Shortly after my initial excitement about becoming an eBay powerseller after starting to read a book on the subject, I realized that I don't really like selling stuff enough have the necessary drive to try to turn it into a source of full-time income. But I did want to try to keep using eBay as a source of side income in a way that would be enjoyable for me.
In January, I had great success with selling a pair of shoes on eBay that I purchased for a fraction of their value at a thrift store. I made a significant profit, so I decided to repeat the experiment.
I went back to the thrift store, and this time I found two pairs of nearly new brand name women's shoes. I wanted to buy both, but I didn't want to risk $18 on an experiment that might not be successful a second time around. One pair of shoes was the one you see here. I'm no fashionista, but they didn't look out of style to me and they were a basic color that matches plenty of things, so combined with the semi-designer label (Kenneth Cole Reaction), they seemed like a safe bet. The other pair was pink suede and Aerosoles brand, both of which seemed riskier, so I decided not to purchase those and just go with the brown shoes. The only catch is that the brown shoes were a size 6.5, which isn't the most common women's size. However, the shoes I sold before were a 10, which is also on the edge of the size spectrum, plus they were red, which is a less popular color.
Unfortunately, there was no real way to duplicate the experiment, and I complicated things by starting and ending my auction on a Tuesday instead of Sunday (Sunday is considered by many to be the best day to have an auction end, though from my fairly limited eBay experience I honestly can't say how much it helps). This time, I lost about a dollar on the transaction, plus the time I spent finding the shoes and packing and shipping them. Though I've only done the experiment twice, I feel discouraged from continuing it at this point. I realize that being successful in business involves a certain amount of risk, though, and I shouldn't consider my business model a failure after one unprofitable sale any more than I should consider it a success after one successful sale. I'll keep you posted on future experiments.
For more ideas on making side income, check out J.D. Roth's new series on the subject over at Get Rich Slowly.
Self Employment via eBay
Experiment: Turning a Profit on eBay