Should You Quit Your Job to Sell on eBay?

For some people, eBay selling is a part-time hobby or ‘side hustle’ to earn some extra money and clear out unwanted items. But selling on eBay can also be a full-time job. And it can be lucrative.

The appeal of quitting a day job for full-time eBay selling is easy to understand. Three of the most popular aspects are:

  • Limitless earnings
  • Being your own boss
  • Working at home

With benefits like this, it’s no wonder what so many people wonder whether full-time eBay selling is viable. This is especially true for part-time or ‘side hustle’ sellers who have already experienced success.

But making the switch to full-time selling is a big decision and one that shouldn’t be rushed. It comes with a fair amount of risk, with no guarantee of reward.

Read on to discover eight important considerations for part-time eBay sellers to consider before quitting their day job to go full-time.

Plan how to scale up your business

Scaling up is undoubtedly one of the biggest challenges for e-commerce sellers who choose to go full-time.

The additional work to source, process, list and sold an increased volume of stock can be overwhelming. This is particularly true for sellers who specialize in used and/or one-of-a-kind items.

Another aspect is storage and work space. A small space in the home may no longer be viable for item storage and packing/shipping tasks.

Be willing to adapt

To go full-time with your eBay business, you must be ready to adapt. Procedures and policies change often on eBay. Sellers who pivot their strategy when needed are the ones most likely to succeed.

It is also important to anticipate that mistakes are part of the journey. No matter how hard you work, it is inevitable that things will occasionally go wrong or pan out differently than first imagined

Have a cash cushion

No matter how much of a good seller you are, selling full-time doesn’t neccesscarily lead to a stable income.

In fact, it may be quite the opposite, with income varying between seasons, months and even weeks. It also may take substantial time for sales to catch up with your expenses.

To counter this, it is crucial to have some savings to buffer the less profitable months. Think of this as a safety net!

Examine your living situation

One factor that often pushes eBay sellers towards going full-time is a secure living situation.

For some people, this will mean owning their own house. Other people may feel comfortable living with family members or a spouse, who can assist in the worse case scenario.

Consider going part-time

This option will not be available to everyone, but consider going part-time before quitting your day job altogether.

This would allow for a ‘trial period,’ to test whether full-time e-commerce is something you really want. It also offers the chance to see whether such a plan is viable financially, without having to give up a reliable source of income.

Expect to work hard

Selling on eBay is not a passive income stream; it takes a lot of hard work. There is no ‘get rich quick’ route. This should not be underestimated by any eBay seller tempted to go full time.

Try to evaluate your skills and working style objectively. Are you self motivated? Have a strong work ethic? Committed? A little entrepreneurial? If you said yes, this may be the business for you.

Learn the realities first

Full-time eBay selling may be aspirational, but there are numerous downsides as well. Be sure to research these before making your final decision.

One example is being reliant on eBay and its ever changing (and for the most part, unpredictable) algorithms, policies and procedures.

Some professional eBay sellers complain of tedium, particularly regarding the need to package and ship hundreds of items every week.

Others report ‘living, breathing and eating’ eBay, with selling becoming the main focus in their life. For some, this can cause high levels of stress.

Take a risk

Giving up your day job to sell on eBay full-time will always have some level of risk, no matter what precautions and plans you make. Some argue that taking risks is the only way to progress and reach success. It is up to you to decide whether the risk is worth taking.

Full-time eBay sellers, do you have any tips for people considering making the leap?

Gemma is our all things eBay expert. Originally from the UK, she now lives in Canada and travels extensively. You can read about her travels at her blog Off Track Travel.

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