Thursday, May 12, 2011
Algonquin Senior Named Among Top State Young Entrepreneurs
Ehrhardt's grandfather probably sparked the enterprise with his habit of toting suitcases full of golfballs for his grandson on quarterly visits from Arizona. (He lives on a golf course.) The balls kept accumulating until Van Vlierbergen came up with the idea of cleaning them for sale on Ebay. Sales took off, the pair found mysterious "'local sources'" for more golfballs, then for baseballs and tennisballs, too.
"We sell about 10 (lots) each week," said Van Vlierbergen, "a lot of baseballs and 9 sets, about 1,000, golfballs."
Profits from the venture are going toward the pair's college expenses. Van Vlierbergen's going to U of I, Champaign, this Fall and Erhardt to SiU Edwardsville. Van Vlierbergen, of course, will also be carrying $1,000 from the scholarship supported by Sam's Club in his pocket.
"We've got our own website. It's http://www.mddiscountgolfballs.com/ ," said Van Vlierbergen.
"Maybe you could mention we're having a big sale starting Sunday on PRO V1's," he added, possibly demonstrating why he won the Young Entrepreneur award in the first place.
In the pic: Algonquin Seniors Dave Van Vlierbergen (left) and Matt Erhardt used some of the early profits from their used golfball business to buy an old commercial ball cleaner. "At first we did it with a brush," said Ehrhardt. "It took a long time."