1140
7 min 57 sec

Car Parts Employee Finds Shocking Surplus Suspension

When a young marketer feels like he isn’t taken seriously at work, he sets the wheels in motion and starts selling car suspension systems on eBay.
Reselling shocks

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What It's About

A hustle for replacement car parts becomes a million dollar business.

Business Model
Reselling
Skills Required
Research & Marketing
Complexity
Medium
Profit Potential
Medium

Words of Wisdom

Is it possible to start a hustle from your passion or hobby? Sean has some great advice, "If you want to go after a niche market, look at your own hobbies and see if there's any interest in pursuing one of them, or a part of one. There are always opportunities for improvement, whether in product or service."

Fun Fact

Shock absorbers can last anywhere from 5 - 10 years depending on the driver and the terrain. If you are selling an item with such a long time between purchases try to sell at a high price point as you can’t rely so much on repeat business.

Notes from Chris

Episode 1140
Sean Reyes was in his mid-twenties when he was hired as the director of marketing for a car parts company. It was a hefty title for someone so young—and it caused some issues in his work environment.

He often felt like others at the company didn’t take him seriously. He’d make suggestions that were ignored and devised strategies that weren’t followed. It made him consider looking for another job, or at least another source of income in case he ever felt like quitting.

So he got to thinking...

One type of part the company sold was car suspension systems, otherwise known as shock absorbers: the large springs that sit just behind the tires to help cars drive smoothly. It was a niche product, but one that Sean thought could sell well online. He decided to see if his suspicion was correct.

The plan was to keep things simple, cheap, and efficient. He didn’t want to outlay a bunch of money upfront buying parts, especially when he didn’t know which ones would sell. There are literally thousands of different shocks for every make and model of car, and it wouldn’t be fun he was left holding onto them.

After doing some research, he decided that dropshipping was the way to go. Dropshipping is a method of selling products where you don’t actually store any stock. Instead, after you sell something you pay the supplier to ship it to the customer on your behalf.

To start, he did some research and compiled a list of available shocks, including part numbers and which type of car they go with. From the list, Sean picked a few carefully selected models and created eBay listings for them after he got home from work one day.

What followed was totally shocking...

Within two days, Sean sold his first two shock absorbers. Followed by two more a day later and more than ten by the end of the week. As Sean puts it, he felt like he found a gold mine he’d always suspected was there, but was too lazy to dig.

Within a few months he was spending every spare moment of his evenings listing shocks for sale on eBay, answering customer support, and processing orders. By that time, he was already making around five thousand dollars per month with almost no start-up costs.

He continued down this smooth road for the next few years, quite easily making a very good amount of money outside of his day job. Eventually, Sean started questioning why he was working that job at all. He figured he could easily quit and dedicate a little more time to his shocking side hustle … as well as a lot more time to his hobbies.

So he did just that...

After quitting his job, he began listing more and more shocks for sale on eBay and Amazon. That kept the wheels turning. In his first month full-time, Sean sold thirty five thousand dollars worth of shocks. Six months later, that amount had jumped to eighty thousand. This wasn’t a 100% profit, but the margins were very healthy.

To move things along, he hired a customer support person to help with all the email requests. Then, he chose to build his own website, ShockSurplus.com. Although eBay and Amazon were fruitful, having his own entity would provide legitimacy and another marketing channel. He invested heavily in content and SEO in order to try to find more customers through Google.

Like a coiled suspension being released, that’s when the business really bounced! Over the next few years Sean turned his Shock Surplus from a side hustle into a million dollar business.

After stumbling across a dated industry that hadn’t yet been shaken up by internet marketing, he found innovative—yet simple—ways to market old products. Shock Surplus was able to rev to the limit, avoiding too many bumps in the road.

 
  MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

  SEE ALSO:

Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,

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Quote of the Day
"If you want to go after a niche market, look at your own hobbies and see if there's any interest in pursuing one of them, or a part of one. There are always opportunities for improvement, whether in product or service."
—Sean Reyes #SideHustleSchool

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau