NJ entrepreneur who launched eBay business as a teen up for an award

- A young man from Edison, New Jersey, is in the running for a major award from eBay all thanks to a small business he started in high school.

In fact, Prince Patel had to use his parents' eBay account when he first got started because he was too young to have his own.

A teenager with an entrepreneurial spirit, he built an electronics business into a full-time job and has pulled in some impressive money. In 2017, from his dorm room in college, while studying civil engineering, Prince did $800,000 in sales, he says.

Now 24, Prince is the only local finalist in eBay's Shine Awards for Small Business.

Bob Kupbens, vice president of seller and marketplace operations for eBay, says the Shine Awards are eBay's opportunity to really recognize some of their best small businesses. The awards are based on nominations.

Prince was one of 1,300 nominations that eBay reviewed. As you can imagine, Bob says, it was a difficult process to cull that list, but Prince's energy and his passion for growing his business really differentiated him.

Prince now runs his business, Electronics Surplus Deals, out of his family's home, where he handles everything from product to packaging. He says the biggest order he ever got was about $15,000 for around 100 cameras, prompting his father to ask what he was doing.

What he is doing is creating custom mounts for action cameras, such as GoPros, which he sells to athletes and adventurers around the world. He gets a lot of orders from India, China, Germany, and Puerto Rico.

That is how Prince became a finalist in the Global Business Category of the Shine Awards—something he is pinching himself over.

Prince says there's no blueprint for creating a successful e-commerce business. You have to make your own path. It's a lot of work, but he says he enjoys it. He also says that one of the secrets to his success on eBay is consistency. The platform loves consistency, so you need to keep listing stuff, tweaking things, and running ads and promotions.

Prince says his dream is not only to win the Shine Awards but to grow his business so he can create jobs in the Edison area.

Through July 18, 2018, you can vote for Prince here.

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