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Tapping into the power of eBay: Entrepreneurs find sweet success with the online marketplace.

Dan Glasure was a natural born entrepreneur. His father was in and out of a lot of businesses and according to Glasure himself, he was always kind of a “wheeler and dealer.” He had worked for other people, but liked the idea of being able to control the business.

About 11 years ago when eBay was in its infancy, Glasure moved to Florida and he bought out a little comic book shop. That’s when he had his first eBay selling experience. After experimenting by selling some comics and a few Lego sets, he started to get the idea that this could turn into something more.

Before getting involved with the comic shop, Glasure and his father had worked cleaning carpets at the time and he had a moderate interest in model trains. He saw an ad for a huge train collection that was going for about $37,000.

“I ended up coming to an agreement with the seller, and now that there were a few more chips on the table I started buying and selling and eventually started purchasing similar large train collections and selling them on eBay,” Glasure said.

Glasure liked the freedom that owning an eBay business offered him. He already had a day job and he was able to do eBay late into the evening.

Glasure had a lot of success right off the bat, but initially it was in more of a hobby form. “I did very well with many things,” Glasure said. “I did a lot of research to get a feel for what was going well. I definitely hit more than I missed.”

In an effort to streamline their business, Glasure has tried to take their niche of high-end brass trains and rise to the top. “One thing we’ve done is to produce a price guide about brass trains,” Glasure said. “It has really lifted us up. People view us as an authority. Not everyone is going to be able to write a book, but everyone can constantly try to improve what they do.”

Many women search high and low for that golden opportunity that would allow them to make a decent income from home while still enjoying the pleasures that go with raising a family. For Emily Sabako that opportunity came from eBay.

After years as a hospital controller, Sabako was looking for something where she could work out of her house and spend more time with her children.

Like many eBay sellers, Sabako started out by selling some items that she dug out of her closet from when she was a child. After making several thousand dollars over a short span of time, Sabako realized that there was a much bigger opportunity here than she originally imagined and things grew from there.

One of the benefits of running an online store as opposed to a brick and mortar store is that it’s a lot easier to retool when you are one person then when you’ve got this big machine, according to Sabako. She is currently working on retooling her business and changing what her direction is.

Sabako maintains positive feedback on eBay by offering outstanding customer service. “I take note when I receive things of how it was shipped, etc. When I send things to my customers, I make sure to present it nicely because I want it to be more like a boutique type experience.”

Sabako attributes her success to keeping at it and really delving into eBay. She has participated in every eBay Live event and was invited to be a part of the Voices of the Community program. “The Voices of the Community program is something that eBay sponsors and it’s part of a division of eBay, Sabako said. “They request input from a group of people. For example, if they have a new policy coming out, they will test it through us first. It’s great for a company like eBay to care about what we think.”

Eran Dekel witnessed firsthand his brother-in-law take his e-commerce store from zero to millions in no time. This sparked an interest in him to start his own online business.

The former IT consultant had all the e-commerce and online-related skills he needed to be successful, all he needed was to find a niche.

Fashion seemed the obvious choice, as Dekel’s family has been in the clothing industry for a long time.

He started small, selling a few suits on eBay and using his parent’s basement as his warehouse. Within a couple of weeks it was obvious that this business was taking off and he quickly outgrew the space and rented a small warehouse space nearby. The business, DeCaloFashion.com has taken off so quickly they are starting to bust at the seams of their current space of 2,500 square feet.

There are several things that make DeCaloFashion.com stand out from their competitors including their price point, customer service, and their selection. On the customer service front, they offer free domestic shipping on every item every day and a 90-day no questions asked money back guarantee.

“We have upwards of 40 percent repeat business, Dekel said. “We work very hard at getting that repeat business. Probably 50 percent of our revenues are from repeat business.”

When asked about his secret to success, Dekel simply answered “failing.”

“You can’t be afraid to fail as a business owner and almost have to come to expect it, Dekel said. “It’s mistakes and failures that make us much stronger in the long run and have been the secret to our success. I think it’s unrealistic to think that you can get it right all the time.”

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