Small Niche Business Does Big Things on eBay: Faxon Auto Literature Celebrates 100,000 Happy Online Customers

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In July of 2009, Faxon Auto Literature became one of a limited group of sellers to reach the red shooting star on eBay, the symbol for those who receive 100,000 positive feedbacks from unique users. The company sells on eBay under the name faxbook.

Before the internet was widely used, we were already the largest dealer of used auto manuals in the US, and we think we are America's largest specialty used bookstore. We've kept our old fashioned values of prompt shipment and courteous customer service. Those values have given us the most positive feedbacks on eBay for any auto literature dealer.

In July of 2009, Faxon Auto Literature became one of a limited group of sellers to reach the red shooting star on eBay, the symbol for those who receive 100,000 positive feedbacks from unique users. The company sells on eBay under the name faxbook.

How did they reach 100,000 feedbacks? Melanie Faxon-Howard, chief operations officer for the company, says that they've reached 100,000 happy customers by being knowledgeable about their products and offering good service at competitive prices. "Before the internet was widely used, we were already the largest dealer of used auto manuals in the US, and we think we are America's largest specialty used bookstore. We've kept our old fashioned values of prompt shipment and courteous customer service. Those values have given us the most positive feedbacks on eBay for any auto literature dealer." A review of their feedback profile shows they have 99.9% positive feedbacks from their customers and 4.8 or 4.9 out of five stars in their seller ratings.

As the economy took a downturn last year, Faxon Auto Literature struggled, like many small businesses. Faxon-Howard says, "We have adapted to the economic slowdown, making changes like lowering our international shipping costs so that our books stay affordable."

They have acquired new printing equipment so that they can control the means of production for their reproduced shop manuals -- some of which can be found in print nowhere else in the world. One example is the Chrysler assembly information that has never before been available to the general public. Their improvements have allowed them to hire two additional employees this year, at a time when major corporations are laying off workers by the thousands.

Ed Faxon started Faxon Auto Literature in 1974 at auto swap meets by specializing in manuals and literature for classic cars. Since then, they have expanded to offer books printed by OEM companies for cars and trucks built around the world for the last hundred years. Ed says, "When I started in business, I never imagined the power of the internet. eBay has enabled a small company like us to sell to over 100,000 people in countries around the globe."

They went online in the year 2000, focusing on selling factory repair manuals. They say that their customers keep coming back because these dealer manuals are far more specific and detailed than aftermarket manuals like Chilton's. Most of their repair manuals are now available on their website, http://www.faxonautolit.com, but owner's manuals, sales brochures, parts books, paint chips, and dealer albums are still sold the old fashioned way - over the phone at 1-800-458-2734. Only about 12,000 of their titles are available on the web, so they have a lot of work ahead of them to get the tens of thousands of more titles in their warehouse online.

The meaning of 100,000 feedbacks:
The 100,000 feedback mark is a tough one to reach. This number represents each unique user that has chosen to post a positive note for the company. This does not count repeat buyers, or those that chose not to post, or to post a negative note (those are subtracted). According to http://www.Sellerdome.com, the company ranks 241st for feedback among active US sellers, and 567th for worldwide users both active and inactive. This rank puts Faxon's in the 99.9998 percentile of eBay's hundreds of millions of users. The local paper, the Press Enterprise, reported in 2005 that Faxon Auto Literature was the largest eBay seller in the Riverside-San Bernardino area of California.

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