- July 8, 2018
- Posted by: Dimitri
- Category: Uncategorized
Here’s one for all you drop-ship junkies, and anyone else whose juices flow at the thought of selling stuff online.
One super boring Friday morning at the gym, working nowhere near as hard as I should have been (I was on my cellphone training thumbs) – I decided to begin browsing Ali Express…
For those who don’t know, Aliexpress is an online platform, like eBay, except for finding Chinese wholesalers and manufacturers.
You see, at the time, I had just started my marketing company. I had a couple of clients, and was in hard core learning phase.
I didn’t even care about making money at the time… All I wanted to do was put all these crazy ideas into practice, but didn’t have a business to try them on.
So anyway, I was browsing through Aliexpress, and came across these awesome, graffiti style wall prints.
My first thought was “DAMN that’d look clean on my bedroom wall – they’re only $14!?”
My second thought…
“These are only $14?! I’d pay $300”
So I literally threw on my hoodie, left the gym, rushed home, and spent the next 6 hours creating a Shopify store that looked like this:
Super cool, right?
I had listed all the products, directly from the Chinese supplier, onto my own site.
The plan was to make the sale on my store, then head over to the suppliers site, purchase the product, and ship it directly to the customer.
A set up like this would allow me to instantly create a business at zero cost, for me to test out all these marketing ideas.
At the time, I had no idea of what was coming…
The first thing I wanted to try was influencer marketing – but I needed content…
I found a guy paint one of these prints himself, from a blank white canvas, and time-lapse the whole thing – it was epic.
I really wanted to use his video to run ads to, selling my stuff and making me money (not a great pitch).
Let the negotiations begin…
So I told him –
“Hey! It’s Dim here, from Ballr Prints. We sell premium prints just like the one you painted in your video. We’re spending thousands of dollars on promotion, to have our ads seen by millions of people. We’re looking for one lucky artist to have their content featured in one of these ads – they’ll be credited at the bottom of every post, and will likely be gaining thousands of followers as a result. If you would like to apply, please fill out the form here to be considered”
It was genius.
Within 24 hours I had a badass time-lapse of a guy spray painting my product.
With a bit of editing, and once I had overlaid a punchy, royalty free rap song, it was perfect.
Next was time for promotion.
It was simple – I would pay for Instagram shoutouts on pages with 500k+ followers, and then retarget the traffic that comes in with Facebook ads. (How I’d recommend anyone to begin on a low budget today).
After about 15 minutes of browsing on fiverr, I found a guy selling 6 hours of ad space on his luxury Instagram page for just 40 bucks…
It was almost too easy. I reached out, sent him the video, and asked him to post it.
First came the traffic, then I got 2 sales. $300 banked!
Next, I set up the retargeting.
Posted again the next day, across 3 pages. $800 in sales.
It was epic! I quickly started hustling hundreds of different IG accounts, in either the luxury, or street art niches; manually hitting them up and entering into negotiations.
By the next day, I had 5 more shoutouts up, and had banked about 1500 in sales.
Then it happened…
I was gaining hella traction, and could see the onsets of an epic brand being built.
Then the negative comments started coming in…
“You’re a rip-off”
“This is Alec’s work”
What the hell!? I was super confused. I didn’t mean to do anything wrong. And who was this Alec guy?
After Googling Alec Monopoly, I learned that these prints I was selling were recreations of his art work.
Turns out Alec is a world famous graffiti artist, and the original creator of the works I was selling.
The next day I received this email:
Needless to say I shat myself and closed the store the same day -.-
In just the one weekend, I had built a business that was easily hitting 4 figures per day, and the equivalent of well over 300k/year – yeah, I didn’t really make 300k with this one, but if I didn’t title that, you wouldn’t be reading this far.
In the same weekend, I was emailed by Hasbro, and my details were forwarded to Monopoly’s legal department.
It’s nothing like some of the multiple six figure per month businesses I work with today, but I think what I was able to build that weekend was pretty damn cool.
As for the phone cases, that’s a story for another time…