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413 : Jeff Cohen – Decide whether to pivot or persevere based on risk tolerance to be successfully selling on Amazon
4th November 2019 • eCommerce Momentum Podcast • eCommerce Momentum Podcast
00:00:00 00:57:54

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Jeff’s point needs to be taken to heart. Challenges to your business will come whether you like it or not. The successful entrepreneurs have the ability to push past, take advantage of or pivot their actions and therefore their businesses when needed. Sometimes it can be daily. That’s why this business is not for the faint of heart. But man, just imagine you sharpening that skill set. You too can be the outlier, the success model. You can have the desired life you want.


Jeff’s previous episodes: 73, 132

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Here is transcript- It is automated so it is not perfect but it does seem to get better over time.

Jeff:                                       [00:00]                     In relation to courses being released and they see a low success rate. It does. They, they, they see a low success rate. Now, we talked about this before. What makes one person different than the other is not the course that they take. It’s the action that they take from the course. Because let me, none of the gurus want me to say this, but all of the information that you need to be successful in any of the disciplines of selling on Amazon is on YouTube for free.

Cool voice guy:                  [00:32]                     Welcome to the e-commerce momentum podcast where we focus on the people, the products, and the process of eCommerce selling. Today, here’s your host, Steven Peterson.

Stephen:                             [00:46]                     Hey, it’s me. It’s Q4 got to bring up my Amazon seller tribe. Um, this is probably, you know, one of the last chances you’re going to get to join this year. So I’ll run this for a couple of weeks. But, um, th the good news is you could still get in, right? They are allowing people in, but at some point they’re going to cut it off. So I suggest you join today. Try it with 14 days for free. Okay, so you don’t like it, you don’t get value drop. Um, however, don’t only measure on the value of what you’re buying, measure on the value of the impact it has on your business. And what I love about this group, the Amazon seller tribe is the amazing way they invest into your business. They will help you with all the questions. Go out and check out a amazing forward slash momentum dash arbitrage.

Stephen:                             [01:29]                     Look at the testimonials. Those are real people. Reach out to them, right? You can kind of figure out who they are and go out and figure out and ask them, is it real? Are they really helpful? Will they help my business? And you will be blown away again. You get 14 days free if you joined through my link only and they do pay me. So I don’t want you to, I don’t mislead anybody. Um, but I believe in them. I’m in the groups, you’ll see me and you’ll get to talk with me too. So amazing., forward slash momentum, hyphen arbitrage. I know it’s a lot momentum, hyphen arbitrage. And you’re going to get 14 day free trial on the daily fine list, make a purchase, get your money back and then say, huh, I can do this again. Wash, rinse, repeat, wash, rinse, repeat.

Stephen:                             [02:14]                     Amazing. forward slash momentum arbitrage. They are going to close it. Q4 is here, it’s going to happen. Get ready. Welcome back to the e-commerce women in podcast. This is episode 413. Jeff Cohen from seller labs a been a long time since I talked with Jeff. And what’s interesting, we discuss risk. I think risk is just something that is very important, um, for you to consider in your business. And you know, depending on the business and depending on where you are in your business, if you don’t have employees then you don’t have workman’s comp issues. Um, but if you have employees you have to plan for workman’s comp and what does that look like? There’s risk, right? Or inventory. Where’s your risk or um, advertising or gray hat, black hat. So we talk a lot about those things and we also talk about that Jeff is a seller.

Stephen:                             [03:04]                     Most people don’t know that I’m and why he sells. I think that’s important. Um, and give you a clue, relevancy and I think that that really helps and that’s why you can have an intelligent conversation and he knows what he’s talking about because he’s been there and he understands it. So very, very cool. Let’s get into podcast and welcome back to the eCommerce momentum podcast. Excited to have an old guest return old. He’s getting old. Is that old as an age? Um, you know, I’m just going to let people hear it and figure out, um, you know, no, Jeff Cohen, welcome back. Jeff Cohen.

Jeff:                                       [03:36]                     Thanks Steve. Appreciate you having me back on. I, I, I guess you and I chat on a regular basis, but we haven’t recorded them in a really long time.

Stephen:                             [03:44]                     Spent a long time. So, especially since we talked about this business, you know, you guys are, we talked about toys for tots in between, but about business and some of the crazy changes that are going on, which I think, you know, you’re an expert to talk about that. Um, and we’re going to talk about Jeff Cohen’s selling, which people are going to be like, wait, I still think most people don’t know that you have an Amazon account and you don’t steal their private label products or you don’t steal their retail arbitrage. You don’t go to toys R us went, no, you don’t go to target because you don’t get toys. You don’t go to target and skin and caps for because you saw somebody had it on their account. So we’re going to talk about that. Um, and I think most people don’t know that and I think that’s gonna be, um, you know, I want to talk about why, but it’s been, you know, three plus years and I think there’s been a few changes in the business, um, in the last three plus years. Would you say that’s a fair statement?

Jeff:                                       [04:34]                     I’d say that’s a tha that’s three calendar years. That’s not three Amazon years. So yeah, 21 Amazon. Yeah.

Stephen:                             [04:42]                     Yeah, no doubt. Um, some of the stats that just recently came out, I saw again the number of sellers at certain levels. Did you see that chart where there were, you know, yeah,

Jeff:                                       [04:53]                     yeah. The numbers that Amazon releases around sellers who are over a hundred K and over. Yeah. Did that surprise you in any way when you look through that list? Well, you know, I think that what, that doesn’t surprise me it’s been, it’s been constantly growing at about a 30 to 40% a clip over the last three or four years that we’ve been tracking it. I think that, what I don’t want to say is surprising, but it is most interesting, is that Amazon, they use very vague terminology similar to how they build out their terms of service. And so it’s hard to tell whether the growth is real or not, because they say at least a hundred thousand sellers, um, at least 130,000 sellers, they call them at least 130,000 small to medium business sellers. So they’re trying to get their message across. They’re trying to get a message across to the market that they’re in support of small business, that they’re not putting the, you know, the local out of, out of business, but they’re actually supporting local businesses like yours and mine and Andy’s and, uh, all the other people that we interact with in this space.

Jeff:                                       [06:09]                     Um, but they’re, you know, that they’re not just here for the big guys. And that’s really, I think, what they’re trying to do with those numbers. Um, but I would also say that in general, over the last couple of years, I’ve seen the number of masterminds and private groups around million dollar sellers, uh, continue to grow and grow. And so, um, what happens to the iron sharpens iron kind of model was that it’s, yeah. Well what happens is, is that when you’re looking at when you’re, when you’re, I just had a conference, uh, last week, seller labs is doing these like little one day workshops around the country in different cities, small format, right? There were 22 people there and it was in Denver. And what was really interesting about that was how many he build. There were like surprised at the quality of Amazon sellers who were also in the Denver area.

Jeff:                                       [07:09]                     Like they felt very alone and then they went to this event and they were like, cool, look at these other great sellers that are here. And I think that what happens is, is that we start to engage and we start to, uh, engage in the community. And then as we engage in the community, um, we want to start to separate ourselves with people that can help us with our business versus people we’re helping with their business. And so it’s a natural tendency that as your business grows, you still want to socially be involved, but you don’t necessarily find the content is useful. Or maybe the initial networking is useful because you’ve built your own, uh, connections within the community.

Stephen:                             [07:55]                     I think some of it too is the challenges are different, right? So in that example you’re giving, I’m assuming some of those companies now have staff, right? Because they had to size up, right? They had to scale, um, those challenges. Now when you, we, it was part of our pre call you in our chat and about when you have employees that you have to deal with, those are different challenges than just talking about how to, what tape do you use on a box? I mean, I’m bad example, but you know what I mean as like, or how do you run an ad campaign that’s different when you scale it up to an extra zero or two? Is that fair? And so therefore you need a different discussion. Maybe

Jeff:                                       [08:32]                     that’s very true. And I think that one of the things that we’ve seen is that there, you know, a few years ago there was one big player in this space who was teaching people how to sell on Amazon. Today, there are many gurus or self-appointed gurus in this space who are trying to teach people to sell on Amazon. And, um, I think that some people enter through that type of community. But even, you know, like one, I know you talk about regularly, like either you know, the ho the guys at the wholesale formula or, or Andy’s group, when you age out, when you age out of the group, right? When, when you’re done knowing the basics, you’re still looking for community. And so seek to find people that can kind of push you even higher. And so maybe it’s about managing your staff. What are the things that I find really interesting when I talk to people at trade shows is that they have this, uh, they have this balance of somebody on stage told them to do something and they really want to do it, but they really came to the show with a problem in their own business.

Jeff:                                       [09:46]                     And that’s the business the problem they’re trying to solve. And so, um, you and I both know this. It’s human nature that I want to talk about me. I don’t want to talk about you. And so there’s this, uh, interesting dichotomy that happens in human relationships where I’m interested in you, but I’m really only interested in you if you can help me. And we don’t talk about that. But that’s the reality of how human interaction works. And most people who are givers, um, understand that the receiving occurs by giving and they’re willing to give over time because they’ve received in different ways, but in general, and I, I call it, um, I, I call it one up Scotty, that’s what I call it. And so we all have a friend that’s this way. So you talk about a vacation that you went on and then your friend goes, Oh, well let me tell you about my vacation.

Jeff:                                       [10:47]                     Yeah. Right? So everybody always wants to kind of one up. Well, when you’re trying to take your business to the next level, you want to hear what people have to say, but you really want to find someone that can help you solve your problems. So maybe you’re struggling with trademarks and brand registry, and if they happen to be presenting on that, then you’re really interested in that topic. Maybe you’re struggling with advertising and ad management on Amazon, or if you can connect with somebody that can help you with that, you get really engaged with wanting that level of help. And I think the challenges that you have as your business grows, become more complex. Um, because it’s just the, the nature of this business. Um, if you’re really, and I’m not trying to oversimplify it, but if you’re an RA guy or gal and you go to a store and you buy products and you ship them and you, and you box them and you ship them to Amazon and then you rinse and repeat that every day, that’s the complexity of your business. If you start to, uh, negotiate with the store manager and start trying to reach out to manufacturers, you’ve added complexity to your business. And as a, as you choose to add complexity to your business, you need to surround yourself with people who have similarly solve that complexity to help you in the long run.

Stephen:                             [12:12]                     Hmm. That makes perfect sense. You know, you talked about gurus. Now I’ve...