Going solo

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Andrea has been an eBayer for over three years and recently took the step from part time eBay seller with full time employment to full time eBayer. Today she shares her story of how redundancy spurred her on to success. Andrea is a full time business-registered PowerSeller with over 11,000 feedback from over 8,000 seperate buyers.

For me, taking the next step to being a full time eBayer was simply that. Taking that step. Working two full-time jobs, i.e. as an eBayer and as a market research exec was taking its toll on me. 9 to 5 in the office with a three hour round commuting trip five days a week and then working evenings, weekends and lunch hours eBaying was slowly but surely draining me. I got up at 6.30am and went to bed at 1am with a lie in on Sunday (midnight to 7am). The worst of it was that I NEVER had time for the children. As a single parent, that was the criminal aspect of how I was leading my life! Something had to give eventually.

I was a bit of a coward, I ‘downsized’ my off-line job and became a Regional Manager for the same company – looking after interviewers and mystery shoppers in the field, which meant I could work from home. All this meant was that I managed to cut out the three hour daily commute. It brought its own problems though. Working from home in my off-line job meant dealing with interviewer problems etc in the evenings and the weekends as well as during the day. I was also earning less than half of my previous wage. Which was good in a way, because it showed me that my eBaying was actually able to sustain me. My off-line job wage now reverted to becoming my pin money. However, I STILL wasn’t spending time with my children. Not properly, anyway. I was at home – but at my computer the whole time.

Finally, October 2006, my company closed its field department and now outsource that aspect to another company. So I was made redundant. Best thing that could have happened really. I now work from home, eBaying full time, but now with the added ability of being able to schedule eBay and my personal life to really suit me. I can now work harder on it, I can list more because I am now able to cope with more sales, I can spend time on proper customer service, my mistakes are almost non-existant (I was forever sending out the wrong thing to the wrong person, or sending out only one when two were ordered etc). I am able to concentrate on getting a real off-eBay website set up and can now factor in some other retail projects for 2007 properly, i.e. book myself onto a whole lot of Festivals.

All in all I am very VERY glad to have been made redundant. I don’t think I would have had the nerve to do it without that shove – I used my off-line job as a crutch for way too long. I wish had been brave so I could have done it all earlier…and by myself.

The best of it all, of course, is that I now have time for the children. We have a LOT of things planned for 2007 for us as a family and I CAN’T WAIT! They are the reason I worked myself into the ground in the first place and they are the reason I realised that my life had to radically change to fit them into it.

If you are working two jobs and are on the verge of going solo, I would say go for it IF it means you can make MORE of your e-tail business if you do. It might be an idea to downsize first, i.e. take on a part-time job or find a job that you can do from home first. Do your accounts properly, so that you know exactly what you need to do to go solo. You need to be sure that the time you give up being employed will make a real difference to you as a full time e-tailer. You need to be sure that you can live off your earnings as well as keep investing back into the business. You need to also love being on your own, eBaying is a fairly anti-social business – no colleagues to throw paper-clips or to roll your eyes at when the boss is having a go! Finally, your foundations for being able to do so must be your reasons for doing so – they must far outweigh any reasons for not doing so.

2 Responses

  1. Interesting article – I went self employed when the shop I lived above was put on the market and I bought it so I didn’t have to move!
    How about an update on your business plans?
    How is eBay trade now when so many discussion boards are full of complaints (mine included I’m afraid) about a severe downturn because of changes of policy etc

  2. I turned to ebay because of redundancy too, with owning a coffee shop with my wife sandwiched in the 3 years between getting the boot and now. With both ventures I have found that I have NEVER worked so hard, but I have learned so much and grown beyond my wildest expectations as an individual I will avoid going back to working for the “Man” as long as I have any say in the matter.



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