eBay expert and Practical eCommerce blogger Danna Crawford was out fishing with her daughters on her birthday, May 13. After a long day with no successful catches, the three went home tired and sunburned to find that Crawford was one of five eBay users to net two of eBay’s most prestigious awards, the 2008 Hall of Fame Award, as well as the 2008 Golden Ribbon Award for Community Seller of the Year.
Even though Crawford is one of eBay’s most active PowerSellers, involved in education, trading assistance and user feedback through the Voices of eBay community, she said the awards still took her by surprise.
“I was so deeply touched that they thought enough of me to give me these awards,” she said.
Crawford was presented with the award at the 2008 eBay Live conference in Chicago, where a short documentary about her humble eBay beginnings told her story to an audience of 15,000.
Crawford joined eBay in 1997. She was a single mother of three, working three jobs and selling toys at flea markets and toy shows in the Chicago area.
One day at the flea market, someone told her she could make more money selling her toys and action figures online at a site called Ebay.com.
Crawford, who describes herself as a jump-into-it kind of person, wasted no time. She got on eBay with the screen name “danna” and started selling.
By 1998, she had quit all of her jobs to focus on eBay, which in turn allowed her to focus on her kids.
“At the time, I was just happy to get the mortgage paid and the kids fed. I got into doing this so I could support my family,” Crawford said. “Thanks to eBay, I can say that I never missed an event in their lives.”
By 1999, she raised enough money to put a down payment on her dream home in Florida.
After her kids left home, Crawford threw herself entirely into eBay, particularly into educating others in auction success.
“When my children moved out, I buried myself deeper into eBay and helping people. I didn’t have kids to help, so I got involved big time into the eBay community,” she said.
As she became successful on the site, other sellers began coming to her, asking for her help and advice. She realized she could turn her experience into a career. She believes others can become as successful on eBay today as she was ten years ago.
“It’s just a matter of organizing yourself and simplifying your system,” she said.
In addition to the Star Wars toys she continues to sell, she sells teaching materials and ebooks both on eBay and on her site Powersellingmom.com. She teaches on webinars on demand and at the local community college. She recently presented a webinar in Singapore.
But as much as she enjoys teaching others about eBay, Crawford said her main interest now is eBay Giving Works, the charitable branch of eBay. Users can use Giving Works to donate anywhere from 10 percent to 100 percent of a purchase to a charity of their choice.
Crawford recently was able to extend some charity of her own, thanks to eBay. Because of her Hall of Fame award, Crawford was given an opportunity to donate $2,500 of The eBay Foundation’s money to her choice of non-profit organization. She chose to award the money to the Hospice of Marion County.
In the future, she sees herself traveling and speaking to promote eBay Giving Works. She has her first speaking engagement at the University of Kansas in October.
“eBay has changed my life all for the better. Now I feel like I’m on the road to bigger and better things,” Crawford said.