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Everything I found out, when looking into the Ingredients / Formulation and Suppliers of The Minimalist

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u/Aayu07, cross checked the Ingredients lists of the Minimalist product against the Ordinary and had posted this in Insta stories "@she.awoke".
Looking at it, there was definitely a pattern. Minimalist had used same formulation and just changed active. Basically 3 formulas 10 products. I had shared this is my stories [@avaale_]. Purely because I found it interesting. Reproducing those stories here, if you'd like to take a look.
Today I decided to take a deeper look at the products, since I was getting comments like 'are you trying to say these products are useless?'. And I had too cursory an examination to be comfortable saying it's good or bad. The Minimalist had outdone themselves with transparency and even mentioned supplier details, for every main active. (Not being sarcastic, I'm genuinely in awe, that they did this, while have the Indian skincare world refuses to declare full list of ingredients).
Started with

Vitamin C 20% (SAP) + Ferulic Acid

They had sourced the SAP from BASF. Searching for details on their SAP, I found this. The technical information sheet for SAP from BASF itself.
A few things stand out.

Salicylic Acid 2%

From the site "Formulated with Curcylic 40 (SA) based on advanced pre-solubilized technology from Vantage, US, a global natural chemistry company"
Now the INCI name for Curcylic 40 is Cocamidopropyl Dimethylamine & Salicylic acid. As u/Aayu07 pointed out in her Insta stories "Cocamidopropyl Dimethylamine" part is not mentioned in the Minimalist website at all. I assume they're writing the whole thing SA.
If you check out Cocamidopropyl Dimethylamine in Incidecoder. It not only talks about Curcylic 40, but also rather helpfully shows us other products with this ingredient, one of which happens to be The Ordinary Salicylic 2% & The Ordinary Aha 30% + Bha 2% Peeling Solution. The ordinary does mention Cocamidopropyl Dimethylamine in their ingredients list by the way. So for2%, they basically have 5% Curcylic 40 and pH is supposed to be between 3 and 8. But pH of this product is not mentioned on the minimalist site.

Retinol 2%

From the site "Contains top quality Granactive Retinoid sourced from Grant Industries, USA, A leading global supplier in skincare"
The granactive retinoid, they're sourcing from Grant has the iNCI name Dimethyl Isosorbide (and) Hydroxyp­inacolone Retinoate. Which they've split up, maybe due to percentages of concentration. The ordinary did this too.
I found this list of actives and briefs about them from Grant Industries. Where they mention these results.
INCI Decoder also provides a summary of the ingredient itself and results from manufacturer's tests and results from Estee Lauder comparitive in-vitro study between Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate, tretinoin, good old retinol and retinyl palmitate in collagen boosting effectiveness.
Their bottomline "We are really happy to see some innovation happening with retinoids, and we think Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate is a super promising rising star, but it’s not fully proven yet. If you are someone who likes to experiment and try out the newest things, grab your running shoes and try some HPR containing serum now (see product list below :)). If you like the tried and true, however, stick to retinol and tretinoin for now and re-examine the question in a couple of years when (hopefully) more research will be available. "
Manufacturer recommends upper limit use of 1%. This is where retinol comes in I'm guessing. For the other 1% or more. This is the same combination The ordinary uses in their Granactive retinoid 2% emulsion.
Also the other products using this ingredient in Incidecoder is a who's who of brands.
The science behind this product on the Minimalist website, speaks pretty much only about the granactive retinoid, even though the product is called Retinol 2%. Retinol and Retinoic acid esters are not the same and don't work exactly the same way.

Niacinamide 10% + Zinc

From the site "Formulated with Niacinamide USP Grade (US Pharmacopeia approved) by Lonza, Switzerland, a leading global supplier of Vitamin B3 for over 40 years"
Lonza is definitely big into Niacinamide, and a well known legit supplier.
But onto more relevant information, I did find this data sheet from Lonza with briefs on a few efficacy studies.

Hyaluronic Acid 2% + Vitamin B5

From the site "The key ingredient is sourced from Royal DSM, Netherlands; a global science-based company ranked in Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations 2020"
Bare bones Data Sheet of Hyaluronic Acid from manufacturer.
Bare bones Data sheet of Panthenol, from Royal DSM. But I'm not sure if they're sourcing this from them too. One thing though, if they're sourcing ingredient from here pH of 5% solution in water is 9 to 10.5. Now the panthenol is probably lesser than 2% since hyaluronic acid is listed first (this is an assumption since Indian companies don't really care about listing in order of %).
I'm not sure how relevant this is but pH of hyaluronic acid is 6 to 7 according to the data sheet. Panthenol is 9 to 10.5. This is a serum that I originally assumed for pH balanced. But the incidecoder lists no buffering agent. Skincarisma doesn't mention a pH adjuster either. So I'm very curious to see what the actual pH of this product.
Disclaimer: I'm not a cosmetic formulator and while I roughly know ingredient purposes, I've no idea how all the ingredients would interact with each other and affect the pH. Which why I started this with 'I'm not sure, how relevant this is'.
I did ask a friend who purchased this product to check pH and if or when she gets back to me, I'll update this accordingly.
Also while the science behind the products had this to say 'Not all topical Hyaluronic acid serums are equally effective as the molecular size of HA determines the depth of its delivery in the skin. The smaller the molecule size, the deeper it penetrates the dermis. Larger-molecule size HA stays at the epidermis and provides surface hydration only.' The data sheet attached above mentions a molecular mass of 1.6 MDa. This is middle molecular weight.
So is this inherently bad? Not necessarily, as ecowell explains in detail in this post. All sources are cited. Also this.

Lactic Acid 10% + Hyaluronic Acid 2%

From the site "Formulated with natural and pure ingredients sourced from leading global suppliers such as Corbion and Royal DSM, Netherlands"
I think we can safely assume that HA in this product is sourced from Royal DSM. And I've already gone in-depth into it above. So directly onto, lactic acid. And we have the data sheet here.pdf). Nothing that alarms me.

Kojic Acid 2% + Alpha Arbutin 1%

From the site "Formulated with the most stable form of kojic acid, Kojic Dipalmitate, sourced from Alpha Environmental, USA, a leading global supplier"
I found nothing. Zilch. Not even a info page on their own site. Just a listing that shows they sell both Kojic Acid Dipalmitate as well as Alpha arbutin.

AHA 30% + BHA 2%

From the site " All ingredients are sourced from leading global suppliers such as Fortune 500 Chemours Company, USA, and Vantage, US"
Since we already BHA is Curcylic 40 ie Cocamidopropyl Dimethylamine & Salicylic acid, and it's been analysed above, I'm moving on the AHAs.
Chemours offers a variety of Glycolic Acid products for different purposes. Their Glypure TM range which comes in 3 variants are our best bet and Glypure GL which is glycolide, the cyclic diester of glycolic acid. I found a lot of information
However very little on Glypure™ Preneutralized which I feel is the actual product used. All we know about this is "• Pre-neutralized Glypure™ is an aqueous solution neutralized with ammonium hydroxide. It is available in a variety of pH levels—2.25, 3.25, 3.8, 4.0, 4.4—as well as custom pH."
Incase I'm mistaken I'm leaving other info attached above.
Logically lactic is probably from Corbion (which is not mentioned) and BHA from Vantage, which is mentioned.
I found no mention of mandelic acid in both Chemours and Vantage's sites. I've no clue where it's sourced from.

Apple Cider Vinegar 2% + Glycolic Acid 10%

From the site "It is formulated with high-grade ingredients sourced from a Fortune 500 company, Chemours, USA"
This obviously refers to Glycolic Acid as discussed above. No idea about source of ACV.
But Neemli and Minimalist, 2 brands recently picked this combo to formulate products with. So I had a cursory glance at studies and found this one study where "A total of 22 subjects (11 AD and 11 healthy controls) were enrolled. Subjects soaked both of their forearms for 14 days, with one arm in dilute ACV (0.5% acetic acid) and the other in water 10 minutes daily. Transepidermal water loss and pH were measured pre- and post-treatment." Conclusion: Dilute ACV soaks have no significant effect on skin barrier integrity but caused skin irritation in a majority of subjects.
Neemli's site did mention this "A natural astringent, Apple Cider Vinegar helps increase the blood flow to the skin, minimizing the appearance of pores. It also helps balance the skin’s pH to keep it functioning optimally and fighting acne-causing bacteria." as the reason it was added.
I'll have to look into this deeper later, but for now, this combination baffles me.

Benzoyl Peroxide 2% + Glycolic Acid 5%

From the site "Contains top quality ingredients sourced from Vantage Specialty, USA, ranked in the top 30% of the most sustainable companies in the world by EcoVadis"
And we're back to Vantage. Glycolic Acid has to be from Chemours. so the BP is from Vantage.
Vantage markets BP as Curoxyl 42. The INCI name is Aqua & Benzoyl peroxide. Found the brochure and I find this product quite intriguing since they claim that it's a "aqueous based, micronized benzoyl peroxide dispersion (40%) in the form of a gel that can replace traditional BPO due to its low irritation profile" while normally I find BP quite irritating.
No mention of pH on the site, while Bp is supposedly 4.8 to 6.6. And glycolic acid traditionally potent at much a lower pH. This study on glycolic acid's antibacterial activity against C. acnes found it most potent at 3, while it did kill C.acnes upto 4.5. Less efficient killing was found at pH 5.
So I'm curious about the pH of this product too.

My thoughts

  1. Vitamin C 20% (SAP) + Ferulic Acid (pH reasons)
  2. Benzoyl Peroxide 2% + Glycolic Acid 5% (pH reasons)
  3. Apple Cider Vinegar 2% + Glycolic Acid 10% (combination)
  4. Hyaluronic Acid 2% + Vitamin B5 (pH reasons)
  5. Kojic Acid 2% + Alpha Arbutin 1% (no details, no idea what to think)




Also speaking about popular bloggers / influencers, a lot of info about minimalist that's been going around in social media is clearly from this sub.
As you guys know this is a completely non-profit platform that we're using to educate ourselves and others, the other contributors and I gain nothing from doing all this research and sharing it, And while I have no problems with people sharing and using this information, I do wish credit is given where credit is due. And if you're asking "how do we credit? you're anonmyous", u/Aayu07 and I both started Instagram handles. Well she has had hers for years. I started it because she wanted to credit me for sharing some glycolic acid stuff. And I'd appreciate it if you credit me if you use this information anywhere. Just DM me or u/Aayu07 or any other user here to find out whether they wanted to be credited. Basic courtesy guys. For instance u/kparwal and u/e-lusion were also credited when u/Aayu07 used their findings.
Just to be clear, "I do not consent to this post or any part of it being reposted on any social media (including but not limited to YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr, Snapchat). I do not want to see screenshots of my post on any influencer's Instagram handle/website/blog without my explicit written consent. DM / Modmail me if you would like to share this post or use content from this post on your social media with appropriate credit to the sub and me***"***
submitted by Avaale to IndianSkincareAddicts [link] [comments]

Megathread: William Taylor, envoy to Ukraine, testifies Trump tied Ukraine aid to politically motivated investigations

The top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine testified on Tuesday he was told that President Donald Trump made the release of security aid to Ukraine contingent on Kiev publicly declaring it would carry out politically motivated investigations that he sought, according to a copy of his statement to lawmakers.
Link to opening statement

Submissions that may interest you

SUBMISSION DOMAIN
US' top diplomat Taylor was told Trump wanted aid withheld until Ukraine said it would investigate Biden edition.cnn.com
Diplomat’s Testimony Drew “Direct Line” Between Military Funds and Biden Probe motherjones.com
William Taylor testifies about deep-seated push for Ukraine quid pro quo politico.com
Diplomat says he was told U.S. aid for Ukraine tied to request for probes: Washington Post reuters.com
Read:Top US diplomat to Ukraine's opening statement for impeachment inquiry cnn.com
Bill Taylor’s Testimony Paints a 'Damning' Picture of Trump's Ukraine Quid Pro Quo; "It was the most damning testimony that I've heard so far" says Wasserman Shultz vice.com
US’ top Ukraine diplomat testifies he was told ‘everything’ depended on Ukraine announcing investigations wgno.com
Diplomat says he was told that Ukraine military aid was linked to investigations into Bidens and 2016 election cnbc.com
Read: Taylor’s Damning Testimony On Ukraine Pressure Campaign talkingpointsmemo.com
Top Diplomat Confirms There Was Quid Pro Quo Demand In Trump's Ukraine Call: Reports huffpost.com
Donald Trump 'lynching' comment on impeachment probe is condemned as US diplomat William Taylor testifies abc.net.au
Opening statement of Ambassador William B. Taylor washingtonpost.com
Top diplomat Bill Taylor gave 'disturbing,' 'explosive' testimony on Trump's Ukraine dealings, Democrats say — Democrats said a "direct line" between the president's demand for an investigation by the Ukrainians into his political rivals and U.S. military aid. nbcnews.com
Diplomat says Ukraine aid was tied to political investigations thehill.com
3 takeaways from Bill Taylor’s crucial opening statement washingtonpost.com
U.S. envoy: Trump tied Ukraine aid to Biden, DNC investigations axios.com
Ukraine ambassador says in 'damning' testimony that he was told Trump wanted quid pro quo deal, report says independent.co.uk
Ukraine Envoy Testifies Trump Linked Military Aid to Investigations, Lawmaker Says nytimes.com
Today’s Impeach-O-Meter: Gasp-Inducing Testimony Confirms Corrupt Quid Pro Quo for Billionth Time slate.com
Democrats Say Ambassador William Taylor's Testimony On Ukraine Is 'Disturbing' npr.org
Ambassador testifies he was told "everything" depended on Ukraine announcing investigations edition.cnn.com
Trump Wanted Zelensky to Publicly Say He Was Investigating Biden thedailybeast.com
‘Sighs and gasps’ from House Members Hearing Latest Testimony in Impeachment Inquiry ijr.com
Volker urged Ukraine’s Zelensky to convince Trump he would investigate corruption - Weeks before Trump July 25 phone call, U.S. diplomat discussed investigations with Zelensky at a Toronto meeting marketwatch.com
Volker pressed Zelensky to convince Trump he would launch investigations before call: Report thehill.com
I was told Trump wanted quid pro quo deal, Ukraine ambassador reportedly testifies – live - US news theguardian.com
Taylor: Sondland And Volker Separately Compared Trump’s Ukraine Aid Holdup To A Biz Deal talkingpointsmemo.com
Top US diplomat in Ukraine tells Congress investigating Bidens and election interference tied to aid money abcnews.go.com
Ambassador William Taylor Ties Ukraine Aid Holdup Directly To Trump wuwm.com
The Top US Diplomat To Ukraine Was “Alarmed” The US Insisted Ukraine Help Trump With Investigations In Exchange For Aid Money buzzfeednews.com
Legal Experts Sum Up U.S. Diplomat’s Testimony on Ukraine as ‘Devastating’ for Trump lawandcrime.com
Testimony by Top Diplomat Bill Taylor on Trump and Ukraine Elicits 'Holy Sh*t' Responses From Members of Congress commondreams.org
Bill Taylor may be blowing the Trump-Ukraine scandal wide open washingtonpost.com
6 Key Revelations of Taylor’s Opening Statement to Impeachment Investigators nytimes.com
The 5 Bombshells From Bill Taylor's Testimony on Trump and Ukraine vice.com
White House Attacks ‘Radical Unelected Bureaucrats’ After Explosive Taylor Testimony talkingpointsmemo.com
William Taylor's testimony should be game over for Trump theweek.com
Diplomat Bill Taylor testifies Trump used Ukraine aid, White House meeting as leverage for probes foxnews.com
Highlights: Top U.S. Diplomat In Ukraine Delivers Explosive Statement To Congress npr.org
Top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine offers damning testimony yahoo.com
Amb. Bill Taylor's 'Devastating' Opening Statement Draws 'Direct Line' To Trump - Deadline - MSNBC youtube.com
Bill Taylor opening statement: Read the full text of the top U.S. diplomat's statement to Congress - Top diplomat tells lawmakers Ukraine aid was directly tied to investigations cbsnews.com
Diplomat worried Trump would stiff Ukraine after leveraging favor msnbc.com
Ukraine ambassador William Taylor’s testimony backs Senate Republicans into a corner washingtonexaminer.com
‘The directive had come from the president’; Longtime diplomat details quid pro quo with Ukraine bostonglobe.com
5 explosive lines from Bill Taylor's statement edition.cnn.com
Every major TV network except Fox News thinks William Taylor's testimony was just awful for Trump theweek.com
US diplomat: Trump tied Ukraine aid to demands for probes aljazeera.com
Trump launches lackluster attack against Bill Taylor after testimony theguardian.com
Trump and Rudy just got nailed: Bill Taylor unveils the whole sleazy Ukraine scheme. Acting Ukraine ambassador's Capitol Hill testimony blows the lid off Trump's conspiracy — and hints at much more salon.com
Trump impeachment inquiry catch-up: where we are right now. The president’s denial of dirty dealings in Ukraine took a serious hit on Tuesday with Bill Taylor’s closed-door testimony. theguardian.com
Bill Taylor’s testimony removes any last plausible line of defense for Trump theguardian.com
Taylor’s Testimony Goes Way Beyond Quid Pro Quo slate.com
When We Investigated Benghazi, We Longed for Evidence This Clear: If Mike Pompeo and Jim Jordan had received the kind of bombshell testimony we heard from William Taylor, they would have moved to impeach. theatlantic.com
Taylor Testifies Trump Tied Ukraine Aid to Investigation of Hunter Biden democracynow.org
Key GOP senator: The "picture coming out" of diplomat's testimony is "not a good one" cnn.com
Watch: GOP Rep. Yells At CNN Reporter When Asked About Bill Taylor’s Testimony talkingpointsmemo.com
Top Senate Republican Calls Impression Of Taylor Testimony ‘Not Good’ talkingpointsmemo.com
Nolte: Adam Schiff Desperate to Hide William Taylor Testimony that Would Kill Ukraine Hoax breitbart.com
Team Trump Is Withholding Bill Taylor's Detailed Ukraine Notes From Congress vice.com
Trump impeachment odds hit record high of 75% on popular betting website after diplomat's 'damning' testimony businessinsider.com
“The Walls Are Closing In”: Bill Taylor's Testimony Puts Trump's Impeachment in Overdrive vanityfair.com
Bill Taylor's Ukraine testimony left "jaws dropped," says Democratic congressman: "This wasn't just a smoking gun, it was a smoking cannon" newsweek.com
Republican lawmaker 'destroyed' Bill Taylor's testimony says McCarthy foxnews.com
Sondland seeks to align himself with Taylor after bombshell testimony politico.com
No. 2 GOP senator: 'Picture coming out of' diplomat's testimony 'not a good one' thehill.com
Team Trump Is Withholding Bill Taylor's Detailed Ukraine Notes From Congress vice.com
Trump calls Pompeo-appointed Ukraine ambassador Bill Taylor a "Never Trumper" axios.com
submitted by PoliticsModeratorBot to politics [link] [comments]

How to Make $2M in Sales with Dropshipping in Two Years/Success Story Interview-Micheal Mackay X CJ Dropshipping

How to Make $2M in Sales with Dropshipping in Two Years/Success Story Interview-Micheal Mackay X CJ Dropshipping
Hi Redditors,
This interview recording is about a success story with Micheal Mackay.
CJ Dropshipping had a video call with Michael Mackay, who generated $757k in sales in his first year, and made almost $2M in sales in two years with Shopify dropshipping. Watch the video to learn how Michael overcome all the difficulties every dropshippers will meet, and find a way to succeed.
https://preview.redd.it/735xuntisms51.png?width=1920&format=png&auto=webp&s=7507e2a88ea729c88509c461cbdc56e5631af9b9

Check the video here

Interview Content

D: Demi, Youtuber from CJ DropshippingM: Michael Mackay
D: Hi Michael, thank you so much for coming to our channel, and so nice to have you here with us, and could you please give a short introduction of yourself and your e-com business, please?
M: Of course, my name is Michael Mackay, I've been doing Shopify dropshipping and e-commerce full-time now for two years, and I started probably three years ago with not much luck, it took me about a year to get into it. But after that, I've been doing it full time and for a large part of that, I've been working with CJ Dropshipping exclusively to fulfill all my orders for my customers.
D: Yes, so how many stores you are running now?
M: That's a tough question that answer, currently three are operating. I had one store that I started with CJ Dropshipping back in December of 2018 when I started working with CJ, and since then I've added like six or seven stores I've been fulfilling all the orders through that. And currently, we have three that are working with CJ, and hopefully four to five by the end of Q4, that'd be great.
D: So how was the business run, I mean the revenue, can you share with us about it?
M: Yes, from the time I've been doing it full-time since June 2018, we've hit almost 2 million in sales, it's around like 1.7 million dollars in sales total. And the biggest store I've had so far was over the year of 2019, it was a general dropshipping store named the tidesupply.com, and by 2019 we did around 800k dollars in sales with that one store all fulfilled by CJ Dropshipping and as of this year I kind of transitioned more into one product store dropshipping where you know you pick one product and build the whole website around that and market, just the same product.
D: Okay, well that's impressive. So you really made it very successful in dropshipping. And you mentioned you've transitioned into one product store dropshipping this year, do you mind sharing with us what the product is?
M: Yeah, the first one product store I built, so I still do the general dropshipping, though you do need to have a little more capital in order to be successful in that now just because it's getting more competitive, so in order to kind of pivot of that I think one product stores are the way to go just because you can put a lot more effort into the marketing aspects of that store design which is really important these days. So the first one product store I did this year was on this website tacticaldraw.com where I saw this, it was a gun holster that fits around your waistband. It was a concealed carry gun holster and I did really well and within three months we hit like 600k dollars in revenue.
D: Wow, three months 600k dollars, that's crazy, how did you make this?
M: That's a good question because I think it really kind of went along well with the coronavirus, so I think when coronavirus hit, all of us in e-commerce all the people working between Chinese and US relations kind of got hit hard in the beginning, so I just saw kind of a need for it and I thought you know even the gun stores by me were like all sold out so I thought gun accessories were going to be a big product over the next couple of months it still is. I saw a product on YouTube I thought it would fit really well so I spent one week making the website one week coming up with a couple of different advertisements random on Facebook and yeah it's kind of magical from there.
D: That's cool. Can you talk more about your plan in the near future?
M: Yes, I do really love the once product store method, kind of how I just mentioned. The general dropshipping store is great for beginners, just because it's way easier. You just go to Aliexpress or you're going to CJ Dropshipping, and you just pick out the products that you think look the most interesting. And you know if you'd be like okay my mom would buy or my brother would buy this, then you can run a test for it. And you'll eventually find a winner, but in order to become successful in that now, I think you need to have tens of thousands of dollars testing budget, and test 100 to 200 products before you find that winner. Two years ago you would run maybe 20 products and one would hit and your life would be different after that. So I think now that there are so many people involved in dropshipping and in e-commerce in general, even all these brick-and-mortar stores that were struggling coronavirus, they're all switching to e-commerce. And one product dropshipping, you know picking one product that you know has high demand, is going to work if you watch it and spending as much time and focus and doing customer research on that as possible is going to be the way to go from here.I just built a new general dropshipping store, I don't want to share the name of that just yet, but that's going to be running in the background, and I have my team that's kind of got that automated now and then on the side I will be building one product stores probably once every two to three weeks.
D: Wow, fancy plan. So you're going to establish many one product stores. So once you got a winning product that got crazy sales, you will seize that product and then you set up a one product store for it. So you will have many one product stores, how could you manage it?
M: It's tough and it's still a learning experience for me, I have roadblocks all the time, so even a good example is the tacticaldraw.com. You know that during the virus and with a lot of Chinese manufacturers that product just could not get stocked in time, and I remember the best week I had I think we did around it was like 110k dollars in sales every single week, and like the manufacturer did not anticipate that many sales so those orders got put like on the delayed delivery, and it ran into a bunch of payment processor holds, they're into Facebook Ad account bans just because customer feedback so I ended up having to shut that store down. It's still a learning experience to me, but I always hire people in network as much as possible, I think I have like six customer service reps work for me now and I'm gonna try and hire as many as possible just so I don't run into these problems. It's definitely not easy but if you wanna make a lot of sales, it's you gonna treat it like a real business.
D: Yes, so you're going to make it really big. At the moment you are spending all the time scaling up your business, and before you started your dropshipping business what job did you do, what made you quit your job and start with dropshipping?
M: Yeah, it's an interesting story, I think a lot of people can kind of relate to it. I was pretty young, I was a couple of years out of college, I got a sales job, working for a pretty pretty, a tech startup at the time, they're a pretty big company now. I can't(say the name) because I'll probably get trouble from them, It was in sales. I was one of the early employees there, and they were paying great, it was like an 80k salary with up to 120k dollars per year in commission which was phenomenal I was like 24 at the time. But one of the requirements was I had to move to Manhattan so that I didn't have to spend so much time commuting and I can work longer hours. So I was like 24 and I moved to Manhattan and I was paying so much money in room, it was terrible, I was living in an apartment that was like smaller than this room right here. When I was living in Manhattan it was 300 square feet, it was over 2k a month in rent, and I have no savings, I really need to find a way to make more money. I started YouTubing so I started looking into affiliate marketing, I started looking into Amazon FBA, and something just drew me to Shopify dropshipping. So I started a couple of stores failed miserably and around April of 2018 I started to find some success and that's where I am now. So it was purely out of desperation I just was trying to make more money as a side hustle and now it's business.
D: So you didn't succeed at the first try right?
M: Yeah, I know a lot of people in the space give up so easily. Yeah, I don't know it's crazy, it's a weighted, tough business to succeed, it really is. But once you understand the skills, then it does get easier until you hit some of the problems when you're scaling up. I started probably, I can't even remember how many stores I started but it was 4 or 5 stores and I wouldn't mix that sporadically, but never made a profit. I was actually losing money on all those stores until around for a whole year almost until I started the tidesupply.com, and it's been good ever since.
D: Yes so in most cases you will not succeed at the first try, you keep trying, learning at the same time so finally you find a way to succeed.
M: Exactly, yeah, face a lot of the problems in order to succeed.
D: Did you try any other business model before you decided to focus on dropshipping?
M: Yeah, like I mentioned I looked into affiliate marketing and Amazon FBA, and I initially started with affiliate marketing through Clickbank, it was like, it's such a spammy site, that's the thing is like. I was never confident promoting any products that I tried selling, and I think I made one sale for the amount of. I bought so many courses, I've spent so much money advertising on trying to build email lists and things like that, I think I made one sale total. It was like for sports betting program that I was like, it's just a scammer so I quit that just purely because I didn't have the passion for it, I just didn't like it at all.
D: So why did you decide to focus on dropshipping finally?
M: The thing I like about dropshipping compared to like the other business models that are similar to space, like affiliate marketing and FBA, and you know social media marketing and things like that is, with dropshipping you just have the most control over the business. You have the ability to find a product that you like, and if you don't like the product you have to sell, there are literally millions of products on CJ Dropshipping that you can scroll through and pick out the ones that you think you can sell. If you don't think anything you can sell, you just move on to the next one. From there you even have the option to customize the product, or you can get customized packaging, you can customize the whole site design, run the Facebook Ads like the way you want to and you definitely at the mercy of these companies like Facebook and your Stripe and PayPal and things like that, but it gives you the most flexibility determining and determining how you want to run your business. Which was really appealing to me, also the money too. I think it's the most scalable business there is today. So you can have one good store running, you could start a second store you could start a third store, and the income potential is eliminated from there.
D: Okay great, can you talk about what the difficulty you've met since you started the dropshipping business, what the top difficulty you think that makes newbies give up?
M: Yeah so I mean if we want to go into all the challenges I face, we can probably spend like the next 30 hours here, but I know we're on a time limit. As soon as you start making some sales you know you gotta make sure that your customers are happy off the bat which, to be honest, it's something I did not like have down pat when I first started until I started scaling. So the reason I found CJ Dropshipping was because I was working with Aliexpress suppliers. When I was doing a general dropshipping store, I was running so many different products testing so many different products. Every time I made a sale I had to contact a new supplier new manufacturer to get that product shipped. It was terrible so Aliexpress is, I think is an absolutely terrible place to find reliable suppliers, and that's how I found CJ Dropshipping.Since then I run into a lot of problems that other big dropshippers face. Anytime you started making sales in a quick amount of time your payment process is going to shut you down, they're going to put a lot of your money on hold that you need to fulfill orders, and sometimes you have to rely on credit cards and you know maybe sometimes sucking it up and treating the holds like a savings account. All the times your Facebook Ad accounts are gonna get shut down. I know that's probably the biggest reason why newbies quit. If they're not getting sales, it's because Facebook shuts them down and they think it's the end of the world. But there's always a will and a way, so you can always overcome that and find success. The thing about newbies if I can give them one piece of advice is every face, 1000 and more people have faced the same problem and I've overcome it. So don't let one minor roadblock stop you from running a real business that you enjoy.
D: Yes, dropshipping may be an easy way to succeed than other business models, for everybody can start dropshipping with a limited budget, but it's never easy to achieve success right?
M: Yeah, I mean kind of just similar to what I said you know just don't give up every problem you face, just get better and keep trying.
D: Very valuable suggestion. I know that some of our big clients on CJ tested many products at the same time, and once a product got good performance, they seized the product at once, so this is a way to success, right? Keep on trying, keep testing.
M: Yeah you know competitors are going to pop and they're going to steal your Ads, they're going to steal your product description, store design and that eats into your profit, so the next best thing to do is launch another product and make money, and don't quit on the last one until you know you're absolutely out of all options but you know just keep the punches and keep testing products on Facebook and scaling them.
D: Yes, so next question. Did you ever work with other dropshipping agents and how was your collaboration?
M: Yeah, I had and even like a few products recently where I think I can get a better price, and I get an agent to tell me they had better shipping times and things like that. And literally, it never works out. The thing I like about CJ Dropshipping is you guys are a legit company with multiple warehouses and multiple employees and offices. You have dedicated account managers to respond to every problem, my customer services reps can just message the account manager and figure out what issues there are with some orders. A lot of the other private agents I work with, it's really taking a risk, you don't know who they are, you don't know if they have good recommendations. Yeah, I had a horrible experience with a lot of private agents where some just completely lie about their shipping times, others just flat out or refuse to send the products and they just pocket the money and you got to go through all these disputes, and it takes months to get that money back. So I mean some people have success finding private agents you know maybe you travel to China and start looking for agents but I haven't got the chance to do that, so CJ Dropshipping has been the best option for me, and I don't plan on stopping that.
D: Yes, I'm so glad that CJ helps with your business. Though CJ is a young company, and it is growing, we are trying to make our system easier to use and try the best to offer better services. So do you have any suggestions for CJ so we can serve better to you and other dropshippers? Like what aspects we can improve and what new services you expect us to provide.
M: Yeah I mean it's kind of a tough question to answer just because I think as a beginner CJ Dropshipping is perfect, it really doesn't need any suggestions. Aside from like maybe during the busy times when like let's say Q4, like two weeks before Christmas, you have all these newbies that are fulfilling their works for the first time and it's getting bottlenecked and slower delivery times which obviously hurts. But everybody in the world involved in e-commerce understands that when Q4 busy seasons come around and holidays come around, it can get slowed down so I think you know obviously just like improving processing times occasionally every here and there and then. Also, I'm really excited about the US operations you're gonna have, soon I know you guys are building warehouses and things like that, so I actually haven't taken advantage of shipping inventory to the warehouse because it seems so complicated. I would love it if there's a more streamlined position or streamlined solution into helping higher level dropshippers you know get faster shipping times by shipping thousands of units to the US and helping out with it greatly.
D: Yes, that could be a very important problem because customers need faster delivery time, faster processing time, this is the main work we are doing now because now we are launching more and more warehouses around the world. Now we have 8 warehouses you know, yes around the world. And we are now launching a plan of overseas warehouses. If you have a warehouse or basement that you can join our supplier plan, you can be a supplier, so we can ship from the USA to the USA, from Europe to Europe. So that could be a much faster time if this plan is launched. Yes, more and more suppliers joined, so we can expect it, which makes a much faster delivery time, and much more product listings for you to choose from.
M: Yeah that's phenomenal I mean especially Q4 is right around the corner, you know this year I need to buy inventory in bulk and ship it to different warehouses across the world rather than relying on China to ship. So excited for that.
D: Yes and the US is also the biggest market for dropshipping also for CJ so we really pay much attention to this market. We are working to offer faster time, delivery time, and better service.And do you think dropshipping is still promising in the coming years and why?
M: Absolutely, I was pretty worried when coronavirus came around. Sometimes there are always ways to overcome the challenges, but the dropshippers like made that you know kind of test really quick, scale really quickly. I thought that business model might be coming to an end with coronavirus coming around. But I was proven wrong even by myself. So yeah it's definitely I think going to become more competitive which personally to me is a good thing because there's going to be so many more people running products and as soon as I see a product that's doing well on Facebook Ads, I have more products to test myself. So as long as you put more effort in and you refine your website better and you put better more effort into marketing it better on Facebook, then you're gonna always succeed. There's literally no reason you're not going to do that if you put more time and effort. So I'm excited that I'm always willing to put the work in there. I'm here for the next five years at least doing what I'm doing so I'm excited.
D: Yes, great views Michael. Very appreciate for sharing your success story with us and everyone out there I think it's very helpful to hear from someone who succeeded in dropshipping, and that's really a great lesson. Yes, I really appreciate that. I think many of our audiences could learn a lot from your sharing.
M: Yes, of course, I imagine people watching this video right now were in the same position I was in, so you see all these big YouTubers flexing all these big sales days and I used to look at them and think it was impossible. But I found a way to do it, and I think everyone should, I think everyone should try it at least and you know just don't give up until you succeed.
D: Yes so okay thank you. Any final comments you want to say to our audiences?
M: Yeah, I had said it like 14 times this video but just try it, don't give up when you do, you know that success is right around the corner. I thought about quitting so many times and I'm happy I didn't because like we talked about earlier I just moved into a new apartment. It's 30 minutes outside of Manhattan, a great place, the biggest place I've ever lived in the nicest once I lived in and it's all because dropshipping and having CJ help me scale along.
The End
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A week in the life of your favorite firearm dealer 8/10/2020 PLUS ADDED PANDEMIC GUN SHOW COVERAGE!

Monday 8/10/2020 to Thursday 8/13/2020
I won't do the play by play. It's more fun to just amalgamate the highlight reel of the week.
I get call after call from people looking for 380 and 9mm ammo. One notable dialogue at 8PM
1: You have any 380 ammo?
Me: Yes, I have 7 boxes yet
1: How much?
Me: 20 to a box, 50 each
1: Great we can come pick it up now!
Me: It's 8PM and I've already left for the day. Come in tomorrow
1: But we need it now.
Me: I'm not heading back to work to sell a box of ammo.
1: Oh come on! I called you! You should be able to help me!
Me: I am, during normal business hours. But if you really want 2 boxes - $100 bill and I'll head back in.
1: ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS? YOU JUST TOLD ME IT WAS TWENTY!
Me: Twenty to a box, 50 bucks each box times two boxes
1: That's highway robbery! That's price gouging!
Me: Go look online. Nobody has any 380 ammo. And if they do it is $1 or $2 per round.
1: That's ridiculous! You're not the only guy in town that has 380 ammo!
(Editors note: She calls back the next day asking for 380 ammo. Apparently I am the only guy in town that has 380 ammo. I tell her there's a new policy. No ammo sales to people who have not bought firearms.)
One of my surgeon customers calls me telling me his lead nurse who hates guns wants to buy a gun. I tell them to come on down. Her whole family and the doc come in and I have this dialogue.
1: Can you suggest a gun for someone who hates guns?
Me: That's like a vegan walking into a steakhouse and saying "whats a good steak for a vegan?" - there's no real good way to do it and everything I can suggest you is sold out and then some.
1: Well what do you have here?
Me: That's a Glock 17, here take a look.
(Unload and show clear, hand her a Glock 17)
1: OH MY GOD THIS IS SO HEAVY!
Me: That's one of the lightest full size firearms ever made.
1: Do you have something with a safety? I love safeties. The more the better. If you have a gun with 150 safetys, that's something I would be interested in.
(I glare at the doc)
Me: I've only got three or four different model pistols left in stock. Here try out this springfield XD-S.....
1: I don't like this thing in the grip here the bump....
Me: You mean the grip safety?
1: yes
1: What happened to "I love safties the more the better"
(Doc nearly inhales his surgical mask from laughing)
She hates guns and wants to go rent a bunch of guns before buying any guns but I explain the problem is you can go rent something, fall in love with it and the dealer can't get one for a year. Case in point: Glock 19's, Sig 365's and Springfield Hellcats. She believes she is not ready to buy a gun until she rents one. I tell her go to a range and go rent one and find out what she likes.
She has just taken a "safety course" offered by the local girl and a gun chapter. The local girl and a gun chapter is run by a middle aged woman who has NRA instructor creds that is the WORST FIREARM INSTRUCTOR I HAVE EVER MET IN MY LIFE with the possible exception of James Yaeger. The last time I was at one of her events she was using the "mugger in a hoodie" paper targets and she instructed all the women to shoot him in the balls during one course of fire.
Now, I wasn't wearing my Caltech shirt that day but the fast math and trig is as follows.
Person shooting at a target 10 feet from the bench at a downward angle with a backstop of dirt 50 feet behind the bench...
I was trying to fix someone's gun before I could do anything. I am concentrated on fixing this pistol and the first volley of gunfire breaks my concentration. I then hear the sound of dozens of 9mm projectiles hitting the concrete and skipping off the property. I drop the pistol and shout at the top of my lungs a cease fire and evetyone looks at me funny
Me: KAREN! WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?
1: Oh they're just girls, let them have their fun!
Me: ALL THE BULLETS ARE LEAVING THE PROPERTY!
1: What? No! How?
(I point at all the ricochet gouges on the concrete of the gun club)
1: Ohhhhhh
This woman is barely qualified to run a dairy queen much less instruct neophyte gun owners. Holy fucking shit. Why are people going to her? She's open, and she's a woman that has credentials that "can teach".
Yeah.
One day I head to lunch at the local pizza joint for lunch with Megan. Eddie makes a nice pizza and I sit down and have a pie. We rap about business as I eat my antipasato and wait for my freshly prepared clam pie to cool down a bit. It's not on the menu but he makes it special for us.
Me: hey eddie how's business?
ed: It's steady, lots of takeout.
Me: Its a tough economy I'd take it!
ed: Hey now!
Me: You doing okay?
ed: yeah I found that derringer I wanted at the last gun show!
Me: Oh really?
ed: Yeah! Someone ceracoted it tiffany blue and magenta
Me: Whoa whoa whoa! Please! I'm trying to eat here! Disgusting!
(Megan is drinking water and nearly does a spit take)
This is the world we're living in now.
Speaking of the new world... I wind up working a deal with a friend and we split 100k pcs of once fired lake city 5.56 brass. A local military contractor was doing some testing and they had a fucking ton of it and this is what was left. We got it for the cost of manpower to scrape it up and load it, clean it, tumble it and sort it and deprime and resize it.
My friend has two kids that are doing online learning with school, so he made them a deal. He cut the kiddos a deal to help him clean and resize and deprime the brass as labor.
We're into this stuff CHEAP. So we can sell it cheap or whatever the fuck we want in this market. I tell Ray I've got the perfect ad. We get some projectiles, some powder and primers and we run an ad. "5.56 ammo! $275/thousand! Some assembly required!" and Ray laughs his ass off.
The we got it was it was loaded into some wooden ammo crates that were left over at the contractors facility. They're heavy, not cost effective to ship and came with 5000 pcs of brass each. Ray gets an idea. He has discovered that if we portion it out and throw out or sell the wooden crates, we save a ton of money on shipping.
I wonder where he got this idea from. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nozIkRy0v-M
The kiddos load all the brass into USPS flat rate boxes in no time flat and we've got ourselves loaded ready to roll product that can ship immediately. His kids did the legwork in the loading on account of my bad back and I'm tasked with lining up buyers. No problem. I start working the local gun boards, my customers, myspace, etc. You know the usual spots.
This is where the wheels come off the wagon. I get a guy who comes right out the gate asking for 9k and then he blurts out "How much do you have, I'm interested in all of it"
Little hint for the readers. Anyone that says they're interested in everything you have are interested in nothing you have. They're blowing smoke 99% of the time and the 1% of the time that someone does buy everything you have, you're making a killing off them or they're making a killing off you. You know the old saying in poker - if you sit down at the table and you can't find the sucker in 5 minutes, you're the sucker? It's like that.
Anyhow, my ad reads as follows: $125/thousand 5.56 Brass Lake City cleaned, sorted, resized, trimmed and polished - DILLON 1050 READY!
The guy calling me wanting 9k then asked how much I had left - he lines up 9 of his friends and they want to take ALL of it and divvy it up. Pick up today or when the guys can get off of work and come get it, they're working back asswards logistics as to who's truck is going to haul all of it, who's loading it and unloading and they plan to show up at 630 tonight after work to come get it.
At 445 I get a message - hey can you send me a picture again one of my friends wants to check something and I send it over.
And that's when the entire deal falls apart because this butthead read 5.56 brass lake city NATO headstamp $125/thousand and thought he was getting loaded 5.56 NATO spec ammo for 12.5 cents a round in 2020, told all his friends about it and shot his mouth off like a damn fool. Now he has to explain to every single one of his friends that no you're not getting 10,000 rds of 5.56 NATO ammo for $1250. Wasting my fucking time. That was my Thursday. All these people begging for ammo are driving me nuts. Yes, I have 250,000 rds of ammo. No I am not going to bend over backwards and sell it to you cheap just to be a nice person/earn your business/because your sister gave me a handjob in high school. God damn.
Lady calls me looking for 380 ammo. She needs some for her CCW class that Karen is teaching and I tell her I have some left. She comes in and I tell her it's $50 a box. She leaves without buying anything.
There's other miscellany but you get the gist of it.
NOW here's the meat and potatoes you've wanted! The tale of the gun show!
Friday 8/14/2020
I take inventory. I'm down to about 500 guns in stock and I pack as much as I can and get it ready for the show. I've got some Sigs left, a handful of Glock and a mishmash of everything else. I head to bed early knowing full well the next show will be a total shitshow. I have not done a show in a big city for nearly six months. This will be epic or epic fail.
Saturday 8/15/2020
I pull chocks at 430AM, hit the flying J for diesel and pull into the local grocery store for a sandwich at 7AM right around the corner from the gun show. They fuck up my sandwich. Serves me right for buying morning of. Fuck me to tears. I start loading into the show and the entire front of the building is set up with crowd control barriers and it takes me an extra 40 minutes to thread the needle of my hand truck and loadout. I get the table setup as fast as I can and by 9AM the doors are open and we are off to the races. I will do hour blocks instead of my previous play by play for simplicity.
9AM: Right out the gate I have people asking me for Sig 365's. I have a used one with three mags and a holster I have tagged at $650. The guy asks me if I can do any better. I ask him if he's feeling lucky. I run the 4473 bet with him.
He fills out the form straight on the first shot, no corrections - and he gives me $650, he gets $50 back with his ID.
If there's a correction to be made, I keep half a yard. He says its a bet. He loses.
As I write that up at $650, I have another guy snag a regular 365 for $700. Both their background checks clear quickly.
The morning is not off to a bad start, I think to myself. I'm about to be proven wrong massively.
One of my old friends from high school asked me to liquidate some of his collection and I told him that I would selectively cherry pick some stuff and haul it to the show since I didn't want to commit large amounts of table space for other people's guns. He's got a super clean Century M70 underfolder. It's clean even by century standards but I don't want to buy that gun.
I have it out on the table and an old romanian guy starts checking it out.
1: What country is this from?
FC: I'm not a big AK guy, it's a century so I'm guessing maybe yugoslavia or maybe romania - I don't think that its a bulgarian one, but you're welcome to take a look
1: Does it say cugir?
FC: It does not
1: How do you know it does not say cugir?
FC: I can see the side of it it does not say that
1: Where does it not say?
FC: If you look at the side of the receiver, Century has shitty electropencil that is parkerized over that you can barely read
1: Do you have some oil I can put on there to rub on it so I can read it?
FC: Look, I'll read it. What do you want to know?
1: Does it say cugir?
FC: it does not.
1: What does it say?
FC: Century M70 AB2 7.62 x 39 Georgia Vermont
1: it does not say cugir? I am romanian if it says cugir is romanian
FC: It does not say that
1: Come on then make me a deal!
(1 taps the price tag marked at $850)
FC: It's the first 20 minutes of the show, I'm not making anything on the deal it's a favor for a friend of mine. I think that gun sells down here for top dollar.
1: I give you 600 cash
FC: Come see me at the end of the show maybe I'll be amenable to discounting but not this early
1: You know problem with topcover right?
(FC looks at topcover, it's slightly off from the hole and detent. Why? IT'S A CENTURY! WHAT DID YOU FUCKING EXPECT?!?! The care and attention to detail that only Jim Fuller from Rifle Dynamics or maybe a Bulgarian Arsenal offers? Fuck you.)
FC: This gun is gonna sell this weekend as is where is, even if you think it's not right.
1: Come on make me deal!
FC: I don't negotiate with terrorists or people spending under $10k. This ain't over $10k.
1: I have cash!
FC: Got $850? We'll write it up right now.
(1 walks away and comes back 3 minutes later)
1, while holding a wad of cash: Come on make me a deal!
FC: What's your offer?
1: I will go $700
FC: Come see me at the end of the show on Sunday and I'll see what I can do.
(1 gets yelled at by the county exhibition authority for not wearing a face mask correctly and he adamantly refuses to adjust his mask and starts a full blown screaming match with the poor county employee who VERY politely asked him to wear his face mask properly. As he is engaged in this animated debate, two individuals who I will call 2 and 3 show up. 2 and 3 want the underfolder AK. 2 and 3 are what we would call hip hop/droopy jean enthusiasts, their dialogue is presented word for word without adjustment. They were dropping the hard r, not me so please don't call me names for reporting the truth.)
2: ohhhhh snapppp this is what I came here lookin for!
3: damn nigga thats a straight up choppa right there you should buy that
1: HEY I WAS HERE FIRST I AM MAKING DEAL! BACK OFF!
FC: No, you walked away - these two gentlemen are here and now they're interested in that gun and I'm giving them my time.
1: BUT I WAS HERE FIRST HOLDING CASH!
2: back off nigga I'm here to check out stuff motherfucker i'm gonna mess you up
3: yeah man back the fuck off before my nigga messes you up god damn shieeeeeeit
1: I AM HERE! HOLDING CASH! YOU GOING TO DO BUSINESS WITH ME?
FC: You walked away. This is what happens when you walk away. It's their turn......
1: BUT I AM HERE WE ARE MAKING DEAL
(FC does an ACTUAL facepalm and presses his forehead and feels a headache beginning. A deep sigh)
FC: You two.....you're killing me here.
1: I WAS IN THE MIDDLE OF MAKING DEAL AND YOU DON'T WANT TO DEAL!
FC: You want to see deal? I'll show you deal!
(FC grabs AK from the hip hop enthusiasts and looks right at them while holding an order pad in right hand and rifle in other)
FC: You got $750 cash?
2: nigga I got $750 cash right here (pulls out wad of 100's)
3: oh shit that guy gonna get fuckin SWOOPED
FC: You want me to write this up right now? $750 cash. And I'll throw in 4 mags (I pull out 4 mags loaded with x39 brown bear)
2: I GET THE MAGS AND THE AMMO FOR THAT PRICE? FUCK NIGGA YOU GOT A DEAL! (he counts out $800 in c-notes and drops his ID on the table)
FC: You got yourself a rifle.
(I look back at angry romanian)
FC: That's a deal. You passed. Move faster next time.
1: I AM STANDING HERE! HOLDING CASH!
(1 throws down a stack of cash on the table, some falls behind on my table. I pick it back up and place it on his stack)
FC: You dropped some back here, don't want you thinking I shorted you or stole your money. I've got to write up these gentlemen, we're here until 5 today if you need anything else
1: (shouts at me in angry romanian while gesticulating like George Costanza complaining to Elaine about taking credit for the big salad)
FC: I'm sorry about that guy, he's got some issues. That man needs therapy not another gun
2: all good nigga all good that mofo gonna get his ass beat someday
FC: Today I didn't even have to use my AK, I got to say it was a good day
3: sheeeeeit he knows ice cube! this nigga og!
FC: Catholic school for the win!
(we fist bump)
I piss off at least one person every show. Sometimes it's good to get it out of the way in the first hour, lets you concentrate on the bigger picture things.
Three down.
10AM: Guy points at a green Glock 43 and Glock 19 Gen 4 that I have. They're each tagged at $725. Cash comes out and I write up the sale. Three women in a row snag black Glock 43's from me at $700 each. We are cranking now!
Eight down before lunch. This is getting wild.
11AM: Colt Lightweight Commander - tagged at $1050. Sells for cash. Colt Combat Unit - tagged at $1450 Sells for cash. Glock 19 MOS Gen 4 - tagged at $825. Sells for cash. Two of them back to back. Gen 4 straight 19 tagged at 775 sells on Amex. Background checks begin to start bogging down.
Thirteen down before I can even touch my sammich.
12PM: I write up three ruger LCP's in a row at $300 each. I eat half my sandwich as I sell a Kel Tec Sub 2000 at $825. Springfield Hellcat tagged at $735 goes out on a mastercharge.
Eighteen before I'm done with lunch. Sheeeeit.
1PM: My old buddy Rusty Shackleford sends me some of his collection he does not want the hassle with selling. Three ugly as sin Glock 21's, three semi clean Glock 17's and two super like new 17's. 1PM is profitable as I manage to sell everything except for a 21 and 17. People are paying $650 for PD trade 21's and $700+ on trade in Glock 17's. Why? They're the only ones in the show. Not glocks in general, I mean 21's and 17's.
Twenty four down and I have yet to finish my sandwich.
2PM: I have an immigrant from another country come over and try to buy a gun. He's super patient waiting for me to finish with customers that DO NOT STOP. Springfield XD goes out at $600. That's 25. He hands me the clipboard and I immediately stop everything I'm doing and I look down at the form.
Not only has he forgotten 10A and 12.d.2 but he's put the city in the county box and answered the firearm is not for him and he's been convicted of misdemeanor DV. I sigh and hand the form back to him for corrections.
FC: Okay, what county are we in?
1: (names city)
FC: What COUNTY are we in?
1: oh! USA!
FC: What COUNTY is this city in?
1: (names city)
FC: We're in (names county)
1: Ohhhhh thats right
FC: Who's this gun for? You or someone else?
1: Me
FC: Is there any reason you've indicated you are NOT the actual purchaser?
1: Not good at reading the form I guess
FC: Strike out intiial and date the change
1: Okay
FC: Have you been convicted of a misdemanor crime of domestic violence?
1: No it was just a misdemeanor
FC: Is there a reason why you said "yes I have been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence?"
1: oh man I screwed that up
FC: Initial and date the change
(He fixes the front of the form and signs on 14 and dates on 15. I turn the page. He's written his passport number expiration date in the ID field and indicated that NICS has denied him)
FC: Is there any reason you wrote your passport expiration date and number here?
1: Well I'm supposed to do that, right?
(FC points to line that says SECTION B MUST BE COMPLETED BY SELLER)
1: Oh man
FC: Is there any reason you checked DENIED on the NICS result box?
1: did I do that?
(FC points to the box where he's put a big bold X under DENIED)
1: Was I not supposed to do that?
(FC hands him another form to complete)
3PM: It is now over an hour to get this 4473 done. His wife and child have to help him with the form. I finish my sammich as I look at the front of his form and it is still marked "firearm is being purchased for someone not me" and he has to correct it. I turn the page. The date is marked 9/8/2020.
FC: What day is today?
1: Saturday
FC: No I mean what day is today, what calendar day?
(1 pulls out his phone)
1: Oh. You want me to do another form?
FC: No, strike out using a single line. And using WORDS - write the date.
1: gotcha
(FC looks down at the form. the date is struck out using a single line. It now reads in words SATURDAY 9/8/2020)
FC: What day is it?
1: It's saturday.
FC: Saturday the.........
1: Fifteeenth?
FC: Then explain why this says 9/8/2020?
1: Oh man you want me to do another form?
FC: Just fill it out using WORDS AS THE DATE - MONTH/DAY/YEAR
1: okay I got you
(FC hands the form back for correction)
1: I got it now! Man was that hard!
(FC looks down at the form. SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 8 2020)
FC: Take out your phone
(1 takes out his phone and presses the home button)
FC: Look at the date. What does it say and look at what you wrote.
1: Oh man
FC: Is it possible for us to get the correct date?
1: Yeah man I'm so sorry....
FC: Take out your phone and write out the date in letters and words EXACTLY AS YOUR PHONE DISPLAYS IT
1: Okay I can do that
(FC looks down at the form. 3:23 SATURDAY AUGUST 15. Fuck it, this is as good as it gets.)
FC: Close enough. Give me your ID.
(I write up my last Glock 19. It's tagged at $825. He pays cash without blinking.)
I mean, I've seen some shit but WOWWWW.
That's 26.
4PM: The rest of my glocks fly off the table. NIB Glock 36 - tagged at $725, gone. NIB Glock 30SF, tagged at $700, gone. NIB Glock 30, tagged at $700, gone. The only thing left on the table are 17 Gen 5 MOS's at $875 and 43X's at $775 and 44's at $400. That's 29 by 4PM. One guy does not have current ID so I have him go on the fish and game website on his phone and get a fishing license that gets me his up to date address. After 20 minutes he emails me a screencap and he's on his way home with his Glock 30.
5PM: Time to go home! I drop a stack of guns off at the local dealer for transfer on my way out the door and I make it home just before 7PM after stopping at the grocery to pick up dinner. I have a platter of fried chicken and mac and cheese. It is delicious. I get to bed early, tomorrow is going to be a long fucking day.
Sunday August 16th
737AM. I wake up and get my ass to my desk. I need to replenish some of the table. I grab stacks of more guns and get them loaded up and I swing by the grocery store deli on the way to the show. It's 8AM and they are out of bread. As in the bakery has not baked them any bread for sandwiches. For fucks sake. They make me a wrap instead. And they make it WRONG. I am not happy.
10AM: Get to the show and uncover my tables and get cranking. A millennial wants a Ruger LC380 and her fucking debit card does not work. This is why you bring cash to gun shows. It's fucking useless when technology fails AND YOU HAVE NO BACKUP. She transfers money from wells fargo to her boyfriends account at chase and he tries to use the ATM to get her cash. No dice. I swear to jebus, if you take debit cards away from this generation all of them will starve to death and die alone. Gun number 30 for the weekend is hard fought but it's done.
11AM: Crank off a Sig 1911 for a guy. He sends a stand in to pick it up for him since his son is exempt from waiting period but he isn't. It goes like this.
1: I'm gonna buy this gun instead
FC: why?
1: that's none of your business
FC: Yes it is. Purchase of firearm with intent to resell is unlawful
1: What I do with the gun after I get it, if I want to sell it to my dad is my business not yours
FC: No dice. Take a hike
Dad: Lets just do it his way, he wants to give it to the other dealer that's what we'll do. Sorry for the misunderstanding.
I write up 31 for the weekend. My jack sack is full of cash.
12PM: I got a guy come over, former law enforcement wanting to buy his kid a gun. He wants to do the paperwork and pay me and the gun is for his kid. I say if the gun is for the kid, he needs to do it. I shake off the forms and get the kid on the clipboard and everything goes smooth and I rack up a sale for a trade in FN FNS. That's 32.
1PM: Old school NYPD beat cop comes over wanting a deal on a springfield 1911 Long Beach Operator
1: They're 1911's! They're not popular anymore! Make me a deal!
FC: ANYTHING with a barrel and a trigger is popular right now. Best deal you're getting is on the tag, which is 1250 plus tax and call in that puts you right near 1350.
1: Come on, hook a brother up!
FC: That's the rate on everything, we're selling it out as fast as we can get it! Excuse me as I help these other people......
2PM: Lady comes by and says she wants a shield EZ. I ask her why. She says her man and her firearm instructor says she cant rack the slide. I pick up a Sig 220 off the table and tell her to show me. She racks the slide. I ask her how does it feel to rack a slide properly? She spends the rest of the day wondering why they lied to her. Another lady asks me for suggestions for a first gun. I ask her what she's shot before. Answer: Nothing. She cannot rent guns and try them out because every range is booked for firearm rentals for the next 2 months out. Yeah.........
Brooklyn 99 comes back over and taps on the LB operator
1: Come on man, hook a brother up!
FC: That's the price, the LB operators are a sexy gun and they're not coming out of the warehouse very often
1: Come on brother! I'm just looking for a deal! How about 1200 all in?
FC: Cash or card?
1: Card
FC: No dice.
1: Come on brother! (more pleading for a discount)
At this point the crowd at the table has heard this guy trying to get a discount for a few minutes and I've had enough.
FC: Let me ask you a question
1: Sure thing
FC: Do you have pictures of my nephews on your phone?
1: No
FC: Did you spend thanksgiving dinner at my house?
1: No
FC: Are you a named beneficiary on my will?
1: No
FC: Then guess what? You're not my brother. Hell, without your money you're not even my customer.
You could hear the snickers from the peanut gallery as I gave the guy a dressing down. I wasn't about to let him off the hook. I still had an out in the deck to play and I was going to use it.
FC: Now, if you want this gun - you want it at a discount, I respect that. Here's what I"ll do. You feeling lucky?
1: Always!
FC: Here's the clipboard. Give me a straight form, no strike outs, no errors, no mistakes, NOTHING that needs correction - I'll give it to you for 1200 on a card flat. I hand the pen back to you to fix something, I write it at 1400 all in. $200's the action, you in or you out?
1: getoutttahere
FC: I'm serious. You want the discount, get the form right and you got what you want. If there's even one error, I keep the two bills.
1: It's a bet! Lets go! I've done this hundreds of times without a problem!
I hand him the clipboard and he starts filling out the form. The peanut gallery is now fervently watching for the results as if it were not already a foregone conclusion. The fans had no idea but they were watching a fixed horse race. My dealer neighbor at the next table over chimes in.
Neighbor: hey, are you seriously taking action?
FC: ALWAYS!
Neighbor: What's the money?
FC: two bucks
Neighbor: High stakes!
FC: You haven't seen high stakes yet.
Neighbor: You're a character. I'm glad that romanian guy didn't get that rifle yesterday, he was such a pain in the ass. Like even I was annoyed by it and it wasn't even my stuff.
FC: I know, right? You snooze, you lose.
Neighbor: But really, can I get in on the 4473 bet?
FC: You can take the bookmaker out of the catholic school but.....
NYPD: I'm all done! Lets see my new $1200 gun!
(I pick up the forms and his ID and credit card and look at the forms. 12.d.2. is blank. I hand pen back to him and point at 12.d.2.)
FC: Forgot 12.d.2. That's $1400 on your Amex, sign here.
NYPD: MOTHERFUCKER THAT WASN'T ON THERE LAST TIME!
FC: When was the last time you filled out that form?
NYPD: 2012
FC: That's why. Here's your new gun, thank you for your action.
Neighbor: How often does that bet win?
FC: My house edge on that bet is 100%.
Neighbor: Shit. That's fucking hilarious. Now I know how you got that watch. I just picked up a 50th anniversary sub myself (he shows me his sub and we rap about horology for a bit.)
33 down.
3PM: ONE HOUR TO GO! I write up a shield 2.0 9mm for a lady and her hubs for $650. One lady gets unhinged when I tell her she's not going to get her gun today on account of background check volume. She starts terrorizing me with WHY CANT I GET MY GUN TODAY?!?!?!??!?! This isn't dealing with Al-Quaeda, this is Al-Karen. Last minute sale 10 minutes before the show closes cleans me out of Ruger LC9's tagged at $450. 35 down. One guy snags a Glock 43X from me for $775.
36 for the weekend makes me a happy boy. I look at all the sales in cash and credit cards and I've booked quite the fat stack of cash. I've done a month's worth of business in TWO DAYS.
4PM: Show is closed. I start packing up. The dealer across from me has Gen 5 Glock 34's tagged at $1000, 9mm at $575/thousand and 380 at $750/thousand. We rap about the state of the industry. It's just gonna get worse closer to the election. I pack up and get all my stuff loaded up.
530PM: Homeward bound........I wish I was........HOMEWARD BOUND..............
730PM: I get back to my desk and dump off a fucking STACK of 4473's. I make a bank drop for the cash and I unload and head back home. I'm starving, so I decide to have the deli re-make their culinary abortion of a wrap.
8PM: The deli is out of bread AGAIN. Are you fucking kidding me? The deli is out of bread at 8AM and 8PM? What is this bullshit..... the deli clerk takes an entire loaf of italian sandwich bread and uses it to make me a single sandwich. My colon is about to hate me. I'm waiting in line to have the cashier comp me as I see a big tall gun guy from the gun club walk in. I yell and wave since I'm wearing a mask and he comes over.
815PM: Tim O'Toole is a big giant irish gun nut criminal defense attorney that I know from the gun club. He is an aggressive and in your face about how wrong you are if you are wrong and at 6'6" he cuts an imposing presence on any courtroom he walks into. He's just bought a house in my neighborhood and we start chatting guns. He asks me if I have a Glock 17 Gen 3 9mm barrel for his latest build and I tell him that I've probably got 3 sitting on my desk. I jump on my phone and check pricing. Wholesale + $5 for him since he helps out a lot out at the gun club and he says it's a deal. He goes and gets groceries and I eat my meat tornado of a sandwich at home.
Monday August 17th
10AM: Tim comes by right on time for his barrel and asks what else I have. I have a Glock 43 come off layaway and go back into rotation and he snaps up that and a 43X and a whole litany of extra parts, glock 17 gen 3 firing pin, channel liner, trigger bars, extra mags, etc. My 1 item sale I set up in line at the grocery store is now a 15 item $2500 sale. And he wants even more stuff that I can't get! We rap about the best legal film ever made, My Cousin Vinny. He gets every judge to approve his demand to videotape depositions and witness statements. Why? "I shot the clerk" - you have to watch the movie to understand this reference. Every time a judge asks him why he wants it on tape he simply says "I shot the clerk" and since we are in the deep south and every judge that's been stuck in the Louisiana mud knows the film My Cousin Vinny, his motion is approved. I laughed my ass off. I told him I was very much looking forward to regaling the federal judge with some witty banter that went along the lines of "the two utes" and he laughed his ass off. I really wanted to pull that stunt.
11AM: Lady comes in to pick up a layway and she can't fill out the 4473 and wear a mask at the same time. She also cannot stop talking. She drives me nuts but I hold it together long enough to get her stuff worked up. She also asks me to get her a Glock 23 Gen 4. I tell her it won't be cheap and it's probably going to set her back $850 by the time I beat the bushes and line one up. She says no problem, Visa okay? Done. I get a Glock 23 Gen 4 off one of my dealer buddies in NC and get it squared away.
12PM: Lunctime. It's Salmon Hollandaise special at this new market just down the road from me and I stop in and say hi. It's like a small version of Eataly. I went to high school with the owners daughters and he's got 5 million bucks into this concept. Wine bar, cafe, grocery, NY bagels delivered daily, ramen bar, raw bar, restaurant, the whole 9 yards. Amazing. The fish is delish and on the way out I run into a guy I went to ELEMENTARY school with that's now the general manager. He offers me a job managing the seafood department and I am seriously considering it given how screwed up the gun market is.
1PM: Back at my desk, have eaten the salmon and the hollandaise has found a home in my thighs. I am fat and sassy. I sell the remaning 380 I have to a customer picking up a Sig P238 and she's super stoked to get a gun.
2PM: Random walk in. Local restaurant owner that I sold a Sig 227 to a few months ago wants me to put in an SRT kit. He's disassembled the entire frame and wants me to put it togther. I explain that an SRT install is normally 5 minutes. This is easily a 45 minute job to reassemble and that's IF he has all the parts. He says he has all the parts. I begin putting the gun back together. He does not have all the parts. He goes home and says he will look harder for the missing part.
3PM: I look online for the missing part. It's $5 and 4 weeks to ship and in stock at most vendors. This sucks. I call some favors and I know of one in the mid atlantic area I can get here in a week in case he can't find it. As I get off the phone he walks in with the missing part.
Just an FYI for the readers. In ten years, I have had "bag o gun" come through the door on three previous occasions.
First: Sig 229 from local PD. Chief took it apart, couldn't put it back together. Had no backup gun and had to go on duty in a few hours, I was asked to put it together.
Second: My buddy Bruce in PA. He detail stripped his 220 and got it wrong. I put it back together and sent it back to PA.
Third: Rusty and his 226. See above. He missed some parts. I put it back together and sent it back to Texas.
If anyone thinks they see a pattern here it's because there IS a pattern here.
I start work on the 227 and this thing is a bitch and a half. The ejector, which is a 25 cent stamped metal part is not to spec. Sig's QC sucks. Their 3mm hole PRECISELY stamped in one place isn't 3mm and isn't precise. The sear pin that has to go through the left side of the frame, through the ejector, through the left side of the sear, through the sear reset spring, through the other side of the sear, through the safety lever and through the right side of the frame is NOT COOOPERATING because the ejector is too tight. I have to beat on this thing with a drilling hammer to get it to go. 45 minutes of anger and frustration later, 227 is back in action with the garbage one piece E2 grips.
For this pain, I bill $100. He tells me he should have had me do it in the first place. I say he's right but it's a tough job doing Sig classic pistols right. They're a very challenging platform.
4PM: I ship off some more 5.56 brass and pay my buddy Ray. I head home.
5PM: Beef jerky time.
I hope you all enjoyed these stories. They have not been embellished because they need no embellishment. Stay tuned for my next story where I post about the state of the firearm industry!
God bless and have a wonderful Saturday.
PS - and this is how you do a "week in the life" thread, you fucking imposter. https://www.reddit.com/guns/comments/i759qj/a_week_in_the_life_of_your_favorite_firearm/
submitted by fcatthepanerabread to guns [link] [comments]

Ride Along as I Build a Profitable Business From Scratch Part 2: Viral Facebook Community Growth

Hey All,
This is a continuation and update of my previous post. If you haven’t seen that yet you can check it out here: https://www.reddit.com/EntrepreneurRideAlong/comments/ice022/ride_along_as_i_build_a_profitable_business_from/
The TL;DR of it, I’m documenting creating a profitable business from scratch so others can learn along with my journey. I did a basic S.W.O.T analysis and picked the niche of “unicorn” along with creating an MVP blog.
Let’s start with a big win! My metrics massively improved:
https://imgur.com/piCW5nE

Week 1 Goals

I received some amazing feedback from the last post I made and I wanted to incorporate some of that feedback into this next week's goals. Moving forward on week 1 I have set these goals:

Creating My Digital Foundation

With a base of blog content completed and feeling like I can actually create a profitable niche, I’ve decided next to move into creating a strong foundation. The first thing I did was use Trademarkengine.com to get my brand name protected.The last thing I need is to be talking about this online and have someone swoop in and grab my trademark. That would be a dick move. Therefore I took the precaution of going through that process. (actually, I did that before I even posted my first post)
I’ve also been recording my day to day operation using Gary Vaynerchuk's method of documenting over creating. I decided to do this because I know what tasks need to be completed at the moment. But looking back a week later at what I’ve accomplished and my thought process, I lose a lot of data points that help me make micro-decisions. As I record the day today, it will allow others to follow along a bit more closely.Once I had that process going, I started building my social media foundation.

Social Media

My background is in social media consulting. I’ve learned that focusing on a single platform or two and doing it well is better than spreading yourself thin. So for this market, which my initial guess is going to be prodementaly millennial females, I’ve decided the two social media I'll be working on are Pinterest + Facebook.
I’m picking Pinterest since their entire user base is millennial females and Facebook since Facebook advertising is so powerful (and the platform I know the best.)

First Day Results:

Watch the loom walkthrough here: https://www.loom.com/share/7b1da8c9d9d5406ca313236e2d91c41aI created the Facebook business profile, put up a simple banner that grabs attention, and shared my blog articles. I also went onto Pinterest and found the top “unicorn memes” and shareable content.I posted the first one and boosted the post with $10 over 4 days. I put the targeting as USA only, Age 23-39 male & female, interest in unicorns. Giving me a rather huge target demographic but that is 100% okay by me.
https://imgur.com/B2DROYr
One of the top techniques I use on new Facebook pages is to invite people who react to your posts to like your page. This trick works up to 100k likes and will give me a nice base of users to promote to.
I’ve consistently found this to generate cheaper results then a Facebook likes campaign.I also ran a “Facebook Likes” ad for $5 to show you all the difference between the two for results.
At the end of the first day, I had 70+ Facebook likes from these two marketing campaigns.
The lesson learned from this test is that sharable meme-able content is a much better way of building your audience then running Facebook ads for likes.

Day 2: Creating Share-Worthy Content

Watch the loom walkthrough here: https://www.loom.com/share/c9fa89218e2c4f87b6c378b47a8b6eceI created more meme-able content and boosted the results. I also downloaded a chrome plug-in that will automatically run through the posts and invite people to like my page. I’m a huge fan of using tools and automation to take over repetitive tasks on social media.I signed up for a free account with Mailchimp to start building my email marketing list. Adding a simple newsletter sign up to the website.Typically a newsletter signs up form with no opt-in isn’t going to collect a lot of emails. I wasn’t 100% sure what I wanted to offer in exchange for the email address. I was debating creating an ebook around unicorns but there are two downsides to this method.
  1. Creating an ebook is a lot of work due to having to either pay my writer or write the whole thing myself
  2. It may not be ideal for collecting emails as it may not convert.
I left the sidebar sign up for now and decided to come back to it later.

Day 3: Email List Building

Watch the loom walkthrough here: https://www.loom.com/share/f5f8fe404169432c9b25e974d0135afc
I got a great idea for what to do with email marketing. I decided to build a quiz that will collect email addresses for me. Quizzes and interactive content is a great way to build an email list as it is more “fun” then just signing up for an ebook. Think about all those Buzzfeed quizzes that are “what type of vegetable are you?”This quiz will be “what type of Unicorn are you?” Luckily I have a lifetime subscription to tryinteract.com that I got for reviewing it a few years ago. It’s a great tool and free is the best price for me!The quiz only has a few questions, but I’ve outlined 12 different unicorns as answers based on the zodiac signs. I can use this information (zodiac sign) to run unique Facebook ad campaigns for birthday offers.
From there it was simply writing up a quick little ditty about each of the unicorns. Then hooking up my email marketing service (Mailchimp) to this tool.
There was an option to make it mandatory to give an email address before seeing the results of the quiz. I choose not to do this because there will be a high unsubscribe rate after the first email if I do that. This means that those who do subscribe are much more engaged.Interact allows the quiz to be a pop up on the website, which I absolutely love. Allowing me to potentially capture all website traffic But I wanted to test if cold traffic from social media will convert better.I copied the quiz and promoted the copy on social media. After 60+ people and 0 leads, I got my answer.
https://imgur.com/hegU4jn
Compare this to the pop-up on the website which ended up generating me around 10-15 email subscribers a day!
https://imgur.com/uvrAKSM
So by the end of day 3, I have my Facebook page growing nicely, my email list growing by ~15 new emails a day.
I also launched a blog article that was generating around 1800 impressions with a 10th page ranking in Google webmasters tools. “What is a Unicorn With Wings Called”Promoting it on social media and in some Facebook groups lead to very interesting results.I bet people didn’t know the name, and when they got it wrong, they got very angry and wanted to argue. Who would have thought people like to argue over the internet about meaningless fictional details.
Turns out this is really great for generating engagement and the algorithm was very happy.

Day 4: Making the Internet Angry For Traffic

Today I saw a huge spike in traffic appear in my Google analytics dashboard due to launching the article yesterday on Facebook. People angrily arguing about Unicorns is great for jacking engagement and traffic.
https://imgur.com/6A6Ea7R
This is really great for sure but the traffic spike did showcase a few problems that I need to address.
https://imgur.com/plbgUNt
While I’m capturing attention, that attention isn’t staying on the site very long.
I mentioned in my previous post these same insights and my thoughts behind why this might be the case. As a recap
  1. The website isn’t thin in content. There isn’t that much content (10 articles)
  2. The website isn’t optimized well. Design is sub-par and the website doesn’t load fast
  3. SEO traffic is looking for specific information and they have no reason to explore further.
Therefore I wanted to address one of the problems I was seeing. The website design is sub-par and not optimized for mobile. Here is what I did:
My rationale being that site speed and load time will be the main cause of high bounce rate and low time on site. Also, these two factors are pivotal to long term success of ranking in Google so it doesn’t hurt to fix early on.
Additionally as u/T0Bii “Make your page have SSL/TSL aka HTTPS with the little small green lock. This helps your SEO, takes 5mins to set up (or less) and tbh makes it more credible.
Because a page that looks like this https://i.imgur.com/SwqQyjU.png is just not credible for me.”
Which I fully agree with.
Between the content promotion and the fixes to the site, my 4 main metrics have massively increased on my site.https://imgur.com/piCW5nE

Day 5, 6 &7: Day's Blurring Together

Since this is a side project I haven’t been able to dedicate much time each of these days to the project. So I’ll roll all of them together into one section.I’ve been testing more memable sharable content and inviting reactions to like. My end of the week results is great. My total likes on the new Facebook page is over 1k in the first week and pushing towards 2k already.
https://imgur.com/asx7G7t
Bonus points u/Gallowboob found out about what I’m doing and threw me alike. Love him or hate him, it’s always good when a massive influencer sees what you are doing. Here is hope he shitposts my content.
I’ve worked on generating backlinks to the site using H.A.R.O. H.A.R.O stand for help a reporter out and is one of the best ways to get organic links to your site by answering requests of reporters. Best of all it’s free.
I’ve started building out my first few products and market testing various copy based on what sharable content is performing the best.

TL;DR & Final Thoughts:

This post is getting really long so I’ll keep this brief.
I have no experience selling e-commerce merchandise so any insights or experience is welcome.Thanks, and hope you guys enjoyed this post.
submitted by Austiniuliano to EntrepreneurRideAlong [link] [comments]

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Baltimore Sales and Special Round up Sept. 25 to Sept. 27

Hey folks!
Not shopping as much so this will be briefer than previous editions. If folks have things to share feel free to in the comments and I'll update the post.
Rather than just publish a post every time a sale pops up, I thought I would do a round-up of specials heading into the weekend/week. If folks noticed anything I missed, feel free to add it.
If possible, I'll try and update this list as things arrive, but feel free to post things as you see them over the next few days. If you're the last one to find an item on the shelf, post and let folks know it's sold out.
Heads up:
Events:
Tastings
Sales
Notable Releases
Other spirits
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[USA+Europe] Best ( and places to maybe avoid ) Album Buying Websites/Shops: My Experiences To Help You Buy From Trusted Places :)

Hi! I wanted to make this post so I could help any new/experienced collectors who might be looking for some good stores to buy albums or merch from, I’m going to just go right into it lol • • Music Plaza | Store: Los Angeles, California Website: USA Link: Music Plaza
Kpop Republic | Store: Los Angeles, California Website: USA Link: Kpop Republic
FYE | Store: The one I went to was in Denver, Colorado I’m pretty sure they have multiple across America Website: USA Link: FYE
Kpop USA | Store: Las Vegas, Nevada Website: USA Link: Kpop USA
Mercari | Store: N/A Website: World-wide I think? I’ve only seen it be used in Japan and America Link: Mercari ( They also have an app which is better to use than the website on your phone )
Barnes & Nobel | Store: Across America Website: World wide Link: Barnes & Noble
Target | Store: Across America Website: World Wide Link: Target
Musica | Store: Paris, France Website: Only France I think? Link: Musica
HMV | Store: Across the UK Website: N/A Link: HMV
Amazon | Store: N/A Website: World wide Link: Amazon.com ( just search “kpop album” )
This is my list~ If I ever use a website I haven’t used yet, go to some of the the actual stores I haven’t been to already, or find new places I’ll be sure to update! I really hope this helps :))
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7mZdkfEeJH4

this is a 1991 Ferrari f40 it is one of the most iconic unforgettable special amazing thrilling exhilarating cars in the entire history of the automobile or so I've been told I've never driven one before today that's gonna change this car is listed for sale for 1.3 million dollars by my friends at LBI limited a local exotic car dealership here in Philadelphia that always has the coolest stuff in their inventory in the past LBI has loaned me a lamborghini ALPA which I filmed a review with last year a pristine low mileage original Acura NSX and my personal favorite a Ferrari Challenge race car which I proceeded to drive on the street their website with their amazing inventory is linked in the description below lb I always has the coolest cars but this might just be the coolest car this is a Ferrari f40 one of Ferraris five great supercars and it is currently listed for sale for one point three million dollars let me repeat that one point three million dollars and today I'm gonna show you why it is worth every penny I'm gonna take you on an in-depth tour and show you all of its quirks and weird features and then I'm gonna get it out on the road and I'm going to drive the Ferrari f40 and at the end as usual I'm gonna give it a dug score but first a quick look at what makes this car so significant like I said the f40 is one of the five Ferrari supercars the five ultra special Ferrari models that are even rarer and more collectible and more special than Ferraris regular models the other four are the 288 GTO the f50 the Enzo and the laferrari and of that group Ferrari built the most f40 s roughly 1300 total for the world but many people consider it the best the most raw and visceral the meanest it was built to commemorate Ferraris 40th anniversary hence the name and it's generally considered to be the last car Enzo Ferrari had much of a hand in a lot of people think Ferrari started to go softer and more luxury focused after the f40 despite a lot of conjecture and claims otherwise every f40 was painted red from the factory and they all came with a 2.9 liter twin-turbo v8 that made somewhere around 500 horsepower more on that somewhere around in a minute right now on to the Cork's and features we'll start on the outside and specifically this huge spoiler an icon if you want to talk about cars with wings you just start with this one one interesting thing you may not have known about the spoiler is that the f40 logo is only on one side the passenger side so that it can be going forward in the same direction as the car another one of this cars most iconic details its headlights now when you look at the car when it's just sitting here you'll notice one set of headlights we think that's all the headlights it is not twist the headlight knob and the pop-up headlights come right up yes that's right there's two sets of headlights in this car and here's the cool thing when the popups are down and you go to flash the brights the bottom ones flashed when you put the popups up and you go to flash the brights the top ones flash that way if you want to flash your brights at someone you don't have your lights on you don't have to wait for the popups to flip up in order to flash your lights at them that's smart thinking next up I want to discuss the f40 s gas caps yes gas caps there are two one on the driver's side one on the passenger side I'll get to why that is in a second right now I want you to just focus on the appearance of the gas cap and notice also that the gas cap has a little lock on it there are many locks on the outside of this car there are for example locks in the front on the trunk one on the driver's side one on the passenger side there are locks and back on the hood also one on the driver's side or on the passenger side of course there are locks and the driver and passenger doors and then there the Afra mentioned locks on the fuel tank in all there are eight total locks on the outside of this car opened by three separate keys and we're not even to the wheel locks yet yeah that's right the wheel locks this car doesn't have normal lug nuts like a regular car instead it has center lock wheels it's kind of common on Porsches and stuff today but it was not common back then it was only on race cars the thing I've always liked about this car center lock wheels is the little pin in the middle you get the sense that's the only thing holding these wheels on of course it's not true but it is a characteristic f40 styling element another characteristic f40 design element is back here this back window which is not made out of glass or plastic but lexan which is this heat-resistant crack resistant material the most unique design element of this back window are these strakes that give you better visibility from the front seat and aid with the engines cooling something I bet you didn't know they're open if you want you can just walk up to an f40 and stick your hand in and feel the engine if it fits you had another unforgettable design element on the f40 or all these arrow shaped inlets on the sides on the top of the trunk on the top of the hood nobody makes these things anymore nobody makes arrow shaped inlets but the f40 had a zillion of them one two three four five six seven eight they're kind of strange when you really think about them and when you total them up but the truth is that without them it just wouldn't look like an f40 speaking of the air intakes we all knew about the arrow shaped ones but I found one today that I never even knew existed on this car behind the rear windows there's a little air intake on either side inside a little tunnel who knew here's another thing you may not have known about the f40 the paint in an f40 is incredibly thin notoriously thin in fact now supposedly Ferrari did this for a purpose more paint would have met more weight and so they put thin paint on in order to save weight now the interesting result of this is is that since most of this car is mounted as ultra lightweight carbon Kevlar mix you can see the weave through the paint anywhere you look you can see through the very thin paint this carbon Kevlar mix which is really cool and it has another benefit too you can always tell if an f40 has been repainted in the paint is too thick because you can no longer see the weave classic car experts use this as a way to define whether an f40 has been repainted or whether it still wears its original paint actually move on to the f4 TS engine cover if you ever want to know how to open an f4 TS engine cover well here you go first you open these little things once you've unlocked them with the key that I talked about before now that they're open you put your hands here and you be very very careful because I can only imagine what this piece costs it's actually heavier than you might expect in the end it's kind of a two-person job and I'll show you why in a second all right this is Adolfo he runs LBI limited he's going to demonstrate the two-person job of opening and propping the engine cover in the Ferrari f40 so it's unlatch right now and that means lift time he's gonna do the hard thing next up I have to take the prop out it's in two pieces then two distinct pieces I put them together done but then I have to get it into the little hole for the hood prop very carefully and okay and that's the Ferrari f40 engine cover now open and prompt now once you're under the hood there's no major surprise back here you have the engine the turbos etc except for one thing and that is just how much is exposed we open the hood or the trunk of any normal car usually there's a lot of some bodywork on the sides usually you can't see the tires and the f40 when you open the engine cover you're basically pulling off half the body of this car it's an incredible appearance when it's actually open now that the engine cover is open and we've seen what's underneath it is time to close it which is also a two-person job first you have to kind of grab the hood prop so doesn't fall in then you open a little bit and then you take this thing down turn it back in to two pieces which is a very confusing process there we go now it's back in two we slide it back down put it back in its place then comes the really hard part and then is how to close it which is with extreme care that's because to close it properly you have to lay down the hood ever so slightly on these upward-facing metal teeth mounted on the bumper along with another set of metal teeth next to the rear wheels you have to get it perfectly into position or else you might damage it and then you close the latches the cool thing about the f40 s engine cover is that it's not designed for idiots there's no built-in stopper that prevents you from pushing it all the way up and over so that it lands on top of the f40 s roof that would have added unnecessary weight so you just don't do it now since you've seen what's in back you probably want to see what's under the front cover and so this is also a two-person job first you unlatch it just like on the other side and then since this thing flexes a little you kind of want to lift it up with two people the interesting part is once it's up it just keeps going and going and it's only held on by these two little wires it's actually kind of nerve-wracking when it's in this position now once the front trunk is open and supported by those little wires it is absolutely amazing how much of the front of the cars are moved that was true and back but it's really incredible in front allow me to illustrate really quick right now I am standing inside the front wheel of the f40 the front wheel is over there I am between the two wheels you pull off an enormous amount of car when you open the front trunk and you can see the parts that are left behind which remains structural it's actually really cool to see the car in this position it is amazing to take in another interesting thing about this particular car at the front trunk open inside you have the Ferrari factory toolkit the Ferrari factory tire kit and the original f40 owners manual inside the nice leather pouch now the cool thing about the f40 owner's manual is it's only about 50 pages long and in that 50 pages is the manual in four separate languages there's just not that many electronics there's not that much stuff you have to learn about you just kind of get in and drive and by the way this thing on eBay 500 bucks that in the leather pouch 800 bucks adding all that stuff probably like three grand these are the most expensive owner's manual toolkit situation you will ever see one other trunk detail it may not look like there's much room there but Ferrari made custom sets of f40 luggage designed to snugly fit right in place under here moving on to the interior this car has some very special characteristics on the inside my personal favorite thing in the entire Terry the car is the door panels there is no luxury here there's no niceties there's no leather line hand-stitching instead you get a little door pocket you get a winder for your window but my personal favorite feature on the door panel is the door handle there's no nice door handle integrated beautifully into the panel there's a cord I'm serious yeah pull it the door opens you know how modern Porsches have those little cloth hoops right next to their power windows so they can look like they're saving weight this thing doesn't look like anything this thing is actually saving weight next up let's talk about the transmission the Ferrari f40 is a 5-speed manual that's right your Ford Focus ST has more forward gears than a Ferrari f40 the other thing you might not have known about the f40 is that it's a dogleg transmission first is down and to the left we'd expect second to be that way second in third can be in a line which are the gears you're probably gonna be using a lot if you're actually on most racetracks the problem with that is that reverse is up and to the left where you'd expect first to be you don't want to make that mistake in any car but trust me you really don't want to make that mistake in an f40 the next interesting thing about the f40 is just how basic and bare-bones it is inside this car there's no radio there's no air conditioning although there is a climate control system that doesn't really work all that well there's no power windows there's no power locks there's no power mirrors in this car there isn't even an interior dome light in order to save weight I'm serious so one benefit of the f40 in this car you don't have to worry about draining the battery by leaving the doors open all night as it's sitting in your garage interestingly despite all the stuff this car doesn't have it does have Sun visors and the one of the passenger-side even has a mirror on it because the Italians have their priorities straight other interesting interior features of this car on the left side there are two stocks coming out of the steering wheel one is for the headlights the other is for the turn signals when you're going to put on the turn signal you have to make sure you don't hit the headlight stock on the right side of the steering column is the windshield wiper stock and it has a nifty little feature to it if you twist it to turn it on the driver would no longer be able to see the little windshield wiper displays and so they printed them on the bottom too so that even when it's twisted on the windshield wiper stock is still clearly a windshield wiper stock that is smart another amazing thing about the interior of this car it is clearly not designed for comfort these racing seats are made out of carbon fiber and they really hug you and the carbon kevlar is everywhere in this thing there our little tiny floor mats but other than that it is just carbon everywhere a lot of modern cars have carbon fiber touches everywhere to look sporty and this thing it's all functional it takes away from the luxurious nests of this car they could have covered all that instead they were like man keep it it saves white it's functional people don't need any more than that and the interior this car is all basic and all about necessity it's so basic that the center isn't even taken up by a screen or even an attempt at luxury it's three gauges temperature oil pressure and fuel the gauge cluster is really simple the only notable items are to slow down lights on either side sort of like check engine lights for each bank of cylinders and yes that's a boost gauge over on the right as for storage there's no glovebox and the center storage is these two pockets they're not big and they don't close good luck to the left of the steering wheel there are just four buttons the hazard lights the front and rear fog lights and the windshield defogger also you ever want to know how to start an f40 turn the key and push that rubber button who knew and then we get to possibly this f40 s most hilarious quark the class EK certification for those of you who don't know what the class EK certification is here's the deal if you have a Ferrari and you want them to verify that its original as it left the factory you can take it into the dealer the technician goes under the car he verifies that all the serial numbers are originally takes a few pictures and then he sends all that off to Italy a couple months later a nice little book arrived saying that your car has been classique a certified the cost for the certification right now for the f40 seven thousand four hundred and forty dollars just to have some guy verify some serial numbers interestingly this has become really important in the world of older Ferrari models people have become obsessed with this classic a certification even though it really only means the car was factory original when it was certified for example this car has already been class EK certified after that I could have replaced everything you see you could be looking at a Pontiac Fiero with a Ferrari f40 body and yet this car would still have its class EK certification the really crazy thing about class EK certifications that ferrari even offers it on some of its newest models right now with you pay for a five thousand six hundred and forty dollars they will give you a classic a certificate for your four five eight speciali in other words you pay him almost six grand and they tell you that a car they made twenty four months ago is a that they made 24 months ago short of establishing a government or creating a highly detailed counterfeiting operation Ferrari classy Ches certification has to be about the closest thing in the entire world to literally printing money now before I move on to the driving experience one final quirk about this particular f40 this is a euro f40 compared to the USA f40 sold in the north american market there are some substantial differences between the two cars one of the biggest ones is the appearance on the front the lip of the USA cars is a lot more pronounced larger for USA crash safety regulations same with the bumper in the back in addition also for u.s. crash safety regulations the u.s. cars have a third brake light and they have automatic seatbelts that automatically were up every time you open the door just like an 80s Honda Accord the result is that the euro car has more of a cleaner look without those additional safety things for I didn't intend to put on and also it's lighter a euro f40 like this one is 160 pounds lighter than a USA car now that might make you think that a euro one is the one to get but the USA car had one distinct benefit in the USA cars to make up for the additional weight Ferrari added power u.s. cars supposedly make 500 to 515 horsepower whereas a euro f40 it makes 478 horsepower the other big difference between the Euro f40 and the USA f40 was the fuel situation now I mentioned those two fuel tanks on either side well they seem to fuel bladders located inside the car and on the Euro cars those fuel bladders had to be changed every 7 to 10 years at a cost of $13,000 this car just had its $13,000 bladders changed now the interesting thing is the u.s. cars by EPA regulations couldn't have the bladders instead they had aluminum fuel tanks there were some drawbacks to the aluminum fuel tanks for example they could be corrosive under the wrong circumstances they don't provide as much safety in a high-speed accident fire risk and they weighed a little bit more but the benefit of the aluminum fuel tanks of course is they don't need to be changed out every 7 to 10 years ok so that's a fairly comprehensive tour of the courts and features in the ins and outs of the Ferrari f40 now it's time to get this thing out on the road also while I'm reviewing the f40 in this video if you want to know more of my thoughts my fears my worries hopes and expectations about driving the f40 for the first time a 1.3 million dollar car click the link below to go to autotrader.com slash oversteer where I've written a story that goes into greater detail about all of that stuff [Music] Jesus my god okay we're driving the f40 in sort of a city setting here alright so the ride is a little bit rough as expected you're just so low in the car I am so low down to the to the ground the clutch situation is just crazy and the pedal box is also really narrow you have to be careful of every little bump throw the car is actually not that low the approach angle is very hard the front sticks out quite a bit it is it crazy to look back there and see the rear window that you've seen in pictures for 20 years basically it's just amazing how close you are to the front of the car and how low you are even more so than in every other exotic car I Drive 48 and all that stuff you're so much lower oh my god this ultimate looks like a monster truck it gets really hot inside this cab and it's actually really kind of impressive I've got the climate control going but the thing is it doesn't it doesn't do much because there's only three vents and they don't really we have it on the highest setting and they're not really doing a lot [Applause] going around a corner here it's a little bit of a bumpy one the ride quality is rough that's just a reality this car but the handling is so great it's just so incredible because it's really like a go-kart you can position it anywhere and do anything with it and it's amazing I run 95 south in an f40 this is about the craziest experience I've ever had oh my god I just looked in the mirror for the first time it's incredible to see all that stuff back there the wing and everything that's amazing [Applause] you're watching a childhood dream come true right now man the bumps yeah they kind of attack you on the highway here it feels very stable though surprisingly so it doesn't feel like it's about to get out of whack or do anything stupid feels like we're planted on the ground and it feels good this car has the factory exhaust on it and there's just not all that much noise with it unfortunately aftermarket exhausts really bring the noise out of this car a lot more the factory's an original exhaust it just wasn't that loud I'm surprised how planted it fields it actually feels like a modern sports car in that sense it feels very stable on the road I thought I'd be scared as hell driving this thing it'd be squirrely and weird and actually it doesn't it feels pretty good easy downshift honestly the transmission and stuff feels pretty slick it feels good it's um kind of nice to operate I actually think that the whole thing feels less rigid and the clutch is easier than in a Testarossa and it feels almost more like a car you can sort of play around with it have fun with I'm stunned by that now behind the century is breaking I have no idea why cuz I can't see around him oh that's a big truck that's about the scariest thing this car is worth more than every car I can see I have to say though I was thinking this whole time that I'd be so nervous about the value but it's actually such an easy car to drive at this speed I'm not really thinking about it that much it is easier though than I thought to drive the clutch isn't as hard the gas pedal is easier to push the ride quality is not so bad the visibility is excellent because there's no weird crash stuff all around you you can see it every direction I really wonder for the other people in this country driving one of these right now certainly the only people in this state [Applause] Wow Wow you can just it just is kind of like a bullet you can just point it it's so much more possible than modern cars so much more because the steering is just so direct and it feels little and precise and you can actually put it where you want to put it I'm just blown away by that there's a woody Ford Flex I don't know what's rarer but I hope that is it is so stable on the road it just I really feel like I could be doing this in a rainstorm if I want it it also is surprising there's very little rattling and stuff ultimate this cars 25 years old I would think that it'd be rattling and feeling like it's gonna break down not really this cars obviously been tremendously well kept and well maintained it's surprising how quickly it can move and how quickly it can change direction I'm really surprised this car actually still feels like an amazing car all this time later the thing I was most nervous about driving this car was that over the highway expansion joints it's at this old stirring racket and kind of send me in a weird way it doesn't it is planted it is stable I love hearing the turbos and a Ferrari it's amazing I love that turbo sound how cool I wish there was more climate control this isn't a car you want to drive in 95 degree temperatures another interesting thing the louvers in the back let you see at the back but there are no louvers directly down the middle so what's directly behind me was actually kind of obscured like a mini clubman with that thing in the middle oh my god it's so fast it really is and the turbo does come on in the old-school way you're going fast you're going fast and then you're going really fast I'm just amazed at how planted it feels on the road the car inspires a lot of confidence it doesn't feel like it's pulling it's not jiggling around it's not beating you up at the ride it doesn't feel like the steering is loose alright Tunnel time you just have to nothing nothing nothing being BAM the the turbo lag situation is exactly as everybody's ever described it really not much happens for a while and then a lot happens it really kind of blows up this car for an 80s car is the most planted capable stable ATS car I've ever driven it's great I just love that connected it is so many modern cars have just lost all that there's just so much less connection I wish it were a little more precise but that was just how it was back then I never thought I'd be like doing Lincoln with it f40 I thought I'd be like oh god what's gonna happen but I actually feel pretty confident in this car it's very confidence inspiring and so ladies and gentlemen that's the ferrari f40 one of the most iconic cars from possibly the most iconic brand in the entire history of the automobile expensive to buy yes expensive to own yes worth every penny absolutely and now it's time for the Doug score starting with the weekend categories and styling that one's easy the f40 gets a 10 no explanation needed next up is acceleration the f40 does 0 to 60 in a turbo lag III point 7 seconds it earns an 8 out of 10 next is handling which is impressive but there's a little slowness in the steering you don't get in the very best modern cars it hardly matters as it earns a 9 out of 10 next up is cool factor few cars in world history have ever been as cool and it gets an easy 10 out of 10 finally there's importance this car is significant to Ferrari is one of its five great supercars - the car industry as it's supposedly the first car to ever hit 200 miles an hour and to any child who ever had one is a poster on a bedroom wall which is many of us it gets an easy 10 out of 10 bringing its total weekend score to an amazing 47 out of 50 by far the best yet a full 5 points ahead of the Porsche 911 our future cars good luck beating the f40 things take a different turn when we move on to the daily score features and equipment it has none it has a cord for an interior door handle it doesn't have a dome light it gets and deserves the very first one out of ten in this category luxury measures comfort and this car isn't comfortable the seats are tight the climate control is non-existent in the right is harsh but not quite as harsh as I was expecting so it gets a 2 out of 10 rather than a 1 quality measures materials and reliability the f40 uses fine materials but they don't really measure up by modern standards more importantly reliability is rough these cars are notoriously expensive to maintain you ever had to fork over 13 grand to change the fuel bladder and your Acura it gets a 4 out of 10 practicality is next in the f40 has laughable cargo space passenger room and gas mileage it gets a 1 out of 10 and finally there's value which is almost impossibly hard how do you score a car that costs over a million dollars it's impossible to pick an objectively agreeable number here but here's what I know the f40 has always been valuable we'll always be valuable it may be expensive but it might look cheap in ten years when they're selling for two million that should earn at a high score but it's knocked down by the fact that one could argue we're in a bit of an exotic car bubble and prices could drop before they inevitably rise again so it gets a 7 out of 10 and that brings the final daily score to an almost laughable 15 out of 50 don't buy this thing to drive every day add those together and the final Doug score is 62 out of 100 which is in the middle of the pack that makes sense it's virtually impossible to drive this car every day but it's amazing to drive it occasionally and if you look more at the weekend and the daily scores separately which is what I do rather than the two combined you get a great idea of exactly what kind of car the f40 is
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