168: How To Add $300 A Month To Your eBay Sales - Jessica Oman
Jess & her hubby Johann play storage wars in real life! After buying a unit at a storage auction for $230, they got hooked on buying and selling and built a multiple 6-figure business while keeping literally tons of good stuff out of landfills. Jess applies her MBA training and business consulting know-how to keep growing the business and now she's ready to pass on her expert knowledge to help you grow yours!Interesting Notes Jess and her hubby had separate jobs before. They were both doing eBay as a side hustle. They find it fun to rescue and learn all things and pass them on. It kept growing. In the end, her husband quit his job and Jess closed down her consulting company. They liked the show Storage Wars since 2012. When they learned that there was a local one, they went to its auction. They got the last locker of the day. They were clueless as they pulled things out of the big crates. They spread things all over the floor and found some cool things to sell. The highlight of their first auction is the set of Royal Albert Old Country Rose China. It is a big set of a collectible pattern. They sold it and made about five times the money from that first auction. Since then, they kept buying more storage units which filled their garage with stuff. When they ran out of space, they found another one until they ventured into a warehouse. They realized that there is an actual business in buying storage units. So in 2016, they formalized their business. No one knows what is inside the storage unit. The auctioneer will open the unit and people try to peek and see using a flashlight. Then the bidding starts. If you win, you have a couple of days to empty everything out. Sometimes, they bought lockers that looked incredible but when opened, it was boxes of clothes, foods, and Christmas stuff. At other times, the other lockers that don't look so good surprised them. A few years back, they saw a unit with a big pile of pennies at the front. They bid on it. A guy started making fun of them saying, "Oh, there's $5 in pennies at the front of that unit. You can start getting your money back!". They paid $300 for it. It turned out the pennies are only at the top layer. Underneath it was all quarters and Canada's Loonies and Toonies - $1 and $2 coins amounted to $300 bucks. They got their money back. Jess and her hubby keep on learning about new product categories. As they learn more about what sells well for them, they become more selective about what they buy. They now have a better sense of what they can flip for the most money. They moved away from buying storage auctions to more consignments and estate sale picking. Doing so becomes more lucrative for them. There was a time someone dropped them 5,000 Beatles record. All of a sudden they researched about it. Recently, they got 100,000 Hot Wheels Diecast Cars consignment. They didn't know anything about it and so they did the research. One of Jess favorite categories to sell is Ephemera Paper. She loves rescuing old paper. She always gets this weird stuff because people don't think it's worth anything so they gave it away. But there are some people who collect it. They were able to sell a political brochure from the birth of a political party in Canada. The party started in the 1950s and is now defunct. The brochure is from 1953 and is rare online. It was sold in less than 24 hours for $30. The couple was able to double their revenue every year for the first five years they were operating. But last year, they reached the point where they could not get beyond where they are with just the two of them. In fact, last year was the first year that they did not double their revenue. So last year, they started hiring people. They hired remote workers as product listers who gives them consistent, new listings. They also hired a local worker who does their product price research. And now, they are already seeing the benefits of having staff around. Their January revenue was up to 90% over January of 2018. The couple has a 2,000 square foot warehouse. Though it is a bit small for their needs, they make it work. Everything they have has an SKU. Everything that gets posted has its box with its proper location. Whoever is in the warehouse can find things easily. Now and then, they made some tweaks on their processes to make it more efficient. As they grow and scale their business up, they became more obsessed and passionate about it. They welcome lots of cool ideas to continue to grow their business. In the process, Jess has become involved with various Facebook forums. She chatted with other sellers for a long time now. She heard a lot of complaints like there are too many sellers on eBay now. There is too much competition that is why nothing sells. She realized that there is a huge gap in entrepreneurship skills and business skills. Sellers need to be able to fill this gap to be able to scale up and find profitability. She thought that if a seller finds that nothing is selling, the seller needs to learn a skill set. Or there is an attitude that a seller needs to change. It could be a change of mindset at how to look at the eBay business and treat it more of a business. So Jess started to asked seller what they need. They would talk about things like "I don't understand sourcing. I don't understand marketing. I don't understand cash flow." With her MBA and her experience teaching business at a University, she could help sellers. Thus the birth of Hobby Sellers Bootcamp - a pilot course that teaches entrepreneurship and business skills and mindset. It has four modules:
The First Module talks about mindset shift. She calls it "You're not a doctor. You're a business owner!"
The Second Module talks about how to add $300 a month within a few weeks. This is the simple things that you can do for easy wins. Doing so will give you simple success and immediately start adding $300 or $400 a month to your top line revenue.
The Third Module talks about the business skills that you need to sort of scale up and make it a full-time income. A lot of people say, "I'm afraid to quit my job. I'm afraid to take the leap." This module will prepare you so that when you do finally drop your full-time job, eBay will be able to replace what you are earning.
The Fourth Module talks about scalability and tracking your progress. This is understanding what you actually need to measure to know how well you are doing.In four weeks, sellers will have the opportunity to ask Jess question in her four live group coaching call. The course is not limited to what Jess has designed. She will adapt to what the sellers need based on their questions and concerns. Through this course, sellers will be able to set up a system that supports through the slower times. Doing so, sellers can amp up when things are getting fast like around November and December. The course is priced at $247. By the time you complete the course, you are already adding $300 a month to your top line revenue. So the course is paid for itself and then you start to scale your business. It will be open for a few more days. Check it out before the cart closes - hobbysellersbootcamp.com Jess finds it great and cool to teach other people to get to the point where they get what they have dreamed of. Advice, Tips, and Tricks You can filter the boxes inside the storage unit by looking at how things are packed and at the type of boxes used. Are they using banana boxes from the grocery store? Are they using nice boxes from the storage facility? If the boxes look really old, that's a good sign. If you see something that looks like Campbell's Soup box from the 1970s, there's likely to be something good inside. Bringing people on as staff is a very scary thing to do. It can be quite intimidating at first. You are forced to put amazing processes and systems in place. Doing so will empower your staff to do their best work. You will see the benefits quickly, plus it is fun! They have a simple setup for their photography. They use a white table with the sheets and a couple of big desk lamps that come down on either side. They try to make the background clean and eliminate shadows as best as they can. You need to be an honest seller. You need to describe things well. You need to be conscientious. If you are selling an item that you don't know of, you can try an auction. You don't always have to be concerned about maxing out and getting your top dollar for everything. Look at your margins. If you are spending an hour searching upon a unique and difficult item, you have already wasted too much time. Just put a price on it and wait. As a business owner, there are things that can frustrate you. You didn't sell something for enough. You messed up with the packaging that causes an issue and your buyers got upset about it. These things are going to happen in business. You have to pull your emotions out of it. Try to walk away for five minutes and reframe your mind. Then come back and send the buyer a nice note with an apology. Quotes "There is a trill of the hunt every single time." "You don't have to be a professional photographer to make your eBay business work." "Don't get obsessed with every little thing that gets at you. Deal with it and move on!" "One of the key things to have to get used to is the volatility." Contact Information Website: Hobby Seller's Bootcamp Facebook: Storage Warrior email: email@example.com eBay Store: The Storage Warriors Sponsors Norila Digital Marketing
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