After being paralyzed in a Motocross crash, Bill used his ATV passion and knowledge to build a thriving global business from a rural area.
Why did you first start selling on eBay?
I was injured in a Motocross crash and left paralyzed in 2008. My entire life changed. I could no longer work construction or do many of the other things I had previously, but I was determined to move forward with my life. My grandfather and I had always fixed up old ATVs as a hobby, so I was looking at a way to turn that hobby into a business. Not long after, I was trying to find some parts to modify an ATV we had so that I could get around our property more easily. I could not find the parts I was looking for anywhere and ended up tracking them down on eBay. The process was so easy and convenient for me as a buyer that I began to look into selling parts on eBay. We already had a large stock of parts from ATVs and dirt bikes from years of racing so we decided to give it a try. We opened our eBay store in 2010 and have been selling since.
Why should we vote for you OR Why do you deserve this award?
I've fought a lot of adversity to get to where I am, and I think the disabled community is often overlooked and undervalued without entrepreneurial avenues like eBay ever being considered. To me, disabled isn't an accurate term. Just about everything is possible with all the technology we have today. We just find ourselves financially disadvantaged because everything is more expensive being disabled and jobs that can work around different aspects of a disabled person's life are not as easy to find. I feel my story would be of great inspiration to someone reading this who might find themselves where I did when I first considered selling on eBay.
What is your proudest business moment on eBay?
When we revamped our store, we were unsure of what to expect for sales volume. We launched it with around 3,500 items which sold out within the first few months.
Where does the inspiration for your business come from?
My inspiration is likely not what you would expect; it doesn't correlate directly to anything my business sells or anyone it directly serves. While rehabbing my injury and getting accustomed to my new life, I had met a lot of people in far worse circumstances both physically and financially. To me, it was more painful to see people's hopes and dreams for their lives cast aside because of a single incident in their life compared to anything I personally experienced from my own injury. I got to move forward with my life and see my dreams come to fruition thanks to the people around me and I want to be able to affect change for those without the support system or resources to do it themselves. Working towards this is what drives me every day whether it is through another business venture or simply offering employment opportunities to someone who otherwise might not have an opportunity. In my current business, it is essential for me to use my perspective and the opportunities afforded to me to not forget those still struggling to gain some independence in their lives.
How has selling on eBay impacted your life?
I am not sure what I would be doing without eBay. It gave me an avenue to be of service to others at a time when I was uncertain of what the future would hold for me, or if helping others would ever be a possibility. I often look back today, 10 years later and wonder what life might look like now without eBay and I really don't know. Being 23 years old with minimal education in a poor rural area never fostered good odds for an able-bodied person, let alone the disabled. eBay has given me a life that I might not have otherwise enjoyed.
How has the ability to sell globally impacted your business?
Selling globally has been key to our success. We have shipped thousands of orders globally to some countries where ATVs are their prime mode of transportation. Selling worldwide, we gained a whole new perspective on how the uses vary from region to region, and it allowed us to realize new business opportunities that we would have otherwise not considered. ATVs have been manufactured and enjoyed around the world since the 1970s. The amount of variations in makes and models make it virtually impossible to always have what a customer needs in stock. However, because of eBay, we can focus on getting what we have in stock to the people looking for what we have. The only way to accomplish this consistently is to hit the entire market worldwide.