“6 months after we first started selling internationally via eBay, we hit USD 50,000 per week in revenue.”
I was surprised to learn that Jarryd Tan, co-founder of JTBC Global, received his salary from day 1 of his online business. Jarryd advises “New sellers should draw a salary. One mistake is to combine your company funds and personal funds. Separating your funds will push you to hit your target.” We caught up with co-founder Jarryd recently to hear his beginnings as an online seller.
How it all started
At 26 years old, Jarryd started off at a mobile retail store. Groupon was one of the first few marketplaces back then and it was where he started selling online. As more marketplace players hopped on the bandwagon, he saw the opportunity and moved on to start listing on larger marketplaces like Rakuten and Lazada.
Today, JTBC Global is a wholesaler of electronic products, ranging from Huawei smartphones to Xbox accessories. They have become eBay’s multi-million-dollar seller in Singapore. Their marketplace presence includes Lazada, Shopee.sg, qoo10 and ebay.
Frustrations as a new seller
Jarryd confesses cash was a challenge when JTBC started out. Not surprising, many businesses who start-off would agree. From procuring stocks, listing on marketplaces, and setting up an online storefront – at every stage of a new seller’s journey, money would be involved. However, Jarryd was concerned about business growth when he started out. If he could do it all again, he wished he could have “grown faster, plan further ahead. Hire more to focus on eBay.”
Jarryd, co-founder of JTBC Global, speaking at Singapore’s eBay event in 2019.
Traits of a successful online seller
1. “Commitment and perseverance set successful sellers apart”
Easier said than done. With Jarryd’s countless encounters with customers, he tells us that “A committed seller doesn’t just ensure things get done but pushes on, doing what’s uncomfortable and salvage the good.”
Let’s use this simple example to explain: If you encounter an angry customer, how would you turn things around?
When a customer writes a negative review:
- Would you personally reach out to reply them?
- Will you find a solution for their poor experience?
- Would you politely ask them to update the review, after its resolved?
Research shows that 84% trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Adding one review would be crucial for new sellers on a marketplace.
2. Ambitious visionary
How does a day of an online seller look like? Jarryd exclaims “I work 7 days a week, I’m always thinking”.
To keep the business moving, Jarryd gathers inspiration and thinks of the business 24/7. He mentions that “listening is a powerful engine. I gather insights during my conversations with other online sellers and suppliers.”
Does JTBC’s success sound too good to be true? Through the interview, I came to realise an online business takes a certain amount of dedication, motivation and discipline. Very candidly, Jarryd puts it this way – “Your business is like your baby. If you’re thinking of taking care of your baby on a part-time basis, what happens?”
‘What I’ve learnt’ Online Seller series is brought to you by WorldFirst.
WorldFirst is a high-growth FinTech business specialising in international payments. WorldFirst combines best in-class technology and products with award-winning customer service to make it faster, easier, safer and cheaper for people and businesses to manage their money around the world. More than 160,000 people, small businesses and online sellers have transferred over £70bn with WorldFirst since 2004.
What does Jarryd think of WorldFirst?
“What I like best about WorldFirst is their good customer support. WorldFirst saves me money & time. It makes a whole lot of difference. I can make cross-border same currency payments to suppliers quicker! My goods get sent out earlier so I can start listing my products online faster.”
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