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288 : Kim Jensen – Earning 100k on Merch by Amazon fuels a Private Label business
22nd March 2018 • eCommerce Momentum Podcast • eCommerce Momentum Podcast
00:00:00 01:04:19

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Title is a little misleading as it suggests one caused the other to happen. She had already had a successful private label product thanks to Andy Slamans and Amazing Freedom while she hit the grand slam on Merch by Amazon. At the end of the interview I was surprised to find out how really successful she has been (and is now) with Merch by Amazon. Kim is very humble but she is generous to help others when asked. Great story of a lifestyle design business.


Chris Green’s Merch Dojo course

Amazing Freedom Private Label Group

Kim’s Facebook contact


Gaye’s Million Dollar Arbitrage List


Scope from Sellerlabs



Transcript: (note- this is a new tool I am trying out so it is not perfect- it does seem to be getting better)

Stephen:                             [00:00:00]               Wanted to take a second and recognize my sponsors this week, you know, Gaye lisbey’s million dollar arbitrage as edge enlist group. That’s all it is. But guess what? It’s a great opportunity. You know, you can build a big Amazon business. You don’t need a lot of capital when you start. I mean we all started, you know, um, most of it started selling books and then you move into retail arbitrage that is the place that you can turn your money the fastest and online arbitrage. And so by having that skill set, by learning those skill sets, you can get the best bang for your buck. And so [inaudible] group will help you learn online arbitrage. It’s, it’s more than just a list service. They’re going to give you a whole bunch of actionable inventory every single day. Write Monday through Friday. However, there’s also a mentor ship that goes on.

Stephen:                             [00:00:53]               And that mentorship is so important because sometimes it’s great to know what to buy, but it’s more important to understand why to buy it again. That’s that, you know, learning the fish are just getting fit, you know, you really want to learn because ultimately you want to strike out on your own and this is a great way to do it. So how about seven days free trial, I a free trial, right? Very, very cool. So it’s amazing. Freedom Dot com. Forward slash is the mouthful. The word momentum. You’ve got to use a hyphen and you put in the word arbitrage. So it’s amazing. Freedom, [inaudible] forward slash momentum dash arbitrage. And you’re going to get a free trial in gaze group. You got to tell her I sent you, right? I’ll also have the link in the episode, but it’s such a great opportunity. She is amazing.

Stephen:                             [00:01:41]               Amazing. I’m in that group so you’ll see me there and amazing, amazing person who’s there to answer your questions, who’s there to help lead you and help guide you. And that’s what gay does. She does it every single day. The testimonials are real. Go take a look. You will be blown away. And again, it’s a free trial. I have the link on this episode to reach in, you know, seller labs, Jeff Cohen and the team. They have blown me away with this scope project. We use this all the time for our business. We do a lot of private label. We also do a lot of wholesale and wholesale bundles, you know, or multi-packs, that kind of thing, which a lot of people do, but we use a scope to help us figure out what are the key words. And so it’s really simple. You basically figure out where you’re going to sell, what you’re going to sell, what category, find that light product, find the top couple of sellers and find their keywords.

Stephen:                             [00:02:33]               Boom magic. There you go. You copy the best because it’s working. And guess what? That’s a proof of concept in scope allows you to do that. So it’s seller, forward slash scope. So our, forward slash scope. Use the code word momentum and you’re going to get a couple of days free trial and you’re going to save a little bit of money and you’re going to get some free keywords. It’s worth every penny. I’m in that group. Come and check me out. So our, forward slash scope. Again, use the word momentum solutions for e-commerce. Karen Locker, great, great, great group. I’ve been using them for a long time and I guess move or two years and I’m in there and I pay just like everybody else. Yes, she’s a sponsor my show, but she makes me pay and I got the same $50 discount that you can get.

Stephen:                             [00:03:22]               Oh by the way, you’re going to get that through my link and my link. Only one. And you’re also going to get the free inventory health analysis. Great way to start [inaudible]. Get your inventory in line and Karen will help you do that. We use them for everything. I mean the basically uh, you know, long-term storage fees coming up. Guess what, show evaluate. She’ll make some recommendations and I’ll say, yeah, check, check, check, check these out, this return, blah blah blah, blah blah. And magically it’s done. I love it, love it, love it. I love the fact that they take and get rid of stranded inventory. For me. I see it in there and then next time I go in and it’s gone. Love it. Love it, love it. Got An ip infringement. She’s going to help you work your way through that. This is the kind of service that you get from Karen Locker. That’s solutions for the number for e-commerce solutions for e-commerce dot com forward slash momentum, right? So you got a forward slash momentum and you’re going to save $50 a month, 600 bucks a year by just clicking that link. She pays me. I don’t want to hide that. I never do. I’m always upfront about that, but it doesn’t cost you anything additional and you’re going to get that inventory health report. The only way you get that is through mind link the solutions, the number for e-commerce dot com, forward slash momentum.

Cool voice guy:                  [00:04:39]               Welcome to the e-commerce momentum podcast where we’ll focus on the people, the products, and the process of selling. Today is your host, Steven Peterson.

Stephen:                             [00:04:53]               Welcome back to the e-commerce momentum podcast. This is episode 200 and eighty eight. Kim Jensen will get ready to eat to get inspired for March. Yeah, we talk Amazon, we talk E-bay, but we talk about merge and the potential. Um, and right now, you know, Chris Green has a course out of [inaudible] and yes, I’m pumping it up a little bit because it’s Chris and he deserves it. He’s done so much for me and so many of my friends, uh, so I absolutely have no problem promoting his stuff. I don’t personally benefit in any way other than you, if you take action having success and when you hear Kim endorse it to because she, that’s how she learned about Merck’s, like most of us from Chris and she’s taken it to places that most of us would dream at the end. We talk about what percentage of our income has come from it.

Stephen:                             [00:05:43]               It blows my mind how steady, you know, she’s very humble about it. Um, and that’s well deserved. Um, it’s just so cool to hear somebody who has so much success, but if you met her, you would understand why, but it’s just such a neat story. And let’s get into the podcast. Marie, welcome back to the e-commerce momentum podcast. Very excited about today’s guest. And today’s episode as, this is the first one I’m recording from my new studio, which is not finished, but at our new warehouse and so I’m excited about that so I don’t have to run and edit elsewhere. I can actually stay steady for the day, so. But this person is going to blow your mind because she has, she has figured stuff out faster than probably anyone else I’ve talked to, um, about just pieces of the e-commerce business and I can’t wait for you to all to hear about her success. Kim Johnson. Welcome Kim. Thank you for having me. You really did adopt and adapt very quickly. Is that your nature? I mean, if you figure something out, are you all over it all in?

Kim:                                       [00:06:46]               Oh, no, no, no. I have to think things through and make sure I’m doing the right thing. And normally it takes me a while to actually take action.

Stephen:                             [00:06:55]               You can’t tell me this is going to be blind luck. This, this couldn’t have been blind luck. Could it have been?

Kim:                                       [00:07:01]               It kind of was. Yeah,

Stephen:                             [00:07:03]               that’s exciting. You know. But here’s the key. You could do it again. Is that where you, does that give you confidence?

Kim:                                       [00:07:10]               It does, yes. I mean, uh, it made me realize the potential and merge.

Stephen:                             [00:07:15]               Ooh, she dropped a clue. So Kim has no, it’s awesome because Kim has had incredible success with merge. I’m probably an outlier. You had a home run. What is a grand slam? I’m all over it because you were probably first to adopt. I was talking to a gentleman last week and he was telling me that he has software. So if somebody, if the president makes a statement, some crazy statement, his software could literally launch shirts like immediately for that across a whole myriad of platforms, software driven. So if you search for that crazy term, it can launch a shirt with even though it’s never been created before. Is that crazy? It is crazy. But those are a word only and you did more than that. So let’s go back first because you are an Amazon seller. You and I met at a private label conference a maybe a year or two years ago. I don’t even remember it because they all rolled together and. Go ahead.

Kim:                                       [00:08:16]               It was almost a year.

Stephen:                             [00:08:17]               OK. So it was a year ago. And so you were selling, um, prior to that because you wanted to learn private label. Were you selling just, you know, the wholesale or retail arb or online or.

Kim:                                       [00:08:30]               I was primarily doing retail and online arbitrage and had a little bit of wholesale in there.

Stephen:                             [00:08:35]               OK. And was this your first attempt at selling on Ebay seller from way back or bookseller?

Kim:                                       [00:08:42]               Um, I started on Ebay, like, Whoa, just over 12 years ago. Whoa. And then probably switch to Amazon like eight years ago or so.

Stephen:                             [00:08:53]               So 12 years ago. What led you to E-bay? Was it, you know, you need to make money, you wanted to get rid of crap?

Kim:                                       [00:08:59]               No, it started out. I had a baby and so I was home. I was only working one day a week and I was getting these formula coupons in the mail for baby formula and I read somewhere online that you could sell those on Ebay. And I had just been throwing them away. So I’m like, hey, that’s free money. So I figured it out the Ebay thing on my own and I’m not tech savvy at all, so I was pretty proud of myself back then that I figured out how to take a picture of these coupons, how to list it on Ebay. Um, and I think it was like $18 worth of coupons and I sold them for $15 within five minutes of when I listed on. And from then on I was hooked.

Stephen:                             [00:09:40]               But it’s the power of moms group. There is a pro tip right there. Think about it, right? That you never heard of that before. You never thought of it. But now you’re a new mom. So you’re in the moms group, right? You saw something somewhere that attracted you and then boom, you guys are like, you’re like, that’s why you’re the more powerful sex because you guys take advantage of this, that we’re still just dumb guys. Just only. Yeah, yeah. Some coupon somewhere and whatever, you know, we just move on. You guys are like all over it and I love that. So, uh, what, uh, what was your career? Um, that you work working one day a week.

Kim:                                       [00:10:14]               Um, I was, I was actually a social worker in a nursing home and I was working full time prior to, that was my third child that was born and then I cut back to one day a week for probably like a year or two and then I went back to full time. Or are you full time now? No, I quit that almost six years ago.

Stephen:                             [00:10:33]               Almost six years ago. So you had Amazon full-time, not success. So you got a taste of it with Ebay. Things were going well. You still working a little bit. How did you find Amazon? Don’t tell me that moms group again.

Kim:                                       [00:10:45]               No, I was actually part of a forum for while it was, it was a different moms group. It was for like stay at home moms.

Stephen:                             [00:10:53]               See, do you think I’m that kid and I’m telling you there’s power in those moms groups.

Kim:                                       [00:10:57]               There are. And I’d heard about Amazon and I thought, oh well that’s Kinda cool. I could try that. So I started out merchant fulfilling, um, and then the stuff was just taking over my house.

Stephen:                             [00:11:08]               Yeah. That gets old, doesn’t it?

Kim:                                       [00:11:10]               Yeah. And you know, shipping out 40 packages a day in December. That was not fun after working all day. So I learned about the FBA program and just the, after I decided it was OK for me to give up control of my inventory because Amazon could probably handle it, you know, I started doing that and just fell in love with that program.

Stephen:                             [00:11:31]               Did uh, what did that do for your relationship with your husband? But he’s, cause he, I mean, he probably loved the money, but he saw that junk, right? Yeah. Now it’s gone. I still have a little bit of stuff here, but you can’t get rid of. It could be you have nothing compared to what I have moving into a warehouse was the best move for my marriage. I’m by far because she can’t see it now. It doesn’t mean it’s gone, but it’s out of sight, out of mind. When, uh, when you have conversations with your husband about Fba that you want to go full time six years ago, how does that grow?

Kim:                                       [00:12:08]               He was very supportive of it and I, at the time I didn’t really realize that people did this Amazon thing as a real business. It was just kind of a side Gig for me and I knew it could make some money and I was and I didn’t leave my job for the purpose of doing this full time. My job was really stressful and I was just getting burnt out. I’ve been there 16 years. It was a half an hour commute without traffic. My kids were getting older. I felt like I was missing out on their lives and I come home from work. I get home at like [6:30] to make supper and be too exhausted to even know what was going on in their life. So it was more of a, I needed a lifestyle change and I felt like I wasn’t being a good mom. I wasn’t doing being a good social worker for the residents I had. So I needed to make a change and I knew that I had this selling on Amazon thing that would give me something to do during the day. And so that’s just kind of what I figured I would do with that because I needed, I didn’t want to sit around and watch soap operas all day long. I want it to be able to be productive and do something.

Stephen:                             [00:13:16]               Did you think that you were going to like cover your whole income or was that something that you would considering that you had to do?

Kim:                                       [00:13:23]               No, it wasn’t it. No, I had no idea that I could replace my income with this.

Stephen:                             [00:13:30]               But isn’t that the powerful message that I, I think more moms should here right now. Did you need. I mean if you’re not working right, you don’t need as much income generally, right? Because you don’t have to, you know, buy their clothes to go bring your lunch gas to get the car, you know, all that different stuff. Or especially if you have daycare, really, um, that could really make a difference. So you could adjust your lifestyle back and if you could earn 60 percent or 50 percent and still make a go of it, but then have all that freedom. Because to answer this for me, when you were working full time and you were shipping versus when you went full time and then you were just sending it to Fba, how different were the hours? I mean, did you double your hours? Did you trip alone? Did you keep it the same and not including your work is what you get what I’m saying? So let’s say you’re working 40 hours a week at the nursing home and then you’re putting 20 or 30 hours a week and on your Amazon business, so that would be 60 or 70. Then you go full time. How many hours did you reduce too?

Kim:                                       [00:14:33]               Um, I probably cut down

Stephen:                             [00:14:37]               40 total. OK. So you picked up 30 hours of your life plus driving,

Kim:                                       [00:14:43]               right....