062: The Man Behind WorthPoint – Will Seippel

Will Seippel, whose eBay ID is wills1n4, has been selling on eBay since 1996, specializing in paper, photographs and posters, but has sold just about everything, including a carved turkey call for $27,000. Will is the CEO and founder of WorthPoint.com, the largest online database for antiques and collectibles values.

Interesting Notes

  • Will started with only 5 to 10 dollar items on eBay. The first thing he sold is children's books from his kids which are already kept on their house basement, and was shocked to find how much people would pay for those.
  • He is a picker and a seller who quits the corporate world at 50. He noticed that he needs a better data to sell profitably on eBay.
  • He thinks that sellers need to research better and Google is just too overwhelming with stuff that is not relevant to them. So Will came up with a database and called it WorthPoint where you can look at arts, patterns, autographs, and a lot more.
  • WorthPoint is a place where you can easily go to understand better what you are buying and selling.
  • Will built WorthPoint 9 years ago which now has a billion images on it. Recently, it released a new update to the website that includes the addition of thousands of Markers Marks and a digital library of books on antiques and collectibles, including historic price guides, that numbers more than 1,000 research books of all kinds of stuff.
  • There was a time when Will got an old cigar advertising sign for only $100 but is priced at $2,000 to $3,000 in WorthPoint.
  • One time in an estate sale, Will was asked to go down and take a look at the estate early and spent 7 hours in there. It was on that estate sale that he found the turkey call, which initially he did not know what it was. He just grabbed it for it was small, nicely carved, and a great piece of art plus there is still a room in his car for a turkey call. On that night, Will put it on eBay for 99 cents in an auction and on the next day, it was up to $10,000. But he had a soul-searching moment that led it to be sold to $27,000.
  • He tries to buy collections so he won't risk everything on one piece.
  • He got a home equity when he needs to draw down some cash. He borrows against his house maybe 6% to go by inventory. He does not believe on debt, but when he knows he can flip the stuff and make money to cover it pretty quickly, he borrows.
  • Will has a lot of friends that save things for him which Will gathers when he visits them.
  • He believes that the ideal situation on eBay is to have 2 persons like husband and wife, friends, partners, or whatever you are.
  • His wife does the shipping while Will does the buying and listing.
  • He tries to price his items in a way that he can get the people who really want it and pay for it.
  • Will does his own international shipping because he can get better prices that way.
  • He goes for one (1) day shipping and set proper expectations to his customers and lives up to it. That way, he gets better feedback.
  • He lives on the theory: buy anything of value and sell it.

Quotes

  • “Get out of your comfort zone when you are picking and look for cool stuff.”
  • “I am very disciplined. I do this part time and I have a store with 2500 items and I sell part time about 11,000 hours a month.”
  • “You can't be afraid. You need to be creative and you need to be disciplined.”
  • “You've got to believe and you have to be adaptable.”
  • “I specialized on some things but it does not stop me from buying and selling everything.”
  • “I try to buy things that you will not find on the other site.”
  • “It is important to try to give better service.”
  • “Selling on eBay is like a marriage. You'll have up and down period.”
  • “At the end of the day, it works. It works well.”
  • “We are so lucky to get up in the morning and be in a business world where we can learn every day.”
  • “What a wonderful world!”

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