Bonnie Sugawara

Global Auto Parts
Stockton, California

With a passion for auto parts that began with her father's business, Bonnie saw an opportunity to expand the store's reach and connect with customers across the globe. After expanding the business online, Bonnie became an officer and co-owner of the family business.

Q: Why did you first start selling on eBay?
A: In October 2009, our Golden State passed a law that banned the sale of non-self-sealing cans of R134a refrigerant to consumers within California. By spring of 2010, we were still up to our necks with cases of unsold product. What a pickle we were in! Then I thought, why not sell it on eBay? We could reach buyers nationwide, outside our home state. So, we took to eBay and by mid-summer the last case of R134a was sold. The operation was a success!  Then it hit me, why not list more items? After all, we've got a whole shop full of specialty auto parts that people all over the world may be looking for. So I geared up and blazed away with new listings, putting us on track to a growing eBay store.

Q: How has selling on eBay contributed to your success?
A: Selling on eBay has contributed to our success by opening doors to new opportunities worldwide. It's awesome how eBay empowers our small business to welcome buyers from all over the world with virtual doors that are ALWAYS open. It makes me happy to play a role in solving customers' auto parts needs not only locally, but globally as well. Furthermore, by harnessing the power of e-commerce, eBay gives us a boost of confidence to survive in this economy. With its robust set of platform tools, eBay makes the selling process a breeze from start to finish. After 40+ years in the automotive business, our relentless energy and enthusiasm keeps us forging onward with eBay as a partner to our growth and success. Our brick-and-mortar store may be local, but thanks to eBay, our reach is truly global.

Q: What was the most memorable item you’ve sold on eBay?
A: One of the most memorable items I sold was a brand new, genuine Lucas clutch master cylinder for a 1964 MGB. A buyer in Australia was looking at one of our similar listings, but the part was for a different year. He asked if by chance we had one for his '64 MGB. So I cracked open the good old paper catalog. When I went to check our inventory, I was blown away to find that we actually had one on the shelf!  I listed the part and messaged the buyer with the good news. He placed an order immediately. When the part arrived, he was thrilled to bits and sent me a gracious thank you note. I'll never forget that sale, not only because it was such a rare part, but because it reminds me that opportunity is always right in front of us—it's up to us to seize that opportunity. If you want to sell it, you've got to list it!

Q: Where does the inspiration for your business come from?
A: While this auto parts business was the brainchild of my father, my personal inspiration to keep it going comes from an inner sense of passion and dedication. It's not just a way to make a living, it's a fulfilling way of life. I'm inspired by the challenge of solving problems and making someone's day a little better. For most people, it's a bummer when their car is out of commission. If I can help someone get their car back on the road, whether I provide a part or just give some advice, that's what inspires me to keep on rolling.

Q: How has selling on eBay impacted your life?
A: If it weren't for eBay, I would not be the small business owner that I am today. It was specifically our early success on eBay that led to my dad's decision in September 2011 to incorporate the business and name me as a corporate officer and co-owner. Selling on eBay has also enhanced my personal growth and has given me a greater sense of purpose and fulfillment in life. E-commerce retailing is a rewarding experience and I appreciate the constant learning opportunities eBay offers me. I enjoy being a valuable member of the eBay community, and I look forward to more good things happening in the future with eBay as one of the keys to my success.