Are you looking for more products without building out your existing assets? What if you completely focused on what you have and what it could be? Could it be more? Step back and take a fresh look with Kevin King. He has found ways to squeeze lemonade from lemons for sure. Great next level discussion where he offers you a chance to play at higher levels with higher level sellers.
AMZ Marketer– Kevin’s Facebook Group
Illuminati Mastermind– High level Mastermind from Kevin and Manny Coats
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] I’m excited to talk about my sponsors today, Gaye Lisby’s Million Dollar Arbitrage Group. Amazing, amazing group. This is a teacher. This is a gay, was a teacher. She is a teacher. Still. You need to learn. This is the type of environment you want to be in because she’s going to help you understand why, and I think that’s the hardest part of this business is understanding why. Why is the red one popular one? The green one isn’t? Well, there’s usually a reason and what gay does is probably parse that better than anybody and she’ll explain the reasons for those things. I think that’s really powerful. Yes, she puts out a list. You’re going to get a good use of that list if you get in the group. Now here’s the deal. The group isn’t always open, right? So you get on the waiting list and you can join the waiting list through my link.
Stephen: [00:00:46] Doesn’t cost anything to get on a waiting list and if you like her service, which I find that most people do that. That’s why there’s not so many openings and you’ll be with her for a long time and so it’s amazing. Freedom [inaudible], she’s part of Andy’s slam. It’s group, amazing freedom.com, forward slash momentum and you’re going to get in to the waiting list. That’s all I can get you on right now. You can use my name and see if that gets anywhere, but what I like about it, what I like about what they teach in that group or the things that are going on, you know the current things. I’ve seen a lot of stuff going on about stores going out of business. While here’s where an opportunity is, here’s why you want to do this. Hey, be cautious about this, you know, with toys r US coming up, you’ve got to think about this and that’s the learning that you need to do and gay is better than anybody else.
Stephen: [00:01:31] I’ve seen amazing freedom.com. Forward slash momentum will get you to the waiting list. Then hopefully we can get you into the group and then you’re going to see me in there and we can chat anytime you’re ready. Karen. Lockers, group solutions, the number for ecommerce solutions for e-commerce dot com forward slash momentum. It’s going to save you 50 bucks. Karen, our account manager, we recommend her to everyone because she’s done so well for us. I mean that’s quite frankly the reason we’ve been paying her for last few years, but she’s become an important part of our team. Her and her team are so involved in our account. I just see the emails coming back and forth, hey, we did this for you. I just saw two listings today on like, wait a second. Why did they show up? I didn’t put any listings up. They got a.
Stephen: [00:02:12] They got set off to the side by Amazon and they reactivate them for me. You know what I mean? That’s the stuff that just happens when you have a strong team and I can’t recommend Karen enough if you use my code. Momentum. Karen pays me. I don’t want to hide that. Of course we all know that, but you’re going to save $50 and it’s a great opportunity to really, really build out your team with somebody you can trust. That’s why I recommend them. So solutions for e-commerce solutions, the number for e-commerce dot com forward slash momentum’s going to save you $50. Oh, and by the way, she’s going to do an inventory health report. Why is that important? Well, guess what fees are going up. Is your inventory health number declining like ours is? Well, here’s why, and here’s what they can do. What I like is I get a spreadsheet from them and it says, Hey, here’s a bunch of inventory.
Stephen: [00:03:05] Here’s what we recommend. And I’m like, Yep, re refund. I mean delete a return us blah blah, blah, whatever it is, and it’s our destroy and it just happens. That’s what I like. The other thing that I have Karen helped me with a lot is creating new listings. You know, we do a lot of the research yourselves. We upload our images and then boom, magically the listing goes live and I don’t have to worry about it. Those are the services that can run offers. Can’t recommend her enough solutions for e-commerce. [inaudible] forward slash momentum. Save 50 bucks, use my code. You save $50 a month every single month and it’s a great service. Plus you get that free inventory health report. I think it’s a really powerful way, so I can’t. I’m so excited how many people have been joining it because I see it and I’m excited because of the messages I get from people saying, hey, this is great.
Stephen: [00:03:52] I finally feel like I can focus on something else because Karen and her team are watching this for me and you know, I highly recommend her. Next up is scale seller labs. It’s go, we’ll it wrong. It’s amazing. I mean, it really is amazing when you sit back and think about, hey, I want to get this product up and it’s similar to this product and that’s, that product does well. Well therefore, if that product does well, they have the right keywords, they’ve chosen things correctly, so guess what? You scope and you could see all that stuff and that’s what the most powerful thing in the world is to copy somebody who’s done it right. That’s what you want to. You want to take advantage of that, right? I mean, it’s, it’s fair to see, and so therefore you can take and apply it to your listing and immediately get that same benefit.
Stephen: [00:04:39] That’s what scope does for me. Seller labs dot [inaudible] forward slash momentum. It’s going to save you $50 on the surface. Oh, by the way, it’s free to try, so sign up, try it and say, oh, this is how it’s done. Boom. Then you’re going to. The lights going to go on and you’re going to be like, man, I could get my products out there. I just can’t wait. Can’t wait. So our labs.com forward slash momentum. The other day I bought another domain. Yes, I bought another domain. It’s almost like I’m admitting guilt, but it’s because I had an idea and it was something that was a pretty good idea. I think it’s going to go pretty far and so what do I do? I go to try go daddy.com forward slash momentum and save 30 percent. So domains aren’t very expensive. You get a few services, it adds up a little bit and I usually buy three years.
Stephen: [00:05:31] I usually buy privacy by the way, I recommend that to buy that, you know, it’s not that much money but when you can save 30 percent it makes it that much sweeter and it makes it easier when you’re buying domains and especially if you buy a bunch of domains. I am a domain collector and so I do tend to do that, but that 30 percent makes it a lot easier and I used to go daddy because what I like is I can pop in an address I’m thinking and it’ll say nope, nope, could try this version or try this extension and then boom, there it is. Hey, you better hurry before it goes away and the right, you know. And so try go daddy.com forward slash momentum save 30 percent. Also want to mention about grasshopper. Was that just talking to somebody the other day?
Stephen: [00:06:11] And they were like, Oh yeah, use this company called grass. I’m like, Dude, did you buy it through my link and save 30 percent? Hello? No, they miss that. So save 30 percentage, try grasshopper.com forward slash momentum. No surprise there, but you’re going to save 30 percent and what the real cool part about that is they’re using it for their private label business and it gives them virtually a second phone on their current phone without having to get another number. They can make up a vanity number. They don’t have to go and do all the grief in, in sign loan contracts, pretty easy stuff, and so if you’re creating a brand that you want to identify, you want to look professional, you want to look like a real company, grasshoppers, a great tool. It’s an app you put on your existing phone and boom, you now have a customer service to. You now have a sales department, didn’t have a manufacturing division. You could forward it to somebody else. You could have it go to different voicemails, different departments, and it’s all included. So try grasshopper.com, forward slash momentum. Save 30 percent.
Cool voice guy: [00:07:12] Welcome to the e-commerce momentum podcast where we focused on the people, the products, and the process of e-commerce selling. Today. Here’s your host, Steven Peterson.
Stephen: [00:07:26] Welcome back to the e-commerce momentum podcast. This is episode 293. Kevin King. Now Kevin is a fast talker, but a fast I to say a faster thinker. I don’t think he can get his words out as fast as his mind is going and it’s unbelievable. And when he, when he gets into a a segment, he’s going to go for a bit, but you’re going to hear like 14 jewels and there and you’re gonna be like, wait, what was that one? What was that one? Go back and listen to it again because you know, just listen to that section over again because he dropped some like every, every three or four minutes he’s dropping another idea, another idea, another idea, and they’re all solid. And what I like about it too is they all build on each other. I think, you know, there’s this concept that you have to reinvent the wheel.
Stephen: [00:08:12] I don’t think so. The other thing that we get to at the end, and you got to listen to all the way to the end to get it, but he’s a one man show and millions of dollars a has a seasonal business in addition to his regular product business, but it’s really building it out and I think that’s one of the most solid pieces of advice. You know, you’ve got a good product. Let’s, let’s maximize the. Everything you can with it. Let’s, let’s really, you know, build it out as big as you can rather than just add another one and then do a mediocre job. Kevin saying, no, no, no, no, I’m not doing that. I’m going to build it out and get the most I can from it and make it something I can really be proud of. I think it’s great solid advice. And Man, he, like I said, he, he rattles so many of them. You’re going to be like, Whoa, I, you take notes because there’s just so many great opportunities in this conversation. I am, I do have links to all this stuff. Um, so. And it’s right on the episode, episode two 93. Let’s get into the podcast. All right. Welcome back to the economist momentum podcast. Very excited about today’s guest. Um, he’s got a wealth of experience, has been on more podcasts than me and I record my own podcast is a lot of experience and hopefully a lot of great advice. Kevin King, welcome, Kevin.
Stephen: [00:09:26] Glad to be here. We’re glad to have you. Um, you. Have you been around? Dude, you’ve been around for a while.
Kevin: [00:09:33] I didn’t call you old. I didn’t appreciate that. I appreciate that. But yeah, I have been around for awhile. I’ve been doing e-commerce for I guess a over R, not e-commerce or entrepreneurship for pretty much all my life and e-commerce since before there was even such thing as google. I go back to the days of Alta Vista and uh, and go [inaudible] dot com and some of those guys,
Stephen: [00:09:57] we were at dinner in Vegas a last couple of weeks or a month or what have you. The days run together. And I remember sitting there listening, you know, as we were talking and I thought to myself, man, he really has seen the whole gamut of the Internet. I mean, you, you made it, you were working in it when it was really, really difficult. Um, I mean we kind of take it for granted now, you know, it’s like I’m having a little software problem. This software is like the, you know, light years ahead of what you used to have to do to record anything. Right. And so you’ve been around, you’ve gotten to see all that. So. So go back though, because you and I probably about the same age and that means is what we’ll see how close it is. You didn’t have computers in your elementary school or your middle school maybe, maybe when you’re in high school. Just the last year or two.
Kevin: [00:10:44] Yeah, that’s about right. You’re spot on there. I think we had a little computer club in high school and I like a one room that had like three computers or something. And you could go over there and play with them or I remember in college, you know, is a big deal to, to go to this one part of the library in college that had like sixth grade computers and you can get on, I think it was called the use net or something. You could talk to somebody like David or I remember that somewhere else. And I was like, so cool. You go in there and just say hello. And someone would answer it back. It was like the weirdest thing. I’m, I back when AOL was, you know, when aol used to send out floppy disks in the mail and you get like 10 of them a week to sign up for AOL.
Kevin: [00:11:24] And that was the thing to go on, you know, if you wanted to look at the newspaper from a, you know, another city or something. I was like, so cool. Uh, to be able to do that. Um, yeah. I, I go back, I remember when like you’re saying even video, you know, we take it for granted now. Full screen hd video. I don’t remember. It was posted stamp size, you know, and that was like a chore, you know, to get to get a postage stamp size video to play smoothly for a minute or something using a, I think it was real audio or real player, whatever it was back in the day. So yeah, I go back.
Stephen: [00:11:55] I think that’s how mark Cuban made his money, right? Didn’t he? Uh, he did something like he was using software like that to record basketball games or college games or something like that and perfected it enough. And then somebody, I guess Yahoo bought it. Um, and he made his billions that way and he was like one of those cutting edge people who said, wait, there’s gotta be an easier way. So what led you into entrepreneurship? Being around computers that age around a technology, what was it that was attractive to you?
Kevin: [00:12:27] I’ve been an entrepreneur my entire life since I was probably three years old. I was the guy when I was a three year old, four year old going to the supermarket with my mom and buying bubblegum for a penny, taking it back and setting up a little store with a little makeshift sign in the garage and the neighborhood and selling that bubble gum for two cents to the, to the local neighborhood kids that led into, you know, mowing yards and pain street painting numbers on street, curb you for house numbers to it is, it was a good business. You is a business
Stephen: [00:13:00] from that. I mean, what did you see somebody else? Nobody puts that into three or four year old’s head. I mean, it just doesn’t come natural. You must have seen somebody,
Kevin: [00:13:08] Huh? I can with that. I really don’t know where that entrepreneurship came from it, but it’s been in my blood. I mean, my dad is the most, the most conservative person in the world, you know, he won’t take a risk to, you know, for any reason. Um, my mom’s a little bit more of a risk taker, but my family didn’t have businesses. You know, my father worked for the government and my mom was a teacher so I didn’t have any parents or anything like that. No grandparents, nobody with money. Nobody that really owned businesses. I mean, I remember my grandmother, uh, in East Texas used to have a cash register, like cash registers, like a one of these from like the turn of the century or something that you push the buttons and you pull the little lever and it adds everything up in the [inaudible] comes open and I remember as a young child just playing with that over and over and I’m, you know, five, six years old and go visit for, for Christmas or for Easter or something like that. And I grabbed that thing off her calendar and just sit there and make up, make up stories in my head. I’m like, OK, someone’s coming into the store and it’s ten cents and thirteen cents. OK, that’s [inaudible] cents. I don’t know why I did that, but that’s what’s up,
Stephen: [00:14:17] to be honest with you. I mean, think about that, right? You know, if your kids today would do that, your grandkids, right at this age, we would start to get an interest. She’d be like, Oh my God, they’ve got it. They’ve got it. They’re going to figure it out, you know?
Kevin: [00:14:31] Exactly. Yeah. No, I mean, I, I, I mean I was always a creative child. I did so well that when I turned like 10 or 11 years old, my parents, I actually, I was making too much money. They’re like, you know, I don’t remember what it was, 100 bucks, 200 bucks a week as a 10 year old just doing odds and ends and pneumonia, ards and painting numbers on curbs and whatever. Selling stamps by mail. Know the old school direct mail where you run an ad in the back of a comic book or something and actually send it off for my, my stamp collector kid, you know, you get 10 stamps from different countries or whatever it may be, but I was doing so well that my parents said, look, you’re making too much money here. So they forced me to save half of everything I earned.
Kevin: [00:15:10] So half of every dollar that came in, I had to give to them and they put that into a fund that, uh, ended up giving. That was my beer money in college. They ended up giving that back to me as an allowance in college. So I didn’t have to work during college and focused on school. Did you carry that forward or no? The answer’s no. The answer’s no. I don’t have children. So you personally, when you, when you got out of their control, did you save 50 percent of your income? No Way. That’s one of my weaknesses actually is you’re not. I’m very good at generating money. I’m very creative and very. I can generate, you know, I never wore and I’ve never really lived on a budget and my parents always tried to teach me that. But because I could always generate money, I never worried about anything.
Kevin: [00:16:00] And even to this day that’s, that’s my weakness in business is the financial side of actually putting money away. I live in the now and I live for the moment and so I, I can spend it as fast as it comes in. And so I’m all in on, I never worry, I never lose sleep at night. I’m never like, Oh shit, you know, how am I, how am I going to pay, you know, I got a $5,000 bill coming in three weeks to pay for whatever it may be. How am I going to pay for it? I always figure it out. And so I’ve never, uh, that’s, that’s a weakness for me in business is the financial side that may go back to as a child being just constantly being able to make money all the time. Uh, even though my parents tried to teach me and took half of a way as like, well you take it away, I’ll just make more sales. So I mean like is a car salesmen or one of those kind of people were real estate or something? I would have been, yeah. I actually at one point got a real estate license but never pursued it because it couldn’t, I couldn’t scale it the way you can scale e-commerce. So what was your first official e-commerce business? First official e-commerce business.
Kevin: [00:17:09] I was selling some stuff on Ebay. I mean, I did, I go back to direct marketing. So before e-commerce I kind of, uh, the evolution is I started with direct mail, so I don’t know what actually, uh, you know, going by a, uh, by a lot of a personal defense, you know, like, not, not tasers, but like a little pepper sprays, uh, for women. And I would take out, put a, put a little ad in the, you know, the value pack, the little envelope that would come in the mail with coupons from the local pizza place and everybody else and to direct commerce that way when I was in college, um, I was uh, I wanted to learn how to bartend. So I was like, how can you know, I’m going to learn how to bartend. So I took a little night class in college on how to bartend.
Kevin: [00:17:47] But Ah, when you do that, it’s not the real alcohol. It’s, you know, it’s like fake alcohol, just bottles of water basically and how to mix everything. So I was like, no, I want to know what everything tastes like. So I went out and bought a whole bar back, you know, 20 or 30 different types of liquors and of course my apartment became the hotspot, but you come to because I had had all the liquor and I actually got a little bar and went to one of these rental places and render like one of those little bars you can put in your house and it got to be too much. Whereas I was footing the bill for everybody and I was like, the heck with this, you know, I, I need to, I need people to pay. So I actually, this is back on the apple two computer, I think it was two to one of the apple twos wrote a little code, little code in a basic computing language.
Kevin: [00:18:34] Basically it was a bartending program, was recipes and keeping tabs. So as, as people would come into the apartment, you know, we were, we were partying quite a bit back in college and I say, Hey, you want, you want a bloody mary? OK, it’s, you know, you gotta pay me 50 fifty cents. Well I don’t get the money right now. So it goes on their tabs. So I wrote this little program to do that with recipes and everything, and then I ended up thinking I could sell this. So I ran ads in the back and like, I think it was a computer world or I can’t remember a PC magazine or whatever was the magazine back in the mid eighties. Uh, and, and by my little software system on floppy disk, you know, to, to, to run your own little bar or run your own little recipes or whatever.
Kevin: [00:19:15] I sold a handful of them, one when, a lot. But that was a good learning experience and I just kind of evolved into there into other direct marketing where I did something similar to the sharper image or sharper image. Has all the latest, coolest gadgets for mostly for men. I did something in college called the college lifestyle company and that was a catalog of full-color catalog of all kinds of products for, for the dorm room. Everything from dorm refrigerators to declarations to party supplies to whatever. And that just kind of evolved from there and into trading cards into calendars. And, uh, when the Internet came around, uh, about when it was about 1995, I think 94 or 95, I think I sent my first email. I’m somewhere around in there and I was like, holy cow, you know, this is direct mail on steroids, you know, you can reach everybody for a fraction of the cost.
Kevin: [00:20:03] And I was like, so my focus switched to that. But even to this day, you know, I’m 20, 20 some odd, years later I still had to do direct mail. I have a calendar business which is a seasonal business that I do from October to January of every year. And I do have an online component but also have an offline component. We’re actually still print approach a color brochure with the covers of all these calendars, about a hundred and 50 different calendars a. and I actually mail that physically mail that to my customers and I still have half of my business comes with people sending checks and money orders in the mail. And I kinda, it’s Kinda cool because it’s, it’s kind of like Christmas. You know, you, when you’re selling e-commerce online, you’re like, OK, let me check my stripe account, let me check my pay pal.
Kevin: [00:20:47] That’s cool. I got x amount of dollars for away from it and right. It’s just a, it’s a transaction. Exactly. But it’s kind, Kinda cool, you know, and even to this day, I still like to go the post office everyday from October, January and see like how big is it? What’s in the mailbox? You know, there’s six envelopes today or 20 envelopes today. Like OK, you know, let’s, let’s open these up and it’s this one got a $5 check or does it have a $200 check? You know, it’s Kinda, it’s Kinda cool. I don’t know, it’s.
Stephen: [00:21:12] No, I got it. Where I was originally going was that foundation that you built with direct mail, you know, Mary’s perfectly with E-commerce, right? It’s that, you know, find the audience, test, test, test, adjust, test, boom, make a sale. Right, exactly. What you’re doing here with this catalog keeps you in the gate. So is that an industry that’s just not caught up? Is it because. I mean, when you look at the file, I do a lot online, I get that, but I mean, is the profile of your buyers, are they, are they retail? Are you selling to retailers or are you selling to individuals through the catalog?
Kevin: [00:21:51] It’s through the catalog of the calendars feature pretty women. So it’s everything from 19 forties, pen ops to Marilyn Monroe to the latest playboy centerfolds, two girls in Bikinis, sports illustrated. So it’s a very niche audience. It’s guys who collect calendars and so I actually have guys that, some guy, these are individual customers, not, not, not retailers. Uh, I have a mailing list of probably about 6,000 guys that are regular customers. Not all of them older every year, but a significant amount of them do and some of them older. One calendar to hang in the garage. Others take the, the brochure to the job site and you’ll pass it around. Everybody orders to counter and one guy sends into money order or a check. Others are collectors that they buy two of everything. I just want to open one and keep it a plastic.
Stephen: [00:22:33] Let me ask you this, so how did you build the 6,000 names? Was this back from the days where you had it in the back of a catalogue or. I mean in the back of a magazine and then that was your basis and then from there it’s evolved.
Kevin: [00:22:45] What started out as I was doing trading cars, like, like baseball cards, but back in the early nineties, baseball cards with pictures of pretty girls was a, a big fat. It’s almost like a, you know, um, beanie babies or something like that back there were big fats and putting pictures of pretty girls on baseball cards and collections, whether it was a playboy girls or bikini models or sports illustrated models or a old pin-ups or whatever. It became a big business. So I got into that and then there was all these other companies that were doing the same thing, probably 50 different people and most of these people were putting little registration cards in their, in their packages, you know, buy a pack of 10 of them or wherever there’s a little car bounced back, car rich product Insert Register for our newsletter. Original, it wasn’t neutral.
Kevin: [00:23:31] Yeah, register to just get people would fill those out on the biggest latest developments, new, you know, so I reached out, reached out to all the companies and most of them aren’t doing anything, know these cars were coming into my own. They’re sticking them in a shoe box. And I was like, that’s stupid. So I reached out to him. I said, hey listen, you know, I will get those all typed in, have for you and give you back a floppy disk with all those names and these neatly typed, if you just let me use it one time, one time to mail out to. And most of them said, yeah, heck yeah, here you go. So I’ve got boxes of these cards in the mail and I built a mailing list from that. And then I went into the list rental business where you can still do this today where you can actually go out and you can, you can rent names, you can actually go to a, you know, different companies that would have something similar now like Bud, kc k, a catalog for example.
Kevin: [00:24:22] They sell lots of knives and cigars and that type of thing. What that’s that kind of is my was my audience. So I would go to them and say, hey, I want to rent your mailing list, give me a test to 5,000 names and these will kill on big like eight track tapes or something, not eight track tapes with big wheels. I had to take them down somewhere and get the labels, you know, this is, this is like ancient stuff compared to what you can do today. Um, and I would mail out a test to my catalog and see, see that the response rate was good enough, and if so, then I go back to them say, Hey, I want, I want more names or I’ll do exchanges. Sometimes it’s kind of like facebook does this now on steroids. I mean facebook where you can, the laserlike targeting you can do with facebook ads today.
Kevin: [00:25:01] It’s just amazing compared to where it was in the past. It just boggles my mind how much, what you can do and how you can overlay and really do stuff that in an instant within, you know, within a few minutes, but just to take days or weeks to do in the old days. So I built a list doing that. And so after the trading cards, it’s a natural progression to calendars. And so the trading card business kind of started to die down a little bit. It was a fad for a couple years and I was like, what’s something that’s, uh, I want something that’s a recurring revenue source or calendars or recurring revenue source, you’ve got to buy one every year. So about 94, 95, somewhere around in there. And I said, let me reach out to all the calendar a makers and let me just become a distributor for them. So some of them said yes.
Kevin: [00:25:45] And then I was dealing with every, everybody, anybody I could find that would do calendars and uh, and buying them wholesale bicycle club. And then I started making some of my own overseas. So private label, basically a private label and doing stuff over in China and you know, so all that kind of stuff. Um, and uh, and then I would go out and just mail that out every year, you know, in, in August and didn’t do a follow-up, you know, instead of sending an email and I did have a website, but in the beginning it was very little sales and I did do some online stuff. I was able to get on Howard stern a few times, um, with, with some of that built a daily newsletter site which is kind of like a daily news and job site on the Internet were from like, I think I around this from like 98.
Kevin: [00:26:29] So about 2002 with the goal to develop customers. Is that what the goal was? Was a daily. It’s called the photo of the day. So every day you had this. We developed a web page. It would have a picture of a pretty girl. It would have a joke of the day, it would have latest news, it would have a little game. Anything that guys would, you guys would like, um, and it was, I would send out a daily email to say, hey, here’s the top five stories of the day, here’s the, you know, the click here to see the job, click here to see the photos. And so that would, the email would be the pool that would the trigger that we’re pulling back everyday and I could put ads in the email and then ads on the site and we develop that into about 250,000 people a day.
Kevin: [00:27:09] We were emailing and this is, this is before spam. I’m stuff actually got through, actually got through. And so we as able to build that into a membership site. We got featured on Howard Stern a few times and we blow up our servers every time. This is before Howard stern was satellite. He was still on a regular radio and just it would blow up in a server. We’re constantly restarting every two minutes, you know, when, when we’d be on Howard Stern. But we’ve got a lot that way. I worked out deals with the guy from, um, there’s a site called Bomas, b o m I s dot, and there was a guy that, that you might have heard of that actually ran that site and I partnered with him to trey traffic. Well, I remember back in like 99 or 2000 somewhere in that timeframe. I, there was two guys running it and one of them said, hey, you know, it’s just gonna be me now.
Kevin: [00:27:56] The other guys going off to he’s going to do his own thing. And I was like, OK, no problem. And uh, you know, a few years later I see what that, what that thing was. And it’s a Jimmy Wales or started at wikipedia before that, he has a site called [inaudible], b o m I s wow. I have an email from like 2000 through 2000, two or 2003, I think it is that I just, it was from this site, cause some, some dude at a, something called myspace. I’m like, what the heck? What was my spirit? I ignored the email. I came in and said, hey, we’d love to do something you do in this photo of the day and news thing and we’d love to do something with you, partner up with you, and we’re starting this thing called my space. I was like, yeah, whatever. I don’t have time for you.
Kevin: [00:28:43] And I just blow it off and I just kept it in like a file on my emails or something, an email folder and like a few years later I was just looking through, going through there, clean stuff out and like, holy crap man. What an opportunity I missed right there. Now my space is nothing now. But before facebook they were the rage. So picking up Mark Cuban, he reached out to us back when he started hd.net. Yeah. He needed content and he and what drives content on these new platforms a lot of times is bikini girls type of stuff. So he was looking for sports [inaudible] type of stuff back then. You know. So it’s crazy when you’re describing a lot of stuff. I mean, so let’s just unpack a couple of things there because one of the things that seems relevant to today is building an audience. You were, you were scraping together an audience, any which way you’re talking about swapping mean meaning that iso glasses and Uso ice cube maker, so rice, Cuban forums,
Stephen: [00:29:41] and so that’s a natural, you know, so my customers are probably your customers, your customers are probably my customers, right? So thinking about today, right? Right now we’re all spoiled because we use Amazon’s customers, right? We don’t own them, we don’t do anything, but there is a lot of people trying to develop their own customer base or customer lists, like you said, bounce-back cards or anything that you’re putting in, in with that product that you’re allowed to give a warranty or whatever it is. So you have control of that customer. Um, it’s, it’s back, isn’t it? I mean, you really do have to get clever and creative if you really want to create a database of customers, correct.
Kevin: [00:30:18] You do. And it’s harder now, but back then it was easier to get them to be loyal to you because there was less options and less, less clutter. Now there’s so many different. It’s so quick for them. You know, back in the days of, of catalogs, I could send out a catalog and it had a hundred and 40 different a pin-up calendars in it. They could go down to their local barnes and noble or the bookstore that used to exist, a, b Dalton or whatever in the mall. And they might see five of them. There are 10 of them there. And so that’s the choice, you know, unless somebody else had that name and sent them a catalog, there was no other option. I owned them, but now they can just with a click of a couple of mouse clicks and buttons, I can find out anything they want.
Kevin: [00:30:55] So it’s much more competitive and much harder to build that loyal customer base. And you. Speaking of Amazon, you know, I, I, I do sell. I have five brands right now that sell on Amazon and five different categories and do seven figures a year on Amazon, but that’s you’re sitting, even though it’s Amazon’s customer, most sellers on Amazon don’t realize the goldmine there sitting on. People always come to me and say, Hey, I’m going to start a shopify site and I don’t. I don’t like selling to Amazon. They take too much money. I can make more if I drive my own traffic from facebook or a simple to do, but it’s really not. It takes a lot more money to do that. Even though Amazon may charge you a higher percentage by the time you add up all their fees, you know, it’s roughly 30 percent or so depending on price, price point, but approximately 30 percent or so.
Kevin: [00:31:44] That can be a lot for some people. But I’m like, look, there’s no better freaking way to source new customers. I mean, I do this with my calendars now. I do it with my calendars. Now I have, I sell my calendar’s on Amazon. Uh, and I will, I will put a bounce back card and the calendars and they’ll say, hey, congratulations, you’ve won a free calendar, just remit $6 shipping and handling, either go to this web address or sending a check or money order. And what I’m doing with that is I’m capturing those customers and making them mind they’re doing business now with me and I used what I send them for a free calendar is my excess stock because calendars are like selling milk, selling milk. They go, they go bad in January there were, you know, to [inaudible] calendar is worth $5. So I’ve got this x if I’ve over bought or underestimated or whatever, I just get rid of my excess stock and I got new customers coming in and I do it also.
Kevin: [00:32:35] If I have extra calendars, you know, say I have an extra sports illustrated calendar, I will go on there and just put it at cost and just sell them just to get that lead. And that’s one way to do it. But another way is, say you’re doing an Fba with Amazon, a fulfill by Amazon, let Amazon ship everything. You’re sitting on a gold mine of customer data. Now those customers aren’t yours necessarily. They didn’t come to you, but by God you should be downloading that data either using software tools or doing it manually. Importing that over to facebook and letting facebook create look alike audiences on it. There’s no better way to get more customers. Even if you have your own website. If your goal is not really to sell on Amazon, you’re. I think you’re making a major mistake. If you don’t sell on Amazon, start on Amazon.
Kevin: [00:33:17] Let their leverage their traffic and what they have sell a thousand or so, 500 or thousand of whatever your widgets or whatever you’re selling, take that data that Amazon’s gotten. Download that customer debt because they give you the name, address, city, state, zip. Bring that over to facebook. Create look alike audiences on facebook. Add a couple more criteria and then drive those people to your shopify store where you can actually get, uh, get the best, uh, Eh, you know, margins and stuff. And that’s kind of like the old days of direct mail testing and swapping and whatever you can leverage that so much and I think maybe less than one percent of the people even do that. It boggles my mind. Blows me away because what you’re describing again is you’re back to your direct mail. I mean, it really is that same concept, that foundation. It really hasn’t changed.
Kevin: [00:34:03] You just have to be more clever. So I don’t know that most people understand what you’re talking about, what the lookalike address, right? So, or look like a profile, right? So go deeper on that because I don’t think most people understand that because you don’t want to break in terms of service and you’re not breaking terms of service because you’re not going to market to their customers. You’re going to market to somebody that’s similar profile. That’s what you’re going to do. So let’s, let’s. So on Amazon. So I’m a customer comes to Amazon and you buy, let’s say you’re selling a, a, a dog training dog treats it, comes anybody’s your dog treat your bully sticks, let’s just say on Amazon. And he’s bought it. And he’s happy he got the product, everything’s good. After you’ve thought about all you need is about a hundred customers on Amazon to create a look alike audience on facebook, I recommend you get [inaudible].
Kevin: [00:34:50] It’s going to be a better audience, but here’s how the process works. So you download your data from Amazon, so you’ll go into your business reports on seller central, you will actually download. There’s the place where you can download your customer orders and it’ll. Or you can use third party tools that do this too, and you download that data and it’s going to give you. It will not give you their email address. They will not give you their phone number. It will give you like an Amazon encoded email address, but not their real email address. So you take that, that name, the first name, their last name and their city, state and zip, and you can. That’s all you need. Now some people will take an extra step and they will actually. You can use services that will do what’s called an email append or a phone append so you can give them the person’s name and their city, state and zip, and then you can, there are services that will try to match up and find their real email address or their real phone.
Kevin: [00:35:37] That’s an extra expense and it can, it can help you, but it’s not necessary in the beginning. Maybe you want to do that a little bit later on, but you don’t have to start there. So you take this data that have these thousand people that have bought or 500 or whatever the number is. The more the better, uh, the [inaudible] take these thousand customers off of Amazon. You go to your facebook account and you have to have a business account at facebook. So it’s business.facebook.com. You can’t do this with your personal account and it’s free to have a business account so it doesn’t cost anything, but you’re gonna have. You’re going to then import those into facebook and what’s called a custom audience. It’s a, it’s a method and you can google this and they’re step by step processes of how to do that. Just Google facebook, how to create a facebook custom audience and you’ll, you’ll get somebody, well, you’ll find a place I’ll show you step by step how to do it and you import all these thousand customers into facebook and then you could market to those people.
Kevin: [00:36:27] But like you said, that’s technically against the terms of service of Amazon because you’re then marketing to those people. A lot of people do it anyway. Um, but because it’s hard to trace, but technically, you know, if you want to go by the letter within terms of service, we can stay that, the letter of the law. Then it’s, it’s, you don’t want to do that. But then what you can do is facebook has a, something like a 212,000 data points on everybody that uses facebook. I just saw an article the other day, someone downloaded, downloaded their facebook and google and just google download what the history that Google has on his five point six gigabytes of history that they had on, on this person. Everything they search for every image that he’s ever looked for, every email, everything. Facebook is similar so they had like 200 and it’s a ridiculous and I think it’s 212,000, 200,000 data points.
Kevin: [00:37:14] All these data points. So then what you tell facebook to say, Hey, I’ve got these thousand people here that have bought my dog treats that I’ve just created this custom. Long on I would like you to tell me fine. Go find more people just like them. And so facebook will say, no problem. How many would you like in? Typically in the. You start with like a one percent of the US, which is about 2,000,000 people. That’s where most people start. So you say, I want a one percent look alike audience. So go find the closest one percent of the US population that matches these thousand people. So facebook can look at your thousand people that bought on Amazon, they’re going to say, OK, these people all drive Subaru outbacks. They all eat at this restaurant. They all buy dog things. They all have doxins. They all do this.
Kevin: [00:37:56] They’re mostly 22 years old and uh, or 42 years old and I have two kids or whatever the number, whatever the thing is, they will go out and then match and find a 2,000,000 other customers that most closely match those thousand. And then you can take those [inaudible] and you can do some overlays on. You can say, OK, now these 2000, I want to make sure that their Amazon people. So I’m going to add a filter on facebook that says they’ve been to Amazon.com or Amazon like com. I am selling dog treats. So I want to also make sure that they subscribe or to pet age magazine or dog breeder magazine or these different magazines because someone that subscribes to a magazine is pretty serious about their pet, Moreso than the person that doesn’t. Those are the more serious people that are probably going to spend more money.
Kevin: [00:38:42] And so you put all these overlays on that 2,000,000 and maybe your 2,000,000 comes down to let’s say half a million people by the time you say, filter out the people that don’t subscribe to magazines that have never bought from, uh, the doctor, uh, you know, pet smart catalog or whatever, you can do all kinds of amazing what you can do a. and then you have 500,000 people that are highly, highly, highly likely to be interested in what you’re selling. And so then you run ads to those people, either video ads or are still ads or whatever it may be. And it’s amazing how, how well you can zero in and target people. Uh, and people just aren’t doing it. It’s the big brands know it and they’re doing it. Uh, but the average guy that’s an entrepreneur just doesn’t realize the opportunity they’re sitting on a with that data.
Kevin: [00:39:25] And even if you’re, you know, a local, uh, you know, if you’re listening to the podcast or you’re not selling commerce, so you’re, you have a local patches, you know, local pet store and people are dropping a business cards in the fishbowl to, to win a free a dog bath or whatever, take that data, put it digitally and put it up on facebook. And then target those people, uh, you know, do look, Alexa knows, and your local zip code, you can say, I want everybody that’s, you know, within a 10 mile radius of my store and target them. It’s amazing what you can do and it’s so under utilized, um, and, and that. So that’s basically what a look alike audience does. And that’s how you can leverage what you have. And you could do the same thing if you’re not selling on Amazon, if you’re selling on shopify or, or one of the others, you can take your data from there and do the same thing.
Stephen: [00:40:08] No choice with those because it’s very difficult to gain traffic. So you really do have to be, you know, I guess that’s what I’m sitting here listening to you. I’m back to you way back in direct mail, being clever and swap in and borrowing and getting the cards, doing anything you can to gain that customer information. It’s really what you’re doing in this scenario. The difference is now somebody else has spent a fortune to collect all that information. I mean 212,000 points of data on someone so they can really slice it down. Um, it’s genius. I mean, it really is. It really makes a lot of sense and you’re not violating terms of service by doing that. So that makes perfect sense to me. Um, so you mentioned big brands are doing it. Are they catching up? Do
Kevin: [00:40:55] you think? The big brands, some of the big agencies and stuff, cause I know what they’re doing, but as far as like Amazon know, the big brands are still way behind the big brands for the most part as far as Amazon goes, are the, they’re lost in the dark, they’re hiring a, you know, their, their idea of Amazon person as you know, a Collagen, a graduate that’s let’s go take a take one of these courses and, and do our Amazon account and a lot of them are starting to wake up and realize that hey, Amazon step child anymore. It’s actually a can contribute a lot to our business and if we actually work at this like these like entrepreneurs do that are doing the Fba model in the private label model, we actually, instead of just throwing our catalog listing up there and hoping for the best or, or listening to what someone inside Amazon is telling us to do.
Kevin: [00:41:44] Um, if we do this, treat this as an entrepreneur endeavor, we can dramatically increase our sales. I mean there’s tools out there. Even as a third parties. I mean, the tools have come a long, long way in the last year I’ve been doing that. I’ve been selling on Amazon for 20 years, but as an FBA, third party private label seller, about three, uh, almost three years now, but the tools just in those three years, it’s night and day difference. I mean you can get real Amazon, a search volume now on from some of the tools you can bring in your listing on Amazon and overnight double your sales just overnight was by paying attention and Mac and optimizing your listing with the right keywords and just there’s tools that will tell you what you’re missing and what you’re doing. And it’s crazy and there’s a lot of reverse engineering. You’ve got to do a, which, you know, some people. It’s math. I mean it’s, it’s, it’s all math.
Stephen: [00:42:36] Are we back to, I mean again, we’re going backwards in, in your career were going back to that point of figuring out how to leverage what you already have. You’re not spending a lot of time bringing new products to market. Are You Kevin?
Kevin: [00:42:48] No, I don’t know. I don’t spend a lot of time bringing new products to market.
Stephen: [00:42:51] Your goal is to maximize the products that you already have. I think that’s a big. That’s a big cultural shift because for awhile there you couldn’t. I mean how many people brought those damn barbecue gloves, right? There’s silicone spatula is and all that kind of jazz. Everybody was. The answer was to bring new products, bring new products, bring new products. It’s not necessarily. The answer is once you have a product, it’s really leveraging it to its fullest capacity and what you’re describing, it’s significant. I mean this is, that’s where you spend your time, is that correct?
Kevin: [00:43:21] Fair. Just keep adding products on Amazon. You know, I talk to sellers that are doing seven figures a year and they’re like, yeah, I’ve got 100, a hundred 50 skews or 200 or some guys, you know, 50,000 skews. Or I met one guy one time that has millions of skews and they always say, how many you got Kevin? You’re doing seven figures a year. What do you. As I say, I’ve got 15 and I haven’t maximized those yet. In the US, forget, nevermind Canada,
Stephen: [00:43:48] 50 people a month drop in the same products you are in private label?
Kevin: [00:43:53] No, I’ve been on Amazon for two. Uh, you know, like I said, almost three years. I’ve never had a hijacker hijacker is where you have a Chinese seller or you have someone else that’s, you know, doing your barbecue gloves. It comes onto your listing and tries to steal some of your heart. Let’s just say they’re doing the same thing. They’re creating one that looks just like it next to yours. No, I differentiate. So that’s, that’s the, that’s the that you’re working on. And again, differentiate. I don’t just throw my label and a plastic bag. I mean, I’ll give you a perfect example. Let’s go back to the bully sticks example. I still bully sticks is one of my products is bully sticks, bully sticks or dog treats. There are big long and like meat sticks, just love. And there’s a company out of Virginia that just cleans up selling bully stick.
Kevin: [00:44:36] I mean they sell millions and millions of dollars and it’s a very popular dog treat. Most people on Amazon, you know, if you do the search volume intelligent, you know, it’s 40, 50, 60,000 exact searches a month and all these long tail. So it’s a good little volume. So a lot of people have gotten into it, they, they punched it into one of the tools to jungle scout or whatever and it comes up. So what they do is what, same thing as everybody else. They go and typically these are sold about 20 or 30 sticks in a plastic bag. So they just find a manufacturer and they stick their name on it to stick their label and launch it and maybe their prices a little different, a little lower, a little higher.
Kevin: [00:45:12] That’s all I can do. That’s not what I did not read the reviews of all the top sellers. And I looked for all the negative reviews, what people were saying. The number one thing is they want American sticks. So they don’t want stuff from Brazil or anywhere else. They want these American beef, you know? Uh, so I said that another thing is that a lot of people are saying these things stink. I mean, bully sticks are apart, come from a part of the cow that doesn’t smell too good and so these things stink and it’s a lot of the cheaper ones. You take them out and you know, it smells like the bathroom or something and your house and people are like, oh my God, as soon as the dog starts chewing it, the dogs love them, but it stinks up the place and some of them stay in the carpet or if the dog takes it onto the couch.
Kevin: [00:45:50] So people are complaining about that. So what I did is I called around to some of the top a bully stick guys here in the US. I knew I wanted us and I said, hey, who’s, who’s, who does the best job out there? Who? And they said everything pointed to this one guy up in the east coast up in, uh, up in New Hampshire area. And so I called him and he said, yeah, my stuff doesn’t stink. Mine or are bigger and thicker than the average person. I’m, I’m a classically trained French chef. So I’d put this, put them through this cooking process with my in my factory and so I said, OK, there’s my differentiation. So what I did is said, OK, I’m going to take three of his, his step bigger sticks, bigger, thicker juice your sticks instead of 30 in a plastic bag.
Kevin: [00:46:32] I’m not going to put mine in a plastic bag. I’m going to go make these look premium. I’m going to go out and get a cigar box. I haven’t had a cigar box. May I’m going to put three bully sticks in a cigar box and stuff 30. These other guys are selling their 30 sticks for anywhere from 25 to $35 are all competing on price and positioning. I’m going to put mine at 49, 95, three sticks to sisters. Three sticks for 49, 95 and tight box versus 30 sticks for between 25 and $35. Hold up, don’t stink. Minor, bigger. So. And that marketed. I created a listing on Amazon with, with pictures and I had cartoons made. So if some of my images on Amazon, we’re actually like before and after cartoon. So one of the cartoons was like a bunch of dogs in the car and they’re driving through, it looks like a Mcdonald’s and they’re ordering like cheap, cheap, you know, fast food type of bully sticks.
Kevin: [00:47:23] I don’t feed your dog this, that had another cartoon made and one of my other images that looks like it’s a dog sitting in a, on a nice steakhouse and they all got the little bow ties on. They’re all sitting at the table, you know, holding the steak knife and there Paul and on the other hand and they’re all like proper. And I was like, which would you feed your dog? Do you care about your dog? Do you want to give him fast food or do you want to give him the best? And so that position that not only with the packaging and uh, and the type of product. And I fixed the customer complaints, but also I also positioned it and framed it in the customer’s mind. Now there’s a lot of people that will buy, won’t say 48, $49 for three sticks. Are you freaking crazy?
Kevin: [00:48:03] And there’s no way I’m giving you that money. This is a total rip off, but I have other customers that bought from me 47 times over and over and over and they want to give their dog the best and there’s so back a second. Hold on a second. My product is never going to be the right, but to make more money because you just talked about differentiating yourself. Right? And let’s just go through that again. So the, the, the smell was an issue. So you took away that, right? The packaging sounds like you were trying to say this is premium period, right? That’s why you went to the cigar box. So you address that saying, Hey, if you love your dog, you’re going to buy mine because mine are the best and you made in the USA so you don’t have to worry about things.
Kevin: [00:48:48] So by fixing that you were able to take a slice of the market and keep a slice of the market. Exactly. So how do you, are you taking that same approach for every product you bring to market? I mean, that’s, that sounds cool. Like with Bowie sticks, but give me another product. Uh, my, my glass, I’m looking at my glass of water right here. What could you do to a glass? Because I think that’s the lesson. What you’re describing is. I mean you can take that glass and you can make that glass into it. It’s, it’s something for special occasion, it’s, it’s, it’s a premium glass to give as an anniversary gift or a christening gift or a wedding gift or, or something where you can capture a bunch of different keyword options and different search volumes that’ll all come into a glass. I mean, when I put a product up on Amazon, I like to have a lot of doors.
Kevin: [00:49:36] I don’t like everybody coming through the front door. I want people coming in through the side door, through the back window, crawling through the attic. So by taking a glass, I would try to find five or 10 different markets, you know, different doors they can come in, which is anniversaries, weddings, gifts. Mother’s Day, whatever, and I would create some sort of premium cool. Like collectors glass, something that when you give this to mom for mother’s Day, she’s like, oh my God, this is the special glass that Kevin gave me last year for mother’s Day. You know, I, I drink my nicest cognac from this, or I drink my whatever. It has some sort of meaning so you can, you can position it that way. So it’s not just another everyday glass that goes in the dishwasher. So you can do that with every product is what you’re saying.
Kevin: [00:50:16] And here’s the salesman in you that you said that you could have been a salesman. There it is right there. Your ability to see this glass and not see it as an occasion class. So you know, tell me about your k, oh yeah, this is going to be great for your wedding. Just going to be great for that salesmen. So that’s a perspective issue, right? That’s what you have to have is you have to change your perspective. I think this is really solid advice. Don’t keep launching products, maximize the product. When, when do you think you’ll get your 15 to full capacity?
Kevin: [00:50:48] There’s always opportunity for the corona on the beach. I don’t think that instance, I maximize it here. It’s time to do it all over again. In Europe, in Europe, you know, you can double your business just by going to Europe with the right product. Uh, that’s a lot of people that are selling in the US space, don’t even realize, you know, I know guys that don’t sell in the US 23 year old kid that’s doing $12,000,000 a year, dropped out of Dartmouth and selling just in Europe and that’s it. So there’s major opportunity there. So that’s the beauty about Amazon is once you master the US is the biggest one. Take that skillset and that knowledge and it transfers to Europe, to Japan, to other places and you can just grow exponentially, you know, never got a good example. Again, [inaudible] products, how difficult is it or let’s use your dog treats.
Kevin: [00:51:40] How difficult is that to get that translated to go over to France or whatever. I mean, obviously there’s a language issue. There is packaging and stuff like that, but generally speaking, it’s not that bad. It’s not, it’s not that bad. I mean some treats and makeup stuff. There’s some regulations you guys do like, um, you know, it’s a few things like that, but no, it’s, it’s not that bad. And a lot of times, you know, American made is sells well and other. I mean we always think here like it’s French cuisine or this German engineering or whatever, but the same goes for the other way and there’s a lot of stuff that’s a Amerikaner made in America has a high perceived value, much higher perceived value overseas than it does here. You know, Hershey’s bars for example, or remember a Levi’s jeans back in the day where people were Japan on the forum, you know, in Russia and stuff.
Kevin: [00:52:30] So you can, you can leverage that in different ways. You’ve got to think about it a little bit differently. You’ve got to get everything translated. You know, there, there are some things that, you know, Americans are going to buy that Europeans are going to just like, what the heck is that? I’m not going to sell the same, but in the most, in most cases it’s going to sell just as well with less competition and you can differentiate the same. I mean, people love their pets over in Europe too. And so there was some, a certain number of the people are willing to spend. Like I was saying earlier, I’m selling 49, 95. I’m never going to have a high. People focus too much on Bsr, in my opinion, when they’re selling on Amazon, they’re always worried, what’s my best seller rank? BSR, I don’t really care what my Bsr is and I don’t even follow it.
Kevin: [00:53:12] I don’t track vsr. Um, I attract dollars. And so if I have a Bsr 6,000, you know, my, my bully sticks at 49, 95, I pay about 20 bucks and it’s a little bit higher price all in for them. Um, I actually about 18 bucks in, but if I bought the $30 ones, I’d probably be in home about 10 to 12 bucks. So the margins and I might sell more of those, uh, unit, quantity wise and also less than my more expensive ones, but at the end of the day I’m not having to fight all these other people fight off people and constantly changing my price. I have my, the market, the sub market to myself and I’m making more money than the guys who were probably selling three or four times as much as me that have a 1000 vsr and here I am with a 7,000 or 8,000 vsr
Stephen: [00:53:56] because you’re not going after praise. And so therefore you’re able to work on your business. You’re not distracted by that, you know, oh, now you’re working on your business and you’re going to do. OK. So I want to pull back for a second because you gave a tremendous amount of information, but I hope people here. So what Kevin is saying again is you don’t necessarily have to go out and keep adding products and keep adding products to keep adding variations. You have to maximize what you have. You have to think about it differently from a new perspective. What’s your advice for people to get that perspective? What if they don’t have some people who just don’t have it?
Kevin: [00:54:35] I’m going to give you one before I answer that question. I’m gonna give you one more example real quick. If I may. I’m maximizing what you have. All this together a little bit. Back when I was doing the trading cards and calendars and stuff, we were, you know, when I started private labeling those that we would actually partner with a photographer and we would go out and do some of her own photo shoots. Well, I would actually leverage that asset, a digital asset into the trading cards and the calendars. And then that eventually evolved into websites where people would pay memberships to, to, to, to access the stuff with the joke of the day or whatever. And then when that market started dying off because there’s so much stuff for free on the Internet, um, you know, you can go see what, see any kind of grown a bikini want or Victoria secret came online.
Kevin: [00:55:19] There’s no need to know for that. It started dying off. I was like, how can I still leverage this asset and 2007, I decided I wanted to travel for a year. I turned 40 years old and I’m going to spend the next year. I’m going to spend two weeks of the year in the office in Texas and two weeks on the road and I just want, I have a little bucket list. I want to go travel. So I picked some places and decided that’s what I’m going to do. And that one year turned into seven years. I did that for seven years, um, sometimes by myself, sometimes with friends or family. But what it enabled me to do that was, I leveraged that asset again because the market was dying of people paying for this kind of stuff online. I still had the calendar business that will still have it today.
Kevin: [00:56:02] It’s still going strong. Um, but that’s seasonal. So I was like, how can I make money in the meantime and live and create this lifestyle wanted while I took that, all those images, I put them on hard drives and I told my collector type. I sold them as a collectible. I say, look, I understood my customer psychology, psych, psyche, these are collector types. They’re complete this. They got to have everything that a fan of a particular model, they want every picture of Pamela Anderson or whatever it may be. So I said, hey, tell you what, instead of downloading all this stuff on the internet, instead of buying all these calendars, look, I’ve got all this stuff nice and neatly organized on, on a heart, on a 250 gigabyte hard drive. I would buy these from Amazon and you know, look to the lowest private label seller.
Kevin: [00:56:42] And by them I had five computers that would constantly copying around the clock. I would sell these hard drives for $499. It’d be complete. I did the first one in 2010 and it’s sold ridiculous numbers. I’m like, holy cow, I got to do this again. It’s like, what do I have? What assets do I have? So I started looking at every desk drawer, the office, like old cds, old, whatever. I came up with another hard drive, like, Oh, here’s the bonus collection. You know, these were the ones that were, you know, w we’re last in the last tapes, you know, the Jimi Hendrix, the lost tapes album or whatever. These are the lost tapes. Came out with another one, made a bunch more money and then I was like, OK, let me combine the two together and then add some extra bonus at a differentiating factor, you know, and then we even went back to the original images that we shot and re edit them at one point, like when we would shoot a model, we might shoot, you know, 500 frames and we would use 40 initially.
Kevin: [00:57:33] And I was like, well let’s go back and edit 60 more out, you know, and these are the ones that didn’t make. These were ones that were left on the cutting room floor, but it just might be your favorite picture that it just because it was, it wasn’t ours. It might be your. And so did it again. So you just look for every. I mean that’s, it goes to when you have something on Amazon or wherever it is, don’t just rest on your laurels. So many ways you can come up with a different perspective and think differently and you can maximize that money. You can, you can ring the ring that towel dry,
Stephen: [00:58:09] so I just always try to write my title and I’m sitting here listening to you and you’re like, take your existing assets and repurpose to maximize your opportunities. That’s really what you’re doing and it seems like your wash, rinse, repeat, wash, rinse, repeat. Every time you take that approach. So let’s give some advice to people, right? Because they have products or they want to get in here and they want to get in private label and they want to get in and start their own thing and they want to build it out, but you know it’s. It’s a little intimidating, right? It’s a little scary. What you’re describing is to take something and then look at all the possibilities. I think that’s, that’s what it’s enlightening talking with you is that you don’t look at it and say, Oh, I’m just going to pop this up in Amazon. It’s a one off. You see it could go here, it can go here. I could use it for this, I could use it for this. I mean, you see nothing but opportunity, don’t you?
Kevin: [00:59:02] That’s true. Yeah. I do think if you look at it from coming at it from that perspective rather than it’s a tool. It’s not a commodity. I mean, your product is a tool for two so that you can achieve whatever it is you’re trying to achieve, whether it’s financial freedom or extra, or
Stephen: [00:59:23] you described yourself as a creative type. What if they’re not? What if they can’t? I mean, there were some people who can’t see it and for whatever reason, they just can’t see the capacity or the potential of it. Can they hire it out?
Kevin: [00:59:35] You might be able to hire it out. It, you might be able to hire it out. Yeah. I mean sometimes you got to get. What’s that saying? You gotta get out of the, uh, you have to get outside of the jar to be able to read the label. Um, so I mean sometimes, you know, uh, something like that, you know, it’s true. And we get so close to our products that are passionate. They’re ours. And sometimes just bring in some fresh people in, whether it’s someone you hire or just taking your product down to the local bar and I’m just sitting there for four hours and just asking people as like drinks, people will be honest with you or going to a starbucks and just saying, hey, you know, what do you think of this or what is this? Or how would you use this or, or go in and reading reviews of other products and seeing what people were saying and those reviews, you know, there’s a goldmine on Amazon, you know, companies used to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to get focus groups and market research to find out what. Now we can just go look at a product with a thousand reviews on Amazon and start reading them and you’ll see the language of the customer and what they like and you can get an idea of their personality. And so it’s valuable. Valuable stuff,
Stephen: [01:00:41] dude, you’re killing me here. This is good. That’s a really good strong. But that’s a really solid point, right? That what you just said. Think about what they used to spend to get all those people to come in and then they were biased in any way. You’re getting a hopefully an unbiased, you know, assuming that the reviews are real, you’re getting an unbiased look and it’s right in front of you and it’s free. It’s absolutely free. Love it. We’re gonna
Kevin: [01:01:03] do is. I’m me just for example, samples I will take, I will take review. I’ll go and take the top five sellers on Amazon, whatever product, whether there’s bully sticks or whatever. I will take them. I will run. I will put their ace and into fake spot dot and if it comes back as a a, B or higher, I know those reviews are real. If it comes back as an f or a c, those are a lot of fake reviews that people have bought or from review clubs or whatever and so I will discount the. I want to use that product as a as to read reviews, but it’s a a, a or b and from fake spot. Then I’ll take that and I’ll use a tool like the helium 10 tool. I think it’s a free chrome extension and the chrome browser, it will download all the reviews instantly for you so I don’t have to sit there and scroll through page after page after page, after page of reading at thousand reviews.
Kevin: [01:01:46] It will download them all for me, uh, into a CSV file in like 10 seconds. And then I can combine all five products into one file and then I can run that through different programs like Frankenstein or that he limped in has or others than I can find the patterns really fast. So I can tell me, show me a, I’m looking for three words or five or patterns, you know, if someone’s saying the same thing and it will tell me how many instances there are. It’ll tell you all kinds of stuff and you can gab without having to sit there and spend days reading these things. I mean, you can do that if you want. And I would recommend some point. You do read a bunch of them, but you the tools to harvest this data or are powerful now and you can do it quickly and zero in and then change your, your product listing, whether it’s on shopify or Amazon or wherever, to actually be in the language of the customer to address those things, those things, and to be in the language of the customer because when we ride our listings, we right down from what we think the product is and what we think and from our research and our experience, but the customer’s experience and perception is often quite different and they will use language in words.
Kevin: [01:02:50] You know, if I’m going to go sell a skateboards to pop punk rockers or whatever, I don’t know their language, their lingo. I’m not in that millennial, you know, 18, 19, 20 year old age group that, you know, the slang that they use and whatever. I don’t know what it is. They can go look at some skateboard reviews or skateboard product reviews and pretty quickly I can. I can find out how abbreviations they’re using, what slang they’re using and start using that. In my my, my listing, and you’re going to resonate with that customer a lot better and you’re going to sell for more.
Stephen: [01:03:21] Write it in the language of the customer. Who? Kevin, that was good. So I’m going to let you pitch your stuff because you do have a couple of groups. So people. This is high level stuff. Let’s say it this way. It’s not that high level. It’s really intentional and focused, right? I mean it really isn’t that high level. It’s a matter of discipline and really putting your head down instead of spending all that time searching for new stuff. It’s really taking and you know, learning and really understanding my bet is you gain an enormous understanding of your products and then next time when you do happen to launch one, you know exactly what to do. You build a system that I know the answer to that. I mean that’s really powerful. So if somebody is connected with this and they’re interested in finding out more, you’ve got a couple of groups that you’re part of that you’re involved in that for herself. Ours who’ve really can see this where they don’t want to have a thousand skews, they want to do a few things and do them really, really well. This is the kind of group that you want to be in. So go ahead and make your pitch.
Kevin: [01:04:21] Uh, well, yeah, sure. I mean if, if
Stephen: [01:04:24] I don’t benefit in any way, I just want to help you just because I know there’s somebody who’s going to sit there and say, oh yeah, that’s what I’m thinking because I’m running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I keep being like, uh, I can’t do this and I gotta do this. I gotta do this. I gotta do this. I can’t get it all done. Well there’s a problem. You’re doing too much. Right? And so you’re going to isolate it down and maybe use that parade of principle and get that whatever it is and narrow it down and focused, but then maximize it. That’s, I think that’s going to connect with a whole bunch of people coming.
Kevin: [01:04:54] If anybody wants some other stuff for free, um, you can find me on facebook at amz marketer, amz marketer. There’s links there to all my other podcasts and stuff I’ve been on and you might enjoy listing some of those. That’s all free stuff. If, uh, I also, um, I ah, mentor sellers doing over half a billion dollars in sales a year on Amazon in the seller. Let’s qualify that. Yeah, not one seller, but most sellers don’t over half a billion. I think the top one does a 30,000,000 or so on Amazon a year. Um, and the illuminati mastermind, it’s Illuminati a mastermind, [inaudible], uh, that, that’s a course for people that are, it’s not a core, I’m sorry. It’s a training for people that are already selling on Amazon. So if you’re brand new, I don’t recommend that, but if you’ve already, if you’re already selling about $25,000 or more a month on Amazon or other e-commerce, we do a monthly webinar where we, we show your latest, greatest tips and tricks on what’s happening on Amazon, how to really crush your competition.
Kevin: [01:05:52] And then if you have new for private label or wholesale private label, white label, yeah, it’s geared more towards private label, but it will, if there is an applicable stuff in there and whether you’re doing wholesale, it’s not really retail arbitrage type of stuff, but if you’re doing wholesale, you’ll, you’ll get some. We got some big wholesalers that are in there, it’s, it’s focused more on the private label side, but the law that does crossover and then for people who, uh, are not, uh, if you’re new to the e-commerce game or maybe you just started and you’re just doing the, you know, you’re the brand new or you started and you’re doing like a few thousand dollars a month right now on Amazon. And you’re like, well, what can I do to get, get to the next level? I have a course called the freedom ticket. It’s freedom ticket [inaudible]. And that’s like, it’s an inexpensive course, uh, that, that takes you from a to z from on how to do Amazon. And I also do weekly q and a’s with all my members. So I answer every. I just did one early every Monday, I just didn’t want to before we, we chatted today, uh, and I answer every question on those [inaudible] that they may have as they’re going through their journey and as they’re learning,
Stephen: [01:06:51] that’s awesome. And so I’m going to have links to all those for somebody because again, if you’re connected, I always tell people he’s always like, Steve, who’s the best one, who shouldn’t be with. I’m always like, you know, who I connect with. You might not, you know, you got to figure out who you connect with, who you can learn from there. We all learn differently and sometimes you know, you know, it’s like they’re just, some people you just immediately click. That’s who you learn from, right? You just, you can almost finish each other’s sentences. That’s what you want to do. And so if this, uh, if, if Kevin’s a stories resonate and connect with you, especially if you’re saying I don’t want to do 1000 things, I want to find an easier way. And let me ask you this. Given the, uh, the, the description you’re using about using tools like we’re using helion [inaudible] and you’re squeezing it down and all those things, are those the kind of hacks I’m going to call it a hack nep nine in a negative way. I don’t mean it as a negative connotation. I meet it as a time saving hack. Are those the kinds of things that are really prevalent out in your, in your stuff?
Kevin: [01:07:55] Yeah. I, I mean, I’m a one man show. I last year I did a several million dollars and I don’t have any [inaudible] and um, I’m a one man guy. I mean this year I’m probably going to be hiring one or two vas, but I use tools. I work smart, uh, I try to work smart, uh, not, not work hard. Um, so the tools enabled you to do a lot of things, uh, that you might have had a va or someone to do in the past. So I only use like five or pro. There’s, there’s hundreds and hundreds of tools out there for Amazon sellers especially. I only use about five. Um, because they pretty much do everything I need and some of the other ones that a lot of people use. I just, you know, that track your Bsr, uh, you know, and stuff like that I don’t care about, so I don’t, I don’t use those.
Kevin: [01:08:40] OK. So somebody wants to follow up, best place to get you at Amazon marketer. Is that the best place on facebook? Cause I’ll put that link there. Uh, yeah, the facebook.com forward slash amz marketer. I will put that in there. Dude, you blew my mind. Um, I just love, I love the stories, but I love, I love how you’re back to what you were doing 20 years ago. You’re just, it’s, it’s new, you know, terms or whatever, but you’re back there. You’re selling and you’re figuring out the perspective from others. Um, you’re, you’re speaking the language of the customer that’s going to stick with me. That’s such, that’s a merchant needs to get that shirt. That’s a good marine. Sure. Thank you so much. I wish you nothing but success. I appreciate it, Steven, and I hope I’ve been able to help some of your audience and uh, I appreciate you giving me the time.
Stephen: [01:09:25] Totally. That’s great stuff, isn’t it? I mean, when a smart guy, just a great guy too, real friendly, approachable, um, you know, just, just a really all around. Nice guy. Wealth of experience had been doing this for a long time, but he’s involved in a whole bunch of other groups and they are current. They are right on the edge knowing every single thing that’s coming on and coming out and they’re staying current. And I just think it’s such a smart way to learn the language of your customer, telling you, Kevin, that’s a merge shirt. Get them to understand the language of the customer. E commerce, momentum.com, e-commerce, momentum [inaudible]. Take care.
Cool voice guy: [01:10:01] Thanks for listening to the e-commerce momentum podcast. All the links mentioned today can be email@example.com. Under this episode number, please remember to subscribe and like us on itunes.