Somer gives a sneak peak into Southgate's eBay expertise.
By Somer Athari
Hello fellow coin enthusiasts! I have to tell you, we have become a well-oiled machine here at Southgate Coins. We have a very organized business and we all enjoy it as such. As with anything worthwhile, there have been prices to pay as Rusty and Marie have ascended the learning ladder. One fine example of the baby steps we have taken that have helped mold this great company is our eBay department. EBay has been a difficult task to organize during the past year, but we feel that it has hit a peak of perfection. Here's a little peek into this challenging (and many times rewarding) aspect of our business.
EBay can be a fun thing to do once you get the flow of it. We have become "Power Sellers," which is an eBay term, meaning we have over 500 positive feedbacks from our customers and we have reached a certain weekly sales volume level. Are you curious to know how many negative feedbacks we might have from our eBay customers? To that question I can give you my proud and very honest answer of zero, zilch, nada.
Rusty is goal-oriented and says he has something up his sleeves as a company perk when we break the 1000 feedback range. He always has something up his sleeves. For example, when we hit 500 positive feedbacks, Rusty took all of us out to dinner and then the Wayne Brady Show at the Silver Legacy Casino in January. I can't even imagine what he has up he sleeves for when we hit a 1000.
In order to maintain such a consistent pace, we have a very tight system of doing things, which through trial and error has become our pride and joy. At the beginning of each week, we select the listings that will be posted for the current auctions. We choose 40 items from at least 10 categories, making sure that we supply our customers with the biggest variety we can. From those 40 items, we then scan images of them onto the computer. Scanning is no easy thing to do in our business; coins are difficult to depict accurately through scanning. Luckily for us, through months of training, we have become masters at it, if I do say so myself! After scanning, we crop and edit the pictures. And now on to the descriptions.
Each one of us is training to become a guru in the description department. I am up next in training, which means that one of the girls that is already knowledgeable in the field will tell me all there is to know. From there the descriptions are proofread and edited, not once, not twice, but three times. We've been trained to be very picky about our jobs here, so working as a team, we do the best we can to do everything perfect! Next comes the pricing, and that is a category that we leave to the professionals. Our coins, paper money, casino memorabilia, and collectibles expert provide prices for each item. Then comes the fun part.
Posting items on eBay is a very detail oriented task. We have to make sure that everything is grammatically correct, priced accordingly, and my personal favorite, making all pieces aesthetically pleasing to each and every customer. Once posted, we monitor bidding activity for 5 or 7 days until the auctions end. At that point, we send every customer who won an auction an invoice, and track this invoice until payment has been received. Then it's shipping time. On that day we email our customer again, giving them their shipping confirmation number so that they can track the USPS package as well. All of us girls are eager to see what sold and who was a good customer to pay in a fast and efficient manner. I always enjoy the customers that pay fast, so I can ship their package out even faster. It's like a coin shop race that I get a thrill out of.
Shipping out the items doesn’t mean it's the end of the process, oh no! We must answer all questions that our happy eBay customers may have. And after customers receive their items, we have one final process that takes place, feedbacks. After receiving feedbacks, we happily return the favor. Whheeewww! Now we are done, but wait, we have to start the whole process over again, day by day, week by week. We are currently averaging 160 listings per month and it is Rusty and Marie's goal to double the volume. (Yikes!) Now that's a machine, and I am proud to be apart of it.
Well, all you happy cyber-customers out there, I hope you enjoyed a little sneak peek into our business. Maybe next week I'll reveal another small glimpse into our everyday work... "So y'all better come back now, ya hear?!"