Vladi Gordon – Amazon Seller and Founder, CEO of Sellerboard 014

Vladi Gordon is the founder and CEO of Sellerboard, a financial services tool for Amazon sellers. Today, he shares the story behind the tool and what sellers can learn to improve profit by keeping track of customer insights as they relate to revenue.

Bookkeeping, or stuff like Excel, it’s not the thing that entrepreneurs like most unless, I guess, they’re bookkeepers or owners of bookkeeping companies. – Vladi Gordon

Vladi Gordon – Taking a Shot at Selling

Vladi started out as a seller back in 2015 in Germany. He was working in a software company when he heard of the new trend in online selling, Amazon. He started taking interest in private label products when there was buzz about the virtual reality glasses, Google Cardboard.

When Vladi found a much cheaper alternative to the VR glasses, he ordered ten of them. Because he was the only person in Germany who was selling these glasses, they sold out fast. The same went for the next hundred glasses he put up on his online store.

Curse of Shiny Objects

But like other trendy products, the sales explosion lasted only for as long as the marketplace wasn’t saturated. For a time, fidget spinners and selfie sticks were huge. They never stood the test of time, though.

That’s the problem with trendy products. if you catch the wave, you explode, but then everybody else comes in and the market dies completely. – Vladi Gordon

Birth of Sellerboard

Vladi tried to source some more products after the VR glasses noise went out, but they didn’t really do well. He reached a point when he could no longer tell whether he was making money. 

He sought for a tool to help address this concern, but he didn’t find any that he liked. So, he partnered up with some developers to make one. It took off and they all decided to focus on it, hence the conception of Sellerboard.

We learned a lot from our customers in the last two years and I kind of put down a list of five hidden profit killers which are very underestimated by sellers. – Vladi Gordon

To hear more about Sellerboard and the five profit killers, download and listen to the episode.

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Jon MacDonald CEO of The Good – Conversion and Optimization Specialist 013

Jon MacDonald is the President and Founder of The Good, the most trusted e-commerce conversion rate and customer experience optimization advisory company. They started about ten years ago. When they first built the company, they focused mainly on e-commerce development.

“Bringing your consumer into the process is extremely important because they are the ones who are doing the research.” – Jon MacDonald

Origin of The Good

They built e-commerce sites for brands that wanted their own channel for sales online. They discovered a lot of things along the way.

First of all, development was becoming and has become a commodity. Everyone can find a developer or a shop that will build their e-commerce site. Some of the more popular platforms include Shopify and BigCommerce who do not require a lot of development skills to at least get something set up.

Jon MacDonald Becoming Different

In order to set them apart from everyone else, The Good offered a three-month optimization engagement after launching sites for every client that came in.

“What we found out was most brands were doing a launch and leave philosophy.” – Jon MacDonald

Most brands would launch their site and then their development company would leave them on their own. The Good handles this differently. They ask their clients to stick around for three months in order to optimize.

Keeping Clients Happy

They found out that most brands put more value in the optimization than the quality of coding. They weren’t really concerned about the quality of the site that the developers built from a technical aspect. As long as it worked and processed orders and they were converting highly, clients were very happy.

“We needed to focus on that optimization, where we were really different, and at the time, there wasn’t even a term for conversion rate optimization.” – Jon MacDonald

Before they started this movement, optimization wasn’t a common idea within e-commerce sites. But now it has become a wonderful part of the process.

To hear more about The Good and Jon’s story, download and listen to the episode.

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Earnest Epps 6-Figure High Ticket Drop Shipping 012

Earnest Epps is a life-long entrepreneur and salesman. After losing his corporate position, within 30 days he self-taught himself and created the Earnest Approach to dropshipping high ticket items from US manufacturers.

NFL Dreams

Earnest had a bit of a mindset when he entered college. His mother had pushed him to pick a specialty and focus on that during college. Because of his mother’s encouragement, Earnest chose IT and technology.

Football was his main reason for going to college and his choice was based upon a path to the NFL and not the educational opportunities. Unfortunately, before he ever got to play in college, Earnest’s dreams of going to the NFL were smashed due to injuries.

Earnest Epps Hustling to Succeed

Not knowing what to do, he started knocking on doors and passing out flyers for a remodeling company. He soon learned the art of setting up leads for sales in order to earn commission checks.

If I can get (that first) sale, I can figure it out from there. – Earnest Epps venturing into e-commerce

Earnest’s passion to succeed led him to first succeed at selling, then training, hiring and eventually running a team. His success led to his promotion to marketing director at the age of 22.

Envisioning Himself as CEO

His job success gave him the skill set to move on to a position as a sales director for a marketing company whose clients were multi-billion dollar companies. From 2009 – 2015, Earnest was managing about 100 employees on the east coast. When he was fired, it crushed his soul.

The trajectory for US online sales is projected to be $600 billion dollars by the year 2021. – Earnest Epps

For two years, Earnest was going through the motions in a state of depression. He had invested everything in that company for his and the company’s success. He was certain he was going to be the CEO and work there for the next 40 years.

Earnest had always tried small side ventures on his own. He had never taken them seriously because his position in corporate America was so good to him. He felt like he had it all.

Finding His Piece of the E-Commerce Pie

For two years Earnest was stuck. It wasn’t that he didn’t have the work ethic or the right skill sets, he just didn’t know what he wanted to do. While scrolling through Facebook, an ad for e-commerce and dropshipping popped up. At first, he was really skeptical and was unsure he could make money at it.

Take the same energy and effort for your boss on a full-time basis…and just do it for yourself. – Earnest Epps

When he came across an article forecasting the growth of online sales that convinced him to try and get himself a piece of the pie. Earnest set his mind towards succeeding online and began by focusing to get his first customer.

When dropshipping is discussed, it’s usually around super low-end stuff but Earnest took a different route. To hear the rest of his journey, download and listen to the episode.

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Nathan Hirsch 8-Figure Seller Turned Outsourcing Expert 011

Nathan Hirsh is a veteran Amazon seller with over 25 million in sales. He’s currently the founder and CEO of FreeeUp an online outsourcing company.

Ever Evolving E-commerce

When Nathan started it was him and two other people on every listing. Sometimes there wasn’t anyone else to compete with. Today, that’s unheard of.

Nathan’s business model is drop-shipping which has become harder and harder to do through Amazon. Sellers must do it by creating their own stores and driving traffic to it.

“Turnover is expensive. Once you find the people that are the core parts of your business, figure out how you keep them.” – Nathan Hirsch on the importance of each position within a company

He didn’t even know what private label was until about six years into selling on Amazon. Today, that’s where everyone gets started and you have all of the gurus who sell massive volumes on Facebook and social media.

Amazon’s Rule Changes

This is probably the biggest change to e-commerce. When Nathan started it was your cancellation rate and your refund rate. Now, it seems as if a new metric is added every six months.

“I’ve always looked at everything as a ticking time-bomb and what is the window.” – Nathan Hirsch on new opportunities

Because of all the changes, reviews are harder to obtain, it’s harder to follow Amazon’s FBA price changes and now you have sales tax. All of the rule changes have changed the dynamic of selling on Amazon.

Nathan Hirsch Textbook Reseller

Nathan made his first sales with textbooks. During his college career, at the end of each semester, he would buy up textbooks.

“What am I the best at and how do I spend my time doing that? – Nathan Hirsch on outsourcing

Initially, he sold on Book Scouter where they would compare prices between Amazon and every other bookstore online. Nathan would sell his books to the highest paying retail for them to resell. Because of Amazon’s improvements, he opened his first online store to sell directly to the open market.

Baby Product Niche

Due to his success selling books, Nathan was hooked on selling products online and the inherent opportunities. He tried his hand at several items like video games and failed miserably. Just because he failed did not mean he would give up.

While still in college, Nathan stumbled upon a baby product opportunity and was soon listing products online during his classes. Before he knew it, at 20 years old, he was running a multi-million dollar baby product business.

“With all of Amazon’s changes, it felt like we were treading water, we were not growing.” – Nathan Hirsch on his decision to move on from Amazon

When Nathan started selling his products there were no keywords, he was just posting items and seeing what would stick. His profits were doubling each year until mass competition moved in. They were still making money but they were not growing.

To hear the rest of Nathan’s story and the outsourcing he’s doing now, download and listen to the episode!

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Thanks for tuning in and we hope you enjoyed Nathan Hirsch on the Private Label Movement. We love hearing from our listeners so send us an email, follow us on LinkedInJoin the Movement on Facebook and subscribe to the show on iTunes!

Nate Lind 7-Figure Ecommerce Seller, Coach and Community Builder 010

Nate Lind is a successful online seller that doesn’t just focus on Amazon. He has created relationships with affiliates to continue to push his products. Nate is insightful as a seller, a coach and entrepreneur. He’s here to share his knowledge with Jonathan on today’s episode of the Private Label Podcast.

Nate Lind Working for the Man

While Nate was pursuing his degree in media art and animation he discovered he enjoyed the pursuit of obtaining the business much more than the website development and production. he not only really enjoyed it, but he was also really good at it.

After graduation, Nate worked for the FAA in D.C. He had the most hellacious commute to work and he likens it to a soul-sucking experience. During this time he read Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki and it changed his life.

“I wanted to own my own business. I wanted to have passive income.” – Nate Lind

The book inspired him to get out of the blood-sucking quadrant of ’employee’ to owning his own business and enjoy passive investment income. Nate went from graphics and websites and video production to flipping houses.

The Apprentice

Nate went online and joined the Rich Dad forum at the time to network with other entrepreneurs. he found a group of investors that had money but no time. As a young guy, Nate had time but no money.

“I want something with mass appeal…is lightweight and can ship easily around the world…and I can create a story and brand around.” Nate Lind

The investors were his mentors and he was the apprentice. Nate worked really hard for the investment group. He was literally knocking on doors to see if people would want to sell their house. Amazingly to Nate, they did. He had learned to leverage other people’s money to benefit both sides and to scale.

Turning Experience into a Job

In 2008 when the housing market crashed, due to forces out of Nate’s control, he was out of a job. Now he’s got a mortgage, a family and a kid on the way. He took jobs at various financial institutions to put food on the table.

“I always start with private labeling. I dont’ want to be the first customer product of a strange niche.” – Nate Lind

Drawing from his experiences working the housing market, he was able to craft resumes for himself that resonated with corporate employers. He went from $68,000.00/year to $125,000.00/year and work remotely and avoid the horrible commute by the age 0f 31.

The success he was having working for others again sparked his interest in investing. Nate started looking around to see what was available. His first investment was with a direct response campaign manager.

To hear the rest of Nate’s story about success as an online seller and as an affiliate, download and listen to the episode!

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Charka Yendapally 6-Figure Amazon Seller and Founder of Jungle Books 009

When a young adult flies to the US with no support or family and only 150 bucks to his name, what does he do? On today’s episode, Chakra Yendapally walks us through the tale of how he became the 6-figure, soon-to-be 7-figure seller in Amazon. He also shares how he founded his own virtual bookkeeping company.

The Big Leap of Faith

Chakra wanted to get his education in the US and borrowed money for his flight. Landing with barely any money in his pocket, he had to work several odd jobs to get him through college. One of these included a NASA project.

He consulted for a manufacturing firm after graduation using his engineering degree. Chakra then enrolled in business school to learn finance, the spark of his future business ventures.

Discovering E-Commerce

With his background in finance, Chakra worked with a lot of companies including Johnson & Johnson. He spent about 16 years at J&J, which culminated with his own business venture.
Eventually, Chakra fell into e-commerce and put up a website to launch his product. When found it difficult to gain traction, he stumbled upon Amazon.
“I heard about Amazon and I started looking at it, and like wow… they’re bringing people to you.” – Chakra Yendapally

Founding Jungle Books

Chakra quickly gained friends in the world of e-commerce. Because of those friendships, came the realization there was a need for help on the financial side of their businesses.
“As I talked to a lot of my e-commerce friends, I realized that’s kind of a big pain point for people.” – Chakra Yendapally on bookkeeping
He initially helped his friends by straightening out their books. This led to his current business, Jungle Books. A virtual bookkeeping company.
“People work so hard to build their business but a lot of times they forget the real payday is when you sell the business.” –  Chakra Yendapally
To hear how Chakra Yendapally topped 6-figures and how Jungle Books can help Amazon sellers, download and listen to the entire episode!

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Thanks for tuning in and we hoped you enjoyed Chakra Yendapally on the Private Label Movement. We love hearing from our listeners, send us an email, follow us on LinkedInJoin the Movement on Facebook and subscribe to the show on iTunes.

Mark Lewyn 6-Figure Amazon Seller and Founder of Patently.io 008

Mark Lewyn is a 6-figure Amazon seller and founder of Patently.io. He began his career a journalist and soon realized he needed to change directions as the technology and the internet grew. His software enables Amazon sellers to research patents to help them find new products to launch.

Hitting the Bullseye

Mark began investing with a few startups and over time found his way to the world of Amazon selling. In 2015, Mark launched his first product, darts, on Amazon.

His strategy was looking at the data and he was amazed at how many darts they sold on Amazon. He had never even played the game nor has he since.

You don’t want to violate anyone’s patent, ever. – Mark Lewyn

Research is King for Mark Lewyn

He took notice of the issues with darts and thought he could fix the problems. His first product was a significant success that gave him the encouragement to try it again and again and again.

Mark had been investing in startups and liked the idea of not having to go out and raise a lot of money. He’s made a lot of mistakes along the way but he’s been right more often than wrong.

Researching The Relative Cost of Products

For his product research, Mark uses Jungle Scout a lot. Once he narrows down a product he does a little bit of research for that specific product.

During his research, he’s come across really high-priced products that were expensive relative to what they were. For instance, an airline seatbelt for kids. Essentially it was a glorified seatbelt for kids.

The seatbelt sold for $80.00 and they were selling a bunch because there was no competition. Mark Lewyn quickly figured out it was expensive because it had a patent on it.

The Power of Patents

There are two major types of patents…design…and utility patent. – Mark Lewyn

He looked at the patent and it was about to expire. He found a manufacturer that was selling the same thing for $5.00 on Ali Baba. If he would have taken the Ali Baba product and sold it on Amazon, it would have been a mess of trouble with patent lawsuits.

Timing is Everything

Mark launched his product on the day the patent expired. He was following the law and was able to capture a lot of the margin the guy who was selling it for $80.00 was capturing.

There’s always a bull market somewhere; there’s always a new opportunity. – Jonathan Gabriel

He kept coming across products that were similar in that their patents were about to expire and began to build a database.

To hear how Mark Lewyn uses his database to increase his sales and expand his product line, download and listen to the episode.

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John Cant Rising Sun Commerce Amazon Japan Specialist 007

Many Amazon sellers consider selling overseas to increase their market. Today, John Cant of Rising Sun Commerce tells us why Japan is so great for Amazon sellers.

The Japanese Online Marketplace

John Cant lived in Japan for five years from 2005-2010. In terms of Amazon, Japan was books and music driven Recently it has really changed.

Japan is now third biggest behind the US, German and has just overtaken the UK in terms of Amazon sales. Rakuten used to be the largest online provider in Japan but now they are about on even grounds as Amazon outpaces Rakuten’s growth.

Demographics Pushing Changes

Minimalism wins stateside and in the UK but in Japan the more information you can cram onto a site and the brighter the colors the better. Rakuten follows that design style.

John’s friends in Japan say they like the ‘calmer’ look of Amazon and that’s part of the push from Rakuten to Amazon.

Japan Naturally Lends Itself to Prime

Japan has always had a really good infrastructure. You can get around really quickly and now Amazon offers Prime Same-Day in many of the larger cities like Tokyo.

Because Amazon Japan is growing quickly, it’s not a very saturated market. It’s much easier to grow steadily and with less risk.

Packaging

Officially from Amazon you are supposed to have Japanese packaging. If you’re new to the market and just testing it out, you can put in a Japanese flyer and still be ok.

The flyer provides a nice customer experience but at the same time, you are not having to re-design all of your packaging.

The buying decision is made on Amazon and from the customer’s point of view. If the goods arrive as expected and as ordered on Amazon, they don’t need packaging in their own language.

To hear the rest of what John Cant has to say about selling in Japan, download and listen to the episode!

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Thanks for tuning in and we hope you enjoyed John Cant on the Private Label Movement. We love hearing from our listeners so send us an email, follow us on LinkedIn, Join the Movement on Facebook and subscribe to the show on iTunes!

Rob Kosberg Best Seller Publishing, Publish, Promote, Profit from YOUR Story 006

What would you do if overnight, your profits went from millions to zero? This happened to Rob Kosberg. Rob ran a hundred-million-dollar real estate company when the recession hit and was forced to reinvent himself. Today, he’s the founder and CEO of Best Seller Publishing and he’s proud to say that he’s found a way to leverage his expertise to positively impact others.

Rob Kosberg Hustling to Success

Rob was raised in Washington D.C. where his family owned Texaco gas stations on Pennsylvania Ave. He got his start as a car guy watching his dad and grandpa build and race cars out of the garages. It wasn’t the traditional path to becoming an entrepreneur but it had planted the seed for Rob.

While working through college, Rob got his real estate license at the age of 18. He was on the phone all day hustling through the for sale by owners and expired listings. By the second month, he was the top agent and was questioning his path to law school.

“Don’t write an autobiography or memoire, no one cares…put your story into the needs the pains the challenges of your ideal client” – Rob Kosberg

Like most entrepreneurs, Rob has never worked a single day in his degree. Because of his success in real estate, he did not attend law school and instead continued in real estate working for his dad from 18-22.

He made the leap to the largest mortgage lender in the country. Due to the leap, he was able to expand his opportunities and income. As an entrepreneur of sorts, he controlled his destiny but in essence, he was still working for someone else. That lead to opening his own real estate, title and mortgage company.

Economy Nose-Dive

Nobody anticipated a 60% drop in real estate values. Roughly 10 years later, South Florida still hasn’t recovered. His company was crushed and he was pouring 100’s of 1000’s of his own money into the company to keep it afloat until the market turned around. The only loans at the time were government funded and Rob’s company was doing none of that.

“The fun part for me is the engagement with people…wanting to get books to do something cool for their business…keeps me motivated and excited.” – Rob Kosberg

He went from a 100-million-dollar a year company to zero. If it had only dropped half, Rob probably could have survived.  The death knell was he could no longer finance loans.

To hear how Rob Kosberg reinvents himself, download and listen to the episode!

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Jeremy Sherk 8-Figure Amazon Nested Naturals Supplement Entrepreneur 005

Jonathan talks with Jeremy Sherk today. He’s an 8-figure entrepreneur, speaker, health nut, and Co-Founder and CEO at Nested Natural, an e-commerce supplement company.

Hustling From a Young Age

Jeremy grew up just outside of Toronto in the eastern part of Canada. As a young kid, he was always hustling to mow lawns or running a paper route to make money.

HIs clearest memory of the entrepreneurial bug was his senior year in high school. Jeremy had started reading self-development books and really got into self-teaching and self-learning. He had moved beyond the typical high school curriculum that prepares you for college.

An Entrepreneur’s Mindset

College was not the route Jeremy took and he considers himself extremely lucky that his parents were supportive of his decisions.

After a few hard labor factory jobs, Jeremy started bar-tending and traveling. He was making great money for a 20-year-old but after attending a seminar, he began his online journey.

Starting With Info Products

Jeremy attended a seminar in 2003 with some of the big names in internet marketing like Cory Rudl. They stood on stage and talked about the great lifestyle they were living with e-books, funnels and Google Ad-words.

“I want to do something beyond what I am seeing out there. I want to offer a product I believe in.” – Jeremy Sherk

His first attempt as an entrepreneur was writing a bartending e-book. He had been encouraged to write about what could provide value. For Jeremy, that was a how-to bartending guide about how to land the job and make money.

Feast or Famine

While Jeremy was getting involved in info products he also did a little designing and copywriting.  From 2004-2011 Jeremy was grinding away with lots of short-term projects with no long-term sustainability.

Mentally, it was feast and famine during this time of his life. There were a lot of hard lessons learned and a deep level of debt.

Looking for Fulfillment

The short-term mindset led to his desire to find some long-term sustainability and fulfillment in general. It was not just about living for a bank account.

“Opportunity, it’s about being the right person at the right place at the right time.” – Jeremy Sherk

It was a bit lonely with the short-term approach to life. There was absolute freedom but there are a lot of downsides that people just don’t speak about enough.

Jeremy was living in Thailand, living the dream but it wasn’t enough. About 6 months in, the depression really started to creep in.

To hear about Jeremy’s 3 years in Thailand, a chance meeting with Ryan Moran and how he made his successful move to selling online, download and listen to the episode!

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