I am very excited to introduce my readers to another eBay mom and blogger! Tammy is the author of This Mama Works It where she blogs about tips and strategies to purchase and sell children’s clothing online to help savvy moms dress their stylin kids for less! You can also find her on eBay, Twitter, and Facebook. Check out our interview below, I guarantee you will learn a thing or two (I did)!
How long have you been selling on eBay?
I started selling on eBay in October 2005.
How did you become interested in selling on eBay?
Before 2005 I never even went to the eBay site. I heard of it a little bit
but had no idea how to use it. Then one day at work one of my student
employees started talking about the money her grandmother makes from selling
items she finds at garage sales and thrift stores on eBay. That sparked my
interest. At that time, I just got back from my first maternity leave and
was a little short on cash from being off work for 7 months. Then after work
that night I went to eBay, for the first time, and signed up. As I looked
around the site I was amazed. I thought to myself if a grandma could do this
then I certainly can. That is how I became interested and started buying and
selling on eBay.
What was your “ah ha” moment when you knew you could be
successful at selling?
I don’t think there really was one “ah ha” moment. Successfully selling on
eBay takes a lot of time, patience, and strategy. I made a lot of mistakes
in the beginning. A lot! And it wasn’t until I started to educate myself
that I really started to see success. I began to do more research and read
more books on eBay. This helped me build my expertise and niche which then
lead to success. I think most people see eBay as an easy way to make fast
cash. But, in my opinion, they are wrong. It is not easy and if not done
correctly you can end up losing a lot of money instead of making money. So I
guess what I am trying to say is success takes time. It builds slowly and
steadily. One of the main reasons I started This Mama Works It
is not only to help moms learn strategies to buying brand name kids
clothes cheap, but also to learn how to successful sell those items on eBay.
And a lot of what I talk about can easily be transferred to other eBay
What was the first item you sold (if you can remember)?
The first item I ever sold was a Baby Einstein plush puppet. I just bought
it at a local toy store on sale. After fees, I am positive I did not make
any money from it. One of the mistakes I made when I started out was thinking
all I needed to do was get items on sale to make money on eBay. I was
wrong! So much more goes into selling.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to start selling?
There is so much advice to give sellers. But I think the three main ones
- Become educated with eBay and your niche or specialty. I think the
worst thing that new sellers do is jump in head first without knowing how to
swim. Some tread water and survive but most sink quick to the bottom. On my
blog I have put together a page of legitimate useful resources that I feel will
help sellers looking to educate themselves. I am always adding to this
- Start small and go slow. At first, to gain experience, begin selling
items around your house. Learn the ins and outs before going full force into
- Take advertising very seriously. Don’t depend solely on eBay to
advertise your items. This is a topic I am beginning to talk a lot more about on my
What is your biggest profit to date (and what was the item)?
About a year into my eBay selling career I started looking for toys and
other baby items at garage sales and thrifts stores.I made some great money
this way. One of the items, back then, I was always searching for were
vintage playpens. The big square ones from the 70s and 80s. Well, I found
one at a Goodwill for $10! It was huge and in perfect condition. I bought
it, cleaned it up, and listed it on eBay that night. I knew it was going to
be a hot item so I listed it at .99 with no reserve. It sold for over
$350!!! I love telling this story. I actually wrote all about it in this post.
What made you choose children’s clothing as your merchandise of
choice to sell?
As much as I loved selling toys and other baby items it became too much work
to search them out and store them. And since I have two little girls, whom I
love to dress, I started buying and selling kids clothing on eBay. I
specifically sold Gymboree at a high volume up until about a year ago. I
bought the clothing dirt cheap off season and sold on. It was fun and I did
make a nice profit. But it was a ton of work. And with being a working mom
of two kids it was nearly impossible to keep up with it. Now I mostly
selling my kid’s pre-owned clothing. I also sell for my friends and
Any other tips or tricks of the trade you want to share?
My last tip I would like to share is sell what you are interested in and
what you know. This is what makes eBay fun. Don’t try to force yourself to
sell items that you have know idea about because you will lose interest very
quickly. In addition, customers will expect that you can anwser questions
about your items. And if you can’t then you can lose the trust and sale from
the buyer. The more you know the more of an expert you become in your niche
and ultimately the more successful you will become.