This is one of the only few stores on eBay that is officially recognized by eBay as a drop shipping store and is not penalized for it. As a result we dominate over all of our competitors and don’t let new competitors in. For the buyer of this business, this is peace of mind that eBay knows you are a drop shipper and won’t surprise you with any restrictions.
Tell us a little about yourself, how did you start your eBay store?
I initially looked into starting up a Shopify dropsy’s -shipping store but quickly realized that a significant amount of capital is needed to drive traffic to the site in the form of paid advertising. So, I decided to try my hand at drop-shipping on platforms with a built in source of traffic such as eBay and Amazon. Amazon officially doesn’t allow drop-shipping so I settled on eBay. I looked into it and realized that while the drops -shipping market was very saturated with Chinese suppliers, the market was relatively untapped for US suppliers. So, that is where I began to carve out a space for myself.
You describe yourself as a “starter”, have you built similar businesses previously?
I have been entrepreneurial from a very young age. I used to sell my old toys in school when I was in grade 3 or 4. When I got into high school I realized no one was throwing entertainment events in my country so I began to organize and hold these, such as concerts and fashion shows. I did this until I moved to the US.
Here in the States, I initially sold leather belts that I was sourcing from Pakistan on eBay but the margins were low and the competition was high since my belts were unbranded, so I stepped away from it. I also traded derivatives for a while and started a hedge fund out of it when friends and family saw my success at trading. I had to shelve that however when I moved from the west coast to the east coast as my business partner was still in California and he wanted to finish college and work on Wall Street for a while to get some contacts that can then be leveraged to raise capital. So, we decided to shelve it for the time being and take it up again in a few years.
I then started a Shopify store and had some success with it but put it on hold when I realized I needed more capital to grow it. That’s how I eventually got to drop shipping on eBay and where I am now. Aside from this I have helped friends start up their own businesses from jewelry and tea to restaurants and AirBnB. I am also currently running two new startups, the first is a private label brand on Amazon, the second is social media management company for individuals and businesses in the MMA niche. Both are picking up rapidly and demanding more and more of my time. That is also one of the reasons I want to sell my eBay business. I want to free up mental space and devote more time and capital to these two businesses.
You seem to sell an extremely large variety of goods, are these all coming from a single supplier? Is everything drop-shipped? What about returns?
Yes, everything comes from the same supplier. The items I have uploaded are just a fraction of the items that they have. Everything is drop-shipped but the supplier does allow and gives massive discounts for bulk purchases. Returns are also handled by the supplier. They pay for return shipping and charge no stocking fee. This is probably the best part of dealing with this supplier. Any problem and you can simply return or exchange the item. They don’t ask any questions, simply process the return or replacement.
How much time a week to does it take to run the business and what is automated?
I spend roughly 1-2 hours a day on this business from Monday to Saturday. I have 2 VAs and my cousin to help me with a lot of the work. The inventory keeping and pricing aspect, and asking for and leaving feedback is fully automated.
What caused the sudden ramp up in sales? Is this something sustainable for the long haul?
Initially when you start selling on eBay, they ramp up your sales very slowly to make sure that you can meet high customer service standards. I called this daily sales throttling. Eventually however this goes away and you are allowed to scale organically without any algorithmic throttling. This is the stage that I am at now. I no longer see a throttling of sales and the more I upload, and the more reviews I get the faster my sales tend to grow. So yes this growth stage can definitely be continued for a while to come.
What does someone need to do to continue operating the business in its current form?
Repeat, repeat, repeat.
I have a very specific method and blueprint set up. This covers everything from what products to list, to how to list them, how to optimize, how to scale and how to deal with competitors. This has all been figured out already by me and the plan will be laid out and explained to the buyer of the business. They just need to repeat the strategy to scale it up to its full potential. I’ll happily leave the new owner with all of these strategies for winning on eBay.
Can you list a few opportunities to grow for a prospective buyer?
As mentioned above, the supplier has a lot more items to list, simply putting those up slowly and steadily would lead to a massive growth in sales. There is also the option to bulk buy high volume sale goods from the supplier for a steep discount and increase margins that way.
Along with that, I can direct the buyer of this business on how to slowly turn eBay customers into traffic on their own Shopify store. The growth opportunity of a Shopify store is nearly limitless since you can build your own mailing list and retain even more customers by offering subscription discounts to customers of consumable goods. Discount codes for future purchases and weekly or monthly newsletters are also an option. The Shopify store can also be promoted with a stand along Instagram and Pinterest. These are just a few of the opportunities, I would be more than happy to discuss all these growth strategies in detail with the buyer.