#241 – Infomercials, Celebrity Endorsements, USA-Made Products and Cryptocurrency
We know your time is valuable.
Most of you have heard of the clichés involving, “entrepreneurs working 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week.” Even though this might not always be true, where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
That’s why I’m happy to tell you that this next 45 minutes might offer the best possible return on your investment of time. Because today, we have everything from cryptocurrency and infomercials, to the benefits of selling products made right here in the USA.
In this episode of the Serious Sellers Podcast, Helium 10’s Director of Training and Chief Evangelist, Bradley Sutton welcomes Nick, a friend, former co-worker, and all-around entrepreneurial renaissance man. Nick will walk you through the process of deciding the real value of celebrity influencers then go in depth on a hemp product “arms race” that both he and Bradley were part of.
Is investing in cryptocurrency on your radar? If so, today’s episode also offers a great introduction into why, in Nick’s opinion, cryptocurrency is still one of the best investments out there.
In episode 241 of the Serious Sellers Podcast, Bradley and Nick discuss:
- 02:30 – Getting a Start as a Business Analyst
- 04:45 – How Do Infomercials Work?
- 07:15 – How Do You Measure Infomercial Success?
- 09:20 – Amazon’s Unparalleled Trust Factor
- 12:10 – Does Using Celebrity Influencers Work?
- 13:48 – Pricing Celebrity Influencers
- 17:45 – A Hemp Creme “Arms Race”
- 21:10 – Always Turn on Subscribe and Save
- 23:15 – Guilty Until Proven Innocent
- 24:55 – How “Made in the USA” Helps
- 26:23 – The Origin of the Project 5K Products
- 33:10 – Nick Says Yes to Cryptocurrency
- 35:32 – Nick’s Cryptocurrency Advice
- 37:45 – Taking a Long View is Important
- 42:02 – Combining Amazon and Cryptocurrency
- 44:27 – How to Contact Nick
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: On today’s episode, we’re discussing topics we’ve never talked about before in depth on this show, such as infomercials, celebrity endorsements, making products in the USA and even cryptocurrency. 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. We’ve got somebody who’s a blast from my past. We worked together. Probably been like three, four years ago now, Nick. Nick, how’s it going?
Nick: Hey, Bradley. Good. Thanks for having me on.
Bradley Sutton: Well, thanks for coming here. So what I always start these things out with is I like getting everybody’s backstory now. I don’t even know this. I don’t even think we ever had this conversation when we were working together. But where were you born and raised?
Nick: Sure. Yeah. I was actually born and raised in San Diego.
Bradley Sutton: Oh, local guy. Nice. What high school did you go to down here?
Nick: San Marcos high school.
Bradley Sutton: San Marcos Knight in the house. So growing up, here in the San Marcos area, I guess, which is for those who don’t know is North San Diego County, like, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up? Like, let’s say you’re eight, nine, 10 years old in elementary school. Did you have any ambitions then? I want to be a firefighter. I want to be a YouTuber or what?
Nick: Yeah, actually I really wanted to be a pilot when I was a kid. That was my dream.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. I like it. I like it. I like that. That’s what kids should be dreaming about, stuff like that. All right. So then after you graduated from high school, did you enter college right away?
Nick: So I went to Palomar college, a community college for about two and a half years. And then I transferred to Cal State Fullerton and got my degree in Finance.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. All right. Cool. I went to Palomar too. My daughter actually, to make me feel old. My daughter even graduated from Palomar. I’m that old now. I have a daughter who graduated from the same college I did, but anyways–
Nick: Nah, that’s cool. Congratulations.
Bradley Sutton: Thank you. Thank you. So finance and you kind of got into that field right out of college then, right?
Nick: Sort of. I was a financial analyst for a few years and I ended up taking a job as a business analyst and that’s how Bradley and I synced up at a company.
Bradley Sutton: Alright, cool. We don’t have to mention names of the companies or anything. I really, I’m not even sure I have, but I’d like to first talk about that because I think what that company did is something that I’ve always indirectly talked about, which I think is important and something that people in e-commerce and just in sales and in– people who have products that they overlook in the, and that’s the power of infomercials and really it’s something that could be– you could build very sustainable business model off of it. However, it’s not that easy to do otherwise everybody would be doing it, but that company– they’re kind of like eventually of course, we’ll talk about this later, you know, they got into Walmart and other brick and mortar things. And, but really would you say that how it got on the map is through infomercials?
Nick: It’s hard to say. I would say that’s probably how they got their beginning. Yeah. And then they eventually, organically got into, like you said, brick and mortar opportunities, but they hit their product craze at the exact right time. And they had a lot of capital to invest, so yeah. They hit it big.
Bradley Sutton: Yeah. So, but like the reason why it’s not, that’s not maybe feasible for everybody is because that, especially is one of the epitome of it takes money to make money. S, what do like, if somebody is going to be going to like, late night TV shows, we’re not talking about super bowl ads here or prime time ABC commercials, but Hey, I want to go on some of the smaller cable channels and from the 9:00 PM slot at night or something, where people are just sitting around doing nothing then. And they would actually sit through a five minute infomercial, like, how does that even work? Like do they charge by showing, do they charge by the length of it? Like even when I worked there, I really didn’t know about that kind of stuff.
Nick: Yeah. So all of the above actually, the cost of a 15 second spot versus the 30 second spot is different. The time and channel in Arizona is all different. It’s pretty archaic how they do it. It’s like a brokerage house almost for these stations. But, it can definitely vary, especially if you’re looking at prime time rates versus overnight rates.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. So then what’s the average like, Hey, I don’t know, what’s that AMC or, I don’t know, sci fi channel or something. I want a midnight slot and a five minute infomercial that’s actually programmed there. Like, what would that set me back?
Nick: Oh, well, five minute infomercials are going to be pretty expensive. I’ve seen them as high as 25, 35 grand for that long. If you’re just trying to go for a 30 second spot during primetime on say AMC, it might cost you, I don’t know, 2,500.
Bradley Sutton: And then like, how many showings do you get or is that only one?
Nick: That’s just one.
Bradley Sutton: Wow. All right. But depending on your offer, you could totally make that money back.
Nick: Definitely. Yeah. The infomercial commercial space, excuse me, was a lot bigger back then. But even still, it does have, especially if you have online sales or your brick and mortar sales on the backend, running an infomercial might not be profitable upfront, but your trails are very profitable.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. So then how many high balls are seen? Like something that you just said, what would be like a $25,000 spot? What’s the estimated number of people who are actually consuming that piece of content?
Nick: I mean, it’s highly subjective on the channel and the time of course, but for high volume channels like AMC, it could be a hundred thousand people, it could be a few hundred thousand people. When you get into prime time between four and 8:00 PM, it could be millions. So, it just depends.
Bradley Sutton: How do you measure success then? Is it kind of like you guys go over by conversion rate or is it just a raw number of conversions or how do you determine– just because like you said, you might not upfront just immediately during that infomercial to make that money back. So, how do you measure if something was successful enough?
Nick: Yeah. So you have to look at it in the aggregate. So you’ve got to look at all the channels of revenue you have first and foremost is the infomercial. You’ll have a 800 number on the actual commercial where people will call and then you can directly measure conversions and product purchases. And then you have your backend channels, like your online sales that are subsequent to that commercial, you’ll see a spike in your web traffic and you can gauge orders then. And that’s, there’s whole attribution models built around that using statistical significance. And then, you can measure and indirectly measure your retail and brick and mortar, foot traffic and sales there as well. So, that gets a little more murky, but I would say–
Bradley Sutton: So like, for example, let’s say we’re in every Walmart or whatever, when we go heavy on ads or infomercials, you can see a direct correlation with an uptick in purchases, in the brick and mortar?
Nick: Sometimes. Yeah. It really depends if you’re airing on nationally broadcasted television, across the United States, you really can. But there have been instances when you can drill down and maybe target, what we call geotarget specific regions. And then there you can actually, yes, you can gauge an increase in foot traffic.
Bradley Sutton: Interesting. And I know it has, we will talk about this later, but I know it has a direct effect on Amazon as well. When I was running Amazon over there, and there’d be a week where there is heavy push in spend for the TV, it would have a direct correlation in Amazon. What happens is people see the infomercial, they like the product. And even though it’s cheaper to call the one 800 number or go to that .com, that’s right there in the commercial people’s first reaction is like, you know what, I’m going to go buy this on Amazon. Oh, it’s going to cost me a little bit more money, but I get it in one or two days. And I, for whatever reason, people trust Amazon, even more than companies own websites. Would you agree with that statement?
Nick: Absolutely. I mean, the trust factor that Amazon’s developed through the years is just unparalleled.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. So now, for bigger companies, Hey, $25,000 might be a drop in the bucket of your marketing spend, but for maybe other Amazon sellers or people who are newer in their product life cycle, they’re not going to drop $25,000 to make an infomercial. Is there anything “entry-level” that somebody with a smaller budget can get started with infomercials that tested out like a 30 second slot and only in a certain region or on local broadcasting? Like what is something that somebody getting into it, who wants to just try it out can even be accessible to them or is there nothing like, this is only something for big wallers?
Nick: Well, I have a couple of thoughts on that. And I would probably say, for Amazon sellers, you guys are e-commerce based, right. So, I would personally tend to stick to e-commerce based advertisements. For a couple of reasons, the TV audience has been dwindling for 15 years now. It’s all about paid programming like Netflix and Amazon prime. So, viewership on commercials is dwindling, but there is a high barrier or high moat to get into that. Like you said, Bradley, it’s pretty expensive just to run a commercial and you got to run a commercial thousands of times for you to really have an impression on your audience or your target audience. So, I’d say, if you had a hundred thousand dollar budget and maybe you could make a dent airing some commercials, but it’s probably not worth it when you’re talking about SEO, and we will deliver ads that you could possibly run or PPC on Amazon. So I think there’s a trade off there. I would say that that’s probably an industry that is going to continue to have a downward spiral in my opinion.
Bradley Sutton: All right. Good to know. Good to know. Now for those who don’t know, guys, I have been doing a lot of different case studies out there in the Helium 10 ecosystem. And some of them, I don’t really publicize what company it is or I don’t show the images, but then a lot of people you have seen that the hemp cream, the In Motion hemp cream case study I did where I was showing you guys how to rank for keywords that are forbidden, like CBD, but this is actually Nick’s– one of Nick’s products that he’s developed. And I had a couple of questions on this. So like one thing Nick, I noticed you did with this company a while back, I’m not sure if you still use them, but like, you actually had some celebrity, I don’t know what you call it, like endorsements for this? What drove you, or what gave you the idea to do that? And then not a lot of people get celebrity endorsements for an Amazon product.
Nick: Well, it’s something that’s probably more common nowadays than back then, but influencers are what they’re called now, or we call them just celebrity influencers back then, but they tend to have a lot of impact on the market, especially their target market. And it was an opportunity that just kind of fell into our laps. So, we ended up not continuing on after the first contract, just because we didn’t see a progressive ROI on our retail on our advertisements. But it was an interesting opportunity. I have heard of case studies where sellers have actually utilized influencers successfully. Like there’s a hemp company, or maybe it’s called meaty something. I’ll have to look it up, but anyways, they have models that just promote their product and they sell a lot, it can work. It just depends on your niche.
Bradley Sutton: So what was the structure like for a contract for that, because well, in the Amazon world, when people think of influencer marketing, I think they strictly think of, Hey, I’m just going to pay for a post on somebody’s Instagram or to put me in their Instagram story, or to make an unboxing YouTube video. But not as like, Hey, let’s make them part of the packaging or let’s use some images that show them with the product and you’re just going off of their celebrity name almost. So like, how does it work? Like, is it a monthly contract? Is it a one-time fee? And then they have to agree to, Hey, I can be on the package and I can– you can use me on the image or how does that even work?
Nick: So it probably depends on how high profile your celebrity is. I’ve heard of upfront payments, I’ve heard of installment payments. I’ve heard of upfront payments and installment payments with a residual on the back end, on a per unit basis. For ours in particular, it was a quarterly payment and they also wanted 1% of all of our sales indefinitely, as long as they were under contract. But we also got a lot out of that because they developed commercials for us, for TV, they developed online ads for us. We got to put them on our product packaging. So, all around, it was a good test. It worked out for us.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. Are we still talking about hemp cream?
Bradley Sutton: You did TV, hemp cream ads?
Nick: We did. Yeah.
Bradley Sutton: I didn’t even know that. I thought it was just a– I thought this was like strictly an Amazon product here.
Nick: Yeah. We did some testing on TV as well.
Bradley Sutton: Oh, okay. All right. And then that went to like a .com website, in an 800 number? Or how did that work?
Nick: Yeah, so we went directly to our website. We didn’t direct it to Amazon.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. And then, so now is it strictly a product? And you’re not doing any more outside advertising?
Nick: We do have our website, but I’d say 95% of our sales are still all Amazon.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. Okay. So, there’s another explanation, maybe why in the beginning, when I look back at this– before I came on and started helping with the account, obviously sales are really high and we’re going to talk about one of the reasons why I went down, but driving some of that sales apart from the fact that it was a newer niche at the time was possibly some of the exposure was getting in an infomercial.
Bradley Sutton: Alright guys, quick break in this episode for our BTS, Bradley’s 30 seconds. Here’s my 30-second tip. One of the Project 5k products that we talked a little bit about in this episode was a product that can be used for multiple different kinds of fruit. And so instead of just making a SKU for each one or trying to market to all of those different use cases in one listing, what we did was we actually created two separate listings and we have a fancy product packaging for this one. And on two sides of the product, we put the image for the one fruit, let’s just call it an Apple. And then the other two sides, we put some marketing material for another fruit, let’s call it a Pear, right. Now we took pictures of both. And so like, on the both listings, they’re completely different products like on two different listings, the images are different. And then the used case is different and the whole marketing copy because it’s different keywords that drive sales to each of them. But in actuality, it’s only one product like the contents of the product is exactly the same. And so we only have to order one product from the factory, but we have two separate listings and I don’t put an FN SKU or Amazon sticker at the factory. I have them ship it all to my warehouse here. And then just as I need, like more of one or more of the other products, then I just go ahead and put the FNSKU sticker on there and I send it. So, if you have a product that can be used for two, three different things, sometimes it’s better not to try and market to all those different used cases, but to actually have completely separate listings and market it in a different way with the same amount of investments and not having to order 500 of each, I just order 500. And now I have 250 of each.
Bradley Sutton: One thing. And I said, we were talking about this, but it was really funny what happened was when I first took it on. And I think I probably wrote a couple of blogs on the Helium 10 blog about this was, I was like, why are sales so far down? And then when I started looking at is all of a sudden all these other hemp creams were promoting like on their packaging and in their titles and stuff like, let me just type it in right now to search, what was it called? Oh yeah. It would go, it’s something crazy. Like there is like a thousand milligrams of hemp or something like that. And then now this is ridiculous. I’m looking at page one, position one it’s 235 million, they put these crazy crazy numbers. Right. And it’s like, this is just completely bogus, first of all, but what happened was on our packaging, what did it have before it was like 200 or 300 or something?
Nick: 300. And that was pretty close to when we first kicked off. And I don’t know how it devolved into a hemp milligram race in our entire–
Bradley Sutton: 235 million. But yeah, like a year and a half ago, the thing that was killing our product was that everybody else had like 1000 and then ours had 300 and just humans like, psychology is like, Oh 1000 is better than 200 or 300 or whatever. The actual case studies show that this is the recommended dose and stuff, or this is actually probably a completely bogus number. Like people don’t, they just look at the fancy image in a big number. And, so I don’t know if you knew this Nick, but I actually wrote a blog on one of the things that I did was we photo-shopped a couple of the pictures to take out that 300 and then we took it out of the title. And then we kind of just like focused on the actual product and see, because we’re not going to go with lie and say this has more milligrams of hemp than these or whatever this is that then the other companies is like, that’s not as you know, the FTC and different things are, especially if you’re on TV is like very, very picky about claims you made on packaging. So I know you had said, nah, we’re not going to go that route. So just that one thing by itself, like I forgot what it increased. It made like a 25% increase in sales just by taking off something in marketing so that people were not comparing that number 300 to this 1000. But that’s just something to keep in mind guys, what happens is you might be first to market and you might have a great product and there’s other inferior products, but if they’re very shady about how they do marketing, they could just go in and kind of fool the audience out there and take advantage. And so like, I’m never going to suggest going down to competitors’ levels and lying about things or misleading customers, but you just got to understand that something like that can happen. And if you’re an above board company, there might be nothing you can really do to recoup your market share.
Nick: Yeah, definitely. And Bradley, we got to hand the credit to you on that one, because you kind of saved us from going down a path that is just bottomless pit, really, you can’t really compete that way. So, yeah. Credit to you, man.
Bradley Sutton: Thanks. Thanks. Now, have you ever taken a look at your numbers? We have subscribe and save active on all of the products right on this hemp account.
Nick: We do. Yeah.
Bradley Sutton: Have you ever taken a look at the numbers of the breakdown of lately? I think I did like maybe a year and a half ago, but I haven’t looked lately like to see how much sales come through from the subscribe and save as opposed to just one-off?
Nick: Yeah. I also haven’t lately as well. But when I did look at it, somewhere around 15 to 20% of our sales were subscribed and saved.
Bradley Sutton: Yeah. Yeah. That sounds about right. So guys, if you’re in the supplement space or any kind of consumable or something that people need to replenish, not like a coffin shelf like we have, or you buy one coffin shelf. I can’t imagine you ever needed another one, but something like hemp cream, you use it and then you need more. So always turn subscribe and save on guys, because especially in the supplements and beauty categories and health categories, you’re going to see very high PPC costs and some of our PPC costs, that’s another one of the things I am trying to keep under control on this account is very high. And you might look like you’re losing money, but you just got to remember sometimes that it costs a lot of money to get a customer in. But once you have them on one of these kind of products and you get them on subscribe and save, you’re not paying PPC costs anymore, later on for them. So, what are some other things that you’ve dealt a lot with launching supplements on Amazon, you’ve dealt with health and products. Can you talk a little bit about some things that people who are thinking about getting to these kinds of categories have in mind. We talked a little bit about subscribe and save. We talked a little bit about regulations. Maybe you can get more into the regulation side or some pitfalls to avoid anything like that.
Nick: Yeah. You have to be very careful about specific claims. I can’t speak to a lot of categories, but in particular, let’s just keep on the topic of health cream, anytime we’re addressing, and I’m going to give an example, arthritis, FTC and Amazon don’t want to hear about that. They don’t want to say that you’re remedy, or you alleviate pain for arthritis, because we don’t, we haven’t been approved for that claim through the FTC. So that was a big girl that we had to overcome with Amazon.
Bradley Sutton: I remember that. Can you talk about that a little bit? Because wasn’t it– that was something that it took you a while to fix. And then a couple times it still reared its head because somebody who didn’t know what they were doing at Amazon, were like, Nope, this is not allowed, but we already went through that process. Can you talk just a couple of minutes about what you went through with that hemp product with arthritis?
Nick: Yeah. That was a pretty, pretty big headache, as Amazon does, they just suspended your listing and then you got to figure out why it was suspended. Right. So, delving into that, we contacted customer support and they said, Oh yeah, it’s your use of arthritis. So, we went back to our listings and removed just the word and claim through all of our listings. And we went back to customer support and we said, Hey, we removed it. We’re sorry. They’re like, okay, great. And two weeks go by. Our listings are still suspended. What’s going on? Well, it has to do operationally with how Amazon replicates their listings across their stores. And not just in the United States, it could be Canada, it could be other countries as well. But what they do is they take a mirror image of your listings and they project them on to other stores. So these projections aren’t necessarily all linked to your original listing. So if you make an adjustment on your original listing, sometimes that’s not reflected in your other international listings. So basically Amazon’s internal database was saying, Hey, you guys still haven’t removed this. And we’re like saying, yeah, we have like, we’ve complied. We don’t want to fight with you guys, Amazon, you win. So, it was a headache. It was probably a two month experience where our listings were down and it was, it hurt financially. So, it is what it is. We got through it. But sometimes it’s not very fair because Amazon will just spring these new policies on you without any heads up. And they’ll just suspend your listing and you’re left scratching your head.
Bradley Sutton: Yeah. Unless I’m mistaken, correct me if I’m wrong, but almost all of the different supplements and topicals and stuff like that that you’ve produced for Amazon having all been made in USA?
Nick: Yes, sir. We’re proud to boast that.
Bradley Sutton: How would you, yeah, for first of all, absolutely guys, like put that on your packaging and put that in your title that actually matters to a lot of people, but there’s a lot of benefits I would imagine that of made in USA, like delivery times and logistics and any other benefits other than just by having a made in USA, that it looks better to a customers like, what were some of the benefits that you think that you had by making your product locally?
Nick: Yeah. Well, prior to COVID, I mean, that was the only benefit that we could boast, it was just marketing, but once COVID hit and the supply chain backed up, we found out a lot of our competitors in the space. They’re sourcing products internationally, especially China and Taiwan, at least tubes and packaging as well. So I think, and I can’t substantiate this, but we had an increase in our rankings because we were actually able to source inventory versus a lot of our competitors who were not. It pays to have it, you might pay a little bit more to have it produced and manufactured in the United States, but you have more control on the supply chain process.
Bradley Sutton: Yep. For sure. One other thing, again, people have heard me talk about this thing that I call Project 5k. And that’s the one where we made a whole bunch of really smaller products for an initial investment of $5,000. And I said, Oh, this was one of my friend’s accounts that he was helping somebody get on Amazon. That’s actually Nick again. So Nick is the person who is behind that product as well. Now that’s just an interesting thing because you started learning about Amazon and then you’re like, wait a minute. Let me advertise myself and just see if somebody wants to– for me to help them get started on Amazon. And I think that’s something that a lot of Amazon sellers could do. Yeah. Keep your own Amazon business. But if you get some great procedures in place or a team, to work on something, there’s people out there who are too scared to get started. They don’t want to spend like $8,000 for an Amazon course because they don’t realize that with Helium 10, you can pretty much get it for a course, included with your membership, but they’re willing to just hire people to manage it. Like, how did you even, and I know this wasn’t the only one you’ve done, but how did you even get yourself out there to find this client who eventually became our “Project 5k case study”, like how to even get that person onboard? Like, how did you advertise yourself?
Nick: Yeah, to be honest, I didn’t really do anything special. So, first and foremost, I already had a business setup for my Amazon stuff so that had that done. But then I went and just built a really basic website, just Amazon consultants, we can help you develop products. We can help you with your listings, optimizations, stuff like that advertisement. And then I just paid for some SEO, basically. I just had a writer develop a bunch of content and develop some back links to some formidable articles across the space. And all of a sudden I’m ranking pretty high on Google for my website over– it took about six months, but then all of a sudden I’m getting inquiries from customers or potential customers saying, Hey, can you do this? I’m like yeah, I think so we can do this. And this particular customer that Bradley’s talking about, she wanted to get started in Amazon didn’t have a huge budget. Like he said, five grand and was just like, Hey, can I do anything with this? And I kind of took it to Bradley because I didn’t, I was scratching my head about it. And lo and behold, he develops an entire product line behind it, which is incredible.
Shivali: All right, guys, that sound means it’s time for our CAT, our CAT of the episode which stands for Clubhouse after party tip. Once a week, we go live on the clubhouse app and bring back former Serious Sellers podcast guests. We take live questions from you and they give you their best tip out there. So every episode we’re going to be giving you guys clips from these episodes we’ve been doing on Clubhouse. So you can get some great strategies from our former guests. Now, if you have the clubhouse app, make sure to search for the club Serious Sellers Podcast and follow it. So that you can be notified when we go live. You can also follow our director of training there at h10 Bradley in this clip, we had Ryan Ebel, an eight figure Amazon seller originally from episode 83 on the Clubhouse call. And people asked him questions about how to build a powerful presence for their own e-commerce business.
Listener: What is the best advice for people who sell meltable inventory? Because now I didn’t– this is my first year selling on Amazon. I didn’t know that from April 14 to October, you can not send any meltable inventory to Amazon. So what is the best advice? Does anybody have any experience?
Ryan: Yeah, I do. Or my partner does in our business. We sell a lot of chocolate and historically I think we stopped selling in April, but this summer we actually got a shipping container, put it in our warehouse and we put a little refrigerator, like a little tiny air conditioner thing, so we can temperature control that area. And then we have some special packaging pack each box so that it doesn’t melt.
Bradley Sutton: And then, so during that time, Ryan, are you fulfilling everything yourself as opposed to sending it into FBA?
Ryan: Yeah. It’s all merchant fulfilled. I think there are some 3PLs. If you’re not able to fulfill yourself out of your own facility, I believe there are some 3PLs that can offer these services.
Listener: Thank you very much.
Bradley Sutton: So guys, we did that case study to show that sometimes people out there, or gurus will say you need $20,000 to be able to do anything on Amazon. You need $10,000. Well, not only did we do it for 5,000, but that wasn’t even one product. We launched 13 products worth $5,000. So guys, it is possible. If you have a small budget out there, even a thousand dollars, are you going to become a millionaire? Now, this lady didn’t become a millionaire. Of course, you’re kind of kept with what you can do if you’re dealing with products that retail for only seven, eight, $9. But if you want to get your feet wet, guys, don’t think that you need some humongous $10,000 budget. You can get started for low amounts. Now let’s just switch really quick. We’ve taken a lot of time to talk about Amazon, which is great, but I think another thing that a lot of people are curious about is, Hey, once I do make it big on Amazon, what kind of investment should I do? And people do real estate. I had somebody on a few weeks ago, we talked about my obsession. And he’s the one who got me into it. It’s like baseball cards and sport trading cards and investing in that. But I think the hot topic of 2021 and 2020 has definitely been like cryptocurrency and from even before it was like a big, big thing, you got me a little bit into it. And then I just got out of it. Because I was like, this is just like, I’m worried about so many things. I can’t even think about this kind of stuff, but you were in it like from the beginning now you’re probably just going to be a multi-billionaire because of it. But– no, he’s not going to be– Nick is afraid that I’m going to go try and rob him.
Nick: No, no, I’m a grinder. Even if I was really, really wealthy, I would still be grinding it out every day.
Bradley Sutton: Love it. Let’s just say for a beginner you’re like, Hey, I’m doing well on Amazon. I’m trying to build my retirement. I want something for my kids and I just don’t want my money. I’m definitely going to invest all my money back in my own company and develop more products, of course, but I kind of want to start taking 20% of my profits and putting it into something that’s going to work for me. And so, question A, would you recommend cryptocurrency as that thing?
Nick: Sure. So yes, first and foremost, in any business line you’re in, it’s always important to take profits and pay yourself whether that’s Amazon or crypto or whatever, if you have some profits that you have made on Amazon, you need to diversify a little bit, whether that’s stocks, bonds, real estate, crypto, whatever it’s important to pay yourself and diversify your interest a little bit. Now on the topic of crypto, I’ve been in crypto since 2015, I was buying Bitcoin around $200, $250. And I’ve made a lot of money. I’ve lost a lot of money, but over time, Bitcoin and crypto has proven to be a solid investment. And I consider myself a longer-term holder. And I really just buy, I don’t sell or trade much, but if your primary business is Amazon, but you’re looking to kind of diversify and maybe create a little passive income for yourself. You can definitely do that in crypto now. Now there’s tools in crypto where let’s say you bought $5,000 of Bitcoin, you can put it in a company like block fi or Celsius, and you can earn six to 10% passively doing nothing by just holding it. And that’s a lot more than putting five grand in the bank account and earning three basis points on your investment. So there’s a lot of infrastructure that’s been developed in the last few years that allows investors who don’t really have the knowledge of the space to actually make a pretty decent return. So yes, I would definitely recommend crypto right now. And if you like, I can specify what I would buy.
Bradley Sutton: Yeah. A lot, like, let’s say, let me just come up with an example here. There’s somebody who– they’re not like some big, humongous, necessarily seven figure seller, but they’re able to have like $2,000 a month, let’s just say extra that from profits that is not going back into the company. That’s not going to their pocket, but they’re like, Hey, I want to invest $2,000 a month from my Amazon earnings into cryptocurrency. First of all, like, what’s step one. Like, what do they need to be a member of, or a subscription to, and then what’s the next steps? Like which one would you suggest them getting into?
Nick: Sure. So I mean the easiest way to onboard, there’s a few, it depends on where you’re based. I’m going to presume for the sake of this conversation, everybody’s based in the US which may or might not be the case, but there’s options if you aren’t. My personal favorite exchange is called FTX. I mean, everybody’s heard of CoinBase, CoinBase just went public. The thing about Coin base is their fees are going to be incredibly high, unnecessarily high, and I’m kind of a prudent person. So I tend to veer with exchanges that have good liquidity, but also I’m not going to be gouged with fees. So, for US and international investors, I would highly recommend opening an account at FTX. I’ve got some links. I’m going to shoot you guys at the bottom of this or at the end of this video. And you guys can get 5% off of your trading fees. It’s my reference link. If you guys start trading a lot, give me a message. I’ll look at your accounts and because I get a referral bonus and I can share those profits with you guys, I’m happy to do so. And second of all, for new people who are just getting into crypto, I mean the most prudent investment really right now is just Bitcoin and Ethereum. Until you get your toes wet until you kind of understand the industry, understand the volatility that comes in crypto, because you can be up down 10% in a day. No problem. I mean, there’s days when I’ve lost 30% in a day, which it’s scary and it’s taunting, but over time, crypto has proven to be a solid investment. If you had bought in 2017, 18, you had bought the peak at $20,000 Bitcoin and just held, you would have tripled your investment right now. So, I mean, it’s proven to be a store of value.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. Now, what would you caution against? Like, what would you say, Hey, don’t get into one of these newer trending cryptocurrencies, or don’t go into this established one because maybe it’s peaked or hey, don’t try and trade, day trade or things like that. Well, what are some things to guard against?
Nick: I would say that the best tactic for people who aren’t knowledgeable of the space is really to buy and hold. I mean, it behooves me to encourage you to trade more because if you’re using my links, then I get some of those trade fees. But for most people, the best tactic is just a buy and hold. Now ,you also need to do some due diligence if you’re going to venture outside of just Bitcoin and Ethereum, because I know the doge coin right now is a hot trending topic. Mark Cuban is going to allow doge coin payments for Mavericks tickets and Mavericks merchandise. I would caution against something like Dogecoin or XRP or Cardano. And I think the new people are attracted to these cryptos because they look cheap, right? You can buy a lot of them for your money, but you have to really look at the market cap because that’s what matters now. Yeah. People are like, Oh, well, I can’t afford a Bitcoin because it’s $50,000. Well, you can also buy increments of Bitcoin. You don’t have to buy one full Bitcoin. You can buy 0.1 Bitcoin. And like I said, it really just depends on the market cap. It doesn’t, I wouldn’t look at the price. I think over the long term, it’s not going to really matter because five years down the road, Bitcoin, Ethereum, they’re going to be 10 times where they’re at right now.
Bradley Sutton: Hmm. Okay. Now, talk more about that thing you mentioned a couple of minutes ago of maybe somebody’s not trying to find the next one that’s going to the moon necessarily, but you invest in it and you’re immediately getting these five, 6% dividends.
Nick: Yeah. So, I can actually post some links to a couple of services. First one’s called block fi, the second one’s called Celsius. They’re all US-based, but they also cater to international clients as well. But if you just buy Bitcoin, let’s say, you go, you sign up for on FTX. You buy $2,000 of Bitcoin, you transfer your Bitcoin holding to the block fi and they will pay you interest, just transfer it to their platform, just to hold it. And the way they’re able to do that is they loan out your Bitcoin. Now, it’s not FDIC insured, like your savings account or checking account would be, but they have what’s called an insurance fund. So anytime there is any adverse volatility on your account, they’re going to indemnify you basically, they’re going to pay you back. So I don’t want to say it’s riskless, there is risk, but it’s risk reduced, let’s say that, and for new people who are just looking to dive in and get their toes wet and just want to earn some passive interest, you can buy stable coins too. So right now, there’s a coin called USD, which basically is a dollar, it’s pegged to the US dollar. And let’s say you buy $2,000 of USDC on FTX. You can transfer it to block fi and you can earn 12%. So I don’t know any savings or checking account in the U S that pays 12%. And that’s essentially what you’re doing, but you’re just doing it in crypto. And it’s a stable coin. So it’s never going to lose value against other cryptos. It’s always going to be pegged to the US dollar. So it’s a one for one on the US dollar.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. All right. Really really good stuff there. Now, we’re going to get you, like maybe allow you to give some links. Some of these links might be a little bit long. You guys can check out our helium10.com/podcast on it. But those of you listening on your car radio or on your phone, hopefully you will write these links down. Before we get to that, we have this part of the show that we call the TST or 30-second tip, the TST. So, is there something that you can say either about Amazon, about infomercials, about supplements, about producing USA, about cryptocurrency, about growing up in the same town, your whole life? I mean, anything at all, you can say like 30 seconds or a minute or less that’s highly actionable, highly valuable. Maybe it’s a little bit unique that our listeners can take away from this.
Nick: I would combine both aspects of our conversation, Amazon and crypto. About two years ago, Jeff Bezos bought up a bunch of domains, Ethereum.amazon.com, bitcoin.amazon.com, which has tended to be a prequel to Jeff’s interest in an industry or segment. If I were a betting man, I’d say, in the next year or two, Amazon is going to start allowing payments in crypto. Now, I don’t know how that translates to sellers, but I do know that once that happens, crypto prices are going to skyrocket. I mean, Amazon is the mother of all e-commerce and sales these days. So if you are involved in crypto and Amazon, I think it’s going to probably two to 3X your investment.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. Love it. I love it. That’s great stuff. So, can you throw down some of those links and we’ve been talking about different websites and stuff, but you might have some links that people can use, and maybe you can get some credit for it too.
Nick: Yeah, absolutely. Like I said, if you use these links, not only do you get a discount on your trading fees, but ping me, I’m happy to share some profits with you guys. I mean, that’s the beauty of crypto is we are a community we’re all trying to just help each other out. And being an Amazon seller myself, you guys kind of already speak to me and speak to my lifeblood and what’s kind of FTX, and this is the US-based exchange. So according to note, they have two exchanges, one for international, one for US, but it’s https://ftx.us/#a=1303262. And the international for those listening internationally is https://ftx.com/#a=16575719.
Bradley Sutton: All right, cool. So guys, if you weren’t able to write that down, you know, rewind it, or just go back to helium10.com/podcast and search for this episode. Any other way that people can reach out to you that you’re comfortable with sharing Nick?
Nick: Yeah, sure. I can give you guys my email as well. My email address is [email protected] I’ll spell that. [email protected]
Bradley Sutton: All right. Awesome. Well, Nick, thank you very much for coming on, and we’d love to have you back in like a year or so to see what you’re up to, unless you’re a billionaire already, you don’t have time for the rest of us, but I always love talking about this kind of stuff with you. And we’ll just have to– now that the world’s getting back together, we’ll have to link up here in San Diego again.
Nick: Yeah, absolutely. Thanks for having me on and I appreciate your guys’ time and everything that you’ve done for me personally, Bradley.
Bradley Sutton: Thank you. Thank you. It’s my pleasure.