Everyone has to start somewhere
Bargain Hunter to Blogger to Paid Curator
Mary Kincaid has “the eye.” She can spot unique and well-priced vintage clothing, jewellery and décor just about anywhere, and she loves sharing those finds with others. She created Zuburbia.com to do just that, and unwittingly became an expert curator of vintage goods.
“I started gaining followers, and that’s when the light bulb went off,” Mary explains. “People love the things I find, but that doesn’t mean I need to purchase, clean, list, package and ship everything. I can find vintage items on eBay, point people in the right direction and get a commission for it. Finding things is what I really enjoy, and it’s more profitable than doing all of the buying and selling.”
Zuburbia.com has been an EPN member since 2011, and Mary has been posting “eBay Roundups” ever since. She scours eBay product listings to hand pick her favourite items, and then uses the EPN link generator so she can list them on her site and receive a commission for qualified purchases.
“This is a labour of love, and I do it to have a connection with people who share the same passion,” Mary says. “At the same time, it’s nice to be compensated and I can continue to build the value of my site and the community it fosters.”
To see Mary’s hand-selected vintage finds, visit Zuburbia.com/blog.
College Students Build the Internet's Largest Fashion Forum
Meaghan and Vlad Dusil were simply looking for a way to explore Meg’s love for handbags and generate a little extra money for airfare. That was 2005, before the college students married and before blogging was commonplace. Tapping Vlad’s nascent programming skills and Meg’s lifelong passion for handbags, the two formed PurseBlog.com and began developing content, placing online ads and growing a community of users.
Today, PurseBlog and its sister site PurseForum are the Internet’s largest, most popular sources of news and information on designer handbags and accessories. The sites serve 520,000 registered users, most of whom are modern, educated, affluent women.
“Our readers are savvy, luxury consumers, and there was quite a bit of chatter about eBay on our forum from the very beginning,” says Shannon Mahoney, Director of Operations for PurseBlog and PurseForum. “eBay has a wide variety of high-end products, some of which are hard to find anywhere else.”
To support its community and encourage the dialogue, the company created an eBay-specific discussion board within PurseForum, and also registered with the eBay Partner Network (EPN) to receive commissions on qualified purchases. The company dynamically links user discussions to applicable eBay product listings, and has also used the EPN link generator to showcase “eBay Roundups.”
“Our eBay forum is massively popular, with a lot of engagement and activity,” Shannon says, noting the use of EPN Reports to identify and replicate what is generating the most interest, clicks and revenue. “The more we can facilitate that discussion and help people find the products they are talking about and looking for, the better we can serve our community and grow our site.”
To see the latest designer handbags and accessories, visit PurseBlog.com.
Art Collector Creates a Thriving Community and Marketplace
When Bill Cox started collecting comic art, he had a difficult time connecting with artists and dealers. The largely underground community was active and passionate, but it was lacking a central hub for posting, finding and purchasing comic art. So Bill, with a degree in fine arts and experience as a web developer, created ComicArtFans.com.
“It was just a hobby,” he explains. “I wanted to create a place where artists and collectors could meet and share.”
After Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc on the Southeastern United States in 2005, several comic artists decided to auction off their work to aid relief efforts, and Bill wanted to do his part by highlighting the auctions on his site. He registered with eBay Partner Network (EPN), promoted the auctions and soon thereafter received a $800 commission check.
“I had never considered monetising the site, but I realised I was missing a prime opportunity,” Bill says. “So I started rebuilding the site to become a one-stop shop for comic art.”
ComicArtFans.com evolved from a collection of simple member galleries to a thriving marketplace that gives its users more of what they love, and additional options to acquire it. Today, Bill uses the EPN API to pull a list of eBay comic art auctions and then hand selects the pieces he wants to showcase on his custom banners. He also uses EPN Reports to better understand what is popular and adjust his selections accordingly.
“EPN has become my primary source of revenue,” Bill says. “And my community of users values the time I spend picking things out for them.”
To see Bill’s one-of-a-kind marketplace, visit ComicArtFans.com.