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372 : Sean Humenchuk – Don’t just create work, Create a job that you like

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The title really says it all for Sean. He really does want to work on his terms. There is a negative connotation to the phrase: “Be careful that you don’t create a job for yourself”. But when you think about it, no matter what role you take on you are “working”. So why not figure out the part of this work YOU love. It is not the same for everyone. There are leaders, operators, CEO’s, CFO’s, Marketers and countless other possible roles to take on. Which one is right for you? Which one brings you “Marie Kondo” level joy? Go all in even if that makes you a great number two. No matter what pushing past the hard parts makes it so sweet in the end!

 

Mentioned:

Sean’s Facebook Contact

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

Sean:                                     [00:00:00]               Yeah, I mean, uh, I, you know, uh, I have a little bit of the Shiny Object Syndrome, right? I, and it was kind of a progression. I went from, you know, the drop shipping to Ra, so there’s some oaa to wholesale and then private label was the obvious next step. Um, and once, once I kinda thought I had wholesale down and again, I’m no expert at anything, but once I was making a consistent income of wholesale, I figured it was time to take another course and learn a little bit about private label and diversify. Um, because I’ve had those, I had those brands, you know, take that income from, uh, you know, and it’s tough. So I, I wanted to try to diversify my income a little bit, um, and not be so reliant on another person’s brand. I wanted to build and build my

Cool voice guy:                  [00:00:43]               welcome to the focus on the people, the products and the process of selling today, Steven feeders in.

Stephen:                             [00:00:58]               Want to jump in and talk about two sponsors today. Sellerlabs scope. You’ve heard me say it, you know, and, and you know, you’re probably sitting there saying, Steve, you said this every episode I do because I believe in the product. Um, yes, uh, similar labs is a sponsor. Michelle, don’t get that wrong, however, it’s a sponsor of a product that I use, so I’m Kinda lucky they pay me and yet I pay to use the product and the reason I pay to use the product is because it allows me to, um, get better listings, right? That’s what you need to do, right? If you’re selling on Amazon, you need to understand keywords and you need to figure out what are the right keywords. And sometimes it’s confusing as heck. Why does a certain key word work a certain way? Well, the beauty of is in scope.

Stephen:                             [00:01:40]               As you can pull up your competitor who’s really crushing it and see what keywords they’re using, that’s the lesson. And then you can find a similar one and pull them up and you’re going to see a pattern and then you do that pattern for yourself and you can get those same results if you get lucky and figure out what the key word is for your product. So take some of the luck out of it and use scope. Um, again, go to [inaudible] dot com, forward slash scope. Use the code momentum, save 50 bucks and try it and see if you can improve an existing listing. I think that’s the best thing you can do is take one of your listings that’s performing and then go in and try to enhance it and see if you see an improvement. Give it, you know, 30 days or what have you.

Stephen:                             [00:02:20]               And if you see an improvement, then there’s a clue that maybe you can see an improvement on all your listings. That’s why I use a scope and I just think it’s such a great product because I don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Right? There are much smarter people than I that have done a lot of other cool things to figure out what the keyword is and what people are searching for. Use in a whole bunch of other techniques and then you get to take advantage of it and it’s really inexpensive and again, you’re going to save 50 bucks. So solar labs.com, forward slash scope. Use the Kobo momentum, save 50 bucks. Second one is Karen Locker and I talk about her a lot. Right now. They’re reconciling of shipment and they’re sending the note. Steve, you have to send in receipts because that’s one of the big hassles.

Stephen:                             [00:02:58]               Now I’ve got to send receipts to prove that I bought this stuff so I can get my reimbursement and her team is all over me. Like, Steve, this is your third request. That’s designed service. Sometimes I need. I’ve been traveling these last few weeks extensively. I kind of need somebody else. Yes, I could have somebody sitting in my office doing it, but that would be a fulltime employee and we don’t want any full time employees. I’m just my wife, my son and I. and so anyway, um, that’s why I have members of my team in different areas and I don’t want to have to manage them, you know, I know Karen uses some Va’s, but I don’t want to have to manage that team. And so she does that and her team does the team leaders and stuff and they’d been doing it for me, for me, my wife for I don’t know, two or three years.

Stephen:                             [00:03:39]               And we’ve been very, very pleased because the money they saved me, the refunds, they get me, the reimbursements, they get me the fixes when I’m on the road and hey, this isn’t, you know, correct. And they can fix it or I have a question. That depth of knowledge that I get from Karen because of her experience is so worth the price. So it is, um, solutions four ecommerce. So the word solutions, the number four e-commerce dot com, forward slash momentum. Okay, so use that code solutions four ecommerce.com, forward slash momentum. It’s going to save you $50 and $50 a month is a lot of money. And what’s really cool is she’s going to do that inventory health report that I talk about. If you’ve not done one, you should, you know, I mean, you’re getting a clue every week when they tell you your inventory health report.

Stephen:                             [00:04:29]               But if you want to dig deeper, and again, if you don’t want to do the work, that’s the beauty, she’s going to send you a spreadsheet and then you can parse it and slice and dice and then send it back saying, hey, kill this stuff, refund this, donate this Blahblahblahblahblah. That’s what I do and I don’t have to go through and do the work. And it’s just important to have a person on your team you can trust. And again, I’ve been paying for the service for two and a half, three years. I have to ask her how long it’s been. And I’m very, very pleased, uh, would think of no one else to be on her team. But Karen and her team, because of what they’ve done, I look for consistency over time. You’ve heard me say that and I’ve gotten it from Karen. So solutions, the number four e-commerce dot com, forward slash momentum saved the 50 bucks.

Stephen:                             [00:05:09]               Get your inventory health report, get 2019 in order and start this new year off. Right? It’s gonna. Be a great one. Well, we’ll back to the ECOMMERCE momentum podcast. This is episode 372. Sean Human Chuck. I’m one of the coolest stories I’ve seen it. Just the way it flows, the way his, his trek has flown through the ecommerce world, starting in drop shipping, which I didn’t know about. Um, evolving into wholesale or Ra then into wholesale and into private label and back into wholesale with a private label approach I think is so powerful. His explanation of why building someone else’s brand I think is probably one of the strongest because I get asked that question a lot. Well, I don’t want to build somebody else’s brand. Well, I mean his diversification explanation I think is a really solid one and what he can do for that brand. But he’s not building, you know, uh, somebody else’s brand along with 100 other sellers.

Stephen:                             [00:06:04]               He’s walking past those customers. And that think that’s the distinction and I think he does a great job explaining phenomenal, phenomenal seller and I’m lucky to call him a friend. Let’s get into the podcast. Yeah, welcome back to ECOMMERCE, but minute podcast, I’m very excited about today’s guest, a good friend, a smart guy who I’ve seen evolve and we’re going to talk about that evolution, which I didn’t know about drop shipping. This is really going to be interesting to hear all the way through to what he’s doing in private label and wholesale. I mean, just phenomenal Sean. Human check. Welcome Shawn.

Sean:                                     [00:06:38]               Thank you so much for having me mean, you know, I’ve been listening to for a little over three years now, so it’s a pretty cool to actually be on the pocket.

Stephen:                             [00:06:46]               Um, and it, your life is why you couldn’t get out before you’re, you’ve, you’ve got lots of moving pieces, although a lot of them have stopped moving, which is very exciting. Then we’ll talk about her but, but to me, I think watching you evolve and I think that’s the best term to use. When you say your experience with ecommerce.

Sean:                                     [00:07:07]               Yeah, I mean I think that’s a perfect way to put it to where I am now. It’s a, it’s totally changed in the last couple of years.

Stephen:                             [00:07:15]               Well, yeah. Let’s go back because, uh, you, which I didn’t know that you started in drop shipping. How, how did you even find out about drop shipping?

Sean:                                     [00:07:23]               Uh, so a local, a friend of mine’s cousin actually

Stephen:                             [00:07:28]               my next door neighbor’s brother-in-law, sister knew somebody who knew. Go ahead.

Sean:                                     [00:07:33]               Well, his background is like Internet marketing. So I’d see them at bars, he’d always hand me a business card, hey, I got this opportunity and I kinda was always, I go home and Google it and I’d be like, all right, that seems a little. There’s all these warnings on Google, you know, so you stay away from those. And then I seen him posting his Amazon sales numbers a couple of years later and I’m like, what are you selling? What’s $40,000 in sales? That sounds pretty, pretty serious to me. So I asked him about it and uh, he, he got me introduced to drop ship domination, which is very, very controversial in the Amazon, in the Amazon space. Um, but I’m, I’m thankful for it because it got me, it got me my start and introduce me to ecommerce. And this was years ago. Yes, this was like the middle of Twenty 15 is when I first kind of started dabbling with drop shipping on Ebay and it was actually, um, I was sourcing products on Amazon to sell on Ebay.

Stephen:                             [00:08:32]               And so let me make sure I understand this concept because I think I do so especially back then, um, but you could, uh, somebody, you would use the ds domination software and uh, it would, it would scrape Amazon in some way and it would find a product and then it would, it would create a listing on Ebay or somehow

Sean:                                     [00:08:53]               not even. It was basically, um, I mean it was like, it was a training program. They would train you. You paid $20 a month, they trained in how to drop ship on Ebay. You pay $50 or $100, they teach you how to drop ship on Amazon had just how to create an account and the basics of it. And then there were some facebook groups that you got access to, but it was a very low level training and then if you paid like, I think they had a $1,500 program that would teach you the basics of private label. Now I never got that forward because I was, you know, I was, I was still working and I was just trying to dabble a little bit and ecommerce and get my feet wet. Um, so through them I only, I started drop shipping on Ebay and then.

Stephen:                             [00:09:37]               Well how did you do that? To walk us through that? Did you create stuff yourself? I mean it was at one on one and then when it’s sold you had to manually go in. You didn’t use a software’s.

Sean:                                     [00:09:45]               Exactly, yeah, exactly. I was going through, I mean, like I said, this was, I had no, I had no idea what I was getting into. Steve. I had no idea, uh, that people were buying things from retail stores and selling them on Ebay and Amazon. I mean, this was a whole new concept to me. Um, so I was probably, you know, a little late into the game of drop shipping on Ebay for sure. Um, but it, it showed me how, you know, showed me how ecommerce we’re on, so I had to go in and create the listings myself and then when

Stephen:                             [00:10:13]               on Ebay. So, so, so let’s just say Steve’s water bottle. So you, you, you saw this item on Amazon and you wanted to put it on Ebay. How, what, what made you choose Steve’s water bottle and maybe that’s part of the psyche that they taught you.

Sean:                                     [00:10:27]               There was, there wasn’t much rhyme or reason to the time I was, I was in the sport. So I started listing some girl covers and a fire pits fire pits actually sold pretty well. I was making like 15 bucks a fire pit,

Stephen:                             [00:10:42]               big and oversized. And that kind of makes sense. I mean, I, I see the value there. So, uh, so. Okay. So that might be something they or suggested is. So you’re going for unique, big, oversized. You would find a listing on Amazon for a fire pit and then you would.

Sean:                                     [00:10:56]               All right. Shawn, did you steal their photos? Did you? Okay. All right. Your title? No, not title because I would, I would, uh, stuff, some extra keywords in there. But yeah, the description, everything it was, um, yeah, it was about as, as low level as you can imagine that I was doing everything wrong.

Stephen:                             [00:11:15]               All right. So then you would set the handling time

Sean:                                     [00:11:18]               for a longer length of time to allow the purchase from Amazon. Is that Kinda. Yeah, it was like three to five days. I think I would set the handling, um, they gave you, they gave you ds domination, gave you all that information on how to set everything up so you wouldn’t get caught with the shipping times and things like that. But it was difficult managing the inventory, that’s for sure.

Stephen:                             [00:11:39]               So you would then. So they, uh, so uh, uh, bill comes along and buys the Anam on Ebay, excuse me, buys the grill at a higher price than what it’s priced on Amazon, of course, so that by the grill or a, for 100 bucks. What’s cool is you immediately get to $100 less the fees, just a paypal fees actually because an Ebay bills you later, so you immediately got $100 of cash in your, in your bank account or in your paypal account. And so then you would go on Amazon and buy it. And were you one of the guys that say, Hey, please do not think this is a gift or some nonsense that everybody puts in there. Of course. Okay, so this is a gift, blah, blah, blah. And so back then you could also get Amazon to give a, an Amazon box, right? Yes.

Sean:                                     [00:12:26]               Yeah, I believe, um, I believe that if you put that it was a gift, I think if you put the gift wrap option, then they would not include Amazon packaging. Okay. So it really didn’t matter to be honest. I wasn’t, we weren’t, I wasn’t worried about it.

Stephen:                             [00:12:40]               Okay. You didn’t care because the customer didn’t care. They got the grill they wanted at the price they wanted. They would be like, oh, they used to Amazon to deliver who? Who Knew?

Sean:                                     [00:12:47]               Occasionally, occasionally, just like Amazon drop shippers, deal with. Occasionally a customer will see an invoice or they’ll say, hey, this look, this is from Walmart. You know, why did I pay $25 more? You just refund the difference. You say make up your excuse. I, my supplier ran out and I needed to. I wanted to fulfill your order. I didn’t want to not fulfill your order. So we ordered it from Walmart. You know, you just make up your excuse and refund them the difference, make them happy and you know, and they don’t complain.

Stephen:                             [00:13:14]               Okay. Alright. Well I appreciate you explaining it because I don’t think I understood now today to be fair, there is software that does all that stuff. I was just with Fred mckinney and we were talking about that last week I was with them and there is software that does 100 percent of that stuff. You don’t even have to get involved and

Sean:                                     [00:13:31]               softwares back then it was just, you know, like I said, I, I wanted, I wasn’t going to invest in them because I, and I didn’t understand how to understand how they work. Um, I, you know, I was, like I said, I was just getting my feet wet and ecommerce. I had no idea. Um, I hadn’t even owned a computer in a, probably like eight years ago when I started this business. I bought it in a laptop specifically for, uh, you know, to start drop shipping on Ebay.

Stephen:                             [00:13:57]               Well, you know, I’ll sit back and say this is, you got value from it. I mean, you know, that course, you know, we can say what we want about drop shipping, but to be fair, I’m like, yeah, you got an education, didn’t you?

Sean:                                     [00:14:09]               Oh, of course. I’m like, I said it, it. Um, I started drop shipping on Amazon and it, it, it, it made me realize the power of e commerce. I mean, I, when I had my first, uh, when you first, when you first make your Amazon account, if you don’t send me an Fba then you’re not able to get the buy box they put you on like a 90 day probationary period where if you’re a merchant and selling items, you don’t get the buy box no matter what. So the only competitive advantage I had was lowering my price. Um, but as soon as I got that buy box eligibility, a couple of my products, I sold like 15 that first day. And I was like, whoa. You know what I mean, it, it, it blew my mind. I had no idea that things were selling at that rate. And it was just like from there, it was like I just got it. It gave me a spark and I just, I knew that this was something that I could do, you know, I knew if I could find one or two products, then I could find three or four or five or six and just build it from there.

Stephen:                             [00:15:04]               Well, you think about, you know, the stores in your town, there is no chance that there’s a store in your town selling 15 products a day. I don’t care what kind of store it is, right? I mean other than a Walmart, any of those scale, but all the smaller stores stores, right? None of these products, none of these locations sell 15 of the same product a day, none of them. And they have to carry hundreds of skews, sometimes thousands of skews depending on the size of the store. So you got a taste of that was, what was it? Uh, because this was a side hustle, correct? Because you were still working.

Sean:                                     [00:15:36]               Sure, yeah, yeah, I was, I was delivering pizza and Chinese food. I had been doing that for the last, the last three and a half, four years almost.

Stephen:                             [00:15:44]               So you just going to ask you what was the goal of, uh, you know, that obviously it’s to get out of that, right? Is that what you were thinking? Is that what you.

Sean:                                     [00:15:51]               I honestly, I wasn’t miserable doing what I was doing. I was making, well I was making $800 plus cash a week. I mean I was working 50 hours a week, I was driving a lot and I, I got held up at one point, the delivery, so there were definitely like some down, some downfalls to delivering the bad nights, but on average I was bringing home a very good paid cash every week. Um, but I knew it wasn’t something that I was going to do forever. It was kind of I’m making good money and I always had a little bit of an entrepreneurial bug. Um, I just kinda was biding my time until the right opportunity arose and try. Amazon came along.

Stephen:                             [00:16:35]               When you think back to those days, and this is going to sound a little a wishy washy for some people, but do you feel like you were led there in any way? Because it is, like you said, you were biding your time. You were waiting for that opportunity, right? You were waiting for something like the things to align. I mean, does it feel like it happened for you that way?

Sean:                                     [00:16:54]               Um, I would say yes, but I think it happens that way for most people if you, if your patient and if you keep your eyes open. I mean, there were, there were, you know, there were other opportunities that I had that I, that I could jobs, good jobs that I could have taken that I turned down because I’ve always wanted to be able to live the lifestyle that I want to live. Like that is, that is my goal for this business. It’s not necessarily to be a millionaire, it’s not necessarily to make $300,000 a year. Um, I want to be able to live by my means, um, you know, comfortably and on my terms. I don’t mind that I’ve essentially created myself a job with this business.

Stephen:                             [00:17:35]               Oh, that’s a negative, right? That’s what people say, Oh, be careful. You’re going to create yourself a job.

Sean:                                     [00:17:40]               That’s what most people think. And um, to me, if you have employees where you have to be at a warehouse to check in on and all that responsibility that, that responsibility to me is more of a job than a then me packing and shipping in helping, you know, I have a part time employee that does a lot of my shipping, but I still do at least 25 percent of my packing and shipping and I don’t have a problem with it honestly.

Stephen:                             [00:18:02]               He always says that humbles him. It could put some back in and it makes them stay connected to his products because you do lose a connection sometimes.

Sean:                                     [00:18:08]               Sure. And I mean I’m not the type of person that can sit behind a computer for eight or 10 hours at a time and just work and, and get things done behind the computer. I get, I just get stir crazy. Um, so it’s good for me too. I work a couple hours a day on the computer. I don’t do packing and shipping every day, but, you know, I don’t, I really don’t mind doing it. And it’s just, it’s just, like I said, it’s kind of created myself a job, but it’s a job that I like and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I can, you know, on my own boss if I want to take off for a day or here and there, I, I, I can, I want to go on vacation. I can, I send them some extra inventory, work a little harder for a week. And then I, you know, I, I have, I’m able to sustain it,

Stephen:                             [00:18:51]               you know, I should qualify this. Sean is a customer of ours in our warehouse. Sean has a private labeled products here and some wholesale products in our warehouse. And my wife has made this comment about you and andy both because I don’t think people understand that andy comes in, you know, once or twice a week and he will pack out product. Oh my God. When he says his back hurts, will you seen him? It’s because fricken boxes he brings in are always 50 pounds. And I’m an old man and I got to carry these things and it kills me. I’m going to get them as close to as possible, so yeah, I know, but it hurts. I’m an old man. I took a ton of them yesterday, tps just to help them because we were getting a storm and I just wanted to quickly leave on the dock and ups would have came and I’m like, no, I’m going to take him because I just don’t want the weather to get on them, you know. But that’s the relationship. But my wife says this a lot about youtube is that she appreciates when she sees you, because you come up to our warehouse every so often and put labels on or do whatever, um, because you know, you get it. And so to see, to me that’s what again, that’s that design life, that’s the job that you like, that is rewarding for you. And in some way isn’t it?

Sean:                                     [00:19:57]               Yeah. One hundred percent. And, and like I said, I don’t want employees a law right now. I don’t want to put, you know, things might change, but right now I don’t. I don’t want the responsibility of making sure someone has work everyday, making sure that they’re getting paid every week so that they can provide for their family. If I. I mean, I, I’ve had awesome wholesale accounts where I’m making a couple of hundred bucks a day on products and all of a sudden they decide they want to sell on Amazon themselves. Thousands of dollars a month in income that you’re, you know, you become dependent on, even if it’s only for a couple of months, you know, you become comfortable with it and you’re used to it. You do things, you designed your budget and things around that income and then it gets taken away out of nowhere. I don’t want that to happen and put in a position where I’m, where I’m stuck or I’m just, I don’t want to put myself in that position where I have to make a decision like that. Or,

Stephen:                             [00:20:56]               well, you’re developing a business. You’re designing a business and so by imagine that you have to design a business. You have that, but then you also have to manage employees. Where do you know, how much effort does that take? Right? How much? And so outsourcing that to third party like us, it’s not expensive. I mean, we don’t charge enough and if her, you, uh, you, I imagine you sit back and say, you know, hey, if I had to do it, we could do it cheaper, of course you could. But then now how many hours of your life do you, does that focus? And it doesn’t give you the ability to build your business. That’s, that’s the thing I think people have to remember is that you’re trying to build a business. Uh, and so you only have so much time where is your time best served?

Stephen:                             [00:21:36]               And some people it is running a warehouse because that’s their lane. They’re good at it, right? But, you know, not everybody can. I mean, we’re in the same boat, you know, I mean we have just very few clients. We always look for people who are not going to be difficult. We don’t want to. I mean, I think our relationships real strong, but it’s, I don’t want problems. I don’t want your problems. You don’t want my problems, right. You expect a service for the price we agreed upon and to happen and hopefully we’ve always over delivered until we can’t. And then when we can’t, then you would understand. That’s what I’m looking at it.

Sean:                                     [00:22:08]               Yeah. You know, mistakes get made, small things, you know, wrong things get shipped out once or twice. It’s not, you know, it’s not the not guilty on the customer and you call it, you know, net net. It’s been, I mean, this relationship has been, oh my gosh, I’m amazing for me. You know, you guys have done so much for me and I’m ever grateful for it

Stephen:                             [00:22:31]               and I’m not pitching our, our service because again, we really only want private label. We really don’t want anything else. Um, but if you ever have a question, didn’t talk to sean because he’s a real live customer and he will tell you the good and the bad and there is bad. Like you said sometimes. Um, but hopefully the good more than outweighs it.

Sean:                                     [00:22:50]               There’s bad, there’s bad and everywhere else I’ve used other prep centers and I’ve had a much better experience with you and that you’re obviously, you’re not a prep center. Ended up, you know, they have 100, maybe hundreds of customers, but uh, it, it’s, there’s problems everywhere, no matter where you go. You know what I mean? You just have to accept them. You have to deal with them. I mean, yeah, I always say it is what it is. There’s things you can control and things happen. You can’t go back and change them. You have to focus on how to deal with them. Focus on today what you can do today to fix it. And it’s just, it is what it is and you move on.

Stephen:                             [00:23:23]               I, I’ve learned because I’ve used prep centers and outsource too, is I think to myself, wait a second, I’m holding them to a standard that I hold myself to when I make a mistake. It’s like, Oh man, I messed that up, Paul. Darn. Wait, so I’m allowed to make a mistake. They’re not. I mean, come on. Right, right. That’s just not reasonable because you’re paying my expectation. I expect perfection, Shaun. Good luck. You have to temper your expectations and, and

Sean:                                     [00:23:47]               understand that people are human. Mistakes get made

Stephen:                             [00:23:49]               to trade off. I think there are some trade offs and that’s one of the things you give up, but again, you weren’t perfect. You made mistakes, so therefore you, that piece of it’s really not a trade off. It’s, you know, so. Alright, let’s go on. So you get started in that. And then how did you start? Uh, I guess you then went to Ra. Is that really the next step? And while you were still

Sean:                                     [00:24:09]               delivered? Actually the first week in November, I believe, I, uh, I, you know, I discovered Amazon started making some sales and I’m like, man, I need to get this buy box. Um, and I noticed all the, you know, all the prime sellers obviously have the buy box. So I’m like, all right, let me do a little bit of Ra, look around. So I went over to Boscov’s and started scanning around I think, I think I read Chris Green’s retail arbitrage. Um, and then when, when we were at Boscov’s and started scanning, I bought a couple of things and sent them in the next day. They, they sold as soon as they landed. So again, that was another little tastes clue. Yeah. It was just like, wow, okay. I, I have to do is just keep finding these products. Um, so I’m, I’m, I’m a learner. I don’t, I don’t like to.

Sean:                                     [00:24:59]               I mean, I, I do test things and try to discover things on my own, but if I know that someone has been there before and I know that they’ve done it the right way, then I will follow them. So I, I noticed, uh, I found Dan matters and Eric Lambert, they haven’t taken the wholesale formula course, but before that I took their source sell profit course. It was not me. I don’t even think many people know about that. But um, it is, uh, it was a retail arbitrage course that they put out and took that did retail arbitrage for a couple months. And after a couple months I realized, okay, I’m tired of going to all these stores, if I could buy 100 at a time, that would be the way to go. Um, so a couple months later I took the wholesale formula and I’ve been doing wholesale ever since.

Stephen:                             [00:25:46]               And so when you, I mean, because some people sit there and say, hey, you know, courses I think two grand and you know, they pay 50 percent commission so you know, they should just charge a thousand blah blah blah. But that’s not how it works. I mean that’s not the real world. They would, they would have to do it 100 percent of the marketing. And they see the value of using others. However you connected with those guys, correct?

Sean:                                     [00:26:08]               Oh yeah. I mean, to me that’s what I always tell people. I don’t, I think I do think that’s kind of like maybe a gift. I was kind of born with just this sense of people. I, I, I know when people are genuine, genuine, and I can see when people mean well, and if they’re just selling snake oil and those guys, they just came off so genuine, so down to earth, just regular guys. Um, so I know it was a $200 course it, let’s be real. The sell profit course wasn’t a couple of thousand dollars so I got to know them pretty well, got to know them pretty well before, um, before I spent a big chunk of money on their wholesale formula course. But like I said, just some, some youtube videos and a couple ads I did. I did. I got to know them just through, just through those couple of minutes of video, I felt like I knew them and they trusted them.

Stephen:                             [00:27:04]               Yeah. And I think that’s important. You’ve got to connect with the person that you want to because you’re spending your money. You know, I tell people, you know, and I don’t mind this, I paid John Lee Dumas two grand to learn how to podcast and why because I connected with them and I’ve met them in person and hung out with him and his girlfriend. They’re great people and that’s why I spent the money. And that’s if you can connect with somebody, you should pay the money. He’s worth it. You know what I mean? I, I credit him for advancing me all those challenges. So to me, I, I say that all the time is that I know some people, there are other people that can learn from just watching youtube and figuring it out. I’m not that guy or I’m, I’m more impatient that way.

Sean:                                     [00:27:43]               I’d rather pay to learn what somebody else, what mistakes they made and try to avoid the same pitfalls. I mean, again, as long as you think of that person is telling you the truth, then why wouldn’t you know? If you respect that person, why wouldn’t you follow them and believe that they had to say and take their advice. And I mean, there’s sure they’re making money while they’re doing it, but there’s something I don’t know to me, Oh, there’s so much on youtube, it’s a lot of noise and you, someone that put up, took the time to put together this course. Um, and it’s, it’s just, uh, I don’t know how it’s a different feeling than just watching a couple youtube videos to me or trying to learn from youtube. It, I could never do it. I’m in the courses have been so worth it for me.

Stephen:                             [00:28:31]               Well, and look at what it’s done for you. I mean, you would say proof proof positive, right? It gave you, I mean, did you feel when you were doing ra, like you said, you, you did it and you had some, did you feel legit back then, like you had a business or is it when you became a wholesale that you became legit? As I use that term in my wholesale podcast and I, and I don’t mean a negative way because we both know we have friends doing millions of dollars retail arbitrage. Right? Right. So I don’t mean to downplay that

Sean:                                     [00:28:59]               because to me, yes, I felt like I was, I felt like I was hustling. Yeah, that’s a good way to say I, I, I always, I, you know, I was the kid that was selling candy in the elementary school and burning cds in highschool and selling them and mix tapes and things like that. So I was always kind of selling things and it felt like that it was like that type of thing all over again when I was running from store to store and just sending them and it was, it was fun. Um, but it was tiring, you know, and when you go to stores and finding nothing, it was frustrating, but yet it did feel more like a hustle then then a business. And again, like you said, that is no, no, knock on anyone that does already because anyway, I respect so many guys that are doing already. It’s amazing. I wish I had, I wish I had that. I just, it’s just not me.

Stephen:                             [00:29:47]               Okay. So then you go from, you’re now a wholesale and a. Did you stop already completely, or did you still dabble in it for q four?

Sean:                                     [00:29:58]               For q four of 2016. I did. Um, I did do a little bit of Ra. I stopped for the day

Stephen:                             [00:30:04]               four year, but I couldn’t get away. Right. You, you, you saw those, you know, you saw somebody posting, oh, go to and buy Lego’s, go buy this and then you’re in it right here, like, oh. And then you get that rush back again. Did you lose the rush when you went to wholesale?

Sean:                                     [00:30:19]               Um, for a little while. Yes. It definitely. Um, it definitely went away a little bit just because there’s a lot of upfront work I’m taking the course was a little bit overwhelming and like you said,

Stephen:                             [00:30:32]               in what way? What way was it overwhelming? Because I mean, I know they, they, they’ve refined it and I’m sure they made it better, but I mean outside of them, what was it overwhelming for you?

Sean:                                     [00:30:42]               I would say you have to have this website built and you have to, you have to make yourself look like a legitimate business before you are one. And like I said, I, I felt as though it was more of a hustle and um, I, I didn’t feel like a real business when I was doing Ra and dropped you

Stephen:                             [00:30:58]               imposter syndrome. You have the imposter syndrome.

Sean:                                     [00:31:02]               Yeah. And I think I think a lot of people that start off wholesale and I think they, they feel that way. I see. I see a wave of a wave of new students come into the wholesale formula group twice a year. And every time people, they don’t, they just don’t realize how much work they have to put in. Um, and um, and I didn’t either, but you, and especially now, two years later, you can’t just throw up a plain website and reach out to a couple of companies and expect to be able to sell their product without providing real value to them and showing them that you, they’re showing some kind of proof that you’re going to be able to help them. Um, brands are too smart now and you know, it’s, it’s, it’s too, too difficult now, but it is, there’s just a lot that goes into. It’s a lot of upfront work. But once you get that wholesale account, once you get a couple accounts, it is so worth it.

Stephen:                             [00:31:59]               I think it’s important that you, you, what you just said, that brands are so much more sophisticated. We talk about the gift shows a lot. You and I, uh, go to Philly gift show have for the last few years, and this is my experience. You tell me if it’s different for you. In the old days, they would be like, what’s this Amazon? What do you mean you can, you can put my products on Amazon. They didn’t had any clue. This was years ago, three, four, five years ago. Now almost every brand is on Amazon. Um, or they’re unhappy the way they’re represented on Amazon because somebody else brought an Amazon. They never knew it. I mean, it was a guy was talking to. He’s like, we don’t sell on Amazon. I’m like, yes you do. He goes, who’s selling that? I’m like, I can’t tell. You have no idea. And you’ll never know who it is either, unless you go through all this legal nonsense. Um, it’s a different conversation today. That’s my experience. What’s yours? Oh, oh, for sure.

Sean:                                     [00:32:48]               For sure. I mean it used to be, it used to be different people, brands we’re afraid of Amazon. Um, a lot of times in my experience they were, they didn’t know it was kind of the unknown and now they’re afraid of it in a different way. Um, whereas they’re, they’re much more protective of their, of their brand, but they’re, I mean, they’re much more knowledgeable, know most of them. They want to have some kind of control

Stephen:                             [00:33:16]               when, uh, when you have that conversation. So now the, is that changed the conversation when you’re talking to potential wholesale customers because you, you, you, you understand their position, like you say, they want to be in control. In the past they just wanted to sell their product, right? That was what they’re trying to do. They’re trying to survive because a lot of businesses are closing, so they’re losing their customers and so they’re like, alright, what am I going to do? What am I going to do? But now, like you say, I think that’s a great way to describe it. They want control. Is that changed the conversation or the approach to the conversation that you have?

Sean:                                     [00:33:48]               For me? Not so much. Um, just because I always wanted to overdeliver for them. Um, you know, a lot of people will go, you know, they’ll go to the shows and byproduct and listed on Amazon and then it doesn’t sell ’em for me. Like if the product was already on Amazon and, and not selling well, but there were already two other sellers on it. I’m not going to go for that product because I know the work that it’s going to take to make itself and then these other sellers are just going to kind of reap the benefit unless I can talk to that brand and get some kind of either an exclusive or allow them to sell the house beside me or limit the number of sellers, then it’s just not worth it. But the conversation for me has always been trying to explain Amazon to them, explain what I want to do on Amazon for their brand, how I, you know, how we can help them and improve their presence.

Sean:                                     [00:34:37]               Um, and, and it’s always trying to be, try to be, provide as much value as possible because I know the work that it takes to list the products and then when they started selling, well other shellers jump on and just they’d pay, yeah, take the, take the gravy and then write it down to zero, zero profits and you know, it’s a lose lose for everybody. Um, so I, you know, after that situation happened a couple times when I first got into wholesale, uh, you know, I stopped doing that. I don’t, I no longer take products from zero to doing well without some kind of like some kind of guarantee that it’s gonna continue to be well for me.

Stephen:                             [00:35:14]               So, so this, you know, it’s kind of funny you’re saying this in the past you were dying to find wholesale accounts. I’m sure that was the whole, I mean I know Dan and Eric’s model and that was what it was anything to do to get a wholesale account and then you just get volume and then some cells, some don’t, you know, narrow your focus now. You’re not willing to take on a customer or an account unless they’re willing to help you. Help them is that. I know it’s kind of an awkward way to say it, but that’s, that’s fair, right?

Sean:                                     [00:35:43]               Yes. Yeah. I mean I will take on an account if it’s profitable, I will take it on and then if it becomes unprofitable around, you know, I’ll drop it. But generally, yeah, I want to, I want to provide the value and I want them to limit the sellers and I want it to be ongoing. I want it to be a long lasting relationship. Um, and at this point, I mean honestly, I don’t really do much sourcing for wholesale. I have some sporting good brands and I’ve been recommended other products through, at school, you know, through other brands. Through those brands.

Stephen:                             [00:36:14]               Did you initiate that? That’s a, that’s a really powerful statement. What you just said, I mean obviously you delivered, right, so therefore your reputation was solid with them. Did they initiate it or did you. I mean, do you go to him and say, Hey bob, you know, hopefully I’ve been doing what you need in, in more you have any friends in the business that you could recommend that would be looking for similar services or just magically happen?

Sean:                                     [00:36:39]               No, it just kind of know. It just kind of happened, you know, we had just, we did help one of the brands find out who a couple unknown sellers where they were. They were selling the brand was selling wholesale to a brick and mortar store who was distributing it to, to other Amazon sellers and they were undercutting map and you know, it’s a small company. I’m the woman had no idea she, she’s the manufacturer, only only sells out of her fulfillment center, so she knows where the product is going, but she had no idea how this product was getting on Amazon, who these people were. So we were able to do some digging and I’m able to discover who they were, where they were originally getting the product and I mean, she was so thankful. Um, I mean, it, it blew her away, you know what I mean?

Sean:                                     [00:37:27]               So a couple months later she was like, oh, hey, I was talking to so and so from this other, this other brand. And um, they were mentioned that were talking about Amazon and I told him that you, you’ve been taking everything off of our plate. We don’t have to do anything and it’s been so wonderful. So he wants to, he would like to speak with you. Oh, all right. Like, that’s awesome. That’s exactly, yeah. That, that’s, that’s exactly what I want, you know what I mean? I want to be able to provide enough, so much value that these brands want to want to tell me that tell their friends about me and, and uh, that, that just makes it easy on me.

Stephen:                             [00:37:59]               Do you look for a certain dollar amount? I mean, when you’re looking for a wholesale customer like that, I mean, because it’s effort, right? I mean, and I think this is a very, very accurate thing to think about, is that it’s going to take the same amount of effort to run a minimum. I’m sorry, let me correct myself. It’s going to take the same amount of minimum effort to have an account that brings you a $100 a month as it does $10,000 a month. There’s something like if you’re going to add value to the brand, you’re going to do something with the pictures and the titles and is and you’re going to keep things going and run ads and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. That’s no matter what do you do? You look at it and say, okay, that’s a potential thousand dollars a month profit, a wholesale account. That’s worth me going. I mean, have you gotten that far in your formula?

Sean:                                     [00:38:40]               Of course, but it’s not. I mean, to me it’s not a set formula. Okay. I have a sliding scale. I weigh everything out in my head. I’m like, write that, write things down, pros and cons, but I weigh everything out in my head how much prep it’s going to take. How much storage is it gonna take? How many do I have to order to get a quantity discount? Am I gonna, you know, can I spend it all in Amazon or do I have to store? So I’m here. Um, or your warehouse, where’s the shipping coming from? You know, there are so many different factors. Um, it, it, it, every product is different. So I, I try to weigh them out individually. Um, you know, I have, we have a couple products. Well it’s a line of products that we only make about $2 a piece, but I mean there are days when we’ll sell over 100 of them, you know, and especially around q four. It’s a, it’s a created. It’s insane. So to me it’s only a $2 product. Most people wouldn’t, wouldn’t take this product and throw it in a poly bag for $2 a piece, but at scale and they want, it only takes ten cents, ten cents each unit or 10 seconds each union, I’m sorry, 10 seconds to prep. You can do them so quickly. And to me it’s just, I weigh all of that. Usually I wouldn’t take a $2 profit product. What if it. Again, if it’s selling hundreds of times a month, I’ll take it.

Stephen:                             [00:39:54]               Hmm. So you built out this wholesale business. Did you build it strong enough to leave your job at that point? I mean, at what point did you leave your job?

Sean:                                     [00:40:04]               Oh, I stopped. Uh, yes I stopped delivering pizza. It was like July of 2016. Um, so it was about seven months after I took the wholesale formula. I think at that point I, I think I did still have a couple. I was doing some shoes actually. Um, I didn’t, I did start doing some retail arbitrage shoes for a couple of months while I was like learning the wholesale formula and, and implementing, getting those first couple of wholesale accounts. I did do some, some shoes, um, but I was pretty emotionally wholesale from, from that point forward that January of 2016 forward and then was able to quit my job. I mean, I still lived at home. I’m at that. So it was, I didn’t need a ton of money, but I knew, okay, I’m making, I think I was making maybe $500 profit a week at that point, which was nothing, you know, nothing crazy.

Sean:                                     [00:40:52]               But it was like, all right, it was enough. It’s enough for me to live and enough if I spend the same time that I’m spending delivering, if I spend that time on Amazon, then I knew it would, it would compound and soon I would be, it’d be above that. And uh, it, it, it’s, it’s worked out very. I feel, I feel very blessed because I definitely know, I’ve definitely had issues. Like I said, I’ve had some of my best wholesale accounts that just Kinda were taken out from under me. Not, not that I’m sure there were things I probably could have done better, um, but it was uncontrollable almost. Or you feel like you have no control when that happens. Um, but overall, um, it’s, this business has been, it’s been awesome.

Stephen:                             [00:41:36]               So then you sit back and you say, okay, however, that, that, when somebody cuts your legs out like that, because that hurts. Right? I mean, when you did the brand, right, you’ve done everything and I always say this, this is my description to somebody puts another zero on the check that I write them. And so can you blame the brand for saying Goodbye Steve? I get it. BMI, understand that they’re trying to survive. Right? But does it make it less painful? There’s a, there’s a somebody who gives you. I just saw him again and every time I go there I’m always like, yeah, we can’t talk, you know? And it’s like a. or there was another one is like, Steve just open a retail store front. You don’t even have to open it. Just open a storefront and you can get my pro. I’m like, I’m not doing that. That’s wrong. That’s immoral. I’m not doing that. That wouldn’t, that’s not. I want to be able to live with myself. Right. But it still hurts. So what is that? What made you get into private label? Is that what. Yes. Yeah, for sure. Is that what you saw?

Sean:                                     [00:42:28]               Yeah, I mean, you know, uh, I, I have a little bit of the Shiny Object Syndrome right out of her progression. I went from, you know, the drop shipping to Ra, so there’s no way to wholesale and private label was the obvious next step. Um, and once, once I kinda thought I had wholesale down and again, no expert at anything, but once I was making a consistent income, a wholesale, I figured it was time to take another course and learn a little bit about private label and diversify. Um, because I’ve had those, I had those brands, you know, take that income from the year, you know it, and it’s tough. So I wanted to try to diversify my income a little bit on and not be so reliant on another person’s brand. I wanted to build and build my own thing.

Stephen:                             [00:43:12]               Did you, let’s go back to this imposter syndrome. So here you are. I mean, would you say that tune and Eric’s course gave you the confidence to be able to move to that next level? I mean, is that fair? Yeah, let me have it because it works, right? I mean, um, I, you know, and you can say what you want, that program works. Okay, why nobody says that program works and so we can build you up and if you follow their course, not to a t, but if you make it, you’re a little bit of your own. But if you do it, you do gain some legitimacy and then all of a sudden when you can say I was, I was just with Fred Mckinnon who we mentioned earlier, big. He was big drop ship from when he, he’s like Steve, when I go to a company and I say I sold $65,000,000 on Amazon, you get some attention and that’s a true number. That’s not a made up number that he could say he gained legitimacy. There’s value in that. So with private label, was that, did you run into the imposter syndrome or was it completely eliminated when you took it on?

Sean:                                     [00:44:07]               Um, no, I didn’t have the imposter syndrome. I mean

Stephen:                             [00:44:10]               like you did though, but you get what I’m going. Is that when you went from Oaa or our Ra to wholesale, you had that for sure. But the confidence to move from wholesale to private label, you didn’t have it. I think that’s important for people to hear that. I just. To me, it’s so cool. I mean it’s just so cool that you got out there. I don’t know. I, I just, I’m impressed with it so

Sean:                                     [00:44:32]               and so to me honestly in this might go against what a lot of people would say, you know, they might disagree with me, but I think private label has made me. I should’ve taken private label private label course first privately, so much better at wholesale then I could have, I could have dreamt. I mean the, the amount of being able to rank a product, listing creation, knowing all the details about images and infographics and advertising, all, everything that goes into private label is insanely useful to brands for wholesale. Having all that knowledge is. I mean if you’re adding, you add so many tools to your belt. When you take a good private label course that you can bring to wholesale prospects, you sound like a genius that you’re. These people, they don’t understand Amazon very well. You throw out some, some private label terms about ranking their product and keyword rank and um, you know, they, they think they think you’re some kind of wizard and it’s just a, I think private label is a very important, uh, having, having that knowledge is very important for wholesale. Definitely. It’s up to my game 100 percent.

Stephen:                             [00:45:45]               It’s funny, a sponsor that I have a seller labs and I use scope. For example, we use scope for wholesale and scope is, you know, most people would say it was designed for private label, right? Keywords and all that kind of. No, I mean, yeah, of course. Yes. But I mean you can also use it for wholesale. I mean you could actually use it for Ra if you could, if you, if you have the ability to update that listing, you could actually fix keywords in and you raise all boats, right? So everybody else who’s on that list also benefits. But to me that’s the beauty of these things that they’re so cross. If there’s, let’s say 100 things to learn in this business, right? Let’s just say there’s 100 unique things that you have to learn. Probably 20, 30, 40 of them are the same across whether you’re doing drop shipping, where you’re doing private label. Would you agree with that? Yeah. And so if you mastered that in any one of those faces, you can apply that to the next one. And so your example of private label going backwards to wholesale? I think it’s smart to. I mean, I, I think it’s exactly right.

Sean:                                     [00:46:44]               Yeah. Like I, like I said there, there are so many tools. I mean just being able to rank a product and, and learning how to launch a product, being able to launch a new product for a brand is, and it’s so valuable. They don’t understand why they’re there. They list their products and they don’t sell as well as their, you know, their existing products that are selling 100 times a month. Um, and it’s because they’re there on page eight for their keywords, you know, and they don’t understand that. So if you can help a wholesale company understand keyword rank, how Amazon works, I’m launching products, you know, even if even if you don’t get the wholesale account, they will be so grateful for you.

Stephen:                             [00:47:24]               What’s the relationship next time you see an image to show and it worked. You are an inch taller in their eyes, correct?

Sean:                                     [00:47:32]               Of course. Yeah, of course, of course. And I mean it’s just, even if they don’t have a wholesale, they might recommend you to a friend of theirs who is looking for someone to run, you know, run their Amazon store or something like that. It’s always about providing the value, I think. And like I said, private label allows you to provide a ton more value in wholesale.

Stephen:                             [00:47:52]               I, I think, um, I, to me it’s very exciting what you just said though. I think people have to hear that. Well, let’s walk through. So when you’re taking a wholesale account, let’s give a little bit of a lesson and you don’t have to give any secret sauce of anybody’s course, but let’s take an approach. You’re taking steel water bottle, right? You see this beautiful water bottle. I’ll use, for example, every time and you’re like, Steve, I want to take your product. I see you’re selling on Amazon, you’re on page eight. I want to help you move forward. Right? And so we make a handshake and say, yes, what’s the expectation you have from me as the brand? What’s your in your mind, what do you. And let’s just say that, you know, I agreed to do, I agree to listen to Sean, what’s your expectation?

Sean:                                     [00:48:32]               And the expectation is that they will limit their distribution to who were familiar with and you know, who we agree is going to sell the product. Like I said, if, if it’s a new product launching from nothing, um, ideally you’re going to get some kind of exclusive or exclusive maybe with one or two other sellers ideally. Um, but I mean, that’s really what you want to try it. Okay.

Stephen:                             [00:48:55]               Okay. So that and, and images and, and

Sean:                                     [00:48:59]               are you doing. I don’t mind paying for images. Plug for Andy’s image service. Yeah, yeah, yeah. One hundred percent amazing freedom.com/photos. And I’ve done that for a couple of wholesale brands, literally for free. I just, I pay Andy to do it, don’t tell, you know. And, and I just show up with the pictures. Say, Hey, here, I got these, I got these pictures with Info graphics and everything done. Um, let me, you know, this is your product. So you look over them, let me know if you want to change anything if infographics are for, you know, saying the right message because you want the brand, have control over their message, right? And make sure that they’re okay with it. And nine times out of 10 they might have a couple of words they might, they might want switched or saying that they don’t want on there and then, but they’re so happy that you had, you went ahead and got that done.

Sean:                                     [00:49:47]               Um, especially like I said, the brands that I work with are, I mean they’re more high priced products, but they’re smaller brands. A lot of them are single owner. Nikki said it, sporting goods to like their coaches and things like that. So they’re very small companies. Um, they, they, their product provides a specific purpose so they want to make, they want to make sure that it’s conveying the right message, but if you can just go ahead and improve their listing for them, that their pictures, that’s gonna that, that brings a ton of value right there. That’s what you’re gonna do. They

Stephen:                             [00:50:23]               do. Right? So, so back to me again. So you’re saying Steve, really I want you to do is, you know, give me access to your brand a limit the number of people selling it and give me a chance to turn it around. Do you make a commitment of time that you think you can turn it around within a few months? I mean, where’s that a mental thing in your head?

Sean:                                     [00:50:41]               Um, I, yeah, I mean you expect to see results within a month. I mean, depending on, on what you’re doing, I mean you should definitely see at least some results. I never promise.

Stephen:                             [00:50:51]               Okay. So you never promised you just like, Hey, let me try it and let me see what I can do. And if we, we, we all win,

Sean:                                     [00:50:57]               right? I mean, usually they’re obvious changes, right? They might have to word bullet points and only three bullet points are.

Stephen:                             [00:51:03]               No, I’m going to drill you down on it now. Okay. So we know what you expect from me. The customer. Now I want to take. I want you to give away a little bit of your secret sauce. How you approached this.

Sean:                                     [00:51:15]               I mean the easiest way. What are you mean when.

Stephen:                             [00:51:18]               Yeah. So you know. No, no, no. You, you agreed. You and I agreed that you’re going to sell my water bottle. You, you say, Hey, I think I can do some things for you. Okay. I buy into it. I, you’re charming. You’re witty. Cute. I’m ready. Okay. You then take off and you’re like, okay, here’s Steve in or this is Sean in the laboratory. Here’s what I’m going to do. So can you tell us a few things of what your, what your approaches for that?

Sean:                                     [00:51:42]               Sure. I mean, so I’ll try to take the best selling product. Did that needs help? And what? By help, I mean four pictures, four bullet points, poor title, you know, missing key words throughout the listing. Things like that, um, and I will try to improve that product specifically. Um, you know, just overhauled the listing. I go through

Stephen:                             [00:52:02]               optimizing it. I mean, it’s really an optimization.

Sean:                                     [00:52:05]               Yeah, of course. Totally optimize and go through, you know, a full keyword research, um, do a full analysis of all the, the competitors, what they’re, you know, what they’re using in their listings, um, as far as infographics and things like that, what keywords they’re using in their listings. It’s worse scope is going to come in. Um, so basically just do optimize their listing the best that you can, and then run ads, you know, with a lot, with a lot of those key words that you know, those main keywords you’re going to run ads to. And if it’s a, you, if it’s a popular product getting traffic, then you’re going to see some sales through those ads as long as it’s a decent product.

Stephen:                             [00:52:45]               Now let’s just pause a second because I think this is really important. So let’s go back to my water bottle sells for 30 bucks, but it’s hardly selling. Okay. The market price is 30 bucks. Let’s just keep it there magically. So why are you building into the model, the wholesale cost? Are you saying to me the bottle cellar Steve, you have to eat some of these advertising costs or are you sitting there saying, I’m going to get a lesser margin on the startup because I’m going to try and build this product’s rank?

Sean:                                     [00:53:12]               No, I’m fine with taking a lesser margin. I’m not going to approach a brand when I just started the relationship and try to get advertising dollars and try to get money for pictures and things like that. I’m going to do what I can at this point. You know, I can afford to invest a little bit of money into a brand and even if it doesn’t take off and I don’t ever make any money off of it, you know, a couple of hundred bucks isn’t going to kill me. It’s worth the risk to me. So I will invest the time and money in improving those things. Um, and running those ads without, without expectations of the brand helping out of. I do those things. And then I go to them kind of with a report two weeks later. Um, here’s what you’re listing used to look like.

Sean:                                     [00:53:51]               Here’s what it looks like now. Um, you were not on any ads for these not on any ad placement for these key words. Now we’re at the top of page one for running these ads. This is the sales we’ve gotten the last two weeks. Um, you know, just go to them with a little bit of a, of a report of what you’ve done. If you see any improvement in rank, things like that. That’s real. Yeah, no, that’s not gloating at all. I mean, he, you know, he showed them the 90 day sale sales rank average was 60,000 after these changes in, you know, in the last week, we’ve seen it go down to 40,000 consistently over the last week. You know what I mean? It, it’s the tangible things you can see. And I mean anyone would agree, any brand owner would agree that a, a two word, three word, bullet point is not, you know, or a title with only two or three words is not satisfactory.

Sean:                                     [00:54:42]               Or having one picture that’s blurry is not, is not portraying their brand the way that they would like it to. So if you do any of these things, and even if you’re, I mean, you don’t have to be an expert at all of these things. If you’re halfway decent and you complete all of the listing, it will be. I mean, it’ll be a total, a total change for the brand owner handled. I mean, there’ll be thankful, you know what I mean? Obviously they have these sellers that are selling the product and none of them took the time to do it. Why not? Um, and that, you know, that’s what I try to ask them, what you have these sellers, why has no one else done this for you? Um, and that’s a valid question. That’s Kinda how I get the conversation started to limiting the number of sellers and not all brand owners are going to be open to it. Some brand owners have had relationships with certain, uh, certain, certain vendors for years and they’re not going to sever that relationship just because you helped them out a little bit on Amazon and you have to accept that sometimes, but, um,

Stephen:                             [00:55:39]               but someday that’s a long game. What you’re, you’re doing a Gary v there, you’re putting out a long game that someday they might, um, they might, uh, when they need help, you’re the guy because you delivered and you didn’t know, you walked away. Like, okay, you know, hey, I didn’t get it or whatever. But that’s a relationship that’s a long play.

Sean:                                     [00:55:58]               And launching new products, um, I have a product that I just, I just launched maybe three weeks ago, two and a half weeks ago or so. And the brand they have right now, they have like 14 sellers there. He’s working, the brand owner is working to get it down to a seven. And um, it’s, it’s been difficult. He’s, I guess he’s having cashflow issues so he keeps accepting orders. Um, and it, it is what it is. But this new product that he just came out with is a complimentary product to the original, only selling them as a bundle now. So I am the only one that’s allowed to sell this bundle. That right there is gold. I mean,

Stephen:                             [00:56:37]               yeah, higher price. Right. So that means technically you’re the pick and pack fees the same, right. No matter if it’s, you know, you’re going to make more money on that.

Sean:                                     [00:56:47]               Oh yeah, yeah, definitely. I make 50 percent more profit on that, on that order. Um, I mean it’s not selling quite as much as the single unit, but I mean, it, it, that, that product is making really good money already. And I know know I’ve done enough for this brand that I can, I can trust that that’s not going to get swept, that brand is not going to get taken out for me. Um, you know, I, I have, I have confidence in that. Um, so you know, that. And every time they come out with new product, I know I’m confident that we’ll be the first one to launch. It will be the first one to sell it. And there may only be one or two other sellers ever, um, because of the issues that he’s having with other products

Stephen:                             [00:57:28]               and hassles. You’re not giving them a hassle.

Sean:                                     [00:57:30]               Oh No. Oh No. And like I said, we don’t charge for it. We, we created the listing, did the pictures set up PBC, you know, and, and we don’t, we’re not going to charge brands for it. Um, occasionally we’ll get, we’ll reach out to wholesale prospects and they think they think we’re pitching our services, uh, as you know, as a service instead of trying to buy their product wholesale and doing these things as an added value

Stephen:                             [00:57:57]               because they’re used to getting pitched services. Right. Nobody does what you’re describing,

Sean:                                     [00:58:01]               right? Not, not many people do. And a lot of people I think, I think most people, they might not want to admit it, but they don’t want to put forth the work unless there’s a guarantee of a payoff. Right. You know, I was, I was reluctant at first, I was just trying to get wholesale accounts that were easy. But then you realize, like I said before, the margins shrink, set new salaries come on, if they’re easy for you is that account was easy for you to get. It’s easy for the next 20 sellers to get and eventually that margin is all gonna erode. So you’ve really, to me, I look for products that are longterm products and I know I can provide value, enough value that it’s going to make it worth it for that brand owner to keep me on no matter what. So that’s kind of my goal. Now,

Stephen:                             [00:58:47]               I think you’ve done a great job explaining why, because this question comes up a lot. Why should I put invest in building somebody else’s brand? I should only worry about building my own brand. What you’re describing is you took a course in private label and you have a, you have a skill set. Does that movie right? What’s his name? Uh, taken a, you have a particular set of skills and you’re applying them while you’re building your own brand. To me that’s the value, right? You, you, you, and, and you get proof of concept and you can test and you could do things with somebody else’s brand. They’re the ones bringing the hundred or the containers from China. You’re not. And so I think there’s real value in doing that and best description yet.

Sean:                                     [00:59:26]               It’s a diversification to me. Oh yeah. You know, because as we’ve, as we’ve spoken about as we were talking about the pre show, like there are issues, we’ll private label too.

Stephen:                             [00:59:36]               Well let’s, let’s get to them because we are going to run out of time and I don’t want to. We also have to get to Ashley because I didn’t want to miss this now because I think it’s important to understand that wall to me. All right, let’s go right there. Right now. This business that you disliked, this job that you created, that you like, I like that description. You created a job you like wouldn’t have happened, but it also allowed you to just get married and take off for how long and uh, and, and all those different things. Right? Without her. I mean, it’s all related, isn’t it?

Sean:                                     [01:00:09]               Yeah. Yeah, for sure. Without, without her supporting me, you know, being behind what I’m doing, you know, I, I’d be miserable, you know, I wouldn’t be able to do it, you know what I mean with it,

Stephen:                             [01:00:21]               the way she looks in his eyes, she says she does a worship you and vice versa. I mean, that’s cool dude. You know, I feel that way. That’s so cool.

Sean:                                     [01:00:31]               Without, without her, it would definitely be. I mean, it would be difficult. She, let’s be honest, she doesn’t do a whole lot of actual actual work in the business. Um, but I mean she plays, she’s a, plays a pivotal role, that’s for sure.

Stephen:                             [01:00:46]               And you got married too, so I want to congratulate you on that. Okay. So, um, last thing I want to talk about, because I think this is a good example. You had two products and they happen to both be in my warehouse. I hope that’s not a sign. One was a 27 different skews and outside of your control Amazon flagged it as Hazmat and Hazmat, Hazmat, just wacky, whatever without. Totally. But wait, let’s just do this to end your private label product, which is big and heavy, um, you, you’re with tariffs and I guess my point, and it was kind of what we were talking about earlier in the call and I called Shawn for advice because he’s gone through a whole bunch of problems with these things. These are outside of your control, both of them, correct?

Sean:                                     [01:01:33]               Yeah. Yeah. I mean, these ones, I can honestly say there’s nothing I could have possibly done to prevent these from happening in both scenarios. I could have not placed that order with the product that got flagged. But I mean, um, this wasn’t the first year I sold it. We’ve been selling it on Amazon for the past three years and the first two years we had no issue at all. Um, so, I mean, things happen out of your control. You just, it is what it is. You just have to pick up, move on and do it. You can do

Stephen:                             [01:02:03]               well that, that’s where I want to go is you pick up and move on. So let’s ignore the explosive thing because it is what it is. You just run. Everybody knows how you play whack a mole. Jumping on other listings is trying to get, get rid of them, right? We all know that. Okay, we’re not going to teach anybody anything new. However, in your, your large product that has a terrorist that’s cutting into your margin, cutting into your margin, cutting into your margin, you are doing something about it. And it was, it was so cool to hear that. So talk, talk for just a brief moment about what you’re able to do without giving any anything away.

Sean:                                     [01:02:37]               Well, my, I mean, my product’s going to be a little bit different than most, but I mean for oversized products. Um, I, the, the biggest, the biggest thing is the shipping, the shipping and fulfillment fees for Amazon. So

Stephen:                             [01:02:50]               both higher, significantly higher to. I mean it’s not like a little bit higher. They’re materially higher. Correct?

Sean:                                     [01:02:54]               Right, right. For a standard size ends at, I believe it’s the longest side, can’t be more than 18 inches. The medium side can’t be more than 15 inches and the shortest side can’t be more than a nine inches, I believe right around there. So I’m doing everything I can to

Sean:                                     [01:03:13]               shrink my product basically. Um, I mean it’s, it’s literally getting cut apart. It’s totally, totally like redesigned to be inside of a package that is under 17 inches. Um, and I mean that, that’s going to save me. I mean, it’s going to cut the cost by at least a third. I’m going to save me multiple dollars in Amazon fulfillment fees. I’ll be able to fit three times as many units on a container to get here. Storage costs at your warehouse, you’re going to get a little, you’re gonna get a little less business from me because our product is going to be a third of the size and I mean I’ve been working with the manufacturer for over a month to try to, to try to get it done right. So the integrity of the product isn’t compromised so that the quality is still there. And I mean it’s been difficult. We’ve had to go through. This is the, this is the third iteration that I’m getting. I have, hopefully this is it. Hopefully this final sample is on its way here. Um, I just got an email last night that it shipped out yesterday. So hopefully this will be ready for production. But I mean it’s, if you, if the product, if you think you have a winning product and you have to try to figure out a way to make it work and everyone else is dealing with these tires too,

Stephen:                             [01:04:30]               right? Yeah. That’s the good news is that when you’re being challenged, everybody else, but a bunch of people are going into corner. My wife hates when I say this and they’re going to suck their thumb and say, Oh man, I lost I product. I failed. I failed Sean. Nope,

Sean:                                     [01:04:43]               you’re not failing. I’m going to try to figure it out. And I mean, who knows, maybe maybe, maybe it will be a fail. Maybe, you know, maybe at some point. And it’s something that, something happens again out of my control and there’s just nothing I could do and I have to drop the product. But I mean, I put a lot of time and work into the product and I’m, I’m not ready to give up on it yet. I do think there, like I said, I do think there are things that can be done and if I’m willing to do something that no one else is willing to do, then I’m going to reap benefits that no one else is gonna read.

Stephen:                             [01:05:14]               Oh Jesus, that was deep. You know, I’m sitting here. No, I’m thinking about this because I think it’s such an important point. You know, like you say the shipping fees, they’re not going to go down, right? The storage fees on oversized stop. It’s only gonna go up guaranteed. So addressing that now because you have a winning product, addressing that and figuring away way. That’s an math model. You’re working on your business now. You’re building it for the long game and to me, no matter if it’s Amazon or whoever it’s going to be next, who’s going to be the next ECOMMERCE company out there? You’re in a position to win because you have a big competitive advantage over those who didn’t take the time to figure all this out. So man, you get inspired talking to you and your half my age, dude, you’re killing me here. I your your age and my son and you’ve got more wisdom than I do and it’s just so cool because again, I think it’s alright to take it your temperament. I think you’re willing to look at it, study it, figure it out and push past it. Um, and you got Ashley pushing you from the back. So that’s not a bad thing. All right. So if somebody has some followup questions for this, would you mind if I pop in your facebook contact?

Sean:                                     [01:06:23]               Of course. Yeah. Yeah, I’m on facebook. Anyone can reach out and I’ll get back to you as quick as I can. Um, open book.

Stephen:                             [01:06:30]               I think it’s again, and he’s, he means that I’m very helpful. He’s helped me a tremendous amount. Okay. So the last, the last thing I always ask everyone as you know, is what’s something that can get that person unstuck? How do they push past that? How do they figure out that they need to be working on their packaging and using an outside company that’s a, there’s a give and take there, but that allowed them how, how do you suggest somebody push past that point of stuck?

Sean:                                     [01:06:55]               Um, to me everyone is different. So there is no, there is no one thing. It’s going to get everyone on stuck. To me. Everyone has, you’d have to stay in your lane. What do you want? What are your goals? What are your strengths? Um, you know, you’re different than, than other people. Again, my goal is not to be a millionaire, so I have a lot. I’m doing a lot different things then Lee, ron is doing right. I mean, he is, he’s amazing, but that’s not the Yoda. Right? And I, I can never try to be him it, you know what I mean? So don’t try to be other people. Stay in your lane. It goes back to comparing yourself with others. Um, it’s, it’s just do what you can do and don’t try to be someone else.

Stephen:                             [01:07:40]               Love it, dude. I wish you nothing but success. Thank you so, so much. Thank you Steve. Good talking to you. What a great guy. Hopefully that was very informative for you. It was for me. Um, you know, he really helped me understand drop shipping a little bit better. Yelp, do you understand a brand management a lot better? Um, we take the same as funny out in the after call. We, we, we both take the same approach. We built some of the same vendors and um, but I get tips from him every single time and I think his point, you know, if there’s a reason to take the private label course, like I think Andy’s courses closed, but there’s a reason right there is to learn how to do all those things he’s talking about that’s powerful. And then you go back and apply it to your wholesale accounts.

Stephen:                             [01:08:23]               You Win, right? Well, I’m not doing private label. Yeah, it doesn’t matter, but you’re building a brand and you’re able to build, even if you’re building note somebody else’s brand, I just think it’s powerful stuff. And Man, what a, what a great example. So reach out to him and again, reach out to him if you’re looking for a warehouse. We’re a no frills warehouse, we’re not prep company, we don’t do all those things. We’re looking for private label only. Um, he’s a good example of somebody who uses us and ask them about it, um, because it’s not all good all the time because nothing’s good all the time. Maybe ice cream, but I’m not allowed to eat that on Quito. So anyway, ecommerce, momentum.com, ecommerce momentum.com tickets.

Cool voice guy:                  [01:08:57]               Thanks for listening to the momentum podcast. All the links mentioned today can be found that incomers momentum dot come under this episode number. Please remember to subscribe and the lake us on.

 

Stephen-Peterson

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