Do you have a great eBay story? Maybe a tale of how you built a successful business from the ground up? Or a story about how eBay allowed you to make an income while you managed more important priorities like raising kids or caring for a loved one? Whatever your eBay story, we want to hear it!
Which is exactly why we started the eBay SHINE Awards: to celebrate, recognize and reward some of the amazing small businesses on eBay. We encourage every seller with a story to tell to apply. But what makes an entry that will catch our eye? Here are our top five tips for making your entry SHINE:
Check out this stand-out submission from last year from one of our finalists. Take a look and get inspired. Happy writing!
I’m a 31-year-old eBay small business owner living in Los Angeles, CA. I started my business out of my dorm room during my freshman year at the University of California at Santa Barbara in 2003.
In the 60’s and early 70’s my grandfather was a national champion motorcycle racer. Upon retiring from racing he started a motorcycle parts and accessories distribution company. During my late teens I was made aware that his company had a problem moving some of their older inventory. My solution was listing these products on eBay. During my college years the business plan evolved. Soon I moved into current products and then upon graduation I decided to “go pro” and make this business my career.
Today, our annual gross revenue is over $2.4 million with just two full-time employees in addition to myself. The company has had steadily grown year over year since its inception, with eBay still our number one source of revenue. Our business’ HQ is a modest 2,000 sq ft warehouse office in Los Angeles, where we have multiple offices, retail space and a state of the art 360 photo studio.
I ran my eBay business as a business from the beginning. Although that is more commonplace now, in 2003 my customers were always surprised at my professionalism and customer support. Although our customer service line no longer rings to my personal cell phone, we still provide an excellent shopping experience to our customers around the world, evident by our 33,000+ feedback with a 99.7% positive rating. In addition to superior customer service, we add value to eBay with our extensive product knowledge. We put a huge amount of time and effort into creating listings that really stand out: Be it our in-house 360 product imaging or YouTube product reviews, we do our best to help educate the customer. From 2003 to 2016 we have gone from listing one by one, to 1000’s of products at a time.
We utilize a variety of eBay partners to keep the trains running on time and deliver the best customer experience possible. Listing and Order Management: Channel Advisor; Design: Frooition; Shipping: Shipworks; Inventory: SkuVault 360; Image Hosting: Imajize.
Simply put, eBay has allowed me the freedom to never seek a “real job.” Instead I’ve been able to design an amazing life and career that I’m passionate about. It started as a way to make few bucks, but pretty soon I was paying my way through school. Luckily I never had to use that accounting degree eBay helped me finance. It was a huge risk to not join the traditional workforce, but here I am almost 10 years later and I’ve never once regretted it...thanks to eBay.
Being an eBay small business owner has allowed me the freedom to travel the world, enjoy my favorite hobbies and be a part of an industry that is exciting and challenging. eBay has also allowed for my business to start giving back. Recently we’ve started using Kiva.org to make loans to riders in need. During my travels I realized that many of the world’s developing countries run on motorcycles. Kiva’s microfinancing platform allowed us to find and lend to small business owners in need of motorcycle repair or funds to start a motorcycle related business.
Now that you know what we're looking for, starting putting your story together and apply for the SHINE Awards. Don't wait, the submission period ends May 10. We're looking forward to reading your story.
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