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October 13th, 2009
06:18 AM ET

Doc makes more cash selling clothes on eBay

By Allan Chernoff
CNN Senior Correspondent

HIAWATHA, Iowa (CNN) - As Dr. Jennifer Lickteig examines patients at the Linn Community Care Health Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, she's also earning money from a second career that has nothing to do with medicine.

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Dr. Jennifer Lickteig started her online clothing business while taking time off from medicine to raise her family. "]

Lickteig runs a clothing store on eBay, where she's a "Gold PowerSeller," ranking among the top 1½ percent of merchants on the online marketplace.

The 35-year-old family practitioner says she earned $120,000 last year on eBay, more than she did practicing medicine.

"It's just kind of this thrill," she said. "It think it's the thrill of having built up this business and just done it myself. I don't have to get an MBA. I don't have to have a storefront."

As health care reform threatens to shake up the business of medicine, recruiting firms promote alternatives for doctors at pharmaceutical, biotechnology, insurance and investment banking firms. But eBay?

Lickteig was juggling medicine with mothering her two boys when she became pregnant with twin girls. Once Natalie and Melanie arrived, Lickteig had to take time out from her practice.

Between feeding and changing her genetically identical daughters, Lickteig was online, discovering that she had the genes of a businesswoman - a trait that had been hiding behind her medical degree.

Read the full story »

Filed under: Economy • Money & Main Street
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Charles

    Three thing Doc is not telling you, 1st Listing Fees 3-9%, Final Value Fee's 12% and then of course PayPal Fee's4%. She may of sold $120,000.00 but how much of that goes to Inventory,E Bay,PayPal & Shipping Companies? The E Bay life is not all that glamorous between E Bay Fees, DSR's & Charge backs it's not worth the headache, you do all the work E Bay & PayPal get the reward. Simple As That. I made the switch to & got rid of all the fee's & headaches, I have not looked back.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  2. kbk

    Raida & Donyale
    Dr Lickteig buys items on ebay, complains about the quality, keeps the item, gets a full refund from the seller and then turns around and sells the item. 100% profit. Sweet, ain't it?

    October 27, 2009 at 11:12 am |
  3. Ralda

    I requested some information before on how to get started and how to purchase the merchantdise at wholesale but did not get a response. Is it possible for Dr Lickteig to get in touch with me ?

    Thank you.


    October 27, 2009 at 9:49 am |
  4. kbk

    seems the CNN article is more fiction than fact.

    October 15, 2009 at 11:27 pm |
  5. Donyale Smith

    Hello. The story of Dr. Lickteig came at a time when I have been searching to create a small business of my own. Is there anyway that Dr. Lickteig can get in contact with me to discuss how she got started and how it grew? I would appreciate it.
    Regards. D. Smith

    October 15, 2009 at 8:01 pm |
  6. Lynn

    As someone else already said, her numbers do not add up. I sell on Ebay and know the ins and outs well enough to know the figures quoted do not add up for a one man show.

    Also, I have seen her feedback. Not a pretty site. All is not as it seems.

    October 15, 2009 at 8:10 am |
  7. Sharob

    Would like her company name,so I could check out the clothes.
    This would be a good way to shop or to check into a on line business when you can't get a job in the US anymore.

    October 14, 2009 at 12:24 am |
  8. Laura

    Great job doc, I have sold many items on Ebay before. Got laid-off last year and don't have that extra income. Recently started selling on Ebay, not too much luck this time. I often thought of buying wholesale merchandise and selling it very cheap, but not quite sure which way to go. Should I start with a single item first and then open a store what do you think, can you give me some tips?

    Thank you in advance,


    October 13, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  9. Ralda Drummond

    I think you have done an amaziing job. It takes commitment to achieve what you did and raising a family at the same time. I am in the health care industry as well, self employed, and I am thinking about retiring. Please send me some information on how I can get started on eBay.
    Thank you and continued success.

    October 13, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  10. Jack Yedvobnick

    I'm a Top Rated Seller/eBay Powerseller, on there over 10 years.
    Her numbers don't add up.
    All you need to be a Gold Powerseller is sales of 5K-10K per month.
    She may have told CNN that she "earned" $120,000 last year on eBay, but that's more likely her gross sales on eBay. The average seller on eBay has net income of 15%-20% of their gross sales. That's before taxes.

    October 13, 2009 at 11:00 am |
  11. chuck

    According to the eBay website, the MINIMUM standard for a Gold Power Seller rating is $10,000 in monthly sales or 1,000 sales per month. This is not someone cleaning out her closet or selling the cloths her kids have outgrown. This is an online business. Whatever she is selling she has a huge investment in inventory, plus the infrastructure to process lots and lots of orders. The CNN piece would have been clearer if it had said how much her annual sales were - because you have to sell a LOT of stuff to net $120,000 after expenses and fees.

    October 13, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  12. Tasha

    I think what you are doing is great to be able to work from home with the children and still have the security that we all want!! I would love to get more information from you please email. You go girl!!!

    October 13, 2009 at 10:27 am |
  13. Valery

    I have always wanted to do something like that because I do not have the capital to open my own business. I am not working right now even though I have many college degrees. Can she tell me where and how to begin? That would be of great help. Keep it up.

    October 13, 2009 at 10:04 am |
  14. Georgia

    What's her Ebay name? I would like to visit her site.

    October 13, 2009 at 8:47 am |
  15. Mitchell

    At least she will have something to fall back on after she is forced to practice government run socolized medicine.

    October 13, 2009 at 8:40 am |
  16. Dorothy Carrick

    Kudos to Dr. Lickteig. I wonder if she could share with me how she learned how to do this or what assisted her in getting started. I've wanted to do this since losing my job as a senior citizen, but thought of selling used items. It never occured to me that it could be possible to sell for manufacturers. Any guidance would be appreciated. Good luck with your business. Your family is fortunate to have such an innovative Mom and wife:-) Thank you for sharing.

    October 13, 2009 at 7:16 am |
  17. Kevin

    nice story and very inspirational : D

    October 13, 2009 at 7:13 am |
  18. Sharon,Daniel Island

    go doc! I wish my foray into Ebay was that successful. My antique bottles and gourment dog cookies are costing me more to advertise than there making

    October 13, 2009 at 7:08 am |