Crushing It! How I Made More Than 800K Selling Online
Here’s another example of the hustle from my man Prince in Edison New Jersey! He took the concept of the #2017FlipChallenge to a whole new level and grew his e-commerce business through the tried and true tactics of eBay arbitrage. When he first reached out to my team a few months ago, Prince was well on his way to half a million dollars in sales. When he followed up last week that number grew to $820,000. What fascinated me most was the documentation of his journey. Prince, like so many of you, started his side hustle in a dorm room, after school or after work. He used Instagram and Youtube to discuss his learnings and allowed the data on each platform to do the work. He spent hours and hours researching eBay, Amazon, and Facebook Marketplace to identify which products sold best and doubled down on a specific niche. Then he applied patience, both with his store and with this article and was persistent enough to follow up. When I first announced the #2017FlipChallenge, this was close to the story I had imagined. It was the premise of my first book Crush It! Why Now is the Time to Cash in on Your Passion and really the core of my new book Crushing It! How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence-and How You Can, Too! releasing 1/30/18.
This is the tip of the iceberg for what you can expect from Crushing It! which features many other stories from great entrepreneurs like Lewis Howes, Andy Frisella, Rich Roll, Amy Schmittauer, Shonduras, Lauren Evarts, Brittany Xavier, Pat Flynn, John Lee Dumas, Jared Polin and more who utilized this advice and built a business.
Four-time New York Times bestselling author Gary Vaynerchuk offers new lessons and inspiration drawn from the…www.amazon.com
My team followed up and interviewed Prince for his story. Here is what he shared below👇
The story begins when I first heard about GaryVee mid to late 2016 when I came across his viral Facebook video about kids graduating college and not knowing what to do with their life. I found out he grew up in Edison, New Jersey (where I was born & raised) and immediately felt a personal connection.
For those of you that haven’t seem the video: Here it is.
Gary’s content made my inconceivable thoughts become conceivable. I felt inspired by the hustling mentality and wanted to take my leisure part time e-commerce business to the next level. I developed a roadmap for the next few years of my life and starting executing on it.
The 3 Most Important Things I Learned From Gary Were:
Gratitude — This easily became one of the most paramount principles in my career. I’ve utilized gratitude to keep pushing forward and overcome adversity. I’ve used it to leverage business & personal relationships. I’ve used it to keep a healthy mindset throughout the year. Gratitude is a contagious emotion.
Gratitude is contagious because it’s something that’s rubbed off on me from watching Gary’s videos. I study a lot of consumer behavior, psychology, and how the mind works. When someone smiles, you smile back — that’s imitation. When someone cries you experience sadness and the urgency to help. When you watch Gary’s content you almost have no choice but to feel gratitude because of his extreme humility in his life’s situation. He has so much in this world but can still relate to everyone. It comes across as very unique & genuine.
I’ve used gratitude to achieve a truly positive mindset. It’s allowed me to have a consistent period of growth and eliminate all the noise that this world has. A lot of people deter from their end goals due to negativity and bad juju. For example, I’ve applied gratitude in customer service. Customer service is a huge factor in determining the success of your business but doesn’t necessarily equate to financial benefits. The electronics niche that I sell products has a fairly large return rate (comparatively) due to scams, replica’s, buyer’s remorse, etc. As I have grown in this business the number of customer complaints and issues have risen proportionately. I normally don’t have to deal with these issues and the cases can be closed immediately but I still spend my time taking care of these things on a case by case basis because I give people the benefit of the doubt which allows me to learn & grow.
Gary’s story of how he left his wine business during the busiest day of the year to hand deliver some cheap alcohol to an old lady who didn’t even care really shed some light for me.
Gratitude was everything to overcoming adversity. My growth in my reselling career was never always net positive — lots of up’s and down’s along the way before actually figuring it out. Some months I would lose some money or break even when I worked 10 hours a day on the business. With gratitude I was able to understand that I am extremely lucky to even have the potential to turn this into a profitable business by understanding that most people do not get these kinds of opportunities based on uncontrollable factors fueled my fire to leverage it and put some good out to the world.
Of course when I started ecommerce I had a ton of FUD; I didn’t understand how people were doing it and how me, a kid from a small town in New Jersey, would be able to hack it and turn it into an actual business. If I ever feel uncertainty today; I use that to work even harder and continue creating as much upside as possible on a day to day basis.
Long Term Vision — The moment I started making moves to reflect my life in 10,20,30 year terms was the moment things started to scale. I let go of all my temporary satisfactions and started making sacrifices that would ultimately benefit my future. I’ve made some sacrifices in my personal life by not continuing relationships and cutting out people who were simply not on a similar journey as I am. It limits my ability to make more friends, genuine friends, etc. I have also made the sacrifice of temporary satisfaction to impact my future 20–30+ years from now. These things improved my business and allowed me to be consumed with growth and development.
Legacy — How you make your money is just as important as how much you make. Going back to the long term vision — when/if my financial situation is no longer a primary motive in life, what will be the next thing? I started thinking about this in terms of helping people and found the fulfillment in that.
My entire social media purpose in 2017 has been to help people grow their business. It was more specifically eBay related on how to improve sell through rates, how to apply different business strategies, how to do bookkeeping etc.
I’ve helped many people improve their listings to make them more discoverable (searchable) so that they can actually sell. I’ve helped people look at data to price items strategically, I’ve helped people get out of this ever so common temporary mindset and treat eBay as a real business.
My YouTube a new purpose starting this year. I am making daily content that is revolved around business-life integration/optimization. I believe that it’s extremely important to have your external life in check to inadvertently improve your business. How to sleep better, how to communicate more efficiently, how to manage time with business and personal life. etc.
I have also been in the works of making an eBay A-Z course. My intent for this course has always been to make it as in depth and educational as possible. Essentially, what I want is for people to be able to source products and simply utilize the information in the course to make the sale. I mean literally everything about the eBay business. How to hire employee’s (Va’s, Photographers, Listers, etc.), registering as a business and filing taxes, and everything about getting sales on eBay. Optimizing all their features and tools to create scalability.
I believe the course will be popular due to endorsements from eBay themselves & USPS. We are trying to cover the whole nine yards and make this very useful.
I think teaching and helping is my true ultimate passion and vision for life. I love human beings. To spread wealth, you need to have wealth to begin with. It may be eBay now; it may be something else in the future. My fulfillment is ultimately dependent on how much of an impact I can make in this world. I see myself as very fortunate to have the opportunities that I have and I never want to take that for granted.
I currently utilize eBay, amazon, craigslist, etsy, poshmark, & Facebook marketplace to conduct my ecommerce business — eBay being my primary gig. I have been building my brand through Instagram, YouTube, and Patreon. In the most recent months I have been providing assistance to resellers around the world on different business strategies, tactics, and tools they can use to optimize their ecommerce business.
I sell products primarily in the GoPro niche. Everything & anything GoPro related.
I started with flipping them one by one locally along with other random products. I started to see my best selling products through the platform data and decided to become niche specific in GoPro. I built a list of reliable domestic&international suppliers over the year and it took off from there.
Patreon has worked extremely well considering me and my partner (Chris) have utilized the platform to become some of the top earning creators. We attacked it with the strategy that providing services such as coaching, mentorship, and mastermind groups, would result in the most value for both sides.
On Instagram/Youtube I’ve tested a number of strategies and the stuff that has always worked the best is documenting the journey of building something big. People have been following the content from when I started in my dorm room to having office space, warehouse space, etc. If I end up growing this into a multimillion dollar eBay business I think it will be extremely valuable/cool to look back at.
I have been in the works of creating contracts with eBay themselves to take over their podcast and lead mastermind groups of large sellers. I am also in the process of building a team to launch a company that will provide online business support which will include courses, coaching, guides, etc.
What one piece of advice would you give to others just starting out or looking to grow their business online?
Patience is one the most vital key components of doing any business. You don’t deserve anything and the results will appear when you are worthy. This is definitely something I also learned from Gary. The market will accept you if you are good enough. I think people lack patience & humility. It’s extremely hard to grow a personal brand/social following without patience.
For eBay specifically, the game is a lot more intricate than meets the eye. Anyone can list on eBay and call it a business —That doesn’t mean it’s very successful. There are different strategies you can take that will ultimately be dependent on where you live and your sourcing abilities. Networking & making connections in online business is EXTREMELY important and most often overlooked. Most people get it twisted with the comfort of being able to do it on your own. Typical brick & mortar business strategies apply to online businesses as well. eBay specifically has a stigma that deters people from being successful on it. eBay is typically looked at as the scam prone, used items, non-user-friendly platform. The reality is that eBay has one of the largest marketplaces of product data (topping amazon) at one billion+ listings. The development of the platform over the years has even reduced ‘scams’ dramatically — practically impossible with their guaranteed policies. eBay has also been silently working to bring competition to amazon offering 1–3 day guaranteed delivery. Don’t sleep on eBay as a legitimate business potential.
Here’s a picture of my last 12 months of sales.