Purveyor of Spices Used Social Media to Expand eBay Store
It took just one night of selling spices on eBay to turn seasoned accounting professional Sophia Stevens into a successful private label purveyor of spices.
Sophia’s husband sold shoes on eBay and his family sold spices in the local market. Although both were working, they needed to generate additional income so their son could go to a particular preschool. So she combined her knowledge of eBay and his family’s spice connection and began selling online. Her first listings sold overnight and from then on she was hooked. Today, Sweet Pea Spice processes 100 orders a day for more than 300 products.
The Secret to Her Success? Social Marketing. Sophia uses Facebook and Instagram to create content and promote her spices. Between the two, Instagram has been her most successful sales generator. The key was posting eye-catching photos with links back to her products. But more importantly, her photos caught the attention of Instagram bloggers. “When I started posting pictures on Instagram, bloggers began to approach me about trading their services for my spices,” explained Sophia. “They used my photos and made videos for things like recipe how-to’s and linked the content back to my eBay page. This created a big surge in sales.” But Sophia warns, “Be cautious of Instagram bloggers that have fake followers.”
Her Biggest Logistical Challenge? “The first year was difficult, especially when it came to getting a handle on shipping and having to learn everything from scratch,” said Sophia. “Once I got a handle on those challenges, my biggest issue became time management. I keep a strict schedule with normal business hours so that my work doesn’t interfere with family.”
Advice for Women in eCommerce? “Don’t lose site of why you started your business, which for me, was family,” advised Sophia. “Be firm. Plan ahead and stick to the plan. That is especially important with social media campaigns. And take advantage of the eBay community, including local Meetup groups. These can be great resources, especially if you’re new to the industry.”
Sophia is the owner of Sweet Pea Spice, an eBay business that sells her private labeled spices. 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 andFamily 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 Sophia Stevens republished with permission from eBay, Inc.