Hi guys! I'm thrilled to have sold my startup so I thought I'd write up a post to talk about my startup journey summarizing how I started, scaled, and sold my startup, as well as some lessons learned.
Let’s dive right in.
## Backstory - $4000 Selling Virtual Items
It all started back in high school in 2013 when I used to spend a lot of my time playing a game called TF2.
TF2 allowed users to buy virtual cosmetics for their characters. These items were expensive and in high demand as players would often spend hundreds of dollars on them to make their characters look good. For the same reason people spend thousands of dollars on nice clothes, these gamers were willing to spend handsomely to make their characters look nice.
Naturally, I was spending enough time playing this game to want to get some cool clothes and hats for my online character. Thankfully, Steam, the platform where you can play this game, allows players to trade these in-game items between their accounts, so I decided to give that a go. I started with an item worth a few cents and searched for players who had duplicate items to trade with to turn a small profit.
My 5 cent item for their 6 cent item (that they had two of).
My 8 cent item for their 10 cent item.
Slowly, as I started building up in-game currency, I started buying multiple items at once at a slight discount and spent hours selling them one by one for their full price. It was grueling work - several hours just to end up making less than a dollar.
I spent ~3 hours a day looking for traders, negotiating, and trading. Despite my parents' pleas to stop wasting so much time, I continued because I saw the potential this had once I could scale it up. After a few months, I had *a few hundred dollars worth* of items.
The in-game currency could be traded for real money, so I cashed out the few hundred dollars of in-game currency to my Paypal account. I then started ...