Publisher Stories: Lance Schafer of LemonFree

In continuing our Publisher Stories series this month we're excited to welcome LemonFree to the blog. We want to thank Lance Schafer and his team for sharing their story with us.

I love cars, but my real passion lies in the car-buying experience. Before I started LemonFree.com, I was constantly hearing stories about terrible buying experiences. I knew that I could do something to change this process for the better.

Even today, my motivation lies in trying to find ways to make the consumer car experience more positive.  We do this by taking a look at all the possible variables that go into the transaction, and then analyzing and looking for trends.  From there, our goal is to be able to predict and guide the auto consumer into a transaction that would have the best possible outcome. Changing the story is what drives me.

Back in 2006, we were a bunch of Internet Marketers for hire.  We had a dream that we could use all the advice that we’d given to others to create our own web site that we could heap all of our focus and energy on.  We decided on the auto market because, to us, it was an area that was about to radically transform, and we wanted to be there to help shape that transformation. When we started LemonFree.com, we could only spend a little bit of time on it as it didn't make nearly enough money to pay the bills.  Over time, with the help of eBay Partner Network, we were able to transform it from a part time gig to a full-blown organization with a dozen committed team members!

LemonFree.com has opened more doors than I thought imaginable.  It has given our company a unified sense of purpose and allowed us to grow and expand in so many ways.  Outside of our team, I have met and partnered with so many amazing companies and people. In fact, our business was recently recognized by Ernst and Young as a finalist for Entrepreneur of the Year.

When we started our business back in 2006, no one was interested in working with some small-time players from Winnipeg – except for eBay Partner Network. ePN was the first partner that was willing to give us a chance. That belief in our business provided the initial boost we needed to get the ball rolling (and boy did it roll!).  Now, five years later, we are one of the top automotive marketplaces on the internet.  Almost 50 million car shoppers have used our site to find a car.  And even today, ePN remains one of our most important partners. I wonder sometimes, if LemonFree.com could have made it if it wasn't for our early efforts with eBay Partner Network and the opportunity it provided to help keep going in those first couple of lean years.

-Lance Schafer