Ben Federman of 1sale.com
If you are looking for ways to make money and searching for your own way of creating wealth, I believe in getting motivation and ideas anywhere you can find them. So when I hear of an 8th grade dropout who goes on to become a multi-millionaire, it’s a story that grabs my attention.
Logic and common sense dictate that you don’t drop out of high school, become a bum, and just miraculously wind up a millionaire. That is not the way it works. No there is going to be some hard work, strategy, and the building up of a business or company along the way. Nonetheless - when I hear a story like this one I want to know everything I can about it.
When I first heard about Ben Federman and how he dropped out of the eighth grade, yet was founder and CEO of the multi-million dollar website 1Sale.com (previously 1SaleADay.com) I had to know more. I must admit, Ben set a new standard. He didn’t just drop out of high school he dropped out of junior high but went on to make millions!
But before we get to exactly how Ben Federman founded 1SaleADay.com we should probably take a visit back in time - to his younger days.
A Young Ben Federman – Millionaire in the Making
Ben Federman, who was born in 1983, originally hails from Milwaukee Wisconsin. Even while in grade school Ben was dabbling in small business and developing his retail skills by selling candy to his 4th grade classmates in the school hallways - between classes. Ben says he can remember buying candy for 10 cents apiece and selling them for 50 cents apiece.
By the time 8th grade came around school was not the most important thing in Ben’s life. He admits that he preferred to hang out with his friends and spend time playing the guitar instead of in the classroom studying. But looking into the future Ben did not like what he was seeing. As more and more of his friends became involved in the drug scene Ben knew it was time to do a drastic course change. He pulled out the books and soon earned his High School Equivalency Degree. Then it was off to the U.S. Army at age 18.
By 2003 Ben Federman had completed a tour of duty in Afghanistan and his service in the Army was coming to an end. He settled in Brooklyn NY and began working in sales and customer service. Ben has always thought of himself as a “gadget geek” so it was natural for him to migrate toward a company that sold electronics and other gadgets.
How To Be A Millionaire
For anyone seriously searching for ways to make money or to “be rich” - this is truly where you need to pay attention. Because this is a common theme repeated over and over in the business world. Many people who go on to start their own successful business first learn the ins and outs of the business while working for someone else. Not in every case of course, but this is true in many cases. This is exactly what Federman did. It is also exactly what another young entrepreneur by the name of Jared Isaacman did to launch a $ Billion dollar business.
While working for a small electronics retailer Ben began to become familiar with the profit margins for electronics and how they were sold on the web. He admits that he spent a lot of time checking out the big shopping sites like Amazon.com. Ben’s big business idea was a direct result of his self-initiated research. Ben Federman came to the realization, or at least the belief, that if you focused on selling just one or two items, and purchased them in large volumes, you could get great pricing. This would eventually become the business model for a multi-million dollar online business, 1SaleADay.com
Launching a Million Dollar Business Idea
It was mid-2007 when Ben launched his business venture right from the living room of his New York apartment. To get the business off the ground he scraped together around $200,000 from his personal savings, friends, and credit cards. He initially hit the trade shows to bulk purchase much of his bargain merchandise. For the first year and a half he purposely did not make money off a single item, a technique known as loss leading. He would even occasionally offer items for free just to create buzz about his online business. Ben’s business approach seemed to be working as the sites popularity grew quickly by word of mouth and social media.
Ben offered his merchandise at discounts up to 80-90% off retail prices, focusing primarily on electronics, jewelry, watches and even some household goods. Every 24 hours the offers and products would change. Ben explains that by purchasing items in very large lots he was able to negotiate the best possible pricing.
His business strategy continued to work. Two years into his new venture and the company was starting to turn a profit. By July 2011 1SaleADay.com was selling up to 30,000 items a day and had revenues of $60 Million. By September of 2011 the website was one of the top most visited 500 websites on the net with over 150 million visitors per year and a half a million a day.
Not being content with the success of 1SaleADay.com, Ben set out to build a network of online companies. He founded other deal sites such as Ben’s Outlet for electronics, Shadora for jewelry and Dynamite Time for watches. He even has a site for paper products and eyeglasses. All of his sites are now organized under a parent company named Octagon Commerce.
In 2010 Ben Federman and Octagon Commerce accepted an investment deal from Optima Ventures, a Miami based private equity firm. While the exact amount of the investment was not disclosed it was reported to be a multi-million dollar deal. Ben has since moved the company to Southern Florida.
Despite his success Ben Federman remains cognizant of his humble beginnings. He also stresses that he is big on education, but he does not believe all education has to be formal. Ben donates a good portion of his wealth to various charities many of them revolving around educational outreach programs, homeless shelters, and children with special needs programs.
It is understandable that some people want to know how to make money fast, or how to make quick money. Butut to create true wealth is going to take a little time. And if your plan is to make money and create wealth through a business, either online or off-line, you must focus on either a product or a service that offers value to the customer. It is easy to see in Ben’s case how his customers find value in the discounted items that he sells, and in the service he provides to his customers by sourcing items in bulk, and offering them at such deep discounts.
In a 2013 interview with Stuart Varney of the Fox Business News channel, Ben reported that his company was bringing in $160 million in revenues. Mr. Varney also questioned Ben about dropping out of school. Ben offered this quote which he attributed to Mark Twain;
“Never Let Schooling Interfere With Your Education”
You can watch Ben’s short but highly interesting interview with Stuart Varney below.