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#228 – An Everyday Amazon Seller, a 7-Figure Payout, and a Trading Card Adventure

This Amazon seller achieved the dream of many. He sold his e-com business, and now he’s jumped into the red-hot trading card arena!
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Helium 10 The Helium 10 Software
45 minutes read

One of the hottest segments of e-commerce in the last year has been the number of Amazon business aggregators that are snapping up Amazon brands and helping e-commerce sellers realize huge payouts. Companies such as Thrasio, which just a few months ago became the fastest business to reach one billion in valuation, have been aggressively pursuing profitable Amazon businesses as they create “stables” of e-commerce brands.

Today on the Serious Sellers Podcast, Helium 10’s Director of Training and Chief Evangelist, Bradley Sutton welcomes an everyday seller who received one of those “golden Amazon parachutes.” But it’s what he did with his big payday that caught Bradley’s attention.

Mitul Patel’s first foray into selling on Amazon was the equivalent of jumping into the deep end of the pool. He tried his luck with the super-competitive supplements niche. After taking one on the chin, he rebounded with several profitable Amazon products. He set about building a strong Amazon brand and was rewarded with an offer from an Amazon business aggregator.

Now, he’s found a hobby, and a lucrative business sourcing, and selling trading cards. If you think that it sounds like kid’s stuff, all you need to do is take a look at the prices (and explosive growth in value) that many of these little cards are now commanding.

After listening to this episode, you might be tempted to go through the boxes that you’ve left behind at your parent’s home, looking for your big payday! 

In episode 228 of the Serious Sellers Podcast, Bradley and Mitul discuss:

  • 02:38 – An Application to College Returned to Sender
  • 04:58 – Launching and Failing in the Amazon Supplements Niche
  • 08:16 – A Second Amazon Product Launch was “Amazing”
  • 10:00 – Over a Million in Profits Starting in 2017
  • 12:36 – Building a Single Strong Amazon Brand
  • 14:27 – How to Determine a Good Amazon Product
  • 16:43 – It Doesn’t Take Kevin King’s Skills to Succeed on Amazon
  • 19:33 – Amazon Aggregators Came Knocking   
  • 20:59 – How Did Mitul Value His Amazon Business?    
  • 23:14 – An Aggregator with Amazon Experience Seals the Deal
  • 26:35 – What Did Mitul Do with His Big Payday?
  • 26:36 – Investing in Sports Cards  
  • 34:29 – Card Values are Skyrocketing
  • 39:48 – A Stock Market for Sports Fans
  • 41:39 – Mitul is Making His Way Back to Amazon
  • 45:37 – How to Contact Mitul   

Transcript

Bradley Sutton:

Today, we’re going to talk to an Amazon seller who proves that you don’t need super secret hacks in order to succeed on Amazon. He scaled up slowly and recently had a seven figure cash payday for selling his Amazon business. 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 a serious seller here. He does a lot of other things seriously, but meet, ah, see, we just pronounced your name and I was like, all right, is it me-tul? Is it me-tool? Or do your pronunciation again? It sounds so cool when you do it.

Mitul:

It’s Mitul.

Bradley Sutton:

No. That’s not what you said. Come on. I wanted the cool pronunciation.

Mitul:

Correct pronunciation is Mitul.

Bradley Sutton:

Mitul. I like it. Mitul. Let’s get into this. I want to talk about your Amazon journey first of all. But before we even get into that, what I always like starting these episodes out to do is to get your personal journey. Where were you born and raised?

Mitul:

I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. Now growing up there in Chicago, if you were still there, where like when you’re 8, 10 years old, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up? Or what did you want to be?

Mitul:

I mean, it’s funny you ask that. I have no idea. I think at one point I wanted to be a veterinarian. And then a doctor and then blood just didn’t. Yeah, I didn’t want to do it anymore.

Bradley Sutton:

Were your parents born in the States?

Mitul:

No, my dad was born in India and my mom was born in Africa.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. So, you’re completely the stereotypical Indian family and same thing in Asian families. Me being half Filipino, I know about that where I think a lot of we grow up thinking, like we need to be in the medical, the medical industry somehow, so. Okay. Oh, that’s right. Okay. So now you graduated high school– what did you go to college right after that?

Mitul:

Yeah, I went to– there’s a small community college, College of DuPage. It’s a funny story. I actually ended up going there because my first college of choice, which was University of Illinois, I applied, and then about two weeks after the deadline for the application, I got my application back and it said more postage required.

Bradley Sutton:

Funny how things work out now where you just like taking general ed or did you already have like, at least where you’re trying to get a degree at the time?

Mitul:

I went for computer science, so I just, I started doing my– whatever I could for that programming. So Java C++ all those courses. And then after two years, I transferred to Northern Illinois University.

Bradley Sutton:

Is that the Salukis or something like that?

Mitul:

The Huskies.

Bradley Sutton:

The Huskies. Something Salukis. I was like, well, I’ve always wanted to save a Salukis and ask the person what the heck that is? The Huskies. Okay. Upon graduation or leaving college. What was your first like gainful employment? What was your first full time job?

Mitul:

My first real full-time job was with a company called Hewitt associates, and we worked on– it was like an HR company and we worked on benefits, HR and stuff like that, but I was on the backend. So I kind of did all the programming, all the data, manipulation, all that kind of stuff.

Bradley Sutton:

You actually were able to do something that you actually studied. Not a lot of people can say that. Okay. Now at what point now did you discover the e-commerce or Amazon opportunity? Like what year and how did you even learn about it?

Mitul:

Yeah, so I stumbled upon it in 2013. Actually a good friend of mine, he was always in like the SEO world and online stuff. And he found Amazon through Ryan Moran and he started a supplement business on Amazon and I kind of just was like watching it. And I was like, Oh, I like Amazon, I’d love to sell stuff on Amazon. And I was always in that mindset of trying to find a business. And so when he was actually successful, I was like, Hey, Zach, like, you got to kind of show me what you’re doing. He told me to start in supplements and there was this specific supplement called Phytoceramides. And so I was like, okay, let’s do it.

Bradley Sutton:

Say that again phyto–

Mitul:

Phytoceramide.

Bradley Sutton:

Sounds like a dog mixed with.

Mitul:

It was like a beauty pill.

Bradley Sutton:

What does it do?

Mitul:

It was a beauty pill. It was supposed to make you look younger. I don’t know if it really worked or not, but at the time I was like, Oh, it seems like it works.

Bradley Sutton:

And so that was your first product.

Mitul:

That was my first product. Yeah.

Bradley Sutton:

And now we’re in, are we still in 2013 or 2014 by the time it launched, or where are we at?

Mitul:

2014.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. How do you do?

Mitul:

I failed miserably.

Bradley Sutton:

Talk about that. Like what happened?

Mitul:

Yeah. So, okay. So 2014, let’s take you back. That was like, when Amazon was in its infancy. But obviously everyone knows reviews are kind of king. And back then, it wasn’t easy to get reviews, especially with supplements, you have to first skit someone to buy it, and then you have to wait 30 to 45 days for them to actually use it. And then if you’re lucky the person actually liked it and gave you a good review. And so it was this long process of trying to get reviews and trying to get people to buy our product. And it was pretty rough. And so, and I came into it with like a minimalist mindset where I literally thought I was going to get rich with my thousand dollar investment was rough, supplements at the time, just even now they’re hard. But yeah, trying to get reviews and then trying to get sales and PPC was relatively brand new back then.

Bradley Sutton:

But you only had invested a thousand bucks.

Mitul:

Yeah. When I first started, like when I first got all the products and things like that, it was like a thousand to 1500, fast forward nine months and I’m 16 to $20,000 in the hole.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. So then what, I mean, obviously, I know some of your story back, I know you didn’t stop selling on Amazon in 2014. So what kept you from just being completely discouraged and saying, man, this Amazon thing is not for me.

Mitul:

Yeah. So, one, I just saw the opportunity I saw, like I knew it was there. And around September, Zach had launched another PR another brand and it was in like physical products and I’d already had the thought of moving into something else. And he was just telling me how much more fun it was. You literally give away a product. And again, this was back in 2014 when giving away products and getting reviews from wasn’t as bad as it is now. And so he’d give away a product and you literally, a few days later you get a review and he was like, he was just so much more fun and so much easier. And I was like, okay, I’m going to, I need to make that pivot. But that led me to my product, which I was like, okay, I can do this. And that was September. And then I spend the next couple of months.

Bradley Sutton:

2014?

Mitul:

2014. Yep. Okay. Getting supplies, or not supply, samples, sorry. Testing out products here in the US just to see, like what do people hate? What are the bad reviews? Things like that. And then found a supplier, got a good product, and then launched it in January of 2015.

Bradley Sutton:

All right. Now, how did that launch work for you?

Mitul:

It was amazing. I literally took everything I learned in 2014. So that was back in the day when as Ezra Firestone was talking about, using Facebook and launching products that way and things. And that was when ZonBlast first started coming out. And I literally took everything I knew and learned and threw it into that. And it blew up right away.

Bradley Sutton:

What does blowing up mean? Like what was your monthly sales when you–?

Mitul:

When you come from losing $16,000 to–

Bradley Sutton:

Make it, Hey, man, I made a hundred bucks. I’m blowing up.

Mitul:

No, I think our first month we did like 35,000 and then our second month we did 50 in sales.

Bradley Sutton:

Nice. Nice. All right. So then now you’re all excited now. So now you got out of the hole, I would assume after just a couple months or so from your old product. And so what’s your next step?

Mitul:

Launch another product.

Bradley Sutton:

Same brand or a completely different, or what?

Mitul:

Same brand, same brand, a different product again, when it’s– I find once you have something that’s successful, it’s a lot easier to build off of it. Because you can see what else is there. Yeah. And so that was a key, I just, okay. Here’s this other product that is in my same space, let’s launch it. And that from day one took off. Zero reviews, just, it just went off and I’m like, Oh, this is even better.

Bradley Sutton:

So like 2015, 2016, 2017. What I mean just, your rough yearly gross revenues for each year.

Mitul:

Yeah. So 2015, I think we were at like 500,000, 2016. It was like 800, 900. And then we hit a million plus in 2017.

Bradley Sutton:

Now, at what point did you, or was this in the beginning? Did you stop your day job?

Mitul:

I stopped. I quit my day job in 2016, April 1st of 2016.

Bradley Sutton:

Because like, by that point, the profit that you were making more than made up for whatever your full-time salary was?

Mitul:

Yeah. And it was one of those things where my day jobs started to interfere with my Amazon business. So then I got to the point where I was like–

Bradley Sutton:

Most people say something and say, it’s the opposite. He’s like, dang it. This Amazon thing is like taken over my life. I’m being distracted here at work. No, no. My day job is distracting me from Amazon. I love it. I forgot to ask this question. How did you find that first product? Like a supplier? Was it China? Was it USA? Did you go to Alibaba?

Mitul:

Yeah. I went to Alibaba, and just talk to just randomly emailed a bunch of them, and just got samples. And then I picked the one that had the best sample.

Bradley Sutton:

And then kept ordering from that same factory for your brand extensions?

Mitul:

Yeah, I would say the next like four or five products came from that factory. Now my first product, I changed suppliers. I actually moved from China to Taiwan. And so the current product is made by my, the third factory that I’ve talked to. And so I was, again, like I have this thing with perfection or at least making improvements, so I kept wanting to improve the product, improving the product. And so I just found, I learned more about the product itself and textiles are better off in Taiwan than they are in China. And so, I just naturally made that move.

Bradley Sutton:

How was that like, was that an awkward situation, having done so much business with the factory and then cutting ties, like, were you worried that they would go in and hijack you and sell– the original factory sell your product for spite or?

Mitul:

I didn’t. It was kind of awkward. Like I was like, how do I tell them that I’m not going to order from them anymore, but it was kind of–

Bradley Sutton:

Kind of a break up with a girlfriend.

Mitul:

Right. But it was kind of the same. Have you ever seen office space? Yes. You know how they kind of just fix the glitch and it’ll work itself out. Yeah. So I just stopped ordering and didn’t really tell him anything and it kind of just worked itself out. Nowadays I would do things differently, but yeah.

Bradley Sutton:

Now, all throughout this time, you just kept with the same brand, or did you ever start other brands?

Mitul:

No, I stayed with the same brand. I wish I’d started out of the other brands, a hundred percent. My biggest hurdle was I wanted to stay within one brand within the Amazon account. And again, this is back in 2016, 2017 were having two accounts was not a great idea. And it started this business started becoming more and more my main source of income. And so trying to, I didn’t want to do anything to jeopardize that.

Bradley Sutton:

Not just anybody’s going to have success, there’s only a small percentage of sellers. If you consider the entire amount of sellers who can get up to seven figures and I’m assuming you made more than 20% profit. So like, not everybody can do that. So like, what were some of the things that, that you think set you apart? You mentioned you were using ZonBlast, I remember, I think that’s how I met you, like way back in the day. Because of that service and so, that’s one thing you were able to get to page one, I’m assuming pretty fast, but what other things– do you think you were doing anything unique as far as reviews, or were you building an outside audience at all? Or talk about that a little bit.

Mitul:

Yeah. So I wish I could say I had all these secret things that I did that were amazing. I’ll say one, I’m pretty good at finding products. And that’s kind of why I was saying, I wish I’d started some other brands. I’d actually found a lot of products that are huge, huge businesses now that I found years before they even became big on Amazon.

Bradley Sutton:

What’s your criteria? Like how were you able to find all these things? Like, what were you searching for that brought you to the point where you’re like, Hey, this is going to be big.

Mitul:

Whenever I find a product, usually what I look for is how many reviews did they– and again, things are way different now. But it was how many reviews do they have, how many products are on page one, two, three, four, five, you know, if I search for like garlic plus, you’re going to find the same thing for a hundred pages. That’s obviously not going to be a great product.

Bradley Sutton:

Did you have a set PPC strategy that really worked? Like, did you have, what was, did you have a target ACoS, or, or did you have this kind of cool method where you hit PPC really hard in the beginning and then tapered it off? Or it’s just something unique like that you think you were doing before?

Mitul:

Nope. I just, I did the normal automatic campaign move stuff to a broad campaign, moved to an exact campaign. I did try to, I did have this theory that if you control bids at a keyword level, so it would work better. So I always had a lot of keywords in my exact campaign. But I don’t think I did anything revolutionary or anything like that. I feel like PPC is one of those things where it can get really, really, really complicated. And sometimes we always chase the low ACoS, and I realized from the hard way that there are some niches that you’re you’re never going to be profitable on. And so mine was one of those, like, it was a 30% ACoS was good. And if you try to get under that, it would, you would lose sales. And I tried tools and things like that to kind of like try and get my ACoS lower. And all I saw was that my sales and my rank would drop. So then eventually I got to the point where I was like, well, I got 30%. It’s not broken, so I’m not going to try and like, fix anything and make it worse.

Bradley Sutton:

Guys, I hope you guys are paying attention here. It doesn’t, mutual hat here has a lot of– has had a lot of success on Amazon, but there’s nothing like he didn’t have some ridiculous, crazy hack that only he knew about or something, his kind of success it was based on something that almost anybody can do. So I don’t want people thinking like, Oh, to get to seven figures on Amazon, I got to be on like Kevin King’s level. No, like some crazy ridiculous hack to game the system. And isn’t that? No, if you just do the normal things here, look at the kind of success that he’s had. Now, speaking of that success, what was your peak year? Was it 2019 of sales? Would you say?

Mitul:

2019 and 2020 we’re equivalent. We hit 2.4 million both years.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. And how many SKUs was added to it now? This is like five years after your initial launch.

Mitul:

Yeah, so we had, if I remember, we had eight products and like 60 plus SKUs.

Bradley Sutton:

8 products, 60 plus SKUs, so like a lot of like variations and stuff?

Mitul:

Correct.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. So, now, I’m assuming that when you started the business, you were just looking to make some extra money or possibly even replace your day job, which I think most people back in the day that was their goal. But as it ended up now, at what point did you realize that you could sell the business, which you actually ended up doing? Like, was it only when somebody approached you, or was there a point where you’re like, man, I wonder if I can just like, sell this brand and get a payday?

Mitul:

Yeah. So I was actually approached by multiple aggregators over the course of the–

Bradley Sutton:

What year was this?

Mitul:

It was 2019. So late 2019, I get, I get approached by–

Bradley Sutton:

So, they just found you somehow out there and they cold call you or contact you.

Mitul:

Essentially, yeah. And so I ended up talking to one of them, and I was like, Oh, okay. And we heard their offer and all that kind of stuff. And that’s when I was like, okay, well, first of all, I’m going to, I need to fix some stuff because if you’re going to try and sell your business, you have to kind of start thinking about it a year before you want to start, will you actually want to sell, because there’s a lot of things you can do in that year to kind of increase your bottom line, cleaning up expenses, stop launching products, stop wasting money on PPC, which is actually funny because COVID actually made me realize that we were spending all this money on PPC on one product and I was losing money. So I kind of cut it down and next thing you know, I’m profitable. But yeah, so it, October of 2019 was when I was approached, I started looking into that a little bit more and was like, okay, well, I have a number in my head and for me to hit that number, I need this much profit. And so that’s when I started, it was October of 2019.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. And then, when you got that first message where you’re like, Holy crap, this is something interesting.

Mitul:

Yeah. This was back again, 2019. So you’re kind of like, who are these people?

Bradley Sutton:

You talked to multiple aggregators at what point were you like, okay. Maybe I’m just like interested to hear what people have to offer, but then you’re like, you know what, I’m going to do this now. It’s just a matter of, let me pick who I want to work with.

Mitul:

And I think it was important that I listened to, I heard offers, or at least got expectations from a couple of aggregators. Because that kind of opened my eyes, because it was one of those things where they make you sound like, as Ryan Moran puts it, the hot girl at the dance, and then you get the offer and you’re kind of like, Oh, that’s not that great. And so in my head, this is what I thought I had and what their offer their offer didn’t really match that. So I was like, okay, well I need some time. Let’s figure some stuff out, let’s get things going. And then, about six months later, my broker who actually is, was the guy who got me into Amazon as well. He was like, Hey, Mitul, your numbers are at where you want it to be. And I was like, all right, let’s go and see what’s out there. So he sent out an email to his list. An aggregator contacted him. We talked to them, they came, they love the business. They were really interested. They gave me an offer, the offer in my mind wasn’t great. Wasn’t what I wanted.

Bradley Sutton:

How did you come up with something in your mind, in the first place, like where you multiplying it something from your profit or from your gross revenue plus your inventory. Like how do you even come up with a number in the first place?

Mitul:

So the number in my head was this was after taxes, I would have three buckets and those three buckets would have this much money in it. And I can do one bucket I can put towards a new business, one bucket I could put towards like long-term retirement, and another bucket I could use for like, I don’t know if I wanted to buy a new house or whatever, just like short-term savings investments, whatever it was. So in my head, it was this very like clean, clean formula. And I knew for me to get that I had to have, so I have to sell it for X amount. And it was, and so it was like, okay, this is my number. And I knew it was worth that, like, it wasn’t this like crazy number. I think the multiple came out to be like 3.4, 3.5. So I knew it was still within the realm of what Amazon businesses at my size were selling for. So that’s kind of where that number came in. And the first the one that I got, I was like, okay, so best case scenario, you hit my minimum number and that just didn’t fly with me. Because it was like, it was one of those, it’s best case. So if it’s worst case, I’m definitely not hitting my number. So said, no said, all right, let’s take this back. I’m going to grow this. And at that time, Amazon started sharing reviews across the world. And so, that was a game changer. And so I was like, all right, I’m going to start launching and all these other countries. And then a friend of mine, who’s a lawyer was like, Hey, Mitul. Like I’ve got this buyer, who’s interested. You want to talk to them? And I said I was like, okay, let’s talk to them. We talked to them, came out with this with a deal that I loved. It was great. And then the day I was supposed to get an LOI, this other company was, we had a meeting with them and they were really interested. And then they gave me an offer that wasn’t as good as the other company. But I had confidence that they knew Amazon. So the first company didn’t know Amazon. The second one did, the offer was lower, but I knew they knew Amazon.

Bradley Sutton:

It’s kind of like, Hey, this is your baby, your brand that you develop, you want to see it go in the toilet or something, you’d like to see it live on. I’m assuming that’s kind of like part of your thought process. Right. And picking somebody who knows Amazon.

Mitul:

Yep. And the deal I reached out to, I still have equity, so I still have part ownership of that company.

Bradley Sutton:

Oh, nice. Yep. Didn’t know that. Cool. So then deal was closed when?

Mitul:

December 22nd.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. So, just a few months ago. And then what happens? I’ve never been part of a transaction like this, like the deal is closed. You get one big fat check or, what’s the process like for transferring the Amazon accounts to them and stuff like that?

Mitul:

So this, I’ve heard multiple things, but the way these guys did it was, you transfer the account over like a week period. So, they come in through your computer and they’ll change like the business name and the bank account and things like that. And then you wait a couple of days and then they’ll change the password and the credit card, and then you wait another few days and then they log in on their side and make sure everything’s okay. And once that’s okay, then they release a certain percentage. And so then all of a sudden, on that day I got a million dollar deposit in my bank account, which was amazing, is very nerve wracking because you’re always worried like you gave him the wrong account number.

Bradley Sutton:

Yep. Where you like refreshing your online banking and stuff.

Mitul:

I was like, all right, tell me when you’re sending it. All right. Let’s say, because I always, usually, if it’s in a new account, I always test it by sending a dollar. This is how I do things, but they don’t do that. So then I had to wait another, like three weeks for that, my trademark to transfer, and then I got the rest of the money.

Bradley Sutton:

How does it work now? Like, is your– I don’t know what you call it dividends or whatever, based on the profitability of the product, or is it just based on gross sales or what?

Mitul:

It’s I mean, just like any business, right. I own a certain percentage of the business, so whatever the profits are of that business, I’ll get 16%.

Bradley Sutton:

That’s decent.

Mitul:

Yeah. And the way it’s working with them is I actually won’t see any of that money for four years because they have two or three years. So I have an option at three years for them to buy me out. And then at four years, they have an option to buy me out. So I figure at least for four years I’ll be with them. And then all that money kind of gets lumped up and we’ll get distributed at the four year mark.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay, cool. Cool. Now what– you got that big amount of money in your bank account? What does somebody like? I mean, I’m assuming, I don’t know. You might be independently wealthy. I’m assuming that’s the first time you’ve seen such a number in your bank account. What is somebody who has never experienced that level of cash before? What do you do– did you put it into investments? Did your mind start racing on like, am I just going to start this all over again on Amazon? I kind of know a little bit of what you’ve done with, and we’re going to talk about that in a few minutes, but immediately after that, what’s the next step?

Mitul:

So, I always, I like to say like, I got a lot of money, but I don’t have a lot of money. It’s good. It’s definitely a huge chunk of money, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not tight. It’s not the type of money where I can retire. Like I’m not going to survive the next 60 years of my life with it. And so someone told me very wisely takes, when you have something like this take, decide on a number, take some money. And so in my case, it was like $10,000 and spend it, like, spend it on something. Because I think our natural tendency is to just like go crazy. And then now, six months later you’re broke. And so I was like, okay, I’ll take that 10 grand and let’s go buy something or spend it and you know what I spent it on. And then the rest of it, I was just like, let’s just let it sit, give it a couple months, like let all the emotions kind of settle down and things like that. So that’s kind of what I’ve done. I’ve just kind of left it in my business banking account. Nothing too exciting. I know I’m kind of a little–

Bradley Sutton:

That’s fine. That’s good. Sometimes the exciting things buying Lamborghini’s and stuff like that. That’s not necessarily a good thing. That’s what puts you back in the hole. Okay. So, let’s talk about baseball cards. Yep. You’re the sole reason why I’m about $30,000 lighter myself over the last few months, but all of a sudden, I hadn’t been in contact with you that much because I wasn’t using the Zonblast service anymore and it wasn’t in that Facebook group. So it wasn’t really, our paths weren’t crossing, you were obviously out of Amazon now, but then I would see, I don’t know why, like I don’t follow anybody on my Facebook. Like I have 5,000 friends, I think just because of the old Zumba days. But every single one, I always unfollow. I’ll friend people, but I don’t want– the only things I want in my newsfeed are my Facebook groups, like the Helium 10 groups and stuff like that. But for whatever reason, I guess I had friended you a long time ago and I never unfollowed you because maybe you’d never posted, I never realized unfollow you. But then all of a sudden you started popping up and you were like showing off these cards that are like 10 and 15,000 or something. This is interesting. Like, when I was younger, I used to have like a mini baseball card business. Even when I was in high school, I would set up at shows and buy boxes and sell them and I would collect and all that stuff. But I hadn’t been in it in 20 years and I had no idea that things had blown up last year like they did. Now, did you only, like at what point did you get into investing in sports cards?

Mitul:

I actually, so I got in like four months before everything blew up. But I got in because I collecting cards. That was the sole reason I got back into it. And I hadn’t done it in like 10, 15 years. And so I, everything was brand new to me, so I was kind of learning everything all over again, all the new brands, things like that. And that was December of 2019, November, December around there is when I started getting back into it. And then like March, April is when it kind of like, just blew up,

Bradley Sutton:

You got into it because you like collecting it. Wasn’t like you saw some kind of trend and you’re like, Aw, man, this is about to blow up. I need to invest.

Mitul:

No, no. Yeah. It was just a, Hey, I like, I needed a hobby.

Bradley Sutton:

How much do you think you’ve invested now or you’ve spent since that time on sports cards?

Mitul:

Yeah. I’m probably somewhere in the 200 to 300K range.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. Now, have you started selling them or like, are you actively selling like certain things or has this been all spending and I’m just, you’re just accumulating stuff as an investment and then maybe going to sell it later.

Mitul:

I have sold stuff. I’ve got a lot of stuff that I’m holding. I do break, which is where you buy a box of cards and then you sell spots and let other people kind of get a fraction of whatever you’re breaking and it’s random, it’s sort of fun to do, you don’t have to pay the full price of a box because hobby boxes are ridiculously priced now. And so I’ve done some of that, a lot of stuff I’ve done is grading. And so there’s a lot of, I have, I’ve probably 300 cards that are over at this company called PSA waiting to get graded. So a lot of my investment is kind of just sitting on my desk.

Bradley Sutton:

Yeah. And then some of that, I mean, even all this time that it’s been at PSA, you’re looking at prices and I’m assuming some have possibly even doubled in price just in the last few months.

Mitul:

Some of these, yeah. It’s crazy. They’re just the, I can’t even explain it there’s I think you come from, when I was a kid, I pulled this Michael Jordan basketball card insert, that was where $60, and the other day I hit a car that’s 6,000. So it’s like–

Bradley Sutton:

Same, you saw my Zion gold wave that I hit, not even that, but it’s like the most ridiculous feeling euphoria you could possibly ever have guys when that happens.

Mitul:

And that’s not even your first one, your first one was that contenders. That’s like 10,000, for a card. So it’s–

Bradley Sutton:

Yeah. 15 years ago. That’s unheard of, right. Like, I mean like, okay. Maybe I had a Michael Jordan rookie and then 10 years later, it became worth $10,000. But like, I don’t remember, at no point before, like three years ago where it’s just like a brand new card that just launched it already has that kind of value.

Mitul:

And I, we, Brandon Young and I, kind of went in on this one car one break and we hit a Zion rookie card and we just sold that at auction. And it ended up at $44,000.

Bradley Sutton:

One card, $44,000. Wow. What card was that?

Mitul:

And Zion rookie patch autograph. It was number two of three, I think. And that was probably what you saw because–

Bradley Sutton:

Yeah, that probably was the one I saw him. Because I think you had tagged him in that post that I saw that got me all inspired. So like, let’s say, of course for me I’m doing it because it’s, I never got into the stock market. I don’t invest in real estate. Should I? I don’t know, but I understand the importance of investment. There’s just never been something that seemed somewhat stable enough or even fun for me to do, but this is just like so much fun. Like I do it with my son, my son is 16 and he really loves it, but if you do it right, I mean, I think it’s a great way of investment because, as long as you’re just not gambling and just doing breaks and just taking a chance to try and hitting those 10 and $44,000 cards. I mean, a lot of this stuff is only going up in value because it’s scarce, they’re one out of 10 there’s stuff. That’s one out of 50. So it’s not like the market’s going to bottom out. And all of a sudden a $10,000 card is only going to be worth $500.

Mitul:

Right. Yeah. I mean, just Michael Jordan rookie cards doubled in like five weeks.

Bradley Sutton:

Wow. So then how, like, let’s say somebody else, maybe they sold their Amazon business like you, or maybe they’re like, Hey, I’m selling on Amazon. I’m making some profit, do I invest in an Airbnb property that I can make some money in or should I go into Bitcoin or something? Can you pitch the idea about like, Hey, why don’t you consider sports cards? And if so, what would be the path that you would suggest on how somebody new to the industry can kind of break no pun intended, but break into it?

Mitul:

Yeah. So I think the– and what you said like there’s a component of gambling that you have to be very careful with when it comes to the card market, and just like you said, there’s a euphoria to buying a box or buying into a break and then hitting that big card. And you can go down a rabbit hole very, very, very quickly. And so I think the first thing you need to do is one, you have to learn the product itself and the product in this case, there’s multiple, there’s one, there’s the players. Right. And then there’s the actual product. So just to give you an example, you have for basketball, you have a product called prism, and then you have another one called optic, and then you have another one called score. And of those three, scores kind of a very cheap brand, it’s kind of more geared towards kids. You really don’t want to get into that, unless you’re doing it for fun, that’s like, that’s purely for fun. A prison box is going to cost you a thousand dollars. And learning those nuances, It takes a long time. It took me a long time anyway, just because, I wasn’t looking at it from an investment standpoint, but I was just kind of having fun. But then I, over the course of the last year, I’ve kind of learned which products people want, which products are good for grading, because that’s another way to make money is you get, you get a card and you get it graded. And if it grades a 10, then your $20 card just became $400. The other path is you can buy product and just hold it. If anyone is a fan of Patrick Mahomes, because of his success, the 2017, 2018 products, they command a high premium, if you want to buy a box because people are chasing his rookie card, and then there’s veterans like Michael Jordan, LeBron James in basketball, those guys will always command demand. Um, yeah. And so it’s kind of just learning the product, learning who they are learning that rookies are key, if you get a drew breeze, right. Great quarterback. Yeah. But his, his cards aren’t really worth that much money because it’s not his rookie card. Whereas like a rookie quarterback who isn’t really proven will be worth more. And then within those, within those products, there’s different parallels, there’s like you said, there’s the numbered cards. There’s one of tens, one of twenties, things like that.

Bradley Sutton:

All right, everybody quick break for this episode for my BTS, Bradley’s 30-second tip here is my tip for the episode. We’ve been talking a little bit about baseball cards. Now, if you want to get started in this, or maybe even for your kids here is something that almost anybody can do. If you’re living in the United States, you’ve probably got a Walmart or a target nearby. What you do is, go to the target or Walmart and see what day that they restock their baseball and football cards and basketball cards. And then come to the store early that day. Now a lot of targets and some Walmarts, sometimes they have somebody standing out there, kind of like black Friday where you can give them your name and number and get in line in order to get just a limited amount of whatever they restock because these things sell out. As soon as this store opens. Now, what you’re looking for is going to be different depending on when you listen to this episode, right now it’s these things called optic football. Those are great things that you can buy for like 30 bucks at target and flip them the same day for over a hundred dollars on Ebay. Sometimes you can like hold on boxes for a couple of years as an investment and make tons of money. There was some Bowman boxes that I just bought. I bought a couple of them for $1,600 each. And somebody had paid in 2015 or 2016 at a target like 20 bucks for these. So there’s different ways you can invest, but if you want to just make a quick buck right now, just start going to the Targets and Walmarts and look for the sets that are selling out that you can flip for sometimes two and three times as much on eBay.

Bradley Sutton:

I think it was Brandon who was saying, man, PJ Washington just dropped 40 points in a game, boom, like right away on eBay, something like that happens. You see his car cards double in price. Now, his cards weren’t that worth or didn’t cost that much in the first place, but it’s kind of like the stock market. You look for things that are happening and then you can kind of predict, where the market is going to go. And so it’s just like hitting things at the sweet spot. Like, I, unfortunately, I forgot to invest in this there’s this pitcher who’s hasn’t been able to pitch in like a year because he had Tommy John surgery named Otani and now he’s coming back and I forgot to be watching his progress. But what happened was an article came out last week. He pitches first spring training or something in it. And there’s an article that came out, Oh, he’s throwing 97 miles an hour. Boom. I was too late. Like two days after the article came out, all his cards had already doubled in price just in that week alone. Now had I been a little more foresight, I would’ve just like, Hey, buy low. People forgot about this guy because he hasn’t been playing. And let me go ahead and stock up. And then boom, I could have just literally doubled my money in a couple, like a few weeks of time if I had done that. So it’s really exciting guys, we could probably have done a whole episode just on this, but look up YouTube videos, you know, Gary V is really into this. He’s been talking about cards for a long time, but if you Amazon sellers out there are looking for something that’s fun to do, and you know, something where you know, that there’s a potential of making money look into how to invest a sports card, like Mitul mention. You could buy an open boxes, you can, and then sit on them and then, flip them in a couple of years, you can invest in players, you think are on the rise. I mean, there’s lots of different ways, but it’s, I’m telling you from personal experience, and sounds like Mitul is as well. It’s a really fun way to kind of like an invest your money. Now, what’s your plans, now we’re in 2021, I see you active in the sports card community. I’m assuming that’s not going to be your new full-time gig. Like, are you ever going to go and try and start again on Amazon?

Mitul:

Yeah, so I actually, It’s funny because I was going to say this one of the benefits of the sports card industry or the hobby itself and me being in it. And so immerse is I actually found an opportunity possibly to kind of build something for them, from a software standpoint. So I’m working on that. And then I am starting a new Amazon brand that I’ll be launching hopefully in a month or two.

Bradley Sutton:

You already picked a pick the product?

Mitul:

Yeah. It was actually going to be part of my old brand, but because it was a niche of products. I was able to just kind of take them and make their own brand out of it. Yeah. And so we’ll be launching that in about a month or two, I’m waiting for it. It’s on a ship and with shipping nowadays, who knows when I’ll get it.

Bradley Sutton:

You’re going to have to restart your Helium 10 subscription.

Mitul:

I never stopped it. And then in the mean time, one of the things that I learned while selling my business was that there was kind of a gap in the arena of brokers help, like the seller’s side in the selling process. You have brokers and they’re great. And my broker was great as well, but when you’re a seller and you’re selling a business and you don’t know anything like it’s kind of scary. It’s like, Oh, am I doing it right. And things like that. So anyway, so over the last couple of months, I’ve kind of started helping other sellers sell their business. We’ve been talking, we’ve been getting them better deals– we actually had two deals go through we’re under LOI where one of them was going to sell to an aggregator. And I said, Hey, just give me a shot. And we ended up getting him a 20% higher offer, and then this other deal, it was like, he just got, it’s an amazing deal. I can’t really go into the specifics, but it’s like ridiculous. And so I’ve been helping sellers do that. So I’m kind of just like have my hand in a few different things, but we’ll see what the actual long-term thing will be.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay, cool. I like it. Now, there’s something we do on this podcast. We called the TST or the T S T 30-second tip. So you’ve talked about some strategies that helped you along the way with your Amazon business, about what helped you scale, you ended up having an exit, you could have a strategy that was based on your product research that you could maybe give us, or it could be about evaluating your company, or it could be about sports cards or like whatever you want, something you can say in around 30 seconds or less for our listeners.

Mitul:

So I think from an Amazon perspective, if I could give a tip and this is what I am going to be doing and what I will be, what I have always talked about doing for the last two, three years, and that’s getting off of Amazon. And I know that won’t work for everyone based on your products, but I think getting off of Amazon building a brand off Amazon is massive, and now, like I’m just seeing crazy things going on with Tik Tok. And I think if you could utilize Tik Tok in some sort of way to promote your business and your brand, that’s what I would do. I think it just provides you more freedom. Like my biggest fear was Amazon shutting me down. And then where would I be? You know, I had to provide for my wife, my child, like it was, it kept me up at night and that’s actually one of the reasons why I sold. If I had a brand that I wasn’t reliant on Amazon, I definitely would have sold. And that’s how I’m building my new brand. Like I’m building an off Amazon brand that just happens to utilize Amazon first.

Bradley Sutton:

Cool. Cool. All right. I like it. I like it. Now, if people want to, maybe reach out to you to get some more information on the sports car thing or just to hit you up for it for some advice, like you actually have a face– is it your own Facebook group that you manage for this?

Mitul:

No, I don’t. You can just message me.

Bradley Sutton:

Spell out your name really quick so people can find you on.

Mitul:

Yeah. M I T U L last name is Patel, P A T E L. There might be a lot of us.

Bradley Sutton:

The newest member of my team is named– her name is Shivali Patel.

Mitul:

So I am in the Helium 10 Facebook group as well. So, you can find me there.

Bradley Sutton:

All right, cool. So, yeah. And whenever you find his different Facebook groups that he’s in, you might see him breaking some boxes open for me. We’ve done that live on a couple of times and you guys can give it a try. He’s got some, what is it, 2017 tops basketball that I’ve broken out. He might be able to open for you guys. All right. Mitul, well, thank you so much for coming on the show and giving us both your Amazon ads and sports card insights here. We appreciate it. And I’d love to reach out to you may be in a year or so. And let’s just see, maybe you’ve already built up your brand new Amazon business to another seven figure business.

Mitul:

Yeah, that’d be great. Thanks for having me, Bradley.


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