Hello dear reader!
A lot of changes going on here at TSL, and one of my new features to the blog is going to be a featured sellers. These sellers are the cream of the crop, and have found success through hard work. This month I got lucky enough to interview Karen Kearns, the owner of Bags and Baubles an independent consignment store on Ebay. Her story is incredible, and her advice is invaluable - so read on!
Tells us a little about Bags and Baubles Online, and how long you have been in business!
I have been selling on Ebay for about 18 years. Started out selling items in my home, then moved on to selling thrift store and garage sale finds, and have been a consignment seller for about 15 years. I was one of the first Ebay Trading Assistants when they had the Trading Assistant Program. I am a Top Rated Plus Seller and Silver Power Seller, have completed a total of nearly 10,000 transactions with over $650,000.00 in sales.
How long have you been selling online, and is Ebay the only online platform you're on?
I have sold on Amazon, Bonanza and Tradesy in the past, but currently am only selling on Ebay and Bonanza.
What is your favorite part about the fashion industry and selling online?
I love helping my consignment clients sell their items for more than what they would receive in a local consignment shop. It is a win-win for everyone. The consignment client earns more for their item and the buyer finds the item they have been searching for.
What are some challenges you have faced selling on Ebay?
It is challenging keeping up with all of the constant changes, but changes in the last 2 years have been extremely positive for the small business seller. Going to the Ebay convention every year really helps. You can network with other sellers, talk with Ebay staff, and get the tools you need to help your business succeed. Losing the Trading Assistant Program was hard, as I gained a steady stream of new consignment clients on a regular basis from the program. However, I have worked hard to build up a nice number of regular consignment clients and am still building my client base with social media marketing and many referrals from other clients.
As a luxury consignment boutique you are considered one of the more unique shops at Ebay, what strengths do you have that others may not?
Having built up my feedback profile to over 6800, buyers find that I am a trusted seller and they are comfortable buying from me. As the economy changes, the luxury items consistently sell. I used to sell other types of items on Ebay, but narrowed my areas of expertise to clothing, shoes, handbags, jewelry, accessories, and some collectibles.
Are there any brands right now that you would recommend to anyone to be selling or on the lookout for?
This list is constantly changing, but I shop a lot in the larger department stores to keep up with the current/hot items, so that I am familiar with the designer names.
"I love helping my consignment clients sell their items for more than what they would receive in a local consignment shop. It is a win-win for everyone."
When starting on Ebay is there something you wished you did different?
I wished I had left my day job to make my consignment business my full time job. I believe at that time I would have grown my business to a much larger scale. I still work a day job and hire assistants to do my Ebay photography and some other work. I meet with clients, finalize listings and do shipping on evenings and weekends.
Do you have any tips for newer sellers just starting out?
Join the Facebook groups for Ebay sellers. You can learn a lot from other sellers that way. Go to the Ebay convention, if possible. Listen to Ebay Radio. Be a buyer on Ebay for a while first, so you can learn the process and build up some feedback. Start selling lower priced items first. Find your niche.
Contact Karen directly: