Q. How did you get started selling on eBay?
A. We have always bought from eBay but never seriously considered selling our products on it. Taking part in the eBay Enterprise Day Challenge has encouraged us to take the first step to setting up our first online business.
Also, since start-up costs are low and there is a potentially enormous market, we found the idea of online sales fascinating and thus began working on Fabrique Factory.
Q.Tell us the story behind your eBay ID.
A. We came up with this name for our company because we wanted something that sounds fun and interesting. Fabrique is actually French for manufacture or factory, but it also sounds like the English word fabric, an apt name since our products are made out of quality fabrics of different types.
Q. How did you come up with the idea of making customisable laptop sleeves to sell on eBay?
A. The girls in our team actually made laptop sleeves for themselves for their own personal use. Subsequently, some friends saw it and asked [us] to make similar sleeves for them as well. Realising its potential for business, we thought that it would be a good idea to allow customers to customise their own sleeves, and make that into one of our key selling points.
Q. What is your approach when dealing with customers?
A. Every order that we receive is unique in its own way. This is because our products are highly customisable and as such, we give our customers the freedom to design anything they like on their laptop sleeves so that they will have a sleeve that is uniquely theirs.
We often have customers having many different interesting, and sometimes difficult, requests for their add-ons. While embracing a can-do attitude, we take pride in coming up with innovative solutions and ideas that ensure maximum customer satisfaction.
Utmost tact must be therefore taken to inform customers when we are unable to accommodate certain requests. Therefore, we prefer a personalised approach in exchanging templates or ideas with the customers before starting production, to ensure that they will be satisfied with the final product.
Q. How has selling on eBay changed your life?
A. We experienced everything from sourcing for quality materials, designing, customer relations and solving IT-related problems hands-on. These experiences have helped us learn valuable lessons about starting our own business. Selling on eBay has made it easier for us to reach out to the customers since it is very popular both locally and internationally, therefore providing us with an efficient means of reaching out to the customers.
It has also given us a clearer understanding on the fundamentals of how a business is run, and that a lot of work and coordination goes on behind the scenes. Of course, it also opens up a new vast and exciting way of selling products!
Q. What tips would you give to students who wish to sell on eBay?
A. Be innovative and daring when marketing your product! eBay seller ratings are very important, so always remember to demonstrate genuine care and great service to your customers. Product pricing is also very important, especially so for online buyers who may be sceptical about buying from new sellers. Do bear in mind the price-elasticity of your products, and maintain a competitive pricing as buyers can easily compare your products to other similar ones on the market.
Try to list in different categories for a wider reach, and put in more effort in making your page interactive and attractive. Nobody wants to visit a plain and boring site! Have clear and detailed listings with well taken pictures. Any discerning buyer will be able to see the effort the seller has put into his listings; a good site will instill confidence and assurance to the buyer.
Q. In a nutshell, what does eBay mean to you?
A. eBay gives us opportunities to reach out to a vast online community with low overhead costs it is a quick and easy sales platform for many small businesses. For the casual buyer or seller, it is also a very convenient way to get shopping done, or a great place to sell away your stuff!