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“The difference between an entrepreneur and the rest of us that say I thought of that idea – I could have done that, is the entrepreneur took the steps and acted."
Dr. Mike Haynie, Entrepreneurship Expert

Larger Than Life Success

Small Business Success

In 2009, a simple eBay transaction started a local small business in Clay, NY.

T.J. Yeldon used eBay to auction off some of his G.I. Joe action figures, netting him almost $400. Following the sell, Yeldon decided to open Larger Than Life Toys And Comics, a store built on the memories of toys, comic books and pop culture from the 1960’s until now.

Virtual And Physical

Yeldon continues to use eBay as part of his business strategy.

“This store works seamlessly on eBay,” said Yeldon. “Much of the items on the shelf right now are currently on eBay.”
Yeldon said while the physical store is a stock room for eBay, he also makes money in the store selling comic books, vintage toys and t-shirts.

“He’s a great storeowner,” said Orion Wood, a frequent customer. “He takes his time with everybody. He makes this place a home, not a place to buy stuff.”

A Successful Business Plan

While in-store customers are important to his success, his practice of using eBay is the driving force behind his business.
According to Dr. Mike Haynie, a expert in the entrepreneurship, Yeldon has followed the three fundamentals to creating a successful small businesses—sticking to a passion, providing a specific service and growing the business for the future.

“It sounds like [Yeldon] has found a niche,” said Haynie. “He has found a highly differentiated product and is offering a great service.”

Hard Work and Passion

Yeldon has been known to live in his store at times sleep in the back room after he closes the door for the day. His schedule isn’t set. Yeldon works all hours of the day building up his inventory.

“If you have passion, you’re going to work harder,” said Haynie. “ You’re going to be highly committed, not necessarily to the financial return, but to the success of your business.”

Growing in the future

Yeldon said he hopes to expand his store in the near future, but realizes the dedication it takes to run the business. He is cautious to grow too quickly because he does not want to lose the personal relationships he has with his customers.

“The difference between an entrepreneur and the rest of us that say I thought of that idea – I could have done that, is the entrepreneur took the steps and acted,” Haynie said.