103: Finding Antlers and Grow the Retirement Fund – Dave Smith

Dave is a family guy; 5 kids and so far one grandchild. He spent 30 plus years working with cows, people, and equipment in the dairy and farming industry. He contributed to feeding a lot of people. Now five years later, he is selling supplies to animal agriculture industry primarily dairy farmers. He did eBay in the early 2000's for a short while. Then he got back in in 2014.

Interesting Notes

  • Dave has a full-time job that requires him to travel a lot. He does eBay at night and on weekends. His wife and kids help him in the packing and shipping when he is out of town
  • It was in 2004 when Dave and his wife started on eBay. Dave was on the farm and his wife was laid off from her corporate job. They only stopped eBay when they relocated to Colorado.
  • Since eBay has always been in Dave's mind, he got back to eBay in 2014. His whole family enjoys eBay too!
  • Dave has a variety of items he sells on eBay. He sources from thrift stores, estate sales, garage sales, and southwest collectibles.
  • He collects native American items, and trade them for some items. The rattlesnake skin on his listings is from a guy he traded with some books.
  • He also trades items from a close friend who buys storage units.
  • But the main thing he sells on eBay is antler and antler-inspired handcrafts.
  • Dave provides antlers for their dogs to chew. His family is very passionate about their dogs and considered those as part of their family. Their dogs enjoyed chewing on deer's antlers.¬†Antlers go well with his dogs and decided that he is going to help pet owners by selling those.
  • An antler is an extra skeleton that grows outside of the body. It is the fastest growing bone in the planet which makes it a very nutrient product for dogs.
  • The antlers that they provide their buyers are naturally shed. Every Spring and Summer, the deers' and elks' antlers naturally fall off and then they grow a new one. So no animals are harmed in sourcing antlers.
  • It is a natural and renewable resource.
  • Finding antlers turn out as a great exercise and their family's hobby to walk in the woods.
  • Dave has antler's buyers who are jewelry craft makers.
  • Antlers are best for knife handles. Dave sold antlers to people who were making knives for the super war re-enactment. He sold antlers to a gentleman who is a curator of a Museum in London.
  • Dave also made crafts from antlers as well. At the time of this interview, Dave is making antler ink pens. He also sells his finish products. His buyers are from the US and Canada.
  • They have repeat customers buying from their eBay store on a weekly and monthly basis.
  • He finds it fun when he gets pictures from pet owners with their dogs in the background chewing antlers.
  • He's got many buyers who send him pictures of their finish products – pieces of arts that are functional. Dave finds it cool.
  • It is rare that Dave has a return. Out of a thousand items, he would only get 5 returns.
  • Dave's travel schedule has increased in the last 7 months. He listened to this podcast when he is on the airplane.
  • When he is out, he has the ability to source from the road. It brings him an opportunity to source from different locations.
  • He is thinking of opening another store which is more niche oriented. He wants to build a website to generate more traffic to his eBay store as well as an information source. He also wants to increase his handmade crafts made from antlers.
  • Dave enjoys buying, sourcing, and selling. It is a passion that he always enjoys. eBay brought a way to do his passions electronically.
  • His eBay store ZIAFAMILY is all about family. He does it to increase their family's retirement fund.

Advice, Tips, and Tricks

  • He prices his items based on the competitors' prices he saw on eBay and other platforms.
  • His prices represent huge savings for the buyers and pet owners across the country. Because his price is half lesser than the big store.
  • To increase his results in people's searches, he tweaks his prices constantly. He would get his items listed for a week and put them on a sale of 20% off.
  • He does Best Offer to the majority of their listings to increase his presence when people search on eBay.
  • It is only rare when he does a price increase. When he revises the items, it is always at a lower price. When he sees that there are lesser views or no views at all, he changes the price to Best Offer or put it on sale. That way, his item's visibility would increase.
  • He would bend backward if there is a return, yet rare it is. If it is a buyer's remorse, he would accept and pay for the return shipping. He is going to do whatever is the buyer's needs. He would not want to concern with the return at all. He would move on to the next item.
  • How To Improve Your eBay Biz?
    1. Don't take anything personally.
    2. Separate emotions from business and you'll go a long way.


  • “Life is fun!”
  • “Finding antlers is like the adventure of Easter Egg Hunt.”
  • “Feedback is vital!”
  • “Customer satisfaction is our primary goal.”
  • “Life is too short!”
  • “eBay is still the place to be!”
  • “At the end of the day, it is not all about money. It is about enjoying what I do and having a blast.”
  • “eBay has a good feel to it!”

Contact Information

  • eBay Store: ziafamily13
  • Email: ziafamily.13@gmail.com