This Seller Turned $40 into a Seven-Figure Fashion Business

Nicole Grant Kriege, eBay News Team

Grace Easevoli, an Up & Running grantee, shares the secrets to her eBay success.

This series features successful eBay sellers who are former Up & Running grantees. Apply by June 7 to become one of this year’s 50 grantees and receive $10,000 to grow your business.

When Grace Easevoli moved to the U.S. from the Philippines in 2013, she would never have guessed that 10 years later she’d be running a seven-figure fashion business. With no previous fashion experience, she and her husband-slash-business partner have turned an initial $40 investment into two eBay stores selling trending men’s and women’s apparel and shoes – with 18 employees and four warehouses of inventory.

For the last five years, eBay has run a program called the Up & Running Grants awarding 50 sellers with $10,000 each. Last year, Grace took the leap and applied to the program, and was chosen as one of the 50 grantees.

Since receiving the grant, her business has grown over 400%, catapulting her sales and fueling her dream of retiring early. We sat down with Grace to hear how she and her husband used the $10,000 grant to take their business to the next level.

From humble beginnings to high-end fashion maven

I grew up in the Philippines, which is a developing area, so fashion and big-name brands were not part of my life before coming to the U.S. Today, I’m wearing a $300 sweater, but back then I couldn’t have imagined wearing something so luxurious.

My love for fashion has really developed alongside growing our eBay business. I have so much fun picking trending brands for women – from Farm Rio to Love Shack to Alice + Olivia. I recently discovered Anine Bing, so now we’re selling her clothing as well. I’m also learning about European brands and dipping a toe into luxury through our eBay men’s store, selling labels like Burberry, Gucci, and Balenciaga.

It’s great to be able to offer people a better price on fashion than what they would pay in the store.

Seller Grace Easevoli

How she turned $40 into a seven-figure business

When I first started selling on eBay in early 2020, I was decluttering our home. The books we listed sold really quickly, so we decided to invest $40 in more used books and made a nice profit. Soon after, we bought a $700 pallet from Goodwill and we tripled our investment. From there, we started selling bales of pre-loved clothes.

My husband has a business background, so when our sales on eBay grew and grew, he encouraged me to start selling full-time in early 2021. He’s now my business partner and we have 18 employees and 15 virtual assistants, which allows me to work with my old schoolmates back in the Philippines. We have four warehouses of inventory as well.

We currently work with liquidators to sell unsold fashion merchandise, which has had the best return for us. In total, we’ve grown our business over 400% since last year, which is tremendous. That wouldn’t have been possible without receiving the eBay Up & Running Grant.

Seller Grace Easevoli

Three ways she scaled her business after receiving the grant

When we heard we were chosen as grantees, we were honestly shocked. We were manifesting it, but what are the odds of being picked out of tens of thousands of applicants?

The first thing we did after receiving the $10,000 grant was use 25% to improve our shipping operations. We expanded our third warehouse into a fourth warehouse next door, and bought a big shipping table and lots of shelving. That allowed us to start shipping items more quickly and efficiently.

Next, we used another 25% of the grant to buy more inventory. More inventory translates to more sales, so we were excited to be able to expand our listings to include more brands.

Lastly, we used the remaining 50% of the grant to hire more people. We brought on an inventory auditor to keep track of everything we have in stock and to manage our entire inventory system. I was able to hire five more virtual assistants in the Philippines as contractors as well; they help us draft items, ​​fill out any specifics, and ensure all of our listings are super accurate.

Seller Grace Easevoli

Aiming to outsource her business and retire early

The impact of the grant on our business can’t be measured. Our business has grown so much that we now have big dreams. We want to hire someone to run the business for us so we can focus on raising our kids. And eventually, we plan to retire early.

Her advice for sellers

My biggest piece of advice for sellers is to be consistent. Search on the eBay Community site and YouTube for all the advice you can get from other sellers, and just keep going day by day. You’ll know soon if selling is right for you.

Also, be sure to use the eBay tools available to you. Product Research (formerly Terapeak) is great for seeing what items are in demand on the platform. And Promoted Listings are key to getting your items noticed and boosting your sales.

I always say that nothing in life is free. You have to keep working towards your dreams. We work really hard, often 16 hours a day, but we have so much passion and we have big goals. Our eyes are on the prize.