Smart guy with good experience willing to help others equals formula for success. Love the discussion on what Seller Fulfilled prime looks like when done right. Great advice on finding the right partner and what to expect from an outsourced company.
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] I’m excited to talk about my sponsors today, Gaye Lisbey’s million dollar arbitrage group. Amazing, amazing group. This is a teacher. This is a Gaye, she was a teacher. She is a teacher. Still. You need to learn. This is the type of environment you want to be in because she’s going to help you understand why, and I think that’s the hardest part of this business is understanding why. Why is the red one popular when the green one isn’t? Well, there’s usually a reason and what gay does is probably parse that better than anybody and she’ll explain the reasons for those things. I think that’s really powerful. Yes, she puts out a list. You’re going to get a good use of that list if you get in the group. Now here’s the deal. The group isn’t always open, right? So you get on the waiting list and you can join the waiting list through my link.
Stephen: [00:00:46] Doesn’t cost anything to get on a waiting list and if you like her service, which I find that most people do that, that’s why there’s not so many openings. Um, you’ll be with her for a long time. And so it’s amazing freedom.com. She’s part of Andy Slam. It’s group amazing freedom.com. Forward slash momentum. And you’re going to get in the waiting list. That’s all I can get you on right now. You can use my name and see if that gets you anywhere. But what I like about in the uh, what I like about what they teach in that group or the things that are going on, you know, the current things. I’ve seen a lot of stuff going on about stores going out of business. Well here’s where an opportunity is, here’s why you want to do this. Hey, be cautious about this, you know, with toys r US coming out, you’ve got to think about this and that’s the learning that you need to do.
Stephen: [00:01:30] And Gay is better than anybody else I’ve seen. So I’m amazing. Freedom Dot com. Forward slash momentum will get you to the waiting list. Then hopefully I can get you in the group and then you’re going to see me in there and we can chat anytime you’re ready. Karen lockers, group solutions, the number for ecommerce solutions, four ecommerce.com, forward slash momentum. It’s going to save you 50 bucks. Karen’s our account manager. We recommend her to everyone because she’s done so well for us. I mean that’s quite frankly the reason we’ve been paying her for last few years, but she’s become an important part of our team. Her and her team are so involved in our account. I just see the emails coming back and forth, hey, we did this for you. I just saw two listings today. I’m like, wait a second. Why did they show up?
Stephen: [00:02:09] I did put any listings up. They got a. They got a set off to the side by Amazon and they reactivate them for me. You know what I mean? That’s the stuff that just happens when you have a strong team and I can’t recommend Karen enough if you use my code. Momentum. Karen pays me. I don’t want to hide that. Of course we all know that, but you’re going to say $50 and it’s a great opportunity to really, really build out your team with somebody you can trust. That’s why I recommend them. So solutions four ecommerce solutions, the number four e-commerce dot com, forward slash momentum. It’s going to save you $50. Oh, and by the way, she’s going to do an inventory health report. Why is that important? Well, guess what fees are going up. Is your inventory health number declining like ours is?
Stephen: [00:02:57] Well, here’s why and what they can do. What I like is I get a spreadsheet from them and it says, Hey, here’s a bunch of inventory. Here’s what we recommend. And I’m like, Yep, read refund. I mean a delete a return to us, blah blah, blah, whatever it is and it’s or destroy and it just happens. That’s what I like. The other thing that I have Karen helped me with a lot is creating new listings. We do a lot of the research ourselves. We upload our images and then boom, magically the listing goes live and I don’t have to worry about it. Those are the services that Karen offers. CanNot recommend her enough solutions. Four ecommerce.com forward slash momentum. Save 50 bucks. Use My code. You save $50 a month every single month and it’s a great service. Plus you get that free inventory health report. I think it’s a really powerful way, so I can’t.
Stephen: [00:03:45] I’m so excited how many people have been joining her because I see it and I’m excited because the messages I get from people saying, hey, this is great. I finally feel like I can focus on something else because Karen and her team are watching this for me and I highly recommend her. Next up is scale a seller lambs and scope and we’ll set it wrong. It’s, it’s amazing. I mean, it really is amazing when you sit back and think about, hey, I want to get this product up and it similar to this product and that’s, that product does well. Well therefore, if that product does well, they have the right keywords, they’ve chosen things correctly, so guess what? You scope and you could see all that stuff and that’s what the most powerful thing in the world is to copy somebody who’s done it right.
Stephen: [00:04:28] That’s what you want to. You want to take advantage of that, right? I mean it’s, it’s fair to see and so therefore you can take and apply it to your listing and immediately get that same benefit. That’s what scope does for me. Sellerlabs.com, forward slash momentum. It’s going to save you $50 on the service. Oh, by the way, it’s free to try. So sign up, try it and say, oh, this is how it’s done. Boom. And then you’re going to. The light’s going to go on and you’re going to be like, man, I can get my products out there. I just can’t wait. Can’t wait. So are labs.com forward slash momentum? The other day I bought another domain. Yes, I bought it the other domain. It’s almost like A. I’m admitting guilt, but it’s because I had an idea and it was something that was a pretty good idea I think is going to go pretty far.
Stephen: [00:05:18] And so what do I do? I go to try Godaddy.com forward slash momentum and save 30 percent. So domains aren’t very expensive. You get a few services, it adds up a little bit and I usually buy three years. I usually by privacy, by the way, I recommend that to buy that, you know, it’s not that much money, but when you can save 30 percent it makes it that much sweeter and it makes it easier when you’re buying domains and especially if you buy a bunch of domains. I am a domain collector and so I do tend to do that, but that 30 percent makes it a lot easier and I use godaddy because what I like is I can pop in and address, I’m thinking and it’ll say, nope, nope, could try this version or try this extension and then boom, there it is. Hey, you better hurry before it goes away and the right, you know, and so try Godaddy.com, forward slash momentum save 30 percent.
Stephen: [00:06:07] Also want to mention about grasshopper. Who was that? Just talking to somebody the other day and they were like, Oh yeah, use this company called grasshopper. I’m like, Dude, did you buy it through my link and save 30 percent? Hello? No, they missed that. So save 30 percent. It’s try grasshopper.com. Forward slash momentum. No surprise there, but you’re going to save 30 percent and what the real cool part about that is they’re using it for their private label business and it gives them virtually a second phone on their current phone without having to get another number. They can make up a vanity number. They don’t have to go and do all the grief and sign loan contracts. Pretty easy stuff, and so if you’re creating a brand that you want to identify, you want to look professional, you want to look like a real company. Grasshopper is a great tool. It’s an app you put on your existing phone and boom, you now have a customer service to. You now have a sales department. You’d have a manufacturing division. You could forward it to somebody else. You can have it go to different voicemails, different departments, and it’s all included. So try grasshopper.com, forward slash momentum. Save 30 percent.
Cool voice guy: [00:07:13] Welcome to the ecommerce momentum podcast where we focus on the people, the products, and the process of ecommerce selling. Today. Here’s your host, Steven Peterson.
Stephen: [00:07:27] Welcome back to the ECOMMERCE momentum podcast. This is episode 314. Wesley Marie, now Wesley operates a fulfillment service down in North Carolina. Him and his partner Chris Potter. I had Chris on for the second time not that long ago. Um, and what I like, what I like about this conversation is, again, you’re talking to somebody who sells, so it’s a perspective issue, but the best part I think of Wesley story is his self awareness. The things that he knows, that he’s good at, the things that he likes, he has found, he enjoys them. So he’s pursuing them that things he doesn’t, he has a partner that is a little bit better at that. I think that that’s so powerful. Um, and it’s hard as a guy to admit because we’re supposed to be everything. We’re the heroes, right? I’m not a hero. And I think Wesley realizes that he’s not a hero and that’s not a negative.
Stephen: [00:08:20] It’s again, he’s 10 steps ahead of you because he understands that he shouldn’t do everything because he doesn’t love everything and some of it’s not fun. That’s powerful, man. If you can get that out of this and then apply it in your life and look for people to help you in these other things, whoever they are, whatever services and again, my advice is always fun. The people you connect with. If this connects with you, great. If not, find somebody you do and I just think it’s going to help you move so much more forward. He’s got a great story and just a great guy. Let’s get into the podcast. All right. We’ll come back to the ECOMMERCE momentum podcast. Very excited about today’s guest because
Stephen: [00:08:56] I’m looking for information and so I like to talk to experts and now he’ll. He’ll qualify that saying, hey, I know enough to be dangerous and I get that. I respect that, but still somebody who knows more than I do and somebody has some breadth of experience and depth of experience and I just think there’s so much value to learn from somebody who’s done it, done it consistently and who’s adjusting because they’ve been there. Got that and say, Hey, now want to do this? And I just think there’s power in that. Knowing yourself. Wesley Marie, welcome Wesley. How’s it going? It’s going really well and I appreciate you taking the time today. You and I both busy. It’s funny, both of us are in our warehouses alone today just because, and were both expecting shipments and contracts and who knows what else? So that’s uh, that’s the life though in that kind of cool though that that’s your, your biggest challenge today is that that’s kind of a pretty cool thing, isn’t it?
Wesley: [00:09:51] Yeah, I mean it definitely be going to work at, you know, [5:00] AM or [9:00] AM or whenever you would go to your normal job and just kind of being a drone. It’s, it’s good that you can sit in a warehouse and say, Hey, I built all this. All this is at least partially mine. You know, you’ve, you’ve sort of made it.
Stephen: [00:10:15] Well it’s the effort you put into it, right? So when your place looks like crap because it’s not cleaned up, you have nobody to blame. It’s your responsibility, so you have to fix it. There’s value in that as opposed to saying, well, you know, Steve, that’s the maintenance department. You know, there’s a little shorthand, I, you know, there’s value in knowing that when it is look right, there’s pride. Maybe that’s a better word. Yeah, definitely. Yeah.
Wesley: [00:10:40] Related. You have no one to blame but yourself if you, uh, if something doesn’t get done when you’re in a position like we are.
Stephen: [00:10:49] I, uh, this morning my wife and I had a conversation where she works. We were talking about somehow it came up in corporate stuff and always the it department always worked for me, you know, and, and, and they would sit there and say, you know, the staff would say, hey, we need to do this or whatever, and then you go and the it guys would be like, wow, steve, you, you got to understand. I mean, look, I’m not, I do understand. I don’t want to hear any of that nonsense. It’s money how much money you need, let’s fix it and move on. But she was describing that they use this particular software and each one has a different browser because the different browsers are necessary to operate it. I’m like, that’s a line of crock of nonsense. That’s somebody who doesn’t want to do whatever it takes to fix that, that bureaucracy, that lack of making it. So there’s five employees that really struggle, right? So nobody can do their job easier. And that is your role as a leader. And so I’m thinking about with what you do and get into your warehouse and you have a fulfillment center, a prep center too, which is interesting. When you think about a leadership role like that in your,
Wesley: [00:11:54] is that what you do? Are you putting out fires all day long as they come up? Um, are you preparing in advance? Do you make a note? How do you, how do you deal with that? While I think of the answer I would like to give you is everyone plans ahead for everything and give them to prepare to answer. Right? I think you and I both know that I was full of crap if I said that I’m generally early. You put out fires as they come and I feel like the larger your business to a certain bell curve, like the larger your business gets, the more of your time is spent putting out fires and the only reason that you’d get away with putting out fires as you get larger is because you hire someone else good enough to put out the fires for you.
Wesley: [00:12:43] Yeah. That’s a very powerful point. Right there is hiring the right person that really has the abilities that has. We used to call it and in the corporate world to capacity, right? We always look for people who had capacity, you know, the that they could just take and you know, yeah. It’s not just pushing a broom, it’s pushing a broom so the garbage goes into least accumulated spot so you don’t have to push it 17 times. Anybody who can figure out reducing stuff that’s capacity and if they can apply it to other things, man, then you just. You could really grow. That’s a hard thing to do. Say I’m a control freak. I used to be a controller, right. That was one of my titles. Over the years as a controller, therefore, when people say, Steve, you’re a control freak. I’m like, my whole career has been geared. Yes I am. I’m a control guy. So giving that up is very challenging. How about for you?
Wesley: [00:13:34] Um,
Wesley: [00:13:35] it’s funny you say that. I was actually talking to a friend of mine, uh, that is also like the head of a small, reasonably small business. We’re in the southeast, so he’s the head of like the Carolina Panthers Fan Group and he’s a good friend of mine and I said, hey, don’t feel alone. I said, I’ve never met anybody in charge of a company that has like an entrepreneurial spirit that isn’t a control freak, like it’s really hard to make something and then give up control of it essentially.
Stephen: [00:14:10] I think that’s a valid point. I think a finding people, giving them the rope now in the old days, that’s what I started to say in the old days, we would kind of catch them and we’d give them the rope and then say, Oh, you’re wrong, boom off with your head. And that’s an awful way to live. I know that was the old business we were in and now it’s harder to find and retain good people because they have options. Has that been your experience?
Wesley: [00:14:38] Yes. I think everybody talks about how great the economy is and yeah, it’s awesome. But a side effect of the good economy is all these people that you’re looking for to work for also have five other people working for them, so not only do you have to offer more to them, you have to bring someone in that, like you said, we like someone proving themselves. You have to bring someone in based on, you know, 60 minutes worth of total interview time and a resume at a higher level and if you make a mistake, it’s even harder to then find someone else. It could be a cancer.
Stephen: [00:15:18] Right? Oh, because they could, they could destroy everything that you built up until that moment.
Wesley: [00:15:24] Yes. Well one bad apple ruins the batch I think is the way the saying goes. It’s really hard. Even if you extract the problem, then you have to deal with the ugly business side. That is, you know, terminations, unemployment, things like that, and even worse than that is then you have to basically scrub all the bad habits that they instilled in everybody else out of those other people or just removing the problem. Didn’t fix it.
Stephen: [00:15:56] We have a particular challenge in our market. I think your market is very similar because of warehousing. We have a, we have 49 million square feet of warehousing in our town and around it, it’s much more net. But just in our town for Amazon warehouses is a good example. We have an apple warehouse, we have a ups hub. Uh, we have, you name it, we have it. We’re, because of our location, we’re within a day’s drive of 80 percent of the US population. And so, um, Amazon starts at $18 an hour for unskilled labor. And so what that’s done to the rest of the market, you know, because office staff were making $15 an hour and a good job, right? That’s $30,000 a year back in the day. I mean, this is two days, two years ago, and now all of a sudden they could leave there and go and lift boxes and I’m not saying it’s easy, but they can go work at Amazon.
Stephen: [00:16:45] It started 18 or $19 an hour and it’s really changing the market. So everybody is like, Whoa, I don’t know what to do. So now all of a sudden. So the smaller companies are immediately adopting technology as fast as they can because they can’t compete and stay competitive with the wages, right? Because if it starts at 18, they’re going to be at 22, 23 and that’s a, that’s a challenge for smaller companies and second is just a trucks everywhere. Everything’s affecting everything in our community and it’s like a real transition and I don’t know what the end is because then you read about these. Some of these warehouses are so automated, they have no staff. So it’s kind of like in that weird, in a weird bubble. And in our market. How is it in your market,
Wesley: [00:17:30] um, your, your sound like you are like next door? Similar have sensibly. While we’re in a little cheaper area of the country to live, we are in Charlotte, which Charlotte’s really weird because Charlotte’s expensive to live in, but we still have suburbs around within a 30 minute commute or so that are really economically viable, I’ll say much, much less expensive to live and things like that. So you have all these people that travel into Charlotte to make better money and it’s just like you said, we have an Amazon warehouse, which we’ve talked about a little bit before. We’ve discussed actually Chris Disgust on his pod, how close the Amazon warehouses to us and they to pay, you know, 12 or $13 an hour starting in an area where just two or three years ago, 14 or $15 an hour would buy you a decent sized house.
Wesley: [00:18:30] So it’s put the economy in a little bit of a flux because like you said, small businesses like us, we can’t afford to pay $15, $16 an hour to someone to walk around and move boxes. That’s the. That’s the way to level that. I want to see like the guys supervisor at not your base level employee and it, it becomes really hard to attract and retain even entry level people because you can’t pay them what, you know, Amazon or like you said, we have a ups hub to fedex hub. Things like that in this area are paying them.
Stephen: [00:19:10] So what do you do? I mean, that’s a good, interesting point because this is real for a lot of people. So what a year in the prep business, right? So that’s a can be a labor intensive business, a lot of touch points, right? You got to touch a lot of stuff if it requires a lot of prep, what it, what do you do or what have you started thinking about? Um, and, and, and I think this is kind of is, do you guys have a vision when you look out, you know, is it possible that you could automate some of it? Is it possible that you could see some of that stuff coming even on a smaller scale?
Wesley: [00:19:44] So one of the things that we started doing in the very beginning is we’re a little different than some other prep operations run in that when we onboard a client, we give them an option. We say, hey, give us three days of the week that you want your stuff to go out and we pick from those three days. So on Monday we can look and see what we have and we can look at the chart and see hey we’re heavy on this day, maybe I need to get, try to get some help on this day. We’re light on this day. Maybe we can work on some of some of the next day stuff on this day and it just kinda to load level because you have such problems a getting staff and then be retaining staff because it doesn’t matter if you hire 100 people, if they quit after three weeks, that or no.
Stephen: [00:20:38] Or if you work them, you know, 12 hours this week, 90 hours next week, 12 hours, that’s not. Nobody’s going to stay for that either. Right. As you say, that’s not. You need that consistency. Hmm.
Wesley: [00:20:49] Yes. In my, in my previous life I worked, uh, I was actually, I was an automotive technician and I worked for what was then the largest used car company, like fortune 500 company in the country. And they did that. They couldn’t figure it out. We would work 35 hours, some weeks and then we would go six months where we would work 45, 50 hours a week and it really is a drain on you because you look at them at that time I looked at him and I said, hey, if we worked 40 hours a week, you around, we wouldn’t have this problem, but now I understand that you can’t have people, you know, twiddling their thumbs for 10 hours a week just to be consistent.
Stephen: [00:21:31] Now Amazon, another, another thing that they’re doing in our market, I don’t know that they’re doing it all markets, but here in the one particular warehouse. So we have a friend that works there. It’s [4:10] hour days and so, uh, they’re working whatever. But, and what they like about it is what we’ve been talking about. They can plan. So they have those other days off and it’s, it’s a lifestyle now, 10 hours is a long time to be at work. Um, you know, when you were in corporate world that was, you know, part time when my life was. But generally speaking, I’m 10 hours is a long day to be on your feet lifted boxes. That’s a long day being. But I think because of the type of work people are looking at is a tradeoff saying man, I get three days off to be with my family every week, you know, and I don’t know if it’s four on four off, I don’t know how that works and be honest with you. I don’t know if it’s for. And then you get three and then four and you get three. Um, but it’s Kinda cool when you think about it, are those things that you would start entertaining as you guys build up your business? Those kinds of thoughts.
Wesley: [00:22:32] So it’s funny you actually mentioned that, um, I’m omniscient to see, you know, smart guy. This was not planned. People listening, I promise. Um, so in my previous career that I mentioned, we actually campaigned for four, 10 hour days and it was the same thing. He was very physical labor. Obviously you can’t automate fixing a car, you can’t have a machine take an engine out for you yet. I wish. Um, so we campaigned for those four, 10 hour days to be more consistent so that you could get those three days to decompress, relax. You have to think if you work eight to five, Monday through Friday, what if you have a doctor’s appointment, then you have to use vacation time. If you work, you know, eight to seven or six, whatever the math works out about Monday through Thursday, while you can schedule your appointments on Friday and even though you’re going to be just destroyed by the end of the day, Thursday, you have three days to do whatever.
Wesley: [00:23:34] You can spend your time with your family and things like that. So that is a great idea and that is something that eventually I would like to do here. But the thing with that is you have to, it’s sort of doable on like a prep aspect, but on like a straight fulfillment aspect, I’m not going to fund. You have to have everything. Yeah, you have to kind of have everything out the door by [5:00] or you’re not injecting anything into the Fedex stream. You’re not injecting anything into the ups stream, so all you’re really doing is getting ahead on your work for the next day. Um, so that’s something you have to look at. And we could also do something with a split where, you know, our, our fulfillment people work, you know, six to five and then our or six to four, whatever the math works out as until I get it.
Stephen: [00:24:33] I just think that to me, you know, as I sit and think about this stuff and I do think a lot of stuff, I noticed a lot of stuff, but I’m only part time seller and so I have that capacity. I have the ability to do that. But I think a fulltime sellers, as I’m sitting here listening to you are, you clearly have been working on this. You’ve been thinking about this, this is one of the reasons that you use a prep and a fulfillment center and Steve doesn’t benefit, so don’t think that you know you’re going to be paying me benefit in any other way other than if you find a home because people always ask me and it works for you. Awesome. That’s what I always say, confined to people you connect with who you resonate with, and then really develop that relationship because you will need them and they will need you.
Stephen: [00:25:12] It’s a give and take and that’s the best type of relationship, right? So when you’re down, when you’re down, I’m up when I’m down in Europe and you can pull each other along. And so to me though, the ability to look at this stuff, the ability to think about this stuff and then in addition to do a full time amount of work to run your life in that it’s almost impossible to work on your business when you’re so in your business. And I think that that’s one of the reasons that people need to look at outsourcing more responsibilities and because this stuff is real, right? If it’s not that way in your market today, it’s coming, right? You’re here at Wesley and I myself, I’m in Pennsylvania, he’s in North Carolina. These things are real in our town right now. I mean, again, $18 an hour to start. How are you going to compete with that in your small little warehouse if you have one? And those things are real decisions. You got to start thinking about and having somebody else look at that I think is very helpful.
Wesley: [00:26:06] Yes, yes, I agree. It’s a. It lends you to having more time to do the things you want because out of 100 people, maybe three want to pack boxes, maybe three want to figure out, hey, if I send this via ups and not Fedex 100 times, I’ll save $30. You need someone in your corner that spends their time figuring this stuff out so you can do whatever it is you want to do. Whether you still get a thrill out of walking into a Walmart and finding a whole shelf of x product or whether you’re designing your next private label, whatever it is you want to do, you should. One of the things that I was told that makes great sense to me is you should find the things that are the best dollar profitability or highest dollar cost and you should work on those and you should outsource from the bottom up. So hiring people is terrible. I’ve never met anybody that likes hiring. So if you don’t have to hire 10 warehouse workers and you can just outsource that to someone else that runs a warehouse for you. You’ve saved the mental capacity like you said, and the time and all those things of having to deal with things like that.
Stephen: [00:27:30] Well and and it’s. And it’s more than that because it’s also all the rule changes. You know you’re dealing with. If you’re selling on. I’m like, well actually sells on Amazon and Ebay and a little bit of Walmart. Then you have a shopify store and then if you had jed in there and if you had new egg or any of those others, each one of them have their own nuances, I’ll call it right to keep up on all of them and they’re always changing and evolving. The world changes and evolves. Um, and then you add fedex ups and I’m a uspss changing and evolving. You’ve got so many moving pieces that you’re going to figure out and stay up on. And to me that’s something, you know what, you mentioned something I hadn’t thought about this. Do you have the ability to help by business when it does come to cost? I mean, is that something you’re looking at? Saving me money, therefore, could it offset the payments that are making you guys, I mean, is that something that you can help evaluate for people?
Wesley: [00:28:29] So actually I can give a little story, but like I said, my partner Chris was on your podcast, I guess Chris Potter, right? Yeah. Chris Potter was on your podcast, I guess it was about two weeks ago. Um, we had someone reach out to us, uh, that said, hey, I heard about you guys on the podcast, I’m interested in seeing, you know, what it looks like because I’ve been sending this was an east coast customer and he’s been sending his private label product from China all the way around through the canal and everything to him and he’s far farther toward the center of the country than we are. And we looked at it for him and talk through it with him and we were actually able, it looks like to save him the cost of our service, like all inclusive, just in the fact that he doesn’t have to Ltl truck for eight, his items passed the Charlotte hub. So anything he saves and time space and his house, things like that. If you have to look at everything, not free, that’s free. Yeah. All that’s free to it.
Stephen: [00:29:38] Chase. And so when you start thinking about, because when you start thinking about touch points, I, I owe everything for me is a touch point, right? In, in the old world, that’s what I would do is reduced touchpoints in a warehouse. It’s exactly the same every time somebody moves a palate, there’s a cost and it’s funny, you know, because we do a little bit of warehousing work for just a few private label people. Very, very few. Very. And we have some, you know, some different things, but it’s true. Every time a truck, I’m waiting for a truck to come today, somebody’s got to unload it. Well there’s a cost to that, right? And then you got to move it. There’s a cost to it, right? Everything. Even the equipment to use. Oh yeah. Nobody thinks about, well there’s a cost to all that stuff and when you don’t have to tie up your capital and all those things or the capital and the Labor because you’re paying a flat fee, a true variable cost on that item.
Stephen: [00:30:26] Um, and if you don’t have them, right, there’s no, there’s no charge that’s valuable, especially in your growth phase of your business. And I just think that’s really important. You know, I got to us there because, um, I’m very interested in this. I think it’s a very current issue. A warehouses are hot. People want to warehouse people don’t want to warehouse and so I just think you’ve got to figure out, I think you said it best when there are maybe three out of 100 that like packing boxes and if you’re one of those three men, go all in. If you’re not, maybe you’re in sales or maybe you’re in sourcing. Maybe that part that you love, you got to figure that out and then find the right partner. So I wanted to talk about you were you still sell, right? You had a, you know, you’re almost a seven figure seller so you’re not. This isn’t new for you. How long have you been selling?
Wesley: [00:31:16] Um, I believe I’m coming up on year three. We started. Actually let me, the first thing that got me selling was I moved over from the manufactured spending aspect. Like a lot of, you know, initial settlers did. And the first thing that got me selling was when discovered did that double up deal for up to 10 K and spend. So I guess that was our August or September of 2004, 2015. Definitely with that. Tell me what that was. So basically discovered, decided when they first got adopted into apple pay that they would give you 10 percent back on anything that you purchased with apple pay and then at the end of the year they would double it. So you get 20 percent off. In essence. Yes. You got 20 percent off, up to $10,000. Wow. And spend up to $10,000 in spend. So that’s what got me turned and I was like I can go to best buy and use apple pay or I’m in a large city. It’s kind of odd that Charlotte actually has to apple stores so I could walk right in the apple store and this was the holiday season. I did what everybody else did. You got that pads off the shelf ball thigh pads from apple when no one else had them around Christmas. So the price was inflated bottom with apple pay and made 25, 30 percent on them and that just kind of started the spiral.
Stephen: [00:32:44] So even without them on sale, it was 10. You got 10 percent off immediately knowing that you’re going to get another 10 percent rebate eventually, and then you were able to take advantage of the arbitrage difference on top of that. Nice. And so that’s easy because those are expensive items. You don’t need a lot of them. You can eat up 10 grand pretty quick, but man, they flip fast really fast, right? Yes. Yes. Alright. So that was a, you were part time at that point, you weren’t full time. No, that’s correct. Yeah. And so, so why, why selling? I mean that didn’t just come to your mind. You didn’t say, Hey, I want to be, I want to be a reseller, I want to know own my own sales business. I don’t think. I mean, it sounds like you had some other careers. Why? What was attractive to you about this?
Wesley: [00:33:35] Well, essentially I’m, like I said I worked on car for almost a decade and because you loved them or because that was a career you choke. Um, it’s funny. The thing is do something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life. That’s a lot.
Stephen: [00:33:57] Oh, it becomes a job. I always say that the. There’s a four letter word, a job or a work is a four letter word, so you’ve got to be careful about that.
Wesley: [00:34:05] Yeah, it if it’ll take your hobby and turn it into something you hate. So when I started, I loved cars, loved working on cars. I still love cars, but it became a grind and every day you would wake up and you would have another acre, another pain because you’re standing on your feet eight, nine hours a day picking up, you know, things that are way too heavy for one person to pick up using your motor skills and your arms and stuff. And I just woke up one day and I said, hey, when I’m 40 years old, 50 years old, I don’t want to be like some of these other guys that have had their knees replaced and their hips replaced and they can’t hardly function in the morning. I just don’t want to do that. So what else can I do?
Stephen: [00:34:50] And so it. Did you have somebody else lead you this way? I mean because that’s a big, broad statement. What else can I do? I mean that’s a wide open stuff because you can do anything right? I mean you can, you know, you can be, you know, digging shells out on the beach, right? You can. I mean there’s a million different things. Why this?
Wesley: [00:35:10] That is an interesting question. Like I said, I kind of like, it was funny, it was kind of a rabbit hole. I started by saying, Hey, what can I do to get, make my credit better? And then that turned into, hey, what are these, what’s this manufactured spending? What are these credit card rewards I can have because I want to go on all these trips
Stephen: [00:35:31] but I don’t want to pay for it. So it was a travel excitement thing for did you see somebody having success with that? And that’s what made it attractive.
Wesley: [00:35:43] Not so much a specific person, but like you, like a lot of people. I followed all those blogs. I follow, you know, the, the manufactured spend blogs, the guys that were trying to travel around the world for.
Stephen: [00:35:57] Yeah. $12, $12 and I’m in, you know, in Jamaica today. Yeah.
Wesley: [00:36:03] Yeah. And I saw things like that and I was like, well, I mean obviously I want to make a lot of money in my life, but if I can do this for free, why wouldn’t I spend my money on other things? So I was like, okay, well we can try this. And then I proceeded to drag my girlfriend back and forth to, uh, my favorite gift card spot three or four times a week and build up gift card points and the payoff was trips, you know, here and there and everywhere. And then eventually, like I said, the discover deal came along and I started selling things and I got a little more knowledge and I made some connections which led to more knowledge and more product and things like that. And eventually I woke up one day and I was like, this could be my ticket out of the shop is going to be my ticket out. Working on cars that for the rest of my life
Stephen: [00:37:00] did, did the, was it, as I’m thinking about, because you said this before, is that you know, you gotta be careful because your hobby could become your, you know, a job, right and awful way, not in a good way. And did this like satisfy that piece of that thrill of the hunt, you know, getting credit card points and things like that and then rewarding, right. Then you get to see and then you go sit at a beach or do whatever with that. Is that, did that get you back into that excitement of your hobby kind of like become the new hobby, I guess is the right way to say it.
Wesley: [00:37:35] I guess you could say that it, I know you’re, you’re somewhat into selling a lot of people that listen to your podcast obviously are a lot of people have done arbitrage. It was Kinda like, like I said, walking around the corner at Walmart and finding that giant display of clearance xboxes or whatever it may be. It was Kinda like that where you get the instant thrill. Yeah.
Stephen: [00:38:02] Yeah. The instant high. Yeah, that’s really what it is. Yeah, it’s rush. Okay.
Wesley: [00:38:06] Yeah, and eventually I just, I don’t know, that’s what I wanted to do every day and I was like, well, I can do this.
Stephen: [00:38:16] Well, but here’s the thing, you know, I know you’re, you’re downplaying it. It’s not a big deal, but you don’t get to a million dollars in sales without connecting and being really successful at it. I mean, you know, some people say, wow, that’s easiest, Dave. Yeah. It doesn’t mean he’s making money. I get all that, I get all that. But you know, we’ll dig a little deeper in the story. You’ve got a lot of moving pieces that takes skills to be able to handle all those multiple sales channels to be able to set up a shopify store, let alone put inventory on and have some success on it, to, to add Walmart and to add these, this, these are skill sets. These are, these are um, so clearly you connected with you. So when you think back to why you’ve had so much success selling, what is it that you would say are the traits, the skills that led you to have this level of success?
Stephen: [00:39:07] Because I think there’s value in that because you didn’t go to school for it. Fair? Correct. Yeah, correct. You, when you learn to be an automotive technician, that doesn’t sound like sales. That doesn’t sound like buying. That sounds. Technical skills. Yeah. You can machines, you can fix things. You’ve got that ability. What was it or what would you say, uh, has given you the ability to be this successful with all these moving pieces? I think that’s the more attractive part to me too. It’s not the sales number. It’s the fact that you’ve got it on so many different places, which I think is very, very powerful.
Wesley: [00:39:43] Um, the disclaimer to that, most of the sales are Amazon. Obviously she knows where you go, where the people are. Um, but like you said, there is a benefit to being a, to having a web of avenues because you never know when something’s going to happen in the fall. Back is always good, but I think the most powerful thing for me has been just connections, whether it’s someone you see in your day to day that you would’ve never thought could help you in business or whether it’s someone you’re seeing a facebook group or something, someone you see at a conference that you talked to, always be willing to talk to people and try to do it with an open mind because no one knows everything and everyone knows something that you don’t.
Stephen: [00:40:35] Well, you said something there and I think that’s powerful, would be honest. Would you have a preconceived notion about them? You’d look at him like, yeah, get up, come on. What’s that guy going to teach me? And then you were like, oh, and then all of a sudden the barriers are gone and you’re like, I better listen to everybody. Did that happen?
Wesley: [00:40:53] Um, I think over time it kind of morphed into that because as I would not necessarily talk to someone, but you know, you’re on facebook and you see a conversation and you, you’re somewhat interested in the topic. So you read it and you see something. Someone says that you would have never expected to say something useful to you and you’re like, hey, whoa, yeah, maybe I should have listened more.
Stephen: [00:41:18] You know, that’s a, uh, I don’t know if it’s a man thing only it could be, but it’s definitely. I hate to say it’s an ego thing for, at least for Steve. This is Steve Talking, not you, but for me it is. It’s an ego thing and I’ve been humbled so many times I sit back and say, holy cow, I had such the wrong preconceived notion. Um, and I’m wrong. I mean, I, I, it makes me feel bad because I thought and then all of a sudden I’m like, wow. And then it really humbles you and it brings you back. And I think that’s healthy. At least it’s been healthy for me to have that happen because then it’s like, okay, now I need to be respectful of everyone because like you said, you never know who has that best idea.
Wesley: [00:42:01] Yeah, you definitely have to. You have to go into everything. Giving everyone the benefit of the doubt, which is really hard for some people, me included. It’s not just to you, um, when you look at someone in your life now, what, what you, what, how can they help me? Not necessarily how can I help them? How can they help me? Which is not how you should look at things. Selfish, isn’t it? Yeah, it definitely is. And you should look at it and say, Hey, if I listened to this guy, if I give this guy a nugget of information, when he asks a question, maybe, maybe not right now, but maybe in six months, maybe in a year, this guy, I’ll circle back around and say, Hey, he helped me when I needed some help and now he needs some help so I’ll help him. It’s, it’s more of a give and take. There’s too much. I think there’s too many people in the business world now that only look at things as a dollar figure, like they’re paying me x to do x for them. Whereas you need to look at it as, hey, if I do this guy a favor that’s not going to really cost me anything in a year or in five years, he’s going to be much more willing to help me out and not take me behind the woodshed, so to speak, and charge me out the bank to do something for me that I need help.
Stephen: [00:43:16] Or he might help somebody else who helps somebody else who eventually helped you. You know, you never know. I mean, you think about some of the outliers in this world. Do you know who they are? They weren’t always an outlier. They rose, right? And so that means that the guy you’re sitting next to right now could be an outlier, just hasn’t found his lane yet. And when they do, then they all of a sudden skyrocket. And you’re always like, wow, he’s really killed it. Well, he had that ability that didn’t just magically come to him. It just, he figured it out or he got down the right lane and all of a sudden exploded in that. And so by helping others with no expectation is the phrase I use, um, eventually, um, I think it works back to you because he helped somebody else and then they help somebody else and eventually you’re going to need help. I don’t care who you are. When you think about partnerships, uh, that’s a challenge for a lot of people. What makes you and Chris have a good? Uh, and I don’t know what level of partnership. I know that’s a, that’s a broad term. Again, I don’t mean I don’t want to get into your business, but what makes the relationship work for you guys?
Wesley: [00:44:22] So it’s really funny. Up until I guess a year or so ago, like I knew who Chris was from, like groups and things like that, but I had no idea that he was, you know, 25 minutes down the road from me. It’s funny. So he was actually closing down his old warehouse and I went and met up with him and got a bunch of random supplies from him and we started talking and we just kept talking and I’d always had this idea in the back of my head that hey, I like logistics. I like prep. I don’t necessarily, I’ll, I’ll be one of the three. I actually liked packing boxes even though obviously that’s a low task and I should have, should have someone else do that. But I still like doing it sometimes. So I was like I could do like a prep operation.
Wesley: [00:45:14] And we started talking about it casually and one thing led to another. I, I had already outgrown my old warehouse so I was going to get something new. So it was an opportunity to add that aspect to the business and not have to compromise space for other things. And so we just kind of like felt it out and we did a bunch of planning sessions where he came in the office and we made my white board look an look terrible. It looks like it had scribbles all over it. And we kind of just hashed it out and figured it out and he has a lot of ability to like systems automation, things like that. Standard operating procedures. He has a really good rapport with people. He’s not afraid to be in front of a group and talk to shy on the inside. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Wesley: [00:46:12] Whereas I, and I’ve gotten better at it over my time, uh, talking to people and being in front of people, but I still don’t think I could give a presentation to a group of 500 and not like wake up in a cold sweat in the morning or something. Um, but now knowing that you’re a number that you’re in that not, not the number two position, I don’t want to say it that way, but knowing that you want to be behind the scenes more a better term. Yes. Knowing that takes the pressure off, doesn’t it? Um, yeah. It’s good to know that I can defer when like I know he told me he’s getting ready to possibly do a news article with a major news outlet on a subject that is very important tool. A lot of us, um, and I know that like if that ever came up for our business, he would be the one that would do it and I wouldn’t have to stress about that. I can sit in the back, I can handle what I’m good at and let him handle what he’s good at and it works together to have a more broad range of like compatible skillsets for both of us because. Go ahead. Well, no,
Stephen: [00:47:30] it’s important that you get this. Um, so there’s that control issue, right? Letting go. That’s almost like a maturity thing to me. When you’re comfortable enough in your skin, you, you’re self aware enough to say, you know what, that’s his thing. He’s better at it. Awesome. Go for it. Give them all the support he needs. And then behind the scenes, you know, whatever you need, boom, boom, boom. Like you said, it’s almost freeing, I think in some ways, isn’t it?
Wesley: [00:48:00] It’s definitely somewhat freeing and it definitely allows you to concentrate on the things that you’re good at and get better at the things that you’re good at without having the pressure of doing all those things you don’t want to do.
Stephen: [00:48:14] Yeah, I think that’s powerful. I think that more people, and this is Steve again talking. It’s hard to do as a guy because I’m supposed to be able to do our. I don’t ask for directions. There’s no chance. I’m asking for a direct. I’ll figure it out. Right? I don’t open up instruct. I saw somebody was putting together, I think rich Sea Hawk is putting together Ikea furniture. I saw that note. Um, I was going to send him a note. Don’t look at the directions. Um, otherwise off the call and your man card and it’s just part of that. That’s just goofy, but it’s, it’s true. That’s my nature. And so I think it’s tough as a guy, but boy, when you start maturing at that level and getting to that comfort zone, I just think it’s very helpful. Well, one of the reasons I wanted to have you on is that you have enough information to be dangerous about seller fulfilled prime because I think, I think, um, your location, you’re in North Carolina, so you’re on the east coast a little further south than me, but you have phenomenal reach from where you’re at. Right? Do you, do you know how many states you can do seller fulfilled prime from your location?
Wesley: [00:49:13] Um, it’s a lot. It is a lot. And I actually looked at it the other day and I was shocked as I type away. Give me two seconds and I will tell you an exact, an exact location. Basically we can cover the whole east coast all the way up to like the tip of the country where no one lives because it’s like the Arctic Tundra all the time. I don’t know why you would do that. Sorry. Um, we can cover in two days via ground. Now this is like a fedex product or something. So it’s going to be a little more expensive than your post office. We can cover all the way into Kansas. We can cover till the edge of Texas will go up through Missouri and basically half of Wisconsin. It’s kind of a curve like that.
Stephen: [00:50:08] So when you’re like 80 percent of the US population too, and I mean for sure. Yeah.
Wesley: [00:50:12] Yeah. Basically the only major population hub that we can’t hit his Texas and California. Right, right. And,
Stephen: [00:50:19] and probably Washington state and, and uh, um. Um, what’s the other one up there in Oregon? Um, oh, uh, although nobody lives there
Stephen: [00:50:28] are nobody working. No, that’s not true. But uh, so, so again, you could really do it. And so I’m interested in this because I really believe that in the future that this is going to be. I’m a very competitive, a big competitive advantage, however. Okay. So I don’t offer it yet. I want to, but I don’t understand it enough so I understand the concept. Let’s just break it down. So basically as a prime member, that person gets the benefit of getting their prime two day delivery, yet it comes from your warehouse as opposed to Fba. Correct. That’s the premise. That is the whole premise behind her. Yeah. Okay. So it needs to be two dates and what I do understand too is that you can set up shipping plans in Amazon to say, Hey, I can ship this in two days as to that geographic area you just described.
Stephen: [00:51:20] Where it gets uncomfortable for me is kind of, but you were talking about with zones. So from what I understand, I mean, so if I did a, uh, a usbs and let’s say it’s, it’s this size that fits in a flat rate, pettit envelope, it’s going to be [6:50] or whatever it is. Um, several states around me. But then as you described it, when you’re getting to the Tundra, you know, Maine or wherever it is, you have to switch to that next level. That’s where it gets like, Huh. Yet you don’t have the ability in the system to say, hey, at least now this is where Steve doesn’t understand. I do. I have the ability to say, hey, it’s the $6 and fifty cent charge. Then it, you know, in my, in my math and business, right? So I know that I’m selling it for 50 bucks and I know I’m going to eat six slash 50, I’m on these states, but these next dates are $14 because it’s not $8, it’s $14 or something like that. And so it’s six or $8 more. How does that work?
Wesley: [00:52:23] So that’s one of the things that I’ve been like you’ll have if you have connections into the seller fulfilled prime team and that’s one of the things I’ve been asking for is hey, once you get beyond your primary, I’d like to be able to charge shipping and still offer them this expedited option for a cost because obviously your costs go up a lot when you have to go from the ground to an or product or I want really slow shipping so I can ship it the cheapest way possible. Right now what you do is you offer free two day to prime members. So obviously that’s what they get all the time supposedly from Fba. Um, and then outside of prime, non prime customers or even prime customers in an area that you don’t have enabled, get a, I believe it’s free standard, so that’s five day or seven days, something like that.
Stephen: [00:53:27] Stop there so that, that then met the requirement that you were saying that you get to use a cheaper, which would be, let’s say a priority mail even though, but it’s outside of two days, but you get the benefit of it being seven bucks anywhere in the country.
Wesley: [00:53:43] Okay. Okay. So one of the things I like to do is, like you said, you have all your shipping templates. I actually have a bunch of different templates and you can play the cutoff time to your advantage to actually get three days sometimes or even four or five days if you have a weekend involved. So you can hit more of the country supposedly via a ground.
Stephen: [00:54:10] Okay. Just so that’s turning it on Wednesday. If I may. What I understand right by launching on Wednesday, this is one of the secret pro chips. Launching it on Wednesday, that shipping plan, turning it off. Then on Monday or Sunday, I guess Friday, Friday you turn it off. Okay. All right. Unless there’s a holiday or something, right? There’s something good champion do. Okay. So that’s an option when, I mean, why, why do you think that they’re offering this? Is it to alleviate pressure in their warehouses? I mean, that kind of makes sense.
Wesley: [00:54:41] So my theory is two fold, uh, one what they originally offered it for, what I was told by somebody within seller fulfilled prime was that they offered it for larger companies that have multiple warehouses. So if you have, say a west coast warehouse, a Kansas warehouse or wherever, Kansas, Missouri, something like that, and an east coast warehouse, you can theoretically hit 99 percent of the country in two days via ground. So that was their thinking.
Stephen: [00:55:17] And so that person would then have, let’s say their water bottles. They would have their water bottles, as you said, on the east coast, the Midwest and west coast. And then therefore those would ship two days to each one.
Wesley: [00:55:28] Yes. Okay. You can sit two days from somewhere to everyone that was designed for people with multiple warehouses, big operations. That is what they claim it’s for. My thought is it’s kind of that, but also they want to get those people’s stuff out of their warehouse because if you notice Amazon’s not opening warehouses as fast as they used to and that is correlating to them making more money, which obviously they’re a for profit company, so that is eventually their end goal even though they’d been really bad at it so far. So that’s my thought.
Stephen: [00:56:03] Hm. And so in that scenario it kind of makes sense, right? It just gives them the ability. They already have the distribution network out there that everything’s great. Boom. Now you can just tap into our customer base and they’re seeing it. Like you said, it’s profitable for them. It’s probably the most profitable for them because they don’t have to touch it right back to these touchpoints. Right. They never have to touch. They get paid a percentage. Life is very, very good. They get paid a high percentage. Yeah,
Wesley: [00:56:29] the prime bump you will call it because nobody knows you can go, you know, a couple of percent over the guy that’s only merchant fulfilling and still get the still get the sale if you’re a prime stuff.
Stephen: [00:56:40] Now that. So there’s that. Then if that was the design, does that preclude it then? I mean, should we even waste our time looking at it if that’s the model and we’re not that model because you’re on one location on east coast. I’m in one location in east coast. Is that just we should just stay away from it and just stay within our little circle. I mean so offer it because we can but like in those clothes states and stopped trying to figure out, um, because it, you know, it’s effort again, right? I mean it’s back to there’s touch points, right? So now you know, I used to send everything to Fba, now I got to hold space and now I’ve got a store and then I got to manage it. Right. And there’s management. Whenever you have inventory sitting on your shelves, that’s for sale. You do have to manage it, right? You have to find it and that kind of jazz and then you’ve got to pack it and ship it. Um, is it not worthwhile unless you’re, you know, a geographic across the US.
Wesley: [00:57:32] So my opinion is it’s worthwhile to learn how to do everything they offer because the, Amazon’s not dumb. They’re continually trying to do more things to get more items showing two day prime so they can sell more prime subscriptions and they can make more money. Um, so I think that they’re going to keep working on these programs and do more things just from what I’ve heard about what’s in the pipeline. I think they’re still working on it and trying to do better. And then also if you don’t try everything, someone else is trying it and they’re finding the advantage.
Stephen: [00:58:20] Yeah. You’re going to get a competitive advantage. That makes sense. All right. Is it any other thing that I had thought about? Because again, it’s a cost issue, right? You apparently they just took away the ability to use first class mail.
Wesley: [00:58:33] Okay. Because that was an option. That’s got to be some breaking news. Okay. It’s back. Oh, it’s back. Okay. So then confusing, but it came back last week, one day and he breathed a sigh of relief because it seems because that’s the money,
Stephen: [00:58:48] right? I mean there’s first class is the maximum is what, $4 and thirty cents with no discounts or something like that. Whatever it is next week. And so you have to price it. So I was thinking about this and I’m, I’m a math guy and so for me, I wonder is it a size, is there an optimal size for the product? If so, what is it? Is there an optimal weight for the product? If so, what is it? Is there an optimal dollar amount? And if so, what is. So I’m looking for where I can just sit there and say, okay, because you know there are people out that source oversized products because there’s a lot less competition on it. Makes Perfect sense, right? If you have the capacity to handle it and manage it and, and, and, or they a source more expensive items because people are limited on capital and so therefore there’s less competition.
Stephen: [00:59:35] Right. That’s competitive. Makes Sense. I think this, I would say it would be cool if I could say, hey, you’re looking for things that steve are about four pounds that are, you know, 38 square inches and they sell in the 50 to $70 range and then the rank and all the rest of that nonsense. That’s what I want. And then I would just throw that in the model and then boom, everything I measure against as a fit the model. If it does, boom, I can put that in. Now I got competitive advantage. Have you figured that out?
Wesley: [01:00:07] I’m some what? I will say that I haven’t experimented a lot on the upper end of the spectrum in weights just because you know, once you get over one pound and go into a non, once you go into something that has zones, it gets a lot more murky and it’ll vary a lot based on where you are in the country. Like someone could be in Missouri and could sell something seller fulfilled prime for a lot lower price than I could just because they can charge less shipping and still cover the whole country
Stephen: [01:00:50] because it doesn’t make sense then. Right. You’re the first person I think who’s going to say this, that Steve, you shouldn’t use an average cost when you’re doing seller fulfilled prime in your mathematical
Wesley: [01:01:03] or are you. You shouldn’t, you shouldn’t. That’s what I’m asking. You use an average cost because where are you going to find your average? Because the steps between zone, you know, two, three, four, five, six and seven are not really linear because you know, zone to zone four, zone four is not double what zone two is or something crazy. There’s not an easy way to figure it out unless you spend, you know, hundreds of hours looking at right in his own charts and three months just so in six more months they can change the rates and you have to Redo it.
Stephen: [01:01:42] So if you sell 10 skews then then you, you could do that.
Wesley: [01:01:46] Yeah. Okay. It’s an if it’s a scale thing, just like somebody with a repricer, if you have 50 skews, you shouldn’t be paying for a repricer. If you have 5,000, that tilts the tilts, the scale a little bit to that. Okay. Now having said that, the things that I sell a lot of SFP are the under one pound. The things that are technically eligible for firstclass. Everybody thinks you can’t use first class for seller fulfilled prime because it’s not a guaranteed two day delivery. All that. That’s not true. You can use first class. You just have to do a little work and figure out your zones and actually Amazon will actually provide a a big spreadsheet. Basically if you contact the seller fulfilled prime team and tell you how many days it should take to get from you to every zip code or every zone in the country that they break out in the templates, the average days in a percentage scale, and you can actually figure out from that what you can do reliably in those amount of days. That’s why I have like four different templates. I have one for first class that’ll go on, like you said, after cutoff Wednesday, I can pretty much cover the whole country from the east coast, whereas if you’re in Missouri, you can cover most of the whole country probably in three days, whereas I technically need for to cover the whole country. So
Stephen: [01:03:17] it interests me because does that then mean that, you know, I want to hit x number of dollars in sales mostly by doing what you’re describing and getting that competitive advantage even though sometimes it’s three days a week, not all seven. Right. Or sometimes it’s, you know, whatever these products versus those products working on your business, doing that management, that extra steps, those extra steps allows you to reduce skews because now you’ve got a competitive advantage on these skews, as you said, under a pound or whatever. Um, and therefore you get to work on your business and you could reduce the complexity, I think. I mean, to me that’s very exciting.
Wesley: [01:03:59] Yes and no. I think. Come on,
Stephen: [01:04:02] just say yes dave, you are a brilliant. That’s exactly what you have to give me. The real world. You have it figured out. I see the light, like the, the beam of light just came through my office window. It’s amazing.
Wesley: [01:04:14] I think where you see the big advantage is carrying more total, having more total skews all within your realm. Where I see an advantage for SFP is things that are ranked like, you know, one point $5, million in clothing or something that you can get a great roi on and you know, it will sell eventually, but you don’t want to send it to Amazon’s warehouse and pay 12 months of storage because then you’re not making any money.
Stephen: [01:04:46] Okay. So you had the opportunity to buy it. It was a great deal. You just know it’s not going to sell for in, in 30 days. Right? The goal. Yeah. So it’s going to turn in 90 to 120 or it’s seasonal. I think seasonals a good example too. Right?
Wesley: [01:05:01] So he’s a great example of that. Like you can have Christmas decorations still technically on Friday, April when they’re sitting in your warehouse than buy it. Yes. They might. They,
Stephen: [01:05:14] you know, they might buy the know they’re going to buy in November, but they, some, you know, for example, Christmas lights. I never knew this, I never thought about this because I’m a guy that people buy Christmas lights for other purpose than Christmas. I’m like, no, I never have. So I guess, but I get it now that when you witnessed like, oh that makes sense. Yeah.
Wesley: [01:05:35] Someone wants to buy it and 99 percent of buyers on Amazon are gonna to skew toward the prime seller. So that allows you to get that, like I said, the prime bump, get your six to eight percent higher price and still get the sale and not be paying storage fees because you have no clue when something’s going to sell like that in an off season.
Stephen: [01:05:58] So can you do this because I can. Mf and item and Fba. That’s, that’s perfectly fine. Can you am, can you s, s, f, P and FBA and item?
Wesley: [01:06:10] Yes. You can actually do all three if you really.
Stephen: [01:06:12] Okay. So, so then competitively. So that example of the Christmas lights is a good one. I think. So you can leave that on SFP all year long in that region. You can make it none SFP in the outer regions. Right? And then come Fba time, send it in Fba to get that benefit of scale. Right, for help. Oh, that’s very cool. Yup.
Wesley: [01:06:37] All three.
Stephen: [01:06:38] So again, you’re working on your business, then you’re not adding more responsibility. You’re, you’re really taking advantage of each. And I think that’s kind of where the conversation got us to, is you’re really taking advantage of each piece of your business, the tools that are available. Um, because there’s so many moving pieces, right? When you think about all this different business, um, this really could be another way to master just a piece of it. They’re very cool.
Wesley: [01:07:05] Yeah, definitely. Another thing actually that I’ve seen that’s a benefit of it is like your arbitrage sellers then only have five of something or 10 of something. Well, you’re going to wait five days for it to get to the Amazon warehouse and check in. So maybe you should keep one or two of those and put them on merchant fulfilled or SFP so that you have an offer while your other ones are going in and then when that gets in stock, you send those other ones in. And so it allows you to have exposure to the skew while ups or Fedex or whoever is doing their work and the Amazon warehouse while
Stephen: [01:07:48] the iron is hot, if, if, if that product is hot and you just end up getting the buy box because you’re the only one with it, boom. While yours are on your way. I think that’s smart to used to be, um, used to be. And I don’t know that it’s true now I haven’t looked at it, but there was a time when I would send stuff, you know, I use inventory placement. And so there was a time I would send, you know, all my, if I was selling shoes, they would go to one warehouse. If I was selling other stuff, we’d go to a warehouse, um, that when I put stuff for sale on its way, it would actually sell. Um, I don’t know whether they do that anymore, so literally it went to one of the distribution warehouses and they would ship it, you know, and I know that I don’t know whether they do that anymore just because they’ve now gotten so much bigger. Um, but there was a time when I would put something in and it would literally would sell out and I’d be like, man, I’m already out of them. And they never even made it to the warehouse. I’m not sure they do that anymore.
Wesley: [01:08:38] Hmm. They kind of do that with the back order, but they won’t say you have anything until they check it in and verify you do. But then if you’re back ordered it, it’s a little more murky if you’re back ordered, you’re less likely to get the buy box and all that still. But it is still there. That’s my thought. Okay.
Stephen: [01:08:56] Now you guys also, you prep, do you fulfill for others to. Do you offer the seller fulfilled our services for sellers to.
Wesley: [01:09:07] So we’re not offering seller fulfilled prime yet.
Speaker 7: [01:09:11] Um,
Wesley: [01:09:12] it’s something we’re working on. We want to get some more processes in place. We want to do a trial with one or two clients that, except that they’re our Guinea pig for a lot of responsibility, right? Yeah. They accept or they’re our Guinea pig for whatever benefit we offered them to do it. We, we don’t want to launch something to a large group of people before trying it. I’m disappointed again. Yeah, that’s awful. Um, but we do, we will do straight merchant fulfillment for customers now. Um, it’s not something we openly advertise, but it is something we’re getting ready to openly advertise. We just haven’t updated the website essentially.
Stephen: [01:09:53] Okay. And it’s one of those things that, so if they have their own shopify store or whatever, or they sell on Walmart for example, and um, you know, Kinko Fba. So it needs to be in a box. Okay. You know, one of the, one of the things in your notes, you know, I do a little bit of research and advanced very little. I really want to hear the story, um, because you know, I always say that you’re not going to learn how to do all these different things. I might show it’s not the kind of show I have a, there are so many better people that I, you know, like Chris Potter or listen to his because he knows where Robin Johnson, they know the details. That’s not Steve. I liked the story. One of the things that was interesting in your story is that you had a shopify store and that takes skill to build up and out and you’re scaling back on it. Can you talk about, because I think a lot of people think that that’s the answer. Oh, wisely, this is the, I’m building a shopify store. I’m going to make millions. It’s going to be the easiest thing in the world. Their people are going to be falling over to buy from my store. Has that been your experience? And if not, why are you pulling back on it?
Wesley: [01:10:53] So to answer the first part of your question, Amazon, like 52 percent of online product searches start on Amazon for some crazy statistics.
Stephen: [01:11:07] I think it’s 54, but yeah, you’re right there. Yeah. Almost all it used to be google. No, no,
Wesley: [01:11:12] no. Yeah. People go to
Stephen: [01:11:14] Amazon first versus Google, which even if they go to google, Amazon’s going to be the first result. So the difficulty in doing a shopify store, while it sounds great is you have to figure out how to get traffic and Amazon is really good at making sure they get all the traffic they wanted more. So you have to figure out what you can do to drive people to your actual store. I’m one of the things that I did. I would actually, I, I focused on a very specific niche just to test it out and I would actually interact, act as the store with like reddit groups and facebook groups for this niche and things like that. And it built up kind of a rapport. So people would say, Hey, I’m going to buy it from you because you were really helpful. Um, because like I said, the challenge is traffic. And so you were authentic with people. You’d help them and then they feel not a quid pro quo. They just say, hey, you know what, you are real. You help me. I’m, of course I’m going to buy from you that. That’s fair. That’s a relationship you developed your relationship. Is that scalable?
Wesley: [01:12:29] Not really. That’s the problem. Okay. I’m the end game when I started was scale it enough via the relationship that then word of mouth would take over, but word of mouth only goes so far and word of mouth the isn’t nearly as effective if you aren’t the least expensive option, which everyone that sells on Amazon knows that Amazon will give people things for nearly nothing. Like they’ll sell under costs. They don’t care. So it’s really hard to defeat Amazon in price
Stephen: [01:13:08] and so you’re just going where the market is. In essence, that’s what you’re saying. You’re just saying, Hey, I’ve got limited resource time, not money, it’s time issue. Um, I’ve got this other kind of big thing going on with his warehouse thing. Therefore something’s gotta give. And so you went the path of least resistance because you’re going where the money is. Okay, that’s fair. That makes sense. And so people who are into this listened to that and think about it that, you know, everybody says, okay, you got to have a shopify store. It’s great to have, it’s great if you’re going to get wholesale accounts because it gives you some legitimacy. Right? That makes sense. But if your purpose is thinking that you’re going to sell on your own shopify store, now there are outliers. You know, Brandon Lipski would tell you that. I mean, he’s a, he sells 90, 95 percent of his sales are on his website, not Amazon or Ebay or Walmart or anything, but they’re hard to find those outliers.
Stephen: [01:13:58] Um, I think, I think a lot of it is if you’re niched right, if you, if you were the inventor of the. I Dunno, I get into a good example on my desk, um, this particular I, I really don’t have advantage. I have nothing on my desk that you could be like, wow, there’s only one of ’em. But if you were the, an artist for example, might be a good one where you create statues and you’re famous for those statues. I think then it makes sense, right? A stand alone. Alright, okay. Alright. Um, alright. So one of the goals of the podcast is to help people who get stuck and I think, I think you’re in a good position to offer advice because a buyer or seller, you scaled your seller, you sell in multiple channels, you’ve had a lot of success with it. You haven’t been selling very long, so clearly you have figured some stuff out and you’re self aware and you realize that you like the logistics side of this business. Hence you have a warehouse and a service that you offer. What’s your advice for others that gets stuck that haven’t, haven’t been able to make that mental transition? Um, they just, they just, they’re doing everything and probably none of it, right? And they’re spinning. What’s your advice?
Wesley: [01:15:18] I recently started doing the, the 80 slash 20 approach is what it’s normally called, something like 20 percent of what you do creates 80 percent of your revenue. Figure out what you’re doing that’s not making you money. If, and I mean actually making your money and everyone knows that it’s a contest to see who can have the highest revenue numbers, revenue doesn’t really mean a lot. You need to find what’s actually profitable and focus on those things and if you have any time left over, you can work on your pure revenue generators because maybe that’s something that’s just an efficiency of scale thing where if you could do it more, it would be more profitable versus just a pretty sales number. Um, so the big thing with that is like we talked about earlier, find something you can either eliminate that doesn’t benefit you or find someone that can help you, whether it be a partner or whether it be an outsourced company to do something for you, you know, feedback, logistics, a virtual assistant or anything like that that you can do that, yes, maybe they have an upfront cost, but over time you will make up that cost and more in your ability to focus on other things that you want to actually focus on that make your money.
Stephen: [01:16:52] It’s almost like a faith issue, right? It’s almost like, hey, I know if I put more energy and effort over here that I’ll get tenfold. So now I gotta find a way to get that. That means I’m going to have to give up something like a shop, like maintaining a shopify store probably didn’t cost you a lot of money or whatever, but it still took effort. So scaling that back in and gaining that, yes, I’m giving up something too. Maybe it’s even a little bit profitable, but it’s not in my top 20 percent, uh, or top 20 given me 80. Therefore step back. I think it’s good advice. Okay.
Wesley: [01:17:24] That a lot of people don’t understand about shopify is that there’s not a, there’s not a customer service rep answering questions and people have lots and lots of questions and they get very angry even if it’s Sunday at [4:30] in the afternoon, if they don’t have an answer within like an hour. So it, it becomes a real mental drain for sure.
Stephen: [01:17:47] Yeah. And a lot of shopify sellers or drop shippers. And so you’re right. I mean that, those couple hours and their world is enormous. Um, so they know they, they don’t want to lose. Okay. All right. So if somebody has more information at once, more information. Again, they offer services. They have a warehouse and they offer a prep and fulfillment. They’re down in North Carolina. What’s the website name?
Wesley: [01:18:11] It is QC fulfillment.com.
Stephen: [01:18:15] Can you see fulfillment.com? Is there a way to contact you on that site if they have followup questions?
Wesley: [01:18:22] Um, yes, absolutely. There is an inquiry form, I believe at the bottom of every page where you can send us a question or you can just send myself a direct email. My email is Wesley@qcfulfillmy.com or if you see me on facebook somewhere, feel free to send me a message. I’m not afraid.
Stephen: [01:18:43] Okay. Then I’ll put your facebook contact. Okay. Hey Dude, I really appreciate you taking the time. I think you absolutely explained some things on seller fulfilled prime that I did not understand. I think your logic, I think it’s, it’s almost to the point where if you find the right product, you could set up almost a custom program for that product. The problem is you can’t do it for $5,000, so if you’re scaling back, if you figured out your lane, this is absolutely a way that you can gain competitive advantages and I think you have to find a way to gain competitive advantages today, especially when you’re competing against people or, uh, other countries that are selling it and you know, anything you can do. And so I just think it’s powerful. So thank you so much, man. I wish you nothing but success.
Wesley: [01:19:24] All right, thank you sir. Have a great one.
Stephen: [01:19:27] Great Story. Great job explaining it. I know I got a little technical. I’m there, but I’m, I’m interested in it because again, I think you have to figure out your secret sauce, what competitive advantage to you have. You might not have the most money. Okay? Therefore you can’t buy and get the better price and offer the lowest, uh, competitively. You could then afford more discounts, right? Or you can’t, um, you don’t have space so you have to outsource to other things and therefore there’s a cost and those kinds of things. So I think you’ve got to take a look at yourself, look at where you want to go. Again, be self aware, you know you don’t want to create that four letter work and call it a four letter thing because it’s bad. You want to have a life, I want you to create a Ford letter life.
Stephen: [01:20:13] Right? To me that’s very exciting and so I think he did a great job of explaining it and I think you’re going to hear more and more about this and you’ve got to keep figuring it out. And so for Steve, he’s trying to figure it out. I’m not going all in. Kind of like Wesley said, I’m not offering it. I’m not for us to even begin until I understand it and what works, what makes sense for our business. And then I’m going to go all in because I think I’ve got a big competitive advantage, right? You want to figure out yours to ecommerce momentum.com, ecommerce momentum.com. Take care.
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