My Queue

There are no Videos in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any video to save to your queue.

There are no Articles in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any article to save to your queue.

There are no Podcasts in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any podcast episode to save to your queue.

You're not following any authors.

Click the Follow button on any author page to keep up with the latest content from your favorite authors.

Small Business Heroes

Do Their Bidding

Auction help for eBay novices
Magazine Contributor
2 min read

This story appears in the September 2004 issue of Entrepreneurs StartUps Magazine. Subscribe »

What: professional broker listing service that deals through eBay
Who: Perry Dodd of AuctionMeThis
Where: Vancouver, Washington
When: started in 1997

Seven years ago, Perry Dodd won the jackpot. But his jackpot came in the form of a dilapidated, wooden jack-in-the-box hidden amidst a box of goods he bought at an auction for $10. Dodd had slim hopes for the toy when he posted it on eBay, but cashed in big when bidders raised the final price to more than $700. He later discovered that the run-down toy was a German-made original from the late 1800s.

Fascinated by eBay, Dodd was inspired to assist others who didn't have the time or the know-how to benefit from the online auction. Advertising in local newspapers, he started collecting other people's items to sell on eBay. In exchange for a percentage of the final selling price, Dodd completes the entire process, which includes photographing, listing and shipping the merchandise.

The light bulb had gone on, but he didn't invest fully in the idea until 2003, when he moved his homebased business into a Vancouver, Washington, storefront. Initially, the idea was novel and therefore confusing, so in addition to the $15,000 startup cost for the store, advertising was necessary to educate customers. "People would come in because they saw the name, and they would think 'Where's the auction?'" he says.

In April, Dodd, 43, opened a second location, in Las Vegas, and now boasts an overall success sell rate of 99 percent. Before posting merchandise, Dodd researches the value of each item. Sometimes, he leaves it up to the bidders to decide: Says Dodd, "Vintage African masks or a vintage African child's coffin-you have no idea who in the world would want to buy these things, but they do, and you have no value to really be able to assess."

More from Entrepreneur

Corene Summers helps clients advancing their health, careers and lives overall through reducing stress, tension and optimizing sleep.
Jumpstart Your Business. Entrepreneur Insider is your all-access pass to the skills, experts, and network you need to get your business off the ground—or take it to the next level.
Starting, buying, or growing your small business shouldn’t be hard. Guidant Financial works to make financing easy for current and aspiring small business owners by providing custom funding solutions, financing education, and more.

Latest on Entrepreneur