Top-rated seller succeeds through smart marketing, assisting others
eBay Hall of Famer and Top-rated seller Danna Crawford (user ID: danna) started out selling Beanie Babies in 1997. She's now an accomplished Trading Assistant, Education Specialist, and gold-ribbon eBay Giving Works contributor.
Ocala, Florida resident Danna Crawford began her eBay business with a singular focus—making the most of the 90's Beanie Babies craze. Over the years, she's seen eBay grow into a leading global e-commerce site, and has grown her business, as well. "My eBay business has changed several times over the years," she says, "growing bigger and more powerful. I concentrated on marketing and learning how to generate traffic to my eBay Store and eBay listings. I've also taken advantage of numerous opportunities eBay offers its sellers that help them climb the ladder of success, like the Trading Assistant Program, the Education Specialist Program and eBay Giving Works. Each of these areas has helped my eBay business grow."
Crawford's involvement in eBay has been so great that in 2008 she won the eBay Hall of Fame award, given to people that contribute to the health of the eBay community. "I was active in eBay Groups and the eBay Community Discussion Boards. eBay had a blog back then, and I was involved with that. And I was a seller, so I was a part of everything that eBay had to offer!"
INTERNATIONAL SELLING AND GETTING TOP DOLLAR FOR LOCAL CLIENTSBeing an eBay Trading Assistant, Crawford lists and sells all sorts of items brought to her to by others. "I accept items daily as a Trading Assistant, from vintage guitars to motorcycles. There are lots of people that don't have the time or inclination to do eBay, so I sell their collectables." She's dedicated to helping her customers get top dollar for their treasures—one of the best ways she's found to achieve this is by making items available to buyers all across the globe.
"I'm the only person in my area that ships internationally. I think you cut yourself short if you don't offer international shipping—it's not that hard, it's secure, and it opens up your items to be sold at a higher price. For example, I sold a motorcycle for $12,000. Near the end of the auction, buyers in Germany and Poland started a bidding war. Even though it eventually sold to a man in New York, if the item hadn't been opened up to international bidding, I don't feel it would have sold for as much."
EXPANDING HER BUSINESS BY EMPOWERING OTHERSAnother profitable extension of Crawford's eBay business is her role as an Education Specialist, where she gets paid for sharing her eBay knowledge with others. Her in-person classes include Basics of Selling on eBay, Beyond the Basics, eBay Stores, and eBay Giving Works, and she is especially proud to be one of a handful of sellers officially trained to offer a Business Consultant class. "I'm a Certified Business Consultant trained by eBay. Only 29 people in the country have reached this level. It really allows me to reach out to businesses and show them how to bring their business to eBay." On top of her in-person classes, Crawford offers educational DVDs specific to eBay selling. "They teach different things: how to market your eBay business, how to list an item, how to sell, how to become a Trading Assistant. I sell them for $9.99, and 10% of that goes to charity."
GAINING EXPOSURE BY GIVING TO GREAT CAUSESThrough eBay Giving Works, Crawford donates a percentage of select items to nonprofits. "eBay Giving Works gives me the opportunity for more exposure, while doing the same for a nonprofit. It's like having the holiday spirit—the spirit of giving—all year long, and it's helped my business grow. I alternate with all of our local nonprofits, and reach out to the bigger nonprofits: Stand Up To Cancer, Malaria No More, and The Red Cross."
Sellers: When you pledge to donate from 10% to 100%* of an item's final sale price to your favorite nonprofit through eBay Giving Works, we'll credit back your Insertion and Final Value Fees by the same percentage you pledged. Giving 50% of your item's final sale price? You'll get back 50% of your fees. Giving 100%? You get full credit on these fees. View a step-by-step tutorial on creating an eBay Giving Works listing.
TOP HELPFUL TIP FOR ALL SELLERSWhether she's speaking to business owners or first-time sellers, Crawford can't stress enough the power of good communication. "It's all about the trust factor. Gain trust by communicating, because when you leave buyers hanging, they start to wonder what sort of bad things are going on. Touch base, thank your customers for shopping, and never beg for feedback. If you've done your job well, you won't have to ask."
*As little as 1% on eBay Motors for all categories except Parts & Accessories. Not available for Classified Ads.