Ebay's trading assistant program has been around for a very long time. There are sellers who rely on this program for their ebay business, but apparently it was under utilized and will be shutting down September 20th, 2013. If you are not familiar with this program, then let me briefly explain what this program is. The Ebay trading assistant program was a way for your to boost your own income by selling items for other people on ebay. Once you are signed up for this free program, ebay would add you to their directory, and when someone needed something sold (and didn't want to sell it themselves), they would contact you to sell it for them. After the transaction took place, the trading assistant would be paid a commission for the sale.
The program had its benefits and challenges, but it still brought me in several hundred dollars a month. It's sad that this program is ending, but that doesn't mean that you have to stop being a trading assistant. Ebay made it really convenient by putting your name in a directory. It was almost like free money without much effort on your part, but this program also made it very clear that there are customers out there in your area that need this service. The question is, where do we find them now that this program is ending?
That is a great question and a little harder to answer. With Ebay's program, the customers were sent to you. They usually were customers who want to sell a collection that they may have or other valuable items, so how do we connect with them without spending a lot of money? With knowing that this program was ending, I started to come up with a solution. I created ads on craigslist and free advertising in some of my neighborhood newspapers, but I didn't get a response. I tried to brainstorm on what I could do, but all of the other options were expensive and would not be worth my time. That's when it hit me... I was going after the wrong type of customer!
The type of customer I needed was one that would have consistent inventory for me to sell. I needed to stop thinking about the customer with a baseball card collection, and start thinking about businesses! I created a flyer using Mac Pages, and went around to every small thrift store and consignment shop in my area, and I introduced myself to the owner. I let them know who I was and service I was providing. Most of them seem annoyed at first until I showed them their return on investment. I am willing to sell the items that are not selling in their store and if it sells we both are making money. I was able to show my history with ebay's program and let them know my success rate. Out of the 15 locations I contacted only 1 called me back and signed the contract. My goal is to stop by each week and pick up their items that they want me to sell and drop of a check for the items that I've sold. My first pick up is Monday so I'll keep you posted!
To summarize, you don't need ebay's trading assistant program to be successful. You can start looking in your local market for businesses that will provide you a consistent inventory flow which will turn into a consistent cash flow!