In my job, very little gets me more excited than hearing the stories behind our SaleHoo members. Whether it's a story about creating an at-home business using your last $100 to your name, or finally being able to quit your day job, and be your own boss, or making thousands of dollars from selling combs for dogs, each story is very inspiring.
We've had a flood of members email in their stories and request to be featured on the SaleHoo Seller Spotlight, but this month, Colette won me over, and so too won the spot as our December SaleHoo seller.
Read on to hear how Colette started out, as many sellers do, by getting rid of a few things around the home, then quickly became addicted to the thrill of making a sale on eBay. Colette now runs a successful online business selling unique jewelry items. Read on to discover the secret of her success.
Forum username: TopCat2x2
The name came about when I registered on eBay. It’s from a cartoon I loved to watch as a kid, Top Cat. The 2x2 was added as a way of acknowledging my husband’s help.
When I first started looking for wholesale suppliers on SaleHoo there were two items I mainly focused on: my love of mechanical clocks and pocket watches and the elegant beauty of finely crafted wood products.
Due to a small budget and lack of years in business, my dream of selling mechanical clocks would have to wait for someday in the future. Just as well since conserving costs meant limited storage space and keeping shipping as inexpensive as possible for buyers.
Almost from the beginning, I stumbled across a wholesale jewelry supplier in my own province that made handcrafted wooden wristwatches. I placed a small first order and they turned out to be stunning.
It didn’t take me long to realize I could spread my limited inventory budget over a variety of products or I could put all my time and finances into this particular brand of wooden watches and offer a great selection of watch models.
I followed my heart and now get to play with beautiful wooden watches and my buyers are very happy with the quality.
Where do you sell them?
My business is home-based, allowing me to work and take care of my family. As long as the power doesn’t go out or the Internet go down, I’m here to take care of my buyers.
I selected eBay because it’s one of the biggest and the buying traffic is basically guaranteed. As an experienced seller on eBay I feel this forum inspires confidence in both buyers and sellers to take a chance on one another with the end results almost always being happy buyers and great transactions. Currently I sell in Canada and the United States.
How long have you been a member of SaleHoo, and what do you like most about it?
I’m coming up on one year with SaleHoo. It was a great find over the Internet while trying to learn the ins and outs of wholesale buying.
I liked what SaleHoo had to offer and their terms so I signed up. And glad I did. SaleHoo has been a huge source of wholesale companies and informative articles relating to things I need to know for my business and growth. I especially appreciate the emails letting me know of upcoming events or newly posted articles. Thanks, SaleHoo!
What one piece of advice do you have for other sellers?
Some might consider it a cliché but I strongly recommend that new sellers find a product they truly enjoy working with. Once the routine of work sets in you’re going to be dealing with products and prep work over and over. You’ll need to buckle down to some long hours when new inventory comes in and needs to be processed and made ready for sale. Plus, you’ll also need to organize your time to keep up with bookkeeping and data analysis to project growth or losses and adjust inventory reorders accordingly.
If you love what you’re doing then those long hours just seem to fly by and the problem becomes not getting the work done but learning to set work aside for awhile and enjoy some personal time with family or friends.
What was the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome in selling online?
Initially the biggest obstacle was me and having confidence in my abilities. My background has never been in sales. My strength was more in creating the presentation, organizing, working with numbers.
The funny thing is I never dreamed I’d be an online entrepreneur. I started out on eBay over two years ago selling things we didn’t use around the house any more. And I got hooked. Once everything was sold, if I wanted to continue selling then I was going to have to become a legitimate business and purchase product to sell.
Without that early eBay experience to build confidence and setup procedures for listings, shipping, and buyer correspondence I never would have started my business. It may be small right now but in just under a year it’s already expanded with plenty of room for growth. Now and again I like to daydream about all the things I’ll do with my business when the bottom line allows . . . or when we win a lottery!
What’s your favorite thing about making money from selling items online?
Sales mean buyers like my watches; their feedback not only leaves me content with a smile on my face but also tells other buyers that TopCat2x2 offers a quality product and top-notch service. It’s rare for one of my watches to have a problem. However, should the occasion arise, I want buyers to know that I’ll do everything I can to make it right.
In spite of the sales and work I enjoy, the underlying goal has always been to someday reach the point where the business can support itself and provide extra income for the family. I’ve found my niche. Now it’s up to me to make it work the way I want.
Would you like to be featured on our SaleHoo Seller Spotlight?
I would love to hear from you!
You don't need to be a PowerSeller, or making millions of dollars to feature, just a keen SaleHoo member who is passionate about online retail.
To find out more about being featured, post a comment below.