It might seem like Dallas can see the future if you didn’t know the effort he has put in. See learning is continual. Or it should be if you want to master a discipline. Once mastered then you see the trends and can plan accordingly.
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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)
Dallas: [00:00] Focus is better, you know, where before it was, you’re really just literally trying to find as much stuff to run through the system and now I’m really trying to pick the best stuff that I can make the most money on and most profit on and you know, luckily we’ve been good with our money and we’ve been able to save a lot for the last four or five years when we were really just running processes and you know, doing the Amazon and Ebay and selling on etsy and you know, doing all that type of stuff where we’ve paid off. We don’t have a lot of debt. So moving here into the, you know, into our small office we’ve got here and then building the barn back behind our house, you know, our debt, our debt loads a lot lower than it was when we had a shop and employees and everything else. So being cognizant of that and knowing what I have to work with really helps me focus on what I’m trying to do. Sure.
Cool voice guy: [01:02] Welcome to the ecommerce momentum podcast where we focus on the people, the products, and the process of ecommerce. Selling today, here’s your host, Steven Peterson.
Stephen: [01:16] He wanted to talk a few moments about some sponsors scope from sellerlabs. 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 by seller labs. 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: [02:05] 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 seller Lamson. And it’s a very special group that 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 of years now, um, and our account, my wife and I, and she really does handle things for us.
Stephen: [02:46] 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 needed poem modified, adjusted. And again, the communication’s 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 have 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. Yep. 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: [03:30] You can, um, 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’re going 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 them to get that inventory right? And she can help you with that. You gotta 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 what? I have a question and I do 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?
Stephen: [04:16] 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. She least, she 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 a. I got to the dreaded letter about a brand. 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.
Stephen: [05:00] 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 the, my, my link and it does help me. I don’t want to say it that way, but it’s part of amazing freedom with Andy Slamming Lee, Ron Hirsch, corn, and nate’s lamins. 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.
Stephen: [05:41] 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. Welcome back to the ECOMMERCE momentum podcast. This is episode 362. Dallas more man. Oh Man. I get so pumped on these interviews because when you talk to somebody like a Dallas, more you a, he is. He so humble, but he’s so smart and he sit back and you listen to them. So yes, I think that’s the better turn. That smart. He’s wise, I’m wise because of experience wise because he works at it. Why is because he knows himself and I think, you know, he listened to the experts, the Gary v’s of the world or whatever. That’s it. Know Yourself, know what you’re good at it, stay in your lane, um, and, and in design your life. And Man, he says, designed his life so well.
Stephen: [06:31] And that was our topic of discussion. I said this almost three years ago and he’s designed it even more and I think, I think it’s almost like getting permission. I think Dallas will give you permission to sit back and say, hmm, you could sell a million dollars on Amazon. That’s awesome. But you know, that gets old after a period of time. So for us, for him, he, you know, did went more on what he enjoyed that piece of it because he’s so self aware and where you are, if that’s the million dollar you want to sell, tell me $10,000,000 on Amazon. Awesome. That’s your lane, you know. And so I think it’s cool that there’s so many opportunities to make money and just figuring it out and then working on the process, but pay attention to what he talks about process period. That’s what’s driven his success. So if you want to some more on Amazon process, you want some more on Ebay process, you want some more on etsy process process process. And that gives you the ability to scale such a great interview. It’s going into podcast. Alright, we’ll come back to the ecommerce momentum podcast and break cited to have this guest back. It’s been two years and it looks like eight plus months, almost nine months and I’m just, I can’t wait to hear an update from Dallas more. Welcome back, Dallas.
Dallas: [07:43] Thank you. It’s been great and I forgot how much I liked talking to you, so I appreciate you having me back.
Stephen: [07:50] I appreciate talking to you because you’ve really been silent for a long time. I watched you on Youtube. You are one of the most instructional. You know, it’s funny, I was thinking about this earlier as I was prepping and Fba shipment. I’m my, a lot of my show is really about the story you tell your story and how you apply your life or apply what you did in your life to this business and how it connects and I think I have a real gift for that. I don’t give a lot of technical advice because I’m not a technical expert on a lot of stuff. I never claimed to be. Um, I learned from every time I talked to somebody like you, I learned something and it’s like, oh, okay. And then I applied and what I’m doing and I get an advantage because I get the best from you and the best from Chris Mullin, for example, in the best from a somebody else. And then I can pick and choose right? For you. However, were one of the most instructional people that I’ve ever seen enough. Just I go back to the postcards, here’s the scanner, here’s why I’m using this scanner, this is the model, this is the way it’s scans because it can do x number of units per hour, blah, blah, blah. And you went into such technical detail and it’s missed. I mean, I must admit I what you did because you really advanced me in our business,
Dallas: [09:00] you know, you have kids and things that were important at one point in your life don’t become as important as they once were. And uh, you know, I think there’s a lot of good people who are making content on youtube and stuff like that. And sure, I had a different perspective and everyone has a different perspective, but you know, sometimes you just got to step back and just do what you want to do and enjoy your life.
Stephen: [09:21] What did you get from when you were doing that? What was it that it benefited you in? In what way did it enrich you?
Dallas: [09:29] Well, one thing, if there are jobs with very solitude jobs are kind of stuck in your own little world and it kind of helped me get out of that a little bit and meet some people that I’ve still got longterm friendships with that I enjoy talking to and corresponding with. And there’s no one that you can talk to about your job as much and will understand it as much as someone who does it. And there’s very few people. I mean I live in my little towns, about 1400 people, so there’s no one in my town that does what I do and there’s probably nowhere within 100 miles that do what I do. But when you get on youtube and you get there and you really become friends with some people out there that are doing the same thing, you, it’s nice to have that correspondence where you can really just sit down and talk about what’s going on in the world.
Stephen: [10:14] You’re, you’re kind of a quiet guy. Um, I mean, would you call yourself, or at least back in the day, would you have called yourself? I’m kind of shy and reserved
Dallas: [10:25] maybe so. I mean, I played college basketball so I kinda had to be out a little bit, especially in high school and first part of my college years, you to kind of, you know, people are talking to you, you want to talk to you. But once I kind of fell into my real life, um, yeah, I mean my wife is my best friend and we worked together and run our business together. And uh, you know, sometimes you forget about how important friendships are.
Stephen: [10:51] So, so is that a suggestion? I mean, where I was going to go with this is if you are that person who’s kind of quiet and I agree with you, this is a very isolating business, very isolated, mean I haven’t talked to a person other than you today, period. Right? I mean nobody. I haven’t even seen a person. I mean I was at the post office, dropped off a ton of packages. There wasn’t a person around and literally there’s not one person, my wife this morning. And so is this something that you would suggest because I, because I get a lot of people like Steve, you know, you got a good circle. How did you get that circle? And I’m like, well you put yourself out there. Right? I mean that’s what happened for you.
Dallas: [11:27] Yeah. And you know, the neat thing about it, if it’s something that you like, you can go more into it and do more like what you do, where you’re going to shows and different events and when you’re in, if you’re not, that’s not something that excites you or something that you like, you can kind of pull back and just kind of do your own thing. Like I’ve done, you know, I’ve got my little facebook page and you know, three or 4,000 people that follow me over there and, you know, I post, I post over there whenever feel like I find something exciting or cool or different that I want to post. But, you know, I kind of pulled myself back and just wasn’t as important to me once I had my daughter. And uh, you know, started really growing the business and figuring out what I wanted to do with my business. Let’s talk about it
Stephen: [12:10] that. Because I think one of the coolest things that you did back then, and I said this to you earlier in our pre interview, was that I think you were doing the intentional business before. It’s been popular and, and I don’t mean this in a negative way for anybody who’s doing intentional because I preach it 100 percent because I think, you know, again, you can go get a job and make more money sometimes then what some people are doing, right. But you won’t have the freedom. Right. And so that intentional business, you guys intentionally carved out a life, um, you were very careful about expanding on Amazon. You were very cautious and you really built up a very scaled ebay business and at that time you had, was it your brother in law works in with you? I’m handling a whole dimension of the business. Um, and yet it, you help design his life at that point. That was way cool. That was two, almost three years ago. You were knee deep in it.
Dallas: [13:04] Yeah. And a lot’s changed by brother-in-law. Jared has gone off and he’s the social media manager for an internet company now. And Kinda we were at a point where we both decided that we wanted to pull back. So I kinda took that business and transferred it over to Va. So I have va’s kinda doing what he was doing at that point, but uh, you know, I think that’s important. You know, you’ve got to look at what you want out of what you’re doing and you know, even for uS over the last sIx months, you know, we had a lot of changes go on in our world and it gave us an opportunity to look back at what we wanted and you know, for me, I became a lot more of a processor and it became about how much can I run through my system at any given point.
Dallas: [13:51] and when you’re doing that, you’re, you’re dealing with a lot of lower dollar values but you’re doing it in volume. And to do that you’ve got to have some help and develop systems and you Know, a lot of different things to make that make money for you. And over the last six months we’ve kind of taken a step back and looked at what we’re doing and did more of what was working and that we didn’t have to necessarily put our hands in every day and kind of step back from the stuff where we were having to do a lot of the work to give us some time to spend with our daughter as she grows up and get out and enjoy the things that we like doing. the job that I created for myself wasn’t the job that I really wanted. The job that I like is going to estate sales and auctions and you know, going out and finding the antiques and collectibles and when you’re running a process business where you’re just trying to move as much dirt as possible and you know, try to turn $3 into $10 over and over and over and over again is you really got to sit in an office and you know, manage the people that you got working for you to be able to do that type of volume.
Dallas: [14:56] And when you sit back and you look at it and say, hey, that’s, you know, thIs isn’t what I cut in this for, what I got in this for is I want to go find cool stuff, like, you know, letters from the 18 hundreds and you know, old home movies and the type of stuff that I like buying and collecting and figure out how you can make your business work for that. And that’s really what we’ve worked over the last six months to really try to figure out
Stephen: [15:19] how do you. I mean, how do you get past the fear of a. Am i gonna you know, because let’s use your example. You’re spending $3 to get $10 in and you’re doing volume, so you’re, you’re bringing in a thousand bucks a week. So let’s just use that example. How do You pull back and replace that income? where’s, where do you get that confidence? How do you evaluate, you know, because it’s almost like starting out, leaving your fulltime job in essence. Really. I mean that’s really the same thing, right? How do you plan for that?
Dallas: [15:48] I think it’s very similar to what a lot of people do with their full time job. You kind of do that stuff that you think might work on the side while you’re doing what you’re, you’re doing everyday, you know, while you’re running those $3 into $10, you keep doing that stuff until you figure out a system that works to replace that. And you know, I never walked away from, you know, the three and $10 stuff
Stephen: [16:09] they us. So it’s like a slow turn. Is that what it is? Like you’re turning a faucet off slowly, is that what happens?
Dallas: [16:14] Sure. And you know, you’re, you’re trying to do something that not, you know what, just for example, you know, I buy a lot of photographs and postcards and type of stuff that a lot of people look at and say, well that’s not worth my time, but when you’re buying thousands of postcards and you can run them through a system in which you’re selling them, you know, you’re 30 or 46, seven, $8, postcards a day. Well then it starts to make sense and you keep doing that. And figuring out how you can pull yourself out of that system. So I got va’s that, that I figured out a system in which I can list the postcards I figured out a system through, through apps in which allows the, the listing note to go a lot quicker than most people could normally do it. Like you said earlier, you know, I’ve got a high powered scanner and I, I can scan hundreds of postcards, uh, you know, every five minutes and you know, you do those things where you can pull yourself out of the system and then put yourself in systems in which you like doing, you know, like I like going out into, you know, estate auctions all over the country and buying stuff.
Dallas: [17:18] So I couldn’t do that if I didn’t build the systems to, to pay my bills, you know, the, the postcards, the photographs, the books, the different things like that. And you just keep doing those things, you know, and slowly turn them off as they stopped to work or they’re not worth the time and effort. But a very few times until I found where I haven’t been able to develop a system that allows me to pull, pull myself out loud the or, or assistance to take that work from me and allow me to do the stuff that I want to do. You know, I became a lot more of a processor where I was sitting in an office watching other people do stuff and a lot less of a picker is which, which I like doing is going out and finding this stuff.
Stephen: [18:00] So it’s really build your processes, document your processes, and then find the part of the process that you love and you know, because I mean, not everybody. Yeah. Do more of that. Right? And then outsource that other piece. Um, I think it’s a very, very smart. Now that was three and a half years ago or two and a half years ago to almost three years ago. You were doing that and then you’ve kind of adjusted it. So it’s not a set in stone thing, right? Is, is it because your interest changes over time after you maybe you accomplish it. Check bucket list, item done. Next item, right. Is that kind of,
Dallas: [18:35] I’m sure somewhat is that, you know, but at some point you’ve got to do what’s paying the bills and you’ve developed a system that pays the bills and that three in $10 stuff. As much as i hated it, it paid the bills and I couldn’t turn that stuff off. Just stopped doing it and then go do what I like because then I wouldn’t be able to.
Stephen: [18:58] yeah. You know, it’s not sexy.
Dallas: [19:00] It’s not at all. Not at all. You know, and you know, I, I went to an auction about three weeks ago and I bought a ladies’ collection of antique dolls and I know enough about antique dolls to be dangerous, but I don’t know enough about it to be an expert. But I went there and I spent a good amount of money to buy my education and I brought those dollars home and you know, I spent a thousand dollars on these antique dolls or something, but not only did I make a substantial profit from buying the dolls, but I also learned something about how to take pictures of dolls, how to ship dolls, how to do those things. So the next time that I run across dolls, I can add that to my repertoire of things that I’m doing and be able to feel more confident about buying them. and I think if you can add more things as you go along, you can get rid of some of that lower dollar stuff and focus on stuff that’s making money.
Stephen: [19:57] What you just described is so, so powerful because you’re basically taking that. Let’s say, like you said, you know how now how to take pictures, but these are pictures that cell so you could take somebody else selling the exact same doll. You can, even though you’re doing a separate listing on ebay, it’s a separate listing as opposed to the other one. You are able to improve so much better than me for example, by either a better listing, better photos or whatever, and so therefore you’re going to get the, call it the buy box. You’re going to get more eyeballs because that’s what people are looking for and you’re going to sell it and probably sell it at a premium.
Dallas: [20:33] Sure. And faster. I mean, I think the key is the, you know, a lot of people you can go out and you can buy stuff and, but you’ve got to learn when you’re buying. And when I like when I bought these, I knew enough that I had made a good purchase on the dolls, but I didn’t know how good of a byod made, you know. Like I said, I think I spent a thousand dollars and over the last month, you know, there’s 47 of these antique german and french dolls. You know, I’ve made a substantial profit, but I’ve also known what to look for. Next time I go to look for a doll, I know what buyers are looking for when they’re looking for dolls. Like before, you know, I would have never thought that bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better and the most expensive dollar I spend I bought was a little eight inch french doll and it sold for well more than I paid for the entire lot of doll and I would have never thought that when I bought the dolls because I know what to look for as far as what to look for, what makes a good dog, good doll, but I don’t know what makes it great doll, you know, a great dog until now, until now.
Dallas: [21:37] And now I’ve got that knowledge and today I went out before this call, I went out to an estate appraisal. I buy out a lot of estates here locally and the lady happened to have some french dolls and everyone else that was there, there’s two other appraisers there. They didn’t know anything about dolls and I was able to go and tell the lady about her mother’s doll collection and how these particular french dolls were very valuable and we’re neat. Doth nothing else in the house was very exciting. I mean it was, there was stuff but nothing else very exciting, but it gave me a leg up on my competition when I was able to go in there and explain why this doll here with the oval, you know, what the almond shaped eyes makes me think it’s a french dall by booze joe and you know, all this different stuff that I learned over the last month from selling these dolls that I bought at auction and if you add those things to your repertoire, you’re able to get rid of the smaller stuff. Things you don’t have to buy coffee mugs or t shirts. You can. You can focus on higher dollars.
Stephen: [22:38] That makes me think of two things. One, have you thought about how many times you would have went into those estates and seen dolls and be like, I don’t know about this room. I mean me to. And I think about that when I go in and I see all that. I’m like, I don’t know. It’s probably, it doesn’t look like it’s worth anything. However, like you’re saying is there’s probably two in there that might be incredible. And the rest of them are just standard stuff. Right. But I would have passed by it. Right. Second thing is that gets me thinkIng about this is does it now when you go, right, I guess you’re saying yes. Is that you now have an eye, you add that to your quiver, drop off some other things and then it just, it’s a specialty. And so you’ll be known as the dol guy, right? You’ll now
Dallas: [23:20] opportunity. That’s another thing that I can add to my, to my, you know, like I know a lot about vintage photographs. I know a lot about home.
Stephen: [23:28] you sold thousands. Thousands. Yeah.
Dallas: [23:30] You know. And, and you know, those are things that I’m still super excited about. I mean I a femora and that type of stuff, that’s probably what I’m best known for. But by adding these dolls and adding, you know, whatever I find next week or whatever it may be, you know, you just add more knowledge to your base and some of it you’ll just, you’ll put in your knowledge base and be like, well that’s not really that important and you just kind of lose it. But like these dolls, you know, there’s thousAnds of dollars to be made in dolls, you know, especially antique dolls and the more I know about them, you know, or cowboy hats or cowboy boots or, or whatever it is, there’s a lot of different things that you can become better at and it’ll add to your, you know, to your knowledge base and the more knowledge you have, the more money you make. And like I, you know, I said this a lot on my youtube channel, you don’t have to be smarter than everybody else that’s going to. These estate sales are going to auction. You just have to be smarter than the person you’re bidding against or the person whose pricing it at an estate sale. And if you’re smarter than those people, you can make money at doing what you do.
Stephen: [24:33] Do you, um, do you recharge your battery? I mean, is that one of the things that gets you juiced up about, especially now that you know that this is the part of the business you really want to do more of? Is, is it? What keeps you going?
Dallas: [24:46] Yeah, I mean every day, you know, you go out there and you’re trying to find the next thing. I mean, over the last couple of years I’ve found some great stuff, you know, I mean I found a collection of letters from the 1847 gold rush that I bought at an estate sale for $15, but I came, brought home and I figured out what, what makes these letters special and what makes any letter special. So when I go to an estate sale now, if I see a group of box of old letters or paper, I know what makes them valuable, what makes them not valuable. And I sold that collection to a collector from phoenix, Arizona for $3,500 for a $15 per witches. You know, just like, you know, french doll. You know, I paid $50 and an estate auction for french doll that I didn’t think was going to be anything special. I knew it was more valuable than $50, but I sold it last week for $1,300 bucks. And there’s a lot of different things like that that you can learn that you’re not gonna find them every day, but if you have enough things in your, in your arsenal that you’re learning about, you can find something that’s gonna make you money everyday.
Stephen: [25:49] Do you have a method of keeping track of it other than your mind? For those of us, me, steve, who can’t, who’s mind races and continues to the next thing, shiny object, shiny object. I’m always. So it’s very difficult to retain. Do you have any techniques or methods that you could recommend for people to keep track of those? Like that example with the dolls for example? Yeah. You
Dallas: [26:10] know, there’s a lot of things that I do. I use a lot with google sheets and anytime I find something that maybe I want to remember or you know, maybe I’m walking, watching an antiques roadshow or I’m watching some tv show on, on television about antiques or collectibles and there’ll be something that I’ve seen before that I want to remember. I’ll go down and I’ll add a line to my, my google sheet and then when I’m sitting at home doing nothing, watching tv, watching the news, shooting myself from watching the news or whatever, I can flip through the spreadsheet and just kind refresh my memory. And a lot of times I’ll take pictures and I’ll add in different things like that. but I use my google sheets and google drive a ton for that type of stuff.
Stephen: [26:55] You know, I sit back and I think about what you described, watching antique roadshow in that. That’s really the, uh, the school system that you have to do right. There are auctions or I always use a antique malls or another one if you walk to an antique mall and I use that one of those little stupid coffee cups that a red. Was it red rider, right? is that the joe writer or whatever what it is. And I remember saying, wow, that’s cool. That’s old. And then I’d walked through and I’d see them in the antique mall and it’d be like, okay, that’s old. But that means it’s not a, that’s not a scarce. So therefore there’s no value, right? That’s one of my learning techniques, but what you’re describing is really the education process that the real outliers have to go through. You have to put in your thousand hours. maybe that’s the right way to say it.
Dallas: [27:40] YeAh, for sure. I mean there’s a lot of books, there’s a lot of things that can kind of speed up that process, but you know, the best education is just getting out there and doing it and touching these things because unfortunately there’s a lot of fakes of different stuff and you can get burned. But, but if you put your hands on stuff, you know, like if you like these dolls, I was undressing on us, looking at them, seeing how they look, what they felt like in my hand, what the faces felt like, you know, what you know, how would the writing on the back of the next look in different things that you can kind of just put in your head. So next time when you’re going to look at it, you know, it doesn’t look anything like that. You can say, well maybe there’s an anomaly here.
Dallas: [28:15] And I can need to figure this out in know you’re looking at an old picture and you know, you’re, you’re looking, you know, maybe it’s a picture of american indians who are staying there full headdress and I know from my personal knowledge that those are very faked items that a lot of people by, you know, an old photograph and then take the more expensive photo of a indian and tape it to the, to the paper. So it looks like it’s an old photo and I’ve seen that a lot of the antique stores where people are selling us for exorbitant amounts of money, but they’re obviously the fake and if you touched it or you’ve felt it before, you would know what it, what it looks like. But I mean go to auctions up.com, put in your zip code and go to an auction and just see what, what you can learn. I mean, it’s amazing just sitting there and looking and seeing what people are buying and what they’re paying for stuff. And you get ideas just by sitting there.
Stephen: [29:05] How many, uh, I mean, if you don’t mind, how many auctions do you go to and percentage around that? Not percentage wise. I’m assuming that you don’t buy more than you look at, of course, but realistically when you’re cherry picking because you’re looking to a because you’re, you’re thinning what you’re looking at, you have a narrow niche. What I mean because I think that people go and you feel you get caught up in it. It’s one of the big challenges about auctions is you can get caught up in it. It says you could buy truckloads of stuff every week if you want. Then it gets piles in your corner. I, can you talk a little bit about what your experiences as you’ve developed this out?
Dallas: [29:40] Well, I mean
Stephen: [29:42] I started out when I first started going to auctions when I first started in this business 12 years ago. First thing I, you know the first, that’s what got me selling on ebay is going to an auction and I bought a box lot of hallmark ornaments and there was these little mary miniature hallmark and ornaments that were in the box. And I can remember listening to the money bay and just watching the auctions go crazy at the end, you know that there’s 20, 30, 40, $50 and then, you know, I had a box full of these things in there also on for you know, 40, 50, 60 bucks. And then about a week later I went to an auction and they had a bunch of baseball cards in the bottom of this, this basement of this guy’s house. And I bought the whole basement out of baseball cards, a thousand dollars worth baseball cards and I two great big pickup trucks full the whole back of the truck full of boxes of baseball cards. And I brought these things home and they weren’t worth.
Stephen: [30:37] And that’s part of going and learning is, you know, now I know at 90 nineties baseball cards, even though I thought they were cool. And then when I was growing up I collected them there. There’s no value in that stuff. But you know, go to an auction via box slot and you can buy a box plot of odds and ends for, you know, 10, 15, $20. Bring it home, research some of this stuff and see what kind of rabbit hole, if it takes you down because you’ll be surprised, you know, you’ll go down and you’ll buy a box plot and there’ll be one little thing in the, in the bottom of a box, a button or a pin or something like that and it may be worth 100, $150 that you would’ve never thought were worth, worth any value and you know, but by going and just buying that box a lot for 20 bucks, you can really get an education and you know, then start figuring out what you want to see once you want to buy and sell and try to learn as much as you can about that.
Stephen: [31:30] And then go to the next thing and the next thing and see how many rabbit holes you can get down before you. You just are totally enthralled and you will be enthralled and then all of a sudden you’d be, I’m looking at posts, 10 rings, right? Remember post cereal, these 10 rings. I, I remember going in auction and I wanted a bin. I’m onto this tray of stuff and I bid in bed. Somebody beat me and I went up to the person. I said, hey look, there was like 50 items on this tray. I said, oh, I’m looking at is that little tin ring? Would you mind selling? You’d like sugar. I don’t care if anyone had no interest in me. Now I’m looking at my wall and I have a couple hundred of them sitting on the wall. Right, because it’s. it became an obsession almost, right. One of the cool things that you did way back in time to is you bought a building and designed it for your business at the time. Now that was kind of. Not everybody. Everybody was leasing warehouses or whatever, but you saw something in that place that you could design your business around or vice versa. I guess. I don’t know how to say it the right way. How’d that work out for you? The three plus years later?
Dallas: [32:32] Well, we have fold that building.
Stephen: [32:34] Okay, so that must have worked out.
Dallas: [32:37] Actually about a month ago, we closed a few letters on electric company who was next to us and we had a little over an acre and a half of land and they came in and offered us a lot more than we paid for it.
Stephen: [32:49] That’s a good man. I like that man
Dallas: [32:51] building a barn in the backyard of my house and I’m going to do it here. Right now we’re working out of about 480 square feet and have a little office that we’re renting, but our buildings should be done after the first of the year and not be huge. It will be about 650 square feet. But uh, it’ll be here at our house, but building, you know, and when I’m building that building in the backyard, you know, I’m going to do the same things that I did out at the shop.
Stephen: [33:18] Well, I was going to say, what did you learn that you’re going to repeat?
Dallas: [33:21] Sure. I mean the, the where the windows are placed so you can get the best light for your photographs. You know, a lot of different things like that that I didn’t have at that, you know, when I went into that building I didn’t even think about, but it all, you know, happy accident, worked out, you know, bright colors. People were excited to come in and work from there and you know, it was nothing. You can’t reinvent the wheel, you know, you’re taking pictures of stuff and you’re listening online. It’s not reinventing the wheel, but the process is that we build with app sheets and different things that to speed up our process of listing is really where it works and you don’t have to build a building around that type of stuff.
Stephen: [34:02] Would you say that was one of the biggest advantage or the biggest builders of your business is exactly what you just described? That the sheets and I remember, you know, I guess it was your wife. I was chatting with one time back and forth and she was talking about hey, no matter what camera, no matter what you do, photography is, you must have our stand. He must have a, you know, it’s got to be positioned and that’s one of the key things. So that whole system that, I mean, would you, would you say that your processes that you guys have refined over the years would be the biggest driver of your growth?
Dallas: [34:33] Oh, by far, and I mean it’s always changing, you know, when, when, when we first went out from working in our house into a building, we bought a building or renovate a building out north of town where we live and the biggest town where we live. And uh, we moved in there and it was nice just to have space, you know, instead of being in one extra bedroom of the house, we were actually able to, you know, we hit about 1400 square feet and we thought, wow, we’ll never outgrow this. and then about a year later after that, we were in the shop out there that you’re talking about and that was about 4,800 square feet. And I’m like, oh man, well, you know, this is unbelievable. And before long it just starts filling up and you end up with a lot more space or a lot more stuff in the space.
Dallas: [35:21] And then when we sold the building and we had to downsize from, you know, 4,800 square feet, we had a big girl, you know, estate sale and sold a bunch of stuff, but we then we went down to where we’re at now and then we’ll, you know, the system that we build on our computers that doesn’t matter how much space we have, you know, and I can always make that bigger or smaller with aws. So it’s nice to know I don’t have to worry about storage on the computers, but the storage of the stuff that I buy is the key. And that’s why, you know, I had to stop being a processor. You know, when we were out at the big shop with 40, you know, 4,500 square feet you could buy, you know, you could go in and buy out an estate and then bring it all home and just have your people go through it and process it and you just boom, boom, boom, boom.
Dallas: [36:07] And he had space to, you know, to store it and when it sold you just packaged it up and shipped it out. But when you’re getting into a smaller space, you really got to start focusing on what you’re wanting to buy and figuring out how you’re going to store it and you know, with photographs and whatever else that we sell that are, you know, a lot of that stuff is, it takes up very minimal space. I mean, I can put a, you know, I have a card catalog that I keep our photographs in and I mean I can have millions of photos and in this school card catalog and it doesn’t take up any more space,
Stephen: [36:37] a small refrigerator. I think of those old car. Your right. I, it’s a perfect example, I think of pete consist of craigslist center, right? Pete peter says this, he’s like his model. He can cherry pick because he needs to, but he can because of his space and it’s, it’s uh, they bring it the stuff to him so he gets the best of everything so he has to pay more money. He’s like, steve, I have to pay more money because people are doing the work now in the end it probably isn’t paying more money because he doesn’t have to go out and look for it. Right. So there’s a value there. So in your case, you’re limited on space so you have to be more intentional so you have to spend a little more money probably, I’m guessing I’m asking and to to be optimal, but that’s kind of cool, isn’t it? Yeah.
Dallas: [37:20] And I mean over time we’ve developed people that we buy from. So I’ve got a couple of different people that are always buying photographs and you know, that type of stuff that I like to buy and I buy from them. And then I go out and fill the holes with the auctions that I go to here locally or sometimes I’ll jump on a plane if there’s a good auction and go and buy stuff. But being in a small space, you’re really cognizant of what you’re buying, you know, I’m not going to go out and you know, fill a trailer full of box plots if I, you know, if there’s not huge money to be made in it because I just don’t have the space and 90 percent of that will end up just going to, you know, the thrift store down the street because I don’t have time or place to process it.
Stephen: [38:01] How has this helped your life clutter by, you know, downsizing, rightsizing, adjusting, pivoting, whatever we want to call it. Has it, you know, because at a time when your daughter’s younger, so you got lot going on. I mean it is, it. Is his life clear? Does it clarify things for you?
Dallas: [38:22] I think our focus is better. You know, where before it was you’re really just literally trying to find as much stuff to run through the system. And now I’m really trying to pick the best stuff that I make the most money on and most profit on and you know, luckily we’ve been good with our money and we’ve been able to save a lot for the last four or five years when we were really just running processes and you know, doing the amazon and ebay and selling on etsy and, you know, doing all that type of stuff where we’ve paid off, we don’t have a lot of debt. So moving here into the, into our small office we’ve got here and, and building the, the barn back behind our house, you know, our debt, our debt loads a lot lower than it was when we had a shop and employees and you know, everything else. So being cognizant of that and knowing what I have to work with really helps me focus on what I’m trying to do.
Stephen: [39:22] So almost like stages. As I’m sitting here listening to you, I’m listening to you talk about almost like stages of the, you know, because there’s a lifecycle of a business, right? You know, uh, it’s a curve and what you’re describing is life cycle of a lifestyle business and it ebbs and flows as you had been flow. The last thing I’d like to talk about is the thing that I think, um, you know, I’m going to give you credit for not, and again, I know you’re going to be humble about it and you weren’t the only one saying this, but it’s true. When everybody else was saying that ebay is going to implode, they’re not gonna make it, they’re going to do this and that. You were always like, I remember you saying I’m most excited about he bay when I expected you to say amazon because it’s the behemoth, right?
Stephen: [40:04] It’s still is the behemoth, but I remember you saying this is that you were most excited about epa because a, there’s a whole bunch of people getting off of it because it’s, they think it’s going to implode and it just makes it easier for those who execute really well. Um, that was years ago and you know, it’s, it’s obviously played out to be true. Um, how cool was that for you? Um, what did you see that was going right? I mean, how do you filter out the noise? Maybe that’s maybe that’s the right question. It comes
Dallas: [40:36] down about finances and as much as I liked amazon, the finance was kept getting worse and worse and worse, and we would, you know, we had our 10 or 12 products that we sold and we were buying consistently, but our pro, our prophets kept going down and down and down every month. And you know, you’d Try to find different things and it would work for awhile. But eventually it’s commoditized, everything’s commoditized over there. And the neatest thing about ebay is that the stuff that I like to sell is really one of a kind stuff or stuff that’s very hard to find. So it’s not really, it can’t ever be conduct can buddha commoditized. But you know, I think that’s the most important thing about anybody who’s doing any kind of business is you don’t want to be in a business where what you’re selling is just a commodity.
Dallas: [41:25] because if people value it as a commodity, then it’s never going to be greatly profItable. But if people value it as a or value it is an antique, then there’s some inherent value in it. You know, one of the things that we’re selling on amazon that we did, very good one, where were these fruit baskets, the, you know, like you get strawberries at the grocery store, the wooden baskets. And we sold those in huge numbers for the first three or four years that we sold on amazon. But before long it started, you know, or like I said, the prophets kept going down and down and down. And that’s going to happen with anything that’s commoditized when you’re the only seller. You can ask whatever price you want and then slowly people are going to, well, I’ll take less or I’ll take less or I’ll find it less wear on these things that I’m finding, you know, you’re not going to be able to find, uh, you know, uh, uh, french doll, that’s exactly like this one, you know, because it’s a 120 years old.
Dallas: [42:20] And this person, this doll I have is very well cared for and has all these different values that are going for it. And that’s always going to have value to someone now things change and things become more valuable over time and that’s where our job is. Picker becomes important because we’re going to be out there and we’re going to see those trends before anyone else. So you know, we’re shIplap and these different things that, you know, 10 years ago people didn’t care about that type of stuff, but now that stuff’s becoming well more valuable and if you’re buying french country stuff 10 years ago, you could’ve made a ton of money over the last couple of years by just having it. And I think that’s the key to the difference between amazon and ebay are my, my ebay. I mean I know a lot of people are selling commoditized things on ebay as well. BuT you know, the way I look at ebay is it’s really about the stuff and finding good stuff and it’s always going to have some value.
Stephen: [43:19] Well, how do you, how do you stay ahead of those trends? What are you doing to look at those trends? Is it that the dol, the example of the trends, I mean I don’t think are necessarily example and french dolls, that exemption.
Dallas: [43:36] I have a lot of different things that I look for when I’m going out and I think, you know, like just for example, midcentury modern arts and crafts type arts and crafts furniture. Ten years ago it was super valuable, but now that stuff’s startIng to come down and people aren’t as excited about it. It’s finding out what people are excited about. Now I have fears because I do have fear that people are valuing experiences over stuff and I think that becomes a fear for anyone who’s doing what we do, but it’s just getting out there and seeing what people are excited about today and finding that trend early and you know, maybe it’s on twitter or instagram and seeing, you know, what types of things that are getting some traction that maybe you can buy undervalued today. Hang onto it for a little bit and hoping that it goes up in value.
Dallas: [44:27] You know, like concert tee shirts 10 years ago, ti concert tee shirts from the seventies. You know, you could have made hundreds of thousands of dollars selling those concert tee shirts, but now those same tee shirts that were selling for three or $400 or selling for 40 and $50 because there’s a lot of reproductions, people are happy buying a $10 reproduction versus a $300 vintage tee shirt. And if people feel that way, you know, then maybe you look at something where your start producing the, the, you know, the modern equivalent of a vintage tee shirt and selling that to people and it’s just staying ahead of those trends and figuring out where your opportunities come on.
Stephen: [45:06] Hmm. So why, dude, I hope you go back. You eventually your life gives you the opportunity because you are a true, a true teacher and not an instructor. You’re a teacher because you, you, you have wisdom and you can transfer that wisdom. What would you say, you know, what, what do you say to new sellers? You know, uh, because I like, it breaks my heart when I see somebody who’s that I always use that acres of diamonds one inch away from success and they stopped because they feel like they failed. They see somebody posting their million dollars on amazon and they’re like, oh my god, I’m terrible. I only sold $300,000. And I’m like, I’m like, do you realize downtown, none of those stores sell $300,000. You should be patting yourself on the back. What do you suggest for new sellers to, to, you know, maybe the top two or three things they need to do and just do it consistently. But would you suggest.
Dallas: [45:59] Well, I think once you get to a certain point, you’re not gonna learn anything by looking at what other people are doing. They always have the interest. Like pete, you know, that you brought up pete. I think p, I’ll, I’ll watch the follow [inaudible] on instagram and one of my best friends, ronnie heart is good friends with p and uh, you know, if I sat down and I watched all of and I got down in the dumps every time I saw a posting on ebay where he’s, you know, 30, 40, 50, $60,000 a month on ebay, you know, I, I could get down on myself. I’m like, you know, hey, you know, I thought it was pretty good but I’m nowhere near $50,000 on ebay. But sometimes you just got to get out of that echo chamber and figure out what you want and if you’re reaching your goals, it doesn’t matter what anybody else is doing and you know, set a goal for yourself if it’s, you know, like for me, I set a goal daily so everyday I want to hit x amount of dollars and if I hit it that day, well I feel great.
Dallas: [46:55] If I didn’t hit it that day while I go work harder tomorrow so I can make up for it. And I stopped worrying about what heat or ronnie or any of these other people who are great sellers and doing a great job because you don’t know what their businesses, you know, they may have hundreds of thousands of dollars of overhead or whatever and just worry about you and doing what you do. And if you focus on that, you know, like I said, just focus on how much you got to make every day. Have you very, you know, look at the tree, don’t look at the whole forest. And then at the end of the sit back and figure out what worked, adjust your game plan and you know, go after it the next month.
Stephen: [47:35] Well, your example of hitting that, you know, that day you feel good because you hit that goal. That’s proof of concept right there. I can hit that goal now I just have to repeat it. Well I couldn’t repeat it the next day, like you said. All right, let me double the efforts. Right. And then boom, you get there. Oh so good. Okay. So if somebody is interested in finding more about dallas, your youtube channel still up,
Dallas: [47:57] still up. I, I might post some stuff over there in the coming year. I mean, I’ve been kicking it around so you can pick me up picking live on youtube or dallas more on youtube. I’m picking live on facebook. I post there at least a couple of times a week. Um, some of the stuff I find different things, funny things that strike me. Sometimes they’re picking or antiques or collectibles related and sometime their picture of my daughter or hugging a teddy bear. But, you know, it’s all things that make me excited and you know, that’s where you can find me the best is probably over there on facebook at picking lines.
Stephen: [48:31] Twelve years in it. You’re still excited. That’s the coolest story. And you know, now your family’s fulltime in it. I mean, to me that’s, that’s where I sit back and I say, you know, how many business, what did they say? Ninety eight percent of all businesses fail, right? X number in the first, you know, one year, three year, five year here. You’re 12 years into it and you’re still excited. However, it’s way different than when you started. Okay. Does that mean you failed? no, that doesn’t mean you failed. That means you figured out for you today.
Dallas: [49:00] My road just went a different direction. And three, you know, like you said when we spoke before three years ago, my daughter was a little baby and now she’s three years old and you know, we’re, we’re trying to have a second one. You know, your life just changes. And so
Stephen: [49:17] that’s what’s so awesome about it though, isn’t it?
Dallas: [49:19] And that’s the greatest thing about doing what I do. I mean, I know there’s a lot of people who, who you talked to her a million dollar sellers on amazon and, and you know, are working everyday. Like it’s a, you know, a job that, that ever, you know, you go in and punch the clock and you know, do your job. But, you know, everyday I wake up, I get to do something different. And uh, you know, like this morning I woke up and went to bed on an estate. I went to to estate sales. I went to a lunch with my wife and now I’m talking to you and uh, you know, [2:30], I’m going to go pick up my daughter at school and we’re gonna go pick out a christmas tree and come home and I’m probably gonna go through some of these stereoviews I picked up today and see what I got in there and know they just goes on. But that’s the life I want. And uh, you know, I had a chance, you know, I’ve had it, you know, like you said before, you know, we had a million dollar amazon business and uh, you know, we decided to stop doing that and focus on doing our life the way we want to live it. And you know, july we’re going to close up shop and we’re going to go to yellowstone for a month. You know,
Stephen: [50:28] we’d go to disney at christmas and it’s just the life that we want do this. So awesome. So inspiring, man. I’m so glad I got a chance to talk to you again. Can’t wait to see what else she sell because anybody who wants to follow this stuff, go, go join this facebook group because that dol stuff. I was like, whoa. You know, and I think to myself, I literally, I said to myself, I’ve seen things like that before. I had no clue. None. I bought barbie so I bought billion barbies right now you go to an auction and guess what? Everybody’s buying billions of barbies and they’re so cheap because the market’s gone. But, but if you buy the right ones or if you buy, you know, again, that’s all that knowledge stuff. So very, very cool. I thank you so much. I wish you nothing but success.
Stephen: [51:11] Thank you dallas. I appreciate it. Thank you for having me so strong. And, and what you didn’t get to hear him talk about his daughter. He so proud and it’s so cool that him and his wife are in this business together. It was such a great relationship and it’s so neat to see them prosper in relationship. to me, that’s the coolest part of the whole story is together they prosper. You hear him talk about going on vacation with his family and it’s like he’s almost giddy because he understands what life is about, so it’s very, very cool. Very inspiring and man, I hope you got as much inspiration as I did. Ecommerce, momentum.com, ecommerce, momentum daca. Take care.
Cool voice guy: [51:55] Thanks for listening to the ecommerce momentum podcast. All the links mentioned today can be found at incomers momentum. Doug, come under this episode number. Please remember to subscribe and like us on itunes.