I love the way this couple is so on the same page. They clearly are focused on what’s best for their family and have built their business around that. So smart. Nick also gives us a glimpse of what can be when you are consistent in your business, you build relationships. Relationships allow you to grow. Relationships allow you to pull back when you want. And relationships will allow you to move into other channels when you are ready.
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Transcript: (note- this is a new tool I am trying out so it is not perfect)
Stephen: 00:00:00 I’m excited to tell you about galas B’s million dollar arbitrage edge analyst group that’s a lot to say but there’s a lot in it. And guess what. It’s closing it’s closing this week it’ll close for Q4. It will not open up until next year. She started a third group. And so there’s only 50 in it. So you don’t have to worry about deal with hundreds of other people buying the same thing. So you’re going to get daily actionable items delivered to you five days a week. You’re going to get the mentorship of being in the million dollar arbitrage group and you’re going to be able to ask questions ask for help get whatever you need. But again get those opportunities join me in this group because I’m in this group and you’ll see me in there. The only way you’re going to get to join this week is if you click on the link that’s in this episode and also in gais interview number 238 38 was Episode 2 38 and she explains a lot of what it is and their only chance you’re going to have to get in there.
Stephen: 00:00:54 Second I want to make sure Scott from our labs I was just with Jeff. They are just killing it with this product. It is just not going to dead because you get to see the keywords that are important for your listing. Why go trying to figure it out. You already know an item is selling. So you go and find their keywords and you put them in your listing. It’s a smart move. You already got a proof of concept and scope does that for you. So it’s Sellar labs dot com slash scope.
Stephen: 00:01:22 You’re going to use the code word momentum and are going to save 50 bucks. Awesome awesome deal. I was just with Karen Lochore also and we we spent some great time talking about you know what’s going on in her business and it’s just incredible solutions for e-commerce. Great group you’re going to save 50 bucks if you come through my listing. Right. Remember these people pay me so I don’t want to mislead anybody. They pay me. But you’re going to say$50. And she’s still doing that inventory health now says this is the perfect time to get yourself right. Storage expensive member it’s triple triple storage fees. So get your inventory right get it correct. I just had to create 68 variations of a listing if you heard my interview with her at 2:45 you heard that 68 variations. They went live today.
Stephen: 00:02:10 Products went in today as day I’m recording this and I am so excited. I just I’m so excited because I’ve got another order of them coming in next week and so I already have the listings up. They look beautiful. It’s everything that I needed and it’s just such going above and beyond. That’s why I love solutions for e-commerce Eco Solutions for e-commerce dot slash momentum and you’re going to get that benefit are going to save your money at the lowest price say 50 bucks and you get the amatory Health Report GoDaddy dotcom you want to try try. Go Daddy dot com slash momentum and you’re going to save 30 percent on all your Go Daddy needs. I use them for all my domains that I buy have for a long time now I get to save 30 percent just like you try.
Stephen: 00:02:56 Go Daddy dotcom slash momentum. And last but not least is grasshopper I saw somebody just bought it this past week. I can’t wait to hear how it goes for them because it allows you to be the professional that you want to come across as right. You want to have really strong features especially as you’re building customer service. I think the great program for anybody who’s selling a Wal-Mart you need a customer service program. You can use Google Voice it’s free but it’s definitely not as professional and you’re not going to be able to have the flexibility. Imagine one phone your personal phone and that app on there allows you to have all those lines set up you can have it forwarded to other you can you can do custom vanitie numbers you know 880 63 whatever you want. Great program. Try grasshopper dot com slash momentum. Try grasshopper dot com slash momentum. Save 50 bucks there too. All right let’s get into the podcast.
Cool voice guy: 00:03:50 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 Stephen Peterson.
Stephen: 00:04:03 Welcome back to the e-commerce momentum podcast. This is episode 2:47 Nick and Anitra jump. Yes there are three of us on this call and it’s so awesome when you get to talk to a couple. Because I think they feed off of each other and you know you know they’re definitely a little more polite. I mean because you know I mean he has to sleep next to her and she has to look him in the eyes so they have to be. But what I love is when they’re real and this couple was so real I forgot to mention in the talk how humble Nick is. I met him a couple years ago and he was unbelievably successful. But you know it just downplays it and how real they both are. And I think that that genuineness that he used the word authenticity and I would describe them that way again.
Stephen: 00:04:53 His advice from her at the end I think is the most potent part of this interview. I think it’s really powerful you got to listen to the NBA. That’s a that’s a trick to get this in the end. But it’s real because I think it’s I think he’s right on. I think he’s spot on. Let’s get into the podcast. All right welcome back to the e-commerce moment and podcast very excited about today’s guests pleural. I love when a couple comes on because there’s a chance for communication and they get to communicate as a couple because I always believe husband and wife. Now you are one is another person in essence and they get to communicate with us. And I think that’s so powerful because to one plus one does not equal to what equals three or four or five. Nick and Anita jump Welcome guys. Thank you. Thanks for having us. Do you agree with that. That one plus one.
Stephen: 00:05:44 Nick let me ask you first how much betterer are you with the Neutra.
Nick: 00:05:50 There’s no comparison. Any time I introduce you to a customer it’s sinful.
Stephen: 00:05:57 And think about that right. I mean where would you be without her. And you know I know what put you on the spot and going to say the right thing. But it’s real. Right it is real. Absolutely. I just talked to a friend of mine earlier today who’s divorced longtime ago and he told me about Thanksgiving plans and his daughter wants to invite his ex-wife and she’s remarried or whatever and I said well you know there’s another friend of mine who gets along with his ex-wife and she’s married to a great guy he says goes. I didn’t like her then. I don’t like her now and I’m like do you have somebody else in your life. He goes no. And I’m like man you’re missing out my opinion. You agree. Absolutely.
Anitra: 00:06:37 And what would you say to that question definitely. I mean I think I would have never dreamed of being an entrepreneurial kind of job.
Anitra: 00:06:51 You know my mom and dad are very blue collar people. And so really it’s because of me that I even do this.
Anitra: 00:07:00 Well what would you have done. Probably worked in a factory.
Stephen: 00:07:04 Really. I mean not that that’s a negative but that’s the culture where you grew up right.
Anitra: 00:07:08 I mean yeah I mean I we raised tobacco when I was younger. My dad was a truck driver and my mom worked for Levi Strauss.
Anitra: 00:07:16 So it was a very 80 hour a week paycheck kind of family.
Anitra: 00:07:24 And you don’t have to answer but living paycheck to paycheck kind of not so much with them because they both work. I guess it was you know it was difficult. And my dad was laid off.
Anitra: 00:07:38 But you know that they provided well but you had to work a lot and you had to use your body and be away from your family to be able to make enough money.
Stephen: 00:07:48 You know I don’t know how prevalent that is that they lay off like they used to. Other than the trade side the building trades and things like that. But I remember as a kid growing up to my parent worked in a factory and it was very similar layoffs would happen. I don’t hear much of that other than the builders and I guess it’s because all the factories that I know of I can’t think of one.
Anitra: 00:08:12 I mean can you now not really it does seem to have really decreased over the years.
Speaker 11: 00:08:20 I’m sure that the manufacturing just isn’t what it used to be here is it at all or is there any companies that you can think of that are still producing goods.
Nick: 00:08:29 Sure. I mean my dad my parents were both blue collar as well and it’s one of the main motivators I took into starting to be an entrepreneur because I saw his destiny and his future manipulated by other people.
Speaker 11: 00:08:43 What were you going to be going to college so I mean was that what his plan was for you. Nick I need you to go to college because you don’t want this life.
Speaker 12: 00:08:51 You know he is always. My parents were very hands off as far as those kind of decisions. OK. I think they just trusted me to do was right and I and I did go to college but that was an interesting awakening to what I was saying. You know dad’s factory is still open. Oh it it is. At one point yeah he was a steel worker. He
Speaker 13: 00:09:10 made a back hoe buckets for S-Corp and places like that and play it here in just north of us in Georgetown where they make the Camry’s a large employer here in Kentucky.
Stephen: 00:09:24 I has very very good tax laws from what I understand because I remember it was a company getting ready to move there. And they seem to be business friendly is that despite your experience. I think they have to be they need the jobs up to. OK. Now I do remember from Dan in Eric’s time the formula guy is telling me that the labor costs in Kentucky are much lower.
Speaker 13: 00:09:47 They can be depending on where you live. They’re down toward Corbin and Williamsburg Kentucky which is south and heading into a coal mine country down there. So the cost of labor is a little less down there as opposed to here in Lexington where we live. That is more of a metropolitan area.
Speaker 14: 00:10:08 I love Lexington. What a great down town. I remember going to a conference there what a great down town.
Speaker 13: 00:10:14 Yeah it’s a very nice place to live.
Speaker 11: 00:10:16 OK. So so a couple meets now. Did you guys meet while you were in school or what’s the story there.
Speaker 15: 00:10:25 Well we actually met in fourth grade.
Stephen: 00:10:27 No way. Yeah yeah.
Anitra: 00:10:30 Also we’re both in gifted and talented class. So we met in the fourth grade but we never dated or anything like that.
Stephen: 00:10:38 Well you can’t leave me there. Hold on a second. I get the gifted part. All right.
Speaker 12: 00:10:43 What’s the town fooling everyone into thinking that I was in the gifted program and should have said you were an actor.
Stephen: 00:10:51 So you were destined for acting. OK. Let me tell you it hurt sales. I’ve never heard that phrase gifted and talented. I’ve heard of gifted but I’ve never heard of talent. That’s interesting. Well it’s probably pretty clever because you know I mean would you know a Van Gogh be gifted you know probably not intellectual. He put you know as an artist right. Sure. OK so fourth grade there’s a spark. Is there a notice or if the fact that you remember and do you remember that Nick that you were with her in fourth grade you actually remember that. I absolutely do.
Speaker 12: 00:11:30 I do. The gifted program was once a week so it was a special event you always looked forward to and you got to spend the day with each other and there was about 10 kids throughout the little school system in our grade. And it was it was sometimes it was a close group because it was such a small group. And even though there was no romantic feelings there were certainly no great friendships you know kinship Brian. I
Stephen: 00:11:51 mean do you guys have a common trait talent. I guess we’ll call it that right. I mean it’s serious. I mean that’s that’s pretty cool. And then to get away from each other. Let me ask you this because you only get to see each other once a week where we’re you more connected in that one day a week or the other four days with the other group it least for me back in elementary school.
Speaker 16: 00:12:15 It’s been awhile. It was with that tight knit group because there were only 10 people and you were much more singled out.
Stephen: 00:12:23 You nature.
Anitra: 00:12:25 Yeah. That would be the same way. It was a place where you you were put there on purpose so you felt like you belong instead of you know being put in a random class of kids that seemed a little more meet up by chance where in a good program they really did pick you to be there.
Speaker 11: 00:12:44 Right. You had as you were had something some spark that they saw. OK so we go through middle school. Is there a separation or do we stay in contact. We
Speaker 17: 00:12:55 stayed in contact because we lived in. We have county schools in Kentucky and so all of the kids from around the county went to the same middle school and high school.
Anitra: 00:13:05 We didn’t have a lot of different schools just different. What we’re learning is different from a lot of other school systems.
Stephen: 00:13:13 Oh yeah we have because they were small we have 20 20 schools in our county alone 20 separate all completely separated completely. It’s pretty expensive. All right how about you Nick what was it when was it that you saw something. Where was that spark went. What year was it.
Stephen: 00:13:31 You know it was it was after my first marriage and you know we both went our separate ways went to college got married to different people. And when I came back from college I got a job at a textbook publisher Thompson learning at the time is now engaged and a teacher was working there and it was no way. Serendipity you know. And you had no clue. I had no idea that she was working. I was thrilled to see a familiar face because everyone else was you know and it wasn’t the happiest day of my life. Go into a cubicle. To answer the phone. It was like a little boy. And here’s an familiar face. It
Stephen: 00:14:07 was wonderful. Did that help you get the tip.
Stephen: 00:14:11 Did you see her on the way in when you were interviewing not not during the interview but when I was first walking to my desk I walked right past her and saw her and this is great. You recognize her immediately. Absolutely. No kidding. How about you and teacher Yeah.
Anitra: 00:14:29 I mean he laughs about it now.
Anitra: 00:14:32 Honestly the first time I saw him after all those years apart I knew we were getting very scared.
Stephen: 00:14:41 Which still scares me. That’s funny the just knew it the second. So you know I don’t want to be a marriage counselor. I’m just trying to understand how you know you know what I mean because you know you hear about serendipity and you hear about the one right the one is he the one. Is she the one. Right. And obviously your first marriage is that wasn’t the case. No but boy looking back at it do you think it’s possible you guys could have gotten together prior and be the first marriage to each other.
Speaker 16: 00:15:18 You know that would be a wonderful romantic thought but I wasn’t mature enough for that. I needed a kick in the pants before I wised up.
Speaker 14: 00:15:27 Then you get to appreciate what you don’t have right. I mean that’s really what it takes. OK. All
Speaker 11: 00:15:32 right that’s enough. Dr. Phil moment here. So we start this job at a book publisher which is very interesting because these are mega booksellers So I guess I should qualify that. And so you were in the office what does that mean.
Speaker 12: 00:15:47 I mean we were both at the customer service literally answering phone calls from I think it was the high school division where they had if they had trouble with their orders or they wanted to place an order they wanted special attention for you know different textbooks and different titles.
Speaker 11: 00:16:04 OK so they bought them through this company and then you guys would handle how many people were in the cubicles with you.
Speaker 18: 00:16:10 Oh gee I don’t know there were 20 something just in case you told this.
Speaker 19: 00:16:14 And I think I would say there’s probably a good 150 people on that one floor in different cubicles and just like I said coincidentally our cubicles were what two or three from each other. I’m in the same line and it was great.
Stephen: 00:16:28 Oh my God this is definitely meant to be. There’s no way. So thinking about that right. So how big that company was and maybe they still are. Do they still have that level.
Anitra: 00:16:39 You mentioned there are now a new company N-Gage publishing. Yes.
Stephen: 00:16:44 OK. Still you learn. Yeah. Still in the same town as so much same area yeah yeah they are OK.
Stephen: 00:16:51 How big are they. Relative to what they were. They’re still pretty huge. I mean there’s plenty of theories why they renamed and broke off from the original group but they’re one of the top six textbook publishers in America. I mean they’re right up there with Pearson and McGraw Hill. You know what did you like about work in there.
Stephen: 00:17:15 Her other than her. That would have been the right answer. You should have been. You should do it right. Like instantly like an teacher of course right. I mean worse. Oh I did that in there. I appreciate that.
Stephen: 00:17:29 What did I like about Thompson learning.
Nick: 00:17:33 It was a safe place to figure out how much I appreciate freedom I’m you know I certainly stared at the cubicle and thought well this you know I’ll do this for a couple of months which turned into a couple more months which turned into I quit that job right at my two year anniversary of working there because I don’t I really didn’t want to do a third go to any truth. It wasn’t torture but it was and it was painfully boring.
Speaker 11: 00:18:00 What did it give you context of what the potential if you chose that career or chose any corporate career.
Speaker 12: 00:18:11 It certainly introduced me to office politics in a way that I had never been exposed to and never even understood. I know that there were a couple of occasions where I noticed some problems in the in some of the brochures they sent out to customers and I told my direct supervisor who said oh you know that’s somebody else’s problem don’t worry about it too. And so I decided to email the CEO of the company rubro.
Stephen: 00:18:37 And yeah I know I had no idea this was about oh do you know.
Speaker 12: 00:18:43 But apparently the CEO loved the idea. Put me on a special board with one of his board members and I got to sit separate from the group. You know a couple hours a week and work on these issues and such. And to them I showed initiative to my direct group. It was traded back in line but yeah it was really bad and I had no idea that would be received like that.
Speaker 11: 00:19:04 You know I think about some of the companies where that stuff is encouraged right where there are no boundaries like that where it’s like hey we all make mistakes. Thank God you caught this Nick right. Let’s reward you and then together we all get better right now. Those you know I see stories about some of those companies and they seem to be the ones that are succeeding. And then you have that territorial You know fiefdom kind of thing and you see most of those companies kind of closing Yeah I would agree with that.
Speaker 20: 00:19:32 I think that’s one of the reasons why when they became a new company it was really a name change in the larger group kind of broke off from this group. You
Speaker 12: 00:19:42 know Thomson Corporation is is a large corporation that still has a lot of things going on just not their textbook division anymore. And I think a lot of that was because the culture and the culture you know the environment. You
Speaker 11: 00:19:55 know I wonder though like Zappos. You know it’s owned by Amazon now. You wonder has I have not heard that their culture has changed have you.
Speaker 21: 00:20:03 I haven’t now and I love. That’s what a great what a great example that is.
Stephen: 00:20:07 Yeah and it seems I guess that’s the lesson there that this can be maintained but that takes real leadership at the even higher than Zappo level right that it really does. Yeah. OK so you decide that this isn’t your future and you’re staying on there or are you deciding your future is going to change to.
Speaker 22: 00:20:29 I see there. I actually moved from customer service to inside sales which is where I learned that I hate sales. I mean I’m back to customer service.
Speaker 11: 00:20:43 What do you think about sales you got such a great OKALIK personality. It’s interesting. I
Anitra: 00:20:48 don’t like asking people to give me money but it is. It was a completely different psychology than I had grown up around. So any clearcut rules nobody could say Do this and this is the result that you produce so beat beating up a female. I
Anitra: 00:21:10 like the knowing that I’m going to get this paycheck every week no matter what. And it wasn’t that way it was sales.
Stephen: 00:21:17 So it’s something to do with the blue collar growing up too. I mean asking for it because textbooks aren’t cheap in ordering you know hundreds of them right. So you’re talking big bills. And that was uncomfortable for you.
Anitra: 00:21:29 Yeah especially because I worked in the K through 12 version. And so you’re dealing with schools elementary schools middle schools high schools. And you knew that they didn’t have the money you have the money in their budgets. Yet I’m still asking them to buy new books for their students. So that was difficult for me because I saw how much the books cost and it just felt so comfortable and authentic.
Speaker 11: 00:21:58 Did you feel the value was there. I mean did you did you get. Did you feel you were giving them the value because like you said it’s precious resources they don’t have the money.
Speaker 14: 00:22:07 Was the value that$100 took. I don’t know what a school a high school textbook costs. I have no clue. But it’s probably pretty expensive. Yeah.
Anitra: 00:22:18 Do you feel looking. I mean there’s value in it. Absolutely. But there’s only so much about you writing that the schools could have if books are falling apart. The schools could have bought the books used but that wasn’t an option for K through 12 schools. They have to put in purchase orders they have to order class sets. You know the school wouldn’t just go and buy five copies from Amazon. You know they had there were all these rules and regulations and it was just a lot.
Nick: 00:22:54 And you dealt a lot with contract states that could only spend their money in certain ways. Yeah. And so with Amazon being a newer venture back and was just five six they just weren’t allowed to allocate money to buying them from certain ways.
Stephen: 00:23:11 Is that still the case.
Anitra: 00:23:13 Yeah it really is especially I know Texas has a huge adoption states where they will every I think five to seven years it’s time to buy science textbooks. And then the next year it’s math. But they can only buy from the publishers.
Speaker 11: 00:23:32 Hmm sounds a little collusion to me but that’s what I have no idea. It just feels icky because what you describe makes perfect sense. Five textbooks are ruined because they broke. OK. Therefore by five replacements not 400. Right. And you just replace those five pitch the other ones and life is good right. Extend them first long until that’s not relevant. It’s not like you know thinking about some of those class philosophy. Right. It doesn’t change. I mean there might be some new stuff but when you’re studying or history right the history stays the same up until they had new things that kind of make sense. And that was not allowed. It fascinates me. I never thought about that. I just assumed they would buy a couple of replacements and move on.
Anitra: 00:24:15 Yeah. There there’s one on them there’s line items and budgets and so in the state budget they might allocate X amount of dollars to textbooks and if you don’t spend that money then it just goes away. And if you don’t spend it then they will take it away from you the next year. So you’re almost forced just in that money whether you want to or not on things that you don’t maybe necessarily don’t want or need. Wow
Speaker 12: 00:24:41 . So it’s a it’s a very dirty monopoly if you ask me.
Stephen: 00:24:46 Well it definitely sounds like you have a different outlook on it. Nick so you left there what were you going to do. What was your plan.
Speaker 16: 00:24:57 Well I I answered an ad in the classifieds when I left to buy books for a college bookstore chain a small college bookstore.
Speaker 11: 00:25:05 So sweet. So you left without a job or you left just as you like.
Nick: 00:25:11 I got a I got a job and I gave three weeks notice I wish they accepted less than a week and say go ahead goodbye. Yeah that was interesting. But yeah then I went to work for a textbook company buying books from different sources like professors or bookstores and things like that. And that’s how I really got into the acquiring textbook game.
Speaker 14: 00:25:35 It’s like the old fool. And you know there was a couple other companies and you would box him up right and then send them to them and they would then pay you a percentage or whatever. Right. Right. OK. All right. And that still goes on today. Right. That business model still out there. Oh absolutely. And you know professors get books for free. Generally at least they used to get a lot more I’m assuming there’s a little tighten down. And so they would sell them and they would use it as their little slush fund for themselves right.
Speaker 16: 00:26:06 Sometimes sometimes it would be deps Sometimes it would be no libraries or bookstores or whatnot all kinds of different sources.
Speaker 14: 00:26:15 OK. All right. And then they go to these major companies they send them or they do whatever they need to do and then they put them out used in school or university as used textbooks correct.
Nick: 00:26:29 Right. They provide some form of price control or you know price competition for the major publishers. You
Speaker 14: 00:26:37 know you’re right if there wasn’t they would just charge whatever they want. Right.
Speaker 12: 00:26:41 Which is which they still do anyway. But it would be even worse.
Stephen: 00:26:44 Yeah. Well you know it’s funny I have a son in college and it’s costing me almost nothing. Now my older son cost me a fortune. My younger son’s like I’m renting a textbook this semester. I’m like dude that’s awesome. Keep it up. You keep going. And he’s all of a sudden these options. Very few get bought from the school. Very few. They’re buying them everywhere else. Or his friends are swapping them. They really have like a little system because they. I mean it’s different than when you and I went to school. Now they all know and they socially talk to each other right through these you know apps and stuff. So they have a way of communicating like a like a barter system almost.
Speaker 23: 00:27:24 Sure. But the one one hole in that is where there’s two major holes in that that really keep the bookstores in business and one would be freshmen especially freshmen without older siblings. Right that are going to college for the first time that don’t know how to play the game yet. And another one for for a lot of public schools. If you’re heavy in financial aid then a lot of schools will filter that money through the school system and hold onto it for weeks sometimes more than a month and you can only access that money through the university for example. They might offer you a credit at their bookstore only nice. Hey I have to get my books. School started a month ago. My financial aid still isn’t to me because the school hasn’t released it. So you have a. Unlimited charge card up to the amount of your financial aid. With this do with the school bookstore only so you get to pay sometimes eight 10 20 times the price you should be paying.
Speaker 12: 00:28:19 I mean I’ve seen I’ve seen too much I’ve seen textbooks that were you know unit costs to produce$5 and then sold wholesale for let’s say$50 and then they charged a student 200 plus two pairs.
Stephen: 00:28:33 And then like you said it’s financed. And so now it’s financed over 30 years. Right. Right. I mean that’s the scariest part right there where you said that I’m like oh I didn’t realize they were doing that. But again it allows them to control and make sure that their bookstore is profitable right. Right. Yes. I would hope that nobody’s doing that. But boy it sure sounds like it just as easy as what you just said every year. Oh boy. OK. So you go work for one of those companies. And is it a small institution or did you say it was owned by a university. No
Speaker 16: 00:29:06 they had it’s a smaller. I mean I don’t know he had about six different locations at different places they were all off campus bookstores. Oh cool. Yeah. He’s a smart businessman still in business. Yes absolutely. Really.
Stephen: 00:29:25 I would think that in today’s expanded.
Stephen: 00:29:27 Really. Now why is that. Well they had they have a lot of smart things going on.
Speaker 20: 00:29:34 They know I think they have the ability to keep the main thing the main thing.
Nick: 00:29:41 They kept acquiring textbooks that you know buy low sell high and they would sell them more than just in their bookstore space. The new location was everything and convenience were everything I think they recognized their product early on and and kept to it.
Speaker 11: 00:29:56 You wonder has there been bookstores and universities closed. I mean how. I mean logically I would assume they were. I remember my son to school in Philly and it was a Barnes and Noble that was in his school.
Speaker 16: 00:30:07 And I’m not sure if they’re still open. Sure. My wife and I and nature and I just worked a school system that closed four locations and we bought every book from their back room and it was great for us but not so good for the students.
Speaker 11: 00:30:22 And so what’s the what’s their plan. Tell me to go to Amazon.
Nick: 00:30:26 Oh my gosh they have no plan. I even offered. You know I told them sometimes we put together PTF of suggested places to buy your books everybody knows Amazon but not everybody knows to go to some of the other sites that I can shop around for you and so forth. They said they subsidized. They subsidize those forces for different stores. And collectively they lost about a million dollars last year alone in the bookstore. Oh my gosh. And they just couldn’t keep it open. And a lot of it was in my humble opinion playing games with not only the publishers but you know doing business the old way not the new way not focusing on the fact that we’re in America and we have some of the best logistics on the world. So you don’t have to order you know 80 copies of one book to be prepared you can order them a lot closer to the deadline and not have to carry this huge back stock the old way of a bookstore running is you know order a certain percentage of the enrollment and a lot of times that percentage would be high and then you’d be stuck with these books you couldn’t return because a whole bunch of them were buying them third party or whatever as we discussed right.
Stephen: 00:31:36 Right. Absolutely. So have you seen bookstores doing it other than the private one you were mentioning. Have you seen bookstores at universities doing it right.
Nick: 00:31:47 You know honestly I think everybody’s hurting OK but some people are still striving because they’re they’re adapting to the new model. Why there’s a bookstore owner we know of that we’re great friends with that. When I mentioned hey you know you currently sell online. I’d like to buy your back stock I’d like to buy anything that you’re not currently selling to your students. You said Oh yeah we sell online. We sold. We did about$5000 dollars last year on eBay.
Stephen: 00:32:14 And I said I don’t really know how to get them right. I mean these and don’ts for short.
Nick: 00:32:21 You know we worked with him a lot and you know we’re good friends at this point and he does about a half million dollars a year on Amazon now. Yeah absolutely. His store on the side because that’s what today’s marketplace demands.
Stephen: 00:32:35 And would he be in business if he wasn’t doing that hard telling.
Speaker 14: 00:32:39 Know it’s hard. It really is. A lot of what you talk about you know I’m thinking back to our conversation in Dayton Ohio so Nick and I have met twice but the first time was in Dayton. Couple of years ago. And if Greg Murphy says Steve you need to pay attention to this guy. I take that very serious because Greg is Mr. books and he mentioned you and your plan. And I remember sitting there listening and I’m like well what you talked about was a 100 percent relationship.
Stephen: 00:33:06 I mean it didn’t sound like you were you were out there. You know I guess you were hustling I don’t mean it that way but you had developed so many of these relationships is that your strategy absolutely 1000 percent.
Nick: 00:33:23 You know we’ve we’ve had uptimes and downtimes but our relationships that we develop through the years have carried us through. And you know we’ve kind of adapted our sales approach to reflect that.
Stephen: 00:33:36 Think about the bookstores that you helped you just described this other gentleman would probably not be in business. How many. I mean that’s one of the things that keeps you going because you know you’re going to help a whole bunch of people.
Nick: 00:33:48 Oh I love it. It’s wonderful. I I wish I could do more for these institution bookstores that just closed recently. We are going to take over. We’re in talks to take over all their buybacks where they buy the books from students. Right. You know just to provide that service because they’re small regional campuses not tiny but not you know a thousand 2000 students each. And we’re going to be able to still buy the books from the students and provide them that service and help them out.
Speaker 11: 00:34:15 Well because now it is that point where you’ve got to worry about not you. But they need to worry about not that they’re not losing money. Right so they weren’t making money so it’s not like they could worry about that they’re not losing money anymore. However there are implications this is a ripple effect right. This is going to affect students what are they going to do with their books. And they need that money.
Nick: 00:34:35 Sure. And these are not not to just set a difference but they’re they’re not private school kids. These are small regional campuses and working class towns that are in many cases lucky to be going to college. If we’re so fortunate that it’s available everywhere like never before.
Speaker 11: 00:34:51 Well let’s talk about rules. So you are on the road a lot.
Speaker 16: 00:34:56 Nick I am on the road selling I’m not on the road nearly as much as I’ve been in the past. But would you say maybe a month out of the year as far as overnights and then you know as far as overnight maybe a month out of the year broken up into several places and then otherwise home every night if I do go out scouting.
Stephen: 00:35:17 OK. And then you’re back home. What’s your role in the business. Everything else.
Anitra: 00:35:29 Use your hand go out and do the job that he does.
Speaker 11: 00:35:32 Yeah because we have five children and so you know we’re five children and that’s a that’s a lot of responsibility.
Anitra: 00:35:42 Yeah. And we run the whole business of our house you know so it’s making sure that he has the freedom to go and work on those relationships when he needs to. And also you know whenever an issue pops up then you know I can help fix that.
Speaker 11: 00:36:00 Well I was thinking about you you spoke at the bus proof Gregg’s conference and I thought to myself Oh my goodness this person really knows what she’s talking about you knew the new you knew all the details behind the scenes and I think Nikki you even referenced you don’t know how it works.
Stephen: 00:36:15 Talk to a teacher. Right Jean. I wish I had a T-shirt that said That’s And in each request.
Speaker 23: 00:36:21 So many of them are you know my. I could sell the books but not nearly as well as she can get it done.
Stephen: 00:36:27 You’re 100 percent FBA. OK. Well we’re a hundred percent happy as far as what we do on Amazon. OK.
Stephen: 00:36:35 OK. And so I want to close that out. The identifying identifying the boundaries between work and family life especially now that here you have five kids. I mean that means your kids are in your everything you’re doing right there in your life no matter what. Because there’s always somebody yelling Mommy or Daddy right here. How do you how do you identify the boundaries. I say this is my theory on myself. Our business is our life and our life is our business not in a negative way. Sometimes one needs more than the other and it’s so flexible we can move and Bob no matter what. But no negative connotations just like oh I got to go in. No we don’t even think about it that way. That’s where we’re at but we don’t have five kids.
Speaker 24: 00:37:20 How about you guys.
Speaker 13: 00:37:23 I would say it’s the same way with us I mean our children are in our business I mean they know what goes on they know what we do. They understand it and they’re growing up with a constant model of this is how you are an entrepreneur or this is how you work for yourself. What do you think.
Speaker 21: 00:37:44 Yeah I think that’s about right.
Stephen: 00:37:47 All right well that’s cool because to make that work for us you know it sounds pretty easy it’s just two of us right in the know. We have a son in college. No big deal but with five kids if you can make that work also. That’s a very healthy because now you’re you know true you broke the blue collar mold. Nick you might have broken the college mold to say you know. I mean like you know you’re not downplaying your role what you learned in college but you’re also showing that you don’t need it.
Speaker 21: 00:38:14 Maybe maybe or I would agree completely. When I got when when I graduated with my degree in communications or pause for laughter.
Stephen: 00:38:23 But you know I learned there was a lot of laughter the whole crowd here was laughing and my whole team.
Nick: 00:38:30 Well you know my I found my degree when I started looking at different jobs and did a couple of internships and I found out that I would actually make more money answering the phones in a call center. It was very disheartening. And when I found out some of the things you have to go through to do something you enjoy like that and still not pay the bills on time and you know going into different TV stations and talking to people and realizing you know you’re on the anchor desk and you’re making 30 grand a year. That doesn’t add up to what I perceived. So you know being an entrepreneur was the path or I feel like I’m Ramba.
Stephen: 00:39:07 But that’s. No no I get it. I mean I think you’re you know looking good on the anchor desk. I
Speaker 14: 00:39:11 have a friend who is weather guy is a good look a pretty a pretty face or I couldn’t mess it up his face. But he did nothing and he would say that you know may nothing but he loved it just because he loved the attention you know go out to lunch with them and you know people are swooning over him. But he didn’t make any money into it. So I appreciate that.
Speaker 11: 00:39:29 Well what would you tell your kids. I mean what’s your going now. I mean you know thinking about it how many of the five. I don’t know how old or how old they are are set with a college career and a future. You know doctor lawyer accountant one of the standard engineer things that you need a college degree for and then the other ones might be business owners technical I think technical is so underserved the guy who can repair a bulldozer is in real demand right now huge to maps. You know what do you see with the five.
Speaker 21: 00:39:59 Well one thing we try to do over and over every chance we get. You know of course we get mundane in working sometimes but any time there’s a good opportunity to show something to them.
Speaker 23: 00:40:09 You know we try to make an imprint on them. We try to say hey you know we paid this. We’re asking this will probably settle on that or you know different thing as yet because I want each of the kids to understand how business works and understand the underlying details and I am trusting that they make their own decisions. As you know beyond that you know I know we’ve got a 17 year old who is looking heavily at the trades because you can be in business for yourself and be an electrician or a plumber or something along those lines and you need to know that skill set you just said right you need to know that right.
Speaker 11: 00:40:47 That’s very important if you’re going to be a trades person.
Speaker 23: 00:40:50 Right. Because you can you can make someone else’s living. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But if you follow their plan in line their pockets. That’s one path but it’s better to at least understand how the machine works. You can play the game to your advantage.
Stephen: 00:41:05 Well it’s also just as important though if they’re going to be a doctor. Think about this right. Or a lawyer right. How many lawyers go out of business. They do. You don’t think about it but they do because they’re not they don’t understand the business they went into it because they love the law. I’m going to change the world or I want to save people so I’m going to be a doctor. However the receptionist needs to get paid the rent needs to get paid that that waiting room area costs money. Everything about it. You know that business side of it. If it’s not you know successfully run you’re out of business or if you rely on somebody else completely to run your business they’re not going to care as much as you and therefore you’re probably not going to be successful and pay off your half a million dollar student loans.
Stephen: 00:41:47 Sure. OK. So that part of the business seems to be going well. How how bad were you hurt by the change in FBA fees if you care to say and the rule about one book for free now. No books for free for storage. Do you want to ensure that you don’t meet. Well I hear nobody crying so that’s good. Nobody’s crying so that’s a good sign.
Speaker 18: 00:42:19 Mm hmm. As much as it might have some other people because the average sale price for our books is much higher because we have a better quality book. You’re not a penny bookseller right.
Speaker 15: 00:42:36 We are books. You know the average selling price can go anywhere from 20 dollars to you know 40 50 bucks per book. And so the fees don’t matter so much. Now the one off box where you don’t get the one for free socks is part of doing business overall.
Speaker 19: 00:42:58 It it really positively impacted our business. I can tell you that this year with other factors too with sourcing and with different things going on is going to be our best year in six years with those fees. I
Speaker 23: 00:43:12 think it weeded out a lot of people who weren’t necessarily as serious about the business or maybe you know they had the luxury of keeping 50 copies listed at once and now they’re only keeping more like five. But for whatever reason we’re willing to pay the fees and we’re willing to you know every time we go through long term storage fees I hear people talking about how they don’t want to pay anything and they had everything sent back and do this and that and we pay long term storage fees all the time because you know we’re selling the books still.
Stephen: 00:43:41 We’re still this is a product that will so I think that’s the answer right there. You’re more attentive right. I mean you know I guess the good news about those extra fees and that other thing it forces you to be better. Right. I mean I assume that’s one of those other things you or other factors you’re talking about.
Speaker 16: 00:43:57 You have to step up your game and some of those. Well in some of the books that we service are so seasonal that you would almost be you know for example there would be outdated books that just were not adopted a lot when they were adopted. You couldn’t find them in the bookstores they couldn’t buy them from wholesalers so the bookstores didn’t even have them on their shelves. So they were all sourced on Amazon. So we’ve seen several longtail books that were former penny books.
Speaker 21: 00:44:28 You know we might have listed them at 12 or 15 dollars that have gone all the way up to 100 plus it’s so so amazing we had the stock there to provide that whereas other people you know saw a low value book and didn’t see it coming and weren’t able to service it. And I think a lot of that’s because of the fees. Sorry.
Speaker 11: 00:44:45 No no no I get it. I went somewhere else to when you went because I was thinking is that what you were saying was it makes sense for Amazon because these books are seasonal. It doesn’t make sense for them to hold them for six months when they’re not going to sell. However seven months seven that’s the magic month. That’s one they want in there because they could use that space to store my coffee cup that I’m looking at here. Right. And then that. You know it doesn’t incrementally cost them anymore. But now just to leave a book there sitting there all 12 months it’s probably an inefficient use of Amazon space. They’re thinking however that’s not where you went. You’re saying that because you left it there for all 12 months and incurred those fees you were able to take advantage of the market when it became a market again.
Speaker 16: 00:45:29 Absolutely because there’s certainly plenty of titles that were pretty longtail books that might sell. Gosh I don’t know 30 40 50 copies overnight but they won’t sell them for a full year and you can look at the keep it charge and they’re crazy.
Speaker 14: 00:45:44 How did you know that though. It’s a good question. Right so you’re saying that a book comes back into favor so that means a professor decides that you know we’re doing the 1968 version of Romeo and Juliet by you know the author young or whatever right.
Speaker 11: 00:46:02 He wants that one. So he puts that out on his booklist and all of a sudden everybody’s looking for that yet it was a penny book by that example.
Speaker 25: 00:46:10 Probably a poor example but well you know a better example might be if you’re looking at this group of textbooks which say every freshman has to take freshman English. So
Nick: 00:46:21 the writing guide is always going to be revised very often and it’s always going to be in demand whereas a very specific high level class. Let’s say it’s a 300 400 500 level class might be taught only once a semester it might only be taught in the home. So OK it’s never sold in you know in January till till September and then in September everybody buys them.
Speaker 11: 00:46:44 Have the tools gotten better to help you understand that.
Speaker 21: 00:46:50 Absolutely yeah definitely better because I you want to talk about tools. I mean I still remember when we were you know when someone shared the secret of scalpel with us miss it hey man you got to see what we’re doing. And he flips open his phone and he shows me the data he’s getting from scalpel and it’s time now with about it now.
Speaker 15: 00:47:09 Back then it was cutting edge. Yeah I mean that was one of those moments. I mean I know I’ll never forget that it was it was the missing piece for us to be able to move forward and do this because we have been looking and we couldn’t find it we knew it was out there we just couldn’t find it. And here this guy just shared with us is pretty amazing relationships.
Stephen: 00:47:35 But again there’s a relationship but so other people have sold into you. Is that why the need for you and Greg are selling it to others because you and him are doing something right. You guys have something going on.
Speaker 22: 00:47:46 Yeah. You know we have a beginners program that we just put together. And that really is where my heart is with the new sellers because I remember how hard it was when we started out. And it’s discouraging isn’t it. It
Speaker 15: 00:48:02 is very discouraging and especially coming from a blue collar family not understanding entrepreneurship. And then kind of being thrust into it. It’s enough to make your head spin.
Speaker 18: 00:48:15 And it’s very easy to get discouraged. So I you know Greg and I wanted to put something out that would be encouraging and also help people not make the same mistakes we did when we got started.
Speaker 11: 00:48:27 Go ahead make the pitch. What is it. Is it how do you how do you find it. If somebody is interest so this is a this is a entry level specific to books. However just understand that books are just like toys or just like genes or just like you know there are different little nuances and different rules and ranks and all that kind of jazz. However you buy low sell high. And that’s the main thing. There’s the whole lesson and learning it in books is the safest place to do it. And not textbooks regular books. I want to qualify that and say not textbooks because there’s a lot of counterprotest works but generally it’s the safest place to do it right.
Speaker 22: 00:49:03 Yeah because you get your return on investment is so high. But I just try to simplify it as much as I could.
Speaker 18: 00:49:11 Mm hmm. But it’s the Web site is just person business. And then you just look on your products and it’s called foundations.
Speaker 11: 00:49:21 OK. And I’ll put a link to it on this episode because I just think it’s so great there. You know I’m sure it’s inexpensive known you goinge but it’s just valuable to take the lesson. This is the safest way if you just saw somebody else. Hey I really need to get into this FBA. This is probably one of the best ways and you hear from just about everybody Chris Green all those they say the same thing started in books. It’s very very cheap. Generally they’re easy to find because they’re everywhere. Right and you got to look at a lot of them to find a jewel. But once you understand why something is a jewel you have learned to fish you now have a skill set that is transferable. If you want to go on to toys or you know clothing or food or whatever else is out there to sell.
Speaker 18: 00:50:02 But I think it’s great when everybody started your house. Start with your book shelves start your kids book shelves. Just start with what you have and then start with what your family has and then work out from there.
Stephen: 00:50:14 And I’m going to have that link. Now you mentioned that you have another method of selling it I don’t know how deep you’re willing to go into it but there is life outside of Amazon and your$5000 friend in eBay right there. There are other ways to operate this business correct. Sure
Speaker 21: 00:50:31 of course as far as outside of Amazon the majority of what we do see. I guess the model we tried to emulate after we went through the ups and downs and tried a lot of different things. I will buy a group of books for example and I will wholesale enough to at least cover the cost of that group of books.
Speaker 25: 00:50:53 Who do you sell them to do one of several textbook wholesalers like yes that’s Missouri book services or sometimes if all that or there’s Nebraska books services those are the biggest free ones. There are several others you could. I would say those are the big three players but there are a lot of people who publish lists and who are willing to pay you know a competitive price for a textbook.
Speaker 11: 00:51:18 So walk me through that second so stop there because I think it sounds a little bit too good to be true. How do you find a volume enough where you can get rid of enough at a wholesale level to do that.
Speaker 21: 00:51:31 And don’t give away your secret sauce. Well you smile a lot sometimes you send candy to the nursing department. You listen to a lot of people and find out what they really need and eventually you become the only one they deal with. So sometimes it’s you know Professor turns into a department because it’s its consistency and reliability right. I
Stephen: 00:51:53 mean there’s always a flash in the pan. But if you come back every year and do what you say you’re going to do like really do it right. That’s like a big win for them right. Absolutely
Speaker 21: 00:52:04 . And also I do my best to become a genuine friend when when it’s applicable if I have a VIP customer they’re treated VIP. You know if they want to. I’ve had customers before. It’s funny. I had a customer that was dean of students at his particular college and and teacher came with me and I said Hey do you want to come in and meet this guy and she said no no I’ll just wait in the car. Because it’s only one customer. And I said well you don’t understand this is not a five minute customer. I was in there for about an hour just listening to him talk. You know the work took five minutes and the work was no buying. I think I got probably$3000 where the product that I paid him three thousand dollars I wholesaled that for this much I sold the rest on line and so forth he was a great customer but he always wanted to do my ear off every time and I let him do that. And we’re still friends today.
Speaker 11: 00:52:57 So it’s a deeper relationship. It’s not just a business relationship it’s a deeper relationship with everybody I can. I
Speaker 21: 00:53:04 really I try to connect well with people and the best connector in that for the best connector that’s been a good example to me would be in Iraq. You know there are times when I’ll take her to a bookstore account and she’ll say well what do you want me to do while I’m here. And I’ll say well you’re the friend I’m going to get to work and you can buddy up with them and talk to them and find out what’s going on in their lives and develop that relationship more. You know I used to think I was good at relationships sales until I brought her few times.
Stephen: 00:53:36 She says she’s no good at sales Anitra. What’s the deal.
Speaker 18: 00:53:41 My friends they just suck at getting money.
Stephen: 00:53:44 OK. So as long as he as long as he makes the offer for the books that that’s OK.
Speaker 18: 00:53:50 Yeah yeah yeah. Are fine. You know when we really play well off of each other. But he’s strong in you know we can and vice versa. But over the years we’ve been married I think each of us has gotten a lot stronger and our Gary is because of each other. So it just keeps getting better.
Speaker 11: 00:54:11 Well let me ask you this. So this model where these four stores have closed and you might get an opportunity to go and do the buyback for the students right. Right. Is that an opportunity. I mean is this really what you do is you say OK I have an outlet for her 50 60 percent of these books with my developed wholesale relationships over time. And so it makes it a lot more because you could end up with 100 books right. All
Speaker 21: 00:54:36 of us of the same book you could. Most of the buybacks that I’m doing right now are that I’ve cycled through recently and in recent years I don’t generally end up with that kind of large quantity. OK. But most wholesalers like the three we mentioned they’ll at least take 2025 copies of each book it for a popular book. It’s not hard to find it a whole Hoka Hogan I don’t generally I don’t generally have to wholesale You know 50 or 60 percent of it. Normally if you buy it right in the first place you know I might wholesale 25 percent of the books and 75 percent I’m go online it’s just 100 percent paid for before it gets there. That’s awesome. I like keeping it clean.
Speaker 14: 00:55:15 It’s very smart. I mean it makes it you don’t have a cash flow problem right. I mean because you bought them you spent the money you got your return back right for your investment back I mean call it that not a return and then therefore even if you don’t see a return for a while so longtail to you is a lot different than long term to somebody who’s got to dip into their pocket to get that money. Sure. And I wonder I mean I can’t do this is where we need Greg to do this math. But because you know you know you spend a thousand dollars you immediately got your thousand dollars back and you’re going to make$2000. That return is different than spending a thousand dollars and eventually getting$3000. Right. I mean there’s a definite different because you got it immediate. So it’s like I mean again I can’t do that math but that is a different business model and therefore less risky.
Speaker 21: 00:56:05 Would you say well we see one thing I guess I didn’t mention these wholesalers will often. Everybody publishes a list of some sort. So when I’m evaluating the book for purchase Initially I know whether I can sell that book or not.
Speaker 11: 00:56:21 Oh so you make an offer. So you’ve got eyes you already know what the value of what the market is and how long is that market whole. I mean if they say the book is you know$12 that’s what they’re willing to pay. How
Speaker 21: 00:56:33 long is that list good for in the ballpark of a month. OK
Speaker 14: 00:56:37 . OK. So like you say if so is your goal to pay that amount or less than that so you can make a big or a difference between there.
Speaker 21: 00:56:46 It really depends on a lot of different factors it really depends on what the customer in front of me values the most. You know some customers and thing. Again that’s one of the reasons why I excel at relationships sales is because I try to evaluate what do you need what do you want. What are you trying to tell me. Between the Lines I’ll never be the most competitive price on these books. I don’t think that’s wise for my business model. But you know some people need a very accurate inventory. I’ve gone in and well in these four stores that just closed. I went in and did a detailed inventory for them so they knew exactly what I was taking. They knew how many new copies how many used copies how many alternative copies there were how much I paid for each one and I did this detailed spreadsheet quote for them and that’s what they needed more than they and they also needed the convenience so I would box everything up I would come to them.
Speaker 21: 00:57:40 I would give them kind of red carpet service and they ate it up and they didn’t mind that I was paying less. How
Speaker 11: 00:57:45 long did that take you there how many days were you there. Each
Speaker 21: 00:57:48 store was about if I had gotten to do it perfectly it would have been one day but I usually spaced it out two days with each store.
Speaker 11: 00:57:57 So it’s a it’s an investment though I mean this is a lot of your time. Sure
Speaker 21: 00:58:00 sure. I probably spent in the neighborhood. What do you think we spend about 10 15 grand with each with all. Probably about between 10 and 15000 with all four stores. And then I went ahead and got that return instantly and by instantly I mean within a couple of weeks because I still have to spend the time to look at the book again evaluate hey this book in front of me and I sell it online or am I going to go and wholesale it. I have to go through them with a fine tooth comb and then I probably got I don’t know how much I have to say on line from that pool yet but I know that I’ve already listed over thirty five thousand dollars worth online that I essentially got for free because you got your 15 grand back immediately.
Speaker 14: 00:58:41 So when you are evaluating now the tools have changed. Right. You’re not only evaluating. So right now you’re looking at it sounds like four different marketplaces. Right. The three that you mentioned plus Amazon to see which is the most lucrative to you. Sure. Yeah. OK. I don’t know if I’m digging into something secret there and I want to get into it too.
Speaker 25: 00:59:06 But it’s just it’s thought that it’s just sometimes it’s for marketplaces sometimes it’s more it just depends on. OK. A lot little nuances. You
Speaker 11: 00:59:13 he’s definitely code in there everyone you all heard it. He’s not telling us all which I get and I respect that dude. I really respect that. Because you don’t want to. You don’t want to just hand everybody because he can’t. What’s easy for you is not easy for someone else because you make it look easy. It’s not easy. Right. There’s lots of little things that you didn’t know. Oh do it this way. Well there are 50 decisions behind that that you’ve learned the hard way to get to that place and if you don’t know how to do that it’s not easy. And so now I respect it. OK.
Speaker 26: 00:59:43 So when it comes to deciding where a book goes I don’t do it because it takes me 10 times as long to do it. So.
Stephen: 00:59:55 Is he like a wizard. I mean he’s like holds it up next to his head. OK. Amazon folded. That’s exactly how I do it I just hold it to my head and Karnac your corner. Yes. So in the old days I haven’t done in a million years for that one. You had to box them up or you year to create a list upload it and then box them up and send them something similar model today.
Speaker 16: 01:00:18 It is. That’s not how I do it. I have friends who own bookstores that I’ll just walk into the bookstore and say hey let’s sell these off.
Speaker 11: 01:00:26 Oh here’s the Protip. All right let’s pause for a second. Oh now we just saw behind the curtain everyone. He just let us know we can mail them in. OK. But you just let us in on a little secret there that there are small bookstore. Matter of fact I was thinking about this at Greg’s Mita there was a gentleman who owns six of those stores right. You know who I’m talking about. I forget his name. Great guy really great guy. And so there’s an example of somebody who would buy books from you not you but whoever because he doesn’t have to go scout them right. So there’s some value he would be willing to pay a premium maybe albeit a small one but it’s still valuable. And like you said you immediately get in that scenario you’re walking in and there you might get a check right there on the spot correct.
Speaker 21: 01:01:11 Well and one more thing that I to evaluate to much on but I might just get a lot of cash.
Stephen: 01:01:17 OK. Yeah I understand that. I understand that. OK. And so we’re going stay on the side of the fence. You then that opens up all other avenue. But again we’re back to the relationship. How hard is it. You know you seem like a natural at it. How hard is it though for someone like Nutra who self-proclaimed non sales person. How hard is it for somebody like that can they develop those relationships. Do you think.
Speaker 12: 01:01:48 You know my answer or hers.
Speaker 11: 01:01:49 I know what her answer is going to be.
Speaker 19: 01:01:51 But for us it would be absolutely impossibly easy for her to develop these relationships with more confidence. But I’ve you know at one point in my career I would knock on. 40 to 100 doors in a day and the majority of those doors would be no. And occasionally I would get yelled at or cursed at or called names or whatnot I took a lot of beating in the sales world knocking on doors.
Speaker 23: 01:02:21 I’ve developed some pretty thick skin. And so you have to be willing to take those hits to get to a good relationship because not everybody wants your service. Not everybody likes it. Not everybody agrees with it but with more confidence and more willing to take the hits. Oh my gosh. People respond to her like magic right. Right now they’ve responded to me like they do with her.
Stephen: 01:02:45 I’ve seen her speak. She’s not a wallflower. I think that’s an act. She’s definitely got it. All right. So let me ask you this because immediately my mind went there when you were talking. How much of your business. And this is again you know this is too personal. Don’t
Speaker 24: 01:02:58 don’t answer it is on Amazon now well most of the profits there.
Speaker 16: 01:03:06 I mean know all the profits there because the whole CEO know I mean you’re making a very small margin on whole set right. You’re
Stephen: 01:03:13 going to you’re going to have to because they have to make money right.
Speaker 21: 01:03:15 That’s the math Yeah. But there’s also seasonality the books and there’s also I don’t I mean I buy it right in the first place and I try to give I try to match it with the best customer for me. And so there are plenty of customers who their chief concern is not what you’re handing over the books their chief concern is are you going to steal from me are you going to give me inaccurate records are you going to harass my people are you going to be so slick that I can’t stand to look at you. I’ve I’ve been fortunate enough to be left alone in the stacks of books in the stacks of you know let’s say there’s a$2 million bookstore. They can walk away knowing that nothing’s going to be hidden in my bag when I leave. You know and that’s a trust is a big issue in this market.
Stephen: 01:04:03 Makes sense. Yeah and it makes perfect sense but you didn’t answer my question. I’m trying to nail you down a little bit what I get the profits I get that but I’m asking about sales because here’s what I’m thinking if somebody’s going to say Steve you didn’t ask this question. How
Speaker 11: 01:04:16 much of his business is he doing on Amazon so you buy 100 books. I know you said maybe 25 percent might underpin a whole set but that’s not really clear because the now we find out that there’s other avenues that wholesale to the secret behind the curtain things.
Stephen: 01:04:30 So you know is you know could you give us a percentage because I want to I mean I guess here’s why mean this is this is where Steve goes. I think that there is life outside of an Amazon or an eBay or Joe’s bookstore. Right. There is other ways. If you’re willing to put in the work and I think you’re an example of somebody who’s done it. So that’s why I’m kind of want to put you put a little spotlight on it there.
Speaker 20: 01:04:54 Sure.
Nick: 01:04:55 You know being able to get a a good return on my money immediately has given me the luxury of it. OK let me answer your question first. The answer to that would be probably around 75 80 percent of my product ends up directly on Amazon for you for me. OK. But let me also say that I have the luxury of pricing a lot of things for the season. So I do very well in December January.
Speaker 23: 01:05:24 I don’t have to worry about doing as well in March and April even though I will so have sales in March and April. You know I know that you know when kids go back to school that’s when I’m going to make the most of my money so I’ll price things up in the in the list. Sometimes looking Akiba things like that.
Speaker 11: 01:05:42 And if you do that no it makes perfect sense. And do you do that yourself. Not
Speaker 21: 01:05:45 a Neutra. We’re both. I do the majority of it but there are certain times when she saves me and says hey I’m going to take care of this.
Stephen: 01:05:54 And in wisdom as well would you advise. I mean I know a teacher is going to say yes because they’re offering of course. Would you advise people to get into the book business today knowing what you know. Absolutely
Speaker 16: 01:06:06 . I love it. And you’ve loved it for a long time. I
Stephen: 01:06:10 have to do that. You guys are killin it. I love the fact that you almost could finish each other’s sentences that’s a long marriage but it’s very interesting how well you compliment each other and I think that that you know I could see you’re trying to draw more out of her neck and I feel that right and the true that he’s trying to draw more out of you and me out in the field in a second push right out there at the door you could do it. Well you know one thing about the book business you know I mentioned Greg Murphy he’s the giant book buyer and he’s one of he’s a small giant book but bulk book buyer he would tell you right buying Gaylord’s of books and going through and doing the penny book business.
Speaker 11: 01:06:54 And then I think of like a Roth who’s very similar model of yours. But then I think of others that have they have buyers out there buying. I mean there’s one thing about the book business there are a lot of different models. I mean just an enormous amount of models right.
Speaker 15: 01:07:11 Yeah. And I think you know Nick said it once and it’s always with me that you can do a lot wrong in this business and still make a lot of money because the return on investment is so large. Yeah and you can you can slice this business 10 15 20 different ways and still be you know be very lucrative for you when you can figure out which one works for you I could not run a bookstore like Greg Murphy but you see he’s got his life invested it’s given him a new lease on life hasn’t it. I
Stephen: 01:07:42 mean you see that. Yeah absolutely. Which is so cool because he’s found his lane. And you found your lane and yet you’re in a similar. You’re both book guys. Yeah. That’s awesome. We’ve
Speaker 15: 01:07:56 never looked at it as a competition and I think you know that’s kind of what I’ve always tried to say is there’s enough books for everybody.
Anitra: 01:08:07 So you know you don’t have to be mean or nasty to another book buyer because there’s plenty of books to go around when i’ve always.
Speaker 21: 01:08:16 Both of us. We’ve always valued relationships more than the day’s work for example so if we go to a library sale for fun I will find it. To
Speaker 11: 01:08:26 me that’s fun. You can be certain libraries. There are contact sports that are less dangerous than library sales.
Speaker 25: 01:08:36 But I can tell you for certain. I’ve seen plenty of people who will you know cover their shoulder and try not to let you see their machine and you know throw elbows and whatnot. And we’re exactly the opposite. There are plenty of times when I’ll stop when I’m doing I’ve scanned enough books for a minute and I’ll take a break and I’ll go over a struggling seller and saying how’s it going. What are you doing. Let me share some nuggets of wisdom with you and in our philosophy has always been if we come to the table and share 10 things and somebody else shares one thing that we don’t know we’re still leaving with 11 Bryant winning.
Stephen: 01:09:09 Absolutely yeah. I mean that’s how we met Greg. You know how many what percentage of your books that you sell are textbooks. Is that your business would you say the 90 percent 90 percent. Yeah and whistles or access codes related material. Yeah. OK. And was that going to be the lane because that was the world you were in. I mean did that just because you never really deviated much out of there.
Speaker 25: 01:09:32 I never really had cause to poker. And it it’s so easy. You know I it’s it’s heavy in the relationship because if I go to a library sale and I don’t get the relationship with the librarian that I’m fighting with everybody else.
Stephen: 01:09:46 You know when you think about the future how long do you think you can keep this up.
Speaker 27: 01:09:54 I mean have you ever thought about it.
Speaker 21: 01:09:57 You know I think the the the ball keeps moving. But as long as we move with it we’ll be in good shape. I don’t think books are going to go anywhere in my lifetime. I know that everybody’s pushing the e-books and everybody’s I don’t know. It’ll always be textbooks but probably always be books. And I would I would love to you know take the time and branch into private label and do some more things with that. But I’m in love with Amazon I think it’s so much fun.
Speaker 27: 01:10:28 You know nature. What’s your feeling.
Speaker 18: 01:10:32 The same.
Speaker 17: 01:10:33 I mean because of the life that we have because we so on and on and because you know we’ve already invested 11 years or 10 or 11 years into this I think we’ll always say it selling on Amazon and probably with books we love books Our kids love books. I don’t think I’ve ever met a person who doesn’t like books. Right.
Stephen: 01:11:00 When you when you tell your family I mean that they seem to do this for 11 years so Nick they think you’re going to make it finally. I think they think you’re going to you know you’re going to make it depends on the day. Well what did they what do they say because they’ve got to look at your lifestyle and say oh my god how can you you know like are you magic or something. I mean it’s just you know people understand it for a second and then they’re like OK yeah that’s it. But
Speaker 28: 01:11:21 you’ve been doing it for 11 years consistently they still don’t get it at all. To be honest with you. Really.
Speaker 25: 01:11:30 Yeah it’s very interesting because like I said it’s a blue collar environment with my family. And I think if you go to my extended family tree we might have one or two businessmen tops and we just don’t it we’re just not entrenched in that. And so I’ve been asked so what’s this book pyramid scheme you’re talking about.
Stephen: 01:11:51 What’s wrong with that education system you have been I’ve been told that and I’m like well that’s not even close but ok. No you’re buying them and helping people buy.
Speaker 11: 01:12:02 So OK so I’m going to put a link there for bus proof business with the foundation. This is of course it’s an entry level course it’s a great. Again I love what you said. Sell the stuff that’s in your house right there right there in your house books. And there’s value in them. Get Get learn that. And so this is a great course. Let’s close out with one or two ideas that you think people who are stuck because that’s what I like when I see somebody who’s stuck. It’s kind of like when you said you went over and saw somebody struggling and you kind of gave them a little tip or whatever and then all of a sudden you see a little they stand a little taller when they have that little instant success and it’s like ooh that’s so cool and if they can build on it. Right. So I always try to do that and so give us one or two tips that you think people can do to get themselves unstuck and get the business moving.
Speaker 21: 01:12:49 Sure the you know I used to have a coffee mug that said the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. I think that might have been a Stephen Covey coffee mug or something to that effect.
Speaker 28: 01:13:01 I would remind any stuck seller that sourcing is where it’s at. If you have the right books or if you have the right valued books you can make you can make a lot of other wrong turns and make it have a lot of mistakes and still do well in this business. So if you’re stuck stop focusing on things that don’t produce and start focusing on sourcing. I guess that makes perfect sense to me. And do you want to add one need. I actually had to run Bocca at the kids off the bus.
Stephen: 01:13:34 No stress so don’t use her voice but give us one that she would tell us from her perspective because I think she has a different perspective. She’s looking at it day to day probably not getting out of the house as much not enjoying their conversation as much. What would she say.
Speaker 28: 01:13:51 I think she would probably say review the fundamentals and if you following the formula it will work. Don’t be deceived if you’re doing what you should be doing just because it’s not there today don’t mean it won’t be there soon.
Stephen: 01:14:07 Consistency matter. It’s back to those relationships the fact that you showed up and actually did what you said you were going to do. You’re 90 you’re ahead of nine out of 10 people just by doing that and still powerful. Ok best way for someone who wants to follow up so good to have this link for the course. Is there a way that anybody if they want to follow up with a question they can reach out to you. Well sure we do have book frog. It will be for years. Yeah. OK. And there’s a place to reach out there.
Speaker 21: 01:14:35 Yeah there’s a contact us button or you know my e-mail is. Nick jump in. I see K Jay you impy at gmail dot com.
Speaker 14: 01:14:44 I don’t mind given that out dude is awesome. I’m excited because here’s a couple that you know are humble. I. I was actually planning on leading in with that that Nick’s a pretty humble guy. And I remember that. But you guys have it together because you’re together right. I just love it. You have it together. There’s a coffee Mike. We have it together because we’re together. I appreciate it. Thank you so much. I wish you nothing but success. Thank you so much.
Speaker 21: 01:15:15 Thank you. Thanks for having us.
Speaker 29: 01:15:18 And what a great interview. Again just a power couple that you would never know. They’re quiet. They keep to themselves but boy they’re focused on their family. I love to talk about their kids and exposing them to see this stuff because you want to teach them there’s another way the way we grew up where go to college that was the answer. Now there’s a lot of people that went to college that can’t find jobs that might not be the answer. How about figuring out what you’re meant to do. That might be the real answer because that passion and that that’s what takes you through and I love to see them invest in their kids and investing in others. You know if you’ve been thinking about getting into Amazon I’m dead serious books are the best way to start. Because as a teacher you can make a lot of mistakes and they’re forgiven because it’s just you know you’re paying so little for that product and the potential that it would yield a big amount is such a great thing.
Speaker 29: 01:16:10 So Buffett proof business foundations have the link in this episode. I think it’s just so important. And remember the sponsors that sponsor the show and so fortunate just got approached by another national sponsor. I’m very very fortunate I don’t take this for granted. I appreciate every one of you listening and I just appreciate if you would give them a chance because I believe in him otherwise I would not have him on. I mean that sincerely. E-commerce momentum dot.com e-commerce momentum dot.com.
Cool voice guy: 01:16:35 Thanks for listening to the e-commerce blog as bobolinks mentioned today can be found at combers momentum dot com under the surface so please remember to subscribe and like us on iTunes.