245 : Karen Locker – Setting up an Inventory Management System for selling on Amazon, Selling on Ebay, Selling on Shopify and Selling on other Ecommerce Platforms
I love when I get to look the person I am interviewing in the eye. It shows my passion for the story and brings about more candid discussion. I think we both get more comfortable. Makes sense doesn’t it? They can see my eye rolls (if I had them), they could see my smile, my real getting choked up, etc.. The connection gets better and here is a good example of it with Karen Locker.
Transcript: (note- this is a new tool I am trying out so it is not perfect)
Stephen: [00:00] It just want to jump in and mention my sponsors doing them all in the front. So I hope people appreciate that that’s kind of a new thing that’s been going out in the podcast world and this episode is such a great episode. I’m so excited. I really am. Gail is BS. Interview I hope you listen to that number to 38 and it just blew me away because she is the real deal that arbitraged group she’s running is just rocking it. I’m in it and I’m watching just people just knocking it dead. And you know for$149 for you to be able to get in there. There is a free week that she’s giving if you go through my link and I have a link on this episode. But I mean to me that’s how you can build up this Q4 and if you even can’t get it get on the waiting list because she’s going to pull from there when somebody drops for whatever reason.
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Stephen: [01:23] Ultimately that’s how you get the buybacks. You got to know what people were searching for. You put that in there you get that adjusted to know exactly what they’re searching for and boom you get found right being found on that page one. How do you do it by knowing the right keywords. How do you do that. Look at your competitors and use their keywords. That’s how you do it. And sculp allows you to do that. It’s just a powerful thing. Solutions
Stephen: [01:45] for e-commerce. Karen Lochore you’ve heard me talk a lot about her if you haven’t met her you should. Smart lady who knows what she’s doing. I for example today had four items where I forgot what they called it were flagged for quality. They were quality alerts. That’s what it was and turns out there’s an image issue and she’s like well yeah there’s Amazon’s now making a change it has to be 80 percent blah blah blah blah blah. I’m like I’ve lost interest already. Could you help me. And she’s like fixed. That’s the value of having an account manager. Right. Or when I get those calls Hey I’m calling about case number blah blah blah like that goes to my other person and that just happens to be my team member who happens to be Karen her team solutions for e-commerce dot com slash momentum.
Stephen: [02:29] Saves you 50 bucks. You’re going to say 50 bucks and she’s going to do an inventory health report for you. To me that’s how you know what inventory is healthy. Q4 you still can get some inventory out of this recording for free. You probably want to do it. So jump on and get with her. Tell her I sent you. So it’s solutions for e-commerce dot com slash momentum. Go Daddy is another sponsor. And I love what they’re doing because I’m a domain order. We’ve already acknowledged that I’ve got a problem and I just love the fact that I could save 30 percent finally because I never did so try go daddy dot com slash momentum and get your domain but also buy that privacy. Look out there and one of the Facebook groups you’ll see somebody complaining about the lack of privacy by the privacy it’s not that expensive.
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Cool voice guy: [04:20] We’ll get to the e-commerce momentum. Yes. Well we’ll focus on the people the products and the process of Commerce selling today. Your host Stephen Peters welcome back to the e-commerce momentum podcast. This
Stephen: [04:36] is episode 245. Karen Locher is Karen’s back and this is an on location interview where again I love sitting across from someone because I get to see their reaction and they get to see my reaction and I think it adds something to the conversation because you know it’s real. I mean of course you know it’s real but but it’s just different when you’re looking in the eye you know. And so we spent quite a bit of time talking about an inventory management system is that the answer. Right. Right now is that the place where you want to take and put your Amazon level photos right. Let’s assume they’re the best they set the standard of course. So you do your photo at their level your descriptions at their level and all the rest of those things and then map it out from there and put it on all the markets and the new markets yet to come.
Stephen: [05:27] There will be a new market. I don’t know what it is. We don’t know how strong but it will be a new market at some point. And so is that possible. Well yes. Is it cheap easy. No. And so we spent some time talking about that. I think that just so smart let’s get into the podcast. All
Stephen: [05:45] right welcome back. Our guest again is different because on one occasion he lied to me interview which I enjoyed because I get to look the person in the eye. It’s a very different conversation. It’s easy when you have a microphone. But now we get to see my reaction to. And I assume they will attest that I do use my hands when I talk because I really do believe that that is the truth. Karen locker Welcome. Hi Stephen how are you. I’m really well and this is our second or third time we’ve talked Karen’s background information right if you want to know your story how she’s gotten to where she is where she was and started doing an interview. Number 52. So that was quite a long time ago because we’re several hundred. Has this crazy.
Karen: [06:31] It is it’s crazy how many interviews you’ve got out there.
Stephen: [06:35] It is crazy. But you know Kyra it is I should qualify as a sponsor of guess. I never heard of it. You always hear me talk about solutions for the cameras because she’s also my account manager and it’s a teaser every time I see her I pay the same price as everyone else I should get a discount. She will not give you this it’s fair to actually pay. And you know what I’m going to pay for on that. Was it yesterday I think it was I was carrying a request for 65 variations to be added to three or four different listings. And what’s wonderful for me and it’s wonderful for you I think if you think about it is that both of us are here and that work is getting done. It is. Course it is. It wasn’t easy. It’s not been easy getting to this place.
Stephen: [07:21] You know it’s funny. I get asked a lot of hey I want to start a podcast and I might do it. I mean it’s a great opportunity if you like to talk but it’s hard it is to get to 200 has not been easy and I know some that are great sometimes. You know when that stings and I try to get better. But getting people that can do you know how long does it take you to train somebody to bring them to the standard that I expect. Right. Me as a customer I have certain expectations. How long does it take you to train.
Karen: [07:49] It can take to just get that they’ve got the understanding you know we’re talking a month or two to really get them understand it. And then there’s still probably another month two months after that that you’ve got that level checking and even I mean some of my people that do my lessons have been with me two years but there’s still two or three levels of oversight to make sure that you not only does a person get train but then you have to pay somebody above them and above them they so valuable what they’re doing look at it more global.
Stephen: [08:25] But at a higher level that’s not easy. And you know so you should be embarrassed for me. You know I’ve just never have thought of that is still happening. But it is true and I think that that’s very cool though that we’re here. And I’m so excited because I don’t know if you get a chance to look at those pictures my son took those pictures of cool. And he’s been studying photography at college and he is now at that place doing product photography. I mean it’s stunning. Some would say look you know what. OK I’m impressed. Now I’m impressed. Saying OK when I create that I create a monster here.
Karen: [09:02] If you can and I have not personally had a chance to look at them because they didn’t discover as I was traveling but I’ve seen some of the other stuff that you were you know showing me about and you know getting good product photography is tough. It’s very because there’s lighting and shadows and just taking the background.
Stephen: [09:21] You know it’s tough because you know it almost I mean you look at it and you see those things when you look at some of the listings there’s an artwork in there. I mean it really is or you know there’s a there’s a reason a piece photograph on the wall sometimes can grab that person’s perspective it can capture something so you can sit there and say look if I can see you know you can just take a picture or you can really take a picture. And I don’t think he has to be very very pleased. And it’s very cool. And so I think you can see something in the future from us on that service a lot. We’ll see. I mean I want to be happy to enjoy it. You know I love this. Not everybody loves what we do know.
Speaker 8: [10:03] And a lot of people think that they know that what we do is easy. Right. And that they can just go do this and it’ll be because it’s a simple thing to do and it’s like there’s a lot more to it than what you see and you know you and I are sitting here having this conversation.
Karen: [10:22] But there’s still other stuff that’s going on it has to be worked on and checked and you know you have to love it.
Stephen: [10:30] I love the details. And so you know it’s funny because you had no great news under$200. This is one of the best to get you to some speakers they have here and they track this speaker and for$200 this is a great venue really is getting a couple hundred people. But in my talk tomorrow like some of what I’m talking about is how easy some of you guys make it look. Yeah. You know my talk was about the crucible moment. I mean what is it true though is that you had to go through a bunch of junk. Right. And I’m talking about the crucible. And you knew you had to go through and deal with and jump and then you get to that level of foundation because but it’s a foundation and then you build from there. But it didn’t just happen right.
Stephen: [11:23] It’s been overturned. And I guess people have to understand you know is it a little bit to tomorrow or people that were doing something in this business now we’re only doing a piece of it because they want to see. That is really not so anymore still coaching. But he’s retired from teaching and now he’s the president because that’s a piece of it. Yes. He doesn’t want to deal with the other side of it. Does that make you feel hurt. No. Because guess what he’s getting the piece.
Karen: [11:52] He says that they call and. Yeah and I totally agree because I very rarely said. I used to do FBA that’s what started me on a lot of this Mickey-Mouse journey that I’ve been on some days. I hate sourcing. You’ll never see me talk about how to source how do I know that. So there’s plenty of people. But if you want me to but tracking to that rabbit hole in the back of Amazon to find out what’s broken and how it’s there. I love doing that. I heard you say something today and it just kind of you know.
Speaker 11: [12:26] I guess I take it for granted because of our relationship but this fascinates me how much you know you forget more than we all know because you were talking about example somebody was having a problem in one one if you do Asians or what was once one of us when I first get on FM I can never say that one ever and skill and two aces while assigned to it. Yeah
Speaker 12: [12:50] .
Speaker 11: [12:50] And into. And he figured no and most people couldn’t figure it out but it took how long for you back or just counting time. And when you find problem there’s layers to it just start pulling them one little. Right you work your way backwards Yeah to isolate it by finding out what it is what it is and what it is an intervention you figure out what it is.
Stephen: [13:11] Most people can’t work at that level. That’s a skill set. That’s.
Karen: [13:15] Your interest. Yeah.
Speaker 11: [13:17] And it took me less than 15 minutes just to get most people including the seller was willing to do.
Karen: [13:23] He just knew he couldn’t ship it. He had a product. It was on his own inventory but he could show he didn’t know why. And so you know because I’ve dealt with all of this stuff for so long I knew to look on this page and look on this page and then I’m like show this. OK those are different. That’s the problem. So we just have to open a case and the method by have people that write.
Stephen: [13:45] Because you’ve been doing for so long. And so is the last time you seen. Right.
Karen: [13:52] A year ago when I had a budget goes you know there’s a point.
Speaker 13: [13:54] You know you learn this you will see it for another year exactly expect you to retain. Not that this is true. It is.
Stephen: [14:02] If you sit back and you think about these things you know what I’m excited about is that each person has found their place. Each one of those people that you find Certainly Christians and other Christians working on something you might do you just blow my mind because he’s working you know so different than we are. Yeah. It’s all he’s trying to think of the next. And he just wants to say interest. And that.
Karen: [14:28] Of course is if you want to be interested in what you do exactly you want to be interested you want it you want something that challenges you. When something becomes by rote you lose interest and that’s why as much as you know Amazon can be annoying. That’s the challenge for me and that’s why I enjoy the rabbit holes.
Speaker 14: [14:51] You definitely love the craziness of it don’t do.
Karen: [14:54] I love chasing all the progress. Oh yeah. You love it. Oh I’ll try. I’ll sit there one day and say. Yes do it. I hate working with them. And then I’m like OK. But number one you love love solving these problems. And number two this keeps you in business because the fact that they are so crazy you know the fact that it’s constantly changing isn’t that also exciting. It
Speaker 14: [15:19] is because things are innovating.
Stephen: [15:21] Think about this. You know who I was and that’s why local news conferences always had conversation so people were talking about how lucky you are to be apart. Yeah. And we’re knee deep in I to think about what we are involved in these this opportunity or our age. You
Speaker 13: [15:39] know I’m a little older than you but to be if you’re older than me and younger than me I actually see you pull up and it’s true that you to be involved in this. It’s
Stephen: [15:49] a very exciting thing.
Karen: [15:50] It is very lucky and it’s it’s so cool. And one of the good things we noticed is that some people can adapt and some people don’t. And that’s one of the things this business draws out of us is the ability to adapt or not. Because I can see as time goes on people that are struggling with adapting to changes. And the only thing that I know is constantly commerces change. I’ve been in that since 0 8 and it is polar opposite of what it was back in right around that time.
Speaker 11: [16:19] So my story tomorrow. So we all know me but it was even and it was even great.
Speaker 15: [16:25] Even with the like you know one of the cool things I think about this is having some success in these businesses whether it be even a room of a receiver shop. Right.
Speaker 16: [16:39] So when you have that little success no matter what’s going on with your money for what has gone on with it your your confidence.
Speaker 15: [16:48] Yeah because it’s like I figured something out. I actually created a business and it was successful.
Stephen: [16:55] And yet you sit back and think about in the old days what would have taken to put this this were a lot more. Can you imagine. No sorry. And what it people make it I I feel for them.
Stephen: [17:09] I mean that’s that’s something that they can do that. My grandfather ran a hardware store in Cleveland Ohio in the inner city.
Karen: [17:17] You know it was a lot of work for a long time. I remember I used to like to go play in a hardware store but I could not imagine doing something like that now.
Stephen: [17:26] Well I must have missed this because I asked this question people. Your business is part of your life and your life or your business. Yes there really is no sometimes distinction between the two.
Karen: [17:40] But that’s not a negative is most of the time most of the time it’s not. I mean there are some times when you know I have kids and stuff and sometimes like you know deep in a project if we have something big going on like I’ve had the last couple of weeks they’re like you’re always in your office like. Yeah. And because I’m always my office allows me to let you do some of these really fun things that we would not be able to do. It’s
Stephen: [18:02] not like you’re in your office for example. I know you do research. Yes. And then think about that right. What business other than teachers. I think my teachers give all nine months a year. And then you get this all hands off right. And now most of them don’t get that off a lot of stuff has trickle down that they’re required to do since they get a chance to teach first. What’s cool. You get to give it your all your recharging your battery.
Karen: [18:31] Yeah that’s what this weekend is for me. I get to see my friends and kind of recharge and take a break.
Stephen: [18:37] Does it let you out when that happens. I mean I mean do you feel when you come in here like these are my peeps.
Karen: [18:46] Definitely. I enjoy and I have fun. I’m not an overly bring you can to meet you and believe it but I’m not an overly social person. I do really well chatting when I’m in an environment. And then when I’m at home I wouldn’t care if I talk to another soul for days which is why I do a lot of my stuff online because I can interact. But if I’m busy I can walk away from the computer. Where is new face to face if I was where I was working in an office and I would have to deal with a person face to face all day every day and that you know that you know my husband disabled he’s home all day that makes me nuts it’s like go somewhere or do something. You know.
Speaker 17: [19:26] I was talking to my Uber driver coming in from the airport.
Speaker 18: [19:30] And I said just you do anything else you know I’m looking for cues she said. But this allows her for that lifestyle. She said and I said well you know what’s your plan your plan you know what I’m sure about that you work for Congress. And she said I bought Comcast themselves but more calls were in the working people. She said it took months going there every single day that you could call and listen to everybody else what. That was you wish you thought about some of these people that are in these cubicles see the like the heat the light because they are getting so much don’t get the rewards that we get. Exactly. You know what do you tell your friends today. Do they see the opportunity to do what they think you do.
Stephen: [20:23] If you’re a little older. Not always make you happy to be you know hold up behind the computer and working normally. I mean that’s not normal. You know they’re outliers. Yes when it comes to that I mean it’s now. Couple generations behind us that’s the norm. Yeah.
Stephen: [20:38] But you know still what did they say.
Speaker 19: [20:43] I still don’t I still to this day don’t think a lot of people understand when I do which is always interesting. You know my parents are very like my parents are very proud of my business and what I’ve grown it. I don’t think. And you know everybody else thinks they just talk on the computer. You know and it’s funny because I have a brother who’s big in the finance and so he and he’s one is very. Socially conscious by your socio economic status. That’s the way out for him.
Karen: [21:17] And so when he finally found out that I had a business and I had people he was and he was my friend you know it. And things happen. But the other thing is I have just lost focus with this too. You know we make we make things look seamless we make things look effortless. And when you talk about successful businesses we always don’t give ourselves the credit that we have a successful business that we do. I’m famous for that. And just doing this right. Well no you’re really not just doing this anymore.
Stephen: [21:51] If it was easy everybody was doing it. I used that phrase all the time. It’s not easy. Otherwise why is nobody else offering what you do. Yep. Few people offer the services you want because it’s easy just the same easy to do. Yes. It’s not easy to do it 12 months a year. And when I have a problem with it’s Christmas morning and I need you. You’ve got to be there.
Speaker 19: [22:12] And usually I am right and they call me on Thanksgiving. Help is good because they have an issue and they can understand it. I’m
Stephen: [22:19] like hey you need to you a customer. I get it now but it’s just that don’t do it because by those sacrifices you’re making is the reason you’re such you know the fact that you’re willing to give your all all the time. Now you have to one call I’m going to give you the other years you didn’t make that exact. So
Karen: [22:42] it’s a personal issue. Exactly. And you know I have somebody who has been e-mailing me late at night she you’re a night owl as I tend to work at night because I have kids and I have a husband and working late at night is my best time of actually getting things accomplished because the other problem with people that work out of the home office is the rest of the world thinks that you’re not doing anything and they can’t call you when they can stop by and my phone rings all the time and it’s like I have an elderly gentleman who lives down the street that we help out. And invariably on Wednesdays at 1 29 he’ll call me when he knows I have a schedule call every Wednesday at [1:30] because he can’t say every and it’s like and I can’t not ignore it because he’s older and I need to make sure he’s OK and say yes. Are you busy. I’m kind of in the middle of something. OK. Just you you have a book for you. Yeah exactly. So those are the kinds of things that happen.
Stephen: [23:42] What about when you’re dealing with all these changes because I know it’s frustrating that the policy of today will not be the policy of tomorrow and actually the policy of today. It really depends on who you talk to and it’s really that way and sometimes most is 80 percent policy. Yeah. Because there’s a 20 percent that doesn’t know or doesn’t understand it and you are treated differently. Right. What about all these changes and how does that affect your business.
Karen: [24:11] A lot of the changes going on on Amazon right now. Today I make things a lot tougher for us to get a resolution to.
Stephen: [24:21] And I was thinking about this when you were talking because you get an example and I thought it was interesting and this is what I am. This is how I see it. Tell me if I’m wrong. OK. So you give the example of socks or shoes or something about taking the mannequin out. Right. So it really is supposed to either just leave the sock or just be the shoe. Right right now a leg of a mannequin or a person’s life correct. Right. That’s supposed to be the center. And they’ve allowed up because I’ve seen a few in there you’ll see all kinds of as we were looking at this. I’ll tell you why. That was an issue. But here’s the deal. I think if you’re using one flow program where they’re looking at an image and if they’re not the only company you do an image search engine right.
Stephen: [25:01] They’re smart enough to say that’s what I’ve got to why they are enforcing this is because they’re saying hey in the future you know these ads are going to be live on TV and you’re going to be the CBC. So we need these images so we could connect to the world.
Karen: [25:13] And I would not be surprised also because I know they open it as to how they have a search for image that would be the reason to do that exact problem.
Stephen: [25:24] Why don’t they just tell you that and say hey here’s the reason. Because then you could sit back and say you know this is a big hassle but guess what. This is where the business is moving. And Mr. Ruger you know you’re coming back to me season are you going to review your pictures. Hey you got to embrace this because this is going to help yourselves. I hope you understand. Want to make it more palatable. It would.
Karen: [25:45] I might just miss that. Yes.
Karen: [25:47] My feeling is is that they it’s their playground and they don’t feel the need to explain the changes that they need to use Mr. total that they don’t want to give their competitors away base to know. Could
Speaker 20: [25:59] be.
Karen: [26:00] Yeah I don’t know because they’re not good at this. Amazon is not good at explaining why they do anything except for the fact that they call their standard and say why it yourself thing is to make a better experience. Right.
Speaker 21: [26:14] But if you have heard of this and I’ve seen a little bit of it like on we know on hey we have it on the bottom part of hey you know if you’re interested in buying this it’ll show a local car dealer that will pop up on the. That’s interesting. So there’s a national car. But it shows a local one to me. Interesting. So what they originally said was that when you’re watching a TV show or if you like your glasses you can click on your glasses somehow and I can order them right directly through them. And that’s the future. That’s what they always said and that’s what we’re going to that. She looks good in those glasses in her mouth because that person’s already know exactly how to make sense.
Stephen: [26:53] But then you click through. So how do they isolate them. Other than having the image I wonder if that’s one of their to. So I guess back to the question I have is how do these changes because you’re looking at both sides of that right is it. Is hard. It is. But in the long run is that what makes them better.
Karen: [27:15] Sometimes sometimes changes that are made.
Stephen: [27:18] I mean because they suit the situation that’s going on right there an example a good thing because what you’re saying is hey you know McCaffrey’s probably right. Yeah.
Karen: [27:30] It’s the whole GSI thing and them they’re matching you because just one side has one them matching them and that’s wonderful because I can understand I can understand as the person who builds everything so easily or what was a company that uses the first four digits or companies that’s the thing with a bazooka.
Speaker 20: [27:48] And a lot of people don’t understand that a UPC code is you buy the first four digits of a prefix if you’re going to have a ton of products. So you own those four numbers. It’s
Speaker 13: [27:58] always great to see you here. Exactly. It makes you different than it makes this any different.
Speaker 12: [28:06] Exactly. And then the next group is the next batch of numbers and it depends upon how many you read from G-S one are the product and then the final one has a check digit. So you can actually Google it you know there’s a tool and just when you can actually find the check digit of it’s missing. So Nike is always going to have whatever number they have they’re going to have that Prefect’s or they may have a batch of prefixes but they have certain numbers so. And that’s good and that’s helpful. And then matching to the G-S was wonderful. But.
Speaker 20: [28:42] I know of some products where the company creates a UPC code or getting the. For products they sell to Amazon because I’m sure Amazon are buying without Persico. But in general to their wholesalers they don’t provide books because they don’t have the basic goods on their products for their regular wholesale or something other than said the music is.
Speaker 14: [29:03] So they created these and actually they can mark Houdini’s users and actually do it at one point in recent hours at work. So in essence as in this is interesting because it’s really right. Barcode is just dangerous. Yeah but the artistic decision in dimensions will converge over all your research. Right. So they were using is that what it was like was like changing green room UPC system and then would anyone be surprised.
Speaker 22: [29:37] But in this case this is a vendor that I did I happened to work with a client that buys from them and the products they buy don’t have new PC. There are none.
Speaker 20: [29:48] But Amazon has their master list of these brands must have UPC codes. So then you need to now do this whole GTA and exemption and you have to hope you get a rep that said. So sometimes these changes or they’re doing this just one matching is making it harder for people with bundles and making some changes that they’re done which I understand is to kind of fit counter come back counterfit those have said they are also making all the other things more complicated which are causing more paperwork and parent with them getting all the DTL exemption requests.
Stephen: [30:23] So these are all intended exactly right these are you know we’re trying to fix this problem but it creates a whole nother.
Karen: [30:29] Exactly. And that happens a lot within the Amazon ex-wifes who.
Speaker 13: [30:34] Oh no. It is needed. Oh yes. Right.
Stephen: [30:37] All ebay sellers. So are you going to. Oh yeah. I still have listings for years because I bought one. Yeah that’s a vending machine right so great a list. There you go. That list has gone. It was at the time it was great to do. Well the times have changed. Eight hundred. Exactly. You got to do this and this and this and this on my.
Karen: [30:59] Yeah. I just I just actually had some of his friends on me they called me the other day and wanted me to look at their listings and I’m like hey you got to take one of Mike’s out because that’s of the size of the files so they can’t have watermarks and your image. So eBay is now one which everybody had. Oh yes. Just so. Exactly. See I always have one of my in the beginning and then now as fact and then so that you could have little watermarks and now coming next you can’t have any. And it’s that same image thing. I guarantee you the same thing. And they if they want the white backgrounds and people are putting They don’t want templates in as much anymore and you have to have you. So every marketplace changes as they get you. So moving on to big data they’re going to have catalog pages and things like that. So those positive changes and a lot of ways you don’t have to read the 30 pairs of shoes like somebody was saying it’s just a problem.
Stephen: [31:53] And this is where you know you get with your business. This is real you know you’re so on and you know thousands use. Right. And a say. I wish it would just come to say hey look this is all the money we can fix these for you because these are what’s wrong. You know they can tell you this that a problem. Yep. We’ll give some smart programmer and come fix. Right. So. Here’s the fee Here’s what we would do. And would you want to pay. Yes. Because ultimately they when they get their marketplace were foster you are going to keep begging me to change it or threatening me in causing this riff fix right and charge free. Yeah. That that that piece is missing. And then to try to bring the programmer in to teach them the nuances of the day to learn how to do it and then be able to do it is just too much.
Karen: [32:42] Why go play with E-Bay listings for people lately. I’ve been doing a lot of that with HTB has you know have an update and edit all of those age pieces having to make the links go into Target equals blank. I was seeing that to my eyes Cresta. And then the whole new thing in the image is going to be a tough one for a lot of people.
Speaker 13: [33:02] You don’t of the thousands of images we took years ago because you can’t just edit out a watermark right.
Karen: [33:08] You know it’s not just you photo.
Stephen: [33:10] Yeah. So what’s your recommendation this is a good place to stop for this. What’s your recommendation. So somebody who’s been for a long time they’ve got a couple hundred listings right. I think that’s the average. Yeah. You buy a couple hundred listings. There keeping it. It’s been going OK but it’s such a challenge and this is just we want to take some effort.
Speaker 23: [33:30] So you to start to go back to fix the problems they’re trying to stay ahead of the trend in living here well to provides are you usually want to know you need to find you either need to focus on you know doing just doing a couple just tweaking you’ve got time just tweak a couple and the other reality is if you have a listing that’s been sitting up there for that long. It needs tweaking because it should be sitting up there for that long without sales because you’ve been paying five cents a day depending on your store level five cents apiece. I have some that have been up for 665 days which means I have been paying every month. And you know and so I mean I sat down the other day and I said OK this is ridiculous I was did these two years ago there were DVDs that I bought and some wholesale I bought off some consignment and then I just pressed small and I like that well I might just go to this.
Speaker 23: [34:29] I’ve sold 10 in the last couple days and it’s awesome because I just wanted to get them going. This
Stephen: [34:34] is just a decision make cut my losses cut my losses. People
Speaker 23: [34:37] laugh at me with my challenge coins. Eventually I’ll get frustrated and I also put them up in auction for 99 cents or two dollars and fifty cents back and I’ll let them go because by that time I’m at that point I have already made enough money to cover what I paid for those. And it’s time and it generated you know I sold 150 of them one time which generated 150 bucks in my pocket. Some people get so hung up on how much they paid for something that they’re not willing to cut their losses beforehand just for the money. And that’s what you have to do. You have to look at your listings whether it’s you hire somebody else to do with for you or whatever you have to do. We go back to you. How hard is it to treat someone. It is it’s a challenge for me.
Stephen: [35:20] He is not you know because it was one of. Right. And so then he would say oh just keep talking to me. Well that’s one word. They changed the database. And so sometimes when you change certain things listen to this. Thousands of listings have to take them now to do it. Thank goodness. But you know you use a third party because the vulgarity all suddenly change to the base pocket. And so then all of this was missing even though it was there it wasn’t something so different places would come through. So
Karen: [35:49] you know you probably that’s one of the points or like the gallery issue the gallery image issues which are hosted a lot of times is missing gallery image because it’s hosted a different server from where everything.
Stephen: [36:01] Now they’re saying you can’t have that leave that link there. And so that’s really affecting them right. Yeah. Yeah it’s it’s it’s definitely Again it’s a it’s another.
Karen: [36:15] Perpetual change. I mean the only constant we have is it will always be updating because the reality is. As technology speeds up and even and said this could be converted to the three time the two easier buckets of changes. And I think it was Devon who actually said you know technology is changing so fast we have to change with the times and we have to change faster which means that those twice a year is slowly going up. But then on the other hand even Amazon makes changes whenever they need it sometimes they don’t make it across the board. So. To be in the commerce space in all honesty you have to be adaptable. You cannot be stuck.
Speaker 13: [36:55] In in the mindset I used to frustrate you when you’re frustrated you don’t leave. Exactly for me. How
Speaker 18: [37:01] many people do you see. This is where I’d rather revealing. Well you know this is unusual that they’re not making these changes.
Speaker 13: [37:11] Who is your guy. And that’s what everybody thinks they are. You know they’re sitting there saying hey guess what.
Speaker 11: [37:16] There was a security leak out there to get everybody secure or Google Chrome won’t show your processing of law because the people who exploit exploited. So they have to fix it. They can fix it by enabling this one.
Speaker 18: [37:31] We’re back to you.
Speaker 13: [37:33] Exactly and that’s why the telecom consequence for everything is.
Karen: [37:37] Yeah. I mean that literally. Well so here’s a prime example too when sellers can leave negatives and you do remember those days have been around less.
Speaker 19: [37:47] Buyers were written off from e-bay in droves. So one of the things is this is the tricky thing. Everybody always says eBay won’t have buyers without Sellers. But. Ebay won’t have.
Karen: [38:03] Sellers without but it is a symbiotic relationship that nobody wants to acknowledge. Each side thinks they’re more important and the reality is is that both sides are the same thing with Amazon is the same thing with the back of the mall closed down stores.
Stephen: [38:19] The more anger stores will or will close without customers. Exactly so we all have to work together. I don’t think that’s a good example. I think that’s that’s real. And I think it’s such a challenge. I mean it’s frustrating.
Karen: [38:34] It is it’s fair and it gets more frustrating every day. On both platforms because they make their changes which suits their needs of their buyers sellers whomever.
Karen: [38:48] Stockholders Jeff bet whoever they’re changing it for.
Karen: [38:53] They’re making these changes that are probably well-intentioned but there are always all these other little and tender little steps that have to be fixed.
Stephen: [39:06] So let’s complicate it even more because your life is not complicated and you just deal with Amazon and eBay and all of these new ones that we just talked about. That’s why I have an account manager. I mean quite frankly is because for the majority of this stuff. Karen your team handles much stuff right. I can create a listing of them were those 65 variations on this last one. Just one was twelve hundred variations I think it was you did for me for about just 400 variations. Yeah you going to a little part of this work or if you go play with my grandkids. Exactly and guess what. That to me is more valuable. That’s not my worry. You bet your life your teens. Let’s let’s get more complication because you’re not satisfied with just those you want to add Shopify and the problems of Shopify because he said it was fast and easy.
Karen: [39:57] Now it’s not easy. It’s there. So one of the things and this is the toughest thing that both myself and others come up fast is it is all software has limitations. And one of the toughest things about software limitations is trying to work within them. And the Amazon has there’s a big stupid right to get it because at the level of the programmer the database is as big as the database was me or whatever they’re thinking.
Karen: [40:25] Right. You know they thought it was going to go this way.
Speaker 11: [40:28] Here’s where it went.
Karen: [40:28] They were ebbing and flowing or they thought it was going to go this way. And but I needed to do that. And I’m famous for I needed to do this and they look at me like because I do so much with so many different things.
Karen: [40:41] I want something to do what I need to do but I’m probably the only one that needs to do it that way. You know I know you want to do any kind of consequence for the exact changes but it’s going to affect you. It’s nice. Yeah exactly and I’ve been done with it since day one just as much as. But yeah I mean seriously I do what he says you should do what I need to do because I love to beta test stuff so I’ll give you an example. I had a whole plan on how I was going to work. This has to do with Shopify has oversouls on Amazon eBay and we were building Shopify store because of other unintended consequences which I can share in a minute. And so we told us to really do this crap that we have to also add an inventory management system. This is not because I have been telling you that for a while.
Stephen: [41:31] That’s a that’s a big moment because all of a sudden you’re talking because when you have an inventory management system and you know Richard Rubin scoop on it. Yes Antoine. Yes. And he can fight for my Exactly because he did the hard work.
Karen: [41:46] Exactly. Which is what I spent the last that’s why I was buried in my office which is I suppose you might be just giving me the big idea you’ve invested. Tell
Stephen: [41:55] me wrong on this. If I invested in inventory management system can I host my images there. Yes. OK. Shocking images there. I mean this is like a dog and you’re going to like Of course this is just like it. That is where the big sellers really are. Because those who want to be big are big relative that want to sell them multiple platforms should be investing their time and money into inventory management system and then funneling it out of you know to Amazon to Shopify to see if you can or whatever because they’re that Senator. I mean generally we ask you this and it was wrong for us here.
Karen: [42:37] It is perfectly acceptable and it is perfectly obvious actually moving towards it.
Speaker 13: [42:42] They might like to the standard which sounds like it is really the hardest most rigid. Exactly.
Stephen: [42:48] If you put everything in that inventory management system to Amazon’s standards you you and you guess so.
Karen: [42:56] Exactly. But there is one track that you have to there’s a trick there.
Stephen: [43:00] I mean who’s likely to pick up the phone so you’re hearing you say that rather than fighting with you system. Why not fight with one.
Karen: [43:08] Well there isn’t one major limitation as far as I know and don’t quote me on this but as far as I know the only company that can create new Asians on Amazon meaning push new listings to Amazon would be channel Abaza. Everybody else is still working on it. Because Amazon is very protective of who can add products to their control measures not you no channel devices actually. I know that other companies are watching this.
Stephen: [43:34] If they invented the connection between they did take a big gap that’s not cheap. Exactly
Karen: [43:40] . So Amazon is and that’s why I was saying about an event 10:2 consequences So Amazon is the only means as far as I know television that can push new science. Other companies are working on it. But then there’s also limitations that Amazon with their API what they can be pulled from Amazon too because they limit what some people can get. So there is that little glitch there. So what happened with me is so what my brilliant plan was is I was going to create all the listings on Amazon because that’s where they needed to be part. You know those are the standards that they need and then pull them into the inventory management system which was a wonderfully real and then push them out to the other side. And
Stephen: [44:22] since I’m creating the listing I should be able to pull the data because in the ideal world that actually will be with the inventory management and possibly up to where ever you want exactly you can choose. However that’s not really that’s what today.
Karen: [44:37] Unless you have a boss that’s one of the limitations of the software like I was Hikma. But the problem is is that the software that the one seller I chose to work with didn’t pull bullet points and descriptions from Amazon even if you created it. So that made a no hole and I had already uniformly that he said there’s a baby involved. Yes. And see. And here’s what I think this is what I just that’s really realistic. Exactly. OK. But the problem is and here’s the big thing a lot of people a whole lot of people just U.P.S. match on Amazon.
Karen: [45:10] So if you look at the right of detail pages just a thing on there they’re black because the UPC match against the khalwat when you pull an inventory from Amazon all you get is what’s on your item detailed pages.
Speaker 13: [45:23] So if you’ve never created a listing you can’t pull those into an inventory management systems for example so that your can of soda arms on a can of soda. So
Stephen: [45:32] the US is created the Pepsi mystique. Right. So I designed a home. So that’s a window to Harvey bar my can of soda. I see. Listening on the phone there is a lot of it is life long man when a billion seller selling it for 28 cents and make my fortune and now you’re going to pull it off with their you know rebate because now you can lose more money. But when you pull it you’re getting money this thing by price. You steal my spew and that’s about it. You got it. Because that’s just not tied to my account. Your item detail page on the backside in detail. That is somebody else’s detail.
Karen: [46:15] But if I was doing like the twelve hundred things that I did you already did or in your item detail pages are mine because they’re yours and all the facts that I would get everything but the photo if I did a poll. So there’s a bunch. There are limitations to all of it. So what I end up doing when I work with an inventory management system is I create the listing in the inventory management system to push to e-bay to push to Shopify to push to everybody to get this to stop there’s going to be sure I’m clear on this because I know other people are immune right now because it not because this is a big deal.
Stephen: [46:49] It is because it sounds to me like you’re on the precipice of solving one of the big challenges that we all saw in all these platforms in one relatively seamless. We probably want use who on the full field because that’s what they’re good right. Yeah. But we want to solve these problems. So you’re saying the wrong thing to do. I can put this inventory into the management system and generally get it to sell on E-bay wasn’t it mostly some. Some of them depending upon them with the tweaks output seamlessly Shopify for sure. Right. But names still exist as a. Any of those other 90 on Amazon sites. Yes. So generally speaking you can do almost all of that. The only Junji wound at that point is in Wisconsin. So but that’s still better than nothing. Exactly
Karen: [47:38] . So then what I do with the including myself because I have an inventory management system and have since it was in beta is I put them in there in the inventory management system push me to evade Fishman to shop.
Karen: [47:53] By then I download the information from the inventory management system and then I copy and move the call was found to make Amazon happy for their Flash file.
Speaker 13: [48:04] You read it into their food. So. So someone can write that.
Stephen: [48:08] I mean that’s exactly what the macro macro to say. Up. Are you going to say to the management system that I use.
Karen: [48:17] Right and I’ve used it since they were bad. I see you know as 0.11 so bright and obvious they’ve arge I don’t really have to check their web site that has them in spades.
Speaker 23: [48:28] OK so I’ll be honest.
Stephen: [48:29] So you’re using them but they then obviously you really was. It’s different. It’s like any Iraq because he does the same thing. I just say you from the same thing they change themselves. We used to email me I don’t know how many other platforms they support. If I open writing for eyeglasses like right now I’m going to tell you from Open Save me because I had to take down 4000 pounds. I was able to move over into the Find and Replace and change and then wait until my penalty was there when they open the store for a month for whatever reason. And then I was able to put it back up and save a couple thousand. So fucking true for me that when you could do 500 at a time I was moving so I wasn’t so bad. So it was like you know eight or nine moves rather than 4000. Exactly. OK. So soberly allows you to do that. Yes. I’ve not looked at celebrating a long long time. I never really work with E-bay.
Karen: [49:25] Back in the day I remember hearing about well they were big. I don’t see it. So they started with right and everybody is.
Speaker 11: [49:32] And now when the auto come on this thing that merchant for film other channels will be fulfilled.
Karen: [49:38] You fill another other sometimes on FBA. Yes. So you could sell on e-bay but you could pull it off. And so that’s what they do. And so what I do is I because you know I’m a spreadsheet person.
Karen: [49:50] I create my listings if I upload them in the cell. I push them up to ebay. I push them out to my Shopify and I download them and convert them and push them over to Amazon depending upon what is going on. That
Stephen: [50:06] sounds like you just say just push them. It’s more complicated than that but generally it’s not that hard.
Karen: [50:11] No. So I mean you’re telling the sender that you may have to tweak it on the other end.
Speaker 24: [50:17] I don’t want to create the CAC.
Speaker 13: [50:21] It depends on how comfortable you were subjected to an Excel spreadsheet and generally you copy and paste from most of the fields are the same.
Stephen: [50:29] Exactly. And you just get down to the nuanced description and the Jews and all the rest. Yes. OK.
Karen: [50:37] And you’ve got to you’ve got to host your images somewhere that’s another key to be able to see. We have to host images that essentially don’t make it into the room somehow. You know they do. But I mean is when I upload them into celebrate I have to have them posted somewhere. OK. How is Amazon’s S3.
Stephen: [50:54] And it’s cheap. It’s cheap. And then when you loaded into e-bay now the movies are hosted on e-bay.
Karen: [51:00] Yes because they want to push it over they can pull them out of the Shopify later.
Stephen: [51:05] All right. Now this is good going to talk with them I mean maybe bring them on and then you can get the interest we are taking to continue this conversation because I think we’re going somewhere because ultimately I think most people want a really good list. Yet they want to have one please fix this and fix it in one place and you can revise and you can be right. So if you’re going to make them better this opens up a Pepsi photo you might be able to get some good picture and make it work. Exactly. Or something changes you change in one location as you said and you just pushes it out. That makes sense. Utility as you use. Touch points just efficient that exists. We got to a good place because I think that’s the place where Moslehi to go because the concert manager will tell you that 4500 listings which just you know is a very difficult things to go.
Karen: [51:59] And one of the tough that this is the one drawback don’t get a fair when you if you have 45 hundred listings either on e-bay or you have them across three platforms one I one more year and you don’t have the same skew across a platform just will never match up.
Stephen: [52:17] So that’s one of the big challenges we’re going to have to if you’re going to make such a mess if if you’re going to do something across multiple places you have to put some kind of protection to make sure that you don’t run out. You don’t just what exactly. Has to be a way that there’s this common thread that started as you say it’s a screw up and you know and I’ve been happy.
Karen: [52:40] And it’s funny because I’ve been having Baskins for ever. And you know e-bay sellers they have the custom label but they don’t think you going to use it. But I’ve been using excuse for as long as I’ve been selling my specialty the coins because I have ten thousand two inch little round items. Now if I didn’t have a skew how would I ever find out what the buyer want. So I have a skewed system. Yeah.
Speaker 17: [53:04] And then you put them in a bag and then label the bag on yes you do with the people or I buy a nice little white and black plus black bag. So
Karen: [53:13] about this to buy three from our friends in Belfast here. And I just put a number on it and it’s coated in and so forth. And then I sell it for every two similar things.
Speaker 17: [53:24] So certain things are in file folders numbered in order. Whatever it is you got to figure that out. So you know as you sit here and again and again she is my sponsor and so on. So you and I will have a commercial for this is why you hire an account manager because I don’t want to keep up with all this stuff. This conversation is the reason I come to events like this because I can have this conversation I have this kind of conversation this week with the different people. It’s my knowledge and my thought process because now I’m thinking OK this might be a solution for the long term because I know where we want to go. And this conversation how I figure out how to get this next piece figured out. And eventually we’ll figure out how to make that into getting into to the next. And
Karen: [54:10] a lot of a lot of the software companies are working on a sense there.
Speaker 17: [54:15] I did an interview with a guy who’s a software developer from California says the reason we’re working on Amazon right now because that’s Marketplace next time it’ll be something else and we’ll move over there the other. We’re following the money where people want answers and time management systems also.
Speaker 19: [54:32] Integrate with Wal-Mart and check all the other ones we’re talking about. And John is the trickiest one because you can’t make a list like you can anywhere else. And so there is no cause yet you can only do X and healthy.
Speaker 17: [54:44] So this is again I have an account manager and carriage service. It’s not cheap. She doesn’t you. But you know you got to pay for the services. There’s a ton of money and labor hours you pay for. For my benefit but I get the benefit of having somebody there pretty much 24/7. Again we’re here we are in Chicago and I’m having work done on my account. You’re working on my account even though you’re sitting here with me.
Stephen: [55:14] And so the solution for e-commerce and other solutions for e-commerce dot com slash moment was about this is if you go through my week and she pays me that she will do the whole thing for me you know and as I said earlier Q4 This is the time to do because your storage fees are two or three times you don’t get the stuff out that doesn’t work and you get back to that liquidation. Pull the stuff out. You know when you think about how long costs are going to get my money back. Know you’re paying you in storage. You know we’re getting them. Yeah. Get it out and move on and move on. So again solutions for e-commerce dot.com slash movement. We’ll get you to her services and you’re going to get that free image. The only place you’re going to get it is through the lowest price.
Stephen: [56:01] She guarantees me that you can offer cheaper anywhere else through my life. So I appreciate the relationship but again you can hear why it works and you cannot pay the same price because I value the service. You know I’m excited. I’m excited for what you do. I’m really excited about the shop. You got me really sad of office management stuff. You could keep talking about this because that’s where we’re all going.
Karen: [56:24] It’s very very cool. It still has to be. Nobody can afford even me. And that’s what I tell people too many of my basket. I may not sell on Amazon that much but even my business is too heavily invested on I need to make sure that I diversify to be smart. Yeah as long as you get somebody that has your hand you know they can chop it off or they can bring you along it depends upon what’s going on. I
Stephen: [56:51] get so excited about it. I wish you nothing but CCS. Thank you so much. Thank you. It’s fun.
Stephen: [56:59] You know coming off a conference just like this. This is the kind of conversation you want to have this depth of level. It happens every single time I talk to anyone any come. Chicago. It’s just such a great opportunity to get to know people and know I’m at a different level. The conversation the ideas and I got a mind idea from someone and it was just just awesome awesome time. You’ve got to take advantage of that stuff. You know get to know people get to know him on a different level and after a while you report your relationship goes much deeper. E-commerce momentum took e-commerce momentum dot.com ticker.
Cool voice guy: [57:37] Thanks for listening to the combers momentum from just all the links mentioned today can be found that the Koehler’s momentum dot.com under episode number. Please remember to subscribe and like us on iTunes.