How a Repricer Helped an eBay Side Hustle Turn Into the Largest Online Source of Glow-in-the-Dark Products
11 years ago, Steve Ingram entered the ecommerce world for the first time when he started selling items on eBay. The online marketplace was gaining popularity, and Steve was hearing stories about people making some extra spending money on the side.
“Having an online business was just an idea at first. It wasn’t really something I ever envisioned as a career or something as a full-time job.”
After a few years of selling items on eBay, Steve started hearing more and more about people that had started out selling a few items online and were now quitting their day jobs to focus on it full-time. Steve realized that it was possible to make a living from running an ecommerce business if he set his mind to it.
“Way back when, eBay was just a place to sell junk and make some money. It started from that, and then it just kind of snowballed over time. At some point, I realized that I could do this as a full-time job — I didn’t need to have a nine-to-five.”
Once Steve set his sights on running an ecommerce business full-time, he got to work expanding his business. Steve focused on developing brands, trying out new business models, and expanding to marketplaces beyond eBay.
“Nowadays, we’re selling items on eBay and Amazon. We’ve also got a handful of websites, and then in terms of distribution, we’ve got a couple of our branded items that we sell to authorized distributors in bulk at a deep discount. So, I guess you could say we’re a combination of a manufacturer, a wholesale distributor, and a retailer.”
As a result of growing his business in a massive way, Steve now has four brands and nearly 1,000 SKUs that he manages from his warehouse in Dayton, Ohio. Steve has created brands in a variety of categories including the Home & Garden category and the Office Supplies category, but his largest brand is DirectGlow, which specializes in all things that, as the name of the brand suggests, glow.
“We’re a company that specializes in light-up, blacklight, and glow-in-the-dark type things. Makeup. Body paint. Invisible ink. Glow sticks. Lava lamps. Anything — if it lights up, glows, or works in a blacklight, chances are we have it or some variant of it.”
So how exactly did Steve go from selling a few items on eBay to managing his own ecommerce business? On his way to becoming one of the leading retailers of glow-in-the-dark products, Steve had to look at the pace at which his business was growing and figure out how to accelerate it. He knew he wanted to offer every type of glow-in-the-dark product that someone could possibly want, but he needed to significantly scale his business in order to do that.
“I started looking at Informed when I started getting really serious about growing my business. I knew I had to really buckle down and take this more seriously — I couldn’t just rely on dumb luck anymore to grow the business.”
Steve knew he needed to find a growth tactic that would help him resell more generic products so he could increase his capital and use that money to explore new brands and products. When he researched ways to do this, one of the top recommendations that kept popping up was to use a repricer tool. He soon discovered that there were several repricer options and got to work comparing them all.
“I compared them side-by-side and Informed was the one I wanted to go with based on the advanced repricing strategies that Informed offered. My experience using Informed for the past nine years has been very good and there has been no major problems or anything that would make me look at another repricer.”
Using Informed’s repricing strategies over the past nine years has allowed Steve to significantly scale the reselling part of his business, which in turn has allowed him to have more capital and more time to focus on developing his own brands.
“We sell a lot of generic, everyday items in addition to our own brands, so that’s where Informed really comes in handy. I can always look at my sourcing costs and match it up with the current Amazon fees and the shipping fees, because you know those are always changing. Informed calculates all of this automatically, so I can basically set my minimum price, my maximum price, and just let it go on cruise control.”
Finding a repricer that is easy to set up was a priority for Steve. He had so many other areas of his business to focus on, he knew that he would never have the time to learn a tool that was complicated to use or that required a lot of manual set-up.
“I just don’t see how anyone could have any trouble setting up and using Informed, even somebody who’s technology-challenged or a beginner at using automation tools. It’s so easy to select one of the pre-built repricing strategies, and then you can always create more complex strategies later on. It’s just really user-friendly, and that’s always a good thing.”
Thanks to a lot of hard work, dedication, and tools like Informed, Steve was able to take his small eBay side hustle and turn it into a hugely successful ecommerce business. The increase in both time and capital that Steve experienced as a result of using Informed was key to helping him grow his business over the past decade.
“I would tell any colleague or friend that’s looking for repricing or automation of business that Informed is a great choice. I’ve been with Informed for nine years and I give it two thumbs up. Highly recommend!”
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