Cash from E-Bay into a Full-Grown Business: Doug Pickering Turned Cash on the Side Into a Successful Business with the Help of Sapphires’ Steve Shaw
Doug Pickering hired Business Coach Steve Shaw to help with another business, and with this help and guidance Doug has turned an e-bay opportunity sale into a successful online business.
On Christmas Eve when preparing the stuffing for the turkey Doug Pickering’s blender made a strange sound and stopped. It transpired there was a broken part which appeared easy to replace. Doug found the part number and lots of places who could supply.
There was one problem however, none of them would ship just one small piece overseas. After buying several from one supplier, Dougs’ logic was he could put the ones he didn’t need on e-bay and sell them on himself.
So this is what he did, once listed on e-bay they all sold within 24 hours. “Hm, he thought, let’s get some more and sell them the same way” which is just what he did.
It was a business opportunity for the taking, however, he had just started an IT business and was working with business coach Steve Shaw to help him get it up and running. After a few sessions with Steve it became obvious that the e-bay opportunity was not just a distraction but a great business opportunity to be developed.
With guidance from Steve, Doug took the business from selling a few items on E-Bay to a full grown Company, K A Parts, which promotes and sells online spare parts from various kitchen ware manufacturers with sales across Europe and partners in the USA.
“We have successfully built a team of people and put manual and IT systems in place to deliver a high quality consistent service at a very reasonable cost” Doug Said.
“Through Steve’s coaching, we have learned how to help our suppliers to help us” Doug said, “As a result, we have helped open up business opportunities for our US supplier to add value to their sales and improve their marketing. We recently worked on a joint venture to produce a tool. This has helped both businesses to create a product bundle, increasing sales volume by taking sales from our competitors and increasing profit”.
Doug found a US supplier from his initial internet search for the blender part. He found 10 US based companies that sold the parts and contacted them all. Most were unwilling to ship Internationally, but Seneca River Trading based in Syracuse, NY, was different.
“Tony Carioggia from Seneca River Trading was more than willing to help” Doug said. “Through e-mail, I placed our first order which was shipped immediately and arrived within 10 days. We then worked out a partner arrangement where we committed to buy on a regular basis and received prompt delivery and pre and post sales support”.
Since then, with guidance from Steve, K A Parts has established a procedure for processing one off requests and shared product promotion. Doug added that they are currently working on putting systems in place to further automate procedures. This will allow part time staff to take on more roles in the Company.