Making Millions Selling Diamonds For 99 Cents
David Wirtenberg, 28
Outrageous Auctions (eBay User ID: outrageousauctions)
New York City
Projected 2006 Sales: $8 million to $10 million
Description: Engagement rings, wedding bands and other jewelry
Turning Talk Into Sales: David Wirtenberg loves to talk. "I could talk your ear off," he says. "I love what I do. I'm a very passionate person." His ability to make sales, and his prior experience in sales for Bear Stearns and Auto Data Processing, helped him build his business from scratch in 2003. His father-in-law became his inspiration and behind-the-scenes mentor. "He said, 'Let's see if we can sell jewelry on the internet,'" Wirtenberg recalls. "I went to 47th Street in Manhattan. I knocked on every door. I didn't know anything about diamonds at the time. I was looking for suppliers, for an education, anything." He ended up buying a couple of diamond rings, and he immediately sold them for a profit on eBay. "I thought, 'This could be something.'"
Many Facets to His Business: Today, Wirtenberg sells through his websites (www.outrageousauctions.com and www.outrageousdiamonds.com) and through eBay. "I use eBay to get new customers and new traffic," he says. "Most of my diamond auctions start at 99 cents. Sometimes I lose money; sometimes I make money. Whatever makes the customer happy, I do. Our packaging is second to none. Sometimes we pack our diamonds in Faberge eggs [for free]. Once you have customers, you have those customers for good."
Personal Touch: Wirtenberg speaks fondly of the personal connections he has made and recalls the time he and his wife, Danielle, personally delivered a $14,000 ring to a customer in California. "The fringe benefits touch you deep inside," he says. "You play a huge role in people's lives. I have provided advice on people's engagements. I feel I am blessed every single day with the direction this business has taken."
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