Scott Lumley is the epitome of an entrepreneurial spirit. Speaking with him is an education and an inspiration. Lumley is the President of e-depotonline.com, a site that sells electronics wholesale and retail; bidFlame.com, a comprehensive auction website; and Large Lots, a chain of retail stores that sells overstock merchandise. In the last year, these three entities combined have earned $47 million.
However, when asked what the key to his success is, Lumley replied, "Do you really want to know? It's going to my son's school and having teachers tell me what a great kid he is. Money is only money and it can be replaced." On another note, Lumley adds, "Success is a 24 hour job. If you want something to work, you have to eat, sleep and drink it, and get up day after day and do it all over again." Lumley's business philosophy centers on the idea that customer satisfaction always comes first.
Wisely, Scott Lumley doesn't put all of his eggs in one basket. "Nothing successful lasts forever. The marketplace and consumers change from day to day, and you have to be able to adapt," said Lumley. No grass grows under the feet of this savvy businessman. To oversee and maintain his three enterprises, Lumley keeps his finger on the business pulse by using issue tracker via the Internet to keep in communication, and solve problems with his management team on a daily basis. "With this method it eliminates the constant need for verbal contact," said Lumley.
For Lumley, his current business success began in 2005 when he invested a mere $250 in a return load from a local liquidator. To dispose of the load, Lumley chose to post and sell the merchandise on eBay under the company name, Electronic Depot, Inc. Lumley's continued participation as a seller on eBay has been quite successful. Over the years, he has become one of the largest electronic wholesalers selling on eBay, with annual sales of $1.5 million. On eBay, the company enjoys an outstanding customer satisfaction rating of 99.7 to 100 percent.
Also in 2005, shortly after establishing himself on eBay, Lumley launched the website, e-depotonline.com. He refers to e-depotonline as his flagship website. The site offers some of the best wholesale deals on electronics on the Internet. It is a reliable source for unique products at true wholesale pricing in large quantities. E-depotonline is committed to offering high end products at low prices. The categories of merchandise range from PDA's to TV's, to cameras and game systems. For consumers, the retail portion of the site is an easy and convenient way to locate the hottest electronic deals. One of the main reasons Lumley chooses to deal in electronics, "is because they are in such high demand," he offered.
In 2006, Lumley launched LargeLots.com, which was a wholesale business to business auction website. However, earlier this year, LargeLots.com was morphed into bidFlame.com, "because we wanted to reach consumers and not just B2B, so we tried to make the name, bidFlame, simple for marketing purposes." said Lumley.
In 2006, Lumley decided to transition Large Lots into retail locations. There are currently three stores in Tennessee. Nine new Large Lots stores are slated to open in 2008, which amounts to a new store opening every 45 days. With the new stores, the Large Lots chain will expand to Georgia, Alabama and Kentucky. Each store has about 5,000 square feet, stocked with overstock merchandise that changes on a daily basis. "When a customer enters the store, they have no idea of what it may be stocked with," said Lumley. He has plans to continue opening retail stores in the future.
bidFlame.com was launched in January of this year, and represents Lumley's newest business venture. bidFlame is a full fledged auction website on which anyone can post and sell any type of merchandise. The relatively new site is on fire. It already boasts a solid platform of about 177,000 customers, gained mostly through word of mouth, search engines and Internet marketing. bidFlame fever has caught on quickly, and plans are in the coffer to further spread the word. National radio and television advertising campaigns will soon be initiated. The plan is to eventually catapult the auction site to worldwide recognition and usage.
"With a little fodder amongst the people I've been doing business with, word spread and we already have thousands of customers on bidFlame," said Lumley. He explains the name chosen for the site; "It's simple. We wanted a name related to bidding online and we wanted it to be hot," said Lumley. "We're burning up the competition."
bidFlame is the collaboration of a handful of liquidators, and they started the site with the desire to be a competitive online auction house. bidFlame is diligent about keeping sellers' fees to five percent of the sale price of items sold. "Five percent is more than enough to cover any overhead costs," said Lumley. With such reasonable fees, bidFlame gives the small guy a chance to take advantage of entrepreneurial dreams, and an opportunity to play in the same arena as the big guys. "When bidFlame was started, the goal was to show consumers and sellers that there is a safe business environment that won't charge excessive fees for them to conduct business," said Lumley.
On bidFlame a seller can list a product over and over until it sells. The only fee the seller incurs is the five percent finalization fee, which can easily be built into the selling price of the merchandise to maximize profit. To date, bidFlame has operated with a 100 percent customer satisfaction rating.
bidFlame is extremely simple to navigate and is user friendly. There is a quick and uncomplicated two step registration process. "A seller can literally take an item out of his garage, post it and accept bids within minutes," offered Lumley. Any major or power seller on bidFlame will be assigned a customer service representative and a personal lister. "A major or power seller is defined as anyone who lists in excess of 200 to 300 items per month," said Lumley.
With experience as a successful retail and ecommerce entrepreneur, Lumley offered, "Internet sales are the way of the future. Eventually everyone will go online to purchase what they need, versus going to a mall."
Lumley is a true renaissance man. Prior to selling on eBay, three years ago, he was a professional horse trainer and rodeo star. One of his true passions is Team Penning. Lumley is a leading force and continues to stay in the mainstream of Team Penning, one of the most exciting equine sports in the nation.
For more information:
bidFlame.com; e-depotonline.com; Large Lots
Scott Lumley, President
905 Space Park North
Goodlettsville, TN 37072
Website: www.bidflame.com And www.e-depotonline.com
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