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#208 – Everyday E-Commerce Sellers Tell How They Found Success on Amazon

E-commerce has absolutely exploded in the last year. These stories from everyday Amazon sellers show the many paths to success.

Are you wondering if it’s time to start selling on Amazon?

If you’ve been following the news of the pandemic, you might have seen that one of the few bright spots has been the acceleration of the already booming e-commerce ecosystem. Simply put, selling on Amazon (as well as every other online marketplace) has absolutely exploded in the last year. 

In a recent webinar, Helium 10’s Director of Training and Chief Evangelist, Bradley Sutton referred to those Amazon sellers collectively as “average Joe’s and Sally’s.” 

He spoke with a total of 18 different Amazon sellers about how they got started selling on Amazon and what their experience has been. In the conversations, there were as many differences as there were similarities. 

Today on the Serious Sellers Podcast, we’ve created a shortened version of that two-hour webinar featuring clips from conversations he had with many of those sellers. In the clips, they talk about their successes and failures on Amazon and what their plans are for the future. 

In episode 208 of the Serious Sellers Podcast, Bradley discusses:

  • 04:15 – Drawn to the Laptop Lifestyle
  • 07:15 – Romanian Sellers Bonding Through Amazon
  • 10:00 – Doubling Up with FBA and FBM
  • 12:15 – Advice for Amazon Beginners – It’s a Mindset 
  • 15:15 – Parental Pressure and a Pivot to E-Commerce
  • 18:15 – Reaching 300,000 a Month Selling on Amazon
  • 20:15 – Helium 10’s Quantity of Tools is a Big Win for Sellers 
  • 23:30 – From Lawyer and Hostel Owner to Amazon Superstar  
  • 26:00 – Improving Rank and Adding PPC Skills to Pay Off the Mortgage   
  • 28:15 – Military Veterans Transitioning to Amazon
  • 30:30 – Enjoying the Ability to Give Back
  • 33:00 – New Goals for 2021  
  • 35:15 – 12 Million in Profits with Wholesale and Drop Shipping on Amazon 
  • 38:00 – “It’s Worth it, But the Longer You Wait, the Harder it Gets”   

Transcript

Bradley Sutton: 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 Amazon world. And this is a special episode because last week I did this webinar that we have never done before. And what we did was we were talking to 18 different average Joe’s and average Sally’s out there. No influencers, no gurus, no experts, but just different sellers out there that we hope can inspire a lot of you out there because I’m sure a lot of them have maybe a different educational background or they come from different places that you come from. And that hopefully you can relate to. So we’re going to give you the best clips from that webinar right now.

Bradley Sutton: Let me give you a couple of quick scenarios here. All right. A military veteran who plan to work as a Walmart greeter upon retiring from the military. A lawyer who left a six figure salary at one of the most prestigious law firms in the UK, because she wants to start a family. How about a high school graduate, who didn’t believe in the notion that you needed to have a university degree in order to achieve success? What about a professional engineer, rocket scientist who wanted a side hustle? Now, what do all of these individuals have in common? They all came from different backgrounds, completely different backgrounds, different countries, they’re all average Joe’s and average Sally’s who started selling on Amazon because they chose Amazon as one of the means to help reach their financial goals. Now their financial goals was different for a lot of them. For some of them, maybe it was just getting a couple of hundred dollars extra per month here or there. Some wanted to get rich on Amazon, some wanted to replace their current salary. All right. So what did they not have in common though? All right. Well, something that they didn’t have is they didn’t have entrepreneurial superpowers. They didn’t have advanced training in e-commerce. There’s no e-commerce degree that they all got. All right. Again, these are average Joe’s and Sally’s. Guys, these are four of the individuals you’re going to be talking to today amongst about 15 different people who all have different backgrounds. As you listen to each of these different people that we’re going to have on here. I’m hoping that there’s one or two of them that maybe you can relate to. Maybe they have a similar situation as you, where they come from a similar background as you, they had similar goals when they started on Amazon as maybe when you did. 

Bradley Sutton:Thaina, what motivated you to get started on Amazon? I mean, that’s not just like an average thing they teach in the Brazilian schools. Hey, when you grow up, you should try and become an Amazon seller.

Thaina: Yeah. It’s so exciting because Amazon just started opening storages in Brazil. So Amazon’s FBA services is getting up there now. What made me decide to join the FBA world was I’m actually, I work with the entertainment industry, a lot of events that gather thousands of people. So, obviously with COVID that went down the drain. So this year I decided to just like, try something new and something I’ve never done before, which is online retail and sales.

Bradley Sutton: Was your goal to just have that buffer or did you want to completely replace your entertainment income in the future? What were your short and long-term goals?

Thaina: Short term was to stay active and be doing something and learn. And I, even though I love art, I’m also like, I love like working on the computer and editing and all that. So I like that computer laptop work-life style. And so that was my short term goal was maybe like, just stay active and be doing something because entertainment industry, no one likes to stay bored at home and not working and not feeling active. So that was my first short-term goal. But the long-term, I literally like fell in love as you know, I’m always like watching all their webinars like this one which helped me a lot and learn, and it’s just exciting to be learning something new. So long-term is definitely like, as things are going right now, is definitely to maybe replace my current job

Bradley Sutton: Now, Thaina, what was your best month so far? Like, as far as gross sales?

Thaina: I did 17,000 in one month. So that was the gross. That was like my first month too.

Bradley Sutton: So if your net was 17,000 gross. You were well in the five figures there. So, that’s pretty exciting for a brand new product that is really commendable. And again, don’t just be watching this and be like, wow, isn’t that nice? Well, that’s pretty cool. I want you to get motivated, use it as your inspiration, right. To get motivated or next year. 

Bradley Sutton: All right. We are going to go and invite two more guests to the show. Here we go. We have Anto and Noemi. How’s it going? Spoiler alert. I’ve had you on a podcast before and you both are from Romania, but both born and raised, right?

Anto: Yep.

Bradley Sutton: How far away in Romania have you guys talk about like how far away were your hometowns from each other?

Anto: The other side of the country.

Bradley Sutton: Other side of the country. Okay. And now you guys are on the other side of the US country because until you’re on the Northeast and Noemi, you’re in the Southeast, but you still haven’t met in person.

Noemi: Yeah. We did.

Bradley Sutton: You did meet in person. What did you meet in person? I did not know about this. You guys are like far apart? How in the world did that happen?

Anto: I drove from New York all the way to Miami.

Bradley Sutton: You drove from New York to Miami to meet. Because you guys met kind of like through the Amazon community here, I love it. Like people making long lasting friendships from the Helium 10 community here. So anyway, what was some of your jobs, your main forms of income before selling on Amazon or during because both of you started this year. So, let’s start with Noemi.

Noemi: Yes. I was a music producer for 10 years, more than 10 years. And that was my main job.

Bradley Sutton: Okay. All right. And, Anto?

Anto: Well, I’m in real estate and I was working a nightclub, was a hostess plus shoe manager, English.

Bradley Sutton: Different education, or not educational, but work backgrounds. What about the educational side? What do either of you have university degrees from Romania?

Noemi: No, actually I started and didn’t finish and it was anyhow, it was in music. So I don’t think it’s very related to Amazon, so, yeah.

Bradley Sutton: Okay. Okay. So again, we’re not seeing anything here, guys. Do you see the point? We’re not seeing anything that was like, wow. They had 10 years of preparation from their previous jobs or from their previous education that really prepared them for selling on Amazon. Now, both of you launched your products, your first products in the last few months, tell us just briefly, like a minute or less the experience that you had, let’s start with Anto.

Anto: Well, from not knowing how to work on a computer, to launching a product that are selling in 2.5 weeks-worth of $30,000. It’s pretty big.

Bradley Sutton: $3,000 of gross sales?

Anto: Yes.

Bradley Sutton: So, your entire inventory of your first shipment. You sold out in two and a half weeks. Impressive. Noemi, didn’t you also sell out of your first product in the beginning too.

Noemi: Yeah, I did the same thing.

Anto: She listened to me. I didn’t listen to me.

Bradley Sutton: You didn’t listen to yourself. So Noemi listens to you better than you listen to yourself. Okay. Now, so what do you attribute your success to? What did you do? Did you do anything special and there’s, there’s no right or wrong answer here, but like why were you able to sell out so fast? Like, was it because you pick the perfect product at the perfect time? Or did you have a better listing than your competitors? What was it for you, Anto?

Anto: For me, it was pretty much keyword research and the way I’ve changed my product, the way I’ve presented my product to my customers. Because at the end of the day, I’m in a very competitive niche, same as Noemi. So it’s all about the presentation. It’s all about the quality. It’s all about the keywords that you have, because if there are no keywords, you can’t do anything.

Bradley Sutton: Yeah. Very true. Very true. So was your first inventory only those 250 units? Or did you have more already coming before or that’s just your second order?

Anto: No, no. So for my first order, I has 700 units. I wanted to do everything the right way. So I only send 200 to Amazon, 500 went into 3PL. So I’ve jungled between FBA and FBM while my FBA, my next shipment was checking in and then I’ve ordered now more and I’m ordering even more for the Chinese new year.

Bradley Sutton: Okay. Now, have you sold out of all 750 units or not yet? 

Anto: 2.5 weeks, 703 units.

Bradley Sutton: I thought you were saying that it was only the first two. Well, 700 units. No, that’s more than $3,000. Your product–

Anto: Thirty.

Bradley Sutton: Oh, thirty thousand dollars. In two and a half. I was about to say something, some math is kind of off there. So, more than $30,000 of sale on your very first product. How about you Noemi, overall your product that you’ve been selling? What were your gross sales in your first month or two?

Noemi: Yeah. So for me also was the same. And also for me, it was like more optimization. So in the first month, first few days it was still around 10,000, but then the month, the whole month around 20 30,000 as well.

Bradley Sutton: That’s great. Now, what was both of your motivations to get started on Amazon, Anto?

Anto: Build a business, sell a business, buy property.

Bradley Sutton: I love it. I love it. Noemi, you can take a little bit longer than her if you want to. Don’t feel pressured.

Noemi: Financial freedom and do exactly the same thing that she does. So basically that will be the same. Like it’s the same that you’re learning, then you can multiply it.

Anto: Rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat. Once you know the process. Once you have the knowledge, it’s pretty easy to redo it and not get all. Like I had a lot of issues, sleepless nights, but at the end of the day, I’m happy I had them because otherwise I wouldn’t have known what I know now.

Bradley Sutton: Sure. So what would you tell somebody who is, regardless if they’re from Romania or not, I mean, it’s from the Romania, I’m sure you can say Romanian, but just in general, regardless of where they’re from, if they’re in a similar situation, as both of you were when you started on this journey maybe eight months ago, or whenever you decided a hundred percent, you’re going to be on Amazon. And they’re just not sure yet if Amazon is really worth it. Noemi, what advice would you give to somebody who is maybe Noemi Jr eight months ago?

Noemi: It doesn’t matter what’s the platform. It’s not Amazon, it’s a mindset. It’s really a mindset. And if you can tell yourself that you can do it, you will make, or you will see the opportunity to do those things. So I think that’s the most important. It’s a mindset. It’s really a mindset. And it’s, as I was saying, it’s not the Amazon. Of course Helium 10 was a great asset for us because it helped us optimize our listing as much as possible. And we did the rest like branding and all those it’s not only on Amazon is everywhere. So we just brought it to Amazon because we knew Amazon and we learned Amazon.

Bradley Sutton: And I would say another piece of advice is networking for both of you. Because look, you guys met each other, have been behind the scenes, helping each other out with your Amazon businesses. And of course it’s great that you’re both from Romania. You have that in common, but there’s people from all different walks of life who meet in like, the Facebook groups and different things. And now you’re able, you pretty much could make lifelong friends from community and you can get business help as well. And who knows, maybe you’ll even be inspired to drive 1000 miles just to meet your online BFF. Right. I know I used to know it, but teach me again how to say thank you in Romanian.

Anto: Multumesc.

Bradley Sutton: Multumesc, Right? All right. Cool. All right. Well, Multumesc to both of you guys. Thank you so much for coming on and we will see you guys later. Best of success I wish to you in 2021. 

Bradley Sutton:                Let’s go ahead and invite our next guest on here. Let’s go. We’ve got Ankit, and we’ve got Huy. How’s it going guys?

Huy: What’s up guys?

Ankit: Hey guys.

Bradley Sutton: This is great. Now you guys probably have some of the highest sales, as anyone that we’re inviting today. But again, instead of average Joe’s, we got average Ankit and average Huy, because you guys came from just typical background here, like you didn’t have some special e-commerce experience that prepared you for Amazon necessarily. So, Ankit, what was your initial motivation? And let me just ask you that first, like, what were you doing before you started selling on Amazon? And then why did you start selling on Amazon?

Ankit: Yeah, so before I was a medical professional, I’m an x-ray technologist. And then, I went to school for MRI technologist. And then my biggest motivation is I always want to be a businessman ever since I was a little, I wanted to have a steel company and steel king and things like that. But, I was a medical technologist and I was making a good close to six figure income yearly, but I was very good at what I used to do. And I believe in myself. So I have changed a lot of systems in the hospitals. And then when in effects countrywide, all the hospitals, sister hospital there, but I never got the promotion. I never got to recognize all the hard work. It’s my work. I do. My boss gets the credit for it. Right. And then whenever I can get a vacation, they denied it. So I got pissed off. I said, you know what? This is not for me. If I can do this much good in myself, while I’m in hospital and I have for my whole life, I haven’t done, being an Asian parents, I haven’t always done something that someone else wanted, something that my parents wanted. They want me to go become a healthcare professional, which I did. So, buy a house, buy a car, things like that. So, I did everything, what everybody else wanted to do, and I was quite successful at it, but I never did anything that I wanted to do and my boss drive me crazy. And I said, you know what? I’m just going to have to trust myself. I’m going to take an action. And that was my motivation. And I started taking an action and I just had my first daughter was born and I said, you know what, go out of business with her name. And I wanted to get a financial freedom because I hate going nine to five. I hate being on call. I hate going to work on the weekend. My friends wanted to go out and I said, no, I got I’m on call. I can’t go. So, that was my motivation.

Bradley Sutton: I love it, I love it. And what about you, Huy? What made you say, you know what, I need to start selling online regardless if Amazon or off Amazon, but what motivated you?

Huy: I mean, to be honest, I’ve had about 15 different– we’ll call them jobs or different career opportunities in all different industries. Similar to Ankit, my parents wanted me to become a doctor or a professional or something like that, but obviously, didn’t work out that way. So I went into, I was actually–

Bradley Sutton: I think all of us who have come from Asian backgrounds. I think a lot of our parents all wanted us to be doctors and lawyers. 

Huy: I think it’s the immigrant mentality, right? I mean, you come here and you uproot your entire life and you come here. And my parents were refugees from the Vietnam war. So they didn’t really have a choice. I mean, they were given an opportunity to come here. And so I think that was some added pressure into, we want our children to be successful. And what was the meaning of success here in the US was become a well-respected professional. And so, I was born here and growing up. I think there was a lot of different opportunities out there and not everyone was becoming a doctor or a lawyer. And I grew up in an area where a lot of– it’s a smaller, a smaller city at the time when I was growing up. So then the suburbs that people had different aspirations, right. So, I mean, but before I did Amazon I might be a little bit different than a lot of other people. I’ve been selling on eBay 20 years or so. And so I have been selling a lot of things online, either through eBay, Craigslist, all these different marketplaces, always just trying to find something to sell, but never really taken that side hustle to the next level.

Bradley Sutton: Now, obviously for you selling on Amazon for both of you is no longer a “side hustle”. A lot of us we’ve sold on Amazon 20 years ago, maybe we sold our college textbooks or we sold some baseball cards on, on eBay. But yeah, you’re exactly right. That’s kind of like a side hustle, but now Amazon is kind of like a legit income stream for you. So, let’s just keep it with we real quick, your best month this year, rough estimate, you might not even have that figure handy, but what was your gross sales on Amazon in one of your best months this year?

Huy: I mean, we’re fairly consistent. So, I would say that around 300,000,

Bradley Sutton: $300,000 in one month, that is pretty impressive. What about you, Ankit, did you beat Huy at any month?

Ankit: I wouldn’t call it a lead, but yeah, I did close to 1 million or maybe one over 1 million. I haven’t checked it.

Bradley Sutton: No, but yours is not as steady as Huy, it’s not like you’re doing 1 million every month, right.

Ankit: No, but, yeah, that’s true. 

Bradley Sutton: Feel better, not feel small.

Ankit: Correct.

Bradley Sutton: No guys, guys, if anybody’s making more than six figures a month, I don’t think nobody’s feeling a feeling too bad here. That’s really, really impressive for both of you. Now Helium 10, I know plays a big part of both of your businesses, but if you had to pick like one thing that’s like indispensable or the thing that has helped you the most, or maybe you think has indirectly or directly generated the most sales for you, Ankit, what would you say is the one feature that Helium 10 has really helped out with you?

Ankit: The keyword tracker. I love that features the number one thing I started from day one. And it just, basically that’s how people find your product. I mean, when your brand is not there and how you know that people are going to find your product. So Keyword Research, the Magnet, Cerebro, and Keyword Tracker, all three are combination are my number one favorite tool to go. And that’s how you make your product visible to people. That’s how you work hard to rank for it, maintain it, run PPC against it. Now, I mean, it’s not Helium 10 anymore. It’s probably close to Helium 30, but yeah, since day one, those are my favorite tools.

Bradley Sutton: Okay. And Huy, what about you?

Huy: I have to agree with Ankit. I think the keyword tracker probably sticks out the most and something that we use the most, because it’s just so easy to do that. But I would say that that’s not unique to Helium 10 because there are a lot of keyword trackers out there. I think the thing that truly makes Helium 10 unique is the amount of tools that are actually in one place. And from the beginning, I’ve been using Helium 10 for quite some time. I think you guys, aren’t afraid to actually try new tools and see if they work or not. I think just the fact of having the entrepreneurial mindset just like us is let’s try it, see if it works, see if people like it and it provides value. Then ultimately that’s the thing, it’s helped us replace other tools and just streamline workflows.

Bradley Sutton: So guys there you have it there. We had two different ends of the spectrum for the last four guests that we had. We had two who just launched their very first product on Amazon, like just a couple months ago. And now here we have two who have been on Amazon for a couple of years now. And you can see the kind of numbers that they’re generating, did we experience selling on eBay and other marketplaces has helped them? No doubt, like I said, no matter what job you have, use your knowledge to help. Now did Ankit’s special knowledge of how to run an x-ray machine help him how to do his PPC, maybe not. But again, it doesn’t matter what background we come from, whether you were selling online before, like Huy, or whether you were in the medical industry like Ankit. Now they’re in the same place and they’re both reaching their financial goals, thanks to Amazon. So, Ankit and Huy, thank you very much, very inspiring to hear your stories. And hopefully we’ll hear from you next year. See how, what you guys did in 2021. Maybe we will catch up to Ankit here.

Huy: Thanks guys. Happy new year.

Ankit: Thanks guys.

Bradley Sutton: All right, guys, let’s go ahead and take a quick break from this episode for my BTS. Remember that could stand for Bradley’s 30 seconds, or maybe if you love the Caribbean, it stands for Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago and St. Lucia. It’s up to you, whatever you want it to mean, but here’s my 30-second tip for the episode. We talked a few weeks ago in episode 200 about the Maldives honeymoon launch. And one of those strategies that we talked about there is actually useful for your product research phase. If you find a keyword, that’s got two, three, 4,000 search volume or more monthly, but when you go on Amazon to the search results on page one, and almost nobody has that keyword phrase in the title in their listing, that could signify a great opportunity to rank on page one for that keyword. And it usually signifies that maybe it’s a newer niche. So when you’re doing product research, look out for those keywords where almost nobody has it in the title.

Bradley Sutton: We have two more guests. We are going to go ahead and bring onto the show right now. It is Anne and Yaixa. Now, Anne, we’re going to start with you. I think we just mentioned you’re in Costa Rica now, somehow your accent doesn’t seem like you’re native from Costa Rica, but where were you born really quick. And what brought you to Europe? And then what brought you to Costa Rica?

Anne: Nice, super quick life story. I was a corporate lawyer working in oil and gas project finance in London. And I didn’t want to do that anymore. And so, I thought what’s the exact opposite of that. And then moved to Costa Rica on the beach and then bought a hostel. And then I started Amazon and the rest is history.

Bradley Sutton: I love it. I love it. All right, let’s go here. We’ve got a– I always call her this to embarrass her, but she’s pretty much a rocket scientist and engineer. Yaixa, you’re born and raised in Puerto Rico, right?

Yaixa: That’s correct. Yes.

Bradley Sutton: Okay. Now I believe you still work full time, right? As an engineer.

Yaixa: Yes, I do. More than 40 hours a week, actually.

Bradley Sutton: What was your motivation for starting to sell on Amazon?

Yaixa: I was and I’m still an engineer, so I have a very good salary on the engineering side, so I really didn’t need the money. But it was a hobby. It was something that catch my attention. It really– I was hook.

Bradley Sutton: And I know you had some issues with going in and out and this year. What was your best month though this year like?

Anne: It was 140 or one 150,000 for the month? I’m pretty, pretty consistent, like month over month. Luckily, people have babies all year round, hopefully more now Corona babies. Yay.

Bradley Sutton: There we go. About how much time are you dedicated? So, that’s a great figure of how much you’re making. Like how much time are you having to dedicate to your Amazon business in order to maintain those kinds of sales?

Anne: I am kind of the queen of work-life balance? Not to pat myself on the back, but I have always made my personal and family life a priority. And for me, I did my whole Amazon business by myself when I first started and I still was able to keep it under three or four hours a day. And now I’ve been able to hire some people. So, it’s probably even less than that. I mean, there’s days when I work more in days that I worked less, but I definitely don’t work consistently more than four hours a day,

Bradley Sutton: Going back really quick to Yaixa So, what are your goals? Now, originally, like you said, you didn’t have any financial goals on Amazon. Maybe things have differ now that you see what Amazon can do for you. What’s your motivation. Like what I know this is fun and guys, trust me. It’s not just Yaixa who has it as a hobby. I mean, to me, if I wasn’t getting paid to do this, I would just do it because, the whole process is so much fun. So of course, I know you like having fun, but what are some of your short or long-term goals?

Yaixa: My products for sure. Get better at ranking and get better at PPC. So eventually I’ll be able to start working for someone else and work for myself all the time and probably pay off the mortgage for the townhouse. So everything that’s going to come from the town house is going to be profit. And then we can reinvest that into another townhouse or another home. 

Bradley Sutton: Well, both of you, Yaixa and Anne, thank you so much for taking the time out. Anne, go back to your drink, and have a few more for Yaixa and myself, because we can’t do it right now, but–

Anne: Cheers. Cheers to 2021.

Bradley Sutton: There we go. Thank you so much for you guys are a motivation and again, two more people here with completely different backgrounds, different goals, and they’re achieving those goals through Amazon. So thank you so much for joining us. We’ve got another couple inspiring stories right now. Let me go ahead and invite them to the show. We’ve got Schrone and we’ve got Ronald. Schrone and Ron, now I can almost say that I plan that. Schrone and Ron, but guys remember, those of you who have listened to him on the podcast. That’s not the way to pronounce his name. It’s Schrone but still pronounce the same suffix right there. So Schrone and Ron, thank you so much. Ron, I think you should just change your name because Schrone sounds so much cooler.

Ron: I know. I’m just outclassed.

Bradley Sutton: Oh my goodness gracious. Anyways, real quick, 30-second life story for both of you before Amazon Schrone, why don’t you go first?

Schrone: Oh, okay. So, life story, man, since five days over 18 years old, I’ve done 22 years in the United States Navy, recently retired from there in 2018 and did not have a solid plan other than to succeed as an Amazon FBA seller. I initially wanted to do something very stress less like become a Walmart greeter or a GameStop manager. And I had someone put me on to Amazon and once I found out the possibilities of Amazon FBA, there was no turning back and doing that for about two and a half years now.

Bradley Sutton: Two and a half years. All right. So from having the goal, when you retired to be a Walmart greeter to Amazon, that’s about as different of a culmination as can be, but I love it. I love it. I think you’re doing, making just a little bit more money selling on Amazon than you would have as a Walmart greeter. Just a little bit. Ron, what about you? What’s your 30-second life story?

Ron: Real quick. After I got out of high school, that’s six years with the army, was airborne paratrooper, got out of there, opened up a construction company. Did that for 10 years, kind of picked up skydiving as a hobby. Sold my construction company in 2007, right before the bubble in 2008 and became a professional skydiver. But I’m doing that for the last 20 years.

Bradley Sutton: How has selling on Amazon changed your life as far as how you envision? I mean, obviously the first part was Schrone, we just heard about, he thought it was going to be a Walmart greeter, your financial kind of outlook in that kind of career obviously is different than what you’ve ended up. But what is like the number one thing you’ve been able to do, or maybe you haven’t done anything yet? Because you’re trying to save your money. I don’t know. You just tell me, but how has your life changed at all by Amazon?

Ron: So when I first started Amazon, I was just looking for a hobby, something that I could pick up and maybe in 10 years create a good income. I’ve been doing it for a little over a year and I work for a nonprofit right now. And this year I doubled by, or I doubled my income that I made at my nonprofit. So it really hasn’t changed my life at all, but it’s opened up so many possibilities. Now my job is I’ve always kind of followed the money and my jobs and now I don’t have to follow the money. My life can take me wherever I want to go. It’s incredible.

Bradley Sutton: I love it. And what about big purchases? I think last time we interviewed you, there was a couple of purchases you had made this year that you probably wouldn’t have been able to pay or to make before.

Ron: So I bought two brand new cars, I bought an RV and I bought a house. I paid everything off except for the house.

Bradley Sutton: What about you, Schrone? How is your life different now? I mean, other than the things you do on a daily basis, but have you been able to purchase anything or?

Schrone: Oh yeah. The way Amazon has made my life a little bit different as well, kept it the same. Let’s start with keeping it the same. As a military service man, in my field, in the Navy, one of the biggest things was being able to give back to people. So, learning the FBA so much and having that experiences allowed me opportunities to give back and coach other people on how to sell on Amazon. I think that’s what the biggest that I have and this purchase I’m allowed to, with my financial FBA finances to live in a house that I bought the brand went home and I bought a brand new truck. Save the most of the money.

Bradley Sutton: Now, Schrone, I’m going to keep it with you because you had an interesting situation. If I remember correctly, what you kind of like had a deal with your wife about like what you were going to use, some of your retirement money on, and then you had to like convince her to let you invest into this Amazon. I think this is important because how many people out there, whether you’re a husband or you’re a wife, you might be super excited about the Amazon, but sometimes to another person who hasn’t watched the YouTube videos, or they haven’t watched a webinar like this, they don’t really understand completely the opportunity that is. And they’re obviously not as excited as you. So, how do you convince your significant other to say, honey, let me go ahead and take our house fund of $10,000 and invest. How did you convince her, Schrone?

Schrone: Very carefully. Well, we had a plan to save 30,000 in 3 years to buy the home that we live in right now. And I’m near the end of my military career. We were at a 30,000 and I found Amazon FBA and I needed money to start the business. So I went to the wife and asked, Hey, I need half of that. And for those who aren’t convinced or aren’t in the entrepreneurship, spinning $15,000 on a dream is very hard for a lot of people. It’s very hard for a lot of people. And had to come up with a financial plan. I had to give promises, had to give them my right arm, a couple massages, but it worked out and everything was great. And I actually made the 15,000 back in the first 30 days,

Bradley Sutton: Going back to you, this month in 2020, for gross sales, what was your best month? And how much was it on the gross sales?

Ron: $105,000.

Bradley Sutton: $105,000. And what about your profit margin? So like if somebody sells a hundred gross sales, a hundred thousand dollars after your PPC expenses and–

Ron: Oh, 60.

Bradley Sutton: What? 60%.

Ron: Yeah.

Bradley Sutton: So, from that a hundred thousand, like–

Ron: The first month that I made a hundred thousand did out of that more than a hundred thousand dollars and my profit was 60% on that first month. Over the year, I’m about 45%,

Bradley Sutton: About 45%. That’s pretty impressive. No wonder why you’re buying RVs and brand new cars left and right, good grief. Real quick, 30 seconds or less, 2021 goals. Ron, let’s start with you.

Ron: So I bought double my sales from this year and add several more products. I’ve kind of slacked this year from October to the end of the year. I kind of just decided I was going to take it easy and then hit it hard at the beginning of the year. So, the new year starting up can I have some products and try and double my sales.

Bradley Sutton: Yeah. That’s awesome. Schrone, what about you?

Schrone: Well, I finished this year off with 430. I’m going to finish next year off with at least 550, targeting 600 and expansion. Maybe not in the product base because I have 30 SKUs right now, but I plan on selling on different platforms like Shopify and offering websites and probably expand into domains as well, as far as Canada and Mexico goes.

Bradley Sutton: Excellent. Excellent. Now Schrone, what’s your favorite Helium 10 tool?

Schrone: Man, my favorite Helium 10 tool is Cerebro. I got to say because that is like the most of the best ethical tier that you can have as a tool. It helps me with PPC through.

Bradley Sutton: Excellent. Excellent. Ron, when are you coming out here to California next so that we can meet in person? You can maybe get me over my hump of fear of skydiving.

Ron: March, I think.

Bradley Sutton: March. All right. Sounds good. Well, Ron and Schrone, thank you so much for joining us and being an inspiration and your great stories. And if you guys want to hear more about them, do a search for their names on our podcast. And we went a little bit more in depth on the podcast series, but thanks a lot, guys. Enjoy the rest of your weekend hopefully. 

Bradley Sutton:                We’ve come to the conclusion now. We’ve got another Ryan here and we’ve got a Priscilla. All right. Excellent. Welcome to the show guys. Completely different backgrounds again. So, for people who don’t know them, let’s go ahead and do our little kind of a 30-second life story here. Let’s start with Ryan. Ryan. Go ahead.

Ryan: Hello. I’m from Las Vegas. Nevada started selling on Amazon in 2012. Did a couple of different models, white label, private label drop shipping, but nowadays I stick with the private label and you could call it wholesale or drop ship, a blend of two. We work with a big distributor and we just put their catalog on Amazon and Walmart and our own website as well.

Bradley Sutton: Cool. And what just, instead of I’ve been asking everybody what’s their best month, but we’re at the end of the year, like your rough estimate on your gross sales, across all your brands and marketplaces, et cetera, Ryan for this year, what would you say it is?

Ryan: Between 12 and 13 million, I’d say this year.

Bradley Sutton: 12 and $13 million. That’s on the higher end guys of what we’ve been talking about here, but we’ve had people who just started and then they sold just a few thousand dollars on here. Now we have somebody who’s sold $13 million this year. That’s pretty good. 

Bradley Sutton: Let’s go ahead and do 30-second life story with Priscilla.

Priscilla: Hi guys. Okay, great. So I’m originally from Nigeria. And I believed in Texas for about 15 years or so. My background is in accounting. That’s what my degree was in. So I did work as an accountant for a couple of years, and then currently I work in insurance. And then of course doing my Amazon hoping to scale enough so I can stop working.

Bradley Sutton: I love it. So you just started on Amazon, if I’m not mistaken, just like in the last couple of months, right Priscilla?

Priscilla: Two months.

Bradley Sutton: Two months now, now what motivated you to say, let me look at this Amazon thing.

Priscilla: So, well, actually my husband has been telling me about Amazon for like years and I just kept saying no, just push it off. But the main reason for me, when I just changed, my mindset is really the freedom. And then over the last couple of years, I was in a couple of car accidents. So I do deal with like chronic pain. And I was just like, I can’t do this nine to five anymore. I mean, sitting at a desk is the worst thing ever. So I was like, no, I got to find a way out. And, that’s what I did. I just started.

Bradley Sutton: Excellent. Excellent. So, I love this. We have literally two opposite ends of the spectrum. Somebody who’s been selling on Amazon nine years almost and Ryan and who has now reached eight figures of sales this year on Amazon and somebody who just is brand new and started. I love it. I mean, in what other like ecosystem could we have, like two people on the same show, basically doing the same thing, but we can see at different parts of the journey. Priscilla, one more question for you is somebody who maybe was in your shoes, three, four months ago. What would you say to somebody like that who’s contemplating should I get into Amazon?

Priscilla: It is totally worth it. Every time I see that email that says, Amazon just shipped an item. So I say to myself, Oh, I’m just laying down here and stuff is getting sold. It is work like you said, but the longer you wait, the harder it gets, I wish I would’ve started this five years ago when my husband told me about it, the competition keeps increasing. You can’t wait, just do it.

Bradley Sutton: All right. Well, there you have it guys. I hope you enjoyed this special episode. If you want to go listen to the entire two hour Average Joe webinar that we did, just go to our YouTube channel and type in Helium 10 Average Joe webinar. And you’ll be able to hear the whole thing, possibly some more stories that could inspire you. But again, what I always want you guys to think about when you listen to this episode, whether we do have experts on here who are giving you strategies, or whether we’re showing you examples of other sellers who have overcome struggles and achieve their goals. Remember, I don’t want you guys just sitting there and smiling and thinking, Oh, that was a great episode. And then just getting on with your life and just doing it the same things. I want you guys implementing the things that you learn on this episode. And remember when we talk about learning things and learning strategies, we’re not just talking about Amazon strategies or different hacks or different PPC strategies. We’re talking about life strategies as well, because if you notice a lot of these sellers that we had on this episode, they had to overcome certain struggles or certain obstacles to get where they are. But regardless of what their background was, they all kind of came to the same place. And that is, Hey, we’re going to sell on Amazon to reach our financial goals. So hopefully some of you guys who haven’t yet taken that plunge to start selling on Amazon or inspired by that. And in 2021 this year, you guys are going to go follow in the footsteps of those sellers that you just heard. Hope you guys enjoyed that episode and we’ll see you in the next one.

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