Best Practices

Seller looks back and gives back

As the largest US outlet for new surfing equipment, discountwatersports has a lot to celebrate this holiday season. Yet, its cofounders have never lost sight of what matters most.

Over the last six years, sales for Discount Water Sports have almost doubled each year. Their satisfied customers keep coming back for more, and Discount Water Sports' little to no instances of low (1's and 2's) detailed seller ratings (DSRs) and flawless Feedback support this fact.

Voted 2008 Young Entrepreneur of the Year out of 600,000 small businesses by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Discount Water Sports cofounder Tim Gormick credits their commitment to customer service as the driving force for their success.

"It comes down to treating people how you want to be treated. We carry this principle into every aspect of our business, from order to delivery. It's about being flexible enough to satisfy buyer needs, not over-enforcing strict policies and disclaimers."

"We started on eBay in 2000," says Joe Seminara, "and we've been in the wholesale coin business since 1990. We travel to coin shows and have a store front in Winter Springs, Florida, just outside Orlando. eBay is a new avenue for us to reach people that we otherwise couldn't reach every day. It's been very successful for us."
"It comes down to treating people how you want to be treated. We carry this principle into every aspect of our business, from order to delivery."

However, the road to success has been anything but easy. Tim recalls how the first hurdle appeared when he was a child.

"I was diagnosed with Auditory Processing Disorder at an early age. But over the years, I've learned to turn this weakness into my greatest strength through my faith. Of course, if you had told me at 20 I would be running a successful business with a learning disability and only a high school education, I wouldn't have believed you. Just goes to show you, anything's possible."

In 2003, Tim and his wife Autumn launched Discount Water Sports for the most part out of necessity—Tim was laid off from his job of ten years. So to make ends meet, Tim would accompany Autumn to garage sales and look for items to sell on eBay part-time. Being avid surfers, selling used surfing equipment occasionally was a natural fit. It took off from there. Today, between raising two kids and their tireless charity work, the couple manages a spacious warehouse with employees and work with several overseas manufacturers.

Committed to doing more
Discount Water Sports is still gearing up for the holidays even though summer is the company's peak season. They continue to add new products and diversify their product lines in hopes of reaching more buyers. For example, they now offer high quality massage chairs at very affordable prices. In addition, they offer free shipping on all surfboards ordered in Southern California.