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Over the years, I’ve talked with hundreds of eBay sellers at live events and online via our eBay for Business social channels (you know who you are!).
We’ve chatted about everything from astrological signs (hey, it comes into play), to secret sourcing spots (I’ll never tell), to favorite TV shows (Shark Tank wins, hands down).
But, it’s not just idle chatter. I’ve been absorbing every detail in an attempt to determine what it takes to not just be successful on eBay, but to be a break-out success.
Oddly enough (yet not really), I found that most effective eBay sellers faithfully adhere to many of the basic tenets of running a business. It’s not because they have MBAs from Wharton or Harvard. Most of them have hard-fought, on-the-job business experience and they pay attention to what it takes to play the game—and win—year after year.
So what’s the secret sauce? How can you go from merely selling on eBay to being a savvy and profitable eBay entrepreneur? That’s what we’ll cover in this two-part series. Here are the first three habits of highly effective eBay sellers:
Habit One: They start with the why.
Simon Sinek, author of Start with Why, asserts that the most successful companies on earth (Apple being one of them) focus first on WHY they’re in business, not WHAT they’re selling or HOW they’ll get product into the hands of their customers.
And based on my experience, superstar eBay sellers live and breathe this advice. They’re not just here to sell 1000 widgets or to make money. That’s the result, sure. But, the reason they choose a career in ecommerce—and to sell on eBay—has more to do with their purpose, cause, or belief. And it permeates everything they do.
Maybe they’re passionate about being their own boss, having a flexible work style, making people happy, financing an adoption, funding vacations, spending more time with their children, or changing the world. The WHY is the reason they get out of bed in the morning and seize the day.
Habit Two: They have well-established routines.
I’m incredibly inspired by serial entrepreneur, angel investor, and New York Times Best Seller Tim Ferriss (author of The 4-Hour Work Week). In his new book, Tools of Titans (which is nothing short of an inspirational bible for entrepreneurs), Tim talks about routines being like the scaffolding of your life. They create structure and stability as you build and grow.
That’s why I wasn’t surprised to learn that some of the most outstanding sellers on eBay stick to very regular routines. While Tim starts with making his bed and counts this as the first achievement of his day, the eBay sellers I’ve spoken with allocate a fixed amount of time to certain tasks: shipping first thing in the morning, answering buyer questions mid-morning, setting aside some time to strategize before lunch, listing in the evenings, and sourcing on the weekends, for example. Your routine will vary. It’s not about when you do what you do, it’s about establishing consistency.
Habit Three: They set goals.
The Shark Tank’s Robert Herjavec said it best: “A goal without a timeline is simply a dream.” There’s something about committing a goal to paper that takes it from a pie-in-the-sky idea to an actionable, achievable eventuality.
The wisest of eBay sellers have short and long-term goals. It’s what keeps them reaching and growing, every single day. And it’s an incredibly effective motivational technique. It goes like this: the more goals you set, the more achievements you bank; and the more achievements you bank, the more excited you are about your business on a daily basis. It’s a domino effect of intoxicating success.
Hopefully, you’ve been murmuring “check, check, and check” to the first three habits of highly effective eBay sellers. If not, and you’re inspired to test some new ways of working, tell us in the comments below. Just remember, we’ve got four more habits to cover.
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