One of my biggest takeaways from working in restaurants was this…
If an owner is working IN their business, they aren’t working ON it.
If the owner is flipping burgers, who is doing the marketing? Who is answering e-mails, phone calls, updating spreadsheets? Not to mention all those tedious tasks in-between.
The answer is YOU
You freaking do everything to make your business work. You’re super busy but you’re not productive.
That’s what a hustler does, but a real hustler will take the cue to step back when the time calls for it. For some, that’s immediate. They have the resources to hire and pay the right help.
For most, it’s a hands-on experience until they’re able to hire more help.
We were those people until Loreto happened…
Finding remote help on sites like Fiverr.com & Upwork has gotten so easy in the past few years! Everyone with a small business should be looking into hiring a virtual assistant, it helped our eBay business grow tremendously!
Affiliate disclosure – we use affiliate links all over this site to make some extra cash. If you purchase anything through one of the links in the blog post, we get a small commission at no extra cost you love. Thank you & we love you!
Why we needed help
To create Resell Junkie takes a ton of effort.
(the artist that did the branding for Resell Junkie was found on Fiverr)
From the minor adjustments to fonts, drop shadows, e-mail options, to writing tons of blog posts…it takes time. To take the next step in our business, we needed to free up time.
By no means is what we do complicated, anyone can understand the general concept. The hardest part for me has been letting go. I am a control freak and teaching is hard for me because I would rather prioritize my time elsewhere.
However, I was thrifting, processing inventory, updating spreadsheets, doing research, listings...well, you get it.
The business was busy, but it wasn’t productive.
We spent so much time trying to learn tedious tasks to make the business run, but that’s all it did. Run, and us after it forever stuck in the cycle of ‘busy’. There came a point where help was necessary if we wanted our business to grow.
Once we realized that we started looking on Upwork.com and found the best human of them all…
Loreto pretty much does all the tedious tasks that take up the most of our time. Which never sounded like a lot until I wrote this blog post.
- 100-250 eBay listings per week, depending on inventory
- Edits our eBay photos
- Update sales spreadsheet daily – keeps track of numbers
- Create a “pull” list of items that sold with photo, buyer name, & storage location
- Creates shipping labels using Pirate Ship
- Researches random things I need him to for this site
- Tearpeak analysis to gain market information
- Instagram work
- Anything else I think of that someone can do from a computer
Our plans are to bring him on as a permanent part of our team because he has completely changed our lives! We’re no longer stuck doing all those tedious yet necessary tasks.
All we do now is thrift, process & photograph our inventory, work on Resell Junkie and hang out as a family.
What’s the business look like now?
Even though Loreto has cleared up so much time for us, anything hands-on is still up to us. However, our responsibilities look a bit different with all this cleared up time!
- source new inventory constantly
- process inventory / add to the spreadsheet with listing information
- photograph items – he edits
- print out labels he sends, create some myself
- ship items
- customer service
My goal has always been to get eBay to a place where it was easy, steady money.
It’s taken about two years, but we’re finally there! What I mean is that at this point, I can reliably know how much money we’ll make that week.
We don’t have to stress about money so much because we’ve got it down to a science.. but it took a lot of time and intentionality to get to that point.
This newly found free time offered me the mental clarity to be creative again.
I was able to take action on any opportunities that came our way. Most people don’t understand how valuable their times is.
How can you possibly think through any business ideas if you’re working 14-hour fry cook shifts?
You can daydream, but at the end of the day, you’ll just be busy.
Busy pays the bills. Being productive gets you ahead.
eBay is wonderful and we love our business, however, our plan is for Resell Junkie to take over eBay completely so we can free up even MORE of our time!
The plan is to have a business that can fit into a backpack, anything larger? Well then, I’m not interested.
How can we pay this person $5 an hour?
He’s not American, that’s how.
Trying to hire someone in the US to help you with anything is really hard if you don’t have tons of money or know the right avenues.
Most people are mediocre & expect a high pay rate just because they were born in the states. That’s not cool with me,
I will not pay a premium because you went to NYU on daddies dime and now think you’re a “designer”.
Overseas workers are agile, competent, & well-spoken most of the time.
Most really do try to speak English well, especially with Loreto, his English is great!
This obviously will vary widely, some people I have used before have clearly been using translators.
While I respect the hustle, they’re hard to work with.
Some of the best tech people come from countries like Russia, India, & Pakistan. Don’t be scared to hire these people & think that somehow their knowledge is inferior.
It’s not, remember, the US school system is pure garbage, where other cultures pride themselves on education.
Hiring for random tasks
By using platforms like Fivver and Upwork is how most online businesses survive. These websites also give you access to a worldwide community of hustlers just like you!
Just like any employee, you have to weed through the crappy ones. You really do get what you pay for. Don’t expect to pay someone $20 for a fabulous website, or you’ll be severely disappointed.
Sure, you can come across some great pricing compared to US prices, but you still have to pay for quality.
Think of something you do daily that you HATE. For me it was simple. I’d rather die than update spreadsheets. We sell between 10-20 items every day which requires the spreadsheet to be updated daily as well, and I hated it.
I wanted to teach someone else how to do it so I didn’t have to anymore. I created an ad on Upwork, within a few hours, I had a lot of applications!
Pro tip- You can add questions for freelancers to answer so you can sift through the no pile quickly.
Things I have paid people money to do for me on these platforms:
- product engineering
- web development
- IT help
- app development
- custom drawings of family stuff
- logos / graphics
- data entry
- photo editing
- eBay assistance
Tips & best practices
The number one thing I will say is to be as clear as humanly possible with what you need.
Do not beat around the bush or try to be nice.
Business first, if they do a great job, then you build a relationship. If not, move on and try someone else.
The internet is saturated with freelancers, don’t waste time on one that doesn’t vibe with you.
Don’t use slang and don’t expect them to know anything about your business. If hiring people to do things like website creation is what you’re after, be ready with your assets.
What are assets?
It’s your brand, your identity, your content, its everything that makes that website YOU!
You can’t expect to go on Fivver and get exactly what you want to be based off one conversation. It requires so much back and forth communication, problem-solving, tweaking, and above all…time.
If you want your brand to be exactly what you want, expect that it will take time, intentionality, and a lot of communication.
Go hire someone on Fivver to make you a website, they’re most likely going to be using a pre-made template. If you want something totally custom made, then you’re going to have to pay big money for it.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with a pre-made template, and honestly, most of them look very clean and professional.
The website template is only half the work, the quality of content is totally up to you! If you came across a photographer’s website that was high quality, but their content game was weak, would you hire them? Didn’t think so.
It’s the same with your website! Don’t expect someone to do everything for you, if you want it to be exceptional then that’s going to fall on YOU.
That’s not to say you need to become a brand developer, heck we hired someone to do all that for us on Fivverr for $300. What I am saying, is you need to be prepared with as much quality content as possible to end up with the best result
You need some skin in the game!
Tips for data entry hiring
The best way, in our experience, is to create two things…
a. A detailed outline document of the job tasks/timelines/rules
b. Screen recordings showing exactly what you need to be done, talking them through it
I do this to ensure I leave NO reason why the job shouldn’t be done correctly.
If they screw up, it’s on them. The material is there for them to refer to whenever they need in several formats, including my voice talking them through everything.
Loreto is pretty awesome when he screws up. Totally takes accountability & responds to critique well. Really great dude!
Just because you hire someone in a third world country for $3 an hour, doesn’t mean you own them.
They are a person with a story, dreams, & desires. Treat them as such. Treat everyone with the same respect you would expect.
Don’t be a dick.