300 : Chris Green – What is your sustainable competitive advantage? Also is Merch by Amazon dead, too full, or is it just getting started?

chris green photo

So for sure you know where Chris stands when it comes to the question: Is Merch by Amazon over saturated? Of course he would say not even close! It really is just getting started. Those of us Merch sellers feel the growth pains in our Merch accounts. We feel the throttling, the copycats and as Chris describes it: Amazon launches then comes back to fill in the details later. So thats what it is, you can’t take it personally. You have to roll, pivot and then go full on with whatever you do in this wild wild west-like ecommerce world we all play in. Btw.. He drops some really good advice on gaining some thinking time. Might just surprise you.

Mentioned:

Chris’ previous interview #100, #200 

Merch Dojo– Chris’ course on Making money on Merch by Amazon

Sponsors

Gaye’s Million Dollar Arbitrage List

Solutions4ecommerce

Scope from Sellerlabs

GoDaddy

Grasshopper

Transcript: (note- this is a new tool I am trying out so it is not perfect- it does seem to be getting better)

Stephen:                             00:00:00               I’m excited to talk about my sponsors today, Gaye Lisbey’s Million Dollar Arbitrage Group. Amazing, amazing group. This is a teacher. This is Gaye, she was a teacher. She is a teacher. Still. You need to learn. This is the type of environment you want to be in because she’s going to help you understand why, and I think that’s the hardest part of this business is understanding why. Why is the red one popular when the green one isn’t? Well, there’s usually a reason and what gay does is probably parsed that better than anybody and she’ll explain the reasons for those things. I think that’s really powerful. Yes, she puts out a list. You’re going to get a good use of that list if you get in the group. Now here’s the deal. The group isn’t always open, right? So you get on the waiting list and you can join the waiting list through my link.

Stephen:                             00:00:46               Doesn’t cost anything to get on a waiting list and if you like her service, which I find that most people do that, that’s why there’s not so many openings. Um, you’ll be with her for a long time. And so it’s amazing [inaudible], she’s part of Andy Slamon’s group, amazing freedom.com. Forward slash momentum. And you’re going to get in to the waiting list. That’s all I can get you on right now. You can use my name and see if that gets anywhere. But what I like about it, what I like about what they teach in that group or the things that are going on, you know the current things. I’ve seen a lot of stuff going on about stores going out of business. While here’s where the opportunity is, here’s why you want to do this. Hey, be cautious about this. You know what toys are us coming out, you’ve got to think about this and that’s the learning that you need to do.

Stephen:                             00:01:30               And Gay is better than anybody else I’ve seen. So amazing. Freedom [inaudible] forward slash momentum will get you to the waiting list. Then hopefully we can get you in the group and then you’re going to see me in there and we can chat anytime you’re ready. Karen lockers, group solutions, the number for e-commerce solutions for e-commerce dot com, forward slash momentum. It’s going to save you 50 bucks. Karen’s our account manager. We recommend her to everyone because she’s done so well for us. I mean, that’s quite frankly the reason we’d been paying her for last few years, but she’s become an important part of our team. Her and her team are so involved in our account. I just see the emails coming back and forth, hey, we did this for you. I just saw two listings today. I’m like, wait a second. Why did they show up? I didn’t put any listings up.

Stephen:                             00:02:11               They got a. They got a set off to the side by Amazon and they reactivate them for me. You know what I mean? That’s the stuff that just happens when you have a strong team and I can’t recommend Karen enough if you use a code momentum. Karen pays me. I don’t want to hide that. Of course we all know that, but you’re going to save $50 and it’s a great opportunity to really, really build out your team with somebody you can trust. That’s why I recommend them. So solutions for ecommerce solutions, the number for e-commerce dot com forward slash momentum is going to save you $50. Oh, and by the way, she’s going to do an inventory health report. Why is that important? Well guess what fees are going up. Is your inventory health number declining like ours is? Well, here’s why and what they can do.

Stephen:                             00:03:00               What I like is I get a spreadsheet from them and it says, Hey, here’s a bunch of inventory, here’s what we recommend. And I’m like, Yep, re refund. I mean a delete returned to us, blah blah blah, whatever it is. And it’s are destroyed and it just happens. That’s what I like. The other thing that I have Karen helped me with a lot is creating new listings. You know, we do, a lot of the researchers solves, we upload our images and then boom, magically the listing goes live and I don’t have to worry about it. Those are the services that Karen offers. Can’t recommend her enough solutions for e-commerce dot com, forward slash momentum. Save 50 bucks, use my code. You save $50 a month every single month and it’s a great service. Plus you get that free inventory health report. I think it’s a really powerful way, so I can’t.

Stephen:                             00:03:45               I’m so excited how many people have been joining here because I see it and I’m excited because the messages I get from people saying, hey, this is great. I finally feel like I can focus on something else because Karen and her team are watching this for me and you know, I highly recommend her. Next up is scale solar lamps and scope. Then we’ll sit it wrong. It’s amazing. I mean, it really is amazing when you sit back and think about, hey, I want to get this product up and it’s similar to this product and that’s what that product does well, well therefore, if that product does well, they have the right keywords, they’ve chosen things correctly, so guess what? You scope and you could see all that stuff and that’s what the most powerful thing in the world is to copy somebody who’s done it right.

Stephen:                             00:04:28               That’s what you want to. You want to take advantage of that, right? I mean it’s, it’s fair a to c and so therefore you can take and apply it to your listing and immediately get that same benefit. That’s what scope does for me. Sellerlabs dot [inaudible] forward slash momentum. It’s going to save you $50 on the service. Oh, by the way, it’s free to try, so sign up, try it and say, oh, this is how it’s done. Boom. And then you’re going to. The lights going to go on and you’re going to be like, man, I can get my products out there. I just can’t wait. Can’t wait. So our labs.com forward slash momentum. The other day I bought another domain. Yes, I bought another domain. It’s almost like A. I’m admitting guilt, but it’s because I had an idea and it was something that was a pretty good idea.

Stephen:                             00:05:17               I think it’s going to go pretty far and so what do I do? I go to try go daddy dot [inaudible] forward slash momentum and save 30 percent. So domains aren’t very expensive. You get a few services. It adds up a little bit and I usually buy it three years. I usually buy privacy by the way, I recommend that to buy that, you know, it’s not that much money, but when you can save 30 percent it makes it that much sweeter and it makes it easier when you’re buying domains and especially if you buy a bunch of domains. I am a domain collector and so I do tend to do that, but that 30 percent makes it a lot easier and I used to go down because what I like is I can pop in an address I’m thinking and it’ll say, nope, nope, try this version or try this extension and then boom, there it is.

Stephen:                             00:05:58               Hey, you better hurry before it goes away and the right, you know, and so try Godaddy.com, forward slash momentum save 30 percent. Also want to mention about grasshopper. Who was that? Just talking to somebody the other day and they were like, Oh yeah, use this company called grasshopper. I’m like, Dude, did you buy it through my link and save 30 percent? Hello? No, they miss that. So save 30 percent. It’s try grasshopper dot [inaudible] forward slash momentum. No surprise there, but you’re going to save 30 percent and what the real cool part about that is they’re using it for their private label business and it gives them virtually a second phone on their current phone without having to get another number. They can make up a vanity number. They don’t have to go and do all the grief and sign loan contracts. Pretty easy stuff, and so if you’re creating a brand that you want to identify, you want to look professional, you want to look like a real company. Grasshopper is a great tool. It’s an app you put on your existing phone and boom, you now have a customer service to. You. Now have a sales department, didn’t have a manufacturing division. You could forward it to somebody else. You can have it go to different voicemails, different departments, and it’s all included. So try grasshopper.com, forward slash momentum. Save 30 percent.

Cool voice guy:                  00:07:13               Welcome to the e-commerce momentum podcast where we focus on the people, the products, and the process of e-commerce selling. Today. Here’s your host, Steven Peterson.

Stephen:                             00:07:27               Welcome back to the e-commerce momentum podcast. This is episode 300, man. Oh man, it’s so cool. It’s so cool to think about that 300 episodes. You know, I started this on my 15th birthday, uh, two plus years ago and to get to this place, it’s just a really cool, cool thing. And the people that, I mean, that’s the coolest things and what I appreciate so much is the notes from people saying, man, I really connected with Blah Blah, blah, that person and they did this and I’m like, isn’t that just so cool? Because these are real people with real stories running real businesses and it’s not always good news. Sometimes it’s hard and that’s what’s so cool. I think as the story. And I love a story as you guys know, so 300 Chris Green, of course it’s on every hundred. He’s allowed. He’s got everyone for now until 10,000.

Stephen:                             00:08:17               I’m going to kick them off at 10,000, 100. Um, but he, he, you know, it’s interesting. We end up in some cool places because I don’t want to just keep talking about the same stuff. And some of his, some of his advice is just so sound. Some of it’s so basic and you’d be like, oh, the, of course, but how many, how many of us are doing it? That’s what I always think about, and he gets us to have some really cool places in some really cool thoughts. He does pitches course merge. Dojo dot. I allow it. Um, I don’t benefit other than, again, if you take action, I win because you want. And to me if you won, I win because it’s just cool to me. I really appreciate what he does and he’s a solid guy who has delivered solid results for so long for so many of us.

Stephen:                             00:09:02               So it’s merchant Dojo.com. Let’s get into the podcast. All right. Welcome back to the ECOMMERCE momentum podcast. Very excited about today’s guest. Eight, because it’s a milestone that means I bring on a milestone guest and you know, I made this agreement along time ago in my mind like, Hey, every hundred episode I’m bringing on somebody who’s made a huge, huge impact in my life. And most people’s lives. I mean, you know, it’s funny, a whole bunch of people are forgetting it, but those of us who really appreciate it, don’t forget it and it’s Chris Green. Welcome back, Chris.

Chris:                                     00:09:32               Congratulations on its current prison.

Stephen:                             00:09:36               It’s crazy. I mean it’s, it’s, it’s, I can’t wait to hit number 3000. I mean, has that weird. I just love it. I love it. I love the people I meet. I love talking to people who are so smart and they, every time I get smarter I’m like, Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness. And you do that 300 times and all of a sudden you’ve got. You’ve got a pretty good knowledge base.

Chris:                                     00:09:56               It’s very, very cool. Very cool. Here’s a question for you to start this off. If you had known how hard it was to do 300 episodes, would you have started like what you were getting into?

Stephen:                             00:10:13               You know, it’s like most things, you know, you think, oh, it’s easy. He makes it look easy. You know, it’s funny, we were talking about going up on stage and there’s so many great speakers and I’m an OK speaker, but there’s so many great speakers. They make it look so easy, but when you’ve got to do it, it’s hard and you know, it really, you, it humbles, it humbles me. I don’t know if it humbles everyone, but for me it humbles me and my respect for those really powerful speakers who can just get up there and just wing it is through the roof. So I would not do this had I known how difficult it is and it’s the reason, quite frankly, most people don’t because it’s, uh, it’s so much work. I see so many people doing to people podcast or two people’s shows and stuff like that. That makes a lot of sense because it’s like Andy and nate and Lee, Ron, you know, we talk about it all the time. The three of them, two of them are always available. It’s great if three, but with two of them, they’re always available. So that makes it sustainable. When you’re by yourself. It’s a challenge. It’s a real challenge. [inaudible] John Lee Dumas gone from daily to I think twice a week he’s going to do it. Um, because he had crazy everyday podcast. Can you imagine that?

Chris:                                     00:11:21               Did the 2000 2008? He did a daily thing, but I don’t think it’s, it’s a, it’s revealing anything. He didn’t schedule one a day. He released one record. He had a system that he could manage all these things, so he made the difficult look easy and that I’ve actually really love to talk about that because I see that a lot. You know, let’s go there. Ten years, 10 plus years I’ve been working with across all kinds of, of Amazon platforms, from self-publishing because selling who merged to all these different things and people make it look easy and I’m aware that I make some things look easy and there’s make some things in youtube videos promoting courses make things look easy and it’s not easy. These things are hard. Anything that’s, that’s good and worth working for. It’s going to require hardware. So just understand that the people who are good in any space, they’re just making something that’s difficult and they’re making it look easy.

Chris:                                     00:12:27               That’s all they understand. There is hard work behind it, but if you love the work that it doesn’t feel hard, right? Like, oh, this is, this is fine. I liked doing that. Some people really like editing podcasts, like they don’t mind that. So for some people that would be absolute torture, you know, when it comes to private label and wholesale and retail arbitrage and merge, you know, some people like some things more than others and some people make something look really easy when it’s not when it, when it’s hard. So people need to acknowledge that and be able to see that like, oh, I see what they’re doing. Wow. They are really good at that. I’m, I’m impressed. Like a speaker who can get up and just come in the stage to make them or cheesy. But it’s difficult.

Stephen:                             00:13:08               You know, some of that though is I find that with the podcast and it’s funny, you know Dan Miller, you’ve, you’ve met Dan Miller. I’m from the dance studio and we’re sitting there and he’s giving me advice and he’s such a cool guy, right, and we’re talking about it. I’m like, well, hell, when do you do the head hitting? When do you do this? He’s like, Steve, no, no, no, no, no. I push this button. He was so cool about it because he doesn’t edit and that’s what he said is like, look, get to the point. You don’t need to edit it right now, and he pointed at a whole bunch of other things, so quite frankly, the editing process for me now is very simple. Used to use an editor and the mistakes and the communication gap made it challenging. Literally, I fixed my process so I don’t have to edit and very infrequently do I have to edit and that was because of Dan’s advice that took practice. So now I can blow right through these. Were anybody starting out struggles? You know, it’s, it’s that practice, that process, build a process. Isn’t that kind of what you’ve seen in all the Amazon, the real successful outliers? They are processed builders or process outsourcers.

Chris:                                     00:14:11               Without a doubt. You have to come up with a process and you have to acknowledge that you’ve probably heard me say this, perfect is the enemy of done. I wish I could remember who this was. And there was someone who was doing a podcast and they would literally, they would hire someone to go through and remove every pause, every, uh, every, uh, like, could you imagine like this is like a small podcast we’d like with no audience yet. Right? So there’s, there’s two things going on there. [inaudible], you know, it doesn’t matter. No one cares if you say, ah, one time and then two, the amount of time that you put in to making it perfect is better spent doing something else and that something else improving. So where you’re done having to go through and edit out all the bugs and all these things, you’re going to get better by moving forward.

Chris:                                     00:14:58               But if you can just do something alive that. This is the one thing I liked about creating content is facebook live a lot is I can create content once and then repurpose it, right? So you can go live on facebook. People don’t know that you can download that video, download the video off of facebook and then edit it and repurpose it. So if you have a podcast, you can do audio only people don’t know this either. You can do audio only facebook live, which as you know this, podcasts are booming because people value their time and they want to consume content where they work out while they drive or no plastics, they want audio, only ones that of watching video and you can do that on facebook and then you can download it and then you can repurpose it and chop it up into sound bites it, use it on instagram clips and do all kinds of things. You can get better at all these things instead of worrying about the things that don’t matter, right? If your audience doesn’t listen to you because you say, ah, a well, right, content is what they’re coming for.

Stephen:                             00:15:53               No, wait, it was zero was free. It’s free content and I think people understand that people are real. I mean, I, I, you know, I mean this is the way I talk, you know, uh, I can’t apologize for it, but that’s the way I talk and I like to talk. So guess what, that’s what you get the software. But the software also has gotten easier. I mean, I’m using software now that his radio station level software and it’s so inexpensive relative to what, you know, somebody would have paid at a radio station for it and it allows you to do so much better. As I went to a podcast event and this company was there and I’m like, man, I’m one of your biggest fans. And they’re like, oh yeah, we know who you are and blah, blah blah. And I said, and he moves something.

Stephen:                             00:16:30               I’m like, wait a second, why don’t you do that? And he goes, Oh yeah, you just do this. Like, do you realize I’ve got 100 episodes on your software? I’ve never known that it does that. He’s like steve to do watch the videos. I’m like, I’m a guy. No, I’ve never watched the videos come on and it’s just so cool. But it’s just, it makes things easy and it’s getting easier and easier. Um, but you know, let’s talk about that, right? Yeah. Well, let’s talk about that. I just had a conversation with somebody about, um, uh, scrapers a scraping content from Amazon and then, you know, allowing people to find things and wholesale and all that kind of jazz. And, you know, my comment was, that’s cool that you’re doing that, but you realize everybody else can do that too, right? He do. We got to think about that. And as a matter of fact, there are people who develop that stuff that can do more than what you know, that, that software can do. So get ready, you know, be prepared to adapt and overcome. Right? And that, that, that’s getting real isn’t it?

Chris:                                     00:17:37               Is really taking over more than hardware and software can solve, you know, bad audio, bad video software can make, you know, editing and processing things faster. Software can go scrape information, but if your software can do with somebody else’s software can do it. Which comes back to something that I think from the retail arbitrage days and now wholesale private label and all these things, you’ve got to have what’s called a sustainable competitive advantage and sustainable doesn’t mean forever sustainable, right? But it has to be like at least a little bit of a timeframe. So maybe have some very complex software has been. Take someone a while if they want to hate to say got copy of the software, but you know, copy the functionality. It’d be like, oh, this chrome extension is really powerful. I want to make one like that. It’s gonna. Take some time. So you’re going to have a little bit of a headstart.

Chris:                                     00:18:22               Keeping in mind the copiers at best will always be number two, right? They’ll never, they’ll never be number one. It’d be innovating in the, you know, leading the race. But every you have to have that competitive advantage, which is good. It makes the. All these things are easier now, but it also means everybody can do it. So if you now it’s not just the people who have money, who can, when it’s anybody can win, who’s going to win? It’s going to be the best, which is the way it should be. Whoever has the most money should win, not over as most money, the best podcasts. Now, whoever, whoever’s the best content should have the best podcasts and that’s what’s going to happen, but because of that, now there’s all these new players making podcasts. You’ve got to up your game, so that’s what people can see. The bad part be like, oh, now there’s more competition. Like, well, yeah, now you gotta be better. You don’t get to sit here and and be not as good because you were first or not as good because you had money for equipment whenever you know, when everyone else didn’t know it is good for the end user, the listener, the consumer, the buyer, the member or whatever it might be a that competition. So that’s why it’s kind of good and bad.

Stephen:                             00:19:27               It’s definitely both. Tell me more accessible and I’m gonna. Move it over to private label. You mentioned private label and I’m just thinking about that with a product I was bringing in and looks at. He goes like, Steve, there’s no barrier to entry to bring that product to market. Everybody can do it. You know, it’s the silicone spatula, right? There’s nothing. Oh yeah. Then you’re only competitive advantage is price. Right, and so you know you. That’s not what you call the sustainable competitive advantage period. And I think that’s a powerful phrase. I think that that, that if you take that filter on everything you’re doing and say, do I have competitive, sustainable advantage? No. So therefore I either got to come up with one or move on to something else because some of these is going to come in and eat my lunch.

Chris:                                     00:20:16               Yeah, without a doubt. I think people should. People should be obsessed with that. And sustainable competitive advantages come in many ways. Like I have a sustainable competitive advantage with my decade plus experience with Amazon right now. Do I know anything that other people don’t know? I don’t know any secrets. There’s no information that only I have a, but if someone wants to do exactly what I do and have the context that I have and have the experience that I have, they got to put in the time. Right. So that, that time is, you can’t shortcut the time, you can’t just step in and be like, I have no Amazon experience and I’m going to do exactly what Christina’s, you can try. It’s not going to work. Right. But over time, yes, you can absolutely do exactly what I can do an in or what I’m doing and even be better than me. Right. So then it’s on me, like, you know, I’m excited that I’ve got this experience and I didn’t mean to end up where I am today.

Stephen:                             00:21:11               Right. It wasn’t. It’s funny you say that. It’s funny you say that. I mean, uh, I was thinking about, you know, what are the things I wanted to make sure I talked to you about is you’ve had a history of reading the tea leaves. It’s not like you had inside knowledge fair. I mean, it was, it’s just that you’ve been paying attention and you just keep, but you’ve been reading. It’s funny about Merck because I want to talk about Birch, but one of the things I think back to how many years ago were you saying that this merge thing is going to be huge. I mean it was years ago, right? How many came out October 2015, which sounds forever ago now, but you were preaching then like guys, I’m telling you this is going to be big and I don’t think very many few, many very many believed you and it’s a t shirt. I mean, come on. Nobody’s going to buy a tee shirt. You know? What are you talking about?

Chris:                                     00:22:09               It’s an amazing example of this and I think most of your listeners know this. The power of prime. Amazon prime is a household name now. Everybody knows what it is and if you think of print on demand where we help eod systems like teespring and Zazzle and café press presses been around for like since the beginning of the internet or whatever, and they weren’t prime eligible. Right? And café press cells literally like 60 different items. You can upload a logo and put them on all kinds of anything you can imagine. They’ll print it out and they’ll ship it to you, but it’s not Amazon prime. And here comes merge basically selling a tee shirt, but it’s prime eligible and it it, it just created the whole market gets turned upside down because it’s prime eligible. If it wasn’t prime eligible. What I care like I know about teespring, I don’t care what teespring, it’s an on demand loyalty generating zero cost product.

Chris:                                     00:23:03               Yeah, I get it, but it’s not on Amazon where the customers go and it’s not prime eligible is the exact same thing with Fba came around. I had already been using prime as a prime member since February 2005 the month it came out. I might be the prime member probably know right? Added to someone at Amazon would have to look it up, but I was there the first month so I understood the prime buyer when Fba came out. Right. Like that was a big advantage. I was all in and people, people wrote books about Fba. Say, why would I ever let Amazon handle my inventory? I can do that myself. I don’t trust them. They’re going to mess it up. And I’m like, who cares, man? Your prime eligible. That’s the key. That’s the piece in the US are missing here and it’s the same with merge. It’s prime. That’s what makes this work. That’s why the customers that want to buy these products over teespring products or any other product. So I saw that right away in my other piece of experience are tied into. It was my create space experience, which sounds like, wait, what are you talking about? Createspace

Stephen:                             00:24:02               formula. That’s the formula. That’s the formula that, oh, we’re getting inside Chris Green’s head. This is the bat that you do. OK. History of createspace plus prime and the experience. Everybody wants to be on prime equals success. Boom. Next. That was the formula.

Chris:                                     00:24:21               It really was a great space for everybody that doesn’t know his print on demand books. If they’re self publishing arm, they have these big printers that print books on demand, so it never costs you money. So we basically have an Amazon product page that went itselves. Amazon will create the product and ship it to the customer and give you money

Stephen:                             00:24:40               that disrupted the vanity press. Like incredibly. That little createspace disrupted it.

Chris:                                     00:24:47               Yeah.

Stephen:                             00:24:49               He, uh, I think he asked for until next month. He needed, he needed a little time. He said,

Chris:                                     00:24:55               I figured he’d been on like maybe one of the first 100 episodes. He’s been around for awhile. He’s an e-commerce space. He’s a lawyer. He vanity published his book and he had to buy 5,000 copies and he probably still has 4,000 of them in his garage. I mean ask him about this. What do you want it? But you have to, you have to pay money. There was no press that was going to print you one copy of your book. But now Amazon has all these printers, which is, let’s give some real Amazon information. OK. This comes straight from a Jeff Bezos, a keynote presentation that what Amazon thinks. What are we going to work on? What are we gonna, you know, try to improve as a business. And it comes down to three things and it’s like, what does the customer want? What do we know they want?

Chris:                                     00:25:33               Not what do we think they want, not what do we think they’re going to want in a few years, what do we know they want right now? Which sounds simple, right? But maybe we should work on those things. What does the customer want it? Let’s be just be good at those things. And the three things are lower prices, faster delivery, and more selection. That’s it. That’s what the customer wants. So Amazon’s going to anything that falls in line with those things, you can bet Amazon’s going to go all in on. And if you think of on demand, what does on demand books where they can put, you know, printers in warehouses closer to customers and they don’t have to warehouse stuff. So their costs are going to be lower so then they can pass on that cost. They’re going to be closer to the customer. So they’re going to get this stuff faster and now they can offer pretty much any book ever anywhere in the country without an infinite selection.

Chris:                                     00:26:17               Yeah, you can bet them on demand printing of books is going to be big and they’re going to invest heavily in that. Same with tee shirts. Right now you have infinite selection. You have shipping times now it’s not there yet because they only have two locations. They haven’t built ADF Fba warehouses, you know, like they have a to getting lower prices because you don’t have to like print these things ahead of time and store them and hope that they sell. Know you print them as new, come in and you know, Amazon’s gonna pass on that saving. So any business model, so any platform that comes out from Amazon, if you look at it and say, yeah, that platform is going to reduce costs, increased selection and it’s going to get the stuff to the customer faster. You can bet they’re going to invest heavily in that and if it’s something you can participate in becoming a designer or an author or whatever it might be, yeah, spend some time there. Even if everybody else says, Nah, man, that new thing is not going to get big. Yeah, it definitely will. It always will have been lines up with those three things.

Stephen:                             00:27:15               So you [inaudible] and perfect example of exactly the same thing except for it’s not design. You’d just buy products and take advantage of the price difference. Right? Exact same model. What, what do you say? Like I, I get fascinated when they talk about, I just saw that they were looking at selling cars or delivering cars, not delivering to your car actually getting in the car business. And I’m like, Huh. Or getting into drug business. That was another one. They were going to get into the uh, the generic drugs or some way to help deal with and fix this healthcare problem. When you think about what’s coming next, what, what, what are you looking for? I mean, not like in that first math formula you had create space and a prime. How did you know that the shirts were going to be big? I mean they announced it at that point. Is that what you’re waiting for? Or when you see them talking about healthcare or something like that, is that when you start thinking, OK, sounds like an opportunity is going to come? We know we’re going to have an audience, therefore where can I fit in that audience are in that, in that formula to make money?

Chris:                                     00:28:16               Is that kind of. It might even be more than two, but if I’m looking at and pick the healthcare one, if they get into generic drugs, is that, how can I fit myself into that and right now I’m thinking I don’t know, like I don’t sell drugs. I don’t know anything about the drug. I mean that’s highly regulated and I come from a background where like scooping up product at retail stores and then getting into self publishing and then merge and all these things. How do we plug ourselves into their. I don’t know, possibly there isn’t a way, right? Or it can become an evangelist for it, right? Because it’s prime eligible. Right? So you could go around and educate people were like, Hey, hey, senior center. You really should be, you know, considering, you know, looking at prime, you guys are going to save money so you can look at who can benefit from that and then you can network and benefit that way or what businesses can benefit from that.

Chris:                                     00:29:06               So maybe you know, someone who’s in the pharmaceutical industry and be like, hey guys, if your drugs are not in the Amazon prime delivery thing, you guys are gonna be in trouble. Right? And you can become a little bit of a consultant if you want to understand prime now. That’s not something I’m getting terribly excited about. Right? Like I’m not running around saying that that’s where it is for me. But if something comes along like I, I do see a 3d printing marketplace at one point where there’s an Amazon branded printer that you keep in your house and you can order from your phone and it’ll start printing before you get home. You can be done by the time you get home. And how can we plug ourselves into that? Well, there’s a marketplace for designs and you can learn the software. Say, look, I’ll make you a coffee cup and I’ll make this and I’ll make this and it’s the exact same thing as merge.

Chris:                                     00:29:54               You upload your design. If a customer buys it and uses your design, you’re going to get a form of a royalty whenever anybody uses your design and you can be first to market. I mean that’s the one thing I’m learning it yet and I haven’t had my kids really learn how to do 3d modeling because the industry is still so early right there. There’s not like a dedicated standard, you know, the software isn’t at the point where it’s so easy to use it. Anybody can learn it, you know, it’s, it’s difficult to learn stuff, you know? Um, but it, you know, my kids joined the interest in that. Yes, I will support them all the way on anything 3d printing related because of the money is in the software, not the hardware. I don’t want to sell 3d printers. Don’t want to make 3d print.

Chris:                                     00:30:36               I want to go to China and private label [inaudible] printers. I can do software though and have a computer at home or on the beach in Jamaica or anywhere else and I can still run the business. Right? The exact same thing with publishing books, a computer and an Internet connection. You want to do merch by Amazon computer and an Internet connection like that. That’s where it’s going and that’s where I’m excited because, you know, I mean, you’ve got a warehouse, you’ve got products and all these things. That ain’t for me man, that when I see you guys in the warehouse and all that, I’m just thinking, oh my goodness, that’s a lot of different type work. Uh, works what Amazon is. There’s option a. But I think more and more things, and this is something that private label sellers, this is, this isn’t gonna happen overnight, right? But if your product can be 3d printed, you need to have an exit strategy.

Chris:                                     00:31:27               The blueprint, the blueprint, right? Some people want it, some people don’t have the printer. Like I have been to best buy three times and I think the past four months and bought something that is unheard of for me. I wouldn’t buy the OCULUS rift. My, my son David, he’s 10 years old, he saved up 400 bucks of his own money and it would have been two days for Amazon to get a here and now we do. We have to pay taxes with Amazon now. Right. So there was no tax savings he really wanted us to. That will go buy it at best buy. No problem. There’s also a laptop that Amazon was not carrying yet. It was like a, it wasn’t a best buy exclusive, but best buy had the one that had the all the ram and all the bells and whistles that I wanted and it was a competitive price so I bought it there.

Chris:                                     00:32:20               And what else? I know about one other thing. Oh, and a router because I got the gigabit Internet updated and I was like, you know what, I don’t care. I’ll even pay. Pay a few more bucks and actually they match Amazon’s price anyway. I wanted the high end $300 gaming router as I don’t care. I wouldn’t have the strongest signal everywhere. Give me the most expensive route or that you have. I want it today and I bought three things. I mean, that’s honest. I haven’t bought three things at a retail store in the past six years, but I needed these things and I say this example because yes, when 3d printing comes out and yes, we can 3d print everything we want. There’s still gonna be someone who says, no, I want it for here, or I need to drop ship it to my cousin and they don’t have an Amazon 3d printer.

Chris:                                     00:33:01               Like it’s not going to completely go away. Just like, even though Amazon prime is what, 13 years old, you know, we’re still buying stuff at retail stores. Uh, so there will be. But not that I don’t want to. Maybe exit strategy wasn’t the term I should have used, but just like be ready to pivot and be like, OK, now it’s time because offering 3d printing models of your private label products today, that doesn’t make any sense. No one has the printer’s right or not enough people, other printers to make it make any sense. But you need to be ready when the market is. The timing is right. We need to start offering 3d printed versions of our product

Stephen:                             00:33:36               or spare parts, spare parts like a vacuum cleaner mentioned getting apart, you know, boom, here you go. Here’s your part a or washing machine, you know, uh, thinking about where, like how fast it’s going. You know, when you mentioned the 3d printers, I mean, how fast do you see something like that getting put in place? I mean, I agree the, they will be the people who will never get there, right? They’re just going to fight it the whole way. But the general population, the acceptance point, that’s definitely going to be getting faster as these new products come to market. Think

Chris:                                     00:34:11               my father in law got an iphone like a few months ago and I’ve been begging, please get. He’s got a gps and now he has an iphone and in gps just broke and now he wants us to buy him another gps. Like, no, we’re not doing that. You have an iphone with unlimited verizon data. Like just use your gps is going to help you with traffic and everything. But no, he wants to buy an $800 gps despite having an iphone. So the 3d printing one, I mean, I’m not like a predictor and stuff like this. It’s not gonna happen overnight. 3D printing is a little ways off because of the cost of the hardware, you know, the uh, the adoption rates, you know, it’s not gonna, you know, there’s no standardized things right now. Oh, it’s a, it’s a ways off. But I could see Amazon, you know, I remember the first kindle, but it came out like people, like what is this like, like eventually something like Amazon has to release the first first of something so that the first android kindle tablet that came out, I found my kindle hd, which at the time cost $500.

Chris:                                     00:35:19               Right. And because it was competing with the ipad and then the cheapest ipad was like 6:15 at the time or whatever. This was what, 2004, 2013. It’s like, I can’t believe it’s like a five year old device already. Um, that’s how fast time goes by. But you know, the prices were high back. So Amazon’s going to come out with a 3d printer at some point. There’s going to be priced very high compared to what it’s going to be in two, three years after that comes out. They’re going to have early adopters that come in, they’re going to have whatever they have for a marketplace and how it’s all going to work and some people are gonna be me buy it. As soon as it comes out, I’ll buy it. I’ll be first in line, you know, because that’s the stuff I like. I’m interested in it and I want to see how it all works.

Stephen:                             00:35:59               So it even lifestyle for you though. I mean I’m just thinking about like the best buy example because you, your lifestyle is you. You can stop and go because your kids are home, your home school, when you have that lifestyle built that way. So that immediacy where a lot of people are working during the weekend, they’re like, OK, I’m an order when I get to work because that’s when a lot of people buy, right? You can let the pattern show that people buy when they get to their office and then they get it shipped by the time they get home or the next day. Um, I wonder if, if your lifestyle allows you and if that’s true, as more people move to your style lifestyle, which I mean, I’m seeing it. My older son is a consultant. He works home from home now I think four days a week.

Stephen:                             00:36:41               So he’s in that lifestyle now to, um, is that, is that an opportunity for best buy or for other businesses to come back? I think about a toy store, you know, they were saying that one of the big reasons that toys to businesses, that big box, they’re terrible. Nobody wanted to go there. They weren’t exciting, you know? And all that’s true. And you wonder in a small town, not maybe not a small town, but a regional really spectacular toy store that’s a destination because of lifestyle. Are we ready to go back to something like that is best by going to expand because of exactly why you went back there?

Chris:                                     00:37:18               Well, I don’t know. I don’t think so because I didn’t go to best buy because of my lifestyle,

Stephen:                             00:37:25               but you wanted it immediately and immediately. I think that’s it. You wanted it that day, right? Your lifestyle allows you to get it that day, but if a guy was going to work, he’d be like, all right, so now I’ll get it and we’ll order it. It’ll be here on Tuesday or Friday when I’m off for the weekend. But you’re off every day because you could choose when to work is what it meant. But I don’t mean to downplay that, but that’s what I meant by lifestyle.

Chris:                                     00:37:47               It might be the Amazon is the renew retail store, right? Because there will always be some kind of, you know, immediacy retail store. People want to go see things and try things. You know, I, I could see a store and I almost did this as a goof store, but you’re going to cost way too much money to set up is they have a storefront where you literally couldn’t buy anything and all they did was out of the top 1000 products from every Amazon category and underneath every one was a kindle and it will tell you about the product and you can put in your address and it will say I will have to stay at your door tomorrow and if you don’t like it bring it back here and return, but you literally could not walk in to buy anything but you could still go in and see the things and touch the thing because there’s still a value in that.

Chris:                                     00:38:27               Right? Like if you don’t know what you want, you’re right. Well, you know, I want to see if I liked the keys on the keyboard of the computer. Some people, I guess it’s called travel, how far the button goes up and down is like a huge deal for some people. Like it’s got to have good travel and I’m like, I don’t think I’ve ever bought a computer a. The next time you look at the stats on the, on the computer, look, it’s going to tell you what the key travel is on their teeth. It’s important to somebody, but it’s not important for me. It doesn’t matter. I just want to make sure it had enough ram. I wonder I all the bells and whistles that didn’t care about the keys. I said I did want to make sure the keys were lit right? Because if I’m typing in the dark for some features like that, but I, you know, I don’t need to see that. I just need to know what’s on on the stats so you know if it’s best buy or it’s toys r us or it’s the new Amazon retail store where they only carry the stuff that people want. Because imagine if Amazon ran toys us, what products would be on the show? The products that we want. Not only stupid products that sit around and get clear and stuff because nobody wanted them.

Chris:                                     00:39:31               Exactly. You said it. If, if a store becomes a destination, and that’s I think were toys, the rest like missed a big opportunity. I mean drones are becoming this big thing. Why was towards the rest of the night the drone place where you can go and you can fly drones and every Saturday they had drone races. Like the kids would love that. My kids will be begging me. Anything related to destination reason to go, you know, we did that when I was in the retail sales back in the home depot days. You know, like we had a tool that was a destination tool. It doesn’t matter what we priced it at. If you needed that tool, you came in and bought it because it did the job, right? It was different than a price point to where people come in and say, hey, you got like three of these kinds of the same price.

Chris:                                     00:40:14               I don’t know which one I’m going to buy. Like, no, if you have this, you came in and this is what you got this, this product. It barely even needs to be on display. Like no one’s coming into it. Hey, this is what I need to know. You know what it is you’re going to buy it. They’re going to go home like you come there for that tool, but have a reason to go to the store. Like best buy, like I don’t, I don’t have a reason to go. They just happen to have the products that I wanted. Right. It’s like I haven’t been back to best buy since. There’s no real. Like it’s not like oh I can go and like, oh they should be doing virtual reality demos. Not just little crappy demos like they do now where you have to find somebody at the other, because they do this right?

Chris:                                     00:40:50               Like the best buy’s credit, they do virtual reality demos with the oculus rift. We’ve got to get somebody. We went, this is, I think they don’t know, not even excited about vr. We go in with there to buy something. We say, Hey, can we get one of the, the OCULUS rift? And they’re like, oh, you want to try it? It’s not working. And I’m like, no, I don’t, I don’t wanna try it, I want to buy it. Oh OK, so the demo doesn’t work, the guys aren’t excited about it. They’re not doing a thing every single Saturday where they set you up and they put you inside facebook spaces and you can see how it works and like have other people like there from other stores where you can like wave and you’re like, Whoa, this is like really cool and do it every single weekend. Like they don’t do that. They could, they should. We were in Orlando

Stephen:                             00:41:34               at this place and there was a business where you actually go and they have these crime things, right? This whole, it’s an event place kind of thing. You see them popping up around the country. Imagine having, um, you know, that 3d night, you know, like a movie theater. I mean almost like a movie theater where you go in and you can do things and it’s interactive and all those things. Your kids would eat it up and pay a fortune.

Chris:                                     00:41:56               They could get all of their vendors like Samsung and all that. The sponsor solve some puzzles and all the screens are Samsung screens and underneath it says, Hey, do you want to buy this eight inch television? It’s $3,000. You can buy it after you finished this thing if you want, like get, I mean the brand awareness that you will get, like there’s, there’s always been. Or your lungs

Stephen:                             00:42:16               right, the Lockton, that’s where the other ones are. They lock you in a room and you have to figure out how to get out and all these clues and I mean all those. Again though that takes creativity, that takes, that takes a vision and there are not too many visionary brick and mortar companies out there today. I mean, that’s a challenge. Cost structure. Well, and you know, it’s funny you say that. That’s what’s happening. Yeah. Yeah. All right, let’s, let’s pivot because you know, as I think about this, I’m, I’m thinking about your career when you said this, you know, you were the guy, they knew the Hoa guy and then you know, you’re a bunch of books and then you became the guy. You really do leave that stuff behind, don’t you?

Chris:                                     00:42:59               You have an ability to turn it off. Yeah, you do. I’m not as good as it as people might think I am. I still feel commitments to raw and you know, it’s probably because there’s still content out there like people see my books or they see old posts or videos and you know, and I still know a lot about it, you know, there’s definitely a new kings of Ah, kings away and you know, I never really got into wholesale and private label, but you know, I worked in that world with all you guys who did, you know, but I never set up a big accounts and all that stuff. But like you know, none of this is complicated.

Stephen:                             00:43:36               You give a hundred percent a way. You’ve never pulled anything bank. You’ve never said there was a secret. It’s, this is easy. And I knew you were like everyone

Chris:                                     00:43:43               was hard work and it shouldn’t be hard work, you know. So like you want something, you want something like, yeah, I didn’t have to work hard to get it. If it was easy everybody would happen.

Stephen:                             00:43:54               All right, let’s talk. Merge. Let’s stay on March. Because right now you’re still infatuated with merge and it’s two and a half years. Chris, that’s kind of a record for you, isn’t it?

Chris:                                     00:44:05               Well I don’t, I’d say committed like five years to Ra, but I definitely felt, I feel like I fall in and out of love with things. Right. So like I used to love already, like retail arbitrage. I would like to hunt, right? Like I would love to do retail scanning with somebody and find all the products and they can have them write like I don’t need to. I just like the fun, like I am entertained by it. It’s fun to help someone else. Like see them light up and smile and then realize that they’re going to make some money. Like that’s great, you know, but I’m not in love with it. And that was my job. And I do that every day. I’m like, oh, this is like, this isn’t fun anymore because I’ve done it. Right. So there is a sense of like when something’s new and fresh, it’s more exciting. And I say this because I’m, I’m a little scared that I’m not going to like merch by Amazon at one day. Right? And I’m like, no, cause I.

Stephen:                             00:44:58               merchants just so perfect. What do you love about it? What do you love about it?

Chris:                                     00:45:03               It’s a, it’s the most simple business model. It costs absolutely nothing. There is no inventory. There’s no customer service. There is no returns, there’s no fulfillment. It’s basically upload some artwork and when it sells, Amazon does all the work and gives you money. Right? It’s so good that when I explain it to people, they don’t believe me. They think I’m lying. They think I’m making this up. Was the catch Mike. There’s no catch this, this is the business model. If you don’t believe me, like, like ask someone else or look at the terms of service yourself. Like this is what it is. And it’s just he shorts right now they are getting into things like cellphone cases and pop sockets, which if you think about it, are a heck of a lot easier to design than a tee shirt. Like a t-shirt actually actually had some effort behind it, right as to actually look good and work on a tee shirt.

Chris:                                     00:45:48               But if you’re talking about a full color bleed circle or a full color bleed rectangle, that’s easy to make. So merchants only getting easier. So with more products, international expansion, I mean it’s going to be an absolute monster program. Um, but then once, once it’s not new anymore, I worry that I’m not going to be as interested as you know, that might not happen. Right. But I know my history of Ra and oa and just, you know, like even being a vendor, even being a speaker, I’m speaking away less this year. I’ve already turned down like six conferences and it’s only April and I still feel like I’m going to one every month. You know, like they’re just a lot of events out there and it’s much like going to them. Once you, once you do something a lot, then it’s not as fun. It’s not as least for me. Like I’m speaking for myself. Some people they just love doing and they find their groove when they stay in it. My group seems to be like I have to keep doing something fresh and new, which can be a challenge.

Stephen:                             00:46:50               What are you doing for nothing new? I mean, what’s changed in the last two and a half years from March? Uh, there’s been software. There’s, well, there’s been a lot of software I should say that. I mean, let’s be real. There’s been a lot of advances and a lot of tools that have come along. Um, let me ask you this because being one of the people who helped develop scan power or finding Paul and, and, and leading through that, that took a long time with Merck. Now, is it surprising how fast the, uh, the tools were created in it, put out there? Don’t think it’s surprising how

Chris:                                     00:47:30               fast. I think there’s two things that happened that made it very fast is one, people saw the, invalidated the opportunity very quickly. It wasn’t like with SBA, we’re like, sellers had to kind of see. Oh, OK, I see the benefits here because we were the first, you know, Fba software for a long time with Fba power and then scanned power known other people came in. Yes, it’s competition, but also validates the opportunity. No one competes with you. You’re the only one making software that means no one else sees any opportunity here. That might be a sign that maybe this isn’t where you shouldn’t be spending some time, but if other people do come in and say, oh, there is an opportunity to make software here that validates the opportunity so you have to still competing at that point. But making an inventory management software and repricing software and all this stuff, it’s a heck of a lot more complicated than making a thing that puts, you know, an image on.

Chris:                                     00:48:21               And then you had a mustache and then you had a Sombrero. Like we’re just talking about graphics and an art, right? Like these things aren’t that difficult. So there’s like a speed to market with merch by Amazon because the software isn’t as complicated and stuff around, you know, running an inventory management type business. Um, but I mean the opportunity is very simple, right? And I’m responsible and there’s other people that have been making videos and all these things, you know, talking about merch by Amazon where people are like, oh, I get this. This is interesting because it’s now, it’s not just, I mean just so much different than, than selling because lets you foster your creative side. There are so many people. I mean they come from the, from the seller side and they come over like I love Birch because now I get to feel like I’m creative again. Now I get to feel like I’m doing something. I’m making something instead of just putting stickers on boxes, real fruit of labor, labor, you can see it, you can touch it, show it off. You’re like, look, I’m, I’m on, this is by product.

Chris:                                     00:49:25               We’re back to the vanity press. Look at, I’m a, I’m a designer, Chris, look, take a look at my designs. You know, I’m a, I’m a writer. Very, very fun and rewarding business and it keeps, you know, March had, does keep changing. They just came out, I think it was yesterday or the day before, the new policy saying if, if we paid a royalty on an item that was returned, that royalty from your account and holy smokes that people slip out, right? Which is absolute insanity that people are flipping out that how dare Amazon take our money back, take the royalty away because they’ve got to return the shirt. They should have never paid you that royalty or the first place and now they’re. They’re freaking out that they had it so good for so long and now Amazon is coming in and kind of adjusting and fixing things, but what percentage are getting returned of very low, very low, but imagine a system where, hey, hey steve, you know you should do order 100 of your shirts. Get paid the end. It’s Amazon. Who Cares? Just return the shirts. Like think anybody might have done that. Right? You think someone might have abused the fact that they can order something,

Stephen:                             00:50:38               earn money in return for a full week, but I’m not even that the various to think that way. Oh my God, that’s terrible. Yeah, you’re right. Somebody who’s done that absolutely

Chris:                                     00:50:49               are doing now is going back and mimicking the createspace space model, which is the exact same thing. It actually isn’t the exact same. If someone buys my book, I get a royalty. If they return that book, they don’t take the royalty back, but they listed as used and they sell it from Amazon warehouse deals.

Stephen:                             00:51:09               Right? Right, right. So they took it back in essence because they’re going to sell it and they’re going to make money. OK, that’s fair. That’s reasonable. Or

Chris:                                     00:51:16               or they could do it the other way. They can say, hey, we’re going to deduct the royalty from from this return and we’re going to sell it for you and if and when it sells, we’re going to give you the rope you back. Like either way is fine. It’s the exact same thing. No one should be earning a royalty for a product that was not sold to an end-user. Right. That that’s really all it is. And in the meantime, Amazon and is warehousing a hiring the labor, letting us use the printers, shipping the product to the customer, paying for the return. Because prime in the clothing category, you get free returns, paying for the return to paying for the blank, dispose the reselling or disposing of the blank. They’re eating all of those costs and people are like, and they should pay us a royalty on top of it.

Chris:                                     00:51:55               It’s like it’s absurd, but you’ve seen this on the seller side where someone comes, the Amazon comes out with a new policy or whatever. Everybody flips out like how dare Amazon. And it’s to me it’s a mindset thing, right? Like you’d see that Amazon is just the, the opportunity of, of not just like a lifetime of, of all of human history, lifetime for the entrepreneur to sell products to, to get their thoughts and their music, their designs or something in front of customers for $0. Right. That’s, I know people peg me as this Amazon fan boy and evangelist and Amazon does nothing wrong. And I always say good things, but Amazon, that’s because that’s all I see is good thing. Right. Does Amazon make mistakes? They drive you crazy sometimes. Sure. I guess, but they don’t do anything that like, like, like stifles your creativity or do anything that like, like stops you from taking advantage of customers like this. Don’t take advantage of customers. Right? So if a new policy comes out and says, no, you can’t spam customers with your automated messages, don’t get mad at Amazon.

Stephen:                             00:52:56               Right? Somebody doing that, right? They’re fixing something that somebody is doing and it’s funny. You also have to realize that they have to have a sustainable business to last ask anyone who is selling the toys r us trying to get their merchandise back because they didn’t get paid from toys r us. Right. Their business model was not sustainable. So you know, Amazon must make money period or they’re going to get out of that business. Right.

Chris:                                     00:53:19               I got, I got something. I bet you didn’t think we’ve talked about today. And that’s the Amazon puts the customer first, right? Would you agree with that?

Stephen:                             00:53:28               Yeah. I was like, uh, well and because it’s like, OK,

Chris:                                     00:53:35               this is a trick question. Amazon actually does it. Put the customer first. You hear it from me here from Chris Green First, what does Amazon put first? Amazon puts Amazon for Amazon sellers first because if Amazon doesn’t stay in business, they can’t serve the customer. Right? So everything does go back to how do we put the customer first. We put ourselves first, we stay in business, we stay out of trouble. We don’t get sued and some of those things, that’s what you see with merch by Amazon. Something policies are so they don’t get sued by brands when some dumb mergers upload the wrong thing and now they have to hire a lawyer to defend all this. Like, no, you have to not get in trouble. You have to stay in business. Why? Because if you’re not in business, you can’t serve your customers. Right? So Amazon does put themselves first in order to put the customer first. Right? So it’s kind of circular argument there, but it is. Amazon has to stay in business, out of business to lose money or something like that. There’s no point.

Stephen:                             00:54:36               He passed away. Do not put up many shirts. You will lose your account. Yes, it’s clever and you can come up with a million things and what, guess what, you will lose your counter. So what, what level of involvement you just came out with a course. Um, merge Dojo, right? That’s the name of the course. And what was the goal of the course?

Chris:                                     00:54:57               We wanted to get like some real good information out there because you’ve seen it from the FBA side. Newbies come in and they asked some terrible questions.

Stephen:                             00:55:07               What kind of tape should I use it? I need to put tape on all four sides. Yeah. Yeah. I mean we’ve all been there and I don’t look down at my notes but because yeah, because we’ve all been there, you know, so I get it.

Chris:                                     00:55:21               Merch by Amazon and it’s the same type of thing, but it is very different from selling [inaudible] now we’re dealing with intellectual property or dealing with things like parody, what creates parody and what doesn’t and all these things. So people had all these questions and we wanted to have a course with some good information out there. Um, but the application process was such that you could apply and you might not get into calc for eight to 12 months, right. So we didn’t want to release a course at a time where like you couldn’t get approved, like you couldn’t get a seller account. Would you make a retail arbitrage course? Right. Like, Hey, you’re all excited about making some money, but yeah, you can’t, you can’t actually open the seller account. Sorry, you know, it wouldn’t make any sense. So Amazon in February really released an update for their application process, which kind of streamlined it and got people in. They were just trying to keep the bad people out. So they changed a few things where your tax information up front. So people are now getting approved and like two days to a week. That’s really all right. Now it’s time to release the course and we partnered with some of the best marketers out there. You know, Brian births of genius marketer, we who’s a licensing expert, Neil Lassen who developed merchant former after selling a couple of accounts for like 60 and $90,000. And then Mike Wall, you got to have Mike Wallace

Stephen:                             00:56:34               show anything. It’s probably been a year before we had dinner together. He is cold,

Chris:                                     00:56:40               he’s the best man and he’s excited to be a part of the Dojo now as well, to talk about what we call local merge, which is using, and I say this, I say knowledge of merchant by Amazon is almost more valuable than emergent my Amazon account because if you understand how it works and you can go to businesses or individually

Stephen:                             00:56:57               enjoy your profits organizations, my gym got me to your dope. That’s how I got teared up because my gym needed shirts and I knew how to bring them to market. So exactly.

Chris:                                     00:57:09               That’s as easy as it is and it’s a value proposition. If you can provide value to someone else and you’re going to pay you money or you’re going to have a relationship. You and Dan Miller, right? Like you guys bringing value to each other, right? It’s not like, oh, you got to pay me money and all this junk. Like, no, it doesn’t work that way. If you have value to provide. And that’s, and I challenged people you understand merge, then you should have 10,000 percent confidence. Then you can go up to anybody and give them some value and be like, Hey, I’m going to help you solve a problem. I’m going to help you save money. I’m going to help you make money. I don’t care which one it is. People are going to listen. And then when they see you actually do it, they’re going, hey, this is great. You know what? You should go talk to my buddy over at this place. I know you can help him out and now you’ve got contacts and not even got deals going around. Now you’ve got your selling all kinds of shirts for your account. You’re tearing up and you’re making money.

Stephen:                             00:57:56               So it’s not only just the networking like, hey, here’s how you can sell shirts on Amazon. It’s, hey, here’s how you can create a business. So you’re taking that approach to it also like to create a real business.

Chris:                                     00:58:12               And the cool thing about merchants, you can do pretty much anything. I mean, the people that we have involved with emerge Dojo, um, you know, I make software and apps and different things for merge a NEULASTA and builds up accounts and sells them and develop software for merge a Ken real licenses, a bunch of different artists and uses them. Ann-Marie Mike goes around and get know contracts for local businesses and sells them on merger merchants the same. We’re all using merge differently, which makes it interesting because then people can say, you know what I want to do at Mike’s way. I want to do a mix. Uh, Ken’s doing, I’m going to go to that, that licensing show and I’m not going to, I’m going to do what Ken is doing. You can do anything you want and because you know, it’s zero cost and there’s no customer service, are you selling on Amazon is a lot harder than it used to be because I have to pay attention. You do have customer service issues. Even as an Fba seller with merge, you don’t. There are no issues. You can literally walk away from it for six months and come back and it doesn’t matter. It’s a very, it is a true passive business. You can work on it just a little bit or a lot.

Stephen:                             00:59:20               What about the people that say though,

Chris:                                     00:59:22               Chris, there’s so many sellers already. It’s diluted. All the ideas of thought up. All the designs are already yelling, created. What would literally stop. You should’ve started yesterday. If you can’t start today, right? That’s really the right answer. Right, and the best time to start our merchants. Two and a half years ago. The second best time is now.

Stephen:                             00:59:47               Can you still get in your course or no? Is it. I mean, I, you know and look into. Steve doesn’t benefit in any way other than I always say this is if you do, if you take action, you win and therefore we all went because I like to see successful people and get to know him. So to me, when if somebody takes a course and does something with it, can they still get through with your course or. No?

Chris:                                     01:00:09               Currently, if you just go to the website and it’s not going to let you buy an opinion when people are listening to this or it’ll be reopened with different deals and different specials, so you’re going to be able to buy it or you’ll be able to sign up.

Stephen:                             01:00:21               Think you could get on the list. That’s what I always tell people could join the group and get on a list because that’s typically where you notify first. Right? And so what’s the website that they can go to?

Chris:                                     01:00:32               He merged Dojo. It just going to get bigger and better. We’d really do have the best of the best people, uh, or teaching the content in there and merchants only going to grow into an absolute monster platform. You know, some people have seen behind the curtain and you know, there’s some things we can’t say, but what we can say is that merchant is going to be bigger than any of us ever thought

Stephen:                             01:00:56               two and a half years ago, six years ago though. You were saying that too. That’s what blows my mind because you know, we hung out together for years now and a lot of the same events and late nights, late nights, Jesus, some of them and just these conversations and it’s just funny to think about two and a half years ago you’re saying exactly what you just said.

Chris:                                     01:01:18               It’s crazy to me and I could’ve been wrong. Don’t been wrong. It’s fine, but I think people should have the mindset of when they see something that they believe in, that they should go all in, you know, because you can’t tell me that you could, you could try to tell me merchants, it’s going to be big. I won’t believe you. Now time will tell who’s right and if I’m wrong, it’s not a big deal, but I don’t mind being wrong, but people need to take action when they believe in something and it. Here’s the problem with, with like, you know, human psychology, right? When you hear someone say, Hey, you’re getting in on the ground floor. We all think, oh, whatever. By the time I hear about it, you know, it’s not going to be the ground floor. Everybody here have it. That’s what mercy is right now, is literally the ground floor.

Chris:                                     01:02:03               If you don’t believe me, go out and ask all of your friends, your family, your neighbors, your coworkers, that’s going to be even heard of it. You know? Then you say who I have information that nobody else outside that I even know. Yeah, take some action on it, but you have to believe it. Don’t wait for two or three years and be like, ah. I heard Steven and Chris talk about merchant. I didn’t believe it. Like, we’re not here to sell you anything. Go see the merchant Dojo. You don’t need. The merchant owes to get started with by Amazon. You can go to merge dot Amazon Dot Com and get an account. Read the terms of service and then get started. Right? I can do it now. Don’t wait two years and then be like, Oh yeah, now I’m going to get into it. I mean you can. It’s a lot of. A lot of people listening will, you know, but if for any one person to say, you know what? Yeah, I mean I’m going to go take a look at this right now that, hey, we’ve done our job.

Stephen:                             01:02:53               Let me ask you this because I think this is a good question for people because if they’re sellers, you know, a lot of the people that listen to me or our sellers are Fba sellers and, and a lot of them probably have merchant accounts, so I don’t wanna I’m going to move them aside, but the other people there saying, wait, is this another shiny object? I don’t need another shiny object in my life. I don’t need a to get distracted because it’s real. You’re that guy to you. You’ve got an attention span problem. I do to um, what do you say to that? I mean, what’s that? There’d been a couple of people I’ve interviewed that have still have their Amazon Fba or their Ebay business and march was the perfect thing for them. They were designers and are already, it just like opened the world to that passive income, truly passive income. And yet that gave them the time and the money to be able to do the thing they love the hunt for the merchandise and stuff like that.

Chris:                                     01:03:41               This is exclusive. Drop what you’re doing and spend some time over here. There is value in shiny objects syndrome and the fact that you might really enjoy it. I certainly enjoy like chasing and finding the new things. There’s also value in being first to market. You know, there’s also a loss of value if it’s time spent away from something that should be more productive. For you and I as a general rule, I would say people are kind of crazy if they don’t spend maybe 10 percent of their time looking at Merck,

Stephen:                             01:04:13               well it’s better than the one who get kicked off the island or whatever those other TV shows or housewives of something. This is a better investment for your time.

Chris:                                     01:04:22               Exactly. Yeah. And just understanding how it works. It doesn’t mean you don’t even have to be like a big merge seller, but if you understand merge and you kind of have that in your back pocket, then when you’re at, you know, an spa type show and you see someone you’re like, you know what you get, you would kill it with merch by Amazon and they’re like, what’s Merch by Amazon? And you tell them then the law of reciprocity kicks in because you’ve just helped them that they’re going to be like, that’s really cool. You know what? We normally don’t sell to Amazon sellers but I’m going to get you in man. Cuz uh, because you helped me with like that’s just how it works. That’s why I like having all of this knowledge and that’s probably one of my biggest sustainable competitive advantages to that full circle is the knowledge that I have.

Chris:                                     01:05:01               I, I’m 100 percent confident that I can hold a value providing conversation with literally any person that I meet. And I do. I know this because I go to Jamaica twice a year and I talked to everybody at the bar, you know, jen goes to bed earlier than I do, so I stay up and I go to the bar and talk to people and always fascinated with the Amazon stuff always. And these are nice resorts, right? So I’m trying to like say this is the nice way. Like we go to the Ford five star resorts so that people at these resorts, these are all business owners, these are all like, like, well to do peeps, right? Who you think would know all this kinds of stuff. None of them have heard of anything I’m talking about and they’re all fascinated about publishing books. That sounds really cool.

Chris:                                     01:05:40               I want him to do that or wait a minute, I can like upload tee shirts. This sounds really cool, right? Like they don’t need the money. They just see it as as that is amazing that you can do that. And when you can hold conversations like that and provide value to other people, mean doors just open. You know, whether you’re at a conference or you’re at a trade show or you’re on vacation, you know like I encourage everybody, if you’re going to follow shiny objects syndrome, if you want to learn something, learn something that benefits other people. Write, learn facebook ads, learn facebook marketing. They’ll learn that because then you can use that to help other people, not just yourself, so if you have a choice of what to learn and learn, things that you want to learn, but also the things that help other people. I call it doubling down. If you’re going to learn something, you might as well learn something that doubles down instead of just one thing to only you want to learn.

Stephen:                             01:06:33               He blew my mind. You know, it’s funny. Every time, every single time we’re together, I’m always walking away like, oh my God, where does he keep? What does he get this time to think like that? Now, because it’s, and I’m not blowing smoke at you, I’m just telling you the truth. It’s a clarity you, you. I think that’s one of your superpowers. You have an ability to get the clouds away from it. It seems like to me, and just get down to the root cause, break it down into simplest terms. Pretty direct. You don’t pull a lot of punches and boom, you get right to the suburbs. The substance I guess is or the, you know the meat of substrate, you get right there. That’s a, that’s a, that’s a superpower. All right, so

Chris:                                     01:07:13               from experience, and I want to give people one tip, one tip on how to do this because you say like, oh, I’m really good at this. This is one thing that I’m glad I did and I had never turned it back on. I turned off the radio in my car. I drive in silence.

Stephen:                             01:07:25               No kidding.

Chris:                                     01:07:30               Without a doubt. Nothing, nothing. I’ll take a phone. If I take a phone call, you know, like ignore the phone. If someone calls me that’s fine, but I don’t listen to the radio. Never. Absolutely. Never actually started taking notes in my car because I’ll just kind of get an idea. Somebody will come to very clear or even just a really good way to say something like, oh, that’s a real [inaudible] like writing matters. Right? Like if you can write really well, you can tell I’m like, oh, that’s written really well versus that’s written very poorly and I tell you the best, like, you know, phrases. I’m like, oh, I need to say it that way. I think it would really work well. You know, I need to do this. I take notes so I don’t forget them because when I’m in the car I’m just kinda like, I don’t think he’s zoned out.

Chris:                                     01:08:10               Look, I’m not paying attention, but you know, I’m not distracted. I’m so people need. I mean if that for somebody good because you’re not missing anything. If you turn off, you know, like Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus in the car, right? Like you’re not missing anything, right? But if you’re, if you’re a podcast guy, do the podcast, you know, I don’t care who you guys listened to, but if you have the opportunity to cut out something frivolous and dumb like most pop radio or wherever you’re listening to cut it out and start thinking. Because nothing I say is unique, but you know, for whatever reason I’m good at it and it’s why I like sharing it with you guys. It gives me a competitive advantage.

Stephen:                             01:08:45               That’s a powerful tip. I think I’m going to try it because I’m with you. I try. You’ll never miss. I’ve never listened to Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry. I’m sorry to say I am a country music, but they are. I do. I’m a country music. I met Katy Perry. I did, uh, she was selling her shoes in Vegas and uh, she was there and a bodyguard got right in front of me and Sam Cohen as we were trying to move in. Boom, right there in front of us. A true story, a true story. Um, but I, I think it’s a powerful pro tip. I’m going to try it because I agree. The silence. What about when your family is in the car? How does that work with silence? Rule is, do the kids want the radio on?

Chris:                                     01:09:25               We’ve grown up without. No kidding.

Stephen:                             01:09:28               All right. I’m going to try it because, uh, I, I’m guilty of it putting. I’d like listening to noise just because I feel like I need to. Maybe it’s time my back and episode 400 will get an update. All right, that’d be cool. Episode. Oh No, no, no. I’m not going to tell anything like that. It’s like, yeah, going on a diet. No Pass. I’m not gonna. I’m not gonna do it. All right, so let’s just do this again. So it’s merged. Dojo.com. You can’t, uh, it’s probably not going to be active at this moment. Maybe it will be whatever. I’m just sign up and wait for it. And then that way you can get some information. I think the advice is sound. Um, I’m very thankful that I did listen to Chris maybe a year and a half or two years ago whenever I did sign up, cause he was like, no matter what you do, just go sign up for this account.

Stephen:                             01:10:13               You told a whole bunch of us probably in personal notes, just go sign up for this account. Don’t even if you don’t use it, just go do it. You never know if he’s gonna open again and we all did it. I’m thankful the whole bunch of us did and we’re thankful. I’m very thankful that I did because it’s been a lot of fun. All right, so [inaudible], I’m going to put your contact info out there. If anybody doesn’t know his phone number is in his book, by the way, still the same phone number still there? Not many people call you, do they?

Chris:                                     01:10:38               They really don’t. [inaudible] I, I believe I put out good content and good books where if you read the book, you’re not going to need to call me.

Stephen:                             01:10:46               It’s always, Hey, thank you so much man. I can’t wait to see you. Peace in your life and I can’t wait to hear what’s next. Take care.

Chris:                                     01:10:54               Awesome. Thanks dude.

Stephen:                             01:10:56               Man. I could talk to him all day. He’s just so smart. I mean it literally. You’ll talk to them in person and that’s exactly the conversation that would go. You’d be all around because we both are, you know, all over the place. But what’s so cool is that you leave there with like almost sated with knowledge. Like he hits her to all my questions. He actually got me to where I, all this stuff that was burning in my mind. He got me there and he does it every single time I talk with them, just so smart and just so, so kind. And so giving and the real deal. I don’t think he holds anything back. I’ve never felt like that in any way. And I’m very thankful that I’ve gotten to know him years ago and um, and he’s invested so much in me that I just can’t wait to get back to them every chance I can.

Stephen:                             01:11:37               So that’s the reason I love having them on. So, um, merge Dojo to Dojo dot. Uh, if you’re interested in, in any way, go check it out. Just go sign up and you’ll find out if they offered their core, open their course. And again, like Chris said, you don’t even have to wait for that. Go open a merchant account. Just go do it now. Go and apply and then start. And then you can figure some of this other stuff out and you can fine tune it. I think it’s very, very solid advice. Commerce with minimum [inaudible] e-commerce, momentum, [inaudible]. Guess who’s coming up on [inaudible]? Yes, it’s the. Oh, one person.

 

Stephen-Peterson

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