Trevor Chapman's LDSman Story: Turning $200 to $10 Million Fast

Jan 12, 2020 @ 4:21 EST
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Trevor Chapman's LDSman Story: Turning $200 to $10 Million in Just a Few Months.

"If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die." - Warren Buffett

If there's one person anyone should learn how to use digital marketing to their utmost advantage, it's got to be Trevor Chapman. Anyone who sells business online is already familiar with this guy and what he achieved in just 92 days. He spent just $200 to set up an online sales website, one day, and 92 days later, he hit $1 million sales.

Even when opportunities came knocking, he didn't agree to sell his creation, but ultimately decided he wanted to sell it for no less than $10 million, in not more that one and a half years. But there needs a certain kind of motivation to embark on such a journey after leaving everything behind.

Before '', Trevor Chapman Was a Broke College Student and Unhappy Running a Solar Panel Selling Business

Nobody "just" gets invited to the Forbes Agency Council. But with the kind of success story like Trevor Chapman's, they're bound to be looking for him to be a member. Many have tried to replicate his success with his teachings, but none have come even close. The story, however, has many people question if he's a real deal or not.

Trevor Chapman was already married to Caci Chapman years before LDSman.Trevor Chapman was already married to wife Caci Chapman years before LDSman.
Photo from: Trevor Chapman, Instagram

Considering the success and claims can be backed by just checking out and that he hasn't yet faced heavy false criticisms as most often do, just believe he's the real deal. He's written two articles on Forbes, How To Go From Hastagger To Hashtagged and Three Things To Look For When Outsourcing Your Digital Strategy.

Don't say you've heard the story of a businessman being initially broke a thousand times. As true as those stories are, Chapman's is too. In order to make extra money, he took a job as a door-to-door salesman of pest control. But before that, he was in Guam, catching, gutting, and smoking salmon to earn for his family. Yeah, for reals.

The guy stuck to selling things. He started his own sales operation, a solar panel installation company. It expanded across three US states. And you'd think one would continue operating it with the growing success. But not Chapman. He doing a 12-hour-per-day job at his solar company, but he wanted to not have to spend all day just working.

He was unhappy with the work despite an intermediate success. "There came a point in time when I had to say, ‘I’m in my mid-thirties, am I willing to wait until some of my kids are out of the house ... [to enjoy] my life to the extent I imagined I would?"

Inspired by Warren Buffet's Quote, He Went on to Having to Work 1.5 Hours Per Week after Only 92 Days of 'LDSman'

While not wanting to work the whole day on something, he didn't want to risk the income from that part for something that might not work. But just when he thought there was no way to change that work, he came upon the quote from Warren Buffet (given above). And also, the strategy of "direct to consumer marketing" or e-commerce.

Trevor Chapman is married with three kids.Trevor Chapman and wife Caci Chapman have five kids.
Photo from: Trevor Chapman, Facebook

The 36-year-old looked to the internet to go forward. He wanted to see if he could make a living himself by selling things online. Without hampering the day job, he spent a few hours each night for building up his online platform.

According to him, the startup cost about $200. The domain name was bought for $2.99 a year and also set up a Shopify account with a $14 trial. He spent $100 a day on Facebook to advertise his site. He then finally launched the site on November 11, 2016.

He Realized He Was Selling the Wrong Product after the First Day

For about 10 hours, the site he ran was selling Mormon artwork. He was thus losing money. The solar-panel job did teach him something. To drive in more traffic, the product has to be intriguing enough so that when you're selling door-to-door, they would just invite you in.

The difference in Trevor Chapman in 10 years.The difference in 10 years.
Photo from: Trevor Chapman, Instagram

"My initial thing was that I was going to sell Mormon artwork online. That was probably up for 10 hours. I realized that what I was peddling online was not compelling enough to drive traffic."

Then, he replaced Mormon art with inflatable lounge chairs, which was quite popular among online stores as viral products. Afterward, he found other products for $4.99 via sourcing from Chinese manufacturers on Alibaba and Aliexpress that he could sell for $59.99. Jackpot!

There were more things to do, specifically, dropshipping. In order to not deal with the cost and risk of taking on inventory, he set up arrangements with suppliers via WeChat (popular messaging service in China) to get his orders shipped directly from their warehouses in China to the customers' house in the US.

That’s the best way to test a product to see whether or not it’s actually going to sell

Dropshipping was a big advantage for his business since it was cheaper to ship products from China than to ship the same thing domestically. For LDSman, despite the longer time to arrive in the customer's home, ePacket made it cheaper. The program is an arrangement between the US Postal Service and foreign postal operators for encouraging e-commerce.

Trevor Chapman and his crew in a table with one taking the selfie.In a few weeks, Chapman became an expert in exploiting digital marketing.
Photo from: Trevor Chapman, Facebook

In two weeks, he earned $10,000 a day. He was then able to hire a team of freelancers in the Philippines for the time-consuming customer service work with the revenue. He paid $700 a month to them, higher than the average $400 a month wage in the country, but lower than in the States. He further strengthened his advertisements on Facebook.

A Setback Due to the Dropshipping Tactic

Yes, in that 92-day journey, Trevor Chapman had more than just one setback. About two months later, the vendor in China he paid $80,000 to supply and ship inflatable lounges intentionally sent out a cheaper alternative than the approved product. But he replaced about 1500 bags after the customer started complaining. Even so, he reached a 48% total pretax profit margin after bouncing back.

To tackle the setback he faced from dropshipping, he bought a 9000-sq-ft warehouse in Salt Lake City and hired five people for the fulfillment staff. With that, he finally quit the solar panel business. But he believes the warehouse thing is not for everything despite letting his business get to the next level.

Day 92 rolled around, and the site sold $1 million products for the first time. By that time, he was only working just over an hour a week to maintain the site and work on updating Facebook updates. 12-hour job/day to 1.5-hour task/week complete.

Just when it hit the million-sales mark, Utah-based VC firm Clarke Capital requested Chapman to add the e-commerce company to its portfolio. They were ready to buy it for $3 million. But instead, he chose to maintain independence and turned down the offer. He continued to oversee LDSman and its $350,000 monthly sales.

Chapman Finally Sold LDSman for $10 million but Had Other Projects to Focus on, Especially Teaching Others His Secret

In the sixth month of operation, LDSman brought in a total of $2 million in sales income. He also started teaching an online e-commerce course to interested individuals about how to set up their online business. That was and is his next venture.

LDSman's Trevor Chapman's quote on Facebook.Chapman gives online as well as on-site classes for aspiring entrepreneurs.
Photo from: Trevor Chapman, Facebook

Many tried the lessons they learned from him and many did gain intermediate success and launched their business. But the most common sales total within the first month was just under $12,000. Even his mother built her own site without knowing anything about e-commerce.

In early 2018, it was time for him to fold. He agreed to sell LDSman and his logistics company, that specializes in importing good from countries around the world, with a deal worth over $10 million with outside investors. It also meant he had to sell Academy of Arbitrage. It's his educational site for teaching others about e-commerce.

Besides, he has several other ventures to keep on continuing. He also has control over several early-stage investments in companies such as Airbnb,, bitpay, Pinterest and 30 others.

Eager to learn businessman stories? Go on into the celebs$fortune homepage and check out our Net Worth articles. Each one of them is a businessperson in one way or another. There are a few billionaires you might be interested to know about in the Billionaire's Club section. Also, the Fortune Focus Section will keep you up-to-date about celebrities money that might interest or shock you.

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