001: Jake Alberts – Corner Office to Warehouse

Jake has been selling on eBay since 2007.  Starting in a little corner office with a single goal.  MX Store was formed to become THE home of motocross online in Australia.  Now, with over 10,700 feedback and regular eBay sales, selling to motocross and offroad enthusiasts worldwide.

 

Impact Person

Lex and crew at SurfStitch. Jake had a goal set. He had a picture of the SurfStitch warehouse, that was nearly an acre at the time, which has probably quadrupled since then. They used Photoshop to put the MX logo in this warehouse picture. That picture sat in their little corner office. Two weeks later, the founder of the business walked into their shop to buy something for his bike. During their conversation, it was revealed that Lex had been following MX Store longer that MX Store had been following SurfStitch. Another week later, and Jake was invited to SurfStitch, and found himself standing on the mezzanine that the photo was taken from.

Failure

Belief in the early stages was enough, and it was “success”.  We became a little too lapse about that.  That was a failure in itself because we would look at things differently.  We dropped the ball on our inventory management, which has since been sorted now, we were selling stuff we didn't have or we had run out of.  Thinking we were already successful without having a key thing in place like an inventory system.  As a result, we took a few steps back, and made some changes.  We de-listed and re-listed our whole catalog.  Obviously in doing so you lose feedback and history when doing so.  But when we did that we came back with leaps and strides, knowing full well that we had taken the pedal off too early and thought we were more successful than we were and there was a bit of a loss there in doing so.

Success

Around November 2013 we hit a point where we calculated we were selling an item around every 16 minutes on eBay.  That was definitely a “Wow” moment.  We realized then that all we would have to do was improve by 16 and we would be making a sale every minute.  That goal isn't so far away now… and the numbers become interesting.

Interesting Moments

Ali asked Jake if he ever found himself sitting there watching the numbers go and Jake replied “I've checked them 3 times since we've been on this interview. We are completely aware of what we're doing and what we're selling. You have to know your numbers”.

“At the end of the day, you've got to know how to sell something. You've got to be able to sell yourself and be able to convince people that what your doing is a good thing, it's going to be successful and profitable”. “If anyone has ever been on a date, they've sold”.

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