How this couple built their dream lifestyle by dropshipping from Amazon to eBay
- How they started their online business
- The early days of dropshipping
- Growing their business
- Discovering Salefreaks
- How their lives have changed today
A few years ago, Joao and Vik were “stuck”.
Exhausted from their long days at work and grueling commutes, and sick of not getting the time to see each other or their friends, they realized that their lives weren’t working for them anymore.
Fast-forward to today, and they run the e-commerce business of their dreams. They generate a full-time income, yet work just 2-3 hrs/day from a beautiful poolside villa in the Algarve with unlimited time to spend with their friends and family.
I hopped on a call with them to learn how they built the online business and lifestyle they’d always dreamed of.
How they started their online business
In 2014, Vik and Joao were living together in London when Vik decided she was fed up with their way of living.
“Basically I was just looking for some ways to make money online. I was working as an accountant, whilst Joao was working in a hospital taking blood. And we were kind of stuck in London, spending loads of time traveling to work and coming back, we were tired, we wouldn’t go out much. We wanted things to change so we looked for opportunities online.”
But Vik soon found that googling “how to make money” wasn’t as easy as it seemed.
“There were a lot of other things we tried that didn’t really work. I tried forex market trading and thought about doing a physical business with a business plan until I realized it wouldn’t work out because I didn’t have enough capital”.
And it wasn’t just Vik, Joao struggled too.
“I tried poker stars, I did betting, I published 3 books on Amazon on how to lose weight, I tried Clickbank.”
Purrrr! The only members of the family happy with their lives were the cats 🙂
Eventually, Vik came across the perfect model. A business that’s low cost, quick to start and easy to scale: eBay dropshipping.
“When I was googling I found some training on how to dropship on eBay. I bought the training, started listing and within 2 weeks I got my first sale.”
Even though Vik was still in employment, Vik found that dropshipping was a great way to make extra income on the side.
“I started in July and by December I was already making £500/mo of profit which I was very happy with as it was just additional income and it proved that it worked. And when Joao saw it was working for me I trained him to do it too. At the time we never thought we’d eventually quit our jobs and it would change our lives!”
The early days of their dropshipping business
What started as a way to make money on the side grew into a full-time venture when Joao and Vik realized the potential of what they’d started.
Joao explains that on just his second day of selling, he encountered a surprising problem.
“We met a guy that had a huge amount of eBay sales, we spoke to him, took his training and on my second day of trading I had to shut my shop because I couldn’t handle all the orders whilst I was working full-time!”
“I was praying I wouldn’t get sales! We had our first baby around that time so we were multitasking, listing items, looking after the baby, it was really difficult.”
“In those days there wasn’t any dropshipping software so we had to do everything manually; listing items, customer service. We started getting so many orders our fingers would hurt!”
Growing their business
Having seen that dropshipping was a great way for them to make money, both Joao and Vik took the hard decision to leave their jobs and work on their new business.
This was despite Vik being offered a promising promotion to stay at the company she was working for.
“I was on my maternity leave when they called me and offered me a promotion to come back to work, I would be the second after the finance director, a very high position in the company. But because it was going so well on eBay already and we were enjoying the freedom I said sorry I’m not coming back!”
With demand so high, and orders rolling in, Vik and Joao’s biggest problem was finding a way to regain their time.
Up to this point, they’d been very wary of hiring a virtual assistant for fear of trusting someone else with their bank details. But with the business so busy and their mentor pushing them to do so, they decided to go ahead. Joao thinks this was a game-changing moment.
“Even if I wanted to do everything, I realized I couldn’t possibly do everything. My mentor said if you want to work for the rest of your life, you can do all the orders, send all the messages and re-do that every day – and he was right.”
“That’s when I found some people interested in fulfilling our orders online from the Philippines and that’s when we slowly taught them how to fulfill orders, manually at the time, one by one.”
Hiring virtual assistants certainly helped Joao and Vik regain some of their time, but they realized a lot of their business was still very time-consuming, even for their workers.
So by 2015, they started the process of using software to automate parts of their business like listing items. But Joao says it wasn’t all plain sailing.
“We found software to track items, but it started giving us loads of problems, items not being tracked and it was messing up our strategy.”
Shortly afterward, they noticed something strange happening to some of their items.
“We saw a few people that would undercut a few of our products by 1p at the time, exactly 1p. I would sit all night long going through all my items to update the price and undercut them by 1p to see what they’d do.”
“Finally we realized it wasn’t a person, it was a software doing this. However much we changed our prices, theirs was always 1p less. So I said to myself, we need to find this software, who the hell is this guy winning all the sales! And that’s how we found Salefreaks.”
Without knowing it at the time, Joao had stumbled across the Salefreaks repricer, one of the quickest ways for dropshippers to boost their profits.
Impressed with this feature alone, Joao and Vik decided to move their stores to Salefreaks and noticed an immediate boost to their business.
“We fell in love with the software, they automized our business completely.”
It wasn’t only the time they saved that helped grow their business, but Vik was impressed with all the profit-boosting features they were introduced to too.
“With features like Coupon Hunter and Sales Hunter you can just sit down and the software does absolutely everything on your behalf, it’s amazing. And every time I start to try one feature, there’s another feature out already!”
“It’s made our lives so much easier. For someone that’s never done this and wants to do this if you get on a higher plan they give you a free mentorship too, it’s amazing. Before Salefreaks we paid £500 for this, now it’s free!”
How their lives have changed today
Today Vik and Joao run 2 eBay stores each, managing 30,000 listings between them and are hoping to open another couple of stores soon.
And thanks to their virtual assistants and software, Joao says they do very little of the work themselves.
“Normally after we put the kids to bed, we just check everything is OK. Everything is taken care of, we just control and manage now, and do some financial transactions. We spend around 2-3 hrs in the evening but otherwise, the business is on autopilot.”
5 years on from the days of living in London, their lives are completely different.
“We bought our dream house with swimming pool in the Algarve. We can go out a lot because we don’t have to go to work much and our friends come and visit us.”
“What we love about this business the most is the free time to do whatever we want.”
With a smile on her face, Vik also explains how their career change made their family happier too.
“Back in the UK I would have had to go back to work when the baby was 7 months but oh my god I don’t want to miss my babies first steps, first words, I really appreciate our lives.”
“In Portugal the weather is good, we can take the kids to the beach, it’s awesome and all this happened because we started doing eBay dropshipping.”
Whilst there were many challenges along the way, Vik and Joao have no doubts they’d quit their jobs and start this business again in a heartbeat
“With every business there are obstacles, but we never give up. This journey wasn’t easy, but it was worth it. If you’re thinking of starting, just do it!”