Best Practices

Building a brand through superior service and smart staffing

Ron Wolf began selling on eBay in 2006, listing a handful of used items every week. Since then, he's built proaudiostar into a booming business that's set to break $1,000,000 in eBay sales for the month of October.

"To be successful, you have to love what you do," says Ron Wolf, Owner of Pro Audio and DJ Gear retailer ProAudioStar. Working out of his company's Brooklyn loft, Wolf and his 16 passionate full-time employees are about to have their biggest month yet—over $1,000,000 in eBay sales. Considering that Wolf built the ProAudioStar business upon 5 months of occasional listing experience prior to a $5,000 investment in 2006, that's no small feat.

"I was living in New York's Lower East Side, and began listing some used music gear for a friend, splitting the take 50/50. After about five months I decided to invest $5,000 in gadgets to sell, and it all took off from there."

Took off, indeed! Four years later, ProAudioStar is a multi-million dollar eBay Top-rated Seller, with thousands of active listings and near-perfect feedback and detailed seller ratings.

Invest in customer satisfaction
"Building customer satisfaction is like raising a child," Wolf states. "There's not just one way to do it." To that end, ProAudioStar employs an ever-evolving set of customer-centric business practices like offering free domestic shipping, sending fast, friendly and knowledgeable email responses and providing toll-free bilingual telephone support. "I welcome the opportunity to answer questions and connect with a buyer."

As pre-sale communication is just part of the customer satisfaction process, Wolf follows key post-sale best practices like uploading Shipping Tracking information to My eBay and the same-day processing and shipment of all orders placed before 3 PM EST. In fact, ProAudioStar invests so deeply in customer satisfaction that shipments to the west coast often get upgraded to 3-day shipping, at no additional cost to the buyer.

This might lower the profit margin on certain transactions, but it's an investment ProAudioStar is more than willing to make. "Customer service is an ongoing process—you have to invest in it and be on it," says Wolf.
"I welcome the opportunity to answer questions and connect with a buyer."
- Ron Wolf, ProAudioStar
Leveraging employee passion
ProAudioStar's versatile and passionate employees have also been a key to success. "Being based in New York," Wolf says, "I can find and hire talented people who are just crazy about the products we sell." In fact, ProAudioStar employees have been known to wear multiple hats: handling purchases, blogging, writing product reviews, and starring in ProAudioStar's popular YouTube product demos. With over 10,000 cumulative views, ProAudioStar's YouTube uploads consistently boost interest in product, drive sales and reinforce the company's position as a trusted, knowledgeable retailer.

Future plans: developing relationships, creating content
In looking toward the future, Wolf plans on "being insane—taking on new product lines, investing even more back into the business, and continuing to develop relationships with customers and manufacturers." He will also continue to build the ProAudioStar brand through an increasing number of blogs, future product reviews, and even more YouTube product demos.