Ebay + Goodwill = Second chances for clothing and people

Written by Lysa Voge, Owner of Sunburst Nation

The excitement hit me as soon as I saw it. It was a black Thierry Mugler blazer. It was a find. I get a lot of good clothes to sell from the Goodwill, but this one was special and is what helps keep me shopping.

Sweet & Sinful cardigan with Victoria’s Secret halter top. Both found at Goodwill.

It feels good to find an item like that blazer. Not only does it keep my eBay store stocked with impeccable and quality name-brand clothing at a discounted price, but it provides good homes for these clothes that may otherwise end up in a landfill. It also feels good because I know I’m helping Goodwill fulfill their mission to help people through education and job programs.

“It also feels good because I know I’m helping Goodwill fulfill their mission to help people through education and job programs.”

I started selling on eBay to make a little extra income. First, with my children’s clothes. Those sold pretty quickly, and that’s when the thought first entered my mind to start a business selling clothing. I’ve been interested in fashion since I was a teenager and eBay was the perfect medium to start a business. It’s well-known, secure, easy to use, and has many potential customers in the U.S. and abroad. I didn’t have to start my own website or do any marketing. I began to go to garage sales, thrift stores, and to buy from people directly to find clothes to resell.

Thrifted blouse from Free People.

In the process of setting up my business I discovered two major reasons that made what I was doing more worthwhile than just earning extra income:

Reason 1: When I learned the good things that organizations like the Goodwill are doing. When we buy clothing or other items from them they give back to people by giving them second chances through education, skills training, and work. In 2015 they (all the local chapters of Goodwill, under the Goodwill Industries International, Inc. umbrella) helped over 300,000 people find employment, credentialed over 40,000 people to increase their earnings and provided virtual training to over 35 million people.

Thrifted blouse from Express.

Reason 2: Giving clothing and other items second chances. There is an overabundance of stuff produced in our world. By Goodwill accepting these items it gives people the incentive to donate them instead of throwing them away. By reselling it allows people to purchase items at an excellent price, rather than buying a new item which creates the problem of more stuff. This also creates opportunities for people like me to buy from Goodwill and sell to many more people at a good price; extending the life of these items.

Thrifted blouse from Anthropologie.

It takes a lot of time and effort to own and run an eBay business, but by having a mission to provide great items at a great price with more than just money in mind it makes it all worthwhile. I am now a top rated eBay PowerSeller with over 11,000 customer feedback and a 100% positive rating.

By the way, I sold that Thierry Mugler blazer on Christmas Day. I like to think it was a gift that helped the person in some way. Perhaps she wore it to a job interview and ended up being hired!

Thrifted blazer and camisole. Camisole is White House Black Market and blazer is Anthropologie.

For more information about the Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota, visit www.goodwilleasterseals.org. For more info about Goodwill Industries International, visit www.goodwill.org.

To visit my eBay store go to www.sunburstnation.com. We can also be found on Twitter and Instagram.

To learn more about starting and running an eBay business here some additional information: I was a guest on the “So You Wanna Sell on eBay” podcast available on iTunes or www.soyouwannasellonebay.com. I was also a guest on the official eBay Radio available on iTunes or http://community.ebay.com/t5/eBay-Radio/gp-p/g-232.