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The Seven Habits of Highly Effective eBay Sellers: Part One

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Last Edited 03:31:06 PM by News Team



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. 


Get The Seven Habits of Highly Effective eBay Sellers: Part Two, here.


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


by auntweefaskitchenandcloset · Adventurer | Updated

good article, looking forward to Part Two 



Fantastic advice! Excited to read more 

by lcliff19 · Adventurer

awesome look forward to part 2 also Smiley Wink

by mr_lincoln · Rockstar

Nice post but you've plagiarized the title from the book from years back.  A better source and inspiration would be Napoleon Hill's book titled Think and Grow Rich.  He was THE original guy to produce the self help approach to business success. 




by kenmurray · Adventurer

Great blog Shana,
Will be going to Part 2 to read that too.
How can i list my Gumby Gumby capsules on my Gumby Gumby Australia store, so that they are just an ongoing sales item, without any limits on the number for sale?

by vintagecraze50 · Guide

In a Nutshell:

Love what you do: you are here because this business appeals to you on several levels.

Love what you sell: You are motivated to sell items that appeal to you and appeal to others because of their uniqueness, quality, value, and you strive to bring your customers the best in terms of quality, service ,and value.

Love the process: You are motivated to devote time and energy into a business that you love and especially love doing here. You strive to devote your energies and time here.

by *coins · Rockstar

Graet post. Part two is great too!

by magnolia_dreams · Adventurer | Updated

@mr_lincoln The title is what's known as an homage to Mr. Stephen Covey, author of "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People." Not plagiarism. The blog post series is all about honoring iconic entrepreneurs (including Mr. Covey) and those who are up and coming on eBay. Hope that makes sense. It's a writer thing.


Also, we're all energized by different types of people. That's why I've included a wide array. Glad Napoleon inspires you.  Shana


Thank you for great article for a new seller like me

by mr_lincoln · Rockstar

@magnolia_dreams Thanks for the reply.  I am familiar with the homage title as well as the book, read it but later learned Hill was "the" original guy for the self help literature that stretched over many years.  So once I tied into his work I basically threw all the other self help tapes and books out.  It made more sense to focus on one approach rather than keep trying to pick up the latest and greatest spin on the older established and proven method. 

by tigerlilly700 · Adventurer | Updated

Sounds like good advice to me! I have been selling on eBay for 12 years now. I just recently started taking this hobby seriously! I thought to myself. "You love vintage clothing, You love to shop, you love the thrill of the hunt"! The best part of all of this is I can make money doing it! That being said, I am still struggleing to find my way. I have battled cancer twice so I know I can do this! I plan to start blogging and doing a better job of promoting myself but have some difficulty navigating through the plethora of information! If anyone has suggestions, please feel free to comment! Debra

by drxdragon · Pathfinder

The post is meaningfull

by clubred97 · Adventurer

Great post and great advice and reminders. 

by 82park · Adventurer | Updated



great post will work on these habits


Very helpful Thanks

by psfhobbies · Scout

Ok have a look at the "Big Big" sellers. Do they or do they not have horrible feedback?? I might sell a lot less but I have more Customer Satisfaction than they will ever have.. DO I get  congrats from ebay...NOPE!  Money Money Money runs this land. Give the angry customer their money back and leave them in the dust with your neg they just gave you for not having that dropped shipped from Sams club paint roller in stock..

This was for the little honest guy out there


i dont want to deliver pizzas anymore the managers are retarded and i read this and seems inspiring. Need to make more than $100 a month


Yes the motivation to complete short term goals is important. And depending on what you sell, the purchasing of those items should also be at least enjoyable most of the time. If it is painful and feels like walking through deep snow - that makes it all the harder to keep going. I would think also that being as open, honest and cleary communicating what your selling and all the fees open including a good return policy count.

Set goals..... thats pretty funny!

I have 2 ebay user names, been on eBay for 20 years and I made much more money 10 years ago...... back before all the big box stores and the influx of the same China junk that we see page after page of, that cloggs up searches.

It doesn't matter if I list 100 items or 500 items, with eBay's rolling blackout times and the sales "cap" that that eBay put on our sales that they claim does not exist, I make the exact same amount of money month after month.

I see that awesome searge of sales on both my usernames for a few days (hitting my normal monthly sales)..... then dead, until next month.

Umm.... what goals should I be setting?


Thank You eBay ! ThIs a great  series can't wait for more! So much to learn so much to do to make the dreams come true!


great post! ready to set some goals!


Great Info looking forward to second half

Rising Star

Great article,Thanks


From a new seller, thank you for great advice!

by sgar4056 · Adventurer

I have only been in this buisness for about 3 years and I am finding out that I truely love what I sell on here and that the more honest you are the better repeat customers. I have also found that customers don't want to have to read a lot of stuff when they shop, so I try to put as little on a post as possbale and to make sure I describe what I am selling very clearly . I only know that if I shop for something online I don't want to spend all my time reading rules and such, I want to shop, it almost squashes the desire to continue to shop when you have to read so much.

I sale old and vintage jewelry and I started as just a hobby, but everybody just loved it and I started selling it. I can't go out to get a job because I have Lymphoma and I have to get chemo for it 8 times a year and this is just manance chemo so this selling on e bay is purfect for me and what I am selling is even better, I love vintage and super old fine jewelry and I love to go to the antuque mart and buy old antique jewelry or go to an auction.  All this keeps my head  occupied and that is great therapy!


Great advice

by 20tlc11 · Rising Star
Rising Star

Certainly good advise for those of us looking to expand


Great article! Just became aware that this section even exists. Will visit more often.


Been working with the public since I was 18 (1975). Retired since 2002. Joined in 2003. Started selling July 2005. This is my 12th year selling. Started as a hobby. The one most important thing I learned is: customer service, customer service, customer service. The 2nd thing, don't sell junk. I wrote an article it's in my profile titled...5 Rules to Sell on Ebay. These are my rules I've lived by my whole life.


I learned by doing and researching. My story to this point.

Rising Star

I am ready to start my side business of selling on e-bay, I am all ears for any wisdom that is shared here, and other areas. Thanks


Helped me to get back on track after losing my way, a bit, due to family issues... Thank you for a timely post.


by awesomeshoppe · Adventurer | Updated

I 100% agree and have found the small strides I have made in these areas discussed definitely showed immediate results. The toughest one being to keep a routine. The day is our own and we can easily be swayed by others to do something else. In this business, it's tough to discipline yourself, but we must dig down deep and treat what we do with the respect it deserves. It's not a past time, it's our job, whether it is a part time or full time one. When we show others how much we respect what we do, I feel others will show the respect in return for what we chose to do. Good luck E-bay sellers!! Let's keep on keepin' on Smiley Happy


Thanks for the great artcle! I can't wait to read the next one!

by free5611 · Adventurer

Thank You, Too, For This Insightful Input.  I'm Fairly New On eBay, And Still Trying To Find My Way.  I Have Been Stagnant In Sells For Months Now, And Not Sure How To Get Out Of This Rut.   I Will Admit, I Have Not Been Consistent in Listing, And Still Debating On If An EBay Store Is Right For Me Right Now.  I Have 98 Items Up For Sale, And Have Even Marked Items Down, And Yet No Sales.  This Has Really Bugged Me, And Needless To Say, I'm Feeling A Bit Bitten Down -Too.


I Plan On Taking This Advice In The Near Future, (This Weekend) And Will Be Optimistic That Things (Sells) Will Pep-Up For Me In The Near Future...AMEN!!!


Thanks Again For This Forum And Your Positive Input!!!  Blessings To Us All!!!




Great article! Thanks for sharing it with us. I'm excited for part 2

by bodcloth · Adventurer

Thanks sometimes its good to have what you think you know confirmed by another, helps clarify your thoughts 




Very nice article...looking forward to continuing with part II. Thanks!  JAC


What determines you are a highly successful ebay seller? Feedback? Sales?

Satisfaction? Just curious.

Good article, has led me to explore more!


Great stuff! 

by msbiztoo · Adventurer

The answer to the  "Why" I asked when I started many years ago (when we had to write using computer code!) was "...because I want to de-clutter my life and my home!" Making money was the furthest thing from my mind. Over the years, I've made a lot of it...but, more importantly, the things I KEEP are the things I want to see every single day and USE a lot.

by msbiztoo · Adventurer | Updated

 p.s. from msbiztoo....I have found that THE most important thing to a buyer is FAST! FAST! FAST! SHIPPING! Sometimes I find myself RACING to the post office...just minutes before it's closing...to get that package posted and out to my customer. If you read the almost 800 comments on my 100% feedback ratings pages, you'll find that most customers comment on how they appreciated the fast shipping. REMEMBER: We compete with Amazon Prime's 2 days shipping...we can do this! As for me, I'm looking forward to the day when I can buy a DRONE and legally send an item to a buyer INSTANTLY! hahahaha!