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Main Trading Company – A Success Story

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In the past, I purchased some items from Main Trading Company.  I first found them on e-bay.  They had what I wanted at the right price.  So I made my purchase. I received more than what I expected, it was packed well, and the shipping was free on an item with a competitive price. Good for me; good for them.

From time to time they send me an e-mail telling me about new products or special deals. They do not overwhelm my e-mail box to the point that I un-subscribe to their mailings. All in all – A++. I would buy from them again and recommend them to others.

So, big deal. I am a happy customer, and they are selling stuff and making money. Case closed.

Adversity as Opportunity

But today I got another e-mail from them. This time it was different.

Richard Lenoir-KI5DX, the owner of Main Trading Company sent an e-mail to his customers with a success story.

It was his success story of how he, along with his wife, started a new business Main Trading Company after losing thier jobs.

I know this message is way too long and if I have not lost you so far I hope it doesn’t sound like we are bragging. We are not. This is just one amazing story and it has to be shared. We stand amazed every day. With all the negative stuff around us, we just feel we have to share this.

At the end of the email I wanted to name many folks that have helped us and made this business possible. The truth is, I cant. Every time I think I am at the bottom of the list , we come up with a few more. We have some pretty amazing friends, family and customers. Thank you so much for sharing this and making this ride possible. Without you it could have never happened.

So, I am posting this story, because I agree with Richard, that even though the economy is down and you may have lost your job, there is always a way to get back on your feet if you have an idea, drive, motivation, friends, and business sense. When faced with a job loss some people just give up, get depressed, or try to work the entitlement system living off other people’s wealth and labor. Other people use adversity as opportunity. I think “adversity as opportunity” is the story of Main Trading Company.

So, if you need a little inspiration, and the proof that it can be accomplished, here it is

Hello Friends!

Don’t click away just yet! We are not selling anything! We just wanted to take a minute to say thanks. It was three years ago today that we turned the lock for the first time and turned the first home made sign around at MTC. Many of you have been with us from the very beginning when we first started in the little restaurant building downtown. . Do you remember? We couldn’t afford a sign, shelving or anything. How we started is quite a long story as many of you know already. I hate to tell it again but it is really worth telling. We are amazed and very thankful to you, our customer.

In February 2009 I (Richard Lenoir) lost my job in sales. With the terrible local economy we didn’t know exactly what to do. We started buying a little surplus from home and putting it on ebay. Our ebay user name was maintradingcompany. Kind of a goofy name huh? I was going to DFW maybe once a week bring back a load of stuff to sell locally and on the net.

Many locals looked forward to me getting back to dig through the fun. Christy, my wife, worked in radio at the time and would help me unload the pick-up onto the patio. When she and the kids would leave for work and school in the morning our living room would be transformed into a warehouse. I would list all of the stuff and then pack and ship everything that sold the night before.

Packing peanuts get really messy. We still find them at times when we move something. I started bidding on several pallets at a time and was shocked when we won our first 8 pallet load. We ran into our first problem. How do we get eight pallets from DFW to our patio? We hired a moving company to move them. We continued to use the moving company for over a year to move the freight until we found out how to hire freight companies. We really thought we were big time when the driver showed up at our house and lowered the pallets down and rolled them up under our patio! I think Christy was actually having second thoughts although she never said a word. We sold all of that first load and got another. We then thought it would be a good idea, or at least I did, to put in a store front to let people look through the stuff before it went to ebay. After looking we found the perfect spot. It was the old Tropicana Restaurant Downtown Paris. It was just a little bigger than our living room. The owner agreed to rent it to us very cheap.

Christy and I had $2500, that is it. We were broke. We bought a few shelves, a computer and since we already had the assumed name certificate of Main Trading Company, we used that. We had some lettering done on the window and on June fourth we opened for business. Being a ham radio operator I wanted to carry a little used ham gear in the store too. As we sold our surplus we put the money back in inventory and equipment. We cut our living expenses way back. We prayed allot. We needed a little more capital. My parents helped out and I went to see our banker at the best local bank in town. I told him what we were doing and asked for a small loan. For some reason he let us have it. We were in big business now! With more product we started getting more walk in business.

Next step was the website. We had to have one. We got the site up and running and started putting our wares online. I remembered I had several hundred email address from promoting the Paris Hamfest so I started emailing many of you back then. Our business grew. We are not business people at all but we believe in treating

 people fairly and honestly and giving them the best service possible. It started to work. Within six months of opening that store we moved across the street and doubled our size. In another year we knocked out a wall and doubled again. We finally picked up MFJ, Alinco, GRE, Channel Master, Rohn and JetStream. Our surplus sales we still going. A friend, Bob Peters W1PE, now SK , called one day and asked if we had heard of Wouxun. I hadn’t so he filled me in. I thought no one would buy that. Reluctantly I contacted the factory and ordered 20 pieces of the dual band handheld. I was a little nervous about sending this large amount of money overseas but did it anyway. In three weeks the radios came in. I put them on the site and in a few hours they were gone. I quickly emailed another order of twenty. The factory told me the the first order was just a sample, they said from now on the minimum was a hundred pieces. I thought we were done with Wouxun. After talking to the bank again they agreed to loan us enough to purchase 100 units plus accessories. I am not sure who was the craziest but we did it. We made the order and in three weeks we had radios. In another two weeks we were sold out.

About a year and a half in, Christy lost her job in radio. It was a real bad deal. We worried a little but Christy came on board full time and hasn’t looked back. She has become the backbone of the business. With huge internet support and lots of local customers, the business has continued to grow. In December 2011, we moved into our current location. We bought real shelving, stocked the store and opened up. We even have a real sign now! It has been a crazy ride. In February this year we had our grand opening in our new location. Over 400 people came through the door! That is more than we see at a lot of hamfests. You never know what you will find here in the store. Many items come and go all the time. Ipods, TV’s, Computers, Tablets, Parts, Kits, Speakers, Stereos, Military surplus, Telescopes, Fishing worms, Electronic parts, batteries, Music Gear, Amplifiers and more. You really never know what may come through. Now you will also find new Rohn Tower, Telescoping poles, Channel Master TV antennas, JetStream and MFJ Ham Radio products, GRE Police Scanners, Alinco Ham Radios, ARRL Books, Texas BugCatcher High End HF mobile antennas, new Shortwave radios, Midland, Wouxun and MTC Commercial two way radios. (Yes, we have our own brand of two way radio). We carry CB radios and antennas and feedline for almost everything. We have recently signed up with Heil Sound and now carry Heil mics in the store. We still carry loads of used gear and take trade ins daily for new radios. Our store is now the largest ham radio related store in the state.

Our newest radio line is Kenwood. This was fitting since I own mostly Kenwood products myself. How could it get any better, The first of the big three to come on board is the best! We went right to the top! We sold our first Kenwood radio in October 2011. We finished up #2 in the state for 2011. We will be number one in Texas for 2012 in Kenwood sales. There are rumors that we are about to add another line. More news to come.

What else have we been up to? In May I had a chance to go to the Dayton Hamvention and work the Kenwood booth. This was one awesome experience. I hope I get to go back next year. We have applied and now have opened a real United States post office right here in the store. We are almost full service. We can pack and ship, sell postage, stamps and more. Heck, we may even apply for our own zip code. We have had several test sessions here in the store where the local club comes in and administer ham radio examinations after hours. We now have many new hams in the area and yes, they are all run Kenwood! We are about to get antennas up and hopefully have a HF station up and running all the time. We have added a table and chairs for hanging out and reading the newest QST. We have cold RC, 7up and peach soda right here in the store. We have two new employees here. Matt KF5NRU and Joe N5FVN are both doing well. Matt is our Wouxun and Kenwood V-71 expert.

Right now we are getting ready for HamCom in Plano this weekend. Over 400 Wouxuns came in today just for the show. Our biggest Kenwood order to date will be in tomorrow. We will have four commercial booth spaces and we can’t wait to see you. Be sure and stop by and say hello.

I know this message is way too long and if I have not lost you so far I hope it doesn’t sound like we are bragging. We are not. This is just one amazing story and it has to be shared. We stand amazed every day. With all the negative stuff around us, we just feel we have to share this.

At the end of the email I wanted to name many folks that have helped us and made this business possible. The truth is, I cant. Every time I think I am at the bottom of the list , we come up with a few more. We have some pretty amazing friends, family and customers. Thank you so much for sharing this and making this ride possible. Without you it could have never happened.

We hope to see you soon. Stop by and see us. We are your Mom and Pop Ham Shop in Paris Texas. We do business the old fashioned way.. over a cold drink, cup of coffee and a handshake . We want your business and we hope to be here for years to come.

73,

Richard Lenoir-KI5DX

Main Trading Company
2246 Bonham st
Paris, Tx 75460
Phone 903-737-0773

http://www.maintradingcompany.com/

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Written by frrl

June 5, 2012 at 3:36 pm

3 Responses

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  1. This is very great story. Every person wants success in his life. This story is very inspirational for all of us.

    • Thank you so much for posting this. Richard and I just found it. We are still hanging in here!! We always greatly appreciate hearing feedback from our customers and friends!!

      Christine Lenoir

      August 13, 2012 at 8:04 pm

      • I’m so glad for you guys!!! I know that Duncan is smiling down on you guys!!! He absolutely LOVED going to your store!!! It is going to kill me to take his radio operator tags off of his truck this year. I remember how excited he was when he went to the first hamfest here!!! I wish you guys continued success with your business!!! I’ve got some kind of radio of Duncan’s that I need to bring up there so you can show me how to work it!!! Lol…God I miss that boy!!!! I can see him right now shaking his head saying “Mommeh…are you sure I’m yours???” Lol…

        Dawn Cato

        August 13, 2012 at 9:29 pm


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