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#209 – 7 Figure Shopify Sellers Pivot to Amazon – Here is Their Story

These two e-commerce veterans were 7 figure Shopify sellers. Now they’re on Amazon & crushing it. Here is the story of their transformation
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Helium 10 The Helium 10 Software
37 minutes read

Amazon has such an outsized role in e-commerce that it’s easy to forget that there are other platforms. In this episode of the Serious Sellers Podcast, Helium 10’s Director of Training and Chief Evangelist, Bradley Sutton welcomes two veteran e-commerce sellers who know all about life off of Amazon. 

Dwight Gelowitz and Dan Schulz built 7 figure Shopify businesses making use of Facebook marketing tactics. After pivoting to Amazon, they picked up where they left off, and have put together a formidable presence on the e-commerce giant’s marketplace. 

As Amazon seller coaches and in their own lives, they aren’t afraid of a good time. When it comes to business however, they like to say that “ad spend won’t rescue a bad listing,” and promote the idea that Amazon sellers need to “engage in conversations that the buyers themselves are already having.”

These are two skilled Amazon sellers (and coaches) that have the ability to combine fun and games with the business knowledge and focus that helps create online success. 

They’re here to talk about their Amazon journey and have helpful information and tactics to offer to e-commerce sellers of all levels. 

In episode 209 of the Serious Sellers Podcast, Bradley, Dwight, and Dan discuss:

  • 02:00 – Dan – “I Wasn’t Going to Take Over the Farm”
  • 03:24 – No Pro Hockey for Dwight
  • 04:53 – Getting Started with E-Commerce
  • 07:47 – Selling Millions on Shopify Using Facebook Ads 
  • 11:52 – Spending More than Their Product Warranted 
  • 14:06 – Ad Spend Won’t Rescue a Bad Listing 
  • 16:22 – Working with a Partner 
  • 17:52 – Keeping Good Cigars in the Humidor with Amazon  
  • 21:25 – How Do We Differentiate?   
  • 25:24 – Reverse Engineering Success
  • 27:23 – What are Their Product Research Strategies for 2021?
  • 29:39 – Entering a Conversation that the Buyers are Already Having
  • 30:50 – Taking Advantage of Pinterest 
  • 34:22 – Learning to Negotiate Through Relationships    
  • 37:38 – How to Contact Dwight and Dan (and a Free Video)

Transcript

Bradley Sutton:

These two e-commerce veterans were seven figure Shopify sellers before they even got on Amazon. We’re going to learn some of their successes and their struggles along the way to building their Amazon business up. 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 I’ve got a couple of serious or unserious sellers here, Dan and Dwight. We’re going to age ourselves here, but you remember in the Olympics, like what was it? 30 years ago? What was it, Dan versus Dave or something like that?

Dan:

Yeah, that was me and Dwight. Absolutely.

Bradley Sutton:

Oh, that was you. That was you and Dwight.

Dwight:

He said this is a BS free zone, Dan. I think we’re in the wrong place.

Bradley Sutton:

What? Well, it’s BS free other than there’s Bradley Sutton right here, but hopefully, that’s the only BS that we have now.

Dan:

You’re the king of the BS.

Bradley Sutton:

Indeed, indeed. Anyways, we always start off this shows because regardless of your Amazon sellers, whoever I have on this show is somewhat related to the e-commerce world. And I love highlighting the fact that we all had different superhero origin stories. We come from completely different backgrounds and things. So let me start with Dan, where were you born and raised?

Dan:

Wisconsin? Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and then I grew up on a farm.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. So growing up, was the life ambition to take over your family farm, or become a green Bay packer quarterback, or what was it?

Dan:

It was to become a quarterback. But then I realized I was too fat and uncoordinated, so, but I definitely was not going to take over the farm because, but here’s the thing that, well, you kind of know me, but it’s like, I will, I’m not a big fan of the work. I’m like, I don’t like burning the calories, and life on a farm is all about burning calories.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. So if you definitely did not want that to be part of your future. So, when you graduated high school, did you go into college at all?

Dan:

Yeah. I spent eight or nine years in college. Absolutely.

Bradley Sutton:

Well, what were you trying to study?

Dan:

I was, again, trying not to get a job, like I enjoyed school. Didn’t really enjoy the school part, but I liked drinking beer, like hanging out with my buddies and that was kind of it.

Bradley Sutton:

Well, we’re talking about college, not high school. I hope, right? When you say school?

Dan:

Sure, sure. Absolutely.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. Okay.

Dan:

Barely drinking at all in high school. In fact, let’s just say never.

Bradley Sutton:

There you go. All right. Well, we’ll catch up with your story in a little bit, but let’s catch up with Dwight first. Where were you born and raised, Dwight?

Dwight:

Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada,

Bradley Sutton:

Canada. All right. I don’t pick that up much in your accent. So do you spend all your life there?

Dwight:

I have spent my entire life in Canada. That’s correct.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. Now, what did you envision your– when you’re nine years old, 10 years old, hockey player, or that’s a stereotypical thing that you think that you have a dream as a Canadian?

Dwight:

As nine years old, I knew I couldn’t skate. So hockey was definitely,

Bradley Sutton:

I like how both of you were very realistic about your athletic capabilities.

Dan:

Yeah. We knew we were not going to amount too much, Bradley.

Dwight:

That’s right.

Bradley Sutton:

So, Dwight, did you go to, well, do you guys call it university up there in Canada, instead of college.

Dwight:

Yeah, we have college and university, we have like different levels of college and university. And I went straight through university and one weekend I sat right through the front door, into the back where the bar was and we were there all weekend. University done.

Bradley Sutton:

You’re like enough of this. All right. So going back to Dan, well, after your 16 years of college, What was your first like full-time job?

Dan:

Let’s see. Well, I wanted to pay my way through college, so I was always kind of an entrepreneur. So, I created a magazine in Green Bay, Wisconsin. I did go to college at the University of Wisconsin Green Bay, and I made a magazine that I published out of my apartment. And I would just sell ads to local businesses. That’s kind of me got me into just help pay the bills.

Bradley Sutton:

How did you get introduced shall I say to the Amazon e-commerce experience? Like what year are we talking?

Dan:

Well, I guess, let me think it was probably, so I had during this time, my kidneys failed. So, I was in– I had to have dialysis, and Dwight and I worked together before it through bring it up a little bit or doing some other business ventures. And my kidneys started to fail and the dialysis wasn’t working, I finally got this call to get a kidney. And when I came out of getting the kidney transplant, the doctors said, listen, we want you to take it easy right away. And that means you can’t work hard and go, got it. Absolutely. I’m down for that.

Bradley Sutton:

Don’t threaten me with a good time.

Dan:

So I called Dwight and I said, Hey, man, let’s find something to do. And I think this Amazon thing might be it. Have you heard of it? And he said, Amazon, no, haven’t heard of it. What is it? And then I send him a link and then the rest is history.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. So is this a couple of years ago? Last year? three years ago?

Bradley Sutton:

Yeah, I think. What was it, Dwight? Probably about three years ago. Two years ago.

Dwight:

God, it’s three long years ago? Yeah.

Bradley Sutton:

Cool. Now, Dwight, what about you? What was your gainful employment after your two days of university?

Dwight:

Well, I guess I did that. I had worked at a video rental store and I thought, Oh, this is my life. I could sit here and watch movies all day. But that got old really quick. So I actually decided I was always good at computers. So I decided I would get into the IT business. And I got a job in a IT department, even though I had no schooling, no formal education, I got into IT and I spent 10 years doing that. And then an opportunity came to take a lay off because the job that I was doing was being moved to another location and I started my own business and I’ve been self-employed ever since.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. How did you two meet?

Dwight:

Dan? Dan bought one of the software products that I had developed for one of the companies he was working for and we just kind of hooked up and got to be friends. And ultimately I hired Dan to work for me in one of my businesses. And we’ve been pretty much inseparable since then.

Bradley Sutton:

A lot of our listeners, they probably might be in a similar situation. Like they’ve just heard about Amazon, they’ve got a buddy, like, Hey, let’s do this thing. That actually was the story of our founders.

Dan:

It was a little different. So what– one of the companies that the main thing that we were working on, like we were really, really successful selling t-shirts and shoes and coffee cups on Shopify and using Facebook ads. I mean, millions of dollars in sales multiple years. And the reality was we did so good at it. Dwight retired and–

Bradley Sutton:

Did you say millions of dollars?

Dwight:

Yeah, we had a seven figure three, four years in a row, seven figure sales in our previous business. And I sold that business and retired, and then Dan’s like, God, man, you got to save me. I got to come, we’ve got to do something together.

Dan:

I got to do something, but I can’t work that hard. You know me.

Dwight:

As long as I don’t have to do anything. We’re good. Yeah.

Dan:

So, and then we ended up doing– one of the reasons we got out of the whole Shopify thing was because it is– we were chasing trends, we were making t-shirts. So somebody would say something funny, we’d put it on a t-shirt sell 4 billion of them. Right. And it got to be really just tiring because although we were making just sale after sale, after sale, it was just kind of hard. I mean, we kind of kid that we’re both lazy. I mean, we work hard enough, but literally aren’t enough. And then not much more than that. And during this time, on Shopify, the margins were pretty razor thin and we ended up, we were getting most of our stuff in America and we started to have to go to China and that’s kind of where we get into one area of this. We had to get really good at, you know, negotiating with products in China. And so that was just something we happened to be decent at. And then when I did call Dwight, I said, listen, we should maybe like the thing that sucked about selling on Shopify with the Facebook ads, was it, it just up and down, up and down, up and down. Sometimes Facebook liked us and they’d give us a decent prices for ads. Sometimes they didn’t. And we got to, I want to say it was a black Friday. I don’t know how many years ago now. And they all seem to blend together, but we were set to spend 250 grand during black Friday and cyber Monday, that week and a half. And we ended up spending 5,000 in ads and realize like, Oh, Facebook is doing their typical BS again, let’s just not spend a quarter of a million dollars. Let’s just be done with this because it was like, it was hard to go do that up and down, up and down. And when I talked to Dwight, I said, let’s just, Amazon is just so stable. You don’t have to sell anything fun or exciting. Let’s just go and find a spatula or something and sell it and people will buy it every day. And that’ll be that.

Bradley Sutton:

So, your first kind of business model for Amazon, because obviously, there’s wholesale, there’s arbitrage, there’s drop shipping was private labels since you guys had that experience with making your own products already, right?

Dwight:

Yeah, exactly.

Bradley Sutton:

Are you still selling that product today? That very first one?

Dwight:

Yeah, as a matter of fact, that is our primary products still.

Bradley Sutton:

Wow, so your very first product that you started selling, what are we talking? 2017, 2018?

Dwight:

What is, what year is it now? 2021? Yeah. It was 2018. We started selling that.

Bradley Sutton:

That’s pretty cool. So that means, that must mean you had success right off the bat?

Dwight:

No. Not true.

Dan:

Well, I mean, okay. Like part of it we got through. We got the decent product and we got the negotiating, the negotiating part down, and that’s kind of like a big part of the battle. But then after that, it’s like, okay, now all we have to do is sell this. And if we sell it, we’ll make a lot of money because we’re getting at a decent price. It’s a decent product. We’re good. Except now what?

Dwight:

Except here’s the issue. We come from a Shopify Facebook ad environment. Amazon’s nothing like that. We thought we knew better. Right. So, were we successful in being able to sell our first product? Yes. The product sold. No problem. Were we able to be profitable selling that first product in the beginning? No, we were not. We had some real issues with pay-per-click and spending more than our profit allowed, but because we thought we knew better than Jeff Bezos and Amazon because we’d done it and done so well with it in the past.

Bradley Sutton:

So, then let’s just talk about that. Because I know there’s a lot of listeners out there who might have gone the opposite. Like you guys, most people who get into Amazon, they do Amazon is like their first taste of e-commerce and then they diversify to Shopify or their own websites or Facebook or things. But you guys kind of did it the opposite way. So how did, how was that a hindrance? Like what did you do? Like you said, thinking that you knew better because of that Shopify background, that didn’t work on Amazon.

Dan:

We basically, like we took some courses, we learned some stuff and we’re just like, everybody seems to be afraid to spend money right? Now when we were making all the money on Shopify, we were spending anywhere between 6,000 and $15,000 a day in ad spend. Okay. We were never afraid to spend money to make money. Yeah. That, whereas you start to spend a little bit more money on Amazon doesn’t mean you’re going to become profitable at the end of the day. Right? There’s no, I don’t know, no correlation between either you’re getting the sales, your product listing is converting. It says the right things to get people to buy you versus your competition and that sort of thing, or it doesn’t. The amount of money you spend is not going to help you if your listing sucks.

Bradley Sutton:

So then what was the big change? What was the big shift then of when you became profitable? Was it just about dialing in your PPC strategy to be completely different? Or what did that–

Dwight:

It was learning to weigh was one thing because, and the fact that you need to, to spend money over a longer period of time, because ultimately on the PPC side, you can use the PPC advertising reports to get back what advertising dollars and what keywords generated those dollars. You still have issues with organic sales and not knowing from which keywords got your organic sales for you, but they’re pretty good at telling you which keywords were generating your advertising dollars.

Bradley Sutton:

All right, guys, we’ll take a quick break from this episode for my BTS. Remember, that can mean Bradley’s 30 seconds or it can mean Brexit taxes suck, whatever you want it to mean. Here is my 30-second tip for the episode, if you are selling on Amazon USA, and you’d like to go ahead and have your listings available in Amazon Canada, and potentially Amazon Mexico, without actually sending inventory to those countries, fulfillment centers, you can enroll in something that Amazon calls remote fulfillment. So just go into your seller central in one of those search bars type in remote fulfillment, and then you’ll be able to enroll in it. And then using your Amazon USA FBA inventory, you will be able to have your listings fulfilled even in Canada and Mexico.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. All right. Good to know. Now, just out of curiosity, you guys are kind of proud of the fact that you try not to work too hard. And I think that’s the goal of everybody eventually like, Hey, we understand Amazon’s a real business. You can’t just like click two buttons and then become a millionaire. It takes effort. But then we all want to get to the point where, Hey, if I want to, I don’t need to work nine hours today on my Amazon listings, how much time are you guys each putting into your Amazon businesses?

Dan:

So the problem with working with a partner is that the other one always assumes the other one’s doing it. And it’s like, Hey, how do we run out of stock? And, I know you got to order it. I thought you were ordering it. Okay. Fast forward to next week. Why are there no sales? We ran out of stock, remember, Oh, I thought you were going to order it. Oh yeah. I thought you were going to order it. Fast forward another month. Hey, notice we haven’t made any money lately. Oh yeah. Did you ever order those? No. I thought you were doing it. And it’s just like, it’s like every part of the business is that sometimes when you’re working with a partner, at least that’s our experience, but that’s the hardest part about it. We don’t spend a ton of like, we spend a ton of time doing coaching or helping people learn or like be, you came on our live stream a couple of times about it’s all about like we’re doing pretty good. Now those things do the majority of our time, if we were to separate the Amazon selling portion of what we do, we literally could spend a few minutes, four days a week, and then maybe an hour, one day a week. And that’s our entire work week for the Amazon store at this point in our–

Bradley Sutton:

Yeah, because I mean, that’s– you’re not, you guys made your money or you’re semi-retired and you’re not this to live paycheck to paycheck.

Dwight:

And we’re also not trying to build up a multi eight figure business on, on Amazon, or just kind of doing this to keep us in– I like to smoke good cigars. And I told my wife, I’m not going to take because I built our retirement the way that I wanted my retirement to be, so we could travel. So we could do all of this sort of stuff. So everything is kind of set up that if I want to have good cigars in my humidor, I got to replenish those good cigars. I got to do something. So I’m out– this is what the Amazon store does for me. It brings me income. That’s kind of on top of everything else that I’ve built so that I don’t have really any issues with if I want to spend extra money on this or go here and extra time a year or whatever, there’s just, it’s kind of my fun money.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. So, now if somebody is taking it a little bit more seriously because it’s like, we didn’t make millions of dollars. One of the things that Dan mentioned is like the organization site, like, Hey, especially, I mean, if you guys were partners and you lived in the same city and worked in the same office, obviously the things that Dan was saying wouldn’t have come up because you guys aren’t next to each other. And that’s the world. I think we live in now and not just about Amazon businesses, but almost everything seems to be remote. So speaking seriously though, how do you guys different your assigned responsible, like, is it just one person’s job to order the product? Is it the other person’s job to check PPC? Or is it like whoever gets to it first? How do you structure that so what Dan was saying joking or not, so that those things don’t happen?

Dwight:

We don’t have formal kind of formal responsibilities, like where they’re outlined somewhere, whatever, it’s just kind of the way we’ve always worked. My focus in the business is always been the money. So I pay all the bills. I track all of the sales. I make sure that we’re not overspending our budgets. Dan does a lot of the operational stuff where he’ll do initial research and then we’ll sit down and we’ll go through our framework on the products. Do we want to buy it? How much do we want to buy that kind of stuff? So it’s kind of, it’s just a natural separation because of the things that I have to focus on in my business to maintain the financial structures and paying all the taxes and doing all of that stuff, paying for the inventory, Dan, just, he gets all that stuff done when we’re ready, right.

Bradley Sutton:

Right.

Dwight:

You get the orders, this is what we need to order. I’m dealing with China, I’m talking to get the orders done. Where’s the order. Yeah. Amazon dealing with all that, Dan’s creating listings in the background at this time, dealing with potential ads. If we’re going to do them on Facebook, stuff like that. So that we’re constantly kind of complementing each other. That we’re not overlapping, but we do spend a lot of time conferencing on the issues at hand. So, when we’re talking about ads, we talk about the strategy, the stuff, and then Dan will implement it. Right. That kind of stuff.

Dan:

Right. And the other thing like that we spend a lot of time doing is like, everyone talks about differentiation and it’s obviously key to this. Right. But because we came from a different background, we like, we also just differentiate in like, one of the reasons like Dwight said, like we thought we knew better is that we lost a ton of money on PPC, or that is true, but then there are other things because maybe we were too stupid not to know better. Or we just thought we didn’t want better. We purposely do stuff that’s different. Like, we are one of the biggest things we do together is like, Hey, how can we do this better? How can we actually, or can we market this product? What can we do? How can we change? Could we one point we were going to set up a mall, like a pop-up mall go, Hey, can we do this? I go, if we set up something and just basically have a product and then drive, everyone gets some iPad, some key other, that kind of thing. And then we realized, well, we don’t like people. We don’t like each other. We’re not going to go hang out at a mall, standing there together, waiting for us. But like, we’re always trying to come up with that kind of thing, because what happens in e-commerce or in Amazon, especially, is that because it is, once you do get rolling and don’t want anyone out there to think that we’re not taking any of this for granted, it sucked like it’s hard to build this business. It’s not easy, like Bradley said, but then when it is going, if you do everything right, there’s not a ton of stuff to do. So, that’s where we will go, well, how can we twist this? How can we do this? And then someone will say, well, that won’t work. And then we’ll be like, I don’t know about that. I bet we could do that and then redo it.

Dwight:

And if you go back to what Bradley was asking and says, like for people that are not in the situation that we’re in or that I’m in where they want to build it to a point where they can replace their job or, do this as a full-time thing, because they need that as their income. It’s just about doing it over and over and over again. That’s the big thing. Like once you find the formula, which is finding the right product with the right market and the right competition and doing the differentiation, you’ve kind of got to learn your way through that. You could be taught by coaches like Dan and I, or Bradley. You could be taught how to do it, but until you actually do it, you kind of don’t get some of that stuff I don’t know if that makes sense, but you kind of got to do it. And then you’ve kind of find that formula that works for you. And then you just do it over again and you do it over again and you do it over again. And if you’re picking the right products and each product that you’re picking, whether it has multiple variants or that sort of stuff. If it’s generating you enough profit, and you do that four or five times, is that enough money for you every month? Or do you got to do it five or 10 times? Or do you need 20 products in your store? Do you need a hundred? There’s no limit as to how many products you can put in your Amazon store. For Dan and I, it’s really about getting our hands dirty, making sure we have some consistent income, but it’s not about creating the next billion dollar third-party seller on Amazon. It’s about living our life the way we choose to live it. And so a couple half dozen eight products is more than enough products for me to sell, to have invested in inventory and have to spend making sure I got replenishment and dealing with are my ads work and not work. And you know, that kind of stuff. It’s just, that’s where we’re at. We don’t need more, but if you do need more, maybe you can get 10 products. Each is making you five grand profit a month or 50 grand a month. I mean, who can’t live on that? Right.

Dan:

It’s kind of easy in this business to kind of reverse engineer where you exactly where you want to be. Right. I mean like how much money do you want to make? And I would just do the numbers backwards and get there. Again, knowing that it’s work. I get that after you figure out the process, it’s can be the other thing that I think sometimes people fail at, you know, we’d just been joking. Like our product is, it’s not a spatula, but it might as well be people want to end up buying stuff or selling stuff.

Dwight:

It’s called gold, glittered toilet seats.

Dan:

That’s right. But it’s like, people want, we hear this a lot as coaches. It’s like, I just can’t see myself selling this, like rolling. Right. We wouldn’t like if we could make money selling hemorrhoid pillows on Amazon, we’d be the hemorrhoid pillow kings that don’t get into it. Not saying that because that’s our product. But to say you can’t make a lot of money with the hemorrhoid pillow. So like, if everyone wanted to sell, like all Amazon would be is people selling drones, right? Like but there’s money in spatulas, maybe. I mean, generally speaking.

Bradley Sutton:

So, you guys are obviously still selling on Amazon and you have a lot of exposure out there with other things, just because you’re doing coaching and conferencing with others, tons of other sellers. So let’s just talk, for the last few minutes of the show on some things that you see are working and not working. So let’s just start with maybe product research. So, the big thing for me in 2020 last year of– and I see a lot of people adopting. It was like, man, there’s so much opportunity that you could look at when you’re seeing things that might be saturated on Amazon, but then you look on Etsy and Pinterest and you see maybe there’s a different material that’s trending and it hasn’t hit Amazon yet. So, I kind of pushed that really hard last year. I think even 2021, that’s going to be big. What about you guys and the product research side, what’s something maybe unique that you guys do, or you’ve seen people do that that is definitely working?

Dwight:

Well, I don’t think, I don’t think people spend enough time looking at products that have variations. I think people get into the business. We– I know that Dan and I did when we first started looking at Amazon and the buy and stuff is to find a product that didn’t require me to have 15 versions of it in inventory because of my fear of the cost of the inventory. That’s on hand at Amazon or whatever, but the upside potential of selling products with multiple variations, whether it’s colors or sizes or something like that, I think they need to look at that more seriously. And I think there’s a real high upside to having a product that you can literally just buy another version of it from your existing supplier, where you’ve got a good relationship and you’re getting the best price for the best product, that in the long term, I think that’s going to give you a much more solid base of income or revenue from your Amazon store. And I think they should look into that a little bit.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. Looking for variations. What about on the– let’s say listing optimization side, you guys touched on it, making that emotional connection, but Dan, you have any other unique things that you’re doing with your images or you’ve seen other people do their images, or special bullet point strategy, title strategy. What can you talk about listing optimization?

Dan:

I think one of the easiest way, I think personally to just flip things up, shake things up, not having to do with keywords or anything, because you should be watching your keywords all the time, but it’s just, if you are selling a product that doesn’t have to be seasonal, I’m not saying like, go sell Christmas tree wreaths, or whatever, but if you are selling a product and you can change some pictures and around Thanksgiving time, throw a pumpkin in the background, like the part of marketing always works is it’s just, it’s like one of the rules, if you can enter the conversation that the buyer is already having in their head, that is just instantly they’ll relate to you. So again, if you’re selling a spatula, that’s fine. But if you happen to show your spatula with one of those pumpkins or white gourds kind of on the counter, in the background, they’re instantly going to be like, yeah, it’s Thanksgiving almost, or up Christmas is coming up. I see a sled in the background and it instantly gets them in the mode. And it’s truly one of the easiest things you can do is just pictures just to set kind of a relationship, just get them in the right mindset.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay, cool. I like it. I like it. Dwight, going back to you, what about off Amazon? What’s your number one tip about sending traffic, you can’t use, like you said, you can’t use the same strategy and Hey, let’s spend a quarter of a million dollars on ads, and half of them, or 90% don’t work, but one works and not going to make a billion dollars on Amazon. It doesn’t work like that. So, what is your suggestions for somebody who wants to get started into sending some outside traffic to their Amazon store?

Dwight:

I would personally look at Pinterest. I think it’s the underdog of social media. I think people kind of think of that as all. That’s just kind of a place for women to share pictures of stuff or whatever, but it really, really is a place that people go to search for things they’re interested in buying. They’re not, they don’t, they know they’re not going to buy on Pinterest, but they’re looking for options for when they’re looking to buy something. And you can get into Pinterest and develop your own boards and your own groups. And it’s all free. It’s just your time and developing that platform. So if you’re on a budget and you want to drive off site traffic, which Amazon truly loves when you bring people to Amazon to buy your product. So, when you’re talking about ranking your product or whatever, if you’re driving them from Pinterest or Facebook or Twitter or whatever, and they actually end up on your product and buy it, you get extra love from Amazon for that. But I think that’s a great place to start. And once you kind of understand by using the pictures that you develop on Pinterest to create your product images, to see what are the images that are driving people to click on the image, what are the things that are attractive to your potential customers? You can relate those to your listing images and stuff like that. And it’s just kind of a great place to learn how to interact with the potential customer, which will help you in the long run on your Amazon listing.

Bradley Sutton:

I liked it. I like it. Dan, going back to you, what about any unique things you’ve seen working in PPC? There’s the standard kind of PPC that I think is universal that works, but every now and then you hear it. Oh yeah. I always have a campaign running words, a 5 cent bid and it’s an auto campaign and I get 3% ACoS on it. Like you have any weird strategies you’ve seen?

Dan:

Someone who knows what they’re doing to do it because I would again, that’d be afraid to spend 10 grand in one day on an ad in a Facebook. And here it’s like, I don’t want to spend $5. I don’t know what the hell I’m doing.

Bradley Sutton:

I never touched PPC myself until last year. But yeah.

Dan:

I will give one tip though in all serious. It’s like I kind of mentioned the beginning. Like, one thing that truly did help us and it started back in our Shopify days is that if you can get really good with negotiating with Alibaba suppliers, it is truly where the gold is. I mean, it just, it honest to God is if you get to the point where–

Bradley Sutton:

Wear the gold toilet seat covers.

Dan:

Gold toilet seat. I mean, if you can, I mean, it’s just simple, right? If you can go from paying $15 to $7, well, that’s it, right? I mean like that’s where the money is. The easiest way to raise your ROI is just get better at negotiating. Period.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. Now, hold on. Hold that thought we have this thing that we do on the show called the TST, or the TST 30-second tip. Dan, can you say like a part of the strategy in 30 seconds or less of what you mean by being able to negotiate, like what is one of those strategies of how you can get your price down?

Dan:

So one of the things that’s totally different about our culture and the Chinese culture is that we come across Americans. I’m saying, as we like to just Pat ourselves on the back, we make an initial contact with the suppliers and go, Hey, I’m Johnny big B, I’ve got an awesome Amazon site and I want to get, I’m going to give you the chance to give me your toenail Clippers. And we’re going to put them on my site and you guys should bend over backwards because I don’t need you. Right. And they’re like, who is this a-hole? I don’t want to deal with this idiot. And they’re just going to treat you like an idiot. So the biggest tip, and it sounds like such a no brainer, but nobody does it. Treat the supplier like your friend. Like, I don’t know if you want to say friends, but we’re awesome friends with our suppliers. I mean, they said I had the kidney transplant, our supplier like broke the rules and sent me a case of, and her family’s in Wuhan and she sent me a case of masks and gloves when we could not get them in America. She’d like broke the rules, sent me a case, and said, Oh my God, I hope you’re okay. And it’s because I asked her, how is your family? And you build a real relationship up. And it pays off every time and most people will do that.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. All right, Dwight. What about you? Doesn’t have to be on the negotiation side, but what’s your 30-second tip. Anything e-commerce Amazon related,

Dwight:

I would have to actually stick with the negotiating stuff, but the big thing I find is that people don’t understand that you’re dealing with somebody from another country. They don’t speak your language, right? If you’re dealing with a Chinese supplier, yeah. They may be speak English, but you know what, it’s not their first language. It might not be their second or third language. You got to make sure that you’re speaking in very simple terms when you’re asking them for the quotes or about the product descriptions and stuff like that, you got to speak a very, and don’t overwhelm them with a million questions at one time, because think about it. If somebody sends you an email and there’s a list of 25 things to do, and you got 25 other emails where people are only asking you one or two things, what are you going to do? You’re going to quickly bang out the ones that only have a couple of things that you can get done real quick. And you’re going to wait on that guy. That’s asked you for 50 things. So understand you’re talking to somebody that might not understand your language as well as you do. So don’t use slang, make sure you’re speaking in proper English and just ask for a few things at a time, because it’s the conversation. It’s that relationship that you’re building with them is what they’re looking for is at the end of the day, they want to win, win. They want to get as much money from you as they can, but they also want to have a long term relationship with you, so they can continue to get money from you over a long period of time.

Bradley Sutton:

I like it. I like it. All right, guys, you’ve been giving us a lot of tips and strategies. Maybe people might have more questions. How can they find you on the interwebs out there?

Dan:

So we actually did something for– because we always like when you come on our live stream and we we’re like I said, pretty good at negotiation. We just wanted to give you guys something. We made an 11-video series free of charge for you about how to do negotiating better. Because it’s again when you don’t have a ton of stuff to do with your Amazon business, because it’s kind of knock on wood running, okay. Like to give back and help people. So I forgot the address. What is it, Dwight? Everyone can go in this free video.

Dwight:

What is it? That’s a really good question. It’s nineuacademy.com/Bradley.

Bradley Sutton:

Ooh. Even put my name in there.

Dan:

It was beyond because we were on with Joe Bob bigs. It made no sense.

Bradley Sutton:

Well, at least you didn’t make it a forward slash BS.

Bradley Sutton:

How well that would’ve gone over.

Dwight:

Nineuacademy.com/bradley. And that’ll get you to our free Academy. And from there, you’ll have the ability to reach out to Dan and I, it’s just the easiest way to get through to us.

Bradley Sutton:

Well, I appreciate you guys coming on here and giving us your knowledge and experience. It’s always fun to interact with you guys. And maybe next time the software will be working out of beta. This one that I use. So I can record video because when you guys are on video, somehow, because more funny, you guys have all these special things that you do. And it’s hard to describe, but like they have this one button that they push and like, it puts their face inside of Jeff Bezos, like caricature. It’s like really weird that there’s all this cool stuff. So we’ll definitely have to do that the next time you’re on the podcast.

Bradley Sutton:

You see, they got stuff like that too. I need to get some of these toys. I only have like little, like I can like put laughter, but anyways, all right guys, Dan and Dwight, thank you so much for coming on and we’ll catch you hopefully, 2021 is going to be better than everybody else’s 2020, but we’ll catch you next year and see where you guys are at in your business.

Dwight:

Absolutely.

Dan:

Thanks, man. Bye, everyone.


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