Feature Friday: Spotlight on Joseph Zatika (of Absolutehobbyz.com)


On Fridays, we like to showcase the extensive backgrounds and experiences of our customers. We’re fascinated by each business’s narrative, and we continually strive to contribute to their success story. 

This week we’re focusing on Absolutehobbyz.com. Absolutehobbyz.com serves a community of hobbyists, selling remote controlled radios, planes, cars—and everything between.

Joseph Zatika (Owner, Absolutehobbyz.com) was kind enough to discuss his business strategy with us. 

Why did you start your business?

Joseph: My background is in the automotive recycling business (for 30 years). A guy walked into our [brick-and-mortar] business, talking about his RC business. I thought, “If he can do it, so can I.” RC is a hot industry right now.

How did you decide to start selling online?

Joseph: Selling online enables us to move more product in the same amount of time.  

How many packages do you ship each day?

Joseph: Between our eBay store and our regular store, anywhere between 50-150 packages per day.

What distinguishes your business from your competitors?

Joseph: Our business is in a [niche] market where we have 10-15 major competitors. We’re very competitive in our market, probably in the top 6. For us, customer service sets us apart. We’re proactive in shipping orders, shipping out items either the same day or the day after. In addition, the depth of knowledge of our staff is very impressive. We have one staff member who competes as a pro level racer. He attends international events, last year he even went to one in Thailand.

What was your process like before choosing ShipWorks?

Joseph: Chaotic. We didn’t know where we were pulling tracking numbers from. Insurance was a disaster since USPS only wanted to pay you based on what you purchased (and not the value of the item).

We’re much more organized using ShipWorks that we even consulted ShipWorks before building a new Web site. We wanted to make sure that we could build a generic API module for our online store that integrates with the ShipWorks environment. Our new Web site using the ShipWorks generic API is launching after the first of the year.

How did you hear about ShipWorks?

Joseph: Someone from FedEx told me about it.

What results have you seen using ShipWorks?

Joseph: ShipWorks has enabled our business to grow. We used to spend 25% of our day creating labels. Now, since ShipWorks does that for us, we can use that time to invest in other areas of our business.

What features of ShipWorks are most important to your business?

Joseph: From an organizational viewpoint, having access to the SQL server (database) is great. It makes it easy to look up customer records, items sold, listing items a customer has bought in the past, etc. We also use filters that pull all items from eBay and show what needs to be shipped.

What would you tell a business owner considering using ShipWorks?

Joseph: There is no substitute.