Ok Cool story alert! She married into his collection and their business! Love it, love how she took what she clearly knew would help him and he accepted her help. (That’s hard for a guy- I am impressed) Together they are unstoppable and by the way loving life. Great story!
Transcript: (note- this is a new tool I am trying out so it is not perfect- it does seem to be getting better)
Stephen: [00:00:00] They want to jump in here and just bring back up episode 250 Toys for Tots campaign put together buy sell or Lams. It is such a great opportunity. I was with the seller on Friday. Their team is working on it. I’m very very excited. This is a chance for you to use the skills that you personally have developed. You’ve got sourcing muscles. Not many other people have it. And this is a chance where we can take and use our skills to help those less fortunate. All the information is on episode 250 such a great cause. Kip
Stephen: [00:00:34] back. Give back give back. This time of year.
Stephen: [00:00:37] Thanks hope your Q4 is going good. It’s a great time to be selling and sell a lot. Watch your reprice hers. I just got whacked down and lost fifteen dollars a unit. I didn’t lose I lost in profit because I showed a blocked one wasn’t paying attention. So please do me tell you by couple sponsors in scope from Sellar labs. If you’re not using it to e-business to take your wholesale accounts of course you’ve got to use it for private label right. You need to understand the keyword you want to understand a key. Go look at your competitors get their keywords and then use them. That’s smart business right because they already have proven that proof of concept. But take the same approach to your wholesale accounts. Make sure that those keywords are in there. If not upload those changes many times you can but many times you can take advantage scoped from seller labs.
Stephen: [00:01:26] Go to Celebes dot com slash scope use the code word momentum save a few bucks get a few keywords get your listings found got to find that keyword and scope will be the product that will help you their solutions for e-commerce. Karen laager you know again you hear me talk about her because she is my account manager she’s been doing a great job. Again I had some stranded listings and I notice them down there on the bottom right hand corner. They’re gone. I look back and they’re gone and I see stuff submitted. I see stuff return. It’s such a great process because I don’t have to pay attention. I can pay attention. The other parts of our business solutions for e-commerce slash momentum will save you 50 bucks.
Stephen: [00:02:07] Lowest Price she offers and you still get the inventory Health Report. Take a look at a setup for 2018 now. Tell Karen I sent you when you think about Q4 lists and I hope you don’t use them just Q4 I hope you use them all year long again. You want to learn how to fish right. And so the best thing to do when you’re buying the list is look at what they’re doing and how they’re doing it and then figure that out on your own. That’s the approach that Gala’s B uses and a million dollar arbitrage list. It is closed for the rest of this year. However I have asked them and they have said they would do it if there’s an opening they will pull from the wait list. OK so I have the link out on my site.
Stephen: [00:02:49] On this episode that will have a link that will take you right onto the waitlist. So get on the wait list if there’s something that you’re interested members you’re going to give you a seven day free trial. So there’s nothing to lose but once you get in there take advantage. Learn how to fish right sharpen your tool sharpen your skills I guess is the right phrase I should use. OK so again I have that link out on this episode. So jump out there and get on that list you know go daddy and Grasshopper are both national sponsors of the show. I’m very fortunate. I have a third one coming on in February. Very excited about that. But go daddy. I use them with somebody who had a great idea for and for a domain and I’m like.
Stephen: [00:03:32] Use my link save 30 percent 30 percent. Yes they pay me. We all know that. However 30 percent is real. I use it myself because I want to save 30 percent. So it’s try go daddy dot com slash momentum right. Try go daddy dot com slash momentum and you’re going to save 30 percent grasshopper’s the same deal try grasshopper dot com slash momentum and you’re gonna save 50 bucks. I saw somebody else signed up for it. The service makes you a professional. All of a sudden your business has a phone number has a vanity phone number you can kind of create your own one if it’s available but you don’t need a second phone. And I think that’s the big thing. It’s not Google Voice which is choppy sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t. This is professional stuff. Press 1 for customer service press 2 for my Amazon account manager which would go to Kerins team. I mean this is a great opportunity.
Stephen: [00:04:23] So it’s try grasshopper dot com slash momentum save 50 bucks. Welcome
Cool voice guy: [00:04:29] to the e-commerce momentum board guys. Will we focus on the people the products and the process of e-commerce selling today.
Stephen: [00:04:37] Is your host Stephen Peters and Ray welcome back to the e-commerce Momina podcast. This is episode 257 BBSes stack. Get ready for a cool story. She marries into the business she improves the business he accepts the help. Now that’s a marriage that is working great story. Love it. Love it love it. Let’s get into the podcast. All
Stephen: [00:05:05] right welcome back to the e-commerce in a podcast very excited about today’s guest. I love the story I’m always about a story and I love a story and their story is quite interesting and I think more importantly the execution of their story.
Stephen: [00:05:22] Their sales techniques is probably one of the best that I’ve seen. Very
Stephen: [00:05:28] very impressive and clearly clearly this powerful duo of which I have one really knows what they’re doing. So please welcome Barb systemic. Welcome Barb.
Stephen: [00:05:40] Hi there thank you and I met in Chicago and somebody was like that you’ve got to talk with this person because she will blow you away and you did you did blow me away. And when I went out to your website I was like wow. I mean clearly there’s an artist in the family clearly somebody has has an eye for marketing or you know what people want. I mean is that you or your husband.
Barb: [00:06:09] Well we we work together though. Yeah. Yeah. Thorney on our net which is a red light life. Like I don’t have a background in marketing and journalism and communication so it kind of went together very well.
Stephen: [00:06:29] So journalism. So you were going to be. We used to call them because I came from that business. The poets they used to come to me and say Steve the Poets need more money the poets the more money. And that was always the little tease between the editor or myself so you went to school for journalism.
Barb: [00:06:46] I did. I did. I did and got to be a journalist. I found out though I had more interest than more. Better Nachbar marketing so I migrated into marketing after several years. Being a writer and now.
Stephen: [00:07:01] An editor. What were you going to. What drove you to journalism.
Stephen: [00:07:05] Was there as you know when you growing up with their stories or sometimes there’s you know writers that you follow. Were
Barb: [00:07:12] you a big reader you know what I’m not you know I grew up a long time ago. Now expectations for women of the time that I grew up were are very limited.
Stephen: [00:07:26] You were going to be a secretary. My wife tells a story her father came from Italy says you could be a secretary. That was his whole world. There are new moms or secretaries. That was it right.
Barb: [00:07:37] Yeah yeah that was the outline for me. I could either be a secretary or a gym teacher. And I didn’t want to be either one of those. And so I looked around and thought Well where could I break and somewhere that’s not either. But within that journalism fired me. I’ve had a nice writing teacher in high school that you know appreciated what I could bring to nothing. So I grew up that way.
Stephen: [00:08:07] So the you you were inspired by them but they encouraged it. So you think gift for writing.
Barb: [00:08:13] Yes they encouraged that. And it was you know a couple different teachers. You know you have your own style and some like it and some don’t. So I really was encouraged by the ones that like didn’t just follow that you knew that skill set.
Stephen: [00:08:28] So you know it’s great to be you know today’s day and age you can be anything right copywriting is huge lawyers big written thing are used to be know it’s maybe being able to surge you know on the Internet. But it used to be. Right so a lot of lawyers took journalism as a BS and it’s a very something copywriting is huge demand right now especially. I mean it’s just huge demand for e-commerce because it’s an art to get a paragraph to read well it is. It
Barb: [00:09:00] is and I found that that background has served me very well and and my eCommerce business because I’m not afraid to sit down and you know write a piece of copy and I certainly know how to do it. So it does help help tremendously. I don’t have to struggle and don’t have to outsource it.
Stephen: [00:09:18] What did you learn the art side of it because when I look at the Web site it’s very pleasing. I mean it’s just very very Pleven rebate story it’s very pleasing. You could clearly see that stuff isn’t just put there. You know the fact. I mean for example an amateur Web site has a license plate garage dot com and somebody should go look at the home page first. And when you look there just the way the pictures are tilted just the shadows that I see that give depth to the pictures when I’m looking at gift givers I’m just little things like that. That’s intentional. Correct
Barb: [00:09:51] yes it is intention all of you know to make it dynamic. I do have an art background as well. But that came much later. That was somewhere in the 90s. I for some reason decided I’m going to be an artist. So I went to my local college and said I’m finding upper classes that OK. So I kept going with that for several years. So that also helps very much with my e-commerce business. So I can have a good eye.
Stephen: [00:10:18] Did you end up as a journalist at a newspaper or magazine or something.
Barb: [00:10:22] Yeah I did. When I started out. I’m actually going through a little weekly and southern Florida. And that’s my first journalism job. When I went to several women bounced around different newspapers and came to the Chicago area that’s where I’m from. And with the editor of a magazine. Before that before I went into marketing at a software development company.
Stephen: [00:10:53] Wow. So an editor’s role is a much different role than a journalist’s role. That’s
Stephen: [00:10:57] a that’s a skill set in itself being able to take somebody else’s content and figure out what they’re trying to say and say it more concise tight consistent. Right that’s one of the big things about editing consistency right consistency and clarity and methods flow accuracy and grammar spelling.
Stephen: [00:11:20] You know as you said there told that story. I’m
Stephen: [00:11:22] thinking oh my goodness you are prepared perfectly for the content portion of an e-commerce world period.
Barb: [00:11:31] Now do have a lot of background in content creators just funny. Were
Barb: [00:11:34] you married at this point at which point.
Stephen: [00:11:39] Well we moved through your career because where I’m going is you meet a guy who has all this inventory based on jumping ahead the story a little bit but is this like a match made in heaven. I mean just like is that the way when the roads merge right there it’s like the perfect world. No
Barb: [00:11:55] it didn’t quite happen quite like that. We were both previously married to other people. We have both of our former Bamforth have passed away so we can jump ahead.
Stephen: [00:12:09] I have to I just it just fascinates me because you know jump ahead to the story.
Stephen: [00:12:15] You know the inventory guy means the perfect person who’s been perfectly groomed for the e-commerce world. I mean it’s just Pasni. OK. So I don’t want to get there yet because I want to hear I want to hear how you get there so. So you jump into marketing software. Now you’ve suggested that you’ve been around for a while. What year would that have been approximately.
Barb: [00:12:38] Well I was I was software I started in about 90 83 1983.
Stephen: [00:12:44] Oh my goodness. This is rare software. This
Speaker 11: [00:12:48] is back like you know your first personal computer with a 40 pound compact. So and you had no DOS but I came from actually before that I was working at a newspaper in the newspapers in those days in the late 70s early 80s were using computers to set their time. So that’s actually maybe their first exposure and which glider me tremendously because they couldn’t type accurate lead with make a mistake so it would just drive me crazy.
Speaker 12: [00:13:20] When I got on the computer I could easily correct that. And that kind of like inspired my confidence to move forward in the writing world. So I after I moved out of that and got more into marketing I was writing PR pieces freelancing a lot and then I got hooked up with the writing software manual because nobody and they could write a software manual on your good software.
Stephen: [00:13:50] But you’re right you’re one of the responsible for those thousand page books with things that I can’t read. I mean you know half a half a page and I’m like All right I’m done. That’s it. Yeah I know the rest of the night. Nobody ever does that is that discouraging. I
Stephen: [00:14:05] mean one of the big things about a journalist right they always wanted to be the New York Times reporter is what they’re going to do right there. They’re going to go break this story in Washington. And so you know you want your stuff right and it was always pretty cool with somebody say Oh man I love what you write or whatever. Now you’re writing software manuals where you know there’s never going to be a person that reads it. I
Stephen: [00:14:25] mean there might be a few guys that don’t come out of their house. You’re never going to hear from them other than correcting your grammar or your spelling right.
Barb: [00:14:33] Or got it wrong somewhere.
Stephen: [00:14:37] Margaret Thatcher that’s opposite ends of the earth here. You know where you’re going.
Barb: [00:14:41] Well you know what that was all that was all about the money because that was very lucrative at the time because nobody did it. You could target high hourly rate.
Stephen: [00:14:50] So I was all over that and you were freelancing so you really you know that that would be very attractive right because nobody wanted to hire that person right because those type of people we don’t want working at our place right. But to be able to find one so that that is a skill set. Very
Stephen: [00:15:07] very few very good group of people that have that. Because I assume the technical side is pretty especially back then was really really complicated. It was very dry. It
Barb: [00:15:18] was more for the end user and not so much for that with the translate that tech guy to the end are so very dry that way the core sample inspections of manners became Borbon. So it was good I could do the translation for that could speak geek you spoke Kantha at that time.
Speaker 12: [00:15:38] You know I couldn’t I can’t do it anymore. But at that time it was more limited than it is today.
Stephen: [00:15:43] Yeah for sure but that’s still very impressive. OK so so we’re moving on. We’re now writing manuals. I mean they’re massive too right. I mean so a for. So you’re going through that and you’re trying to make it so the reasonable person can understand it. I am. And are you working from home at this point or did you have an office.
Stephen: [00:16:04] I was working from home at that point Saddam versus I mean depending what kind of journalism you did you know if you said on the obit desk you had no freedom if you sat if you were a reporter you know you might have had a lot of freedom. Well that was attractive to you for other than money. And we already said that money. So I’m assuming that’s one of the big drivers. But what was it that was attractive to you about the freelance world.
Barb: [00:16:29] Well I think I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit and I’ve always wanted to do that and that was one way I could end it with a skill I had. And you know you hear about the glamorous world of the freelancers. I thought I was going to have a glamorous job. So that’s why I kind of went that direction.
Stephen: [00:16:46] You could go to work in your sweats right. Isn’t that the big dream of everyone to go to work in your sweats and don’t worry. You know think about that though. Again this is preparing you because once you do get a taste of the freedom and I understand it’s not as glamorous. We live this life right. Very lonely actually.
Stephen: [00:17:06] Yeah but once you get a taste of it did you become unemployable or did you go back for another swing at the job market. No
Barb: [00:17:15] I didn’t become unemployable because no freelancing. You mentioned it was very lonely. And although the cash flow was very up and down so I had an I had a son and I needed a place I needed our own home and I needed a little bit more stability so I found a job actually had a some money and they were offering me a part time. Writing and software beta testing job and I thought well this would be perfect I can do both. So I went to work for the software development company 20 hours a week and then Finland they are acquiring it so this was an office in Chicago you physically went to weapon in Chicago but it wasn’t Chicago area yet. I went Wow.
Stephen: [00:18:01] So Chicago software companies exist or existed back then. Right. That’s interesting so because everybody wanted to be in Silicon Valley especially that right that’s when it was driver there. So you went to work part time.
Stephen: [00:18:18] And what was it like. You know because that’s interesting you know. Being free being independent that part of it not the consistent pay but going back to work in an office which I assume was a little more of this software is probably not as formal. Probably not real. But down ties and stuff like that. Maybe
Barb: [00:18:41] Mike right now you’re correct it was. It was not buttoned down at all. It
Barb: [00:18:46] was very describe it it was it was a different culture.
Speaker 12: [00:18:54] Support of a lot of people there that supported each other with a growing company with a new company so creative is right. A lot of creativity a lot of encouragement to expand beyond your boundaries for anything. There was actually a good place for me because it did allow me a lot of freedom to try different roles for my company. Did
Stephen: [00:19:20] you learn. I mean you know journalism is that accurate. You know business is right or wrong period. You know depending unless they change a style it’s right or wrong. Did you did you. So you already had that skill set that accuracy thing but now you’re in this software environment and I guess the technical world would be very specific to write very formant formulated very formal I guess it would be. Now you’re in this creative side of it. Did you lose a little bit or did you gain because of the documentation for process. Do you do any Yeah I think I know.
Barb: [00:20:00] I mean I certainly think I gained a lot in the documentation process. But at that particular point everything was evolving so fast including documentation that you had to leave the old behind and get on with the new me. Now we have video that’s the only way you’re going to dock it online there. We went from all trends with that we screenshot illustrated to let’s talk about how to use that in a friendly way like this application idea too. Now we’re going to get the book down to ten pages one page and then finally to know where we are today which is all online right.
Stephen: [00:20:43] So you get your help and reduce touchpoint. You know if you think about it this is why I’m leading us here because I see your life as a parallel to this e-commerce world very well. You’ve have skill sets and I always tell people Look I don’t care where you work. If you were a homemaker you got a huge skill sets more than I right because you’re managing multiple things and that meant that kids come out. You know I’m like oh my god get them done. You know as a man I can handle any or if I get sick the man’s sickness is even worse. Right
Stephen: [00:21:12] . You know if I get a call out of it’s it’s the flu. Right. I’m I’m in the hospital at least in my mind.
Stephen: [00:21:19] So but what’s cool to me is that you have a very you know you have a lot of examples of where you’re taking skill sets and now they’re all perfect for this world. And so while it seems easy to you would you make it easy and clearly you know what you’re doing. Other people have the skill sets and they’ve just got to pull it out and go back to it and say you know what I learned something good I learned in my journalism degree you are my sons in my case an accounting degree or I learned when I went to business school right. They taught you business right. That’s what you got to do is pull it out and apply it. And this is very relevant stuff and you’re a perfect example of that. OK. So we’re we’re cranking in the software world we’re hanging with the man good and wild and loose because there was no crash yet. So this is free money time right still.
Speaker 12: [00:22:10] Well it is. You know I have to say the software company I work pro with no specialized company with education software company. So we didn’t have quite a free and easy thing that you would have in the Silicon Valley you were more lean toward the education world even though it was you know very creative there with a different type of creativity.
Stephen: [00:22:35] OK so we’re leaning in there and what happens always great.
Barb: [00:22:40] I worked there for 21 years. I know it was. I did after two years I went full time with a great crew. You know it was a very inclusive very encouraging was wanting to do that. The company had a good mission you buy into it and they were helping kids with education.
Speaker 11: [00:23:01] And so it was a great place to be. And you were encouraged to expand your skills and where you could work at a company with a small company. When I worked there. And I was like 19 people so you were doing everything. And then it grew and grew and went to different roles. I finally ended up doing marketing also there. And we had the annual catalog that I won awards with for that design and creating a reading that.
Barb: [00:23:35] And finally I ended up in R and D as a project manager intern day and on the executive team.
Stephen: [00:23:44] So you got to see that industry evolve.
Stephen: [00:23:48] Yeah for me because it changed languages right Talian times.
Stephen: [00:23:54] It became from the geek design to user user friendly right from the old DOS to Windows ride or you know Penny it was magic but it went to real. So you saw it completely evolve again another parallel to e-commerce. You know I mean really at this point are you are you messing with eBay at all at any point during this time.
Barb: [00:24:19] Yeah yeah absolutely. I think my first catch is that eBay was around 2000 around in there.
Stephen: [00:24:30] And you had no fear because you’re a computer right now no you’re a nerd. I mean I’m just going to call you you are officially a nerd you could had a shirt that converted nerd. I made it for the nerd squad. I mean you had no fear. Computers when they were hard to use.
Barb: [00:24:46] Well right. Didn’t get any easier. So that was I was very thankful for that as well. But no I didn’t have a need for computers I had no idea because my personal computer was 1983 was always in my life and it was just a tool that I use on a daily basis. So you know one of the things with computer experimentation and not being afraid to jump in and do it can hurt too much.
Speaker 12: [00:25:08] So I was able to when that came out. Remember AOL I was on AOL you know all the time just goofing around and playing games with groups can help you get involved with that.
Stephen: [00:25:24] So what was your first foray into selling. What were you going to sell.
Barb: [00:25:29] Oh well of course bindweed this week.
Stephen: [00:25:34] So hold on. So we’ve changed men. Right. Right. OK. So all right so somewhere in there you’ve got remarried right. Right. You met a man at his biggest attraction to you was the size of his license plate collection. It’s not true.
Barb: [00:25:49] I never even knew about life like what he’d ever told you. Well he told me he may have called me but you know meaningless. I mean this is like a 1999. You know I had no idea.
Stephen: [00:26:02] You were for about a couple license plates in the garage.
Barb: [00:26:05] It’s always just a little bit of a gray. We’re just getting to know each other and like are great and then normal once in a while he would bring me a life plate of the present you know kind of like a boy and that treasure win new girlfriend the hell. And of course I looked at it was totally unimpressed look. What is this with them.
Speaker 13: [00:26:27] I have to. I like diamonds. Hello. He wouldn’t go away. So how many did he have.
Stephen: [00:26:35] I mean now does he come clean and tell you. I mean does he ever say you know you thought I had a thousand and I had 2000 or whatever.
Barb: [00:26:44] Well I didn’t understand the numbers. Because you I didn’t even realize what people could have the many things that that type of thing. So I didn’t understand that he told me that before. You know he came when we got together that he that he sold like 10000 of them. So it leaves 10000 more than when he came with which was probably 30000 and he’s going to go stop there suck at Holdom thirty thousand license plates. I’m
Stephen: [00:27:19] just trying to envision what that looks like I’m thinking at all right. So
Stephen: [00:27:23] if I take a copy paper box I could probably fit because you’ve got to be careful how you jam him in there maybe a 20 when a generous 20 baktun no 20 plates in a box maybe because I know they stack but you know you don’t scratch and you get a little something between.
Barb: [00:27:41] Well no not like that at all. Not like that or not. It’s more like Selvan saw who’s still sell them in racks then piled up here and piled up there. They’re everywhere. Yes they’re right and his house and his old license yeah just pull out the hug like a four car garage. I. Couldn’t get a car in two and a whole basement that was full of bomb. And so it was it was that that kind of thing.
Stephen: [00:28:14] So to scare you. I mean they could back you know. Know that sounds a little obsessive although it sounds like you made money so it’s not a fault. So I want to pretend like it does sound a little obsessive 40000 license plates at a given time. That’s that’s a little obsessive. I
Barb: [00:28:30] didn’t think about the time of like OK whatever you’re doing for doing and all I’m doing OK.
Stephen: [00:28:37] So he brings this to the relationship right. And he was was he selling on value at that point.
Barb: [00:28:43] No no he was selling at Club me you know clean merch car show car. Why me.
Stephen: [00:28:53] Regional to you. Or did he travel regional.
Barb: [00:28:55] Pretty much right here in the Illinois Chicago area. Once in awhile there. Was a yearly international convention and then her go to back up all over the country. But that’s one thing.
Stephen: [00:29:08] There’s a license plate convention. Yes
Barb: [00:29:10] I know there is there is an international and convention and they haven’t made in the summer. Usually they travel around it could be in California could be in Rhode Island could be in Chicago could be in Ohio.
Stephen: [00:29:24] Each year changes it had to be in Pennsylvania because we only have we have two big car things car. Carlisle myself where I live car shows massive car shows and then her she has the antique museum antique auto museums.
Stephen: [00:29:37] And those people end up there. Yep. OK. So he’s selling.
Stephen: [00:29:43] And you guys get together. Whose idea was eBay. I mean was it you staring at 30000 license plates saying I’ve got to do something or was it him saying I need help.
Barb: [00:29:55] Well it was more like I you know he would tell me like keep selling all these things and making money on it that I didn’t believe in. So I wanted to come with them to swap meet. So I went down we packed up the truck and back and going back to the plates and a table. And he sat up there and guys come up to the table look at the look through the boxes find when they want and give them money. This went on all day and I could not believe it. They were older collectors than. I so my marketing mind sort of thinking well you know you need a sign you get you need to have an organized by year and you have to like maybe put a sign a 19th or either here the 1940s and you can be a kind and you could use more tables like bringing all the things that come out of it. Let’s step up.
Stephen: [00:30:50] You can make money that’s at the point you knew the relationship was there was solid. I mean when he accepted your help because for him he’s like wait I’ve been doing it this way ever. And I assume he accepted your help. We’re at this other point live but. That’s a pretty big deal. I mean to me. You know you brought something you viewed his efforts right because of your skill set. I mean that’s cool. That’s what a good solid partnership does. I
Barb: [00:31:23] think what happened is I think you resisted at first because I always thought it was right. But then he’s a guy it didn’t work Dagnino with a guy like being in a mess and they like you know digging through stuff like that but maybe even maybe I know some guys that are happened anyway we start to make it a little bit more money so more open to take your little tweaks. All
Stephen: [00:31:46] of a sudden makes the tent went up and he’s like wait i don’t have to stand in the sun all day great them. Oh when it rains I don’t have to cover everything because they automatically cover that with them and I get it. I mean I can see why he would think of it not even think about that stuff because he was going to talk about something. His passion. Right. I imagine he does. License plate geeks you talked about this you know. Oh you should have seen the one. You know whatever I can imagine those conversations. So there was some some wins so you didn’t approach it like hey you’re doing it wrong. So hey I can help you right. Absolutely. There’s
Stephen: [00:32:24] a big Protip for relationships marital or you know significant others. Also though even for business relationships right. You’re approaching it that way. Absolutely. That’s why women are smarter anyway.
Stephen: [00:32:39] Ok so so we’re going and you’re enhancing that business right.
Stephen: [00:32:44] And the light bulb goes on for her.
Barb: [00:32:47] Well for Tom the intercom he said he said to me you know because he goes to the collector is without me a lot. You know guys starting to buy this thing right now on ebay. Maybe we can try it or what. OK. We’ll take a look at it. So I looked at it and I think he was actually buying plates on eBay for his own personal collection. Well what is wrong with her. Let’s give it a go. So we got some places together figured out what we’re going to go on taking pictures you know and dialing up all the things that we are putting down and putting through my mind and an eBay account. We had an eBay account and I thought that was then.
Stephen: [00:33:39] Do you think that he would have gotten there had you not helped him see. There were other ways. I mean think I mean maybe eventually. But do you know what I mean. Like all of a sudden he his method what he’s probably used for a zillion years you enhanced they saw he saw a benefit and then all of a sudden another new idea comes along this thing called eBay and maybe this is an opportunity for us do you think he could have gotten there as quickly as he did. No
Barb: [00:34:07] I think. Well he’s not very technical at all. So he like giving anybody any good by thinking that that was about it. He could not. You cannot sell an e-mail you couldn’t take a picture and couldn’t upload it can’t do any of that. So he but he was great he understood the opportunity because he brought brought the play that they was willing you know it started out to be a project with my son to work could work together with the profits because my former kind of geek like I am warm and a geek than I am and that’s how I got started that way.
Stephen: [00:34:47] I think this is another one of those pro tips that moment to sit there and say if you want to get somewhere sometimes you don’t have to go and jam it down their throat. You can you could leave them there you know like any good wife does she leaves her husband I know my wife does it. I catch her doing it leading me somewhere and it works. So I just think that’s a great great lesson there. And so now once your ex X I always say my horizon my hands always go up and nobody could see this but once you’re expanded right that those those walls are taken down and then you start to see there’s bigger world. It sounds like that’s what happened for Tom. OK so success happens we start to sell license plates to other places maybe even other countries. Oh absolutely.
Barb: [00:35:30] We do today. All over the world because of that eBay makes it easy to do that even outside of eBay. We’ve gotten back into the.
Stephen: [00:35:43] And you have your own your own Web site. Does it actually do you actually sell off of that Web site.
Barb: [00:35:49] No. We use the web link for information on how we handle length to our e-mail. But that’s the great platform. I think for for what we do. You know I can double up and. We have another storm a Web site that you know will the work to to that’s a good point. So
Stephen: [00:36:07] let’s talk about that for a second because this issue comes up that came up this morning in discussion with my older son about inventory management. I’m all about inventory management and eBay does not have a good inventory management system right. We’re not even really a good third party system that’s designed for eBay.
Barb: [00:36:24] Similarly anybody does go ahead and get similar on Amazon they do. I
Stephen: [00:36:29] mean Amazon you could use an inventory lab or a skin power those they count.
Stephen: [00:36:33] You’re putting your cost in you can do physical reports and stuff like that. Nobody really has. I know there have been attempts at eBay but it’s evolved so much in the old attempts that are long gone. And so I think about that you know in his comment was that you know because I’ve got to figure out inventory because I have a huge eBay store about four times your size. And we have so much more to add. And it’s so to manage it and then think about other platforms and he’s like by the time you get it over there is it really worth it. And so it was kind of the discussion ultimately driving traffic isn’t easy. And eBay does an amazing job at it. I mean that’s that’s the reason that you really want to be on eBay right. It’s the marketplace for this type of thing period.
Barb: [00:37:14] I agree. I agree 100 percent in the marketplace. The tablet thing and they do an amazing job at marketing and bringing customers to right eBay. I could duplicate that. But it wouldn’t cost me more money and more time.
Stephen: [00:37:31] Where did your website wouldn’t look like this because you wouldn’t have the time to keep it looking like this movie this is this is even your photos there’s intentional. I mean I can see that there’s an intentional so that’s the tradeoff right you might get more volume but you probably lose it in sales anyway because it wouldn’t look as good. Right and you wouldn’t sell as much. Right
Barb: [00:37:49] . And then there would be more crazy trying to keep up with everything.
Stephen: [00:37:54] So being intentional about your business is that something to do. I mean again are we going back to your experience and maybe Tom’s too. Or is it because you’re getting older and your time you realize your time is more valuable. Or you know I mean you know I don’t would be uncomfortable here but I knew you’d lost a spouse and he did too. So you realize that life is short. What would you say. I’m thinking of other people listening and they’re thinking wow I’ve got to do this. Somebody said I need to do ETSI too. And somebody said oh I’m going to be on Bonanza and newegg and oh god forbid Sears dotcom or whatever you mean.
Stephen: [00:38:32] So how did you know you recognize that there are tradeoffs. How do we help others.
Barb: [00:38:36] Well you know I do I’m I’m a net marketer and I stay in my lane. And I think that that really really helped build my brand and I’m building my brand and not selling everything everything I can find I sell things and stay within my brand. And that makes the decisions a lot easier because I’m not tasting Heyl so I’m not going around in circle but I am intentional about what we’re going in am I give them what they feel like everybody else but I know exactly what I’m buying and what I’m looking for. And I don’t have to look at everything.
Stephen: [00:39:21] Does it make it easier for you. You
Speaker 12: [00:39:22] think it makes a tremendously easier. I can talk about what I do. I’m sure we’ve all talked to somebody that’s selling on eBay and what do you sell them that we want to sell everything and we think I can make a profit right.
Barb: [00:39:35] Doesn’t have any clue about who you are or what you’re looking for. And I have my I don’t want to go to Thorkel. I know that there there’s nothing compelling there. I can sell vintage license plates and other vintage Menkin collectibles decor. Well I don’t like to talk about. I think people are more interested in that and I’m more interested in what the other thing I think. I
Stephen: [00:39:59] mean this as if this is true when you do go to that to that estate sale because you’re looking at me antiques you have a different. So you’re seeing something that you know others would just pass right by. But you’re saying oh no that would look good in a man cave or something like that right. I
Barb: [00:40:18] mean that actually sharpens your eye. It doesn’t and does sharpen my eye. It is very laser focused and also helped me take risks. I go I can’t read. I do not research everything before I go because that would be impossible. I don’t stand there with my phone scan thing then go you know I think that’s rude. And this is my business. I see something I don’t know. It’s all valuable but I know what it would look good in my store. So I’ll buy it. Yes. Getting the right price of course. So I have come through a lot of estate sales on the last day unable to pick up some really really good stuff because other people here I don’t know. OK you recognize that you don’t want that.
Stephen: [00:41:03] It doesn’t fit in with this and that and quite frankly you’re when you’re at that tail end and you’re getting the best prices period because it’s going to garbage at that point. Right right. So you really have a big advantage. But others would say before you’re leaving so much on the table because you’re missing that early day right.
Barb: [00:41:24] You are missing that early day. I do go to early day and get cold. We’re waiting on line getting into the play. So and then usually the prices are a little bit too high. I think the collectors are the retailers. No go on the first day the reseller kind of have to go a little later and get better prices up my opinion.
Stephen: [00:41:51] So professional tips that are right there I don’t want to lose that because I think you’re spot on. So
Stephen: [00:41:55] you’re saying Hey Steve you buy me going the last day. I get the maximum profit for a sale as opposed to just making a sale because we’ve all made those sales were barely like oh god I almost broke even. Wasn’t too bad. BB I lost a little bit. That’s what we think about all that effort. And you didn’t make any money right. Right right. Right. Or very little money right. Yet if you go at the tail end with a different eye because you’re so. I mean I think that you know I think about takeaways whenever I do these things I always think about takeaways.
Stephen: [00:42:27] And your takeaway so far that I mean really one driven home is by by really notching down and staying in it. And I guess that’s a discipline thing to do because that’s got to be hard.
Stephen: [00:42:39] Man I’m a I’m a buyer I’m like I buy everything now but I’ll take it all. I mean what’s the price we’re all OK I’ll take it all that I’ve got a warehouse full of all right. I have a whole section called All That. It’s very nice but it’s all right.
Stephen: [00:42:54] But that’s a real powerful powerful example of what someone can do. Well let me ask you this why haven’t you go all in and go out to Amazon and scan in on targets and caps. Is that something that interest you in any possible way. Not
Barb: [00:43:11] really. I mean like going to other stores and doing retail Arbre.
Stephen: [00:43:16] Are Better get arbitrages and getting in and getting a big Amazon account.
Stephen: [00:43:22] And you know all that kind of maybe getting a hold on that. Oh no we can import from China and bring it private label. Is that not interest to you.
Barb: [00:43:30] Well that is my niche and I can also get my son around. Can I see my man cave collectible on Amazon.
Stephen: [00:43:39] Well but then you can’t make a living if you don’t. Is that true. No
Barb: [00:43:45] that’s not true.
Stephen: [00:43:46] Opas you get to people make it a living. Right.
Barb: [00:43:49] Right. Well yes we do.
Stephen: [00:43:51] But I just think it’s important for people to hear that because you know that you failed. BB You’re a failure because you’re selling on Amazon and millions on eBay I must know.
Barb: [00:44:02] I must be small potatoes and don’t know what I’m doing.
Stephen: [00:44:07] You don’t know what you’re doing. For how long.
Barb: [00:44:09] Oh Huntlee we were sold our first life plan in 2001. OK.
Barb: [00:44:15] So you don’t know what you’re doing for 16 years you better figure it out at some I guess well I guess so you know there’s something about Amazon that are interesting. What we have so much time and energy. So I have to put my time and energy where I think it’s going to maximize my income. In finance always. And also we’re going to enrich him more like enhanced life. Talk
Stephen: [00:44:43] about that for a second. You’re on your second marriage. He’s on his second marriage again. I mean now I want to play this up but it’s real life is short. Right. I
Barb: [00:44:52] mean it is for Frank it is very short. So no we’ve all done the the grindstone in the past that the path that it’s more like technical life so that we can enjoy the life that we want to do. I don’t need to be working 10 12 hours a day for somebody else or for Amazon I’m going. To work 10 probably hours a day I’ll probably only work Clere but it will be for me and it will be doing something you love.
Stephen: [00:45:25] And I think that that’s one of the challenges of like a podcast like this because I want to have people who are brand new who are or ones who are still in their corporate job just killing it and killing themselves every day and just hate it. Hate going to work right. Right. And they see that they hear you and they’re like hey I want that. But they don’t realize. Well I hope they realize that’s why I tell these stories. What it took for you to get here it was 21 years working at a software company. Right. It was all those years working in journalism it was going to get that journalism degree. None of these things were easy. That led you to this. You make it easy now. But again all those things led you here. Right. Yeah and I think that’s important for people to hear. But they have a story. You know here’s the other thing. How much have you given up. Right. By living this life right. You could. You’re not driving Rolls Royces I know.
Stephen: [00:46:19] Maybe maybe he might have a couple. Right. I
Barb: [00:46:22] mean there’s a tradeoff there is a tradeoff right. Oh it’s somewhat of a tradeoff. Yeah. No we’re bad driving Rolls-Royce. That is the goal.
Stephen: [00:46:33] So then we’ll know you made it or made it or you let me know so I can update this when you do get your first Rolls-Royce. But it’s a treat though right. I mean you do.
Stephen: [00:46:42] You do. It’s not like you’re settling. You’re just like you know hopefully you’re the same but we are like me I’m. I’m not willing to give what it takes to get that pass. Especially when you have I think it’s an age thing when you have so much stuff. We are. My wife is now making us Middlers minimalists she says. Steve does that class make you happy. And if not it’s gone. I mean literally look at them like hey what have Nicholas you said it didn’t make you happy.
Stephen: [00:47:11] I’m like wait now I got to be careful and I’m always like why are you asking Hey do you like dinner. Why are you asking I’m very worried about that right. But it’s the truth. You get to a certain point your life stuff doesn’t matter.
Stephen: [00:47:23] Right. Relationships do. Right.
Stephen: [00:47:27] You mentioned you have a child you have grandkids.
Speaker 12: [00:47:29] We have three we have three grandchildren together here and.
Stephen: [00:47:37] They’re pretty important aren’t they.
Barb: [00:47:38] Absolutely. Our whole families are important and we want to be be there and be able to travel when we need to and our families all over the country want to pick up and go and we can take it and do your opportunity. Now I go to my mom’s in Arizona and refunding anything.
Stephen: [00:47:58] And Daryn Indianan son and so they got to be looking at you like you’re pretty hip because here you are you know older and yet you have a business that’s running while you’re away that you know is making you money that you’re waking up and that does the cash register. Do you still turn down where it ring. I do have a card. Oh you’re sick. That’s a sickness. You know. So it’s so cool. So when it does that they look over like well it’s pretty hip. Pretty cool.
Speaker 12: [00:48:29] Like go there. There you go again. Yeah I think so.
Stephen: [00:48:34] You know you think about the lessons that you’re teaching your kids and your grandkids that you know. I mean you did it. You made it in the corporate world and you did that and then you set your own life. Do you think that they’re going to set their own life earlier.
Speaker 14: [00:48:52] And if so do you think you had an influence in that I regard one to answer.
Stephen: [00:49:05] Well it is hard because I don’t mean to be a spy but it’s like you know I’m assuming if you are like me you know my boys went to college. Hey you must go to college and do something right. That was the way it was because you have to have a skill you got to be in the competitive world. And now I sit back and my youngest one’s going to graduate next year and I sit back and say don’t go to work for somebody work for 10 people. So you could fire whoever you want. Right. I’m now encouraging them even though I was the one who pushed them through school to like my older son who was a chemical engineer has a master’s degree and like me and he’s now working for a consulting company might do that’s the smartest thing you can do because you could kind of choose your clients you know and it’s very that’s so different than what I went into it when I had them start school.
Stephen: [00:49:47] I’m like oh you must go because you’ve got to get that good job at that big corporate career and move up the ladder right now. I hope he stays. I hope he kicks the ladder out. So I wonder in your family have you seen that. Do you feel like you’ve had some influence in him.
Barb: [00:50:02] Well I think that I’m trying to do. I’m trying to implement that now right now because moving into that way risky and hard for some people to think about how I’m trying to be supportive and trying to show the way trying to model the way that they are other options for you. You don’t have to do it a B and C there are other options once you look at those. You don’t have to commit to something for a lifetime. Let’s try that let’s try that. Thinking
Stephen: [00:50:37] back to your example freelancing right. You were trading time for money. You said the money was inconsistent. Right. So there were a lot of options for you. But today with your eBay business for example if you wanted to make more money do you know how to do it.
Barb: [00:50:56] Well I think we’re always learning how to make more money. I think there are ways to do that.
Stephen: [00:51:05] I would think you could just list more. Right.
Stephen: [00:51:06] I mean just that was where I was going to hope that you could just add you could multiply your business and put all 30000 of his license plates up for sale in theory.
Speaker 11: [00:51:14] It very good.
Stephen: [00:51:17] I’m not saying there’s not a trade off I’m just saying but that option really didn’t exist back when you were freelancing even though you were pushing the envelope back there you know freelancing at that time you were really pushing the envelope that was that was that was a rare rarity. Did you know you were more of an exception than the norm. Right. So I just think now it’s a different world. And it’s I think it’s cool that they get to see it especially. I mean don’t get offended by this but to see a woman doing it to me. We’re back to the story where you were going to be a secretary. Right.
Speaker 13: [00:51:50] Or what was the other gym teacher or gym teacher. You know I wanted to do.
Stephen: [00:51:57] Now they get to see a totally possible if she wanted to be independent woman who could set her own hours who can travel when she wants to where she wants to. To me that’s like you know not even you know a guy getting free from the corporate desk. I mean this is you know the whole world. I just think it’s very cool especially if you have granddaughters. I think that’s I think they got to be look at it you like Graham can do it. I could do maybe I rosebowl.
Barb: [00:52:25] You know who I think I’m inferencing more the people that I see on a day to day basis. Oller. Other women entrepreneurs. I do belong to groups that we support each other and we can see each other grow and try different things.
Barb: [00:52:41] So I think my influence were more on my peers. We inspired each other and encouraged each other and celebrate Gengler and they’re not all in this e-commerce world. No no no. How did you find this group. I found this group run locally with you get involved with a business group met some people and gotten Robin to another group. Find your groups that you gel with the kind of people that you help each other with and you stick with that and grow.
Stephen: [00:53:18] I forget who it was somebody told me I forget who it is massive solar and maybe it’s John Lawson and John Lawson said that some of his best ideas come from his non e. He’s coming commerce groups. He goes in these groups and there’s a you know head of surgery and there’s somebody else and blah blah blah. And they’re so oblivious to the world that yes the most obvious questions that we all can’t see because we’re so close to it. We know that you know we know. And so he just said that that’s where a lot of his learning comes from. And is the boundaries that he has imposed and that you and I as friends is impose they’re gone when nobody knows what the heck what is e-commerce what the heck does that mean you sell stuff. Oh OK. And then it just the conversation goes different. So is that the same benefit you get in your group. You
Barb: [00:54:15] know that that is a huge benefit. I’m going to tell you a story about that when I first started on eBay. You know people have an attitude about people that sell on eBay and maybe there’s a stigma part there’s a stigma there.
Barb: [00:54:33] So I probably kept that on the down low for a while. Very I read that I can sell you know. It’s like a drug dealer. Yes. OK yeah yeah. Well I think it’s ok. Yeah we’re doing fine. And I got involved with some of the other group and they said Well that is the coolest thing I’ve ever heard. Why
Speaker 15: [00:54:57] don’t you talk about it why don’t you say that why aren’t you going. And this other group about wanting to do this and that while we cover. It all nobody really wants to know about that. Oh yes they do. This is like the cool thing. You really don’t understand how.
Barb: [00:55:12] How interesting that sounds. So it took me a long time in this group and other groups like that to realize that what we were doing or what I was doing was something special little extraordinary and go I grew more confident and talking about it and taking pride in embracing it and taking pride in that.
Stephen: [00:55:35] Did you benefit by giving out that information and sharing your story.
Barb: [00:55:40] How have you benefited from I benefited by growing my my own self-esteem about what I’m doing about being more public and talking about it in a much more positive way and going out and advertising and promoting myself this way and becoming proud of what I do.
Stephen: [00:56:04] I imagine it’s had to happen more than once. For somebody saying are Steve over there has got license plates. I know this guy. His son or the son called me at a bunch of stuff on there’s license plates.
Speaker 13: [00:56:17] Yup. They do. That’s awesome.
Stephen: [00:56:20] But you know again people are making what you said you’re now having that influence in that circle. Has anyone taken the plunge and got into an eBay or e-commerce world. After
Speaker 12: [00:56:35] hearing your story I do encourage people to give it a go. If.
Barb: [00:56:43] I have one friend that has her own Web site and I said well why don’t you try acting kind of like in that yawner just to get going and expand your online presence. No she was concerned that the page Arfeen and that the pay more for a Web site and so forth. Well if you can get it out there and just start getting a little bit of income going that way gives you a little bit more freedom and comfort to try to try to work on your own website and try other things.
Stephen: [00:57:20] Oh my goodness they were right. You are a good story. I love it.
Stephen: [00:57:26] OK so the gold us podcast is to help people move forward. Right. So the two things that I want to close with. One is I want you to help us move forward I want you to help us. You know maybe a couple tips or whatever and I you’ve given a whole bunch of them through the whole interview and that second if somebody has a follow up question is there a way that they can get in touch with you.
Barb: [00:57:46] Oh sure they can email me if they’d like to. He can email me at manager at like like garaged dot com or you can go to my Web site litl late garage dot com. There is a contact information there. You can go to eBay EBAY. Heidi I’m going me and my store name of the license plate Güneş can to me their methods right. Going at the like a white guy on Ebay.
Stephen: [00:58:18] I’ll have links for all these links. My goodness. I mean it’s hilarious.
Stephen: [00:58:22] But again let’s go back. I mean I’ll start off your your tips. The consistency. Oh my goodness. There’s an intentional every one of your listings every one of your photos are clearly intentioned. Absolutely
Barb: [00:58:36] and part of the part of the brand and it’s also it is a lot of ground you want to get you to know what to expect. This is you don’t get this information about everything. Totally open and you know love to communicate with all customers about everything.
Stephen: [00:58:58] It makes it easier doesn’t it. I
Speaker 12: [00:59:00] mean being consistent it doesn’t make it easier I know what I’m doing. I’ve got a template build so I can do it efficiently and effectively work to keep up with all the technology changes. But that’s another challenge.
Stephen: [00:59:11] But they continue to evolve. But again your whole life has been this world right. Right. So. So if there’s anybody who’s prepared for it the better it is.
Barb: [00:59:22] But you know this impacts everybody just the moment that technology changes because I had a nephew working for me and he was 18 I think it is good to he’s going to he brings his own equipment does everything that’s great. And I told him that we were changing our programs and we need to upgrade to better that.
Barb: [00:59:41] And he gave me a big sigh and said Why. Why did you know we have to change everything. And I thought wow here is that 18 year old being flummoxed by software changer. And I thought that they were all to be into it. No one was pushing us out.
Stephen: [00:59:59] You get to that full place. OK. So I have all that.
Stephen: [01:00:03] I’ll put all links to all this stuff again. I mean think about this to her story taking pieces all the way along. And now has created a love the next thing I love the fact that you could go to an estate sale. You know what it’s going to sell for therefore you know what you could pay for it because you’re so niched you don’t have to scan and you know you just know that a Colorado license plate is going to sell for this year is going to sell for blah blah blah. Therefore here’s what I can pay. And if they say less awesome if they say more. Now here’s what I can do or that I’m going to walk away. That is that is the beauty of being so damaged you don’t have to be a walking encyclopedia. You need to be a chapter of that encyclopedia or one book in that whole series.
Stephen: [01:00:49] Most people would even that wouldn’t Cyclopedia said. It as one chapter one. OK so let’s let’s close with helping people move forward. Give me give me something that you think that will help people benefit and go forward.
Barb: [01:01:05] Take risks. No. OK I do have a net. I do stay in that lane but I take a lot of risks to calculate risk not crazy risk but that might go out to an auction and I’m a and I’m seeing some item that maybe are just next to my nuts but not necessarily and I’m not quite sure but I have a feeling about it some time and money in that and buy them and then take them home and learn more about that. And then I can kind of go that way. I learn how to expand my nets and my my knowledge of what’s right tangential to what I’m selling so I can keep growing that way. Everything like I’m going to go on camera and a 100 dollar image being something I’m not quite sure of and that’s not that much. You can go ahead and take take that and call it an education costs tuition.
Stephen: [01:02:02] I love it. I mean I think exactly right. I mean what’s a hundred dollars you know you can’t do that every day. And you bet.
Stephen: [01:02:08] But you tried it. Did it work. You got 60 of it back. BB And you realize that this is probably not a good place to go.
Barb: [01:02:15] Right. I think my other I think like other big advice would be to really invest in yourself investing Klapper conference when I can give a platform and get that’s a core group start reaching out outside where you are. Get get involved with a business group or a real business here so we can be Parken chambers of commerce where we can be part of other business growth mastermind group can really do things to take pride in that and go forward and learn from them.
Stephen: [01:02:54] So not that secret. Oh yeah. So anyway you’re not talking about that. I love it. Man this is awesome. I am so glad that I made it work and really came through to really see the full picture of what you do. I just it’s awesome to me and it’s a perfect example of what can be because you chose that right. And in some cases license plate chose you. However until he was I’d like you to get a couple of little side hobby. And then boom he hits you 30 times. Love that. I wish I would’ve heard that comes. Well your eyes. We could run the other one. Thank you so. Thank you. I wish you nothing.
Barb: [01:03:41] Nothing but success was a real pleasure talking with you.
Speaker 16: [01:03:47] It’s a cool story. Very cool. Very neat that a guy would allow his new bride to give him help. That’s a mature guy. Again that’s a marriage that’s working because you know what she brought the skill set. And he’s smart to accept the love love love that story and I just think that that’s what makes a marriage work. That’s what makes a relationship. That’s what makes a partnership work. Quite frankly a man if you can find somebody who can complement what you’re doing accentuated you’re not going to get one plus one equals two you’re going to be like three or four so-called e-commerce momentum dot com. Check out my sponsors. I saw Kara Locher raised her rates. However the service is unbelievable. Now she’s taking more of a brand approach. So if you’re thinking about getting to a brand level that’s a smart move and that’s really the smart move and she can help you with that and she can help you on multiple platforms now which is very very cool. Love what she’s doing on Shopify e-commerce momentum. Dotcom ticker.
Cool voice guy: [01:04:48] Thanks for listening to the e-commerce momentum podcast all the links mentioned today can be found at e-commerce momentum dotcom under this episode number. Please remember to subscribe and like us on iTunes.