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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Feeding the Addiction

We were talking on our eBay Underground Facebook Group over the weekend about how long we're awake in the morning before we get on the computer to check our sales. I had to laugh at some of the responses! I was so relieved though, because I thought I was the only one who couldn't get my day started without a little eBay. Most of our members admitted that they get a cup of coffee and sit down at the computer first thing. I don't drink coffee, so I skip that part and head straight to the computer.

Then the conversation turned to discussing whether this is a good thing or not ... this first-thing-in-the-morning addiction. I am completely comfortable using the word "addiction," because for many of us, that's what it is. There have been mornings where I wasn't able to get to the computer first thing, and my day just felt all wrong until I was able to get online. There are those of you who MUST have your coffee before starting your day, or you just can't function right. There are those of us who MUST check our eBay activity before starting our day, or we just can't function right.  Then there are those of you who require both, but that's a completely different level of addiction that I just can't comprehend. :D

Is this level of addiction good? I think it is, to a certain extent. Let's break it down a bit into the different types of sellers.

There are part-time hobby sellers. They sell old, unwanted stuff from around their house. They have no long-term eBay goals, they aren't looking to build up their feedback. They just want their stuff out of the house, and a few extra bucks in their pocket. Maybe it's not essential that they check their eBay activity first thing in the morning, but it's probably fun. They look forward to seeing if anything happened while they were sleeping, just because they want to.

There are full-time hobby sellers. They buy to resell, and they do it a lot. But their eBay income is not required to support their household. I fall into this category. I really love selling on eBay. I spend many many hours a week on it. If I'm honest about the number of late night hours I spend on eBay, I could probably fill up a full-time time card. But my eBay earnings are not required to support our household. I mostly sell for fun money: restaurant meals, extra clothes, books, big ticket items (the treadmill, for example)... All stuff we wouldn't be able to afford without my eBay income, but certainly not necessities that make my eBay income a requirement.

There are also full-time business sellers. They buy to resell, and they do it a lot, but their eBay income is their lifeblood. They either contribute heavily to or solely support the household.

I think both of these later groups really need to keep on top of their eBay activity. It is important for both groups to build up their feedback, to keep their customers happy. We need to get those questions answered promptly. We need to get offers answered quickly. We need to ship packages out right away. In order to do these things in a timely manner, we really need to keep tabs on our eBay activity at all times. For "normal" folks, eight hours away from eBay while they sleep is a long time. I'm sure most of us check on our stores several times a day. A lot can happen in those eight hours while we sleep (or four or five hours for those of us who are night owls).

I'm going off on a rabbit trail again, but what I'm getting at is this:  That conversation has given me some food for thought. Is it really necessary for me to spend SO MANY hours on eBay? Technically, no. I do spend more time than I really need to doing eBay-related things. But we do want to spend as many PRODUCTIVE eBay hours as we can spare, if we want to build up our businesses.

Devoting time to our businesses is definitely necessary. Just be sure to use that time wisely. Be productive.

What do you think? Is it necessary or healthy to spend so many hours on eBay? Or am I just making excuses for the embarrassing number of hours I spend online?  Leave us some thoughts in the comments below!


  1. Like you I spend a lot of time on eBay, but I also spend time learning on how to promote and market my store. I use Twitter, a blog, Facebook, and other venues...I am not always consistent at promoting, but hope to find a balance on listing and promoting, trying to figure out what works and what doesn't...its all trail and error. Thanks for this great post!

  2. I don't think that you spend too many hours. I spend many hours too. We are not JUST business owners, we are the advertising department, the purchasing department, the shipping department, the customer service department, the accounting department and the research department! How many times can you type department in one sentence??

  3. @ Tina :) Isn't that the truth!

  4. I really appreciate everything that has been said regarding a possible obsession with checking in on our ebay stats. I also want to add that by paying attention to the fluctuations we can begin to learn the patterns of our shoppers; that is as important a tool as any!