So far we’ve interviewed Anthony from Kitchen Cabinet Kings who built a drop-shipping business from his expertise in the kitchen cabinet vertical. We also interviewed Brian from Emazing Lights who built an ecommerce empire from his passion in the EDM (electric dance music) vertical. Today’s interview is different because Greg doesn’t have an expertise in the coin supply industry, nor does he have a passion for it; instead, he found a market opportunity, conducted the right research, and focused on execution to build a profitable drop-shipping business.
Greg Laptevsky is the Founder of Coin Supply Planet, a drop-shipping business focused on the coin-collecting vertical that has existed for a year and a half and is projected to generate several hundred of thousands of dollars in revenue this year. In addition, the business takes about 10-15 hours a week to operate, positioning him nicely for long-term, lifestyle design success.
So don’t worry if you’re not passionate about a specific industry or if you’re not an expert; and while we’re at it, don’t fret if you’re not a developer or designer that can build websites. Greg is not a designer, is not a developer, is not passionate about the coin-collecting industry, nor did he have an expertise in the industry when he started; and yet, he’s built a profitable drop-shipping business that is quickly becoming the market leader. This interview is about how he has overcome all those obstacles and built a successful business.
How to listen to the full interview and read the entire transcript word-for-word
If you’d like to listen to the full 32-minute interview with Greg from Coin Supply Planet and read the entire 5,802-word transcript word-for-word, then download our free Ecommerce Rules Insider’s Kit that’s available at our sidebar to the right of this webpage or click on this link right here. The interview is included for download in our kit.
Below is a summary of what you will learn in the interview:
Greg, great to have you here. Tell us about Coin Supply Planet.
Coin Supply Planet is a niche ecommerce store that caters to an older demographic that are coin collectors. We chose this niche because it wasn’t very crowded: there were only a handful of stores that were selling these products online (and doing ok). Not only was the market untapped, but the market is very large — my team and I decided that with our marketing background, we could build a store and dominate the industry through SEO and Adwords campaigns.
Are you a coin collector?
I’m actually not a coin collector. It’s been a very exciting ride over the last year and a half: we took all of the available information about coin collecting given to us, learned about the industry, researched our target demographic, and built and launched a store that we felt catered to their needs. Of course our store launch wasn’t perfect, but we quickly learned what worked for our demographic and what didn’t work.
I feel we’re a great example of what’s possible when you attack a market opportunity head on and learn how to service the market along the way. We basically took a vertical that we knew nothing about and just learned about it from scratch.
How did you choose coin collection as your vertical and how did you know that there was a big opportunity that was still untapped?
The idea was actually suggested to me, so I can’t take all the credit for the idea. I did however move forward with all the qualifying research to make sure that this was a viable market and product.
My starting point was to find what I’m really good at. Because of my SEO background, I decided to build a site that would benefit in the long run from great SEO traffic. In this case, a drop-shipping online store that generated revenue through SEO traffic (unpaid traffic) would position me to effectively run a lifestyle business.
Before I moved forward with the idea, I utilized the Google Keyword Tool to research the search volume for coin supply keywords and how competitive these terms were. I of course researched other verticals as well. After conducting my research, I found that the coin supply industry had the highest volume of searches with the least amount of competition — and that’s how I chose this industry.
How did you find your suppliers for Coin Supply Planet?
Once I identified and selected my product and industry, I spent 10 hours researching suppliers and sellers. I spent one afternoon calling each and every one of these companies until I found a couple of really good leads that wanted to partner with me.
Surprisingly, the suppliers didn’t care about my ecommerce background, retail background, or how much volume I could sell — they found it exciting that I could be another outlet that would allow them to sell more products.
So you have a target market, suppliers and products. What’s next?
Well, at this stage I had to put everything together and build a website so that I could sell the product. I’m not a tech guy, so I reached out to freelancers that I’ve worked with in the past and ultimately decided to go with a local shop. They recommended that I use Big Commerce as my ecommerce platform because it’s a hosted solution that is expandable as well.
The next 60 days of designing and building the site were the most labor intensive. It required me to really think about the customer experience and the nitty gritty parts of the company instead of the high-level vision part of the company. After a couple of months, my freelancers set up everything from the payment solution to the product implementation.
Download the Ecommerce Rules Insider’s Kit and you’ll also find out the following:
- How Greg initially drove traffic to his online store to generate sales
- How one change in his content marketing strategy turned a blog that drove traffic but no sales into a blog that actually generates sales
- The advice Greg gives to corporate 9-5’ers or entrepreneurs looking to build a lifestyle business
- The BIGGEST mistake Greg has made so far and how you can avoid the same pitfall