Have you noticed my absence from the site this week? I hope not, but if you have, I blame it all on eBay!
I started my eBay business four years ago. My son was two, and I desperately wanted to stay home with him. My husband was pursuing his Ph.D. and was ABD (all but dissertation). He was making money as a graduate assistant, but I supplied the vast majority of our income with my full time job.
That year I found a few Gap holiday sweaters on sale for a great price. I bought several of them and put them up for sale the next year right before the holidays. I must have priced them too low because they were all snatched up within a day of the listing going live. From that moment on I thought an eBay business would be the answer. (Seriously, looking back 4 years later, I don’t know what I was thinking!)
I conversed with a woman who had an eBay store with over 10,000 kids’ clothing items. She was my role model. I wasn’t content with growing my business slowly; I wanted to have thousands of items NOW so the money would come rolling in. I found great sales, and I bought, and I bought, and I bought. Let me just tell you that buying, keeping an inventory of, taking pictures of, listing, and shipping over 2,500 items that are all different is VERY time consuming. While it worked okay when I had one child, as our family grew, my shaky business became an albatross.
Late in my third pregnancy I stopped buying any inventory for the eBay business, but by then I had fallen behind in listing. Now I still have 5 tubs of unlisted items, and my baby is almost 11 months old. I also have residual debt from my desire four years ago to grow my business as quickly as I could. I still have over 1,600 items in my store despite my attempts over the last 9 months to clear out inventory.
My cousin is an accountant, and she is helping me with my books. She said I have to do a physical inventory, so I have been spending all of my time while the girls are napping and when the kids are asleep at night going through endless tubs of inventory, trying to recall line names, and matching the item up with my inventory sheet. It is a very LONG process.
So, why am I telling you this? Not to reveal my stupidity, although that certainly is apparent through my poor business skills, but to admit that I got in this eBay business in the first place because I had a lack of confidence in myself. I love to write; four years ago I should have found a side job writing, but I didn’t have the confidence for that, so I started this eBay business that has gone no where in four years. If I could give advice to myself from four years ago, I would say, “Follow your passion and trust in yourself and your abilities. Don’t get side tracked.”
To be continued. ..
(Read part two here.)
Have you ever had a bad business experience or made a poor decision because of a lack of confidence in yourself?