Any time that you are speaking to anyone, find out what they do and what gap is in their industry. Find out what needs to be done.
E-commerce has made our lives easier in so many ways. Leibish Blumenfrucht is an e-commerce entrepreneur buying and selling fashions over the Internet. He began his business selling men’s designer fashions. He has expanded his business to include women’s designer fashions and merchandise. When searching for merchandise, Leibish purchases high-quality designs with exemplary styles and sizes. He also searches for unique items that you would not necessarily find in retail stores. He provides designer fashions but he believes in bridging the gap between designer fashions and designer prices. To bridge the cost for designer fashions, he shops for the best prices and keeps margins low to be able to deliver for the customer.
Leibish Blumenfrucht was educated in the private schools emulating Jewish culture, grace, and tradition. He continued his education taking online business classes. He then proceeded to attend the New York Real Estate Institute on the lower west side of Manhattan, New York. He spent some time trading in the stock market but found no satisfaction or challenge with that career.
E-commerce provided Leibish Blumenfrucht with the challenge he was looking for when he opened his business using eBay and Amazon as his platform.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
My mother use to sell clearance inventory on a part-time basis. I use to help her with her shop. I realized how easy it is and how much demand there is. Also, people don’t want to go out to work. They don’t want to go out to shop either. I was one of those people as well. I always assumed that I could get a cheaper price online. Not only could I get it cheaper but they would deliver it to my door with free returns if I’m not happy with the item after delivery. Why would I bother to go to a store and try to find parking? Buying online is a lot more accommodating. Why not buy online when nothing can go wrong.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My priority in the morning is to spend my time in religious instruction in rabbinical studies. It is the fabric of my life. The rest of the day is dedicated to trying to expand my business. There is a beauty and a disadvantage of e-commerce. E-commerce is always and it is never. I can go for two months without making a sale. Other days it feels like I am printing a shipping label for the post office every ten minutes. Every day is not organized the same. But I have a structure. You can say I do e-commerce on the side. Most people have a 9-5 job. I don’t have that as a typical day. I am always in contact with people in other countries. Many times I am calling people at 12 or 1 a.m. I sell to a lot of people in Italy and Spain. My typical day starts with my rabbinical studies and the day is spend expanding my business and keeping an open mind.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I let my ideas come to me. I am not pressing for new ideas. It is something I think that you stumble upon. For example, one day I wanted to rent a sports jersey, so I went online and googled “renting a sports jersey” and there was nothing to be found. I was amazed to find that there was nothing available for the search. I saw that as a huge vacuum. I thought I could fill the void. This is something that I am pursuing right now. It is the same thing with the designer merchandise line as well. I questioned why there were always sales advertised, but why isn’t there a reliable place to get good sizes, good styles and at cheap prices? It just didn’t exist. That is when I felt like it was my purpose to swoop in and fill that void.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I think the trend is that people are looking to do more purchasing online. That is where commerce, in general, is trending towards the online market. I am a part of the millennial generation and for me, it works to my advantage. All these big businesses conduct themselves as monopolies. They have multiple stores where they didn’t have to pay rent. E-commerce maximizes your profit in the sense that you only have to pay for your merchandise, that’s it! You pay for your merchandise and as a proprietor of both eBay and Amazon, they take a massive percentage. That is something that I am looking in to. I would like to make an online marketplace that charges less of a mark-up. I am very appreciative towards eBay; they provide a good service. I am loyal to eBay. eBay has helped me out. They have done some advertising for me. I think because they charge a commission, they feel compelled to advertise for you. They don’t make money unless you sell. So, you are working sort of hand in hand. You are a partnership so to speak because if you don’t sell, they don’t make their money. They are driven to promote your products. I know as a buyer on eBay, they are very aggressive. There is a need for a marketplace that charges much less. But all in all, it is not like an old fashion business where you would have to put in money for so many different investments like advertising and actual physical things and god forbid the business when south you would be stuck with all those things. Whereas the way e-commerce works, it is a very minimal investment except for the product you’re invested in.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
As an entrepreneur, I think my biggest advantage is that I know what services need to be provided. I am not saying that I am aggressive but I am driven. I don’t take no for an answer. I am not going to shove a product down a buyers throat, but I believe with the littlest interest and the right amount of convincing, you’ll make a sale. You must have endurance.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell my younger self to take a lot more risks. Seek out advice from people who are in the same business. Be a lot more aggressive. Any time that you are speaking to anyone, find out what they do and what gap is in their industry. Find out what needs to be done. Find out if he needs help.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Right now I am getting a lot of opposition on the sporting memorabilia idea that I have. I am told that as a small guy, I am not going to be able to compete with the bigger guys. The sports memorabilia is a huge marketplace. The average net worth of a team is in the trillions. Any single one of the franchises is the same. You can imagine how much they are worth collectively. Everyone is telling me I have zero chance to make it in that space. I am willing to take them on.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
You have to go out of your way and take risks and not be deterred. Keep an open mind to learn. It is good to be stable. Test out different things. You have to be able to accept a loss. You’ve got to be in next play mode. If one thing fails, move on to the next thing. Don’t let anything hold you down. You’ve got to be able to move on to the next thing.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
You can’t take no for an answer. I believe I know what people want. I like to learn and understand what I do. By understanding it I know what people want or need. You can’t take no for an answer. You can’t be delusional but no matter how much flack or how much push-back I get I am going to be persistent. At least I can say I tried.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I usually do the stock market. I used to be in the stock market but it is too volatile. Human nature says if a stock is increasing, it is going to continue to increase. that is why I like actual produce. With stocks, there is no sense of accomplishment. If I make a good call, I should be a meteorologist. I don’t see the satisfaction in it. It is a different story every day. The thing with Bitcoin is that it was making a jump from day to night. Volatility is made from peoples perceptions. The S&P is the same way but it doesn’t have the stigma that Bitcoin had. Investors couldn’t come to terms with the reality that the younger generation had an idea that they completely swung and missed on. They were wrong. But, perception is everything.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
The market is trending and the way that commerce is going, people should find a home on the internet. Tell your readers that if they are looking to make something off the internet to do some e-commerce. Try to be compatible with Amazon or eBay because that is what people want.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The original investment in bitcoin was $100. The other thing I bought was tickets to the Pittsburg stealers versus the Patriots. It was very well spent. I had a great time.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
There is a company that I use for a print and ship labels. There is another temp app that I use to be able to keep inventory.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Zero to One by Peter Thiel
What is your favorite quote?
“It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.” – Herman Melville
- I have come a long way in a short time
- I have many ideas that are unique and worth trying
- Taking risks can lead to great outcomes if you stick with it
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.