126: The Connoisseur of DVDs – Shawn Olson

Shawn is the co-owner and operator of yosemiteshawns eBay store. He started this business in 2015. He sells Blu-ray DVD movies, comic books, and collectible toys.

Interesting Notes

  • Shawn used to be a truck driver for 12 years. Due to some health problems, he could not drive anymore. He was having a hard time making money when he found eBay. So he started doing it. When he found that he was making money out of it, he decided to do eBay for as long as he can.
  • When he was new to eBay, he watched all the shows related to online selling. He read everything he could find on eBay. He did not know much about computers. The guys on eBay taught him.
  • He studied eBay really hard. He had the time to do it and put the time in. He also learned all the rules because there is a lot of little things he does not want to get caught up in.
  • He started selling some of his own movies. He looked up all the movies and found out that the Disney ones are the best. He saw what they are selling for, what they are going for, and what people are auctioning them for.
  • His sales in the first year are way bigger than he thought.
  • Shawn is doing eBay full-time. He is a single father with two teenagers. He drops them off at school and when he comes home, he does the listings. If he does not have to list, he goes out to find stuff to list.
  • Over the years, he has acquired the eye to know what is authentic. He can pick up all the fake ones out of the real ones. If it is real enough to pass him, then it is real enough to get sold on his side.
  • He tries to stay at the cutting edge by buying the 4k movies and doing as many digital codes as he can.
  • He foresees that the disc thing will not sell well and so he started to sell comic books and collectible toys.
  • Shawn does comic conventions. He started the Clear Month California Collectible Show which is about four shows. Next year, he will do the Ontario Comic Convention. He brings his kids there and they help him.
  • As far as eBay work, he does it alone and works day and night.
  • When he gets up in the morning, he makes sure that all his listings are staying up. He checks his listings. He makes sure that those which are ending are going to be re-list. He tries to list everything that he can get within a reasonable amount of time.
  • He tries not to wait whatever stuff he needs to ship. He sends out all the orders every day. He takes it to the post office. He makes sure that all the customers who bought from him are taken care of.
  • He has shelves all over his house where he stores his DVDs. He arranges the DVDs in alphabetical order so he can tell anytime where a movie is. It makes it easy for him to gather all the stuff.
  • Shawn loves the comic side which he is trying to grow. He was doing well with DVDs. But, he has three boxes of comics that he collected from the 80s when he was still a kid. He thought of selling some of the collections. In fact, he got some gold ones in the collection.
  • He started with 3 long boxes of comic collections. Now he has 6,000 to 7,000 in storage.
  • The favorite thing he likes to do is buy huge comic collections. Then go through it and find the keys. If he has it, he sells it.
  • Last year, he got an amazing Spiderman 300 comic. He sends it out to a Certified Guaranty Company (CGC) and had it graded. It came back 9.8. He sold it for a $1,050 and that gives him a new whole set of computer. He bought the comic for only $300 and he was able to make a $600 profit on that one comic alone.
  • With eBay, you can start with nothing. When he started, he put as little money as he could and prided his self on how little money he had to put in.
  • Shawn has been selling on eBay for two and a half years. eBay allows him to do what he wants. He finds eBay more fun.
  • He hopes to grow his business at a time that when his kids would ever need help or need a job, he can hire them.
  • He hopes to be mainly in a comic shop online. He wants to grow it to do the big shows like San Diego Comic Con or Los Angeles Comic Con.
  • If you can go to these shows or anywhere you can make money, it helps a lot. So if you are into Comics then go to Comics things. If you are into cars, go down where they are doing the car shows. Whatever you are doing, find out as much as you can do about it.
  • With a lot of hard work, Shawn believes that he can grow his company five times the size of it now.
  • His comics are mainly Buy It Now and everything else is on Best Offer. Send him all your offers because he takes good offers.

Advice, Tips, and Tricks

  • Shawn sources his DVDs wherever he can find them. It could either be from:
    1. his friends;
    2. Craigslist Ads;
    3. auctions from eBay;
    4. stores where he made connections and gives him a discount
  • He can make a dollar on some of his items. Sometimes, he can make $10 or $20. But in the end, he brings it down to an average where he can make a profit not a loss.
  • If it is a Disney movie, you look at it and it is perfect in every way. Make sure nothing is misspelled on the covers. The box of the disc must be clear or silver color; never a blue or a dark gold color because those are re-writeable or fake disc.
  • You must learn how to recognize a re-wrap disc slipcovers. Disney never re-wraps the slipcovers in plastics.
  • You need to ship orders as fast as you can because there is going to be more coming. You cannot have boxes sitting there and not make money.
  • You have to have a little bit of money to start on eBay so that you can get yourself rolling and get a lot of different saleable things.
  • When you are starting out, sometimes the stuff that you have is a lower grade. So, the more money you can scrape up to start your business the better off you are going to be in the long run.
  • When you first get into eBay and start to look at, it is so huge. You can narrow the movies down and see what is out there and find out the prices. You can narrow down the comics to find out what auctions are down there.
  • You have to sit there and work out it a lot. Instead of being on the phone, on Facebook or Twitter, sit there on eBay and try to find people who need money. Look at the auctions that look like to end low and send them out to a Certified Guaranty Company or go out on the road.

Quotes

  • “You've got to go to wherever that you have to go to get the things that you are going to sell on eBay.”
  • “The most important part is finding out what you are going to sell.”
  • “You work on it like the way you would work on a job and more.”
  • “The more money you can scrape up to start your business, the better off you are going to be in the long run.”
  • “If other people are doing it and if it is something you want to do, you can do it too!”
  • “Hit the road and find it myself!”
  • “If they can do it and I can do it, anybody else can do it!”
  • “It takes a lot of hard work and dedication.”

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