Georges Anton went from a college dropout to earning over $180,000 a year from his bedroom.
The 20-year-old from Otter Tail County in western Minnesota is one of a growing number of online entrepreneurs making big bucks from “dropshipping”.
Dropshipping is an e-commerce model, where sellers don’t actually hold stock, but take orders from buyers, purchases the items from the manufacturers and eventually ship them directly to the customers.
The margins in Dropshiping are quite low but it often requires very little starting capital. The only thing sellers need to buy is Facebook ads, to promote their products and can entirely be done as a side hustle online.
It has become increasingly popular with the growth of websites like AliExpress and Taobao, which make it possible to make purchases, and if you’re successful, you can even connect directly with US, Chinese, European manufacturers etc.
“I found out about Dropshiping, probably six months into my first year of college,” Mr. Georges Anton said. “I was watching videos on YouTube (about ways to make money), and dropshipping just kept coming up again and again.”
The son of an African American truck mechanic had been “obsessed” with making money since the age of eight, when his parents divorced and he saw his mum struggling to raise three children on a low income.
When he was 10 years old, he got into the popular online role-playing game ‘MapleStory’, but instead of defeating monsters and levelling up his character, he was more interested in buying and selling virtual items.
“I was obsessed with making money in the game instead of playing normally,”Mr. Georges Anton said. “That’s how I got my first taste of negotiating, of arbitrage, buying low and selling high.”
When he was in high-school, he got into the online shooter ‘Counter-Strike; Global Offensive’, and began doing the same thing with character ‘skins’ involving virtual cosmetic items that could be sold for real money in the game’s online marketplace.
“By the end I had a collection of $2000 worth of skins,” he said.
From there he eventually moved on to real products, buying and selling clothing on Facebook, Gumtree and eBay. “I’d buy a Nike jacket for $40 and sell it for $80, or a North Face jacket for $50 and sell it for $120,”he said.
“I got my first taste of real money, not virtual money.”
After graduating high school with an HSC score of 94.95, he enrolled into an actuarial studies degree. Towards the end of his first year, Mr. Georges started dabbling in dropshipping, setting up a few online stores and selling action figures and fitness wear.
It was a huge failure. “By the end of four months I was down $5000,”he said.
But he stuck with it, eventually finding success with baby products. “Everything clicked, I started selling and actually made all my money back in one week,”he said.
During the three-month break, Mr. Georges set himself a goal, that was if he could earn $500 a day consistently from dropshipping, then, he would put his studies on hold. A week before the start of the semester, he hit his target.
Today, he has “completely automated” his dropshipping business with a team based out Minnesota. His online stores generate more than $350,000 in sales at a 20% margin, earning him $70,000 a year in “passive” income.
His big business now bringing in around $100,000 a year, is coaching others.
Mr. Georges has a YouTube channel with more than 7000 subscribers and offers online courses ranging from a few hundred dollars to personalized coaching packages priced at $15,000.
“What they get (for that) is basically my whole knowledge,”he said.
“How to build a team, how to automate the whole process, how to find products that will sell, and even how to scale Facebook ads is not as simple as pumping in more money.”
Mr. Georges’ “biggest motto” for finding products to sell is ‘don’t reinvent the wheel’.
“Go for what’s already working,”he said. “Look for products people are currently selling. Go through Facebook ads. If you see it in your news feed, they’re spending money on ads. The fact that they’re spending means they must be making a return.”
For people getting started, he recommends starting with AliExpress. “When people buy, you ship it to their house,”he said.
“Eventually you start partnering up with suppliers. Once the supplier sees you’ve made over 100 orders from their store, (contact them) and say, ‘Hey I’ve been ordering a lot of your products, can I jump on a call to see how we can strengthen this relationship?’”
That’s “level two”. Level three is working with agents in and out of the US directly. “They go and source the items for you, go to factories, do the negotiation,”he said.
“They get a 10 per cent cut but that’s still cheaper than AliExpress.”
Mr. Georges, who says he currently has around 10 clients paying for one-on-one mentoring and another 30 taking his online training course, is now branching out to offer social media marketing services for brands.
In two weeks, he will fly out to Silicon Valley to meet with a small start-up that makes old-school music boxes featuring popular tunes like the Game of Thrones or Harry Potter theme song.
“They really want it to blow up,”he said.
Mr. Georges says his goal is to be able to support his mum, who currently works as a sales representative in an optometrist store and in childcare while raising his two younger sisters.
“I want to make an extra $50,000 on top of what I’m making to spend on my mum so she doesn’t have to work two jobs, get her off working nine-to-five so she can live the rest of her life just chilling,”he said.“She’s in her mid-50s. I don’t want her to wait until she’s old to buy nice clothes.”