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Go Ask Mom

EBay hobby turns into full-time job for Raleigh mom

Posted February 19, 2012

Crissy Jeckel was a full-time working mom of three kids when she started selling her daughters' clothes on eBay for fun and to make a little money.

At one point, Jeckel had worked at Gymboree and, as she put it, "had tons and tons of stuff" for her daughters, now 12 and 13. She sold some of the pieces at consignment stores, but they wouldn't take, for instance, summer clothes in the fall or Halloween costumes in the spring

So, in 2004, she tried eBay and was hooked. Crissy Jeckel of Blueberry Hill Boutique Hobby turns into eBay business for Raleigh mom

"It was always kind of exciting to see what it would do," she said. "I think eBay is a great market indicator."

That hobby eventually turned into Blueberry Hill Boutique, an eBay store where she sells her clients' clothes for kids and adults; collectibles; and other items and takes a cut of the profits. She found her first client on Craigslist in early 2010. She left her paralegal job in late 2010 and today has 20 clients.

"It's just as exciting now, if not more so," Jeckel said. "I'll log in at night and see my sales have doubled."

The bonus room in Jeckel's north Raleigh home has turned into her work space, complete with racks of clothes and a shelf full of collectibles. She also sells larger items, such as nursery equipment, on Craigslist.

Jeckel's customers come from around the world. Now she is hoping to get the word out about her business in the Triangle. She welcomes shoppers who want to come to her home to see what she has (where you'll see her husband's fire truck, which he rents out for birthday parties). She's also considering holding a consignment sale at some point.

Perhaps, best of all, the job gives Jeckel the time she needs for her kids. In addition to her daughters, she has a 6-year-old son. She'd eventually love to grow the business and hire other moms in the area to give them the same flexibility that she has.

"I'm able to stop what I'm doing, go pick them up from school if they're sick," Jeckel said. " I can help them in my son's classroom. I can help out with my girls at school. We've been very fortunate to be able to do everything we've been able to do in the last couple of years."

For more from Jeckel, watch my video interview with her. Go to the Blueberry Hill Boutique website and Facebook page for more information about what she offers. And check back on Wednesday when Go Ask Mom will begin a series on eBay selling tips from Jeckel.

2 Comments

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  • phpisgoodforme Feb 20, 3:34 p.m.

    Getting a steady supply of items to sell would be the tough thing.

    You could try your local thrift stores, Goodwill, auctions, yard sales, Craigslist, etc. to source items.

    You could try "eBay arbitrage", where you buy something off of eBay and then resell it there for a profit. Some sellers do not include important keywords in the title, give a poor description, poor or no pictures, etc. All this stuff can scare potential buyers away, decreasing competition and the final price.

    You could possibly buy the items and make a better listing, and possibly profit.

    Sellers may misspell the main keywords in the title as well, meaning most buyers will never find them. You could try a misspelling search a site like Typojoe.com to find some of these items and possibly get some deals.

    Or, if you find some listed an auction format, use a sniping service such as Hidbid.com to place your bid for you. It'll bid in the last few seconds, helping you save $ and avoid shill bidding.

  • babbleon Feb 20, 7:55 a.m.

    Very cool! Best of luck.