Editor’s Note: This story first appeared on our Seller Community page.
Heather and Alicia have been a good team since they first met working together in healthcare. Married in 2020, they began selling on eBay during the pandemic to help fund their dream of a family. Two years later, their menswear shops have been highly successful, enabling Heather to quit her job at the hospital and for Alicia to reduce her full-time hours to focus more on their eBay businesses. They’ve embarked on an IVF (in vitro fertilization) journey, bringing them one step closer to their goal of a flexible, work-from-home lifestyle as eventual parents.
Becoming a wife and wife team
Alicia: Heather and I met working together as physical and occupational therapist assistants at an inpatient rehab hospital. We became friends and it just kind of blossomed into something really, really cool. Now we’ve been married for three years.
Heather: We’ve always worked well together. At the rehab hospital we were on the same team assisting patients in their recovery. I helped them learn to walk again and she retaught them basic daily activities, like putting on their clothes and cooking.
Heather: We love taking care of patients and that's our passion. But it can also take a toll on your mental health. During the pandemic, we were feeling burned out working with COVID patients and thought — let’s try something new.
Alicia: We wanted to do something that would allow us some flexibility as we grew our family and gave us a little bit of respite from full-time healthcare work. And that's how we stumbled across eBay and started to do some selling.
Finding their niche, growing their sales
Heather: We took a trip to the thrift store down the street from our house to find things to sell on eBay, and things just kind of snowballed from there. The rest was history. Over time we zeroed in on selling men’s clothing because return rates are less for us and the brands are easy to learn.
Alicia: Sales doubled, then tripled, then quadrupled, and we realized we had real businesses. We each have our own menswear shops on eBay. She sells men’s clothing and I specialize in men’s vintage athleisure, sportswear jerseys, and sneakers from well-loved brands. I try to find really cool, unique pieces and dabble in memorabilia and sports cards as well.
Funding their IVF journey and work-from-home lifestyle
Alicia: Because of the success of our eBay shops, we’ve been able to add a little bit extra to our savings while also being able to work towards our dream of starting a family with IVF. That has allowed us to comfortably manage what can be a very expensive journey.
Heather: eBay's allowed me to have flexibility and time in my schedule to go through the IVF process — taking the required medications at certain times, going to appointments and just doing the things that come along with a fertility journey that are very time consuming.
Partnering to run their businesses
Heather: Since we have two individual eBay stores within our household we do a lot of our work together, which makes it pretty fun. On the weekends we get up in the morning, pack and ship orders, spend a couple of hours sourcing at the thrift store and then come home.
Alicia: Since we both sell menswear sometimes we get competitive and fight over a cool, unique item at the thrift store and have to rock, paper, scissors for it. Most of the time she wins, because she’s running her eBay shop full-time and I’m still only part-time for now.
Selling strategies for success
Alicia: Because we’re limited on space in our home office, we’re always looking for apparel that sells quickly. So we spend a lot of time going through eBay’s Terapeak figuring out what items are worth, how we should price them and how quickly they’ll move.
Heather: I love that eBay has scheduled listings and drafts. If we want to go on vacation or are going through an IVF treatment and we know I’m going to be down for a couple of days, we can schedule and draft the listings in advance and our eBay shops will run themselves.
Dreams for their future family
Alicia: We plan to grow our businesses to the point where we can both work full-time from home so we can enjoy the time with our kids once they're here. We want to have the flexibility to travel, do things with our family and not be bogged down with a traditional nine to five job.
Heather: Our future family is really a driving force for us. It inspires us to get up every morning and work hard so we’ll be able to provide for our kids and spend time with them.
Alicia: We can’t wait to take our kids sourcing and teach them how to thrift and find cool things. It’ll be a lot of fun.
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