Why did you decide to start your ecommerce business using the Low Hanging System?
I was already in business but wanted something that might be a bit easier and not require ad spend. LHS really just gave me some ideas, but what worked for me is something I was already doing. I think LHS is great, don’t get me wrong…but I didn’t (and still don’t) implement much of what was taught. I do like Rachel’s tips, etc. and I use GearBubble occasionally for fulfillment.
Where are you from?
[I’m] originally from Michigan, but the Navy brought me to Seattle, where I’ve lived since 1997.
What were you doing to earn money just prior to getting started with LHS?
I was building my brand Tool and Dye Designs (www.toolanddyedesigns.com), which is still what I do, as well as Etsy and a few other sites.
How did you get started making money online?
I’ve sold personal items (used) on eBay since 1998, but as far as ecommerce goes, I opened a Shopify store in the fall 2015. I’m terrible with ads so it was a very slow start and still is. I differ from most in that I’m actually building a brand that I’m passionate about, not just trying to sell whatever junk is trending currently. I now have other stores where I do sell “junk” but I’m not at all passionate about them.
Did you see success quickly?
No not all. Going back to the brand/Shopify store, I had a bunch of shirts printed and sold them at car shows in 2016. Sometime in 2016 I purchased the LHS for the first time and then began slowly listing items on Etsy. I had a few sales but not much. I didn’t really know I had something until right after Thanksgiving 2016 when I listed a few of my “brand” items on Etsy that were holiday specific and started selling 8 per day.
I had 15 listings up, but that paid for all of my “fails” from earlier in the year. I knew that I needed to scale up for the next holiday season and did so…beginning of the holiday season 2017 I had around 200 and increased that throughout the season, ending with 450 designs and over 2400 sales on Etsy from late October through December. During Nov/Dec my Etsy sales were $106k, and another $10k on Shopify.
I purchased LHS again in early 2017 and began listings on Amazon and eBay with the integration. Ultimately I didn’t have time to focus on Amazon and recently closed my Pro account, as I’d only got a few sales there. I will likely do the same with my eBay store (just downgrade to a regular account). I need the time to focus on Etsy and growing my brand.
What are your top tips to keep your mindset up?
Stay positive, drink bulletproof coffee. Set time aside away from your kids to focus on business.
How are you doing now?
Well my items are seasonal, so I’m increasing my 450 listings to 1500+ by October, trying to translate some of the designs into summer items rather than Christmas. Redoing my Shopify store, hiring an ad agency to do my ads etc. Building a few other stores and Etsy shops. Streamlining my process for order fulfillment so my wife can help.
What have you done to scale your business?
Increasing my number of designs.
Can you offer any advice for people struggling with this?
I’m in a unique niche within a niche, kind of thing. I’m really only successful during the holidays. For me it’s been to use all title characters that Etsy allows, use the right tags, use Etsy rank and Velo. Cross promote to FB and IG.
What had you tried before LHS?
Are there any practical tips you can give around succeeding with LHS?
Make copious designs and see what sticks. You never know what will become a winner. Believe in yourself and stick to it.
Aside from Amazon, what other selling platforms (if any) do you use and can you offer any practical tips about getting started with / using those platforms?
Etsy – it’s almost free at only .20 to list. Use all characters available in titles, key words in the beginning rather than your brand name. People aren’t searching for your brand name…they are  searching for a particular set of ‘key words’ – i.e ‘funny gift for father’s day’
Share some of the tangible things you’ve been able to do with your earnings.
Paid off our credit cards, built a steam sauna, provided a wonderful Christmas for my family of 6, bought some new camera gear, made over a couple rooms. This year it will be a Land Rover for the wife and a Porsche 911 GT3 for me.
Results are not typical. Ecommerce sellers’ results will vary based on effort and skill, etc.