of items in my inventory without having to store the items in my home. I ask my consignors to store their own items once they’re listed. They agree to bring them to me within 2 days of the sale. (I notify them as soon as it sells, so when they bring the item to me, the buyer has very recently paid.)
I’m trying to decide what my selling strategy will be for 2011. Right now, I have a full teaching schedule. Piano lessons are what I call “guaranteed income.” While my eBay sales are very consistent and increasing from month to month, I consider eBay income to be “commission.
I’m also hearing from several sources that in 2011, eBay sellers will be required to complete a 1099 to sell on their site. While I don’t have an issue doing that, I don’t really want to have to keep track of all of my consignors sales information and issue them 1099’s at the end of the year. That’s too much paperwork for me in addition to the tax information I already keep track of for myself.
I haven’t made a final decision yet. I’m leaning toward listing and selling only for myself starting in 2011.