Co-Founder of Solid Cactus, Sold to in 2009. eCommerce Enterpreneur

Awards and Recognition

Having spent over 20 years in the eCommerce field, I've received a lot of awards. Most probably wouldn't interest you, but feel free to take a look...


I started my first company in 1994 and sold it in 2007. Free free to read more if you're interested! eCommerce has changed a lot over the years.

Published Writing

In my spare time, I enjoy blogging and writing articles. Feel free to read some of my work. I'm a Forbes contributor.

Latest News On Joseph Palko

Recent Interview With Terry Lin @ Build My Online Store

I recently had a great interview with Terry Lin at Build My Online Store.  It is now live!  Feel free to stop by and take a listen at your leisure.  You can find the interview here... Here are some of the topics discussed... 04:00 – What was Joe’s first e-commerce business in 1994? 08:00 – Landscape of E-Commerce in the 2000s 11:30 – Fundamental truths of success in E-Commerce 13:00 – Selling a $12M business that was gradually losing profitability 15:30 – The power of a written letter 17:30 – Finding the right fit when looking for a buyer 21:00 – Calculating the true valuation for your business 25:00 – Will cataloging make a comeback in marketing? 28:00 – Why the worst-case situation is just all in your head 30:00 – Selling the second business to a publicly listed company 34:30 – Commonalities among successful store owners at 3D Cart 36:00 – Commonalities among store owners that fail 38:00 – Drop-shipping vs manufacturing 41:30

The Ten Commandments of Social Media

I recently came across this blog post and it got me thinking. You hear everyone saying, you need to do social media, and the truth is, you do! But this article is such a great example of how social media can hurt your business. Not doing social media correctly can truly backfire. People do not subscribe to social media primarily for deals. This is not the place to self promote. If your followers are looking for deals, there are plenty of websites for them to find deals, such as Groupon and Living Social. This doesn't mean that you can't run special deals for your followers, but you need to balance these promotions in a way that your readers don't start to think that your sole purpose is self promotion. Share information. People are social, and they gravitate to social media for interaction. People want to interact. They want to tell you why

Say Hello to Finch

Those of you who know me from the early days of The Ferret Store know that both me and the co-founder of The Ferret Store and Solid Cactus, Scott Sanfilippo have always been huge animal lovers.  So much so, that it is what inspired us to start selling ferret supplies in 1994.  I've been without a dog now for awhile and I felt it was time to adopt. Finch is 3 years old, and a mix of who knows what.  He's the sweetest dog I've ever owned, and I have owned many.  He was bounced around from shelter to foster home before he landed here with Jeff and me.  He is only partially housebroken, which is why I assume he hasn't been able to keep a family.  He is 100% pee trained, but he has issues pooping.  The good news I guess is he only poops in the same place

I Want to Be An E-Commerce Success Story…

Today, one of my co-workers wrote an article that I wanted to share.  I have been mulling over writing this same article for the past week, and to my surprise, Bryan came in today and said, you know, I was thinking about something and I wrote an article about it.  So believe it or not, we must have some kind of screwy connection or something. Just to add to Bryan's article, I wanted to share a few common misconceptions about selling online... You cannot expect to start a small business without having passion.  Trust me, if you don't have a passion for what you are doing, you will quickly become bored. All good things take time.  This concept that so many potential business owners think that they can be successful in one month is just baffling to me. Knowledge IS POWER...  If you don't take the time to learn what you're doing, you'll

Entrepreneur On Fire Interview

I recently interviewed with John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneur on Fire.  He was extremely professional and a wonderful host.  Thanks John for the great interview!  Click here to listen to my interview on Entrepreneur on

A Lesson In Customer Service

I just had to sit down and write about this.  I had experienced the worst treatment I have ever received as a customer, and of all places it happened at a company that I honestly feel provides some of the best customer service in their industry.  This event is so unbelievable, that I still cannot get over it.  So, this being said, I may as well use this incident as an example so hopefully someone could learn something from it. I needed two documents notarized.  I went to the Chase Bank located on the corner of University and Oakland Park in Sunrise, FL.  I was actually in a very good mood, so I was extra nice.  In typical Chase fashion, the employees were very professional, nice, and even went out of their way to apologize for the wait (which was about five minutes), and that is hardly a wait, so