The End of SportsLizard

During my senior year of college, I became obsessed with starting my own business. After a few failed business plan contest entrants, I turned my focus to the web. Having done an internship that spanned a summer and a semester, I needed an extra semester of classes to graduate in December, and thus had an extra summer as a college student before my final semester. I decided to teach myself how to program, having taken all of one college class on the topic. During the… Continue reading


10 Years Ago Today SportsLizard Launched

On July 15, 2004 I launched my first online business, At the time it was a marketplace for buyers and sellers of sports cards/collectibles. I remember how excited I was to finally launch the site that I had dedicated my final summer in college to building. I remember the thrill of the first dollar made (a buddy of mine in the industry who posted a handful of listings). SportsLizard has become something entirely different and it’s no longer a substantial source of revenue for… Continue reading


The Inside Scoop Behind The New SportsLizard

My heart started racing back in March when I saw a post from the Official Google Blog entitled A second spring of cleaning. Like many others, I wasn’t too happy about the loss of Google Reader. But that’s not what had me worried. The thought that crossed my mind was “this is finally the end of SportsLizard.” I opened the post (in Google Reader ironically) and confirmed my worst fears. Before I finish the story of that day and explain what led to yesterday’s relaunch,… Continue reading


PayPal’s Simple Solution to Reducing Disputes (Chargebacks)

Chargebacks are always a hot topic for online retailers. A few weeks ago I was editing some PayPal settings when I noticed something called a “Customer service message” where you can “Create a personalized message for customer disputes.” That caught my eye, so I clicked it. On the page it’s described as: Customize the message online customers see when they try to file a dispute in the Resolution Center. People who will get this message have: Bought an item from you online, but said it… Continue reading


The New SportsLizard is FINALLY Done

Over the weekend I finally completed everything for the SportsLizard revamp I was working on.  Yesterday I made the official announcement on the blog and sent out a newsletter. Now that I’ve had a few days to calm down from everything, I’m not really sure how I feel about it.  Weird is the best word to describe it.  This wasn’t a “typical” project for me/us.  Usually there’s the hope that a project will hit it big and make us a ton of money.  While I’ve… Continue reading


The Power of Programming

I’m in the middle of working on a major revamp for SportsLizard.  As of a few months ago this wasn’t in our plans, but the major failures of new sites by industry incumbents Beckett and Tuff Stuff, combined with the urging of a few SportsLizard “fans”, inspired us to reconsider the opportunity at hand to leverage the existing SL community to expand our presence and really take on the big boys.  I can honestly say I’ve never been more excited about a business opportunity.  It… Continue reading


How We Reduced Phone Calls by 94% AND Increased Sales

Update: This post was written way back in 2008. We’ve come a long way as a company since then. Over the years we’ve had the good fortune to be able to bring back phone support for Detailed Image customers who need it. While emailing us through our contact form is still the fastest way to receive a response, we do have our phone number listed on our FAQ page. We also offer support on Twitter and Facebook. In 2008 offering phone support would have impeded… Continue reading


Averting a Customer Service Nightmare

I don’t much mention SportsLizard or the Price Guide anymore, but it is still alive and kicking.  I’ve got it down to a science where I probably only spend less than 5 hours a week to maintain the site.  The Price Guide is at about 30,000 users but – because of our inline help and FAQ – requires very little customer service.  Premium accounts are only a small fraction of that, but we still make over $1k/month on them for doing essentially nothing. However, this… Continue reading


My Problem With Online Advertising

There’s no one out there that loves the recent advances on the web more than I do. From a user standpoint, “Web 2.0” is all about innovative technologies that push the boundaries of the web without costing a cent. From Flickr to MySpace/Facebook, Google Apps, and YouTube, one common denominator is that they are all free. And that’s awesome – if you are a user. But what about if you are a development company? Those rare successes have baited us into thinking that online advertising… Continue reading


PayPal Fixed, Price Guide Passes 15k!

Finally, five days later my inbox was flooded with the PayPal subscription payments. From what I can tell they’ve back-billed all of the customers from Thursday until this morning, and normalcy has returned to my world. Thankfully this fiasco is over. Now comes the questions: why did PayPal wait several days before acknowledging the problem? Why wasn’t their customer service team fully aware of the issue? Why did they wait until yesterday (4 days late) to post an announcement on their blog? Why wasn’t there… Continue reading