#245 – Project X & the AM/PM Podcast’s Tim Jordan with New Product Research Strategies, and More
Updated on: September 2, 2021
Even though the Amazon selling community is constantly expanding, there are many occasions when it can feel like a very small village. If you spend much time in the space, you’ll frequently find yourself encountering the same people over and over.
This episode of the Serious Sellers Podcast is one of those times because Helium 10’s Director of Training and Chief Evangelist, Bradley Sutton welcomes back the entrepreneur, Amazon seller, and podcaster, Tim Jordan to catch us up on what he’s been up to in the last year.
You know you’re in store for fireworks when you combine Tim Jordan and Bradley Sutton in one podcast. These two e-commerce visionaries and collaborators on Helium 10’s Project X get together today in order to give us an update on what it means to be selling on Amazon in 2021.
Tim Jordan will talk about strategies such as using affiliate marketers to do product research, how Helium 10’s Alta can help anyone scale up their e-commerce business faster, and what it’s been like to host the groundbreaking AM/PM podcast.
There’s much more to hear in this one. Don’t miss it!
In episode 245 of the Serious Sellers Podcast, Bradley and Tim discuss:
- 03:00 – Helium 10’s Alta Business Card Option
- 05:00 – Maximizing Alta with Daily Advances and Cash Back
- 07:00 – How Alta has Helped Amazon Sellers Scale Up
- 10:00 – Humbled and Empowered by the AM/PM Podcast Guests
- 12:00 – Now, Pause and Subscribe
- 13:45 – Helium 10 Was Born of the AM/PM Podcast
- 15:00 – Tim’s Affiliate Marketing Product Research Strategies
- 17:00 – How to Find Trending Products with Affiliates
- 22:00 – Alta’s $10,000,000 Line of Credit and $8,000,000 Disbursement
- 27:00 – “Go Out and Ask!”
- 29:30 – A Rising E-Commerce Tide is Lifting All Ships
- 34:30 – The Benefits of Meetups and Conferences
- 38:00 – A Great Travel Tip from Tim
- 40:00 – Flat Files are an E-Commerce Seller’s Backups
- 44:15 – How to Connect with Tim
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 Tim Jordan, who you all know and love from Project X to talk about a wide variety of topics from travel hacks to your product research strategy, Amazon financial strategy, the benefits of in-person Amazon conferences and more. 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. And we’ve got us not so serious seller, but as far as his personality goes, but he’s very serious as far as he’s a major player in the game, you guys all know and love him from Project X, Private Label Legion, Sellers Funding. I mean, he’s all over the place, AM/PM Podcast, Tim Jordan in the house, Tim, how’s it going?
Tim Jordan: Good. You make me sound a lot cooler than I really am. Yeah, you’re overselling it, but that’s all right.
Bradley Sutton: No pressure. No pressure to live up to that intro. But anyways, it’s been a long time since you’ve been on the show and I want to bring you back to talk about some stuff that we talked about when you were first on show, like two years ago, talking about like bad players in the industry, and things like that. But also, you’re a savant as far as a product research and just I want to catch up to see what you’ve been up to the last year or so. So, I’m not even sure where to begin, but guys, if you want to get some backstory on Tim, make sure to go back to his original episode on the Serious Sellers Podcast, but let’s just hop right into it. So, first of all, let’s talk a little bit. We had you last on with Ricardo, if I’m not mistaken, we were talking about what Helium 10 has been doing with Alta and how that’s helping sellers out there. But one of the cool new things Helium 10 Alta just released is that business card options. So could you maybe just take a couple minutes and talk about how somebody– how and why somebody would use this new business card option?
Tim Jordan: Yeah. The business card is interesting. One because so many people can’t offer it because it’s such a regulated business. So with Sellers Funding, we built a pretty good infrastructure that allows us to do some traditional banking things, but like for e-commerce sellers and cross borders. So if any of your internet, check out Alta grow with alta.com, Alta is the kind of Sellers Funding version specifically for Helium 10 members. We have some unique features and cool stuff in there. Check that out. But as far as a use case, there are a lot of people that have to get money into certain countries before they can use it. So that use case would be someone that lives in Germany selling on Amazon US. They might not have a US business center. They might not have a US bank, right. So what happens is if they need to pay their Helium 10 subscription or they need to pay their, I don’t know, PPC spend for Facebook ads in the US. What happens is Amazon your money and shoves it back to you in euros, in your German bank account. And then you have to use an international credit card, right. To pay those expenses in the US and it gets crazy expensive. So there’s a massive fee attached to using a credit card in a different country. So, with this digital card right now, what you can do is you can have your funds deposited directly into your Alta account, which holds your funds in like up to 37. I think more now. And you can use it, it’s essentially a digital debit card number. So, once your account is funded, your Alta account is funded through your disbursements, through our working capital or something like that. Then you can punch in these numbers to whatever needs you have to make those payments without having to actually convert currencies back and forth. So it essentially gives you a US credit card number or debit card number without you having to be in the US and it works the opposite way. You can do it across the globe as well. So it’s a pretty neat function that’s going to save a lot of people a lot.
Bradley Sutton: Okay, cool. I mean, I like one of the use cases that I thought was the traditional way of whether somebody is using the Alta digital wallet or not is, Hey, you got to wait every two weeks, get your money from Amazon. And then it goes to your Alta account, or it goes to your bank account directly, and then you’ve got credit cards you want to use. Now you’ve got to go and pay your credit card. That’s not instant, even if you’re not mailing the checks in, that’s fine, but you still got to process it digitally. And usually it’s like three business days, before a payment, post the account. And then I can use my credit card, like if I have it all maxed out. But the cool thing about this is I get that disbursement from Amazon right into my Alta account. Instantly that money is available. Like that instant I can just go and run my Alta business card. And I– don’t you get cash back on it too?
Tim Jordan: Yeah. There’s cash back. And it changes a little bit. We’re actually about to roll out some cool promotions, even higher cashback. Another cool thing, especially with the cash back, lovers will love. This is if you really want to maximize Alta, and you were doing wholesale, or you were doing, OA, right? You had a supplier that maybe US-based, or European-based that you can pay with that card, check this out. You’re an online arbitrage seller, instead of waiting every two weeks to get your disbursements from Amazon, you can use Alta’s daily advance, which drops money basically into your Alta account every day. And then you can use your debit card to make those online payments. So if you’re paying, home Depot or Sierra trading post, or walmart.com, whatever it is, where you’re making those payments, you get your money the same day that your sales are made up to 90%. You use that digital card to pay those vendors, and then you can actually get cash back on top of that. I know a lot of wholesale sellers that are doing millions a year in sales, and they might be doing a million or more in purchases, and they can pay their wholesale suppliers with a credit or debit card. So if you use this and you get cash back, like the money never actually has to come to your actual bank account, you can turn that stuff instantly. There’s no delay. There’s no trying to push around and wait for these funds to clear and get settled. And then you can use that card for cash back, which is pretty cool.
Bradley Sutton: Cool. Cool. Now, you’ve been somebody who has been, and is still like on both sides of the equation here. You’re on the FinTech side since you worked for Sellers Funding, but then you’re still an Amazon seller and then you deal with a lot of Amazon sellers. So I know before, when we first started rolling out Alta, yyou had your own personal favorite features, because of stuff that you had done as an Amazon seller. So, the things that come to mind is I remember you talking about how you’re able to save money by being able to pay in Chinese RMB to suppliers, as opposed to paying them in dollars traditionally through a US bank. You were actually able to save two, 3%, but now that you’ve been in this industry for six months a year or so now, what are some things that you’ve been hearing from other Amazon sellers? Like maybe it wasn’t one of your favorite features, but like some cool use cases, or somebody sent you a message and said, Hey man, because I did this one differently, because of Alta now I was able to do this. Anything that comes to mind that you can recall?
Tim Jordan: The big standout is still working capital; it’s money to buy inventory. Sellers Funding continues to build their credibility and their legal and their compliance capabilities and their relationships in the financial industry, allowing more and more money to be used to buy inventory at lower and lower costs to more and more people around the world. So, right now, Sellers Funding is the premiere option to basically gain working capital almost anywhere in the world. You can be located almost anywhere in the world. At much larger amounts than traditional banks will give. I mean, I’ve seen multimillion dollar a year businesses that are based in the US go to their bank and their bank says, yeah, we’ll give you a line of credit for $80,000. I like, well, we need a half a million because you force coming up, we need about half a million dollars worth of inventory right now. Sellers Funding fits that gap, and it’s also much less expensive than these predatory lenders, these merchant cash advances, the cabbages and the clear banks of the world. And there’s no weird, shady, unregulated goings on like some of the folks in the industry that have popped up and said, Oh, we provide working capital, but they’re not actually licensed. They’re doing stuff that would be considered illegal in most countries, even. So, that working capital still stands out as the bread and butter of what people are using more and more on a daily basis. The thing that continues to get better and better every week as the products are built out and as more people use it and continues to make the biggest impact for sellers.
Bradley Sutton: Cool. Cool. Now we’re going to be bouncing around all over the place in this episode, just because that’s the way my brain works, but we’ll get us back through some FinTech stuff. And maybe we’ll talk about some Amazon strategies in a little bit, but I want to completely switch gears and talk about the AM/PM Podcast a little bit. It’s been all pretty much a year if I’m not mistaken that you’ve been the host of that. And just wondering, like, in this last year, you have any favorite guests that stand out, or maybe some favorite things that you’ve learned, because this is by definition, most of the ones who are on AM/PM Podcast are not necessarily Amazon related, but just general e-commerce. So I’m sure there’s been some people on there that may have maybe blown your mind with some things that you didn’t know about anything that sticks out in your mind.
Tim Jordan: Oh, man. Where do I begin? The list is huge. And that’s one thing that I’ve tried to do is like focus. What is the AM/PM Podcast? Like, what are we focusing on? Of course we don’t want to replicate the same stuff as Serious Sellers Podcasts. And what we’ve tried to do is bring entrepreneurial information from the eyes of an e-commerce seller, right? So if our audience are e-commerce sellers, solopreneurs, or at least in digital marketing, like what’s some of the bigger picture stuff that we can look at. So we’ve had some incredible guests, anything from people that have recently sold their e-commerce brands to the founder of WooCommerce, to big arbitrage sellers, to mindset people, to investment bankers, talking about how the value of our businesses continue to grow as e-commerce sellers. It’s crazy, but I’ll tell you the one thing like you didn’t prep me with these questions, you know, so when you mentioned that, the first thing that came to my mind is how humbled I’ve become while also empowered becoming a power.
Tim Jordan: Here’s what I mean, there are a lot of freaking smart people in this world. And a lot of times it’s the people that fly under the radar of the people that you don’t realize are going to be like the standout thought leaders, the people that really make an impact. And I have had the privilege and the honor to interview some folks that were just freaking brilliant. And some of that brilliance, you don’t even see in the episode, but maybe it’s like the 20 minutes before we start recording, or I’ve had people stay on an hour after recording and hit, or maybe it’s I was introduced to them. And then I went and read their book. And then I went and followed them on social media. And I start seeing some of these lessons come on. Like they are freaking brilliant, but the reason that I feel empowered and not intimidated, like, Oh my gosh, how are we going to survive in this world of brilliance? The reason I feel empowered is because all of them were screw ups, the most brilliant people, the most brilliant minds, most brilliant entrepreneurs that they come across, screw up every day, they make mistakes. They suck at certain things. There are things they are not doing well. There’s weaknesses they have, there are fears that they have, there are skeletons in their closet. I’m like, Holy crap. This is empowering because when I think about the mistakes that I’ve made in business, or that I see my peers and my colleagues, my partners making business, like as easy to get discouraged by that and go on and never going to make it. Like I can’t because I keep screwing up or I made this mistake, or I can’t figure this out, or I haven’t learned this. And the reason all this is empowering is because I realized, Oh man, that’s everybody like even the biggest successes I’ve ever met in my life. Like they had mistakes that they made, they had struggles. They had times when they were bankrupt or nearly bankrupt, they had horrible family experiences or personal stuff they went through and it’s like, man, all of these humbling, brilliant people have had the same problems that we all go through.
Bradley Sutton: What I want everybody to do right now is 90% of you guys are listening to this probably on Apple or iPhone, using Apple podcast, or you’re on a Spotify right now, hit pause really quick, hit pause on this episode in whatever app you’re in. Just do a search. If you’re driving, guys, don’t do it obviously. But when you get to a stop and place, hit a search in whatever podcast platform you’re doing. Search for AM/PM Podcast and give it a subscribe and turn on the notification bell if you’re on Spotify or in another one of your apps that has that and start looking back at some older episodes and then the mixture, you just listen to the new one. There’s only one a week, unlike Serious Sellers Podcast, and we actually space it out so that a Serious Seller Podcast comes on near the beginning of the week, an AM/PM podcast in the middle of the week, and then another Serious Sellers Podcast in the weekend. So it’s spaced out nicely. So I want everybody again, pause your phone right now and hop over to there and just subscribe and then come back here and unpause the episode. All right. You guys did that. All right. Now we’re back anyways, guys. Yeah. Please go on there. You’ll probably find the episode for me, soon I might go in there to talk about my non Amazon e-commerce journey. I got some crazy stuff to talk about from even 20 years ago and running a million dollar fast and furious car park company when I was 19, but we’ll be on there, but there’s tons of great guests of WooCommerce. One was great, wasn’t– the first one was you and Manny Coats. Talk about how Manny Coats pivoted away.
Tim Jordan: Yeah, that was episode 195. That was kind of the handoff.
Bradley Sutton: Manny Coats, he started on the AM/PM Podcast, just chronicling his journey about how he was selling on Amazon. And then he was like, you know what, I’m just going to develop a couple of tools here for my own Amazon business. But I really think that this could help me increase my listeners on the AM/PM Podcast. And so he came up with this little thing called Scribbles where people could write their listing and then he got such an incredible response from that. He was like, wait a minute. There’s actually a big hunger for tools for Amazon sellers. And that’s kind of like how the idea of Helium 10 was born. So, if you think about it, Helium 10 kind of oozes existence almost to be original and AM/PM Podcast. Let’s switch gears. Let’s do a couple, instead of saving all the strategy for the end, like I usually do. Let’s give a couple of heavy hitters right now. And let’s talk about product research. Tim Jordan has made kind of mainstream a lot of kind of teachings out there that we talked about in Project X and other places that before he gave it a platform. A lot of people weren’t talking about it, like finding opportunities on Pinterest and Etsy and production and Central American, all these kinds of things that were kind of like new and unknown ideas, three, four years ago. What other things lately Tim has been working for you and your network and your team there as far as product research and finding opportunity.
Tim Jordan: A lot of the stuff that I was doing even two or three years ago still works. Yeah. It’s not dead. Project X still works every day. I’ve got a group coaching program, Centurion League and literally every month, people are finding products that they’re successfully launching in there. So, don’t give up on that stuff. But if you want to hear kind of the new thing that I’m excited about it has to do with affiliate marketing, right? And the way affiliate marketing works is someone takes somebody else’s product and sells it to an audience. So the affiliate marketer is potentially the best digital marketers in the world, because a lot of times the margins are slim. They don’t have any control over the brand, but they’re experts in finding what people want and attaching them to a specific audience and sharing it to the audience and trying to get a sell for commission. So these are probably the best people in the world. And what I have found is that they are exceptionally good at finding products that are in demand with low competition, right? Products where they can make good margins and not just the product, but where are they going to sell them? What platforms, what avenues, how are they marketing them? So what I’ve started doing is hunting down some of the best affiliate, marketers and backtracking, what they’re doing and letting them help me find products. Now, affiliate marketers have to use what’s called an affiliate network. It’s like the go-between that creates the connections to track these sales. So you guys have all seen it. If you use my Helium 10 code, right? My Helium 10 code, I think it’s Legion 10 for 10% off in Helium 10 right? I’m not trying to pitch my code. As an example, if you punch that in, then that will help Helium 10 realize, okay, Tim’s given this much traffic to Helium 10, like that’s where it’s coming from. There is a network behind the scenes that helps Helium 10 system know that if somebody used this code or goes to the link, then it was coming from Tim as the traffic source, right?
Tim Jordan: Will products work the same way too? And you guys will see this a lot in Facebook ads, you’ll see a product and you click the link. And it goes through like this long link, which has an affiliate tracking link. And it ends up at a store if you buy anything it’s tracked to that traffic source, that Facebook ad. Amazon has a massive affiliate marketing system called Amazon associates. And where you see this isn’t a lot of social media and YouTube videos and blogs and gift guides, where if you click a link, it goes to Amazon with a referral code where Amazon knows, Hey, it came from this traffic source and they give a commission. Those commissions have reduced. They used to be five or 6% commissions for just the gross sale. Now in a lot of categories, it’s reduced down to like two or 3% in gross, reduced down to 1%. But the people that are still selling on Amazon making money as affiliates are doing so because they have found the product opportunities that have great margin, low competition, high conversion rate, high click through rate, all that good stuff. The Amazon short code for affiliate marketers is a amzn.to. So when I figured out, I can do is I can go to different platforms where affiliate marketers might be lurking, and I can type in a specific keyword to get to a niche or to get your category, and also type in amzn.to. And the search engine that is that platform will identify the content, the videos, the blogs, the gift guides that are also sharing that Amazon affiliate link. So the way I first started doing it was going to YouTube. So if we were selling egg trays, all right, our Project X egg trays, you don’t want to type egg trays because going to YouTube and typing egg trays, but they might find like backyard chickens, backyard chicken rice.
Tim Jordan: That’s a pretty big niche. Or home decor. So if you typed, in fact, I’m going to do it while we’re recording. You guys can’t see this and I’ve never done this before. What I’m doing is I’m typing in backyard chicken raising, okay. And that’s a lot of people that buy egg trays. So I type in backyard chicken raising in the search query and beginner’s guide to raising backyard chickens, how to raise chickens in your backyard, raising chickens 101, backyard chickens for beginners. All right, this is all great. Now some of these content creators will also be affiliate sellers, but I don’t know how to find them. Like, I don’t know what they’re pushing. So if I take that same search query, backyard chicken raising, and in the search box, I also type in amzn.to. So, it is literally backyard chicken raising amzn.to, And hit enter. Now all the videos have changed and it’s only showing me the videos where people are Amazon affiliates. So right now, but when you’re listening to this, it may be different. But the first one is how to raise chickens in your backyard. 10 tips, it’s at 800,000 views. So let me just go to this, let me mute it. So, it’s not there. And if I go down into the show description and I pop it out, the first thing I see is here’s a link to chicken coops, amzn.to, long code, chicken dust. Right? So, what I now see is that this person is creating content about backyard chicken raising with the intention of monetizing, largely on the affiliate commissions, by pushing traffic to Amazon. All right. So city prepping, Oak abode is another one, Stony Ridge farmer. These are all channels that are creating content on how to raise backyard chickens, or grow your own eggs, or collect your own eggs with the full intention of becoming an Amazon affiliate seller. That’s huge. That’s powerful. Now, if I’m already selling chicken egg, chicken stuff, can we go to these people and have themselves, sure. But largely what this is doing is it allows me to go in, and stock what they’re doing, stock their product, stock the things that they’re pushing and find opportunities for products that are in demand with low competition, meaning easy to sell.
Bradley Sutton: Super interesting. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anybody talk about that before. That’s pretty cool. I love it. I love it. I love it. He didn’t know, he didn’t prepare that already. He didn’t know I was going to ask him for that, but that’s pretty awesome.
Bradley Sutton: All right. Quick break from this episode for my BTS, Bradley’s 30 seconds. Here is my 30-second tip for this episode. So this can be just, if you’re looking for more privacy and you think your credit cards are going to get stolen or something, but it also can be used for Amazon sellers. I’ve been using it. If you have like influencers that you want to do, like a search find buy for product, or you want them to buy a product. And they may be too lazy to do a rebate or something. You can actually use this company called privacy.com. And what they do is they set up these virtual credit cards. So there are credit cards that are pooled from your bank account. All right? So they give you– you can create tons of different numbers. You could have monthly credit cards, you could have a one-time use credit card, but if anybody uses it, it just takes the money away from your bank account. So it’s like you give them this credit card number that they can use. It can be used with any billing address or anything, and that person uses the credit card and it pulls the money from your bank account. So instead of having to rebate them or send them PayPal or something like that, you can get people to buy your products or to do things kind of like a little bit less barrier of entry, and you’re still paying for it. So I don’t have an affiliate link, but I’ve got like this referral code that they give me where you can get $5 free. So if you guys want to try it out, go to privacy.com/join/x6deh. All right. So privacy.com/join/x6deh, and give it a try. Maybe you can find some use for it in your Amazon business.
Bradley Sutton: Let’s go back to talking about FinTech. Now, what, just out of my personal curiosity, Sellers Funding, or Alta, what’s the biggest line of credit you’re receding approved?
Tim Jordan: I’ve seen an approval for 10 million that a–
Bradley Sutton: 10 million dollar? How much do you have to be selling to be approved all that?
Tim Jordan: A lot. And actually at the time of recording, yesterday, we did a single disbursement of 8 million. Yesterday.
Bradley Sutton: Wait, disbursement, meaning that that’s what the net proceeds was for the last two weeks of one person?
Tim Jordan: No, no, no disbursement being that’s how much money they pulled out to spend from their line of credit. So, essentially when you get approved for a line of credit, I can get approved for a half a million dollar line of credit, but I can withdraw $50,000 or a hundred thousand dollars. I can do small amounts. So that’s a disbursement, the funds are being dispersed to them. This was $8 million in one disbursement, which is cool because, and this is why Helium 10 partnered with Sellers Funding is because Sellers Funding is the only people in the industry that can do this. Nobody can touch these numbers, right? Even like cabbage, before cabbage fell apart, they couldn’t touch these numbers. And other folks in the industry, not trying to beat up on other people, they’re basically white labeling like an unregulated, cash advance type thing, but nobody else can touch these numbers, especially crossing borders. So, Alta essentially, if you’re doing a large enough volume in sales, you can get $10 million from Alta, which is pretty substantial.
Bradley Sutton: Wow. That is crazy. Crazy. All right. Let’s switch gears just yet again, probably two years ago. Yeah. We were just griping about kind of like shady people that we, obviously we don’t call out anybody by name, but in the industry who kind of like made their name from ripping people off, or from shady marketing and the kind of people who would put out deals and say, Hey, it’s going to expire at the end of the month. But then seven months later, you’d still see the same coupon available.
Tim Jordan: Such a new industry that there’s a lot of naivety to the schemes that people have. I see behind the scenes to a lot of things like I have privy information drives me crazy. There’s a guy out there that claims he’s doing nine figures on Amazon, and he doesn’t know this, but I still have user permissions to his account from what I used to ship his stuff. When he was claiming to be a nine figure seller, I know he wasn’t, and the guy still owes me like $540. This is back when I had a 3PL, right. And I imported some goods, paid his duties, and sent him a QuickBooks invoice for the $540 that I paid on his behalf. And I still nearly send that invoice to him every month. I know he’ll never pay me $540. I never will. He’ll never pay me, but I see him open the invoice because QuickBooks tracks that stuff. If we weed through all the bull crap, and the people annoying us in our DMS and the bad information, there is an equal amount of really good players in this space, right? Where it used to be one or two companies that knew how to ship the FBA. Now there’s 2000 companies who know how to ship straight to FBA, where we have to deal with people blown up or inboxes about product inspections. There’s good inspection companies out there. While there are sourcing agents from China that are blowing up our Facebook message box and getting our WhatsApp number somehow. If we ignore that, we realize that, Hey, they’re doing this because somebody that has been successful at it because they are good. So, you kind of take the bad with the good. The other thing, like in the FinTech space that I see, I’m starting to see some ridiculously predatorial stuff where people will advertise this stuff. And then behind the scenes, it’s not as easy. So I won’t mention the company, but there’s a company in the e-commerce space. That’s advertising like working capital. No worries. I know this is being in the working capital business like. I know how to read the good from the bad. And these people actually offer me a partnership or position. They wanted me to work with them. And if like an hour, they still can explain how their business worked. But essentially what they would do is they would advertise. We can give you up to a million dollars in working capital to fund your business. But then when you actually engage with them, you have to sign an NDA so that you can’t even tell anybody else what the actual details of the deal are. And the way the deal essentially works is if I come to them and say, Hey, I need a half, a million dollars.
Tim Jordan: They make me match that half a million dollars. So go to friends and family and beg for 250,000, this company will pitch in 250,000. And then the way they advertise is we’ll just pay or you just pay us a percentage of your profits, right? Like if you have a slow month, it’s a slow month. Great month, it’s a great month. But what they don’t tell you is the percentage of profits that you’re paying don’t apply to the principal balance. So if I owe them $250,000 and they’re helping me run my business and even get some say on what’s profit or what’s expenses, they’re going to show a higher profit, which increases your tax liability. And then if I ended up needing my profits, $5,000 a month, and I have to pay them 20% of that. So a thousand dollars a month, no matter how many thousands of dollars I give them, it doesn’t apply to the 250. So, I have to externally come up with $250,000 and pay them off kind of in a lump sum before they’re out of my hair, that’s a mafia business. That’s what that is. That’s like mafia dealings, but people have become so savvy and so polished in the way that they market. Then I think that a lot of people are falling prey to some stuff like that because people need help. Here’s my recommendation. If you were in the e-commerce space, you’re thinking about selling. You’re selling. You’re looking for reserves. Go ahead and get personal recommendations. Don’t just go off of marketing. Don’t just go off an ad somewhere. Don’t just go off of, well, I heard them on this person’s collaborative webinar. They must be great. No, go out and ask because there are so many businesses and so many sellers willing to give information now, that you can post stuff in private groups, you should be in masterminds. If you’re not already, you should be in, have at least friends in the industry and say, Hey, what do you guys think of this? Even if they haven’t earned the business, say, here’s the deal. Here’s how they work. Here’s the term sheet. Here’s the contract. Here’s the services they’re offering, here’s their agency fees. How do they work and get some opinions? I talk a lot about this in the, like the aggregator space. So the aggregators like Thrasio, and then we had boosted and Perch and Elevate and Goga and all these brands came up. I think it’s great to have that many aggregators, Oh man, there’s so many to choose from. Well, awesome. Because aggregators make more money when they pay you less, right.
Tim Jordan: And those are, I have buddies that are aggregators and look, I’m still your buddy, but I’m calling like it is. Like you make more money when you pay less for the brand. So, your marketing and your advertising is, Oh, we pay top dollar for your business. They don’t want to pay top dollar. They want to pay as little as possible while still having the perception that they’re paying you a ton. Right. And when there were only one or two players in space, they could basically call the price because people wanted to sell their businesses for family reasons or have more time, or they thought it was time to exit. Well, with more aggregators and more acquirers in the business. That’s awesome because it creates a competitive market where the prices have to go up, which is great for the sellers and same with service industries, right? If there’s more shippers and there’s more inspection companies, more software companies and more this and that, and this we’re kind of holding each other accountable and we’re all forcing ourselves to become better for the customer to stay in business. Right. Two hours before this episode, I was talking to Bojan. So you’d like to say, I say, Bojan. And so he’s the guy that runs Helium 10 now, essentially. And he was telling me, he’s like, Tim, we have friends that are competitors. And he’s like, we do. He said, and we’d love it. Like he was talking about a big social get together. It’s happening at prosper Helium 10’s putting on. He’s like, yeah, we know he’s like, I’ve already personally invited some of our competitors. I’m like, dude, that’s fricking awesome. And basically it’s like that rising tide raises all ships. Also we keep each other in check. Also, like if we have nothing to hide, like we’ll put ourselves out there, we’ll be friends with our competitors. Like we’re all going to make this industry better. Let’s just do it. I think that’s so unique. So more or less the store being, yeah, there’s a lot of crappy players out there. There’s a lot of confusing information and there’s a lot of bull crap, but amongst all that bull crap are some really good players and all of them consolidating and all of them getting bigger, and all of them making a larger marketing presence and having more views just forces them to be better and better and better. So, the service options and the providers and the help that we need is just beginning to get more robust and more affordable as well. So, it’s kind of like the great equalizer in the space.
Bradley Sutton: Yeah. Yeah. And I think a lot of– a couple of years ago, a lot of the people in this space, whether they were gurus, or software companies, the ones that were doing these shady things that we used to call out, like they never made it, like, what was that phrase? Cheaters never prosper. It’s the companies like Helium 10 and Sellers Funding and other ones that really have come up in the space, but these other ones were kind of doing gray area things, or even black hat things. They never prospered. I mean, just a few days ago, even on a completely side note here, how many hundred million dollar sellers have got suspended recently because Amazon discovered cheating reviews scam that they did. I mean, guys, just regardless of your size, regardless of who you are, if you’re just a individual seller selling a thousand bucks a month, or you’re a software company, or you’re an agency guys, just try and do stuff above board. That’s who wins usually in the end and then sure. Maybe people can get around, get away with some shadiness for a while, but long-term, it usually is not the way to go. And then just back to what I was talking about in the Facebook groups guys, it’s hard to kind of like divide who really is trying to help other people, or who’s just trying to make a name for themselves so they can get some private coaching clients, or they can get people to sign up for their course. But we try our best, that Helium 10 to weed out the bad players in our Facebook groups.
Bradley Sutton: But if any of you guys notice people who are bad players and people are sliding into your DMS, that’s actually against the rules. Like we specifically say, nobody can private messages to that. I mean, that’s hard to police, but that’s a policy in our Helium 10 Facebook group and the AM/PM Podcast one, which is called FBA High Rollers where we don’t want anybody messaging each other based on a group, because what happens is everybody starts spamming people. And when we want to protect our users from that. So if someone’s spamming you, make sure to let the moderator know. Now, one thing you were talking about is our social. That’s actually coming up at Prosper show guys. So if you guys want to go to the social, you can actually sign up for it. Let me get that link for you guys real quick here. It’s like, yeah, helium10.com/rockout. Helium10.com/rock out. This is the Prosper show, a social that we are going to have one of the nights, July 13th, from seven to 10, you’re going to be there, right Tim?
Tim Jordan: I will be there, but you know what? I just found out. I wasn’t even on the list.
Bradley Sutton: You’re not on the VIP list? So, you got to pay?
Tim Jordan: This is my bone I have to pick with you. And I’m going to call out Kevin King too. So Kevin and I, we don’t work for Helium 10, but we’re good buddies and good allies with Helium 10. And I was talking to Bojan and he said, Tim, all of the Helium 10 staff got together and they collaborated on a VIP list for our band. People that were going to take extra care of, because they’ve been good friends of ours. And you know, all this, he said, Tim, you know who was missing from that list? You said the staff put in this list of like the biggest friends of Helium 10. He said there was no Tim Jordan. There was no Kevin King. And I was like, what the crap?
Bradley Sutton: These guys are rich enough. They can pay for their own entry. They don’t need no stinking, VIP.
Tim Jordan: So, Bojan said, well, I added you guys to the list. And I don’t know. It kind of hurt my feelings, Bradley. So, we need to figure out who kicked me off the list so I can go cry to them and tell them my feelings are hurt.
Bradley Sutton: Shame on them, shame on them. But anyways guys, Kevin King and Tim Jordan will be there, myself, Bojan, if you guys are wondering, who is this Bojan character here, you can meet him. Our chief operating officer and should be a few hundred other sellers is going to be a really crazy party. We’re going to have karaoke and DJs and all kinds of crazy stuff. But just in general, the Prosper show is kind of good to go to. The Prosper show is not put on by Helium 10. We were actually a vendor that we have a booth. So you’ll be able to visit us at the booth, but it’s a great show for learning more about Amazon and networking. I mean, networking is the biggest thing we’ve been missing the last year or so that we’ve been online or in virtual. And then there are also a lot of cool vendor booths, but just in general, Tim, you’re somebody who’s like me who likes to travel and likes to network and go to conferences and things. So for somebody who hasn’t done that yet, can you just kind of like put into words, the value of– it’s not necessarily a case of, Oh, I’m going to go to this convention and I’m going to hear this game-changing hack that’s going to change my life. But to you, what is more of the benefit of going to these kinds of conferences?
Tim Jordan: Well, for me, it’s changed when I first started going to conferences. It was because I can have personal relationships. I could sit around a table with some strangers that knew more than me. I could learn, I can get exposed stuff. I could find service providers. Even some of the biggest introverts in the entire industry that I know, braved going to one of these events and met one or two people that completely changed the trajectory of their business. For me, the reason I go is family. And I know that sounds super cheesy, but just bear with me and deal with it. But e-commerce is a lonely business, right? Many of us work from home. We work by ourselves, might have some VA’s staff. Like nobody knows what we’re doing. Like we’re trying to take on this, the weight of the world as an entrepreneur by ourselves, right. And it’s kind of lonely. So for me, going to the events and getting to hug my friends, and yes, I know COVID still going on, but those of you that are my friends, you’re going to get a big hug. It’s just going to happen. Don’t be terrified if you’re not one of my friends, I’m going to grab you, but like, it’s my family, it’s people that I can go and I can talk about my struggles so I can talk about my successes and they actually get it. My wife has never listened to an episode of the AM/PM podcast. She doesn’t know a single product I sell. She’s never watched a minute of Project X. She didn’t– she’s just not into it. It’s not her thing. And that’s fine. Right? So like my support system, my business family, like they’re the ones I see at conferences and getting there and building those relationships and feeling empowered and seeing other successful people and getting me fired up and just getting to have fun and just getting to goof off and like laugh.
Tim Jordan: I recently went on a fishing trip to Venice, Louisiana with a bunch of Amazon sellers. Right. And it was like the hardest I’ve laughed and the most of smile and the least I’ve been on my phone, just worrying about life in a year because nine of us went to some stinky marine at the very end of the Mississippi river and went fishing for three days. Right. It was freaking amazing. And like, that’s it, that’s the connection. That’s family. It doesn’t matter how much money we make or how many products we successfully launch if we’re not enjoying it. And we don’t have someone that can give us a high five, we do good. Or someone that can be a shoulder to cry on if we need it. Because we screwed up, lost a bunch of money on something or someone to just have some fun with them, laugh, right. So to me, that’s what those events are. So whether you’re a beginning seller, an advanced seller, you’ve never been to an event ,you’ve been to a ton of events. I mean, COVID wrapping up guys and the numbers are dropping significantly. And at least in the US it is becoming much, much, much safer to travel. And the venture coming back, we’ve got Prosper. We’ve got ASG TG, we’ve got ASD, we’ve got Retail X, we’ve got the Billion Dollar Seller Summit. We’ve got Traffic and Conversions. We’ve got Funnel Hacking Live. All come this year. And my God, I’m going to be at every single freaking one up.
Bradley Sutton: Yeah. That’s awesome. Yeah. I’ll see you at most of those that you mentioned as well. Speaking of travel, I know we haven’t done much of that over the last year. Any travel hacks you can share with us. I know before you talked about the founders club club. So, like talk about that for like 30 seconds real quick, and then any other kind of cool travel hacks you’ve learned over the last couple of years since you’ve been on the show,
Tim Jordan: Founder’s club was awesome because it gave me diamond status with Vegas. And anybody who goes to the Amazon conference knows that diamond status in Vegas is huge at all the Caesars properties. You can get minute suites. You can get like the president’s club at Avis. It’s awesome. I think it’s like 300 bucks a year and it’s probably worth $10,000 a year. Travel hacks right now. There’s not that many because the travel industry isn’t giving away much because they’ve lost so much money. Right. It’s really, really tough. I fly– here’s one for you though. I fly American airlines and for the past couple of years, I’ve had nearly the highest sense of how the highest public status you can get executive platinum, which basically means 95% of my domestic flights to get upgraded for free. They give me all sorts of free perks. Like it’s awesome. They roll out the red carpet. But even though they’ve lowered the threshold to get this very extreme status. And although I’ve been traveling a lot in the past year, it’s just short domestic flights, right? I’m not going to reach that same level of status. If you are in a city where you started getting status with one airline, you wish you had another, like if you’re an American airline elite stash, you’re like, dang, I wish I was with United or you wish I was with Delta. Right now, a lot of these airlines are doing swaps. So if I were to contact Delta and say, Hey, I’m an American airlines, executive platinum. They would give me the same status with Delta right now in a swap. And they are frequently doing it for an additional year and a half.
Tim Jordan: So if my executive platinum is going to expire in January, because I don’t meet the new thresholds, I can jump to Delta, which doesn’t really matter to me. I can jump to Delta and get that top level status. And instead of it expiring in January, 2022, they’ll stretch it out to January, 2023. And give me another year to build those same miles with Delta. So, if you’ve ever thought about changing elite status as with airplane companies right now, they’re making it very, very lucrative. And they’re heavily incentivizing for you to swap, especially like Eddie Levine. Eddie Levine, guy loves Chicago. Buddy of mine, like he’s always been executive platinum. He hasn’t traveled at all during the pandemic. I think right now, today he’s on his first flight or yesterday. Well, if he jumps over like the Delta or United another one where Chicago is a hub, he can stretch it out for another year and a half. So, a little hack right there. If you can wing it. And many of you may not travel enough to have that elite status anyways. But if you do, definitely check that out, because that may save your tail from getting stuck in the very back seat of an airplane somewhere.
Bradley Sutton: That’s pretty cool. That’s pretty cool. Yeah. I’m taking my whole family this time to Maldives in about three weeks and about up $11,000 trip and I’m paying zero for it. So I’ll let you guys know how I did that. Once I do that episode. Let’s go back to Amazon now. It doesn’t have to be on product research. It can be keyword research, product research, listing optimization, PPC, something new that you haven’t talked about on the show.
Tim Jordan: Yeah. Backup your flat files. Right now we’re seeing so many changes on the backends. Front ends pictures, all this stuff, whether it’s Amazon shuffling stuff around or malicious black hat stuff, like people uploading keywords in your back end, people putting watermarks on your images. You’re not realizing. And then filing IP complaints, it’s nasty. So what we’ve started doing is downloading flat files for everything, whether it’s listing or PPC. And we download them every day and it’s like putting a backup drive on your computer, right? So we have VAs just download them every day. And after seven days he gets to lead it. So we have always had the past seven days. So if something crazy happens with our listing, we can essentially hit the reset button by contacting Amazon saying, something’s screwed up. Will you basically upload this last version? So, go back one day or two day with all of your settings, all your images or your keywords, all of your everything. And it does it almost instantly. It’s like hitting the reset button. But if you’re not thinking about downloading that if a problem happens and you can’t figure out what it is or Amazon can’t figure out what the problem is, there’s no help. So basically it’s like hitting the save button on your document, on your computer and having a past version to go back to. So we’ve made that part of our SOP and it saved us, I think twice in the past two months now
Bradley Sutton: I love it. I love it. So, these have been kind of what we call the TST, the 30-second tips, but how about one more, a really good one for our 30-second tip of the episode.
Tim Jordan: You better start watching Walmart. That’s my tip. Walmart’s getting crazy. Walmart doing things that Amazon has not been willing to do for the seller community. Walmart is now the second largest and it’s been that way for like a year and a half. And talking about that marketplace in the US at least they have a global presence and Walmart has the best infrastructure in the entire industry. They have more trucks, they have more warehouses. They have more pickup locations, they have more employees than Amazon’s ever thought about having. Think about Walmart as having a distribution center and a fulfillment center in a warehouse in every small town in America, Canada, and mostly Mexico. It’s huge. So I think it’s like a sleeper, right? This is Paul Walker and his sleeper car back to the festival periods. Right. You don’t know what’s under the hood, but it, but it’s going to take off here shortly. So you guys be careful and don’t miss the boat and start paying attention to Walmart. It’s an opportunity to start selling your products too.
Bradley Sutton: Cool. Cool. Yeah, I’m definitely taking a closer look at that platform and going to try and learn it over the next few months myself, already got Project X and Project 5k up on there, but I haven’t really pushed it yet. I just wanted to get the accounts set up and our product live. So if you guys can let me know if you can even find the coffin shelf on Walmart, I doubt you can find it, but let me know if you can in it and give us a search find buy on it or something to increase our page ranking. Anyways, what does next year look like for you, Tim? Looks like you’re starting more coaching again, unlike– because you were away from that for awhile. What’s on the docket for the rest of 2021?
Tim Jordan: Yeah. So I partnered up with Norm Farrar. Everybody knows Norm Farrar, the beard guy. And we have a group coaching program, which is called the Centurion league. So shameless plug, you can check it out at thecenturionleague.com. It’s probably the best bang for the buck in the industry, in my opinion. We’re also doing a lot of free content within Private Label Legion, all that good stuff. Then we’ve got a bunch of new events coming up. We’re starting to see other service fighters popping up that I’m having good relationships with. We’re starting to see integrations with different channels, different marketplaces, working together, doing some pretty collaborative stuff. So it’s making expanding into e-commerce globally easier. So I don’t know exactly what my next year looks like Bradley, but I’ll tell you this. I’m not deciding right now. Like I’m just riding this wave and every month it might change. Every month, month by month, there might be a new hyper focus for me because I would be crazy to decide what’s going to happen tomorrow when I don’t know what’s going to happen in the next hour. Like this world is so volatile. It’s so reactive and it’s changing so fast that I just want to be along for the ride. So I know that I’m going to keep hustling and keep doing my thing. I’m going to keep trying everyday, turn my phone off for an hour and spend some time with the family, not go absolutely insane or go through burnout again. But I’m going to be there along for the ride because it’s still getting crazier and crazier every day.
Bradley Sutton: Love it, love it. All right, guys. Throughout this episode, Tim has given his different contacts, or different websites you can check out and don’t forget primarily AM/PM Podcast. Make sure to support that one. I guarantee you’re going to get some nuggets there. And the Alta one again, is growwithalta.com. He gave you the Centurion league one there. Clubhouse, sometimes you’ll see Tim Jordan on Clubhouse. Instagram, sometimes he’s on there. He wants to become an Instagram model. But yeah, so you can maybe use him as an influencer for your Amazon product. Anyways, Tim, another last thing that you did mention that’s still kind of like in development, but be looking out guys for a new, I’m not sure what we’re going to call it yet, but a new Project X and Tim will definitely be involved.
Tim Jordan: I don’t know if we can call it Project X, just going to be, there’ll be something different, but it’ll be–
Bradley Sutton: Let us know what it should be. Project Y, Project X squared, like what is it going to?
Tim Jordan: But, it’s not just another Project X. It’s not just going to be a standard case study. The format and the type, and the other collaborators that are going to be involved will be unlike anything else ever seen in this industry. So when we release it, it’s going to be something special.
Bradley Sutton: It absolutely is. So guys look out for that later on. So anyways, Tim, I guess the next time I’ll see you, if not sooner, it’ll probably be in July at the Prosper Show. So, we’ll see you then.
Tim Jordan: All right. Take care.