123: Moving Forward With The Modern-Day Pirate – Jason Smith

Since beginning on eBay in the 90's Jason's mission has been to educate and train other thrifters on how to become self-sufficient and independent by finding and flipping deals. He can help you find the treasures in what others may think is discardable.

Interesting Notes

  • Jason describes himself as a modern-day pirate. He never knows when he would turn a corner and there is going to be a holy grail. To him, it is as if the skies open up and the angels sing “ha-ha”.
  • He is introduced to thrifting when he was six years old. His parents took him to the flea market. Back in 1977, there was no cool stuff in the flea market unlike nowadays. All were crappy antiques like butter churners and old grinding stones. Stuff that a kid at the birth of Star Wars would not care about.
  • He did not care about the stuff. He was only in awe of it. His parents would always find him talking to vendors. He would ask them questions like “Why are you selling this?”, “What are you selling?”, or “Why are you doing that?”.
  • He was 11 years old then and got two jobs. He would deliver the papers every day. He would also clean dishes and pans for money. So when they would go to community garage sale, he would buy what he wants.
  • He realized then that you could buy four times as much as used stuff as you can with new stuff. And he always wants more stuff than new stuff.
  • Jason lived before with a misconceived notion that the only way to get married and moved is to get a real job. So, although he sells online for many years, he also went to a job where he punched a clock and have some benefits. He thought that is how to do it until something happened to him 10 years ago.
  • He was working in a job that he was unhappy with. His wife told him to quit. Then, he had an infection on his arm and been in the hospital for five days. Two muscle tissues were cut out from him that he almost lost his arm.
  • In his hospital bed, looking at the stretch of the road where people had the most fun of their lives, Jason felt so miserable. He did not like life, not at the point that he wants to end it, but his work life made his life miserable. So, when he got out of the hospital, he quit his corporate job.
  • On the first month, Jason got back to eBay full-time. He made more money sitting around his home than when he had a physical, laborious job. It took him an injury that almost cost his life to break free from his mindset of having a job.
  • Today, he hosts three YouTube shows. One is Thrift Haul where every week he goes out thrifting. He shows what he finds, why he bought it, what brand should you be looking for, and what it should sell. He also sells on eBay and Amazon, teaches others, and has Facebook groups.
  • He enjoys every single day thrifting. Not only because he hunts for those treasures but because he teaches others how to do it too! He enjoys watching other people ecstatic with their finds.
  • He got his folks doing it too!
  • Seven years ago, his retired parents wanted to sell on eBay. Jason thought it would be difficult to teach them. He was afraid that his phone would ring every three seconds and he would answer every “how d'yah?”. He was surprised and happy that there were no calls from them. That was when he realized that there was a segment of the population that no one was talking to. That was the senior thrifter and seller.
  • So, Jason and his mom started the show called Selling Past Your Expiration Date Being Thrifty Over 50. Once a week, Jason would take a subject like “How To Scan Using Your Phone” or “How To Map Out Your Travels To Hit All The Thrift Stores”. Subjects are simple and yet some of the seniors did not get it. So he figured out to make it slow.
  • There are seniors who do eBay because they don't have enough in their retirement. Some do it for extra money.
  • His folks' eBay business is their fund money. They are like teenagers roaming around the country with their friends. They are only working part-time and do $152,000 a month on eBay
  • For a long time, Jason taught only the business side of life. Like “What To Find”, “How To Set Up Spreadsheets”, and a lot of “How To Do This”. Then when he noticed that people are following his escapades around the country and around the world, he started to teach them “How To Have Fun”. He was surprised to know that there are people who never work into an ounce of fun into their week.
  • Having fun does not mean you have to go and travel for two weeks. It can be taking your dog for a walk up on the mountain. It does not have to be big enough. It could be reading a book or taking a hike or going to movies.
  • Jason's Facebook group which is over two years old has grown to 34,500 members. Its membership and most of the information that he is giving there are all free. With all these, he asked his self, “What will I do next?” His wife would say, “You should be making more money based on the amount of knowledge that you put out to the world”.
  • With the help of his friend, Jason put together another Facebook group called The Secret Beach. It is a subscription-based group where they dive deeper into subjects. Once a month, Jason does a webinar. Once a month, he would have a guest do the webinar. He does bonus “How To” YouTube shows. He will have his first cruise coming up in January.
  • He tries a different look every month on his webinar. Some are motivational. Some are very specific about products. He is also teaching techie stuff.
  • Teaching others fuels him to wake up every morning. He would grab his phone, flip it open and he wants to see two things. First is “what he sold overnight”, and the other is “who is selling successful based on the things they learned from him or his group”.
  • If people follow him, he takes them seriously.
  • Today, in a Facebook group when people want to join a group, they are to answer first some questions. Doing so, Facebook groups avoid spammers and fake accounts. Jason's Facebook group's questions are super duper easy like “Do you sell online?”, “If so, what platforms?”, “Can you read the rules and abide by them?”.
  • He noticed that a lot of people were replying, “Hey, I have not sold online yet but I want to learn and I was told this is the group to come to”. There, Jason saw another need.
  • So, starting January 2018, he will do a six-week program starting from “Here's How To Sign Up”. He will start with a brand new ID and see what it takes to sign up. He needs to know what people are seeing so he can address their questions.
  • Jason will do it from scratch and he will build training modules out of it. He feels that if he can train many people, he is doing something good for the whole platform and all sellers.
  • He just came from Europe where he did 11 Tiki Bars in 12 days. Who knows? You might find Jason in one of the Tiki Bars in your area.
  • Check out his The Secret Beach subscription group. It is only open five times a year.

Quotes

  • “When you get to the end, right before you get killed over, you better go.”
  • “Do something, where you are away from your work, away from your kids, or whatever, that is fun and enjoyable.”
  • “Life is not just having fun, but also relaxation.”
  • “I don't care if I teach other people and I have nothing left to buy.”
  • “Your health can go bad. Life can be shortened. You have to have time to make fun!” – Ron

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