Slowdowns are real
Anyone who has been selling for more than twenty minutes can tell you that slowdowns are real. Some are seasonal and as predictable as the changing of the leaves, some are due to economic factors like a rise in gas prices, sometimes a platform dies because of a flawed feature rollout, and sometimes they just happen for no apparent reason at all. When sales slow down, it can be hard to keep yourself motivated. That eBay “cha-ching” is a beautiful sound, and my brain goes into serotonin withdrawal when I don’t get it! But there are ways to stay motivated when sales slow down.
Set reasonable goals
The first, and most important to me personally, is setting reasonable goals for yourself. Let’s say you want to make $30,000 this year reselling. That’s a big number, and if you don’t break it down any further, it can be really daunting. If you make $2,500 in January, you might feel like a failure because compared to your huge goal of $30,000, $2,500 seems small. To any other reseller, that month might be amazing! Don’t set yourself up for failure by only creating huge, lofty goals.
Try breaking your goals down into smaller, more achievable bites. Sure, set a yearly goal, but break it down into monthly, weekly, or even daily goals. Making $30,000 a year might sound impossible, but can you make $85 a day?
The next part of having smaller, more frequent goals is celebrating when you hit them. If you have a great day, find a way to reward yourself. That can be as small as watching an extra episode of your favorite show, or as large as buying something for yourself or your business. Personally, I get a double chocolate chip frappuccino from Starbucks any day I earn over $100 in profit.
The reward that I give myself is less than $5 in value, but it motivates me to work harder. When I do get one, it feels extra special because I save them for those special occasions. Using mini-rewards like that can keep you motivated during smaller tasks as well.
Like most of you, I hate listing. It’s just so boring! Even though I use List Perfectly, which reduced my listing time by about 60%, I still hate it. When my death pile starts threatening the structural integrity of my house, and I can’t avoid listing anymore, I get a bag of M&Ms. Every time I list an item to a new platform, I eat one M&M. That takes my focus off of a task I dislike, and shifts it onto chocolate, which I love. With the proper chocolate reward system, I could orchestrate the first manned mission to Mars.
Your reward system doesn’t have to be food-based, that’s just my thing. Your system should be based on whatever you love. If you love sourcing, then use that! Keep a record of the items that you listed when you really didn’t feel like it and, when they sell, set aside 10% of your profits to spend on a thrifting trip. You know yourself best, find whatever you love, and use it to treat yourself when you meet a goal.
Don’t worry about failing
On the converse side of that, make sure not to beat yourself up on the days that you fail. I’m not going to sugarcoat it by calling it “not succeeding” either. Some days you will fail to meet your goals. Some days you will accidentally send an offer that is way too low, and end up losing money. Some days you will think you have an amazing find, then find out it’s fake, or it has a huge flaw. If you’re striving for perfection, you’re going to be very disappointed.
My advice is, to try not to be too hard on yourself, and lean on the community when you’re feeling down. Sometimes sharing a story about a crazy buyer can make you feel better, especially when other people share their experiences with you. Reselling is such a great business because it welcomes all kinds of people. Finding a group that gets you can keep you going.
Lean on the reselling community
I’ve loved meeting members of the Instagram reselling community. (You can find me @RefashionedHippie if you ever want to chat!) I’ve joined a lot of groups to help me grow my social media following, but I’ve also joined some groups to help my business stay on track. There are a lot of accountability groups out there that help you stick to your goals. In one of the ones I joined, each member shares their goals in the morning, then recaps how they actually did at the end of the day. I’ve often heard that telling someone else your goal makes it more likely for you to actually accomplish it, and so far, I’m finding that to be true.
I want to meet my goals, sure, but I also don’t want to let the other girls down. As a reseller, I’m my own boss. While I love the freedoms that offers me, it also means that no one will come to my desk and yell at me for watching Star Trek episodes when I should be working. I have to yell at myself, and I love Star Trek. It’s a fight.
Being a member of a goals group keeps me accountable and on track. Plus, I enjoy learning from other members of this community. Y’all know a lot of weird stuff, and I love it!
Remember the good that you’re doing
My last piece of advice is to remember the good that you’re doing, not only for yourself but for the environment. There’s no denying that money is one of the best parts of reselling and one of the easiest things to use as motivation. But reselling has a much deeper, and more long-lasting effect than the profits.
Every piece that you sell, is one piece that isn’t going to end up rotting in a landfill. You connect people with the goods they want in the most sustainable way possible. When you sell an item, you are selling a piece that already exists. No one has to be exploited in producing it. No one has their water or land polluted. It’s just you and your buyer.
Keep doing what you’re doing. Keep improving your business, and remember to celebrate those wins. I’ll be rooting for you!