Motorcycle Mama Busts Gender Gaps on eBay
UPDATE: Very excited to announce that Tanya Crew won her category for Woman-Owned Business at the SHINE Awards. We were both honored and inspired to meet her and fellow category finalist Eloise Holbrook during eBay OPEN. Congratulations Tanya!
60 days after her first sale on eBay, Tanya Crew from Motorcycle Works could barely keep up with orders from her eBay listings. The then single mom realized that college would have to wait because this side venture, originally started for extra cash, was quickly turning into a lucrative full-time job. Thirteen years later, after dropping out of college as a computer science major, Tanya’s eBay business is thriving with more than 50,000 SKU’s.
The secret to her success? Hard work and paying attention to details. She spent a lot of time researching keywords and made sure her listing titles and descriptions would show up in the right searches. Her biggest logistical challenge was creating quality listings for her growing database of SKU’s and keeping up with any necessary changes like manufacturer price increases. So she did what any computer science major would have done and wrote her own software to monitor variances to avoid violating manufacturer policies. Her proprietary software has since evolved into a multi-faceted tool that includes listing management.
Recommended software tool? Aside from her own tool, which is not available for sale (sorry sellers), Tanya recommends the eBay File Exchange program which she touts as a “great alternative to expensive counterparts.” The eBay File Exchange helps high volume sellers manage listings and sales in bulk.
Did being a woman in a male-dominated industry dissuade her? Quite the opposite.
When I asked Tanya what she thought about the gender gap in ecommerce, she said she never really felt any pressure to hide the fact that her motorcycle store was owned by a woman. “I have always been very proud of my store,” said Tanya. “Women are just as capable as any man. And I’ve always received a lot of support from vendors, sales reps, distributors and customers.” Tanya went on to tell us about a recent customer conversation. “I received a call from a customer following up on his shipping status,” she explained. “He asked me about the owner and when I told him that I was the owner, he was shocked (in a good way) that he had just bought a pair of boots from a woman-owned motorcycle shop.”
Tanya’s advice to women entering ecommerce? “Take your time. Pay attention to details. Don’t get overwhelmed. And remember, the quality of your listings is everything.”
Tanya is the owner of Motorcycle Works, an eBay business that sells motorcycle parts ranging from gear to parts, lighting and accessories. She is a finalist in The eBay SHINE Awards Woman-Owned Business category. The SHINE awards is a seller recognition program designed to recognize the entrepreneurs who have used eBay to help build successful businesses. The awards includes 5 categories, Woman-Owned Businesses, Growing Business, Global Business, Charitable Businesses and Family Business. A winner from each category and an overall grand prize winner will be selected and announced at the conclusion of the 2016 eBay OPEN conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, July 26th-29th.
Photo of Tanya Crew republished with permission from eBay, Inc.