Why I sell on eBay!

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Why I sell on eBay!

Tonight I received a message from Crystal asking if I liked selling on eBay and being an eBay business owner.  This gave me a great chance to tell my story why I sell on eBay. 

My story in the needlework business started after I married my Marine Corps pilot husband. I was always doing counted cross stitch and the wives of the other officers would ask where I bought my supplies. I was getting them from my favorite store in Mississippi, where I had gone to college.  I decided to start ordering for the wives and Stitchery X-Press started in 1982.  Over the years we had a shop outside of Denver, Colorado and a store here in Layton, Utah.   We also had a mail order business before the internet was huge and I worked as a needlework buyer for a large chain of stores in New Jersey.  

In early 2001 I found out I was pregnant right before my 40th birthday. We had a 14 year old son Steven.  I had the needlework store and figured I could bring the baby to work with me daily.  It worked until he became a rambunctious toddler and ran for the door anytime a customer came in the store. 

We were notified our rent was going up. We had a lot of problems with shop lifting and bounced checks we couldn’t recover the money from.  I decided that I would try eBay since I was buying on the site.  Well…. Well… Well… I was selling more after 30 days on eBay than I had done the prior month in my store.  I talked to my husband about closing the store and moving the business home.  I have never looked back.  

My world of sales opened up.  I was selling all over the world instantly (if you do not sell internationally you are really missing some great opportunities).  I had amazing return customers and I wanted our customer service to be awesome so we would get those customers back.  We are approaching 25,000 feedback and I could not have done it without loving what I do.  I love cross stitch so it was only fitting to sell the inventory from my shop.  The customers wanted current patterns in addition to the out of print classics I had in stock.  I contacted my favorite wholesales and told them what I was doing. I let them know I was not marking down the prices. I was selling at full retail so that I did not compete against brick and mortar stores. I had some wholesalers and designers that were wonderful about it and other designers that had the attitude of “I don’t want my stuff sold on eBay, that is a garage sale”. Let’s just say. I don’t need those designers and I refuse to carry their designs.  

You have to sell a lot of patterns to make money after the eBay fees, the PayPal fees, etc and so I started adding threads, fabrics and other items.  

I also started searching for old kits that my customers were requesting.  Since most were out of print, I would resort to eBay, garage sales and thrift stores.  I found some but along the way I also found other items I knew I could flip and make money on.  I was worried about selling the items in my specialty needlework store and wondering what my customers would think when I added coffee cups, shirts, ornaments, rubber stamps, home school books, aviation collectibles, etc.  I realized that with store categories, it didn’t matter. My customers could go to the categories they wanted and shop.  

I branched out two years ago when I was given 1200 books from a church I had taught a selling class to stay at home moms.  The books fit Amazon but not so much eBay. I did the Amazon platform for two years and after much frustration, astronomical fees, Amazon being my biggest competitor and the policy that customers can return an item at anytime made me decide to leave Amazon. I am closing my merchant fulfilled account this month.  

Why eBay works for me!  

1 It is easy to list and to sell.  I use mobile to list all items and I can correspond with customers and answer emails from my phone.

2. Sellers complain about the fees.  Have you ever had a brick and mortar, utilities, employees etc?  The “rent” I pay eBay is a lot less than I would pay in those fees to a landlord. Plus, I am selling globally, not just to my local customers. 

3. I can have my own hours.   I get up in the morning and check all emails for questions and sales.  My post office closes at 5:30 everyday. My husband drops everything off. We have a policy that if you buy by 4 PM that day it will go out if we are in the shoppe. I can arrange my schedule around how many packages I have to ship to know how my day will go. 

4. We have turned this into a family based business with my husband helping when I travel (I speak at conferences a few times a year about selling and buying) and he has the shipping part down pretty good.  Thanks Stamp.com for that.  

5. I love the community of eBay and PayPal. I love meeting sellers, buyers, and employees at eBay on Locations and when I speak.  I love having friends on Facebook who are sellers and buyers and understand that aspect of my life. I feel like I am part of eBay and PayPal.  

Devin Wenig, Cindy Sorley, John Donohoe.

Devin Wenig, Cindy Sorley, John Donohoe.


About Author

Cindy Sorley

I am a stay at home mom who runs a very large specialty needlework store on eBay. I am also involved in the eBay and PayPal communities as an eBay Voices Member and a PayPal Ambassador. Www.bubbacandance and www.stitcheryxpress.com

8 Comments

Kathy

February 3, 2013 at 4:39 am

LOVE your story- love the insights on the costs & hassles of running a brick and mortar store- also on store categories ty Cindy!

Molly Jo

February 3, 2013 at 6:21 am

Great to know the full back story on an amazing lady and wonderful seller. I was not aware of all the amazon issues (mainly the can return at ANY TIME?) Yikes that would be a PITA and a good reason to leave them.
Great job Cindy and thanks for sharing all your time and knowledge so freely to all of us!

    Cindy Sorley

    February 4, 2013 at 12:15 am

    Molly Jo, thanks for stopping by and reading about my eBay life. I will be writing a few times a week.

rosiehorner@gmail.com

February 3, 2013 at 8:31 am

What a motivational post. I have saved it to share with others starting their journey on Ebay. Thanks so much for sharing these insights.

    Cindy Sorley

    February 4, 2013 at 12:16 am

    So glad you enjoyed

Trevor Morris

February 7, 2013 at 8:23 am

Very nice article! Pushes me even more to get my stuff listed!

    Mastindang

    January 23, 2014 at 11:56 pm

    Hi Lesley, I’m currently sthicitng a Bothy Thread cross stitch kit of yours called Dawn, I’m sthicitng this for my Auntie who is very special to me, I started it last Feb/march on the hope I’d have it completed for May 2012, but it ended up getting put away as I had an accident so I started sthicitng motif pictures for cards etc. Anyway I’ve recently started it again. One day last week as I was so much enjoying sthicitng this pattern, I decided to search for more patterns of yours for my next conquest, to my delight I found that this particular pattern is 1 of 2, the other being Dusk. I’ve searched and searched and tonight finally found one, which hopefully be with me next week. So now I have the pair to complete before May 10th. Will you be creating anymore fabulous fantasy angels/fairies in the future, not only do I love the design, but the colours work so well together. Thank you for giving me many happy hours of sthicitng. Ill send you a photo of my finished projects, that’s if you don’t mind. Thanks again. Nessa

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