I love talking with these techno-experts. they come from other fields and get a taste of buying something and selling it at a higher price. Then they realize they can fix or make the ability to resell easier based on there whole life experiences through that point. And then it begins. They are hooked. they take the data, parse it, shape it so they can make sense of it. Seen it many times. Very smart guy with very smart approaches.
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Transcript: (note- this is a new tool I am trying out so it is not perfect- it does seem to be getting better)
Brian: [00:00:00] Is I’ve started merchant fulfilling this past year, so I merchant yet I’m merchant facility, my Ebay and all my walmart orders, but I also merchant fulfill a lot of my Amazon products. So what I started doing was listing everything with FBI and then for the products have deep stock on. I make a second listing for merchant fulfilled.
Cool voice guy: [00:00:22] Welcome to the ecommerce guys, focus on the people, the products and the process of income are selling today. Here’s your host, Steven Peterson.
Stephen: [00:00:36] He wanted to talk a few moments about some sponsors scope from seller labs. Um, when’s the last time you created a listing? Right? And when you create that listing, you’ve got to come up with the keywords, right? It’s all key word dependent. I don’t care if it’s a private label or wholesale. You’ve got to get it right. Well, what’s the best way to get it right? And if you’re selling a similar product that’s really successful, you go and you take and use their keywords and that’s what scope does for you. So phenomenal tool brought to you again by sellerlabs. The leaders in technology, when it comes to Amazon right now, they are just crushing it with all their products, but scope allows you to get that listing right, get ranked for those key words as fast as possible. Therefore you get the sales. So go to sellerlabs.com, forward slash scope.
Stephen: [00:01:25] Use the code word momentum, save a little bit of money, get some free key words to test, try it out and see if you see an improvement. If you don’t adjust, what’s cool about what I love about a seller labs is that you then message and say, Hey, I didn’t get this right tyler. Hey Jeff, this isn’t working right. What am I doing wrong? And Boom, you’re going to get the help you need and that’s what you’re going to get from solar lamps. And, and it’s a very special group. Had been very. I’ve been very fortunate to be connected with them. And again, I look over time they’ve delivered every single time, you know, same thing I can say for Karen from solutions for ecommerce. I mean, she’s been carrying my account for a couple years now. Um, and our account, my wife and I, and she really does handle things for us.
Stephen: [00:02:06] Um, I mentioned, uh, just last week we created a new listing with, I forget how many variations, but again, all the flat files uploaded done as I needed. I pop in, so she’ll send me a template, I pop in some information and then boom, it’s handled, await. These pictures weren’t done right, blah, blah blah. This upc, native poom modified adjusted. And again, the communication been phenomenal too. I get an email back saying, hey, this was done or this, you’re missing this Steve. Hey, you got to do this. So you know, we had those challenges too and that’s why I like working with somebody who’s been doing it. I’ve been doing it for a long time to do, you know Karen also does listings for Ebay. Yup. Lots of them. So if you want to build out that channel, which of course you should, it’s q four. You should be selling everywhere.
Stephen: [00:02:50] You can. Karen can help you with that too. So you gotTa tell her I’ve sent you. So you’re going to go to solutions four ecommerce forward slash momentum. You’re going to save 50 bucks every single month. You’ve got to save that $50. But more importantly, you’re going to get an inventory health report. Um, did you just get hit with monthly longterm storage fees? Well, guess what? If you haven’t, they’re coming. You want to get that inventory right and she can help you with that. You’ve got to tell her I sent you again, solutions. The number for ecommerce forward slash momentum will get you into that. Save the 50 bucks. Get that inventory health report though. That’s really, really important. Get that going right away and I don’t want to miss my coach when it comes to retail arb or online or when I have a question and I do.
Stephen: [00:03:30] Not that we don’t, we don’t really do much of it anymore, but when I do have a question, I go to Gaye Lisby because why? Because she’s really. She is a coach. I mean, she’s really phenomenal, but you also puts out a daily list and you’re going to get that list five days a week. You’re going to get tons of leads, the number of, uh, agreed to amount that you’re supposed to get at least usually gets to those in the four days. And then the fifth day seems to be a bonus most of the time. Phenomenal Group, small amount of buyers where this list is going to end, the best thing is the nuggets that you learn. Hey, why is the red one better than the blue? One? Gaye can help you with those questions I saw. Hey, I got, um, I got to the dreaded letter about a brand.
Stephen: [00:04:09] Here’s the, here’s the way you approach it. Hey, receipts, um, how do you, what’s the best practice? I saw her leading instructions, teaching me the accountant how to do a better job with it. And it’s phenomenal. So it’s Gaye Lisby. He’s made a million dollars selling. Um, I’ll have the link in here. You’ve got to use, um, the, my, my link and it does help me. I don’t want to say it that way, but um, it’s part of the amazing freedom with Andy, slam inslee, Iran, Hirsch corn. And Nate’s layman’s. So, you know, you can trust. Okay. So come back to the website, take a look at it, and you will get a savings and you can get two weeks free right now only through my link. You get two weeks free. Try it. You don’t like it? I get it back off. But right now is the time to make money. Get cash flow going right now. And so join you. Get two weeks free. The only way you’re going to get the two weeks freeze. If you use my link, it’s on this episode. Come on out and give it a try. You will not be disappointed again. You’re going to see me in there. So reach out if I can help you too. Let’s get into the podcast.
Stephen: [00:05:08] Back to the ECOMMERCE momentum podcast. This is episode 361. Brian Sal Menowitz. I didn’t butcher the name man. Oh Man. What a great interview. Very inspiring because you know, he’s a seller, so that’s cool. And he sells on four channels, Amazon, jet, Walmart and Ebay. Um, however he’s a techno nerd. He’s a software developer, ran software development divisions for big companies, um, makes friends with somebody he works with and they ended up at another company and she introduces him, Barbara Bush and introduces them to Amazon selling. He gets into it. He sees a lot of the things that his mind likes to think if there’s a trend lately of a lot of software, techies getting into this business because they tend to think this way, um, and then they find a need for themselves to list on other multi channels and they create this company called merchant. That’s the short version of the story.
Stephen: [00:06:04] But what I really appreciated about the interview was, um, the thinking behind, um, behind selling. It’s apply. It’s applicable to software development, but it’s really behind selling, you know, put most of your effort behind Amazon because that’s where the market is today. However, if I can do some easy things and selling on jet and Walmart and ea, I’m going to do that too. However, you know, I’m an a merchant fulfill because this makes sense. I mean, he goes into all these different thought processes which I think are very helpful, um, and if you applied them in your business, and I think most of us do apply a lot of it, but if we were more consistent, more persistent, more focused, um, and built them into our operating procedures, we might stop doing some of what we’re doing and we might start doing some other things that are working really well.
Stephen: [00:06:53] Is he said double down on them. I think it’s really smart advice. Really strong interview. Really strong guy. Let’s get into the podcast. Alright. Welcome back to the ECOMMERCE momentum podcast. We’re excited about today’s guest. A little quiet. I’m going to pull it out of him. All these details, all these nuggets that he’s got hidden away. He’s going to share them with this. Brian Sal Menowitz out. Do they do in the name? Brian it. Got It. All right. Brian. Sal Menowitz. I got it. Alright. Most people when they hear that name, they’re not going to be like, wait, do I? But there see your picture and they’re going to be like, oh wait, I know him. Yeah, I know him. He’s always at every conference in the back writing code, fixing customer service issues, dealing with problems for coal merchant. You and Barbara Bush and uh, have that company and you’re always with your head in your computer. Do you realize that?
Brian: [00:07:44] Yeah, I guess that’s my background. I started out in software development and a constant already ecommerce selling on know number of marketplaces now and then I’m using that background to build software when Barbara and I saw a need, uh, to help Amazon sellers sell on other marketplaces. Now we decided to form a company and build co merchant which now, which allows Amazon sellers to, uh, you know, quickly and easily moved their listings over to Walmart and jet and get additional sales that way.
Stephen: [00:08:17] And we’re definitely going to talk about jet and Walmart because, uh, there’s some interesting things going on, but I’m more interested first about how you got into this because you know, you’re a nerd. Just like common accounting nerd in them. And I get it that don’t take offense at that. I mean that in the highest praise because you guys are running the world, you will run the world. There’s no doubt in my mind. You guys will all run the world. Um, but how, how did you kinda get into Amazon? I kind of know the story from Barbara. Um, and then what keeps you attracted to it? I think that’s kind of an interesting thing because you could do anything. You can be right now writing ai stuff where you could be working for Elon Musk. Cool. Crap. You know, what is cannon rockets and under boring company, you know, I mean, those two things I think are reasonable questions.
Brian: [00:09:05] Yeah. So the way I got into it, um, I was working in corporate America. I was a director of software development for some big companies and worked with Barbara to, of this companies. Two of them. Oh, that’s interesting. You have two different ones. We had actually a fun way, not intentionally, but it worked out that way. And um, yeah, one day I was just talking to me about how she was, you know, selling on Ebay and Amazon in our spare time and something clicked with me. I was always very entrepreneurial but not, you know, you know, in corporate America you really don’t get the opportunity to just go after something. So I decided to try it part time and I’m now just remember her telling me just start with $500 just by $500 worth of merchandise and test and see what happens. Well I was hooked, you know, that was the first by a, turned out pretty well and then I started doing it part time.
Stephen: [00:10:00] You do an Ra, is that what you started as going to scan stuff at the store? Was the gadget, I don’t know what tool you were using to scan. What was that like fascinating to you as a software developer? Does do you like Whoa, the students figured it out?
Brian: [00:10:14] Yeah. So as a software development, yeah, but more of a, you know, I’m very analytical, so the analytics to be able to click, click, not only see what it’s selling for, let’s see, the profit I’d make, you know, to, you know, in two seconds or less. That was huge. And that’s really because, you know, building, building apps, you know, I’ve, I’ve done that now. It’s not for me, it’s not rocket science, right. It’s pretty straight forward. But being able to kind of pull the different data sets together along with the profit profitability equation and be able to deliver to Amazon sellers something that can read red light, green light in like two seconds and move on to the next side of that sexy to you. Yeah. I mean,
Stephen: [00:10:56] and do you admire the developer? Whoever developed that? Whatever app you were w. well let’s just say which APP are you using?
Brian: [00:11:02] A profit bandit.
Stephen: [00:11:03] Okay. So profit bandit which is part of um, a. is that part of a seller engine? Okay. So, so profit bandit was attractive to you. I mean, did you sit back and say, oh my God, this guy thinks like I do. He sees he meets the, you know, he’s, you know what I mean? Could you guys, you do have your own language. You do speak nerd speed.
Brian: [00:11:23] Yeah. Little bit. Yeah. I guess I looked at it and said, Huh, I could build that.
Stephen: [00:11:29] Yeah, there you go. Now you’re a man. So if he could do it, I could do it too.
Brian: [00:11:34] Yeah. But then it loses the attractiveness to me because it already exists. So the second time it worked good
Stephen: [00:11:41] is that, uh, you know, that’s interesting to think about. Is that a copycat thing for you? When you see something, I mean, you want to improve it, of course you want to advance it, but if you look at it, and I’ve heard this before, that if you look at something and you can’t add anything to it, then you shouldn’t waste your time on if you can advance it any further.
Brian: [00:11:57] Right. So if it works, if it’s priced effectively, have. Yeah, but something’s overpriced and I’ll go into that later if something that’s overpriced. I think you can do it cheaper then that’s interesting, but if it’s, if it’s doing its job well, if they’re keeping up with the changes in the market, if they’re priced at a rate where people will buy it and then yeah, there’s no, there’s no reason to go after that because it’s working. Um, but if, but if I see a solution that is falling short while then that becomes very interesting because then I can build it better.
Stephen: [00:12:31] What do you think that way about selling to. I mean, when you look at a listing, if, uh, you know, if Amazon’s on the listing, that obviously affects things, right? You know, you’re looking to make your money when they run out of stock right there, their inefficiency is your gain. However you look at other items and sit back and say, I could sell that too, but that seller is doing a good job. He’s making the right margin. I don’t really see more that I can do. I mean, is that how your mind thinks too?
Brian: [00:12:57] Yeah. So I, I’m always, I’m always analyzing a million things. Probably every time I look at a product. So yeah, whether or not Amazon’s listing it matters, but it matters more what price they’re selling it for because if I can undercut them and still make good profit, I’ll buy the product and they may come down. But you know, I will. Do,
Stephen: [00:13:17] they usually come down. Don’t tell you in a. I mean, what do you do when you don’t get the buy box?
Brian: [00:13:21] Usually, but not always. Okay. Um, okay. Well, so I don’t get the buy box now. That’s where we look at other marketplaces. I’m going to have products now that are selling like crazy on Walmart and Ebay. Not on Amazon. It does. Um, it does, kinda. That’s why I love having multiple marketplaces. So if something goes cold on one, I still have other options
Stephen: [00:13:42] when you’re looking at, and I, I want to finish the story of how you got in and all that jazz but, but it, it got me thinking about this when you’re saying about multiple marketplaces, you know, is it, is it
Stephen: [00:13:55] number of units to really optimize? I mean, I know it’s a software issue so I guess that’s why coal merchant exist. Right? But, but is it the number of items that you sell that you can optimize because what you just described is perfect, you know, Amazon, you put it in there, your, you know, buck or two bucks below them, you’re selling it, then all of a sudden you’d never get the buy box so you’re not really selling it much. So you put it on these other channels and you then get the best price. Because I would assume you wouldn’t undercut if you’re the only person selling at a walmart, you would raise your price. I mean if it’s a hot product, is it the number of units to be really effective and efficient? Does that really matter? I don’t know if I asked that the right way. I mean, I, I do you get what I’m saying is kind of like, you know, is it, is it mass or is it focus?
Brian: [00:14:44] So for me it’s probably more mass, right? So my strategy is now, so I probably have, I don’t know, maybe a thousand active skews, 1200, something like that. Now many of those are multiple sizes. I saw a lot in footwear category. So you get multiple sizes of the same thing, right? So that, that number’s a little inflated versus actual products, but it’s still every size has to be tracked for inventory, etc. Um, so I, I do a fairly wide assortment of products. Um, I do try to buy depot also, so It’s rare. I don’t buy one offs very frequently. I’m, you know, I’m looking to buy a case at, at the minimum if that gives you an idea, you know, 10, 12, 15 units because it has to be worth creating the listing. It has to be worth moving that listing to multiple marketplaces. Even with software, it does take a little time. The items that I buy deep stock in like 500 units, 10,000 units of those were the ones I’m going to optimize. Right.
Stephen: [00:15:52] That makes sense. So it’s both the one you described. So when I was saying it, which was kind of a roundabout way saying it, you’re saying it’s really both steve, however, I’m going to focus on the biggest fruit, right? The stuff that’s going to give you the biggest reward. That makes sense.
Brian: [00:16:08] Yeah. I mean, to me it’s all about total profit. so if I can sell something, make $5 a unit back in about $100 a day, that’s great. Whereas something else, maybe I only saw one a day, but I make $100 profit. So to me it’s, you know, I always combine, I look at the sales rank, I look at the listing, sometimes the listings bad and the sales ranks bad and I’m like, and I think to myself, I could probably fix that listing because I’ve sold similar products and they’ve sold well. So if I fix the listing it’s going to take off and I take a lot of chances like that
Stephen: [00:16:40] becaUse for a second, because that’s a good point. Alright. So let’s just take that example. So it’s a pair of shoes, um, and the lIstings pour the, the photos, either the photos poor that title’s poor, the bullet points or poor whatever it is. It’s just a crappy listing, right? There’s no parent child, right? Yeah. Especially with shoes because of the non, with amps, right. So let’s just assume that’s right. So when you were, there’s already a seller on the listing most of the time, right? because it’s, it’s just not selling somebody already on the listing. Are you looking then? Okay, it’s not selling. I can improve it. I should be able to improve the sales velocity because I’ve sold light things. So there’s the mental connection then. Do you say that seller selling it at 50 bucks? I’m going to sell it at $55 or $45 to get that velocity because it. Cause would you get the buy box? Right, that’s what I’m, that’s where I’m kind of. When you’re looking at that, what’s going through your mind decision wise?
Brian: [00:17:38] Um, right. So my selling price a lot of times depends on how much I buy and what I buy it for. So let’s say they’re selling a 50. If I’m buying it for 15 then I know can I can drop the price and still make good profit. So maybe I would drop it to 45
Stephen: [00:17:54] and let’s just stay there second. So, so then it’s like I’m looking at this listing, right? I mean, do you, is it the cart before the horse? Do you find the $15 shoes first and then say, let me go look at the listing that’s on amazon and I’m like, ooh, that’s a crappy listing. They’re selling it at 50. I can sell it at 45 and improve the listing and boom, I’m gonna blow it out. Is that, is that kind of the mental shift or do you start the other way? find the crappy listing then go find the product?
Brian: [00:18:21] No, so I always, I always find the source first because if I can’t buy it in a few companies in particular won’t sell to the average ecommerce person. So if I find a source and then I go do my research
Stephen: [00:18:36] and now I mean to me this is very, very smart thinking. Okay, so you find a source, like I’ll go to shoe shows, let’s just use that as a good example. That’s a good place to go. And when you go to a shoe place, a shoe show, there’ll be lots of vendors and a lot of them won’t sell to you if you’re selling on amazon. Okay. You take them out of the picture for this discussion, then you can say to them, hey, do you have any close outs? Is that the kind of stuff that you’re looking at a, um, to say, you know, hey, you know, let’s use tiva for example, you have a bunch of tiva closeouts, um, you know, what could I do on the price? Is that where you start there or are you looking at the regular wholesale price?
Brian: [00:19:15] So, yes and no. So yes, the answer is depends. Yeah. So from the get, give me some examples. I was as you have recently and yeah, and you know, 75 percent are going to say your amazon can’t sell to you right off the bat. Okay. Well, yeah, except the now move on, right? Sometimes you can kind of talk to those people about closeouts and there’s different rules with close outs, but it really depends on who you’re talking to. If you’re talking to a third party sales rep, yeah, there are no rules. Well the rules can be broken and you know, there’s no bending or was there a third party sales rep? So once you find, you know what I, what I found my own experiences, the normal wholesale lists for the current season’s products, there’s very little money to be made on those because they’re selling to every mom and pop across the country though those that are left and almost all of those are selling online now to try to stay in business.
Brian: [00:20:13] So they’re all getting for the same price. They’re all selling it online for next to no profit. So I will go through those. I will go through a brand or two here and there and to, you know, spot check a few skews seat if I’m wrong, but a lot of times there’s not. A lot of those aren’t the best deals. Close outs can be awesome or they can be shelf a fillers if you don’t buy them right. You gotta know, you gotta know what you’re buying. You know, I’ve had out, I give you one example, I was able to buy some clothes out, athletic cleats at a really good price and you know, that was a huge, a huge product when you live in this past year where I bought thousands of pairs and sold them at a huge market through a close out and you think about it, people are willing to spend a lot of money on their kids and for the kids sports.
Brian: [00:21:11] So spending 30, 40 bucks for a pair of cleats is like a no brainer for people know, it turns out like what price did you buy them at? That’s just finished the story just to give us the, you know, you can’t just tease us a little bit. You got to give us the whole. I bought them at an average price of about $6. Oh my goodness. So okay. So that was great. And that was an example of a great find and those are hard to find. It’s hard to find those opportunities, but when you find one you have to go all in. Right? That’s the, that’s the point where I said I want them all. Well, yeah, because the risk is minimal, right? That $6 risk versus the reward, right. You have to sell how many of them to make a, you know, when you sell five or six pairs.
Brian: [00:21:51] Right. Do you know that that example there, did that sell on one channel or did you sell it on all three channels? I told them I tried to sell them on all four channels, four channels. So most. And this is actually a really interesting technique that I can share that I started this past year. He’s going to drop something. Here we go. Okay. So I believe in amazon fba, right? So when I sell on amazon, I try to ship almost everything into fba. However, I do not believe in amazon fba for multichannel fulfillment, for fulfilling my ebay and jet orders. Walmart doesn’t even allow it, but because fba, that multichannel at least doesn’t ship on time very frequently. They have no service level agreement, so if they’re late, nothing you can do about it. Too bad. Yeah, they charge more, which is like the easiest thing, which is the least the least problem and the other big issue is they don’t always ship with tracking numbers that can be tracked so that they used their own amazon logistics, you know, to ebay, that’s lIke no tracking number so you can kind of get dinged for not having a tracking number.
Brian: [00:23:02] So what I’ve started doing is I’ve started merchant fulfilling this past year, so I merchant yet I merchant fulfilled my ebay and all my walmart orders, but I also merchant fulfill a lot of my amazon products. So what I started doing was listing everything with fba and then for the products have deep stock on. I make a second listing for merchant fulfill and I second fn skew or a second. You don’t create a whole new listing. So same asen no, no. The second condition I think they call it. Yeah. Yeah. And I make that a merchant filled listing and what I do then is I use amazon to make manage by
Speaker 5: [00:23:46] inventory, kind of like a cheap inventory management solution. I manage it in amazon. I synchronize those listings as a merchant fulfilled listings to ebay and to jet and walmart interest and using our commercial software. It synchronizes the inventory for me.
Stephen: [00:24:04] So, so let’s just pause a second because I have a lot of people are going to listen to us and say, wait your fba listings for ebay. I understand that walmart won’t allow it and you know, and how amazon intentionally raise the prices, did all that stuff to stop it, right? They’re not fools. Um, so there is. Well, I, I just think they, they said, hey, we’re not going to help our competitor if we are, we might as well make money at it. Right? That I think so with ebay though, however, I mean there are softwares that will allow you to sync up your fba inventory with ebay. Is it now, again, because of the lack of quality of amazon or we’re like you said, in fairness, they’re using their own trucks to deliver stuff and all different kinds of things that, that precludes the value because the risk to your account, you know, even your ebay account can get shut down. Um, it and your reputation, it’s not worth it.
Speaker 5: [00:25:00] So, so the biggest thing for me with ebay because I was using software to do that, is that I could never become a top seller, uh, because my fulfillment metrics were, let’s say they were at 80 or 85 percent and they needed to be higher, so there was no way for me to be on the top seller on ebay using fba, the multichannel fulfillment because they, they just wouldn’t ship on time frequently enough.
Stephen: [00:25:31] Okay. Alright. So that makes sense. So, so. Okay. All right. I get that completely. And that’s, that’s recently changed within the last couple years, right? I mean, you know, if you think about it, two or three years ago, amazon wasn’t delivering their own stuff generally they were everywhere. They were using generic boxes. You paid a little extra fee and the box didn’t have the smile on the side write all that. That changed in the last few years. Okay. Alright. So by doing it the way you’re describing, I mean you really have created a whole, almost a separate division in your company, brian. Well it is, right? I mean, when you think about it, it really is. Um
Speaker 5: [00:26:08] hmm. So, and you know, I will share that I work out of the house, right? This is not a huge business. Um, but it does change the way I go about that. Right? You know, shipping loaders is a little bit overwhelming when you first start because you can’t really take days off without coverage. You know, you have to ship every day. But once you get, once you figure it out, once you figure out some of the intricacies of working with the post office for instance, it can become very easy and you can actually make more money then, you know, using fba definitely for multichannel. so, so explain that a little bit. Well, a lot of times, you know, the one that we hit the most is um, the oversize versus standard sized fba distinction drives me crazy as it does many people. we saw a lot of plush items like stuffed animals, pillows, things like that. Blankets. Well, if you push down on them all, they’re wider than if you don’t know. If you squish them a little bit, you know, I have items that I can ship in a like a 12 by 10 by four box, which is standard size. amazon’s concerning them oversize and I mean that used to be a small change in price. Now it’s like it could be five, 10 bucks more.
Stephen: [00:27:30] Right, right. That’s material, right? so there has a significant. Yeah. But don’t you lose now? I mean, here I am, now I’m sitting in a big warehouse and I’m merchant fulfilling scats right now. I mean we fba of course, but we are right now. There isn’t a product that went hazmat, blah, blah long story long crazy story. Can’t get it out of their uh, there are attorneys a mall. It’s that level, but we have to merchant fulfill and the only way you can get them as merchant fulfill. So we are pumping out scads of them so I get it. But generally if you don’t have that opportunity, aren’t you losing the buy box because somebody else is willing to eat that five or 10 bucks most times. Right?
Speaker 5: [00:28:08] Right. So, so that’s why I say we still do. We still do fba for almost everything for that reason, because you will get more sales if you’re prime without a doubt. So, but when I’m unwilling to do is then take a couple of dollars or even more than that for my multichannel.
Stephen: [00:28:27] Yeah. Yeah, no, that makes sense. It used to make sense. It just doesn’t make as much sense today. And hence the reason people are trying to find another option. Have you looked at fulfillment companies or just are you not at that scale or don’t want to get to that scale where it makes a lot of sense.
Speaker 5: [00:28:44] I havEn’t looked seriously at them. I’ve talked to one or two of them. Um, the challenge is most of them are not prime eligible. Right. so I would, I bother, you know, that’s the way I look at it. Um, my, my sales from other marketplaces are not huge in lafayette. I’m not at that scale where it makes sense for me to send cases to a third party fulfillment center.
Stephen: [00:29:07] Now, do you do any seller fulfilled prime out of your home too?
Speaker 5: [00:29:12] I do not. I have played with that idea. I mean, seller fulfilled prime, the only way it’s gonna work for me would be to limited obviously to my geographic region. So I’m in the northeast so I could pick a handful of states in the northeast, you know, I’ve been back and forth on that. I, I’ve decided not to do it yet because again, most of my items are prime anyway and you really have to get, have your stuff, your shipping process in good shape to
Stephen: [00:29:42] take that on because it’s very easy to lose money. Oh, iT’s, you got to be in perfect shape because it’s coming in, was hit by [1:00] or whatever it is. You got to be done. It’s got to be out and it’s going to be delivered. So generally you have to have relationships with fedex. Um, and generally it’s going to be fedex that’s goIng to give you the, the speed of delivery, um, because the post office just isn’t going to do it for most places. yeah. Yeah. Me neither. Um, we look at it and we talked about andy who’s shares warehouse. We talk about it all the time and both of us are logging in, I don’t know if we can meet it and we ship every day, but it’s one of those things that, you know, the risk your metrics of a because of inefficiency.
Stephen: [00:30:23] If third party companies, for example, we have trouble getting ups to show up when they say they’re going to, you know, and that’s a challenge, right? Those things. I just saw somebody else posts something about that, that that’s real. I mean, and that affects us. Uh, we have, we have the same inside of our control, the post office and you know, whatever reason I live in a small town, mondays they get slammed. Yeah. Coming back on cyber monday, after the, after the black friday weekend, I drove everything over to the post office myself rather than rescue. I took some heat for this yesterday, uh, from andy and another person because I was delivering it to the post office. If I wait for them to show up, I will grow at a bigger beard than when I’m in my november beard is currently. so I took four truck loads over to the post office yesterday.
Stephen: [00:31:08] I’m myself because I just now what’s cool and if you develop a kind of, you talked about this, the relationship, they allow me on the back dock now with a cart that I can load. They make it. If you make their life easier, they will make your life easier. Right. It’s all relationship driven. um, we, but I’m in the same boat and we, we did the same thing. I mean we’ve got great. I’ve got thankfully great relationships with the post office, fedex and ups, whoever I’m using. But now you have to understand their situation to post office. They’re getting, they’re getting slammed especIally after weekends. And that’s the holiday season. So yeah, try and meet them halfway. And how we brought our fourth pickup truck load yesterday it was, it was after five and they said I can bring them until six. We had in our town, they take it to a regional hub up in harrisburg and they had not left yet.
Stephen: [00:31:59] And I can see the two people who were loading the truck looked at me with these, this like, oh god, here he comes and he’s got to, to of those giant carts filled whatever they call bmcs, whatever they were, they looked at me like, oh my god, they hated me, you know, and it’s like more. And I feel for them. But you’re talking about people who don’t get paid by the piece, they definitely don’t get paid by the piece and you know, and I get it, I feel for him and I’m bring them donuts and I tried to be nice to him, but I get it. But there’s a point that’s outside of your control, right? Right. Uh, we had a snowstorm, I think you might had the same snow storm, um, maybe couple of weeks ago. And when I went there and the guy was like, oh yeah, our stuff didn’t get out. And I’m literally thinking to myself, oh my god, oh, I gave him a zillion packages and none of it got out yesterday. Now that affects things all the way thRough the pipeline because once they dump that in the pipeline, which is already full, now it’s completely overloaded what happened and said, and that’s the point of seller fulfilled prime is that stuff is outside of your control.
Brian: [00:32:59] Yeah, and we, I tell you, we with standard and even expedited shipping that we offer, we usually have a day or two of have given their. Because we ship immediaTely. We ship usually within half a day of receiving the order and we buffer our times a little bit on amazon so we have an extra day. Usually,
Stephen: [00:33:20] you know, I’m sitting here thinking about this in your example and it’s kind of my example with the podcast because I make money in my podcast. You make money on your software, is it, do you feel like you’re in a much better position than most because to be able to handle merchant fulfilled, that’s where I was going with this. I Should clarify my point because you’re able to work from home because you have these other things that allow you to work from home and that allows you to ship twice a day or whatever. Do you feel that’s an advantage?
Brian: [00:33:47] because I do so, so I think, I think anyone can do merchant fulfilled, right? I don’t think anyone can do it. Be able to do it on ebay stuff. They bought a garage sales, I mean anywhere can do merchant fulfilled. You need, you need the supplies, you need some tools, right? You need a label, printers, scales, things like that. But I don’t think that’s a huge barrier to entry. What gets complicated is when you start offering the same products, merchant filled in multiple marketplaces, you need to manage your inventory so you don’t know outside of your inventory. And that’s where you need to leverage tools. Um, you know, you don’t need to be a software developer, you don’t have to be to protect nickel, but you do need to be organized. You kind of need to underStand how everything flows. And um, yeah, we have, we have a lot of customers who are doing thIs now with amazon and walmart and jet and their merchant fulfill and it works pretty well. so, you know, it’s, you don’t need to be super technical, but you need to use the technology that’s out there to, uh, to make it manageable
Stephen: [00:34:53] and, and you need to have processes, right? And if software’s obviously you’re gonna be a piece of that process. To me that, and for example, we didn’t plan this, this a hazmat issue and so all of a sudden we have thousands of merchant fulfills. Guess what? We didn’t have boxes for thousands. We didn’t have taped for, believe it or not, I ran out of tape. I mean, one of the big taboos, I mean I was using, I mean some ugly looking tape, but it’s one of the big. But what do you do? You know, me because you just can’t, um, and labels, you know, you just don’t plan for that. And again, it’s outside of your control if you don’t have the processes in place. Now, fortunately I have an, uh, a company called associated bag by me, which is like a new line, um, and they’re literally three miles from my so I can go pick up stuff, but it’s just, it’s one of those issues that I don’t think people think through. Um, but let’s talk about jet for a sec or uh, excuse me, call merchant. Does it allow, because I know, I understand. It allows you to list in one place and then brings it across other channels. Does it also then help manage your inventory across all of them or is that kept. I mean, how does that work?
Brian: [00:35:55] So the quick answer is yes. Okay. So with jet jet, jet allows fba, or at least it doesn’t explicitly not allow it today, today, and it’s kind of a grandfathered in thing from sellers who were on their early on. But so for what we can do for jet is we can synchronize a seller’s fba inventory to jet.
Stephen: [00:36:18] Okay. So, so whatever I have in fba, that number, when one sells on jet, it automatically lowers it from amazon’s. Okay.
Brian: [00:36:26] Automatic multichannel fulfillment order, which, which reduces it. Okay, um, and then if you sell it on amazon, we automatically tell you have less available now or if you restock, we know, so that works now with both jet and walmart. If you’re doing merchant fulfilled listings, if you have merchant fulfilled listings on amazon and you can type in your quantity, we sync that as well. So if you’re a merchant fulfilled, shipped or, or like me, you create a second list thing, we can synchronize that merchantville listing quantity over to jet and walmart and it works the same way as that fba. We keep them in sync in this way. He subbed to manage your merchant filled inventory, but you can do it in one place. So generally you would update that. Now let’s say you’ve got a new case came in, you can increase it by six and then that number gets sent over to jet and walmart so that they now know that there’s six more available.
Stephen: [00:37:24] Okay, so let’s add ebay into the mix. Now let’S, let’s get the full four
Brian: [00:37:28] right? So we plan to support kill margins. We plan to support you bay next year and add them on. Currently I use a different tool. Does the same thing, right? So as long as they sink inventory with amazon than my ebay is kept in sync. Which tool was that? You can say I’m using joe lister.
Stephen: [00:37:46] Joe lister. Okay. That’s the one I was thinking of that used to be gray for fbi. So, but it still offers a value for merchants.
Brian: [00:37:51] Yeah. I’m not sure if they always did that. That may have. I think we started using in the past year, so I’m not sure of the it then.
Stephen: [00:37:59] Okay. So that tool is a good example of one that’s working in is pretty inexpensive. So why, why, why? It’s not the lowest hanging fruit for you. That’s why it’s last on the list, rIght. Um, so to me. Okay. So because ideally you would want them, you don’t want to use a second piece of software. So ideally that’s why you gotta add it eventually. Okay. So, so with joan or a coal merchant, I can then put in my inventory merchant fulfilled. I mean you could do it fba to but obviously it doesn’t make as much sense with walmart. You can’t. So that still allows me the same coal merchant account, then handled the fba jet and then handled a merchant
Brian: [00:38:36] fulfilled, like I don’t have to have two accounts with you now. It’s one, so it’s one and it’s based on the listing. If the listing in amazon is fba, then it can sink the fba quality of it’s a merchant filled listing on amazon, then it sinks as merchant fulfilled. Now, um, let’s go a little deeper. Does it allow you to keep the value of your inventory in any way in co merchant meaning like the cost of the inventory, cost of goods. Now we do not do that. So we’re not a full scale inventory management system. You just a logistics system really is what it sounds were, were a listing service. So we allow people to list and we added some additional features to make it easy. So our, our, our goal with [inaudible] merchant is to allow people who are on amazon to sell on walmart and jet for very little effort. Uh, interesting. Does it create labels? So when I’m, when I’m gonna list for fba, does it create labels for fba labels? For fba? You mean book kind of labels we were talking about. You’re talking about. Okay. so fba offense d levels, correct. Now it does not, right. So you. All right, so use, that’s where you’re using like an inventory lab or a scan power one of those current seller central or at amazon. Yeah, right, right. Some people, hey, I’m a bit with skin power forever is old dudes. I just can’t. I love chris.
Brian: [00:40:08] Great. My listings there. And then what I, what I do, and it’s a best practice we’ve seen with our customers is I have va’s who periodically move my listings to jet and walmart. Right? So, so our Team, we create the listings in amazon and then on a weekly basis, my va’s automatically move them over to jet and walmart and ebay. That’s a pro tip right there. That is a very pro tips. So because, let me, let’s face it, I mean this, this is where you’re going to be like dusty. If everybody else is saying, duh, amazon is going to have the best photo because they make it right, they require they’re going right, right, but I mean they’re going to require it. They’re going to check and make sure it meets the requirements for google. Right? That’s what they do better than we’re ebay’s catching up to that.
Brian: [00:40:50] Amazon started that way, so they’re. They’re going to say, hey, wait a second. I assume since they’re the standard there, their stuff is acceptable on every other channel. Right? I mean, seems reasonable to me. Yeah. I would say most of the time, logically, logically, their title’s going to be, you would think probably optimized for google again. I mean, they’re going to force you to optimize. Now whether you write it right on the bed listing on amazon is a bad listing on walmart, right? That doesn’t matter, but most of the time you create your listing on amazon and you spend your time there because that’s where you’re going to make the most money. right? Amazon’s is by far the biggest marketplace, so that’s where I invest my time. That’s where I invest by, you know, I went full time employees time, we get that listing looking good, and then we had the va’s who had a fraction, a very small price to move everything over in batch and they do it. They don’t do it as you know, losing my listing as we have them. They just do it once a week, you know, 50 or 100 over to those platforms and they do it within with commercial less than an hour. Now they do it very quickly.
Stephen: [00:41:54] There are now what allows them to do that. I mean so because that sounds, I mean other than going in amazon and copY paste, right, does coal merchant give you the ability to do some of them?
Brian: [00:42:05] That’s what cool merchandise that’s its main function is moving listings over to these platforms. So what they would do Is they’d go into commercial and they run an export of all my new amazon listings that are, let’s say, not loaded in walmart yet. Right. And a few minutes later they’ll have a file, they’ll make a few tweaks and they’ll import the file back in and it’ll go to walmart. So there’s a few differences with every marketplace. I’m different now. The big one would be nuanced. they have different categories. So comerciente actually maps the categories from amazon over walmart and jet and we, you know, we get it probably 75 percent of the time. We’re able to map thoSe categories, but the va will say, you know what, this is footwear category for walmart or clothIng jets, a little more granular. But um, that’s what we used to be hazed for. They assigned the categories at walmart requires description, product descriptions. Amazon doesn’t always. So they might need to fill in some descriptions and then we load them up. So what we found was a lot of people out there, a lot of our custom [inaudible] merchant customers needed the service. So we, we extended our va service to actually handle our customers listings as well. So for now,
Stephen: [00:43:24] see, so I can add a fee, right? So you can do. But it’s just so smart because as you say, the value of your time should be where the biggest reward is. And as you’re saying, it’s an amazon mean, you know, 80 percent of the time that’s where your sales guy, when you look at your sales, let’s just talk about that for a second because you’re a seller and you’re selling at four different channels. Um, if he broke down your sales by percentage, could you, could you give us kind of an outline of what you, what you’re seeing? Yes. I’m actually going to pull it up because on a monthly basis I reported on it that way. You’re a nerd, you’re a nerd. I’m deciding and I mean in the most generous way. It’s cool that I get it. I get it. Alright. So I’m in october, I will say that walmart was eight percent of my amazon sales. Ebay was four percent, jet was about one. And so amazon. Wait, so you mean of total sales? So. So that means that amazon was 87 percent. I think I did that math right? A eight, four and one. Is that what you said? Okay. So 10 percent, you know, let’s just have, you know, it’s 10 to one amazon to walmart and that’s probably fair for me. I mean, when you look at your clients, is that, is that experienced reasonable?
Speaker 5: [00:44:41] Yeah, it varies widely. It varies widely based on the products. Um, I would, I will say on walmart it honestly, all these platforms, private label is a little harder to sell because no reputation, no reputation, there’s no ability to do a lot of sponsorships, you know, a lot of the marketing you can do on amazon to get your new products moving. These other platforms aren’t that sophisticated yet. So yeah, we’re seeing sellers who have all their skews, merchant fulfilled, have similar results. We have a lot of people who are like 90. Yeah, maybe 10 percent of the skews they can merchant fulfill. So their sales are less because they’re not putting up all their listings.
Stephen: [00:45:25] Well that makes sense too. Yeah, yeah, yeah, that makes perfect sense. So skew on a skew basis, is it still about 90 10? I mean, is that.
Speaker 5: [00:45:32] Yeah, I think people you no reasonable expectation is five to 10 percent of your amazon sales is what you can expect right now, walmart.
Stephen: [00:45:40] And if it’s not, if you’re selling a million bucks, that’s nothing to sneeze at. I mean I would love a 10 percent increase for sales without adding more products and like you guys did is figure out a way to make it easy to do those listings. So now you just got to figure out how to sell it to ship them. That’s the barrier. That is a barrier, but it, let’s do that math, right? If, so, if you’re selling a million dollars on amazon and you can realistically get a $100,000 of additional sales on these other platforms combined, you probably have enough margin in there that you could hire somebody to do your merchant fulfilled. I, hence the region. You have one staff member, right?
Speaker 5: [00:46:16] Yeah. I mean I wasn’t staff member actually does love my amazon business, but mo. But yes, a personal, a va and it’s done and it’s not even full va and it’s um, it makes a lot and that’s the idea that we went with comarts, right. We want, if you can get 10 percent for very little effort and money, who wouldn’t take that?
Stephen: [00:46:39] Yeah. One hundred percent. Right. It’s not like you have to go out and hunt other things. All right, let’s talk about this because you knoW, jet jet is jet. Jet is definitely. I use this term with brian and the precall where I said they kind of narrowed their focus and he’s like, that’s a generous term. They’ve definitely have. Right? It’s definitely gotten. It’s harder to get on. They have weeded a lot of people out what’s working has been narrowed, right? Is that fair or all those things fair? Yeah,
Speaker 5: [00:47:09] they’re fair. They’re generous. Um, jet, I got to watch what I say, but what I would say is they’re turnIng from a marketplace into a store. So instead of being an open marketplace where everybody can put their wares up there for sale, jet is now curating the catalog like there macy’s are picking and choosing what they want in their store. They’re turning off all the listings. They don’t want their turning off all the sellers who are primarily selling products that they don’t want to lower to lower their support costs and their focus is on a fluent urban customers, whatever their version of that means.
Stephen: [00:47:55] And so are they, you know, not that I’m saying that amazon’s doing this, but I’ve seen that they’ve been accused of copying good private label products and putting them out as amazon’s choice or whatever other name they can come up with one of their 50 names, um, his jet doing that also. Or are they keeping the third party seller of that wonderful gadget that matches their audience need?
Speaker 5: [00:48:17] We haven’t seen any evidence of that with jet. Um, they started out with like household cleaning supplies, household goods. Um, they’re trying to find some niche markets because they were purchased by walmart a few years ago and they can’t compete head to head with walmart, so they’re trying to become more of a niche site. And the niche, the niche they’ve Selected is, you know, whatever urban affluent means, uh, but they’re trying to do things like in the grocery category, fresh food delivery, things like that. But now we haven’t seen honestly, I think if anyone’s going to go after, you know, private label products and try to copy it, apply be walmart on their site more so than jack.
Stephen: [00:49:02] Okay. So, so that’s jet. So you know, knowing what you know now and you have a business that helps people get on jet. So this is probably a loaded question for you, but Is your recommendation for people to even spend the time, because you described it as one percent, I think he said, I mean, is it one percent of your million dollar seller? Is what, 10 g’s? I’m in it depending on what your margin is. Is it worth the time today or does it depend on the category? I mean, I guess, I guess you would say, steve, if you’re going to sell to whatever that affluent group of people, that might make sense.
Speaker 5: [00:49:37] Yeah, so I guess what I would say is if you’re a small to midsize seller, if you’re doing ra, if you’re doing private label, probably not worth your time. not worth it. Start with walmart. Definitely walmart. We’ve seen much better results. If you are a big manufacturer, If you’re a large distributor, well then jack could very well be a great place for you. You know, if you know some marks. So if your song name brands, jack would be a very good place. Right? So, so those are the things, if you’re going to sell on jet and your, you know, your name, brand products, you’re large, then it can be worth it because you’re going to be more likely to have a lot of, you know, a good percentage of your catalog that jet wants. Yeah.
Stephen: [00:50:25] Yeah. And you don’t have the of that third, that third party, right. And so you can, you can scale, um, you know, and take that Inefficiency. Yep. All right, well then let’s go to walmart. Okay. So when you now, right. I mean, walmart was very wonky for a long time. Some would argue it’s still wonky, you know, but we’re comparing it to amazon, which is generally really strong. They get most amazon gets most things right. I know they got catalog issues, counterfeit and blah blah blah, blah, blah, right. All that nonsense. But generally speaking they get most things right. Um, walmart has definitely, I mean, when you look at last year versus this year, how much more right has walmart gut?
Speaker 5: [00:51:09] Um, you know, I would say in general, walmart, it works. There’s a lot of, we have a lot of issues with jet and where the systems just start challenging. But walmart, you know, their search on their site tends to work when you feed on listings, you know, they get processed, they usually get accepted. There might be some errors, but like their system works, they’re selling model is decent, but there’s, there’s a lot of challenges with them that as well.
Stephen: [00:51:41] But it, how different is it? I mean, I, I guess are we starting to see an improvement? Um, me because it sales or selling, you’re seeing an improvement in sale.
Speaker 5: [00:51:49] Yeah. So they’re driving more traffic. So, so what I will say is the order process is working really well. They just enhanced their system to support returns because before we had, I had customers calling me at dinner, um, with no line to return so they’re actually going to support. You have to facilitate the return process. So that’s much better. Um, where we’ve seen some challenges is enlisting creation in a multiple sellers, you know, they use upc code as their unique identifier on walmart. So you have someone else will do something with your upc code previously. Um, now things get which has happened, which happens quite free now. They’re not quite frequently, but it happens especially with bundles like two packs, three packs, things like that. Sometimes you get ms dot batches because on walmart they actually do the matchIng up your listings. They match on upc.
Stephen: [00:52:48] Are they using gs one? Is that what they do?
Speaker 5: [00:52:50] Well, they’re using upc code. I don’t know that I don’t see them validating against us. Well on the way amazon does. Okay. So, so listing creation, we’ve had some people have challenges with parenting adequate and parent chIld usually works. Not always though, but for the most part it’s functioning fairly well.
Stephen: [00:53:09] And, and I mean I, I, I’m still trying to pull it out of here. Is it better today than it was a year ago versus a year before that? Or the problems? Just new problems. Maybe that’s what you’re trying to say.
Speaker 5: [00:53:20] I, I think it’s getting a little better. I don’t think it’s, I don’t think it was totally broken a year ago. Um, you know, trying to work directly with walmart’s seller tools is challenging. You know, there’s seller as a developer, there’s seller portal isn’t as easy to use, let’s say as amazon, but they’re making improvements so that’s getting better. Using software like such as us, we’re able to Integrate with them fairly well. So I think it’s, it’s got to go in the right direction. It’s getting better
Stephen: [00:53:54] because I don’t know that I did ask this the right way as a developer, as a software developer, now you’re dealing with a four different companies. I know you rebase stuff isn’t out yet, but you know, you’re dealing with them all. From a development point of view, where are the biggest challenges with walmart for you?
Speaker 5: [00:54:12] Uh, with walmart I don’t think we have huge challenges with them. Um, I guess the biggest challenge is, you know, when you make updates, it just takes them awhile to process them.
Stephen: [00:54:26] Do you get the same level of access to their api that you do at amazon’s?
Speaker 6: [00:54:32] Oh
Speaker 5: [00:54:33] yeah. I might take them an hour to process it, so there’s a little bit of that delay going back and forth, which, you know, people are used to seeing real time, but it works, it gets processed. Um, so I really, you know, the walmart, you know, from a developer perspective, walmart works pretty well.
Stephen: [00:54:52] Okay. Okay. Well that’s interesting. Do you, are they giving you more access? Um, or I mean there are there. Are there things in walmart, state of base that you don’t have access to that you sit back and wish you did have access to?
Speaker 5: [00:55:04] Yeah, yeah, definitely. The biggest one is the full listing data. So let’s say I uploaded my listings, I can’t get that data back out of walmart and, and there’s times I’m like, wait, wait,
Stephen: [00:55:20] wait, I don’t understand that. I mean remember, yeah, I’m not, I’m a nerd and an accountant or none a, a, an it nerd. So. So explain it again. So give me an example.
Speaker 5: [00:55:28] Say I have list thing, let’s say it’s got some pictures and some words, you know, description, bullets, whatever. If I upload that to walmart, there’s no way programmatically for me to get that data back. So what we would love to do, like our and with software is refresh the full listing based on the walmart listing. So maybe maybe another seller made some changes to the listing, maybe walmart updated the listing. Um, there’s no way to get that data back. So.
Stephen: [00:56:00] And then you would squeeze out the change. So you notIced the change.
Speaker 5: [00:56:03] Yeah, we would highlight at least, you know, maybe the product title got totally changed. It would be nice to be able to see that. Or maybe you want to edit your keywords that they were previously entered. You know, we, we have a lot of that if you loaded it through coat merchant, we store all that, we have it. Um, but if changes were made, let’s say through the walmart seller center, their portal, you know, that we wouldn’t get access to, you know, have that available. so it’s a little wonky. I mean, every marketplace has their little quirks and that’s one for walmart. Yeah,
Stephen: [00:56:40] well there’s a human that developed it and they have a thought process and each one is different. Right. I mean that makes sense to me. You know, I sit back and I think about where we started the conversation and it was thinking about what keeps you in this because you, like I said, you could be going and making those cool is I can, it looks cool with the eland must at one with the fire canon. That looks pretty cool. Right? As a, as a software developer, you could be in any field that you want. What keeps you in the, um, specific ecommerce?
Speaker 5: [00:57:10] Well, I mean the number one thing for me is, well it’s two things, right? One is fast moving and changing and that keeps me interested. yeah, I, I love solving problems. I love building solutions. I do not like doing the same thing every day. And even with my selling business every year, I’m learning new ways to do things, ways to optimize new marketplaces. So, so it’s changing for me, which is one thing I love. The other is I liked the idea that at the work I do each day has a direct correlation to my paycheck, right interest as opposed to corporate companies where they can do really well and I don’t see it, um, or see much difference or they could, you know, obviously if they do really poorly, it’s a different story. Um, but I, I liked the idea that my extra effort, um, you know, directly tieS to to my take home pay. Um, you know, I enjoy and I enjoy the idea of onlIne selling. I’m eating this time of year in the fourth quarter. Such a rush, you know,
Stephen: [00:58:18] it’s a definite rush even when you get that big mountain of merchant fulfilled sets of shoes to ship. Brian, it’s a rush, isn’t it? Yeah,
Speaker 5: [00:58:26] I mean I, I, I want to say I worked at 10 or 12 hour day, took an hour off for dinner and family time. I went back and work another couple hours last night. It’s um, because if you’re gonna work extra time now at the time of year to do it. Yeah.
Stephen: [00:58:40] Well you do it. How do you feel less than. Because you got, you know, advanced college degrees and you were professional running a, you know, a whole teams, right? Big companies and stuff. And then you were down there either in your garage or in your basement putting tape on box, you know, I mean, you know, we didn’t think about it, you know, and, and it will be like, well that’s $10 an hour work, brian, that’s not, you’re worth more than that. I had. How do you mentally get through that? Because I bet you, because I struggle with it sometimes that, you know, the last couple of days, you know, I think I, you know, I used to make god awful amount of money. Here I am putting a label on a box, but then again, there’s something very rewarding when you hand it off to that third party fedex, ups. It’s, it’s rewarding like accomplishment. So for me anyway. What about you?
Speaker 5: [00:59:25] Yeah, I mean, I don’t, I don’t feel any less value doIng that task. Um, now there, there are tasks I really don’t like to do and I try to get the va’s to do those for me, such as cleaning up the background image, waiting out the background of an image that is something that, you know, I give to them all the time. A packing boxes, you know, shipments. I enjoy it. Maybe because I see, you know, because I realized everyone that goes out is making us money. Um, yeah, I do have an employee who does probably half of them, at least himself on a given day though I’m, I’m multitasking. I’m doing everything from leading software development, you know, handling customer service, escalations, new customers, you know, sourcing your products for my own selling business it’s um, yeah, it’s never a dull moment. So
Stephen: [01:00:18] the variety and you know, and, and you as a thinker, right, because that’s what software, you know, programming is this probably I, it dumbs me down a little bit. I said they always take pictures of me on this forklift that we have here. There’s something thrilling about being a guy riding a forklift, you know, moving into stupid pallet man as something that’s cool.
Speaker 5: [01:00:39] Yeah. I’ve never, I’ve never mind getting my hands dirty.
Stephen: [01:00:42] Hmm. Interest. I think it’s perspective and I think, I think it sounds like you’ve got a great perspective. Okay. So what’s next for coal merchant? What’s, uh, what’s, what’s hot on the list? Obviously ebay, as you said next year, which makes perfect sense. Why use a third party and you weren’t criticizing to list or you’re just sitting there saying, hey, you know, why have a extra step if you can reduce a step. That makes perfect sense. What else are you guys working on that you can tell us? Yes.
Speaker 5: [01:01:06] So key thing we’re doing now is we’re working on A bulk keyword tool for amazon. So there’s a lot of great tools out there now. Helium 10 scope for doing keyword research scope is my. My sponsors. Be careful now. Nothing wrong with them. We uSe them. They’re great. However they take time to. If you’re, if you have one, five products, 10 products, you can spend an hour in each of them. Do your do your research with one of these tools, get your keywords de dupe them and load them up in amazon and it is the best way to go. However, if you’re like me or any ra seller out there or most wholesale sellers, you have hundreds or thousands of products and a lot of those products come and go, right? You buy five, you tell them you’re done, you move onto the next one, right?
Stephen: [01:01:55] The season’s over, right. Especially in shoes. That’s a good example, right? That line, they change. Next year they make the stripe go up instead of down
Speaker 5: [01:02:03] change or if they sold out of the store and that’s it. So what happens is most of these sellers is they never keyword anything because they don’t have the time. They have too many skews and or they may, they may keyword, let’s say 10 or 20 that they have deeper stock on or that they need to get selling because they were going to be longterm storage fee, adams, right? So what happens to the other 500 or thousands of skews? They don’t get keyword, which means they will probably slow sell a little slower. Um, and so what we decided to do because we are facing this problem ourselves, is, is there a way to cheaply and efficiently keyword someone’s entire catalog. And that’s what we built. We call it easy, katie. It’s a new service. We’re in our beta launch right now and you can load up, let’s say I have a thousand reasons I can load of a thousand mason’s.
Speaker 5: [01:02:57] It will process thrown in a few hours later. Look at me a file back and list keywords for each of those acents that are, that follow all of amazon best practices. There are 249 bytes or less. They don’t have any major brands. And um, they de, we dedupe it against, you know, words that are already in the title and bullets and they’re pretty good, you know, we researched competitors to the mind, some of these key words. So you basically get a string that you just need to paste into, into, um, your listing in amazon and, or have you given,
Stephen: [01:03:34] right? So you get in that example, you loaded a thousand, you get a new 1000 results and then you just fix each one over time. Again, that would be Something that you would hand off to a va, I mean clear va
Brian: [01:03:46] or we’re developing a way to load them up, file load into amazon. so it can be done. Like now we’re in the middle of christmas. If you have a thousand skews, wouldn’t you like to see the velocity five, 10, 20 percent? Because that’s what keywording does, right? I don’t have the exact metrics but keyword and gives you more sales philosophy, right? Cause you’re gonna show up in more searches. So if you could take all your listings and keyword them for a very low cost and very low effort. When did you do it, you know, and that, and that’s what we’re, what we’re developing now. Um, and it’s, it’s very, very exciting. I mean, a lot of, a lot of high volume sellers are calling, you know, game changing.
Stephen: [01:04:29] Right. Because what you’re describing though is back to you when we started the conversation is that you’re looking co merchant came together because you were looking for an efficient, easy way to get listings on at the time jet. Right. That’s where you guys focused on originally was jet and then walmart. That was the whole. That was your whole plan. I mean it sounds very similar.
Brian: [01:04:52] Yeah. this is a little different in that it’s focusing on amazon, so.
Stephen: [01:04:57] Right. No, I get it, but it’s still, it’s the efficiency and the easiness,
Brian: [01:05:01] right? Because it’s part of our slogan for salaries by sellers, right? We’re sellers too. We get it, we get that there’s no time. And if tools can add an appreciable benefit for very little cost and effort, those are tools we want.
Stephen: [01:05:19] I always call them the employees that don’t complain. They don’t call off sick. right? They don’t, you know, none of that stuff because that’s, that’s what happens in this case. They never do.
Speaker 7: [01:05:29] Yep.
Stephen: [01:05:31] Very cool. Very cool. Well, you guys don’t work on. I’m a lot of stuff. All right, and in the meantime, you’re still a seller and I think that that’s what’s important because you feel the same pains we do. Um, how do you just give me the one minute version of how you get around people saying, wait, brian, you have access to my data. You’re stealing all my listings. So you do, you see it. Give me the one minute version of disclaimer, please
Speaker 5: [01:05:53] will. You do not. We do not use any, any data of any of our customers. We do not pursue any of those products. We did not know it or not. We don’t aggregate that daily. Even beyond what I just said, we’re now like, fuck, you know, buprenorphine products 10 percent. That’s about the level of what we use.
Stephen: [01:06:11] Okay. So you would lose your reputation in that. That’s the thing that you got to have. There has to be some level of trust with the bank, right? When you put your money in the bank, how do you know those people aren’t caring about the bank and in suitcases were there has to be trust otherwise you wouldn’t do business with?
Speaker 5: [01:06:24] We absolutely do not. We don’t share that information obviously to anyone outside the company and even internally we will not pursue any products that we see our customers selling.
Stephen: [01:06:34] Okay. that’s fair. I mean that’s a fair thing. Alright. So you know, the goal of the podcast is to help people who get stuck and you know, I’m just, I’m just thinking. Oh, today I’ve asked were a best way to get in touch with you before. I guess my question because it’s a better close, so best way to get in touch with somebody has a followup question. So co merchant.com, I’m going to put the link there for anybody who’s interested in that service, but if they wanted to talk with you, is there a way that they can get a message to you?
Speaker 5: [01:07:00] Yeah, they can just email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stephen: [01:07:04] Brian with an I. Okay. Brian called merchant.com. All right, I’ll put that link there. Okay. so the goal of the podcast is to help people get stuck and you’ve seen, you’ve got customers that have been stuck. What’s the advIce that you would give or what’s the advice that you took that got you or your customers past the point of stuck?
Speaker 5: [01:07:24] No,
Stephen: [01:07:28] that’s tough because they. About how many times you’ve been stuck, right?
Speaker 5: [01:07:30] Depends how you’re stuck. But for me it’s all about, you know, and this is uh, one of the other guys’ podcasts. A slogan is taking action. I take action. I’m test and learn, right? That’s probably what my slogan would be. Try it out, try it out in this something. If you’re thinking about something, try it out in a small way. Even if you break even, even if you lose a little money, take action test and what was the final test and learn. So, so try something out, test it out, see if it works, if it and then, and then just pivot off that. Have you need to tweak it a little bit to get it to work better. That is um, yeah, that, that’s my philosophy. We try a lot of things. I’ll have a lot. Some things don’t work. We shut
Stephen: [01:08:16] them down, we move on, but if you don’t try, they don’t me. I think the key is that they don’t all not work. Right? There’s something in it that worked under you, like you said, you learned something from it. Right. Something. It was like, oh, okay, this happened or that wasn’t the result we wanted. However, these three things were the results we want it. Right. That’s what I much my experience once you figured out what works and your tests and you double down on that and you know, things that don’t work either fixer and move on from two. Very, very good. All right, well great job. I’m brian. I really appreciate you taking the time, especially during the busy queue for a period of calm. You got a lot of stuff. You got. You better get those packages out tonight, my friend.
Stephen: [01:08:58] All right. Hey, thank you so much. I wish you nothing but success. Great guy, great advice. Um, and he was nervous and he’s, you know, this not his comfort level is talking like that. Um, and I definitely pulled some out of them, but man, oh man, when you get it out of them, it’s everything was just jewels, right? JusT solid, solid advice from a real strong seller. I mean to me, again, you know, having the va’s complement what he’s doing, but he understands where the value is, so he puts his focus there and then puts enough focus on these other things. So this is smart thinking, really smart thinking. It just doesn’t happen. It’s intentional. And man, oh man, I’m, I’m better for that. Interview. Smart guy. Ecommerce momentum.com, ecommerce momentum.com.
Cool voice guy: [01:09:44] Thanks for listening to the incomers momentum podcast. All the links mentioned today can be found at incomers. Momentum dot come under base, episode number. Please remember to subscribe and the lake us on itunes.