BUILD YOUR OWN DREAMS


OR SOMEONE WILL HIRE YOU TO BUILD THEIRS. - FARRAH GRAY

I am Scott Henshaw born in the early 1970's near Seattle, Washington (USA). Since 2010 I have been a self employed entrepreneur and achieved measured success with running a family based business on eBay and other online marketplaces. A simple core belief in the greatness of all people and providing amazing buyer experiences are the focal points of our business model. We thrive in a world where technology paves new paths and I look forward to engaging with you in this awesome new digital landscape. I dig motorcycles, family, traveling and freedom.

  • HOME

    AND FAMILY

    When it comes down to it family is everything. I am fortunate to have a wonderful one with my wife, Nanette and seven-year-old son, Renato. We live a fantastic life full of personal and professional growth. Opportunity is a constant as is hope, love and freedom of movement. Growing any home-based business can be a difficult journey but one that we have learned can also deliver great joy.

    In addition to our family business we enjoy travel, numerous hobbies and finding balance. We have a nice friendly cat and after a recent visit to Hawaii are considering getting a pot belly pig. Get back to me on that…

  • FLATWARE

    WE BUY & SELL

    We have grown a unique market by supplying thousands of homes around the world with beautiful flatware. In return we get to meet the most wonderful people and engage in amazing stories, sometimes spanning generations with certain patterns. Even if we do not have your specific item in stock we are glad to keep a list and let you know when we get some in stock

    Got fork? We are always looking for quality inventory so please don’t hesitate to contact us should you have something to sell. We are always in the market and can take care of all the shipping needs from a single spoon or fork to an entire pallet.

  • HELP

    WITH EBAY?

    eBay continues year after year to be an unique platform to market products of all different types. Success on eBay is achieved by providing amazing buyer experiences. Selling on eBay is much simpler than in the past and great reward can be achieved by focusing on new technoligies such as Mobile listing and Global Shipping. Simply put, it’s a whole new world and a whole new eBay.

    We will constantly be sharing blog posts and relevant topic to what we have learned both as eBay sellers and active members in the community. If you are in the Puget Sound we also teach for the eBay Education Specialist Program

  • QUALITY

    ENGINE PARTS

    Automobiles and motorcycles are one of my life long passions. I can remember my first engine rebuild at age 15 with my father, an experience that propelled me into a future of pistons, bearings and grease.

    We are fortunate today to have some amazing partnerships with automotive engine parts warehouses and can either ship direct from our own stock or a network of warehouses throughout the United States. We carry some cool American-made products such as Hastings piston rings, Clevite bearings and Victor Reinz gasket sets.

Check us out We have some cool hobbies, a great sense of humor and cool items in our stores and on the local Seattle Craigslist. Please join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, eBay, Pinterest and share with us the journey of life.

About this Blog Wearing multiple hats gives us many different topics to talk about on our blog. We obviously really enjoy many activities and we love talking about the eBay community, some of our more interesting items and growing up in a work at home family. We hope that you will find purpose here as that is our main intent with all that we write. Shall I feel the need to post the latest make it or get rich quick scheme or mass list our products, then trust in that I will post something about music or beer instead.

  • SCAMMED AND A DEFECT ON EBAY

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: eBay, Lessons in Customer Service

    2 Comments

    I was scammed and a got defect on eBay

    What  a call that I had.  To be honest I have not had a buyer on eBay get under my skin to this effect for years.   A case was opened as Item Not as Described… a marine gasket set for which I have sold several hundred on eBay… 282 in fact.  There is also a similar part that fits later years that I have sold 186.  I am pretty familiar with both sets from working on the engines in my past.  So much so that I have not only inlcuded the manufactures images in the listing, but also my own and a video embedded showing the main difference in the two sets.

    In the case the buyer wrote:

    “There was no manifold to elbow gasket in the set. This is a car set not a Mercruiser set. I had to go to a store and buy the gasket for $7.28. I can email you a receipt for it if you like. ”

    I noticed in the case that there was a telephone number and I called.   I explained to him that based on what I read that he had two main issues and that I appreciate him letting me take care of him.   The first was the fact that this is per the manufacturer is a marine set and that I would be happy to show him the catalog information and because of my relationship with the factory could even get an engineer to give him a call.  I also went more in depth with my knowledge of the VR2000 gasket material and stainless steel core construction….     His response was that he typed that by accident.

    So, I asked him if he would mind showing me in the main photo in the listing which gasket was missing.   He said it was not missing but was the wrong one.   He said what he needed was the one in the other set that I show in the video. I explained to him that the other set is for latter years and more or less it’s own product.   He said that I should make a third set with a mix of the parts as he has a bastardized engine with early cylinder head and late model everything else.  Of course, I explained to him that although I value that that I have no control over what the OEM manufacturer offers.

    In the end I told him that my goal is really simple.  I just want to take care of him and need to know what that will take.  He said that he will split the difference with me at $3.64 (Half of $7.28).  I told him that I will refund $15.   The cost of the gasket he had to purchase and a foot long at Subway on  me.

    It is clear to me that he knew what was up and on a personal level that chaps my hide.   However, on a business level, I feel no hate or anxiety at all,  I have evolved past that.   I do not refer to him as a scammer, a crook and in fact I suspect that he just had a bad day working on the boat and was cranky when he opened the case.  I will not block him as I hope that he buys again.  He worked on one boat and may work on another soon so I want him to come back again.  That does not mean that he will give me the shaft, (No nautical pun intended) and perhaps he may become a great long-term customer.

    Yes this cost me $15 but I still make money on the sale.   I have a defect but defects are not torpedo’s that can sink my ship on their own.  Some are friendly fire and certainly not fair, like this one.  However, it would take a significant amount of strikes to put me beneath the waves and cause me to lose TRS.  I continue to focus on providing great customer service even for buyers like this that test my resolve.   In the end I have faith in the measurements put in place that will keep me at TRS…  More importantly, I know that buyers will keep coming back to our store.   As Jed eats his sandwhich, I hope that he may smile just a bit not because he got a free gasket and a snack but to know that someone out there in life’s journey does care about him.

  • 2014 EBAY SPRING SELLER UPDATE

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Lessons in Customer Service, Making a Living Online

    2 Comments

    So after all these days since the release the the eBay 2014 Spring Seller Update the conversation continues to remain heavy. The word, “Defect” seems to be as common to topic as green is to grass and I have decided to move passed it. For the most part because I believe that this seller update is a continuation of an overall plan that eBay has been working on for years. A plan to remove or reduce sellers providing bad buyer experiences and rewarding those who are delighting buyers. Fortunately, I believe that we are part of the latter. Every seller update in the past wether I have agreed with specific parts of it or not, has in fact lead our business to growth on the platform. This measure always seems to stem from a common believe shared with eBay that, “Customer Service is the key to success.”

    That said, I am certain that we will be fine. Why? The answer is really critical to being able to sleep at night if you are worried: I believe that we have a much higher chance of remaining TRS under the new system than we would have with the old. I have been engaged, listened to both sides of arguments, digested and discovered, listened to this and that and watched enough anti-ebay videos on YouTube to know that the same people saying the ship will sink are the same that told me I would fail when the DSR system came to be. During the past two years we have grown to and remained at the gold power seller level, remained top rated sellers and developed what we believe firmly is a strong, sustainable and exciting presence on the eBay platform. There is no doubt that with the new metrics for maintaining top rated seller that we will have to make some adjustments but I have no doubt that the opportunity nor reward will be any less than it has been for us over the past two years.

    Yes, there are a few pain points that I have but I do not believe that any of these will be deal killers or push our account anywhere near the unrecoverable point. Nor do I believe that we will lose the benefits of Top Rated Seller. We will continue to focus on providing excellent buyer experiences and if we think that something is currently good we will work to make it better, even great. We embrace the fact that we are entrepreneurs and are appreciative that eBay remains a stable platform for us to utilize. We also understand cash flow and the relevance that the buyers have with it. The Internet is filled with places for people to purchase goods and we believe and have faith that eBay is working towards developing a culture where these buyers feel safe making their purchase decisions. To that we feel that we are eBay’s partner in this goal.

    If you find yourself in a state of panic may I suggests that you continue at this point to work towards providing excellent buyer experiences? Simply remember that buyers, like you, are human and even if a situation or transaction has an issue or maybe considered a, “Defect” that you can always improve the level of service that you provide. Treat your buyer as though they are a family member, show that you care, be kind and the human. Don’t believe that eBay is pushing you out but rather let the rewards of the new system follow you by having a business plan focused around eBay’s core beliefs. The new seller dashboard is fantastic and offers far more transparency than the old DSR system. I have seen it and I believe that had eBay chosen to do a short animated video rather than bullet pointing the new system that many sellers would have felt a sense of rejoicing rather than experiencing nervousness. That said for the next month or so I suggest focusing on providing amazing buyer experiences and engagement and when the new system rolls out you will see that that this mindset will lead you to great reward.

    We have created a forum over to the right, in the sidebar and are excited to engage with you in postive discussion in order to share in community spirit and belief that none of us are as smart individually than a group as a whole. Please feel free to share or ask anything related to using the update to grow your business.

  • EBAY SPRING SELLER UPDATE 2014

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Making a Living Online

    No Comments

    The eBay Spring Seller Update for 2014 is now out and it is a good time to get an early start on preparing your changes as a business owner to adapt to the new measures for remaining Top Rated Seller.    Overall we are not too overly concerned as we adopted a higher level of customer service and buyer expectation over the past couple years.   We believe that the key to success on eBay is to have a business model that puts buyer expectations at the forefront of your planning.  Ki Tracking is a simple app that we are going to use to assist buyers know the shipping and tracking status of their items with a goal of preventing unwanted Item Not Received Cases or Defects being created.

     

  • EBAY RADIO INTERVIEW FEB 4, 2014

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Making a Living Online, Our personal journey

    No Comments

    It is always a treat for us to be on eBay radio and share with other sellers and peers in the community. In this particular interview we were asked about achieving our shooting star on eBay which led to later conversation about overall buyer and seller relationships. We hope that you enjoy.

    eBay Radio Interview with Scott Henshaw 

  • 10,000 FEEDBACK ON EBAY

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Making a Living Online, Our personal journey, Random Musings

    4 Comments

    10,000 Feedback on eBay

    It comes with a great sense of personal and professional satisfaction achieving the shooting star on eBay by reaching 10,000 feedback. Business success is measured not only by the financial rewards of managing a profitable business but also by being measured how well and often we provide amazing buyer experiences. Of course, I believe strongly that the two are deeply intertwined. One cannot exist without the other.

    Feedback in and of itself on eBay is a great tool to measure the type of experience that you as a business owner are providing your buyers. Most buyer feedback left for sellers is a good representation of the level of product and service provided. Perhaps not all, but enough that we as business owners can learn from the good and adjust from the bad, so long as we are willing to listen. For us besides having a high number of feedback we also have a great resource in the words and verbiage left in all of the comments. We read these often and find that the two most frequently used words are “Fast” and “Thank You”.

    We reached 10,000 feedback last night and began sharing our great news via social media. So far we’ve received about a dozen emails asking us how we did it in a three to four-year period. Although I have no singular answer nor great words of wisdom I do offer this advice: believe in your buyers and customers, even if it is the 2% of sales in which something may have gone wrong. Embrace the positive in all things and surround yourself with mentors and peers that believe the same lessons we have learned. Customers are what drive a business to success so be as passionate about them as you are in your own products and level of service.

     

     

    .

     

  • LITTLE RANT ON THE EBAY GLOBAL SHIPPING PROGRAM

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Making a Living Online, Random Musings

    No Comments

    First, before I dive off into a rant about todays frustration with eBay’s GSP, (Global Shipping Program) allow me to note that I love the Global Shipping Program. We have shipped hundreds of products all over the world using it and have had great success and many delighted buyers. Even more important, repeat buyers and even new freindships.   It is a good, nay it is a GREAT thing and we believe that as it continues to evolve and expand into more countries that it will continue to provide a means of growth to anyone flinging goods on the eBay marketplace.   As with all my rants or complaints they  generally are less than half a percent off all sales. Just like with feedback, DSR’s and smooth, problem free transactions such nastiness is less than a very small margin. There are, as with any relatively new system or software some bugs and today I was bitten.  An ointment in site? Yes I believe that in the end my issue will be resolved yet I sleep tonight with an itchy lump and what I feel is not being able to provide the service to a buyer that I believe is what has lead our small business to our current success.

    That said, let me break off for just a moment from the bug bite or pain point with todays GSP issue and just talk about customer service and how we as eBay sellers feel about our buyers. I try not to think of myself “Selling” items to buyers but rather servicing them. Wether it be with our recycled flatware or in this case a set of engine gaskets, I try to focus on the service in getting them an item for their need.  This buyer in Australia was in need an engine gasket set and I am delighted that he chose our eBay store to make the purchase. It is my role to now provide him with what he needs to repair his engine and in return we will have a little more in the coin purse than we had before. All the things that happen from the time of receiving the coins to making sure that the buyer is satisfied, to me, is just as significant and relevant as receiving the coins themselves.  In this case eBay advertises that the seller is more or less off the hook for damage in transit once the item leaves the fulfillment center in Erlanger, Kentucky and as you can imagine this is what caused my pinpoint and reason for this rant.

    Greg, the buyer sent me an email through the eBay message center stating the the gasket set was damaged and had been folded in half in shipping.  These are shipped in a factory shipping box and are 24″ x 10″ x 2″ in diameter. Nice thick cardboard and we have shipped hundreds over the years.   It is hard for me to understand anyone folding one, but I have seen postal systems preform some pretty amazing stuff over the years. I emailed Greg back and explained to him about the Global Shipping Program and that I would call eBay.  I ended up speaking with someone on the GSP team and they told me that being that Australia does not have eBay Buyer Protection that the buyer would have to open a claim with PayPal. This sounded a bit off to me so I asked if they would at least mind emailing the buyer and offering instructions for that. I also asked if they could call PayPal to verify on a three way call, which they did. The PayPal rep verified and told me that when the case was opened to call PayPal back and it would be closed and fixed within 20 minutes.

    A couple hours past and I received an email from Greg. He was asking me what to do because the info from eBay was not working. I called eBay again and spoke with someone in the GSP. He verified what the first rep had told me and offered to send the buyer instructions and me information on the GSP. Greg opened the case in PayPal and my funds were held. I escalated the dispute to a claim and mentioned why the person from PayPal said to put during the first call, “Item was shipped via eBay GSP” and then proceeded to call PayPal per my instructions. The PayPal rep told me that the buyer would have to return the item for a credit to be issued, (This is were the rash really started an my blood to boil). I explained that this was not what the previous two eBay GSP agents said nor the PayPal rep on the three way with first call.   She suggested that I contact eBay and offered to transfer me. The CS rep at eBay listened to me and told me that I need to talk to PayPal.  A vein began to bulge on my neck and I felt sick to my stomach.  I ask to be transferred to GSP but she wanted more info.  After giving it to her she told me that buyer would have to send item back.   I begged to be transfer to GSP…  After a couple minutes on hold a lady came on the phone and said that she was from logistics. Very nice and understanding and stated that she was going to send a ticket to PayPal and follow through which can take 12 to 24 hours. This gives me comfort but leaves me not understanding the part in eBay’s stated policies in regards to GSP that we are covered from damage once it leaves Erlanger, KY?

    It also leave me with a feeling of being put in a situation to have to offer less than good service to my buyer. Thankfully, this type of problem does not happen often, so infrequent that it is hard to measure but what a pain in the neck . ebay global shipping program

  • ADDING LOVE ON THE EBAY SHIPPING LABEL

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Making a Living Online, picking, thrifting and auctions

    No Comments

    IMG_6022As a seller on eBay one learns quick when success becomes measurable that eBay is a marketplace where sellers are rewarded for  providing an excellent buying experience. To that I say don’t only offer your buyers a product but also add an experience, and a brilliant one at that. Start with the shipping label, after the shipping email is sent, it is generally the next thing that they see from you and the first physical part of the sale.  The long wait from shipping is over and they are back to focusing on the product and you!

    Let this be a place to once again say, “Thank you” with a simple sticker.   You can never say, “Thank you” enough – what happened was magic.  A complete stranger sent you money and now they are about ready to tear into their treasure.   Thank them for being a part of it all.

    Stand out a little and do something to show that your business is not bland. Show that you stand out from all the other sellers using common white labels and USPS labels.   On our antiques and collectibles we use this really small vintage 1937 USPS craft tape.  Their name is on the label and so is yours.   Spice it up a bit and they will have more of a chance of remembering yours.   Less than a nickel and all this wonder happens before they even open the package….   Give it a try and don’t forget to hand sign a thank you note on the packing slip… Your buyers will love you.

     

     

    Vintage USPS Priority Tape Roll on eBay

    tape roll

    Simple Yellow Thank You Label on eBay

    thank you label

  • CLEANING & POLISHING STAINLESS STEEL FLATWARE

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Making a Living Online, picking, thrifting and auctions

    No Comments

    We have been selling flatware on eBay for about three years and are now nearing 10,000 feedback. Most of our flatware is used and either comes from thrift stores, auctions or through local sourcing. Stainless steel flatware can be subjective as to what its condition really is. Some can be dull, lightly scratched or have service conditions that some may consider gently used and others may think is more significant. Being silver in color it can be very difficult to photograph and give an accurate representation without taking macro shots and if you do take macro shots the full screen images can make the flatware look significantly worse than it really is.

    When it comes to our customers in particularly those on eBay which is our largest market we have learned that the best way to build and sustain a healthy business model is to simply focus on the buyer experience. As I mentioned in the video we love our buyers. To us our buyers are special we strive to not only build a relationship with them but to earn repeat business with them. We inspect our flatware prior to shipping and if we feel that there’s any chance that our buyers will not be satisfied with the product that we clean and polish. This is probably with about 70 to 75% of the use flatware that we ship.

    We hope that you’ll find this video useful and whether you choose to sell flatware in your variety of goods to sell on eBay or you choose other types of products it’s with our hopes that you will take away from this video lessons from our success and seeing our business grow by focusing on exceptional buyer experiences.

  • EDUCATION SPECIALIST TRAINED BY EBAY

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Uncategorized

    No Comments

    education specialist trained by ebay

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We have been an Education Specialist Trained by eBay for a couple years now and truly enjoy sharing our experience with the market place and platform with others.  We offer a handful of the, “Basics of eBay” course in 2013 but are really going to gear up to offer more in 2014. In fact we are planning on teaching the course the third Saturday of every each month and the, “Beyond the Basics” course every other month.  We are also going to be more active in managing a local Seattle eBay Meetup.  2013 kept us pretty busy traveling with both eBay and PayPal so we are optimistic for more local community focus this coming year.

    We have set up a new landing page for our role with eBay University and will be sharing some awesome resources on both this site and www.scotthenshaw.org so please check out both.

     

  • MAKING THE MOVE TO HIGHWIRE – BUMPS & BRUISES REVIEW

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Random Musings

    2 Comments

    Well first off, it’s been a while since I have created a blog post here in WordPress but thought this would be a good place to talk about my recent migration to Highwire over the weekend.  Some irony in that a great deal of 2013 was spent on learning WPeC Gold cart in the WordPress environment, (This very blog in fact). Also, it is my goal to put our companies main focus for Q4 2014 into product creation and listing for the holidays and we are now convinced that Highwire is the correct and, “Simple” solution to accomplish that.  This is not an easy thing for me to change as I have been with my current third party platform since 1998…  As with that service and WPeC in WordPress, (I will continue using WPec in WP), change to Highwire has been thus far surprisingly simple and modern.

    Sound too complicated?  Well fear not as I am just an ordinary eBay seller that over the past three years has built a lot of inventory on the platform and though a lot has sold, (Thank God) I still feel it wise to do all that I can to cross promote and grow our products to where every there is a buyer or customer willing to buy via our brand.  eBay is and will more than likely continue to carry the highest percentage of sales but there are other venues with both relative customer bases and doing a decent job showing products on Google.  Some like Addoway and Bonanaza with automated import functions from eBay.  Both cases though do import new items listed to eBay but do not remove items sold on their platforms from eBay…. You have to do it manually and the slow volume from the marketplaces simply makes it more of a pain in the ass than a feeling of financial reward from the sale.  Forget to remove it from eBay and you will have to hope and pray the feedback gods that your buyer is understanding.

    So the promise of Highwire? It does do it for you and that is fantastic, nay, Brilliant!  Truth be told, I have been searching for a replacement to my current solution or platform for many years and have tried and contacted several companies.  That said, I try not to focus on the negative with any of them…   I had also never heard of Highwire before, which strikes me as odd as I have been around for a while.   The auto-inventory sync between their cart and eBay’s inventory was enough to get me to try the free trial. It is with that that I have spent the weekend getting things set up and working with my partner and wife to make the merge from our old system to the new.  There seems to be a lot of community interest so as I fart around with it, I will share my experiences here.   It is not perfect, made some admin mistakes and a glitch here and there but overall the bumps and bruises were small and quickly replaced with an excitement of what our business will look like in 2014 and that is a great thing to know.

    My goal is to finalize the new HW store by the end of August 2013 – thus far I have imported 3400 items from our eBay store, created the Facebook page and began looking at the templates for the HW Store. My goal is to introduce new product to HW and have it sync to eBay.  Half of our companies listing is done via eBay Mobile on iPhone or iPad Mini and that will be synced with HW as well, (Add to HW store and Facebook Store).   Pretty exciting actually.  Then the Holidays hit so I think it is an awesome time to take a look and heck, even work with me here in the blog or we can carry the conversation via Social.    I even have a cool Instagram thing planned for Highwire listing…  Yes, I am a geek.

    Think about your plans for 2014 and the 2013 holiday season… when you can block out a couple days for set-up (Not before) check out the free trial.  Here is a link:



     

Please, write your name. Please, insert your e-mail address. Please, leave a message.