Sunday, October 19, 2008

Does This Sound Like Your Business?

I have heard many folks talk about the work/life balance in regards to their jobs. eBay supposedly does a good job of helping their employees with the work/life balance, but what about online sellers? 

I came across this comment from Anthony at AACS Autographs on the PeSA, discussion board and with his permission I would like to share it with you.

Anthony, was responding to the following question from another member:

I would like to ask JD about the balance between work and life, which they advocate for their employees. I would like to know if he feels sellers are entitled to the same level of balance.
I like that question... I like it a lot!

FYI, when we were 100% eBay (just a few short weeks ago) I worked 6 days a week, 10-12 hours a day, and I'd done that for that last 10+ years. Now that we're only about 25% eBay, 75% my own auction site, I've taken each of the last four Fridays off to spend with my wife, have played several rounds of golf and have even knocked off early a couple times. 

Now that my fees have dropped from $5k - $6k per month to about $1k and I don't have all the eBay related hassles, I'm finding I don't have to work nearly as hard to make the same money. Life is good and I'm not sure I ever could have gotten here staying on eBay as it was consuming more and more of my time.

If, what Anthony is describing above, doesn't sound like your business, it may be time to seriously re-evaluate what you are doing. 

As I said in an recent post; Glacier Bay DVD used to be my life. Today, I have a lifestyle business; the best of both worlds. A business that is growing at a steady, if unexciting, pace and a life to go along with it.

If you haven't already sat down and evaluated your business and what you want to get out of it, then I would suggest you do that very soon. If eBay is a part of the business going forward, make sure you are using the platform and not letting it use you.

Just my 15%


TheBrewsNews said...

Bravo! So very true.

Since we began selling more on Amazon and less on eBay, I spend more time with the family. We have big Saturday morning brunches and the dinner hour is actually an hour now, with lots of conversation about the day.

We ship 5 days a week, not 6, and I rarely go to the office on the weekend. And when I do go in to work on the weekend it is to take care of Amazon and/or website orders.

Working harder to make eBay more money is over for me.

Randy Smythe said...

Brews, I actually thought of you when I read Anthony's comment.

It actually makes you remember why you started your own business in the first place.

ms.pat said...

I'm such a small seller but even I have been deeply affected by the changes in Ebay. I've learned that I can now list on 4 other free to list sites plus my own website and completely do away with the hassle and the stress that has become Ebay. My retirement seems more like a retirement now then a mad rush to try to make a buck on a site that become totally foreign and unfriendly to me. I've learned that by sticking to my budget I really can afford some little luxuries without having to deal with the likes of Ebay and without spending fees for almost no return. Its sad when I think back to this time last year and felt Ebay was my big friend helping me thru the rough spots...I was looking forward to my 10th year selling on Ebay - boy, how the worm turned. You just never know what life will deal out to you but you do learn to roll with it thru the years. I think whatever way Ebay ends up - whether Donahoe takes her on to success or to dismal failure Ebay has lost the greatest asset it ever had - the loyalty and trust of its sellers.

Can I invite everyone to my website? I'm running a drawing for a small painting and I want everyone to enter. :-)

Anonymous said...

Many times over the last few months I've said that selling on eBay feels more like working for an employer again than for yourself.

eBay has become more and more work for less return and a lot of other long time sellers are coming to the same conclusion.

Your own web site is so much less work and that comes as quite a shock after years of eBay full-time. Hopefully if things continue to work out as they have been, then by mid 2009 I will finally be able to turn my back on ebay for good.

TheBrewsNews said...

Randy, I had plenty of opportunities for "success" in the corporate world and I accomplished much in a short time.

I started my own business so that I could take my kids to school in the mornings, go to their events during the day anytime I wanted, and be there every afternoon to pick them up. The greatest joy in my day is when I pick up my kids at 3:20 pm.

And now that I am becoming less eBay dependent, I am finding more time to spend with my family which is why I started working for myself in the first place. I didn't even realize as eBay began taking over my life as it was a gradual process. Now that I am selling (successfully) on Amazon and selling less on eBay, I can clearly what happened. A different perspective this year has been such a good thing.

Anonymous said...

I'm putting in the same hours but less sales. Maybe I can find another market or perhaps sell in a different niche.

But thanks to you Randy, Brews, Colderice, etc. I feel more empowered with all your great information and advice.

Glad to hear sellers are moving away from Ebay. Ebay really deserves their just comeupance. Time will tell.

Anonymous said...

so its not bruise any more, just bres!! I am right behind you guys.

Anonymous said...


Baubles said...

Wow! That WAS me! I sold on ebay for over 10 years, and ebay was my life. 7 days a week, mon - sat I'd work 10 hour days, on Sun, I'd only work 4 or 5. It was so time consuming it took over my life. I no longer sell on ebay, and I have my life back again. I'm able to have time with my family once again. In a way I'm glad ebay went down the tubes because it gave me perspective on what's important in life.

Whirly said...

Sounds familar. I started out online selling 6 years ago and eBay was my sole revenue provider, times have changed now and I consider myself very fortunate, my lifestyle is relaxed to say the least.

I still do eBay but it now accounts for 20% of my income and it gets far less attention day to day, even though I am loathed to addmit it! eBay gave me the skills and provided me with the platform to build my company to what it is today.

3 years ago eBay had all the power, now I do.

Judy said...

I'm one of the eBay refugees. When my current listings sell or end unsold, I'm outta there. My own site gets far more traffic and sales than my eBay store, at a small fraction of the cost. I'm going to put the Ebay fees I'm no longer paying into some Google adwords and sit back and enjoy online retailing, rather than spend my time worrying about trivialities like Feedback, DSRs and Paypal disputes. Life beyond eBay is looking good, and to celebrate I've just started another website with full working shopping cart.