105: Addicted To eBay & Lovin’ It – Lorianne Bowers

Lorianne is a Top Rated Seller on eBay, where she and her husband Craig have had a store since 2013. She and Craig buy storage units and resell on eBay, Craigslist, offer up, as well as various flea markets and antique shows. She does eBay as a full-time job and is very active in the eBay community.

Interesting Notes

  • Lorianne and Craig's eBay story started when Craig picked a box of baseball cards. It is a set with a Derek Jeter rookie card on it. It is a 1993 Topps set. Lorianne used to work with a guy listing on eBay using a Turbo lister. With her experience, she made their personal eBay account. Then she listed Craig's baseball cards, and they were sold. From there, the bug started and they got addicted.
  • Lorianne becomes the eBay girl. She sees no point going to auctions and flea markets when she can be home doing eBay and gets the money. So, her husband does all the sourcing. He goes to the flea market and Craigslist. While Lorianne takes pictures, lists their items, and gets everything ready to ship.
  • She goes to post office every day because she does not trust leaving her stuff on the porch.
  • She has been doing eBay full-time for 4 years now. From collecting stuff to creating a small pile of inventory, they now have a storage unit. It has racks and bins to make everything organize and hold their inventory.
  • Lorianne describes buying storage units as super fun. They get a lot of stuff that they cannot get at the thrift store or yard sale.
  • She added that every time they buy storage units is a surprise. A buyer of a storage unit is given only a minute to look at the things inside and start the Auction. They cannot see through the boxes. The boxes could have Tupperware inside or gold chains.
  • Lorianne describes her husband as the picking master. Craig's aunt is an owner of a flea market in a town about a hundred miles from theirs. So Craig has a way of picking unique stuff.
  • Lorianne is from Santa Cruz and loves to collect vintage skateboards. In one of their storage unit buys, they found stacks of vintage skateboards. They ended up splitting the items with two other people. They also found a bunch of Samurais. The skateboards and the Samurais are two of the best items they found in storage units they bought.
  • One time, she met a lady in an eBay meet up in San Jose. The lady is looking for a professional eBay seller to sell a bunch of collectibles left to her by her husband. So, Lorianne went to her house. She found that the lady's husband was a collector of Monster Memorabilia and 1950's Vintage Models. She looked into eBay and those are the rare things one could ever find in that category.
  • But they also have their share of “Oh! My Gosh Moment”. They bought a storage unit worth $1500. Inside the unit is a vault with a name Princess Mohammed outside. Lorianne was excited to see things from an Arabian princess. Besides, the vault is professionally packed by a company. But, when they opened the vault, they were shocked to see a 90-year-old lady's stuff. Then the other box was full of only packing materials. It was a terrible experience!
  • Lorianne did some silly auctions with a drafting pen. It started with an auction price of $22 a week before the interview. The auction period ended a day before the interview, but no one buys the item.
  • What Lorianne and Craig do works. They know their role in their business. They work well together to make the end results the same.
  • Unless they find their dream locker full of gold bars, she does not know how much more they could grow to do that. But, she's been looking into the wholesale thing. She has yet to find the right resource.
  • She is also looking into the consignment thing. She is not scared to do it now. If someone comes to her or she can find someone to do that for, could be a good source too to build their inventory.

Advice, Tips, and Tricks

  • Lorianne searches either on Google or eBay. She goes straight to eBay. But if she can't find something to compare on eBay, she will do a Google search. She looks at the images. If she would notice that it had come from eBay in the past, she clicks on the images. She could see what's going on there with the price.
  • She does not like Auctions so she tries hard to stay away from it.
  • Lorianne is a big believer of eBay tools. If you have an eBay store, you get Promoted Listings and Markdown Manager. You can do different things to your advantage using the tools
  • Her tools in taking pictures are:
    1. her iPhone
    2. a white bricks look-a-like backdrop bought from eBay for only $6
    3. cheap little lights
  • She would put the lights on the backdrop, then put her item there and use her phone to take pictures. Then she will create a draft on eBay from her desktop. And when she is ready to throw the pictures on, she will go on her phone. She would upload the pictures from her phone and finish it on her desktop.
  • Since they sell a lot of expensive stuff, she does the most expensive stuff first. For stuff that goes $25 and under, they send it off to the flea market.
  • The competitive price and the free shipping are factors that help them maintain their Top Rated Seller status.
  • Tips To Maintain 100% Positive Feedback:
    1. As much as possible, make your message personal.
    She finds the automated message as weird. Whenever her customers message her, she immediately messages back. She uses her customer's name so it would sound so personal. Then she will put a “heart” emoji and it will sound like “Love, Lorianne”.
  • 2. Wrap your shipment like a little gift.
    She is a big user of eBay shipping supplies. Since they have a store with different levels, they get a free coupon of shipping supplies every quarter. So it is a free stuff. There are new green tissue and cool stickers. When people buy stuff, she wraps it like a little gift. And when she send it to them, people immediately leave feedback like “Oh my Gosh! It is wrapped so nicely. Thank you so much. I love it! Great!”

 

Quotes

  • “The whole world is looking at your store at some point.”
  • “Get it on and get it listed!”
  • “I am an Entrepreneur, but I was not born an Entrepreneur.”
  • “Being stuck somewhere and have to work instead of doing whatever you want is awful.”
  • “The faster the customers get their order, the happier they are going to be.”

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