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Meet The Community - eBay

Friday, August 20, 2010

Shaun Shienfield never would have guessed what a major role eBay would play in the development of his business when he stumbled across the web site four years ago.

Already the partner of a successful e-commerce web site www.knetgolf.com, specializing in the sale of discount golf balls, Shaun was at home one day after work looking for ways to promote his golf balls on channels outside of his existing e-commerce site.

"Every time I searched for golf related products to see what position our competitors were in, something funny happened - eBay dominated the listings," says Shaun. "I followed the links through and sure enough it was individual sellers from eBay who were in the top 30 rankings. I said to myself, if all of these golf businesses are selling on eBay and are optimized on Google then perhaps I should give it some thought, sign up an account and begin to sell our golf balls too."

Since that time, doing business on eBay has grown from a 30-minute-a-day task into a full-time bustling business with literally hundreds of orders a day during the prime golf season (March to September) and a call center staff of three.

"eBay is a substantial additional channel to www.knetgolf.com and represents approximately 40 per cent of Knetgolf's overall revenue up from 20 per cent at the same time last year," says Shaun. "There are also four retail stores in Ontario, Golf Clearance Warehouse, and we supply the stores with their golf balls."

Throughout the year, Knetgolf sells about 80 per cent of their goods to golfers in the US, including Florida, California and Arizona which helps keep the business afloat in the off season.

Shaun credits the success of Knetgolf?s eBay business in part to the design of Knetgolf?s creative look on eBay.

"My co-worker Bill Birss has put a lot of effort into our creative, it has been tweaked over the years and redesigned to reflect the changing needs of the eBay customer and marketplace ? this all would not have been possible without Bill?s hard work," says Shaun.

Asked what advice he might have for someone considering becoming a seller on eBay, Shaun emphasizes research, research, research.

"Before investing one minute of time, energy or money, research your competition?s products, prices, service, shipping rules, methods of promotion. Read the eBay forums and learn from other eBayers who are already successful in your market. You do not need to reinvent the wheel but rather learn from those who are already doing it successfully in your chosen field and emulate this success," says Shaun.

Shaun says that while one of the benefits of selling on eBay is the large number of buyers eBay brings to the table, one of the challenges of doing business on eBay can sometimes be the high expectations of the eBay customer.

"eBay customers expect quick delivery of their purchase and have high expectations for customer service," says Shaun. "We see this as a challenge and it actually raises our own levels of expectations and drives us to offer superior service and product."

Looking ahead, Knetgolf is focused on expanding their business on eBay, building the number of listings, their customer base as well as adding additional types of products that will bring great value to the eBay community ? all the while continuing their high level of service and meeting and exceeding the expectations of their customers.

Throughout the year, Knetgolf sells about 80 per cent of their goods to golfers in the US, including Florida, California and Arizona which helps keep the business afloat in the off season.

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