I chose this title when Josh would really say you can save money all the time using his service Fitshipper.com. He is right. I think that every seller needs to be merchant fulfilling in addition to FBA certain times. Not all the time, don’t get a warehouse unless that is what you want. But realize being first to market is an advantage and waiting to get stuff into a 3rd party warehouse, like Amazon, can be the difference in selling or racing to the bottom.
Transcript: (note- this is a new tool I am trying out so it is not perfect- it does seem to be getting better)
[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 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 Gaye 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 moment. Didn’t bond gas. Will 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 321. Josh Newell. Very, very interesting discussion with a very, very smart guy. A very cool, uh, I love the story of how people get to where they are. And His story is very, very cool. It’s about overcoming challenges, figuring things out, you know, but realizing, you know, pretty smart, you know, you know, when you hear a story you can be like, oh my God, this guy is one of those smart guys. And yet he stumbled. Okay, people stumble. Now he had a reason. And, and figuring that out is really a big deal, but everybody stumbles. I think that’s the lesson, right? Everybody stumbles. It’s what you do when you get up and pick yourself up and you get going again. Well, Josh is a great example of what somebody with potential, um, who stumbles but realizes that and you know, I’m sure it’s family and having a good family around them and those who love them help but still getting up and going forward.
Stephen: [00:08:22] And, and he just did such a great job. So you know, there’s no doubt in my mind why he’s having so much success. When you hear a story and you start making the connections, you could just see it and it’s just so cool. Again, another reason that successful people, you know, when you look at these success stories, you always figured out that they solved their problem. While he’s a good example of somebody who figured that out. Somebody who saw something that said, Huh, I have the skillset, I can bring this to market. And so he’s got a service, it’s called flow fit shipper.com. And I have the link on the website if it’s something you’re interested in. Again, I don’t benefit other than you saving money, but I’m here to tell you is that I use services like his because I saved money. It takes away, you know, and I’m not complaining about Ebay in any way other than they have some.
Stephen: [00:09:05] They are changing their business to suit them. Well I don’t want to change certain things because it affects us in a negative way personally. So we don’t want to change something. So you lose some of your, your discounts and stuff. Well guess what? That was always something that held over my head. Well, now that option is gone because of the rather other smart guys like Joshua. I figured out ways to offer other options and guess what? Now that I have other options, we can go back to designing our life. And, and that’s what you do when you’re a small business person. You’ve got to keep your costs down, you want to do everything you can and Josh has a service that offers those types of things and I just hope that you figure this out. Q four is coming. You need to start working on your business.
Stephen: [00:09:44] This is a chance to work on your business. Let’s get into this great story with Josh. Really cool. All right. Welcome back to the ECOMMERCE momentum podcast. We’re excited about today’s guest because he is going to help us understand shipping and it’s a complicated subject. It’s not easy. And in this day and age, you know, in our precall we’ve been talking about this. In this day and age, you have to have a skills and all these services because there’s a time you’re going to need it and you’re saying, well, no, wait, I’m Fba only. I don’t want to ship. Well, guess what? That’s a perfect world. The world’s not perfect. It’s going to happen and the world’s gonna change and it might make sense for you, or q four is coming and you might have a product and you can’t get it in, in time, and yet you still want to sell it.
Stephen: [00:10:24] You don’t want to run out of stock. Well then you’re going to have to figure this out. And Joshua was an expert at that. However, he’s also a computer nerd. He’s also a, an Ebay and Amazon seller. Um, he’s also just a hobbyist for creating tech solutions to problems he’s had, which I think the most successful people have done. And that’s why he’s so successful at it. Welcome, Joshua Newell. Welcome Joshua. Thanks for having me. It. Was that a fair introduction? Yeah, I think so. I think I think the most successful people, and you’re very humble about this and so I mean it’s very cool that you’re very humble about this, but it’s true. The most successful people fix problems that they have. Right? That you created these tools and we’ll get into those to fix your problems, right? Just it’s just hassles and you’re saying, no, I don’t need these hassles because I’m smart enough and I have these skill sets and I can fix these things. Correct.
Josh: [00:11:17] Yeah. Being a, being a programmer, you get to solve a lot of lot of irritating problems since I can write some software and that’s kind of how I’ve gotten where I’m at now.
Stephen: [00:11:27] You know as a side note, because you are a programmer, because this question came up to me recently I guess in the last week is about ebay specific and somebody said that Ebay Motors, Ebay and their APP and whatever other platforms that they have. I guess I have a whole bunch of different pieces. There are all kinds of run independently and it’s one of the reasons that you don’t see that seamless a technology shift like you do on Amazon. Is that, is that correct? Am I just naive and understanding it?
Josh: [00:11:55] Uh, personally I don’t know exactly how, how their structure set up. I do know that they’re, they’re an older dot come back from the nineties and I, I just think that they’ve, since they started so early, they just have a lot of technical debt that they’re still trying to manage.
Stephen: [00:12:12] Ooh, that’s a cool term. Technical debt. Tell me what that means.
Josh: [00:12:16] Technical debt means you did something not the best way at one point in time, but now you’re stuck with it. So, you know, they’ve got to keep all of these backwards compatibilities and they have all this old infrastructure that was designed 20, 30 years ago before, you know, maybe it wasn’t what we consider the best today, the best practices we use today, but since they have so much of it since there’s such a large company, some of that stuff just sticks around and so they’re, they’re, you know, kind of building on top of a shaky foundation. Whereas Amazon, um, you know, a little bit newer and also Amazon had a very specific focus. Um, they had like, they had a good cto I think that um, made everything and interface and Api internally and externally. So they kind of had a really good foundation and of course they are not without their Amazon has their own technical debt and their own problems. But uh, and I, I’m not really sure. I think some of Ebay’s, um, it stuff is outsourced and, and that’s not without problems. So, um, I think it’s just a combination of all those things.
Stephen: [00:13:24] Is it an, it’s an, it’s really hard to unring that bell too, right? I mean, because anything they do affect somebody and so to change midstream you’re talking, I mean, I mean, correct me if I’m wrong, Amazon and Ebay technologywise are night and day because of that technical debt is determined to use. I’d love to that they’re just night and day and for Ebay to catch up to Amazon, which by the time they would catch up, I’m sure that will be outdated already would cost an enormous amount. So basically they just try to keep it running and they’re trying to put them together, but that’s why we’re seeing all these glitches. Is that fair?
Josh: [00:14:01] I think so,
Stephen: [00:14:01] yeah. Okay. All right. I’m not asking you to diagnose him. I just trying to get somebody who understands to make me understand a little better because so much of it doesn’t make sense to me. Why doesn’t want to talk to the other? Well, I can’t imagine it’s easy. I’m sure it’s unbelievably complicated, but at some point do you bite the bullet and get it done? And I don’t know if it’s possible. Okay. Alright. So you are in the computer world. Why? Why computers was that? Was that something that you were into century? Were Young, I mean, was this the thing that you were going to be or are you going to be a lawyer or something like that?
Josh: [00:14:32] Yeah, so I actually started. I taught myself how to program when I was seven years old on my, on my dad. My Dad was taking all right, this conversation went bed right here. This is where the conversation went to. Yeah. My Dad was sick in a programming class at community college and he was trying to get a, some sort of management degree and uh, I found his book and um, we had an old computer and uh, I kind of just started doing his homework for him. So, but, but I, I did not plan on being a programmer as a profession. I started my own little business. I had like a lawn care business when I was 16. I had a truck and a trailer and a big wow lawn mower, you know, like a big commercial lawn mower. And I really liked business. I really want it to be a business person.
Josh: [00:15:23] What was it that was attractive to you about that? Because that’s interesting. Why? Why, why did you want at 16 to be a business person? Because that’s not normal. I don’t know. I mean, was it, did you debt, I mean, it sounds like you had a management job. Did you see your dad and you said to yourself, Ooh, Geez, I don’t wanna I don’t wanna make that grind to or uh, actually my, my dad was a, was a fast food restaurant manager and uh, and I, I wanted to get a job at the local amusement park, a busch gardens that’s near here. And I said, you know, I think it was 15 and so you have to have a parent’s permission and all that sort of thing. And he was like, no, like, you can’t work there because these kinds of jobs aren’t very good and you don’t want to get stuck in it.
Josh: [00:16:07] Like, like he was at that point, he’s since started his own business and has been running that for a long time now. But anyway, uh, he wouldn’t let me get a minimum wage job and he’s like, listen, you know, you’ve been cutting grass around the neighborhood. How much do you make to cut a yard? It was like $20 back then. How long does that take? You know, 30 minutes to an hour. What’s that? An hour. He’s like, do you really want to make $7 an hour? Working at, uh, at Busch Gardens. And so that’s kind of what got me going in business. That’s a great. What a great lesson though. I mean, what a valuable lesson he taught you, because I agree with you, most people would have been like, oh yeah, you got to go work, got to go pay your dues. Flipping burgers. Right? And he tells you, I mean, just the fact that he said to you, okay, let’s figure out your hourly rate at 16 to understand what you can make in your case.
Josh: [00:16:54] Was what? $40 an hour or $35? $30 an hour. That’s pretty cool. Yeah. So it was really. And then um, later on, you know, several years later he had changed careers, but he wasn’t happy where he was and he was like, well, if Josh can have his own business, why don’t I start, my parents started a business and that’s what they do even now today. So, so, so you taught him, he saw his advice come to fruition, he realized that hey, this is pretty good advice. Maybe I should take, you know, one of the fathers roles and you’re a father now, so you got to say this, do as I say, not as I do. Right. That’s one of the rules you get to say. And in his case he had to take and flip it on himself. And I think that that’s very cool though. I mean you got to admit that’s pretty cool. Is he a different person being a business owner as opposed to working nights and weekends and grinding away at, you know, whatever fast food joint he was at? Well, yeah, definitely. So very cool.
Stephen: [00:17:50] Alright, so you were going to be in the lawn business. This was going to be your future when you’re going to be one of those big mega landscapers. Is that what you envisioned?
Josh: [00:17:58] No, no, I mean that’s what I was doing when I was 16 because that’s what I had the ability to do as a 16 year old. Um, but uh, I went to a college and um, my plan was I was going to be a business major.
Stephen: [00:18:11] Hmm. And what is a business major look like to you? I mean, because that’s a very broad degree.
Josh: [00:18:17] Um, you know, I don’t think I have a knew at the time I just knew I wanted to go to. I wasn’t good at business school. I was going to William and Mary in Virginia and um, you know, I thought I can learn about business and in whatever. I don’t think I was only 17 years old. So what did I know about what I was going to learn? But, um, I didn’t end up going to business school.
Stephen: [00:18:39] Why not?
Josh: [00:18:42] Uh, because I got expelled. Oh, okay. Expelled from. I got expelled from William and Mary because I failed most of my classes my freshman year.
Stephen: [00:18:52] Now, hold on a second. So here’s a seven year old who self taught computer science that usually just to, you know, I mean, this is Steve Talking, so, you know, don’t take it with a grain of salt. That usually means you’re pretty smart. A 16 year old who can run a business and successfully charged customers, get paid from customers, drive a truck, drive equipment, maintaining equipment usually has some brains and pretty smart. Um, what was it that you didn’t do well in school, in that regimented school? What was it?
Josh: [00:19:23] Well, um, it turns out that, um, I started, I started having what they call seasonal affective disorder, which is a type of depression people get when it’s winter, when there’s not a lot of light and it, it Kinda hit me. I, maybe I’d had it my whole life. Who knows, a lot of people have seasonal ups and downs, but that particular year, um, it really just made me very unmotivated and I never felt like I was depressed before. So I didn’t, I didn’t recognize what was happening. You see what I’m saying? Yeah. I just knew, I just knew that I wasn’t going to class and I didn’t feel like doing much of anything so, so I got expelled from William and Mary because I failed most of my classes and um, I ended up getting back into women, Mary, I had to do a year out and to go to some community college classes.
Josh: [00:20:12] Um, I got, I got let back in and um, but then my gpa was so low that I would never have been able to meet the minimum GPA for business school. And so I had to have a plan B business school was out for me. It wasn’t, wasn’t going to be able to happen. So my plan B was I need to do something that I can. I know I can see, you know, because I wasn’t a rock and a hard place. It’s kind of, once you’re on the academic probation thing, it’s easy to get kicked back out again for, you know, permanently. So I picked the thing I was naturally good at, which was computer science. No
Stephen: [00:20:48] kidding. And so, you know, when you were offered that year doing community college and what was the wake up for you? I mean, how did you get this? I mean, did you seek help? Did you get. I mean, we don’t get to get too personal there, but I mean, what was it that got you to turn to get enough? Was it a kick in the ass from your dad? I mean, what was it? Turn.
Josh: [00:21:07] That’s funny. I had forgotten all about this. Bring it all back around. So my dad, my dad had just started his new business, um, about the time I had gotten kicked out. And he’s in the exterminating. Yeah.
Stephen: [00:21:21] Oh No.
Josh: [00:21:23] One of the things exterminators do is they, they crawl under your house and they drill holes in the concrete blocks under your house so that they can spray chemicals that’ll keep termites from eating your house, you know, 20 years in the future. And so I helped my dad one day crawl under house and use a 10 pound hammer drill laying on my back in this crawlspace, a drilling holes in concrete blocks. And that was all it took.
Stephen: [00:21:51] That was it. That was a motivation saying, wait a second. I think I do need to get a little motivated here. So that’s the motivator. What different things motivate different people. There were some people who probably love that life who had sight, man, I would love to be under the house right now. This is so stressful, but that’s not you. And it’s not Steve, so I’m with you. So that’s the motivation that got you going and it turns you. And, and what’s so cool to me is that most people would’ve given up, Josh, most people would have said, you know what? I’m going to go flip burgers. Right? That’s what they would’ve done.
Josh: [00:22:20] Yeah. So a William and Mary is something like 400 years old, three or 400 years old. And um, I think that I’m the only student in the history of women married that was expelled for academic reasons who also got a later on the dean’s list.
Stephen: [00:22:39] Whoa. Because that’s a pretty good legacy. I mean, you’re on a, you’re on a wall, you’re on a chart somewhere. Most people don’t make it to any charts, so even though that might have been the best one. The second one. The second. Yeah, that’s pretty good. Okay. So you decided computer science, did it, did you notice it flow when you got back in? I mean, did you have like, I mean obviously the extermination motivation is definitely there, but did it, did things click for you because let’s face it, you’re a year or almost two years older at that point to [inaudible]
Josh: [00:23:10] yeah. Well I knew, I knew, um, what to watch out for if I start getting depressed in the winter and I got some medication to help with that and then it was really a struggle for survival because I had some very tough, um, bars to hit to keep,
Stephen: [00:23:26] to keep you at a target on your back. Yeah. You, you, everybody else can kind of coast now if you coasted, you’re out right there. You know, if I had had like a, a
Josh: [00:23:35] tell us gpa when I got, when I had to leave, getting that up to whatever they make, you get it to a c plus or something like that. But mine was more like an f minus, so, so it was a, it was really tied the number of the number of classes I had taken, the grades I had to get. But uh, I ended up getting straight a’s one semester, made the, made the Dean’s list. I don’t have a very, my gpa mathematically never got a very high. But um, you know, I got um, I got a’s and b’s for the rest of my college and yet at some point it started clicking and I fit, you know, by the end of, by the end of college or senior year, you feel like you’ve really got it figured out is easy street at that point. But um, took a little of adjustment and uh, took a little bit of grit to get through the, the first few semesters back. But yeah.
Stephen: [00:24:25] How about work ethic? I mean, you know, to, to, as you said, you were an f minus to pull it up to even a c would have been an enormous task, right? Or, or even to bring it to a deed to bring it to a c as an enormous task. And then to get it to a’s and b’s, so that’s a work ethic issue, right? Because it’s not, we already decided you weren’t dumb, so it had to be just effort, right. Worth work ethic, consistency, process and all that kind of jazz. Is that, is that where you got to that place where boom. And, and quite frankly, I guess I can say yes because then I can see you going forward and doing all these other things. I’m thinking about, well, how does he do all this stuff? Well, this, this obviously had to be a big piece of it.
Josh: [00:25:03] Yeah, I think a lot of it is um, what I’m interested in, you know, I have a really hard time working on stuff that I’m not interested in and um, but when it’s something I’m interested in, you know, I can, I can almost get to like a workaholic, you know, level I like to, uh, I’d like to get certain kinds of things done. And uh, and doing lawn care in Virginia in the summer, you know, you learn how to work. It’s, it’s hot, it’s hot and all day long. So, so yeah, between the doing the lawn care every summer for, for several years and um, and then being in a rock and hard place where I had to dig myself out of a big hole, you know, really have to, um, I really had to work hard to, to make it back through and graduate and so,
Stephen: [00:25:51] but there’s a lesson right that it can be done. And so I just think that that’s something that everybody should hear, is that. No, no, I mean let’s face it, Joshua was in a really bad place. I mean it was over and yet you were able to pull it around. You were like, okay, let’s, let’s get motivated and maybe everybody needs who’s in that position? Needs to go under a house and drill a hole and realize that there’s more to life. So. Okay. Alright. So you decide some point, um, you get, you get into the workforce. At what point do you decide to create a side hustle? You’re saying you’re not busy enough, you want to do a little side hustle and sell some stuff?
Josh: [00:26:27] Um, yeah. So that was, that was several years later. Um, after my first job was in DC as a call it a business systems analysts is kind of the person that goes to the sales meetings and then maybe it does the technical explanation of the tech demo and stuff like that and then the person that deals with the client trying to figure out what they actually want to happen and then I would know enough about technology to bring that back to the software development team and explain it. So I was kind of, I had my feet in it. Interesting, right? I hadn’t really thought about that, but I was a computer person that was in business. I was the business systems analyst. So I, I straddled that line that’s called, you know, the nerd interpreter basically because you could speak the language of the nerds and yet you can charm the business people and, and speak enough to make them feel comfortable, you know.
Josh: [00:27:20] But here’s, here’s the little laugh you get is now that you’re in the business world, you can laugh back at that business school degree. And like I didn’t need it because I had that skillset. It silent because quite honestly, most of those guys are very good salespeople, right? Because you have to exude a confidence to be able to let those people know, yeah, we could do this, we could do this. And then you got to go back and beg these guys, we’ve got to do this, we gotta figure this out. Right. And so that’s a sales thing. So that’s a, that’s a pretty cool thing. Um, okay. So, so you were doing that and in DC that’s not too far from where you’re at. And what were you thinking? Oh, up there. Um, I, I liked, I liked that job a lot. I got put in a situation where I got stuck in a, uh, a government office that was, was really, really dreary.
Josh: [00:28:04] It was the worst. And uh, I decided that, uh, if I did a really good job, you know, my, my reward would be I get to stay in that dreary government office longer. And so I ended up leaving. Well, those people, just so you know, that you worked with, they’re still there. The same people are still there in the same desks. They haven’t upgraded, they might’ve got them new chairs. That’s probably true. Yeah, it just is, you know, at first it was great because I was working in the main office and the software team was there and I liked hanging out with them. Ends up, but then, uh, they, they wanted me on site at this particular agency and it just wasn’t a very well is not where I want it to be at all. And at the time I was unencumbered so I didn’t have to stay.
Josh: [00:28:45] Um, ended up, uh, coming back to the Hampton roads, Norfolk, Virginia area, which is my home. And um, we’ll say long story short, getting into Ebay, uh, I have an aunt and uncle, they, um, uh, my uncle had gotten laid off. They had been doing ebay part time, um, you know, just to make extra money and when he got laid off they decided to try Ebay full time and um, and they’re still doing a full time today, but he, um, he really got me into. My uncle really got me into it. He’s like, Hey, you got to, you know, check out all the stuff, you know, we’re, we’re buying this and the thrift store and we’re buying it for a nickel and so on it for $30. And um, there were some, uh, some stuff I do with a vintage video games, electronics that we figured out was there was a market for this particular thing. And so I really started doing that and then I started doing, um, thrift stores and I found a couple of those like grail things where you buy it for 20 bucks and sell it for a thousand. And that’s really, that’s a super, uh, you know, that’s amazing.
Stephen: [00:29:50] Oh yeah. It’s so high. I mean, it’s a, you know, the thrill of the hunt, right? As they say, right. That’s a real. And it is exciting, especially when you’re good at it, especially when you have that technical skill and then you realize that there’s a market and then you almost, you know, you’re almost an artist when it comes to that kind of stuff. And I know that sounds so weird and I don’t mean to downplay somebody who’s got, you know, who can paint, but there is an art to that stuff. You can be as technical with the data as you want, but there’s still an art, right? There’s still an eye that not everybody has. And so if you have that, that’s a skill and that’s a very rewarding thing when it goes right. It doesn’t always go right, does it? Not always, no. Okay. So you, you selling and are you in your working locally, back in, in a, in your area now?
Josh: [00:30:36] Yeah, so I’ve kept my day job. I’ve got a wife and kids and health insurance and at one time I really was um, you know, thinking about like, how could I make this full time? And so we, we really tried at it and um, did really, well actually my first year we were hustling, my wife got into it with me, she started, she was willing to these Korean beauty products, there’s a, there’s kind of a fad going, going on with a Korean, a face, a face creams for women and things like that. No idea what you’re talking about. Me Neither. Me Neither to be honest with you. But anyway, she was really into it and uh, I started looking into Fba and stuff like that. I kind of experimented, played around with some retail arbitrage. I the scanner app on my phone and we’re sending stuff into Amazon Fba. And then we started actually importing a beauty products from Korea and then selling those. And so, and I was doing still doing the thrifting, still doing the video game electronics types, you know, custom stuff and um, experiment a little bit with like a private label. I’m in an electronics and niche that I’m familiar with. So we were doing the whole nine yards.
Stephen: [00:31:48] Yeah. You really went knee deep and you got little kits. Yeah, it will kids. That’s not easy,
Josh: [00:31:54] but I always thought it was interesting, you know, because not everybody can, can do Ebay full time or Amazon fulltime for, for whatever various reasons, but you know, the extra side income, the extra income that I was able to get, you know, just working, um, you know, a couple of hours at night, you know, shipping orders and things like that. And then on the weekends I’d go hit some thrift stores and stuff like that and it was, you know, a significant amount of money in our budget, which is always helpful.
Stephen: [00:32:25] Yeah, that’s always helpful. You know, thinking back to when you were the lawn business, right, you would, if you had to trade time for money other other than hiring other people, period. That was it. You were trading time for money. The difference with Ebay and Amazon is, you know, it’s one for one, right? Either neither one of them. I mean because Ebay, you can list a lot of items and yes, you got to do the work and then you got to ship them. Right. However, you know, there’s a lot of times that it just sells on its own. Amazon Fba is even better, right? Because you don’t, you just buy, send it in and then set it and forget it kind of. I mean obviously it’s not quite as simple as that as opposed to that trading time for money. So there is, there is something there. So. So why didn’t you go full time? Because I think that’s interesting. Why? I mean is it the point, you know, thinking back about this, let me ask it this way. Back when you weren’t, you weren’t encumbered, I don’t know if that was the word you used, but, but it’s, it’s a fair word where you didn’t have the responsibilities of being a dad and being a husband and that kind of thing. If that was a different situation, do you think you would have pulled the trigger and went full time? Do you think about that?
Josh: [00:33:27] Hmm. Well that’s a hard one because you’re a long
Stephen: [00:33:30] no and it’s not a. and I’m not saying that it’s, you know, these, these kids caused me not to go. I don’t mean it in a negative way, I just mean it, that
Josh: [00:33:38] let’s just say if I, if I only needed to make a half or something of what I, I’m able to make in my full time job, then I think I would do. I think I would 100 percent do it if, if, uh, if I could afford that kind of pay cut. Um, you know, cause because making, making a living, uh, on Ebay, I think it’s super doable. But, um, I have, I just for pretty different reasons have, have really high, you know, kind of medical expenses and things like that. So for me it’s not, it’s not doable right now, but if I was single and uh, you know, healthy and I didn’t need to make six figures or anything like that. Um, yeah, I think easily. And it’s totally just the, you know, it’s fun and it’s rewarding and it’s free, you know, it really is. It’s stuck in an office all day. I don’t enjoy that
Stephen: [00:34:30] to that government office or think under that house. Those two things both would keep me motivated to stay focused. I agree with that. Okay. So when did you decide to start creating products for yourself? Because you know at this point you’re selling on Ebay, you’re selling on Amazon. What, how did these, how do you come up with something to fix a problem? A, I mean, what’s the mindset for this kind of stuff? Okay, so I think we’re going to talk about flipper tools now. We can talk about flipper tools, its flipper tools.com and this is Joshua’s site and he does things, a whole bunch of Ebay stuff in etsy stuff and just just different things that it seems to me that you must have had a problem and you’re like, Huh, I can fix it or figure it out because I’m not getting the answer from somewhere else. Is that kind of where the mindset goes?
Josh: [00:35:16] Yeah, definitely. So the, the problem that I was having when I was, when I first started selling on Ebay was with shipping and what and what would happen is I’d sell something and then I pack it up and I get ready to ship it. And then after the fact, I’d realize like, Hey, if I had used this other box, maybe a regional rate box or flat rate or whatever. Yeah, if I had used that, I would say I would have saved five bucks. And then I’m in a row, you know, I’ve got this conundrum. Do I spend the time and effort to cut this package? I just spent a lot of time, you know, taping it up, do I cut this all apart and go get another box and Redo it. Is it worth, is $5 worth the amount of time and effort in? And it’s sort of painful.
Josh: [00:35:58] It’s a painful experience going in. I don’t know. Um, you know, uh, and so being a software developer, I thought maybe I can make it like a calculator that I could put in the dimensions of the item and the weight and the zip codes and it would tell me which, which of these, you know, 20 different boxes that I have as options that I should use. And that’s what I did. I made a little program, actually used Microsoft Excel to make it. And um, and that’s what I use, so every time I went to ship a package I’d get my tape measure out and measure it and punch in the numbers and then it would tell me. And then that saved me so much time because then I wasn’t hunting around for box that, you know, does this box fit and you got to put it together and stick it out.
Josh: [00:36:43] No, no, it’s a little tight, you know, how about this one? And um, and then which, and then trying to figure out which of those is going to be the cheapest option. So my little excel tool, um, was what I was using and then I thought, well, you know, I think other people might find this useful. And I wanted a little project building some web apps and I thought this would be a great a little web app that I could make and other people could use it. And so that’s when I started the website flipper tools. That’s just the domain name that I thought would be relevant. And I thought maybe I’ll add some more, more than just this one shipping calculator later. And um, I put flipper tools that come online and I put the fits shipper shipping calculator on there and then I started going from there.
Stephen: [00:37:33] You know, you’re back to being a seven year old there, you know, that’s what it sounded like to me. Somebody who’s like, I’m going to figure this out and I’m going to do this and I’m going to do that. I mean, that’s what it sounded like to me is somebody who clearly enjoys what he’s doing, who loves the tinkering, you know, I mean, to me it’s very cool. Hey, you got the skill set to do that. But it, it just, it’s, it’s the tinkering, right? When you think about that, I mean, and most people like, oh, you save a little bit of money because this conundrum still exists for most sellers. Anybody who does their own shipping, this conundrum exists. Um, were, here’s a relevant conversation were we were just met with our ups rep this past week and we’re [inaudible] we’re going to do some seller fulfilled prime at our place.
Stephen: [00:38:13] And the contract rate is unbelievably different than regular ups ground rates, right? I mean, we’re talking material differences, but it depends on the size of the item. You know, it’s like you’re expecting, oh, this rate’s going to be good for everything. Well, no. Once it hits this oversize, what’s that oversize? Nobody makes it easy for you to understand that. So it’s like get all excited and then it’s like, oh no, that’s not gonna work. And it’s so frustrating this stuff. But that five bucks, that’s material, you know, especially we shipped a couple thousand items out of our warehouse last year, so $5 scaled. I mean even a dollar savings, you know, had a couple thousand items. That’s material that’s profit because it’s not like it goes anywhere, right? You’re paying a third party. So if that one to your bottom line, that’s an enormous opportunity. And then like you said, the duplicate labor when you realize it, because I can’t tell you how many times that’s happened to me where I realized, wait a second, that boxes, oh, now I’ve got to change it and then it’s an open up, but for me, I will open it. I will take that because it makes me mentally crazy and that’s terribly inefficient. I mean, it’s stupid, right? Sometimes.
Josh: [00:39:15] Yeah, it’s a, it’s a, it’s hard on your psyche to, to, to go, all I have to do is cut this apart and Redo it and uh, money back in my pocket, but then, then it hurts you too because you realize you’re wasting time. So, uh, it’s not, it’s not a, it’s not a pleasant, a pleasant feeling psychologically to have to make decisions that, you know, if you, if you had a, had a tool like the one I made, you wouldn’t even have gotten there. So
Stephen: [00:39:40] and so. So on flipper tools down you go into the shipping section down below and fit shipper, is that a service that you sell? Is the APP? How much do I have to pay for it? How much do I pay you? How does that work? Okay.
Josh: [00:39:53] So this used to be simpler, not slightly more complicated. Flipper tools is a free website. Um, I just do it as a fun hobby.
Stephen: [00:40:02] All of the tools on flipper tools.com are just free. Okay. Let’s just go through them real quick. I just want to make sure people. I didn’t even know ruby lane still existed. That’s crazy to me. I never, I haven’t seen that name in a long, long time. So Ruby lane price, you can do price research. Etsy is on here too and one of the. Because it’s hard to find sold prices on etsy and so you have those opportunities. Eba Best offer, selling price, which now they hide. This allows you to figure out what it actually sold for NC, the bids, which I think is a big deal. Never heard of first dibs. Never once in my life have ever heard of like a,
Josh: [00:40:35] like a real high end stuff for collectors and design designers. Kind of a interior decorators might. I might
Stephen: [00:40:42] use it to shop. Hence the reason Steve’s never heard of it on Ebay. I do use your youtube, ebay listing, html creative. So you basically go out to um, and I got this from. Oh, who did I get it from? A garage flips a Lonnie Lonnie hunting. And Lonnie mentioned it. This was a while back and, and it was basically you out when you create a youtube video, so you create a second youtube channel and you just don’t publish these photos are these videos and you do a video of. So if you’re selling a VCR, for example, you show it working or a video game that’s even a good one, and then you just go take that html or take the url, pop it in here. You pop out some code, it takes about six seconds. You copy it with this little copy button, go in and post it right in the ad. So the ad stays because Ebay doesn’t want you going off their site, correct. That’s hence the. They did away with the ability to put in a youtube video.
Josh: [00:41:36] Um, in that case, they, um, they, they don’t want any active code running inside of the listings because it’s a security problem. Uh, there’s, there’s different security issues with it. So unfortunately that also broke the youtube player, the embedded player because it’s actually got active, you know, Java script content built into it. So it’s not that they don’t want you to go to youtube that’s actually allowed, you’re allowed to link to certain, you know, you can’t link back to your own website where they think you’ll try to steal the sale for them, then they won’t get the commission. But there’s, you know, there’s a list of approved things you’re allowed to do and one of them is to link to a video that demonstrates your product as long as there’s no contact info, like you can’t put your phone number at the bottom of that video.
Josh: [00:42:24] And so people buy offsite. So, um, previously that, that tool would give you the embedded code. Then when the change was made in I think 2017 for active content, um, I had to modify it. So basically what it does now is it, it looks like an embedded youtube player, but it’s actually just a link. And if the potential buyer clicks on the link, a youtube will open up in another tab and there’ll be able to watch that video. So it’s just kind of, uh, you know, the things that people know that it’s a video and they know, kind of know what’s going to happen when they click on it. Could you use that
Stephen: [00:42:59] content? Could you use that same tool to put videos into other websites and things like that? Yeah, I think theoretically it should work. It should work in. Cool. Very cool. So if somebody is looking for that resource, again, it’s free and it’s very cool. And there’s a couple other things on there. Okay. So all that other stuff is out there and is a lot of value and I’m more coming soon it says, but this whole section on shipping, I mean, I think there’s, it’s very interesting that these, they’re smart shipping calculator. There’s fit shipper for listing, don’t know where your item is going. You want to know what the charge to build in. And I think that’s a powerful one because again, my ups example, we price it for California, Chicago and local and yeah, night and day difference. I mean if you don’t know it.
Stephen: [00:43:42] And so in the old days when we did free shipping, way back in the day, it wasn’t a big deal because the post office, it was cheap, you know, sending something to California, it wasn’t that different than sending it local. Now it’s sometimes almost double. And if you have, if you don’t have that figured out and you don’t price that in, there’s your margin. Right? And so this gives you the ability to do that and then you helped with the zones and stuff like that. Okay. So, so walk me through, you said it’s different now, so it used to be free and now is the recharge. Tell me how that works. No, no, no. It’s always been free. It will always be free flipper tools. Okay. Fit Shipper though.
Josh: [00:44:20] Okay. So here’s the confusing part. Um, the first thing I ever made for the site was called a fit shipper and it’s a shipping calculator. That’s a focuses on the size of the item and finding the box. And you need to know which zip codes you know, where you are and where it’s going to go. And then it tells you the best price with the best box based on the size of the item and it’s kind of smart and knows and knows like this size thing won’t fit in this box and it will fit in that it can even tell you if it’ll fit into a padded flat rate envelope. Then people said, well that’s great, but um, you know, when I’m listing, I don’t know where it’s going to go. So this tool wasn’t very helpful. So I said, okay, you know, you’re right. It isn’t that helpful if you don’t know where it’s going to go. So I made another calculator called fit shipper for listing. And what it does is it figures out all of the prices that it could possibly be no matter where it’s going to go. So it actually does about 30 different price lookups for ups, Fedex uspss to all nine postal zones. And it does that all in about two seconds.
Stephen: [00:45:24] Yeah, I just did a, I just did it one just for demonstration. So I used one I put in to go from here to nine. Oh, two window because that’s the only California zip code I could ever possibly remember. Right. Um, and uh, put in, put in that it automatically said it’s zone eight, which I wouldn’t have known, but now I could go look at the zones and it would tell me, but in my dimensions, Blah, blah blah. And it popped up if I clicked on it and hit it in a second boot and it says immediately, um, ups uspss parcel, select ground, custom box, $10 and seventy nine cents. You’ll save $2 and thirty three cents. Saving this with fit shipper labels. Okay. So that’s, that’s where the place, I think this is how you make money. Correct. So at that place, I don’t know what, what Ebay would give me a discount, but in the past, okay, let me, I’m gonna make a little commercial for you here.
Stephen: [00:46:14] In the old days I used to get unbelievable shipping rates because we had top rated seller and we had all these different things, right? However, because I have extended handling times, because I refuse to put myself in a box to ship the same day, I shipped seven days a week, almost always the same day. However, I need flexibility for travel. So I put five days on it and they’re always like, that’s too long. I’m like, I’m sorry, but I’m not changing it right for our world. That’s works for us. So I lost a lot of those discounts and it’s a challenge because now all of a sudden those discounts which used to cover my ebay fees gone away. So this brings it back fair. Is that kind of, they’re like the right way to say it.
Josh: [00:46:56] Yeah. So when, um, so flipper tools has those two shipping free shipping calculators called Fitz shipper and over the years of working on them, developing them, doing Risa, I’ve learned more about shipping than anybody really should know. And uh,
Stephen: [00:47:11] but you’re a nerd. We’ve already decided that seven years old, you’re destined to be a nerd.
Josh: [00:47:16] So, so in all of my different research, I found a way to get some rates on priority mail that aren’t normally available, especially, especially at the time, um, it’s a, it’s a kind of rate called cubic a priority rate and I found a way, uh, to, to be able to offer that to regular mom and pop everyday kinds of people versus I’m only companies that were shipping like 50,000 packages a year. We’re able to get those rates historically. And so, um, I saw, I found that and I was like, wow, you know, I could really, um, I could really help out some people like my aunt and uncle to be able to offer these really, you know, it’s situational, but, uh, there’s some really steep discounts available. Um, if, if you’re happen to ship in the right parameters, we’ll talk about that. I guess what those are.
Josh: [00:48:11] But anyway. Um, and so I had this idea that I could create a shipping label service that would give us regular folks these really high discounts that are usually only for big businesses. And that’s how I got the idea to start my business, which is fit shipper labels and so, so with digital labels is they’ll walk me through how that works because it’s, it’s, it basically, it’s, you said 50,000 items. So are you getting a volume discount and therefore that’s how you make your money. So you shared that discount with me as long as I run my packages through you. Is that kind of how it works?
Josh: [00:48:51] So how it, how it works is um, there is a, she a usbs vendor that um, that has a, has an arrangement with usbs. Okay. Okay. I get it. Go ahead. Yep. I guess. Yeah. So, so, so without having to have, you know, I’m a giant, a giant corporation and um, be able to negotiate with usbs and stuff like that. I found a company that I could partner with and they’re, they’re the ones providing the actual, you know, when you buy the shipping labels are buying them from them or buying them through them, you know, and they’re the ones that are able to offer that, that discount. So what they don’t have though is a way for regular people to print a shipping label. They don’t have an interface, their services designed for companies that want to develop their own logistics system and that you need a software developer to write you a custom interface.
Josh: [00:49:50] So what I’ve done is I’ve written a custom interface that is designed for a Ebay sellers online sellers. Uh, okay. So, so you can, uh, you, that’s, that’s really your secret sauce is you’re the one who, who has that interface for us and says, okay, Hey, here’s what you get. Um, I can talk to this other. You’re talking dirt talk again, you’re back to. I mean, dude, have you, have you thought about this first? I mean, this is like the clouds opened up for me. You’re back to being that business person talking that nerd’s nerd, the nerd whisper.
Stephen: [00:50:28] That’s what you are, you’re back talking to the customer, right? And you figured out a way to talk to that should accompany. You really are, you’re back to being a nerd whisper. That’s what you are. That’s pretty cool.
Josh: [00:50:40] So, yeah. So, um, and that’s how a lot of these, um, you know, there’s a lot of other shipping label services online, um, unless, unless their stamps.com, unless they’re desia most of those are actually using one of those other companies as the label provider. There’s sort of like a historic, um, uh, what is it, a pen, Napoli on a shipping labels. It started with stamps dot comment and Desia. They’ve actually merged and bottle everybody else and stuff like that. So generally speaking, you know, when you’re buying shipping labels online, you’re buying them through like one of three, three or four companies.
Stephen: [00:51:19] And they’re aggregators. I mean basically they’re, they’re just aggregators and they’re, they’re taking that bulk, getting that discount and doing it. And you found a way to find a third party without all the hassle without. Because I, I used to have a dj and I, I, I called it a diy dish. I don’t know if that’s right, but they used to be great and then emerge a stamps.com and now they’re the bureaucracy. And I dropped them because I go nowhere. I mean it knows no customer service. And you had to pay that monthly fee and I paid it for 10 plus years. Alright. And then when I needed help, they weren’t there for me. So that was enough for me to say no. And so you’ve taken away the need to do that. And I think it’s a very, very cool. The other thing that’s very cool is you don’t just offer one option that says the best price.
Stephen: [00:51:59] You can click on more and you can actually see the other opportunities because sometimes it doesn’t make sense, right? Sometimes it just, it doesn’t work. Um, but in this scenario you give, my God I’m looking at, I don’t know how many 30, I don’t know the list went way down to the bottom. So almost 30 options that you show pretty much every possible way that you can ship this thing. Um, so it’s very cool. A very, again, you’re the nerd whisper, you took your skill set, converted. What is technical for me, it’s talking to that company. And you made it so I can understand it. And I think you’re back to that business was a business systems analyst, was that the term?
Josh: [00:52:38] Yeah. Business systems analysts. There you go. That’s that. That’s a skill set that you brought forward. So just just to clarify, everything fits shipper labels is a, is a paid service? I’m at. It’s at fit shipper.com.
Stephen: [00:52:51] Okay. So let me go to [inaudible] dot com because I want to look at that. So it’s a paid service. So in addition to buying my posted to their. I pay you a fee to. Is that correct?
Josh: [00:53:00] Yeah, there’s a monthly fee. Starts at $5 a month. Okay. That’s not really a big fee. And a website. I wanted to keep it affordable for, you know, like I said, kind of kind of folks like my uncle. And that website again is what now www fit shipper.com. Okay,
Stephen: [00:53:21] okay. And so there for a small fee, you and then you get the
Josh: [00:53:25] ability to access these prices, these better prices. And when, let me ask this question and when I, when I use your calculator and I have a fit shipper account, does it automatically linked? The two together and take me right through it. No, not right now. It doesn’t. Or do I just go to fit shipper and then just that does a calculator there? Yeah. The inside of the fish zipper service. There’s. Okay. There’s a calculator. Does it link up with any of the, uh, uh, of the, uh, of the systems. Um, you know, does it link up with Ebay or Amazon or etsy or any of the other systems? Currently it links with Ebay. Okay. And uh, in the, in the future. I don’t want to say the near future, but uh, as soon as I possibly can, it’ll, it’ll start linking up with etsy and Amazon and maybe a few others.
Josh: [00:54:13] Currently it does Ebay. Okay. Any idea of what kind of savings people have seen? Um, you know, if you have any anecdotal evidence of how much money people are saying savings. Yeah. So if you are not a top rated seller, which 99 percent of people are not anymore. No they’re not. They used to be, but the rules keep changing. Right. You know, 30 day returns, you know, used to be 15 to [8:30], now I think it’s going to 60. So I think that this is really important for a lot of people right now, if you are not a top rated seller than you get at least three percent discount on priority mail except for regional rate. There’s always an exception to some rule, right? With shipping, there’s, there’s just too many possibilities. But with a flat rate and regular rates, um, priority, if you’re not a top rated seller, you’ll instantly get three percent off those.
Josh: [00:55:08] Okay? So, so if you’re not a top rated Amazon or Ebay, it’s just the same cost, right? It’s the post office cost. Correct. If I, if I bought shipping on Ebay, it’s basically the same cost, right? There’s no discount there are. Um, there are three price tiers with usbs. The, the first one is retail, and that’s what you would pay if you took it to the post office or you bought it on quicken ship, usbs.com, click and ship. That’s retail. Nobody should be paying retail. If you’re selling online, I don’t care if you sell five things a month, you shouldn’t be paying retail. Um, the next is called the next level discounts called commercial base rate, and that’s the rate you get from anybody online. So if you ship through stamps.com, if you ship through Ebay and you’re not top rated seller, if you shift through Etsy, if you ship through, um, paypal, you get commercial base rate, so they’re discounted versus retail but not necessarily materially discounted. Well, the discount between retail and commercial base rate is. I would, I would consider it material. You would, it’s, it’s a significant discount. That’s why no one should be paying retail. That’s only for, you know, grandma needs to ship her
Stephen: [00:56:23] package once a year to the grandkids for Christmas. That’s. So let’s pause here for a second because I think this is, you know, this is the at and t phone that people least for 50 years in their house and they never realized they were paying for that phone every month for the 20 or 30 or 40 years. And at no exaggeration that really happened. Um, there are people that go and stand in line at the post office and buy their shipping there. So if they are doing that all they can, I mean they should buy it through Ebay or like you said, through paypal and without, without joining a service, they don’t even have to pay you the five bucks and immediately they’re going to save money. Impurity, yeah. If anybody’s doing that today, please stop. I mean he’s giving you a simple example and it’s more than your hourly rate, especially if you’re shipping five packages.
Stephen: [00:57:09] You could save several as, as Josh just said, it’s material. So investigate, you know, go do it at the counter and then go do it on paypal and see how much you save and then multiply it by your package. Okay. All right, so I get that. Now you got me caught up on that. So that’s just standard commercial rate that everybody gets. There’s no without, like you said, without the bonus of top rated, everybody gets the same rate. Okay. Then there’s a third level. Yeah. The third level is called commercial plus rates and commercial plus rates are what you would get if you were an Ebay top rated seller or if you use one of the shipping label services that offer that discount without a minimum volume. Okay. And so that’s the one where you have to have a minimum volume. Oh, you have to hit this minimum volume.
Stephen: [00:57:53] However, there are aggregators Ebay’s and aggregator, they get that benefit. I’m Amazon gets, it doesn’t give it to you, but um, they, they probably keep the difference. Right? Um, so, so there is a way to do that. Right? So go ahead, you to say something, they’ll just a little bit noise online. But yeah, so there used to be, um, there used to be a commercial plus discount on first class packages and that wasn’t very nice, but I’m Uspsa eliminated that discount a few years ago. So now there’s only really a commercial plus discount on priority mail. And the difference between commercial plus and base rates on across the board for a priority mail is three percent. Okay. So three percent. So if it’s going to be $10 dollars, usually 10, 65, whatever it’s going to be nine slash 70, right? So you’re going to save that little bit, but it’s going to save that m times the volume of packages you have.
Stephen: [00:58:51] Yep. So if you are a top rated seller, you get that through Ebay or if you use a service like fits shipper labels, you also get that discount. Well, one of the, one of the challenges, and this is what I call them negative incentives, we used to do to our sales reps, hey josh, we’re going to take back your commission if we don’t get paid in 90 days. So we would pressure you, right? That was a negative incentive. You’re gonna lose your commission. And I used to go and say, look, Josh, I don’t like to take this money back. You worked so hard on it. Go collect this money. Right? And it was, it’s always this negative thing. Um, top rated seller used to be that way. They’d be like, Hey, if you do this, you can stay in. The goal was to keep people, you know, the best of the best rise to the top, they get a benefit for doing it, being in a best of class.
Stephen: [00:59:33] Now what they’ve done is basically said everybody must meet this standard. I get where they’re going and I’m not putting him down for that, but you know, we’ve created these businesses and we’ve designed our lives around these businesses and sometimes it just doesn’t work, you know, for, for those of us who are small single business, if you don’t want employees, you know, I don’t want to close my store because when I do it drastically affects my sales to get it back into their algorithm. So therefore I put extended handling time so I can disappear for a weekend and not have to fit that. Right. That works for me. That model was good enough for all those years. Now I know I lose out on sales because of it, right? Because you’re saying, hey, if I buy from Josh and I’m going to get it in three days, if I buy from Steve, it says I’m not going to get it for eight days.
Stephen: [01:00:18] Okay. So there’s the, there’s already the, the, your best of class, so therefore you should get now they put these standards up there where everybody must meet these standards to get to that. And so some of us are just saying, sorry, I’m not going to do it right. I just don’t want to participate. And then I lose that benefit. Yeah. But I used to worry about losing that benefit, but now with these other options, I’m like, okay, sorry I didn’t get my top rated. I’m okay with that. And uh, yeah, I’m probably losing sales because of it. But for my life right now I can afford to give up that time. So you’re giving options to it. It’s very cool. I mean, it, it, it’s very, very cool. Um,
Josh: [01:00:55] so that’s the, the minute you asked me what the savings would be like. So those are the minimum savings on, on prior. So there’s no savings on firstclass class package. Nobody can give you better rates on that. Then the standard base rates and then you’re going to get the plus rates, which are three percent off priority. There is though, another day, it’s still considered commercial plus, but it’s a special rate that most people until very recently had never heard of because it wasn’t something you could actually even get a, you couldn’t get it through Ebay. You couldn’t get it through anybody really without having that 50,000 packages per year volume. And that was what caught my eye when I was doing my research on this. Um, this is the secret. This, yeah, this, this was the, Oh wow. People, people can, will really be able to use this.
Josh: [01:01:46] It’s called cubic priority rate. So people know that there’s a regular by weight, there’s a flat rate, there’s a, a regional rate that people are confused about usually, but those are the ones people know they’ve heard of. But there’s this other one, this fourth option called cubic rate and cubic rate is the prices based on how far it’s going to go in the size of the package without regard to the weight of the package. So if you’re selling something that’s kind of dense, it’s kind of small, kind of heavier than the savings can be pretty.
Stephen: [01:02:21] Give me an example of extraordinary is a very broad term and it’s all relative I guess for people, but what kind of discounts do you see
Josh: [01:02:29] the, if you calculated out with the maximum, it’s over 70 percent off of the regular priority, right? That’s shipping 50,000 items without. Yeah. So I mean that’s kind of an extreme example. That would be like if you were, if you were shipping, I’m a bullion or you know like a penny if you’re shipping pennies or quarters or something super heavy, super dense, um, and you were shipping it to like zone nine, like some island, somewhere in the Pacific you would see over like 70 percent discount. No kidding. But let’s talk about some more realistic, some more realistic examples. Let’s say. I don’t know, you sell shoes, I just. So you sell shoes without the original box. Okay. Do you?
Stephen: [01:03:14] No, I, I, I, I, sometimes I don’t. Generally I keep them in the box but just because I have wholesale but, but I have sold shoes without the box.
Josh: [01:03:24] Okay. So let’s say you’re, you know, you’re a thrifter and you found some really nice men’s dress shoes at the thrift store and you sell them and you want to ship them. So, um, men’s dress shoes are going away a little over two pounds maybe, maybe three pounds. Yeah, yeah, for sure. And so, um, you can then you can then ship those a couple of different ways. You could, you know, probably can’t fit them into a padded flat rate envelope or if you could, you wouldn’t want to because they’re dress shoes and they would get crushed. So you’ve got a couple options. If they were smaller shoes, maybe you could fit them into a regional, a box, but probably not with men’s dress shoes, but ended up shipping them by, by weight. Um, most, most likely the three pound regular priority rate. But um, if you ship them in a box that is, um, if you use that priority shoe box, that free box you’re allowed to use. It’s not a flat rates, just a regular box. If, if, if you can fit your shoes in that and then cut about an inch and a half off the off the length of it that ships out something called cubic tier point of, oh, point three or cubic tier three, I just shorten it down to, and you at that rate, you end up, you end up saving a dollar or two, um, depending on where it’s going to go.
Stephen: [01:04:39] And so when you’re doing that and you’re shipping, you know, 20 or 30 of those packages a week, you’re starting to talk material amounts of money. Again, this is pure profit. You’ve worked so hard to buy that product at the right price. Now you’ve got to try to make, you know, I was thinking about this before our call and I think I mentioned in our precall I think of a myth. This is where you know somebody who’s got a little maturity in their business. Somebody who’s got the sourcing downright somebody who’s got the listing process, downright someone’s got. This is where he would tell you, you need to be working on your business, not in your business. Because working on in improving margins, right? If you could save a point, right, in that case a dollar, if that represents one percent, because if you could find 10 ways to save that one percent, think it’s 10 percent. I mean some material, you don’t have to go out and had a whole bunch more products, Josh too, because of these things. This is working on your business as an email would say loving,
Josh: [01:05:32] not, not, not only that, because not only are you saving on your expenses, but you also have the ability then to lower your prices, compare to your competitors, so you might be able to offer it a dollar cheaper if it’s something you’re competing on. If you’re saving $2 on shipping, you could increase your profit by dollar and undercut the next guy. Buy a dollar. So
Stephen: [01:05:58] that’s very powerful. And, and does it work really well? If you’re going to combine items, can you get that complicated where you can combine items and get it
Josh: [01:06:04] down in that math? Yeah. So I mean if you, um, basically it’s all by the volume. So if you can find a box that you know, meets a certain size, the fit shipper calculator in the, um, the paid app and also the free one and it’ll just tell you like, okay, when you see that thing that says if you ship this with Fitz shipper labels, you’d save this much. That’s what it, that’s what it’s doing is it’s using the dimensions you put in and the weight and where it’s going to go. And then if it’s cheaper it tells you.
Stephen: [01:06:37] And so, you know, I mean, I’m sitting here thinking this could be a way of sourcing. You know, when people are looking for that optimal number. I mean you could say, Hey, well that fit in that thing because then you’re like you said you could step up and pay a little bit more because it could be a fast turning on because you’re going to save money on the other end. And it’s a very cool. It’s just a, again, it’s a way of optimizing your business and I think that’s what a lot of people need to start doing that this is a big deal because here we are in July. Okay. Q four is coming and so I, it’s, it’s, you starting to see it more. I’ve noticed over the last several years, all of a sudden people are like, man, I gotta do some merchant fulfilling too because I can’t get this into Amazon’s warehouse.
Stephen: [01:07:15] I can’t get it in. I have to figure this out. You know, they’re all FBI. They’re 100 percent FBA, but then they’re like, wait a second. This is a hot toy. I’ve got to be first to market because otherwise and so they have to start figuring this stuff out and to me this is the opportunity to figure this stuff out and again, and Steve doesn’t benefit other than you having success people. I don’t. Josh doesn’t pay me a dime. I just love when you figure this stuff out because if you can bring a partner on like a fit ship label or fit shipper.com, when you bring that partner on to help figure this stuff out for you so you don’t have to become an expert. That’s where you’re buying time. Is Mitchell Lipo is, is by time there’s the place to buy some time and for five bucks I’m buying time. I think this is a great service. It’s a very cool thing. And again, I mean, did you ever think you’d have this much success with it? I mean, you really, it’s really taken off. I mean, did you ever feel like it was going to be this, this thing in your mind?
Josh: [01:08:08] I did. I did. Um, I took about a year of thinking I had this, um, you know, I, I knew had this knowledge I could do this. And um, I sat on it for about a year because it was a daunting thing to start a company from scratch that, um, you know, it’s a very big technical project. And um, I knew it was going to be a lot of work and so I didn’t, I didn’t do it right away, but, but one day I had woken up and I was kind of getting, getting, going for the day and I just like thought in my brain like, you know, how many people would I would need to sign up for this at the lowest price I can, I could come up with to make like a material change in my, you know, maybe not replace my fulltime living, but um,
Stephen: [01:08:53] to fill up that budget as you were talking about before to help make,
Josh: [01:08:57] so make a real difference in my, in my life. And it wasn’t very many. Um, it, it wouldn’t take that many. And you know, the goal. And the other reason is because if I’m only charging $5 a month, I can give you this one example. It’s on the fitz shipper. Come know main site. There is something, there’s a picture there of a box. And it’s something I shipped. I sold on Ebay. It was a box of vhs tapes, a 12, a 12 pack of old vhs tapes. I didn’t know if you knew that, but there’s a. there’s a market for those. They’re hard to find and I’m it and it ended up weighing seven pounds, 12 vhs tapes, and a little brick is seven pounds. To ship that to California in a regular box would cost $27. But with cubic rate it’s 10 76.
Stephen: [01:09:48] Oh my God. So that’s so, so you wouldn’t have bought that, right? You wouldn’t have bought that if you didn’t know that. Right? Because you would have said, oh, I’m going to make. And then you realize how much or people aren’t gonna buy it from me when they see it’s $27. This shift would have had to wait for someone from the state to buy it from me. I couldn’t have sold it to someone in California. So you excluded one of the. Well, the number one buying state in the country. I’ve done this math. California is the number one ecommerce buying state in the country period to California, Texas, New York or something like that’s the order they go in and um, so you would have excluded the number one marketing. Love it. So, so,
Josh: [01:10:24] so my point is if, if I can save $17 or $17 on one shipping label or you could, but I’m only going to charge you five for the service, I feel like that’s going to be a success. Right, right.
Stephen: [01:10:39] That’s a, that’s a pretty fair business model. Yeah. People see the savings right away. Um, I think, I think again, you solved a problem. He figured something out. You are like, you’re the nerd whisperer. You’re like, Hey, I can talk to these guys. I can figure out the technical side of this and put it in language that people can understand and present it and therefore I want to get compensated a little bit forward and I just think it’s very fair and it’s not. Again, you’re giving a tool to a group of us who might be excluded from it now because we’ve lost that status or on Amazon. They don’t even offer it. You don’t even get rates on Amazon. They keep those. I’m sure they get discounts. You just don’t see it. They must keep them. I don’t know what happens, but if we don’t get those, but we don’t get the benefit of those.
Stephen: [01:11:21] And so therefore, um, this opportunity, if you’re going to merchant fulfill, which you absolutely should consider this q four, I mean I’ve had friends that were standing in line back when toys r us was open buying the hot toy and listing it for sale. Literally as they were standing there and five minutes later they’re still in line saying, oh, I already sold. So that’s amazing when you have that hot toy because you have to get first to market or is a good example with toysrus closing, all that stuff went out into market. The people who are going to make the money right now on those hot toys were the first people. And then it’s, there’s a low and there’s a race to the bottom. And then if you hold onto it, it eventually will come back. So if you had an option, if you had the ability to do it, I just think it’s powerful and again, you know, this is my advice, partner up with somebody you trust and if this resonates with you then you go to [inaudible] dot com.
Stephen: [01:12:09] And again, I don’t benefit other than you having success. And also you’ve got to go to flipper tools.com because I’m telling you those tools are powerful. That youtube video, if you’re selling on Ebay and you got a high end stuff and you’ve got expensive stuff, videos make the difference. Lani honeycuts got me convinced that videos make the difference because people get to see it work. Nerds like you, Josh, electronic nerds like to know that something works. They want to see it because you could say, oh yeah, that does what I want or it doesn’t. And I just think it’s such a powerful tool because it’s so easy. I mean it literally takes, I think it’s two minutes, the whole process all the way, including the video. I mean the whole thing is all the way through and so that’s on flipper tools.com. All right, so if somebody is interested they can go to [inaudible] dot com. The information there to sign up, if they’re interested in this service, they want to find out more. If they want free advice, go to flipper tools.com and read all this stuff because there’s tons of stuff in there. There’s a lot of information, stuff that I didn’t know that’s available. What’s next for Josh? I mean, what do you, what do you, what are you thinking? I see that you have other ideas. What, what, what else do you, are you thinking? What are the problems? Are you thinking about solving?
Josh: [01:13:13] Well, I’m going to focus on, on fit shipper labels. Um, mainly I feel like that’s the um, the most you want to build it out, you want to build it up. I want to get the etsy and the Amazon integration. So if you are merchant fulfilled or you want to do that for q four, that will integrate directly and be able to download and upload the tracking like it does with Ebay right now. So I’m working really hard to get, get those integrations working and then I do have, you know, I get bored sometimes so I always try to keep a couple of little things on the side. Right now people are, a lot of people are asking about, uh, being able to cross list from Ebay to say poshmark and mercury. And so that’s an idea that um, um, you know, it got rolling around in the back of my mind. I don’t know if I’ll end up doing that, the amount of effort to, and then whether or not people would want to pay for it or not
Stephen: [01:14:07] and whether those apps are going to last. I mean, that’s the challenge, right? Everybody’s new to market so everything’s gotten, but whether they’re gonna be able to sustain those business model has yet to be seen, right? We’ll say they’re still using VC money. So it’ll be interesting to see when the VC money runs out, are they going to be sustainable? So for you to put a lot of energy and effort in, um, that’d be tough. I just saw one of the cross listing platforms disclose, I forget who it was. Literally this week I saw something that they are stopping their service and I’m like, Ooh, that was an mcf. I think it’s auto mcf. I think that’s the one that stopped. And I’m like, Huh, you know, um, well it’s real. I mean these things are real. They take a lot of energy and effort and I’m assuming it takes a lot of energy and for, to keep it running right there. I’m sure that’s not just, you know, wave your wand and the Unicorn dust and things work perfect. Right?
Josh: [01:14:53] No, no, no, no. Definitely not. Definitely doesn’t work like that. You know, people, people have lots of questions. Um, especially when they’re, when they’ve just signed up, they don’t. Maybe they don’t know how cubic a rate work. So I have to, you know, help people learn about that. And then, you know, day to day, sometimes there’s bugs, sometimes there’s glitches, sometimes it’s Ebay’s fault, sometimes it’s mine, stuff like that. So yeah, it’s definitely a lot of work
Stephen: [01:15:17] or life happens. Life is going to happen to everybody. The world’s not perfect because if it was, you know, I guess we wouldn’t need to be even having this conversation because we’d all be sitting down by the equator somewhere sipping drinks right now. If somebody has followup questions, they want more information. What’s the best way to get in touch with you?
Josh: [01:15:36] Uh, they could email me@Joshatfitshipper.com.
Stephen: [01:15:41] Josh had fits shipper.com. Dude, I’m very, very impressed. I loved the story. I mean, that’s for me, that’s what I love is a story again, to watch you weave your life to hit that wall, push through it and come out on the other side with a skillset that clearly I’m telling you, this nerd whisper thing has served you well because you’re doing it again and you don’t. You might not see it. It’s obvious to me and it’s probably obviously others that you’ve got a gift in this thing and I just think it’s very cool for you. Be able to put it in layman’s terms for people like me to be able to understand me and I, I really appreciate you taking the time, especially explaining it because it is complicated and you did a great job. I understand it now. I feel that much smarter.
Stephen: [01:16:21] So man, I just want to thank you so much. I wish you nothing but success. Thank you. And you’re welcome again. Great Guy. Can you imagine coding at 70 basis when you’re that smart? You know, it’s. So, I, I tell this story all the time though, when you grow up around computers and that’s all, you know. Um, you know, when we, when my old job, when we would hire somebody, they just knew what to do and we never had to train them because they just knew a database. So we just do it this. Yeah. Oh, what term do you use? Oh, okay. We’ll use it this way, but yeah, that makes sense. And boom, they had such a big advantage as old dudes and dudettes, we don’t have that advantage, but you can learn it. You’re smart, you’ve got skills, you’ve got marketable skills that you can use to figure this stuff out.
Stephen: [01:17:03] And Josh is a great example of somebody who put his head down, do the work and look at what he’s been able to do. So again, my advice to you is figure out shipping offer merchant fulfilled shipping. If you’re an Fba only, that’s awesome. Offer merchant fulfill so you do not run out of stock. Do not let your, especially if you private label, have a b plan. Have a c plan because guess what? I’m as Paul Miller about his shipping company, you know, no fault of his own. It changed. They had a person made a different decision about their life and their business. They change. Well, guess what? That affected him. And so having a b plan and then a c plan is so smart and so learn how to ship. It’s not hard. Have a plan, get this service or one of these services and get it in place. So when the opportunity arises in, you need it, it’s there. That’s insurance, that $5 a month, his insurance to know that you have a plan and you have somebody there who offers help with when you need it because you heard him say he has to help sometimes train people, and so I think that’s really important. So ecommerce momentum.com, e commerce momentum.com, and I just love, love, love these stories. Keep them coming. Take care.
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