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Tips for Teen Sellers from eBay Sensation Nandry Guffey

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Last Edited , 04:35:49 PM

 

Never mind babysitting. At twelve, Nandry Guffey of rural Kentucky opted for a job selling second-hand treasures on eBay.* And I thought Kelly L. of TVChopShop started young.

 

Nandry’s venture began innocently enough. She listed an old Nintendo Game Station that she got at a yard sale for $10. After a heated eBay auction, she grossed over $100—which is a lot for a kid. That’s all it took. Nandry was struck with a severe case of eBay fever and things have never been the same. Fast forward six years and she’s a Top Rated Seller (with her own account), who regularly buys hundreds of pounds of merchandise to re-sell on eBay. Yes, hundreds.

 

And—in her spare time—Nandry runs The Teen Thrifter blog, which is all about her life as a young eBay seller. So, yeah, she’s an inspiration too.

 

Nandry. You are quite the young businessperson. How do you have time to sell on eBay, go to school, and blog so prolifically?

My secret is that I was home-schooled. Basically as long as I got my schoolwork done, I had time to do what I call “fun stuff.” And most of the time, that was selling on eBay. I love making money—always have. And I never felt right about asking my parents for an allowance.

 

Very commendable. I was babysitting at twelve. And let me tell you, I wish I’d have had the eBay option. I bet you’ve learned so much about business.

Definitely. eBay’s been my life for the last four years. It’s been like a crash course in how to run a small business. It’s also enabled me to finance a car and pay it off in two years, take fun trips, and have financial independence that doesn’t require clocking in at a fast food restaurant, or working regular hours. That’s what I love most. This job is on my terms. Plus, it’s opened so many doors. I’ve been able to include the experience on my college applications, and even get scholarships. I’ll be going to college in the fall for Physical Therapy—and everything is paid for.

 

You’re the envy of many parents reading this right now. Maybe we can help other aspiring teen sellers. What advice would you give to them?

Oh, I have lots of advice. A blog full of it, really. So I guess that’s the first thing I’d tell them: Read my blog. It basically includes everything I’ve learned along the way, including where I get my inventory. I’d also suggest that they:

 

  1. Learn from other sellers. New teen sellers need to connect with a group of potential mentors. I belong to the International League of Thrifters Facebook Group, as well as some others.
  1. List every day. It might be easy for young people to get started selling on eBay, but they should stick with it and be consistent. Because I’ve noticed that if I list every day, I sell more.
  1. Make it fun. Teens are easily bored, so they should do what they can to change things up: Sit outside, listen to music, or turn on their favorite TV show. It just helps to have something else going on while I’m working.
  1. Stay organized. This can also be a challenge for teens, but I cannot stress this enough. Some days my eBay area looks like a mad house and I can’t get anything done. If it’s neat and tidy, I’m much more motivated to work.
  1. Schedule pickups with your mail carrier. Like many young people, I didn’t have the luxury of making last minute trips to the post office (no car). So I scheduled pickups, and made friends with my local mail carrier. 

 

Great advice for all sellers, but especially young people who might need a little extra help. Was it hard to stay disciplined throughout the years?

Not really. I was a money-hungry kid. I got hooked almost immediately and started selling full-time at fourteen. Since I was home-schooled, I had a lot more freedom to get things done throughout the day and make my own schedule.

 

So you’re going off to college in the fall, what’s happening with your Store?

I'm counting on my little sister (and parents) to help me keep it going. I’ll be an hour away, and living at my aunt’s house. So I’ll be relying on them to ship things for me. I think we can make it work. Also, I’m hoping that it inspires my sister to start her own business. She’s twelve—the age I was when this all started.

 

Well, she couldn’t ask for a better role model. We’re very proud of your success. Thanks for sharing your story, Nandry!

 

Know a teen seller like Nandry? Tell us about him/her in the comments below. Also, feel free to send this article to your eBay colleagues, and share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

 

*Yes, Nandry had permission to use her parent’s eBay account.

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