Amazon Wholesale, Selling on Walmart and eBay, and Other E-Commerce Stories – #247
I think that many of us have entertained fantasies of growing up to become rich. Fortunately, for those of you selling on Amazon, you’re right in the middle of one of the few ecosystems that allow for such dreams to come true. Without spending years and tens of thousands of dollars for advanced degrees, more and more e-commerce sellers are finding a way to create a life-changing income.
It’s certainly not a guarantee of riches and it requires hard work and the determination to learn the ropes but selling on Amazon can offer a way to very quickly change your financial situation. That’s why on this episode of the Serious Sellers Podcast, Helium 10’s Director of Training and Chief Evangelist, Bradley Sutton welcomes two Amazon sellers to talk about what it’s like to sell online in 2021.
Pieter and Igor are both members of a Helium 10 members’ group and have experienced what it’s like to take part in the Amazon selling journey. Listen in to hear them talk about their first days on Amazon and follow their steps towards finding the products that helped them to walk away from full-time jobs. Along the way you’ll learn about the differences between wholesale and private label and why selling on Walmart might be worth a very close look in the coming year.
In episode 247 of the Serious Sellers Podcast, Bradley, Pieter, and Igor discuss:
- 03:00 – Growing up in Moscow Wanting to Be Rich
- 04:00 – Pieter’s South African Beginnings
- 06:45 – Igor’s First Taste of E-Commerce
- 08:30 – How Pieter Got Started in Business
- 10:00 – By 2012, Amazon’s Sales Had Surpassed Those of eBay
- 13:30 – Helium 10 Helps Grow an Amazon Business
- 15:00 – Pieter’s First Amazon Product
- 17:40 – Keeping Expenses Down as a Mom and Pop E-Com Business
- 19:00 – Igor Thinks that Walmart Will Make Up Ground Quickly
- 23:30 – Transitioning from a First Product and Finding the Right Niche
- 29:40 – Igor – “Amazon is the E-Commerce Google”
- 33:00 – A Big Shout Out to Kevin King
- 36:30 – Wholesale Versus Private Label
- 38:00 – Amazon Advice from Around the Globe
- 40:00 – How to Contact to Igor and Pieter
Enjoy this episode? Be sure to check out our previous episodes for even more content to propel you to Amazon FBA Seller success! And don’t forget to “Like” our Facebook page and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Google Podcast or wherever you listen to our podcast.
Want to absolutely start crushing it on Amazon? Here are few carefully curated resources to get you started:
- Freedom Ticket: Taught by Amazon thought leader Kevin King, get A-Z Amazon strategies and techniques for establishing and solidifying your business.
- Ultimate Resource Guide: Discover the best tools and services to help you dominate on Amazon.
- Helium 10: 20+ software tools to boost your entire sales pipeline from product research to customer communication and Amazon refund automation. Make running a successful Amazon business easier with better data and insights. See what our customers have to say.
- Helium 10 Chrome Extension: Verify your Amazon product idea and validate how lucrative it can be with over a dozen data metrics and profitability estimation.
- SellerTradmarks.com: Trademarks are vital for protecting your Amazon brand from hijackers, and sellertrademarks.com provides a streamlined process for helping you get one.
Bradley Sutton: Today, we’ve got a couple sellers from opposite ends of the planet, talking about their unique Amazon journeys that includes selling millions of dollars of video games, and also having your suppliers serve as a 3PL for you. How cool is that? Pretty cool, I think.
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. Real quick, just a shout out to Slushii the DJ who graciously gave us that music that you just heard for the intro. So I’ll make sure to check out his music, just type in Slushii. And he was actually a former podcast guest as well. Now we’ve got two guests here today who I don’t think are DJs, but they have a lot of other talents that we’re going to talk about today. And they’re on opposite ends of the world. Igor, where are you at right now?
Igor: I am in Calgary, Canada.
Bradley Sutton: Canada. Okay. And Pieter, where are you?
Pieter: Yeah, I’m in Brisbane, Australia. So it’s a day further. than where you guys are at the moment.
Bradley Sutton: We’re going back to the future. It’s Thursday over here. It’s TGI Friday over there. And guys, by the way out there, people from that location do not want you calling it Brisbane. All right. It’s Brisbane as he said, right, Pieter?
Pieter: Fantastic. That sounds good, Bradley. Brisbane.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. There we go. Now let’s start with Igor. Where were you born and raised?
Igor: As you can probably hear, I was born and raised in Russia. Back then actually I was born in Soviet Union, which doesn’t exist anymore, but yeah, Moscow. Russia.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. And then at what age did you move to Canada?
Igor: 2008. I was 35 years old. Yeah. So I’m pretty old.
Bradley Sutton: Wow. You just totally age yourself. That’s all right. Okay, cool. Now, so then that means when you were like eight, nine, 10 years old, you were still in Russia. What were you– what did you think you would be? Like? What’s the typical eight year old from Moscow dreaming about becoming?
Igor: I know it’s your traditional question and I’m actually totally not prepared. I don’t, as far as I remember, I didn’t have any kind of specific dream. I didn’t have some cool, I don’t know, dream to be an astronaut or something. But I think I always wanted to be rich when I was young.
Bradley Sutton: Nothing wrong with that.
Igor: No, I know. I know, I know it’s a little bit back in Soviet Union right. Now, we give them half a Russian oligarchs back then. And I didn’t dream of being crazy rich either. I don’t know, on my private jet or yacht. But I always wanted to have enough money to enjoy the lifestyle I wanted, which was unusual back then. So, yeah.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. Let’s switch over to Pieter. Did you– were you born and raised in Australia or were you also born somewhere else?
Pieter: No. Bradley, you can pick up from the accents, both me and Igor have different backgrounds. I grew up in Namibia, which is in Africa, north of South Africa. That’s where I grew up. I went to university in South Africa, near Cape town was a town called Stellenbosch. That’s where I went to university and I actually worked in South Africa for about 10 years and a half out of business.
Bradley Sutton: Hey, you’re going from zero to age 40, like in five seconds here. And I’m still trying to figure out what you want it to be when you grow up. So, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Pieter: I grew up on a farm, so that was always the ideal of what I guess always wanted to engage in business in some shape or form. I remember as a primary school kid, how I bought even like [inaudible] cream. I don’t know whether it’s a common term for you guys, a solution of some sort from my mates and I will on-sell it to get in the next room sort of thing. So I started to do wheel and deal at a very young age.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. I love it. I love it. Now you said you went to university. What was your major?
Pieter: Well, I did mechanical engineering, although I never worked as an engineer, but that’s what I studied and then completed my studies, was Mechanical Engineering.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. And how about you, Igor? Did you go to university?
Igor: Yes, yes. In Moscow and I was studying Chemistry, which probably, I bet. No, I used at some point, but yeah, not like I’m really a little bit far right now from chemistry.
Bradley Sutton: Yeah. So, then, graduating university, Igor, what was like your first full-time job? How do you support yourself?
Speaker 3: Oh, yeah. It’s a little bit, again unusual story, but I actually, I started working in the oil kind of business, because by the time I was in the second year of university, first of all, the girl I was dating got pregnant. So, my second Soviet Union was crushed. So it was all this wild time and I had to find a way how I’m going to make money. So I ended up actually starting my first company when I was 20 years old.
Bradley Sutton: Let’s stick with Igor for a second here. What was your first taste of e-commerce, was it Amazon, or did you have your own website or how did you first know about the e-commerce experience?
Igor: When I moved to Canada. And, again, that was in 2008, late 2008. I sold my company prior to moving in. So I was kind of in the stage of my life, which probably a lot of people dream about early retirement. Right. But I couldn’t handle it well, maybe I was too young to do that. So I stayed at home probably for six months and after that I just needed to do something. So I met the guy and actually he introduced me to e-commerce and we started in 2010. Actually in 2010, we opened our eBay account and shortly after our Amazon accounts. So by then I felt like a dinosaur back then, eBay was much, much more powerful than Amazon on e-commerce and yeah, I was pretty impressed.
Bradley Sutton: So, you were selling eBay for Canada or for the USA?
Igor: Actually for both. But we didn’t sell our own product. Right. We were selling, like different third party products, I guess the proper term is wholesale. Right? So like we were doing wholesale sales, not, yeah.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. Let’s go back to Pieter for a second. You mentioned you got the degree, but didn’t really work too much in that. So what was your first regular full-time employment?
Pieter: Yes, I had a sponsorship from the electricity energy provider in South Africa. So I have to go in and work for them, but pretty much immediately went from engineering into middle management positions and offsite within four or 10 years.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. All right. Now what about you, at what point did you sell online or just e-commerce in general on your radar?
Pieter: I guess even during that period, I started to envisage doing home deliveries when people were looking at like a food tree title shop at that time. And I thought, if you could do it online, it was premature. It was way before. I mean, today it’s very common. I’m going back, I guess, 30 plus years now. So we never did anything with it, but it was a dream. I ended up doing wholesale food distribution. That was my first business that I owned. And I’ve done that for 10 years before we moved to Australia in 2002. In Australia, when you’re an immigrant, you try to make ends meet and we’ve done many, many different things. My first experience with e-commerce here was a lead generating website that I started in 2007, basically matching suppliers of services to people wanting those services.
Bradley Sutton: Okay, cool. Now, Igor, you mentioned eBay. What year did you discover Amazon then?
Igor: Yeah, same year in 2010. We’ll open our account. I just mentioned 90% of our sales at the beginning was from eBay and maybe 10% from Amazon.
Bradley Sutton: What were you selling on Amazon back in 2010? Not your own private label. Was it just like re-selling other things?
Igor: Yeah. Yeah, I was reselling other things. We’ve been selling video games actually and we still sell video games.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. Cool. Cool. So then, when did Amazon really start taking off for you then where you’re like, wait a minute, this is much better than eBay?
Igor: Oh, it just happened organically. I think approximately by 2012, our sales was kind of 50-50 between these two marketplaces and yeah.
Bradley Sutton: Let’s just take that for example, like I wasn’t in the Amazon world in those days yet. So, I’m not sure what typical was, but what was your sales between eBay and Amazon in 2012? I mean, I know you probably don’t remember the exact number, but roughly.
Igor: Let’s say 2 million.
Bradley Sutton: Oh, wow. So you were selling almost a million each between eBay and Amazon even way back in 2012?
Igor: Yeah. Yeah. Kind of.
Bradley Sutton: And it was video games?
Bradley Sutton: Like Nintendo 64 or something or PlayStation, things like that?
Igor: Yes. Very interesting item. And of course, I probably, when we touch private label, we’re going to talk about it. But until a year ago, I didn’t know what does PPC mean? Because when you’re selling video games, you don’t need PPC. Everyone knows, right.
Bradley Sutton: So, how do you do this? Like, did you have some big wholesale account with them, the video game manufacturers or what’s going on?
Igor: Yes, yes. You have to have direct contact either with publishers or official distributors. And it’s actually pretty tough business right now. It’s not like I’m afraid of competition, but it’s pretty tough. I mean, being in the video game business right now, but yeah. Demand as you know, is huge and yeah.
Bradley Sutton: What was your peak year in sales? What year was it?
Igor: For video games?
Bradley Sutton: For just overall?
Igor: No, we keep growing, I guess last year was our peak because Covid, right?
Bradley Sutton: Everybody’s playing video games.
Igor: Yeah, yeah. So, it was crazy. Well, usually, the sales slow down in April, March, right. And pick up in the autumn and all the Christmas season and all of the sudden last year, March, April, we had like second Christmas. So, it’s crazy. And it’s still is, by the way
Bradley Sutton: So, 2020 was maybe your biggest year yet?
Bradley Sutton: So, how much in sales approximately did you do across the different platforms?
Igor: You mean the video games?
Bradley Sutton: No, I mean all Amazon business.
Igor: I would say around $6 million.
Bradley Sutton: $6 million. Wow. Very, very nice. Now how much of that was video games though?
Igor: Again, roughly 5.5.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. So, it’s pretty much so. What’s the rest of it? Are you starting your own private label products or what’s going on there?
Igor: You’re going to love this story Bradley. And actually it’s totally true because, of course, you’re always trying to think about how to expand your business and prove your business and a little bit over a year ago, I ran on an internet into one of your webinars. So I don’t remember exactly like, literally out of the blue, some very interesting guy, who was explaining and telling him about his life first and after was showing how he found the product on using the Black Box and strange Helium 10 tools. True story. And I remember I even texted one of my employees during the night because I said like, you should check it out. So the next day I subscribed to Helium 10. And since then we put in a lot of effort to kind of improve, expand our private label product. So you kind of, I guess I always use something. If it’s going to be successful, take us here over the guy.
Bradley Sutton: Normally I don’t take gifts, but my son has a PlayStation. Maybe we can work something out. No, I’m just playing. Let’s go back to Pieter now. What about you? What year was it that Amazon became like, Hey, this is something that I needed to really double down on.
Pieter: Yes, Bradley. It was 2013. The other business went downhill through the other crisis, the global financial crisis, and we have to do something else. So, Amz came along. We were, I guess, from the very first people that joined and that’s where we started. I think I have my first product semi private label, but not really private label in about three months. It was a hose nozzle. The kind that you use for your garden that I sourced in the US was not manufactured there, but I got the guy to attach my label to it and send that into Amazon. Those were happy days because I had supply on tap. It was working right from the start for us, and that success lasted for about a year till all the stuff started to crack and in the winter. And then you started to get negative reviews and stuff like that. So that’s when we started.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. Interesting. Interesting. Now, what was like, what was your first full year of selling on Amazon? Was it 2013 or was it 2014 kind of the first full year?
Pieter: We started the, well, the first product across 2013, June whilst when we physically started to sell. So that would have been a half a year, that first year, let’s say year and a half was good with the hose nozzle and it bottom out. We have a year and a half of real, down to all movements. We tried many different products, including skincare products and all sorts of things. So, running into competition, running to all sorts of issues that many people might come across in their journeys, we did not have Helium 10 and all the teachings back then. So yeah, that was the time that we started anyway.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. So, what was your first full year then like 2014 of sales? How much did you gross?
Pieter: Yes, it’s– I can’t remember to be honest, but I would guess about a quarter of a million, to say between that and three on sales in the US for that year.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. And was that pretty much all private label?
Pieter: Yeah, I’ve always done a private label or, generic products often just repackaged into, are always applied with the wholesale type concept a little bit, but not too much, but so most of it would be private label.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. And what was your peak year? Was it also 2020 like Igor?
Pieter: Definitely, March, April, May is peak season anyway, but last year we went up, like double the year before, and even more than double. And that sort of, it’s maintaining at the moment at that level last year.
Bradley Sutton: Nice. So, what was your total gross sales approximately in 2020?
Pieter: Probably less than Igor. We are sitting at about 1.3 million.
Bradley Sutton: 1.3 million. Okay. That’s still, I mean, how many employees do you have?
Pieter: That’s only me and my wife that runs the show. So, yeah, it’s pretty thin. I do use VAs for things like website design, but that’s minimal. The bulk of the work is done by myself and my wife. She looks after the PPC sort of thing, and onboard logistics and gets the pop-up.
Bradley Sutton: Okay, cool. Igor, what marketplaces are you selling on now?
Igor: Yeah, Amazon. We’re actually selling on Amazon.com of course. Our biggest one, the second biggest is Amazon Canada. We also sell in Amazon, Japan, in Europe. And of course, Australia, of course I’m a little bit Cajun because Pieter is from Australia. We are still selling on eBay. We have a little bit of sales for all our own website and Walmart actually, last year we started selling on Walmart.
Bradley Sutton: How’s Walmart working for you?
Igor: It’s challenging. But I am a big believer again, because I have so many years. And remember, you already asked me about how it turned out. We used to think eBay is the team and Amazon, and I’m a big believer, things I change and see. I think Walmart, they know what they do. And of course that is a lot of problems right now, but I am a big believer. They’re going to grow, and they’re going to grow very, very fast. So hopefully, Helium 10 will come up with something.
Bradley Sutton: Indeed. We will. I guarantee we will.
Igor: Yeah, you should. You should. But anyway, on Walmart, I mostly right now focused on the video games, because again, it’s very easy for me to enter the new marketplace, but right now I’m trying to work on our private label product as well.
Bradley Sutton: All right, guys, quick break from this episode for the BTS, Bradley’s 30 seconds, here is my 30-second tip. This is on ASIN Grabber from Helium 10 the Chrome Extension. So, we all know that when you go to Amazon pages, there’s tons of sponsored ads that come up in the sponsored product section. And there’s also some frequently bought together products that come up. And also sometimes there’s just tons of variations, right? Well, if you want to capture all of these ASINs, run ASIN Grabber on an actual product page. Usually you guys think of using ASIN Grabber on search result pages, which is fine, but if you run ASIN grabber on a page, let’s say that has variations and all these other things, you’ll get an Excel sheet, if you download it. First of all, all of the different variations that are on the page, the top line of the sponsored products, those products that are doing product targeting ads on there, plus whatever frequently bought together items are showing up at that time. So it’s kind of a cool thing to do to your own listing, or your competitors’ listing. Maybe once a week or once a month or something. And then just start building up a database of these ASINs that are showing up on your page or your competitor page.
Bradley Sutton: We’ll talk a little bit about how it is and how it’s evolved, because you’ve still– some things that were really hot in 2012, 2013, 2014, like, well, it got almost impossible to sell later on, but you’re still doing big business in video games despite competing with– I’m probably guessing on some listings you’re probably competing with 20, 30, 40, 50 other sellers. How are you able to still have such great sales, despite all of the competition of the people who are selling the exact same thing on the same listing as you?
Speaker 3: First of all, of course, it’s a little bit similar to private label too, because it’s all about sourcing. Of course, you have to maintain, establish and maintain good relationships with suppliers. Second, it’s a little bit funny. And I actually listen to your podcast, Bradley. And you were talking about baseball cards. So it was very interesting. And sometimes it’s kind of similar to this, or I don’t know, stock market or something like that because you don’t want to panic. So let’s say you bought some game and let’s say, you’re not the cheapest, of course, if you can afford to see it on the games. Right. So sometimes we just wait until all hours of sellers are going to sell it. And we know our target price, especially for the older games, which is not going to be reprinted. So, supply is limited. So, just patience, right?
Bradley Sutton: So, then sometimes where you know it’s not going to– it’s like a limited edition or something like that. Do you get– buy a whole bunch and put it up there for a higher price. But knowing that eventually all these other ones selling lower are going to run out of stock and they can’t get more. And then you will be able to sell at the higher price.
Igor: Yes, yes. In a lot of the cases here, that’s the case. Yeah.
Bradley Sutton: Interesting. What was your top selling game of 2020?
Igor: Oh, funny enough, I don’t play video games. Hopefully no one from the publishers listen to your podcast because they kind of almost like artistic people. They don’t talk about business. They want your opinion. What do you think about this release? Yeah. So I actually have to talk with the member of my team to–
Bradley Sutton: Give you some points to say.
Igor: Exactly, exactly. And that’s usually how my conversation goes. Someone saw, again, 2020 was crazy. I would say, I don’t know if you want the very specific hardware that was the biggest one, like, for example, Switch lite system. I know all the titles and prices.
Bradley Sutton: It’s not just games. It’s like accessories as well.
Igor: Hardware, yeah.
Bradley Sutton: Now, let me ask you, I mean, obviously you don’t have to say what your product is, but when you got, because of this, when you got into private label, are you doing anything like in the same niche because you’ve maybe spotted some trends or you’re just doing completely random things for your private label business?
Igor: We actually do a lot of totally different things, but just recently again, probably inspired by one of the Masterclass or something. I was thinking that they mean that I should try to put video game category in a Black Box or something, and let’s see what I can offer. So, we just recently launched one product related to video games, but honestly, like we mostly, we’re doing something else. So, it’s like two totally different businesses for the same organization.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. Now, Pieter, what was your first product? Like your first product, are you still selling it or is that long gone?
Pieter: No, that’s long gone.
Bradley Sutton: What was it?
Igor: That’s the hose nozzle, plastic hose nozzle. We sold that for about a year and a half. And then I guess in the winter over there, it’s cold and they crack. And when people use them in the summer, they get a bit of water in the eye. And so it started to get negative reviews after a year plus, so that came to an end after we received negative reviews, but that was a good exercise for us because we did not have to carry much stock. I could get stock in a week’s time, all based in the US. So, that was great. After that, we played a bit with serums and skincare products and stuff like that. The competition was too much for us at that stage and I guess our own knowledge was not up-to date to compete in that marketplace, but what we tried many, many different products. We had the yoga socks, which we sold for a long time, and that’s long gone now. We sold carpet, double-sided carpet type, which was a good seller for quite some time, till all the tariffs brought me around. So, there’s many products that we’ve tried. But eventually we got to one niche and built a brand around that. And we launched 44 products in that brand, still running 26 off them. And I think the fact that–
Bradley Sutton: All in one brand?
Pieter: All in one brand, and we keep adding into that brand.
Bradley Sutton: It’s a beauty brand still?
Pieter: No, that’s not– that’s a home and garden. And so in that niche, you can say, if I take toys, it’s not toys, but if it’s stories you can always add in the same nature, you keep coming up with new designs and stuff like that.
Bradley Sutton: Did you guys have like off Amazon presence, like social media or things so that you can start collecting some of the data so that when you launch more in the brand, you’re able to market to your existing customers, or is all your marketing and things on Amazon only?
Pieter: We, from the beginning, we started, we’ve got an insert and we’ve got an email list obviously, but we also have Instagram and Facebook. And as time goes on, I must say the brand is sort of well-recognized. Now it’s a very small niche that we operate in, which helps. It’s a little bit under the radar with our guests. But at least it’s not one of them really, really competitive nature. So you don’t have to– big sales items for months, your best sellers would do roughly $10,000 a month for the best sellers, which is not– it’s nothing dramatic, but it’s also from a competition point of view, a good spot to be, I guess.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. Now, Igor, what’s the difference in profit margin with your video games versus now your new private label?
Igor: Of course, it depends on the private label. One of the reasons why I really wanted to develop the private label because in general the profit margin for the private label is much higher than for the video games. So, I would say, probably sometimes twice my choice, even three times more, although, as you know, it’s much more challenging in some ways, right? You have to do PPC, you have to compete. So it’s a lot of expenses too. But yeah, of course the private label is far more profitable, I’m not talking about some crazy deals. As you mentioned for the video games, when you buy some limited edition stuff, $400 and you can sell it for $500. That’s not– it’s an exception, right? In general, your profit margin in the wholesale, much less.
Bradley Sutton: What is your biggest learning curve? Like the biggest kind of shock to you? Like, oh man, what is this? I don’t know anything about this. I’ve been selling on Amazon for 10 years, and this is so weird. Was it the PPC or listing optimization, or what’s been the biggest struggle for you from this transition? You’re not really transitioning, but you’re just adding to your repertoire here, but what’s been the biggest learning curve for you, getting into private label now?
Igor: I would say PPC of course, is the big one initially. And I hate to admit it, but when I, again started using Helium 10, the whole concept of actually using the keyword and search volume and understanding that Amazon that’s like Google, but in e-commerce, right. The whole concept was a really, really eye opener for me personally.
Bradley Sutton: Have you ever been suspended, or had to deal with account issues either on the private label or the video game side?
Igor: Not on the private label video game, of course, it’s a very, very dangerous area. Amazon always check and we didn’t have a problem. I will touch the world, I don’t know, on the Russian side as of yet on our main .com account. Right. But we’ve had– we’ve been suspended for a few months in Europe. We’ve been suspended for a couple of months in Japan. And usually it’s all about product authenticity, right?
Bradley Sutton: How do you get unsuspended then?
Igor: You’re creating a plan of action. You’re doing it 10 times in a row. And usually that is a few of course companies I know, help him to, but yeah, honestly, it’s not of course fun. And sometimes you have to adjust. Again, be patient and kind of do it constantly, almost like everyday.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. When you started your private label business, did you keep it on a separate Seller Central account or do you have everything together?
Igor: Yes, we had a big debate actually about it, and maybe I made some kind of mistake that is a pros and cons. Right. Of course I had a very, very good account. It’s the old account, thousands or tens of thousands of seller feedback. And I chose to actually keep the same account and have both private label and for example, video games. Right. And again, there are some pluses and some minuses, so far we enjoy it, like the benefits of having all accounts.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. All right. Cool. Now, Pieter, how about you? What’s been the obstacles or drawbacks living in Australia, but then selling in the USA, like, have you run into any issues, be it warehousing, or when Amazon was changing inventory regulations and things like that. Can you talk about that a little bit?
Pieter: I don’t think the location matters that much to be frank. I think we all to a certain extent are in the same boat and connectivity allows you to pretty much operate anywhere in the world, but these warehouses, fortunately set up a workshop, or a warehouse arrangement many years ago. So, that didn’t affect us that much. This time logistics, we all know, is really challenging now. And then, so that’s for everybody. So, that we’re not unique in that sense. I guess the biggest challenge as far as of about 2017, my Amazon account was physically hacked. And that was a matter of saying you could not talk to anybody. I mean, you were non-existent as far as Amazon is concerned, so to get that back, it was a big challenge.
Bradley Sutton: Both of you guys have been members of Helium 10 Elite Mastermind group for a while. So, you guys have access to so many different trainings that Kevin King does and that the guests, but like, is there anything that stuck out in your mind that that was kind of like– it doesn’t have to be a complete game changer for you, but something where you’re like, whoa, this is amazing. And you actually use it. And then you saw some, some positive results from it. First, Igor.
Igor: Let’s start off with Pieter. Let me think.
Pieter: Yes. I actually have that on a tip. If nobody knows about Kevin King, I don’t think you’ve lived if you still don’t know about him, but it’s absolutely worth listening to Kevin. You asked the question before, do we have any staff that is probably the biggest frustration is that you listen to, so, so many of these sessions with so many good things and the time to implement them is the issue. But something that I think is important is compliance. You have it on, I think the last or second to last session, the compliance issues, I think it’s going to become more of an issue. So, it’s probably good to look at your products and make sure that you are totally compliant.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. All right. Igor?
Igor: It’s hard for me to bring one specific thing, but as you mentioned, Bradley, it’s always good when you can regularly update your knowledge and everything has changing. And I don’t know, Peter mentioned one problem which has compliance with a huge, another one of course, insurance. So, it’s kind of in general, very, very good to stay on top of things. And I know because I kind of making my way in the private label. That is crazy how many gurus or master classes, or groups on the internet, and actually, I feel a little bit sorry for the new sellers. It’s almost like a sea and some of the gurus. I mean, it’s not like a lot of them are legit. Right. But it’s– you don’t need it. Like even I can see it. Like sometimes you make things too complicated, so, I really, really enjoy our experience with Helium 10, because it’s like, almost like your podcast BS free, right.
Bradley Sutton: It’s BS-free except for Bradley Sutton. That’s the only BS right there. All right. What else Igor, what other parting comments can you do to just, there might be people out there listening, they’re thinking about going into wholesale, maybe not necessarily video games, but just trying to find suppliers. They’re thinking about going into private label now that you’ve been on both sides, what would you advise to somebody, which one to start with?
Igor: Of course, it always depends on the situation on how much money you have, and what’s your longer term plan. If you want to do it, like just extra, have extra cash, so, if you’re probably not going to grow it as the serious, serious, serious business, and you have to choose, I would definitely choose wholesale versus private label, especially right now, because I still think it’s little bit easier. I mean, it’s not as complicated. And as a problem, I can see how Amazon is becoming more and more competitive and more and more big players come to Amazon. So it’s becoming harder to compete. And if you, like just one guy, again, that’s my opinion, right?
Bradley Sutton: Sure, sure.
Igor: If you’re just one guy who’s trying to do it. And again, if you’re clearly faced with the choice, you have $5,000 and you see an opportunity on the private label and kind of equal opportunity on the wholesale, I would suggest starting from the wholesale. You will understand Amazon more. You will make maybe less money, but more secure in the worst case scenario. You’re not going to lose all the money, right? You can sell it for a little bit cheaper than you bought, but you’re not going to blow it on, I don’t know, PPC campaigns come with zero and we are stocked with the product. So it’s a little bit safer, but if you’re more serious and want to build a business, I would definitely definitely go to the private label, but I would definitely start building the team as soon as possible. Because, I think again, down the road, you need a team, even if it’s your wife, it’s still good for the team.
Bradley Sutton: All right. And speaking of that, Pieter, like what’s some advice you can give out there of how you guys made it work, like that’s kind of like a cool thing, you’re grossing over a million dollars and it’s outside of a couple of VAs maybe taking care of some things, it’s basically like a family run business. So, we could probably have a whole podcast episode just about that, but just in general, like how have you guys been able to make it work?
Pieter: I think for us, we’ve tried many different products and we have wins and we have losses. I don’t see it as a loss. It’s all part of a learning curve. So when you start on Amazon, except they will be that you will get some battles from coming your way. It’s all good. And that’s part of the learning curve and just take the positive out of that and move on. My biggest takeaway would be, if you want to do private label, start building your brand from day one, don’t try to do all 10 million things at the same time. Like one thing, focus on it, get it under your belt and get it sorted out, then understand what you do and then move on to the next thing. There’s a lot to do, but I think start on one end and then just work your way through building your brand. We’re a few years in, and this brand recognition for us, all over the internet now, and that’s a very good place to be. And you get people contacting you privately to wholesale your product, that type of thing, which we described.
Bradley Sutton: Okay, cool, cool. How can people reach out to you? Like, you don’t have to put out your information out there, but if you want it, like, can people reach out to you or they can just see you in the Helium 10 Elite Facebook group, or how?
Pieter: I’ll go first, Igor? But yeah, on Facebook, in the Elite group, that would be a good place and if we can start to communicate there and take it further from here, that would be a great place for me to meet.
Bradley Sutton: Igor?
Igor: Yeah. I think actually, I will join the answer, of course where I’m on social media, but yeah, I’m kind of, it’s kind of a private account. I don’t sell any services. Don’t offer service.
Bradley Sutton: I love it.
Igor: Oh yeah. Actually, yeah. It’s Helium 10 elite. I am part of this group, or Karyn actually, I guess she’s the reason why I’m on your broadcast Bradley, right. She interviewed me once. So I keep telling she’s my personal manager, so you can reach me through her. Hopefully everyone knows Karyn, right?
Bradley Sutton: Yeap. What’s your goals, Igor, rest of this year, next year. Like if we interview you back at the end of, let’s say 2022, what would you like to be able to tell everybody about what you’ve accomplished in the next year or so?
Igor: First of all, I think it’s a little bit different in my case. For me, it’s not sometimes about how much money you make, right? It’s about the way you make it. And we try to get as much fun as possible with my team. And actually I’m amazed. And one of the big things about private label, what I like, I have members, team members, and it’s not even VA, right. Where I’m talking about team members and we have guys in Pakistan, I have my right hand in private label. She’s currently in Sweden. I have great guys here. So, hopefully out of next 365 days, hopefully I’m going to have fun for 310 days. It’s my main goal for next year. If I’m going to have fun for more than 310 days, it means something mental, but I really want to grow the private label right now. We have to register the brands and we build the brands. Pieter is absolutely right. And it’s great advice to start building your brand from day one. So, hopefully we’re going to have a hundred products between two brands and again, have fun with my team.
Bradley Sutton: That’s important. That’s important. What about you, Pieter? What hopefully you didn’t follow Igor’s advice and get divorced, but–
Igor: I didn’t have this advice.
Bradley Sutton: What would you like to be able to say at the end of next year?
Pieter: Yeah, by the end of next year, I would like to see that we double turnover on the existing account. And I would love to start another brand with the sole purpose to flip it in three to five years after that. So, that would be, I would like to have another brand just to flip it at the end.
Bradley Sutton: Alright. Well guys, it’s been fun catching up and hopefully we’ll get to see each other in person soon at one of these events. Once the world gets back to normal here.
Igor: Thank you so much for everything you’re doing. I don’t know how you’re doing it, but thank you.
Bradley Sutton: Thank you. Thank you. How do you say it in Russia? [speaks in Russian] Okay. I can only say good morning. [speaks in Russian] that’s about it there.
Igor: Oh yeah. It’s good enough.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. All right. Well, thank you both of you, and we’ll definitely be in touch and I’m going to check back in 2022 and let’s see how much of those things you guys pledged to come through.
Pieter: Thank you so much, Bradley and Igor. All the best for you.