How I Built My Company in High School, Sold it at 21, Bought it Back and Sold it to Answers.com

Learn how Scott Wainner used his teenage frustration to fuel the development of his multimillion dollar company and why you should love your work and your mission.

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Scott Wainner recently sold a multimillion dollar company that he started in high school — thanks to a bit of frustration he felt 15 years ago while shopping online.

As a teenager, “I’d buy computer hardware, but I’d often have negative experiences with online retailers, because there was not a place (at that time) to research the reputation of online retailers,” says Scott Wainner the Founder and CEO of ResellerRatings.

“This frustration led me to learn how to code. I taught myself web development, and created ResellerRatings to help me identify trusted stores … What began as a hobby business in high school, has evolved into an influential brand generating millions in annual subscription revenues from 2,000 online retailers.”

Today Wainner’s mission is to offer first-hand customer accounts of online retailers to highlight the best and help shoppers avoid the rest, and to help great retailers excel.

Learn how Scott Wainner used his teenage frustration to fuel the development of his multimillion dollar company and why you should love your work and your mission.

Company: ResellerRatings
Founder: Scott Wainner
Location: Mountain View, CA
Industry: Ecommerce and Retail
Startup Year: 1996
Startup Costs: Undisclosed

How I Got Started:

I began this journey 15 years ago while I was a junior in high school. At the time I was a gamer and I particularly enjoyed flight simulators due to a strong interest in aviation. So, I’d buy computer hardware, but I’d often have negative experiences with online retailers, because there was not a place (at that time) to research the reputation of online retailers.

This frustration led me to learn how to code. I taught myself web development, and created ResellerRatings to help me identify trusted stores. ResellerRatings lets consumers speak out, find the best retailers, and avoid the rest.

What began as a hobby business in high school, has evolved into an influential brand generating millions in annual subscription revenues from 2,000 online retailers. Subscribers to ResellerRatings include industry leaders like Zappos, HomeDepot, Newegg, 1800PetMeds, and TigerDirect, who participate to generate reviews from customers post sale, and to engage with reviewers to resolve issues. The site’s customer ratings influence consumer purchases in Google, Google Product Search, AdWords, Bing Shopping, and within Bing.com adCenter ads.

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