How to Sell on Amazon Globally with Stephen Somers from Marketplace Superheroes
Dustin and Kris are joined by Stephen Somers from Marketplace Superheroes who shares his story and how he helps Amazon sellers grow internationally to sell their products around the globe.
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How to Sell on Amazon Globally with Stephen Somers from Marketplace Superheroes
– Hello everyone and welcome to episode 62 of Two Amazon Sellers and a Microphone. Today, Kris and I have a special guest on with us. Stephen Somers from Marketplace Superheroes. Stephen, what’s happening?
– Well guys, it’s an honor to be here, do you know what’s weird it’s not often I come on to kind of Amazon-related podcasts which is strange but true, but it’s cool to be here so I’m looking forward to chatting to you guys.
– Well, we’re excited to be chatting with you too and you’re coming to us from Ireland, all right.
– Yeah I’m coming to you from the little town of Wexford which there are very few internet businesses and I think it’s kinda cool cause everyone thinks I’m a weirdo, I am strange, but around the town here like people are like what did this guy actually do all day? We make videos and stuff here as well for YouTube and people in the office nearby just think we’re, they don’t know what we do, I think they’ll think we sell drugs or something. I’m gonna keep it believing that.
– It is funny even Kris and I, we’ve talked to us before, even just as an Amazon seller and it’s sometimes it’s hard to explain to people, what are you doing? So you just sell stuff on Amazon
– Explain it but–
– Yeah, people don’t need, a lot of people don’t know obviously like the third-party seller is big on Amazon, right. And people are just assuming they’re buying from Amazon all the time. Like I did too before I started over 10 years ago and yeah it’s becoming a little more common knowledge now I think cause market the marketplace has grown so much but definitely people don’t realize that and also I’m sure you guys get it all the time but people are like these sell well like iPhone covers or like iPads or and I’m like no no we don’t.
– Nor do we want to, we don’t wanna–
– No way you guys were on board with me on not from no way we don’t sell those.
– Well let’s talk about you for a little bit, you wanna tell everyone just sort of how you got into this space, an E-commerce space, and what you’re doing right now?
– Yeah it’s a little bit of a long story but I’ll try and shorten it as much as I can, is it okay? I mean hope everyone wouldn’t mind.
– Give us the whole story, it’s fun to learn.
– Good news is I never lived in my car, I never ate dog food so that’s fine. Great ahead of time. So just for context, I’m 34 years old almost now, I say 34 now cause I know I’m close to it it’s in the summer but I do all these podcasts usually take time to commit I know this is a little different but anyway, that’s for some context of my age. 10 years ago and beyond 10 years ago, about 12, 13 years ago, I was working as a data processor, the most boring job in the world. I don’t know if you guys have ever done a boring job but I was just typing information from a form into a computer all day long. And I look a lot of people listening like you guys too I’m sure I was googling in my spare time, how to make money online, how to do this, how to do that. And of course, when you google how to make money online you find some pretty weird things, right. And a lot of the things are kind of quite scamming, let’s be honest, right. And so I went down this path, my early twenties of affiliate marketing or drop shipping or whatever not to say they’re scams because they’re definitely not. But for me, like I was looking at those things and I felt a bit weird. And so I thought, well look if I sell physical things I can feel good about it, it’s a normal business. It’s something that I can go and learn. And so I did a lot of people do, I bought loads of courses and did absolutely nothing at all. And I think for me as well, I just had no experience in business my parents were not entrepreneurs at all. And before I was a data processor I was trying to make it in the music industry. So I didn’t have a big track record of a have been an entrepreneur or anything. So long story short, I bought all these courses didn’t do anything with them and I realized, look I need someone to kind of help me out here, I need someone that’s doing it already to believe in this for me because I don’t believe in what I’m doing and I’m a clue what I’m doing. So I got lucky in that my aunt in Northern Ireland which is about three hours north of where I live here Wexford, she heard I was interested in selling products on the internet and she said my friend Robert, my now business partner, does it he sells an eBay, he sells an Amazon all in the UK, he’s got two warehouses, he’s got lots of stuff, you gotta meet this guy. So we did and it’s big, mountain dew, he’s got a big beard and he’s really tall and he was just a scary-looking guy. But I realize he’s the nicest guy in the world. I go to this freezing cold warehouse and I think I’m gonna live a laptop lifestyle and I’m wearing work boots and I’m lifting boxes all day. And I’m like, this is not the laptop lifestyle at all. But I started learning on the ground, I quit my job, moved in with my aunt, and basically, I started selling some of Robert’s products that were kind of second-hand items laying around. I started selling them on eBay, myself while learning in the warehouse during the day I was literally working on the floor and they’re learning more and more and more reading, more books like the E-Myth, and stuff like that started learning about systemizing. And so it was making some money doing the eBay stuff started getting better at that. Start teaching myself HTML, CSS, make my listings better, the whole day, you guys know that. And then, there an opportunity came along with Robert, where at the time he was in the consumer electronics accessories category he was selling TV stands mounts that kind of stuff. He had a wholesale business as well in the warehouse. So we literally had people from all over Northern Ireland coming in and buying stuff from us. And he had his own website in that world and that’s where he was going. And we realized, we could actually sell anything on Amazon, it doesn’t have to be like one category. And so we basically said, well if we just go FBA, 100% we sell in the UK, we moved to the States, we actually went that way, you guys usually come this way. So we went that way initially and FBA was much earlier in FBA, like this isn’t 10 years ago now, maybe nine years ago now at that point. And so yeah, start selling our products in more countries and then just started finding more and more different items in all different categories. We didn’t just limit ourselves to consumer electronics accessories anymore, so we’re selling vacuum storage bags, we’re selling the cedar hangers, we were selling speaker mounts all kinds of things. And yeah, we built up a really successful business, just the two of us we didn’t have the warehouses anymore. We went fully FBA and we did that for a number of years and then basically saw lots of other people teaching the Amazon stuff. We felt we had a different way of doing things, a simpler way of doing things that would suit some people not everybody, you know like we use Amazon, global on Amazon. We really leveraged it heavily. Some people wanna build a brand and Amazon as part of their business, that’s cool, but we stick to Amazon, we treat it like a stock market and we just sell loads of weird products in as many countries as possible. And that’s what we do and that we’ve now got nearly 8,000 members in our programs. We’ve freight company now, which we can definitely talk about and we’ve services and things like that because we try to make it that our clients, when they come in we didn’t wanna be like a lot of other people and have a course and, hey you guys go ahead and we’ll still do a bit of our own business but we’ll be course guys. We wanna pull our own money back into build services. Our members actually need freight for example is a big problem as you guys know, if you’re working with freight forwarders and you’re trying to do LCL Less than Container Loads and stuff like that. So yeah, that’s the story and obviously, we can go into as much as you guys want
– For sure well, and I wanna go back to like when you first started cause yeah–
– That’s a nice starter back in 2013 ish and the marketplace was completely different back then. You could throw a product up just a couple of rankings pay for review boom boom you’re getting on page one. How did you guys do all that back then? How’d you find products, cause there wasn’t software back then, were you just willing to pick and products and throwing them up.
– We still don’t use software, people will go crazy when we say that, we just don’t, not that there’s anything wrong with software just our methodology basically what we’re doing is we have a few different factors that we look for. So our system has changed like you guys as well, definitely like vacuum storage bags we sell container loads of these things like they would just fly out, whereas now selling a vacuum storage bag very difficult to do a pack of them in the current market. So what we found as the years have gone on, air items and our members’ items are more and more niche in nature and that’s where we found we don’t sell, we found that a lot of markets in Amazon are what we would call confused markets nowadays. So a good example of that would be like bento boxes, right. You’ve got bamboo bento boxes, you’ve got bento box for kids, you’ve got different colors, you’ve got all the launch prep stuff, right. And they all sit under the banner of bento boxes. And I think like if you’re looking to build a brand and a bento box is a thing you wanna sell, that you’re gonna run a lot of PVC and Amazon to that. You’re gonna try and rank for the keywords, like the so keyword if you’re trying to rank for, whereas with us we would be like, well we don’t wanna sell a bento box, it’s too difficult. We wanna sell a hunting skull mint, that’s what we wanna sell because it’s a clear product, there’s not a billion different competitors. And so we’re really looking for, I will call them the long tail products and some of them go crazy and blow up, but many of them don’t show any of them do a smaller number of sales a day and we’re happy to stay there, and so our members and ourselves, we won’t sell lots of those types of products and pick up a small number of sales per day in multiple countries. And that’s basically what we do now, back then, I would agree entirely with you. We were selling clothes covers and all kinds of things that nowadays would be very competitive and I think like everything you know, there’s more and more people coming into more and more markets but if we stick to the markets we’re in this, there’s tons of products in that space. We just found a lot of success there and we continue to and I’m not saying another way is wrong or anything like that. I would just say, we’ve done well with that. And that’s what we kind of stick to.
– Yeah, when you do that those little products that are like more of a long tail are you doing that in the UK marketplace first and then go into the States or you doing all of it?
– We try to do all of it but of course, a lot of our members, get freaked out if they’re in the US or Canada and they’re like oh my God, I’m gonna go sell in another country and we are always like well look there’s actually no difference because you’re not taking the inventory in your house right now, living in Kansas, right. You’re not doing that so, you’re utilizing our freight company typically cause we have a pre-Amazon location, obviously with Amazon’s changes with their inventory performance index and stuff like that as may that important, we said that for years though we’ve kind of predicted a lot of these things but going back to what you’re saying, yeah we sell them in multiple countries. Obviously, certain products do better than others like a hunting-type product right, will do very well in the US, the decently in the likes of the UK, but it’s not gonna be a killer like it would be in the US. But we do typically try to find products that will work in multiple countries, but we actually satisfy the US. That’s where we use for research the biggest market, the most different types of products. So we start there and then we kind of distribute out, we wanna have the products go into multiple countries from there as our preferred way of doing things. But again a lot of our members don’t have the confidence or whatever. So they typically just stayed in the US and then they expand out. But we’re always like no, expand that from the start. But that’s always a challenging thing because when if you’re a brand new beginner to business and I’m coming along telling you all of a sudden, you wanna sell globally and have different entities in different countries that can freak some people out, not everybody, but some people.
– Yeah, that’s unique because a lot of these courses will say like stay focused on your marketplace or stay in this marketplace and scale it up and then once you get to a certain level you can go to the UK, so if I’m hearing you right you’re saying go all in and spread it out.
– Yeah, like to me that thinking makes no sense in my opinion, that’s my opinion, right. Like make it work in the US and when it works in the US then we can make it work in other countries. Whereas what if it works way better in France than in the UK? You don’t know that going in therefore with our freight company, I got much applaud to the freight company, it’s just I can’t, I don’t know another way to do this as easily. Maybe you guys do, but we’re able to help our members do is like they can get their orders created in the far east typically a lot of our members to do that, but then they can like split their shipment. So they can send the quantity over to Europe, they can send a quantity over to the US typically they’ll send 60 to 70% of US and then 30, 40% to Europe. We’ve actually got, we’ve got a warehouse now in Canada and in Australia as well. So we’re finding people are starting to split their orders up a little further. Some people are sending a little bit more inventory to Australia, et cetera, et cetera. But the point is like, yeah we’ve been talking to this for years, we’ve been doing it that way for a long time. And I’ll just tell you we base this on a framework called the rule of five. Now I’m not saying to anybody watching today that like this is gonna work at exactly even, but cause it’s not but just to consider kind of the multiplication of this. So let’s say you have five items, you sell them in five Amazon markets at one time, you’re making five sales per day, per product per country, and you’re making an average net profit of $5. That gets to step five by five by five by five. Now again, sometimes we’re making $12 profit, sometimes it’s three, you guys know the deal, but it’s just to give people a framework of multiplication. But if we do that over 30 day period at five by five by five by five that’s, $18,750 net profit before tax before corporate tax, obviously, that’s a very basic figure but that’s what it is. So the point is everyone gets their calculator at that point how the hell can this be possible, that doesn’t make sense, but it’s because we’ve got a small number of products making the small number of sales and in the markets multiply it, that’s what makes the difference. But the point entirely is that, like I see it all the time. Some people actually do better in Europe than in North America. Some people do much better in North America than Europe at the average out is the point. And I think if you only sell on dot-com, you are, it’s a huge market, it’s a great market, but you are like sort of closing off a whole other sales channel or multiple sales channels by only doing that. And also it’s the same thing like a lot of our members that come in, I totally get it, I was the same when I started, well I’ll get this product successful, then I’ll do the next one. And then it’s kind of like but like not every product is made equal, like you guys I’m sure maybe you’re different to me but it’s 80 20 on your products. You’re gonna find a small amount of products are your best by a mile. But if you only have one item, you only have one shot.
– And you’ve taken away, you’re not taken away I guess as a bad word but you’re really helping sellers from the first step from the manufacturer whereas it’s going to different marketplaces, whereas Dustin and I, what we would normally do is, we have imported to the United States and then we would have to separate it out on our own. You’re catching it at the very beginning and moving it to those marketplaces.
– Yeah and I suppose some of our members for example like they will bring their stuff to the US then they’ll distribute up a little bit to Canada. But as you know, the problem with that is that you are gonna pay an additional charge their, customs duties, et cetera. When you’re crossing that border equally we have done many times a container from the US come across to Europe. But again yeah, like you paid it on the way in coming to North America, you’re gonna pay it on the way in coming to Europe. So as much as we can we encourage our members to split up their orders if they can and get it into multiple markets early on. Watch out if you don’t have that infrastructure you’re gonna have to find a freight forwarder who can do that kind of thing. Now you’re starting to get into it, it’s a Less than Container Load, AKA LCL. So we all know in LCLs the shipping rates are gonna be a lot more expensive and not that it can’t work but it’s certainly a consideration. So, our freight thing what we’ve tried to do and we have done is like when someone’s placed an order with the supplier we immediately tell them, put us in the loop don’t waste, whereas obviously if you’ve got a freight forwarder, you’ve maybe you can give them 10 days notice and they’ll be able to get you into a container. We want our members to let us know early on what’s going on, we then know how big their order is, we have rolling containers so we can get their products into our containers and get them on the water. And I suppose, what’s really useful is we speak to the suppliers, we try to take our members out of the equation because if you’re just starting out in this game, there’s all these different things suppliers will tell you let’s face it, suppliers sometimes tell you things that aren’t fully true. All there’s these different fees they’re charging us when we’re not so it’s a whole minefield of we’re trying to help our members like a get over a lot easier if we can.
– Man, there’s so many things I wanna unpack here cause I mean, number one, I don’t sell in other marketplaces right now. I just sell dot-com specifically because the logistics aspect was a pain point for me, I and the other thing that I think is fascinating, just your talk that whole five, five, five, five, five rule was interesting because the concept of selling longer tail products is reducing your risk. Like you’re having earlier a lot of products so if one fails, it’s not like your hero product failed, which is something that’s happened to both Kris and I but from the past or we had a major product.
– Me too
– A lot of your capital’s invested in that and if it goes bad, it’s a big pain as opposed to something like this. But then diversifying marketplaces all say the same thing. You’re diversifying the risk and you’re generating more sales. Walk us through the logistics part I’m really curious to see how you guys have it set up, so if Kris and I were trying to go to more marketplaces, how do you guys assist in that?
– So we do a few things that most companies don’t do. The first thing we do is enable people to pre-buy a shipping space with us. So and before that by the way we do charge a membership I think it’s like 500 bucks for the year, 47 a month, or something to get into the network. And of course, we tried to partner on the freight forwarders in the past and they told us no one’s ever gonna pay to join a shipping thing cause they can work with us for free. And we were like, no no no people will pay because we’re gonna actually tell them what you’re gonna pay and give them a much better service than anybody else. But that’s beside the point. So the pay a membership fee comes in and then what you do is you pre-buy space. So obviously just at the time of recording here, there’s been a serious increase in shipping rates right now as I’m sure you guys are seeing. I don’t think that will last forever I think they’ll come down. However, all the people in the past were pre-buying cubic meters from us for very little at different rates depending on whatever promotion that we did in the past. But some people were getting five cubic meters for about $950 or something like that. It’s pretty good. So you know when you pre-buying that, that’s how much I’m paying for that. The only additional fee that you’ll pay is obviously your duties and taxes on the way in. And the other fee we charge is what we call a creation fee. It’s just a little handling fee like $75, I just get the things started and it pays for some of the paperwork we have to do and things like that. So when you put it all together people have told us different figures we typically caught people shipping by about 50% is normal to maybe 75% is on the higher side. People that told me 75% and I’m like, I’m not sure we call it that much about but look I’m not gonna argue if someone tells me that’s what we’ve done, that’s what we’ve done. I’ve heard horror stories of people getting ripped off by freight forwarders like doing a pilot for like five grand or something I heard one time it was just unbelievable stuff and now people are starting now and they don’t know the numbers and all that. So anyway, you pre-buy your space and when you pre-buy the space the nice thing is that space can be used to ship to North America, that space can be used to ship to Europe it doesn’t matter we are agnostic to where you wanna ship your goods to. And so basically what we want is you place your order Dustin and immediately you’ll be putting in your information onto our online system. So you will put in who the supplier is, at the dimensions of the product, the weight of the products and the commodity codes put it all into the system and then you put in the contact details of your supplier we take over then, we speak to the supplier we arrange for your order to come to our location in China and we ship out of Ningbo and Shenzhen, I think if my brain is correct today to those ports. And so basically then you get it to one of those different ports. We put it onto our own container, only our own members are on our containers, we don’t put anyone else’s on it. And then we ship it over to let’s say Texas. And let’s say you shipped some quantity over to Northern Ireland. Let’s just say that’s the U for the UK market. We would then hold it in stock into those different spots. You would then do your inward FBA order with Amazon. And then we would put U tenders labels in the system. We put the labels on the boxes, typically you’re gonna use the preferred Amazon carrier to come and collect the boxes. They’re going down to sell, that’s basically the whole process. We manage a lot of them, I don’t even know if I can swear but the shitty pirates as I would call them.
– You can swear.
– Yeah it’s a pretty cool thing and it’s helped a lot of our members massively people are really loving it. And I think a lot of people in this space, I wouldn’t speak ill of any other course or anything. But it’s my opinion that if people are gonna succeed in this industry of course isn’t an off like you have to, you’re gonna have to ship stuff, you’re gonna have to get GS one let, buyer codes you’re gonna have to do these things. So we try to do as much as we can. We also offer people can do translations and things like that, but they can go elsewhere if they want but we’re trying and keep it in one spot as much as we can, cause it’s just easier for our members. But equally, people do not have to use it if they don’t want them.
– What about before even getting into were shipping products using the logistics that you guys have set up, just the steps involved in getting set up in other marketplaces. There is work there I mean you have to set up this in different countries, walk us through how you would help in that area as well.
– Yes, we’ve got something called Superhero office which is basically our UK company and we will create a UK entity for a non-European resident. Again, breaks it’s happened recently which has caused a little bit of complication but not that much complication really, I can explain that. What we’ll do is with the Superhero office we’ll set people up in a UK limited company typically. While UK English language we obviously have a big location there as well. So people will ship into us and UK is obviously won of the most established markets in Europe. So what used to happen, which was so great was the thing called EFN, which was the European Fulfillment Network. So people would ship to us in Northern Ireland and then we would actually just distribute it to the UK and Amazon then would distribute it to the individual customers from the UK that was really handy and that was wonderful. Then Brexit came along just earlier this year and it’s been a bit of a pain but all we do now is, people send some stocks in the UK that takes care of the United Kingdom stuff. And then people send stock to Germany and they get an actual, it’s a VAT number in Germany, basically a tax ID in Germany. You don’t have to set up a company or anything there you get a tax ID in Germany. And then you’re able to send your stock from Northern Ireland, into Europe, into Germany and you’ll get the EFN from Germany then, that’s basically how it works. So yeah, there’s a few definitely a few steps there. But as I always tell people to look, we have to be real. And it’s like if any of us, you guys where you live I’ll ask you this one question and you won’t get this exactly right and that’s absolutely fine cause there’s no real answer, but it’s like where you guys live, how much would it cost to set up a coffee shop, would you kind of even open right now, really? How much would that cost for you guys coming from, what do you think?
– $100 grand, $200 grand at least.
– Easy, right, and a lot of pain in the ass, you gotta go and get insurance and then get stuff. You get all these different things in place. So like there’s a few extra steps, we do make it a lot easier, all I know, you have to utilize but like you’re getting a global business here and you don’t have to have like all these locations, all like crazy amounts of insurance. Obviously, you need some insurance, but it’s not like if you have someone comes into your coffee shop, you’re selling $4 lattes and someone falls and breaks their leg or something and they’re suing you, I know people that run traditional businesses and they’re just like what the hell are you guys doing, this is ridiculous what you have the access to. And I think, unfortunately, I’m sure you guys get this a little bit too. People to focus on the cost or where I always tell people at the end of the day, wealthy people, successful people focus on the return and how much it’s gonna make a month. So it’s like, well how much more can I sell by putting my stock into Europe? And you can watch a ton of case studies on our YouTube channel. And lots of people will tell you, not everybody but a lot of people will say going into Europe more than doubled my business. And you’ll find it’s the people that have more than one product are saying that, if they’ve only got one product maybe it doesn’t kill it in Europe, right. But that’s the whole point, you should have more than one product, do not go into this with just one item. It would be our take on this.
– That’s fascinating, I mean, you’re selling me ongoing global. I mean, right now– We can help you with that, and it turns great.
– You don’t have to be a member of your course to do this, this is a different, completely different options, completely different business.
– Well, typically people are, but like, that’s something we will look at if people want it. If someone came to me from this show and said, look I need a bit of help, we’re not gonna turn people away. We’ll find a way to help obviously listeners or whatever, but typically people that are members of our program that kind of come through and they learn our methodology. But again, like I mean, I’ve laid it out really today. A lot of the things you’ll need. And then, just getting those things is the same, but yeah, certainly people can get in touch and we can help out any way we can. But in general, like you can follow what I’m saying and you can do what I’m saying, cause before we had all the solutions that we made, we may do I remember calling the German, the German exchequer and be like hey, what do I do, have to do in Germany? And of course, they’ll tell you, oh well you’ll need a limited company by GmbH skulled in Germany, you’ll need this, you’ll need 25 grand share capital in your company before you can do anything and all this crap. I was like, not gonna do that, and we have to figure it all out, and so for us, it’s really, I think it’s like when you’re set up correctly and you’re listing to the right people, people like yourselves, people like ourselves, those are the people that will do well. I think it’s whenever you’re trying to piece together a lot of different systems like I didn’t tell people listening today. If people are having success with what you guys talk about, fantastic. I’d rather see people succeed, I don’t like people join our course, whatever. That’s not even where we’re gonna be around long-term. We wanna do the shipping and stuff like that. But the point is to find some networks and stick to them. And then, things like going global, they’re lovely additions. And you’re just taking the same items and just expand the notch, nope. But if we don’t have the right partners like you said Dustin, logistics, I fully agree. It will be challenging without the right people in the right place.
– Absolutely, yeah and just learning about what you guys are doing is fascinating to me because it is the solution to my stumbling block, what you’re talking about. And then that’s great. Let’s talk about it, just go back a little bit. Let’s talk about your course, so you’re bringing people on that just from the beginning you’re teaching them the entire business. So anybody out there listening to that hasn’t started their Amazon journey selling, they can get in touch with you and just get started right from the get-go.
– Yeah, like I mean, I’d be honest and I would say, we’re always honest but I would say beginners are great for us. And the reason I say that is Amazon’s like a funny, it’s a funny thing, you guys will know, right. You’re in the game a while, people who’ve kind of started they think they know everything sometimes, you guys clearly not, but a lot of people do and it’s difficult to speak to them, because it’s like, well that’s what I do. And I don’t wanna change, and I’m like, that’s cool, no problem. But they look at our research strategy and they usually say things like, oh but you’re not going after some that are gonna sell hundreds and hundreds a day or whatever. And I’m like, yeah, no bro, we’re not for use them like we don’t want to sell those kinds of items. We have our own way of doing things. So I find when people come in total beginners, they do agree with us because they just listen to what we tell them, as some people, if they wanna do coaching, they can do coaching and whatever, a lot of people do that and that’s great. But typically with people just stick to what we say for our methodology and they don’t deviate, they’ll do well, where people go wrong is when they go, I’ll do a little bit of what other guys are saying, I’ll do a little bit over here, a little bit over here, a little bit over here. I used to do that when I started because it’s like an ego thing. If I haven’t figured it out then it’s not valuable, for example, I always tell people when you’re starting out like I knew nothing. So my thing is, don’t believe in yourself because you don’t know anything yet, and that’s fine. Just do what a process that makes sense to you, whoever’s teaching that get that done, have some success and then you can start to innovate when you’ve learned a bit whenever. And obviously, whenever we did that, that’s where we started making our mistakes because we deviated from what was working, then we try different things and all the rest, which we talk about a lot. So that’s my take on it, beginners are great in our program, just on whoever you’re listening to, don’t do the Frankenstein thing, it never works out well enough.
– You are completely right, I just talked to a seller today and he’s like, I’ve been watching YouTube videos and I’m doing what this guy said, I’m doing what this guy says, is I’m trying to piece this together, my wife and I, we really wanna make this work. And in the back of my head, I’m like, man don’t do you need to sort of join a mastermind? And you need to focus on what that guy’s telling you, cause he’s been there before. If you try to piecemeal this together piece to get where you can probably get in a year or less.
– Yeah, cause, if you pick a strategy, a research strategy, right. That is gonna bring in a product that necessitates a significant amount of PVC spend in necessitates an off Amazon platform to build up an email list with some content marketing, so you can drive sales back to Amazon in order to compete. Like you can peace, cause then if you bring in one of our items, right. I don’t know the thing that covers the feet of the washing machine, like that’s gonna fail miserably with that strategy, right. But it’s gonna do well in the strategy that we’ll show you because it’s gonna do the job, it’s gonna sell a number of days and then you get in more products. And so that’s the big problem, I fully agree with you, Kris. I made that mistake when I started before I met Robert, meeting him was a big thing for me, cause, I told him I wanna drop ship and I never want to touch the item. And he’s like, dude that makes, you’re gonna make no money doing that. Like you’re gonna, you do okay, but you’re not gonna, I was one of the drop shippers in China and all like everybody else, right. And he’s like, no, no, no, do private label, listens to what I’m telling you, and of course, he just happens to be obviously the best in the world when it comes to the numbers behind his business. I, yeah, he showed me but again, like there’s so many ways to succeed on Amazon, but you need that. It’s like if you don’t have the full system it’s like the guy or the girl who skips leg day, right. It’s all well and good doing all the other bits but your legs are gonna look ridiculous.
– And you sit and you said, no, an ego, like that’s a big one, cause that gets in our way, we don’t even know it like, Dustin and I both did the same thing we watched YouTube videos. We’d learned on our own, we tried to do this on our own. And what we didn’t realize though, is like our ego is getting the way of joining the course because we thought we knew more than the course was gonna teach us. But if I had to do it all over again, I would jump in with a mastermind or a course. And just follow that path because you’ll say this in some hours for sure.
– Yeah, I mean a mentorship has been big for me, and Robert changed my life, is my miss America moment now. But he definitely changed my life and I started out I was totally clueless and yeah, like, and it was just cool. Like a lot of people like what Robert has to say, like, I mean these people listen to me too, but Robert’s office he got a real, he’s really just like, no, do it this way, don’t listen to, no do it this way. And people, I think that’s what a lot of people need when they’re starting out. I think when you get more advanced, you start to understand, like you guys can listen to someone now and go, yeah I can see how that would work, yeah I can see where that’s limited. Just like I can, but when you’re starting out, let’s face it you don’t really know anything.
– Yeah, you’re spot on and there’s the thing that you’re doing when you’re working with a mentor is you get to learn all their mistakes without making them yourself. I mean you could and you touched on the right point earlier with picking a super competitive product where you’re no way you’re gonna be able to launch unless you have an enormous budget for advertising. Kris and I talk to sellers all the time, they’ll come in they’re brand new, they’ve got their first product and it will be iPhone 11 cases or the face masks, they’re selling at the end of a pandemic.
– I know.
– Huge, it’s just, and they don’t realize that was the mistake, picking that product no matter what else you do, it’s not, you’re not gonna overcome that mistakes of you get that from get-go hey avoid those. and it makes such a huge difference.
– And I think we’ve saved some people because they have fallen in love with the product. It’s like, sometimes I’m like, I’m not trying to be rude but I’m just telling you, this is not gonna work. You’re gonna have deep pockets or you’re gonna lose your shot on this. I would pivot to another product and sometimes you’ll hear it or you won’t hear, cause it’ll be quiet on the phone. And it’s like, are you still with me, like yeah, I think you just told me what I needed to hear. Sometimes that’s like okay, I’m glad you got that call. And you got this figured out because you could have just say, you just saved yourself a bunch of months, hours and you’re trying to make a product work that you don’t have the capital to do yet. So it’s–
– 100%, to know it’s interesting, you guys say that because I tell people, we go with the opposite a lot of the times but, a lot of people say, right. And we don’t do it just for sport. We do it because that’s just their experience. That’s like, I believe heart and soul, if you’re starting on Amazon and you get a product to start selling 100 a day that’s a bad thing, in my opinion, because you that’s a hungry, hungry beast especially if your cost price, let’s just say it’s $5, keep it easy. There’s $500 bucks a day in cost alone, just to keep that, rocking and keep it at and at that level, and God knows, maybe he goes to 120, 150 days. Now you’re into, them now we’ve gotta have three months stock, ready to go. We’ve got to have an order in production if we can, right. And order on the water, if we can. So arguably, you’ve got three lots of that, because that’s gonna sell crazy, you need something to arrive and you need something in production. That’s pretty standard, it’s never getting into, $40, $60 grand of order and across the board, maybe more. And that’s not to say it’s a bad thing. I mean, that’s just what it’s gonna take in order to keep that in stock. And obviously, keep the profit rolling. It’s profitable, so there’s no problem, but it’s just it’s a cashflow issue. And so whenever we see our members, they have a product or a couple of products are hitting three grand a month, five grand a month in revenue. No, I’m really like a well done because now you have something that you can build upon. And then we always tell our members, when you start getting some real data behind your products, go to a traditional bank, a financial institution and show me numbers, show me you getting stuff from and okay they may not all fund it, but if they see something that’s working, you’re likely, you’re in a much better position to get funded on those items. And if we like to make 100%, a return on investment basically, we call it to profit on investment. Well, we’re essentially doubling our money every time we make a sale, that’s our goal. And so at a very base level, if you were paying 10%, which you wouldn’t be, but if you were to a bank, but you’re making 90 now and you’re paying the 10 like that’s a good deal. And so you can make that work and it’s like I think the mistake a lot of people make is, they try every way possible not to put their own money down, not to put any money down. They try every way possible to avoid doing the things, what Robert calls them, success building activities, and like it or not, real businesses, they put money into them and this is a real business. And that’s, and I think again, that’s why we have 16,000 YouTube subscribers and not 16 million cause like, I say things like that and that’s the reality.
– That’s that ego again. People get their ego, it’s that and you don’t even realize it like as a seller or somebody who’s an entrepreneur. You’re saying no when you should be probably saying yes cause you’re gonna have a better outcome. It’s really is, it’s an ego that gets in your mind and you’ll do it on purpose, but it’s there.
– For sure, what was the term, the success building. What’d you say?
– That’s building activities, yeah.
– It’s great.
– Yeah but that’s what we tell people, it’s like every day, if you can pull one success building activity into place, that’s great. Like and that’s gonna compound, like I don’t know if you guys have ever read the book, I’m a big reader but “The Compound Effect” by Darren Hardy, I don’t know if you’ve ever read that book. I’ll save you half by the book guys in two seconds. So basically at that book, he says, if you can just do a small improvement on a consistent basis like a 1% improvement every single day over a year. I can’t remember the exact percentage improvement cause it’s not 365. It’s exponential because you’re starting to stack on top of what you’ve already done. But of course, like Kris is saying that I fully agree. Well, our ego is wouldn’t allow us to make a 1% improvement. Oh, that’s no good, that’s terrible. Like I’m a loser if I’m only doing 1%. But sometimes we have members again, like a girl, Rhonda later day she just posted, she showed a screenshot and we don’t always ask people to do this, they do it themselves, 10 grand a great British pounds. So that $13,000 revenue in a month and we’re usually working on about a 30% profit margin on revenue. So the three grand, three and a half grand net profit before tax, that’s just how we work it, that’s where she’s at on that. And I’m just saying to her, that is awesome well done, like congratulations and just keep going from here now, get more products and et cetera. Then like we have some members who are maybe newer or whatever, or like how many products are you doing? How many this, how many that like they don’t kind of like celebrate it. And as I say to those people, look I’m not trying to be a daycare, but Rhonda is way ahead of you because she’s just gone and done it. She now lives selling products and she’ll be doing 50 grand a month in the not-too-distant future. Meanwhile, you’ll continue to question the process now is this really real and things like that. So I think the ego Kris, I think you’re really right, it really gets in the way, got to remove that and just understand that it’s all about pulling the trigger. Obviously, the research is critical in our system vital, and then when you brought the right items and the numbers are making sense, you’ve gotta pull the trigger.
– It’s great, it’s, you’re exactly right. You just got to start, start doing something and just do it, put one foot in front of the other. I do like though, I just keep coming back to this cause it sounded like you were telling a story earlier. It sounded like you were telling my personal story when you’re talking about one product that comes off as a home run which was basically the first product I launched and yeah it sounds great, but there’s so many challenges involved in that. I mean, you just try to get the capital and you’re just taking on taking on debt just to keep this going. And if the house of cards falls on that, it’s tough, but the approach and this is something that I’ve and Kris and I, we’ve talked about this in past too. We’re sort of transit, I’m transitioning too like you’re talking about, I would love to have 100 products that sell 10 each per day, then one product that does 1000.
– 100%, 100%.
– Yeah, it’s easier, it’s easier to control the risks diversified.
– Yeah, and the thing is, well the thing of it that I would say Dustin like if you have got 100 products, right. And they’re doing 10, it’s just numbers again like you’re gonna find 20 out of those 100 will just be killers like. They’ll just go off on one, but you’ll be in a better position at that time to deal with that. Meanwhile, you’ve got your 80 doing well, and let’s be honest like you’re gonna have probably 20 that you’re thinking is cutting, maybe 25, but that’s cool. I mean and for us, I would say a bad, error thing of a bad product has changed so much over the years too because whenever we started, we would see items, and let’s say there were making three grand a year in profit, right. Oh, it’s no good, terrible, like three grand, it’s not worth my time. And we either like throwing that out. Like, whereas nowadays we see the ridiculousness of that being a lot more advanced in business and it’s like hold on dude, if that’s bringing you in three grand, you’re doing no work on that, really a little bit of PPC manager maybe but minor because it’s not making that much money. He’s probably little or no PPC, let’s be honest. Why the hell would you say no to them and that’s ego again, it’s not making enough money for me. Whereas if you have 100 of those, there’s 300 grand net profit before tax right there. So, I think for us our opinion of what’s a success is, has changed a lot over the years. I think it’s made things a bit easier, whereas a lot of people starting out, they’re going down and they’re looking at, all right face masks, they’re going to, I did a video just today. I saw a guy doing this thing, talk about the new releases in Amazon using that for product research. I went in today just to see what was going on and I was like, man I would not use this for product research personally. Cause you’re finding pages of face masks and whatever, and it’s just not gonna end well. So, we like items that have been around for a long time, they’re gonna be around for a long time and there there’s sort of some are sustainable but they’re not, like you guys a gamer I’m sure you are like me, hot products, oh my God, like they’re getting a list of hot products, I think that’s such a bad thing. And you see people wanting to do vegetable spiralizers and whatnot. And it’s like, dude, not only can you not see– you will get sued for selling that. And there’s people recommending that like gym ropes and it’s like compression socks. You’re like, that’s like 10 years ago you could do that, not anymore. And just people still recommending this,
– I suppose, it’s a curse for your first product to be like a best seller cause then you just think you can you think you’ve got this figured out and you know, especially–
– The other thing that’s I think is when my eyes were open to this not too long ago, but the amount of products that are sold and the amount of different products that are sold is mind-boggling. And you always think, I mean if you talk about like you’re talking about vegetable spiralizer, I mean it’s like, that’s because everyone’s talking about it but there’s so many things my dryer broke, by a couple of months ago and I needed it. I did some research, I’m not very handy, but I was like I’m gonna fix this myself. I researched this little part for my dryer that was worked for every kind of dryer. And I went on Amazon and bought it, and it was like 10 bucks as this little thing. And I did some research on it, the sucker sells like 20 a day. I’m like, I cannot believe it was anybody who could make it. I mean, that’s a product that is in a product.
– Exactly yeah, and again there’s some great ones, we get to see a lot of products nowadays because in our freight company we have over 2000 different products now that come through it or like we shipped two million items last year, we’ll ship about six million this year, just to give you an idea, the scale of that. And so, we see a lot of the different items coming in obviously we don’t reveal them. We have, NDAs we’re clients, whatnot but I can see a lot of this stuff going on and it still boggles my mind to this day, some of the items that do well, and I think it’s like you said, those in you’re right, that catalog is growing all the time. And if you were to tell people, it’s funny because in Ireland here Amazon is building a new fulfillment center in the Republic of Ireland because Ireland complicates technically two countries. So Republican Oregon, where I’m from, obviously the North part of the UK, we have it that like people like, oh my God yeah, I’ll be able to get my goods from Ireland now, and I’m sorted. And I just tell them, you realize how many items Amazon sells, they will not all fit in one fulfillment center. There are millions like there’s millions, and so that’s the other, you will probably get this too as you guys teach these things more on whatever like, oh well it’s so great, why are you teaching it then, why don’t you just sell and all these products. And I’m like, do you realize how many items are hired to sell on Amazon? Like even if I had all the money in the world I couldn’t have them, I couldn’t do it. Like it would be impossible. And so yeah, it’s hard to comprehend the scale of Amazon actually.
– Amazon doesn’t do it, if they could do it, they would make all the products themselves.
– Exactly, I think it’s now with the pandemic and things like that and the growth of Amazon, I think of it 60% maybe even 70% of their business now driven by third-party merchants. And that’s true because the marketplace for them is obviously a phenomenal thing and they own all these millions of customers, all these prime customers. So it makes complete sense that they can increase the number of things that they can offer. And we’re all here, yeah let’s fill the catalog even further and so we’re delighted with us and that’s the thing too, when you bring in something people want on Amazon, they’re searching for an Amazon already. The offers are not very good, and you come in with a better offer. Number one stock won’t take that long for you to rank because you go through the audition phase with Amazon and they’re gonna test your item against everybody else’s, it’s gonna do better cause it’s a better item, better listing, especially if you got brand registry, you’re gonna have an A-plus brand content, et cetera at stand out in those markets. And so you gonna rank relatively quickly in those types of products. And Amazon will bring you, customers, all the time because you’re doing what they want them to do. Like we have an item, right. And maybe you guys won’t think this is very impressive, but I think it’s really impressive. I won’t tell you what the item is though, but it does about 30 grand a month in revenue, right. Revenue, but it has a conversion rate session percentage of 70%, still not crazy.
– That’s insane, the opportunity.
– I have to figure this own like I show people the screenshots and everything, but and it’s not our product actually. It’s one of our partner’s products, but that’s like that’s the power of a non, a lesser competitive category, and you got the right news. That’s not every product like that, they’re really not. But that’s a good example of not a typical item. And it just took off.
– You bring up the unit session, percentage sellers need to know that, like that you need to know what that percentage is. You’ll be able to tell if you have a product that’s gonna be a winner or something that’s a loser and get rid of it, that’s a good metric.
– Yeah and again, it’s funny you say that because we tell people, some people come into our group and ah my ads not working and I’m like, all right, well what’s not working, sessions, are you converting, what’s happening. And I think it’s an important thing like we need to start communicating in that way start analyzing what’s going on because that’s the thing when you’re a beginner sometimes it’s easy just to say, oh it’s not working when it’s like, okay, we’ll have you run any PPC to this thing, are you increasing your traffic, yeah all my sessions I’ve had 500 and I’m not making any sales. It’s like, all right, well, like fix start with the price and then go from there. And so it’s actually really scientific when you break it down and fairly simple but obviously, it’s not easy.
– No doubt, this has been great. I mean, it’s so fun talking to you and we’re gonna have to have you back on again. All right like 5,000 things, topics we didn’t cover
– I’ll bring Robert next time I’m sure more–
– Yeah we’d love to, I mean this has been just a super valuable conversation. Anybody who’s out there listening right now, how did they get in touch with you? How did they get started with Market Superheroes?
– I would say the best thing to do, there’s two, one go over to YouTube and search Marketplace Superheroes. I think that’s good. The website there is not it’s actually building a new website, but you can certainly go there marketplacesuperheroes.com and you can grab our free training. We’ve got lots of free training that we put on there but I would say YouTube is a great place to start. I do a lot of research videos. We have a team there, we have a research team, they do videos. We have a lot of content that going on out there because, it’s one of those things like we’ve learned that over the last year, like the buyer content we put out, the more I come on shows like this, the more the word spreads because honestly guys and again it’s my second, this America moment for today. So here we go, I really genuinely is not all about money to me know and Robert, if it was we stopped teaching a long ago we wouldn’t have our Canadian warehouse to put into perspective as $750,000 to open the doors to that Canadian warehouse, right. So for us, it’s more of a case. Now we wanna grow our services again. You can see a lot of these differences, we do lots of research videos, and there’s videos with cats as you can see there and stuff. So we have lots of different stuff going on there. And we do case studies, a lot of those people you’re seeing that are not me, their actual clients. I talk to them about their, you just actually scroll them when I used to have a beard that’s maybe related depress. Now I got it, my wife made me get rid of my beard. So that’s like–
– That’s you I think.
– That’s not me there.
– No, that’s not you.
– Oh God that’s not me, but no we really try to be as transparent as possible, we don’t want bullshit people. If it’s for you, great as not for you, no problem, but, I would love people to check out the YouTube channel and subscribe, that’s we’re really working hard on that.
– That’s fantastic stuff, you guys are doing a great job. I’m just putting all that information out. It’s so helpful to everybody. Thanks again for coming on here. I encourage everyone to go to your YouTube channel and subscribe. Go to marketplacesuperheroes.com. You can set up with the training. Stephen, thanks so much for coming on. It’s been a blessed
– Guys, I’ve really enjoyed and also thanks for having me on.
– Of course.
– Well we’ll do it again soon.
– Sounds good guys.
– All right, have a good one.