There has been a significant amount of noise lately all over the internet about Jordan’s new wheel company ADV1 and his past failed efforts behind 360 Forged. People are talking and strong allegations are being made about ADV1 and 360 Forged, but what is true and what is fiction is becoming hard to decipher, which is why Secret Entourage decided to step in and confront Jordan Swerdloff once and for all about the reality of ADV1 and what really happened at 360 Forged.
The interview is somewhat long but very detailed and should help resolve the inconsistency of information floating around out there…
Note to Readers: The questions asked are in BOLD, Jordan’s response are in ITALICS and Secret Entourage’s comments after his responses.
Q: Jordan, when we last spoke you said that 360 Forged had failed but you had been able to leave without leaving any unfinished business behind. People now claim that 360 Forged still had outstanding orders from customers that you had gotten paid for while you were still in charge but never made right?
A: The bottom line is this, no matter what the time of order or what anyone claims, when I sold 360 the agreement between myself and the new owners was this: Instead of walking away with a cash payment and leaving all order open, every single order and refund would be sent to the customer and closed out. This was more expensive than a cash offer by other parties however it included me agreeing for them to use my name as a skapegoat for the problems the company had. Their reasoning for this was that the public would not understand the details and this is the most understandable and marketable reason. So my answer to this question, the claims are untrue and if I’m wrong I’ll say it again to anyone owed anything: “Call me for a refund” to this day I get no response.
Secret Entourage: If you have an outstanding order with 360 Forged and are owed money, but are having a difficult time getting a response, send us an email or CC us on your email to ADV1.
Q: There are rumors out there that you walked away from 360 Forged with over 1/2 million in cash, which was sent to an offshore acct so that people wouldn’t questions the losses of 360 Forged?
A: Lol, that would have really helped me pay my bills during the start up process of ADV.1…
No, this is not true – I think the public’s perception of 360 was much larger than it actually was, mainly due to it’s marketing. This was a company that barely did $200k in gross sales even on it’s best months. The total amount owed and / or refunded was only around $80k I believe, so for me to walk away with $500k would be impossible.
Secret Entourage: We were allowed to see some paper trails to validate this, the figures above are not exact but rounded off and accurate.
Q: How did you regain the trust of dealers after the collapse of 360 Forged?
A: It wasn’t easy at all, Miguel handled all of the dealer relationships and he’s great at it – everyone was extremely hesitant at first, but a few key dealers had some faith in us from the beginning and that was enough for us to get some sets out on the street and start that process. The hard part was showing them that this wasn’t the same company and wouldn’t have the same problems. Only now are most companies seeing this and beginning to trust the brand, which is due to the undeniable amount of sets on the street, good reviews and incredible look of the company and wheels which has caused a lot of demand for the product. By now, 1 year later it’s clear that everything is great and they’re willing to back us up. Our dealer relationships have been great from both the personal and business standpoints.
Q: Can you tell us how you raised the capital for ADV1, especially after the losses endured at 360?
A: I know this sounds unbelievable and many will think it’s pure BS, but ADV.1 was started with literally zero. I walked away from 360 with nothing after putting all I had back into it to try and save it before selling. Starting ADV.1 was one of the most difficult times for Miguel and I, but we pushed through day after day to make it happen one way or another. I’ve personally always been a natural when it comes to making money, so I found ways to cover my expenses however possible during the 4 or 5 months from last August to December, but not easily at all. My electric was actually cut once, my wife and baby had to sleep at her moms while I slept at the office – it was a major realization to me that I needed to change and become more responsible and organized. What people don’t understand about a company like this is that a brand can actually be started with no money, making it work and be successful is the real challenge. Here we are, only 1 year later with a company that reports over $450k in verifiable yearly net profits, now ask yourself, can we rip people off and / or not make a quality product and still show these numbers?
Q: What is 3 piece Manufacturing Inc. and why did you list Miguel (business partner) as the registered agent?
A: Just an old corp. formed during 360’s time mainly in order to apply for a new merchant account which we needed to process orders at the time. Due to the onslaught of backorder cancellations and credit card chargebacks the merchant companies held massive reserves from us without notice, causing a huge cash flow issue, resulting in more delays, backorders, etc and inevitably the inability to even process credit cards. This was 90% of our income transactions at the time, so it was the main cause for the company’s problems. Imagine this: you set up your merchant account based on $50k / monthly gross sales, 90% of that being credit card, and 100% of that being punch in, meaning there’s no physical customer in your store to verify the validity of the card ownership. This is a high risk account, so when cc charges grew to 3 times the monthly amount it should be, merchant companies will require that they place a reserve on your account, in order to minimize their risk of loss. It’s based on their own calculations and in our case was at first $75k which would be held from all future transactions until the reserve amount was met. So here’s a brand new company, just starting to see some profits and someone says “sorry but the next $75k you bring in we need to keep for a while”. SO, now the snowball of delays, more chargebacks, more reserves and more problems begins. That was 360’s biggest issue, and led to it’s end. Obviously the problem could have been avoided from day 1, but I was 26 years old, no experience with this and never thought that something like that could happen. Now, going through that we’ve taken the lesson into account when setting ADV.1 up and as a result we strictly do not sell retail, and DO NOT accept credit cards.
Q: There are those that still believe you stole their money to this day, why do you think they have not let it go despite their orders filled and/or refunded?
A: I’m confident that the people saying this are only competitors, I say this only because I know for a fact that every last person who was ever owed anything has been taken care of, and if they weren’t I’ve said it countless times, call me to get you squared away, even out of my own pocket if 360 didn’t have the money to cover it. No one ever calls or emails me, so anyone who claims this is BS, and 100% a competitor / affiliate of one. I’d imagine that these guys are angry every time they see ADV.1 and they probably can’t understand how it’s possible for someone with the past that I have to create such a thing while they have a hard time selling a fraction the volume. Even the competitors attempt to make a blog to hurt ADV.1 states it clearly:
“it’s now being equipped (my old f430) with some better quality wheels from a more reputable wheel company that happens to be a vendor on this forum (Vossen Wheels). its about time some action is taken, working for a wheel company myself, I kinda lost count of how many phone calls i’ve received of there past customers telling me horror stories and how many threads I’ve read!”
This is a quote from a blog started by a competing wheel company in an attempt to gain some sales by reducing ours… Fail.
Q: What is your relationship to 360 Forged as of today?
A: We actually have an ok relationship believe it or not. Alain (partial new owner of 360) have known each other for over 20 years now, since elementary school. Despite everything that’s happened to us in business, it’s never affected us as friends and everything that’s happened was agreed upon amicably between us. He’s doing a good job with 360 and I’m glad that he’s been able to turn it around a make a living with it. As far as my relationship with the company, there is none.
Secret Entourage: This has been validated by the new 360 Forged
Q: Once upon a time came a F430, which seems to have been one of the major problems for 360’s Forged and you. Many said that this car was repossessed when your old company collapsed? Can you tell us why this car played a major part in people’s perception, which today still exists?
A: I honestly don’t know why the 430 was such a big issue for people. I think it made alot of people mad that I had a Ferrari or something. True, at the time it wasn’t a good idea to own it, as the money could have been better invested but it was $3300 / month, and when I got it the company was doing great, so why shouldn’t I have. I never paid a late payment, and it was not repossessed. The car belonged to Ben as many know, and I assumed the lease for a while. When 360 started having major issues we agreed it wasn’t a good time for that type of thing and we simply parted ways with it. This started alot of rumors, and I’m sure alot of people were happy to see it gone, but ultimately it was just a case of childish Miami competitors again, making something out to be more than it really was. The funny thing is, I drive a 430 to work almost everyday now, but people spread rumors about the negative stuff only, I am sure if it got repossessed the whole world would talk about it.
Q: There is a certain site out there that seems to be holding a grudge, and is attempting to destroy ADV1’s image, why do you feel that is? Who is it?
A: Yes there is, and yes we know who it is however I won’t publicly say because I’m not going to get on their level. It is a Miami based competing wheel company responsible for it, and I assume they have a lot of time on their hands which they blame on us. The site has actually been great advertising for us and has caused a lot of “Brand Awareness” and traffic to our new website. I think a lot of people already know that we make quality wheels and provide excellent service so the site is obvious to them why it’s online. To those who don’t know ADV.1 they do now lol and be it good or bad they look into the site and see that it’s clearly a joke. My message to the owners, just like we’ve stated on our websites home page:
“It’s sad to see what our competition will stoop to in order to try and get ADV.1 out of the way. It’s unfortunate that they haven’t yet realized that the reason ADV.1 is such a successful company is because we provide a quality product, good service, and reliable delivery, period. We’ve overcome these obstacles since day one and we’ll continue to ignore these attempts to slow us down.
Q: Our message to these companies struggling to find a way to make us fail:
A: Guys, just stop already. We’re here, we’re not going away, it happened. Focus your efforts on marketing your products and creating a strong company, not on trying to put down others. We’re sorry if you’ve had a drop in sales this year, that’s business though and the only way to keep that from happening is to do your best and develop a strong brand with new, fresh designs and good service to go along with it. Bottom line is this, we’ve sold close to a thousand sets of wheels since last year and there’s not s single complaint to be found anywhere, that’s not a scam, or luck, it’s good business and a good product.”
HERE IS MORE FROM JORDAN HIMSELF, that he insisted be included in the interview….
1. ADV.1 speaks for itself and needs no explanations to verify it’s legitimacy as a company, done.
2. Despite the claims, I will say it with a loud speaker “If I owe anyone money, come see me or call me for your immediate refund” I hear crickets, ok done.
3. Did I walk away with a quarter million or so in cash which funded ADV.1, nope – but I did make sure that money went into refunding and filling every last open order while I struggled to pay my electric bill in the process of starting this company with my newborn son and wife at home to support, yeah. Don’t believe me? Call Alain at 360 and ask him, better yet call me and we’ll 3 way him.
4. Did I agree to allow 360 and their new sales team to use my name as a skapegoat for all the problems the company had as part of my buy out arrangement? Yeah, don’t believe me? refer to #3.
5. Did I lose my home due to the ordeal? Yeah, one of my 3 rental property’s that took a $100k hit in the market crash, does that still count? No One blogs about my 5500Sq ft home that cost over 1 million, which I happen to own well before 360 Forged even came in the picture…Weird?
6. Was my famous F430 re-poed? Umm, no. Never paid the $3300 payment 1 day late, don’t believe me? Ask Ben, it was his too. How come no one blogs about all my other cars that I kept around? Strange…The infamous F430 is parked outside my office, and anyone that wants a ride can stop by.
7. Did I run 360 poorly? Yes, absolutely.
I was 26 years old and started it for fun, no kids yet, no responsibilities and no plans for it to be anything more than a hobby. After going through the 3+ year roller coaster I’ve learned it all, matured, and dedicated myself to ADV.1 which as you can see the difference is night and day but would never have been possible without the experiences.
8. Does the blog moderator approve my post explaining this? Nope
9. The REAL question, ask yourselves this: If ADV.1 was struggling to make a sale, and our wheels weren’t so impossibly beautiful, would there still be a hater blog?
Here are our closing comments on ADV1, Jordan and the final chapter behind 360 Forged.
Secret Entourage: There is a lot that is covered here, and that does validate or explain quite a bit about what the fuss over the net is all about… If one of our readers believes to be owned money by ADV1, I encourage you to not only contact Jordan but also CC us on your emails, so that we may help sort out any misunderstanding. Keep in mind that Secret Entourage would not endorse a company that rips off people, nor interview its owner as a Success Story. Here are some important facts and past articles that you must read in order to understand more about why Secret Entourage has faith that ADV1 is a solid company and that the outcome of 360 Forged was unfortunate but is in the past. Here are some facts…
- 896 sets of wheels delivered and on the road since September 2009 (only 1 year ago)
- Out of those 896 sets of wheels, not 1 unresolved issue or complaint can be found
- Nearly every reputable large and small retail dealer in the US and Internationally stands behind ADV1 and trusts them to deliver a quality product to their customers
- The company was built from literally nothing and in 1 year produced over $4 million dollars in gross sales despite the entire wheel industry being bitter about 360 Forged.
The bottom line is that company’s do not succeed like this by ripping people off, supplying a low quality product, or not practicing good business ethics, period. Competitors try their best to make people think otherwise in an effort to make sales instead of focusing on making their brand better and adapting to the changing market.
BOTTOM LINE: Does Jordan / 360 or ADV.1 still owe people money from 360’s fall out?
Absolutely not, and he’s publicly stated repeatedly “If anyone claims that I do, call or come by any time and if the claim is legitimate we’ll go to the bank together on the spot”. The reason such a bold statement is made is because 360 was sold for the amount needed to fill every open order and / or refund owed and he made sure that this was done instead of walking away with a substantial cash payment. The offer still stands, his phone number and Email address is below.