TIFFANY TANAKA

Episode 20

Play episode

Tiffany Tanaka – Owner of We Sell Things 4 U Ebay Store

25 year old Tiffany sold a Range Rover on Ebay for $50,000 and a $14,000 Cheryl Crow signed guitar. Starting as a college hobby, selling on Ebay soon became a business obsession. Her current location is over 6,000 square feet of retail space and Tiffany is looking to purchase her next property. This all comes from her Ebay store which offers customers the ability to sell their items online without having to do it themselves.

Some questions asked:
What is We Sell Things 4 U and what makes it unique?

Why did you decide to locate on Queen Street?

Are you planning to open a second location? Where?

What’s the most unusual item you’ve ever sold?

How did this come about, what is the story behind We Sell Things 4 U?

When you knew you wanted to start your business what was the first thing you did?

Did you write a business plan? If so, how long did it take to write your business plan?

What was the most difficult challenge to getting started and running your business?

How did you get people through the door?

Do you think it’s harder to run your business in Hawaii vs the mainland?

How did you obtain financing?

What is your average day like?

What community organizations or non profits are you involved with?

Can you tell us more about your non profit service?

How has that helped your business?

Do you find it harder to do business because you’re a woman?

Do you find your age is an advantage or disadvantage?

Any advice for today’s young business person?

How did you develop your business skills and entrepreneurial abilities?

How did you come up with your company name?

How do you know so much about the different items you sell? Do you and your employees specialize in certain categories?

How do you find talented employees?

Is it difficult to work with your closest friends and manage them?

How long did it take you to get to ‘critical mass’? What was the turning point?

How do you use the internet to help your business?

What’s your competitive advantage and how do you keep it?

Do you have advice to females who want to go into business or start a business? Any advice of where they can get assistance?

Do you have a mentor and how have they helped you?

BIO:
Wesellthings4u, an eBay-affiliated company located on Queen Street in the Kaka’ako area, got its start by 25-year old, Tiffany Tanaka. Tiffany graduated from the University of San Francisco in 2003 and headed back home to Hawaii to be closer to her family. She studied Fashion and Graphic Design in the Bay Area but found that it wasn’t easy to find a job in either of those fields here in Hawaii. While doing the job-hunt routine, Tiffany was also selling items on eBay, as she had casually been doing since 1998, during her college days.

She soon found that her eBaying hobby was becoming much more than just that, and realized that she could turn it into an actual business. The selling process on eBay is undoubtedly time-consuming and difficult if one does not have the time or means (a computer, a digital camera, shipping supplies, and space!). It requires acquiring items to sell, photographing the item, creating an auction, answering numerous emails from inquisitive and prospective buyers, and packaging and shipping the item out. Tiffany soon realized she needed more hands to handle all of these tasks so she hired a good friend/old classmate who is also computer savvy and an avid eBayer. The two of them pumped out auctions on eBay from their small office space (which was actually a storage room), building rapport with eBay customers across the globe.

Soon thereafter, Tiffany’s high school classmates and friends who wanted good company, a part-time job, or a full-time job jumped on board. With all of her friends/employees’ heads and skills put together, Wesellthings4u covers a wide variety of expertise and knowledge on items such as vehicles, electronics, real estate, antiques, golf clubs, clothing, and jewelry. Wesellthings4u, now about 1 years old, has a walk-in storefront where customers can drop off their items to sell on eBay and has earned Power Seller and Titanium Status on eBay.

Tiffany is currently looking into expanding, and opening up another Wesellthings4u store in San Francisco. She hopes to open up stores in Asia and Europe as well, since eBay is also booming in those countries.

Links:
We Sell Things 4 U

Listen on Youtube:

Episode 20