274 : James Thomson – Continuing education for ecommerce sellers at the Prosper Show


James is back and man is he on a mission. His mission is to continue with the education YOU (WE, ME) need in this fast-pace, ever-changing continuously-evolving world we have chosen. Think CPE’s for those in the Teaching, engineering, accounting, legal and other professions. Oh and Michael Gerber of eMyth fame will be there!


James first interview #147

The Prosper Show ticket information

James’ contact 


Gaye’s Million Dollar Arbitrage List


Scope from Sellerlabs



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]               Wanted to take a second and recognize my sponsors this week. You know Gaye Lisby million dollar arbitrage as Edge and list. That’s a mouthful. It is. But guess what. It’s a great opportunity. You know you can build a big Amazon business. You don’t need a lot of capital when you start. I mean we all started you know most of us started selling books and then move into retail arbitrage. That is the place that you can turn your money. The vastness and online arbitrage. And so by having that skill set by learning those skill sets you can get the best bang for your buck. And so Gase group will help you learn online arbitrage. It’s more than just a list service they’re going to give you a whole bunch of actionable inventory every single day. Right. Monday through Friday. However there’s also a mentor ship that goes on and that mentor ship is so important because sometimes it’s great to know what to buy but it’s more important to understand why to buy it. And it’s that you know learning to fish or just getting fed. You know you really want to learn because ultimately you want to strike it on your own. And this is a great way to do it. So how about seven days free trial how about a free trial. Right. Very very cool. So it’s amazing freedom to come forward slashes a mouthful the word momentum carries a hyphen. And you put in the word arbitrage. So it’s amazing freedom does come forward slash momentum dash arbitrage and you’re going to get a free trial in Gase group. You got to tell her I sent you right. I also have the link in the episode. But it’s such a great opportunity.

Stephen:                             [00:01:40]               She is amazing amazing I’m in that group. So you’ll see me there an amazing amazing person who’s there to answer your questions who’s there to help lead you and help guide you and that’s what Kay does. She does it every single day. The testimonials are real. Go take a look.

Stephen:                             [00:01:55]               You will be blown away. And again it’s a free trial. I have the link on this episode. Reachin you know Sellar labs Jeff Cohen and the team they have blown me away with this scope project. We use this all the time for our business. We do a lot of private label we also do a lot of wholesale and wholesale bundles you know or multi packs that kind of thing which a lot of people do but we use scope to help us figure out what are the key words. And so it’s really simple. You basically figure out where you’re going to sell what you’re going to sell what category find that like product. Find the top couple sellers and find their keywords. Boom magic. There you go. You copy the best because it’s working. And guess what. That’s a proof of concept and scope allows you to do that. So it’s Sellar Lapps dotcom forward slash scope Sellar labs dotcom buzzword slash scope use the code word momentum and you’re going to get a couple days free trial and you’re going to save a little bit of money and you get to get some free keywords. It’s worth every penny. I’m in that group. Come and check me out. Celebes dotcom forward slash scope again use the word momentum. Solutions for e-commerce. Karen Locher great great great group.

Stephen:                             [00:03:11]               I’ve been using them for a long time and I guess over 2 years and I’m in there and pages like everybody else. Yes she’s a sponsor of my show but she makes me pay. And I get the same 50 dollar discount that you can get. Oh by the way you’re going to get that through my link and my link only. Oh and you’re also going to get the free inventory health analysis. Great way to start 2018 get your inventory in line and Karen will help you do that. We use it for everything. I mean basically you know long term storage fees coming up. Guess what she will evaluate. She’ll make some recommendations. And also check check check take these out this return blah blah blah blah blah. And magically it’s done. I love it. Love it. Love it. I love the fact that they take and get rid of stranded inventory for me. I see it in there.

Stephen:                             [00:03:56]               And then next time I go in and it’s gone. Love it love it love it. Got an IP infringement. She’s going to help you work your way through that. This is the kind of service that you get from Karen Locher that solutions for the number for e-commerce solutions for e-commerce dot com forward slash momentum. Right. So you got it forward slash momentum and you’re going to save 50 dollars a month six bucks a year by just clicking that link. She pays me. I want to hide that I never do. I’m always upfront about that but it doesn’t cost you anything additional. And you’re going to get that inventory Health Report the only way you get that is through mine link solutions.

Stephen:                             [00:04:33]               The number for e-commerce dotcom forward slash momentum welcome to the e-commerce momentum podcast where we focus on the people the products and the process of e-commerce selling today. Here’s your host Stephen Peterson welcome back to the e-commerce momentum podcast.

Stephen:                             [00:04:54]               This is episode 274 James Thompson. Now James runs the Prosper show. Mazing show. More amazing than ever been. Look at the agenda and I have a link to it. Be clear I don’t benefit in any way. However I’m blown away with the education that they’re going to give you. It’s funny we got talking about CPS being an accounting profession or if you’re a teacher or any of those kind of profession engineers you have to do those continual profession continue continuing professional education CPS. It’s almost like we need to do that now as e-commerce sellers as it evolves because the issues that we’re dealing with driving traffic right how to because you’re competing against major major companies and Jim talks about that click funnels now. Right. Who is dealing with click files and you see all the stuff out there and your heads probably spinning when you’ve got to go learn about this stuff. So again I don’t benefit in any way other than you having more success and really learning how to compete in this crazy world that’s evolving faster and faster and faster. And for the seven hundred ninety nine dollars it costs to go to this event for you to be able to sit there and get involved in this at that level I think is a great deal and just an amazing opportunity. So go look at the agenda. So it’s prosper show dot com it’ll blow you away because I’m blown away. I love the keynote speaker. I can’t wait. Very impressive. The other place that we got to in the conversation that really got me thinking differently. Maybe I’m a smaller seller so I think this way is like oh you know I’m sold on Amazon I want to sell on Wal-Mart or jet or whatever. He’s like well you want to think a little bit bigger than that. You know these are small. You know when it comes to the U.S. it’s Amazon pretty much and everybody else. But go look at some of these other countries. There are massive massive marketplaces that nobody’s even talking about. And he starts saying hey if you’re building a brand maybe that’s the place you ought to focus.

Stephen:                             [00:07:00]               And I was her I think my jaw dropped when I was listening to him and I’m thinking. You’re right. You know that you got to think bigger and it all comes down to strategy and this is what James is focused on and that’s why he’s so successful. Let’s get into the podcast.

Stephen:                             [00:07:16]               All right welcome back to the e-commerce podcast and I’m very excited about my guest who’s return guest and he’s kind of got he’s kind of busy. He’s been he’s been putting together kind of the biggest event in our little e-commerce world that I’m aware of. Maybe there’s some bigger ones but not that I’m aware of. Not that I get invited to James Thompson. Welcome James.

James:                                  [00:07:39]               Thanks for having me on again.

Stephen:                             [00:07:41]               Well I appreciate you coming back on. So here’s James story you got to go back and listen because the dude’s got a pedigree he’s got knowledge he’s got he’s got a lot going on 147 which I’m now into. So it but half halfway. Wow. About double. November of 2016 was the last time we talked. That’s incredible. I just thought it was last year and I didn’t realize how long ago it was. You were busy because you have this little dinky conference called prosper coming up March 13th and 14th in Las Vegas. It’s just a little dinky thing right. There might be a couple of dozen people there you think.

James:                                  [00:08:20]               We are able to attract 13 4200 people to this event. And quite frankly you know if we had more room we would welcome more people than that because this is a continuing education event. It’s all about how do you bring knowledge and expertise to bear so that more people can learn how do you help people get authoritative content rather than having to waddle through Sellar Florham contacts and try to find information. So

James:                                  [00:08:51]               I’m a big believer that we can’t look to Amazon to find the information that’s needed to be successful solvers. It’s also important to have a method of vetting content and vetting speakers to find high quality content and high quality topics. That’s going to help all of us become better sellers more efficient more profitable sellers he said continuing.

Stephen:                             [00:09:12]               It’s like a CPA. It really is a CPD continuing professional education. That’s what it seems to me because because it’s become sophisticated. I mean you’ve been in this world for a long time. It is night and day difference than a few years ago isn’t it.

James:                                  [00:09:30]               I was 10 nine years ago. I was Amazon’s first FBA account manager and that back in those days I was trying to tell people that hey Amazon has some extra warehouse space that you love for us to store your stuff and obviously you know look at where we are now with FBA look where we are now with sell it for full price. Look at our will we are now with no new categories that have come online and unified accounts overseas and all of exciting stuff that quite frankly is fabulous if you understand how it works and what it can do for you. But it’s scary as heck if you don’t know how it works it’s kind of like a doctor saying well you might be sick with one of these 50 new diseases.

James:                                  [00:10:08]               We’ve just noticed but the reality is until you know what’s going on and you can figure out does that match what I’m trying to do with my own business. You know all these new options aren’t necessarily bonus opportunities. So part of putting sense to all these potential opportunities and saying I’m ready for this. I’m not ready for this one. I’m ready for this one. You know I could be ready for this one but I need to get a partner to help me with this in this particular area. There’s no way I’m ever going to do that because I don’t have the right kind of products or the right kind of sourcing know making sense of all of that. Gone are the days of somebody saying Wow Amazon’s big I should try selling a bunch of stuff there because I’m sure I can make money. Now the reality is we’ve got to have a very specific strategy. What are we trying to do. What’s our point of differentiation. How flexible are we what kind of data do we have to support our decisions that that kind of sophistication is now pretty much paramount to being a successful seller. And I’m realistic that you know it’s very easy to fail on Amazon.

Stephen:                             [00:11:10]               I had the opportunity to run Amazon services nobody says Jim by the way. Hold on. I don’t want to point you on that.

Stephen:                             [00:11:16]               Nobody ever says that you’re one of the few that has ever said that that it’s easy to say I’m with you I agree with you. But nobody talks about that. You know let’s let’s be honest. I mean you know most people are like hey this is the best thing since sliced bread is his miracles. This is the place that miracles happen. You know this is your chance to be you know this is the Wild West the gold rush. That’s what people quite frankly say and generally they’re offering courses and stuff like that. So here you are saying hey that maybe that was the time there was a time because I’ve been at the since 2011 and it’s crazy back then. But to be fair it’s different today.

James:                                  [00:12:01]               Well I look at it as unless you understand that if you’re brand new Sellar and you’re looking at selling on Amazon. First of all there’s two million plus sellers already there. Some of them have super sophisticated software they’ve built to scrape huge amounts of data and essentially find the needle in the haystack. Some of them have incredible sourcing capabilities far beyond anything that you know some guy gets on a plane goes to China and says I got somebody to build something for me. No they it all. There’s all sorts of business strategies out there that I didn’t even fully appreciate until I left Amazon and had a chance to do have some very frank conversations with some sellers about how is it you’re actually making money here. When I realized what they were doing I thought wow this is amazing. This is this is stuff where you know if I was a business school student seeing this my head would spin because this is not traditional theory of how you make money and yet people have figured out unique ways to do this. The other stuff that’s going on that quite frankly you need to know if you’re going to be a seller on Amazon you’ve got a lot of irrational sellers out there sellers who don’t have the right kind of data to drive their business. And they’re losing money left right and center. They don’t even realize it and you’re competing against these guys.

James:                                  [00:13:14]               And so you know you buy something you put a little mark up on it you try to sell it and you’ve got a competitor who’s selling it for 20 percent less and you’re saying how is that possible. I thought I have the best sourcing price and yet these guys are selling it. They couldn’t possibly be making money. You’re right they’re not making money. And the worst problem is that they don’t realize that they’re not making money but because they don’t have unit economics on their Skewes they may conceal the fact that they’re not making money on certain products for a long time and continue to be they’re competing against you and you’re saying Gosh I put fifty thousand dollars of hard earned income into this new business of being an Amazon seller and I don’t know how to how to actually make profit in that scenario.

Stephen:                             [00:13:57]               You’re not you’re not going against anything you’ve done everything right. You did the research you went and you did everything right. Like you’re saying and then all right.

James:                                  [00:14:05]               Except you didn’t understand what kind of competitive landscape you have. You don’t know what kind of companies you’re up against.

James:                                  [00:14:12]               And you assume that everybody you’re up against has a logic that somehow makes sense to you. And yet it doesn’t and you don’t necessarily think of all the overseas companies that you might also be competing against some of which may or may not be selling legitimate product.

James:                                  [00:14:29]               I mean how much time do you plan to spend selling product on Amazon where you’re spending hours a day filing tickets with Amazon just to level out the playing field and get rid of all the shenanigans that you may be having to deal with with your listings today. I mean that kind of stuff is not why people become entrepreneurs and yet to be successful Amazon seller you got to know where the landmines are and Amazon doesn’t have an incentive to tell you where the landmines are. People who sell you know silver bullet courses on make your millions on Amazon. They don’t necessarily want to slow you down from the reality of it’s hard work and you need slog everyday to make this work. I’m not trying to stop somebody from being a seller. What I’m trying to do is make sure their eyes are completely wide open. They know what the risks are and yes they also know what the rewards are. It’s very easy to say there’s millions to be made. If all I do is these three quick steps you know the reality is 99 percent of us don’t have anything particularly unique in terms of there’s there’s no barriers to entry what we’re doing there’s no meaningful secret sauce that somebody else couldn’t replicate. Just think of it this way if there’s 2 million sellers on Amazon every single one of them could be your competitor tomorrow if they decided to be on anything no matter what or anything you sell widgets I sell widgets your widget does this doodad my widget does this doodad.

James:                                  [00:15:51]               Well guess what if I decide that your widgets really that interesting I’ll go find somebody who will make me the same thing and if I’m clever or if I’m illogical about my margins I’ll decide to sell it at 10 percent less than you.

Stephen:                             [00:16:04]               Well that’s a good point. So give me an example so right there you and I sell the same thing you decide you say well we got Steve this yellow Starbucks coffee. Your so and there is amazing. Right.

Stephen:                             [00:16:14]               And look at the coffee cup I’m coming into you don’t tell me you’re coming into that marketplace. So what can you do different than me to make that to compete against me. Right. I mean because that’s really what it comes down to is why are some people not everybody is an outlier. That doesn’t make sense right. So there are outliers taking them out. But the general practice the business people how are they competing against all those other things you just described. All those other challenges. The best scrapers the teams the the people who were playing games with reviews whole teams just place in review years unfettered and all that just how do you compete against that.

James:                                  [00:16:55]               Well first of all I think it’s hard to get into the Amazon game with a short term plan. I think you have to be in this for the long haul. Meaning you may not make a lot of margin right now but you’re building the right infrastructure that says I have the right kind of reports I’ve done the right kind of work to figure out what kind of products make sense for my capabilities. I’m willing to be flexible and adjust out my catalog on a regular basis because the products that sell today the margin might get suppressed or evolve raised.

Stephen:                             [00:17:24]               You have to evolve. Okay good.

James:                                  [00:17:27]               So at the end of the day I can’t tell you how many sellers I saw during my Amazon when I was running I was on services companies that said I’m excited I’m a new seller in Amazon. My next door neighbor’s kid can give me access to this cool product. You know I got a pretty good price on it right then and there I’m thinking you know 90 percent of you are going to fail because the reality is you have no point of differentiation. You think you have access to a product that’s unique. You think your pricing is somehow better but how is it that you with 50 thousand dollars of startup cash. How is it that you’re competing with a highly sophisticated seller who has got millions who can place an order ten times bigger or better yet can go directly to the source and buy it at a different wholesale price and be willing to sell it for a lower margin because they’ve got scale that you don’t. OK I’m not saying that you’re not going to build overcome that but you need to recognize that you’ve got to be extra nimble. You’ve got to understand how to play the Amazon Marketplace game better than anybody else. How do you do listing optimization. How do you do advertising better than anybody else. How do you social media to drive traffic to your listings that kind of stuff. Most people don’t say oh I need a crash course in that in order to get started as a seller and yet to know what you’re doing as a success as a seller and course correct on a weekly monthly quarterly basis you need to have good data and you need to be willing to say I’m not emotionally connected to any of the products I sell. I’m in the widget selling business. And by the way Amazon is a transactional marketplace. It’s not about I’m going to build long term relationships with my customers you know to get a repeat purchase. That’s nice but that’s not how the marketplace set up to help you. You’ve got to think about how do I make a bunch of profitable transactions one after the other. Well you know just the mere the mere statement how do I be in the position of making profitable transactions. I better know my costs at the skew level. I mean I’d start 1 am I actually making money selling this product and we’re not talking you know what’s my procurement cost minus my Amazon fees I’m talking do you know your return rates and the return related costs. Do you know your overhead that you need to apply to the business. Are there any kind of hidden product development or business development costs or professional development costs that are part of you running the business that need to be factored into the sale of an individual skew if you’re looking at this seriously and you’re in a situation where you’ve figured out what the thresholds are that you need to meet to be profitable and any skew that then you’re going to be much pickier about the products that you sell. I couldn’t care less if you sell a million dollars of topline. What I care about is are you making bottom line.

James:                                  [00:20:15]               And do you know exactly whether or not you’re making profit on all the skewes you sell. I have worked in my days after Amazon and I’ve worked with a number of companies where the task has been let’s rationalize what you’re selling HQ and your catalog. Oh turns out we could shave 20 to 30 percent of the products in your catlike we could get rid of them completely. You would reduce your top line and significantly increase your bottom line. That is to say you’re currently actually losing money by the time you factor in your costs. You’re losing money selling these products. You’re wasting your time. You’re helping Amazon make money while no one else is making money and yet. Why are you in the business. You’re in the business to make money. And I can show you how to make more money by selling less product. That’s a kind of upside down model of how I like to run a business.

Stephen:                             [00:21:11]               When we were at Prosper’s show last time we’re sitting at a table right. I mean let me describe it to you right. Like you don’t know this. This is Munster’s room where everybody. Yes. And there’s all the vendors around it. And so we’re sitting here at this table and you just luckily get to talk to people and so there’s this young woman there. Very nice very polite we’re chatting with her. Turns out she’s running the new Internet sales division of this particular company. We’ve kind of joked about it and she’s like oh yeah they have a couple of thousand products they don’t know what to do. They don’t know how to handle it. They have a problem with Amazon sellers drop in prices and it’s affecting things in this. But they were investing in her and then she came to your event to get invested to learn to understand this because it’s now whatever products they’re selling. She told me they that thousands of products in her catalog. They’re taking it over themselves because they’re tired of dealing with non-professional you know whatever you know her the whole gamut that you hear when you look at the businesses. I mean are you getting more of those kind of companies approaching you saying look we need to learn and we need to learn at this high level. And then my follow up to that would be is again that’s another person that’s going to be much more sophisticated that’s competing against me isn’t it.

James:                                  [00:22:30]               So let’s start by talking about what are national brands doing today know that the brands that you and I know when we walk into the grocery store. National brands we walk in the Office Depot or Home Depot or whatever. You know those companies today the vast majority of them wholesale products to Amazon retail and Amazon does the one thing and those brands say gosh we are B2B companies. We know how to do the B2B sourcing or supplying to the major retailers well it out this Amazon Marketplace is so wildly different than a brand wholesaling products to some large brick and mortar retailer. And the dynamics in play are far more complicated. Not just because a brand needs to figure out how to make money on Amazon but because they don’t know how to how the other marketplace works inside Annaud it gives opportunity for third party sellers authorized unauthorized and everything in between to to make a living because they understand how to play the Amazon Marketplace game better than the national brands. And so what’s happening is some of these brands are starting to wake up and realize wait a minute we’ve we’ve lost control of our distribution which means we’ve lost control of our pricing which means the Amazon Marketplace is typically going to be if not the lowest close to the lowest price of anywhere out there online or off line and we don’t like the fact that all of our brick and mortar retailers are saying how come things are always cheaper on Amazon and we as a brand have to answer we don’t know who all these companies are selling our product. We don’t know why or how it is they got the product but it’s clearly causing a problem with pricing both online and off line. So some of these brands are starting to say we need to change the model because whether it’s selling products to Amazon or selling it to an authorized reseller or an exclusive authorized reseller. In the end we need to control distribution so that we can be in a better position to control pricing better positioned to control what inventory what selection is available on Amazon and try to create price parity Amazon with all of our channels so that we don’t end up creating huge strife with all of our brick and mortar partners or worse yet creating problems with distributors who say you know what I’m no longer going to supplier products or try to find other brick and mortar outlets for you because quite frankly customers are just going to buy on Amazon anyway.

Stephen:                             [00:25:02]               You’re hurting my brand. I mean that’s what they’re basically saying yeah.

James:                                  [00:25:06]               So all of these dynamics are in play for companies that are big sophisticated resellers third party sellers whether they’re national brands who have figured out how to do this themselves or their private label brands or you know general merchandisers who are third party sellers. The game is really about understanding how to make the most of the Amazon channel and to know where the weaknesses are. Not because of the design of the Amazon channel but because national brands don’t know what they’re doing or distributors don’t know what they’re doing or unfortunately many third party sellers don’t know what they’re doing or don’t appreciate that there are seemingly irrational behaviors being demonstrated by competitive third party sellers. All of that is in play at the same time and it creates the situation where there’s all sorts of pockets of opportunity to sell your widgets somebody else’s widgets as long as you know how to play the game better than anybody else and that’s a prosperous all about helping people figure out where there’s opportunity not only to play the game better on Amazon but how to be a better run entrepreneurial organization. Are you in fact a good business person. How are you doing the right things as a business person. Not just to make cash each year. But are you building assets that can be sold.

Stephen:                             [00:26:23]               What are your dreams so many people assets. That’s the new phrase are you building an asset or are you just you know have a job.

James:                                  [00:26:32]               Short term cash flow that comes by you being a seller is all very nice and well when the day comes that you say I don’t want the seller anymore. Is anybody going to pay you for what you’ve built. And in the case of a lot of third party sellers unfortunately there’s not really anything to sell. OK I’ve got some inventory you can buy but OK that’s not an asset. Do you have a brand that’s worth buying that turned into something bigger and better. My frame of mind. No I didn’t I didn’t really appreciate this until maybe two years ago. But I’ve taken on that frame of mind. I’m a private equity investor. I’m going to buy something in three to four years. I want it to be worth a lot more than I can turn around and sell it. Well if I was in the business of putting money into a brand new Amazon seller and saying I need you to build me something that I can sell for you know 10 million dollars in four years. The vast majority of third party seller accounts would completely fail in that dynamic. Instead what we would see is the owner of those third party accounts being in a position where yes they are definitely building annual Evony annual revenue and annual income. But there’s no asset of any value that anybody would buy from them. And yes some companies get into building private label brands but it is really a brand. Or is it just a product that has your brand name on it. Very big difference between the two.

Speaker 13:                        [00:27:53]               What’s the difference. Yeah go ahead.

James:                                  [00:27:55]               Tell me what the difference would be a brand is to me a brand and this is a little bit of an academic perspective but a brand is a product where you have put the investment into being able to extract higher prices than wherever the generic necessarily would be. So you know you sell a doodad that does this and this. Guess what anybody else could go to a manufacturing plan and get the same product made. But the fact that you put you know ABC brand on that box makes customers say Gosh I’m willing to pay a premium because I love the ABC brand and I want to pay a premium for the opportunity to use this product. Well that’s really what a brand is.

Stephen:                             [00:28:36]               So the car lets its take of Tesla versus all these other electric cars or Cadillac versus General Motors right. So that’s a good example.

James:                                  [00:28:46]               Yeah they’re all brands and there are different brand promises to each of them. You know if I’m comparing buying a pinto versus buying a Tesla I don’t know if you can buy Pinto’s but you know just for the sake of those you’re dating yourself there.

Speaker 13:                        [00:28:58]               Did you just want to buy a Chevette.

James:                                  [00:29:00]               No it’s a good car for the price range but it’s not going to have a bunch of features and a bunch of experiential aspects that are going to get me excited. You know maybe a functional vehicle but it’s not going to have bluetooth it’s not going to have a six CD changer it’s not going to have GPS incorporated into it and thus free Spotify account. All right good stuff. Now if I buy Tesla there’s gonna be a bunch of other stuff in there that is included. And so I expect different things out of the brand. Well you know obviously there’s a different price point for the two and the cars are not comparable in many other dimensions as well. But even if I take two brands that functionally look very similar. You know the fact that I take a can of coke and I put the coke label on the outside versus I just take a blank aluminum can and I put something in there that is basically the same. I don’t feel like the same human being when I grab that can and I open it up and go ah I’m paying a 30 cent premium because I’ve got a can of coke in my hands. Taste exactly the same as this other can of who knows what in a generic looking label.

Stephen:                             [00:30:07]               So you could create this and let’s just stay with that example so anybody could create the soda and sell it in probably have a little bit of moderate success or whatever. But that’s not really there’s no real value to it because there’s like you said there’s not a big barrier to entry.

Stephen:                             [00:30:22]               However a brand would give you that that extra depth right that value that somebody is willing to pay for that intangible asset right.

James:                                  [00:30:31]               So today a lot of companies will build a lot of privately will sellers will go out they’ll they’ll source a product to put their brand name on it to get a PC and they’ll spend a bunch of money on Amazon to drive traffic to their listings because they’re bidding keywords that matter and they’re getting you know top 1 2 3 positions. Customers see the product and say I’ll try it out. Enough of them buy the product. Maybe that’s sellers doing a good job of getting feedback so the product starts to grow. Feedback over time but we don’t really have a brand yet because the reality is if you were to kill your advertising budgets and stand on its own your listings weren’t necessarily fully optimized for Amazon. Would people go looking for that brand when people go looking for the brand. That’s when I feel that you have. You have created extra value for the brand. When when you’re just buying placement where you’re saying my billboards bigger than your billboard you still don’t really have a brand. All you’ve done is you’ve suffocated the competition from being seen above the fold.

Speaker 13:                        [00:31:33]               That’s not branding that’s advertising that’s exactly different things attacking me asking acting. I’m not complaining I’m just saying that that’s not but that’s short term.

James:                                  [00:31:44]               You’re buying short term sales short term cash flow. But the real test is when the ads when the ad budget disappears. Does awareness or interest in your brand disappear or people actually saying I am looking. I love that. Now that Steven brand the ABC brand that’s fantastic. Give me that product. I’m going to go search for it I’m going to do a branded search for this item on Amazon versus a generic product search. That’s when you start to create some form of loyalty that people are willing to pay extra for. That’s not what most private label brands today have created.

Stephen:                             [00:32:19]               You know that’s a good segue because I’m sitting here thinking about your main speaker your keynote speaker and his whole premise and I’m I can drop his name yet is basically you know create something that you don’t have to do every single function. Right. It’s the talk is called Why Most Amazon seller businesses don’t work. And then he follows up with what to do about it. And so that’s very relevant to what you just said. I mean it is exactly what you’re saying. It’s Michael Gerber from Smith and it’s just fascinating to me that the business has evolved to you know to this point this quickly. Now you student perpetual student I mean this is a pretty fast moving Marketplace Marketplace. You know I don’t know what to call it I mean it it doesn’t happen this fast in the oil industry right or even the car industry. This is pretty quick how it’s evolved to this place.

James:                                  [00:33:24]               When you say I think we saw the same basics in place. You need a strategy. You need a plan you need data to evaluate how well you’re doing and when the Amazon Marketplace started you know 20 years ago you know there were a lot of people that could just throw whatever they wanted up there. It was new selection. Customers weren’t seeing those companies started getting sales. Amazon launched FBA which gave companies that weren’t really sophisticated enough to run large businesses. It gave them the operational opportunity to be much bigger than they probably deserve to be. Again nothing wrong with that. But you’ve got a mechanism here where at some point there’s enough competition on the on the platform that those companies that do have a strategy do you have data do have a formalized daily weekly monthly process for running their business that provides a certain level of discipline and a willingness to change out the catalog to change their pricing to change direction if necessary. Because competition has shifted too much making some part of their business really no longer attractive for them unless you’ve got companies that have that level of sophistication. They’re basically lucky guys who got on the street corner to sell product before anybody else showed up.

Speaker 14:                        [00:34:42]               When did that change.

Stephen:                             [00:34:44]               Because you’re right. I mean you’re right. It’s now at that place but was it last year the year before. Because there’s definitely been a complete change. I mean there’s been an evolution. It’s been in the last couple of years right. I know it’s been a slow change I mean it’s that ship that slowly changed. But I mean it’s like now it’s night and day. I mean there has been a we’re past that tipping point.

James:                                  [00:35:04]               Malcolm Gladwell will say I don’t I don’t know exactly when when this would have happened. And I think that there are still some sellers that are selling a lot of volume but quite frankly are spending far more effort than they should be selling that much top line only to discover they’re not really making any bottom line. It’s hard for me to give us a straight answer on that even because you know there are an awful lot of really large sellers on Amazon who are doing really well because they’ve got some discipline in place and they’re not. They’re not going to announce to the world hey we’re disciplined and we’re eating your lunch.

Speaker 13:                        [00:35:43]               They’re going to keep eating your lunch.

Stephen:                             [00:35:45]               And you would say that the place to start that discipline is I have a plan and that’s the way you started off this whole conversation. You have to have a strategy. You have to have something that you can measure yourself against. Win or lose right. I mean it might be working or it’s not. But at least you’ll know. And so all those things matter and it’s all that data. And so again this is where we get back to the Prosper kind of event this continual pressure professional education I mean it’s really what it is. It’s really if you’re going to be a professional seller it’s almost like a designation you could have by investing in different things and Steve doesn’t benefit. So I think you know you know I make money selling tickets for gym. No I don’t make a dime on it. I just sit back and I think every time I go to one of these things I’m smarter because I listen and I meet smarter people than me who are doing much worse Fisty I’m like. That makes sense. I can replicate that. I can add that to my business. This makes perfect sense. And when you do you know with the profile of the average seller that comes to prosper. Any idea what their sales are how long they have been selling or anything like that.

James:                                  [00:36:44]               So I can only provide self reported data from sellers but about 60 percent of our sellers do over a million a year and a million is pretty much the threshold to be top 1 percent seller on Amazon. So if if the room is more than half full with top 1 percent sellers I didn’t say they’re top 1 smartest sellers. I said their top 1 largest sellers but the good news is they’re at an event where they’re looking to learn more about how to make their businesses better and so the mere fact that they are attending asking questions of the speakers networking with each other to learn more about best practices. That’s really that’s really the beauty of building a community of people that want to learn. One of the hardest things about being an Amazon seller is that and I don’t mean to be male specific but you know most sellers are a man with standing on their own island you know or a woman standing on her own island. There’s not a lot of interaction with other sellers there to say. Do I know what I’m doing with this part of the business. Better way to be doing this. It turns out you know a lot of us are kind of learning by doing and lo and behold we may be wasting a lot of time covering ground that lots of other sellers before us have already covered and said there’s a much better way to do it or you can streamline that by doing this this and this or working with this third party service provider and they’ll give you the software and bingo you know that six hour a day task becomes a 10 minute exercise time.

Stephen:                             [00:38:15]               Right. How much is that time worth what your example. Six hours to 10 minutes. It’s worth a fortune.

James:                                  [00:38:23]               I don’t like the idea of somebody spending more time on their business just because they think that’s how they’re going to grow their business. I would rather you build a proper process set of processes and infrastructure that says I’ve got the right software got the right amount of time allocated to different specific activities. Some of them are short term activities some of them are no weekly updates. Some of them are monthly updates. Some of them are activities where now I reflect and say Where am I going to need to course correct in the next three months and what am I doing about it right now to start PrEP or preparing to make those shifts. That’s all discipline where you basically say I have only so many hours in the day the week the month I need to allocate at least a certain amount of time to know on day to day operational stuff I need to think more about you know how do I build and protect the wealth that I’m apparently growing here here. What am I doing to think about how to position my business for an eventual exit. You know this kind of stuff you need to take time to think through these things because if you know five years into a frustrating process of being a seller and watching yourself spend more time to make the same amount of money because there’s now more competition on Amazon. Now you may you may just walk away from the business rather than saying I’ve actually built something up that’s an asset that somebody will pay me for and I can get rid of this headache and actually make some money selling it to somebody else.

Stephen:                             [00:39:47]               I was reading a book this morning as a matter of fact and it was talking about business failings and it said you know I think it was 40 percent of businesses fail within the first five years and that it jumped to 80 in the first ten or something like that. Ten of us like 96 percent. And this was a general you know businesses retail restaurants everything. I wonder you if there’s an evolution going on in this e-commerce world now. Because you know as you’re describing it you know you’re sitting or saying hey wait a second I’ve got a whole bunch of companies that are investing time to learn something and they’re going back and putting it into their business and applying these concepts right. So you’re saying hey you need to learn now. And for three months out right or whatever those companies that do that absolutely distanced themselves right from others right because if they if they take this knowledge and apply it they have distanced themselves from Steve. And so I wonder how if we’re going to start to see that where you know cream rises to the top we all know that but you’re going to start to see that differentiation that knowledge really start to create this chasm this gap growing gap. And I wonder if we’re going to start to see that.

James:                                  [00:41:02]               I mean logically it makes sense that we would write one of our speakers coming to our event in a couple of months started his stellar business out of his dorm room college dorm room. And last year he sold his business for 80 million dollars.

Speaker 13:                        [00:41:23]               Get the chance. When you said that I don’t I don’t know about you but 80 million dollars is a good enough exit. I’m excited I’ve got the chills. That was a number that’s my number. Let’s get another.

James:                                  [00:41:34]               Another company I know sold built and sold a brand for 50 million dollars built on Amazon. Another company I know that the numbers over 100 million dollars. These are companies that took the time to say wait a minute this isn’t just about short term cash flow. I can feed myself and my family and maybe buy a new car every 10 years. These are people who have said wait a minute I’d rather grow a little bit slower but be very diligent about it. Put the right process in place so that I can scale and I can do things where I’m building not just cash flow but I’m building long term wealth. And there’s an opportunity here for an accept that to me that’s way more interesting. I’ll tell you one of the most interesting things that I’ve seen the last 16 18 months is the number of private equity companies that are starting to sniff around and say this thing these Amazon sellers some of them actually look pretty good as an investment opportunity. Most of them aren’t. But some of them do and they all seem to have consistent systematic processes a level of discipline both with operations and with data. We need to learn how these companies work and we might need to buy a couple of them because the Amazon Marketplace is here to stay and the companies that know how to play the game and build brands real brands. Those are the companies that private equity money wants to get behind that.

Speaker 13:                        [00:43:00]               That’s the new very interesting distinction. Barry I agree with it.

Stephen:                             [00:43:04]               I’ve seen it with software. I mean think about it. Look at the developers that are in this Amazon world and I’ve had a few of them on and they’re like Steve this is where the market is right now everybody’s working on Amazon seems interesting. They have no they don’t sell anything they don’t do it. They build software. And so that kind of the lead before the the VCs come but it’s absolutely real that there is a focus because it’s it’s become so big when you look at other marketplaces. I mean is there another marketplace out there right now yet. I mean I know you know it’s it’s almost all Amazon but is there somebody who’s coming up in our dessicated dressed in any of the any of the sessions that are coming out.

James:                                  [00:43:49]               Restricting the question I’m not sure where you went.

Stephen:                             [00:43:52]               I don’t think I did a good job asking because my mind went seven different places as I said it but basically I’m saying is that you know it’s right now we’re talking on Amazon because it is the marketplace. Is there another market place that’s evolving that’s worth the effort and energy of these larger sellers and strategy that you’re seeing. And if so is there somebody at the conference that’s starting to address that. I mean it used to be Oh you got to have your own Shopify site. Well those are all givens now. I mean that’s easy but it’s. Is there any place else that’s starting to evolve. So if you’re into this strategy and planning that people should be looking at. That’s where I was going.

James:                                  [00:44:33]               So in the United States it’s really about Amazon and then everything else okay as you start to look internationally. Yeah there’s stuff in China that makes a lot of sense. There are literally dozens of international marketplaces that are a billion dollars each that exists that most of us have never heard of and yet Western brands are in high demand in these places and so what are companies doing. If you’re actually building a private label brand and you’re trying to make it into an actual brand where you can legitimately say there’s a long term asset being built what are you doing to build distribution in other countries. What are you doing to get the word out to consumers who are looking for products like yours in parts of the world beyond just Amazon USA. So I mean some of these questions there’s no quick answer but you’ve got to start asking yourself the question Should I be expanding into other countries. And it’s not so much. Oh if I spent 10 hours today building my China Japan Europe presence will I make as much money if I take that same 10 hours and spend it building my U.S. Amazon operations. That’s not the question I would ask. Instead what I would ask is if I put those 10 hours into building out distribution in other countries does that get me closer to my goal of actually having a real brand. I can sell to somebody. That’s the question I want to answer.

Stephen:                             [00:45:57]               I like that and you know because I’m sitting here in my mind like. So you’re suggesting that Steve there might be a bigger opportunity than taking your coffee and putting it on Wal-Mart or jet or eBay whatever. Perhaps there are you know it rocketed no record to instill the aim that they use over in Japan or is it Buy.com whichever one it is. Those might be bigger opportunity where Amazon China or Amazon Australia now are the big one. So those might be bigger opportunities but again without a plan without a strategy without going to the data you’re not going to know that.

Speaker 14:                        [00:46:35]               And again the people who have done that. Right.

James:                                  [00:46:38]               We have a guy coming who’s a specialist in Timor and what brands do to help protect us or what team all does to help protect brands on Tiamat. Now it’s the largest consumer marketplace in the world and yet for most of us we don’t pay any attention to it because it’s another country it’s another language at several time zones over. Well okay you know it’s fine to keep selling on Amazon and please I’m not trying to stop people from selling on Amazon. I’m trying to get them to think OK if I’m actually building an asset that I can sell so I can actually walk away from this business altogether with a nice little check. You know hopefully a nice big check. I’ve got to I’ve got to think about ways that I can evolve my thoughts around how to spend my time. It’s not just about short term cash flow I generate from my existing Amazon.com channel it’s thinking beyond that to what have I done to create brand awareness and other marketplaces. What do I do to capture share in other marketplaces. And I’m not talking just Amazon international marketplaces I’m talking marketplaces. Beyond that and what am I. What am I doing to think about is my brand ready to go into a brick and mortar channels. Gosh you know everyone says well wouldn’t it be awesome to be end of aisle on a Costco or Wal-Mart or what have you. OK. You know it might be right for some products it might not be right for other products but what are you doing to think about how to make your brand off line ready. Oh that’s that’s stuff that’s going to take time to research and that stuff that’s time taken away from building your Amazon business. And yet if you’ve got a brand that’s got online sales online sales it’s got a good presence in lots of the brick and mortar retailers plus your Amazon presence. You can tell a story a whole lot better to a strategic investor that you have something worth selling and it’s worth a lot of money and they should buy it now before the next potential investor comes along and you just took this right to where we needed to get to.

Stephen:                             [00:48:35]               You just sold why people who are thinking this way who weren’t thinking this way who are now thinking this way why they need to go to prosper and again Steve doesn’t benefit but it’s like these are the type of discussions if you’re really trying to build a real business. These are the kinds of discussions you have to take and you have to have and you need to get around people who have these kind of converse. That’s really where it happens right. You can read all the books you want but you know when you get to talk to somebody who’s done it and who like you said made the mistakes and who’s done all those things and you get to say well here’s how I did it. Oh OK. And then you buy that time. So let’s talk ticket so you still aren’t sold out now still aren’t. I mean we’re a couple of months away so I’m not I don’t mean it that way. I mean it’s going to happen and I don’t know. But as of today as of when this comes out which is first week of February or so six weeks ago six weeks ago there’s still tickets available that’s the right way to say it Steve and it’s 800 dollars seven hundred ninety nine dollars for a ticket in that you know taking that six hours to ten minutes example that you use before. How much is my time worth now. You know I’m a pretty heavily degreed guy I got a couple hundred bucks an hour so six hours. Yep I made money by coming to the conference. And so these are the kind of conversations that happen at this level. And as you said I mean this is really what is let me ask you this question and this is maybe a little naive question but it’s like all right I’m a smaller seller who wants to be a bigger seller and I would like to play at that bigger game. And I’m thinking is is it too late for me or can I really buy investing the time and then coming back and applying what I learn. Can I make it at that same level as some of these bigger competitors or is it just too far gone.

James:                                  [00:50:24]               I don’t think I don’t think it’s too late for companies to want to put sophistication in their processes and say I know what I need to do. Someone has helped me figure out what I need to do and how to do it. Now I just have to go do it right.

Stephen:                             [00:50:39]               You’re going to apply it and continue to learn.

James:                                  [00:50:44]               We were doing something at the show this year. We’ve never done before and probably people haven’t experienced before at conferences they’ve attended. But we’re actually rolling out a networking app and it’s kind of like online dating where you put in here’s who I am here’s what I’m good at. And here’s what I’m looking to learn. And you get matched up with other sellers who put in similar types of criteria. So you know you and I happened to put in information that says I’m interested in learning about expanding into China. You put in your profile that you’re happy to talk to people about expanding into China. Guess what. I’ve never met Steve and I know what Stephen looks like Stephen doesn’t know what it’s like. But through the app we not only are able to figure out that we are matches and we can figure out a good meeting time but we have predetermined numbered tables throughout the convention where people can say Listen hey Stephen thanks for agreeing to meet with me.

James:                                  [00:51:35]               I’m going to meet with you at Table 14 at noon. We’ll talk for 15 minutes with a cigarette. We’ve got something to talk about. But in the end I go to the show and I meet five people who have interests similar to mine people I would never have met by wandering around a conference and saying Are you somebody you can talk to about China. Well actually this is a very simple way to cut through the clutter and find the right people who have interests that match with yours so that you can walk from walk away from the show with five six 10 contacts who you who can help you can help them they can help you so that when you do go back to your island as a third party seller wherever it is you live you can call up James you can call him Stephen you can call these other people that you met who have comparable needs and comparable interests and you can you can learn from each other. Here’s the way I think about the world. Every seller on Amazon could be selling your widgets.

James:                                  [00:52:28]               But the reality is we can certainly help each other with some of the operational and process issues regardless of the pipes that we happen to build to sell whatever which is through those pipes. So we want to make. We want to make the Prosper event not just an amazing educational opportunity but also an amazing networking opportunity. So to the extent that someone thinks it’s worth spending two days a year to get out there meet with other sellers big small everything in between. Plus hear from speakers speakers who are talking about issues that you may have thought of you may not have thought of things that you’re not thinking about enough that you should be thinking more about. No that’s really what the experience is all about. One of the issues that you raised with me Stephen was you know some of the stuff we talk about is not very popular and actually last year we talked about sales tax.

James:                                  [00:53:19]               It’s not very popular but the reality is prior to us bringing that topic to prosper we personally have worked with lots of companies who got the wakeup call and the wake up call was a letter in the mail from some state some state state companies state auditor saying you have been NFPA so you’ve been selling in our state and you haven’t been paying or collecting sales tax and you owe us a big chunk of money so you better pony up. No I don’t like seeing that happen to our clients but we’ve seen it and we’ve brought this topic to prosper this last year and we got the best speakers on this topic to come and talk. What’s the law. What does it mean to us. How do we address or interpret the law as it relates to being NFPA seller. So it’s not that we’re trying to get a bunch of auditors to pay attention to Amazon sellers not at all. The reality is they’re already paying attention. They already have teams of people going to trade shows. Teams of people buying lists of Amazon seller contacts that you know the state of Massachusetts last week two weeks ago finally got the legal OK Amazon is going to turn over the identity of all the FDA sellers who had product in the state of Massachusetts.

James:                                  [00:54:36]               Some point. Guess what. I’m sure the other states are paying great attention to that and will do the same thing. Filing the right kind of legal paperwork to get Amazon to turn over similar information. Guess what happens with the state of California Texas Pennsylvania Florida all the site to audit you at the same time saying you’re an FDA seller you haven’t been collecting sales tax and now we want our money. Well you know part of my responsibility putting an educational event together is not just to say hey there’s all these cool things that will help you grow your business. Please also say listen there’s all these other issues that are holding you back or they’re about to blindside you and you need to be aware of this that you can get prepared get organized get the right partners in place because I want you guys to get blindsided. You want to be successful entrepreneurs. That doesn’t mean that I can’t tell you how to be healthier in terms of how you run your business. And that’s that’s kind of where we are right now when it comes to agenda for our show. Yep. Let’s talk about the cool sexy things everybody wants to talk about. Let’s also make sure we include some topics that you probably aren’t spending enough time thinking about where you may not even realize you need to be thinking about. That’s really what a full service educational event is meant to provide are tough conversations.

Stephen:                             [00:55:47]               Yeah. You have to have them.

James:                                  [00:55:49]               It’s like it’s like going to see your doctor once a year. Doctor says I like you you’re a nice guy everything’s great vs.

James:                                  [00:55:56]               Well we looked at the test results and you have heart disease and you have fungus growing on your toenails and you don’t wash often enough and your mama dress funny. You know all these kinds of things you need honest feedback on what you need to do to make yourself better. I didn’t say all the things you need to do to make more money with no effort. No I said all of the things you need to do where you need to put more discipline in place reduce the liabilities or potential liabilities and what you’re currently doing. And at the same time put best practices around what you are doing so that if you are doing certain things well let’s make sure you do those even faster and even better. But at the same time avoid having crazy holes in the bucket that prevents you from making money every time you decide to sell a product.

Stephen:                             [00:56:42]               You know as I sit and think about this if if I’m not paying tax or collecting tax I’m paying it whatever. If all those things are true then it really it’s a profitable business I think and it’s profitable. And then when I really you know it’s like insurance I always say to people hey if you know if you don’t carry insurance and workers comp and all the rest of that jazz then you probably really don’t have a profitable business right.

Stephen:                             [00:57:03]               You really if you carry all those additional costs which you are required to write that’s really how you can evaluate if you have if you’re doing it because you know you’re reusing boxes and other things well that’s fine but if you’re taking these other shortcuts that’s a big risk.

Speaker 14:                        [00:57:20]               And you know maybe you’ll win. But what happens when you don’t.

James:                                  [00:57:24]               And so you good discussion even if you think you are winning let’s say you think you’ve built an asset it’s time to sell and you go to talk to your broker about selling your business your broker is going to do due diligence. Your broker you discover that you’ve got this massive tax liability and that companies are selling for you know five million dollars. Ooh it’s got two million dollars of tax liability tied to it and the buyer is never going to take on that liability so you know you’ll you’re lucky if you get that 3 million dollar purchase price rather than that 5 million dollar perks first. Here’s the crazy thing about sales tax. If you fix the problem and you do what you need to do today then you can sleep well at night because if an auditor letter does show up on your doorstep tomorrow you’re covered you’re collecting tax you’re paying tax it’s past your expense.

James:                                  [00:58:09]               Amazon customers are paying the tax now. Yes there are some transactional costs and I need to pay. But if you’re a seller of any decent size accumulating any decent size of sales like sales tax liability you’ve got to address this anyway because if you are opening up brick and mortar stores and all these different states selling the very same products you’d have to do this anyways. So the fact that you’re you know a new new generation online seller it doesn’t take away from the fact that you still have the same tax liabilities that every other entrepreneur out there would have if in fact they’re in a brick and mortar space.

Stephen:                             [00:58:46]               It’s an evolution for sure and we are there. I mean it is past that point as you said it’s getting noticed by all these different. I do a lot trade shows just to submit a story one of the trade shows I think last week before and I notice a big difference. The vendors knew about the first one of the company I’m talking to is like Steve we’re already brain registered. We’re this we’re that. But we don’t want other Amazon sellers unless we’re comfortable with them. And that was the different. It was a completely different. They understood the system. They were merchant fulfilling and they’re like oh yeah we do. But it was a completely different discussion this year then. And I go every year and it’s evolved. And so I think we’re at that place where there’s enough knowledge out there whether it’s in the tax departments whether it’s in the vendors whether it’s in the manufacturers there’s enough or the national brands a good example too.

Stephen:                             [00:59:35]               So that’s out there. So now you’ve got to step up and bring your game so agenda is out there. The way to get tickets Prosper’s show com Prosper’s show dot com and then there’s a thing for tickets when they sell out. That won’t be available for say sold out correct.

James:                                  [00:59:53]               It will stay sold out. But that will probably happen a week before the show and we don’t have any extra space don’t show up at all without a recording.

Stephen:                             [01:00:02]               And there is security there because. But Michael Kirby has a Keano I mean that’s a big deal. Very exciting. I mean it’s an amazing agenda. Go take a look. The speakers are unbelievable.

Stephen:                             [01:00:12]               And I mean some really impressive speakers so you know I don’t know what else to say about that other than this is the way to grow to that next level. You really want to create that big business because what you learn at this event will close with this what you learn at this event is transferable to another marketplace. Right. So what I learned here when I do decide to go sell in China or wherever. You know having those processes and all that. I mean this is such a stupid statement having all those processes and all that stuff worked out. Then I just go to another marketplace and replicate. Right. I mean there’s a little nuances but generally speaking that’s what takes and very exciting. OK. All right. Somebody has a follow up question. Best way to get in touch with you.

James:                                  [01:00:59]               Easiest way to reach me is believe it or not. Info at prosper show dot com all those e-mails go directly to me info at prosper show dot com. Happy to answer questions about her show agenda the speakers whatever you like and by the way you hear all of and occasional stuff plus we have a trade show floor with most of the leading service providers and solution providers so to an extent that you’re thinking about who do I need to work with to streamline my processes here or there.

Stephen:                             [01:01:28]               Most of the companies are going to be there and in one fell swoop it’s most 100 100 already. I mean you know we chatted before.

Stephen:                             [01:01:35]               I mean it is no easy task to get one. And it’s everybody who is anybody. And some of them are like whoa I didn’t even realize they would come to this type of event and they are absolutely. Again that’s not much. Everybody knows it now that this is not going away. And so very very cool. Take a look at the hundred sponsors and it’s every company because we say that they have seen every problem you have Jim right. And so when you go and talk with them they’re the ones that are going to give you some of the best advice. Yeah. You know we’ve seen this handled this way. Oh you have that problem. Here’s how I’ve seen this handled before. That’s huge. That value that education. OK so info at Prosper’s show dot com prosper show dot com for tickets. There’s still some available. It’s in Las Vegas I don’t know why I said that but it is. And it coincides with SD again correct.

James:                                  [01:02:25]               We are at the Las Vegas Convention Center using one small part of the convention center while the show is in the rest of the event. Certainly the rest of facility. So to the extent that you want to come in a day early and walk the city for now by all means it’s free tickets for any prosper attendee to do the the show. But yeah it’s a pretty amazing show. I know we’re in Vegas and Vegas isn’t for everybody. We’re off the strip at the convention center so you can stay away from all the craziness of Vegas if you like. Whether you want to take it over into the strip and do your thing there that’s fine. But for folks that are serious about coming for two two and a half days of education you can do that without having to deal with the craziness of Las Vegas.

Stephen:                             [01:03:08]               So I appreciate you taking the time. You are very busy way busier than I am and I really appreciate you taking the time. Next time it won’t be as long I will get you again because it’s just I believe in this so much is education. This continuing professional education. Love it. Thank you so much. I wish you nothing but success.

James:                                  [01:03:27]               Thank you for having me.

Stephen:                             [01:03:29]               Man oh man the dude is smart. Now he’s earned it he’s got an amazing pedigree you’ve got to go listen to 147 to find out his background. And he has worked at Amazon he ran big divisions mean very very smart but I love the fact that you know it starts with a strategy. It’s all back to basics.

Stephen:                             [01:03:46]               It’s funny how we’ve gone back to basics but how many of us have gone away from our basics. How many of us don’t have those processes in place. How many of us aren’t looking at profitability of every product right. How many of us aren’t doing those things to be honest you know guilty right. So not too late was my one question for him is it too late. No.

Stephen:                             [01:04:07]               There’s a chance for you to invest into yourself and I just think it’s so sound so smart man. I’m just blown away. E-commerce momentum dot com e-commerce momentum dotcom.

Stephen:                             [01:04:19]               Take care. Thanks for listening to the e-commerce momentum podcast Overland’s mention today found that e-commerce momentum don’t come under this episode number please remember to subscribe and the like goes on iTunes.



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