If you're a mom juggling kids and career, then you know it's a constant struggle. But The Early Show may have just the answer for you. Debbye Turner takes a look at a new trend that's changing the lives of working moms, in Thursday's "Life Matters."
Have you ever imagined a job with no commuting, no office politics and no glass ceiling? You can make it happen. Moms across the America are discovering the flexibility and fun of selling on eBay. They're leaving the corporate world behind and creating new careers online.
Michelle Kumpe and her daughters love diving into her latest purchase of designer dresses.
"I've got 500 currently," Kumpe says as she unpacks her latest shipment. And she knows the details of every one without looking inside, she notes.
Kumpe left her job as a TV producer to spend more time with her three girls. Not quite ready to give up work completely, she tuned her passion for fashion into a way to make some extra cash.
"I love it; I'm addicted," she says and laughs.
Kumpe is one of a growing number of moms selling their wares on eBay. It's become so popular these enterprising mothers even have a name, "mompreneur."
"By January, I had over 400 dresses," Kumpe says. "I had a little bit of too much shopping enjoyment there, and started to worry about divorce and how long it was gonna take me to sell all these dresses. And I decided to ship globally, and once I did that, it took off."
Marsha Collier is another "mompreneur."
"You get to be near your family," Collier notes. "You get to be near your garden; you get to be with your pets. If you don't feel like getting up at the crack of dawn in the morning, you don't."
Collier shops closeouts then resells the items on eBay.
"I bought 10 wedding gowns for $250," she says, "And I can obviously sell them on eBay at a really nice profit."
Looking at her cluttered office, one would think she is a pack rat, but Collier says, "Actually, I look at everything I have here as money."
With 50 million active users, eBay is a fertile, worldwide marketplace. And eBay CEO, Meg Whitman says half of the sellers are women.
Whitman says, "You can pick the product that you want to sell. You can decide how much time you want to invest. You can connect with people who like the same thing you do."
And any mom, Whitman says, can start an online or eBay business, regardless of her background.
"The only thing you need to know is how to use a computer," Whitman says.
Even so, Collier has written a slew of best sellers offering tips on eBay businesses. The key to success, she says, is to sell what you love.
Collier explains, "If you collected figurines, if you've collected sterling silver, sell something initially that you know about, go to thrift stores, find that kind of merchandise."
And the business has not only been lucrative, Kumpe says, "It's been a great boost to my confidence. I have much more respect for myself. And it's nice to see others who didn't have respect for me now do."
And showing a colorful dress, she notes, "I have this Georgio Armani gown that is identical to the one Beyonce wore. It's fun work. It's fun work. There's a lot of work to it, but I have a lot of fun."
Online businesses offer moms great flexibility. You can treat it as a part-time job to bring in additional income or as a full-time commitment. On eBay, you can do 10 auctions a week or 110. It's totally up to you.
Experts say a woman can expect to make "comfortably, $50,000 a year." What you have to remember is eBay is not simply a garage sale for cast-offs. There are thousands and thousands of brand new products for sale. If you have a flair for bargain shopping, this is the place for you.
And many eBay moms are teaching their kids all kinds of business skills. Children have the added benefit of having their moms more available to them.