Neil Leifels and his partner Susan run the ecommerce store, Australian Online Car Parts. Neil found that there was never enough time in his day to accomplish everything that needed to be done for his fast growing ecommerce business. Answering the phones from 7am to 10pm prevented Neil from doing many things that needed his attention and he felt that he was losing control.

Considering his options, Neil says that it was too expensive to employ locally, and although he looked at many offshore options, he did not believe they had the expertise to support his needs.

“I did not have the confidence in the offshore solutions being presented to me”.

“I knew that I would be doing 18 hour days for the first 3 years of this business, and no holidays would be possible.”


Meeting Neil and Susan, we assessed that Neil needed help primarily with customer service and listing creation. Their business also has a significant presence on eBay, so we suggested that it would be ideal if we could recruit a virtual assistant that has prior customer service experience, of course, and first prize would be if we could find someone with experience having worked at the eBay Support Centre in Cebu, Philippines.

We assessed that a candidate with direct eBay experience would help a successful transition, as they would:

  • Understand the Australian consumer
  • Understand the eBay ecosystem
  • Provide additional insight into the rules and policies of eBay


We were able to put forward 3 candidates, each with significant eBay experience.

As Neil also identified that they should have intermediate Excel skills, and have good numeracy skills, we also tested every candidate for these specific skills.

After interviews and tests, Neil appointed Jake to the position. Jake had worked directly within the eBay Support Centre for 5 years and his most recent role was eBay Top Seller Support. He had resigned and moved to his home town. He wanted to be closer to his family and was not enjoying his time away from home.


Jake’s role is to manage the online customer service centre, to manage product listings and other ad hoc tasks. He handles all the incoming email enquiries. As he deals with listing creation, he is comfortable to research answers himself, and best of all, he is pro-active in doing research when he is stuck.

Neil says: “ When Jake is uncertain, he will often ask me: Neil, I Googled this, am I right?
He’s pro-active and this exceeds any expectations I had.”


What Neil said


“Before we met Neville, I was doing 18 hour days, and no holidays.
Since we had Jake start working for us, we’ve had 2 overseas holidays,
and I have my weekends back. Its allowed us to change the way we operate our business.
The extra time allows us to improve our lifestyle and help grow the business at the same time.
I highly recommend VirtualStaff365”

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