To her long list of highbrow clients, Ann Whitley Wood is the Hermès Birkin bag of online consignment dealers.
The eBay Platinum Power Seller records gross sales of up to $350,000 annually, helping an army of A-list clientele with one high-class problem: ridding their homes and wardrobes of last season’s accoutrements.
“It was just a hobby at first,” says Wood, a former appellate attorney for Haynes and Boone. “I started selling things around my house just to learn about it. I’ve always been focused on fashion and high-end luxury items, and I was buying clothes and handbags to resell.”
The North Dallas resident, who dubbed her eBay store Willow-Wear, says she quickly realized if she wanted to grow her consignment business, she was going to have to get her hands on more inventory.
Wood’s bartering power earned her “platinum” seller status, a standing given to eBay sellers who gross a minimum of $25,000 a month, making it easy for her to garner a following of high-rolling customers.
“It was a word-of-mouth thing,” Wood says. “I never really sought out clients. They either hear about me from their friends or they have read about it.”
She now serves 40 domestic and international clients, most of whom reside in Dallas and supply her with an array of luxury clothing, baubles, and home décor by upscale brands such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Fendi, Hermès, and Oscar de la Renta.
“It’s executives, professionals, philanthropists, socialites, and just anyone who has really great high-end luxury items,” she says of the bold-faced names who anonymously consign to her. “I’ll sell anything that’s designer-name-driven, because that’s what people search for on eBay.”
Wood says the beauty of eBay is that it’s low-cost and delivers an international marketplace of potential buyers that traditional brick and mortar consignment stores can’t.
“All the clients have to do is get it to me, and I take care of everything else,” says Wood, who charges a 30 percent commission fee, plus eBay’s and PayPal’s 10 percent selling fee. “It’s a professional service, they’re thrilled to have it taken off their hands, and they get funds for new purchases.”
Her next goal? Attaining “titanium” seller status—the Holy Grail among eBay’s high-end purveyors—bestowed upon sellers who gross $100,000 a month. “It has gotten much bigger than I ever thought it would,” Wood says. “I’m always wanting to do more.”
For more information, visit www.stores.ebay.com/willow-wear.