NORRISTOWN, Pa. – Jim Drucker is living proof that a man not only can learn to appreciate some nagging from his wife, but also build a thriving, innovative company as a result of it.
In Drucker's case, it is NewKadia.com, started in 2000 and believed to be the only dedicated online comic-book dealer. The profitable company's inventory is 750,000, and it sells about 200,000 books each year.
Revenue, Drucker said, is in the "low seven figures."
Comics are just the beginning for the former head of the Continental Basketball Association and Arena Football League, and onetime legal commentator on ESPN, whose ultimate goal is building "the world's most efficient sales platform for used products."
But for now, the 62-year-old is reveling in their popularity, growing his retirement nest egg thanks to a collection of 500 comic books he amassed between ages 6 and 10.
When he got older, his mother pestered him to start tossing what she viewed as unnecessary clutter. It would later become his wife's refrain.
Finally in 1999, he listened. Impressed with returns on two comic books he sold on eBay, Drucker taught himself how to set up an e-commerce site.
NewKadia.com's technology also makes recommendations to customers based on their searching and buying history. Consequently, every repeat customer sees a personalized website, where detailed descriptions are given of any comic book offered. NewKadia's customer base is 90,000.
A high-tech inventory system enables a staff of two full-timers and five part-timers to fill orders at superhero speed. Drucker's goal now is to replicate that for other used products, such as board games and dinnerware.
How does all this sit with the woman who just wanted less in the basement? "The end result is just unbelievable," said Fran Drucker.