Prince Patel

Surplus Deals Inc.
Edison, New Jersey

Realizing he wasn't passionate about his degree in civil engineering, Prince used his knack for electronics to create a growing online store that set his career on a different, more rewarding path.

Q: Looking ahead to 2019, where do you see the most opportunity for driving efficiencies?
A: I’ve been selling on eBay for nearly a decade now and in the last few years I’ve seen significant upgrades to the platform. As I’ve gained experience throughout the years, I’ve been able to streamline most processes and been able to grow the company as a solopreneur. I am very excited for upcoming additions to the platform such as multi-user account access. The ability to add employee’s with limited & direct access to my eBay account will be very helpful in scaling. In 2019, the ability to grow the company will rely on being able to pass on tasks such as listing, packaging & shipping, customer service, and more to other people. My focus is to grow the product line/inventory & build business relations.

Q: You started out by selling phones then moved over to camera accessories—what powered that move?
A: I originally started selling phones because it was the most risk-averse & hot product I could think of. Cell phones became an absolute necessity for everyone, and the market was growing rapidly. As the industry grew the competition became fierce and it became apparent that to continue selling with profitable margins, I would need significant capital to invest & reliable vendors—both of which I did not have. I am a huge research junkie so when I noticed that the camera/camera accessories market had some unfulfilled demand I felt obligated to tackle that niche. I was also very blessed to have found several vendors around the world that are professional & reliable.

Q: When you were starting out, what were the top two (or three) resources you maximized to help you grow your business?
A: My biggest aid to growth was research & data. There is an abundant amount of information online but the way to grow is to narrow down your focus & be consistent. Two resources that elevated my game:

• eBay ‘Solds’ Data—This data is extremely underrated. On eBay, you’re able to see what has sold, what time it sold, how many have sold, the price it sold for, etc. Before entering a market, you have ALL the data you need to sell a product. Now all you need is a source/supplier/vendor to provide the inventory at a cost that would work for you.
• YouTube—A lot of learning came from watching videos & collaborating with other sellers. There are many people on YouTube who makes videos about selling on eBay that are very helpful. There is also an extremely supportive selling community on Instagram.

Q: What has your experience been with using tools available on the platform? How have they helped to streamline your selling process?
A: I am huge advocate for the current seller hub interface that eBay has added. Simplified to one page, I can see all my business information—sales, inquires, balances, returns, and much more. This made it very easy to keep up with all tasks that need to be done.

Q: Do you have advice/ tips for entrepreneurs starting out on eBay?
A: You must stay consistent on the platform to really leverage everything about this business. Avoid falling into below standard requirements and that will help a lot in the long run. Don’t be discouraged by little results as you start because this business grows exponentially like a snowball effect. Finally, you must expect to make mistakes because it’s simply inevitable in an ever-growing environment. Learn & grow from them as they’re meant to take place in your journey to create a successful eBay business.