Congratulations to our Rising Star Category Winner

Katy Zilverberg

A Boutique for Him

Silverton, OR

3 YEARS SELLING ON EBAY

1 EMPLOYEE

Here's My eBay Small Business Success Story

Two years ago, Katy left her traditional 9-to-5 job to pursue a career in small business consulting. Katy began selling on eBay to supplement her income while trying to grow her consulting business. However, it wasn't long before she realized selling on eBay was her true calling – and she went all in. Today, A Boutique for Him is a full-time eBay boutique specializing in a variety of goods ranging from men's clothing and shoes to tools, electronics, gadgets and more.

Why do you deserve this award?

I think I've shown that with hard work and dedication, a new seller can excel and build a full-time business in a short period of time. I fully immersed myself in eBay, seeking out and consuming every morsel of information I could get my hands on to grow and continually improve. I'm a testament to the idea that anyone can become a seller if they take full advantage of all the resources available to them.

My success also shows that eBay continues to be a thriving and innovative platform for ecommerce, an unrivaled online retail powerhouse for people who want to take control of their own path to independence through self-employment. Beyond what I've done for myself and my own business with eBay, I think I deserve this award because of how I've chosen to give back by helping other sellers be better in their own work, source better products, improve their presentation and listing, and overall give the absolute best customer service to keep their buyers satisfied and coming back to eBay again and again.

What is your proudest business moment on eBay?

I'd say what I'm most proud of is being asked to be a "lifeguard" (a leader) for Jason T Smith's Facebook group, The Thrifting Board. I didn't know him personally but he saw how I helped other members and thought I brought the kind of leadership he was looking for. I now have this great opportunity to not only continue to learn but also to share my eBay knowledge with others and help other sellers be as successful as they can possibly be. There is a lot of misinformation out there about eBay and about selling, it's an honor to be able to demonstrate to others the benefits of selling on eBay and what an advantage the platform gives to us in the world of ecommerce.

What was the most memorable item you've sold on eBay?

A vintage 1985 Nike Steve Prefontaine t-shirt that I found at a second hand store. I paid less than 50 cents for it and sold it the next day for $250.

How has selling on eBay impacted your life?

Selling on eBay has given me a great sense of independence and a feeling of power over my own destiny. How well I do as a seller is directly impacted by how much work and dedication I put into it. I probably work more than I ever did at a regular 9-5 job, but I love every minute of it. Every aspect of what I do is up to me, I get to be as creative as I want to be, and nothing seems impossible. It has also opened my world up to a whole community of amazing sellers that have greatly enriched my life. I couldn't imagine not having these friends whose work inspires me every day.

How has eBay contributed to the growth of your business?

Aside from providing the platform, the security and the support that allow me to focus on what's most important, eBay is also always looking to make improvements that only help me to be a better seller. eBay's guidelines for being a Top-Rated Seller, move toward guaranteed delivery times and free returns, are all changes and improvements designed to make sellers as successful as possible. They push me to provide the very best customer service. My personal mantra for selling on eBay is "remove all obstacles." This means I make my decisions and design my policies with the goal of making it as easy as possible for buyers to purchase from me. I offer free shipping on lightweight items, do 30-day (soon to be 60-day) hassle-free auto returns with no restocking fees (soon to go to free returns), do my own international shipping with no country exceptions, make use of Best Offer on all listings, never require immediate payments and never block buyers. Many sellers handicap their own success and growth by trying to find solutions to problems that don't actually exist and in the process create more problems for themselves. eBay has allowed me to be confident in my business and my buyers, knowing that all buyers have value and eBay will support me as a seller.

Where does the inspiration for your business come from?

I come from a long line of thrifters. When I was a kid, I would go to the thrift stores with my mom and grandma. My grandma would take me to garage sales and she would buy linens that she'd later sell at table events; she had an eye for what had value. I think I was given that instinct and that drive to seek out hidden treasures. I love learning about different brands, how to date a piece by the tag and the construction of the clothing and what makes one particular item desirable. The more knowledgeable I become, the more fun it is and finding that rare piece and then delivering it to a collector on the other side of the world is so exciting and rewarding. I love it!