From side gig, to eBay powerhouse: Moana’s lessons for success.
In the dynamic world of online reselling, Moana has redefined success as a self-confessed "lazy reseller." Her pre-loved fashion business revolves around efficiency and connection. In this article, we'll explore Moana's journey, and uncover the nuggets of wisdom she has to share on her journey to reselling success!
Watch Moana’s full Seller Spotlight on our Youtube channel.
It all started with paying off her grandson’s school fees
Moana started her business on eBay under the name ‘hemiandme_2032’, inspired by her grandson ‘Hemi’ and the year he graduates school. Moana’s initial goal was to use her eBay business to pay off Hemi’s school fees - and she achieved that goal with $12,000 of eBay income in 12 weeks.
The business grew beyond her imagination, starting in the garage, expanding into the spare room and dining room. She’s just bought a new house, purpose-built to help her grow her business. With a custom built shed out the back, she can hold more than 19,000 pieces of inventory, tripling her inventory.
9000 items, $1 each: Magic of strategic inventory
Moana's approach to reselling isn't about hustling—it's about harnessing efficiency, connection and individuality. She began by hunting for pieces in op shops, focussing on good brands, quality fabric and flawless items. This approach allowed her to select the right pieces in just an hour and a half. It’s not about spending endless hours searching, but about choosing items that a buyer will love; ‘I’m looking for the perfect item, so when people get it they’re really wow-ed’.
Moana knows that listing regularly helps boost her visibility, so she focusses on bringing fresh inventory into her business as often as possible. Her favourite op-shop is a local one, where every item is $1, which means any sale she makes is usually a profitable one. She accepts all offers buyers make, as the cost of her items is low and it ensures her inventory is always moving; ‘Sending offers to people who’ve looked, not just watched an item, that’s MAGIC. I get over 30% of sales from sending offers to people who have clicked on my item’.
She also notes that finding a niche or narrowing down your inventory scope, can help you grow your business even faster. She started reselling more broadly, and found women’s clothing was her niche- she could get high-quality items consistently and they sold the best on the platform. ‘When you start, you’re always doing and selling everything - I find the thing that [really] sells, that I can get the most of the most of consistently.’
She notes that every reseller has their own reasons why they source and sell the way they do, but you can find your own thing. She’s not one to follow reselling trends, and admits she has a unique approach, but inevitably that’s what helps her inventory stand out- ‘It doesn't matter what you sell, everyone sells something different.’
You don’t have to do it alone
While Moana is in charge of sourcing the perfect item, she knows that spending hours listing can be time consuming and it can be easy to make errors when you’re working alone (she’s only human!). To tackle this, she's teamed up with a detail-oriented virtual assistant from the Philippines. This partnership blends her strengths with her assistant's precision, allowing her to focus on growing her business while she gets a constant flow of perfect listings; ‘They’re perfect every time, they're so much better than when I was doing them - she’s phenomenal’. Sometimes you don’t have to go it alone, investing in a resource for the time-consuming parts of your business can free up your time to invest for future growth.
‘I wear the word lazy with pride- if there is a simpler or easier way to do something- then that’s the way I do it. I just want to be having coffee and building relationships, so the work has to get done really quickly.’
Moana also really encourages anyone selling on eBay to find a community to connect with. She knows a lot of resellers are sole traders and spend a lot of time working alone in their own business, so it’s important to have people to connect with and share ideas. Moana’s passionate about helping others scale and grow their business and you can check out her TikTok where she shares all her sage advice at @therealmoanat.
Work to live, not live to work
Moana doesn't live her life around her job, but rather manages her business around her life. Time with family and friends is always the priority, so everything in her business is systematized; ‘My jam is the systemisation of things, so I get in there, I do the whole thing, I have it systematized and then I rinse and repeat.’
She works with her VA so she has listings scheduled in advance, that way she’s always one step ahead in case she needs a day off- ‘We have [listings] scheduled 21 days in advance, in case I ever need to take a break, or take a holiday.’
She admits running an eBay business can be tiring, and it can be lonely as a sole trader, but what keeps her going is being able to be her own boss; ‘I never want to go work for someone else ever again in my life- I never want to ask to go to the bathroom, I never want to ask for holidays- I never want to trade time for money.’ In fact, one of her cousins is coming to visit and she’s taking those 10 days off and putting her Store into holiday-mode, and it’s that flexibility she loves about her eBay venture.
A personal touch: Standing out in the crowd
Moana's number one priority is making her customers happy, and she goes above and beyond to make sure that happens. She puts a personal thank-you card in every package, and for her it’s a game-changer. It has a photo of her and her grandson Hemi and it helps her stand out to customers and forge a connection when they buy from her.
This connection-building strategy nurtures trust and loyalty, forging a bond with the buyer that extends beyond the initial purchase. Her eBay store isn't just a collection of items; it demonstrates the meaningful relationships she cultivates, a reflection of her genuine and heartfelt approach.
Moana's advice is refreshingly simple:
"Be kind to yourself."
Aspiring entrepreneurs often fixate on chasing profits, but Moana's journey reminds us that success isn’t just about dollars. It’s also about the quality of life you have and finding a balance between ambition and well-being, progress and self-care. She embodies the essence of entrepreneurship— creating value, building connections, and finding fulfillment along the way.
Moana's journey showcases that the road to success needn't be complicated. By streamlining processes, embracing collaboration, and nurturing connections, she's transformed her eBay venture into a business that transcends mere items and dollars- it becomes about how she lives, not how she works. If you’re a new or established business owner, remember Moana's advice: seek simplicity, be adaptable, and above all, be kind to yourself. In the end, success is about more than just the numbers; it's about the quality of life your business allows you to lead.