How This 53-Year-Old Woman Makes $25 Million a Year Selling Other People’s Stuff
By Laura Dang
September 8, 2015
Ebay guru Linda Lightman makes $25 million a year selling other people’s things on the popular e-commerce site. The mother of two and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania suburb resident shared her tips on how to be a superstar seller in honor of the Ebay’s 20th anniversary last Thursday.
Lightman, who began her business selling her son’s video games, grew her luxury consignment store, Linda’s Stuff, into a successful multi-million-dollar company in a matter of 15 years. She told the Daily Mail:
“Most people don’t know that the average household has over 52 items worth over $3,000 just lying around their house ready to sell.
“But you don’t have to be limited by what is in your home. Branch out. You can make money selling other items on Ebay.”
A former labor and employment attorney in New York, Lightman explained that she has always had a passion for fashion. After selling her son’s video games, her clothes, shoes and accessories, she ran out of things to sell. However, the answer came knocking on her doorstep.
“Within weeks, my friends asked me to sell their clothes and so on. Word of mouth is a very powerful marketing tool and it spreads quickly. I instantly knew I was on to something.
“I kept going, until almost every room in my house was filled with boxes and clothes from friends and their friends. My home was 100 percent Ebay.”
The business soon took off, and by 2006, Linda’s Stuff had moved into a 5,000-square-foot office space with 20 employees.
“I didn’t realize how big my company was going to be, so we moved offices four times in less than seven years. We first had a 5,000-square-foot location, then 12,000, then 25,000 to finally our new home of 93,000 square-feet.”
The company is flourishing with a revenue of $25 million a year nearly a decade later. Lightman revealed that she became a lawyer because she was under the impression that success meant taking a traditional route and career. However, she says she has learned the importance of doing what makes you happy:
“People say if you do what you love and love what you do you’ll never work a day in your life — I never believed it until I started Linda’s Stuff.”
Her top tips for selling on eBay are:
“Even though you may be familiar with the product, it is important to educate yourself about the market.” Sellers should ask themselves: “Is there a market for the item you are thinking about selling.”
The Brooklyn Law school alumna advised that sellers should “learn how to price by researching what similar items are selling for.”
2. Pick a great user ID
“For me, I chose Linda’s Stuff because at the time it was simply my own stuff. Had I known then, I would have chosen more wisely.”
3. Use quality images and detailed descriptions
“It’s all about the pictures. Remember the potential buyer cannot see or touch the item so he or she is relying on your image. Quality is key.
“Describe, describe. The pictures are great but they need a great description to highlight the item.
“Write a great title. Don’t waste the 80-character limit on words like “wow.” Make sure to include the designer name, size, color, style, and other identifiers that buyers would search for.”
4. Customer service is key
“Even if you have included the information in your description, the buyer often wants to know additional things. Remember the customer is always right!”
5. Be prompt and reliable
“Once the buyer has paid for the item, be prepared to pack and ship it quickly and in the manner agreed upon in your listing.”
6. Have fun
Lightman tells others to “think outside the box” and have a little fun when marketing their items.
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