We are one of the millions of people that buy and sell on ebay. We just got back from ebay’s conference/20th Anniversary Celebration in San Jose, California and we are excited.
Ebay has helped us to turn a father-son auto project into a growing business. Being able to put our niche products out into the world at little cost transformed our business from a one-person machine shop that made other peoples stuff (contract machining) into a 5-person business with two of our own product lines now making up 75% of our sales and growing. We are currently looking for a larger space to move our business and are planning on bringing our son into the business so we can continue to grow together. Pretty exciting stuff!
In spite of all of this and our gratitude to the ebay platform for connecting us with buyers around the world, we never really felt like an important part of this company. The really big sellers appeared to be a much higher priority. However, we left this event re-energized hearing a strong commitment from ebay to refocus on small and medium businesses and to put more powerful tools into our hands to help us grow. We left feeling like us little guys really do matter.
The theme of the celebration was “We are ebay” and you know what? We ARE ebay along with many, many other small businesses. Together, we make up the largest inventory on earth. (Over 800 million items for sale at any time!)
My readers who have been around for a while might remember that I left my job two years ago while I was sick with Lyme Disease and joined my husband in our family business. Though he had been selling on ebay for three years at that point, I had never bought a single thing on ebay. Now, I often look on ebay first and purchase supplies for our business and items for home or personal use from other small sellers like us. When I can’t buy local, buying from other small businesses is the next best thing.
So thank you ebay for helping to transform our business and our lives. We look forward to seeing what the next 5-20 years will bring.
Just in case you are interested, you can check out our ebay store here.
Also, here are the videos of the keynote presentations for the conference. I was very excited to learn about the new Seller Hub (awesome data at our fingertips for us data geeks), and the new 4.0 operating system powering ebay online but was especially moved by the conversation between ebay founder Pierre Omidar and current CEO Devin Wanig and to be reminded that ebay was founded on two principals that matter to me: 1- most people are good, and 2 – given the opportunity, most people will do the right thing. Good stuff!