The Internet is vast with many opportunities and one click at a time eBay has turned into a $10 billion dollar industry which serves as an outlet for many perspective retailers who wish to build a small business empire of their own.
One of these retailers is Linda Lightman, an attorney turned mom turned eBay guru. Over the years she has built a $25 million dollar business empire by selling other people’s things.
This mother of two started her business selling her child’s video games but some 15 years later her consignment store, Linda’s Stuff, expanded and turned into something which she never even dreamed of achieving – a multimillion dollar company which has moved into a 93,000-square-foot office space! For eBay’s 20th anniversary she told the Daily Mail:
“Most people don’t know that the average household has over 50 items worth over $3,000 dollars lying around their house just ready to be sold. But what people don’t know is that they don’t have to limit themselves to what is in their home. Branch out. Make money from selling other people’s stuff too.”
eBay has turned the tide in favor of the little man.
When eBay first appeared it was groundbreaking as no longer did you need large amounts of money for the best store location in town, everything was online and the little man had a competitive chance. Creative people like Linda Lightman had the opportunity to truly shine.
Linda, a former employment attorney in New York City, explains how she always had a passion for fashion. After selling her child’s video games, she moved on to her shoes and clothes but eventually ran out of things to sell. But luckily the answer to her problems came knocking at her door:
“Within weeks, all my friends asked me to sell their clothes and so it began. Word of mouth is a very powerful marketing tool and it spreads like wildfire. I instantly knew I was on to something, so I kept going, until my house was entirely filled with boxes of clothes from family, friends, and my friends’ friends. Those days my house was all about eBay.”
By 2006 Linda’s Stuff was so huge that the business had to be moved to a 5,000-square-foot office space and the number of employees had reached 20.
“I never imagined that my business was going to be so large, so we had to move offices four times in less than 7 years. First we had a 5,000-square-foot office space, then 12,000, then 25,000 and now our new home has 93,000 square-feet.”
Today, Linda’s Stuff makes $25 million a year! Linda says she first became a lawyer because she was under the impression that success can be reached only by taking the traditional route. However, she reveals that she has discovered the importance of doing what makes you cheerful. If you do what you love and love what you do you’ll never work a day in your life. Linda never believed that until she founded Linda’s Stuff. And she’s not stingy when it comes to sharing her knowledge.
Here are her top tips if you wish to take a shot at selling on eBay:
1. Pick a great user ID.
“I chose Linda’s Stuff simply because at the time I was only selling my stuff so it seemed like the logical name. Had I known then, I would have chosen more wisely.”
“You might be familiar with the product, but it’s important to educate yourself about the market. Ask yourself if there’s a market for the item you’re trying to sell.”
2. Good quality images and detailed descriptions.
“Pictures sell. Remember that the potential buyer cannot see or touch the item so he or she needs to rely on your image. Also, make sure the description is impeccable. Pictures are great, but you need a great description as well. Write the perfect title. Don’t waste the 80-character limit and make sure you include the most important details that buyers would search for.”
3. Reliability is what makes them come back for more.
According to Linda, a good product will make the customers buy an item, but a prompt service will make them come back for more.
4. Pay attention to customer service.
“Even if you include all the information in your description, the buyer often wants to know additional things. Provide them the information and remember the good old the-customer-is-always-right rule.”
5. Think outside the box.
Linda advises you to think outside the box and have fun while building your eBay store.