Raed Shakhshir started selling on eBay about seven years ago, after working in the banking industry for over fifteen years. This banker-turned-entrepreneur, sells used watches on his eBay store called Timepieces Jordan.
“I always had a passion for watches. I was fascinated looking at how such tiny pieces work together in a disciplined harmony. Choosing to sell watches was a passion transforming into a business,” says Raed.
This 45-year-old dad-preneur lives with his wife and two kids in the city of Amman, Jordan. From selling one of his own used watches seven years ago to selling 10-15 luxe timepieces a month today, Raed has come a long way. I spoke to Raed about his life as a family man and an eBay seller.
Mansi: From a banker to an online seller, how was the transition?
Raed: I started selling on eBay in the backdrop of 2009 financial crisis. There were massive layoffs and bankruptcies. I soon figured, that I needed to find an alternative source of income. So, I gradually started selling watches.
I learned the ropes of this trade and worked on building a reputation in the industry, before making the complete shift in 2015. eBay has given me a window to the world. It has helped me and my family overcome the hardships of the economic downturn. 2016 was the best year in terms of sales on my eBay store, and I am looking forward to sustaining the uptrend this year as well.
Mansi: How do you manage the sourcing?
Raed: I deal in used watches. So, the sourcing cycle is a bit erratic. There is no continuous source of inventory. My sourcing strategy looks more like hunting. One needs to be alert to find the right piece at the right time. At the same time, this business is seasonal. We see our highest sales around the Holiday Season. I collect the timepieces though the year and store them at my newly-established workplace.
Mansi: Watches are delicate and valuable. How do you pack and ship them?
Raed: I pack the watches with two layers to ensure they reach the customer unscathed. I use both bubble wrap, as well as, craft paper bags. This combination protects the watches against shocks and vibrations. This way of packing is lighter and is cost effective from shipping perspective.
Mansi: What’s the secret of your success in your eBay business?
Raed: I recently moved from an at-home office to an external location. I find myself more focused and organized after making this move. I am more productive now, than ever before. I also feel that I started my eBay business at the right time. Being fully dedicated really helped me grow my business.
eBay offers a large market and an extensive reach. Your items have access to millions of buyers who trust eBay. When you are listed on eBay, you are marketing your items on the most important selling channel in the world. In order to boost sales, I focus more on competitive pricing and providing excellent customer service.
When asked for a headline for his eBay journey, Raed said, “Interesting, Challenging, and Unique.” Starting in uncertain times, Raed has managed to stabilize his family’s income with his business on eBay. What has kept him going?
“There are good and bad times in any business or challenge of life. Understanding this simple fact keeps you going during hardships. You always have to look forward, overcome difficult situations, and keep up the spirit. That is the only way to succeed in life,” he says.
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