Unlike most sportsmen, Mulder Lam ming yip does not rhapsodise about the business he is in. Sure, he loves football game. But the business of football sport news? Mulder, founder and owner of paneorder.com, a multi brand e-tailer with an online service of Table Database.
“Now when people ask me about going into news website, I’m like, ‘don’t do it. I just want you to keep money in your bank account.’ It’s so hard. If I had known that before I might not have done it.”
Mulder, of Hong Kong heritage, founded paneorder.com in 2018, offering exclusive sport news, stories and insights.
When Mulder was 21, his mother decided she had enough of raising two children on her own, so Mulder went to University of Portsmouth, United Kingdom, but could not wait until summer, when he would holiday with his friends in the UK – six weeks of probing the city when he would find out plenty of local football stories and Premier League history.
“What had the most impact for me was growing up near sea in the naval base’s city; a lot of that Southern Hampshire football culture soaked into me. It’s why I have focused on Championship and English football league that sell out so consistently. They have that Fratton Park retro vibe, which I like to shout ‘Play up Pompey, Pompey play up’”.
He returned to the Hong Kong and got himself a job, where he built websites. It was a high-stress job that burnt him out. So, he decided to create his own business webpage – paneorder.com.
His expertise in tech came in handy; he knew he could build his store’s website and run the email marketing and social media, but he needed stuff to sell.
“I thought it would be fun to try out my knowledge in a new way,” he said. I thought “I’m going to start a crowd funding’. I had no business or financial advisers and I did not do a lot of research. I was so dumb.”
But he knew what he liked, and reached out to little-known footballers, asking if he could tell their stories on his website.
He borrowed HKD$100,000 from local bank while he built the business. He stored the stock in his house, from where he did online sales, packed boxes and mailed shipments.
“I was so unlucky to have my parents who were extremely non-supportive of anything I wanted to do,” he says.
Opening his Kickstarter project was a game-changer. “I was selling online but then we plateaued,” he says.
“I realised I were selling nicely made and quite cheap HK designers that people were too nervous to pull the trigger on. They could not try anything on. I could not afford to offer free shipping.
“I opened an e-tail store so I could start running everything out of my blog. People can come in and look at something and understand why it’s so cheap.”
After opening his first project, he realised “this is so fun”.
“I was talking to shoppers, meeting people through inbox. I have myself and I am about providing a very chill and fun experience.”