Hi! I’m Dave Huckabay. I’ve been selling both consumer products and industrial equipment online since 1996. I still do, and product sales make up the largest part of my income to this day.
In short – I know what I’m talking about. And I share it, both here on this site, and in my book: The Grabapple Guide to E-commerce
So how did I get here?
In 1988, I exited the Navy with not much more than my freedom. I took a job with a manufacturers’ representative firm in Maryland, and spent the next nine years driving the wheels off of a series of Hondas in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and Washington DC. It was really hard work.
But it got me where I wanted to be. In the fall of 1999, I finalized a deal to buy the company I worked for. There was not much to it: Three employees, some demo equipment, office furniture, and a really basic website my son put up for us when he was 15.
While I was working my way into a position to buy the company, the world was changing. Being a manufacturers’ rep was becoming problematic because by the late 1990s, factories were closing in Virginia at a frightening pace, and jobs were moving to Mexico, and shortly thereafter to Asia.
I finally had my chance to break out on my own, and everything was going down the tubes – except that little website. It was starting to make money, and it only served one niche. I looked through our list of manufacturers and identified some more that I thought represented opportunities. Not that I could do any research – I hadn’t the slightest idea how.
But I did have a friend with a real website. He introduced me to his webmaster, and I was off and running. More sites went up. We grew like crazy, to the point that I was able to stop traveling and change the company to an internet-only sales machine. We branched out into some consumer items and that worked too.
In 2004, I decided to try my own hand at it, and put up the site that is our main earner now. It is UGLY. But it makes sales. It’s been a long ride, and I must have made every mistake you can online, along with scoring some surprising successes. I’ve done my best to consolidate the most important information, tips and inside info I’ve learned in the Grabapple Guide to Ecommerce.
Grabapple.com is my attempt to continue to provide updated information for others who are considering dipping their toe into the E-commerce waters. I genuinely hope that you find something here that helps you to achieve your goals – whether via e-commerce or some other method.
Best of Luck,Dave P.S. Although this blog and my main business are primarily about E-commerce, I am interested in just about everything related to selling and marketing online. Don’t be surprised to see content on anything from the latest algorithm changes to social media, and even other ways of making money online!
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