Hello and welcome to the June 2011 installment of "Seller Spotlight." I started this feature in 2010 in the hopes of educating Anthro buyers on the eBay process. I wanted to highlight eBay sellers that I know personally, or have had very good experiences with, so that Anthro community members could build up a log of trusted sellers when they are searching eBay for older pieces that they may have missed.
So, first things first! I did not have a Seller Spotlight in May for a couple of different reasons, but mostly because I was super busy with my "real-life" job, and then my husband and I took a (much-needed) mini-vacation. But I've got a great seller to introduce you to in June, and her name is Rochelle (her eBay store is called RochelleSells). I met Rochelle through the eBay Clothing, Shoes & Accessories discussion board, and she has always impressed me. What I like about Rochelle is that she keeps it positive, and is always looking for ways to improve her business, whether it's by asking good questions or just thinking things through out loud. She's very open-minded and is constantly working to make sure her customers have a good experience. Let's meet Rochelle!
(Q) When and how did you get started selling on eBay?
(A) I started selling in June 2004. I was living in Atlanta, working as a newspaper reporter, but ready for a new career. I'd never even been on eBay, but two good friends were selling - one coupons and the other clothing and handmade jewelry. It looked like fun, so within a week I had read eBay for Dummies, bought some lovely items from the site and I was hooked.
(Q) One of the things that I really admire about you is that you’ve really grown as an eBay seller, and that you’re now considering doing it as part of your full-time income. What are some of the things you’ve learned as you’ve gone along, or that you wish you would have known starting out?
(A) I wish starting out that I really understood the importance of bookkeeping and inventory control. I still am not where I want to be, but much better at seeing the money coming in and out. I also wish I had started out selling clothing. It makes me feel really good that someone wanted something I listed, got it from me, and is wearing it.
(Q) What kinds of items do you look for to sell, and what is it about an item that draws you to it?
(A) I try to sell pretty. I personally love colors, sparkle, interesting and unique clothing details. I know a tiny bit about sewing, so I pay some attention to clothing construction.
(Q) How did you find out about Anthropologie, and what attracts you to the brand?
(A) I used to walk by the Anthropologie store at Perimeter Mall in Atlanta all the time. I'd look at the displays, but because I am plus size, I just didn't go in. But one day something caught my eye, a dress I think. And I went in. I felt like I had just walked into the life of someone I want to be. I'm happy with my own life, of course, but imagine living in an all Anthro world!
(Q) Do you have any favorite Anthro items that you have sold?
(A) Yes. It was a patchwork seersucker floral cotton skirt, perfect for the summer. I found it in Indianapolis and I just loved it. It was a larger size, a 14 or 16, I think. So flattering! It sold quick, too. I also have a non-clothing item I bought for resale but can't bear to left go of. It's a carved wooden mirror stained gold and glass mosaic. Everyone comments on it.
(Q) eBay and PayPal can be mysteries to unseasoned eBayers or people who have never used the site. What recommendations do you have for buyers so that they have good experiences?
(A) eBay can be a hard nut to crack, but the rewards are so worth it. The site does the most complete job I've found of putting the world at my fingertips. First off, buyers need to understand that eBay is not one entity, it's thousands of people just in one place, but all with different ways of operating. Reading feedback comments is essential -- buyers are pretty honest, and you want to see how well someone performs before you get their money. Read the description and look at the photos. Ask questions. Make sure you have a clear sense of what you are supposed to receive before you send your money.
(Q) What do you think is the hardest thing for a seller to communicate to a buyer? And how do you deal with that issue?
(A) Item condition is. Selling pre-owned clothes has got to be the most difficult category. I go over the item back and front, fiddle with the zippers and buttons, etc. before listing, then list any flaws, or just don't list it. I want my buyer to open their package and go "Wow!"
(Q) What advice do you have for buyers who are looking for Anthropologie items – especially when there are other sellers who aren’t as scrupulous as others, or may be falsely IDing pieces as Anthro when they clearly are not?
(A) Know your Anthro brands. Look at the Anthro site, note brands. Then search for those specific brands here. A lot of sellers are ignorant, some are scammers.
I'd like to thank Rochelle for her answers. I truly enjoy reading her posts on the eBay discussion boards, and I think she is an inspiration to all of us who hope to make the eBay selling experience into something more than just a faceless transaction. Rochelle has a few Anthropologie items listed for sale right now, including a NWT Odille "Preppy and Peppy Blouse" in the green colorway (see it here).
I've included a permanent link to Rochelle's store -- RochelleSells -- in my blog roll. I hope you've enjoyed this feature and I'll be back again next month with another seller profile.
If you are an eBay seller of Anthropologie items and would like to be featured on Seller Spotlight, please contact me via email at saraefarr(at)gmail.com