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Trying to become self employed not getting any advice

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MaryElizabeth
MaryElizabeth Community member Posts: 7 Listener
Hello everyone,
Ny current situation - on pip higher and lower esa support and uc .
 I have chronic pain amongst other condition which means I don’t leave the house much .
a as couple of years ago my symptoms became a lot worse which is why I am on the benefits (I used to work full time).
 I am feeling quite hopeless at the moment as I really miss my independence and earning my own way.
 My plan is to become self employed working from home as a reseller of vintage items and restored items .
I have asked the job centre for advice on this but have not gotten any clear advice or information on what I am able to do and not do regarding the benefits, they did put me in contact with a charity that helps people with pain management which was nice and I have found it helpful to talk to someone that understands my conditions but it doesn’t help me move forward with working.
 I really want to earn my own but am worried about the rules as I don’t want to do anything that I’m not supposed to do.
I am considering cancelling the UC but not sure if this is the best thing for me.
 I found something called access to work but the job centre said that was for people who have an employer so that adjustments can be made for them.
another one I found was quite patronising and felt that they wanted to find me some sort of volunteering position so I could be mentored (which would be fine if that’s what I was looking for but they completely overlooked what I am hoping to achieve).
sorry if this is very long but I really appreciate any advice or experiences that are similar and thank you all very much for reading.

Comments

  • ShirleyW
    ShirleyW Community member Posts: 355 Pioneering
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    I don't have any advice for you regarding self employment and benefits.

    But I wonder if you are aware of a Market Place called Etsy.  It's a good alternative or additional selling platform to Ebay.
    They have many different sellers from all over the world and sell lots of hand made, restored, upcycled and vintage items.
    https://www.etsy.com/uk

    Fees are high but no more than Ebay and they have a very good footfall.  It's easy to use the platform and you set up your own little shop.

    I had two shops on there for many years and loved it.

    Have you thought about how you are going to package and send items to your customers?  I found that this was an area which needed a lot of thought.

    You probably already know this but the keys to selling online are good pictures and promotion.  In fact you spend more time in promoting than you do in actually making or restoring items.

    If you have any questions about the Etsy side of selling things I'm happy to help.




  • MaryElizabeth
    MaryElizabeth Community member Posts: 7 Listener
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    ShirleyW said:
    I don't have any advice for you regarding self employment and benefits.

    But I wonder if you are aware of a Market Place called Etsy.  It's a good alternative or additional selling platform to Ebay.
    They have many different sellers from all over the world and sell lots of hand made, restored, upcycled and vintage items.
    https://www.etsy.com/uk

    Fees are high but no more than Ebay and they have a very good footfall.  It's easy to use the platform and you set up your own little shop.

    I had two shops on there for many years and loved it.

    Have you thought about how you are going to package and send items to your customers?  I found that this was an area which needed a lot of thought.

    You probably already know this but the keys to selling online are good pictures and promotion.  In fact you spend more time in promoting than you do in actually making or restoring items.

    If you have any questions about the Etsy side of selling things I'm happy to help.




    Hi Shirley,
    thank you for responding to my post.
     I have heard of Etsy but have never tried it I think it is a good idea though because some of my restored items would probably be more appreciated on Etsy than eBay.
    my selling experience is quite limited at the moment though I have sold on eBay mostly my own items so far.
     I haven’t given packing a lot of thought to be honest I just use mail bags but think I should improve this especially with the hand made stuff.
    Marketing is going to be a barrier for me largely due to the fact I don’t  use any social media, I recently setup an instagram then realised I have no idea what to do on instagram lol.
    thank you again for responding to me really appreciate it.
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Scope Posts: 12,506 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hi @MaryElizabeth :) I'm glad that you've been able to connect and share ideas with @ShirleyW

    I'm wondering whether you may also find it helpful to read our page on self-employment and benefits

    Was there anything in particular you were unsure about in terms of using Instagram, or other social media sites? I'm not a social media pro, but we may be able to help you find your way around.
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  • L_Volunteer
    L_Volunteer Community Volunteer Adviser, Scope Member Posts: 7,983 Disability Gamechanger
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    Is there anything you would want to know to feel more comfortable with using Etsy or Instagram @MaryElizabeth? It sounds like you might find it more useful than eBay.

    Please don't hesitate to let us know if we can do anything to support you with this. Take care for now and we will look forward to, hopefully, hearing from you again soon  :)
    Community Volunteer Adviser with professional knowledge of education, special educational needs and disabilities and EHCP's. Pronouns: She/her. 

    Please note: if I use the online community outside of its hours of administration, I am doing so in a personal capacity only.
  • ShirleyW
    ShirleyW Community member Posts: 355 Pioneering
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    As well as the actual packaging you need to think what service you will use.
    Royal Mail or a courier. 
    And the weight of your items and how much to charge for postage. 

    Yes social media can be tricky but it's a necessary evil these days for online selling.

    It's not enough to just have your stuff for sale online.  People need to know about it and know about where to see and buy it.

    I never did Instagram but used Pinterest and Facebook.   There are lots of groups on Facebook who sell stuff and they get together to support and promote each other.
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community member Posts: 16,147 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hi @MaryElizabeth - I think the recommendation to look at, & hopefully try, Etsy, is excellent....I found myself looking on there recently for a small display cabinet!
    I would also consider ebay, perhaps because I sold on there for many years (however that was 2ndhand & antiquarian books). Anyway, have a look in ebay's 'antiques' & 'collectables' categories, as the most important thing before becoming self employed is research, research, & yet more research! Sometimes you can list things for free on ebay (tho you still have to pay fees if you sell). On the plus side you will also have gained some feedback from selling your own items.
    Packaging is certainly important; through selling on ebay I used to get feedback that the recipient had never received such a well packaged book(s), which gives potential buyers confidence.
    Would agree that photographs are really important, including showing any imperfections.
    There's also advice online about self employment, which is worth reading, both from the government's website (search for 'self employment' & 'sole trader') & sites such as this: https://www.simplybusiness.co.uk/knowledge/articles/2022/01/register-as-self-employed/
    I would advise using an accountant, as they can help with their knowledge (& your tax returns for HMRC)!
    Your PIP award will not be affected by working (unless your award contradicts the work you intend doing), but others may know more about your other benefits & self employment.
    Wishing you all the best in your new venture. :)

  • Puja
    Puja Community Volunteer Adviser, Scope Member Posts: 104 Courageous
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    Hiya
    I’m also self employed and have been for a few years, and I use ebay, Facebook shop and social media mainly instagram and facebook
    I’m putting this comment here so I remember to come back tomorrow and share whats helped me
    as its a bit late at the moment for my brain to fully function 😂 
    My Pronouns are (She/Her & They/Them)

    I have lived experience of ND conditions, chronic pain, mental health & well-being, PIP, ESA, employment and benefits. 

    😊 Why not fundraise for SCOPE for free while you shop online 💜💛 🎅🏻 💷💸 🍯💻 📱🛒 🛍️ 📦 

    SCOPE ebay shop (online)
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