Stereo Exchange, run by David Wasserman is a retailer of high-end audio/video equipment with a store in SoHo district of downtown Manhattan in New York. Stereo Exchange has been in business for 31 years and also sells on eBay.
I asked David a few questions about why he chose to sell on eBay, his experiences with the platform and if he had any words of wisdom for other sellers.
About Stereo Exchange Inc
What kind of items do you primarily sell on eBay?
We sell the complete spectrum of audio and video equipment- amps, preamps, receivers, speakers, cd players, dvd’s, turntables, power conditioners, cables, vintage gear, odds and ends.
What portion of your business does eBay sales account for?
eBay is about 10% of my total sales.
What brought you to sell on eBay?
We started on eBay because we had used and demo items that were not so easy to sell in the store. It conflicted with the salesman presenting the current new equipment so eBay was a new national market that allowed us to move product at good prices without competing with what we sell in the store. Less confusion to customers and staff.
Are there any common issues you have to deal with, or things you are wary of?
Preventing fraud is high on the list. Dealing with customers who do not read the ad and buy things that they don’t really want. That creates returns which are lost sales and opportunities.
What advice would you give to new sellers?
Make sure to be as clear as possible as to what you are selling. Describe it well, take excellent photographs. Highlight any negatives in photos and words so that you don’t create false expectations. Explain your policies clearly. Answer all questions quickly and accurately.
Take great care in packing items very well and ship as soon as you get paid. Give feedback to customers and ask for good feedback so that you build your brand. Be prepared to take a deep gulp sometimes as no matter how honest you are, you are going to experience some ridiculous customers and you have to deal with it.
How do you promote your listings outside of eBay?
The stereo exchange brand is fairly well known in hifi circles. We have been around for 31 years. We are known for carrying the best of the best. We use social media to promote our brand. Our eBay items are always on the front page of our web site. We do e-mail blasts to our mailing list on a regular basis telling them about what we are doing or what we are selling.
Have you noticed any changes in the eBay ecosystem over time? Was this for the better?
I find that the eBay ecosystem favors the buyer unfairly so. I have had numerous cases where buyers bid and win and just don’t pay. There does not seem to be any system to purge these people from eBay. It causes the seller to go back and list the item again… a waste of time and money. I wish eBay held the buyers behaviour to a higher standard.
Many thanks to David for sharing his eBay experiences. You can find the Stereo Exchange Inc website at stereoexchange.com.