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18 Jan 2019
Amit had a simple dream: to be able to work online and travel around the world. 2 years on, he never thought he would become one of eBay’s biggest sellers with 18 stores, 18 employees and over 100,000 items. We talked to him about his incredible journey to success…
“A couple of years ago I was searching for ways to make good money as in my home country it’s very very hard to make a decent wage."
And luckily for Amit, it didn’t take very long for an opportunity to arise.
“One of my friends said to me he was seeing many people that make good money on eBay and that he was going to buy a course, so I thought let’s do it together!”
Like many people, for the first four months, Amit treated his eBay-work-from-home business as just a hobby. But when he started realizing the potential to make money, he decided he needed to change his approach.
“When it got to Christmas I wasn’t even working on my store and I made almost $2,000. So I told myself, there is a business here if I take serious action, build more stores and make it happen.”
What started as a small business quickly snowballed into a much larger venture when Amit started meeting new people interested in selling on eBay.
“I went out with my friends and met someone called Lior. Lior was a friend of my friend that asked me about selling on eBay. Lior also had a friend called Oren and when Oren saw Lior work on his store he was interested in eBay too so Lior asked the 3 of us to meet together.”
To grow faster, Oren, Lior, and Amit decided to form one company together called the OLA group and combined their 3 stores under one business.
“At the start, everyone added one store with the shared dream of being able to travel around the world and work from a computer.”
Soon they noticed that with 3 people in the room, their combined knowledge helped them grow much faster and make better decisions.
“Everyday we would talk about how we could be better, how we could increase our sales, and how we could make more money."
In particular, Amit realized the importance of networking and learning from other people.
“We started to meet a lot of people from the industry that make good money on eBay so we took one or two tips from each of them and applied them to increase our business."
After about 6 months of working on eBay, Amit started using ZIK Analytics to help grow his eBay business. Amit says that using ZIK opened his eyes to how big the opportunity of selling on eBay is.
“I started noticing so many more items to sell than I used to. If you do manual research the chance that you will see the big sellers is small. ZIK gives you great features like the category research tool and endless ideas of what to sell.”
Not only that, but Amit believes ZIK is an excellent place for new sellers to start their eBay business too.
“If you want to start an e-commerce business it’s very very easy to start dropshipping from Amazon to eBay to learn the basics. These days ZIK have free video courses that can teach you everything you need to know about how to start eBay business.”
By the end of 2017, and with business booming, Amit, Oren, and Lior decided to quit their jobs, move into an apartment together and focus solely on making their business a success.
But as with any business, there can be difficulties.
One of the biggest challenges Amit says their business faces is adapting to the changes on eBay that they have no control over.
“eBay make a lot of changes every month or two months. I can tell myself to just quit or I can change myself and my business and keep working on eBay. It’s like a game, if you want to keep going you need to change your business constantly. eBay do 50% of the work by bringing all the customers to the website so when things change we need to be prepared to adapt ourselves.”
With this mindset, and motivated by their dreams of being able to travel and work anywhere in the world, they started scaling their business from just 3 stores to a massive 18. While the process they used was simple, it was still a lot of work.
“We did 12-14 hour days every day, building a system of eBay stores that dropship from Amazon and AliExpress and duplicating every store to increase our business.”
A very big part of being able to expand so rapidly was hiring virtual assistants. On this point, in particular, Amit feels that a lot of other dropshippers that fail to delegate enough of their tasks and get bogged down in unproductive tasks.
“There are lots of people that make good money but they still list items and still answer customer service messages and when you do this kind of job you can’t increase your business because you’re focused on jobs that your VA’s can do.”
“You need to remember that your time is more expensive than your VA’s time. If you want your business to be bigger you need to let go, let your VA’s do the manual tasks and look at the bigger picture.”
By 2018, the company had grown so much that Amit, Lior, and Oren could finally pursue their goal of being able to travel and work. And with 12 of their virtual assistants living in the Philippines, they decided to make it his first destination, along with Thailand.
“When I went to the Philippines, my customer service manager, John, picked me up with a big sign with my name on it. For so long I’d been talking with him every day but I’d never actually seen him. So when I saw him for the first time it was a strange feeling because seeing his family and country made me understand how much we help them to raise their families.”
To be close to John, they decided to rent a villa in Liloan, Cebu. This, Amit says, has helped them build a better working relationship and driven improvements across the business.
“We met to talk about how we can improve our customer service and make the business better. The best thing about it was it made a huge change in the business because now we know we can trust him.”
The trip to the Philippines wasn’t just about working though. One of Amit’s most memorable moments was experiencing Filipino hospitality firsthand when John invited him to dinner.
“When John took us to dinner which was an amazing experience. It was so nice to see the person that works in your company has a family, a wife, and children, and isn’t just someone you talk with on Skype. He’s real.”
After a few months of traveling, the trio returned home with fresh motivation to keep growing their business.
While the OLA group was just a crazy dream 2 years ago, it’s now a fast expanding company full of wild ambitions.
Today, Amit, Lior, and Oren are in the midst of opening a new office for themselves and are planning to do the same in Pakistan where 6 of their virtual assistants are located too. Along with this, Amit talks about the goal of becoming the biggest company in their country.
When asked what the future holds for them, Amit is confident the OLA group will keep growing strongly.
“We have so many targets for 2019, including opening a brand on Amazon and expanding into more international markets. We’re just so thankful we took the risk and started selling on eBay a couple years ago!”