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EBAY SUCCESS STORIES
Trainz Model Trains
Model train enthusiast turns his passion into profit
Scott Griggs has loved model trains since he was 8 years old. When he was 18, he turned his passion into a business by buying broken model trains and repairing them.
When he bought ZW transformers for $25, reconditioned them, and sold them for $35, he was on top of the world. But that was only the beginning of Scott's career in model railroads. He owned a brick-and-mortar train store for many years and sold a lot of merchandise, but had difficulty making a profit due to high overhead costs. Then came eBay. Scott entered the world of ecommerce when he started selling on eBay in 1998, and he finally found the formula for profit. By lowering his overhead costs, he was able to keep more of his profits and create a successful, sustainable business.

Scott opened his eBay Store, Trainz, in late 2005. He now posts 3,500 to 4,000 Auction-style listings a month and another 2,000 per month in eBay's Store Inventory listing format. Scott uses Auction-style format listings for his more expensive items and unique items he purchases from collections. He uses Store

While his high percentage of Auction-style listings keeps new customers coming in to his Store, Scott's repeat customers make up about 35% of his sales. He keeps old customers coming back with chatty email newsletters that make customers feel like they're dealing with an old friend.
Scott Griggs
Inventory listing format for accessories, add-on purchases, and items he can buy from distributors-all items that help increase his average order size but don't perform as well in auction-style format. This listing mix allows him to get market prices for his collectible trains, and the exposure drives a lot of traffic to his eBay Store.

Making new customers while keeping the old

While his high percentage of Auction-style listings keeps new customers coming in to his Store, Scott's repeat customers make up about 35% of his sales. He keeps old customers coming back with chatty email newsletters that make customers feel like they're dealing with an old friend. Instead of just promoting products, Scott keeps customers informed about what's happening at Trainz, including personal details like staff birthdays. He also uses a third-party service called My Store Rewards that lets customers sign up for an automatic 1% discount on repeat purchases.

Great customer service also plays a big role in Scott's success. Customers are obviously pleased with his policies, as Trainz has an impressive 99.5% positive eBay feedback rating! He tries to ship items within 24 hours of sale and sends shipping notifications with tracking numbers for every order. More >>

eBay Seller's Success Stories > Trainz Model Trains
 
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