|"You do WHAT for a living?!??!"|
Anonymous brought up an interesting subject on yesterday's post. S/he is hesitant to share that they sell online, because they have gotten mixed reactions in the past. I will admit, several years ago, I knew of two people who sold on eBay. When I found out, I scoffed. It seemed like such a ridiculous waste of time, and just plain wrong to go around buying people's stuff for cheap and reselling it for high, as if it was actually worth something. (Ok, ok, I was a jerk about it...)
When I started selling on eBay, I only sold what I had around the house. I declared that I would never become "one of those people who buys stuff and turns around and resells it." (Yeah, yeah, I was a jerk then too....)
It only took me a month or two to realize that there was good money to be made doing this, and that it would be really nice if I could contribute a few extra dollars to our household income. That quickly snowballed into a full-blown business that I am very proud of!
Along the way, I have had mixed feelings about sharing what I do. I once had someone ask me, "Where do you work?" (As if stay-at-home moms don't work hard enough as it is!) I said, "Oh, I don't work." And then I said, "Wait. Yes I do. I sell on eBay." She kind of chuckled a little bit, and I immediately felt defensive and blurted out how much I had in sales that month. Yes, that was tacky, but I didn't like the idea of her scoffing at me and my silly little hobby. I felt a need to validate it. I don't go around blabbing how much I make (except here occasionally, and in our sales goal threads on the discussion board), but I still struggle with feeling a need to validate what I do. I think most people don't realize how many people sell on eBay for an actual living, and not just for a hobby. I had no idea myself until I met the people in our fabulous group!
Even aside from people thinking it's just a hobby, I also get other unpleasant reactions from people. I have had people express their displeasure that I am buying up items from Goodwill that are intended for less fortunate people and using those items for my own financial gain. Well yes, I am buying items from Goodwill and reselling them for my own financial gain. That's called running a business. And no, I don't think the items at Goodwill are specifically intended for less fortunate people. Goodness knows there's enough there for everyone.
Another reaction I get is people belittling the work I put into this. I've had people actually get annoyed with me when I celebrate an exciting sale, because they think I don't work hard, or that I don't deserve it. They think it's not fair that they work harder than I do and make less money. I am extremely fortunate to have been able to find an exciting job that I love that allows me to stay at home with my kids. I understand it's not for everyone. I also understand their frustration that they've paid oodles of money for college degrees to get jobs that pay less than what I make, and I didn't have to shell out those big bucks. But ya know ... We all choose our own paths in life.
So I guess now that I've babbled on long enough, I'll address the actual question. Basically, I don't go out of my way to tell people what I do, but I don't hide it if they ask. I try really hard not to feel defensive when I see them snicker or roll their eyes or blow it off as a silly thing, but that's not easy. Once they see that my eBay business has paid for our entire Christmas, or for our entire week-long family vacation, then maybe they'll realize that it's a valid career choice. But I won't be dwelling on it then. I'll be lounging poolside :)