Eugene Levros is the man behind the online ticketing marketplace SpankinCheap.com. As in concert, sporting, Broadway tickets–minds out of the gutters, friends. Since 2010, Eugene has been bootstrapping his venture. Buy or sell tickets to many different entertainment venues through this secure service provider. Find deals on site or by using either Facebook or Twitter accounts.
SpankinCheap is a startup out of Miami, Florida. (LeBron James haters will want to avoid the Facebook page). Levros touts the ticket inventory and customer experience to be found at his company. There are no promises made, but the holy grail for any ticketing site is always finding a great ticket cheaper than anywhere else, right? In the name of work of course, I had to check… 5th row Springsteen at Wrigley Field on September 8th: $1,500. Ouch! That’s a spankin’ for sure, but not cheap. To be fair, the event is sold out. I haven’t compared elsewhere, and there were many still desirable tickets available in a more writer-friendly price range. Ah well, I can live with Levros giving KillerStartups a backstage pass to his company.
I have to be honest with you, Eugene, “SpankinCheap” sounds like a porn site to me. So clear things up for us a bit… How did you come up with the name for your company / website?
SpankinCheap.com is not a porn site. It’s an online shopping destination for ticket buyers across the web. I stumbled upon the name back in 2009 while accompanying my sister to a doctor’s visit for my 1 month old nephew. They were just about done running a few test that required them to take blood samples–everyone knows that after being pricked with a needle, you’re going to need a Band-Aid–and as the nurse came and gently placed a Band-Aid over my nephew’s foot where he was pricked, she said, “Here’s a Brand Spankin’ New Band-Aid for you.” And it was there at the doctor’s office I put the words “Spankin Cheap” together. After we were done, I rushed home and checked to see if the domain name was available. I purchased it and I’ve never looked back since.
Probably good for all of us that you didn’t reverse that (to CheapSpankin’) or it may have been a totally different site. So.. Tell us about your interest in the Internet. What were your first steps? What was your first computer? How old were you when you first got on the World Wide Web?
I got involved with the Internet back in 2006 when Myspace.com was a social network giant. I was about fifteen or sixteen at the time. I got an idea on how to start making money online from having so many friends on MySpace. I started promoting companies and artists for a fee of about $200 – $300 dollars a week for sending messages to all my friends saying, “Hey go check out this cool new artist or new product this company is offering.” I used Friend Blaster Pro software. The money was so motivating that I eventually taught myself how to design MySpace layouts. That, too, was a success. The next thing I knew, I had successfully created a new revenue stream. I did all this using a Compaq desktop that I would later retire after getting a brand new Dell laptop.
What time do you usually start work each day? Do you have an office or work at home?
I think every entrepreneur should live by the saying: “Early Birds Get The Worms.” So that’s why I usually start work at about 8am, Monday thru Friday, which is great because it gives me the chance to go over technical and financial reports before I get to my emails and meetings.
I work from my office at home, which is not that bad. I save myself tons money this way by not renting out office space. For the emerging entrepreneurs who are thinking that working from home makes a business less legit. “YOUR WRONG!” It doesn’t.
What’s the first thing you do when you leave the office at the end of the day?
Find a great spot to grab a bite to eat, which can be one of my top 3 restaurants:
- The Bone Fish Grill. I love the coconut shrimp there.
- The Miller Ale House. Their turkey burger is unbelievable – Delicious.
- Panera Bread. Can’t say enough about the chicken Caesar salad sandwich.
When do your best ideas come to you? In bed in the morning? After working for 16 hours? On your third beer?
My best ideas usually come to me when I’m at Barnes & Noble reading books.
We want to know about where you spend your day! What’s on your desk right now?
I spend a great deal of time at Barnes & Noble, because I love the atmosphere. It’s a really great place to think and come up with cool ideas.
My desk is a bit messy, but I can manage…on it are the following:
- My Laptop
- My Telescope
- Cellular Phones
- Standard Office Supplies
Favorite book? Author?
The Bible, it keeps me humble & motivated.
A lot of people have big ideas. What gave you the confidence to actually put your life on hold and realize yours?
I always had this burning desire that I wanted to succeed in anything I did. I knew that this idea I’d come up with had great potential to make money, but many people (including my family) didn’t see this potential. This was a huge motivational factor for me, because I love when people say there’s nothing there and that I’m just wasting my time and effort. Those two things right there just shot me into grind mode, and they catapulted me into a new mind set where all I could think about was success for my new idea, or startup, if you will. That’s where the confidence came from.
What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs struggling to get their business off the ground?
Head over to Office Depot. Purchase a board and write down all of the negatives. Turn this into a to do list. Work on each negative until they’re resolved. FYI: do not try this on paper, because it won’t work. Only a board is big enough to remind you each day of things that you need to correct.
Who has been your biggest cheerleader?
Myself. My older brother. My uncle and cousin.
People you recommend we follow on Twitter, and why?
- @SpankinCheap Simply because we’re always giving out social deals and keeping you updated about live entertainment events in your area.
- @Retireat21 This is where I got all of my information to launch my entrepreneurial career.
Where can our readers get a hold of you? Facebook? Twitter? Google+? Personal blog? Any other projects you’re working on that we should check out?
I don’t have any personal social network accounts, but they can contact me via email email@example.com.
People will only take you seriously if you take what you do seriously. That’s why I’m always working and trying to get better, make my company and my website better. So, to anyone who’s interested, check out the site regularly, because there are new and exciting things coming.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned since becoming an Internet entrepreneur?
Think speed, because a slow website is a fast way to lose customers–even repeat customers. It’s important to make sure that you’re maintaining the best level of user experience.