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Sound Decision

A headphone retailer finds ways to pump up the volume of his business.

To keep audiophiles flocking to his premium headphones eBay Store, Paul Chua takes full advantage of eBay's marketing opportunities. Case in point: He uses eBay auction-style listings to drive traffic to his eBay Store. And by taking advantage of free eBay Keyword ads for eBay Store sellers, Chua has brought in even more traffic.

Chua started iDealSound four years ago after selling personal items on eBay. By creating the right product-price-marketing scheme, "we experienced explosive growth," says Chua, who brought in $200,000 his first year. But Chua (eBay User ID: idealsound) wanted to "grab as wide an audience as possible, on and off eBay," he says, so the 28-year-old launched DiscountHeadphones.com the next year, which contributed to combined sales of $800,000. He broke $1 million in sales his third year, after adding a retail store in Palo Alto, California.

Of all three operations, "eBay was the easiest and still gives the best return dollar for dollar," says Chua, who knows cross-referencing his other businesses increases sales opportunities. The headphones and accessories business projects 2006 sales of $1.2 million, and Chua is cranking things up by exploring other methods of advertising, such as radio, local print and niche websites, while possibly adding new inventory--all of which is music to his customers' ears.

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