eBay Success Stories

With eBay as our topic of the week, I asked my friends on Twitter to share their resources and eBay success stories. I got several cool responses, so I'll share those with you here.

Julie Anna Schultz has been a full-time powerseller on eBay for 6 years, ultimately bringing her husband home as well with her eBay income supporting a large family of 13. She mainly sells older hard-to-find children's books, as a homeschooling mom of 11 children herself...

Julie Anna's Powerseller Profile:

Julie Anna's Personal story:

Julie Anna's service for aspiring book sellers:

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If you missed the original post in this series, see: How to Make Money on eBay. You'll find the link to our eBay Webinar in that post, as well as a special offer from Lisa Suttora to access all of her eBay training for only one dollar (normally $47). It's a great deal! About Lisa Suttora's website, Jeff Jones said:

My first online business model involved full-time selling on ebay.

It wasnโ€™t until I joined WhatDoISell that I had a legitimate business and made regular income on ebay.

I canโ€™t recommend her coaching and information products more highly. Youโ€™ll make the money you spend back in short order. source

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Jenn Cangelosi - aka @Jennwahm on Twitter - replied to say: Not only do I sell on eBay, I teach others to succeed at BoutiqueBargains.com. Jenn's success with eBay started out as a hobby on the side while she was still working at her full-time job in corporate banking. When she lost her job unexpectedly she turned to eBay, and to helping other mom's with eBay, full time.

Jenni Hunt, who is part of Jim Cockrum's expert team, says that she has consistently doubled her profits every year since starting her eBay business in 2003. Jenni specializes in researching trends with selling children's items on eBay, and like many others now teaches others her eBay secrets. See her website at http://www.jennihunt.com

Rebecca Wilcox uses eBay to increase the reach for her local "country general store" in Arkansas. She has owned the business since 1988, and opened the online eBay Store in early 2005. You can see her profile on eBay at http://www.rollingtstores.com or follow her on Twitter @RollingTStores.

And of course, the ultimate eBay success story is Jim Cockrum. If you've ever researched how to make money on eBay, you've no doubt run across his name. You'll find his tips & resources on his blog at: http://www.jimcockrum.com/blog/ (thanks to @ExtremeEzine for sharing the link on Twitter!)

Have an experience of your own with online auctions? Share your eBay success stories in the comments section below!


p.s. You can still get access to Lisa Suttora's eBay training at WhatDoISell.com for only $1 by using this link: http://whatdoisell.com/lynn. This is a special page to bypass the usual $47 sign-up fee ๐Ÿ˜‰

About Lynn Terry

Lynn Terry is a full-time Internet Marketer with over 17 years experience in online business. Subscribe to ClickNewz for the latest Internet Marketing trends & strategies, Lynn's unique case studies, creative marketing ideas, and candid reviews...moreยป


  1. Vince Samios says

    My first online business was also an eBay business which I started when I was 16 (8+ years ago now)

    The business model was to buy ex-government computers in bulk at auction, recondition the machines, and resell them on eBay.

    I was able to spend $2000 at auction every week, and turn it into $5000 on eBay. This ended up paying for an obsessive Remote Control Airplane hobby (By 18 I had a collection of around 20 airplanes) and a 6 week overseas holiday when I was 17.

  2. I used to sell on ebay, but their constant changes in policy forced me to stop. They seem intent on killing trade, making it harder and harder for sellers to do business.

    I would never recommend anyone to try starting an ebay business now. I did it for quite some time, and watched ebay screw my business into the ground. Sellers have been leaving in droves for quite some time, and the only reason ebay are still in business is that non-one else managed to build up their momentum before ebay became a monopoly.

    ebay is a great place to buy, because the sellers are so pressured that they are forced to sell cheap. ebay have also made it so hard for sellers to get a fair deal, that sellers have to bend to every whim of the buyer to avoid getting negative feedback and poor ratings. As a buyer, you can persuade a seller to do almost anything!

    Rant over. I hate ebay and would never ever try an ebay business again. I'm not alone in this either.

  3. Rqst Ms.Lynn to kindly moderate and analyse the 'CONS'of ebay as a biz model as stated by Juliette. May be there would be some way out or alternatives !

  4. As an eBay seller I am famliar with many of the people mentioned and they have been wonderful mentors abd people to deal with. However, I must agree with Juliette. I was once a proponent of eBay and even a PowerSeller at times. I will admit that eBay provided very helpful tools to sell professionally and conveniently. One of eBay's unique propositions is that it created a community of sellers. I felt a sort of partnership with eBay. With many of the policy changes, eBay seemed to forget that its sellers are customers too! eBay is only as strong as its team of sellers. I am winding down my eBay business when at one time I considered doing this full-time. I am a successful businesswoman and unwilling to put up with the demeaning treatment by eBay. I am very sad about this because I at one time was such a fervent supporter. They need to fire the seller management group and start over. Hire me to run it...or at least someone who has actually sold on eBay. Bring on a sellers' advocate!

  5. Alan Petersen says

    Hi pkp, this is an entire series on 10 ways to make money online. eBay is just 4 out of 10 ways that Lynn is so kindly showing us in this awesome series of hers so she is showing us alternatives. It just so happens that #4 is about eBay so of course it's eBay focused. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I still love eBay. Yes they've made a lot changes but as a business person you need to set your business so you can adapt and change. Now I've never been a power seller or anything but I know many who have been able to continue profiting on eBay even with the changes. It's up to each individual business to decide whether or not to continue but to say eBay is killing trade is a bit dramatic. It's still the #1 auction site in the world and there is so much traffic there that it's still a great place to make money online.

  6. Hi Alan ! Thanks ! I agree and concede to you statement. Regards.

  7. I've heard similar stories from other sellers, Donna & Juliette. Since I havent sold actively on eBay for close to 10 years now, I cant comment on those changes personally. I can say though that it was a *great* business model back in the late 90's!

    My personal interest in this topic, since it came up, has been to use Alan Petersen's method of using eBay as a lead generator. To funnel buyers out of the auction site and to build a niche mailing list from it. If you missed the Free PDF on that topic, see the original post in this series: http://www.clicknewz.com/1933/make-money-on-ebay/

    I can definitely see how eBay would compliment an online business or a niche affiliate site, as discussed in that report or during our live webinar on the topic.

  8. Color Printing says

    I didn't know that eBay has produced a lot of successful entrepreneurs. Maybe I should start auctioning some of my stuff too. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for sharing their inspiring stories.

  9. Lynn, you hit it on the head.

    Although there are plenty of people making some nice cash just selling on eBay (I get success stories all the time - especially around the holidays selling toys), I think that those who are most successful with eBay USE eBay in their business. Those who DEPEND on eBay as their only revenue source, in my opinion, are missing out on a huge piece of the pie! eBay can be used to build a nice mailing list... and as you said in your comment, Lynn, it is a great tool for funneling buyers (and potential buyers) into a niche mailing list.

    Jim Cockrum's book, The Silent Sales Machine Hiding on eBay is all about this concept as well and what helped me take my eBay business up a (huge) notch in 2003.

  10. PS. Thanks for the mention in your original post. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Jet Aircraft Charter says

    Lynn, you are right that one has to treat their MMO endeavors as a business. I think we all believed at one time or another that money online is easy. That includes me, but we find out, like any other way (on-line or off) to make money, it takes work and persistence.

    Ebay would be no different. Even in the good old days, just because we sold off some clothes and books for some dollars doesn't mean doing it full-time would be work. Also, the economy has an impact. 1996-2000 we had a roaring economy with the tech bubble and 2003-2007 another super bubble with the real estate bubble. Maybe the downslide is not so much Ebay but the economy.

  12. Alan Petersen says

    I'm documenting the entire process of using eBay classified ads to build a list from beginning to end. I'm posting the videos online. No optin required or anything. As I've written I love using eBay to add new leads to my business but I was going the CD-ROM route. I'm now trying the eBay classified route. What better way to prove or disprove if something works than trying it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. girls dress red spaghetti strap says

    I know people who made a small fortune on EBay but I tried myself and my business didn't go well. I guess the main thing is to find what's required and what people will buy. People didn't look for the stuff I was selling, so I stopped selling on EBay.

    • Alan Petersen says

      Hi GDRSS,
      I think that's a common mistake. Before spending any of your time or money you need to make sure you have stuff people want. And that goes for anything really. eBay pulse is a great place to discover what people are searching for on eBay. You can also get a 2-day pass to eBay's Marketplace research for just a few bucks so you can have laser targeted niche before you even start to find items, build a store, etc. Here is the link:

      • Juliette says


        eBay market research is an extremely poor tool for this. It's very slow, gives inaccurate results and costs a lot for what it gives.

        You would be far better recommending http://www.terapeak.com who are cheaper, and provide a MUCH faster and more informative service.

        Hope this helps

        • Alan Petersen says

          The point is research before you even spend a second putting a site together or looking for stuff. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. One of the key things to take from this discussion is this: figure out what works, and use it. You may have to get creative to funnel traffic out of eBay, or even to make a profit selling on eBay, but the point is to be flexible with the changes and constantly seek out the opportunities that are there - instead of those that are not.

    If one thing isn't selling (or selling well) on eBay, that doesn't mean the site is a total loss. It is still the largest and most popular online auction site on the web. Look at ways you can leverage that.

    Things change all the time - and most of the time that change is necessary for one reason or another. Adwords updates, Google algorithms, eBay policies, whatever. The point is that you need to remain flexible, and grow with the internet.

    It's only just begun! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  15. Catalysthere says

    I have found since the ebay change in feedback policy, that a lot of my customers are claiming that they have never received their items and ebay are not sympathetic to this sudden rise in postal ineptitude I have had to refund 5 customers this month and I am very suspicious in this sudden rise in claims especially as ebay no longer allows sellers to leave negative feedback, I feel sellers are being hung out to dry!!

    • Juliette says

      It's exactly that sort of change that convinced me to give up with eBay. It was good at one time, but they have changed the rules so many times over the past few years, and it's ALWAYS against the seller.

      They seem to believe that all sellers are evil and all buyers are innocent victims. They can't seem to realise that the truth is somewhere in between.

  16. Fortunate for her that she's been successful with Ebay. Not all ebay sellers become successful. The reason for this is that they forget to consider some important factors in buying and selling business.

  17. I had a friend that tried out the Ebay system and it become like a gambling addiction. He ended up selling stuff he didn't really want to get rid of and would spend all day and night watching the auction closings. It can be a little addictive is my point!

  18. Brian D. Hawkins says

    Nice post Lynn. eBay Success Stories is very encouraging. These marketers didn't give up saying 'eBay is losing ground'. They pushed forward and should be proud of the success achieved. BTW Thanks for the mention.

  19. There is a lot of traffic on eBay but you have to be really think out of the box to get noticed. I used their classified ads but then they again changed the site. You also have to adapt to changes.

  20. Air Charter says

    I think a lot of people had success early on with ebay, but its gotten harder as more people are doing it.

  21. morning sickness remedies says

    I had my share of success with eBay trading as well. However, I have to agree with most people here that those times are long gone. If you're trying to make a living online then eBay definitely isn't the way. Just my 2 cents.

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