070: Nuts, Clips, and Bolts Aficionado – Vic Cruz

Vic Cruz has been married for over 28 years and has 4 children. He is a coach for the Special Olympics when time allows and enjoys walking dogs and working on old cars. His eBay journey began in 2006 when he was restoring a 1968 mustang. A friend told him that he could make money selling parts on eBay. To the junk yards he went and proved his friend was right. He was amazed at how much money could be made on eBay and has been selling since.

Interesting Notes

  • Vic is from New York but now lives in Virginia.
  • He has a full-time job as a police officer. He only operates his eBay business when he got home. After dinner, he will go to his basement office and work there until midnight. On Saturdays, he works 5 hours. On Sundays, he will get off and run around body shops.
  • He started his business when he was restoring his 1968 Mustang. He does not want to take money out of their household to pay for its restoration. His friend suggested that he could make money selling parts on eBay.
  • Together with his friend, they would go to the junk yard and pull some parts of the cars and sell on eBay. He made a decent money out of it.
  • One time, he got a side marker lamp that was all broken. He was about to throw it in the garbage, but his friend insisted on putting it on eBay and see what it can get. Vic hoped to sell it for $2 or $3, but it sold at $45.
  • At another time, he got a Mustang center console that was completely damaged. He described it and shown the cracks in it. He would be happy to sell it for $50 to $60, but it sold at $100 and he pays for the shipping. It amazed him!
  • Vic started with an auction.
  • While he is restoring his Mustang, he wanted to get new and OEM correct fasteners for it. He looked for it on eBay, but could find none. He started to look for a company that sold them. He found only one company in town that sold original style bolts. Vic asked if they sell on eBay and they said no. He asked if he could sell their items on eBay and they said yes. So, Vic processed his business license for $50.
  • He started his business with the OEM correct bolts for 60′s and 70′s Mustang cars. Today, he sells other kinds of items because of the demand from eBay customers.
  • Vic alone manages all the tasks in his business. Now and then, his son and daughter help him in the packaging. His wife helps out in pick-ups and deliveries. Recently, he hired his niece to help him do the inventory and take photos if needed.
  • He has his business in 3 parts. One is eBay, from where he started. Second is his website. Third is car shows where he finds out what people are looking for.
  • Vic sources his items from vendors at a reduced price.
  • He does not perform research of the fasteners he sells. The company he deals with does all of the research. All the items are absolutely correct as it came out of the factory.
  • The photos of his items are all stock photos because it comes from a manufacturer. He only takes photos if the items are different from what he have.
  • He had a misfortune last month. He made a wrong inventory sheet. He has three sheets that he could not deliver and had to return the money to buyers. It lowered his rank on eBay. His sales went down. Now, he makes sure he has enough stocks.
  • Another biggest lesson he learned is to have a backup computer system. He experience having his computer broke down for 3 days and incurred losses in his business. Now, he has a new computer and a backup laptop.
  • Vic has a 2-car garage. In it is his Mustang, and the fasteners filled the whole side of the garage.
  • He does free shipping with exceptions on big items which are hard to do free shipping.
  • He is a big believer of feedback. It works both ways for him. Feedback gives him the pulse of how his business is going. If he gets negative feedback, he calls the person and take the return. Immediately, he corrects the problem.
  • Vic has been on eBay for 10 years. He has seen some changes; some pretty good, some not. But it has been wonderful.
  • His goal is to make eBay full time.

Quotes

  • “eBay is like a sleeping dragon.”
  • “Because of eBay, my business is growing tremendously!”
  • “If you roll with the punches with eBay, you are going to get rewarded.”
  • “Mistakes? You learn from it and move on!”
  • “I love everything about eBay. I love selling my products at car shows.”
  • “Do only the things that only you can do.” – Jim Cockman

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