Selling his first stamp at the age of 8, Joe Cortese has always been an entrepreneur with a flair for collectibles. He actually started out as night club owner/restaurateur, then went on to be a foreign car importer/exporter – where he sold sports cars to the royal family – and after that on to restorative property development. Eventually, Joe established his stamps, coins and other collectibles storefront, NobleSpirit, on eBay. He selected eBay as his preferred platform because of the company’s reputation in the Collectibles category, as well as eBay’s far-reaching scope. As Joe puts it, “A global market means I could go cross-border from the very first day. And we have.”
eBay Fact: eBay is available in nearly every language in the world, with localized websites in 25 countries.
In late 2013 and continuing into 2014, Noblespirit has experienced tremendous growth due to an enhanced infrastructure–building a new warehouse near their home headquarters–as well as technology improvements and global exposure through eBay’s Collectibles Special Events.
eBay Fact: ~5 Collectible items sell every second on eBay.
We had a chance to catch up with Joe to discuss what he is doing with his business to fuel his ongoing success on eBay:
What inspired you to open NobleSpirit?
“Everything I’ve done is based on an appreciation of history and something old.”
What is the biggest lesson you learned about selling on eBay?
“No business is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes, don’t be afraid of expansion and love what you do rather than what you’re selling; otherwise if you become too attached to those items business will suffer.”
What advice would you give small businesses looking to start selling on eBay?
“With eBay, you have the opportunity to become best-in-class, no matter who your competitor is. We are all still young companies in the context of the eBay marketplace.”
How do you become successful?
“eBay can turn you into a retailer overnight. Depending on the strength of your supply, you can sell as much inventory to an unlimited number of buyers on a global scale. You need to look at your competition and see what they are doing, so that you can devise ways to do that same thing in a uniquely qualified way that is even better and more interesting. The way we photograph the material, the way we tell the story of an album from the front cover to back cover is something we developed early on and is unique to us. A lot of people were impressed by this and we even helped our competition to develop and improve their business because we believe in embracing competition.”
What is the one piece of advice that you would give other sellers on eBay?
“As long as you price your goods at a reasonable level, with a professional attitude and reputable business practices you can grow a tremendous amount in no time. This doesn’t mean you need a professional business, it just means you need to run an honest business. Focus more of your time on saying what you will do and not what you won’t.”
What is one of the best parts about selling on eBay?
“The level of trust on the eBay marketplace with the seller community has increased tremendously. It is a community. If we trust one another than our buyers will trust us and the products we offer are the best available.”
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