Yes we finally get to it. We also get to the reason why I have not had Ashlin on the show. Her name has come up many times but I had a reason and we get to it right up front. To be fair, Ashlin is my agent and does a great job for us. But…… (You will have to listen)
New office photos
Transcript: (note- this is a new tool I am trying out so it is not perfect- it does seem to be getting better)
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Stephen: 00:01:26 Yes you’ve heard me say a bunch of times but I mean it because our Q4 was spectacular because of all the variations for a particular line we had that Karen entered. Seventy eight of them I believe and now I’m adding a bunch more because we’re not done. I mean it’s Tom a year going to sell right into January February and March. So she’s getting ready to add a bunch more. That’s the power of having that team member. That team works overnight. Quite frankly they work different hours than I do. She sends a file she’s XTI fill in these particular fields shoot it back to me and boom they get it done and you get it and fast. And it just as allowed us to grow. It’s that silent team member that don’t call of sick they just handle things solutions.
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Cool voice guy: 00:04:34 Welcome to the e-commerce momentum blog where we focus on the people the products and the process of commerce selling your host Stephen Peters then welcome back to the e-commerce column in a podcast. This
Stephen: 00:04:50 is episode 261 Ash. Linda had Ashlyn had an insurance agency.
Stephen: 00:04:58 They had an insurance agency is my insurance agency that is who we use for our e-commerce liability insurance and we’ve had nothing but great dealings with them. We’ve had billing questions and boom they get a response. We’ve had to change our insurance because we have inventory in our location so we get a response and they handle it. We’ve had to. We’re moving location so we now we have two locations ensured we’re in that transition and boom it gets handled. You know that’s really what you need is someone who is responsive and I must admit Ashland’s been great. What’s cool about it too is she’s very approachable you could sit down have a drink with her at a lot of events because she goes to most of them so she’s there you get to see her and you can say hey what if I decide to do this.
Stephen: 00:05:49 How would you handle this. What can you do for this. And she’s been great to deal with. She understands our business and I think that’s one of the biggest challenges. So I’ve been very pleased. This isn’t a national and commercial although it most certainly don’t benefit in any way. I don’t get any better prices. She’s not an affiliate she’s not a sponsor or any of that kind of jazz just she happens to be my insurance agent who I haven’t had on and I’ve gotten a lot of questions. Why. Well explain that in the beginning of this episode.
Stephen: 00:06:16 Let’s get into the podcast. Welcome back to the e-commerce. I’m in a podcast very excited about today’s guest because it’s a long time coming. I’ve gotten asked a bunch of times why have not had Ashlynn had not been welcome Ashlynn thank you so much for having me. Finally finally well we haven’t talked. And let’s let’s put it out there because I’d like to start it off this way because I’m an honest guy you’re an honest person. So the reason I didn’t have Ashlynn on is I wanted to wait to see how the insurance for getting suspended would play out because I was very I mean you know I haven’t done risk management for so long in my previous life. I just didn’t understand. I mean I remember saying well let’s see if you can get it underwritten and then you are like check. Steve got that and then I was like Alright I want to see somebody get paid out.
Ashlin: 00:07:06 And it took a long long long long time.
Stephen: 00:07:11 And somebody did get paid. In fact I know two people who were personally paid out. However you don’t currently sell it anymore is that correct. That is correct. OK. So you know I think the concept was good. You put a tremendous amount of leg work and you lost a tremendous amount of money. I know you do. But do you think you’re smarter for knowing that now you know knowing what you know now. Would you go and try and do it again.
Ashlin: 00:07:40 Yes I am but I’m looking for more of a local carrier or somebody here more in the market. Somebody that is already working with e-commerce dollars and knows a little bit more about their risks instead of kind of starting you know where we were we went with this carrier to begin with they really hadn’t been in the e-commerce world they didn’t know anything they didn’t know the risk and we really were shooting blind. We did a lot of legwork like you said with my Sollers and my clients and trying to get you know really what you guys were looking for. And the company we went with which is a very big company and things really just didn’t perform the way that my expectations were for my clients. So I am trying to get we’re going to we’re going to try to stick more local carriers and be a little bit smaller in already really knows this field. So we’re going to try again.
Stephen: 00:08:39 Well what did you like a little bit more control now. Yeah I get that. So I mean let’s talk about that what did you learn through that process.
Ashlin: 00:08:46 Yes so the biggest thing I learned is to not let them kind of not walk all over me. You know a little bit of when we first started I came with the idea of you know this is what it needs to look like and I let them kind of adapt it to what they felt.
Stephen: 00:09:05 So and So what you were originally your vision got spread out so far and then they’re right they wouldn’t fulfill it. And that’s one of the big challenges right. I
Stephen: 00:09:14 mean you know when you when you put out like a contract or a request for bid and you’re very specific and then all of a sudden they like. Yeah but here’s what we can do you know that kind of thing you almost you almost settle. Right. I mean I almost settle. Do you feel like you had to settle to get it done.
Ashlin: 00:09:33 I do. And that’s on the first version of the first version was more of what I wanted and then they correct. OK well this isn’t working this is what we need to do and I should have just said nope version 1 we need to stick with version 1. But there were such in me that such a desire to have something like you know something’s better than nothing. And it’s not something that’s not better than nothing. No
Stephen: 00:09:59 I agree it needs to be perfect from the beginning and to be honest with the let’s be really fair the insurance company has to make money if they do not make money. Right. So they need to insure a thousand people and have three or four or six of them take the you know actually get a claim. And so the other thousand people support him at this time in the next year it’s somebody. I mean it’s just common right that’s not. That’s right.
Ashlin: 00:10:22 It’s not a charity right. Right. It’s
Stephen: 00:10:24 insurance right. And in fairness to them they need to make money however they need to be you know they need to hold up their into the bargain. So OK. So you know that now so when you go. There are some absolutes that are just this is the deal killer must be this way or else. Yep love it. Love it. I think that’s fair. And I think it’s good for you to say it. And most people wouldn’t they’d be blaming everybody else and you’re not. And I appreciate that. I respect that. So just everybody does.
Stephen: 00:10:55 No actually it is my insurance agent for she handles two lines for us she handles our liability for and we’re different than a lot of sellers because we have a warehouse so we have a lot of inventory that’s for sale because we have merchant for Shell a lot of stuff ourselves. So that inventory is insured. And so my premiums reflect it. Thank you very much. A
Stephen: 00:11:13 little high of a discount. I don’t get a discount. I don’t get paid for anything out of there. Yeah I like a discount.
Stephen: 00:11:20 Actually the only discount that I did get is we had our workman’s comp was through the state because we only have really two employees and you can exempt your executive if you don’t know that you should because they really are going to be taking workman’s comp No. So however premiums were whatever and then they tripled. And I’m like why. Well you know the story. So I met with Ashlynn and I saved a bunch of money and got some discounts and then the state didn’t like the discounts. But seems to be on the right path. Correct. Yep. So I appreciate it. You know I hope to never need it. Hope to never use it. However moving in a new warehouse and what was it guys first thing you saying hey you got insurance and you know we’re going to need a certificate named additional insured and all that kind of I’m like we’re covered.
Stephen: 00:12:11 So that’s really important if you’re going to expand out now. Somebody asked me how much I pay. I think I pay twenty seven hundred dollars a year for liability and content’s and we have content’s because again we have shelves full of inventory that’s worth something that we can document. I’ve seen not everybody will be that guy. Right. Right. And it’s high because of that. I mean I get it. But we get a lot of him into a lot. So therefore I’m worried about it. So that extra thousand or what have you the smallest premiums that you’ve seen out there for sellers.
Ashlin: 00:12:46 Yeah so is there a new Stallard just doing Arri 0 8 wholesaled. I mean the minimum premiums five hundred dollars. And I do wish you lots of new clients coming in that are that base. Five hundred dollars a year. Once of course you start selling more you start getting into private label adding on coverages. Of course it’s going to go up but the base policy where most newbies come in is between 500 and 600 dollars a year.
Stephen: 00:13:12 And so there’s really no excuse you got to build that right from day one because you’re exposed so much initially is going to give us some examples of some of the terrible stories that are out there because I think it’s not trying to scare people. The other thing you know as a seller it’s so unfair to me when somebody else doesn’t have it it’s like saying you know me how my supposed to compete you know to be fair. I mean I always say that there’s about a 70 percent net margin by the time you get done with all these fees. If you have your own warehouse and stuff and all that stuff it really gets down there. And so insurance is is probably that and payroll of course being most important but in taxes there. But insurance is probably one of the top two things you got to do.
Ashlin: 00:13:53 Right. And one of the big things that I hear all the time is I can’t afford five hundred dollars a month or 500 dollars a year I can afford a hundred dollars a year. And my response is always bad. Can you afford fifty thousand dollars to hire an attorney or can you hire or can you afford half a million dollars if you actually are found liable.
Ashlin: 00:14:12 So if you can’t afford five hundred dollars a month you shouldn’t be in this business because this is very very risky and you absolutely could be sued for something that you have no control over whatsoever.
Stephen: 00:14:23 And generally you are sued for stuff you’re not. You have no control over you when they name a lawsuit they name everybody and everybody. Then people fall off and they’re not liable but you still have to spend money you hire an attorney. You still have to and that’s what your insurance companies for. If you pay for insurance they hire the inj turn exactly.
Ashlin: 00:14:43 They have really good attorneys because they don’t want to have to pay out on Maclay.
Stephen: 00:14:47 There’s a reason their buildings are so big and you know to lose them as most insurance company in the United States you know who does I do. I mean it’s Warren Buffett really. Yeah I know he owns Geico but he owns a bunch of them. There’s that today’s rich like. Like really rich.
Stephen: 00:15:07 There’s a reason you don’t pay anybody right. I mean that’s the problem.
Stephen: 00:15:13 That’s the bad news. Hence the reason those poor people are waiting for their suspension insurance money because they don’t like to pay. Right. But the two guys I do know did get theirs paid so I’m happy about that. OK so how did you get into e-commerce specifically how long you been in insurance.
Speaker 11: 00:15:30 Out. I’ve been on insurance about five years. I’ve been an e-commerce e-commerce for about 15 months. So I was a captive agent with a carrier and it was auto home life insurance captive age it means what capitalism is like only useful for that one company.
Ashlin: 00:15:48 OK. And a little bit of small commercial but actually Chris Wilkey of SBA Masters was one of my personal clients and he came to me and said hey there were some new rules and we needed insurance. Could
Speaker 11: 00:16:02 you help me. And I’m honest you know I don’t know bullshit or I was like Chris is not worth my time. You know it’s probably a five hundred dollar policy. Nobody’s really doing it. You know I don’t know who to go to.
Ashlin: 00:16:16 And it’s like I would really like some help. So I try a little bit and ask around and nobody knew anything. So I was like you know I’m sorry because I can’t help you. So when I went out on my own and opened my own agency he came back to me is like OK now can you help me and I’m like oh this is not worth my time. And he’s a I really need some help. So I asked around it took a couple of months and I finally found a carrier that would do it. And I came back to meet the guy. You know I found somebody we could do this. And go by the way I run this Facebook group and there’s X amount of thousand people in here. Can I post about you. I’m like This is probably worth my time now really looking into it. It’s
Speaker 11: 00:16:57 like you know what is going on. And then I get to hear the stories from clients like you know this one client was saying you know I’ve tried for a year to find this insurance. Nobody can do it. Nobody knows what I’m talking about. I say SBA and they’re like What is that. So like you know you kind of were the red headed stepchildren and I really really enjoyed helping. So I was kind of like OK this is this is kind of my niche. I enjoy this I like doing this nobody nobody else likes you guys so why not. So I really started in his group and helping his group out and it really just funneled from there into all these other groups. And then I started getting asked to come to some of the conferences and speak at the conferences and I just I fell in love with just this community and the sense of helping each other out in the Brotherhood. And it’s just it’s totally different than anything else I’ve ever done.
Stephen: 00:17:48 So that’s a good perspective right. Think about this now you’ve insured mom and pops to all these other candidates right. Right. Did you ever see. I mean you’ve been to other industries. Have you ever seen an industry where it’s like this. Never
Ashlin: 00:18:01 . And that’s what I love about it. It’s so cutthroat out there between you know like Ruth Chris and another steakhouse. You know they don’t collaborate together. They don’t they don’t do this kind of stuff. That’s what drew me to this. This community is you guys truly want to help each other learn. Now don’t get me wrong I cutthroat stuff going on. But I mean you really want to help each other and you love being around each other. That’s that’s the cool part it’s like to go to these conferences and just hang out and be a sense of community is is huge to me.
Stephen: 00:18:37 Why did you go out on your own. What was it that you said hey I want to be an entrepreneur as opposed to being an employee or in reality I guess.
Ashlin: 00:18:46 Yeah yeah. So two things. First thing was I can only offer one product in one you know one choice one price. And that was huge for me because I was losing clients about three years when insurance companies do what insurance companies do and raise the rates. And I was Luneau hopeful because the rate increases. Right. Shocking right. And it was like you know I worked too hard to get these clients to not keep them. So like if I go out on my own I right now I have 30 different companies so if a company raises the rates then we divorced that company and we find another company and I don’t lose you and you don’t lose me.
Stephen: 00:19:24 So we say you can write other. There are other liability companies that you’re writing. Correct
Stephen: 00:19:31 . OK. Sorry I don’t want to lose that because that’s important.
Ashlin: 00:19:34 Yes so there’s 30 different companies that I can write for now. The e-commerce section is very very small there’s not very many companies doing it but there’s more than one. There is more than one great great yamaka. And that’s something new that’s that’s another company that I’ve worked with trying to establish some choices for you guys.
Stephen: 00:19:53 So you didn’t have these choices. I mean is is it is it that thing. I mean because I know you know in the insurance world it’s the book bit and you know get your book business right and people pay the premiums and you have to do the work you’re one you get a big commission then you’re too which is kind of a level premium commission or what have you. And as an agent you only get a piece of it and then you know you just try to keep building this book of business up until this giant agency. Right. As opposed to. You got employees right. Not so. You know you’ve got expenses right now you’ve got you got to rent warehouse.
Stephen: 00:20:30 I just saw some funky looking warehouse space around the space where Spiderman clearly flew into the water and took the glasses and he busted open. So that’s expensive. So that’s a different that’s a different that’s a whole different world right.
Ashlin: 00:20:47 Absolutely. And I’m in the same boat as you guys with having liability insurance and workers comp insurance and you know the saying the same things that you guys are going through is the same thing I’m going through. I started small and I’m and I’m hoping to grow empire just like you guys you guys started small and you’re hoping to grow an empire and your world. So I’m very vested in in the come into your community and helping you guys grow. Just as I as I’m growing with you is most of your business now going forward generally in the e-commerce world a lot of it is starting in the e-commerce world so I would say probably over 60 percent of my business is coming from e-commerce. Now the I’m also you know I still do auto home and life insurance. So I’m getting a lot of people that are like OK I’ve already trusted you with my commercial insurance I’ve already said you know I’m already there will you quote my daughter and home and just have one come at one carrier or one company at one product. So
Stephen: 00:21:45 what you see when I’m in every state except Hawaii now so you can write home an auto and 10 different home. Now that’s a single state. So
Ashlin: 00:21:58 that’s that was a huge undertaking obviously for me. I mean financially so you have every state test in every state and all that kind of stuff so I guess a lot of it is coming from e-commerce. I still have you know my local mom and pops in my local commercial and things like that. But it’s been it’s been a really crazy ride for the last 15 months. You
Stephen: 00:22:20 know there’s not another. I mean think about it. Is there another industry that’s this evolving this quickly that you can jump into as brand new. Maybe bitcoin would be the only thing I would say right.
Stephen: 00:22:30 That’s the one you this big Bitcoin. Oh it’s crazy.
Stephen: 00:22:34 I’ve got friends that are making oh my god they got me by. I But theory and you know I made money. I mean I must admit. But man I’ve got some friends and they send me pictures and it makes me like crazy.
Stephen: 00:22:45 I see but it’s not all the time. It’s so cool.
Stephen: 00:22:48 But you know again that’s what’s so cool about life today. That this opportunity exists. I share my new warehouse space. I’m moving into I share with the guy who. So he’s he’s got all this giant equipment and I’m like man that’s a lot of stuff for this little space. Oh no he’s closed his business sold the building had to get out of there. This is what’s left. And I’m like oh my goodness. Yeah. So let’s talk about we talked about some successes. Let’s talk about some of the things that you’ve seen. So let’s talk about why somebody needs insurance. Tell me tell me a sad story. Don’t name their names please. Because on a lot of mountain was broken. But but I mean let’s let’s talk about what you’ve seen.
Speaker 11: 00:23:33 Yes. So couple of things expressly in the e-commerce world where a lot of the questions that I get are a lot of comments that I get from sellers are that they don’t need this. And I’m one of my questions like why would you feel like you don’t need it. And someone says Well you know I just resell other people’s items. You know I couldn’t I’m not liable. Right right. I’m not liable. And again like we talked before you don’t have to be liable to be pulled into a lawsuit. But we had a client who sold a watermelon cutter to somebody on Amazon. The client got the watermelon Cutter was cutting the watermelon and cut the tip of her finger off.
Stephen: 00:24:10 So the customers think so the customer who bought it off of Amazon yeah cut the tip of your finger their finger off and sued.
Speaker 11: 00:24:17 Obviously the manufacturer of the watermelon cutter Amazon and the person who sold it on Amazon. So again being pulled into a lawsuit where you didn’t this customer never even saw the watermelon cutter it was shipped from FBA. You know they had no control over this watermelon cutter but it had a cracked handle customer who bought it didn’t know and when she cut it it cut the tip of her finger off so literally you literally got into the lawsuit. And we had to defend them we had to say OK this is nothing to do with our clients. But it still costs about thirty thousand dollars. In expenses to hire the attorney and defend this client and get their name dropped from the lawsuit.
Stephen: 00:25:02 So in that scenario they were ultimately dropped from the lawsuit. If they didn’t have insurance they would have had to do that on their own. Right. Right. And lawyers aren’t cheap lawyers or how much are they know decent.
Speaker 11: 00:25:14 Two hundred and 200 Zamin dollars an hour.
Stephen: 00:25:17 That’s cheap. I mean that’s still cheap. I know for. I mean I’ve seen 475 dollars an hour. So that’s a pretty good price. And that’s somebody who’s very specific industry. You know that’s what they would do. And I assume that the more they defend these cases the better those attorneys get. Right. And so that’s always good to have some. OK. All right. So
Speaker 11: 00:25:37 that’s why you like was it earlier. You know these companies these insurance companies don’t want to have to pay out on the claims so they’re going to have the best of the best attorneys to try to defend you to get you out of these lawsuits because they don’t want to have to pay these claims. They don’t want to have to you know fork out half a million dollars when you know. Thirty thousand dollars in lawyers fees and they walk out the door. How
Stephen: 00:25:59 did that client get dropped from the insurance company that they deduct. So you know that’s a good start. OK. So they’ve been paying their premiums all along did everything right. A claim came up. They were successfully defended and now they’re paying their premiums to their premiums go up because of something.
Ashlin: 00:26:16 How much. Not. Not substantially it was less it was less than 500 bucks a year.
Stephen: 00:26:21 OK. OK. That’s still a heck of a lot better than paying 30000. And typically there’s usually only rated. All right is Nicole reading. I’m not sure I’m not that smart but there’s a orating or something like that for a period of time and then it goes back.
Ashlin: 00:26:33 Correct. Correct. Correct. All right. So auto insurance you get Ignatow accidents to your fault or not your your your rates go up.
Stephen: 00:26:42 Yeah right. And it’s pretty normal. And what we’re seeing now though are rates going up without in other industries like like health insurance for example you didn’t use it and yet your rates are going up which is really somebody again this morning and stuff like that. So this is different than that. I
Stephen: 00:26:56 mean I’m sure there are normal cost increases because of these wildfires in California for example are going to affect commercial insurance they have to have. Right. There are companies that are getting burned. Well guess what. We as a pool pay for that. Yup. The insurance companies have bigger buildings and they aren’t closing them. So. All right. So that’s that watermelon story is a I mean it’s terrible but it’s a good example of something so similar so something I could go to T.J. Maxx buy the watermelon slicer and put it in a plastic bag or even if it’s sealed and send it in and I could get drug into a loss. In that scenario. No don’t buy into wholesale or any of that. Yes right. I mean it’s just a scenario Okara. So give me another example any more.
Ashlin: 00:27:44 I do have another one. So we had and it was again another Ouray seller who the client their clients bought something from them on Amazon Amazon shipped it and U.P.S. delivered it left it outside their front door the next morning he forgot that he had a box out there.
Speaker 12: 00:28:06 Tripped over the box broke his hip and broke his clavicle again sued Amazon sued the client and sued for tripping over the box. So again let’s say it was like well I my water Michael I would never sell a watermelon cutter because it’s too risky. What was in this box does not matter let’s just say it was a big fluffy pink bunny and this box. It doesn’t matter what’s in the box. He’s still got pulled into a lawsuit because the client tripped over a box. So it’s just so.
Stephen: 00:28:40 So what is happening now is that you know I get it. Yup.
Speaker 12: 00:28:43 That this was was was settled. This guy was was being dropped off so I’m sorry he got dropped off the lawsuit he didn’t get dropped from insurance. OK
Stephen: 00:28:53 . So it pulled him off because he had no responsibility either be Amazon or U.P.S. and then it would be not Amazon because they contract with U.P.S. and then UBS would have insurance because that guy is going to get his stuff fixed. I mean I used to work in the newspaper industry and somebody tripped over something it toward their genes and we had to buy them new jeans. I’m telling you it’s the stupidest thing in the world but it beats a lawyer you know because you get a lawyer you know and you pay for it. So that person’s health benefits. I mean. More than likely they were covered by their insurance their homeowners and their new homeowners is like wait a second you mean he didn’t fall on his trip over his feet. He tripped over a box Ah somebody else’s because they don’t want to pay somebody else’s aggravation. They’re going to go after that other person to get that money back and they likely got some of it right or they know that they’ll get something right. That’s right.
Ashlin: 00:29:45 And we don’t know once we got dropped we were out of it. But but who will ever be responsible as they will probably be UBS whoever that was. They have medical payments built into their liability policy that would have paid his medical payments.
Speaker 12: 00:30:01 So the policy that you get from me we use of somebody or her and we can just pay the medical payments. That’s what we want to do first. That’s our hush money. I’m sorry you broke her hip. Let me pay your medical payment so you don’t sue them. That’s built into your policy and that’s important. And
Stephen: 00:30:19 so you know one of the reasons I think our premiums are a little higher is because those are kind of things that Ashlynn would have and I would’ve talked about when we started because you know knowing these I don’t want those headaches. And so for me if I can’t make her go with our business for twenty seven hundred dollar Witkin that’s what our premium is right now than we probably got different. We’ve got to we got to change our business right. And so we build that into our cost structure. Yes we are. That act missional money. However we sleep a little better at night knowing that we have it right now that just makes perfect sense right. Would you drive a car without car insurance. In today’s day and in the litigious society we live in. Right. I mean isn’t it. Isn’t one of the things that happens people are threatened to sue like nonstop. I
Ashlin: 00:31:08 mean is that the first words that about Cassou yup people sue for the most ridiculous reasons and they’re going to name anybody and everybody they can to see what sticks. If you go out and check on my Facebook page you can look also everybody remembers the hoverboard incident where the hoverboard almost burnt down this guy’s house and had two kids on the top floor that had to jump down and the family sued Amazon for 30 million dollars.
Speaker 12: 00:31:38 An unknown in the lawsuit I have a picture of the lawsuit. The first page of the lawsuit. There’s nine people listed on the lawsuit plus the person who sold it.
Stephen: 00:31:50 So you’re talking ten people they listed on the lawsuits over one hoverboard and every one of those 10 spent money in one form or another to even get themselves named off right. I mean they have to. Right. So you’re not responsible for the manufacture of that that hoverboard right unless you knowingly sell in a recall and jazz like that. But
Stephen: 00:32:13 you’re gonna be named and you’re going Branka. All right. So we beat that horse. I don’t want to scare people but it’s just like this is like the most basic thing. Now do I have to have a corporation to have insurance. Good
Ashlin: 00:32:24 question No. You can have insurance as a sober driver. You can have it as an LLC or whatever. However you’re structured you can have it that way. Now a lot of my clients say well I’m just a sole proprietor now and I will just wait until I get my LLC. Absolutely not. If you want to do it do it now as a sole proprietor. Get covered. And we can always change it later to an LLC or a corporation or however you decide to set up your your structure down the line so don’t wait to get your L.L.C.. Get it now and then we can switch it later.
Stephen: 00:33:00 Well what about the. I’ve heard you know once you hit a certain dollar amount in sales Amazon requires it. Now I find it hard to believe I imagine they require it right from day one.
Ashlin: 00:33:10 Karvelas Yeah. So the old rule was 10000 sales for three consecutive months. The new thing that we’re seeing it says any pro seller so anyone who is paying the thirty nine dollars a month I think is what it is for the pro seller. Anyone who’s a pro seller is required for your terms of service. Now you know just as well as I do that Amazon’s not policing it. So there’s hundreds of thousands of people selling on Amazon right now who don’t have insurance. So they’re not required. We’ve heard rumors that that’s what they’re going to announce Q1 that they’re going to start requiring it to be uploaded into Seller Central but that is just a rumor or we don’t know for sure. But if it happens then you’re going to have to get it anyway so you might as well just get it now.
Stephen: 00:33:56 But you know again if something happened. Well what about the mom and pop who doesn’t sell 10000 or doesn’t sign up for the process. Are they less liable when are they not. No
Ashlin: 00:34:05 absolutely not. You’re just as viable if you’re selling one item or you’re selling 1000 items a day. It only takes one.
Stephen: 00:34:13 It could be your very first shipment because it is you have no. Again it’s outside of your control. You never know who’s getting that package right. I just saw this story about the sue happy guy the copyright to happy guy right. He just his full time job is our trademark can be that’s what he’s doing full time just to Suzu and people to settle because they don’t want to get drug in. They know it’s going to be a battle and they keep selling the guise of making a living doing that you know. And so you never know when it’s going to happen. OK so we’re out we get everybody all depressed and worried and worried should they be worried or should they just say OK you know what it’s time for me to muscle up and run a real business.
Ashlin: 00:34:53 Absolutely. I think a lot of people sit back and say just because they’re working from home or just because they don’t have a brick and mortar that they can’t be sued. This is a real business. This is a real risk you need to treat it like a business. You need to do taxes like a business you need to have a corporation like a business. You need to have insurance like a business. If you want to do this you need to act like a business. It’s time to just get it done. And I promise you I make it as easy as possible it’s not as hard as everyone thinks it is. I mean we’ve we do hundreds of these a month. We streamlined it. It’s very we try to make it very simple and it’s not as complicated as everybody seems like. I give people all the time even. Well that was a lot easier than I thought. Yes. It’s not hard. So
Stephen: 00:35:43 why is there is that fear. I mean I wonder what it is that drives that fear.
Speaker 11: 00:35:47 Because they’ve they’ve struggled in the past to try to get it. There hasn’t been something out there that knows what you’re doing and knows how to get it covered. I really think people I’ve tried in the past and have just come into roadblocks because it is still a still new to the insurance world. It still is a new risk that insurance has been exploring. So it’s you’ve got to find the right the right person that knows what you’re doing to get you covered. Are
Stephen: 00:36:15 there advantages to being early adopters of this e-commerce insurance or the fact that we’ve had it now for a year or two. Is it are we and we only had it for a couple of years. I don’t want to I don’t want to be holier than thou in any way for anyone else. We’ve been self for a long time so you know we’re guilty. Is there is there a benefit though. Do
Ashlin: 00:36:36 you think. I don’t think there’s necessarily a benefit it’s not going to save you financially down the line. I
Stephen: 00:36:43 mean like if a company would look and say you know Steve you’ve been a customer for a long time we’ve never had issues. This is their first claim blah blah blah. I
Speaker 12: 00:36:51 mean does that look at this in the rating of increases in things like that. Yes
Ashlin: 00:36:58 .
Stephen: 00:37:00 OK. I mean I’m just trying to understand. Yeah you know do that is there you know the fact that we are early. I mean again what could happen. They could stop accepting new clients which is bad. Right. And if you’re in you’re in. They might honor it and then when Amazon says hey you’ve got to get it and you have no place to go you’re in trouble. So right. You don’t want to be in that position. Right. I mean you want to be I’d rather be able to say yes here’s what we have that kind of thing.
Ashlin: 00:37:24 And as much as Amazon suspends people for the most ridiculous reason I wouldn’t want to risk it. Right. Uploaded into Sellar Central. So if they do come out Q1 and say hey it’s required and you’ve got 30 days to get it or you’re suspended. I wouldn’t risk it just do it. Upload it into a cellar. I’ll send it to you. You don’t do anything like that. The certificate of insurance. All you have to do is put it in your cellars and troll account. I don’t sell on Amazon so I don’t know. You know everything that goes on in Zeller’s central but I sure would not risk losing my account or being suspended even for a day over a five hundred dollar insurance policy.
Stephen: 00:38:03 No. Do you handle companies that have employees as well. I mean they use ours you handle. But I mean you say you handle that kind of thing that brings on a whole different set of potential problems. Correct.
Ashlin: 00:38:16 Definitely. So if you’ve got employees even if employees in your house and somebody gets hurts the homers you will not cover it because they’re doing business stuff. So you need you know instilling the Aboriginal ability you need to have workers comp so there’s a lot of other things going on when you have employees and will take care of all of that for you.
Stephen: 00:38:40 Now how about let’s get a little more sophisticated so I’m in a partnership with somebody and we’re both equally important to it meaning that you know I’m not all just wit charm and good looks. We all know this and how hard she laughed at her. But seriously let’s use an example where there are some real smart people for example and they both bring something different to the table one’s the expert on e-commerce the others the engineer who designs the product. They have this amazing business it’s working. However they’re relying upon each other because one goes down there in deep trouble. So there are insurance options to start managing that correct.
Speaker 13: 00:39:18 Absolutely. So there’s also things called a key man policy where there’s two people or even more if you had a partnership with it with multiple people you could do that to you. And what happens is let’s say you end up passing away this policy would help financially support the business to help keep moving things forward. So that’s something else that we do too.
Stephen: 00:39:39 So it’s called a key man policy and are definitely more sophisticated but when you start running in these million dollar businesses and or you’re in the pipeline to develop private label products for example and you’ve got people that are involved in all stages in different stages and different people you you could be and you got all these employees waiting for this thing. I mean I was just reading somebody who’s like I’m got to keep my employees busy so I got to keep sourcing and I’m thinking said. That’s a lot of responsibility. What happens if that person gets injured hit. I mean has anybody driven on the roads lately. Are they crazy drivers and anyone like they are here. I mean that’s basically right. And so something like that outside of your control again. That’s why they’re called accidents. Now all of a sudden the business is affected and your employees and now you’ve got to worry about all that so you can mitigate risk really is really what it comes down to exactly.
Stephen: 00:40:33 Risk management absolutely. At what point does a business need to start really worrying about risk management.
Ashlin: 00:40:40 You need to start from the very beginning. Once you decide hey I’m going to make this a business that’s when you need to act like a true business quit quit thinking this is a side hustle and run it like a true business. When
Stephen: 00:40:56 have you heard of manufacturers or my example with the warehouse if you’re going to get a warehouse you must have insurance right. Ninety nine percent of the time the landlord is going to require you to name them as additional insure they’re going to see it. They’re going to want all those things because they have to protect themselves. You do something in their warehouse. Guess what they’re going to get dragged into. And they want to make sure that you’re going to cover it not them. Right. Right. What about. That’s a point when when there’s no stepping back. But what about like people who live in condos and habitués and in communities. Are they able to get insurance to.
Ashlin: 00:41:34 Yes so you don’t have to have a physical storefront.
Ashlin: 00:41:37 You don’t have to have a warehouse to get a policy. So a big mistake is that if you have products at your home that your homeowner’s insurance would cover them if there were to be a fire or after things like that that is absolutely the farthest from the truth unless you can explain to your and to your insurance company why you had 3000 toothbrushes that you like to change your toothbrush every day. There’s no way that they would believe you that those items were for personal use and that they don’t know that they’re for business. They
Stephen: 00:42:07 don’t have to pay. They’ve already discussed that right. They
Ashlin: 00:42:09 would be excluded. You would lose out on all of that stock. So doesn’t matter if you’re in a condo or a home an apartment wherever you’re at. We will use that location as your business and cover you cover you there. And as you grow we will grow with you we will move with you. You end up adding a warehouse later we can extend liability to that warehouse so just know that no matter where you’re at except maybe on the coast of Florida in the hurricane zone which typically can cover your products wherever you’re wherever you’re located.
Stephen: 00:42:42 What about sorry and I almost interrupted before I apologize for. What about the person who says wait. Actually Steve I hear you. However my inventory I never touch it it goes either to a prep center and they I’m sure they have insurance right. I’m sure they do right. Or it goes directly to Amazon from the manufacturer so really I have no responsibility for that train.
Ashlin: 00:43:06 So you’re still responsible for the liability side of it. So even if that products isn’t in your hands you still could be held liable if that product hurts somebody or run into him or. Absolutely. OK. So you might not need. It’s called BPP business personal property. You might not need coverage for your actual stock but you still need the liability. Now bust another myth right there. Most have prep centers and I have three shirt. If you run a prep center or repeal that we know we can talk about that. But I have lots of them in shirt and they do not typically want to cover the items that are in there of somebody else’s. Okay. So if you’re using a three people you’re using a prep center. Contact your owner of that prep center and ask if your property is covered while it’s in their care custody and control most of the time. It is not. So that prep center catches on fire you are losing those items also.
Stephen: 00:44:06 Okay that’s a really big deal. I want to pause there because that’s a big deal. OK I think I mean logically I would assume you know this is this this is what happens when you assume this that they would have coverage for that and you’re saying that many times. Is it written in their contract with them if you read their agreement. Is that where the fine print is that says hey you know there’s whatever the Latin terms are that you want to hide behind that you say you’re not you know that it’s there are no debates. Yeah.
Ashlin: 00:44:35 Yeah. Absolutely. So Paul if you don’t have your contract pull your contracts and take a look. And for your listeners if if you want to get my e-mail address later and say hey here’s my contract. Take a look at it. What do you think. Please feel free to have them e-mail them to me and I’ll I’ll take a look at them to you. But it’s as simple as a phone call saying hey is my items covered while they’re there and if they’re not then you need to cover them on your policy and or cover them for more. I
Stephen: 00:45:03 mean that’s one of those. Like the underinsurance thing just because they might have minimal insurance and I just happened to send this giant container from China and it happens to be you know much more than their coverage. I mean that happens too. So you want to be very cautious in the way that happens right. That would stack is that correct. If I have to record coverage if I paid for it again. Hence the reason my premiums are a little higher. I would be able to cover the additional amount to make sure that I’m covered. Right
Ashlin: 00:45:29 now we heard it wasn’t a client of ours but we did hear about a 3 B.L. that someone had a lithium battery and the battery ended up catching on fire and they were able to pull it back to it.
Ashlin: 00:45:43 They were like individual storage units and they were able to figure out where that fire started from. And the person who’s storage unit it started from was actually the one that was found liable for the entire three people burning down.
Stephen: 00:45:58 Oh my goodness. So again wow. So my mind that’s so that now you just blow me away again. OK. So my hoverboard that I imported my that I sent two or three people so I didn’t have to wear a third party warehouse make sure but instead as a fulfillment site. I sent it there. It caught fire. It destroyed the whole warehouse. The Warehouse Company and all the other little insurance companies of all those other products say ooh we got somebody who is responsible. Exactly
Ashlin: 00:46:30 . I hope you have a big wallet. Yeah. So all really big. All of them. The building itself. All of that was pushed back to that person who had his time for somebody got hurt.
Stephen: 00:46:44 Now you’re talking even you know squared cube right. So what keeps you going. You know sitting there thinking about this because it you know I mean I obviously you’re making money and you’re in business to make money. I get all that and I get it. Other than other than suspension insurance money. But what drives you to be successful still. I mean because it you know because it’s a race isn’t it.
Speaker 11: 00:47:09 It’s a wrong to run and so I have I have I have a chip on my shoulder.
Ashlin: 00:47:16 When I started an insurance about five years ago with the first company I interviewed in the Mike Tooby manager said that this is a man’s world. You
Ashlin: 00:47:29 will never be successful and insurance you can’t sell insurance. And I took it very very personally because I my father has instilled in me since I was a child that I could do anything that I wanted to do and to have somebody say you can’t do this. I was on a raft to prove him wrong. So I was a top rep in this day third of the entire company for about three years and accepted my award took a picture of my work onstage and sent it to him and said you can’t sell insurance now. So that’s really what keeps me going is that I do have a chip. I want to prove that I can do this and then I can I can do it graciously and I can do it too to help other people and not not let somebody push me down.
Stephen: 00:48:17 All right I’m getting the chills. That was good. Because it’s so. And let’s let’s make this comment. We all see what’s going on in the news right. In other guys dining because of being a pig and disrespectful and all that kind of jabs that’s just surreal. And so what I hear here and I respect it and I applaud you and I’m thankful because again like you said it’s hard to find somebody who understands our business. It’s hard to feel like somebody is in my corner and I can just messages on and say hey I got a problem I need your help. And boom the rep is there you know and for the small amount of money that you make on my policy you know to know that I have somebody in my corner is really important. I mean it’s part of the team you know and I just did another interview with somebody we got talking about that it’s really important to have your team and risk management is part of your team.
Stephen: 00:49:06 You have a legal you have a fiduciary but you have a legal team that represents you in the in the worst possible times of your life. That’s good to know. That’s important to know.
Speaker 11: 00:49:18 So I feel good about we all the investors companies and perhaps all get a bad rap in it. It’s been very difficult because I’ve never been in an industry where you’re hated so much like almost a used car salesman mentality.
Stephen: 00:49:32 But that’s why I pay for a used car. Come on.
Speaker 11: 00:49:37 Well that’s what I try to set myself apart is you know I am approachable I am. You can’t get a hold of me. I mean you Facebook all the times. What about this. You know I try to be very very approachable be very reachable to my clients and be real. I don’t want to be this fake insurance agent who puts on a dress and high heels. I’m a very real person and I’m very very vested in. And your guys this community it’s just the family aspect of what you guys do it just blows me away.
Stephen: 00:50:09 Well let’s do this because I think it’s a really good place where we got to because I hope people you know we scare do a little bit. And Steve does not benefit in any way. Right. She don’t give me discounts on my premiums. I ask. Trust me. I ask all the time I get nothing zippo zilch Cho since sponsor me or anything like that. The deal is to me it’s I think it’s a very important part of your business if you don’t have it please go do it. You know even if it’s a thousand dollars a year it’s 80 bucks a month. OK 80 bucks a month. Put that on for peace of mind. And you know what if it doesn’t work six months from now. Kill it and then you know your business now. Because obviously if you can’t afford 80 bucks you’ve got to find something else to do.
Stephen: 00:50:49 But I believe you know anybody can do if they put their mind to it they can be successful. Right. And so this is part of the business building into your cost structure. And you know it’s funny I complain about it but I’m thankful my premiums are only 27 700 that’s so I looked at it because I I know people paid twenty thousand dollars a year for liability insurance so I’m thinking. Twenty seven hundred sweet deal.
Stephen: 00:51:13 You know I honestly don’t know I don’t want my premiums to go up. Please don’t hear that insurance company that I heard of but it’s the truth.
Stephen: 00:51:23 So let’s do this let’s give some real advice right. So I think you hit a bunch of the myths. Is there any other myths that we need to hit on any other things that you hear people who just like you shake your head saying Please no.
Ashlin: 00:51:40 The important is if you’re doing any type of gathering any type of information that’s non-public private information. So that’s anything more than a name and address. So if you have a Web site and you’re taking payment information or you’re taking phone numbers and things like that you need to have data breach added to your policy. And really what that’s going to do is if there’s any type of cyber attacks somebody hacks into your system and gets that non-public private information that would protect you from any type of lawsuits that come out from that. So that’s something really important to you that’s a real one.
Stephen: 00:52:16 You don’t think much about. However again you’re going to get dragged into it whether it stays with you or not that’s another issue. But I still have to have an attorney defend you. Oh absolutely. OK. So we got the mess we got the we blew out the myths people they don’t understand and I hope they are not scared. Right. And people shouldn’t be scared. No it should be. This is an opportune to me again. You know I think about my own premiums you know I’m thankful that they’re as low as they are because I see it as an opportunity. It’s her peace of mind. One more thing. I think your example you gave earlier would you really want to put your business at risk that the chance of getting suspended because you don’t have this little policy. Five hundred dollars a year you’re going to put your whole business in your whole future at risk.
Stephen: 00:53:01 Right. Because I imagine it’s probably not easy to get reinstated after after a thing like that. You’re down for a couple of weeks you’re going to lose a lot more than 500 bucks. Right.
Ashlin: 00:53:12 She sued over it and just think about that piece and you want to lose what you have Bill. But you use your blood sweat and tears into building this business.
Stephen: 00:53:22 You really want to lose it over insurance claim and let’s be honest do you think insurance is Amazon’s going to let you back on or Ebates gonna let you back on after you were successfully sued and you can’t pay them right now. Who’s got all that money right. And so I don’t think you’re getting back in. So that’s and that does bring up another little point.
Ashlin: 00:53:41 You said Amazon and eBay. Please remember that this is a one policy that’s going to cover you on any platforms that you don’t need a five hundred dollar policy for Amazon and a 500 dollar policy for eBay and a five hundred dollar policy for Wayfair. It’s one policy that covers you on any platform that you’re selling aren’t on e-commerce.
Stephen: 00:53:59 You know I don’t want to get too heavy detailed into private label because that’s its own animal. However you have successfully helped people get coverage for their private label products. Correct. I have. Okay. And so that is something that I mean that’s a one on one discussion with Ashland. I’m 99 percent sure it matters what the product is. So when you’re selling chainsaws without it that might be a different policy than somebody selling well you know what I mean staplers could be dangerous. I mean hey you never know. I mean could be so. So those kind of things that’s what you want to talk to so do you charge for a consultation. I
Speaker 12: 00:54:40 do. I did.
Stephen: 00:54:42 And she does it pay Steve right I know so you don’t charge for consultation and you’ll answer questions. What if I’m not a client of yours Ashlynn will you still answer a question. Absolutely
Ashlin: 00:54:52 . Even to your to your listeners if they have a policy now and say hey this is what I got from my local state farmer my local you know American family can you take a look at it and make sure I’m covered properly. Absolutely no charge. I want you to be properly insured. I want to know that if something happens that you can call your company and say handle this and you’re not out. So please feel free to send those to me.
Stephen: 00:55:17 Well that’s a good question. Have you looked at a policy that somebody thought they were covered and found that they aren’t.
Ashlin: 00:55:23 Many many many times. That’s frightening. Now
Stephen: 00:55:26 that’s scary right there. You just scared me because you think people are sitting here saying you know what I got my coverage I got it way back and life is good.
Ashlin: 00:55:36 And one day exclusion that they come is if these products are coming from overseas. So I know there’s a company out there that have selling is selling a policy and the exclusion is it has to be manufactured in the U.S. or it’s excluded. And this and this client was importing from Alibaba exclusively for overseas. So they’re paying a premium for something that absolutely would not cover them.
Stephen: 00:56:02 If there was a claim and that’s terrifying to know so you can tell by reading the policy so that’s something that you’ll do. Absolutely. Now you’ve got a couple of people working for you so it’s not just national. You have other people that help with some of this stuff too.
Ashlin: 00:56:14 Yes. OK.
Stephen: 00:56:15 But I am the one I’m working 18 hours a day trying to keep up with you guys so literally there’s no Fidele going on now.
Stephen: 00:56:23 That’s fair. All right so let’s do this let’s call it a. Well let me let you get your stuff out there so the e-mail address somebody else.
Ashlin: 00:56:31 Yes. Email is Ashlin. SH I in at had an h DD e n dot agency. And then the Web site is W W W dot E Com Dot insurers so E C O M dot insure and s you are okay and have links to all the stuff in here and you can always get me on Facebook. You can always send me an am I answered 2 o’clock in the morning so she does reply. She
Stephen: 00:57:03 said it’s important because it really is. I mean and you got hundreds and hundreds of clients and oh and now are you. Oh yes over Sam. That’s awesome. That says something and you know what we’ve been a client now for a couple of years and then very very pleased. Matter of fact had a challenge because premiums or something like that bome Ashton dealt with it fixed it said yup. Here we go. Done. And so I can attest that she really does fall upon it. OK so let’s close with some advice for people so they’re not scared down their breathing and they’re saying OK so I want a real business. I want to have you know a decent policy so they’re going to reach out where they’re going to find out information at least if nothing it doesn’t cost anything to find out.
Stephen: 00:57:45 So that that’s all sorted. I think that’s good. What have you seen. You know this is kind of a weird one. But best practices for small businesses that you’re seeing who are making you look at some of your clients who are making it right and they’re small. What are they doing right. We think that others can do now to help them stay on the straight and narrow.
Ashlin: 00:58:07 I think as far as the business practice and kind of staying away from the insurance.
Stephen: 00:58:12 Well that’s part of it though. I mean I just want to say all of it kind of part of it because I think it’s all related.
Ashlin: 00:58:17 One of my biggest clients and one of my I was loved telling this story is he started with me right when I when I moved out on my own and was a small new seller ended up attending a couple of the conferences and I’ve seen him at a couple conferences and he literally this year once we went through his on it just breached 20 million dollars in sales and a what 15 months 14 months something like that. But I asked him what happened. Why did you go from nothing to 20 million. And he said that he can honestly say it was the people that he met and the advice that they gave him he said I have gotten so much free advice from these conferences and networking with this community that I could ever pay for. And the I guess the biggest piece of advice for you guys is network with your community.
Ashlin: 00:59:14 They are so smart. They know what they’re doing and they give you advice for free. Majority of them give you advice for free. Go to the conferences network with these people by somebody a beer. You never know what you’re going to get from from these other people you know like I got started from Chris Wilki and it was just a personal client of mine. You you never know what you’re going to learn from some of these people. It could be the next 20 million dollar idea.
Stephen: 00:59:40 Wow. Awesome. OK well we’ll see you at the next conference. I always do. We seem to travel across the country simultaneously and I’ll be in Hong Kong this year. I will not be in Hong Kong this year. Steve will not be there I’m not going to Australia. I’m like No no no no no. I’ll be in Vegas I’ll be in Orlando Cascadia trips. Nice
Stephen: 01:00:00 and easy easy ones. And thank you so much. I
Stephen: 01:00:04 appreciate it and I hope people really hear this and take this as an opportunity because it’s an opportunity. To me it’s not a challenge it’s not an expense this is an opportunity to take another little thing off the list that you worry about and you can move your business forward and separate yourself from those hundreds of thousands who aren’t covered that way. Don’t take the chance. Awesome. Thank you so much. I wish you nothing but success.
Speaker 12: 01:00:27 Thank you so much.
Stephen: 01:00:28 Have me great episode. She’s the real deal and what I appreciate is that she puts the energy into understanding our business and in the 15 months I think she said it was that she’s been in this world. She has had a master’s degree maybe a Ph.D. in this business in fighting the insurance company for the suspension insurance man. You want to talk about learning real heavy learning and you hear her talk about it in this episode and I think you know her honesty is what I appreciate. Because you know quite frankly it’s the reason I have an Adiron. I wanted to wait to see how it was flushed out and she did a great job with it handled it well and has learned from it is going to bring it back. But at the in the right way and that’s what you want when you find somebody is an honest hey Maricopa did my best my best wasn’t good enough.
Stephen: 01:01:20 Outside influences affected it and she took the. She dove on the sword for that. I just really really appreciate that you don’t find that. So I really really respect her for that. He don’t forget my sponsors. I’m so excited about what’s going on at Sellar labs with scope. I hear so much success I see so many people having success with it with their private label products with their wholesale price with their bundles. And it’s so exciting. Gilas group I mean come in after off of the fourth quarter and seeing the comments proft Cockrum saying that this is one of the biggest reasons his business was so successful. Just a whole bunch of people see the comments calling out saying man you’ve helped me. You’ve helped me and my business get stronger. I have a link for it again. You can get in that group if you’re looking to really get 2000 and 18 in line. E-commerce momentum dotcom e-commerce momentum dotcom ticker.
Cool voice guy: 01:02:10 Thanks for listening to the e-commerce momentum from just all the links mentioned today can be found that e-commerce momentum dot com under the service number. Please remember to subscribe and like us on iTunes.