BeckerTime and eBay – Celebrating 20 Years
It is strange how quickly two decades can just fly by!
All the way back in January of 1999, our current CEO Matthew Becker and his father Gordon were collectors with a passion for timepieces. Today, BeckerTime is one of the most trusted independent online luxury watches dealers specializing in buying and selling vintage Rolex.
Perhaps the biggest contribution to the success of the business, especially in the early days, was the collaboration between the Beckers and the world’s largest internet auction site, eBay.
The Start of BeckerTime
The modern day online landscape is radically different to how it was 20 years ago. Ecommerce, now something we all take for granted, was still very much in its infancy. In fact the internet itself had only been open to the public since 1991.
But there were many who could see the opportunities the new technology presented, including Matt and Gordon.
However, starting a company centered around a mutual love of watches was not the original idea. Like any number of similar enterprises, it all began as a hobby, and a way for the two to get to spend more time together. It was also the perfect method for building a fledgling collection. In eBay, which was also a young company at the time, having only made its first sale (a broken laser pointer) in 1995, they found the ideal vehicle to trade in small volumes of coins, jewelry and watches.
As there was nothing else quite like eBay online at the time, the learning curve was a steep one, studying the best ways to get the most value from the site.
From the outset, it was clear BeckerTime was going to focus on the customer experience by providing quality products with the best customer service possible before, during and after the sale. By getting actively involved with the platform itself, they found eBay offered tools to help their business develop.
Sellers are generally graded on their performance with their Seller rating affected by criteria such as cancelled transactions for being out of stock, late deliveries, item not as described claims, and whether any issues raised by customers were closed without a resolution. By taking account of all the metrics, Sellers would be awarded a rank of Top Rated, Above Standard or Below Standard that helped buyers identify the most trustworthy operators in their sector. BeckerTime, from the very beginning, has maintained to the highest degree their Top Rated, Powerseller, and all other important designations and metrics.
In the very early days, almost 100% of BeckerTime’s revenue was made through eBay, and in a few short years they had become the largest preowned Rolex seller on the site. Still, without wanting to rest on their laurels, BeckerTime continued to engage heavily with their trading partner to grow. Changes in ecommerce happened frequently and had to be adapted to quickly. Payments at the beginning, for instance, had mainly come in the form of checks and money orders in the mail with only limited options for electronic forms of payment. It wouldn’t be until 2002 that eBay acquired PayPal, simplifying the payment process and adding a measure of safeguarding for both the buyer and seller.
eBay Open 2019
In order to help their top performing trading partners continue to get the most out of the site, an annual 3-day conference was held in Las Vegas called eBay Open. Here, more than 1,500 sellers from across a whole spectrum of industries were given the opportunity to gather together to share insights on best strategies, attend workshops and gain advice for business growth from senior leadership of eBay.
Symposium and celebration (it is in Vegas after all), eBay Open has proved to be a massive success, and this year, our own Matthew Becker was invited to speak in a workshop entitled, fittingly enough, ‘Dress For Success’.
It was far from the first time BeckerTime had been featured so prominently in an eBay event. Over the years there have been many instances when Matt has been asked to participate in events and perhaps the most significant happened in 2015 when he was chosen to represent the state of Texas, along with Power Seller delegates from 49 other states, to ring the closing bell at NASDAQ on the occasion of PayPal spinning off into an independent company.
The 2019 eBay Open however gave him the opportunity to share 20 years of advice and guidance with other Sellers on the platform.
The workshop, held at the Mandalay Bay hotel on July 25th, took the form of both panel discussion and Q&A and featured Matt alongside two other Top Sellers—a fellow luxury watch expert and a high end clothing specialist.
Lively interchange and an open dialogue of assistance and support provided invaluable real-world information for a packed crowd, and Matt was delighted to be able to give something back to the eBay community.
Although BeckerTime has, since their earliest days, grown so large that they have diversified into selling across a wider range of online marketplaces and, of course, Beckertime.com, BeckerTime still does an enormous amount of business on eBay and remains one of the largest sellers of luxury timepieces specializing in preowned Rolex on the platform.
The auction site has been instrumental in the success of many homegrown businesses over the years, thanks to their progressive attitude and sheer effort to help others achieve their goals. For BeckerTime, it has been an extremely fruitful partnership, and one destined to continue for many more years to come.
— Featured Photo Credits: eBay Seller Events & Wikimedia (cc).