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Over The Years
  Jas0n, Apr 24 2013




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2012 Update
  Jas0n, Jan 22 2013

Had a pretty good 2012. We didn't do as much as we hoped in sales this year. Missed our goal by $300k or so but this was mostly because we had to move back to the suburbs in June-July. To make the move easier we liquidated a ton of our inventory, I think at one point we had less than $20k in merchandise. And then after the move, we had to set up, hire employees, reorder, etc before we could start sales again. This took a good two months out of the year for us. Still, we more than doubled our sales from last year, our inventory has increased dramatically, and we're expanding to other markets. So overall, can't complain.

When we first moved into the warehouse, my buddy Alex worked for us part time to give us a hand. He could only stay for the summer because he had grad school in the fall. He ended up being a really great worker. His attention to detail was spectacular and he was just really knowledgeable about a lot of random things, which gave me an entirely new perspective when we had to think up solutions to problems. We offered him a permanent position with us for $70k a year but he turned us down. It really sucked but was understandable, he had a really sick scholarship and he got into a pretty competitive program.

So this basically means that I'm managing the warehouse myself. I also handle the customer support for our buyers. It gets really tilting at times. Some people have ridiculous notions and expectations. Just recently, a buyer purchased an item from us. He received the item, used it, and then lost it. Now he wants another one from us. Gets mad when I tell him we can't send him another item because he was the one who lost it.

Since taxes are going up in 2013 our CPA advised us to pay as much tax in 2012 as possible. We took his advice and we literately paid all of our taxes and didn't accrue anything for 2013. This meant we took a pretty big hit at the end of December. Between eBay & Amazon fees and taxes, for every $$2.50 we make, fees & taxes take away $1.50.

We have three full time employees now along with two photographers that we work with on the side. We have leased a second warehouse, 8000 sq ft. Our broker got us a really sick deal for it. So now we have ~14000 sq ft which should last us a while, and if it doesn't there's another one that we have our eyes on.

tl;dr had a good year

edit: just got invited to dinner by my sales rep from the biggest distributor that we work with. Going to be me and edzwoo with him and the ceo of the company. First business related dinner invitation, man I feel soooo legit right now.

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Comments (12)

Making Bank
  Jas0n, Jul 23 2012

Business is good. Been meaning to make this post for a while now but haven't had the time. Ever since I got to the suburbs edzwoo and I have been working like mad. Putting in a good 40-50 hours each week and going in on Sundays. Warehouse is amazing but as always I think we underestimated the amount of space we need. It's a 6000 square ft warehouse and we filled up 2/3 of it in a month. Right now it's just me and edzwoo in the office and two of our high school friends in the warehouse doing the manual labor. They'll be heading back to grad school in late August though so we're in the process of hiring some full time employees very soon. Our first position is for a warehouse supervisor, which pays ~37k a year on average in our area. Have three interviews set up for the end of this week with a possible fourth. It will probably be kind of weird for them to come in and see that the guys doing the interviewing are 23 years old. I'm a little concerned about being take seriously as someone's superior at work because of my age but I guess we'll see what happens.

Setting everything up took a lot longer than expected. At one point we were showing up at 10 in the morning and leaving at 10 at night. My goal was to use our capital as quickly as possible so the warehouse space doesn't go to waste. Spent 50k in two days, 100k in a week. Not going to lie, it was a little overwhelming using up so much money in such a short period of time. Talked to a business lawyer about some legal issues recently as well just to tie up loose ends. I knew there would be a lot of little details that had to be taken care of when you move a business but there was a lot more than I expected. Things like servicing fire extinguishers, buying workman's compensation, figuring out what kind of shelves to use, and etc take up an enormous amount of time and before you know it the day is over and there's still a million things I have left to do.

One of the random problems we encountered was that our loading dock is declined. This means that when the semi trucks pull in, their trailers are at a downward angle. We had no idea this would be a problem for us until we realized that a pallet jack with a pallet holding 2000 lbs of merchandise can gain a crapload of momentum as it moves off the truck and into the dock. This wouldn't happen if the dock was leveled, but because its declined by the time it hits the ground the pallet is moving at 10-15 miles an hour. It's definitely not easy stopping that much weight when it's moving that quickly. Normally this wouldn't be a problem because warehouses have forklifts that will drive the pallet off the truck. For us, we bring everything in by hand with a pallet jack. Went ahead and bought a pallet jack with brakes the next day.

Sales are really good. We've been operational for a month and sales have already increased by 30%-40%. We're hitting all time record highs for non-holiday weeks. Once the holiday comes around we'll be getting five figure sales everyday. We've gotten big enough to the point that the local post office can't handle the amount of volume we're doing. I'm currently going back and forth with USPS's district sales manager to try and come up with a solution. They might just put us on a freight route and have a semi come by everyday to pick up our outgoing packages.

In 2011 we did just over a million in sales. This year we are already at 910k and on track for 2-2.5 mil. Fingers crossed.

tl;dr business is good

my office

edzwoo hard at work

new laser printer, label printer and server

first shipment - ~12,000 lbs

my buddy Alex giving us a hand

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