Buyers of pricey Los Angeles Dodgers collectibles don’t exactly line up at your door when your music, comics and memorabilia shop is located in Joplin, Missouri. So when Rodney Spriggs finds that one of his 10 Vintage Stock stores in the Midwest has slow-moving merchandise, he lists those items on eBay to reach a wider audience.
“eBay gives us a great outlet for higher-dollar items or items that might not sell in the Midwest,” explains Spriggs, 38, who co-owns the company with partners Steve Wilcox, 39, and Ken Caviness, 49. “Five-hundred-dollar Star Wars items might just sit in the store, but when we put them on eBay, we reach a whole new audience.”
Sales on eBay make up approximately 3 percent of the company’s $7 million in annual revenue. Spriggs expects the percentage to jump in 2006, when Vintage Stock plans to open an eBay Store instead of just running individual listings from each of the company’s locations.
While brick-and-mortar retailers may not immediately think of eBay as a viable selling option, Janelle Elms thinks every retailer should have an eBay presence as a way to unload inventory, beef up sales and even drive traffic into local store locations. Elms, co-author of eBay Your Business: Maximize Profits and Get Results, lives in Kirkland, Washington, and teaches courses on eBay selling, in addition to consulting with businesses to maximize their profits on eBay.
“I’ve worked with hundreds of businesses, and I’ve yet to find a product or service that doesn’t work on eBay,” says Elms. “For a very low cost, you can get your name out there, brand your business and reach an audience that you never dreamed of with a small retail business.”