As a B2B marketing consultant for 36 years solving marketing problems came with the territory. When I was confronted with the challenge of where and how to get an endless supply of rare antiques and vintage collectables for my weekly eBay online auction I was already a seasoned problem solver.
Except in this case, it was very personal and urgent because without a near term solution, the doors to SelectibleCollectables, LLC, my eBay online consignment auction business would be forever closed!
Drop Shipping wasn’t an option. Trusting a stranger – someone outside of Selectable Collectables, LLC, with my confidential customer mailing list was out of the question. Plus, the lack of control with Drop Shipping concerned me.
Paying a third party, on the other side of the globe, to pack and ship an item I hadn’t personally authenticated as being a genuine, rare antique or vintage collectible didn’t sit well with me. Paper-thin profit margins were not worth sacrificing my hard-earned reputation.
I began an intensive process of searching for new inventory sources. New, in this case, was a more reliable, perpetually-filled pipeline of rare antiques and vintage collectables.
My earlier career schooled me to think outside of the box. After graduating from FSU with a BS in Marketing, I became a Hospitality Industry computer sales rep. First, with NCR in Miami Beach for seven years and later with my own company.
After cashing out of Hospitality Industry computer sales, I started Mr. Mailer, Inc., a direct mail processing and telemarketing sales lead qualification business in Orlando. It was one of a kind and way ahead of its time. We were the first in the marketplace and we quickly became the dominant competitor.
After processing 18 million client direct mail pieces I sold Mr. Mailer, Inc., in 1983. At which time, I opened the doors of Leads-Plus, Inc., my sales training and marketing consulting practice. Former direct mailing clients hired us to retrain their outside sales agents. Also, to install sales lead-generation programs to solicit new clients.
In December 1999, a home accident followed with painful back surgery and a two year recovery period temporarily ended my ability to travel so Leads-Plus, Inc. was placed on the back burner.
I discovered eBay during my recovery. Like most new eBay sellers, I began by auctioning my wife’s old shoes, handbags, our garage junk; and eventually stuff for our neighbors.
Then one day, an old friend with a huge collection of rare antiques and vintage collectables became my eBay partner. For three years, we auctioned his fully restored 1,200 clocks, working tube radios, music boxes, telegraph keys and other rare antiques and unusual vintage collectibles.
Suddenly, I was back in school again learning about antiques and collectibles, a subject which always fascinated me. Only this time, with an expert teacher, since Herman, my eBay partner, was a master antique restorer who only used authentic antique replacement parts while restoring rare antiques to their original glory. His love and respect for antiques and collectibles soon became mine.
After auctioning Herman’s stuff, I decided to become an eBay online consignment seller and to do this for the rest of my life. The doors to SelectibleCollectables, LLC, my eBay online consignment auction business, were barely open one month when I realized I needed another wealthy client, just like Herman. Where oh where could I find another Herman?
Sitting in church one February Sunday in 2003, the answer came to me: the seniors, seated around me in my church pews, had the loot from past generations and their growing up years. It was stored in their attics, basements and garages.
The stuff of their lives would become my perpetual inventory supply IF I could just figure out where to access seniors and how to earn their trust!
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