The Best eBay Sellers Shine

Today's traditional and Internet-only retailers know the importance of getting their products on to the myriad channels available, and eBay has consistently been on the list of the best digital places to be for sellers.

Ebay held its first seller celebration event, eBay OPEN, in Las Vegas last week and announced the winners of its first-annual seller recognition program, the SHINE Awards for Small Business, providing what could be just the inspiration your enterprise needs to take it to the next level.

The SHINE Award Grand Prize Winner and eBay's 2016 Small Business of the Year is Laurie Wong. Her eBay store, Reflections of Trinity, works to serve the needs of its community through ecommerce and a local marketplace ministry. Over the past five years, she's been able to run and grow a healthy business, increasing sales and her ability to give back to the community every year. In 2015 alone, she distributed over 12,000 boxes of groceries (622,965 lbs. of food!) to those in need in her community. She was awarded a $10,000 cash prize as well as a package of marketing tools and services to grow her eBay business.

Winners from each of the five categories were also recognized:

Woman Small Business Owner: Tanya Crew, Motorcycle-Works. As a single mom trying to finish college, Tanya started selling motorcycle accessories on eBay to make some extra spending money and now, years later, has a multi-million dollar global business.

Growing Business: Spencer Apland, 541-Motorsports. Spencer has eight full-time employees and maintains a 20,000 square foot warehouse. His eBay business provides a comfortable living for his growing family, and Spencer expects revenue to increase by more than 50 percent from 2015 to 2016.

Global Business: Neha Gajwani, Smack-Tom. Neha sources electronics accessories overseas and sells them through her own website and on eBay. As her business began to grow, she has opened offices in Miami, India, and most recently in China, and 23 percent of her sales are international.

Charitable Business: Lauralee Lindholm, Heart for Ethiopia. Lauralee uses eBay to raise funds that are helping young children attend school and entrepreneurs to start their own businesses in rural Ethiopia.

Family Business: William Wolstenholme, Rhode Island Internet Consignment and Sales. William and his family run the one of the biggest eBay stores for Antiques & Collectibles. The store is a full-time job for William, his wife, two daughters and son-in-law.

"We were thrilled to read the stories of the more than 1,300 eBay businesses that were considered for the SHINE Awards this year," said Hal Lawton, Senior Vice President and Head of eBay North America. "Our winners represent the best of what eBay stands for: innovative, fast-growing, global, diverse small businesses that are grounded in their families and communities and work hard every day. I couldn't be more proud of the sellers we honored last night."