Helping Ppl Out or Starting Something New...

@twoey68 (13651)
United States
July 21, 2008 11:26am CST
There are times that I see ppl struggling with things and I tend to want to step in and try to fix it or at least help them out. I don't know why I'm like that and I don't know if it's a good thing or a bad thing. My Mom is a great example of this. She does some selling on Ebay...nothing major although she did sign up with a wholesaler a few months ago. Her problem is that she's majorly disorganized. She's forever losing items (usually after they've sold), forgetting to ship things or shipping the wrong things. She also has problems writing her own listings so she tends to find simular items and copy and paste the listing...which leads to trouble at times. I've had to help her many times writing listing, calming customers and dealing with missing items but I do it b/c I know she needs the help. My problem is Hubby hates to see me putting in so much time and energy with nothing to show for it. He knows I like to organize and loved selling on Ebay so it doesn't bother me to have to do it but I think it bothers him that I get put in the spot to have to fix it. I've thought about offering to be like a manager for her to handle the organizing, listings and customers and just let her deal with the stock and shipping the finished items out on time...but I have no idea how to approach her with the idea. Do you think it would be a waste of time? What do you think would be a good fee to do this and how would you approach someone about it? **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
4 people like this
17 responses
@katsmeow1213 (28910)
• United States
21 Jul 08
I think I'm with your husband on this one. I know she's your mother and you want to help her... but this is her job. She's the one recieving the money. She should be able to handle it herself, or give it up. She will never learn to do it right if you keep stepping in to help her.
1 person likes this
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
21 Jul 08
Actually you sound just like my Hubby LOL I think if we can find a way to combine our skills we could turn it into something really good. Sometimes ppl learn more watching others then any other way so we'll see what happens. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Jul 08
I hope it works out for the both of you.
1 person likes this
@underdogtoo (9591)
• Philippines
22 Jul 08
How to approach someone with a proposal depends on who you are approaching. With me, I just talk about things casually and see it they like what I am talking about. You could casually inject the idea that she is having such success with her business she needs someone to help her with the trivial stuff like shipping and things like that. Cheers!! This is how I would broach the idea.
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
22 Jul 08
Good idea...that way there's no pressure on either side. We'll see how it goes. Thanks. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
@vera5d (4006)
• United States
21 Jul 08
It's really hard with family, because they usually think you do it for free just because you love them :) Which may be true, but it does take a lot of time away from you to do the things you want to do or making your own money. Maybe you could say something like, y'know, I was thinking, I know how we could both make a lot more money on ebay...then go through your plans and show her how you'd split the sales and do all of the work & she wouldn't have to lift a finger or something like that. Just a suggestion, it may or may not work! Good luck :)
1 person likes this
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
22 Jul 08
That is pretty much the standard way of thinking with most in my family...the whole "but you should do it b/c you love me"...and I do love them but after awhile it tends to take over everything else and then I find myself running ragged with nothing to show for it. I think I'll try sitting down and talking to her when she gets home. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
1 person likes this
@jer31558 (3683)
• United States
21 Jul 08
Unless you are doing it just to help out your mom, why not just start your own ebay business? Another idea, rather than become a manager, why not just form a partnership and split the earnings equally?
1 person likes this
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
21 Jul 08
I ran my own for several years but it's not always possible to keep a good supply of things to list. My Mom has literally tons of stuff that she's trying to get through and get listed...for now it might make more sense to combine forces. The partnership idea is another to consider...either that or a percentage. When she gets home from vacation I guess we'll just have to talk about it and see what happens. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
1 person likes this
@gemini_rose (16192)
21 Jul 08
When it comes to our own family it can be hard to approach them for payment for things like that and I would not know how to go about it. My Dad started selling on ebay a while ago and he was always phoning me up and asking for my help with things. He was going to start ordering things to sell, and I gave him a few of my places but then he could not be bothered and just shut his shop down. I said to my hubby if I had known he was going to do that I would have offered to help him and then suggested we split the profits in some way. If I was in your position and knowing my dad like I do then I think I would have brought it up jokingly at first and said that I should be paid for all the work I did, or that if this was a job I would be getting a nice little wage and then I would see how that went down before taking it any further LOL I do not think it is a waste of time, if you both work together on it then you are only taking over what she cannot handle and you could end up with a nice little earning business on your hands. Two heads are better than one in some situations.
1 person likes this
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
21 Jul 08
When I first started on Ebay it was really confusing then I met a woman that listed some of my quilts on consignment and she started giving classes on learning Ebay. You got three 2 hour classes for like $50. She walked you through the whole process, showed you where to go for shipping supplies and gave you two phone consultations if you needed help. It was the best $50 I ever spent. I've tried teaching my Mom some of it but she doesn't seem to pick it up very well. I think if we combine our skills we might make a go of it...I just hate to see her struggling to make something of it. She's on vacation right now so we'll see how it goes when she gets home. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
1 person likes this
@Mirita (2668)
• United States
21 Jul 08
Well, I think that it would be a great idea since you have excellent organization skills and the business can grow really big and you can also make a good income from selling items on E-Bay. The two of you can help eachother and benefit at the same time. Sometimes we can do a better job with the help of talented people.
1 person likes this
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
21 Jul 08
She has tons of stuff that she wants to sell it just has to be organized and I have really good, I guess you'd call them wording skills. I tend to be able to put things into words that come out sounding right. I also like dealing with ppl so maybe between the two of us we could make something really good out of it. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
1 person likes this
@tyc415 (5706)
• United States
21 Jul 08
As for a fee I have no idea about that but I would just come out and talk to her about it and if she don't offer the job to you then ask her if she wouldn't want to give it a try and see if it would work out. Let her know that it would make it so much easier for her and she would enjoy it more not having all the stress. Let her know that it would be a good way for both of you to make money and the smoother the business goes the more she will make. Tell her that along the way she can probably learn who to get organized and maybe one day down the road she can do it on her own and when that time comes that you will gladly step down and let her do it. I fell like I just talked all in circles, hope I didn't confuse you.
1 person likes this
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
21 Jul 08
She has tons of things to sell not to mention the wholesale angle so in that area she's doing great. Once something is packaged and put in her hands she's good about getting it to the post office. It's just the in between stuff that she's really bad about. I'm over-organized most of the time so I thought between the two of us we could turn it into something really good. We'll see how it goes. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
1 person likes this
@sunshine4 (8707)
• United States
21 Jul 08
I think that since you love selling on ebay and doing what your mom does, you should either start selling yourself, or offer to be her business manager. Tell her that you love helping her, but it takes time away from you making money yourself. Maybe you could ask for a percent of what she makes~ this way if she has a good week, so do you but if she has a bad week, she won't be paying you more than she makes.
1 person likes this
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
21 Jul 08
Hubby suggested a percentage as well...that may be the way to do it. I loved selling on Ebay but I guess I just got caught up in too many other things to devote as much time as I wanted to with it. I have been mesmerized with a game the last couple weeks and have just about drowned in put off things so I'm attempting to get reorganized and back on track now...so it would be a good time to start this if I'm going to. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
1 person likes this
@BarBaraPrz (24567)
• St. Catharines, Ontario
21 Jul 08
Hi Twoey... Looks like you've gotten some sound advice here, but if you go for a percentage, I think it should be more than 10%. After all, you would be doing more than 10% of the work, would you not?
@BarBaraPrz (24567)
• St. Catharines, Ontario
21 Jul 08
I meant to ask what is she selling? And under what name?
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
22 Jul 08
Well, that is one thing we'll have to work out. I don't want to end up making alot but at the same time I don't want to work all week for $10. We'll have to find a happy medium. She goes by Smileydog2 and she has all kinds of things on there. Right now there is only 3 things but that's b/c she's on vacation. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
1 person likes this
@BarBaraPrz (24567)
• St. Catharines, Ontario
22 Jul 08
Did you write the description for the bottle opener? Very well written.
• Australia
22 Jul 08
I like to help people out too, but also believe that they need to find ways to fix their habits at the same time. repeat offenders of the same mistakes clearly haven't learnt a thing, and I get pretty annoyed picking up the pieces time and time again. My partner did an ebay thing where other people paid him a commission to create listings and sell the items. He doesn't have time for it now, but it did make things easier for the sellers, especially if they didn't have a computer.
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
22 Jul 08
I'm kind of hoping that if she sees how I organize that she'll start doing it to...the old monkey see, monkey do thing :) The woman that I took my Ebay class from was one of those ppl, like your husband, that did listings for other ppl. That's how I met her...she sold some of my quilts on consignment. So many ppl are learning it now though that it doesn't seem to be that popular anymore or maybe I just haven't noticed. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
1 person likes this
• Australia
25 Jul 08
Lets hope she does learn it quickly. I know that trying to teach my own mother how to use Ebay would send me bald pretty quicklyShe isn't the quickest learner when it comes to the tricky and fiddly computer things.
@MOMMASAM (1004)
• United States
22 Jul 08
i was going to suggest that you show you mom and create a step-by-step organizer/planner for her to go through. like a check list. a hot sheet, etc. very clear and very concise. how to make an inventory. how to mark: sold, shipped, etc. then i'd go through the entire thing with her and play "what if?" give her some examples of how to problem solve. i would still want to control her listings...so there is no trouble for her mis-stating something. i don't know her age, but i know my mom is fiercely independent...but, from a different era. some times they don't know where, or how, to start and just jump in with both feet. is there some bartering you could do with your mom, instead of money? as for me, honesty helps the segue into it: mom, i've know you want to do a really good job. i see you stressing. i've seen some of the problems. can i help you set up a really easy and good system? you gotta know when to stroke them and when to stoke them.
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
22 Jul 08
I think that's part of the problem is that she jumped in with both feet and didn't take time to learn how to do it properly. I think it can still be turned around and worked the way she wants it to be without much trouble but I also know my Mom and without someone else to handle the organizing that's not going to happen. Well, wish me luck and we'll see how it goes. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
1 person likes this
@KrauseHome (36751)
• United States
22 Jul 08
Personally, this sounds like an excellent idea, and I think you would actually be doing a service for yourself and your Mom if you were to do this. It really sounds like she could benefit from something like this as well. I know back when I was selling on Ebay I would have Loved to have had someone who could have helped me out with this as well. Maybe you need to discuss this idea with your husband, and come up with some sort of contract or agreement to discuss with your Mom, and then decide on a Fee or percentage of earnings from the sales as well. It would never hurt to consider this, and the worst she could say is NO. But if truly sounds like if you were not there helping her, she would be in trouble, and that would not be good as well. Wishing you the best.
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
22 Jul 08
Since alot of Ebay is based on repeat customers and feedback, mistakes can actually break you. She's been really lucky so far with the ppl she's dealt with so maybe if we team up she can avoid making a mistake that'll cost her the account and her reputation on there. We'll see how it goes. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
@Polly1 (12648)
• United States
21 Jul 08
I like to help people out too. See if your mom wants to be partners with ebay. You can split the profits. it sounds like you are helping out with alot of the work involved already. As for shipping the items, do you know you can print up your label, including paying for the postage and have the mail people come to the house and pick up the packages for shipping. You never have to leave the house, that saves on gas, so that saves money. That is nice that your hubby is sticking up for you, but then it is your mom. You have to help your mom out even if you don't get paid for it.
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
22 Jul 08
The biggest thing I've been having to do lately is trying to straighten shipping problems with ppl that have already bought things that have been mislaid, lost or shipped to the wrong person. It's harder to straighten it out then it would be to just do it from the beginning and avoid the mistakes. My Mom tends to get things stacked up, stick it all in a box and store it...sometimes the items on Ebay end up in those boxes...then when it's time to ship...well, you can imagine the problems. If I could organize the items into two large tubs to keep track of them I could avoid her doing this again. It's just one of the problems. I'd just hate to see her mess up b/c she couldn't get organized. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
@chrislotz (8200)
• Canada
3 Oct 08
Well, since it is your mom, just come right out and talk to her about it. It sounds like a good idea to me, so she may feel the same way. As far as charging her, I don't have a clue what would be fair. That again is something that the two of you need to discuss. Maybe you could ask her what she thought was a decent amount to pay you. Since this discussion is 3 months old, can you tell me what happened about this? Are you working for your mom now? Or are you doing it for free? That is probably the thing I would suspect, that you are a good child and helping her out without getting paid.
@KrisNY (7591)
• United States
3 Aug 08
She is your mom--- we are here to help :) I would help my mom do whatever she needed with no questions asked. Why? because she would help me with whatever- no questions asked :) My mom started her own business so she could get insurance through the chamber of commerce. They sell firewood for the parks (campfires)- I have gone to her house several times and sat and sold while she went and did something- I have also helped cut the wood and replenish the pile to sell at least 5 times last year. I don't get anything out of it- except the gratification of helping my mom :)
@jillmalitz (5132)
• United States
23 Jul 08
If it is something you like why not do it? People who do things they like are lucky. You might have to do some research on what a good fee would be. A good approach might be to suggest that she has a lot of good stuff and she could get a lot of the work done faster with a little help in this way. Some people are just not detail oriented but are good sales people. Teamwork could be helpful to the goal of sales and happy customers.
@Lakota12 (42681)
• United States
22 Jul 08
as long as she already know you hel;p her out I would just ask her if she would hire you to manage all thet!