I’ve been selling on eBay, virtually problem free, for more than a decade now.
It was a great run or streamlined selling, easy listing and an excellent history of having people pay me for the items they bought since I sell most items as fixed price listings with instant payment required.
That all change the other day when I went into my newly created eBay account to list another item for sale to help me hit my $1,000 in two week goal.
I guess it was bound to happen sooner or later.
eBay has frozen my accounts.
Just look at the message below:
Obviously this threw a huge wrench into my plans to make $1,000 in the two weeks leading up to Christmas but I find it almost fitting that this happened. Why?
Having my accounts frozen, is something that might happen to you as you start selling on eBay for the first time. Having this happen to me allows me to highlight that entrepreneurship and making money on the side isn’t always easy and there will be challenges.
The true test is how you handle these challenges. Do you curl up and quit? Or do you find a way to get the job done?
Perseverance and resiliency are two characteristics that are often found in successful entrepreneurs and I can’t stress the importance of possessing, or at least realizing that you need to possess and improve, these qualities.
I was listening to a Podcast the the day and the host of the show said something that stuck with me when he described how many successful entrepreneurs get to the top. He said: “most people fail their way to the top. You cannot be afraid of failure.” (Click to tweet this quote)
Just look at some examples of some very success entrepreneurs such as Soichiro Honda, who was passed over for an engineering job at Toyota which lead him to start building Honda motorcycles and eventually build Honda into the billion-dollar company it is today.
Or Walt Disney, who was fired by a newspaper editor because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.”
Even the king of stand-up comedy, Jerry Seindfeld, was booed off the stage during his first performance.
One of my favorites, as an engineer myself, is Sir James Dyson who iterated his vacuum design 5,126 times over 15 years before before the 5,127th design worked and became the best selling vacuum cleaner in the US.
What do all of these successful entrepreneurs have in common? They didn’t let a setback stop from from trying again.
What I Did When eBay Froze My Accounts
The first thing I did was I called them at the number provided but they were closed.
I then tried to list an item on my other more established eBay account (which was against my self-imposed rules but I had to do something) but I wasn’t allowed to list anything there either.
At this point I could have said to myself, oh well… I’ll bite the bullet this year but at least I have my automated savings plan set up for next Christmas. But I didn’t.
I immediately decided that I needed to switch my focus from eBay to other avenues to sell. Since I’m in Canada right now I started listing my items on Kijiji.ca (the craigslist.org of Canada).
The downside to kijiji and craigslist is that the market is much smaller as you are typically dealing locally rather than with buyers from all over the world like on eBay.
Just look where the two people that bought some Starbucks mugs I sold on ebay were from:
Even though I knew I wouldn’t have the same reach as if I was selling on eBay it was better than giving up.
An Updated Total Toward My $1,000 Goal
Most people want to know how I’m doing towards reaching my $1,000 in two week goal as the deadline is looming.
I was only able to get 3 items listed and sold through eBay for a total of $148.98, as shown below:
I have sold a number of items on Kijiji in the past week but I’m not going to reveal what these items are as they are a product that anyone can buy and instantly become my competitor. I think I have a bit of an angle on this items and I’ve been seeing good success over the past week so far. I’m not sure if it’s just holiday related sales to people that need one of these items RIGHT NOW or if the market will continue to be strong into the New Year. We shall see.
My total profit from kijiji so far sits at $485.
Here is an updated breakdown and total of my profits:
- eBay sales: $131.54 (after eBay and PayPal fees)
- kijiji sales: $485.00
- TOTAL: $616.54
I’m getting closer to my goal and the extra $616.54 goes along way towards my $1,000 Christmas budget this year. I have a really good feeling that I’ll be able to meet and exceed my goal of making an extra $1,000 in these two weeks leading up to Christmas.
What about you? What would you do if you hit a hurdle like eBay freezing your account? Have you sold anything leading up to Christmas to help with the holiday budget? Let me know by leaving a comment below!