Our profile today is of Randi Nelson, the delightful owner of The World in Stitches. Find her eBay shop at: http://stores.ebay.com/twisinc
Tell me a little bit about The World in Stitches, how is it different from the shop that was around in the 80’s?
he original TWIS was in NH and probably 80% of their business was mail order generated by catalogs. This was before the internet became popular. Our focus is on personalized service, education and finishing services. While we do some mail order for our customers, mail order fulfillment just didn’t float my boat. I loved writing the catalog, though.
What’s the focus of your eBay business?
love to sell canvases and that is where I have had the most success. I also sell threads and some counted cross stitch literature. I enjoy the photography and the writing of the listings. Once I figured out what size boxes to have on hand for shipping, that job became easy and no longer was a chore. Many eBay needlepoint vendors do not seem to buy custom boxes and instead utilize priority boxes. I take pride in sending as much as I can at a first class rate.
How do you get new products to list?
It started out with a referral from a professional colleague, resulting in the sale of canvases from an estate. They were magnificent canvases, and I was pretty excited. It has self-perpetuated since then. I have even had buyers become consignors.
If people wish to visit with me about consigning goods, I will be happy to correspond with them about my work. In the interim, one can see my auctions on eBay where I use the seller name twisneedle. I sell “Buy It Nows” in an eBay store, twisinc. My business email is twisinc at comcast dot com .
I have a blog for my physical store at twisneedleinc dot blogspot dot com.
What things do you wish buyers did more often on eBay?
I have become friends with a few buyers whose interests I remember, and I can make sure that they know about listings in their genre that I don’t want them to miss. Generally, that is hard to figure out.
I find the feedback given by customers to be reinforcing; otherwise I feel like I am shipping the pieces off to the great Black Hole. Some buyers do not understand the importance of furnishing feedback upon receipt of the product.
Most buyers pay immediately, but this last year and a half, I have begun to have people simply not pay, which is disconcerting. I always pay my consignors very promptly and do not wait for receipt of the money from the buyer. This has resulted in charge backs to the consignors later, but they seem understand and feel better about it because the prompt payments make up for the inconvenience.
What’s next for you?
My physical store is located in New England and we definitely have a buying season and a quiet season. When I started with eBay, I hoped that it would help me level out my business to more of a year round affair. I was surprised to have it follow my selling pattern at my shop.
At some point in time when I want to close my brick and mortar store, I will be using eBay to finish getting rid of inventory. Selling on eBay will be my retirement project. It is not quite time to do that!