Spotlight on Gully Farm Consignment
Ed is happy to recall how his passion for cars first turned him into a hobby seller. "I started buying automobile parts on eBay,” he says, “in order to restore a 1984 Corvette. I realized I could sell the leftover parts from the repairs through the very same marketplace.”
Ed enjoyed his first experiences as an eBay seller, and he continued to dabble for a number of years. A more serious approach to online selling was in order, however, when he decided to become a stay-at-home parent. “Selling on eBay,” he explains, “was something I could do comfortably from home."
The biggest problem that Ed faced was in sourcing. Ed knew that he needed a stable pipeline of new inventory if he was going to generate a steady income on eBay. While exploring sources for second-hand goods in his area, it occurred to him that there weren’t many local options for residents that wanted to sell their possessions. Auction houses took a significant commission from sales proceeds, and were thus an impractical solution for all but the most valuable items. Pawnshops, meanwhile, paid a fraction of each item’s value at most. With this in mind, Ed converted his farmhouse into a consignment store. This enabled him to leverage his knack for online selling while offering clients better prices for their possessions.
Ed says that his approach has been appealing to local clients. "If you only need to sell one item,” Ed explains, “it's not really worth the hassle of learning all the things that a first time seller needs to know—about listing things properly, choosing shipping options, or accepting payments. I offer my clients a convenient and reliable way to sell their items, and they benefit from my established reputation on eBay."
The consignment model solved Ed’s supply problem, but introduced challenges related to item pricing. "When it comes to consignment,” he says, “you never know what’s going to walk through the door. I’ve sold model trains, casino chips, and vintage jewelry. I once listed an extremely heavy antique printing press and it shipped all the way to Amman, Jordan."
Ed wants to ensure that he gets great prices for his clients, so his approach to pricing has evolved over time. "It’s very important that my clients are satisfied with what I can get for their items,” Ed says. “I never want to leave money on the table.”
“When I first started offering consignment services,” he continues, “I used Completed Listings searches on eBay to research pricing. That worked initially but I couldn't look through enough history and sometimes there was too much variation in the auction results to see a clear pattern in how things sold.”
Ed knew that he needed a better way to determine the values of the goods being consigned. “I started searching for alternative solutions for pricing information,” Ed says, “and eventually discovered Terapeak."
Having happy customers on both sides of the transaction makes Ed’s business a very satisfying one. "I love running a consignment business,” he says. “It gives me an opportunity to meet new people in the area. I like the challenge of identifying, researching and listing each new item. I connect shoppers with interesting and hard to find items. And Terapeak,” he concludes, “helps me to ensure that both my clients and my buyers are satisfied.
Terapeak helps me look up pricing for just about anything including very unique or rare items. Auctions produce a lot of variation in price, but I can easily find the average price across any group of auctions using Product Research. I can also gauge bidding activity and choose the best formatting options so my auctions are likely to sell.
Terapeak is proud to be part of what makes Gully Farm Consignment a successful eBay business. We thank Ed for sharing his story with us.
Visit the Gully Farm Consignment store on eBay.