278 : Peter Kozysa – Craigslist Hunter – Scale your systems to grow your eCommerce business

peter

Peter aka “Craigslist Hunter” has figured a lot out. He has found a way to have it all: strong family commitments, strong friendships, strong employee relationships and great customer experiences. How, you might wonder? He has processes, he is consistent, he is intentional. That’s really it. Hard work consistently applied over time equals success!

 

Mentioned:

Peter’s first interview # 63

Peter’s Facebook contact

Peter’s You Tube Channel

Sponsors

Gaye’s Million Dollar Arbitrage List

Solutions4ecommerce

Scope from Sellerlabs

GoDaddy

Grasshopper

Transcript: (note- this is a new tool I am trying out so it is not perfect- it does seem to be getting better)

Stephen:                             00:00                     Wanted to take a second and recognize my sponsors this week. You know Gaye Lisby’s million dollar arbitrage as Edge and list. That’s a mouthful. It is. But guess what. It’s a great opportunity. You know you can build a big Amazon business. You don’t need a lot of capital when you start. I mean we all started you know most of us started selling books and then move into retail arbitrage. That is the place that you can turn your money. The vastness and online arbitrage. And so by having that skill set by learning those skill sets you can get the best bang for your buck. And so Gaye’s group will help you learn online arbitrage. It’s more than just a list service they’re going to give you a whole bunch of actionable inventory every single day. Right. Monday through Friday. However there’s also a mentor ship that goes on and that mentor ship is so important because sometimes it’s great to know what to buy but it’s more important to understand why to buy it. And it’s that you know learning to fish or just getting fed. You know you really want to learn because ultimately you want to strike it on your own. And this is a great way to do it. So how about seven days free trial how about a free trial. Right. Very very cool. So it’s amazing freedom to come forward slashes a mouthful the word momentum carries a hyphen. And you put in the word arbitrage. So it’s amazing freedom does come forward slash momentum dash arbitrage and you’re going to get a free trial in Gase group. You got to tell her I sent you. Right. I also have the link in the episode. But it’s such a great opportunity.

Stephen:                             01:40                     She is amazing amazing I’m in that group. So you’ll see me there. An amazing amazing person who’s there to answer your questions who was there to help lead you and help guide you and that’s what Kay does. She does it every single day. The testimonials are real. Go take a look. You will be blown away. And again it’s a free trial.

Stephen:                             01:58                     I have the link on this episode. Reachin you know Sellar labs Jeff Cohen and the team they have blown me away with this scope project. We use this all the time for our business. We do a lot of private label we also do a lot of wholesale and wholesale bundles you know or multi packs that kind of thing which a lot of people do but we use scope to help us figure out what are the key words. And so it’s really simple. You basically figure out where you’re going to sell what you’re going to sell what category find that like product. Find the top couple sellers and find their keywords. Boom magic. There you go. You copy the best because it’s working. And guess what. That’s a proof of concept and scope allows you to do that. So it’s Sellar Lapps dotcom forward slash scope Sellar labs dotcom buzzword slash scope use the code word momentum and you’re going to get a couple days free trial and you’re going to save a little bit of money and you get to get some free keywords. It’s worth every penny. I’m in that group. Come and check me out. Celebes dotcom forward slash scope again use the word momentum solutions for e-commerce. Karen Locher great great great group.

Stephen:                             03:11                     I’ve been using them for a long time now I guess over two years and I’m in there and pages like everybody else. Yes she’s a sponsor my show but she makes me pay and I get the same 50 dollar discount that you can get. Oh by the way you’re going to get that through my link and my link only. Oh and you’re also going to get the free inventory health analysis. Great way to start 2018 get your inventory in line and Karen will help you do that. We use it for everything. I mean basically you know long term storage fees coming up. Guess what she will evaluate. She’ll make some recommendations. And also check check check take these out this return blah blah blah blah blah. And magically it’s done.

Stephen:                             03:49                     I love it. Love it. Love it. I love the fact that they take and get rid of stranded inventory for me. I see it in there. And then next time I go in and it’s gone. Love it love it love it. Got an IP infringement. She’s going to help you work your way through that. This is the kind of service that you get from Karen Locher that solutions for the number for e-commerce solutions for e-commerce dot com forward slash momentum. Right. So you got it forward slash momentum and you’re going to save 50 dollars a month six bucks a year by just clicking that link. She pays me. I want to hide that I never do. I’m always upfront about that but it doesn’t cost you anything additional. And you’re going to get that inventory Health Report the only way you get that is through mine link solutions. The number for e-commerce dotcom forward slash momentum.

Cool voice guy:                  04:39                     Welcome to the e-commerce momentum podcast where we focus on the people the products and the process of commerce selling today. Here’s your host Stephen Peterson.

Stephen:                             04:52                     Welcome back to the e-commerce momentum podcast. This is episode 278. Peter Kosa now you know that name and your thing. Nor do I know that name. Well he’s Craigslist Hunter is what he goes by on YouTube Instagram and Facebook and he’s been out there pumping out videos for a long time. Actually we get to the number he’s put out over 250 videos of his own. That is an enormous amount of content. That’s an enormous amount of activity and a lot of effort editing video is much harder than it is editing audio. Right. Because not only like the sound is one thing but knowing you’ve got to worry about the camera angles and all the rest of that jazz and what they can see what you can’t see very complicated to do it is a passion and Peter has a passion for many different things. And you’ll hear it in this episode and I think we get to some very some things that have been burning in my mind as I’ve watched him operate his business for the last couple of years and it’s been a couple of years since I had him on so his previous episode was episode number 63. That’s his backstory which is very very cool. And again I just I’m fascinated by him and his passion for it and it just the way he delivers it it’s just so exciting for me. Let’s get into the podcast.

Stephen:                             06:08                     All right welcome back to the e-commerce momentum podcast I’m very excited about today’s guest I could pause there for a second because you will not believe how long it’s been since we last talked Peter. Any guesses.

Peter:                                   06:20                     I’m gonna say I’m gonna say two years.

Stephen:                             06:25                     You’re good. Yeah it’s been two years been a little bit more than two years. I went back and looked at I’m like now that can’t be. And shocking to me. Peter Casesa the Craigslist Hunter. Welcome back Peter. Thank you. Thank you for having me on. I appreciate you coming back. You were episode number 63. You’ll now be episode 278. Isn’t that crazy. Wow. It’s just crazy. Time flies. It really does in this business. How many how many videos. I asked Chad Pagle this question How many videos on YouTube have you been. Have you put out or been in any clue.

Peter:                                   07:05                     Pretty much every single video that I put on it. But. I. Mean.

Stephen:                             07:13                     Including there are channels and a couple that I’ve been in a lot of different groups myself.

Peter:                                   07:20                     The videos that I have uploaded probably about 250 and that are 50 to 100 different channels.

Stephen:                             07:29                     So have you thought about that much content. I mean that’s an enormous amount of content hours and hours and hours and it was thinking about this as I was prepared for this. Do you still love it. Because it appears that you do.

Peter:                                   07:43                     Absolutely absolutely. I mean I think the main thing is the feedback that I get and you have a positive approach to things.

Stephen:                             07:53                     You have a very positive approach to things you blow off these price increases like hey I don’t like it or you know post office changes yeah don’t like it but there’s nothing I can do. You know we’re lucky to be able to sell there. That approach I think is very attractive to people.

Peter:                                   08:08                     Yeah I think so. I mean this is just part of doing business right. I mean it constantly changes increases constantly go up and you can get battered by it. I mean it’s just that simple for me. And you just adjust adjust accordingly and move on.

Stephen:                             08:26                     Well that’s a good point. If you if you become complacent would you get better. You’d be like man you know why bother with this kind of forces it doesn’t.

Peter:                                   08:34                     Absolutely. Absolutely. I mean it’s just the way it is. You know so you just got to get used to it. Move on and that’s all this. That’s how I look at it. Not not of the changes the comment positive or negative. It really changes my track you know.

Stephen:                             08:53                     Well how long have you been selling now. I can go back and listen again. But it’s been quite a long time. Over 20 years. OK. So in 20 years how different is it today. Yeah the technology. There’s an Internet obviously you could go global and all that. That being the obvious change. But outside of that how different is it.

Peter:                                   09:14                     Well the main thing is that obviously it’s a lot easier overall to get into it. So you have a lot more competition period. I mean that’s the main the main difference. I mean the selling has been around for hundreds of years right.

Stephen:                             09:30                     So so that part so say you know is thinking about this.

Stephen:                             09:37                     You so unusual and unique items generally. Right. That’s a fair statement right.

Peter:                                   09:43                     Yeah pretty much. I mean it’s a little bit of everything and a lot of these items are a lot of them one of a kind.

Stephen:                             09:51                     So you don’t have a lot of competition for the majority of the items that you’re saw how many people are selling that particular high level cassette deck. That is a slight very rare in this and not much right now.

Stephen:                             10:07                     No no you’re absolutely correct in that respect. That’s why I like to excuse me.

Peter:                                   10:13                     That’s why I like to go into those fields because the competition is not there. Diatoms that I sell are usually bigger harder to ship harder to find. And that’s why I think I have a little bit of edge selling those kind of products but don’t get me wrong though I do sell quite a bit of nowhere stuff as well that I deal with competition. So.

Stephen:                             10:38                     All right. You know for example you you still sell CDs DVDs vinyl records things like that. Right I mean those are just everyday items that walk into your store that you still buy and sell. Correct.

Peter:                                   10:52                     Correct correct although media like that I tend to sell more just than my store.

Stephen:                             10:58                     It’s just not worth it. Is it. I mean one of the things that you’ve intentionally tried to do is raise your average selling price. So that’s part of it.

Peter:                                   11:07                     Maybe I wouldn’t say it’s not worth it is just my store it’s a great outlet for that. You know I do get a lot of people that come and look for that stuff. So you know I would read or sell it in the shop that actually tried to move that stuff online.

Stephen:                             11:25                     You know a couple of questions related to the shop because you have staff and you have a lot of challenges there.

Stephen:                             11:31                     What do you have to do it over again knowing what you know knowing where the market is today. Would you do it the same way with a retail store.

Peter:                                   11:44                     Wow that’s a loaded question because I get that. I get that question aloud. Would you do it again. I think I would. And mainly for this is the main reason I loved the interaction with people. OK. It just drives me to stop. That comes in every day and I get to deal and haggle with people on a daily basis. That’s what makes it exciting for me.

Peter:                                   12:10                     Now the bad part of running a shop is of course you have lots of lots of overhead. Right. And you get lots of responsibilities and people depending on you. So that’s the challenging part of the business. Now as you know when we talked two years ago my goal was to open right five more shops within the next five years.

Peter:                                   12:39                     And guess what. When we talk I just opened a shop in the second shop in a city that didn’t workout seven months and I shot it down.

Stephen:                             12:52                     So well let’s stop there second so you know what I was thinking about was that your shop allows you to do experiments you get to try something you get to pull back where a lot of people can’t make those same choices because part of the reason is you have people that are supportive or in support roles so you can buy merchandise and they can buy merchandise which is interesting to me. But then they get it listed they get things moving right. You have some you have a machine in place so it allows you to dabble in these other things. So trying that second shop. What what didn’t work about it. I mean what was the. And I know the answer because you and I just saw each other in Chicago late last year so I kind of know the answer. But but what was it. It’s not a failure. It’s a lesson right.

Peter:                                   13:39                     Absolutely. Less and less than that I learned quite a bit of it. Main main reason was I think it was a poor choice for me. The location as you know in retail business brick and mortar it’s all about location location location and I didn’t do enough study. That’s what I believe that I didn’t do enough study where did I place that second shop which I thought was a great spot but obviously wasn’t.

Stephen:                             14:15                     So what specifically what was it I mean when you think about why is your current one so successful could you contrast that to to kind of suggest what the differences are and what it’s led you to conclude.

Peter:                                   14:29                     I think first I didn’t understand the print clientele. First of all I think I did not understand at the moment how how competitive the city itself is now.

Peter:                                   14:43                     The shop that I have right now it’s about 45 minutes away from the city and suburbs. The shop that I opened in Chicago and very competitive area a few similar shops within a couple of miles radius and the shop that the location of of that new store was on a street that seemed to me that it’s super busy lots of traffic. But actually there was the problem the traffic was just flying by me and nobody stopped or there was no parking or those kind of things. Exactly I had issues with the parking there which is kind of crucial in this kind of business that if people want to bring your stuff they got to have a convenient ride they got to they can park right by the Shab they can bring the stuff in. And that wasn’t the case.

Stephen:                             15:33                     The other thing I would think would be is that city people who live more in the city have already downsized right. They have gone down in stuff because they’re forced to. And so therefore they would have less merchandise that might be of interest to you. At least that’s my mind my conclusion there.

Peter:                                   15:52                     Yeah probably right as well that although you know you have a lot more a lot more people in very concentrated areas so that would kind of offset I would say. But still you know we gave it a shot. And you know the shop wasn’t like losing money but it wasn’t making money after seven months. I got a little bit longer probably. But at certain point you have to make a decision and pull the plug.

Stephen:                             16:22                     Well the other thing is you would end up stretching yourself thinner. Right. And at this point in your life is that something that interests you. Well let me ask you that. Is this something I’ve given up on the idea or you know just because that location didn’t work you know does that mean that you’re not going to do another one. Or what do you think.

Peter:                                   16:42                     Well actually great question and we are still thinking about that are shop but we get a little bit differently. I want to put it in a different spot. I actually want to go. This is going to be more really retail outlet not as much maybe by. Interesting. So little bit different approach and I want to be a little bit more niched meaning probably concentrating mainly on vintage electronics. So and I’m thinking to do this possibly maybe right downtown Chicago which is a huge challenge because it’s not cheap.

Stephen:                             17:27                     Now Nothing’s cheap there. Even the labor costs I tell the story we have six thousand one hundred square foot 173 square foot warehouse. So we have to let me but they’re there each about 6000 the cost per my town versus a friend who has the same size is five thousand dollars a month difference five thousand dollars a month. I know isn’t that crazy. That’s crazy to me. I mean because that is such a burden. Yet we sell the same products. And now he’s got to build that into his margin right. How much more does he have to sell just to get the same cost. So it was thinking about your competitors. And I want to go back to experiment because I know you’re doing an experiment which fascinates me I love your thinking. I just love. I love how comfortable you are in your own skin. I’m just going to tell you that. But what have you seen your competitors. Have they been changing like we just we have a chain of buyers called Bonneton and if you have them in the Midwest and they just announced that they’re closing a ton more stores. And so one of them happens to be my town. And so you think about the changing landscape of retail. Well how about the changing landscape of the buy sell trade because your competitors are pawn shops or other by trading post type of businesses. And then a myriad of other consignments and things like that. What have you seen changing in your area.

Peter:                                   18:49                     Scuse me now there’s actually not many maybe just a handful of stores in my area that same kind of type of business as I am by trade of kinds of all different items I mean there’s a lot of pawnshops right but they mainly concentrate maybe just on a few niches that they know that they can make money right.

Peter:                                   19:14                     And their main goal is really doing loans not so much. Okay. So I think and there’s quite a few stores retail that are going down just like you say. I mean that in a lot of different niches and we hear it all the time that retail is going down right because you know the line is just booming but I think you can you can still survive in a brick and mortar effuse pacify in a certain just small niche like really that you don’t have much competition and people really want to come out and look at the stuff. That’s why I said that I’m probably thinking just doing vintage electronics which as of right now and such a big metropolitan area in Chicago there’s only one store.

Stephen:                             20:07                     Now imagine you know 50 years ago there would have been one in every little Dinkytown would had one. Exactly. That’s crazy to think about. So you’re really thinking that a niche down market and really tight.

Stephen:                             20:21                     You think that’s still could. Back to your your experiments in this store would have. What are some of the things that you’re trying now to do in your retail store. Because what fascinates me like I see the snowblowers you sell. I mean it makes perfect sense to me where are you going to go buy a snowblower. Well you’re kind of play or do you sell a huge snowblower right other than Craigslist which is kind of scary. You’re kind of the perfect place for those things but then I see you buying in a summer for winter and buying in the winter for summer. I mean it takes some real thought. What are the things are you doing to try to expand out that business so when people think to shop they think of you immediately you know that’s a great point.

Peter:                                   21:05                     It’s like right now for example I’m buying bicycles right. Nobody wants to think about bicycles in the middle of winter at least in this part of the country. And I can’t get that kind of stuff really really cheap because nobody’s really thinking about it. Even if you find fewer ads people are trying to sell it’s usually cheap because they know they can’t move it. Nobody’s looking at that stuff. But what I notice also in my in my shop what sells really good within the last couple years. And there’s like a couple natures. No matter of time of the year so really good for me for example like I mentioned vintage electronics. It’s nonstop LP records. It’s nonstop. I don’t know if that trend is going to last for a very long time but it’s hot right now. For example knifes the best selling item in my shop are nice.

Stephen:                             22:09                     That’s crazy to me. You said that a couple times actually when we were together you told me that and I’m thinking what are all these people doing with all these nice what are they doing with them.

Peter:                                   22:17                     There are so many collectors. There’s so many companies I guess especially guys they loathe carving their knives. I mean I have right now I’m not kidding you.

Stephen:                             22:30                     One two three seven cases display cases just full of knives.

Stephen:                             22:37                     Crazy the fishing guy you know you’re a lake and you can fish in this and I get that I just never know the guy who buys the swords.

Peter:                                   22:46                     What did they do with them. Exactly and I have four kids just of swords as well. It’s funny how it works but you know there’s there’s certain areas certain niches do better than others. But yeah I mean it’s crazy.

Stephen:                             23:05                     It’s interesting. So you know the thing that you also have is you have staffing and I was thinking about this too. Is that how I mean obviously they’re critical to your operation. How long does it take for you to let somebody buy for you. I was thinking about that because you have guys that literally buy for you. You let you’ve given them enough rope to make a purchasing decision. So I mean it’s basically opening your checkbook and saying yes how long does that take to get the confidence in somebody.

Peter:                                   23:34                     Well it all depends. I mean I have actually quite a few people over the years they went to the shop right. Somebody comes in we tried to train them. It takes good three four. You get up to half a year to train them to the point that you can say OK you are on your own. But I also had people that came with experience. So there’s a little bit you know quick or quicker transition for me to say OK you’re ready to go. You know what you’re doing. But still even guys that I had with me for five years if there’s if there’s a moment that they are not sure they always going to reach out and ask Pete can I spend nine hundred dollars on this. Or can I spend even a hundred fifty dollars on this. I mean there’s always the you know they know that it’s not their money. Right. I mean it’s easy right. It’s easy for somebody I’m going to buy this. It looks good. I’m buying and buying I’m buying the always in the back of their head. They’ve got to think they’re playing with my money.

Stephen:                             24:46                     Well you have to temper it though don’t you say like OK Steve Beckett down a bit. We got a lot of LPs sitting here. We don’t want to really buy anymore unless they are the records right. You know the ones right. So it’s that kind of guidelines.

Peter:                                   24:59                     Yeah it’s exactly that. I mean it’s all supply and demand. If I’m going to if I have right now in the shop you know 26 snowblowers and we know that we got maybe a month left of winter.

Peter:                                   25:12                     We’re not buying anymore. OK. I mean it’s simple so it’s it’s it’s those simple numbers that you know they know what’s in in the inventory and you know unless unless it’s a super great deal you know I can also buy it and let it sit.

Stephen:                             25:31                     Right. All right if you bought it at the right price or like I said the exact vinyl you know that’s hot.

Stephen:                             25:36                     How about this when people worry about staff stealing but you have controls for that. But more importantly them being you’re creating competitors for you. So you mentioned that you’ve had some people who have experience meaning they probably have bought and sold other places and now they decide to come and work for you. Is it because they don’t want the responsibilities that come along with owning your own business or they’re just tired of that side of it.

Stephen:                             26:03                     And then second what do you do to keep them engaged so they just don’t come in and take all the best ideas and open up a shop to two hours down.

Stephen:                             26:14                     You know that’s actually a very hard question to answer because you never know. Right. I mean you absolutely have no control about that that somebody can come in to your place work for six months or a year or a couple of years.

Peter:                                   26:29                     Learn ins and outs and then they leave and they open up their own shop. The only thing you can do. I think in my opinion is to to give him the best environment that you can that it doesn’t give him even a heart of OK I should leave and do something on my own. You treat him right. I really try to treat my employees like it’s part of the business that if they know that in that little way this business they really Buuren. They’re you know a certain percentage that their business depends on them and I do really appreciate that you know showing them that I support them as well as they support me.

Stephen:                             27:17                     It’s just so important because you retreat as you want to be treated well. Has any of the employees came in and helped improve your process. Because they had experience before saying oh you know I see you do it this way Peter. We used to do it this way. I think it might be an efficiency. Are you open to that stuff and has it happened.

Peter:                                   27:36                     Yes I am actually. It’s funny because once once every couple months we’ll have a meeting just to kind of brainstorm and go about different ideas that either meet them myself or my business partner Adrian will have.

Peter:                                   27:53                     And we’ll ask both of them Ploy’s what do you think about this or how would you do this or do you have your own idea.

Peter:                                   28:00                     Should we change this and do it. You know so there’s constant talk between a charter to to improve all the time. I think it’s extremely important. I asked that question all the time. How would you do this. Is that a better way of doing it specially for example. You know I have. Her name is Vicky I’m sure you’ve seen her on my videos. She works in my bedroom. She’s mainly responsible for 99 percent that’s going on in the bedroom and the stuff that she implemented to make that eBay room moving forward in a correct way. It’s unbelievable that things that she brought into the business that I had no idea even thinking about doing that sort of the way that she does it. So.

Stephen:                             28:51                     So she’s invested now. Right because she has you know she has some stake in the game. These are her processes. Absolutely. Absolutely. You know you put out all these videos. Have you ever had anybody actually create a model similar to yours. I mean you have anybody that said you know what because I’m sure you get a million questions like this. You know hey is this worth doing Babemba. Are you aware of anybody who’s done it.

Peter:                                   29:16                     Not that I can think of. I had a lot of questions people asking people come out actually scheduled time with me. Come out to the Shab they want to learn the process. They want to do with themselves. And guess what. I haven’t heard from anybody bag that they started as they are doing this. All I hear all the time. I wanna do it.

Stephen:                             29:36                     Yeah I wonder what that is. Why. Why. Why haven’t they. What do you think holding people back.

Peter:                                   29:43                     Probably two things. First of all it’s you need quite a bit of capital so there might be one of the things that that’s holding people back. And always when I talk to people I tell him with a brick and mortar you cannot expect return immediately. You just can’t because you’ve got so much invested too that it takes time before people realize that you exist in that particular spot before you. Then it turned a profit. Now doing stuff online a little bit different story can be known right away right.

Peter:                                   30:21                     You have millions and millions eyes looking at you if you’re doing Amazon or eBay or Etsy a little bit different ballgame when you do a brick and mortar. It takes time.

Stephen:                             30:33                     You’ll be asking a question and you don’t have to answer or you could say it’s not about what percentage of the purchases that you bring in gets sold in the store.

Peter:                                   30:42                     So like your snowblowers and at any any any guess I would say 46. So 40 percent would be sold in the shop and about 60 percent online.

Stephen:                             30:55                     So then here comes the next personal question of the 40 percent that gets sought to sell in the shop doesn’t basically carry the cost. Is that is that kind of the model that you’re looking for is to carry the cost of the facility across the facility maybe the staff maybe some of the staff.

Peter:                                   31:11                     That’s exactly the idea. So on a monthly basis we try to buy enough inventory for the store that can be flipped right in the shop locally that will support the whole operation of the whole operation including your eBay room or outside of that piece including the bedroom.

Stephen:                             31:35                     Wow. And so that’s what you’re saying in the beginning. You have to have capital because if you have no customers coming in for that 40 percent you’ve got to wait to get it to that place is that the kind of Mantu you say okay it’s a two year process to get to a certain level you’ve got to have this amount of money times two years and then at that point it should carry that cost to kind of the thinking that’s exactly the thinking.

Peter:                                   31:58                     That’s exactly the thinking because like I said it does take time. I mean I’m going to be honest with you when we first opened the shop and this is many years ago different location a lot smaller. We did not turn profit for the first 18 months. So and you know at that time you’re still buying the cost of the inventory because you’ve got to want to have a great selection in the shop if anybody walks in. So you constantly anything that you make pretty much reinvesting. Yeah I mean it took us 18 months before we turned before we turned a little profit. So I think that might be one of the reasons that you know some of the people are kind of like Ooh it’s not as easy as it looks right. I mean it’s all pretty on videos and everything but it’s actually lots and lots of work.

Stephen:                             32:55                     The other thing it helps to have a partner because that gives you the ability to get away. That part is a real issue. Right I mean because if you didn’t have a partner then 100 percent of the buck stops with you. And that’s all. Especially in a startup you know because you get burned out.

Peter:                                   33:13                     The risk is getting burnout 100 percent.

Peter:                                   33:16                     I mean that’s even even right now when I do have a partner you know sometimes that gets to the point that it becomes overwhelming although I can say that I am a workaholic. I love what I do. And I probably do it too much and I don’t know how to relax. My wife keeps telling me that all the time. But but for sure. I mean if you if you have a part there would be life easier right. You gotta take breaks because otherwise you will burn out and you will burn out quick.

Stephen:                             33:50                     Well this is a great transition into this comment because you’re not busy enough you decide to create and experiment with a another eBay store and to work from home. Not even so you don’t. So when you leave work you can go home and work. But what I appreciate is the fact that you’re doing it again. Basically from the ground up saying you know I have limited space. OK I have limited capital. Okay. But I have this knowledge and so therefore I’m going to transfer this knowledge. What’s that. What’s the thinking there. I mean is it to prove that you can do it again for yourself. Not not in an egotistical way. I mean just to say I still got it.

Peter:                                   34:34                     No there’s actually I’m going to give you two answers to that. Yes you are absolutely correct is it. Do I still got it or do can I be even better at it. Starting form a name. By knowing what I know now after doing this for so many years now. The second answer is I have so many people asking and commenting specially on my videos. They always sell all the stuff. Unique unusual because of your shop pride because all this stuff comes into you and you always have it’s easy it’s easy it’s easy right. So that came up thinking I would love to show the other side that I’m starting something from the beginning from scratch with no cap at all. Not using my shop just going out there in a wild finding stop bringing it in and trying to flip it.

Stephen:                             35:41                     Would you say the biggest skill set that you learned is discipline. Because I mean I’ve watched you go into a thrift store and I don’t know how long you’re in there but you come out sometimes with absolutely nothing.

Stephen:                             35:55                     Or maybe one small item but you’re so cautious it appears that discipline is so hard because when you start you know at least most people don’t know how you are. But at least how I was just buy everything because you know you are so enthusiastic it’s old it’ll sell this and that and then you realize when. I’ve got 100 of these on me I can’t sell all these write that kind of thing.

Stephen:                             36:16                     That discipline has to be because that’s us.

Speaker 20:                        36:19                     That’s a skill.

Peter:                                   36:22                     Yeah I mean you’re so correct with that because you can pretty much walk to any store and you always find something and you have to tell yourself OK is it worth it. Do I know already how long it’s going to take me to sell this. And most of the time I will say yes I know this is going to say. This is not worth my time. This is what I want to concentrate. There’s lots of times that I have something in my hand and I put it right back on the shelf and walk away. So it’s very hard. It’s hard but it’s definitely that mindset that you have to put yourself in if you want to concentrate just on certain things and from experience knowing okay I know this will sell within days this will sell with a couple of weeks or this particular piece it’s going to take forever but I know I can get great money out of it. So it was just the learning process right. That doesn’t happen overnight. It took me many years to come to that point. And now I can apply it and you know figure out what needs to be done to get it done is I sit and think about what you’re just saying.

Stephen:                             37:36                     It does allow you then to say you know Steve I want to ratchet my life back and I only want to make 3000 dollars a month because that is what I need. And you know the rest. I have covered therefore I now if I’m disciplined. And I know what I’m buying. I could put in X number of hours now and really design my life as I want with this knowledge and that strength of discipline to me. I’m sitting here listening to you thinking it sounds very simple to me that you could do that confidently.

Peter:                                   38:07                     You agree. Absolutely. And the thing is you know when you have everybody always thinks you know it’s it’s money. I want to make you know a hundred fifty thousand a year. I want to make half a million I want them. No. It’s what makes you comfortable and the lifestyle that you have. Right. So always in the back of my head I’m thinking what if I had a shop. What if I would step back. What would I do for my life to be still comfortable and enjoyable and enough money coming in that I can do the things that I want to do. And you know after doing this for so long sometimes I mean yes. Don’t get me wrong money is good and great and nice and dandy and everything right. It helps you but it’s not everything. It’s not everything. So even this experiment that I’m doing after 12 months it will show me that yes this is what you can do and depends you know because I’m only putting in about 12 to 15 hours a week on this experiment. And I want to see what the judge will show me after 12 months what I can do now if I can apply maybe I made for example out on eighteen thousand dollars and that you’re working 12 hours a week. Is that enough for me to live on. Probably not but if I could apply that are 12 hours like double that. That might be just enough for me to be comfortable.

Stephen:                             39:41                     It gives you a plan because you know you can’t control what happens everywhere. This gives you another option. What if and out.

Stephen:                             39:51                     Right because otherwise if you put all your you know all your eggs in one basket you never know. I mean we’re seeing that with some Amazon sellers right now where they’re struggling because you know rules and changes and things.

Stephen:                             40:02                     So a guy who just said that he lost one of his largest wholesale accounts because they decided to start selling their own product. Well he’s got to scramble now and he’s got a plan. So I don’t want to downsize that but it’s real. Those out things outside of your control can happen. So you’re saying let me put something else back in my control prove this method out. Make sure it’s working. You get to back to it. You get to experiment again because of the business life you’ve created. That’s a pretty cool thing.

Peter:                                   40:31                     I mean that’s exactly right because everything it’s unpredictable right. I mean this store is going great.

Stephen:                             40:37                     I’m doing OK. But three years from now it may not be so unpredictable overall. And then what’s the plan B.

Peter:                                   40:49                     So that’s exactly what you said. That may be in the same sense I’m creating a plan B if something would ever happen.

Stephen:                             40:59                     Well you know I was thinking about what I would ask you to give for advice for people because you know you think about people who are stuck or saying you know because a whole bunch of friends assuming in your circles who are opening these matters by appointment stores because that’s the hot thing and you know it fascinates me. What they’re doing and I see it I get it I understand what it is it’s a convenience factor. I’d rather buy a mattress from somebody I know than buy it from one of the stores that that makes perfect sense. It’s almost like a car. Right.

Stephen:                             41:33                     I see it. But is that a plan or is that today the hot market and it’s going to change and evolve again. And so I think having that second opportunity and trying it and saying that this works I didn’t like it. OK adjust and do it again. But your kids and your daughters have both graduated from college or one’s graduate the other one’s getting ready.

Peter:                                   41:58                     There’s still Balton school still in school.

Stephen:                             42:01                     Any interest in this world for them at all in any way. Sadly to say no.

Peter:                                   42:12                     They don’t. They see it as piles of junk dead cells junk.

Peter:                                   42:15                     Well maybe not so much junk is just they have a little bit different different visions. As you know my older one which will graduate school next year. That passion and emotional were passion over her life she always wanted to be about. And I get that and I’m like honey if you can reach that goal 100 percent go for it I’ll support you all the way. You also they have a little bit different mindset. They had hobbies for a very long time something that they wanted to pursue and more power to them. So that’s got to be pretty cool.

Stephen:                             42:59                     That is freeing because they’re not bound by that business either that they get to live their dreams. That’s a pretty cool thing as a dad.

Peter:                                   43:08                     Absolutely. Absolutely. Now when you said you know what can I give somebody that lives to try something something that will help them maybe create a business is just don’t take baby steps and everything that you do take baby steps and try it and see if it works for you. You can always move on to the next project but if you don’t try it then I regret it and just take time. Nothing happens overnight in any kind of business. I mean you know stories that you hear I made a million dollars in a month. Come on. Yeah. Good luck. Good luck. So it’s all work. It’s persistence. Staying on top of your things and just you know being patient.

Stephen:                             44:01                     Think about what you were saying about Vicki coming in and improving your process that she’s only. She’s relatively new to your company. So you were in business for a long time and then she comes in and sharpens it even further. To me those are those baby steps right. That’s a perfect example of you know now we’re ready for this and she can come in and make it better. I think that’s really smart.

Peter:                                   44:22                     Absolutely. And also even with her it didn’t happen overnight. It took time to develop that and learn her process. And you know what she’s got to offer. So it did not happen within 30 days or 60 days. It took a while. And also just being patient and giving yourself the opportunity to try new things and see if they work.

Stephen:                             44:49                     You know this whole episode an experiment I love I think that you’ve to design. You’re figuring it out. It’s not perfect but that’s what makes it kind of cool and interesting the fact that you’re still interested after 20 years means a lot. I mean how many of your friends still love what they do passionately. Not many. Very few. OK Peter.

Stephen:                             45:12                     So Craigslist Hunter is your YouTube channel. You’re out there all the time. I mean you’re putting up a lot of videos right now. You seem to be putting a lot out again. What. Let me ask you this.

Peter:                                   45:25                     What keeps that piece going. I know you said you love it that further teach others though. Where does that come from. You know what I I really don’t know.

Peter:                                   45:38                     I think I just I’m so passionate about everything that I do that just comes naturally to to just pass that on and and show how certain things can be done just comes naturally. And I really really enjoy it. And you know the the few comments that you get here and there or e-mails or messages Peter you changed my life.

Peter:                                   46:06                     Right there’s no better feeling you expanded my boundaries.

Stephen:                             46:13                     I never knew this was possible. I always thought I’d have to be chained to a desk. You mean there’s more to life. I mean that’s what I see some of the comments that people write. I mean it it is. It’s got to be very humbling.

Peter:                                   46:25                     It’s very humbling extremely rewarding. And that’s what keeps me going I think.

Peter:                                   46:30                     OK so best way to get in touch with you if they have a follow up question Peter probably through Facebook or Instagram both handle names are Craigslist Hunter and of course on YouTube. CRAIG HUNTER They’re all you can always send me a private message through their cell. OK I’ll put all those links.

Stephen:                             46:51                     Man oh man I spent a long time and it is very cool meeting you and seeing the whole group of people a couple of hundred people in Chicago for a meet up. And it was the calm Chicago. That’s what it was. And seeing that group of people so enthusiastic and so excited to talk about this business it’s very very cool. Now you are part of you and Chad do this resellers rally there. There’s still an opportunity at some point that there might be something in Florida. I think he was mentioning in this coming year.

Peter:                                   47:21                     Yes. The one that we did last year was in Chicago. Obviously my hometown now. We were planning one for Florida this year that date is not set because of some medical issues that Chad has. Obviously this is the territory that he is and he’s going to be organizing most of it there. So as of right now the date is not set but we are still hoping for the second part of the year depends just the pants on him.

Peter:                                   47:53                     So and if they follow your YouTube or your Instagram they would be able to find out about it correct. Absolutely soon as we know any day.

Peter:                                   48:01                     I’m sure it’s going to be posted on YouTube and Facebook.

Stephen:                             48:05                     So awesome awesome stuff man I appreciate you coming back on. I can’t wait to have you back to see what’s next. I’m very excited and just so the positive vibe that you get. You can tell you love it. Really really appreciate. Thank you so much. I wish you nothing but success.

Peter:                                   48:21                     Thank you so much. Thank you for having me on.

Cool voice guy:                  48:24                     Thanks for listening to the e-commerce momentum from just all the links mentioned today that e-commerce will come under this episode number. Please remember to subscribe and like us on iTunes.

Speaker 23:                        56:16                     What a great guy. What a great story. What a great. Businessman. I mean just so smart and just so well thought out. I love the way he’s designed his life that. He. Cares about his family and his family being his employees and his partners so that part of it. Doesn’t get missed. That intentionality. And experimenting that he’s doing. I just think makes life complete. Or you can go do a 9 to 5 Seppi under a desk and work for somebody else and help them. And that might be your thing. But just imagine getting to try different things and some of them working some of them not working but learning and staying passionate about what you do. Even 20 plus years later. What a great guy what a great story. E-commerce momentum dot com e-commerce momentum dot com. Don’t forget my sponsors no solutions for e-commerce. Karen Locher I just saw somebody else in one of the groups post. That they you know somebody was asking hey can you break down what you do a week. How many hours a week and I think they’re working 12 to 14 hours a week. And they name the different things they were doing. And when it came to account management. Karen locker handles those. Well CARE lockers my account manager too. And that piece is. Part of our team. You know they really are part of our team. Karen are people because. There’s a whole section of our business that I just don’t worry about anymore. Because she worries about it for us. And it’s solutions. Number four e-commerce stock com. If you go to solutions for e-commerce dot com forward slash momentum. You’re going to save 50 dollars off her monthly fee and it’s 50 dollars. In perpetuity. That’s a pretty cool thing. You’re very very quickly don’t cost any more than that. She pays me. We all know that. But we use her and I pay the same price YouTube. The other cool things she does for my listeners. She’ll do an inventory health report she doesn’t do that for anybody else. And it’s a very cool thing because it kind of gives you a chance you know. To look at your business or you just. By the time this came out the long term storage fees have come. But the new fees are here. And so you got to start thinking about this you know. What do I want to do with my inventory. What’s the health looked like. And Karen does that for you with you. She’s expanded into other things she helps with eBay listings. She helps. You know when I bring product variations to market. Karen handles that for me. I mean it’s just a. Huge part of our biz. Again the part of our team and we’re very very lucky to have. Solutions. The number four e-commerce dotcom forward slash momentum. Save the 50 bucks. Tell Karen I sent you. Ticker.

 

Stephen-Peterson

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