#170 – Making Millions in Latin America, Without Amazon – Aleksejs Leal
It’s a big e-commerce world out there and although we love to sell on Amazon, it’s not the only game in town. Walmart.com, and Shopify are nipping at Amazon’s heels, and there’s the feeling that the landscape isn’t done changing.
When we take a trip south into Latin America, our selling options increase again. Today on the Serious Sellers Podcast, Helium 10’s Director of Training and Chief Brand Evangelist, Bradley Sutton welcomes Aleksejs Leal. Aleksejs is a multi-channel e-commence sales expert who has a strong understanding of what it takes to sell in Lain America.
He has over 20 million in regional sales with four million of it on Mercado Libre Mexico alone.
Expand your Amazon selling horizons with this e-commerce road trip.
In episode 170 of the Serious Sellers Podcast, Bradley and Aleksejs discuss:
- 03:05 – Born and Raised in Latvia to be a Businessman
- 04:40 – An Amazon Suspension led to Diversification
- 06:00 – Expanding His E-Commerce Interests to Columbia and Mercado Libre
- 08:00 – Business Growing Pains for a Developing Economy
- 11:00 – Latin American “Brand Gating”
- 12:30 – In Latin America, Big Brand Names Dominate
- 15:30 – If You’re Selling in Mexico, You Can Talk to Amazon Directly
- 17:00 – How Does a Foreigner Get Stated Selling in Mexico?
- 18:30 – 20 Million Dollars in Sales with 20% on Mercado Libre Mexico Alone
- 19:30 – Volatile Currency Fluctuations Eat Up Profit
- 21:30 – Sourcing Products to Sell in Latin America
- 23:00 – In Latin America, Taxes Come Before You’ve Made Your First Sale
- 26:30 – Aleksejs’ 30 Second Tip – Diversify!
- 29:45 – How to Reach Out to Aleksejs
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 Play 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’s guest sells over $20 million in e-commerce with a big chunk of that coming from Latin American countries and marketplaces you might not have heard of such as Mercado Libre.
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 eCommerce world. We’re going to have a Spanglish a little bit episode today because I’ve got Aleksejs. Am I pronouncing it right?
Aleksejs Leal: Yes. Aleksejs.
Bradley Sutton: All right. So Aleksejs, first of all, I asked you this before, but what is the origin of your name?
Aleksejs Leal: So I’m from Latvia. It’s a small country. They used to be part of the Soviet union. Now it’s part of the Europe union, but my original name is Aleksei, which is a Russian name. So I speak Russian. My roots are from Russia.
Bradley Sutton: Wow. So I could be like, Buenos Dias, or I could be Dobroye utro, and you’d be good either way, huh?
Aleksejs Leal: Yes. And my father is Cuban. So that’s why my last name is Leal. So I have a mix.
Bradley Sutton: I love it. I love it. Now, today, we’re going to be talking about speaking of Latin America, a lot of options for sellers to sell outside of the US, or the opposite way. Maybe we have some listeners who are in South America and Latin America. And they’re interested in selling in the US. I know you have a lot of experience going both ways, but the very first thing I like to do when I have a new guest for the first time is I like talking about their origin story, like their superhero origin story. So you had mentioned you were, were you born and raised in Latvia?
Aleksejs Leal: Yes. I was born and raised in Latvia. I came to Miami when I was 17. I didn’t know Spanish, neither English alone, both of them here in Miami. And I graduated from high school here. I ended up having like two last years. Then I went to Miami to college and then graduated and majored in finance and real estate. And I always wanting to have my own company. And I decided to partner up with two of my college friends. And, we basically opened a website Shopify store to sell vitamins and supplements.
Bradley Sutton: This was right out of college?
Aleksejs Leal: Yes.
Bradley Sutton: Now going back though, but before then, when you were growing up in Latvia, is that what you kind of envisioned, when you were a teenager or even younger, were you one of those ones that always had an entrepreneurial spirit? Hey, I want to have my own company, or did you think you were going to be a fireman, or what were you thinking?
Aleksejs Leal: Not always. I always– my dad was a businessman, so I’ll always want to have my own business. Since I was a kid, I was selling flowers on the street and reselling them and getting them from my neighbors and reselling them in the street when I was like, I don’t know, maybe 10 years old. That was always, I always want to have my own business. So it was always in me.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. So, then your first actual job after university or college, was this business you were saying it was Shopify?
Aleksejs Leal: No, it wasn’t actually thinking back. Before that I had a business consulting firm, which I did for few years because I graduated in finance and real estate. So I figured out I can create a business plan and help people to open the company and create a business plan and all that. So I did that for a few years. I did okay. But I was very curious about the e-commerce. E-commerce was booming at that time, and I didn’t know what exactly to do, but again, I partnered up with two of my friends and one of them had some background on supplements because he had a nutritional store. So, and that’s how we come out with idea to basically sell vitamins and supplements in in one website, you know?
Bradley Sutton: What year are we talking about now?
Aleksejs Leal: I’m talking about 2011, 12. So, and I did that for quite a while. The actual– the Shopify website would be like for eight months, almost a year. It was very successful with increasing ourselves doubling and tripling ourselves every month, but we want to expand, and that’s how we’re getting to marketplaces like Amazon eBay, Jet, diversify and increase our revenue ourselves. And again, it was total success, but one of our accounts or Amazon account was suspended. So that’s when we decided to not only diversify into marketplaces here in state that we want to go international. That’s how the whole thing international start as well. Not to even diversify even more because I’m very big on diversify. This is my, I would say, it’s my– how can I say? Lucky charm? This is the way I’ve been succeeding in everything I do because I always diversify at least, I don’t know, maybe 40% of everything I do as there’s always separate things, not just one in one market place or what products to sell one category to sell. I’m very big in diversifying.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. What was the first diversification that you did outside of just maybe traditional Amazon USA?
Aleksejs Leal: So the first one we did the analysis and we we’re thinking what are the marketplace we can sell? We look, we were looking into Chinese marketplace, but it was very difficult with the language, time zone, time difference. We didn’t have contacts there yet. At that point, and then we’ll log into Mercado Libre, which is the South America marketplace. And, Columbia was our first country that we visit, that we start getting knowing people there, understanding the platform, understanding the whole e-commerce situation there. And that was our first diversification of into different countries.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. So what can you tell us about Mercado Libre? How prevalent it is in Latin America? Because I believe in some countries, I don’t know, at least the last time I checked like a year ago, it was still kind of bigger than Amazon is in a lot of Latin American country. Can you explain for those who have never heard of Mercado Libre? Can you talk a little bit about it?
Aleksejs Leal: Sure, sure. Mercado Libre is the biggest South America marketplace. So they are in 13 different countries. They’ve been established in 1993, I believe. So they’ve been for a while their headquarters in Argentina, they have a fulfillment centers in Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico. They’re planning to open one in Ecuador and Columbia as well– fulfillment centers.
Bradley Sutton: So then there’s kind of like over there then FBM doesn’t mean fulfilled by merchant. Fulfilled by Mercado Libre. I didn’t realize they had their own fulfillment channels kind of like Amazon FBA?
Aleksejs Leal: Yes, They’re in Argentina, Mexico, and Brazil. Columbia now they’re implementing this year already. Probably going to be very soon. It got delayed a little bit with this whole coronavirus and all that.
Bradley Sutton: Now, one thing I think that’s important for sellers that don’t have much experience in Latin America that I found is, is here in Europe and in Asia and in United States, everybody has 17,000 different credit cards. And that’s the way that people pay. But in Latin America, not everybody uses credit cards. So they have different systems of pay that sometimes are even more prevalent than credit cards, right. Where you’re like, for example, in Mexico, the bigger option probably is to go pay in an Oxo or what is kind of like the Mexican’s 7 Eleven. So is that pretty much still the case in a lot of Latin America where people who buy online, they don’t have a credit card, so they need other payment options?
Aleksejs Leal: It’s advantage for us sellers. The one they’re selling here in the United States that we have an experienced, and in so much advantage or advanced technology that South America is not there yet. So people, sellers are coming from the United States. They’re like me, I have a huge advantage because I know what’s coming or what I call some tools that I can use that people are not– don’t know yet there, you know? Not a lot of people yet have ability of buying online because they don’t have credit card. They’re not used to it. But imagine when that whole population of South America adapt their self completely to buying online.
Bradley Sutton: Was there a bigger spike because of the coronavirus, like people, did you see a spike in Latin America? A lot of people who weren’t buying online before, but now they had no choice?
Aleksejs Leal: Yes, yes, definitely. Definitely.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. What’s the potential? What about you in your businesses overall on Mercado Libre, how much would you say you’re grossing in sales per year?
Aleksejs Leal: In total sales between all the marketplace? The brands I represent, because again, it’s a lot of moving parts?
Bradley Sutton: The ones you’re directly controlling and running over there for Mercado Libre. First of all, which one is the biggest marketplace for you? Which country? And then secondly, what if you’re just to estimate how many yearly sales you’re doing on all the brands you control, what would you say it is yearly for? Just so people understand maybe the potential of the market there.
Aleksejs Leal: The biggest market is Mexico, Argentina, Brazil. I’m in Mexico and Columbia right now, and Panama and Ecuador, but the biggest one they want them handling is Mexico. The potential is huge. Our sales comparing to what we sell here in States, I would say 20%. And yeah, and we have a much more potential there than here. And why I’m saying that is because let’s say you want to sell, for example, Coca-Cola right. You want to sell Coca-Cola in Amazon. Most likely any normal seller they’re going to approach Coca-Cola, they’re going to just go ignore it or just laughing, if you want to sell on Amazon. There’s probably a lot other people that have much more experience or have a much higher buy power, there’s a lot of things they’ll probably, they’re just not going to do business with you. Now, you approach Coca-Cola they want to sell in Mercado Libre, there’s nobody doing nothing yet. Or there’s maybe a few people, but not a lot of experience because those people are from that country. And you have a huge advantage because you’re from here and you can use all the knowledge that you’ve been developing here, applying there. Then they’re going to listen to. This is what happened to me. I’m selling the biggest supplements company that can ever sell here in state. I’m selling there in Mexico and Columbia.
Bradley Sutton: That’s almost kind of like what we call here– the wholesale method kind of, right. You’re not just producing your own private label brand, but you’re buying known brands and then reselling them in Latin America.
Aleksejs Leal: Correct. And like I said, it’s the model that can be really that working right now. Again, private label is not good yet for Mercado Libre. You need to sell products that already have a huge demand international.
Bradley Sutton: Interesting. Interesting. Is there gating? You know how like over here in the United States, I can’t just go in and sell Nike. I have to be approved. Do you have those restrictions in Mercado Libre?
Aleksejs Leal: Yes. There is a tool that nobody knew about it, or at least very, very few sellers knew about it in Mercado Libre. There’s a tool called PPPE, which is like personal protection, intellectual property protection. So nobody uses that tool and we found out about it and we create a contract between us and the brand that we manage it, that tool for them. And you basically can shut anybody who sells your product without your permission and the platform. Similar project zero here in the Amazon. And they have that tool over there. But again, sellers that are in that country don’t know about that tool.
Bradley Sutton: Interesting. Now, I mean, I keep hearing a lot about big brands and it’s harder for private label in Latin America. So what if you do have a private label? Like, for example, you know our Project X from YouTube is the coffin shelf, and then we have an egg tray. This is a Helium 10 brand. Nobody’s ever heard of it. Does that mean we wouldn’t have success if we try to sell this in Mexico or Columbia or any of these other places?
Aleksejs Leal: You’re not going to have a success yet. You will not. Because again, you’re going to be competing with it. You have to market, you have to even market the big brands in the platform. So imagine marketing the brand and nobody knows about. So it’s like, just give an example. You have to market. If you’re going to represent Nike, you have to do a marketing job to market Nike in the platforms. Imagine now you’re going to, I don’t know, create a shoes, Bradley shoes. And then you’re going to market Bradley shoes in the Nike. I mean, everybody knows Nike, so they’re going to go for Nike. So you have no chance there. It’s very hard. Yet again, it’s something that’s probably going to be developed and probably going to get better, but it’s not there yet.
Bradley Sutton: But I mean, I’m sure there’s some, because there’s just people who search sometimes for keywords, as opposed to like searching for brands, like where they don’t know which brand they want. So like you had said in the beginning, that makes it that much more important to make sure that you have the right keywords in your listing. Is there anything that you use obviously there’s no Helium 10 for Mercado Libre yet, but how do you know what keywords people are searching for in these other marketplaces?
Aleksejs Leal: That’s one of the things. There’s no keywords, it doesn’t exist yet there yet in Mercado Libre. You don’t have that. You don’t have the tool to see, to beat on a keyword or have a keywords in your title or anything like that. It doesn’t work like that. And the marketing, like I said, the marketing that they provide you, or the packages that they provide, you don’t have– you have zero control. It’s the platform itself or the people in the back end, they’re doing email campaigns and put in the banners. That’s what the tools they have right now to market.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. Interesting. Now what about PPC on platform on the Latin American platforms? Does that help? Do they even have it available where you can, where you can pay for ad placement?
Aleksejs Leal: There’s no PPC. There is PPC in Amazon Mexico. Okay. Amazon Mexico, there is a PPC because they’re basically use the same tools, the same platform. But again, it’s not as efficient or good as is working here and that guy will leave that doesn’t have that. Not yet.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. Now between Amazon, Mexico and Mercado Libre Mexico, what is bringing you more sales?
Aleksejs Leal: Mercado Libre. It’s much bigger. Amazon is getting there. I mean, Amazon is it’s little by little, you know how they’re doing, they have unlimited funds and they’re selling products are probably a loss to start getting, the market share, but they’re not there yet. Mercado Libre sells much more.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. And for Amazon Mexico, are you actually sending inventory to Mexico and fulfilling it there or using that? I forgot what it’s called, but that kind of cross border fulfillment where we’re Amazon makes your USA FBA inventory available to buyers in Mexico, or how are you fulfilling products for your Amazon Mexico business?
Aleksejs Leal: I have an account open in Mexico? So I use fulfillment center in Mexico, FBA. FBA, Mexico. It’s totally different when you– how can I say that global setting, which you use your own platform that is allow you to sell in Mexico, have nothing to do with the actual account, having a Mexico. I don’t know if I’m clear what I’m saying, because you have, when you open a company in Mexico and you can basically go and talk to Amazon there. You have a representative that can help you to establish your account. I can help you with all, with everything. Basically, if you are doing global selling, that using the USA account, you’re on your own.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. Now you’re not a Mexican citizen. How did you set up an Amazon Mexico account and fulfillment, et cetera? What obstacles are there for a person who is not a citizen of Mexico to set up down there?
Aleksejs Leal: Yeah. You have to open a bank account in Mexico. You have to open a company there. You have to open a bank account. There’s lawyers that basically do that for you. You hire a lawyer, they do all the paperwork. Sometimes they need like a registered agent in Mexico, which they provide that for you. And you use their address as the lawyers office. All that you can do it through the lawyers. They know how to do it because that’s what they do.
Bradley Sutton: So, you suggest that as opposed to somebody trying to just figure it out on their own?
Aleksejs Leal: Yes, definitely. Definitely. You want to– and it’s not expensive. When we think about lawyers, we’re always scared because how much they cost here, but over there, it’s much more reasonable.
Bradley Sutton: All right. What’s the potential of the market down there? So it sounds like for private label, and I’m not just talking about Amazon, Mexico, but just South of the US border. We have a lot, I would say a good 90% of our listeners, maybe our Amazon USA sellers. And of course, like you said at the very beginning of this episode, sometimes the name of the game is diversification. They want to have a diversification of their income stream and Hey, if we want to start selling on walmart.com, let’s do it. If we want to start selling on Shopify, let’s do it. Well, let’s think even more outside the box, maybe the private label game isn’t big in Latin America yet, but maybe I can set up a wholesale business, but what would the path be? Should they start first in Mercado Libre Mexico? Should they start first in Mercado Libre Columbia? What’s the logical progression of how somebody could expand to e-commerce the typical listener of us? How can they expand to e-commerce in Latin America?
Aleksejs Leal: Okay. First of all, I would definitely go with the market where if you want to sell in Mercado Libre– the market where you have a fulfillment center, that Mercado Libre have a fulfillment center, which is Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico. That’s the number one, because if you’re going to go to other countries that do not have, you have to make sure you have a logistics create. You need to have a fulfillment center so they’re going to fulfill yours, or you have to rent the location, hire the employees and all that. You don’t want to go through all the hassle. I don’t think it’s good. I did it, but that was a mistake. So I would go with Mexico to have a fulfillment center that have much better relationship between the United States, much easier to open the company there and open the bank account. Again, the potential is huge. And, my advice again is to, if you want to get into those countries, you start with the products that you hope. So the products that are worldwide known that it’s going to be much easier for you to start the movement with the private label is going to be a struggle.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. You say the potential is huge. What are some amounts that you know of people in your network, what kind of numbers are they doing down there on Mercado Libre?
Aleksejs Leal: My gross sales is $20 million. So, and 20% of that is Mercado Libre Mexico.
Bradley Sutton: Wow. So, that’s four to $5 million. You’re doing on Mercado Libre Mexico by itself. What’s your typical profit margin? The standard that people say, especially maybe wholesale in the United States is, Hey, you know, maybe 10, 15, 20%, is it similar for Mercado Libre after all your expenses?
Aleksejs Leal: So this is one of the other biggest challenges that have my margins here in States is between 25 to 28%. In Mexico, I am having huge problems because of the currency volatility. That’s other things that people don’t calculate. I didn’t. Before I get into the markets, because Mexico, Colombia, all of them, all the countries of South America. So whatever terms did they have, it’s very volatile. You can jump 10 to 15% back and forth, so that can basically eat your profit. If you don’t have good margins, it can ruin your business.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. So that’s another thing I think is important for people to understand is you’re not dealing in US dollars down there. And the market is a lot more volatile.
Aleksejs Leal: Yes. Sometimes I have money sitting in the bank because the currency is jumped down or up or whatever. And I have to wait. Wait until it’s stabilized and then bring the money back. Or because I don’t have other option, I have to bring money back. I have to assume the loss. So, that’s a big one there. And it happens again in Colombia, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, have been worse. I’m not there, but I’m monitoring that. And it’s very bad. And Panama is good in Ecuador. That’s why I’m getting into those two markets because it’s in dollars. There’s no currency of the country. Their currency is dollars. So it’s not going to get affected. That’s why I want to get into those countries, but they’re not as big.
Bradley Sutton: Now here’s a question. Let’s say we have a typical listener here on the Serious Sellers Podcasts. There may be a private label seller on Amazon. They’re not eight figure seller, maybe not even seven figure seller. They just have a nice income on Amazon. And they’re intrigued by the potential for maybe getting some more income streams down in Latin America. So for the typical person who doesn’t have $50,000 to invest right off the bat, what is an easy win for them to expand to the other marketplaces? I think you had said, Hey, probably it’s better to start. Like you said in Mexico, Argentina, where there’s a fulfillment center, okay. That’s step one. But then how do they go about finding the opportunity? There’s no black, there’s no Helium 10 Black Box that you can use for Mercado Libre. So, how does somebody know what their first product should be that’ll give them a good chance of success?
Aleksejs Leal: If they want to analyze. And they want to see what product sells there and how much they sell. There’s a tool called NUBI metrics.
Bradley Sutton: How do you spell that?
Aleksejs Leal: NUBI Metric. NUBI. NUBI Metrics. So what that helps you to analyze, sell or official stores, because there’s a difference between being a normal seller. They don’t have any official story. Just anybody can jump open the account itself or official stores that are basically like a branded store, like we have a branded store. Yeah. That’s how we call it. And it gives you metrics of how much they sell, what product sells, the volume sells, you can analyze with that.
Bradley Sutton: Interesting. Okay. So you’re saying it’s for newer people, maybe who don’t have much capital, it might not be something you’d want to get into right away. Is that because it takes a lot more capital to be able to get started down there because you’re having to buy the bigger brands, or why is that?
Aleksejs Leal: Eh, all of the above. It’s risky, you’re the one that I would, if you have $50,000 to start, I would just buy more inventory here in South. And because it gets a lot of moving parts. It’s a lengthy process. It depends on the product they want to sell. In my case, it was much more harder because of my category. I had to get a special permit they need to obtain in order to sell these products. Now maybe if you’re in a different category is going to be less painful and it’s going to take less time. But again, it’s time. You need to– you also need to import the products. It’s a logistic part. It’s costly in Columbia. When you import in Columbia, you have to pay your Eva, which is sell tax upfront, same thing in Mexico. So if you have a container of a hundred thousand dollars and the EVA is 19%, you need to pay $90,000 upfront without even selling a dollar.
Bradley Sutton: Wow. That’s good to know. I had no idea about that. So then who would be benefit then? What’s the kind of person who would be able to benefit even now, obviously that the markets, there are a lot fresher than here in the States, but who would you suggest that, Hey, you should probably go think about opening up on Mercado Libre. and these other marketplaces.
Aleksejs Leal: Big brands, big brands.
Bradley Sutton: Big brands. And what do you consider big brands?
Aleksejs Leal: Nike, Adidas, Samsung, Sony, big brands.
Bradley Sutton: You weren’t Nike, Adidas. I mean, you’re buying those things.
Aleksejs Leal: Yeah, but what I’m saying is representing them in those countries.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. People who represent the biggest. In other words, people who have a good existing relationships wholesale relationships with the company where they can get good prices from a big brand. In other words?
Aleksejs Leal: Exactly.
Bradley Sutton: Got it. Got it. What about the opposite? Have you heard anything about manufacturing in Latin America? A lot of people these days have been worried about manufacturing in China and because of what happened with the virus and things shut down, they’re like, Aw, man, what if something like this happens again, where production shuts down for a month or two, I want to diversify where I manufacture my product. Do you manufacture any products in Latin America or know people who do, is that an emerging market at all?
Aleksejs Leal: Eh, I don’t personally, but there’s brands that I’m representing. They’re still having some manufacturing in Mexico in this case. There is some people thinking about Columbia as well. And it’s mainly because of that EVA import taxes. There’s a 20% import tax that is painful for any international brand. So, but if you manufacture in the country, it’s better for them because they can sell the products cheaper, or they can make more money. And instead of giving away to the government because it’s 20%, but the issue there. So that’s why they still in the trial period, the issue there is the consumer in this case, the products that sell the consumer, like American products, they like the product is made in the USA.
Bradley Sutton: All right. So now we’re going to do something we haven’t done before. I’m going to do we have something we call the TST 30-second tip where you give a really good strategy that you can say in only 30 seconds or less, that is very actionable. Something we haven’t maybe talked about that you think that the listeners would find benefit.
Aleksejs Leal: Yeah, I’m going to say the same thing. Diversify. I’m very big on diversifying. Nowadays with technology and being an eCommerce. We need to diversify into the platforms. You need to diversify into different categories. My main category is supplements, but I do sell toys. I do sell home goods. I do sell gym accessories. I am in the different categories. And it’s because you can, if you only in one, there’s so many things that can happen, that is out of your hand. Many, if you sell in platform like Amazon or Mercado Libre. It’s not your platform. So if you don’t have other platforms or you don’t have other categories or other account that you’re selling on, it can really affect you. Affect the whole business. You can be basically out of the business.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. That’s a great tip. I think people, when they think of the word diversification, it’s mainly, Oh, that means I need to sell on Amazon Europe, or I need to sell a Walmart. But if you’re just selling in, for example, neck pillows, four months ago, you could have been selling neck pillows and being a multimillion dollar seller in neck pillows and selling diversified and Mercado Libre, and selling on Amazon USA, Amazon Japan, everywhere. But guess what your business would have gone to almost zero during the time that everybody was on lockdown. So having a diversified product portfolio is also interesting. I I hadn’t even thought about that, but it makes sense. Yeah.
Aleksejs Leal: And that exactly what happened to me. I was selling a lot of home goods, a lot of gym accessories. Actually, it was a good thing, toys, everything went to zero, but my supplements and my gym accessories skyrocket. Because a lot of people were consuming those products. And a lot of people was doing exercise and in house. So, but the other products went to zero. Imagine if my whole business were based on those products, because you were not able to send to Amazon, nobody was interested about those products. So I will basically, I don’t know. I would have to suffer that and wait until everything, but it can, if you have big operation and you have employees and you have rent to pay, it’s very, I would say, it’s impossible to just rely on one thing. You need to diversify.
Bradley Sutton: That’s great, consejo or advice for us. So thank you for that. Now, if people want to– maybe they found something you said interesting, and they feel that, Hey, maybe we might have a chance to sell in Latin America but we need a little bit more help. How can people find you out there so that they can maybe ask you some questions or get some help?
Aleksejs Leal: So they can find me by my name and my last name, which is very hard to pronounce, but it’s Aleksejs Leal in my Instagram. I’m also one of the little team in leadership team in wizard of Amazon, which I’m hosting the Spanish event. So they always can reach me through Wizard of Amazon as well.
Bradley Sutton: What’s that website, is it just wizardsofamazon.com?
Aleksejs Leal: Yes, wizardsofamazon.com
Bradley Sutton: And that’s how I met you, from Carlos Alvarez, our mutual friend there. And once I heard about your story, I’m like, Oh, we got to have this guy on the podcast. So thank you so much, Aleksejs for coming on here. Gracias. Thank you so much for joining us. And I’d love to reach out to you maybe next year and see how the Latin American market has changed. Who knows? Maybe it’ll be opened up more for private label sellers next year.
Aleksejs Leal: Sure, Bradley. Thank you. Thank you very much. And thank you for having me.
- #265 – New Seller Recap – They’re Not Beginners Anymore - July 24, 2021
- #264 – Introducing the Serious Sellers Club, and More! - July 20, 2021
- #263 – Have a Great Amazon Product? Here’s How to Protect Your Intellectual Property - July 17, 2021