Episode#40 My eBay Dilemma
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This is a larger podcast episode, several different sections.
My Ebay Dilemma (starts at 2:55 into the episode)
In the last three months I’ve attempted to re-start my ebay business. I read something somewhere or hear something in a podcast that abruptly makes me stop.
Gary Vee’s 2017 challenge to make $20,170 motivated me to re-start doing eBay(for the 2nd time). The prior time I purchased all the necessary tools I needed to begin again. I later gave most of it away. This time I purchased everything again even rented a storage room. Now after reading a recent James Altucher blog titled ‘10 Times When Less Is More’ has me not wanting to restart eBay and get rid of(better yet return) the items I purchased.
The bigger question to myself is why am I so suggestible? Why is it when I read/hear something from someone I look up to/respect, I immediately want to go do that thing?
Do I want to do eBay again? This is a time when I ask the quote….”if It isn’t a hell yes, then it is a no.’ If I’m feeling lukewarm about this..then don’t do it.
Will all that being said, one night I woke up. Fired up Netflix, and just started. I had 10 items to list on eBay. I took pictures of the items first, then listed them afterwards. It felt good. It felt as if I was visiting with an old friend. Now, I don’t want to stop, I want to continue doing this, it felt good.
In a recent episode of the Scavenger Life podcast, Jay said something to the effect of taking breaks. That he and Ryanne go on a trip every 4 months. I listened to this after I started listing my items for sale. I now began to regret closing my eBay store before. I should’ve kept the store going and just of taken a break from sourcing all together. That’s what I did with my Amazon FBA in April of 2016. NOT donate everything back. Once again I’m not going to live in regret. Lesson learned, time to rebuild. Slowly and at a pace that works for me. Revisit Etsy, reopen my Shopify site? I want to do that with the merchandise I will be sourcing. Why? More proven avenues to sell items. Shopify will be my backup if anything were to happen to eBay or Etsy.
Being ok with downtime and not keeping busy all the time is one of my goals for 2017. I know now that it’s ok to take a break from the reselling biz, I don’t have to be go-go-go all the time.
Being an entrepreneur and working alone. My dream is to be on my own time and not working for someone else. Dave Koziel was one of my favorite YouTubers in 2016 (where did you go Dave?). In one of his videos he mentions how it’s great working for yourself, but it’s lonely not working with others, having camaraderie with co-workers. This point was driven home again while I was recently watching another YouTuber’s channel Texas Gal Treasures. She is a reseller and someone who inspired me to do Etsy in 2015-2016. In a recent video she talked about working alone and being depressed. She also talked about how if it wasn’t for the video she was doing at that day, she would still be in her pajamas.
This makes me grateful to have my job. It allows me to be around different kinds of people, talk and have fun with co-workers. Right now I think that if I reached my dream of making about $4000-5000 per month and be able to keep my current lifestyle, I might still work a job from time to time or do something part-time. Just to be around people.
Finally a change in my reselling gameplan. This was another change inspired by Texas Gal Treasures. I will link to both of her videos in this blog post. She said she would stop doing Amazon FBA, I wondered why. The long term storage fees are coming up on February 15th. I have many long tail items in Amazon FBA. My long term storage fee are pushing $600. These fees will be charged on the aforementioned date then again on August the 15th. I’ve started the process of getting rid of these items (mostly books). Moving forward I will merchant fulfill the items I list on Amazon. I will also list these same items on eBay. From eBay I can import them to my Shopify site, paulsellsthings.com and Bonanza.
Merchant fulfilling orders isn’t as quick as having items in FBA, but I control my costs and save a little money in the process.
My biggest takeaways from Spencer Johnson’s ‘Who Moved My Cheese’. (10:33)
I’m a fan of Rob Dial’s MWF motivation podcast. One of the episodes he published in December 2016 was titled the top 5 habits of CEOs. One of those habits was reading up to 60 books per year. I started thinking, are these people really reading 60 books per year or listening to audiobooks? Then I thought maybe I can do the same if I mix and match audiobooks with my reading books.
By the end of 2017, I already listened to 3 audiobooks (the shorter abridged versions). My first audiobook was Spencer Johnson’s ‘Who Moved My Cheese’. These are 5 of my biggest takeaways.
- ‘The quicker you let go of old cheese, you will find new cheese.’
- ‘The fear you let build up in you mind is worse than the actual fear.’
- ‘Looking for more cheese is better than being in a cheeseless situation.’
- ‘When you change what you believe, you change what you do.’
- ‘Noticing small changes early helps you adapt to the bigger changes to come.’
- ‘Imagining myself finding new cheese and enjoying it, leads me to it.’
- ‘If you do not change, you can become extinct.’
I enjoyed the main story narrator in the book. His voice of Haw’s character made me laugh. I’ve been doing my imitation of the character saying ‘Who moved my cheeeseee!’
Any of these takeaways reasonate with you? Anyone your are feeling in particular? Please comment below and let me know. If you enjoyed this information, you can support myself and the author of this book, by purchasing the book through my amazon link here.
‘The Pissy Supervisor’. A short fictional story I’ve written inspired by true events. (19:15)
Tom started a new job at a call center. He was filled with excitement. It was close to his home. He had over a decade of experience as an operator at a hotel and a customer service rep for a shipping company. Tom recognized that his skills would make him very employable if he decided to do the same job for another company and he was correct. He left his previous job at the shipping company, simply because he wanted a change of pace/scenery. He was okay doing the same job, but meeting new people, working in a new place, rejuvenated him.
There were two shifts, a morning shift and night shift. Seven operators(himself included)and three supervisors. The operators with more seniority tended to work the morning shift with the least senior working the p.m. shift. The supervisors were Richard, Paulo, and Jason. Jason was the p.m. manager, Richard working the morning shift, Paulo covering during the mid shift.
Tom worked both shifts during his training. To get an overall feel of what happens during the day. It was a busy call center. The three managers had different managing styles. Richard had the most tenure and was very relaxed. He would let the employees deal with customer service issues in their own way. He would offer insight/training, but he would mostly give them free reign, stepping in when it was necessary. He had the confidence that if the employee was hired to do that job, they would perform their duties as required.
Paulo tended to be more absent. If he didn’t have to step in he wouldn’t. He preferred to delegate and let the customer service reps take care of the situation at hand. He would seem annoyed when he would have to step in, but of the three managers Paulo was the most charismatic. He was the most liked of the three supervisors, but not the most dependable.
Jason was very hands on. If there would be an issue with a customer he would take over the situation and resolve it. He was dependable and knew the ins and outs of every position in the office. Down to the janitor’s job! But Jason was the least liked. He was very passive aggressive with his subordinates. When he was frustrated he would talk down to them. Some of the more senior operators purposefully did not want to work with Jason due to his personality.
Jason would be the manager Tom would spend the most time with. Tom had an experience with Jason that absolutely surprised and frustrated him.
Tom had a phone call from a customer requesting information on a product the company was selling. Tom didn’t have the information at hand. He put the customer on hold and attempted to seek out answers. At the time, his fellow co-worker hadn’t been in the cubicle next to him, his coworker stepped away on a cigarette break. Jason wasn’t at his office either, he was on a bathroom break.
Tom thought, I will go ahead and take the initiative. He thought, ‘I will look around the office, for a minute and see if he can find what he needed. He found it in a dusty bookshelf at the far end of the office. He picked up the phone and relayed the info to the customer. End of the phone call, all is well. Jason returned and he asked Tom ‘is everything ok?’ Tom told him what happened.
Jason immediately lashed out and said that was a ‘stupid move!’ and that he should not have done that. That was old information which should not have been given out!’ Tom was shocked by Jason’s reaction and surprised that an experienced manager in this field would respond in such a manner. Tom thought, if I was a manager I would correct and guide the employee, not belittle him.
This weighed heavily on Tom’s mind for the rest of the evening. He was stressed by having to come back the next day and work with him again. He then started to blame himself. The next day he came in he was acting very subservient to Jason. With fear of riling him up.
There was another customer situation where Tom did not know how to proceed. His co-worker was on another call, Tom didn’t want to disturb her. He now dreaded going to Jason, but he knew he had to. He walked into Jason’s office and asked for help. Jason said ‘you just barge in here and don’t knock?’ This particular evening, things were not off to a good start. Tom in a relaxed but slightly shakened voice began explaining the situation, Jason just said ‘just transfer the call to me..you can go now’. Tom thought that was rude, but did as he was told.
Tom had been picked on when he was younger and knew a bully when he saw one. He said the next time Jason comes across in an unfavorable way, he will stand up to him.
The following day Tom thought it was a positive gesture to greet everyone at the beginning of the shift. Start things off on the right foot. After he greeted Jason, he was asked to sit with him for a moment. Tom sat down with dread in the back of his mind but a warm smile on the front of his face. Jason began to apologize for his behavior, he said you just ‘have to get use to me.’
Tom complemented Jason on being knowledgeable and reliable and he appreciated working with him. This started the shift off right. One of Tom’s coworkers moved over to Tom and explained that Jason had been suspended before and was in fear of losing his job. This is why he was often easily stressed out. Tom started thinking ‘that explains it’. Jason was also extremely overweight and would sweat almost all the time. Tom also thought, his concern for his job and lack of good health is a combination for frustration. Thinking of all of this, Tom began to have pity for Jason.
Some time long ago when Tom had the hotel phone operator position, the supervisor told him, ‘get to know everyone, but don’t get personal.’ At the time Tom thought, how can you not get personal with your co-workers. There will be weeks you will see them more than you see your own family.’ This pity he began having for Jason fell into this category.
Jason was also married with three young sons. Tom thought ‘I’m sure that plays into his concern for losing his job.’ In the weeks and months to come, Jason would blow up from time to time but began to become more lax, and build rapport with Tom where he wasn’t as nasty as before. Tom thought again, ‘Jason has to curb the nasty outbursts. If it’s not me, it will be someone else taking him to HR and reporting his behavior as belligerent (which it was) or worse, harassment.’
There was a new hire name Manuel. He was a 22 year, phone operator veteran! Loads of experience. He trained on all shifts just like Tom had. One evening it was him, Tom, and Jason supervising. He naturally had questions, Tom had pleasantly answered many, but did let Manuel know he hadn’t been there long, he would have to ask Jason what he didn’t know. He let Manuel know how Jason could be, but he was an ‘ok guy’.
He proceeded to ask Jason a question, once again Jason lashed out at Manuel ‘Don’t you see I’m in the middle of something!? What is it?’ Manuel said ‘..no worries I will figure it out.’ He turned around and headed back to his desk. Tom can see in Manuel’s face he was very upset. Tom said if he needed to step out to vent or anything, he can do so. Manuel agreed and did so.
He came back about 10 minutes later. He was muttering words under his breath and had a cracked expression on his face. He looked even more upset now than he did before. Tom asked him if he was ok, he simply said ‘yes’ in a quiet voice. Jason stopped by his cubicle and asked if he needed any help? Manuel very sharply said ‘I don’t want to talk to you right now’. Jason snapped right back ‘What’s your problem, mind you that you’re on a new-hire, probationary period!’
Manuel became beet red and said a slow ‘yes sir’. Jason walked away and Manuel began shaking with anger, he stayed very quiet for the rest of the evening.
The next day, Manuel did not show up for work. Jason let Tom know that Manuel wasn’t coming in tonight. It would be just him and Tom. About 2 hours into the shift. Tom heard the revving of an engine outside of the parking lot. Nothing out of the norm. He then heard the car racing and thought, that is coming very close to the building…closer than before. A black, full size, pickup truck crashes through the side of the building and smashes into the workspace!
Jason and Tom were about 10 feet away from all this happening. There was debris from the wall all over their desks. They just sat there with there wild eyed and their mouths hanging open. It was a scene straight out of an action movie. Manuel stepped out of the vehicle. The driver stayed in the driver’s seat with the tinted window rolled up and a motorcycle helmet on.
Manuel, no words, proceeded to Jason’s desk, grabbed him by the shirt while he sat in his seat, still in shock from the car smashing through building. Yelled ‘who in the FUCK do you think you’re talking to!’ Manuel began beating him senseless. The first punch drew blood. It began splattering all over the dusty cubicle and office.
From his point of view. Tom noticed Manuel had brass knuckles on his left hand. As the blood wildly flew, Tom knew this was how he was drawing blood. Tom yelled, ‘stop it that’s enough!’
Manuel stopped, turned and glared at Tom. He said in a normal speaking tone…’stay out of this or you’re next.’ Tom quickly realized that his life was in danger. In his gut he felt ‘this cannot go down like this’. He glanced over at Jason who seemed unconscious at this point, lying on the desk. Manuel dragged him out of his chair and pushed him onto the floor.
Jason let out a small whimper, Manuel began kicking him in the stomach. Tom stood up at this point. The driver started coming out of the car. Tom’s instincts knew that the driver would backup Manuel, if he tried to intervene. As the driver began to come out of the car, one leg out, Tom rushed the car and closed the door on the driver, smashing the driver’s leg. There was a scream, seemed like a woman’s scream. Tom repeatedly closed the door on the driver’s leg several times. He pushed the driver into the car, took the keys and stepped out of the car.
As soon as he did Manuel was there. He punched Tom right in the face with the brass knuckles and Tom fell instantly. Manuel proceeded to kick Tom while he was down. The kicks turned to stomps. He stopped, searched Tom for the car keys. Found them and headed inside the truck. His companion was crying inside the truck while clutching her leg, he put the keys in the ignition and started up the truck. Jason got in front of the truck and fell on the hood, saying ‘your not going anywhere you fucking fuck!’ Manuel started revving up the engine again and stared at Jason. He opened the window, put his arm and head out. He pointed to Jason and said ‘I should run over your fat ass’.
Suddenly he sees a flash. He starts to feel a numbness. He sees another flash. His head feels heavy. His arm and shoulder start draping over the window. Blood begins trickling down his head. He slightly turns his head, looking over his shoulder. Leading his eyes from the ground up, he sees Tom’s shoes, then his legs, and one of his hands with a large, half-bloodied rock.
Manuel’s accomplice now starts screaming. Tom starts walking over to Jason, to tend to him. Sirens can now be heard in the distance. The woman opens the car door on the side opposite Manuel. She falls out of the car. She removes the helmet she was wearing with one hand and in the other she reveals a gun. Tom isn’t paying her any mind and doesn’t see her with the gun. Jason does and he lunges at her! Now she begins shooting. She shoots Jason in the stomach and leg. He falls over her, almost eclipsing her on the floor due to his size. Tom runs over and removes the gun from her hand and tosses it to the other side of the room.
He turns Jason over and hears him moaning and bleeding excessively from his stomach area. The girl begins crawling away. The police are arriving now and the ambulance sirens were not too far behind. Jason was too heavy to carry, Tom sat by his side and called out to the police. They came in and tended to them, Tom told the officer the whole story. They arrested Manuel and the girl, Jason wasn’t breathing very much but was whisked away by the ambulance. Tom was bruised, battered, and shaken, and thought, ‘it’s time to look for a new job.’
Here’s the YouTube version of this podcast episode.