How to Include eBay Experience on a Resume
Selling on eBay is a skill that not everyone knows how to do. Many sellers have been selling on eBay for years as a way to earn income while raising children at home, caring for a terminally ill loved one, or while dealing with a short-term disability.
Many sellers are also autodidacts, meaning they had the initiative to teach themselves how to sell on eBay. The skills needed to run an eBay business are transferrable in today's job market.
Some sellers feel that their skills may be worthless in the job market. Perhaps you have been working from home enjoying the freedom of an eBay business and feel you don't have much to offer an employer.
Nothing is further from the truth! eBay sellers have learned how to source items, photograph them, post listings on eBay, optimize listings for SEO, ship items domestically and internationally, handle customer service issues, file state sales tax, manage inventory, hire help, and promote listings on social media.
Don't sell yourself short in the job market. Explaining your eBay experience and skills just takes reframing the information in a way that a hiring manager will understand. Here are a few suggestions for including commerce skills on a resume.
Show That You Have Built Something From Nothing
Employers love to see this. It means you have taken the initiative to start a project, accepted a level of risk, and followed through.
Show your eBay start date and how may items are in your store. The wording could read like this:
"Built and managed eBay store with 500+ items since 2010."
Show Quantifiable Results With Numbers
Employers don't care about what you promise to do, they want to see what you have done in the past. History is the best indicator of future performance.
Provide numbers, percentages, and tangible evidence of what you accomplished. In other words, write an achievement oriented resume. For example,
"Achieved Top Rated Seller status within 12 months, monthly sales of $3K, consistent ROI of 400%, and 99% positive feedback rating since 2010. Shipped an average of 75 packages monthly both domestically and internationally. Item return rate consistently less than 2%."
Show How You Have Used eBay Skills in Real-Life Applications
How have you applied your eBay knowledge in the real world to make money, help people, or support another business? For example, have you sold any items on consignment or for a charity? Even if you have only sold one item for a friend or relative, you have lived the consignment experience. If you have had long-standing consignment clients, use this verbiage:
"Provided consignment services for 4 clients resulting in profit of $1,000 per month per client."
Highlight Customer Service Skills
Working with customers is a skill employers are seeking. Selling on eBay requires crafting customer-friendly policies, professional communication, quick response time, and diplomacy. Speak of this experience on your resume. For example,
"Communicated with eBay customers on an on-going basis to answer questions, resolve disputes, provide further details about items for sale, and collect payment."
Explain Your Shipping Experience
This is one area eBay sellers really underestimate their skill level. Shipping items both domestically and internationally on a daily basis requires commitment, knowledge, and planning. If you have used multiple carriers such as USPS, FedEx, and UPS, include those details. For example,
"Shipped an average of 10 packages a day using USPS, FedEx, and UPS both domestically and internationally. Proficient with all aspects of shipping including cost-benefit analysis of shipping options to determine cheapest and fastest options, adding insurance, tracking, and researching lost packages."
Talk About Inventory Management
You have managed inventory, even if it is just in plastic containers in your garage.
Explain your system in terms that an employer can understand:
"Efficiently managed inventory of 500 items, with a constant flow of units into and out of storage area. Conducted monthly sales to keep inventory flowing, and semi-annual inventory purges to remove stale inventory. Managed inventory using Excel spreadsheets."
Discuss Hiring Helpers
Have you ever hired someone to help you with your eBay business? Maybe it was to photograph items, list items, ship orders, or help source. Hiring help indicates a higher level business and your initiative to grow the business, teach skills to subordinates, and manage employees. You could say.
"Hired, trained, and supervised 2 part-time contractors to assist with photographing and listing items."
If you had consignment clients, hired help, or taught others how to sell on eBay, include those people as references to speak to your abilities. Always ask before giving out someone's information as a reference.
Look for Opportunities on Job Sites
There is quite a few job posting sites where you can set up searches, including Indeed, GlassDoor, Career Builder, ZipRecruiter, and LinkedIn. These sites have mobile apps that send an alert right to a mobile phone. Use keywords such as eBay, commerce, online store, and mobile shopping to find opportunities that are a good fit for eBay experience.
Lately I've been selling off my possessions on eBay to try to get some money.
What about putting 'eBay seller' on my resume as my most recent job?
It is the truth. Selling on eBay also involves computer skills. It's a lot harder than people think. You have to photograph the items, upload the photos to the computer, write out descriptions, do market research, price items, etc. You also have to weigh each item on a digital scale and calculate the postage, which involves some math skills. You have to calculate how much you'll make after all of the eBay and Paypal fees, as well.
Then when something sells you have to deal with Paypal. You have to print out a shipping label, package the item well, purchase mailers and bubble wrap, answer buyer's questions, and finally go to the Post Office and figure out which way you want to ship your item. (Priority Mail vs. First Class Mail, etc).
All of this involves math skills, computer skills, and some customer service skills, as well. So does 'eBay Seller' count as a 'job'? It sure is a lot of hard work for very little money. Would you put it on your resume? Thanks.