Thaddeus and Heidi, welcome to the show.
Thaddeus: Hi there.
Thaddeus: It’s great to be here.
Jim: It’s great to have you guys here.
Thaddeus: It’s a great honor. It was actually one of our goals to once be on this podcast when we started 10 months now. Didn’t think we’d be here this quick, so yeah, we’re super excited to be here.
Jim: Here you are. This is awesome. I love it. I love hearing that that was a goal. I hope this propels your business forward somehow as well. Thank you for your time. Let’s get right into your story. Okay, you said 10 months. Let’s start at the beginning. What were you doing before Amazon?
Thaddeus: I’m a carpenter by trade. I have my license here in Canada. We’re from Canada, by the way, just an hour north of the border, right in central Canada in Manitoba, and I was, yeah, doing carpentry. My dad was self-employed, so I’m his only full-time employee, so it’s the two of us. Occasionally there’s other guys too, so I see how business is being run. My wife’s dad is also self-employed, so we also see that from that side, but ourselves, we’ve never done anything like this, so – or anything on our own actually. Heidi’s been working in a daycare and a bakery and on production lines.
Heidi: It was just – I don’t know.
Thaddeus: Yeah no degrees, right?
Jim: Odd jobs.
Thaddeus: Yeah, just odd jobs.
Jim: My mom actually ran a daycare for a while. I know that gig. I grew up in one for a while. She was a director of one. Do you still do some of those things Heidi or has Amazon taken over yet?
Heidi: No. We got married five years ago and in 2017 our son was born, and he was born with a condition, had a lot of hospital stays, lots of surgeries in Toronto, some locally here. Yeah, and that’s pretty much kept me home. I always thought I might go back to do something part-time just because I can’t sit at home, but the first couple of years, we were just in the hospital pretty much every couple of months at least.
Jim: Good for you guys doing what had to be done to take care of your kiddo. You said he is four, right?
Heidi: He’s four now, yeah.
Jim: Yeah, he’s four now. Wow. How’s he doing now? How’s his condition now after being through the rough start?
Heidi: He’s had nine surgeries. He was in the NICU for the first –
Thaddeus: Eleven weeks.
Heidi: First 11 weeks. Had a really rough start.
Thaddeus: He’s doing good now.
Heidi: Yeah, he’s doing really good. We’re waiting on one surgery, but that’s down the road, but he’s good. He has pain sometimes here and there, but he is pretty strong. They are so – they’re so strong, stronger than we are.
Jim: Oh, you learn so much from a kid like that, right?
Jim: We’ve got one of our – I say special needs, but that sometimes paints a wrong picture in people’s minds, but he’s had a lot of challenges. Our little guy, Ty, from China, he’s had his challenges for sure, but you just learn so much as a parent, and it really does solidify bringing it back to business, this is why we do what we do. You’re willing to get up two hours earlier than you would be comfortable getting up, and you’re willing to stay up three hours later than you’d be comfortable staying up once you add those little ones into your life and that responsibility and the weight of that, so good job, guys, doing what had to be done. Mom was able to stay home, dad working hard. You’ve got that hard working spirit built in, so you were ready to rock on this Amazon thing when it came.
Heidi: Yeah, we grew up working at home a lot. Our parents made sure we know how to work.
Thaddeus: Yeah, it’s actually also my son’s fault. I even stumbled across Jim Cockrum and his whole program here because we were sitting in hospital after a surgery. I was also there. That was locally here in Winnipeg, and I was just scrolling around on Facebook, and I think it was on one of the Dave Ramsey groups. Somebody asked what’s a good side hustle to start, and I’m not sure, but if I remember correctly, it was you personally commenting on there, listen to my podcast at Silent Sales Machine. I’m like well, I have time now, so I might as well listen to one, so I listened, and yeah, that’s pretty much where our journey began. That was in March 2020, so I was listening a lot to your podcasts and eventually, I told my wife there’s this sale going on right now. For $30 a month, we can take this course. Worst case scenario, I lose $30, but at least I know I looked into it, so she’s like go for it.
Jim: Worst case would be we give you a refund because even that 30 is refundable, but I love that, so you were in the hospital with your kid and stumbled upon our – that’s incredible. I love it. That was about a year ago you said, right?
Thaddeus: Yeah, in March 2020. I personally listened a lot to your podcast while working – we were still building our own house, the one we live in right now.
Jim: It looks beautiful from what I can see, by the way. Good job. Good drop cloth work from here.
Thaddeus: Yeah. While doing the work, I was doing siding still, so I was listening to your podcast, and then we went for it. We got the course. I listened to the Amazon 101. I’d shopped on Amazon. Never sold a thing in my life on Amazon or eBay or anywhere actually on the internet, so this was completely new to me, and maybe a month or a month and a half later, I think it was end of May, somebody called me from your team to ask how our business is doing. All I could answer is not really anything. I’m still trying to learn. Are you interested in coaching? Definitely interested. Let’s talk the details about it.
Thaddeus: We just discussed the details. He figured wwould be a good fit for coaching and so did we, so we jumped for it, and we’re super glad we did it. It was worth every penny plus a lot more than that actually.
Jim: Love to hear that.
Thaddeus: We had an awesome coach, Cheryl, from –
Heidi: Toronto, Niagara Falls.
Thaddeus: From Ontario, and –
Jim: Yeah, we have coaches all over the place now. It’s incredible. Good, amazing coaches in Canada and the UK. It’s very international. In many cases these are people I haven’t even got a chance to meet yet. I’ve had conversations with them, but we haven’t even had a chance to meet because our organization’s growing quickly, but yeah, Cheryl’s been a fantastic success story, yeah.
Thaddeus: We actually got to meet her in person like two months after we started coaching because we had to go –
Heidi: To Toronto hospital.
Thaddeus: Close there for our son’s surgery or for a checkup.
Jim: Oh, that’s so great.
Thaddeus: We contacted her, and we were so glad we could meet up, see each other face to face.
Jim: That’s pretty cool.
Thaddeus: Yeah, it was interesting.
Jim: When coaching got started, how quickly did you – did the light start to come on? What was the difference between what you were trying to do before and once coaching started? Contrast that for me if you would, without coaching and with coaching.
Heidi: Without coaching we weren’t really motivated. I think we needed the coaching for it to push us.
Thaddeus: Our accountability, that was a big part for us.
Heidi: We knew we paid money for this and we had to get going because it was not money that we just had laying around, so we had to get going and yeah, she pushed us. She always gave us homework pretty much, and said okay, until the next meeting, you have to have this done. I think that really pushed us and helped us to get going.
Jim: What were some of the assignments that she gave you early on, do you remember?
Thaddeus: I remember the very first assignment we had to figure out in which categories we were ungated in, so we had to go through all the categories, categories and subcategories, so I don’t know how many hundred of them there are, but that was our very first assignment to do, and –
Heidi: Then finding 10 Replens a week.
Thaddeus: Then finding 10 – started by finding 10 Replens a week. We had our first shipment in July, beginning of July, and then it got checked in on the 21st, and that was when our first sale was.
Thaddeus: We’re just over 10 months now from our first sale.
Jim: Ten months ago your first sale, about a year ago you joined our coaching program.
Jim: Great, great story. Tell me about some of those first Replens that you found. How did you find them? Were you shopping online? Were you guys hitting the stores? What was your strategy?
Heidi: I was standing in aisles. Yeah, I was standing in an aisle for a couple hours and then moved on to the next. It was awkward at first.
Jim: It is.
Heidi: Yeah. I was doing most of the sourcing in the store. Now I’m switching over to more online because it’s a lot easier because I do two shopping trips with my son all the time, yeah. We started off just in stores.
Jim: You say it was awkward, and this is – I remember that stage very well. Now it’s – I love sourcing still. Some people for some reason are surprised to hear this, but even tonight, I plan on spending two or three hours out finding new Replens because it’s just a blast. I envision it as I’m finding new five-, ten-, 50-dollar a month income streams for my business so I can keep my team rocking and keep the business moving forward, right? I love doing that part. You said it was awkward. What makes it – did it stop becoming awkward at some point?
Heidi: Oh yeah, for sure. Now I approach workers and talk to them. I’m still not that comfortable, but if I see they keep on looking at me and I’m just standing in one spot, I go up to them and talk. Now even I have them calling me and telling me okay, we got this product in. We have a truckload coming in next week, so that’s nice.
Jim: It feels strange at first, but I was in another store I’d never been in – this was yesterday – picking up one of our hot moving items. I said hey, is the manager around. Everyone will tell you yeah, hey – and they think you’re going to complain. Every time someone asks for a manager, they’re braced for a complaint, and here’s someone that’s happy. I’m like hey, great to meet you. Your store looks really good compared to some others I’ve seen in the area, by the way, and if you ever have extra product X, Y, or Z, here’s my name. Please give me a call. I’ll buy as many of them as you want to sell me. Leave some on the shelf if you want to for your other customers, but – or if you can order them for me, and you’ve got a new relationship and a friendship. There’s nothing awkward about it once you’ve done it a few times, right?
Heidi: Yeah, for sure. Yes.
Jim: That’s great. Tell me about one of the good sellers you found early on. Don’t give it away. You don’t want to tell everyone how to compete with you.
Thaddeus: Actually, it’s very interesting. It’s a product that got stopped being produced by the manufacturer, so we can’t source it anymore since about two months. We’ve sold – I don’t have the exact numbers – I’m guessing in total $15,000 worth of that product.
Heidi: It’s a little bit more expensive.
Jim: Fifteen, okay.
Heidi: The product itself, yeah, it’s a little bit more expensive.
Thaddeus: The product costs us $55 and we’re selling it for 130.
Jim: Wow, what category is that in?
Thaddeus: That was in outdoors.
Jim: That’s one of the first categories – you were probably approved for that when you first started, right?
Thaddeus: We actually found that product – I believe that was in the beginning of August. We tested it. It went so good, so we went and emptied all the stores pretty much in our surrounding, and then we had to go to Toronto, which is a 22-hour drive for us for our son to the hospital. We were there and we actually took our business along. We put the printer in the trunk. Boxes we bought there, and –
Heidi: Packing supplies.
Thaddeus: We got most of those products from – that were available in Toronto and sold them as well, so the month –
Jim: That’s awesome. A tax-deductible trip to the hospital for your son. I don’t know do taxes work the same in Canada, if it’s a business trip, you don’t have to pay taxes on the money you spend, right? That’s awesome.
Thaddeus: That was actually – the two weeks that we were gone from home, we made more money with the business than the weeks when we were home because of that one product.
Jim: That’s amazing.
Heidi: It was an awesome product.
Jim: You guys were in the hotel room at night boxing them up, labeling them, and sending them out to FBA. Did you take them down to the hotel desk or logistically, how did that work?
Heidi: I don’t know. He did it. I was in the hospital with him.
Thaddeus: She was in the hospital. We were living on the – which floor was it? 12th or the 14th floor? I took one of their luggage carts, put all the products on there, into the elevator, up to our room, prepped and boxed everything, and back to the car, then over to UPS.
Jim: That’s awesome.
Thaddeus: That was very interesting, but it worked fine.
Jim: Entrepreneurs are just the coolest people. You had to be getting some looks from the hospital staff like why is he bringing boxes up and down every day?
Jim: That’s great. Did you ever have to explain to anybody what you were doing, by the way? I’m just curious. I love these stories.
Thaddeus: I think I had one conversation in the elevator where a lady was – it was when I had the boxes going back to the car when everything was prepped with the label stickers, and she was like whoa, you’re sending a lot of stuff. Well, it’s all business-related. We’re selling on Amazon. It always sparks interesting conversations.
Jim: For sure.
Thaddeus: People are always interested. Wow, you guys sell on Amazon? How does that work?
Heidi: How can you make money?
Jim: Send them to our podcast, right? Which, by the way, you can get an affiliate link and refer people to us and get paid to do that, too.
Thaddeus: Yeah, I recently requested the affiliate link. I’m not quite through with the process yet.
Jim: Yeah, we’ll get you guys signed up. That’s something we love. We love rewarding you for sending people our way. That’s awesome. I love the – it sounds like you guys have a tenacious, adventurous spirit about this whole thing, like you’re going to do what it takes. Let’s get into the numbers a little bit. I want to hear how it’s going. Are you still working for and with your dad?
Jim: You’re doing both.
Thaddeus: More than full-time. We’re working overtime almost every day, so the business is mostly my wife’s, anyway the physical work anyways.
Heidi: Yeah, he does the office stuff, paperwork. I do shopping trips twice a week and then a month ago, I think, my sister started packing for us.
Heidi: Just like a summer job thing because it was just getting too much. I couldn’t source enough by the next time I had to go shopping.
Heidi: Yeah, we got her to start packing for us, and it took a load off for sure.
Jim: You’re still actively finding Replens I take it, right?
Heidi: Oh, yeah.
Jim: What’s your – give me some of your numbers there. What’s your goal per week? You still have that ten per week goal that Cheryl gave you when you started coaching, or what’s your typical week look like?
Heidi: It’s on and off. Sometimes I go into a store, and I find 10 on the spot, and sometimes it’ll – if we have to restock a lot and the money is a little short, then that week we don’t send in a lot of new items.
Jim: Yeah, you don’t grab as many that – the weeks that – you’re a little short on cash, right? You can’t – but I love – it’s a business where the bottleneck is how much cash can you get your hands on because the profitable products are everywhere, right? It’s a beautiful model.
Thaddeus: We’re not investing anymore personal cash into the business. We’re just reinvesting the profits, so we haven’t taken out any profits so far, so that’s why the curve is going – it’s shooting for the stars, honestly.
Jim: You’ve got a nice hockey stick going here it sounds like.
Heidi: Oh, for sure.
Jim: Beautiful. I’m talking to Canadians, so you guys know the hockey stick.
Jim: My one trip to Toronto – I actually used to work for a company there, and it was the National Museum for Professional Hockey there in Toronto, I got to visit that, and I tried to swing a hockey stick and hit a puck, and it just looked like it was such an easy thing to do when I’ve watched hockey. Never done it before in my life. Man, I about broke my wrist. That’s not easy. Lot of respect for hockey players now if you try it a couple times.
Jim: Because our sport here in Indiana’s basketball. There’s no hockey around here. It’s all about basketball.
Thaddeus: Okay. We’re all hockey here.
Jim: The traditional Canadian sport, man. Yeah, the hockey stick curve on your graph on your business, that’s just a beautiful thing to see. You can ramp up so quickly. How many products are you guys selling? How many Replens do you have would you say?
Thaddeus: Right now, we have 136 active listings, and about 60 sell pretty consistently.
Jim: That’s good.
Thaddeus: Then of those maybe 15 are top sellers where we make most of our profit on, but –
Thaddeus: Yeah, there’s about 60 Replens that we replenish consistently.
Jim: That’s awesome.
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Thaddeus: About 60 sell pretty consistently.
Jim: That’s good.
Thaddeus: Then of those maybe 15 are top sellers where we make most of our profit on, but –
Thaddeus: Yeah, there’s about 60 Replens that we replenish consistently.
Jim: That’s awesome. Yeah, the 80/20 rule definitely applies. I love – you just nailed it. You’ve got 60 products selling pretty consistently. About 15 of them are moneymakers. That’s always going to be the rule. The Pareto Principle, 80/20, right? About 20% of your products at any given time are going to be the ones making you about 80% of your money. The other 80% make you that – of your products, make you that other 20% of your money, but you love those too. That’s your long-term stability. Keep on those 20%. When you find those golden nuggets, man, yeah, you stay on them.
Thaddeus: Yeah, exactly.
Jim: What else? I’m going to be plugging in my laptop here, so don’t be distracted, but what else can you tell us about your story that you think new sellers might want to hear? What lessons did you learn or what surprises did you have? Just what would you like to share?
Thaddeus: We had a very interesting surprise, honestly, and that was in November. Towards the end of November, we have applied for selling in groceries, and we were still waiting for a request. It was – I don’t know – maybe a week in from our request, and then we got a notification that tomorrow restrictions would start for essential items only in stores. I don’t know if you’ve had that in the States.
Jim: COVID. Yeah, we did.
Thaddeus: Because of COVID, essential items only, and they – can you run?
Heidi: Yeah, sorry.
Thaddeus: Someone at the door, sorry.
Jim: Hey, life happens. For those who aren’t watching the video, the doorbell’s ringing, so Heidi’s stepping away for a minute. There’s episodes where my dog busts in the door or a kid busts in my door. My wife has a quick question. This is real life, people, right?
Thaddeus: Yeah, this is life.
Jim: Go ahead.
Thaddeus: Yeah, so we got the news that tomorrow it would start essential items only, which is pretty much only food and toilet paper and maybe diapers. They taped off all the clothing, toys, tools, and we couldn’t buy any of that in store, only online. The same day as those restrictions came in, we got the approval to sell in groceries, so we could still go in the stores, and for us, that’s definitely an answered prayer because we pray a lot for our business.
Thaddeus: Yeah, daily. We take it seriously.
Thaddeus : Yeah. God cares.
Jim: Because it’s a business, you guys were able to continue buying. Is that what you’re saying?
Thaddeus: Yeah and because now we were approved in groceries we could buy those essential items.
Heidi: Yeah, I could go in stores, still in stores for all the groceries and then I had to convert to online shopping for all the nonessential things.
Jim: That is awesome. God just opened up that door, huh?
Thaddeus: That was probably one of the biggest surprises.
Jim: I make posts frequently. Oftentimes it’s on Sundays, but I pray for this community, for the people who are out there because I think as people who are trying to build a business, there are a lot of things working against us. Culturally, we’re misunderstood. The average person on the street, a good number of them, see any kind of success in business as lacking virtue somehow, and – so there’s a lot of cultural forces that we’re fighting against, and I believe even to a large degree spiritual forces. They don’t want us to succeed. They don’t want families to succeed. Families are under attack. Small businesses are under attack culturally and spiritually, so finding a community where those kind of things are lifted up and supported and encouraged and prayed for – and I try to make posts frequently, and I do pray frequently for this community, the listeners of this podcast, people in our Facebook group, the good people who are going to be in Tampa with us here in another month or so as we’re recording. I know you guys are hoping to make it you’d said before we started recording.
Thaddeus: Yeah, we’re hopeful.
Jim: Canada may or may not let you, right?
Heidi: I think it’s fine. They will let us. It’s just driving that we would have to see.
Jim: That’d be great to have you guys there and meet your four-year-old. We didn’t get his name, by the way. What’s his name?
Jim: Emmanuel. I love it. Beautiful name. God is with us. Emmanuel, right?
Heidi: Yeah, exactly.
Jim: I love it. Okay, what else from your story guys? What else can we share with the listeners today? Tips or strategies or encouragement, anything that was on your mind that you were hoping to share today?
Thaddeus: It’s definitely worth hiring a repricer.
Heidi: Oh, yeah.
Thaddeus: That’s what we can say. We started ours on the first of May, and our sales have –
Thaddeus: Almost, what is it? 150% of our sales went up. From April it was $16,000 in sales, and in May it’s $26,500 in sales.
Jim: Wow, that’s great. We didn’t get your ROI and margin on that 26,000-dollar month. Do you happen to know offhand?
Thaddeus: Yes, ROI is 44% and the profit margin was 16%. It was a bit lower for May because we also used the repricer to get rid of the inventory that’s been sitting for a while. We chose to break even or have a smaller profit, but it’s – it was around 19 to 22% before that.
Jim: Beautiful. Those are great numbers for a small business, and coming from an entrepreneurial family, you guys understand that the numbers are very important. That’s what makes or breaks where you go next.
Jim: You guys have a beautiful – you guys have built a beautiful business. If there’s anything else you want to share, I want to keep that on the table, but also, what are your next steps for growth from here? Do you guys plan to hire more? It sounds to me like you should hire a shopper/packer in Toronto. It sounds like there’s some opportunity there for you guys.
Thaddeus: Yeah, that would be awesome.
Heidi: Yeah, we’re sure we need someone to take at least one shopping trip off of my hands, so we’re still figuring out. We don’t know for sure what’s the best move to do because my sister can’t keep on packing because she still has a year of school to do starting September, so we’re left with doing everything again, so yeah, we need a good move. What’s a next good move for us?
Jim: You need to hire people. The episode that we did with Josh Rojas, it’s about 15 or 20 episodes before this one I’m guessing, but he’s hired local friends, neighbors, people he got to know, people – the conversations that he struck up while his child was playing at the park kind of people and said hey, do you want to make a little extra money, flexible, try out this new gig of just putting stuff in a box. I need someone to help, and I can train you pretty quick. People out there who are looking for a little extra money, single moms so they can be home more and quit one of their three part-time jobs kind of thing, those people are everywhere.
That’s part of the beauty of being an entrepreneur is – I actually just recorded another episode earlier today about we’re called to lead and to serve as entrepreneurs, and that’s going to mean including other people, but the beauty of it is we’re not just including other people as a gift to them. They’re helping us grow, so we can include even more people. The next step is adding more people to your team for sure, and it’s going to take a little leap of faith and there’s going to be some people that maybe don’t turn out as good as you thought they might be, but that’s the journey.
Thaddeus: Yeah, we’ve been talking about that a lot lately about hiring somebody, how we would go about the process, but I’ve heard it being said often already, the first employee is the hardest to hire or –
Jim: Yeah, they are. You want one that brings money in, too. You want someone that you teach – that first hire – and this is actually Dave Ramsey advice. You mentioned Dave earlier. He’s the one I learned. His book EntreLeadership – he drives this point home in that book if I recall right. Your first hire isn’t someone that does all the stuff you don’t want to do. It’s someone who goes out and kills the bear and drags it to the cave, just like you do every day. You have to get out there and do the work and here’s how it works. That’s your ideal first hire, someone bringing in new revenue. They are a net plus to the operation. It sounds to me like there are a lot of opportunities in Toronto. You guys are there for a couple weeks and made a killing. Find someone there, a friend of a friend, a family connection, someone you can trust for a season and train them over Zoom, give them the Proven Amazon Course and get them rocking and with the agreement being they work for and with you, but they may go on and do it themselves someday. That’s fine, too. You can be very openhanded about it. That next right person will come along as it’s needed. You guys have a lot of advantages for anyone who’d be becoming in brand new because you got ungated in a lot of categories. You have access to the tools and you know how these different things work. I think you’ll be able to find someone. I think it’s going to be easier than you realize.
Heidi: I think so, too. I think we just have to take that step because we’d like to have someone – I want to teach them how to source first of all and then do some shopping for us. The packing is easy, two times and then they are good to go in two days.
Jim: That’s easy. I have one other question I’m going to ask you guys and whichever one of you wants to take it can. It’s going to be, if you had to explain the Replens business model in a minute or so, how would you explain it? We’re going to end with that. Before we do that, I just want to hear if there’s anything else that’s on you guys’ mind because I’d like to give you, this is my third chance now of throwing it at you, what else would you tell new listeners? It’s okay if you feel like you’ve shared everything that’s on your hearts but I’d love to hear anything else that you guys want to throw on the table for those who are listening to today’s episode.
Heidi: I think it just has to start. That’s the most important thing. For me, I was very hesitant at first. I told him, “You go, you try it out. If it works, I’ll jump in.” Now I love it. I think you just have to start and keep on going. It doesn’t matter how maybe slow it’s growing at the beginning, but at least it’s growing. Do one shipment if you can. If you can, do more. We had Q4, we did three shipments a week and now we went back to two shipments because it’s a little bit more manual for us but just do it.
Thaddeus: I think earlier today you made that post on probably the My Silent Team group about and then the caption was who is your biggest competitor, and it’s your mindset, right? I think ultimately what it comes down to, it’s not the next person selling on the listing or who wants to start selling on Amazon. I don’t think they’re your biggest competitor. I think it’s your mindset. It’s in your own head.
Jim: You’re absolutely right. Just because the opportunity is so expansive, meaning there’s room for tens of thousands more people doing exactly what we do before we ever start to feel a tiny impact, if you’re doing it the right way. Because the whole world is shopping online now. If you think competition are those other sellers on Amazon, you’re not thinking clearly about this thing. I love that you shared, Heidi, you’ll go stand in an aisle for a couple hours, and this sets up our last question, what is this model, this Replens model? Explain it to me. I always like hearing students explain it in their own words, this crazy thing called Replens. What is it?
Thaddeus: The word almost says it itself. It’s something you can replenish over and over and over again. It doesn’t have to be something that the same person buys once or twice a month or even once a year. It can be something a person only buys once in a lifetime. We sell many of those things a person probably only buys once a lifetime, but a lot of people buy it so we can replenish it over and over again almost every week sometimes to keep on selling it because that’s a new trend right now or that’s what people like right now, that’s the season we’re in right now.
Heidi: It’s also something that we get – we don’t buy anything that’s on clearance or sale. I grab something sometimes or grab extras if it’s on sale but I grab something that is regular priced so I can always just go into a store and just grab it.
Jim: It’s easily sourced and it sells at a repeatable pace, easily predictable, easily sourced predictable pace. It reminds me, I don’t know if I’ve ever made this connection or not, I may have in private conversations. I don’t know if I did it on the podcast or not. One of the businesses that I used to do when my oldest, now 24-year-old, was maybe three or four, so this is 20+ years ago, I had a vending machine routes, gumball machine, candy machine. You’d set up one of those machines in, say, a laundry mat or hair salon or something, with the permission of the owner, and it was crazy how predictable that product was, meaning, if you went back exactly 30 days, you would have within the dollar the exact amount of money in that machine month after month after month. It’s all different random people walking past this machine but the law of averages over time, you get pretty much the same thing every month.
That’s what these Replens products are. We know we’re going to sell between 10 and 20 of this product pretty much every month. You can look at the data and look into the past using Keepa and we can say we’ll play it forward, assuming nothing changes. Now, if 30 new sellers come in, that changes it, or if the product becomes obsolete, that changes, obviously. You can see these patterns. We’re looking for stability. It’s a very stable, predictable, almost boring business model. You guys did a great job describing it. Thank you for that. This is the business you’re in. What’s your description?
This is great, guys. It’s been really good getting to know you. I really hope Canada opens up in time that you guys can come down and bring Emmanuel and we’ll hang out in Tampa. There’s going to be a lot of families in Tampa and a lot of people bringing their kids and hanging out. It’s a nice place to just come a few days early, stay a few days late. Theprovenconference.com is the event. We’d love to see you there.
Thaddeus: Yeah, we would love to.
Heidi: We’re crossing our fingers. We’ll do everything we can.
Jim: Yeah, it would be awesome if you came, but if not, we’ll do it again once the world is back to normal hopefully again in the next year. The worst-case scenario is we’ll meet you about a year from now. It’s really great hanging out with you guys. Anything else to throw at the listeners before we close up? Because I’m going to talk to the listeners here for just a moment as we start to wrap this one up.
Thaddeus: We’re trying something new to us since about a month now. That is when we’re sending in a shipment, when we’ve selected all the items we’re replenishing, and Amazon asks us for the box content information, which items we put into which box. About a month ago, we started to use the feature or the option of skipping box content information, which costs us about $0.11 a product in Amazon fees more, but in our experience, Amazon checks in way more accurate amounts.
Heidi: They don’t miss products.
Thaddeus: They don’t miss as many products.
Jim: Great tip. Now, I don’t know if there’s enough data and science behind them checking it in faster and more accurately, but I’m starting to hear some people saying that, though, but I’m not quite ready to sign off on that, but I am definitely ready to sign off on skipping the box content step, for those of you who are doing it, give it a shot. For between $0.10 and $0.20 an item, approximately, you’re going to save yourself a whole lot of time, and as long as your boxes still weigh less than 50 pounds, Amazon is going to take them.
Thaddeus: That was the main reason why we started it, saving time, because we thought it takes so much time. It has to be simpler somehow. For us, it’s $0.11 a product. It’s definitely worth it. In our experience, they miss maybe one to two items in a 160-unit shipment, and previously it was five to ten. Sometimes those products make up even for what you paid for the check-in of Amazon.
Jim: Absolutely, if those numbers are playing out over time and you’re seeing that. That’s a great tip for everyone else as well. If you want to discuss this in the Facebook group for the listeners who are listening and thinking, “What are they talking about?”, we’ll be happy to dive in deeper with you. That’s a great place to get in front of 65,000 other ecommerce Amazon sellers and ask your questions to people from all over the world, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, free access to some of the smartest people on the planet who are making a living on Amazon. That’s a great place to kick around topics like that. That’s a great real world actionable tip to leave everybody with. I don’t think we’ve had that one come up on the show before but that’s a great tip. I appreciate that.
Thaddeus: One more thing for the listeners. Jump on Clubhouse. It’s amazing.
Heidi: Yeah, we listen every time, just don’t have the courage to talk.
Jim: You know what? I don’t think I’ve talked about Clubhouse much on the podcast. Thanks for opening that door. We’ve just started doing that in the past couple of months. We’re trying to do it a couple times a week. The best way for me to describe the free Clubhouse app is this. Let’s see if this makes sense to you guys as I describe it this way. It’s like listening to a call-in radio talk show but you can jump on stage any time you want and be one of the people that’s presenting. You can ask your question live. It’s like a call-in show where the host is bringing anybody up on the stage and they can have a conversation and they go back into the audience. We do it very specifically about two things, growing your Amazon business, your ecommerce questions, and applying biblical wisdom to business questions and business challenges. It’s been really fun so far. Thanks for the shoutout on that. I’ll stick a link, for sure, in the show notes today, possibly for the first time ever, about us doing that because we’ve had 50, 60 people at a time jumping in there having conversations with us. It’s been a blast. Thanks for that.
Thaddeus: Yeah, we really appreciate it. It’s amazing.
Jim: That’s great. I love to hear you guys are jumping in there. I’m going to talk to the listeners for just a minute then as we wrap this one up. It’s been great having you guys on the show with us today. Thank you to the listeners for giving us a little bit of your valuable time. Hopefully you got a lot of great tips and strategies out of this. I just can’t believe I get to do this for a living is the main thing I want to say. Hanging out with great people, learning new lessons, hearing their success stories, it’s always a pleasure for me. I sure hope you guys get to come to Tampa, and the listeners, too. I would love for you guys to join us, theprovenconference.com. If we aren’t past July 12th of 2021 yet, come join us. We’d love to have you there. Get your details on that website. Heidi and Thaddeus, you guys were awesome guests. Thank you so much.
Thaddeus: Thanks for having us here.
Heidi: Yeah, thank you.
Jim: To the listeners, God bless you, all the business-building warriors out there. We’re praying for you. We believe in you. We’re in your corner. We want you to succeed. We do not see you as competitors, like they pointed out today. This isn’t a community of competitors. This is a community of people supporting each other, believing in each other, encouraging each other, giving each other tips and strategies to grow. That’s what you’re a part of if you jump into this community. Get into our Facebook group if you’re not there yet. There’s a link at silentjim.com. It’s free, 65,000 people hanging out and doing what we just talked about. We’ll have another great episode for you again real soon. Thanks for hanging out with us today.
Hey, before we go, just a quick thing. I wanted to remind you that Helium 10 has become a great sponsor of this show. They’ve got an offer exclusive for the audience, the listeners, the business-building warriors of this community. If you go to helium10.com and use the discount code SSMR, as in Silent Sales Machine Radio, you’ll get the tool that’s being used by over one million Amazon sellers at this point. They’re actively tracking over two billion different products on Amazon at any given time providing data and helping you make good decisions on what products you should and shouldn’t sell as well as an entire suite of products to help you run your entire Amazon business instead of piecing it together a little bit from here, a little bit from there. It’s a great tool. Many, many coaches on our team use it, the content creators. I know that Nathan, our coaching director, swears by it as well. We were very excited to bring them on as a sponsor. Again, Helium 10, discount code SSMR, and they’ll take good care of you. God bless you, business-building warrior.
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