Dear eBay Queen: Should I Hire Someone to Help Me eBay?

Dear eBay Queen:

I have been selling consignment items on eBay for the last 5 years.  I live in an area that the population is 67,000 and median income is $43,000.  I do not require minimum values for the items that I sell because I believe that some commission is better than none, but that could change if the business expands.

It is time for me to expand my business and have “helpers”. Right now, I do all of the listings, photos, etc and my husband does the shipping at nights after he works his full time job.  I am not getting things listed as fast as I can just due to the number of items that I have to list.  I have one customer who brings me between 100 and 150 antique items every week.

Anyway, my question is about adding helpers.  I live in a college town and have read that students are good prospects for what I am looking for.  I don’t really want to have employees, just don’t want to deal with that right now.  So how do I go about and do this?

Pay on commission or flat rate per item?
Do helpers do everything (list, photo, ship)?
Do I approve everything before it gets listed?
Anything else, I have forgotten?

A couple things you should know:  I’m a control freak!  I have over 14,000 in feedback and am a top rated seller with 100% rating.  Because I am a consignment shop, I list with Auctiva, to keep track of all of the different consignors that I have.  Did I say I was a control freak? – I am concerned about losing my ratings if I give someone permission to list under my eBay id.

Anyway, if you could help me with some of the questions I have – or suggest anyone that you know of that could maybe help me, I would really appreciate it.

Deb Peterson


Dear Deb:

Congratulations on your fantastic feedback numbers and ratings! I know firsthand that is hard to maintain those numbers. I also know how hard it is to sell for others; I’m impressed with your success!

I wonder if you put an ad up at your local college and said you were looking for a paid intern you can train, or if they already were familiar with selling on eBay, a contractor. If they help you with listing, I would probably pay them per item, and check each of their listings until you feel confident in their work. If they are taking pictures or shipping, I might just pay them by the hour.

I would be uncomfortable giving out any of my login information. I think it might be a safer idea if you supplied the computer in your work space for them to work. Is there some aspect of eBaying that you don’t like to do? I’m not crazy about shipping or photographing things. I have people help me with that, but if you really need help listing, then I think working side by side with them on listing items might be the best answer.


Dear eBay Queen;

I sold a really cute Express top that was new with tags. I received a return request saying the item didn’t fit. I approved the request, and the item was sent back. The only problem is that it does not have the correct tag attached. It’s a totally different tag. What should I do?


Dear Cinder:

I would contact eBay immediately. I think I would mention in the return request that the item came back, but the tag that is attached, is not for the item you sent. Could she have possibly bought 2 and mixed up the item? I would also go look at her buying history at If she has purchased the same shirt from another seller, I would make sure that eBay knows this.

I hope your buyer is honest and tells you what happened with your tags/or item. I hope it’s a small mix up and can be easily remedied.


Strange eBay item of the Week: Item #:291521358831. Felting offers a unique way to “sculpt” wool fibers into a strongly woven fabric. I love this adorable purse! Handmade Felted Purse Shoulder large Bag Merino Wool Strawberry Red Green White SOLD: $93.27.

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