Former Procter & Gamble Co. marketer Adam Weber spent five years haunting his old employer, marketer of Gillette, as chief marketing officer of Dollar Shave Club. Now he's back in Cincinnati betting that online estate sales will be the Next Big Thing.
Weber is the new CMO of Everything But The House, an e-commerce player that's rolling up the fragmented estate-sale business. Now operating out of more than 20 warehouses nationwide, EBTH takes merchandise from estate sales or people downsizing to smaller homes and sells it through online auctions. Every item starts at a dollar bid.
"It's the best brand in e-commerce that almost nobody has ever heard of," Weber says. Almost entirely through word of mouth, EBTH has grown since 2008 to reach a million bidders in 150 countries. The site does more than 450 estate sales monthly, selling 75,000 items through 1.3 million bids, he says.
"It's just rich with opportunities for storytelling," says Weber.
Key to the concept, he says, is removing frustration for sellers by providing "white glove" service to pick up merchandise from homes and move it to warehouses. There, in what look like sprawling indoor yard sales, EBTH employees, who develop expertise in product categories, photograph items and write up descriptions, then auction and ship them to buyers.
Sellers keep up to 65 percent of proceeds and reap three to five times what they would versus traditional local estate sales, Weber says. They sometimes start by selling a handful of items on EBTH, then ultimately do a larger downsizing or estate sale.