#458 – Amazon Handmade, Selling In Amazon Europe, & More!

Video of the episode at the bottom

Join us in this episode of SSP, where we listen to the stories of two Serious Sellers Club members, Sean Lonergan and Dana Midkiff, two highly successful Amazon entrepreneurs who have made their mark on the e-commerce world. Discover how they found success selling in Amazon Europe and selling handmade products across multiple marketplaces, making nearly 8-figures and multi 7-figures a year in their respective Amazon businesses.

Tune in to learn their unique strategies and insights in this inspiring episode filled with wisdom and actionable advice.

In episode 458 of the Serious Sellers Podcast, Bradley, Dana, and Sean discuss: 

  • 01:41 – The Serious Sellers Club
  • 02:11 – Sean Lonergan’s Backstory
  • 05:09 – Selling A Garlic Press As A First Product
  • 07:21 – Dana’s Backstory
  • 10:34 – Started In Etsy 10 Years Ago
  • 12:39 – Finding Success Expanding To Amazon Europe
  • 16:28 – Making Almost 8-Figures A Year
  • 17:43 – How To Get Into Amazon Handmade
  • 19:37 – Selling Handmade Products In Multiple Marketplaces
  • 21:52 – Making Multi 7-Figures From Handmade Products
  • 24:37 – Unique Strategies From Sean And Dana
  • 27:37 – Are Handmade Products A Good First Product?
  • 31:06 – Sean and Dana’s Favorite Helium 10 Tools
  • 32:26 – Healthy Habits And Hobbies Of Sean And Dana
  • 34:31 – How To Reach Out To Sean And Dana

Transcript

Bradley Sutton:

Today we’ve got two sellers from opposite sides of the world who both have sold multiple millions of dollars online but in completely different ways. One started with the most cliche Amazon product ever, and now mainly sells actually on Amazon Germany, and the other produces all of our products and sells in the Amazon Handmade category. How cool is that? Pretty cool I think

Bradley Sutton:

Helium 10’s got over 40 tools for e-commerce entrepreneurs. I know how overwhelming it might seem to try and figure out how you’re gonna learn how to use everything, or maybe even to know which ones you wanna get started with. So for a completely free course that’s gonna guide you through learning everything you need in order to become a Helium 10 expert, visit the Helium 10 Academy. That is h10.me/academy. Hello everybody and welcome to another episode of the Serious Sellers Podcast by Helium 10. I am your host, Bradley Sutton, and this is the show that’s a completely BS free, unscripted, and unrehearsed organic conversation about serious strategies for serious sellers of any level in the e-commerce world. And we’ve got a couple of serious sellers from the Serious Sellers Club here with us for the first time on this show today, we got Sean and Dana. How’s it going?

Sean:

Yeah, very well. All good from this end?

Dana:

Same. Doing great.

Bradley Sutton:

Excellent. All right. Well, I never at least as far as I know, I have a bad memory, but I don’t think I’ve ever talked to you guys in person or had one-on-one calls or anything. So we are gonna just completely learn about you guys from the Scratch. You know, this all came from a post I did, and we have a private Serious Sellers Club Facebook group, and that’s where we have six, seven, and eight-figure sellers. And, I was like, Hey guys, I’m looking for some new people to come on the podcast. You know, just, by being in this club, I already know that they have verified revenue with Helium 10, otherwise, they wouldn’t be able to be in the club. So I didn’t, I don’t have to, I didn’t have to do too much of a background check here. I was like, you know what? The background check we are gonna do live on the air. So let’s start with Sean. Where are you all calling in from right now?

Sean:

I’m in a city called Alicante, which is about three hours south of Madrid.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. Yeah. I’ve heard of I’ve heard of that. Have I been there? I’m not sure. I’ve been to Madrid, Barcelona, you know, many times, but not sure if I’ve been there. I know that they have a good soccer or football team down over there as well. Now, where were you born and raised?

Sean:

So, I’m originally Irish, and I spent the first half of my life living there. And then I moved to the UK and spent quite a few years there. And I’ve been in Spain since July 2020.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. Did you go to university in Ireland or UK?

Sean:

No, I didn’t. I was always one of these kids that university just wasn’t for me. I couldn’t wait to get outta school. I love school. So I was very lucky. Well, when I went to the UK I got a job with the US Bank, Citigroup, and I was with them for about 25 years. I quite enjoyed working there and moved up the ladder. So and then I left the city and started a domestic cleaning business.

Bradley Sutton:

What prompted that? Just looking for something different than corporate life, or?

Sean:

Yeah, I mean, corporate life became very much of a tick-box exercise where you were just constantly making sure that you are compliant with everything and it was a very slow mover for obvious reasons. And I was sort of counting down the days to retirement, and then I thought, you know what? This is wasting life. So one day I just decided that’s it, I’m gonna go and so I didn’t spend any time thinking about it. And I asked for redundancy and they said no. So I begged them for redundancy, and they give it to me. And I started a cleaning company for a couple of years, and that was quite difficult, but it was a good introduction to business. About 18 months into that, somebody introduced me to selling on Amazon, and I thought, this is ideal for me. It ticks all the boxes. So I started my first business, I think in 2016.

Bradley Sutton:

And was that in Amazon USA? Europe?

Sean:

Yeah. I mean, I was one of the Amazing Selling Machines, ASM, I think it was. And it’s like I didn’t know what I was doing. My first business wasn’t very successful.

Bradley Sutton:

I’m assuming that from what you’re saying, you’re not still selling that same product, that was your first no, no. Can you tell us what it was then?

Sean:

Yeah. I mean, my very first product was a garlic press.

Bradley Sutton:

Are you serious? It almost sounds like I was setting that up, but I had, I literally had no idea, but I just had a feeling it might be something cool. A garlic press. Like that would be like, if I was like, yeah, I was selling collagen peptides and over there. That’s classic.

Sean:

Yeah. It’s a slightly different model to what’s available, and it did okay. But it was never going to go crazy. Yeah. Yeah. And then I, but, but

Bradley Sutton:

You learned from the experience. I’m sure.

Sean:

I learned about branding because I had several different products under the same brand, which of course, is the absolute wrong thing to do. I also, you know, was a bit unlucky in the sense that a few of my shipments got lost coming from China, and I never got reimbursed for that. And that really didn’t help the cash flow. So I had a lot of headwinds. But the most important thing was that you know, I learned a lot and everything I learned then I use, we were using in the business that I have today.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. All right. We’re gonna come back to you a little bit, but that’s we’re gonna pause right there 2016 and, and garlic presses. Dana, what about you? Where are you calling us from?

Dana:

I am just south of Louisville, Kentucky.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. Excellent. I actually just have a new hat of an I don’t have it here with me, but if I think there’s a minor-league baseball team around there called the Louisville Bats or something like that. Yeah. And I got the hat because it says LB like our listing builder tool. So like the next time I do a listing builder video. So anyways if I visit that area, you’ll have to take me to one of those. I love minor league baseball and, and just random sports at different things. Anyways, we’re not here to talk about that. But is that where you’re born and raised? And saved your whole life? And what about you? What about did you go the college path or did you enter work? Or what did you do after high school?

Dana:

I very much went the college path to the extent of becoming an accountant. I actually got my CPA license, so I did that extremely difficult test. Did it all, did taxes and audits for many years.

Bradley Sutton:

Where did you go to college? Where did you get that training?

Dana:

The University of Louisville.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. Hold on. Is that the Cardinals? Ah, there we go, guys. See, I’m doing good with my sports teams today. All right. So, so actually started working in the field that you went to college once. Yep. Sounds like that should be normal, but like nine times outta 10, I think people can say that. And what about you? Like what brought you out of that field? Or what made you start thinking about e-commerce?

Dana:

Yeah, so I mean, the world tells you to fit that box. And so mom wasn’t a 25 year journey or anything. I had been in it at about seven years, but I had a family at home, and if you’re familiar with anybody who’s done and worked in the accounting world inside of taxis, and like, I negotiated my way into 60 hours a week for that timeframe, where everyone else had to do way more than that. Like that was my, Hey, I’ve got kids at home, can I only do 60? And it just year after year, that just became it. It just, I felt like there was something that I could have more control over. I didn’t, that’s not really why I started to make my craft, but it quickly became like, okay, if I decide to do this I could have a little more control over when I work and when I don’t. Or I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m still working, but it’s under my thumb. And so it was a gradual, I’ve been in business for 10 years, so.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. So 10 years ago you started to make this shift. Now, was it something you started in the beginning, just you know, like in those few off hours, out, out outside of those 60? Or did you, you know quit cold Turkey and just like, oh no, said I’m gonna start something new?

Dana:

No, it was the majority of my business until I quit until I actually quit the corporate grind. I did both for four years overlap. So until I quit, the entire business was built between 9:00 PM and midnight. My employees were all moms and we were all friends. And as soon as our kids went to bed, we all came to my basement and made products.

Bradley Sutton:

Yeah. Like others you know, all these husbands in Louisville are like, where’s her wives going at 10 o’clock? And now I’m going to my friend’s house in the basement. Sure, you are, but you guys actually were.

Dana:

What’s more questionable, cuz we work with a lot of glitters also, so you would come home at 1:00 AM and it’s like, all right, I swear we’re working.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. Okay. Now you said at the beginning, like, wait, what, 10 years ago, was Etsy a thing 10 years ago? Yeah. Okay. So you started on Etsy and, and going to local places. How, how did you guys decide like, I guess what we call an Amazon nowadays product research? Like, like how did you decide on your first products? I’m assuming it wasn’t a garlic press, but like how did you decide what you would produce and why did you pick it? Like how did you know there was demand and stuff like that?

Dana:

It was, honestly, it’s a totally different conversation when you talk to somebody who crafts. And I hate saying craft cuz like, that’s not what I do. I run a, a stupidly large business. But it’s, it’s, you don’t usually approach it like doing product research, it’s usually like, Hey, this looks really fun. And then a bunch of people are like, Hey, I wanna buy that. And then it just kind of becomes a thing. So it’s less of knowing where you’re going first and, and more of, okay, this is becoming a thing. So it’s a whole different conversation when you talk to somebody who’s kind of sourced and done all their research before they ever drop a dollar. I was just going to Hobby Lobby and buying a bunch of stuff and seeing what happened.

Bradley Sutton:

And it was fairly profitable for you from the get-go.

Dana:

Yep.

Bradley Sutton:

All right. Now, what year did you decide to give Amazon a try?

Dana:

Well, I won it on Amazon for a long time, but we don’t really fit the mold of that. And so it didn’t really become a thing until they opened Handmade in October of 2015.

Bradley Sutton:

2015. All right.

Dana:

When they opened that category and I was one of the first ones there. Yeah.

Bradley Sutton:

Now before then. What did you get your sales up to, like on other platforms? Out outside of Amazon?

Dana:

We have multi-six figures between all of our other avenues. But that was a lot of grind. Some of it, I mean a large portion of that was Etsy. But it was, it was in person, it was wholesale, it was all kinds of avenues.

Bradley Sutton:

Yeah. And it was like, it was a company that was run by you and all your other mom friends that you were Yes. You’re referring to there. Okay. Yeah. Interesting. All right, let’s switch back to Sean now. So 2016, you made the garlic press, probably didn’t make too much money if at all, but learned a lot and what did you pivot to? And like, you know, I’m assuming you actually like, Hey, you know what? I need to find a product that’s not saturated, or I need to, you know, figure something else out. But I definitely like this Amazon thing, so, so tell me about how 2016-2017 worked out for you.

Sean:

Yeah, I mean, I think looking back on it I didn’t really have a plan. I probably had my head in the sand a little bit and sort of hoping that sales would pick up rather than, you know, just facing that it’s an issue and you know fighting it head on. But I tried some other products and again, they had you know, they didn’t do very well. I mean, I expanded to Europe as well and you know, that basically, you know, kept me going, but it was never going to take off. So it was just by pure accident. When I was on a forum, I was one of the few sellers on there that was selling in Europe, and most people didn’t know how to navigate VAT in Europe and, and so forth in the various countries.

Sean:

And I had done quite a lot of research on that. And a lady from Slovenia contacted me and said, she was selling in the US as well with her brand, but she wanted to expand Europe, but she needed some help with registering in the VAT and so forth. So I helped her and then she said, you know, is there anything I can do to help you? And she helped me. She’s basically a superb designer. She has an eye for detail that no other human being on earth has. And she started helping me and then, you know, we both became very familiar with each other’s businesses. And then in 2018 five years ago tomorrow she said, you know, defensive doing something together. And I said, yeah, why not? And we found a product and it was just for the UK very quickly.

Sean:

We found a product very quickly. We sort of estimated that we would get 30 sales a day globally in the whole year round. But the product just took off immediately and with no PPC, no reviews, no advertising. And you know, after I think about eight months or something, it was doing like 1200. Well one day I did 1200 units a day in Germany. It was very different to our competitors. And she had another business, which then she exited that business and we worked on this full-time. And we found that her skillset and my skillset were the complete opposite. And you know, the designing the product, picking and images, videos, and everything, she took care of all of that. And I did the logistics, the ranking, inventory, and so forth until we got to a stage where, where we couldn’t cope, we had a couple of VAs that were a bit of a disaster because they’re very task based as opposed to showing initiative. And in the middle of 2021, I think it was, we decided that we would either sell the business or we would expand by investing in getting some good people on board. And we took the latter and the business then took off. And that’s sort of where we are today.

Bradley Sutton:

So what was your best year since now you’re doing this joint venture with somebody else, like, was it last year? Was it 2021?

Sean:

No, we’ve doubled every year.

Bradley Sutton:

So 2022 was your best year? Yeah,

Sean:

So I mean, our year-end is the end of May, so we were like 120% up in the last 12 months.

Bradley Sutton:

So if you combine all your marketplaces, and gross sales, what was it about in dollars, roughly?

Sean:

How much in dollars?

Bradley Sutton:

Yeah.

Sean:

Oh, the total, I don’t know, but we did get up to a million dollars one month. So I would say seven or 800,000 maybe over you know, balance to balance out over the year per month. So

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. So getting closer to eight figures in other words.

Sean:

Yeah, I mean, one thing we did was like, we had a lot of stockouts and it should, as you know, kill you, but by bringing somebody on board who knows exactly what they’re doing we haven’t been able to stock for one product for the last 15 months, I think, and that’s made a huge difference.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay.

Sean:

So, and you know, launching in the US as well as we’re starting to gain some traction there.

Bradley Sutton:

Is Germany still your number one marketplace revenue-wise?

Sean:

Yeah, Germany’s by far the biggest okay. Germany and the US is a distant second, and then maybe France and the UK are probably next, so.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. All right. Cool. Now back to Dana here. Why don’t you let everybody know what are the requirements for Amazon Handmade? You know, like, like, I can’t or maybe I can, you know, like with my coffin shelf, you know, could I technically get on on Amazon Handmade, or what do they make you sign or what is the terms of service of being able to list your product in Amazon Handmade?

Dana:

Yeah, so it’s a juried category, so you have to like, fill out an application. And so part of that application is stating whether or not you make your products or what percentage of the products are made by you. So you can, like I have people who ask me all the time, they’re like, well, I have a laser machine cause my laser’s the one who’s actually cutting it. And I’m like, okay, that still applies. But you have to verify or when I say verify you have to answer the question as to how many employees, basically they wanna know how big you are because they kind of don’t want you to be too big. It is a small business category, and when you get to the place of needing 50 employees or whatever it would be to produce your product, it’s no longer handmade.

Dana:

And so they do some verification inside of some accounts periodically. I’ve never had it done on mine, but I coach a lot of other people who sell handmade, and if you have an item that you’re selling in handmade that’s easily reproducible with Chinese sellers or something, they’ll get that question a lot. Where they will basically have to do a video call with Handmade and show them they wanna see you in your workspace and your scenario to prove that you’re still supposed to be in that category. So there’s no real rhyme or reason, but I’ve seen enough people go through it to see that some of the categories inside handmade that they will kind of pinpoint just to make sure it’s not somebody who’s gotten in who ha, who shouldn’t have.

Bradley Sutton:

Now are you still continuing to sell on Etsy and other platforms as well?

Dana:

We do. We’re a brand in general, so we do a lot on Shopify. Any traffic that we drive ourselves is all done through through our own website and stuff. But Amazon’s a big piece of that. But yes, we still sell on Etsy. We still sell we do some wholesale and then we do a tremendous amount of traffic to our own webpages and email lists and stuff.

Bradley Sutton:

And then so how do you choose what to do now? You know, like, I know you said, you know, 10 years ago it was just kind of random but what’s your process now for deciding what you’re going to make and then also for all your products? Does it just automatically go to all the platforms? Hey, we’ll list it on Etsy, we’ll list it on Amazon, we’ll list it on Shopify, or some things are on some and some are not another, what’s your basic MO there?

Dana:

So we put it on all of them. And what we sell is very seasonal based, so we sell holiday items. So for Easter, we put up Easter items for Christmas, we put up Christmas items. And so it’s, I’m telling you, the conversation is so different than people who are like, Hey, Sean’s, like, I have one product and we have it all under one brand. And I’m like, well, we’re literally gonna finish up five different new designs today, and they’ll all go up on all of the platforms today. And it’s all underneath that brand. So we’ve learned kind of what styles our customers like and stuff, but it’s a constant production of new designs. And then because on handmade, the majority of the items we do FBA, but like, it’s not a requirement to kind of sell inside handmade.

Dana:

It’s not the way that everyone necessarily approaches their handmade business. I do, because I’m now kind of in the Amazon world but a lot of the people who come into handmade to start with they’re selling on Etsy. And so they make the items, they send them to the customer when the customer orders it. And so they just transition their Amazon business to fulfilling themselves. And so that’s, that’s what a lot of it is for people. So we just kind of listen to what our customers like as far as the styles go, but we still produce and, and send a lot of the items here from our warehouse.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. Interesting. Now, what about you? What was your peak of sales in the last few years? Was it, was it last year before, and then how much about was it across all these different platforms? I know I’m not sure if you have that number handy, but just rough estimate.

Dana:

Yeah, so our biggest year was 2020. What we sell is handmade products are over a hundred dollars. So it was very based off of and we only sell on the US market. So it was very influenced by people who were at home and they wanted their items that they could just shop online and they had an extreme amount of, kind of extra income. So that drastically affected us inside of 2020 specifically. But we still do multi-seven figures a year.

Bradley Sutton:

And you’re producing all of these yourselves. Is it still you in the same group of people, or?

Dana:

It is. Yeah. So we did because I did kind of become an Amazon girl and learned that world. So I kind of do both pieces and dip my toes into both sides. We do sell supplies and other items related to what we make. And so that is a contributing factor to kind of the large piece of it. But we’re still over seven figures just for the handmaid side for sure.

Bradley Sutton:

Now to be in the millions of dollars of sales you know, I’m assuming this is not obviously something you’re doing from nine to one o’clock in your basement, right? So like what kind of operation are. Have you had to get a warehouse you know, hire full-time employees and things like that, or?

Dana:

Yes. So you asked about like, starting and how we decided what we were gonna make If I would’ve done it again. Yeah, I would’ve started with something smaller, but what we make actually classifies us in the oversized category. So we are in the growth of expanding into 10 years of business it doesn’t fit in my basement anymore. It’s a lot of space that it takes up. So, yes I quit my corporate job in 2017. That year we moved into a warehouse. We’ve since moved into a different warehouse. And so we have a couple of employees on that supply side where that’s just kind of fulfilling orders. And with that as well, we do Shopify, we do Etsy, all of that. My whole business is not meant to be just an Amazon brand type thing. But we do have, it’s seasonal, as I said. We make like Christmas items, we make Halloween items, et cetera. So we will be heavier in staffing during those periods, but we try to run between 7 and 14 people or so throughout the year.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay.

Dana:

We are actually making the handmade products. Yeah.

Bradley Sutton:

Now we’re going to just go back and forth with just some unique strategies from both you you know, things that, you know, not any Amazon seller can or online seller for that matter, can just say, Hey, yeah, we do millions of dollars a year. You guys have achieved that. So, you know, looking back, like what are some things that, you know, some strategies you could share that you think you’re a little bit unique on? I mean, almost anything about the handmade is something unique because not many people do it, you know? So let’s start with Sean, like give us one strategy, you know, 60 seconds or less. Something unique that you guys are doing that’s helped you achieve this level of success.

Sean:

Just two things. One is staff, having good staff. The second thing I think we’re doing is we manage our ASINs at a very low level. So we know exactly every day how each level, how each ASIN is performing. And we have an internal tool that’s, I can look at ’em within 20 seconds. I can see how the business is performing if there’s any trends that we don’t like. The other thing that we do quite well, I think that a lot of people don’t really take much notice of is our numbers. So we’ve invested a lot in making sure that we know exactly what our numbers are and exactly what profit margin we have on each product. And if there’s a product not performing cause that happens then we just get rid of it. So I think that’s what separates us from a lot. But I think having good staff is definitely the most important thing.

Bradley Sutton:

Dana, what’s a strategy you can give us? Something that you think people can learn from?

Dana:

So again, coming from a different world, the people that I’m dealing, in trying to launch the handmade side, those are my people. Those are my conversations. I love having and in that mindset or in the conversations with those people, it’s shifting their mindset that they are a legitimate business. And so that’s a lot of times what my story has done for them is proving to them that they can be kind of whatever level that they want to be. Which is why, like, I love having conversations with people in the Amazon world who are not approaching business the same way that I am. And they, they look at me and they’re like, oh, like you’re legitimate. Like you’re actually making things. And I’m like, yes, that is what we do. And so speaking to those people they struggle to realize that their business could become kind of whatever they want it to be.

Dana:

A lot of them are really stuck in the mindset that, okay, if I made $10,000 this year, that’s a win for me. And I’m like, okay, that’s great, but if you buckle down and you do something different or break the mold cuz there so many of ’em are like, I don’t wanna do Amazon, I don’t wanna do Amazon. And I’m like, okay, but if you do, look what could happen. So just push yourself outta your comfort zone a little bit and whatever your business is made you comfortable in doing maybe there’s something else out there that’s different that could help you be more than you dreamed it could be.

Bradley Sutton:

What’s your launch process like Dana look? Like are you doing the similar things, any private label seller is, you know, PPC and try and get visibility and get to page one? Or is there something unique about selling and handmade that’s different than non handmade?

Dana:

Well, depending on kind of the, the saturation of which handmade category you’re in I don’t have to do a whole lot of work to get on page one of the category that I’m in, in handmade. So handmade is a main category, but then it has all the subcategories. So you can have t-shirts, you can have mugs, you can have Tumblrs, like, whatever that might be, but it might be a subcategory within handmade. So we don’t necessarily approach it the same way because we’ve created so much brand recognition and just, we, we have a lot of products out there that kind of dominate the category in general that we’re in under handmade. So our approach is different. We do PPC but it’s not necessarily to get one item to get traction. We are approaching a launch which is funny cuz no one in handmade calls it a launch. That we make a product, we take a picture of it we list it and we’re only making the one until we turn around and get more orders for that same one. And then for us, if it’s kind of proven itself, that might be something that we turn around and send into FBA. But it’s us creating the one getting great images of it and just adding it to our entire catalog. And just rising the whole tide of the whole business.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. Now what about somebody who’s like, you know what, I don’t necessarily want to be making stuff, you know, for years in my basement or, or this is not you know, the exact career path for, for producing my own products, you know, but at the same time, I don’t have 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, $8,000 to invest in a product you know, from China. Is, is handmade a good way if I, if my budget is low to at least get my feet wet in the game and start building up capital? Or is it kind of risky to do that if you don’t have experience? What would you suggest to somebody who’s out there who’s like, who definitely wants to sell on Amazon wood handmade, be kind of like that gateway drug potentially for them?

Dana:

I mean, it could be you have to have a passion behind selling your product or making your product basically. It’s not a thing or a category that you approach of, Hey, I wanna be in on Amazon. What thing can I make? That’s not usually the kind of conversation that I have with handmade sellers. It’s usually that they love what they’re making and they, they make it really, really well. The conversation that I have to have with a lot of people when they’re trying to decide if Amazon as their next route is, are they ready to take on what that scale might look like? Because if they, if they turn around and get increased orders, 200-300% of what they’re doing now, just to start out within those first couple months, a lot of ’em are like, okay, no, I’m not sure I could handle that. So the conversation’s just, it’s different. I’m not usually speaking to someone who says, Hey, I wanna get on Amazon, is handmade the right place? But it’s, it’s an avenue that yes, if you get into it and you catch the bug, which is kind of what happened with me. I sold in Handmade, and then we turn around and, and branch into other pieces outside the handmade category. But that’s not usually the approach for anybody in that category.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. Now last two questions for each of you Sean, first of all favorite Helium 10 tool and how you use it.

Sean:

I guess, you know, the keyword ranking tool are used most.

Bradley Sutton:

Is that one of those metrics that you’re looking at when you’re looking at the product’s health? Like how it’s ranking on keywords or

Sean:

Yeah, I mean that’s what we’re looking at right now. I mean, we’re working on. I’m getting data getting other data on our own tool. It’s just an internal tool. But yeah, I mean we, we use that and we use it. I mean, my favorite one, which I can’t even remember what it’s called, it’s the one whereby you can split up all the words into individual words.

Bradley Sutton:

Frankenstein.

Sean:

Is it Frankenstein? Yeah, I have great fun with that too. So yeah, we use Helium 10 all the time.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. Dana, favorite Helium 10 tool on how use it?

Dana:

Listing Builder. I use Listing Builder to just to give variation cuz what we sell is, I’ll have Christmas items and so if we’re selling 50 of the same, it’s all the same keyword, you know, so making sure that they’re, that they’re varied or I can use that easily to kind of mix it up.

Bradley Sutton:

Last question is like I always talk this year about people’s hobbies and what they’re doing to get the, out of the, you know, 9-5 or for entrepreneurs, sometimes it’s 9-9. We, we get, you know, like we, we always need to have something to take us away from our daily grind. So, so Sean, what are your hobbies? What are you doing to make sure that you’re mentally and physically healthy?

Sean:

I mean, I, I’m a huge sports fan, so and I play a lot of tennis and pedal out here. I’m not sure if you’ve heard of Paddle? I’m not, it’s you, you will do. It’s apparently it’s, it’s starting to gain some traction in the US. But I’ve never heard of it before. I came out here, it’s a little bit like, I think you have pickle ball. It’s a little bit like that. And you know, and that the weather here is fantastic. You have sunshine, I think 320 days a year. So it’s quite good. But, but also I love what I do. So I don’t feel as if it’s a job that’s important, you know? So I don’t need to get away the way I did when I was in the corporate world. Yeah. That’s it.

Bradley Sutton:

Dana, what about you?

Dana:

We are still in the process of kind of figuring out that balance but me and my husband have gone into short-term rentals. So there’s a lot of kind of travel associated with that of launching Airbnbs and that side is kind of fun learning something new. But to get out of, that’s a piece of the get out of the 9-5 grind. But I also coach on handmade at Amazon. And so just that education world of not necessarily having to trade time for money is kind of the end goal. But I love, like, still growing this and, and managing my team. I don’t make the products anymore, so it’s more just helping brainstorm what, what the next step is and that kind of thing. So like Sean, it’s, it feels nothing like the grind that I used to do. So it’s a different activity that lights my heart on fire and when it stops lighting my heart on fire, then I’ll figure out what’s next.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. Now, Dana, if anybody wanted to reach out to you on the interwebs to learn more about, you know, what you do or, or hit you up, is that possible? And how could they do that?

Dana:

Yeah, I run a Facebook group that is Handmade to Amazon. And it has my name in the Facebook group, so that’s the easiest way to find me. I’m in there loving on all those people and teaching them to actually take their craft as a business.

Bradley Sutton:

So what is the Facebook group’s name?

Dana:

It’s Handmade Amazon – Dana Midkiff.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. Got it. And Sean, what about you? You want to stay private out there or are you down with people are reaching out to you on?

Sean:

I Don’t mind. I love to talk to people too, so I guess they can get hold of me on the Serious Sellers Facebook page.

Bradley Sutton:

Well, they can’t get in there. Like LinkedIn or any, or just, maybe they can.

Sean:

Yeah, I’m on LinkedIn, so. Yeah.

Bradley Sutton:

Or if they find you on a tennis court, they’re in Spain. Exactly.

Sean:

You can, as long as they don’t interrupt the match, you’re fine.

Bradley Sutton:

There you go. All right. Well it was nice getting to know your stories and you know, next year maybe we can have you guys back on the show, and let’s see what you guys have accomplished in 2023. It’s definitely an interesting year so far. So I’d love to catch up to you guys next year and see where you’re at.

Sean:

Perfect. Thank you very much.

Dana:

Thank you for having us.


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