My First E-commerce Experience

My First Taste of E-commerce

After I got a job at the Oakley store I realized I needed to be way more proactive about finding an internship and a better job. The Oakley store was actually pretty fun and I was making more money per hour than any of the salespeople, but I had no interest in making a “career” out of it. Plus this was not the type of job that opened up a ton of doors. I needed to find something more legit if I was going to get a really good internship next summer. 


I started searching for ways to expand my skill set over the summer that would make me a more desirable candidate to hire. I was also looking for ways to make extra money during the summer and flipping stuff on eBay seemed really easy. Just out of curiosity I started scanning labels of different products in the Oakley store on my phone. 


Surprisingly there was actually a pretty big discrepancy on the price of stuff in our sale rack and what it was going for online. I’m not just talking $2-$3 dollars. I am talking about $10-$15. Pretty quickly I realized that I could list stuff in the store without actually buying it. Then if it sold I could just buy it and sell it. If it didn’t sell then I wasn’t out any money. Win-win.


Over the course of about 3 weeks, I made close to $500 doing this. Not too shabby considering I didn’t put up any money until it actually sold. A minimum wage job at the mall had actually turned itself into quite the enterprise. To be honest it didn’t dawn on me that I was dropshipping until this very moment.


Anyway, I bragged about this to my mom and she freaked out. To be honest I am not sure if that was true or not but it scared me enough to make me stop. She said flipping clothes from the store on eBay was illegal even if I wasn’t using my employee discount.  If I had been doing that I probably could have made double my current haul. 


After my mom put the fear of God into me I started thinking of other ways to make money on eBay. The system clearly worked but I needed a new source of inventory. I started scanning barcodes in Walmart and using the same strategy. If there was at least $10 of margin I bought the product and listed it on eBay. If it sold awesome. If it didn’t then I just returned it. 


This process was manual and gross but I ended up making around $800 over the rest of the summer doing this. I also started watching hundreds of hours of youtube videos explaining how people made millions through `E-commerce”. This includes Amazon FBA, retail arbitrage, dropshipping, Facebook ads, social media marketing agencies, and anything else you could find Tai Lopez running an advertisement for. Even though the model I was using was definitely not scalable it helped put some real money in my pocket and gave me a career map I was actually interested in. Shortly after this I dropped out of the accounting school and demoted myself to a finance major. To this day it remains one of the best decisions I ever made.

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