I love to write about eBay and Amazon, but I am always uncomfortable writing about myself, so I asked my friend, marketing consultant Emerson Brantly to write a short bio about us.
In 1997 Skip and Karen McGrath closed their small antique shop in New York’s Hudson Valley, and followed their dream of moving cross-country, to the great Pacific Northwest. They never imagined the incredible changes that would come with this decision. It began innocently enough…after they relocated, their son found he could buy and sell cool comic books online, on something called eBay.
Skip wondered if he could do the same with some of their smaller antiques… the only remnants of their previous family business they had brought with them. He was amazed at the results! Not only did they sell, they brought higher prices than they ever had in the family store! Skip and Karen were hooked! But, like most sellers at the time, they could only fumble along – learning by trial and error, trial and success.
Within a few short months they were Power Sellers, averaging over $5000 a month. Already a host of “eBay gurus” had sprung up, and Skip ordered and read every new guide that came along. He burned up several printers on these quickly-written “e-books,” but found them filled with speculation and conjecture, outdated half-truths and often, just plain bad information.
Some authors had simply rewritten eBay’s own tutorials, and had little if any significant personal experience on eBay. The ones that did have experience had built their business by selling their e-book! Nevertheless, by the end of their first year, Skip and Karen’s had grown their business to over $10,000 a month -- and it kept on growing.
Finally one day, as Skip was ordering yet another “Ultimate eBay Secrets” ebook, Karen told him, “You and I already know more about eBay than most of these people! Instead of wasting money on another book, why not write one yourself!? But if you do, give the people a real BOOK they can actually hold and use, not another dufus download!” Fortunately, Skip listened!
That night he sat down and outlined the book that became, The eBay Power Sellers Manual. He published it as an actual physical manual… even though the first edition was only 70 pages long! The response was immediate: in its first week the Power Sellers Manual sold 40 copies on eBay! Skip continued to add new material to help students grow their businesses, and since 1999 this one book has sold over 5,000 copies.
Skip’s next book was for beginners. The Basic Guide To Selling On eBay, followed by the Wholesale Buying System. Each new book reached different levels of eBay sellers to help them take their own “next steps.” Today over 25,000 eBayers own Skip’s manuals, including many of the top Power Sellers! Thousands of personal testimonials credit Skip’s material for teaching them how to grow their business successfully. Almost 35,000 subscribe to the eBay Sellers’ News, to stay on top of changes and new opportunities as soon as they are available.
As eBay expands and Skip and Karen’s business and reputation continues to grow, he continues to pass on new information, tips, techniques and resources to his students. In 2003, Skip combined his most powerful information into a comprehensive business system, The Complete eBay Marketing System. This all-inclusive System updates ALL previous material and takes it to the next level… helping students grow from Power Sellers to Super Sellers!
Like many, Skip found only frustration whenever he tried to return some of the many lackluster eBay guides he ordered. So early on, Skip determined to back all of his manuals and courses with a No-Questions-Asked, Unconditional 100% Money Back Guarantee that even included shipping costs! It was a risky gamble, but Skip believed in the quality of his courses so much that he was willing to take all the risks on himself. His decision paid off, because since day one Skip has averaged only one-tenth the return rate of most major instructors and trainers nationwide!
Skip and Karen have truly “Been There, Done That!” What’s more, they continue to personally grow their eBay business even today. Nowadays, $20,000 - $25,000.00 months are the norm. Their entire family, even their married children, are all part of the family business. Their auctions feature thousands of different items, including famous name brand clothing and accessories, firepits and barbeques, and the EZ Cube Light Tent (which Skip says directly improved his auction photos and increased his average dollar sales!)
They were among the first registered eBay Trading Assistants (allowing them to sell for others on consignment), and in 2004 published How To Start & Run An eBay Consignment Business. With eBay Consignment companies going public and selling $25,000 franchises, this one book lets anybody start and run a serious consignment business, and keep 100% of the profits! They are also honored members of PESA – the Professional eBay Sellers’ Alliance, whose membership includes the elite of eBay Power Sellers (some of whom have relied on Skip’s courses to guide their growth!)
You can find their auctions under their eBay user name Mcgrrrrr, and on most days if you call the office, either Skip or Karen will answer the phone. Apart from the “autopilot income” eBay generates for his family, Skip often says his greatest pleasure in this business is the knowledge that he has made life better for thousands of people! Then he adds, with a wink, “And I have Karen to thank for that, too!”
But Skip and Karen are not just about eBay. In 2006 Skip began selling on Amazon and last Holiday season Amazon rewarded him as one of their top 10 sellers for the Christmas Holiday season from November 15th to December 24th. Today Skip and Karen list and sell over 900 products on Amazon in addition to their eBay business.
Our Websites, an Internet Adventure
As you can see, Karen and I wouldn't presume to coach you on things we haven't tried ourselves. We're involved in just few websites and they're not all about online selling either! We love BBQ and so we started a site that sells firepits. We've learned a lot with that website! We've also made websites directed at seniors, people making money with affiliate programs, eBay coaching and table-top light tents. And of course, I've got a blog and a Facebook page.