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The Long and Short of Finding Help: Part One

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News Team
News Team
Last Edited 01:52:26 PM



“Where can I find good people to help with my business on eBay?”


It’s one of the most common questions we see on the eBay for Business Facebook page, and the eBay Community boards. So what’s the answer? That all depends on your goal. You might be looking for assistance with short-term, one-off tasks; or, you might need ongoing support for your burgeoning business. In this two-part blog series, we’ll explore how to approach finding help for both of those situations.


 Where do you find short-term help with eBay-related tasks?


If you’re running a one-man or one-woman eBay show (and you want to keep it that way), consider these options to keep your overhead low and avoid the costs associated with a full-time employee.


  • Listing: If you’re like Sue P. and have “a house full of merchandise in desperate need of listing attention,” consider hiring a friend to help you get caught up. He/she doesn’t need to know about your inventory sources or how much money you’re making (if you’re worried about creating a future competitor). Just limit their involvement to populating a spreadsheet with product details, and keep the arrangement simple. It could even be fun.


  • Photography: If you’re not the best photographer in the world, check with your local art school/college recruitment office. They might have photography students looking to earn college credit for real-world experience. Plus, you’ll pick up some fresh ideas, and maybe even learn some fresh photography skills, yourself. Similarly, if you have an apparel business on eBay, check fashion schools for aspiring models to showcase some of your finer pieces.


  • Social Media: If you don’t have time to take online courses in the art and science of social media, recruit a savvy, social media-obsessed teen to get you set up. You might already have a candidate living with you (on your allowance payroll, and maybe even raiding your refrigerator at this very moment). If not, check your local college/university recruitment office for Digital Marketing interns looking to put what they’ve learned to the test.




  • Packaging: If you’re looking for someone to get things packaged up once you’ve closed a sale, you could always do what Tom K. does and run a targeted ad on Facebook. He was able to filter by age, education, and experience, and reach 25,000 possible candidates for about $125. If you don’t want to shell out that kind of dough, you could always place a free ad on Craigslist or in your local newspaper’s classified section.


  • Shipping: Again, you might already have a live-in candidate who’s willing to drive your packages to the post office. Teenagers are always looking for a reason to cruise around town, anyway. Alternately, if you have a retired parent (like I do), buy them lunch a couple of times per week in exchange for trips to the post office – it’s a win-win, trust me. If that’s a no-go, try scheduling pick-ups with your carriers. With USPS, it’s free.


Need some more options?


  • Recruit your spouse/partner: Some of you might be married to help. Just because your spouse/partner hasn’t expressed much interest in your eBay business in the past doesn’t mean they’re immune to eBay fever. The License Plate Gal, Mobile Barbara, and Amy F. are living proof that husband-and-wife selling teams are a force to be reckoned with.
  • Check into freelance workers and/or virtual assistants: According to eBay seller Dan R. of iBuyz, the concept of hiring a virtual assistant (VA) is a hot topic in his eBay-related Facebook groups. And it makes sense. If you’ve ever read Tim Ferriss’ The Four Hour Work Week, you’ll recall that part of what weighs us down as business owners and entrepreneurs is the stuff we don’t want to do. Maybe we LOVE sourcing, but we’re not so great at actually getting things listed. This is where freelance workers or VAs come in.



With freelancers and VAs, you can hire someone to get your social media channels off the ground (if the more inexpensive models above don’t work), do your accounting, create a business logo, troubleshoot IT issues, or manage your customer service. Check out these VA companies (no, they’re not all based in another country). And, consider companies like Upwork for freelance help in over a hundred categories.


  • Hire someone to do your non-eBay related work: If you just can’t bear the thought of someone else listing your items, taking your pictures, or doing your shipping, there is another way. Consider hiring help with the non-eBay related chores that are eating into your eBay time: Hire a bi-weekly housecleaner, find a regular dog-walker or farm out that yard work. Heck, you can even have your groceries delivered. You get the picture.



You might say, “hiring short-term help will cut into my profits.” True, but if you don’t have time to list your items for example, you wouldn’t be profiting anyway, right? Also, sometimes you just need a little help with the mundane stuff so that you can get to the things you’re more passionate about.


We know some of you have discovered other ingenious ways to find short-term help with your eBay-related work, so please share in the comments below.  And, in Part Two of this series, we’ll tackle the subject of hiring long-term help for those of you looking to take your businesses to the next level.


Feel free to share this article with your eBay colleagues via email, and on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

by *coins · Rockstar

Great article! If I you ever need to hire someone, this is the thing to read.

Rising Star

Can you help me?  I've been selling for about 5 months and I have a recurring problem that I can't seem to find info on or a person through chat or voice to help me with.


On multiple occassions, I have listed a product and the inventory quanity as 1(one) item.  A customer buys the one item but it appears that Ebay's system does not update the available inventory for some time and another customer buys the same item.  In some cases, I've had the same item bought 3 times when I listed my inventory as 1 item.  
I there something I'm not doing when I list items or is this a glitch in Ebay's system?
I don't have to tell you how bad this is for customer relations or what a waste of my time and the customer's it is.
If you can help, pleas do.
Thank you,


by mr_lincoln · Rockstar

I think a better source than college students is Juniors and Senoirs in highschool because 1) there are more high schools than colleges, 2) they are probably just as tech savvy as college kids, 3) there are more of them and closer than colleges unless you live in a college town, 4) most college kids live on campus and have little or no transportation where as highschool kids might be jsut around the corner from you.

by lindyslucky · Guide

I hate to be critical, BUT....

In this decade, teenagers that We are acquainted with, no longer like to "cruise around town". In our city, that means sitting in traffic, dealing with road closures, and construction. The 1950s, even the 1970s are over.

What is extremely trendy in our gentrifying old part of town is walking....yes, walking!! Some adults don't even have cars.

And while there was a close post office office, they have closed, that's what the post office does. They closed the contract office as well. It's about a 3 mile drive to the close contract post office. It's open limited hours. Not after school. And it's a good 40 minute round trip if one has to wait for a scan. Not really a job for teens.

We know teens who don't even get their license. They use Uber. 

And, sorry, but we really must ask, unless one is a big seller, who makes enough to pay anyone? Local teens want $12 an hour or more.

and whose car will they drive? What about liability while they are driving/working ?

We wondered about this the last time a blogger mentioned using teen workers. 

Has anyone done this? At home, if a seller can afford it maybe.

Putting a teen driver out on the city streets? Really, don't think so.


Great article.  Very informative information for business owners from all aspects of eBay (small sellers to large sellers).  


I started out being a one person show (so to speak) to my husband and myself .  I have now recruited the help of family and friends who loves to work hard but still likes to cut up and have fun.  13+ years and 4 full time employees, 8 part time (nieces and nephews). We know have 2 full time businesses from two different worlds one in automotive and one in screen printing.


When you arrange for USPS to pick up, the items seem to get scanned into the systerm faster, plus they are very reliable and will come all the way to the house, even to the back door, for pick-ups!  All you have to do is arrange it before midnight the day before.  Often I've added items they didn't count on and they are fine with that also!


When friends come over, it's fun to let them see some of your things (they may even buy some).  I'm working on trying to get them to model a few things for me!  Some have expressed interest in it if I'm willing to throw them a free product once in awhile.  (Just getting started with this, I'll let yau'll know how it goes!

by bout8516 · Explorer
i think i need some useful articles...
by lindyslucky · Guide

I can't reply directly, just comment, but teardropsfall4ever, so glad pickup works for you.

However, for us, and for many in the community whose posts I've read, the postal service is very different.

 At one time we had a great postman, came at the same time everyday, we could chat. He knew the neighborhood. But that has changed. 

 In our old neighborhood, we have a covered front porch, but there has been a lot of petty theft from porches. Packages, garden tools. It's disappointing given that there is a lot of foot traffic and people around.

 Sometimes we get the mail early in the morning, sometimes as late as 7 in the evening.

 Our neighborhood is hilly, with a lot of steps for delivery. Some of the postal workers resent that. It's not a popular route.

 They are times we get no mail at all. Weather, road construction, loose dogs. Yes, even for a pickup, they can and do not come by.

 Given these things, pickup is not a very good option for us.

 Also, it is critical to get that scan. We miss occasionally. Recently printed postage in correctly, and didn't get new postage label scanned in. Ding!!

by wrthster1 · Adventurer

Great article.   As an eBay expert, my company provides a wide variety of eBay services to help the eBay seller.  We offer a free consultation.


Great article. I am a full time eBayer and I have wanted to hire an assistant for a long time. My problem is finding someone who is as talented as I am at selling because training them and then correcting final drafts is very time consuming. There are two issues that come up by hiring such a person.

A:  I don't want to shell out $40K to pay their salary. 

B:  Why would they work for me for long without wanting to start their own company?


I realize my standards are too high to be realistic, so I'm stuck with endless clients building up that get frustrated waiting for me to get to them. 


I just wish one one of my family members would help me since my business pays the bills. 


Any suggestions?