One summer, Gina’s daughter asked her to purchase duct tape so that she could tape her twin sheet to her plastic summer camp mattress. Always a problem solver, Gina refused to buy the duct tape and instead bought fabric to sew a bed sheet that could not pop off the mattress. At the end of the camp, a camp leader asked where she bought those "incredible sheets" because her kids were the only campers who woke up on their bed sheets and not stuck to the plastic mattress. That's when Mattress Pocket® ("the sheet that won't pop off") was born. After selling at small shows and fairs, Gina turned to eBay, growing her business globally and bringing economic opportunity to her small Oklahoma town.
Q: How has selling on eBay contributed to your success?
A: I was only able to take Mattress Pocket® to the local summer camp, to our small rural town, friends, and family, but eBay has taken Mattress Pocket® to the world! eBay provides us with a well-organized platform to showcase, explain, and sell our product, and bank the money from the sales of our product all at the same time that I am teaching in my classroom and being a busy mom. eBay has taken away the need to spend thousands of dollars on marketing. Selling on eBay allows our sheets to show up on major search engine searches. Showing up at the top of the list is something I tried to obtain on my own but never had the clout, right marketing tools, or website traffic to do so. eBay is not free, but what I get in return for the eBay fees has been life changing!
Q: What is your proudest business moment on eBay?
A: The proudest moment was when a gentleman contacted us and told us about being the caregiver for his wife for several years and that she had just recently passed away. He said he was having to buy all new linens for the bed, but he was torn because this was something his wife always took care of and he didn’t even know where to start. Filled with compassion and a warm heart for such a precious man, I explained how to measure his mattress so I could tell him what size bed he had. Then I emailed him screenshots of exactly how to order what he needed. He did it! He ordered exactly what he needed, and we sewed his order with special attention. I packaged and shipped his sheets and included a personal note from me. The thank you note he sent back was one of the most rewarding notes we have ever received.
Q: How has selling on eBay impacted your life?
A: Selling on eBay has impacted my life tremendously. It has increased our business, brought customers to me whose beds have launched an entire product line, and most of all, it has revealed to me that I didn’t have just a solution to my daughter’s problem, but to a problem that resonates around the world. Also, watching and hearing the daily news can be overwhelmingly negative and leave me feeling down and hopeless; however, selling on eBay has renewed a new hope within me. I have met so many incredible people who are kind, thoughtful, appreciative and even forgiving that I have come to realize that most people in the world are genuinely good and kind.
Q: What gets you excited about selling on eBay?
A: Every time we make a sale on eBay my phone chimes out Cha-Ching. Being in my classroom or lying in bed and hearing Cha-Ching gets me giddy and excited every time! Opening the eBay app and seeing numbers on the dashboard for sales and email messages gets me excited and distracts me from the daily stressors in life. Reading emails of people’s woes with bed sheets from competitors makes me super glad they found us! I love replying and providing them with hope. It’s crazy that a simple solution can be so rewarding, but it is because fighting with sheets and remaking beds every morning is an untold story of millions of people and we have the solution. Now THAT is very exciting!
Q: Why do you believe customers enjoy buying from you?
A: The foundation of our company is to treat our customers the way we want to be treated. Every email that outlines a customer’s terrible plight seems to become a personal challenge to me, especially since solving a problem was how our business was founded. Also, each customer is a person to me, not just a sales number. Once, I noticed an order was a customer’s first eBay purchase. I got excited and took ownership of eBay and immediately emailed the customer and welcomed him to eBay. To reward him for being a first-time buyer, I gave him a “First Time Buyer” partial refund to make sure his first time on eBay was the best experience ever. Customers appreciate my personal contact and attention to them and through it all we seem to form a special bond.