|For 15 years, Ken Button, E-Motorclassics, has been selling vehicles, most of them classic cars. He started selling vehicles on eBay Motors at the end of May 2000 in an only-on-eBay transaction: Ken, who was in New Jersey at the time but lives in Indiana, got a call from an eBay buyer in Texas for a car that was in Florida.|
Since then, Ken recognizes, as do millions of others, eBay is "the" marketplace on these old cars as well as the new vehicles. "It is an unprecedented marketplace that this world has never seen,” Button said. “With over 70 million registered bidders, we are selling cars left and right to people all across this great country, but better yet, we have sold 15 cars to European countries this year alone. No more boundaries..."
Ken started listing on eBay Motors because his boss told him to do so. At first, Button was skeptical: "There is NO way any of these vehicles are going to sell on the Internet," Button said. This was the general consensus of all of the employees at the time whether they admit it or not. "I sold the first car I listed! There were only four photos, a little description and "only" eight to 10 million bidders at the time."
Button had worked for quantity-minded companies in the past long enough to realize that he wanted to be the best rather than the biggest. E-Motorclassics runs between 10 and 15 vehicles weekly averaging around 50 vehicles to 60 vehicles each month. Their selling percentage is tremendous and probably one of the best in the business. Button sticks to vehicles in high demand. Their top sellers have been 1963-1967 Mid-Year Corvettes as well as 1955-1957 Ford Thunderbirds. They sell approximately 90 percent of the Model T's and Model A's they list.
"The nice thing about eBay is that with 70 million plus buyers out there, you can represent just about anything and find the demand that was literally unheard of prior to the existence of the eBay marketplace. We sold a 1967 VW Microbus for $28,500! I don't know for certain, but I would guess that is an Internet world record on a Volkswagen Microbus. How long would that have taken to sell with a sign in your front yard? Or on the dealer’s lot? Well it took precisely seven days on eBay."
Button's tips for selling successfully on eBay are simple: "Photos, description and above all else, be honest and tell the good along with the bad. You must bring your buyer as close to the vehicle as possible. In the world of online auctions, confidence equals price far more than the price guides or friends say it is worth. If that bidder doesn't feel as confident in the car as you do seeing the car in person, you will not manifest the most money out of the vehicle.
"Additionally, the buyer must feel that he can trust you. Become PowerSellers and a member of Square Trade to expound a tremendous amount of trust in your potential buyers that you are a good person and one they can trust. Without question, eBay Motors provides more buyers than any other "vehicle" for selling a car today period,” Button said. “The only question is your price and the confidence inspired within the auction. If you create the confidence in buyers across eBay that the car is what it is, and your price is reasonable, it will sell. Take the basic blocking and tackling fundamentals of traditional business and apply it to this phenomenon called eBay, and you will have the ingredients for success. Treat others as you would like to be treated."
Button said his last tip would be to surround yourself with talented team players. "If it had not been for the dedication of Joel Wilson, Jeffrey Paske, Philip Codding, Byron Bradley and my lovely wife Heather, this business would not be where it is today. These talented individuals have sound moral values coupled with a sincere desire to help people.”
eBay has highly impacted the way Button has done business. “I now do business nationally as well as internationally on a constant basis rather than flying to a local market and conducting a local market auction for these old cars. eBay has provided us tremendous exposure.”
eBay Motors has had a life changing effect on Button and his family. He went from being an employee with a "traditional" auction company, to being an owner of an Internet company with millions of dollars in sales in just under two years with six employees.
"We did a quarter of a million in sales this past month and we have not even scratched the surface," Button said. The thing that he most enjoys about how eBay has changed his life is the fact that he does not have to leave his family every weekend as a traveling auctioneer. "I will never again have to hear Harry Chapin's ‘Cats in the Cradle’ and feel like the music is a mirror."
"Zig Ziglar says you can have anything in life you want, if you simply help enough other people get what they want out of their life. I hoped I have helped someone out there with our team's success story. eBay has provided me the freedom I have dreamed about since I was a young child. I am certain it can do the same for you.
Remarketing by Element has joined the NIADA’s network of National Member Benefit partners and will offer prime lane placement, among other benefits, to the dealer association’s members.