The 3rd Business is a charm, from DJ to Automotive Ecommerce Success

Howdy

It’s time again for another one of our Entrepreneurs Corner Podcasts!

This time we are joined by Richard Meldner whom a lot of you will have met previously in the forums or in the weekly Mastermind meetups.

Hear how Richard got started in his journey on eBay, and it’s probably not how you would expect!  You will also hear the journey of the Entrepreneur in how it was his third business which started him on his road to Ecommerce success.

Press Play below and listen in right now:

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Richard didn’t find eBay like the usual seller and instead was getting more involved due to eBay’s VERO policy.

From DJ to a sign making company, Richard realised the potential of eBay to a product based business in 2003 when he started MDI Performace selling automotive car parts.

Sell on eBay using Magento

Hear how when the economy dipped in 2008 Richard spotted the potential of eBay and started taking the channel more seriously for his business.

Richards experiences make his insight in the podcast hugely valuable to anyone looking to start or grow on the marketplaces

Podcast Summary

  • In 2000 started managing the copyrights of the company he was working for on eBay through their VeRO (Verified Rights Owner) programme.
  • Whilst he never bought anything he spent so long looking at eBay listings, he was advising the companies they supplied to on changes they should make to their listings.
  • In 2003 started MDI Performance with his business partner, selling wholesale car parts.
  • This was his third business after his first being a DJ, and second a Sign business.
  • By 2008 started taking online and eBay more seriously as a sales channel.
  • How Richard predicts that 2015 will be the first year where online exceeds his Bricks & mortar business.
  • What some of the biggest challenges have been for his business
  • What his top tips are for anyone wanting to start there own ecommerce business.

Richards Journey

mdilogoIn the recording above you will hear how Richards journey wasn’t typical in how he first got started on eBay.  But it was this journey which put him on the right path in knowing the fundamentals to a good eBay listing.

His third business was his first real dealing with products and one of the most complex categories there is to sell in…car parts, was the area he knew best.

Fighting through the obstacles that vehicle fitments and compatibilities brings, led him eventually back to eBay where he spotted an ever growing opportunity.

Richard tells us that he now expects 2015 to be the year that online becomes the largest part of his business!

Good software is Crucial!

As you will hear in the recording above, there isn’t much software that Richard hasn’t at least tried in his time of selling online.  From listing tools to shopping carts he really has explored many of the options available.

You will hear how he found UnderstandingE whilst looking for some help with Magento & M2E Pro but most importantly it’s his advice to other businesses when it comes to software.

Richard shares his view that software is crucial and as a business you should expect to invest in certain software to help automate processes and buy some time back for yourself!

His final piece of advice is that Marketing is Key!

The day you stop marketing your business, is the day your business starts to die

So to any listeners to the podcast wanting to start up their own ecommerce store, Richards advice is simple, be willing to invest some money into your business, you can’t compete when trying to do it for free.

You can take a look at Richard’s eBay store here:

http://www.ebay.com/usr/mdiperformance

Have a Story to Tell?

We hope you listening to this enjoyed it as much as we did recording it. If you would like to share your story with us about your entrepreneurial journey then we would love to hear from you, as I’m sure the other members would too!

Leave us a comment below that you would like to chat with us about your journey and we will be in touch.

As always if you have any questions or comments on this recording then feel free to ask them below too.

We look forward to speaking with you soon

Dave, Matt (and of course Richard!)

8 replies
  1. Annette Winter
    Annette Winter says:

    what a great chat with Richard. I am really enjoying the podcasts (usually listen to them when I’m out walking!!). Listening to other people’s experiences is very interesting. I appreciate the recordings of the Tuesday masterminds too as being in Australia the time of them doesn’t really suit me to join in. Keep up the great work.

    Reply
  2. Ben
    Ben says:

    Thank you for the podcast guy, very insightful. I would be interested to know what software/middleware Richard is using to import his sales in to his accounting program, and if he is exporting from Magento or eBay?

    Thanks,
    Ben

    Reply
    • Richard Meldner
      Richard Meldner says:

      Hi Ben

      The middleware I use is from eBay to Quickbooks is Webgility desktop since we use Quickbooks Enterprise. I believe they also have a cloud version and I know of another cloud service that will use Quickbooks online. Webgility can create multiple marketplace connections, so it will be able to import Magento or most other shopping carts.

      For shipping I use Shipstation, which actually also has a public API for import. I looked at the solution they offered through cloudcartconnector.com to import all orders from Shipstation into Quickbooks. Unfortunately. Cloudcartconnector will no longer accept desktop users from Quickbooks as Quickbooks is closing down their sync facility that is needed to do that sometime in early 2016.

      Once I get our Magento store really up and running, one option I am looking at is to just import all orders into Magento and then use Webgility to import it into Quickbooks. The downside of that solution is that Webgility will force you to either create new customers for every order (unless they are repeat) or import all orders under one customer. Right now we pool all eBay customers under one eBay account in Quickbooks. I don’t want to needlessly grow my customer list in Quickbooks as that will just grow the datafile and Quickbooks is not the swiftest with large data files.

      Down the road as I see it would be best to manage individual customers in Magento, regardless of the marketplace origin, and use Quickbooks just to handle the orders. Ideally, if for sales breakdown I can separate the marketplaces in Quickbooks under three major heading (Ebay, Amazon, Magento) that would be great for big picture analysis, but in the end, I really look at Quickbooks just to deal with the accounting and don’t need it to be involved in the customer details.

      I hope this helps understand what we are doing now and where I believe we are headed.

      Richard

      Reply

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